THE JOY ISSUE
Contentment in Action
Good for Nothing
Unlock Success and Growth
Living Joyfully Shift Your Mindset
my blanket, warms my feet, and with a plan for personal growth. radiates enough joy for the both Learn some words that express of us. joy in Native cultures, and think about the way our vocabulary for I would have called my life joy embodies our understanding quite happy before adopting of it. You’ll also find a recipe for this big furball a few months melt-in-your-mouth “Treasures” Letter from Our Editor ago. But joy is a little different and be introduced to brands of Heather Bonikowski Content Editor from happiness. Dogs are great sriracha and tea in our Producer at grasping joy’s intensity with Profiles. Read up about the “Happiness is a warm puppy” enthusiasm—day after day— gardens of Honest Weight so you no need for a special occasion. can appreciate them as they are - Charles Schulz Adult humans? We can lose put to bed this winter, and enjoy My new best friend has made it sight of it in the daily grind, but their re-emergence next spring. his mission in life to show me it does hover within our reach. The idea of joy is big—but you what joy looks like. Rollover ten Sometimes we just need a fresh don’t have to ponder it alone— minutes before the alarm goes perspective to rediscover it. come explore together the very off in the morning and crack an existence of joy. eye open in his direction? Cue In this issue, you can share a the joy! Drop a cracker on the fellow Co-op member’s story It’s our pleasure to share the ground? Joy! Catch a miserable about finding joy in a newly Coop Scoop with you. Wishing winter cold? My bestie herds “empty nest.” Get inspired and you joy now and in the coming me to the sofa, anchors down cultivate joy in your own life new year. Thanks for reading!
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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
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Heather Bonikowski, our Content Editor, is a lexicographer for dictionary.com and a foreign language instructor. She relocated from Austin in 2017, after triplechecking that there was a co-op here for her to join.
Holley Davis, our Layout Designer, lives in Troy and works in communications. Susan Metcalf, our Managing Editor, also volunteers seasonally to help maintain the High Line-inspired gardens at the Co-op. She enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, reading fiction, and babysitting her sister's chickens and goats. These days she works as a corporate librarian and enjoys spending quiet evenings at home with her wife and two dogs. Carol Reid, our Assistant Editor, 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.
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Loren Brown, Linda Coolen, Ben Goldberg, Georgia Julius, Kristin Lajeunesse, Rebecca Angel Maxwell, Susan Metcalf, Melanie Pores, and Pat Sahr
Mathew Bradley is Honest Weight's Lead Graphic Designer. Liza Molloy lives in Albany and loves hanging out with her dog. Jane Welch is a registered nurse and new member of the Co-op. She loves to swim and is passionate about art.
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LETTER FROM OUR EDITOR
WHAT'S FRESH AT HONEST WEIGHT
EMPTY NESTER JOY
PRODUCER PROFILES: KITCHEN GARDEN FARMS AND HARNEY & SONS TEA
Rebecca Angel Maxwell
10 12 14
JOY IS OVERRATED Ben Goldberg
NATIVE JOY Loren Brown
TWO KEYS TO UNLOCKING FULFILLMENT AND SUCCESS Kristin Lajeunesse
THE “HIGH LINE” GARDENS OF HONEST WEIGHT
Susan Metcalf and Linda Coolen
RECIPE CORNER: MELANIE’S MELT IN YOUR MOUTH TREASURES Melanie Pores
KID’S CORNER Liza Molloy
What's Fresh at Honest Weight! We’re always working to improve your shopping experience, along with our store’s social and environmental impacts. We regularly assess and update our product offerings, educational programs, policies, and store infrastructure. We seek suggestions from our Member-Owners, staff, and shoppers and consider every single one. It’s a lot of work, but it’s totally worth it. Here’s what’s fresh for you this month at Honest Weight.
Land Craft Wellness CBD The trio behind Land Craft Wellness brings us our first CBD products that are produced entirely in NY. Kelly and Rich Taylor and their partner, Chris, grow organic hemp at their farm in Hebron, NY and work with neighboring farmers for increased yield. Land Craft offers oral CBD tinctures and oils and their line of topicals includes Kelly’s blends of botanicals, essential oils, natural butters, and organic, full-spectrum CBD.
