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COMMUNITY WEALTH BUILDING BY TED HOWARD AND THE DEMOCRACY COLLABORATIVE Excerpted and reprinted from Investing in What Works for America's Communities 2011, with permission from the authors. Part two of this article will appear next month. For the full article and footnotes go to


n September 2011, the US Census Bureau released statistics about poverty in the United States. According to the Bureau’s analysis, fully 25% of very young children (below the age of five) in America live in poverty. Further, 46.2 million Americans lived in poverty in 2010, the highest number since the agency began tracking poverty levels in the 1950s. (Editor's Note: New Mexico has the second highest rate of poverty and childhood food insecurity in the nation.) As frequently cited, the top 1 percent of Americans now claim more income per year than the bottom 100 million Americans taken together. This growing inequality is particularly notable between racial ethnic groups. The average family of color owns less than 10 cents for every dollar held by a white family. Two in five American children are raised in asset-poor households, including one-half of Latino and African American children. Dealing with the challenge of concentrated urban poverty necessitates a serious strategy to provide stable, living wage employment in every community and every neighborhood in the country. Some of the most exciting and dynamic experimentation is occurring at the community level, as cities and residents beset by pain and decades of failed promises and disinvestment begin charting innovative new approaches to rebuilding their communities. Even in economically struggling cities, “anchor institutions” such as hospitals and universities can be leveraged to generate support for community-based enterprise. An important example is taking place in Cleveland, OH, where a network of worker-owned businesses called the Evergreen Cooperatives has been launched in lowincome, inner-city neighborhoods. Rather than allowing vast streams of money to leak out of the community or be captured by distant companies, local anchor institutions can agree to make their purchases locally. Already the “Cleveland model” has spread beyond Cleveland, with efforts now gathering early momentum in places as diverse as Amarillo, Atlanta, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Richmond, CA; Springfield, MA; and Washington, DC. (Editor's note: And most recently in Albuquerque, New Mexico).

The field is composed of a broad array of locally anchored institutions, such as hospitals and educational institutions that have the potential to be powerful agents to build both individual and commonly held assets. Their activities range along a continuum from efforts focused solely on building modest levels of assets for low-income individuals to establishing urban land trusts, community benefiting businesses, municipal enterprises, nonprofit financial institutions, cooperatives, social enterprises, and employee-owned companies. In addition to universities and hospitals (often referred to as “eds and meds”), anchors may include cultural institutions, health care facilities, community foundations, faith-based institutions, public utilities, and municipal governments. Because they are rooted in place (unlike for-profit corporations, which may relocate for a variety of reasons), anchors have, at least in principle, an economic self interest in helping to ensure that the communities in which they are based are safe, vibrant, healthy, and stable. Leveraging Resources A key strategic issue is how to leverage the vast resources that flow through these institutions to build community wealth by such means as targeted local purchasing, hiring, real estate development, and investment. Importantly, within both the higher education and health care sectors, institutions are increasingly committed to defined and measurable environmental goals, such as shrinking their carbon footprints, that help reinforce a focus on localizing their procurement, investment, and other business practices. It is now widely recognized that anchor institutions are important economic engines in many cities and regions, including their role as significant employers. For example, a 1999 Brookings Institution report found that in the 20 largest US cities, universities and hospitals accounted for 35 percent of the workforce employed by the top 10 private employers. The potential for anchor institutions to generate local jobs is substantial. The most straightforward way to create jobs is to shift a portion of their purchase of food, energy, supplies, and services to local businesses. An innovative example of an anchor institution using its economic power to directly benefit the community is in Cleveland and its surrounding counties in northeast Ohio. In

During the past few decades there has been a steady build-up of new forms of community-supportive economic enterprises. These ideas are beginning to define the underlying structural building blocks of a democratic political-economic system—a new model that is different in fundamental ways from both traditional capitalism and socialism. This approach known as “community wealth building” is a form of development that puts wealth in the hands of locally rooted business enterprises (with ownership vested in community stakeholders), not just investor-driven corporations. These anchored businesses (both for-profit and nonprofit) in turn reinvest in their local neighborhoods, they contribute to local economic stability and stop the leakage of dollars from communities, which in turn reinforces environmental sustainability and equitable development.


SOCIAL JUSTICE FAIR OCTOBER 22, 2-5PM BY MARY OISHI, LA MONTAÑITA CO-OP OWNER AND KUNM’S DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR ommunity! It’s what created La Montañita Co-op 40 years ago and has sustained it all these years. And although KUNM was started by UNM students in 1966, it is the community that has volunteered behind its microphones, answered its phones, paid the majority of its bills—and brings it to this milestone 50th Anniversary.


It is in this spirit that KUNM decided to give back by hosting Social Justice Fairs. We brought in speakers like Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman, Alternative Radio’s David Barsamian, Latino USA’s Maria Hinojosa, and investigative reporter Jeremy Skahill. We also partnered with La Montañita Co-op to show important films. And we made it a free event for our members, our listeners who help us to keep the airwaves open for community voices year after year. People tell us, “We wouldn’t want to live in New Mexico without KUNM.” It’s great to hear that. But KUNM wouldn’t be KUNM without New Mexico, a truly special place where people come together to affect all kinds of positive outcomes for everyone: preserving the Rio Grande, saving habitat, providing shelter for homeless youth, legal services for women and immigrants and seniors. You name it, there are groups of people who come together, roll up their sleeves, and do the work.

They turn to KUNM to spread the word about their events and projects, by interview or announcement. That helps to sustain KUNM, both financially (in the latter case) and by making us the go-to place to find out what’s going on. It’s a circle of community. KUNM gives back by inviting nonprofit organizations to set up booths at our Social Justice Fair at no charge. That’s what makes it a “Fair” and not just a speaker event or film screening. This year we are again partnering with La Montañita Co-op for the Social Justice Fair. On October 22, we will be celebrating KUNM’s 50th and La Montañita Co-op’s 40th together from 2–5pm, FREE to KUNM members, and after 5:30pm, a local foods dinner (reservations required) and Co-op memberowner gathering with a talk by foremost food and economic justice advocate Ted Howard, FREE to Co-op member-owners. If you’re a member of both, come enjoy the whole day free. Not a member? Join the Co-op that day for $15+ tax (but advance dinner reservations are required). Join KUNM for $20 at The biggest member benefit is the satisfaction of sustaining KUNM, which has sustained community for 50 years—and with your help, will continue for 50 more. Listen to KUNM 89.9FM for more details on this event!

2005, University Hospitals announced a path-breaking, five-year strategic growth plan called Vision 2010. University In implementing Vision 2010, Hospitals made a decision to intentionally target and leverage its expenditures to directly benefit the residents of Cleveland and the overall economy of northeast Ohio. By the conclusion of the project, more than 100 minor-ity- or female-owned businesses were engaged through University Hospitals’ efforts, and more than 90 per-cent of all businesses that participated in Vision 2010 were locally based, far exceeding the target. To realize its objectives, the hospital instituted internal adminis-trative changes to its traditional business practices to give preference to local residents and vendors, and to ensure that its “spend” would be leveraged to produce a multiplier effect in the region. Another Cleveland effort—the Greater University Circle Initiative—involves the Cleveland Foundation, anchor institutions, the municipal government, community-based organizations, and other civic leaders. Its most recent strategic development was the launch in 2007 of an economic inclusion program known as the Evergreen Cooperative Initiative. Read about the Evergreen Cooperative Initiative in the October Co-op Connection News. Hear more from Ted at our Annual Member Owner Gathering on Oct. 22 at at 5:30pm. Location TBA — for info and to RSVP:




KUNM = 50 YEARS LA MONTAÑITA = 40 YEARS A collaborative Event!



