Deadline for BOD Applications is 1/14/18

Posted on by Susan

Applications are now being accepted for candidates for our Board of Directors. This election cycle we have two current BOD members ending their two-year terms. We have also received two resignations for BOD members who needed to fulfill family and work obligations. As per our By-Laws we are REQUIRED to fill a minimum of three seats this election cycle.  Our Board can have a maximum of 7 Directors.

To qualify, candidates must:

  • be a Co-op member in good standing (membership is current and no debts owed).
  • complete the candidate application by the 1/14 deadline.
    be approved and presented for election to membership by the existing Board of Directors.
  • commit time to provide leadership to the Co-op. (in general, 1-2 meetings/month)
  • Interested members are encouraged to attend the next BOD Meeting to learn more about the Co-op business and operations on December 18th at 6PM. For immediate questions, please direct them to

Without leadership we will not have a Co-operative. Please consider giving your time and talents.

Applications are available to members only via our weekly member email or by contacting our store manager at


Posted on by Susan
  • Eating healthier (& better for the planet):Animals raised humanely By purchasing meats and produce through the Co-op you have the benefit of knowing your producer, their practices, and subsequently have better knowledge about the food you eat. Co-op producers are not large commercial animal or agricultural operations. It is raised within our region and not transported over extensive miles. The food your receive is fresher and healthier with less risks of exposure to pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics or hormones.
  • Keeping your dollars local: The money you spend at Valley Co-op builds a stronger local economy. Your business not only keeps the Co-op functioning, but provides income for local employees and supports the Historic City Market. We used local contractors when needed for services like electrical or refrigeration repair, and of course, purchases of locally sourced products support independent businesses.
  • Supporting your local farmer: Its hard work to be a small business owner\farmer. Their success & livelihood cannot be achieved without your purchases and support. With each purchase you put money directly into the hands of the farmer, not a big corporation’s. In Maryland, if every household purchased just $12 worth of farm products for eight weeks, over $200 million would be put back into the pockets of our local farmers.(Source:

City Market is Growing! Vendor list as of November 2017

Posted on by Susan

Below is the current list of vendors at the Hagerstown City Market as of November 11th.  Four more vendors are anticipated to join in the next few weeks.  Visit these and Valley Co-op at the Market on Saturdays! Open to noon.

  1. Fran Clingan- Snookies Cookies
  2. Sharon & Duane Eby- Country View Products
  3. Sommer Gilliam- Kreeative Kreations
  4. Etta Lewis- Etta’s Crafts and Stuff
  5. Charles and Donna Litton- Litton’s Produce (SEASONAL 10/28)
  6. Reggie and Elsie Martin- Stop, Buy N’ See
  7. Naomi Martin- Violets & More
  8. Jeff and Debi Serig- Jeff & Debi’s Grill
  9. Jean Volcy- Mama Jean’s
  10. John Young- M&J Candies
  11. Tammy Crosten- Jewelry Box Designs
  12. Tina Robertson- Scentsy
  13. Snix Snax Shax- Leigh Ann Hixon
  14. Payne Monroe- Payneless Desserts
  15. Delores Strawser- I Bake It, You Take It Bakery
  16. Gwen Ford- Soaps and Stuff
  17. Vivienne Smith- Rooster Moon Coffeehouse
  18. Crystal DeShong- Crystals Exotic Candles

Vendor descriptions are provided on The Hagerstown City Market Website.

To learn more about being a vendor, visit

Welcome supplier: South Mountain Creamery

Posted on by Susan


Starting October 14, 2017 Valley Co-op will be offering dairy products from South Mountain Creamery, which is located in Middletown, Md.

Co-op members will be able to order milk, half and half, yogurt and butter. Milk will be offered in quarts and half-gallon quantities, both in glass bottles.  Bottles have at $2 deposit, which is refunded upon return.

From the South Mountain Creamery website:

“Our cows spend their days on pasture. Fresh air, sunlight, and endless grass is provided for them. They also come and go as they please from their freestall barn, where they can get comfortable out of the weather. In addition to grazing, we feed them a nutritious mix of the crops we grow ourselves. Our dairy and beef herd are born and raised on the farm. Our laying chickens are cage-free and certified humanely raised.

We take pride in being good stewards of the land. All of our land is under agricultural preservation. We use cover crops to protect from erosion, use non-GMO seeds with proper crop rotation. We have a close relationship with our customers, and understand your food concerns. We consider these concerns with everything we do and with the standards and expectations that we set with our farmer partners. We are here to provide you the best, most nutritious local food, that you will feel good about eating.

Our dairy products are made right on the farm, from start to finish. Our cows are milked 50 yards away from our production plant. Within 12 hours, the milk is bottled or made in to yogurt, cream, butter, sour cream, or ice cream. “

Read more about South Mountain Creamery farm practices, their history and dairy business on their website:  They also have a Facebook page and Instagram account.

Kraut demonstration – 10/14/17

Posted on by Susan

Kraut Workshop on October 14, 10:00 AM at the Co-op Market
Join the Sour Mountain Picklin’ Boys for the second in our continuing series on Fermentation as Preservation! Last month’s successful Dill Pickle workshop produced a crock of very sharp, delightfully healthful pickles. This month we feature Sauerkraut Basics, using nothing but fresh cabbage from the Coop, salt, and spices. Bring quart or half-gallon wide-mouth jars and lids – we’ll provide the rest. We have a limited number of plastic airlocks that make the process still more foolproof – first come, first served to borrow these from the Coop (or buy them at cost).


