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					G.T. NEWS
Volume 2, Issue 3

How Local Can You go?
The Grain Train Conducts Community-Wide Challenge to Eat Local
Jaime Jankowski Membership & Marketing Manager Want to eat more local foods, but curious how local you can go? The Grain Train is hosting an “Eat Local America” challenge throughout this summer, inviting area individuals to try to consume 80% of their diets (or four out of five meals) from food grown or produced locally. The challenge will begin August 20 and continue through September 17. It’s honor system-based; those wishing to participate will simply sign a large poster in the front of the store and try their best. In the month preceding the challenge, Jack Laurent and I will be eating local. This should give us a good amount of tips to make it easier for the participants to eat local. Jack and I will be eating 80% of our food within 100 miles. I’m going an extra step to say that my remaining 20% will be from within Michigan. We’ll both be blogging all about it at www.eatlocalamerica.coop. At the Grain Train, we define local food as food produced in the state of Michigan. You may choose if you want to eat from the whole state or if you want to narrow it down more by a 100 or 200 mile radius. During the Eat Local America Challenge and throughout the year, we call attention to local food on our shelves by “Local” signage. During July, August, and September we will also be adding miles-to-market to these signs to help you.

Green Celebrations
NCGA News Service Throwing a party? Make it a green celebration—a wonderful opportunity to reflect your values and creativity while reducing the carbon footprint of each and every guest. While a green party means not overdoing it, don’t worry that such a celebration can be thoughtful and lovely—and all the more enjoyable for being devoid of mass consumption, overspending, and waste. The focus is on celebrating; there’s no reason it need be at the expense of the environment. Whether you’re hosting a big wedding or a small 4th of July picnic, these ideas will help you identify ways to make it an eco-friendly celebration.

You’re Invited!
One easy way to reduce the environmental impact of your celebration is to keep the guest list small. This will save on everything from place settings to transportation. When it comes to the actual invitation, e-vites are an ecologically sound choice. Make them clever—and personal—by uploading a funny or beautiful picture. If you prefer snail-mail invites, consider crafting your own for maximum personality. Use items around the house, like recycled covers of cards received, or leftover cardstock from a work project. Of course, if it’s a child’s birthday party, you’ll want to have the child help make the invitations. Whether or not your invites are homemade, use 100 percentrecycled or tree-free papers. Most copy shops carry 100 percentpost-consumer recycled papers, but be sure to ask ahead. And some food co-ops sell handmade paper products that you can hand-write your invitations on or run through the printer.

Why Eat Local?
There are many benefits to eating local food. It’s good for the economy, because money from each transaction stays in the region. It connects community members to the people who produce their food, while helping to support endangered family farms.

At Your Service
Use non-disposable plates whenever possible. If you’re having the event catered, most caterers will provide dishware. Otherwise, dig out all your old and best dishes, borrow from friends (mismatched settings are charming), and enlist some kitchen helpers (ahead of time!) to help with cleanup when the delightful day is done. Be Continued on page 10

Continued on page 10

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Featured Employees
This newsletter, instead of a featured employee, we’re featuring some new additions to the Grain Train Family—the babies! The employees and Directors of the Grain Train have had lots of new additions over the last year, so we would like to feature what is most important to us—family.

Our HABA Manager, Chelsea Jarvis and her husband Aaron welcomed Nolan into their family on June 3, 2007. Chelsea brought Nolan with her to work for awhile, but now he’s too big, so we don’t get to see him as often. We are lucky enough to see him when Chelsea stops in on her days off with the little one in tow.

Assistant Deli Manager Matthew Weeber and wife Sarah now have two little boys, after the addition of Wyatt on May 12. You probably have seen big brother Kieran around the store, he’s the little cutie with blonde curls pushing around one of the kid’s carts. We can’t wait to see Kieran and Wyatt pushing their carts side by side.

Employee Birthdays
Robert Conger, July 22 Chelsea Jarvis, July 31 Dave Ader, August 1 Brian Hinckley, August 19 Michael Mann, September 1 Sandy Griffin, September 6

Board of Directors Treasurer John Paul Westbrook and wife Okee welcomed Charlotte Chunyoung Westbrook on September 2, 2007, exactly 8 weeks early! Charlotte was just 4 pounds 2 ounces when she was born, but as you can see, is a healthy, happy baby girl who loves plums!

Employee Anniversaries
1 Year Christina Zoerhof, August 27 3 Years Troy Smith, September 20 4 Years Chelsea Jarvis, July 14 Matthew Weeber, August 4 Jaime Jankowski, August 23 6 Years Terry D’Angelo, September 5 Jack Laurent, September 5 7 Years Erica Tosch, September 4

Our Human Resources Manager Erica Tosch and her husband, Board President Dan Tosch welcomed Finn on April 1, 2008. His April Fools’ Day birthday seems to have worked on us instead, we are fools for this adorable little one. We are fortunate that Erica is still bringing him to work and we get to see him often.

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Why Eat Local?
Reprinted from Linden Hills Co-op While the number of small farms in the U.S. (100 acres or smaller) is estimated to be declining by nearly 25% a year, the market for organic food has grown 15 to 20% each year since 1998. Why should urban consumers, food cooperatives, and local farmers work together to change the way our food systems work? Reduce Fuel Consumption    Most fresh food travels an average of 1,500 miles from the field to the table. Massive amounts of fossil fuels are used and pollutants released in the process. If every U.S. citizen at just one meal a week composed of locally and organically raised meat and produce, oil consumption would be reduced by over 1.1 million barrels per week.

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Relationship of mutual trust with the person who grows your food. Freshness, taste, nutritional quality. Currently, the U.S. exports 1.1 million tons of potatoes a year. Which is great, except that during that same period, we import 1.4 million tons of potatoes. Eating local is better for air quality and pollution, since less fossil fuel is used to transport the food to your table. A study by the journal Food Policy in March 2005 found that the miles that some organic food must travel to our plates creates environmental damage that actually outweighs the benefits of organic growing practices. Local food puts you in touch with the seasons—and provides more variety! When a farmer is growing a food that doesn’t need to travel long distances or have a high yield, they may try varieties that you’d never see in a large supermarket.

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What is a “Locavore”?  “Locavore” is a term coined by a group of friends in Northern California who decided to challenge themselves to eat only food grown or harvested within a 100-mile radius of San Francisco for a month. or

Preserve Small Family-Scale Farms    Since 1935, the U.S. has lost over 5 million farms. Currently, farmland is being lost at the rate of two acres per minute, due to sprawl and agribusiness. Smaller farms help preserve soil health and biodiversity by planting and raising a variety of plants and animals.

Visit www.eatlocalamerica.coop, www.locavores.com www.100milediet.org for information and inspiration.

What is “Local”   Source is a leisurely 8-hour drive away or less (Slow Food definition). Definition depends on local growing region; California could be a 50-mile radius, the Grain Train’s definition includes anything produced in Michigan. Purists could define it as food they’ve grown, made, raised, or wildcrafted themselves!

Local Farmers’ Markets
Antrim County Farmers’ Market, Bellaire Fridays 8am-Noon, behind the Senior Center on M-88 Boyne City Farmers’ Market Wednesdays and Saturdays 8am-1pm, Old City Park Downtown Petoskey’s Farmers’ Market Fridays 9am-1pm, Howard St between Mitchell and Michigan. East Jordan Garden Club Farmers’ Market 9am-1pm, Sportsmen’s Park Harbor Springs Farmers’ Market Wednesdays and Saturdays, 8am-Noon, M-119 across from Bay Bluffs Care Facility.

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Why Local?  Eating local means more for the local economy. According to studies, 70 cents of every dollar spent at a locally owned business (and that includes local food producers) stays in the community. Dollars spent on local food support local family-owned farms. Traceability.

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Guide Your Co-op’s Future Run for the Board!
Jaime Jankowski Membership & Marketing Manager & Board Director It’s getting close to that time...the Board of Directors Election! If you have thought about being more involved in your co-op and want to help guide the future of it, this might be the position for you! Our Board of Directors is comprised of nine directors, up to two of which may be employees. The Board is responsible for the vision of the co-op and guiding it to that vision. There are 10 Board meetings per year, usually lasting 1—1 1/2 hours, plus an all day Strategic Planning Retreat once a year. The meetings are usually held the third Wednesday of each month, and the Retreat is held in April. There is also committee work involved, so you should be prepared to spend 4-6 hours per month on Board related activities. Directors are compensated for their time with the Participating Owners Discount of 10% off their purchases, during the entire time they serve! This year we have three positions open. Elizabeth Gertz and myself (leaving an employee opening) are vacating our seats, and Meg McClorey will be running for re-election (she was a mid-term replacement shortly after our last election). If you have any questions, please contact any of our current Directors (listed below with terms). You may also attend a Board meeting to see what we do. The schedule is below. There are applications available at the front of the store. Please keep in mind that applications, a short biography, and a picture (emailed or we can take one at the store) are due by September 17, at 6:00 (before the BoD meeting). Dan Tosch, President, 2006—2009 Judy Revallo, Vice President, 2007—2010 Elizabeth Gertz, Secretary, 2005-2008 John Paul Westbrook, Treasurer, 2006—2009 Michael Cromley, 2006—2009 Gary Hammons, 2007—2010, Employee Jaime Jankowski, 2005—2008, Employee Allie Maldonado, 2007—2010 Meg McClorey, 2007—2008 (mid-term appointee) Upcoming Meetings— Meetings are held in the basement of Horizon Books at 6:00 pm. August 20 September 17 October 22 November 19 General Membership Meeting, November 7

Eating Local is Easy at the Grain Train Deli
Matthew Weeber Deli Assistant Manager Part Time Farmer Spring has sprung (on past). Hello summer, stay as long as you like. Local veggies and fruits are growing and ripening as these keys are clicking. the Grain Train Deli staff is hard at work (with the help of the Produce Department) sourcing local veggies and fruits to transform into good things for all to eat. Quiche made with spinach from Providence CSA farms in East Jordan, Salads made with local spring mix from Pond Hill Farm to name a couple. Besides utilizing fresh greens on a daily basis, we also are doing our best to preserve the local harvest for future use. For example, we’re freezing organic strawberries from Ware Farms in Bear Lake, mixing monstrous batches of local pesto to sell now in the deli case and freeze for when the sun shines a little less and blanching and freezing spinach from Providence CSA Farms for use after the growing season is over. Until next time, see you at the beach (I’m the guy playing Frisbee with the little boy with blonde curls).

More exciting news on the local foods front…
The co-op has an industrial vacuum sealer on order. This should greatly aid in the packaging of local meats, bulk cheeses, dried fruits, and anything else that can be dreamed up. The possibility of purchasing an industrial grade food dehydrator is also being discussed (I’m really pulling for this one), with the hope that large amounts of local fruits and veggies could be preserved for the winter to come.

Tomato Cucumber Salad
The recipe below is from Taste the Local Difference, www.localdifference.org 4 medium red, ripe tomatoes, cut into 3/4 inch pieces 1/2 small Red Onion, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch pieces 2 medium cucumbers, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch pieces 2 ounce best-quality White Wine Vinegar 1/2 Tbsp. Sea Salt 1 tsp. Sugar (optional) 3 ounces Extra Virgin Olive Oil freshly ground Black Pepper, to taste small bunch Fresh Basil, stemmed, leaves torn into small pieces Combine everything and let sit at room temperature.

Chateau Fontaine Wines
Gary Hammons Beer and Wine Buyer Getting its French title from proprietor Lucie Matthies’ middle name and paying homage to the French immigrants who settle in the area, Chateau Fontaine was a deserted potato farm and cow pasture when Dan Matthies discovered the property in the 1970’s with its favorable south-facing slopes for growing grapes. Today, the cow pasture is one of three vineyards totaling 22 acres of grapes, including Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Riesling, Pinot Noir, and Merlot, among others. Look for Chateau Fontaine Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Woodland Red, and Pinot Noir during your next visit to the Grain Train.

Zingerman’s Cheeses

Page 5 Michael Mann

Cheese Buyer Zingerman’s Delicatessen is fast becoming America’s best-known deli. Opened in March of 1982 by Paul Saginaw and Ari Weinzweig in an historic building near the Ann Arbor Farmers’ Market, the Deli got its start with a small selection of great-tasting specialty foods, a host of traditional Jewish dishes and a relatively short sandwich menu. Zingerman’s has grown to include the Delicatessen, Catering, Mail Order, Coffee, ZingTrain Training, the Roadhouse, the Bakehouse, and the Creamery. From the Creamery, and Founder and Cheesemaker John Loomis we have added three new cheeses to our selection.

The City Goat Round
Super-fresh goat’s milk and John Loomis’ hand-ladling make this little fresh goat cheese slowly fall apart and melt on your tongue. If all you’ve every had are gummy, bland, and waxy goat cheeses, try this. The goat cheese fans at your house will love it; the others will say, “That’s really goat cheese?”.

Green Bean Salad with Pears and Riesling Dressing
The recipe below is from Taste the Local Difference, www.localdifference.org Dressing: 1/2 cup ripe, diced Pears 6 Tbsp medium-dry Riesling 3 Tbsp fresh Lemon Juice 1 Tbsp chopped Shallot or Red Onion 1 tsp Dijon Mustard 1/2 cup Vegetable Oil Salt and Pepper to taste Salad: 1/2 pound Green Beans 6 cups Baby Spinach leaves 3 thinly sliced Pears 3/4 cup Blue Cheese, crumbled 3/4 cup Walnuts For the Dressing: Puree all dressing ingredients, except oil, in food processor. Gradually add oil through the feed tube, blend until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste. For the Salad: Boil green beans until bright green and crisp tender. Drain immediately and plunge into ice water to stop them from cooking. Combine the green beans with baby spinach and pears. Toss with dressing and sprinkle blue cheese and walnuts on top.

Detroit Street Brick
If you’ve never been to 422 Detroit Street (where the Deli stands proud and tall), the name might not mean much...but for those that have walked the hallowed tiled floors, it’s plain to see why we named this one after the cobblestone bricks that pave our street. Aged for 2 weeks, this creamy goat cheese is studded with whole and crushed green peppercorns that give it a subtle and spicy hue. The rind is thin, which makes it easier to control during the aging process and allows the flavor the milk to come through rather than getting too much of mushroom flavor from the mold. A nice citrus flavor lingers on the palette, making this one of the most accessible cheeses in their line. Perfect for aficionado and novice alike.

Bridgewater
Bridgewater is small, pepper-spiked round that’s quickly become a star on many people’s cheese trays. It’s a double cream cheese, which means that heavy cream is added back to the milk to make its texture silkier, its flavor richer. Each Bridgewater is 4 to 8 weeks old (they get more intense as they age). The finished cheese you get to serve will be very rich, slightly spicy from the pepper, and guaranteed to be a hit.

Little Dragon
A fresh goat cheese, one that’s very lightly pressed to make for a modestly creamier texture than our super fresh rounds of City Goats, then rolled in tarragon leaves. The pressing increases the rate at which the natural whey in the cheese drains, making for a mellower, sweeter and creamier piece of cheese.

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Shop Local
On these pages you will find a list of local growers and producers. Next to each you will find the miles-to-market (how far the product travelled to the Grain Train). The products that don’t have miles next to them are produced in Michigan, but we order through our largest vendor, United Natural Foods, whose warehouse is in Greenwood, IN. Al Dente Whitmore Lake Gourmet Pasta Arbor Brewing Company Ann Arbor, 254 miles Beer Arcadia Brewing Company Battle Creek, 266 miles Beer Aspen Hill Farms Boyne City, 18 miles Eggs, Spinach, Lettuce Basswood Farms Charlevoix, 17 miles Mushrooms Bell’s Brewery Kalamazoo, 235 miles Beer Bill’s Farm Market Petoskey, 3.9 miles Spring Mix, Carrots, Radishes, Herbs, Flowers, Vegetables Blackbird Gardens Petoskey, 2.6 miles Lettuce, Herbs Blackstar Farms Suttons Bay, 79.6 miles Blis Maple Syrup Grand Rapids Organic Maple Syrup Bliss Bee Co Bliss, 24.9 miles Honey Bowers Harbor Vineyards Old Mission Peninsula, 75.6 miles Wine Burr Oaks Farm Ann Arbor Popcorn, Soynuts By the Light of Day Traverse City, 76 miles Tea Cedar Creek Farms Alanson, 11 miles Eggs Chandler Hill Honey Boyne Falls, 17.7 miles Honey Chateau Chantel Traverse City, 77.6 miles Wine Chateau Fontaine Leelanau, 88.1 miles Crooked Tree Breadworks Petoskey, 3.9 miles Br e ad s, Rolls, Sc one s, Granola, Crostini Dark Horse Brewing Co Marshall, 256 miles Beer DeKorne Ellsworth, 28.2 miles Maple Syrup Dragonmead Microbrewery Warren, 266 miles Duerkson Turkey Farm Mancelona, 37.5 miles Turkey Breast, Smoked Turkey Eden Foods Clinton Canned Goods, Pasta, Vinegar, Macrobiotic Packaged Foods Edith Edwards Alanson, 11 miles Hydroponic Lettuce Emily’s Farm Eggs Fletcher St Brewery Alpena, 97.8 miles Beer Food for Thought Honor, 90.5 miles Jams, Hot Sauce, Salsa Founder’s Brewing Co Grand Rapids, 185 miles Beer Fresh Baby Petoskey, .1 miles Baby Food Kits Friske Orchards Charlevoix, 28.8 miles Cherries, Apples, Tree Fruits, Cherry Juice, Tart Cherry Concentrate, Frozen Cherries Frog Island Brewing Co Ypsilanti, 262 miles Beer Gerber’s Homemade Sweets Charlevoix, 17 miles Jams and Jellies Graham’s Organics Rosebush, 136 miles Chic ke ns, Tha nksgivi ng Turkeys Great Northern Roasting Co Traverse City, 71.9 miles Coffee Green River Trout Farm Mancelona, 46.5 miles Farm Raised Trout Green Wisdom Traverse City, 66.7 miles Body Oils and Kid-Calm Flora Mist Grocer’s Daughter Chocolate Empire, 90.6 miles Gourmet Chocolates Heartland’s Finest Ubly, 214 miles Gluten Free Pasta and Cereal Higher Grounds Trading Leland, 93.5 miles Coffee Indira Traverse City, 66.2 miles Cheriskin Body Scrub & Lip Balm Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales Dexter, 257 miles Beer Jordan Valley Bison East Jordan, 32.6 miles Spinach, Bison JW Scrumpy’s Flushing, 208 miles Hard Cider Karl Nelson Farms Grand Haven, 211 miles Blueberries Keewenaw Brewing Hancock, 303 miles Beer Krause Farm Engadine, 96.8 miles Organic Beef, Buffalo, Brats L Mawby Suttons Bay, 78.3 miles Sparkling Wines Leelanau Brewing Lake Leelanau, 90.5 miles Beer Leelanau Coffee Roasting Glen Arbor, 93.3 miles Coffee Left Foot Charley Traverse City, 68.7 miles Wine Matthew Weeber Petoskey, 8 miles Spring Mix, Snap Peas, Garlic Scapes, Baby Romaine, Red Oak Leaf Lettuce Michelle’s (Leland Cherry Company) Leland, 92.6 miles Tart Cherry Concentrate, CherriMax Supplements

Michigan Blueberries Fennville, 233 miles Frozen Blueberries Moonworks Suttons Bay, 82.7 miles Laundry Detergent Native Sisters Gwinn, 203 miles Handmade Soap New Holland Brewing Co Holland, 212 miles Beer Peninsula Cellars, Old Mission Peninsula, 78.7 miles Wine Pond Hill Farms Harbor Springs, 14.8 miles Collards, Chard, Zucchini, Summer Squash , Canned and Pickled Veggies, Jams, and Pasta Sauce Providence Farm CSA East Jordan, 33.3 miles Sweet Basil, Romaine Lettuce, Bibb Lettuce, Beans, Tomatoes, Kale, Garlic RMG Family Sugar Bush Rudyard, 76.4 miles Maple Syrup Roast and Toast Petoskey, 0.1 miles Coffee Shetler Family Dairy Kalkaska, 52.5 miles Milk, Cream, Buttermilk, Iced Tea, Smoothies Sleeping Bear Farms Beulah, 92.5 miles Honey, Honey Crème, Honey Comb Stardog Bakehouse East Jordan, 28 miles Dog Treats The Cooper Family Manistee, 129 miles Jams and Jellies The Redheads Lake Leelanau, 87.5 miles Hummus, Balsamic

