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MOVING FORWARD

THROUGH A PERIOD OF TRANSITION

EDITOR’S NOTE

LETTER TO THE

BOARD

Below is an email member-owner Misty Blue sent to La Montañita Co-op Board Treasurer James Glover, regarding the recent announcement on the banking switch. Both individuals agreed to have their email exchange shared. HI JAMES, Thanks for your article in the November newsletter on "Banking Switch." Just a few reactions/comments: • First, I was also quite upset to find out that the Co-op has been doing business with a "too-big-to-fail" corporate rascal • Choosing a smaller, community bank may be good; though those small banks are constantly being gobbled up • Finally, have you seriously talked to Nusenda to see if they might be willing to work with you to meet Co-op needs? I am surprised to hear that a credit union of their size, longevity, and community stature can't compete with a small local bank. MISTY BLUE HI MISTY, Thank you for your email and comments/ questions. With regards to Nusenda, we really did try—it went all the way to the top of the bank but alas there were just too many banking operations which they could not meet for us. It was unfortunate, but something which we could not take any further. You are correct with smaller banks being taken over. Century Bank is unlikely to go this route as they are very focused on remaining local. They have been in business over 100 years and they want to remain as they are. I hope this helps. I really think they are the right bank for us moving forward. KIND REGARDS JAMES GLOVER, TREASURER, BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Please know the new quarterly publication will allow for more in-depth articles and stories from the Vendor Spotlight, recipes and new BY MONIQUE SALHAB, COMMUNITY sections such as Co-op Team Member I also wish to THANK OUTREACH AND MEMBERSHIP Highlights and agricultural and food all the MEMBERs we enter into the full OWNER VOLUNTEERS news from various regions within the swing of the holidays and who have helped state of New Mexico. 2017 comes to a close, I contribute their time wish to thank all the team members and continue to be I express deep thanks and gratitude to who have assisted the Community COMMITED all of the contributing writers! I have Outreach and Membership Departto La Montañita’s enjoyed working with each of you! During the winter months and in the ment. It has been an amasing chalabsence of the Co-op publication, I lenge to re-structure and transform the department; and it’s not over! I AND MISSION encourage our member-owners and community shoppers to continue their also wish to thank all the membercommunications with me. I have valued the owner volunteers who have helped contribute input and suggestions shared. Remember, it is their time and continue to be committed to La through your voice (or silence), which Montañita’s vision and mission. things either change or remain the same. As the Co-op continues to move forward through a period of transition, the Co-op Newsletter moves along with it. The Community Outreach and Membership and Marketing departments are excited to announce the future re-launch of a new Coop publication in the Spring of 2018. The newsletter will transform into a quarterly publication—starting in April 2018—with a new name and focus on food and agriculture; food and the environment; food security/ advocacy and La Montañita’s role in the local foodshed economy. The quarterly publication will signify the wholeness the Co-op represents to our farmers, ranchers and community. It is also about being a resource for our member-owners as well as community shoppers who have yet to discover who and what La Montañita is about.

A

VISION


CO-OP COMMUNITY UPDATES

December 2017 2

La Montañita Cooperative A Community-Owned Natural Foods Grocery Store

COMMITTEES ARE COMMUNITY

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

UPDATE

LA MONTAÑITA BOARD

Rio Grande 7am – 10pm M – Su 2400 Rio Grande NW, ABQ, NM 87104 505-242-8800

In the next year, this Committee will work on the following: • Member recruitment and retention • Member education and events • In-store liaisons and communication • Farm tours and know-more-farmers events • Co-op Cafes • Product research and Product Manual • And more

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 Westside 7am – 10pm M – Su 3601 Old Airport Ave, ABQ, NM 87114 505-503-2550 GRABnGO 8am – 6pm M – F, 11am – 3pm Sa UNM Bookstore, 2301 Central SW, ABQ, NM 87131 505-277-9586 Cooperative Distribution Center 9am – 5pm, M – F 901 Menaul NE, ABQ, NM 87107 505-217-2010 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) • Co-op Retail Officer/Toby Massey toby.massey@lamontanita.coop • Controller/John Heckes 217-2029 johnh@lamontanita.coop • Co-op Operations and Support Officer/Joe Phy 217-2020 josephp@lamontanita.coop • IT Director/Rob Dixon 217-2011 rob.dixon@lamontanita.coop • Human Resources/Donna Duran 217-2030 donnad@lamontanita.coop • Marketing Director/Lea Quale 217-2024 leaquale@lamontanita.coop • Distribution Center/James Esqueda 217-2010 jamese@lamontanita.coop Store Team Leaders: • Mark Lane/Nob Hill 265-4631 markl@lamontanita.coop • Ezekiel Metillo/Westside 505-503-2550 ezekielm@lamontanita.coop • Will Prokopiak/Santa Fe 984-2852 willpro@lamontanita.coop • Leaf Ashley/Gallup 575-863-5383 leaf.ashley@lamontanita.coop • Meg Creaturo, interim/Rio Grande 505-242-8800 meganc@lamontanita.coop Co-op Board of Directors: email: TalkWithTheBoard@lamontanita.coop • Elise Wheeler, President • Chad Jones, Vice President • Allena Satpathi, Secretary • James Glover, Treasurer • Jerry Anaya, Director • Mike Hildebrand, Director • Gina Dennis, Director • Marissa Joe, Director Membership Costs: $15 for 1 year/ $200 Lifetime Membership + tax Co-op Connection Staff: • Managing Editor: Monique Salhab monique.salhab@lamontanita.coop 217-2027 • Advertising/Editorial Assistant: JR Riegel j.riegel@lamontanita.coop 217-2016 • Layout and Design: foxyrock inc • Cover/Centerfold: Co-op Marketing Dept. • Printing: Santa Fe New Mexican Membership information is available at all six Co-op locations, or call 217-2027 or 877-775-2667 email: monique.salhab@lamontanita.coop website: www.lamontanita.coop

T

he time is 1:30pm and it’s November. At this very moment, I am craving my daily coffee from the Rio Grande location. I’m thinking about the amount of almond milk that I’ll pour into that little cup of coffee. Alas, I reach a decision: I want a lot of almond milk in that little cup of coffee because I absolutely love the mixed flavor. The combined flavor truly is a mixed reality capturing the best of the coffee and the best of the almond milk. My overindulgence in the composition of a simple drink actually has a purpose. You see, our La Montañita Co-op community is a mixed reality reflecting the best of many elements. What should we do with this mixed reality? The answer is simple: Let’s work together at every level to turn this mixed reality into a powerful force for community building. An awesome way to turn our mixed reality into a powerful voice is through active participation in our Committees. Our Co-op Board has Committees comprised of member-owners, team members, and Board members. There are four Committees and each has the overall goal of meeting the needs of our mixed community. Let’s start with looking at the Membership Engagement Committee. This Committee is the channel for member-owners and team members to advance the seven cooperative principles of (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, and (7) concern for community. AN AWESOME WAY TO TURN OUR MIXED REALITY INTO A

