Rootstock July-August 2014
Issue # 2 of the official newsletter of the Belfast Co-op
issue 2 july-august 2014 rootstock the official newsletter of the belfastCO-OP Supporting Co-ops www.belfast.coop Makes a Better Food System by Sarah Andrysiak, Communications Consultant, New England Farmers Union Co-operative enterprise plays an important role in the food system. While you might be thinking about the food co-op you belong to, did you know that the farmers that supply food co-ops are also working co-operatively? Producer co-operatives are enabling family farmers and fisherman work collectively to aggregate and market their goods, to buy goods and services, to access equipment and land, and to add value to their crops. By working together, small producers can take advantage of the benefits of scale without giving up local ownership and control, empowering them to compete more effectively in the marketplace. As member-owned enterprises, co-operatives are rooted in the communities they serve and create an economic infrastructure that spans generations. Take North Country Farmers Co-operative (NCFC), a producer co-op that supplies local fruit and vegetables, meats, breads as well as other locally produced items to customers the North Country of New Hampshire and the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. Formed in 2013, its goals are to enable its small-farm members to sell to markets otherwise out of reach, to reduce competition among farmers, and to meet an increasing demand for local food. Throughout New England, producer co-ops are helping the region’s farmers and fishermen. These producers, often resource-limited family operators, are served by successful marketing co-ops, as well as purchasing, distribution, and equipment co-ops, and collaborations between producer co-ops and co-ops in other sectors (such as retail food co-ops, energy co-ops, financial and worker-owned co-ops). But forming a co-op is often challenging, as the North Country farmers discovered. NCFC used both local and regional technical assistance providers with mixed results. It took several years for the co-operative to officially form, and the learning curve was steep. Supporting co-operatives has been central to the mission of the National Farmers Union (NFU) since its founding over a century ago, and remains a core activity today. Earlier this year, New England Farmers Union (NEFU), the newest chapter of NFU, surveyed producers and consumers to assess co-op awareness and identify what farmers need to form a co-op or nurture an existing co-operative business. Based on experience and survey results, NEFU found that one of the challenges for co-ops is accessing experts (lawyers, accountants, etc.) that understand the co-op structure. NEFU recently completed a manual (http://www.newenglandfarmersunion.org/pdfs_docs/NEFU_Co-opManualFINALweb.pdf) to help producers in our region form co-operatives. NEFU has added co-operative expertise to its staff, and has compiled resources that can provide assistance to newly formed and growing producer co-ops. Co-op challenges don’t stop once the co-op is formed. Many, like NCFC, face growing pains. NCFC’s members are small farms and new businesses; forecasting and meeting demand will be difficult. continued on P4 IN THIS ISSUE . . . ROOTSTOCK newsletter by Kate Harris & Doug Johnson Supporting Co-ops Makes a Better Food System - P1 Why So Much Concern With Gluten? - P5 How Do I Use My Patronage Dividend? - P2 Meet a Worker-Owner - P6 GM Corner - P3 Maine’s New Wave of Food Co-ops - P7 Finance Corner - P4 Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes @ your Co-op - P8 Just Picked - P4 CO-OP Calendar - P8 123 high street belfast, me 207.338.2532 7:30am-8:00pm HOW DO I U-mySE PATRONAGE DIVIDEND? There are a number of ways for you to put your patronage dividend to use. As always, shopping in the store with your distribution is an excellent way to help both your Co-op and yourself. If you prefer to donate it, we will accept donations at the register for the Equity Assistance and Capital Improvement Funds. We appreciate your desire to help and we are happy for you to spend your distribution any way you see fit. However, please do redeem your distribution even if you then donate it. Unredeemed distributions are an accounting challenge and force us to pay tax on the full amount of your dividend allocation. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU REDEEM YOUR DIVIDEND DISTRIBUTION BEFORE SEPTEMBER 13, 2014 If you are unable to come to the store for any reason before this date and wish to receive a check instead, please let us know Thank you for your patronage & for your cooperation! Bindy Pendleton, president Debbi Lasky, vice president Jerry Savitz, treasurer Phil Prince, secretary Doug Johnson, staff rep. Nixie Bombardier Ron Braybrook Cindy Canavan Betsy Garrold Chris Groden Jean Lenderking Alessandra Martinelli Kip Penney Meg Peterson Janis Stone Zafra Whitcomb Finance Committee 3rd Tuesday of the month, 3pm Belfast Co-op conference room firstname.lastname@example.org Membership Committee 1st Tuesday of the month, 11:30am Belfast Co-op conference room email@example.com Purchasing Policy Committee 1st Thursday of the month, 2:00-3:30pm, Belfast Free Library 3rd floor mtg room firstname.lastname@example.org Board Development Committee 1st Tuesday of the month, 3:30pm Belfast Co-op conference room email@example.com Long-Range Planning Committee 1st Friday of the month, 11:30am Belfast Co-op conference room firstname.lastname@example.org Elections and Nominations Committee Ad hoc email@example.com Annual Meeting Committee for the next Board of Directors Ad hoc Building & Grounds Committee meeting July 24 & August 28 2 6:30PM at Waterfall Arts, 256 High St, Belfast, ME 2nd Thursday of the month, 1pm Belfast Co-op conference room firstname.lastname@example.org Public Interaction Committee Ad hoc Bylaws Committee Ad hoc GM corner by Chris Grigsby Finally! Some summer weather to enjoy. And what goes great with summer weather? The Co-op Grill at City Park, that’s what! The Grill is the Co-op’s “summer place” at the historic Belfast City Park. Open every day from 11am-4pm through Labor Day and serving up local burgers, hot dogs, quesadillas, and locally-made ice cream, The Grill is a perfect spot to have a bite while enjoying the Bay on a summer afternoon. The mission of the Co-op in many ways is focused on the local food economy, and we continue to provide you with the most local products we can find. We are nearing $2 million dollars in sales of local products, thanks to your support. Throughout the course of the year, we have offered over 3,500 locally grown or produced items and we are commited to continue to expand those offerings. Through our combined commitment, Co-op sourcing and customer purchasing, we can help improve the vibrancy of our local food economy. The Produce case upgrades have given us sixty percent more display area and far greater efficiency with our refrigeration. We have seen a decrease in our electricity usage, and are now able to store our bargain products in a refrigerated space. Thank you for your patience during the installation process. Upcoming projects include building office space in the basement and replacing the heat exchanger in our furnace. These projects are expected to be completed in the fall. Other news that we are excited to share comes in the form of continued community support. Our recently introduced CORE program (Cooperative Ownership Reaching Everyone) continues to grow in participation and usage. This program was introduced in the fall of 2013 as an opportunity for low-income households to utilize the Co-op’s products and services. As of now, we have over 65 households in the program and more on the way. The Round Up for Community program continues to distribute funds to area nonprofits engaged in work that enhances local resiliency. To date, you, our customers, have donated nearly twelve thousand dollars in just over a year. This highlights one of the best attributes of a community-owned business. Giving and getting in balance with nurturing local businesses and efforts that are foundational to our daily lives. Our hope is to continue this legacy for many years to come. As the saying goes…”stronger together”! In an effort to upgrade our older systems in the store, we have been focusing of late on our display cases. You may have noticed the new Produce and Dairy department cases, and we have recently upgraded our baked goods cases into one unit, opening up space at both the Deli register and salad case area. saturday, august 16 11AM - 4PM BOOK SALE local ME raffles vendors farmers’ market -local foodon the grill featuring:The Gawler Family Band, Belfast Bay Fiddlers,Tom Luther Quintet, Leaky Boot Jug Band, & Octavia I N T H E C O - O P PA R K I N G L OT & H I G H S T R E E T 3 d it supporting co-ops makes a better food system continued from P1 The growers are learning about and experiencing the challenges of selling wholesale as opposed to selling direct-to-consumer. Although wholesale markets provide great opportunity for sales, they present unique