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Boots on the Ground: VETERAN FARMER PROJECT

UPDATE

BY ROBIN SEYDEL he Veteran Farmer Project gardens are blooming and the project is booming; as anyone who has passed Downtown Albuquerque’s Alvarado Urban Farm across from the Transportation Center between First and Second Streets will attest. First to catch your eye is a forest of sunflowers, towering, by mid-June, nearly two stories high; but closer examination shows a profusion of other blossoms as well as a mind blowing diversity and quantity of produce.

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After this year’s classes ended in midMarch, a dedicated crew of Veterans, ranging from a 92-year-old, WW2 Vet to folks recently returned from Iraq and Afghanistan and all manner of service in between, put their boots on the ground and their hands in the dirt in earnest. The results are hundreds of pounds of early season crops including: kale, chard, collards and other cooking greens, varieties of head lettuce, onions, beets, peas, carrots, turnips, radishes and more. Thanks to cold frames built with a specialty crop grant from the New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA), we also had zucchini, yellow crookneck squash and cucumbers by the first week in June. Coming in July are several varieties of tomatoes; including Sun Gold cherries that were a favorite among VA farmers’ market shoppers last year, peppers, eggplant, melons, and a full complement of other summer favorites. In mid-June we were stunned to hear that the two hives placed by ABQ BEEKs’ Jessie Brown had nectar running. A testament to the diversity of food our bee friends are finding on what was once a vacant, rubble filled inner city lot. Feeding Families Nurturing Healing As a safe and welcoming space the gardens are a source of healing in all its many aspects. Participants have said many things about their garden experiences; “these gardens gave me purpose, my nightmares stopped when I started coming to the garden, these gardens saved my life.” Through the project we have, in some cases, been able to introduce people to vegetable varieties they have never tasted before (i.e., kale). Several have told us their health seems better since they have been eating a greater diversity of produce and now grazing while we work is one of the joys we all share.

RUN

for the

BOARD! Co-op Board of Directors Elections FROM

BOARD OF DIRECTORS very year at this time the Board talks about its upcoming elections, urging people to think about Board service. Why would you want to run? Consider the words of Martha Whitman, current board president: “I've loved my coop for decades and deciding to run for the board was a natural extension of wanting to be more involved. What I didn't know going in was how inspiring it would be to learn cooperative governance. Our board role is grounded in the international cooperative principles and values that speak to the best in humanity. La Montanita is not just a store, it's a movement. Who wouldn't want to play a part in that?” YOUR

E

Each year the Co-op holds elections for three of its nine directors, with terms running for three years. As elected representatives of the 12,000 plus member/owners, the board’s job is to provide strategic vision and ensure the Co-op’s long-term stability and success. For the second year we will be utilizing electronic voting instead of mailing out paper ballots. Primary members who are interested in voting electronically should submit an email address to the information desk (if you have not already done so) at any of our stores in order to receive election login information. Email addresses will remain confidential and will be used only for election purposes. Primary members who wish to fill out paper ballots may obtain them from the information desk at our store locations between November 1 and November 14.

