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may 2009

connec tion | spec ial edition


co-op trade By Jeffrey Lee

(This article reports on the first of a projected series of “Foodshed Conversations” organized by the Co-op. They will bring together participants from a range of backgrounds to offer a range of perspectives on the common goal of creating a fair and sustainable local food economy.) The benefits of eating foods produced locally aren’t hard to name. Articulating the challenges can be trickier. With the Co-op’s Steve Warshawer as moderator, Le Adams and Ilana Blankman of Farm To Table, Edible Santa Fe editor Kate Manchester, Santa Fe Alliance Executive Director Vicki Pozzebon, and Jen Silverman of New Mexico’s MidRegion Council of Governments (MRCOG), sat down together one evening in March to do just that.

Salvador Corona

La Montañita Food Co-op is all about community, and community-building has always been a part of our mission. Long before the Local Food movement became news, La Montañita was New Mexico’s leader in supporting local farmers, ranchers and other food producers. As the produce buyer/ manager in the late 1980s and early 90s I made it a priority to buy what I could from local sources. The Co-op Trade Initiative is designed to build on this commitment and to help the Co-op take a greater role in fostering and growing the businesses that make up our local foodshed. The initiative was launched in 2006 with plans drawn up for a distribution system designed especially to efficiently serve New Mexico. The warehouse facility that is now home to both the Co-op Distribution Center (CDC) and La Montañita’s management and administrative offices was leased at the end of the year. Refrigerators and freezers were built, a warehouse team established, and trucks leased over the course of the winter of 2007. Beneficial Farms’ Steve Warshawer joined me as a liaison to local farmers, and it wasn’t long before things were up and running. Steve and I began mapping out pick-up and delivery routes throughout New Mexico and Southern Colorado. By spring the Co-op was regularly picking up fresh eggs in La Loma, New Mexico, grass-fed beef in Los Ojos, and spring peas in Española, among other high-quality local foods, for delivery back to Albuquerque. The CDC serves the Co-op stores and a group of customers who include CSAs, wholesalers, small Co-ops and independent retailers, and food service providers. These are sales channels that would otherwise be inaccessible to many of our growers. From our position at the center of this local, community-based network, Co-op Trade is

able to work closely with everyone involved, helping to assure fair prices for producers and top quality foods for consumers. On any given day, you will find a hundred or more local and organic items stocked in our warehouse ready for delivery. We also carry organic milk, cheese, fresh juices, a selection of dry grocery items and our own Co-op Trade Flour. One of the obvious benefits of supporting local food is that the food dollars stay in the community. That seems simple enough, but it’s significant in a number of ways. Large, industrial food producers transport their products thousands of miles—a huge output of carbon emissions daily, coast-to-coast. Even large-scale organic producers, serving major supermarket chains and big box stores, have to truck far and wide in order to maintain the high volume the industrial model demands. So, although a tomato from California and one from Alcalde, New Mexico, may look about the same, the carbon path they’ve traveled is quite different, and that makes a difference to all of us. Of course, as far as freshness is concerned, it’s also nice to know that the Alcalde tomato was picked ripe from the vine the other day, not two or three weeks ago. I am grateful for the enormous support the Co-op Trade Initiative has received. There are a lot of people to thank for helping us support sustainable agriculture and enhance opportunities for our foodshed growers and producers in the communities they serve. Michelle Franklin,

La Montañita Cooperative Distribution Team Leader

Why don’t people eat more local food? Why don’t local farmers grow more? One answer to both questions is, they do. In the last few years there’s been measurable progress. Le Adams, who directs Farm To Table’s Farm To School program, described a successful effort to introduce more locally grown fruits and vegetables into school lunches in Albuquerque’s North Valley. Kate Manchester mentioned the growing popularity of farmers’ markets in Santa Fe and around the state. But locally produced foods remain a small part of most New Mexicans’ diets. Although farmers are growing it and Co-op shoppers, among others, are eating it, there’s lots of room for improvement. Around this particular table, there were lots of thoughts on how to go about it. Except for ranching, New Mexico isn’t a center of agriculture. It’s the desert, after all. Farming means hard work, long hours, and, for many, a barely adequate income. Along with La Montañita’s Co-op Trade Initiative, there are a number of people and organizations working to change that. Matching up small businesses in advantageous partnerships is what Vicki Pozzebon does. Vicki and Le both described arduous, but occasionally successful, battles to change both state and federal policies that weigh heavily against small and mid-sized business, like subsidies that favor giant industrial farms and tax loopholes that allow big box stores to send most of what they earn out of state. Everyone agreed that education and economics both require special attention. When it’s easy to buy cheap food—even relatively cheap organic food—at big chain stores, how can consumers be persuaded to do otherwise? “When you can do a taste test, it usually works,” says Le. “When they actually compare the supermarket tomato to the local farmer’s tomato, people often realize it’s worth the extra few cents.” But there’s also a need, as Ilana Blankman pointed out, “to strike a balance between trying to change people’s habits and trying to meet people’s needs.” She suggested that, in order to “meet people where they are,” local growers must offer a range of choices, from the heirloom, artisan creation to the everyday tomato. “We have to remember,” Jen adds, “that there are lots of people who buy food at Wal-Mart because that’s what they can afford.” The topic of affordability of local produce became the elephant in the room, and it was promised that this topic would be part of future converstions.

co-op trade The Co-op is more than just a grocery store. It’s a community of shared values. Healthy eating, stewardship of the environment, fairness at all levels of participation, and working together in ways that benefit everyone, are the principles on which the Co-op is built. La Montañita’s Co-op Trade Initiative brings these values to a wider marketplace and expands our leadership role in New Mexico’s thriving local food economy. By forging and growing strong connections among people dedicated to a vital, sustainable local foodshed, Co-op Trade creates new wholesale markets for local products, and brings fresh, fair, local foods to a broader community. How does it work? Through the Co-op Distribution Center, Co-op Trade purchases from local farmers, ranchers and other producers, and distributes their products to La Montañita Co-op stores, and to other retailers, including Whole Foods in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, Cid’s in Taos, Keller’s in Albuquerque, the Silver City Food Co-op and Mountain View Market in Las Cruces. As outreach and marketing expand, more and more farmers and retailers are becoming part of the Initiative.

La Montañita’s Co-op Trade: Building A Regional Foodshed

By Robin Seydel

The impetus for La Montañita’s Regional Foodshed Project grew out of a recognized need to keep our Coop vibrant, meaningful to members and financially sound in an increasingly competitive market. From Wal-Mart and Costco to national natural foods and conventional grocery chains, many of the products we carry are available everywhere. Both Albuquerque and Santa Fe are rife with retail competitors, many only a mile or two from our Co-op locations. In annual member surveys, members overwhelmingly reported availability of local products as the primary reason they shop the Co-op. A traditional SWOT analysis by the Co-op’s leadership team clearly pointed to local foods as an area in which we excelled and could expand.

Why the Co-op? Food Co-ops worldwide are in the vanguard of the local foodshed movement. It’s a way to spread our core values to more farms, stores and tables. Local foods initiatives like Co-op Trade have implications that reach around the globe.

During the 2005-2006 fiscal year, La Montañita’s leadership team, led by then general manager C.E. Pugh, worked to expand our relationships with local vendors; providing more support while gaining a better understanding of the litany of challenges farmers and producers face. In addition to weather woes, these include transportation, liability insurance, start-up or expansion capital, marketing expertise, and development of and access to markets. During 2007, its first full year of operation, the CDC obtained liability insurance for products that passed through the warehouse, more fully developed its distribution routes, and obtained vendor status with Whole Foods, Sysco, Raley’s (now Albertsons), and a wide variety of small and medium-sized grocery stores. These routes included weekly deliveries to New Mexico’s other Co-ops: Mountain View in Las Cruces, the Dixon Co-op and Silver City Co-op. The CDC also brought local products into cafes, colleges, universities and small businesses throughout the state. In 2007, the CDC purchased $755,441 in local products, just over 27% of the Co-op’s total $2.75 million in local foods purchases during the year.

Who benefits? Everyone. Consumers enjoy both an increased flow of healthy, local foods to their table and a greater return on their investment in fresh, fair, local products. Stores have access to more and better local foods, and can have them delivered to their door. Small and mid-size farmers reach markets not otherwise available to them. Co-op Trade also helps New Mexico’s economy by negotiating fair prices and keeping local dollars local, and promotes healthy eating and sustainable agricultural practices, so the planet benefits, too.

Reflecting this recognition, by 2004 the Co-op was well into a consumer education program that included “Local Product” logo shelf tags, other instore signage that “put a face with the food,” articles in La Montañita’s monthly Co-op Connection News highlighting producers and the benefits of buying local, and ads in community-wide publications. All of these activities helped build the Co-op’s “FreshFairLocal” brand. Between 2004 and 2005, La Montañita saw sales of local products increase from 16% to 18% of store totals, topping out at 20% by 2008.

