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Everything’s Coming Up Rosés

     The drama!  The intrigue!  In a battle of the taste buds who will survive?!  *cue dramatic Iron Chef-type music* 

Huh?  Are we watching reality television?  Is this thing on?

Fortunately (or unfortunately) there will be no Kiva reality series.  (Although, I tend to think it would make for some very entertaining material!) 
There will, however, be another monthly wine and cheese pairing featuring notes from Ziggy and Josh, our wine and cheese buyers.  This one is particularly interesting because of their difference of opinion.  There is only one way to settle this dispute and that is to taste for yourself!
Ziggy: Since it’s beginning to look like spring is here, everything is coming up rosés. 
If you think sweet and sickly when you see pink, you might want to rethink your drink.  Rosés are often misunderstood and their versatility can be under-appreciated.
A rosé wine can vary in color from palest pink through peach and orange hues to varied shades of clear, vivid red; and can vary in palate from delicate to bold.  Some, yes, are sweet, and some are dry with varying degrees of tannin.  The right rosé can complement a mild fish dish or take on a grilled steak, and the color alone won’t tell you a great deal about the character of the wine.
There are several ways rosés arrive at their rosy hue.  Most are made from grapes used to make red wine, either as a single varietal or a blend, and colored by being allowed to remain in contact with the skins, where the pigment resides.  Others may be produced by blending white and red wines.  While this is not a popular method in many regions, there are some very tasty wines that result from it. 
Most rosés will be crisp and have vivid fresh fruit notes like strawberry, cherry, apricot or melon, and, served chilled, will complement and enhance a summer afternoon or evening.
We chose Territorial’s Pinot Noir Rosé for our pairing this month.  The Kiva has carried Territorial wines for many years, and their Rosé has shown consistent quality and been a steady seller.
We are currently stocking the 2010 Rosé; and the 2011 is expected in soon.  I and my tasting partner found it to be drinking extremely well.  While the usual advice about drinking rosé fresh is good, many will continue to show well for at least one or two years after bottling.  Don’t throw ‘em away without uncorking a taste.
We found the 2010 to have a bright, deep rose color.  On the nose, I found notes of violet and strawberry lollipop.  The palate was light, bright, and crisp with lots of soft, icy fruit including cherry and stone fruits.  We drank it chilled but not iced.
My tasting partner and I particularly liked the rosé with the Fern’s Edge Pleasant Hill cheese, which has a young, sharpish cheddar-like flavor, a crumbly texture, and a bite on the finish.  This cheese brought out fresh fruity notes in the wine.  Of the Fern’s Edge cheese we tried, this pairing was by far our favorite.
While Josh and Emma especially enjoyed the Mt. Zion with the rosé, I have to disagree.  The cheese is excellent–earthy, meaty, and scrumptious–but I wanted to pair it with a big, rich, full-bodied wine (like a Washington Cabernet).  I found that it made the rosé taste alkaline and overpowered its bright and fruit notes.
The feta was fresh, rich, mild, and, while salty, it was not overpoweringly so.  We thought it went well with the Territorial Rosé and brought out some tannin on the palate.

The Five Corners was soft, initially mild, but with a complex buttery musk on the finish.  The Territorial Rosé was a pleasing accompaniment, but the butteriness of the cheese seemed to blunt the wine’s acidic crispness a little.

The Kiva stocks a wide range of rosés from many parts of the world.  Pretty in pink on the shelf right now include:

Monmousseau Rosé d’Anjou 2010:  a soft, gentle rosé, just off-dry, from the Anjou district of the Western Loire region.  50% Grolleau, an unusual variety primarily found in Rosé d’Anjou, and 50% Cab Franc.  Very easy to drink, fruity and pleasing.  Pairs well with fresh goat cheeses, mild pork or chicken dishes.  Also–like most rosés–a pleasant tipple for a summer afternoon.  $11.75

