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Harvest Events 2012 Vernon

November 2 - 3 Friday: 9am - 7pm Saturday: 9am - 5pm

Armstrong, BC Toll free: 1-877-639-2767 info@ranchovignola.com

www.ranchovignola.com Nuts and Dried Fruit

British Columbia

Vernon Recreation Centre Auditorium

Abbotsford

3310 - 37th Ave

Friday: 9am - 5pm Saturday: 9am - 5pm

29635 'O' Avenue (& 18 Ross Rd)

Saturday: 10am - 5pm Sunday: 10am - 5pm

Recipes

Revelstoke

Parkinson Recreation Centre

November 23 - 24

1800 Parkinson Way

Focus on Brazil nuts

Friday: 6pm - 9pm Saturday: 9am - 5pm

Salmon Arm

Recreation Centre

November 9 - 10 Friday: 9am - 7pm Saturday: 9am - 5pm Comfort Inn (formerly Holiday Inn) 1090 - 22nd Street NE

600 Campbell Ave

Alberta Camrose

Airdrie

Friday: 9am - 7pm Saturday: 9am - 5pm

Friday: 9am - 7pm Saturday: 9am - 5pm

4250 Exhibition Drive

275 Jensen Drive

Camrose Regional Exhibition

Meet Rancho Vignola's newest sponsored athletes

Windsor Greenhouses

November 10 - 11

November 16 - 17

Powered by Rancho

November 23 - 24

Kelowna

Armstrong, BC

Town and Country Centre

www.ranchovignola.com • 1-877-NEW-CROP

Harvest Event Online

www.ranchovignola.com

AMAZONIAN NUTS Richard travels to Peru in search of the Amazonian Brazil Nut. Harvest season is in full swing by the time he hits the rio and sets forth deep into the Amazon rainforest.

For details and up to date information, please visit our website or call our toll free line.

1 - 15

How to grow healthy kids

A Wild Harvest

November 23 - 24

Browse our beautiful product displays and taste everything we have to offer!

DECEMBER

Nuts & Nutrition

You r prod ucts are am azing!! M ich elle

Come see us!

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From the Farm to your Community

• Order online • We ship to you • Convenient and easy!

Summer 2012

New Crop Price List: Early September • Wholesale Order Deadline: September 27th www.ranchovignola.com

Summer 2012

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A

The Harvest Season Begins!

sure sign that the fall harvest season will soon be in full swing is the publication of our annual newsletter. We spend a lot of time and energy producing the newsletter, and are always proud of the results - we hope you agree with us that it’s time well spent! In these days of instant online information we believe there’s still a place for beautiful paper publications, which linger on the kitchen or coffee table to be read in leisurely increments. However, do let us know if you prefer to receive just the online version and we will gladly honour your request! In addition to filling you in on what Rancho has been up to locally, we love sharing stories from the farms and plantations we visit. This winter, company president Richard Vignola undertook a long awaited trip to Peru and the Amazon rainforest where our delicious Brazil nuts originate. Read Richard’s in depth article beginning in the centre pages, and whet your appetite with Brazil nut dishes featured in the recipe section.

In a Nutshell

We welcome all who have found us this year! Always feel free to email us with any questions you have about our upcoming wholesale ordering season. You may also find answers to your questions in the FAQ section on our website.

Shipping Charges

As we launch into another exciting season, we take this opportunity to thank you, valued customer, for your continued support. Enjoy the rest of the summer, and get ready to celebrate the harvest!

Small Towns in all Provinces: Freight charges may be applied for delivery to smaller centres outside of major cities across central Canada. You will be notified of any additional charges before your order is shipped. Please note that additional shipping charges still represent only a fraction of the total freight cost, the majority of which is covered by us. Again, customers are responsible for pick up or for shipping charges beyond the freight depot as per our standard freight policy. Thanks for

Welcome!

Rancho Vignola is a family owned and operated distributor of fresh crop nuts, dried fruit and quality confection. If you're new to Rancho Vignola, here are a few more things you should know! • We operate seasonally during the autumn harvest, from September through December. • We maintain personal relationships with growers and suppliers worldwide. • We offer ordering opportunities for both wholesale and retail customers. • ANYONE can order wholesale! • Wholesale orders must be at least $500 - this is the only requirement! • Wholesale orders are shipped direct to customers all over Canada. • For customers wanting smaller quantities and extras for the holiday season, Rancho Vignola holds annual Harvest Events in communities across BC and Alberta. • For customers unable to attend one in person, we also hold a Harvest Event on our website in early December - the perfect opportunity to try out a few products and have them shipped right to you without having to place a large wholesale order. Visit us at www.ranchovignola.com for further information, or get in touch directly by email or phone. We look forward to hearing from you this harvest season, and to bringing you the Best of the New Crop!

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Wholesale Ordering

Our home town of Vernon was the location for the 2012 BC Winter Games this past February, and Rancho Vignola was proud to be a Platinum Friend of the Games! Read more about Rancho’s community activities and updates on our sponsored athletes as told by Jayme McKillop, our passionate Marketing Coordinator.

www.ranchovignola.com

Sue Vignola

Standard Freight Policy: We will cover all freight costs to major centres on our regular shipping routes across central Canada. Customers are responsible for any interline charges incurred for delivery beyond the freight depot.

T

he wholesale price list will be available on or before the 10th of September. You can access the wholesale price list either by downloading it in PDF format through our website or by regular mail. Customers with email addresses will receive an announcement when the price list is ready. Please let us know if you also require a paper copy, as we prefer to avoid sending out paper unnecessarily.

Order Minimum: $500 - product available in full cases or 5lb bags Please note this is an absolutely firm order deadline – any orders received after the deadline will not be guaranteed delivery, and will be dealt with on a first in, first served basis.

Northern and Eastern Regions: Shipping charges to remote northern areas, eastern Quebec, and Atlantic Canada will be determined on a case-by-case basis and discussed prior to shipment.

Payment

Return Policy

Order Deadline is Thursday, September 27th

What's Inside...

Welcome 2 Crop News 3 Community News 4 Sponsorship Updates 5 Harvest Event Snapshots 7 PERU: Amazonian Castañas 8 Rancho Recipes 12 Nuts & Nutrition 13 Rancho Office Talk: Shipping 14 Wholesale Ordering Policies 15 Harvest Event Schedule 16

Box 397 Armstrong, BC V0E 1B0 Toll-free: 1-877-639-2767 • Fax: 250-546-6653 info@ranchovignola.com

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Summer 2012

All first-time wholesale customers are required to pre-pay before the order is shipped. For existing customers with established credit terms, payment is required within 15 days from receipt of the order. We accept payment by credit card, PayPal, cheque (one cheque only) and money order.

Discount for Early Payment

We are pleased to offer a 2% discount to all customers who pay for their wholesale orders in full by the 15th of October.

Rancho Vignola stands behind all of our products and we will gladly take back any product that is not up to our standards. Please check your entire order as soon as you receive it and contact us immediately if you have any concerns. We cannot accept any product returns later than 30 days after order shipment.

-Beverly

Grande Prairie , AB

Referrals

Order Shipment Order shipment begins early November and continues all month. Sometimes we experience delays of a particular product due to unforeseen circumstances such as ports being closed or backed up. Please be aware that our warehouse crew are working diligently to get your orders shipped to you as quickly as possible. We will try to meet your requests for delivery by a specific date, but any customers setting up their own sales (or advertising a delivery day to their club members) are advised to err on the side of caution and plan for later in November. Please note: Any special delivery requests must be made by October 15. Orders are sent pre-paid by commercial freight carrier or courier service to a freight depot in your nearest town centre. Generally, orders will be delivered right to your door. However, if residential deliveries are unavailable in your area you may be required to pick up your order from the depot. If you live in a remote area not covered by our regular freight carriers, an interline service may be required and the cost of this service covered by you. If you wish to pick up at our Armstrong warehouse, please let us know when placing your order and you will be contacted when your order is ready.

Summer 2012

your great products, we have enjoyed everything imm ensely. And thanks for re sponding quic kly to the torn pa ckage dropped off at my ho use by the de livery company. Yo u are definite ly a company that cares about their customers.

We offer 5% commission to existing wholesale customers for referring friends, family members, or other contacts, who go on to place a wholesale order. The amount of the commission is determined by the new club's wholesale order total and is awarded for three consecutive years from the first wholesale order. Commissions earned are calculated at the end of the season and are applied as credit towards your next season's order.

In order to be eligible

• You must be an existing wholesale customer for at least one year and continue to place wholesale orders. • You must provide your referral's full name, address, email, and phone number before their first order is submitted. • Referrals must pay separately and have a separate shipping address from sponsors.

Box 397 Armstrong, BC V0E 1B0 Toll-free: 1-877-639-2767 • Fax: 250-546-6653 info@ranchovignola.com

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acebook and

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Page 15


Greetings from the

Hi there!

Crop News

Rancho Vignola office!

Australia

It's been a busy year for us, perhaps busier than usual given the late crops and record number of back ordered items we had last fall, but there have also been some positive changes. Our 2011 season featured a new office space, a new shipping option to provide more flexibility, and new office staff who did a great job of getting the orders out. We speak with most of you about the specifics of your orders throughout the shipping season, but it's only here in the newsletter that we have a chance to elaborate on our office procedures. This year we'd like to let you know a bit more about our shipping process.

Good news for macadamia nuts! After last year’s dismal harvest, which saw many farmers suffer heavy setbacks and in some cases even sell off land, the 2012 crop is looking much better. Mike Steffan of Byron Macadamias reports that a good flowering period at the beginning of the warm Australian summer gave the nuts a strong start. Despite frequent rainfall since then, improvements in orchard air circulation from some tree culling means the wet weather should not have as much impact as in the last few difficult years. We’re excited to offer our favourite organic macadamia nuts to you again this fall!

From coast to coast to coast

Shipping is a big part of our job here at Rancho. We ship orders to almost every corner of Canada, from Vancouver Island to Halifax to Toronto to Inuvik - to both urban and rural locations - working here is a good way to learn our country's geography! As well, we ship everything from small packages during our December Harvest Event to large wholesale orders that fill several pallets. This diversity means that one shipping method can't possibly work for every order, so we must assess the circumstances and choose the best option for each customer.

Peru

Those pesky phone calls!

You may have wondered why we always call you before shipping your order - after all, you would have provided your address when you placed it. In part, this is simply to make sure you'll be home, as a lot of our customers travel during the shipping season and orders are only held by the shipping company for a few days even if shipped to a depot. It allows us to confirm the phone number we'll be providing to the shipping company - if we can't reach you, neither can they! It also allows us to get more details that I’ve been busy unpack can help us decide on the best shipping method; for example, we can find out whether it's safe to leave in testing ever ything as g my order, your order by your door or whether it's better to ship to your nearest depot. While this takes us a lot I go good! The incan berr - it’s all SOOO of extra time, we've found that it's better for everyone to make these plans in advance rather than ies are so uniquely tangy and delici risk having orders lost or returned.

What's it going to cost?

