Growth for Growth’s Sake? DEMOCRATIZING WEALTH PART II Moral and ecological truths challenge economic doctrines GAR ALPEROVITZ ne economic fact is held to be self-evident: that the future well-being of the United States requires economic growth—preferably, as much of it as we can muster. Despite wildly divergent policy recommendations, this basic assumption is made clear and explicit by everyone from the fiscally conservative Club for Growth to the left-leaning Center for American Progress. In the boardroom of the Federal Reserve, at the negotiating table for the TransPacific Partnership, and on the shale fields of North Dakota, our national economic policy is built on the unshakable conviction that the only way to grow the middle class is to grow the economy—by any means necessary.
Aside from the fact that the top 1% has taken most of the gains of growth, leaving the rest of society in virtual stalemate for three decades, there is a profound problem with this solution. Indeed, it’s time to face an ecological truth that makes the traditional assumption increasingly untenable, as unpopular and difficult as this conclusion might be: Growth isn’t always possible. Nor is it necessarily desirable. Growth Is Good? For the generation that came of age in the post-WWII period, the “growth is good” assumption made perfect sense. And why wouldn’t it? The period between 1946 and 1973 saw the emergence of an “American dream” that was characterized by a robust middle class and accompanied by an annual increase in real GDP that averaged close to 4%. But growth began to slow in the 1970s, and the systemic problem posed by longterm stagnation has been masked by the spectacle of Washington politics, where everything seems to come down to conservatives animated by laissez-faire fantasies and the rearguard liberal defenders of a crumbling social safety net fighting each other to a perpetually dramatic stalemate. Even if this particular ideological logjam were to suddenly and unexpectedly clear, the case for unrestricted growth is not convincing for other reasons—in particular, environmental ones, as the report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change makes clear. The heat waves, droughts, floods, and other harbingers of a changing climate catalogued in the report continue to multiply, and governments are now forced to get serious about adaptations to the world our carbon-fueled economy has produced. Despite the head-in-thesand antics of “skeptics,” climate change is real, and economic growth, even at today’s historically depressed levels, is a major factor. Other studies suggest we are approaching real limits to the availability of numerous basic resources necessary to eco-
HEAR GAR SPEAK! October 18
nomic advancement. No technological quick fix is going to change the fact that our finite planet has definite limits. And the more we grow, the more we begin to trip over them, in an increasingly chaotic and interconnected fashion. The energy business and its deleterious impact on the environment are only the most obvious of many examples: The trajectory of the hydrocarbon industry toward costly and carbon-intensive tar-sand extraction and extreme deep-water drilling now makes “sense” from the perspective of a market that has exploited the most easily available energy deposits and ignores the consequences of its actions with impunity. The planet cannot sustain this type of growth, but the economy, we are told, commands it. A rising tide used to lift all boats, but now it just drowns our cities. This is a problem. Our national political debate is so constrained that accelerated growth is presumed to be the necessary precondition for broad prosperity. We’re told the only way to help the one in six Americans living in poverty is to keep enlarging the pie until everyone has a big enough slice. But is this worth it if we lose Miami in the process? A genuine alternative to attempting to press beyond the limits we face would be to distribute the fruits of our technological and economic prowess away from those at the top and toward the vast majority. Turbocharged As Thomas Piketty’s book “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” amply demonstrates, the era of four or five percent growth in the developed countries was a historical exception, and we’re likely to be heading back to an era characterized by slower growth and steadily increasing income inequality. In other words, we need to rethink our political strategies for an economic situation likely to be dominated by stagnation and decay. Traditional economic policies, both left and right, assumed that growth could drive robust progress toward a more equal society. Take the so-called Treaty of Detroit. The labor movement’s historic post-WWII compromise with capital traded the productivity of a disciplined workforce for the promise of the steady growth of a blue-collar middle class. A look at today’s Detroit, of course, shows to what extent that treaty has been definitively broken. The promise of stable, highwage manufacturing jobs has given way to a city where unemployment is over 18% and four in ten people live below the poverty line. Meanwhile, the new automobile manufacturing jobs being created are precarious, low-wage positions, not pathways to middle-class economic security. Consequently, what meager growth there is no longer brings with it a guarantee of broad prosperity. Aggressive growth is impossible ecologically and implausible economically. We need economic strategies at the local, state, and national levels that prioritize community benefit over corporate gain, and which presume a need for local resiliency instead of depending on uncontrolled growth. We also need to develop new strategies to democratize wealth in the face of extreme inequality. Like the programs developed in “the state and local laboratories of democracy” that led to the New Deal,
numerous experiments percolating across the country in the “new economy”—building cooperative and community-owned businesses, developing locally focused value chains at a municipal and regional level, building new forms for public ownership of essential services like banking and power generation—point the way. The end of growth poses a long-term systemic challenge, and such explorations suggest that a new direction may be quietly being explored in the midst of economic and ecological degradation. It is a direction that is likely to accelerate as economic and social pain of the decaying economic system continues to force Americans to explore solutions that take us beyond the tired nostrums of the past. EXCERPTED
AND REPRINTED WITH THE PERMISSION OF THE AUTHOR.
ARTICLE GO TO
ENVISIONING A BETTER ECONOMY AUGUST
Have you thought about how things could be different? Bring those ideas and join us for a Co-opversation as we explore what it means to build community wealth. Your Co-op has invited the economist and writer, Gar Alperovitz, to speak at our annual meeting on October 18. In preparation for his visit, we want to have some Co-opversations with you. Please join us on August 21 in Albuquerque at the Tractor Brewery from 5:30pm to 7pm, and in Gallup (location to be announced). In September we’ll have two more Co-opversations, one in Albuquerque and one in Santa Fe. For more information email the Co-op’s Board of Directors at email@example.com and keep a look out on La Montañita’s Facebook page, weekly e-news and website.
CO-OP ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP GATHERING AT
GAR IS COMING Find more information about reservations in upcoming issues of the Co-op Connection. Gar Alperovitz is a distinguished historian, political economist, activist, writer, and government official. He is currently the Lionel R. Bauman Professor of Political Economy at the University of Maryland; and is a former Fellow of Kings College, Cambridge University; Harvard Institute of Politics; the Institute for Policy Studies; and a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution. He is the author of critically acclaimed articles and books, including America Beyond Capitalism, Unjust Desserts and What Now Must We Do. As a well-known policy expert, he has testified before numerous Congressional committees, lectured widely around the country, and served as a legislative director in both houses of Congress and as a special assistant at the US State Department. He is the president of the National Center for Economic and Security Alternatives and is a founding principal of the University of Marylandbased Democracy Collaborative, a research institution developing practical, policy-focused and systematic paths toward ecologically sustainable, community-oriented change, and the democratization of wealth.
CO-OP COMMUNITY COLLABORATION
FOR CHILDREN C R E AT I N G A C C E S S T O
New Mexico has the highest percentage of children living in poverty and is ranked number one in childhood food insecurity in the nation. Sixty-six percent of children in public schools qualify for free and reduced-price lunches. These statistics are deeply troubling. La Montañita Co-op, in keeping with our commitment to the international Cooperative Principle of Concern for Community and our goal of increasing access to good food for all, is most pleased to be working on a new program and collaboration with the New Mexico Department of Health’s Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program.
UPDATE CO-OP MEMBERS: TIME TO UPDATE YOUR ADDRESS Please help us keep our database up to date with any new home and email addresses so you receive your patronage dividend and your Board of Directors election ballot in a timely fashion. YOU CAN UPDATE YOUR INFORMATION online at www.lamontanita.coop, or email us at memb@ lamontanita.coop, or at any Co-op location information desk.
This year we have over $5,000 in patronage refund monies that were not claimed or that members chose to donate to the many worthy causes and organizations the Co-op supports. We are utilizing those funds to create the Co-op Community Collaboration for Children (CCCC) program. This program will provide $10 a week for a year in extra food support to ten WIC recipient families that are at greatest risk or have special health and dietary needs. We are pleased to work with WIC State Director Sarah Flores-Siever to help families that will most benefit and live in close proximity to one of our Co-op locations in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, or Gallup, so that they can shop at the Co-op nearest them.
Each family will be provided with a Co-op membership and all the benefits Co-op membership offers, including full voting rights, member discounts, and a patronage refund on purchases made both with the CCCC gift card as well as any other purchase. And just like all our member volunteers, some 200 plus of them, CCCC participants will also be able to volunteer and receive an 18% discount on their food, stretching their good food dollars even further. Recognizing that our children are our future, this program hopes to help, in some small measure, decrease childhood hunger in our communities. While it is a small start, we hope that many of you, our members, will find it in your hearts to donate your patronage refunds this coming December and help us feed more food-insecure children as part of this CCCC program. Many thanks to Sarah Flores-Siever and all the WIC staff for their support. For more information contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or BY ROBIN SEYDEL call 505-217-2027 or toll free at 877-775-2667.