 Chapoutier Les Vignes de Bila-Haut Pays d’Oc 2011:  Less than 1000 cases produced.  I found this to be crisp and lucid, with clean, clear berry fruits.  Quite dry but not acerbic.  Made from a blend of Grenache and Cinsault grapes from the Roussillon region.  Many pairings are possible, but grilled chicken and vegetables is a top choice.   $15.50
 Calcu Rosé 2010:  A perennial favorite of mine from the Valle de Colchagua, Chile.  Made from 50% Malbec, 40% Syrah, and 10% Petit Verdot, there is some complexity to this round, slightly magical blend.  It deserves its name, which means “magician” in a local language.  $11.75
 Druid’s Fluid Pink 2009:  Lightly sweet, fruity, and easy to drink, Druid’s Fluid wines hail from Oregon’s Troon Vineyards in the Applegate Valley.  If you’re looking for a crowd-pleaser, it’s “the wine for everyone”–in their own words.  $12.00
 Hey Mambo Kinky Pink 2010:  A California Pinot Noir Rosé.  A tasty, dry rosé that will cool off a hot afternoon, accompany salmon on the barbeque, or otherwise serve any function you desire of a dry rosé.  Good value–and a fun name.  $10.50
 Melrose Two Dog Red 2009:  Sweet but not too sweet, with a residual sugar of 1.7%, this rosé contains a fair amount of Pinot Gris.  Another easy quaffer for a warm summer night, it would also make a good aperitif with many hors d’oeuvres.  $12.00
 Cardwell Hill Rosé of Pinot Noir 2011:  From a small producer of excellent Pinot Noir, Cardwell Hill’s Rosé is dry and bright with a cherry/berry nose and a fresh finish.  A fine value and versatile dinner guest from the Willamette Valley.  $10.50
 Charles & Charles Rosé 2011:  Yes, you can drink rosé and still be bad… Edgy packaging and copy, and a solid mouthful of dry, bright syrah rosé.  A bucket of ice is all it lacks.  $10.50
 Del Rio Rosé Jolee: A rosé that tastes sweeter than its official figure of .5% residual sugar because of the predominance of the heavenly fragrant Early Muscat that makes up 63% of the blend.  17% Riesling and 20% blend of red grapes makes up the rest of this salmon-colored wine that would be equally at home with spicy Asian food or a cheesecake dessert.  $11.75
 This list is not exhaustive, and it doesn’t even touch sparkling rosés, which also come in a spectrum ranging from the fascinating, complicated, and elegant to fizzy pink grown-up soda-pop.  As the season warms up (yes, it will–I think it will…) we’ll be seeing more rosés from France, Spain, and Italy.  Ask Ziggy to tell you exactly what’s in stock!
Josh: “I don’t have to go away for the weekend, I’m already here, ” says Fern’s Edge Goat Dairy owner, Shari, as she casts a proud glance across her farm indicating her view of Dexter Lake through the trees. She has been raising award-winning dairy goats at her beautiful farm in Lowell since the early 1970’s.  

Happy goats produce good-quality milk, and her goats have every reason to be happy.  Each goat is named and cared for as a member of the family, grows up on organic feed, dutifully produces milk, and then retires with her fellow “beloved old ladies” to live out her days in the bucolic pastures of the farm.  She pays to have each goat’s milk tested every three weeks to ensure the health of the animals and the quality of the milk.  Her impeccably-clean dairy results in fresh, clean-tasting cheeses that would never be described as “goaty”.  
I chose to celebrate this devotion to sustainable farming, happy, healthy goats, and high-quality local cheese, by selecting Fern’s Edge Goat Dairy’s pride and joy, their Mt. Zion aged goat cheese, for this month’s wine and cheese pairing:
The Wine: Territorial Vineyard’s Rosé is fruity, bright and clean, portending of lazy summer evenings to come.
The Cheese: Mt. Zion is a raw, toothsome aged artisan farmstead goat cheese in the style of a Spanish Manchego.  This cheese serves as a showpiece for a great collaboration between the goat herd owner and cheese-maker that brings together decades of of dairy goat experience with generations of cheese-making experience.
The Pairing: A good, straight-ahead, innocently refreshing rosé meets an older, more seasoned cheese and suddenly becomes more interesting.  

Celebrate well-made local food and drink and enjoy!

Books Over Movies

I finally gave in to the nagging of my Netflix queue and watched the movie Forks Over Knives.  I did so dutifully and at times enthusiastically.  I nodded in agreement with certain parts, offered my own commentary to the talking heads and gasped in awe at some of the statistics.  When it was over I expected to feel inspired.  What I felt instead was a little dismayed.  I kept thinking “I don’t want to be sick.  I want to be healthy!  Do I have to be vegan?”  I am not a vegan, though I do admire those who are.  If you are anything like me and these types of questions plague you too, let me cheerfully recommend the BOOK Forks Over Knives.
Foremost, it is a cookbook with over 100 mouth watering recipes.  There is a list of handy kitchen tools that make quick work of all the fruits and veggies you’ll be making into masterpieces.  There is even a conversion chart in the back.  The recipes range from the most basic like Steamed Veggies with Brown Rice (pg. 137) to the new and intriguing like Green Pea Guacamole (pg. 74).  Interspersed are short biographies of the doctors, their patients, and other folks who support this way of eating.  
Notice I didn’t call it a diet.  When I think of a diet, I think of all the things I can’t eat.  This is a way of eating that reminds me of the abundance and variety of all the things I can eat!  By and large the message is that we shouldn’t worry about eating a particular food to get enough of a particular nutrient.  If we focus on eating a variety of foods, and not using animal products as the foundation, we will be exposing ourselves to all the nutrients we need.  
So vegans, vegetarians and the rest of us can take heart – health is attainable and it tastes so good! 
  Looking for more plant-based culinary inspiration?  Check out Fields of Greens.  Based on recipes from the Greens Restaurant in San Francisco, it is a treasure trove of vegetarian dishes. 

