THE COMMUNITY ISSUE
The History of Here Inside the Pine Hills
Building Community Yoga Around the World
A Community Grows Together
Linda Coolen & Susan Metcalf are the current co-managing editors of the Coop Scoop.
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recent changes in membership, various community resources, and efforts to improve and engage in community. The content of any issue depends on Member-Owner contributions and may include more general content. A huge thank you to the current contributors! To all readers and members: please consider contributing in future issues! It can be scary to jump in, but this community is safe, warm and welcoming. The editorial team, Carol and Ben, Susan and Linda will be glad to work with you wherever you’re at. You do not need to be a writer or a poet, just a community member who wishes to be more involved. We are delighted to join this community, Linda & Susan
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We’d like to introduce ourselves as the new Coop Scoop comanaging editors. Linda Coolen and Susan Metcalf are sisters and are new Member-Owners. Linda is a retired educator living what she calls her “third life” raising goats, chickens and bees on an 11-acre farm outside Albany. Her first experience with being part of a co-op was in the ‘80s as a member of a small community co-op outside of Boston. Susan is a librarian who has lived in Delmar since 2012. Her first memories of a food co-
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from Our Editors Letter Linda Coolen and Susan Metcalf
op were following her big sister around and helping out. We are excited to take on this role and hope to continue the dedicated editorial work of Georgia Julius, Ben Goldberg and Carol Reid to produce this publication. We hope this “Community” issue will both reflect upon as well as continue to create community. Community can be defined in many ways and can take countless forms. The Honest Weight community of Member-Owners draws from the Capital Region and beyond. We are 12,000 strong. We are one community and we are diverse. As we enter the fall season and return to the routines of the school year for many and to the cooler months after a hot and hopefully joyful summer, we find this to be a fitting introduction to this issue. In this issue, you will hear from Member Services about the
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Honest Weight Food Co-op is a memberowned and -operated consumer cooperative that is committed to providing the community with affordable, high quality natural foods and products for healthy living. Our mission is to promote more equitable, participatory, and
ecologically sustainable ways of living. Honest weight is open to the public, seven days a week. The Coop Scoop is produced bimonthly by our Education Department and offered free of charge as part of our mission. to view online, Please visit www.honestweight.coop/coopscoop.
Ben Goldberg is retired from a 40+ year career in behavioral health care
in the nonprofit sector. He is currently an active volunteer and a freelance writer and editor.
Assistant EDITOR: Carol Reid is a retired cataloger at the New York State Library, where she worked for over 35 years. She wrote a 10-year blog called “Typo of the Day for Librarians” and has been a Co-op member since the 1980s.
Writers: Loren Brown, Betsy Dickson, Erin Donahue, Rebecca Angel Maxwell, Melanie Pores, Carol Reid, Pat Sahr, Natalie Wallace
Designers: Mathew Bradley Holley Davis is a new Co-op member.
When she’s not at the Troy Farmer’s Market or trying new recipes, you can find her running a half marathon in every state.
Interested in Contributing TO THE COOP SCOOP? Contact: georgiaj@ honestweight.coop
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ISSN 2473-6155 (print) ISSN 2473-6163 (online) The Coop Scoop is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing medical or health advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider. We are not responsible for errors or omissions. Honest Weight is not responsible for, and does not necessarily agree with, our guest writers' articles. Cover photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash
WHAT'S FRESH AT HONEST WEIGHT!
NOTEWORTHY RESOURCES OF ALBANY: BUILDING AN EMPOWERED COMMUNITY
Coop Scoop Staff
BACKPACK KIDS ARE JUST KIDS
BOOK REVIEW: THE HISTORY OF HERE Carol Reid
SERVING SALADS IN THE SOUTH END: A CAFE'S MISSION TO IMPACT FOOD INSECURITY
KULA: A COMMUNITY OF THE HEART Natalie Wallace
LIKE YOU AND I Loren Brown
LITTLE FREE LIBRARIES Rebecca Angel Maxwell
THE IMMIGRANT COOKBOOK: RECIPES THAT MAKE AMERICA GREAT Melanie Pores
THE FRIENDSHIP GARDEN OF THE DELAWARE COMMUNITY PRODUCER PROFILE: THE DAILY GRIND
RECIPE CORNER: ARROZ CON GANDULES Melanie Pores
What's Fresh at Honest Weight!
We're always keeping our eyes and ears open for products and companies that would be a good addition to the shelves and bins at Honest Weight. That means products that fit our strict buying policies with none of the ingredients on our Banned (visit List. honestweight.coop/banned what we won't carry.) Priority goes none of the ingredients on our List Banned Priority goes to localto orsee regional businesses, mission-based to local or regional businesses, mission-based businesses and cooperatives, and those who use socially and environmentally conscious practices in theirto work. Here work. Here are four new Honest products check out!are four new Honest products to check out!
Local Honeycrisp Apples from Knight Orchards One of the most sought after apples in the U.S., Honeycrisps are known for their crunchiness and through cross-breeding in Minnesota in the 1960s, but didn’t become popular commercially until the ‘90s. It is one of the most cold-hardy apple varieties, making it a perfect crop for Knight Orchards, a fourthgeneration family farm located in Burnt Hills, NY. Find them in our Produce Department!
ORGANIC Hippeas Out Fajita, Sriracha Sunrise, and Bohemian Barbecue, bright yellow Hippeas bags seem to smile back at you from the snack aisle. They’re made with chickpeas and are organic, vegan, gluten-free, and soyfree. With a rallying cry of “Give Peas a Chance” and plenty of other puns besides, this California-based company wants to create “goodness for mind, body, and soil.” Through a partnership with Farm Africa, proceeds from Hippeas are used to help Sub-Saharan and environmentally friendly, giving them and their communities a leg up against poverty. And because serving, Hippeas seem to be living up to their slogan. Find them in the Grocery snack aisle!