Local food for local people La Montañita’s commitment to local food began nearly 25 years ago when produce managers, first Dianne Erickson and then Michelle Franklin, wanted more and fresher produce than was available on the weekly Tucson Co-op Warehouse truck. At the time, there was only one farmers’ market in the area (Saturdays in the parking lot of the country western bar on Route 66). Co-op staff members took turns going there and encouraging growers to bring enough produce to deliver before market or to make an extra trip in mid-week with a load for the Co-op. Over the years the Co-op continually expanded local product offerings. La Montañita, the only retail store in town that at the timewould buy from local producers, developed a somewhat legendary reputation as the local farmer’s friend. We eventually realized that in order to maintain and if possible expand local product sales, the Co-op would need a multi-pronged approach that included: • educating consumers on the benefits of “buying local”; • providing support and service for family farmers and value-added producers to keep them from going under; and • helping influence policy supportive of local agriculture.

During the 2008 produce season, due to the limitations of the CDC facility and as agreed at the team meetings, leafy greens and other items with high moisture or cooling needs will go directly from farmer to Co-op storefronts, while the CDC facility will focus on large harvest crops such as peaches, apples, other fruit, chile products, potatoes, squash, goat cheese and other value-added products. Crafting creative solutions La Montañita’s CDC continues to look for ways to expand wholesale markets for area producers and to help local producers deal with seasonal “gluts.” With four major goat dairies in the region, May and June generally generate more fresh goat chevre than can be sold through regular retail channels. In a special arrangement developed by CDC staff and the Flying Star Café, foodshed partner Old Windmill Goat Farm’s Chevre is featured in recipes at the locally owned restaurant chain. Bulk tubs of the fresh cheese are picked up on regular distribution routes and delivered to nine Flying Star Cafes throughout the region. This deal added substantially to Old Windmill Farm’s income, positively helped utilize seasonal abundance, and added to CDC sales outside the Co-op network. Robin Seydel, La Montañita Cooperative Outreach & Membership Director

sustainable food

EDITOR’S NOTE This special issue of the Co-op Connection News is dedicated to the Co-op Trade Initiative/Food-Shed Project with an extended color section that highlights some of our growers, our thinking on the subject and the importance of value chain economics as part of the renaissance of regional/local food systems. Next month we will return to our regular format.


GROUND UP! THE AGRICULTURE COLLABORATIVE hat is the difference between a carrot grown in Northern New Mexico and one grown outside the state? Many Co-op members are aware that the local carrot not only tastes better, but that it has a positive impact on our community. The local carrot has traveled fewer “food miles”, having less of an impact on the environment, and when purchased the carrot supports our local economy, our local growers, and keeps our agricultural lands in production. Who would have thought a carrot could do so much!



Come celebrate local carrots, and all that’s related to local food and agriculture, at the 2009 Local Food Festival and Field Day. Mark your calendars for May 16th and get ready to taste and enjoy all that our “foodshed” has to offer. This year’s festival coincides with the celebration of San Ysidro, the Patron Saint of Agriculture. Join a spiritual blessing of land, seeds and tools at the Sanchez Farm at 9am and follow the procession to the Hubbell House (6029 Isleta Blvd SW) for a short blessing followed by the Local Food Festival celebration. The 2009 Local Food Festival and Field Day has something for everyone: • Tasting: Taste local foods prepared by local chefs. Sample and purchase local honey, jam, pasta and

fresh, locally grown spring produce. Enjoy lunch in celebration of the San Ysidro Feast Day. • Learning: Attend a mini-workshop on a variety of gardening topics. Watch a flood irrigation demonstration. Take a tour of the historic Gutierrez-Hubbell House and Demonstration Farm. • Growing: Check out the demonstration garden and orchard, and purchase some seedlings to take home and plant. Grow your knowledge of local foods with resources and organizations that are involved in promoting local agriculture. • Enjoying: Relax in the shade while listening to the live bluegrass music by Young Edward. Check out all the excitement in the kid's activity area, such as face painting and sack races! • Sustaining: Purchase goods from local growers and help keep our agricultural lands in production while reducing your carbon footprint. Watch for the UNM Sustainability Program's solar kiosk which will be powering the band. • Cooking: Watch and learn from local chefs, or attend a cooking demonstration. • Meeting: Meet local growers and producers and other members of our community, including baby goats and chickens. The Hubbell House is located at 6029 Isleta SW (Isleta Blvd. 3 miles south of Rio Bravo). Join us in celebrating our connection to local food and agriculture. The festival is free and open to the public. For more information call the Agriculture Collaborative at (505) 724-3619 or visit our website at www.localfood

be there:



VIA ORGANICA Sustainable Food Systems Join a Summer Delegation to Visit Via Organica’s Beautiful Organic Farm and Sustainable Living Conference Center in Mexico. The Organic Consumers Association invites you to join other organic food and farming activists and visit Mexico this summer, at the beautiful organic farm and conference center headquarters of OCA’s sister organization, Via Organica. • Meet with Organic Consumers Association/Via Organica Staff and Mexican Organic Food and Farming Activists • Attend Workshops on Organic Farming and Green Building • Visit Organic Farms, Stores, Restaurants, Green Buildings and Community Organizing Projects • Dine on Fresh Organic Food, Sleep in Beautiful Rooms, Swim in Via Organica’s Thermal Pool • Bike, Hike or Ride Horses on Nearby Trails

• Visit Beautiful World Heritage Sites in nearby San Miguel de Allende and Atotonilco • Strengthen Solidarity between the U.S. and Mexican Organic and Regional Food System Movements Seven-day tours starting June 7 are now open for applications, on a first-come-first served basis, with tours beginning on the first and third Sundays of each month. Total weekly cost for food, lodging, tours and ground transportation is $950 (US). You pay for your own roundtrip airfare to the Leon/Guanajuato airport, where our driver picks you up and brings you to the Via Organica Farm and Conference Center. For more information or to register for a tour contact or go to Next Month: watch the Co-op Connection News for a full story on this exciting new Mexican Food-Shed Project.

save the

Santa Fe River!

WILDEARTH GUARDIANS IS ONE OF FIVE! Over the last three months, hundreds of environmental nonprofits were invited to submit proposals for consideration for the Greater Outdoors Project $50,000 grant from Redwood Creek wines and Planet Green. A panel of expert judges narrowed down the submissions to five worthy projects, and WildEarth Guardians is one of them!

Coinciding with Santa Fe's 400th anniversary, WildEarth Guardians' Santa Fe River "Stream Team" project will use the grant money to restore a three-mile historic stretch of America's most Endangered River and build a trail reconnecting the community with its namesake river. To win the $50,000 for the Santa Fe River, we must gather the most votes through a public voting contest on ending May 31st. Make sure you log on to and vote for WildEarth Guardians' Stream Team project. You may also text message "earth" to 39668. You can vote both ways daily. Restore our most endangered river — vote for WildEarth Guardians!




A Community - Owned Natural Foods Grocery Store La Montanita Cooperative Nob Hill/ 7am-10pm M-S, 8am-10pm Sun. 3500 Central SE Albuq., NM 87106 265-4631 Valley/ 7am-10pm M-Sun. 2400 Rio Grande Blvd. NW Albuq., NM 87104 242-8800 Gallup/ 10am-7pm M-S, 11am-6pm Sun. 105 E. Coal Gallup, NM 87301 863-5383 Santa Fe/ 7am-10pm M-S, 8am-10pm Sun. 913 West Alameda Santa Fe, NM 87501 984-2852 Cooperative Distribution Center 3361 Columbia NE, Albuq., NM 87107 217-2010 Administrative Staff: 505-217-2001 TOLL FREE: 877-775-2667 (COOP) • General Manager/Terry Bowling 217-2020 • Controller/John Heckes 217-2026 • Computers/Info Technology/ David Varela 217-2011 • Food Service/Bob Tero 217-2028 • Human Resources/Sharret Rose 217-2023 • Marketing/Edite Cates 217-2024 • Membership/Robin Seydel 217-2027 • CDC/MichelleFranklin 217-2010 Store Team Leaders: • Mark Lane/Nob Hill 265-4631 • John Mulle/Valley 242-8800 • William Prokopiack/Santa Fe 984-2852 • Alisha Olguin/Gallup 575-863-5383 Co-op Board of Directors: email: President: Martha Whitman Vice President: Marshall Kovitz Secretary: Ariana Marchello Treasurer: Ken O’Brien William Bright Lonn Calanca Stephanie Dobbie Tamara Saimons Betsy Van Liet Membership Costs: $15 for 1 year/$200 Lifetime Membership Co-op Connection Staff: Managing Editor: Robin Seydel Layout and Design: foxyrock inc Cover/Centerfold: Co-op Marketing Dept. Advertising: Robin Seydel Editorial Assistant: Kristin White 217-2016 Printing: Vanguard Press Membership information is available at all four Co-op locations, or call 217-2027 or 877-775-2667 email: Membership response to the newsletter is appreciated. Address typed, double-spaced copy to the Managing Editor, website: Copyright © 2009 La Montanita Co-op Supermarket Reprints by prior permission. The Co-op Connection is printed on 65% postconsumer recycled paper. It is recyclable.