challenges: Inconsistent follow-through on early season commitments by wholesale buyers has created problems for the co-operative, including unsold product in the height of production. To mitigate the growing pains, NCFC worked with Ned Porter of NEFU at the end of 2013. Together they identified opportunities for improved sales through value-added items such as peeled and de-seeded butternut squash, snipped green beans, and cheese. The co-operative also plans on improving its forecasting techniques, planting serial crops, using season extension techniques, and growing items with higher demand. In spite of the challenges so far, NCFC is optimistic about the future for the co-operative and its members. This is an exciting time for the co-operative movement, and particularly for New England’s agricultural, fishery and food co-ops. Please join NEFU (www.newenglandfarmersunion.org/join).Your membership contribution will enable us to further develop resources for co-operatives, which will help rebuild our local and regional food system and support the economic viability of New England’s food producers. New England Farmers Union (NEFU) works to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life of family farmers, fishermen, foresters, nursery growers, and consumers in all six New England states.The Belfast Co-op is a business member of NEFU. just picked he ndy & I work in t i C is e m Na y Hi! M partment here at . de d n e t n o r f ked Mac’s ic p t s u j I p. -o co the Because etTle Corn K y put, the l p m i s , s i it corn in best ketTle the world! py 4 finance Corner by Joe Jordan For the eight months ending May 31, the Belfast Co-op’s revenue increased 6% over last year, totaling $4,652,385. This is a $265,161 increase in revenue, and $140,267 short of our expectations. Total expenses increased 4.6% to $4,671,243. This figure includes all overhead expenses as well as labor expense. The result is a loss of ($18,858) for the first eight months. This compares to a loss of ($80,683) for the same time period last year. This is a 76% reduction of loss during the first eight months of the fiscal year, but is still $28,000 dollars short of expectations. The rate of growth has slowed through the winter and spring from 12.4% in October to 2.8% in May. The average sale has increased for the year, however we are experiencing a reduction in the number of customers per day who shop at the store. Total compensation has decreased 1% from last year. This is the result of staff turnover, and the elimination of our group health insurance, since more than 70% of our staff benefit from the discounts in the exchanges. The balance sheet continues to improve from last year. The average cash on hand has increased from $104,355 to $298,391. The current ratio, which is a measure of liquidity, has increased from 1.61 to 2.11, This is a 30% increase from last year. The current store assets have increased from $528,679 to $723,660; an increase of $194,981. The current liabilities for the store have increased from $328,294 to $343,189; and increase of $14,895. As of June 18, we have 65 households enrolled in the CORE discount program. In May, the Co-op provided $2,350 in discounts to the participants in this program. In comparison, the Co-op provided $5,169 in discounts to seniors in May. CORE? cooperative ownership reaching everyone The CORE program is designed to make local, organic, and wholesome foods more affordable to all members of our community, including those who currently receive economic assistance from a number of state assistance organizations. Current Co-op members and prospective members who qualify for the program can receive a 15% discount on most of our products upon acceptance into the CORE program. Stop by Customer Service for more information, or to pick up an application. Why so much concern with gluten? by John Bagnulo, MPH PhD No area of nutrition has received as much attention over the past 10 years as gluten. It is for good reason. There is an overwhelming body of clinical evidence implicating this small, poorly understood, grain protein in a number of related disease syndromes. While some people argue that it is simply a fad and that following a gluten -free diet can potentially cause nutrient deficiencies, often they are unaware of the great volume of research that has accumulated and been presented at conferences such as the annual International Gluten Summit. No one understands gluten and its effects on the body more than Alessio Fasano, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital and formerly of The