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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!

Dig Deeper

The Sweet Side of Organic Farming – By Nigel Willerton, CEO, Wholesome Sweeteners

 

Dig Deeper

The Sweet Side of Organic Farming


In appreciation of their support, we invite Rodale Institute Business Members to share an article about their work on our website. These articles often include insightful information based on their experience and line of work.  It provides a unique perspective of organic agriculture that we enjoy sharing with our readers. 

By Nigel Willerton, CEO, Wholesome Sweeteners

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At Wholesome Sweeteners, we believe that a healthy planet allows for healthy and happy people. So from the very beginning, organic, sustainable farming has been at the heart of our philosophy. We proudly partner with farmers who help us create this ideal by producing our sugars in a safe and ethical way without sacrificing superior quality or harming the land. Our customers can be confident in the great taste and great care we’ve taken to bring them the best sweeteners.

Our Organic Sugar comes from sugar cane grown in Paraguay and milled at Azucarera Paraguaya. These farmers provide an excellent model for organic, sustainable farming; every step of their process fosters a high quality product with very low environmental impact. The sugar cane is “green cut” or hand-harvested, and the tops of the sugar cane are left in the field to enrich the soil and control weeds. The cane is never burned or sprayed, a damaging practice to the cane and the field and lethal to the local wildlife trapped in the fields. After harvesting, the cane is transported to the mill where it’s crushed to extract the sweet juices. The crushed stalks, called bagasse, are used to fuel the mill’s boilers, providing enough electricity for the mills and neighboring villages so that fossil fuel is unnecessary. In fact, the mill creates so much energy from the bagasse that they are able to sell some of the electricity back to the state.

Indonesian farmers with Coconut Palm Sugar

In Java, Indonesia, Wholesome Sweeteners partners with family farmers that create Organic Coconut Palm Sugar. Palm trees have been rich, food sources in Indonesia for more than 4,000 years. Farmers tap the sweet nectar from the coconut palm tree flower and turn it into Organic Coconut Palm Sugar. The trees grow wild on their property, so there is no need to use harmful, chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Every day the farmers climb the palm trees to tap the coconut palm flower at the top. Once they collect enough nectar, they heat it in large kettles where it’s stirred by hand until it cools and crystallizes, leaving behind a rich brown sugar. The farmers enjoy a reliable living from these trees: the nectar is produced year round for up to 25-40 years; the coconut fruit is used for its meat and water; and the fibrous husks are used for twine or weaving material. Most importantly, the extraction process leaves the local environment intact since the trees are never cut down destroying the farmers’ forested properties.

Wholesome Sweeteners’ organic farming practices stretch across our liquid sweeteners as well. Our Organic Blue Agave is grown in Jalisco, Mexico. The

 

leaves of the large plants are hand-cut by the farmers with a large blade, a “coa,” and left behind to protect the soil. The remaining core of the plant or the “piña” houses the blue agave nectar. The piña is crushed to extract the juices, which are then gently heated and filtered yielding a sweet amber agave syrup.

Our Organic Honey comes from hives located deep within the secluded jungles of Brazil and Mexico, where beekeeping protects native plants and encourages biodiversity. The beekeepers maintain an organic environment for the honeybees by never using antibiotics or other toxins on the hives. The hives have been placed among a variety of organic flora for miles and miles, knowing that bees will only travel up to 4 miles from their hives for food. Since the bees are feasting on a variety of wildflowers that change with the season, the honey’s flavor characteristics constantly evolve, deepening in color and flavor. The honey is minimally filtered allowing it to retain its inherent pollens and enzymes. In Brazil the beekeepers recycle the wax honeycombs once a bee colony has left for a new home.

Our efforts to produce safe and flavorful sweeteners would be nearly impossible without the time and dedication that the farmers give to their crops. That is why Wholesome Sweeteners is a proud supporter and advocate for Fairtrade programs. We believe in paying farmers a fair price for their crops and are encouraged to see how the added premiums are improving their lives. Nearly all of our organic granulated sugars are Fairtrade Certified as well as our Organic Blue Agave and Organic Honey. Wholesome Sweeteners has paid more than $9 million in Fairtrade premiums to villages in Paraguay, Mexico, Brazil and Malawi. This money has helped cultivate vital needs for those communities like electricity, healthcare, schools, clean water supplies and new farming equipment.

