Harvest Celebration PICNIC
MEETING BY KRISTY DECKER, BOARD MEMBER ENGAGEMENT COMMITTEE CHAIR
ur annual membership meeting on October 12, and it is really more a celebration than a meeting. It is a celebration of who we are as a co-op, a celebration of our members, our community and our environment. This year’s theme is harvest picnic. We want you to have fun. We want to offer a fabulous meal with the food we stand behind so proudly. We want to answer your questions and share what the Co-op is up to these days. There are a number of things La Montanita Co-op has to celebrate this year. For example: • Our Foodshed Program has grown and has helped many farmers and producers scale up and sell their products. The CDC even had a visit from Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack this year to honor just this type of work! • Sales are at an all time high in our Gallup store, which has provided many tremendous healthy options for an under-served community. • We have been gearing up to open a new location on the Westside, due to open October 16! • Our La Montanita Fund continues to grow and has provided $125,250 in loans since it began in 2011, helping local farmers and producers to build a thriving and sustainable local economy. • Our Veteran Farmer Project, another program La Montanita has started in the Albuquerque community, has been very successful. • Our volunteer program continues to be a success and a role model program for other co-ops across the nation. • Our social media has been updated, and we are proud to increase our ways of connecting with our members. Our new mobile app is the latest tool to help reach and inform our members. Come out and celebrate with us at this year’s annual membership celebration. It’s your Co-op! Please RSVP on our website www.lamontanita.com or to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 217-2027 by Wednesday, October 9.
HARVEST PICINIC AND MEMBER MEETING will be held at the Cooperative Distribution Center/Co-op Administrative Offices, 901 Menaul Blvd. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87107 (between Broadway and Broadbent on Menual). WHAT’S THAT SMELL? We will feed you local Sweetgrass Co-op beef and South Valley Kyzer pork. We will have delicious vegetarian/vegan options from our deli as well! LIKE TO LISTEN TO LIVE LOCAL MUSIC? We will have the Americana bluegrass band Wildewood! HAVE KIDS? We want to celebrate our young members as well! Enjoy art projects and other fun activities for kids of all ages. WHAT HAS YOUR CO-OP BEEN DOING IN THE PAST YEAR? Is La Montanita Co-op in a good financial condition?
ECONOMY BY ROBIN SEYDEL
his October marks the fourth year of our La Montanita Fund. This grassroots local investing and micro lending project helps support farmers, ranchers and value added producers throughout the state by providing capital to scale up the local/regional food system. This year we are pleased to announce our fourth investor enrollment period. It will begin October 1 and run through March 2014. Our loan program is ongoing throughout the year, without loan application deadlines. Last year we made $38,125 in new loans to farmers and ranchers around the state. Given the intense drought that caused ranchers and farmers, with their substantial dose of environmental responsibility and common sense, to slow their pace of growth; this was still a respectable loan amount. Also in February of 2013 the LaM FUND paid 1.67% return on investment to our investors. One of the most interesting aspects of the Fund has been the recognition of its innovative grassroots structure which generated much interest from a variety of investing and securities organizations around the country, as well as a number of other co-ops.
Award-winning filmmaker Steve Alves describes this documentary as “one part food, to two parts politics, to three parts economics.” In it he tracks the co-op movement’s quest for whole and organic foods, and the dream of sustainable food systems. The film profiles several current food co-ops that have revived neighborhoods and entire communities—right in the shadow of corporate agribusiness and national supermarket chain stores.
Enjoy the Annual Membership Meeting! Oct. 12th
It’s YOUR CO-OP!
A Vehicle for Local Investing In the LaM FUND’s fourth offering, the investment remains open to all current Coop members who reside in New Mexico. The New Mexico Securities Division approved a total aggregate investment of $200,000 for the FUND, so that investors from our first three years can maintain their support of the FUND, and still allow room to include more Co-op members who wish to participate. We currently have $128,500 in investments. The money raised from the sale of the LaM FUND “Interests” is placed in a money market account at the New Mexico Educators Federal Credit Union (NMEFCU), and used to collateralize loans approved by the LaM FUND’s Loan Advisory Committee. Interests are $250 each, with a total 800 units in this year’s offering. La Montanita Co-op will maintain its investment of $25,000 that is used first to cover outstanding balances in the event of a LaM FUND loan default. These A-Interests are the
DOCUMENTING THE CO- OP ROLE IN ECONOMIC JUSTICE FOOD FOR CHANGE see it OCT. 20 ood for Change is a provocative new film that looks at the current resurgence of food co-operatives in America, and their unique historic place in America’s economic and political landscape. This feature-length documentary, produced by Home Planet Pictures, tells the story of the co-op movement in the US through a combination of interviews, rare archival footage and commentary by coop leaders and historians. No other film has examined the key role played by consumer-led food co-ops during the decades-long debate over profit-driven capitalism vs. locally-controlled economic enterprises. Born in America’s heartland, cooperatives were seen as the middle path between Wall Street and Socialism.
WHO IS RUNNING FOR THE BOARD THIS YEAR? Come meet this year’s candidates! Save the DATE! OCTOBER 12!
Food, Fun and Music!
the Fourth OFFERING GROWS THE LOCAL
EVER WANT TO SEE WHAT THE MOGRO (MOBILE GROCERY) TRUCK LOOKS LIKE ON THE INSIDE? Come on down and shop at the MoGro store!
Hear from Terry Bowling, general manager, and Martha Whitman, board president!
La Montanita FUND Grassroots Investing and Micro-lending
WHAT DOES THE CO-OP DISTRIBUTION CENTER ACTUALLY DO? Take a tour and hear from Michelle Franklin, our CDC manager!
Co-op’s financial commitment to the program and although the purchase of LaM FUND Interests are considered high risk, the A-Interests purchased by the Co-op provide a lessening of risk for other LaM FUND investors. B-Interests are available to all Co-op members on a first-come first-served basis until they are gone. To keep the grassroots nature of the investing program, individuals are limited to 40 B-Interests for an individual maximum investment of $10,000 per offering. The LaM FUND now offers investment terms of one, three and five years, to allow for longer loan repayment terms to better serve the needs of farmers and food producers. Loan applications are accepted in an ongoing basis and the LaM FUND Loan Committee meets as needed to review all applications. Join your Co-op in this community building adventure. Put your money where your mouth is and become a La Montanita FUND investor today. For more information, a prospectus/memorandum, investor agreement, loan applications and lending criteria, contact Robin Seydel at 505-217-2027, toll free at 877-775-2667 or at robins@lamon tani ta.coop. All LaM FUND documents are also available at www.lam ontanita.coop.
LA MONTANITA CO-OP IS PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THE OPENING OF THE
NEW WESTSIDE LOCATION!
WESTSIDE LOCATION EVENT
FILM SCREENING OCT. 2O!
But there were darker days for co-ops after World War II, Alves adds. “Big business gained an influential role within the government, laying the groundwork for a post-war culture based on mass-production, corporate consolidation, and rampant consumerism.” Among Arles’ award winning documentaries is Talking to the Wall: The Story of an American Bargain, about one New England town’s battle against the world’s largest retailer. “Food co-ops were a byproduct of the Great Depression,” says co-op historian David Thompson. “The disparity in wealth between the haves and the don’t-haves was the spark that ignited co-ops. As co-ops grew, they restored hope to millions of Americans who began to gain some economic control over their lives and their communities just as co-ops are doing today.” Food for Change premiers simultaneously both at the Fitzgerald Theater, in St. Paul, Minnesota, and as a webcast to roughly 75 co-op communities across the country. A 15minute excerpt from Food for Change was screened at the United Nations last year, where it was given an award. To view the trailer for the film: http://foodforchange. coop/trailer/
OPENS OCT. 16
NEW WESTSIDE Location Welcomes the Community at a National Co-op Month FREE FILM SCREENING of the The New Documentary:
FOOD FOR CHANGE Saturday, Oct. 20, AT THE NEW WESTSIDE LOCATION
3601 Old Airport Ave. in the Cottonwood Commons Shopping Center You don’t have to be a member to shop. But check out our great member welcome packet filled with fun deals and great coupons!
La Montanita Cooperative A Community - Owned Natural Foods Grocery Store Nob Hill/ 7am-10pm M-S, 8am-10pm Sun. 3500 Central SE Abq., NM 87106 265-4631 Valley/ 7am-10pm M-Sun. 2400 Rio Grande Blvd. NW Abq., 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
October 2013 2
VETERAN FARMER PROJECT LEARNING
THROUGH ANIMAL HUSBANDRY FREE Classes in October BY ROBIN SEYDEL AND SARAH WENTZEL-FISHER Fall Animal Husbandry Trainings: Chickens and Goats and Cows, Oh My! The Veteran Farmer Project (VFP) animal husbandry workshop series, offered in collaboration with Holistic Management
UNM Co-op ’N Go/ 7am-6pm M-F, 10-4pm Sat. Closed Sun., 2301 Central Ave. SE Abq., NM 87131 277-9586 Westside/ 7am-10pm M-Sun. 3601 Old Airport Ave. Abq., NM 87114 503-2550
Store Team Leaders: • Valerie Smith/Nob Hill 265-4631 email@example.com • John Mulle/Valley 242-8800 firstname.lastname@example.org • William Prokopiak/Santa Fe 984-2852 email@example.com • Michael Smith/Gallup 575-863-5383 firstname.lastname@example.org • Mark Lane/Westside 503-2550 email@example.com Co-op Board of Directors: email: firstname.lastname@example.org • President: Martha Whitman • Vice President: Marshall Kovitz • Secretary: Ariana Marchello • Treasurer: Susan McAllister • Lisa Banwarth-Kuhn • Kristy Decker • Jake Garrity • Jessica Rowland • Betsy VanLeit Membership Costs: $15 for 1 year/ $200 Lifetime Membership Co-op Connection Staff: • Managing Editor: Robin Seydel email@example.com 217-2027 • Layout and Design: foxyrock inc • Cover/Centerfold: Co-op Marketing Dept. • Advertising: Sarah Wentzel-Fisher • Editorial Assistant: Sarah Wentzel-Fisher firstname.lastname@example.org 217-2016 • Printing: Vanguard Press Membership information is available at all four Co-op locations, or call 217-2027 or 877-775-2667 email: email@example.com website: www.lamontanita.coop Membership response to the newsletter is appreciated. Address typed, double-spaced copy to the Managing Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright ©2013 La Montanita Co-op Supermarket Reprints by prior permission. The Co-op Connection is printed on 65% post-consumer recycled
If you are a previous participant in the Veteran Farmer Project or a local veteran interested in participating, please pre-register to be included in the program. The VFP program is open to all veterans and active service personnel in all branches of service. Space is limited and we ask that all participants pre-register. To pre-register, please contact Robin Seydel at La Montanita Co-op by email at email@example.com, or by telephone at 505-217-2027 or toll free at 877-775-2667; or John Shields at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 505-256-6499, ext. 5638; or go to our Veteran Farmer Project Facebook page or www.lamontanita.coop. The VA Recreation Therapy van will be meeting in front of the gazebo just west of the hospital to take registered veterans to the trainings.
