THE COOPERATIVE ISSUE: Understanding Natural Food Labels Introducing HWFCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Homegrown Happening! A History of the Cooperative Movement
1. Voluntary, Open Ownership 2. Democratic Owner Control 3. Owner Economic Participation 4. Autonomy And Independence 5. Education, Training And Information 6. Cooperation Among Cooperatives 7. Concern For The Community
open every day 8am - 10pm
Honest Weight is a member-owned 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. We welcome all who choose to participate in a community which embraces cooperative principles, shares resources, and creates economic fairness in an atmosphere of cooperation and respect for humanity and the earth.
The Coop Scoop is Honest Weightâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bi-monthly newletter, produced by the Education Department and offered free of charge as part of our mission. Content is created by Co-op member owners and staff. To get involved, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
contact us 100 Watervliet Avenue Albany, NY 12206 (518) 482-2667 [COOP] email@example.com www.honestweight.coop
behind the CO-OP BOARD OF DIRECTORS PRESIDENT
OWNER SERVICES COORDINATOR
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
CHIEF COOPERATIVE OFFICER
DEPARTMENTS AND TEAM LEADERS
STORE OPERATIONS MANAGER
Stephen Quickenton (x104)
NUTRITION & EDUCATION
Carolynn Presser, Rebekah Rice
FRONT END MANAGER
Daniel Morrissey, Rick Donegan
Daniel Morrissey, Rebekah Rice
FOOD SERVICES MANAGER
BOARD APPOINTED COOPERATIVE COUNCILS
HONEST WEIGHT COMMUNITY INITIATIVE Daniel Morrissey, Carolynn Presser
CHEESE AND SPECIALTY MANAGER
GOVERNANCE REVIEW COUNCIL
Interested in joining a committee? Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
want to advertise? contact Kim Morton (518) 330-3262 email@example.com
The contents of the Coop Scoop are for information purposes only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read in the Coop Scoop.
Cover photo of her honeybees by Farial English
ISSN 2473-6155 (print) ISSN 2473-6163 (online)
Brandon Costelloe-Kuehn lives and works in Troy, NY. His teaching, writing and design work weave together interests in sustainability, social and environmental justice, media, history, politics, science, technology and lots of other things. This fall, Brandon will be facilitating a series of permaculture classes at Honest Weight and hopes you can join! He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Amy Ellis has been HWFC’s Outreach Coordinator since November of 2010 and was a member-owner prior to that. She manages and works in conjunction with a team of approximately twenty-five member workers to implement the many facets of community outreach, helping to make the Co-op much more than “just” a grocery store. Karla Guererri lives in Troy and has been a Co-op member for several years. She is a semi-retired educator with a public school background. Karla has written articles for iSanté and Santé Magazine, along with a short story under a pen name in a little known journal, Adventures for the Average Woman. Julie Harrell has written articles for the Coop Scoop since April of 1995, when her first article, An Organic Baby at Honest Weight, was published. She and her husband, Jerome, live on a farm with three horses, four llamas, five cats, two dogs and bees. Her daughter Reesa is a stylist at Stiletto in Albany. You may contact Jules at email@example.com. Rebecca Angel Maxwell is a creative arts instructor specializing in music. She has been a member of the Co-op for fourteen years. Rebecca is currently a member-worker in our fantastic produce department, teaches cooking classes, and is on the Nutrition and Education Committee. She created the word search on our back cover for this issue. Luke Stoddard Nathan is a journalist living in Troy, NY. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 and educational researcher and policy analyst. She has been an Honest Weight Food coop member since 1978. Pat Sahr has been a member of the Co-op since 2005, during which time she’s worked as an outreach assistant and a shopper’s helper. She contributes to the Coop Scoop as the writer of the Producer Profiles. Pat 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!” Paul Tick has been active in environmental movement since the 1970s. In the 1990s he served six years on Honest Weight’s board of directors. Eight years ago he founded the Delmar Farmers Market, which has become one of the premier farm markets in the region, attracting well over 1,500 people each week. He is the Clinical Director of a counseling agency, and recently published a book, along with his wife, of their documentary photography.
Mathew Bradley‘s hand drawn illustrations are likely familiar to you if you spend time at Honest Weight Food Co-op. He likes music, vegan food, and Alene Lee, who is a cat. Visit mathewdoesstuff.com for more. Farial English and her family moved to the Capital District from Chicago in search of a quieter lifestyle. On their old farmstead in rural Galway, she has space to plant vegetables and a flower garden as a haven for pollinators. She has been keeping bees for eight years and continues to learn from and be amazed by these tiny insects that are invaluable to our environment. Kate Farrar is the Crew Manager at Hearty Roots Community Farm in Germantown, NY. She has been farming vegetables since 2012. Through farming takes up most of her time, she occasionally writes for Edible Hudson Valley, and enjoys taking photographs and throwing on a ceramics wheel. Though she only recently joined, Kate is thrilled to be a part of the Co-op because of her continued interest in knowing that food is sourced with consideration. Barry Koblentz is president and owner of Base Twelve Photo. An avid racer and cyclist, he resides in Albany, NY with his life partner and assistant, Colleen, and their dog Cody. Visit basetwelvephoto.com for info about hiring Barry to capture your event. Amelianne McDonnell is a graduate of FIT with a BFA in Illustration. Her work is inspired by the what she loves most: living things and outdoor adventures. When she’s not petting cats and dogs she can be found fly fishing streams and creeks in the Adirondacks. To see more examples of her work or to inquire about projects or commissions (she loves pet portraiture), please reach her by email at email@example.com.