YOU OWN IT May 2009


sustainable events NATIONAL RIVER CLEANUP

May 2009 4


BY KENT SWANSON, CITY OF ALBUQUERQUE OPEN SPACE DIVISION here are over 50 miles of shoreline in the Rio Grande Valley State Park. Each May Albuquerque Open Space Division, American Rivers and several local organizations host National River Cleanup Day. This one-day event brings the Albuquerque community together to restore the Rio’s beauty and health. Volunteers will help remove trash from the Rio Grande and its Bosque at the Central Avenue Bridge and at various places along the river.

raft, pre-register or call 452-5216. We will provide shuttles for boaters from Central Ave. back to the launch point at Montaño Blvd. Volunteers who bring their own boats must follow all State regulations for boaters. Call State Parks at (505) 476-3355 for more information.

2. Float the river in one of our rafts: Kirtland Outdoor Recreation will provide guided rafts to help remove trash from the river, starting from Montaño Blvd. and arriving at Central in time for the BBQ. Rafts are on a first-come first-served basis and space is limited. Sign up for the rafts will take place on the northeast side of the Central Avenue Bridge the morning of the event.


May 16th

HOW YOU CAN HELP This year the River Cleanup is taking place on May 16th. Call REI at 247-1191 to register or stop by 1550 Mercantile Ave. The event starts at 8am and lasts until 1pm. Bring work gloves, water, appropriate clothes and sun protection. We reward our volunteers with morning refreshments, an after-event BBQ and a donated prize drawing! There are several different ways to participate: 1. Cleanup at the Central Avenue Bridge: There will be cleanup activities for all ages on the northeast side of the Central Avenue Bridge, including trash pickup and graffiti removal. Parking is available at the BioPark near Tingley Drive and Central.

4. Organize your own cleanup: Have a favorite area of the Bosque? Consider hosting a River Cleanup of your own! The Open Space Division will supply trash bags and disposal. Call 452-5216 for more information.

3. Bring your own boat: People with their own rafts, kayaks and canoes are encouraged to attend. If you plan on bringing your own

For more information please contact Jim Sattler or Kent Swanson at 452-5200 or email kswan


To begin the re-skilling process our upcoming meetings will provide mini-re-skilling sessions free to all who attend.




believe that one of the main factors contributing to the sense of panic that often sets in immediately after an awareness of peak oil is the realization that we no longer have many of the basic skills our grandparents took for granted. One of the most useful things a Transition Initiative can do is to offer widely available training in a range of these skills.”-Rob Hopkins, author The Transition Handbook Last month’s meeting focused on re-skilling our communities and ourselves. During the meeting we posed two questions: 1. What skills will you and your community need in the aftermath of peak oil and climate change? 2. What resources are available today to learn these skills?

The Next Co-op Transition Initiative Meeting: Wednesday May 6th at 6pm at the Santa Fe Co-op. In addition to our usual snack and schmooze and project sharing agenda, Tristian will do a bread-baking workshop, we will set a skilling- sharing workshop schedule for upcoming meetings and have traditional dance and fiddle playing time. We encourage all our regular Transition Initiative members to bring a friend and welcome other new folks as well.


SOLAR PV: transition skill s h a re

Sierra Club Meeting, Tuesday, May 19, 6:30-7:45pm, all welcome. REI Meeting Room in Santa Fe Railyard. Local solar photovoltaics supplier, POSITIVE ENERGY, will provide an update on technology, tax credits, renewable energy credits and overall solar PV benefits. BONUS: free raffle for one residence audit ($250 value). For more information contact Jean Watts at 505-989-5010.

Spring is upon us, let


24 years experience helping Albuquerque’s trees and plants

Luke Resnick 764-0096

healthy food

May 2009 5


Food Safety and the HR 875 Hullabaloo ELISSAR KHALEK, FOOD AND WATER WATCH he dilemma of how to regulate food safety in a way that prevents problems caused by industrialized agriculture but doesn’t wipe out small diversified farms is not new and is not easily solved. Most consumers never thought they had to worry about peanut butter, and this latest food safety scandal has captured public attention for good reason – a CEO who knowingly shipped contaminated food, a plant with holes in the roof and serious pest problems, and years of state and federal regulators failing to intervene. BY


It’s no surprise that Congress is under pressure to act. Two recent bills are about traceability for food (S.425 and H.R. 814). These present real issues for small producers who could be forced to bear the cost of expensive tracking technology and recordkeeping. The other bills address what the FDA can do to regulate food. A lot of attention has been focused on a bill introduced by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (H.R. 875), the Food Safety Modernization Act. And a lot of what is being said about the bill is misleading. A few things that H.R. 875 DOES do: • It addresses the most critical flaw in the structure of FDA by splitting it into 2 new agencies –one devoted

to food safety and the other devoted to drugs and medical devices. • It increases inspection of food processing plants, basing the frequency of inspection on the risk of the product being produced – but it does NOT make plants pay any registration fees or user fees. • It extends food safety agency authority to food production on farms, requiring farms to write a food safety plan and consider the critical points on that farm where food safety problems are likely to occur. • It requires imported food to meet the same standards as food produced in the U.S. A few things that H.R. 875 does NOT do: • It does not cover foods regulated by the USDA (beef, pork, poultry, lamb, catfish.) • It does not establish a mandatory animal identification system. • It does not regulate backyard gardens. • It does not regulate seed. • It does not call for new regulations for farmers’ markets or direct marketing arrangements. • It does not apply to food that does not enter interstate commerce (food that is sold across state lines).


• It does not mandate any specific type of traceability for FDA-regulated foods. The bill does instruct a new food safety agency to improve traceability of foods, but specifically says that recordkeeping can be done electronically or on paper. H.R. 814 and H.R. 759: Bills to watch Several of the things not found in the DeLauro bill can be found in other bills: H.R. 814, the Tracing and Recalling Agricultural Contamination Everywhere Act, which calls for a mandatory animal identification system; or H.R. 759, the Food and Drug Administration Globalization Act, which overhauls the entire structure of FDA. H.R. 759 is more likely to move through Congress than H.R. 875. H.R. 759 contains several provisions that could cause problems for small farms and food processors: • It extends traceability recordkeeping requirements that currently apply only to food processors to farms and restaurants – and requires that recordkeeping be done electronically. • It calls for standard lot numbers to be used in food production. • It requires food processing plants to pay a registration fee to FDA to fund the agency’s inspection efforts. • It instructs FDA to establish production standards for fruits and vegetables and to establish Good Agricultural Practices for produce. There is plenty of evidence that one-size-fits-all regulation only tends to work for one size of agriculture – the largest industrialized operations. That’s why it is important to let members of Congress know how food safety proposals will impact the sustainable practices that make diversified, organic and direct market producers different from agribusiness. If Congress passes any of these bills, the FDA will have to develop rules and regulations to implement the law, a process that we can’t afford to ignore.


GOOD HEALTH The Beauty of a Spring Salad KRISTIN WHITE ecently, a friend and neighbor invited me over to pick some lettuce from the families’ garden. She helped me pick butterhead lettuce, black seeded simpson, spinach, parsley, basil, dill and a few other mixed loose leaf garden greens. I went straight home, rinsed the greens and made myself a giant bowl of salad, topped with my favorite creamy garlic salad dressing that I’d made the night before. Eating that salad was an immensely pleasurable experience; it was the best I’d ever had.



According to Acetaria: A Discourse of Sallets (acetaria refers to the vinegar used with salads or herbs to stimulate the appetite) by John Evelyn, the first English language book on how to make a salad, only the freshest leaves, stalks, roots, buds and flowers straight from the garden should be used for a salad. Once the leaves are collected, instructs Evelyn, “discreetly” sprinkle them with spring water, leave in the colander to drain, and then “swing them altogether gently in a clean course napkin.” It is advised to dress the salad with the cleanest olive oil and wine vinegar of the best quality, infused with flowers and herbs, and with the finest crystals of sea salt. The author also gave detailed instructions for cultivating thirty-five different greens: among them, four varieties of romaine lettuce, spinach, nasturtiums for their leaves and flowers, a variety of herbs to be used with discretion, cresses, sorrel, spinach, endive, chicory, celery, fennel, radish and favorites of today, mache and arugula. Salads, Evelyn explained, are cool and refreshing, “…and therefore in such high esteem with the Ancients.” He stated that of all other foods nature

has to offer, salads are more cold and moist, and less astringent, than the rest, and so “may safely be eaten raw in fevers.” According to the author, salad alleviates heat, extinguishes thirst, stimulates appetite, “kindly” nourishes, “represses vapors,” eases pain and helps sleep; “besides the effect it has upon the morals, temperance and chastity.” Evelyn’s discourse rings true as much today as it did in 1699. Salad Days Keep the Heart Young "Salad days" is an informal expression, referring to a youthful time, accompanied by the inexperience, enthusiasm, idealism, innocence or indiscretion that is associated with a young person. Lettuce can be classified into various categories with the most common being: Romaine, Crisphead, Butterhead and Leaf. Romaine’s high vitamin C and beta-carotene content make it a heart-healthy green. Vitamin C and beta-carotene work together to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol. Oxidation is what forms the build up of plaque in artery walls. Lettuce is high in fiber, and fiber is good for the heart. Fiber binds to bile salts in the colon and removes them from the body. This prompts the body to make more bile. In order to make more bile it must break down cholesterol. In this way fiber is able to lower cholesterol levels. Romaine lettuce is particularly rich in folic acid. Folic acid and folate are forms of the water-soluble Vitamin B9. This B vitamin is needed by the body to convert a harmful chemical called homocysteine into other, benign substances. Without this conversion, homocysteine can directly damage blood vessels and, thus, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. The beauty of salad lies in its potential for versatility. Salads may continue to evolve, as much as our imaginations, but the truth remains the same; Pure and simple is as good as it gets.




