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New Mexico Organic



QUINN, NEW MEXICO DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE ORGANIC PROGRAM egistration Open NOW! Join organic farmers, ranchers, market gardeners and researchers for the New Mexico Organic Farming Conference at the Albuquerque Marriott Pyramid, February 14-15.


Farming in Drought: The Nuts and Bolts of Drip Irrigation Two organic producers join forces to bring you a downto-earth discussion of what’s involved in getting a drip irrigation system up and flowing, how to choose from the bewildering variety of systems, sizing pumps, wells, controls, fertigation, irrigating with drip through the acequia and using leased water. And, some kind advice about what to do when the kit arrives and some of the fittings just won’t fit. Wesley James of Skarsgard Farms

Dr. Margaret Hiza Redsteer leads off with the keynote “Is It Drought or Is This the New Normal?” Hiza Redsteer has spent years researching the effects of climate change in the southwest and is the lead author for a chapter in the 2014 Report of the International Panel on Climate Change. Hiza Redsteer’s look at the future of climate in the southwest will set the stage for a conference focused on farming in a drier and less predictable land. Thirty-six workshop sessions will cover a wide range of topics. Highlights include: Tapping Into the Wisdom of the Desert: Sustainably Growing Food in the Face of Climate Change and Water Scarcity. Over the next half century, climate change will dramatically affect which wild food plants can be integrated into edible landscaping and which horticultural crop varieties reach optimum quality in nearly every foodscape in North America. Our plant selection options in each microclimate will be radically reworked by declining chill hours, extreme summer temperatures, the changed frequency of tropical storms, and extended droughts. By surveying the world's desert horticultural oases for such adaptations, Gary Paul Nabhan, author of the recently published Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land, offers a variety of ready-to-implement acclimations to climate change that have been tested over centuries by food producers among diverse desert cultures. Gary will be available to sign his new book immediately following the session. Farming in Drought: Water Harvesting for Farmers After a bone-dry winter New Mexico got most of its average annual rainfall in one week in September. Water Harvesting? Hmmmm. Billy Kniffen has been a director and education coordinator for the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA) and helped organize the Texas Rainwater Catchment Association, serving as its first president. Top Tomatoes: An Integrated System Certified organic farmer Tom Hyden of Rhubarb Ranch in San Antonio, New Mexico, has worked for years to create an integrated system for production of tomatoes and this year he hit the jackpot. Tom will detail all aspects of the system from variety selection to trellising to nutrient management and harvesting. Trap Cropping: What Works and Why + Invasive Insect Updates (Bagrada, Drosophila, Brown Marmorated Stink Bug) Trap crops can be a great way to keep insect pests off your market crop. Trap crops can also become a nightmarish incubator for those pests. Dr. Tess Grasswitz, Integrated Pest Management Specialist at NMSU’s Los Lunas Ag Science Center, and 2012 Organic Farming Educator of the Year, will take on this tricky technique and provide guidance for successful trap cropping for common southwestern pests. A Farm Travelogue: Sustainable Agriculture in the Ukraine This special treat for conference participants features Dr. Ron Godin, 2010 Organic Farming Educator of the Year, and Colorado State University Extension Agronomist for Organic and Sustainable Agriculture, on lessons from farmers on the other side of the world. For the last decade Ron has spent time every year working with farmers in the Ukraine. Poor in cash and technology, these farmers have generations of experience behind their practices that stem from working with nature and its resources to produce a crop. Ron thinks they can teach us a lot.



and Nolina Bryant of Nolina’s Heavenly Organics will take the suspense out of switching to drip.

Small-scale Organic Egg Production Bob Thompson of the certified-organic Thompson Farms produces organic eggs for three New Mexico farmers’ markets. In this session Bob will discuss all aspects of organic egg production from cleaning up fields at the end of harvest, to favorite breeds, to feeding and housing. Other workshops include: Student Farmers: What They’ve Learned; Fine Tuning Composting; Managing Mammal Marauders; Under Glass: Greenhouse Pest Management; 10 Things to Know About Getting Certified Organic; Managing Soil Salinity; Something New: Teff, Guar, Hops; Understanding Your Water Rights; Destocking and Restocking: How to Weather It; The Legume Report: Top Green Manures; A Helping Hand for Pollinators; Heirloom Chile Varieties; Grazing Management in Times of Drought; Fruit Tree Grafting; Building Pest-Suppressive Farms; Looking at Inputs for Organic Production; Starting Up a Small Dairy; Navigating the Livestock Marketing Maze; Bring in the Bees; Fruit in Uncertain Times: Organic Orchard Management in Times of Drought; Food Safety Update; Feathered Friends; Cultivating Native Crops; Cooperative Marketing; Agri-Tourism; and Land Restoration.

Reduced-Tillage Ecological Weed Management Helen Atthowe of Woodleaf Farm, long-time organic farmer and researcher, compares two long-term, organic farms which are successfully using Ecological Weed Management and reduced tillage tools/strategies on the ground for managing weeds.

On Friday evening from 6-8PM in the Yucatan Room enjoy a Winter Mixer that brings together farmers and gardeners of all ages for a fun social event complete with organic wine and beer, and great music by Wildewood. Sponsored by the Rio Grande Farmers Coalition, please RSVP to Then on Saturday, participants will feast on local and organic food at a luncheon recognizing the New Mexico Organic Farmer of the Year. Farm to Table, the New Mexico Department of Agriculture, and New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service organize the conference. La Montanita Coop, Skarsgard Farms, New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau, Santa Fe Farmers’ Market Institute and the Silver City Food Co-op sponsor the gathering.

Selecting Seeds to Achieve Desired Traits Saving seeds is not only an economical choice for organic farmers, but allows producers to improve qualities such as drought tolerance, resulting in crops that are better suited to the southwest. Nels Lund of High Mowing Seeds will help you produce viable seeds for improved production.

Registration for the conference, including Saturday’s luncheon, is $100. For more information call 505-889-9921, or look for conference catalogues at the Co-op. For hotel reservations, call 877-622-3056 by January 30. Say you are part of the Organic Conference to get the special room rate. HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!



Grasspower: Farming with Draft Animals Price of diesel got you down? Tired of messing with hydraulic fluid leaks? Brett Ellison from Las Trampas, New Mexico, and Kyle Skaggs of Frisco Farm in Pleasanton, New Mexico, invite you to take a look at a more sustainable and enjoyable method of getting the heavy work of farming done.


BY ANN ADAMS & ROBIN SEYDEL The Veteran Farmer Project continues to grow both literally and figuratively. With nearly 30 cold frames covering our garden project at the Alvarado Urban Farm in downtown Albuquerque, planting the early spring crops started just after the New Year. We are looking forward to harvesting early beets, radishes, carrots, peas, turnips, cabbage and a host of hardy winter greens.

the right questions and make the critical decisions to move you forward. These tools, developed by Holistic Management International, have been used by farmers and ranchers around the world to improve quality of life, land productivity and health, and business profitability.






Co-op Community!

Once again, you, our fabulous CO-OP COMMUNITY, have come forward to show just how GREAT you are! THANKS TO YOU, nearly 600 children in need in our communities had their holiday gift wishes come true. From the bottom of our hearts we thank you again this year, for your support of this program. We are proud and honored to be able to serve a community with such a generous heart. You’re the best! YOUR CO-OP MEMBERSHIP DEPARTMENT

We are also growing our collective skill base with our winter season offering of a classroom series on Whole Farm Planning. This series of five classes includes farm decision making, financial planning, resource management and more. We are most pleased to have as one of our sponsors, with special thanks to Stacey Cooley, the Paul Horn YMCA. This VFP Whole Farm Planning series of classes will be held at the “Y,” located at 4901 Indian School Road, just west of San Mateo, on Thursday afternoons from 3-5PM on January 16 and 30 and February 6, 20 and 27. Whole Farm Planning Learn the basics of developing a whole farm goal and how to make on-farm decisions more effectively (including a special focus on financial decisions) in this Whole Farm Planning Series. This series will focus on helping participants manage all resources more effectively (human, natural and financial). Whether you are just considering starting to farm or already in the business, this series will help you ask

This series will be facilitated by Ann Adams, HMI’s Director of Community Services and a whole farm planning educator for 15 years. Ann has a small homestead with goats and chickens in the Manzano Mountains.

COME FOR ONE SESSION OR THE WHOLE SERIES: Jan. 16: Identifying Key Values and Resources for Success Jan. 30: Creating a Whole Farm Goal Feb. 6: Value-based Decision-Making Feb. 20: Whole Farm Financial Planning Feb. 27: Easy and Effective Enterprise Analysis As always our VFP trainings are FREE and open to veterans from all branches of service, National Guard and active duty personnel are welcome. Space permitting, the classes are also open to the larger community. Please RSVP, as seating is limited, to Robin Seydel at, or call 505217-2027 or toll free at 877-775-2667.

FREE winter trainings: WHOLE farm planning

healthy new


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 505-265-4631 Valley 7am – 10pm M – Sun 2400 Rio Grande NW, ABQ, NM 87104 505-242-8800 Gallup 10am – 7pm M – S, 11am – 6pm Sun 105 E Coal, Gallup, NM 87301 505-863-5383 Santa Fe 7am – 10pm M – S, 8am – 10pm Sun 913 West Alameda, Santa Fe, NM 87501 505-984-2852 Grab n’ Go 7am – 6pm M – F, 10am – 4pm Sat UNM Bookstore, 2301 Central SW, ABQ, NM 87131 505-277-9586 Westside 7am – 10pm M – Sun 3601 Old Airport Ave, ABQ, NM 87114 505-503-2550

January 2014 2





BY JULIUS CAIN, BLACK VEGETARIAN SOCIETY n our busy, sometimes hectic lives, it can be impractical to slow down and embrace the joys of having a healthy meal. In many instances, a persons health depends upon it and research statistics show that many of the medical challenges people experience can be reduced or eliminated by consuming a plantbased diet. The USDAs “Choose My Health Plate” denotes the daily recommended requirements for fruits and vegetables. For example, depending on the physical activity of a male from age 31 to 51, recommended weekly consumption, amounts to two cups of dark green


