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LA MONTAÑITA’S 27TH ANNUAL

EarthFest

op’s great pleasure to once again create a celebration that, in keeping with the cooperative principles of Community Education, Information and Training (Cooperative Principle #5) and Concern for Community (Cooperative Principle #7), provides an opportunity for us all to come together.

SUNDAY, APRIL 23

SAVE THE DATE ON SILVER STREET BEHIND THE CO-OP IN THE NOB HILL SHOPPING CENTER BY ROBIN SEYDEL H JOY! Spring is coming and the surest sign is that preparations are in full swing for La Montañita Co-op 27th Annual EarthFest. Over the years this event has grown and grown, thanks to the support of you, our incredible Co-op community. From its humble beginnings, years ago this festival has become one of the largest, if not the largest, Earth Day festival in the state and one of the most beloved of community based-festivals. It is La Moñtanita Co-

LOAN APPLICATIONS FOR THE SEASON AVAILABLE NOW!

2017

GROWING

O

CAPITALIZING A VIBRANT LOCAL

FOOD SYSTEM

LA MONTAÑITA

FUND

BY ROBIN SEYDEL n 2017 the La Montañta Fund is celebrating its sixth year of operation, providing Co-op owners an opportunity to invest in the local food system and economy. Enrollment in this grassroots investment opportunity ends on March 30. We are pleased to have made loans to capitalize local food producers over the years totaling over $225,000. We have over 70 Coop member investors with a total investment of $153,250.

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The return on investment for 2016 activities was 1.24%, which for nurture capital is a respectable return. The LaM FUND has loaned funds to food producers around the state for everything ranging from a few hundred dollars for seed to the purchase of a delivery truck, hoop houses, greenhouses, irrigation supplies, a bull with good genetics to increase herd size, goats, and bringing a value added product to market. We have also provided the upfront capital for area farmers who have received USDA and NRCS reimbursement grants to purchase equipment like hoop houses, improve irrigation methods and grow their production and sales.

As in years past, the 27th Annual EarthFest in Nob Hill is a chance to get your bedding plants, talk to and learn from the farming and gardening experts in our midst, get educated on the important environmental issues we face, grow and strengthen our community, enjoy the creations of our gifted fine and performing artists, get active and take action together to make our community and the world a better place for us all to share. This year EarthFest in Nob Hill will be on Sunday, April 23. Our street fills up quickly so please reserve your booth space early. We do give first priority to environmental, social and economic justice non-profit organizations and farmers and

One heartening aspect of the LaM FUND is the deepening relationships we are building with the food producers in our midst. Many farmers, ranchers and value added producers have second and third loans with the LaM FUND as they continue to scale up their production, take on new enterprises to expand their on-farm income or develop their businesses in other ways. These are the kind of long term community relationships, we believe are at the core of the development of a vibrant local food system, and we are most pleased to be able to foster them. Another exciting aspect of this relationship building is the fact that LaM FUND investors and Co-op member-owners know in what farms, ranches and value-added producers they are invested. Investors can then complete their circle of support for the local food system by purchasing products from those farms and ranches when they see them on Co-op shelves, at growers markets and, thanks to the work of our Coop Distribution Center, at other retail locations and restaurants throughout the state. INVESTORS If you are interested in investing with the La Montañita Fund please contact us before our enrollment period for 2017 ends March 30. We will be happy to send you a

farming organizations. Artists and craftspeople must make and sell their own art (no kits or imports allowed), be Co-op members, be juried if they have not set up with us before and be willing to participate in the “placement lottery.” Also, artists and crafters must have their City business license (contact the ABQ City Treasury office for a temporary one if necessary). Some of our artists, activists and farmers will be setting up in front of Immanuel Presbyterian Church, our long-time community partner and Earthfest co-sponsor. EarthFest is the perfect time to come to Nob Hill for a fun, local, community-based day. We are hoping for a beautiful day, and with Mother Earth's blessing, we will once again take time to celebrate "Her,” reaffirm our commitment to restoring and sustaining our blue/green planetary gem and cultivating a sustainable future for us all. Join friends and neighbors as we educate and inform ourselves, dance joyously in the streets to welcome the upcoming growing season and take action on behalf of our precious Mother Earth. Watch for more information in the April Co-op Connection News and on social media outlets about the Co-op’s 27th Annual EarthFest! For more information or to reserve your FREE space contact, Robin at 505-217-2027 or you can email her at robins@lamontanita.coop.

Memorandum, which is the intra-state form of a prospectus, and investor agreement, answer any questions you might have and help you get enrolled before the deadline. LOANS TO GROW THE LOCAL FOOD SYSTEM Want to expand your on farm income, try a new crop, or put up a hoop house for four season production? Our loan application process is quick and easy and we are happy to walk prospective food producers though the process. The loans are affordable and repayment terms can be tailored to the needs of the producer, their harvest and products. As noted earlier many of our borrowers come back to LaM FUND for loans again and again saying it's easier than going to the bank and that we understand their food business needs. Additionally La Montanita's 40 years of experience and the services beyond capital that we can provide, bring to their endeavor the support and empowerment of a caring community.

If you are a food producer in New Mexico and want more information or an investor interested in enrolling during our enrollment period that ends March 31, please contact me at: robins@lamontanita.coop or call 505-217-2027 or toll free at 877-775-2667.

VETERAN FARMER PROJECT

GROWING FORWARD Stepping Into Spring BY MONIQUE SALHAB f you were wondering where the crew of the Veteran Farmer Project has been, wonder no more! Winter classes have been in full swing—and amazing by the way! The crew took the early part of the winter to recuperate and re-organize. We have also scheduled new dates for rebuilding our greenhouse, which was donated by Thomas Cameron of Rancho Durazno last fall. All dates below are on the following Saturdays, March 11, March 25 and April 8 from 10am–2pm.

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HELP US

REBUILD

OUR GREENHOUSE! MARCH 11, MARCH 25 AND APRIL 8, FROM 10AM-2PM

We welcome individuals in the community who have experience and skills with building and/or carpentry (and the tools), and even if you have no experience with either, we welcome the extra hands! If you decide to show up, please dress accordingly—layers are best—bring gloves, wear boots and bring hydration/snacks. To RSVP, ask questions or get directions to the location of the rebuilding, please contact either Monique Salhab at monique.salhab@lamontanita.coop or Ronda Zaragoza at vfpABQ@yahoo.com / 505-550-2621. Several of the VFP crew were also able to participate in the New Mexico Organic Farming Conference held on February

17–18 in Albuquerque. The VFP shared a table with La Montañita Co-op distributing information and networking with fellow community farmers! If you are a backyard farmer or an upcoming urban farmer I highly recommend attending next year’s conference! Thanks to farm co-manager Ronda Zaragoza's certification as a Master Naturalist, we have been offered greenhouse space at the Valle del Oro Wildlife Refuge. We are honored to be able to support this important urban wildlife refuge. We are also grateful to be able to use this greenhouse while we get our north valley location up and running. Additional changes have occurred to facilitate the VFP in becoming a self-sustainable enterprise. Last fall, the steps to become a non-profit were initiated and a board of directors was established. We are always in need of enthusiastic and committed individuals who are open to learning—as well as bestowing any personal knowledge and experience with farming. Since the farming season is upon us, the crew definitely needs assistance with weeding, tilling and planting; and because most of this work is done during the week, individuals who are retired, students and those with flexibility in their schedules are highly desired. A majority of the work is done during the work week from morning through early afternoon. Contact Ronda Zaragoza at vfpABQ@yahoo.com, or 505-550-2621 for more information.


