Page 1

T H E C O M M U N I T Y O W N E D E C O N O M Y : E Q U A L I T Y, E Q U I T Y A N D


DEMOCRACY What is Community Wealth Building and Why is it Important? BY TED HOWARD, DEMOCRACY COLLABORATIVE AND THE EVERGREEN COOPERATIVES ore than a decade ago, my colleagues and I at The Democracy Collaborative began using a term for a new kind of economic development—Community Wealth Building. For years, the term was so uncommon that it almost invariably appeared within quotation marks when used. Today, a Google search identifies 124,000 entries and is growing daily.


In Richmond, VA, the Mayor recently established the first city government Office of Community Wealth Building. Community wealth initiatives have been launched in cities as different as Cleveland, OH, Washington, DC, Atlanta, GA and Amarillo, TX. Regional Federal Reserve Banks are hosting video webinars and meetings. Even the extractive fracking industry—yes, you read that right—is now working to co-opt the term to improve its image. My colleague Marjorie Kelly, author of Owning Our Future: The Emerging Ownership Revolution, writes: "When families possess assets—valuable skills, social networks, a home, some savings, an ownership stake in a business—they enjoy greater resilience, and are better able to withstand occasional shocks like unemployment or illness. They can plan for their future, send a child to college, feel secure in retirement. A job may start or stop. It is assets, of various kinds, that yield greater stability and security. As this is true of families, it is also true of communities. Jobs may be drawn into a community, but then leave without warning. And if attracting jobs means degrading community assets—through pollution, low-wage jobs, or the loss of tax income through excessive tax breaks—a seeming gain can in fact represent a net loss. “If traditional economic development tends to be about attracting industry to a community, building wealth is instead about using under-utilized local assets to make a community more vibrant. It’s about developing assets in such a way that the wealth stays local. And the aim is helping families and communities control their own economic destiny."

Strengthening Communities This is community wealth building: a fast-growing economic development movement that strengthens our communities through broader democratic ownership and control of business and jobs. It builds on local talents, capacities and institutions, rebuilding capital to strengthen and create locally-owned family and community owned businesses that are anchored in place, that aren’t moving. The community wealth building field includes a broad range of models and innovations that have been steadily growing power over the past 30 years or more: cooperatives, employee-owned companies, social enterprise, land trusts, family businesses, community development financial institutions and banks, and more. One powerful team of local partners are anchor institutions, like hospitals and universities. They are often the largest economic drivers in their communities. Increasingly they see the synergy between restoring local health and wealth with their success. These strategies reverse the focus on “chasing companies to relocate to my city.” All too often this includes greater tax breaks and lower wages for companies that may well relocate again for a better offer in another community. Community wealth, on the other hand, is tied to place. The people who own and control the businesses live there. These structures and models are part of a growing system that aims at improving the ability of communities and individuals to: • increase asset ownership; • create anchor jobs locally by broadening ownership over capital;


LOCAL FARMERS BY ROBIN SEYDEL ver our four decades of community advocacy, service and development we have created a number of programs and initiatives to expand our support for farmers, ranchers and value-added food producers. These include the Co-op Distribution Center, the La Montañita FUND and the Veteran Farmer Project.


Co-op Trade and Distribution Center Celebrates 10th Anniversary La Montañita launched its Co-op Trade Initiative in 2006 to develop resources and strategies to expand the regional foodshed and local food system, strengthen the community owned economy and maintain the Co-op's vibrancy in an ever more competitive market place. The Co-op's Distribution Center, opened in January 2007, was one of the first food hub projects in the nation. Now almost a decade later, La Montañita's Distribution Center provides access to markets for hundreds of



The La Montañita FUND: Celebrating 5 Years of Grassroots Investing and Lending The La Montañita Fund (LaM FUND) is in its 5th year of operation. This grassroots local investing and lending program is helping farmers, ranchers and food producers with capital to scale up and grow their food production businesses. Thanks to the support of our member investors we have loaned over $175,000 in revolving loans to food producers throughout the state. The LaM FUND pioneered a local investing and lending model that is being utilized by other co-ops nationally. Our partners at Nusenda Credit Union recognize its value in growing community wealth and are using our model to expand access to capEnjoy a Delicious Dinner with Co-op ital for organizations in business sectors other Owners, Board and Staff—Hear a Report than food production. on the State of Your Co-op—Hear from our Special Guest Ted Howard!

Ted is the architect of the green jobs and wealth building program in Cleveland, Ohio, known as the Evergreen Cooperatives. In 2015 Ted and members of the Democracy Collaborative began to work with UNM Hospital and other anchor institutions in New Mexico.



The overall economic impact of place-based community wealth building strategies is evident. More than 10 million employees own all or part of 10,900 companies through employee stock ownership plans (ESOPS). These ESOPs have generated equity benefits of $870 billion for their employee-owners. Cooperatives, according to a 2009 University of Wisconsin study, now operate 73,000 places of business throughout the United States, own $3 trillion in assets, employ 857,000 people, and generate over $500 billion in revenue for their member-owners. The new “go local/sustainable” business and food movement is exploding. Community wealth building begins to point to some of the essential elements of a more just, equitable and sustainable system. To learn more about community wealth building innovations across the country, please visit: To read more from Ted, watch next month's Co-op Connection News, our website and social media for more information on the October 22 Annual Co-op Gathering with Ted Howard.

AUG. 18 6-8PM

mid-sized farmers (increasing their on-farm income), has helped farmers reach beneficial economies of scale, delivers local and regional products to scores of local businesses, and continues to be a model and a leader in the local, regional and national food hub movement. Our statewide value chain education and development work is funded by the USDA and the Thornberg Foundation. Additionally Bob Veilleux, Produce Merchandizing Manager and Nob Hill Store Team Leader, continues to work with smaller farmers to bring produce directly into our six Co-op stores.

TED HOWARD is a social entrepreneur and author. He is the founder and Executive Director of The Democracy Collaborative and served as the Minter Senior Fellow for Social Justice with the Cleveland Foundation. For more than 30 years, Howard has worked for non-profit organizations including UN agencies and The Hunger Project.


• help achieve key environmental goals (including decreasing carbon emissions); • expand the provision of public services by strengthening the municipal tax base; and • ensure local economic stability.

Going Beyond for a Farmer Part of the success of the LaM FUND is the deep relationships we develop with food producers in the state as well as with our dedicated investors. The latest example of this circle of community was a response to the devastating fires we experienced this year. Many of you appreciate the high quality vegetables Nolina Bryant of Nolina's Heavenly Organics produces on her farm in Lemitar, NM. In June, Nolina lost her farm, hoop house and home in the fire near Socorro. The LaM FUND and Nolina have been partners for over the past 3 years with loans to build a hoop house for season extension and for other infrastructure projects for the farm. Over the years Nolina has faithfully paid down her loan with every delivery of produce to Co-op stores. When the fire took her home and her farm, we immediately called the credit union to suspend the need for repayments and put out a call to our member investors. With a substantial dona-



FRUIT AND VEGETABLES 6-8PM A ROUND TABLE Discussion on Pesticides and Organic Production with • BRETT BAKKER—NM Dept. of Agriculture, Organic Program's Chief Inspector and • STEVE WARSHAWER —La Moñtanita Co-op Enterprise Development Manager and owner/operator of Mesa Top Farm. Santa Fe Co-op Community Room, RSVP at or call 217-2027, light refreshments

tion from La Montañita Co-op and donations from our generous LaM FUND investors we can cover most of her remaining debt. We are now coming to our full Co-op community to see if together we can cover Nolina's remaining debt and provide funds to help her rebuild her home and farm. If you have enjoyed her high quality certified organic vegetables and want to help Nolina, please contact me at or call 505-217-2027. Every little bit will help. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2


August 2016 2

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

From Cimarron Canyon to the Manzanos, folks forage for this wild cherry, one of the most widespread edible and medicinal native plants in North America. The slender, shrublike tree, a member of the rose family with the botanical name of Prunus virginiana, rarely grows taller than 30 feet. Small white flowers make conical clusters that ripen into cherries. Sour enough when raw to produce a pucker, which is how the berry got its name, its astringent taste mellows out when it is dried or cooked.