LA MONTAÑITA CO-OP’S ANNUAL OWNER GATHERING with guest speaker TED HOWARD from 5:30pm to 9pm. See you there! Info and RSVP:

OCT. 22

Enjoy a Delicious Dinner with Co-op Owners, Board and Staff—Hear a Report on the State of Your Co-op— Hear from our Special Guest!



TED HOWARD TED HOWARD is a social entrepreneur and author. He is the founder and Executive Director of The Democracy Collaborative. Ted is the architect of the green jobs and wealth building program in Cleveland, Ohio, known as the Evergreen Cooperatives.

















September 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


Rio Grande 7am – 10pm M – Su 2400 Rio Grande NW, ABQ, NM 87104 505-242-8800 Gallup 8am – 8pm M – Su 105 E Coal, Gallup, NM 87301 505-863-5383 Santa Fe 7am – 10pm M – Su 913 West Alameda, Santa Fe, NM 87501 505-984-2852 GRABnGO 8am – 6pm M – F, 11am – 4pm Sa UNM Bookstore, 2301 Central SW, ABQ, NM 87131 505-277-9586 Westside 7am – 10pm M – Su 3601 Old Airport Ave, ABQ, NM 87114 505-503-2550 Cooperative Distribution Center 9am – 5pm, M – F 901 Menaul NE, ABQ, NM 87107 505-217-2010 Support Office 9am – 5pm, M – F 901 Menaul NE, ABQ, NM 87107 505-217-2001 Support Staff: 217-2001 TOLL FREE: 877-775-2667 (COOP) • General Manager/Dennis Hanley 217-2028 • Controller/John Heckes 217-2029 • Computers/Info Technology Rob Dixon 217-2011 • Merchandizing Manager/Mark Lane 259-4396 • Human Resources/Sharret Rose 217-2023 • Marketing/Karolyn Cannata-Winge 217-2024 • Membership/Robin Seydel 217-2027 • CDC/MichelleFranklin 217-2010 • Operations Director/Jason Trant 242-8800 Store Team Leaders: • Bob Veilleux/Nob Hill 265-4631 • Martha Whitman/Westside 505-503-2550 • William Prokopiak/Santa Fe 984-2852 • Leaf Ashley/Gallup 575-863-5383 • Joe Phy/Rio Grande 505-242-8800 Co-op Board of Directors: email: • President: Ariana Marchello • Treasurer: Tracy Sprouls • Lisa Banwarth-Kuhn • James Esqueda • Gregory Gould • Tammy Parker • Courtney White • Julie Anderson • Gina Dennis

SHARED ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL VALUES WITH FAIR RETURNS FOR ALL PARTNERS BY BENJAMIN BARTLEY a Montañita’s commitment to and success in strengthening the New Mexico agricultural sector has long been recognized by the USDA. As a result of our reputation and work, the Co-op has been invited to spearhead FoodLINC, a new USDA program that measures, catalogues, and shares best practices around local food system development. The results of this initiative will help to inform the operations of other food hubs, co-ops, non-profits, and local distributors across the country.


According to the USDA, the hallmarks of food value chains are “transparency, working together, and providing fair returns to all partners under shared environmental or social values.” All three of these values mirror the Co-op’s daily work, and are laid out in La Montañita’s Ends: • Increased access to and purchase of healthy foods. • A growing regenerative agriculture sector that uses sound environmental practices. • A thriving and sustainable local economy that benefits members and community. • A strengthened cooperative community. The Co-op was chosen among a dozen organizations nationwide to participate in the FoodLINC initiative because we have been providing value chain services to New Mexico food producers for decades. La Montañita invested heavily into value chain work nearly a decade ago when we launched our Cooperative Distribution Center (CDC). As a result of La Montañita’s partnership with USDA Rural Development and local funder, the Thornburg Foundation, we have been able to hire additional staff specifically dedicated to value chain coordination. As this new employee, my job is to help build on the Co-op’s existing relationships, distribution network and infrastructure, strengthen existing value chains, and develop new business outlets for New Mexico farmers and ranchers. Two examples of emerging value chains recently initiated by the Co-op are a peeled garlic product and a native bison program. Produce farmers often have vegetables that fall short of consumer expectations in terms of aesthetics or size. Since these “seconds” still cost the producer time and money to grow, La Montañita has begun a pilot program to purchase garlic “seconds,” contracting their peeling and packag-

ing to a local commercial kitchen and selling the finished product both in our retail stores as well as to local restaurants served by the CDC. In this way, the Co-op is helping farmers realize a greater gain by achieving full crop utilization, as well as creating community wealth by providing additional labor hours to the kitchen staff of Agri-Cultura, an Albuquerque-based producer-owned cooperative. La Montañita’s value chain team is similarly working to address both the practical and bureaucratic hurdles to carrying Native American-raised bison in our stores. Logistically, there are very few facilities in or near New Mexico that are capable of slaughtering and processing bison. These facilities are long distances from the ranchers, and hauling bison (who are less domesticated than cattle) long distances can be an arduous process. From a regulatory standpoint, bison are categorized as an “exotic species,” which requires “voluntary inspection” by the USDA (at an added expense to the rancher) if it’s to be eligible for resale. The added expense for this "voluntary inspection" disproportionately affects ranchers of color, even though bison carcasses are processed in nearly identical ways to cattle carcasses. La Montañita is applying the model it’s developed for pastured beef in partnership with the Sweet Grass Cooperative to bison. This arrangement ensures that Taos Pueblo has a market for their entire animal, and can therefore raise more buffalo for sale. La Montañita’s Value Chain Team is also advocating on a national level to either reevaluate bison’s categorization as an “exotic species,” or for the USDA to sponsor a pilot program between the Food Safety Inspection Service, the Co-op, and Taos Pueblo to: • slaughter the buffalo in-field utilizing traditional methods, • reduce stress on the animal and simplify processing and distribution, • protect public health and satisfy federal standards for safety. Through this pilot program, buffalo will be slaughtered and handled more humanely, and the meat will make it into the market more economically. If successful, La Montañita will have developed a model for making bison a source of community wealth and economic development for indigenous peoples, as well as making bison (a healthy and environmentally-friendly product) more accessible for consumers. Much like the rationale behind our launching the CDC, La Montanita’s commitment to value chain coordination is how we support our local food system, increase community wealth, and achieve the Co-op’s Ends.

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.



FARMER PROJECT UPDATE BY ROBIN SEYDEL t's been another busy month at the Veteran Farmer Project. Between harvesting for sale at the VA Growers' Market and various Co-op locations and planning fall crops, this time is always a rewarding season. It’s been a relatively odd growing season, with a cold May, a hot and rainless June and an even hotter, drier July that stopped our tomatoes and others veggies in their tracks. Finally the early August rains saw things start to pop. There have been a wealth of red Atomic Carrots, beets, Armenian and lemon cukes, Oak Leaf lettuce, tons of tomatoes and peppers of all shapes and sizes. Our fennel was slow to come on but finally we had some beautiful fennel as well. We have already been planting our fall goodies: kale, more beets, radishes, chard and spinach.


Kevin and Kyle have been working hard on a series of grow boxes for herb beds and they are nearly ready for planting. As well as the area we have earmarked for our asparagus bed.



Your support and purchases as a Member-Owner helps us to do this work. The peeled garlic is currently available in the Co-op’s produce departments and shoppers will be able to purchase the native bison later this fall in our fresh meat section!