La Montañita 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 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 Administrative Staff: 217-2001 TOLL FREE: 877-775-2667 (COOP) • General Manager/Terry Bowling 217-2020 email@example.com • Controller/John Heckes 217-2029 firstname.lastname@example.org • Computers/Info Technology David Varela 217-2011 email@example.com • Operations Manager/Bob Tero 217-2028 firstname.lastname@example.org • Human Resources/Sharret Rose 217-2023 email@example.com • Marketing/Edite Cates 217-2024 firstname.lastname@example.org • Membership/Robin Seydel 217-2027 email@example.com • CDC/MichelleFranklin 217-2010 firstname.lastname@example.org Store Team Leaders: • Valerie Smith/Nob Hill 265-4631 email@example.com • John Mulle/Valley 242-8800 firstname.lastname@example.org • William Prokopiak/Santa Fe 984-2852 email@example.com • Sydney Null/Gallup 575-863-5383 firstname.lastname@example.org • Joe Phy/Westside 505-503-2550 email@example.com Co-op Board of Directors: email: firstname.lastname@example.org • President: Martha Whitman • Vice President: Marshall Kovitz • Secretary: Ariana Marchello • Treasurer: Susan McAllister • Lisa Banwarth-Kuhn • 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 email@example.com 217-2027 • Layout and Design: foxyrock inc • Cover/Centerfold: Co-op Marketing Dept. • Advertising: Sarah Wentzel-Fisher • Editorial Assistant: Sarah Wentzel-Fisher firstname.lastname@example.org 217-2016 • Printing: Vanguard Press Membership information is available at all four Co-op locations, or call 217-2027 or 877-775-2667 email: email@example.com website: www.lamontanita.coop Membership response to the newsletter is appreciated. Email the Managing Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright ©2014 La Montañita Co-op Supermarket Reprints by prior permission. The Co-op Connection is printed on 65% post-consumer recycled paper. It is recyclable.
FARM WALKS ON
August 2014 2
INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT August and September BY JOANIE QUINN, NMDA ORGANIC PROGRAM quash bugs, grasshoppers, flea beetles, aphids, borers, hornworms, coddling moths, and bagrada bugs will be front and center in a series of Organic Integrated Pest Management Farm Walks presented by New Mexico State University and the New Mexico Department of Agriculture Organic Program this August and September. The Spotted Wing Drosophila —new to New Mexico in 2013, and a very difficult-to-manage pest of soft fruits and berries, will also be up for examination.
Farmscaping and other techniques aimed at increasing the numbers of beneficial organisms will be discussed, including the use of insectary plants, hedgerows, cover crops, nest boxes, or roosting sites, etc., that can attract and support beneficial organisms such as predatory and parasitic insects, spiders, birds, and bats, all of which can help suppress insect pests and/or problem vertebrates such as mice and gophers. Use of pheromones, trap crops, and row covers will also be discussed in this holistic, all-farm approach to management of agricultural pests. Monitoring for pests will also be covered. The Farm Walks are hosted by certified organic producers of a variety of crops throughout New Mexico. The walks will provide organic farmers and market gardeners (and those thinking about converting to organic practices) with an informal overview of approaches to pest management in organic systems, and—per-
Cooking with Cheese Contest BY
To ensure that everyone is able to participate fully in the discussions, attendance at the walks will be capped at 50 participants. No refreshments will be provided; plan to bring at least one bottle of water. Please wear closed-toe shoes and comfortable clothing. Bring sun protection and a hat. Restroom facilities may not be available in all locations. In consideration of the farm hosts and their pets, and the well-being of your pets, dogs will not be allowed on the walks and will not be allowed to stay in vehicles during walks. This will be strictly enforced. Parking may be in fields off-road. The walks are free, but you must register at least one week in advance by calling 505-865-7340. The walks are funded by a grant from the USDA/National Institute of Food and Agriculture. SCHEDULE (all walks will take place from 1-4pm): AUGUST 20, ARCA Organics, Corrales: Mixed vegetables, berries, cover crops, strip tillage AUGUST 27, NMSU Ag Science Center, Los Lunas: Fruit and mixed vegetables, pollinator plants, field trials of organic pest management techniques, and habitat for beneficials and predators SEPTEMBER 3, Hidden Acres Farm, Hobbs: Mixed vegetables on drip irrigation, wildlife shelter belt SEPTEMBER 24, Farside Farm, Mendanales: 6,000 grape vines, cut flowers, hoop houses, mixed vegetables, constructed wetlands
SOLARIZE THE FARM EDITED
haps more importantly—an opportunity to connect with other growers and share experiences. Each walk will be led by Dr. Tess Grasswitz (Urban/Small Farm IPM Specialist at the New Mexico State University Agriculture Science Center at Los Lunas) and myself (New Mexico Department of Agriculture Organic Advisor).
Enter the contest “Cooking with Cheese,” and help Old Windmill Dairy solarize their dairy. Positive Energy Solar has designed a system to support 95% or more of the dairy’s energy needs. For owners Ed and Michael Lobaugh this means having an energy source that could develop into a capital and maintenance fund and shave off significant expenses. Going solar means becoming financially and environmentally stable. Ed and Michael began their farm dream in 2002 by purchasing a plot of land in Estancia, New Mexico, forging fences, erecting a building, and buying two Nubian goats. Michael was ready to use his experiences in corporate America to explore entrepreneurship based on core values of living a simpler lifestyle. Ed spent his childhood on his grandparents’ farm in 29 Palms, California, where a life with goats provided treasured memories. In July 2007, they opened their dairy with a Grade A dairy license and started selling their award winning, popular goat chèvres. In 2008, with a loan from La Montañita Co-op to build a cheese-aging cave, they started making semisoft cheeses such as McIntosh Cheddar, Sandia Sunrise Gouda, and Manzano Blue Moon (a national award winning blue cheese). Old Windmill Dairy milks Nubian goats as their milk contains more butterfat than any other goat milk. They are fed Grade A alfalfa, silage, grains, and molasses. Ed and Michael attribute their success and growth to their
devoted customers and partnership with other farms and local businesses, creating jobs, economic stability and an increased number of handcrafted artisan cheeses made in New Mexico.
The aged cheeses produced by Old Windmill Dairy are the first in New Mexico to be aged in a cellar designed specifically to produce the effects cave-aging gives hard cheeses. This year they are embarking on a fundraising campaign to install solar energy to support the dairy’s needs, with the goal of setting the panels on a structure that will provide more shade for the goats. Solarize the Dairy Contest: Cheesy Delights The Cooking with Cheese Contest is taking place in conjunction with their Open Barn Artisan Pizza Making Party on Sunday, August 10, at 1pm. Cooking contest entry requires two of the same dishes to be baked. One is for judging and sharing with the community. The second is to be auctioned off to raise the funds for the solarization. Entry fees and auction fees will be applied to the solarize the dairy campaign. Dishes must be present on the farm at noon on August 10. Dishes will be judged by local artisan food processors, farmers, and/or chefs. Contestants can only enter once and must be present to win. Prizes include: donations made by local hotels, wineries, breweries, and La Montañita Co-op as well as a membership to the Old Windmill Dairy Cheese Club. For more information, tickets, registration to enter the Cooking with Cheese Contest, go to: www.theoldwindmilldairy.com.
all certified ORGANIC FARMERS!
ORGANIC CERTIFICATION COST-SHARE
REIMBURSEMENT IS HERE!
If you are certified organic in New Mexico in 2014 you are eligible for a reimbursement of 75% of your certification costs, up to $750 per organic certificate. This great program rewards organic farmers for their stewardship. SIGN UP TODAY! You can find application forms at: www.nmda.nmsu.edu/ marketing/organic-program/application. Or call Joanie Quinn at 505-841-9427 or email jquinn@ nmda.nmsu.edu.
school CAMP FIRE: HELPING
CHILDREN REACH THEIR
August 2014 3
BY SUZANNE FIELDING amp Fire was founded in 1910 to help girls of all races and religions to reach their full potential as individuals, family members, and citizens of their communities. In 1975, boys became participants in the wide variety of Camp Fire activities. Soon Camp Fire Boys and Girls was known nationwide for co-educational programs that teach children and youth about safety, self-esteem and self-reliance, responsible and respectful attitudes, social and communication skills, and concern for others, our community, and our environment.
children work in each area for a six-week period. Camp Fire facilities are divided into areas that house interest centers where children can choose to explore a variety of interests. There are areas for active play and quiet play, areas for socializing and talking, areas for learning and for role-play. “Kids Choice” is provided daily and allows the children opportunities to explore all the program areas. Some children choose to reinvent themselves in the dramatic play area while others express themselves artistically in the creative arts area. No matter what they choose, children are guided by trained staff.
Camp Fire New Mexico's KIDS CARE program provides before- and afterschool programs at school sites throughout Albuquerque with group activities designed to enrich, entertain, and educate children 5-11 years old. KIDS CARE also offers extended care programs during many school holidays, and a full-day Summer Adventure Camp program.
