A monthly publication with your good health in mind
FOOD CO OP
Co-op Community In This Issue
NEWS Co-op Grows Its Own—Page 3
Seaweed: The Forgotten Vegetable—Page 12
Welcome 2012 Community Shopping Day
Laura Steiger, Community Affairs Coordinator Working together...
Back in 1997, the Co-op’s Member Affairs Committee had a great idea about C mmunity
how our Co-op could support our greater community, and the Community
Shopping Day program was born. Since 1999, the Community Shopping Day o
(CSD) program has supported the work of 12 Whatcom County community or-
ganizations every year by donating 2 percent of one day’s sales to a designated
organization (the 1998 pilot-year program included only six organizations).
Now the Member Affairs Committee and the Co-op Board of Directors are
happy to introduce the 2012 CSD recipients. Everyone involved is particularly
excited about the diverse array represented in next year’s groups. Read on to
discover more about each recipient and the exciting projects they plan to tackle
in the upcoming year with the assistance of CSD funds. Then mark your calen-
dars for a big Co-op shopping trip on the third Saturday of every month. Day
Assistance League of Bellingham and will almost fully fund two of the Friendly Visitors—a Visiting Nurse Grizzly Bear Outreach Project
Founded in 1977, Assistance League 10 meal services in 2012. Home Care program (GBOP)
of Bellingham is an all-volunteer Since 2004, the Friendly Visitors Since 2002, the Grizzly Bear Out-
organization providing services to Brigadoon Service Dogs program has helped people stay safe, reach Project (GBOP) had focused
children living in poverty, assistance Brigadoon Service Dogs (BSD) independent, and healthy in their own solely on outreach and education on
for adult and child victims of violence was established in 2004 for the homes while also addressing the iso- grizzly bears and black bears. Today,
and trauma, and summer enrichment purpose of acquiring, raising, and lation and loneliness experienced by because of the growing needs of the
scholarships for talented and moti- training service dogs to assist veter- many seniors living independently. The communities served, GBOP has ex-
vated high-school and middle-school ans, children, and adults with devel- program recruits, trains, and matches panded to include wolves and cougars.
students. CSD funds will be used to opmental and physical disabilities. volunteers with seniors who are at risk. CSD funds will be used to create new
support Operation School Bell, which They also provide area at-risk youth These matches often become lifelong educational and informational materi-
provides new school clothing to low- with the opportunity to participate friendships. CSD funds will be used als to inform communities about the
income Whatcom County students in in dog care and training, skill devel- to provide training supplies and cover ecology, behavior, and safety measures
kindergarten through middle school. opment opportunities for disabled costs for initial training, the matching for grizzly bears, black bears, wolves,
adults, and special day camp oppor- process, quarterly trainings, and on- and cougars. Wildlife Safe brochures
Bellingham Books to Prisoners tunities for disabled children. CSD going support. will be used in media packets, one-on-
Established in 2005, Bellingham funds will provide 130 to 170 hours one meetings, community presenta-
Books to Prisoners is an all-volunteer of focused service dog training to Friends of the North Fork tions, and tabling events. Wildlife Safe
organization that sends free books on achieve the required skills for certi- Community Library door hangers will help reduce human-
request to prisoners in state and federal fication. It takes approximately 10 The Friends of the North Fork Com- wildlife encounters—protecting both
prisons throughout the United States. hours of training for each new skill munity Library provide support for ru- people and wildlife.
These books are often the only materi- that a dog must acquire. ral library services for the communities
als available to prisoners to provide of Kendall, Maple Falls, Glacier, and Whatcom Dispute Resolution
education, spiritual growth, and simple Ferndale Other Bank the Columbia Valley. Their vision for Center
enjoyment. The group sent more than Since 2001 the all-volunteer the library is to provide a full range of Since 1992 the Whatcom Dispute
10,000 books to prisoners last year. Ferndale Other Bank has worked to library services to all community resi- Resolution Center (WDRC) has been
All CSD funds will be dedicated to the provide basic hygiene and cleaning dents, with a focus on serving children dedicated to providing and promoting
group’s largest expense, postage. products for children and parents and young adults, providing onsite constructive and collaborative ap-
in the Ferndale School District who economic resources, expanding Rus- proaches to conflict through mediation,
Bellingham/Assumption qualify for free or reduced lunch. sian language materials, and addressing training, facilitation, and community
Community Meal Program Each month families receive laun- issues of rural isolation and limited education on a free or low-cost sliding
The Bellingham Community Meal dry detergent, dish detergent, toilet transportation through increased inter- scale. They served more than 3,800
Program was established in 1983 paper, shampoo, bar soap, feminine net access. CSD funds will be used to people in 2010 and conducted 190 me-
to provide one meal a month for 10 hygiene products, razors, deodorants, assist in maintaining the North Fork diations. With a housing crisis under-
months of the year for anyone in need. toothbrushes (2 times a year), tooth- Community Library, and to support a way, WDRC launched a Foreclosure
In 2010 they served 5,937 meals at an paste, and diapers for baby siblings. wide range of community program- Mediation Program. CSD funds will
average cost of $1.39 per meal. CSD CSD funds will be used exclusively ming for teens and children, plus his- help provide eight additional hours per
funds will be used to purchase food to purchase items for distribution. torical and informational programs.
continued top of page 11
1220 N. Forest St., Bellingham WA • 315 Westerly Rd., Bellingham WA • 360-734-8158 • www.communityfood.coop
Co-op Community News
is a monthly publication
November 9, 2011
produced by the Board of Directors Meeting Summary
Community Food Co-op Jean Rogers, Board Administrator
1220 N. Forest St.
Bellingham WA 98226 The meeting opened with a presentation The group concluded the meeting with a
on affordable access to farmland by Dean report from Board director Matt McBeath The Co-op Board of Directors
315 Westerly Rd.
Bellingham WA 98225 Fearing, Executive Director of Kulshan on the Provender Alliance Conference. Meetings are on the
Community Land Trust (KCLT). The group Matt shared information from the confer-
360-734-8158 second Wednesday of every month.
discussed opportunities and challenges to ence workshops about innovative market-
(both locations) increasing access to farmland in Whatcom ing, social media, and effective methods of
County noting the high cost of land, dif- conveying the Co-op’s value to shoppers
Co-op Community News Wednesday, December 14, at 7 pm
ficulty in finding land for farming with and to the community. Matt also passed on
is published as a service adequate water rights, the importance of de- information from a conference presenta- Downtown Co-op Connection Building
for members. Letters from veloping relationships with county farmers, tion on wheat, focusing on current efforts to 1220 N. Forest St.
members are welcome the possible role of local and regional land decentralize the process of grain growing in
(see guidelines below). trusts, long-term leases, and other ideas for Washington. Members are welcome to attend.
The deadline for submis- collaborative efforts. If there is something you want to discuss
A complete copy of the governing policies
sions of letters is 8 pm on The Board then discussed the process for at the meeting, contact Jim Ashby,
is available at the service desk. Complete
the 5th of the month selecting the Board chair and vice chair. The
minutes of the Board meetings are posted General Manager (360-734-8158) or
preceding publication. goal is to keep the process consistent with
on the bulletin boards at both stores and on Deborah Craig, Chair (360-738-9015)
the Co-op’s bylaws while offering a com-
the Co-op website at www.communityfood. by the first Monday of the month so your item
Editor: fortable experience for directors running for
Diana Campbell Board positions. The group agreed to add a can be included on the agenda.
The first 10 minutes of every Board meet-
policy interpretation noting that the Board
ing are reserved for member input. Our next
Design/Production: decides by consensus to use a vote if more General Manager:
meeting will be held December 14, 7 pm, in
Joanne Plucy than one director wants to serve as chair or Jim Ashby 360-734-8158
the Downtown Co-op Connection building.
Hope to see you there. Board of Directors:
Opinions expressed in
Deborah Craig, Chair 360-738-9015
the Co-op Community
News are those of the au- Steven Harper, Vice-Chair 360-441-2728
thors and do not necessar- Co-op Now Seeking Board Candidates: Brent Harrison 360-398-7509
Leadership for a Sustainable Future
ily represent those of the Brooks Dimmick 360-758-7610
Co-op Board, manage- Matt McBeath 360-510-6908
ment, staff or members. Do you want to help cre- nice that it’s possible to be so Megan Westgate 360-592-5325
Nutrition and health in- ate the Co-op’s future? Do productive and have so much Michael Elkins 360-305-4952
formation is provided for you care about healthy food, fun at the same time.” Rosalinda Guillen 360-381-0293
informational purposes local farms, and a resilient The Co-op Board elections Beau Hilty-Jones 360-318-7517
only and is not meant as a community? Would you will be held in March 2012.
like to be part of guiding a Three positions for three- ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
substitute for a consulta-
tion with a licensed health local, democratically run, year terms will be open. Stop Store hours:
or dietary practitioner. member-owned business? by the service desk at either Open 7 days a week
If so, please consider run- store and ask for a candidate Cordata—7 am to 9 pm
Acceptance of advertising
ning for the Co-op Board packet. And of course you Downtown—7 am to 10 pm
does not indicate endorse-
of Directors. Our Board is a can always attend a Board
ment by the Co-op of the collaborative team that pro- meeting and see the process Co-op Deli hours:
product or service offered. vides oversight, advice, and in action. Mark your calendar Cordata—7 am to 8 pm
a sounding board for Co-op management. to attend one of the Candidate Orientation Downtown—7 am to 9 pm
Board director Megan Westgate says, “I sessions (see announcement below).
Visit us on the Web at
am sincerely enjoying the opportunity to
support this cornerstone of our community For information, contact Board Chair
with my time and energy. I feel like I’m get- Deborah Craig at 360-441-1766 or 360-
ting a chance to help vision and shape the 738-9015 or Board Administrator Jean
future not only of the Co-op, but for all of Rogers at 360-734-8158 or jeanr@com- Cooperative
Whatcom County, and it is so inspiring. Not munityfood.coop. The deadline for applica- Principles
to mention that the other Board members tions is Wednesday, January 11.
are absolutely a pleasure to work with...it’s • Voluntary and open
Letters to the Editor
Letters must include your Co-op Board Candidate • Democratic member control
name, address, and a
daytime phone number.
Orientations • Member economic
Thursdays: December 1 and December 15, 7–9 pm
Please respect a maximum participation
of 150 words. Due to Roots Room, Cordata Co-op
space considerations, we • Autonomy and independence
Thinking about running for the Board of Directors, but not
regret that we may not be quite sure? Come to one of the Co-op’s informal orientations • Education, training, and
able to publish all letters. and find out more about what’s involved information
in serving on the Board.
