Strawberry Container Garden

Growing Strawberries in Containers

Strawberries grow really well in containers, which means you can grow them in your backyard, on your porch, or even on a balcony with the right light conditions!

Step 1

Head to the Co-op to get your strawberry plants. We currently have Eversweet Everbearing Strawberry plants. These are ideal for Davis as they tolerate temperatures above 100 degrees F. They’ll produce fruit starting in late Spring through later Summer and early Fall. You can plant these between February and late March after the last frost (since they’re in containers, you can easily move them inside in case we get another really cold night).

I started with 18 individual plants or 3 containers of 6 plants. You can start with just 1 container of 6 plants or more than 3 if you have the containers, space, and appetite. 

Step 2

Procure your containers and potting soil. Strawberries like to spread, so a container that is wider and shallower suits strawberries well. There are specific pots made for strawberries, but any large pot with good drainage will do the trick. For soil, you can look for a raised bed potting blend with a lot of organic matter. You can also look for something slightly acidic (pH between 5.5 and 6.5) if you want to get fancy.

When I went to the nursery to get supplies, they had extra large plastic pots (pictured below) that they gave to me. If you don’t need your pots to look all that cute, you may want to inquire about excess pots at your favorite nursery. It’s a nice way to divert some waste and save some money.

step 3

Fill your containers with potting soil. I filled my pots about 4/5 of the way up as I want to give strawberries a chance to spread along the surface.

Step 4

Wiggle your strawberry plants out of their small containers. Gently shake any excess dirt from the roots and replant in the new containers. The nursery recommended I split my 18 plants up into 2 pots. You don’t want to crowd the berries so many sure they have 4-5 inches of space on all sides.

Continue replanting all of your strawberry plants. You can top with rich compost or organic fertilizer after you pot them, but this isn’t necesary.

Step 5

Water your plants and place them in partial shade in your backyard, on your porch, or on the balcony. My strawberries get full sun for a few hours, but are in shade most of the day. Water berries when the soil dries out or about once a week in between rain. If you leave them in full sun for longer, check soil moisture levels more often as you may need to give them a bit more water. Full sun for at least part of the day will encourage ripe, sweet berries.

Step 6

Wait for strawberries! You’ll have fruit in 6-8 weeks and throughout the Summer through early Fall. Harvest in the morning, refrigerate immediately, and enjoy the literal fruits of your labor!

Stay tuned for more posts about propagating strawberries and preparing your strawberry container garden for winter.

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Local, Sustainable Meat

Local, sustainable meat is better

Globally, about 80% of agricultural land is used for raising livestock. Due to improper grazing management, desertification is quickly degrading the productivity of the land we use to raise our food. Confined Animal Feeding Operations further contribute to deforestation and land degradation, global warming, poor animal welfare, and low-quality meat. Reducing our meat consumption in combination with choosing local meat that regenerates the land can restore soil health, reduce carbon emissions, and produce stronger, healthier animals.

Invest in your Community

Supporting local farms and ranches today is a good way to ensure they’ll be there tomorrow. In addition to making a personal investment in your community and supporting local families, buying local means preserving open space and farmland, improving local soil health, sequestering carbon from the atmosphere, reducing your carbon footprint, and preserving genetic diversity among crops and livestock your local farmers grow. Lastly, and definitely not least, local food is of the highest quality. With shorter times between harvesting and consumption, local food is less likely to lose nutrients. Local produce and meat taste better too.

Regenerative Grazing Practices

Rotational grazing is a practice in which ranchers move livestock over grasslands or through forested areas with abundant perennial grasses, legumes, and weeds for the animals to eat. Herds never linger more than a few days in one spot, which mirrors how ancestral cow, bison, and sheep herds moved and ate. When ranchers practice highly-managed rotational grazing native grasslands are restored. Animals stimulate and fertilize the land increasing biodiversity, improving soil health, and drawing carbon down into the land and out of the atmosphere. Animals are stronger and healthier too, which means better food for us.

Look for meat that has been grass-fed and grass-finished. Many “grass-fed” labeled items have only been grass-fed for part of the animal’s life. 

Buy meat certified by the Global Animal Partnership. Look for Step 4 and 5 certification to ensure the animal was pasture-raised and the ranch centers animal welfare.