Vinaigrette Trailside Corral Elmira, 25.4 miles Eggs Tykie’s Long Life Traverse City, 66.2 miles Homemade Vegetarian Dog Food Up North Coffee Roaster Gaylord, 36.4 miles Coffee Ware Farms Bear Lake, 109 miles Organic Strawberries, Organic Onions, Organic Asparagus Warners Paw Paw, 250 miles Wine Westwind Milling Linden, 221 Miles Organic Flours and Baking Mixes Woodfire Brand Paradise, 104 miles Wood BBQ Briquettes Wood’s Atlanta, 68.9 miles Handmade Soap, Insect Repellant Woolly Bugger Charlevoix, 16.7 miles Coffee Yotta Bar Maple City Fruit and Veggie Granola Bar

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Eating Locally
Michael Cromley Director, Grain Train Board Several days ago I read a copy of a speech by Christopher Bedford on the local food production revolution. Because the Grain Train supports local grown food suppliers, i.e. eggs, dairy, produce, meats, honey, beer and wine, I think some of what Mr. Bedford had to say is important to the local community. His comments were directed toward Michigan residents, as he is a co-owner of Sweetwater Local Foods Market in Muskegon. First, to quote some of his stated facts. Michigan is malnourished, hungry, and sick. In general, we don’t eat well. At the same time 25% of Michiganders are obese and one in four of us have Type 2 Diabetes. We in Michigan import 50% of our fresh fruit and 20% of our fresh vegetables. The average Michigan meal travels more than 2,000 miles from farm to our table while only about 105 of our food comes from Michigan farms. For every mile our food travels, it costs us in fossil fuel and we pay this cost on top of the price of food. So, how do we deal with these problems? As a Board Member of the Grain Train, I think a major part of the solution is to buy and eat locally produced products. When Bedford started the market in Muskegon, he was told it as a “niche” market. A lot of people said the same thing about organic markets like Whole Foods and the Grain Train, yet their growth has continued. Organic foods are also increasingly being offered in “standard” food stores including major national companies. The same thing happened in Muskegon and other locations...unbelievable demand and growth. The “niche” market comment was wrong! As the general public becomes more aware of not only the protection provided by organic foods, but also the advantage of locally produced foods, the demand will continue to increase.

Natural

Special Orders Now Available TWICE a Week!!
Due to popular demand, Package Grocery, Bulk, Frozen, and Cheese will now be offering special orders twice a week, on Mondays and Wednesdays. Orders for Monday delivery are due by 8:00 pm on Thursdays, and orders for Wednesday delivery are due by Monday at 8:00 pm. Supplements, Personal Care, Dairy, Beer and Wine, Herbs and Spices, and Produce will not be increasing their frequency of special orders. If you have any questions, please speak to the department manager.

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The ABCs of CSAs
NCGA News Service Sometimes an idea is just so perfect you wonder why everyone doesn’t do it (like joining a cooperative, for example!). Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) - which produces thriving family farms and high quality, fresh food for entire communities— is one of those ideas. CSAs build healthful relationships among people, the food they eat, the farmers who raises it, and the land on which it was grown. CSAs aren’t new; the first two in the United States were founding in Massachusetts and New Hampshire over twenty years ago. but the constellation of concerns and interests right now—about strengthening local communities, environmental health, supporting the small family farmer, insuring the healthfulness of the food we eat—have put the concept in today’s spotlight. In 1990, there were about 50 CSAs in the United States; today there are about 1700. Tomorrow, who knows?! To the cooperatively minded, CSAs make perfect sense. The folks who benefit in the bounty of a season’s produce also share in the risks of the farm; it’s a local and equitable system. When the farm prospers, so does the farmer and the members. Democratic decision making reigns, membership is open, local bonds and communities are strengthened—in a nutshell, people work together with shared ideals toward common goals. It’s no surprise that many CSAs are tangibly supported by local food co-ops, which may offer information about the CSA, provide for sign up, and even act as a distribution center.

As surely as each crop varies, so do CSAs. Where the farm is located, what the farmer grows, and what the community needs are just a few of the variables that come into play. In some CSAs, members weigh out or count their own shares, while others staff weighs and packs shares to be picked up or delivered to distribution points or to individual members. (Some CSA farmers will deliver, usually for an added fee.) Most CSAs ask members to pay up front for a year (at the beginning of the season, for example), but some accept regular monthly or weekly payments throughout the growing season. In some cases, members work on the farm, helping during the busiest times and offsetting a portion of the membership fee. Some CSA farms offer apprenticeships, extending the promise of small farms into the future. Many CSA farmers offer shares in the farm as well as the harvest. And some CSAs have even been organized by consumers, who rent land and hire farmers.

