Check out what's new at the co-op this month.
View this email in your browser
Baker Food Co-op Logo
In This Issue:
  • Board of Directors Message
  • Announcements
  • How to Save Seeds
  • Frost Dates
  • Determining Seed Types
  • Horseradish!
Store Hours:

Mon & Fri 10am-6pm
Tues-Thur 9am-6pm
Saturday 10am-4pm

Visit us Online:
Follow us on Facebook

Forward to a Friend

Board of Directors Message


The Baker Food Co-op is a member owned business and your say as a member is important. In April we will have our Annual Members Meeting including the elections for the Board of Directors. Is the current Board of Directors doing a good job, what could they do better, where should they focus more energy? We want to hear from you.

Are you interested in becoming a board member? Join the Board and help shape the future of the Co-op. We are always looking for new ideas and approaches to benefit the Co-op. Help bring change to the Co-op, become a board member! Contact any current board member for more information.

Let us know what you think. What do you like about the Co-op, what don’t you like, and what should we consider doing differently? Attend our board meetings, talk to a board member, fill out a suggestion card, or contact us via e-mail (listed below). And lastly VOTE at the upcoming elections in April.

We have set up a committee to do a focused look at the operations of the Co-op and to make recommendations to improve the Co-op’s financial health. Members are Phoebe Charbonneau, Ken Krohn, and Carolyn Winkler. Please feel free to share your thoughts with them. Better yet become a committee member. Just see Phoebe.

We want to hear from you. Please share your thoughts to get the most out of your membership by being an active participant. Thank you.

Upcoming Board of Directors Meetings:
March 20th at 6:00 pm

Annual Members Meeting & Elections
April 17th at 6:00 pm

Both meetings will be held  at the Baker County Library.

All members are welcome to attend the Board of Directors meetings and your comments and suggestions are always welcome; you may contact any board member, staff, or use the suggestion box in the store. The Board may be contacted at  


Your Board of Directors:
Dennis Winkler – President
Lloyd Nelson – Vice President
Clyde Christian – Secretary

Elizabeth Smithson
Ken Krohn
Marria Knight
Ramona Webb

Contact the board at  


Working Members of the Month

  • Sandra Vassar

  • Lauri McAdams

Members Who Worked 10 or More Hours

John & Susie Busch
Barbara Carnahan
Corry Carter
Jerry Clark
Kathleen Hansen
Fran Hart
Ken Johnson
Carly Kritchen
Laurie McAdams
Jeanne Ann Mellott
Laura Miller
Marla Munson
Sue Nelson
Sandra Osbourne
Barbara Peterson
Maureen Stanciu
Tangela Svitak
Norris Tibbetts
Sandra Vassar
Ramona Webb
Jill Wyatt

Your Help is Needed!

You can save up to 30% at the co-op. No experience necessary. Contact Carol, Phoebe, or Pat at the Co-op or call (541) 523-6281 to sign up.

  • Cashiers
  • Cleaning (earn triple time)
  • Produce
  • Dry Bulk
  • Housekeeping and Maintenance
  • Grant Researcher/writer
  • Newsletter editor

Young Workers Wanted

Co-op members if you have a teenager who is looking for work experience, something to start to build a resume, or to list on their college applications; the Co-op has a great opportunity for them. If you know about our working member program then you may want to see if your teenager wants to spend some time here at the Co-op learning and getting experience. Call Gretchen or Carol at the Co-op (or stop in) to hear about what we can offer our youth.

How to Save Seeds

1. Know what to grow

Start With Open-Pollinated Seeds

Open pollinated varieties, aka OPs, are like dog breeds; they will retain their distinct characteristics as long as they are mated with an individual of the same breed. This means, with a little care and planning, the seeds you produce will be true-to-type, keeping their distinct traits generation after generation as long as they do not cross-pollinate with other varieties of the same species.

Annual, Biennial, Perennial

Not all plants flower, set seed, and die in a single growing season. Those that do, like lettuce, tomatoes, and peppers, are called annuals. Biennials, such as carrots and onions, don’t flower until their second growing season, after they have gone through a cold period. Some long lived plants, like apple trees and asparagus, are perennial, surviving and flowering for many years.