One very frequently asked question is 'How can I find out what shipping will cost me?' For those of you covered by our standard freight policy this is easy: when placing your wholesale order online, you can simply select a free shipping location in the ordering section of our website. If your hometown isn't on that list, we determine your portion of the shipping cost by calculating the cost difference between your address and the nearest 'free shipping town' to you. Depending on the distance, the charge to you is often very small - and sometimes there is no extra charge.

ous. Thanks to all of you for work. We who live in your very hard W have ready access to hitehorse don’t organic nuts, seeds and fruits from Sept . th we’re very appreciati rough May so ve fo work and quality. I’ r your company’s ll be anxiously waiting to order agai n. -Kim Whitehorse, YT

We believe this is more accurate and fair than standardizing shipping costs, but it does have the disadvantage of often requiring us to wait until shipping time to determine the total cost. In the meantime, we can estimate shipping charges for most orders with the address and approximate weight of your order. We work very hard to keep costs reasonable for everyone.

ank you I would like to th notch top for the absolute I love . ed product receiv e dried th t everything, bu te best I lu so ab fruit is the I will not have ever tasted. mend you hesitate to recom mily fa to all my friends, ers. om st cu and our farm - Marilyn

Okotoks, AB

Richard’s recent trip to Peru took place at the very beginning of the Brazil nut harvest. Since then, our friends at Candela Peru report that the heavy rain Richard experienced during early February continued well into March, hampering the harvest a little due to river swells. A related issue is the impact of illegal mining on the pristine area where these wild trees grow. We wish our Peruvian friends well in their continuing efforts to confront these pollutioncausing mavericks, and will keep informed as to the ongoing situation. We are fortunate to have access to this incredible product that grows so harmoniously in the Amazon rainforest!

California

The sunshine state experienced an unusually dry January, followed by frequent rainfall and cool weather during March and April. Specific areas such as Fresno, Tulare and Madera (home to plums, figs, nectarines, raisins and almonds) were hit by hail around mid April, which caused some crop damage. However, warmer weather over the last few weeks has helped jump start most crops. As growers head into the soaring temperatures of mid summer, hopes are high for abundant harvests!

Almonds

A little frost damage in the spring and some brown rot due to moisture during blooming may affect the yield in some areas. The initial forecast for almond production is slightly lower than last year’s massive yield, but still another impressive harvest!

Walnuts

When we spoke with Jeff Ferrari of Ferrari Farms he told us that it was so dry in January, they had to irrigate! Jeff’s family farm is situated in the San Joaquin valley where they’ve been growing organic walnuts for over 25 years. It’s a bit early in the season to determine final crop yields, but the walnut industry overall is predicting another record breaking crop!

Dates

Further south in the date groves, Greg Raumin of Jewel Dates told us they’ve experienced a very warm spring, with temperatures often reaching 44ºC. Pollination, which is done by hand, has been very effective this year and the date palms are now laden with budding fruit. There is still a lot of growing time left before September, but Greg is optimistic that we will see an excellent date harvest this year.

Raisins

After last year’s huge crop, growers are seeing decreases in their ‘bunch count,' the industry’s standard appraisal method. This is not an unusual situation as vines recover from a previous year’s higher yield. Our contacts report ideal growing conditions and lovely, plump fruit come September!

I certainly so apprecia te w and the quality is superb hat you sell ! - Beth

Please feel free to let us know if you have any further questions. We look forward to shipping your order this year!

Nikki Simmons

Valemount, BC

Office Administrator Page 14

www.ranchovignola.com

Summer 2012

Summer 2012

www.ranchovignola.com

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What's Happening... in the

Rancho Community

CTS!! U D O R P R U I L OVE YO

- Chirlirnisgt,inAeB St

Jon Anderson of Yes fame at Komasket Music Festival in Vernon.

fter another busy Rancho season, January was a welcome relief Alison Krauss performs at and I even managed to hit the trails Vancouver Island MusicFest. with the boss, Sue Vignola, for some Right: Jayme and Cloé welcome cross country skiing! Then February one and all to the Rancho booth! came in like a freight train bringing all sorts of fun and excitement - and yes, work! This year the city of Vernon was host to the BC Winter Games. When I had first heard the news, I was determined to get Rancho Vignola involved. The Games have a special place in my heart, because at fourteen I was lucky enough to compete in the figure skating event. I have never forgotten the experience: the friends I made, the intense challenge of competition, and the realization that dreams can come true.

Our winter season also brought about the opportunity to team up with our own Sovereign Lake Cross Country Ski Club. We now sponsor the club with energy food for the trails, and we hope to foster a relationship for years to come. Check out Sue and me in front of our banner at the Sovereign Lake lodge.

Marketing Coordinator

Page 4

www.ranchovignola.com

L

School ban on nut products

We’re visiting the Greenaways at their family home in Vernon, BC. Ben has just awoken from his afternoon nap and is playing shy. However once he has his almond milk in front of him, plus a pile of raw mixed nuts, he’s happy to engage with us! When asked which nuts he loves best, he yells out "almonds!" Yania and Robert say he also loves pecans, walnuts and Brazil nuts, but almonds play a prominent role due to the almond milk and butter.

How will this family handle the issue? Yania responds, "Well it’s already arisen for us since we’re not allowed to bring any nut products to Ben’s drop-in play group. I’m definitely of two minds about it as nuts are such a big part of Ben’s diet. However, having myself suffered from childhood allergies, I know how unpleasant an adverse reaction can be. For those children with a peanut allergy that is literally life threatening, I think it’s one of those times when you simply have to comply with the rules for the greater good." Yania continues thoughtfully, "School lunch is only one Almond Butter: meal out of three. It’s up to us as parents to Full of nutrients and loved make sure his other meals are wholesome by young and old alike! and healthy."

So how do parents keep their child on a healthy diet with so many sugary influences around?

Vernon enthusiastically embraced hosting the Games once again, and I was so proud to be a part of it all! Rancho Vignola donated products for athletes and volunteers to keep everyone well fueled through the competition. The volunteers were so enthusiastic, the coordinators initiated tons of hype for the athletes, and I even got to present medals! Sue and I attended the Opening Ceremonies where we rubbed shoulders with dignitaries from across BC and enjoyed performances that truly showcased Vernon’s talent.

Jayme McKillop

in family life

ittle Ben Greenaway is a very healthy looking toddler. With sparkling eyes, clear skin and an easy going temperament, two year old Ben is a testament to the benefits of a healthy, wholesome diet. Parents Yania and Robert Greenaway are not vegetarian, but they are committed to a nutritious dietary lifestyle, with nuts and seeds playing a regular role in their family meals. They also state that through nurturing a natural love of wholesome foods they’ve so far managed to keep Ben utterly uninterested in chocolate and sugar! Ben’s diet is mostly wheat-free and non-dairy as well, although they began introducing goat cheese after his second birthday. What’s more, Ben’s an absolute fiend for almond milk and almond butter!

A

With winter well over, my energy is now focused on the summer community events and festivals that are such a highlight to our year. Visiting beautiful places all over BC is part of the wonder, but meeting the people who love our products is the best part! If you would like to see Rancho Vignola set up a booth at an event in your community, send us an email!

Nuts and Nutrition

We Love Snow!

Jayme and Sue stand proudly by the new Rancho banner after hitting the trails at Sovereign Lake. Summer 2012

Yania: "Well at this age, it’s fairly easy, as we have full control. However, we know at some point we can expect to lose the dietary battle with him, and we’ll have to let go a little. School will be a powder keg of challenges!" Agreeing, Robert says, "Young kids learn from each other and we realise that Ben will be exposed to unhealthy eating habits which he may want to imitate." While bowing to the inevitable, Robert and Yania believe that by giving Ben a good healthy start in life they are laying the foundation for a lifetime of whole food awareness. Ben happily snacks on his favourite nuts. Summer 2012

Behavioral problems with young children - diet related? Many nutritional experts believe diet plays a role in the uncontrollable behavior increasingly exhibited by many young children. Yania and Robert agree wholeheartedly. Yania: "I think it’s huge. After taking my Education Assistant course, I saw first hand how many children come to school hungry. And when they do eat or drink, they’re consuming empty calories through sweet, starchy foods and sugary drinks." She continues, "Healthy oils, from nuts, flax and fish, have been proven to play a vital role in reducing behavioral problems. It’s so important to include these essential nutrients in your child’s diet." Yania and Robert are obviously doing something right. Ben is a delightful and attentive child who sleeps well, plays well, and loves his food. And he is probably the only child who asks for almond milk at the local coffee shop!

Almonds

Sue Vignola

A handful a day gives you all this!

• BRAIN FOOD: High contents of riboflavin and L-carnitine boost brain activity, and phenylalanine aids in developing brain function • Rich source of folic acid, • Lowers risk of cardiovascular calcium and phosphorus and coronary heart disease • Good source of protein • Lowers blood pressure • Excellent source of • High magnesium content dietary fibre

www.ranchovignola.com

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Recipes from the

Rancho Kitchen

ur sponsorship campaign includes not only artistic and musical community events, but also inspirational athletes who really push themselves and their communities to the next level. Last year we made two exciting additions to this program: paralympian Josh Dueck from Vernon, BC and biathlete Melanie Schultz from Canmore, AB. Both have one thing in common: they recognize that good nutrition is the fuel they need to meet the pressures of high level competition. Always on the move, and putting intense physical demand on their bodies, they have no choice but to eat well. That's where we fit in! I put a few questions to these two fine athletes, and here’s what they shared:

This is a flexible recipe. Experiment with your own combinations of nuts, fruit, and herbs!

½ cup crumbled feta cheese 1 Tbsp. honey 2 eggs ¼ cup water 1 cup Brazil nuts, coarsely chopped ½ cup black mission figs, coarsely chopped

Mix together flours, baking powder, salt, and rosemary. In a separate bowl cream together olive oil, feta cheese, and honey (be sure to break up any large clumps of cheese), then beat in eggs and water. Add dry ingredients, Brazil nuts and figs, and stir to combine. With wet hands, shape the dough into two loaves approximately 8x3x1 inches each and place on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 325ºF for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. With a serrated knife, cut ½ inch thick slices and place the slices on the baking sheet (cut side down). Return to oven and bake for an additional 30 minutes, turning slices once. Cool completely on a wire rack. Serve with soup or on their own.

When did becoming a professional athlete become more important to you than just having fun? Josh: For me, sport has always been about having fun and playing with

friends. I first started taking freestyle skiing seriously when I decided that’s what I wanted to do after high school. It was a hard learning curve for me as I was not very athletic in my early years, and I had no idea how to set goals and achieve them. After a few years of learning the hard way, I started to get the hang of being a full time athlete. This has shaped me both physically and mentally to face the challenges that life presents.

What advice has been the most important to you in your career?

creamy

Melanie: Dream big, work hard, and never give up! As a late starter to

Cream of Brazil Nut Tomato Soup

5 ripe tomatoes, cubed (or a 750ml can of diced tomatoes) 2 cloves garlic, diced 1 small white onion, diced 1 tsp. olive oil 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar ½ tsp. paprika (or smoked paprika) 1 cup Brazil nut milk 1 handful fresh basil leaves (thyme also works well) sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste Sauté diced onion and olive oil in a soup pot on medium heat until the onions are translucent, then add garlic and continue to sauté for a few minutes. Add tomatoes and balsamic vinegar, cover with a lid, and simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes. Add Brazil nut milk and a handful of basil leaves. Using a hand blender (or regular blender if necessary), blend your soup to the texture you desire: slightly chunky or blended smooth. Add sea salt, fresh ground pepper, and serve.