Behind the Scenes
Donna Eastman has been a Co-op member for many years- she remembers the Quail Street days! She stocked shelves in Grocery before becoming a Coop Scoop distributor, which is a job she really enjoys. Donna is a music therapist and animal lover. She has five cats and a dog named Rosie who does agility and therapy work. Georgia Julius keeps bees in Troy. She loves building things, feeding people, and picnics at swimming holes. Kim Morton, member of Honest Weight Food Co-op since 2005, is the Founder of First Division Marketing where she focuses on driving brand recognition and delivering revenue to a variety of high-tech companies. She has two young boys- Iggy (9) and Xavier (6) who attend Woodland Hill Montessori, where Kim likes to volunteer when she can. She has been handling Coop Scoop advertising since 2009 and looks forward to helping the publication grow. Doug O’Connor, Co-op member since 1989, has been distributing the Coop Scoop to businesses and organizations around Albany and Delmar for a very long time. Printed by Fort Orange Press in Albany, New York
Contents SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 CONTRIBUTORS
A BETTER WORLD A NOTE FROM THE EDITOR It’s no surprise that we here at Honest Weight’s Education Department love talking to folks about the cooperative business model. We straight up love cooperatives, themselves. An autonomous association of people united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically controlled business? Yes, please! So when we found out that October is National Co-op Month, we took it as a sign. Tell the readers about cooperatives, the sign said. And we said, Okay! Cooperatives are old (see page 10), not just a bohemian trend. They came out of necessity, they exist all over the world, and they take on many different and innovative forms and functions. Lots of people have caught on: it was estimated that in 2012 (when the world’s population was seven billion) approximately one billion people were members of at least one cooperative. Some of the different types of cooperatives, a few of which you’ll read about in this issue, include businesses and not-for-profits that are owned and managed by: ∙ the people who use their services (a consumer cooperative, like HWFC) · the people who work there (a worker cooperative) · the people who live there (a housing cooperative, see page 18 for more) · hybrids, such as worker cooperatives that are also consumer coopertives or credit unions · multi-stakeholder cooperatives such as those that bring together civil society and local actors to deliver community needs · second and third tier cooperatives whose members are other cooperatives See? There is so much information! Read on, get excited, and feel free to contact me with any questions, thoughts, feedback, or to get involved with the Coop Scoop. After all, we’re better off working together. Happy National Cooperative Month from Honest Weight Food Co-op. - Georgia Julius, Education Coordinator
HEALTHY LIVING TODAY Julie Harrell 6 CO-OP IN THE COMMUNITY Amy Ellis
PRODUCER PROFILES Pat Sahr
A GRAND HISTORY OF THE COOPERATIVE MOVEMENT Paul Tick 10 INTENTIONAL COMMUNITY Julie Harrell
PERMACULTURE DESIGN PROCESSES AND COOPERATIVE DEVELOPMENT by Brandon Costelloe-Kuehn 14 HELLO MY LABEL IS CONFUSING! Karla Guererri
COOPERATIVE ALBANY Luke Stoddard Nathan
FROM THE SUGGESTION BOX
RECIPES 21 CLOSING WORDS
Hello, My Label is Confusing! page 16
HEALTHY LIVING TODAY: Lyme in My Backyard Part II
Jules continues her story, started in the July/August issue, about living with and battling Lyme Disease by modifying her diet and taking herbs.
words by Julie Harrell, illustrations by Amelianne McDonnell
I mostly ignored, I was dealing, able to work on the farm and on ski patrol. I did have to take frequent naps during the day, and tended to drag myself around, with energy coming in spurts. Not paying close enough attention to the “no sugar” rule, I included honey I was a very heavy 22 year-old when I in my really super-duper almost 100% returned to my mother’s house from vegan (minus honey, butter and eggs) three years of living homeless on the diet. The problem is, I included honey streets of Northern California. To shed DAILY, and also included some yummy 50 pounds, I put myself on a mostly gum from Japan (no aspartame), along vegetarian diet. In Lawton, Oklahoma, with a weekly peanut butter brownie being a vegetarian was virtually unfrom Professor Java’s where I had coffee heard of back in those times. Thus, the with my daughter. Yup, I ate too much food diary was born, which has prosugar. Shockingly to no one but myself, vided me with a record of food, life, and by January 18, 2014, I wrote in my jourone side he’s all allopathic, but behind Lyme. nal, “As I clear up loose ends here on closed doors, he’s truly committed to On November 11, 2014 the “scary pain “patient, heal thyself.” I tested negative Earth, I find myself in a slight dilemma. Am I preparing for the Hereafter? Or came.” Pain began to blur my mind as I for Lyme having taken herbs for only am I just so comfortable with Heaven lapsed into a deep, dark, painful funk. I a few months. In the Lyme world, I didn’t know at the time that I had any- learned that simple blood tests can have that I easily slide into God’s Circle?” I inconclusive results. I was hopeful, hav- was ready to die and expected to go out thing truly wrong, only that suddenly in a flash of beautiful light, suffering after feeling really great for most of my ing never had Lyme. My herbalist said no more. Most people don’t go out that he “couldn’t hear the bacteria,” which life (post 1983), I was overcome with way and I was no exception. By January incredible malaise and joint pain. I still he took to mean they were in hiding. 23, I felt great again. You begin to see a had horses and llamas to care for, water Sometimes it’s nice when the spiropattern here. I had yet to make a conto haul, poop to scoop and a life to live. chetes hide. The pain goes away when nection between my supposedly super they aren’t spiraling into your joints, Towards the end of December 2014, ultra-healthy diet, which I tracked in after enduring the strangely debilitating tendons and ligaments. I, with a large voice, declared myself Lyme-free to the this journal, and a yo-yo physicality, body funk while remaining active and which went from the lowest painful world. running our farm, I learned from my low to the uppermost reaches of feeling herbalist that I had an “insect disease.” great. Mostly though, I was pretty low. I took herbs for several months, stayed Other than being a little extra tired, true to the no sugar, no dairy, no meat, with a little pain here and there, which Then my mind began to go. Yes, there’s more- stay tuned. ❧ no alcohol, no nightshades, no gluten diet and felt immediately back to normal. What a life! Ski patrol at Bromley ESSENTIALS FOR TICK PROTECTION in four feet of snow and I was rocking Certain essential oils are unappealing to ticks, the woods on my snowboard. locate unsuspecting mammals using something like scent. Rose geranium is one of the best, and does By now, I had researched Lyme, told not need to be diluted in a carrier oil if used in small doses. my family and friends I had it, and acPlace one drop on each ankle and on the wrists, then a little behind the cepted my fate. Stephen Buhner quickly knees and one on the back of the neck. For dogs, put one drop behind became my Lyme guru. I already had each shoulder blade and at the top of the base of the tail- they are several of his books and ordered more. extremely sensitive to smell so go easy and avoid the face and nose. Everyone wanted me to go get blood Other essential oils that have been found to repel ticks include laventested so I called a friend in the medical system to schedule an appointment. der, lemongrass, citronella, eucalyptus, and cedar wood. My MD thinks like I do (shhh): on Visit our Wellness Department for these oils & other natural bug repellant! We are now deep into the winter of 2014 in my story. Remember, I’m telling you secrets here. You should know that all the following details come from a food diary/journal I have kept since 1983.
HONESTWEIGHT.COOP • 100 WATERVLIET AVE. ALBANY, NY • 518-482-2667
CO-OP IN THE Community “After more than 40 by Amy Ellis, Outreach Coordinator years, local food is still the words photos by Barry Koblenz, illustration by Mathew Bradley more than 40 years, local food is still the heartbeat of our heartbeat of our co-op. ” After co-op. For the past eight years, we’ve highlighted local foods, farms, and vendors at our annual harvest festival in Washington Park. This year, we are excited to continue the tradition by offering this signature event right in our own backyard! We invite you to join us for our Homegrown Happening on Saturday, October 8th from 12-4pm in the parking lot of Honest Weight Food Co-op. We have so many incredible small businesses in our region and at Honest Weight and we are fortunate to work with many on a daily basis. Through Homegrown Happening, we aim to create a festive environment in which local farmers, artisans, restauranteurs, and other independent businesses can interact with and educate community members about the many benefits of choosing local. Please save the date and join us here at the store for Homegrown Happening! If you’re interested in becoming more involved or working a shift for the day please contact Amy Ellis, Community Outreach Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org. ❧
Celebrating 30 years of sustainable community development for economically underserved people and communities.
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socially concerned investors with local micro and social
entrepreneurs since 1985
words by Pat Sahr
Our Producer Profiles this month are all certified B Corporations. The B stands for Beneficial and signifies a business that is dedicated to social and environmental issues. Many B Corps are cooperatively owned.
FOUND IN OUR WELLNESS DEPARTMENT
In 1996 Eric Hudson launched his earth friendly business, Preserve, in Boston, MA. Eventually he moved to his current location in Waltham, MA. This venture is dedicated to using the earthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s resources more efficiently and responsibly and to transforming recycled materials into new products that are functional and fun to use. One of his most popular items, one that is carried at the co-op, is the toothbrush. In developing this product, he worked with engineers, scientists, dental professionals and his own father to identify appropriate recycling streams and create the design. While the bristles
DEEP ROOT ORGANIC CO-OP Founded in 1986 and based in Johnson, VT, Deep Root Organic Co-op is one of the oldest co-ops of organic vegetable growers in the United States. The co-op exists to promote local, sustainable, and organic agriculture through its membership of 23 small family-owned farms scattered across Vermont and the eastern townships of Quebec. It connects the farmer and the customer, delivering the best local organic produce and value-added products to retail establishments, co-ops, restaurants, and institutions. Due to its size and the variety of its member farms, the Deep Root Co-op offers a wide range of products available throughout the year. The northern climate is particularly suited
are made of brand new nylon, the handle of the toothbrush is produced from recycled yogurt cups and other sources of #5 plastic. Preserve obtains these plastics from a network of trusted sourcing partners and from the Preserve Gimme 5 Program. FDA guidelines for use of post consumer plastics are followed, and all recycled plastics are tested for toxic elements. You will find Preserve toothbrushes in the Wellness Department of the co-op. Preserve plastic plates and cups are also available in the store. For more information about this company, go to www.preserveproducts.com.
FOUND IN OUR PRODUCE DEPARTMENT
for root crops such as carrots, parsnips, beets, rutabagas, burdock, black radish and a large variety of winter squash. Being organized as a co-op means that Deep Root members can focus on their farms and use their collective resources to market their products as a group. By pooling their production, members can also provide a more diverse and reliable source of quality, organic produce. This is a business model that has demonstrated great success for the past 30 years. More information about Deep Root Organic Co-op can be found at: www.deeprootorganic.com.
VERMONT SMOKE & CURE Vermont Smoke & Cure has been consciously crafting delicious smoked meats and meat snacks since 1962 when Roland LeFebvre established the smokehouse, originally called Roland’s. The company uses local, humanely raised meats, whenever possible, and simple ingredients from area farmers, like the Vermont maple syrup and apple cider which are featured in its special brines for bacon and ham. The smoking process primarily uses ground corn cobs and maple wood shavings - never artificial smoke. Vermont Smoke & Cure got its start in South Barre, Vermont, and for 50 years operated first in a farmhouse and later in the back of a gas station. In 2012 under the leadership of CEO Chris Bailey, the business moved 50 miles northwest
FOUND IN OUR MEAT AND SEAFOOD DEPARTMENT
to its current location in Hinesburg, VT, where it renovated a former cheese making facility into a world-class smokehouse. Because it is a socially responsible organization, Vermont Smoke and Cure is recognized as a Vermont Benefit Corporation which means that it incorporates a social mission into its goals by considering the impact of its operations on employees, customers, community and environment. Look for the following Vermont Smoke and Cure products at the Co-op: uncured bacon hotdogs, ham, bacon and a variety of meat stick snacks. For more information about this business, go to www.vermontsmokeandcure.com.
Stop Energy Waste and Save!
Food & music 6:00pm, film screening at 7:00pm WAMC’s The Linda Performing Arts Center 339 Central Ave, Albany SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016
Get a free Home Performance Energy Assessment which can qualify you for incentives and low interest financing to make home improvements. Have an expert show you where you may be wasting energy- and how to fix it. We’ll help you take the first step to a greener and more comfortable building with lower utility bills. Homeownership Center www.ahphome.org
Visit www.GreenCapitalRegion.org or call 434-1730x414. 9
The Leith Provident Co-operative Store in Edinburgh, Scotland, c. 1890. This consumer cooperative still exists today as ScotMid Co-operative Society, which has nearly 200 supermarkets in addition to more than 150 other types of retail stores in Great Britain.