Also another round of thanks to strong supporters, Sandy and Kirk Hively for their donation of a Fauvacana young rooster, who we have named Mr. Roo—not the most original but it has stuck. Mr. Roo has deeply imprinted on one of VFP farm comanager Ronda Zaragosa’s grandsons. The relationship between

the two young boys has warmed all hearts. Another round of thanks also to Joseph (a.k.a. Bear) and Jax Pittman for their generous donation of a really study wheelbarrow. A New VFP Farm Site In early August we had a most wonderful meeting with Linda and Lanny of Old Town Farm. They have about a 1/2 acre that they are offering to our project for next year's growing season. As I write this we are working out the details with them but are tremendously excited to be able two utilize a little piece of the heavenly place they have created. We hope to get the area cleared of weeds this month and get some cover crop in to start building the soil over the winter. Their dedication to helping Veterans and their wealth of farming know how and experience make them wonderful mentors for all our participants. We are thrilled and deeply grateful to have this opportunity. Lastly we are pleased to welcome Doug and Brenda Bryan to our little cohort of dedicated veteran farmers. Want to join our merry band of veteran farmer gardeners? Contact us at or at:


September 2016 3





International, coordinators of the National Food Hub network, and past supporters La Montañita.

BY STEVE WARSHAWER, CO-OP ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT ast fall the FDA released their final rule for produce safety. More rules followed and now all seven rules have been released that together make up the body of the regulations that comprise the regulatory framework for the 2010 Food Safety Modernization Act. Of major concern to the local and regional food system businesses and advocates have been the “produce safety rule” and the “preventive controls for human food rule." For the first time farms are subject to regulations which are intended to help prevent incidents of food borne illness before they happen by implementing Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) in several key risk areas at the farm level.


All in all these seem like very reasonable expectations. But the devil is in the details of how producers and food businesses demonstrate that they meet the expectations. For almost 20 years large food system businesses have been requiring expensive third party food safety audits. These serve as an example of how to prove compliance. Now FDA has the authority to inspect farms. But they do not have the money or the personnel, so they are creating partnerships with State Departments of Agriculture, which are considered to be more farmer friendly. Many local/regional food system advocates are vigilant and active with FDA as the process of FSMA implementation roles forward. La Montañita also has a role to play in helping to assure the safety of the food we sell. As a supply chain intermediary, La Montañita must look at the practices of our suppliers, and have the best practices possible in our stores and warehouse.

The pilot program involved three food hubs in different parts of the US: Washington State, New Mexico, and Georgia. All three gathered farmers together at the hub and to watch a webinar delivered by nationally recognized food safety trainers. The program was organized so that at least every hour, the presentation stopped, and led by local food safety experts, the farmers discussed what they had learned and began to write out their own food safety action plans. At La Montañita, John Garlisch from Bernalillo County Extension facilitated the local discussion. The goal of the training was to get farmer concerns related to FSMA and food safety on the table to be discussed and addressed. Also to understand the risks present on farms which can lead to contamination. And finally to take home some ideas on what they could easily do, with little cost, to improve on farm safety practices.


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

Since then La Montañita has joined in a New Mexico Farmers Marketing Association grant proposal that includes trainings over the next three winters. La Montanita has also begun hosting farmer field days at willing locations, and is gearing up to offer direct assistance where it can be useful.


UNM Bookstore 505-277-9586

Engaging the needs of our producers makes sense for La Montañita. We are all of us "from field to fork" involved in the food safety chain of activities. La Montañita hopes to become a central player in farmer assistance, along with the able and willing assistance of the Co-operative Extension Service. We especially thank John Garlisch, and look forward to continuing to work collaboratively in the future.

Last year La Montañita became a pilot project partner in a new “distributed learning” system for teaching on-farm food safety. This pilot was organized by the Wallace Center at Winrock



Food scraps, along with green waste and manure, are then transformed into a rich soil amendment at our unique Aerated Static Pile composting facility, located on a collaborative site shared with the Santa Fe Community Farm. We are delighted that our compost is building the soil of this farm, which then donates its produce to local end hunger efforts.


This month when you bring your own bag for your groceries and donate the dime to Reunity Resources you are helping our planet in two ways; by not taking a new paper grocery bag and by donating the dime to grow compost from our community's waste to feed the soil. Thank you for your support, which allows us to continue our outreach and education programs on zero waste practices and closed loop systems. To participate as a donor of waste products, a volunteer or other ways contact us at:, email or call 505-629-0836.



This month your bag credit donations go to REUNITY RESOURCES: feeding the soil and reducing waste.

Donate your BAG CREDIT!

In JULY your bag credit donations totaling $2,720.66 went to the Santa Fe Concert Band. THANKS TO ALL WHO DONATED!




3601 Old Airport Ave. NW 505-503-2550

Alamed a Blvd. Coors Blvd.

It is our goal to continue building long-term relationships with local government, schools, institutions, and private businesses in order to minimize our waste streams and maximize our reuse.

On top of food security benefits, studies have shown that a single application of a thin layer of compost sets up an ongoing positive feedback loop that pulls more excess carbon out of our atmosphere (where it is busily warming the planet) and brings it back into our soil, where it is an asset. You can see a brief video describing this in more detail on our website, under the Compost tab.


Reunity Resources is a non-profit organization that has been collecting commercial food scraps from area restaurants and turning it into compost to feed the soil that feeds us. Our program diverts over 1,000,000 pounds of food waste from the landfill annually through partnerships with local schools and restaurants. In our school composting program alone, we have trained over 7,250 children, faculty and staff at 17 schools in daily cafeteria compost practices, reducing their trash collection by ONE THIRD.

Our finished compost is approved for use on certified organic farms and each batch undergoes quality testing from third-party labs to ensure the highest density of nutrients and beneficial micro-organisms are present. This not only makes growing food easier, it also improves yields and increases the nutritional value of the food you grow!

Old A irpor t Ave .

hank you to Co-op owners and staff for all you do in our community to share local foods. Local food security is our passion, too, and here at Reunity Resources we focus our efforts on developing the soil in which our food grows.

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


September 2016 4





BY BEN SELDEN, LOCAL ENTERPRISE ASSISTANCE FUND orker-ownership is one of the fundamental pieces of the cooperative movement, and can complement—or even be combined with—community-ownership. If there’s one thing everyone can agree on in this election cycle, it’s that most Americans are looking for a solution to economic immobility. Increasingly, popular media and academic studies are finding such an alternative solution in cooperatives (see “Participation and Productivity: A Comparison of Worker Cooperatives and Conventional Firms in the Plywood Industry” by The Brookings Institution and “Worker Cooperatives Are More Productive Than Normal Companies” by The Nation). Articles like these are becoming more and more frequent as the general public starts to learn about and support this novel alternative to traditional and oftentimes oppressive governance models.


But for us, one of the best parts of worker-ownership is hearing from owners themselves about the sense of community created and what the experience means to them. An example of a worker co-op creating an amazing sense of community and promoting social justice is found in Portland, Oregon at an eccentrically painted bike repair shop, Citybikes. Citybikes was founded in 1986 and converted to a worker co-op in 1990 when the owner and founder sold the business to his employees for $12,000. The co-op sells new and used bikes, other biking gear, and repairs and refurbishes bikes in order to “promote a lifestyle utilizing bicycles for transportation and recreation.” LEAF’s loan to the business helped them refinance their mortgage and gave them additional working capital to continue to run a successful business. The co-op currently employs around 25 workers, 10 of whom are worker-owners. The employees make all decisions about the busi-

ness through periodic meetings of members; in addition, every employee is trained as a mechanic and is able to do all parts of the job. Melissa Sweet, a worker-owner at Citybikes, explains the co-op’s philosophy: “Through cooperation, we hope to make our work enjoyable and to get our jobs done efficiently by utilizing each other’s strengths.” She continues, “It’s awesome to not have bosses or managers, to be self-motivated and work collectively to make decisions, it feels very empowering to do what we want to do.” Like our profile on the Lexington Food Co-op in Buffalo, Citybikes also is committed to social investments and interacting with the community in a positive and impactful way. The co-op makes an effort to open their services up to low-income members of Portland through their “open wrench nights,” a hands-on lesson in bike maintenance and repair. In addition to these services, they also are constantly adding to their list of organizations that they donate to on an annual basis. Citybikes strives to source items from the U.S. or other countries with quality working conditions. Other environmental actions include an attempt to limit overpackaging, to recycle constantly, to stock up on as many locally made products as possible, and to resell and reuse old bikes and gear. Citybikes’ commitment to environmental and social responsibility is common among worker co-ops, which tend to be more socially conscious and active.

times are tough. During harsh winters and especially during the Great Recession, the owners at Citybikes avoided lay-offs, instead rearranging hours and even voluntarily taking across-theboard pay cuts so as to accommodate everyone. “The winters can be difficult,” explains Brian Manning, a worker-owner. “We—all the owners and non-owners, basically—cut back on our schedule. We try to make it a goal not to lay anyone off. And we all work in cooperation.” Claire Nelson, another worker-owner, expressed the love she has for her job: "It’s my favorite place to work ever! I feel pretty honored and privileged to work here.”

Citybikes isn’t just a fair-weather co-op, being environmentally conscious and supportive of the community only when the going is good. Another benefit of the worker co-op model is that the worker-owners can use cooperation to make sure no one gets left behind when

LEAF is proud to have supported many other positive and inspiring worker co-ops over the years from all around the country. Thank you all for supporting the cooperative movement through your involvement with La Montañita!





WESTSIDE CO-OP CONNIE KRAFT, HC, AADP CERTIFIED have asthma but am more than surviving—I am thriving and healthy. I’d love to share some tools with other people in the community who are struggling with this condition. I started experiencing severe allergic asthma symptoms at age 11, and experienced all the conventional medications usually prescribed by the medical community. As an adult dissatisfied with approaches that only controlled symptoms and had serious side effects, I decided to use my own body as a tool for researching what works to reduce or manage asthma. By observing what was happening in my own body and, with the support of a variety of healthcare professionals, I embarked on a journey to figure out BY


what causes my asthma and what can be done not only to manage my symptoms but to help my lungs heal. My asthma was very severe as a child, and was again during the summer of 2015, so I feel that turning around this chronic health condition is a huge accomplishment. I moved to Albuquerque in October of 2015 from Santa Teresa, NM, after having a particularly difficult summer due to asthma. The many modalities I used to help bring about change include: consulting a naturopathic doctor, consulting a nutritionist, consulting an ayurvedic doctor who studied with Deepak Chopra, consulting a Chinese acupuncture doctor and consulting a holistic medical doctor in Albuquerque. Following the advice of these alternative healthcare professionals, I embarked on a regimen of testing and support, changing the way I eat to heal gut issues that I didn’t fully realize I had. What I have learned is that the gut and the lungs are closely related, and that by improving digestion, and alkalizing the body, one can reduce the acidity caused by poor

digestion and assimilation, and therefore reduce the frequency and severity of asthma attacks. Come to the Westside Co-op location on September 24 at 11am to hear Connie speak on "Thriving with Asthma: Utilizing a more healthful eating pattern." Asthma also has emotional and stress-related components, and she has some stress-reducing strategies to share. Learn how you too can create an inner ecosystem that allows the whole person to thrive and experience more vibrant health and well-being. Connie Kraft is a health and wellness coach and author of the upcoming book: “How to Move an Elephant: Simple Strategies to Lift an Elephant off Your Chest”. She graduated in 2011 as a Health Coach from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition based in New York, and is certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP). You can contact her at or visit her website for resources and support for asthma at


REBUILDING FUNDRAISER IT TAKES A COMMUNITY BY JORDAN ELDRIDGE n Monday July 18, Andy Coon was in the milk wash-up room at the Coonridge Goat Dairy; Nancy Coonridge (owner/producer) was right outside. Andy was relighting the propane refrigerator when it exploded! Fortunately, Nancy, who received second-degree burns on her face, hands, arms and feet, was released from the emergency room the following day. As you may know, seconddegree burns are very painful and slow to heal. Andy was in the burn unit at UNM Hospital with seconddegree burns until July 27.


Because Coonridge Dairy has been off the grid (no access to electricity) since it began 35 years ago,

they’ve been forced to use refrigerators powered by propane. With this explosion and these injuries, Nancy feels that propane is no longer safe to use. Fortunately, there are solar refrigerators available to solve this problem. The two replacements that are needed will be a huge expense in the rebuilding of Coonridge Dairy. Each refrigerator is $3600 plus shipping, batteries cost $1000 and a controller $900. "Although the explosion and burn injuries are a setback, we remain steadfastly committed to living in harmony with nature and the animals in ‘the wilds of New Mexico.’ The accident did not involve any of the other workers or the animals at the Dairy; they are all totally fine." La Montañita Co-op has made a substantial donation. Love Coonridge Goat Dairy cheese? Make your donation at


September 2016 5



GENERAL MANAGER BY DENNIS HANLEY his has been an exciting month! We have recently entered into an agreement with University of New Mexico Athletic Department that will place our fresh, local products at concession stands at all the Lobo football and basketball games. This is an important local food system development especially in light of the fact that, as part of this agreement, Kyzer Farms bratwurst will become the official brat of UNM Athletic department.


We have long had a wonderful relationship with South Valley pork producer Robert Kyzer, helping to grow and develop his product line, provide marketing and branding assistance and distribution services over the last four years. Robert is a well known as deeply committed to nurturing his animals with the highest degree of animal welfare. This opportunity and agreement with UNM is a perfect example of the kinds of value chain relationship-building La Montañita has been doing for close to 20 years. It is part of our commitment to growing the local and sustainable food system and building markets that support our community wealth building initiatives. This project will help expand on-farm income for Robert Kyzer, his family and the other south valley pork producers with whom he partners. It will create income and jobs for area meat processors as well as increase job opportunities here at La Montañita Co-op. We hope you will enjoy this all-local Kyzer brat the next time you go to a Lobos game. We are proud to deepen our relationship with this important New Mexican educational institution. This new agreement expands the existing Co-op/UNM partnership that began with our five-year-old GRABnGO Co-op location, in the UNM Bookstore; that provides access to healthy food on campus to students, staff and faculty. It is these kinds of relationships that positively impact quality of life in our community.

The Meat Of It! Supporting a local pork producer is just one part of our initiative to expand the development of local and regional markets for high quality New Mexico produced protein products. Working with all our friends at Sweet Grass Beef Co-op as well as Four Daughters Cattle and Land Company near Belen, NM, is yet another aspect of this initiative. Most people are not aware that approximately 90% of all the beef eaten in New Mexico is either produced or processed out of state. We aim to change that statistic, especially as we have some extraordinarily gifted ranchers, aka grass farmers! In case you haven't noticed, we are focused on making La Montañita Co-op a destination for high quality local meats, including a wide variety of cuts of beef, great prices on ground beef and delicious local pork products. We are working to place the Sweet Grass Co-op beef program in a more competitive market position; look for lower prices on this wonderful foodshed produced and processed beef. Did you notice last month's sale on Four Daughter’s high grade New York Strip steak at only $6.99 a pound? We led the market with this pricing, and even when our competitors came close in price their beef was not grown in New Mexico. Finally, just a few words about where we are with the unionization effort. In July we had a petition from the National Labor Relations Board for an union election at our Santa Fe location. As always, we are in full support of our staff's right to make this choice. The vote occurred on August 5th with 10 people voting for union representation and 45 staff members voting against. My door is always open and I greatly enjoy hearing from all our member-owners and shoppers. I get numerous phone calls and emails and try to answer them all as best I can. You can contact me at We are all in this together and as the National Co-op Grocers tag line, adopted over 3 years ago, says, we are "stronger together."