A number of homeless Veterans frequent the downtown area where the gardens are located. They drop in when they see us there, helping where they can and taking produce that can be eaten out of hand. Radishes were a favorite in early spring and I expect tomatoes will be big in the deep summer. Phenomenal Community Support Over the past two years, the project has received phenomenal community support. Our thanks goes out to so many incredible people including; NMDA and NMSU faculty and staff, County Extension Service personnel and professional farmers and ranchers who shared their expertise during our series of classes. A special shout out to Joanie Quinn of the NMDA Organic Program for providing classroom space and the NMDA Marketing Department for grant money for supplies and materials. Tom Keene, of Bethany Organic Farm, a Vet himself, who sells plant starts at both the Nob Hill and Valley Albuquerque stores, has donated hundreds of seedlings for our downtown gardens, at the garden behind the Building 11 dormitory at the VA and in the home gardens of some of our participating Veterans. Support from the VA Hospital staff has been strong since the earliest days of the project and continues to grow. A special thanks to John Shields of the Recreation Therapy Department for his dedication to the program; his enthusiasm has encouraged the involvement of a continuing stream of Veterans from VA treatment programs. In 2013, our classes averaged 25 to 35 participants with some classes filled to overflowing. Despite the fact that the official VA Farmers’ Market is not starting until this month, thanks to VA staff Mary Varnado, Reba Brain and Nancy Patrolia we received special permission to sell our produce year round. Our vegetable stand has been a regular VA Hospital fixture on Wednesdays since early May and VA staff and clients are snapping up everything we can harvest each week. Our team of Veterans shares the proceeds from the stand which puts a little jingle in their pockets and nurtures the understanding that food production can be a viable, satisfying and sustainable source of income; one of the goals of the project.

Blank ballots WILL NOT be mailed out, so if you want to vote with a paper ballot, you must get one from an information desk. Why Run for the Board? The board’s work requires discipline and creativity. We govern by means of a framework called Policy Governance. At our monthly meetings, the board reviews management’s work by examining performance reports and comparing them to established policy standards. The board governs by declaring, through its policies, the results it wants and the actions it wants the general manager to avoid while achieving those results. Only by reviewing and adjusting these boundaries do we adjust the direction of the Co-op.

Fun in the Gardens We welcome all Veterans and active service personnel from all branches of the military and the National Guard to join us at the gardens Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 8am and encourage everyone who likes to eat good healthy food to visit our farm stand at the VA Hospital on Wednesday mornings from 10am until we sell out or 1pm, whichever comes first. FOR MORE INFORMATION contact Robin Seydel at 505-217-2027 or email robins@lamontanita. coop or John Shields at the VA at 505-256-6499 ext.5638 or email him at John.Shields2@va.gov.

a place for HEALING a SOURCE of

FOOD

ings are held with great respect and courtesy for one another and very focused on taking care of business. Board members prepare by reading pertinent articles or information researched for study topics we discuss after the business is done. Guests come to share their expertise on topics that are an integral part of the community work our Co-op does or on environmental or economic issues that can impact the continued success of our commitment to La Montanita's future. I am still learning how everything works and I am thankful for having the privilege to be a member of the board.” While it is customary for boards to attract prospective members with managementrelated skills, our approach is different. Our comprehensive policies and the management reporting that is required for them allow the board to simultaneously ensure successful Co-op performance and still focus on the bigger picture we mentioned earlier. To help keep the board on this path, here’s what we are looking for in a candidate:

GET

Board member Lisa Barnwarth-Kuhn speaks about our study work and board work in general: “Being a member of La Montanita Board of Directors has been challenging and educational. There are several committees that meet outside the monthly board meetings that are informal brain storming sessions where everyone can contribute. The monthly board meet-

CO-OP Board of Directors

ELECTIONS

DEADLINE: August 20 Board elections will be held from November 1 through November 14. Candidate packets will be available July 1 at all Co-op information desks and at www.lamontanita.com. Full information about this process is included in the candidate packet. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, CONTACT US AT bod@lamontanita.coop, or contact Marshall Kovitz, Chairperson of the Nominations & Elections Committee, at bod@lamontanita.coop.

YOU OWN IT !

The Udall website is not the only website where we hope to see our Veteran friends. In early June the USDA arrived with a camera crew as part of their effort to document the use of USDA funds to benefit community projects. The Veteran Farmer Project’s cold frames were all built thanks to a USDA Specialty Crop grant that came through NMDA. The cold frames allowed us to feed Veteran families by early March and sell vegetables by early May. They also allowed us to teach the techniques of four season food production as part of our Farming Workshop Series.

YOUR CO-OP

We leave day-to-day operational details to the general manager and his team (those are the people you see every day as a shopper). We spend almost half our meeting time studying our world, learning about our owners’ needs, and imagining the future.

