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Editors Note: Again this year La Montañita Co-op is honored to be sponsoring the New Mexico Organic Farming Conference. Each year this conference brings together hundreds of southwestern farmers and forwards organic food production know how. La Montañita's Distribution Center is also pleased to be a major donor, helping to feed all conference participants. This year the conference will again be held in Albuquerque at the Marriott Pyramid Hotel. This is a not to be missed food and farming educational event. BY SAGE FAULKNER ru Rivers and Paul Muller of Full Belly Farm have farmed organically in the Capay Valley for the past 32 years. During this time, they have evolved to a farm system that serves as a healthy alternative to current models. Each year they produce some 80 different crops including fruits, flowers, nuts, and vegetables; as well as integrated chickens, cattle, and sheep. Join us on Saturday, February 18 for the keynote address and listen to the joyful story of Paul and Dru, and their take on just how far organic has come. After the keynote address, the NM Organic Farmer of the Year, Young Farmer, Friend of Organic and Good Earth Award recipients will be recognized.


Bring your notebooks—we have over thirty breakout sessions covering issues from chile production, greenhouse basics, hops, medicinal herbs, salinity and plant stress, grape production,

blue corn trials, labor laws, compost tea, networking and soil building, to water harvesting, potato production, bees, cover crops, organic insect management, weeds, Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), flowers, small tools, grafting, organic certification, cost share program, trellising, and business planning. Exhibitors will share information on programs to assist farmers and ranchers as well as products and services ranging from organic seeds and insurance; to biological solutions and irrigation equipment. Friday evening from 6–8pm, conference participants can enjoy cider, snacks, conversation, and live music at the Career Connection where (in addition to having a good time with old and new friends) conference participants have an opportunity to connect with organic farmers and ranchers who are looking for apprentices, interns and employees. New Mexico Department of Agriculture, New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau Federation, Green Tractor Farms, Santa Fe Farmers’ Market Institute, and New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service are organizing the conference. La Montañita Co-op, New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau, Rocky Mountain Farmer’s Union, Farmers

The Farming Fun Never Stops!

Union Service Association, Santa Fe Farmers’ Market Institute, Silver City Food Co-op, Thornburg Foundation and Soilutions are sponsoring the gathering. This February join organic farmers, ranchers, market gardeners and researchers from around the southwest for the New Mexico Organic Farming Conference at the Albuquerque Marriott Pyramid. The schedule is available at Registration for the conference, including Saturday’s breakfast, is $110. Conference registration is available online at If you have questions call 505-490-2822. Follow us on Facebook to get current conference info. For hotel reservations, call 1-800-228-9290 or 505-821-3333 by January 28 and say you are part of the Organic Conference to get the special room rate.



MONIQUE SALHAB s I write, our Veteran Farmer Project (VFP) crew has been hard at work rebuilding a gently used greenhouse donated by Thomas Cameron of Rancho Durazno. We spent two weekends in December, working outside on beautiful sunny fall days, re-constructing our 24’ x 30’ greenhouse. On the first Saturday, a team of seven gathered—along with several four-legged friends—to begin the construction process. The crew started the morning, laying out the frame and digging post holes with great camaraderie and much laughter. Luckily the ground was moist and fairly easy to dig. Upon completion of this task, the post holes were filled with concrete, to create the base frame post cemented in around the assembled wooden frames. All went well, BY




with the minor exception of a broken sprinkler line. Our strong women warriors—Ronda and Robin—with the help of Matt, the landowner, remained and repaired the line. We have two greenhouse reconstruction Saturdays remaining, so there is still time to come out and assist our crew! This is a great way to meet some awesome folks, help a growing community farm project, plus work off some of those delicious holiday desserts! Saturday, January 7, 11am–3pm and Saturday, January 14, 11am–3pm are the two remaining work days. For the address and directions to the greenhouse property, please contact either Robin Seydel at or 505-217-2017, or Monique Salhab at monique.salhab@lamontanita. coop. Please bring friends and/or family members who are willing, able and can take direction well, plus do not mind getting dirty. Do not forget to dress warm (layers are a good thing), bring work gloves, wear boots, bring snacks and hydration needs. Should there be inclement weather, we will reschedule as needed. Additionally, we are in the planning stages for our Winter 2017 classes, which are scheduled to begin on Thursday, January 12, and held every Thursday from 3–4:15pm, through March 2. The classes are aimed toward veterans, active duty personnel, reservists and their spouses and family members; but are also open to the community (space permitting) and are FREE! Instructors for the upcoming classes range from experts in their fields to experts within their communities. We are happy



CLASS SCHEDULE Jan. 12 and 19: Greenhouse Management for Seasonal Production: Joseph Alfaro. Joseph's Valle Encantado Farm was a founding member of the successful South Valley Agricultura Network. A certified organic grower, he will share hoop house management techniques for farmbased economic development. Jan. 26: Valle Encantado Hoop House Field Trip. See first-hand how Joseph has successfully managed a highly productive hoophouse. Feb. 9: Best Practices Beekeeping: John Feuerherd. John has been a dedicated beekeeper for years. He will share his expertise on a wide variety of beekeeping issues. Feb. 23: Care of Backyard Chickens: Sandy and Kirk Hively. Sandy and Kirk have been keeping chickens for many years using organic practices. March 2: Humane Animal Trapping: Rob Dixon. Learn how to humanely trap and relocate critters that can undo all your farm and garden work.

to have them take the time to share their knowledge and experience with us. Come prepared for note-taking and with lots of questions! SINCE SPACE IS LIMITED PLEASE RSVP TO: or, or call 217-2027. Classes will be held at the Bernalillo County Extension Office, 1510 Menaul Blvd NW, in Albuquerque. At this time the classes in the box on the bottom left of this page have been scheduled. More classes will be announced in future issues of the Co-op Connection News and on the VFP facebook page at farmerproject.




GENEROSITY Once again, you, our fabulous Co-op owners and shoppers, have come forward to demonstrate the power of cooperation and the great, good spirit of our community. Thanks to you, hundreds of children in need in our Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Gallup communities had their holiday gift wishes come true. Your caring concern created a little mountain of gifts for special children in the care of three New Mexican agencies and organizations: New Mexico Department of Children, Youth and Families, Enlace Communitario and Peanut Butter and Jelly Day School. You made the holiday season a little brighter for all involved.

This year, as in many years pasts, thanks to our kind-hearted owners very few children were left on our trees. As always the Co-op made sure that any child left on our trees received a holiday wish gift. From the bottom of our hearts we thank you for your support of this program for the past 22 years. We are proud and honored to be able to serve a community with such a generous heart. We hope this New Year is one of peace and prosperity, contentment and fulfillment, good health and great food for you all. -WITH LOVE, ROBIN SEYDEL FOR YOUR CO-OP MEMBERSHIP DEPARTMENT




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La Montañita Cooperative A Community-Owned Natural Foods Grocery Store


Nob Hill 7am – 10pm M – Su 3500 Central SE, ABQ, NM 87106 505-265-4631


Rio Grande 7am – 10pm M – Su 2400 Rio Grande NW, ABQ, NM 87104 505-242-8800 Gallup 8am – 8pm M – Su 105 E Coal, Gallup, NM 87301 505-863-5383


Santa Fe 7am – 10pm M – Su 913 West Alameda, Santa Fe, NM 87501 505-984-2852 GRABnGO 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 Support Office 9am – 5pm, M – F 901 Menaul NE, ABQ, NM 87107 505-217-2001 Support Staff: 217-2001 TOLL FREE: 877-775-2667 (COOP) • General Manager/Dennis Hanley 217-2028 • Controller/John Heckes 217-2029 • Computers/Info Technology Rob Dixon 217-2011 • Merchandizing Manager/Mark Lane 259-4396 • Human Resources/Sharret Rose 217-2023 • Marketing/Karolyn Cannata-Winge 217-2024 • Membership/Robin Seydel 217-2027 • CDC/MichelleFranklin 217-2010 • Operations Director/Jason Trant 242-8800 Store Team Leaders: • Henry Gamez/Nob Hill 265-4631 • James Esqueda/Westside 505-503-2550 • William Prokopiak/Santa Fe 984-2852 • Leaf Ashley/Gallup 575-863-5383 • Joe Phy/Rio Grande 505-242-8800 Co-op Board of Directors: email: • Vice President: Gregory Gould • Lisa Banwarth-Kuhn • Gina Dennis • James Esqueda • Marissa Jo • Chad Jones • Tammy Parker • Elise Wheeler Membership Costs: $15 for 1 year/ $200 Lifetime Membership + tax Co-op Connection Staff: • Managing Editor: Robin Seydel 217-2027 • Layout and Design: foxyrock inc • Cover/Centerfold: Co-op Marketing Dept. • Advertising: JR Riegel • Editorial Assistants: JR Riegel/Monique Salhab 217-2016 • Printing: Santa Fe New Mexican Membership information is available at all six Co-op locations, or call 217-2027 or 877-775-2667 email: website: Membership response to the newsletter is appreciated. Email the Managing Editor, Copyright ©2017 La Montañita Food Co-op Reprints by prior permission. The Co-op Connection is printed on 100% recycled paper with 100% soy inks. It is recyclable.


