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POLLINATORS: AS GO THE BIRDS SO GO WE? BY ROBIN SEYDEL a Montanita Co-op was an early educator and voice of concern about the effects of agricultural chemicals on public health. Indeed the Co-op was formed, in large measure, to access healthy, additiveand chemical-free food products not widely available in the midseventies in New Mexico. Over the years the organic movement grew and more and more, people recognized the benefits of healthy, organic food. In 1993, as part of our commitment to the cooperative principle of education, on behalf of the Co-op, I was one of the lead organizers of the first public conference in the nation, on chemicals then known as environmental estrogens, including those used in conventional food production.


Hosted by La Montanita Co-op, the conference, held in conjunction with Greenpeace and the Womens’ Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), brought top researchers from around the nation to share their expertise. In the two decades since this conference, much important research has been done that shows that these chemicals not only mimic estrogen, causing breast, prostate and other cancers, and affecting human fertility; but have now come to be known as endocrine disruptors due to their wide ranging effects, on a variety of anatomical systems, in numerous species. In the spring of 2013 the Co-op hosted the national Beyond Pesticides Annual conference that brought to New Mexico some of the nation’s top experts and scientists to present their recent research and the current state of information on endocrine disrupting chemicals’ links to cancers, Parkinson’s Disease, the autism spectrum and a host of other endocrine system related, public health concerns.

and BEES,

For many of us, it is common knowledge that the 70,000 plus commercially used chemicals are less than well studied in terms of public and ecosystem health. This is true especially with regards to their synergistic effects. Due to moneyed interests, powerful players in our political system—including a number of revolving door government officials, appointed to ostensibly protect the public, but who, it often seems, do more for corporate earnings than public good—the profit before public health treadmill continues unabated.

BAN neonicotinoids

Decades ago Rachel Carson’s research called upon us to recognize the links between the effects of industrial chemicals on the species with whom we share the planet and our own well-being. This year, National Pollinator Week is a reminder for me of our hubris as a species; with pollinators the newest version of the canary in the coal mine. Neonicotinoids, much in the news these days with respect to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), bee decline and death, attach to the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in bee brains. We humans as well as all other mammals, have these same receptors, in both our central nervous system and peripheral nervous system. Given research which points to the negative effects of neonicotinoids on the neurological, cognitive and immune function in pollinators, the question naturally arises as

to whether these chemicals affect human health in the same ways. One can only wonder how long it will take for public policy and government regulation to catch up with common sense. It took well over two decades, a whole generation, and much suffering, for us to recognize that the same chemicals that Rachel documents as harming birds and their offspring were harming us, too! It’s time to call the precautionary principle into play; with its definition that says when an action, policy or, in this case, chemical has a suspected risk of harm, the burden of proof that it is NOT harmful falls on those who use and profit from it. We must recognize NOW that as go the bees and the birds SO GO WE! Tell the EPA don’t wait until 2018 to ban neonicotinoids. WE ARE EATING THEM TOO!

WHAT’S IN A WORD? CO-OPTING “SUSTAINABILITY” for PROFIT BY SARAH WENTZEL-FISHER anguage is important. The words we choose to describe and give meaning to our work have power. Words are signs, they give us a collective sense of direction, intention and power—when we use the same language we feel solidarity. Words hold meaning when we limit their use for special circumstances to indicate something very specific. Words can be like using the family china for holiday meals. The plates hold their significance, in part because they are only used for those occasions. But what happens if the family decides to use them every day? Or decides to use them as Frisbees instead of plates? Does every day become a holiday? Do holidays become games? Or do the plates lose their holiday-ness?


Recently I was reading, an agribusiness website focused on issues from the perspective of industrial-scale farmers and related businesses. The headline of the April 30 post read,

“Roundtable Brings US Companies Together for Ag. Sustainability Discussion.” A number of companies attending the Walmart Sustainability Expo—Monsanto, Unilever, PepsiCo, General Mills, Cargill and others—made commitments to "drive more collaboration and efficiency across the current food system," focusing on reducing greenhouse gas production and improving agricultural efficiency.

The article then went on to describe specifically how Monsanto has committed to nutrient efficiency and water efficiency. They will do this through development of seed technology (GMOs) and through building “prescriptions”(chemical fertilizers) for fields to build soil health. I read this article twice to be sure I understood what it was saying. My interpretation is that Monsanto and Walmart see industrial agricultural practices as sustainable because they claim that GMOs and chemical fertilizers create efficiencies in the system that reduce the current rates of greenhouse gas emissions in large-scale conventional farming. After analyzing, I asked myself, what does sustainability mean to me?

CELEBRATE SUMMER at your CO-OP! JUNE 8/10am-2pm

JUNE 21/11:30am-4pm

Pollinator Party! on the Westside Summer Solstice Celebration! Westside Location, 3601 Old Airport Ave. NW

Santa Fe location, 913 West Alameda

You’re Invited! • Join pollinator experts and beekeepers from around the state for talks on the birds, bees and other pollinators who help provide one third of all the food we eat! • Enjoy a delicious BBQ, live music from Zoltan Orkestar and pollinator education.

Come on Down! • 11:30am-2:30pm: Enjoy a delicious BBQ with proceeds to go to Felines and Friends of Santa Fe • Noon-2pm: Hear the fun tunes of 50 Watt Whale • 12:30pm-4pm: An Ice Cream Tasting Fair. Sample delicious ice creams, sorbets and non-dairy frozen treats from Alden’s, Coconut Bliss, Double Rainbow, Figo, Julie’s, McConnell’s, Straus, Talenti, 3 Twins, Van Rixel Brothers

• Learn about the importance of organic production in maintaining a healthy ecosystem and pollinator populations for a delicious future for us all.

Everything about the practices described in the story, by my definition, are exactly the opposite of sustainable. Suddenly sustainability seemed powerless, distorted and devoid of meaning from being so misused. Another article on the same site and topic published on March 27 discussed millennial generation perceptions of sustainability. A survey conducted by the Clinton Global Initiative and Microsoft indicated that adults between the ages of 20 and 35 are willing to pay more for products made by sustainability-focused companies. The same article said that, “millennials struggle to concretely define sustainability and identify what role ‘sustainable products’ play in their purchasing decisions. Summit panelists [Monsanto et al. mentioned above] will grapple with the complex issues surrounding environmental sustainability and discuss what the term means to each of their organizations and corporations.” Of course millenials are confused about what sustainability means. Corporations maniplulate the word to describe activities that when examined in closer detail, are anything but sustainable. Further, how can the word mean anything at all if large corporations, whose practices are by my definition fundamentally unsustainable, use it to best suit their marketing? Perusing reminded me how important it is to be vigilant and inquisitive, particularly when it comes to language—both in how I interpret it, and how I use it. Just because a product claims to be naturally grown or sustainably harvested or something else that makes me think the company that made it must be conscientious about climate change, aren’t necessarily safe assumptions. The danger in not asking questions and paying attention to language is that we are lulled into participating in processes we don’t necessarily want to support. When Monsanto labels its practices as sustainable, even though they clearly continue to use huge quantities of nonrenewable resources to produce products that make us sick, we run the risk of supporting exactly the opposite of what the label makes us think we’re supporting. In essence we risk inadvertently tossing the fine china around the lawn, so to speak.







Let us know what

you think!

This year our Annual Member/Owner Survey can be filled out and submitted online or on paper. Member/Owners who have an email address on file will receive a link to the survey on Monday, June 2. Member/Owners can also find a link to the survey on our website at www. If you prefer to fill the survey out by hand, you can request one at any info desk. Complete the Member/Owner Survey, and receive a one time 15% discount. Bring in your online coupon after you submit electronically or your paper copy of the survey to any Co-op cashier for the discount!