The Bounty
The nourishment you receive as a CSA member is immeasurable. You and your family benefit from the highest quality, freshest products—often organic—at excellent prices (thanks to the lack of middlemen and transportation costs). Participating in a CSA shows respect for the direct link between food production and consumption, between gratitude for the food on your plate and appreciation for the farmer who grew it. (If you have children, this is a great way for them to experience these links first hand. And involvement in a CSA can teach them about how food is grown and what factors influence its production.) At the same time, your participation supports the environment through land stewardship and regional food production. (According to the University of Massachusetts, almost every state in the U.S. buys 85 percent of its food from someplace outside its state lines. This kind of food system taxes the environment, the economy, communities, and small farmers.) CSAs keep more food dollars in the community, and, because members share the risk of farming, they provide economic stability for farmers. When CSA members pay at the outset of the season, the farmer doesn’t need to wait until after harvest to be paid—and the guaranteed sale of products means he or she doesn’t need to spend time marketing, but can instead focus on farming. Less food is wasted, and there is little need for long-term storage. Farmers often grow a wide variety of produce, in answer to member’s requests, increasing agricultural diversity and sustainable farming practices. Visiting a CSA—especially on distribution day—is a good way to learn more about what participation might be like. As with most cooperative ventures, you’re likely to find yourself feeling welcome and enthused about joining in!

Sowing and Growing a CSA
Community supported agriculture is exactly what it sounds like— farmers being supported by their communities. CSAs are made up of groups of people who pledge their support to farms in return for portions of the season’s harvest. Typically, the operating budget for the farm—including expenses for seeds and other supplies, land payments, water, equipment, and labor—is tallied and these costs are then split among members of the CSA, who commit to the farm by purchasing a share of the season’s harvest ahead of time. In return for their investment, members receive regular bundles of fresh food from the farm during harvest—typically from late spring through early fall, depending upon the local growing season. CSAs might provide fruit, vegetables, flowers, herbs, meat, honey, and/or dairy products. The amount of each allocation depends in part on the success of the harvest (influenced by favorable or unfavorable growing conditions, such as weather and pests) and the number of shares the member has purchased. One share might provide enough produce for a family of four each week throughout the season, for example.

Toril Fisher The key words heard today are health, the economy, and the environment. What most people do not understand is that there is a major connector to this “big three” and that is the food we consume. Farming for our Future at Pond Hill Farm is a new organization in northern Michigan whose mission is to foster people’s connection to what they eat, where and how it is grown and how their choices affect their personal health and the health of the their community and planet. You are probably already aware that the vast bulk of food consumed in this country still travels an estimated 1,200 miles, consumes unspeakable amounts of fossil fuel in its production and distribution and leans heavily on poisons and water-polluting artificial fertilizers. Why should that be important to you? This issue impacts almost every part of your life and includes your children’s health, your schools, your community, your wallet, and YOUR health. Our program offerings will be fun, educational, and practical in support of our mission. We will offer programs to all ages, schools, and community groups. Program offerings will include, but are not limited to, edible school yards, field trip programs, professional development for educators, organic farming internships, summer programs and camps, eat local challenges, Victory Gardens and more. Farming for our Future’s goal is to help people understand the symbiotic connection between food, health, the environment, and the economy, and for the consumer to trust the choices that they make daily in stores, markets, and at home. If you are interested in being placed on our volunteer database, please contact Toril Fisher at torilfarming@gmail.com. If you are interested in learning more about our Summer 2008 three-day summer farm camp programs for 6-12 year olds at Pond Hill Farm, please email Connie Leestma at connieleestma@yahoo.com. We hope to see you at the farm! Enjoy your summer and don’t forget to enjoy the soil and its gifts. Please feel free to visit our new website at www.farmingforourfuture.org for more information and updates on our progress and programs.

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Help flooded farmers stay afloat.

Photo courtesy of Iowa city Press-Citizen

Donate to the Cooperative Disaster Relief Fund.
Early summer floods in Iowa, Wisconsin and other states left many of our farmers emotionally, physically and financially devastated. To help them, retail food co-ops nationwide have teamed up with Northcountry Cooperative Development Fund to provide farmers with financial relief through its Cooperative Disaster Relief Fund. We invite and encourage you to join us in our efforts.

Here’s how you can help:
 Donate your beans from the Bean Bag program. Each bean is 5¢. You may also donate change or small bills in this jar. Send your check payable to Northcountry Co-op Disaster Relief Fund at 219 Main St, S.E., Suite 500, Minneapolis, MN 55414. Donate online at www.ncdf.coop.

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Questions? Go to www.ncdf.coop to learn more.

Cooperative Principles
Voluntary and Open Membership Democratic Member Control Member Economic Participation Autonomy and Independence Education, Training, and Information Cooperation among Cooperatives Concern for Community

G.T. News
Jaime Jankowski, editor To submit comments, articles, or advertising, call 231-347-2381, email jaime@graintrain.coop, or mail to 220 E Mitchell St, Petoskey, MI 49770

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Eat Local, continued from page 1
Plus, since food doesn’t travel far from where it’s produced, eating local also helps protect the environment by reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Local food is more nutritious and simply tastes better, because it’s often harvested or processed the same day it arrives at the co-op. Although “local” is a buzzword used by many retailers, the Grain Train has for years cultivated truly reciprocal, long-term relationships with local growers and producers, offering its shoppers a convenient connection to fresh and delicious food of the highest quality. Eat Local America celebrates our dedication and commitment to local food for consumers and our suppliers.