POWERFUL VOICE ACTIVE PARTICIPATION IN OUR IS THROUGH

COSO

COMMITTEES

UPDATE

Let’s take a look at the Nominations and Elections Committee, also known as NEC or #NEC#. This Committee focuses on four key areas: (1) Reviewing and recommending changes to the procedures used for nominations and elections processes. (2) Conducting an annual review of the procedures and processes used, with recommendations from our membership. (3) Working with the Member Engagement Committee to educate members about the roles and responsibilities of being a Board Member, and developing a pipeline of future committed Board Members. (4) Increasing member–owner participation in this Committee so that we hear more from our community as a whole. The fourth Committee is Finance. The Finance Committee meetings are the only meetings closed to member-owners. This is to protect proprietary and confidential information, but it doesn’t mean that the Committee wants to restrict member-owner input. Over the past year, the Finance Committee has been working on increased financial transparency and information dissemination. The Board Treasurer has been giving quarterly financial updates at Board meetings, and has made member-owner financial data packets available in all store locations. This Committee encourages member-owners to attend the Board meetings, read the data packets, and share feedback, comments, and ideas. Member-owner participation in the open Committees is incredibly important. We’d love to see more participation in the Committees so that, together, we can serve the needs of our amazing and mixed community. Committees are Community. YOURS IN COMMUNITY, GINA NAOMI DENNIS, BOARD MEMBER

IT IS THE

STRENGH

OF OUR TEAM MEMBERS

C

WHICH MAKES IT HAPPEN E V E RY D AY

We saw one of our locations organize and obtain union representation, and we witnessed a construction project downtown have a remarkable impact on sales at our Nob Hill location. In spite of these challenges we saw our net income steadily increase to make up for losses the prior year. We experienced some serious growing pains, and proved to ourselves the power of collaboration and teamwork. We did not always agree, but we treated each other with respect. We had to make tough decisions, and we did so with the good of our teams and our member-owners in mind. Many thanks to Will and Rob, who were effective in preparing our teams for a year of uncertainty but providing the reassurance that La Montañita was returning its focus to our core values. Thanks to the Support Office team who tirelessly worked in a short-handed capacity and did whatever was necessary to get the job done.

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.

Of course, thanks to the teams in the store, the beating heart of our business, who do their best to mind every detail necessary to ensure that we are offering the best and freshest quality foods to both our member-owners and guests.

CO-OP

Next, let’s look at the Policy Development Committee. This Committee is responsible for reviewing, vetting, and recommending necessary changes and upgrades to the Bylaws and Policies of La Montañita Co-op on a continuous basis to support its mission, values, and strategic plans. This Committee provides guidance and recommendations to the Board on all critical Policy decisions; it does not set the Policy for the Board, but makes recommendations for the Board’s consideration.

hange is inevitable, so they say. This past year marked many changes for our cooperative. Our organizational structure changed, we saw the departure of several long-term support staff, and the change of management style was steered back on course to a more collaborative style by Will Prokopiak and Rob Dixon, the interim Cooperative Retail Officer and the Cooperative Operations and Support Officer respectively.

Membership response to the newsletter is appreciated. Email the Managing Editor, monique.salhab@lamontanita.coop

YOU OWN IT

This Committee invites member-owners and team members to participate by attending the monthly meeting, joining the Committee’s online forum, or contacting an in-store liaison.

I am proud to be serving La Montañita in the role of Cooperative Operations and Support Officer and collaborating with our new Cooperative Retail Officer, Toby Massey, to plan and shape the future of our Cooperative. The ground is fertile for growth and our teams are ready to explore new possibilities and paths to success. We must focus on re-energizing our member-owners and guests by utilizing tools and strategies available to create a vibrant and unique experience in our stores, and to have a meaningful impact in our communities. I am humbled and honored by this opportunity. It is the strength of our team members which makes it happen every day and our team at La Montañita is capable and supportive. It is important that we stay connected and communicative. My door is always open. THANKS, JOE PHY, COOPERATIVE OPERATIONS

AND

SUPPORT OFFICER


CO-OP COMMUNITY

December 2017 3

ROCKY MOUNTAIN YOUTH CORPS

D O N AT E - A - D I M E

BY KIM SCORE ocky Mountain Youth Corps (RMYC) is New Mexico's largest AmeriCorps program, engaging 200 youth per year, ages 16–25. RMYC is honored to have deployed six crews of 42 AmeriCorps members from Albuquerque and Taos to help communities in Texas and Florida recover from catastrophic flooding caused by recent hurricanes. In partnership with FEMA, the Corporation for National and Community Service activated AmeriCorps Disaster Response Teams (A-DRTs) across the country to engage in recovery projects in the wake of the recent string of tropical storms. A-DRTs are a nationally deployable resource, similar to National Guard units, and are equally recognized in the emergency management community. Rocky Mountain Youth Corps is proud to be a State AmeriCorps program serving communities in need with a heightened focus on and commitment to disaster recovery work.

R

After receiving Incident Command System training to learn emergency management and communication protocols, RMYC crews were on 30–45 day deployments to impacted

WINTER WELLNESS

STRATEGIES

BY VALERIE SMITH, NH DTL, WELLNESS work in the Nob Hill location as the Department Team Leader for Wellness. Having a plan to stay healthy is a must for staff, and I would like to share a few of our tested strategies with you. Keep in mind that we do not diagnose or treat customers, and you should not take this as medical advice or a replacement for medical care.

I

Washing hands is a really important step in prevention, removing bacteria and viruses before they have the chance to enter the body. Many commonly touched surfaces can harbor bad bugs, and using an alcohol-based, antiseptic wipe on handles, phone and rails may keep stuff from spreading. Warm tea and soup moisten and warm the throat and sinuses, making them a less welcoming environment for cold viruses. Getting enough sleep and relaxation helps the immune system function properly. Avoiding highly processed food, especially sugars, prevents the immune depressing effect of bad food. Deep breathing, meditation and other stress-reducing activities strengthen immune health by reducing the body’s level of cortisol, a potent stress marker. Prevention also includes using supplements that keep the immune system in top shape. Research confirms that a number of mushrooms stimulate the immune system. Host Defense makes a great formula for immune health called MyCommunity. Another safe and effective herb for immune health is Astragalus. Considered safe for long-term use in most people, it has been shown to increase immune system activity.

CO-OP PROGRAM Donate your BAG CREDIT!

When Rocky Mountain Youth Corps crews are not stepping up to respond to natural disasters, they are making a difference yearround in their local New Mexico communities. RMYC is a youth development organization that uses environmental restoration projects on federal, state and tribal lands as a strategy to connect young adults to increased economic and academic opportunities, while fostering environmental stewardship. Through an outdoor, hands-on, teamwork model, Rocky Mountain Youth Corps provides leadership development and professional job training for youth seeking conservation employment opportunities. AmeriCorps crews complete various community improvement projects such as trail construction and maintenance, habitat/watershed restoration, erosion control, invasive species management, historic preservation, and chainsaw and forest thinning work. Crew members are enrolled in full-time paid service opportunities while earning additional scholarship money through an AmeriCorps Segal Education Award.

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

Rocky Mountain Youth Corps was founded in Taos in 1995 by a small group of motivated parents and community members who recognized the unique cultural and economic challenges in New Mexico. In 2015, RMYC expanded to serve Middle Rio Grande communities with a second office in the South Valley of Albuquerque. We are proud to be based out of the first urban wildlife refuge in the Southwest, Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge. RMYC enrolls youth, ages 16–25, every spring, summer and fall in conservation projects involving both day work crews and overnight backcountry camping crews. To get involved and for more information about the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps, please visit our website at: www.youthcorps.org or email Kim Score at kim@youthcorps.org.

Taking time off and sleeping is an important way for the body to engage its healing powers, but there are some great herbs that help too. Echinacea can be used before, during and after, to safely switch the immune system to high gear, as well as gently support the lymphatic system. Slippery elm tea, like Traditional Medicinals Throat Coat tea, is referred to as a demulcent, which coats and sooths irritated throat. Osha soothes the throat, supports normal lung function and has been shown to have a mild anti-viral action. Wishgarden Herbs is one of my favorite companies for herbal formulas. The pleasant taste of their formulas, the potency of the products, and handy pump tops, make them very user friendly. They offer a variety of formulas that target different systems, such as the lungs, the sinuses and the immune system. Their most famous formula is the Kick-Ass Immune Activator. Our Co-op brand herbs and formulas are a great value, and offer a lot of good, targeted formulas. A favorite winter wellness product of the Nob Hill staff is Sinus Blaster. Available in drops and spray, this potent blast offers immediate relief for sinuses, but also a great immune support with herbs like Echinacea, Osha and Andrographis. We prefer the spray due to its ease of use and refreshing peppermint blast. We also sell this formula in bulk at Nob Hill, which is an especially good value if you bring your own bottle in. We also sell in the Co-op brand an excellent version of the traditional Chinese formula Yin Chaio, as well as formulas for respiratory and immune health. Getting over winter illness can take time. Resting, getting plenty of fluid, and using a neti pot can help get the body feeling good again. Be well.

BRING A BAG... DONATE-A-DIME

IT ALL ADDS UP

DECEMBER BAG CREDIT DONATIONS go to Rocky Mountain Youth Corps: New Mexico's largest AmeriCorps program, which engages 200 youth per year, who are seeking conservation employment. In October your bag credit donations totaling $2,634.01 went to: New Mexico Water Collaborative. THANK YOU!

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

Alamed a Blvd. Coors Blvd.

DISASTER RELIEF

COOP

DEPLOYED FOR HURRICANE

areas. While on disaster relief, AmeriCorps members engaged in service efforts that included coordinating logistics at A-DRT field offices, manning volunteer reception centers, canvassing neighborhoods to assess disaster damage, and mucking and gutting flood-damaged homes through mold remediation projects. This was not the first time AmeriCorps Disaster Response Teams have been called to serve other communities after a natural disaster. Rocky Mountain Youth Corps was deployed by FEMA to serve in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and the flooding in Louisiana in the Fall of 2016. Additional RMYC crews are on standby awaiting further deployments in the Spring of 2018 to respond to continued relief efforts.

Old A irport Ave.

MEMBERS

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 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.


VENDOR SPOTLIGHT

December 2017 4

SWEET GRASS CO-OP BALANCING HEALTHY LAND WITH HEALTHY FOOD BY CALEIGH PAYNE tanding amidst a wide open landscape, that freedom of open space filling your chest, your eyes filled with skies as blue as the vibrant mountain bluebird, surrounded by a sea of lush green grass, mountains painted across the horizon. Fortunately for nature lovers and ranchers, this is a scene that has become quite familiar. However, much like a painter might take to this scene in calculated, detailed brush strokes, ranchers see details of this scene many might not think about. Most importantly, what makes up this “sea of lush green grass?”

S

Allowing grazed pastures to rest, gives

to plant growth. In rotational grazing, a large pasture is subdivided into smaller areas we call paddocks. Cattle are moved from one paddock to another, allowing the remaining pasture to rest. Rotational grazing entails a lot of work in planning, putting up temporary fences, and moving cattle frequently, but the benefit is very valuable. Sweet Grass ranchers practice rotational grazing for the benefit of cattle, riparian areas, wildlife habitat, and soil health.

Rotational grazing is beneficial to cattle because it allows for plant diversity in their diet as I have mentioned, but also increases the yield of forage in the pastures. By adjusting the deepen their root times in which you graze certain paddocks or systems, renew energy pastures every year, you can change the plant communities and the usefulness of the land. Allowing the grazed pastures to rest gives and produce higher these plants time to deepen their root systems, YIELDS renew their energy reserves, and therefore produce higher yields and sustain long-term productivity. Cattle also benefit from rotational grazing since this method encourages ranchers to freThe basic nutrient requirements of beef cattle are quently monitor pastures and keenly observe the health water, energy, protein, vitamins and minerals. Nutrient and general wellbeing of livestock. requirements of cattle also shift based on their stage of production. At some stages more nutrients are required Riparian areas and wildlife habitat are greatly benefitted for lactation or growth. It is important to know your by rotational grazing because of the allowed rest pericattle as well as what type of plants your cattle are ods. The rest periods leading to tall grass stands provide grazing, how the plants function, and what nutrients undisturbed nesting habitats and cover for birds and they provide to be able to make grazing plans and proother wildlife. vide cattle with a balanced diet.

THESE PLANTS TIME TO

RESERVES

In fact, there are many different families of plants ranchers see in this “sea” in addition to grass. This landscape also encompasses legumes, forbs, shrubs, brassicas, and some trees that cattle can utilize for grazing. All of these varying families of plants serve different purposes in the ecosystem as well as nutritionally. Therefore, there is a high level of complexity to “grass-fed” cattle that is not often thought of. It seems as though it would be as simple as “putting cows out on grass,” but as you now know, not all grass is created equal. This diversity helps fulfill the nutrient requirements of cattle, increases the flavor of the meat, and helps stabilize the environment. There are over 10,000 species of grasses, 40 of which are commonly used as forage for cattle. Forage is defined as the “edible parts of plants, other than separated grain, that can provide feed for grazing animals, or that can be harvested for feeding.” Among these species are two types of grasses: cool season grasses and warm season grasses. Cool season grasses can start growing at a much lower soil temperature than warm season grasses and include plants such as fescues and orchard grass. Cool season grasses tend to have higher protein content and can typically be digested faster than warm season grasses. Warm season grasses start growing later in the season and include plants such as Sudan grass and big bluestem. Although warm season grasses have lower protein content, cattle may be able to use this protein more efficiently. Having warm season and cool season grasses is important in creating a forage plan that will provide quality forage for as long as possible throughout the year. Legumes are the second most common plant family used as forage. They are unique in that they form a relationship with nitrogen-fixing bacteria to provide nitrogen to the plant. Legumes are also typically higher in protein than grasses. Alfalfa and other clovers fall in the legume family.

This is a part of animal welfare—making sure the animals you care for not only have enough to eat, but enough of the right balance of nutrients that they need. Sweet Grass ranchers truly care about their animals, the environment, and the quality of meat they raise. This means that not only do Sweet Grass ranchers pay attention to the plants that the cattle are grazing; they also pay attention to the way in which these cattle graze.

Most pastures suffer from poor and uneven fertility as well as weed and erosion problems. Rotational grazing helps create more uniform soil fertility by intentionally moving the cattle throughout the pasture. Weed and erosion problems are mitigated by managing for the plants that you desire, increasing plant stands to minimize bare ground, and allowing plants to have deeper and greater root structures to hold soil.

There are over 10,000 species of grasses, 40 of which are commonly used as

FORAGE FOR CATTLE

Forbs, not to be confused with the media company Forbes, are broad-leaved herbaceous plants such as sunflowers. Forbs are also characteristically high in protein. Shrubs, especially Chico and Rabbit brush, scatter the landscape in this region of the West and in turn are widely utilized. You’re not the only ones that get ‘turnt up’ for turnips! Turnips, kales, and radishes fall into the brassica family. Brassicas are a great livestock feed due to high protein and energy content. They can also be used to extend the grazing season being as they are cold tolerant.

SPOTLIGHT ON HOLIDAY

MEATS IT ’S

THE

SEASON YOUR CO-OP HAS A WIDE VARIETY OF SPECIALTY MEATS AVAILABLE FOR YOUR HOLIDAY

CELEBRATIONS Come to your favorite Co-op Meat counter to find a wide variety of high quality specialty meats. This includes Sweet Grass Co-op’s local, grass-fed, grass-finished beef, Shepards Lamb (Santa Fe only) and Four Daughters beef (local, grass-fed and grain-finished). Other specialty meats available may include: duck, quail, goose, yak, bison and elk. And as always we have local, organic Embudo Valley turkeys, as well as Mary’s organic and non-GMO turkeys and chickens. In addition to whole turkeys, we will happily do a custom cut to meet your needs. GIVE YOUR FAVORITE CO-OP MEAT DEPARTMENT A CALL for help deciding what best meets your holiday feasting needs. Please get in touch in advance for specialty items. Nob Hill 265-4631, Rio Grande 242-8800, Westside 503-2550, Santa Fe 984-2852, Gallup 863-5383.

There are several different ways to graze cattle. Most ranchers have very large pastures that cattle are allowed to roam, but the cattle are not moved throughout the pasture in a planned manner. This worked when cattle had no fences and could move across the country to obtain the nutrients they require. However, the cattle are now limited. The problem is that cattle often stick to certain spots which creates overgrazing in areas while other areas are left undergrazed, creating bare ground and difficulty in maintaining desired plant stands. “In Colorado, continuous grazing essentially creates a monoculture of warm-season, short grasses. You won’t have plant diversity and you’ll graze out the riparian areas” according to extension range specialist, Roy Roath. An alternative to this is rotational grazing or moving cattle to areas of pasture that match the cattle’s needs

DECEMBER

The ability of cattle to utilize so many different types of plants allows them to graze many different types of landscapes including native pastures and cover crops in farmer’s fields. This allows us to utilize these grazing benefits for land management and soil health across a wide array of land. This comes as a great advantage in utilizing land not fit for growing crops as well. Cattle’s ability to utilize all of these different plants that we can’t eat and convert that to nourishing meat is incredible and valuable. For these reasons, Sweet Grass ranchers don’t just “put cows out on grass.” Sweet Grass cattle are intently rotated through pastures and grazing plans are carefully calculated to manage for the diet of the cattle, the health of the land, and the quality of the meat we provide for you. We hope you enjoy!

CALENDAR OF

EVENTS

12/5 BOD POLICY DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE Co-op Support Office, 901 Menual Blvd. NE at 5:30pm 12/11 NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS MEETING Co-op Support Office, 901 Menual Blvd. NE at 6pm 12/12 BOD MEMBER ENGAGEMENT MEETING Co-op Support Office, 901 Menual Blvd. NE at 5:30pm 12/19 BOD BUSINESS MEETING Co-op Support Office, 901 Menual Blvd. NE at BOARD 5:45pm

ELECTIONS

CALENDAR

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.


CREATIVE GIVING

December 2017 5

ROOTS BASED G I F T G I V I N G G U I D E

NO PURCHASE

NECESSARY Looking for a more creative and genuinely rootbased alternative to giving this year without burdening the earth or your wallet? Well look no further, because we have some amazing non-traditional holiday gift-giving ideas! RAE SIKORA hhh, the holidays. Cheery visions of mistletoe and happy families sitting around a fire, right? Wrong. For many people the holidays are filled with financial worries and family stress. They can be tough for anyone… but modern holidays are toughest on Mother Earth. All those UPOs (Unnecessary Plastic Objects) purchased as holiday gifts and wrapped up to look more special. The aftermath continues for years as gifts are tossed out because they stopped working and cannot be repaired or someone just didn’t like them. Any holiday (Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Solstice, New Years, etc.) can be recreated to be stressfree, compassionate and sustainable. BY

A

after the holidays. Decorating an existing outdoor tree is a beautiful tradition. For decorations that can remain on the tree, use strung popcorn, apple pieces, cranberries or handmade decorations from items collected outdoors. For one large gathering, I cut round disks from a fallen branch. Each adult and child painted a disk with a picture or word(s) that described something they were grateful for. When we all finished, we shared what our ornaments represented and hung them up. The “grateful tree” remained decorated with these for years. Children in the community would visit the grateful tree at every gathering on that land. Gifts for Children • Boxes that you personally decorate filled with: • Art supplies (include recycled items that can be used in art, such as old video tape ribbon and bottle caps). • Dress up clothes: Old dresses, high heel shoes, boots, scarves, hats, and jewelry you find at resale shops or in your own closet! • Create a story and make a book with that child as the main character.

The holidays can be TOUGH for ANYONE, BUT

MODERN HOLIDAYS ARE

TOUGHEST

ON MOTHER

EARTH We vote with our dollars. Every time we spend money on something, we are supporting an industry. Are we creating the Good Life or the Goods Life? Regardless of what the ads say, we cannot buy the perfect holiday with money. Many traditions that say “happy holidays” to some of us, mean suffering for others. Items that are produced with sweatshop or slave labor, use non-renewable resources or cause suffering to other species are in abundance during the holidays. Traditional celebrations are often centered on a large piece of animal flesh that is meant to say that the host cares. I overheard a woman at a party telling about her wedding. She and her partner wanted the wedding to be totally vegetarian/vegan because they did not want their celebration to mean unnecessary suffering for others. When they announced their plans to their parents, the families got very upset because many people would be coming from so far away. In her mother’s words, “People will think you don’t care about them if you don’t serve meat.” Holidays and celebrations can be the toughest times to live by our values. It is not easy to be the one in the family who breaks tradition by serving up a plant-based meal or donating money in the family’s name instead of buying and wrapping gifts for everyone. But, it is often this same person who helps everyone step outside the traditional box to create a more meaningful celebration. To Tree or Not to Tree This past year, in the USA, 2.5 million Christmas trees ended up in landfills. Decorate a living plant that you can keep indoors year round or plant outdoors after the holidays. Rosemary plants and pine trees grow great here in New Mexico and can be transplanted outdoors

• Rather than buying a winter scarf, give them knitting needles and yarn and take time to teach them to knit their own scarf. Homemade Gifts for All Ages • Homemade personal coupons that you provide. They can redeem them anytime for a massage, game, movie, home-cooked meal, babysitting, day at the museum, garden help, day of learning some new craft together like canning or soap making, a bike ride and picnic, etc. • Homemade cookbook with your favorite healthy recipes. • Arrange a monthly date and make a fun certificate to let them know. This can be as simple as meal together or a phone call. It is great for elderly friends or relatives. • A homemade calendar using special pictures/photos/drawings you’ve collected. • Wrapping: comics, old maps, colorful fabric, old video tape ribbons. • Re-gifting: All that good stuff in the back of a closet or gathering dust-let someone else enjoy it! A Yankee Swap These are a blast. Have a potluck with it for a total celebration! Everyone finds and wraps something that they already have in their home. Pile the items in middle of the room. Everyone picks a number from a basket with enough numbers for everyone there and no duplicates. Number 1 starts by picking a present to open. Once everyone sees what it is, Number 2 can either steal the present from Number 1 or pick a present from the pile. If they take Number 1’s gift, then Number 1 gets the gift number 2 had. This goes on with each successive person getting the option to either pick from the table or steal any of the already

LET THEM PIE! EAT , ,

FRESH DELICIOUS LOCAL

THE CO-OP HAS YOUR

pie

PUMPKIN, PECAN, APPLE, BERRY, CHOCOLATE, CHERRY, TOFU PUMPKIN; YOU NAME IT AND THE CO-OP HAS IT. This year you will find a wide assortment of delicious pies at all our Co-op locations. We are pleased to be offering pies from some of our favorite local bakeries as well as our gifted Co-op bakers. Look for EVERYTHING YOU NEED to create your own pie including: local unbleached flour, bulk nuts and dried fruit, frozen and fresh berries, apples, pie pumpkins, sweet potatoes and other pie fillings throughout the store.

opened gifts. For example, Number 9 can take the presents of Numbers 18 or can pick a new one. One final rule: a present can only be stolen three times, and then it stays with the person holding it. (Detailed rules: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_elephant_gift_exchange) Still feel like spending money on those you love? This year, Americans will spend an average of $923.36 per person on holiday gifts, which includes $106.67 on me-too purchases, which are the impulse buys that people make for themselves while they're shopping for gifts. Wouldn't it be great if that $923.36 could go towards giving the people you love a gift, and making the world a better place? When donating money to organizations check them out thoroughly. Many which seem to be socially conscious are not. Go to websites like: http://www.humaneseal.org/search. Instead of supporting organizations that promote animal and environmental suffering (such as Heifer International), support life affirming organizations that promote feeding those in need in a compassionate and sustainable way, such as A Well Fed World. • Have a tree planted in their honor through organizations you can find listed here: http://www.friendsoftrees.org • Give a donation to a local cause such as an animal shelter/rescue group, a shelter for battered women, a local environmental group, etc. • Support local artists by buying their work. • Purchase a share for friends or family at a local CSA farm. • Support local independent businesses. • If your family takes a holiday trip together, consider a vacation that involves volunteering for a project. Here are a few of the many sites might help you decide where to go and what to do: www.voluntourism.org; www.habitat.org; and www.network.bestfriends.org Say “No” to the buying things frenzy! When shopping, use the Compassionate Consumer Wallet Card and ask yourself the questions before spending money on items, services or entertainment. Have peaceful easy holidays doing what you love with the ones you love.


LA MONTAÑITA FOODSHED • HAM & EGGS FROM AROUND SANTA FE WAY

Free-Range hand-harvested humanely-raised high in Omega 3s fed Organic grain $1 off per dozen thru dec

dozen packs are now available Beneficial Farms was founded by Mesa Top Farm, an off-the-grid homestead of 600 acres on the Rowe Mesa just north of Santa Fe. Beneficial Farms has since grown to represent more than 20 New Mexico farmers, and together they produce eggs, a variety of vegetables, grass-fed beef, cheese, and milk. Because Beneficial Farms works with producers from all around the state, they are able to provide local produce & other goods year round. Fresh, organic turkeys are also available during the Thanksgiving season. Free-range hens live off a high quality protein diet and have plenty of fresh water. Their feed is locally

grown and milled without the use of harmful pesticides and herbicides. The eggs are hand harvested, cleaned and hand packed to the highest standards to make sure you receive the highest quality product.

Holiday

catering .............. let us cook!

our chefs are ready & waiting. give them a call. new mexican. vegan. vegetarian. classic.

Years of on-farm research was done to re-establish small flock egg production as a feature of the farms and ranches of the southern Rockies. A focus of the research involved ways to use wheat from the Northern New Mexico Organic Wheat Project. Now over 75% of the chicken’s diet consists of New Mexico Organic Wheat. Small flocks fed the purest feed produce the finest eggs. Producers for Beneficial Farms are dedicated to providing their chickens with the healthiest living conditions possible. Their heritage breeds have full access to the outdoors, sunlight, fresh air, and water. Ungraded eggs come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors, and their varied appearance is an illustration of the commitment to agricultural diversity and sustainability by the farmers who produce them. Your purchase of Beneficial Farm Eggs is an investment in healthy communities.

what is best for the hen is best for her eggs. Over 75% of the farm chicken’s diet consists of New Mexico Organic Wheat.

TALUS WIND HERITAGE MEATS OUR COMMITMENT TO SUSTAINABILITY: TRACEABILITY A visible path of origin for your meat.

TRANSPARENCY Knowing how your meat product lived its life.

COLLABORATION Working with New Mexico ranchers and rural economic development.

CONNOISSEURSHIP The best flavor for discerning taste buds. “The animals brought to market by Talus Wind Ranch have been treated in a revered way. We are ever mindful that they are giving their lives so we may sustain our bodies and do greater service in the world. The compassion and respect with which we treat our animals during their lifetimes allows us a peace of mind regarding their transition from pasture to plate.” —Timothy Willms

Talus Wind Heritage Meats is proud to hold a Step 4 rating with the Global Animal Partnership, a global organization committed to the continual improvement of the lives of farm animals.

Founded in 2007 by Timothy Willms, Talus Wind Heritage Meats and Moutainair Heritage Meat Processing joined Talus Wind Ranch, previously established in 2000, to provide the regional market with local, natural, and grass-fed meat. Originally emphasizing lamb, heritage pork breeds were added in 2014. HERITAGE HOGS Native to Hungary, Mangalitsa pigs were close to extinction in the early 1990’s, before being saved by breeders. Known for the curly coats, they were first brought to the United States in 2007. The Berkshire is also a rare breed, originating in South East England, but unlike the Mangalitsa, it has been in the United States since the 1800s. The Hampshire, on the other hand, is considered to be the oldest American breed of hog. Talus Wind pigs are never restrained while giving birth, and they do not clip the piglets’ teeth or tails. The pigs are free to play, root, nap and wallow with their herd mates all day and night. They are fed a high quality, grain-based feed free of antibiotics, synthetic and artificial vitamins and rounded out with New Mexico grown alfalfa, vegetables, pecans and juniper berries. Their feed is milled nearby in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

LA MONTAÑITA FOODSHED • ACCESS TO & PURCHASE OF HEALTHY FOOD

IN SANTA FE • JEFF (505)984-2852 IN ABQ • RHIAN, NOB HILL (505)265-4631 • CHRIS, RIO GRANDE (505)242-8800 • ERIC, WESTSIDE (505)503-2550


RECIPES

December 2017 8

TIS THE SEASON:

FOODS TO WARM THE

SOUL TRY

THESE

SAVORY SWEET DISHES COCONUT BROWN RICE PUDDING 6 servings/ Prep time: 10 minutes / Cook time: 30-40 minutes 1 cup uncooked brown rice 2 cups water 1 cup chopped dried fruit 3 teaspoons dried ginger 1/2 tsp teaspoon nutmeg 1 cup coconut milk Chopped nuts, optional garnish Rinse the rice and place it in a large sauce pan on medium high heat. Stir the rice continuously as it dries and partly parches for about 3-5 minutes, making sure it does not burn. Add the water to the pan and stir in the chopped dried fruit, ginger and nutmeg. Cover and simmer the rice on low for 30-40 minutes until it is fully cooked. Remove the rice from the heat and stir in the coconut milk. Serve warm. NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION PER SERVING: CALORIES 197; CALORIES FROM FAT 16; TOTAL FAT 2G; SATURATED FAT 1G; TRANS FAT 0G; CHOLESTEROL 0MG; SODIUM 11MG; TOTAL CARBOHYDRATE 47G; DIETARY FIBER 2G; SUGARS 17G; PROTEIN 3G MUSHROOM FRITTATA WITH POTATO CRUST 6 servings / Prep time: 15 minutes / Cook time: 40 minutes 2 small potatoes, sliced thinly 2 tsp vegetable oil 4 cups shitake or cremini mushrooms, diced 1/2 small onion minced 1/2 tsp dried thyme 1/4 tsp dried oregano 1/4 tsp dried fennel seed, crushed 4 eggs, beaten Heat oven to 350º F. In a mixing bowl, toss the potato slices with the vegetable oil. Grease a quiche pan or cast iron skillet and line the bottom and sides of the pan with the potato slices.In a sauce pan, sauté the mushrooms until they soften, about 5 minutes. In a large mixing bowl, mix the mushrooms, onions, spices and eggs. Pour the mixture over the potatoes in the quiche pan. Bake the frittata for about 40 minutes or until the eggs are set and the top is golden brown. NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION PER SERVING: CALORIES 130; CALORIES FROM FAT 44; TOTAL FAT 5G; SATURATED FAT 1G; TRANS FAT 0G; CHOLESTEROL 124MG; SODIUM 57MG; TOTAL CARBOHYDRATE 15G; DIETARY FIBER 3G; SUGARS 2G; PROTEIN 7G SPICED CHERRY DESSERT BARS (Vegan and Gluten-free) 10 servings / Prep time: 20 minutes / Bake time: 45 minutes 3/4 cup coconut oil, melted 1 cup brown sugar 2 T chia seeds, ground 3/4 cup quinoa flour 3/4 cup buckwheat flour 1/2 cup rolled oats 3/4 tsp allspice powder 1 tsp psyllium husk powder 1 tsp cardamom powder 2 tsp nutmeg powder 3 tsp cinnamon powder 1/4 cup orange juice concentrate 2 apples, chopped 10 ounces frozen fruit, thawed, rinsed and cut in half (cherries or plums work well) In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients and set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, cream together the coconut oil, sugar and chia seeds and add this mixture to the dry ingredients. Add the orange juice concentrate, apples and other fruit and mix well. Press the mixture into an oiled 9X13 pan. Bake at 375ºF for 45 minutes or until golden brown on top. NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION PER SERVING: CALORIES 349; CALORIES FROM FAT 153; TOTAL FAT 17G; SATURATED FAT 14G; TRANS FAT 0G; CHOLESTEROL 0MG; SODIUM 3MG; TOTAL CARBOHYDRATE 46G; DIETARY FIBER 4G; SUGARS 28G; PROTEIN 3G

GIVE AND RECEIVE

HOMEADE GIVING

BY AMYLEE UDELL is the season to be giving and receiving. Most of us struggle with "stuff" and space. Decluttering is an ongoing battle, especially if you have young children. So, in all your extra time this holiday season, it would be great to clear out what you and your kids are no longer using. I have this goal every year. Last year I actually did it and it was kind of awesome.

T

BUT, let's just say you don't get around to it. We can still focus on giving and receiving gifts that aren't things but are experiences. Most of us have enough stuff! Let's share experiences and our precious time and get our noses out of or individual screens this holiday season. An easy place to start is taking in a movie together, but you also can consider: • Live theater tickets • Concert tickets • A museum visit • Live comedy • Biopark passes • Trampoline Park passes Lessons or classes, either taken together or individually, are a great personalized gift that take the receivers' interests to heart. Look into continuing ed programs (ce.unm.edu) or at the many local businesses that provide classes. Perhaps you've always wanted to learn more about: • Martial arts • Cake decorating • Fencing • Local herbalism • Knitting • Ballroom dancing • Flower arranging • Rock climbing • Wood working • Photography Maybe YOU have a skill you can teach? Offer your own time and make a coupon. Additional coupons for your time can include: • A hike together • A coffee date • A gym date • Babysitting

What about pure indulgences? Either provided by you or a professional? • A spa visit or makeover • A soak at one of NM's hot springs or local baths • Massage or energy work • Housekeeping I know sometimes you really just want to wrap something up and proudly hand it over. Think consumable rather than collectible. • Paint or art supplies • Local beer or wine • Your specialty dish or baked good • Specialty teas or coffees • Homemade (or not) spiced nuts, flavored popcorn or other treats Have digital skills? While technically digital gifts do take up space, most people have a little room to spare and the gift won't collect dust. Consider: • A photo show of shared memories • A "mixed tape" playlist • iTunes gift card or subscription to other music service • A digital scrapbook • Digitized media (Taking old photos and videos and music and transferring them to digital media actually REDUCES the amount of stuff in a home!) And for the kids? Much of the same! If you'd like to trip over fewer toys next year, ask for or offer gifts that encourage creativity, as well as: • Music lessons • Dance lessons • Sports team fees • Museum or park passes • Personally offered cooking, knitting, art or music lessons • Tea party • Free play park time • Ice skating • Pottery painting date GET CREATIVE! Think about what someone might really enjoy and make memories with that person. And if you're just stuck, a gift card to La Montañita works for just about everyone. I send you best wishes this special time of year. AMYLEE UDELL struggles with all the "stuff" her family seems to attract! She blogs about making the most of such family challenges at: www.productivemama.com.


RECIPES

SWEET

AND SPICY GOODNESS

Spiced Turmeric Latte Serves 2 1 1/2 cups almond milk (I say make your own, but if you are buying it buy the Dream brand for its creaminess) 1-2 T maple syrup 1/2 inch ginger root 1/2 inch piece of turmeric (or 1 tsp ground) 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1/4 tsp nutmeg 1/4 tsp vanilla extract 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper Pinch sea salt Pinch of cloves 1 cup Filtered water Note: if using any other plant based milk, you don’t have to use the water and you can add coconut milk instead. Add the milk, water, syrup, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, pepper, sea salt, to a high speed blender and process until completely smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings—such as turmeric and/or sweetener. Pour the mixture into a small pot over medium low heat and gently heat it. Don’t boil or thicken! Serve with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top!

