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Azure Standard - bulk, organic food and homestead supplies  RSS feed

 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Location: Missoula, MT
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At wheaton labs, we generally get monthly deliveries of food and supplies from Azure (azurestandard.com). Azure offers bulk organic food, homesteading (feed, seeds, fertilizers, canning, etc.) and general grocery supplies (including herbs, vitamins, soaps, toilet paper, etc.) and it works almost like wholesale or a buying club.

Here's the quick low-down:
  • minimum total of all orders is $550 in order for the semi-truck to make a drop - there is a section on the website to find a drop near you, or info on becoming a drop site
  • each individual order in the drop must be at least $50 to avoid a service charge
  • orders are placed by your route's cut-off date, then "picked" out of the warehouse usually on the next following business day. Your credit card or account will be charged after the items are picked. Once in a while the website says they have something it turns out they don't when they go to pick it (though this is continually improving), so if that happens and your total orders fall below the $550 they will still make the drop.
  • rarely, an item picked and shipped was incorrect or gets lost somehow or was damaged, etc. Azure is EXCELLENT about always crediting for these things.

  • I highly recommend Azure and almost everything they carry. Azure brand bulk foods have been top notch - very fresh and high quality. In some natural foods groceries, or co-ops, I've bought bulk bin items that are not so fresh - already a bit rancid or beans that are so stale they take forever to cook. I've never had stale goods from Azure. Some tender produce, however, does not like making a 3-day trek to our rural location in a chilled semi-truck. I've stopped trying to buy tender produce, but 40-pound boxes of onions, 20-pound boxes of apples, etc. are excellent.

    Azure just started their Azure Advantage Membership Program (that's an affiliate link). If you've ordered or decide to order through Azure, the membership gets you additional discounts and organic discovery boxes each month. It's been well worth it for us! Use the membership link here, or use promo code 1556196 if you decide to join and I think you get a discount and we get a kick back.

    Azure is out of Oregon, and they grow quite a lot of the food they offer. Their delivery areas keep expanding across the U.S., so check the website to see if they are in your area and how long the truck route might be. When I lived in the Seattle area, the truck route was just a day or less, so the more tender produce was more likely to make it.



    Anyone else have experience or thoughts about Azure?


     
    Casie Becker
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    Okay, I'm looking at the drop location map. There seem to be large drops as far south and west as Florida.  On the larger map it looked like there was a big dead space in Central Texas, but as I zoomed in closer as whole ton of smaller drop sites popped up all across the state, including in my own town. I'm still going to have to work up the nerve to join, but it looks much more doable than I would have expected from a company based in Oregon.

    It's also probably a great opportunity to meet people who are willing to step outside of normal behavior to make positive changes in their life. They're actually putting their time and money behind their values.   I just have to force myself past the fear of contacting strangers to participate. I'm gonna go browse their shopping site right now.
     
    Jocelyn Campbell
    master steward
    Posts: 4145
    Location: Missoula, MT
    388
    books food preservation forest garden hugelkultur toxin-ectomy
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    Nice! I'm glad you're checking into it, Casie! I hope the drop does lead to meeting some nice folks. The drop that I participated in before moving to Montana was run by a homeschool family with 8 or 11 kids (I lost track - seriously!). One of the homeschool kids managed the drop as an educational project, and she was only 10 or something but did an amazing job - very professional. Plus, drop coordinators can get a kick-back if the total drop orders are a certain amount, (I've lost track of the details), so I imagine that helped with a family of that size.

    Azure carries such a massive list of products, that their bimonthly sales are also massive. We eat differently than most people, so I've kind of given up on sale shopping for food because the savings usually isn't worth my time.

    To see what I mean, here's the link to the .pdf of Azure's Jan.-Feb. 2017 sale catalog, which is 188 pages dense with product listings (not many pictures here!):  azurestandard/docs/2017-janfebsalesmag.

    The way I prefer to use Azure is to keep a BIG list of favorites, and that list will have a little notation if something is on sale. Then, even if I'm not running low, I might stock up because of the sale price. I do check the bargain bin and produce listings for sales, because these are easier to quickly skim through for items that we'd want.

    When they have organic juicing apples at $14 per 20 pounds, well, that is the kind of bargain I love! The juicing apples have a few blemishes here and there (see this post on ugly apples and produce), but are generally good eating, baking or cooking apples, too.