The safety of children is foremost and welltrained staff are key to quality youth programming. Camp Fire strives to provide a work environment and a salary and benefit structure which attract high-quality individuals, promote staff retention, encourage learning, and instill loyalty and commitment to positive youth development. Generally, programs have a 12-to-1 child-tostaff ratio in our school-age programs.
Learning and Fun Before and After School With so many parents working, children often need before- and after-school activities. During the after-school program children spend 45 minutes working on their homework. Resources such as pencils, paper, computers, and calculators are available for the children’s use. Camp Fire staff encourage the children to complete their homework during this period and offer assistance and support if needed. Children who do not have homework are strongly encouraged to bring a book to read during this time. Every afternoon Camp Fire staff lead activities intended to help the children develop specific skills in areas such as cooking, science, computers and technology, creative arts, sports, and music. The
Camp Fire is an inclusive organization, open to all people in the communities served, welcoming children, youth, and adults regardless of race, religion, socioeconomic status, disability, sexual orientation, or other aspects of diversity. Camp Fire's programs are designed and implemented to reduce gender, racial, and cultural stereotypes and to foster positive intercultural relationships. For more information go to www.campfire.org or call 505-938-1619.
DONATE YOUR BAG CREDIT!
Two of my friends are K-6 teachers, and they spend many hours talking with parents about healthful foods that their children can easily bring to school. Many parents get it and their kids come to school with creatively prepared, tasty, and nutritious foods. Because others don’t get it, the classroom can sometimes become a difficult environment for learning. My friends are constantly amazed at how many parents still do not make the connection between out-of-control behaviors and ingesting low-quality products. When helping people to understand the importance of eating real foods, I offer an analogy of fueling one’s vehicle. We would never consider pouring Kool-Aid into the gas tank of our car and expect it to run properly. So, why would we think we can eat highly processed, sugary food-like items and expect our body to function properly and keep us from getting sick? In other words, why do we take better care of our cars than our bodies and our children’s bodies?
DONATE your BAG CREDIT!
Here are a few suggestions: • Make a fruit smoothie or green drink, and pour it into a thermos or other nonbreakable container. • Heat up the previous night’s homemade chunky vegetable soup, pinto beans and brown rice, or quinoa pilaf, and scoop it into a preheated, widemouth thermos. • Spread almond butter or peanut butter onto celery stalks. • Fill a baggie with a variety of bite-sized fresh foods: grapes, berries, dates, figs, veggie florets, and a few nuts. • Fill a whole wheat tortilla or pita pocket with easy-to-make hummus, sprouts, avocados, sliced cucumbers, or other veggies. • Scoop bite-size pieces of melon into a nonbreakable container. • Slice a prebaked sweet potato, sprinkle cinnamon on the slices, and reheat. Cool overnight in the refrigerator and, in the morning, wrap the slices in wax paper to take to school. • Dry your own fruit: apples, apricots, pears, peaches, nectarines, bananas, and more. New Mexico’s arid climate makes drying food easy with a nonelectric, sun-drying food dehydrator, available for about $70 (www.herb kits.com/food-pantrie-dehydrator). Or make your own hanging food dryer for just a few dollars (www.ehow.com/how_7699049_makehanging-food-dehydrator.html). Science project, anyone? EATING FOR YOUR HEALTH For more than four years, I have helped people learn how to stay healthy through organic, plant-based nutrition. I invite you to join me at the next “Eating for Your Health” workshop on August 30, at 10:30am at the Highland Senior Activity Center, 131 Monroe NE. Registration is required. Suggested donation is $5. For information call 505-281-9888 or email email@example.com.
BRING A BAG...DONATE THE DIME IN AUGUST BAG CREDIT DONATIONS GO TO: Camp Fire Kids Care Programs: Helping children reach their full potential as individuals, family members, and citizens of their communities. Your JUNE Bag Credit Donations of $2,314.21 went to FATHERS BUILDING FUTURES. THANKS TO ALL WHO DONATED!
WESTSIDE 3601 Old Airport Ave. NW 505-503-2550
Alamed a Blvd. Coors Blvd.
BY SUSAN CLAIR ow can it be that the new school term is starting already? Along with buying school supplies and new clothes, it’s time to consider healthful foods that can be easily packed for snacks and lunches. Transportability is important, but it’s essential to pack nutritious foods that your children like and will eat, so the foods don’t end up in the trash or get traded for highly processed, sugary “food-like products,” as described by Clean Gut author Dr. Alejandro Junger.
SCHOOL S N A C K S!
Teaching children to choose foods that are healthful and will build strong bodies that will grow into brain-nourished healthy adults is no simple task. Avoiding sugary, high-sodium, over-processed foods is the first place to start. Fresh is always best. Most of us are familiar with the array of available whole fruits and fresh veggies. These foods are “alive” and full of nutrients that the body recognizes and can absorb for energy and structural growth and repair. With a little creativity and a few minutes of prep time, we can provide school snacks and lunches that children will actually eat and not trade away.
Old A irport Ave.
PACKING THE BEST
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.
a call for organic
call for the USDA
In its September 2013 Federal Register notice, the USDA issued a directive reversing, and severely weakening, the sunset process established in 2005; now allowing a synthetic material to remain in use unless two-thirds of the Board votes to take it out of use. This USDA directive makes it easier to dismiss new science or the availability of natural products. Despite a statutory requirement for USDA to consult with the NOSB in implementing the organic law, the decisions on restricting synthetics and the sunset process were made without consulting the NOSB or public notice and comment, thus without transparency. USDA continues a recent trend of announcing decisions without identifying criteria.
to restore the ORGANIC BOARD’S
AUTHORITY La Montañita SUPPORTS CALL FOR
ORGANIC INTEGRITY BY JAY FELDMAN, BEYOND PESTICIDES n June 17, twenty organic farm and consumer groups, including La Montañita Co-op, filed a petition with US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to protect the authority and permanence of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). The petitioners object to recent changes to the NOSB charter that undermine the mandatory and continuing duties of the Board as established by Congress under the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA) of 1990.
The NOSB, intended to safeguard the integrity of the organic food label, was created by Congress with independent authority to operate outside the discretion of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). Petitioners maintain that in renewing the charter under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), USDA mistakenly re-categorized the NOSB as a time-limited Advisory Board subject to USDA’s discretion with a narrowing of responsibilities. The NOSB is comprised of a wide swath of organic interests, including farmers, consumers, environmentalists, processors, a retailer, and a certifier. It is charged with a number of specific duties, including establishing and renewing the list of synthetic and non-organic materials allowed to be used in organic production, known as the National List. In response to one of several recent moves by USDA to reclassify the NOSB’s role as a purely advisory and discretionary committee, petitioners urge USDA to reverse what they consider missteps. The petition finds that to comply with organic law, USDA must immediately revise the most recent NOSB Charter to accurately reflect the mandatory, non-discretionary duties and ongoing status of the NOSB as described in OFPA. The groups which signed the petition include: Beyond Pesticides, Center for Food Safety, The Cornucopia Institute, Food and Water Watch, Equal Exchange, La Montañita Co-op (New Mexico), Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service, Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance, Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) Interstate Council, Connecticut NOFA, NOFA/Massachusetts Chapter, Inc., NOFA New Hampshire, NOFA New Jersey, NOFA-New York, Inc., NOFA Vermont, Organic Consumers Association, Organically Grown Company, Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association, and PCC Natural Markets. The petitioners continue to advocate for the voice of all organic interests and the invaluable role of the NOSB in making those voices heard.
CAN Y O U AFFORD
BY VALERIE SMITH, NOB HILL STORE MANAGER s a store manager for La Montañita, I often hear people say that organic is too expensive. Of course, my knee-jerk impulse is to object to both “too” and “expensive.” How can an 18-fold reduction in your body’s pesticide load be “too” expensive, and isn’t paying taxes to reduce the shelf cost of conventional food “expensive?” But I do understand what they are talking about. We all have a certain number of dollars for bills to pay and mouths to feed; and organic generally does not price out the same as conventional.
Fortunately food is the most flexible expense in a family’s budget, which is good because it can be the second or third largest monthly bill. How easy is it to reduce your mortgage 10% in one month? Not very! But food has many areas where money can be saved. The most expensive food we buy is served to us hot and ready to eat. I love eating out, but it is the budget buster for me. My family can easily spend $30-$40 in one meal, depending on where we eat. That can easily purchase five pounds each of organic carrots, potatoes, and dry beans. Not to mention that you will not find many choices for organic restaurant food. Cooking at home from basic ingredients is a method that always saves money.
August 2014 4
Sunset Synthetics It was clear when the organic law was adopted in 1990, and it is more clear today, that materials or substances used in organic production should be biologically occuring, and, if any synthetic materials are used, they must be subject to the highest standards of health and environmental review— evaluating all aspects of potential harm from their production to their disposal. This is what organic consumers expect, and this is what the sustainability of our planet requires. In fact, the effort to replace synthetics with natural ingredients was so strong when the law was written that it includes a “sunset” provision requiring twothirds of the NOSB to vote to re-list allowed synthetics every five years—just to make sure that these synthetics are really essential and new practices or products have not become available to replace the allowed synthetic material. This process has also led to what is often referred to in organic circles as “continuous improvement”—incentives in the law and standards that encourage ingenuity and creativity in finding new and better ways to produce organic food with natural practices and inputs.