University of Maryland. Originally a researcher in the area of cholera vaccines, Dr. Fasano stumbled upon a key finding while examining the pathology found in many of his vaccine trials. That observation, which is that all humans have a very unique inflammatory and up-regulated immune response with exposure to gluten, has turned what was once thought to be a rare disease (celiac disease) into a household word. 20 years ago, I too was taught in my public health program that celiac disease was at most a condition that affected 1 in 100 individuals and that it was predominantly observed in pediatric populations, primarily of Irish descent. These rare cases were associated with young children who had chronic diarrhea and were diagnosed with failure to thrive. What we have learned since is that this is just the tip of the iceberg and that most individuals with some level of gluten intolerance lie below the waterline.These individuals have markedly different symptoms that range from persistent inflammation, to insulin resistance, to constipation, to a long list of other conditions that can affect our sleep, our skin, and our overall immune function. The missing link was a unique intestinal enzyme secreted in response to gluten. This enzyme, known as zonulin, thanks to the discovery by Dr. Fasano, breaks down the proteins that ultimately hold our intestinal lining together. Individuals with a stronger genetic predisposition to celiac disease take longer to recover from one exposure, or gluten-containing meal, while less sensitive individuals take anywhere from 8-12 hours to recover. The effects are similar though and the consistent theme is increased intestinal permeability and greater pancreatic activity, which can lead to a greater risk of diabetes, in addition to increased risk for colon cancer, neurological conditions, food allergies, and much more. The particular type of gluten (there are several types found in wheat, barley, rye, oats, and corn) that is most heavily studied is known as gliadin and modern varieties of wheat, unfortunately, have the most problematic types of gliadin. Still, many individuals have similar responses to the other types of gluten found in the other classic grains. Currently there is no foolproof way of assessing the level of gluten intolerance with a clinical test. The best available test at most physician’s offices is a celiac panel, but this relies on antibodies to gliadin (it does not examine the body’s immune response to other types of gluten) and it has a false negative rate that approaches 60%. This is not exactly a gold standard in testing. I highly recommend running your own at-home test by going gluten free for 30 days and observing the changes in your health. Look closely at digestion, how your joints feel, what your sleep is like, your skin, and anything else that you may consider to be an important area of your health. If you can reduce the inflammation response at the GI lining, you can effectively lower inflammation throughout the body and you can give your immune system a lower workload. I will assure you that unless you end up turning to gluten free cookies and other forms of highly processed, gluten-free junk food, your nutritional status and overall health will not be compromised but will be significantly improved. There is nothing to lose and so much to gain. John Bagnulo MPH, PhD, holds a doctorate in Nutrition and Food Science, is a faculty member of Kripalu Healthy Living Programs, and has a private practice at 39 Main Street in downtown Belfast. For more information, visit John’s website at: johnbagnulo.com Miso-Sriracha Tofu with Bok Choy courtesy of www.strongertogether.coop 1⁄3 cup shelled edamame 3 cups bok choy, sliced 1 tablespoon ginger, minced 3 cups Napa cabbage, sliced 1 teaspoon garlic, minced 1/2 cup radishes, sliced into half-moons 1/4 cup brown sugar, loosely packed 12 ounces extra-firm tofu 2 tablespoons sriracha 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 2 tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar 3 tablespoons tamari, divided 3 tablespoons white miso 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil, divided Trim and discard large leaves from the bok choy and slice the stalks on the diagonal into half-inch slices. Slice the Napa cabbage crosswise into half-inch strips. Trim and slice the radishes into quarter-inch thick, half-moon shapes. Set aside. Slice the tofu crosswise into 8 squares. In a large non-stick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over high heat. Add the tofu and sear until golden brown on