The Co-operator // September/October 2021

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Co operator THE

Volume 32: Issue 4 • September & October 2021

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a free publication of the east end food co-op

Healthy living tips P. 4 Guide to seasonal produce P. 6 prep your winter garden P. 12


Board Corner Marty Seltman board member

The East End Food Co-op has more than 15,000 member-owners. We belong to the Co-op for a variety of reasons. When my wife, Janet, and I joined 30 plus years ago, the Co-op was the only place in town to get healthy organic food. While organic food is more readily available now, the Co-op is different from any other store. We are guided by our “Ends Statement” that we will create a “sustainable member-owned business open to everyone, an ethical and

Board of Directors Sam Applefield '21 President Ariel Barlow '21 Vice President Laura Valentine '22 Secretary Charlie Orr '22 Treasurer Eva Barinas '21 Jenise Brown '23 Tom Pandeleon '22 Trevor Ring '23 Marty Seltman '23

resilient food infrastructure, a vibrant, dynamic community of happy, healthy people, and creative vision to transform the future.” In addition to shopping at the Co-op, there are many ways that you can be an active part of this effort. When I joined the board this year, I became co-chair of the Member-Owner Participation (MOP) Committee. This committee aims to assist the board in creating and sustaining a participatory community of member-owners and continually increasing member participation. This active committee works closely with the Marketing & Member Services (MMS) Department to identify and develop activities and programs of interest to members. To better understand our member-owners, the MOP Committee conducts a survey every other year. The 2020 survey was done with the support of Dr. Nadine Lehrer, Associate Professor of Food Studies at Chatham University, and her class, who helped design the questions and analyze the responses. Just under 50% of those who responded wanted to be involved in the Co-op beyond shopping. Perhaps the most active way to get involved is to run for the board. The election process for 2022 has begun! You can declare your candidacy through September 19. If you’re not ready to run for the board, you can learn about those who are running and vote. You can meet the

The board meets online the third Monday of each month at 7 PM. Members are welcome to join virtually via WebEx. Management Team Maura Holliday General Manager Amber Pertz Cafe Manager Shawn McCullough Finance Manager Eric cressley Front End Manager Ian Ryan Grocery Manager Jen Girty HR Manager Erin Myers IT Manager Tyler Kulp Produce Manager Elly Helgen Marketing & Member Services Manager

candidates at the annual meeting. This meeting is a great way to meet fellow cooperators, and board and staff, and learn more about what’s going on and where we hope to go as an organization. As a bonus, there is always great food! More details of the annual meeting will be announced soon. Another way to become involved is to participate in one of our programs. These have mostly been put on hold during Covid, but we hope to resume them soon. These programs are often educational sessions related to food & nutrition, food justice, sustainability, and health. Members are encouraged to suggest topics and/or offer to present programs. Contact MMS

The East End Food Co-op exists to enhance physical and social health to our community. To these ends, we will create: A sustainable member-owned business open to everyone; An ethical and resilient food infrastructure; A creative vision to transform the future.

Manager, Elly, at ehelgen@eastendfood.coop with your ideas! Finally, we are about to embark on a major expansion project. There will be several ways for member-owners to be engaged in this process. There are positions on the expansion committee, and there will be a number of member-owner forums to learn about and contribute to our plans. There will also be ways to support our expansion financially. Details about this will be available soon. We hope that you will find a way to become more active in our community of cooperators. By signing up for our member emails, you can learn details about the various opportunities. Just shopping at the Co-op helps support local farmers and our overall goals, but there is so much more that you can do.

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| The Newsletter of East End Food Co-op

September / October 2021

The Co-operator is published by: East End Food Co-op 7516 Meade Street, Pittsburgh PA 15208 phone: 412-242-3598 web: www.eastendfood.coop Opinions expressed are writers' own and do not necessarily reflect Co-op policy. Elly Helgen, Editor Debi Johnson, Design & Layout Printed locally by Banksville Express with vegetable-based inks on recycled paper. © East End Food Cooperative 2020