In a wide-ranging attack on NOSB authority, USDA abolished the NOSB Policy Development Subcommittee and took over control of NOSB policies and procedures. By controlling items that it allows to be placed on the NOSB work plan and its public meetings, USDA stifles the development of Board advice to the Secretary on matters of concern to the organic community—issues directly relevant to the implementation of the organic law, such as the NOSB’s effort to provide suggestions on ways to protect organic farmers victimized by genetic drift from genetically engineered crops. The role of the NOSB and public input is critical to the organic brand and program. The NOSB has taken great strides to move organics forward and maintain integrity, including recommending that USDA set a moratorium on nanotechnology, prohibit soil-less hydroponics, keep synthetics out of infant formula, require organic hops in organic beer, take antibiotics out of organic apple and pear production, advance organic beekeeping, allow greater limitations on synthetics deemed unnecessary, take hazardous secret toxic inert ingredients out of allowed materials, and advance organic systems management practices. Jay Feldman is the Executive Director of Beyond Pesticides and is a member of the National Organic Standards Board. See www.beyondpesticides.org.
Protect Public Trust in the
ORGANIC FOOD LABEL Beyond Pesticides is asking that you help defend organic standards against USDA changes that will weaken public trust. Let elected officials and companies know that they need to stand with you to protect the integrity of the organic label, the law, and the standards sunset process. Ask your elected officials to tell USDA to put a moratorium on changes announced in the September 16, 2013, Federal Register (78 FR 56811, National Organic Program-Sunset Process) and in the USDA Organic Insider on March 6, 2014, and to allow the public the opportunity to comment.
ORGANIC ACTION ALERT !
ORGANIC IS WORTH DEFENDING! This USDA takeover of the standard setting process could, if successful, reverse decades of work to build a credible, respected, and accountable set of standards and an organic food label that has gained growing public trust. Thank you for your efforts to Save Our Organic Standards! Send an email or letter to your US Representative, Senator, President Obama, and Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack. For more information, to take action on line, go to www.beyond pesticides.org, or contact Beyond Pesticides at 701 E Street, SE, Suite 200, Washington, DC, 20003, 202-543-5450, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bulk buying of sale items can be a great source of savings on organic food. When rolled oats are $1.39, buy five pounds or more, depending on how many people you buy for and how often they will eat oatmeal. Catch the organic raisins when they are 20% off, and buy bulk organic cinnamon, and you will have a delicious and healthy, organic breakfast option. Note that a specialty coffee and pastry at a coffee shop will buy at least seven servings of your organic oatmeal breakfast with tasty additions. Bulk organic popcorn is inexpensive and a tasty snack food, as are organic sunflower and pumpkin seeds. Becoming a Co-op member can save you many times over the cost of membership. For just $1.25 a month, you can easily save many times each month by taking advantage of “owner deals.” These deals are only available to member-owners, and can add up to good savings. During our volume discount events, members can save a minimum of 10% on one purchase, and up to 20% if they stock up. Based on our profitability and how often you shop, you can get your membership or more back at the end of the year in a patronage refund. Whether you choose membership or not, there are other sales available to all shoppers, so pick up the fliers at the door to see if items you like are on special. Coupon books are also available, as are pads of coupons throughout the store. You can apply coupons to any sale item to multiply the savings.
Your basic organic list!
Organic butter and oil are important choices if you are looking to get away from conventional food. Most pesticides and petroleum contaminants are fat soluble and will concentrate in higher amounts in fats. If you only switch ten items to organic, switch your oil, and buy it on sale to keep it affordable. For those making a switch to organic, I recommend starting with a basic list of items: carrots, potatoes, rice, beans, butter/oil, oatmeal, apples (or other seasonal fruit), pasta, etc. These can easily fill meals with yummy, healthy ingredients. Have a vegetarian night made with beans or eggs to keep the cost down. You can even make fancy and elegant dishes like pilafs, glazed carrots, pasta e fagioli, etc., without spending a lot of money. This newsletter always has fun, delicious, easy to make recipes. By adding some key ingredients, purchased on sale, in bulk, and with coupons, you can keep nudging the percentage of organic food in your diet higher. Know that this can reduce the pesticide load in your body and distance you from questionable GMO ingredients. You can feel good about moving in the right direction without feeling that you have to sacrifice your budget.
HOME ALWAYS SAVES
August 2014 5
PEACHES YOU REMEMBER
RANCHO DURAZNO BY ROBIN SEYDEL y mouth is already watering as I write this, remembering the sweet, juicy, firm peaches from Thomas Cameron’s Rancho Durazno. Every year since 2005, when La Montañita Co-op first started selling Thomas’ peaches, I bought a case—sometimes two; to eat my fill, share with friends, dry to eat like candy, and freeze for those cold winter days when a fresh peach pancake breakfast or cobbler evening dessert is a special treat. “Rancho Durazno means Peach Farm in Spanish and certified organically grown peaches are our primary crop, our signature produce. “Peaches you remember” is our tagline,” says Thomas. And, indeed, these peaches are memorable!
Located in Palisade, CO, Rancho Durazno’s orchards are surrounded by wild lands, desert cliffs, and slopes no one should farm. They are part of every view, and define place and farm. The warm sunny days, cool nights, and just the right amount of precipitation make this farm one of the best sites in a valley famous for its peaches. This year, in addition to the excitement of a banner peach crop, Thomas is celebrating the return of one of his three daughters to the farm. Thomas’ voice glows as he says, “The more I think about it the more I realize what a good match she is for this work. She likes complex projects like managing the farm.” His other daughters are involved too, helping at area growers markets. Thomas has been growing orchards on his 40 acres for 33 years with care and dedication. This year he will harvest the first peaches from a young orchard planted, five years ago, on rejuvenated land—another reason for celebration. As a mature orchardist the importance of sustainability is not lost on Thomas. “I recently acquired another six acres on an adjoining property and realized that old blocks of trees need to
and the earliest ripening peach worth putting up; Newhaven, a variant of Redhaven, that ripens three days later; Regina with its outstanding flavor and eating qualities; the classic Elberta; Cresthaven, a great eating, canning, and freezing variety; and close to a dozen others that ensure the longest and tastiest harvest. Thomas again: “Our farm is experiencing a resurgence for and with the next generation.” Share in a celebration of sustainable regional farming and food. Look for Rancho Durazno peaches throughout August, and hopefully well into September, at ALL Co-op locations.
be replaced at a faster pace. I’m pulling out two acres of old trees, planting cover crops to rejuvenate the soil for two years, while planting two acres of new trees each year. It’s a little disconcerting to be making plans for the year 2020, but it’s essential for sustainability.” Just as each field is passing on to the next generation of trees so, too, is this sustainable family farm; with daughters involved and a skilled staff, who, as Thomas says “are the next wave of farm leaders.” This next generation includes staff person Christine Willeford, field boss and arborist. “Christine is a twenty something who already has extensive experience under her belt,” says Thomas. With a degree from Fordham University, for two years she managed the vegetable program, greenhouses, and field crew of a 150-acre organically grown and “Eco Apple Certified” mixed orchard and vegetable farm in the Hudson Valley, NY. Leading the pruning of mixed berries, and the winter pruning of high-density apple trees, she is an ISA Certified Arborist. The Co-op Distribution Center (CDC) has been purchasing pallet loads of Rancho Durazno peaches since 2007. This year we look forward to some 40,000 to 60,000 pounds of Rancho Durazno peaches to pass through the warehouse. The CDC will purchase all the varieties as they ripen, from earliest to latest: Redhaven, a historically predominant variety
co-op news NATIONAL CO-OP CONFERENCE report BY LEAH ROCO, BOARD OF DIRECTORS n an isthmus between Lake Monona and Lake Mendota in Madison, Wisconsin, the annual Consumer Cooperative Management Association (CCMA) Conference brimmed with a record 580 attendees from across the nation. During this three-day gathering, food co-op managers, staff members, directors, and consultants engaged in inspiring lectures and discussion groups covering several aspects of the co-op movement—a movement which continues to gain momentum. So what is the future vision for food co-ops? Can we learn from what others are doing? What roads do we take and how can we, as a cooperative body, responsibly participate in our community to generate a sustainable economy and a feeling of equality amongst us all?