Good News! You can find local, sustainable meat at the Davis Food Co-op

SunFed Ranch

(11 miles from the Co-op)

SunFed Ranch beef from Woodland, CA is 100% pasture-raised and grass-fed using highly-managed rotational grazing. Healthier grass with deeper roots means protection from erosion and drought in our very own environment, plus healthier land is better equipped to sequester carbon. Stronger and more diverse grass varieties lead to happier and healthier cattle too. You can find a variety of beef cuts, often on sale, from SunFed in our Meat Department.

Rancho Llano Seco

(93 miles from the Co-op)

Rancho Llano Seco pork is raised confinement-free with continual access to open pastures and views of the California Buttes. They’re certified with the Global Animal Partnership, which means animal welfare is central to the Ranch’s practices. Their feed is grown on the ranch and their bedding is composted to feed its fields. You can find Rancho Llano Seco pork products in our Meat Department.

Diestel Family Ranch

(83 miles from the Co-op)

Diestel products including ground turkey and deli meats come to us from Diestel Family Ranch in Sonora, CA where regenerative agriculture practices like composting, responsible water usage, and animal welfare take center stage. They’ve earned the Global Animal Partnership Steps 4 and 5 certification. In addition to finding Diestel meats in our Meat Department, our Deli is now using Diestel Deli Meat in our sandwiches.

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Packing for a Hike

GORP

First things first: every hike calls for trail mix. While some folks will tell you gorp stands for “good ol’ raisins and peanuts”, we like to use it as a catch-all term for a mix of sweet and salty snacks thrown together in bag and eaten in the Great Outdoors.

 The Co-op’s Bulk Department is an excellent place to get supplies for gorp.  

The Best Gorp

To make The Best Gorp ask everyone in your hiking party to bring 1 sweet snack item and 1 salty. For example, someone may choose to bring yogurt covered raisins and pretzels, chocolate covered caramels and popcorn, or sour gummy worms and wasabi peas. Mix everything together in a big bowl and divide evenly among hikers (everyone should have their own container of gorp).

The Best Gorp changes every time you make it, which means each gorp reminds you of a particular hike with the folks who contributed to its weird deliciousness.

Dark & White Chocolate Cherry Gorp

  • 1 1/2 cups roasted and salted almonds
  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup white chocolate chips

Mix ingredients together in a bowl. Store in an air-tight container for up to a week.

Pizza Trail Mix

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 1/4 cup raw walnuts
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not in oil), halved or quartered if large

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine everything except the sundried tomatoes in a large bowl. Toss so the nuts are evenly coated in spices and oil. Spread mixture on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool completely before adding tomatoes. Store in an airtight container for up to a week. 

 

Lunch on the Trail

If you’re planning a day hike, you’ll probably want to take something a little more substantial to eat. 

Brie, Apple, and Bacon Trail Sandwich

This sandwhich is for folks who need energy for a long hike and also appreciate the finer things in life. It’s the fancy sandwhich that gets the job done!

  • 2 slices cinnamon raisin bread
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 4-5 slices brie cheese (with or without bloomy rind)
  • 2 slices bacon, cooked
  • thin slices of Granny Smith apple

Turn on you oven’s broiler. Spread butter on both sides of the cinnamon raisin bread sliced. Broil for 1 minute or until golden brown. Flip, top with brie cheese, and broil for another 1-2 minutes or until cheese is melty. Remove from boiler. Finish building the sandwhich with bacon and apple slices. Wrap in parchment and store in a reusable zip-top bag until ready to eat. 

Sweet and Savory Yogurt Dips

These dips are perfect for picnic-style trail eating. Plus, they’re made with whole milk Greek yogurt so you’re getting plenty of protein and healthy fats.

 

Honey Yogurt Dip
  • 1 cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Combine ingredients in a small bowl. Mix until smooth.

Serve with fresh fruit (apples, strawberries, bananas), apple chips, or granola. 

Green Curry Yogurt Dip
  • 1 cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp green gurry paste
  • Juice from 1 lime 
  • pinch salt 

Combine ingredients in a small bowl. Mix until smooth.