September Calendar

of Events 9/3

Co-op BBQ! All stores, 11am-3pm

9/17 Co-op Birthday Celebration! FREE cake at all locations! 1-3pm or while supplies last

9/20 BOD Meeting Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, 2401 12th St. NW, Albuquerque at 5:30pm 9/24 Thriving with Asthma with author Connie Kraft, FREE Westside location at 11am. See details on page 4

9/26 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.


EDITOR In response to GM Hanley’s “Harvest Time” (August 2016 Co-op Connection News) I commend GM Hanley in finding a third party, Environmental Working Group (EWG), that presents their research findings in a straight forth and honest manner. However, there may be some misconceptions in the way those results are interpreted. “Clean,” according to myself and Mr. Webster means “free from contamination or pollution.” I do not consider a trace or 1/4 tsp. of pesticides to fit into this definition. Cleaner would be a more appropriate word. In their research EWG found little or no pesticides in the CLEAN 15 only after the USDA washed the produce using a high powered pressure washing system that many of us could only dream of having in our kitchens! They also don’t take into account some systemic pesticides that cannot be peeled or washed away. In addition, GMOs are not even considered in this ranking. Now, I am not naïve enough to believe that I don’t ingest pesticide laden/GMO foods when I go out to eat or when I purchase some packaged foods, but as a member-owner of La Montañita, I was always confident that I could find only clean, organic food in the produce department. I am very disappointed in the General Manager for compromising this department and especially with the Board of Directors for allowing this practice to stand. SINCERELY, TOMAS KUJAT



TASTE THE LOVE ROBIN SEYDEL aybe you have been lucky enough to come across one or more of Mary Ann Andrews' delicious Dream Catcher Ranchito goats' milk products. If you haven't yet, don't miss them the next time you come into the Coop. They are a dairy lovers' dream for sure!



Mary Ann bought the ten and a half acre property, which had been set up originally as an equine facility, in 2005 and moved to New Mexico in 2006. "I had been to Santa Fe many times for business and pleasure, and loved the area and all the diverse cultures here. The mountains are breathtaking from the ranch. It just seemed like the perfect place to cultivate a new and different life after being a city girl. When I bought the property I knew my life would be different as I embraced livestock.'" She first invested in a business plan that focused on alpacas and wool production. Then the 2008 financial downturn happened and like so many other industries, that industry took a hit and it was clear she had to rethink her plan. "So," she says, "I looked at other possibilities and fell in love with goats! I researched possibilities and felt a goat dairy was a good fit for me. In 2010 I started slowly exploring goats and have never regretted it." May Ann's herd is small, currently 50 goats, and cared for with the utmost of love and sensitivity. The goal is to have year-round milk products and she looks forward to yet another successful birthing season this

winter. Mary Ann again: "It is more work birthing in the winter, but now we are more set up for it." Her goats are fed alfalfa from farmers who adhere to organic farming processes but are not certified organic. They are also fed a nutritional supplement that is good for their health and provides the extra nutrients for milk production but does not contain antibiotics or other undesirable ingredients. "I see how animals respond to personal handling, love, and a sense of well-being from the people around them and do everything I can to provide that nurturing environment. Nubian goats have the highest butterfat next to a Jersey cow! We handle all of our animals with respect and thanks for the wonderful milk they give us. My desire is to bring the best, highest quality and healthiest ingredients together in everything we make!" At your favorite Co-op cheese and dairy departments, look for a wide variety of delicious Dream Catcher Ranchito's products including: Greek and Bulgarian traditional yogurts, buttermilk, fresh creamy chevre made with whole milk, ricotta also made with whole milk and a whisper of lemon, sweet or savory spreadable cheeses with herbs, a firm, clean tasting Farm cheese, a whole milk Feta and Feta marinated with fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme and Herbs de Provence. Also look for the new healthy chocolate milk.



THE INDIAN PUEBLO CULTURAL CENTER The La Montañita Co-op Board of Directors and General Manager are pleased to announce our Board of Directors meetings are now held at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center at 2401 12th Street in Albuquerque. 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.

SEPT.20 5:30PM

For more information contact or call 217-2027.


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

our fertile


Schwebach Farm Moriarty, NM

for 40 years, the La Montañita Co-op mission has been to connect local farmers to their community, bringing field-fresh produce to our tables.

40 years! piece of cake

Silver Leaf Farm Corrales, NM

Schwebach Farms is a small family- Silver Leaf Farms has been owned-and-operated farm in the Estancia Valley in the city of Moriarty, New Mexico. Farming has been at the heart of the Schwebach Family for six generations, and the produce grown on their land is given the utmost care and attention. Farmer Dean and his family strive to bring consumers the highest quality non-GMO, local, pesticidefree produce. Over the last 45 years, the Schwebach family has grown their produce selection to include: potatoes (Colorado rose, Yukon gold, purple viking), beans (pinto, bolita) and their famous sweet corn. Dean’s father, Eugene, and mother, Martha, stumbled upon Moriarty while on their honeymoon, and Schwebach Farm began when Dean Schwebach was only three years old. After graduating from high school, Dean decided to strike out on his own and attend the University of New Mexico to begin a career in Public Accounting. When Eugene and Martha retired from the farm, Dean came home with his wife Ivellise and two children to carry on the family business. Today, Dean and Ivellise have six children together and the farming tradition continues in the Land of Enchantment. You can find fresh and local sweet Schwebach corn in all La Montañita Co-op Food Market locations now! For more info:

growing pesticide-free vegetables in Corrales, NM, for the past 8 years—a locally owned farm operated by two brothers, Elan and Aaron Silverblatt-Buser. Elan, as rumor has it, holds the state watermelon-eating contest title, but also has spent time doing research in plant biology as well as working in the field of climate change and food security. These experiences played a heavy roll in how he views food, culture and society. Today Elan is incredibly excited to be working on the farm in Corrales. Aaron, a daily burrito connoisseur, began growing things in elementary school, and eventually started a small vegetable garden. By the time he graduated high school, his small garden had grown into a half-acre of mixed veggies. Over the years, Aaron has collected farming equipment and pieces of land, and now oversees more than 5 acres of an outdoor/indoor vegetable farm. This dynamic duo has worked together to create a renewable energy-powered greenhouse, allowing them to produce a variety of vegetables six to eight months out of the year at a much lower cost. The brothers applied for USDA Rural Development’s Rural Energy for America Program funding, and received funds to help pay for solar panels that have now replaced 33% of farm energy usage.

free cake at your favorite co - op location (while supplies last ;-)

Steve & Colleen Warshawer, Mesa Top Farm

You can find Silver Leaf Farm’s produce at all La Montañita locations and many restaurants in Albuquerque and Santa Fe— produce so fresh, it was probably picked that day. For more info:

Mesa Top Farm Santa Fe, NM

Mesa Top Farm is a solar powered,

“off the grid” farm, founded over 20 years ago by Steve and Colleen Warshawer, near the old ghost town Ojo de la Vaca. Mesa Top harvests the sun’s energy through large solar panels to provide power for several of the buildings on the farm. Mesa Top Farm could be described as a renaissance farm, producing a wide array of products such as: Beneficial Eggs, grass-fed beef, cheeses, milk, veggies and organic turkey during the Thanksgiving season. They even breed Standard Poodles!

