Meet New Supplier: Red Dragon Mini Farm (March 2019)

Red Dragon Mini Farm, located in Boonsboro, MD started when we, the Martucci family, made our escape from suburbia in search of a simpler life, healthier food, and a stronger community. We soon found that the extra space afforded us the opportunity to grow more herbs including peppermint, lemon balm, rosemary, and raspberry leaves which we could then use to make our own herbal teas. We also noticed as we shopped the local farmers markets that we were not finding hand blended herbal teas. We decided it might be a fun adventure for the family to provide our own hand blended herbal teas to the community.

Since it takes a lot of dried herbs to make a sufficient amount of tea and many herbs we like to use can’t be grown in our area, we located suppliers of high quality organic herbs and spices to allow us to be able to produce products in quantity and year round. Our eventual goal is to find as many local suppliers as possible and possibly utilize some of our homegrown herbs in the product. Since sustainability and concern for the environment are also important to us we chose packaging made from recycled materials that are also fully compostable other than the wire tie.

AllTeasWe currently offer seven custom blends but keep an eye out for changes in the lineup as we learn what people enjoy and develop new blends. All of our 100% organic blends are tasty anytime and here are some details on the ingredients in each:

  • At Ease – Chamomile, Lavender, Peppermint

Both lavender and chamomile are well known for their calming and relaxing qualities and drinking a tea steeped with these herbs can help with anxiety and stress. It is a good bedtime tea as chamomile and lavender both help with insomnia. Chamomile and peppermint both have a soothing effect on digestion, so after meals is also an ideal time to enjoy this tea. Choose this tea to keep your mind and belly AT EASE.

  • Comforter – Chamomile, Lemongrass, Rose Petal

Many find sipping hot tea to be relaxing, but the added benefits of these three herbs can offer natural uplifting qualities to counteract anxiety and depression. Choose this tea as your COMFORTER in the evening.

  • Peppermint Stick – Peppermint, Fennel Seed, Ginger Root

Peppermint, Fennel and Ginger are all well known herbs for digestion. Choose this after a meal to calm the intestines or anytime for the delicious PEPPERMINT STICK taste.

  • Clarity – Holy Basil (Tulsi) Blend, Peppermint, Rosemary

Tulsi is an ayurvedic favorite to soothe the nerves and support healthy emotions. Peppermint and rosemary also can be used as an antidote for stress and to relieve headaches. As an added bonus, the calcium in rosemary is easily absorbed by the body. Choose this tea to enhance your mental CLARITY.

  • Good Vibes – Lemon Balm, Lavender, Licorice Root

Lemon balm and lavender have a calming effect on the mind and body; the anti-inflammatory compounds in the herbs can help ease headaches. A small amount of licorice root gives the tea a bit of sweetness. Choose this mood enhancing tea for some GOOD VIBES.

  • Soother – Ginger Root, Roasted Dandelion Root, Star Anise, Ceylon Cinnamon

These herbs were chosen for their anti-inflammatory properties. Together they create a great morning coffee substitute with roasted flavors from the dandelion and sweet notes from the star anise and Ceylon Cinnamon. The SOOTHER is one that benefits from simmering rather than steeping to extract all the flavor and medicinal qualities.

  • Sofia’s Blend – Rose Petal, Peppermint, Lavender, Lemon Balm

This naturally uplifting floral blend is a great all around tea. It can be used for an aromatic start to your day, mid afternoon pick-me-up or to unwind at the end of the day. SOFIA’S BLEND was conceived by our tea-loving daughter!

You can learn more about our journey and escapades on our farm blogs at reddragonminifarm.com or check us out on facebook at facebook.com/reddragonminifarm.