Real Tableware in the Teaching Kitchen! Education Coordinator Deanna Beyer recognized that single use plates and utensils, though made from compostable materials, were being used at unnecessary rates for cooking classes at the Co-op. So, she decided to do something about it. After discussing with class teachers and chefs and exploring dish options made from porcelain and bamboo, she settled on sets of BPA-free melamine. They’re strong, light, non-porous, and aesthetically minimal to best highlight their tasty contents. We’ll be using these dishes for kid’s and adult’s cooking classes, employee appreciation meals, and lots of other Co-op events for a long time.
Everything Bagel Cashews At Honest Weight, we’ve all been snacking on Tierra Farm’s newest genius offering made with a blend of seeds and spices that offer a familiarly satisfying flavor to organic dry roasted cashews for a snack that’s free of gluten and low in carbs. Try this satisfying treat from our favorite local B-Corp in our Bulk Department!
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Empty Nester Joy by Rebecca Angel Maxwell illustrations by Jane Welch
did whatever the hell I wanted. Here is what would have been different about this day if it had all happened when we still had our kids around:
One Saturday last summer, my husband and I were eating lunch, a quick little salad thrown together with what we had from our garden. It had been a quiet morning: I attended an author’s talk at a local bookstore, he did yard work. I looked out the window at the pleasant day. ME: You wanna go to the fair? HUBBY: Sure. When? ME: After lunch?
when we passed the karaoke bar, I said I wanted to sing. I sang a couple of love songs to my hubby. We came home a few hours later than expected. It was a good day.
Is this story boring to you?
And so we did. When we got there, we went to all the buildings that had arts and crafts in them. We ate whatever struck our fancy. I had a nice conversation with a man at the Farmers’ Museum about movable type versus linotype. Then we walked through the fairway just to see the lights and
Well, after 23 years of parenting, t hat stor y ha s a d if ferent description for me: heaven. Last year our youngest transferred to a 4-year school (after a stint at Hudson Valley), leaving us with an empty nest. I will admit there were some tears at first. And then…I dried my eyes and
First, we would have gotten up early, pulling our kids out of bed to get them to their soccer games (or later, choir practice, or volunteer jobs) on time, rushing around to make sure we had all the "stuff" they needed, and we might need, and other kids or anyone else
It's a strange and joyful kind of freedom that comes with the empty nest might possibly need. Perhaps I would have remembered to make myself a cup of tea to go, but even if I had, I probably would have forgotten it on the table since COOP SCOOP
one of the kids would suddenly remember something "really important" they forgot that coach/ director/adult-in-authority said they needed and that we would have had to scramble for at the last minute. We would have stuffed the “stuff,” and the family, into the car and headed over, trying to chat on the way about whatever else we’d forgotten we needed to do, call, plan, or make that weekend. Once the kids were on their way, the hubby and I would have our limited time of the week to chat without the kids listening in—or
we wouldn’t because we had to be in two places at once. (This is usually when I'd remember I forgot my tea.) Lunch was either in the car going to the next activity/ birthday party/job/family event or at home where I would close my eyes for exactly 2.6 minutes before one of the kids asked me where xyz was located, even if it was directly in front of them with a neon sign pointing to it. (Sorry, parents, but this continues right through high school.) I probably would have looked at the event listing for an author's talk and then looked at our family calendar and laughed my head off at the idea of squeezing in anything more. We would try to eat dinner together. But in later years, teens at the table became rarer and conversation generally consisted of who got the car when. A simple salad would NOT have fed the masses. The county fair would have been planned out in advance and catered to our children’s interests.
Two very, very different days. I LOVED hav ing kids (and staying home with them and then homeschooling them). But there can be no denying that having children puts drastic
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limits on how you use your time. Your actions directly affect them and they always need to be considered before choosing what to do next. It's how children survive into adulthood, learning what love and family mean. But it's exhausting, too.
I certainly miss my kids. They grew up to be wonderful people. And Hubby and I will smile and reminisce about the two decades that our little ones (that got so big!) were careening around our lives. But not every day. To be honest, most days, I don't think about them much. I think about myself. It's a strange and joyful kind of freedom that comes with the empty nest. Luckily, I like spending time with myself, I still find my hubby pretty cute, and I have younger nieces to steal if I need a day with a kid. Then I give them back. I’m enjoying my empty nest. I think I shall fluff it up a bit, make some tea, and read for as long as I want. Rebecca Angel Maxwell has been a member of Honest Weight for 17 years, working in various capacities. When not at the co-op, Rebecca is a music teacher and writer for GeekMom.com, while working on a memoir, Obese Pregnant Man, about her experience with Cushing’s Syndrome. If you see her stocking produce, say hello!