Cooperative Distribution Center 901 Menual NE, Abq., NM 87107 217-2010 Administrative Staff: 217-2001 TOLL FREE: 877-775-2667 (COOP) • General Manager/Terry Bowling 217-2020 email@example.com • Controller/John Heckes 217-2029 firstname.lastname@example.org • Computers/Info Technology/ David Varela 217-2011 email@example.com • Operations Manager/Bob Tero 217-2028 firstname.lastname@example.org • Human Resources/Sharret Rose 217-2023 email@example.com • Marketing/Edite Cates 217-2024 firstname.lastname@example.org • Membership/Robin Seydel 217-2027 email@example.com • CDC/MichelleFranklin 217-2010 firstname.lastname@example.org
Planning, including how to set a Whole Farm Goal, effective On-Farm Decision-Making, Record Keeping, Financial Planning, and Enterprise Analysis.
ANIMAL HUSBANDRY TRAINING SCHEDULE: 10/3 Grazing Planning at Lone Mountain Ranch 10/7 Reading the Land Workshop at Gutierrez Hubbell House 10/21 Small Stock: Dairy Goats at Old Windmill Dairy ALL CLASSES will be held from10am-12:30pm.
International, continues in October with three training sessions at farms and ranches around Albuquerque. These offerings are funded thanks to a generous grant from the New Mexico Department of Agriculture. Classes on small-scale animal production, including chickens, goats, sheep and cows, are taught by Dr. Ann Adams, HMI’s Director of Education and Community Services, and farm and ranch professionals at each location we visit. The local ranching community has embraced this program and graciously offered their facilities to serve as local learning sites. In October participants will visit the Old Windmill Dairy to learn about management of small stock, in this case goats, and the Lone Mountain Ranch in Golden, to learn to assess available grazing forage and then build a grazing plan based on forage information. Classroom sessions held in winter, beginning in mid-January 2014, will focus on the essentials of Whole Farm Business
COURTNEY WHITE “The Westerner is less a person than a continuing adaptation. The West is less a place than a process.” -Wallace Stegner BY
rom prehistoric times to the present, human societies have successfully adapted to the challenges of a changing West, including periods of severe drought, limitations created by scarce resources and shifting cultural and economic pressures. However, the American West is entering an era of unprecedented change brought on by new climate realities, which will test our capacity for adaptation as well as challenge the resilience of the region’s native flora and fauna. It is therefore paramount that we find and share inspiring ideas and practical strategies that will help all of the region’s inhabitants adapt to a rapidly changing world. But what is adaptation anyway? What I’ve learned over the past year is that there are two types of adaptation: short-tem and long-term. In the short-term, adaptation is a type of first responder, i.e., individuals, groups, communities and cities who see the early effects of a warming world, sense an emergency in the making and take action. First responders aren’t particularly interested in why the emergency happened in the first place. Their job is to deliver aid, fix things that are broken, troubleshoot and deal with the mess generally. Their focus is on the acute side of the spectrum: hotter weather, bigger storms and more frost-free days. Triage here includes maintaining human wellbeing day to day, dealing with natural disasters, repairing infrastructure, adjusting to distorted rhythms of nature and coping with the cost of it all. And it’s not just about humans. Heat-induced stress or a lack of food brought on by drought conditions are beginning to impact a wide variety of wildlife species as well. On the long-term or chronic side of the adaptation spectrum are the compounding effects of prolonged drought on water supplies and
NATIONAL FOOD DAY:
RIO GRANDE FARMERS
LAST CROP Film Screening and Conversation BY SARAH WENTZEL- FISHER October 24 marks the third annual Food Day. This year on Food Day, the Rio Grande Farmers Coalition (RGFC) will host a potluck and screen an extended preview of the film, The Last Crop. The Last Crop, still in production, seeks to assist local/national land trusts, non-governmental organizations (NGO's), community organizations, universities and government agencies in raising public support for the creation of new legislation that supports working farm preservation, farm succession alternatives and the creation of sustainable regional foodsheds. At this, its second seasonal public gathering, the RGFC invites both farmers and local food supporters to come together to eat and discuss the challenges and opportunities facing beginning farmers. Screening The Last Crop is a starting place for a conversation on parallel issues in New Mexico. October also marks an important legislative month. Congress will further refine a new farm bill. The RGFC advocates for support of the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, the Conservation Reserve Transition Incentives Program, and the Local Farms, Food and Jobs Act. Join the RGFC on October 24 at 6:30pm for food, film and conversation. Visit www.riograndefarmers.org to RSVP and for location specifics.
plant productivity, an increase in intensity and quantity of wildfire, expanded tree and wildlife mortality, and reduced values associated with nature. Adapting to these latter challenges will be much more difficult and complex, partly because they are unprecedented. They will also require a different sort of professional response—the difference, say, between an emergency room doctor and a research physician or a medical disaster planner. As Wallace Stegner noted, none of this should be news to Westerners, especially the indigenous populations of the region. The West and water scarcity have gone hand in hand for centuries. Recently, however, we’ve managed to inoculate ourselves against climatic seesaws. We built reservoirs on meager rivers to trap the water; we dug wells into the ground and attached electric pumps in order to draw out precious water from the deep; and lately we’ve inserted long metal straws into the Rio Grande and have begun sucking on their ends like someone trying to siphon gasoline from a car’s tank with a plastic hose. It’s worked—at least temporarily. We’ve become so accustomed to this state of affairs, however, that we’ve let our guard down and eroded our ability to respond to the short-term emergencies or to take long-term threats seriously. The latter requires planning and transformational changes, rather than business as usual. Are we willing to try? Tweaks won’t do it—a water conservation plan here, a “green” building there, a research study in this place, a task force in that place—not in the long-run anyway. Fortunately, there are a lot of scientists, ranchers, farmers, conservationists, urban planners and others who work on short-term and long-term solutions and have bright ideas and important tools to share from their adaptation toolbox. We’ve assembled a wonderful group of them at this year’s Quivira Conference, November 13-15, in Albuquerque. Come be inspired! To register go to www.quivira.org.
AGRICULTURE & SUSTAINABLE LIVING October 25 and 26 BY LORRAINE KAHNERATOKWAS GRAY, FOUR BRIDGES TRAVELING PERMACULTURE INSTITUTE The Four Bridges Traveling Permaculture Institute announces the 8th annual Traditional Agriculture and Sustainable Living Conference to be held October 25 and 26 at the Nick L. Salazar Performing Arts Building of Northern New Mexico College, in Espanola, New Mexico. The conference will include keynote speeches by Dr. Vandana Shiva, PhD, Dr. Greg Cajete, PhD, over half of the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers, and arriving from Boliva, Roberto Sahnero, a cultural performer. The event will also feature local and regional experts in the areas of food security and sustainable ecology, a heritage seed exchange, workshops and panel discussions on youth issues in the 21st century, food and nutrition, seed saving, traditional farming, land restoration, traditional medicine and medicinal herbs. The conference was created to bring awareness of the prevalence, presence and threat of genetically modified foods and seeds and promote healthy, traditional, sustainable methods of agriculture that exist as viable alternatives to the dangers of corporate agriculture. In cooperation with the Native American communities of Northern New Mexico, with their
October 2013 3
CONFERENCE tradition of agriculture and self sufficiency, we are asking people to abandon their reliance on corporate agriculture and consumeristic lifestyles that surround them. The conference will demonstrate the validity of traditional indigenous agriculture and knowledge to the broader community and teach it by presenting an opportunity to listen and share in their world view. Conference organizers believe that the genetic modification of our food may be the worst pollution problem facing mankind as there is no process to reverse genetic contamination and bring organic material back to its original state. Genetic modifications made today are forever. We believe that “for profit corporate scientists” have started a fire that they cannot put out. The Traditional Agriculture and Sustainable Living Conference is organized by a partnership of like-minded organizations, including the Pueblo of Tesuque, Four Bridges Traveling Permaculture Institute, Sostenga at Northern New Mexico College, Institute of Natural and Traditional Knowledge, New Mexico Acequia Association, and Traditional Native American Farmers’ Association (TNAFA). It seeks to generate pro-active community response in support of sustainable communities, ecologies, health and indigenous spiritual practices. FOR MORE INFORMATION, to register or make a donation visit: www.4bridges.org/annual-conference/2013-conference
SAVING Four Legged Lives: Companion Animal Rescue and Medical Assistance
Fourteen years ago, when there was no CARMA, Corrales' unclaimed strays were held for three days then sent to Albuquerque to be euthanized. The existing rescue groups were too overwhelmed to help. Fast forward to 2013 and the landscape for Corrales animals could not be more different. In 2010, the Corrales Council passed an ordinance making Corrales a no-kill community due in large part to the education and advocacy of CARMA. That ordinance acknowledged what CARMA had been doing for years, which was to save every animal, without exception. Without paid staff, with very little money, with no shelter, but with a passion and commitment to the animals, CARMA has rescued almost 4,300 dogs and cats, 96 percent of which have been adopted or relocated to no-kill situations. The remaining animals are awaiting suitable adoptive situations because we know that there is "a home for every animal." This has become our mantra because "we believe that every animal deserves a chance and in the right home, with the right human companion, there are no problem animals." While our obligation extends to all Corrales dogs and cats, that has not stopped us from helping municipal shelters when the need arises or from intervening when animals are in imminent danger. As long as we can create the room, we will reach out to other communities to help. CARMA has become the safety net for the lost, abandoned and surrendered animals of Corrales. In order to make this happen without the benefit of a shelter, CARMA has had to be creative and willing to test the limits of possibilities. We have experimented and perfected the challenge of communal living arrangements for cats; we have forged relationships with rescue groups and sanctuaries throughout the country and have taken animals to safe, no-kill environments when no options have existed here; and we have raised funds to care for those who needed lifesaving medical care. The challenges have been large but our dedication has been larger.
DONATE the dime!
it ALL adds up
For further information, please contact Barbara at 321-6275 by email at email@example.com, or by mail at CARMA, PO Box 1233, Corrales, NM 87048.
ANIMAL HUMANE NEW MEXICO
THE DOGGIE DASH AND
NOVEMBER 2, BALLOON FIESTA PARK Join Animal Humane NM in Albuquerque for the state’s biggest party for pets and people, Doggie Dash & Dawdle! Doggie Dash is a one-day pet festival where you can have fun with or without your four-legged friend. Join more than 4,000 other pet lovers for New Mexico's canine social event of the year! Help homeless pets in our community and join the festivities Saturday, November 2, at Balloon Fiesta Park, rain or shine. DASH, DAWDLE, or just come for fun! Move for the cause: Race for the cause in the 5K timed course (with or without a dog!), or if you prefer, enjoy the beautiful mountain views as you walk for the cause in the 2-Mile Dawdle. Either way, you'll help raise vital funds for the homeless pets in Animal Humane's care. IT'S A DOG'S DAY: Throughout Doggie Dash, you and your four-legged friend can enjoy vendors, doggie carnival games, contests, music, food trucks and more! Register online at DoggieDashAndDawdle.org.
