Summer Solstice and Father's Day

June 8, 2024

June is upon us and the city has exploded into a frenzy of late springtime activity. After some welcome moisture, spirits are high and optimism abounds. Farmers are busy, cottages and travel trailers are opened and aired, gardens are dug and planted, bedding plants are bedded, lawn gnomes are spotted, and pond fish are swimming. It is lighter earlier in the morning and later in the evening, and if you sleep with your window open, the bird chatter is likely to wake you up about 4:00 a.m. The scent of lilacs and flowering crab trees is in the air. Kids are riding bikes, skateboards and scooters everywhere, laughing and making optimistic plans for summer vacation.

But before we rush headlong into summer plans, how about showing Dad a little love this month? Happy Father’s Day, to every one of you fantastic fathers, dads, grandfathers, pet dads and potential dads. Your role has evolved over the years, but your #1 place in our hearts hasn’t changed. Gone are the days of the “Father Knows Best” figure. Today’s dads are just as likely to be coaching a baseball team for their daughter, chauffeuring their son to a cooking class, changing a diaper, picking up the kids after school, and stopping to get groceries on the way home from work. On June 16 we celebrate and honour the men who have embraced the essential role of fatherhood, and thank them and other father figures for their devotion to their families and for the sacrifices they make every day that allow them to nurture and raise their children.

Summer solstice, the day with the longest period of sunlight and the shortest night of the year, is welcomed on June 20. The summer solstice has been culturally important since the Neolithic era. Many ancient monuments in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and the Americas are aligned with the sunrise or sunset on the summer solstice. The significance of the summer solstice has varied among cultures, but most recognize the event with holidays, festivals, and rituals around that time with themes of fertility.

June is one of the prettiest and most optimistic months of the year. The world has exhaled from winter, and not yet inhaled summer. Anything is possible! From the Staff and Board of Steep Hill, have an amazing and memory-making summer!

New Hours! Now Opening at 11 AM Daily!

We’re excited to announce that starting June 3, Steep Hill’s hours of operation will be 11 AM to 7 PM Monday through Saturday and 11 AM to 4 PM Sundays. We know many members have been asking for an earlier opening time, and we’re hoping this will help accommodate those of you who are out and about in the mornings. Furthermore, we appreciate all the work our staff has done to make this change possible and the positive direction in which we continue to move.

What’s New In Store?

Just in time for barbecue, fresh veggie and salad season, Steep Hill is stocking and rocking some delicious, nutritious and fresh food options.

Locally owned and operated since 1975, Simpkins Market Garden supplies delectably tender, fresh asparagus. Anyone who grills knows how amazing this spring vegetable is when cooked directly on the barbecue grill or in a grilling pan. It takes only a splash of olive oil, some salt and pepper, and a squeeze of fresh lemon to finish this smokey sweet treat that will have your family asking for more!

Steep Hill stocks bagged microgreen salad and smoothie mixes from local provider Montrose Microgreens. Grown in a soilless mix without chemicals or pesticides, these nutrient-dense salad mixes may include kale, sunflowers, peas, beets, purple kohlrabi, carrot, fenugreek, and arugula – whatever is seasonal and fresh. Throw some into a quick side salad, include them in wraps or sandwiches, pile them on pizzas, plunge them into rice and noodle bowls. Smoothie mixes include buckwheat, broccoli and red kale microgreens. These mixes are loaded with protein, sulforaphane and vitamins and are a perfect vitamin-boosting addition to your regular smoothie mix.

The Makers Way Foraging supplies hand-foraged succulent oyster mushrooms and fiddlehead ferns – both exotic and unbeatable spring-time treats. Pan fry your oyster mushrooms in olive oil, reduce heat and add some butter, salt and pepper, chopped garlic and parsley, swirl in the pan until the garlic is fragrant and serve over a grilled steak. Amazing! Fiddlehead ferns are quick to prepare, high in antioxidants, vitamins, potassium and fibre. Wash and trim the fiddleheads and grill them in a basket or threaded on skewers. Brush on a little olive oil, salt and pepper or marinade of your choice right before removing them from the grill. Delicious!