A GRAND HISTORY OF THE COOPERATIVE MOVEMENT In 1761, a group of weavers in Scotland held a secret meeting. While lookouts watched for aristocratic landowners, 15 men signed an agreement to be “…honest and faithful to one another…to make good and sufficient work and exact neither higher nor lower prices than are accustomed.” This was a revolutionary statement at the time and is the earliest recording of what we call ‘the cooperative movement’. The weavers pooled their meager savings and began to buy and share work materials. In 1769 they divided up a sack of oatmeal purchased wholesale and began the cooperative food movement. They then began lending money at reasonable rates and, by 1808, developed a library. Then they held open forums at the village water pump to discuss common concerns. In the cities during this period, a typical British diet for the average person was cabbage, potatoes bread and beer. Fruit, vegetables and even tea were too expensive for most. Besides being overpriced, foods were often 10
adulterated: flour contained ground beans and bones and even plaster of paris. Sugar was up to one-half comprised of salt. Tea, when it could be bought, was filled with iron filings. Scales often had false weights to cheat customers (note our organization’s name, “Honest Weight”). In 1824, the London Cooperative Society formed for discussion purposes while Robert Owen, the “father of English Socialism” wrote, taught and organized around cooperative theory. In 1844, a group of urban cotton mill workers in Rochdale, England established the Rochdale Equitable Pioneer Society. They were living in terrible poverty but pooled their funds to buy and sell, at low prices, flour, oatmeal, sugar and butter. They soon decided that their customers should have the opportunity to participate in decision making, and created a system of membership. Along with affordable prices, a concept called “pure foods” became one of the goals of the organization. By 1851, there were 13 related coops with 15,000 members.
by Paul Tick Following these values, three men in Germany began credit unions in 1862, a banking model still active around the world today. In 1895, representatives from 13 nations met to form the International Co-operative Alliance, a group created to define principles for co-ops and to support one-another. Though WWI, WWII, and many political differences, they stuck together by remaining dedicated to peace and democracy and by keeping their organizations neutral of political party affiliations. Before achieving independence in 1776, most Americans were farmers and many began group purchasing for their needs. Some cooperatives helped farmers to market their products. Benjamin Franklin set up the first co-op to help consumers purchase insurance. Consumers began forming cooperative consumer protection associations. Under what was known as the Rochdale Plan, consumers organized buying groups to purchase from cooperatively owned wholesalers. Slowly, with the aid of the wholesaler, the buying clubs COOP SCOOP
became stores. By 1920, there were 2,600 consumer co-ops in the United States (although most lasted fewer than ten years). During the Great Depression, President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal programs gave tremendous support to co-ops of all kinds. Author John Steinbeck’s great novel, The Grapes of Wrath, depicts a government-sponsored cooperative housing camp for migrant farmers who had lost just about everything. In the late 1960s and the 1970s, the “new wave” of co-ops began with the goals of high-quality, affordable food and democratic decision making. This became the “natural food movement,” then the “organic food movement” and, most recently, the “local food movement.” Unfortunately, over time, most co-ops folded due to inexperience dealing with a highly competitive food chain as well as due to infighting—but there are those that still exist and even thrive. It was during this period, in 1976, that the Honest Weight Food Cooperative opened as a pre-order buying club the Albany home of Sharon and Gary Goldberg. As the organization grew, members opened a storefront on Quail Street and later expanded to include the neighboring store. As its customer base continued to grow, HWFC moved to Central Avenue and, not so long ago, to its present location on Watervliet Avenue. Today, around the globe, there are an estimated one billion cooperative members. The largest 300 co-ops did approximately $2.2 trillion in business in 2014. In the United States, over 100 million people participate in coops. In Malaysia, 27% of the population are coop members. In Canada, that number is 40%. In Norway, out of a population of 4.8 million people, 2 million are co-op members. Coops make a tremendous difference in the overall economy, in the economy of small business owners, and for average consumers. Your participation ensures that our mutually owned organizations are here for the long-haul. ❧ SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016
COOPERATION AMONG COOPERATIVES B Corporations are for-profit companies certified to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Many B Corps are cooperatively owned and operated. Below are some of the certified B Corps and business cooperatives that you can find on the shelves at Honest Weight.
Purely Elizabeth Boulder, CO
Frontier Norway, IA
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams Columbus, OH Yum Butter Nut Butters Madison, WI Emmy’s Organics Ithaca, NY
Equal Exchange West Bridgewater, MA
Produce Deep Root Organic Coop Johnson, VT
Hilary’s Eat Well Lawrence, KS
Sunkist Santa Clarita, CA
Simply Gum New York City, NY
Cheese & Specialty
Rescue Chocolate Brooklyn, NY
Rogue Creamery Central Point, OR
B’More Organic Baltimore, MD
Vermont Creamery Websterville, VT
Beanitos Austin, TX
Cabot Creamery Cabot, VT
Organic Valley La Farge, WI
The Honest Co. Santa Monica, CA
Fedco Seeds Clinton, ME
Meat & Seafood
Vermont Smoke and Cure Hinesburg, VT
Garden of Life, LLC Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Organic Prairie Family of Farms La Farge, WI
Dr. Hauschka Skin Care, Inc. South Deerfield, MA
Preserve Waltham, MA
Seventh Generation Burlington, VT
Badger Gilsum, New Hampshire
Ecover Malle, Belgium, EU
Full Circle Kitchener, ON Canada
Moon Valley Organics Seattle, WA
Mercantile Chico Bags Chico, CA Cuppow Somerville, MA Klean Kanteen Chico, CA
Eco-lips Cedar Rapids, IA Runa Clean Energy Brooklyn, NY Yogi Tea Springfield, Oregon Yerba Mate Beverages and Herbals Sebastopol, CA 11
One Co-op member embraces community within her home through Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms- an educational exchange program that connects organic farmers to folks looking to learn about ecological farming practices.