YO U R

Hosting Visitors While people who see us working in the gardens frequently stop to chat about the project, in June we were honored to host some honored guests. Senator Tom Udall visited one morning at the end of May. A long time La Montanita member and currently serving on the Senate Armed Services Committee, the gardens bring together two of his interests; healthy eating and doing right by the men and women who have served our country. No media circus but rather a real conversation between participating Veterans; we shared the fun of picking and eating the fruits of their labor together. Tom went home with a big bag of carrots, beets, onions, peas and lettuce and the next day his team came back with video cameras to tape Veterans talking about their experiences.

CO- O P wants you!

involved

• First and foremost, be dedicated to the well-being of the Co-op and its owners. • Have a propensity to think in terms of systems and context. • Be honest and have independent judgment, courage and good faith. • Be able and eager to deal with values, vision and the long term. • Be willing and able to participate assertively in discussions and abide by board decisions and the intent of established policies. • Be comfortable operating in a group decision-making environment, sharing power in a group process, and delegating areas of decision making to others. To better understand how these characteristics play out, we encourage prospective candidates to attend monthly board meetings. They are always on the third Tuesday of each month, starting at 5:30pm. Location is the Immanuel Presbyterian Church, across Silver and east of the Nob Hill store. Dinner is served to all attending, starting a little before 5:30pm. Nominations start July 20, 2013, and end on August 20. Candidate applications will be available starting July 1, as paper copies from the information desk and electronically from the Co-op’s website. TO QUALIFY AS A CANDIDATE, YOU MUST HAVE BEEN A MEMBER FOR AT LEAST FOUR MONTHS PRIOR TO THE START OF ELECTIONS, (THAT MEANS BEING A MEMBER SINCE JULY 1, FOR THIS YEAR), AND YOU MUST RETURN YOUR COMPLETED APPLICATION BY AUGUST 20. Board elections will be held from Nov. 1 through Nov. 14. Our annual meeting and celebration will be held on Saturday, Oct. 12, at our Westside location. Candidates are encouraged to attend this meeting to have the opportunity to address members regarding their candidacy. As we have done in the last few years, the board will offer a list of candidates it feels are qualified to serve. Full information about this process is included in the candidate packet.


concern for

community

La Montanita Cooperative A Community - Owned Natural Foods Grocery Store Nob Hill/ 7am-10pm M-S, 8am-10pm Sun. 3500 Central SE Abq., NM 87106 265-4631 Valley/ 7am-10pm M-Sun. 2400 Rio Grande Blvd. NW Abq., NM 87104 242-8800 Gallup/ 10am-7pm M-S, 11am-6pm Sun. 105 E. Coal Gallup, NM 87301 863-5383

July 2013 2

WHAT WE DO AND WHY WE DO IT CO-OP DISTRIBUTION CENTER Co-op Trade

Foodshed Initiative BY SARAH WENTZEL-FISHER n 2006, as part of the Foodshed Initiative, La Montanita began a project to reshape the way we get New Mexican food to New Mexicans. Talking about local food is easy, actually making local

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This project is rooted in the concept of value chains. Value chains comprise all the “players” involved in taking a product from its point of creation to its end point of use, making customer needs top-priority while operating in a way that benefits every stakeholder along the way. Unlike conventional, largescale product supply networks, the value chain model emphasizes both product quality and the values on which every business relationship within the network operates—transparency and trust. Value chains encourage interdependence and collaborative principles. Smaller scale, local networks promote fairer business practices and forge stronger and closer partnerships that add value to a product through each link of the chain.