GOVERNOR SUSANA MARTINEZ or for regular mail: The Honorable Susana Martinez, Office of the Governor, State Capitol Old Santa Fe Trail Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501.


THE HONORABLE JOHN ARTHUR SMITH Senate Finance Committee: Regular Post: Room 325 A State Capitol, Santa Fe NM 87501, email:

STATE PROGRAM BY RAPHAEL NEVINS, HEALTHY FUTURES he New Mexico organic certification and inspection program is in jeopardy of being phased out, due to lack of funds. We must all come together to protect and sustain it by writing to Governor Martinez, and key members of the House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees urging them to allocate $125,000 to the NM Department of Agriculture. These funds are needed for New Mexico to continue to pay for organic inspection costs and salaries.


By sending the proposed letters below, you voice your support for restoring funds for this important program. Your letters and phone calls to our elected representatives will assure the safety and quality of organically produced food in New Mexico is sustained and this program—highly valued by local farmers, food producers and consumers—will continue. Like the efforts of our La Montañita Co-op, the hard work and dedication of organic farmers delivering fresh and safe food to all of us is the final threshold to verify the quality of food we and our children have available. This important program assures organic processes are used including the ban on the use of GMOs seeds or ingredients and that only National Organic Program approved pesticides and other agricultural inputs are used. Below is a sample letter for your consideration and adaptation. You can use the same letter for all elected officials noted below. Also send letters to your specific senator and representative.


THE HONORABLE LARRY LARRANGA House Appropriations Committee: Regular Post: Room 304 B State Capitol, Santa Fe NM 87501, email: January 2017, DEAR ELECTED OFFICIAL: Assuring the quality and safety of food grown in New Mexico is critical to preserving the health and welfare of all of our children and families. It also sustains the economic vitality of the dedicated farmers in rural New Mexico, who strive to maintain our agricultural heritage by providing certified organically grown and processed fruits and vegetables, for our citizens and for consumers throughout the southwest. The New Mexico organic certification and inspection program is in jeopardy. We hope you will find funds to allocate $125,000 to the NM Department of Agriculture, for New Mexico State to pay for organic inspection costs and salaries, so this important program to assure safety of our food supply is assured, protected and sustained. As you know, the organic industry one of the fastest growing agricultural segments in the United States. With your support for reinstatement of funds to the NM Department of Agriculture budget, we assure the important NMSU NMDA organic inspection program continues to sustain our more than one hundred and twenty organically certified farms, ranches, processors and assure the quality and safety of food grown and bearing the USDA Organic label, in New Mexico. VERY TRULY (sign your name and address and provide contact information)

WOULD BE WRONG BY FRED NATHAN, THINK NEW MEXICO nder the guise of “tax reform,” some legislators are working behind the scenes to re-impose a harmful and regressive tax on food and medicine.


Back in 1933, New Mexico became the second state to tax food during the heart of the Great Depression. (Mississippi was the first.) It was enacted as a “temporary” and “emergency” tax but it hung around like a dinner guest who wouldn’t leave. The rate of tax also more than tripled over the seven decades it was in place. In 2004, New Mexico finally caught up with most other states and stopped taxing fruits, vegetables, and baby food. Today, only Alabama and Mississippi fully tax the sale of groceries. Unfortunately, facing a stubbornly sluggish state economy, some state legislators are proposing to bring back the food tax. There are many reasons why taxing food is wrong. To begin with, a food tax would harm the local food producers who supply New Mexico’s groceries and farmer’s markets cutting down their already tight profit margins. They would also be hit by the tax on the back end when they purchase food for their own dinner tables. Making food more expensive would not only negatively impact local agriculture, it would also burden the overall economy. Every dollar that New Mexicans spend on a food tax is a dollar that they would not have to spend on other goods and services. This is why many groups representing local businesses oppose the food tax. Perhaps the most compelling argument against the food tax is how regressive and anti-family it would be. A food tax would impose the heaviest burden on the working, lowincome families, because these families spend the highest proportion of their incomes on food.



Similarly, the larger the family, the more mouths they have to feed, the more food they buy, and the more tax they would pay. New Mexico is a state of many large families. There are also the health impacts. New Mexico families who live paycheck to paycheck and struggle to afford healthy food would end up buying fewer fruits and vegetables and replacing them with processed food, which is more filling though less nutritious. Some food tax proponents argue that these problems are solved by food stamps. However, the purpose of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, is to supplement a family’s food budget, not replace it. The average New Mexican using food stamps receives about $4.09 a day, or about $1.36 per meal. That is why the federal food stamp formula assumes that families will spend an additional 30 percent of their net income on food in order to afford an adequate diet. As a result, every family receiving food stamps still pays for a large portion of their groceries out of pocket and they would be taxed on all of those purchases. In addition, about 33 percent of families who qualify for food stamps are not enrolled. They constitute more than 130,000 low-income New Mexicans, including tens of thousands of children. The values that the cooperative movement is dedicated to—increasing access to healthy foods, supporting local agriculture, and helping the local economy thrive—are all threatened by the re-imposition of the food tax. Your voices are needed to prevent this bad idea from becoming a reality. To receive updates about the status of the food tax proposal, please visit Think New Mexico’s website at and sign up for Action Alerts. FRED NATHAN is Executive Director of Think New Mexico, an independent, statewide, results-oriented think tank which led the effort to repeal the food tax in 2004.


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INDIGENOUS WOMEN UNITED IN HEART, MIND AND SPIRIT BY VICTORIA PARRILL ewa Women United (TWU) is a collective of intertribal, multicultural women who reside in the Tewa Pueblo homelands of northern New Mexico. The organization started in 1989 as a support group for women concerned with the traumatic effects of colonization, leading to issues such as alcoholism, suicide, domestic and sexual violence. In the safe space we created, we transformed and empowered one another through critical analysis and by embracing and reaffirming our cultural identity. In 2001 TWU transitioned from an informal, all-volunteer group into a formal nonprofit organization for educational, social and benevolent purposes, particularly with the intention, as Native women leaders, to promote a healthy environment, strengthen families, reduce poverty, and address the root causes of many health and social justice disparities.



PROGRAM COMPONENTS VOICES: Valuing Our Integrity with Courage, Support and Empowerment V.O.I.C.E.S. is a culturally-based response to sexual violence and trauma in the diverse communities of Río Arriba, northern Santa Fe County, and the Pueblo and Tribal Nations of New Mexico. We offer advocacy, case management, referrals to community services, education, peer support groups, access to holistic healing, counseling, prevention services and outreach. VOICES is also the lead program implementing the Circling and Embracing All Children—Ta'hki Ay yaa Pingeh (Circle) curriculum for young children to prevent child sexual abuse. Indigenous Women’s Health and Reproductive Justice TWU’s IWH program encourages Pueblo women to become active participants in their healthcare, including their reproductive health. This program utilizes traditional indigenous knowledge and practices. Yiya Vi Kagingdi is a community-based doula initiative that supports mothers and their families from conception through the first few months of postpartum. YVK addresses cultural and social barriers to maternal and child health. In the context of the great range of economic, geographic and systemic challenges, we provide a connection to knowledge, services, resources and sup-



Environmental Health and Justice TWU’s environmental justice proAND SUPPORT THIS grams emphasize cultural lifeways— Native sovereignty and eco-sustenance to take care of Mother Earth and protect all our relations. With the dispossession of Native peoples from our ancestral homelands and sacred spaces, and the culture of violence engaged in perfecting weapons of war “for profit,” we are directly impacted by the harm posed by the contamination of land, air and water.



It is an Indigenous concept to see women as “the first environment.” The outdated model of “Reference Man,” an adult, 154-lb. white male in an urban setting is commonly used to set standards of acceptable levels of exposure to various contaminants. TWU has been calling for a model that protects the most vulnerable in our communities. For us, this is a pregnant Native woman farmer. In the Española Valley there are three rivers that come together and join as one with the Río Grande, a sacred conjunction in our Indigenous ways of knowing. Like these rivers, our group consists of mixed backgrounds and heritage. We are currently partnering with the City of Española to create a Healing Food Oasis on previously unused space next to City Hall. The annual Gathering for Mother Earth is an all-ages, all-cultures call for male and female unity, as well as Earth and water wellness. The gathering provides information about community-based gardens, seed sovereignty, food security and alternative energy. Women’s Leadership and Economic Freedom Poverty impacts our capacity to make healthy choices in all aspects of daily life. This program builds upon women’s and girls’ natural leadership and entrepreneurial abilities to help fight the pervasive poverty in our communities. We provide critical analysis tools to identify the root causes, and support pathways that provide financial self-sustainability. The A’Gin Healthy Sexuality and Body Sovereignty Project helps young people develop skills and experiences to be able to make decisions to support their overall well-being. We partner with them in youth leadership while providing accurate, honest and truthful information on sex, sexuality, contraception and relationships. The Circle of Grandmothers is an interwoven thread throughout TWU’s program areas. They are the nurturing breath that infuses and inspires the work of TWU. The grandmothers’ circle is a gathering of supportive elders who act as cultural wisdom-holders and mentors for survivors and community organizers. Men for TWU is a core group of well-intentioned (non-offender) men dedicated to being positive male role models and allies for protecting women and girls from sexual assault and other violence. These men are also involved in our Sengipaa Ing Vi Po mentoring project that incorporates the principles of the A’Gin curriculum. We recently achieved a significant milestone for a women-led nonprofit in Indian Country: the purchase of our building. We are fortunate in being able to demonstrate our commitment to clean energy and sustainability.

THIS MONTH BAG CREDIT DONATIONS GO TO: Tewa Women United: Providing safe spaces for Indigenous women to uncover the power, strength and skills we possess to become positive forces for social change in our families and communities. In November your bag credit donations totaling $2,466.70 were given to: The Community Food Pantry in Gallup. THANK YOU!



UNM Bookstore 505-277-9586



3601 Old Airport Ave. NW 505-503-2550

Alamed a Blvd. Coors Blvd.

We recognize and work within the intersections of reproductive, birth, and environmental justice to create “Beloved Communities” and end violence and racial and ethnic inequalities. TWU’s mission is to provide safe spaces for Indigenous women to uncover the power, strength and skills we possess to become positive forces for social change in our families and communities. As Native women leaders, we also work to reduce harmful environmental impacts, strengthen families and reduce poverty. We are grounded in knowing that in our culture is our strength.



The spirit of TWU is embodied in the Tewa concept of wo watsi, “the breath/spirit of our work.” Our heart’s breath guides our path of life into our daily work. Our breath is our commitment to live life as a prayer and to view life as a cycle, knowing that what we do with unconditional love is exponentially honoring all. Our work is done in ways that model loving, caring for, and looking out for self, others, and Mother Earth.

port that simply would not exist without this program.

Old A irpor t Ave .

Our service area covers the pueblos/tribal nations and diverse rural and underserved communities located in northern New Mexico. All our activities are interrelated and synchronistic, and seek to ensure effectiveness and cultural integrity by working methodically to overcome barriers and engage community partners within the TWU frameworks of The Two World Harmony Butterfly Model (balance between Indigenous cultural ways of knowingness and Western knowledge), and the Opide Model, the Tewa Braiding Way of Practice to Action, a social justice framework that builds upon an intersectional analysis. This model is based on the understanding that systematic oppression experienced by our communities, resulting in internalized oppression and intergenerational trauma, must be understood and addressed in efforts to promote positive social change.

2400 Rio Grande. Blvd. NW 505-242-8800

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 News is published by La Montañita Co-op to provide information on La Montañita Co-op, 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.


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organizations such as National Cooperative Grocers and CDS Consulting Co-op, both of which we work with to assist and advise us, arose to serve the needs of co-ops such as ours. They operate under the same co-operative principles as the co-ops they serve and are staffed with co-op professionals with the experience in cooperative principals that are often not to be found in local co-op leadership teams. These service co-ops meet an essential need for experience and understanding, providing an opportunity to see others and share common experiences and lessons that most volunteer boards and management teams often lack.


OWNERSHIP BY TAMMY PARKER, LA MONTAÑITA BOARD OF DIRECTORS ’ve been pondering what to write for the past week. There is so much animosity swirling all around us and a general state of gloomy despair seems to hang in the air. Political upheaval is prevalent. It’s in the tribal government I work for, certainly in the federal government and La Montañita has not been immune from it. We are polarized. We’ve chosen our sides and we face off against one another, even at the family holiday table, even within the groups we thought we had the most in common with. Where we used to work to understand, we now surround ourselves with those who think like we do, especially in social media in which we immerse ourselves. I’m as guilty of this as anyone, and yet it scares me.


What has become of us? Civility and open-mindedness used to be hallmarks of education and good upbringing, but now children are often taught to think like their parents and that those who think differently are dangerous. It is said we have entered into a post-fact era in which we care more about appeals to emotion than about the truth. How does this new reality impact La Montañita? This is what has been operating in the back of my mind over the past six months, at least. The Cooperative Model First, let's define what makes a cooperative; an organization owned by the people who use it. Cooperatives provide a method for the decentralization of capital; they keep the money local, which

we can all likely agree is a very good thing, worthy of protection. Cooperatives can sell anything; “organic” is not what defines a co-op. What defines it is the economic structure of member ownership and the integrated approach it uses to accomplish social goals through economic activities. “A cooperative is defined by, and draws strength from, its relationships” (Fairbairn).

Ideals and Realities It is said that co-ops emerge from a need for goods at fair prices and a “desire for a new social order” (Grott). This has made co-ops vulnerable to competition and every food co-op has experienced this over the past years. The less money a co-op makes, the less able it is to fund the social programs that distinguish a cooperative from a traditional corporation. The fight for social and economic change is also hard to maintain and many of those who started the co-ops of today have passed on or just grown tired of the struggle and are less inclined to engage in the process. But others argue that co-ops come forth out of political unrest and that the idealists that founded them may “become unable to discern what was really politically possible and what was a pipe dream” (Singerman). I think we have seen this at La Montañita this year with the Take Back movement. Singerman also mentions that those idealistic, passionate folks also had a “tremendous ambivalence about leadership” and a great disappointment that the revolution they fought for never materialized. I can certainly relate to this today. Like myself, many people I’ve talked to hoped we were on the verge of something great, and to our great disappointment, watched it crumble before our eyes. Singerman goes on to ask if perhaps those early co-op founders may have had unrealistic goals, “confusing power over substantive social issues with control over the product line at their local co-op." History does, in fact, repeat itself. Others contend that co-op’s independent nature may be a liability itself (Gutknecht), as independent food stores lack the necessary associations that provide bigger stores essential assistance and services. In 1987, when these articles were written, there were few connecting associations between independent co-ops and that lack of common systems weakened them, contributing to the demise of many co-ops during that era. Out of that absence and from that need, cooperative





I’ve been studying co-ops and what causes them to fail out of a fear for our own co-op. The division in our ranks is unlike any I have experienced and I want the Board that governs La Montañita to be a vital

and effective oversight committee that fulfills its role in guarding the trust the members place in it for the wellbeing of the organization. To that end I’ve been re-reading “What Happened to the Berkeley Co-op”, “Why Co-ops Die” and a few other related articles. We’ll post links on the La Montañita Board web page if you want to read these articles yourself, (which I would encourage). As with everything, there are many opinions out there but generally I notice a few commonalities.

Thanks to the amazing support of our Co-op Community the La Montañita Fund has created an over $150,000 revolving loan fund to collateralize loans to New Mexico farmers. Over the past years we have provided $173,000 in low cost loans to farmers, ranchers and food producers around the state. Now in its sixth year LaM FUND is taking applications from local food producers who wish to scale up their production efforts and are looking for affordable loans. Additionally LaM FUND is open to Co-op members who would like to invest in the local food system now through March 30, 2017. For a loan application, investor agreement, or to get more information go to or call Robin toll free at 877-775-2667 or in Albuquerque at 505-217-2027 or e-mail her at