Annual Meeting Oct 2018

October 23, 2018, 6:30 – 8 PM
Co-op Market Space

This is the annual meeting required by our bylaws – every member should attend. The meeting is also OPEN TO THE PUBLIC as part of our effort to dramatically grow our member base.

Light locally-sourced refreshments will be served.
Please bring a friend, a neighbor, a co-worker!

Formal agenda to follow – for now, please plan on attending to discuss:

  • How we are doing since the move
  • What more we need to do to meet more needs for more people
  • How we hope to become a full-service, member-owned food cooperative
  • What new programming and services we hope to offer. Some ideas (no promises yet!):
    • Explore delivery options for orders
    • Bring “exotic,” international ingredients to our website
    • Holding meetings at community sites (schools, churches, restaurants, theaters) to raise our profile
    • A “Kitchen Equipment Library” to allow members to share big-ticket, rarely-used items like canners, huge pots, presses, crocks, etc…
    • Bring your own ideas as well
We have a lot to celebrate and a lot still to do.

A Local Taste of Autumn: Farm to Table Meal at Shepherd’s Spring

A Local Taste of Autumn: Farm to Table Meal at Shepherd’s Spring, November 12, 3-5 pm. This is a great opportunity to support local farmers/vendors, as well as enjoy good food with good company in a beautiful setting. $25 RSVP required.

Friedman Fisheries 2017 Salmon Report

Hello to all of my salmon customers and friends, legacy and new. We are returned home from the 2017 fishing season up at our fish site in Alaska, all rested up by now, and settled in. I’ve been sitting on my Report of the 2017 Salmon Season for several days, going back through and polishing it up and I think it’s in pretty good shape. I hope you enjoy it.
I have also revised my Salmon Information and Recipe Book.
If you have saved a copy in the past, I suggest you delete that one and save this new copy. New customers may also want to save this copy for future reference. Many of your questions can be answered by checking out the Table of Contents and clicking on the correct page – but any customer is always welcome to call or write to me with any question you might have.
The Flow Chart on Page 5 lists all the different product forms and the cost of each. No doubt that is the most frequent question I get! But please call or write to me with any question you may have – that is one of the services I provide, which you will not get at any store that I know of.
We’ve got a decent home pack of 9,400 lbs., down from the past 2 years but still our 3rd largest home pack in the 28 years I have been bringing home salmon to sell. Much of the decrease is less king salmon, but at 18 boxes of kings that’s still a decent amount. That’s still 8 boxes more than our long-term average of 8-10 boxes of kings.
Sockeye salmon pieces and fillets are down several boxes but we still have a good amount. Dressed salmon and butterflies are at record high amounts, by a little bit. The reasons our home pack turned out the way it did are explained in the Report. Remember, every season is different and not necessarily consistent with prior seasons, in terms of opportunities to process salmon to bring home. We always do the best we can.
We have a new product form this year, sockeye salmon belly strips, and you can read about this in the Report, and also in the Information Booklet Flow Chart.
My salmon arrived in Seattle earlier this week, but for some reason (they’re busy with other stuff?) they are not going to get to my container before next week. Therefore, I expect my salmon to arrive in Baltimore the week of September 11th, which to be honest is more or less right on time. I will contact all of you as usual when I am ready to go.
I hope everyone is well, and hungry for salmon. For Noris and I, it’ll be 1 1/2 months without before we dive into our new home pack. You know what they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder. Right?
Take care everyone. Avi

August FREE Saturday Events at the Co-op Market

Posted on by Susan

August 5th “What the Health” movie screening and free popcorn, 9:30

Aug 12 Kids Zone Fun- face painting, corn hole, crafts, balloons 9am-12pm. **Volunteers needed. Please contact the Store Manager for info**

Aug 19 Recycling Day- Bring your batteries (sealed lead acid, car, truck or motorcycle, nicad or lithium) and shoes- all kinds! More recycling options may be added. Stay posted!

Aug 26 Pickling Demo- see the pickling process in action and get your pickling questions answered! Read more here…

Valley Co-op Practical Workshop: Fermenting, Part I – PICKLING Aug. 26th at the Co-op Market 9-12

Posted on by Susan

In this practical workshop, participants will learn why fermentation is and always has been important to human survival. We’ll point out the value of a healthy intestinal bacterial community, or microbiome, and how consuming fermented products can promote a healthy, disease-resistant microbiome.

Part I will focus on one of the simplest techniques for preserving food by fermentation: PICKLING.  We’ll have several stations showing how to make Fermented Dill Pickles: A basket of fresh pickling cukes, several large canning jars packed with cukes, garlic, dill heads, and a few grape leaves (for crispness), a pitcher full of brine (with measured amounts of salt and water), and a batch of pickles actively fermenting (showing bubbles).

Participants and passers-by will be able to ask questions and make comments on this process – if YOU have a favorite pickle recipe to share, bring it and share it! We’ll also have copies of at least one book on pickling that our Fermenters have found useful

For those who want to PICKLE THAT DAY: Bring a few quarts of small pickling cucumbers and enough large (quart or half-gallon) clean canning jars with fresh lids. We’ll provide locally-grown garlic, dill, and grape leaves, as well as Pickling Salt. Walk through the process with our Pickler-in-Chief, and take home your own creations which will be ready to eat in a few weeks’ time!

← Older posts Newer posts →