Colleen heads up the farm and grows squash, cucumber and spring mix for produce, while their beef program is a part of Sweet Grass, a regional beef producer co-op that produces beef using the most natural and humane processes. Mesa Top uses dual purpose cows to produce raw milk and raw milk cheeses. Mesa Top is a leading producer of Beneficial Eggs, eggs that are of the highest quality. The hens are fed locally-grown organic grain and are raised without pesticides, herbicides, GMOs, hormones or antibiotics. They are dedicated to providing their chickens with the healthiest, most humane living conditions possible. These heritage breeds of chickens live the lives of birds—they have full access to the outdoors, sunlight, fresh air and water. Look for their products at your neighborhood Co-op.

saturday, september 17, 1-3pm All of our La Montañita locations* will simultaneously celebrate our 40th Anniversary from 1-3pm on 09.17 with FREE CAKE! (while supplies last) 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! All together now.

For more info:


*If you are on the UNM campus or in Gallup, be sure to stop in for some cake, too!


September 2016 8


TABLE TOMATILLO SALSA Makes one quart jar / Prep time: 30 minutes 3 cups tomatillos, roasted 2–3 green chiles, seeds removed 2 garlic cloves, chopped 1 1/2 tsp salt 3/4 tsp sugar 1/2 cup lime juice 1/2 red onion, chopped To roast tomatillos: Remove outer husk and rinse well while rubbing the tomatillos gently in three changes of water. Line a casserole dish with aluminum foil and add the tomatillos in a single layer. Place in the oven under the broiler for about 5–7 minutes, until the tomatillos begin to brown on top. Do not let them turn black. Using tongs, turn the tomatillos over and broil for about 5 more minutes. Reserve all the juices with the tomatillos and cool slightly. Place the roasted tomatillos (and their juices), chiles, garlic, salt, sugar and lime juice in a blender and pulse on low until the ingredients are coarsely chopped. Remove to a bowl and stir in the red onion and serve. This salsa may be canned according to proper canning procedures or stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Roasted tomatillos can be frozen in recipe portions so that fresh salsa can quickly be made during the winter months. NUTRITION INFORMATION (2T serving size) Calories 7; Calories from fat 1; Total fat 0g; Saturated fat 0g; Trans Fat 0g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 109mg; Total carbohydrate 2g; Dietary Fiber 0g; Sugars 1g; Protein 0g ZUCCHINI WITH CREAM SAUCE (VEGAN) Serves 4 / Total time: 15 minutes 2 zucchinis, shaved 1 package of silken tofu, room temperature 2 T brown rice miso 1 1/2 tsp ground turmeric Fresh chives, basil or parsley for garnish

Using a knife or a mandolin, thinly slice the zucchini lengthwise into planks no thicker than 1/4 of inch. In a few batches, briefly blanch the shaved zucchini by dropping into lightly salted boiling water for 1 minute, remove and rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process. While the zucchini water is coming to a boil, puree the tofu, miso and turmeric in a blender until very smooth. If you want, you can gently warm the sauce, but do not boil it as that will destroy the healthy enzymes in the miso. Serve the zucchini with the sauce at room temperature. This recipe can also be enjoyed cold as a salad. NUTRITION INFORMATION Calories 79; Calories from fat 29; Total fat 3g; Saturated fat 0g; Trans Fat 0g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 325mg; Total carbohydrate 6g; Dietary Fiber 1g; Sugars 3g; Protein 6g QUICK SAVORY TOMATO SAUCE Makes about 4 cups / Prep time: 15 minutes / Cook time: 30 minutes 1 T olive oil 1 onion, minced 2 garlic cloves, minced 2 carrots, minced 1 pint mushrooms, minced 1 can (2.25 oz) sliced black olives, drained and diced One 28 0z jar of ‘no salt added’ tomato sauce or diced tomatoes 1 tsp salt 1 tsp sugar 2 tsp dried oregano 2 tsp dried thyme In a large sauce pan, add the oil, onion, garlic, carrots and mushrooms and sauté on low for 15 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer on low for another 15 minutes. Serve over your favorite dish that calls for marinara. NUTRITION INFORMATION (1 cup serving size) Calories 116; Calories from fat 42; Total fat 4g; Saturated fat 0g; Trans Fat 0g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 660mg; Total carbohydrate 20g; Dietary Fiber 4g; Sugars 12g; Protein 4g




ourdough baking—the elemental process of creating bread from water, salt, and flour —just add fire—has become my 2016 passion. The best sourdough story I’ve heard is this: When some 100-year-oldplus sourdough used to chink a log cabin was scraped out and reconstituted, it started right up again, bubbling and rising, alive and ready to go to work.

My sourdough story is simple: I went nuts over the beautiful and delicious bread I tasted at a dinner party. The next day, my bread-baking host delivered a Mason jar of his starter. Although esteemed chefs have dismissed the age of starter as irrelevant, I like the legacy of mine. It migrated from Alaska via San Francisco half a century ago and has spent a couple of decades mellowing in New Mexico. Using leavening, fermented with ubiquitous wild yeast, is both trickier and more forgiving than commercial yeast. Store bought yeast has only been around since the turn of the 20th century; the timeline of natural leavening, made with fermented fruits, like grapes, flowers, and just plain water is more ancient than that of the written language. Sourdough Bread The night before you bake, remove starter from refrigerator. Put starter in a bowl with 2 cups water (I use bottled water to avoid chemicals, which may affect the rise) and 3 cups flour. Mix well, cover bowl with plastic wrap, and rest it on the kitchen counter overnight. In the morning, remember to remove your starter, about two cups, and place it in a Mason jar, then refrigerate. To the starter remaining in the bowl, add 1 cup water, mix well. Add 3-4 cups flour mixing well after each flour addition. You can vary the mixture by substituting a cup of rye, buckwheat, spelt or whole wheat flour for the white flour. You can add flax or kamut and experiment with herbs like rosemary. I use 2 teaspoons salt, but you can use up to four. Knead on a floured board for a minimum of 20 minutes or up to 30. I do all my kneading by hand, an exercise I find soothing for computer weary wrists. I add flour as required to achieve a silky dough; however, afficiandos say add as little flour as possible and don’t mind the sticky. Place in

oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Place bowl in a warm place to proof. I pre-heat my oven to 170 degrees (its lowest temperature) and let the dough rise on top of the stove for 1-1/2 half hours. Divide dough in half. Knead each half 2-3 times. Shape loaves and return to warm place for 2nd rise, covered with plastic wrap. I allow mine to rise up to 3 hours. When it’s about 3/4 through the second rise, with a sharp knife or lame (lahm), slash dough a couple of times. Place pan of boiling hot water in bottom of stove to create steam, then place loaves in oven to obtain “oven spring” from rising heat. Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and bake 35 minutes on an oiled cookie sheet, in an oiled cast iron Dutch oven or comal, or, as my baker friend does, in an ordinary aluminum cake pan. To achieve a crispy crust, mist loaves with water using a spray bottle at the beginning of the bake, when the oven reaches 400, and three more times at five minute intervals. Makes two round loaves. Cool on a wire rack. Now that I’ve received one as a gift, I prefer to use a stoneware baker called a “La Cloche” that emulates a hearth oven and eliminates the need to steam and mist, so the oven temperature stays even. A La Cloche produces the most fabulous crispy, golden brown crust, and may be ordered online for about $50 on A FB page called Perfect Sourdough, billing itself as “a place to show off your breads,” provides inspiration from a worldwide online community of professional and home bakers. Sourdough Pancakes or Waffles The night before, place starter in a bowl with 2 cups water and 3 cups flour. Mix well and leave on counter overnight. In the morning, take out two cups starter and place in Mason jar. Refrigerate for future use. Into bowl with remaining starter, mix 1 egg, 2 tablespoons oil and 3/4 cup milk or buttermilk to achieve good batter consistency. In a separate bowl, mix 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda and 2 tablespoons sugar. Add dry ingredients into batter and mix well. Heat griddle and oil well. Will make over two dozen pancakes. Make Your Own Sourdough Starter: The Short Version Mix equal amounts of flour and water in a bowl and leave mixture exposed to air in a warm area in the kitchen. Stir the starter every eight hours. Within a few days it should start to develop bubbles. Then feed it equal amounts of flour and water for two or three days. Store in a Mason jar or ceramic crock and refrigerate. A much more detailed set of instructions is available in The King Arthur Bread Book.