each side. Reduce to medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of tamari, cook for 1-2 minutes, then flip the tofu and continue cooking until all the tamari is absorbed. Remove and reserve the tofu. In a medium sauté pan, combine 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil, seasoned rice wine vinegar, sriracha, 1 tablespoon tamari and brown sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking to blend in the sugar. Turn off the heat and whisk in the miso paste until smooth. Gently add the tofu to the sauce, flipping once to coat. Let sit. In a large skillet or wok, heat 1 tablespoon sesame oil; add the bok choy and sauté 3 minutes. Add the radishes, edamame, cabbage, garlic and ginger and sauté 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of water, 3 tablespoons of miso-sriracha sauce and cook, stirring, until the liquid is absorbed. Divide the bok choy between four plates; top with 2 slices of tofu and divide remaining sauce equally. 5 meet a worker-owner by Roger Quehl, BelfastCO-OP worker-owner featuring mylisa vowles There is a feeling shared by many that during the summer the Belfast Co-op takes its place at the center of the universe. Co-op general management team member Mylisa Vowles acknowledges this as well. Perhaps it is the sense of community generated by the various gatherings of the farmers and the fed. Or it could be as simple as the feeling of security in seeing familiar faces and playing cards or cribbage in the Café. The process is organic and begins its shift to the center when the essence of winter retreats. Mylisa anticipates this retreat. For twenty years she resided in the warm, California coastal town of Monterrey, far from her Maine roots. Born in Calais, her ties to the blueberry business run deep: her family owned Guptil Farms, which later became Wymans. When it was time for Mylisa to venture into the family business at age twelve to pick blueberries, she spent one day in the field and decided to find employment at the local pizza shop. Her family moved to Orono and after high school Mylisa attended the University of Maine there, majoring in Anthropology and Archeology. Taking a month to view different parts of the country, she embarked on an excursion that ended in Monterey, when the money ran out. Mylisa worked for ten years as a concierge at the Pebble Beach Resort. When asked whether she remembers any particular celebrities during that time, Mylisa smiled and stated that she crossed paths many times with Bill Murray. Though Mylisa maintained her professional persona with Mr. Murray, she recalls one time when she went along with his antics. Mr. Murray responded by saying, “Young lady, has anyone ever told you that it is rude to laugh at your own jokes?” She was an extra for many crime dramas that filmed on location in San Francisco and was an eyewitness to the earthquake of 1989. When Mylisa started being typecast as a soccer mom, she decided to end this career. Living on the Monterey Peninsula in a beach bungalow at Lover’s Point, which she recalls fondly, offered many outdoor activities, such as kayaking in the kelp fields with sea otters, hiking, roller skating, and mountain biking. She was working at the Monterey History Museum doing living history presentations, training to be a park ranger, when 9/11 changed all that. The training program was closed, attendance at the museum dropped from 250 people to 2. Mylisa contemplated moving back to Maine. She had not been back for twenty years and was feeling disconnected from her family. Perhaps it was time. In 2003, Mylisa returned east, first stopping at her father’s home in Connecticut for a year. Then on to midcoast Maine and the realization that that she had forgotten how bad Maine winters can be. However, in an attempt to embrace the cold, she bought ice skates, snow shoes, and ice cleats for hiking. When the opportunity arose, she completed a Registered Maine Guide for Ocean Kayak course and worked for four years leading guided sea kayak tours out of Stonington. During this time, Mylisa also took a part-time cashier job at the Co-op, becoming full-time when a torn rotator cuff ended her sea kayaking adventures. In 2009, Mylisa became a member of the three-person general management team. She feels this is an exciting time to be at the Co-op as its mission becomes more accepted by the mainstream and awareness increases about the importance of eating healthier foods. Mylisa’s secret passion is collecting vintage clothes, particularly from the 30’s and 40’s. When asked to cite possible influences, she