This month’s light and healthy recipe comes from Co-op member Scott Shuker in Santa Fe. We think it would be great for a picnic along with our featured recipes of the month (see page 11). Thank you, Scott!

1 1 6 1

Next month’s issue will feature barbecque dishes and other summer recipes. Submit your favorite summer recipes to Kristin White by May 10. The member whose recipe is chosen will receive a one-time 18% Co-op discount shopping card.

Add 3 tablespoons of sesame oil to a deep saucepan and heat on medium. After 5 minutes, add sliced mushrooms and scallions; sauté for approximately 5 minutes. Add water and turn heat up to high. When boiling, add soba noodles and seaweed then reduce heat to medium again. Simmer for 5-6 minutes. Drain. Add remaining 3 tablespoons of sesame oil and stir with tongs. Serves 1 hearty or 2 light eaters.

Oriental Sesame Noodles 6 oz soba noodles 2 oz shitake mushrooms

CO-OP Trade

small leek or 3 scallions oz seaweed, any kind T sesame oil qt pure water

Bringing together local farmers and Co-op shoppers for the best in fresh, fair and local food!


co-op news

May 2009 6

SWEET BEE CLEANING PRODUCTS Calendar of Events 5/6 Transition Town Team Meeting Santa Fe Co-op, 6pm 5/19 Board of Directors Meeting Immanuel Church, 5:30pm

TBA Board Member Engagement Committee CDC, 5:30pm

TBA Finance Committee Meeting CDC, 5pm 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.

Personal Growth Childhood Trauma • Illness Drugs/Alcohol • Loss Women’s Issues

Healthy, Local and Homemade! ROBIN SEYDEL hen Erin Hagenow was home caring for her son, Orion, now eight years old, she began making cleaning products from simple household ingredients. With a young child at home she knew she didn’t want him exposed to any harsh or harmful chemicals often found in commercial cleaning products. When a friend introduced her to a drawerful of delicious smelling essential oils, she began experimenting with simple ingredients she had in her kitchen. Through the years, Erin perfected some of her recipes and even gave the products as housewarming gifts, to great reviews.



“These household cleansers were so easy to make, so cost effective and really enjoyable to use; so even when I went back to work, as my son got older, I kept making them.� Now Erin manufactures these eco-friendly, handmade Sweet Bee Homecare Cleaning Supplies in her North Valley studio.

Erin says, "I'm sharing these products and my recipes, to empower my customers to use and make inexpensive, effective and non-toxic cleaning supplies." Made from the most basic of ingredients including, salt, vinegar, vodka, olive oil and veggie-based cleaning agents, Erin puts the recipe on the each label because as she says, “this product, like every other spraybased product, is 90% water. With the environment and the economy on everyone’s mind I want to encourage people to stop purchasing bottles of water, when you can make your cleaning materials yourself. If not tomorrow or next week, some day.� Until you, like Erin, begin making your own: try her All Purpose Cleanser and her Mirror and Glass cleaner in either Lavender Lift or Citrus Buzz scents and her Wood and Leather Cleanser in Lemon Lift. Look for Erin’s Sweet Bee Homecare Cleaning Supplies at all Co-op locations.

Louise Miller, MA LPCC NCC

Weekly Co-op


Phone (505) 385-0562 Albuquerque, NM

Victory Gardening Service Plant your own backyard grocery store! Consultation on: what to put in a garden, where to put a garden, watering sytems.

BBQ!Saturdays at your North Valley Co-op Beginning the first Saturday of May enjoy a delicious healthy foods BBQ at your North Valley Co-op. Each Saturday from 11am to 2pm the Co-op will host a delicious BBQ featuring grass fed, local beef burgers and sezchuzan tofu burgers with all the fixings. And for the kids there will be hot dogs and a variety of savory sides to choose from. All reasonably priced for a delicious lunch during your busy Saturday errands. Or come and relax for a while with friends and neighbors under the portico at the North Valley Saturday BBQ. Held every Saturday all summer long — weather permitting, from 11am- 2pm. For more information call your Valley Deli at 242-8800.

Contact Nissa, 505-259-2074 or

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fresh, delicious LOCAL SALE ITEMS SHOP LOCAL & SAVE Jilli Pepper Albuquerque, NM Green Chile Salsa, 16 oz. Select Varieties. Reg. $4.39, Sale $3.99

B’s Honey Albuquerque, NM B’s NM Honey Bear, 24 oz. Reg. $7.99, Sale $6.99

Black’s Albuquerque, NM Thick BBQ Infusion, 16 oz. Reg. $5.99, Sale $4.99

Even more

LOCAL PRODUCTS on sale in our stores! VALID IN-STORE ONLY from 4/29-6/2, 2009:




t’s quite an outdated idea to think that a vegan diet consists mainly of salads, veggies and fruits. Actually it is far easier and enjoyable, at this time in human existence, to either eat or cook for a vegan diet. Almost any food or meal that was eaten before switching to a vegan diet can be replaced with a meatand dairy-free version. Soy, rice and nut milks can replace cow’s milk, and can be conveniently purchased in both a refrigerator version and aseptic containers, which are refrigerated only after opening. The quality and taste of these products supersedes the earlier varieties of the past. Soy creamers, cream cheese and sour cream, non-hydrogenated margarines, and a variety of rice- or soy-based cheese substitutes are also available at your Co-op, with soy nog and soy whip being excellent newcomers to the vegan market. Also available are meatless sandwich slices, tofu dogs, burgers, ground meatless sausages and numerous other alternative varieties. It’s helpful to keep in mind, especially for those not necessarily interested in duplicating the texture or taste of any meat product, that many food products, nationally and internationally, have long been prepared with grains, soy, rice and a wide variety of herbs and spices and formed into patties and textures similar to meat products. Most meatbased items only taste as they do because of the spices added and the texture is often obtained by adding grain products or other bulking agents. A truly healthy diet should consist of a variety of fruits, nuts, seeds, vegetables and leafy greens, beans, whole grains, sprouts, seaweed, tofu and

Not all items available at all stores.


The CO-OP Food-Shed Project: Bringing local farmers together with Co-op shoppers for the best in fresh, fair and local food.

soybean products. By eliminating white flour products and substituting whole grains such as cracked wheat, millet, quinoa, brown rice and flours containing the beneficial and vitamin-rich bran and germ, nutritious meals can be prepared. Eating out has also become much more enjoyable, with many restaurants now offering vegetarian selections on their menu, especially those of Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, Middle Eastern and Indian origins. Most Mexican restaurants no longer use lard in their cooking process and can eliminate meat and dairy products from many dishes. In larger cities across the world, vegan, raw foods, and organic establishments, including B&B’s, can often be found. It’s no longer necessary to jeopardize your vegan principles when traveling locally or abroad. Not many years ago it was extremely difficult to reproduce old family recipes by substituting nonmeat or non-dairy items. This inspired many devout vegetarians to make their own tofu, soy cheese and milk, and a wide variety of items now easily available at natural food co-ops and stores. With expanded interest worldwide, vegan foods of all kinds are being manufactured on a grand scale, making for easy meal preparation, making the art of converting old family recipes to healthier, vegan versions easier than ever, and contributing to a diversified, interesting and balanced diet. Next in this series: How To Be A Healthy Vegan. From the author of Peace In Every Bite, A Vegan Cookbook with recipes for a Healthy Lifestyle. These books are for sale at your local Co-op.