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

BY SHARON NIEDERMAN oraging isn’t new to people from northern New Mexico. Deer, turkey, antelope and elk are harvested for the freezer; dandelions, quelites, and wild plums are seasonal delicacies. People remember wild mushrooms and asparagus, but there’s not very much of those around anymore. Trout, both brown and rainbow, still grace the dinner plate so long as there’s an angler in the family.


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: • Bob Veilleux/Nob Hill 265-4631 • Martha Whitman/Rio Grande 242-8800 • William Prokopiak/Santa Fe 984-2852 • Leaf Ashley/Gallup 575-863-5383 • Joe Phy/Westside 505-503-2550

But no wild crop is as prized as the chokecherry. Chokecherry season arrives in New Mexico in mid-August. That’s when families head out to the hills and stream banks to fill their buckets with tiny garnet berries to make sweet-tangy jelly or rose-colored liqueur that takes the chill off a winter evening. The trick is to find the berries —smaller than a Bing cherry by half, with about twice as much pit— while they are hanging in ripe clusters before the birds and bears do.

A favorite dessert of Hispanic Manzano old-timers is chokecherry syrup poured over fresh goat cheese, then lightly broiled. Foraging is like taking a trip to the Garden of Eden. It’s an endless blessing to spend an August day scouting the ripe berries then patiently tugging them from their branches. We take our haul home then wash and clean them thoroughly, put them in a gigantic pot, cover them with water and boil until soft. Then we run them through a sieve to remove pits and skin. As has been done for generations, we wrap the pulp in cheesecloth (or an old tee shirt) and hang the contraption over a pot overnight to obtain every drop of the precious juice.


FARMERS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 The Veteran Farmer Project: Growing Farmers The VFP provides free agricultural classes to veterans, their families and the larger community during the deep winter and hands-on farming and gardening experience during the growing seasons. Its mission is to inspire and educate the next generation of farmers and food producers by helping veterans transition into the community.

Harvest Time Update Our Corrales site is doing amazingly well for a first year farm. The cooler spring followed by record heat slowed things down but we are looking good for a solid harvest of tomatoes, peppers, cukes and other warm weather crops. We have also begun the planning and the planting for our fall produce and are working to extend our season with mini cold frames until we can put together the finances for a hoop house for year round production. We also have some wonderful beans and tomatoes coming up at our four plots at Rio Grande Community Farm at Los Poblanos Open Space. Look for us at the VA Growers' Market and in Co-op produce departments.

Co-op Board of Directors: email: • President: Ariana Marchello • Treasurer: Tracy Sprouls • Lisa Banwarth-Kuhn • James Esqueda • Gregory Gould • Tammy Parker • Courtney White • Julie Anderson • Gina Dennis 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 Assistant: JR Riegel 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 ©2016 La Montañita Food Co-op Reprints by prior permission. The Co-op Connection is printed on 65% post-consumer recycled paper. It is recyclable.

This article was adapted from New Mexico’s Tasty Traditions: Recollections, Recipes and Photos by Sharon Niederman.

The healing and nutritive properties of the chokecherry are known to Native people. Meriwether Lewis, taken ill during the Lewis and Clark Expedition, was revived by drinking a tea prepared of wild cherry bark. A Native staple, pemmican, is made from grinding dried chokecherries, pits and all, with pulverized meat and fat, then preserved by baking into a jerky that travels well.



A BIG THANKS! All of us at the VFP want to thank Kirk and Sandra RaieghHively and Scott and Amanda Frazier for their generous donation of hens. Additionally, a HUGE thank you to John McMullen of Embudo Farm for their generous donation of a


Once this process is complete, the juice can be frozen and used for making jelly later on. CHOKECHERRY JELLY 3 cups prepared chokecherry juice 6 1/2 cups sugar 2 pouches (6 ounces) Certo gelatin or Pomona’s Pectin Add juice to sugar. Mix well. Stir constantly on high heat. Bring to full rolling boil that continues while you stir. At Certo all at once while continuing to stir. Bring to full rolling boil again. Allow to boil for one minute. Remove from heat. Skim foam. Pour hot liquid through a funnel into sterilized jars on a tray. Seal and store. CHOKECHERRY LIQUEUR Excerpted from The Rocky Mountain Wild Foods Cookbook by Darcy Williamson (Caxton Press, 1995). Makes 2 quarts. 1 1 7 4 3 2 2

tsp freshly grated nutmeg tsp freshly grated allspice lbs chokecherries made into juice cups sugar cups water cups rum cups brandy

Add sugar and spices to prepared juice. Bring to a boil, simmer 3–4 minutes. Allow to stand overnight. Strain. Add rum and brandy, and stir well. Store in a cool, dark place in a covered crock for a month or 2 or decant directly into bottles and seal with corks.


bag of organic chicken feed every month. At this time, core VFP group members are taking the eggs home to their families, but at some point in the future as our activities expand we may even have some to sell. About two weeks after the "girls" arrived, thanks to quick support from Cindy Davies of the Bernalillo County Extension Office, animal control arrived to remove and relocate both a twelve foot bull snake who had been feasting on eggs and a nine foot rattlesnake that found its way into the coop as well. We are most grateful for the many generous donations the VFP has received as we work to raise funds for our hoop house. Thanks to all of you for your help. You can still donate to us at: www.gofundme/veteransgreenhouse, or you can mail your donations to La Montañita Co-op, 901 Menaul Blvd. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87107, Attn. Veteran Farmer Project. Please make checks out to La Montañita Co-op and include VFP in the memo. At this time, these donations are not tax deductible. However, we are working to get our non-profit 501(c)(3) status soon. Please join us on Tues. and Thurs. mornings at the Corrales location. For more info contact Robin at or email Ronda at



The Rio Grande Agricultural Land Trust (RGALT) is proud to announce the upcoming 2016 Harvest Dinner. With over 500 additional acres of New Mexico land preserved in perpetuity, as well as recently being awarded national accreditation, we have a lot to celebrate with our friends! Come down to the South Valley’s historic Gutierrez-Hubbell House on Sunday, September 11th for locally sourced food prepared by New Mexico’s own gourmet chefs—Chef Chris Pope of Zinc, Chef Myles Lucero of Seasons, and Chef Frans Dinkelmann. You can shake a tail feather to live music and bid

on some fabulous goods during the silent auction! The event will kick off around 4pm and go until dark. “RGALT's Annual Harvest Dinner is a landmark celebration that allows us to bring together our conservation partners, landowners, and community supporters to embrace and honor New Mexico's local harvest. Thi event captures New Mexico's cultural history and showcases the products of local farmers, local chefs, and other artisanal food and alcohol producers in our community," said RGALT Executive Director Cecilia Rosacker. "All proceeds from the fundraising event go to furthering our mission of protecting the lands we all love." Tickets available now for discounts at www.2016harvest For more information on becoming a sponsor, contact Cecilia Rosacker at or 505-270-4421. Sign up for our enewsletter at to stay informed of all the great RGALT news!


August 2016 3


FUNDING COLLEGE EDUCATION This month the Donate-A-Dime bag donation program is supporting two statewide scholarship funds, one affiliated with UNM Foundation and the other affiliated with the CNM Foundation. All bag donation funds will be shared equally by these two educational foundations for these specific scholarships. Please bring your bag and donate the dime.