GM Report

Maura Holliday GENERAL MANAGER I think I've said this before, but fall is one of my favorite seasons of the year. I am an avid gardener, and the fall is when I feel like I truly get to see the results of what I planted in the spring. Digging in the dirt, watering my plants, and watching them evolve all summer long, is my happy place. I knew that I appreciated it before the pandemic rocked our worlds, but I have truly learned just how much gardening helps keep me grounded and provides me peace. Last season, I started incorporating my vegetable and fruit plants into my landscape rather than building a whole new garden bed and had a lot of fun trying to keep up with the critters that wanted to eat everything. This year, I made a more pointed effort to support the Monarch butterfly population and planted Swamp Milkweed seedlings that I bought from our Grow Pittsburgh seedlings at the co-op. So far, we have "birthed" four monarch caterpillars! It has been so fun to share this with my two children. Why am I sharing this all with you? Well, one reason is to offer a bit more about me and my passions, but also, this idea of growth really resonates with me when I think of what we are working towards with our co-op. I have so many goals that I want to achieve for our co-op, and one of those is growing our current store's footprint. The growth that I hope for is twofold. More than just allowing us to have a resilient financial future for the co-op, I want to grow and cultivate our staff and our local food system. Our staff have so many talents and skills, and they deserve a space that can serve them better as they develop these further. Our member-owners deserve to have more opportunities to engage with the co-op beyond shopping our aisles. Our vendors deserve more opportunities to grow with us and offer more products to fill our shelves. With a slightly larger footprint and a space that is actually designed to be a grocery store, we have the opportunity to fully realize the tremendous potential our co-op has been building over the years. This summer has been busy as we make plans to move forward with relocating our co-op. Although we do not have the luxury of saying where we are seriously looking at the moment, we have been working behind the scenes to ensure that we are ready once we can! We hope to have a location announcement this fall/early winter that will be followed shortly after by member-owner information sessions where you can ask all of your burning questions, and we can talk about how we plan to go about our member-owner capital campaign. As we embark on this project, member-owners have some of the best opportunities to engage and support the co-op and its future. If you are hoping to get more involved and make a difference, we will soon have the chance for you to do just that. I hope to see many of you at the Annual Meeting in November; hopefully, we can host it in person this year. Until then, I will see you in the aisles!

join a c0-op committee The East End Food Co-op's Board of Directors is looking for member-owners to join committees. The board convenes a number of committees, including Finance, Member-Owner Participation, Expansion, Resilience, Annual Meeting, Bylaws, and Board Perpetuations and Elections. These committees all play an important role in developing proposals and recommendations to strengthen the governance of our co-op, which are discussed and voted on by the board. Meeting time and frequency varies by committee, but are typically monthly. For more information and to sign up to join a committee contact boardclerk@eastendfood.coop September / October 2021

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I recently sat down with Jackson, our Supplement Buyer, to discuss how we can best equip our bodies to be as strong and healthy as possible, especially as we continue to navigate this pandemic. Part of what makes the Co-op experience unique is the conversation and collaboration between member-owners/customers and staff. Jackson appreciates these honest conversations that fill his day-to-day and always wants to hear where people are coming from first before offering any input. "I want people that come into the store to think holistically, meaning if they're only coming in here to pick up cold medicine but never shop for produce or are unfamiliar with the bulk section, that's a much more foundational piece of the puzzle." He continued, "I don't work for commission. So, if I lose money in my department, because someone goes and spends it in other departments, that's not a bad thing at all. That's what we try to do — get people into the concept of this store, and how that's a step in a better direction for their physiological and mental health by way of that ripple effect." Jackson finds it essential to remove the mystery from what can help the body work better and make these practices clearer. "The body is an intense, complex biological machine. There's a trinity [that includes] micronutrients, which would mean vitamins and minerals, macro-nutrients which would [include] amino acids and fats, and good drinking water." He maintains, "that's everything that needs to come into the body to fill deficits for whatever energy the body is expending. If you are supplying the body with things other than that trinity, it's superfluous, and metabolically, it will still need to be taken care of."