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

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A M P E R S A N D S U S TA I N A B L E L I V I N G C E N T E R :

THRIVING IN A HIGH DESERT CLIMATE JUNE WORKSHOPS: June 8/High Desert Gardening, 10am to 4pm Learn to grow food successfully in our harsh climate. This class covers methods to help your seedlings survive the spring winds, summer pests and blazing sun.

cuss the reasons for each design, and observe success rates. Get hands- on experience constructing grade control rock structures to harvest floodwaters, healing degraded landscapes through mulching, seeding and creating erosion control that create microcimates for moisture and vegetative growth. We will tour Ampersand’s largest and most important land restoration project on site. This is adjacent to an old mining railroad bed.

Grab n’ Go 8am – 6pm M – F, 11am – 4pm Sa UNM Bookstore, 2301 Central SW, ABQ, NM 87131 505-277-9586

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

June 22/Passive Solar Design, 10am to 2pm The fundamentals of passive solar design for heating and cooling of new structures or for retrofiting will be explained. Learn how much window you want, where to place them, and how to locate insulating materials so that they will make the most difference in reducing heat loss. Thermal mass, solar water heaters, greenhouses and trombe walls will be discussed. Observe these different building techniques at work in different stages of completion at Ampersand.

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

TO REGISTER, inquire about sliding scale or for more information go to or call 505-780-0535.

Westside 7am – 10pm M – Su 3601 Old Airport Ave, ABQ, NM 87114 505-503-2550

Administrative Staff: 217-2001 TOLL FREE: 877-775-2667 (COOP) • General Manager/Terry Bowling 217-2020 • Controller/John Heckes 217-2029 • Computers/Info Technology/ David Varela 217-2011 • Operations Manager/Bob Tero 217-2028 • Human Resources/Sharret Rose 217-2023 • Marketing/Edite Cates 217-2024 • Membership/Robin Seydel 217-2027 • CDC/MichelleFranklin 217-2010 Store Team Leaders: • Valerie Smith/Nob Hill 265-4631 • John Mulle/Valley 242-8800 • William Prokopiak/Santa Fe 984-2852 • Michael Smith/Gallup 575-863-5383 • Joe Phy/Westside 505-503-2550


Rainwater harvesting and greywater use should be the foundation of desert gardens whenever possible; observe these techniques in practice at Ampersand and discuss how to get the most out of small growing areas through staged plantings, inter-cropping and perennial plants. Observe appropriate permaculture strategies and discuss details on how to prepare soil, extend your growing season and harvest rainwater with earthworks.


June 14/Arid Land Restoration, 10am to 4pm Think like a watershed! Learn to read the unique landscape of the arid Southwest! With some attention to deposit patterns of soil and organic material and wild plant indicators, you can determine storm water flow areas that nourish the land, and ones that dehydrate it and create erosion. Tour the ecological restoration projects on Ampersand’s site, dis-

NEVER leave your pet in the car, even for a "quick errand"! This is a dangerous practice, even on days that are mildly warm and even with: • your windows “cracked” open or • your car running with the AC on




SARITA STRENG, THE BOSQUE ACTION TEAM he Bosquitos is the kids’ auxiliary of the Bosque Action Team, a coalition of organizations and individuals working to keep the Bosque as a great place to enjoy nature in the City. The Bosquitos meet about once a month to learn about Albuquerque’s forested zone around the River. The Bosquitos also learn ways to support nature and wildlife and practice environmental stewardship. The Bosquitos often participate in activities in conjunction with the Kids’ Climate Campaign.

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,



PETS, CARS AND SUMMER HEAT (This only works for a couple of minutes as the AC needs the air generated by a moving car to circulate cold air.) Outside Temp In your car with 4 windows cracked 84 98 90 108 95 113 101 114 115 132



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

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.


In the past Bosquitos have learned about insects in the Bosque with staff from the Bosque Ecological Monitoring Program (BEMP). They went bird (and porcupine) watching at the Rio Grande Nature Center. They learned about solar energy, including pumping water, powering toys with solar panels and baking cookies in a solar oven, and they met animals that were injured in the Bosque and rescued by Natural History Museum staff. The kids attended the “Climate Change” exhibit at the Natural History Museum and participated in the South Valley Día de los Muertos Marigold Parade, where their message of bosque preservation won the award for "Most Significant Political Message." They participated in a land art project, where they made transient art pieces out of sand, sticks and leaves in the Bosque.

If you see a pet locked in a car, please call Animal Control immediately. You may save a life! IN SANTA FE: 505-428-3710/505-955-2700 IN ALBUQUERQUE: 311 or 505-768-2000 IN GALLUP: 505-726-1453 SANTA FE ORDINANCE 5-3 ANIMALS TRANSPORTED OR LEFT IN VEHICLES No person shall leave an animal in a closed vehicle for any length of time reasonably concluded to be dangerous to the health or safety of the animal. During hot weather conditions, an A.C.O. or Sheriff’s Deputy may immediately remove an animal from a vehicle and take it into protective custody, at the cost assessed to the owner. Violations will constitute an act of cruelty/neglect and will subject the owner to the penalties.


Kids of all ages, their parents, friends and community members are invited. All activities are free. Our next outing is a picnic in the Bosque on June 29 from 5-7pm. We will have some storytelling about Bosque animals, time for socializing and free play. Call or email Sarita Streng, 505-288-8713 or for more information. If you need special accommodations to join an activity, call ahead to make arrangements.



JOIN JESSIE BROWN, President of the New Mexico Beekeepers Association, as she talks about the fascinating social dynamics of a beehive, current beekeeping trends, an update on Colony Collapse Disorder and what you can do to help our pollinators. June 8, 10:30am at the Westside Coop’s Pollinator Party!

father’s day special

June 2014 3





n Father’s Day 2013, 106 men—all fathers— were locked up in jail and prison. They cost New Mexico no less than $35,000 each. On Father’s Day 2014 these same men will be celebrating with their children. Every one of them is working, clean, sober and involved with their children's education. Many of these men are employed at PB&J's Fathers Building Futures, an Albuquerque business that provides hands-on, CREDIT service- and skills-oriented training in auto detailDONATION ing, mobile power washing and customized ORGANIZAT I O N woodworking.


Fathers Building Futures aims to connect formerly incarcerated fathers with their professional and civic promise while providing affordable, meaningful and useful services to the community. In the process, recidivism is cut by close to 50% and children benefit from a father who isn’t role modeling from behind bars — a surefire way to reduce the chances of a child ending up behind bars, too. “I have always had a strong work ethic, but I spent most of my life incarcerated because the jobs I worked at that were legal often treated me poorly, the wages never were enough to provide for my family. PB&J gave me a chance and I found they really cared and cared that we bettered ourselves. I know I wouldn’t have gotten this far without them. Now, my wife and kids come first, and I hope that my recent graduation from CNM will help me build a better future for them as I continue to pursue a BA in ASC Automotive Technology. I am so grateful to PB&J for giving me a chance, not just to work but for believing in me,” explains Eric, father of five. (Note: Eric was just hired at a full-time job.)

Father’s Day Celebration! All Co-op members and shoppers are invited to a Father’s Day Celebration, complete with special offers and service discounts, on Friday, June 13, from noon to 3pm at Fathers Building Futures, 4301 4th Street NW. La Montanita Co-op and its members have been “adopting” PB&J children for the holidays for almost 20 years. We of PB&J are deeply grateful for your support of the children we work with. With Fathers Building Futures as the bag donation organization of the month for June, Co-op members acknowledge the importance of bringing fathers back into the family circle. Thanks! If you missed Fathers Building Futures at the Earth Fest in April, visit Fathers Building Futures at 4301 4th Street NW (three blocks south of Griegos). Hours are Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm, or shop online at Auto Detailing, Mobile Washing and Graffiti Removal services are by appointment—call 505-341-9034. Thanks for shopping at the Co-op and thanks for donating your bag credit dime to PB&J’s Fathers Building Futures in June. Every dime helps bring families together.





