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ence participants have an opportunity to hook up with organic farmers and ranchers who are looking for apprentices, interns and employees.





FARMING CONFERENCE BY JOANIE QUINN, NMDA ORGANIC PROGRAM ew Mexico has been blessed with a long tradition of innovative agriculturalists from the earliest native farmers to today’s farmers and ranchers who are working to build a vibrant and resilient agriculture in a land of scarce water and challenging soils. Four pioneers of organic farming in New Mexico will take center stage at the Keynote Address of the New Mexico Organic Farming Conference, February 19-20 in Albuquerque. These folks often braved ridicule and hostility, but stuck to their vision of an agriculture rooted in a healthy ecosystem, partnering with Mother Nature to produce food and fiber.


Ramon Alvarez—Alvarez Farms, La Union, cotton, alfalfa, kamut, chile, pecans; Gary Gundersen—Mr. G’s Organic Produce, Santa Fe, mixed vegetables; Sally Harper—Del Valle Organic Pecans, Mesilla Park, pecans; and Antonio Manzanares—Shepherd’s Lamb, Tierra Amarilla, lamb and wool will share what they have learned as we move into the future.

Thirty-six breakout sessions taking place over two days will take up production issues ranging from soil building to biodynamic concepts, keyline design and woody plants, biochar, water harvesting, poultry on pasture, bee product production, management-intensive grazing, farmers’ market selling, organic insect management, growing stock gardens for propagation, mycorrhizae, see saving, aquaponics, compost tea, organic egg production, mushroom production, creating habitat for beneficials and more. Forty-five exhibitors, including conference sponsor La Montañita Co-op, will present information on programs to assist farmers and ranchers as well as products and services ranging from greenhouse supplies and irrigation equipment to local ladybug houses and herbal products. In addition, during the day Friday, experts on crop insurance will be on hand to discuss new programs, and a lawyer will take on burning legal questions on a one-to-one basis for farmers and ranchers. A health fair on Friday will include acupuncture and blood pressure and glucose screening. Friday evening from 6–8pm conference participants can enjoy cider, snacks, conversation and live music at the Career Connection where (in addition to having a good time with old and new friends) confer-



CLASSES AND HOOP HOUSE PRODUCTION BY ROBIN SEYDEL e are once again gearing up for a great Veteran Farmer Project year. Beginning January 2016 we will start our first year in the hoop house. Last summer we invested in having the hoop house moved to its present location on the eastern edge of Field 4 at Rio Grande Community Farm (RGCF). Thanks to Sean Ludden, RGCF Manager, the inside was planted with a cover crop that was tilled in late fall. In December we were busy putting together our seed starting tables, ordering seed, trays and other supplies.


A big thanks to Veterans Jeff Thomas, a master carpenter who designed and mentored our seed table building efforts, and Ronda Zaragosa for helping design and getting all our building supplies to the hoop house site during December.


This year, to maintain the organic certification of Rio Grande Community Farm we will be starting all our seedlings from organic seed in our hoop house. We also hope to have extra seedlings to sell at Earth Fest and to other interested growers. We are tremendously excited to be adding hoop house production to our skills trainings and love working in our hoop house. Even on the coldest days the hoop is a pleasant place to hang out, put seeds in the soil and connect with one another. Special thanks to Sean Ludden and Kemper Barkhurst of Rio Grande Community Farm for all their help with getting a steady source of water for the hoop house, irrigation development and other infrastructure support. Everyone is welcome to join us on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3–5pm—excepting on Thursdays that we will be having our annual skills building classes.

The conference schedule is available online at: h t t p : / / w w w. n m d a . n m s u . e d u / w p - c o n t e n t / uploads/2015/11/2016-Organic-Conferenceproof-final2.pdf. Registration for the conference, including Saturday’s breakfast, is $100. If you have questions call 505-841-9427. For hotel reservations, call 800-262-2043 by January 25. Say you are part of the Organic Conference to get the special room rate.

Growing Food—VFP Skills Building Classes We are pleased to be offering a series of classes that access the tremendous expertise in our midst. These classes, while geared for Veterans and their families, are open to the wider community when space allows. Winter 2016 classes will once again run for six weeks beginning the last week in January and run through early March; see the schedule of classes below. They will be held every Thursday from 3 to 4:15pm at the Bernalillo County Extension Office (BCEO) classroom at 1510 Menual Blvd. NW, just west of 12th Street at the roundabout. A special thanks to BCEO’s Cindy Davies for allowing us to use their space. These classes are free to Veterans and active service personnel from all branches of the military and Reserves and their families. When space permits, these free classes are also open to the larger community. Seating is limited so please RSVP to robins@lamontanita.coop or call 217-2027 to reserve your seat in advance.



GENEROSITY Once again, you, our fabulous Co-op Owners and shoppers have come forward to demonstrate the power of cooperation and the great, good spirit of our community.

We hope this New Year is one of peace and prosperity, contentment and fulfillment, good health and great food for you all.


This February 19–20, join organic farmers, ranchers, market gardeners and researchers from around the southwest for the New Mexico Organic Farming Conference at the Albuquerque Marriott Pyramid.


This year, as in many years pasts, thanks to our kind-hearted owners very few children were left on our trees. As always the Co-op made sure that any child left on our trees got a holiday wish gift. From the bottom of our hearts we thank you for your support of this program for the past 21 years. We are proud and honored to be able to serve a community with such a generous heart.


Farm to Table, the New Mexico Department of Agriculture, and New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service are organizing the conference. La Montañita Co-op, New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau, Rocky Mountain Farmer’s Union, Santa Fe Farmers’ Market Institute, Skarsgard Farms, the Silver City Food Co-op and Soilutions are sponsoring the gathering.


Thanks to you, over 500 children in need in our Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Gallup communities had their holiday gift wishes come true. Your caring concern created a little mountain of gifts for special children in the care of three New Mexican agencies and organizations: New Mexico Department of Children, Youth and Families, Enlace Communitario and Peanut Butter and Jelly Day School. You made the holiday season a little brighter for all involved.


On Saturday, February 20, participants will feast on local and organic food at a farmer breakfast recognizing the New Mexico Organic Farmer of the Year.






WINTER CLASS SCHEDULE January 28: Backyard Food Production Topics and discussion on planning a garden or an edible landscape. When to get started, financial considerations, what to grow, annuals, perennials, small live stock and much more. Instructor: Alberto Lopez Feburary 4: Soil Preparation This class will provide information on different methods to prepare soil for food production. Emphasis will be on Albuquerque and surrounding areas’ desert soils. Instructor: Alberto Lopez February 11: Planting for Pollinators and other Beneficials This class will feature both slides and specimens. Instructor: Graeme Davis February 18: Holistic Orchard Strategies Gordon Tooley of Tooley’s trees will share a variety of skills to create and maintain a holistic orchard. Instructor: Gordon Tooley February 25: Seeds: Growing, Saving and Why Organic! A slideshow and talk about organic, native, traditional, heirloom and open-pollinated seeds. How to save and store seeds and how to plan for next year’s seed crop. Instructor: Brett Bakker

NEW IN THE NEW YEAR La Montañita Cooperative A Community-Owned Natural Foods Grocery Store Nob Hill 7am – 10pm M – Sa, 8am – 10pm Su 3500 Central SE, ABQ, NM 87106 505-265-4631 Rio Grande 7am – 10pm M – Su 2400 Rio Grande NW, ABQ, NM 87104 505-242-8800 Gallup 8am – 8pm M – Sa, 10am – 6pm Su 105 E Coal, Gallup, NM 87301 505-863-5383 Santa Fe 7am – 10pm M – Su 913 West Alameda, Santa Fe, NM 87501 505-984-2852 Grab n’ Go 8am – 6pm M – F, 11am – 4pm Sa UNM Bookstore, 2301 Central SW, ABQ, NM 87131 505-277-9586 Westside 7am – 9pm M – Su 3601 Old Airport Ave, ABQ, NM 87114 505-503-2550

January 2016 2


SUSTAINABLE LIVING BY TOM KUEHN AND CHUCK MCCUNE f you understand we only have one world, you understand we must preserve and protect it. One World Co-op is a place to engage in real and personal actions to step lightly on this earth. We are a renewable energy and sustainable living co-op, dedicated to creating a sustainable future through green technology and knowledge.


There has been much interest in solar electricity generation lately, and not just from those of us committed to preserving our earth for those that will follow. Some news has been good, some not so much. One World Co-op is dedicated to providing information to those who choose to produce their own energy. We provide many alternative energy production and conservation products, along with news, data and advice for those seeking to reduce their dependence on traditional energy sources, fossil and nuclear fuels.

Cooperative Distribution Center 9am – 5pm, M – F 901 Menaul NE, ABQ, NM 87107 505-217-2010

We are hopeful the following will assist you in your aspirations for our future.

Administration Offices 9am – 5pm, M – F 901 Menaul NE, ABQ, NM 87107 505-217-2001

In April of 2015, New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas joined a coalition of environmental and clean-energy groups calling on the state Public Regulation Commission to dismiss Public Service Company of New Mexico’s proposal to charge a new grid “access fee” on customers who install solar photovoltaic systems.

Administrative Staff: 217-2001 TOLL FREE: 877-775-2667 (COOP) • General Manager/Dennis Hanley 217-2028 dennis.hanley@lamontanita.coop • Controller/John Heckes 217-2029 johnh@lamontanita.coop • Computers/Info Technology David Varela 217-2011 tech@lamontanita.coop • Special Projects Manager/Mark Lane 259-4396 markl@lamontanita.coop • Human Resources/Sharret Rose 217-2023 hr@lamontanita.coop • Marketing/Karolyn Cannata-Winge 217-2024 kcwinge@lamontanita.coop • Membership/Robin Seydel 217-2027 robins@lamontanita.coop • CDC/MichelleFranklin 217-2010 mf@lamontanita.coop

Grid-connected systems may include an integrated battery solution. Current battery technology allows for storage of daytime solar electricity. This power is then used to provide consistent power to the residence when the PV panels are operating at reduced output. Stand-alone or Off-Grid systems include any solar, wind, geothermal, or other generating system where the facility receiving the electricity produced is not connected to a public utility grid. Distributed energy (also district or decentralized energy) is generated and stored by a variety of small, grid-connected devices referred to as distributed energy resources (DER) or distributed energy resource systems.

PNM wants PRC approval of a $6-per-kilowatt monthly charge on customers with PV systems as part of its new rate case, which it filed at the commission last fall to raise rates in general by about 12 percent. But environmentalists and clean-energy advocates say PNM has exaggerated the costs and ignored the benefits of PV systems, while providing no evidence of the need for an access fee (www.abqjournal.com/570234/abqnewsseeker/ag- joins-coalition-in-opposition-to-pnm-solar-fee.html).

Conventional power stations, such as coal-fired, gas and nuclear powered plants, as well as hydroelectric dams and large-scale solar power stations, are centralized and often require electricity to be transmitted over long distances. By contrast, DER systems are decentralized, modular and more flexible technologies located close to the load they serve, albeit having capacities of only 10 megawatts (MW) or less.