The founder of Main Street Project (MSP) in Minneapolis, who was one of the keynote speakers at this conference, described an approach that “transforms the systems that perpetuate inequities.” At the root of our food system lies the soil and its stewards. It is at this tender spot where they dig in to initiate systematic change. Most food chains—referring to the systems where food is grown, processed, packaged, shipped, and sold—degrade the environment, exploit workers, and are managed by a few executives in faraway offices. Focusing on low-income, immigrant, and rural communities, MSP combines integrative agriculture practices with an economic model that provides affordable, nutritious foods and business ownership opportunities to food chain workers. By empowering an increasing number of “agripreneurs,” MSP will build a more socially, economically, and ecologically resilient food system. See more at www.main streetproject.org. Another lecturer from the conference represented the Democracy Collaborative (DC), an initiative to “change the prevailing paradigm of community economic development—and the economy as a whole.” Under DC, a project called Evergreen Cooperatives is building a network of green, employee-owned cooperatives in some of Cleveland’s most disinvested neighborhoods. These for-profit businesses were
August 2014 6
economic democracy IN
established through funding from vested anchor institutions, such as local hospitals and universities. By partnering with large institutions, these businesses can thrive. Employees are hired locally from the inner-city. Because oftentimes new hires are ex-cons or mentally disabled community members, they were previously looked at as unemployable. Workers hold
daily meetings to exchange ideas. They receive skills training, a living wage, affordable health care, and the opportunity to become business owners. Although there are criticisms as to the viability of this model, evidence suggests that more money is circulating within the community and it has great potential for community-wide impact. Partnerships that have developed amongst varying institutions and community groups are also important to note. They attest to the sixth Co-op Principle, which is cooperation among cooperatives. Learn more at www.evergreencooperatives.com. Developing an alternative, sustainable economic model is at the heart of these programs. The impact of these businesses is not measured solely in terms of their financial gains. Their success is measured by
individual, social, environmental, and infrastructural capacities as well. Your co-op, namely La Montañita Co-op, has long been an innovative organization with programs that affect individuals, families, businesses, and communities around New Mexico. Our Co-op's mission is to help build a thriving and sustainable local economy, which we cannot do alone. We need input from our members and community-wide participation. We want to know how we can better inspire and engage our community to achieve these goals. Community Wealth Building Gatherings: Co-opversations In light of this, we would like to hold four community meetings (two in Albuquerque, one in Santa Fe, and one in Gallup) leading up to our Annual Member Meeting in October. The theme of these meetings will be “community wealth building,” and we want to hear your ideas on the matter. Not sure what community wealth building means? We’ll talk about that, too. The intention behind this theme is to warm folks up for this year’s keynote speaker at our member meeting: Gar Alperovitz, one of the founders of the Democracy Collaborative. Gar is an historian, political economist, and a critical resource for communities just like ours seeking to build a sustainable local economy. In his book America Beyond Capitalism, Gar wrote, “that individuals work harder, better and with greater enthusiasm when they have a direct interest in the outcome is self-evident to most people.” Let’s prove him right and get to talking about our Co-op. Look for announcements about these four community study group Co-opversation gatherings on Facebook, on the La Montañita website and in successive Co-op Connections.
ORGANIC VALLEY OFFERS KINGDOM
BY JESSICA MOREL, ORGANIC VALLEY CO-OP ooperatives have always been about, well, cooperation. Kingdom Organic Cheddar, La Montañita’s newest offering in premium imported cheese, is the result of an emerging partnership of two organic family farm dairy cooperatives; one in the US, the other in Great Britain.
Hundreds of years ago, farmers in the Somerset area of Southwest England began aging cheese in the limestone caves of a deep gorge in their region. They named this delicious sharp cheese after the village at the bot-
tom of that gorge: Cheddar. Through the centuries, dairy farmers and cheese makers in this region have honed their skills to introduce distinctive English Cheddar to shoppers around the world. English organic dairy farmers were frustrated because the slight differences in the organic regulations between the US and the European Union prevented them from being able to market a quality organic English Cheddar to shoppers in the US. All of that changed when the US and Europe negotiated an agreement in 2012 that set up a procedure to allow EU organic products into the US if those products could be verified to meet the USDA organic standards. Dairy farmers belonging to England’s major organic milk cooperative went to work to start creating a pool of milk that complied with the USDA standards so that it would be used to make a quality cheddar for the US marketplace. The Kingdom Cheddar produced has won accolades from cheese experts around the world. The creamy texture, with notes of fresh, green grass, make Kingdom a perfect cheese for entertaining, recipes, or for an afternoon snack.
English organic dairy farmers knew they needed a solid partner in the US to bring that premium cheddar to the marketplace. They reached out to their fellow organic dairy farmers who owned Organic Valley Co-op, the most established organic dairy brand in the United States. The partnership forged between these two cooperatives is allowing the British organic dairy farmers to bring their premium, heritage cheddar to La Montañita through the network of Organic Valley. Richard Hampton, the head of the British organic cooperative that produces Kingdom Cheddar, said, “Our farmers are very proud of the bold, distinctive premium heritage cheddar that they help produce. By connecting with our fellow organic farmers at Organic Valley, we have developed the ability to bring our unique products to shoppers in New Mexico and elsewhere around the United States.” LOOK FOR KINGDOM CHEDDAR in all La Montañita Co-op cheese cases. More information at www.kingdomcheddar.com.
M O O N F L O W E R C O M M U N I T Y C O - O P, M O A B , U T
JOB OPENING FOR
GENERAL MANAGER Moonflower Community Cooperative (MCC), a natural foods store located in Moab, Utah, is seeking a General Manager. MCC is a financially healthy and vibrant contributor to the community with over 30 years of history in Moab. QUALIFICATIONS: The ability to coordinate and facilitate the overall functioning of Moonflower Market. • Willingness to work as part of a team and honor the skills, history and diversity of staff. • Strong interpersonal skills and a commitment to customer service. • Experience in compiling and interpreting budgets and financial statements. • Knowledge of and commitment to the natural foods industry. • Knowledge of merchandizing and inventory control. • Ability to work well with the Board of Directors. • Experience with Quickbooks, Word, and Excel. The Moab Community Cooperative is an Equal Opportunity Employer. TO APPLY, please send a resume to Joanne Savoie, 3241 Rim Rock Lane, Moab, UT, 84532 or email@example.com G E N E R A L
co-op news GENERAL MANAGER’S COLUMN firstname.lastname@example.org
August 2014 7
Breaking Sad News: Co-op Bread Many of you have seen the Co-op brand bread in our stores. Unfortunately our baker informed us in late June they could no longer continue to supply our stores with this locally baked bread. They are reorganizing and need to focus on their core business and so cannot continue producing the volume of product required by our stores.
The Mo-Gro Food Club will allow access to a larger variety of products for a better price. Many will remember at the outset of the co-op movement, the traditional buying club. This model is what will be used by the Mo-Gro Food Club to help reduce costs associated with running the truck/store, which in return allows lower costs on food for the communities being served.
While we would have preferred a longer notice, I can understand their position. There was much time and effort invested in putting this program together. While not perfect, we were striving to provide a higher quality product at an excellent price point to our members/customers. With more time we would have achieved this goal, but we cannot worry about what might have been.
For those who do not know, Mo-Gro is the Mobile Grocery store that began in 2011 serving five Pueblos: Santo Domingo, San Felipe, Laguna, Cochiti, and Jemez. MoGro partnered with the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health (JHCAIH), Notah Begay III Foundation, La Montañita Co-op, and with funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Newman’s Own Foundation, and the US Department of Agriculture.
This project did provide a good training for similar future endeavors, we learned many valuable lessons, and will be better prepared next time with the knowledge of what to expect. La Montañita has always been nationally recognized as the Co-op that thinks out of the box; we will continue on this path to bring value to all stakeholders. Mo-Gro: The Next Phase Starting September 1, Mo-Gro will move into a new phase of services; the Mo-Gro Food Club and Bulk Ordering programs. While the grocery trailer has served the program well, there are challenges in the long term sustainability of running this large truck to each Pueblo.
I have been involved with Mo-Gro since it was an idea on a scrap of paper and have watched the transitions it has undertaken since its inception. This work is difficult at best and the need to reinvent this business to meet community needs and be self sustaining is essential to its long-term success. Please contact me anytime with comments, concerns, or to share your good news. I can be reached by phone at 505-217-2020 or by e-mail at terryb@lam ontanita.coop. Thanks for your ongoing support of La Montañita. -TERRY B.
PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: H A I R A N D T H E P O W E R O F p H :
ACURE for frizz
BY CHRISTIE RAE, ACURE PRODUCTS Ever wonder why your hair looks great one day and awful the next? Frizzy, unruly, willy-nilly strands, maybe even dry, brittle ends, can truly throw off your whole day! Did you know that the solution to avoid a “bad hair day” is quite simple? It’s all in the pH. Each hair fiber is made up of three layers: the cuticle, cortex, and medulla. The outermost layer, or cuticle, is made up of flattened cells that overlap, much like scales on a fish. It functions as a clear shield to protect the integrity of the inner layers of the hair, supports strength and elasticity, and ultimate-
ly, retention of essential protein, amino acids, and moisture. The key to its success is that it functions best when kept at a pH of 4-4.5. Often, we use products that are too basic, resulting in a compromised hair cuticle. This means those flattened cells that overlap begin to flair out. When this happens, the hair becomes porous and external factors like pollution, the elements, and UV exposure can easily filter in and break the hair down, while all healthy internal moisture in the hair flows out. Hello frizz, damage, and hard-to-control hair!
of Events 8/19 BOD Meeting, Immanuel Church, 5:30pm 8/20 Board candidate nominations period closes 8/21 CO-OPVERSATIONS, Tractor Bewing Company, 5:30pm. See page 1 for details or www.lamontanita.coop 8/25 Member Engagement Committee, Immanuel Church, 5:30pm
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.