An Unlikely Duo

     It’s a tale as old as time.  An unlikely duo teaming up to save the day and teach us all a valuable lesson.  Our hero’s: Tom Hunton and Charlie Tilt, owners of Hunton’s Farm and Hummingbird Wholesale respectively.  One a grower of grain, one a distributor.  Both located here in the scenic Willamette Valley.  So what is it that brings these two businessmen together?  

To answer this we must start at the beginning and ask another question.  How do those hard little kernels of grain turn up on your plate in the form of cereal and bread?  It is through the magic of milling!  And now, thanks to these two enterprising daredevils, for the first time in over 80 years, the Willamette Valley boasts its very own stone flour mill.
Years ago, these types of grist mills were common along many of the waterways of the Willamette Valley.  As grain farmers turned to grass seed production, and a preference for white bread developed among their consumers, many of these mills were forced to close.  Where there is no grain being grown, there is no need for a flour mill.  And so it went for a long time.  
As the economy began to change and the price of grass seed changed with it, the Hunton’s realized the need to re-strategize.  Enter Charlie and Julie Tilt and their business Hummingbird Wholesale.  If the Hunton’s were going to grow grains (and beans, as it turns out), it would only make good economic sense to mill them locally as well.  Hauling a commodity hundreds of miles to be milled and processed and then shipping it back is not only increasing the carbon footprint of a product, but also unnecessarily increasing the cost.

And so, with their forces combined, (and some help from eDev and the City of Eugene), they built a mill.  As with any construction project, things got complicated, but they persevered.  Working with an eye towards the future they created a mission statement and a set of goals to support continued viability, provide resources to farmers in the valley, implement innovative practices, and foster an environment of optimism and collaboration.  
As individuals, when we choose to support these products and businesses, we can have far-reaching effects on our local and subsequently global economies, standards of health and living, and what society holds as important.  We can all be heroes!       

Fun with Fermentation 2012

What comes to mind when you think of fermented foods?  Perhaps it is that dusty old jar of sauerkraut you keep pushing around the pantry shelf.  After attending the Fun with Fermentation Festival last Saturday, I can tell you that the fermented foods of today are fresh, abundant and exciting.  With over a dozen local food and beverage producers in attendance, there was certainly some sauerkraut to be seen, (and tasted), and a whole lot more.

Held at the historic WOW Hall, the festival is hosted by Willamette Valley Sustainable Foods Alliance (WVSFA) and is a benefit for Food for Lane Countyand WVSFA.  What a great way to have fun and do good!

           After donating our cans of food and getting our hands stamped for admission, our first tasty tidbit was some of Cousin Jacks Steak and Ale Pasty.

  We got to chat with owner, Kim, who reminded us that the ale in their delicious pasty, courtesy of Ninkasi Brewing, is one of the oldest known fermented beverages!

Our next stop was at the Pickled Planet table where we tried one of their seasonal specialty blends, Blueberry Love Bomb.

 Fermented blueberries?  Yes.  This will take your next salad to new heights.

Moving on, we sipped some Love Potion #9 from Herbal Junction Elixirs, an intoxicating fermented herbal beverage with saw palmetto.

Love bombs, love potions, love is in the air… ah yes, Valentines Day is not far off!

One of the best things about events like this one, is discovering new things.  This happened when we came across the 8…9…Tempeh booth, formerly Magi Fungi.  This gluten free and soy free tempeh was amazing!  With garbanzo, black bean and quinoa varieties, it was versatile and delicious.  Unfortunately they don’t have retail packaging yet, but they do take direct orders.

           There were so many more good things, including Holy Cow tempeh sandwiches, Cafe Mam coffee, Brew Dr. Kombucha, Premrose Edibles Chocolates – (one of our favorites here at the Kiva), and Grateful Harvest Farms who make my personal favorite, Garlic Kraut.  The cabbage is crunchy, not soggy, and the garlic flavor is robust!  We also spent some time with the ladies of Mountain Rose Herbs and their loose tea leaves.

 Ever wondered what the difference between black tea, green tea, oolong tea, or any of the other varieties is?  It’s about the fermentation!