Issa Sakaki Merrill Scholarship and Student Support Fund BY CAROL MERRILL This fund was created in memory of Issa Sakaki Merrill to provide annual grants to undergraduate students at the University of New Mexico majoring in political science and minoring in peace studies. To receive a grant a student will demonstrate a background and interest in conflict resolution and peacemaking. The Department of Political Science and the Peace Studies Program select the recipients. Funds will go for tuition, expenses, and travel to places to learn practical methods to create non-violent solutions to political, economic, and social conflicts. Issa Sakaki Merrill, the son of Japanese poet Nanao Sakaki and New Mexico poet C.S. Merrill, was born in Albuquerque, NM. After living in China as a toddler, he was raised in Corrales, NM, and attended the University of New Mexico. He died in 2013 at the age of 32 from a rare disease. Throughout his life he worked for peace and social justice, by writing letters, lobbying government officials, and attending non-violent rallies as a witness to peace. He majored in political science, with an interest in peace studies at the University of New Mexico. However, his illness prevented him from finishing his university studies or starting a career. Issa’s friends and family have created this scholarship fund to further the cause of peace that meant so much to Issa, and to help others on a similar life path to complete the journey Issa was unable to finish. This is Issa’s legacy. If you wish to make a personal contribution, make your check out to UNM Foundation. In the memo space, please include the name of the fund: Issa Sakaki Merrill Fund 610173. Then mail to: UNM Foundation, Two Woodward Center, 700 Lomas NE, Albuquerque, NM 87102. To give online:


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



CNM Access to Education Scholarship Fund


UNM Bookstore 505-277-9586

BY CLINT WELLS The CNM Foundation is committed to the principle that no student should be denied the opportunity for an education due solely to a lack of financial resources. Yet, CNM has a higher percentage of students with financial need than any other New Mexico college. Although the college receives federal and state financial assistance, these funds do not meet the vast need for financial assistance that enables CNM students to improve their lives through higher education. Especially during these economic times, CNM's students must balance the cost of an education with living necessities shelter, food, and clothing. For the last twenty years, the CNM Foundation has leveraged private funding resources and opportunities to support Central New Mexico Community College. This has resulted in more than 30 million dollars in program support and distributing more than 32,000 scholarship awards to support students. In 2013 the Access to Education Scholarship Fund was created to provide scholarship resources to foreign-born, low income students attending CNM who have no access to financial support. If you want to make a gift beyond your Donatea-Dime contribution, please call 505-224-4685.



On January 17, 2011 after a mere 6 weeks of work the Co-op's GRABnGO location opened its doors. This small but mighty 800 square foot store provides options for healthy eating for UNM students, staff and faculty.



Beginning on August 22, the Co-op's GRABnGO will be open from 8AM to 6PM Monday through Saturday and 11AM to 4PM on Sundays. It is located on the main campus in the UNM Bookstore at Cornell and Central. Check out the UNM Campus location of your community-owned La Montañita Co-op !

THIS MONTH HELP SEND A KID TO COLLEGE! DONATIONS WILL BE SHARED BETWEEN: The Issa Sakaki Merrill UNM Scholarship FUND and the CNM College Scholarship Foundation to help send our community's children to college. Your June bag credit donations totalling $2,583.00 went to the Xeriscape Council of New Mexico.

Alamed a Blvd. Coors Blvd.


n the UNM Main Campus and need good, healthy and local food quick? Check out the Co-op's GRABnGO location in the UNM Bookstore building on Central at Cornell. Feed your brain and participate in the alternative community ownership economic model that is the Co-op.

Thanks to the UNM community for 5 years of amazing support. The Co-op GRABnGO offers fresh Co-op deli-made foods for breakfast, lunch and dinner, easy-cook foods, a selection of dried fruit and nuts, fresh fruit, healthy juices and other beverages and a variety of other local and organic products.


3601 Old Airport Ave. NW 505-503-2550



The GRABnGO came into being thanks to the work of some dedicated UNM Sustainability Studies Department students who wanted healthy food on campus. They also believed that community ownership of resources provides a stronger and more sustainable local economy.

Old A irpor t Ave .


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.



August 2016 4



COMMUNITY TAMMY PARKER, BOARD OF DIRECTORS ately La Montañita has been experiencing the difficult growing pains that are necessary in a dynamic, healthy democracy. Perhaps you have you experienced some of that pain as well. We on the Co-op’s Board of Directors certainly have, and we share that with you as member-owners. The decisions we make in support of the long-term wellbeing of the Co-op are based on our Ends Policies which strive to create “a co-operative community built on beneficial relationships based in healthy food, sound environmental practices, and a strong local economy with results that justify the resources used.” In support of that goal there are four ends, one of which is “a strengthened co-operative community.” For further information on these guiding principles look to La Montañita’s web page, on the “Board of Directors” tab, under “Documents.” BY


Food is a complex topic. With more than ten years of university level food systems study and research I am the first to say that I don’t have all the answers. If anything, I have merely scratched the surface of this complicated issue. Something as simple as the definition of “local” has to be defined individually, for there is no generally accepted definition. The same is true for “natural”. We are living in an age when the popular thought is to polarize every issue into “good” or “bad”, but we all know from experience that life is seldom that simple; there are only points along a continuum from “worst” to “best” and we have to determine our own mileposts along that continuum. Within the cooperative community we hope to find others who care about the same issues we do: food, health, environment, perhaps social justice, maybe philosophy. There is no litmus test of what makes you want to be a member-owner of a food cooperative, no single question that has to be answered correctly to be involved. It is this generalization around topics of interest that make us a community and which simultaneously make it difficult to discuss topics we hold so dear to our hearts.

Among the most important reasons I became a member of a food cooperative, the Moscow Food Co-op in Moscow, ID, was not just because it was the best place to get fresh, healthy food, but because the cooperative model it was based upon was more attractive to me than the capitalistbased grocery stores in the area. I was in that area as a graduate student at Washington State University, about 8 miles away, studying how to create more resilient food systems. The region, known as the Palouse, is an agricultural area and was growing in population, with two state universities only a few miles apart on opposite sides of the state line. There was a great deal of discussion regarding the environment the citizens of the area wanted to create for themselves and for future generations, and I focused my research on this topic. It was that research that introduced me to the cooperative economic model in which social, economic, and ecological outcomes matter equally. As much as I was a foodie, I also understood that food and economy were inextricably intertwined, even if I didn’t like that connection. I served on the Moscow Co-op’s Board of Directors for three years before taking a job in Zuni, NM. A big reason for my decision to take the job in New Mexico was the presence of La Montañita, which the Moscow Board had studied in our efforts to model our growth on other successful co-ops. I knew I would find community within a food co-op, people I could relate to and who would care as much as myself about our local foodshed. As a new resident of New Mexico and as the Tribal Extension representative in Zuni, hired to help improve local food security, I quickly realized the difficult plight of the local foodshed. It’s a serious challenge to farm, or even garden, in west-central NM and the income inequality and social justice issues I had studied go from theory to reality on a daily basis. As soon as I was established I ran for La Montañita’s Board of Directors, because I knew from past experience that co-ops are the future—the best way to create a more equitable, healthier and more resilient food system—and it is important to me to be a part of that discussion and that growth. La Montañita does a lot of things to support the communities it serves. Under the “Community” tab on www. you can learn more about our efforts to give back, including the Veteran Farmer Project, the La Montañita Fund that offers loans to food related businesses in the area and the Donate-a-Dime program that aggregates the money saved when we bring our own bags and donates it to local organizations. One of the things we have most wanted to address was the image we had of being an elitist grocery with high prices. In the past year’s Co-op Cafés we have given you, our member-



“ S I LV E R T S U N A M I ”



WORKER OWNED COOPERATIVES NATHAN HIXSON, LOCAL ENTERPRISE ASSISTANCE FUND (LEAF) e all know the term “fiscal cliff,” but have you heard of the “demographic cliff” or “silver tsunami?” Beginning in 2011, the Baby Boomer generation (those aged 51 to 70) began turning 65 at a rate of 10,000 per day, a trend that will continue for the next two decades. Many economists are worried that the millions of Americans retiring every year will drain the pool of experienced business managers and leave most retiring small business owners without good candidates to purchase their company. In fact, two-thirds of surveyed small business owners plan on selling their business in the next ten years, but less than onefifth have a transition plan to make the sale happen. BY


