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our actions. Periodically we review our Ends, and a few months ago we came up with the following: Global Ends Policy “A cooperative community built on beneficial relationships based in healthy food, sound environmental practices and strengthened local economy with results that justify the resources used.”


APRIL 27, 10-6PM

on Silver Street, behind the Co-op in the Nob Hill Shopping Center

Of course we all know that visions are only empty words if we don’t clarify ways to accomplish them. So after creating a global ends policy we had to identify sub-ends that could guide action. Accordingly we came up with the following sub-ends to describe the key components of the global ends policy:

BY ROBIN SEYDEL or two dozen years it has been our great pleasure to create a community celebration that, in keeping with the cooperative principle of community education and concern for community, provides an opportunity for us all to come together. The 24th Annual Celebrate the Earth Festival in Nob Hill is a chance to get your bedding plants, talk to and learn from the farming and gardening experts in our midst, get educated on the important environmental issues we face, get educated and take action to make our community and the world a better place for us all to share.



1. Increased access to, and purchase of healthy foods. 2. A growing regenerative agriculture sector that uses sound environmental practices. 3. A thriving and sustainable local economy that benefits members and community. 4. A strengthened co-operative community.


You can expect a fun and inspiring time filled with information booths from dozens of environmental, social and economic justice organizations, local farmers, seedlings, drought resistant plants, beautiful art from fine local artists and crafts people, inspiring performances from some of our favorite local musicians and dancers, and, of course, great Co-op food. RESERVE YOUR BOOTH SPACE EARLY. We give first priority to environmental, social and economic justice non-profit organizations and farmers and farming organizations. Artists and crafts people must make and sell their own art (no kits or imports allowed), be Co-op members, be juried if they have not set up with us before and be willing to participate in the “placement lottery.” Some of our artists, activists and farmers will be setting up in front of Immanuel Presbyterian Church, our community partner and Earth Fest co-sponsor. For more information or to reserve your FREE space contact, Robin at 505-217-2027 or toll free at 877-775-2667 or e-mail her at


what we

PREACH BY BETSY VANLIET, BOARD OF DIRECTORS hances are good that you’ve heard or seen La Montanita’s claim about being “Fresh, Fair and Local.” Sounds pretty good doesn’t it? But have you ever wondered how we try to live up to that wonderful intention? To explain how we do that, I need to talk about something called “Ends Policies.” Hang in there with me, because Ends are actually a lot more interesting than you might think.


In order to steer La Montanita Co-op in the right direction, the Board listens to members and creates a “Global Ends Policy” that is essentially a sweeping long-term goal or vision to help guide



BY ROBIN SEYDEL e are pleased to announce that our lovely new website is coming online this month. We think it will provide a much better level of electronic service for our members and increase knowledge about all things Co-op in the larger community. Highly readable and beautifully designed, the project brought together our marketing and membership departments in its creation. It will feature lots of great information and vibrant graphics in an intuitive and accessible format. Linking a variety of social media tools, including our La Montanita Facebook page, it will also offer great reading on a variety of topics, some pulled from our monthly newsletter and some original blog pieces from our board and staff members.

These sub-ends then become the focus of La Montanita operations, and it is the General Manager’s job to implement actions and measure success in addressing the sub-ends. For example, to know if we are supporting “increased access to and purchase of healthy food,” we can consider sales data, the growth of our stores and Co-op Distribution Center (CDC), and our involvement in MoGro (the mobile store that brings healthy food to some of the Pueblos in rural New Mexico). To determine our impact on “regenerative agricultural and sound environmental practices,” we look at data from the CDC’s involvement in creating new farms and value-added operations, information about the types of projects supported by the La Montanita Fund, and a vendor survey that describes agricultural practices of our vendors. Understanding how we support “a thriving and sustainable local economy” comes in part from data about the growth and success of our stores and the CDC, and also information about the growth of our many economic partners.


Additionally it allows members to sign up to volunteer, get an electronic version of this Co-op Connection news emailed directly to their inbox, or get our twice a month Owner Deals flyer as well as see all the many Owner Deals not listed on the flyer each month.

And finally, to determine our role in “strengthening the cooperative community,” we can describe the many ways that we provide for the growth and development of other cooperatives, as well as the many partnerships with like-minded organizations and initiatives that we actively support.

A very special thanks goes out to Sarah Wentzel-Fisher for her work on putting this lovely new website together, Mary Lambert of the marketing team for her beautiful artwork and Zac Saranac of the Co-op IT department for helping to work out the technical details. It has truly been a cooperative collaboration aimed at bringing our members the very best in electronic media.

If you are interested in learning more about the process of developing or measuring ends for La Montanita, please contact the Board. We rely on the input and involvement of members in carrying out our job, and we welcome your ideas and feedback. Contact us at

Find us at Check it out, cruise around, enjoy and send us your feedback. Please let us know what you think by dropping a line at www.lamon


fair, LOCAL ... CO-OP!

food VALUE CHAINS REDUX Look for Great, New Co-op

Owner DEALS! Owner Deals Begin March 5! Three times as many SALE ITEMS!


arch marks a big and exciting change at the Co-op. We will implement a new Owner Deals program to replace our Weekly Member Specials because we LOVE our member-owners! Here’s how it will work: We will announce Owner Deals twice a month! The new program will offer special prices on selected items twice a month, on Wednesdays. Now members will be able to save on these items for over two weeks in some cases. Additionally, we will offer sales on nearly three times as many items. Look for pink “Owner Deals” tags on store shelves at all our locations to know what’s on sale. Find a complete list of sale items on our website or through our e-News.

The sales flyer will now be published only twice a month. This will feature some of the items we put on sale, but not all of them. For a complete list you can sign up for our e-News or find them on our website at ownerdeals. This new program officially begins March 5. If you have questions ask a Co-op staff person how it works so you can get great savings on your favorite fresh, fair and local products.

BY SARAH WENTZEL-FISHER This month we revisit a topic touched on in our first installment on the CDC—food value chains. Part of what makes the CDC unique is its approach to its suppliers and to their customers. Rather than simply moving commodities from point A to B (the basic definition of a supply chain), the CDC actively works with local and regional producers, paying attention to every step a particular food item takes from farm to fork. Further, they work with their partners at every step of the way to ensure each party’s values are respected, and needs are met. The staff use a value chain approach to make the CDC, its suppliers, and its customers successful. They recognize that to succeed, their partners need to succeed also. Regional distributors like the CDC must compete with national and multinational companies—and often customers’ expectations are based on the standards and services these larger companies can provide because of their volume of business. Regional distributors like the CDC must find ways to create a valuable experience for customers and suppliers based on different expectations. Where a large company might be able to discount its goods because of volume, the CDC might add value for a customer by providing information about where and how it was grown and a producer profile. In turn, this information might mean that a restaurant can advertise a dish as local or humanely raised and charge more based on these details.


The relationship the CDC has with each partner in processing an item, helps them identify where value might be added. For example a restaurant loves the Kyzer Farm pork chops it gets from CDC, but uses sausage in more of their dishes. The CDC then works with its meat processor to create the cuts and products the restaurant wants. This means the CDC will be able to use more of the whole animal and will make more per animal, and their customers get what they need. Ultimately, this makes it a more sustainable program. In addition, making the most per pig means that the CDC can pay top dollar to the farmer and the processor. It also means they can work with Kyzer on his feed program and the processor on their food safety regimen. Ultimately, everyone is able to uphold high quality standards and good ethics when in comes to food production. Because the CDC has relationships with most of its suppliers and customers, they are able to facilitate a dynamic market that adapts more quickly to customer and supplier needs based on direct feedback, collaboration and communication. This adaptability is at the heart of how regional distribution networks not only create and add value to their goods and services, but also help each other build more sustainable businesses.

food & more La Montanita Cooperative A Community - Owned Natural Foods Grocery Store Nob Hill 7am – 10pm M – Sa, 8am – 10pm Su 3500 Central SE, ABQ, NM 87106 505-265-4631 Valley 7am – 10pm M – Su 2400 Rio Grande NW, ABQ, NM 87104 505-242-8800 Gallup 8am – 8pm M – Sa, 11am – 8pm Su 105 E Coal, Gallup, NM 87301 505-863-5383

March 2014 2


YOUR PLATE? SANTA FE PASSES GMO LABELING! NOW IT’S ALBUQUERQUE’S TURN BY ELEANOR BRAVO, FOOD AND WATER WATCH What’s on your plate? Because there are no laws requiring genetically modified organisms (GMOs) be labeled, we don’t know.

Santa Fe 7am – 10pm M – Sa, 8am – 10pm Su 913 West Alameda, Santa Fe, NM 87501 505-984-2852

Long-term effects of GMOs on our health and environment are unknown. Yet they exist all over the world, not only in many food products but livestock bred for human consumption are fed GMO feed. There is no way to tell if we are eating GMOs or something that has been fed GMOs. Limited studies on health risks have shown increased and abnormal tumor growth in rats. Humans are not lab rats; yet we participate in a large scale science experiment without our knowledge or consent. Agribusinesses would like you to think that the cost of labeling will drive up the cost of food. Labels tell the number of calories, amount of sugar, carbohydrates and other ingredients without raising the cost of food. Labels are altered on a regular basis without impacting grocery costs.

Grab n’ Go 8am – 6pm M – F, 11am – 4pm Sa UNM Bookstore, 2301 Central SW, ABQ, NM 87131 505-277-9586 Westside 7am – 10pm M – Su 3601 Old Airport Ave, ABQ, NM 87114 505-503-2550 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

Right now we have an opportunity in Albuquerque to support GMO labeling. A resolution was introduced into the City Council just for this purpose.

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

What exactly is genetically modified food? GE crops are engineered by transferring genetic material from one organism into another to create specific traits, such as making a plant resistant to treatment with herbicides, or enabling a plant to produce its own pesticide to repel insects. Chemical companies such as Monsanto sell these modified seeds as well as the accompanying herbicides. They also make false claims of a greater crop yield.

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 • Joe Phy/Westside 505-503-2550


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 Membership information is available at all four Co-op locations, or call 217-2027 or 877-775-2667 email: website: Membership response to the newsletter is appreciated. Email the Managing Editor, 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.

Over fifty countries already require labeling. In order to ensure that US citizens can make informed decisions regarding what they eat, the US must do the same.

Santa Fe City Council unanimously passed a GMO labeling resolution. Now the largest city in New Mexico has the opportunity to do the same. On February 19, City Councilor Isaac Benton (District 2) introduced a resolution which supports the mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods. The full Albuquerque City Council is expected to vote on it in early April. If you want to know what’s on your plate and what you are feeding your families, contact your city councilor to tell them to vote YES on this resolution. Find your city council district by visiting and type your address. Our work for labeling of genetically modified organisms continues. In 2013 the New Mexico Senate voted down a bill that would have required labeling in the state. With resolutions that call for labeling in the two largest cities in NM and numerous other communities, we will continue calling for mandatory statewide labeling. For more information about GMO labeling visit To get more involved in passing this resolution, contact Lars at Food and Water Watch at 505-750-4919 or send an email to lpa



t the close of 2013, Beyond Pesticides launched its Care About Kids campaign, asking the largest retailers in the nation: Walmart, Target, Home Depot, Lowe's, ACE Hardware, True Value and Walgreens to stop selling dangerous mouse and rat bait products. EPA is fighting to ban these products to protect children, especially kids in low-income communities, because they face disproportionate risks in danger of these poisons. Using legal tactics to delay EPA’s ban, Reckitt Benckiser LLC, the manufacturer of d-CON products, continues to sell 12 of its toxic products to retailers across the nation, despite findings that they present unreasonable risks to children, pets and wildlife. These products can still be found on the shelves of Walmart and several other national retailers, despite regulatory action to remove these products from the market. Children, Pets and Wildlife at Risk • Between 1993 and 2008, the American Association of Poison Control Centers logged between 12,000 to 15,000 poison exposure reports of children under the age of six to mouse and rat baits. • The most recent data from the 2011 Annual Report of the American Association on Poison Control Centers’ National Poison Data System indicates that nearly 85 percent of the reported exposures to rodenticides were from children 5 or under. • EPA reported thousands of pet incidents from 2011 involving rodenticides, resulting in severe injury and death, not to mention medical costs to owners’ pets. • These rodenticides have been tied to the poisonings of federally listed threatened and endangered species, such as the San Joaquin kit fox, northern spotted owl and the bald eagle. Low-income Communities Face Even Greater Dangers • New York State Health Department data collected between 1990 and 1997 show 17.5 percent of children hospitalized for rodenticide exposure were below the poverty level, while children living below the poverty level


at that time comprised only 13 percent of the State’s population and more recent official comments indicate that 47 percent of all hospitalizations for unintentional pesticide exposure occur to Medicaid recipients. • EPA emphasizes in a 2012 letter to Reckitt Benckiser that “[the Agency’s] decision to require enhanced safety measures for consumer rodent-control products benefits all communities, but particularly economically-disadvantaged communities. • Alternatives are effective. The Boston Housing Authority (BHA) and Boston Public Health Commission implementation of an integrated pest management (IPM) program in 2005 in lowincome housing reduced the number of cockroaches and rodents, without the use of open pellet bait stations. HELP Beyond Pesticides get dangerous rodent poisons OFF store shelves! Go to to learn more and to sign the petition.


WORKS SHOP WESTSIDE LOCATION: MARCH 8 11AM-NOON FREE! Professional beekeeper Phill Remick will present a workshop titled “Wanna Bee a Beekeeper?” March 8 from 11amnoon at the Westside store. Phill will deal with the many pitfalls facing the world’s most prolific pollinator, the honeybee. Learn the latest on Colony Collapse Disorder, pesticides and how monoculture has reshaped the honeybee's world. If you've ever considered becoming a beekeeper, “bee” there! SPACE IS LIMITED. Register with Robin at 217-2027 or

creativity & community

March 2014 3




NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF FLAMENCO BY ROBIN SEYDEL his month we feel moved to feature the National Institute of Flamenco as our bag credit organization of the month. While officially their month was actually a few months hence, the devastating fire in December and the thought that we might lose this cultural treasure has inspired us to make them the bag credit organization this March. Moreover, March hosts International Women’s Day and there is hardly any woman in our midst who has dedicated herself more to the artistic education of our children and the maintainence of our cultural traditions than Eva Encinas. (Yes Eva, I am a fan!) And finally it’s a great segue to our 24th Annual Celebrate the Earth Fest as Eva and her Alma Flamenca and Flamenca Ninos have performed every year at our Earth Fest, for well over a decade and this year we are once again looking forward to having Eva and her dancers and musicians grace our Earth Festival stage.


The National Institute of Flamenco is home to the Conservatory of Flamenco Arts, the only flamenco preparatory school in the country. For the past 30 years the Conservatory of Flamenco Arts has provided its students with the skills to thrive in the global context of flamenco with a 12-level curriculum encompassing training, professional development and community engagement. By welcoming seasoned and novice flamenco students of any age from all over the country, the Conservatory aims to educate individuals and families in the study of flamenco music and dance, all while instilling values

of hard work and perseverance; values that benefit them throughout every aspect of their lives. Every June, the NIF brings the International Flamenco Festival to New Mexico. This world-class performance and educational festival, one of the only of its kind in the US, brings the finest flamenco dancers and musicians to our local community. The opportunity to learn from and be inspired by these internationally renowned artists is of incalculable benefit for all New Mexicans. On December 18, the National Institute of Flamenco's home of 15 years, at 214 Gold Ave. SW in Albuquerque, was lost in a fire. Everyone evacuated the building. The fire investigation is still underway and no cause has been formally announced. NIF staff are working with their insurance company to inventory and value the costumes, archives, equipment, inventory and all content lost in the fire. The National Institute of Flamenco has raised over $20,000 in grassroots community support for immediate recovery from the fire. Support is still very much needed while they navigate the loss of business revenue, and work to get back on their feet. NIF staff and board are working on a strategic plan for the next 3-5 years that builds off of the 30-year history of NIF, and launches a new phase for this important cultural institution. Help support the National Institute of Flamenco during this period of transformation. Go to www.nationalinstituteofflamenco. org to make a donation or volunteer in other ways to help. Bring a bag during the month of March and donate the dime to the National Institute of Flamenco. It all adds up.


LITTLEGLOBE in conjunction with Women in Creativity Month is pleased to offer: FOUR POETS RESPOND SATURDAY, MARCH 15, 3pm Four Poets is poetry-as-performance that responds to works of art, earth and issues important to women. Each year four female poets come together to write, collaborate, create and perform an original poetic piece. POETS/PERFORMERS: Shelle Sanchez, Sawnie Morris, Serafina Martinez-Ridgley and Valerie Martinez. VENUE: On the site at the corner of 9th Street and Gold SW, Albuquerque. FREE A PRAYER FOR JUAREZ & WEST MESA SUNDAY, MARCH 16, 2pm Please join us to create a prayerful community offering in memory of the young women of Cuidad Juárez and West Mesa, Albuquerque, whose lives have been lost to violence. Wear black and bring a large bowl to pour water, as we create a mandala. Artist: Deborah Gavel. VENUE: Plaza of the National Hispanic Cultural Center. FREE A WALK BY THE SANTA FE RIVER SATURDAY, MARCH 22, 12:45pm In May 2012, three women artists walked the 54-mile length of the Santa Fe River—a pilgrimage and work of eco-art that hon-

SOLITUDE AND SOLIDARITY: A ONE-DAY RETREAT FOR WOMEN IN THE ARTS Friday, March 28, 7:30am-4pm This day-long workshop allows women in the arts to explore the rewards and challenges associated with working creatively in the world. Participants will share their stories, brainstorm and engage in creative exercises that enable them to begin addressing a range of personal/professional issues. The day will include movement, dialogue, creative exercises and meals. This workshop is an offering of Littleglobe's 3CE (Center for Creative Community Engagement), a professional development program for artists, administrators, organizers and cultural workers. CO-SPONSOR: Mujeres Indigenas Productions. FACILITATORS: Valerie Martinez and Shelle Sanchez. VENUE: Gutierrez Hubbell House, 6029 Isleta Blvd. SW, Albuquerque. Fee: Sliding Scale, $65 (individuals) and $100 (participants hosted by organizations). Workshop Limit: 22 participants. Please register early to reserve your place. Deadline: March 19. To register or for more information go to www.littleglobe. org, call 505-980-6218 or mail a check to Littleglobe 3CE, PO Box 24213, Santa Fe, NM 87502.


DONATE E donate

In January your bag credit donations totaling $2,388.42 went to OffCenter Community Arts. Thanks to all who donated!


Alamed a Blvd.

Old Airport Ave.




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

Coors Blvd.

The project engages residents of the ID in a range of creative placemaking projects, including work with community gardens and local food initiatives. Please contact Valerie Martinez of Littleglobe: valerie@littleglobe. org, or call 505-603-0866.



f you are a Co-op member who lives in the International District (between San Mateo and Wyoming and Lomas and Gibson), the Stories of Route 66: International District (ID) Project would like you to participate:

ored the river and called attention to her endangerment. The future of the river, water and our land depends on deepening our awareness, fostering cross-community dialogue, and nurturing collective efforts. Collapse the distance between art and life in a two-hour walk by the river. PROJECT ARTISTS: Bobbe Besold, Valerie Martinez, Dominique Mazeaud. VENUE: Meet at 12:45pm at the Santa Fe River at the end of Constellation Drive (off Airport Road). Wear sturdy shoes, and a hat. Bring snacks and water. FREE

Old A irport Ave.


of the month:

This month your bag credit donation goes to National Institute of Flamenco, nurturing cultural traditions through education, performance and community engagement.

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.

farming & gardening FAIRFIELD

March 2014 4


it direct from the farms to you! Another Fairfield Co-op project is the Full Circle Farmer Academy. The Academy is a multilayered farm incubator program for cooperative farmer members. Want to learn to grow your own food? One-on-one mentoring and training by our skilled farmers, assistance with business structuring and bookkeeping, logo design, all kinds of training and our peer-support network go beyond the length of the courses for greater success as part of the cooperative effort.

G ro w e r s C O - O P

BY MONA ANGEL o-ops offer a mechanism to change the world— from our farms to your table. Our Co-op provides fresh produce to local people. The Fairfield Growers Cooperative is committed to fostering community involvement. The Co-op is owned and operated by the very same farmers it serves. This unique structure keeps the Co-op involved in the local community. Cooperatives are people-centered businesses—and are defined by who the members are and the value the co-op provides to the community it serves. The best part of Fairfield Growers Co-op is farmers helping other farmers and community members can meet their farmer and talk to them about the food they are buying.


Another aspect of our mission is to support and train a new generation of sustainable farmers. There is a food crisis in America today that we can no longer ignore. There is a need for new farmers in the United States and around the world, but beginning farmers struggle and often fail. Educational institutions, state and federal agencies are not doing enough to provide support for young people who want to pursue farming as a career and a business. While we hope this will

full circle



ANDALUZ, CUATRO PUERTAS very spring people ask me, “How do I start a garden?” First establish a “sense of place.” Create a drawing of your yard or planting area. Sketch in the existing trees, bushes, plants and grassy areas. Are there fences? If so are they wooden or cement? Are there any sidewalks or concrete pads that can absorb heat? Is there a house or other buildings that can provide shade or heat? What direction do they face?


Where is the water source located? Is there roof run-off? What are the highest and lowest points in your yard? This is important because a strong rain can flood a low garden area. Your design needs to slow the water down as it approaches your garden bed(s). Instead of a straight path to the garden, design water pathways that flow sideways, like a snake slithering around other plants, trees or berms made of soil, on its way to the garden bed(s). These other plants and trees can be perennial native plants, heirloom fruit trees or herbs like rosemary.

change with provisions in the new Farm Bill, we must take action at the grassroots level. Farming is vital and essential to our health and security. With the average age of a farmer being sixty plus; we need to bring awareness back to farming and the fact that FARMING = FOOD. Produce sections in grocery stores are shrinking and diet related health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity are on the rise. The solution is community based and cooperative.

mum health and vitality. The three schedules are frequent, moderate, or seldom.

Practically all irrigation systems use a single tube with one watering schedule to water all plants. However, a much more efficient approach is to use three tubes in each planting area in order to permit different plants with different watering needs to be irrigated on a schedule that is closest to their ideal schedule for opti-




BY IGINIA BOCCALANDRO Imagine if you could grow anything you wanted with the soil of your yard? Imagine if you could use less water, produce more biomass that is immune to pests, and build fertile soil with less costly inputs? Yes, here in New Mexico, shelter from wind and cold would also be a part of the equation. Don’t miss Dr. Elaine Ingham, PhD, soil biologist and soil food web instructor and long time member of the Rodale Organic Institute staff when she is here in Northern New Mexico on March 12-13, teaching us how to do it. Think about it, instead of being at the mercy of the soil in the back yard or the chemical and mineral additives that we are encouraged to buy; we can build soil so that the conditions

ARE YOU INTERESTED IN GROWING FOOD? Get involved in our community Food Forest Project. Come tour one of our farms, or work side by side with a farmer. The only way to change the state of food today is to be part of the solution. TO LEARN MORE contact Mona Angel at mona, or Anne Carpenter at lublue.

Try to purchase only open-pollinated (OP), organic seeds. This is especially important if you want the plants to reseed the following year. Seeds that have an “F1” in the description are hybrids. F1 hybrids will not grow true to what they were the first year they were planted. Also, look out for seeds that say “PVP.” This means they are “plant variety protect-

WATER WISE gardening


Finally the Fairfield Co-op is working with members of the community to create a two-acre food forest at the City of Albuquerque’s West Side Open Space near the Visitor Center on Coors. There you can learn about stewardship of our public land and permaculture growing techniques. Workshops include skills you can use in your own backyard. Some topics include sponge, irrigation, growing from seedlings and more. Visit our Facebook page Food Forest at the West Side Open Space!

What to Grow Once you have established a “sense of place,” make a list of the vegetables and herbs that you like to eat, and flowers you enjoy. Start small. Just try a few things the first season, so that you can understand how your garden area works. Look at seed catalogs to see what varieties may do well in your garden. The catalogs will describe the crops; length of time to grow, the water needs, and whether they need full sun or part shade. In New Mexico, “full sun” can sometimes be too hot, stunting growth. If the plants are near a sidewalk or wall that faces west, plan for shade throughout the day.

Triple Drip Irrigation

BY JEFF PARKS ith New Mexico’s severe drought conditions, it is extremely important to provide plants with the most efficient watering system available. “Triple Drip” is an innovative approach to watering gardens and landscapes that addresses the problem of how to water plants that require different schedules.



Fairfield Growers Co-op is working to bring you the first ever Flying Pig Mobile Farm Stand! Through our mobile veggie truck we hope to increase access to farm fresh produce by bringing



• NEW PLANTS AND VEGETABLES need to be watered frequently, either daily or every other day. • YOUNG TREES, PERENNIALS AND SOME SHRUBS need moderate frequency watering, approximately every five days. Mature trees and xeric plants do best with infrequent watering, approximately every ten days. Under this triple drip system, each plant is identified with its optimum schedule and connected to the right tube. Each tube is color coded to indicate a different watering schedule. As plants grow and mature, they need less frequent watering and their

ed.” You cannot save these seeds. If you purchase seed packets or bags, especially for squash, tomato or alfalfa, stop before you open them. Look carefully and make sure there is no contract written on the back of the seed packet or anywhere on the bag. Where can you purchase OP organic seeds? There are a number of small seed companies and cooperatives working together to increase the supply of organic OP seeds. These include Adaptive Seeds, the Family Farmers Seed Co-op (FFSC), Fedco, Siskiyouseeds, Southern Seed Exposure, Sow True Seeds, Wild Garden Seed, and Wood Prairie Farms. Cuatro Puertas’ project—the Arid Crop Seed Cache —is a founding member of the Family Farmers Seed Co-op (FFSC), whose seeds are available at La Montanita Co-op. FOR MORE INFORMATION on gardening, seeds, seed saving classes and more go to www. or email:

Be a student of


schedule can easily be changed to a tube with less frequent watering. As with any drip system, as plants grow and root systems expand, additional drip tubing can easily be added. This approach to irrigation prevents plants from being under watered or over watered. Plants and trees are able to better survive drought conditions with deep root systems that withstand periods of low rainfall. So it is critical to provide plants with watering that encourages deep root growth. It is not possible to achieve this goal with a single tube. A new plant that needs daily watering should not be on the same schedule as a mature tree that needs infrequent watering to promote deep root systems. Triple drip is a solution to the irrigation dilemma of watering plants with different scheduling requirements. If you think that you might be interested in this triple drip approach or would like more information, please contact Jeff Parks 505-315-4356.

DR. ELAINE INGHAM, MARCH 12-13 for “our crop” naturally occur. Dr. Ingham teaches us to feed the life forms that we want and how to grow biological solutions instead of chemical ones. All of these processes are natural and follow scientific and physical laws. Once we understand than we can apply them and learn to use them; such as composting for greater fertility, reducing soil compaction and being able to store more water. Dr. Ingham will speak from 7-9pm on Wednesday, March 12, on the Soil Food Web at the Santa Fe Community College and will teach a whole day workshop from 8:30am-5pm at Northern Community College in Espanola on Thursday, March 13. Please visit our web page or call 505819-3828 for more information.





farming & gardening

March 2014 5

The Poetry of Growing:

wonder, in the poem Triple Digits, what it would be like to not care about water.

GARDEN MANDALA ARI LEVAUX ven as the winds of spring fill his mouth with profanity, the warming days turn this gardener's thoughts to that bare patch of dirt where he will spend much of the summer. Why we do this is not a simple question. If all you want from your garden is the calories, there are much easier, more dependable, and less time-consuming ways to get them. If you like the exercise, the fresh air and the connection with the natural world and with your food, that's another story.



A garden is like a toy farm. It's anatomically correct, all the parts work, and it's capable of delivering the same benefits, risks and intangibles of its big brother, the diversified vegetable farm. On a farm these outcomes exist with greater intensity, including the feelings of joy, harmony and productivity as well as the aches, pains and heartbreaking moments of desperation, futility and failure. Josh Slotnick, a farmer in Montana, believes this work, while often challenging, makes you a better person. "Small groups doing humble labor with tangible results is a transformative experience," he told me. His debut collection of poetry, HomeFarm (Foothills Publishing), is a glimpse into the life of a farmer. The highs and lows he traverses are so dizzying that the book could have been called "Manure-Splattered Double Rainbow." But as bipolarizing as this lifestyle may seem, the farmers I've met seem to share a certain even-keel, as one might hope from ship captains that steer valuable cargo through potentially stormy seas. The introduction to Slotnick's book offers an intriguing clue as to how it is that manual labor, done humbly, might help to give farmers (and gardeners, I like to think) this grounding, and make them better people. He compares his vegetable farm to a mandala, a Buddhist tradition that's part meditation device and part performance art. Tibetan monks periodically visit the University of Montana, Slotnick explains, and spend a week or so creating a ten-foot square painting out of carefully arranged grains of colored sand. The result, ornate and

flash in the

PAN dazzling, is cheerfully tossed in the river upon completion. The making and letting go of the mandala is an embrace of impermanence, and of process over product, Slotnick explains, and he can relate. What was brown "homogenous topography" in the offseason is a diverse ecosystem by the end of July, he writes, in the intro. A few months later it's brown again. "You can walk into the corn, over your eyes, and feel the humidity swell, and if you stop moving and stand rock still, the sound of bees fills your ears, the squash becomes an impenetrable sea of spiky green, the flowers, carrots, all of it, fill every sensory level, and then come fall, we mow it down and till it in—pour the sand into the river— and it's a flat sameness once again." In between the periods of homogenous topography that define the growing season, Slotnick is fixing things, moving miles of irrigation pipe, dealing with angry neighbors about a messy pig slaughter, and haggling with a shaggy customer at the farmers’ market who wants to save a little beer money by using the bargaining skills he learned in Central America to shave pennies off the price of broccoli. Slotnick's shoulders were sore and burnt from moving sunbaked irrigation pipe in order to keep those broccoli plants alive, and the hipster's attempt to bargain him down fifty cents on a bunch not only annoys him but makes him


Campers will get down and dirty in our vegetable gardens as they explore how a seed turns into a tomato plant and investigate the insects and other pollinators that live amongst the plants and weeds. They will visit with and learn about farm animals, bake food in a solar oven, and learn about New Mexico’s traditional acequia system. It will be a week like they’ve never experienced before!

A thinner cortex, in certain areas of the brain, correlates with lack of empathy and a greater risk of depression. There is evidence that people who meditate regularly have a thicker cortex, the outermost layer of the brain. Thus, it wouldn't surprise me if farmers have thicker cortexes than the average pencil-pusher, like me. It could make farmers less susceptible to depression and more even-keeled. Luckily I have my garlic mandala—formerly known as my garden— to fall back on. It's basically a garlic patch with a year's supply of garlic planted. Planted six inches apart in fall, I harvest the next summer. Each spring I toss an assortment of seeds between the emerging garlic plants. Carrots, radicchio, amaranth, romaine, corn, melon, borrage...basically whatever seeds I have lying around, I toss them in and see what happens. If the plants they code for don't belong, they die. The ones that live in the shade of the garlic plants take off in July when the garlic is pulled. The garlic mandala comes and goes, leaving a stash of bulbs in its wake. Does it also make me a better person? I like to think so. It certainly makes me a happier person. Whether it’s because I have a thicker cortex, or because I just love garlic, is a question I'll leave to the poets and scientists.


Look for Family Farmers Seed Co-op seeds at your favorite La Montanita Co-op location!

Each day will have a different theme, such as “Seed Secrets,” “Fun in the Mud” and “Farm Animals.” Mornings will be spent learning and working in the organic gardens and exploring the property. Afternoons will include rest and relaxing with stories after lunch, then having a blast with various experiments, games, cooking, nature-inspired art and creative explorations! Spring Break Farm Camp is Monday-Friday, 9am to 3pm. A limited number of need-based scholarships are available. Register TODAY as space is extremely limited! PLEASE VISIT and click the “Community” tab for additional information and registration forms. You may also call 505-344-6582 or email with questions.


If the dramatic, rigorous monotony of farming does in fact amount to a form of meditation, in the clinical sense, then some recent research on the effect of meditation on the brain provides a ray of insight into why farming—and gardening— can make you a better person. It has to do with the possible effects of meditation on the brain's cortex.




How many evenings have you and I done this, while the sky goes pink to orange the mountains flatten to silhouette in the west we flop lines of pipe from one side of the mainline to the other juggle end caps, T's and elbows soak the big squash for hours keep the seedbeds damp the mowed beds dry where I will till on Sunday


SPRING BREAK BY JULIE HIRSHFIELD he Village of Los Ranchos is proud to announce the return of Spring Break Farm Camp at the Los Ranchos Agri-Nature Center at 4920 Rio Grande Blvd NW! We invite children currently enrolled in grades K-5 to join us April 14-18 for five days of fun and learning. Campers will experience the connections between growing and eating healthy foods and taking care of our bodies and our land.

While he envies the people who can simply jump in the river on a hot day, Slotnick doesn't appear ready to trade in those searing sections of irrigation pipe. Carrying fifty-foot lengths, one on each shoulder, is a meditation itself that recurs within the season-long mandala. On an evening moving pipe with his teenage son, it gives Slotnick an opportunity to reflect on the bittersweet fact that the nest will soon be empty.





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

Get your Family Farmers Seed Co-op seeds!






March 2014 6


Essential OILS!

BY AMYLEE UDELL ssential oils (EOs) are natural extracts from plants' flowers, seeds, roots, bark and stems. They make flowers smell the way they smell AND they give plants protective qualities against disease and predators. When I first heard about aromatherapy, I found it a little much to think you could just smell something and have it heal you. While inhaling essential oils CAN affect you, I learned that it's more than just the odor. It's the actual plant constituents that are able to enter your cells that make it effective.




crobial properties and can heal and soothe cuts, bruises, burns and rashes, as well as internal infections, as well as help ease growing pains and assist sleep during the disruptions of travel.


more than an


Well, that sounds great—but for a long time I hesitated. First, I can't make essential oils at home and that is what I consider ideal. Concentrating the oils of plants seemed a somewhat involved process during which the natural properties could be altered and even damaged. Second, the "magic bullet" reductionist approach to health is counter to holistic health. Yes, it's easier to take a pill than change a lifestyle, but it's the lifestyle changes that will truly improve our health. Isolating the essential oil of a plant and then just "taking" it with no thought to underlying issues didn't sit well with me. A Natural Gateway While I still think those are valid points to consider, I have been won over (within reason!) to the wonder of essential oils. First, they're a great "gateway" remedy for those just beginning to explore more natural options in healthcare. Additionally, as my kids get older and sometimes wince at mom's "weird" remedies, rubbing some oil on feet or wrists is easy and doesn't taste bad, so they've been very receptive. Next, I love having EOs when my family travels. I love my herbs, but dragging several bags of herbs and herbal blends for "just in case" situations takes up a lot of space and possibly attracts weird looks during airport security checks. With EOs, I am able to bring my most likely candidates in very small bottles. Plus, I can administer them very easily with no special equipment. Last, I'm not abandoning my herbs and whole foods lifestyle, which is more powerful and lasting in terms of healthcare. I use EOs to support that lifestyle and give an extra boost when needed. What are some of my travel go-to oils and extra boosts? I list a few but there are so very many to explore! Lavender: Lavender is probably the most famous oil, smells divine and from that comes it's ability to calm and ease anxiety. It also has antimi-

Lemon: Lemon oil is cleansing and disinfecting for your body, your clothing and other items. It cuts through greasy and gummy messes. I love citrus and find it uplifting. I put a drop in my water bottle when I travel to keep my bottle clean but also for overall immune boosting and digestive help. Lemon is also one of the less expensive oils! Digestive blend: One of our most common travel issues is digestive upset due to restaurant food, overeating, too many sweets and generally being off-balance. You can make or purchase a digestive blend and I do not travel without ours. I put a drop in water at restaurants prophylactically and rub some on my kids' tummies if there are gassy stomach aches. My blend contains ginger, peppermint, fennel, coriander, anise and more. You might find just one of those works for you. Immune blend: There are so many immune boosting oils. Some popular blends include clove, cinnamon, citrus and rosemary. Other popular immune helpers and antimicrobial EOs include lavender, oregano, thyme and tea tree. I bring an immune blend with me when I travel for cuts and sores, colds, stomach bugs and anything else I don't want to think might hit.

Using Essential Oils You can use essential oils in several ways. Take your oil internally by placing a few drops under your tongue or in water, as well as in capsules. Topically, you can apply many oils directly to your skin, where it will be absorbed quickly. Some oils may need a carrier oil like almond or coconut, as the oil might sting or burn. Youngsters usually appreciate a carrier oil for their delicate skin. I apply EOs to my children's feet. In addition to being delivered right into their systems, what ailment isn't helped some by a loving foot rub? EOs are also great to add to your lotions and salves. To take oils aromatically, rub a few drops on your palms and inhale. You can also buy a diffuser to dissipate the oil in your home. This is a great way to clean the air of bacterial and viruses. Finally, you can cook with your oils. Peppermint, oregano, lemon and more can add a great flavor boost. Be careful, though, as a little goes a long way. A few final precautions: just like herbs, these can be effective and powerful. Some oils and herbs should not be used indefinitely. Don't hesitate to ask questions. Most proponents of EOs insist that you make sure your oils are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade. This will ensure the highest quality and purity of your oil and the best results overall. As with your food and other remedies, take some time to find out where the plants are sourced and how they are treated after harvesting. I know people who use EOs to treat carpal tunnel, ADHD, hormone imbalances and more. As with all medical issues, consult your healthcare provider to see if and how EOs might support your treatment. For common seasonal ailments and everyday scrapes and bruises, EOs are a great addition to your medicine cabinet. Their cost is reasonable up front and very low over time as you need but a few drops per use. Come by your local La Montanita Co-op to take a few whiffs and see what oils might be useful to you and your family. AMYLEE UDELL is a mother of three homeschooled girls. She works part- time with a small non-profit. Contact her at

co-op news

March 2014 7



t can be easy for those who live in Albuquerque and Santa Fe to not give much thought to our Gallup store. I dedicated myself several years ago to Gallup and committed to visit our location there twice a month. This allowed me to get to know the Gallup area, the people and all that is Gallup. Our store had struggled for years, never lost much money but never made any money either. Our sweet little downtown location served the community by providing our cooperative values and products in an area that needed them. Our Operations Manager, Bob Tero, and I tried every combination of retail magic we knew to assist this store. Slowly sales begin to rise; our losses slowly decreased. When I came to serve at La Montanita in 2008 the best sales week this small 1,000-square foot store had enjoyed was just over $7,000. The week that ended February 9, 2014, our sales were $19,242, a dramatic difference. The Gallup store also made a nice profit of $30,715 in the fiscal year that ended August 31, 2013.





What happened in Gallup is no secret of retail operations. Bob and I did put some structure and operational efficiencies in place but our success in Gallup is due to the great staff that decided to make this small store the best it could be, by serving the needs of our members/customers, providing service, and becoming a part of the community. I officially want to thank Michael Smith, our Store Team Leader, and our staff of Sydney Null, Loreal Wilson, Myles Lacayo and John Philpott. Their efforts have transformed our Gallup location into a thriving downtown store front. What a fantastic success story! Once again the co-op model has proven itself the preferred business model. MY THANKS TO EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU THAT SUPPORTS LA MONTANITA. Your co-op staff works hard every day to serve you, our member-owners. Please let me know if I can ever be of service to you, my e-mail is, or please call me at 505-217-2020. -TERRY

In February the Gonzales Cooking with Kids classes enjoyed the following meal. Thanks to Cooking with Kids for sharing this recipe. AND THANKS, TOO, for helping our community kids learn about and appreciate healthy food. Middle Eastern Falafel and Yogurt Sauce Serves 4 to 6

or the past seven years La Montanita Co-op has supported the Cooking with Kids program at Gonzales Elementary Public School with the ingredients necessary for the program. It is near and dear to our hearts that the children who go to the school next door to the Co-op location, in Santa Fe, have this important opportunity. Seven times a year, the Co-op funds a Cooking with Kids unit that teaches, feeds and includes every child at the school.

In Middle Eastern countries, falafel is made from garbanzo beans and spices, shaped into balls or patties and deep-fried. It is a popular form of street food, often served wrapped in thick pita breads. These falafel patties are made on a griddle, using much less oil. Children can help mash the chickpeas and form the falafel into the patties.

The Cooking with Kids program educates children on the importance and joys of eating healthy foods and how to prepare them. It also links math, science cultural awareness and cooperative skills in the process of cooking a meal and sharing it with classmates. All children at the school share in the opportunity.

FALAFEL 2 15-ounce cans garbanzo beans or chickpeas, drained and rinsed 3 tablespoons lemon juice 2/3 cup finely chopped parsley 2 green onions, thinly sliced

March Calendar

of Events 3/8

Beekeeping Workshop/Phill Remick at the Westside location, 11am-noon, FREE

3/18 BOD Meeting, Immanuel Church, at 5:30pm

SAVE THE DATE! April 27 24th Annual Celebrate the Earth Festival Behind the Nob Hilll Co-op, on Silver Street 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. 3/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon turmeric 1/8 teaspoon cayenne 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme 1 egg 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon unbleached white flour Olive oil for griddle Make the falafel: Put the drained and rinsed garbanzo beans into a bowl. Use a potato masher to completely mash the beans. Stir in the lemon juice. Add the parsley and green onions to the mashed garbanzo beans, stirring well. Add the salt, cumin, turmeric, cayenne and thyme. Add the egg and olive oil and mix until well combined. Stir in the flour. Form the falafel mixture into patties about 1/2 inch thick and 2 inches in diameter. Heat a griddle to medium high heat. Spread about 2 teaspoons of olive oil evenly over the surface. Cook the patties for about 3 minutes on each side, until browned and cooked through. YOGURT SAUCE 1 cup plain, low fat yogurt 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, minced 1/8 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon black pepper Make the yogurt sauce: In a bowl, stir together the yogurt, mint, salt and pepper. Serve as a dipping sauce for falafel patties.


Springtime allergy


BY KHARA HINDI neeze, sneeze…sniffle, sniffle…itch, itch. Is this what the beginning of spring usually means to you? Seasonal rhinitis, or hay fever, is most commonly caused by pollen, a fine powdery substance released into the air by trees, weeds and grasses. When we breathe in pollen, our immune system overreacts by treating it as a foreign invader and releasing chemicals such as histamine that cause inflammation and other allergic responses. Sneezing, itchy, red, watery eyes, and nose and throat congestion are common symptoms of seasonal allergies, but post-nasal drip, sore throat, dry cough, headache, fatigue and dark circles under the eyes can also occur.


Treatment Options Common prescription and over-the-counter allergy medications can help ease symptoms, but they often cause unpleasant side effects, such as drowsiness, headaches, dry mouth and nose bleeds. If you’re looking for a more natural approach to treat your allergies this season, the following supplements help strengthen and support the body’s own healing processes to relieve allergy symptoms naturally. NETTLE LEAF inhibits the production of histamine by stabilizing the immune cells that line the mucous membranes of the nose and throat. Nettles can be used to help prevent the onset of allergies, and also to reduce symptoms caused by all allergic responses, such as hay fever, asthma and sinusitis.


EYEBRIGHT helps decrease the overreaction of the mucous membranes in the nose, throat, eyes and ears. It is both astringent and anti-inflammatory, making it a useful treatment for hay fever, respiratory congestion, sinus infections, and allergy-induced conjunctivitis and ear infections. YERBA SANTA slows down the production of mucous and eases congestion by facilitating the release of mucous from the lungs and respiratory tract. It is indicated for asthma, coughs and bronchitis when an excess of mucous exists. CURCUMIN, the active component in turmeric, helps lower levels of enzymes in the body that cause inflammation. Some studies also suggest the compound has anti-allergenic properties and may inhibit histamine release. QUERCETIN is a natural plant-derived compound known as a bioflavonoid. Research suggests that it blocks the release of histamine and other chemicals that cause inflammation. Quercetin is found in many common foods such as citrus fruits, apples, onions and tomatoes, but taking it in supplement form is often needed to help with allergies. BROMELAIN can help relieve the swelling and inflammation caused by hay fever. It can also help reduce nasal congestion and cough. Be Proactive Since natural supplements work in different ways than prescription and over-the-counter medications, it may take a day or two before you actually notice any effect. If you commonly suffer from seasonal allergies, it may be helpful to begin taking natural supplements at the very beginning of allergy season. Look for the above herbs and supplements as singles and in combination formulas in La Montanita Co-op’s own private label, made locally by Vitality Works in Albuquerque, NM.






The 24th annual Celebrate the Earth Fest at the Nob Hill Co-op

Celebrate the


April 27, 10am-6pm AT YOUR CO-OP!


Buy Your Seeds From A Known Source! Happy Growing! Open-Pollinated • USDA Certified Organic • Traditional Regional Breeding Heirloom & Organic Vegetables • Flowers • Herbs

Shop the Co-op for organic flower, herb and vegetable seeds.


The Family Farmers Seed Cooperative is a farmer-owned cooperative that produes high quality, USDA certified organically grown, open-pollinated seeds and garlic for commercial farmers, market growers and gardeners. Their members are experienced seed growers located in seven western states. They believe that a de-centralized approach to seed production is vitally important to protect our seed systems and that organic farmers are uniquely positioned to protect food security and seed sovereignty. Co-op Seed is 100% open-pollinated (OP), which means that saved seed will breed true and that farmers have direct access and control of their seed supply. OP varieties are reproduced through natural pollination via wind or insects. If particular plant traits are desired, natural mechansims, such as hand-pollination, are used and undesirable plants are removed from the population before pollination begins. This traditional breeding approach allows for continuous adaptation of a variety across diverse and changing climatic conditions and represents dynamic evolution in action. Member Farms: Eel River Produce(CA), Gratitude Gardens (WA), Hobbs Family Farm (CO), Jardin del Alma (NM), L & R Family Farm (OR), Lupine Knoll Farm (OR), Meadowlark Hearth Farm (NE), Nash’s Organic Produce (WA), Prairie Road Organic Farm (ND), Prairie Seeds Farm (ND), Seed Revolution Now (CA), Seven Seeds Farm (OR), Wolf Gulch Farm (OR)


In 1995 Botanical Interests started supplying gardeners with the highest quality seed in the most beautiful and informative seed packets on the market. Curtis and Judy believed that gardeners were not getting the information they needed from their seed packets. Their desire for more information along with their passion for spreading gardening wisdom led them to create a unique seed packet that is not only beautiful, but is also filled with facts, tips, recipes and quality seed, inside and out. Their packets are designed to give you the facts you need to be a successful gardener! • Over 500 high-quality varieties • Many heirloom seed varieties • A large selection of USDA Certified Organic • Guaranteed - the germination rate of every variety is tested before we package it. • All seed is untreated • No GMOs - they signed the SAFE SEED PLEDGE: We do not knowingly buy or sell genetically engineered seeds. Botanical Interests offers the choice of organic seed and conventionally produced (untreated) seed. Both the organic seed and conventional seed are non-GMO and untreated. Over 150 organic seed varieties are available.


HOW TO SHOP THE CO | OP AND Owner Deals Begin March 5th! Find a complete list of sale items on our website:


smart buys every month

Look for these bright pink tags in the stores

We love LOCAL !


watch for this tag!

more often!

owner only specials

monthly specials

bi-monthly specials

monthly specials

OWNER DEALS! Bi-monthly, Owners Only

LOCAL DEALS! Deals for everyone

CO-OP DEALS! National Specials

SMART BUYS! Once a month savings

The Weekly Sales Flyer will now be published twice a month. Our sales flyer will feature key items; for a complete list, sign up for our e-News, or find them on our website at www.

Owner Deals begin March 5 This new program officially begins March 5. If you have questions ask a Co-op staff person how it works, and what to look for to get the best savings on your favorite fresh, fair, local and organic products.

March marks a big and exciting change at the Co-op. We will implement a new Owner Deals program to replace our Weekly Member Specials because We LOVE Our Owners! Here’s how it will work:

We will announce Owner Deals twice a month! The new program will offer special prices on selected items, so you can save on these items for over two weeks in some cases. There will be three times as many items on sale! Look for Pink Owner Deals tags in the stores to announce our sales.


THOMAS HOGAN Take a look around the Co-op stores during the next couple of months and notice the exceptional craftsmanship of one of our own local artists. We are pleased to have an assortment of these intricate, New Mexican folk art birdhouses and birds on display and for sale. Ask for a list of prices at the Information Desk or contact Thomas directy: In December 1999, Thomas Hogan had an idea to start a birdhouse business. Flash forward to April of 2002. He was working full time and never looked back. Now, he has made over 6000 birdhouses, mostly with recycled products of weathered wood, rusty metal and found items of all kinds. His houses can sometimes have as much as 2000 cuts or carving marks and take weeks to complete. Thomas has recently added hand carved birds, Day of the Dead Angles and crosses. He now sells directly to his customers on the roadside from his converted school bus or at his seasonal shows from Santa Fe to San Antonio. Watch for him this year at the Co-op’s 24th Annual CELEBRATE THE EARTH FESTIVAL in Nob Hill on Sunday, April 27th behind the Nob Hill Shopping Center on Silver Ave from 10a-6p.

early spring




for seasonal change

This vegan version of the zesty, classic Greek Egg Lemon Chicken Soup. Serves 4 to 6

HOT AND SOUR CABBAGE SOUP This is an easy, comforting and warming winter soup. If you have extra ingredients on hand like bell peppers, mushrooms or zucchini, feel free to add them. Serves 6 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 1 small onion, minced 1 small cabbage, shredded 2 large carrots, chopped 1 15-ounce can tomatoes, crushed 6 cups water 1 cup baked tofu, cubed 1/4 cup tamari 1/3 cup rice vinegar (seasoned if available) 1 teaspoon red chili flakes 1/2 teaspoon salt Pepper to taste Heat a large 5-quart soup pot over medium heat. Add oil and onion and sautÊ until golden. Meanwhile, quarter your cabbage, remove the core and shred with a large chef’s knife. Add carrots, tomatoes, cabbage and water to the pot and stir well. Add tamari, vinegar, chili flakes and salt. Bring to a boil, cover and turn heat down to medium low. Simmer for 20 minutes or until cabbage and carrots are tender. Add tofu. Turn off heat, let sit 10 minutes and serve.


HERBS of spring

1 small yellow onion, finely diced 1 large carrot, finely diced 4 cloves garlic, minced 1/4 cup dry white wine 1 14-ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed 6 cups vegetable broth 3 tablespoons arborio rice 2 bay leaves 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1/2 teaspoon dried dill 1/2 cup uncooked orzo pasta 1/4 cup lemon juice Salt and pepper to taste Fresh oregano or flat-leafed parsley, for garnish In a 3-quart soup pot, saute the onion and carrot in olive oil over medium-high heat until the onion is translucent and soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and saute for another 45 seconds. Pour in the white wine and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently. In a mixing bowl puree the beans with 1 cup of the vegetable broth, using an immersion blender or potato masher or puree both in a blender. Then add pureed mixture to the pot along with the remaining vegetable broth, arborio rice, bay leaves, oregano, dill and orzo pasta. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, stir a few times, and cover the pot. Cook for 30 to 35 minutes, uncovering the pot occasionally to stir and check to see if the rice is sticking. The soup is ready when the orzo is tender and the rice is meltingly soft. When done, turn off the heat, stir in the lemon juice and keep covered for 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and season soup to taste with ground pepper, salt, and additional lemon juice if desired. Sprinkle each serving with a little dried oregano or chopped parsley.

get your

GREENS Your CO-OP Produce Dept. has a huge variety of organic and local greens! (and other tasty spring treats)



early spring


March 2014 11


CORN CHOWDER FROM ISA CHANDRA MOSKOWITZ This simple vegan recipe can be made with fresh sweet corn, when in season, or frozen works well also. Potatoes give this soup a creamy, hearty body and the jalapenos give it just a little kick! Serves 6 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice 1 large red bell pepper, finely chopped 1 cup carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice 2 jalapenos, seeded and thinly sliced 1 teaspoon dried rosemary 1 teaspoon dried thyme Pepper to taste 1 teaspoon salt 3 cups vegetable broth or water 3 cups fresh or frozen corn 2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch chunks 1 bay leaf Pinch cayenne Juice of 1 lime 1/4 cup plain soy milk or non-dairy milk 1 tablespoon maple syrup or agave In a stockpot saute the onions, bell peppers, carrots and jalapenos in olive oil over medium heat until the onions are translucent, about 7 minutes. Add rosemary, thyme, black pepper and salt and saute 1 minute more. Add the broth, corn, potatoes, bay leaf and cayenne. Cover and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Uncover and simmer 10 minutes more to let the liquid reduce a bit. Remove the bay leaf and puree half the chowder, either using an immersion blender or by transferring half the chowder to a blender, pureeing until smooth and adding it back to the soup. Add the lime juice to taste along with milk and maple syrup or agave and simmer 5 more minutes. Let sit for at least 10 minutes and serve. This soup tastes even better the next day when all the flavors have melded.

1/3 cup white spelt or all-purpose flour 2/3 cup white whole-wheat flour 1/4 cup oat or cake flour 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1 1/2 tablespoons cane sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cubed 1 tablespoon flaxseed or olive oil 1/4 cup ice water, divided 1 egg 1 tablespoon milk 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 1/4 teaspoon salt Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment and set aside. Sift the white spelt flour, white whole-wheat flour, oat flour, baking powder, sugar and salt together. Pour into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the dough blade (or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment). Add the chilled butter and pulse to create a coarse crumb mixture. With the food processor running, stream in the flaxseed oil, followed by the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the mixture starts to form large clumps.

1 1/2 cups yellow stone-ground cornmeal 1 tablespoon sugar 3/4 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 large eggs 1 3/4 cups well-shaken fresh buttermilk 1/2 stick unsalted butter



Prick the dough all over with a fork, making sure it is well pierced. Using a small cookie cutter of your choice, cut out the crackers and carefully place them on the prepared baking sheets. In a small bowl, lightly whisk the egg with the milk. Using a pastry brush, coat the tops of the crackers with the egg wash. Bake just until the crackers begin to brown, 5 to 10 minutes. While the crackers are baking, stir the melted butter and salt together in a small bowl. Brush the mixture onto the freshly baked, still warm crackers before serving.

For vegan butter crackers, replace the butter with an equal amount of vegan margarine or coconut oil and the egg wash with soy milk.

Preheat oven to 425°F. Heat a 10-inch cast iron skillet in the oven for 10 minutes. Meanwhile stir together dry ingredients in small bowl. Whisk together eggs and buttermilk in a medium bowl. Remove hot skillet from oven (handle will be very hot) and add butter, swirling skillet to coat bottom and side (butter may brown). Whisk hot butter into buttermilk mixture and return skillet to oven. Stir cornmeal mixture into buttermilk mixture just until evenly moistened but still lumpy. Scrape batter into hot skillet and bake until golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Turn out onto a rack and cool.

24th annual Celebrate the

Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and gather it into a ball. Knead gently once or twice. Sprinkle a little more flour on top of the dough and roll it out until it is 1/4-inch thick, rotating the dough by 90 degrees after each roll.

For gluten-free butter crackers, replace the white spelt and white whole-wheat flours with an equal amount of gluten-free all-purpose baking mix. Roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment for easier rolling.


Mary Alice Cooper, MD

fresh, fair


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 •

April 27 10-6pm Nob Hill Co-op

finally a




VETERANS ROBIN SEYDEL FROM A VARIETY OF SOURCES n February 4, 2014, Congress finally passed a farm bill. After four years of wrangling, this bill, like all bills, contains both positives and negatives for the future of food, farming and ending hunger in our country. Officially known as the Agricultural Act of 2014, the bill passed with (don’t let your jaw hit the ground!) wide bipartisan support! EDITED

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over the next ten years. Michael O’Gorman of the Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC) writes, “All of us at FVC could not be happier with the ground-breaking inclusion of veteran farmers into our Farm Bill.” FVC Midwest Director and Coast Guard veteran Ed Cox has compiled a concise overview of many of the programs that will now help


five percent for socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. The new Farm Bill now requires that a preference be given to veteran farmers and ranchers that fall within at least one of the set-aside categories. The USDA is also now authorized to provide additional incentives to veteran farmers for participation in conservation programs that provide new farming and ranching opportunities and enhance long-term environmental goals. • Direct Operating Loan Assistance for Veteran Farmers may be used for livestock, feed, farm insurance and other operating costs, including family living expenses, minor improvements or repairs to buildings and refinance of certain farm-related debts, excluding real estate.

One of the positives is that the bill will for the first time officially establish a national Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) at the United States Department of Agriculture.

a step toward

As reported by Judith Bell of PolicyLink, “The inclusion of HFFI is a significant win for community leaders from across the country seeking to bring healthy food and jobs to their communities. PolicyLink, the Reinvestment Fund, and the Food Trust, along with local, state, and national healthy food advocates, have been working for many years to expand fresh food access in underserved areas throughout the US.” One of the bill’s negative aspects that PolicyLink staff note is, “The Farm Bill unfortunately also includes harmful cuts of $8.6 billion to SNAP—the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program—over the next 10 years.” Both here in New Mexico and across the nation many low income and rural communities do not have access to healthy food or have to travel far to find a diversity of healthy and affordable food. The recognition that grocery stores improve public health through access to a greater diversity of healthy food as well as provide jobs for economic development in these communities has prompted this initiative in the bill. It is our hope that the grants, loans and other economic development inherent in the HFFI will foster community ownership of resources through the cooperative economic model. A complete copy of the Agricultural Act of 2014 is available at For more information on the national Healthy Food Financing Initiative specifically, please visit the Healthy Food Access Portal at or go to Bill Supports Veterans in Agriculture Another outstandingly positive feature of the new Farm Bill is its support of veterans transitioning into food production. The bill authorizes $444 million directly into beginning, veteran and socially disadvantaged farmer initiatives

FOOD SECURITY our veterans. It is available at For more information contact them at info@farm or call 530-756-1395. A few most significant excerpts are reprinted here. • The term “veteran farmer or rancher” means a farmer or rancher who has served in the Armed Forces and who has not operated a farm or ranch; or has operated a farm or ranch for not more than 10 years. “Veteran Farmers” are now recognized as a distinct class of farmer. • Land sales and leases to veteran farmers are now specifically eligible for the Transition Incentive Program (TIP). Under the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) retiring farmers with land in CRP can receive additional payments for leasing or selling the land to a beginning farmer or rancher, a socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher, and, now, a veteran farmer or rancher. The purpose of the program is to make land available to new farmers while ensuring that land coming out of CRP is farmed or grazed in a sustainable manner. • The USDA is required to set aside a portion of funding for EQIP grants for beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. The amount is five percent for beginning farmers and ranchers and

• The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) administers grants to organizations providing training, education, outreach and technical assistance to beginning farmers and ranchers and now “agricultural rehabilitation and vocational training for veterans” is specifically listed as a service that is eligible for BFRDP funding. The bill sets aside five percent of the funding exclusively for use in programs and services that address the needs of veteran farmers and ranchers. Grants serving veteran farmers and ranchers are encouraged to coordinate efforts with recipients of grants through the Assistive Technology Program for farmers and ranchers with disabilities. • The Outreach and Assistance Program for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers has been expanded to include veterans. This allows the USDA to provide additional technical assistance to veterans focused on enabling farm ownership and operation as well as outreach to encourage participation in USDA programs. • The Farm Bill legislation also increases advocacy and coordination for veteran farmers and ranchers by creating the position of Military Veterans Agricultural Liaison. This position will help connect returning veterans with agricultural programs as well as assist veterans use of education benefits for a farm or ranching career. The Veterans Liaison will also be able to enter agreements with a variety of service providers to promote research, development of educational materials, workshops and vocational training, and mentorships and apprenticeships that serve veteran farmers.

N E W FA R M B I L L :


BY SARAH WENTZEL-FISHER n February 7, 2014, President Obama signed into law the Agricultural Act of 2014 which is our new Farm Bill. As a reminder, the Farm Bill is an omnibus bill (a mega piece of legislation) that combines many smaller pieces of legislation that impact food, farming, crop insurance and subsidies, conservation and nutrition assistance programs. This new Farm Bill, which allocated funding for programs through 2018, is a mixed bag for sustainable farming.

new programs. The bill triples funding to $30 million per year for the Farmers’ Markets and Local Food Marketing Program, and expands the program to allow grants to both direct-to-consumer projects and projects supporting local and regional food enterprises through processing, aggregation, distribution, storage and marketing.

Local and Regional Food Systems Local and regional food systems and healthy food access received a large boost in the bill, with increased funding for several programs and creation of some

The bill also nearly doubled funding for Community Food Projects, and creates a new Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive grant program for organizations administering farmers’ markets and grocery store


programs that encourage increased fruit and vegetables consumption by SNAP (food stamp) recipients. Additionally, several provisions ease the purchase of fresh and local produce for SNAP recipients by allowing them to use their benefits to participate in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) ventures, and by providing farmers’ markets and other direct-to-consumer marketing outlets with equipment that can accept SNAP benefits. The bill also includes pilot projects for improving online and wireless technologies used in purchases made with EBT. Beginning and Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers On the whole, the final bill is a win for beginning farmers, but unfortunately takes a step backward in providing services and resources for historically underserved and minority farmers. The bill reauthorizes the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program and provides $100 million for new farmer training programs, including a new focus on military veterans. However, the set-aside for projects that benefit socially disadvantaged farmers and farmworkers was significantly reduced. There is also a new microloan program authorized in the final bill that would allow USDA to work with third party intermediary lenders to provide microloans and financial training to beginning farmers. The final bill provides $33 million for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) – Transition Incentives Program to incentivize retiring landowners to rent or sell their expiring CRP land to new or minority farmers. The final bill also increases the advance payment that a beginning or socially disadvantaged farmer can receive from EQIP and creates a new focus on ensuring the viability of the next generation of farmers within USDA’s new agricultural conservation easement programs. Read more at



to a different worthy organization each month. See page 3. Donate the dime, it adds up!

vida Kirtland’s JET fuel PLUME

agua es

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AQUIFER AT RISK The fuel contamination has three parts: • A vapor plume that is the result of the fuel volatilizing into the ground in the vadose zone—the ground that is not saturated with water between the surface and the top of the water table, which in this case is about 500 feet deep;

MICHAEL JENSEN, MIDDLE RIO GRANDE PROJECTS DIRECTOR, AMIGOS BRAVOS he Kirtland Air Force Base (KAFB) Bulk Fuels Facility (BFF) jet fuel plume has been estimated to be as much as 24 million gallons, the largest toxic spill into a public water supply in US history. By contrast, the Exxon Valdez tanker spill was officially listed as about 11 million gallons. BY


How It Happened In the early 1950s, KAFB constructed what is now referred to as the Bulk Fuel Facility to replace a system whose tanks and pipes had been leaking for some time. The BFF consisted of two multi-million gallon storage tanks and a network of underground and above ground piping and various fuel dispensing structures. In 2012, KAFB concluded that, “The exact history of releases is unknown,” and has insisted that it only became aware of a problem at the BFF in 1999 when staff reported that the ground was visibly saturated over a large area. However, internal documents acquired by Citizen Action ( show that: • KAFB has not and perhaps cannot provide evidence of complying with Air Force requirements for system testing and inspection before 1985; • KAFB knew in 1985 that BFF pipes would fail required pressure tests so the Air Force issued them a waiver then and again in 1994; required repairs, 5-year pressure tests and annual inspections were never done by KAFB; • In the early 1990s, visible contamination and more than 100 soil samples in the vicinity of the BFF pump house led to it being declared a Solid Waste Management Unit but KAFB did not investigate further; • The EPA began identifying contaminated sites across KAFB in the 1980s and identified serious fuel contamination in 1998 and ordered KAFB to conduct tests to begin characterizing the nature of the problem, but this work is still ongoing. The Plume After more than 15 years of “characterization,” nobody knows with certainty the extent of the plume—either horizontally or vertically, the amount of fuel discharged into the ground, or how quickly the plume is moving toward the Ridgecrest and Burton drinking well fields.

WANTED: A PROVEN CLEAN-UP TECHNOLOGY and FUNDS for QUICK, EFFECTIVE TREATMENT • The Light Non-Aqueous Phase Liquid (LNAPL) that runs from the surface through the vadose zone to the water table, where it co-exists with water in differing concentrations in the pore network within the aquifer (the spaces between soil grains); it does not “float on top of the water” as many people put it and does not dissolve into the water; this area is estimated to be 1/2 mile long and about 1,000 ft. wide; • A dissolved-phase plume made up of chemicals that leach out of the LNAPL and dissolve into the water, the most important of which is ethylene dibromide (EDB, a fuel additive); this dissolved chemical plume is estimated to be about 1 1/3 miles long and 1,000 ft. wide. What Is Being Done The New Mexico Environment Department (www. html), under Secretary-designate Ryan Flynn and Environmental Health Division Director Tom Blaine, says that the following projects are being done: • Identify the full scope of the leak (plume characterization); • Conduct certain interim remediation and containment efforts (interim measure);

• Propose and implement a final remedy for soil and groundwater contamination remediation. Serious questions about the usefulness of this activity remain; • According to independent experts, there are continued data gaps, ongoing problems with field measurements, insufficient and inadequate monitoring wells, and an inadequate conceptual model of the site—all making full characterization of the site impossible and hence limiting the ability to develop appropriate and effective responses; • To date, the only activity done to contain, reduce, or mitigate the plume has been a process called soil vapor extraction (SVE), which is a series of extraction wells drilled into the vapor plume that act essentially like vacuums to draw fuel vapors from the LNAPL and burn them off as fuel for the SVE units; there have been extensive delays in getting the SVE system installed, frequent interruptions because units break down or cannot run at full capacity, not nearly enough SVE units in relation to the problem, the performance of the SVE systems is not being evaluated correctly, to date only a few tens of thousands of “gallon equivalents” have been removed from a 24million gallon spill, and SVE does not halt the LNAPL from further sinking down to the groundwater and releasing more dissolved chemicals, like EDB; • Furthermore, use of SVE has been made largely irrelevant now because the water table has risen over the last few years due to less groundwater pumping and now encapsulates most of the LNAPL, meaning there is much less opportunity for vapors to volatilize into the vadose zone and be pulled out of the ground; the Air Force reported in June 2012 that the trapped fuel, “Will be an ongoing source of dissolved groundwater contamination indefinitely.”; • The extremely large size of this contamination and its depth strongly suggest that the proposed cleanup activities—and perhaps any standard remediation technologies—will not be enough to clean up the plume in time before it reaches the ABCWUA wells in 10-20 years (estimates vary); • The consultant for the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR, a branch of the Centers for Disease Control), in a public meeting to discuss the public health implications of the jet fuel plume, acknowledged that there is no known technology for treating the large volumes of water produced at the impacted wells. At least publicly, the NMED and ABCWUA remain hopeful that something can be done to remediate the jet fuel plume in all its phases: soil vapor, LNAPL and EDB dissolved plume. It seems that one conclusion to draw from the scope and scale of the jet fuel plume and the impact this has on being able to treat it effectively and quickly enough is that the ABCWUA and the public should focus their efforts on getting the Air Force to either find (and pay for) a proven treatment technology, so that these well fields can become non-potable sources of water exclusively for outdoor irrigation and identify (and pay for) new well fields that can replace the quantity and quality of water lost. For more information contact Michael Jensen at


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BY AMANDA BRAMBLE, AMPERSAND SUSTAINABLE LEARNING CENTER ne doesn't have to go far anywhere in the Southwest to see that soil erosion is a problem. Roots are exposed, head cuts start then grow, any organic material that could develop into topsoil is removed, water doesn't soak into the ground but rather, picks up sediment and deposits it into rivers and streams. It's not just the soil we are losing, it's the vegetation too— that which feeds us and our wild relatives. We've been working on solutions.


We've been fund-raising to support this project. The donations go toward heavy equipment and food to fuel the volunteers. Come join us. We are still accepting financial donations as well. It’s all about learning which designs work best in what situations, get-


In 2011, Ampersand Sustainable Learning Center initiated a restoration project to mitigate erosion just outside Madrid, NM. A crucial element in our work was creating a new flood way that cuts through a hundred-year-old railroad bed. We installed water harvesting and erosion control measures in an area where the water historically flowed before the railroad was constructed. We created a new path for the water, but restored the natural flood patterns of the watershed. For a while, the rock and brush structures did their job, collecting sediment, encouraging the establishment of vegetation, and creating a stable location for this side channel to meet up with the main floodwater drainage. But this project was constructed during a period of drought, and no one knew the extent of the flooding that was still to come. On September 17, 2013, a record flood blasted through the town of Madrid. It was part of the same weather pattern that caused so much damage in Colorado. It damaged the work done here, too. Now we have the opportunity to upgrade the design of these flood structures. In this new design (by land restoration guru Bill Zeedyk) we account for the extreme storm events that we can expect more of. We will install new combinations of storm water harvesting and grade control structures. And we'll host dozens of volunteers to help implement this project while they learn how to restore their own lands. You are invited to come learn specifically what works and what doesn't when it comes to erosion control design. It will be a great time to learn by doing, and get the satisfaction of healing the watershed with elements you can find right on the land.