On our way out to pick up some Take Root Magazines, (winter issue now available at the Kiva), we ran into Molly of Mckenzie Mist Water.  While the water isn’t fermented, it is a necessity, and it’s also the best stuff out there.

 She was excited to tell us about her artesian well that provides so many of us with pure, unadulterated drinking water.

We made our way downstairs to find fermented beverages of the adult variety in abundance.  Ninkasi had brought their record player for the enjoyment of all.  Oakshire was there with four beers on tap and also Hop Valley.  We got a sneak peek at Falling Sky Brewery, opening soon!  We didn’t partake, except with our eyes, since we were working of course.  It was great to see all the craft brewers of our fine city together in one place!

           We came to the end of our fermented field trip, happy to have seen friendly faces and tasted so many vibrant flavors that come from so near us!


Alpenrose Dairy Field Trip

This past week Kiva dairy buyer Emma and stalwart dairy stocker Roger got a chance to visit Alpenrose Dairy.  The Kiva made the decision to switch to Alpenrose from Organic Valley because all of their milk is actually produced and processed here in Oregon.  Now that we have visited their operation in person, we are that much more excited to be carrying Alpenrose organic milk in our store.
Roger and Emma, excited to be touring the Alpenrose facilities!
Alpenrose was established in 1916 in Portland by the Cadonau family, and the company remains family run today.  The organic milk processed and sold under the Alpenrose name comes from one of three Oregon farms. We visited Mayfield Farm; the other two are Ridgerock and Country Lane Farms.  All three farms are owned by the Yeager family, and Chris Yeager was good enough to give us the tour of Mayfield Farm.  The Yeagers have owned the Mayfield farm for 2 1/2 years and the dairy herd consists of 75% Holstein and 25% Jersey cows.  A nine person crew runs the Mayfield farm.  There are 400 cows at Mayfield, 300 at Rockridge Farm and 450 at Country Lane Farm.  All the cows at the farms are certified organic and have been bred and raised on the farm.  Oregon Tilth is the certifying agency for Alpenrose’s organic certification.

The daily routine is the same at all three farms, so allow us to share with you the life of a Yeager dairy cow.  The cows are milked first thing in the morning, then fed, bred (if it is the right time of the cycle for the individual cow) or pastured for at least eight hours to graze, then fed again before a final milking and bedtime.
All the cows receive at least eight hours of pasture time each day.  They are bred when they are from 15-22 months, if they meet the weight requirement.  Each cow is milked for 300 days a year and given 60 days off from milking.  All three farms hold the title of “Animal Welfare Approved” which means that they are inspected and certified by the Animal Welfare Society.  These are not factory farms.

The cows’ supplemental feed consists of alfalfa, corn, barley meal, mineral supplements and protein meal (the protein meal is sourced from flax, canola or sunflower when available; soy is only used when the other three are not available, and even then the soy is non-GMO and grown in the U.S.).  The corn is grown on the farm, and overall, 75% of the feed is grown in Oregon!

Of course, this feed is only supplemental.  The 130 acres of the Mayfield farm are broken into 27 different grazing pastures.  Each pasture is approximately five acres and the pastures are rotated when the cows have eaten the grass down to two inches.  Because this area of the country is so rainy, the fields are equipped with drainage ditches to prevent the cows from standing around in muddy water which could lead to hoof rot or other problems.  Look at these happy cows!


The calves are kept together in groups of 10-15 per paddock because they are social animals. There is always fresh hay for the calves to lay in and a milking station where they can get milk. The calves are fed pasteurized milk to prevent any possible bacterial contamination. They are fed nothing but milk for the first four months of their lives. Each calf is tagged with a microchip, which tracks (among other things) how much milk the calf is consuming. The milk station is also equipped with a micro-chip which will cut off a greedy cow, ensuring that all the calves have equal access to the milk.  The calves are weaned at four months and begin eating the regular feed and grazing in the pastures with the rest of the herd.
Most male calves are sold to other farms, but some of the ones with impressive pedigrees are kept to act as stud bulls on the farm.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle… Manure?

One sometimes unwanted side effect of having a herd of cows is all the manure that piles up.  At the Yeager farms, the manure is collected and the solids are separated from the liquid slurry.  The solids go into a heated rotating drum, which sterilizes the solid matter and turns it into a safe crumbly material used on the farm as bedding for the cows and fertilizer for the feed crops.  The liquid slurry is used on the farm as a fertilizer and any excess is sold for the same purpose.  The Yeagers’ were quite excited about reusing so much of the waste on site at the farm; in particular, not having to spend money to truck in straw bedding has been of great help.

Chris Yeager with a handful of of the dry, sterile material separated from the manure.