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September / October 2021


Along with making sure the majority of what you're consuming is colorful, whole, and nutrient-dense, it is also worthwhile to think about the balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut. Jackson reminds me that "for every one cell of us, there are 10 of them (bacteria). They're much more important to our process than we commonly think. And if you have a disproportionate amount of pathogenic (harmful) bacteria, because your good bacteria has dwindled, you'll start changing chemically." To ensure the good bacteria in your gut keeps an upper hand over the bad, it is essential to focus on consuming foods that will continue to introduce these good bacteria, also called probiotics, into your system. These could include foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, kefir, or Bulgarian yogurt. Once you start introducing more probiotics, it is vital that, at the same time, you are consuming foods that will allow these probiotics to thrive. These would include foods such as water-rich fruits and vegetables that are high in soluble fiber. Once you can maintain a healthy gut and thus a healthy digestive system, the rest of your systems will start to follow. If you are looking for specific nutrients to add to your diet, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Zinc, and Selenium would be a good place to start. It's good to get these from whole foods first, but herbal or other supplements are the next best option. When thinking about being healthy or living a healthy life, it is crucial to keep in mind that there is no one-size or one food that fits or fixes all. For example, Jackson asserts, "kombucha is a great alternative to conventional soda, but it's not something that you want to look at as a panacea. It's not a cure-all." In addition to consuming a well-rounded whole foods diet, the importance of movement and sleep are not far behind. "Cardiovascular activity is going to transport blood oxygen, meaning your respiratory system is going to work better; the things that need to get transported to the outer limbs will get there quicker." Sleep, Jackson continues, "is your resting and regenerative, reparative time; it's when so much hormonal process is happening -- so many foundational things happen. So, if you were trying to work against it, it will always win." As we were wrapping up our conversation, Jackson concluded by saying, "if I'm of any worth in the aisle to talk to, that's the main takeaway -- that we have these commonalities, no matter how different we are, our body requires these things." It all comes down to understanding that everything is connected and little steps do matter. By focusing on these foundational tenets of maintaining a healthy body — varied, whole foods, movement, sleep, and staying hydrated — we will be doing ourselves a big favor as we inch closer to colder months.

May/June 2021

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September is a great month for local produce! The days will still be warm and long, and Western PA farms will be abundant with beautiful veggies. We have seen quite a bit of rain this summer, which has had a negative impact on some of the early summer crops, but the abundance may actually help the fall crops. We should continue to see lots of cabbage (which is excellent all year long, not just for coleslaw in the summer) along with potatoes and carrots, too. Everyone knows fall carrots are the best carrots! And, of course, butternut squash. It's the pumpkin spice latte of fall crops. Look for this on sale in a large bin outside of the Co-op, sooner than later. As the golden hour of summer approaches, tomatoes, corn, and watermelon will be dwindling. I am always sad to see these go, but we have lots of yummy and healthy Autumn eating to look forward to. Fall in Western PA is a wonderful time to eat local. Some summer fruits and veggies are still hanging around while the new Autumn crops are fresh and exciting. Come by the Co-op and ask us about all of our great local produce; food and eating are some of our favorite topics to chat about! Here are just a few of the great items you can expect to hit the East End Food Co-op Produce department this season:

A member of the brassica family, Brussels are an excellent source of vitamins C and K. These tiny, miniature cabbages pack a powerful crunch and flavor when roasted, fried, or steamed. There are countless delicious recipes to be found online; even my almost 3-year-old nieces love crispy Brussels Sprouts! 6 The Co-operator

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September / October 2021


Radishes enjoy cooler soil temperatures, so October is a great month in Pennsylvania for Watermelon radishes, Daikon, Green Meat, and China Rose. All of these are tasty, but I am partial to the watermelon variety. They don't look too exciting from the outside, but once you cut into them, they shimmer. The dynamic pinks and vibrant orange flesh are truly special and eye-catching. You can pickle them, roast, mash, or braise them. But, the best way to preserve their impressive and vibrant color is to slice them very thin and eat them raw on a salad or slaw.

What more can be written about the magic of garlic? Unless you're a vampire or allergic — you know it, you love it. Local Certified Organic garlic is not as abundant as I would like it to be, but our friends at Clarion River Organics should provide us with a nice crop by September/early October. I spoke with Lindsay Jacobs, General Manager of Clarion River Organics, to get the scoop on the garlic timetable. "The scapes are pulled in early summer; we get to enjoy those for a few weeks. The garlic then matures in the ground for a couple of weeks, and then we can enjoy it fresh, with green tops, in mid-July. Currently, it is hanging and curing in the greenhouse [where they can control temperatures]. Airflow is key for it to dry out and 'cure.' By the time you, dear reader, are holding this issue in your hands, we should have local Organic garlic for sale at the Co-op." Thanks for the info, Lindsay! We are so grateful to work with you and everyone at Clarion River/Three Rivers Grown.