September 2016 9


September 2016 10



BY KATIE DELAVEAGA ending a garden in the southwest is not a pastime for the weak of heart. With a little imagination, its triumphs and tragedies can resemble the battles of Greek heroes. This season’s lineup against our tiny patio garden has brought insects, gophers, hail, and wind with the ever present and searing desert sun. Though the giant cyclops did not show his head in the garden this year, the elements have been formidable. Butternut squash laid down once lofty fronds, and beans begged for shade cloth.


The temptation now is to give in. To surrender leathered cucumber leaves and tomato frames which the hornworms besieged. To salvage the few struggling beans and cucumbers and call it a wrap. Momentary relief from defending, watering, and bolstering the garden survivors would be pleasant, but the southwest-


ern growing season has not quite put itself to bed. Perhaps throwing in the towel at this point is premature. Hearty, late-season greens are a great possibility. Kale, spinach, and their dark-green cousins supply a harvest of key nutrients and just might elevate this season’s gardening experience. Abundant in calcium, magnesium, vitamins K, C, A, and folate as well as fortifying anti-oxidants, they are powerhouses of nutrition. Chopped greens are a savory addition to autumn soups and stirfry. Spinach graces salads and sandwiches, is mouthwatering steamed, and makes a lively addition to smoothies. Many root crops and leafy greens tolerate lower temperatures well. After a typical 40-50-day growth phase, kale, spinach, broccoli and other members of the cabbage family continue to thrive when weather cools and can survive temperatures down to about 20°F. Moderately cooler weather even makes them tastier, imparting a sweet and sometimes nutty flavor.

GMOS: WHEN IS A NOT A LABEL? BRETT BAKKER ere we go again. A euphemistic GMO “labeling” bill passed into law this July. As expected (by cynics like me anyway) consumers are left with murky inadequate labels. It’s no surprise the GMO industry fought long and hard against this. Sadly, it’s also no surprise that many average citizens also decried labeling: “big government” is telling us what we can and can’t eat. Sorry, nothing in any proposed GMO label rules have ever approached outlawing GMOs—they’ve just asked for a simple product label. How hard is that?! I mean, even pillows are required to carry labels which disclose "hidden," filling materials. BY


Among other reasons, the food industry claims the cost of relabeling will be passed onto consumers. Oh really? How many times do you see labels touting “New! Improved!” or “New look, same great taste”? Labels are redesigned all the time in an attempt to make sheeplike consumers think something old is new. Some anti-labeling “food” manufacturers have no problem making these same products in a non-GMO form for export to countries where the buying pubic generally has less tolerance and GMOs are more strictly controlled. No problem with re-labeling there! A quick (incomplete) rundown on the bill: 1) Narrowly defines “bioengineered” techniques to “in vitro recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)” and excludes others like gene editing (the removal rather than addition of genes) and CRISPR (rearranging existing genetic code).


Spinach Salad with Gorgonzola 3 cups spinach leaves 1/4 cup honey mustard vinaigrette 1/3 cup diced pecans 1/2 cup dried cranberries 1/2 cup crumbled gorgonzola Honey Mustard Vinaigrette 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 2/3 cup apple cider vinegar 1/3 cup honey 1/3 cup yellow mustard 1/4 tsp salt cracked black pepper to taste Mix vinaigrette ingredients vigorously, adjusting quantities of honey and salt for taste and toss with spinach leaves. Garnish with remaining ingredients.


2) Sweeteners and vegetable oils where no GMOs can be detected are exempt, as are meat and dairy from livestock fed GMOs. 3) Labels may carry smartphone codes, websites and 1-800 numbers rather than a plain label statement. 50% of America’s poor and rural populations do not have smartphones and/or adequate internet access. 4) States are prohibited from passing their own GMO label laws for food and seed. 5) No provision for penalties or enforcement. 6) Won’t take effect for two years during which time most of the key elements will be up for review and redefinition. 7) A threshold for GMO content has not yet been determined. The Non-GMO Project, for example, uses 0.9% (sadly, zero is unobtainable since Pandora’s Box has already been opened). USDA will determine the baseline but theoretically, it could be high enough to “hide” many GMO ingredients. 8) There were no public hearings or testimonies. Even the FDA—not known for clarity in their own labeling requirements—disagreed with some key points. Despite heavy opposition, one of the biggest supporters of the bill was the Organic Trade Association, whose stance pretty much allowed wavering politicians to vote in favor since it was “supported” by the organic industry. The result is a divided organic industry, hotly debat-



ing this move as either a betrayal or as a regrettable but inevitable compromise. The real compromise came on the part of labeling opponents who quickly saw this bill was the next best thing to no labeling requirements at all. So where does that leave you, dear reader? Same as always. Read labels. Vote with your food dollar. Keep informed and educated: If you eat any of the following that are not certified organic or not verified non-GMO, you are eating GMOs more often than not: alfalfa, canola, corn, cotton seed oil, papaya, soy, sugar made from beets, zucchini and yellow summer squash. The following ingredients are commonly (not always) derived from genetically engineered sources: amino acids, aspartame, ascorbic acid, sodium ascorbate, vitamin C, citric acid, sodium citrate, ethanol, flavorings (“natural” and “artificial”), high-fructose corn syrup, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, lactic acid, maltodextrins, molasses, monosodium glutamate, sucrose, textured vegetable protein (TVP) and xanthan gum as well as many vitamins and yeast products. You must be a detective just to shop at the grocery store! Sigh. So, check back in two years when this goes into effect and we’ll see far this debacle has progressed. Or more likely, regressed.


SIGNED INTO FEDERAL LAW BY MEGAN WESTGATE, NON-GMO VERIFIED PROJECT n Friday July 29, a historically discriminatory and fatally flawed mandatory GMO labeling bill was signed into federal law. The legislation, dubbed by opponents as “the DARK Act” originated from a motivation to preempt states’ ability to require meaningful GMO labeling.


Many consumers, consumer advocacy organizations and food activists see this law as the end of meaningful mandatory labeling in the United States, a significant historical development that reinforces the critical value of the Non-GMO Project’s market-based strategy and reason for existence. For those who care about the right to know, and for shoppers looking to avoid GMOs, the butterfly label remains the best choice. This law does not change the Non GMO Verified Project’s verification program or the right to use the butterfly logo.

The Non-GMO Project standard continues to be the most rigorous, meaningful non-GMO standard in the marketplace. The organic label is another option, but unlike the Non-GMO Project, the organic rules do not require testing for GMO contamination. Organic does, however, cover other important subjects that the Project doesn’t (synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, the use of GMO seeds, etc.). Consumers looking for the most comprehensive assurance should look for products with BOTH labels. We continue to believe that everyone has a right to know what’s in their food and deserves access to non-GMO choices. Collectively, committed brands, retailers and shoppers are changing the way our food is grown and made and are protecting the integrity of our diverse genetic inheritance.