FARMING AND GARDENING La Montañita Cooperative A Community-Owned Natural Foods Grocery Store

March 2017 2

FEDERATION OF SOUTHERN COOPERATIVES:

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

KEEPING FARMS IN FARMER’S

HANDS

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 Westside 7am – 10pm M – Su 3601 Old Airport Ave, ABQ, NM 87114 505-503-2550 GRABnGO 8am – 6pm M – F, 11am – 3pm Sa UNM Bookstore, 2301 Central SW, ABQ, NM 87131 505-277-9586 Cooperative Distribution Center 9am – 5pm, M – F 901 Menaul NE, ABQ, NM 87107 505-217-2010 Support Office 9am – 5pm, M – F 901 Menaul NE, ABQ, NM 87107 505-217-2001 Support Staff: 217-2001 TOLL FREE: 877-775-2667 (COOP) • Co-op Retail Officer/William Prokopiak 984-2852 willpro@lamontanita.coop • Controller/John Heckes 217-2029 johnh@lamontanita.coop • Computers/Info Technology and Co-op Operations and Support Officer/ Rob Dixon 217-2011 rob.dixon@lamontanita.coop • Human Resources/Sharret Rose 217-2023 hr@lamontanita.coop • Marketing/Karolyn Cannata-Winge 217-2024 kcwinge@lamontanita.coop • Membership/Robin Seydel 217-2027 robins@lamontanita.coop • CDC/MichelleFranklin 217-2010 mf@lamontanita.coop Store Team Leaders: • Mark Lane/Nob Hill 265-4631 markl@lamontanita.coop • James Esqueda/Westside 505-503-2550 jamese@lamontanita.coop • Lynn Frost/Interim Santa Fe 984-2852 lynnf@lamontanita.coop • Leaf Ashley/Gallup 575-863-5383 leaf.ashley@lamontanita.coop • Joe Phy/Rio Grande 505-242-8800 josephp@lamontanita.coop Co-op Board of Directors: email: bod@lamontanita.coop • Elise Wheeler, President • Chad Jones, Vice President • Allena Satpathi, Secretary • Jerry Anaya, Director • Gina Dennis, Director • James Esqueda, Director • James Glover, Director • Greg Gould, Director • Marissa Joe, Director Membership Costs: $15 for 1 year/ $200 Lifetime Membership + tax Co-op Connection Staff: • Managing Editor: Robin Seydel robins@lamontanita.coop 217-2027 • Layout and Design: foxyrock inc • Cover/Centerfold: Co-op Marketing Dept. • Advertising: JR Riegel, 217-2016 • Editorial Assistants: JR Riegel/j.riegel@lamontanita.coop Monique Salhab/monique.salhab@lamontanita.coop • Printing: Santa Fe New Mexican Membership information is available at all six Co-op locations, or call 217-2027 or 877-775-2667 email: robins@lamontanita.coop website: www.lamontanita.coop Membership response to the newsletter is appreciated. Email the Managing Editor, robins@lamontanita.coop Copyright ©2017 La Montañita Food Co-op Reprints by prior permission. The Co-op Connection is printed on 100% recycled paper with 100% soy inks. It is recyclable.

CO-OP

YOU OWN IT

CELEBRATING 50 YEARS BY MONIQUE SALHAB ast month I wrote a little about the history of Black Cooperatives in the United States and the significance of these cooperatives in empowering Black communities and the individuals who were a part of them. One of the most influential and strongest Black Cooperative in existance today is the Federation of Southern Cooperatives (FSC). Founded in 1967, FSC assists Black farmers with maintaining ownership of their land and utilizes principles of “cooperatives for landbased economic development.” This year, FSC is celebrating its 50th anniversary!

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Through FSC, over 12,000 families own over half a million acres and collaborate with 35 cooperatives to purchase sup-

plies, provide assistance and sell produce. FSC also partners with outside groups to assist fishermen, craftsmen and others with housing needs throughout the rural South. Several programs exist within FSC which has allowed it to not only survive but to reach beyond farming communities and provide assistance to rural residents who do not have land and require job skills and training for employment. Housed within FSC is its Rural Training and Research Center (RTRC), based out of Alabama. The RTRC provides workshops, training and access relating to small farms and agriculture, land assistance, forestry, credit unions, cooperative marketing, housing, cooperative development, membership services, communications and advocacy and community building. FSC has six regional offices—Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Florida and two in Georgia. The FSC works with some of the poorest and most neglected communities in the South but continues to fulfill its mission of “helping people help themselves”. RESOURCES: http://federationsoutherncoop.com Collective Courage, Dr. Jessica Gordon Nembhard

SANDOVAL COUNTY EXTENSION AGENT SPOTLIGHT ON AGENT LYNDA GAR VIN BY JENNIFER CORNISH ynda Garvin learned something that would inform her future work here in New Mexico while working as a staff member for the Peace Corps in Guinea Bissau. Farmers had a mindset that cultivating with seeds from outside the country was somehow better than what they had locally, so they would travel to Senegal to obtain seeds. But Lynda learned that seeds used by some of the more traditional farmers were better adapted to the climate and local conditions.

Lynda also worked for Care International in Liberia shortly after their 14 year civil war ended. The war had devastated farmers, destroying livestock and crops country-wide. As part of an urban agriculture project, Lynda worked with local people to bring food into the markets by encouraging everyone to grow something. Through that experience, she realized that we can leave our planet a better place than we found it. We can all create carbon sinks by planting something in our yards, gardens, and fields.

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What was true in Guinea Bissau is true here in New Mexico too. “If farmers and gardeners grow fruits and vegetables using seeds from local varieties,” Lynda says, “they know that they will have plants better adapted to our climate and soil conditions.” So one of Lynda’s goals as the Sandoval County Extension Agent is to sponsor an event where people who save seeds can share with other growers, thereby increasing the diversity of varieties that do well here.

“It is empowering for us to grow something we can eat. We feel more connected to the natural world” Lynda says. So think about what you can add to your own garden this year, and if you are thinking about getting seeds you know will grow well here, look for future seed sharing events—and you will probably find Lynda there.

RIO GRANDE COMMUNITY FARM:

20 YEARS OF GARDENING WITH THE

COMMUNITY

BY IAN COLBURN he positive and lasting effects of civic action are embodied in the beautiful community space that is the Los Poblanos Open Space Fields. The 138-acre property was formed in 1997 after years of work by a group of locals to halt sprawling development on historically significant land. That same year, Rio Grande Community Farm (RGCF) was founded to support wildlife and practice organic agriculture on the Open Space fields while educating the community to grow food for themselves.

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lateral (one of the oldest acequias in New Mexico) and you will be in the Garden! Whether you want to grow a row of chile, a bed of greens, or a little of everything, learn more about the Community Garden on our website, riograndefarm.org, or join us for an open house on Saturday, March 25 at 10am.

We invite you to join us in this mission and get involved this year for our twentieth anniversary!