Santa Fe/ 7am-10pm M-S, 8am-10pm Sun. 913 West Alameda Santa Fe, NM 87501 984-2852 UNM Co-op ’N Go/ 7am-6pm M-F, 10-4pm Sat. Closed Sun., 2301 Central Ave. SE Abq., NM 87131 277-9586 Cooperative Distribution Center 901 Menual NE, Abq., NM 87107 217-2010 Administrative Staff: 217-2001 TOLL FREE: 877-775-2667 (COOP) • General Manager/Terry Bowling 217-2020 terryb@lamontanita.coop • Controller/John Heckes 217-2029 johnh@lamontanita.coop • Computers/Info Technology/ David Varela 217-2011 tech@lamontanita.coop • Perishables Coordinator/Bob Tero 217-2028 bobt@lamontanita.coop • Human Resources/Sharret Rose 217-2023 hr@lamontanita.coop • Marketing/Edite Cates 217-2024 editec@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 • John Mulle/Valley 242-8800 jm@lamontanita.coop • William Prokopiak/Santa Fe 984-2852 willpro@lamontanita.coop • Michael Smith/Gallup 575-863-5383 michaels@lamontanita.coop Co-op Board of Directors: email: bod@lamontanita.coop • President: Martha Whitman • Vice President: Marshall Kovitz • Secretary: Ariana Marchello • Treasurer: Roger Eldridge • Lisa Banwarth-Kuhn • Kristy Decker • Jake Garrity • Susan McAllister • Betsy VanLeit Membership Costs: $15 for 1 year/ $200 Lifetime Membership 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: Sarah Wentzel-Fisher • Editorial Assistant: Sarah Wentzel-Fisher sarahwf@lamontanita.coop 217-2016 • Printing: Vanguard Press Membership information is available at all four 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. Address typed, double-spaced copy to the Managing Editor, robins@lamontanita.coop Copyright ©2013 La Montanita Co-op Supermarket Reprints by prior permission. The Co-op Connection is printed on 65% post-consumer recycled

food producers, and support the local economy, the Co-op offers distribution and marketing services to medium sized farms and valueadded producers that have identified a need for these services. Routing trucks through New Mexico and Southern Colorado, the Co-op picks up product and delivers to Co-op stores, to other co-ops, independent groceries and other food service customers, such as restaurants.

food available and accessible on a statewide scale is complex, hard work and involves many systems the average grocery store shopper never thinks about, like how food is moved from farm to grocery store. While small sized farms and value-added food producers can sell their products through retail venues like a farmers’ market, mid-size producers will make more than they can sell directly to customers. While they make too much for a farmers’ market, they may not produce enough to sell to a large national distributor like Sysco or UNFI. The reality of our food systems today is that wholesale opportunities for mid-scale producers, or regional producers, have virtually disappeared. The centerpiece of the Foodshed Initiative is the Co-op Distribution Center, a branch of La Montanita designed to re-think the ways food gets from farm to grocery store, at a regional level. To strengthen Co-op retail stores, enhance opportunities for local and regional

PROTECTPOLLINATORS SUPPORT

POLLINATOR PROTECTION!

FARM BILL AMENDMENT Want to help protect and support our pollinators so we can continue eating the foods we love; one third of which need pollinators? The Farm Bill Amendment #1027 would improve federal coordination in addressing the documented decline of managed and native pollinators and promote the long-term viability of honey bees, wild bees, and other beneficial insects in agriculture. Pollinators are a vital, if often overlooked, part of American agriculture. By October 2006, beekeepers began reporting losses of 30-90% of their hives. While colony losses are not unexpected, especially over the winter, this magnitude of losses was unusually high. In 2013 beekeepers in New Mexico were reporting the loss of between 60-70% of their hives. Colony Collapse Disorder is the phrase used to describe this alarming trend. While the causes are not immediately evident, the synergistic effects of neonicotinoids, other agricultural chemicals, crops genetically engineered to produce pesticides and drought are all believed to be playing a role.