BY SUSAN REED hat if? What if people here in Albuquerque who don't have enough to eat could grow some of their own food? That idea was the beginning of a project cosponsored by Roadrunner Food Bank and La Orilla Farm in the South Valley, and lots and lots of neighbors and friends.

This is true social entrepreneurship. You may have seen some of the fathers’ woodworking on display at the Co-op’s Earth Day Festival, at the Southwest Chocolate & Coffee Fest, or this year’s National Fiery Foods Show. You’ll find them on Etsy and Facebook. Perhaps you have a relative who has had their property power washed for spring, or a friend whose car or truck was detailed on location at Fathers Building Futures at 4301 4th Street NW.


june 3

excess babies they'd started. We have all sorts of tomatoes, squash, pimientos, chiles, oregano, more chives, quelites, arugula. One friend brought over a pound of pinto beans to distribute.

In March of this year, I contacted Roadrunner Food Bank and met with Jason Riggs, SNAP Outreach Coordinator, Programs Assistant Denise Sawyer, and Ann Sharpe from Christ United Methodist Church. My husband Michael and I offered to provide seedlings in pots that could be given to anyone who came to pick up supplemental food at the distribution at the church. The Roadrunner folks were super enthusiastic and receptive to my idea. Denise and I decided to use plastic gallon milk jugs with the tops cut off and holes punched in the bottom. Not fancy but definitely freely available. So we put out the word to friends... and what a response! Not only friends, but friends of friends donated gallon jugs and other pots to use. Seriously, hundreds of them! The Roadrunner volunteers did the cutting and hole punching, and at last count we were at about 220. As for seedlings, Michael and I seeded multiple four- and six-packs of basil, parsley, chives and bush tomatoes. Again, friends and friends of friends called to donate

We approached Jim Brooks at Soilutions who gave us a special deal on potting soil. Also, the Roadrunner people created a bilingual how-to brochure that will be available for anyone who might not be sure how to care for their seedlings. The first distribution will be June 3. Will people want to take home containers of seedlings, especially if they live in apartments with no yards? We hope so. We know the church will take some of the larger plants for their communal raised beds. If any Co-op gardeners who have extra seedlings would like to donate them, please call Jason at Roadrunner Food Bank (505349-8833) or me, Susan Reed (877-2877). We'll make sure your babies get good homes, and do some good in the world. We would also appreciate the donation of any extra seeds, such as beans or cucumbers or summer squash, as some of the recipients will have access to yards or community gardens. Roadrunner Food Bank assists 250 agencies in the state. We'll start with one distribution, and see how that goes, then expand as we can. Any help is welcome. Contact me at 8772877 or at

THIS MONTH BAG CREDIT DONATIONS GO TO: FATHERS BUILDING FUTURES: Connecting formerly incarcerated fathers with their professional and civic promise while growing positive familial experiences.


In April your Bag Credit Donations totaling $2,332.70 went to the Native Plant Society of New Mexico. THANK YOU!


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

Alamed a Blvd. Coors Blvd.




Old A irport Ave.


In the majority of cases, fathers return to prison not because they commit a new crime, but because they fail to secure housing or employment, which translates to their Probation or Parole Officer as a violation of their Parole/Probation plan. Creating a business that will employ them as they leave prison was a solution to the tremendous barrier these fathers face: not being able to get hired, despite their talent and desire to work.

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




BOARD OF DIRECTORS our Co-op needs you! The nominations process for La Montanita’s Board of Directors will be starting next month, and we want to let you know how you can participate. Each year the Co-op holds elections for three of its nine directors, with terms running for three years. This year, there will also be an election to fill a one-year term, making four seats in total. As elected representatives of the 17,000 plus member/owners, the board’s job is to provide strategic vision and ensure the Coop’s long-term stability and success. The work is exciting, challenging and rewarding.


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members are compensated with an annual stipend of $1,800. The Secretary receives $2,700 and the President receives $3,600. Board members are expected to serve the full term to which they are elected.

We encourage prospective candidates to attend monthly board meetings so they may better understand how the board governs. Meetings are always held on the third Tuesday of each month, starting at 5:30pm. The location is the Immanuel Presbyterian Church, directly across the street from the Nob Hill store. Dinner is served to all attending, starting a little before 5:30pm.



The Co-op is a $32,000,000 a year operation with six stores: four in Albuquerque, one in Gallup and one in Santa Fe. Albuquerque is also the site of the Cooperative Distribution Center (CDC), which is our Foodshed warehouse, serving producers, processors and retailers throughout our region. We are pleased to say that all of the Co-op’s units continue to grow and improve in performance. Finally, our many public outreach programs bring people together and strengthen our communities. Why Run for the Board? The board’s work requires discipline and creativity. We govern by means of a framework called Policy Governance. At our monthly meetings, the board reviews management’s work by examining performance reports and comparing them to policy standards we have established. The board governs by declaring, through its policies, the results it wants and the actions it wants the general manager to avoid while achieving those results. Only by reviewing and adjusting these boundaries do we adjust the direction of the Co-op. We leave day-to-day operational details to the general manager and his team (those are the people you see every day as a shopper); we keep tabs on the stores on a monthly basis through formal reporting. Very importantly, we spend almost half our meeting time studying our world, learning about our owners’ needs, and imagining the future. Overall, board members are expected to spend the equivalent of about three hours a week on board duties, including committee work, trainings, workshops, other meetings and activities. In exchange, board

YOUR co-op... needs


While it is customary for boards to seek prospective members with management-related skills, our approach is different. Our comprehensive policies and the management reporting that is required for them allow the board to simultaneously ensure successful Co-op performance and still focus on the bigger picture mentioned earlier. To help keep the board on this path, here’s what we are looking for in a candidate: • First and foremost, be dedicated to the well-being of the Co-op and its owners. • Have a propensity to think in terms of systems and context. • Be honest and have independent judgment, courage and good faith. • Be able and eager to deal with values, vision and the long term. • Be willing and able to participate assertively in discussions and abide by board decisions and the intent of established policies. • Be comfortable operating in a group decision making environment, sharing power in a group process, and delegating areas of decision making to others.


AMYLEE UDELL ummer camping is great for the entire family. Get out of the city and into the world of NO cell phone coverage! Sleep under the stars in the fresh air. Follow animal tracks on a hike and watch the kids make toys out of sticks and rocks. Getting out for even just a night means three meals' worth of ingredients, serving ware, cooking tools, pots and cleaning supplies. Many people can get overwhelmed right there. I'm no hard core backpacker, but years of car camping with my family have taught me a few tricks to share.


Nominations start July 20 and end on August 20. The candidate application packet will be available starting July 20, as paper copies from the Information Desk and electronically from the Co-op’s website. TO QUALIFY AS A CANDIDATE, YOU MUST BE A CURRENT MEMBER AND HAVE BEEN SINCE JULY 1, 2014. YOUR COMPLETED APPLICATION MUST BE RETURNED BY AUGUST 20 TO BE VALID. Board elections will be held from November 1st through November 14th. Our annual meeting and celebration will be held on Saturday, October 18, at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. Candidates are encouraged to attend this meeting to have the opportunity to address members regarding their candidacy. As we have done in the last few years, the board will offer a list of candidates it feels are qualified to serve. Full information about this process will be included in the candidate packet. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, CONTACT US AT, or contact Ariana Marchello, Chairperson of the Nominations and Elections Committee, at 505-570-0743 or

membership is

O W N E R S H I P!


Our focus on the long term, on clear definitions of roles, and on respectful and productive dialogue has clearly paid off as the Co-op continues to thrive despite economic conditions and a great deal of competition.