SAVE THE DATE! On Saturday April 22, we will host our annual Spring Habitat Restoration day. Native and droughttolerant species will be planted to create a hedgerow alongside the Community Garden. Come help grow a wildlife and pollinator habitat through a morning of fun outdoor volunteer work with others.

Grow alongside others in our Community Garden! There are spaces available for new and experienced gardeners. For $100 you are provided with your own 160 square feet of soil as well as weekly irrigation, access to tools and equipment, seeds, workshops and best of all, a community to grow in! The Garden is situated on the northwest corner of the Los Poblanos Fields. Park near Alvarado Elementary School on Solar Rd., walk over the Gallegos

Stay informed about events (such as the Maize Maze!) and educational opportunities at Rio Grande Community Farm by signing up to our quarterly email newsletter from our website. We have been working to improve the health of our community through sustainable agriculture and education for two decades. With your involvement and support we will continue to do so for decades to come!


INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY MARCH 8

March 2017 3

MARCH’S DONATE-A-DIME ORGANIZATION OF THE MONTH

NM WOMEN’S GLOBAL PATHWAYS: IMMIGRANT AND REFUGEE

RESOURCE VILLAGE BY NKAZI SINANDILE

While there are agencies that provide assistance to refugees resettling in New Mexico, it is not sufficient for them to establish themselves in a new country that has one of the most complex systems in the world. When the assistance provided to each refugee ends (generally in 3 to 6 months) very few are ready to navigate on their own and outcomes are negative. The majority especially women, single parents and young adults find it very difficult to find or retain jobs due to deficient prior work experience, skills and basic education. Most local agencies are not designed to provide and bridge those gaps. NMWGP's main focus is to build strong financial futures for vulnerable women, children, their families and communities. We also seek to eliminate all forms of violence and discrimination against women. Our Micro-Enterprise Development Program is a free program that enables those hit hard by hardship to become financially independent by helping them develop capital resources and business expertise to start, expand, or strengthen their own business. The program seeks to provide training and technical assistance in traditionally inspired sewing, weaving, jewelry making, business plan development, management, bookkeeping and marketing to equip participants with the skills they need to become successful entrepreneurs. Since 2009 NMWGP has provided free sewing and beading training. Fifty percent of the people we have trained

PRINCIPLE SIX

NMWGP's approach Currently NMWGP free programming consists of a year-long training that teaches social, educational, civic and economic skills. We offer free "life skills" training in vocational areas such as sewing, weaving, beading, civic participation, decision making, health awareness, domestic violence, leadership. Participants also learn business skills and gain access to income-generating activities so that they can move toward economic self sufficiency.

Please support our work by bringing your cloth bag when you shop at the Co-op in March and donate your dime. To further support NMGWP please make your donations to IRRVA and mail to PO Box 93445, Albuquerque, NM 87199.

COOPERATION AMONG

ALBUQUERQUE PRE-SCHOOL COOP

CELEBRATING THEIR 51ST YEAR SCHOLARSHIP SOIREE AND FUNDRAISER: MARCH 10 Please join us for our 2nd annual Helayne J. Abrams Scholarship Fund Soiree and Fundraiser. We commemorate Helayne—a founding member and passionate teacher and director of the Albuquerque Preschool

DONATE your BAG CREDIT!

GRABnGO

UNM Bookstore 505-277-9586

OUR GOALS INCLUDE: • Strengthen and support resettled families, local low-income people, immigrants and other vulnerable people in New Mexico through advocacy, education and empowerment; • Develop networks of refugee, immigrant and community leaders focused on educational success from birth to college and teach how to best connect with the New Mexican school system • Promote and improve the health of families and familiarize refugees with how the U.S. health care system works. • Mobilize and assist community leaders and communities to identify community needs and strategies as it relates to raising children who are connected socially, emotionally, educationally and economically. • Provide direct or referral services to address unmet needs in the areas of English language training, employment, housing, health, social services or self-help; • Preserve refugee and immigrant traditional, heritage culture and art forms; • Educate the Community at large about the presence, contributions, resilience and potential of refugee and immigrants;

COOPERATIVES

CO-OP PROGRAM

RIO GRANDE

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

Co-op. This celebration held on March 10th at the Canvas Artistry Gallery at 3120 Central SE honors all our students, teachers alumni and the entire Albuquerque Preschool Community. This year marks APSC's 51st anniversary. We are proud and humbled to ask you to join us for hors d'oeuvres, a raffle and great fun. If you can't come on March 10th, consider donating to this school's scholarship fund and help kids continue to come to school! For tickets go to bit.Do/ABQPreCoop or send a donation to ABQ PreSchool Coop at 606 Candelaria Rd. NW, Albuquerque, NM 87107, or call for more information 505-344-0389

BRING A BAG... DONATE-A-DIME

IT ADDS UP

In MARCH, in honor of International Women's Day, bag credit donations will go to: New Mexico Global Women's Pathways: Empowering immigrants, refugees and other local low income women, girls and their families, to attain self sufficiency. In JANUARY your Donate-a-Dime donations totaling $2,684.40 went to Tewa Women United.

WESTSIDE

3601 Old Airport Ave. NW 505-503-2550

Alamed a Blvd. Coors Blvd.

The people we serve have lost everything family, home and heath. Some are widows, refugees, victims of rape and torture. Our programs help girls and women receive the training and support needed to be self sufficient economically, educationally, socially and become leaders in their own communities. The majority reside in the International District in Albuquerque and are from Africa, Asia, The Middle East, Haiti, Mexico, Cuba and the United States.

Children's Education: We work to provide quality, holistic services which guide refugee, immigrant, youth and other at-risk vulnerable children. These services include early childhood development leading to reading proficiency by 3rd grade, high school graduation and pathways to meaningful employment. We promote gender equity, address homelessness among participating families, develop leadership abilities, preserve customs, heritage and respect and embrace diversity and understanding.

COOP

Our mission is empowering the most marginalized populations of New Mexico including refugee, other immigrants and local low income women girls and their families, to attain self sufficiency through education, economic development, and strengthened life skills, thereby addressing the social, economical, emotional and educational needs of their children. We are a New Mexico non profit organization and an economic arm of the Immigrant Refugee Resource Village Of Albuquerque (www.irrva.com)

now own their own cottage businesses. Additionally all our participants receive English as a second language training enabling them to speak, read for themselves and read to their children, send texts, make hospital appointments, engage in commerce and interpret for other newer refugees.

Old A irpor t Ave .

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ew Mexico Women's Global Pathways was established January 2009 by African, Asian and New Mexican low or no income women and girls, the majority of whom are survivors of conflict and political upheaval.

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.


CO-OP NEWS

March 2017 4

COMMUNITY LAND TRUSTS: COOPERATIVE LAND OWNERSHIP FOR DEMOCRATIC

DEVELOPMENT

BY DAVID TISEL, LOCAL ENTERPRISE ASSISTANCE FUND (LEAF) ollective land ownership—what could be more cooperative than that? Originally based on the philosophical writings of Henry George, a Community Land Trust (CLT) is an organization that owns and stewards land for the long term benefit of the community.