This is a staff favorite! Dan, one of our most senior Produce Clerks, says, "of the many fall squash varieties, Red Kuri is definitely my favorite with its sweet, deep orange flesh. Significant is the dryness of the nutty flesh, making it perfect for absorbing oil and caramelizing upon roasting." Right on, Dan. Sounds excellent. The season for Red Kuri is always painfully short, so get them while you can!

There always seems to be some confusion or at least a healthy discourse around the sweet potato in PA. Some people call these "yams," and we know what they're talking about, but it is unrelated to an actual Yam. Whatever you call these, they are a tasty and healthy addition to your fall plate. Full of vitamins A, C, and B6, these starchy tuberous roots provide much more nutrition than their distant relative, the potato. Also, they're downright delicious. Look for a bin of sweet potatoes out front near the butternut squash!

September / October 2021

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Total Time: 30 minutes Yield: 4 Servings

Total Time: 30 minutes Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients: • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce • 1 egg (lightly beaten) • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract • 1 tablespoon maple syrup • 1 cup all-purpose flour • 1 teaspoon baking powder • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Ingredients: • 2 acorn squash (about 2 1/2 pounds) • 2 tablespoons butter • 3 tablespoons maple syrup • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon • 1/8 teaspoon garam masala • Salt and pepper

Instructions: 1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 2. Add all ingredients to a medium bowl and stir together gently. 3. Dollop out 1-tablespoon sized portions of the dough onto the prepared baking sheet. 4. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the cookies are set and the bottoms are lightly golden brown. 5. Allow to cool slightly and serve. Nutritional Information: Serving - 2 cookies: 185 calories, 2 g. fat, 30 mg. cholesterol, 139 mg. sodium, 32 g. carbohydrate, 2 g. fiber, 4 g. protein

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Instructions: 1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Cut each squash into 4 equal rings, removing the stems. Place the squash onto a large rimmed sheet pan or 2 casserole dishes. Pour about a half-inch of water into the dishes or the sheet pan and sprinkle the squash with salt and pepper. Bake the squash for 15-20 minutes. 2. While the squash is cooking, melt the butter and combine it with the maple syrup, cinnamon and garam masala. Remove the squash from the oven, pour off any remaining water and brush liberally with the melted butter mixture. Bake 5 minutes, brush again with the remaining butter mixture and bake another 5 minutes. Nutritional Information: 196 calories, 6 g. fat, 16 mg. cholesterol, 14 mg. sodium, 35 g. carbohydrate, 4 g. fiber, 4 g. protein

September / October 2021


Total Time: 50 minutes; 10 minutes active Yield: 6 Servings

Total Time: 35 minutes; 15 minutes active Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients: • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, washed and cut lengthwise into large wedges • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil • 2 cloves garlic, minced • 1 teaspoon chili powder • 1 teaspoon paprika • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes • 1/4 teaspoon salt • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper • Pinch of cayenne pepper

Ingredients: • 4 small sweet potatoes • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, divided • 4 cloves garlic, pressed • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary • 1/2 teaspoon salt • Freshly ground black pepper • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions: 1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. 2. In a large bowl, mix together the oil and spices. Add the sweet potato wedges and toss until well coated. Spread the seasoned wedges out on a large sheet pan. Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes, stir or flip the wedges, and bake an additional 20 minutes until browned and tender. 3. While potatoes are roasting, mix together the sour cream, jalapeño pepper, lime and salt in a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve. 4. Remove from the oven and let them rest for 5 minutes before serving with the jalapeño sour cream. Nutritional Information: 247 calories, 7 g. fat, 10 mg. cholesterol, 136 mg. sodium, 45 g. carbohydrate, 7 g. fiber, 3 g. protein