Green Celebrations, continued from page 1
sure to use green cleaning products—you’ll find those at the Grain Train too! If you must use disposable dishes, chose an eco-friendly product, like compostable, plant-based plates and cups. Look in the household aisle of your local food co-op for products labeled “biodegradable” or “100 percent recycled content”. Unless it’s a formal affair, ask guests to mark the bottoms of their paper cups with people’s initials so everyone won’t be grabbing a new cup the minute they lose track of which is theirs. And unless you’re having a sit-down dinner, consider sticking with finger food that doesn’t require utensils.

National Challenge Underway
The Grain Train is joining nearly 70 other natural food co-ops coast-to-coast in Eat Local America. All are members of the National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA) - a business services cooperative representing nearly 110 retail food co-ops nationwide. Since peak harvest time varies throughout the nation, the challenge duration may vary from a one-week to one-month period, depending where people and stores reside. Most participating co-ops will conduct the challenge based on their region as follows: mid-June—mid-July mid-July—mid-August mid-August—mid-September South, Southwest and California Plains, Midwest, and Northwest Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Ohio Valley and Upper Midwest

Menu Matters
One of the best things you can do to shrink the carbon footprint of your party while supporting your local economy is to purchase local food and drink. Choose organic produce, beer, soda, and wine for example. Serve cheeses, wines, chocolates, and breads produced by local artisans. Purchase Fair Trade coffee, teas, chocolates, and spices whenever possible. Find out what’s in season and develop your menu around it. Consider a meatless menu, which will be less expensive and more environmentally friendly. (If you do serve meat, make it organic.) If you’re using a caterer, find one who provides organic and local foods. That goes for the baker, too. Talk with the people at the deli, they’ll be happy to help. Don’t overdo the quantity while ordering or purchasing your food, but if you have leftovers, donate them to your local soup kitchen or food rescue organization, rather than letting them go to waste. (A few options are the Manna Food Project, Brother Dan’s Food Pantry, and the Nehemiah House.)

Beginning June 1, food lovers can learn about all participating Eat Local America initiatives at www.eatlocalamerica.coop. Eat Local America is not your typical challenge. Because it is framed around each region’s peak harvest times, length and timing varies for each co-op, as does the definition of “local”. The Eat Local America challenge celebrates the uniqueness of our regional food supplies, as well as a collective and emerging passion for eating more local, organic foods.

Transportation Togetherness
Arrange a carpool for local guests, or even distant guests who will be traveling similar routes. If friends and family live far away, consider traveling to them (for a wedding or commitment celebration, for example) and having small celebrations at several locations, so that fewer people need to travel. Offset your party’s emissions using an online calculator (like carboncounter.org) and then offset the CO2 you’ll be using by donating to renewable energy projects, like solar and wind energy.

More About Eating Local
Although we’re holding this challenge during peak season for fresh produce, we hope to educate our shoppers that it’s possible—and not too difficult—to eat local food year round. Fruit and vegetables can be preserved until the next harvest season , via canning, freezing, and dehydrating. But don’t think local is limited to produce. The Grain Train is the go-to source for local dairy products, including milk and artisan cheese, as well as eggs, meat, poultry, fish and baked goods, like artisan breads.

Location, Location, Location
If your party isn’t going to be held in your home or yard, think about the venue you’ll support when you choose a location for your party. Consider renting space in a local museum, a historic Continued on page 11

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Green Celebrations, continued from page 10
building, or a church. Or support a locally owned café or restaurant. Or have your celebration at a public park or a community building. If there’s more than one event (like a ceremony and a reception) hold them in the same place, or very nearby, to minimize travel. Help any out-of-town guests arrange green accommodations. Ask friends and family to put up visitors for an evening. If a hotel becomes necessary, choose one that’s eco-friendly. Ask before booking, and/or check out your local options at greenhotels.com and environmentallyfriendlyhotels.com.

hand-crafted items. You might make oldfashioned pomanders using oranges and cloves, for example, or simple homemade sachets (make a big batch of potpourri and then divvy it up into small sachets made from lovely fabric or cloth hankies). You can probably find all the herbs and spices you need in bulk at the Grain Train. If you haven’t the time or the inclination to make your own favors, look to others who craft for a living or hobby. Homemade candles and soaps (available at the co-op) make wonderful gifts. If you have only a small number of guests, consider giving them a basket of personal care or household items to each. Look for appropriate items— like natural bristle hairbrushes, natural lotions and nail polishes, locally crafted soaps and detergents—at the co-op. For kids, choose well-made, simple toys that will last, like marbles or wooden tops. By the way, if you’re signing up with a gift registry for your celebration, make a conscientious selection. If the establishment you’d like to support doesn’t offer a registry, suggest gift certificates (to a local artisan’s gallery or your food co-op, for example) to your guests. Or request tickets to community events, like concerts, plays, and sporting events. Or ask for a donation to your favorite cause in lieu of a gift.