Serve with pita chips, raw veggies (carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers), and cold cuts. 

Smoky Roasted Chickpea Wraps

The perfect vegetarian or vegan trail lunch! 

  • 1 15-oz can chickpea, drained, rinsed, and patted dry
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 1/4 cup whole milk Greek yogurt or vegan sour cream
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp fresh dill, chopped
  • For assembly: 2 pita pockets or lavash, sliced red onion, sliced tomato, sliced cucumbers, green and red leaf lettuce

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Toss chickpeas in avocado oil, cumin, smoked paprika, turmeric, black pepper, and salt. Spread on baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes. 

In the meantime, combine yogurt, lemon juice, dill, and a pinch of salt if necessary in a small bowl. Mix well. 

To assemble: Place lettuce on wrap. Top with red onion, tomatoes, cucumbers, and chickpeas. Drizzle with dill sauce. Roll up. Wrap in parchment to maintain structural integrity. Store in a Stasher Bag and pack for later!

Packs on Packs

Ditch the plastic zip-top bags and choose U-Konserve food storage containers, reusable zip-top Stasher Bags, or Meli Beeswax Food Wraps to keep your pack organized and plastic free! Use to store food, equipment, and personal items. All of these brands are 10% off at the Co-op now through 2/2/2021!

Sunscreen

Regardless of the time of year you go hiking, pack and apply sunscreen! Look for a mineral-sunscreen that has broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection and is water-resistant

 

stay hydrated

Don’t forget to bring water! If you don’t have an insulated water bottle, check out the Co-op’s offerings from Klean Kanteen. In addition to making water bottles which keep water ice cold for 90 hours, Klean Kanteen is a certified cimate neutral company based in nearby Chico, CA.

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Fair Trade Banana Bread

(fair trade) banana bread 

 

We don’t need an excuse to make banana bread around here, but if you’re looking for a good one, here’s a few. 

Davis Food Co-op Bananas are Fair Trade

Our Equal Exchange Bananas come from three small farming co-ops in Ecuador and Peru. Through democratic organization and economic cooperation, banana growers have access to global markets while maintaining agency over their business, land, and livlihoods. The Fair Trade Certification you see on our bananas means that we pay producers a fair price, which helps ensure equitable and sustainable trading partnerships endure. 

Reduce Food Waste

Banana Bread is made with very ripe, some might say overripe, bananas. When your bananas have become dark and mushy you may be tempted to toss them in the compost bin, but you don’t have to! Make banana bread or toss them in the freezer for smoothies instead.

 

Prepare for National Banana Bread Day

That’s right, National Banana Bread Day is right around the corner. Prepare for February 23rd by honing your baking skills with the banana bread recipes below!

 

Banana Bread is Delicious 

According to USDA data, bananas are the country’s favorite fresh fruit. We eat an average of 13.9 pounds per person per year! Maybe bananas aren’t your thing. That’s cool. But if you do like bananas, banana bread is easy to make and delicious to eat!  

Banana Nut Bread (GF Option)

THE classic banana bread recipe! Hearty enough for breakfast and tasty enough for dessert. Make it gluten free with only one swap.

One Bowl Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Bananas aren’t the only fair trade ingredient here. Use Equal Exchange Fair Trade Chocolate Chips from the Co-op. 

One Bowl Vegan Banana Bread

Every vegan needs a solid banana bread recipe. Plus, you probably have all of the ingredients you need for this recipe on hand.

Boozy Banana Bread

If you’ve never paired banana and coffee, now is your chance. Trust us, the addition of Kahlua is exquisite. 

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New & Notable in Produce

Tangelos from Loomis

We have two new tangelo varieties in from Pine Hill Orchard in Loomis, CA.

Lavender Gem Tangelos

These two-toned pink and orange fleshed tangelos have a very sweet and floral flavor.

Pearl Tangelos

Pearl tangelos are reliably sweet, with a tangy, grapefruit-like flavor and beautiful yellow flesh.

Lavender Gem Tequila Sunrise

  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 1/2 oz tequila
  • 4 oz lavender gem tangelo juice
  • 1/2 oz grenadine
  • mandarin slices for garnish

Fill serving glass with ice, tequila and tangelo juice.