The Benedictine Monks from beautiful St. Peter’s Abbey in Muenster supply fresh spring squash for your baking or barbecuing pleasure. Oven baked or chunked and grilled in foil, the texture and taste of these succulent spring squash are unbeatable.

New and different spring offerings are arriving all the time. Check our website for updates, or ask one of our awesome staff what’s new the next time you are in the store.

Introducing Madeline

We’d like to welcome Madeline Kennedy to the Steep Hill staff! Madeline is currently studying Horticultural Science at the University of Saskatchewan and comes to us with several years of experience in her field. Aside from working at Steep Hill, Madeline also does part-time work with one of our members’ favourite local suppliers: Floating Gardens! In her spare time, Madeline enjoys pottery, knitting, and spending time with her dog, Charlie. For those of you who have already had the pleasure of meeting her, you’ll already know how welcoming and kind Madeline is. We’re thrilled she’s joined our team and hope you’ll have a chance to say hi next time you stop in for groceries.

Offering an Alternative

As noted in the previous edition of this Newsletter, shoppers were encouraged to boycott a large grocery chain and seek out alternative and independent sources for food during the month of May. The boycott movement originated from consumer frustration with skyrocketing food prices in the face of corporate profit, and the increasing grocery store monopoly held by a few companies.

At this time of writing, no data have been made available regarding the boycott’s effect on those companies. However, it appears that many consumers have taken the opportunity to seek out alternative grocery options, to the benefit of smaller, independent stores including Steep Hill. The article Independent stores and grocery alternatives see sales boost amid Loblaw boycott, featuring comments by our manager Amielle, details increased sales and interest experienced by alternative and independent grocers across the country. A modified version of the article was published in the May 23 edition of the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix. 

While the ‘official’ boycott is over, it’s important to continue to support alternative grocery options such as Steep Hill. As a co-operative, Steep Hill places great importance on community involvement and responsiveness to members. As well as providing an important source for organic food, Steep Hill partners with small, local producers, offering a bridge between shoppers and products they might not otherwise access easily. 

While grocery chains have the advantage of being able to purchase large quantities of products at wholesale prices, the savings are not necessarily passed on to consumers. Logically, chain stores’ prices should be lower than those of independent stores; this is not always the case. In addition, a chain’s achieving record profits does not automatically translate into lower consumer prices or increased provisions for employees.

In the face of growing homogenization across the grocery landscape, Steep Hill and other alternative stores offer something different – different products and brands, but also a different way of viewing food, sustainability, and community. Supporting Steep Hill means reaching beyond profit to recognize and sustain the right to good food, dignity, and well-being.

Member Economic Participation – A Co-Op Principle

At Steep Hill, the principle of “member economic participation” is the bedrock of its community-centric approach to sustainable living and local food systems. Founded on the belief that everyone should have a say in and benefit from their food sources, Steep Hill members actively engage in the economic aspects of the co-operative. 

Members of Steep Hill play a vital role in its economic sustainability by paying their annual membership fees, patronizing the co-op’s offerings by shopping at the store, contributing labour, and by participating in decision-making processes. Through their work and purchasing contributions, members not only ensure the co-operative’s viability but also assert their ownership of a community-driven food system. 

The principle fosters a deep sense of responsibility among Steep Hill members, as their economic participation directly impacts the co-operative’s ability to provide affordable, high-quality food while supporting local producers. By choosing to support Steep Hill, members invest in a model that prioritises environmental sustainability, fair trade, and equitable access to nutritious food. 

Member economic participation at Steep Hill cultivates resilience by making the store economically viable and empowering the co-operative to prioritise the needs of its members and the broader community. This democratic approach to economic participation strengthens bonds within the co-operative and fosters a sense of shared ownership and commitment to collective well-being. We know that by shopping at Steep Hill we are making a difference!