December 2017 9 1 T coconut oil Freshly ground black pepper to taste 2 T miso paste 1 cleaned and diced yam/sweet potato 2 tsp curry powder 1 tsp sea salt (use to taste) Garnish: freshly chopped basil or cilantro Place all ingredients in a medium sized pot (like a Dutch oven) except miso. Bring to a boil and lower to a simmer. Let this simmer until beets are tender, approx. 20 minutes. Once done, let it cool a little then purée 2/3 of the soup until smooth and put all together in the pot. After puréed, stir in the miso. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper and salt (if needed). Serve with chopped herbs and/or enjoy with a simple salad. NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION PER SERVING: CALORIES 140; CALORIES FROM FAT 52; TOTAL FAT 6G; SATURATED FAT 5G; TRANS FAT 0G; CHOLESTEROL 0MG; SODIUM 963MG; TOTAL CARBOHYDRATE 20G; DIETARY FIBER 4G; SUGARS 7G; PROTEIN 3G VEGAN ALMOND COCOA BLISS BALLS 18 servings 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut 4 T filtered water 1/2 cup almond butter 3 T hemp seeds 1/4 cup cacao powder, plus 2 T for coating 1 tsp vanilla extract Pinch sea salt 8-10 Medjool dates, pitted

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION PER SERVING: CALORIES 101; CALORIES FROM FAT 73; TOTAL FAT 8G; SATURATED FAT 1G; TRANS FAT 0G; CHOLESTEROL 0MG; SODIUM 228MG; TOTAL CARBOHYDRATE 13G; DIETARY FIBER 2G; SUGARS 10G; PROTEIN 4G

Place all ingredients in your food processor and on the blade process until the mixture comes together. Roll this mixture into bite sized balls (approx. 18-20). Roll the balls into the 2 tablespoons of cacao powder. Set aside and chill; then serve and enjoy! They also are great at slightly room temperature.

GINGER BEET SOUP Serves approx. 4 Come on, you gotta eat beets! They are so good for you and since they are roots, they grow easily in the winter. Ok, onward to soup making!

You can add essential oils to this recipe like sweet orange oil or lavender. Other nut butters may be substituted in addition to nuts.

2 inches fresh ginger, grated with skin on 1 1/2 cups coconut milk 3 medium sized beets chopped into small chunks

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION PER SERVING: CALORIES 98; CALORIES FROM FAT 49; TOTAL FAT 6G; SATURATED FAT 1G; TRANS FAT 0G; CHOLESTEROL 0MG; SODIUM 32MG; TOTAL CARBOHYDRATE 11G; DIETARY FIBER 2G; SUGARS 9G; PROTEIN 3G


COMMUNITY FORUM KNOW YOUR FARMER

December 2017 10

KNOW YOUR FOOD SWEET GRASS PART II BY CALEIGH PAYNE o know your food is to know your farmer. The importance of shopping at La Montañita is that you are provided a clear connection to the producers that are raising the food for your family. The reason that we at Sweet Grass have enjoyed taking the time to write these articles the past few months, is that we feel strongly of the importance of consumers having a right to know exactly who it is that is providing their food. Unfortunately, whether you know it or not, this concept is becoming harder and harder to come by.

T

In 2002, the country of origin labeling (COOL) law was written into the Farm Bill. This law required that labels be provided for fresh beef, pork, and lamb stating the country in which the animal was raised. As time passed, more food items such as fruits, vegetables, and nuts were added to this regulation. Sadly, in 2015 the COOL law was repealed. In 2016, the United States imported nearly 3 billion pounds of beef according to a USDA trade report. Dr. Allen Williams has also noted that approximately 80% or more of grassfed beef in the U.S. is imported. The problem? The repeal of the COOL law makes it very difficult to know where your food is coming from. An animal can be raised in a different country, be imported into the United States, processed here and be labeled as “Product of the USA.” Luckily, buying beef from La Montañita sourced from the Sweet Grass Cooperative ensures you the right to know where your beef is coming from. Sweet Grass Cooperative raises cattle on local, family-run ranches and if you have an

interest, there is an open invitation to visit our ranches. Sweet Grass Cooperative strives for transparency and we love to tell our story and share how we raise cattle to improve our environment and communities while providing a nutrient-dense product. By buying Sweet Grass beef, we can offer you the opportunity to know us and know our practices, but by buying Sweet Grass beef you are also helping us and your communities. You are supporting soil health on a local level. You are also helping your community by contributing to the multiplier effect, helping dollars re-circulate regionally. Sweet Grass ranchers buy hay from local farmers, work with local farmers to graze cover crops and lease land, buy materials from our local stores, and utilize local banks, veterinarians, processors, truckers and more. By buying Sweet Grass Unfortunately, just finding local producers doesn’t un-muddy all of the waters. Another roadblock to knowing your food was invoked when the USDA withdrew the Grass (Forage) Fed Marketing Claim Standard in January of 2016. This leaves

beef YOU ARE helping us and your communities, YOU ARE supporting

SOIL HEALTH ON A LOCAL

LEVEL

ITCHY GREEN

THUMB CHICKEN, EGG OR

DATA?

BY BRETT BAKKER he US Department of Agriculture has again delayed (until May 2018) the “controversial” Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) amendment to the National Organic Program rule. The amendment was passed at the tail end the Obama Administration. It’s “controversial” only because it adds such novel ideas as ensuring organic chickens are actually walking around on soil and grass where they can peck for insects and seeds instead of merely having “access” to the outdoors via tiny concrete pads beside the vast hangar-like “henhouses” where most commercial eggs are produced.

T

There are other proposals: stocking rates (stronger limits on animals per acre/henhouse for example) and requirements that when organic livestock are transported (to auction yards, slaughter, another farm), they must be provided organic feed en-route. That last one has been long ignored in many cases. Livestock were sometimes provided whatever nonorganic hay or feed was handy or not fed at all, sometimes for over twenty-four hours. Anyone who has seen cows or sheep or chickens knows that they constantly graze. Since its inception in 2002, the NOP rule has specified that organic livestock must be able to engage in such natural behaviors. Yeah, yeah, I know, I know: why weren’t animal welfare stipulations implemented from the very beginning? Three words: Big Ag lobbyists. But I digress…

USDA cites industry hardship as one reason to halt OLPP. Yes, it costs a lot more to provide green, growing pasture rather than an inadequately sized concrete animal parking lot. But that’s why you and I have been paying a premium for organic eggs all along. Says Greg Herbruck of Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch, one of the nation’s largest “organic” egg producers: “We worked very hard to build this organic egg market. They’re trying to change the rule in the middle of the stream. That’s why it’s frustrating to us.” Yeah I can see that it’s frustrating when the rules change but no, Herbruck, you didn’t build the organic egg market. The entire organic market was built on the backs of small farmers who paved the way for multi-million dollar operations like yours to take over, meeting the letter of the law without meeting the spirit or intent. Reprehensible! You’ve made millions and, sure, your high-profit margin will suffer a bit as you change your methods but rest assured there remains a gigantic market for “industrial” organic as the Sprawl Marts and Targuts vie for their piece of the action. You won’t lose a thing. OLPP is an attempt to close the loopholes that allowed giants such as Herbuck and Cal-Maine to use the factory

BOD

beef labeled as “grass-fed” without any across-theboard regulations and standards. This has led to beef being labeled as “grass-fed” to include cattle fed nonforage supplements or cattle fed grass for only a portion of their diet. The “grass-fed” label can also include “grass feedlots,” where animals are kept in confinement and fed grass pellets. Therefore, the best way to know where the beef you are buying comes from, what the cattle eat, and how they are treated is to know your farmer or rancher. The preceding article (page 4), describes Sweet Grass Cooperative’s self-mandated standards for purely pasture-raised and truly grass-fed cattle. We believe that cattle should be raised in their natural environment and allowed to eat what their unique, ruminant stomachs were made to eat—grass. We look forward to sharing more of our story with you in the future and upholding the transparency that you deserve. As we say at Sweet Grass, every cow has a ranch. Every ranch has a story. We welcome you into ours.

model of egg production by merely substituting organic feed (produced at multi-million dollar monocrop “organic” farms by the way) and cutting back (not eliminating) synthetic medications. OLPP is in fact the most courageous thing the NOP has done in its existence (a sad statement but true) and is long overdue.