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Producer Profiles 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!
KITCHEN GARDEN FARM FOUND IN OUR GROCERY DEPARTMENT
Spice Up mealtime With Kitchen Garden Farm's Sriracha If you want to spice up your pasta, rice, eggs, soup, meat— almost anything—try a dash of Kitchen Garden Farm’s sriracha, a naturally fermented chili sauce found in the Grocery Department at Honest Weight. Sriracha is made with the farm’s organic peppers, which are ground up with organic garlic, sugar, and salt and then set aside to ferment for 4–10 days. The “mash” is heated and passed through a food mill to remove skin and seeds. Finally, the sriracha is cooked with vinegar, bottled, and sealed. This product comes in three varieties: original, extra-hot habanero, and super-hot ghost pepper. Kitchen Garden peppers also go into their two handcrafted, fireroasted salsas, which include organic tomatoes, tomatillos, and onions grown right there on 8
Late summer and fall are always a very busy time for harvesting crops the farm. Fire roasting in small batches adds subtle smokiness and spicy heat. The two varieties available are Roasted Chili Salsa, a medium-heat, tomato-based salsa made with Fresno chilies, and Tomatillo Salsa, a spicy tomatillo-based salsa made with jalapeños. The salsas can be ordered online or purchased from select markets in the area.
Meet Tim and Caroline, Owners of Kitchen Garden Farm Tim Wilcox and Caroline Pam are the ow ners of K itchen Garden Farm, which is located in Sunderland, MA. The farm covers 50 acres and is certified organic. In addition to their specialty sweet
and hot peppers, crops include a full line of seasonal produce, as well as Italian vegetables like fennel, broccoli rabe, and radicchio. Late summer and fall are always a very busy time for harvesting crops. In addition, this year Pam says they are busy building a new kitchen where they will process more varieties of sriracha and salsa and will be developing recipes for pickling their peppers. Wilcox and Pam deliver highquality, fresh produce to many restaurants and retailers in the region. The Kitchen Garden Farm promise is: “Vegetables come from the field to the plate in as little as 24 hours with all of their flavors intact.” The farm also wholesales to markets, schools, and caterers. At this time the Co-op only carries sriracha from this producer. To learn more about Kitchen Garden Farm and its products, go to kitchengardenfarm.com. COOP SCOOP
HARNEY & SONS
Found in our grocery department
Thirty-four years ago, while John Harney was the proprietor of the White Hart Inn in Salisbury, CT, he developed a love of fine teas. A f ter learning the ar t and craft from master tea blender Stanley Mason, Harney began experimenting with blending his own teas. The guests at his inn were treated to the early versions of his creations, and they kept coming back for more. What started as a small business run out of his basement has
Harney’s company sources, blends, and packages all of its teas NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019
grown into a global operation headquartered in Millerton, NY, and employing 200 people. Harney ’s company sources, blends, and packages all of its teas. From the original six teas, the inventory has grown to 300 unique blends. John’s sons Mike and Paul have joined him in running the business.
In addition to the warehouse in Millerton, Harney & Sons operates a bottling plant in Hudson, NY. More than a dozen flavored black, green, and herbal-infused iced teas come from this location. The Co-op carries six of these teas. In the same area in the Grocery Department of the store, you will also find a new CBD bottled beverage created by Harney
& Sons and distributed by the Hemp Division. Grocery Manager Dave Aube says these beverages are very popular!
What started as a small business run out of his basement has grown into a global operation While the loose tea blends are not sold at the Co-op at this time, they can be ordered online. Visit harney.com to see all the products available from Harney & Sons. 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!” 9
Joy Is Overrated
FOR MOST OF US, IT'S MORE "OY" THAN "JOY" by Ben Goldberg
Although the theme for this issue of the Coop Scoop is joy, some Grinch must play the devil’s advocate and suggest that joy is overrated. For most of us, life is more “oy” than “joy.” After all, if you can’t commodify it, it must not be valuable. You can’t get it next day delivery from Amazon, so it isn’t what people want. You can’t hoard it, and, if you try to sell it, you’ll either be arrested for fraud or elected President. So what good is it? Mere happiness, though an occasional state, is hunky-dory.