Two people oversee the milking operation.  First, they check the cow’s teats to make sure the milk has been let down and that there are no problems with the teats.  The teats and instruments are cleaned and sterilized.  If any problems are detected with a cow, they are not milked until approved by a veterinarian.

The milking equipment is checked every month by a certified inspector to ensure the pressure is correct so that the milking process is not painful for the cows.  Safety of the cows is paramount, and every possible measure is taken to ensure that the milking process is as clean and comfortable as it can be.
When the milk comes out of the cow it is typically 80 degrees F, and then is cooled to 37 degrees to prevent any bacteria growth. The two tanks that hold the milk get cleaned every single day. Each tank can hold up to 8,000 gallons.

Each cow’s milk production is tracked each day.  Typically, a cow will produce between 30-60 pounds of milk per day, depending on age and stage in the breeding cycle.  Cows usually produce slightly more milk in the morning milking than the evening, with approximately 55% coming from the morning milking and 45% from the evening.  Tracking milk production is just one of many uses for microchip technology at the dairy.

Each cow wears a pedometer to monitor activity and other vital signs.  The micro-chips in the pedometer and the ear tag allow for a surprising amount of information to be tracked for each individual cow.  The herd managers keep really close tabs on the cows’ activity levels and breeding cycles, to avoid over-milking a cow and shortening its productive lifespan.  This kind of digital herd management has raised the average productive milking life-span of a cow on the this farm to seven years, about three years more than the typical dairy cow’s productive life-span.  Knowing when to avoid over-milking a cow, knowing exactly where in the breeding cycle a cow is, knowing exactly how much milk a cow has produced – these are the kinds of things that the micro-chip technology employed on the farm helps with.


A sick cow is immediately isolated from the herd and checked by a veterinarian.  Natural remedies such as garlic, aloe vera and iodine are used whenever possible.  If the cow’s health and life is in danger, antibiotics will be used to help the cow, which is then sold to another farm. 

Cows that have received antibiotics are NEVER reintroduced into the milking herd.

Processing the Milk

All the milk is taken to the Alpenrose processing plant which is only 20 miles down the road from the farm.  This is truly remarkable in this day and age, and anyone concerned with the carbon footprint of shopping choices should take note that milk is typically trucked long distances from rural farms to processing plants.  For instance, while family farmers in Oregon contribute milk to Organic Valley’s “Northwest Pastures” line, their milk is trucked hundreds of miles to a processing plant in Seattle before being trucked back down to appear in Oregon stores.  When you buy organic Alpenrose milk, you can rest assured that every step of the way your money is staying in the local economy, from the dairy farmer to the processor to the distributor (our Alpenrose milk is actually delivered to us by Lochmead, another wonderful local dairy that provides us with non-organic milk and delicious ice cream).

We were impressed with how spotlessly clean the processing plant was!

 Alpenrose Packing Plant was the first plant in Oregon to package and sell organic milk.  The plant has been family owned since its beginning and many of the staff as well as the owner live at the Alpenrose site.
The plant receives tankers of milk every day, and the milk is immediately taken to an on-site pasteurization machine for the pasteurization process.  They pasteurize the milk at 165 degrees F, just slightly above the lowest legal temperature allowed of 161 degrees F, to ensure that as little of the nutritional value of the milk as possible is destroyed in the pasteurization process.  All of the waste water produced by the plant goes into a filtering pond that cleans the water, before channelling it into the sewer.  This prevents any leakage into the groundwater supply.

Alpenrose Community Spirit:

Alpenrose is extremely active in their community. They own and maintain three little league baseball fields on their property. They also host the girls Little League Softball World Series as seen on ESPN each year. There is also an Olympic-Regulation speed-bike track. There is even a Quarter Midget race track on the property! Alpenrose Dairy also hosts their Annual Easter Egg Hunt in which up to 6,000 kids and parents turn out to hunt for prizes. This hunt has been going on for 48 years now. Alpenrose sales and PR rep Tom Baker gave us a great tour and even dished us out fresh-made Alpenrose ice cream in the Dairyville Ice Cream Parlour!

Community picnics and social events are hosted on the manicured lawns, and “Dairyville” is a popular destination for birthday and holiday parties.  Dairyville is a mock western town, complete with general store, opera house and an old time ice cream parlour!  It is not open to the general public, but please call to inquire about specific events.  Visit to learn more about the wonderful activities that are hosted on the Alpenrose property.

