THE BLOOM ISSUE
Grow Mushrooms at Home
Take Care of You
Nuture Self-Care Practices
Cultivate Caring Be Human, Be Kind
ground and delicate cherry blossoms flowering on the tree in my yard.
Experiencing the bloom of spring out in nature has softened the jolt of many hard new life changes
Try adopting some principles of self-care suggested by Deanna, and see how you can blossom when you nourish your mind and body— perhaps with a bowl of Melanie’s Arroz con Leche. We are, indeed, “all in this together.” Read more about it in “Intentional Kindness:
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Now, more than ever, I love being a member of a co-op. Cooperative pr i nciple s l i ke “c onc er n for community” shine brighter than ever in these dark and trying times. Thank you for being part of this community and for reading the Coop Scoop. Be well!
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Y’all might not notice, but winter here is hard. Sure, it’s difficult for my thin Texan blood, but also, everything is physically hard—like, unyielding. Even when there wasn’t snow or ice, I didn’t want to throw the frisbee for my dog because he’d leap up and then hit the deep-frozen ground with a bone-rattling thump. But, then, spring came back more or less on schedule, with soft, muddy
I’m from Austin, Texas, and this has been my third winter in Upstate New York. I still find myself surprised by the seasons—how different they are, and how much people celebrate their changing. Winter and spring surprise me the most.
E VE R
Letter from our editor
The last days of winter and early days of spring 2020 were hard too. Coronavirus. Social distancing. The stock market. I’ve welcomed spring with even more wonder than usual this year. Staying at home day after day makes the bird feeder outside the coffee nook a special kind of entertainment. If you can find a quiet place to hike, away from other people, the world feels normal for a while. Experiencing the bloom of spring out in nature has softened the jolt of many hard new life changes. I recommend it! And I recommend some of the hopeful, nurturing, and inspiring articles in this month’s Coop Scoop.
Bloom Where You’re Planted.” See Corinne’s timely article about supporting small, local growers when you choose seasonal flowers to brighten your home or celebrate a special occasion. If you want to further support some of our local producers and vendors, learn more about Whole in the Wall Pesto and Hemlock Bandanas. Do you have a little time on your hands to cultivate food at home? Sharon has shared a step-by-step introduction to log-based mushroom cultivation.
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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.
Heather Bonikowski, our Content Editor, is a lexicographer for dictionary.com
and a foreign language instructor. She relocated from Austin in 2017, after triple-checking that there was a co-op here for her to join.
Holley Davis, our Layout Designer, lives in Troy and works in communications. When she’s not at the Troy Farmers Market or trying new recipes, you can find her running a half marathon in every state.
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.
Writers: Deanna Beyer, Loren Brown, Sharon Bruce, Ben Goldberg
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Corinne Hansch, Tara Herrick-Brown, Rebecca Angel Maxwell Hilary Papineau, Melanie Pores, and Pat Sahr.
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CoopScoopEditors@googlegroups.com 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 Michelle Tresemer on Unsplash
Bloom 2 6
LETTER FROM OUR EDITOR Heather Bonikowski
WHY LOCAL FLOWERS MATTER Corinne Hansch
GROW YOUR OWN: MUSHROOMS!
CULTIVATING THE SEEDS OF SELF-CARE
Sharon Bruce Deanna Beyer
POETRY: SHROOM BLOOM Loren Brown
MAGIC VIOLET TEA Rebecca Angel Maxwell
RE-IMAGINE, RE-GROW, & RE-THINK
PRODUCER PROFILES: HEMLOCK GOODS, WHOLE IN THE WALL PESTO
INTENTIONAL KINDNESS: BLOOM WHERE YOU’RE PLANTED
RECIPE CORNER: MELANIE’S COOLING AND BLISSFUL ARROZ CON LECHE Melanie Pores
KIDS’ CORNER Tara Herrick-Brown & Mathew Bradley
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Why Local Flowers Matter by Corinne Hansch
The slow f lower movement, like the slow food movement, is one that celebrates the peak of season— an ephemeral, fleeting moment in which to celebrate the abundance given to us by Mother Earth and the hard and dedicated work of farmers. Just like the local strawberry season lasting only a few sweet weeks, peonies and lilacs only appear in the spring. When it’s strawberry season we eat and freeze as much as we have the time, money, and freezer or belly space to afford. And the same with peonies and lilacs. We fill our vases to overflowing, hang as many as we can on the drying lines, and imbue all of our senses with their glorious three weeks of blooms. The slow flower movement is all about enjoying the short-lived bounty of the most beautiful season’s peak blooms and foliage.
Choosing locally grown, peak-of-season flowers isn’t just about their superior beauty. Opting for local bouquets over imported grocery store roses can create significant social and environmental gains for our communities and our planet.