YES, IT COSTS

A LOT MORE to provide GREEN, GROWING PASTURE rather than an INADEQUATELY

SIZED CONCRETE

ANIMAL

PARKING LOT

And if this dithering wasn’t enough, inside reports from the recent National Organic Standard Board meeting (“inside reports” sounds all news-y and journalistic but I’m actually citing a friend who attended) say that the other organic controversy is still raging: the question of eliminating hydroponics from organic certification since it doesn’t meet the basic rules of soil stewardship ‘cause, uh, there ain’t no soil. There’s been no progress on this issue because many folks—maybe some of you reading this—are fine with and even excited about hydroponics. Yup, great, more food in a smaller space with a relatively light enviro-footprint, I get it. Look, no one wants to outlaw it but, at the very least, see it labeled as “organichydroponic” so that informed consumers can choose. Rumors from the meeting (rumors mind you, we got enough fake news as it is, thank you) indicate that Amazon is moving into hydroponics in a big way as part of its program to dominate the organic/natural food market so there’s doubt this exclusion will ever happen. In any case, dear reader, you do realize that Amazon’s true (and extremely valuable) product is not the inexpensive stuff we buy online but our personal data, yes? Hmmm. Maybe we need amendments to the treatment and implementation of human welfare.

ELECTION

RESULTS

Thank you to all our member-owners who took the time to vote in this year’s Co-op Election! Below are the results: MEMBER-OWNER CANDIDATES James Glover – 483, David Bacon – 453, Jessica Swan – 450, Susan Michie – 427, Maggie Seeley – 208, ennifer Plaut – 141, Emily Conway – 106, Michael Smith – 66, Valerie Doyle – 64, Mark Abramson – 46 CO-OP STAFF CANDIDATES Jerry Anaya – 453, Mike Hildebrand – 414, Benjamin Bartley – 217, Aaron Whitely – 147 BYLAW REVISION PROPOSALS Note: not all member-owners voted on every proposal, so the total votes for each will vary. 1. Section 1.2, Member Household Voting – 526 Yes / 67 No 2. Section 1.2.5, Lifetime Membership Fees – 528 Yes / 52 No 3. Section 2.1, Voting Period – 266 Yes / 355 No

4. Section 2.3, Board Candidate Requirements – 543 Yes / 42 No 5. Section 2.3, Staff Board Members – 565 Yes / 61 No 6. Section 2.3, Board Member Per Household – 521 Yes / 50 No 7. Section 2.7, Directors’ Compensation – 480 Yes / 44 No 8. Section 2.7, Non-Staff Directors’ Compensation – 465 Yes / 79 No 9. Section 2.7, Quarterly Financial Updates – 598 Yes / 19 No 10. Section 2.7, Annual Reports – 558 Yes / 9 No 11. Section 2.7, Staff, Committees & Policies – 327 Yes / 277 No 12. Section 2.7, CPA Selection – 557 Yes / 20 No 13. Section 3.1, Election of Board Member Officers – 581 Yes / 32 No 14. Section 5.4, Voting Procedures – 512 Yes / 34 No 15. Renumber Bylaws – 561 Yes / 8 No For the complete text of each Bylaw revision proposal please refer to the November 2017 newsletter or go to http://lamontanita.coop/2017board-election-results. Newly elected members of our Board of Directors will be seated at the December Board meeting, with 3-year and 1-year seats being assigned based on number of votes received by each elected candidate. For questions about the Board election, you can always contact the Board directly by emailing: TalkWithTheBoard@lamontanita.coop.


COMMUNITY CALENDAR

December 2017 11

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

SAVE THE DATE

WINTER

ALBUQUERQUE

LOS ALAMOS

COMMUNITY CALENDAR

Since it’s the holidays and no matter where we go, we are destined to be confronted with the magnetic melodies of holiday music, wild drivers who are even more in a hurry to get nowhere fast and a flurry of foods to entice our taste buds, I thought it appropriate to share a little holiday humour. The Awkward Yeti is a comic series to which I was recently introduced. I hope you find the comic below as funny as I did—don’t forget to laugh and love through this holiday season.

W I N T E R FA R M E R ’ S M A R K E T S

ALBUQUERQUE 6718 Rio Grande Blvd. NW Los Ranchos, New Mexico www.losranchosgrowersmarket.com Email: AStokes@losranchosnm.gov December–April, 2nd Saturday of each month: 10am-noon

SOCORRO

2018 NEW MEXICO

Fuller Lodge 2132 Central Ave Los Alamos, New Mexico talacook@windstream.net (January–April) 2nd Thursday of the month: 7am-12:30pm

ORGANIC FARMING CONFERENCE Marriott Pyramid 5151 San Francisco Road NE Albuquerque, NM Friday, February 16, 8am Saturday, February 17, 7am For additional information, contact Sage Faulkner at sagefaulkner@yahoo.com

SANTA FE 1607 Paseo de Peralta at Guadalupe Santa Fe, New Mexico www.santafefarmers market.com/ Email: Ned@Santafefarmersmarket.com Saturday (Year-round) 8am–1pm

LAND AND WATER SUMMIT

BY XERISCAPE COUNCIL OF NEW MEXICO

ALAMOGORDO 2900 N White Sands Blvd. Alamogordo, New Mexico www.localharvest.org/alamogordo-otero-countyfarmers-produce-and-craft-market Email: tomatojim@msn.com Year-round Saturdays, 8-10am

Albuquerque Airport Sheraton 2910 Yale Blvd. SE Albuquerque, NM Thursday, February 22–Friday, February 23 For more information, contact Jenn Katz at 505-468-1021 or jenn@landandwatersummit.org

LAS CRUCES

FORT SUMNER 213 E Sumner Avenue Fort Sumner, New Mexico Email: jandddavis55@yahoo.com Jan. 7–Dec. 30, Thursday, 4-6pm, Saturday 9-11am

TRI - COUNTY

SANTA FE

SAVE THE DATE

6th and University Las Vegas, New Mexico Email: gmascarenas11@gmail.com November–April, Saturdays 9am-1pm or sellout

To find out additional information on farmer’s market locations and hours please go to: http://farmersmarketsnm.org Also, please remember these markets also participate in the Double Up Food Bucks program and accept SNAP/EBT benefits.

The Santa Fe Food Policy Council is devoted to creating and maintaining a regional food system that provides safe and nutritious food at reasonable prices to all residents, particularly those in need. Meetings are open to the public. The Council meets from 9am to 11am at the conference room of Kitchen Angels located at 1222 Siler Road. For information regarding meetings and becoming involved, please contact Pam Roy at 505-660-8403 or: pam@farmtotablenmorg • Thursday, December 14, 9–11am • Thursday, January 25, 9–11am

Reprinted with permission

SAVE THE DATES

25 N. Main St. Las Cruces, New Mexico www.fcmlc.org Email: fcmlcinc@gmail.com Year-round Wed. and Sat., 8am-1pm, Wed. night market: (2nd Wed. of the month)

TWO IMPORTANT WINTER CONFERENCES IN ABQ

407 Center St. Socorro, New Mexico socorrofarmersmarket.blogspot.com/ Email: mnulibarrikeller@yahoo.com (November–April) Saturdays, 9-11am


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