Walt & Betty Lea

For the most part, the history of Cottonwood Lane Orchard is a horror story of frustration and loss with a few successes thrown into the mix. Like hanging a carrot just in front of a donkey’s nose, the meager wins keep us plodding forward with hope and determination. We bought our orchard in 1987. It consisted of about 3 acres of 40-year-old red Delicious apple trees. We didn’t have a tractor or equipment of any kind to maintain it, so we went right into the out-go side of the ledger by investing in an old tractor and used orchard equipment. “Oh well,” we said, “we’ll make it back when the crop comes in.” The first thing we learned was that when you have a full crop of red Delicious apples, so does everyone else in the upper Rio Grande Valley. You couldn’t give them away. We tried everything that first crop season, from farmers’ markets to “no thank you” from retail grocery stores, and ended up dumping most of our crop. Since we live right by the Rio Grande riverbank, at least the beavers enjoyed them. The next three or four years found us trying to find innovative ways to sell our crop. Hang in there, don’t go away, this is all leading somewhere! We tried working with other growers to get funding for the construction of an apple processing and grading shed, still thinking that we could all pull together as fellow growers. These efforts proved fruitless. Our next effort was working with some of the more dedicated of our fellow growers, some good people from various County Agricultural Extension Offices and a marketing specialist from the Department of Agriculture. We went back to the Legislature to present a unified case for help with the establishment of a State Apple Council. The New Mexico State Apple Council was established as a result of those efforts and that organization has been, and continues to be, a positive marketing and promotional tool for all growers within the state. However, in its early formation stages it did not provide much relief from our particular marketing problems. “Okay, this isn’t working! We still haven’t made any money! What to do? Time to punt? No, let’s go for it on 4th down.” Up to this point, we had worked within the conventional nonorganic growing community to no avail. Going Organic. Our next step was to obtain registered organic gardener status with the NM Organic Commodities Commission, as our land hadn’t been used for anything but cover crops for 5 years. Our next marketing experiences improved considerably. Though the first offerings from our new orchard were small, we found a ready market for them at various retail stores in Santa Fe and Taos. They were also widely accepted at farmers’ markets. These markets, of course, required delivery of small quantities of fruit, which required time away from the farm and added delivery expense. A few things were apparent. On the plus side: Our organic fruits and berries had a definite market, the value of the organic fruits we produced was greater than conventionally produced fruits and the competition for available markets was as yet not as fierce as that on the conventional side. But even

A Trade Partner

so there were some marketing experiences early in the game with retailers that were on the negative side and rough on us as a small local producer: Including price lowering when large suppliers were flooding the market with similar fruit. This is normal business practice, but a producer who is farming 300 acres can stand it better than one who is farming 3 acres. It is business as usual without much concern for the smaller local growers. It was apparent that as the orchard came into full production, we would be in trouble trying to manage some of these problems. We had traveled a long hard road and fought the good fight, but we had created a small monster. Still we felt that we were on the verge of winning. Co-op Trade/Foodshed Beginnings The following spring we became certified organic. While attending an Organic Conference in the spring of 2007, we met Steve Warshawer, who represented La Montañita Co-op, and we had the good fortune to do business with Steve and La Montañita for the 2007 crop year. The experiences we had with the Coop foodshed project were all positive and were as follows: La Montañita bought most of our fruit crop. They picked it up at our farm, sending a truck in twice a week. In addition to paying us fair market prices, they saved us money by supplying us with recycled boxes for our peaches. As a result of one of the few severe hailstorms we had seen in our time here, much of our fruit was cosmetically damaged. In our past experience the damaged fruit would have been a total loss, but La Montañita made a fair price adjustment and bought the majority of it. We formed these conclusions at the end of our season: • Making the move to organic fruit production was the proper move. • La Montañita Co-op is sincerely interested in, and actively involved with, the welfare of the local organic producer — large or small. • La Montañita is dedicated to the preservation of sustainable organic agriculture and is comprised of a hardworking group of people who are in it for the long haul. • This is an example of the kind of cooperative effort benefiting all concerned that we had envisioned. We at Cottonwood Lane Orchards are proud to do business with and acknowledge the existence of such a cooperative. Sincerely, Walt, Betty and Dan Lea This article first appeared in the October 2008 Co-op Connection News.

Since opening Growing Opportunities in Alcalde, New Mexico, nine years ago, Steve and Kim Martin have become known as local leaders in hydroponics. They are innovators, too, constantly tinkering with new methods of growing, and their commitment has paid off. All four La Montañita Co-op stores carry their superb, water-saving, chemical-free and pesticide-free greenhouse tomatoes, as does Whole Foods in Santa Fe, and they are very much in demand among top Santa Fe restauranteurs. Steve and Kim now offer fresh tomatoes year round—a first in New Mexico. In 2007, the Martins began thinking about expanding the business. But they wanted to find a model that would remain sustainable for them personally. Distribution and delivery, which they handled themselves, remained an obstacle, costing them a great deal in both time and money. They thought resolving that problem might be a good first step. It’s exactly the kind of problem La Montañita’s Co-op Trade Initiative was created to address, and at the beginning of 2008 Growing Opportunities and the Co-op began working together to get Steve and Kim’s tomatoes onto shelves and plates more efficiently. It has become a Co-op Trade success story. The additional time and energy available to Steve and Kim have led them, among other things, to experiment with heirloom tomatoes along with their popular beefsteaks, making them a staple of the past winter’s production. With the Co-op’s help, the Martins can now devote more time and resources to expanding and improving winter production, an especially promising undertaking. And they can afford to keep tinkering, since 2008 was Growing Opportunities’ most profitable year yet.

co-op trade Agribusiness A fairly new term that combines agriculture and business. In the past, agriculture has been treated as something completely separate from other types of business. Over the past 50 years, factory farm companies have been replacing traditional agriculture, so now we need new words and new ways of thinking about agriculture to describe where our food comes from. Dead Zone An area in the Gulf of Mexico where oxygen levels are so low that most marine organisms cannot sruvive. One of the primary causes is runoff from farms in the Mississippi watershed. Family farm / Small farm Defined by the USDA as a farm with less than $250,000 gross receipts annually on which day-to-day labor and management is provided by the farmer and/or the farm family that owns the production or owns or leases the productive assets. Foodshed The concept of the foodshed is similar to that of a watershed; it is an area where food is grown and eaten. The size of the foodshed varies depending on the availability of year round foods and the variety of foods grown and processed. In a way, replacing the term ‘water’ with ‘food’ reconnects food with nature. “The term “foodshed” thus becomes a unifying and organizing metaphor for conceptual development that starts from a premise of the unity of place and people, of nature and society.” Sustainability The ability to provide for the needs of the world’s current population without damaging the ability of future generations to provide for themselves. When a process is sustainable, it can be carried out over and over without negative environmental effects or impossibly high costs to anyone involved. Sustainable agriculture Farming that provides a secure living for farm families; maintains the natural environment and resources; supports the rural community; and offers respect and fair treatment to all involved, from farm workers to consumers to the animals raised for food. USDA United States Department of Agriculture. The USDA, which was founded by Abraham Lincoln, supports rural development, food safety, nutrition and research for agricultural technology. The agency is also in charge of national forest and rangelands and works to reduce hunger in the US and internationally. Watershed Area of land that contributes runoff to a particular, common body of water. (To understand this concept better, you can find a map of the watershed you live in by going to the EPA web site.)

CO-OP TRADE a foodshed initiative exists to enhance opportunities for our foodshed growers and producers in the communities they serve at a cost sustainable for La Montañita Co-op. Why: Because La Montañita Co-op places high value on improving the quality of life for our members, producers and community, as well as protecting our foodshed’s ecosystem. How: • By creating an alternative to industrialization of organic food production and supporting sustainable local economic development • By supporting local initiatives within the region and linking with organizations engaged in similar activities, synchronizing and leveraging resources • By actively supporting and promoting sustainable, chemical free, regenerative agricultural practices • By active involvement in the public policy arena Resulting in: More sustainably produced food from our foodshed consumed in our communities And: • Co-op values and principles available to a wider community • Expanded leadership role in the local food economy • New value chains developed and existing ones strengthened

Co-op Trade’s Top Local Vendor List River Canyon Meats Beneficial Farms Eggs Sage Bakehouse Rasband Dairy Fano Breads Shepherds Lamb Rancho Capilla Vieja Sunland Peanuts Chocolate Maven Pollo Real Mujeres En Accion Tamales Vitality Works B’s Honey Farm White Mountain Farm Growing Opportunity Tomatoes South Mountain Dairy Del Valle Pecans Sandia Soap Heidi’s Raspberries Santa Fe Candles Rancho Durazno Orchards Old Windmill Dairy Los Chileros Nuevo Mexico Sweetwoods Dairy Soilutions Compost Plus, 320 more great local producers and businesses!

co-op trade By Ilana Blankman, Farm to Table

What, you may ask, is a value chain and why should you care? Well, value chain methodology provides some guidance on the “how” of building a local food system. Basically, a value chain is a string of businesses working together to satisfy market demands for specific products or services. You may already be part of a value chain. Farm to Cafeteria programs, which are happening in each of the Four Corners states, are an excellent example of value chain development. In these programs you often see small and medium-sized farmers involved in formal or informal groups that combine their produce to meet the requirements of a particular school district. They may develop their own collaborative distribution system or they might work with a local distributor. In some cases the distributor may be the school district or the commodities truck. The food service buyers, as value chain participants eager to provide fresh, local food to their customers, develop strong relationships with the producers and develop agreements that work for both. A value chain is customer-centric. This means that to be successful, the value chain must produce a final product that meets the needs of the consumer. These include price, quality, quantity and availability. Thus, developing a value chain starts with an understanding of these needs and works its way backwards, building a set of interactions among businesses that can meet them. For example, even though a cattle-calf operation might sell to a feedlot, its real customer is still the person who eats the hamburger, and the cattle-calf producer has as much stake in the quality, price and availability of that burger as the processor or retailer. While the need to meet a customer’s price point may be familiar to producers, who have often been in the position of price-takers, the picture changes dramatically when the need to be customer-centric is combined with the second important element of value chains—mutually beneficial relationships. When getting the right product to the final consumer is the goal of each participant, each has a high stake in every other link in the chain. Each participant becomes a partner to every other, with a strategic interest in the performance and well-being of all. So business interactions and relationships must be based on mutual trust and benefit. Contrast this with a traditional supply chain in which business relationships are often seen in win-lose terms, with each business trying to buy low and sell high. In a value chain, price is accorded based on a fair valuation of cost, which includes adequate profit margins and return on investment. In a supply chain, those who have control over some key element of the process determine prices, and therefore profits; businesses with less control may be forced to operate at a loss. The dominance of this methodology is evident in the long history of low prices paid to producers. The value in value chains, then, is that through transparency, trust, and collaboration, everyone involved benefits, from feed to food.