Tom Baker scooping the ice cream in the Dairyville Ice Cream Parlour

Kombucha Update

There has been a noticeable lack of kombucha in the drink coolers at the Kiva for a couple of weeks now.  On June 18th, the Whole Foods chain of grocery stores voluntarily recalled all kombucha products because of concerns that they might have alcohol contents in excess of the .5% allowed by law.  Subsequently, several major distributors and prominent kombucha manufactures such as GT’s Kombucha have stopped selling kombucha while independent testing is performed and brewing practices are refined to better comply with the law.  This issue is not a health risk – while living kombucha cultures may continue to produce alcohol in the bottle after bottling, the alcohol levels do not exceed 1%, meaning you would have to drink 10 to 14 glasses of kombucha to get the alcoholic effect of a single glass of wine!  The issue is one of labeling, as special permits and labels are required to sell and manufacture beverages containing more than .5% alcohol.  There has been no government recall of kombucha and any decisions to stop selling kombucha by distributors and manufacturers have been purely voluntary.

Local kombucha manufacturer Oak Barrel Kombucha is also absent from our shelves at the moment; this is not a direct result of the alcohol issue.  Oak Barrel is taking advantage of a momentary lull in large production orders to install 400 gallons of new oak barrels for fermentation, moving toward a larger batch production that will help make individual batches more consistent.  They are also working with fermentation experts to introduce practices such as oxygenating the batches and using other advanced techniques to suppress the formation of ethanol alcohol in their batches.  If kombucha ends up being more regulated than it currently is, Oak Barrel should be fine as the result of these new improvements!  Jason and Julia at Oak Barrel are convinced that these changes to their production process will not only result in a more consistent kombucha that is always below the legal limit of .5% alcohol, but they will also result in a better product in general.  If all goes well in the installation of the new oak vats and the implementation of these changes, Oak Barrel Kombucha should be back in the Kiva by the week of August 23rd – we can’t wait!

Click here to read a statement from UNFI, one of our distributors, regarding their decision to stop selling GT’s and other kombucha products for the time being.

Click here to read the statement from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau regarding alcohol content in kombucha.

McKenzie River Organic Farm

The Kiva has long been a supporter of local farms.  When McKenzie River Organic Farm approached us a while back about carrying their delicious organic blueberries year round in our freezers, we jumped at the opportunity.  Today we carry other fresh produce from the farm as well as blueberries, when seasonally available. Local business liason Tom and produce buyer Lauren recently visited the farm, and they brought back some great pictures and information to share with you.

The McKenzie River Farm was originally planted in 1952. 16 years ago, when Douglass Moser and Carol Ach bought the farm, it was overran with blackberries. The blueberry bushes were untrimmed and overgrown. Since then these family farmers have made it into the beautiful and well cared for farm you can see today at 44382 McKenzie Highway. Between their farm and a neighboring plot that they rent they have around 5,000 blueberry bushes. Douglass died 3 years ago, but he was the driving force behind the farm and is responsible for much of its current momentum.

Left to Right: Sam, Carol and Jack

The farm is a true family run farm, owned and operated by Carol and her sons.  Today the day-to-day farm operations are overseen by Carol’s sons Jack and Sam. Every night they have their own farm-to-table as they sit down and eat their own food as a family. Not only is the farm certified organic, but they practice biodynamic methods of planting and harvesting as well.  Sustainability is important to the family, so they create compost from their cow manure and are working towards a closed system where waste is reused to satisfy all fertilizer and soil amendment needs.   Jack describes the farm operation succintly;

“We are organic rednecks growing organic food using biodynamic practices.”
Now that her sons are assuming control of the family business, Carol plans to start a school for farmers and dreams of founding a Farmers’ Retirement Home where old farmers can eat good food. Carol believes that traditional schooling methods cannot teach farming. Sitting at a desk under the wrong light will not get the job done. She envisions a school where farming is learned through practice out in the fields. Carol observed that farming is a very skilled activity, including knowledge not just of growing crops but of maintaining soil fertility and saving seeds.

McKenzie River Farm produces between 4-500 pounds of picked, cleaned and sorted blueberries a day during the season.
They also raise cows, chickens and pigs on the farm and sell farm products and their own fresh produce at their farm stand. They have grapes, figs, apples, pears, peaches and more! You can buy their local fresh salad greens year round at the stand, as well as pure blueberry juice (they bottle about 200 gallons of pure blueberry juice each year).
Their u-pick business has been increasing every year, and between u-pick, people buying berries at the farm stand and the three farmer’s markets they attend, over 70% of their total berry sales are accounted for. They sell at the Tuesday and Saturday Farmers’ Market in Eugene and the Friday Farmers’ Market in Springfield.  Repeat customers from as far away as Sisters and Roseburg come every year to their u-pick field!

Lauren in the U-Pick Field

We sell McKenzie River Farm organic blueberries frozen and dried in bulk year round and fresh in season (come on down and get ’em while they’re hot!)