Cooperative Distribution Center 9am – 5pm, M – F 901 Menaul NE, ABQ, NM 87107 505-217-2010 Administration Offices 9am – 5pm, M – F 901 Menaul NE, ABQ, NM 87107 505-217-2001 Administrative Staff: 217-2001 TOLL FREE: 877-775-2667 (COOP) • General Manager/Terry Bowling 217-2020 • Controller/John Heckes 217-2029 • Computers/Info Technology/ David Varela 217-2011 • Operations Manager/Bob Tero 217-2028 • Human Resources/Sharret Rose 217-2023 • Marketing/Edite Cates 217-2024 • Membership/Robin Seydel 217-2027 • CDC/MichelleFranklin 217-2010 Store Team Leaders: • Valerie Smith/Nob Hill 265-4631 • John Mulle/Valley 242-8800 • William Prokopiak/Santa Fe 984-2852 • Michael Smith/Gallup 575-863-5383 • Mark Lane/Westside 505-503-2550


vegetables, six cups of red and orange vegetables, two cups of beans and peas, six cups of starchy vegetable and five cups of other vegetables. The same with adjusted amounts applies to children, girls, boys and women. How can we consume veggies, fruits, grasses (grains), nuts and seeds given the hectic pace of life? In some cases many of us lack the knowledge, time, concern or resources to access the foods that have much to do with augmenting a healthier lifestyle. One way to get there is to embrace the benefits of juicing to get the nutrientdense foods which promote one’s health and well-being. Juicing has been around for a long time. Ordinary people from all walks of life from ancient to modern times, including Dr. Alvenia Fulton, Jack Lalanne, Dr. Aris LaTham, Dick Gregory, Norman Walker, Arnold Ehret, Edgar Cayce, Dr. Llaila O. Afrika, Dr. Max Gerson, Dr. Michael Greger, Queen Afua and many others have advocated the benefits of juicing, since its inception by the ancient Greeks who referred to pomegranate juice as “a love potion.” The late Dr. Linus C. Pauling, a biochemist, peace activist, educator and creator of the Linus Pauling Institute for micronutrient research for optimum health defineed the essential nutrient components the body and mind need to achieve optimum health. An excerpt from the Oregon State University article titled "Crisis in the Juice Aisle" sheds light on the challenges faced when confronted with store-brought juice;

"...studies have shown that reconstituted orange juice from concentrate loses vitamin C faster than bottled juice purchased from the store.” While the chemistry is complicated, orange juice is still a good source of vitamin C. Just keep in mind that over time vitamin C is lost. Read more at Healthy Essentials Juicing is one of the most effective ways to obtain essential nutrients. Individual testimony of its benefits are countless throughout the world and result from the absorption of nutrients that work holistically one’s physical and mental well-being, while promoting detoxification and the removal of difficult to eliminate wastes. Toxins leading to candida, an overgrowth of yeast and fungus often referred to as “Leaky Gut” and other preventable debilitating physical conditions can also be mitigated with juicing practice. Juicing provides a means toward rejuvenating and strengthening the organs and the performance of the immune system which supports the prevention or reduction of even the most common afflictions. Of course, what many people find as the downside of juicing has much to do with learning to change one’s taste, from what has been eaten for many years to the palate that enjoys the abundance of nature’s finest; aka vegetables and fruits. Another concern is the difficulty of letting go of refined sweeteners, salts and fats in the standard American diet. Also to be remembered is that there are more bathroom visits often associated with ridding the body of unhealthy substances. While the physical affects can be quite challenging to bear at the outset, one must keep in mind that it is a natural part of the experience as the body sheds unhealthy waste. A timeless maxim by Benjamin Franklin, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” has never been truer. Consult your physician to ensure that learning and starting a juicing regimen does not cause any health problems, exacerbate certain illnesses, can be utilized with medications or practices currently being addressed. The information presented in the above article and at the Juicing Workshop is not intended to diagnose health problems or to take the place of professional medical care. All content, including text, graphics, images and information is for general information purposes only.

JUICING WORKSHOP TEST before you invest!

Sponsored by the Black Vegetarian Society and La Montanita Co-op. Start the year off right with a resolution to take time to become healthier for yourself and those you love. Bring your fresh veggies or purchase some at the Co-op to experience, hands-on, a variety of juice machines and fruit and veggie juice combinations. FOR MORE INFORMATION contact Julius at events

11AM-1PM Jan. 25

Co-op Board of Directors: email: • President: Martha Whitman • Vice President: Marshall Kovitz • Secretary: Ariana Marchello • Treasurer: Susan McAllister • Lisa Banwarth-Kuhn • Jake Garrity • Leah Rocco • Jessica Rowland • Betsy VanLeit


Membership Costs: $15 for 1 year/ $200 Lifetime Membership



Co-op Connection Staff: • Managing Editor: Robin Seydel 217-2027 • Layout and Design: foxyrock inc • Cover/Centerfold: Co-op Marketing Dept. • Advertising: Sarah Wentzel-Fisher • Editorial Assistant: Sarah Wentzel-Fisher 217-2016 • Printing: Vanguard Press

BY SUSAN CLAIR iting winds, serious snow and subfreezing temperatures arrived before the solstice, the official first day winter. New Year’s Day and well-intended resolutions have come and gone. And we’re still a month shy of Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction of the duration of winter’s chilling effects. What’s a high-desert New Mexican to do to keep body and soul warm and content for a few more months?

Membership response to the newsletter is appreciated. Email the Managing Editor,

Although New Mexico and China are on distant continents, their inland regions are similar in weather extremes, and their populations often seek similar ways to stay cool during summer months and warm during winter months. I have long been a proponent of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), including acupuncture, Chinese herbs and the healing properties of foods. According to TCM, certain foods and spices produce internal heat to counteract a cold external environment or to balance the naturally cool, physical constitution of some people. Interestingly, some heat-producing foods are not hot in temperature but result in a warming effect when metabolized.

Copyright ©2014 La Montanita Co-op Supermarket Reprints by prior permission. The Co-op Connection is printed on 65% post-consumer recycled paper. It is recyclable.

The Chinese system of food cures is about maintaining balance in the human body. Although the full system is more complex than can be described in this article, it may be helpful for you to know about certain heat-generating foods than can relieve symptoms of the common cold, induce perspiration, and warm your body during the cold, short days of winter. Consuming such warming foods will balance the energy in your winter-time body.

Membership information is available at all four Co-op locations, or call 217-2027 or 877-775-2667 email: website:



Foods that result in a warming effect in the body include garlic, leeks, squash, peaches, sunflower seeds, raspberries, coconut, fresh ginger, clove, coriander, rosemary, spearmint, sweet basil, asparagus, dates, cinnamon twig, grapefruit peel, walnuts and cherries. Chinese physician, herbalist and acupuncturist Sun Shu Mao published his seminal food book, One Thousand Ounces of Gold Classic, in 652 A.D. Since then, the Chinese system has evolved to teach us how foods can warm us in winter, cool us in summer, increase energy, tone and optimize specific organ function, provide lubricating or drying effects, tonify deficiencies, relieve symptoms of illness, promote circulation, and enhance general vitality. To learn more about TCM and the healing effects of foods and herbs, I recommend Dr. Henry C. Lu’s book, Chinese System of Food Cures: Prevention & Remedies. For the past four years, I have been helping people learn how to stay healthy through organic, plant-based nutrition. I invite you to join me at the next “Eating for Your Health” workshop on Saturday, February 8, 2014, from 10:30AM to 12:30PM at the Highland Senior Center, 131 Monroe NE (between Central and Copper). Registration is required. Seating is limited. A donation of $10 is suggested, but no one will be turned away. For more information, please contact SUSAN CLAIR: 505-2819888/

Eating for your


FEB. 8



January 2014 3




BY MARTIN HICKEY, MD, CEO OF NEW MEXICO HEALTH CONNECTIONS s members of La Montanita Co-op, you understand the value of belonging to an organization that was created by the community for the benefit of the community. Co-ops don’t exist for profit, they exist for the greater good. In La Montanita’s case, that means supporting New Mexico growers, sourcing healthy food locally and giving consumers more options when it comes to what they put on their tables. Much like La Montanita, New Mexico Health Connections is a co-op.

pay particular attention to the greater good for our entire community. In fact, the benefits of co-op health plans are already starting to be realized. In the thirty-six states that have federally run health-exchanges, the average price for insurance is nine percent lower in states that have co-ops than in the states that don’t. That’s a real advantage for consumers in states with co-ops such as New Mexico Health Connections. At New Mexico Health Connections, everything we do is focused on keeping our community healthy. We want to make sure every New Mexican has access to affordable health coverage and have worked hard to make our health plan available throughout the state with a wide network of nearly 6,000 health-care providers.


But unlike a food co-op, we are a co-op focused on providing New Mexicans with an affordable, non-profit option for their health coverage. We were created by the Affordable Care Act as a consumer operated and oriented (co-op) health plan. Our mission is to improve the health status of all New Mexicans and offer an alternative to the larger for-profit health plans. We are one of twenty-four health co-ops created by the Affordable Care Act and are part of a movement to inject non-profit competition into the health-care marketplace across the country. We will be governed by a local board of directors elected from our membership, and any profits we make must be driven back into expanded benefits, lower costs and an improved primary care system for New Mexico. Most important: we were created to shake things up in health care. We see ourselves as agents of change, and that means we


And, in an effort to help keep costs low and our members healthy, we offer no co-pays on generic medications for nine chronic conditions. This will not only help people save money, it will also help prevent costly and frightening hospital stays. We are a doctor-led organization that believes no one should go without the security of health coverage. I know from my experience as a doctor that having quality, affordable health care more available and accessible makes communities healthier as a whole. Doctors are able to see patients early, before minor problems become chronic conditions. This keeps people healthy and active—and that’s a true benefit for the community as a whole. If you’re interested in this unique brand of PATIENT-CENTERED New Mexico built health coverage, we’d love to talk to you. You can visit us at, find us on the Health Insurance Exchange website at or call us at 855-769-6642.




OFFCenter offers educational workshops in visual arts techniques, writing and music. Each year hundreds of local artists exhibit their art in our studio gallery and art sales shop and 2,000 artists of all ages and abilities utilize our open studio. Our annual “We ART the People!” Folk Art Festival (every September in downtown Albuquerque) has become a part of Albuquerque’s cultural fabric for thousands of residents. It features a Giant Puppet Parade, art making activities for kids of all ages, live music and dance performances, and over 100 lowincome artists selling affordable, locally handcrafted arts and crafts. Besides supporting these programs the Co-op’s Bag Credit Donation will also fund our outreach programming for at-risk children/youth by

95% of our studio users (from child to elder) live well below the median income, 65% are at or below the poverty line. Often our artists are also living with social vulnerabilities such as homelessness and disabilities. Twenty social-service, therapy and health-care agencies as well as individual occupational/art therapists and their clients rely on OFFCenter’s studio and services as a community reintegration site. Here is what some of our artists have to say about OFFCenter: • “I’m on disability and sometimes never go out of my apartment. OFFCenter helps me to get out around people and have a good time, and learn skills in a safe atmosphere.” • “Healing trauma in a safe place. Thank you!” • “It keeps me busy, and I like to come. I have good friends. I like to make things that make me happy.” • “OFFCenter helps improve the quality of my life and those of my clients. I bring people with developmental disabilities here and they can make art. Most important they feel welcome and accepted. [OFFCenter] fulfills requirements by NM Dept. of Health [for] people with disabilities to be integrated with the community. Also, it improves the quality of the neighborhood where I live!” • “It makes mommy happy!” At OFFCenter our diverse group of artists create and sell art side by side in a climate of inclusion and support—instilling hope and resiliency, increasing self-esteem, a sense of belonging, responsibility and purpose with each other and with the public through the arts. Visit OFFCenter Community Arts Project at 808 Park Avenue SW, Albuquerque, at www.offcenter, or call 505-247-1172 for more information.




In November your Donate the Dime bag credits totaling $2,292.81 went to Rio Grande Food Project. Thanks to all who donated!



of the month:

This month your bag credit donation goes to OFFCenter Community Arts: Instilling hope, resiliency and a sense of belonging, in a climate of inclusion, through the arts.

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

Alamed a Blvd. Coors Blvd.

BY RON BREEN trengthening resilience, building self-esteem and positive self-identity, that is the mission of OFFCenter Community Arts Project, this month’s grateful recipient of the Co-op Bag Credit Donation. Now in our 12th year of operation, OFFCenter provides free art making, art sales and art education resources to anyone who wishes to participate. Open five days a week, Tuesday through Saturday, fifty weeks a year, we share an abundant assortment of donated art materials and offer exhibit and sales venues in our safe, non-judgmental studio environment. At OFFCenter everyone is an artist. Participants regularly exchange roles as teacher and student while listening and sharing personal experiences with one another. The environment fosters authentic self-expression and holds a space for everyone to interact as creative equals and experience a sense of wellness and acceptance. Those who participate strengthen their creative identity and are better able to cope with life’s stress.


of the month

providing free art making activities for under-served, K-5 children at our After School Art Program at Reginald Chavez Elementary and our Summer “Kids Only” Open Studio sessions with YDI and children from the general public.

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.


January 2014 4

WHAT IS A FOOD HUB? BY SARAH WENTZEL-FISHER s you shop for your groceries, consider, the routes your food took to get to you. What if there was only one route for your food to get to you, and there was a snowstorm or a bridge collapsed on that road? What sorts of food delivery systems do we need to ensure that healthy and fresh food is readily available for our families all the time?


The Co-op Distribution Center fits squarely in the definition of a food hub. It purchases products from producers like Heidi’s Raspberry Jam, Valencia Mills, Old Windmill Dairy, and Sweet-



In this month’s Co-op Distribution Center installment, we’d like to review the defintion of food hub. A food hub is a business or organization that actively manages the aggregation, distribution and marketing of source-identified food products primarily from local and regional producers to strengthen their ability to satisfy wholesale, retail and institutional demand. It also is the new buzzword in local food for the types of programs that folks like our Co-op staff have managed for a long time. Food hub is a big word used to describe everything from a multi-farm CSA like La Cosecha, to a pack and wash facility like the South Valley Economic Development Center, to a small-scale distribution center like the Co-op Distribution Center. And the reality is, we need a wide variety of different kinds of food hubs to make for a healthy local food system. Recently the county and New Mexico State University have done feasibility research and planning work for food system development in and around Bernalillo County, with particular attention to food hub development. While the research has captured the attention of many local food advocates, the conversation about food hub development gets murky, even amongst the most informed, because it can mean so many different things.

grass Beef Co-op, all local producers, and re-sells these goods to other co-ops, grocery stores, and restaurants. In addition, it sells goods like organic sugar, packaging, dried herbs, and other items these producers need for making and marketing their products. The CDC works with these producers to find new markets for their products, and in turn tries to meet more of their supply needs. Finally, it offers pick-up and delivery services for food producers to and from select locations for a service fee; so even if the CDC doesn’t carry their product on its shelves, it still helps get it to where it needs to go.



BY SARAH MEADE, RIO PUERCO ALLIANCE any grocery or supermarket shoppers may not stop to think of what a privilege it is to have access to the bountiful food these places offer, so close to home, in their own city or town. Many in rural areas as well as urban areas must travel long distances to unlock this door of access. In the Tri-Chapter area of the Eastern Navajo Nation, comprised of three chapters or “community centers,” residents must travel fifty to sixty miles one way to buy food from a grocery store as none exist where they live. The Tri-Chapter area, which includes the chapters of Ojo Encino, Torreon and Counselor, is located in Northwestern New Mexico in a semi-arid USDA designated “food desert.” The residents of the area suffer from disproportionately high rates of type-2 diabetes and obesity, very much related to food access, and have an average per-capita income of $8,000, as past progress in economic development has been meager. Today, a brighter future is being created as the Navajo non-profit, Hasbídító, is working to create projects that both restore the eroding landscape and support


CO-OP Food-Shed


community members to form new socially as well as culturally significant business enterprises. One of these projects is known as the TriCommunity Mobile Farmers’ Market which is scheduled to launch early June 2014. This project was initiated by Hasbídító in partnership with the Rio Puerco Alliance (RPA) and thanks to financial and technical support from the Quivira Coalition and Hunger Grow Away, all of which are non-profits. The Mobile Farmers’ Market, a converted concession trailer pulled by a truck, will provide financial and technical support to local small-scale Navajo farmers currently farming and soon-to-be farmers to increase production of food crops while providing a platform to sell their produce. Produce will then be sold at the three Navajo community centers, providing fresh fruits and vegetables to around 900 households that otherwise would not have such access. The market will also offer cooking demonstrations, educational outreach activities, and encourage various vendors of homemade crafts to sell at the market, with the greater intention of connecting community members. This mobile market will help educate our community members about the benefits of buying locally produced and sold goods, thus changing market behaviors that will in turn benefit communities and their health. Profits will be invested back into the mobile market and also back into the community, providing an economic benefit as well.

Currently, the CDC focuses primarily on meat and dairy distribution and market development. It offers limited produce services, which may grow in the future, but this is not its main focus. Further, on most products it doesn’t offer direct retail sales to the public; you must be operating another food business to hold an account. Unlike a buying club or CSA, it does not sell direct to consumers. Other entities do some of these types of work, but as the number of local producers grows, the need for more food hubs with specialized services of all varieties will grow. The beauty of the food hub concept is that it requires many small and medium sized businesses to have strong collaborative and cooperative relationships with each other, to have many different takes on what a food hub does and to form a working fabric where food has many possible avenues to move from farm to table. When we have a system with many different distribution channels for small and medium producers, our food system is less likely to fail and leave us lacking for access to food. If a huge blizzard hit Arizona, with current largescale, aggregated food distribution systems, grocery shelves may get slim for a few days. If we have a thriving system of many local and regional distributors using different delivery systems, all located in different nearby places supplying more of what we eat, there is less chance we will experience shortages when one part of the food system fails.

During the month of December, the Rio Puerco Alliance fundraised for the Mobile Farmers’ Market project on the crowd-funding site,, yet did not reach the amount needed to begin the first season of the market. The Rio Puerco Alliance is therefore beginning their second fundraising campaign to reach the goal of $39,500. The funds raised will help support local Navajo farmers to expand and improve their fields, pay the salaries of two Navajo market employees and one Navajo market coordinator as well as a refrigerated storage shed for market inventory. The Tri-Community Mobile Farmers’ Market will reestablish the local food economy and provide a domestically controlled, sustainable food distribution system that can be an exemplar for other tribal food deserts in the region and elsewhere. With each donation Rio Puerco Alliance can successfully help these communities improve their lives and the future for their children. HOW TO GIVE: Donations can be made anytime through PayPal on RPA’s website: To watch the Tri-Community Mobile Farmers’ Market official video, visit our YouTube channel or our Facebook at, or Rio Puerco Alliance: The Rio Puerco Alliance (RPA) is a non-profit working to restore the Rio Puerco Watershed in Northwestern New Mexico for present and future generations through outreach, education and collaborative action. The RPA focuses on developing ecological as well as community resilience within the region as a means of sustainably addressing ever-changing environmental and economic conditions. RPA was organized in 2005 by members of the Rio Puerco Management Committee (RPMC) and interested citizens and incorporated in 2006. We work closely with the RPMC, the Sierra Club, local landowners, and other groups within the watershed. For more information contact Sarah Meade at 505-401-0986,


&ENVIRONMENT Sandia Natural History Center January 8

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


BY MELISSA EWER On January 8 at 7PM, the public is invited to a program focused on the Sandia Mountain Natural History Center, presented by Paul Mauermann, Director of the Sandia Mountain Natural History Center. Paul will discuss both the education initiatives and the research being done at the Sandia Mountain Natural History Center. The Sandia Mountain Natural History Center is an environmental education center located in the Sandia Mountains just east of Albuquerque, New Mexico. The beautiful 128-acre piece of pinon-juniper forest is owned by the Albuquerque Public School System, and is run

by the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science. Since 1967, the center has been teaching the students of New Mexico about the environment and how to preserve it. The primary mission of the center and its staff is to educate the citizens of New Mexico about ecology, ecosystems, the environment and conservation. A short chapter meeting precedes the talk. Native plant books will be on display and available for purchase. This free public program is sponsored by the Albuquerque Chapter, Native Plant Society of New Mexico, and takes place at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History, 1801 Mountain Rd. NW, Albuquerque. More information about the organization is available at

growing community REBUILDING

January 2014 5


their produce to help them fill existing orders with their customers in Las Cruces. The La Montanita Co-op distribution truck is key to moving the produce between northern and southern New Mexico.

FOOD HUBS in New Mexico SAYRAH NAMASTE, AMERICAN FRIENDS SERVICE COMMITTEE e are all one big community with deep ancestral knowledge and practical knowledge," commented Gene Lopez at a gathering of New Mexico farmers brought together by the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). BY


Farmers trained by AFSC have been taught the same methods for crop selection, planting, harvesting and post-harvest handling, which helps with quality control and consistency of product, especially when farmers work together to fill large orders for institutional buyers like the public schools.

rebuilding the



Gene has farmed in the Espanola Valley for fifty years and is a founding member of La Cosecha del Norte: A Growing Co-op, a farmer co-op recently formed with the support of the AFSC that sells to the La Montanita Coop in Santa Fe as well as the Espanola and the Los Alamos co-operative markets. AFSC rebuilds food hubs in New Mexico through three farmer networks: Agri-Cultura Network in Albuquerque; La Cosecha del Norte: A Growing Co-op in the Espanola Valley; and Sol y Tierra Growers in southern New Mexico. We link the farmers we train and the networks we develop to move food throughout the state, collaborating to meet the demand for local food and to support local farmers. The AFSC affiliated farmers sell to La Montanita Co-op stores in Albuquerque and Santa Fe; co-op stores in Las Cruces, Espanola, and Los Alamos; three public school districts; the Mora senior citizen center; a daycare in El Paso; as well as numerous restaurants and growers markets throughout the state. This summer AFSC brought thirty farmers together to build relationships and collaborate on ways to feed our New Mexico communities. The farmers ranged in age from fifteen to seventy years old, and shared their stories of why they farm and their connections to the land. At the conclusion of the meetings, they made a pact to support each other in the marketplace. “The meeting helped me see AFSC’s vision for a statewide network of farmers, and it was reassuring to know that we can lean on them,” said Steven Jaramillo, who recently built a passive solar cold frame on his Espanola farm. AFSC has built nineteen cold frames in New Mexico so that farmers can grow in the winter. Due to the range of climates in New Mexico, farmers can support each others’ markets. For example, tomato growing in Espanola is over by November but northern New Mexico consumers still want local toma-

AFSC honors the ancestral knowledge of New Mexico farmers like Gene Lopez and uses a farmerto-farmer training program to mentor beginning farmers and connect them to farmer networks for marketing their produce collaboratively. Look for their produce in co-op stores!

toes. In the small town of Anthony (near Las Cruces) the AFSC-trained farmers are able to grow tomatoes in November inside two AFSC passive solar coldframes, then send some north. And when heavy rains flooded the Anthony Farms this fall, setting back production, the Espanola farmers sent


Grassroots INVESTING and MICRO-LOAN PROGRAM • INVESTOR ENROLLMENT PERIOD NOW OPEN • Investment options begin at $250 • Loan repayment terms tailored to the needs of our community of food producers • Loan applications taken on an ongoing basis To set up a meeting to learn more or for a Prospectus, Investor Agreement, Loan Criteria and Applications, call or e-mail Robin at: 505-217-2027, toll free at 877-775-2667 or e-mail her at



Board news

January 2014 6




ty members for an evening of intergenerational dialogue. Participants, whose ages ranged from twenty to seventy, took part in a lively conversation and shared their perspectives on the importance and future of the cooperative model.

regardless of age, it is relatively simple to communicate their importance. Perhaps there is actually less of a generation gap than was initially expected. While we have much in common, at times it’s just the methods for achieving the goals that differ somewhat.

BY JESSICA ROWLANDS There was wide agreement that the Co-op’s illennials—those born from the structure and principles align with individuals’ involving early 1980s to the early (of all ages) personal values. The Co-op proYOUNG 2000s—have been described as a vides a sense of belonging, and a way to constakeholders generation that places heavy emphasis on tribute to and support the local community. community engagement and social entreThe challenge was to brainstorm ways to preneurship. They value collaboration, describe the importance of cooperatives to accessibility, sustainability and self-expresfolks who are unfamiliar with the model. sion in their careers and personal lives. In fact, their practices mirror many of the CoYounger generations may understand the coopop values and principles. It appears that erative model best through the lens of collaboMillennials are uniquely suited to become ration and experiential learning. Working engaged in the cooperative community and move into positions of together and sharing ideas often results in more leadership. This transition will be more effective if dialogue is faciliinnovative, lasting solutions. In contrast, the concept tated and relationships are built between younger generations and of the co-op as an alternative (potentially more stalongtime Co-op veterans. ble) economic model that is an investment in the community may resonate more readily with older As La Montanita Co-op grows over the coming years, it will be critgenerations. ical to involve young stakeholders in the Co-op mission. To address this opportunity, the Co-op Board of Directors recently hosted a All in all, participants were surprised to realize that study hour that brought together a wide range of Co-op communimost of us share similar values and goals, and that


A key theme throughout the course of the discussion was the importance of relationship building and working with mentors. One-on-one mentorship does not necessarily have to be older-toyounger, but can also be peer-to-peer. The key will be to provide these opportunities to a small, but diverse group of community members and ensure multidirectional flow of ideas and expertise. The Board will continue to work on facilitating a dialogue among people of all ages and promoting the relevance of the cooperative model to the wider community. We welcome members’ thoughts and suggestions (email: bod@lamontanita. coop) and invite you to attend a Board meeting to get to know us better!




CLASSES COME FOR ONE SESSION OR THE WHOLE SERIES: Jan. 16: Identifying Key Values and Resources for Success Jan. 30: Creating a Whole Farm Goal Feb. 6: Value-based Decision-Making Feb. 20: Whole Farm Financial Planning Feb. 27: Easy and Effective Enterprise Analysis Contact Robin Seydel at 505-217-2027 or to register.


BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND THE WINNERS ARE... The Co-op’s annual Board of Directors election was held this past November. The votes have been counted and the Board formally approved the results at its December meeting. These results are as follows: JEFF ETHAN GREEN 202 • ARIANA MARCHELLO 234 • LEAH ROCO 229 • JESSICA ROWLAND 251 • HARRY SNOW 79 • BYLAW AMENDMENT 1, LIFETIME MEMBERSHIP Approve: 321, Disapprove: 11 • BYLAW AMENDMENT 2, CAPITALIZATION Approve: 313, Disapprove: 14 • TOTAL



Leah Roco, Ariana Marchello and Jessica Rowland have all been elected to three-year terms. We’ve included the winning candidates’ photos here. Congratulations to the winners and thanks to all the candidates for offering to serve the Co-op. In addition to electing the three board members, voters overwhelmingly passed two bylaw amendments. The Board wants to thank voters for supporting the Co-op by passing these important

amendments. They will help us to continue to serve members as well as the larger community, while remaining competitive in the marketplace. This is the second year of electronic balloting, with only a small improvement in voter turnout. Only 352 members voted, out of a total of 8,000 members who had provided us with their email address. While the response was far less than what we would like, it’s similar to what other co-ops around the country experience. If you did not provide us with your email address this year and would like to vote electronically next year, please stop by the information desk at any store. We’d very much like to hear from you about what went well and what needs improving. Please contact Marshall Kovitz, chairperson, Nominations and Elections Committee. Email is Phone is 2561241. You may also leave a written message for him at the Nob Hill Information Desk. As always, you are welcome to attend monthly board meetings and join us for dinner. Meetings are held on the third Tuesday of the month and start at 5:30PM. Location is Immanuel Presbyterian Church across the street from the Nob Hill store. Enter through the northern most of the two doors facing Carlisle. The above information has also been posted on the Co-op’s website BOARD







Premium Compost • 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 •

BACKGROUND Each month, the Board of Directors spends one hour of its meeting time considering topics relevant to La Montanita’s mission, and envisioning the Co-op’s future in a changing environment. Past study topics are diverse and have included the study of social media, social capital, the Farm Bill, local economies, systems of organization, cooperative economies in other countries, alternative economic models and sustainability, among others. La Montanita Co-op’s Board of Directors seeks a research assistant to support the board in its learning and development through the creation, organization and facilitation of our study work. JOB SUMMARY • Based on direction from the Board Development Committee, the Research Assistant will increase her/his knowledge around the concept of sustainability, staying up to date on relevant topics and trends through self-directed, independent learning. • Under the guidance of the Board Development Committee and in the context of determined study topics, utilize the information and knowledge garnered to focus the study areas, prepare detailed monthly study plans, and compile and submit study materials. As appropriate, identify individuals and organizations who are potential presenters. When appropriate, organize and guide monthly discussions. • Participate in the annual board retreat and/or other major visioning and planning events.

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND APTITUDES • Excellent research skills. • Familiarity with current social, political, environmental and economic conditions as they relate to the idea of sustainability. • Strong facilitation skills. • Collaborative work approach. • Self directed and capable of working independently. EMPLOYMENT STATUS, HOURS AND COMPENSATION • Employment status: Contract labor. • Hours: 6-12 hours per month. The Research Assistant is expected to attend the monthly board meetings, (third Tuesday of each month), for the second hour of work, approximately 6:30PM to 7:30PM. On occasion, attend Board Development Committee meetings, usually held after 5PM on weekdays. Once a year attend all or part of the board’s day-long planning retreat, held on the weekend. • Compensation will be $25/hr for research up to 8 hours per month and one 18% discount card per hour spent at meetings/gatherings up to four hours (cards) per month. Email resume and cover letter to: MARSHALL KOVITZ, Vice President, Board of Directors, La Montanita Food Co-operative. Place the words, “Board Research Assistant” in the subject line.

co-op news THE INSIDE

January 2014 7


WE ARE STARING ANOTHER NEW YEAR. I am always amazed and shocked how fast the New Year gets here. This past year was a good one for our Co-op. We were involved in more community work than ever, our La Montanita Fund project has succeeded in helping a good number of our local farmers get access to capital, our Veteran Farmer Project has grown, we opened the new Westside store and enjoyed record sales as an organization. Every year I ask myself what will we do this year to improve from the past year. Each year brings challenges and unexpected road blocks. We have become very good at meeting whatever challenges present themselves; we don’t get too excited when all is going well and don’t get too disappointed when all has not gone as planned. Our strategy is to remain consistent, recognize the chal-

lenges before they become problems and treat our Co-op with the respect it deserves; as long as we practice these “unconventional” business methods, all will be well. My thanks to you, our memberowners, who make working at the Co-op a true pleasure, and thanks to our staff, who work hard every day to serve our member owners. One cannot exist without the other—a good definition of cooperation. One constant during 2014 is our commitment to doing the very best we can to serve all our neighborhoods and our members. I can be reached by e-mail at terryb@lamontanita. coop or by phone at 505-217-2020. I hope your year is the best ever. -TERRY B NEW YEAR!



January Calendar

of Events 1/16 Veteran Farmer Project Training, see page 1 1/21 BOD Meeting, Immanuel Church, 5:30pm 1/25 Winter Juicing Workshop, co-sponsored by the Black Vegetarian Society, see page 2 1/27 Member Engagement Committee, Administrative Office, 5:30pm 1/30 Veteran Farmer Project Training, see page 1

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


11-Point Plan for Good Nutrition and Good Health ROBIN SEYDEL s eating better, getting healthier or losing a few pounds part of your New Year resolution? For many of us it is. I for one hate diets! Don’t tell me what I can’t have, tell me what I can have.



Eating fresh fruits and vegetables, grains and beans will not only support your healthy year resolution but will go a long way in creating a healthier personal economy. Steering clear of processed foods with all the additives (salt, sugar, flavorings, etc.) and the increased possibility of GMO ingredients, will also go a long way in helping achieve the goal. Instead of reaching for that candy bar at 3PM to get you through the rest of the work day— how about a cup of hot green tea and a few dates, figs or jumbo flame raisins for an energy boost and to quiet that sweet tooth. After work, instead of grabbing some high fat chips to get you through until dinner is ready, how about some carrots or celery? For a special treat dab a bit of peanut or almond butter on it for the nutritional punch of vitamins and fiber in the veggies and the protein in the nut butter. And if life on the go makes you reach for the fast food solution, try a quick fix of healthy food from the Co-op deli or pop some almonds or trail mix into your purse, computer bag or briefcase so you always have a quick and healthy snack. Here are a few essentials for the road to a healthier new year. 1. Eat Plenty of Fiber. Fiber is found in whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Grains are best whole or only coarsely ground. Use rye, rice, barley, millet, quinoa, amaranth and other grains regularly. They help bind with toxins and improve elimination. 2. Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, especially green leafy ones. These are high in vitamins, flavonoids, minerals, essential fatty acids (avocados) and fiber.

3. Choose organic as much as possible to avoid the many endocrine and neuro-toxic agricultural chemical residues that affect the quality of your food and your health. Cook only lightly and eat some raw fruits and veggies with their important enzymes each day. 4. Cut down on your fat intake. Use animal products as flavorings and condiments rather than as your main source of protein. When enjoying meat, choose products that are grass-fed for healthy hormone and antibiotic-free eating. Grassfed beef has been shown to have a variety of health benefits not found in conventionally raised meat, including: lowered total fat content, higher conjugated linoleic acid and higher omega-3 fatty acid for heart and brain function, among others. 5. Cut down on your sugar intake. Read labels and watch for sugars of all sorts in unexpected places. 6. Cut down on your salt intake. Instead of salt use herbs and spices including ginger, cayenne, cumin, turmeric, curry, rosemary, cardamom, coriander, chile, garam masala, garlic, lemon juice, tomato puree, onions, mustard seeds, pepper, etc. Check out the wide variety of bulk spices and mixed salt-free spice assortments in the bulk and grocery sections of your Co-op. Here again, read labels. 7. Cut down consumption of processed food to avoid empty calories and artificial everything, including flavors, sweeteners, MSG, preservatives and other additives and GMO ingredients. 8. Drink only moderate amounts of alcohol and caffeine. Make an afternoon cup of coffee a cup of green tea instead. Utilize Swiss water processed decaf coffee rather than the chemically processed decafs. OR better yet switch to green and herbal tea beverages.