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Today, most CLTs develop affordable housing on their land, keeping it permanently affordable for working families and individuals. CLTs can also fulfill other community needs, such as for open space, gardens, or commercial space. CLTs are traditionally nonprofit organizations governed by a board of directors that includes community representatives, local elected officials, and specialists in affordable housing or nonprofit management. Dudley Neighbors Incorporated (DNI) is a great example of how grassroots organizations can use CLTs to benefit their communities. In the late 1980s, local residents organized to take control over the nearly 1,300 parcels of abandoned land in the “Dudley Triangle,” an area of the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston, MA, that had experienced decades of disinvestment. The City of Boston granted the communi-

PUDDING IS PLEASING :

ty group eminent domain over these parcels, and the DNI Land Trust was born. We spoke to Ben Baldwin, the Project and Operations Manager at DNI. He told us that today, the land trust includes 225 affordable homes, a 10,000 square foot community greenhouse, an urban farm, and a playground. DNI continues to push for development without displacement while creating affordable housing and small business space in Roxbury. Ben said: "We are working to see that development in Dudley benefits rather than displaces current residents, and that the community's priorities are reflected in what gets built in the neighborhood. The Land Trust is a powerful tool to make this happen." CLTs show the power of long term land stewardship to benefit the community. In periods of disinvestment, they allow communities to take control of their neighborhoods and actualize a community development vision. By keeping housing permanently affordable, CLTs can help prevent gentrification and displacement in periods of rapid neighborhood investment. CLTs make real the vision of communities taking control of their own development.

Community Land Trusts are not only in big cities; in fact, they are spread throughout rural, suburban, and urban communities all over the country. Closer to La Montañita’s backyard in Albuquerque, the Sawmill Community Land Trust is a great local example. Formed in 1996 by the Sawmill Advisory Council, SCLT has since developed 93 affordable homes, 3 affordable apartment buildings, community gardens, and commercial space for 16 small businesses, all on 34 acres of reclaimed industrial land.

EASY AND DELICIOUS

AN UNDERAPPRECIATED FOOD BY AMYLEE UDELL udding is an underappreciated food. It is easy to make, so it's perfect to make with budding cooks and is a fairly stress-free kitchen activity. It's all-season. In the warm months, it doesn't require the oven and can be served cold. It can be made in multiple ways with varied ingredients to accommodate food allergies or nutritional philosophies. And it can be very nutritious. It goes down quite easily, as well. Kids who aren't feeling well might be willing to eat pudding.

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Internationally, "pudding" can mean many things. For our purposes, I am discussing our typical US understanding - a sweet dessert, often milk based, with a custard-like texture. These desserts can be "set" in a variety of ways. • CORN STARCH is very common and very easy to use for homemade pudding. Using corn starch, you can even put together your own "instant" pudding blend to store and easily and quickly whip some up in no time. • FLOUR is also a great thickener, creating a denser, less runny pudding. • EGG AND EGG YOLKS create the texture in custards. The mix, whisk, cook, chill method for many custard recipes is similar as for pudding. Crème anglaise, Blancmange, Pot de crème and more are set using eggs. • GELATIN is a great thickener, used for fancy panna cotta and bavarian cream desserts. The result is more solid and can be set in molds. This could make for a fairly easy, fun kids' treat.

• RENNET used in cheesemaking, is used to set junket. This is a VERY simple pudding to make, as you simply add the rennet to room temperature sweetened and flavored milk. • ARROWROOT is a little trickier to get used to working with, but also a possibility for those who may have allergies to the above possibilities. Haupia, Hawaiian coconut pudding, was traditionally made with arrowroot. More solid in nature, it is often served in blocks. • AGAR, cooked and pressed algae, and carrageenan, a dried seaweed, are popular options with those following a vegetarian diet. They create more jelly-like textures and many have had success working with them to create a variety of desserts. In addition to an array of choices to set your puddings, you can use a variety of different milks to suit your preferences. Just use whatever you already use at home, with some expected experimentation. And coconut milk isn't JUST for haupia. It's a great choice for most of these desserts. Since most puddings do not require baking, but do require mixing and stirring, they are a fun way to get kids excited in the kitchen. Some kids might struggle waiting for it to set up or chill, but don't forget that their favorite part may just be licking the bowl as they wait! Besides traditional stove top puddings, there are a few other easy ideas to give you a pudding-like result, with or without kids helping.

going green PRODUCE SPOTLIGHT LOCAL AND ORGANIC

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arly spring greens are up—and delicious. Arugula for instance, gets its name from the French word "roquette" giving this green the nickname "salad rocket." Its mild sour and peppery taste propels every salad into the great flavor stratosphere. Arugula comes from the brassica family (which includes cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts, mustard greens and kale). They all contain anti-cancer compounds known as glucosinolates. These potent compounds stimulate the natural detoxifying enzymes in the body. Dandelion is another mildly sour green, also getting its nickname from the French, literally meaning "tooth of lion". Dandelion is a rich source of

• CHIA SEED PUDDING: chia seeds will absorb liquid and create a gelatinous pudding. Try blending together a few tablespoons of chia seeds with 2 cups of your preferred milk, cocoa powder, your favorite sweetener, and any seeds or fruit you have. Set in the refrigerator overnight and you've got a great breakfast that the kids will think is more like dessert. Bonus points if you add some chocolate shavings or coconut sprinkles for extra fanciness. • AVOCADO CHOCOLATE PUDDING: this stir and eat goodness makes use of the creaminess of avocado. Mixed with cocoa powder, your favorite sweetener and a little milk, you've got some real, raw food that'll make anyone smile. • RICE PUDDING: Also a fun breakfast option (especially warm on a cold morning), rice pudding is an old stand-by that's great for using up leftovers and sneaking in some solid nutrition. Speaking of sneaking in nutrition, all of these make use of whole foods. You can tailor these to what you feel is healthy, what your kids' bodies need and what makes you feel good. You can also sneak in some nutritional boosts. Nut butter? Maca powder? Probiotics? Vitamin D? You've got lots of options and they'll all go down smoothly. Have too much pudding for some reason? Top your fruit with it. Add it to a smoothie. Try freezing some for pudding pops. Or pour some into a pie crust for pudding pie. You can, of course, make pudding just for these purposes, too. One last note on pudding—even if it doesn't set up right, if it gets an unsightly film on top, or you mess up in some other way, it'll probably still be yummy! AMYLEE UDELL: www.productivemama.com, on Facebook, Twitter and now Pinterest!

medicinal compounds that have a “tonifying” effect on the body which may improve liver function, promote weight loss, and improve blood sugar imbalances. Buy a combination of arugula, kale, mustard. Dice them up and throw them into a pan with 2 tsp. of olive oil. Sauté for 35 minutes. Add 1 tsp of balsamic vinegar and let simmer for another 1-3 minutes. The use of vinegar counteracts the organic acids (oxalates) in the greens. Got a blender? Take several cups of mixed greens, a handful of strawberries or a 1/2 of avocado, 3/4 cup of any liquid (water, carrot juice or apple juice) and a tsp. of lemon juice. Blend, drink and go! La Montañita Co-op's produce departments have a fabulous selection of local and organic fresh spring greens.