As of today, we also have beets and turnips grown at McKenzie River Farm in our produce section.

McKenzie River Organic Farm Contact Information:

Address:  44382 McKenzie Highway, Leaburg, OR 97489
Phone:  541-896-3928


Health and Beauty Department

Have you ever wondered where you can get a toner, cleanser, lotion or salve that is cruelty free, free of synthetic and toxic ingredients, and packaged in glass? Such products do exist!

Here at the Kiva, we sell a line of such products, from suki. Suki products are a great fit here. They appeal to our customers because they are free of synthetics of any kind (including genetically manipulated ingredients), free of petrochemicals, and free of synthetic fragrances (they use essential oils). Suki never tests on animals, and they are free of animal ingredients (with the exception of cruelty-free bee products).

Suki products are packaged in clear glass; though plastic may be cheaper, it is known to leach. The paper that suki uses is 100% recycled, printed with vegetable-based inks, and free of UV coatings which would make it unrecyclable. Suki products will also vary a bit in color, as the various crops of rose petals, mint, willow bark, lavender, rosemary, and other fine herbal ingredients are sourced from small organic farms.

So, we’ve covered what suki doesn’t use, and how they package the goods. Now let’s look at suki’s ingredients (by the way, as you’ve doubtless noticed, they charmingly insist on spelling their name with a lower-case “s”): suki’s vision is to provide a product line which is both completely natural and scientifically validated in its activity and potency. Their complex, targeted formulas consist of standardized botanical medicinal extracts and concentrates, liposomes, essential oils, and natural oils such as evening primrose and shea butter. Suki promises that everything used is 100% pure.

Further, their ingredients are not only food grade, but organic, biodynamic, and fairly traded. As if all of this weren’t enough, they handmake everything in small batches.

Please feel free to come and ask an employee to open the suki case so that you can sample a product or two! We expect you’ll appreciate the exceptional level of care and skill that has gone into the making of the suki line.

To visit suki’s website and learn more about them and their products, you can click here.


Hummingbird Wholesale

Grocery manager Tom, our liaison to local food producers, visited Hummingbird Wholesale today with our bulk buyer Zeke, our herb buyer Holly and our supplement buyer Sherrill. Hummingbird is a local distributor that has been providing outstanding products to each of these departments, and we wanted to see their operation up close.

Julie and Charlie Tilt bought

Julie and Charlie Tilt

Julie and Charlie Tilt bought Hummingbird Wholesale six years ago and the business has been growing and expanding ever since. They want to accomplish good things for “us” – Americans, people in general, sustainability, the environment – Hummingbird Wholesale wants to have a positive impact on the world.


Hummingbird uses reusable containers for many bulk goods and charges a deposit to ensure that the containers are returned to them and reused. One of the things that impressed Tom about his visit to Hummingbird was how little they threw away. They have figured out ways to reuse or recycle most of their waste. They have an 82% return rate on the plastic 3 gallon buckets that they deliver bulk nut butters and other products in.
Kristie going out for a local delivery.

Kristie going out for a local delivery.

Hummingbird uses bicycle delivery through Peddlers Express and their own bicycle delivery service for local deliveries. The only time that they use a vehicle to ship their product is when they need to move a 55 gallon drum of something. Other than that, it is zero-emissions human powered bicycle delivery!

Local Sourcing for Organic Staples:

Hummingbird has begun a program working with local farmers to produce organic and transitional to organic local beans, seeds, grains and other bulk staples. The Kiva currently carries organic local pumpkin seeds grown in Scio and distributed through Hummingbird. This winter, local beans and grains will be available as well. As an example of how Hummingbird is partnering with local farmers to both strengthen the local economy and provide a local source to minimize Hummingbird’s carbon footprint, let me quote from Hummingbird’s newsletter, Humming Words (January, 2010):

“Our 2009 crop of Local Organic Pumpkin Seeds grown in Scio, Oregon, is now in stock. These large dark-green seeds offer a potent, rich pumpkin seed flavor without a bitter aftertaste, and they look beautiful. In order to share with our farmer the risk of growing this crop, we purchased the original seeds from which our seeds were grown. We were able to get these original seeds at a lower cost than last year and we had a much better yield per acre this year, so we have been able to pay our farmer more for growing the seed, and also reduce our price from last years’ crop by $.24/lb.”

Sarah packaging dried apples.

Sarah packaging dried apples.