Peace, contentment, even elation, are all very nice. But joy is temperamental, flighty, elusive. It’s like the legendary “snipe” at my childhood summer camp: Who can say whether it really exists, or is just one more prank the universe—which often seems to be controlled by adolescent summer camp counselors—is playing on us. Even our own Declaration of Independence says, “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Happiness—not joy. And pursuit—not a guaranteed right.
So, maybe happiness is the best we can do. Maybe that’s what joy really is—anyway—if joy even exists, that is. Hmmm. Sage is one of my favorite herbs, so let’s see what some sages say about that. The most singular difference between happiness and joy is that happiness is a solid and joy a liquid." ―J.D. Salinger (Nine Stories) 10
OK. Speaking of flighty and elusory, that’s no help whatsoever unless you’re trying to determine whether despair is gaseous, which it may indeed be… “Finding unconditional joy is especially subversive in modern Western culture, where the dominant paradigm equates happiness with conditional joy, which often means material or social gain.”—Scott Tusa (“Joy Is a Radical Act”) OK. So finding unconditional joy? Sheesh! Did someone say “snipe hunt”? “Joy is an active principle, not a swamp of passivity. No one can steal it.” “Separation, vilification, and fear express suffering and delusion. We have choices even though they are often hard to see.”―Hozan Alan Senauke (“No Stealing Joy!”) OK, so joy is an active principle. We may be onto something here. Over the past few decades, of course, the field of positive psychology has flourished, and this has helped us understand more about the differences between happiness and joy. The consensus seems to be that happiness (or one’s own perception of happiness) is typically associated w ith a sense of satisfaction and contentment with (one’s) life, and is a generally positive emotional state and mindset. There’s an COOP SCOOP
joy is an active principle evaluative quality to the state. Joy, meanwhile, is viewed/experienced as a passionate, even overwhelming or ecstatic, feeling. It’s more of a “heart” thing. Some describe joy as having an almost spiritual quality of connectedness with life, of wholeness and very deep satisfaction. Actually, that sounds pretty good, even to this skeptical (if not cynical) curmudgeon. The question is, though, if you can’t catch it when you chase it—like the snipe—how can you get it or at least experience it more often? Joy is not, of course, as consistent a state as happiness or contentment might be. Remember “joy is an active principle”? Again, let’s see what some wise folks say about that. (And no! PLEASE! Don’t search Amazon during this nanosecond interlude! It’s still not there!)
gratified in one way or another or to avoid pain.” —Roshi Pat Enkyo O’Hara (“Simple Joy”) “Joy feeds our compassion and our sense of our interconnectivity, which in turn feeds our joy, creating … a positive feedback loop. —Scott Tusa (“Joy Is a Radical Act”) “In contrast to the messages we hear from the world about how to be happy—‘Buy more,’ ‘Compete more strongly,’ ‘It’s a dog-eat-dog world’—a more refined happiness comes from feeling joined, from a sense of belonging—both to this life and to one another.” —Sharon Salzberg (“Surprised by Joy”) OK, I give. But I have to admit, this all sounds pretty good. Maybe there is something to this joy thing after all. Maybe joy isn’t overrated. Maybe … maybe … now where’d I put my meditation cushion? Peace & courage & (occasionally even) joy to you, Dear Reader…
“Encourage a readiness to experience joy.” “Joy wells up when we leave room in our consciousness for it to come.” “Once we are willing to be directly intimate with our life as it arises, joy emerges out of the simplest of life experiences. Something happens—a mourning dove coos, the eyes of another person meet ours, a cat stretches, we notice the sensation of breeze on our cheek—and at once we are intimate with our life. It can be so subtle.”—Roshi Pat Enkyo O’Hara (“Simple Joy”)
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Hmmm. Not so helpful, but there is something there, even if it’s hard to put your finger on it. “By connecting to our inner life with kindness, we slowly begin to heal. Over time, we start to see that our emotions are not as monstrous as we thought they were, and out of this experience, innate joy can eventually be uncovered.” “You are not trying to control, manipulate, or do anything special with what is arising within the body. You are simply connecting with what’s arising and letting it be with awareness.”—Scott Tusa (“Joy Is a Radical Act”) “… [Joy is] a kind of dropping of our usual preoccupied selves—the selves that want to be NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019
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the negativity that bombards us from all directions? Native cultures have not severed their connection with nature. Perhaps we can learn something about joy from them.