First, decide what your family MUST have and where you can compromise. Are you OK with paper and plastic ware while camping? We have our own set of serving ware for picnics and camping, so we take that. But we DO seem to make more trash when we camp. We tend to use more paper towels, convenience foods and snacks that come with packaging. That's a second point of compromise for us. For my kids, camping = boxed cereal. It's one of the reasons they get excited about camping. Maybe you relax on food quality by indulging in s'mores. We do! Next, ARE you going to cook and HOW will you cook? Will you rely on the grill or campfire at the site? Be sure to check ahead of time to see if open fires are allowed. If not, a camp stove is a great option and can be borrowed from a friend or rented from REI (where you can also rent tents and sleeping bags). We have taken a small solar cooker with us, as well. We set dinner in it and went for a hike and came back to our fully cooked meal. This won't be allowed at all campsites, depending on the wildlife situation. You could stick with non-cook meals. We don't cook all our meals. We usually have a picnic lunch of lunch meat, canned fish, cheese, chips and dip, nuts, etc. Middle of the day is often hot so a cool lunch works well. A few months ago I wrote about the convenience and practicality of freezer meals. Freezer meals are GREAT for camping. Pull one out frozen and put it in the cooler to help keep things cold and plan to have it the second day or later. I suggest one meant for a crockpot that does not include a huge hunk of meat, but something with beans, pieces of meat, spaghetti sauce, chili, etc. These are so easy to cook on a fire or camp stove.

Many people make Meals-in-a-Jar for camping. Perhaps your neighbor once gave you a soup mix, the ingredients beautifully layered in a mason jar? You can take this concept to a baggie, as well. Basically, most to all of the meals' ingredients are in one container. Often you simply boil the ingredients together until done. I've done bean soups, macaroni and cheese, pasta dishes and rice casseroles. Sometimes the ingredients will include powdered milks or bouillions, so you'll need to see if the recipe is "whole" enough for you. But boiling until done is usually simple enough for any cook to manage at the campsite. Try cooking in foil, right above your fire or on top of your grill. Kids usually have fun with this. Baked potatoes, onions, fish or even cook beans right in the can. And, of course, bbq favorites are sure to please. Hamburgers and hotdogs are easy to pack and prepare. Most important is keep it FUN and not too labor intensive. It IS vacation, after all! OTHER LITTLE TIPS: • Freeze some of your water or liquids (or even whole meals, as above!) to help keep your cooler items cool. • Make a standard Camp Menu and bring the same things each time. This will streamline your packing and the mental energy required to get ready. • Bring plenty of water. • If you don't have a lightweight, nested cooking set for camping, try to bring as few pots as possible. One frying pan and Dutch oven will usually cover it. A cast iron skillet is great, too, but very heavy. • Involve the kids as much as is safe and practical. They'll practice important cooking skills, while having fun!



GET IT at your favorite

CO-OP! Father’s Day,

Sunday, June 15! CELEBRATE DAD!


co-op news

June 2014 7

JUNE IS MEMBER SURVEY MONTH Look for our Annual member/owner survey in your mailbox, your email inbox or online in early June. I hope you will take time to complete this year’s survey and turn it in at your favorite Co-op location by June 30. You will receive a 15% discount on your purchase when you complete the survey. Your feedback is very THE INSIDE important to us. This is your community owned business, so please tell us what you think and how we can better serve you. How are we doing and in what areas would you like to see improvement? You may notice that several of the survey questions remain the same from year to year and wonder why we keep asking the same questions. This

WE NEED YOUR FEEDBACK consistent set of questions enables us to measure our service to you over time and helps us determine which areas of your business need additional resources. We also change the mix of the questions from time to time as our business and needs change.

June Calendar

of Events 6/8 Pollinator Party at the Westside location. See page 3 6/17 BOD Meeting, Immanuel Church, 5:30pm


If you have more comments than the survey space permits, don’t hesitate to attach them to the survey form. Please contact me with any need at or by phone at 505-217-2020. Thanks for your continued support of our Co-op. -Terry B.

6/21 Santa Fe Co-op Solstice Celebration at the Santa Fe location. See page 1 JUNE IS MEMBER SURVEY MONTH! Get yours online at or at any Co-op location.




BY LISA BANWARTH-KUHN uring our March BOD meeting, we watched the first part of a film called, “The Economics of Happiness” (www.theeconomicsofhappiness. org), a documentary film that critiques globalization and international free trade. The film criticizes globalization for fracturing our world by creating a standardized world market dominated by transnational companies that sell consumerism through a blitz of marketing. The hidden costs of the corporate model are systemic and far reaching. Though tough and somewhat gloomy, the analysis has a cheerful counter balance for a solution. The film promotes localization as a positive investment in a stronger future with far greater returns than buying into the promises of the corporate world model.


The film was a reminder that a strong local community values people over profit and we need to be aware of how

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.

WE can “go local.” As consumers we can critique the corporate world through the power of our wallet. We can refuse to buy at the big box stores. We can shop at La Montanita where last year member owners returned to our community over four million dollars in sales of local products. When we shop we can bring our own shopping bags and “Donate a Dime” to local programs that will in turn circulate the money through our community. We can bank locally at NM Educators Credit Union. As a community member we can participate in programs that strengthen the ties to what lifts everyone up and ensures a self-sustaining local future. In the past the Board had a visit from “Project Feed the Hood,” a food literacy and community gardening initiative of SWOP (SouthWest Organizing Project). Project Feed the Hood is “based in traditional methods of farming and seed saving that are both sustainable and culturally relevant. SWOP gardeners maintain a large seed library and host many workshops to assist community members, schools and other community groups seeking

to grow food and build healthy communities and lifestyles all over the state of NM.” (www.projectfeedthe Project Feed the Hood is a perfect example of how one small group is standing up against globalization. It may be small and local, but it is strong and community building. The importance of focusing locally, prompted UNM to create a Sustainability Program where students learn about and contribute to a sustainable local future. Dreaming New Mexico is a statewide program dedicated to visionary and practical solutions to heal and shepherd the future of our home. It has a website with links to a long list of groups that focus on building our future, where we could meet our neighbors and strengthen the bonds within our local community. ( There are many little personal opportunities for us to act locally and there are many groups we can work with to magnify our little efforts and multiply the positive effect on our own “Economics of Happiness.”

ALL ABOU For as long as humans have known the honey bee, we have been fascinated by and even


worshipped the small but elegant Apis Mellifera. Their hives are miracles of ingenuity, their efficiency and industry surpass that of even the most sophisticated civilizations and of course, the sweet nectar they alchemically transform and preserve is enough to deserve our undying admiration. Wherever honeybees pollinate, both flowers and food crops become wildly more abundant and successful, as if Demeter herself had graced the Earth beneath them.

EVERYDAY ALCHEMY La Abeja Herbs A BODY OIL infused with cedar, ginger, lemongrass, rosemary and fennel essential oils. Owner, Sophia Rose also offers classes on the use of herbs for self care and beyond. Look to her website for more information.

BEE CULTURE: The Magazine of American Beekeeping Find a Beekeeper near you, catch the latest buzz on a global scale and learn all about hive maintenance and health with this monthly magazine available at store check out stands.

Honey boasts countless and diverse healing properties and is also one of the most nourishing foods for the body, heart and


soul. It offers guidance and support to people on their healing paths, all the while celebrating and embracing the sweetness of life. —La Abeja Herbs

WESTSIDE POLLINATOR PARTY 3601 Old Airport Avenue NW sunday





Pollinator & bee experts from around the state talk about birds, bees and other pollinators • BBQ • Live Music with Zoltan Orkestar • Education! • Family Fun!