Add grenadine, garnish with mandarin, and serve.

Oro Blanco Grapefruits

These locally grown grapefruits have pale flesh, an aromatic, floral scent and a delicate flavor without any bitter aftertaste.

Rosemary Bruléed Oro Blanco Grapefruit

  • 1 oro blanco grapefruit
  • 1-2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp fresh rosemary, minced

Preheat your oven’s broiler. Combine brown sugar, vanilla, and rosemary in a smal bowl. Cut grapefruit in half and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Spread sugar over grapefruit flesh. Broil for 3-4 minutes, until sugar is caramelized and bubbly.

Black Radishes

Black radishes are known for having an earthy, spicy, and bitter flavor sharper than other radish varieties. The flesh is contrastingly bright white, firm, and crisp. When cooked, the flesh softens and flavor mellows, opening up subtly sweet peppery undertones.

Miso Roasted Black Radishes

  • 2 medium-large black radishes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, very finely minced
  • 1 tbsp red miso paste
  • ½ tbsp tamari
  • ½ tbsp rice vinegar
  • Salt and pepper

 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice radishes to 1/4-1/2 inch thick.

Combine olive oil, garlic, miso, tamari, rice vinegar, and generous pinches of salt and pepper in a bowl. Add radishes to the bowl and toss until evenly coated with miso mixture. Place radishes on baking sheet in a single layer. Pour any remaining sauce over radishes. Bake for 15 mins, flip, and bake another 15-20 mins until you have crisp edges and creamy middles.

Mizuna from Full Belly Farm in Guinda, CA

 

 

Mizuna is a mild tasting mustard green with peppery undertones and a crisp, firm texture. 

Mizuna with Garlic and Bacon

  • one bunch red mizuna, torn
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 slices of bacon, cooked until crispy and crumbled
  • black sesame seeds, toasted
  • olive oil

 

 

In a dry pan, toast black sesame seeds over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, or until fragrant. 

Pour excess grease from pan. Saute mizuna and garlic together until greens begin to soften, about 2-3 minutes. Toss with bacon and transfer to serving dish. Top with toasted black sesame seeds and serve. 

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How To: Fabric Gift Wrapping

We were inspired by the Japanese practice of furoshiki to share how you can wrap gifts in pieces of fabric instead of traditional wrapping paper! While you can use any square cloth to tie furoshiki, Karla (your Co-op’s wellness manager) suggests trying it with our large 100% cotton dish towels. These dish towels come in a variety of seasonal patterns and colors. Fabric scraps from other projects can also be repurposed to tie furoshiki. You can decorate your fabric wrapped gifts further with dried herbs or flowers.

materials

  • furoshiki to best fit your gift (we are using a cotton dish towel from the Co-op, folded to be square)
  • gift
  • optional: dried herbs, fresh flowers, gift tags to decorate

wrap your gift

There are many ways to tie furoshiki, but this is the most basic. Follow the steps below to wrap square and rectangular packages.

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DIY Body Scrub with Essential Oils

Our friends and fellow co-op-ers at Aura Cacia have shared this recipe for homemade Peppermint Sweet Orange Sugar and Coffee Body Scrub. It’s perfect if you’re feeling crafty, in need of some pampering, or looking for an easy DIY gift idea. All it takes are a few simple ingredients from your own kitchen and the Davis Food Co-op. Plus, Aura Cacia essential oils are on sale at the Co-op this month!

Start with the basic formula: something scrubby + skin care oil. For scrubby ingredients, use food-grade, biodegradable ingredients like sugar, salt or coffee grounds (before or after brewing). These will exfoliate the skin, removing dry, dead and dull-looking skin cells and helping to prevent clogged pores. Incredibly, your skin will respond by generating new, fresh skin cells more quickly.

Next, choose plant-based oils that nourish the skin and provide lubrication for the scrubby ingredients. Sweet almond oil is a great choice, with its rich texture and skin-hydrating properties.

Add your favorite essential oils to the mix and take the benefits of your scrub to a whole new level of luxury and efficacy. Not sure where to start? Try this recipe featuring refreshing, vitalizing peppermint and spearmint, and cheering, uplifting sweet orange. This clarifying, energizing scrub will leave both you and your skin feeling invigorated and refreshed, while the coffee/sweet orange aroma evokes warm comforts of snuggling by the fire. As a bonus, peppermint oil has natural antiseptic properties.