As more and more consumers demand safe and healthy food options, Wholesome Sweeteners continues to champion organic, sustainable farming whenever possible. This method of farming serves as a great reminder of the bountiful capabilities inherent in Mother Nature and how the right kind of human intervention can be the best formula for yielding a safe and delicious harvest.

Nigel Willerton, CEO, Wholesome Sweeteners
Since establishing Wholesome Sweeteners in 2001, Nigel has helped grow the Texas-based sweetener company into the U.S.’s largest Fairtrade Certified, USDA Organic and Non-GMO Verified supplier of sugars, syrups, stevia and honey. Because of its strong focus on social responsibility, Wholesome Sweeteners has paid more than $9 million in Fairtrade premiums to impoverished farming communities around the world. For more information on Wholesome Sweeteners’ commitment to organic, sustainable farming or to learn about its Fairtrade practices, visitWholesomeSweeteners.com.

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Tasty New Products

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We’ve got some great new products at the Source!

We’re excited to add Portland company, Three Sisters Nixtamal, to our tortilla section. Their organic blue & yellow corn tortillas are prepared from freshly ground organic corn masa with nothing more than a pinch of salt. We also have their yellow corn masa so you can prepare your own fresh tortillas, tamales, or gorditas!

There’s two new vegan, meat subsitutes: Turtle Island Coconut Curry Tempeh to add to stir-fry and sandwiches and Helen’s Kitchen Organic Veggie Ground for tacos, spaghetti and more! You’ll also find a new veggie chicken salad sandwich from The Higher Taste.

Have you tried Chuckanut Bay’s delectable gourmet cheesecake yet? Their cheesecake is prepared from the freshest, most natural ingredients from regional dairies and farms. They have a wide range of delectable cheesecakes from gluten free to no sugar added and now we have them  in 5 inch rounds!

We also added a new brand of organic yogurt from Iceland, Smari. It packs a whopping 20 grams of protein per serving! And if that wasn’t enough, it’s also low in sugar, has no fat, and it’s thick, creamy and delicious.

Plus we’ve got new flavors of Trader’s Point Creamery’s grass-fed organic yogurt and Maple Hill’s grass-fed yogurt.

There are great new products being added all the time. Come and see what’s new!

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News from our Aisles

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They’re Here!!! Epic Bars are back in stock! These unique and tasty protein bars are made from organic, grass fed animals and natural whole foods that are high in nutrients and low in sugar.  Not only are they paleo and gluten free but they’re high in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, vitamin B, and vitamin E. Choose from Beef Habanero Cherry, Bison Bacon Cranberry, and Turkey Almond Cranberry. They’re a snack dream come true, we promise.

4-5-lb-mixesAnd new to our shelves this month is Manini’s Gluten Free Bread and Flour Mixes from Richland, Washington. Made from ancient grains, these mixes will change everything you know about gluten-free baking. They have a texture and taste so good you won’t believe it’s gluten free. And because they are made with ancient grains they are free of rice, soy, beans, or casein! Check out their website for a plethora of recipes and ideas!

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HeavenlyHoneyWe also added 5 new types of honey sourced from hives right here in the Willamette Valley. Heavenly Honey is handcrafted and one hundred percent raw. It is not processed, treated, heated, filtered or altered in any way. It’s straight from the bees to you! Choose from Coriander, Buckwheat, Clary Sage, Pennyroyal, or Meadowfoam.

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New Local, Non-GMO Goodies!

536_Masala_Pop_Chai_We’re getting awesome new products in all the time here at LifeSource and we’ve got a couple worth noting this month. From Masala Pop, Chai Masala Popcorn with Assam Tea handcrafted in Portland. This sweet and savory treat is made from Organic Popcorn coated in a chai-infused caramel and black Assam Tea. It’s an unusual taste sensation sure to tantalize your taste buds. Plus, it’s on sale all month long!

We’re thrilled to have three new oils from Hummingbird Wholesale in Eugene: Camelina, Pumpkin and Toasted Sesame!
Camelina is an ancient oil seed crop also known as wild flax, German Sesame or Siberian Oil Seed. Locally sourced from right here in the Willamette Valley, Camelina Oil has a unique anti-oxidant complex that makes it very stable and resistant to heat and rancidity. It is an excellent source of Vitamin E and contains up to 45% Omega-3 fatty acids. This flavorful oil is organic and so, of course it’s non-gmo, and grown without pesticides and chemical spray and then expeller-pressed with no chemical processing.
oilThe Organic Styrian Pumpkin Seed Oil is grown exclusively for Hummingbird Wholesale in Aurora, Oregon and expeller-pressed at a non-GMO facility in Rickreall. This raw Pumpkin Seed Oil has a deep, rich color and is perfect for salad dressing, bread dipping or finishing. Pumpkin Seed oil is high in anti-oxidants and essential fatty acids, including Omega 3, Omega 6, Zinc, Vitamin E, Vitamin A and has anti-inflammatory properties!
Last, but not least, Organic, Toasted, Expeller Pressed, and Unrefined Sesame Oil! This golden oil will add a nutty, sesame taste to any dish. Contains antioxidants, including sesamol and sesamin, and vitamin E; high in Omega 6 and 9. Serve with dark green leafy vegetables to help with absorption of vitamins and minerals.

Stop in and see what else is new at LifeSource this month!

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This Just In!

Check out the latest awesome snack items to hit the grocery shelves!

dijon chipsonion ringsWe’ve got a tasty and addictive new line of treats from Just Pure Foods. The Zucchini Chips are out-of-this-world incredible! We have two different varieties Sesame Dijon and Sour Cream & Onion. They’re raw, gluten-free, vegan, organic, nut-free and yeast free! How can you beat that? Perhaps with a Crispy Onion Ring that fits all the same criteria? You definitely want to stop by and try these bad boys!

 

 

 

Hands Holding Super-FoodsIf zucchini chips and onion rings aren’t your thing how about raw trail mixes made from nuts, seeds and berries grown on small, organic family farms! We’ve got three new mixes from Wilderness Poets that are sure to delight your taste buds. Oregon Cranberry Pumpkin Seed, Almond & Cacoa Nib, and Incan Berry Jungle Peanut. They are all raw, vegan and gluten-free not to mention they contain no sugar, salt, soy, trans fat, cholesterol or GMOs!

 

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Last, but not least, delicious new Veggie Krunch from Alive & Radiant Foods. Made from raw, organic veggies, fruits and nuts! Heartier than your average kale chip, but packing that same amazing crunch. These tasty little snacks are a great way to get your daily dose of greens in one flavorful and satisfying treat. You’ll have to try ’em to believe it!

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What’s New at LifeSource?

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You can now find gluten free egg noodles nestled amongst the pastas on aisle 7. This gluten free tagliatelle from Jovial Foods was created in the traditional Italian method with carefully selected varieties of rice. Now you can eat traditional Italian gluten free! Try this healthy pasta in your favorite recipe.

emmerAlso new to the grocery shelves local Emmer Flour from Camas Country Mill. Made from Emmer Farro grown in Junction City, OR and milled in Eugene. This ancient grain has a weak gluten structure which makes it easier to digest for many non-celiac individuals with wheat sensitivities. Closer to Durum (pasta) wheat than bread wheat, Emmer will not rise significantly in bread making but its delightfully sweet and nutty flavor is fantastic in flatbreads, pitas, pastas and baked goods.

And watch for Einkorn Flour coming soon!

 

 

 

 

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Passover starts tonight at sundown, and we’ve got all sorts of good things for your seder plate, including organic passover matzos; organic produce like horseradish, romaine lettuce, parsley, and potatoes; and local and organic eggs. Enjoy!234px-Pesahplate