BAG CREDIT ORGANIZATION
of the month:
This month your Donate the Dime organization is CARMA: Companion Animal Rescue and Medical Assistance: Providing a No Kill Safety Net for lost, abandoned and surrendered animals. In August your Donate the Dime Bag Credits, totaling $2,183.90, went to Theater In the Making’s Spectrum Project. Thanks to all who donated!
3601 Old Airport Ave. NW 505-503-2550
Alamed a Blvd. Coors Blvd.
A journey begins with a single step and the CARMA journey continues with unexpected challenges. Our next steps are already underway as we lay the groundwork for a no-kill sanctuary. We invite you to join us as we move forward. We need fosters and supporters; we need people with skills and vision; we need YOU to help us and the animals.
Bag Credit Donation of the Month BY BARBARA BAYER ompanion Animal Rescue and Medical Assistance (CARMA) is thrilled to be the recipient of the La Montanita Co-op Bag Donation for October. This is particularly exciting because October is the month that we welcome the Co-op on the Westside to a location that is next to our adoption site at Petco. For some of you, CARMA may be a new entity, but for most of us, the Co-op is an old friend. So let me share a little about our rescue group.
Old A irport Ave.
Old Airport Ave. 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 is published by La Montanita Co-op Supermarket to provide information on La Montanita 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.
O ctober 2013 4
CO-OP BOARD OF DIRECTORS EXPLANATION OF PROPOSED BYLAW AMENDMENTS
BYLAWS CHANGES BY PETER CHESTNUT For the 2013 elections, the La Montanita Board of Directors recommends two changes to our Bylaws. These changes add fairness regarding lifetime membership fees, and clarify the status of patronage dividends, and how the retained portion of those dividends shall be documented on financial records of the Cooperative. The first one, in Article 1. Membership, Section 1.2.5. addresses how a lifetime membership fee will be refunded, and in what amount. The second—revisions to Article 9, Capitalization—is intended to clarify that the portions of an annual patronage dividend that are retained by the Co-operative are to be treated as “contributions to capital” by each member. These changes essentially ratify the way the Co-operative has been treating the retained portion of patronage dividends for the past 20+ years. That is, the retained portion of each patronage dividend is considered as “paid in capital” and shown in the “Equity” part of our Co-op’s balance sheet. This equity is used for capital up keep and growth. Members should have no expectation of receiving those moneys back from the Co-operative. 1 Lifetime Membership Fee. The current language, Section 1.2.5 allows for a full refund after two years. The proposed new wording calls for refunds to include a deduction of $15 dollars per year for every year the lifetime membership was in effect. The proposed change also states that any refund will be in the discretion of the General Manager after consultation with the President of the Board of Directors, rather than resting solely with the Board. This change implements an aspect of our policy governance which holds management accountable for financial performance of our Co-operative. The additional language to deduct $15 per fiscal year of membership, including the year of the return to the member, is intended to remove a financial preference for this type of membership. These changes will apply to lifetime memberships received after November 19, 2013. Regular annual membership fees are not refundable. The lifetime membership fee was put in place years ago to provide additional working capital for our Co-operative. Thankfully, the need for that source has been reduced. The Board thinks that in fairness to the members whose annual fees are not refundable, that people who pay a lifetime membership fee should have that fee reduced by the annual fee for their years of membership, if the management and the Board President agreed to refund the remaining part of a lifetime membership. 2 Article 9. Capitalization. One important change here is to change the language from patronage “refund” to patronage “dividend.” This change is important for a number of reasons. One is that the amount of the patronage dividend declared by the Co-operative has a cash component, and a portion that is retained for re-investment in the Co-operative. Federal tax law pertaining to co-operatives, subchapter T, requires that at least 20% of any patronage dividend be paid in cash. The remainder can be retained by the Co-operative. The retained portion is not refunded to the members, but instead is entered on a capital ledger account for each member.
age dividend retained by the Co-op as equity can be shown on each member’s check stub for the cash portion of any patronage dividend and that it will be considered a “patronage dividend retains certificate” to satisfy the federal law. Section 9.3.4 restates the federal tax law requirement that at least 20% of any patronage dividend be paid in cash. It also clarifies that the co-operative has the duty to enter the retained portion as a credit to each member’s capital ledger account on the books of the Co-operative. Section 9.3.5 retains language in our current bylaws that the member agrees to take the entire amount of any patronage dividend into account for the member’s federal income tax purposes, as required federal co-operative tax law. Federal tax law states that the amount of the total dividend is not considered as income if the membership is for a household or personal, as distinct from a business purpose. The new language in this section acknowledges that the retained portion of each patronage dividend should be treated as if it was paid by the member in cash to the Co-operative and that it should be considered as a contribution to capital of the Co-operative. These changes describe the actual practice of the Co-operative, since the Board has not returned any of the retained portions of patronage dividends from any prior years. Section 9.5. Member Equity Returns. This section describes the process to be used in the event the Board of Directors decides to return any member equity. The proposed change primarily removes the requirement that the Board annually consider whether to return member equity. These requests are rare and the Board has no short term plans to return equity, due to the Co-op’s ongoing need for it, and therefore does not need to consider this issue unless a request is made. Section 9.6 is new. It addresses the requirement in the New Mexico Co-operative Association laws that bylaws should state what happens to a member’s equity after a membership ends. Your support for these changes will be appreciated. They will better position our Co-operative to move forward into the future on a sound legal and financial basis. If you have questions or comments, contact Marshall Kovitz, Bylaws Amendments Committee, at 256-1241 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find the exact proposed wording of the amendments here: www.lamontanita.coop/ index.php/directors/elections/2013-proposedbylaw-changes. This same document is available in paper at the information desk at any store. You can find the complete, current bylaws here, www.lamontanita.coop/images/documents/pdf/2011_12_bylaws.pdf, and also in paper form at any store. PETER CHESTNUT is an attorney, one of the founding members of La Montanita, and author of the Co-op’s Bylaws. He currently serves on the Co-op’s Finance Committee.
A second reason for this change is that “patronage dividend retain certificate” is a requirement for entities that enjoy the advantages of co-operative status allowed by federal income tax law. Language added in Section 9.3.2 makes clear that the amount of a patron-
For the November 2013 Board of Directors election, members will be asked to vote on two proposed amendments to La Montanita’s bylaws. Each of the proposed amendments is presented below in the following way: 1. A summary and a justification are offered. 2. The proposed amendment is shown with strikethroughs to any existing wording that will be deleted; new wording to be added is shown in a bold larger typeface. 3. A clean version is presented, showing how the amendment would read if accepted. If you wish to look at the current version of the full bylaws, you can find it here: http://www.lamontanita.coop/index.php/directors/bylaws. If you have questions or comments, contact Marshall Kovitz, Bylaws Amendments Committee at 256-1241 or email@example.com.
Proposed Bylaw Amendment #1 Summary and Justification for Proposed Bylaw Amendment #1 The proposed amendment deals with how requests for refunds of lifetime membership are handled and how much will be refunded. Lifetime memberships are optional one-time payments of $200. Currently, anyone requesting a refund is entitled to the full amount, subject to the approval of the Board of Directors. The proposed amendment would allow the Co-op to deduct $15/year for every year the lifetime membership was in effect; the balance would then be refunded. This deduction would only apply to lifetime memberships purchased after November 19, 2013, the day that this amendment would take effect. Lifetime memberships purchased before that time would be eligible for a full refund. The other change is that the General Manager, in consultation with the Board President would have the authority to decide whether or not to allow the refund. The Board feels that the $15/year deduction is fairer to the Co-op because a lifetime member will have received a year’s worth of benefits such as discount shopping days and the patronage dividend while the Co-op will have borne the corresponding costs. When the Co-op first offered the lifetime memberships, promotional materials stipulated that the $200 was fully refundable. We wish to honor that promise to anyone who has bought a lifetime membership under that assumption. The $15/year deduction will be noted on any materials created after the proposed amendment is accepted. Since the Board delegates to the General Manager decisions about the appropriate level of capitalization, the board feels that the GM is the best person to decide about refunds, in consultation with the Board president. To date, the Co-op has about 520 lifetime members and since the program started in the late 1990’s we have had about 11 requests for refunds. Bylaw Amendment #1, Showing Deletions to Existing Text and Additions of New Wording Section 1.2. APPLICATION FOR MEMBERSHIP. In order to be admitted to membership, the household or person shall file with the Cooperative a completed membership certificate. Membership certificates shall be filed under the name of the “primary member” of the household, who shall be the owner of the certificate. The “primary member” of the household shall be responsible for paying the annual membership fees and updating a change of address, phone number and for adding or deleting secondary member names. The “primary member” of the household is also the only member of the household who will have the right to vote in elections for the Board of Directors, cast mail ballots, and vote at membership meetings. The annual rebate check (if any) will be issued in the name of the “primary member.” Two additional members of a household may be listed on the certificate. The certificate shall contain the name, signature, and address of the owner (primary member); date of issue and date(s) of renewal. The application form shall include a statement that the applicant agrees that: 1. No dividends or interest shall be payable on the certificate. 2. Each membership shall have the right to but one vote. Voting by proxy and cumulative voting shall not be permitted. 3. A membership is not transferable. 4. The applicant will comply with and be bound by the terms and conditions relating to membership contained in the Articles of Incorporation and these Bylaws.
BOARD of DIRECTORS EXPLANATION OF PROPOSED
Keep cooperative economic democracy strong!