Learn About Species

A species is a group of individuals that are able to reproduce together. In the garden, most crops are different species from one another, but not always. There are several species of squash and two distinct species of kale - meaning some varieties of these crops are not able to cross pollinate with each other. On the other hand, Cucumis melo, commonly categorized as a melon, also contains some varieties that are sold as cucumbers like ‘Armenian’ because fruits of the variety are unsweet and sometimes pickled.

2. Plan for seed saving

Start With Easy Crops

Some crops like peas, beans, lettuce, and tomatoes are great for beginning seed savers. These annual, self pollinating crops require little to no isolation, and only a few plants are needed to reliably produce seeds.

Grow Enough Plants

Some crops have a hard time producing seeds when too few plants are around. Others can reproduce with just a single plant. If the population size of a seed crop is too small, some genetic diversity may be lost and over many generations; in time this can result in a noticeable decrease in plant stature, overall vigor, germination, and yield.

Put A Little Space Between Varieties

In order to produce seeds that are true-to-type, a little garden intervention is needed to prevent unwanted cross pollination between different varieties of the same species. For some crops like lettuce and peas, all that is needed is a little extra space between varieties. For others, more advanced methods can be used, including larger isolation distances, pollination barriers, or hand pollination.

3. Collect Your Bounty

Know When Your Seeds Are Mature

For crops that produce wet fruits, the seeds are not always mature when the fruits are ready to eat. Eggplant, cucumber, and summer squash fruit are eaten when the fruits are immature and still edible, but before the seeds are actually mature. This means that seed savers need to leave a few fruits to fully mature in the garden when they want to save seeds. Dry fruited crops, like grains, lettuce, and beans, can be removed from the plant once seeds are dry and hard.

Know How To Harvest Seeds

Garden crops can be classified as either dry fruited or wet fruited. Collecting seeds from dry fruited crops, can be as simple as going out to the garden, handpicking a few mature seedpods, and bringing them into the house for further drying and cleaning. Fruits from wet fruited crops must be picked when their seeds are mature. The harvested fruits are either crushed or cut open, and the seeds are extracted from the flesh and pulp before the seeds are dried.

Store Seeds

Seeds are happiest when they are stored in a cool, dark, and dry place. A dark closet in a cooler part of the house or a dry, cool basement are both good spaces to store seeds for a year or two. Once properly dried, seeds can also be sealed in airtight containers and stored in the refrigerator or freezer for several years. The seeds of some crops are naturally longer lived. Tomato seeds and beans can be left for many years in adequate storage conditions, while onion and carrot seeds are notoriously short lived. Don’t forget to label your seeds with the crop type, variety name, and any useful notes about your seed source, when you harvested the seeds, and how many plants you harvested from.

from Seed Savers Exchange

For for more information and expanded heirloom or open-pollinated seed selections...

Snake River Seed Cooperative (Boise, Idaho)
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds (Mansfield, Missouri)
Seed Savers Exchange (Decorah, Iowa)
Victory Seeds (Molalla, Oregon)
Native Seeds/SEARCH (Tucson, Arizona)
Annie’s Heirloom Seeds (Hudsonville, Michigan)

First and Last Frost Dates

Weather is arguably the single largest environmental factor facing gardeners throughout the world. The OSU Extension Office has had many inquiries as to the first and last frost dates for the Baker area. The most recent and readily available information is summarized following.

This information is based on data from the National Weather Service. It does not address any of the current controversies about climate change or the adjustments of hardiness zones. The table displays the average dates and the safe dates for an occurrence of frost. Average dates are established at the 50-percent level or half the time the frost may occur before or after that date. The safe date is when there is less than a 10-percent chance the frost will be after (for last frost) or that it will occur before (the first frost).

Gardners have many seasons extending techniques available to modify these dates. These techniques include but are not limited to greenhouses, row covers, mulches, and cold frames. 



Last Frost (date)

First Frost (date)

Growing Season (days)







Baker Airport

June 3

June 29

Sept 7

Aug 26



Baker Area

May 30

June 20

Sept 22

Sept 8




June 11

July 3

Sept 10

Aug 28




April 30

May 17

Oct 9

Sept 22



La Grande

May 17

June 11

Sept 26

Sept 9




May 12

June 3

Sept 28

Sept 14




May 22

June 12

Sept 26

Oct 8




May 24

June 12

Sept 17

Sept 2




May 13

June 2

Sept 30

Sept 16





Heirloom Seed

Generally, an heirloom variety is a variety that has grown quite commonly by previous generations and has been passed down for many generations. There are varying opinions - some say heirlooms are over 100 years old, others say 50 years old, and many use WWII as a dateline, saying those plant varieties developed before WWII with non-hybridization techniques are considered heirlooms. Heirlooms also carry interesting stories, such as the Auntie Wilder Bean. All heirlooms are open pollinated, but not all open-pollinated plants are heirlooms.