PNM is asking the PRC to charge a solar-equipped household about $35/month for not using their product. This is not unique to New Mexico. Arizona, Florida, and other states have created barriers for those who would like to minimize using electrons from fossil fuels and nuclear power plants.

A Solar Power Purchase Agreement (SPPA or PPA) is a financial arrangement in which a third-party developer owns, operates, and maintains the photovoltaic (PV) system, and a host customer agrees to site the system on its roof or elsewhere on its property and purchases the system's electric output from the solar services provider for a predetermined period. While upfront costs are reduced, or delayed, the third-party received the tax benefits of the installation. Any such agreement should be carefully scrutinized.

Definitions of solar installation components and services: Net energy metering (NEM) or simply net metering is a service to an electric consumer under which electric energy generated by the consumer's

Store Team Leaders: • Valerie Smith/Nob Hill 265-4631 valeries@lamontanita.coop • John Mullé/Rio Grande 242-8800 jm@lamontanita.coop • William Prokopiak/Santa Fe 984-2852 willpro@lamontanita.coop • John Philpott/Gallup 575-863-5383 john.philpott@lamontanita.coop • Joe Phy/Westside 505-503-2550 josephp@lamontanita.coop


SOLAR ENERGY and making it


Co-op Board of Directors: email: bod@lamontanita.coop • President: Ariana Marchello • Secretary: Marshall Kovitz • Lisa Banwarth-Kuhn • James Esqueda • Jessica Rowland • Rosemary Romero • Tracy Sprouls • Tammy Parker

to people in the


Membership Costs: $15 for 1 year/ $200 Lifetime Membership + tax Co-op Connection Staff: • Managing Editor: Robin Seydel robins@lamontanita.coop 217-2027 • Layout and Design: foxyrock inc • Cover/Centerfold: Co-op Marketing Dept. • Advertising: JR Riegel • Editorial Assistant: JR Riegel j.riegel@lamontanita.coop 217-2016 • Editorial Intern: Katherine Mullé • Printing: Santa Fe New Mexican Membership information is available at all six Co-op locations, or call 217-2027 or 877-775-2667 email: robins@lamontanita.coop website: www.lamontanita.coop Membership response to the newsletter is appreciated. Email the Managing Editor, robins@lamontanita.coop Copyright ©2016 La Montañita Co-op Supermarket Reprints by prior permission. The Co-op Connection is printed on 65% post-consumer recycled paper. It is recyclable.

grid-tied system may be sold back to the grid utility at an agreed upon rate. Sadly, it is these plans that many public utilities, such as PNM, are attempting to disrupt by creating barriers and unwarranted costs for the consumer.


Remember, conservation is the true answer to reducing our dependence on fossil and nuclear fuels. Contact One World Solar Co-op at www.oneworldcoop.com.


BY AARON LEVENTMAN, NEW ENERGY ECONOMY NM is trying to cut the Santa Fe based non-profit organization New Energy Economy (NEE) out of the discussion on rates and production methods, saying that NEE doesn’t represent the best interests of “their” consumers. This is because NEE has stood strong against PNM's burning of coal and nuclear when renewables are available today at less cost. New Energy Economy is working to fundamentally transform our energy system. Despite abundant solar and wind resources, PNM, New Mexico’s investor-owned utility, provides an electricity mix of 58% coal, 21% nuclear, 14% natural gas, 5% wind, 1% utility-scale solar, and 1% customer-produced solar. This ties our electricity use to toxic air pollution, asthma, lung disease, cancer, land and water contamination, and climate change that worsens drought and wildfires.


New Energy Economy works to shift energy investments from conventional energy sources that harm people and the planet to clean renewable energy alternatives. New Energy Economy partners with community organizations, public agencies and local farms to create highly visible community-scale solar installations that demonstrate the environmental, health, and economic benefits of solar energy.


Please visit our website www.oneworldcoop.com for in-depth information on solar energy, energy conservation, and products. One World Co-op’s mission is to help our community understand solar energy production and make if affordable and accessible to people around the region.

In their Sol Not Coal campaign NEE brings brighter possibilities for health, prosperity, and sustainability to the people of New Mexico, in line with longstanding community values. They partner with diverse allies to create energy transformation. Their solar installations demonstrate the

tangible economic, environmental, and health benefits of solar, and prove that the shift to renewable energy is not only necessary but possible today. Their Sol Not Coal installations of solar electric systems prioritize communities in need or with less likelihood of access to solar power. Thanks to their supporters’ generosity, upcoming solar installations include Tewa Women United, Monte Vista Farm, and the Nancy Rodriguez Community Center. PNM is afraid that NEE will continue to expose its investment in toxic assets, evasion of the laws meant to protect us and errors that would cost more than a billion dollars of OUR money. Help us hold PNM accountable for refusing to provide clean energy at a reasonable cost. PNM is objecting to our involvement in the fight to keep our energy rates low. They claim NEE doesn’t represent any constituents. We can prove them wrong. Sign the NEE petition at http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/new-energy-economy-represent? Go to www.newenergyeconomy.org for more information on NEE’s work or to make a donation to help them continue to supply New Mexicans with affordable, clean and renewable energy and education .


January 2016 3


LEUKEMIA AND LYMPHOMA SOCIETY oncology nurses and social workers. Patients, their families and caregivers are also invited to attend. These programs are led by local doctors and other healthcare professionals and offer continuing education credits for nurses and social workers. Please call the New Mexico/El Paso Chapter for upcoming Professional Education Programs at 505-8720141 or 888-286-7846.


Help the LLS help people with blood cancer and their families. Their dedicated community volunteers are the heart and soul of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

EDITED BY ROBIN SEYDEL FROM INFORMATION PROVIDED BY THE LEUKEMIA AND LYMPHOMA SOCIETY he Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is the world's largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research, education and patient services. LLS's mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and to improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS created the Information Resource Center to provide blood cancer patients, their families and health professionals accurate, current disease information and support. In New Mexico, the money supports local research, patients and families.

There are many different ways you can participate in The New Mexico/El Paso Leukemia & Lymphoma Chapter and make a difference in the lives of those touched by blood cancer. The most immediate way this month is to bring your reusable shopping bag and donate the dime to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.


In Fiscal Year 2015 (July 2014–June 2015) the New Mexico/El Paso Chapter in addition to funneling funds to research the New Mexico chapter provided co-pay assistance of $278,041 to 145 patients for treatment, offered four family support groups, matched patients with caregivers and responded to hundreds of inquiries for support and information. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society sponsors free communitybased education programs for patients, their families, caregivers and healthcare professionals. Local doctors and other healthcare professionals lead these programs providing information on treatment options, strengthening decision-making and coping skills, managing treatment side effects and finding resources, including financial assistance. Professional Education LLS sponsors a number of free community-based professional education programs for healthcare professionals, particularly for

For more information call 505-872-0141 or go to www.lls.org/new-mexico EDITORS NOTE: A review published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health on the relationship between pesticide exposure and the risk of blood lymphomas has confirmed the existence of a link with glyphosate (the primary ingredient of Roundup) that is sprayed ubiquitously on all Monsanto-produced GMO food crops and promoted to consumers for control of weeds around homes and in gardens. The study, "Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and Occupational Exposure to Agricultural Pesticide Chemical Groups and Active Ingredients: A Systematic Review and MetaAnalysis," focused on systematic reviews and meta-analysis of almost 30 years of epidemiological research on the relationship between glyphosate and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) recently determined that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans” (Group 2A).


FOOD BY JESSICA SWAN avid Swan and his dedicated staff arrive at the South Valley Economic Development Center at sunrise. Each morning begins a day of feeding our communities’ children sustainable food. David and his staff prepare breakfast, lunch, and dinner for local charter schools. Everyday fresh vegetables are received from local farms in the South Valley and throughout our precious state of New Mexico.


Swan Kitchen began by researching and surveying our children, nephews, nieces, friends and faculty about what types of food they ate at home and adapting our menu to be a healthier, local version.



Bring your OWN BAG!

Alamed a Blvd. Coors Blvd.

Swan Kitchen operates from Albuquerque’s South Valley Economic Development Center. We take pride in serving regional and local meals year-round with a focus on seasonal organic ingredients from local and regional farms.

WESTSIDE 3601 Old Airport Ave. NW 505-503-2550


We celebrate New Mexico by using the land to feed our Albuquerque charter school lunch programs. We want children to eat all colors of the rainbow and try all the nutritious food that NM has to offer. We teach children that it is possible to care for our bodies and the Earth at the same time.

We are all invested in the future of New Mexico! We want the best for the young, old and all of us in between. As we work to reduce the obesity and diabetes epidemic, we are also teaching children about agriculture and the need for farmers to keep investing in the local/regional food system, keeping our kids healthy and creating fair-trade jobs along the way.

Old A irport Ave.

With rising rates of mental and physical health issues, Swan Kitchen dedicates themselves to feeding the community healthy and sustainable food. We also want to take care of the Earth, so we strive for bulk packaging and sustainable practices by our partners. David and staff offer composting and recycling options for the charter school lunch programs.

We also want children to understand the importance of making healthy choices early, and the effects that sugar, preservatives and flavor enhancers have on our bodies, so we talk to kids about healthy choices at lunch, including children who bring their own food.

Old Airport Ave.

For more information, or to get your school involved in the Swan Kitchen Healthy lunch program contact Jessica Swan at jswan0615@gmail.com or call 505-453-2704.



JANUARY BAG CREDIT DONATIONS: This month your bag credit donations will go to the New Mexico Chapter of The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. In November your bag credit donations totaling $2,573.41 were given to RoadRunner Food Bank. Thank YOU!

Co-op Values Cooperatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, cooperative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others. Co-op Principles 1 Voluntary and Open Membership 2 Democratic Member Control 3 Member Economic Participation 4 Autonomy and Independence 5 Education, Training and Information 6 Cooperation among Cooperatives 7 Concern for Community The Co-op Connection News is published by La Montañita Co-op Supermarket to provide information on La Montañita Co-op Supermarket, the cooperative movement, and the links between food, health, environment and community issues. Opinions expressed herein are of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Co-op.


January 2016 4



BY JESSIE EMERSON inter is here. Enjoy the outdoor sports, but be aware of the potential for frostbite. Frostbite occurs when the temperature of the body’s cells drops below freezing, causing the cells and tissue to freeze. The environment, temperature and wind chill, health, medications (sedatives, tranquilizers, some heart medications), constriction from too tight clothing, shoes, or boots are all contributing factors. Alcohol dehydrates the body and tobacco constricts blood vessels restricting blood flow, especially the hands and feet. The young and the elderly are most vulnerable.