Brazil Nut Milk Recipe by Afke Zonderland from Foods Alive. To make a savoury version for our soup recipe, just skip the vanilla and dates.

1 cup raw Brazil nuts 3 - 4 cups of spring water a tiny pinch of salt (optional) 1 vanilla bean (optional)  2 - 4 dates (optional) 

www.ranchovignola.com

biathlon at the age of 17, I was miles behind the best biathletes in the world, but that didn't stop me from having a big dream to race at the Olympics! There have been many times this goal has seemed unrealistic, but I have just kept working towards it, focusing on the process instead of the outcome, and not giving up. So far it has been working out pretty good for me! Josh: The best advice that I’ve received may sound like a cliché, but it really is ‘all about the journey and not the destination.' When I set goals, I focus on one season at a time, one camp, one day, this run, the next turn ahead and the surface beneath me - until I find myself right smack dab in the middle of that exact moment.

What was a favourite place in your recent travels and what made it so special?

Blend at high speed, then allow to marinate for 10 minutes. Strain through a nut milk bag (the foot of a nylon works too!) or keep unstrained for a more pulpy cream.

Fills 4 hearty bowls. Page 12

Athlete Q & A with Jayme O

For your health and the health of the rainforest.

Savoury Brazil Nut Biscotti 1 ½ cups all purpose flour ¾ cup whole wheat flour 1 ½ tsp. baking powder ¼ tsp. salt 2 tsp. crushed dried rosemary ¼ cup olive oil

Powered by Rancho

Brazil Nuts

Summer 2012

Melanie: Le Grand Bornand, which is

Melanie Schultz

a small village and ski resort in the eastern Rhone-Alpes region of

Canadian Biathlete National Development Team

Summer 2012

Josh Dueck

Paralympic Silver Medalist Winter X Games Gold Medalist

France. The food culture there is amazing and I love trying all the local products like cheeses, sausages, wine and more. I also had some great results racing there, which adds to my love of the area!

What advice would you like to pass on to up-and-coming athletes? Josh: Life’s a trip and it’s

important to enjoy the moments along the way. If you’re lucky enough to be pursuing something you love in your journey of life, I would suggest doing it to the best of your ability and leaving nothing behind. Knowing that you gave it your best effort without fear of failure will reap you some of life’s most powerful lessons.

The Best of the Best!

In February 2012 Josh became the world’s first athlete to Josh and his wife Lacey put on their complete a backflip in a sit-ski serious faces for Valentine's Day. - and he nailed it with a perfect landing! Executed near Whistler, BC, this incredible feat has earned him more attention than ever as the video swept the internet by storm. He even appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres Show! If you haven’t seen it already, just search 'Josh Dueck backflip' on YouTube and check it out! Josh says he loves golden Incan berries the most out of all the Rancho products he has tried. "They make my mouth water in anticipation, and they are chock full of antioxidants," Josh enthusiastically remarks. His wife Lacey adds them to her home made granola. Hey, we want that recipe! Melanie has two favourite products. She loves raw organic almonds for a quick snack on the go and organic black mission figs for a great source of energy during training. At Christmas, Melanie likes to dip the figs in melted dark chocolate and roll them in chopped, toasted almonds for a delicious treat - YUM!

www.ranchovignola.com

Page 5


Sponsorship Update I

n last summer's newsletter we introduced Project CHEF, an exciting program currently operating in the Vancouver area that teaches elementary school children all about the preparation and sharing of nutritious food. Five years in, Project CHEF has now reached 5490 children from 190 classes in 74 schools and has been directly involved with over 2700 parents and community volunteers. Creating a healthier population, one classroom at a time! For more information, find them online at www.projectchef.ca.

The Process Drying and sorting

An update from Project CHEF founder Barb Finley: Project CHEF has hung up the aprons for the 2011/2012 school year, and what a year we had! Every class was excited to cook and try new foods, all the children were fully engaged in learning and keen to get home and cook with their families. Does the program make an impact on the lives of children? You bet it does! As always, the best advocates for Project CHEF are the teachers, parents and children we have worked with.

hen the castañas finally make their way down the river

A family of castañaros: Rupert Gongora, wife Nissida Fargan Luna and son Emil; Hernan and his wife, concession title owner Marcelina Flores.

“It is LEARNING FOR LIFE – the kind of knowledge acquired through this program can translate into raising a healthier population,” writes one teacher.

Life on the river

A parent writes, “My older daughter was fortunate enough to participate in 2008 and it literally changed our entire family’s approach to cooking. Thanks to Project CHEF, all my children know how to be safe in the kitchen, and cook and eat healthy food.” Another parent: “My gr. 3 daughter had Project CHEF three weeks ago. Since then, she has written grocery lists for the ingredients needed for her recipes, gone to the grocery store, then made the meals. She is so excited about being able to cook for us – she even made lunch for guests one day!” Two of our young chefs commented on the program: “It has changed the way I think about food, seeing a healthier way to cook while still carrying the same flavour.” “I really think of food differently now that I understand food. Now I will start eating differently.” To choose a highlight from the year is simple: seeing 500 children, teachers and parents gathered around tables sharing healthy snacks. The little chefs from kindergarten to gr. 4 at Dickens Elementary created a menu that included 648 muffins made with Rancho Vignola organic dried cranberries. It gives me hope that we really can change children’s food choices to healthier options. Thank you to the Rancho Vignola team for your continued support for Project CHEF.

Warmly,

Chefs Barb, David, Melissa and Matt

:D

Communication Corner The products are outstanding. I have

never tasted bette r! - Tim

Fort Smith,NWT

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r ustome c y p p a ha NY I am had A r e v e n ave er. and h an ord h it w s problem k! uys roc You g tina - Bet onton, AB Edm

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from the harvest camps their moisture content can be as W high as 38%, making them unstable and susceptible to mold

This is my second year ordering from you, and I just wanted to tel l you that I am a very satisfied custom er! I appreciate your good customer ser vice, and the high quality of your produc ts. It is very nice to get a phone call from you to let me know whe n to expect my order to come in, and I can't gets nuts this fresh in any of the sto res around here. I don't believe I'd ever tasted real cashews before I tried the raw organic cashews I ordered from you this year! I also appreciate being able to get cases of nuts at wholesale pri ces. I got a group of friends together and we split our order - it worked out perfec tly. I am a patron of your organic products, and I am very glad tha t you offer such a wide selection. - Jana Regina, SK

Summer 2012

Early the following morning I say ‘adios’ to Cirilo and his castañaros as Victor and I head to our boat bound for Puerto Maldonado, where I will be visiting Candela Peru’s nut processing plant. As we travel down the river we pass boats loaded with people, supplies, animals and even small motorcycles, making their way to the different camps along these beautiful rivers. I snap photos, wave and smile at them, and feel a kind of connection from my newfound knowledge of the way these folks live. We spot a family on land waving us to stop, and Victor pulls us alongside the shore. We meet an older couple and a young man who ask Victor if they may be taken aboard with their cargo of bananas bound for Puerto Maldonado. We help load the bananas onto our small boat and take on our three new passengers. We have a nice visit as we continue our journey, sharing food and laughter, and by mid day arrive in Puerto Maldonado under a very hot Amazonian sun. While I am tired, bug eaten and sunburned, I feel elated and privileged to have had this experience. Sharing in the lives of the castañaros and their families, if only for a couple of days, has given me a deep appreciation for these wonderful, hard working people. From this day on, eating a Brazil nut will have a whole new meaning for me, and I hope for you too! These beautiful castañas will nourish our bodies and also our souls all the more through this human connection we now share.

Richard Vignola

contamination. Many countries, including Canada, are very diligent in their requirements for ensuring that Amazonian nuts entering the country contain no mold residues, especially aflatoxins. Candela Peru has been very active in developing processing technologies to eliminate this problem. The process used at Candela involves a multi-step drying method, much visual sorting, and laboratory analysis to ensure the safety of the nuts. The in-shell castañas arriving at the local processing plant are first laid out in a large open room for five to six days, regularly turned and raked into long furrows. This natural air drying process brings the moisture content down significantly. They are then transferred to large heated tumblers: huge perforated cylinders, 5 feet in diameter and about 40 feet in length, with a large fan at one end that blows warm air through the cylinder. The tumbler drying process takes about 35 hours; the air temperature is increased very gradually, then incrementally decreased over a three to four hour time period. After the tumblers, the nuts are allowed to rest for two to three days. Next they are placed in a sealed steam oven for about 30 seconds and then sprayed with cold water, which loosens the nut meats from their tight shells. The castañas are now ready for shelling, which is done by hand with manually operated nut crackers. After shelling, the nuts are hand sorted, with broken and chipped ones going to oil production. They are then put through another drying process, this time laid out on large stacks of screened trays. Gradual heat is applied over a 20 hour period. Again the nuts are cooled down and put into a large vat where a strong air flow is applied. These numerous steps bring the moisture content down to 3 - 4%, and the nuts are then ready to be shipped to Candela’s plant in Lima. Once in Lima, they are again sorted for blemishes, put into a sealed steam chamber for a few seconds to kill any remaining surface bacteria, then dried with warm air. Samples from each batch are taken to Candela’s on-site lab for analysis, ensuring the absolute cleanliness and purity of the nuts. Once cooled they are finally ready to be bagged and vacuum sealed for shipment.

Check out Richard's photos of the castañas harvest here:

http://bit.ly/castanas Summer 2012

www.ranchovignola.com

Page 11


visible path to our left. Making our way over fallen trees and other obstacles, still protected by its hard dark brown shell. He dumps the individual nuts into we stop in front of a very large tree, perhaps a metre in diameter, with a a sack and discards the empty pod. This process is repeated until the large uniform tight bark; I am meeting my very first castañas tree! Gazing up it is sack is full, which takes about four hours. The bag is sewn closed with a very difficult to see the canopy as it towers above the surrounding trees. large needle and string, and is then ready to be transported back to camp. Cirilo points to the ground, which is littered with dark seed pods, each about 6 inches in diameter. Hernan gets busy picking them up We head back to camp Flores, and after some with the flared end of his bamboo picker and photos with the family, Cirilo, Victor and I take flicking them into his basket as I walk around to our boat and travel back downstream to Camp marveling at this giant tree and taking photos of Ashipal. There we eat a small lunch, pack our its fallen seeds. After a short while, Cirilo points things, and travel back to Cirilo’s headquarters at up to the sky and then to his head, reminding camp Pariamarca where I will spend my second me that this is not a good place to linger. night. Traveling downriver is of course much Perhaps because of their reluctance to wear faster, and by mid afternoon we arrive at camp head protection, castañaros are always aware Pariamarca in about half the time it took us to get of the possibility of falling castañas pods - if to camp Ashipal yesterday. Everyone is busy putting the finishing touches you happen to be standing in the wrong spot it’s Harvesting castañas! Hernan, Richard and Cirilo. to a large covered wooden floor and hanging lights out for you! decorations and strings of lights. I ask what all the fuss is about and the young people excitedly tell me that there will be a fiesta here this coming Sunday to celebrate the harvest. Later, Cirilo explains that, as Candela Peru’s We walk back to the main path, where Hernan dumps the contents of his main regional headquarters, camp Pariamarca puts on this event each year basket on the ground. We re-enter the forest down another small path and to further the community spirit, inviting all the forest workers in the area reach a second castañas tree. This one is smaller, but the ground around the to celebrate the harvest in music and friendship. I’m sad to be missing this base for about 15 feet out is peppered with small coconut sized castañas festive event, as I will be leaving the next day. pods. Hernan quickly fills another basketful and we head back out to the Continued main path, adding our loot to the first pile. Hernan crouches down beside the mound and, holding a pod with one hand, proceeds to hack at it with his 2 foot long machete, cutting a groove around the top. A few precise strikes later and voila! - he now holds the open pod filled with about 15 precious castañas, each nut

HARVEST EVENTS

Castañaros community

Family, friends and customers come together for another Rancho season!