Communication is Key For years La Montañita was lucky if it could get sufficient candidates for the Board of Directors to fill the seats it had open. Seldom did anyone come to the meetings and when they did, they didn’t say much. This is true for co-ops across the country. It was certainly true for the Moscow, Idaho Food Coop, the last co-op Board on which I sat as VicePresident prior to my move to New Mexico. I also heard the same tale from the Board members I met at the Consumer Cooperative Management Association conference I attended with several other Board members this past June. And yet now, over the past several months, more co-ops are finding feuds erupting and divisions forming amongst their membership. The upside of this division is a renewal of passion towards the direct democracy that is a foundation of cooperatives. Where else can you speak directly to those you elect? Sure, many of us write emails or make phone calls to our elected representatives to gripe about pet issues, wondering the whole time if it really does any good, but at the co-op you can run into your representatives while you shop for groceries. Some will argue it isn’t enough, the Board isn’t accountable enough or is walled off by the policy that governs it and perhaps there is some truth in that. If I have learned anything from this past year’s turmoil it is that a co-op runs on relationships and a steady, free flow of communication with its members. We might have become somewhat complacent in the past because so few members talked to us or came to monthly Board meetings. We did ask questions and we put on many “Co-op Café” events in 2015 and 2016 to solicit member comments and suggestions, but when we implemented the suggestions we received from those who attended, we angered others. So we may need to make some course corrections. That feedback is invaluable, but it’s never easy to tell when you find that sweet spot where the majority of members are happy with the decisions. Inevitably there will be a few who are not happy with the will of the majority. The true test of democracy is can we keep talking? Can we find a common, respectful dialogue about our imperfections? Can we find a better, more responsive way to listen that encourages greater membership involvement? We need your voice if we are to succeed; if you are happy, or unhappy, or have an idea you think is great, we need to hear it. Democracy is a messy business, but it requires everyone’s engagement for success. If this drama and trauma is the price of a greater, more vibrant La Montañita democracy, then it has been worthwhile. Co-ops are microcosms of our greater democracy. If we can enliven and improve our co-op democracy, perhaps there is hope for our national democracy. At least one can hope, and these days I’m looking for hope anywhere I can find it. 1.Fairbairn, “Transcending the ‘Social’ and the ‘Economic’, Center for the Study of Co-operatives, University of Saskatchewan, 2003. chromeextension://ecnphlgnajanjnkcmbpancdjoidceilk/content/web /viewer.html? ents%2Fbooks%2C-booklets%2C-proceedings%2FThree%2520 Strategic%2520Concepts.pdf 2. Fullerton, Michael, editor. What Happened to the Berkely Coop?, The Regents of the University of California, 1992. http:// 3. Gutknecht, Grott, Singerman, “Why Co-ops Die: an exchange”, Cooperative Grocer Network, 1987. -co-ops-die-exchange


DEAR CO-OP MEMBERSHIP, Who is going to lead in healing our divided community? You may think I am referring to the National political scene, but I am talking about the Take Back the Co-op's efforts currently in process at La Montañita Co-op. Using Trumpish tactics, this group has rallied followers using innuendo, false or incomplete information, putting forth conspiracy theories, and setting a tone of fear and divisiveness between folks that support their cause and those that support the current Co-op direction to improve prices and make Co-op products affordable for all New Mexicans. The group now has almost half the seats on the board elected by the members in the recent Co-op election. Their next step is to move forward a petition for a special meeting with the intent to recall

the remaining board members, replace them with their own followers, and then proceed to fire the general manager and eliminate policy governance, which has been the basis of the Co-op’s board structure for successfully functioning and guiding the Co-op over the last fifteen years. Rather than using the 80% that we all have in common in order to build a path forward for change, Take Back has exaggerated the 20% that is in conflict to propel them and their platform into a position that may mean extreme changes at the Co-op. There is plenty of fault to go around as to how our community got here but it will be those in leadership who will be looked at to heal and mend our community or we really will be going back to the 1970s, as one Take Backer told me the group wanted to see. MICHELLE FRANKLIN 30 YEAR STAFF MEMBER



January 2017 5


GENERAL MANAGER BY DENNIS HANLEY am excited to welcome 2017 and watch the Co-op grow. We will continue to try new things in the new year to move our community forward. Last year La Montañita got moving and we are eager to build on our successes from last year to improve access to healthy food and the cooperative, community-owned economy in this new year. Last year we tried a number of innovative initiatives, many of which were successful beyond our expectations, some of which we continue to do our due diligence data collection and assessment on, and some of which we have let go of and moved past.


One of last year's successes is the over 35% increases in sales at our Westside location, due in great part to our dedicated Westside location staff who have worked tirelessly to provide the very best customer service. Also the efforts of our brilliant Marketing Department team, led by Karolyn Cannata-Winge, helped grow community awareness of the Co-op on that side of the river. Other successes include Co-op-wide sales growth that has regularly topped +6% over last year. It is clear the lowering of prices on organic produce, and in the meat, grocery and wellness departments, is bearing fruit. We have been able to lower these prices in large part thanks to organization-wide purchasing systems implemented during my first year with the Co-op that have reduced cost of goods, allowing those savings to be passed on to our shoppers. We are also seeing increased transaction amounts which means all our shoppers are purchasing more at the Co-op and less at area competitors. All of which is good and all of which we want to expand upon in this new year.

Local and Organic Food Leader But perhaps one of the things I am most pleased about, is that last year our Co-op purchased and sold $10.5 million in local products from 271 local and regional growers. As noted by Kirsten Pickens, Executive Director of the Santa Fe Farmers' Market Institute, at the International Biodynamic conference held in Santa Fe in November, this is the largest purchase and sale of local products by any single New Mexican organization. We continue to be recognized both locally, regionally and nationally as a leader in local food system development. It is our goal to grow our presence and our ability to serve local producers, expand markets for their local products and utilize our resources to continue to build local production skills, markets and income for area farmers and ranchers. This year is the second year of our value chain work thanks to a grant from the USDA and the Thornberg Foundation and we look forward to continuing to provide food safety trainings and well as market development both locally and regionally. It is this work that, along with expanding Co-op Distribution Center wholesale business, is at the core of our dedication to building a strong local food and cooperative economy. Another success we want to expand is to "build our bench" to borrow a phrase from sports enthusiasts (Go Lobos!). When I arrived it was clear that we had an enormous pool of talented next generation Co-op team members, whose skills were yet to be developed. To that end we continue to provide opportunities for upward mobility for many of our staff. We instituted a program that took some of our most talented people and began training them as assistant store managers and assistant department leaders to ensure that as the Co-op continues to grow and change we have a cadre of young people ready to step into Co-op leadership positions.

January Calendar

of Events 1/12 Veteran Farmer Project classes begin! Page 1 1/17 BoD Meeting Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, 2401 12th St. NW, Albuquerque at 5:30pm

1/23 Member Engagement Meeting La Montañita Co-op Support Office, 901 Menual Blvd. NE at 5:30pm

CO-OPS: A Solution-Based System

A cooperative 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.

Neighborhoods and communities around the state continue to come to us with opportunities to grow the cooperative economy in their area; with an in-house talent pool, this kind of growth creates the economic opportunities we need for our up-and-coming generations. And indeed isn't this just the kind of sustainable economic development that La Montañita Co-op has always been about. Finally it is an honor to be part of an organization with such a great heart. I was moved to see the outpouring of generosity our members showed in their support of our annual Holiday Giving Tree program. It is stirring to see our La Montañita Fund program for grassroots investing and low cost lending being used as a model for similar capitalization in other sectors of the economy, to know that we have positively impacted the lives of veterans through our Veteran Farmer Project and to watch our Marshall Kovitz UNM Scholarship Fund grow. With this incredible base to build upon, how could 2017 be anything but even more thrilling. I hope you will join us this new year in our cooperative economic adventure as we continue to positively impact lives in the communities we serve. Wishing you all a prosperous, peaceful and stimulating year.


SHARED VALUES BY AMINE BENALI, LOCAL ENTERPRISE ASSISTANCE FUND mall businesses face many obstacles on their path to operating successfully, especially in lowincome areas that are often excluded from traditional financial institutions. From access to flexible capital to business training to rising real estate costs, building a successful business can be an uphill climb. Enter Commonwealth Kitchen (CWK). The Commonwealth Kitchen is a non-profit shared kitchen space and food business incubator with two facilities in Dorchester and Jamaica Plains, two diverse, low-income neighborhoods of Boston, Massachusetts.


These two facilities combine for over 40,000 square feet of space, where 40 businesses at any one time are using the shared storage, kitchen, and office space to help run

and grow their business, with the end goal of “graduating” to their own space. Executive Director of Commonwealth Kitchen, Jen Faigel, spoke to the nonprofit’s mission: “At CWK, we’re creating a collaborative community focused on building great food companies.” That word “community” should perk up the ears of any co-op members reading this newsletter! Indeed, Commonwealth Kitchen does not only provide a space for business owners, co-ops or otherwise, to prepare and store food; they also provide a space for business-owners to learn how to run a business, both from each other and from local partners like LEAF. In short, the nonprofit helps turn a harsh and competitive industry into a community space. There are hundreds of similar shared kitchens like CWK all over the country, including New Mexico’s very own—The Mixing Bowl. The Mixing Bowl was found-




BY TSIPORAH NEPHESH ew Mexico Thrives is a movement for change in the form of a state nonprofit association. Recent events have illuminated dissatisfaction with the status quo. The strength of civil society is being tested by a rise in polarization fueled by the negative partisanship and fear unleashed during the election. Regardless of political perspective, it is fair to say the political and social landscape is dramatically different and the waves of change are likely to be strong.


Now is the time to pull together! To create the change we want, we need to collaborate and align our efforts. New Mexico Thrives is the collective voice of nonprofits, working to align efforts, facilitate collaboration, and celebrate the success stories of the nonprofit sector.

