Mustard Seed Holiday Bag 2017

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The 2017 Mustard Seed Holiday bag is filled with local goodness. Order now for the early bird price of $49.99 through November 30; Regular price $54.99.

Introducing this year’s Mustard Seed Holiday Bag, filled to the brim with local goodness. Want to give a gift of food and support our local Hamilton-area economy? The Holiday Bag is here for you…buy one for your best friend, sibling, relatives abroad, or for your entire office.

This year’s lineup of local products include:

  • Spirit Tree sparkling apple cider (Caledon, ON)
  • Humble Bee raw honey, holiday size (Hamilton, ON: from the Co-op’s own rooftop beehives!)
  • Quinte Quinoa – Ontario-grown white quinoa – 400g (Rockwood, ON)
  • Johnston Cranberry Marsh dried cranberries (Bala, ON)
  • Mennomex all natural salsa (Aylmer, ON)
  • Neal Brothers Foods organic blue tortillas with flax, (Richmond Hill, ON – product of USA)
  • Blossom Bakery rainbow vegan meringues – 6 pack (Jordan, ON)
  • Donut Monster single small-batch donut (Hamilton, ON)  *gift coupon, redeemable through March 1/18 only at Mustard Seed Co-op )
  • And your choice of:
    • Coffeecology Café Fem Bold Peru Fair Trade Coffee (Roasted in Hamilton, ON) OR
    • The Algonquin Tea Co. Homestead organic blend herbal tea, 8ct (Hand-picked and ethically Wildcrafted in Canada)

The Holiday Bag comes ready to give as a gift, complete with crinkle paper, coloured tissue paper and a gift tag.

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To place your order online via Paypal, please click here.

Early Bird price of $49.99 until November 30th. Regular price $54.99. (HST is extra) Order now and save $5.00 per bag. While supplies last. You can either order online (a small transaction fee applies) or purchase at The Mustard Seed (460 York Blvd in Hamilton).

Numbers are limited, so get your order in to ensure you don’t miss out.

This Year’s Featured Local Artist: Kira Lodder

Each year we celebrate a local Hamilton artist with a design on the Holiday Bag. This year’s featured artist is Kira Lodder. Kira is a Hamilton-based graphic designer, illustrator and fine artist. She works with her hands to create design and illustration in all kinds of mediums. Art is her first love, and she learned to push the boundaries both creatively and conceptually while doing her Bachelors of Fine Arts at OCAD University with a postgrad in Graphic Design at Humber College. Kira lives with her husband Ben in downtown Hamilton where she can be found drinking coffee and drawing in her ever-present sketchbook.

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Holiday Bags will be available for pick up at The Mustard Seed starting November 13, 2017. it is appreciated if you can pick up in early December; however, they will be available through December 24 or until we sell out. We will send you a reminder about pick up.

If you have any questions, please email us at info@mustardseed.coop.

Note: We rely on a group of volunteers to help pack the bags – please email volunteer@mustardseed.coop if you would be interested in helping for a couple hours on an evening or weekend.

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A look back at Hamilton’s first food co-op in the 1970’s: The Hamilton Natural Food Co-op

by Mustard Seed member Barbara Wallace

In the late 70’s, several of us living in Hamilton came together to create the first food co-op.  We found space at 228 Locke Street South where LuLu & Lavigne Home Studio now sits.

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Few of us knew anything about co-ops or even running a store, but we were eager and energetic.  I remember we had a fridge we weren’t using and we lent it to the store. Others cleared out their basements to donate shelving units, counters, blackboards and old couches that we put in the basement for our meetings. We bought very little.  Everyone bought a share – maybe about $200 and we were all expected to contribute at least 3 hours of volunteer labour a week.  My family’s original job was washing out the gallon jugs and taking them up to Bennett’s to fill them with cider for the weekly order. We would buy 30-40 jugs a week that we then delivered to the eager folks stocking the shelves.  There were buyers and stockers, cleaners and cashiers, admin folks and financial “wizards”. Some of the folks I had an opportunity to reminiscence with were:  Jennifer Powell-Fralick, Jean Sedimhradsky, Edie Thompson and Joy Warner. We remembered stalwart members like: Chris Priest, Lorelei Kilgour, Sharon and Graham MacQueen, George and Lenore Sorger, Jesse Kaye, and Jim and Gail Spring.

Some memories we had were:

  • the key issue: who had the keys, who was home to open for the next shift, how did we lock up, the woman next door – maybe Agnes’ Florist who kept an emergency key – just in case.
  • critters appearing in barrels which meant the whole thing had to be thrown out.
  • dead bees in the barrel on top of the honey.
  • members getting the co-op to buy their particular item – be it garlic or sprouts or seeds. Oh the laws we broke!
  • members who didn’t show up for their shift and those who had to fill in.
  • repeated requests for yet another levy because we had no money.
  • the big decision to hire a manager – the only staff person we had.
  • drinking wine at the “BOC”…      (basement of the co-op)

Even with a lot of devotion and hard work, we were not able to keep it going more than about 5 years.  None of the folks I talked to remembered “the end”. People just drifted away.

What a difference the Mustard Seed is – how clean, how well stocked, how well managed, what knowledgeable staff.

If others have memories or knowledge of the life of the Hamilton Natural Food Co-op,  do in touch with me (barbarawallace666@gmail.com) or share them on this Facebook post.  It would be fun to learn other memories.

Editor’s note: In particular, if you have any photos to share of this former Co-op we would LOVE to have them for our archives!

DOGtober Fest October 7th!

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October 7, 2017 – 10am – 3pm @ the Co-op

We pretty much all .love. dogs, don’t we? But how often do we have events that are truly for man’s best friend?. On October 7, we will welcome dogs and their people to The Mustard Seed (parking lot) for a day full of dog-related activities with local vendors. We will have Hamilton/Burlington SPCAshowcasing dogs that need a home, local dog treat makers included Dolled Up Desserts, and other local dog paraphenalia. We will have a “dog trick” contest at 1pm and dogminding while you are in the store.

What about for people? We will have several farmers in an outdoor farmers market and Rescue Dogs Vegan Hot Dogs & Street Fare will be there to serve up their delicious vegan hotdogs throught the day.

Please bring a sturdy leash and be mindful that there will be other dogs and kids around. For more info: bit.ly/DOGtoberfest2017