Co-op Trade: Travel Journal By Steve Warshawer

My job with Co-op Trade is to meet with farmers, ranchers, food producers and other service providers in our region, to help establish goals and objectives for specific on-farm enterprises, and to help them address particular issues. Sometimes the issue is as simple as finding a supply of boxes or other packaging, sometimes it’s more complicated. My goal is to “fit the farm to the market”: to match the scale of the farmer’s or rancher’s goals, capacities and aspirations with the scale and needs of a particular customer. Sometimes that means the CDC can be a big help; other times it means giving advice on how to engage nearby farmers’ markets, improve some other direct marketing program, or create more effective relationships with other customers. I help the food producer however I can, or direct them to others who can help them if I can’t. Through my work, the Co-op supports farms, ranches and food producers of all sizes, whether they are immediately able to benefit from Co-op Trade’s distribution system or not. These are notes from some of my trips. November 6-8, 2007 My route was from Santa Fe to Roswell to Lincoln to Ruidoso to Alamogordo to Carrizozo, and then over to I-25 and north to home. Pecos Valley Meats, Roswell Rick De Los Santos bought and began renovating his plant in 1990. He brings thirty years of experience to his work. He has developed markets for boned and ground dairy beef from coast to coast. Rick says he struggles to get access to enough animals. He is looking for niches where his size is an advantage rather than a liability, and can adapt to organic and humane handling requirements. Laughing Sheep Farm, Lincoln Sally Canning runs a mixed-species farm with grassand pasture-fed sheep, cows, pigs and chickens. She runs an on-farm restaurant and store with an EIDapproved kitchen and produces two types of meat marinade developed as enhancements to her own grass-fed beef. She has a small refrigerated and freezer truck and can help consolidate product from neighboring locations. She also recently purchased an adjoining fifteen-acre raspberry farm and will be selling fresh berries and jam. The Santa Fe store is ready to display her marinades at the meat counter.

Cada de Dia Farmstead Cheese, Lincoln Pat and Cheryl Sullivan and family currently run nine Ayrshire cows on fourteen irrigated acres along the Rio Bonito. Their farm, a USDA-approved cheese plant, makes cheese nine months out of the year. The cheeses are all aged, which allows them to deliver a year-round product while drying off the herd during the winter months when there is no fresh grass. (I had been unable to reach Pat by telephone for a couple of weeks. When I saw him at the farm he informed me that after five years he had decided to sell his land. He plans to liquidate the herd and move to South America to start over in Argentina.) Ayrshire genetics and Jim Miller Dairy The genetics in Pat’s herd are very valuable. His cows come from Jim Miller, a dairy farmer in Ancho, NM, who closed his multi-generational farm two years ago after a vehicle accident. The only traceable livestock from his line are the cows at Cada de Dia and the cow and bull at Cresset Community Farm. It is clear that besides the grass-adapted milk cows, Jim’s genetics offer quality beef cows on the male side. The fact that a grass-adapted strain of Ayrshires can produce quality milk and meat makes them potentially an important link in the process of developing a high-standard, animal welfare product line. San Patricio Berry Farm, San Patricio Arturo Trujillo grows blackberries, raspberries and apples. The family farm is in its third generation. He runs a U-pick operation, but tells me this year he left most of his blackberries in the field due to lack of market and has started plowing under his raspberries. He has an EID-approved kitchen on site as well as a walk-in cooler and has been making jam for several years. Art feels he has mastered the growing but has been unsuccessful with marketing. He also grows Gala and Fuji apples and starts picking on August 15, several weeks ahead of any of our northern growers. He picked 200 bushels of apples this fall but lost them as well due to lack of market. We discussed the possibility of flash freezing as an alternative for Art’s berries. It seems like a good idea to research the type of flash freezing used at Cascadian Farm. Lavender Spring Ranch, Arabela Cliff and Beth Crouch grow lavender, raspberries and mixed vegetables for a U-pick operation. Their aim Continued on Page15

spring specials

PICNIC recipes

toes, a sprinkling of salt and pepper, the cucumber, onion, avocado and sprouts. Drizzle another tablespoon of dill sauce over each sandwich. Cover with the remaining four slices of bread.

Prepare a few sandwiches, some salad, snacks and dessert, pack a basket and a blanket, and you’re ready for a picnic. Here are some recipes to help you get on your way. (Key: C = cup, T = tablespoon, t = teaspoon, lb = pound, oz = ounce, qt = quart) Brussels Sprout Salad Since brussel sprouts are not in season, and may be difficult to find, you may use cabbage or romaine lettuce instead. For some different alternatives, throw in some aged cheddar, apples, pecans or apple cider vinaigrette. 1 1/2 lb brussel sprouts, freshest available 3 T extra-virgin olive oil 2-3 T fresh lemon juice 1 t fresh thyme leaves 1/3 C fresh chives, minced 1 1/3 C hazelnuts, smashed just a bit and toasted 2 oz hard, salty, aged cheese, shaved (pecorino, dry aged jack, parmesan, etc.) 2-3 big pinches of salt

Vegetarian Reuben Sandwich Seitan ("say-tan"), also called “wheat meat,” is a high protein, fat-free food with a meaty texture and flavor. Look for it in the dairy department at the Co-op. 1 onion, thinly sliced 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 C sauerkraut 1 t paprika 1/2 t caraway seeds 1/2 t thyme 1/4 t black pepper 1 8-oz package seitan, drained and thinly sliced 8 slices rye bread, toasted (if desired) 1/2 C (or to taste) vegan mayonnaise 3 T (or to taste) stoneground or dijon mustard 2 tomatoes, sliced Heat 1/2 cup of water in a large non-stick skillet and cook onion and garlic until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in sauerkraut, paprika, caraway seeds, thyme and black pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring often for 5 minutes.

Shred the brussels sprouts whisper thin using a mandoline, or alternately, a knife (a mandoline gives the sprouts a wispiness that is harder to achieve with a knife). Five minutes before serving, place the shredded sprouts in a large mixing bowl and toss gently with the olive oil, lemon juice, thyme, chives, salt and hazelnuts. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more lemon juice if needed, keeping in mind the cheese will bring a salty element to the salad. Add the cheese and toss once or twice to distribute it evenly throughout the salad. Serves 4–6. Vegetable Sandwich with Dill Sauce If raw onions have too much of a bite, tame them by rinsing the slices under cold running water or soaking them in a bowl of cold water for a few minutes. Pat them dry before putting them on your sandwich.

Add seitan slices. Cover and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes. Toast bread if desired. To assemble sandwiches, spread bread with mayonnaise and mustard. Top four slices of bread with sauerkraut mixture, seitan slices, tomato slices and the remaining bread. Makes 4 sandwiches. Indian Pulled-Chicken Sandwiches 3/4 C plain whole-milk yogurt 3/4 C mango chutney 2 T fresh lime juice 2 t mild curry powder 1 small rotisserie chicken, meat shredded, skin and bones discarded (4 C) 2 scallions, thinly sliced 1/2 C cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped 1 C baby arugula leaves 4 brioche rolls or other rolls, split kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Classical Homeopathy Visceral Manipulation Craniosacral Therapy

MARY ALICE COOPER, MD St. Raphael Medical Center 204 Carlisle NE Albuquerque, NM 87106


In a food processor, pulse the yogurt, chutney, lime juice and curry until blended but not completely smooth. Scrape the mixture into a medium bowl; add the shredded chicken, scallions and cilantro and toss well. Season with salt and pepper. Lay the arugula on the rolls, spoon the pulled chicken salad on top and serve. Serves 4.

1/2 C plain yogurt 3 T chopped fresh dill 1 1/2 t Dijon mustard 1 T cooking oil 1 t wine vinegar 8 thick slices multigrain bread 8 lettuce leaves 1/2 lb sliced provolone 2 tomatoes, sliced 1 cucumber, peeled and sliced thin 1 small red onion, sliced very thin 1 ripe avocado, sliced 1 C alfalfa sprouts salt and freshly ground pepper

These recipes have been adapted and reprinted from the following sources:

In a small bowl, stir together the yogurt, dill, mustard, oil, vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Spread a tablespoon of the dill sauce on one side of each of four slices of bread. Top each slice with lettuce, provolone, toma-

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May 2009 11



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May 2009 12 In their skilled hands, glass globes become bird feeders and planters. Knobby clear lamp bases hold candles or become terrariums and broken tile is patterned into tabletops and stove backsplashes.