The Co-op Distribution Center seeks to INCREASE the number of medium sized farms and food businesses in our region, thereby fostering a healthier and more sustainable LOCAL economy. Over the coming months, this column will explore the work of the Coop Distribution Center. We’ll look at specific projects that have been initiated as a result of problem-solving value chain challenges; We’ll introduce you to many of the success stories of mid-scale New Mexico producers and how they’ve benefited from the value chain approach; We’ll try to help you make sense of what exactly the Co-op is up to in our new warehouse. Like so many La Montanita projects, the Co-op Distribution Center is a pioneering effort. While many businesses look to peer-competitors for examples, advice, and to learn, the Co-op Distribution Center has few examples on which to gauge its work. The Co-op, through cooperative values and a committed membership, moves through uncharted territory with the distribution center, believing there is a different and better way to get food to our community. NEXT MONTH: FILLING MARKET GAPS – THE FREEANA STORY.

ACTION

ALERT!

research provisions at USDA for pollinators. Those provisions have been preserved in the bill before Congress. However, there is still a need for better Federal coordination between agencies to ensure that causes for the declines are identified and addressed. Specifically the amendment: 1) Promotes cooperation between the Secretary of Agriculture, Secretary of the Interior, and Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to support the long term viability and health of pollinator populations; 2) Establishes an interagency task force on bee health and commercial beekeeping between Federal agencies—with consultation from stakeholders—to address troubling declines in managed and native bee populations and produce a report on US and international efforts to address the decline; 3) Directs the Secretary, acting through the Administrator of the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), to conduct feasibility studies for the creation of a new bee lab at ARS and the modernization of current facilities. Please contact our Congressional Delegation and ask for their support of this amendment. Contact information for our legislators on page 12.

BOARD ELECTIONS CALENDAR

Bee pollination is responsible for more than $19 billion in increased crop value each year in the US. About one mouthful in three in our diet directly or indirectly benefits from bee pollination. Commercial production of many specialty crops like almonds and other tree nuts, berries, fruits and vegetables are dependent on animal pollination. Senator Boxer’s Pollinator Protection Act was included in the 2008 Farm Bill and authorized

YOU OWN

IT!

CANDIDATE PACKETS AVAILABLE: July 1 NOMINATIONS OPEN: July 20 NOMINATIONS CLOSE: August 20 ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING: October 12: Candidates introduce themselves to attendees. BOARD ELECTIONS: November 1-November 14 • WATCH FOR INFORMATION on the ELECTRONIC VOTING process in upcoming CO-OP CONNECTION issues.


all species matter

July 2013 3

ANIMAL PROTECION OF NEW MEXICO:

Advocacy for Interspecies Awareness BY DANIEL ABRAM, APNM ince 1979, Animal Protection of New Mexico (APNM) has been advocating for animals by effecting systemic change, working towards the humane treatment of all animals. This includes active support of local and state legislation towards the prevention of animal cruelty, as well as public awareness campaigns designed to teach students and communities across New Mexico about the ongoing threats to animals.

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BAG CREDIT

DONATION organization

responds and coordinates action that alleviates suffering, and often death. Cases involving intentional cruelty are encountered too often. In cases where abusers are at large, APNM offers rewards for information leading to their arrest and prosecution. APNM builds on the average American’s aversion to animal cruelty and focuses its efforts on the well-established link between animal abuse and other forms of interpersonal violence. This relationship is addressed through programs and community trainings. The human-animal bond is explored in depth through APNM’s schoolbased humane education program for youth, Open Hearts = Open Minds. Students are reached as early as the first grade with interactive lessons about compassionate animal care that build empathy and help students understand that animals are not property, but beings with social and emotional lives. Professional training about this link is also offered to social service agencies, such as the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department, to law enforcement agencies and to agencies within the New Mexico criminal justice system.

APNM accomplishes its goals through education and outreach, as well as campaigns for change. Our legislative arm, Animal Protection Voters, lobbies on behalf of animals and holds elected officials accountable. And through the Equine Protection Fund, we provide leadership and assistance to help the thousands of horses throughout the state threatened by abuse or neglect.