by Julie Harrell Our homestead, Cherry Plain Sanctuary Farm, is listed as a host farm on the WWOOF USA website. We are also listed on websites permies. com and intentionalcommunity.com. I am super careful about who we invite to stay with us through a process not Fast forward to life here in Upstate unlike online dating, and frequently New York. My daughter, Reesa, and turn prospective WWOOFers down. I I lived alone for seven years, during pay close attention to details such as: which time we usually had a houseful Does the WWOOFer email me their of her friends with us. photo ID and references quickly? Is When she was three years old, Reesa the WWOOFer allergic to bees? Do began her academic education at the they hate cats? Do other host farms Albany Free School, a 47 year-old local give them a good reference? When private school. I was a very poor single one makes the cut, we can be assured a mom who initially paid Reesa’s tuition wonderful time together. by cleaning their bathrooms. I offered, they accepted. The Free School community is a vast yet inclusive group who truly embrace living and working in community, and teaching those values to the fortunate children who attend.
first things I do with a new arrival is visit my many gardener and farmer friends to help them weed for the day. This teaches the WWOOFer that no matter how much work we have on our farm, we will take time out to help our fellow farmers and gardeners. We also deliver free veggies to our neighbors.
By the time Reesa was five, we began having people live with us for extended periods of time. This included mothers with daughters, homeless friends of Reesa’s, and various and sundry Free School kids and couch surfers. When she was 13, Reesa wrote a song titled “My Home is an Intentional Community.” During high school, she threw raging tipi parties with over 20 kids staying here for days at a time. (Yes, I had rules!) Reesa is grown now, living in Albany (with a roommate, in community) while my husband and I have hosted WWOOFers and permies (permaculture enthusiasts) on our farm for the past 6 years. Many people may scratch their heads and wonder why we would invite total strangers into our home to live with us every summer. My question to these people is, “Why not?”
are a multitude of young who Photopeople by Kate Farrar want to get into homesteading and farming but do not have anywhere to begin their education. These people are our future. College graduates with degrees in horticulture want to learn about building soil, natural animal care, permaculture, composting toilets, herbalism, solar energy, and more. Young people living in the cities are aching to get their fingers deep into some forest hummus and grow endangered medicinal herbs. It is up to us to teach these young people what they need to know. We provide a base for them to gain the skills they need to create their own homestead someday. Let’s pass this great vibe along to the next generation. Host a WWOOFer today. You will enrich their lives and your own. Let’s create community together! ❧
When I was growing up, we never had people come live with us. Our family moved around, living the Army family life and keeping to ourselves. It’s hard to make friends when you move to a new state or country every two years.
What are we teaching these young people? They learn that living in community is everything. I will share a bit of our posting on wwoofusa.org to encourage those of you in the Co-op community to consider hosting a WWOOFer or permie at your homestead/farm. There
“What are we teaching these young people? They learn that living in community is everything”
To be clear, we don’t require WWOOFers to run our farm. My husband and I do all the work ourselves. We host WWOOFers here so we can share what we know with those thirsty for knowledge. So far this summer, we’ve hosted an absolutely adorable young lady from North Carolina. A young man from Indiana is joining us in August for three weeks. Last September, I received a last minute request from a wonderful WWOOFer from Georgia and her son, who stayed with us for a month. I never know what the tide will bring to us. I stay in touch with most of my former WWOOFers, many of whom go on to keep gardens of their own. We strive to teach our WWOOFers the importance of helping our neighbors and friends. One of the very
Stable Gate Winery Autumn and Winter Events
Tuesdays • Yoga in the Barn, 6:30-8pm 9/16 & 9/17 • Harvest Love Kirtan Campout 9/28 • Transformational Summit with Albany Peace Project 9/29 • Tibetan Mantra Music with Lee Mirabai Harrington Tuesdays starting 10/4 • Fireside Yoga in the Lodge, 6:30-8pm 10/21 • Mantra Lounge with Mirabai Moon + Friends
Available for private events & retreats Castleton-on-Hudson, NY (518) 265-5133 • stablegatewinery.com Amanda, a veterinary technician and WWOOFer from North Carolina, helping to shear young llama, Jack
The excerpt below was taken from Cherry Plain Santuary Farm’s profile on wwoofusa.org: Here in the Great Northeast, in a tiny corner of the world, we have a small space where we grow organic food using permaculture, raised beds, llamas for fertilizer, and the many blessings of Gaia, our Great Earth Mother. OUR little FARM is a homestead and sanctuary. Many plants, animals and insects work together to feed us and our community. We are not a certified organic farm, but we are fully committed to not using pesticides or other toxic substances. Our farm is a safe haven to live and learn about nature. I am primarily looking for people who are interested in learning about raised bed micro-farming, herbology, soil building, ecosystem health, bee keeping and working with llamas and horses. If you have building skills, and can run a chainsaw, that is always a big help. We collaborate with local friends and have an extended community of people who help us, as we help them. Please only contact us if you are sincere about wanting to live, learn, work and share a small homestead microfarm. SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016
(518)-330-3262 · email@example.com NEed an advertisement designed? We can help with that too! Email kim for more info! 13
PERMACULTURE DESIGN PROCESSES AND COOPERATIVE DEVELOPMENT by Brandon Costelloe-Kuehn
Permaculture is perhaps best understood as a holistic design approach pulling together ideas inspired by natural systems and wisdom from many traditions of food production from around the world. While its uptake has been largely in the world of agriculture, the ethics and principles of permaculture can be applied to other endeavors, from organizational design and project management to personal relationships and one’s relationship to time.
voices to be heard, potential difficulties in working through differences, etc. Some of these challenges can be tackled using a number of design processes commonly used in the world of permaculture. In what follows I’ll briefly outline four: the GADIE design process, niche analysis, stacking functions and redundancy.