Please send your letters to: The candidate orientation sessions will be held at • Cooperation among
Newsletter Editor the Cordata Co-op, Roots Room, 315 Westerly Rd. cooperatives
Co-op Community News Refreshments provided.
1220 N. Forest St. Please RSVP to Jean Rogers at 360-734-8158, ext • Concern for the community
Bellingham WA 98225 217 or email@example.com.
Farm Fund Third Thursday
Local Music Series
Who benefits from the
Co-op Farm Fund? Mike & Nakos Marker
Dixie Blues and Folk
We all do! Thursday, December 15, 6–8 pm
Donations accepted at all Downtown Co-op Swan Café
registers, by mail, or phone.
For more information, contact “Doc” and “Nak” play folk and blues with some old jazz stuff mixed in, featuring
Photo by Joanne Plucy
Farm Fund administrator Jean banjo, dobro, and guitar. Bellinghamsters have enjoyed many wonderful performances
Rogers at 360-734-8158 ext. 217 by Mike Marker performing solo and with other local artists over the years. Now he is
or firstname.lastname@example.org. joined by his son Nakos, and as a duo they are mixing up fantastic tunes, songs, and
musical styles with musical virtuosity that you won’t want to miss.
Thanks to the Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship for their generous donation to the Farm Fund.
2 Co-op Community News, December 2011 www.communityfood.coop
Megan Stilp (left) began her Co-op
career six years ago in produce, did
some part-time work for the Farm Fund
Time to Change Our Change
and the Co-op Board, and recently
moved to the position of Cordata as-
sistant produce manager. Cordata In early October, Co-op cashiers
Produce Manager Wynne Marks (right)
also started as a produce clerk, moved
at both stores began offering $1
through the ranks to manager, and in coins as change instead of paper
the process, trained Downtown Pro- bills. We will make them available
duce Manager Dave Sands.
for a six-month trial period to see
how well they are received. We • The U.S. is one of the few large
Photos by Joanne Plucy still offer $1 bills as change for countries that still have bills at
those who prefer them. such a low denomination.
A Co-op staff member suggested • The conversion to the $1 coin
this idea as a good thing to do could save the U.S. government
for the environment and a way to $184 million dollars a year.
save the government money. Our
research showed that the environ- The only downside we have
mental benefits of these coins fit found so far is that the $1 coins
In 2000, Kimberly Johnson (left) be-
gan working as a Co-op cashier, then with our Co-op values. After gath- are not accepted by the City of
worked in the deli, moved to Wellness ering input from Co-op cashiers, Bellingham parking meters and
where she worked her way to assis- we arranged to get coins from our pay stations.
tant manager, and has now become
the Cordata Wellness Manager. Five local credit union, WECU, and
years ago, Christy King (right) started launched the program. We hope you’ll give them a try
as a cashier, moved into the job of There are many benefits to using and encourage your friends to try
Wellness clerk, and today holds the
position of assistant manager in these coins: them. We would like to continue
Wellness. offering these coins after our six-
The Co-op Grows Its Own
• The lifespan of a $1 coin is month trial period. It will be fun
about 34 years, while the $1 bill to see where they end up around
has an average life span of two town.
to three years.
Renee Hover, Co-op Human Resources Manager • The $1 coin is recyclable. Each Sources: www.gao.gov/products/
Over the years the Co-op’s staff year 3 billion dollar bills are GAO-11-281 and dollarcoin-
clerks, deli clerks, etc. They
size and management structure has shredded and sent to landfills. alliance.org.
worked their way up by applying
adapted to meet the needs of the for positions as they became avail-
business as it grows and changes. able and taking advantage of all
Starting with just a few staff and the training opportunities offered
managers, we now have 200 staff
and 32 managers in two locations.
to them. We measure their success Volunteer Thanks
by their ability to run a thriving
When we were planning for the and financially secure department We want to express our gratitude to our volunteers. These folks helped
new Cordata Store, the manage- and by the ongoing feedback we out with various tasks in the stores, newsletter distribution, Owner
ment team realized it needed to get from their staff. Appreciation Day Cordata, nut farm harvest, and participated in the
create a succession plan that would One of the biggest benefits to Member Affairs Committee. We appreciate you.
allow us to train managers long growing our own managers is
before the store was ready to open. that we already have experience
We did this by creating assistant Adam Garman Erika Jett Katie Chugg
working with them and can de-
manager (AM) positions for all of velop training based on our exist- Alex Strandberg Gabriella Andrews Lisa Dykstra
our operating departments a few ing knowledge of the individual Carol Waugh Ginger Oppenheimer Mike Straus
years before the pro- hired. This expedites the
jected opening date. We are also Carolyn Miklavic Grant Renee Nadene Gurule
process of helping the
This proved to be lucky that we manager get to a place Carrie Rolfe Joanne Kearney Nancy Steele
very successful for the have so many of doing what’s best for Cynthia Ripke-Kutsagoitz Laurel Raposa Nathan Chapman
Co-op since almost all
of the AMs became
employees who their team and the Co- Dan Hauer John Lawler Richard Stout
department manag- want to move to op much more quickly. Diane Blake Judy Prestella Robin Hammond
Another benefit is that
ers (DM) when we positions with internal candidates tend Ellen Murphy Kate Birr Shirley Jacobson
became a two-store more responsi- to have a very broad
operation. We went bility—there is knowledge of the Co-op’s
from having one loca- never a shortage culture, values, products,
tion, six departments, and customers. Staff
and 12 managers, to
members who move into
Cooperative Enterprises Build a Better World
having two locations, applicants.
management positions get
with 13 departments That’s the theme for the Interna- • They keep money within the com-
the satisfaction of know-
and 26 managers. Although we did tional Year of Cooperatives 2012. munity.
ing that their talent is noticed and
hire two external DMs, most of Here are some ways that food co-ops
appreciated, and that the Co-op is
our managers grew into their posi- help build a better world. • They use environmentally sound
willing to invest in their skills and
tions from first working in their practices including recycling and
abilities as a leader. It promotes a
departments as assistants, stocking • They provide healthy food. reduced packaging and energy.
deep sense of loyalty and stability
clerks, or customer service rep- among our staff.
resentatives. Since then we have • They support the local economy, • They are committed to consumer
Although we post externally for
kept the same structure of a DM help preserve family farms, and education about food and food is-
our open management positions,
and an AM for each department to help keep small farmers and ranch- sues.
there has to be a pretty compelling
maintain a viable succession plan. ers in business by sourcing locally.
reason to hire an external candi- • They are community gathering
And it turns out it was good that date for a management position places and, in many rural areas,
we did. at the Co-op, assuming we have community focal points.
2011 saw another big change in strong internal candidates. That is
our management group. Ten man-
agement positions opened up this
not to say that we haven’t success- The Nutritionist • They have direct relationships with
fully hired external candidates, but and buy from Fair Trade producers.
year and we have filled them all often we find that the best person
internally. We were able to do this • They provide satisfying jobs with
for the job is an assistant manager
because of our commitment to pro- Tuesday, December 13 good pay and better benefits than
or team member who has learned
viding ongoing opportunities for 11 am–1 pm most retail jobs.
the business and shown the moti-
growth for our staff, and providing vation to do more. A lot of success Downtown store
them the training they need to be • They hire and train local people
has come from promoting within
successful in their new manage- and we receive lots of interest
Wednesday, December 14 and promote from within.
ment positions. We are also lucky from our employees.
that we have so many employees Our Co-op is proud to employ
Cordata store • They give to the community: they
who want to move to positions with make contributions to local causes
200 employees and pay $4 million Bring your questions on
more responsibility—there is never and many food co-ops have coop-
in local wages. We routinely hire nutrition and health to the
a shortage of internal applicants. erative community funds that sup-
for entry level positions, welcome Co-op’s nutritionist, Tom Malterre.
Of all the current managers at the Available at a table near the front of port local non-profits.
all applicants, and appreciate the
Co-op, 78 percent of them were origi- support from our community to the store, he'll be ready to answer your
nally hired in entry-level positions— fill open positions when we have questions about nutrition, Courtesy of the Cooperative Devel-
they started as cashiers, grocery them. healthy eating, and diet. opment Foundation, www.cdf.coop.
Co-op Community News, December 2011 3
December 2011 Community Shopping Day Organization
Robin Elwood, CCN Staff
Transition Whatcom (TW) exists to
ease Whatcom County into a future
where an ever-expanding, petroleum-
Photos courtesy of Transition Whatcom
based economy is no longer possible.
Its members work to promote “Local food
supply, sustainable energy sources, a
healthy local economy, and a growing
sense of vitality and community well-
Transition Whatcom provided funding and volunteers to assist in expanding the downtown
Given the complexity of the issues, to greater goals: connecting us to one Bellingham Food Bank garden plot. This project was part of the Transition U.S. and 350.