The international flower market is not known for its environmental or social stewardship. Most of the traditional grocery store flowers are grown in South American hothouses with intensive pesticide use, including substances banned in North America, such as DDT. In fact, it is estimated that one-fifth of the chemicals used in the floriculture industry in developing countries are banned or untested in the United States. Since flowers are not 6
grown as food crops, there are looser regulations on pesticide residues. Consequently, the mostly lowwage workers who grow these flowers frequently show symptoms of toxic chemical poisoning.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the carbon footprint on imported flowers is not exactly climate-friendly. The path a Colombian rose takes from harvest to table is a long one and burns more carbon than normal during delivery. After harvest the flowers must be treated, then immediately refrigerated during their transport by plane from Colombia to Miami, then shipped out across the country in more refrigerated trucks. Refrigerated trucks use about 25% more fuel. The passage of the Andean Trade Preference Agreement (ATPA) in 1991 allowed Bolivia, Columbia, Ecuador, and Peru to trade many products duty-free with the United States. The United States pushed the production of roses, carnations, mums, and gerbera daisies in Colombia instead of coca production as part of the war on drugs. This meant that South America started to flood the domestic market with cheap flowers, undercutting American growers. The domestic flower market nearly disappeared, and today one in every two flowers sold in the United States is from Colombia.
There is a revival of flower farms happening in the United States COOP SCOOP
Though the flower industry in Colombia has brought thousands of jobs to mostly women, it’s the same old story as any industry that moves out of the United States for cheap labor. The work on flower farms is back-breaking, and the wages are very low. There are health side effects from the chemicals used to grow the flowers. There are also reports of child labor being used in Ecuador’s floral industry. Giving flowers to our mothers, our beloveds, and ourselves is one of the sweetest and most thoughtful things one can do. Skipping the typical grocery store flowers and choosing a locally grown bouquet takes that sweet thoughtfulness (and beauty!) to the next level. There is a revival of flower farms happening in the United States. Most of these farms are small-scale and put a lot of care and love into their soil. Get to know your local flower farmer to find out what their growing practices are.
Many small growers use ecological methods for growing their blooms, and some are even certified organic. Small, local growers offer all sorts of options for how to buy their bouquets. One of the best ways to support your local flower farmer is to sign up for a flower CSA subscription. (This is also a wonderful Valentine’s or Mother’s Day gift!) Paying up front for your flowers at the start of the season is an amazing way to support a local grower and get a great deal on your flowers at the same time. Most flower CSAs run for MAY/JUNE 2020
several weeks during the summer months and guarantee that your vases will be full of fresh flowers during the growing season. Stopping by the farmers market is another great place to pick up locally grown flowers, and Honest Weight offers bouquets from a variety of local growers in the summer months.
The slow flower movement is all about enjoying the short-lived bounty of the most beautiful season’s peak blooms and foliage In the winter, check with your local flower farmer to seek out dried arrangements and colorful dried flower wreaths to keep a little of the summer’s brightness during the winter months. Some Northeast flower farmers do grow year-round, forcing tulips and other bulbs in minimally heated greenhouses in the winter, and pushing the edges of the season with growing in unheated high tunnels. Local flowers and farm-driven designs are gaining popularity for weddings and green funerals. Many local flower farmers offer design services, bulk buckets, or à la carte piecework. To find a farmer florist near you, check out the Slow Flowers webpage at slowflowers.com and visit your local farmers market. May your summer season be full of (local) flowers! Corinne Hansch farms 1.25 intensive acres with her husband Matthew Leon in Amsterdam, NY. She is also a homeschooling mama to three wild (and happy) farm kids. Learn more about her work at lovinmamafarm.com. 7
Grow Your Own: Mushrooms!
IT’S A ROTTEN WORLD, AND SOMEBODY’S GOT TO EAT IT! by Sharon Bruce illustration by Mathew Bradley
Like baking bread, spawning mushrooms is one of those highly feared “kitchen” experiments that is actually fairly easy to pull off. So long as you don’t go overboard in your first attempt (why yes, it did take me and a friend six hours and two very bruised palms to inoculate 100 large logs, thanks for asking), I promise you’ll have a good time. You may even have a fridge full of mushrooms in six months! Note: To keep things simple, this article will focus on mushroom logs “planted” with sawdust spawn. There are many ways to grow mushrooms—in compost, straw bales, and more—but logs support many varietals and sawdust spawn is very commonly used.
Spawn in Spring Oh wait, that’s now—get on it! Mushrooms can be “planted” as soon as daytime temperatures consistently reach 40°F or higher. Most mushroom logs require five months or more to actually produce, or “fruit,” mushrooms, so the sooner you can get plugging, the better. Order your spawn ASAP, since it can store in your fridge for around three months. Five and a
For our Northeastern climate, Warm Weather or Wide Range strains are popular for fruiting in mid-spring, summer, and early fall 8
half pounds of sawdust spawn will be enough to inoculate 25 logs, so buy more or less depending on your project.