Many small business owners used to pass their businesses on to their children, but today, inter-family transfers make up only 15% of all sales, and only 30% of businesses are successful past the first generation. Finding an outside buyer has become increasingly difficult as more baby boomers retire and find a buyer’s market full of businesses for sale. Owners who are able to sell at a fair price are often faced with the prospect of their company either being shut down or merged with a competitor’s brand. Too often, transferring ownership of a small business means widespread loss of employment as firms consolidate or move jobs abroad. The failure to plan for business succession in small and medium-sized businesses is the leading preventable cause of job loss in the US. Enter worker co-ops to the rescue! This crisis of retiring baby boomer business owners is a golden opportunity to democratize the economy and save jobs, one business at a time. This is possible through selling the business to employees and converting it to a worker-owned cooperative business structure,

where all employee-owners have a say in the governance and claim in the profits of the business. Small and medium-sized business owners are proud of the jobs they have created and want to see them endure after the business’ ownership transition. Unbeknownst to most of these business owners, broad based employee ownership is a proven strategy to build assets for their workers, retain jobs in the community, and even enhance their after-tax return on the sale of the business. Business sellers enjoy multiple tax advantages designed to incentivize the sale of small businesses to employees. While newly minted worker co-ops need strong leadership, the employees do not need to be wealthy up front to buy the company. LEAF has aided many employees and owners in making this conversion to employee ownership. Last month, LEAF financed the ownership transition of the Electric Violin Shop (“EVS”) from its retiring owner to the shop’s employees. EVS sells custom electric string instruments all over the world from their shop in North Carolina. The retiring owner searched for a way to receive a fair price for his specialty business before learning the answer was in his store the whole time—his employees! “This has allowed me to retire and my loyal staff to own the business” he describes. The new employee-owners of EVS are excited and looking forward to taking the business to the next level: one new worker-owner said, “It’s exciting not only to take ownership but also to be able to extend cooperative owner-membership to new employees as our company expands.” Employee ownership does not change the impetus to maximize shareholder value, it simply changes the calculus used to make that decision. When employees and owners are one and the same, the interests of the company and the community become aligned and investment decisions are made to ensure the ongoing viability of the company—including measures to preserve or increase jobs and support the long term health of the local econo-

owners, the opportunity to tell us what you feel is important to the Co-op’s future growth. The primary message was that it was expensive to shop the Co-op. To that end we have been working on the best ways to address that and have introduced programs to make good food available for less. The Clean 15 ( has created quite a stir. The overwhelming message we have received is gratitude for the lower priced produce, but with a strong undercurrent of anger that the co-op is selling non-organic produce. The new Double-up Food Buck program that allows lower income shoppers to access local produce is yet another way in which La Montañita is trying to be a better and more helpful part of the community it serves. First, and foremost, what I have learned from serving on two different food co-op boards has been the that a co-op is a store and as such must be competitive to continue to survive and thrive. Secondly I have learned that when you create a community of passionate people there are going to be disagreements. I do not enjoy those conflicts. Most of you do not enjoy conflict either, but we come together in support of a cooperative community that is rare and precious, even idealistic. We may get angry with each other for thinking differently about how best to accomplish the ends of a co-operative community built on beneficial relationships and based in healthy food, sound environment and a strong local economy, but let’s not lose perspective on what we are trying to do. We belong to a food co-op because we know food is about community. Food is complex, and so is community. Let’s roll up our sleeves, offer up our respect for different opinions and our love for those who care about these issues as much as we do. Let’s support La Montañita and work together to be a better, stronger community.



DEADLINES DEADLINE: AUGUST 20 Help guide your Community owned cooperative—run for the Board of Directors! Pick up your candidate nominations packet at any Coop location’s Information Desk or download it at

Before the August 20 deadline: Fill it out and email to or mail to La Montañita Co-op, 901 Menaul Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87107, Attention Membership Department. Got questions? Need more information? Contact

my. Studies have shown that when ownership is paired with a meaningful degree of employee participation, performance, productivity, and firm longevity are enhanced. Worker co-ops are more than just a way to address the retiring business owner crisis, they are a way to make companies, jobs, and communities better.


August 2016 5


GENERAL MANAGER BY DENNIS HANLEY t’s produce harvest time in New Mexico and we are seeing lots of wonderful local produce coming into our stores. How about those delicious cherries we had in June and July! Our Co-op's Distribution Center bought and distributed over 9,000 pounds from Paola Legarre of Sage Creations farm, one of our foodshed farm partners. And now this month; we hope you are enjoying the fabulous peaches from Rancho Durazno. We have partnered with Thomas Cameron and family of Rancho Durazno for well over a decade to bring these incredible peaches to your table. Thanks to all this great produce, we are seeing a surge in our produce sales. We are continually looking for more New Mexican produce to fill the needs of the Double Up Food Bucks program. In June, just as the New Mexico-grown produce season was beginning to ramp up we sold well over $2,000 of locally grown produce to new and returning SNAP/EBT customers. We continue to be committed to this program. Thanks to so many of you for your positive input and support of this program.


We are also receiving much positive support for the conventional produce we brought into our stores over the last three months. While we understand that there is some opposition to this initiative, the sales and many positive comments from member-owners are letting us know we are on the right track (see the Letter to the Editor on this page). For those member-owners that only want organic produce, we hope you have noticed that our assortment of organic produce selections has gone up from an average of 300 varieties in June to over 350 in July. This is an increase of 14% in organic produce and one of the reasons we hope the Co-op community will trust us when we say we are committed to being an organic produce leader in value, assortment and quality.

Lastly on the produce front I would like to explain the reasoning behind our previous use of the term “The Clean 15.” As I was a newly appointed general manager of the Co-op, I was trying to use what I believed was a nationally respected third party: the Environmental Working Group. This non-profit organization has for approximately two decades provided a list of what they believe are the fruit and vegetables with the highest levels of pesticide residues, the “Dirty Dozen,” and suggested that these products should always be purchased organic if possible. A year or so after, they came out with the list of the “Clean 15;” those items that their research showed were lower risk. Subsequently Consumers Union, the scientific body that publishes Consumers Report, echoed their findings. I felt that these respected third parties would have more credibility than I would as a newbie to the community. You may have already noticed that we have changed the signage on the conventional produce we carry; now it clearly states it is conventional produce. We never had any intention of confusing any of our shoppers. Our commitment to our shoppers is that we will only carry those conventional produce items that are believed to be low risk by those two respected nonprofit research organizations in order to provide price point options for all our shoppers. Just to be clear, if you want organic, look for the USDA certified organic sticker. If a produce item does not carry this sticker, we must assume it is conventionally produced. Don’t give up your power of choice; continue to read labels and make your choices wisely. Great Deals on Meat! You will see regular sales on our new Four Daughters Ranch beef line that is grass-grown and grain finished. These fine beef products, grown near Belen, are pasture- raised and finished with grains and legumes grown right on their family land. The Four Daughters Ranch cows never leave the care of the Mechenbier family, not going to what is generally understood as a conventional feedlot but rather remaining in the care of this family-run ranch.






I wanted to tell you how much I appreciate the new pricing. And I appreciate the Clean 15 conventional produce counter. My family's income has lessened a great deal in the last year and the prices, the Clean 15 and the Field Day brand have helped tremendously. I love La Montañita and have been a member since it opened. In fact I lived at OSHA Food Co-op on 4th Street in the early '70's. OSHA was the pre-cursor to La Montañita. I ordered the produce! Things were much simpler back then. Everyone had to bag their own groceries with their own bags! It was a much smaller enterprise. The building was a funky low ceilinged adobe, with a huge oildrum wood burning stove in the middle for the cold days in winter. We all lived and worked together... it was not always idyllic, after all nothing is perfect. But we were



of Events 8/16 BOD Meeting Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, 2401 12th St. NW, Albuquerque at 5:30pm 8/18 Co-op

Community Education Fruit and Vegetable Production Roundtable, Santa Fe Co-op Community Room, 68pm, see page 1 for details. 913 West Alameda

8/20 BOD ELECTIONS candidate nomination deadline! 8/22 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.