I took the opportunity to speak with another as we build community, share org-sponsored Home and Garden Challenge in May 2011.
two representatives of TW: Kate Clark, skills, and communally find solutions
a member of the founding Initiating to the potential disasters of climate imagined, your financial security, and ity; we’re building networks of neigh-
Group, and Warren Miller, part of the change and the end of affordable oil. the many large and small luxuries we bors and fostering skills.”
current Operating Committee. Their TW’s history involves several epi- enjoy simply because in most of our “TW is not intended to be a pro-
descriptions of TW’s structure and sodes. They are the Transition What- lifetimes we have always had the ben- gressive, liberal nonprofit,” Warren
work helped guide me to a better un- com Initiating Group (TWIG), the efit of cheap oil. It is frightening, but told me. “We’re trying to reach out
derstanding of December’s CSD group. Great Unleashing, and the Transition it is also suddenly very liberating. For to a broad base. Peak Oil is definitely
First, TW isn’t a nonprofit. Rather, it Whatcom Operating Group (TWOG). me, it was like finally feeling my feet not an issue that one party has all the
is a grassroots movement, and part of The TWIG did the initial organizing on solid ground.” answers for, and the more people in-
an international Transition Towns tem- and structuring of the effort. Then they To Kate and others on the initial volved in the process, the better we’ll
plate. The global movement is aimed launched the movement at the Great committee, the Transition model do.”
at helping communities prepare for cli- Unleashing. In effect, they got the seemed like a good template to start Kate described how the rising costs
mate change and finite fossil fuel sup- community involved and handed it off from. The group began their initial and decreasing supplies are likely to af-
plies. In structure, it’s akin to a local- to a new committee of organizers, the work in 2008 and then organized the fect everyone. Communities, business-
ized, action-oriented Facebook; more TWOG. Great Unleashing in April 2010. That es, and individuals who have worked
than 1,000 Whatcom County residents Kate was a founding member of the wildly named and well-attended event to anticipate the challenges will be
have joined, and they share discus- TWIG. I asked her what drew her into was also a time for the initial organiz- well-placed to transition gracefully and
sion, event listings, and knowledge on the issue and she explained, “I like ers to let go of their project in order to peacefully to whatever comes next.
a decentralized user-driven web space. how squarely the Transition movement put control in the hands of the wider “It’s not that the world will run out
User-organized events happen all the focuses on the issue of energy resource community. Participants chose eight of oil,” she said. “But the price will
time…often several events a week are depletion. Once one really lets the people to comprise the new Operating rise beyond what our current economy
posted on the website. impact of ‘the end of cheap oil’ sink Group—with a balance of representa- can absorb; either it won’t be profitable
According to Warren and Kate, the in, everything you took for granted is tion including urban and rural, male to drill for that oil, or oil will become
web-based interactions are in service called into question—the future you and female, elders and youngsters. a luxury. We’re just trying to set our
The current leadership organizes community on solid ground. The future
periodic public planning meetings, will be different from today, but if we
oversees the website, and facilitates prepare purposefully, we will benefit;
the work of more than 40 volunteer we’ll be closer to our neighbors, more
workgroups, each working on a par- in control of our lives, and the experi-
ticular issue. They are also compiling ence can be rewarding and fulfilling.”
an overall plan for the county. Warren
provided more details saying, “Once
you have a critical mass of people who Transition Whatcom
are really thinking about these issues,
you need to come up with a plan. Our Meeting
workgroups are addressing different Sunday, January 15, 3–5 pm
aspects of what’s called an Energy De- Roots Room, Cordata Co-op
scent Action Plan (EDAP).”
In keeping with TW’s decentralized
To get more involved with
democratic goals, the form of the final
EDAP is quite open; Warren told me it Transition Whatcom, see www.
could be a document, a website, or an transitionwhatcom.org or attend the
In the spirit of building community, TW supporting the Center for Local Self-Reliance, informal state of preparedness. “If the next membership meeting on
a group working to revitalize an historic Fairhaven site to offer space for community
members to practice and teach gardening and food preservation skills.
EDAP is always a work in progress, January 15 at the Cordata Co-op.
that’s OK. What’s important is the real-
2011 Community Shopping Day Schedule
What are Community Shopping Days? January 15 Amy’s Place (Old Town Christian Ministries)
February 19 River Farm of the Evergreen Land Trust
Each year the Co-op invites organi- Well-Being, and Peace and Human March 19 Rainbow Recovery Center
zations to apply for a Community Rights. The Co-op’s Member Af- April 16 Traditional Foods and Plants Program (Northwest Indian College)
Shopping Day (CSD). This year fairs Committee (MAC) reviews May 21 Appliance Depot (ReUse Works)
organizations were selected for and recommends 12 organizations, June 18 People For Puget Sound
their service to our community in and the Board of Directors gives fi- July 16 Food To Bank On (Sustainable Connections)
the following areas: Community nal approval. For more information, August 20 Hearing Loss Association of Whatcom County
Health and Social Justice, Eco- contact Laura Steiger at 360-734- September 17 Whatcom County Library Foundation
logical Issues, Education, Food & 8158, email@example.com. October 15 United Blind of Whatcom County
Sustainable Agriculture, Health and November 19 Local Food Works!
December 17 Transition Whatcom
4 Co-op Community News, December 2011 www.communityfood.coop
Year-Long Celebration of
The United Nations General banking, services, and travel. In its
The October 2011 Hors d’Oeuvres with Directors Forum offered participants stimulating
Assembly has declared 2012 the 2008 Global 300 report on the larg-
International Year of Cooperatives, est cooperatives in the world, the
Co-op Owners Envision a
conversation, interesting information, and tasty food.
in recognition of the International Cooperative
contribution of coop- “Cooperatives Alliance, a non-profit
eratives. The objectives are a reminder to group with 260 member
of the year are to raise organizations from 96
public awareness of the the international countries representing
invaluable contribu- community that it some 1 billion individu-
Co-op owners teamed up with Members noted that we are al- tions of cooperative als, indicated that the top
the Board of Directors last month ready doing a lot of things right, enterprises to poverty is possible to pur- 300 cooperatives alone
at the Hors d’Oeuvres with Di- and we just need to make our reduction, employment sue both economic had an aggregate turnover
rectors Forum, to consider how programs more visible and expand generation, and social of $1.1 trillion, compa-
we can plan for a resilient Co-op them—the Farm Fund, the green integration. The Year viability and social rable to roughly one tenth
future. The Co-op Deli provided a features of our stores, and signage will also highlight the of the gross domestic
gourmet feast, highlighting locally to help shoppers make informed responsibility.”
strengths of the cooper- product (GDP) of the U.S.
grown foods. After savoring melt- product choices. Looking ahead, ative business model as –United Nations Most of the 300 largest
in-your-mouth marinated portabel- members wondered whether the an alternative means of Secretary-General Ban cooperatives are found in
la mushrooms, roasted beef bris- Co-op could have a role in pro- doing business and fur- Ki-moon the developed economies
ket, potato pakoras, maple-glazed moting alternative currency and thering socioeconomic of France, Germany, Ja-
squash, and other delicacies, the barter systems, and helping sup- development. pan, Netherlands and the
group heard an update from board port the formation of more types Cooperatives are business en- U.S., with 30 percent engaged in
member Megan Westgate, chair of of local co-ops. The question of terprises owned and controlled by the agriculture and food sectors, 23
the Strategic Planning Committee, how to increase access for people the members that they serve. Their percent in retailing, 22 percent in
and proceeded to delve into seven living in greater Whatcom County member-driven nature differentiates insurance and 19 percent in bank-
strategic questions posed by the was also a topic. Members want them from other forms of business ing.
Board. their Co-op to continue reducing in making decisions balanced by
As table groups waste and packaging, the pursuit of profit with the needs For more information, see the UN
engaged in conver- and to reach out to more and interests of members and their website at social.un.org/coopsyear,
sation, a number diverse groups about the communities. the International Cooperative Alli-
of strong themes benefits of local foods, Cooperatives are spread across a ance websites at www.ica.coop/al-
emerged. In looking good nutrition, and the spectrum of sectors, such as agricul- ica, www.2012.coop, and usa2012.
toward the future, power of investing in ture, fisheries, housing, insurance, coop.
there was strong cooperatives.
agreement that we Throughout this win-
want more people ter and early spring, the
in Whatcom County Board will continue to USDA Pushes Veggies But Subsidizes
to be eating local, seek member input for Meat
healthy food, and that the strategic plan, using
the Co-op can play a member forums, vision The Washington Post re-
strong role in education and advo- boards, surveys, focus groups and cently ran a story pointing
cacy. Members felt that the Co-op key informant interviews to build out that the USDA’s nutrition
was well-positioned to facilitate a long-range strategy that reflects guidelines are seriously out
investment in the local food econ- the interests and inspiration of of step with food subsidies.
omy—securing farmland, sup- Co-op owners. Stay tuned for The government recom-
porting farmers, and getting the more opportunities to contribute mends people eat fruits and
storage, processing, and transport to the strategic planning process veggies as nearly half their
systems in place. Another major over the winter, and thanks to daily intake, and protein as
theme was access for low-income everyone who participated in the less than a quarter—but they
families. We want to make sure Hors d’Oeuvres with Directors subsidize meat in totally
that everyone can get the food Forum for your enthusiasm and different proportions. Their
they need in changing times. great ideas. graphic compares what they
Photos by Joanne Plucy
think people should eat with
what they encourage farmers to beans and nuts. A separate, smaller
produce. circle is designated “dairy.”
Volunteer Opportunities On Myplate, the federal food The designers of Myplate hope
diagram published in June to show it will help lower obesity and re-
Members who volunteer for Co-op ac- food.coop. When you’re on the list, Americans a healthful diet, half of lated illnesses such as diabetes,
tivities or events receive one $5 coupon you’ll get an occasional update on the plate contains fruits and vegeta- high blood pressure and cancer.
each time they volunteer for 1/2 hour or volunteer activities with the Co-op. It’s bles, while roughly a third is made Animal fats contribute to these dis-
longer. We have very limited openings a great way to get involved with your up of grains and about a fifth is eases and make up a much larger
for ongoing volunteer jobs. Sign up for Co-op and meet other members. reserved for “protein”: meat, eggs, percentage of the diet in America
volunteer email alerts, look for volunteer than in other countries. “The chart,
sign-up sheets for special events, or stop Mailing Party Email List thankfully, shows very clearly
by the service desk to fill out a volunteer If visiting with other interesting Co- what people should aim for,” says
application. op members while stuffing envelopes Volunteer In the Community Marion Nestle, a professor of food
sounds like a fun way to spend a few Co-op members who volunteer with science and public health at New
Newsletter Routes Available hours, contact Laura to add your name the Bellingham Food Bank, Small York University.