CO-OP NEWS

March 2017 5

BE A CHANGE AGENT FROM THE BOARD OF

DIRECTORS BY ALLENA SATPATHI, CO-OP BOARD SECRETARY ur La Montañita Co-op is going through a transformation. We have grown from an original 300 founding families to over 16,000 member owners, serving metro areas of over 1 million in population. 2016 was year of major financial turmoil, along with discord and disagreement on the path forward. Moving into 2017, with a mix of both new and seasoned member-owners and Board members, we find ourselves eager to move ahead, to put our differences behind us and get the Co-op on a path of economic viability and long term sustainability. To make this happen, we are in the process of instituting change, and change must reflect the needs of the members: we need to hear from you—all 16,000 of you.

O

We are all a part of this change agency. You have the opportunity to be a change agent—to transform the organization to face not only our pressing challenges today, but those that lay ahead. Change is continuous, exhilarating and scary, but essential to adapt and necessary for survival. Our job, together, is to bravely face what must be done,

LA MONTAÑITA

FUND:

GRASSROOTS INVESTING! Help GROW the

LOCAL FOOD SYSTEM

stay mindful that ego is a force field to learning, and take a fresh look to “think outside the box.” It is uncomfortable, often risky—and that is where the magic happens! Together, over a series of Town Halls and employee All-Hands during the next few months, we will jointly form the vision of where the Co-op is heading. Meetings are currently being scheduled and details are forthcoming via the website, the Scoop and this newsletter. I encourage you to bring forth your vision for the Co-op, to build a more viable organization that represents your values regarding vitally important topics such as sustainable agriculture, local and organic food, a cooperative economic model, and whatever else excites you about the Co-op mission. We want to hear from you! We welcome your ideas, observations and inspirations as we embark on our transformational journey. I am very excited to share a new email that the Board can get to and see that everything is answered. Email the Board at TalkWithTheBoard@lamontanita.coop, and we look forward to your participation in membership meetings posted on the lamontanita.coop website.

March Calendar

of Events 3/11, 3/25 VETERAN FARMER PROJECT REBUILD THE GREENHOUSE, see page 1 for more details 3/7 Board Policy Development Co-op Support Office, 901 Menual Blvd. NE at 5:30pm 3/14 Member Engagement Meeting Co-op Support Office, 901 Menual Blvd. NE at 5:30pm 3/21 BoD Meeting Santa Fe Community College, Board Room, 6401Richards Ave., Santa Fe

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.

SAVE THE DATE!

EARTHFEST AT YOUR CO-OP

In software we have a saying that I believe more aptly applies to our Co-op: ”Don’t get pickled in the brine! Stay fresh, stay a cucumber!“

LOAN PROGRAM • Quick and easy application process • Loans from $250 to $15,000, or more in exceptional cases • Repayment terms tailored to the needs of our community of food producers • Applications taken in an ongoing basis To set up a meeting to learn more or for a Loan Application or help with your application, call or email Robin at: 505-217-2027, toll free 877-775-2667 or e-mail: robins@lamontanita.coop.

S U N D AY, A P R I L 2 3 , 1 0 A M - 5 : 3 0 P M NOB HILL CO-OP


ONLY HOURS AWAY • OUR LA MONTAÑITA co|op FOODSHED

WELLNESS DEPT • HOW TO STIFLE THOSE SPRINGTIME SNEEZES

AHHHCHOOOOOO!

Miserable? Since late January? It is hard to be anywhere in New Mexico without hearing an ahhh-choooo! or two close by.

ARTISAN GOAT CHEESES

SPECIALTY PRODUCE

GET FRESH! BUY LOCAL

A

llergy season started early this year with warmer than usual temperatures. Our resident juniper trees have let loose their tiny irritants full strength. Mulberry, elm and cottonwood are not far behind and just wait until the infamous New Mexico winds start their thing. Windy weather spreads pollen quickly and more of it causing the agony of an allergy nightmare for some of us. We wish for the reprieve that comes with rain, only to have things grow in abundance, producing more pollen, and the cycle starts all over again.

But, relief is possible! Generally, a good clean diet is recommended. Increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables overall in your diet can help, as they reduce inflammation naturally. Eat less to zero dairy, glutens and foods that contain histamines, like yeast and fermented foods, and more foods that contain bioflavonoids, like quercetin which is found in apples, onions and grapes. Magnesium rich almonds, cashews and kelp help calm the bronchial muscles, as well as the whole body. Our stores carry many products that will ease symptoms, especially those locally produced that have been formulated to target those allergens floating around specifically in our region. Here are some favorite picks from our expert WELLNESS DEPARTMENT TEAM LEADERS.

NOW Respir-All Vegetarian/ Vegan Tablets A combination of key vitamins, minerals and herbal extracts that nutritionally supports healthy respiratory functions. Free of gluten, soy, eggs, nuts and dairy. Herbalogic Easy Breather An herbal combination to clear sinuses, ease headaches and soothe nasal and eye irritation triggered by pollens, mold, seasonal changes, travel or stress. It works for a wide range of tree and grass pollen, while also easing the effects of other airborne irritants, such as mold, dust, pollution and volcanic smog (vog).

—thanks to: pollen.com, everydayhealth.com

PEACHES YOU REMEMBER

Toni purley, rio grande lOCAL – B’s Honey

Pure, raw, organic, natural and unheated, coming straight from New Mexico’s bees and flowers. Ingesting honey improves your immunity to local pollens.

100% GRASS-FED BEEF

KATHERINE SANMARTIN, WESTSIDE

LOCAL – Moses Bee Pollen A superfood, bee pollen helps reduce histamines, a causing factor in allergies. Always use LOCAL and start off slow, with a couple of granules each day and increase your dose gradually to a 1/4 of a teaspoon. KICK-ASS Allergy From Wish Garden Herbs, non-stimulating and non-sedating. Traditional southwestern herbs to support a healthy respiratory and immune response to seasonal stressors. Non-GMO, gluten-free.

MIKE HILDEBRAND, SANTA FE

LOCAL - Allertonic, Herbs Etc. Normalizes secretion of the respiratory system, liquefies mucus, stimulates its removal from the lungs, keeps pulmonary tissues hydrated. Best used with the Allergy Relief System. Gluten-free LOCAL - La Puebla Elementals Southwest & Nettles Formulas. Tom Rohrkaste studied traditional healing wisdom with a variety of teachers including a Santa Clara elder, curanderas and other native healers. These experiences have allowed him to “mix the conventional with the unconventional” for a series of products with outstanding healing qualities. A Santa Fe favorite.

VALERIE SMITH, NOB HILL Natural Factors Quercetin Bioflavonoid Complex Quercetin prevents the development of allergies & inflammation. It supports optimal health by preventing accelerated aging and helps combat free radical formation in the development of disease. Similisan Allergy Relief Eye Drops This Swiss formula works differently, by using natural botanical extracts used for over 200 years to stimulate the body’s natural defenses and target the root cause, without harsh chemical vasoconstrictors or antihistamines. Available in preservative-free single-use droppers, gluten and dairy free.

EVERYONE AGREES! BEST LOCAL SELLERS LOCAL - Allergy ReLeaf System Maintains a healthy allergen response in the respiratory and digestive system. Soothes temporary respiratory, digestive and skin irritation from environmental, dietary and seasonal challenges. Promotes healthy eye, sinus, throat, lung, adrenal, skin and gastrointestinal tissues. Stabilizes mast cells and promotes healthy response to airborne and food irritants. Herbs, Etc. has more than 35 years of expertise as a leading manufacturer of high quality, potent liquid herbals and is unconditionally guaranteed.