     
    Casie Becker
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    Yes, I'm slow. I've been having a hard time selecting items that are both things that we actually use that aren't readily available from my local vendors. Our diet tends to be meat, eggs, fresh fruit, and vegetables with little dairy or grains. Oranic, grass fed, pastured ect. are all already in my grocery store (which while a huge chain is local, family owned, and ethically run). I want to keep supporting them and their decision to sell these items.

    Does anyone have suggestions for things that they would like to buy (or can buy, but don't think most people have access to) if they were food shopping? As an example of things that have made it to the list, duck eggs (to help decide if we want to raise our own) and cheese made with raw milk. Ideally, I will be able to build up a regular list of items so that I can just place a regular order each month.

    Oops, another option that wouldn't become a regular order, fresh tumeric root to plant in the garden.

     
    Jocelyn Campbell
    master steward
    Posts: 4145
    Location: Missoula, MT
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    books food preservation forest garden hugelkultur toxin-ectomy
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    And now, the county where Azure is located, Sherman County, Oregon, is threatening to file a court order to spray toxic herbicides to control "noxious weeds" on Azure farms, which would remove their organic certification.

    The situation is described here:  https://hl.azurestandard.com/healthy-living/info/azure-farm-moro/.

    Azure is asking for public protest, as described in the link above, prior to May 17, 2017. Here's what I wrote:

    From: Jocelyn Campbell
    Date: Thu, May 11, 2017 at 12:28 PM
    Subject: Do not spray the certified organic farm Azure Standard!
    To: lhernandez@co.sherman.or.us


    Hi Lauren and Sherman County officials,

    I have been a loyal customer of Azure's for decades now. First when I lived in Washington State, and now from our homestead in Montana where we buy food for dozens of people each month.

    We want toxin-free food and if you spray Azure's farm with herbicides, we will be forced to find our clean, organic food elsewhere. Which would mean an income reduction for Azure. Which then would reduce Sherman County and Oregon State tax revenues.

    Multiply this by the thousands of customers who rely on Azure for the high-quality, toxin-free, delicious and nutritious food it provides, and you're looking at HUGE revenue losses.

    Do. not. spray. this certified organic farm.

    Jocelyn Campbell
    Missoula, Montana


    Another option is to call Lauren at 541-565-3416 to log your objection.


     
    Judith Browning
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    Jocelyn, I just sent them this after seeing your fb post
    to lhernandez

    re: possible court order to spray Azure Farms with weed chemicals
    Please do not allow this to happen to a farm that has been certified organic for 18 years or any organic farm for that matter.

      We think that the precedent set by allowing this could put many organic growers in jeopardy.  Think of the repercussions if this major organic farm loses it's organic status.....at the minimum it would cause the farm to lose a lot of business and income and be assured,  those of us buying organic or better won't stoop to gmo and round up sprayed crops...our business will still be with organically raised food.

    I am sure there is some way to allow an exemption from this 'clause' for an organic farm that has worked to control noxious weeds without toxic remedies and at the same time successfully grow organic crops.

    Thank you.
    Staff note (Jocelyn Campbell):

    Awesome! I hope that county is completely overwhelmed with messages to not spray those toxins!

     
    Miles Flansburg
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    I added my voice.
    Sirs and Madams , I have recently become aware of your plan to force the good people of Azure Standard farm to spray toxic chemicals on their private property. Using the force of law to compel the owners of private property to bend to your will . This is against all standards of morality and is obviously serving the interests of corporate  pesticide and non organic farm lobbyists. The chemicals you will be using are far more noxious than any weed on your noxious list. In fact many of these weeds are edible and fill extremely important niches in our environment. Please educate yourselves in permacultural practices and the role these weeds play in nature. Do not fall prey to those who would damage our lands and your constitutes health for profits ! Be aware that by enforcing this action you will be personally responsible for the sickness of your neighbors and the destruction of one of the better , tax paying, businesses in your district. We need our organic farms ! We need to stand with those who work with nature. Please reconsidered this dastardly action.
    Thank you,
    Miles Flansburg
    Staff note (Jocelyn Campbell):

    Beautiful, Miles! I like "the chemicals you will be using are far more noxious than any weed on your noxious list"!

     
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