We have two newsletter routes avail- to the mailing party email list. This Potatoes Gleaning Project, Whatcom The food plate looks healthful
able: Lettered Streets/Fountain District group gets together once every two or Land Trust, Nooksack Salmon En- enough, but federal incentives to
and North Meridian. This is a once/ three months at the Cordata store, usu- hancement Association, or The Food farmers reflect an entirely different
month commitment with some schedule ally on a weekday. Bank Farm are eligible for a $5 Co-op agenda. In large part, the govern-
flexibility. Contact Laura for details. coupon. These organizations deter- ment pays farmers who grow food
Getting the newsletter out in the com- Join the MAC mine how to distribute the set amount for animals that become meat.
munity is a vital job as it is our most The Member Affairs Committee of coupons they receive each month.
effective communication and education (MAC) meets every month, usually Check directly with the organization For the full story, see www.
tool. Help spread the word…Co-op! on the last Wednesday from 5:15–7:15 you’re interested in before washingtonpost.com/national/
pm, to consider questions raised by our volunteering. health-science/us-touts-fruit-
Get On Our Volunteer Email List members and to work on board and and-vegetables-while-subsi-
If you’re not already on the volunteer community-based activities. If you are Contact Laura Steiger at 360-734- dizing-animals-that-become-
email list, please send your preferred interested in joining the MAC, please 8158, ext. 129 or lauras@community- meat/2011/08/22/gIQATFG5IL_
email address to lauras@community- call Jean Rogers at 360-734-8158. food.coop. story.html
Co-op Community News, December 2011 5
Eating Local for the Holidays: A Tasty Challenge
Those of us living in Whatcom Local foods don’t have to be more Here are some easy tips to get started In our northwest corner of Wash-
County are a hearty bunch. This time expensive. A co-worker and her eating local for the holidays: ington, we are lucky that we have so
of year when the days are dark and the husband recently took the Hunger • Get more local in your shopping bag. many local farms, food purveyors,
rain runs sideways, we carry on—per- Challenge, which meant eating on There is a bounty of local foods avail- and artisans growing and producing
haps caught up in the holiday bustle, a food stamp budget, around $5 a able, from baking ingredients like flour, an abundance of healthy and delicious
picking up the last essential ingredient day/each for a week. Vowing to use butter, eggs and other dairy products, to foods—just for us.
or gifts on our list. The first thing that only local and organic ingredients, harvest vegetables like winter squashes, So during this holiday season, chal-
comes to mind for me this season is she embarked on a week’s worth of root vegetables like potatoes, carrots, lenge yourself to include more locally
the food. Dreaming about the fresh delicious organic meals using whole beets, and parsnips; from heritage pas- grown and produced foods. You will
harvest I’ll find at the Farmers Market foods and local ingredients. Sourc- ture-raised meats like turkey, chicken, taste the difference and know that you
each week and what savory or sweet ing from their Community Supported duck, beef, pork, and fresh seafood to are contributing to a stronger local
concoction I will create from the Agriculture (CSA) box, staple foods locally produced wines, beers, cider, economy and supporting local farms.
bounty. like rice and beans, gleaned apples and more—there is much to choose Here’s to a healthy and happy winter
These dark, cold days also mean from a neighbor’s tree, and enjoy- from that is grown, raised, or caught in with your loved ones and family—
more wood on the fire and warm ing fresh, local, and organic eggs Whatcom County. from our local farmers to your holiday
apple cider in our mugs. Lots of and chicken, they were successful. • Build your menu based on what foods plate. Salut!
soups, hearty foods, and sweet baked To do so, though, they had to com- are in season and locally available from
goods and we know the full swing of mit to cutting items they considered locally owned grocery stores, or just For more information, check these
the holidays is here. Though holiday luxuries like sugar, alcohol, and even stick to your standby menu plan and resources: www.pugetsoundfresh.org/
meal planning can be a daunting task, reduced their cheese and nuts for the add a local ingredient or two to each eatlocal, www.slowfoodusa.org, eat-
incorporating local ingredients into week. All in all, they said they ate traditional dish. localfirst.org, www.localharvest.org,
your dishes is not. Whether you’re nutritiously and enjoyed their meals. • Let your ingredients guide conversa- www.eatinseason.wordpress.com.
pulling out all of grandma’s recipes With some practice, you’ll learn to tions around the table. Let your guests Sara Southerland is the Food &
or just starting from scratch, there are maximize your money while support- know where your ingredients came Farming Outreach Coordinator at Sus-
so many ways to include more local ing local farms and your values. Start from, and that your purchases support tainable Connections. She loves to talk
foods, and the holidays are a great with a few local ingredients and keep local farms and the economy as well as and write about, prepare, and preserve
place to start. an open mind to creative cooking. having great taste and value. local foods.
Sweet Potatoes Are Back
so when the soft ones were introduced, Hanna: These are short, stubby tubers shipping and storage problems due to the
growers decided to use the word with pointy ends, slightly darker skin and Garnet’s thin skin.
“yam” to distinguish their moist golden flesh. The chestnut flavor in this Jewel: Another sweet, super-moist
Fall sweet potatoes from the others. tuber is especially rich and good. orange-fleshed sweet potato with a cop-
is sweet This probably shouldn’t have hap- Okinawa or Hawaiian: These tubers pery, rather than red-orange skin. Jewel
potato time, pened, but it did, and the habit still are generally small and, with grayish accounts for 75 percent of all the com-
which makes me persists. People have candied yams skin, not too attractive—at least on the mercially produced varieties and can be
very happy. The sweet potato is one of on Thanksgiving and Garnet and outside. Their flesh, however, is a gor- held in storage (under controlled condi-
my favorite vegetables and often my Jewel sweet potatoes are typically called geous magenta and the flavor rich and tions; not your home refrigerator) for up
dinner. I’ve made more meals out of yams, even though they’re not. sweet. Try it as a base for ice cream or a to fifty weeks, which explains why it’s
sweet potatoes than I can count, and I My local co-op sells five kinds of custard. nearly always available.
mean really simple ones: a sweet po- sweet potatoes at any one time, but sadly, Yellow Jersey: Grown in the Mid- Beauregard: Similar to Jewel, with
tato with tangy goat cheese or a pool most shoppers see but two or three vari- Atlantic states, these have orange skins purple-rose skin and orange flesh, it ma-
of melting butter, smoked salt, and eties—and only the soft kinds. So here and dry, sweet, yellow flesh. tures early, but sweetens only after two
plenty of pepper. That plus a salad is a are the names of some other varieties to months in storage.
frequent winter meal. I’m relieved to look for and try. Moist (Soft) Sweet Potatoes The sweetness of these vegetables can
know that sweet potatoes are consid- In contrast to the dry sweet pota- be tempered by pairing them with horse-
ered nutritional powerhouses because Dry Fleshed (Firm) Sweet Potatoes toes, the soft varieties are intensely radish, ginger, cumin, curry spices of all
I’d be hard pressed to give them up. In general, Asian and East Indian sweet—essentially ready-made desserts kinds, coconut milk, coriander, chile, and
Sweet potato time is also when people cultures favor dry sweet potato variet- (although we do eat them as vegetables). so forth. If you fry leftover sweet potatoes
start asking about the difference between ies. Since they resemble chestnuts, their But if you’re going the dessert route, you in a little butter or oil, their sugars will
sweet potatoes and yams, a confusion cooked flesh can be used where chestnut can simply drizzle molasses and cream caramelize and balance their sweetness as
that persists. The yam is a starchy, dry, purees are called for. Being nuttier and into their mashed flesh, or turn them well; plus they’re really good this way.
tropical vegetable that grows in West less sugary than the moist varieties, I find into luscious winter puddings and pies. (continued on page 11)
Africa, the Caribbean, and Asia. Sweet the dries more versatile: good in a salad, When making candied sweet potatoes
potatoes grow here and are related to compatible with curry spices, happy to for Thanksgiving, I like to use different
the morning glory. If you see them side be glazed with honey, ginger, and soy varieties, with their skin on and sliced Note:
by side you can see that they’re differ- sauce, transformed into velvety custards lengthwise and layered so you can enjoy The Co-op produce departments
ent, but the word “yam” has crept into or sweet potato pies but also delicious their different shades of orange. frequently have many of these
the sweet potato nomenclature not only roasted. In Japan I’ve encountered ven- Garnet: Deep purple skin, dark orange varieties of sweet potatoes when
because of misuse, but also because there dors selling hot, roasted sweet potatoes flesh, very sweet, well-balanced flavor. they’re available. We also carry
are two basic kinds of sweet potatoes. as a snack—and what a great snack on a Grown in California, Garnet is usually a dry fleshed (firm) variety called
There are those that are “firm” (or dry- cold day! widely available. Japanese. For more information,
fleshed) and those referred to as “soft” Kotobuki: A long, golden-skinned tu- Diana: Purple skin, orange flesh, moist ask any of our produce staff—they
(or moist-fleshed). The firm, dry types ber with dry, straw colored, nutty-tasting and exceptionally sweet. Diana was de- really know their spuds!
were the first to be grown in the U.S., flesh. veloped to replace the Garnet because of
6 Co-op Community News, December 2011 www.communityfood.coop
Sherries and Ports—Specialty Wines for the Holidays
Vic Hubbard, Downtown Co-op Wine Buyer
In the selection of wines available for the holidays, don’t
overlook sherries and ports. They are well suited for rich holi-
day foods and desserts, and make unique and practical gifts
for wine lovers. These are strong, ripe, and concentrated wines
that represent the power of the sun in these dark and cold
months of the year.
For this month we highlight some sherries and ports, how-
ever, be sure to check out the many fruit wines, meads, dessert
wines, sparkling wines, and others from our specialty wine
shelves at both stores.
Hijos de Rainer Perez Marin, “La manzanilla—account for most of the Dow’s Late Bottled Vintage Port Porto Rocha Fine Tawny Port,
Guita” Manzanilla Sherry, Spain, sherry consumed. Traditionally it ac- 2006, Portugal, $22.95, 750 ml. Portugal, $9.95, 375 ml.
$6.99 375 ml. or $11.95 750 ml. companies light appetizers, especially The hub of port wine production is Tawny port is made in a similar man-
Dry sherry is not on most people’s olives, cheeses (especially good with located in Northern Portugal’s Douro ner to ruby, but is exposed to oxygen,
shopping list. Its flavors are peculiar bleu cheeses), and salty fish such as an- Valley where 30,000 farmers grow turning brown or tawny, much like an
to our palates, and it’s not a classic chovies. For us here in the Northwest, grapes such as Touriga Nacional, Tou- apple exposed to air. Flavors are less
match with most foods. Being fortified, there is no better way to enjoy manza- riga Francesca, and Tinta Cão in an- fruity and more resemble caramel or
people associate sherry with heavier nilla than with oysters on the half shell. cient terraced hillside vineyards along nuts.
style wines like port. However, what The mineral-sea flavors of oysters the Douro River. These traditional vari- The hand-stenciled label on this
other category of wine can world-class resonate with the chilled dry freshness etals are blended into the various styles bottle hints at the traditional style of
examples of the best the world has to of this sherry. of port, mostly designated as ruby or this old port house founded in 1850.
offer be purchased for $20 a bottle or tawny ports. While others may try to modernize the
less? Its flavors are stimulating, unique, Lustau Dry Amontillado Sherry, Ruby port is protected from oxygen; staid reputation of port, Rocha seems
and represent new tasting experiences Spain, $14.95, 750 ml. its purple color belies its similarity to to cling to it. Their ports, coming from
bordering on ethereal when paired Amontillado sherry develops higher red wine in terms of flavor profiles. low-yielding 80-year-old vineyards,
with certain foods, and it shines as an alcohol content, dissolving the protec- It is fortified with neutral brandy-like remain unchanged.
aperitif to whet the appetite. As to be- tive yeast cap, allowing this style of liquor, fermentation is stopped, sweet- This tawny represents the most basic
ing heavy, sherry runs the gamut from sherry to come into contact with air ness is preserved, and alcohol levels and least expensive port. With its nutty
light, fresh, and dry to thick and sweet, to become oxidized. This results in a are elevated to the 20-percent range. sweetness and fine grained acidity, plus
bordering on syrupy. sherry with more color and a nutty, This Late Bottled Vintage from long shelf life after opening, it’s easy
Made from the traditional sherry caramel character. As with all sher- Dow’s is a ruby port from a 200-year- to see why tawnys are supplanting ruby
grape, Palomino, the “La Guita” man- ries, a system of blending called solera old iconic port producer. It is a reason- ports as the most popular style of port.
zanilla is a light, fresh, dry style of combines the youngest wines with a ably priced, good introduction for the While vintage ports may be too
sherry. Alcohol level is only modestly series of casks holding progressively novice port drinker, or a fine quality, heavy to serve before a meal, the
higher than table wines. Protected from older sherries to make a consistent well-balanced port for the seasoned lightness of a tawny makes it also
oxidation by a layer of yeast (called non-vintage style that shares a portion port drinker. Bottled unfiltered from suitable as an aperitif, perhaps
flor) while stored in large casks of of all vintages dating back to the oldest casks at maturity, it has striking acidity served with figs, nuts, or cheeses.