At Steep Hill, the principle of member economic participation embodies the co-operative spirit of solidarity, empowerment, and sustainable economic development within the local food system. 

Volunteer Opportunities

Are you able to help keep the store clutter-free? Steep Hill recycles and reuses as much unavoidable packaging as possible, as well as composts unsalvageable produce. However, the store’s capacity to store and dispose of recycling and compost is limited. We need to have a few volunteers who are willing and able to pick up garbage, recycling and/or compost from the store and take it to the appropriate drop-off location. Ideally, we would like to have enough volunteers to create a pick-up schedule, with each person picking up only once or twice a month. If you’re interested in this opportunity, please email Amielle at - just put the type of pick-up you’d like to do in the subject line. 

Of course, we still rely on our in-store volunteers to package, label, and shelve products. To schedule an in-store shift, sign up on the schedule posted on the store bulletin board, or call 306-664-4455 or email ( to request a shift.

View June 2024 Volunteer Schedule

Thank you to all of our volunteers for everything that you do!

What’s your Steep Hill Super Power?

Steep Hill is blessed with super members like you! There are many ways people can get involved in building our co-op. How can you help Steep Hill thrive? If you haven’t already filled in the “getting involved” survey we’d still like to hear from you - whether you are a long-time member, new or recently renewed member, or a non-member shopper. Please take just a few minutes to let us know how your skills, talents, and energy can be part of Steep Hill’s growing success!

Start Survey

Easy Kitchen Food Hacks

Certain things that happen in life can be frustrating, but frustration from food waste due to improper storage can be managed. Here are some kitchen food hacks that will help!

Go bananas! To keep bananas firm and bright yellow, never store them with other fruit. They will absorb additional ethylene gas which speeds up the maturation process. Also, wrap the crown part of the banana bunch (where they join) with recycled plastic wrap. Both of these tricks will extend your banana’s life.

Bath your berries. Bathe your raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, saskatoons, other berries and even grapes in a solution of one part distilled vinegar to eight parts water. You won’t be able to taste the vinegar when eating them, and they will keep, mold-free, for up to two weeks longer.

Dress up your onions. Storing onions in an old pair of tights can help them last an astonishing eight months longer than leaving them on a counter or in a refrigerator crisper. Pop your onions in the legs of the tights, one by one, tying a knot between each, and then hang the tights in a dark, dry place. When you need an onion, just snip the tights below the knot.

Store apples and potatoes together. The ethylene gas from the apples prevents the potatoes from sprouting. Your potatoes stay fresher for up to eight weeks. Apples, potatoes and onions are best stored in a cool dark place (don’t forget the tights for your onions!).

Put paper towels in your salad drawer, or line your salad storage bags with them. The paper will absorb most of the condensation the vegetables create as they chill. This moisture is responsible for making your salad greens wilt (and mold).

Take your tomatoes out of the fridge. The cold ruins a tomato’s delicious texture and flavour. It is recommended that tomatoes be stored on the kitchen counter only.

Treat your asparagus like flowers. Trim the ends of your asparagus spears and place them, end down, in a tall glass or short vase of water. Loosely tent a plastic bag over the heads, and pop them into your fridge. They will keep very well like this for several days.

Recipe Corner

Our ongoing series of recipes using ingredients available at Steep Hill!

Joan’s Whole Grain Raspberry Pecan Pancakes

A plate with a green leaf pattern sits on a dark coloured counter with four whole grain pecan pancakes in the centre topped with raspberries, avocado oil margarine and maple syrup.

View Joan’s Whole Grain Raspberry Pecan Pancakes Recipe

We Want to Hear From You!

For information about products and the store, email us at or call 306-664-4455.

To contact the Board of Directors with ideas, feedback, concerns or questions, email or fill out a “How did we do today” card when you are in the store.

Thanks to Joan Almond, Jasmin Carlton, Amielle Christopherson, Adam Douglas, Cathy Holtslander, Maryann Scott, and Ann Smith for contributing to the Newsletter!

Your grocery store on Broadway!