Nuts About Nuts

vest r a H y Happ Natalia meet .

An Amazonian harvest

Mahina chats with customers at the Salmon Arm Harvest Event.

d on reta an in Vern Cloé, G ith a smile yw the da

Old Friends

Richard catc hes up with Orville and Rosalee Klassen in A irdrie.

To Go?

A Unique Harvest

A primarily in Brazil, Bolivia and Peru. They depend heavily mazonian nut trees grow in a rainforest environment,

on the surrounding forest ecosystem, and therefore cannot be cultivated on their own or in an orchard. This makes them different from other nut bearing trees. If tree species growing around it are removed, the Amazonian nut tree will stop producing seeds, the coconut shaped castañas pods.

Amazonian nut trees flower once every 12 months, and only the Euglossine orchid bee can pollinate their blossoms. Pollination transforms the flower into a very hard pod which contains 12-20 Amazonian nuts. During the rainy season in January to March, the pods become heavy and fall to the ground. The trees grow up to 45 metres in height and the falling pods can be lethal; Page 10

therefore, castañaros never venture into the forest when it is windy and spend as little time as possible under the tree’s canopy. Instead, they quickly gather the seed pods off the ground and transport them elsewhere before cracking them open. A castañaro can fill and transport two 80 kg sacks per day, and each sack pays 40 soles - earning them about $25 per day, a very good wage by Peruvian standards. Operating under fair trade principles, Candela Peru has worked to improve the lives and working conditions of the castañaros for over 22 years, and is actively involved in various regional social programs in the Amazon’s Madre de Dios area. The company has also developed modern processing techniques to greatly improve quality standards, and has been instrumental in finding world markets for this unique and sustainable forest harvest. Rancho Vignola has been proud to support Candela Peru and castañaro families for the past six years, and we look forward to many more to come.

www.ranchovignola.com

Summer 2012

Snapshots

cho n a R m a Te mer Mardelle

Samples Anyone?

Dali bags up some delicious purchases at the Kelowna Harvest Event.

non ch of cashew cream for Ver Indra whips up a fresh bat need to you all is ter wa hews and customers to taste. Raw cas , soups, that can be used in sauces make this nutritious cream re! dressings and so much mo

me custo o expertise at Long ti h er Ranc non. shares h y tables in Ver la p the dis

We Have A Winner!

For Your Health

a Tidbits of information help Kelown . customers make the best choices

David presents Ke lowna prize draw winner Helen Brew er with her beautiful Rancho gi ft basket.

Summer 2012

www.ranchovignola.com

Edible Gifts

Norbert proudl y shows off hi s creative Gou Gift display at rmet the Camrose H arvest Event. Page 7


PERU

The Inca Trail to the

boats along the way. Many are loaded with sacks of castañas, lumber, produce or people heading back down to Puerto Maldonado’s markets and processing plants.

Amazonian Castañas

W

hen you tell people you’re going to Peru, the first thing everyone says is to be aware of the altitude. Like most ‘flat landers,’ when I first landed in Cusco I felt very light-headed and short of breath, and had to spend the next couple of days getting acclimatized to living at 11,300 feet! After some practice walking much slower and drinking lots of water, I began my journey down the Sacred Valley towards Macchu Picchu, visiting numerous Incan ruins along the way. The ancient city of Macchu Picchu was even more stunning than I had expected. I spent several hours walking around this wonderful site and took many great pictures. You can view some of these here: http://bit.ly/macchu

Rainforest camping

From Cusco it’s a short 30 minute flight to reach the rainforest, and I land on a rainy afternoon in Puerto Maldonado. The air is noticeably warmer and more humid, and it’s obvious that I am now in tropical rainforest territory. After a quick shower and change of clothes at my modest family hotel, I am met by Lupe Vizcarra from Candela Peru, the nut processing company that sells us our wonderful organic Brazil nuts. Lupe, a bright and vibrant woman who thankfully speaks English, is the wife and business partner of Candela Peru’s president Gaston Vizcarra. As we walk out under a drizzly night sky for a late dinner in town, Lupe tells me about the various community development programs Candela Peru is involved with in this area. We arrive at a lovely local eatery, and over a delicious Peruvian seafood stew, Lupe explains Candela Peru’s relationship with the castañaros (nut harvesters) and their families. Lupe has cultivated a lifelong passion for community work, as she was raised the daughter of a prominent Peruvian social activist. Founded in 1989, Candela Peru has been a pioneer in developing fair trade practices in the region, improving the lives of the people involved in the Amazonian nut industry.

Into the rainforest

After this fascinating glimpse into Peru’s Incan history, I am ready and eager to start my real quest and the main reason for this trip: a journey into the Amazon rainforest to witness the Brazil nut harvest. In Peru, Brazil nuts are more accurately called Amazonian nuts, or castañas (pronounced ‘casta-niez’). The castañas tree is native to the vast Amazon rainforest, and I am here to see the unique harvesting methods and meet the people involved. Page 8

Early the next morning I am taken to Puerto Arturo on the Rio Madre de Dios. There I am handed a small tent and sleeping pad before boarding a small boat heading up river to Candela Peru’s Pariamarca forest camp, a journey that takes most of the day. Upon arriving I am met by Candela Peru’s regional foreman, Cirilo Sanchez Cruz. Cirilo, along with everyone else I am to meet over the next few days, only speaks Spanish, but is very kind and helpful. Between organizing and giving instructions to his men, Cirilo explains how the castañas are harvested from different concessions (areas given by the local government to the castañaros to harvest) and brought back to the camps each night, each sack tagged with identification showing the nuts’ precise origin. I spend some time walking around the Pariamarca camp, taking photos and talking with the many curious children and residents. Pariamarca is home to about 15 castañaros and their families, who live in simple camp dwellings for the three harvest months from January to April. After the harvest, most castañaros return to Puerto Maldonado for the remainder of the year. Some find other work in town, but most rely on the nut harvest as their sole income. With Cirilo as my guide, we continue our journey up river, passing numerous

www.ranchovignola.com

Summer 2012

The Amazing Amazonian Nut Tree How it reproduces

T rodent, is the only animal in

he agouti, a large Amazonian

the forest with teeth strong enough

Night has fallen and it’s raining hard as we near to gnaw through the hard shell of our destination, situated at the junction of Rio the castañas pod. The well organized Pariamanu and Rio Ashipal. Almost everything agouti likes to store food in the ground, in our small boat is soaking wet, but I manage to and inevitably she will lose track of a few keep my camera and duffle bags partially covered buried nuts, leaving them to sprout and become under my rain poncho. Navigating in almost total darkness, I dig into my bag and find my reading light to shine young Amazonian nut trees. They take 10 - 15 ahead and help our driver Victor avoid floating logs and debris. years to become mature nut bearing trees, and can As we round a corner we finally see camp Ashipal. Generators live to over 500, reaching up to 45 metres in height and 2 metres in provide power for light throughout the camp and some diameter. Some trees are even known to be over 1000 years old! castañaros are making their way to the shore to greet us and help us unload our soggy cargo. Like camp Pariamarca, Ashipal consists of open wooden structures and Victor has to be extra vigilant to avoid the shallow sandy shoals that that each have two or three small bedrooms and larger open areas where would get us stranded. Along the way we see several small forest camps sacks of castañas can be stacked under the thatched roofs. Here, beside stacks where women and children wave to us as we pass. Some of these camps are of freshly harvested nuts, I put up my small tent and dig through my bag nut concessions and some are small logging camps where stacks of huge for drier clothing to wear. After hanging everything else to dry in the night hardwood planks lay cut, awaiting transport back to town. breeze, I join my travel companions for a late dinner of thin rice stew After over an hour negotiating the narrow Rio Ashipal, we reach our with pieces of what tastes like chicken. I dare not ask, but nonetheless destination: the Flores concession harvest camp. Castañaro Hernan enjoy the flavour! I stay up for a while with Cirilo, Victor and a few Chavez receives us with a jovial toothless grin and introduces us castañaros, quietly talking over cocoña to his family and the people who help run the camp. We are juice: a drink made by mashing the offered the usual welcoming drink, which is most often cocoña (also called peach tomato) fruit. either Coca Cola or Inca Cola (the Peruvian version of I just love the refreshing and somewhat pop, a yellowish sweet fizzy drink). However, after I tell peachy taste of this drink. I tell my them how much I loved the cocoña juice I had the night hosts about the people in Canada, how before, to my delight they produce a jug of the natural they enjoy eating the delicious castañas sweet nectar for me to enjoy. grown and harvested here. They enjoy hearing about Canada, and are especially fascinated by my description of the Hernan grabs his harvest equipment: a simple woven reed Yukon and its climate: the 24 hour basket with shoulder straps and his pod picker, a bamboo Hernan Chavez - ready for the harvest. darkness of mid winter and the 24 hour stick split four ways and flared at one end for gathering the daylight of mid summer. After a whole day of river travel, my limited Spanish castañas pods from the forest floor. I am handed a plastic hard hat as we begins to fade and I finally give up, bid everyone ‘buenas noches,’ and head get up and follow Hernan down the path. Although Candela Peru provides to my tent. That night I fall into a deep sleep, despite the cacophony of hard hats for all the castañaros, no one wears them - however, I for one do unfamiliar screeches and noises coming from the surrounding forest. not want to have one of these castañas pods fall on my head! A 1 kg pod dropping from 100 feet or more can definitely be lethal. On the way, Hernan points to the many fruit trees he has planted around the place: I awake early the next day to the sound of men loading papaya, pineapple and cocoña trees dot the landscape. There is also huge 80 kg bags of nuts onto each other’s backs and a corn patch, a vegetable garden, and even a small rice paddy carrying them down the slippery river bank for transport Hernan has established in a naturally wet marshy area. This far back to Puerto Maldonado. I get up and join them for a from civilization, it makes sense for the families to grow as much quick breakfast of rice and meat with a cup of sweet food as they can. Although the camp is primitive, and is warm milk. Afterwards, Cirilo, Victor and I occupied only three months of the year, it is definitely hop in our boat and motor up the smaller a well thought out operation. Rio Ashipal to visit one of Candela As we walk deeper into the forest the vegetation Peru’s castañas concessions. grows increasingly dense, and our voices This river is much narrower become muted in the surrounding than the waterways we foliage. Suddenly, Hernan bids traveled on yesterday, us follow him down a barely

The majestic castañas tree

Continuing up river

Summer 2012

www.ranchovignola.com

Page 9


PERU

The Inca Trail to the

boats along the way. Many are loaded with sacks of castañas, lumber, produce or people heading back down to Puerto Maldonado’s markets and processing plants.