American oak, manzanilla is famous original vintage. balancing the sweetness, preventing the Don’t forget, for holiday gift giv-
for its clean, saline character. The briny Although considered dry, this amon- wine from being heavy or syrupy. Look ing, the 375 ml. half-bottle size
air of the hot coastal region of southern tillado does show some sweetness. It for fruit aspects, bright cherry flavors makes a great stocking stuffer.
Spain where all sherry comes from is is also more “weighty,” with plenty seem to dominate, cola and chocolate
said to imbue manzanilla with the taste of caramel, tobacco, and walnut-like
of the sea, and this clear-colored dry flavors and aromas. It’s good as an
powder provide more earthy tones. Wine Questions?
Consider this a dessert-style wine; Co-op Wine Buyers Vic Hubbard
sherry certainly conveys plenty of sa- aperitif, but also with a light repast of traditionally it is matched with Stilton
nuts, chicken, or cheeses. For an ideal and Tim Johnson invite your
line character. cheese after a meal. It’s also good with
In Spain, where sherry is king, pairing, try this wine with caramelized questions or comments. Send email
dark chocolate. to firstname.lastname@example.org or
the lighter-style sherries—fino and walnuts and bleu cheese.
Have you seen our
revolution” logo? You
can get it now on our
own durable “revolutionary” stainless steel pint-size cup. It’s
BPA-free, stackable, and dishwasher safe. Great for iced tea or Co-op Gift Cards
coffee, juice, beer, or smoothies. In addition to being a handy way to pay for regular purchases,
our Co-op Gift Cards make great holiday gifts. Do you have a family
Grab a new 100% recycled cotton shopping bag—also with
member or friend locally who would love to have some extra money
our “delicious revolution” logo. This bag is from Ecorite—lead- to spend on good, healthy, nutritious food? Gift cards are an easy,
ers in green thinking with environmentally friendly products. no-frills way to give a gift that everyone appreciates. Call or stop
Join us in choosing products that help make our world a bet- by the service desk at either store to arrange for a gift card. We can
ter, safer, and healthier place. mail them to your recipient for easy gifting.
Co-op Community News, December 2011 7
Cooking, health, and well-being classes
Healthy Connections offered by the Community Food Co-op
All classes (unless noted) are held at either the Downtown Co-op’s Connection Building (on the south side of the parking lot on For-
est Street) or the Local Roots Room, which is upstairs at the Cordata Co-op. Registration requires payment in full. Some classes are
co-sponsored with Whatcom Community College. To register for these classes, call 360-383-3200 or go online to www.
whatcomcommunityed.com For all other classes stop by the service desk at either store location, or call
360-734-8158 (credit card payment only). See each class listing for location and registration. For any other class
information, contact Kevin Murphy at 360-734-8158 or email email@example.com.
the body, and is therapeutic for the Hawks, Eagles, and Falcons Improve Your Sleep Naturally
back, spine, and neck. Ruby will of Winter with Kim Sandstrom, ND
guide you through a dynamic blend with David Drummond Wednesday, January 25, 6:30–8:30
Robert of postures, breathing, mantra, Wednesday, January 18, 6:30–8:30 pm pm
music, and meditation. A mat and Birds of prey or raptors are a diverse So many of us are chronically sleep
blanket will be provided, if needed, group of animals, ecologically impor- deprived. This can lead to low energy,
but bring your own if possible. For tant and prominent in popular imagina- depressed or anxious mood, sugar, car-
more information, see www.ko- tion. Collectively, they help maintain bohydrate, and caffeine cravings, and
koroyoga.com. a functioning energy flow and rich weight gain. Dr. Kimberly Sandstrom
$12 members/$14 non-members/ ecosystem in the farmlands and forests will discuss natural approaches to com-
Downtown Co-op/register at Co-op of the Northwest. Learn more about mon sleep problems including nutrition,
their natural history in this exciting exercise, yoga, and calming herbs.
Manual Ligament Therapy multimedia presentation by David $5 members, $6 non-members/Downtown
Co-op/register at Co-op
with Arik Gohl Drummond, Merlin Falcon Foundation
Saturday, December 10, 1–3 raptor biologist. Bring your stories and
pm your questions.
Manual Ligament Therapy $10 members, $12 non-members/Downtown with Darcie Donegan, MA
(MLT) is a cutting-edge clinical Co-op/register at Co-op Thursday, January 26, 6:30–8:30 pm
manual therapy developed by Arik This workshop is designed for parents
Gohl, LMP, of Tacoma. Arik will Winter Roasting looking for quality child care for their
demonstrate how MLT can be used to with Mary Ellen Carter young children. We will talk about the
resolve both simple and difficult injuries Thursday, January 19, 6–8 pm types of care available, the pros and cons
Make Your Own Herbal Gifts
and pathologies. With his learning, ex- Mary Ellen Carter demonstrates of each, and, most importantly, how to
with Sajah Popham
perience, and vision, Arik is working to shrimp roasted on rock salt served with a identify high-quality care. Licensing and
Thursday, December 1, 6:30–8:30 pm
create training programs that will change roasted romesco sauce, as well as stellar accreditation, local resources, defining
Join herbalist Sajah Popham in a fun
the face of bodywork. He hopes to em- recipes for roasted vegetables, including individual child and family needs, and
and practical class. Sajah demonstrates
power therapists by providing tools to roasted root vegetable salad with ginger advice on how to identify the key quality
how to make wholesome herbal salves,
increase their longevity, productivity, and vinaigrette and toasted pumpkin seeds. indicators will be also be covered. Darcie
lip balms, bath salts, tinctures, teas, and
effectiveness, while enhancing clients’ Fill your kitchen with the sweet smells of Donegan is a former child-care center
vinegars. Everybody knows the gifts you
health and healing. roasting. A wine option, payable at class, director, current parent, and early child-
make yourself are the best—especially
is $7. hood education instructor with 30 years
when they promote immunity, stress re- Free event--registration requested/Down-
town Co-op/register with Susan Guttzeit experience.
duction, relaxation, deep dreaming, and (360-738-9800)
$35 members and non-members/Cordata
$5 members, $6 non-members/Downtown
Co-op/register at WCC (360-383-3200)
general good health. Sajah is a Bastyr Co-op/register at Co-op
University graduate and is the owner of
Introduction to Ayurveda Fire up Your Willpower with
Organic Unity. For more information, see Make Your Own Soft Cheese
with Christian Czingula Kundalini Yoga
www.organic-unity.com. with Mark Solomon
$19 members, $22 non-members/Downtown
Wednesday, January 11, 6:30–8:30 pm with Ruby C. Koa, RYT
Co-op/register at Co-op Ayurveda is a 5,000-year-old philoso- Thursday, January 19, 6:30–8 pm Saturday, January 28, 1–4 pm
phy of healing from India—literally it Make sticking to your New Year Join Seattle cheese maker Mark Solo-
means “the science of life.” Ayurvedic resolutions easier by working on your mon for a hands-on class. We’ll make
Seasonal Chakra Adjustment
therapist Christian Czingula discusses third chakra; the center of will power, yogurt cheese, ricotta, mozzarella, and
with Annie Reynolds, Kerri
how the principles of Ayurveda can be energy, and commitment. You’ll be burrata in class. We’ll also discuss how
Burnside, and Marilyn Rinn
applied to a wide range of psycho-physi- challenged and inspired through a dy- to make at least three other cheeses—
Saturday, December 3, 10–11:30 am
ological issues. He will discuss the ener- namic sequence of ab strengthening chevre, quark, and cream cheese. You’ll
Annie, Kerri, and Marilyn offer a
getic qualities of food and how different movements, breathing, mantra, and a learn the basics, be introduced to simple
chakra adjustment using sound healing
approaches to diet are appropriate for dif- special meditation to help you over- soft cheese-making equipment, trouble-
with crystal bowls and guided medita-
ferent constitutional types. Christian will come addictions. A mat and blanket shoot common mistakes, and discuss
tion. Ground your energy and de-stress
also relate Ayurvedic philosophy to con- will be provided if needed, but bring how to get the best results in your own
so that you can enjoy the holiday season.
temporary modalities such as quantum your own if possible. For more infor- kitchen. Samples of all varieties will be
For more information, see illuminated-
physics and the work of Deepak Chopra mation, see www.kokoroyoga.com. served.
growth.com. All proceeds will be do-
nated to the Food Bank. and Dr. Emoto. $12 members, $14 non-members/Downtown $55 members and non-members/Cordata
Free event—registration requested/Down- Co-op/register at WCC (360-383-3200)
$5 suggested donation/Downtown Co-op/ Co-op/register at Co-op
register at Co-op town Co-op/register at Co-op
Ethiopian Cuisine Thai Classics
Make-Ahead Holiday Party Deep Winter Comfort Food with Mulu Belay with Robert Fong
with Charles Claassen Monday, January 23, 6–9 pm Tuesday, January 31, 6:30–9 pm
with Lisa Dixon
Thursday, January 12, 6:30–9 pm Join Mulu Belay of Ambo Ethiopian Robert serves classic Thai dishes
Wednesday, December 7, 6:30–9 pm
Are the dark days getting you down? Cuisine as she makes Ethiopian favor- including tom yum goong, lemongrass
Dazzle your holiday guests with fes-
Cozy up with chef Charles Claassen ites including doro wat (a spicy chicken shrimp and young coconut soup, red
tive foods you can prepare ahead of time.