Nutty Steph’s CBD Chocolate Bars & Hearts Nutty Steph's, based in Middlesex, Vermont, produces small-batch chocolate and granola products using the best best possible ingredients: local cream and butter, pure maple syrup, fresh goat's milk caramel, fresh-to-order dry rolled oats, and wild grown Ecuadorian chocolate. with 70% dark chocolate infused with local, Vermontgrown hemp from Elmore Mountain Therapeutics. CBD, a non-psychoactive hemp derivative, is sweeping the nation, where people are using it to naturally treat chronic pain, anxiety, sleep deprivation and a variety of other ailments, including extreme conditions such as Epilepsy and Alzheimer's. Aside from being a small, local, woman-owned business, Nutty Steph's uses their business as a platform to advocate for workers’ rights across Vermont and the U.S., working for guaranteed sick leave, family leave, workplace inclusion and living wages to all who labor. Find them it in Wellness! Find in Wellness
Honest CapitalWeight’s City Nitro Cold Brew Honest Weight has joined the Nitro Cold Brew NCB is a relatively new infused with tiny nitrogen bubbles, a process that has been known to make heavy and dark beers creamier and more sweet-tasting. Serve yourself up a cup of our yummy blend, made in-house using Find it in our Deli! 5
Noteworthy Resources of Albany, Inc. (NWR) – Building an Empowered Community by Coop Scoop Staff
Tatiana Gjergji is a Prevention Educator by day, and the CEO of a non-profit organization by night. In both of these roles and more, she strives to educate, connect, and empower the community through support groups and workshops. To do this, Tatiana developed Noteworthy Resources of Albany, Inc. (NWR), a community resource service that works throughout the Capital District to build a sense of belonging in our community and identify common links among our wonderfully diverse population. According to the NWR website, Tatiana wants to plant seeds by providing individuals with noteworthy resources they can use to grow and evolve into the beautiful souls they were born to flower into.
NWR provides a unique platform for local people and businesses to connect, so that their insights and advances can be shared throughout our community. Tatiana Gjergji—clearly a ball of energy, enthusiasm, and optimism—is the only child of 6
two entrepreneurial immigrants from Albania. With this inherited entrepreneurial spirit, she developed her own nonprofit organization, NWR, by the age of 28. In addition to working as a prevention educator at the Addictions Care Center of Albany, Inc., and at NWR, Tatiana also completed her B.S. degree in psychology. Meanwhile, “in her spare time”, as they say,
she enjoys Zumba class, spending quality time with friends and family, and rooting for the New York Rangers. Tatiana writes: “NWR hosts a variety of networking, educational and empowering workshops and support groups that all of our community can be a part of. Workshops and groups offered by NWR vary from mental health, women’s empowerment, and starting a business, to essential
oils, yoga, Ayurveda, vision board classes, numerology, smudge stick class, meditations, as well as one of my favorites—the ‘How To Get Your Sh*t Together’ class. In these workshops and groups, members of our community can find like-minded (and even well-meaning different-minded) people with whom they can share empowering experiences and insights and build a supportive, nurturing community.” In addition to a varied menu of development-oriented workshops and groups, NWR has launched a one-on-one consulting service called "Empowerment Advocate," the purpose of which is to encourage individuals to embrace their abilities and focus on what they need to do in order to thrive. Upon request, Tatiana will meet with individuals in the Capital District to provide resources, supportive insights, direction, positive energy, and authenticity to help clients embrace their full potential and to start living with meaning, passion, and purpose. Learn more about NWR of Albany, Inc., at www.nwralbany. org, or call 518-225-2388 for more information. COOP SCOOP
Backpack Kids Are Just Kids by Betsy Dickson
Children who participate in the Regional Food Bank’s BackPack Program are just normal, everyday kids full of laughter, mischief, and curiosity like any other child—kids you see waiting for the school bus, playing on a playground, pretending to be their favorite superhero or princess, telling silly jokes, or coloring a picture. There is usually nothing to indicate that a child is facing food insecurity at home. Children who benefit from the Food Bank’s BackPack Program have too little food to eat at home. They often worry when their next meal will be. During the school week, they may be able to count on the free and reduced-cost breakfast and lunch provided by the school. But on Friday afternoon when school lets out for the weekend, these kids can’t be sure about what or even if they will eat throughout the weekend.
schools across 21 counties. Throughout the 2017– 18 school year, the BackPack Program distributed 180,000 backpacks containing over a million meals to help feed needy children. The Regional Food Bank collects donated food from the food industry and distributes it to 1,000 charitable agencies feeding the hungry in 23 counties of northeastern New York. Last year, the organization distributed nearly 38 million pounds of food to the hungry, the equivalent of over 35 million meals.
For more information, to make a donation, or to sign up for volunteer opportunities, visit www.regionalfoodbank.net.
This uncertainty leads to stress and anxiety, tainting what should be a more carefree and WHY I GIVE: by a BackPack Donor joyful stage of life. “I was employed part-time at an elementary school This is where the BackPack Program comes in. By providing six meals’ worth of nonperishable, easy to prepare, kid-friendly food, the BackPack Program puts food into the hands of hungry children, alleviates the anxiety that surrounds weekends without enough food, and helps to ensure needed nourishment for growing kids.
By filling little bellies for the weekend, the BackPack Program allows kids to continue to do more of what they do best - just be kids. The BackPack Program provides 6,300 students with a backpack full of food each Friday throughout the school year. The program partners with 220 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018
in a district with high enrollment in the free meal program. I can clearly recall seeing a second-grade student crawl under a cafeteria table and eat all of the scraps of food that had fallen on the floor because he was still hungry. He told me the best was finding crusts from sandwiches because there is often a little bit of the meat and cheese left behind in the corners of the crust. I told myself, once I obtained full-time employment I would financially support the Food Bank, particularly school-based programs, whenever possible. I am not able to give large donations, but I believe in my heart every bit helps someone in need.”