Let’s build on our assets. New Mexico may not have as much wealth as other states, but we share what we have. We are abundant in creativity, ingenuity, cultural diversity, and talent. Our pooled talents and resources create greater opportunities and strength that alone individuals and organizations cannot match. Care about social and economic justice and the environment? Now is the time to collaborate. If you want to get involved here are some options: • Make La Montañita Co-op a safe space, show that we can be inclusive, respectful and embrace diversity. • Volunteer, share your time and expertise at: or: or: • Join the New Mexico Thrives movement. Nonprofits, consultants, businesses, and individuals are welcome to join New Mexico Thrives. Sign up online at:

ed in 2005 as a nonprofit and incubates 60 businesses in the South Valley and Albuquerque area. The soul of these shared business spaces is the cooperative principle of many being stronger together than alone, and using that shared strength to gain an economic advantage for small food entrepreneurs. LEAF has partnered with Commonwealth Kitchen and two other nonprofits on a program through the State of Massachusetts to provide complementary services to these food businesses. The goal of this partnership is to provide additional business support for the incubated business-owners, many of whom are low-income people of color. In Faigel’s words, “We’re working to lower the barriers that keep people from being able to start and build great food businesses, as means to generate community assets and personal wealth, with a focus on people impacted by racial, social, and economic inequality.” In addition to this program, LEAF receives support from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to mentor and coach some of these businesses as part of the SBA’s Program for Investment in Micro-entrepreneurs (PRIME) initiative. Through these opportunities, we have come to understand the needs of many of the incubated business-owners and has been providing them with the guidance and support they need on their journey to grow their businesses and retain and add jobs. From small local cafes focused on providing affordable and healthy vegetarian meals in the diverse neighborhood of East Boston, to an aspiring beverage company that supports farmer co-ops in Vietnam, each business has a personal story and unique contributions to a fair and equitable food system. If you walk into the Commonwealth Kitchen in Dorchester on a weekday, you will find bustling entrepreneurs preparing food, pouring over spreadsheets, or chatting with one another about their progress. One cannot help but see the spirit of cooperation at work: in an industry with such difficult challenges, the power of cooperation and shared interests creates a powerful system of support.

health & wellness

food is medicine.

Hippocrates, the Father of Western Medicine, offered this remedy to his patients: “Let food be thy medicine

medical professionals of antiquity, all agreed that a nutrient-rich diet is the best

tip: First thing in the morning, drink A GLASS OF ROOM-TEMPERATURE WATER OR SIP HOT WATER

ally for optimal health and

by Jenny Gallucci, Assistant Category Manager for Wellness


k The research in nutrition has been finding again and again that a diet high in plant-based foods, fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, seeds, nuts and whole grains will keep you from developing illnesses, slow down the effects of aging and give you more energy and happiness.

when diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When diet is correct, medicine is of no need. —ayurveda proverb NOURISHMENT

2 cups basil, fresh 2 cups cilantro, fresh 2 cups kale, raw 1 cup flax seed oil 2 T umeboshi plum paste 2 T lemon juice, squeezed 3 cloves garlic 1/2 tsp chlorella powder 1/4 tsp pink rock seal salt

He, along with many other

to prevent chronic disease.



and medicine be thy food.”

n current times, we are confronted with a healthcare system that has neglected nutrition as an essential tool for health and treating chronic disease. This, along with the demands of modern life, food deserts and the convenience of low-cost fast food, has crippled the capacity for us as a society to embody the value of eating healthy on a daily basis. On both a biological and conscious level, the food we consume informs the quality of life we experience in our body. Have you ever had the thought that living in a body is a full time job in itself? Our body requires us to listen (e.g. avoiding allergens in food). Cravings are signals directed from our cells that a need exists. How we interpret and respond can be either beneficial or detrimental. Whether your diet and lifestyle are aligned with veganism, vegetarianism, ayurveda or paleo (to name a

few), is personal. However, I would encourage anyone who seeks to be pro-active about their health, and the health of the planet, to begin with your grocery list. Your kitchen is your pharmacy.

WELCOMING WINTER Each season features a unique element in nature, with a wide array of corresponding gifts. Connecting our human nature with Mother Nature is a nice platform for meal planning and a balanced lifestyle. In Chinese Medicine, (OrganMeridian) systems in the body share a relationship with the seasons. Winter is yin in nature; it is inactive, cold and damp. Winter is ruled by the water element, which is associated with the kidneys, bladder and adrenal glands. According to the philosophy of traditional Chinese medicine, the kidneys

are considered the source of all energy (Qi) within the body. Resting directly on top of the kidneys are the adrenal glands, a manufacturing site of stress hormones. These glands “overperform” for us due to the stress factors many of us are up against daily. To restore a sense of inner peace, increase energy and vitality and to best support your endocrine system for chemical and hormonal changes, let’s begin here. With the following recipes to warm your mind, body and spirit, consider this Co-op “Food Pyramid” of Rest, Movement & Nourishment for a balanced and healthy lifestyle.

REST Our adrenal glands have been hijacked by modern life! The best thing that you can do for stress and adrenal fatigue is rest. The following pesto recipe will help to restore your adrenals and your vitality.

======================================== Michael, our Wellness Team Leader in Santa Fe, recommends HEALTH FORCE as your choice for Chlorella powder. Chlorella is a singlecelled algae used for overall health and as a detoxification tool.

FENNEL is high in fiber, vitamin C, calcium and potassium. It aids the secretion of digestive juices, while reducing inflammation of the stomach and intestines, and facilitates proper absorption of nutrients from food.

SHIITAKE MUSHROOM is the second most popular cultivated mushroom in the world. It is a rich source of selenium, iron, dietary fiber, protein, vitamin C and many B vitamins. Research has shown significant health benefits from its use.

k All information is for educational purposes only and is not intended for treatment of any illness. Please see your health care provider for assistance.

health & wellness

Put all ingredients in blender. Blend on high until desired paste consistency is reached. Store in an air-tight glass jar in fridge for up to 2 weeks or freezer for up to 6 months. Use just as any pesto sauce or dip on breads, crackers, pastas, couscous and rice.

MOVEMENT Our digestive gut is also known as our second brain. 80% of our immunity is contained in our gut flora. In the slow winter months, our bodies slow down as well. To keep your gut metabolism moving and free of toxins try this herbal combo.

HERBAL SPICE MIX 1 tsp turmeric powder 2 tsp ground cumin 3 tsp ground coriander 4 tsp ground fennel Mix the spices in a jar and store. When preparing vegetables or grains, sauté 1 teaspoon of spice mixture in ghee until the aroma of the spices is released. Add vegetables and grains and sauté the mixture, or drizzle the ghee-and-herb mixture over the veggies and grains. You can also add the sautéed mixture to dhals and soups.

Nothing screams nourishment like a slow-cooked broth. Broths nourish and support the neuromuscular system, the lymphatic system (your immune system) and will warm you from the inside out.

ONION SOUP WITH APPLE CIDER 4 T unsalted butter 3 T olive oil 6 onions, large (about 3 1/2 lbs, halved, thinly sliced 3 cups low-salt chicken broth 2 1/2 cups bottled apple cider 12 large thyme sprigs, fresh thyme, fresh, chopped Melt butter with oil in large pot over medium-heat. Add onions; sauté until soft and dark brown, about 20 minutes. Add chicken broth, cider and thyme sprigs. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; season with salt and pepper. Simmer soup, uncovered for 25 minutes. Discard thyme sprigs. DO AHEAD. Soup can be made one day ahead. Cool slightly. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and keep refrigerated. Rewarm over low heat before continuing. Divide among six soup bowls, garnish with chopped thyme and serve.

LIFESTYLE SUGGESTIONS • Snuggle with a loved one • Deep breathing exercises • Meditate • Unplug

IMMUNE BOOSTING CHICKEN SOUP BROTH: 1 organic chicken, 4-5 lbs 16 cups of water 1 medium onion, chopped 3 celery stalks, chopped 4-5 shiitake mushrooms, chopped 1 whole head garlic, cut in half crosswise 2-3” fresh ginger, thin slices 2 T dried astragalus 1 tsp whole black peppercorns 1 lemongrass stalk, chopped SOUP: 1 medium onion, chopped 3 carrots, sliced 4 celery stalks, chopped 2 cups shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced 1 large red bell pepper, chopped 2-3 tsp fresh ginger, grated 1 T sea salt 1 tsp red chile flakes, crushed 4-5 cups napa cabbage, sliced 1 cup cilantro, chopped

Post-Holiday DETOX Salad Indulge a little too much for the holidays? Feeling the need to cleanse and reset? Drinking too much alcohol, eating a lot of sugary foods and just eating too much food in general can tax your detoxification pathways. If you are not detoxing properly, you can end up with lowered energy, increased pain in the body, poor circulation and sluggish digestion. By consuming this salad, which is rich in plant-based chemicals that promote detoxification, you can relieve some of the unwanted symptoms of a holiday hangover and begin to regain balance. In fact, if you include raw plant foods such as kale, cabbage, arugula, broccoli, collards, ginger, pomegranates, lemons, limes, blueberries, cranberries, black currants and raspberries into your daily diet, you will find that indulging in (healthy) holiday treats once in a while will be easier for your body to handle. SALAD: 4 cups thinly sliced green cabbage 4 cups thinly sliced red cabbage 4 cups thinly sliced kale 1/2 cup chopped parsley 1/2 cup cilantro 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas) arils from 1 small pomegranate

First, add all ingredients for broth into an 8-quart stockpot, cover and simmer for about 1 1/2-2 hours on low heat. Pour the broth to strain out the chicken and vegetables. Place chicken on a plate to cool. Bring broth to a boil, adding all of the ingredients for the soup except for the napa cabbage and cilantro. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

DRESSING: 6 T extra virgin olive oil 4 T lime juice, fresh 2-3 T water 1 T almond butter (raw), cashew butter or tahini 1 garlic clove, peeled 1/2” piece of ginger, fresh 1/2 tsp sea salt

While the vegetables are cooking, pull all of the meat from the chicken and cut into smaller pieces. Add chicken to the soup. Once the vegetables are tender, turn off heat and add cabbage and cilantro. Adjust seasonings if desired.