Amazonian Castañas

W

hen you tell people you’re going to Peru, the first thing everyone says is to be aware of the altitude. Like most ‘flat landers,’ when I first landed in Cusco I felt very light-headed and short of breath, and had to spend the next couple of days getting acclimatized to living at 11,300 feet! After some practice walking much slower and drinking lots of water, I began my journey down the Sacred Valley towards Macchu Picchu, visiting numerous Incan ruins along the way. The ancient city of Macchu Picchu was even more stunning than I had expected. I spent several hours walking around this wonderful site and took many great pictures. You can view some of these here: http://bit.ly/macchu

Rainforest camping

From Cusco it’s a short 30 minute flight to reach the rainforest, and I land on a rainy afternoon in Puerto Maldonado. The air is noticeably warmer and more humid, and it’s obvious that I am now in tropical rainforest territory. After a quick shower and change of clothes at my modest family hotel, I am met by Lupe Vizcarra from Candela Peru, the nut processing company that sells us our wonderful organic Brazil nuts. Lupe, a bright and vibrant woman who thankfully speaks English, is the wife and business partner of Candela Peru’s president Gaston Vizcarra. As we walk out under a drizzly night sky for a late dinner in town, Lupe tells me about the various community development programs Candela Peru is involved with in this area. We arrive at a lovely local eatery, and over a delicious Peruvian seafood stew, Lupe explains Candela Peru’s relationship with the castañaros (nut harvesters) and their families. Lupe has cultivated a lifelong passion for community work, as she was raised the daughter of a prominent Peruvian social activist. Founded in 1989, Candela Peru has been a pioneer in developing fair trade practices in the region, improving the lives of the people involved in the Amazonian nut industry.

Into the rainforest

After this fascinating glimpse into Peru’s Incan history, I am ready and eager to start my real quest and the main reason for this trip: a journey into the Amazon rainforest to witness the Brazil nut harvest. In Peru, Brazil nuts are more accurately called Amazonian nuts, or castañas (pronounced ‘casta-niez’). The castañas tree is native to the vast Amazon rainforest, and I am here to see the unique harvesting methods and meet the people involved. Page 8

Early the next morning I am taken to Puerto Arturo on the Rio Madre de Dios. There I am handed a small tent and sleeping pad before boarding a small boat heading up river to Candela Peru’s Pariamarca forest camp, a journey that takes most of the day. Upon arriving I am met by Candela Peru’s regional foreman, Cirilo Sanchez Cruz. Cirilo, along with everyone else I am to meet over the next few days, only speaks Spanish, but is very kind and helpful. Between organizing and giving instructions to his men, Cirilo explains how the castañas are harvested from different concessions (areas given by the local government to the castañaros to harvest) and brought back to the camps each night, each sack tagged with identification showing the nuts’ precise origin. I spend some time walking around the Pariamarca camp, taking photos and talking with the many curious children and residents. Pariamarca is home to about 15 castañaros and their families, who live in simple camp dwellings for the three harvest months from January to April. After the harvest, most castañaros return to Puerto Maldonado for the remainder of the year. Some find other work in town, but most rely on the nut harvest as their sole income. With Cirilo as my guide, we continue our journey up river, passing numerous

www.ranchovignola.com

Summer 2012

The Amazing Amazonian Nut Tree How it reproduces

T rodent, is the only animal in

he agouti, a large Amazonian

the forest with teeth strong enough

Night has fallen and it’s raining hard as we near to gnaw through the hard shell of our destination, situated at the junction of Rio the castañas pod. The well organized Pariamanu and Rio Ashipal. Almost everything agouti likes to store food in the ground, in our small boat is soaking wet, but I manage to and inevitably she will lose track of a few keep my camera and duffle bags partially covered buried nuts, leaving them to sprout and become under my rain poncho. Navigating in almost total darkness, I dig into my bag and find my reading light to shine young Amazonian nut trees. They take 10 - 15 ahead and help our driver Victor avoid floating logs and debris. years to become mature nut bearing trees, and can As we round a corner we finally see camp Ashipal. Generators live to over 500, reaching up to 45 metres in height and 2 metres in provide power for light throughout the camp and some diameter. Some trees are even known to be over 1000 years old! castañaros are making their way to the shore to greet us and help us unload our soggy cargo. Like camp Pariamarca, Ashipal consists of open wooden structures and Victor has to be extra vigilant to avoid the shallow sandy shoals that that each have two or three small bedrooms and larger open areas where would get us stranded. Along the way we see several small forest camps sacks of castañas can be stacked under the thatched roofs. Here, beside stacks where women and children wave to us as we pass. Some of these camps are of freshly harvested nuts, I put up my small tent and dig through my bag nut concessions and some are small logging camps where stacks of huge for drier clothing to wear. After hanging everything else to dry in the night hardwood planks lay cut, awaiting transport back to town. breeze, I join my travel companions for a late dinner of thin rice stew After over an hour negotiating the narrow Rio Ashipal, we reach our with pieces of what tastes like chicken. I dare not ask, but nonetheless destination: the Flores concession harvest camp. Castañaro Hernan enjoy the flavour! I stay up for a while with Cirilo, Victor and a few Chavez receives us with a jovial toothless grin and introduces us castañaros, quietly talking over cocoña to his family and the people who help run the camp. We are juice: a drink made by mashing the offered the usual welcoming drink, which is most often cocoña (also called peach tomato) fruit. either Coca Cola or Inca Cola (the Peruvian version of I just love the refreshing and somewhat pop, a yellowish sweet fizzy drink). However, after I tell peachy taste of this drink. I tell my them how much I loved the cocoña juice I had the night hosts about the people in Canada, how before, to my delight they produce a jug of the natural they enjoy eating the delicious castañas sweet nectar for me to enjoy. grown and harvested here. They enjoy hearing about Canada, and are especially fascinated by my description of the Hernan grabs his harvest equipment: a simple woven reed Yukon and its climate: the 24 hour basket with shoulder straps and his pod picker, a bamboo Hernan Chavez - ready for the harvest. darkness of mid winter and the 24 hour stick split four ways and flared at one end for gathering the daylight of mid summer. After a whole day of river travel, my limited Spanish castañas pods from the forest floor. I am handed a plastic hard hat as we begins to fade and I finally give up, bid everyone ‘buenas noches,’ and head get up and follow Hernan down the path. Although Candela Peru provides to my tent. That night I fall into a deep sleep, despite the cacophony of hard hats for all the castañaros, no one wears them - however, I for one do unfamiliar screeches and noises coming from the surrounding forest. not want to have one of these castañas pods fall on my head! A 1 kg pod dropping from 100 feet or more can definitely be lethal. On the way, Hernan points to the many fruit trees he has planted around the place: I awake early the next day to the sound of men loading papaya, pineapple and cocoña trees dot the landscape. There is also huge 80 kg bags of nuts onto each other’s backs and a corn patch, a vegetable garden, and even a small rice paddy carrying them down the slippery river bank for transport Hernan has established in a naturally wet marshy area. This far back to Puerto Maldonado. I get up and join them for a from civilization, it makes sense for the families to grow as much quick breakfast of rice and meat with a cup of sweet food as they can. Although the camp is primitive, and is warm milk. Afterwards, Cirilo, Victor and I occupied only three months of the year, it is definitely hop in our boat and motor up the smaller a well thought out operation. Rio Ashipal to visit one of Candela As we walk deeper into the forest the vegetation Peru’s castañas concessions. grows increasingly dense, and our voices This river is much narrower become muted in the surrounding than the waterways we foliage. Suddenly, Hernan bids traveled on yesterday, us follow him down a barely

The majestic castañas tree

Continuing up river

Summer 2012

www.ranchovignola.com

Page 9


visible path to our left. Making our way over fallen trees and other obstacles, still protected by its hard dark brown shell. He dumps the individual nuts into we stop in front of a very large tree, perhaps a metre in diameter, with a a sack and discards the empty pod. This process is repeated until the large uniform tight bark; I am meeting my very first castañas tree! Gazing up it is sack is full, which takes about four hours. The bag is sewn closed with a very difficult to see the canopy as it towers above the surrounding trees. large needle and string, and is then ready to be transported back to camp. Cirilo points to the ground, which is littered with dark seed pods, each about 6 inches in diameter. Hernan gets busy picking them up We head back to camp Flores, and after some with the flared end of his bamboo picker and photos with the family, Cirilo, Victor and I take flicking them into his basket as I walk around to our boat and travel back downstream to Camp marveling at this giant tree and taking photos of Ashipal. There we eat a small lunch, pack our its fallen seeds. After a short while, Cirilo points things, and travel back to Cirilo’s headquarters at up to the sky and then to his head, reminding camp Pariamarca where I will spend my second me that this is not a good place to linger. night. Traveling downriver is of course much Perhaps because of their reluctance to wear faster, and by mid afternoon we arrive at camp head protection, castañaros are always aware Pariamarca in about half the time it took us to get of the possibility of falling castañas pods - if to camp Ashipal yesterday. Everyone is busy putting the finishing touches you happen to be standing in the wrong spot it’s Harvesting castañas! Hernan, Richard and Cirilo. to a large covered wooden floor and hanging lights out for you! decorations and strings of lights. I ask what all the fuss is about and the young people excitedly tell me that there will be a fiesta here this coming Sunday to celebrate the harvest. Later, Cirilo explains that, as Candela Peru’s We walk back to the main path, where Hernan dumps the contents of his main regional headquarters, camp Pariamarca puts on this event each year basket on the ground. We re-enter the forest down another small path and to further the community spirit, inviting all the forest workers in the area reach a second castañas tree. This one is smaller, but the ground around the to celebrate the harvest in music and friendship. I’m sad to be missing this base for about 15 feet out is peppered with small coconut sized castañas festive event, as I will be leaving the next day. pods. Hernan quickly fills another basketful and we head back out to the Continued main path, adding our loot to the first pile. Hernan crouches down beside the mound and, holding a pod with one hand, proceeds to hack at it with his 2 foot long machete, cutting a groove around the top. A few precise strikes later and voila! - he now holds the open pod filled with about 15 precious castañas, each nut

HARVEST EVENTS

Castañaros community

Family, friends and customers come together for another Rancho season!

Nuts About Nuts

vest r a H y Happ Natalia meet .

An Amazonian harvest

Mahina chats with customers at the Salmon Arm Harvest Event.

d on reta an in Vern Cloé, G ith a smile yw the da

Old Friends

Richard catc hes up with Orville and Rosalee Klassen in A irdrie.

To Go?

A Unique Harvest

A primarily in Brazil, Bolivia and Peru. They depend heavily mazonian nut trees grow in a rainforest environment,

on the surrounding forest ecosystem, and therefore cannot be cultivated on their own or in an orchard. This makes them different from other nut bearing trees. If tree species growing around it are removed, the Amazonian nut tree will stop producing seeds, the coconut shaped castañas pods.