Betsy Dickson is the Director of Children’s Programs for the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York.
The History of Here, by Akum Norder
Review by Carol Reid
The History of Here: A House, the Pine Hills Neighborhood, and the City of Albany, by Akum Norder, was such a pleasure to read. The author’s ability to shift between historical facts, warm personal details, and wry philosophical asides is both deft and engaging. She traces the story of her quirky, Tudor-style, century-old house on West Lawrence Street—stashed with secret detritus from the past, the attic an archivist’s dream—while lingering over its builder, Lorenz Willig, and all of its previous occupants. And she places it squarely in the context of the early 20th-century housing boom in Albany’s Pine Hills neighborhood.
The rest, as they say, is history. In the 1880s, two lawyers and a broker bought a couple of farms near what is now South Allen Street and coined the term “Pine Hills,” imbuing this remote area outside the crowded city center with a growing sense of salubrity, gracious living, and community. “Come out in the fresh air!” one newspaper ad read. “There are no Indians or wild beasts in PINE HILLS! You needn’t shut yourself up in a flat or a stuffy block house. We have plenty of room for you at the WEST END.”
Norder’s story is extremely accessible, full of fun and fascinating facts. She has a light and familiar touch, a self-effacing and bemused tone. (The section on Albany street names, including her own, is frankly hilarious.) But she also tells moving tales of alcoholism (an entire chapter is devoted to the establishment of Alcoholics Anonymous in Albany) and the treatment of the mentally ill, among other weighty topics. The book is really quite impressively researched, well-written 8
(with almost nary a typo in sight), scrupulously annotated, and graced with a comprehensive index (all relative rarities in publishing these days).
At one point she compares her hard-to-till garden clay with the nearby sandy soil of the “Pine Bush” (later celebrated, but back then denigrated), calling the latter a “site of notorious land swindles.” She writes: “Popular opinion held that the sand plains were a ‘mistake in nature’ and ‘not even a diseased dog ought to be allowed to die on the premises, out of respect for the dog.’” My grandfather and great-uncle also built houses in and around the Pine Bush back then (including one that various family members, and I myself, have lived in), so I really must demur. How could a place with a giant “sand dune” across the street and a purported tepee-dwelling “Indian” to pass by on your way to school—not to mention a butterfly named by the author of Lolita—possibly be bad? But I digress... Back in the differently piney Pine Hills, you could find the famous “Seven Pines” atop a hill known as Oak Ridge; this was a popular site for bird watchers, one of whom extolled its virtues in lyrical prose and COOP SCOOP
I might not ever have a ‘from.’ But I found something better: a home.” chronicled 61 different species in 1910. Soon there was a railroad, and then a trolley, running straight up Madison Avenue, and things were really starting to pop. Though it didn’t last long, in the 1950s even more thrills could be had on a 55-foot-high winter toboggan run in Ridgefield Park.
The groundbreaking Madison Theatre, designed by the esteemed Thomas Lamb, opened its regal doors in 1929. All kinds of businesses, social clubs, and schools were also taking root. One of the most interesting of these was a “glass school” in a former greenhouse, where the pupils were made to wear dark glasses in the classroom and sleeveless, futuristic-looking sunsuits. (This was back when people actually thought that sunshine was good for you.)
as she once did, with the wonderful, still-thriving, and thankfully now-storied Pine Hills. Or perhaps to explore your very own “History of Here.” Highly recommended. Norder gives occasional walking tours of the neighborhood and has also created an app (available at the Pine Hills library) for all you self-guided perambulators. The History of Here: A House, the Pine Hills Neighborhood, and the City of Albany. Akum Norder. State University of New York Press. 2018.
There isn’t room here to share more than a few of the amazing revelations contained in this book, the threads that weave together the tapestry of this fine local history, so you’ll just have to take my word for it. “I’ve lived in Albany now for more than 20 years,” Norder says. “That’s half of my life and nearly four times as long as I ever lived in any other place. So am I ‘from’ Albany now? No, not really. ‘From’ doesn’t work like that. But for the first time I think of myself as a member of the community—and for a born outsider, that feels like a leap of faith. All love is. I might not ever have a ‘from.’ But I found something better: a home.”
Answers to Kids' Corner crossword on page 23 Across
This book evoked so many memories and points of connection for me. if you happen to be “from here” yourself, it will undoubtedly do that for you as well.
2. What covers approximately 71% of the planet? Ocean 5. Diagram of an area, starts with the letter “m” Map 6. The oldest human fossils have been found on this continent? Africa 7. The southernmost continent on our planet. Antarctica 8. On what continent is Albany, NY located? North America
But even if you’re not—and really, most of us aren’t— Akum Norder will inspire you to fall in love, just
1. Brazil is part of this continent. South America 3. Which continent is the smallest? Australia 4. Which is the largest of the 7 continents? Asia
Serving Salads in the South End: A Cafe's Mission to Impact Food Insecurity by Erin Donahue
A small boy bursts through the front doors of the South End Children’s Cafe on Albany’s Warren Street. A volunteer sits at a booth, breaking a banana from a bunch while she discusses the dinner menu with a man holding a spatula. The boy hurries toward them, and the woman passes the banana to his busy hand as he scoots into the booth and swings his backpack onto his lap. More children filter into the cafe, stopping to sign in and grab a banana before finding seats at one of the tables in the room. The open kitchen is bustling with staff and volunteers, some of whom are first-time visitors, and the cafe is soon filled with the children’s laughter. “Miss Tracie!” “Miss Tracie!” Little voices buzz around the cafe’s director and founder, Tracie Killar, as she facilitates the day’s busy schedule. Even with a schedule, “there is no such thing as a typical day at the cafe,” Killar jokes. “It’s magical chaos.” Soon after their arrival, the 27 members, all children in grades kindergarten through eighth, split into groups for various programs, such as homework help, community service, theater club, and sports, before joining again in the main dining room for dinner at 5pm. Killar brainstormed the idea of the cafe at her own dinner table with her husband, Bob Killar, and their six children. The couple shares a passion for feeding children and wanted to bring their community together over food. They began meeting with a small committee 10
of community members at their home. Together, they molded the idea into a mission: “to impact food insecurity, address food equality and food justice, enhance academic success, and positively influence the mental and physical health of children residing in the South End by offering free, healthy dinner time meals.”