5. Each applicant will acquire a membership in the Cooperative by paying annual membership fees of $15 or by paying a lifetime membership fee of $200. The lifetime membership fee paid before November 19, 2013 shall be refundable after a period of two years after payment of the fee. If the lifetime membership is refunded, the household’s membership will no longer be considered current. Lifetime membership fees paid after November 19, 2013 may be refundable in the discretion of management after consultation with the President of the Board of Directors, with a deduction of $15 per year from the year of payment of the lifetime fee to the Cooperative, including the year of return to the member. For those lifetime memberships which are refunded, the membership will end with the fiscal year in which the refund to that member occurs. BylawAmendment Amendment#1, #1,Showing ShowingFinal Final Bylaw TextAfter AfterIncorporating IncorporatingProposed Proposed Text Changes Changes Article I. MEMBERSHIP Section 1.2. APPLICATION FOR MEMBERSHIP. In order to be admitted to membership, the household or person shall file with the Cooperative a completed membership certificate. Membership certificates shall be filed under the name of the “primary member” of the household, who shall be the owner of the certificate. The “primary member” of the household shall be responsible for paying the annual membership fees and updating a change of address, phone number and for adding or deleting secondary member names. The “primary member” of the household is also the only member of the household who will have the right to vote in elections for the Board of Directors, cast mail ballots, and vote at membership meetings. The annual rebate check (if any) will be issued in the name of the “primary member.” Two additional members of a household may be listed on the certificate. The certificate shall contain the name, signature, and address of the owner (primary member); date of issue and date(s) of renewal. The application form shall include a statement that the applicant agrees that: 1. No dividends or interest shall be payable on the certificate. 2. Each membership shall have the right to but one vote. Voting by proxy and cumulative voting shall not be permitted. 3. A membership is not transferable. 4. The applicant will comply with and be bound by the terms and conditions relating to membership contained in the Articles of Incorporation and these Bylaws. 5. Each applicant will acquire a membership in the Cooperative by paying annual membership fees of $15 or by paying a lifetime membership fee of $200. The lifetime membership fee paid before November 19, 2013 shall be refundable after a period of two years after payment of the fee. If the lifetime membership is refunded, the household’s membership will no longer be considered current. Lifetime membership fees paid after November 19, 2013 may be refundable in the discretion of management after consultation with the President of the Board of Directors, with a deduction of $15 per year from the year of payment of the lifetime fee to the Cooperative, including the year of return to the member. For those lifetime memberships which are refunded, the membership will end with the fiscal year in which the refund to that member occurs.
October 2013 5
CO-OP BOARD OF DIRECTORS EXPLANATION OF PROPOSED BYLAW AMENDMENTS Proposed Bylaw Amendment #2 Summary and Justification for Proposed Bylaw Amendment #2 As determined by the Board, patronage dividends are distributed to members at the end of sufficiently profitable years. The dividend consists of a cash portion, which must be at least 20% of the total dividend and a retained portion which is held by the Co-op and listed on each member’s account. The dividend is proportionate to the member’s business with the Co-op and is non-taxable for the member as long as the purchases were for ordinary household use. Acknowledging the importance of member economic participation in co-ops, the IRS treats the entire dividend—20% cash as well as 80% retained—as non-taxable to the Co-op. La Montanita has utilized this system for many years and the 80% retained has been essential to our growth and our ability to do good work. This is how patronage dividends have been handled in the past and nothing in the proposed amendment changes this. We do propose a name change, substituting the term, “Patronage Dividend,” for the existing, “Patronage Refund.” The dividend term more accurately reflects the ownership aspect of the transaction. Operationally, nothing will change. Another change is to formally note that the record of each member’s retained dividend will be shown on the member’s cash refund check stub, satisfying our requirement to provide a Patronage Dividend Retain Certificate. A significant change is the acknowledgement that the 80% retained will most likely continue to be held by the Co-op. This point is emphasized in the amended section, 9.3.5 and in new section 9.6. The Co-op has never returned the retained portion and given its importance to the Co-op, the Board has no plans to do so. However, the Board does retain the ability to refund this money and the process it would use is described in Sections 9.5.1 through 9.5.3. As previously mentioned, these proposed bylaw changes will not affect our current process for distributing the cash portion of the patronage dividend. You will continue to receive your patronage dividend checks after profitable years. Section 9.4 clarifies the terms under which Member Investment Certificates shall be issued. The Co-op has never issued any Certificates and has no plans to do so, since it now has sufficient access to capital through other means. However, should the Board ever choose to issue Member Investment Certificates, the amended process is more consistent with how we handle other member contributions. Bylaw Amendment #2, With Deletions to Existing Text and Additions of New Wording ARTICLE IX. CAPITALIZATION Section 9.1. COOPERATIVE OPERATION. The Cooperative shall be operated for the mutual benefit of its members, who shall patronize the Cooperative. The participation rights of the members shall be equal and no member shall have more than on vote. The property rights and interest of the members shall be unequal and shall be determined by their capital investments resulting from retained patronage refunds dividends and the purchase of member investment certificates. Section 9.2 CAPITAL The Cooperative may establish any or all of the following vehicles for capitalization: 1. Earnings retained from each year's operations. 2. Portions of the annual a patronage refunds dividend retained as Patronage Retains Certificates in members' equity capital investment ledger accounts. 3. Sale of Member Investment Certificates. As equity, the above capital vehicles are subordinate to all debt of the cooperative. Annual membership fees are not considered as member investment or capital certificates, they are a requirement for membership. Section 9.3. PATRONAGE REFUNDS DIVIDENDS AND PATRONAGE RETAINS CERTIFICATES. Patronage refunds dividends may be issued annually from the excess receipts of the Cooperative as follows: 1. Patronage refunds dividends shall be allocated at the same uniform rate to all members in proportion to each member's total purchases from the Cooperative during the previous fiscal year. The rate shall be determined by the Board of
Directors after the end of each fiscal year. The decision to make a patronage dividend, the rate, and the portion to be paid in cash shall be determined by the Board of Directors after the end of each fiscal year. 2. Portions of each patronage dividend shall be retained by the Cooperative as equity. The retained portion of each member’s patronage dividend shall be recorded on the books of the Cooperative as a credit to that member’s capital ledger account. The Check stub for the cash portion of the patronage dividend shall be considered a Patronage Dividend Retain Certificate when it also shows the retained portion of that member’s patronage dividend. 2. 3. In the case of non-member patrons, their proportionate amount of patronage refund dividend shall be set aside in a general fund for such patrons and shall be allocated to individual nonmember patrons only upon request and presentation of evidence of the amount of their purchases. Any such patronage refund dividend shall be reduced by the annual membership fee, in effect admitting the non-member patron to membership retroactively for the previous year. All other provisions of this section then apply to such a patron the same as to any member. The Board of Directors shall specify a period of time in which non-member patrons may request a patronage refund, dividend, after which time the remainder of the general fund for such patrons shall go to an educational fund, as required by law. 3. 4. At least twenty Not less than 20 percent (20%) of each any annual patronage refund dividend, as determined by the Board of Directors, shall be paid in cash and the balance remainder of such patronage dividend shall be paid as shown on Ppatronage Rretains Ccertificates and as a credit to each member’s capital ledger account on the books of the Cooperative. Within the twenty percent (20%) limit, the Board of Directors shall determine the proportion of cash and certificates. The total equity represented by all outstanding Patronage Retains Certificates shall be considered the Members' Patronage Retains Fund. 4. 5. The members of this Cooperative have agreed to take the amount of any patronage refund dividend received into account in computing income in the taxable year that the refund is received, to the extent that this is required by law. All patronage dividends made in the form of Patronage Dividend Retain Certificates and shown by credits to each member’s capital ledger accounts of the Cooperative shall have the same status as if they had been paid in full to the member in cash in pursuance of a legal obligation to do so and the member had then furnished corresponding amounts as capital for the Cooperative. The retained portion of each patronage dividend recorded on a member’s capital ledger account shall be considered as a contribution to capital of the Cooperative by the member. Section 9.4 MEMBER INVESTMENT CERTIFICATES. Member Investment Certificates may be issued by the Cooperative as follows: 1. Member Investment Certificates may be issued in a total amount not to exceed $1,500.000. There is no limit on capitalization acquired through retained earnings or retained patronage refunds. The total equity represented by all outstanding Member Investment Certificates shall be considered the Members' Investment Fund. 2. Up to 75,000 Member Investment Certificates, with par values of $20 per certificate, may be issued. 3. Only individuals who are listed as belonging to member households of the Cooperative are eligible to purchase Member Investment Certificates. Each Member Investment Certificate shall be issued in the name of an individual person, rather than being issued to a household. 4. No person may own more than one percent (1%) of the Member Investment Certificates authorized by this article, that is, no more than $15,000 total par value. 5. The Board of Directors shall make all decisions needed to implement this section. At the discretion of the Board of Directors, Member Investment Certificates may earn dividends not to exceed fifteen percent (15%) per year, and shall be non-cumulative. 6. The total of all dividends on Member Investment Certificates for any single fiscal year shall not exceed fifty percent (50%) of the Cooperative's excess receipts for that year.
Section 9.5 REVOLVING FUNDS. MEMBER EQUITY RETURNS. The Members Patronage Retains Fund and Members' Investment Fund shall both be considered revolving funds, which shall be administered as follows: The Member Equity received by the Cooperative as Patronage Dividend Retains and Member Investment Certificates shall both be recorded on the books of the Cooperative in a capital ledger account for each member. Those accounts shall be administered as follows: 1. At the discretion of the Board of Directors, certificates in these funds may earn dividends not to exceed fifteen percent (15%) per year, and shall be non-cumulative. The annual dividend rate for each fund shall be independent of the other fund's rate. Member equity may be redeemed in full or on a pro-rated basis by the Cooperative, as determined by the Board of Directors. Redemption of member equity shown in capital ledger accounts rests in the sole discretion of the Board of Directors, who may redeem that equity when to do so is deemed prudent for the Cooperative. 2. The total of all dividends on certificates for any single fiscal year shall not exceed fifty percent (50%) of the Cooperative's excess receipts for that year. Member equity accounts, shall be redeemed in order of the time of the original investments, with the oldest investments being redeemed first. Exceptions may be made to this rule, at the sole discretion of the Board of Directors, in the event that redemption of a particular member’s equity will allow the settling of a dispute or the settling of an estate, or in response to the request of a member withdrawing from membership of the cooperative. 3. Certificates may be redeemed in full or on a prorated basis by the Cooperative, as determined annually by the Board of Directors. Redemption of certificates rests in the sole discretion of the Board of Directors, who may redeem certificates when to do so is deemed prudent for the Cooperative. Applicants for redemption of a specific member’s equity account shall be notified of any decisions by the Board of Directors relating to that request. 4. Within each fund, certificates shall be redeemed in order of the time of the original investment, with the oldest certificates being redeemed first. Exceptions may be made to this rule, at the discretion of the Board of Directors, in the event that redemption of a particular certificate will allow the settling of a dispute or the settling of an estate, or in response to the request of a member withdrawing from membership of the cooperative. 5. The Board of Directors shall consider redemption of certificates at least once a year, including specific requests for redemption by members. Applicants for redemption shall be notified of any decisions. Section 9.6. When any membership ends, that member’s equity remains on the books of Cooperative until and unless the Board decides otherwise. BylawAmendment Amendment #2, #2, Showing Bylaw ShowingFinal FinalText Text After Incorporating Proposed Changes After Incorporating Proposed Changes
Article IX. CAPITALIZATION Section 9.1. COOPERATIVE OPERATION. The Cooperative shall be operated for the mutual benefit of its members, who shall patronize the Cooperative. The participation rights of the members shall be equal and no member shall have more than one vote. The property rights and interest of the members shall be unequal and shall be determined by their capital investments resulting from retained patronage dividends and the purchase of member investment certificates. Section 9.2. CAPITAL. The Cooperative may establish any or all of the following vehicles for capitalization: 1. Earnings retained from each year's operations. 2. Portion of a patronage dividend retained in members’ capital investment ledger accounts. 3. Sale of Member Investment Certificates. As equity, the above capital vehicles are subordinate to all debt of the Cooperative. Annual membership fees are not considered as member investment or capital certificates, they are a requirement for membership. Section 9.3. PATRONAGE DIVIDENDS. Patronage dividends may be issued annually from the excess receipts of the Cooperative as follows: 1. Patronage dividends shall be allocated at the same uniform rate to all members in proportion to each member's total purchases from the Cooperative during the previous fiscal year. The decision to make a patronage dividend, the rate, and the portion to be paid in cash shall be determined by the Board of Directors after the end of each fiscal year.