September 2016 11

ONE WORLD CO-OP: SOLAR LIVING GRID-TIE vs GRID PARALLEL Metering Inverter “turns off” your solar array when the grid goes down. Many people are unaware of this and some solar companies do not make this disclosure.

BY CHUCK MCCUNE veryone wants solar, but many cannot afford it. The fact is, the less electricity you consume or require, the more affordable solar PV becomes. The average NM household consumes approximately 655 kwh/month (911kwh/month for entire US). Cut that consumption by one third, half or as much as you can, then go to “local” reputable solar companies and get 2 or 3 quotes.


It is very important to know that if you have a gridtied solar PV system installed and the grid has an intermittent or long term outage, you will not have the complete benefit of your solar installation. In fact you will only be allowed 1-1500 watt circuit for limited power of essential equipment, for which you will have to run an extension cord. Your typical Net

If you want to have the benefit of battery storage, you must have a hybrid or off-grid inverter, not a typical gridtied net metering inverter. The difference in the systems is not very significant in terms of inverter expense, but to add batteries to a typical grid-tied system later can be quite expensive because you essentially must add a parallel system; additional inverter(s), charge controller, transfer switches, additional conduit to bypass the original inverter system and the batteries. Outside of 1-1500w circuit, a grid tied solar PV system is worthless in a power outage. Our suggestion – Do it right the first time. If you want battery storage and power during outages, Grid Parallel will save you considerable money, you keep your meter if you like, and you will have control of your own power supply in an emergency. Conservation and renewable energy are direct and effective actions for peace and a sustainable environment. With ever worsening climate disruption and ongoing insults to our environment, personal, family and community sovereignty are becoming essential considerations in preparedness and mitigation.

Your One World Co-op offers cash and carry solar PV and energy storage drives through where you can purchase even just one solar module. We offer workshops to help you provide for and install your own energy solutions, potentially saving thousands of dollars. One World Co-op was formed and is dedicated to making solar energy affordable and accessible. From solar garden lights and solar emergency radios to solar PV and 10KWH battery storage, you’ll find sustainability solutions at One World Co-op at reduced prices for members. Because we are a community based cooperative, we find only the best quality solar PV modules with 30 year warranties, 5 years longer than is typical in the industry. Our PV STOR™ battery chemistry is the one of the safest and longest lived solutions available today and does not create a hazmat problem. Visit our web site or our facility in Albuquerque conveniently located at the Albuquerque SunPort with free parking (by appointment) and see how you, your family and our community can become more self-reliant and more sustainable. Enjoy the benefits of One World Coop membership and have a lighter footprint on the earth. We are pleased to help and answer any solar questions. Contact us at or call for an appointment 505-980-1437.


future since international policies kept making it difficult for them to have a life in their own countries. Since that time the border patrol has cracked down on immigrants in the Columbus/Palomas area, driving those who attempt the border crossing further to the west in the even more brutal desert of Arizona.

BORDER HONORING ILIANA RODRÍGUEZ GARZA This article is dedicated to Iliana Rodriguez Garza who died ten years ago on August 8 at age 36. Iliana was a peace and cooperative movement activist as well as a border activist. Iliana was on the staff of at La Montañita Co-op before joining the late immigrant rights organization Promotores de Derechos. She also volunteered with Citizens for Alternatives to Radioactive Dumping and the Peace and Justice Center. She was a graduate of the NM School of Natural Therapeutics. Iliana was a dear friend and sister who is much missed by those of us who had the privilege of knowing her and sharing many adventures with her, not just in the US but in Mexico as well, where she was originally from. BY CECILIA CHÁVEZ BELTRÁN AND JANET GREENWALD t was 103 degrees on a recent July afternoon when we got to the monument in Columbus, NM that was dedicated to those who had died attempting to cross the US border from Mexico and further south. This monument was originally built by members of the community of Columbus, and finished during April 2001’s Festival Of Liberation of the US/Mexico Border, to Protest the Militarization of National Borders, in solidarity with Quebec City’s demonstrations opposing the FTAA/Free Trade Area of the Americas.


A beautiful mesquite tree grew close by in the packed dirt and a placard “In Memory of the Migrants who died looking for a dream” had been added. As we gazed fondly at the curved adobe wall and the attached banco we talked about the months of organizing, planning, and networking leading to the action. It was 2001. That weekend a ferocious dust storm challenged the monument builders. In our memories, a friend pushing a wheelbarrow and others laying adobes and plastering could barely be seen through the rolling




A FARM TO FORK FEAST AND CELEBRATION BY TIFFANY TERRY 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 11 for delicious, locally sourced food prepared by New

clouds of dust. Some of the people who took this binational action to raise awareness of what perils border crossers experience were residents of Columbus, others came from Albuquerque, Bisbee, AZ and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. Albuquerque’s Ditch Radio Project broadcasted over the Border. It was definitely a Festival of Liberation; there was connection between people regardless of nationality, color, gender identity or religious beliefs. The day after the monument was built, Iliana Rodríguez Garza headed up a group of us who crossed the border. Iliana had prepared a delicious, hearty soup and with a sign 'Comida, no Migra / Food, not Immigration Police’. We shared the meal at the small plaza in Palomas with those who would attempt a night crossing. Most were men but a woman came with two young children clinging to her skirt; an eleven-year old boy was there all by himself. A friend of Janet's lived in Columbus on a hill near the border and she related that on a clear night one could not tell where the earth ended and where the sky began because of flashlights in the desert. Those were the travelers who had left their families to try for a better

Mexico’s own gourmet chefs—Chef Chris Pope of Zinc, Chef Myles Lucero of Seasons, and Chef Frans Dinkelmann. The event will kick off around 4pm and go until dark. RGALT's annual Harvest Dinner is a landmark celebration that brings together conservation partners, landowners, and community supporters to embrace and honor New Mexico's local harvest. All proceeds from the fundraising event go to furthering RGALTs mission of protecting the lands we all love. For more information contact or 505-270-4421. Get your tickets at: Sign up for our e-newsletter at to stay informed of all the great RGALT news! See you on September 11 for a great time and a good cause!

Cecilia has had the opportunity to volunteer with the group 'No More Deaths' in the Arizona desert. On the way back to Albuquerque, she talked about her experience working with this dedicated group whose mission is to end death and suffering in the Mexico— US borderlands through civil initiative: people of conscience working openly and in community to uphold fundamental human rights. For a week last spring, Cecilia and other volunteers trekked the difficult dessert terrain carrying water jugs and snack food to help alleviate the deadly walks of those men, women and children who risk their lives in search of a way of living away from generalized violence (as is the case in Central America, where women and children have in recent years had to flee their countries of origin due to violence). If you would like to actively participate and learn more, the NM Faith Coalition for Immigrant Justice is one of Albuquerque’s small but effective non-profits that works to create an environment that welcomes the stranger:



WORK DAY SEPT. 17, 8AM-NOON Join us in the DOT Gardens for a harvest tasting and perennial planting workshop! Help us wrap up work on our Welcome Center: a new community space, native plant garden, and rainwater catchment site. We’ll teach you how to transplant trees and shrubs and install drip irrigation. Plus, we’ll have some sweet treats from the garden to share. For more information contact Tiana Baca, DOT Garden Manager at or call| 505-417-8720. The Desert Oasis Teaching Garden is located at Albuquerque Academy at 6400 Wyoming Blvd. NE in Albuquerque. More info go to

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