To make dressing, add all ingredients to a blender until smooth. Pour over salad and toss. To toast the pumpkin seeds, heat in a skillet over medium heat. Add seeds and keep them moving in the pan. They should puff up and become slightly golden. This should take up to 2-3 minutes. —

======================================== APPLE CIDER VINEGAR The benefits of apple cider vinegar are many, from detoxification to whitening your teeth. It contains powerful healing compounds which include acetic acid, potassium, magnesium, probiotics and enzymes.

RED CABBAGE 1. Boosts the immune system - vitamin C 2. Fights inflammation - phytonutrients 3. Improves bone strength - vitamin K 4. Combats chronic disease - anthocyanins 5. When fermented in kimchi, it heals the gut.

CILANTRO Cilantro is most often cited as being effective for metal cleansing and rightfully so; this herb is a powerful, natural cleansing agent. The chemical compounds in cilantro bind to toxic metals and loosen them from the tissue.

—thanks to, and­


January 2017 8


SMOOTHIES BY AMYLEE UDELL y kids like smoothies, if they're more like milkshakes, or are pretty darn sweet. And they definitely cannot show any signs of green! I have a favorite smoothie that I know I'll always get all to myself because it's got greens and avocado in it. I love it! Actually I really consider smoothies to be more like Supplement Delivery Systems. I sneak all kinds of stuff into them: collagen powder for protein, probiotic powder, vitamin C and more secret things that I don't want to publish in case my kids ever stumble upon this article. I hide everything pretty well in tons of fruit, homemade yogurt and other wonderfulness; but with the winter chill, I just can't drink a cold breakfast first thing in the morning. I need warmth! This fall, I discovered something life changing: warm smoothies! Instead of a frosted Supplement Delivery System I now have a comforting, warming Supplement Delivery System.


When making warm smoothies, you will not be doing your typical fruit smoothies and warming them. Though you could, I suppose. Try thinking more along the lines of winter flavors like apple pie or cider, hot cocoa or chai, ginger pear or coconut turmeric. Maybe cardamom, carrot cake or gingerbread? Pumpkin pie? Vanilla? Whatever you can think of, once you start shifting your thinking. There are several ways to go about making a warm smoothie. The first is blending cold or room temperature ingredients in the blender and then heat on the stove as in a warm apple pie smoothie. Warm Apple Pie Smoothie Take one apple (cored, diced and peeled if your blender isn't the best), 1/2 cup water or yogurt

(or combination to reach your desired level of creaminess), 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tbsp sweetener of choice (maple syrup is great for more apple pie-ness), 1 tsp cinnamon, dash of allspice, dash of nutmeg. Also add protein powder if you wish and any other supplements. Blend, heat and top with an extra sprinkle of spices. The next method is to warm your ingredients in a pot and then blend with an immersion blender. You could blend in a blender, but you really have to be careful, so I hesitate to recommend that. You have to be careful about steam building up pressure in the blender and the glass or plastic handling the hot temperature. So I really prefer a stick blender for this method. Chocolate Oatmeal Smoothie Heat 6–8oz of your favorite milk with a half oz of chopped dark chocolate in a pot until the chocolate has melted. Add 3–4 T of rolled oats, 1 T of nut butter, about half a tablespoon of chia seeds and half a ripe banana and any supplements. Blend with stick blender and heat further if needed. The last method is the one I love, though it requires special equipment. Use a hot cocoa maker to whirl and heat your ingredients. Tangent—this type of As-Seen-On-TV appliance doesn't cost much but may not last you forever. My sister bought us one and when it died a few years later I immediately replaced it. It was easy for the kids to serve themselves their cocoa from the spout and it blended the drinks perfectly. No more standing over the stove! OK, back to warm smoothies. With this method, you will either use pre-blended ingredients that will get re-stirred in the machine OR not use any ingredients that need blending. I have been really loving this warm, winter smoothie. I love to add as many ingredients as possible the night before so all I have to do is start the machine in the morning. You can also prep as many ingredients in a pot the night before and whisk everything together in the morning while heating. Productive Mama's Warm Winter Smoothie Gently heat the following together: One and a half cups favorite milk, 1 tbsp nut butter, 1 tbsp chia seeds, 1 tsp cacao powder, 1 tbsp honey or favorite sweetener, touch of vanilla extract, 1 tsp coconut oil, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, dash ginger and any other supplements you want (you may blend to make frothy, as well). And really, just make it yours. Add anything that appeals to you, take out anything that doesn't. These are just three ideas to get you started. There are so many more more! Want more ideas and recipes? See more at: AMYLEE UDELL is a mom of three busy girls. When she's not taxi-ing them around, she's finding ways to maximize her time, and keeping everyone nourished and warm. She blogs about those efforts at



RED CHILE VEGETABLE SOUP Serves 6 / Prep time: 15 minutes / Cooking time: 30 minutes This vegetarian version of a New Mexico staple has a healthy combination of complex flavors. 1 cup mushrooms, chopped 1 onion, chopped 1/2 cup celery, chopped 2 T water 1/2 cup buckwheat groats 2 tsp dried oregano 1 cup red chile sauce 2 cups tomato sauce 2 cups vegetable broth 2 cups hominy Chopped cilantro and sour cream for garnish (optional) In a large saucepan, sauté the mushrooms, onion, and celery on low in two tablespoons of water until the vegetables are softened. Add the buckwheat groats, oregano, chile, tomato sauce and broth. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring often, until the buckwheat groats are cooked. Add the hominy and heat through, stirring to keep soup from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat and serve with cilantro and a dollop of sour cream. NUTRITION INFORMATION: CALORIES 138; CALORIES FROM FAT 19; TOTAL FAT 2G; SATURATED FAT 0G; TRANS FAT 0G; CHOLESTEROL 0MG; SODIUM 997MG; TOTAL CARBOHYDRATE 28G; DIETARY FIBER 5G; SUGARS 6G; PROTEIN 4G SENEGALESE CHICKEN CURRY SOUP (adapted from Joy of Cooking) Serves 4 / Prep time: 20 minutes 2 T butter 3 tsp curry powder 4 tsp potato starch 3 cups chicken broth 3 tsp paprika 1 cup cream 2 egg yolks

2 cups cooked chicken meat, chopped into bite sized pieces 4 T chutney Chopped chives for garnish (optional) In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in the curry powder and potato starch. Whisk these together and cook for 2 minutes. While whisking, slowly stir in chicken broth and bring to a boil. Simmer on low for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Add the paprika. In a small bowl, whisk together the cream and egg yolk. Whisk a spoonful of the hot broth mixture into the egg mixture to temper it. Then slowly stir the egg mixture into the soup. Add the chicken and chutney. Garnish with chives. NUTRITION INFORMATION: CALORIES 436; CALORIES FROM FAT 283; TOTAL FAT 32G; SATURATED FAT 19G; TRANS FAT 0G; CHOLESTEROL 233MG; SODIUM 838MG; TOTAL CARBOHYDRATE 13G; DIETARY FIBER 0G; SUGARS 9G; PROTEIN 25G OAT-NUT BREAKFAST BARS Makes about 20 bars / Prep time: 15 minutes / Cooking time: 25 minutes These breakfast bars are a healthy and hearty way to have breakfast on the go, and they’re sturdy enough to pack in backpacks and lunch sacks. 5 cups rolled oats 2 cups flour 3 tsp baking powder 2 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp ginger 1 tsp salt 1 cup chopped almonds 1 T freshly ground chia seeds 1/2 cup vegetable oil 1 cup maple syrup 2 cups milk In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the first eight ingredients and set aside. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, maple syrup and milk. Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients, combining well. The mixture will be thick. Pour the mixture into a greased 9x13 casserole dish, pressing the dough flat with your hands. Pre-cut the dough into about 20 squares. Bake at 375º F for about 25 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the top is lightly golden brown.