Drill Baby, Drill Growing mushrooms on logs requires a very basic set of tools: a drill with appropriate-sized (12mm for sawdust spawn) bits, inoculation hand tool, cheese wax, a pot to heat it in, and a wax dauber. I purchased my materials from FieldForest.net—including mushroom spawn—and they offer various-sized starter packs. You’ll also need a couple of sawhorses so you can make your way cleanly around the full log, drilling holes in a diamond pattern. After your holes are drilled, you’ll take your inoculation tool, push it into your bag of spawn until it’s nice and packed, then hold it over a hole and punch down on the top of this spring-loaded contraption to knock the spawn into the log. Repeat, repeat, repeat until one full side of your log is packed, then daub some hot wax over each hole to seal everything in.
“My Log Does Not Judge” Except we’re not in Twin Peaks…and in mushroom world, logs can be quite picky. While you might think firewood would make excellent mushroom logs, this will not work. In fact, fire and mushrooms pretty much want opposite log conditions. Fire likes dry logs; mushrooms prefer wet. Logs that have been cut fresh within the past few weeks are best, as they’ll be freer from rot—giving your mushrooms (instead of nature’s mushrooms) a better chance at survival. COOP SCOOP
Hot Tips From An Expert!
Here are a few common mushroom varietals and their ideal log pairings:
Aspen, Cottonwood, Willow (favorites)
Alder Beech, American Ironwood Sugar Maple
Mulberry Tulip Yellow Poplar
Shiitake Happens Shiitake is a classic-looking mushroom, with a light to dark brown cap and light brown stem. They have a just-earthy-enough taste and a just-meatyenough texture, which is probably why they’re a fan favorite of foodies. Since shiitake fruits on a fair number of tree species, and reliably produces a fair amount of mushrooms, it’s also a favorite for log-based cultivation. If you’re a beginner, shiitake or oyster mushrooms are a solid bet. When you go to buy your mushrooms, just note that there are different strains on offer that will fruit at different temperatures and in different seasons. For our Northeastern climate, Warm Weather or Wide Range strains are popular for fruiting in mid-spring, summer, and early fall.
“It’s possible to “shock fruit.” That is, logs can be soaked for 24 hours in cold water and that will typically stimulate fruiting. Shocking can be repeated every 8 weeks—this is a more intensive method than just leaving them outdoors. You’ll get the same yields over a shorter period of time. The other huge plus of mushrooms is that they can be grown in shady, marginal environments that would otherwise be unsuitable for vegetables—we have an abundance of those places in the city!” —Scott Kellogg, Educational Director at The Radix Ecological Sustainability Center them clean and off the ground by stacking them on a crate, or some scraps of wood, or a pallet, as undamaged and intact as possible. Setting two down parallel to each other, with two on top of those in the opposite direction, and so on, will help you stack a large number of logs. If you only have a few, you can set them up as if you were creating a mushroom log lean-to.
And now, friends, you wait After you’ve gone through this rigmarole, your logs will need to “incubate” under forest shade for anywhere from 6 to 18 months, a period called “the spawn run.” But hey, at least you now get to use the term “spawn run” in everyday life, and one day soon, eat a bunch of mushrooms. On a constant rotation between hiking, baking, reading, gardening, and cookie eating, Sharon Bruce believes in the superpower of words to change the world.
Mushroom fruiting can take anywhere from six months to a year, but once they’ve fruited, your logs will continue to fruit biannually for three to four years.
Don’t Lay Down Just Yet Once you’ve drilled, punched, waxed, and repeated, you’ll need to play a game of Lincoln Logs. Keep MAY/JUNE 2020
Cultivating the Seeds of Self-Care by Deanna Beyer, Honest Weight’s Education Coordinator
For many of us, it is second nature to take really good care of the people around us and help them grow. We provide an endless amount of encouragement, support, physical care, and nourishment to family, friends, and loved ones. And then we wonder why we’re tired, burned out, anxious, unable to fall asleep (or stay asleep), and feeling down or depressed!
Quite simply, it’s impossible to pull water from an empty well. If we are always giving to others without replenishing our personal stores, there will come a point when the wisdom of the body takes over—whether we like it or not. A great example of this is when you’re pushing your body and/or mind to its outer limits and then, rather suddenly, you end up sick in bed. Sound familiar? You’re laid up at what might be a most inopportune time because your body has decided that enough is enough, so it creates a situation where you have to stop and rest. Now I want to be completely upfront about this— these are practices that I’ve studied for many years. My bookshelves are lined with tomes preaching this gospel, and I regularly offer the teachings to my yoga
students and friends. And yet, I still need reminders to practice what I preach.