 

2019 Spring Break Closure Schedule

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Welcome New Supplier: Ivy Hill Farm of Smithsburg, MD

ivyhill_logoIvy Hill Orchard, located in Smithsburg, MD, is owned by John S. & Karen J. Martin. With the help of John Timothy (Tim) and John Justin (Justin), they are the long-standing tradition of successful, progressive farming of this land once originally named, “Hospitality”. The farm started with the purchase of a 94-acre parcel in 1850 by a Martin family ancestor. The farm has been owned and operated by the Martin family for 7 generations since its purchase before the Civil War. The Martins offer an interesting summary of their farm’s heritage and its generational ownership. This history, with ancestral photos, is available on their website page “Heritage” :  ivy-hill-farm.com/heritage/

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Currently, Ivy Hill Farm specializes in selling seasonal produce including apples, peaches, and cherries from our own orchard. Their greenhouses are open during the summer season offering flowers and veggies for sale.

Through Valley Co-op, Ivy Hill will be offering fresh apple cider (UV treated), jellies and jams including No Sugar, salsa, different salad dressings, Apple Butter, Different varieties of Apples and Peaches in season.

Ivy Hill Farm utilizes several sustainable farming practices.  They follow an IPPM Program – Integrated Pest and Pollinator Management Program. It is a management strategy designed to control harmful insects, diseases, and weeds using a combination and balance of the following methods: Biological, Cultural, and Chemical. The use of real-time data gathered on site twice a week helps us to make decisions specific and relevant to our farm. (The extra “P” that stands for Pollinator, is new!)

The farm maintains a buffer and stream on the farm that is a habitat for small game. With crop rotation and various cover crops this helps improve the soil quality. The soils are tested annually to ensure and improve the soil quality.fb_icon_325x325

Learn more about Ivy Hill Farm on their website: www.ivy-hill-farm.com and Like & Follow them on their Facebook page

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Ivy Hill Farm Roadside Market in Smithsburg

Farmer Meet & Greet Event

Posted on by Susan

February 16, 2019

9am – Noon

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Have you ever wanted the scoop on where and how our foods and products are sourced at Valley Co-op? This Saturday, 2/16 will be our second annual “Meet and Greet” with our suppliers! Meet the farmers and artisans that provide Valley Co-op with truly local products from truly local people! Find out about how the products are grown or raised directly from the source!! Samples will be available as well as lots of information on why you should be buying from Valley Co-op! Come by with your questions 9-12 Feb 16! 
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~Vendors Attending the Meet and Greet~

  • City Harvest
  • F&D Apiary
  • Good Gracious Gardens
  • J and W Farm
  • Milk and Honey Farm
  • Stone Wall Angus
  • Waltz Family Farm
  • Windmill Meadows

 Call for new Board Members! -2019

Posted on by Susan
Applications due January 13th

As per our By-Laws we have one vacancy, but can elect up to 5 new members. Meetings are twice a month on Monday evenings at the Market.

To apply, download and complete the application below. Responses can be submitted in a separate file. Return to the market or email to: info@valleycoop.org by January 13th.

 (PDF).

Whispering Breeze Farm offering Turkeys for Thanksgiving 2018

Posted on by Susan

Reserve your fresh Thanksgiving turkey now! 

$25 deposit to reserve your bird- fresh delivered on Nov 21. Price is $4.38/lb from Whispering Breeze Farm  Reserve your bird with a deposit through Nov 13.

Farm Bio:
Whispering Breeze Farm, located in Taneytown Maryland, has been proudly owned and operated by the Brower family since 1901. 117 acres of red clay dirt is home to dairy cows, sheep, chickens, turkeys and 6 generations of the Brower family. We  love the land, animals, and the farming way of life!

Our pastured bronze turkeys enjoy daily fresh grass (untouched by herbicides and pesticides), foraging for bugs, and soaking up the sunshine! Never fed antibiotics, our birds are natural, nutricious, and delicious!

We believe in local supporting local! Our birds are fed their complete feed from a local feed Mill and are processed by a USDA certified artisan butcher less than half an hour away.

Don’t spend another Thanksgiving suffering through dry tough turkey! Our beautiful birds cook up moist and delicious and provide ample gravy.  Look forward to leftovers again! ”

Read more about Whispering Breeze Farm on their website and Facebook page.

