Friday, October 21, 2011


Hi Everyone - 

The San Juan Agricultural Guild (SJ Ag Guild) is sponsoring Canadian farmer Percy Schmeiser's visit to the San Juan Islands. This is one very brave man, with a compelling story, who hopefully helped change the way the wind blows when it comes to genetically modified foods and a huge corporation's ongoing campaign against the small family farmer. You can read more - at the link above - about this quiet farmer who, with his wife, and against incredible odds, stood up - and has continued to stand up - for what they know is right.
Mr. Schmeiser will be at the SJI Grange hall on Sunday, October 23rd from 7:00-8:30 pm. 
Cost is $15. Mr. Schmeiser will talk about the years spent battling Monsanto in the courts, and the dangers of introducing genetically modified organisms in the food system. 

On the same subject...

Friday, October 14, 2011

Hey, We have Visitors!! Kallari Chocolate!

Hi Everyone!

Ecuadorean Kallari chocolate maker
Long time no see! Now we're back to catching up this page, and the first thing to know is that we have visitors from the Ecuadorean Kallari chocolate Cooperative arriving early next week and staying for 4 days! Read below about the programs they'll do while they're here, including a chocolate demo at the SJ Co Op.
The second thing is through this Saturday 10/15, for any size donation, you can become a member of Slow Food. Go here to do that.

The Visit - Events
Activist and Kallari Cooperative founder Judy Logback, and cacao farmer, chocolatier and financial director for Kallari Leonor Cayapa are arriving on San Juan island late on Sunday evening,
and spending Monday all day at the high school, headquartered in HS Spanish teacher Brook Landers classroom, with other classes including Mr. McNairy's and Ruthie Paull's classes stopping in.

Leonor speaks her native Spanish and Kichwa,  and English, and Judy will also translate for Leonor.
Brook Landers has generously offered to be Judy & Leonor's escort and ambassador for their trip.

Kallari chocolate
Caffe Femenino coffee grower
Monday after school, they'll all be heading to the Co Op around 5 pm to do an open house with chocolate samples and with Caffe Femenino coffee supplied by Friday Harbor's Soroptimists. Soroptomist Anna Coffelt, who is also our SJ So Op manager spearheads the work the Soroptomists do with this WA based coffee company and will make the coffee. Anna saw that Caffe Femenino's mission and Kallari's are similar.

Tuesday am Judy and Leonor will do a program at the Friday Harbor Library from 10:30-12
noon, then a truffle making class from 1:30 - 4:30 at Marion
Melville's kitchen, over on Bison Lane off Cattle Pt. rd. We're
charging 25$ for that, so that we can cover the cost of chocolate and
travel expenses. Marion and Doug have also donated their guest house for Judy and Leonor's visit.
While Judy and Leonor are here, they'll also have the opportunity to connect with our wonderful island farmers. We want these two, the  Kallari farmer and the cooperative organizer, to get to meet
everyone and compare notes and make a connection. We think we can learn a lot from this cooperative, and the more small farmers connect worldwide, the better.

Wednesday these two inspiring women will have a chance to rest and see the island, and  
Wednesday night they're going to have dinner at the Community Dinner at the High School before
they have to take off either that evening or early Thurs for an event in Seattle Thurs morning at 10.

The Food for Thought Community Dinner features island grown beef and produce and is planned and prepared by the high school Culinary Arts students and Andy Radziolowski and Liz Varvaro, who teach these kids and run the Food For Thought program at the school. Dinner is 5$ and will be incredible!

We sure hope you can make it to one of these events. Everyone adds something special to all this.
All of us connecting - that's how we can change the world!

cacao beans
There's a great paper Judy wrote about what they've done with the Kallari
cooperative, with many observations that can be a big help to us here on our island.
It's worth looking at if you have a minute. Double spaced for easy reading.

Kallari Cooperative member

About Kallari

Ecuadorean river, Napo region
KALLARI (kah-YAH-di) is a cooperative of over 850 Kichwa cacao farm families in the Amazonian Napo Province of Ecuador. With student activist Judy Logback, the Kichwa people created this cooperative for more control over revenues. Realizing most profit is made from sales of chocolate bars, not the cacao beans, the Kallari Association decided to produce their own chocolate. Robert Steinberg, a founder of Scharffen Berger chocolate, advised the cooperative on chocolate making and Stephen McDonnell, the founder and chief executive of the Applegate Farms organic food company, helped them establish the Kallari Chocolate Company. Kallari is doing something never done before in the global chocolate industry, with self-reliant governance and innovative economic model. The cooperative provides the Kichwa people economic resources to resist both logging their forests and short-term-only riches offered by environmentally harmful petroleum extraction. 100 percent of profits from sales of chocolate bars is returned to the Kallari cooperative. The Kallari cooperative is Rainforest Alliance Certified, which is denoted by the little green frog seal on the packaging. Farms that are Rainforest Alliance Certified protect wildlife, wild lands, workers' rights and local communities. In 2004 a chocolate bar made with Kallari beans was presented at the Slow Food Terra Madre conference in Turin, Italy. Slow Food selected the rare organic Cacao Nacional cacao bean found only in the Kallari communities for the Presidium Award.