What if there were ways to proactively address these self-care needs with simple practices? To give you an example: I spend an exponential amount of time working one of my four jobs. When I set my intention for 2020, it was to “work less and do more self-care.” The intention was there but I continued to push through the work anyway and ended up terribly sick in bed for a good portion of January. From there, I had a great deal of time to reflect and realize that something needed to fundamentally shift to ensure that self-care was a top priority again. What if there were ways to proactively address these self-care needs with simple practices? To build little breaks into our busy lives that enhance our wellbeing and replenish our well? The good news is that there are, and with a little bit of effort, the results can have an incredible impact on your life (and the lives of those around you). Toddler • Early Childhood • Elementary • Middle School
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First, let’s define “self-care.” The Oxford dictionary states that it’s “a practice of taking an active role in protecting your well-being and happiness, especially during periods of stress.” That sounds like something everyone could use, but how do we begin? Here are a few simple things to try: ● Start the day with a cup of warm lemon water to encourage digestion ● Take a 10-minute walk outside every day. ● Try going to bed 15 minutes earlier than usual. ● Eat your meals slowly, sitting down in a relaxed atmosphere (candles, relaxing music). ● Take a daily half-hour break from your cell phone, iPad, computer (great time to take that 10-minute walk or do some stretches!). ● Refrain from watching or reading the news after 6:00 p.m. ● Write three things you’re grateful for every day. ● Rub the bottoms of your feet with lotion and a drop or two of lavender essential oil before bed. ● Put a few drops of your favorite essential oil in a diffuser before you leave for work so that you come home to a relaxing environment.
Self-care, like yoga, is a practice, not a perfect Now this is not to say that you should add ALL of these suggestions to your no-doubt already busy schedule. Start with one or maybe two. See how that goes for a couple of weeks. After that you can add on every couple of weeks as you want … or not. A recent study in the European Journal of Social Psychology shows that new habits take approximately 66 days to ingrain themselves into our routines, so be gentle with yourself. If you falter one day, do your best to get right back on the self-care wagon the next day. The idea is to support your well-being and happiness, not to add any additional stress. Self-care, like yoga, is a practice, not a perfect. Doing a little bit of self-care every day is better than none at MAY/JUNE 2020
all and it’s important to remember that many small steps will still get you to a destination.
As Honest Weight’s Education Coordinator, I’ve specifically curated classes and workshops to help you re-fill your well. Think of the Education programming at Honest Weight as a healthy buffet of self-care options that you can choose from each month. There are art classes, yoga classes, conversational language classes, self-encouragement and healthy living workshops, cooking and nutrition classes, and myriad other learning opportunities. We also offer valuable (and free!) healing arts services provided by a talented array of Member-Owner Practitioners. We are committed to building an educational environment that nourishes the body, mind, and spirit of each individual and contributes to the overall well-being of our community. I encourage you to take advantage of these offerings, maybe trying out something that you’ve always been curious about but have never done. Begin or continue to cultivate the seeds of self-care so that you can grow and bloom for the rest of your life. You might be surprised at how good it feels to take really good care of yourself! Deanna Beyer is the Education Coordinator at Honest Weight and has worked in and around health and wellness for over 20 years. A longtime teacher and practitioner of yoga, meditation, and mindfulness, she focuses on helping to make these practices accessible to all kinds of people in all kinds of situations—practicing the yoga of life. She can be reached at DeannaB@honestweight.coop.
Shroom Bloom By Loren Brown What is love but namaste nods between shrooms whose earthen oneness gives lie to this lonely moment in the sun. Loren Brown has been a HWFC member since its Quail Street days. She has a little farm with goats and chickens; she gardens to put food on her table and enjoys writing, etc. 11
Magic Violet Tea by Rebecca Angel Maxwell
Violets, those tiny flowers with majestic purple petals, blossom around yards in spring. Besides bringing a lovely complement to bright yellow dandelions against the backdrop of new green, violets can be used to make a magic concoction. I invite everyone to try violet flower tea with colorchanging properties.
Besides bringing a lovely complement to bright yellow dandelions...violets can be used to make a magic concoction.
light absorption, creating a wavelength we perceive as blue. Adding an acid, like lemon juice, alters that energy level. It confines the electrons, changing the light absorption and subsequent wavelength, and therefore the color as well. Enjoy your violet color magic tea! Rebecca Angel Maxwell has been a part of Honest Weight for eighteen years, member-working in various capacities. When not at the co-op, Rebecca is a teacher, musician, and writer. If you see a curlyhaired woman stocking produce, say hello!
Craft a no-sew face covering made from a handkerchief (or other 20”x20” square cotton cloth) or a T-shirt. The ﬁnished mask should ﬁt snugly but comfortably against the side of the face and allow the wearer to breathe without restriction. Learn more at CDC.gov.