Native Joy WHAT IF JOY IS OUR NATURAL STATE? by Loren Brown
When I first saw the theme of this issue last summer, I felt like a deer caught in the headlights. Joy. It was too big, too important. I felt hesitant. Not an hour later, I was walking back from the chicken house. The day was cooler than previous days, and there was a light rain. Suddenly it felt like Mother Earth, personified, was coming towards me, greeting me, wrapping herself around me, because she wanted to share something with me: her happiness. It was a happiness born of her sovereignty. She was happy in spite of our species' disregard for her well-being. This was a revelation. Her happiness became my happiness. I came inside and briefly checked Facebook. There, waiting for me, was a post from my Cree friend in which she introduced a common Cree word, kiyam. It means to be deeply at peace with yourself and your surroundings, such that no negativity from the world can touch this feeling of peace. Moments before, I had received the same message from “Mother Earth." I was stunned by the synchronicity. My hesitation evaporated.
What if joy is our natural state? This isn't hard to imagine when you see the joyful play of the young of any species. But we have become, to an unhealthy degree, separate from nature, the nature outside of us, and hence, our own natures. Does this make joy more elusive and vulnerable to 12
Native languages tend to be dynamic, ever-growing. They also tend to be verb-centered, whereas Western languages tend to be more noun-centered. Should someone have an experience for which there is no established word, they would go to their elders to try and explain the experience, and the elders would do their best to capture that experience in a new word. Their words are often more like sentences, composed of many morphemes. So in English, joy is just a word. A noun. We would like to be in possession of joy. But in native cultures, joy is something we do, something we are. It is the marriage of emotion and action. One Cree word for joy, kamâciwaham, translates as “s/he dances the thank you dance.” The emotion: gratitude for the gifts of life. The action: dancing. Another Cree word expressing our sovereignty in the creation of joy is mocikimisowin: the act of creating self-happiness through speech. Yet another Cree word is meyawata mohiwewin, the act of causing someone elation. One does not passively await visits from joy; one creates joy. Leon Shenandoah, former Tadodaho, Spiritual Leader of the Six Iroquois Nations, taught: "There must be laughter. That's one of our Instructions. When the Peacemaker was leaving us to go back to the Creator, he told us to have laughter. That would show him how much we were enjoying being here on the earth and being part of the creation. When times are the toughest, we're supposed to have laughter... We're always to have the Good Mind...Laughter clears our mind and reminds us of the Creator." Once again, although life is full of hardship, we should
It felt like Mother Earth, personified, was coming towards me, greeting me, wrapping herself around me, because she wanted to share something with me: her happiness. COOP SCOOP
not allow hardship to rob us of our innately joyful natures and our ability to en-joy the gifts of life. In fact, if we let hardships rob us of our joy, we lose our ability to think clearly.
I often feel overwhelmed by life's gifts. I do not know how to fully open up to the immense beauty and incredible pulse of life in everything around me. It’s like all my senses together provide a portal the size of the eye of a needle, and I am trying to get a huge beautiful red apple through this tiny portal. Sometimes, by grace, the apple slips through the eye of the needle, and at that very moment my boundaries dissolve and I am swept away into that oceanic feeling that Abraham Maslow calls a “peak experience.” But wait! Don't you have to be “self-actualized" to have peak experiences? Don’t you have to be at the summit of that mountain of hierarchical needs? So high up in the rarefied air that you are separated by deep valleys from your equals who are enjoying their peak experiences on other mountaintops? Don't you have to earn this fullness of life by becoming all you can possibly be? That most certainly does not describe me.
Maslow's hierarchy of needs was inspired, or borrowed, from the Blackfoot Nation. The triangle depicting the hierarchy is the shape of a tipi. The Blackfoot people painted grounded images, such as mushrooms, at the base of their tipis, and spiritual images, such as birds, at the peaks of their tipis. Their philosophy did not cross the cultural divide intact. The Blackfoot see self-actualization of the individual as the very beginning of something much bigger. It is the individual's responsibility to self-actualize so that cultural actualization is possible. The peak of their hierarchy of needs is cultural perpetuity. In our culture, what we think of as knowledge is largely categorical, whereas knowledge in indigenous cultures is largely about how things come together, into relationship, connection, and communion. Categorical thinking invites the illusion of separation between the parts, between individuals as well, and we easily fall out of relation with all of creation. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019
There are moments when that sense of separation dissolves. We are able to breathe in the essence of life around us, trees, flowers, the wind, everything, and we breathe out our essence in return, and circles of communion are…actualized. Bliss, the big sister of joy, engulfs us. It is a way of being, one that we can learn to create. A few days before writing this, in that fertile moment when dream words can slip into waking consciousness, I heard, “What you pay for is what you truly see (or behold).” I asked the dream, “How do I pay?” With a fading voice, the dream answered, “With your heart, with your love.” It is with our hearts that we complete our circles with life, open up to life’s immensity, and come into full relation … and joy. Loren Brown has been an HWFC member since its Quail Street days. She has a little farm with goats and chickens and gardens to put food on her table, and enjoys writing.