Peppermint sweet orange sugar and coffee body scrub

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp coarsely ground coffee
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons Aura Cacia® Sweet Almond Oil
  • 30 drops Aura Cacia® Sweet Orange Essential Oil
  • 9 drops Aura Cacia® Peppermint Essential Oil
  • 9 drops Aura Cacia® Spearmint Essential Oil
  • 4-ounce wide-mouth jar

Preparation

In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and stir until well blended. Transfer to wide-mouth jar.

To use, scoop scrub out of jar with fingertips and apply to skin using gentle circular motions.

Rinse with warm water and pat dry.

Note: For a sweeter, more citrusy aroma, substitute bergamot (bergaptene-free) essential oil for the spearmint. For a more meditative, calming aroma, substitute frankincense essential oil for the peppermint and spearmint.

Share the joy

Body scrubs make great gifts, so why not make a larger batch and share? Scale up the recipe, divide the scrub into jars and tie with a decorative ribbon. You can even modify the oils in the recipe to personalize them to the recipient—use the suggestions above, or your own creativity!

Aura Cacia essential oils are on sale from 12/2/20 – 12/15/20. Don’t miss out!

This recipe was reprinted with permission from Welcome to the Table, by National Co-op Grocers.

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Zero Waste Gift Guide

This is the ultimate guide to finding low – no waste gifts at your Davis Food Co-op! The goal of zero waste living is to direct as much waste away from landfills as possible while choosing to purchase responsibly produced products from companies who actually care about the health of us and the planet. In addition to diverting waste from landfills, all of these gift options are budget friendly! Nothing costs more than $40, most are below $30, and some are on sale this month as well. Here are our picks for gifts you can give yourself and others to help us all get a little closer to the goal of zero-waste living!

What better way to introduce zero waste living to someone than a reusable Klean Kanteen water bottle! Kleen Kanteens are on sale at the Co-op this month – from now until December 15th, 2020 you can get a great deal on water bottles, tumblers, and insulated food containers from Klean Kanteen. Klean Kanteen is a Chico, CA-based family and employee-owned B corp that is certified climate neutral!

Take it from a person with a green thumb who used to not have a green thumb, plants are always a welcome gift! We’ve expanded our green offerings so you have lots of options to choose from at the Co-op. Check out the native California plants – they’re drought tolerant and local pollinators love them!

Muffin-sized silicone baking cups are the perfect gift for anyone who loves to whip up muffins, cupcakes, and more on a regular basis. The best part? They’re naturally nonstick, dishwasher safe, and reusable! Want to really wow them? Check out some of the unique flours our bulk department offers.

I know what you’re thinking – Is soap really a good gift? Yes! High-quality super-lathery local soap free of plastic packaging is a great zero-waste gift. Soap bars from The Soap Doctor are made with Yolo County olive oil too.

Making coffee at home is a great way to save money, time, and lots of paper cups and plastic lids. Check out the french presses we carry and, while you’re at it, take a look at our locally made Davis Food Co-op insulated tumblers from Klean Kanteen or a DFC mug – neither come with plastic packaging! 

Go the whole (bean) nine yards and add some whole bean coffee to your gifting. Equal Exchange coffee is on sale at the Co-op from December 9th-29th, 2020. Equal Exchange is a co-op too, and they’re products are fair trade certified! 

Did you know we carry a wide variety of teas in our bulk department? Find something interesting and pair it with a reusable metal tea strainer! We offer a few different styles, including small mesh bags that can be used for tea, whole spice infusions, and more!

For your friend who loves to stand in line for hours waiting for the latest trending food, we recommend a reusable bamboo utensil set and metal straws that will stand in line with them, again and again and again. These bamboo utensils and metal straws are easy to toss in a bag or backpack and are dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.

Wrap your gifts in Co-op or other paper bags, fabric scraps that can be reused again as wrapping, or give your gift inside a super cute Co-op tote or zipper pouch! Bonus: your gift AND it’s wrapping will help divert waste from landfills!

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