Sustainable. Organic. Local. Economical (and Ethical). Nichols Canyon Co-op members got together to swap some ‘S.O.L.E.’ food. On a bright sunny morning last Saturday, some of our Co-op members got together in a backyard to swap their produce. For example, Co-op supporter Cyd (“I am in this for the long haul”) brought a basket of lemons he had picked earlier, and Shan had branches of lustrous, fragrant bay from her tree, among an armload of other very nice things such as fresh rue. While Marina was sharing envelopes of seeds she had harvested from her celeriac as well as planting tips, one new Co-op member simply astonished us by producing a little branch of gorgeous pale pink apple blossoms! Intrepid urban farmer Teresa is raising worms to fertilize her ‘farmstead’ in Laurel Canyon, and her apple tree is producing three crops a year! We were astonished, and quickly became pretty excited about those possibilities. Apples are the base of so many jellies, and applesauce is a staple in everyone’s pantry. She also had rooted aloe, and let me just say that a spatter of boiling jam on the arm is quickly eased by the application of a cut leaf edge of aloe. I speak from experience here! Lee L, Co-op member, supporter and proponent extraordinaire was with us, and many more members contributed their own harvests as well. Naturally we were sampling some preserves, on that day it was the new Sweet Orange/Lemon/Basil Marmalade and some of the Lavender jelly. You will see some bright red and deep orange small fruits next to the jelly jar, and those are the beginnings of one of our next projects: rose hip jam. Super high in vitamin C, tasty, and since the deer leaves the hips for me, available for harvest (unlike my strawberries, his snack of choice). If you have them, gather your own rose hips and we will make a batch! Our next Co-op Swap will be Saturday November 1 at 9 a.m. See you there!