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Two Keys to Unlocking Fulfillment and Success HOW TO GET STARTED DOING GOOD FOR NOTHING by Kristin Lajeunesse illustrations from Jane Welch
It is 100 percent natural for the levels of our personal and professional success, joy, and fulfillment to f luctuate. We cannot always prepare for when or how our personal relationships may shift or change, or if our careers will get jostled into something that looks completely different than the vision we started with. However, what we can prepare ourselves for—and what we do have control over—is how to proactively handle those changes with mindful awareness paired with clear, realistic, and actionable steps. The following two suggestions, when practiced consciously and consistently, will enable you to cultivate genuine feelings of joy, happiness, success, and achievement.
GROWTH: Personal Development People often feel unfulfilled when personal growth slows significantly or largely stops. Sure, we may all subconsciously keep learning things through interactions with our colleagues and friends. But when we don’t actively pursue new experiences, 14
push ourselves into uncomfortable places, and go out of our way to learn something new just for the thrill of it, we are telling our minds and bodies that “this is it” or “this is enough.” And that can lead to a slow deterioration of motivation, happiness, and achievement. W hen we’r e not , at le a s t occasionally, setting a goal and achieving it, be it in physical wellness, a new craf t, ar t, sport—anything that allows us to celebrate ourselves, even a little bit—then our minds begin to question everything from our basic worthiness to our very e x i s t e n c e . Va r i o u s s t a t e s of depression, anxiet y, and unfounded fears occupy our mind when we’re not feeding it with new and joy-filled moments. The great news is that there's a way to get ahead of it and that is through ongoing, consistent, personal development.
Here’s how to get started: ●● Identify the one unhealthy habit or routine that has the most control over your life right now.
●● Where did this come from, what’s the source, how did it start? ●● What’s one positive habit or routine that you’d like to do or to have instead of the current unhealthy one? ●● What needs to change in order to replace the bad habit with the good one?
GIVING: Good for Nothing No matter your age, your lifestyle, or where you’re from, all humans share a commonality, in that doing something kind or generous or selfless for another person feels rewarding and joyous to ourselves.
Doing something kind or generous or selfless for another person feels rewarding and joyous to ourselves To do “good for nothing” means not needing to talk about your good deed to anyone else. It means letting your body silently fill with the brightness and lightness that accompanies your good deed. It’s about knowing that you helped COOP SCOOP
When you feel accomplished and are achieving your goals, you are setting yourself up to feel successful someone because you could, not because you were supposed to. It’s about genuinely caring and freely giving your time or energy to others, whether that’s your fellow humans, other animals, or the planet. This is why the concept of "Random Acts of Kindness" is so hugely popular. Not only do we get a natural high from knowing we did something positive for someone else, but we are also creating a ripple effect in the world as well. When someone is uplifted by your generosity, the likelihood that they will then carry that forward to help someone else increases tremendously. How we feel about ourselves directly impacts how we show up for work, for our friends, for our family, and for strangers. Doing good for nothing, or committing to regular acts of kindness, will never fail to bring you joy. When you feel more joyful on a consistent basis you will naturally and easily cultivate more success in all areas of your life.
Here’s how to get started doing good for nothing: ●● Make a list of 10 actions to help or support people you already know. ●● Make a list of 10 things you could do anonymously to help others. ●● Create a fun checklist or way to track your good deeds on a weekly or daily basis. ●● Work through your lists until you’ve got them all checked off and then start again, either with new ideas or repeating your lists from before.