The nose, cheeks, ears, fingers and toes are most commonly affected. Prevention includes adequate fluids and maintaining heat production through eating and drinking. Another prevention technique is the “buddy system.” You and your buddy check each other’s face often. If outdoors alone, cover your nose and exposed facial areas. When observing the face, you will first notice it being slightly flushed, and gradually becoming white or grayish yellow. In the early stages there may be pain, but it subsides and there is loss of feeling in fingers or toes. The victim may be unaware of their frostbite until they see white glossy skin. An old prevention remedy is placing cayenne in your socks before you go outside. Cayenne increases the circulation, especially to the feet. Mix together 2 tablespoons of cayenne with 1/4 cup cornstarch for each sock.

There are some mythologies concerning frost bite. Do not rub the area with snow. In fact, do not rub the affected area at all. This may cause gangrene, which is death of tissue and could lead to amputation. Do not use a heat lamp or hot water bottle to thaw body part. Thawing and becoming refrozen can cause more damage that could lead to amputation. DO cover the frozen part and keep the person warm. Do not give alcohol. Give the person a warm drink that is not coffee. Hot chocolate and cayenne are good. This combo originated in Mexico and is a Southwest winter favorite. I add 1/4 teaspoon of hot chili powder to cocoa mix and either take in a thermos or carry dry. As dry powder it can be carried with you and rehydrated along the trail or slopes. WARMING WINTER DRINK I especially like this combination in the winter. Place: 1/4 cup Atole (roasted blue corn meal that is ground very fine) in a cup, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon raw sugar, if this is to be a trail mix or add honey or molasses, if drinking it at home and 1/4 teaspoon of chile powder.




He had been gunned down three months earlier, after winning a court order that forced the local manufacturer of palm oil to suspend its operations for six months. The palm oil processing facility allegedly had allowed palm oil wastes to overflow their holding tanks, killing thousands of fish along an approximately 62-mile stretch of the Pasión River. On a video shot by CTV-America, the fish look like dry leaves floating on the Rio Grande, and the oil palms resemble small oil rigs, all lined up in rows. Environmental and Human Impacts Around the Globe As I read this update in an email from the Guatemalan Human Rights Commission, I considered another email I had received, from TakePart.com: “Orangutans are dying as Indonesia burns.” It reported that “thousands of forest fires set by palm oil companies across Sumatra and Borneo” were threatening endangered orangutans and other species.

A cup of peppermint or ginger tea will also help get the circulation going and warm the person. Tea bags can be easily carried in a backpack along with your backcountry stove.

clearing a tropical forest cuts its animal species diversity by about 85%, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists, these fires greatly diminish diversity.

PAYING THE PRICE for BY KATIE COLE n November 30, just as the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference began its two-week session, an international coalition of environmental and human rights organizations publicly demanded that the Guatemalan government finally investigate the murder of indigenous environmental activist Rigoberto Lima Choc.

This can be made with dairy products or with nut, soy, coconut or rice milks. On the trail add boiling water.

ECOSYSTEMS MATTER! As the flames sped on, they consumed habitats, leaving only ashes and choking haze in their wake. Even parts of Borneo’s Sabangau National Park, home to 7,000 wild orangutans—one of the largest wild populations in the world—had caught fire. Because orangutans depend on trees for virtually every aspect of their lives, loss of trees constitutes the single greatest threat to orangutans’ survival, according to the Wisconsin-based National Primate Research Center. Those who lose this habitat generally die of sickness, or are hunted or caught and sold in trade, it adds. Especially risky for orangutan survival is the loss of trees in peat swamp forests, which they highly favor for their living quarters. These swampy wetlands contain a thick organic soil layer made up of carbon-rich, decomposing plant material that can extend down by about five feet. When their forests are cleared, or the peatlands drained, cut, or ignited, the peat decomposes, releasing vast amounts of carbon dioxide—sometimes as much as 22 times that released by the forest above it— greatly worsening climate change. Moreover, with such a deep organic layer, peat fires often burn for months. Indonesia, the world’s leading producer of palm oil, has approved oil palm concessions on several million acres of these lands, according to the World Resources Institute (WRI). As the fires burn through peat lands and forests, they spew out approximately 12 to 15 million tons of carbon dioxide, as well as methane, each day, often exceeding the total emissions of the US economy according to WRI. In addition, tropical rainforests, the only ecosystem in which the African oil palm grows, host two-thirds of the world’s terrestrial species. Consequently, because

Of the approximately five million acres of peatlands and forests that fires cleared this year, at least 1.8 million went to pulp concessions, and “a good proportion” of the remainder were located on or near land used by palm oil producers, according to WRI. With the arrival of monsoon rains in October, the fires have calmed; orangutan rescue organizations are surveying how many survived, and how well. Concerned and curious, I wondered how to shop in a way that would uphold the rights of people and communities, forests and their ecosystems, and the whole planet. So I asked Union Concerned Scientists for advice... To start with, UCS quickly cautioned against boycotting. For one thing, they said, cutting consumption in the US won’t make much difference; someone else will buy it. Also, the oil palm lives for 25 years, is highly productive, and stores carbon well. Instead, they recommended that I read labels: Any name that starts with “palm” is definitely palm oil or a derivative of it, as are Elaeis Guineensis and sodium kernelate. It is estimated that about half of all the products we use every day contain palm oil in some form. Another action that concerned people can take is to go to www.ucsusa.org/palmoilaction and sign onto or edit a letter, to CVS, Dollar General, Kroger, Walgreens, Walmart and Whole Foods. Then follow the links to additional targets: Supermarkets, pharmacies, discount stores and fast food restaurants such as Wendy’s, Burger King, and McDonald’s. The list is quite dynamic, noted a UCS organizer; as corporate policies and practices change, so do the lists. A social media petition bearing 50,000 signatures can get a recalcitrant corporation to contact organizations immediately. UCS also recommended joining with the organizations mentioned throughout this piece: UCS, Rainforest Action Network, World Wildlife Fund, Friends of the Earth (whose international forests campaigner, Taos native Jeff Conant, is a long-time friend of the Co-op), Greenpeace and others.


January 2016 5


SOUPS AND STEWS BY KATE LAVEAGA oliday gatherings nourish our spirits through the shortness of winter's days. For many, sharing holiday feasts with loved ones is essential—celebrations wouldn't be celebrations without great food! By the middle of the holiday season though, some start to feel the weight of that last slice of pumpkin cheesecake or chocolate brownie.


DELICOUS: soups and stews get you back on a HEALTHY TRACK for the new year!


beef is fatty enough that it will not stick while browning. Add paprika and onions, continuing to brown for 5 minutes. Add 2 cups water and sweet potatoes. For a thicker stew, let simmer for 45 minutes, until sweet potatoes are very soft. Add salt, pepper, kale, and green pepper and simmer for 5 minutes longer. Garnish with grated parmesan for an added flavor sensation and serve with your favorite whole wheat rolls or buttermilk biscuits.

Not only do we put on extra pounds, but we eat foods with ingredients we might normally avoid. Our systems may not be accustomed to extra sugar or processed grains and carbohydrates. It's no wonder that digestive discomforts, inflammation, and predisposition to colds and flus are common postholiday phenomena.


Preparing simple soups and stews are a great way to get back on track when delicious desserts have become too much of a good thing. Warm and brothy, with nutrient-dense vegetables and meats, the following recipes give your hard-working immune system a welcomed respite. SMOOTH BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND GREEN APPLE SOUP This is a mouthwatering and aromatic blender recipe. A note about chicken stock: if possible, simmer chicken bones/carcass overnight to make stock. This produces a nutrient rich broth that far surpasses store-purchased stocks in health benefits. To read more about preparing your own chicken stock, visit: www.westonaprice.org/childrens-health/soup-stenance/

2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock 1 quart water 1 butternut squash 1/2 cup onion, chopped 1 green apple (granny smith) 3 cloves garlic 1 tsp rosemary, (fresh if available) chopped 1/2 tsp thyme 1 tsp salt (or less/more to taste) ground black pepper to taste 1/4 cup half and half (optional) 2 green onions, chopped (optional) In a large soup pot, heat chicken stock, water, squash, onion, apple, garlic, rosemary, and thyme. Bring to a rolling boil, then cover and reduce to simmering for 30 minutes.

Let the mixture cool not quite to room temperature (enough to be handled easily). This is an ideal opportunity to use a soup or emersion blender! If you don't have one, the soup can be poured (in increments if needed) into a traditional blender. Blend on low/medium speed until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste, reheating slightly if necessary. Adding a bit of half and half gives a thicker and of course creamy consistency. Garnish with green onions and serve. GRASS-FED BEEF STEW WITH SWEET POTATOES: A WINTER NECESSITY! 1 lb grass-fed stew meat, chopped small 1 onion, diced 1 sweet potato (jewel yams work great), peeled and cubed 1 tsp paprika 2 cups water 3/4 cup kale (optional) 1 green pepper, chopped 1 tsp salt and pepper (or to taste) grated parmesan cheese (optional) In a large soup pot, brown stew meat over medium heat, stirring constantly. If preferred, a small amount of cooking oil can be used, but generally,


Veggie saute: 2 tbsp olive oil 1 large onion, diced 1 large garlic clove, minced 2 carrots, peeled and sliced 1 zuccini, sliced or 1/2 cup butternut squash, sliced small dash of cayenne 1 tsp dried oregano Broth: 2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock 1 quart water 1/2 cup tomato puree 3/4 cup chard, finely sliced (or a favorite winter green) Meatballs: 1/4 cup raw brown rice 1 pound ground grass-fed beef 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped 1/2 cup parsley, chopped 1 raw egg 1 tsp salt 1/4 tsp ground black pepper fresh cilantro, chopped (optional) In a large skillet or soup pot, saute onion, carrots, and squash in olive oil over medium-low heat, stirring well. Add garlic after approximately 4 minutes and cook 1–2 minutes more. Add oregano and cayenne (if desired) and stir well. Add water, chicken stock, tomato puree, and chard/greens. Bring to a light boil, cover, and then reduce heat to simmer while you prepare the meatballs. Mix ground beef in a medium bowl with rice, chopped mint, and parsley. Add salt and pepper (and another dash of cayenne if desired). Mix in raw egg. Shape into 1-inch meatballs, adding each carefully to the simmering soup. Simmer for a minimum of 30 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and serve with your favorite corn tortillas.


BY KATHERINE MULLÉ appy New Year everyone! If you’re like me in this first month of 2016 and are still recovering from a season full of rich, sweet, and savory foods, you’re really looking forward to picking up some healthy and nutritious food on your next shopping trip. And after my standard cruise through the Produce Department to stock up on awesome fruits and veggies, I know where I’ll be heading—the Bulk Department.


With hundreds of products to choose from—everything from beans and grains, to granola and trail mixes, to medicinal herbs and alternative sugars, the Bulk Department is a great place to stock up on your kitchen essentials at a low cost, and even to gain some new ideas for your next culinary creation. Not to mention, it also has some of the healthiest foods you can find! Below, I’ve listed just a few benefits of shopping Bulk.