We are also pleased to be regularly promoting our fine Sweet Grass Cooperative beef and encourage aficionados of grass-fed and -finished beef to look for newly lowered prices on these products. We are proud of our long relationship with the ranchers of Sweet Grass Co-op and their dedication to grass-fed, grass-finished beef. Our support of these two production methods provides two flavor profiles for fine locally grown beef to please every Co-op shoppers’ palette and to fit every budget. Look for deep sales and special promotions weekly over the next few months. Field Day: A Co-op Private Label Brand I hope you have been enjoying the great deals on Field Day products that are part of our Co-op Basics program. Field Day is a series of private label products that have been created for the co-ops of the National Cooperative Grocers association, a second tier cooperative that is owned by 148 food co-ops nationwide. These fine products have been tested for quality and rate as high as or higher than any other private label competitor. Watch for an over 40% savings on a wide variety of these products in August. As always I enjoy hearing from all our member-owners. Please don’t hesitate to contact me at

carrying out our dreams from the '60s by creating a space for good healthy food, community, harmony and peace. One day La Montañita opened in the University area. Since then there have been many changes at La Montañita. And I didn't always like them. Change is difficult, and the recent changes this year at the Co-op are pretty radical, what with a new director from a more commercial background, changes in staffing, changes in produce, changes in product. It is understandable that some people are very upset. I see that one thing some people complain about is the Clean 15. I understand that this is done in order to make food available to those with less income. It is not as though the Clean 15 will contaminate the organic produce! I buy from that group occasionally, especially onions and grapefruit. I believe there are certain things La Montañita would never carry such as non-organic strawberries and grapes which are loaded with pesticides.



about community and caring, not about an elitist agenda. We must remember that La Montañita is a business, not a religion. By the way, I have at least one friend who lives in the Valley who is thrilled to be able to buy the DUFB/EBT twofor-one local produce. To those who are very upset about the changes, please consider a more balanced point of view and have some compassion in your heart for the more disenfranchised and for the poor staff who have been bombarded with anger and hostility! What would we do without the Co-op? PEACE AND LOVE,


This Co-op is about our whole community, not just a few special members. I have a feeling that these very vocal people represent only a fraction of the owners of La Montañita. I will always shop the Co-op, because it is







The La Montañita Co-op Board of Directors and General Manager are pleased to announce that beginning August 16, our Board of Directors meetings will be held at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center at 2401 12th Street in Albuquerque.




A Round Table Discussion on Pesticides and Organic Production with Brett Bakker—NM Dept. of Agriculture, Organic Program's Chief Inspector and Steve Warshawer—La Moñtanita Co-op Enterprise Dev. Manager and owner/ operator of Mesa Top Farm. RSVP at, 505-217-2027.

August Calendar

AUG.16 5:30PM

We are most honored to be able to partner with this outstanding community organization. Meetings will still begin with our Board of Directors, Co-op Community Education Study hour at 5:30PM. All Co-op memberowners are welcome. The monthly Board business meeting will begin at 6:35PM. For more information contact or call 217-2027.


CO-OP DISTRIBUTION CENTER CAFE LUSH/CENTRAL NEW MEXICO Address: 700 Tijeras NW, Albuquerque, NM, 87102 Phone: 505-508 0164 Website: When Started: Just celebrated their 5th Anniversary Specialties: Gluten free, vegetarian, natural meats, house made ice creams and desserts What we buy from the CDC: Beeler's bacon, local cheeses, lots of gluten free products They say: Come and see what we do with all the wonderful Co-op products we get. Our customers appreciate that we use quality products and they keep coming back! Thanks to the community for their support.



LA MONTAÑITA LOCAL FOODSHED . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


LA MONTAÑITA LOCAL FOODSHED . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Family Farm Since 1979 RANCHO DURAZNO palisade, colorado




Seco Spice processes over 500 tons of fresh green chile annually!

Thomas Cameron named his farm Rancho Durazno­—meaning “peach farm” in Spanish—as a way to acknowledge the people who perform most hand labor in the orchards on the Western Slope of Colorado. A moderate fluency in Spanish and a readiness to listen and learn from elder neighbors were the primary skills he brought to Palisade in 1979. Presently, his youngest daughter Gwen is acquiring the experience and acumen to carry the growth of this family-run farm into the future.

organically grown Rancho Durazno has now been certified organic by the Dept. of Agriculture for more than 25 years.

Hatch valley in southern new mexico

SECO SPICE hatch, new mexico

Since the turn of the century, when the Ogaz family came to the Hatch Valley, farming chile has become their tradition and their passion. For three generations they have researched and discovered the most effective techniques for growing and harvesting chile from seed to soil.

As summer draws near its end, nothing lets you know that fall is just around the corner quite like the smell of roasted chile. A distinct smoke and spice smell swirling through the unpredictable New Mexico air dissipates into our big blue Land of Enchantment sky.

Seco Spice produces 6 million dry pounds of chile and processes over 500 tons of fresh green chile annually! All of their products are certified Kosher and most are certified organic. Recently their red and green chile have received organic certification.

Over the past 40 years, La Montañita Co-op has been providing the best produce in New Mexico and we’ve done so by partnering with New Mexico’s top producers. One of these partners is Seco Spice, one of the largest organic chile and spice producers in the state, who has been bringing exceptional chile for over 20 years from their home to yours. This family-owned business grows many varieties of chiles and spices, but is best known for their red and green chile.

The essence of New Mexico is what makes for world renowned green chile, according to Seco Spice: “We like to think we know why our New Mexico Chile tastes better than any other chile grown in the USA or across the world. We firmly believe that chile grown in New Mexico tastes better in much the same way that the French wine regions believe they make the finest wines, as does California’s Napa Valley. We all agree. Our products are the best because of our heritage, our water, our air, and our local soil.” It’s hard to argue with that.

“This is the best peach I have ever tasted!” They value the high ethical and environmental standards of organic production, and are still guided by the wisdom of their elders to cherish and support the soil as a thriving organism that sustains the health and vitality of their orchards. Tending the orchard canopy and cover crops fosters a diverse population of beneficial insects and deters those that would damage the delicious fruit.

peaches you remember Organic peaches are the primary crop­—their signature produce. One of the unanticipated joys is hearing people exclaim, “This is the best peach I’ve ever tasted!” Rancho Durazno peaches attain an exceptional flavor and quality in the high desert environment of this Rocky Mountain region. The Colorado River canyon is the key to a microclimate that buffers overnight temperatures, especially during bloom time and other tender stages of fruit development. By working in harmony with  this desert landscape, Rancho Duraznoconsistently produces the best peaches you’ll ever taste. Other tree fruits grown include apricots, sweet cherries, plums and nectarines.

This unique green chile is good for your health. High in vitamin A (dry chile) and vitamin C (fresh), the chiles contain many times more vitamin C than a single orange. Their vibrant color signals the presence of the antioxidant beta-carotene, which supports the cardiovascular system, healthy eyes, skin, and the immune system. They do not contain fat and block the body’s absorption of cholesterol. And that is just the short list! What is more difficult to agree on is: Red? Or green? The answers that surround this inevitable question are passionate. Can’t we all get along? After all, it is the same plant, just picked at different times. Whether it’s red or green, we can agree nothing says Nuevo Mexico like our signature roasted chile. Keep your nose up; you’ll be smelling the sweet smell of fall soon enough. Find all your chile fixes at any neighborhood La Montañita Co-op. We will be roasting Seco Spice’s Organic Green Chile!