Remember When you feel accomplished and are achieving your goals (large or small), you are setting yourself up to feel successful. Even if you don’t achieve every single one, the fact that you’re trying, and perhaps having fun while doing it, counts maybe even more than the end goal itself! This will
Success doesn’t always look like a trophy or a raise also reinforce the desire to keep growing, learning, and achieving. By continuing to learn new skills,
practice difficult things, or run toward those uncomfortable ex per iences, you may even stumble upon a new career path, beautiful new relationships, and a renewed sense of purpose and motivation in life. Success doesn’t always look like a trophy or a raise. It can also look like a gentle moment between friends, a quiet evening to yourself, or getting out of bed in the morning with hope and optimism leading the way. How you feel about yourself is directly proportional to how you show up in the world, your ability to cultivate success, fulfillment, and joy. When you feel good, you will do good. Consciously choosing personal growth over stagnation and fear, and committing to finding ways to give and to do good, will help keep your mind in a state of achievable action, your heart in a state of love, and your body in a state of peace. Kristin Lajeunesse is a published author, public speaker, personal development coach, and business mentor. She is the founder of the award-winning website and book Will Travel for Vegan Food, and host of the forthcoming podcast Courage Daily. Follow Kristin’s vagabonding adventures on Instagram: @wtfveganfood.com as well as her upcoming workshops and business training programs on Instagram at @KristinLaj. Learn more at KristinLajeunesse.com.
The “High Line” Gardens of Honest Weight by Susan Metcalf and Linda Coolen
Have you noticed the garden areas bordering the Coop parking lot? To be frank, the authors of this article themselves had never noticed them before we met Paul to help work in the gardens one Saturday morning. Maybe it’s because when we arrive at the Co-op, we are on a mission to grocery shop. We don’t necessarily slow down, look around, and take in our surroundings. But as the saying goes, maybe we should “stop to smell the roses.” Well, not the roses, exactly; there aren’t any of those growing in the Co-op’s gardens. So what is growing in these beds? First, you might notice a few red chokecherry trees. Under their canopies you will see an assortment of plants ranging from tall Queen Anne’s lace to low-lying mints, purple coneflowers to assorted sedums. At first glance, the gardens may appear a bit wild. Some might even consider them untidy. But look closer and read on. There is indeed a method behind the design of these gardens, although it may not at first be evident. This article hopes to shed some light on these gardens, their history, design, and purpose. Several member-owners meet regularly to weed, coax, trim, and maintain these unique plantings. Some of these people are master gardeners. Others have never gardened before. All are welcome. There is much to do, a lot to learn, and a great deal to enjoy here. It is an exceptionally beautiful Saturday morning when a few of us sit down around a café table outside the Co-op. We are taking a short break from weeding the garden. Ann, a member-owner, has brought a beautiful book to share: Planting: A New Perspective on Combining Plants Using Design and Ecological Principles by Piet Oudolf and Noël Kingsbury. This book was a major inspiration behind the design of the High Line, New York City’s “Park in the Sky.” Paul, a member-owner and the garden coordinator, tells us that the design of the Co-op’s gardens is in fact inspired by the philosophy behind the High Line. The High Line is a walkway built along the remains of a raised train track on Manhattan’s West Side. The tracks were abandoned in 1980 and nature took its course with a wide variety of plants that flourished in the wild environment. Birds and butterflies soon 16
followed. Nearly a quarter of a century later, in order to create an urban walking trail atop the abandoned train track, several garden architects came together and, with public support, consciously chose to retain nature’s intent. Embracing the plants that grew untended, the architects’ aim was to retain much of the native landscape and emphasize the natural structure of these, nature’s own gardens. “The High Line’s planting design is inspired by the self-seeded landscape that grew wild for 25 years after the trains stopped running. Wandering through our gardens, you’ll find perennials, grasses, shrubs, and trees that were chosen for their hardiness, sustainability, and ever changing textures and colors in all four seasons.”—Planting: A New Perspective on Combining Plants Using Design and Ecological Principles.
Gardening provides a connection to the roots of human experience. To provide more of a hands-on understanding about the intent of these gardens that welcome you to the Coop, the authors had the opportunity to interview their lead steward, Paul Waters. Paul Waters is the Co-op’s Gardening Coordinator and has been taking care of Honest Weight’s gardens since the spring of 2019. Interviewer: Tell us a little about these gardens and about how you came to be the Garden Coordinator? Paul: I am a relatively new member-owner and started volunteering around April or May of this year. I love to learn and since I retired, I found that I enjoyed gardening immensely. Elizabeth Meer came up with the idea for these gardens, based in part on the High Line in NYC. The space is intended to provide a natural green experience, incorporating many of the plants of New York State. The gardens are designed so that every season, there is a seasonal aspect to enjoy. In the fall, we put the gardens to bed after we plant over 800 bulbs to welcome next spring. COOP SCOOP
Interviewer: Do you encounter any challenges in maintaining the gardens? Are people aware of why the gardens look the way they do?