Reducing single use plastics with Good Gracious Gardens

Regular customers of Good Gracious Gardens can reduce their plastic waste

As part of my campaign to eliminate single-use plastic from my life and plastic pollution from the environment, I’m looking for alternatives to the plastic bags I’ve been using to package the produce I deliver to the Co-op. Plastic bags seem necessary to keep the produce fresh, but using new ones for each customer’s order adds too much new plastic to the recycling/waste stream. So, I’m asking my customers for their help and cooperation. If you think you’ll be buying Good Gracious Gardens produce this season, please bring your own re-used plastic bags to the Co-op, labeled with your name. I’ll pick them up, and I’ll use them to package your next produce order.  (Labeling them with your name is important, since I don’t want to use your bags for someone else’s order . . . just so everyone knows where their bags have been!)  You don’t have to label each bag — just tape a name tag onto the outer bag, and stuff all the other bags inside.

Thank you for helping me reduce plastic pollution! The sea turtles, sea birds, and other critters thank you, too! (And keep on bringing in your used yogurt cups – I’ll re-purpose them as seedling pots next year!)

Meet New Supplier: Smoky Bend Farm

fogSmoky Bend Farm in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia is a small family run farm, nestled in a gooseneck of Sleepy Creek. Our namesake comes from the wispy fog that regularly rises from the creek water. Farmers Jared and Rich have a passion for delicious, local food that is sustainably produced. This isn’t your standard grocery store fare!IMG_1769

mulch layerAt Smoky Bend, we have implemented a variety of techniques that allow us to grow produce while reducing the impact on the environment. In our fields, we minimize tillage whenever possible and cover exposed soil to prevent erosion. We build soil fertility through cultivation of the appropriate cover crops. Insect pests are managed using floating row covers as a physical barrier as well as labor intense hand picking. By growing disease resistant crop varieties that are adapted to our climate, we eliminate the need for synthetic chemicals to control pests or disease.

pig2Our heritage hog crosses have been carefully selected so they can fully utilize our pasture/woodland areas to forage for nuts, seeds, berries, roots and grasses through the year. Our animals are never confined inside and never see concrete. Because of our humane and environmentally sustainable growing methods, Smokey Bend pork is lean and flavorful.

IMG_1784As part of our conservation efforts, we’ve replaced three acres of overgrown scrubby woodland, filled with invasive plants, with native meadow plants. These meadow plants bloom all growing season supporting a variety of native pollinators, butterflies, and other wildlife. We’ve partnered with the West Virginia’s Natural Resource Conservation Service to permanently protect the wetlands located on our property and remove invasive species from our wild areas. Even our packaging is environmentally conscious, our delicious produce is packaged in compostable clamshells. We also have biodegradable carry out-bags if needed—no plastic packaging to feel guilty about!

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We believe producing delicious food and environmental conservation go hand-in-hand resulting in amazing produce and meat you can feel good feeding to your family.

Follow Smoky Bend Farm on Facebook 

Valley Co-op Closing for Summer Vacation

Posted on by Susan

Plan ahead to purchase your local foods for 4th of July! We will NOT be having an order cycle the weekend prior to the holiday.

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Little Antietam Goat Dairy’s Story

Posted on by Susan

FB_IMG_1526603588382We love making, eating, and selling artisan goat cheese. Located on a family farm in picturesque Franklin County Pennsylvania. We maintain a herd of seventy French Alpine Dairy Goats. The goats are fed select alfalfa, grass hay and grain ensuring a top quality milk with mild and delicious flavors.

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We produce fresh Chèvre, Farmhouse and Feta cheeses in the cheese plant that is on the farm. We only use fresh goat milk from our own herd. Try our cheese and let us know what you think!

IMG_3972Artisan. Farmstead. Local.

fb_icon_325x325Little Antietam Goat Dairy is located at: 6488 Hess-Benedict Rd.,
Waynesboro, PA. Learn more on their Facebook page

Contact: bryan_eby@yahoo.com

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