PRODUCE By simply using the appropriate shampoo, conditioner, and styling aids that are balanced to mirror your hair’s natural pH, you can avoid that bad hair day and all the things that come with it. Suddenly, your hair cuticle is sealed and compacted, locking in essential moisture and proteins. Your hair becomes more manageable, smooth and shiny, with increased elasticity and reduced frizz. ACURE hair care products use cutting edge plant stem cell technology to address specific hair concerns at the root and follicle level while protecting the optimal pH of 4-4.5 through the use of a potent Curoxidant Juice Blend. Salon tested for maximum performance, ACURE uses only the finest natural, organic, and fair trade ingredients available. Each product is color-safe, paraben free, gluten free, sulfate free, vegan, phthalate free. Truly natural performance-driven hair care available at an affordable price. ACURE hair care products are on sale at all Co-op locations in August!
KEEPING IT IN THE FAMILY OUR
Everyone’s talking sustainability! The Co-op is creating a thriving cooperative economy supporting this and future generations, growing true economic democracy and community wealth as we restore planetary health.
It’s exciting for Co-op “lifers” to see the next generation coming on strong to shepherd the Co-op through the coming decades. Pictured here are some of the parents and kids who work at the Co-op. While these are a few of
charlotte & byron
Charlotte Sandoval has been with the Co-op for over nine years and loves blue corn with some spice!— Garden of Eatin’ Organic Red Hot Blues. Her son Byron, as a new dad, is looking for healthy nibbles with Organic Puffs, gluten-free finger food for babies.
John & Katherine
The Mullé father/daughter team has different lifestyles. John loves to cook and opts for fresh DELI-homemade pesto & hummus, while Katherine as a student, knows cooking needs to be quick and easy, choosing Amy’s Macaroni & Cheese and Van’s Whole Grain Waffles.
the biological family match-ups on staff, we are well aware that there is a multi-generational “chosen” coop family. A family composed of staff, member-owners and shoppers that share the values of good food, good health and a belief in a fair, fresh future. Welcome to our family!
Siblings Shawn and Jackie from Santa Fe have followed in their mom Theresa’s footsteps. All three work at our Santa Fe store and are dedicated to the cooperative spirit and healthy eating! Jackie grabs rainbow bunch carrots, organic & local and Shawn stays cool with ALO Allure Mangosteen + Mango, 100% natural Aloe Vera & Juice.
Robin and Sylvana Seydel compliment each other perfectly. Eat your veggies so you can indulge in chocolate later on! Robin picks fresh local fennel from the Albuquerque Veteran Farmer Project and purple onions From Vida Verde Farm, here in ABQ. Sylvana singles out Gelato from ABQ’s Van Rixel Bros and Cocopotamous Boxed Truffles. Both items are RAW, gluten-free and Vegan.
Co-ops are a solution-based system, built on beneficial relationships based in healthy food, sound environmental practices and a strong local economy with results that justify the resources used.
Ready for the movies, the McCulleys have teamed up with an ideal combo. Yayas Light Popcorn, a healthy, no cholesterol, air popped 100% natural snack for Jim. Kaitlyn balances out salty popcorn with Harmless Harvest Coconut water, 100% RAW, USDA organic.
Join us. Be a member owner. Only $15. per year.
delights cook it &EAT IT OUTSIDE!
DILL PESTO POTATO SALAD FROM ADRIENNE WEISS Serves: 4/Time: 45 minutes Creamy pesto replaces mayo in this delicious vegan potato salad. Tossed with the veggies, nuts add a real crunch to this new spin on a traditional dish. 3 cups red or Yukon potatoes, diced into 1 inch cubes and cooked 1 cup carrots, shredded and squeezed to remove excess liquid 2 celery stalks, minced Handful fresh dill, chopped 1/2 cup slivered almonds or pine nuts 2/3 cup olive oil 2 cloves garlic, peeled Juice of 1 lemon 1/4 cup nutritional yeast Salt and pepper to taste Toss together veggies, including potatoes, and set aside. To make pesto; in a blender or food processor, combine olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and nutritional yeast. Blend until smooth. Gently toss pesto with veggies, season with salt and pepper, and chill until ready to serve.
RED QUINOA ZUCCHINI BURGERS FROM ADRIENNE WEISS Serves: 8/Time: 1 hour Protein-rich quinoa, chickpeas, and flaxseeds— mashed with sweet potato, zucchini, and pumpkin seeds—help bind together this juicy burger, packed with great flavor and nutrition.
August 2014 10 2 cups vegetable broth 1 1/2 cups sweet potato, peeled and diced into cubes 1 cup uncooked red quinoa, rinsed well 1 cup chickpeas, cooked 1 cup zucchini, grated and squeezed well to remove excess water 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds 5 1/2 tablespoons flaxseeds, ground 3 1/2 teaspoons fresh basil, finely chopped 2 teaspoons sea salt 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 1 teaspoon chili powder 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped 2 tablespoons olive oil Bring vegetable broth, sweet potato and quinoa to a boil in saucepan over medium heat. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes or until quinoa is tender. Transfer to bowl to cool. Preheat oven to 400°F. Stir chickpeas, zucchini, pumpkin seeds, ground flaxseeds, basil, salt, pepper, chili powder, and thyme into quinoa mixture, mashing chickpeas and sweet potato, but leaving some small chunks. Scoop 1/2 cup of firmly-packed burger mixture onto a baking tray covered with welloiled parchment paper. Flatten each with spatula to form thick, round patties. Bake for 15 minutes. Preheat grill to medium-high. Brush top of each burger with small amount of olive oil and place on lightly-oiled grill topper. Cook patties 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Allow to cool. Serve on buns with lettuce, tomato, onion, shredded red cabbage, or any other desired fixings. HEARTY GRILLED BEET BURGER FROM ALLISON RIVERS SAMSON Serves: 6/Time: 1 hour The sweetness of ruby-red beets and caramelized onions balances the subtle flavors of sautéed crimini mushrooms and French lentils for a terrific twist on the classic veggie burger.
BEET BURGER continued 6 tablespoons water 3 tablespoons ground chia seeds 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided 2 cups crimini mushrooms, cleaned and coarsely chopped 1 cup yellow onion, coarsely chopped 3 tablespoons tamari 1 teaspoon garlic, minced 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, ground 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 1 1/4 cups French lentils, cooked and drained 1/2 cup beets, peeled, finely shredded, and squeezed well to eliminate excess liquid 1 3/4 cups short-grain brown rice, cooked and divided In a small bowl, combine water and ground chia seeds. Stir and set aside to thicken. In a sautĂŠ pan over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add mushrooms and onion, and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, stirring infrequently until onions are caramelized. Add tamari, garlic, mustard, salt, rosemary, and pepper. Fold in lentils, beets and 1 cup brown rice. Mix well. In a food processor, combine mushroom mixture and soaked chia seeds. Process 20 seconds and transfer to medium-sized bowl. Stir in remaining rice, incorporating well. Heat grill to medium-high and oil grill topper. For each burger, measure 1/2 cup mixture and place on baking sheet. With a spatula, flatten into thick rounds. Lightly brush top of burgers with olive oil. Transfer to topper and cook each burger 8 minutes on each side or as desired. Let cool completely. Serve on fresh buns with condiments and fixings of choice. Try barbecue sauce, garlic or pesto mayo, guacamole, or sautĂŠed spinach for a delicious punch.
August 2014 11
GRILLED FRUIT The best dessert with an amazing grilled dinner is delicious grilled fruit. Most summer fruit grills well, and the flavors may surprise you! Try any of the following on the grill with a small scoop of vanilla gelato! Stone fruit: Apricots, peaches, plums, nectarines Melons: Watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, ambrosia Others: Pineapple, banana, heirloom apples Marinade #1 2 tablespoons lemon juice 2 tablespoons honey Pinch red chile Pinch salt Marinade #2 2 tablespoons maple or agave syrup 2 tablespoons tahini Pinch nutmeg For both marinades, combine all the ingredients in a bowl, then brush onto the fruit. Grill fruit over medium heat 4 to 5 minutes on each side until it shows grill marks and begins to soften. Serve a la carte, or with your favorite gelato.
sweetest LOCAL peaches! shop CO-OP!
