Strawberry Shortcake

Local Strawberries arrive Today at LifeSource!

Long before the sun rises above the horizon,  Amanda and Gustav, of Zorn Organic Farms are planning the day ahead. As the demand for locally grown Oregon strawberries is reaching a crescendo, the farm workers are filling flat after flat with ripe berries. The shifting pink and orange colors of the sky hint at the perfect day ahead., as people stir from their slumber, not yet anticipating the delights the day may hold for them. Today is the day that Beth sets out for the fertile bottomland of the Champoeg region to gather the first truckload of the season from Zorn family Farms.  Beth’s Tacoma, laden with berries,  has just now arrived back in Salem, and as we unload the strawberry flats from the truck, the sweet smell of organic strawberry goodness fills the air at LifeSource.  Come to the store on your way home today and get your fresh Oregon strawberries, your freshly baked shortcake from LifeSource deli, and maybe a little organic cream to whip up for dessert.  It is officially Strawberry Shortcake time!

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Vincent Family Cranberries

We love Oregon cranberries, and we are especially pleased  to offer Vincent Family Cranberries at LifeSource!

Here is the Vincent Family’s story, in their own words!

Our Story

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Hello, we are the Vincent Family. Our ‘Cranberry Roots’ go back to 1957 when our grandfather, Elmer Robison, cultivated his first Cranberry ‘Bog’ on the beautiful Southern Oregon Coast. Grandpa Robison along with his wife Grandma Velna raised four children on his Cranberry farm.  Three of those children have carried on the family tradition with their own sustainable and responsible Cranberry farming operations.

 

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In 1965, our parents Kay Robison (affectionately known as Golly) married Bill Vincent (papa) and set forth to build a family that is now the heart and soul of Vincent Family Cranberries.  As a successful commercial fisherman in what is now a lost, but special way of life, our dad along with Golly dove headfirst into the transition from hunter to gatherer.  The life of a small Cranberry farming family is also a very special.  Papa and Golly have fought hard to ensure that way of life will carry on for generations to come.  As their children we are forever instilled with the LOVE and PRIDE that they have so perfectly cultivated.

 

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The location of our farm which is a half mile from the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean, offers a very unique growing environment for a Cranberry.  The Coastal climate is cool year around with salty winds whipping our Cranberry bogs.  Our growing period is long.  Our bees work harder to pollinate our crop.  We harvest later than most, going into the late fall months with it’s harsher weather.  This makes for a very hardy Cranberry.  Smaller than most with a deep red color that can almost look black as it floats on the water of our flooded Cranberry bogs.  These dark berries are sweeter and contain a higher than average natural sugar content, that requires less added sweetener before it hits the bottle.  The Bandon Cranberry is renowned worldwide for these special characteristics.  Those characteristics are even more dramatic with a Vincent Family Cranberry.  We’re very proud of that, and very excited to pull our Cranberries out of the anonymous pool of Cranberries that end up in so many different food products on the market today.  Take a second look at our Juice.  Notice that deep red unadulterated color, and taste the richness of it’s tart-sweetness.  We think you’ll agree that it’s something special.

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Our Cranberry history is built off of the ‘blood, sweat & tears’ that surviving as a small independent family farm requires. The farm is more than just land to us. It represents a type of ‘sacred ground’. Nurturing this ground through natural and responsible farming practices is second nature to us. Small independent family farms are a rare find in today’s world. We’ve been that rare small farming family since 1957… and we intend to keep it that way.
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Subject:  Vincent Family Cranberries – Organic Certification Announcement

 

Hello to you and thank you sincerely for taking the time to learn more about us and what we’re working towards.

 

We trust that at the very least you will see the value in a direct relationship with an actual farming family that just happens to make the finished product as it sits packaged on the shelf. We haven’t taken the time to try and find out but we do know it is an exceptionally rare thing in today’s world.

 

First and foremost our family grows Cranberries.  That’s what we do, and have done, for over fifty years here in Oregon.

 

Throughout those years, numerous technological and cultural advances have helped us grow more berries.  Our family has always strived to farm responsibly while working to evolve our practices with every opportunity given.  We’ve treated our land and our Cranberry vines the way you would expect our family to, after all these years.

 

With that same spirit that has shaped our farm, we are now proud to announce a bold, new undertaking.  We have initiated the process of Organic Certification for our 27 acres of bogs.

 

We are excited and proud to be able to hold up our farming practices to the scrutiny of the certification process.  Organic certification will be an important milestone and crowning achievement of years of hard work. Organic Cranberry farming is rare.  Only a tiny percentage of all Cranberries harvested each year worldwide are certified.