Save the Environment. Less packaging means less waste going in your garbage and less going into the landfill. Less plastic manufactured and used means fewer toxins released into the environment. Many bulk products are also organic—yet another way to support the environment. Support Local Producers. The Bulk Department strives to carry as many local products as possible. One of their biggest sellers is local coffee—Aroma Coffee, Agapo Coffee, and Villa Myriam are just a few customer favorites!

Help Your Health. Much of what is contained in the bulk bins are the healthiest, low fat, high fiber foods you can find, many of which are organic. Not only are you getting more for your money, but you’re also getting higher quality products with a reduced amount of chemical residues, additives and preservatives. Shopping bulk makes cutting out processed foods, sugar, salt, and fat easy.

Shopping the Bulk Department is fun and easy. You can use one of the bags provided, or bring your own container—just remember to weigh it before you fill it so you don’t have to pay for the weight of the container. Then, simply find your item, fill to your desired amount, write the bulk bin code on the labels and twist ties you will find handily located all around the bulk bins, and you’re done!

Save Your Wallet. When it comes to packaged products, you are paying for just that—the packaging. Buying bulk foods allows you to stretch your food dollar. Penny for penny and dollar for dollar, you get more value and greater nutrition.

The Bulk Department is so popular that staff members refill bins daily, and often have such well-loved items that they have two big bins to meet demand, so you can be sure the Co-op’s products are wonderfully fresh. With just a quick perusal of the bulk department, you’ll get a taste of not only how many bulk products the Co-op carries at great prices, but also how fun it can be to shop in bulk! Looking for fun new items is easily one of my favorite parts about Co-op shopping. Stop by your favorite location today to see all that the Bulk Department has to offer!

Try a Little Something New. One of my favorite things about the Bulk Department is that it allows you to try a new food without investing in an entire package; you can purchase just what you need to give it a try.




www.xeriscape.nm.org EMAIL: xquestions@xeriscapenm.com


January 2016 6


can often lag behind in color intake as well. So we, too, can begin “counting our colors” for health. For adults, try to hit at least seven different colors in a day.




LAVEAGA hen temperatures drop in the winter, it can be a challenge to consume enough fresh fruits and vegetables. However, when temperatures drop, our immune systems cry out for support and fruits and veggies are great illness prevention tools. According to the CDC website, seasonal flu activity peaks in the United States between December and February. Add to the illness picture the abundance of sweet goodies which make their appearance throughout the holiday season, and there is a perfect storm of immune vulnerability. Increasing your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables can have significant impact in strengthening our immune systems. DE

Counting Colors In our house, we count our colors. This system developed to help make us more aware of the variety in our fruit and vegetable intake. It also gives us a goal to keep in sight each day for food choices. The rule of thumb is to eat a minimum of five colors a day. What is a color? It is a full serving of a fruit or vegetable, and the goal is to eat five servings that are different from each other in a day. So, for one of my children, a day of five colors might include a red apple, two carrots, 1 cup of greens, 1 cup of broccoli, and some berries. Once this system was introduced, the kids began figuring out their own way to get meet their “colors” requirement; my job was to offer options. However, the system is not just for kids. Adults find themselves drawn to grain, dairy, and protein-based foods for comfort and ease, and

Creating Color Options The Smoothie: The best way to get a big load of fruits and veggies in is the smoothie. While juicing certainly has its own benefits, since the purpose of this article is to get whole fruits and veggies into our day, the smoothie is the focus. It is amazing what you can throw in a blender with a cup of frozen berries and end up with an awesome drink. MY FAVORITE BASIC SMOOTHIE 1 cup frozen berries 2 cups frozen or fresh kale and spinach 1 cucumber 1 cup fresh mint (this is easy to grow in a pot!) 1 tsp blue-green algae Enough filtered water to cover all items If the greens are overpowering, throw in one fruit that adds some taming sweetness, such as apple, mango, or cherries. This makes a blender full. Cut down ingredients proportionately for less, or store in the refrigerator to drink throughout the day. Snack Plate: When we are hungry, we are more likely to head to fresh options if they are prepared ahead and easy to access. Keep a supply of easy-to-clean-and-cut options around with some hummus for dipping. Ideally, clean and cut enough for a few days. Best picks: Carrots, jicama, broccoli, cucumbers, snap peas, celery, bell peppers—all colors, and sprouts.

In our house WE COUNT OUR COLORS. This system developed to make us MORE AWARE of the VARIETY in our FRUIT AND VEGETABLE INTAKE


HEALTHY YEAR RETURNING TO HEALTH IN 2016 BY SUSAN CLAIR as December a month of overindulgence in rich foods? During that period of cultural celebrations, traditional commemorations, solstice festivals, office parties, and family gatherings revolving around one observance or another, there’s usually an abundance of delicious, overly rich foods. As we humans have done for many centuries, getting together over specially prepared meals is how we express our generosity and gratitude, appreciation of others, and desire to celebrate in a joyous reunion of loved ones.


When December passes into January, we hold onto meaningful memories of our end-of-year gatherings, interesting conversations, and fabulous foods. While holding onto the memories of the fabulous foods, we may also be holding onto an additional five or ten pounds we didn’t have in November. Besides the weight gain and sluggishness, maybe blood pressure, cholesterol or blood-sugar levels have also registered a spike. Now what? The good news is, you can gently detox by incorporating nature’s array of cleansing foods into your daily routine, and your efforts will be quickly rewarded. The following list includes foods commonly recognized to help your body activate enzymes, improve digestion, flush toxins out of internal organs, and move waste out of your system: 1. Lemons. Start with this common fruit. Squeeze a little lemon juice into your carafe of drinking water and sip on it throughout the day. Lemons are loaded with vitamin C,




which is considered to be the premier detox vitamin because it helps convert toxins into a water-soluble form, so your body can flush them out. Your body doesn’t store vitamin C, so you need to have your “C” dose daily. Drinking lemon water is one of the easiest ways to clear toxins and keep things moving. You may have read about systemic alkalinity, which is necessary for overall health. Although lemons contain citric acid—a weak organic acid—lemon juice leaves an alkaline residue in your system, so it promotes health while cleaning away unhealthy toxins. 2. Green, leafy vegetables. They’re versatile, so you can eat them raw or add them to smoothies or soups. Their natural chlorophyll helps clean out environmental toxins such as heavy metals and pesticides while protecting the liver. Some of the best green detoxing veggies include asparagus, arugula, dandelion leaves, parsley, wheat grass, watercress, cabbage, and broccoli sprouts. 3. Garlic. This is another versatile food that can be chopped and added to almost any food you prepare. After chopping, waiting five to ten minutes allows the health-promoting allicin, an organosulfur compound, to form. Garlic activates essential liver enzymes to help filter out toxins. Garlic is also a powerful antibacterial that can reduce blood pressure, balance out lipoprotein levels, and address risks of atherosclerosis. 4. Green tea. In addition to drinking your daily lemon water, include green tea into your hydration regimen. Loaded with antioxidants that scavenge free radicals, green tea is a healthy way to clean, clear, and hydrate. Green tea contains catechins, a type of natural phenol and antioxidant that is part of the chemical family of flavonoids. Besides the many tasty flavors green tea comes in, it speeds up liver activity for more efficient cleansing. 5. Fruits. Talk about the rainbow of foods! Fruits come in every imaginable color, and all are loaded with antioxidants and fiber to keep things moving. Eat plenty of apples, pears, mangos, citrus, berries, peaches, plums, and more. And don’t forget avocados, which contain a healthy fat that promotes the release of bile from the gall bladder to help flush out toxins. 6. Seaweeds. Seaweeds are rich sources of soluble fiber, essential for moving toxins out of the body. Various forms of seaweed—often purchased in dehydrated form—include


• Quick and easy application process. • Loans from $250 to $15,000, or more in exceptional cases. • Investors can enroll until March 30, 2016. • Loan applications taken on an ongoing basis. FOR MORE INFORMATION please visit: lamontanita.coop/fund or contact Robin at: 505-217-2027, toll free at 877-775-2667, or robins@lamontanita.coop.

Sprouting in your kitchen keeps the garden going year round. I was overwhelmed by the thought of sprouting because it seemed too time intensive, requiring too much maintenance. I was wrong. I bought a simple glass sprouting jar at La Montañita Co-op that came with a sprouting lid (basically a screen that pops off easily). It took three days and about fifteen minutes total maintenance, and I had nearly a quart of fresh sprouts to enjoy. The key is to rinse and drain them daily (1-3 times), and the lid makes this super easy because you can pour a little water in through the screen (even if sprouts are growing through it), swish the water around to thoroughly rinse the entire contents of the jar, and then turn upside down to drain. Also, remember to store the jar upside down in a dark cupboard while sprouting. There are oodles of websites which detail the nutritional and digestive benefits of eating sprouts, but suffice it to say that sprouts are a powerhouse food. Developing a few strategies to increase our fresh food intake during winter months is simple, but it is only easy if we plan to increase the habit and take a few steps to make it happen regularly.

dulce, kombu, wakame, and nori. They’re rich in iodine and other minerals and are high in soluble fiber, all of which serve to regulate metabolism and flush out toxins. 7. Spices. Ginger, a natural anti-inflammatory, tops the list for enhanced digestion and speeding movement through the intestinal tract. You can grate fresh ginger and add it to soups, salads, smoothies, and Asian-style recipes. Turmeric, a first-rate antioxidant, and sage also help to improve digestion, which ultimately helps in detoxing. You can include a wide variety of nutrient-dense, fiber-rich foods into your personal food program for optimum detoxing, cell repair, and general nutritional support. Be adventurous and creative, and soon you’ll be back to your pre-December health and weight. SUSAN CLAIR has been leading “Eating for Your Health” workshops since 2010, teaching how to improve nutritional intake to boost immune-system functionality, increase energy, and prevent and reverse chronic degenerative diseases.



HEALTH COMMUNITY-BASED NUTRITION WORKSHOP Saturday, January 16, 10:30am-12:30pm LEARN: • Elements of a healthy lifestyle • Plant-based and animal proteins • Organic and conventional foods • Antioxidants and systemic alkalinity • Health benefits of herbs and spices • Fats and sweeteners • 30 easy, delicious recipes Workshop Facilitator: Susan Clair, MCRP/MPA, Certificate in Whole-Foods Plant-Based Nutrition. Advance registration is required. Donation: Up to you, from $1 up to $10. For more information and to register: 505.281.9888, clair@nmia.com


January 2016 7


DENNIS HANLEY THE SEARCH IS OVER! BY ARIANA MARCHELLO, BOARD PRESIDENT t has been over six months since former GM Terry Bowling’s last day at La Montañita. Choosing a General Manager is one of the most important duties of the Co-op’s Board of Directors. It is also the most difficult duty since it’s not like the receiving and approving of monitoring reports that are exercised on a regular basis. Of the board that hired Terry, only one director, Marshall Kovitz, remains a member of the board. We are grateful to have had his experienced hand guide us as the chairman of the GM selection committee.