from the Book Fare Cafe with some stew), gomen (stewed kale), ibe (cottage curry galangal duck, lightly fried fish
Registered Dietician Lisa Dixon demon-
off-season comfort food preparations. cheese made from buttermilk), and, of cake with a sweet and sour peanut sauce.
strates how to make smoked salmon piz-
In this class we’ll prepare dishes with course, injera, the sourdough flatbread A wine option, payable at class, is $8.
za, bruschetta bars topped with garbanzo
beans and served with Tuscan greens, what’s available from our local farms and that accompanies traditional Ethiopian
$39 members and non-members/Downtown
Co-op/register at WCC (360-383-3200)
and for gluten-free guests—polenta coins larders: Garlic & Leek Bisque, Fennel- menus.
with mushroom sauté. Lisa is a recent Cider Braised Chard & Kale, Roasted $35 members and non-members/Cordata
graduate of Bastyr University’s Dietetic & Mashed Potatoes & Rutabagas, and Co-op/register at WCC (360-383-3200)
Internship program, and is the co-owner Blackberry Buttermilk Biscuits. You can
still eat locally in the deep winter. A wine Winter Soups Mulu Belay
of Nourish RDs, a nutrition communica-
tions and consulting company that has option, payable at class, is $7. with Karina Davidson
$19 members, $22 non-members/Downtown Tuesday, January 24, 6:30–9 pm
the mission to inspire and teach others to
eat and enjoy real food. A wine option is
Co-op/register at Co-op Join Karina for a lively evening
available at the door for $7. cooking warming winter soups. On the
$29 members, $33 non-members/Downtown
Year of the Black Dragon menu: Senegalese chicken and pea-
Co-op/register at Co-op with Robert Fong nut soup; an Italian wild mushroom,
Tuesday, January 17, 6:30–9 pm marsala, and wild rice soup; a robust
Let Go of Holiday Stress with Ring in the Year of the Dragon with butternut squash bisque; and a healthy,
Kundalini Yoga celebratory Chinese New Year dishes: hearty Cajun-inspired red bean and
with Ruby C. Koa Sichuan fragrant duck, scallops & shrimp chicken sausage soup. And as a bonus
Thursday, December 8, 6:30–8 pm rice noodles, Beijing hot sour soup, and soup, Greek avgolemono, a luscious
Give yourself the tools to deal grace- Coconut Almond Pudding. Bring your and simple lemon scented chicken and
fully with the stress of the holidays with appetite for this fun, educational event. A rice soup. Come hungry.
Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan. wine option, payable at class, is $8. $35 members and non-members/Downtown
$45 members and non-members/Downtown Co-op/register at WCC (360-383-3200)
This practice benefits all the systems of Co-op/register at WCC (360-383-3200)
8 Co-op Community News, December 2011 www.communityfood.coop
Debit Card vs. Gift Card: Tips from a SNAP User
Choose Your Plastic A follower of Elizabeth Archerd’s
(Wedge Community Co-op in Min-
You’re probably trying to save mon- neapolis MN) recent “What If” Food
ey on your household food expenses— Challenge shared her strategies for
most of us are. But did you know you thriving on a limited food budget.
can save yourself money and hassle Having exhausted unemployment
and, at the same time, save the Co-op benefits and still jobless, she receives
money by using a Co-op gift card for the monthly maximum SNAP for
purchases versus using your bank debit one person ($200) as her only
or credit card? “income.” During the decades
Co-op shoppers have increased their that she was employed, she
use of credit and debit cards substan- shopped for raw ingredients,
tially over the years. In fact, this year spend during that period—it makes cooked and saved up, so she
the Co-op will process considerably handling each shopping transaction was already a budget shopper.
more than 500,000 debit and credit quick and easy. It may even help you But now she’s honed it so that
card transactions. Each debit card stay within your planned budget—and many months she has money left
transaction costs the Co-op approxi- you don’t have to worry about having over. Her strategies may sound famil-
mately 40 cents, and for credit cards the right amount of cash. Your receipt iar. See which ones you might adopt Mostly everything can be frozen.
the average is 83 cents. Because the shows the amount of the purchase as for your situation. Bananas can be mashed with lemon
Co-op tracks gift card transactions with well as the remaining balance on the Shop the sales and stock up. juice, frozen and used later for ba-
our own internal system, our gift cards card. Think in terms of the entire year nana bread or smoothies.
cost the Co-op only 5 cents to purchase Co-op produce department worker, (taking into account space limita- Onions, green/red/yellow pep-
and no fees to process when they are student, and part-time graphic artist tions.) Buy lots of what’s in season. pers, celery, carrots, and more can
used. Habiba Sial says, “I love using my Co- Clean, chop and put in a zipper bag. be cleaned and frozen (cheese too).
For example, if you loaded a gift op gift card. It helps me stick with my Store enough in the freezer to last the They lose crunchiness but are good
card (using cash, check, debit or credit budget for in-store lunches and I eat year—this is the cheapest, freshest, with stews and stir fries.
card) each month and then used the gift healthier. When my card balance gets most flavorful way. Carry your own food and drink
card to shop once a week, you would low, I focus on buying veggies instead Cook from scratch. Everything gets whenever you go out, to prevent situ-
save the Co-op more than $15 a year. of something prepared.” Cordata Co- cheaper each step closer to cooking ations when you might use a vending
That may not sound like a lot for one op cashier Crista Aberle-Devine loves from scratch, and the ingredients in machine or be tempted to go out to
person, but with more than a half mil- the convenience of her gift card. She your recipes are totally wholesome eat.
lion debit or credit card transactions added, “It keeps me from spending and without added chemicals. Buy food in as large a quantity as
each year, it adds up quickly. Too many over my budgeted amount in addition Cook up large quantities of food you have room for storage. It’s most
costs are out of our control—here’s one to saving the Co-op money.” on your days off. Portion out serving cost effective. If needed, portion out
that each of us can help control for our- The savings in processing fees for size containers, label and put them in useful sizes before freezing.
selves and for the Co-op. the Co-op really add up. Review this the freezer. On days you come home Even potatoes can be frozen if
There’s another benefit too—the list of benefits for using a gift card and late, tired or hungry you can simply they’re mashed first. Don’t be wor-
Co-op reuses all of our gift cards. They see if this idea might work for you. choose a meal from the freezer. ried when they thaw out watery. They
aren’t thrown in the landfill after each • Easy to load There is no such thing as freezer thicken up again when heated.
use as many other retail stores do. • Saves having cash available burn. Try your own experiment. Thaw
All it takes is one simple step at any • Makes checkout quicker out meat with freezer burn and cook it For more details on Elizabeth’s
checkstand or at the service desk to • Saves processing fees up. See if the freezer burn doesn’t dis- “What If” Challenge, see www.
“load” your Co-op gift card bi-weekly • Helps with budgeting appear (rehydrate). You seldom need to wedge.coop/food-resources/my-what-
or monthly for the amount you typically • Cards are recycled throw out frozen meat. if-food-challenge.
Talking Turkey: A Poultry Primer
Nutritious and versatile, poultry is Free-range. This USDA regula-
an affordable staple in many omni- tion means that the animal has been
vore households. Poultry lends itself allowed access to the outside. The
to a variety of cooking methods— government doesn’t specify that
baking, grilling and stir frying, for poultry must go outside, for how
example—and flavorings from sweet long, or the amount or kind of space
and savory to hot and spicy. that must be provided, but the idea is
As with other foods, knowing that poultry is free to roam outdoors
where and how your chicken, turkey, and engage in natural behaviors (this
Cornish game hen, and other poul- is the way most poultry was raised
try have been raised can help you before high-density confinement was
choose the products that are right for introduced in the 1950s). And poul-
you and provide information about try that exercises produces leaner Cage-free. Poultry that’s cage-free To locate local poultry sources (in-
animal welfare and environmental meat. is allowed to roam, but not necessar- cluding farms and co-ops), check out
impact. ily outdoors. This allows poultry to the Local Harvest website.
Understanding some commonly Natural. USDA allows this label engage in some natural behaviors,
used poultry-producing terms can to be used when a product contains such as walking, nesting, and perch-
help put you in the know. However, no artificial ingredients or added ing. However, this term is not regu- A Little Turkey Tutorial
it’s important to know that some of colors and is only minimally pro- lated by USDA nor by third-party
the terms are regulated, while others cessed. The label must explain what certifiers for poultry, though it is You might want to keep in mind
are not. When in doubt about poultry “natural” means, so be sure to read regulated for eggs. when shopping for your holiday tur-
terms or what’s offered at your local on. It might say “no added colorings key that a plump, round shape means
grocery store, ask for more informa- or artificial ingredients; minimally Pastured poultry. This is a term an abundance of tender meat. Other
tion at the meat counter. processed,” for example. coined for chickens raised on grass tidbits that might come in handy:
pasture all of the time after the initial
Organic. Poultry that meets the “No hormones added” means brooding period. However, this term • Fresh turkeys and heritage or heir-
requirements of the National Organ- just that, but keep in mind that Fed- does not guarantee that poultry feeds loom turkeys cook faster than most
ics Program (NOP) has been raised eral regulations prohibit the use of only on pasture. commercial turkeys and turkeys
in housing that permits natural be- hormones in raising poultry, so this that have been frozen.
havior, with outdoor access, has been term should apply to all poultry any- Fresh. A “fresh” poultry label
fed certified organic feed (including way. Regulations also require that if means that the temperature of the • A hen is a female turkey (smaller)
pasture), has not been given anti- a poultry label says, “no hormones raw poultry has never been below and a tom or gobbler is a male tur-
biotics or hormones and has been added,” it must also say, “Federal 26 degrees F. (Frozen poultry, on the key (larger). Neither is more tender
processed organically. The USDA regulations prohibit the use of hor- other hand, has a temperature of 0 than the other.
organic label requires producers to mones.” degrees F or below.) A turkey could
follow production and handling prac- be kept at 27 degrees F for weeks or • Brining (soaking) a turkey before
tices in accordance with the national “No antibiotics added” means even months, though, and then sold cooking adds flavor and moisture.
standards; certifying agents ensure that the producer has provided docu- as “fresh.” Buy from a grocer who Sometimes brined turkeys have
compliance through annual inspec- mentation to the USDA that the ani- can tell you how long the “fresh” artificial ingredients, but you can
tions. mals were raised without antibiotics. poultry has been in storage. (continued on page 10)
Co-op Community News, December 2011 9
WSU Whatcom County Master Gardener
Applications are currently being
accepted for the 10-week Master
Gardener training beginning Febru-
ary 9, 2012. To become a certified
Master Gardener, applicants must
complete 60 hours of volunteer time
as a Community Educator.