PEACH GREEN CHILE COBBLER (gluten-free, dairy-free) — 2-3 green chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped 20 oz sliced peaches 1 tsp cinnamon 1 T turbinado sugar or coconut palm sugar 4 T coconut oil 1 cup almond flour ¼ cup coconut flour 1 cup turbinado sugar or coconut palm sugar 2 tsp baking powder 1 tsp cinnamon Pinch salt 2 egg whites 1 egg 1 tsp vanilla extract Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss the chiles with the peaches, cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. Set aside. Melt coconut oil in large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Remove from heat. Brush oil all over bottom of skillet and along the sides. In a large bowl, whisk together the almond and coconut flours, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.

Ogaz Family & Friends

good for your




In a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk egg whites and egg until frothy. Add most of the melted coconut oil and vanilla, and blend until fully incorporated. Pour mixture into flour mixture. Stir until well blended.

health, green chiles contain many times more vitamin c than a single orange.

Premium Organic Peaches

from the

Colorado River Valley

40 years! piece - of - CAKE! . Saturday . September 17 th . 1 - 3pm



Each of our DELI BAKERS will design A ONE-OF-A-KIND CAKE for their PARTICULAR store. Join us for this unique celebration & share your cake photos on Instagram & Facebook. TAG US!

Spread batter out along the bottom of the skillet. Top with peach-chile combo. Using the back of a spoon, spread out evenly. Bake 45 minutes.


August 2016 8


SAVORIES BROWN BAG SCONES (GLUTEN-FREE) Makes about 10 scones / Prep time: 15 minutes / Bake time: 30 minutes Scones packed with nuts make a great quick breakfast or satisfying snack. You can substitute milk for the orange juice concentrate and experiment with various nuts and dried fruits to make variations to last the whole year long! 1/3 cup cold butter, diced 1 3/4 cups gluten free or all-purpose wheat flour 1 tsp psyllium husk powder (use only for gluten-free version) 2 T sugar 2 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt 1 egg, beaten 1/2 cup juice-sweetened dried cranberries 1 cup walnuts, chopped 8–12 T orange juice concentrate, thawed, but chilled Heat oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Place the flour and the cold, diced butter into a food processor and pulse a few times on medium until the mixture forms a coarse meal. Remove to a large mixing bowl. Whisk in sugar, baking powder, salt and psyllium husk powder, if using. (At this point, you can place the flour-butter mixture in the freezer until you are ready to bake the scones.) Add the beaten egg and begin adding the chilled orange juice concentrate by the tablespoon until the mixture just comes together and away from the sides and all the flour has become incorporated. Mix in the chopped walnuts and the dried cranberries. Working quickly, so as not to warm the dough, scoop out small handfuls of dough (roughly 1/3 cup in size), squeeze into a ball, place the ball onto the parchmentlined baking sheet and flatten with the palm of your hand to about 3/4 inch thick. Repeat this process until you’ve used all the dough. Bake for about 25–30 minutes until a toothpick placed into the center of a scone comes out clean. If they begin to brown too much on top before the

centers are cooked, you can place a sheet of aluminum foil over the top as they continue to bake. Adapted from Betty Crocker’s Cookbook, New and Revised, 1986 NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING Calories 283; Calories from fat 126; Total fat 14g; Saturated fat 5g; Trans Fat 0g; Cholesterol 35mg; Sodium 271mg; Total carbohydrate 36g; Dietary Fiber 2g; Sugars 12g; Protein 4g ZUCCHINI LASAGNA Serves 8 / Prep time: 15 minutes / Cook time: 25 minutes 1/4 lb ground beef, browned (optional) 1 onion, minced 2 carrots, grated 2 cloves garlic, minced 6 large collard leaves, chopped 1 T dried thyme 1 T dried oregano 1 tsp dried garlic powder 38oz tomato sauce Feta to taste (optional) 4 zucchinis, sliced lengthwise into planks no thicker than 1/4 inch For the tomato sauce mixture, mix all ingredients except the feta and zucchinis. In a 9x13” greased casserole dish, coat the bottom with a thin layer of the tomato sauce mixture. Layer one layer of zucchini planks. Repeat layers, finishing with a layer of tomato sauce. Add crumbled feta, if using. Bake covered at 350°F for 25 minutes. NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING Calories 116; Calories from fat 40; Total fat 5g; Saturated fat 2g; Trans Fat 0g; Cholesterol 20mg; Sodium 796mg; Total carbohydrate 13g; Dietary Fiber 3g; Sugars 9g; Protein 8g PEACH COBBLER (GLUTEN-FREE) Serves 6-8 / Prep time: 30 minutes It’s peach season! When peaches are fresh, there is no need for much sugar or for over-cooking the peaches. This version of peach cobbler lets the fresh peach flavor really shine through. 4 cups sliced fresh peaches, unpeeled 1 tsp lemon juice Sugar to taste (up to 1/2 cup) 3 T cold or frozen unsalted butter 2 cups brown rice flour or all-purpose wheat flour 1 tsp psyllium husk powder (use only for gluten-free version) 1 T sugar 1 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt 3/4 to 1 cup milk (enough to moisten dough so it just sticks together) Heat oven to 400°F. Place peaches in the bottom of a greased 9x13” baking dish. Sprinkle lemon juice and sugar (if using) on top of the peaches and toss. In a bowl, cut the cold butter into the flour. Add the psyllium husk powder (if using), sugar, baking powder and salt and mix well with a whisk. Stir in milk. Drop dough by 6–8 spoonfuls onto peaches. Bake until topping is golden brown, 25–30 minutes. NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING Calories 373; Calories from fat 73; Total fat 8g; Saturated fat 5g; Trans Fat 0g; Cholesterol 18mg; Sodium 348mg; Total carbohydrate 70g; Dietary Fiber 4g; Sugars 29g; Protein 6g




BY AMYLEE UDELL s I'm not a canner! Freezing, dehydrating and fermenting are my main ways of preserving the harvest and enjoying the bounty year round. One other method I've dabbled in is preserving in oil. I tried eggplants a few years ago and really enjoyed them! Sun-dried tomatoes are also popular and many of you are already familiar with olives, artichoke hearts and mushrooms preserved in oil.


Olive oil is an excellent preservative. One book I researched indicated oil preserved foods would have an "indefinite" shelf life. Other resources cautioned against botulism. So needless to say, you need to practice safe procedures, making sure to scald your jars and not introduce any foreign materials as you work. And perhaps consider refrigeration or cooler temperatures for storage. Use your own research, comfort levels and common sense. The main disadvantages of this type of preservation are cost and oiliness. Olive oil is not cheap. It has been practiced in many countries for many years, especially in those where olive oil is plentiful. Because the oil permeates the food, it cannot be removed for consumption. So the food will be oily. Often, these types of foods are eaten in small quantities so that you won't be overwhelmed by the oil. One advantage of oil preservation is that many of the foods that grow easily here lend themselves nicely to it. Most local gardeners are successful with tomatoes, eggplants, squash and chilies. These work wonderfully with oil preservation. The typical method is to scald the vegetable in water or vinegar, place the vegetables in a jar (with herbs or spices if you like) and then cover with oil. I've tried eggplant two delicious ways and one had you salt and then bake the eggplant before packing. This recipe predicted about two weeks before spoiling. The other had you salt and drain the eggplant for 24 hours before immersing in oil and did not predict an expiration date but indicated a few months tops. This last recipe, like the cherry tomato recipe below, has a big advantage in the hot summer months: no heat to prepare. It is recommended to first roast any chili peppers and then you can expect them to last a few weeks to a few months.