Open Pollinated Seeds

Open pollinated means the flowers are fertilized by bees, moths, birds, bats, and even wind or rain. The seed that forms produces the same plant the following year. Some open-pollinated plants are self-pollinators, meaning the structure of the flower allows fertilization before it opens. Open-pollinators grow out true every year. Since agriculture began people have been choosing the qualities they like in a plant (size, flavor, growth habit, heat, and cold tolerance, uniformity) and saved the seed. This is the most natural form of plant selection and can only be done with open pollinated seed.

Hybrid Plants

Farmers have selected seed for thousands of years to improve the crop. Hybridization came about to further improve food and flower crops. F1 hybrids are the result of two plants with specific characteristics being deliberately crossed to produce a third variety. If you save seed from a hybrid and grow it out, you will most likely get one of the parent plants and not the plant that produced the seed. While hybrids are usually more productive and vigorous than open-pollinators and heirlooms, you will need to buy new seed each year. Hybrid seeds are not genetically modified and organic hybrid seeds are available.


An abbreviation for “genetically modified organisms”. GMO plants are created through gene splicing techniques of genetic engineering or biotechnology. An experimental technology which merges DNA from different species, creating combinations of plant, animal, bacterial, and viral genes that cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding and could be unstable.


Organic foods must be produced using organic farming methods (no modern synthetic inputs such as chemical non-natural pesticides and chemical fertilizers) and are not processed using industrial solvents, irradiation, or chemical food additives nor can they contain GMOs. When it comes to the cultivation of seeds, most are done organically whether labeled as such or not, as the seed farmer really does not care about the aesthetics of the fruit, but instead the seeds inside. Many seed farmers will grow their stuff organically, but not have the money it costs to pay an organization like USDA to certify that their seeds do not have chemicals in them.

Note: For seed saving, you need heirloom or open-pollinated varieties, as these will grow true from the saved seed. If you’re not wanting to save the seeds, some hybrid varieties may be desirable.

Celebrate Horseradish!

Besides going great alongside corned beef and cabbage, red potatoes, and carrots horseradish has many other possibilities and lots of flavor.

Horseradish is a member of the Brassicaceae family, meaning it is closely related to wasabi, mustard, cabbage, and broccoli.

Horseradish originated in Southern Europe and Western Asia. The power and importance of this root has been known for thousands of years.

Packed with proteins, vitamins, and minerals, horseradish is also lacking in fat and calories. This means that the protein can be directly metabolized into useful energy, new tissue, muscle matter, or cellular material that can be used to repair and bolster defenses against toxins and illness. Energy levels may increase and the pungent sinigrin found in horseradish can help make you aware and focused, thereby raising your concentration level.

Studies have shown that the powerful, natural chemicals in horseradish can be a great defense against microbes and bacterial infections, including, Listeria, E. coli, and Staphylococcus. The specific antibacterial component is allyl isothiocyanate (AITC). Mustard oil has 93-percent AITC, while horseradish has 60-percent AITC.

Word of Caution... Horseradish is quite high in sodium and its few calories come from sugar. It has a slight diuretic quality, may exacerbate hypothyroidism, and is poisonous to horses.

Outstanding Computer repair by Dale Bogardus - 541-297-5831 - Any Issue $40 Flat Rate
Ryder Brothers Stationery Store in Baker City.

Idea Collective Journal
Hard Cover, Side Binding, 120 pages

Great for capturing thoughts, notes, or anything that inspires you.
Fine cream paper and roomy lines make writing more enjoyable.
Expanding inner pocket to store small items.
Ribbon bookmark.
Outer closure.
Black, 8-1/4” x 5”

Item Number: TOP-56872
On Sale Now: $11.54 /ea
Thanks to Ryder Bros for the printing 
of our newsletter - Baker Food Co-op


Copyright © 2018 Baker Food Co-op, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp