September 16, 2005

A great vendor

We received our first order from Azure Standard this afternoon and we are very happy.

They sell bulk and canned foods — mostly Organic, very high quality for very reasonable prices — a lot less than you would pay in a Food Co-Op or Grocery Store.

If you order more than $400, they will use one of their trucks to deliver for free. You can aggregate with your neighbors for the $400 limit so getting canned goods and bulk grains and legumes is very economical.

They serve the Pacific Northwest and California and extend north through Minnesota (for the free delivery offer — see this delivery schedule — 400K PDF File)

Their online store is good, their various catalogs are available as PDF downloads here.

We were turned onto them by one of our neighbors who was placing an order. Poked around their website and liked what we saw. We will be placing orders with them every couple months as their product selection is excellent (they also have farming supplies, cosmetics and nutritional supplements).

Here is their story:

About Azure Standard
Dear friends and valued customers,

THE STORY OF AZURE STANDARD really begins in 1971 when my family made radical changes in the operation of our 2,000-acre dry-land wheat and cattle ranch.

In the 1950's almost all the farmers in America began using chemical fertilizers because the lure of higher yields was just too great to pass up. Not long afterward, the soil deteriorated to the point where the weeds and insects began to attack the crops, so pesticides and herbicides soon followed.

Our family was caught in the cycle like most farmers, until 1971 when we took our farm out of the chemical cycle “cold turkey,” so to speak. In the first year, the chemical-dependent land only produced a small percentage of what it had formerly produced. At this point most farmers would have gone back to chemical use for economic survival. But, sticking to our convictions, we fought ignorance and lack of information in order to keep on without chemical use. As the years went on, the soil slowly regained its natural fertility.

As a result of farming in this manner, both commercially, and on smaller scale in large gardens and orchards for our own use, our family became healthier.

We began selling this healthier food to others who also wanted to reap the benefits of better nutrition. Our newfound customers soon began asking for different natural and organic products which we didn't grow here on our farm, but we scrambled to find those products for them. Thus, in 1987, Azure Standard was born.

Here, we understand that naturally grown foods are instrumental in producing a long and satisfying life. We'd like to see more farmers and home gardeners turn to natural organic growing practices, so we do what we can to not only support the organic farmer, but also provide as many organic products as possible.

Give 'em an order, you will not be unhappy with the service.

Posted by DaveH at 08:06 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 15, 2005

A load of Hay

Since we have six Sheep and Goats, we have to provide food for them over the winter when the pastures are not producing.

Figuring that we needed about one ton of Hay, we found a local farmer who was selling it (very nice too with lots of Clover — the extra protein will help the Cashmere fur develop!).

At 40 pounds per bale, getting the 50 bales home was a bit of fun:

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Click for full-size Image

We made it home safe and sound, driving at 30 MPH on back-country roads and pulling over whenever there was more than a car or two behind us. Took us just under one hour to get to the Hay, took us over two hours to get home.

Now, we have to find a source for straw for bedding…

Posted by DaveH at 10:10 PM | Comments (0)

World of Wood Festival

One of the more interesting events as Summer starts to wind down is the World of Wood festival. It is sponsored by the Black Mountain Forestry Center and is held at their wonderful museum a few miles north of where we live.

One of the highlights of the festival is a tour of several working forests. The tour was led by a professional forester and he was exceedingly candid about forest management practices, the environment and regulations.

There was fair food, exhibits and some wonderful music.
Here are some photos:

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Here is the Black Mountain booth.
Click for full-size Image

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The stage — some wonderful music.
Click for full-size Image

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An example of the chain-saw carving
Click for full-size Image

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Here is one of the stops on the Forest Tour
Click for full-size Image

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We went up Black Mountain which is almost 5,000 feet elevation.
Here we are looking out into Canada
Click for full-size Image

All in all, a very pleasant day!

Posted by DaveH at 05:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 13, 2005

An anniversary

Jennifer and I were married three years ago on this date.

Life just keeps getting better and better — one of the best decisions I ever made.

Jen — I love you!

Posted by DaveH at 10:27 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack