as most of you know i work for organic valley, but you might not know that we’re celebrating our 25th anniversary and it was an amazing experience to celebrate with some folks from the cooperative at a recent trade show.
it’s incredible to ponder all we’ve accomplished over the past 25 years as an independent farmer-owned cooperative and i hope they’ll let me be a part of the story for the next 25 years.
george and other coop leadership said a few words about the cooperative’s history and future. i get a little goose-pimply when i think about all the exciting things coming up!
a band of current and former employees then hit the stage and. seriously. knocked. it. out. of. the. park. holy cow. i wish i had shot some video. i’m sure there will be some posted eventually. it was an incredible show made all the more incredible by the fact that it was homegrown talent. and if you live in the driftless region you can catch most of them playing sets around town throughout the year.
several hundred folks hung out with us at the anaheim convention center to hear the band and have a few drinks. a fun time was had by all – totally looking forward to what our 50th anniversary party will be like 🙂
it’s a long story. yes, i realize it’s not a dairy cow. BUT STILL!
and the best part? i was i was wearing a fabulous boa when i accepted the award at the organic valley marketing holiday party.
my only regret was being rendered literally, and uncharacteristically, speechless.
and, wow, it’s totally weird how the flash makes my hair look gray!
some folks from organic valley went to the east coast after hurricane sandy and took a bunch of cheese and all the bread from the cafe on their way out town to make hundreds of grilled cheese sandwiches. of course, temporarily not having any bread was a very small sacrifice ( and all the more so for me since i try to lead a pretty much mostly gluten free lifestyle ).
every time i passed the sign in the cafe, i couldn’t help but hear neil from “the young ones” exclaim “we haven’t got anyyyy breaaaaad”. weird how your brain works. it’s been nearly 25 years since i first saw the episode and i still imitate neil if i’m out of cash ( or bread ) and almost nobody gets the reference.
it’s august which means it’s time for yet another photo of the high-oil sunflowers that are pressed for biodiesel for an organic valley sustainability program. some might recall my photos from last year and a few might even recall the original, popular sunnier side of biodiessel photo from five(?!) years ago.
this year is extra exciting because nestled amongst the sunflowers you can now see the two wind turbines that are part of wisconsin’s first community wind farm that were put up in a partnership between organic valley and gundersen health system.
the two wind turbines are expected to generate about 5 megawatts of energy which more than offsets organic valley’s cashton distribution center and our la farge headquarters.
three years ago i took a picture of myself “stealing” peas from organic valley’s chief marketing executive’s employee garden. a few years ago, somebody from organic valley asked for pictures from the employee garden to be used in a presentation, so i gave them the picture with many others. it must have ended up somewhere in our graphics department, because this week i was pleasantly surprised to see it blown up on the wall of the employee cafe with a few other food/garden pictures.
so now you know how i ended up listening to academic, journalist, activist and writer, raj patel, speak ( he’s an excellent speaker by the way ) on the global food economy and participatory democracy at a fundraiser for the valley stewardship network in front of my disembodied hand stealing theresa’s peas.
i think there’s a metaphor in there somewhere. or maybe not.
continuing our tradition of planting about a month later than you should, we finally got about 200 cloves planted in our organic valley employee garden. so if all goes as planned we’ll have another small mountain of garlic in about eight months for the third year in a row.
also, friends and family may be receiving Gifts of Garlic from our last harvest 🙂
the garlic we planted last fall at our employee garden at organic valley hq  is coming in nicely! and perhaps we even have one of the nicer looking employee plots ( inside joke. we have at times over the years had a notoriously ill kept plot. )! certainly better looking than last year when the plot was water logged.
we had enough good “seed garlic” from last years’ harvest to put in about 200 head which should yield more than enough for us to give away heaps to lucky friends and family and provide us with garlic for the year.
it sure is a purty view out over the 8,600 acre kickapoo valley reserve. it’s hard to believe this was the view two months ago.
we need to figure out what to put in the rest of the garden plot to the left of the garlic. squash? carving pumpkins? watermelon? suggestions welcome 🙂
looking back up at organic valley/cropp hq affords a view of the addition we’re adding ’cause we’re busting at the seams from growth.
 technically speaking organic valley is a brand owned by cropp cooperative which is really my employer but that’s a detail lost on most folks who just think i work for ov.