2. Portions of each patronage dividend shall be retained by the Cooperative as equity. The retained portion of each member’s patronage dividend shall be recorded on the books of the Cooperative as a credit to that member’s capital ledger account. The Check stub for the cash portion of the patronage dividend shall be considered a Patronage Dividend Retain Certificate when it also shows the retained portion of that member’s patronage dividend. 3. In the case of non-member patrons, their proportionate amount of the patronage dividend shall be set aside in a general fund for such patrons and shall be allocated to individual non-member patrons only upon request and presentation of evidence of the amount of their purchases. Any such patronage dividend shall be reduced by the annual membership fee, in effect admitting the non-member patron to membership retroactively for the previous year. All other provisions of this section then apply to such a patron the same as to any member. The Board of Directors shall specify a period of time in which non-member patrons may request a patronage dividend, after which time the remainder of the general fund for such patrons shall go to an educational fund, as required by law. 4. Not less than 20 percent (20%) of any patronage dividend, as determined by the Board of Directors, shall be paid in cash, and the remainder of such patronage dividend shall be shown on patronage retains certificates and as a credit to each member’s capital ledger account on the books of the Cooperative. 5. The members of this Cooperative have agreed to take the entire amount of any patronage dividend received into account in computing income in the taxable year that the refund is received, to the extent that this is required by law. All patronage dividends made in the form of Patronage Dividend Retain Certificates and shown by credits to each member’s capital ledger accounts of the Cooperative shall have the same status as if they had been paid in full to the member in cash in pursuance of a legal obligation to do so and the member had then furnished corresponding amounts as capital for the Cooperative. The retained portion of each patronage dividend recorded on a member’s capital ledger account shall be considered as a contribution to capital of the Cooperative by the member. Section 9.4. MEMBER INVESTMENT CERTIFICATES. 1. Member Investment Certificates may be issued in a total amount not to exceed $1,500,000. 2. Up to 75,000 Member Investment Certificates, with par values of $20 per certificate, may be issued. 3. Only individuals who are listed as belonging to member households of the Cooperative are eligible to purchase Member Investment Certificates. Each Member Investment Certificate shall be issued in the name of an individual person, rather than being issued to a household. 4. No person may own more than one percent (1%) of the Member Investment Certificates authorized by this article, that is, no more than $15,000 total par value. 5. At the discretion of the Board of Directors, Member Investment Certificates may earn dividends not to exceed fifteen percent (15%) per year, and shall be non-cumulative. 6. The total of all dividends on Member Investment Certificates for any single fiscal year shall not exceed fifty percent (50%) of the Cooperative's excess receipts for that year. Section 9.5. MEMBER EQUITY RETURNS. The Member Equity received by the Cooperative as Patronage Dividend Retains and Member Investment Certificates shall both be recorded on the books of the Cooperative in a capital ledger account for each member. Those accounts shall be administered as follows: 1. Member equity may be redeemed in full or on a pro-rated basis by the Cooperative, as determined by the Board of Directors. Redemption of member equity shown in capital ledger accounts rests in the sole discretion of the Board of Directors, who may redeem that equity when to do so is deemed prudent for the Cooperative. 2. Member equity accounts, shall be redeemed in order of the time of the original investments, with the oldest investments being redeemed first. Exceptions may be made to this rule, at the sole discretion of the Board of Directors, in the event that redemption of a particular member’s equity will allow the settling of a dispute or the settling of an estate, or in response to the request of a member withdrawing from membership of the cooperative. 3. Applicants for redemption of a specific member’s equity account shall be notified of any decisions by the Board of Directors relating to that request. Section 9.6. When any membership ends, that member’s equity remains on the books of Cooperative until and unless the Board decides otherwise.
PARTICIPATE IN THE CO-OP YOU OWN!
food news FDA
SAFETYRULES A N D T H E F U T U R E O F FA R M I N G EDITED
arlier this year, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released new proposed regulations detailing standards for food safety on produce farms and in facilities that process food for people to eat. The rules are not yet final, and FDA is seeking comments from producers, processors and stakeholders to help shape the final rules before they become law. All of these rules are part of FDA’s implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which President Obama signed into law in 2011. FSMA is the first major update of federal food safety laws since 1938, and it gives FDA broad new powers to prevent food safety problems, detect and respond to food safety issues and improve the safety of imported foods. Impacts on Farmers However, according to a just released white paper by the Cornucopia Institute, the FDA’s draft rules are so off the mark that they might economically crush the country’s safest farmers by ensnaring them in costly and burdensome regulations while ignoring the root threats to human health: production abuses that are mostly emanating from industrial-scale farms and giant agribusiness food-processing facilities. Family farm advocates and groups representing consumers interested in high-quality food, thought they had won a victory when the Tester/Hagan amendment was adopted by Congress exempting farmers doing less than $500,000 in business from the new rules. But Cornucopia’s report suggests the FDA seems more interested in a “one-size-fits-all” approach to food safety regulation and that in reality, small farms are not really exempt. The FDA proposes that the agency can, without any due process, almost immediately force small farms to comply with the same expensive testing and record-keeping requirements as factory farms. Please see the full Cornucopia White Paper report, available at www.cornucopia.org.
Public Comment Period Extended NOV. 15 DEADLINE! The FDA officially announced a final extension of the FSMA comment period, now ending November 15. National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) and Cornucopia Institute as well as other food and farm advocacy organizations urge everyone who grows or eats food (guess that’s all of us!) to become familiar with how these proposed new rules could impact food, farmers and the local food movement. For more information go to www.sustainableagriculture.net or www.cornucopia.org and get informed on these food issues then take action as a concerned consumer.
BOARD elections CALENDAR ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING: October 12: see page 1 Candidates introduce themselves to attendees. BOARD ELECTIONS: November 1 - November 14 Watch for information on the electronic voting process in upcoming Co-op Connection issues.
October 2013 6
A L E RT !
NATIONAL YOUNG FARMERS COALITION NEEDS YOU!!! Public Comment and National Day of Action October 20 COMMENT BEFORE NOVEMBER 15! The National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) is aware that the proposed FDA regulations will significantly impact how all farmers run their operations, no matter the size. The FDA’s draft rules currently require frequent water testing, nine months wait before planting after manure application, and other regulations that will be costly and imprudent for sustainable and organic farmers, young and old alike. NYFC wants to ensure that the FDA hears from as many beginning farmers, as well as seasoned family farmers, as possible about how these rules will affect us. The NYFC is mounting a national grassroots campaign to mobilize beginning farmers, and everyone who supports us, to submit comments to the FDA. One important thing to know is that FDA will count petitions and form letters as a single comment, so individualized comments will have a much greater influence on FDA.
WANT TO VOLUNTEER? Email Tracy Lerman at firstname.lastname@example.org or Kate Greenberg at email@example.com. NYFC will provide all necessary materials and event planning guidance at www.youngfarmers.org. Or go to www.young farmers.org/fsma. After reading the NYFC Cornucopia or NSAC website send your comments to: Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305) Food and Drug Administration 5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061 Rockville, MD 20852 All submissions received must include the following: Your Name Your Organization (if any) The appropriate docket number: For the Preventive Controls Rule Docket: FDA-2011-N-0920 and RIN 0910-AG36 For the Produce Rule Docket: FDA-2011-N-0921 and RIN 0910-AG35 If you want to comment on both rules, you can mail them together but must label them separately. NOTE: FDA states that all comments received by mail may be posted without change to www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided.
On October 20, NYFC is holding a National Day of Action. Farmers and farm allies will be hosting house parties all across the country to generate comments.
In October take
edible Santa Fe’s
LOCAL FOOD PLEDGE ROBIN SEYDEL In New Mexico we are blessed to have a vibrant regional “Local Communities” publication, edible Santa Fe. The quarterly magazine is not only beautiful, it provides all sorts of food and farming information, highlights important community events, offers a wide variety of tantalizing recipes for us all to try, and collaborates with a wide variety of regional organizations to move the local food movement forward. Not only that but I have the personal pleasure of working closely with edible editor Sarah WentzelFisher here at the Co-op on a wide variety of food and community issues. BY
ACTION ALERT: Take the PLEDGE, Eat GOOD, Eat LOCAL In celebration of World Food Month and to bring attention to the importance of the local food movement, access for all to good healthy food and the interrelationship of food to just about every environmental and health related issue imaginable; I want to encourage all Co-op Connection readers to take the Local Food Pledge this month. Please read the pledge below, go to www.ediblesantafe.com and sign the pledge, and live it this month. And while you are at it: ask your family and friends to do the same. Need help sourcing local ingredients? Ask your knowledgeable and helpful Co-op staff.
THE LOCAL FOOD PLEDGE Whereas, • The origin of our food and how it is grown is important. Food grown closer to home is fresher, tastes better, and requires fewer resources. • Food grown without chemicals is healthier, tastes better, and requires fewer resources. • Food grown from open pollinated, acclimated seeds ensures seeds and food for many generations. • Eating food when it is abundant and available helps us understand seasonal and long-term changes in the environment. • Not all foods grow everywhere; we are proud of the unique foods that grow here, and the creative ways we have
traditionally prepared them. • Growing and preparing good food requires love, craft and the human touch. • Growing your own food, or buying food a friend or neighbor grew, helps build abundance closer to home by circulating economic resources in smaller circles. • Breaking bread with family, friends and neighbors makes a stronger community. • Breaking bread with family, friends and neighbors makes us better at sharing. • Everybody has the right to access clean, healthy and affordable food. • Everybody has a right to know where their food comes from and what’s in it. • Healthy land = healthy food = healthy people I commit to taking the local food challenge during the month of October 2013 by: • Paying attention to where all of my food originates. • Buying and eating food grown as close to home as possible. • Prioritizing food grown without chemicals. • Buying food from sources where I know the profits will go directly to the farmer. • Meeting at least one farmer who has grown the food I eat. • Changing my diet to incorporate staples grown as close to home as possible. • Practicing cooking and learning how to use seasonal, local ingredients which may not be familiar. • Choosing to patronize restaurants and other food establishments that support local food. (see the Moveable Feast at www.ediblesantafe.com.) • Sharing my food with family and friends as often as possible. • Sharing my experiences of the Local Food Challenge with my family, friends and neighbors.
is MEMBER A P P R E C I AT I O N
D i s count
co-op news THE INSIDE
October 2013 7
t has been a long road but we are excited to see the opening of our new Westside store in the Cottonwood Corners Shopping Center on October 16th. We believe we have a great location and are looking forward to serving the existing members who have been requesting a location on the Westside for quite some time. We also look forward to meeting new shoppers and new members and bringing all the many benefits the Co-op offers its other neighborhoods to the Westside. For me it has been a very personal journey, as our family has enjoyed living on the Westside since we arrived in Albuquerque when I accepted my position at La Montanita almost six years ago. The opening of the Westside store is the culmination of over two years of searching for just the right location, designing the store, overseeing the construction phase and hiring and training new staff. We are most happy about the opportunity to create fifty new “living wage” jobs in the sustainable economy. Because we believe that people should be able to work with dignity and be able to contribute to their community, we also offer a full benefit package including
health and dental benefits and a 401(k) with a fifty cent on a dollar match among others. We also look forward to working with a variety of Westside community organizations and offering our community capacity building programs, including volunteer opportunities, a scrip fundraising program for schools and once we get our feet firmly on the ground, special needs delivery and other programs. Contributing to the growth of the local economy is what La Montanita Co-op is all about and we see this new location as fulfilling this mission. We hope you will enjoy our presence on the Westside as much as we will enjoy serving our Westside friends and neighbors. Check out the new location that will open on October 16th. Please let me know if I can be of service, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org, or give me a call at 505-217-2020. -Terry B
W E S T S I D E S T O R E O P E N S O C T.