9. Drink plenty of filtered water. Water either hot or cold with a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime added is delicious and adds electrolytes to keep you balanced. 10. Eat more of your calories earlier in the day. A good hearty breakfast, a sold nutritional lunch and a light dinner refuels the body with nutrients as they are needed more effectively than eating heavy, hard-to-digest proteins late in the day or close to bedtime. Why store all that fat for use after six to eight hours of sleep! Utilize it during the day instead. This will help improve digestion, reduce interrupted sleep, reduce heartburn and indigestion, improve metabolism and help with weight loss. 11. Get enough exercise and fresh air. Get up from that computer, TV or study desk and walk, do yoga, hike or whatever exercise you enjoy at least three to four times weekly. It will improve both your body and your mind. GET AND STAY HEALTHY!


FRUIT AND V E G E TA B L E S 1 Try to start each day off with a piece of fresh fruit. Juice often is high in sugar and low in Vitamin C.

2 Make your own trail mix with seeds, nuts and dried fruits for snacking. Keep some of this mix at work or carry it with you. Check out the bulk department for a variety of pre-mixed trail mixes or make your own seed, nut and fruit choices.

3 Always have a simple green salad with dinner. Dress with some olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon and a bit of pepper.

4 Keep your kitchen stocked with fresh vegetables and fruits. Utilize additiveand sodium-free frozen products to supplement when needed.

5 Every time you shop for groceries, pick one type or variety of fruit or vegetable you've never tried before.

6 Use as your entrée stir-fries, stews and soups that are rich in vegetables.



7 Learn more about cooking seasonal fruits and vegetables. See recipes in this issue.

8 Try mixed fresh fruit salads for desserts. Puree some frozen berries and serve over other fresh fruit for a colorful ending to a meal.

9 Try to limit other sweets in your diet. This will help you appreciate the natural sweetness found in fresh fruit and veggies.



FUND! • Investor enrollment period now open • Investment options begin at $250 • Loan repayment terms tailored to the needs of our community of food producers • Loan applications taken on an ongoing basis To set up a meeting to learn more or for a Prospectus, Investor Agreement and Loan Criteria, and Applications, call or e-mail Robin at: 505-217-2027, toll free at 877-775-2667 or e-mail her at

Bring a fruit or vegetable salad to potlucks and parties so you'll always have something healthy to munch on.



the best

O F T H E W E S T .................................................... RIANNE’S PICK

ON THE WESTSIDE FOLLOW YOUR HEART® VEGAN SALAD DRESSINGS Try these Follow Your Heart® SALAD DRESSINGS: Organic Thick & Creamy Caesar, an ultra rich, ultra creamy, and loaded with parmesan and garlic flavors. It’s entirely egg- and anchovyfree, and great on everything from sandwiches to salads! Or, the Honey Mustard has all the sweetness of honey, but is entirely vegan! Delicately balanced with mustard, vinegar, and pepper. It’s perfect as a dipping sauce. Choose from many more varieties! Follow Your Heart® is committed to operating an ethical, social, and environmental responsible business.


ON THE WESTSIDE SWEET GRASS GRASS-FED BEEF • NEW YORK STRIP All animals marketed through Sweet Grass Co-op are grassfed, raised entirely on pasture. Most member farms and ranches are certified organic and all are family owned.


Using ultrasound scanning— a cutting edge technology— Sweet Grass is able to select animals for enhanced taste & marbling.


O N T H E M O U N T A I N .................................................... LYNN’S PICK

IN SANTA FE Extravagonzo Cooking Oil

Lynn Says: “Extravagonzo® is arguably the best garlic infused oil I’ve ever had.” Made in small batches using a combination of extra virgin olive oil and grape seed oil it is also available infused with Meyer lemon, blood orange & red chili…all delicious!!! Great for salad dressing or drizzling over your favorite grilled delight.


IN SANTA FE Plantiva Cold DX Developed and used by doctors in clinical practice, ColdDx® can provide a natural way to achieve powerful relief and comfort when you feel lousy and rundown, allowing your immune system to more easily do its job of re-establishing normal energy and balance. ColdDx® contains cooling and detoxifying herbs specific to a broad spectrum of respiratory and immune health factors to create a well-balanced and complete effect.


the top

O F T H E H I L L ....................................................



AT NOB HILL Nordic Naturals Arctic Cod Liver Oil

Made from 100% wild Arctic cod (Skrei)— no other fish oils or synthetic additives are ever used. With added vitamin D3 for strong bones and a healthy immune system, Nordic Naturals promotes heart and brain health. Each serving also provides 1000 I.U. of vitamin D3, surpassing the recommended daily value of vitamin D for adults and children (4+ years). Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is the natural form of vitamin D produced by the body, and is better absorbed and utilized than other forms.



A Clementine is a variety of mandarin orange with a deep orange colored exterior and a smooth, glossy appearance. Typically juicy and sweet, with less acid than oranges, they tend to be very easy to peel, like a tangerine and are occasionally referred to as the Algerian tangerine. Clementines contain Vitamin C, Calcium, Potassium, fiber and are under 50 calories!


T H E V A L L E Y .................................................... TRAVIS’S PICK Peace Coffee


Peace Coffee has a mission: to craft a delicious coffee experience in collaboration with communities all around the globe. They strive to make the world a better place one cup at a time, and have fun while doing it! Proudly roasting, pedaling & brewing outstanding fair trade & organic coffee in the heart of south Minneapolis since 1996!



Organic Valley’s Original Soy Milk is lactose, dairy, gluten, and cholesterol free and offers the balanced nutritional benefits of a whole bean process. The delicious taste is the result of generations of soy farming wisdom with careful selection of seed varieties to ensure no beany aftertaste. This truly ORGANIC soy milk is made from identity-preserved beans grown on American family farms. It’s certified ORGANIC, as are ALL Organic Valley products. Every batch is traceable to the very farm where the beans were grown.

AL AND organic PRODUCTS • Promoting LOCAL for over 37 years



January 2014 10


& nutritious

Winter Foods

stirring occasionally. Pour stew into prepared bowls and garnish with shredded cabbage, thinly sliced radishes, sour cream and cilantro. Moroccan Style Root Vegetable Stew Blanching the root vegetables shortens the stew's cooking time and keeps the flavors bright. Plus, the blanching water makes a great quick stock.

Orzo-White Bean “Stoup” with Kale 2 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 6

tablespoons olive oil onion, diced carrot, diced celery stalk, diced teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped cup orzo quart chicken or vegetable broth can white beans, drained packed cups washed, stemmed and chopped kale

Heat oil in a large saucepan or a small Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot and celery; cook until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in rosemary and orzo to coat; add broth and beans and bring to a simmer. Lower heat to medium-low and continue to cook until orzo is tender and mixture is a stew-like consistency, about 4 minutes longer. Stir in kale, cook until just wilted. Serve. Turkey Posole 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, finely chopped 3/4 cup onion, finely chopped 3/4 cup celery, finely chopped 3/4 cup carrot, finely chopped 2 tablespoons garlic, minced 2 teaspoons chile powder 2 cups leftover cooked turkey, shredded (light and dark meat) 3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth 1/2 cup tomato puree 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 1 15.5-ounce can white hominy, drained Heat the olive oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add chile pepper (add more if you like it hotter) and onion, celery, carrot, garlic and chile powder, and sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add the remaining ingredients, and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 45 minutes or until slightly thick,

Yogurt sauce 1 cup (8 ounces) Greek-style yogurt 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 1 teaspoon harissa sauce 1 garlic clove, minced Salt Vegetable stew Salt 1 pound carrots, peeled, cut into 1/2 inch pieces 1 3/4-pound turnip, peeled, cut into 1/2 inch pieces 3 tablespoons butter 1/2 pound spring onions or green onions, coarsely chopped (about 1 3/4 cups) 2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 teaspoon paprika 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander 1/2 cup dry white wine 2 teaspoons all purpose flour 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained, rinsed 1/3 pound baby spinach 1 to 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice For the yogurt sauce, whisk ingredients in medium bowl. Season to taste with coarse salt and pepper. The yogurt sauce can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill. Bring 8 cups water to boil in heavy large saucepan. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Add carrots; cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Using skimmer or large slotted spoon, transfer carrots to large bowl of ice water. Return water to boil. Add turnip; cook until just tender, about 3 minutes. Using skimmer, transfer turnip to bowl with carrots. Reserve cooking liquid. Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onions, herbs and spices. Sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper. Cook until onions are soft, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Add wine; simmer until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour. Add carrots, turnip, beans, spinach and 2 cups reserved cooking liquid. Bring to simmer; cook until vegetables are heated through, adding more cooking liquid for desired consistency. Season stew to taste with coarse salt, pepper and lemon juice. Divide stew among bowls. Spoon dollop of yogurt sauce over and serve.

Winter fare...

THAT warms you!



Calabaza Corn Coconut Soup Soup 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped 1/4 cup fresh cilantro stems, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped 1 (2 1/4-pound) piece calabaza squash or 1 (2 1/2pound) whole kabocha squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (6 cups) 4 cups water 1 can (12 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk, well stirred 3 ears of corn (fresh or thawed frozen), kernels cut off and reserved for relish (below) and cobs halved crosswise 2 teaspoons salt 1/4 teaspoon cayenne Relish 4 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice 1/4 teaspoon salt Pinch of sugar 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 cups corn kernels 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped 1 tablespoon shallot, finely chopped Heat oil in a 4- to 5-quart heavy pot over medium high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté onion, stirring occasionally, until softened and browned, about 4 minutes. Add cilantro stems and garlic, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. Add squash pieces, stirring frequently, 3 minutes. Stir in water, coconut milk, corn cobs, salt, and cayenne and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until squash is very tender, about 15 minutes. Prepare corn relish while soup simmers. Whisk together lime juice, salt and sugar in a bowl, then add oil and whisk until combined. Cook corn kernels in a saucepan of boiling salted water until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain in a sieve, then rinse under cold water to stop cooking. Drain well, then transfer to dressing along with cilantro and shallot and toss well to coat. Discard corn cobs, then purée soup in batches in a blender (use caution when blending hot liquids) until smooth. Divide soup among bowls and gently stir 1/4 cup corn relish into each. Ginger Miso Consommé Finely grate, place in paper towel, and squeeze to yield 1 1/2 teaspoons juice: 1 2-inch piece fresh ginger Whisk together in small saucepan: 6 cups water 7 tablespoons white miso (fermented soybean paste) Add and bring to simmer (do not boil): 6 large shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, thinly sliced (about 4 cups) 2 green onions, thinly sliced Add and cook soup 30 seconds: 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ginger juice (see above) 3/4 teaspoon tamari soy sauce Divide soup among 6 soup bowls. Garnish with additional sliced green onions.