Their mission gained momentum, and after a fundraiser in June 2015, the committee had raised enough money to open the South End Children’s Cafe that November at its first location, Reigning Life Family Church. Since then, the cafe has served about 22,000 free healthy meals. Food insecurity is especially dangerous to children, who may experience a variety of issues, including stunted development, anemia, or oral health problems, as a result. Children who are foodinsecure are more likely to fall behind socially and academically. Research links food insecurity to lower math and reading test scores, and shows that food-insecure children are more likely to have anxiety and aggression. According to a study by Feeding America, 38,600 children in the Capital Region were food-insecure in 2016. Almost half of those children and their families were not eligible COOP SCOOP
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead for food assistance. By offering a free, dependable meal five days a week, programs like the South End Children’s Cafe are certainly impacting food insecurity in the community. Feeding America data shows that Albany County’s child food insecurity rate has fallen from 18.7% in 2014 to 15.8% in 2016.
The cafe’s role in the community does not stop at addressing food insecurity. It is important for communities like the South End to reclaim public spaces and utilize them as safe environments where youth can learn, grow, and be empowered. In an attempt to do this, the cafe’s current location near Lincoln Park was renovated years ago with the intention to serve as a teen center. It has a commercial-style kitchen, a dining room, and a separate homework area. The original plan fell through and the building was empty until Albany Housing Authority bought it and began to rent the space to the South End Children’s Cafe for $1 a month in December 2017. As originally intended, the space provides a safe environment for children to have positive interactions with peers and adults. At any given time, there are at least four volunteers in the kitchen, six in a separate homework room, and twelve in the main dining room of the cafe—serving, chatting, and encouraging the children to eat their vegetables.
It’s magical chaos. At the end of the day, “if the children got fed today,” Killar says,” we’ve done our job.”
The South End Children’s Cafe would not be possible without its community of generous, altruistic individuals who share the goal of impacting hunger. The cafe is fiscally sponsored by Streams of Dreams, a nonprofit organization with a vision “to improve social value through the deliverance of charitable programs that accelerate public interest ideas into effective social action.” The food served at the cafe is donated in a number of ways-- directly to the cafe, collected in a food drive and then donated, or in the form of gift cards to local grocery stores. The cafe accepts tax-deductible donations through Streams of Dreams. Monetary donations are used to purchase protein and produce for the week. The South End Children’s Cafe is currently looking for ways to expand its program to offer more free meals to more children in the community. Volunteers are a vital component of the cafe’s community and are always needed to help in the kitchen or spend quality time with the children. For more information about the SECC, go to southendchildrenscafe.com. For more information about Streams of Dreams, go to streamsofdreams.org. Erin Donahue is a proud new member of the Honest Weight Food CoOp and a first-time contributor to the Coop Scoop. She lives and works in Albany and is a volunteer at the South End Children’s Cafe. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“At first, none of the kids took salads,” Killar says. “But the volunteers and parents would. So little by little, the children started taking salads too.” On this particular evening, maybe ten salads leave the kitchen. As the children settle in and order drinks (water or milk), a team of volunteers begins to plate dinners and pass them to waiting hands at the counter. Volunteers and family members join the children at the tables. There is a lot of laughter, great conversation, and something almost always spills. SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018
Kula: A Community of the Heart By Natalie Wallace
I imagine it came as something of a surprise to the occasional passerby who rounded the corner and confronted our weekly yoga session. A half-dozen college kids of varying shapes and sizes, with and without mats, sprawled across our dormitory’s basement floor in contorted postures. This was my introduction to yoga. Together my friends and I had embarked on a yogic journey, though we each had slightly different motives.
We sought exercise, relaxation, a group activity, and perhaps a small giggle at the expense of our less supple friends attempting to make silly shapes. As a lifelong runner, I was initially attracted to this venture by the physical challenge. I had always
enjoyed pushing the limits of my endurance, and yoga seemed to me a new exercise in strength and flexibility—one I was eager to tackle. For a few months, my friends and I practiced the same YouTube yoga routine over and over, discovering the existence of previously unknown muscles, growing into poses we once found impossible, and finding some moments of peaceful meditation (or sleep, for one friend in particular who never failed to let out a snore during savasana, the “corpse pose”). This practice was rewarding and enjoyable. And so, when the fearless leader of our basement yoga group introduced me to a new teacher, I dove headfirst into the opportunity to learn more. The new teacher was Adriene Mishler of the YouTube channel “Yoga with Adriene,” and she completely shifted my
understanding of what yoga is and what it has to offer. Up until this point, I don’t think yoga had been about anything more than the poses for me. It was a perpetual interplay of “this is how it’s supposed to look” and “this is how it’s supposed to feel.” Don’t get me wrong—I relished the deep stretches and thrived on the focus each pose demanded. But Adriene took things a step further.
As humans, we inevitably experience anger, frustration, stress, guilt, and grief. Rather than constantly battling our emotions and struggling against our environments, we seek in yoga to accept that which is outside our control and focus on the control we do have over our thoughts and reactions—just as we exercise control within the yoga poses. How do we move when the going gets tough?