Co-op Distribution Center:
WHERE’S THE BEEF (coming from?)
BY SARAH WENTZEL-FISHER n this month’s installment, we look a little closer to home regarding the work of the Co-op Distribution Center (CDC). In addition to supplying our own Co-op grocery stores and other small grocers throughout New Mexico, the CDC also delivers to restaurants. Restaurants in Albuquerque and Santa Fe make up a quarter of the sales of the distribution center. What this means to you as a consumer is that many restaurants serve up more local food than you might think. It also means they contribute significantly to keeping their dollars in New Mexico.
According to a study released this summer by Civic Economics, Albuquerque-owned restaurants return three times more money to the local economy than their national chain competitors. The Co-op Distribution Center helps strengthen the local dollar cycle by connecting restaurants to sources closer to home for flour, meat, cheese, eggs and other staples and supplies. In much the same way that the CDC works with local food producers to help them organize logistics around food production, the CDC also works with restaurants to expand their offerings by using local and seasonal ingredients. (See the August and September Co-op Connections for these stories.)
Restaurants whose customers value local ingredients, work closely with the CDC to make sure they can offer consistency and quality on their menus. For example, the CDC, as often as possible, sources local meat for their restaurant customers, but many local meat producers are still working out production cycles to offer product on a regular basis. Rather than have to take an item off the menu, the CDC sources equivalent organic, grass fed, and family ranched meats from Colorado, Texas and other neighboring states when the local beef or pork is not available so restaurants can know they will have the ingredients they need for their menus. This takes pressure off local meat producers, while giving them information about what restaurant customers need, and helping them refine their production schedules to better accommodate those buyers in the future. Essentially, the CDC fills the gaps for local meat producers, facilitating an increase in local meat production and sales by keeping buyers like restaurants supplied and satisfied. See the chart below for a few local restaurants that support local food and our economy by working with the CDC.
A FEW OF OUR LOCAL RESTAURANTS who champion OUR NEW MEXICAN FOOD AND ECONOMY by working with the CDC.
IN ALBUQUERQUE Artichoke Cafe Cafe Lush Farina Alto Pizzeria Farina Pizzeria Farm & Table Flying Star Hartford Square High Noon Restaurant & Saloon Hyatt Regency Albuquerque Los Poblanos Inn and Cultural Center Marble Brewery Mint Tulip The Grove Cafe & Market Vinaigrette Albuquerque Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa Intel Cafeteria and Food Service
IN SANTA FE
Andiamo Better Day Coffee/ Frost Hospitality Blue Corn Cafe II Santa Fe University of Art & Design Institute of American Indian Arts Bouche Bistro Cafe Pasqual's Chocolate Maven Bakery Dr. Field Good's Kitchen Dulce Harry's Road House Il Piatto Joe's Diner Pizza Etc. Quail Run Resort Revolution Bakery Rio Chama Steakhouse Whoo's Donuts (The Chocolate Smith) Santa Fe Opera Four Seasons Resort
Love Apple Taos Farm Bakery Taos Cow World Cup
of Events VETERAN FARMER PROJECT CLASSES See page 2 10/12 ANNUAL MEMBER MEETING and Harvest Picnic at the CDC. See page 1 10/15 Westside Store Press Event Contact Robin at 217-2027 or email@example.com 10/16 Westside Store OPENS! 10/20 Westside Store Film Screening, Food for Change. See page 1
OCTOBER is Member Appreciation volume discount shopping month!
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.
October 2013 10
SQUASH! This month our recipe page celebrates the amazing and diverse ways to prepare squash. Whether you want comfort food or haute cuisine, breakfast, lunch or dinner, squash offers something for everyone for nearly any occasion. Beet Soup in Roasted Acorn Squash Adapted from epicurious.com For roasted squash 4 (1- to 1 1/4-pound) acorn squash 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon kosher salt For soup 1 large red onion, chopped 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil 5 medium beets (2 pounds without greens), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces 1 red apple such as Gala or Braeburn, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces 2 garlic cloves, minced 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth 4 to 5 cups water 2 tablespoons cider vinegar 1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar Roast squash: Preheat oven to 375Â° F. Cut off "tops" of squash (about 1/2 inch from stem end) and reserve. Scoop out seeds and discard. Cut a very thin slice off bottoms of squash to create a stable base. Brush "bowls" and tops all over with oil and sprinkle salt inside. Arrange squash bowls, with tops alongside, stem ends up, in 2 large shallow baking pans. Roast squash until the flesh is just tender, about 75 minutes.
Make soup while squash roasts: Cook onion in oil in a large saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add beets and apple and cook for about five minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add broth and 4 cups water, then simmer, uncovered, until beets are tender, about 40 minutes. Stir in vinegar and brown sugar. PurĂŠe soup in batches in a blender or with an immersion blender until very smooth. Use caution when blending hot liquids. Return soup to pan, then season with salt and pepper and reheat. If soup is too thick, add enough water to thin to desired consistency. Serve soup in squash bowls. Squash flesh shrinks during baking; if a small hole forms, serve soup in squash but set in a soup bowl. Soup can be made 3 days ahead and chilled. Sweet Corn Bread This recipe is a great complement to a piping hot bowl of beet soup in squash bowls. 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour 2/3 cup yellow cornmeal (not coarse) 1/3 cup sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 3/4 teaspoon baking soda 3/4 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled 2 large eggs 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, well-shaken 1/2 cup golden raisins, coarsely chopped 1/2 cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped 1 1/2 tablespoons fennel seeds, coarsely ground
Preheat oven to 375° F. Butter ten miniature loaf pans or one 9 x 9-inch round or square baking pan, and dust with flour, knocking out excess. Stir together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and soda, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together butter, eggs and buttermilk in another bowl and add to flour mixture, stirring until just combined. Stir in raisins, cranberries and fennel. Divide batter among pans, smoothing tops, and let stand 10 minutes. Bake until tops are pale golden and a tester comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes (up to 35 minutes if you bake in a larger pan). Cool in pans on racks 10 minutes, then invert onto racks and cool completely. Corn bread can be baked 3 days ahead and kept, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, at room temperature. Squash with Lemon Tahini Sauce 1 pound kabocha squash, seeded and cubed 1 pound delicata squash, seeded and cubed 7 tablespoons olive oil 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds Salt and pepper to taste 4 scallions, cut into 2 inch pieces 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1 tablespoon tahini Aleppo pepper or crushed red pepper flakes Preheat the oven to 425° F. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except lemon, tahini and red pepper. Stir until squash and scallions are well coated. Spread ingredients evenly over a large rimmed cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the squash is soft. Meanwhile, whisk lemon juice, tahini and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in remaining 3 tablespoons oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer squash to a platter. Drizzle tahini sauce over, sprinkle with Aleppo pepper and serve. Butternut Squash with Pumpkin Butter Adapted from Comfort Foods That Take You Home Pumpkin Butter 1 pound pie pumpkin, peeled and cubed 1/2 cup apple juice 1/2 cup sugar 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ginger 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 1/8 teaspoon cloves
Soup 2 pounds butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeded 2 cups low-sodium chicken or veggie broth 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme Pinch of grated nutmeg 1 cup milk or half-and-half Salt and pepper to taste Pumpkin butter Chopped pistachio nuts Preheat the oven to 375° F. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with parchment. Place the squash halves, cut side down, in the prepared dish. Pierce the skin sides several times with a fork. Bake until the squash is tender, about 60 minutes. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Using a large spoon, scrape the flesh from the cooked squash into a food processor. Discard the skins. Add 1 1/2 cups of the chicken broth, the cinnamon, marjoram, thyme and nutmeg then puree until smooth. Transfer the puree to a large saucepan. Whisk the milk into the soup over medium heat. If you prefer a thinner consistency, add the remaining broth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls. Top with a dollop of pumpkin butter and sprinkle with chopped pistachio nuts before serving. Delicata Squash with Hatch Butter 3 delicata squash, sliced in half, seeds removed 1/2 cup brown sugar 1 stick butter 1/2 roasted green chile, peeled and seeded Salt to taste Preheat oven to 400° F. Place the squash cut side up on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Season with salt and place into the oven for 20 minutes or until it can be pierced with a fork. Place the green chile into a food processor with 1 stick of butter cut into cubes. Process until smooth. You won’t need all the butter; you can save it in the fridge or wrapped tightly in the freezer. Remove the squash from the oven. Brush on the green chile butter. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Turn the oven to a broil setting. Return to the oven under the broiler for about a minute or until the sugar has melted and caramelized. Keep a careful eye on it so that you don’t burn the sugar.
Place pumpkin and apple juice in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer until the pumpkin has broken down. Strain through a sieve or food mill and combine pumpkin puree with sugar and spices. Place pulp in a medium saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, for about an hour or until thick enough so the butter doesn't run off a spoon when turned upside down.
O c t .12
CO-OP HARVEST PICNIC
and MEMBERSHIP MEETING!!!
AT THE CO-OP DISTRIBUTION CENTER Tour the Foodshed Warehouse Enjoy delicious Co-op Picnic Foods Participate in family fun and Hear State of your Co-op Reports, Meet Board of Directors Candidates!
• Our locally made Premium Compost is approved for use on Certified Organic Farms and Gardens.
Topsoil Blend • Ready for planting in raised beds or flower pots!
Mulch • A variety of decorative and functional mulches.
Foodwaste Recycling • Albuquerque’s only restaurant foodwaste recycling pick up service
Greenwaste Recycling • Bring your Yardwaste to us and keep it out of the Dump!