January 2014 11 Milk Chocolate Semifreddo with Star Anise Carrot Cake Milk chocolate semifreddo 8 ounces milk chocolate, chopped 1 cup heavy cream 2 egg whites 1 cup sugar Star anise carrot cake 2 large eggs 2 tablespoons olive oil 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour 1 1/2 teaspoons ground star anise 1/8 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 2 cups shredded carrots, with greens reserved (for garnish, optional) For the carrot soup 2 cups fresh carrot juice 2 tablespoons cornstarch 1 tablespoon sugar Pinch coarse salt Put the chocolate in a heatproof glass bowl and melt slowly in the microwave. Alternatively, you can set the bowl over a pan of simmering water (don’t let the bowl touch the water) and stir until the chocolate is completely melted and just warm. Set aside. Using a handheld electric mixer, whip the cream in a medium bowl until it forms soft peaks; set aside. Combine the egg whites and sugar in a heat-proof bowl and place over a pan of simmering water. Whisk continually until the whites are just hot, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a large bowl. Beat the egg white-sugar mixture with a handheld electric mixer until stiff peaks form and the egg whites are shiny and glossy, 3 to 5 minutes. Fold the cream into the melted chocolate, then carefully fold the meringue into the chocolate mixture. Pour the chocolate mixture into a 9 x 13-inch pan and put in the freezer until firm, at least 3 hours or overnight until frozen. For the cake, heat the oven to 350°F. Combine the eggs, oil, sugar, salt, flour, star anise, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl. Mix until just incorporated; add the carrots. Line an 8 x 4-inch (or 4-cup) loaf pan with parchment or use a nonstick baking pan. Pour the cake batter into the pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until the center springs back when lightly touched. When cool enough to handle, unmold onto a baking rack (run a small knife around the edges if necessary to release the cake from the pan) and let cool. Cut into 2inch slices then cut each slice in half and set aside. In a small saucepan, heat the carrot juice over medium heat, then add the cornstarch, and whisk until the carrot juice mixture thickens, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Chill for 1 hour or until cold. Season with sugar and salt to taste. Ladle a small amount of carrot soup in a shallow bowl. Place 5 to 8 carrot cake pieces on top of the carrot soup. Place 3 to 4 small scoops of the chocolate semifreddo on top the carrot cake. Garnish with carrot greens, if desired.

fresh, fair

LOCAL... Located in the North Valley Beekeeping Classes Beekeeping Equipment Raw, Unfiltered Honey



Mary Alice Cooper, MD



W H I T E WAV E , H O R I Z O N , E A RT H B O U N D :



BY ARI LEVAUX hiteWave, maker of Silk soymilk, has purchased Earthbound Farm, the nation's largest producer of organic produce. Organic industry observers wonder what will be the fallout of this consolidation, announced December 9. For WhiteWave CEO Gregg Engles, the road ahead is clear.

January 2014 12

WHITEWAVE, GREEN WASH? Foods eventually purchased Horizon from its partners, who used the money to found Aurora organic dairy, which quickly ran up a long history of complaints against its practices. In 2007, Aurora was found by USDA investigators to have willfully committed fourteen distinct violations (some with multiple instances) of federal organic standards. Aurora is now facing a total of 19 class action

Now, with the addition of America's largest organic producer, WhiteWave has a lock on some of the most profitable, and growing, industries. Wall Street seems to agree. In the two days following the announcement, WhiteWave's stock price was up nine percent. Its web page is smooth and beautiful, with pictures of people doing yoga. Engles, who owns nearly three million shares of WhiteWave, still sits on the Dean Foods board.

"With Horizon Organic and Earthbound Farm, WhiteWave will now provide the two most popular gateways for consumers to enter into the organic category—produce and dairy," he stated in a press release. The purchase comes barely a year since the Initial Public Offering of WhiteWave stock, after it was spun off from its parent company, Dean Foods. Perhaps "foster parent company" would be more accurate, as Dean Foods had purchased WhiteWave ten years earlier, a move that resulted in a downgrade of its products from certified organic to the less meaningful "natural" label. Earthbound Farm, which started in 1984 with a rented raspberry patch and a farm stand, went on to transform the way America eats salad—today it controls 60% of the bagged organic salad market, which it helped pioneer. Along the way, Myra Goodman, who started the company with her husband Drew, has used her stature to further the cause of clean, fresh food. The first recipe in her first cookbook is for raspberry corn muffins, wildly popular muffins she used to sell at the farm stand. The Goodmans' success, from such humble roots and with such good intentions, sounds like a foodie fairy tale. But some forecast dark clouds over the WhiteWave producer and distributer of dairy buyout, as it invokes the specter of Dean Foods, the nation's largest dairy. Soon after purchasing WhiteWave in 2002, American organic soybean growers, who had supplied Silk's primary raw material, were told they had to meet the price of Chinese organic soy, which was lower, or the company would go to China. Organic soy is labor-intensive, American farmers couldn't go that low, so Silk began sourcing from China. The company amassed a commanding share of the organic soy milk market, before pulling a stealth bail on organic. Silk switched its supply again, back to the US, but to conventional soybeans. New product offerings from Silk were not organic, and the flagship product was downgraded as well, with "organic" being replaced by the less meaningful "natural" designation. WhiteWave was, by this time, a division of Dean Foods, and another Dean Foods holding, Horizon Organic Dairy, was transferred to WhiteWave. Horizon is the largest organic dairy in the nation, and the largest organic brand, period. Dean Foods, and its executives, played key roles building Horizon, and similar principles and practices were used by those that made Dean Foods the nation's largest dairy: gobbling up smaller dairies. In the case of Horizon, many of these small dairies saw their core organic principles get tossed. Dean

the WhiteWave division earlier this year." If anyone was jetissoned it was Dean Foods, which was left with its conventional dairy business, while WhiteWave got the hottest, most profitable brands, including Horizon, the biggest organic brand of any kind. Silk, love or hate the politics, is a damn good tasting soy milk. WhiteWave also makes International Delight non-dairy creamer, which contains sodium caseinate, a milk derivative. The company is allowed to call its product non-dairy because of an FDA loophole that classifies it as "non-dairy" because of the process by which it is extracted.

and consumer fraud lawsuits in federal court, according to Cornucopia Institute, an organic watchdog group. Now spun off, WhiteWave has staked out on its own, and taken Horizon with it; these brands no longer are associated with Dean Foods, which has become a hated name among many in the organic community. CEO Engles put the advantages this way: "The spin-off will provide WhiteWave with greater flexibility to build its portfolio of great-tasting, nutritious and responsibly-produced products. We look forward to our future as an independent company with a clear strategy, a leading portfolio of trusted brands and a culture of continuous innovation." Cornucopia Codirector Mark Kastel fears that with the purchase of Earthbound Farm, WhiteWave is gaining undue influence in the industry. "This new acquisition even gives corporate lobbyists at the former Dean Foods/WhiteWave a direct conduit to the important National Organic Standards Board via John Foster, an employee of Earthbound and an NOSB member," he wrote in a press release.

WhiteWave says it plans to run Earthbound as a separate business unit, with no significant operational changes planned, and has expressed interest in keeping Myra and Drew Goodman on board as advisors. Similar promises were made to WhiteWave/Silk founder Steve Demos. He told Bullfrog Films, Dean Foods said “‘We agree you have a culture, and we agree with the principles.' That's how I agreed to stay with Dean Foods and run Silk after its acquisition. I was told one week that I was doing a brilliant job and everything was working great, and the next week it was 'you're not the right person for this job.’” I asked Samantha Cabaluna, Vice President of Communication with Earthbound Farm, if the company's sale will mean big changes for Earthbound Farm. "Absolutely not," she told me by phone. "WhiteWave was interested in the purchase because they like what we do and want to expand on that."

Cornucopia raises important concerns about the new WhiteWave, but got it backward in claiming that, "After (Dean Foods) were done pillaging they then jettisoned



of the natural and organic foods industry CAUSE FOR CONCERN?



BY DR. SALLY FISHER e are most certainly not alone. Over millions of years, the earliest human ancestors emerged; since then we have been in a complex dance, co-evolving with the microbial and plant worlds amidst which our lives intimately are bound. With complex new technology, we are finally able to get a sense of the microbes, mainly bacteria, which live with us and form our so called, “second genome,” one that evolves much more quickly than ours does, and therefore lends us resilience as environments change. It is estimated that we are 10% human cells, 90% microbes.




Do you have a compelling interest in your community? Do you have a desire to impact local, sustainable agriculture? Want to feed wildlife? THEN, RIO GRANDE COMMUNITY FARM IS LOOKING FOR YOU! We are recruiting five additional Board Members to help our mission at Los Poblanos Open Space Fields. For more information about RGCF, please visit our website: For more information about board membership, please call 505-3454580 (voicemail, but we will return your call ASAP) or email Thank you for your interest!

With a healthy diet, these microbes perform untold numbers of beneficial functions, from making vitamins to protecting against cancer to communicating with our brains. With an unhealthy diet, certain unhealthy bacteria are promoted, healthy bacterial populations are lost, and overall microbial diversity is lost. We see associations of altered gut microbes and diversity loss with many disease states including: obesity, schizophrenia, autism and heart disease. These associations do not prove that the gut alteration caused these illness; that has yet to be determined. However we do have some compelling research evidence that this is the case for obesity. For example, mice who are born “germ-free” and then are inoculated with flora from obese mice get obese, and can be made to slim down with gut flora from slim humans. (Backhed F et al) The gut microbiota as an environmental factor that regulates fat storage. Diet and Health While medicine is pursuing the therapeutic potential of transfers of gut flora (via the unfortunately named process of fecal transplant!), we can aim to promote the healthiest gut microbes through diet. Beneficial bacteria are supported by “nondigestable carbohydrates:” carbohydrates in the form of fiber, lignin, chains of sugars and “resistant starch” (starch resisting absorption in our small intestine) among others. Sometimes called “prebiotics,” examples of foods very high in these nondigestable carbohydrates are chicory root, Jerusalem artichoke, and dandelion greens. Sugars like fructooligosaccharides are often found in prebiotic supplements, and regularly the nondigestible carbohydrate inulin is used to make products like “Fiber One” bars. Eating these supplemented foods or taking supplements is likely less beneficial than eating a variety of plant foods, as a variety of non-digestible carbohydrates will

support a variety of different beneficial bacteria populations. Beneficial bacteria produce protective compounds, and diversity of bacterial types producing a diversity of beneficial metabolites is associated with better health. The high amounts of protein in the typical American diet is problematic as protein which doesn’t get absorbed in the small intestine is fermented; that is to say, metabolized, by bacteria into small metabolite compounds that can promote hazardous cellular damage or cancer. Also a high fat/high calorie diet lessens bacterial diversity. Loss of diversity is associated with multiple disease states. A high fat/caloric diet is rich in those bacteria which extract extra calories from our food (contributing directly to obesity) and is associated with increased intestinal permeability; aka “leaky gut.” Leaky gut results in low grade inflammation throughout the body—the basis for obesity, diabetes and ultimately heart disease. Our high protein, high fat, highly processed foods overfeed us due to their effects on the composition of our gut bacteria, causing increased absorption in the small intestine. Now we know this diet promotes obesity and related disease. Our essential microbial friends, beneficial bacteria, need foods with carbohydrate components we can’t absorb but that support and feed them. Copious research has repeatedly shown that the most healthy way of eating is heavy on fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains—foods which provide a diversity of the components which support the healthiest gut flora populations, evolved over eons of human development. SALLY FISHER, M.D., M.S., is a Physician Nutrition Specialist, in addition to training in Preventive, Occupational, Integrative and Holistic Medicine.


farming &


January 2014 13 the list of training scenarios and information on how to receive USDA continuing education credits.