Instructions: 1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Use about one tablespoon of butter to grease a large sheet pan with a rim. Score the skin of each sweet potato with a paring knife, cutting four evenly spaced lines from tip to tip. This will make it easier to flatten the rounds after baking. Cut into 1 1/2-inchthick rounds. Place the rounds on the sheet pan, cover tightly with foil or another baking pan, and roast for about 20 minutes, until soft when pierced with a paring knife. Remove the pan from the oven, and set the oven on broil. Use a fork to flatten each slice to about a 3/4-inch-thick round. 2. Melt the remaining butter in a small pan; add garlic and rosemary, and stir for a few seconds. Use a spoon to drizzle a little bit of the butter mixture over the sweet potato rounds. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese, and place under the broiler for 2 minutes or so, until crispy and browned. Serve hot. Nutritional Information: 260 calories, 13 g. fat, 35 mg. cholesterol, 390 mg. sodium, 33 g. carbohydrate, 5 g. fiber, 4 g. protein

September / October 2021

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Total Time: 30 minutes, Yield: 4 Servings

Total Time: 30 minutes, 15 minutes active Yield: 6 Servings

Ingredients: • 1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts • 1 clove garlic, minced • 2 tablespoons butter • 1/2 cup water or vegetable broth • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar • 1 tablespoon brown sugar • 2 tablespoons orange juice • Zest of one orange • Pinch of salt and ground black pepper • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts Instructions: 1. To prepare the Brussels sprouts, rinse them in cold water, trim the stems, remove the outer leaves, and cut them in half from top to bottom (choose smaller Brussels sprouts with tightly-closed heads). 2. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the halved Brussels sprouts and saute for about 4 minutes, then add the garlic and saute 1 minute more until the Brussels sprouts start to brown on the edges. Add the water or broth, cover the skillet, and let the Brussels sprouts steam for 5 minutes. 3. While the sprouts are steaming, prepare the glaze by stirring together the apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, orange juice, orange zest, salt and pepper in a small mixing bowl. Remove lid from the Brussels sprouts and add the glaze ingredients. Cook on high for about two minutes or until the glaze becomes syrupy, stirring or tossing the Brussels sprouts until well coated. Sprinkle the Brussels sprouts with the toasted pine nuts and serve warm.

Ingredients: • 2 tablespoons olive oil • 1 yellow onion, diced • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced • 3 parsnips, peeled and diced • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes • 4 cups vegetable broth • 3 to 4 sprigs each of fresh rosemary and thyme • 1 15-ounce can northern beans, rinsed and drained • 1 15-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained • 1 15-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained • 5 cups fresh spinach, chopped • Salt and black pepper to taste Instructions: In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, parsnips and garlic and saute 5 to 7 minutes. Add the tomatoes, broth and herbs and bring to a boil. Add the beans, reduce heat to simmer and cook 20 to 30 minutes until vegetables are tender. Stir in the spinach and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm. Nutritional Information: 300 calories, 6 g. fat, 0 mg. cholesterol, 200 mg. sodium, 49 g. carbohydrate, 18 g. fiber, 13 g. protein

Nutritional Information: 144 calories, 9 g. fat, 15 mg. cholesterol, 94 mg. sodium, 15 g. carbohydrate, 5 g. fiber, 5 g. protein 10 The Co-operator

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September / October 2021


Total Time: 30 minutes, Yield: 6 Servings

Total Time: 2 hours, 50 minutes; 20 minutes active Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients: • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil • 1 large yellow onion, diced • 3 cloves garlic, minced • 1-2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced (optional) • 1/4 cup tomato paste • 2 cups vegetable stock or chicken stock • 1 lb. sweet potato, peeled and cubed • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped • 2 turnips (or other root vegetable), peeled and chopped • 1/3 cup smooth, natural peanut butter • 2 cups green cabbage, chopped • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes • Salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients: • 4 large apples • 2 teaspoons cinnamon • 1 tablespoon sugar • 2 teaspoons vegetable or coconut oil • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt • 2 tablespoons honey

Instructions: 1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute until the onion begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the minced garlic and ginger, if using, and saute for 1–2 minutes more. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1–2 minutes. Add sweet potato, carrot, turnip, broth and red pepper flakes and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until the sweet potato, carrots and turnip begin to soften, about 10 minutes. 2. In a small bowl, whisk together the peanut butter with a little hot broth from the pot. Add the peanut butter mixture to the pot along with cabbage and stir to combine. Simmer for 5 minutes more or just until the cabbage has wilted and the other vegetables are cooked through. Add salt and pepper to taste, if needed, and serve hot.