LOCAL - Allergena, Zone 6 Homeopathic formula prepared for our specific region. Over 120 different extracts of trees, weeds and grasses of the Southwest have been homeopathically prepared to minimize a person’s sensitivity to any or all of these triggers. Best to take ahead of the season to build up immunity. LOCAL - La Montañita Co-op Aller-Calm Our own organic & wild harvested herbal formula includes nettle leaf, eyebright, fresh yerba santa leaf, fresh turmeric root, fresh lobelia and ambrosia.

hhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

ORGANIC PRODUCE

COLORADO CHERRIES

SWEET CORN & POTATOES

TOP right, COUNTER CLOCKWISE: SILVERLEAF FARMS, CORRALES, NM • tHE OLD WINDMILL DAIRY, MORIARTY, NM RANCHO DURAZNO, PALISADE, COLORADO • CORNELIUS CANDELARIA ORGANIC FARM, ABQ, nm sage creations, palisade, co • Schwebach farm, moriarty, nm • Sweet Grass Co-op, northern nm & southern co

Save the Date! 04.23

EarthFest 2017 TH E 27 TH ANNUAL

SUNDAY, APRIL 23 • 10a-5:30p

NOB HILL CO|OP ON SILVER FROM CARLISLE TO TULANE NE


SAVORY SPRING DELIGHTS

March 2017 8 soup cool for 30 minutes. Blend the soup with the apple juice until very smooth. The soup can be served warm or cold.

EARLY SPRING

FLAVORS

ADAPTED FROM VEGETARIANTIMES.COM NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING: CALORIES 123; TOTAL FAT 0G; SATURATED FAT 0G; CHOLESTEROL 0MG; SODIUM 24MG; TOTAL CARBOHYDRATE 30G; DIETARY FIBER 6G; SUGARS 17G; PROTEIN 2G

ARUGULA SALAD WITH MANGO AND AVOCADO Serves 2–4

GINGER ORANGE CARROTS Serves 4 / Prep time: 15 minutes / Cook time: 30 min.

2 cups arugula 1 Ataulfo mango, sliced 1 medium avocado, sliced 2 limes, juiced 4 T olive oil Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste Divide the arugula onto four salad plates. In alternat-ing strips, lay mango and avocado slices across the greens. Drizzle each salad with the olive and juice from half a lime. Finish with a dusting of sea salt and fresh ground pepper, then serve. NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING (AT 3 SERVINGS): CALORIES 311; TOTAL FAT 28G; SATURATED FAT 4G; CHOLESTEROL 0MG; SODIUM 62MG; TOTAL CARBOHYDRATE 19G; DIETARY FIBER 5G; SUGARS 11G; PROTEIN 2G PARSNIP FENNEL SOUP Serves 4 / Prep time: 30 minutes / Cook time: 2 hours

1/2 cup frozen orange juice concentrate 2 tsp ground ginger 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon 1 T honey 1 cup water 2 tsp cooking oil 5 large carrots, julienned In a small sauce pan, warm the first five ingredients and stir until well mixed. In a large frying pan, add the oil and the carrots. Pour the orange juice mixture over the carrots. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, and simmer on mediumlow heat for 15 minutes. Remove the lid and continue to simmer uncovered until the carrots have softened and the sauce has thickened, about 15 minutes. NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING: CALORIES 121; TOTAL FAT 2G; SATURATED FAT 0G; CHOLESTEROL 0MG; SODIUM 62MG; TOTAL CARBOHYDRATE 24G; DIETARY FIBER 3G; SUGARS 16G; PROTEIN 2G

1 strip orange peel 1/4 tsp whole juniper berries 1/4 tsp whole coriander seed 1/4 tsp whole fennel seed 2 cups chopped parsnips (about 2 large parsnips) 1 1/2 cups chopped fennel bulb and leaves 1/2 small onion, chopped 1 apple, chopped 2 garlic cloves, minced 4 cups water 1 cup apple juice

FENNEL RADISH SALAD Serves 4 / Prep time: 10

Place the orange peel, juniper berries, coriander and fennel seeds in a cheesecloth pouch and tie with cotton string. Place the cheese cloth pouch and all other ingredients except for the apple juice in a large saucepan and simmer on low for 2 hours until the parsnips and fennel are very soft. Remove the cheesecloth pouch. Let the

NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING: CALORIES 55; TOTAL FAT 0G; SATURATED FAT 0G; CHOLESTEROL 0MG; SODIUM 133MG; TOTAL CARBOHYDRATE 13G; DIETARY FIBER 5G; SUGARS 8G; PROTEIN 2G

2 medium fennel bulbs, julienned 10 medium radishes, julienned 1 orange, juice and zest Pinch of salt (optional) Combine all the ingredients and toss. This salad can be served immediately or marinated in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving.

ASPARAGUS MILANESE Serves 4 1 pound young asparagus, rinsed, dried, and tough ends removed 3 T butter 4 eggs

GET GREAT

SPRING

GREENS AT YOUR LOCAL

CO-OP

PRODUCE

DEPARTMENTS


SAVORY SPRING DELIGHTS 4 T hard cheese (Parmesan or Romano are both good) 1 lemon, juiced Sea salt and fresh ground pepper In a large skillet, over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter until foam has subsided, but it has not yet started to brown. Place the asparagus in the pan, distributing evenly. Cook on one side 2 to 3 minutes, or until it begins to brown slightly, then turn over and cook for a minute or two more. The asparagus should begin to wilt, but should still retain some crispness and be intensely green. Remove the pan from the heat and divide the asparagus evenly onto four plates. Squeeze the juice of one quarter lemon over each plate. Using the same pan, return to medium heat, and melt the last tablespoon of butter in the same way as the first two. When the butter is ready, crack the four eggs into the pan. Cook on one side for 1 to 3 minutes, flip and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute more, so yolks are still runny. Gently place one egg on each plate of asparagus. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon cheese and salt and pepper to taste on each plate. Serve while warm. NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING: CALORIES 200; TOTAL FAT 15G; SATURATED FAT 8G; CHOLESTEROL 213MG; SODIUM 206MG; TOTAL CARBOHYDRATE 7G; DIETARY FIBER 2G; SUGARS .5G; PROTEIN 11G LEMON GARLIC KALE Serves 2–4 1 pound Lacinato kale 1 chopped garlic clove 1 cup coarse fresh breadcrumbs 4 T olive oil 1/4 cup grated pecorino cheese 1/2 Meyer lemon 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes Olive oil Toss breadcrumbs with 2 tablespoons olive oil and kosher salt and black pepper. Bake on a tray for 5 to 7 minutes at 350° F, until golden brown. Sauté garlic in 2 tablespoons olive oil until just turning color and immediately add kale. Using tongs, flip it around so it wilts quickly. Season with salt and pepper and spread out on platter. Squeeze the lemon over the top, add the cheese and breadcrumbs and sprinkle on red pepper flakes.

NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING (AT 3 SERVINGS): CALORIES 431; TOTAL FAT 24G; SATURATED FAT 5G; CHOLESTEROL 15MG; SODIUM 493MG; TOTAL CARBOHYDRATE 42G; DIETARY FIBER 4G; SUGARS 3G; PROTEIN 13G NORTH AFRICAN CHICKPEA AND KALE SOUP Serves 6–8 1 large onion, chopped 2 carrots, sliced or diced 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin 1/2 tsp paprika 1/8–1/4 tsp chili powder or cayenne 1/4 tsp allspice 1/2 tsp ground ginger 1 generous pinch saffron, lightly crushed 2 bay leaves 1 3-inch cinnamon stick 3 cups cooked chickpeas (or 2 cans, drained and rinsed) 8 cups vegetable broth (or water plus bouillon) 1 large bunch kale, thick center ribs removed and chopped (at least 8 cups) 2 cups water Salt to taste Coat a large saucepan with olive oil and heat it. Add the onion and carrot and cook over medium-high heat until the onion begins to brown (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer. Add the spices, including bay leaves and cinnamon stick; cook, stirring, for another minute. Add the chickpeas and stir to coat them with the spices. Pour in the 8 cups of vegetable stock, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to a simmer for 20 minutes. Add the chopped kale and stir. Add water, if necessary, to cover the kale and cook until it is tender, about 10-25 minutes, depending on how cooked you like your kale. Check frequently to see if it is becoming dry, and add water as need-ed. Add salt to taste and serve. NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING (6 SERVINGS, LOW SODIUM CALORIES 237; TOTAL FAT 2G; SATURATED FAT 0G; CHOLESTEROL 0MG; SODIUM 628MG; TOTAL CARBOHYDRATE 46G; DIETARY FIBER 11G; SUGARS 6G; PROTEIN 10G BROTH):

March 2017 9


FARMING AND GARDENING

THE

BIRDS

AND THE DRONES BRETT BAKKER apanese scientists recently announced the development of drone “bees” to assist in plant pollination and replace insects in the face of declining bee populations. Thus far, the experiment has worked on lilies in a lab setting, directed by a human at the controls. However, Eijiro Miyako of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology says, "We believe that robotic pollinators could be trained to learn pollination paths using global positioning systems and artificial intelligence."

March 2017 10

IT SHOULD BE KEPT IN MIND THAT

ORGANIC

BY

ITCHY GREEN THUMB:

RANDOM NOTES

J

In 2011, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization has estimated the world's honeybee population at 80 million colonies. So for “replacement” purposes, consider there are perhaps anywhere from thirty to seventy thousand bees per colony. That’s a lot of wee drones. Once again, rather than approaching environmental problems from an environmental standpoint, effort goes to the technological fix. No word yet on drone honey… FROZEN LIVESTOCK As part of the new Administration’s regulatory freeze the implementation of USDA revision for organic livestock welfare standards has been delayed until mid-May. On the whole, it is an inadequate revision but, even so, a vast improvement in livestock welfare including stocking density rates, proactive health care, etc. It has undergone public comment and passed federal budget review. Far from being a “midnight” rule snuck in during Obama’s last days, it is the result of a decade of debate within the organic industry under both Republican and Democratic presidencies. The new rule is a small step in the livestock welfare battle but a big step in excluding factory farms that can squeak into organics under existing rules. The Administration claims it favors sound science but apparently not if it hurts Big Business.

It’s clear here that Big Agri- CERTIFICATION culture will continue to cry EXISTS foul because they will be WORLDWIDE “locked out” of a market in which they don’t belong in the first place. You either meet the rules or you don’t. As an organic inspector/certifier for over twentyfive years, I tell people that each day. As usual, “business” continues to be used as an excuse to decry any type of regulation that is not in their best financial interest. rience with farms or agriculture?' 'No sir, I don't.' I said, 'Have you ever seen a farm?' I can't make him the It should be kept in mind that organic certification Secretary of Agriculture." Well, that sure sounds like exists worldwide and the USDA/ National Organic extreme vetting to me! He went on: “I kept thinking Program is merely one piece of global agreements back to Sonny Perdue, a great, great farmer. He loves to to determine just what “organic” really means. farm; he knows everything about farming. He knows What becomes of these international organic the good stuff from the bad stuff.” Well, at least one equivalency agreements under the new presidential member of the new Cabinet has experience in his post! administration? If international humane animal welfare agreements are being cast aside, free range A former Georgia governor, Perdue also has experience chickens and mute vegetables don’t stand a chance. accepting USDA crop subsidies: $278,679 between 1995 and 2004. That averages over $30,000 per year. Crop FARMER-IN-CHIEF subsidies were designed to help the small farm in uncerLooking on the bright side, newly appointed USDA tain markets. In 2002 Perdue's financial disclosures state Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue actually was his net worth was approximately $4.4 million. a farmer of wheat, corn, cotton, barley, sorghum, etc. There is no relation, by the way, to poultry giant In 2009, Biotechnology Innovation Organization, a Perdue AgriBusiness (and yes, “agribusiness” is GMO lobby group and self-described “champion for actually in their company name). the biotechnology industry”, named him its Governor of the Year “in recognition of his leadership and supSaid the President: "...people came into my office port of the biosciences in Georgia.” He is also on and they said, 'I am really wanting the job.' I said, record as opposing key parts of the Clean Air Act. 'Let me ask you a question: Do you have any expeBusiness as usual?

ARE YOU GETTING THE REAL DEAL? USDA GRASS-FED BEEF: A NOT SO “COOL”

REPEAL

BY TRUDI KRETSINGER, KW FARMS, MEMBER-OWNER OF SWEET GRASS COOPERATIVE n the spring of 2016, our nephew Kurt brought us a label from some ground beef he’d bought at Sam’s Club in Dallas. Kurt, who is known for loving a good deal as well as his lifelong quest for health and fitness was drawn to the product because it was labeled organic, grass-fed, and, “It was cheap!”

I

“How did it taste?” John, my husband, rancher and member-owner at Sweet Grass Beef Cooperative asked. “Like mush,” Kurt said. “It just didn’t have the texture your beef does. Where do you think it’s from?” As it turned out, there was no way to know where this meat came from—even when we called the telephone number on the label, all they could tell us was that mostly it came from Uruguay, with some added from the United States. That was as close as we could get. And just because this ground beef was labeled “grass-fed”, we had no way of knowing if it was 100% grass-fed, who certified it so, or what such certification might mean. Meat Labeling Changes Quite simply, it is difficult to get the truth about our food if you depend on reading labels. Recently there have been two changes in meat labeling that make things even more confusing for those who buy meat at grocery stores: the repeal of the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) for beef and pork in December, 2015, and rescinding the USDA grass-fed label in January, 2016. Pasture-based livestock production is a huge departure from the commodity, CAFO based meat industry. It is difficult to manage, expensive to raise and process, and for the most part has been done by kooky farmers and ranchers who were driven by a mission of regeneration of soil, nutrition, and improved health of the planet. From the get-go we were told by conventional cattle producers we were crazy for trying it and belittled for our efforts. Once word got out to consumers about just how much better 100% grass-fed is for the planet, the animals, and the humans who eat them, demand for this beef soared. In fact, for the past several years, grass-fed has been the fastest growing segment of the American beef market, according to editor Allan Nation of The Stockman Grass Farmer, a great source of information regarding all aspects of pasture-based food production since 1947.