EDITOR’S NOTE: These two new publications are the logical extension of an earlier WFA/CAFFF publication, Farming With Food Safety and Conservation in Mind. This tightly packed seven-page pamphlet on the co-management of food safety and conservation provides a helpful, science-based overview, outlining the low prevalence of food borne pathogens in wildlife, addressing conservation practices that can improve food safety, and offering a conservation-minded risk assessment strategy.


CONSERVATION BY JOANN BAUMGARTNER, WILD FARM ALLIANCE ith the closing of the public comment period on the federal Food Safety Modernization Act, food safety issues are on everyone’s mind. To help small-and-mid-sized farmers and consumers, the Wild Farm Alliance (WFA) and Community Alliance with Family Farms (CAFF) are excited to announce the release of two new resources to support farmers in “co-managing” for food safety and natural resources conservation.


A Farmer's Guide to Food Safety and Conservation: Facts, Tips & Frequently Asked Questions provides a boots-on-the-ground guide for small and mid-sized fruit and vegetable growers looking to address both food safety and conservation on their operations. This boots-on-the-ground guide includes: • An introduction to the basic factors that affect the survival and movement of food borne pathogens on the farm. • An overview of how healthy diverse ecosystems can help to keep pathogens in check. • Frequently asked questions that address all things food safety—from wildlife and compost issues, to CSA members visiting the farm. • Tips on how to have a successful food safety inspection. • Additional resources


are healthier

Farmers can suggest that their food-safety auditor review these training scenarios on co-management and small-farm issues before visiting their farm, so that they will be better informed when they arrive for the audit. Farmers may also find value in reviewing these training scenarios, and may want to reference them, if a food safety auditor who has not seen these materials is already on the farm and needs clarification. Go to the Food-Safety Training Scenario page of the Wild Farm Alliance website,, for

The supporting Training Scenarios for USDA and Third Party Auditors on the Co-management of Food Safety and Conservation as well as Small- and Mid-size Farm Concerns' serves not only as a training opportunity for foodsafety auditors, but as a resource that farmers can share with their auditors to help them better understand conservation and small farm issues. This training manual was created to use alongside the USDA Produce GAPs Harmonized Food Safety Standards. The scenarios will aid auditors in how to recognize situations where farmers use conservation practices that reduce food safety risks, when beneficial actions support natural processes, and when improvement is needed. The manual also addresses small-farm issues related to food safety such as friends and family visiting the farm, pets on the farm, growing multiple crops in a field and mixed operations that grow produce and raise livestock. Auditors who work for, or are accredited by, USDA can receive continuing education units for completing the training. At the end of the training, a Certificate of Completion can be downloaded.

Major sections of the pamphlet include: How Did We Get Here?, Relative Food Safety Risk of Wildlife, General Advice for Animal Management, Specific Wildlife Considerations, Why Soil Microbial Diversity IS Important to Public Health, Soil Management Considerations, Compost Considerations, Vegetation's Filtering Capacity, and Good Food Safety Protocol. A limited number of hard copies of this pamphlet will be available free of charge at the NM Organic Farming Conference on the La Montanita Co-op table, or download it and the two new WFA/CAFF publications on line at:


IN MIND REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION from the Wild Farm Alliance and the California Alliance of Family Farmers. For the complete text go to www.wild Why Soil Microbial Diversity Is Important for Public Health: Cover crops and compost support diverse microbial soil populations by increasing the organic matter content of the soil. As microorganisms decompose these materials, they create humus. This complex organic material provides numerous soil health benefits. Soil management practices can increase or decrease plant and human pathogens in the growing environ-

RANDOM ECO notes BRETT BAKKER You Want Novel Organisms, Invasive Species And Emerging Pathogens With That? J.R. Simplot (the agri-biz giant which currently supplies all McDonald’s “restaurants” with the potatoes used in its fries) has developed a GMO potato line called Innate, which is in line for USDA regulatory approval. No word yet on whether Micky D’s will try these new superspuds. What’s so special about these ’taters? According to Simplot, Innate potatoes “will not turn brown after being cut for many days until they dry out and degrade naturally...” Gee, leaving cut potatoes out for many days has always been a big problem around my house…! One Stop Shopping? WhiteWave (which owns Silk and is a spinoff of grocery giant Dean Foods which in turn owns Alta Dena and Creamland among many, many others) has purchased Earthbound Farm through its milk division, Horizon. The reason, cited by CEO and Chairman Gregg Engles, is to own two of the “most popular gateways for consumers to enter into the organic category—produce and dairy.” You may recall it was Earthbound packaged spinach that was responsible for the 2006 E. coli outbreak that killed three people and sickened around 200 others. No, the outbreak was not because there is rampant E. coli on organic farms but because packing 70% of the nation’s packaged organic salad in a few locations (sort of like washing the veggies from hundreds of farms in the same sink) makes it simpler to spread disease from one field to the crops of hundreds of others. None for me thanks, I’d prefer to get my own E. coli locally. (see page 12) Time Flies Like An Arrow, Fruit Flies Like A Banana Southern Methodist University scientist Johannes Bauer has found that fruit flies fed on organic produce are healthier,

more fertile and longer lived than flies that eat non-organic produce. I guess this is good news. If fruit flies are healthier eating this stuff, aren’t we all? I am a little worried though about selfrighteous fruit flies in my kitchen saying stuff like, “Oh, I don’t eat that. I’m gluten free and only want Fair Trade certified.”



New Farm Is New Again At a recent meeting in Eugene, Oregon, I had the pleasure of meeting Rodale Institute Executive Director “Coach” Mark Smallwood. We ended up talking about old Rodale publications like New Farm, sort of an Organic Gardening magazine geared to larger scale farms. And what do you know, Rodale has revived it online and also on paper for us Luddite types who want to fold it up in our back pockets!


Can You Say “Dichotomy”? As the largest federally owned wind farm in the country, the Pantex Renewable Energy Project will provide half of the annual electricity needs to the nearby Pantex Plant. What will the feds do with all this windy power? Why, use it to assemble, disassemble and maintain portions of the nation’s nuclear stockpile. Ugh. That’s like using petroleum to grow organic food. Oh, wait…


Well, Well, Well... Meanwhile in Kalkaska, Michigan, Encana Oil & Gas Inc. needs 8.4 million gallons of water for fracking one single well. The problem is there isn’t enough H20 onsite so Encana is trucking it in from Kalkaska’s city water system. In the time it takes Encana to finish fracking things up, they will have used more water than the entire municipality will use in the same amount of time. Kill Those Weeds With…ummm... Never Mind According to recent tests commissioned by Friends of the Earth Europe, people in eighteen European countries have been found to have traces of the weed killer

Make the Link: FOOD and




Food safety and public health require careful consideration of soil management strategies that may impact pathogen sources and survival.

glyphosate (trade name Roundup) in their urine. This is interesting in light of the fact that the EU has some of the tightest GMO restrictions worldwide. Glyphosate is used on many GMO farms because the crops have been bred to be resistant to its effects. Concurrently, the EPA is proposing to raise the allowed residue limits in human food and animal feed crops, just as the International Survey of Herbicide Resistant Weeds has shown that over 140 different species of weeds have developed high tolerances to herbicides. I have a punch line but it’s not appropriate for a family newsletter.



ment. For example, manure slurries may create conditions that favor pathogen survival in the soil. Composted manure provides nutrients and organic matter with less risk of pathogen contamination. In general, E. coli O157:H7 survives best in anaerobic, carbon- and nutrient-rich conditions, such as those found in the guts of ruminant animals. Use of cover crops, compost, and other high-quality organic matter inputs encourage diverse soil microbial populations, which enhance suppression of soil-borne plant pathogens through competition and lower survival of E. coli pathogens in soil.


• Investor enrollment period now open through March 30, 2014 • Investment options begin at $250 • Loan repayment terms tailored to the needs of our community of food producers • Loan applications taken on an ongoing basis To set up a meeting to learn more or for a Prospectus, Investor Agreement, Loan Criteria and Applications, call or e-mail Robin at: 505-217-2027, toll free at 877-775-2667 or e-mail her at or go to

Coach was nice enough to mail me a copy, as well as a reprint of the first Organic Gardening and Farming magazine from 1942. That first issue is as timely as ever. To grow healthy crops, keep your soil healthy with compost and organic matter. Period! This is a good thing to keep in mind amidst the trend of hundreds of types of packaged organic fertilizers for farm or garden. Most packaged products—food or fertilizer—contain all kinds of extraneous stuff; but it’s easier and cheaper to keep it simple. For simple minded people like me, it works out pretty darn well. HAVE A NEW YEAR!

aqua es


January 2014 14



through many generations. Which means that things we do and things done do us may have already set in motion outcomes we’ll never live to see.

new science, new challenges PRO TECT

BY MICHAEL JENSEN, AMIGOS BRAVOS T his month I’m going to talk about the New Year—with some new science, a digression and a few resolutions for water.

A Scary Thought! But the fact that these potential impacts are not directly altering genes and DNA, but only how certain genes function, means we have the chance to stop or minimize the likelihood that bad things will happen to our future generations. Some other recent science can provide some suggestions: • Go for a walk in the woods – Research done in Japan has shown that spending time outdoors – in forests, at the ocean, in the mountains – can alter stress hormones and increase the number and activity of disease-fighting cells in the body. This is apparently the result of exposure to certain chemicals released by plants that they use to protect themselves, as well as the higher amount of negative ions in the air, which act as anti-oxidants in the body. However, the research also showed that just being exposed to pictures of forests for a few minutes a day could reduce stress hormones. (See the Deming Headlight article: • Meditate – Recent research by researchers in the US, Spain and France has shown for the first time that those who practice mindfulness meditation can experience rapid changes in gene expression. In particular, the researchers saw changes in genes whose impacts are currently treated with anti-inflammatory and pain drugs. (See: • Change your diet – Avoid canned foods (BPA) and processed foods in general, and focus on fresh foods, paying particular attention to foods known for their anti-inflammatory, antioxidant effects.

NM water!