Amazonian nut trees flower once every 12 months, and only the Euglossine orchid bee can pollinate their blossoms. Pollination transforms the flower into a very hard pod which contains 12-20 Amazonian nuts. During the rainy season in January to March, the pods become heavy and fall to the ground. The trees grow up to 45 metres in height and the falling pods can be lethal; Page 10

therefore, castañaros never venture into the forest when it is windy and spend as little time as possible under the tree’s canopy. Instead, they quickly gather the seed pods off the ground and transport them elsewhere before cracking them open. A castañaro can fill and transport two 80 kg sacks per day, and each sack pays 40 soles - earning them about $25 per day, a very good wage by Peruvian standards. Operating under fair trade principles, Candela Peru has worked to improve the lives and working conditions of the castañaros for over 22 years, and is actively involved in various regional social programs in the Amazon’s Madre de Dios area. The company has also developed modern processing techniques to greatly improve quality standards, and has been instrumental in finding world markets for this unique and sustainable forest harvest. Rancho Vignola has been proud to support Candela Peru and castañaro families for the past six years, and we look forward to many more to come.

www.ranchovignola.com

Summer 2012

Snapshots

cho n a R m a Te mer Mardelle

Samples Anyone?

Dali bags up some delicious purchases at the Kelowna Harvest Event.

non ch of cashew cream for Ver Indra whips up a fresh bat need to you all is ter wa hews and customers to taste. Raw cas , soups, that can be used in sauces make this nutritious cream re! dressings and so much mo

me custo o expertise at Long ti h er Ranc non. shares h y tables in Ver la p the dis

We Have A Winner!

For Your Health

a Tidbits of information help Kelown . customers make the best choices

David presents Ke lowna prize draw winner Helen Brew er with her beautiful Rancho gi ft basket.

Summer 2012

www.ranchovignola.com

Edible Gifts

Norbert proudl y shows off hi s creative Gou Gift display at rmet the Camrose H arvest Event. Page 7


Sponsorship Update I

n last summer's newsletter we introduced Project CHEF, an exciting program currently operating in the Vancouver area that teaches elementary school children all about the preparation and sharing of nutritious food. Five years in, Project CHEF has now reached 5490 children from 190 classes in 74 schools and has been directly involved with over 2700 parents and community volunteers. Creating a healthier population, one classroom at a time! For more information, find them online at www.projectchef.ca.

The Process Drying and sorting

An update from Project CHEF founder Barb Finley: Project CHEF has hung up the aprons for the 2011/2012 school year, and what a year we had! Every class was excited to cook and try new foods, all the children were fully engaged in learning and keen to get home and cook with their families. Does the program make an impact on the lives of children? You bet it does! As always, the best advocates for Project CHEF are the teachers, parents and children we have worked with.

hen the castañas finally make their way down the river

A family of castañaros: Rupert Gongora, wife Nissida Fargan Luna and son Emil; Hernan and his wife, concession title owner Marcelina Flores.

“It is LEARNING FOR LIFE – the kind of knowledge acquired through this program can translate into raising a healthier population,” writes one teacher.

Life on the river

A parent writes, “My older daughter was fortunate enough to participate in 2008 and it literally changed our entire family’s approach to cooking. Thanks to Project CHEF, all my children know how to be safe in the kitchen, and cook and eat healthy food.” Another parent: “My gr. 3 daughter had Project CHEF three weeks ago. Since then, she has written grocery lists for the ingredients needed for her recipes, gone to the grocery store, then made the meals. She is so excited about being able to cook for us – she even made lunch for guests one day!” Two of our young chefs commented on the program: “It has changed the way I think about food, seeing a healthier way to cook while still carrying the same flavour.” “I really think of food differently now that I understand food. Now I will start eating differently.” To choose a highlight from the year is simple: seeing 500 children, teachers and parents gathered around tables sharing healthy snacks. The little chefs from kindergarten to gr. 4 at Dickens Elementary created a menu that included 648 muffins made with Rancho Vignola organic dried cranberries. It gives me hope that we really can change children’s food choices to healthier options. Thank you to the Rancho Vignola team for your continued support for Project CHEF.

Warmly,

Chefs Barb, David, Melissa and Matt

:D

Communication Corner The products are outstanding. I have

never tasted bette r! - Tim

Fort Smith,NWT

Page 6

r ustome c y p p a ha NY I am had A r e v e n ave er. and h an ord h it w s problem k! uys roc You g tina - Bet onton, AB Edm

www.ranchovignola.com

from the harvest camps their moisture content can be as W high as 38%, making them unstable and susceptible to mold

This is my second year ordering from you, and I just wanted to tel l you that I am a very satisfied custom er! I appreciate your good customer ser vice, and the high quality of your produc ts. It is very nice to get a phone call from you to let me know whe n to expect my order to come in, and I can't gets nuts this fresh in any of the sto res around here. I don't believe I'd ever tasted real cashews before I tried the raw organic cashews I ordered from you this year! I also appreciate being able to get cases of nuts at wholesale pri ces. I got a group of friends together and we split our order - it worked out perfec tly. I am a patron of your organic products, and I am very glad tha t you offer such a wide selection. - Jana Regina, SK

Summer 2012

Early the following morning I say ‘adios’ to Cirilo and his castañaros as Victor and I head to our boat bound for Puerto Maldonado, where I will be visiting Candela Peru’s nut processing plant. As we travel down the river we pass boats loaded with people, supplies, animals and even small motorcycles, making their way to the different camps along these beautiful rivers. I snap photos, wave and smile at them, and feel a kind of connection from my newfound knowledge of the way these folks live. We spot a family on land waving us to stop, and Victor pulls us alongside the shore. We meet an older couple and a young man who ask Victor if they may be taken aboard with their cargo of bananas bound for Puerto Maldonado. We help load the bananas onto our small boat and take on our three new passengers. We have a nice visit as we continue our journey, sharing food and laughter, and by mid day arrive in Puerto Maldonado under a very hot Amazonian sun. While I am tired, bug eaten and sunburned, I feel elated and privileged to have had this experience. Sharing in the lives of the castañaros and their families, if only for a couple of days, has given me a deep appreciation for these wonderful, hard working people. From this day on, eating a Brazil nut will have a whole new meaning for me, and I hope for you too! These beautiful castañas will nourish our bodies and also our souls all the more through this human connection we now share.

Richard Vignola

contamination. Many countries, including Canada, are very diligent in their requirements for ensuring that Amazonian nuts entering the country contain no mold residues, especially aflatoxins. Candela Peru has been very active in developing processing technologies to eliminate this problem. The process used at Candela involves a multi-step drying method, much visual sorting, and laboratory analysis to ensure the safety of the nuts. The in-shell castañas arriving at the local processing plant are first laid out in a large open room for five to six days, regularly turned and raked into long furrows. This natural air drying process brings the moisture content down significantly. They are then transferred to large heated tumblers: huge perforated cylinders, 5 feet in diameter and about 40 feet in length, with a large fan at one end that blows warm air through the cylinder. The tumbler drying process takes about 35 hours; the air temperature is increased very gradually, then incrementally decreased over a three to four hour time period. After the tumblers, the nuts are allowed to rest for two to three days. Next they are placed in a sealed steam oven for about 30 seconds and then sprayed with cold water, which loosens the nut meats from their tight shells. The castañas are now ready for shelling, which is done by hand with manually operated nut crackers. After shelling, the nuts are hand sorted, with broken and chipped ones going to oil production. They are then put through another drying process, this time laid out on large stacks of screened trays. Gradual heat is applied over a 20 hour period. Again the nuts are cooled down and put into a large vat where a strong air flow is applied. These numerous steps bring the moisture content down to 3 - 4%, and the nuts are then ready to be shipped to Candela’s plant in Lima. Once in Lima, they are again sorted for blemishes, put into a sealed steam chamber for a few seconds to kill any remaining surface bacteria, then dried with warm air. Samples from each batch are taken to Candela’s on-site lab for analysis, ensuring the absolute cleanliness and purity of the nuts. Once cooled they are finally ready to be bagged and vacuum sealed for shipment.

Check out Richard's photos of the castañas harvest here:

http://bit.ly/castanas Summer 2012

www.ranchovignola.com

Page 11


Recipes from the

Rancho Kitchen

ur sponsorship campaign includes not only artistic and musical community events, but also inspirational athletes who really push themselves and their communities to the next level. Last year we made two exciting additions to this program: paralympian Josh Dueck from Vernon, BC and biathlete Melanie Schultz from Canmore, AB. Both have one thing in common: they recognize that good nutrition is the fuel they need to meet the pressures of high level competition. Always on the move, and putting intense physical demand on their bodies, they have no choice but to eat well. That's where we fit in! I put a few questions to these two fine athletes, and here’s what they shared:

This is a flexible recipe. Experiment with your own combinations of nuts, fruit, and herbs!

½ cup crumbled feta cheese 1 Tbsp. honey 2 eggs ¼ cup water 1 cup Brazil nuts, coarsely chopped ½ cup black mission figs, coarsely chopped

Mix together flours, baking powder, salt, and rosemary. In a separate bowl cream together olive oil, feta cheese, and honey (be sure to break up any large clumps of cheese), then beat in eggs and water. Add dry ingredients, Brazil nuts and figs, and stir to combine. With wet hands, shape the dough into two loaves approximately 8x3x1 inches each and place on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 325ºF for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. With a serrated knife, cut ½ inch thick slices and place the slices on the baking sheet (cut side down). Return to oven and bake for an additional 30 minutes, turning slices once. Cool completely on a wire rack. Serve with soup or on their own.

When did becoming a professional athlete become more important to you than just having fun? Josh: For me, sport has always been about having fun and playing with

friends. I first started taking freestyle skiing seriously when I decided that’s what I wanted to do after high school. It was a hard learning curve for me as I was not very athletic in my early years, and I had no idea how to set goals and achieve them. After a few years of learning the hard way, I started to get the hang of being a full time athlete. This has shaped me both physically and mentally to face the challenges that life presents.

What advice has been the most important to you in your career?

creamy

Melanie: Dream big, work hard, and never give up! As a late starter to

Cream of Brazil Nut Tomato Soup

5 ripe tomatoes, cubed (or a 750ml can of diced tomatoes) 2 cloves garlic, diced 1 small white onion, diced 1 tsp. olive oil 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar ½ tsp. paprika (or smoked paprika) 1 cup Brazil nut milk 1 handful fresh basil leaves (thyme also works well) sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste Sauté diced onion and olive oil in a soup pot on medium heat until the onions are translucent, then add garlic and continue to sauté for a few minutes. Add tomatoes and balsamic vinegar, cover with a lid, and simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes. Add Brazil nut milk and a handful of basil leaves. Using a hand blender (or regular blender if necessary), blend your soup to the texture you desire: slightly chunky or blended smooth. Add sea salt, fresh ground pepper, and serve.

Brazil Nut Milk Recipe by Afke Zonderland from Foods Alive. To make a savoury version for our soup recipe, just skip the vanilla and dates.

1 cup raw Brazil nuts 3 - 4 cups of spring water a tiny pinch of salt (optional) 1 vanilla bean (optional)  2 - 4 dates (optional) 

www.ranchovignola.com

biathlon at the age of 17, I was miles behind the best biathletes in the world, but that didn't stop me from having a big dream to race at the Olympics! There have been many times this goal has seemed unrealistic, but I have just kept working towards it, focusing on the process instead of the outcome, and not giving up. So far it has been working out pretty good for me! Josh: The best advice that I’ve received may sound like a cliché, but it really is ‘all about the journey and not the destination.' When I set goals, I focus on one season at a time, one camp, one day, this run, the next turn ahead and the surface beneath me - until I find myself right smack dab in the middle of that exact moment.