BACK TO NATURE Honey Graham Sticks

Made from wheat and graham flours with a touch of pure, golden honey, these 100% natural treats are absolutely delicious. • No hydrogenated oils • No high fructose corn syrup • No artificial preservatives, flavors or colors


Medicinal honeys that are delicious too! Osha is a medicinal plant for respiratory health and Lavender works on every level, from healing burns to aiding sleep. Located in Dixon, NM, Artemisia Herbs is a family enterprise. The herbs are all wildcrafted; havested and processed by hand.


LOCAL OLD PECOS PECAN Honey Mustard Sweetened with only pure honey - no sugars, no corn syrup or artificial sweetners. A pure sweet & spicy delight. Old Pecos Foods products are made in Glorietta, NM with love and care.

PORTLAND BEE BALM Every tube of Portland Bee Balm consists of local NW Oregon beeswax, raw cold-pressed organic extra-virgin coconut oil, organic extra-virgin olive oil, SE Portland honey from backyard hives and organic peppermint essential oil. Yup, that’s it!

HONEY GARDENS Elderberry Honey Syrup From VERMONT with raw honey and bee propolis. Propolis reduces inflammations of the mucous membranes and is known to resist bacteria, fungus and mold. Find it at the Rio Grande Valley Store.


is a 100% pure, raw, natural honey gathered from areas all over the state: the mountains of Northern and Southern New Mexico to the valleys and plains of Central New Mexico. B’s New Mexico Honey Farm has been providing natural New Mexico honey since 1991.


An all organic herbal blend, combining Slippery Elm Bark with Mullein, prized for their usefulness in soothing minor throat irritation. Wild Cherry Bark is included for its soothing effects, while Licorice root adds a comforting sweet flavor.

DECOMPOSITION BOOK with Honeycomb Cover

The hive’s alive with busy bees. 100% post-consumer waste notebook with recycled pages; printed with easy to recycle non-toxic soy inks. Printed on orange board. 80 Sheets, 7.5” x 9.75” Made in USA


From Los Ranchos, ABQ, Moses Bee Pollen is a pure bee pollen dried at a low temperature. It contains a balance of vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, fats, enzymes, and essential amino acids. As a rejuvenator, it is used to assist in recovery from illness and as a pollen and spore antidote during allergy season.

HEAVENLY ORGANICS Honey Pattie Chocolate Mint Combining healing wild honey with the antioxidant dark chocolate • Dairy Free • Gluten Free • USDA Organic • No Added Sugar • Only 3 Ingredients: 100% Organic Dark Chocolate, Organic Raw Honey & Peppermint Oil

cool summer


June 2014 10

keep it

Place kale, cabbage, carrots, broccoli and garbanzo beans in a large bowl. Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine. Serve and enjoy.




KALE SALAD with MAPLE-MUSTARD DRESSING FROM JULIEANNA HEVER One of the best ways to enjoy a fresh green spring salad is with a rich and tasty dressing. This dressing is oil free, but flavorful and quick to prepare. Maple syrup and mustard provide real zest. Feel free to vary the recipe by using any type of greens from the many available this time of year. Serves: 4 to 6 Time: 30 minutes Dressing 1 cup cannellini beans, cooked or canned 2 tablespoons tahini 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast 2 tablespoons stone-ground or Dijon mustard 2 tablespoons low-sodium tamari or soy sauce 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup Zest and juice of 1 lemon 1/4 cup water Salad 6 cups kale, ribs removed, shredded 1 cup red cabbage, shredded 1 cup carrots, shredded 1 cup broccoli florets, finely chopped 1 15-ounce can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed To prepare dressing, combine cannellini beans, tahini, mustard, nutritional yeast, tamari or soy sauce, maple syrup, lemon zest, juice and 1/4 cup water. Blend on high until smooth. Add more water, as needed, to achieve desired consistency.

Serves: 4 Time: 30 minutes Dressing 1/2 cup fresh chives, chopped 1 clove garlic, peeled 2 tablespoons olive oil 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 3 tablespoons water 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 1 teaspoon agave nectar 1/2 teaspoon salt Several pinches freshly ground black pepper To prepare dressing, place all ingredients in blender or food processor and blend until smooth, scraping down sides when needed. Keep tightly sealed and refrigerated until ready to use. Mixture will keep up to 5 days. This particular dressing is perfect over everything from salad to grilled veggies to baked potatoes. Salad 1 pound baby potatoes, such as red, purple or Yukon 8 ounces crimini or trumpet mushrooms, thinly sliced 2 teaspoons olive oil 1/4 teaspoon salt plus a pinch for cooking potatoes 6 cups arugula, rinsed and thoroughly dried 2 cups trimmed and bias/cut snap peas Place potatoes in 2-quart pot, add water to cover and sprinkle with pinch of salt. Bring to boil and lower heat. Simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Place them in ice bath to cool completely, or run under cold water.

Mary Alice Cooper, MD

cool summer


In the meantime, preheat large pan (preferably cast iron) over medium-high heat. SautĂŠ mushrooms in olive oil with 1/4 teaspoon salt for about 7 minutes, until lightly browned. In a large bowl, toss together arugula, snap peas and potatoes. Add about half the vinaigrette and toss to coat. Arrange in serving bowls with mushrooms scattered on top. Drizzle additional vinaigrette over composed salad. PAN FRIED SESAME TOFU with ASPARAGUS AND QUINOA FROM ADRIENNE WEISS This tasty dish, featuring seasonal, spring asparagus and wholesome, protein-rich quinoa, is sure to please. Serves: 4 Time: 55 minutes Quinoa 1 cup quinoa, rinsed three times 1 1/2 cups cool water 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon vegetable oil Sesame Tofu and Asparagus 1 14-ounce package extra/super firm tofu 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil 2 tablespoons vegetable oil Pinch each of salt and black or chile pepper 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 dry chili, crushed 2 small carrots, thinly sliced 1 pound asparagus, diced 1 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon coconut palm sugar 3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce 1 tablespoon rice vinegar 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil Sesame seeds for garnish

Begin by pressing tofu. Wrap block in a single paper towel, then in a bar towel, and place under a heavy cast iron pan for at least 15 minutes. The paper towel prevents bar towel fuzz from adhering to the tofu, while the terry cloth towel absorbs a ton of water. While the tofu is pressing, prepare quinoa. Rinse three times, rubbing grains in your hands. Add rinsed quinoa, cool water, salt and oil to a pot. Bring to boil. Once boiling, cover and turn heat down to low and simmer 20 minutes. Turn off heat and let steam, covered, for another 10 minutes. Do not remove lid. Fluff before serving. Remove tofu from wrap and cut into 8 equal-sized rectangles or triangles. Heat large cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil. Once pan is very hot, add tofu and sprinkle with pinch of salt and pepper. If pan is seasoned, tofu should not stick. Brown tofu on one side, flip and brown on other side. Cook tofu for at least 10 minutes, flipping as needed. It should be nicely browned, but not burnt. Remove from pan and let rest on plate or cutting board while finishing dish to firm the tofu. Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in the same pan. Add garlic, chili and veggies (using more oil if needed.) Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Stir ingredients together and cook until asparagus is bright green and vegetables are tender-crisp. Add tofu, tamari or soy sauce, sugar and vinegar. Gently toss well to coat all ingredients. Drizzle sesame oil over top. Arrange over quinoa and top with sesame seeds. Serve immediately to ensure vegetables remain crisp.

simple for SUMMER

June 2014 11

gardening for






Both wild bees and honeybees respond well to the establishment of pollinator gardens, the success of which is largely determined by two key factors: plant diversity and time of flowering. Many of our native and cultivated garden plants flower in mid-

BY DR. TESS GRASSWITZ, NMSU he importance of insects as crop pollinators is often underappreciated, although it has been estimated that approximately 75% of the fruits and vegetables grown in the US are pollinated by domesticated honeybees and wild native bees. The familiar honeybee (Apis mellifera) was introduced to the US from Europe for its ability to produce honey and pollinate crops. However, in recent years, honeybee populations in many areas have declined due to the rich phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder, DIVERSITY stimulating interest in the ability of wild native bees to o f N ATIVES fill the “pollination gap” when honeybees are scarce. Research indicates that they are often able to do so, provided that their basic needs are met. Those needs include not only access to floral nectar and pollen, but also suitable nesting habitat – a factor that is often overlooked in attempts to conserve and help our summer, but fewer species bloom in early spring or native bees. early fall, when honeybees and many native bees are While honeybees form large social colonies (making them ideally adapted active. To help farmers and gardeners choose suitable to hive rearing and to transportation to different crops for pollination pur- plants, New Mexico State University’s Agricultural poses), most native bees behave rather differently. Most are either solitary Science Center and the Natural Resources Conspecies that build individual nests and raise their brood alone, or, like servation Service’s Plant Materials Center (both bumblebees, form only relatively small colonies. Some wild bees show based at the same site in Los Lunas) have been testintermediate, gregarious nesting behavior, whereby each female forms her ing a wide range of (mostly native) plants for their own nest, but in close proximity to the nests of other females of the same ability to attract and support pollinators; the resultspecies. Different bees prefer different nesting sites: some nest in the ing list of recommended plants is available at ground, excavating tunnels that may reach a foot or more below the soil (


surface, while others use holes in dead wood or hollow plant stems, eventually plugging the entrance with mud or finely chewed plant material. The bees typically provision each brood cell (chamber) in the nest with a ball of nectar and pollen on which their larvae feed and develop. New Mexico has a rich diversity of native bees, although they often go unnoticed and unremarked. An illustrated guide to the main groups of New Mexico native bees is available at ( Habitat Enhancements for Native Bees Any garden can be made more inviting for bees and other beneficial insects. Remember that even organically-approved insecticides can be toxic to such species, so try to minimize their impact by practicing integrated pest management (IPM) and not spraying flowering plants when pollinators are active. Keep in mind, too, that some systemic insecticides (e.g., imidacloprid) can move through the plant to reach damaging concentrations in nectar, so try to avoid such products if possible.

Since different species of bees vary in the structure and length of their mouthparts, and the degree to which they specialize on particular flowers, it is important to include as wide a diversity of plant species as possible. Some bees are generalists in their foraging and will visit the flowers of many different plants, while others specialize on a much more limited range of species. Hence, when planting for pollinators, the aim is to try to include a broad range of flower shapes, sizes, structures and colors in order to benefit as many species as possible. Native plants are excellent, as they are adapted to thrive under New Mexico conditions, and our wild bees, in turn, are already adapted to them.



Food for Bees, Food for Us BY JOE FRANKE s the spring planting season approaches here in Albuquerque, you might give some thought to putting in a few plants that benefit people and native bees simultaneously.


Squash and pumpkins are extremely popular in this area, but many people are dismayed when their plants produce lots of vegetative growth and flowers, but these never develop into fruit. The problem here is most likely not disease but a lack of services of the melon family’s main pollinator, the distinctively yellow “squash bee” of the genus Peponapis. Squash plants have both male and female flowers, and bees must be present (or very patient and skilled humans) to move the pollen from one flower to another. These fascinating bees fly and forage in the morning, just as the flowers are opening: these bees are on the job while the flower is still viable; squash flowers only “last” a day. Squash bees are very interesting in that they have followed the spread of squash cultivation, going back to Pre-Colombian times, from the southwestern US to well into the Northern Plains states, as we’ve brought squash cultivation northward. However, squash bees are in decline in the US due to increased use of neonicotinoid pesticides that are particularly toxic to these bees. If you are careful and quiet about it, you can usually find the male squash bees inhabiting squash flowers that are a bit past their prime by gently opening them up in the evening or just as the sun is coming up before they leave their temporary homes to look for the females. Dill is an important part of many important summer foods, such as grilled salmon and salad dressings, but few people know that it is also immensely attractive to black swallowtail butterflies and small native bees. The swallowtails’ caterpillars are obligates, meaning they eat



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

June 2014 12

nothing else but carrot family plants such as dill, carrots, Queen Anne’s lace and parsley. The flowers are very attractive to the adults. Before these non-native plants were brought to North America, these elegantly beautiful insects utilized native species such as prairie parsley, and the inclusion of these plants in our gardens allows these specialists to exist in urban areas. Please consider the idea of planting some extra dill and letting some of your plants go to flower as an attractant for these beautiful insects.

Nesting Sites When creating habitat for native pollinators, don’t neglect nesting sites. Ground-nesting bees need suitable areas that remain undisturbed all year, as they usually overwinter in their subterranean nests. As with floral resources, diversity is the key: some bees like flat sites, while others prefer sloping sites; some prefer sandy soil, others prefer loam or clay soils. Similarly, some species need bare soils, while others need partially vegetated sites. Habitat for cavitynesting species can be provided by drilling holes in old tree stumps, untreated logs, or scrap lumber. Holes should be 4-5 inches deep, with a variety of diameters from 3/32” to 3/8”. For species that nest in dead plant stems, 4 to 5 inch lengths of bamboo or other pithy stems (e.g., from wild, dead sunflowers) should be cut with one end open and one closed (i.e., cut just below a node (joint) in the stem). Pack the cut stems (open ends outwards) into suitable supports (e.g., the central cardboard cylinders from rolls of toilet paper) before placing them in a larger box with other nesting materials (drilled wood blocks, etc.) Individual stems should not be perfectly aligned: it’s easier for individual bees to find their nests if the stems are slightly offset from one another. The entire nest box should be installed approximately four feet above ground, facing east (to protect it from the late afternoon sun). Finally, bees appreciate a source of clean water. This can be provided by filling a shallow dish with pebbles and adding water until the latter are partly submerged; the pebbles provide landing sites for bees and other insects. To prevent mosquitoes breeding in the dish, empty the container every few days and allow it to dry for an hour or two before refilling. Further reading: Attracting Native Pollinators (2011) E. Mader, M. Shepherd, M. Vaughan, S. Hoffman Black and G. Le Buhn, 372 pp., Storey Publishing.


Borage is a very underappreciated garden annual that has many uses and is also extremely attractive to a wide variety of native bees. It’s easily grown from seed once our daytime temperatures get into the 70s. The blue to purple flowers are tasty in salads, and the stems can be cooked as a vegetable, somewhat reminiscent of asparagus. Many herbs are highly attractive to native bees. Mint family plants such as oregano and the wide variety of peppermint, spearmints, lemon verbena and others are all not only nice to have around for seasoning and teas, but are also very beneficial to our native pollinators. JOE FRANKE is the owner/operator of Sapo Gordo Ecological Restoration Services. He can be reached at, and on Facebook.

gardening RANDOM “Ag”NOTES

farming &

Hoppers are tough. Not much will do them in, even nasty chemicals. Microscopically-sharp diatomaceous earth is supposed to dehydrate them but I have actually witnessed them mating in bins of the stuff! Row covers help by exclud-

The Porridge Patch e all know about heirloom tomatoes or beans. In the past decade, lots of folks have stepped up to the (dinner) plate and now save their own seeds. Veteran seed savers, however, have always been a trifle disappointed that few people have taken the next step with more involved seed crops that are a bit difficult to keep pure, like carrots or mustards (the latter is a broad category that not only includes greens but broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collards and others, many of which freely cross-pollinate). But take it even further than that. Grains. Yeah it’s fashionable to slag on wheat these days but remember there are still dozens of old wheat varieties that date back to the days before high-gluten was prized. And what about oats, barley, rye, millet and buckwheat? Enter Sustainable Seed Company; take a look at their heritage grain seed offerings and consider planting a little bit o’ grain. Thirty years ago, in the old seed saving days, we called it a Pancake Patch because it wasn’t big enough to supply you with bread year round but a few darn good meals of hotcakes or cream o’ wheat. Check it: sus


Hip-Hop(pers) At the end of April, we received a considerable amount of calls about plagues of grasshoppers in “biblical proportions” on the Westside of ’Burque. Well, in today’s paper (May 8) it’s front page news. So far it doesn’t look as bad as expected but be prepared. A dry spring can trigger a hopper explosion. Hmmm. Come to think of it, so can a damp spring. No telling what will bring the little boogers out but they are indeed here so it’s best to be prepared. Dust Bowl old-timers will tell you about intentionally setting fire to hundreds of prairie acres to combat the millions (yes, millions) of hoppers that threatened not only their livelihood but their food supplies. Luckily we don’t do that anymore, but the agri-biz scorched earth policy of toxic sprays isn’t much better. So what does this mean for you the home gardener?

itchy green


The hens knew what was up and endlessly patrolled, SCOOPING UP any HOPPER that dared enter.

June 2014 13

ITCHY GREEN THUMB Note: you shouldn’t get the bait wet or it will lose effectiveness. And finally it will kill harmless crickets too. Geez, I’m making this stuff sound like it’s not worth it. Believe me, it is if you’re protecting a vital food supply. For a hobby backyard garden, well, maybe the hopper year is the year nature gets a bigger share of your crop? Poultry is an excellent grasshopper control if you can keep the birds from eating your plants. My chickens are hearty meat eaters and prefer bugs over almost any other food—with the exception of mustard or collard type greens (they must be southern hens!) The best solution I ever saw was an enclosed poultry run encircling an entire field. It was wide enough that it took a grasshopper two or three jumps to make it across. But the hens knew what was up and endlessly patrolled, scooping up any hopper that dared enter before that second or third hop. If all else fails, consider Prairie Shrimp—that’s roasted grasshoppers to you. Yup, minus the gnarly legs that get stuck in your teeth, a crunchy roasted grasshopper turns orange when it’s cooked (just like shrimp) and tastes, well, better than you might think. Pass the cocktail sauce, please. BY BRETT BAKKER


ing them from your crop, but I have seen them eat through the fabric to get to my succulent seedlings. Next, it’s all-out germ warfare. Nosema locustae is a spore (usually available on bran flakes) that if ingested, attacks the hopper gut and causes it to die. Grasshoppers are cannibals and eat their fallen comrades and so can help spread the disease. Brand names are Semaspore and Nolo Bait. But beware! It needs to be fresh and kept cool to remain effective. If it’s been on your garden suppliers’ shelf for long, its effectiveness may have dropped or disappeared altogether. Best to buy in bulk and have it shipped direct to you. However, it’s expensive either way: a hundred bucks for twenty-five pounds! That’s more than you’ll need for your backyard but know that even if you get the disease established, new hoppers will jump over your fence and gobble up some plants before they get the disease. A cooperative neighborhood approach is best with many folks spreading the stuff and cost sharing.






The Open Space Visitor Center is pleased to offer a Pollinator Awareness day on June 22 with a variety of activities that include: • Julie McIntyre on WHAT’S KILLING THE BEES? • Dr. Tess Grasswitz on GOOD BUGS, who they are and how we can support them in our gardens and yards. • Erin Nelson will offer tips on ADDING BUZZ TO YOUR EVERYDAY MEALS by using honey as a natural sweetener and will tell us about its nutritional value. • You can also GET STARTED IN BEEKEEPING. Want to keep honeybees in your Albuquerque backyard? You can do it! Starter hives will be available for sale. • See the film QUEEN OF THE SUN and enjoy a variety of childrens’ activities including: making a native bee nest, a seed ball filled with beneficial pollinator plants; see a live honeybee colony up close; or try on a beekeeper’s veil. Information contact Jodi at or call 505-897-8831. The Open Space Visitor Center is located at 6500 Coors Blvd. NW.




a g u a es vida

June 2014 14


at $76 million per year) and what was budgeted ($41 million) by 2026 by increasing capital spending every year until they caught up. However, for the last two years, some capital spending has been "deferred" to reduce costs.


Water and wastewater service provision is affected by inflation; there is a Consumer Price Index (CPI) for these services. With the exception of a 1% increase in FY07, the WUA failed to increase rates from the time it was created in 2004 (that is, for the FY2005 budget) until 2011 (the FY2012 budget), despite significant cost inflation.

MICHAEL JENSEN, AMIGOS BRAVOS There is a problem at the core of water conservation: when customers conserve a lot of water, the utility that serves them usually has to raise rates. Where’s the reward in that? BY

Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority (WUA) had a 10-year goal to get down to 150 gallons per capita per day (gpcd) by 2015, but customers met that goal in 2011, so the WUA set a new goal of 135 gpcd by 2024. Instead, customers pushed their gpcd in 2013 down to 138.

The WUA responded by borrowing: debt went from $260 million in 2004 to $761 million in 2009. The total declined to about $666 million recently, but the WUA announced in April that it will borrow $71 million more by 2015. Current debt service represents 37% of annual expenditures.

The initial response from the WUA was to tell the Board that there had to be an “unplanned” 5% rate increase effective June 2014 and to blame it on customers for conserving more water than the WUA had expected. However, in February 2013, three months before the FY14 budget was submitted to the Board for approval, staff said that implementing a Drought Watch conservation program would result in reduced water use of about 2.5 billion gallons (about 8%). Since most people would assume that the budget accounted for this large decline in revenues, it is hard to understand why WUA staff were surprised.

The WUA is required by FY15 (which ends May 1, 2015) to have a reserve fund equal to 1/12 of annual expenditures. Recent WUA budgets have projected at least $10 million in the reserve fund, but this year’s actual reserve fund is projected to be $1 million. By contrast, the requirement would mean around $18 million dollars in this year’s budget. All the budget says about this huge gap is that the WUA will meet the 1/12 requirement eventually.

Revenue/Expense Gap It is clear that fiscal problems at the WUA have been building for a decade since it took over water and wastewater provision from the City of Albuquerque and significant parts of Bernalillo County in the metro region.

Water Conservation and Water Rates The connection between water conservation and revenue declines (and therefore rate increases) is a problem common to utilities in general, which make money by selling their services (energy or water and wastewater). If a normal business loses revenue because customers are buying less, it can cut the cost and hope to get customers to buy more. However, utilities that are either implementing conservation measures or facing cus-

The cost of the San Juan Chama Drinking Water Project rose from $180 million in 1997 to $500 million by 2009. Costs for critical infrastructure repair, maintenance and replacement also rose. The total projected 10year backlog in 2011 was projected at $975.5 million, which rose to over $1.1 billion in just two years. A couple of years ago, the WUA proposed a plan to close the gap between repair and maintenance needs (calculated



DETERGENTS BY SARAH WENTZEL-FISHER he average top-loading washer uses about 40 gallons of water per wash and a front-loading machine uses about 25. It takes approximately 3.3 gallons of water to grow a single tomato, and 3.5 gallons to grow a head of lettuce. So, every time you wash your clothes, think about how much food you could produce by reusing that water. Your washing machine is the easiest method to recycle water at home because you have very few contaminants to worry about, and good detergent and detergent-alternative options exist to ensure you’re not hurting your plants.