GADIE stands for goals, analysis, design, implementation and evaluation. Starting with clear goals helps align the collaborators on any project. This can involve Co-ops, like permaculture, cantake many forms and fulfill many functions. brainstorming sessions, prioritization and commitment to a shared mission Consumer co-ops leverage collective and vision. Once goals are set (at buying power. Producer co-ops, in which the workers can also be owners least provisionally), it is helpful to engage in multiple forms of analysis. and participate in decision-making, provide a framework for more equitable Observations and interpretations and democratic organizations. Co-ops should be made about the people involved in the project, relevant can also be challenging to create and stakeholders and potential sites for sustain, due to the time required for
living or working. In the design stage, cooperative designers can develop a number of potential design directions that would meet the agreed-upon goals in a way that meshes well with the analyses of the core members and the wider context. Once a design is chosen, it’s time to implement, jumping from ideation to on-the-ground development. At this stage, focusing on achieving small successes can be much more effective than aiming for a wildly ambitious achievement. Finally, evaluation is a time to check in and reflect on successes and re-evaluate the initial goals, analyses, designs and implemented projects. Again, iterating between these stages, and jumping around in the order when an earlier stage seems to require reconsideration, can greatly increase chances at success. In developing any type of co-op, it can be useful to perform what in
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Holistic & Conventional Psychiatry permaculture is called a “niche analysis” for elements in the system (people, organizations, places, etc.). A niche analysis involves mapping needs, yields (called “products and behaviours” in Figure A) and intrinsic characteristics. This strategy is well-suited to mapping what the co-op itself needs to thrive, the many functions it can perform in a given context and the characteristics that make it what it is. It is also smart to get personal, mapping the individuals involved in the collaboration, holding space for the individuals involved to consider their needs, document the yields they would like to offer, and reflect on their identities and privileges. Ideally, in permaculture, every element in the system should provide multiple functions and be supported by multiple other elements. The principles behind this strategy are called “stacking functions” and “redundancy,” and together they help boost resiliency, efficiency and sustainability. A weekly meeting of the members of the cooperative, for example, can serve lots of functions, including building a sense of community, providing a space to work through disagreements before they become major issues and offering a structured place to hold each other accountable. Any of these functions, in the spirit of redundancy, can be supported by multiple elements in the system. Building a sense of community, for example, can also be supported by shared meals, an annual retreat, or a festival held on the solstices. There are many other principles guiding the permaculture design process such as “least change, greatest effect” (understanding the system and finding leverage points to maximize impact), working the “edge effect” (valuing the diverse and vibrant spaces where different ecosystems, cultures, ideologies, etc. come together) and “using on-site resources” (using local ingredients, building materials, talents, etc.). Brainstorming both ecological and social examples of how these principles might be used is a great way to get acquainted with them. Having a wide range of principles to work with is like having lots of colors on a palette to paint with. Please get in touch if you’d like to explore ways to apply these ideas in your endeavors! ❧ SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016
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NED HILE DESIG W , T A H G T ISLEADIN LABELING M E E H B T S E F O ENSE N AT TIM MAKING S UCATE, CA uererri D E D N A by Karla G M TO INFOR In 1964, when I was a very small child, I loved to go to my grandfather’s house where he grew most of his own food in the backyard. We walked through the rows of plants and picked the ripe tomatoes, eating them on the spot as if they were apples. By today’s standards, they were local, natural and organic (though not certified). Grandpa’s hens were pastured, and the eggs were natural, though maybe not organic. I’m not certain if they were cage free.
resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. These include maintaining or enhancing soil and water quality; conserving wetlands, woodlands, and wildlife; and avoiding use of synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering.” We can reasonably expect that organic foods are grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides, genetically modified organisms, and chemical fertilizers. Irradiation, industrial solvents, and chemical food additives are also prohibited in the processing of organic foods.
Nobody wondered how to classify this food because we saw it (and sometimes ate it) at its source. Things are different A single ingredient organic food may today. be labeled “organic”. A food product Organic, Certified Naturally Grown, with multiple ingredients may be or Conventional? labeled “100% organic”. This means The USDA Agricultural Marketing that all individual ingredients in Service has been regulating “organic” the product are certified organic. A food since 1990. According to the multiple ingredient food with the label FDA website, organic is defined as “organic” certifies that at least 95% “the application of a set of cultural, of the ingredients are organic. “Made biological, and mechanical practices with organic ingredients” indicates that that support the cycling of on-farm 70-94% of the ingredients are organic.
“Certified Naturally Grown” is a grassroots alternative to the USDA organic certification system, which can be prohibitively expensive for smaller farming operations. Founded in 2002, they offer certification for produce, mushrooms, aquaponics, apiaries, and livestock. Farms are inspected with regard to criteria similar to those used in organic certification. In addition, CNG publishes lists of farms by locality on their easy to navigate website, cngfarming.org. Conventional refers to any food that is not certified by these standards. Free range, cage free, certified humane or pastured? Anyone who remembers the egg farm scene from the film ‘Napoleon Dynamite’ will want to know where the eggs they’re are eating are sourced and what the labels mean. “Organic” on the egg carton indicates that the USDA national Organic Program has inspected the facility and insured that the hens are vegetarian fed, free of hormones, and not kept in cages, but it does allow debeaking and forced molting by starvation according to Mother Earth News. “Certified Humane” means that the facility has been certified by a nonprofit organization called Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC). Their standards for hens include freedom from cages and access nest Photo to byperches, Kate Farrar boxes, and dust-bathing areas, but do not prohibit debeaking. “Cage free” means that the hens are not kept in cages, though does not guarantee they have access to the outdoors. Hens may be crowded into large buildings in deplorable conditions. “Free range’ implies access to the outdoors, but not to grass or
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pasture. Neither cage free nor free range are regulated by the USDA.
The non-profit organization, “Fair Trade USA” provides the “Fair Trade” certification label that shoppers may see at the Co-op, especially products like coffee and cocoa, which are often plantation grown. Fair Trade says that their label certifies that the product is made with respect to people and the planet. Most notably, the principles can empower smaller farmers to compete with the large corporations that are typically favored in a free trade economy. According to Fair Trade USA, products that are Fair Trade Certified are not genetically modified, but may not be certified organic. Local and Regional No single definition of “local” or “local food systems” exists, though perhaps the more important aspect is the direct relationship between farmers and markets or consumers. Here at Honest Weight, we use local to mean anything produced or grown within 250 miles of the store. In this richly agricultural region, this regional scope allows for great variety! ❧
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In addition to knowing what methods and products are used to grow our food, it is important to recognize who profits from the production and sale of products and ingredients, especially those sourced from other countries. “Free trade” has come to mean the absence of trade restrictions and tariffs from the marketplace and the supposed freedom of national economies to grow. A different model is “fair trade.”