“The sun shines down, and its image reflects in a thousand different pots filled with water. The reflections are many, but they are each reflecting the same sun. Similarly, when we come to know who we truly are, we will see ourselves in all people.” - Amma (Mata Amritanandamayi) 12
When we’re not feeling our best? Adriene emphasizes that the real yoga happens when we explore these questions. Yoga, in Sanskrit, means “to unite.” This definition invites endless interpretations, many of which Adriene incorporates into her practices: unite the movement with the breath, the body with the mind, the self with the environment. To consider yoga not only as a series of exercises, but as a ritual that helps us connect these disparate elements, is a powerful tool. The first time I closed my eyes and listened to the sound of my inhalation as it cascaded into my lungs, really noticed the earth below my feet rising up to meet my body—these moments taught me, finally, what it is to be grounded in the present moment. There is another Sanskrit word, kula, that I hadn’t yet heard when I began to practice yoga on the basement floor.
the years, Adriene has amassed over 3.5 million subscribers on YouTube. In an age of social media frenzy and technological intrusion in almost every aspect of our lives, it is certainly not my intention to glorify that number as an empty symbol of success.
And yet there is something special about its magnitude about so many people uniting around the universal ideals of physical, mental, and spiritual self-care. Lying with my mat between me and the tarnished wood floor of my apartment, I feel a slight breeze float through the second story window, carrying a subtle odor of cigarette smoke from the street below. Birds chirp their approval of summer’s arrival, melody mingled with the rattle of nearby construction. I have come to appreciate these dualities, so emblematic of life itself, as I tune into the rhythm of my breath and the sensation in my body. But as I have continued to develop my yoga practice,
Kula means “clan,” “tribe,” or “community,” and refers, more specifically, to a community of intention - a group of I have also come to connect people coming together to something more. around a common purpose. Closing my eyes, I imagine the Yoga with Adriene is perhaps unique as a YouTube yoga channel insofar as it nurtures this sense of community and shared intention.
different people around the world who are growing in this practice with me, like so many pots of water shimmering under the rays of one sun.
We foster our community both physically and virtually, from meet-ups and yoga classes in cities around the world to compassionate exchanges in the YouTube comments section. Over
Natalie graduated from SUNY Albany in 2014 with a degree in English. She currently serves wine, tends grapevines, and helps with everything in between at a small farm/winery in Valley Falls, NY.
Like You and I by Loren Brown
I know stars don't have moms and dads. But what if they did? What if they don't shine until they reach oh, say...puberty, and that their childhoods are spent nestled between two warm bodies? But when their own light ignites the sheer force of the explosion expulses their parents across galaxies and for the rest of a young star's life it must shine alone. Isn't that like you and I? And did you know that the biggest stars burn fastest and live only a few million years but make great fan fare of their passing while the smallest stars burn slow and steady for 100 billion years or so. The rest of us like our sun are just average and can expect to burn bright for around 10 billion years until we turn into something new and wonderful. Loren Brown identifies most with being a
person, learning, growing, seeking, and trying to capture the aesthetic of thoughts in writing so she can share with others. She has been a member of the Co-op since the days of the Quail Street start-up. Which means, she is getting old. 13
dumped, and several times I’ve encouraged our pick-up guys to take a book. They haven’t done so yet (in my presence, at least).
Little Free Libraries By Rebecca Angel Maxwell
One day two college-age girls in an old car stopped in front of my house. I did not come outside but watched unobtrusively from my kitchen table by an open window. Strangers stopping by bike, car, or foot is common because I have a Little Free Library on my front lawn. That’s a doll-house structure close to the road that I keep stocked with free books for all ages. Back to the college girls. I watched them open the small door of the little library and peruse the books. They began to snort and giggle. I could only catch, “We have to … him...” and “We’ll put it…,” Then they drove away laughing, clutching a book. Curious, I went outside and opened the library, wondering if I could figure out which book was missing. Ah, yes. The Body Book for Boys, which I had just purged from my adult son’s bookshelf. Apparently, one of their college guy friends would be getting a present soon.
Happy to have brought amusement in the form of books to my community, I reflected on the life of this Little Free Library. It was started in another location by my mother when she was dating. The two of them built it together and put it up on his property. When the relationship ended, she got the library and installed it on our property, where she lives with us. We don’t have much lawn, so it goes pretty much where the trash is collected, but it’s never been accidentally 14
That’s one of the fascinating parts of having a Little Free Library. Some neighbors, especially those with kids, are happy to stop and look while I’m sitting outside, but many people only investigate when no one in the family is visible. Once, my husband was up in a tree cutting branches when a couple walking their dog stopped by to check out the library. He froze, ten feet above their heads, making sure he didn’t accidentally drop something on them. They decided to pick up and comment on many books before moving on. He wouldn’t have minded except they didn’t even take anything!
When my children were younger they would include recommendation cards in the books they donated, writing why they liked it. I know my audience is mostly adults by the books donated (romance and thrillers). I say “my” because I’ve become the steward of this library, keeping it updated with new titles every month, donating the previous set. (In winter, I might go a couple months before tending the flock.) But it’s still a group endeavor. My mother keeps the wee building itself bright and shiny, adding a new coat of paint every couple of years. My husband hand-trims the grass around it and makes sure there aren’t any bugs. My sister and her kids donate books on a regular basis. Recently we had a problem with leakage while raining (books lost! so sad!) and our next-door neighbor caulked the edges, tightened the door, and even put shingles on the roof! When my children were younger they would include recommendation cards in the books they donated, writing why they liked it, like a real-life GoodReads, the “social cataloging” website. I did this too. Another neighbor and his daughter joined in and for a couple years we all exchanged books. I read some titles I never would have before. A frequent visitor is an old man who rides a blue bicycle and enjoys thrillers. He likes to chat. An aide to a sickly neighbor regularly exchanges all sorts of romances (no judgment here). COOP SCOOP
I’ve enjoyed the easy conversation-starter the Little Free Library has become.