Washington State University
Whatcom County Extension provides Dan Pike, Alala Tate,
and Pete Kremen
home horticulture training to people (l to r).
interested in gardening and their
community. In return for this train-
ing, Master Gardener Community Bellingham Children’s Theatre
Master Gardener intern at the Master
Educators volunteer 60 hours during Gardener annual plant sale.
the same year helping home garden-
ers. December 15, 16, and 17, 7 pm; December 18, 2 pm
WWU Performing Arts Center
The online training sessions and in-person workshops are led by local and
state experts. The sessions cover introductory horticulture and botany, soils, In this 2nd annual staging of “The Wutcraker!” several esteemed public
garden management, weed control, plant pathology, insects, pesticide safety, officials set aside politics and law enforcement to become dungeon mates
landscape ornamentals, pruning, and vegetable and fruit crops. and are sentenced to sing and dance. You’ll laugh with them in all their hu-
manness as they participate in this locally written, directed, and acted parody
Cost for this training is $300, which includes materials and DVD, online cur- of that famous ballet. A cast of fifty, ranging in age from 7 to 70 co-star as
riculum, guest speakers and field trips. A rebate of $150 is returned after volun- “Booger Flung Scaries,” “Ice Gang rappers,” “A Lonely Cheese,” and more.
teer hours are completed. Scholarships are available for those who qualify.
$12 advance tickets are available at Village Books, the Community Food
Co-op, and at www.tickets.wwu.edu $15 tickets available at the door. For
For more information contact Master Gardener Coordinator Beth Chisholm
more information, see www.bellinghamchildrenstheatre.com or call 360-734-
at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-676-6736. See www.whatcom.wsu.edu and
9999. Last year “The Wutcraker!” sold out! Get your tickets early!
Families and the Non-GMO
Farm Bill Progress
Community Food Security Coalition
(CFSC) hosted its 15th annual conference Non-GMO Month was a re-
in Oakland CA in November. Hundreds of sounding success from the 46
activists from across the U.S. heard from percent increase in retailer par-
many inspiring speakers, and had the op- ticipation to the historic Right-
portunity to take action on the Farm Bill. 2Know March from New York
The conference also helped launch a new City to Washington, D.C. Below are some of the Non-GMO Month highlights
campaign by CFSC called Parent Earth, by the numbers.
featuring videos on food for families. See
how parents are standing up for food and • 1,039 participating retailers
food policy in three short videos at www.parentearth.com/action/farmbill/. • 54,000 Non-GMO Project Pocket Guides distributed
• 50,000+ followers on Facebook
Materials from the conference, slide shows, handouts, photos, and more • 40,000+ visitors to the websites (including the new nongmomonth.org)
are posted at www.communityfoodconference.org/15/materials. You can help • 466,000+ overall “engagements” on Facebook (likes, shares, clicks) during
keep the food system change momentum going by finding the CFSC Face- October
book page at www.facebook.com/communityfood. • 3,800+ followers on Twitter
• 2,500+ mentions on Twitter during October
The Community Food Security Coalition catalyzes food systems that are • 8,000 Non-GMO Project tote bags handed out
healthy, sustainable, just, and democratic by building community voice and • 598 products verified in the 90 days prior to Non-GMO Month
capacity for change. The coalition’s diverse membership includes more than • 31 winners of our popular online Daily Giveaway Contest
500 social and economic justice, anti-hunger, environmental, community
development, sustainable agriculture, community gardening, and other orga- For more details, see Courtney Pineau’s blog at www.nongmoproject.org.
nizations. Courtney is the new Communications Manager for the Non-GMO Project.
(continued from page 9)
also find turkeys that are brined keys add fat as they age; heritage • An “oven-ready” turkey is ready
with just sea salt, spices, and wa- turkeys have an additional fat layer to cook, while an “oven-prepared”
ter. Or you can brine your own. under their skin that keeps meat turkey is fully cooked and ready to
moister during cooking. Individual eat.
• Heritage or heirloom turkeys typi- breeds have specific flavors (chat • What size turkey do you need?
cally have denser, moister and with your grower or grocer to find • Basted turkeys are injected or The rule of thumb is a half pound
more flavorful meat than most out more). marinated with liquid (like broth of turkey per person (this also al-
commercial turkeys. That’s be- or water), fat (like butter), and sea- lows for some leftovers).
cause they have a higher propor- • Wild turkeys have more dark meat sonings. Commercial turkeys often
tion of dark meat, are customarily and are more intensely flavored include artificial ingredients, but • For vegetarians, consider pur-
fed more diverse diets and are than domesticated turkeys. (Did they must be stated on the label, chasing a Tofurky or other
more active. It’s also because you know that a wild turkey— along with the total quantity of the “mock turkey,” made from wheat
they take longer to reach maturity which weighs half what a domestic injected solution (3 percent, for protein or tofu.
(about 26 weeks versus 14 weeks turkey weighs—can actually fly?) example).
for commercial turkeys) and tur- Source: strongertogether.coop.
10 Co-op Community News, December 2011 www.communityfood.coop
2012 CSD Organizations
continued from page 1
week of case management, allowing Committee, and established the goal
WDRC to convene mediations and of “Working to build common under-
help more struggling homeowners. standing and facilitate collaborative
efforts toward a healthy and equitable
Whatcom Family and Commu- food system for all.” WFN’s CSD
nity Network will provide much needed publicity
Since 1990, the purpose of the What- to this new organization and also help
com Family and Community Network fund a part-time program assistant to
(WFCN) has been building the capacity maintain communication with Food
of our community to support children, Network members and the Planning
youth, and families to develop the skills Committee, develop and maintain
and opportunities they need to lead publications and marketing materials,
healthy productive lives. Building on and plan events.
a successful pilot summer program in
2011 that linked youth at risk of sub- WSU Cooperative Extension
stance abuse, dropping out of school, Community First Garden Proj-
and gang violence with opportunities to
experience and learn about the natural
environment, CSD funds will be used
The WSU Cooperative Extension
Community First Garden Project, Community News
Advertising Sign-up Dates
to supplement program costs for 60 to established in 2008, supports neigh- EveryMonthly
70 youth and adult mentors to explore borhoods throughout Whatcom Ad Sign-up Schedule
hiking, climbing, biking, snowshoeing, County in creating and maintaining
camping, and kayaking outdoors this community gardens. CSD funds will Issue Sign-up Dates
summer. be used to provide supplies—such as JANUARY Nov 5–Dec 26
wheelbarrows, tools, seed, compost FEBRUARY Dec 5–Jan 25
Whatcom Food Network bins, or starter kits for schools and MARCH Jan 5–Feb 25
In April 2010, a small group gath- churches—for five to 10 community Ad space is limited. All ads are reserved on a
ered with the goal of increasing gardens, and to print a bilingual gar- first-come, first-served basis during designat-
coordination among organizations
working on various dimensions of the
den guide currently in high demand
at three community gardens where
Co-op Holiday Hours ed sign-up times only, and must be prepaid.
For ad forms and more complete info, stop by
Whatcom County Food System. This Spanish-speaking families will benefit Christmas Eve—Close at 6 pm the service desk or call 360-734-8158.
group expanded, became the What- from supportive resource materials Christmas Day—Closed Information to place an ad is available
com Food Network (WFN) Planning for continued success. New Year’s Eve—Close at 8 pm online at www.communityfood.coop/
New Year’s Day—Open at 10 am resources/newsletter.htm.
Sweet Potatoes 78 Percent of U.S. Families Purchase Organic Foods
continued from page 6
Consumers vote with their dollars despite economic difficulty.
Although they look tough and du-
rable, sweet potatoes are thin skinned Seventy eight percent—more vealed that the U.S. organic industry in 2009. However, the study also
and not great keepers, so don’t buy U.S. families than ever before—say grew at a rate of nearly eight percent found that three in 10 U.S. fami-
more than you’ll eat in a week. For me they are choosing organic foods, in 2010. Fueled by consumer choice lies are new entrants to the organic
it’s hard not to do that, so I end up with according to a study published in and demand, the organic sector is marketplace. This figure is consis-
a lot of cooked sweet potatoes, which November by the Organic Trade one of the few components of the tent with prior years’ findings, and
end up being very useful, in that mash Association (OTA). “In a time U.S. economy that continues to add indicates a need for continued out-
for example. when the severity of the economy jobs. reach and education on the verified
As for cooking, baking is a time- means making tough choices, it is Nearly half—48 percent—of par- benefits offered by organic agricul-
honored method. Scrub them, skip any extremely encouraging to see con- ents surveyed revealed that their ture and products.
wrappings, and bake in a 375º F oven sumers vote with their values by in- strongest motivator for buying For the study, OTA, in partnership
until utterly yielding when pierced cluding quality organic products in organic is their belief that organic with KIWI Magazine, polled nearly
with a knife, an hour or more, depend- their shopping carts,” said Christine products “are healthier for me and 1,300 U.S. families about their at-
ing on the size. Sometimes very fresh Bushway, OTA Executive Direc- my children.” Other motivators for titudes and behaviors relating to or-
sweet potatoes can leak their sugar tor and CEO. The finding is one of purchasing organic included concern ganic foods. The total sample reflects
juices while baking, so you might want many contained in OTA’s newly re- over the effects of pesticides, hor- the target population of U.S. house-
to bake them on a sheet pan. If you leased 2011 U.S. Families’ Organic mones, and antibiotics on children; holds at a confidence interval of +/-3
want a sweet potato for supper and Attitudes and Beliefs Study. and the desire to avoid highly pro- percent at the 95 percent confidence
don’t want to wait that long, pressure According to the study, four in cessed or artificial ingredients. level. This is the third year the study
cook them for about 25 minutes. After 10 families indicate they are buy- Nearly a decade after the federal has been conducted.
a fast release of the pressure, check to ing more organic products than they rules for organic were implemented,
make sure they’re soft throughout. If were a year ago. The findings are 72 percent of parents are now fa- For more information, see the
not, return the lid and cook another 5 in line with those in OTA’s 2011 miliar with the USDA Organic seal, Organic Trade Association at www.
minutes. You can also steam them, ei- Organic Industry Survey, which re- up significantly from 65 percent ota.com.
ther whole or cut into chunks, and you
can boil them, although I never like the
idea of diluting their flavor.