August 2016 9 As with all oil preservations, you can freeze them to extend the preservation period. Much concern was expressed over preserving fresh garlic cloves in oil, as they last a very short time in the refrigerator or freezer. Garlic infused oils must follow very strict production guidelines due to botulism concerns. But the flavor of other herbs can easily be preserved by making infused oils. Thyme, rosemary, basil, oregano, tarragon, fennel, dill, mint, savory and cilantro are common garden herbs that would make a lovely culinary infused oil. You could add a clove of garlic, but then remove the clove after a few days both for safety and to avoid the garlic overpowering the other herbs. You can set these oils in the sun to infuse or look into using a crockpot for a speedier result. Many of these oil preserved vegetables make a great addition to tabouli, couscous or pasta recipes. They can also be used to make a tapenade to serve on toast or crackers. Or as a flavorful addition to raw salads or even cooked vegetables. The eggplant would do well in baba ghanoush. The following cherry tomato recipe goes well with all of the above, as well as on meats or fish of any kind. Enjoy the harvest a little longer, along with the flavor and benefits of olive oil. CHERRY TOMATOES IN OIL From Preserving Food without Freezing or Canning (Terre Vivante Farmers), page 98 Cherry tomatoes Small onions or shallots Cider vinegar or lemon juice (1–2 T per 16oz jar) Fresh basil, oregano, tarragon, etc to taste Course salt Olive oil Canning jars and lids You must start with cherry tomatoes that are very small and ripe. Wash and dry the tomatoes. Peel several of the onions and shallots. Prepare scalded or sterilized 16oz jars. Fill them with tomatoes, alternating with a few onions and herbs. When the jars are filled to about one and a half inches from the rim, sprinkle with a pinch of course salt. Add one or two tablespoons of cider vinegar or lemon juice and then cover with olive oil. Close the jars with a very clean lid and store the jars in a rather cool place (50–59°F). The tomatoes will be ready to eat in two to three months and will keep for up to a year. AMYLEE UDELL is a mother of three who spends a lot of time in the kitchen. She stays productive at:


August 2016 10



fresh fruit, veggies and grains provides many nutritional benefits including prevention of some forms of cancer and heart disease. They are also a preventative in the empty calorie diseases of obesity and diabetes.


BY ROBIN SEYDEL ith obesity and diabetes at epidemic proportions instilling balanced food habits at a young age is of paramount importance for good health throughout life. Creating a pattern of good home cooked food as the daily expectation makes good sense both in growing good health and maintaining healthy home economics. Moderation, lowered fat, sugar and salt use all begin early, as children define and set their lifelong food preferences. This doesn’t mean that a pizza night is unacceptable; it’s just something you do every once in a while. Also, it’s important not to make junk food a reward or a special treat; just something you do when other options are not available. Make rewards real rewards, a favorite dish cooked at home, special time spent together in a favorite activity or other meaningful experiences.

Moderation, lowered fat, sugar 6. Variety is the spice of life! Although and salt use all begin many children with their more sensitive taste early as children buds that have not yet been dulled by too


Does it take more time and energy? It’s easier than you think. Is it more costly? Not if you weigh in the costs of health care for cardiovascular disease, obesity or diabetes or endless rounds of antibiotics for ear infections into the equation. 1O TIPS The care and feeding of your child begins before you even get pregnant. Pregnant or women who hope to become pregnant, nursing mothers and young children should reduce consumption of animal products to reduce dioxin body burdens and avoid eating swordfish, king mackerel, shark and tile fish. Also, consumption of tuna should be kept to no more than once a month, due to the high levels of methyl mercury, and fish caught in the Great Lakes region are contaminated with PCBs and should be avoided or reduced to once a month or less.



eat and in our bodies. Eat fresh fruit, veggies and grains; combining beans with rice, corn, millet, rye and other grains makes a perfect protein, minimizing the need for animal products. When using animal products use them as a condiment or flavoring rather than as a main source of protein. 3. Choose organic whenever possible, and especially for fruits and veggies that your child eats a lot. Grow your own food whenever possible, even if it’s just tomatoes in patio pots. Tomatoes generally have some the highest levels of chemical residues as do other high water veggies and roots including potatoes and carrots. Fruit with fuzzy or bumpy skins like peaches, strawberries, raspberries and apricots also show higher residues.

1. Breastfeed your baby. It provides the healthiest milk for a human child, gives your baby your immunities while their system continues to develop, and evidence shows it reduces the risks of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), asthma and cancer while also increasing intellectual development.

4. When you do eat animal products, choose the cleanest products possible. The high levels of hormone and antibiotic residues have been increasingly been linked to the onset of puberty in girls at earlier ages and the development of antibiotic resistance, a rising public health concern. Choose local, grass-fed, hormone-free or organic meat and dairy products whenever possible. Locally produced meat will be freshest.

2. Eat lower on the food chain. Most of the POPs (persistent organic pollutants) concentrate as you go up the food chain. They are also lipophilic (fat loving), binding to fat in the fat of animals we

5. Eat fresh fruit and veggies several times a day. Wash all fruit and veggies carefully, peel any waxed skins. And remember that high intake of


much sugar, salt, fat etc. often don’t like spicy foods. Offer great variety even though your child may get stuck on one favorite food for a while. Make “tasting” a new food routine. At a later date, they may come back to something they didn’t enjoy the first time around and find their taste buds have developed enough to appreciate it.

7. Check for allergies and sensitivities. Colic in babies and repeated ear infections in young children may be due to food sensitivities or allergies. Remove some items including wheat, peanut butter, corn, soy, dairy or other foods to see if it makes a difference. Rising rates of allergies have been linked to consumption of genetically engineered foods (the Institute for Responsibility Technology website has more information.) 8. All children, but especially those who are even slightly hyperactive will benefit from a diet free of sugar and sugar substitutes, preservatives, food colorings, artificial flavors and aromas and additives of all types. Children with ADD and ADHD as well as children with allergies have benefited greatly from the Feingold Diet or rotational diets. Searching the web for Feingold Diet or Rotational diet will yield lots of usable info. 9. Get your children involved in growing, shopping for and preparing food. It is amazing what vegetables children will eat with relish when they have helped grow them. A little bit of autonomy and participation in food choices will go a long way to making children more willing to try new foods, or eat nutritionally balanced meals. 10. Make meal time a fun family experience.


THE GMO GAP BY BRETT BAKKER nce again, a Comprehension Gap arises in the nonorganic farm press. Headline: GMO-Free has become the latest gimmick, from the venerable Hoard’s Dairyman magazine, first published in 1885, long before organic was a choice. This June 2016 editorial is a reaction to a top-selling nonorganic yogurt announcing it only wants milk from cows fed non-GMO feed.


The editorial says GMOs are just fine ‘cause billions of pounds have been grown and eaten to no ill effect on human health. Well, that’s kinda true... there is no conclusive evidence that eating GMOs hurts humans. But somehow no one ever remembers that safety sometimes take lifetimes to assess. DDT was considered perfectly safe in the 1950s. Romans used lead acetate (yes, lead!) as a sweetener and never knew they were poisoning themselves. The unnamed editorialist goes on to say that, in dairy products, there is no way to detect GMOs that originated in feed, and besides, cows are ultra-efficient digesters—what with multiple stomachs and all— that break GMOs down completely so what’s the big deal anyway? Comprehension Gap time! As I’ve said before in these pages, one’s world view, religion and politics soundly affect not only one’s beliefs but one’s ability to even fathom an opposing belief. That goes for me and you too, not just the folks with whom we butt heads. Gap #1. Whether GMOs are harmful is not the only debate. But proponents just can’t seem to drop it. Widespread use of RoundUp Ready crops (which after all are the majority of GMOs) has led to higher—not lower—pesticide use. This is fact! Also, an increasing number of studies show that glyphosate is harmful to humans. But since GMOs have govern-

ment approval, they must be ok. Many proponents are the same people that otherwise argue against Federal regulation in general. Hmmm… Gap #2. The cost of GMO seed and its attendant technology (chemicals and specialized equipment necessary for success) is not readily available to “Third World” farmers, economically speaking. This reinforces the old America Must Feed the World myth, rather than the more sensible approach that helping—or even more radically, letting—people feed themselves to foster ownership, responsibility and self-respect. Sure, in times of famine, the haves ought to—and indeed have a moral obligation to—help feed the have-nots as best we can. But this should be a stopgap, not a gateway to US corporate dominance abroad. This is simple social justice.