Does Your Social Impact Investment Earn Interest?
Plenty of people stop by to talk about it or ask if they can donate books. (Absolutely!) My cousin in Minnesota has one too and has her own set of stories. I took exactly one graduate course in Information Science (the degree for librarians), and it wasn’t for me, but being a steward for a Little Free Library has been a wonderful experience for myself, my family, and my community.
“I invest in the Community Loan Fund because it helps the local businesses in my neighborhood. And I can earn interest on my investment.” Louise McNeilly
For more information on building (including zoning laws) and maintaining a Little Free Library of your own, visit www.LittleFreeLibrary.org. This website contains a map search feature that allows you to locate LFLs in your neighborhood and around the world. Rebecca Angel Maxwell has been a member of Honest Weight for
16 years, bringing her family along for the ride. She has been part of the Nutrition and Education Committee, and taught classes on gluten-free cooking, tea, and utilizing the bulk department. When she's not at the Co-op Rebecca is a music teacher, writer for GeekMom.com, and keeps a blog at steepings.blogspot.com
255 Orange St., Albany, NY 12210 920 Albany St., Schenectady www.mycommunityloanfund.org
Call us at (518) 436-8586 x806 to learn how you can align your money with your values – while earning interest!
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The Immigrant Cookbook: Recipes That Make America Great Recipes collected and edited by Leyla Moushabeck Review by Melanie Pores
Living in the chaotic and often divisive state of our country today, I welcomed the opportunity to provide a review of The Immigrant Cookbook: Recipes That Make America Great. Opening with a powerful quote excerpted from Kahlil Gibran’s To Young Americans of Syrian Origin, Leyla Moushabeck invites us to look beyond these hatefilled times. She urges us instead to embrace and experiment with recipes by top-rated American chefs, who skillfully present here a wide array of dishes, both innovative and traditional, from cuisines from around the globe.
Moushabeck writes: "In these troubling times of anti-immigrant rhetoric, making life difficult for many who have sought a new home in the US, there is also a growing movement to acknowledge these groups for the cultural wealth and heritage they bring to this country, including their culinary traditions.” 16
This statement presents an ideal lens through which to savor the recipes included in this cookbook.
Each chef not only serves as an "ambassador" in presenting their recipe, but also educates us about the unique cultural, familial, or historical context from which their recipe was developed. I love that this cookbook is a balanced blend of innovative and traditional recipes. The recipes in the book are divided into nine different categories: Favorite Appetizer, Salads, Soups, Vegetables, Fish, Poultry, Meat, Desserts, and Snacks and Side Dishes. Although it is not practical to list all 70+ recipes in the cookbook, I thought I would spark your interest by providing you with the name of one recipe from each category that resonated with me. I’ve also included each recipe’s country of origin, to give you a sense of the diversity of cuisines represented in this cookbook.
Reem's Muhammara (Syria) Favorite Appetizer, page 22
Midwest Salat (Belarus) Salads, page 34
Salvadoran Shrimp Soup (El Salvador) Soups, page 58
Pomegranate and Walnut Khoresh (Iran) Vegetables, page 84
Coconut Dream Fish (Jamaica) Fish:, page 88
Mushroom and Chicken Chop Suey (Canton, Southeastern China) Poultry, page 116
Carnitas Tacos (Mexico) Meat, page 134
True Love Cake (Sri Lanka) Desserts, page 158
Island Slaw (Haiti) Snacks and Side Dishes, page 192 COOP SCOOP
If you explore The Immigrant Cookbook, I think you will agree that it does a marvelous job of opening potential new culinary pathways to follow. You may be enticed to further your education by seeking out a contributor's other cookbooks, or perhaps embarking upon a geography or history lesson to broaden your awareness about the regions of the world that a contributor’s family has emigrated from.
For those of you who like to travel, you might want to consider paying a visit to one of the many restaurants mentioned in the text.
SPICE UP YOUR FALL SEASON at The Arts Center of the Capital Region
The Immigrant Cookbook: Recipes that Make America Great is published by Interlink Publishing Group, Inc. (2018). Melanie Pores is presently retired after having served a 30+ year career as a bilingual teacher, teacher-trainer, resource specialist, school board member, adjunct professor, educational researcher and policy analyst. She facilitates the Co-op's Spanish Conversation Group on Mondays at 10 am.
THE ARTS CENTER
OF THE CAPITAL REGION 265 RIVER ST, TROY, NY 12180 (518) 273-0552
Register for classes today! artscenteronline.org Illustration by Catherine LaPointe
Fall Family aDmissions Fun Day open Houses Saturday, October 13 Games, arts and crafts, and food Sponsored by
for Fall 2019 entry
Saturday, November 17, 2018 Saturday, January 12, 2019 100 Montessori Place • north Greenbush • woodlandhill.orG
The Friendship Garden of the Delaware Community by Susan Fowler
As a retired elementary school teacher and longterm resident of Albany, I have always recognized the need to expose children to nature and connect them to the food they eat, as well as to engage and empower them to be part of their community. The Friendship Garden, located at 75 Hurlbut Street in Albany, has achieved those goals and more in its 16 years of existence. A little history of our humble beginning is as follows: In 2002, a local church, The Holy Spirit Lutheran Church (located on the corner of Hurlbut and Garden Street) generously offered Delaware Community School, (located on Bertha St.) the use of a vacant lot the church owned. They wanted to give back to their community and help the children in the neighborhood. At the time, the school had little green space so it was a natural fit for this vacant space to be transformed into a teaching garden. Then there were few, if any, school gardens in Albany; now we have several and their numbers continue to grow.