Our search process began with making sure the Co-op’s ongoing operations were in good hands. The board appointed the Operations Manager, the late Bob Tero, as interim GM. Then the selection committee got down to work. Advertisements were prepared and placed in Cooperative Grocer magazine and online. And, due to the complexity of our organization, for the first time in La Montañita’s history, the committee engaged the services of an executive search firm to help us find candidates with the right kind of experience.

So, our search began with searching for searchers. The committee interviewed four search firms and retained Gary Walburger of Burgess Leighton as our consultant. Gary came to Albuquerque to learn more about La Montañita. He spoke with Board and Management about what we wanted in a GM beyond the obvious. Carolee Coulter of CDS Consulting Co-op, who assisted in the search for Terry, was also retained as a consultant to screen qualified candidates for Co-op compatibility. By late August the committee was receiving resumes of qualified candidates for review. In late September the winnowing down process began. Three finalists were chosen in mid-October and interviews with the full Board, Senior Management and Staff were scheduled. (Interim GM Bob Tero was one of the finalists. He passed away before his interviews were to take place.)

January Calendar

of Events 1/19 BOD Meeting, Immanuel Church, 5:30pm 1/25 Member Engagement Meeting Co-op Administrative Offices 1/28 Veteran Farmer Project Classes begin! See page 1

CO-OPS: A Solution-Based System A co-operative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise.

In early November the Board made a selection and negotiations began. The process, which began in April, is now complete. The La Montañita Co-op Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Dennis Hanley has accepted the position as our General Manager. Dennis comes to us with 38 years of national and international experience in the retail food industry. Please join us in welcoming him to the La Montañita family.

LA MONTAÑITA FUND LOCAL INVESTING CAPITALIZES FOOD SYSTEM BY ROBIN SEYDEL n 2016 the La Montañita Fund marks its fifth year of operation. During this time we have loaned almost $170,000 to a variety of food producers around the state. We have nearly 70 Co-op investors with a total investment of $155,000, and over the past years we have paid an average of 1.8% return on investment. In February we will be mailing our fourth annual return on investment to our Co-op owner investors. The LaM FUND has loaned funds to food producers around the state for everything ranging from a few hundred dollars for seed to the purchase of a delivery truck, hoop houses, greenhouses, irrigation supplies and bringing a value-added product to the marketplace.


One exciting development for the FUND is its use to capitalize farmers in traditional agricultural ways. That is, we have several farmers who come to us at the beginning of each year’s growing season for “seed” money, we arrange repayment terms that are in keeping with their harvest income, they pay off their loan at harvest time, and then we provide start of season capital the

following year, in many cases for expanded production. These are the kind of long term community relationships we believe are the core of the renewal of a vibrant local food system, and we are most pleased to be able to foster them. We also believe it is community relationship building at its best! One of the most exciting aspects of this relationship building is the fact that investors and Co-op memberowners know what farms, ranches and value-added producers they are invested in through the LaM FUND. Then investors can complete their circle of support for the local food system by purchasing products from those farms and ranches when they see them on Co-op shelves, at growers markets and at other retail locations throughout the state, thanks to the work of our Co-op Distribution Center that provides transport of local products around the state.




WORKSHOP tracking assimilation. There will be wholistic literature, educational flyers, pamphlets, eco-cards, and key alternative websites for research and analysis.



n conjunction with Black History Month, the Black Vegetarian Society of New Mexico will host a Raw Vegan Juicing Workshop, February 6, from 11:30am to 1:30pm at the Co-op’s Westside lcoation. Vitamix, Breville, Nutribullet, Omega and other juicers will be on-hand for the audience to use in preparing assorted raw juices. Vegetable and fruits food-combining will be emphasized. The making of a Carob Water Powershake will also be demonstrated. Juicing infuses a synergy of important nutrients to help the body to heal and serves as a means of fast-

Our health and happiness are synonymous in working to enrich the meaning of life and living. This workshop is inspired to provide the sharing of information that will promote wellness and sustainable avenues to thrive in a hopeful and helpful way. Space is limited, please RSVP to: memb@lamontanita.coop, robins@lamontanita.coop or call 217-2027. For more information about the workshop call: 505-750-0347 and/or email: events@bvsnm.org. See next month’s Co-op Connection News for more information about Black History Month activities, including other Co-op sponsored educational activities.




Santa Fe Co-op Community Room: FREE Wi-Fi technology is here to stay. Learn about patented products that help neutralize the effects of electro-magnetic radiation and simple ways to decrease exposure. 913 West Alameda, Santa Fe JANUARY Info: 505-780-8283

26 6-7:30PM

Money for Food Producers: Grow your Food Business Want to expand your farm income, try a new crop, put up a hoop house for four-season production? This year we once again have approval from the New Mexico State Securities Division, and so our grassroots investing and food system expansion lending project continues. Our loan application process is quick and easy and we are happy to walk prospective food producers though the process. The loans are affordable and repayment terms can be tailored to the needs of the producer, their harvest and products. Co-op owners who would like to invest in this grassroots food system economic development project please sign up during our enrollment period that ends March 30. Loan applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. All New Mexican farmers, ranchers and value-added food producers are encouraged to apply. For more information on loans or to enroll as an investor, contact robins@lamontanita.coop, or call 505217-2027.

, , , movin & groovin since 76


Betcha didn’t know La Montañita Co-op is 40 years old! That’s right, New Mexico’s largest community-owned, natural and organic food market is kicking off our 40th ANNIVERSARY celebration, and we’re still growing strong. Over the past 40 years, La Montañita has been a leader in the local foods movement. Through our multiple stores and Distribution Center, we’ve provided increased access to healthy and local food. We help our local producers get their products to market, and we always find ways to give back to our community. La Montañita will be celebrating our anniversary throughout 2016, so get ready for some fun and excitement!

The GRABnGO opens next to the bookstore on the UNM campus. This is the Co-ops fifth location.

2001 - 04

La Montañita hosts the first Earth Fest in the front parking lot of the Nob Hill store. There are four tables: ABQ Peace & Justice Center, Citizens Against Radioactive Dumping, NM Sanctuary Movement and the Co-op. Music was provided by Bonnie & the Boomerangs.

Still all volunteer, the Co-op staff grows to four and consists of an operations manager, store manager, produce manager and a stocker. Sales continue to build and product selection grows.

1976 - 80 1976

With just 300 families, La Montañita Co-op is incorporated and sets up shop in the Albuquerque area. The first location is on Girard & Central near UNM in a corner space; approx 1,000 square feet, a former pharmacy with attached offices. The Co-op rents some of the smaller spaces to other businesses, including The Herb Store and The New Mexico School of Natural Therapeutics; and names the location the Alternative Community Center. The name later changes to The Girard Center.


During the first three years, the Board of Directors serves as staff members. Governance is very informal and ownership is small with some very dedicated owners who take on most of the responsibilities. Any owner who shows up for a monthly board meeting plays an active role in the decision making.


A three member, all volunteer, management team is established to handle day-to-day activities.

1981 - 85

We celebrate the holidays with the first Community Giving Tree. Shoppers choose an ornament from the tree to grant the special wishes of many ABQ children through non-profit programs.



The Rio Grande Valley store opens, the Co-op’s second location at Rio Grande Blvd & Matthew with 5,000 sq ft of retail space, including a deli.

Implementation of Co-op Patronage Refund Program. Owners now receive a return on their investment from a cooperative that they own.

Ownership grows to 7,000.



After the move to Nob Hill, free Community Breakfasts are held in the front parking lot to introduce the benefits of sugar-free, vegan and natural food to the larger community. Scrambled tofu with whole wheat tortillas & fried potatoes are served along with juice and locally roasted coffee. All of the food is donated. Lines form around the block starting at 7am for free, healthy food. Department of Labor requires that the volunteer program transition out of the store and into the community. Today, the volunteer program still serves the wider community.

1996 - 2000 1996

We celebrate our 20th Anniversary at the Old Airport Terminal. Over 500 people attended to enjoy music and free food, including a canoe (life-sized) filled with salad!

Co-op moves to the Nob Hill Business Center at Carlisle and Central SE, with over 6,000 sq ft of retail space, a deli providing hot & cold food and fresh juices & smoothies.


On many days at peak hours, there are traffic jams in the narrow aisles as La Montañita is the only store where natural and organic foods are available. Time for a remodel!

Nob Hill celebrates its 25th Annual EarthFest with 120 community tables and all day entertainment. The Distribution Center reaches $6.6 Million in sales.

201 5

We reach over $100,000 donations to local non-profit programs through our Donate-a-Dime bag program.

Total number of Co-op staff: 186

Nob Hill is remodeled to widen the aisles and create higher shelves to accommodate more products.

We grow to more than 3,000 owners with sales exceeding $1 million.

The Co-op donates over 20,000 pounds of food to the homeless.

The Co-op’s aquires its fourth location in Santa Fe. Formerly called The Marketplace, an independently owned grocery store whose locally minded owners did not want to see it go to a corporate chain. Owners approach La Montañita to purchase and convert it into a community-owned store. Santa Fe is now our largest store.


1991 - 95

La Montañita’s sixth location, the Westside store opens.

La Montañita joins forces with Wild Sage Co-op in Gallup, NM. Investing $160,000, La Montañita pays off the Wild Sage debt, upgrades the equipment, expands the product line and hires paid staff securing a third location for La Montañita Co-op.

Along with Greenpeace and Women’s Environment & Development Org, we organize the first national, public conference on how pesticides are endocrine disrupting chemicals.

1986 - 90 1986 1988-89

2013 2014



Two of the Co-op’s first local vendors are: Ed Schaffer, a Korean War Vet, who would also sell produce from his East Mountain farm at the only farmers’ market in ABQ in the parking lot of the Caravan East Dance Hall; and Don Bustos, who drives in from his farm in Santa Cruz, NM. This is the beginning of our support for local farmers.

The Veteran Farmer Project begins with a series of classes and hands-on experience at our first downtown location. With support from the NM Department of Agriculture, this program continues to grow.

A phase of overall re-assessment and transition throughout the organization, the Co-op starts planning numerous projects to build our local food network, increase access to markets for food producers in rural areas and contribute to our local economy.



The Co-op Distribution Center moves to a new location and doubles in size.

La Montañita facilitates education and action against the commercialization of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), partnering with the Organic Consumers Association and the Center for Food Safety, two national organizations. We organize on the Federal Organic Program that becomes part of the USDA, to see that GMOs and sewer sludge are not permitted in the organic certification process.

2001 - 05

Total number of Co-op staff: 285

2006 - 10 2006 2007

2011 - 16

The Co-op celebrates 30 years!

La Montañita Co-op opens the Co-op Distribution Center in ABQ to service all four stores, local restaurants and regional natural grocery stores. This creates one of the first regional Food Hubs, connecting local farmers, ranchers and vendors to their markets. Ownership overall reaches 12,000.