First, pick a handful of violets; stems can be included. Place in a jar, pour boiling water over them, and let them steep for at least 10 minutes. Overnight will give the most dramatic effects. The violet tea will become a beautiful blue. The flavor is delicate and tastes best lightly sweetened. For the magic, pour a small amount of lemon juice in and watch the color change from blue to pink! How does this happen? Magic is my favorite answer, but the chemistry involved is equally fascinating.
Using a Handkerchief
Place rubber bands or hair ties about 6 inches apart.
Fold top down. Fold bottom up.
Fold side to the 4 middle 5 and tuck one end inside the other.
Loop elastics over ears. Spread outer layer of fabric to cover your mouth and nose.
Using an Old T-shirt
The flavor is delicate and tastes best lightly sweetened. There are pigment molecules in the violet petal’s cell vacuoles. Color is determined by the different energy levels: high energy molecules, like in violets, have lots of room for electrons to move around. This affects the
Fold bandana in half.
Cut out a 6-7” x 5-6” rectangle from one side.
Cut off the T-shirt 7-8” from the bottom.
Cut the loops to form tie strings.
4 theTie neck, strings around then over top of the head.
Serving as Albany's community-owned co-op for 44 years and counting puts us in a unique position. Our size and independence allows us to better meet the needs of our community. Needs that are changing in real time; needs that we are here to greet with care and compassion. Because our long-standing relationships with local farmers aren't just business; they're friendship. Our partnerships with local producers allow us to support our neighbors while navigate around national supply chain bottlenecks. All our decisions, big and small, are made right here. Our goal, as ever, is to keep our staďŹ&#x20AC; and our community happy and healthy. We're here for you, Albany, but we're also right here with you.
Re-Imagine, Re-Grow, & Re-Think
HONEST WEIGHT’S OWN CULINARY EDUCATOR ENCOURAGES PEOPLE TO THINK OUTSIDE THE GARBAGE BIN by Hilary Papineau
“In order for humanity to make better choices and keep people and the planet healthy, we need to educate ourselves and future generations. In a world consumed by convenience, we must break the mold. A lot of times we don’t eat as healthily as we should because we don’t have time or maybe we don’t know how.” Morgan Lee Waite’s monthly Product Knowledge and Zero Waste classes at Honest Weight help the Co-op community meet these goals and more. This is one in a series of articles featuring the Co-op’s Community Outreach and Education efforts and highlights the classes as well as the food philosophy behind the woman responsible for them.
Chef Morgan! 14
Mor g a n L e e Wa i t e , affectionately referred to as “Chef Morgan” by the Co-op community, is an executive chef and alumni of the Culinary Institute of A merica, and has over 15 years of exper ience in the hospit a lit y i ndust r y. She e a r ne d her BA in Culinar y Arts and Business Management and has a subordinate specialization in wine. Having lived and worked
in San Francisco for five years, Waite has firsthand experience with the slow food and farm-to-table movements; her experience working at Michael Mina restaurant, where the menu was based on daily visits to the farmers market and seasonal availability, has shaped her food philosophy. Born and raised in the Capital District, Morgan is a longtime Co-op shopper.
How it Began Recognizing that people are sometimes intimidated by cooking on their own or using unusual ingredients, Morgan channeled her expertise and passion for sharing information about food into a series of “Product Knowledge” classes about cooking with different seasonal foods while sharing their journey from farm to table. Each class discusses how the food is grown, where it comes from, how to properly prepare as well as store it, and, ultimately, how to cook with it. Classes include demos, tastings, and recipes, making it easy for participants to cook the food later at home.
"Snacks are life!" Her debut Product Knowledge class featured greens—how different types of greens are identified, grown, raised, harvested, transported, stored, prepared, and ultimately used (fresh or cooked). Subsequent Product Knowledge classes featured seaweed, mushrooms, sprouts, alternative milks, and more—each representing a different seasonal focus. Offered monthly, topics are inspired by the COOP SCOOP
Waite’s perusal of the Co-op’s offerings as well as ideas from participants. Several months after launching her Product Knowledge series, Honest Weight Education Coordinator Deanna Beyer approached Morgan about teaching an additional class series about sustainability—resulting in classes featuring various Zero Waste topics. Also food-focused, Zero Waste goes beyond eating and drinking. Past topics included “Harvesting a Home Garden,” “Repurposing Your Thanksgiving Turkey,” and “Holiday Gifts.”
exquisite dried fruit tree decorations Fostering Food, Facts, & Friendship Waite’s classes go beyond recipes and waste reduction practices—her classes have become an important community-building platform for Honest Weight. Structured as a “club,” each class retains a consistent framework that provides new participants with an introduction to her food philosophy while engaging returning participants in learning about a new food or Zero Waste topic—allowing Morgan to build community through monthly offerings.