Over the course of several months, dedicated teachers, parents, and community members raised funds to create the garden. 18
It was a true community effort and one that I’ve been proud to be a part of all of these years. On a very cold day in that spring of 2002, 50 volunteers showed up to clean up the lot, build raised beds, and shovel a whole lot of compost. The teamwork and enthusiasm was wonderful. Everyone knew that we were creating something really special.
From a neglected vacant lot, a garden now blooms to benefit gardeners and delight passersby. The garden now contains 12 raised beds, in which students grow a variety of vegetables, such as tomatoes, peppers, carrots, and greens. We have a “Pizza Garden” and a pumpkin patch that can be used to facilitate classroom and garden lessons in the fall. There are apple trees, a plum tree, and blueberry and blackberry bushes so children can forage for edibles while exploring. As a child I liked nothing better than picking raspberries at my grandmother’s farm house in Hannibal, N.Y. Too often, inner city children do not get to experience things like climbing trees, picking berries, looking for insects, and exploring the natural world. Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder COOP SCOOP
(Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2005), writes about “nature’s deficit” and our need to spend time in green spaces and forests. I cannot agree more. I have experienced the calming effect the garden has on both children and adults firsthand. Recently, a former student told me that the garden was her “happy place”—the place where she feels most relaxed and at peace. While our focus is on teaching healthy eating habits and environmental lessons, her sentiments may resonate most meaningfully.
In the past 16 years, our garden has hosted many community events. We’ve had several local chefs, including Chefs Consortium members Yono Purnomo and Ellie Markovitch come to cook with the kids. The children (ages 5-12) had opportunities to cut, dice, and cook many delicious dishes. One of their favorites was a watermelon gazpacho made with Markovitch, who runs the website storycooking.com. The recipe is on her site if you want to give it a try. In addition to visiting chefs, we try to cook with the children regularly in our after-school garden club. A few recent examples include making pasta primavera with the Co-op’s own Amy Ellis, and creating green salads, salsa, and even our own pickles. It is amazing to see what children will eat if they had a hand in growing the food and preparing it. The pickiest eaters will often surprise us. In addition to visiting chefs, we’ve had wonderful partners in the Delaware Avenue Neighborhood Association (DANA), Holy Spirit Church, the master gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension, and the Delaware Public Library. The library has hosted several art shows and fundraisers, which have been invaluable to our program, and the support from DANA members has been extremely helpful. We have several dedicated CCE master gardeners who lend a hand with the very difficult task of weeding and trimming all of the trees that we’ve planted, and they also lead student projects throughout the year.
of children have had an opportunity to work in the garden. Of course, if it weren’t for our friends at the Holy Spirit church 16 years ago, there would be no garden at all. Their continued support through all of these years has been invaluable.
A community garden cannot survive without the help of dedicated volunteers. The garden has taught so many young people that when we work together, we can accomplish great things. Some of the children hail from Syria, Iraq, Thailand and Burma. Others are locally born and raised kids. It is wonderful to watch children from such diverse backgrounds working together and learning from each other. We hope to engage more community members as volunteers, so that classroom teachers can get the support they need to use the garden and give more children the opportunity to learn from and flourish in the garden.
We will be hosting an open house at the Friendship Garden, 75 Hurlbut St., on Wednesday, Sept. 12th, 5-7 p.m. We will be giving student-led tours, serving soup and salads, and offering activities for children. Rain date will be Thursday, Sept. 13th, 5-7 p.m. Please join us if you can. Susan Fowler is a retired teacher from Delaware Community School in Albany. She helped develop the Friendship Garden back in 2002 and has been the volunteer coordinator ever since. As a teacher of inner-city youth, she wanted them to experience the thrill of growing and eating vegetables they grew themselves. She enjoys growing and cooking with kids and teaching them how to explore and respect the natural world. She is a self-taught gardener who grew up in a family that always grew and canned their own food.
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It’s remarkable what we can accomplish when we work together for a common goal. This is a neighborhood that truly came together for the good of the children who live there. Hundreds SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018
We’ll help you take the first step to a greener and more comfortable building with lower utility bills. Homeownership Center www.ahphome.org 19
Producer Profile by Pat Sahr
We truly value the small businesses and dedicated individuals who work hard to create the exceptional goods and products we carry here at Honest Weight Food Co-op. We think these inspirational stories demonstrate the importance of supporting local, and why we’re so committed to it!
THE DAILY GRIND FOUND IN OUR GROCERY DEPARTMENT
The Daily Grind is a local, family-owned, communityoriented business. It opened in 1976. Its mission, since the very beginning, has been to provide the freshest and highest quality coffee available. The owners, Lee and Barrye Cohen, not only introduced the Capital District to freshly roasted coffees, but were one of the first area roasters to offer fair-trade and organic coffees. Using a Royale #5 coffee roaster built in 1905, which they found in NYC, the Daily Grind was the only business between Montreal and Manhattan to roast coffee beans right in their own shop. The Cohens have learned that roasting coffee is part art and part science, and after 42 years they know how to bring out the best in flavor and aroma from the beans they sell. 20
The Daily Grind, which opened in 1976, was one of the first area roasters to offer fair-trade and organic coffees. The Daily Grind has two café locations, one at 204 Lark St. in Albany and another at 43 - 3rd St. in Troy. At both locations customers will find a full menu for breakfast and lunch, along with outstanding coffee beverages. The Daily Grind has long been recognized not only for their coffee roasting, but for being pioneers in the local café scene in the Capital District. As an example, for many years they have offered a jazz brunch primarily featuring local musicians every Sunday at the Troy location.
Over the years, the success of the business has allowed the Daily Grind to help their young workers get a start in life, support employees with families, and donate to and support many local causes. At Honest Weight Food Co-op, prepackaged coffee from Daily Grind can be found in the Grocery Department. Currently, the flavors on hand are Black and Tan and House Blend. For more information about this producer, go to dailygrind.com. Pat Sahr has been a member of the Co-op
since 2005. She contributes to the Coop Scoop as the writer of the Producer Profiles. Sahr says, “It’s a pleasure being part of the Honest Weight family, and I’ve especially enjoyed communicating with the various producers whose products are sold at the Co-op!”