Santa Fe store is re-modeled with an expanded product line in the Produce and Cheese Departments, a larger kitchen for the deli chefs and a bigger salad bar.


La Montañita Fund is established, a owner-funded grassroots, local investing and lending program designed to grow the local food system and strengthen the local economy. Sweet Grass Co-op, facilitated by La Montañita, is formed to work directly with the Distribution Center to produce 100% grass-fed beef, a healthier product for the consumer, the animals and the planet. This group of small New Mexico and Colorado ranchers believe that quality and sustainability work hand in hand.


La Montañita celebrates 40 years of bringing fresh, fair, local and organic food to our families as New Mexico’s largest community-owned natural & organic food market!



January 2016 10


Ingredients: 6 Cups of any combination of the following vegetables, chopped to a small dice: onions, carrots, celery, celeriac, leeks, parsnips, turnips, garlic, tomatoes, shallots, mushrooms, bell peppers, chilies, ginger, parsley, zucchini

A VEGETABLE BASE FOR EVERYTHING Makes 3 cups / Prep time: 30 minutes / Cook time: 2 hours (or longer)

Place 2 tablespoons of water (or butter or vegetable oil, optional) in the bottom of a large soup pot, then add all of the diced vegetables. Simmer the vegetables tightly covered on very low heat. The vegetables will release their own moisture as they cook. It is very important that the vegetables do not brown at all. Check every so often to give them a little stir and to make sure they are not sticking. You can add a bit more water if needed. Use roughly 1-2 cups of the vegetable mixture in any soup, stew, sauce or casserole recipe. Leftovers can be frozen in individual 1-2 cup amounts to be thawed out for last minute healthy flavor boosters.

I cannot wax poetically enough to capture the true magic of how this vegetable base has improved the flavor of all my soups, stews, sauces and casseroles. By cooking these chopped vegetables very, very slowly on very low heat, they transform into a delectable, complex mixture that is almost like gravy... but better. The classic French Mirepoix is made of carrots, onions, and celery. This is a good place to start for a great basic flavor base, but please do not stop there! Depending on the cooking tradition, this vegetable base is called Mirepoix (French), Soffritto (Spanish), Sofrito (Italian), Refogado (Portugese), Suppengrün (German), Wloszczyzna (Polish), or the Holy Trinity (Cajun/Creole). The specific combinations of vegetables also vary widely with the various cooking traditions and sometimes even with individual cooks. So, experiment and discover your family’s new favorite tradition!

BASIC BEANS Makes 8 cups / Prep time: 10 minutes / Cook time: 3-4 hours 3 cups dried beans, rinsed (soaking optional) 8-9 cups water 4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed (optional) Cooking up a big batch of savory beans for the week is simple, especially in a slow cooker. And cooked dried beans can also be frozen for later use, making this less expensive version just as easy as opening a can…but a lot more tasty! Sort through your beans to make sure there are no stones. Rinse them under running water. (If you have a sensitive stomach, soaking the beans at least overnight can make them more digestible.) Add the rinsed beans, water and optional garlic to a large slow cooker or soup pot on the stove. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. If cooking them on the stove top, simmer for 3-4 hours or if using a slow cooker, cook on high for 3-4 hours until the beans become soft. You will be able to see the outer seed coats begin to break when they are done. Once they are cooled, store them, with their broth, in the refrigerator or the freezer. NUTRITION INFORMATION: Calories 127; Total fat 0g; Saturated fat 0g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 4mg; Total carbohydrate 23g; Dietary Fiber 6g; Sugars 1g; Protein 8g BROTH Makes about 2 cups / Prep time: 5 minutes / Cook time: 4-6 hours Flavorful broth improves and deepens the flavors of soups, stews, stir-frys and casseroles. It can be made from animal bones or from veggies, depending on your preference.


HEALTHY Heat oven to 375°F. Grease a 9” pie plate. In a bowl, stir together the flour, salt and sugar with a fork. Add the oil and milk or water and stir until all the dry ingredients are just moistened and will stick together. Gently pat the dough firmly into the pie plate to create the crust. Poke the bottom of the crust well with a fork. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the bottom of the crust is baked, but without browning. Now your crust is ready to fill! NUTRITION INFORMATION: Calories 198; Total fat 10g; Saturated fat 1g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 73mg; Total carbohydrate 26g; Dietary Fiber 1g; Sugars 2g; Protein 2g VEGAN BREAKFAST SCRAMBLE From veganyumminess.com Serves 2 / Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients: For Chicken Broth Left-over bones Roughly 4-6 cups of water, enough to cover the bones 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar For Vegetable Broth Ends, skins and left-over pieces of vegetables, including carrots, celery, onions, garlic and any other vegetable you like. Roughly 4-6 cups of water, enough to cover the vegetables The process for making either broth is the same. Place all ingredients into a soup pot or slow cooker. Bring to a boil and simmer on low until the liquid has reduced and the color has deepened, about 4-6 hours. Strain to remove the solids. Once cooled, the broth can be frozen in ice cube trays and then stored in a freezer container for easy later use. SWEET POTATO OVEN FRIES From Heidi Anderson Serves 4 as a side dish / Prep time: 10 minutes / Cook time: 1 hour Ingredients: 1 large sweet potato, scrubbed and unpeeled 1 tablespoon vegetable oil These oven-baked sweet potato fries make an easy, healthy side dish that even the kids will love! Cut the sweet potato into 1/2 inch wide match sticks about 3 inches long. (Some will be shorter because of the shape of the potato.) Place the cut sweet potatoes in a foil-lined or oiled 9x13-inch casserole dish. Drizzle the oil over the potatoes and toss. Bake uncovered at 400°F until the fries are easily pierced by a sharp knife, about 45 minutes to an hour. It’s helpful to toss them about half way through. If they begin to brown too much before they are cooked through, you can tent some foil over the top of them. They’re even great with ketchup. NUTRITION INFORMATION: Calories 71; Total fat 3.6g; Saturated fat 0g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 16.2mg; Total carbohydrate 9g; Dietary Fiber 2g; Sugars 4g; Protein 1g GLUTEN-FREE PIE CRUST From Heidi Anderson Serves 8 / Prep time: 5 minutes / Cook time: 15 minutes Ingredients: 1 1/2 cup rice flour 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar (optional) 1/3 cup vegetable oil 2-3 tablespoons cold milk or water This crust is quick and easy and can be made with traditional wheat flour by substituting it for the rice flour, if gluten-free is not needed.

Ingredients: 1/2 red onion (or 1/2 cup, finely chopped) 1/4 cup green chile, chopped 1 clove garlic, minced 14oz extra firm tofu (or one block) 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil (divided) 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes 2 tablespoons vegan chicken style seasoning 1/8 teaspoon turmeric Salt to taste Place your chopped onion, green chile, and garlic in a skillet/frying pan with about 1 teaspoon of olive oil and sauté it on the stove on medium-high heat. Remove from heat when your onions are beginning to change color. Set aside. In a bowl (or save a dish and do it right into your pan) crumble your tofu and mix in your seasonings. If you like your tofu cubed rather than crumbled, you could totally do that for this recipe as well. Pour 1 teaspoon of olive oil on the bottom of a frying pan/skillet and place on your stove on medium to medium-high heat. Dump your tofu on top of your olive oil, and give it a little stir. Continue stirring every minute or so until your tofu begins to get firm around the edges. Gently fold your onion/chile mixture into your tofu. Serve hot, and enjoy! I like mine in some whole wheat tortillas with salsa. NUTRITION INFORMATION: Calories 235; Total fat 13; Saturated fat 2g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 25mg; Total carbohydrate 13g; Dietary Fiber 5g; Sugars 1g; Protein 21g

January 2016 11


January 2016 12




TRAINING PROGRAM BY SEAN LUDDEN, RIO GRANDE COMMUNITY FARM ood. Fiber. Seeds. Medicine. Fruit. The pursuit in production of these crops in larger and more mechanized systems has, over a 50 year trajectory, traded short term higher yields and more efficient harvesting with disastrous soil loss, lower nutritional values in vegetable and grain crops, increased atmospheric carbon, everincreasing chemical inputs, public health risks, unsustainable water usage, loss of biodiversity, and heavy reliance of fossil fuels for production. On top of this, the average age of a farmer in the US is now 57 years of age, and a quarter are older than 65.


SO WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? As a local nonprofit dedicated to the education and demonstration of organic and sustainable growing practices, Rio Grande Community Farm recognizes the need for more training opportunities for young and beginning farmers. The only way for us to begin to tackle the various challenges coming in the next century is if we cultivate the passion and drive of young and aspiring farmers to reimagine and reinvent our broken agricultural system. But reinventing the wheel is common for those just entering the field. Often times, worn out physically and stressed financially, young farmers turn to easier, quicker and more conventional models of production. This must change if food production in the high desert is to continue on into the far future. INCUBATING SUSTAINABLE FARMING Las Huertas Farmer Training and Incubator Program provides a localized alternative to this progression and repetition of unsustainable farming practices for the Middle Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico. With abundant, but threatened, valley and upland soils, available markets, renewed interest in localized and sustainable food production, and an aging farmer population there is more need than ever for

a program that educates our community about the alternatives and provides a way to get involved directly.



Las Huertas is an experiential education program serving our local and regional area and provides participants with skills, knowledge and training throughout the growing season. The field school is a prerequisite for acceptance to the farm site incubator, which allows beginning farmers opportunites in local production while minimizing barriers to access affordable land, technical assistance and basic farm supplies. More importantly, as drought and water scarcity are becoming more tangible, this training program offers a diversified understanding of what it takes to produce in arid environments over the long term, and provides beginning farmers a way to lessen the learning curve. Las Huertas Farmer Training will demonstrate to policy makers, business owners and the community at large what sustainable, local food production in New Mexico can truly become. With an on-site class plot providing demonstration of the practices covered in the course, participants encounter tangible rewards, practice in an outdoor setting and begin providing food for themselves and the community. Whether a full-

fledged beginning farmer, an experienced gardener wanting to move to a larger scale, or someone with a brown thumb, RGCF seeks to provide ample educational opportunities this coming growing season to better the health and resiliency of our community and larger food shed. Las Huertas Farmer Training is the first step in the fulfillment of an incubator site for beginning farmers and a first for the Albuquerque metro area. Enrollees for the full training course can choose to go on to a winter business planning class and then receive their site assignment for the 2017 growing season. At RGCF we are constantly increasing organic matter in our soils, planting native perennial hedgerows, and maintaining a large and vibrant community garden, but we also are hoping our next crop for the future is a new generation of farmers, skilled in horticulture and production on arid lands. Please join us in this vital next step towards food sovereignty and resilience in New Mexico. Contact us anytime at riograndefarm.org and look for us on Facebook. Information regarding the courses, fees and scheduling will be posted on our website in January with registration dates. For more information go to www.riograndefarm.org.



much more than others, and since most folks don’t have a lot of room for seed starting flats in their homes, you’ve got to do it strategically. APPROXIMATE Row crops and fast growers like LAST FROSTS: carrots and radishes don’t need The most useful piece of inforthe aid of indoor germination, mation to keep in mind for ALBUQUERQUE: but a head start can make a scheduling your planting is the end of April world of difference for zucchini. average last frost date in your SANTA FE: It’s not that zucchini can’t take area. Broccoli should be middle of May the heat of full summer—in fact, moved to its final place in the GALLUP: it does pretty well in the heat of garden about two weeks beend of May a New Mexican summer. How«fore the last frost, and zucchiever, unless you’re lucky enough ni should be transplanted to grow in an area not plagued about a week after the last frost. Check your seed by squash bugs, your zucchini will packets for planting information for your specific probably have its life cut short by those varieties, and if you’re ever unsure, you can ask your pesky critters. Start zucchini indoors friendly neighborhood gardener or take to the interfive weeks before the last frost is net for more answers. When you’re ready to transexpected, and about a week after the plant, make sure you harden off your starts to last frost, transplant the zucchini outside. Squash bugs ensure they have a good chance of surviving the still won’t be up and active for a while, so this will give process. Start out by giving them one hour outside in you a month’s advantage over the pests. some place not too windy or sunny, and increase that by an hour every day for seven days. After that, Other plants to consider starting indoors are those that they’ll be well prepared to get started growing in both take a while to mature and lose quality in high your garden.