Hummingbird is so committed to localizing the economy that they have several times shared the risk with the local farmers by investing in a crop before it was planted. Hummingbird feels that food security is important, meaning that locally produced food is not only better for the planet but local food producers are directly accountable to the end consumers so the entire food processing structure is more transparent. For instance, Hummingbird was able to monitor the entire growing process for sourcing the seeds to processing them in the case of the local organic pumpkin seeds. Hummingbird tested the seeds after processing and they had zero detectable contaminants.

Visit Hummingbird Wholesale yourself! From 10 AM to 2 PM on Tuesday and Thursday Hummingbird is open to the public as a retail establishment.  Hummingbird Wholesale is located at 254 Lincoln Street in Eugene.  Get to know the people behind this great company yourself!

Julie shows Zeke the bulk liquids.

Julie shows Zeke the bulk liquids.

Local Egg Farmers

Dairy Post:  From the Farm to the Kiva

Brought to you by Emma Buckley, Kiva Dairy Department Manager

Anconda Duck Eggs in the nest at Rain Shadow El Rancho

We are proud to carry eggs from four local farms at the Kiva.  All of these eggs are from free-ranging chickens and ducks.  We recently visited all four farms to get to know the farmers and to make sure our customers are getting the best quality eggs they can get.

Lonsway Farms:

Fritz and his wife Beverly have had their farm for forty years, and they have raised chickens the entire time.  At first they were harvesting eggs for personal use, but have expanded the number of chickens they have on the farm to provide eggs for sale at local stores.  They have over 100 chickens, all of the Red Star breed.  Red Star chickens produce brown eggs.  They are fed diatomaceous earth to prevent worms internally and mites in the nest.  They are also fed fresh milk from the dairy, which they love!  Additional supplemental feed is yard scraps (grass clippings, weeds from the vegetable garden, etc.), wheat, and a pellet mix containing wheat, oats, barley, soy meal, corn gluten, limestone, salt, vitamins and minerals.  There are no chemicals or hormones in the pellet mix that the birds eat.  Of course, the chickens supplement their own diet by pecking around in the large fenced pastures that they have rotating access to.  The chickens always have access to the outside and spend most of their time out in the yard and pastures.  By rotating which pastures the chickens have access to, Fritz can ensure that there is always plenty of bugs and grass for the chickens to peck at.

Emma feeding the Red Star chickens at Lonsway Farms


Rain Shadow El Rancho
Joe and Karen Schueller started their farm in 2001 and have been raising chickens the entire time (as well as many other animals, check out their website to learn more!).  They raise many different breeds of chickens, including Rhode Island Reds, Black Sex-Links, Araucana and Barred Rock.
Barred Rock Rooster at Rain Shadow El Rancho

They also have Anconda, Moscovy and Pekin Ducks.  The chickens and ducks have year round rotating access to fenced grass pastures.  The ducks scavenge for the vast majority of their feed, but the chickens’ feed is supplemented by a layer pellet mix, oyster shells, and all the fallen fruit from the plum, apple, pear and cherry trees on the farm.  There are no chemicals or hormones in the layer pellet mix that the birds eat.

Muscovy Ducks in the pond at Rain Shadow El Rancho


Sweet Briar Farms

Keith and Petrene have been raising chickens at Sweet Briar Farms for six years.  They currently have 165 chickens.  They raise Black Star, Red Star, Araucana, Blue Andalusian, Cuckoo Moran and Barred Rock chicken breeds.

This guy runs the roost at Sweet Briar.  He followed us around the entire time, making sure we didn’t cause any trouble with his ladies!

Sweet Briar Farms is USDA certified and has a grant for brown power to reuse all the waste from the chickens and hogs to power the farm.  They supplement their chickens’ feed with flax seed, squash, garlic, carrots, kale, celery, seed blocks, corn and apple cider vinegar.  Of course, the chickens also eat insects and other small creepy crawlies when they are pecking around in their fenced pasture area.

Emma, Dorothy and a chicken at Sweet Briar
Turpen Family Farms
Pamela Turpen and Dylan the Dog

Pamela Turpen and her husband have been running this family farm for 17 years with their two daughters.  It is an entirely family run operation.  They currently have 900 chickens.  They raise many different kinds of chickens, including Golden Sex-Links, Araucana, Australorps , Rhode Island Reds and Barred Rock breeds.  The chickens always have access to outdoor pastures on their 72 acre property.  The chickens’ diet is supplemented with alfalfa pellets, ground whole corn, yard clippings that have never been fertilized or sprayed with pesticides, and a layer pellet containing corn, soybean meal, and vitamins and minerals.  The pellet does not contain hormones or antibiotics.  As always, chickens feed themselves with bugs and whatever else they can dig up while pecking around outside.

This Barred Rock chicken always lays her eggs in the feeder at Turpen Farms instead of the egg boxes!  She is very particular!