August 2016 11

SUNFLOWERS BY JESSIE EMERSON, RN hen I think of August, I think of sunflowers lining the road. Fields of yellow that seem to go on forever and bouquets of sunflowers at luncheons and receptions. The sunflower (Helianthus annus), whose name means “follows the sun” migrated from Mexico and Peru and also has been called “marigold of Peru.” If you watch closely you can see the flowers turning toward the rays of the sun. Revered by the Aztecs, sunflowers were placed in their temples to the Sun and their priestesses wore crowns of sunflowers.


The Diné (Navajo) name for the sunflower is “Nidiyiliitsoh.” My friend and Diné teacher, Sam Tso, told me the sunflower is a sacred plant to his people. “We use the big sunflower. There is a connection between that plant and the lightning. It protects your garden from lightning. That is why it is planted in between the rows of corn.” The Hopi and the Diné used all parts of the plant. The hull is boiled to make a dark red dye. The Hopi developed a special sunflower that is used today as a dye plant. It is a colorful addition to any garden. The hollow stalks were used to make bird snares. A flute made from the stalk is used in the Diné Enemy Way Ceremony. It is also used as medicine in the Mountain Chant and Night Way ceremonies. (Vestal, Paul A, Ethnobotany of the Ramah Navajo, pg. 51, Wyman, Leland, and Stuart, Harris, Navajo Indian Medical Ethnobotany, pgs. 31,47,65,72 and Young, Stella, Native Plants Used by the Navajo, pg 31) The sunflower was also grown and used by the Pueblo Indians. Astronomers have named one of the spiral galaxies, M63 the Sunflower Galaxy. Her long spiraling arms glow blue in the deep dark of the heavens. The sunflower has the ability to absorb large quantities of water. She has been used in Holland to make swampy areas livable. The malarial larvae are absorbed and killed. A tincture of sunflower is used in Russia as a remedy for malarial fever. The Caucasus people spread leaves on a bed, covered them with a clean cloth and laid the feverish patient on it. They moistened the leaves with warm milk, and wrapped the patient in a sheet layered with the leaves to bring on sweating. The process repeated daily until the fever is gone. Today there are many viral diseases spread by mosquitos. Planting sunflowers around your home and garden in low areas or placed where water may accumulate and along acequias is a

The sunflower is not only BEAUTIFUL, it is


WASTE PLANT form of natural pest control and protection against mosquito borne diseases. Nuclear Remediation The sunflower is one of our plant allies that protects us from radiation. I agree with scientists and Dr. Helen Caldicott that there are NO safe doses or amounts of radiation. The EPA has plans to raise the amount of "safe" radionuclides that are allowed in drinking water. I urge everyone to contact the EPA and “Just Say NO” to that dangerous policy After the nuclear meltdown in Fukushima, Japan, hundreds of acres of soil were contaminated. There is continuous leaking of radiation into the soil, air and water from the damaged nuclear power plant. Helianthus annus is being used to decontaminate the soil. The goal is to plant 120 million sunflowers to phyto-remediate the soil. An American scientific team, led by professor Leon Kachions, learned that sunflowers were not efficient in collecting cesium, a very deadly source of radiation. However, the team also discovered that treating the soil with ammonium nitrate increases the availability of cesium for root uptake and accumulation in plant shoots. (USDA Research Service: Phyto-remediation Using Plants to Clean Up Soil) A process was developed that can separate cesium from the biomass in the highly contaminated sunflowers. It is then contained in “radiation-tight containers." The left over biomass can be made into bio-fuel, helping with the clean-up costs. This process could be used to



GREG GOULD ased on the power of incrementalism, the principle involved with the La Montañita Coop's bag credit donations of ten cents adds up to useful donations of thousands of dollars for local causes. So if as an experiment in social behavior modification, people offered tree starts as a birthday gift to children, a process of reforestation would ensue. BY


The idea would be to give a fruit or nut tree start as a birthday gift to children, who theoretically might accumulate a small orchard by adolescence. Trees would teach children a few important life lessons, such as nurturing a living plant which requires five to six years before it ever bears fruits, thus learning patience and delayed gratification. As a society, we

teach children about seconds, minutes, hours, morning and afternoon, weekends, Summer vacation, etc. We don't do such a good job, teaching four, five, six year increments which is high school, college, graduate school, military service, raising children, building a family, building a career. Bill Mollison's Permaculture model seeks to recalibrate the orchard ratio to cultivated garden area on farms from 30% trees to 70% trees. The trees being perennials. Trees create micro climates. Jared Diamond cites deforestation as an element in the collapse of civilizations. So reforestation can only be a positive counter effort. Reforestation could play a role in carbon sequestration and cleaning the atmosphere as well. In an era of drought, watering trees with gray water or roof harvested rain, would contribute to sustainability and resilience. Trees shift one's orientation towards long term thinking, linking generations to create long lasting value.


EARN A REBATE WHILE YOU LEARN BY TIANA BACA The Desert Oasis Teaching Garden located at Albuquerque Academy is pleased to partner with the Albuquerque Water Utility Authority to provide two WaterSmart classes in August. These classes will help you optimize your garden output and minimize your water use. Working with experts at the Albuquerque Academy’s Desert Oasis Teaching Garden (, you’ll learn how to make the most of your urban farm by employing organic growing techniques and water-saving strategies. In

addition to making your gardens grow, participants will qualify for a one-time $20 rebate on their water bills! (PLEASE NOTE: Only one rebate per address!) Both the Thursday, August 4 and the Saturday ,August 6 class are scheduled for 9-1AM. Please arrive at 8:45AM to park and register so class can start on time. Space is limited (50 seats per class). ALL PARTICIPANTS MUST PRE-REGISTER IN ADVANCE. TO REGISTER call 289-3042 or go to:

clean up the areas around Los Alamos that have been contaminated by the Lab. There is a great potential for the New Mexico economy here: raising sunflowers for phyto-remediation, seeds for oil and consumption, the biomass from the plants turned into green manure and bio-fuels. Food for Thought and People Sunflowers also provide food. The green leaves when gathered young make nutritions food for poultry stock and people. The seeds and oil have been used for food for at least 3,000 years. I was told by a Hopi family who still grinds sunflower seeds, that they grind other seeds for flour on the same grinding stone to add the oil to the other flour. Russia and China are among the top producers of sunflower seeds and oil. Why not New Mexico? The health benefits of the seeds are many. Their high vitamin E content protects the heart. Vitamin E is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that protects the body from free radicals that can disrupt DNA, causing cancers. Chronic inflammation causes diseases such as heart disease and heart attacks, strokes, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. Trace minerals in the seeds protect the body from cancer by promoting the repair of DNA. Both Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are present in abundance and in proper proportions. The linoleic acid and oleic acid lowers the LDL ("bad") type of cholesterol. I was a nurse in a neonatal intensive care unit. One of the problems with low birth weight babies is high mortality, often from infections. Their immature skin is an ineffective barrier to bacteria. Science News (March 12, 2005, vol.167, pg 165) reports using sunflower oil and NOT a petroleum based ointment protects the infant not only from bacterial infections, it also strengthens and protects their tiny hearts. This information creates another business, making and marketing sunflower salve. The oil also helps the skin retain moisture. The seeds also contain B-complex vitamins and folic acid which contribute to DNA synthesis. They contain calcium, iron, manganese, zinc, magnesium and selenium. I am awed that such small seeds can contain so much nutritional power. Sunflower seeds, both raw and roasted, and sunflower oil are all staples in my kitchen. The seeds make a healthy low fat snack and are great travel food. Just 1/4 cup or one handful give 90% of the daily requirements of Vitamin E, provide 6 grams protein and 3 grams of fiber. Great food for a person with diabetes! Add them to salads and baked goodies for extra protein and fiber. I add them to everything from breads to pancakes. One of my favorites is a sunflower burger topped with a tomato slices, sunflower sprouts and avocado. The variations for their use are many.

La Montañita Co-op Connection News, August 2016  
La Montañita Co-op Connection News, August 2016