What was a favourite place in your recent travels and what made it so special?

Blend at high speed, then allow to marinate for 10 minutes. Strain through a nut milk bag (the foot of a nylon works too!) or keep unstrained for a more pulpy cream.

Fills 4 hearty bowls. Page 12

Athlete Q & A with Jayme O

For your health and the health of the rainforest.

Savoury Brazil Nut Biscotti 1 ½ cups all purpose flour ¾ cup whole wheat flour 1 ½ tsp. baking powder ¼ tsp. salt 2 tsp. crushed dried rosemary ¼ cup olive oil

Powered by Rancho

Brazil Nuts

Summer 2012

Melanie: Le Grand Bornand, which is

Melanie Schultz

a small village and ski resort in the eastern Rhone-Alpes region of

Canadian Biathlete National Development Team

Summer 2012

Josh Dueck

Paralympic Silver Medalist Winter X Games Gold Medalist

France. The food culture there is amazing and I love trying all the local products like cheeses, sausages, wine and more. I also had some great results racing there, which adds to my love of the area!

What advice would you like to pass on to up-and-coming athletes? Josh: Life’s a trip and it’s

important to enjoy the moments along the way. If you’re lucky enough to be pursuing something you love in your journey of life, I would suggest doing it to the best of your ability and leaving nothing behind. Knowing that you gave it your best effort without fear of failure will reap you some of life’s most powerful lessons.

The Best of the Best!

In February 2012 Josh became the world’s first athlete to Josh and his wife Lacey put on their complete a backflip in a sit-ski serious faces for Valentine's Day. - and he nailed it with a perfect landing! Executed near Whistler, BC, this incredible feat has earned him more attention than ever as the video swept the internet by storm. He even appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres Show! If you haven’t seen it already, just search 'Josh Dueck backflip' on YouTube and check it out! Josh says he loves golden Incan berries the most out of all the Rancho products he has tried. "They make my mouth water in anticipation, and they are chock full of antioxidants," Josh enthusiastically remarks. His wife Lacey adds them to her home made granola. Hey, we want that recipe! Melanie has two favourite products. She loves raw organic almonds for a quick snack on the go and organic black mission figs for a great source of energy during training. At Christmas, Melanie likes to dip the figs in melted dark chocolate and roll them in chopped, toasted almonds for a delicious treat - YUM!

www.ranchovignola.com

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What's Happening... in the

Rancho Community

CTS!! U D O R P R U I L OVE YO

- Chirlirnisgt,inAeB St

Jon Anderson of Yes fame at Komasket Music Festival in Vernon.

fter another busy Rancho season, January was a welcome relief Alison Krauss performs at and I even managed to hit the trails Vancouver Island MusicFest. with the boss, Sue Vignola, for some Right: Jayme and Cloé welcome cross country skiing! Then February one and all to the Rancho booth! came in like a freight train bringing all sorts of fun and excitement - and yes, work! This year the city of Vernon was host to the BC Winter Games. When I had first heard the news, I was determined to get Rancho Vignola involved. The Games have a special place in my heart, because at fourteen I was lucky enough to compete in the figure skating event. I have never forgotten the experience: the friends I made, the intense challenge of competition, and the realization that dreams can come true.

Our winter season also brought about the opportunity to team up with our own Sovereign Lake Cross Country Ski Club. We now sponsor the club with energy food for the trails, and we hope to foster a relationship for years to come. Check out Sue and me in front of our banner at the Sovereign Lake lodge.

Marketing Coordinator

Page 4

www.ranchovignola.com

L

School ban on nut products

We’re visiting the Greenaways at their family home in Vernon, BC. Ben has just awoken from his afternoon nap and is playing shy. However once he has his almond milk in front of him, plus a pile of raw mixed nuts, he’s happy to engage with us! When asked which nuts he loves best, he yells out "almonds!" Yania and Robert say he also loves pecans, walnuts and Brazil nuts, but almonds play a prominent role due to the almond milk and butter.

How will this family handle the issue? Yania responds, "Well it’s already arisen for us since we’re not allowed to bring any nut products to Ben’s drop-in play group. I’m definitely of two minds about it as nuts are such a big part of Ben’s diet. However, having myself suffered from childhood allergies, I know how unpleasant an adverse reaction can be. For those children with a peanut allergy that is literally life threatening, I think it’s one of those times when you simply have to comply with the rules for the greater good." Yania continues thoughtfully, "School lunch is only one Almond Butter: meal out of three. It’s up to us as parents to Full of nutrients and loved make sure his other meals are wholesome by young and old alike! and healthy."

So how do parents keep their child on a healthy diet with so many sugary influences around?

Vernon enthusiastically embraced hosting the Games once again, and I was so proud to be a part of it all! Rancho Vignola donated products for athletes and volunteers to keep everyone well fueled through the competition. The volunteers were so enthusiastic, the coordinators initiated tons of hype for the athletes, and I even got to present medals! Sue and I attended the Opening Ceremonies where we rubbed shoulders with dignitaries from across BC and enjoyed performances that truly showcased Vernon’s talent.

Jayme McKillop

in family life

ittle Ben Greenaway is a very healthy looking toddler. With sparkling eyes, clear skin and an easy going temperament, two year old Ben is a testament to the benefits of a healthy, wholesome diet. Parents Yania and Robert Greenaway are not vegetarian, but they are committed to a nutritious dietary lifestyle, with nuts and seeds playing a regular role in their family meals. They also state that through nurturing a natural love of wholesome foods they’ve so far managed to keep Ben utterly uninterested in chocolate and sugar! Ben’s diet is mostly wheat-free and non-dairy as well, although they began introducing goat cheese after his second birthday. What’s more, Ben’s an absolute fiend for almond milk and almond butter!

A

With winter well over, my energy is now focused on the summer community events and festivals that are such a highlight to our year. Visiting beautiful places all over BC is part of the wonder, but meeting the people who love our products is the best part! If you would like to see Rancho Vignola set up a booth at an event in your community, send us an email!

Nuts and Nutrition

We Love Snow!

Jayme and Sue stand proudly by the new Rancho banner after hitting the trails at Sovereign Lake. Summer 2012

Yania: "Well at this age, it’s fairly easy, as we have full control. However, we know at some point we can expect to lose the dietary battle with him, and we’ll have to let go a little. School will be a powder keg of challenges!" Agreeing, Robert says, "Young kids learn from each other and we realise that Ben will be exposed to unhealthy eating habits which he may want to imitate." While bowing to the inevitable, Robert and Yania believe that by giving Ben a good healthy start in life they are laying the foundation for a lifetime of whole food awareness. Ben happily snacks on his favourite nuts. Summer 2012

Behavioral problems with young children - diet related? Many nutritional experts believe diet plays a role in the uncontrollable behavior increasingly exhibited by many young children. Yania and Robert agree wholeheartedly. Yania: "I think it’s huge. After taking my Education Assistant course, I saw first hand how many children come to school hungry. And when they do eat or drink, they’re consuming empty calories through sweet, starchy foods and sugary drinks." She continues, "Healthy oils, from nuts, flax and fish, have been proven to play a vital role in reducing behavioral problems. It’s so important to include these essential nutrients in your child’s diet." Yania and Robert are obviously doing something right. Ben is a delightful and attentive child who sleeps well, plays well, and loves his food. And he is probably the only child who asks for almond milk at the local coffee shop!

Almonds

Sue Vignola

A handful a day gives you all this!

• BRAIN FOOD: High contents of riboflavin and L-carnitine boost brain activity, and phenylalanine aids in developing brain function • Rich source of folic acid, • Lowers risk of cardiovascular calcium and phosphorus and coronary heart disease • Good source of protein • Lowers blood pressure • Excellent source of • High magnesium content dietary fibre

www.ranchovignola.com

Page 13


Greetings from the

Hi there!

Crop News

Rancho Vignola office!

Australia

It's been a busy year for us, perhaps busier than usual given the late crops and record number of back ordered items we had last fall, but there have also been some positive changes. Our 2011 season featured a new office space, a new shipping option to provide more flexibility, and new office staff who did a great job of getting the orders out. We speak with most of you about the specifics of your orders throughout the shipping season, but it's only here in the newsletter that we have a chance to elaborate on our office procedures. This year we'd like to let you know a bit more about our shipping process.

Good news for macadamia nuts! After last year’s dismal harvest, which saw many farmers suffer heavy setbacks and in some cases even sell off land, the 2012 crop is looking much better. Mike Steffan of Byron Macadamias reports that a good flowering period at the beginning of the warm Australian summer gave the nuts a strong start. Despite frequent rainfall since then, improvements in orchard air circulation from some tree culling means the wet weather should not have as much impact as in the last few difficult years. We’re excited to offer our favourite organic macadamia nuts to you again this fall!

From coast to coast to coast

Shipping is a big part of our job here at Rancho. We ship orders to almost every corner of Canada, from Vancouver Island to Halifax to Toronto to Inuvik - to both urban and rural locations - working here is a good way to learn our country's geography! As well, we ship everything from small packages during our December Harvest Event to large wholesale orders that fill several pallets. This diversity means that one shipping method can't possibly work for every order, so we must assess the circumstances and choose the best option for each customer.

Peru

Those pesky phone calls!

You may have wondered why we always call you before shipping your order - after all, you would have provided your address when you placed it. In part, this is simply to make sure you'll be home, as a lot of our customers travel during the shipping season and orders are only held by the shipping company for a few days even if shipped to a depot. It allows us to confirm the phone number we'll be providing to the shipping company - if we can't reach you, neither can they! It also allows us to get more details that I’ve been busy unpack can help us decide on the best shipping method; for example, we can find out whether it's safe to leave in testing ever ything as g my order, your order by your door or whether it's better to ship to your nearest depot. While this takes us a lot I go good! The incan berr - it’s all SOOO of extra time, we've found that it's better for everyone to make these plans in advance rather than ies are so uniquely tangy and delici risk having orders lost or returned.

What's it going to cost?

One very frequently asked question is 'How can I find out what shipping will cost me?' For those of you covered by our standard freight policy this is easy: when placing your wholesale order online, you can simply select a free shipping location in the ordering section of our website. If your hometown isn't on that list, we determine your portion of the shipping cost by calculating the cost difference between your address and the nearest 'free shipping town' to you. Depending on the distance, the charge to you is often very small - and sometimes there is no extra charge.

ous. Thanks to all of you for work. We who live in your very hard W have ready access to hitehorse don’t organic nuts, seeds and fruits from Sept . th we’re very appreciati rough May so ve fo work and quality. I’ r your company’s ll be anxiously waiting to order agai n. -Kim Whitehorse, YT

We believe this is more accurate and fair than standardizing shipping costs, but it does have the disadvantage of often requiring us to wait until shipping time to determine the total cost. In the meantime, we can estimate shipping charges for most orders with the address and approximate weight of your order. We work very hard to keep costs reasonable for everyone.

ank you I would like to th notch top for the absolute I love . ed product receiv e dried th t everything, bu te best I lu so ab fruit is the I will not have ever tasted. mend you hesitate to recom mily fa to all my friends, ers. om st cu and our farm - Marilyn

Okotoks, AB

Richard’s recent trip to Peru took place at the very beginning of the Brazil nut harvest. Since then, our friends at Candela Peru report that the heavy rain Richard experienced during early February continued well into March, hampering the harvest a little due to river swells. A related issue is the impact of illegal mining on the pristine area where these wild trees grow. We wish our Peruvian friends well in their continuing efforts to confront these pollutioncausing mavericks, and will keep informed as to the ongoing situation. We are fortunate to have access to this incredible product that grows so harmoniously in the Amazon rainforest!