responded that she takes inspiration from people who were told they could not do something and then went out and did it. Mylisa has acquired a personal philosophy on her journey in life: be flexible on the path you follow and gain something from every experience. The experience I gained from the interview with Mylisa reaffirmed my belief that the Co-op is the center of the universe! OUR MISSION The Belfast Co-op is a membership owned and controlled organization that operates a retail outlet for whole natural foods and other goods and provisions. We strive to offer and promote the continued availability of a wide selection of products organically produced and locally sourced whenever available, at reasonable prices, to support healthy lifestyle choices for both our members and the general public. Our intent is to be a resource for information and action concerning health, nutrition, and the source of our products, as well as for building community. (Approved April 22, 2010) OUR VALUES The Belfast Co-op is a member-owned market and café that seeks to foster community, support local producers and educate for healthier food production and consumption. To these ends we hold the following values: 6 Transparency in operating our business. We work for an atmosphere of honesty, respect and inclusiveness, with open communication among members, employees and management. Encouraging participation, building an organization that acquires and transfers knowledge, promotes from within, and creates a positive work environment. Exercising ecological and social responsibility. FORT KENT HOULTON by Betsy Garrold, ThePopulistFarmer.wordpress.com Like, June, new food co-ops in Maine are busting out all over. By the end of this year, Maine is on track to have twelve bricks and mortar food cooperatives in the state. Adding to the long established food co-ops in Belfast, Blue Hill, Damariscotta, Norway, and Rockland will be newbies in Brooks, Deer Isle/Stonington, Fort Kent, Gardiner, Houlton, Portland and and Waterville. And we helped! From Rachelle Curran Apse of the Portland Food Co-op: “The Portland Food Co-op will open its first retail store this fall with 20 staff and an expected $3 million in sales a year. The Co-op has already hired general manager, Kevin Gadsby, and raised over $1 million in start-up funds and only needs to raise just under $100,000 more in member-owner loans by June 30th to open on schedule this fall. Thank you Belfast Food Co-op members for you support in helping the Portland Food Co-op open this fall.” At the open house of the Marsh River Cooperative on June 10th, 2014, Ed Hamel publicly thanked the Belfast Co-op for our help and support during their start-up phase. Also in his remarks, he pointed to the many advantages of the cooperative model, including its ability to decrease the dramatic shift of wealth to the affluent few by keeping money circulating in the economy. He pointed out that in general, co-ops did better financially during the “Great Recession”, even showing growth, and worldwide there are more employees in co-ops than in multinational corporations. This note from Stacy Martin, General Manager at Market Street Co-op in Fort Kent: “We are a 2,000 square foot retail food co-op, with about 200 members. We had a soft opening on April 3 and a grand opening June 14. Working mostly on the distribution challenges of being in Northern Maine and keeping the store supplied. So far, the response from our community has been overwhelmingly supportive.” Waterville’s Barrel’s Community Market was established in 2009 as a project of Waterville Main Street, then converted to a consumer-owned food cooperative in July 2013. Their mission is to provide locally produced goods at affordable prices in the heart of Downtown Waterville. From the website of the Gardiner Food Co-op: “The vision for the Gardiner Food Co-op & Café is of a vibrant space owned by the community, dedicated to offering wholesome, fairly-priced food with an emphasis on local, organic, and fair trade. In addition, there will be a cafe where friends and neighbors can gather to enjoy a warm soup, do work or brainstorm ways to bring about positive actions in our local community.” This cooperative is a project of Kennebec Local Food Initiative. WATERVILLE GARDINER PORTLAND BROOKS DEER ISLE/ STONINGTON One of the most exciting new co-ops in the state is in Deer Isle and Stonington. With the help of the Cooperative Development Institute, among others, the retiring owners converted several small businesses including a pharmacy, a grocery store and a