 

Here in Oregon, of the roughly 2500 acres in production, about 1% of Cranberries are certified Organic.  There’s a reason for that, and ‘it’s easy’ isn’t one of them.  It’s going to take some extra work and some extra dollars on our end to gain this certification.   But we think our timing is going to work out well.

 

As our juices and dried Cranberries have been so well received, it should allow us to use previously unavailable resources to do this right.  For example, as of the first of this year, we were fortunate to re-hire a former employee.   This achievement as well as our commitment to success are just a couple reasons we are confident that we have the right plan in place to gain certification.

 

We know as well as any, that a logo on our bottle won’t magically make our juice better.  So in the meantime we will continue to produce “the finest Cranberries in the World,” put them in our products, and offer them to you.

The great thing about being the only Cranberry juice company that also happens to be a Cranberry Farming family is that you can also come to the farm and we’ll give you tour of our farming methods for firsthand.  Better bring your work gloves though!

 

Thanks to all of our customers and supporters, who have helped make this all possible.  We love hearing from you and nothing is better than meeting you in person.

 

We won’t let you down.

 

From all the Vincent’s,

Thank You!

 

 

…and from LifeSource, Thank YOU, Vincent family!

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Oregon Blueberries

Though winter is just beginning, you can still experience the flavor of summer at its peak, with dried Oregon blueberries.

Grown organically, just outside Corvallis, these blueberries are expertly dried to keep all their flavor and nutrition.

Let’s celebrate the return of the light by enjoying a taste of summer. Sunset Valley organic dried blueberries are now available in the bulk department at LifeSource!

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Garlic-scapes

Recipe! – Spring Garlic Scape Pesto

Scape Pesto from Teal Creek Farms

Instructions:
Puree scapes, lime juice, zest, and olive oil in a blender or food-processor.

After blending, the first four ingredients, the pesto can be used fresh or frozen for later.

Thaw if frozen, then blend in Parmesan cheese and let set for one hour in a bowl

 

Ingredients:

¼ pound scapes 1/2” removed from tips & chopped

2 ½ Tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon lime zest
½ cup olive oil
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

To serve, thaw, blend in cheese and enjoy fond memories of spring during winter.

Garlic-scapes

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Sunchokes (Jerusalem Artichokes) Recipe

Roasted Sun chokes:

  • 2 lb  Sun chokes, chopped
  • 2 parsnips, chopped
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1-2 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish
    1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
    2. On a large baking sheet, arrange the chokes, parsnips and bell peppers in a single layer. Toss the garlic over the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the oil over the vegetables and toss with your hands until all the vegetables are lightly coated with oil.
    3. Roast for 25 – 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and browned. Transfer to a bowl and garnish with fresh parsley.

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Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch

Great news for sustainable seafood, MSC Certification for West coast Rockfish!

Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Business E-Newsletter


Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch

Rockfish

Six west coast rockfish species added to Seafood Watch “Good Alternative” list

Consumers, chefs and suppliers now have additional sustainable seafood options to choose from on the west coast! The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) announced its certification of 13 species caught by the west coast groundfish trawl fishery in the waters off of Washington, Oregon, and California. Since the MSC eco-certification label benchmarked as equivalent to at least a Seafood Watch “Good Alternative,” the 13 newly MSC-certified groundfish species caught in the west coast fishery now also carry our “Good Alternative” (yellow) rating.

This means that several species we previously listed as “Avoid” are now available to consumers as a sustainable option, including several species of rockfish: Chilipepper rockfish, longspine thornyhead, shortspine thornyhead, splitnose rockfish, widow rockfish and yellowtail rockfish.

We encourage everyone to buy rockfish species certified by the MSC or certain species caught with handlines in the Pacific, California, Oregon and Washington.

Previously, in alignment with our seafood sustainability guidelines, LifeSource was only able to offer Rockfish that complied with Seafood Watch’s “Good Alternative” recommendations. This narrowed our choices to hook and line Rockfish and restricted us to only certain species. The Monterrey Bay Aquarium now recognizes the Marine Stewardship Council sustainability certification as equivalent to their own “Good Alternative” categorization. Recently, the MSC evaluated the Washington, Oregon, and California fisheries for several species of Rockfish and found them meeting or exceeding MSC standards for sustainability. Because the industry has taken the steps to ensure sustainability, LifeSource can now offer these species for sale in our fresh fish department. The cooperation among fishing vessels,  government regulators, and the Marine Stewardship Council, indicates the growing interest among consumers,  fishing industry and retailers for a scientifically managed, sustainable supply of seafood for the future. It is clear that our choices as consumers significantly encourage sustainability in this industry.