Excerpted from "ReStore, Habitat for Humanity" appearing in the anthology Going Green, edited by Laura Pritchett. RUTH FRIESEN hat’s this?” I pulled a piece of metal from the pile. It was rusty but the shape intrigued me. Was it a bird cage? A store display? A giant egg beater? No matter what it was, I knew I could use it to make something interesting.



I was standing in the backyard of a city-condemned house, and here was the lifetime of work by the retired welder who once had lived here. He missed his vocation so much that he spent his spare time welding literally tons of metal into fences, gazebos, and whatever else he could imagine. Once these items had been car wheels, window frames, I-beams holding up buildings – and now, they were part of a welder's fantasy. What I had come to see today, though, was a spiral staircase. The staircase was welded into other fanciful curlicues of metal creating a fence, but it led nowhere, just upwards into the sky. Did the welder use it for star gazing, if he had time after his day’s welding? I recognized a kindred spirit in the welder. Maybe he didn’t have a specific use for something but he recognized its beauty, even though to the new owner it was five tons of metal to recycle. This was just one of many potential donations I previewed as the director of ReStore, a Habitat for Humanity building material thrift store in Albuquerque. Habitat for Humanity discovered that selling donated used building materials creates a revenue stream enabling the construction of more homes for low-income families. Throughout the US hundreds of ReStores have sprung up. Used material is treasure to landlords, our best customers. Unwilling to put a lot of money into something that often gets wrecked by tenants, they find gently and not-so-gently used cabinets they can make fit and upgrade ancient light fixtures with last year’s models. Smalljob contractors and handymen working with homeowners on repairs and remodels love our store too. One homeowner bought the welder’s spiral staircase to access the deck he was creating atop his flat-roof garage. Another struggled home with a whole wall of windows removed from some palatial house. What might be viewed as kindling by one person may inspire creativity in another. When a plumbing supply company donated parts bins which had been sitting outside for many months, we wondered if we could salvage anything from them. Teenage volunteers wielded

DRIP IRRIGATION Using multi programs for: • Trees and shrubs • Herbs and perennials • Veggies and annuals

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paintbrushes, being careful not to get splinters in their fingers, and turned some of them a shiny turquoise for our electrical parts aisle. They now hold switchplates, plugs, and cords. A restaurateur, one of our steady customers, begged and pleaded with us to sell him one for a wine rack in his new Brazilian churrasco. We finally relented and watched him drive away with one end hanging perilously off the end of his pickup truck. After a Whole Foods store renovation, I wondered what our creative customers would find to do with the large wooden produce tables and bins they donated. The bins were snapped up in a springtime rush of planting fervor as large flower beds. With their pullout shelves, the tables became ideal hobbyists’ tables. Perhaps the most imaginative customers are the crafters. I wouldn’t have thought of wrapping wire and beads around flat glass panels from outdated chandeliers to make sun catchers. And who would have thought of weaving coils of nail-gun nails through rabbit fencing to make a decorative fence?

Recycling does have its limits. Who wants a large hot tub with holes punched in the acrylic? And how do we dispose of it when it is dumped on our doorstep? Do cheap fiberboard outdated cabinets ever become sought-after antiques? But then again, who would have thought that metal kitchen cabinets would become highly desired additions to a retro kitchen? Many people would have thought an old sink filled with paint was useless. But it was just the ticket for a rough and tumble hermit who was building a cabin in the mountains for less than $5,000. The fact that it had no holes for faucets was perfect for his pump sitting next to the sink. I’ve learned to view each item as something intriguing, an opportunity for a second use that may be even better than its first use. As my guests walk up my curved pebbled sidewalk, past the cactus and to my front door, they often ask me if that oval wire globe on a rusted metal porch spindle is a birdcage. It could be, I suppose. It began its life as a commercial dough mixer, and then it was the welder’s treasure. For me, it’s the perfect sculpture in a spot where only cactus grows. The welder would be proud. Reprinted with publisher’s permission, University of Oklahoma Press, 2009.


REVISITED GREENWALD PHONE CALLS ARE NOW BEING RELAYED TO THE BASE COMMANDER n your April 2009 Co-op Connection, the group Protect Our Air and Water urged you to call the Kirtland Base Commander and express your concerns about the open burning and detonation of toxic materials going on at the Base. BY JANET


Kirtland had conducted no open burning last year, but James Bearzi, Chief of the New Mexico Environment’s Hazardous Waste Bureau, said the last time Kirtland open burned was May of 2008.


Open Burning at Kirtland TAKE TWO Jill said that from now on when people want to relay a message to the Base ComThanks to all of you who made the mander on this open burning call! The many folks who did got a variety STOP the issue she will make sure that of responses: some people were told that the Commander gets their mesthere is no open burning at Kirtland, others sages. Open burning of toxins that that activity was conducted off base and still others that a state agency was responsible in the middle of a large urban area is a very bad idea, especially affecting fetal development and that of for the burning. young children. It is not the act of a good neighbor. I spoke to Jill Speake of the public affairs office at Let’s let them know how many of us want this practhe Base on April 13 and expressed my frustration tice stopped. that the base was denying its activities to the public. Jill apologized for the misinformation; said that the Please take the time to make a call (or another call) reception people receiving the calls for the to Kirtland Air Force Base today: No more open Commander had been “overwhelmed” by the num- burning and only emergency detonation! Call Jill ber of calls they were receiving and honestly did not Speake, 505-846-5991. Also, let your Federal Representatives know how you feel: Senator Jeff know Kirtland was conducting open burning. Bingaman, 1-800-443-8658, Senator Tom Udall, Jill said that it is true that Kirtland holds permits Alb. 346-6791, Rep. Martin Heinrich 346-6781. and is now requesting a new permit to continue to “open burn and detonate” thousands of pounds of For more information, contact CARD, Citizens toxic materials per year, but that Kirtland does not for Alternatives to Radioactive Dumping, 242always burn or detonate that amount. She said that 5511, 266-2663,


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farming & gardening ORGANICS REVITALIZE by Brett Bakker




he face of organic agriculture is changing. I mean that literally. Since my early days as an organic inspector and now as a certifier, many divergent types of people are stepping up to the plate. Or I should say, plow. As late as the early 2000s, the majority of organic operations were run by children of the counterculture who long ago realized “dropping out” means taking responsibility for your own communities’ needs. Raising food for local consumption. Impacting the health and thereby true wealth of your neighborhood. Recycling the resource locally, be it compost or cash.


the transition isn’t actually all that difficult. In granddad’s day, expensive chemical fertilizers and pesticides were financially out of reach for frequent use. Aged or composted manure and rotations remained the backbone of these farms even when money was flush for a few bags of 1210-8 fertilizer.


The self-sufficiency cry of the Mother Earth News backto-the-land’er came to mean not isolated independence but integrated interdependence. Living in a remote cabin scratching out a few veggies (I tried it) still left a hole in the whole. When the crop fails, the well runs dry or the chickens get eaten by coyotes the homestead can be a lonely place. What many of these Conservationists came to realize is that they had more in common with Conservatives than they knew. In the past few years the explosive growth of certified organic operations in New Mexico hasn’t taken place in “hip” communities surrounding Santa Fe or Taos but tiny hamlets ringing Portales: Causey, Pep, Rogers, Dora. Folks who grew up in a tractor seat or the dairy barn are moving their sizable farms into organic practices. For many,

May 2009 13

modity” foods like peanuts, wheat or milk are hard to come by if you’re dedicated to shopping in your immediate bio-region. A few mavericks like Virginia’s Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm have shown that sustainable multi-crop/livestock operations are feasible and desirable but they’re few and far between. Its hard to say when this could become commonplace unless or until energy and fuel are just about to run out. Anyone remember when we hoped for that? That such a crisis might make only local production feasible? As I’ve reported before, if you demand to hop down to your local co-op or local natural food chain for milk or tropical fruit on any day of the year, large-scale commodity production will continue. Heck, even that organic broccoli you buy year-round comes from huge monocrop operations.

itchy green

thumb It was gratifying and even amusing to see lanky cowboys in new jeans and pressed shirts comparing notes with pierced dreadlocked gardeners in drawstring cotton pants at the annual New Mexico Organic Farming Conference in Las Cruces this past February. The politics of either side may remain at odds, but helping a neighbor rebuild a burnt barn, keeping watch over the cows next door while they calve on a stormy night, lending a hand & baling wire to rescue an ailing tractor: these are all rural values. Farmers (and that term includes ranchers — it hasn’t been all that long since raising crops and raising livestock became separate endeavors) have always banded together. Anthropology shows that early civilization and villages (soon to become cities) were possible only with a steady food supply. Specialization like making pottery (to better store grain and seed), forging better tools (to ease farm labor) and creating art (not by bread alone) was only possible when there was available food for all. I still strongly believe in localized production of things like vegetables, fruit and herbs but “com-

Some of the eastern NM organic dairies (we have four so far) are moving toward directing some of their production to cheese making, a commodity that—unlike cartonized milk—doesn’t rely only on big contracts with nationwide distributors. I’m not putting down the organic dairymen who must use those contracts. Far from it. They (followed closely by peanut growers) are responsible for a huge ripple effect in their communities. The need for more and better cared-for pasture and quality hay coaxes more farms into certified organic production. More jobs for local farmhands and more money channeled to local equipment dealers means more money to local restaurateurs, grocers and hardware stores struggling to hold their own against Wal-Mart. No this isn’t the only answer to revitalizing community and the local food-shed but it sure looks like trickle-up economics to me. I’m proud to know these new-to-organic farmers, folks I once stupidly thought I had little in common with. I am, however, interested to see who in Roosevelt County takes that first step to producing vegetables for their local economy. Grandpa did it. IN AN UPCOMING ISSUE: The Small New Mexico Grower’s Impact on Their Community. BRETT BAKKER IS THE CHIEF ORGANIC CERTIFIER FOR NMOCC.