Not only are these tuberous veg-
USDA Supports Research and Marketing of Organic Agriculture
etables very versatile, easy to like and
Agriculture Deputy Secretary ects will give producers the tools and and systems to be addressed in-
prepare, they offer a lot in the nutrition
Kathleen Merrigan recently an- resources to produce quality organic clude those associated with organic
department. With plenty of fiber, beta
nounced 23 new grants to research food and boost farm income, boosting crops, organic animal production
carotene, vitamins C and B6, iron,
and extension programs working to the ‘Grown in America’ brand.” (including dairy), and organic sys-
calcium, and protein, sweet potatoes
help organic producers and proces- The grants include more than $15 tems integrating plant and animal
made the Center for Science in the
sors grow and market high quality million in 2011 grants through the production.
Public Interest’s top 10 best foods
organic agricultural products. The OREI. Supporting the development of More information on the program
list—all the more reason for incor-
grants, totaling $19 million in all, are sustainable agricultural and forestry can be found online at www.nifa.
porating this versatile tuber into your
funded by the U.S. Department of practices, including organic farming, usda.gov/fo/organictransitionspro-
Agriculture’s (USDA) National Insti- to both reduce negative impacts on gram.cfm.
tute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) the environment and keep U.S. farm- Since the late 1990s, U.S.
See Deborah’s recipes at stronger-
through two unique programs: the ers competitive is a priority of USDA organic production has seen sig-
Organic Agriculture Research and research. nificant growth. U.S. producers
Extension Initiative (OREI) and the For more OREI information, visit are increasingly turning to certi-
Founding chef of San Francisco’s
Organic Transitions Program (ORG). www.nifa.usda.gov/fo/organicagricul- fied organic farming systems as a
Greens Restaurant and author of Veg-
“As more and more farmers adopt tureresearchandextensioninitiative. potential way to decrease reliance
etarian Cooking for Everyone (and 10
organic agriculture practices, they cfm. on nonrenewable resources, capture
other cookbooks), Deborah Madison
need the best science available to op- The grants also include nearly high-value markets and premium
lives, writes, and gardens in Galisteo
erate profitable and successful organ- $4 million through the ORG. In FY prices, and boost farm income.
NM. She loves her co-op, La Montañi-
ic farms,” said Merrigan. “America’s 2011, the ORG focused on environ- Today more than two-thirds
ta, especially the beautiful, distinctive
brand of organic agricultural goods mental services provided by organic of U.S. consumers buy organic
produce she finds there—vegetables
is world-renowned for its high- farming systems that support soil products at least occasionally, and
that really feel like someone grew them
quality and abundance of selection. conservation and contribute to cli- 28 percent buy organic products
with care on a small farm.
These research and extension proj- mate change mitigation. Practices weekly.
Co-op Community News, December 2011 11
Farm Fund Supports Youth
Photos courtesy of Common Threads Farm
Laura Plaut, Director, Common Threads Farm
What does it take to turn an urban State Street during the month of Sep-
grass lawn into a fully function- tember.
ing garden with a market stand in The garden isn’t the only thing
less than three months? In the case that has grown though. Along the
of Common Threads’ Youth Grown way participants and volunteers
Farewell, Co-op Month
project, funded this year with a Co- have grown too—finding pride in
op Farm Fund grant, it took a hard- constructing an awesome bean trel-
working crew of homeless youth, a lis, working with a diverse group of
core of dedicated volunteers, and the people, or overcoming their fears of Your Co-op staff had a blast hosting a were hosted at each store. Co-op owners
combined vision of three local non- public speaking to help farm stand bevy of Co-op Month events in October were treated to a smorgasbord of treats
profits. customers with a purchase. This suc- and we hope that everyone joined in on from our favorite local vendors along
Common Threads launched Youth cessful pilot could not have happened the fun. with fun freebies, prize giveaways, and
Grown, a garden-based job and life without the support of the Farm What events, you may ask? Well, there live music.
skills training pro- Fund—look for more were the Pickford Film Center documen- We’d like to extend a heartfelt thanks
gram, in collaboration growth of good people taries, the fabulous “Land for Food, Food to everyone who participated in the fes-
with Northwest Youth and good food through for People” event co-sponsored with tivities including staff, vendors, volun-
Services and the What- the Youth Grown proj- Community to Community Development teers, musicians, and YOU!
com Volunteer Center. ect in 2012. and Kulshan Community Land Trust, the Congratulations to Connie Kelly of
From July through cute Non-GMO Project-verified product Bellingham, the big winner in this year’s
October, Northwest For more informa- displays at both stores, a lovely Co-op Owner Appreciation Drawing. Con-
Youth Services clients tion on this project, see Month display at the Bellingham Public nie won a grab bag of gift cards to local
worked with Common www.commonthread- Library, the amazing giant pumpkins restaurants and a Co-op gift card, too, of
Threads staff and vol- sfarm.org or contact in front of both stores, the Cooperator course. Runners up in the drawing each
unteers to prepare soil, info@commonthreads- Award nominations, and the Owner Ap- won a pair of tickets to the iDiOM The-
plant seeds, and bring farm.org. Donations to preciation Day prize drawing. ater: Rick and Lisa Gigo, and David Bal-
their harvest to mar- the Co-op’s Farm Fund Oh, what else was happening during four. Cooperator Award winners will be
ket. Patrons purchased are accepted at all Co- Co-op Month you may wonder? Only the announced in the January newsletter.
veggies at the Youth op registers. fabulous Owner Appreciation Days that Photos by Joanne Plucy, Habiba Sial, Laura Steiger
Grown Farm Stand on
Seaweed: The Forgotten Vegetable
Sea vegetables occupy a curious place salad ingredients, which I’ll detail later, on your own. If you
in the American culinary tradition. That while kombu needs a bit of cooking. Re- buy the full fronds
place, namely, is the shelf at the store, garded by many in Japan as something at the Co-op, you’ll
because almost no one ever buys them. of a superfood, kombu can be eaten after want to soak them in
With the explosion of sushi into main- soaking and heating, but its most classic cold water for about ten minutes, then
stream American culture over the past use is in the preparation of dashi. Dashi pull the leaves off the center rib, much
few decades, most Americans have come is the quintessential Japanese stock—the the way you would do with a leaf of kale.
to be at least somewhat familiar with nori, basis for nearly all Japanese soups, in- The leaves are a dark, translucent green,
the dried seaweed paper used to wrap cluding the always popular miso. There and they have a very pleasant chewiness
maki rolls, but few of us consume any are numerous detailed recipes for dashi about them. Sliced daikon radish (also
other varieties. If we even notice the sea online, so I leave it to you to Google available at the Co-op) makes a tasty and
vegetables for sale in the Co-op or else- them, but the basic process involves pretty addition to a wakame salad. they are decidedly the least “oceany” of
where, we’re likely to pass them by with soaking and then gently heating kombu, One of the beauties of making sea sea vegetables. These two would prob-
either squeamishness (“Ewww, I don’t briefly adding a healthy amount of bonito vegetable salads or any other Japanese ably be the best to start with if you’re new
want to eat that slimy ocean-goop!”) or flakes (fermented, dried, shaved tuna), salad is the simplicity of the dressing. You to sea vegetables or the best to serve to
bewilderment (“Hijiki? I think I’ll stick then carefully straining the liquid to leave really shouldn’t try for anything too wild. skeptical friends and family. My favorite
with good old American lettuce, thank a clear, fishy, kelpy broth. Very easy. You Japanese cuisine is meant to be simple, way to enjoy them is to combine equal
you very much.”) can buy dashi in instant granules, too, but with just a few choice ingredients stand- parts seaweed (soaked and drained) with
It’s a shame, really, because sea veg- you’ll certainly do more to impress any ing out at center stage. Here are the basic grated carrot. The carrot should be the
etables are nutritious, delicious, and, for forthcoming Japanese houseguests by ingredients you might use for a dressing: freshest you can possibly find. Japanese
those of us who haven’t grown up with telling them the dashi they’re enjoying soy sauce, rice vinegar, miso, dashi, sesa- cuisine is all about freshness. Toss the
them, an interesting adventure of the very was made lovingly by you. me oil, vegetable oil, wasabi, and sugar in vegetables well with a dressing of sesame
low-key variety. The Co-op sells four dif- After nori, wakame is probably the very small amounts. Of course, you could oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sugar in
ferent kinds in the bulk section, dried and second most familiar sea vegetable to find other things to include, but this list whatever proportions taste best to you.
ready to be reconstituted in water. These the average American. Sushi restaurants will get you started. Once you’re familiar Serve by itself on a small plate and top
seaweed are not the stringy tentacles commonly serve a wakame salad as a with the basic taste of each ingredient, with toasted sesame seeds. The result is
that wrap around your toes when you go first or second course. You might notice, you can mix and match to your liking. beautiful, nearly effortless, and positively
swimming at Padden, nor are they the though, that the wakame salad at one These same dressing ingredients also addictive.
amorphous glop that you slip on when restaurant is suspiciously identical to work well for my two favorite sea vegeta- Give sea veggies a try sometime.
scrambling across the rocks at low tide. that of another. That’s because your run- bles: arame and hijiki. They are quite sim- They’re an ancient part of Asian cuisine,
Rather, they are varieties of kelp grown of-the-mill sushi place actually buys a ilar, although hijiki commands a higher and they’re not nearly as weird and scary
mostly in Asia, and they look not too dis- prefabricated, frozen, bagged salad that’s price. Consisting of short, brownish-black as they might first seem.
similar from the other plants we eat, ex- already been dressed and seasoned. The strands, they could almost be mistaken
cept that they happen to grow underwater. stuff isn’t bad, exactly, but to my taste for a type of pasta. After soaking for five Local writer Dan Hauer is unapolo-
The four sea vegetables carried in the it’s over-sweetened and not particularly to ten minutes in cold water, they will getic about his healthy eating habits. Veg-
bulk section are wakame, arame, hijiki, Japanese in flavor. You can make a far have a firm but un-chewy texture. They etables make him happy, and he doesn’t
and kombu. The first three are great as better and more authentic wakame salad have a mild, earthy flavor, and I think think there’s anything wrong with that.