California

The sunshine state experienced an unusually dry January, followed by frequent rainfall and cool weather during March and April. Specific areas such as Fresno, Tulare and Madera (home to plums, figs, nectarines, raisins and almonds) were hit by hail around mid April, which caused some crop damage. However, warmer weather over the last few weeks has helped jump start most crops. As growers head into the soaring temperatures of mid summer, hopes are high for abundant harvests!

Almonds

A little frost damage in the spring and some brown rot due to moisture during blooming may affect the yield in some areas. The initial forecast for almond production is slightly lower than last year’s massive yield, but still another impressive harvest!

Walnuts

When we spoke with Jeff Ferrari of Ferrari Farms he told us that it was so dry in January, they had to irrigate! Jeff’s family farm is situated in the San Joaquin valley where they’ve been growing organic walnuts for over 25 years. It’s a bit early in the season to determine final crop yields, but the walnut industry overall is predicting another record breaking crop!

Dates

Further south in the date groves, Greg Raumin of Jewel Dates told us they’ve experienced a very warm spring, with temperatures often reaching 44ºC. Pollination, which is done by hand, has been very effective this year and the date palms are now laden with budding fruit. There is still a lot of growing time left before September, but Greg is optimistic that we will see an excellent date harvest this year.

Raisins

After last year’s huge crop, growers are seeing decreases in their ‘bunch count,' the industry’s standard appraisal method. This is not an unusual situation as vines recover from a previous year’s higher yield. Our contacts report ideal growing conditions and lovely, plump fruit come September!

I certainly so apprecia te w and the quality is superb hat you sell ! - Beth

Please feel free to let us know if you have any further questions. We look forward to shipping your order this year!

Nikki Simmons

Valemount, BC

Office Administrator Page 14

www.ranchovignola.com

Summer 2012

Summer 2012

www.ranchovignola.com

Page 3


A

The Harvest Season Begins!

sure sign that the fall harvest season will soon be in full swing is the publication of our annual newsletter. We spend a lot of time and energy producing the newsletter, and are always proud of the results - we hope you agree with us that it’s time well spent! In these days of instant online information we believe there’s still a place for beautiful paper publications, which linger on the kitchen or coffee table to be read in leisurely increments. However, do let us know if you prefer to receive just the online version and we will gladly honour your request! In addition to filling you in on what Rancho has been up to locally, we love sharing stories from the farms and plantations we visit. This winter, company president Richard Vignola undertook a long awaited trip to Peru and the Amazon rainforest where our delicious Brazil nuts originate. Read Richard’s in depth article beginning in the centre pages, and whet your appetite with Brazil nut dishes featured in the recipe section.

In a Nutshell

We welcome all who have found us this year! Always feel free to email us with any questions you have about our upcoming wholesale ordering season. You may also find answers to your questions in the FAQ section on our website.

Shipping Charges

As we launch into another exciting season, we take this opportunity to thank you, valued customer, for your continued support. Enjoy the rest of the summer, and get ready to celebrate the harvest!

Small Towns in all Provinces: Freight charges may be applied for delivery to smaller centres outside of major cities across central Canada. You will be notified of any additional charges before your order is shipped. Please note that additional shipping charges still represent only a fraction of the total freight cost, the majority of which is covered by us. Again, customers are responsible for pick up or for shipping charges beyond the freight depot as per our standard freight policy. Thanks for

Welcome!

Rancho Vignola is a family owned and operated distributor of fresh crop nuts, dried fruit and quality confection. If you're new to Rancho Vignola, here are a few more things you should know! • We operate seasonally during the autumn harvest, from September through December. • We maintain personal relationships with growers and suppliers worldwide. • We offer ordering opportunities for both wholesale and retail customers. • ANYONE can order wholesale! • Wholesale orders must be at least $500 - this is the only requirement! • Wholesale orders are shipped direct to customers all over Canada. • For customers wanting smaller quantities and extras for the holiday season, Rancho Vignola holds annual Harvest Events in communities across BC and Alberta. • For customers unable to attend one in person, we also hold a Harvest Event on our website in early December - the perfect opportunity to try out a few products and have them shipped right to you without having to place a large wholesale order. Visit us at www.ranchovignola.com for further information, or get in touch directly by email or phone. We look forward to hearing from you this harvest season, and to bringing you the Best of the New Crop!

Page 2

Wholesale Ordering

Our home town of Vernon was the location for the 2012 BC Winter Games this past February, and Rancho Vignola was proud to be a Platinum Friend of the Games! Read more about Rancho’s community activities and updates on our sponsored athletes as told by Jayme McKillop, our passionate Marketing Coordinator.

www.ranchovignola.com

Sue Vignola

Standard Freight Policy: We will cover all freight costs to major centres on our regular shipping routes across central Canada. Customers are responsible for any interline charges incurred for delivery beyond the freight depot.

T

he wholesale price list will be available on or before the 10th of September. You can access the wholesale price list either by downloading it in PDF format through our website or by regular mail. Customers with email addresses will receive an announcement when the price list is ready. Please let us know if you also require a paper copy, as we prefer to avoid sending out paper unnecessarily.

Order Minimum: $500 - product available in full cases or 5lb bags Please note this is an absolutely firm order deadline – any orders received after the deadline will not be guaranteed delivery, and will be dealt with on a first in, first served basis.

Northern and Eastern Regions: Shipping charges to remote northern areas, eastern Quebec, and Atlantic Canada will be determined on a case-by-case basis and discussed prior to shipment.

Payment

Return Policy

Order Deadline is Thursday, September 27th

What's Inside...

Welcome 2 Crop News 3 Community News 4 Sponsorship Updates 5 Harvest Event Snapshots 7 PERU: Amazonian Castañas 8 Rancho Recipes 12 Nuts & Nutrition 13 Rancho Office Talk: Shipping 14 Wholesale Ordering Policies 15 Harvest Event Schedule 16

Box 397 Armstrong, BC V0E 1B0 Toll-free: 1-877-639-2767 • Fax: 250-546-6653 info@ranchovignola.com

www.ranchovignola.com Follow us on

acebook and

witter!

Summer 2012

All first-time wholesale customers are required to pre-pay before the order is shipped. For existing customers with established credit terms, payment is required within 15 days from receipt of the order. We accept payment by credit card, PayPal, cheque (one cheque only) and money order.

Discount for Early Payment

We are pleased to offer a 2% discount to all customers who pay for their wholesale orders in full by the 15th of October.

Rancho Vignola stands behind all of our products and we will gladly take back any product that is not up to our standards. Please check your entire order as soon as you receive it and contact us immediately if you have any concerns. We cannot accept any product returns later than 30 days after order shipment.

-Beverly

Grande Prairie , AB

Referrals

Order Shipment Order shipment begins early November and continues all month. Sometimes we experience delays of a particular product due to unforeseen circumstances such as ports being closed or backed up. Please be aware that our warehouse crew are working diligently to get your orders shipped to you as quickly as possible. We will try to meet your requests for delivery by a specific date, but any customers setting up their own sales (or advertising a delivery day to their club members) are advised to err on the side of caution and plan for later in November. Please note: Any special delivery requests must be made by October 15. Orders are sent pre-paid by commercial freight carrier or courier service to a freight depot in your nearest town centre. Generally, orders will be delivered right to your door. However, if residential deliveries are unavailable in your area you may be required to pick up your order from the depot. If you live in a remote area not covered by our regular freight carriers, an interline service may be required and the cost of this service covered by you. If you wish to pick up at our Armstrong warehouse, please let us know when placing your order and you will be contacted when your order is ready.

Summer 2012

your great products, we have enjoyed everything imm ensely. And thanks for re sponding quic kly to the torn pa ckage dropped off at my ho use by the de livery company. Yo u are definite ly a company that cares about their customers.

We offer 5% commission to existing wholesale customers for referring friends, family members, or other contacts, who go on to place a wholesale order. The amount of the commission is determined by the new club's wholesale order total and is awarded for three consecutive years from the first wholesale order. Commissions earned are calculated at the end of the season and are applied as credit towards your next season's order.

In order to be eligible

• You must be an existing wholesale customer for at least one year and continue to place wholesale orders. • You must provide your referral's full name, address, email, and phone number before their first order is submitted. • Referrals must pay separately and have a separate shipping address from sponsors.

Box 397 Armstrong, BC V0E 1B0 Toll-free: 1-877-639-2767 • Fax: 250-546-6653 info@ranchovignola.com

www.ranchovignola.com Follow us on

www.ranchovignola.com

acebook and

witter!

Page 15


Harvest Events 2012 Vernon

November 2 - 3 Friday: 9am - 7pm Saturday: 9am - 5pm

Armstrong, BC Toll free: 1-877-639-2767 info@ranchovignola.com

www.ranchovignola.com Nuts and Dried Fruit

British Columbia

Vernon Recreation Centre Auditorium

Abbotsford

3310 - 37th Ave

Friday: 9am - 5pm Saturday: 9am - 5pm

29635 'O' Avenue (& 18 Ross Rd)

Saturday: 10am - 5pm Sunday: 10am - 5pm

Recipes

Revelstoke

Parkinson Recreation Centre

November 23 - 24

1800 Parkinson Way

Focus on Brazil nuts

Friday: 6pm - 9pm Saturday: 9am - 5pm

Salmon Arm

Recreation Centre

November 9 - 10 Friday: 9am - 7pm Saturday: 9am - 5pm Comfort Inn (formerly Holiday Inn) 1090 - 22nd Street NE

600 Campbell Ave

Alberta Camrose

Airdrie

Friday: 9am - 7pm Saturday: 9am - 5pm

Friday: 9am - 7pm Saturday: 9am - 5pm

4250 Exhibition Drive

275 Jensen Drive

Camrose Regional Exhibition

Meet Rancho Vignola's newest sponsored athletes

Windsor Greenhouses

November 10 - 11

November 16 - 17

Powered by Rancho

November 23 - 24

Kelowna

Armstrong, BC

Town and Country Centre

www.ranchovignola.com • 1-877-NEW-CROP

Harvest Event Online

www.ranchovignola.com

AMAZONIAN NUTS Richard travels to Peru in search of the Amazonian Brazil Nut. Harvest season is in full swing by the time he hits the rio and sets forth deep into the Amazon rainforest.

For details and up to date information, please visit our website or call our toll free line.

1 - 15

How to grow healthy kids

A Wild Harvest

November 23 - 24

Browse our beautiful product displays and taste everything we have to offer!

DECEMBER

Nuts & Nutrition

You r prod ucts are am azing!! M ich elle

Come see us!

Page 16

From the Farm to your Community

• Order online • We ship to you • Convenient and easy!

Summer 2012

New Crop Price List: Early September • Wholesale Order Deadline: September 27th www.ranchovignola.com

Summer 2012

Page

Rancho Vignola's 2012 Summer Newsletter  

Rancho Vignola's annual summer newsletter packed with crop news, product information, recipes, and more!

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