The Yelm Cooperative – 2012

An Education-Focused Community Service Organization


To be a sustainable and reproducible model for community service based self-sufficient food education and food accessibility systems within the Cascadia Bio-region. 


The Yelm Cooperative has and will continue to:

  • Operate natural and organic food sales and distribution outlets, providing knowledge about, as well as access to, foods not available through corporate food distribution channels.
  • Develop and make available to members and the community-at-large comprehensive educational programs that focus on community food self-sufficiency through class instruction, as well as hands-on kitchen and garden experiential training specific to the production, processing, storage, rotation, and use of regional foods.
  • Develop and support a network of local, community, and regional environmentally responsible farmers and small-scale sustainable food sources through programs including, but not limited to, farmer-direct relationships, Farmers Markets, Community Gardens, and knowledge about the value of sustainable foods through hands-on food education programs.


1.      The Yelm Cooperative has served the community for over 5 years, and will continue to do so, by providing clean, safe, healthy and sustainably grown local and regional food access: By managing and overseeing Yelm’s only natural and organic local and regionally based food sales outlet, the Yelm Cooperative provides both members and the community-at-large with knowledge about and access to foods not available through the international corporate food distribution systems. This program is provided through our Food Co-op run mainly by volunteers and working members serving the community 7 days a week. For the past several years, the Co-op has made donations of food to local charities, like food banks and faith-based organizations that prepare meals for the needy and homeless. This activity will continue and be strengthened as we grow.
This program provides jobs for the Yelm Community residents and opportunities for community service experience for local high school students.

2.      The Yelm Cooperative serves the community by providing access to venues which help to generate income through home-based, local gardening, small scale farming and food production enterprises: By managing and overseeing Yelm’s first Farmer’s Market, the Yelm Cooperative provides both members and the community-at-large with access to community produced foods and comprehensive knowledge about local foods not available otherwise within the city limits.

This market, which will begin May 27, 2012, will provide local farmers and growers access to a wider market area and acquaint the members of the community with locally grown agricultural products. This then leads to a more sustainable food source basis for the community.

This program provides jobs and income producing opportunities to the Yelm Community.

3.      The Yelm Cooperative serves the membership and community by providing comprehensive educational programs focused on member and community self-sufficiency: By developing and overseeing food education programs, our community’s children, seniors, and displaced adults and families are provided opportunities to develop familiarity with healthy, regional food ingredients and the experiential skills to grow, process, rotate and store these foods. This program will include learning gardens run in partnership with a local church using a portion of their property. These gardens will serve as the hands-on aspect of the food education programs. Not only will they provide the ability to develop skills for sustainable home gardening, they will also provide food for the local faith-based organizations that feed homeless and needy members of the community. A minimum of 50% of all food production from these gardens will be fior this purpose.

We will be working with city officials to develop a long term program of developing multiple gardens throughout the city and of introducing the concept of edible landscape within the city.

This program will provide many employment and volunteer opportunities for the Yelm Community.

You can download it here as a PDF file:

2012 Vision & Mission Statement