Your washing machine should have a drain hose off the back that you can easily redirect to buckets or outside. The hose will be short, so you will have to attach a longer one to get it to reach outdoors. You can buy basic adapters to attach an industrial garden house to the drain hose on the machine at almost any hardware store, just ask in the plumbing department. This method works well and gives you the option of detaching the hose during cold months and redirecting the washer hose to its conventional drain.

tomers that are doing it on their own can’t increase sales, so they have to charge more, along with implementing efficiency measures and tighter fiscal controls to minimize those losses. Still, the WUA seems to have some serious problems it brought on itself. It failed to maintain a rate structure that kept pace with inflation and allowed it to make repairs in a timely way. Costs of critical infrastructure projects seem to have had large cost overruns. We learned recently from an Albuquerque Journal article that the Chief Financial Officer keeps his own budget that is different from the public budget that the Board votes on. All of this has dug a very large financial hole. This is reflected in water and wastewater infrastructure that has an almost 100% chance of a break or partial failure on any given day, according to WUA engineers, and a lack of fiscal accountability that has attracted the attention of bond rating agencies on several occasions. The bottom line: the recently announced “unplanned” rate increase is absolutely necessary, as are the already scheduled rate increases for 2016 and 2018 and likely continued rate increases through the decade of the 2020s. This seems unfair to many people who have worked hard to conserve, but it is an absolutely necessary measure if we are going to maintain the system we have. Rate increases are hard to accept, especially with the current economy and especially for people on limited incomes. The rates could be better structured to lessen their impact on the poor. In exchange for these rate increases, customers should demand much greater transparency in both the fiscal operations of the WUA and its water and wastewater operations. The WUA’s customers should congratulate themselves on being so responsive to the drought we are in and that by most accounts is likely to indicate the “new normal” in the region. For more information, contact Michael Jensen at

More specifically, there are a number of ingredients to avoid in laundry detergent when considering use in gray water: chlorine or bleach, peroxygen, sodium perborate, sodium trypochlorite, boron, borax, petroleum distillate, alkylbenzene, whiteners, softeners, enzymatic components

While I gave the example above of LANDSCAPE garden veggies, this is NOT the ideal SAFE place to run your laundry water. Better Some great detergents that have low alkaliniserved are non-edible yard plants and ty and low sodium levels (and are sold at the fruit trees or shrubs. Laundry deterCo-op) are: Ecos, Seventh Generation and Dr. gents tend to be mildly to severely Bronner’s. When choosing a detergent to use alkaline, so if you have plants that like with gray water on plants, be sure to avoid acidic soils, avoid using gray water on sodium, chlorine and boron (a major ingredithose. Some common landscape plants ent in the handy cleanser Borax). Also, look happier with acidity are: ash, foxglove, philodendron, for neutral pH detergents as we have very alkaline soils hydrangea, camellia, azalea, gardenia, primrose, oxalis, here, and many detergents tend to have high alkalinity, xylosma, begonia, hibiscus, rhododendron, violet, fern, which could seriously damage plants and soils. dicentra and impatiens. You could also consider using detergent alternatives like If you use a landscape-safe detergent, you shouldn’t have soap berries or Soap Nuts. Use a handful of these fruits an issue running the drain hose from the back of your with natural occurring saponins in a small, closed cotton washing machine directly onto your garden or yard. sack and include it with your wash. Saponin is a natural BEWARE: Just because the label says biodegradable or cleaner that works as a surfactant, breaking the surface phosphate free does not necessarily make it so. Some tension of the water to penetrate the fibers of your clothdetergents may be labeled “environmentally-friendly” ing, lifting stains from the fabric, and leaving dirt susbecause they lack phosphates and thus won’t cause algal pended in the water that is rinsed away. growth in lakes and rivers, however, because they are friendly to waterways does not mean they are necessariWhen it’s hot and dry this summer and you’re feeling unsure ly human- or garden-friendly. Low-phosphate detergents about how often to water your plants, find ways to use can be more caustic than phosphate detergents so must water from your house twice. This will keep your garden be used with extreme caution. There are, however, a few green, and your water use low. For more suggestions on soaps being made for use with gray-water systems. how to reduce your use visit

community forum


June 2014 15


FLAMENCO BY LEE GALLEGOS he National Institute of Flamenco and the University of New Mexico proudly present Heritage Hotel’s 27th annual Festival Flamenco Internacional de Alburquerque, June 8-14, 2014. Festival Flamenco Internacional is the largest gathering of flamenco dance and music in the United States.


Spanish flamenco superstars that represent a wide display of talent and styles ranging from traditional flamenco to cutting edge performances. These artists embody the essence of 27 years


This year’s festival holds special meaning for the Institute and the Encinias family, as they celebrate the resilience and support of the community, which surrounds them as they work diligently to recover from the devastating fire that destroyed the Institute’s home of 15 years on December 18, 2013. “This year’s festival promises to be one of the most star-studded, riveting events of the year, but the fact that this festival will still happen is nothing short of a miracle, as well as a testament to the vibrant force that flamenco has in this community. Festival Flamenco 27 is landmark event for flamenco, for the state, and for the Institute as we step into a new and exciting future after the fire. We are so grateful to the hundreds of people who have reached out to us during this tragic time. Out of this fire, the Institute is poised to enter into one of its most promising chapters. This year’s performers include an all-star line-up of

Sessions will be facilitated by Sahnta DiCesarePannutti and Trinity Treat who will also provide a few more structured project options for you to make with your kids. Check Out OFFCenter Arts adult workshops and open studio hours as well. Open Studio Hours: Tu-Th: 1-7pm, Fr: 1-5pm, Sa: 11am-3pm.


Festival Flamenco also offers over 30 workshops in flamenco dance, song, guitar, cajón and castanets. Students of all skill and experience levels are welcome. Festival Flamenco Internacional workshops will be held at Carlisle Gym on the University of New Mexico campus. Registration is open for more than 30 workshops. There are a number of options for beginning, intermediate and advanced levels. Workshop prices range from $130-$300. For more information about Festival Flamenco Internacional, June 8-14, or for workshop registration and a complete schedule of performances and workshops, visit the Festival Flamenco website at

of Festival Flamenco Internacional,” says Eva Encinias Sandoval, Festival Flamenco Founder and Artistic Director. Performances will be held nightly at the University of New Mexico’s Rodey Theatre and at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. Ticket prices range from $30-$90, with ticket packages avail-

COOL KIDS WITH CREATIVITY On Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10am-noon beginning June 10 and running through August 14, OFFCenter's studio will be open ONLY to kids to have free reign of the studio all to themselves! (Kids under 12 must have parents or adult guardians.

able for the general public and Gold and Premium New Mexico Passes available to residents. Festival Flamenco Internacional headliners include: Farruquito, La Lupi and Alfonso Losa.

Ongoing Creativity Workgroups are FREE and INCLUDE: Writing Group with Mandy Gardner - Wed. 3-4pm Drawing with Dave Blecha - Thurs. 1-3pm Card Making with Karen Turner - Thurs. 3-5pm Basic Guitar with Kay Stillion - Fri. 2:30-3:30pm Basic Ukulele with Kay Stillion - Fri. 3:30-4:30pm Knitting and Crochet Circle - Sat. 11:30am-1:30pm FOR INFORMATION GO TO: or call or email:, 505-2471172. Donations of funds and supplies welcome.



National Hispanic Cultural Center tickets may be purchased at the box office by calling 505-7244771. UNM Rodey Theatre tickets may be purchased at the box office by calling 505-925-5858. THANK YOU to Heritage Hotel’s Festival Flamenco Internacional de Alburquerque sponsors and partners: the University of New Mexico, the City of Albuquerque, Bernallio County, the National Hispanic Cultural Center, Spain Arts and Culture, Real Time Solutions, the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce, the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, the Urban Enhancement Trust Fund, and John Nichols.

festival flamenco INTERNACIONAL: the LARGEST gathering of FLAMENCO music and dance in the United States

La Montañita Co-op Connection News, June 2014  

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

La Montañita Co-op Connection News, June 2014  

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