May 2009 14


Shoots program, service learning and how to take their own passions to help the environment, animals and people and turn them into communitybased service projects.

Youth Leadership Retreat, Wind River Ranch s summer draws near, Roots & Shoots Four Corners is welcoming applications for their 2009 Youth Leadership Retreat. Held at Wind River Ranch ( in Watrous, New Mexico, from June 12th to the 14th, it is open to any high school-aged youth who resides in the Four Corners Region (Utah, Colorado, Arizona or New Mexico). Youth do not need to be a member of the Roots & Shoots program to be considered. The application deadline is May 22.

The retreat will be free to any accepted applicants. Participants will be responsible for their own transportation to and from the event; however, the Roots & Shoots Four Corners Office will assist in coordinating any carpooling opportunities that may be available.

roots &


For more information contact Emily Dietrich Millstein, Regional Program Manager, 216 Otero St., Santa Fe, NM 87501, 1-505-988-1670, or email: go to

These potential youth leaders will join Roots & Shoots staff to learn about Dr. Jane Goodall and the Roots &

Hummingbird Living School

&Community ROBERT GRIFFIN ummingbird Living School and Community, located in northern New Mexico, is committed to stewarding the shift in consciousness needed for us to transform our world into unity, love and cooperation. Programs are oriented toward making that shift within oneself to become the change you want to see and inspire others to do the same. This includes: Co-creation, Eco-stewardship and Regenerative Arts; the skills necessary to evolve our relationship with all parts of our life, Self, Spirit, Earth; our social interactions and our cultural expressions. BY

H Member of International Society of Arboriculture and Society of Commercial Arboriculture ISA Certified, Licensed & Insured



Hummingbird has several programs this summer of interest to Transition Initiatives and area youth and young adults. The Community Apprenticeship Certification Program (CACP) offers a well rounded experience in the various dimensions of sustainable living. Special programs offered by friends of Hummingbird can also be attended individually

rather than as part of the CACP. Some scholarships are possible for some of the programs as well as personal fundraising support. • Pachamama Alliance’s Awakening the Dreamer, Be the Change Youth Facilitator Training • Regenesis Solstice Retreat: Everyday Evolution – Remaking Our World From Soul with Samantha Sweetwater • Vision Quest with Jorge (Red Tail Hawk) Arenivar • Permaculture Design Certification Course with Rico Zook • Co-Creating the Human Dream with Katharine Roske and Richard Ruster Go to programs. Or call Robert at 575-387-5877, or Linda at 575-387-2418.

Time to Mulch

Order Composted Wood Chips Now $10 cu. yd. (reg. price $12 cu. yd.) Minimum 3 cu. yd. plus Delivery fee $55

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L I N K I N G Y O U T H I N O V E R 1 2 C O U N T I E S : P E A C E PA L

BIRTHDAY PARTY SARAH WILKINSON n about the same amount of time that it takes for a mama elephant to give birth to her baby, PeacePal has grown from a small letter-writing project to a program that now includes 12 countries and more than 1,700 pen pals! BY


able jumper, silent auction and raffle round out the activities at the party, which has the theme of “Peace Begins in Me: What One Person Can Do.” “By using old-fashioned letters to form friendships, we discover common interests and common ground. We want our pen pals to learn about respecting differences and resolving conflicts peacefully so that they can take those skills into adulthood and be peaceful leaders in their communities.”

So, to celebrate our success we are throwing a FREE international birthday party. The celeMAY bration runs from 10am to 2 16TH Project PeacePal is an international peace pm on Saturday, May 16 at The education pen pal and community servHarwood Art Center in Albuquerque and includes international music, food, ice organization dedicated to empowering tomorrow's leaders. PeacePal Birthday Party: dance, costumes and art. Don’t miss the fun! 10am-2pm on Saturday, Learn Hawaiian hula, take an up-close look at May 16 at the Harwood Art Center at 1147 authentic Japanese kimonos, dance to the beat of 7th Street NW in Albuquerque. For more Taiko drumming or Marimba, get a henna hand information about Project PeacePal and design, and sample treats from around the world. the birthday party, visit www.peacepal. Displays from local PeacePal groups, a kids’ inflat- org or call 505-255-2042.




for Casas de Vida Nueva - Houses of New Life — a therapeutic farm for people with severe mental illness. Friday, May 22nd at 7pm at UNM Continuing Ed, 1634 University Blvd. $7 includes the film, a panel discussion from experts in permaculture practice and refreshments from La Montanita Co-op.



Keith Franzoy, Desert Ga


mixed vegetables for a U-pick operation. Their aim has been to become bulk lavender suppliers. They still have most of their essential oil from the 2006 crop, and have completed the harvest and processing of the 2007 crop. They also make lavender-raspberry jam. Their farm is for sale. They are a retired couple who built up the business as a part-time hobby and are now overwhelmed by the workload as demand has increased. I am delivering samples of their extract to Aromaland for testing and hope this connection will result in an outlet for their bulk oil. Quail Valley Farm Netta Coleman recently started Quail Valley Farm. She is an RN at a hospital in Ruidoso. She keeps 500 quail, gathers 400 eggs per day, and pickles and packs two to three cases per day. She is experimenting with different breeds to see which work best for her, and is ready to expand and adapt her facility to attain high animal welfare standards. Eagle Ranch, Heart of the Desert Pistachios The Schweers family started Eagle Ranch thirty years ago. The ranch currently comprises 85 acres. Most of their12,000 trees are sixteen years old and nearing peak production. (These trees will produce for a long time: there are pistachio trees in the Middle East that are 2,000 years old.) Each tree can produce eighty pounds of nuts per year, in a cycle like pecans, where a bumper year is followed by a less productive year. Eagle Ranch has developed a first-class processing and production facility. Overall New Mexico pistachios are less than one percent of the domestic total. We discussed opportunities in the organic market, and Steve agreed that it was worth further investigation. Tularosa Travel Center, Glover Farms Johnny Glover and family produce pecans and this year have supplied the CDC with pecans in shell for holiday sales at our stores and for distribution to Whole Foods. December 29, 2007 Tucumcari Mountain Cheese. Chuck Krause and his partners Neville Muggleton and Scott Novy opened this factory in 1995. They have produced various types of cheese, including aged cheddar and jack, but now focus on feta. They have developed a range of packaging and marketing

contacts in the Greek food distribution channels. They ship semi-truckloads of feta east to Boston and Philadelphia and west to San Diego, among other cities. Chuck is excitedly rearranging the plant to enable production of specialty cheeses in small batches, to complement the feta business that is the company’s mainstay. We have received our first shipment of cheddar and muenster. Asiago will follow after its required sixty-day aging. February 28, 2008 Sunsong Dairy, Estancia Tammy and Bill Griffis have been building up Sunsong Dairy, hoping to enter the raw goat milk market this summer. There is no Organic Valley of goat milk to take their overflow. The market for volume raw goat milk is uncertain and the handling requirements will be challenging. The process of bringing this new product online will be somewhat slow. Tammy and Bill are counting on the Co-op as the distributor for their milk. Old Windmill Dairy, Estancia, will use their milk in cheesemaking. The essence of value chain work is that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” In some ways this past year has been a struggle, and there’s still much work to be done to strengthen the CDC, deliver value for the stores, and provide more foundational, yearround products for our transportation system. I am very excited and pleased by the significant progress we have made in the dairy sector, but I would like to see more momentum in, for example, produce and meat department work. I am confident we can work together to make the best of this extraordinary opportunity. Steve Warshawer also operates Beneficial Farm, near Santa Fe, New Mexico’s oldest CSA (Community Supported Agriculture project).

“I help the food producer however I can, or direct them to others who can help them if I can’t.” –Steve Warshawer

CO-OP DISTRIBUTION CENTER  361 Columbia NE 3 Albuquerque, NM 87107 505-217-2010 505-217-0677






Comanche Aztec


Michelle Franklin, CDC Team Leader 505-217-2010 Steve Warshawer, Enterprise Development Manager 505-470-4607 cell

Paola Legarde, Sage Creations Organic Farm


The La Montanita Coop Connection is a monthly publication about food and issues affecting our local foodshed. Membership in La Montañita Co-...