Decked Out
Having your party in light of the morning or afternoon will cut down on energy usage. But a candle-lit dusk or evening party is lovely, too. (Just be sure to use soy or beeswax candles; the Grain Train has a nice selection.) You can even make your own lanterns using recycled glass jars and candles. If your party calls for centerpieces, use food that will be eaten— like a carved-out watermelon or basket full of in-season fruit for a barbeque or graduation, or a tower of dessert cupcakes, dressed up for a baby shower. If you’re using flowers, choose those that have been organically grown by local farmers or florists. The Grain Train as well as the Farmers’ Market both offer options. For a large or more formal party, ask ahead what will be in season and if there will be enough to provide for your party. Your co-op can probably place a special order for you or put you in touch with a local supplier. You might also consider using potted plants rather than cut flowers. Whatever you use, make sure none of it goes to waste—have guests bring home the centerpieces or donate them to your local nursing home, library, or school, for example.

Parting Partying Thoughts
While planning your eco-friendly celebration, stop frequently along the way to consider if what you have in mind supports your environmentally friendly theme. Rest assured that your guests will thoroughly enjoy themselves without that extra non-green decoration, fancy food from afar or unnecessary gift. Your thoughtfulness will support the party’s success—after all, your celebration underlines your care of the earth and your guests. That’s something everyone can enjoy.

Activities
Kids’ parties are especially appropriate for eco-friendly action, but most adults enjoy involvement, too. Have the guests plant seeds in pots, or take them for a hike on a nearby trail. Or help them make mobiles or mosaics out of recycled materials. You might even plan a volunteer party, where guests concoct a potluck soup for an ill neighbor or plant a community flower garden or tree. Another fun party idea for kids is to visit a local farm. Pond Hill Farm is a great place to have party, just give them a call to set it up.

Some Local Ideas…
Flowers—The Grain Train carries locally grown flowers, or stop by Bill’s Farm Market or your local Farmers’ Market. Gifts and Favors—The Grain Train carries locally made candles, reusable shopping bags, soaps, beers and wines, jams and jellies, and canned goods that are all eco-friendly choices. Catering—The Grain Train Deli offers lots of catering choices as well as lots of local produce, milk, cheese, breads, beers and wines to make your own dinner. Julienne Tomatoes also features many local products with their catering choices. Tableware—For a unique, funky look, shop local resale shops for mismatched dishes, glasses, and silverware for your party. When you are done, you can let guests keep the dishes or donate them back to the resale shop. You can support some great local causes this way too.

Gifting
Favors aren’t necessary—and the greenest course of action is to skip them altogether. If you enjoy gifting, though, choose something that will be used and not soon discarded. Food is often a good choice (think Fair Trade teas or spices), as are

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Welcome! New Owners
Margaret Bednar ● Dr. Walter Coffey ● Carrie Corbin Jean Foster ● Betsy Garrard ● Barbara Gotts Glen and Rita Lunceford ● Mark Maier ● Chris McClorey Jane & Jeremy McAuliff ● Jane Mooradian

Grain Train Buying Club
Jack Laurent Grocery Manager Are you frustrated with the poor service your buying club is receiving? Maybe you are one of the buying clubs that was working with Natural Farms and had your June order cancelled. I’m pleased to announce that the Grain Train will be offering a new buying club option for all of our Member/Owners. “How would this work?” you may be thinking. we have not worked out all the details yet, but the following info should provide some guidelines that I am proposing to our General Manager. We would offer once per week “Buying Club” service. We will have buying club order forms and UNFI buying club catalogs in our customer service area. Member/Owners will be responsible for filling out their orders. Once we get things organized we should be able to accept faxed orders or e-mail orders. To start we will request that you come in the store to place your order. Eaches will only be available if they are sold that way in the buying club catalog. Member/Owners will be charged buying club prices with a $5.00 handling fee on orders under $100. Any buying club orders over $100 would have no handling fee added. This would be a self serve ordering system with our Member/Owners responsible for filling out their orders. Yes, we will help you to fill out the form if you need help the first few times with this new system. One of the big concerns we have with this new program is our lack of backstock space. Therefore, it will be essential that our Member/Owners be able to pick up their order within 48 hours of our receiving your order. Yes, we will call you to let you know your order has arrived. We hope to have this exciting new program in place by early August. If you have questions or concerns please contact Jack or Carrie at the store or email me at jack@graintrain.coop.

Robert D. Schrock, jr ● Laura Wagar

Upcoming Events
July 16 Member Appreciation Day
Member/Owners receive 10% off their purchases all day!

August 20

Member Appreciation Day
Member/Owners receive 10% off their purchases all day!

August 20

Board of Directors Meeting
6:00 pm , Horizon Books Basement All Member/Owners welcome to attend

September 1 Labor Day
The Grain Train will be closed so that our employees may spend the holiday with their family. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

September 17 Member Appreciation Day
Member/Owners receive 10% off their purchases all day!

Basic Vinaigrette Recipe
1/4 cup Vinegar 3/4 cup Oil 1/4 tsp Salt Freshly ground pepper to taste. In a shallow bowl, season the vinegar with salt and pepper. Begin whisking with a fork or small wire whisk, and continue whisking as you drizzle the oil in a steady stream. This technique will ensure that is emulsifies smoothly. You can use any vinegar or citrus juice and any oil that you would like. You can also add your favorite herbs to customize it to make the perfect vinaigrette for your dish!

September 17 Board of Directors Meeting
6:00 pm , Horizon Books Basement All Member/Owners welcome to attend

September 17 Declaration of Candidacy for the Board of Directors Due
by 6:00 pm (The Board of Directors Meeting)


				
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