August 2014 12
WAT E R ! A
BY MICHAEL JENSEN, AMIGOS BRAVOS lmost four and a half years ago, I wrote a piece for the Co-op newsletter with the title: “Democracy and Water.” It seems time to revisit the question, so here’s an updated version. Every January, the New Mexico Water Dialogue holds its annual meeting (www.nmwaterdialogue.org). Panels of experts from government agencies, Native nations, non-profit organizations, and businesses discuss topics related to that meeting’s overall theme. The meetings are open to everyone and give ample opportunities to ask questions and state positions on the issues.
isn’t the case. And we have the right to take action to address grievances. Most importantly, we shouldn’t feel as though we need to apologize for asking questions or challenging expert opinion (whether in government or the private
But there is something inherently wrong-headed in predicating our participation in public policy discussions and debates by first putting qualifiers on our ability or our right to actually participate. “I’m just a citizen...” ...with the following unspoken: “...so all you experts please bear with me while I try to participate in ‘your’ meeting.” Sure, many things in our lives these days seem complex and confusing. Getting trustworthy and reliable information about these issues can be difficult and time-consuming. We are constantly bombarded with the opinions of competing and contradictory experts who tell us they know what’s going on and that only experts can clarify the issues and get to the heart of the matter. Adding insult to injury, the Supreme Court had just told us that corporations have the same free speech rights as we “just citizens” because corporations are “people” just like you and me—and we are still being hit by Supreme Court decisions piling on corporate “personhood” rights. Democracy and Citizen Voices In recognition and support of citizen action, legislation was introduced in the 2010 New Mexico Legislature that would allow individuals the right to sue companies in New Mexico for polluting and state agencies for failing to carry out their public trust to oversee polluters and enforce the laws of the state. That seems straightforward enough, but this was a controversial bill and companies and industry associations across the state geared up to make sure it didn’t pass. This right currently exists only in the New Mexico Mining Act, which became law in 1995 after a long citizen and environmental organization campaign. Subsequent efforts to expand this right have also failed to pass. People have a right to speak out and act. This right is enshrined in the Constitution and in laws of the nation, the states, and local jurisdictions. However, as the founders of the United States believed, there are also certain inalienable rights—what we now call human rights—that are independent of political jurisdictions: “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” We have a right to a clean and healthy environment that supports livelihoods and the public health. We have the right to speak up if we think this
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trative “clarification” to the Supreme Court that would re-establish some of the older CWA protections is under strong attack by Republicans in Congress and by many industry and agricultural organizations. The Clean Water Act has a very important component: under it, citizens can file complaints and seek to hold polluters and enforcement agencies accountable. It’s Complicated Water issues—like many other things that confront us—can be complex and confusing. We aren’t, thankfully, dealing with burning rivers, but we are dealing with microscopic pathogens and chemicals measured in parts per billion or trillion as well as impacts on the environment and the public health that can take decades to manifest.
At the January 2010 meeting, I was struck by the opening lines of two audience members who got up to speak. The first one started off his statement by saying: “I’m just a citizen...” The second one prefaced her questions with, “I’m just a cowgirl and a resident...” Just a Citizen The speakers were surely unaware of what they were saying; they were just showing some deference, perhaps, to the so-called experts in the room. We do it all the time, right? “I’m not an expert, but don’t you think that...”
sector) because we’re “just citizens.” On the other hand, we do have an obligation to make ourselves informed on issues that matter to us rather than simply ranting without facts. We need to question authority, but not simply because we don’t like what it is telling us. Water The Clean Water Act (CWA) is one of the single most important pieces of environmental law in the country. The CWA was passed in 1972 after people across the country mobilized in reaction to the bizarre fact that there were rivers in the country that burst into flame because of the toxic load they carried. The CWA said that the federal government could set water quality standards and that polluters needed to get permits, which, in principle, would assure that pollution did not exceed standards. Regulatory agencies at all levels of government don’t adequately enforce the CWA. Polluters may fail to document their pollution although their permits require it. Or they may lie or mislead with the information they do supply. Agencies may not act on the information they have. Or they may just give the company a little slap on the wrist. The Supreme Court in 2006 substantially weakened the CWA. Efforts currently underway in the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers to provide an adminis-
We don’t need to make matters even more complicated by being hesitant to assert our rights as citizens. But there can be unintended consequences, which means that when raising our voices to assert citizen claims, we need to look at the larger context, too. In Mora County, the commissioners blocked fracking by the oil and gas industry within the county. Not everyone on the Commission or in the County believed this was the best approach to take and it is currently under challenge from the industry. While supporting the intent of the Mora ban, I would point out that other county commissions, in places in and out of New Mexico, have also started claiming the authority to assert ultimate control over natural resources within their boundaries, but in ways that dismantle environmental and public health safeguards. Not every citizen voice is going to say the same thing and devolving authority down to the lowest levels of government removes protections that higher levels can offer. This was a lesson from the Civil Rights movement, where state-level prosecution failed and justice eventually came through federal courts. If we are going to push for more community-based control, we also need to get guarantees for the environment and public health that can be enforced at the state and federal level, because some county commissions are run by people like Cliven Bundy (www.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Bundy_standoff) and others within the “sovereign citizen” movement. For more information, contact Michael Jensen at email@example.com.
SANTA FE WATERSHED ASSOCIATION A C L I M AT E C H A N G E A D A P TAT I O N P L A N F O R
S A N TA F E
On Thursday, August 21, the Santa Fe Watershed will be sponsoring a forum on the recently released Climate Adaptation Plan for the Santa Fe River Watershed. Long periods of drought, unprecedented storm events, warmer average temperatures, rising seas, unpredictable weather patterns—we already see the impacts of a changing climate. Whether we like it or not, we are entering a period of climate change on a global scale that is shifting weather patterns everywhere. Fortunately, we can do something about it. Seeing these patterns take hold, the Santa Fe Watershed Association (SFWA) contracted with the Model Forest Policy Program to develop a
climate adaptation plan through their Climate Solutions University (CSU) planning process. Under their guidance, Esha Chiocchio led a team of experts from the greater Santa Fe community in developing a holistic approach to address the most pressing vulnerabilities and create an action plan to add long-term resilience to the Watershed and Santa Fe community. Read the plan at www.santafewatershed. org then come to the gathering to discuss what we can do together! For more information on dates, times, and place contact them at 1413 2nd Street, #3, Santa Fe, NM 87505, or 505820-1696.
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It’s HEMPENING! by Ruth Fahrbach, Taos Hemp LLC
emp, Cannabis sativa, covers a lot of ground in the literal sense. This plant genus will grow nearly anywhere with little water and no pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides. No way does this plant equate with being "high." It is an economic wonder and an agrarian salvation. As the planet becomes more arid from climate change and farmlands are planted with mono-crops year after year, depleting soil and whole ecosystems, it is imperative to understand hemp's revitalizing role. Hemp yields food, clothing, shelter, medicine, and fuel. Hemp can fill some of our basic needs. Hempseeds, aka “hemp hearts,” are high in omega 3 and omega 6 essential fatty acids; the EFA's our bodies do not produce on their own. The brain thrives on this oil along with the rest of the body. Hemp hearts have a perfectly crafted 3:1 super omega-3 Stearidonic Acid (SDA) and super omega-6 Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA). Hemp seed can be hulled and used in many ways: sprinkle on smoothies, cereals, salads, or just eat a handful and taste the nutty flavor. Birds, too, love hemp! It's the highest protein in the plant kingdom after the soybean. There are no recognized allergens or gluten in hemp. With the omega-3 EFA and high vitamin E content, hemp oil is perfect for body care products. For more info go to www.hempoilcan.com, www.nutiva.com, www.livingharvest.com, www.manitobaharvest.com, www. thehempest.com. Hemp grows tall and lanky, up to 15 feet high, dependent on the seed cultivar. Choosing the correct cultivar requires awareness of altitude and humidity. It takes four to five months to grow hempseed. Hemp's taproot sinks deep, to eight feet and aerates the soil. Textile production is another use for the plant. The long strand fiber of the stalk is the strongest fiber on the planet. China is the leading producer of hemp textiles. China's hemp textile goal: 1.3 million hectares of farmland, equivalent to ten million tons of hemp plants and thus two million tons of hemp fiber for textiles. Romania, Hungary, Laos, and Canada are some of the secondary hemp textile manufacturers. For details: www.envirotextiles. com, www.hemptraders.com.
From the hemp stalk's core comes the “hurd.” When pulverized with the “shiv,” the smaller hackled fiber pieces on the stalk, it can then be compressed into fiberboard, building blocks (similar to adobes), plastic automobile parts, insulation, and hempcrete (hemp mixed with lime). Building with hemp is carbon neutral to carbon negative for industrial use, non-toxic, and stronger than wood. These attributes make hemp a no brainer for building. The film “Bringing It Home” shows how hemp is a toxic building syndrome cure for the building industry. Through a process called gasification, fuel can be made from hemp. Hemp has a high lignin content and thus is superb for biofuel and plastic production. Phyto-remediation with hemp cleans up benzenes, toluenes, xylenes, and sulfolines so effectively that the plant retains its industrial usage for building materials, paper, and fuel after its use in environmental detox. It shows great promise as a phyto-remediation healer for land with toxic chemical waste. See www.hempcleans.com. In February 2014, President Obama signed the US Farm Bill, approving states who have passed legislation for industrial hemp to proceed with pilot studies and research. A first step is establishing the appropriate seed cultivars for each state. Twenty-three states have passed state bills. Colorado and Kentucky planted their fields in 2013 and 2014 respectively. Read more at www.vote hemp.com, www.hempfornewmexico.com, www.hemp historyweek.com, www.thehia.org. A half billion dollar industry in the US currently imports hemp materials: Canada for seed, China for textiles, and European Union for building materials. Production of hemp could mean major economic development for farmers in arid lands agriculture. The American farmer can net $300 to $800/acre, depending on the final usage of his hemp crop. Hemp is a multitasker that is bringing our economy back and providing work for farmers. Support hemp legislation in New Mexico and vote online at www.votehemp.com.