Morgan gives the gift of teaching more than just the basics; she teaches participants how to approach cooking like a chef Waite’s classes have become a forum for engaging in conversations about how to live a healthier lifestyle as well as the broader environmental, socio-economic impacts of our food choices and waste practices. Take, for example, her March Zero Waste class on fermentation—through a demo and delicious tastings of kimchi and kombucha, Morgan discussed MAY/JUNE 2020
morgan’s march zero waste class on fermentation fermentation’s health benefits (enhanced absorption of vitamins and minerals), environmental benefits (fermentation is a great way to preserve veggies from your garden or the farmers market beyond the growing season), and societal benefits (shelf-stable, fermented foods are a healthy and practical food for impoverished populations). A firm believer that everyone has something to bring to the table, Morgan makes her classes interactive in creative ways. For her Product Knowledge class on chanterelles (edible mushrooms), for example, Morgan used a “Who Am I?” sheet for participants to identify different types of mushrooms. Likewise, she conducted a blind taste test for the class where participants learned how to make different types of alternative milks from scratch. Not only do these hands-on activities encourage people to cook for themselves, but Honest Weight runs specials on products used in her classes. Waite begins every class with a detailed, “keynote” presentation. It is a labor of love for her to research and prepare in the weeks leading up to each class, crafting recipe information that provides participants with a basic framework for recreating each dish. Her teaching style, however, is much more than passing along a recipe. Not a “recipe person,” Morgan gives the gift of teaching more than just the basics; she teaches participants how to approach cooking like a chef. In her own words: “Cooking is about more than a recipe. Cooking is about using all of your senses— to be fully enveloped in the touch, taste, smell, and sight of your food—each of these senses plays a role.”
Praise for Product Knowledge classes “Morgan is so passionate, heartfelt, and knowledgeable—you feel like you want to run home and do what you just saw for yourself—and you can!” 15
Reflections Waite’s idea for creating a series of food-related classes was fueled in part by her desire to find a way back into the kitchen after becoming disabled as a result of a serious injury. Morgan partners with kitchen helpers (Co-op Member Owners) who run her in-class food demos. Guiding them step-by-step, Waite carefully balances how much information she shares with the class while engaging and empowering participants to implement new ideas at home. Teaching about food and sustainability is a platform for Morgan to share her passion and knowledge with others while building community by making these learning opportunities accessible to others. Her participants agree!
Praise for Product Knowledge classes “I was blown away by how comprehensive the class was. I’ve been drinking soy milk for many decades, my mother was a nutritionist, and I majored in health education many eons ago, so I had some background. Yet, I learned so much from Morgan’s easy-to-understand research and by sampling each type of milk. I also found that the setting (at the co-op) was conducive to learning, as the classroom was intimate and comfortable. And, to top it off, I was able to purchase pea milk after the class...and on sale! It told me that the co-op is organized and caring, which will motivate me to take other classes and support the co-op’s goals.”
Waite’s classes go beyond recipes and waste reduction practices - her classes have become an important community-building platform for Honest Weight When asked to share an important public policy that Waite wants Co-op members to be aware of, she stated that the United States had set its first-ever goal to cut food waste in half by 2030. Key policy tools she believes can help us get there include standardizing food date labels and expanding food donation laws, citing the San Francisco Food Runners program as an example of a replicable program: foodrunners.org/donate-food.
What’s Next While Honest Weight’s Education and Community Outreach efforts are on pause due to the Coronavirus, keep an eye on the Co-op’s website (honestweight.coop/education) and Facebook ( facebook.com/HonestWeight) upcoming classes, which will feature urban homesteading topics for Zero Waste and cooking with CBD for the Product Knowledge series!
Stay in touch with Morgan! ● Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ● Instagram: @gimmiemoe87 ● Facebook: @MorganLee ● Youtube: bit.ly/2JZq37Y Hilary Papineau is an urban planner, food activist and enthusiast,
Future-Focused A notable aspect of Waite’s philosophy is her commitment to engaging and educating the next generation through partnerships with youth and academic organizations. “The more we teach the younger generations (the 18–29 age group in particular), the more they will set up good, lifelong habits for the future.” For example, she recently taught a Zero Waste class to a group of students from Skidmore College, where she demoed “Do It Yourself” ramen!
and a Co-op member since 2015. She, her husband, and baby live in the Helderberg Neighborhood of Albany where they spend their free time playing with seeds and weeds and trying not to kill their Co-op houseplants from too much love. Hilary grew up in the Adirondacks and is a research analyst with New York State.
Hands-On, Hearts Open
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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!
HEMLOCK GOODS FOUND NEAR OUR CUSTOMER SERVICE DESK
The pretty bandanas displayed in the front of the store near the customer service desk are the creation of fabric artist Beth Snyder. Her company is called Hemlock Goods, and it also produces backpacks, totes, and pouches. All of these items feature unique, colorful designs. Snyder says, “My business marries my love of art applied to functional goods, textiles you can touch and feel, and the happy magic of unexpected color combinations.” She notes that her bandanas are not just handkerchiefs. They can also serve as exotic scarves to spice up solid-colored outfits, hair tamers, baby bibs, or even emergency face masks!