For the past several years

GRASS-FED

has been the FASTEST GROWING SEGMENT of the American beef market! Just as with the boom in organics a few years back, Big "Ag” has taken notice of the dramatic rise in demand for grass-fed beef, especially since it brings a higher price. They want in on the action. And this is causing all kinds of craziness. The Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) requirement was put in place in 2009. Meat product labels had to state where it came from. According to Allan Nation, the editor of Stockman Grass Farmer since 1977, the repeal of this law six years later was in response to pressure from the World Trade Organization and was bundled in a complex $1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill — with no debate, no public input. Lamb and chicken still have to be labeled, but beef and pork can be imported from fifteen different countries that have proven to be free of hoof and mouth, and mad cow disease. For now, the imports are primarily coming from Uruguay, New Zealand, and Australia. Up to a certain amount, imported meat qualifies for minimal or no tariff. Aside from the elephantine carbon footprint of shipping meat around the world, there is nothing intrinsically wrong with any of these countries’ beef. In fact, they do a better job than the U.S. in producing healthy, grass-fed/finished beef and have for a long time. The problem arises once the imported beef reaches the U.S. ADDING FAT Nobody eats as much ground beef as Americans. Most beef producing countries have little demand for ground, so being able to export it to the U.S., even at a very low price is better than having it go to waste. What happens is that this imported grass-fed ground beef, which tends to be very lean, has fat added once the beef arrives in this country in order to achieve the eating experience Americans are used to. Some labels will mention this, though it is not required, stating, “Product of Australia with some added in the U.S.A.” The “some added in the U.S.A.” is probably fat.

Adding fat isn’t necessarily bad. However, the fat being added to ground beef isn’t always what you’d want to eat. This has been done for some time in the American beef industry. Fat from U.S. commodity beef that had very little value for industrial purposes was added to cheap imported beef, which was ground and sold for a much higher price. This is why domestic slaughter plants have been big supporters of imported beef. The fact that beef labeled “grass-fed” can actually be grain finished applies to domestic and imported meat. Consumer should be aware that organic certification does not concern itself with grain vs. grass, as long as it is organic. Organic standards require that an animal have access to pasture at least 120 days a year, and allows that the last fifth of a market stock’s life may be spent in confinement. Getting the Real Deal The USDA had a grass-fed label, in place since 2006, which was rescinded in January, 2016. Truth to tell, even though it took four years to write, with input from producers and consumers, the label definition had its problems. It is currently being revised and has been rescinded while it is in this process. Who knows when it will be finalized? Or if it will. In the meantime, it’s a big, sloppy, cheeseburger with fries mess—with the consumer and the small-scale producer caught in the middle. As long as we stick together, it can be a happy place to be. For those of you in New Mexico, you have a viable and convenient route to the “real deal” on food. You can go to La Montañita and speak with the people at the meat counter to find out—beyond the labels—what this food is: who raised it, where, and how. If you have questions beyond their knowledge, they’ll have the contact information for the people who produced it. Congratulations if this is how you procure your food. Your efforts may be more important than you realize. When you know who produces your food, as it is possible to do at La Montañita, you can find out just how close we, at KW Farm and Sweet Grass Beef Cooperative come to your expectations for nutrition and humane animal treatment. You’ll also be able to get an idea of the environmental impact of the hamburger you’re about to eat. When my brother Sam was hitchhiking back to college in 1962, an old woman pulled up to him with his sign that read, “Austin, si vouz plait.” She rolled her window down and shouted disapprovingly, “DO GOOD, BOY!” And drove off. That’s our commitment to our customers. We want to ”do good, boy.” Look for grassfed regional Sweet Grass Cooperative Beef at all La Montañita Co-op locations.


COMMUNITY FORUM AT THE NEW MEXICO NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM

EXPLORE THE SCIENCE AND

ART OF CLAY

C

lay Science at the Museum combines the science of clay (its role in soil and geology) with artistic exploration and making art. We will search for clay in different soils, process clay dug from nearby strata, search for connections with clay minerals in the Museum exhibits, and create with clay form and color. Glazing, firing, and all materials included in fee. Clay science classes have sessions for both adults, 9:30–11:30am and special sessions for children in the afternoons from 3:30–5:30pm on Mondays, March through May. • Session II: ANIMALS’ STORIES focuses on tiles and cylinders for telling our own stories of animals in our lives. Participants will be invited to create rubbing plates for the Museum. March and April on Monday. •Session III: GARDEN WARE offers both coil and slab construction, with drape and press molds handy. Creation of earthenware “Ollas” for drip irrigation in garden beds will be one project. Mondays in April and May. NOTE: All work not picked up a week after the last class will be donated to charity. Parts of the class will be held outdoors as weather permits.

Instructor Cirrelda Snider-Bryan is a Member of NM Potters and Clay Artists, Handmade Tile Association, Mosaic Artists of NM, and the National Council for Education in the Ceramic Arts. She has facilitated many school tile murals and mosaic projects, serving as an APS teacher from 1987-1994. An environmental educator at the NM Museum of Natural History and Science since 2007, Cirrelda is excited about combining the science of clay with its artistic exploration. For Adults and Children (ages 6 to 14). Cost includes six 2-hour classes, materials fee, and firing. Reserve your place in advance, space is limited to 12 participant. To guarantee admission for our class you must register in advance online at: www.brownpapertickets.com/producer/17643 or go to the NM Museum of Natural History at: www.nmnaturalhistory.org/events/clay-science-museum. The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science reserves the right to cancel any event that does not reach a minimum of 6 participants. HAVE QUESTIONS OR NEED MORE INFO: email: Cirrelda.Snider@state.nm.us or you may call: 505-948-1615.

AMPERSAND SUSTAINABLE LIVING CENTER

INDOOR SEED PROPAGATION WORKSHOP

MARCH 18, 10AM–3PM

Celebrate the

EARTH H

April 23, 10am-5:30pm AT YOUR NOB HILL CO-OP! robins@lamontanita.coop

PLANT SEEDS EARLY INDOORS! You can use a greenhouse, cold frame, or south facing window to get your garden sprouting. The factors to ensure germination and transplant success include timing, soil composition and watering techniques. Learn how to stage indoor plantings

FARMERS

CLAY SCIENCE CLASSES

LOANS TO

March 2017 11

LA MONTAÑITA

FUND Thanks to the amazing support of our Co-op Community the La Montañita Fund has created an over $153,000 revolving loan fund to collateralize loans to New Mexico farmers. Over the past years we have provided $225,000 in low cost loans to farmers, ranchers and food producers around the state. Now in its sixth year, the LaM FUND is taking applications from local food producers who wish to scale up their production efforts and are looking for affordable loans. Additionally, LaM FUND is open to Co-op members who would like to invest in the local food system now through March 30, 2017. For a loan application, investor agreement, or to get more information go to www.lamontanita.coop/fund or call Robin toll free at 877-775-2667 or at 505-2172027, e-mail: robins@lamontanita.coop.

so that your colder season veggies like spinach and lettuce and warm season ones like squash and tomatoes are ready for the garden when the climate is right. Try your hand at transplanting seedlings from flats into pots and develop your own planting calendar. Ampersand's site demonstrates many examples of permaculture design and helps people find more ways to demonstrate care for the earth and for people in a way that speaks to your spirit and adds a level of fulfillment to your life. RSVP for this Indoor Seed Propagation Workshop at amanda@ampersandproject.org. Discounts available.


La Montañita Co-op Connection News, March 2017  
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