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“Pastured” means the hens spend their time in a pasture. Pasture raised certification is granted by HFAC.
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FURTHER READING USDA Agricultural Marketing Service www.ams.usda.gov Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC) www.certifiedhumane.org “Certified Naturally Grown” www.cngfarming.org.
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How to Decode Egg Cartons, Laura Sayre www.motherearthnews.com Fair Trade USA www.fairtradeusa.org SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016
COOPERATIVE ALBANY IN ALBANY, A HOUSING CO-OP PRESERVES AFFORDABILITY, DESPITE THE MARKET’S LURE
words & photo by Luke Stoddard Nathan illustration by Amelianne McDonnell Just south of Empire State Plaza, a modernist boondoggle constructed after the state condemned 98 acres of largely working-class neighborhoods, is Executive House Apartments—a 12-story, 159-unit, middle-income housing complex. Built in the ‘60s, the building’s white brick exterior has lost its sheen. But before it was white, or the mottled beige it is today, Executive House was brown, to the maybe-apocryphal chagrin of Governor Rockefeller. According to Executive House’s property manager, Amy Chevalier, Rockefeller insisted the edifice “blend together” with the plaza, and the state funded a paint job. “Quite frankly,” she added, “I wish that when they’d made that decree...they secured back-up funding for when the building would need to be repainted.” Executive House’s shabby look belies its singular status as the only limitedequity cooperative ever built under the state’s Mitchell-Lama program outside of New York City and Westchester County. Enacted in 1955, MitchellLama allocated cheap loans and tax abatements to developers of rental and cooperative housing starts. According to the Division of Homes and Community Renewal (DHCR), which supervises many of the buildings, including Executive House, MitchellLama yielded 269 developments with more than 105,000 apartments. About a hundred of those developments were structured as co-ops, most of which— including Co-op City in the Bronx, likely the largest housing co-op in the world—have endured as decent, 18
the cost of her initial outlay. Speculators might begrudge the arrangement, designed to keep housing costs low across generations, were it not for a rather unfortunate amendment. In 1959, according to a recent report from the Community Service Society of New York, “a broad ‘buy-out’ provision was added [to the Mitchell-Lama law] as part of a package of changes instigated by the newly elected Rockefeller administration.” Once its mortgage is paid off, a co-op may notify DHCR of its intent to leave the MitchellLama auspices and become a marketrate co-op, triggering a lengthy and somewhat inscrutable process that involves votes and hearings and studies and fees and lawyers. There’s a carrot beyond the red tape: If a MitchellLama co-op becomes a market-rate affordable places to live. co-op, apartment owners may sell their At Executive House, there is a threeunits on the open market, potentially year waiting list—“a solid three,” reaping taxpayer-subsidized windfalls Chevalier said—for a one-bedroom apartment. When an applicant reaches (and depleting affordable housing the top of this list, provided her annual stock). To offset forsaken perks of the program, like favorable property tax income does not exceed the DHCRrates, privatized Mitchell-Lama codetermined limit, she may purchase ops have imposed hefty “flip taxes” the one-bedroom apartment for about on shareholders who divest. Such $3,500—or, more precisely, she may measures seem, at best, like stopgaps. purchase shares that correspond to “If you don’t want to sell,” a researcher the apartment—then pay a monthly at New York University’s Furman “carrying charge” of about $500, heat and electricity included. She is thereby Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy told The New York Times in a tenant-cooperator, a part owner of the housing corporation, and may vote 2014, “you are locked into paying for board members and serve on various higher [carrying charges] and taxes. committees. If she ever decides to leave Your living expenses rise.” To date, though about half of all Executive House, she may sell her shares to the next eligible applicant for Mitchell-Lama rental units have left
the program, only a handful of co-ops have done so. Executive House residents told me that, in a recent straw poll, few cooperators supported looking into a buy-out. (Albany’s real estate market ≠ Manhattan’s, which curbs an exit’s allure.) Carrying charges at Executive House have not increased in almost a decade. There’s a sense among shareholders, reportedly common among Mitchell-Lama dwellers downstate, that they’ve found a pretty sweet deal. “Everybody’s saying, ‘Don’t change anything!’” said board member Thomas Allison, who has lived in Executive House for nine years. Judith Brink—who, incidentally, serves on three committees at Honest Weight—moved to Executive House last year. She spent three years on the waiting list, living elsewhere in Albany, all the while leery of rent hikes and roommate turnover. Almost immediately after moving in, she joined the board, and intends to stay put for life. “I liked the idea of a co-op,” she said, when asked why she chose the building, “but mostly what I liked was I could afford [it].” Flagging attendance at monthly board meetings (“Lately, fifteen’s been tops,” said Allison) suggests that pecuniary concern, rather than a privileged affinity for participatory democracy, accounts for most of Executive House’s appeal. Those who thrill to all things cooperative might lament the low turnout—as Allison and Brink indeed do—yet this same contingent might also regard the building’s mere existence as a minor miracle. The United States is in the midst of an unprecedented affordable housing crisis. The Mitchell-Lama program, according to the Community Service Society of New York, “is justly regarded as one of the great successes in [the state’s] housing policy.” Limited-equity cooperatives are not a panacea, and ample provision of affordable housing, under whatever aegis, as soon as possible and in perpetuity, will require significant public expenditure. But if you believe, as President Roosevelt ostensibly did, in the “right of every family to a decent home,” a reprise of the Mitchell-Lama program might seem a necessary and urgent endeavor. ❧ SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016
from the SUGGESTION BOX Q: The sesame tofu stir fry tonight was delicious! Bravo. A: Thank you very much! We’ll pass your praise on to our cooks! Q: Cut costs by slimming fown the
incredible depth of selections. We want Honest Weight to survive!