ting water into the soil, and together, re-growing our native wild lands! Please visit our website to find out more about our community events where you can learn about this important work, get fed well, meet good people, and

be entertained with music afterward. You can contact us at ampersandproject Ampersand Happenings Geology Hike: March 16, 2pm to 4:30pm Join us for a hike around the Ampersand’s 38 acres to explore the geologic influences that make this place so stunning. We have layers of standstone outcroppings, petrified wood, a ridge of blocky basalt, and ancient petroglyphs to look at on the way. Local geologists Mary Morton and Scott Renbarger will help us gain an understanding of the Earth’s history and the alchemy of rock formation. $10 suggested donation. Rock On and Rock Out! March 8 Lend a hand to our watershed restoration project and learn about erosion control structures made with rock. Then relax and enjoy dinner and music. Come for the whole day or just to chow and jam out with us and celebrate our accomplishments. Learn building and design of erosion control structures in a hands-on project that will contribute to our watershed restoration program, from 2-5pm, then enjoy music and a potluck. Bring food and your favorite instrument. Please RSVP! That way we will be sure to have enough food for all of our rock work experts. INFORMATION:




There are more Mexican gray wolves in the wild in New Mexico and Arizona than last year—at least 83 lobos, marking the fourth year in a row the population has increased. Scientific teams are confident that this population of Mexican wolves will not be stable until it reaches 350 individuals. NMWA is committed to helping this beautiful animal survive and thrive in the Southwest. Join the NM Wilderness Alliance in their efforts to support wildlands and wildlife for this and future generations. VOLUNTEER! Blue Range Wilderness Invasive Plant Removal: March 21-23 The Blue Range Wilderness is nestled on the border with Arizona. Located in the heart of the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area, the region is the only place left in the United States where the endangered Mexican gray wolf is actively being reintroduced into the wild. Working with the Gila National Forest, we will conduct citizen-based surveys and the removal of invasive, noxious weeds that have begun to encroach on the Blue Range Wilderness. We will base camp at Pueblo Park and spend our days hiking in the canyons of the Blue Range. For more information, to sign up for these activities or to make a donation to the NM Wilderness Alliance go to


MARCH 21-23

community forum SAVE the BOSQUE! T FOR A

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BY CAMILLA FEIBLEMAN, TONY ANELLA, RICHARD BARISH he wise carpenter knows to measure twice and cut once. The wise carpenter also knows to pick the right tool for the right job. In the case of Mayor Berry’s proposed development of the Rio Grande Valley State Park, the Mayor has not taken the time to measure what we have in the bosque, what we stand to lose by cutting into it or taken the measure of what the Albuquerque citizenry wants done with its bosque. Conservation science should inform the design and planning process—before that process begins—not afterward.

boardwalks and viewing platforms and re-assign it to fund field trips for APS and other students to the bosque. The highly acclaimed Bosque Ecosystem Monitoring Program (BEMP) conducted by students in the middle Rio Grande



We appreciate Mayor Berry’s efforts to think long-term about the place we want Albuquerque to be fifty years from now. We trust that his intentions are positive. Specifically, we strongly urge Mayor Berry to consider the following outline of WHAT WE ARE FOR: 1. Helping Albuquerque residents to enjoy nature in the bosque. The City should provide improved parking areas at environmentally appropriate access points, including handicap accessibility. We are for signage, design features and amenities at the access points to make the bosque a welcoming place and to let people know that it is a safe and appropriate place to walk, bike, and above all else, enjoy nature. 2. Preserving and protecting wildlife in the bosque that can be enjoyed by visitors. In order to to do this, we need to leave the area between the levees mostly undeveloped in order to minimize habitat destruction, disturbance and fragmentation. This means no ten-foot-wide gravel road running through the bosque and no more boardwalks or viewing platforms constructed inside the area bounded by the levees. 3. Introducing kids to the bosque. We should take the money the Rio Grande Vision presently budgets for constructing unnecessary roads,



RESOURCES BY JULIANA CIANO or many of you, composting is common: it’s a link between cooking, gardening, nourishing yourself and supporting the health of our planet. It’s a sensible ancient practice that is as necessary and inspiring now as it ever has been.


As individuals, we create an average of a pound of food scraps daily, depending on what and how we eat. This may yield several wheelbarrows of compost in our summer season. As the City of Santa Fe, we generate about 50,000 pounds of food scraps DAILY which could yield thousands of cubic yards of compost for our farms, gardens, parks and highway medians. Forty percent of food in the US goes UNEATEN. It is lost between farm and fork—trimmed off in processing facilities, spoiled during storage, damaged during distribution and picked over in retail. Then it is picked over and discarded again according to professional food service industry standards. Most of this food ends up buried in landfills, where it creates high quantities of planet-warming methane (methane traps 21 times more heat than CO2). Uneaten food is the single largest component of municipal solid waste! If FoodScrapsInLandfills was a country of its own, it would the world’s third highest emitter of greenhouse gases!

Valley and organized by the Bosque School and UNM is an example of what a tremendous educational resource the bosque is when left as wild nature. We are for building on this inspiring precedent. 4. Providing City resources to support the Rio Grande Nature Center, the Bachechi Open Space, and the Open Space Visitor Center in their shared mission to enhance the enjoyment of the bosque for residents and out-of-town visitors alike. 5. Building Albuquerque’s regional and national reputation as a place with a unique sense of place. The bosque, like the Sandia foothills to the east, and the volcanoes and petroglyphs on the west side of the river,

We can make a big impact by uniting with businesses and government to increase efficiency in our food systems and compost the waste that does occur. Here in Santa Fe, local non-profit Reunity Resources has advocated with the City to be permitted to launch a commercial composting program to collect food scraps from local businesses. However, there is no City funding for the program. Reunity Resources will begin picking up the non-repurposable food scraps from a pilot group of 30 commercial clients at the end of March. Reunity will build program logistics and collect data for expanding composting endeavors in Northern New Mexico. Reunity will also be working with local food banks to ensure the maximum amount of edible food is used to feed people. At its pilot size, the program will divert up to 2,000,000 pounds of food scraps from the landfill in its first year of operation. That is enough organic material to create a pile of apple cores, red chiles, moldy bread and rotten lettuce leaves as high as Mount Everest! We are taking the steps toward large scale zero waste reality. Less than thirty percent of what ends up in our landfills actually belongs there. Of the seventy percent that does NOT belong there, at least a quarter is COMPOSTABLE.



BY CHUCK MALAGODI he Esperanza Community Bike Shop (ECBS) is a nonretail bike shop operated by the City of Albuquerque Parks and Recreation Department. The shop had its one year anniversary this month, and what a year it has been! Over 1,500 people of all ages and across all demographics have visited Esperanza’s open shop hours (Tuesday/Wednesday/ Thursday evenings from 6pm-8pm, and on Sunday from noon-8:00pm) to be guided through everything from flat fixes to complete bicycle overhauls. Esperanza does not sell bikes, but there are several ways to earn a bike.


The youth Fix-a-Bike is a program in which kids age 10 to 17 are given the opportunity to learn basic bicycle mechanics and bicycle safety through a multi-session seminar. Upon completion of the seminar, youths earn a refurbished bicycle along with a helmet, lights and a bike lock. Esperanza also offers an adult Earn-a-Bike program in which adults earn a bike to help with their transportation needs. In order to earn a bike, the individual must attend a City Cycling class at Esperanza and any one of the bicycle maintenance classes held at the shop. The cost of the classes is $10 each, and upon completion of two classes,

the individual will have earned a refurbished bicycle. The bicycle comes complete with a helmet, lights and a bike lock. Contact ECBS for details and scheduled times. Esperanza accepts donations of bikes, bike parts, and other bicycle related items. Donated bikes are refurbished and used in the Earn-a-Bike and other programs. In this way, old bikes will get a second lease on life as transportation for other members of our community. Esperanza is also home to Work Study opportunities, Bike Valet, the Richard Rivas Memorial Bike Ride, and tons of volunteer possibilities. Esperanza Community Bike Shop is currently seeking volunteers with basic mechanical knowledge to help with our Open Shop hours. If you would like to help us promote cycling in Albuquerque, or have any questions about ECBS, please contact the shop for details. For more info contact the Esperanza Community Bike Shop at 505-224-6668, www., or esperanza@ Visit with City of Albuquerque bike safety specialists at the Celebrate the Earth Festival Bike Safety Rodeo on April 27 at the Nob Hill Co-op.

are a big part of what make Albuquerque a special place to live and to visit. 6. Projects in the bosque being guided by science. We should create a technical advisory group—independent from the firm that has been hired by the City to design the project—with expertise relating to conservation biology and restoration ecology to ensure that the Rio Grande Vision is compatible with conservation science. 7. Postponing the decision making deadlines for completing 95% of the design documents until the Rio Grande Vision receives appropriate scientific and citizen oversight and input. In 1918, as secretary of the Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce, Aldo Leopold recognized the economic and ecologic importance of the Rio Grande bosque as a natural amenity within Albuquerque. He understood that healthy human communities require healthy natural ecosystems for their well-being. Leopold’s wisdom can again guide our efforts. Leopold’s philosophical search for how man could live on the land without spoiling it culminated in his Land Ethic: “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.” It is by this measure that we are for making the Rio Grande Vision RIGHT.

US soil is currently eroding at 17 times the rate at which it forms: We need nutrient-rich compost to rejuvenate our exhausted soils and grow healthier food! Compost replaces the need for chemical fertilizers, retains moisture, and provides nutrients for healthy plant growth. WHO WE ARE Reunity Resources is a Santa Fe-based nonprofit with a mission to reunite our waste streams with value for our community. For three years, we have been recycling used cooking oil from more than 60 local restaurants and converting it into biodiesel—the lowest carbon impact fuel. We then re-distribute local biodiesel throughout Northern New Mexico, creating a closed loop system. After a year of advocacy, we have partnered with the City of Santa Fe Environmental Services Division to make a big impact with this program. We will be collecting and sharing data with the City to show the value of food scraps’ collection to our community and environment. Now is the time—first collections are slated for the end of March—mere weeks away! Want to join us? We need your help! We are raising seed funds, spreading the word, designing educational materials, creating logistical systems and contracting with clients. Please contact us at 505-629-0836 or online at www.reunity

Co-op Connection News March, 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 March, 2014  

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