Interviewer: Is there anything else you would like to share with Coop Scoop readers, about the gardens or about yourself?
Paul: When we are working in the gardens, some people walk past and say things like, “Very nice”; “Where is the mulch?”; “Why no flowers?”; “Isn’t that a weed?”
Paul: I come from a corporate background and have a good understanding of how the corporate world tends to operate. I’ve long been concerned about our environment, about climate change, food availability, food affordability. Working in these gardens provides me the opportunity to be more grounded in these concerns.
What constitutes a weed? Anything you don’t want in your garden! There is a plan behind what is planted here. Another challenge is watering, getting the water out here. We had to put up these green strings because people were walking through the gardens, stepping on the plants. There are unstrung areas around certain green spaces around the Co-op and those are maintained by Maintenance. And of course we do weed the crab-grass, runaway Queen Anne’s lace, and other non-desirables. We don’t use mulch. We try to keep the gardens lowmaintenance. We also try to keep the plants under three feet in height. Sometimes the plants grow faster than we can tend, and in tending them we uncover surprises like the mullein we uncovered the other day. Interviewer: Do you need more volunteers? Paul: We currently have enough volunteers. Sometimes we need people for special projects, like in early November we had the bulb planting party. We make announcements when we need the help.
I believe that the future is going to have to be “reset” and become more of an economy based on sharing, more along the lines of a decentralized economic system. I believe in a shared economy and cooperative endeavors. I believe that gardening provides a connection to the root of human experience. For now, we will keep with being the stewards of these nature garden spaces. We’ve just planted bulbs, so watch for those come spring! Susan Metcalf and Linda Coolen are sisters. Both are
member-owners and both volunteer for the Coop Scoop. Linda is a Boston area transplant who is happily learning to care for her animals and small farm in a rural community outside of Albany. Susan is a librarian.
Consider The Arts Center your Holiday Shop for this holiday season. Cherish the works from your favorite local artists, beautiful to the eye, and nice to your wallet. Meet some of the artists as they act as an educator, seller, and maker. Dates & Hours November 22, 23, 24, 30 (Closed Thanksgiving and limited hours Black Friday) December 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14, 15, 19, 20, 21, 22 Thursday Hours: 10AM-8PM Friday Hours: 10AM-4PM Saturday Hours: 10AM-4PM Sunday Hours: Noon-4PM Proceeds from the event fund our free programs to the public– so buy a gift AND bring art to the community.
Recipe Corner by Melanie Pores illustrations by Jane Welch
Melanie’s Melt in Your Mouth Treasures Servings
●● Ma ke s approx i mately 2 4 depending on the size of each “treasure”
As the holiday season approaches, you may be looking for an easy and special treat to bring with you to holiday parties, or perhaps you’re looking for a simple-to-prepare, out-of-this-world gift for loved ones or friends. These treasures are a great way to spread some joy!
●● 2 cups dark chocolate wafers
◊ I used Agostoni Organic Bittersweet Couvertures with 70% cocoa from the Co-op’s Bulk Department. You can also use dark chocolate chips. ●● ½ cup dried tart cherries ●● ¾ cup raisins ●● 1 cup whole almonds 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 a.m.
1. Melt the dark chocolate couvertures (wafers) in a large microwavesafe bowl or 6-quart Pyrex measuring cup, intermittently stopping and stirring. It can take 2–3 ½ minutes for the chocolates to melt. 2. Remove the bowl or measuring cup from the microwave and mix in the dried tart cherries, raisins, and almonds. 3. Using a tablespoon, spoon the “treasures” onto a parchment paper or silicone-lined baking sheet. 4. Place the baking sheet filled with “treasures” in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to allow them to solidify. Store in the refrigerator.
Suggested substitutions ●● Dark chocolate chips in place of dark chocolate wafers ●● Cashews, pecans, sunflower seeds, or pepitas in place of some or all of the almonds ●● Flaked coconut for some of the dried tart cherries and/or raisins
Kids Corner I heard a bird sing In the dark of December. A magical thing And sweet to remember. "We are nearer to Spring Than we were in September,â&#x20AC;? I heard a bird sing In the dark of December.
I Heard a Bird Sing NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019
by Oliver Herford, 1955
ND U T S SEEOLDATSE RIED FRUIT CHOC
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