January 2017 9 NUTRITION INFORMATION (1 BAR): CALORIES 259; CALORIES FROM FAT 91; TOTAL FAT 10G; SATURATED FAT 1G; TRANS FAT 0G; CHOLESTEROL 2MG; SODIUM 135MG; TOTAL CARBOHYDRATE 36G; DIETARY FIBER 3G; SUGARS 11G; PROTEIN 6G LEMON MUFFINS Makes 12 muffins / Prep time: 15 minutes / Cooking time: 20 minutes These lightly sweetened muffins have a decadent smell. Since they’re easy and quick to prepare, they’re perfect for a brunch or get-together. 2 cups flour 1/3 cup packed brown sugar 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp baking soda 1/4 tsp salt 1 cup yogurt 1/4 cup melted butter 2 eggs 2 T lemon juice 2 T grated lemon peel 1 teaspoon vanilla In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients and set aside. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the rest of the ingredients. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients, combining until just moistened. Pour the mixture by spoonfuls into a greased cupcake pan. Bake at 400º F for 15-20 minutes or until the tops of the muffins are just turning golden brown. NUTRITION INFORMATION (1 MUFFIN): CALORIES 164; CALORIES FROM FAT 50; TOTAL FAT 6G; SATURATED FAT 3G; TRANS FAT 0G; CHOLESTEROL 44MG; SODIUM 158MG; TOTAL CARBOHYDRATE 24G; DIETARY FIBER 1G; SUGARS 7G; PROTEIN 5G



January 2017 10


BY JESSIE EMERSON lants are our Allies! This couldn't be more true. But there are the questions of how and why. Lets explore the how and why of herbs. Herbs assist the body back to homeostasis or balance. They stimulate the body’s own innate healing processes. For instance, Osha (Lingusticum porteri) stimulates the macrophages that live in the lungs. That makes them do their work of protecting the body from invaders more zealously.


Herbs have fewer side effects and fewer adverse reactions. The secondary substances in a plant minimizes interactions, side effects and adverse reactions. Dr. Andrew Weil says, “In general, isolated and refined drugs are much more toxic than their botanical sources. The possibility that secondary compounds of medicinal plants may be valuable in their own right or may modify the effects of dominant compounds in good ways seems unremarkable to me. Yet I have to explain it to physicians and pharmacologists with great patience.” It is a fact that biological organization in plants cannot be duplicated in a lab. Plants supply nutrients to help the body in its everyday work and during times of stress or illness. Rose hips are an example of this. They are a local and inexpensive source of vitamin C. Rose hips have 60 times the vitamin C as citrus fruit. Their bioflavonoids aid the body in the absorption of C and iron. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that protects us from free radicals that can cause premature aging and cancers. Rose hips are a source of vitamin E ( another antioxidant), sulfur and unsaturated fats. Take a nice trip to the mountains after the first frost and gather some. Breathe in the cool fresh pure air and give thanks. On a cold winter day, make some tea, add some cinnamon and enjoy while you are strengthening your body. Herbs move fluids. They can be diuretic (make you pee), diaphoretic (make you sweat), or emetic ( make you vomit). So when do you want




to pee a lot? If feet and legs are swollen and your blood pressure is elevated, drink a cup of parsley tea. This causes urination, taking the load off the heart, reducing blood pressure and edema (swelling). Cayenne increases the force and strength of each heart beat and increases circulation to the hands and feet, once again the heart doesn’t have to work as hard. Adding a little cayenne or chile to each meal keeps one fit and healthy. Fever is a sign of illness. Too high a temperature can damage the brain. Drinking a strong fresh cup of ginger tea will cause sweating and bring down the fever. Adding a strong infusion to a bath of tepid water will also help bring down the fever. Why would anyone want to throw up? To rid the body of poisons or narcotics, but is not recommended if someone has swallowed caustic substances. A well know emetic is Ipecac (Carapichea ipecacuanha). It used to be in every household for use in accidental poisoning. Some authorities still recommend its use today. When one wants to calm anxiety and rest, Chamomile comes to mind. It is effective for anxi-

ety, palpitations and all manifestations of stress, including insomnia. If a stronger sedative is needed, Valerian fits the bill. However, it is for short term use only and can be a stimulant to some people. “Mother’s Little Helper” valium comes from Valerian. If you were out too late last night and the alarm goes off too early, do what many people do: have a strong cup of java or black tea. They stimulate the body to produce adrenalin which stimulates the body to produce its own sugar and up, up and away you go... you made it to work on time. Use your own judgment when taking herbal medicine or when trying a new tea or herb. Test for sensitivity by taking a small quantity first. If it makes you nauseated or sick, take less or throw it away. Always take as directed. Call a certified clinical herbalist if you have any questions or concerns. Above all, trust your own judgement and have a Happy New Year. JESSIE EMERSON, RN, certified clinical herbalist, author of Medicine from the Kitchen can be contacted at:




BY ARI LEVUX oasted roots are a culinary rite of winter. Forgoing the roasted roots would be as unthinkable as not serving cake at a birthday party. And like making a cake, roasting roots is more of a general approach than a singular recipe.


Roasted roots are the quintessential side dish, served alongside the roast beast or whatever else comes out of the kitchen this time of year. They can be the main event as well, and you won't feel deprived. Let's focus on a dish that builds on roasted roots, using them as an ingredient.

Slice your roots to about a half-inch, and roast them. When cooked to your satisfaction, allow them to cool. Put a half-cup of olive oil in a food processor, along with a small clove of garlic. With the blade running, add the roots, a few at a time, to the vortex. Add more olive oil as necessary to keep the vortex going. Season with salt, and if desired, other herbs or spices-anything from THE QUINTESSENTIAL Herbs de Provence to Berbere powder will work. For an even more rustic approach, skip the food processor and just mash your roots together. And why not add some butter while you're at it?

cook at 350o F, stirring occasionally, until they are done—about an hour. If you want to cook hotter and faster, you'll have to stir more often in order to prevent burning. Roasted Root Mayonnaise There is currently a legal battle brewing over the exact definition of mayonnaise, as part of the mayonnaise and egg industries pushing back against the success of eggfree, vegan versions of this beloved condiment. For our purposes, mayonnaise is a creamy condiment that can be dolloped and spread.


This dish, Roasted Root Mayonnaise, can itself be used as an ingredient in yet another finished dish: Roasted Root Falafel. By this time, it should be clear that there is literally no limit to the amount dishes and metadishes that can be prepared from a core of roasted roots. So let's start with some roasted root basics.

Years before vegan mayonnaise was sold in jars, I learned the ways of vegetablebased mayonnaise from a vegan chef in the Brazilian interior. She made a potato salad that was held together by what she called "carrot mayonnaise." Unlike the usual lily white mortar that bonds and lubricates potato salad, her carrot mayonnaise in its bright orange glory, was little more than steamed carrots that had been whizzed with oil in a food processor.

I shy away from using turnips and rutabagas, as they can be too spicy. Onions are too watery, and beets make everything purple. So I stick with carrots, potatoes, squash (an honorary winter root) and garlic. If celery root—AKA celeriac—is available, I'll use that too. Your taste buds will tell you which are your favorites.

I prefer to roast, rather than steam, because it adds a pleasing texture, in the form of the chewy brown crust that develops as the root pieces cook. The resulting puree will be much less smooth and creamy than typical mayo, but the chunkiness adds a rustic feel to the dish.

Many people choose to add to the work of cooking by peeling their root veggies first, while others will take the opportunity to wax "healthierthan-thou" about all of the nutrients that are being thrown away with the skins. The truth varies by vegetable. The skin of a carrot is hardly any different from its interior, so by peeling carrots you are basically throwing away carrots. Potato skins, on the other hand, are more nutrient-dense than the tuber's interior. Ditching that skin means losing 90 percent of the potato's iron content, half its fiber, and significant amounts of calcium, potassium, magnesium and vitamin B6. As for winter squash, our "honorary" root, the skin of every variety is edible. It just depends how you feel about extra fiber. In all of today's recipes, leaving the skin on is preferable. It adds a pleasing chewiness to whatever recipe is your final destination. To ensure even cooking, the roots must be sliced into consistent shapes. If some pieces are thick while others are thin, the thin pieces will start to burn before the thick pieces are cooked through. For snack-style eating, I thin-slice my roots so they bake into crispy oven chips. For a side dish to accompany, say, the roast beast, I leave the roots chunky, about a half-inch thick. The same goes for roasted root mayonnaise: you want the pieces on the chunky side, so there is a creamy interior with which to work. To make roasted roots, toss your sliced roots in olive oil, and then mix in some garlic powder, black pepper and salt. Spread them on a tray and


WATER SUMMIT BUILDING A CONSENSUS FOR A HEALTHIER LANDSCAPE XERISCAPE COUNCIL OF NEW MEXICO SUMMIT: FEB. 22-24 BY GEORGE RADOSOVITCH The Xeriscape Council of New Mexico's 2017 Land and Water Summit is quickly approaching. At this year's Summit we're bringing people together to build community around our common need for water, building consensus for a healthier landscape. This year's theme is: Growing Community Relations: Just Add Water! Among other incredible speakers we are pleased to welcome Catlow Shipek. Catlow Shipek is a founding member of Watershed Management Group, a Tucson-based non-profit organization. He received an

Serve your roasted root mayo—or mash—with anything. It's a spread, a pile of vegetables, a gravy sponge, or a base in your bowl onto which more food can be piled. And if it ends up being the only thing in your bowl, you'll be just fine. I recently made a batch of roasted root mayo that was too heavy on the raw garlic, so I decided to cook it again in order to mellow the garlic edge. I patted my roasted root mayo into balls and baked them at 350 until they were crispy. I had, at that point, made a derivative of roasted root mayo, which was itself a derivative of roasted roots. I christened this twice-baked dish roasted root falafel balls, and served them floating like croutons, in a simple bowl of tomato soup.