9008 Bates Rd. SE Open Tues. through Sat. 8am to 4pm Please come down and see us • www.soilutions.net
October 2013 11
Mary Alice Cooper, MD
CO-OP MONTH By SMALL Farmers, For SMALL FARMERS
October 2013 12
THE NEXT STEP IN FAIR TRADE’S alized and lose their hard-won market access. After all, if it’s easier to source coffee and cacao from large-scale plantations and still call it “Fair Trade,” why wouldn’t multinational corporations simply take the easier route and ignore the small farmer?
and many more organizations of small coffee farmers were waiting for buyers to get themselves listed on the Fair Trade register of certified producers. Finally, against a storm of protest and outrage, Rice acquiesced and agreed to drop this controversial strategy. Cooperative Governance: The new SPP Symbol Although Rice publicly backed down, small farmers, roasters and other Fair Trade activists knew it was just a matter of time before the issue came up again. The pressures to grow a system quickly, the needs of plantations and big corporations, and the money behind them were heavy reminders of how decisions are made and how trade typically occurs. In September 2011, Transfair USA announced its decision. Taking the name Fair Trade USA, the organization left the international Fair Trade system that had given it birth. Just days later, it announced its new strategy, “Fair Trade for All,” with a certification system allowing coffee and cacao plantations.
BY PHYLLIS ROBINSON, EDUCATION MANAGER, EQUAL EXCHANGE imbolo de Productores Pequenos is the first Fair Trade farmer-owned certification system. Referred to as the Small Producer Symbol (SPP, for its Spanish acronym), it will arrive this fall on Equal Exchange coffees in food co-ops across the country. Ten years in the making, the SPP certification system represents the small farmers’ persistent attempt to ensure a more just trade system for their fellow farmers everywhere. This bold step forward reflects the fact that today the very folks for whom the Fair Trade movement was built are taking a leadership role in shaping their own destiny.
Keeping Fair Trade Fair In the early 1980s, a division in the Fair Trade movement resulted in the creation of one international certification system with two distinct ideologies. The early founders of Fair Trade recognized that small farmer organizations trying to access the market were operating on an unfair playing field. The founders’ goal was to create a system that could right the wrongs of hundreds of years of colonialism and unjust trade. Once the system was underway, other traders wanted a faster way to put Fair Trade products on the shelves and decided to open up the system to large-scale plantations. The fact that plantations have one owner (versus being owned collectively by a democratically run, small farmer organization), and generally have more access to resources, makes it usually faster and easier for them to move products from origin country to market. This means that plantations, with their ease in accessing bank loans, infrastructure, market information, technical assistance and networks, will almost always have the same advantage over small farmers that Fair Trade was designed to address. Eventually, the international Fair Trade certifying system, Fairtrade Labelling Organization (FLO) allowed plantations to become a source for almost all Fair Trade products, with the exception of coffee, cacao and a few other categories. Small farmer coffee and cacao organizations, typically the most advanced and successful Fair Trade producers, have been concerned that the Fair Trade system will one day be open to plantations as well. Should this happen, many believe that they will once again become margin-
LOOK for THE SMALL PRODUCER SYMBOL to ensure leadership by and justice for SMALL FARMERS. In coffee, it took 15 years of Fair Trade before coffee farmers began to see a positive impact on their businesses and in their lives. Sourcing tea and bananas from plantations has prevented the growth of a strong small farmer movement in these two products. (For more information on how growth in small farmer tea was inhibited by plantations, see www.tinyurl.com/ LSmxxcL. At the 2003 annual Specialty Coffee Association of America conference in Boston, coffee certainly wasn’t all that was brewing. Paul Rice, CEO of Transfair USA, FLO International’s US Fair Trade certifying agency (today known as Fair Trade USA), was lobbying for a change in standards. He believed plantations should be allowed in the Fair Trade system as sources of “Fair Trade” coffee. He claimed that large companies and corporations wanted access to plantation products and that there wasn’t enough small farmer Fair Trade coffee on the market. The crowd was wild with outrage. Most small farmer organizations had far more coffee than they could sell on Fair Trade terms
The Coordinating Body of Latin America and the Caribbean (CLAC) had been meeting for 10 years to strategize how to keep Fair Trade from being stolen out from under them. Finally, they had their solution: the Small Producer Symbol (SPP). CLAC has now created its own certification system, run by the non-profit group, the Foundation of Organized Small Producers (FUNDEPPO). The system is impressive, with General Standards incorporating four dozen criteria for small farmer member organizations, including maximum individual farm sizes and a maximum percentage of farm work performed by hired farm workers. Buyers who use the SPP must meet nearly three dozen criteria, including a minimum of five percent annual volume growth in program purchases. Perhaps most impressive, the SPP is run and governed by the farmers themselves. After decades of this movement being essentially managed by offices thousands of miles away from the source, farmers are now in the driver’s seat. This fall you will begin to see the first Equal Exchange coffee products appear with the SPP symbol on them. Trust that while other Fair Trade products may come from plantations, SPP coffee will never sell out. It will always be authentic. It will always be small farmers. LOOK FOR EQUAL EXCHANGE FAIR TRADE products with the new Small Producer Symbol SSP at all Co-op locations.
DIA DEL RIO AND OTHER Register online with REI at www. OPEN SPACE FUN! REGISTER: rei.com/albuquerque or by calling 247-1191. The first KENT SWANSON, ASSOCIATE PLANNER, CITY OF ALBUQUERQUE OPEN SPACE DIVISION lbuquerque is a city of contrasting landscapes, with vast desert scrublands giving way to the lush river forest of the Rio Grande bosque, and piñon/juniper foothills leading to the majestic Sandia Mountains. These special places help to define who we are as a city. BY
During the month of October, join the City of Albuquerque Open Space Division and other local organizations for two special events that serve to celebrate and protect our unique local landscapes. 19th Annual DIA DEL RIO: October 19, 8:30am-1pm Join the Open Space Division and Alliance, Bernalillo County Open Space, REI and other local organizations for a variety of conservation projects that nurture and protect the bosque and river, including trail work, re-vegetation and trash clean up. There will be activities appropriate for all ages. Dia del Rio will take place at the Bernalillo County’s Durand Open Space in the South Valley at 4812 Isleta Blvd. SW, 87105. (South of Gun Club on Isleta.) Parking is limited so PLEASE CARPOOL! On Saturday, October 19, please arrive promptly at 8:30am to sign in and enjoy snacks provided by our generous sponsors. At the end of the event, make sure to stick around for a fabulous prize drawing! Bring gloves, sun protection, plenty of water and a sack lunch. Free snacks will be provided during morning sign in. Other Ways to Help on Dia del Rio: Do you live near the bosque? Or do you have a favorite area near the river? Organize your own clean up the day of the event. Open Space will provide trash bags and haul off the collected trash. Call 452-5216 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up your group for your own cleanup.
80 people to pre-register will receive a free t-shirt the day of the event, courtesy of REI! Nicodemus Wilderness Project: Make a Difference Day, October 26, 8:30am to 12:20pm Each year, on Make a Difference Day, volunteers throughout Albuquerque work to help improve the quality of life in our community through service projects. The Open Space Division and the Nicodemus Wilderness Project participate by organizing a variety of conservation activities that take place at the Piedra Lisa Open Space located at the end of Candelaria. Projects include trail maintenance, trail building, trash cleanup, graffiti removal, etc. This day of spirited volunteerism is an enjoyable event for the whole family. To Make a Difference at Piedra Lisa Open Space go to the Sandia Foothills parking area east of Tramway on Camino de la Sierra, just south of the east end of Candelaria. Registration for this event is required and space is limited. Please register at www.centerfornonprofitexcellence.org/mdd. The Nicodemus Wilderness Project is a worldwide organization based in Albuquerque whose mission is "to protect wildlife and our environment and to build future conservation leaders by engaging youth in environmental stewardship projects worldwide." The program helps to elevate young people into leadership roles by engaging them in environmental stewardship projects. For more information see www.wildernessproject.org and for more information about Make a Difference Day, please call 452-5213 or email jsat email@example.com. See the Open Space Division website at www. cabq.gov/openspace for more ways you can help protect your favorite Public Open Space!
October 2013 13
EATING for your
health: musings on the harvest
Mexico chili-flavored meals. Enjoying home-cooked meals prepared from locally grown produce with a rainbow of vibrant colors and also, including a daily tablespoon of golden raw New Mexico honey, you will be well on your way to obtaining the spectrum of nutrients your body needs to stay healthy, reducing the interference of allergens, and treating your taste buds to the plenitude of the autumn harvest.
BY SUSAN CLAIR efore writing this article, I walked to the field behind my rural home to visit my two top-bar honeybee hives. I hoped the little winged workers would inspire me with worthy ideas even as they busied themselves building honeycomb and producing golden honey from the pollen of vivid wildflowers and nearby gardens. I sat near them for a while—amused and awed—watching them make round trips to and from the hives, many of them returning with little bundles of yellow or orange pollen stuck to their hind legs.
As we learn more about the sharp decline in the world’s honeybee population and the possible causes, concern for the bees, other wildlife and vegetation was heightened this year owing to severe drought conditions that lasted too many months. In early July the long-awaited monsoons arrived and, within two weeks, wildflowers and cultivated vegetation awakened from their droughtinduced coma. Soon after, a rainbow of blossoms appeared, and the bees resumed normal foraging without the ongoing need for supplemental feedings from me. Bees are silent but active participants in our food choices beyond producing luscious honey. For example, California almonds are 100 percent dependent on pollination by honeybees, most of which are trucked in by beekeepers in other states for the critical pollination period. Many fruits and vegetables we buy and eat, in varying degrees, depend on pollination by honeybees. Each year, as I sow seeds and plant new perennials, I consider whether the bees will be attracted to the blossoms and find them to be useful pollen sources for their honey production and for pollinating my small-scale, organic vegetable garden. Attending the monthly meetings of the Albuquerque Beekeepers, I am heartened by the continual increase in new beekeepers. By adopting swarms and offering hospitable, chemical-free conditions for the bees, in one small way we contribute to healing the planet and ensure our own healthy food supply. Now that summer is over and the bees work at full throttle to finish producing adequate honey for their winter-over food supply, I’ve been thinking about my annual, autumn honey harvest, as well as the rich variety of seasonal local foods now available—squash, pumpkins, chili peppers, apples and garlic, to name but a few—and the interrelationship of those foods and the bees. Despite earlier drought conditions, one of my hives has produced an unusually large honey
For the past four years, I have helped people learn how to stay healthy through organic, plant-based nutrition. I invite you to join me at the next presentation of “Eating for Your Health” on Friday, October 11, 7pm at the Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice, 202 Harvard at Silver SE. supply, allowing me a few interim mini-harvests. Keeping their food needs in mind and taking only amounts that will not compromise their winter stores, I am grateful for their gifts even as they have no knowledge of the gifts they provide me.