Instructions: 1. Heat oven to 200°F. Cut apples in half. Remove seeds, stems and bottoms. Use a sharp knife to make thin crosswise slices. Place the half-rounds in a large bowl, and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Toss to coat. 2. Drizzle two sheet pans with oil, then spread the apple slices on the pans. Bake for 2 1/2 hours. Place on racks to cool. 3. While apple chips cool, combine peanut butter, yogurt and honey in a small bowl and stir. Place apple chips on a plate with the bowl of dip in the center and serve. Serving suggestion: Make ahead of time as an after-school snack for hungry kids, or jazz up breakfast oatmeal with a side of apple chips and dip. Chips will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. Nutritional Information: 300 calories, 11 g. fat, 0 mg. cholesterol, 70 mg. sodium, 48 g. carbohydrate, 8 g. fiber, 6 g. protein

Nutritional Information: 270 calories, 10 g. fat, 0 mg. cholesterol, 300 mg. sodium, 40 g. carbohydrate, 8 g. fiber, 7 g. protein September / October 2021

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Five Tips for Managing your Garden in Winter Silvan Goddin, Grow Pittsburgh As the days get cooler and the air gets crisper, it’s a great time to get back in the garden. The insect pests are less plentiful, the weeds grow more slowly, and physically exerting yourself for a few hours outside is so much more pleasant. Even if you’ve let things go (no judgment here!), Fall is the perfect time for a fresh start. Many seed catalogues and other resources focus solely on Spring and Summer crops, making it confusing to figure out what you can successfully do with your garden at the end of the year. Luckily, you have a lot of good options. First, you should decide if there are crops you want to take with you into the Winter. Heat-loving summer crops like tomatoes, peppers, beans, and squash won’t last past the first real frost unless you provide a lot of protection and at this point in the season usually aren’t worth the trouble for the amount of produce you’d receive. However, if you still have some stubborn green peppers on your plants refusing to ripen and frost in the forecast, there is hope. Cutting the entire plant at the base of the stem and hanging it up somewhere protected from the cold (we use our basement) will often induce ripening in the last fruits on the plant. This works best for smaller thin-walled peppers rather than chunky bell peppers. Some plants thrive in cold temperatures, especially with protection. If you’d like to grow some veggies for the Winter and early Spring months, spinach, lettuce, carrots, kale, collards, and leeks are all easy to grow even in very cold weather. Keep in mind that your plants will grow very slowly over the Winter with shorter daylight hours, so if you don’t plant them early enough to get to harvestable size by Winter, you may have to wait a while before they start putting on new growth again. But you’ll still be happy you did it in March and April when you’re munching on fresh spinach and cilantro while others are putting their first seeds in the ground. Construct a low tunnel over your garden beds with hoops and row cover to shelter your veggies from the harshest cold and wind. There are many options for hoop materials, like thick wire or PVC piping, at your local hardware store. Another classic crop to plant in the cold months is garlic. They may not look like they’re doing much after planting, but the cloves are sending out a strong root system so they can grow quickly once it warms up. For best results in Western Pennsylvania, plant a hardneck garlic variety (we like German White and Music) in mid-October to early November after a good application of compost or organic fertilizer and mulch with straw or leaf mulch to insulate and keep your bed weed-free until it’s ready to harvest next Summer. If you’ve decided you’re done growing produce for the year, consider a cover crop. Cover crops are a great way to suppress weeds, add nutrients, and keep photosynthesis happening in your garden, thus building and improving your soil. Cereal Rye is a great Winter cover crop for keeping the soil covered as it grows a thick web of fibrous roots even in cold weather that keeps your garden soil from eroding due to wind, rain, and snow. Its network of roots captures the Nitrogen still in your soil and keeps it from leaching out over the Winter. When you terminate your cover crop the following Spring by tilling or mowing and tarping, the Nitrogen is waiting just below the soil surface to feed your new plants. I recommend waiting a couple of weeks after killing your Rye before planting a new crop, as living Rye actually exudes compounds from its roots that inhibit the growth of some other plants, a characteristic called allelopathy, which is another reason it’s so good at out-competing those cool-season weeds in the garden! 12 The Co-operator