Epigenetics Epigenetics is a new area of study—not completely accepted in the mainstream—that deals with changes in gene activity that are inherited, but which are not caused by changes in the DNA sequence itself (“epi” means “in addition to”). Epigenetics studies environmental factors that can alter how genes are expressed—how or whether they can function. Epigenetic changes can persist not only through many cell divisions during the cell's life, but also over the course of many generations as the changes to gene expression become hard-wired into the DNA and are passed down through the embryo. (For a quick overview, see: Better Living Through Chemistry? The breakthrough in realizing the role of epigenetics came from Michael Skinner’s lab at Washington State University. He and his assistants were conducting research on the possible long-term health consequences of exposure to environmental chemicals and inadvertently found that several generations after pregnant female rats had been exposed to various chemicals (they started with a common agricultural fungicide but moved on to BPA, jet fuel and other chemicals), the male offspring had abnormally low sperm counts – just as if exposed directly – but their DNA sequences were unchanged. They continued testing with chemicals known to cause specific diseases and found that these also appeared several generations later in the offspring of mothers exposed to these chemicals, again, without mutations in the genetic code. The mechanism they uncovered was caused by the toxins, which affected molecules called methyl groups that attach to DNA in the fetus, in turn affecting its adult-age eggs or sperm. Skinner compared these “methylated DNA” changes to burrs that get stuck to a sweater: they don’t change the structure of the sweater, but are carried along with it. (See: If You Are What You Eat… One lesson of epigenetics is that not only are we impacted by what we eat – or drink, or breathe – so also are our children and grandchildren down

Reinvent Yourself in 2014



BY IGINIA BROCCALANDRO magine, 2014 as a magical year that will bring you closer to fulfilling your dreams and allow your family to reinvent a way of living so that you all have a positive impact on your health, have less stress, reduce the need to earn more money and feel good about being a better Earth steward. This NEW year could be “CLEAN, EASY, SIMPLE;” which is the tag-


CALLING ALL FOOD PRODUCERS! NEED CAPITAL TO SCALE UP? La Montanita FUND... easy application, flexible repayment terms, call 505-217-2027.



Profound Inequality There are clearly things we can do in our own lives that can make a difference, but the chemicals that trigger epigenetic changes and long-term health impacts are pervasive and extend far beyond the individual. Our responses have to be more than personal. The United States has become a profoundly unequal country, pushing large numbers of people into poverty. So, even though it seems far removed from epigenetics,

dealing with inequality will make it easier for more people to eat more wisely and raise healthier children. If you need to know what the US looks like in terms of inequality, you can start here: • “Inequality in America” – • “20 Facts about Inequality Every American Should Know” by the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality – • “Income Inequality Is What’s Destroying America” (because even Forbes gets it) – Water There is a growing awareness that water contamination at even very low levels is a serious problem. Pharmaceuticals, for example, occur at the parts per trillion level and their impacts can be magnified because some of them—endocrine disrupting compounds— mimic natural hormones that act in the body at even lower concentrations. What should be done: • Hold regulators and polluters accountable – The Clean Water Act’s original intention was to eliminate all contaminant discharge by the mid-1980s. Instead, regulation has become a system meant to reduce and mitigate contamination. The Martinez administration has gone even farther and criticized the environmental community for failing to understand that when the state issues a permit, they are giving industry “permission to pollute,” this has to change. • More stringent drinking water standards – Current standards do not include emerging contaminants like pharmaceuticals. The government needs to move much more aggressively to evaluate the potential health impacts of emerging contaminants and effective methods to remove them from the water (and from food and drink as well). • Cumulative impacts from multiple pathways (air, soil, water) – Rather than treating each permit for each firm on a case-by-case basis, regulators need to assess the ongoing and future cumulative impact of all polluting activities in a neighborhood or city or region; while there are some cumulative impact provisions in federal environmental regulation, these do not exist in New Mexico’s regulations. For more information on water and related issues contact Michael at

tive per acre. In these workshops, Joel will give you the information and tools to feed your family and articulate a credible “feed the world” argument. line for the Carbon Economy Series (CES), a New Mexico non-profit dedicated to teaching sustainable principles and practices with world reknowned speakers. In 2014 we present a new yearly conference that provides the knowledge to produce these results. Building Resilience through Sustainable Practices is the theme of the CES conference held at the Albuquerque Embassy Suites on February 1-2, 2014, with Joel Salatin from Polyface Farms as a keynote speaker. A sustainable food system rock star, Joel is a third generation alternative farmer who has been featured in Food, Inc. and The Omnivore’s Dilemma. He is a masterful speaker whose humor and positive energy guarantee a rewarding experience. Can we feed New Mexico and the world with local food? This is hands down the most frequently asked question to Joel or anyone else who promotes local, solardriven, carbon-fertilized systems. Even most foodies and environmentalists have a deep-seated assumption that were it not for the petroleumbased fertilizer boom—the green revolution—we could not feed ourselves. Those massive Kansas wheat fields and California almond groves, for most people, represent efficiency and abundance. Nothing could be further from the truth. Backyard gardens and multi-speciation are far more produc-

Joel will also be featured in two pre-conference events at Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm. On Thursday, January 30, 7-9PM at the Celebrity Chef Gourmet Farm to Table Dinner fundraising event, and then for a full day, Ballet in the Pasture workshop, on Friday, January 31 from 9AM-5PM, on the nuts and bolts of how twenty people create two million dollars of revenue by providing over ten thousand people a month with healthy, organic food while maintaining a happy and healthy lifestyle. In crafting the Clean Economy Conference we looked at how we can empower the whole human being (mind, body and spirit) through sustainable education based on natural systems, solutions that mimic nature, where cooperation instead of competition is the norm, and where relationships have value. This is what we will be talking about for three and a half days. Local experts will be presenting on zero waste, aquaponics, water harvesting, beekeeping, building an agricultural production center, growing local and organic food, community gardens and urban Permaculture Design. FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE visit our web page or CALL 505-819-3828. P O S I T I V E I M PA C T S




On January 6, from 9AM to 5PM, Axle Contemporary artists, Jerry Wellman and Mathew, will bring their mobile step van gallery/photo studio to the Nob Hill Shopping Center as part of the Heart of the City project organized by 516 ARTS. They will shoot black and white photographic portraits of diverse members of the Nob Hill community focusing particularly on youth. In the portraits, participants will be asked to hold an object of significance or resonance for them. Two copies of each portrait will be printed on-site; one given to the participant and the other imme-

diately glued to the exterior of the mobile gallery. After each portrait is taken, it will be merged with all the previous photos, creating a dynamic and changing portrait of all who participate. All are welcome to participate. All of the portraits will also be displayed at 516 ARTS as part of the Heart of the City exhibition. Posters of the merged portrait will be displayed around Albuquerque locations. Ultimately, the project will be documented in the form of a book, available at 516 ARTS at the Heart of the City show opening on February 1. To see last year’s Santa Fe show go to www. and learn more at info@axle, go to or call 505670-7612. IN NOB HILL ON JANUARY 6!

community forum CITIZEN ACTION

January 2014 15



BY DAVE MCCOY itizen Action New Mexico is suing the National Nuclear Security Agency (NNSA) under the Freedom of Information Act for withholding documents related to the safety of nuclear operations at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) in Albuquerque. NNSA is the semi-autonomous nuclear weapons agency within the US Department of Energy (DOE).


The lawsuit was filed November 22, 2013, in federal court in Albuquerque by the law offices of Nancy Simmons on behalf of Citizen Action. The suit alleges that the NNSA has withheld documents and work papers for over two years about whether the nuclear reactors at Sandia have experienced shutdowns, accidents or violated safety regulations. The FOIA requires federal agencies to respond in 20 days. The lawsuit alleges a continuing pattern and practice of wrongful delay by the NNSA in violation of the Freedom of Information Act. Citizen Action believes that Sandia deliberately withheld the documents for over two years to hide them from the public during the Federal Defense Nuclear Facility Safety Board's investigation of SNL’s nuclear reactors and during a period of high public concern about the Fukushima reactor meltdowns. Sandia may be operating its reactors despite unresolved safety questions that require shutdown. The concerns of the Federal Safety Board date back to 2004 when its staff described numerous safety deficiencies. Again in 2012, the staff identified concerns about the lack of independent safety assessments and poor computer software quality for Sandia's ACRR reactor for confinement of plutonium in the event of an explosion. A previous lawsuit filed by Citizen Action against the NNSA resulted in a Santa Fe Federal District Court decision that ordered the NNSA to halt its “Kafkaesque and labyrinthine” pattern and practice of withholding documents. Citizen Action staff believe that SNL management shows a willingness to hide the facts about nuclear waste draining into Albuquerque's aquifer and a conduct of unsafe nuclear operations. A lawsuit filed in 2011 by Citizen Action for Sandia’s Mixed Waste Landfill resulted in obtaining documents that describe the EPA Region 6 and the New Mexico Environment Department’s cover up of defective groundwater monitoring data used to make an administrative decision to leave radioactive and hazardous wastes in place under a dirt cover at Sandia's Mixed Waste Landfill.

Citizen Action first complained to the EPA in 2007 that the monitoring wells were in the wrong locations, improperly drilled, had corroded screens and could not be relied on for data on the safety of leaving the radioactive

wastes above Albuquerque’s aquifer. The New Mexico Environment Department is further delaying a safety review that was required under its own order for the Mixed Waste Landfill that was due three years ago. In the 2012 NM Legislative Session, the Senate considered Memorial 34, demanding that the Department immediately order Sandia to perform the safety review. The New Mexico Environment Department sued Citizen Action in 2007 to keep a TechLaw, Inc., report secret from the public that described defects in the design of the landfill’s dirt cover to protect the groundwater. Citizen Action obtained the report after a state court rejected the Department’s claim of “executive privilege” to withhold the TechLaw document.

A continuing pattern and practice of wrongful delay in violation of the FREEDOM of INFORMATION ACT.

CITIZEN ACTION is a 501(c)(3) project of the New Mexico Community Foundation. For more information or to support Citizen Action’s activities, please email dave or call 505-262-1862.


STORIES OF ROUTE 66 The Stories of Route 66: The International District project team invites community members who live in the International District of Albuquerque to FREE community storytelling and art workshops, for all ages and all languages, beginning in January. A team of Littleglobe artists will engage residents in storytelling, visual art, theater, movement, poetry, film and other creative activities every Sunday afternoon from January to June 2014. FREE weekly workshops will lead to three works of art and/or performance—created by community members—that will premiere in July 2014 at three locations in the International District, creating an exciting portrait of the area and its people.

No experience, application or registration required, district residents can simply show up on January 12, at 1:30PM at PB&J Family Services (209 San Pablo SE) to participate. All ages, including families are welcome. For more information, please email Valerie Martinez at or call 505603-0866. Learn more about the overall project at

Co-op Connection News January, 2014  

The La Montañita Co-op Connection tells stories of our local foodshed--from recipes to science to politics to community events. Membership i...

Co-op Connection News January, 2014  

The La Montañita Co-op Connection tells stories of our local foodshed--from recipes to science to politics to community events. Membership i...