BY JR RIEGEL t’s never too early to start planning this year’s garden. The earlier the better really, because if the season begins to change before you’re ready, a lot of potential veggies-to-be can be lost. There are a variety of reasons that some plants have very particular ideal growing times, so the farmer or gardener who plans ahead can have quite the leg up. Two invaluable techniques for getting the most out of the growing season are selecting seeds suited to our conditions and starting them inside before they would easily sprout outdoors. Fortunately for home growers everywhere, both of these are pretty simple to do to one degree or another. Sure, you can buy fancy indoor grow lights and decomposing pots if you’re into it, but you don’t really need anything more than good seeds and a seed flat. Though most seed flats and trays are created pretty equally, things aren’t so simple with seeds. There are so many seed companies vying for your attention with doctored photos or nice watercolor renderings of their offerings, that it’s not always easy to tell the best options. The most important factor, especially in our dry climate with high day-night temperature fluctuation, is for the seed variety to have been selected locally or regionally. By this I mean selected by the farmer for favorable characteristics—drought tolerance, pest resistance, flavor, etc. This is where picking the right seed supplier comes in, and we do our best to provide you with great options at all our Co-op locations. As you peruse the seed racks this year, keep an eye out for the orange labels of the Family Farmers Seed Cooperative (FFSC). You’ve probably seen us mention them before, and we’ll probably do it again in the future; they’re just some of the best seeds available in the Southwest— we couldn’t speak highly enough about them. The co-op’s farmers select the most interesting and resilient varieties for our challenging climate, breed even more flavor and toughness into them, and send them off in small hand-packed batches for you to grow at home. Going with FFSC seeds means you’ll be supporting both your own garden’s productivity and local & regional organic farmers. As a bonus, you can find out exactly what farm your seeds came from, why that farmer likes the variety so much, and how they found and improved upon the seed over the years. Once you’ve picked out this year’s seeds, it’ll be time to plan the planting schedule. Starting a plant indoors will benefit some vegetables

heat. Pea plants dry out and broccoli begins to bolt when hotter weather starts to increase soil temperatures, so getting them started early can significantly improve productivity. Tomatoes, cucumbers, chile, eggplant, head lettuce, cabbage, and many more veggies also benefit from starting them indoors.



The 22nd Annual Statewide Meeting of the New Mexico Water Dialogue will be held on January 7 at the Indian Pueblo Center at 2401 12th Street NW in Albuquerque. At the meeting, participants will have an opportunity to address issues related to improving planning and implementation of a statewide regional water plan. Given the Animas River spill in August, the quality of our surface water and the health of our watersheds as well as their connection to ecosystems and communities is of great importance.

Some of the issues that will be addressed at the January gathering are how to strengthen the process in which each region’s people and values are represented in a state with our diversity of communities and needs. The meeting will also host a discussion on how to govern and manage water resources so as to address climate change and other environmental and social issues. Finally the meeting will address how the New Mexico Water Dialogue can enhance cooperation and coordinated action among local, regional, and federal agencies to better address changing water needs and supplies. Go to www.nmwaterdialogue.org for the full agenda and to register for the gathering.


January 2016 13


The protest was quite the topic of conversation. I liked it. Although organic certification has been my job since 1991, that doesn’t necessarily mean I agree with all of it. True, certified organic hydroponics uses materials that are less, uh, dirty than purely synthetic hydroponics. But it’s still pretty far from the organic maxim “feed the soil, not the plant.”

FEELING DIRTY! BRETT BAKKER he old adage of treating something “like dirt” connotes disparagement and disregard. A quick scan of synonyms for dirt include grime, filth and muck, all of which are typically viewed as negative. How sad. Dirt is life. Ultimately, it’s where our food (and our food’s food) comes from. The organic and natural food movement is built on dirt, or to put it more palatably, soil. Chemical farming has long been proven to deplete if not kill living soil, rendering it plan ol’ dirt. Me, I like dirt. I don’t mind getting covered in dirt. Or soil or grime or muck or even manure if that’s what it takes to get the job done (the job being growing plants for food and habitat).



Hydroponics is growing plants by pumping water and soluble nutrients through a non-nutritive medium like peat moss, coconut coir, gravel and even rock wool “fiber materials formed by spinning or drawing molten minerals.” Ewww. It works pretty well… if producing a crop is your only goal. It does not enrich the soil (there is none) nor does it (as the National Organic Program standards put it) “maintain or improve soil organic matter content.” That clause from 7 CFR 205 (the organic law of the land) basically means maintaining and building soil in an eco-friendly way. So, how is it that hydroponics can be certified organic? Proponents will answer that as long as the medium and the nutrients used therein are compatible with organic standards (e.g. natural with mini-

mal processing), why not? Opponents (count me in here) will argue this other tidbit from the organic regulations which says the farm must “manage crop nutrients and soil fertility through rotations, cover crops, and the application of plant and animal materials.” If you have no soil, how can you meet this most basic requirement of organic certification? Burlington Free Press. Dateline: Stowe Vermont, October 26, 2015: “Some organic crop farmers don’t want crops raised sans soil in hydroponic greenhouses to carry the organic label, and to make their point, they dumped a pile of compost in a parking lot Monday where [the National Organic Standards Board] was meeting.” The NOSB (which advises the USDA/National Organic Program) has long been in favor of dropping hydroponics from organic certification, but the USDA does not agree. Anyway, by chance I was nearby during an NOSB taking care of family business. Partycrashing, I dropped in for an evening social a couple of days later to speak with fellow organic certifiers and dozens of policy wonks while portions of the organic rule were once again beaten nearly to death.



How you GROW FOOD with RESPECT for the

Consider: commercial organic hydroponics is not only simple compost tea and fish emulsion. Despite being “allowed” in ECOSYSTEM organics, the other solutions and brews used are laboratory-formulated for a growing industry and not stuff you could just whip up at home. Much like my favorite whipping boy, the crème filled “sandwich,” if I can’t turn out a batch of oreos using only the contents of my kitchen, I’d prefer to keep them out of my mouth. As always, caveat emptor. Lots of USDA-Organic produce (especially in winter) is produced hydroponically in countries such as Mexico, which does not allow hydroponics under its own certification regulations. Ponder that last line carefully.


taking environmentally damaging plants off their shelves. Send a message to their CEOs that they need to take action now at www.bit.ly/StopNeonics


Ace Hardware had said in May that they’re “committed to providing [their] customers with products that not only meet their needs, but that are also in compliance with applicable laws and regulations from environmental agencies and regulators.” However, just talking it up is not enough, especially as other hardware and garden stores take concrete action and set hard deadlines.



JR RIEGEL here’s some good news for bees across the country! Home Depot has announced plans to stop selling plants coated with toxic bee-killing chemicals. Neonicotinoids (or "neonics") are a major factor in the recent rash of honeybee deaths nationwide, so this move by a major national retailer is a step in the right direction to restoring bee populations. Lowe’s, BJ’s Wholesale Club, and Home Depot now each pledged a set date to stop selling neonic-coated plants. However, there’s still a lot more to be done—Ace Hardware and True Value are lagging behind, and have not yet committed to stop selling neonics.


Home Depot's target is to have all of its plants off neonics in 2018— a year earlier than Lowe's previous commitment. Even better: they claim that they are 80% of the way there already. This victory came a day after Pop Secret announced that it will remove neonics from its popcorn kernels. Home Depot still needs to remove off-the-shelf neonic pesticides, and we'll have to see if Home Depot lives up to its commitment, but it's a big step in the right direction. A recent study showed that 51 percent of plants purchased at large home improvement and garden centers contained pesticides at levels that could harm or even kill bees. Ace Hardware and True Value need to join with other major hardware and home garden stores by

There’s been some press this year about bee colonies actually being on the rise, but that doesn’t mean neonics are okay. The rise that some folks are pointing to is only a result of increased commercial honeybee colonies, so those figures do not include the impact neonics have on wild honeybee populations. This doesn’t even start to cover the damage that neonics have on our native bees, which do a great deal more pollinating work than they get credit for.

A recent study showed that 51% of plants purchased at large home improvement and garden centers contained

PESTICIDES at levels that could HARM or even



GROWING FOOD Classes will be held every Thursday from 3 to 4:15pm at the Bernalillo County Extension Office classroom at 1510 Menual Blvd. NW. These classes are free to Veterans and active service personnel from all branches of the military and Reserves and their families. When space permits these free classes are also open to the larger community. Seating is limited, please RSVP to robins@lamontanita.coop or call 217-2027 to reserve your seat in advance.

• February 11: Planting for Pollinators and other Beneficials This class will feature both slides and specimens. Instructor: Graeme Davis

• January 28: Backyard Food Production Topics and discussion on planning a garden or an edible landscape. When to get started, financial considerations, what to grow, annuals, perennials, small live stock and much more. Instructor: Alberto Lopez

• February 25: Seeds: Growing, Saving and Why Organic! A slideshow and talk about organic, native, traditional, heirloom and open-pollinated seeds. How to save and store seeds and how to plan for next year’s seed crop. Instructor: Brett Bakker

• Feburary 4: Soil Preparation This class will provide information on different methods to prepare soil for food production. Emphasis will be on Albuquerque and surrounding areas’ desert soils. Instructor Alberto Lopez

• March 3: Growing Organic: The Hows and Whys of Organic Production and Certification Learn basic organic theory and how to get started growing all things organic. Instructor: Joan Quinn

• February 18: Holistic Orchard Strategies Gordon Tooley of Tooley’s trees will share a variety of skills to create and maintain a holistic orchard. Instructor: Gordon Tooley

In Vermont, a pro-organic, hydroponic producer was quoted as saying, “Plants don't know the difference when this is being sucked up into their roots, because by then, the nutrients have all been broken down to the ionic level." Hmm. Isn’t this what all those agribiz people have been saying about chemical farming all along? Organic farming has never been about what plants can or can’t “tell.” It is about the process, about how you grow food, and about respect for the living ecosystem.