MSc in Watershed Management from the University of Arizona. With over ten years of experience in applied watershed management, planning, and policy specializing in urban applications like water harvesting, green infrastructure, stream restoration, and eco-sanitation, Catlow has worked on several successful policy initiatives including Tucson's greywater ordinance revision, Tucson's Green Streets Active Practice Guidelines, and Tucson Water's rainwater incentive program. His passion is to link people to their local environment for improved stewardship and prosperity. OTHER SPEAKERS INCLUDE John Fleck, Cecilia Rosacker, Gina Dello Russo, Jeff Goebel and many many more. This year's conference will be held Feb. 22-24 at the Sheraton Albuquerque Airport Hotel at 2910 Yale Boulevard SE. For more information email to register go to


January 2017 11



organic anyway because most of it is GMO. Sorry folks, corn ethanol ain’t green and literally takes food out of people’s mouths.


Advising the Environmental Protection Agency changeover is Myron Ebell, chair of the Cooler Heads Coalition, which states it wants to dispel “the myths of global warming by exposing flawed economic, scientific, and risk analysis". He has defended and, at times, received funding from Exxon Mobil and Dow Chemical while calling for abolition of the EPA, the Endangered Species Act and now the Paris climate treaty. He was an advisor under the GW Bush administration where he also "dissed" the EPA.


BY BRETT BAKKER s always, let me be the first to say Have a New Year! We’re in for a bumpy ride in 2017 no matter which side of the aisle you’re on, so hold on tight! Politics requires great sleights-of-hand, all the more reason why I continue to refer to it as “Parlor Tricks.” For all you pop culture freaks, I got that phrase from a 1955 issue of Mad Magazine parodying the venerable comic strip Pogo. Lest you think I’m veering too far off course (which I do regularly here anyway), this is actually apropos. Pogo was set in the Okefenokee swamplands of the South where possums, alligators, porcupines, turtles and other sardonic swamp denizens mirrored human follies and foibles. Creator Walt Kelly did not shy away from controversy but lambasted thinly-veiled cartoon versions of contemporary politicians in the strip. With all the talk of “draining the swamp”, Pogo is particularly appropriate. Keep that phrase in mind.


Things in Washington DC are changing day to day and hour by hour, so it’s hard to say which of the following will be current by the time you read this. Onward through the fog! Food and agriculture lobbyist Michael Torrey led (and then resigned from) the new transition team for the USDA (where he was formerly deputy chief

of staff under GW Bush). His record includes advocating for the American Beverage Association (which represents soda pop companies) and the Snack Foods Association, both of which rely heavily on GMO-derived high fructose corn syrup. He was replaced by Joel Leftwich, former senior director for public policy and government affairs at PepsiCo (see GMO comment above).

See where I’m going with this? Nowhere. That is, this situation is going nowhere because much of the outcome will be business as usual. The swamp remains. Don’t get this planet will exist me wrong, I’m willing to bet that sometime Farmer and former state legislator Annette Sweeney long after we during their careers, these people must have is a member of the new Agriculture Advisory done some worthy and worthwhile things for humans die off, by this country and its people. Just as I don’t Committee and supports increasing corn ethanol as NATURAL or believe anyone is all good, I don’t believe motor fuel. On the face of it, this seems like quite a self-induced means anyone is all bad. We’re complicated creasurprise considering the looming threat to environmental protection laws. Will the new administratures, although… most of the time I’d put tion be green after all?! Naw! Consider: in 2013, more trust in a school of jellyfish than the collective group of us 40% of the US corn crop went to ethanol production, humans. And yet, we manage to do some good in spite of ourselves. 45% to livestock feed and 15% for food/beverages (the latter mostly in the form of high fructose corn Since we’re only borrowing it anyway, this planet will exist long syrup). The global price of corn doubled in 2007 as after we humans die off, by natural or self-induced means. I don’t demand for ethanol increased. This meant the price of know about you, but if I borrowed the neighbor’s hedge shears, for corn-based food/meat rose dramatically. Since there is example, I’d feel obligated to return them in one piece. It is my hope no point in using certified organic corn for ethanol, that all earthlings feel the same way. the use of petroleum based fertilizers and pesticides also increased. Oh and that corn couldn’t be certified




Other approaches are needed that vary in response to the many different climates, cultures and economies of this diverse state. Many of these are addressed in regional water plans. For two separate time periods— from the 1987 to 2008 and from 2013 to 2016—the state divided itself into 16 distinct regional planning areas that will have completed two sets of planning documents by early 2017. Other issues must be left to local communities and organizations to resolve.

23RD ANNUAL STATEWIDE MEETING JANUARY 12 he issue of ensuring a reliable water supply for New Mexico has been the focus of water planning for over 30 years. Join the New Mexico Water Dialogue at their 23rd Annual Statewide Meeting for a discussion on how we create a more relevant state water plan on January 12 at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerue.

And finally, there are issues that will require collaboration and coordination between the state, regions, and local governments. These include water transfers, drought and flood management, watershed management, aquifer storage and recovery, among others.




In 2003, the legislature enacted provisions for “a comprehensive state water plan.” A skeletal state water plan was adopted that same year. Finally in 2016 the Interstate Stream Commission began the process of working toward a comprehensive state water plan. It is not clear what that means, but it will be substantially different than the one adopted in 2003.

Join the Water Dialogue on January 12 at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in a discussion of where we have come since 1987 when the legislature required regional water plans and what challenges the state, regions and local communities face which need to be addressed in a revised state water plan.

A limited number of scholarships and travel stipends are available to students and others for whom paying the registration fee would cause financial hardship. Contact Joaquin Baca at 505 377-7549 or for more information. TO REGISTER GO TO: or call Joaquin at the number listed above. The Water Dialogue office is located at 100 Gold Ave, SW #408, in Albuquerque.

There are clearly issues that affect the entire state and require uniform statewide policies to improve water management. Those issues, such as adjudications, federal mandates, and use of saline and brackish waters, need to be identified.





For more information and to RSVP, contact Claire D'Gaia, 907-738-5333, or email her at:

FREE STATEWIDE LECTURE SERIES For the first time in New Mexico, Dan Kittredge, life-long farmer, founder and executive director of the Bionutrient Food Association, will be doing a 3-city tour for a free Introductory Lecture Series on Principles of Biological Systems and their Implications!

This New Mexico BFA Introductory Lecture Series is provided by the Bionutrient Food Association (www., a 501(c)3 organization, whose mission is, "Increasing Quality in the Food Supply."

The lectures will cover the dynamics by which plants evolved to flourish, and management practices that support the environment for that to occur. Strategies for soil aeration, hydration, mineral balancing, inoculation, and feeding through the liquid carbon pathway will be presented. Also addressed will be the broader implications for soil carbon sequestration, increases in pest and disease resistance, along with nutritive value, flavor, aroma, and shelf life.

Taos/January 23/6–8pm Location: Taos Initiative for Life Together (TILT), 215 La Posta Rd.


FUND Thanks to the amazing support of our Co-op Community the La Montañita Fund has created an over $150,000 revolving loan fund to collateralize loans to New Mexico farmers. Over the past years we have provided $173,000 in low cost loans to farmers, ranchers and food producers around the state. Now in its sixth year, the LaM FUND is taking applications from local food producers who wish to scale up their production efforts and are looking for affordable loans. Additionally, LaM FUND is open to Coop members who would like to invest in the local food system now through March 30, 2017.

Santa Fe/January 24/12–2pm Location: Santa Fe Community College Greenhouse Management, 6401 Richards Ave., in Boardroom #223.

For a loan application, investor agreement, or to get more information go to or call Robin toll free at 877-775-2667 or in Albuquerque at 505-217-2027 or e-mail her at

Albuquerque/January 24/6–8pm Location: La Plazita Institute and Certified Organic Gardens, 831 Isleta Blvd SW.


La Montañita Co-op Connection News, January 2017  
La Montañita Co-op Connection News, January 2017