Next EATING FOR YOUR HEALTH presentation on Friday, October 11. A donation of $5 is requested, but no one will be turned away. A portion of the donation will go to the Peace & Justice Center. For more information, contact SUSAN CLAIR: 505-281-9888 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Autumn brings new fragrances in the air, a colorful array of seasonal fruits and vegetables, and thoughts on warming the body with robust soups and New
March AGAINST Monsanto! , WE WILL BE MARCHING AGAIN!! The event will begin with a Cash Mob at the Downtown Growers' Market @ Robinson Park (8th and Central in Albuquerque) at 12:30PM - and then march to Tiguex Park where there will be live music and guest speakers talking about GMOs and a variety of other topics! If you'd like to speak, or to get more info, please email email@example.com. RSVP to the event on FB @MarchAgainstMonsantoAlbuquerque.
MONS A N T O
MEMBER TO MEMBER
MICHAEL JENSEN, AMIGOS BRAVOS n September 4, residents of Albuquerque came out in force to voice their concerns regarding Mayor Richard Berry’s Rio Grande Vision, a component of his “ABQ: The Plan” to revitalize Albuquerque. Somewhere between 300-400 people filled the meeting space at the Albuquerque Museum and made the City’s tightly controlled agenda impossible to implement. After a brief overview of the current version of the Vision—a project on the east side of the river between Central Ave. and the I-40 bridges—the public turned a planned 10 minutes of Question and Answer into a 100minute-long demand for answers and alternatives. BY
Rio Grande Vision
Pa r t I I
border), a long boardwalk on the river’s edge accompanied by several pedestrian bridges – to avoid wet areas on the trail and make walking secure along the edge – and some side trails and a loop to provide access to several viewing platforms. There would also be wayfinding signage, an interpretive area near the Central Bridge, and restrooms at suggested 1-mile intervals.
The Central to I-40 Project The currently proposed project had a long gestation. Starting in early 2012, the Mayor’s Office put together a “design team” to create a plan for turning the Rio Grande into a “world class river” that would attract tourists and drive business development in the areas in and around the Bosque. That led to creation of a “Research and Analysis” document looking at how to market the Bosque and river, what other cities had done with their urban rivers, and the regulatory and management issues around the Rio Grande Valley State Park and the Bosque generally. The City held a public meeting in December 2012 to describe the “concept” and get some ideas from residents on what they would like to see. At this point, public awareness of the Vision was extremely low. In May 2013, the design team finally released a “Design and Implementation” document that contained detailed information and budgets for projects on both sides of the river from Alameda Blvd. down to the I-25 bridge. Many people and organizations that had waited for details reacted quickly and loudly to the implementation plans for the river and Bosque, producing long and detailed written comments criticizing the plan as a whole, specific aspects of the plan, the public process (the lack of one), and the use of scarce City funds to pursue a project that few saw as necessary. In response, the City withdrew the Design and Implementation document for review. When they released the revised document in early September, it contained additional language on restoration as a part of the Vision, but it had mostly – as the contractor admitted – “grammatical and format” changes. The City also released a design for the Central to I-40 Project. The Project would include an 8’-10’ wide hardened trail (likely made of packed crusher fines on a base of packed earth or other material and with a
NATURAL ! The Reaction The Project seems very small, but the potential impacts could be very large. For one thing, the contractors have acknowledged—reluctantly at times—that the wide road (“trail”) is planned to continue on to the Montaño Bridge, which is another 6 miles or so. However, no matter how often they are pressed, neither City staff nor the contractors will discuss the next steps—the next projects —in implementing the overall Plan. A large hardened trail, along or near the river, would be a barrier to wildlife that moves between the river and the Bosque. A wide hardened trail would increase people in the area, including more and faster bicycle use. Some of the Bosque and river edge in the Project area has already been restored by the Army Corps of Engineers and the trail could diminish the purpose of the restoration work in providing habitat, including for Southwest Willow Flycatchers, which have been spotted in the Project area. At a meeting of the Open Space Advisory Board, a Board member asked what would happen if the river had more water in it and flooded the proposed boardwalk, pedestrian bridges and observation decks; would those be repaired? The answer seemed to be: maybe eventually, but there isn’t money budgeted for things like that. We know this is a pattern with the City. The BioPark ran up an $18 million unfunded repair and maintenance crisis,
October 2013 14
leading to a call for a committee to develop a Master Plan for the BioPark that would address this and other management issues into the future. After two years, that process is expected to start this fall. Where Was the Community? Then there is the biggest problem with the Vision and the Project. The community—on whose behalf the Vision is supposedly being done—was only brought into the process at a few controlled instances when they were presented with completed documents to “comment” on, but not make substantial changes to. The Mayor’s Office knows that there are lots of existing facilities (most of them City managed) meant to “connect and excite” (the motto of the Rio Grande Vision) residents and visitors. These include: the Open Space Visitor Center, Bachechi Open Space, Los Poblanos, the Nature Center, the BioPark facilities, the proposed Valle de Oro Urban National Wildlife Refuge in the far South Valley, a number of parks on both sides of the river, and some boat ramps. If people do not feel that they have meaningful access or experiences in the Bosque or on the river, then maybe the question asked at the outset of the Vision process was flawed. Instead of spending a lot of money to develop a “concept” for the Vision that looked like the entire Bosque was going to be developed and marketed, the Mayor’s Office could have started a “community visioning” process, such as the one that took place at the end of September to kick off a planned 3-year process to design the Valle de Oro Refuge site. It is clear from the many—and varied—responses from the community that people do have ideas. The Mayor’s Vision process wasn’t set up to capture those ideas; a missed opportunity that, sadly, the Mayor will have a hard time overcoming. But if the Mayor is sincere in wanting to implement a Vision that will truly excite the people of Albuquerque, then he should admit that mistakes were made and humbly ask the citizens to start over, that he wants to listen and values the community’s diverse relationships with the river and Bosque, and that he will take the time necessary to work with the community towards a truly shared Vision. NOTE: There was an earlier article about this issue in the April Co-op member newsletter. For more information, contact Michael Jensen at mjensen@amigos bravos.org.
October 2013 15
SOUTH VALLEY DÍA DE LOS MUERTOS
Parade applications must be submitted no later than October 18 to: Rusita Avila at 1411 Roma Ave. NW, 87104. For more information call 244-0120 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ía de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is an ancient tradition rooted in Mexico, celebrating life and honoring those who have passed on. The annual South Valley celebration draws its influences from Jose Guadalupe Posada’s early 1900s portrayal of personalities and professions as skeletons or Calaveras. Printed sheets would circulate during Día de los Muertos festivities where he would seize the opportunity for political satire and comedy. This year's theme is “Sín Papeles/ Sín Miedo: People Are Not Illegal, Our Ancestors Are Our Documentation.” The Parade starts at 2pm from the Bernalillo Sheriff’s Substation at the corner of Centro Familiar and Isleta Blvd. and will process to the Westside Community Center at 1250 Isleta Blvd. SW for a celebration with music, altars, food and art vendors. All floats must have marigolds on them. For float applications go to www.muertosymarigolds.org or call 505-363-1326. All floats and parade participants must be masked or painted as Calaveras, no
To prepare your float or Calavera attire, La Raza Unida and Cambio are offering the following free workshops: • October 5: Paper mache creations, paper flowers, paper mache projects and paper marigolds. • October 12: Sugar skulls and face painting. Learn how to make sugar skulls and face painting techniques. • October 19: Altars: history, traditions and symbols. Includes altar construction and other Dia de los Muertos traditions. Make paper marigolds for your altar or float. Workshops will be held from 1pm to 4pm at 803 La Vega SW (corner of Armijo) at Los Jardines Institute. WORKSHOPS ARE FREE! All ages welcome! For more information, please call 363-1326 or 244-0120.
TRADITIONAL SURVIVAL SKILLS: THE FINE ART OF FIRE CRAFT Carbon Economy Series BY IGINIA BOCCALANDRO Do you know what it takes to generate a flame? The skill set that allowed humans to survive for almost 200,000 years is being lost; things like the ability to hunt, find shelter, find water and make a fire. Learning how to make fire gave humans an evolutionary advantage that cannot be measured: warmth for survival; the ability to eat a broad spectrum of foods such as grains and proteins; a way to clear land for agriculture; and the manufacture of metals and building materials. Living so disconnected from our roots leads to all kinds of problems, such as stress, anxiety and a place of non-belonging. Observing nature,
being a part of it and using the gifts it has to offer gives us a sense of power that is hard to describe. Making fire, generating the speed for friction to ignite a tinder bundle, requires strength, coordination, concentration and technique. When was the last time that you allowed yourself to learn something fun and something useful that could be lifesaving? MATTHEW BRUMMETT, back by popular demand, co-teaches with Cody Lundin, of Dual Survivor fame, a one-day course on how to make fire. It is a great opportunity to empower yourself in an amazing way. For more information, to pre-register, to find out about special rates for couples and families, go to www.carbonecon omyseries.org.
PRESENTED BY AMPERSAND S U S TA I N A B L E L E A R N I N G C E N T E R
DREAM conscious LIVING
4-day retreat focuses on sustainable living and creativity
Spend four days living simply in the sandstone landscape of Ampersand. Experience building with the earth, cooking with the sun, and outdoor showers that feed the garden. You are invited to share your stories, visions, and practices to cultivate the connection that allows us all to serve the world. Join us in a learning celebration of the incredible potential of the collective to create positive changes in our local and global communities. To register or for more details visit www.ampersandproject.org, or email: email@example.com, 505-780-0535. Sliding scale available.
stay healthy with
PAUL HAWKEN TO NEW MEXICO
CO-OP HARVEST PICNIC and a
Halloween costumes, clowns or gory, ghoulish, foul or traumatizing costumes, please. This family event is in tasteful respect of a cultural tradition.
New Mexicans will get to experience visionary, environmentalist and entrepreneur, Paul Hawken, live at the Lensic on October 8 at 7pm. Hawken will present “Commerce, Climate & Community,” sponsored by the Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce, a chapter of the NM Green Chamber of Commerce, the second largest business organization in the state with more than 1,100 members. PAUL HAWKEN has written seven books published in over 50 countries in 28 languages, including four national bestsellers, and founded several companies, including the first food company in the US that relied solely on sustainable agricultural methods. A special crowd-sourced “Ask Paul Anything” Facebook campaign is underway – spearheaded by the Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce (SFGCC). “Members of our community can post their burning question for Paul on Santa Fe Green Chamber’s Facebook page and the question may be selected for his presentation.” Tickets cost $15-$30/call 505-988-1234 or www.lensic.org.
AT THE CO-OP DISTRIBUTION CENTER Tour the Foodshed Warehouse. Enjoy delicious Co-op Picnic Foods Participate in family fun and Hear State of your Co-op Reports. Meet Board of Directors Candidates!
The La Montañita Co-op Connection tells stories of our local foodshed--from recipes to science to politics to community events. Membership i...