variety store in these coastal communities to a worker-owned cooperative by selling them to their 60+ current employees. The Island Employee Cooperative is now the newest, and largest worker owned co-op in the state, joining Fedco, Crown of Maine Organic Cooperative, and Local Sprouts Cooperative in this small, but growing business niche. And last, but not least, in Houlton the County Co-op and Farm Store says this on their facebook page: “We are establishing a member owned and controlled retail outlet for natural and sustainable foods and goods, while promoting locally sourced and organic products when available at fair prices to support our members and the community in southern Aroostook.” This movement is so strong, Mainebiz recently published an article about the phenomenon. In it, Sarah Miller, co-president of the Kennebec Local Food Initiative, is quoted as saying “There’s a national resurgence of the cooperative model. The impact on the state of Maine could be really significant. Most co-ops are dedicated to the community. And they are a boon to the local economy by recirculating money and supporting smaller farmers and producers.” We couldn’t agree more. www.portlandfood.coop www.barrelsmarket.com www.klfi.org/the-gardiner-food-co-op www.marketstreetcoop.net www.facebook.com/MarshRiverCoop www.facebook.com/TheCountyCoopandFarmStore www.facebook.com/IECDIS 7 @ your by Zafra Whitcomb, Finance and Information Systems Manager Thanks to developments in our Point-of-Sale (register) software, we have some exciting new features to roll out in the next 3-6 months. Keep your eyes peeled for in-store notices to let you know exactly when these will take effect, but here’s a preview: member-owner super sale week! Starting with the September Member-Owner Super Sale, we will be changing from a single Super Sale Day to Super Sale Week. Instead of being limited to the first day of the month (September, December, March or June), you will be offered your quarterly Super Sale discount at the register when you give your member number to the cashier. You can defer this discount for up to one week and choose to apply it to any single transaction in that period. In a continuing effort to reduce paper waste, we will be offering you two new options at the register. Members who provide us with their e-mail address will be able to opt-in to our eReceipt program and receive all their Co-op receipts by e-mail. Additionally, for all customers, we will no longer be printing receipts automatically, but will be happy to print a copy at the customer’s request. Automatic CO-OPcalendar Senior Discount! 8 “Advanced Members” (aged 62 and up) who provide us with their birth date information will be able to automatically receive their 10% discount on Tuesdays without being asked by the cashier. To accommodate privacy concerns, we will only require your month and year of birth. July Round-Up for Community recipients: Habitat for Humanity of Waldo County, Waldo County Humane Society Featured Artist: Bennett Konesni 7/4 2pm early closing, 3pm for the Grill. Happy Independence Day! 7/11 Eastside Shore Herbal Garden Tour Fri. 3-5pm, carpool from Co-op, pre-registration required (at register or by phone: 338-2532), 8 participant limit. 7/19 Guided Store Tour Sat. 10am, meet at Co-op entrance 7/24 Sweetgrass Farm Winery & Distillery tour Thurs. 12:15-3:45pm - transport provided, meet at Co-op, $10 pre-registration. 7/25 Love LOCAL Day Fri. – Tide Mill Organic Farm & Tide Mill Creamery will provide free samples, lunch special highlighting local ingredients, 10% off all Maine-made products all day. 7/25 Wine Tasting & Art Opening Fri. 7-9pm, Café - free monthly sampling of highlighted seasonal wines & art show opening. Featured wines 10% off during tasting; must be at least 21 to attend. August Round-Up for Community recipients: Waldo County Dental Care, Crossroads Food Pantry Featured Artists: Clarity 8/6 “Do you know where your seed comes from, and why does it matter?” Wed. 6:30pm, Belfast Free Library – free presentation with CR Lawn, founder and president of Fedco Seeds 8/16 Guided Store Tour Sat. 10am, meet at Co-op entrance 8/16 Community Appreciation Day Sat. 11am-4pm (details on P3) TBD Love LOCAL Day – Peacemeal Farm organic melon samples (date based on when they’re ripest!), lunch special highlighting local ingredients, 10% off all Maine-made products all day. 8/29 Wine Tasting & Art Opening Fri. 7-9pm, Café - free monthly sampling of highlighted seasonal wines & art show opening. Featured wines 10% off during tasting; must be at least 21 to attend.