Recipe Corner ARROZ CON GANDULES By Melanie Pores
Ingredients: 2 or 3 Tbsp olive oil ½ cup onion, chopped ½ cup green bell pepper, chopped 2 garlic cloves, minced ½ cup chopped cilantro 1 Tbsp cumin ½ Tbsp ground annatto* 1 Tbsp ground coriander 2 cups cooked pigeon peas or 1 (15-oz can) pigeon peas, drained ½ cup tomato paste or tomato sauce ¼ cup pimento-filled olives, sliced (about 10-15 olives) optional 1 bay leaf Low-sodium vegetable bouillon cube 2 cups cooked rice (can be basmati, brown, or any kind of cooked rice that you prefer) Water as needed Additional cilantro for garnish Salt to taste * Whole Annatto can be found in the Co-op bulk spice department. It can be ground in a mortar and pestle, or spice grinder.
Notes: Here is a simplified, healthier version of the traditional Arroz con Gandules, known as Rice with Pigeon Peas in English, which is a staple of Puerto Rican cuisine. Many versions include pork or ham. I wanted to share a vegan version, with reduced sodium. Those on a sodium restricted diet will want to reduce the number of olives or perhaps not include any. This traditional dish reflects a rich blend of contributions from the various groups of inhabitants on the island of Puerto Rico. For example, the green peppers contributed by the Taino Indians, the original inhabitants of the island of Puerto Rico, are an important ingredient in the sauce (or sofrito in Spanish). Spanish colonists brought rice, olive oil, and some of the herbs, including cumin. Pigeon peas, known as Gandules in Spanish, arrived in Puerto Rico as a result of the African diaspora, when enslaved African people were brought to Puerto Rico.
1. Heat olive oil on medium heat in saucepan and sauté onions until translucent, add bell pepper and minced garlic, and cook for another 2-3 minutes. 2. Once the garlic starts to become fragrant, add the cilantro, cumin, ground annatto, coriander and sliced olives. Stir the vegetable and herb mixture and reduce flame to low heat. Continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes. 3. Stir in the cooked rice and blend well. Add the pigeon peas, bouillon cube, tomato sauce or paste, and bay leaf. Stir well. You may want to add water as needed to stop the mixture from sticking to the pot, and continue cooking until all the flavors have blended well. 4. Garnish with cilantro, and add salt to taste. 5. ¡Buen Provecho! (Enjoy your meal!)
GRAMMY SIMONS' PORTUGUESE KALE SOUP From Susan Metcalf and Linda Coolen’s “Grammy” Simons with adaptations from Melanie Pores
Ingredients: 1 Tbsp olive oil
Albany's Residential Tree Program
3 cloves garlic, minced
I think that I shall never see A poem as lovely as a tree.....
1 package frozen kale
And for a little work and a nominal fee,
½ cabbage, sliced (more or less cabbage as desired) 3 medium-sized potatoes cut in 1-inch chunks And/or 1 (15-ounce) can white beans, drained and rinsed If you wish to add meat: ½ lb. chouriço, sliced into 1-2 inch slices, if desired OR ½ lb. linguiça if you want it a little less spicier than the chouriço 6 cups water OR 6 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth with additional water if needed to cover vegetable mixture
Notes: This recipe is easy to make, and you can make it in bulk and freeze it in smaller portions as wanted. It is also vegetarian/vegan without the sausage. You can of course add any vegan sausage. Finally, it is gluten-free, but if you are adding sausage of any kind, check the specific ingredients.
Directions: 1. Heat oil in a kettle or deep pot over medium high heat. Add minced garlic, kale, and sliced cabbage to the kettle. 2. Cover the kettle and cook greens, garlic, and cabbage together. Sauté until the cabbage is softened. Season with salt and pepper. 3. Add sliced sausage (if used), potato chunks, white beans, and vegetable broth/water to the kettle, bringing soup to a full boil. Reduce the heat back to medium and cook 5 to 10 minutes longer or until chouriço and/or potatoes are fully cooked. 22
You can get one from the City of Albany!
Just go to the website at https://www.albanyny.gov/Libraries/ Forms_-_General_Service/Tree_ Planting_2018.sflb.ashx and choose from among 11 different kinds (plus another dozen or more of limited availability). Offerings include serviceberry, crabapple, Japanese tree lilac, hackberry, sweet gum, Turkish filbert, and more. The city will plant the tree for you, in front of (or next to) your house, and all you have to do is keep it watered. It will cost you about $100-$150. The deadline for placing orders for a fall planting is September 15. Trees are good for you, body and soul. They’re beautiful to look at; they reduce your heating and cooling costs; they oxygenate and clean the air; they provide food and habitat for many outdoor animals; and they peacefully and patiently mark the passage of time. Albany has lovely, leafy boulevards, shaded parks, and other wooded areas, but it is also beset with some nearly treeless blocks downtown and elsewhere. Let’s all do our part to get our communities green and growing. It takes a village to raise a forest. COOP SCOOP
Kids' Corner Across the world crossword! Answers on page 9
2. What covers approximately 71% of the planet? 5. Diagram of an area, starts with the letter “m” 6. The oldest human fossils have been found on this continent? 7. The southernmost continent on our planet. 8. On what continent is Albany, NY located?
1. Brazil is part of this continent. 3. Which continent is the smallest? 4. Which is the largest of the 7 continents?
Color your world! Planet Earth as Community Looking at the map and try the following: 1. Locate where you think New York State is and put a small “X”. 2. Locate and color in the region known as the United States. 3. Can you identify and name the 7 continents on the map? 4. Where is your family from? Can you locate the region or regions on the map? SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018
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