LOCAL LA MONTAÑITA
gardening Understanding Viewpoints
SUBTLE SOLUTIONS FOR A
BY BRETT BAKKER ometimes we’re so caught up in our own belief systems that we can’t see other viewpoints. I don’t mean that we don’t want to but that we just can’t imagine an opposing viewpoint. The June 5, 2014, issue of a publication called Southwest Farm Press includes a commentary entitled “Vermont labeling law—victory of hype over substance.” In it, we, (the organic crowd) are an alien entity to author Elton Robinson. (Notice how I bring you, dear reader, into my confidence and sympathies by using the word “we”? Bollocks. An old writers’ trick from an old writer).
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ing the public to have upturned noses whenever they heard the word. Next, Robinson delivers the key sentence in the entire piece, “And what if... we demanded from our legislators that anything made organically had to be labeled as such?”
Robinson cries foul at Vermont’s GMO labeling bill, claiming it is being used to “wage war” on non-organic folk. It is, he says, “not really about the right to choose. It’s about the supposed virtues of going organic.” Well, no, actually it is about the right to choose. Given the ubiquity of GMOs in the worldwide food supply, labelling would be a major victory. Everyone going organic would be pure gravy. He goes on to infer that organic wackos like me have given GMOs a bad name through smear campaigns. Guilty as charged, I’d say. I mean, guilty that I’ve given GMOs a (well-deserved) bad name (I won’t cast aspersions on y’all, but me? I am indeed a wacko). He ponders what would happen if his side took a similar tack of smearing organic, caus-
I had to read this a few times to make sure I was getting it right. This is what I mean about not understanding the other side. This is exactly what most of us want. The USDA/National Organic Program has taken a deserved beating in the press because a lot of it is silly if not downright antithetical to true organic principles. But for better or worse, this regulation of organic production is all we’ve got. Don’t underestimate how powerful the grocery industry lobby is and why the organic rules got that way. Now, when I say “it’s all we’ve got,” I mean it’s all we’ve got at that interstate/international scale. Your average small farmer that sells only at farmers markets is likely doing very well without organic certi-
Have you thought about how things could be different? Bring those ideas and join us for a Co-opversation as we explore what it means to build community wealth. Join us on August 21 in Albuquerque at the Tractor Brewery from 5:30pm to 7pm, and in Gallup (location TBA). For more information email the Co-op’s Board of Directors at firstname.lastname@example.org. ENVISIONING A BETTER ECONOMY
fication, thank you. But when it comes to commodities like rice, oil, soy, and the like, things that can’t really be produced in small backyard gardens, I am completely for organic certification, “warts” and all. Robinson’s closing statement wraps it up, “The reality is that the world needs biotechnology” to supply “the world with food and fiber.” Yanking a carrot out of the ground and wiping it on my pants and taking a chomp is my reality, but for industrial agriculture, Robinson’s outlook is their reality. He would question this thought as much as you or I would question the value of earthworms. To him and his colleagues, it is a given: the world is incapable of feeding itself and besides, how can you have a successful (and dominant) economy without export, import, and complicated trade balances? And this is where these guys are absolutely correct. To be successful in producing crops centralized on that scale, you must have synthetic fertilizers, massive infrastructure, GMOs, foreign trade partners, and the like. This is exactly where the polarization in modern politics is rooted. Whether you’re pro or con, things like GMOs, health care, or reproductive rights are merely details that are givens within your core belief. If someone truly believes that man has dominion over the earth, you’re not going to change their mind about the importance of the endangered Silvery Minnow, never mind something as major as GMOs. Understanding the “opposition” arms you with insight and clarity and the realization that the solutions (whatever they are) are much more subtle and (to quote Jack Nicholson in Chinatown) “Require a certain amount of finesse.”
TION A S R E
COMMONBOUND NEW ECONOMY COALITION
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CHANGING THE STORY
loans outstanding, for a total of $9.5 million. We have 140 co-op apartment loans outstanding, for about $12 million,” reported Linda Levy, CEO of the Lower East Side Peoples Federal Credit Union. • As Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) gains membership, so has Community Supported
SHOWS THE WAY
• Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the usual measure of “economic activity,”—including activities such as oil spill cleanup and cancer treatment— is being re-worked to be a full-cost accounting method. Among the panelists discussing the adoption of a Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) by four states—Maryland, Oregon, Utah, and Vermont—and moves to adopt it in 16 others, was Oregon’s First Lady and GPI champion, Cylvia Hayes. • Talk of what constitutes the Commons—land, air, water, creative ideas, culture, genetics, the Internet, etc.—that shouldn’t be monetized and privatized got some general agreement, but the devil’s in the details. The true meaning of the so-called sharing economy was hotly debated. (For sharing economy information go to www.shareable.net. For critiques of the corporate takeover and undermining of regulations, read Andrew Leonard on Salon.com.)
BY MARIANNE DICKINSON t looks as if the new economy’s time has come if the New Economy Coalition’s conference, “Commonbound” is any indication. Held in Boston in June, “Commonbound” was the culmination of ten summits held at colleges around the country. It drew 650 participants, almost double the expected attendance.
Most amazing was the participants’ diversity in age (perhaps half under 30), gender, race/ethnicity, and the paths they are blazing to a “just and regenerative” economy and society. Workshops specifically for LGBT, youth, and communities of color articulated what economic justice and sustainability means for them. Our small New Mexico contingent was drawn to the event by New Economy thinkers—Gar Alperovitz, Hunter Lovins, Gus Speth, Juliet Schor—but we found them to be humbly blended in panels with activists, organizers, policy researchers, funders, worker co-op members, environmental advocates, and storytellers. Changing the story about our relationship with money and with nature is an important role for the creative community, so a significant place in the program and workshops was given to creating a new story of cooperation rather than competition, sustainability rather than endless growth, democracy rather than great inequality. Plenty of books and news media deliver the story of the failures of our economic system, climate change, and governance. At “Commonbound” we heard many stories of change taking place now as well as future possibilities. These included: • “We make loans to low income housing Co-op members, as well as the co-ops themselves. The co-ops are created following the City taking ownership of the buildings due to tax arrears... [and] are income and resale restricted. The cost of an apartment for a current tenant is $2,500. The cost to an “outsider” (who still must meet the income restrictions) is around $50K. We currently have 50
Fishery (CSF), reports the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance, which has as its slogan “Who Fishes Matters.” New England is becoming highly organized in support of local fishermen, who receive a higher value for their fish so they need to catch fewer fish, placing less strain on fish populations. As consumers learn the huge negative impacts of “factory fishing,” they learn to ask where, when, and how their seafood was caught. (The fact that 50% of our country’s seafood is shipped to lowwage countries to prep, then sold back to us, just highlights the need for more direct marketing.)
• “Is There a Place for Global Corporations in a Regenerative Economy?” Some argue that the New or Regenerative economy must be scaled up to be able to produce what is needed, but question whether Walmart can be made to follow such radical business practices as Patagonia’s. If we still want to have our coffee, tea, and chocolate, we need global trade, but how that fully transitions to fair trade and sustainable production is a huge challenge. And... what is the definition of “sustainable” anyway? In the tide of greenwashing, the term is almost as murky as “natural.” THE MESSAGE OF COMMONBOUND: Great energy and vision create a just and regenerative New Economy. See highlights at commonbound.org and hear organizer Ed Whitfield’s opening speech. “It isn’t enough to teach a man to fish if he doesn’t have access to a fishing pole and the fishing hole.“
BANKING ON NEW MEXICO SYMPOSIUM ON SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIES WeArePeopleHere! and the Public Banking Institute together present a national public banking symposium, Banking on New Mexico: Funding Local, Sustainable Economies. This is a symposium to educate and inform the citizens of New Mexico about the role a public bank could play in supporting the creation of a sustainable, more democratic economy. • Participate in this full day symposium on Saturday, September 27, 9:30am to 9:30pm at the
Santa Fe Community Convention Center. Fees are $40 general admission/$10 students. Santa Fe Community Convention Center. FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO REGISTER: www.bankingonnewmexico.org. FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT PUBLIC BANKING: www.publicbankinginstitute.org, The Public Banking Institute www/banknd.nd.gov, The Bank of North Dakota has been a public bank for nearly 100 years Watch the interview with Gwen Hallsmith at bit.ly/1l7zHkm
Published on Aug 1, 2014
The La Montañita Co-op Connection tells stories of our local foodshed--from recipes to science to politics to community events. Ownership in...