Recently Snyder traveled to India where she found the inspiration for Hemlock Goods. While there, she observed their manufacturing process: how the cloth was woven, washed, printed, 18
sewn, and packaged. She also witnessed the working conditions of employees and was able to express her appreciation for their dedication.
Today she not only has beautiful products to offer her customers, she is also proud to be contributing to the lives of those in India who make them. My business marries my love of art applied to functional goods, textiles you can touch and feel, and the happy magic of unexpected color combinations For more information about Hemlock Goods or to view Beth Snyder’s amazing designs, go to hemlockgoods.com. COOP SCOOP
WHOLE IN THE WALL PESTO Found in our cheese department There is a natural foods restaurant in Binghamton, NY, that has been thriving for 40 years. It is the creation of Eliot Fiks and friends whose mission has always been “to serve the highest quality all-natural food in a unique and sometimes offbeat way.” If popularity is an indication of success, then Whole in the Wall is fulfilling its mission. These days you are only guaranteed a seat at the table if you make a reservation.
soups that are donated to the Salvation Army and served at evening meals. In 1999 Whole in the Wall won a national humanitarian award for the project, and they estimate they have provided over 100,000 meals!
Whole in the Wall is run “semi-cooperatively” by a group of creative, progressive folks.
Here again, true to the company’s mission, the producer used only the best oils and fresh basil, no additives or fillers. This pesto became so popular that people asked that it be sold to them in containers. From there it became available in a local health food store, and still the people’s appetite for the pesto grew.
The mission of the organization extends beyond the walls of the restaurant to online and grocery store marketing as well as to a special program called Stone Soup, named after the classic children’s story. The latter project, which has been in operation since 1995, involves taking bits of vegetables that are not used by the restaurant in creating its daily meals and combining these extras with crushed tomatoes, seasonings, pasta and barley to make hearty MAY/JUNE 2020
In 1994, Whole in the Wall began to focus on making high-quality pesto sauce for use in the restaurant.
Responding to public demand, a creative chef at Whole in the Wall Restaurant developed different kinds of pesto recipes, seven new f lavors in addition to the Traditional Basil: Sweet Red Pepper, Chipotle, Sun Dried Tomato, Spinach Parmesan, Dairy-Free, Garlic Spice, and
Wild Mushroom. Fresh herbs are featured, and the pestos are quickly frozen immediately after being made. The pestos are actually handcrafted right in the restaurant kitchen on the days the restaurant is closed. People love that the variety of these sauces allows for many original additions to recipes.
People love that the variety of these sauces allow for many original additions to recipes. All of the Whole in the Wall pestos are available at the co-op and online at wholeinthewall.com. They also can be found in 125 stores in 19 states. Treat yourself and try them! If you’re in the Binghamton area, make sure to drop by, but make a reservation first on their website. 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!” 19
Intentional Kindness: Bloom Where You Are Planted by Ben Goldberg
What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make. —Jane Goodall
were associated with our survival and development as a species. Kind actions behaviorally express that:
If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. —The Dalai Lama
● we’re all in the same boat;
We are all living within and affected by the “human condition,” which includes, at the least, birth, growth, deterioration, and death, as well as the apparently boundless capacities for evil and for good. All the major world religious philosophies teach about the human condition and typically offer some methods (including being charitable and kind) for transcending the negative aspects of that condition.
Remember the somewhat ubiquitous slogan that encourages: “Perform Random Acts of Kindness”? While any act of kindness has meaning and value, the emphasis in research over the past few decades has focused on kindness which is active and intentional (rather than random or unplanned) as perhaps having more depth, sustained value and meaning, for both the recipient and the doer. Kind acts actualize compassion, empathy, and altruism. Some scientists have even concluded that kindness, compassion, and cooperation are hardwired into humans (as well as in some other animals), and that those qualities
How we think and act directly affects how we perceive and experience the world 20
● we’re all in this together; ● we all do better when we all do better; ● bridges are better than walls; and ● connection and relationship are critical dimensions of well-being in the context of the human condition. Kindness as a verb, as expressed by “HumanKind—be both.” An emphasis on action: BE human, BE kind.