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Another option for keeping the soil covered over the Winter to prevent erosion is mulching. Mulching will prevent weeds from taking hold in your garden space over the Winter, making it much easier to get growing again the following Spring. Mulch also acts as a buffer between the harsh elements and the soil beneath, protecting earthworms, fungi, and other beneficial soil organisms from drying out while also giving them something to digest and turn into compost for your future veggies. Straw, leaves, or even plain cardboard are all readily available options for mulching the garden and are easy to move to the compost pile once you’re ready to plant again. The final step in successful Winter gardening is daydreaming! In my opinion, there is nothing better on a cold day than curling up with a cup of tea and a seed catalogue and beginning to plan all the new varieties and growing techniques you’ll try next year. And with one or all of the strategies mentioned above employed, you can feel confident your garden will be better than ever come Spring. Silvan Goddin is a Co-op member and the Greenhouse & Farm Assistant Manager at Grow Pittsburgh. When she's not trying to grow as much food as possible in small spaces, she loves foraging and forest-lounging with her husband and two dogs.

comment cards The meat department looks amazing - so abundant and well-loved! I'm so grateful Berry, the buyer, really knows & cares about the animals & the farms & farmers she works with. Thank you for your kind words! I love what I do and am always happy when people love it, too! -Berry, Meat Buyer How does offering blueberries from Chile fit the mission statement? We offer the best available organic produce throughout the year. Local or even domestic blueberries are not available to us this time of year. Chilean blueberries are certified organic, delicious, and sell very well to our members and customers. -Tyler, Produce Manager I've been putting compostable plastic bags into my compost bin. Now, 2 years later, I'm pulling out whole plastic bags. Have I been misled about compostable bags? Unfortunately, those bags require a large-scale, industrial composting setting. Please feel free to compost them in-store to ensure that they are picked up by our composting service, Zero Waste Wrangler. Thanks! -Elly, MMS Manager We would love to see cat litter that comes in a box instead of plastic bag for less waste. I will look into this. Thanks for the suggestion. -Jared, Grocery Buyer No parking spaces in the parking lot or on the street. When are you going to address this problem? Our shared parking is for sure not forgiving! We hope that as we advance relocation plans that we will have more dedicated parking spots and more parking spaces overall. Keep a lookout for store updates :) -Maura, GM Just curious if Swiss Villa has raw cream - would love a raw cream option! They can only sell us the raw milk. -Evan, Perishable Buyer Wild Rise is the best GF bread I've ever had! Two thumbs up! I hope you continue to carry their products. Wanted to share some positivity. I'm so glad you like it! I only plan to bring in more products from our friends at Wild Rise! :) -Berry, Bread Buyer Please offer a brand of kosher, organic almond flour. We'll carry the NOW brand of organic almond flour. Look for it soon. -Jared, Grocery Buyer This is the best store! Thank you, we think it's pretty great too, but we might be biased :) -Maura, GM September / October 2021

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staff picks

Maggie

Heather

Cadia Maple Sandwich Cookies: "Just try to have only two a day!"

De La Calle! Tepache: "Spice up your life!"

Ray

SoyBoy Smoked Tofu: "It's quick, easy, and flavorful!"

register roundup register

Round

september Recipient

October Recipient

Book 'Em's mission is to improve the quality of life for people incarcerated in PA by providing free access to educational materials, books, and resources. www.bookempa.org

Sponsored by the Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation, our Community Fund serves as a means for co-op members and shoppers to make donations to an endowment that donates to local non-profit organizations. The interest earned by our fund will be given annually to local groups working on issues relating to sustainable agriculture and organic food, hunger and social issues, environmental protection, and Cooperatives. www.community.coop/ccf

To support these organizations, tell your cashier to Round Up your total at the register! Register Round Up Funds raised to date: $190,685.07 April 2013 -July 2021

14 The Co-operator

| The Newsletter of East End Food Co-op

September / October 2021


Employees of the Month!

SCOTT produce receiver

September / October 2021

The Co-operator | The Newsletter of East End Food Co-op 15