A: We are constantly evaluating our product mix to maximize our sales and profits. Q: Thank you for getting vegan
A: We’re glad you like the product! We’re happy to help. Q: YouthFX should be considered for the Envirotoken station (Pleeease!) A: We’ll add YouthFX to our list of potential recipients. Q: How about a sink in the café? Great for washing hands before eating and rinsing out recyclables. A: This is a great idea. It is something we should do in the future. At this point in time, though, it’s not a top priority. Q: Can we please have an “ugly fruits and veggies” display”? “Ugly” produce gets tossed and the Co-op should actively fight food waste! Thanks :) A: We do not toss out any edible food! We donate to food banks and repurpose cull. Spoiled produce is composted. Our local mission has always included multiple grades of produce with levels of visual appeal that some may term “ugly.”
Q: Can we please double side the plant sale sheets? It’s a big waste of paper!! Could be printed in black & white, too. A: We tried double siding them last year without success. We use color to help the cashiers interpret your data, and we recycle the used sheets. Q: A customer asked for birthday
A: We stock our birthday candles in aisle one with baking supplies. Q: What steps does Honest Weight take to ensure that plants sold here (outdoor and indoor) have not been treated with neonicotinoid pesticides? A: We have discussed this with all of our vendors and they will not bring any neonicotinoid treated plants in nor will we accept them. Q: Aren’t we going to honor the boycott on Driscoll’s berries? A: We support all workers’ right to fair labor practices and have directly voiced our concerns to Driscoll’s. At this time, we are still carrying their products and are respecting our customer’s right to choose.
Thanks to those who have made suggestions and provided feedback! You can see all the suggestions and responses on the bulletin board posted in our Co-op Café, or make a suggestion by filling out a card and sticking it in the Suggestion Box at our Service Desk. 19
MOHAWK HUDSON LAND CONSERVANCY
Your Land Trust
Your neighborhood land trust, working every day since 1992 to improve the quality of life for Capital Region residents. We preserve forests and farms, protect wildlife habitat, and preserve the character of the Capital Region.
The Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy (MHLC) owns and stewards 16 nature preserves that are open to the public in Albany, Schenectady, and Montgomery counties. Our preserves are open from dawn to dusk and trails range in difficulty from easy to moderate.
MHLC offers many community events and programs throughout the year including: naturalist programs, hikes, and a summer festival. Check our website often for a list of current events: www.mohawkhudson.org.
Save the date:
MHLC manages the Bethlehem and Voorheesville sections of the Albany County Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail with its Friends of the Rail Trail Committee and Trail Ambassador Program in cooperation with Albany County.
MHLC Summer Festival at Indian Ladder Farms on Sunday, July 17. FREE! Kick off the summer and celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Indian Ladder Farms with guided hikes, music, food, vendors, crafts, animals, beer tastings, and more! More information: www.mhlcsummerfest.org
What is a Land Trust?
A land trust is a nonprofit organization that works to preserve our natural lands and to steward those lands for generations to come. The goal of land trusts is to preserve natural areas, farmland, water sources, cultural resources or notable landmarks. MHLC is community based and deeply connected to local needs, so work that we do has a direct and lasting impact on the health of our community while protecting local natural habitat. The Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy is your local land trust working every day to preserve the quality of life for the Capital Region. Join us today! Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy 425 Kenwood Avenue Delmar, NY 12054 518-436-6346
Butternut Squash Apple Bisque submitted by Melanie Pores 1 medium onion, diced 1 tablespoon butter or ghee 1 tablespoon curry powder (or more, to taste) 1 butternut squash, about 1 1/2
pounds, seeded, peeled, and cubed 1 apple, cored, peeled, and cubed 5 cups low-sodium vegetable stock Sea salt to taste
In a 4-quart pot, heat the butter or oil and sautĂŠ the onion over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Add curry powder and sautĂŠ 3 more minutes, being careful not to burn. Add squash, apple, and vegetable stock to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook 20-30 minutes, or until the squash is tender. Puree the soup in a food processor or blender and salt to taste. Variation: For some extra spice, add 1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and chopped, to the pan at the same time as the onions, or add chopped candied ginger as a garnish before serving.
Kale, Peach, Corn And Feta Salad 1/4 cup olive oil
1 bunch kale, torn into small pieces
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 ears corn, cut off the cob
3 peaches, cut into slim wedges
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup feta (preferably a moist, mild feta, like French or Israeli), crumbled
1/2 small red onion, sliced thin
In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, sherry vinegar and honey. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the onion, and let sit for a few minutes to mellow. Add the kale and cilantro, and mix well to coat with the dressing. Let sit for an hour, refrigerated or at room temperature, for the kale to absorb the dressing and soften. Scatter the corn, peaches and feta over the top and serve. SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016
Photo by Kate Farrar
From Deena Prichep for NPR
If you want to be incrementally better, be competitive. If you want to be exponentially better, be cooperative.
Photo by Kate Farrar
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Illustrations by Amelianne McDonnell
Honeybee Facts Honeybees are the ultimate cooperators. They work together to meet the needs of their big family, or colony. The duties they share include building wax honeycomb, caring for the young, collecting food, and protecting the hive. Honeybees use flower nectar to create honey for their hive to eat during winter. Luckily for us, they produce 2-3 times more honey than they need, so we get to enjoy it, too! Most of the honeybees you will ever see flying around are girls. These are the worker bees, who collect food, protect the hive, and care for the young. A honeybee will only sting you if she feels like you are threatening her home. Once she makes the decision to sting a human or animal, she loses her stinger and dies. There are lots of different types of honey, which look and taste different depending on the flowers used to make it. Honeybees fly at a speed of around 15 miles per hour and beat their wings 200 times per second! The average worker bee lives for just five to six weeks. She produces a twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime Honeybees can dance! To share information about the best food sources, they perform their â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;waggle danceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; to eachother, which communicates the direction of the food source. The queen bee is much larger than the workers. See if you can find the queen on the cover, surrounded by her attendants.
Fair Trade Word Search PEACE RESPECT TRADE
Find the Honeybees
There are eight honeybees flying in the pages of this Coop Scoop. Can you find them all? Printed with soy ink on recycled paper in Albany, NY
FAIR ORGANIC FARMER