[kindness] affects our well-being and our health. And how we think and act can be intentionally altered, reshaped Inf luenced by the field of Positive Psychology, a surprising amount of research, both primary research and large literature reviews, has been done on kindness/kind acts and the various ramifications for and effects on children and adults alike. How acts of kindness affect the recipient is more or less apparent. Most of us feel acknowledged, seen, grateful, and appreciative when someone does something thoughtful/helpful/beneficial for us. We are comforted in a cold world, so to speak, and our shared sense of community is heightened. What much of the research over the past two decades has focused on as well is how performing kind acts—and not just grand and noble gestures—also affects the COOP SCOOP
When we intentionally become a kinder actor, it becomes easier to see the many acts of kindness and generosity going on around us doer, the actor. The results are relatively consistent and clear: how we think and act directly affects how we perceive and experience the world. It affects our well-being and our health. And how we think and act can be intentionally altered, reshaped. (Reread the Goodall and Dalai Lama quotes again now, please.) ● Acts of k indness c an tr ig ger posit ive neurophysiological events (the activation of “reward networks” experienced as positive emotions) in the central and peripheral nervous systems of both the recipient and the doer. For example, performing and/or witnessing acts of kindness stimulates the production of the hormone oxytocin which helps to lower blood pressure, improve cardiac health, and may even slow the aging process. ● Performing acts of kindness can help ease social anxiety in the doer. ● Kind acts affect the sense of well-being, life satisfaction, self-esteem, and happiness experienced by the doer. They help the recipient and the doer to feel more connected. ● Being kind helps to mediate the effects of stress, thereby decreasing vulnerability to disease and depression, and likely increasing longevity.
● Kindness can be learned and must be practiced to be maintained. Like a muscle, the inclination toward kindness can atrophy if it is not used, or it can be strengthened and habituated with regular use.
What kind of world would you like to live in? I highly recommend the path of kindness (not of sainthood) because it works well and beyond the immediacy of the “helper’s high.” The path also takes strength and discipline because we live in a culture that too often disparages kindness (“don’t be a sucker…”) and compassion (“it’s every person for themself”). And yet, when we intentionally become a kinder actor, it becomes easier to see the many acts of kindness and generosity going on around us. As one of my favorite authors, Anonymous, wrote, said, or mumbled: “The world is full of kind people...If you can’t find one, be one.” Kindness really is contagious. Catch it when you can, and be kind—to others and to yourself. Ben Goldberg, a freelance writer, editor, and gardener, tries to live kindly (if somewhat grumpily at times) in Albany.
invest in your community. earn interest.
● Kindness is positively associated with better selfregulation and decreased emotional reactivity. ● Acts of kindness strengthen relationships. It’s about the nature of routine interactions rather than “doing something special” for someone. Employees value and appreciate a boss who is kind and considerate, and kindness is positively associated with happiness, satisfaction, and stability in marriages. ● Kindness and generosity are contagious in just about any setting.. The more we act kindly or witness and receive acts of kindness the more likely we are to act kindly.
Acts of kindness strengthen relationships MAY/JUNE 2020
Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region 255 Orange Street, Albany 920 Albany Street, Schenectady (518) 436-8586 www.mycommunityloanfund.org
Recipe Corner by Melanie Pores
Melanie’s Cooling and Blissful Arroz con Leche (Rice Pudding) Yields: 8 (½-cup) servings Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 50 minutes | Total Time: 1 hour
● ⅓ cup maple syrup, or ½ cup, if you like it a little sweeter
Throughout Latin America and Spain, variations of the popular dessert, arroz con leche (or rice pudding in English), are enjoyed as a nourishing, sweet treat. In my version of arroz con leche, I chose to use coconut milk, as I find coconut milk’s cooling, sweet, and creamy qualities to be very sattvic and easy to digest. Sattvic foods are understood to nourish the body and are believed to promote a sense of calmness, or bliss.
● 1 tsp vanilla extract
● 1 cup of rice ● 1 ½ cups of water ● ½ Himalayan pink salt ● 1 Tbsp butter
● ¼ tsp nutmeg ● Pinch of saffron (optional) ● 1 cinnamon stick ● 2 cans (13.5 oz) coconut milk (about 4 cups)* ● Zest of 1 lime (or 2 teaspoons of zest) ** * If coconut milk does not appeal to you, you can substitute regular cow’s milk or any plant-based milk that you like. ** You can substitute lemon or orange zest if you prefer.
1. Place the rice, salt, butter, and water in a pot. Bring to a boil, cover the pot, and let it simmer for 15 minutes. 2. Add the milk, maple syrup, vanilla extract, nutmeg, saffron, and, if using, cinnamon stick and lime zest to the cooked rice. Stir with a wooden spoon. Bring to a boil again, and when it boils, reduce the heat to low and cook, uncovered, for another 30 minutes or until the texture is creamy. Stir and, once the rice pudding has cooled sufficiently, remove the cinnamon stick. 3. You may enjoy eating your arroz con leche warm, or if it is a warm day, you may also enjoy eating it cold like I often do, as a yummy way to cool me down and bring me to a state of bliss! 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.
Kids Corner Find these 12 Spring-errific words:
BEAUTY BLOOM BLOSSOM BUD FLOURISH FLOWERS
Answers on page 17!
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