NEONICS! In order to save our native bee and honeybee populations, neonic-containing insecticides and neonic-coated seeds and plants must be removed from store shelves. It’s not worth protecting one plant from pests if it inflicts such grave and lasting damage on the surrounding environment. Please help fight the harm from neonics by telling Ace Hardware and True Value that they need to take concrete action immediately. www.bit.ly/StopNeonics


January 2016 14



The first genetically modified animal APPROVED for HUMAN CONSUMPTION will set an important



BY ARI LEVAUX he FDA's recent approval of a Genetically Modified (GM) salmon was hailed as progress by proponents of GM food. It may be. But the reaction to the salmon's approval, coupled with the fact that under current laws it won't be labeled as GM, suggests this event is providing a timely boost to those fighting to label GM foods. While the debate has remained at something of a deadlock, this fish poised to become the poster child for the labeling movement, and its approval may spell the beginning of the end of attempts to block labeling.



Safety (CFS) don't like its longtime adversary's Smartlabel idea. They say it's an industry-preferred alternative to mandatory labels that would put those without smartphones at a disadvantage, and allow companies to invade consumer privacy. But mandatory labels or not, the advent of the Smartlabel program shows which way the wind is blowing, both in terms of the available technology and in terms of what consumers want. At the retail and state levels, consumers are making their preferences clear. And retail is following.

The AquAdvantage salmon is an Atlantic salmon modified to grow extra-fast with the help of genetic sequences from a Pacific Chinook salmon and the eel-like ocean pout. Its approval inspired the New York Times Editorial Board to editorialize that the fish should be labeled, reversing a 2013 position that GM foods don't need mandatory labels. "Consumers deserve to know what they are eating," the Board wrote, with regard to the AquAdvantage salmon, on December 1. The Board noted that while there are no apparent safety concerns for people eating the fish, if the operation were scaled up there could be environmental issues. The eggs are fertilized in Canada and then transported to Panama where they are grown in inland tanks. If fish were able to escape during this precarious journey they could interbreed with wild fish. The company that makes the fish, AquaBounty, assures us that escapes are statistically impossible, but the fish's story contains so many moving parts that the Times’ Editorial Board sided with those who desire the right to avoid it. The Times called on the Senate to vote against the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015, which would overturn state-level decisions to label GM food—so far such laws have been passed in Vermont, Connecticut and Maine—and which has already passed the House. The standard argument against labeling is that nothing material would be revealed by disclosing that a product contains GMOs, as no difference in calories, vitamins, toxins, artificial colors, or any other nutritional characteristics would be detectable. The Times' reversal suggests consumers have the right to consider other factors beyond the health consequences of eating GM food. This about-face reflects a growing desire among consumers to know things like the effect its production has on the

people who grow it, the planet we share, and the organisms we eat. With the public as sensitive as it is about food in general, and GM food in particular, it's inevitable that a fish this crazy is going to be labeled. And as the first GM animal approved for human consumption, it will set an important precedent. Already, major retailers like Costco, Safeway and Target have pledged to not carry the AquAdvantage salmon, in response to overwhelming consumer demand. And a day after the Times' editorial, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) announced its new SmartLabel program, with which consumers will be able to use their smartphones to scan the barcodes of products and learn details about them that space wouldn't allow on a label. While in its infancy, and with many tweaks and glitches likely in the near-future, this program provides a framework for delivering a wealth of information that could not only inform consumers, but educate them. It could also address one of the more compelling arguments against the labeling of GM foods, that the words "contains GMOs" don't really tell you much. Those words don't identify which genes would be silenced or amplified, or distinguish between a cloned organism, a transgenic organism with genes from multiple species, or one whose DNA was modified with gene editing technology such as CRISPR. But if this level of detail were provided, it could open the door for interested consumers to learn about the nuance, potential drawbacks, and even potential benefits of biotechnology in food. Of course, that level of nuance isn't exactly what the GMA has in mind. It has long fought against GMO labels, and in feeling that battle slip away has instead pushed for a neat definition of GMO. Not surprisingly, anti-GMO groups like the Center for Food






GARDEN OF LIFE STOP BY FOR FREE LOCAL GIVEAWAYS Enter raffles for Garden of Life products and accessories. Sample and learn about the new Protein and Greens and other Garden of Life products.

A December 2 article by Jerry Hagstrom in the National Review argues that the labeling movement has only barely begun, as consumers want transparency, regardless of what Congress, the FDA, or agribusiness wants. They expect food companies, Hagstrom writes, "...to be more transparent about the impact of food on health and the environment, food safety, human and labor rights, the treatment of animals raised for food, and business ethics in food production." And perhaps we could add, "how their food was regulated and approved" to the list of concerns. Indeed, one thing opponents of the AquAdvantage salmon dislike is that it's regulated as a drug by the FDArather than a food by USDA, thanks to a loophole provided by the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act that says a drug includes any substance that is intended to change the structure or function of an organism. It's hard to dispute that this is a fishy way of regulating the salmon, which is clearly a food and not a drug. It's the kind of backroom finagling that inspires distrust. So while Congress mulls the label issue, and proand anti-label groups dump millions into advertising on state-level campaigns, the labeling movement marches on, invigorated. It won't be stopped, because what consumers really want is transparency, and what the food companies want is their money.


January 2016 15










BY JADE RICHARDSON BOCK AND DIANE MOURNING BROWN he Children’s Grief Center of New Mexico is central New Mexico’s only free grief support program for children. This important non-profit organization is hosting its 10th annual Healing Hearts Luncheon and Silent Auction at Embassy Suites Hotel (near I-25 and Lomas Blvd.) from 11:30am–1pm on Wednesday, February 3. The event will feature a silent auction, luncheon, and an opportunity to spend an afternoon remembering those we love. At the Children’s Grief Center, children receive support while grieving the death of a parent, sibling, or other loved one. The Children’s Grief Center does not receive any government funding and is dependent on donations from individuals and businesses to provide its services.


The Healing Hearts Luncheon and Silent Auction is your opportunity to learn more about grieving children and how we can all help them to heal. Our media reminds us daily of unexpected deaths and tragic losses. Join us in celebrating hope and healing when it is needed most. Tickets are $75 each and can be purchased on our website: www.childrensgrief.org or by calling 505-323-0478. Tables and sponsorships are available. The mission of Children’s Grief Center is to provide a safe and supportive environment where children, teens, and their families can share experiences while grieving a death. Support groups take place weekday evenings in the North Valley and in Rio Rancho. Thanks to your support, no grieving family is ever charged for services.


he Horse Shelter would like to invite eveyone who cares about animals, and especially horses, to their very special fundraising dinner on January 18th at Restaurant Martin in Santa Fe. The Horse Shelter is a sanctuary for New Mexico’s abandoned, abused and neglected horses. Rescued horses are rehabilitated and adopted out whenever possible to environments that support their well-being and future long-term care. At their ranch located in Cerrillos, New Mexico, they are dedicated to providing a safe, healthy environment for rescued horses. They follow up on each and every report received of horse abuse or neglect, disseminate information on proper horse care for horse owners and make every attempt to assist individuals in the care of their horses. Shelter horses are housed in run-in stalls, large paddocks and turn-outs, receive a healthy feeding regimen and veterinary and farrier care. Horses are exercised when appropriate and their training program gets sheltered horses ready for adoption to carefully screened new owners. For some horses, The




Richard Louv’s influential book, Last Child in the Woods documents the staggering divide between children and the outdoors, directly links the lack of nature in the lives of today's wired generation—he calls it nature-deficit—to some of the most disturbing childhood trends, such as the rises in obesity, attention disorders, and depression. The first book to bring together a new and growing body of research indicating that direct exposure to nature is essential for healthy childhood development and for the physical and emotional health of children and adults. More than just raising an alarm, Louv offers practical solutions and simple ways to heal the broken bond—and many are right in our own backyard. In The Nature Principle, Louv delivers another powerful call to action—this time for adults. Supported by groundbreaking research, anecdotal evidence, and compelling personal stories, Louv identifies seven basic concepts that can help us reshape our lives. By tapping into the restorative powers of nature, we can boost mental acuity and creativity; promote health and

Founded by Jan Bandler, a lifelong animal lover and horsewoman, Jan began sheltering horses in 1998. In June of 2000, The Horse Shelter officially opened its doors on a property that had a small barn, which Jan persuaded her friends and family to renovate so it would be safe for horses. Horse fencing was installed for the first paddocks but it didn't take long to outgrow that small barn with its three paddocks. In 2002 a three thousand square foot adobe hay bar was completed using all volunteer labor. Every aspect of the work, from cruelty investigations to humane education projects, kept pace with the physical expansion of the facility, and by 2003 The Horse Shelter had established a real presence in the rescue community. In 2015 The Horse Shelter rescued, rehabilitated and adopted out 35 horses. Since that time, the Horse Shelter has continued in Jan’s memory to shelter and rehabilitate horses. For more information, to make a donation, if you have information on an abused or neglected horse, or to purchase tickets for the Eq-Wine dinner, please go to: www.thehorseshelter.org/events or call 505-471-6179.

To learn more about Children’s Grief Center, please visit: www.childrensgrief.org or call 323-0478.

“The future will belong to the nature-smart— those individuals, families, businesses, and political leaders who develop a deeper understanding of the transformative power of the natural world and who balance the virtual with the real. The more high-tech we become, the more nature we need!” -RICHARD LOUV

Horse Shelter will be a life-long sanctuary due to their history, age or medical condition.

wellness; build smarter and more sustainable businesses, communities, and economies; and ultimately strengthen human bonds. Through his works, Louv has spurred a national dialogue among educators, health professionals, parents, developers and conservationists. Through his books and talks, Richard Louv will change the way you think about your future and the future of your children. Richard Louv is a journalist and author of eight books, including Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From NatureDeficit Disorder and The Nature Principle: Reconnecting with Life in a Virtual Age. His books have been translated into 13 languages and published in 17 countries, and helped launch an international movement to connect children and their families to nature. Santa Fe Waldorf School is pleased to host Richard Louv—The New Nature Movement at The Lensic Theater, Sunday February 21, at 7pm. For more information, or to make a donation contact: www.SantaFeWaldorf.org/Louv. For tickets, please call The Lensic Theater at 505988-7050.

Profile for La Montanita Coop

La Montañita Co-op Connection News, January 2016  

Celebrating 40 years of FRESH! We've been movin' and groovin' since 1976.

La Montañita Co-op Connection News, January 2016  

Celebrating 40 years of FRESH! We've been movin' and groovin' since 1976.


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