APNM simultaneously assists both animals and people in so many other ways. For families who have been down on their luck during this prolonged recession and are having trouble affording the high cost of feed for their horses, APNM’s Equine Protection Fund offers an emergency feed assistance program. The APNM Companion Animal Rescue Effort (CARE) provides temporary care and housing for the animals of domestic violence victims while they work through the most difficult of times. We help build humane communities by working directly with counties and municipalities in order to improve their animal laws and ordinances. We offer resources and support to animal shelters across the state that are underfunded and under capacity. We’re working with state agencies like the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security to make sure that companion animal protection is integrated into disaster planning infrastructure and into individual family’s emergency plans. We have several programs that educate the public about strategies to peacefully coexist with wildlife such as beavers, cougars and coyotes. And every four years, APNM hosts the Milagro Awards, an important community event that honors the work of extraordinary miracle workers for animals throughout our state.

The first line of defense for the protection of animals in our communities comes in the form of two statewide Animal Cruelty Hotlines through which the public can report incidents of animal cruelty and neglect. APNM, with its close relationships with animal control departments and other law enforcement agencies, quickly

As a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, APNM depends upon donations, volunteers, and grants to continue its mission. We encourage people to work for animals on a daily basis, since improving conditions for animals often means that each person must become personally involved. Please consider becoming a member today and be ACTIVE for animals. Visit www.apnm.org.

What began as a small, dedicated group of residents concerned about the unmet needs of animals has grown into an influential organization that is making a remarkable difference for New Mexico’s animals and the communities in which they live. We are responsible for the passage of dozens of laws to protect animals in the state, while dramatically raising the visibility of issues New Mexico's animal population regularly faces.

SANTA FE’S LOCAL ORGANIC MEALS ON A

BUDGET

Cooking Classes Continue Local Organic Meals on a Budget (LOMB) is in the midst of its third season of lively cooking classes. The classes are taking place at the Santa Fe School of Cooking. The new venue will allow the program to accommodate 60 or more people in a more relaxed setting. Classes run every month through December. As in the past, classes are designed using ingredients available during each growing season. Each class is led by local, experienced chefs. Class participants not only learn how to create great dishes using seasonal selections, they learn strategies on how to stretch food from local gardens, CSAs and the Santa Fe Farmers Market. Each class is also filled with tips, tricks and techniques to enhance the at-home cooking experience. Representatives from local organizations Kitchen Angels, the Santa Fe Farmers Market Institute and Home Grown New

CO-OP PROGRAM

DONATE your BAG CREDIT!

Mexico have pooled their resources and expertise to offer the classes, which teach participants how to create a filling meal for four people for under $20. Classes start at 5:30pm and run for 90 minutes; each class is $22 and participants will enjoy tastings of the meal being prepared and will be provided with the recipes. Classes are free for WIC and EBT recipients. Participants need to register in advance on the LOMB website (www. localorganicmeals.com). Local Organic Meals on a Budget 2013 Summer SCHEDULE OF CLASSES 7/17 Roland and Sheila Richter – Joe's Dining 8/21 Ryan Gambel – The Palace Restaurant MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Kitchen Angels: 505471-7780; Home Grown New Mexico: 505-473-1403; or the Santa Fe Farmers Market Institute: 505-983-7726.

BRING A BAG...DONATE THE DIME THIS MONTH BAG CREDIT DONATIONS GO TO: Animal Protection of New Mexico: advocating for animals, educating on the links between animal abuse and other interpersonal violence, and providing strategies for peaceful coexistence with wildlife.

Your MAY Bag Credit Donations of $2,154.63 went to Crossroads for Women. THANKS TO ALL WHO DONATED!

Co-op Values Cooperatives are based on the values of self-help, selfresponsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, cooperative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others. Co-op Principles 1 Voluntary and Open Membership 2 Democratic Member Control 3 Member Economic Participation 4 Autonomy and Independence 5 Education, Training and Information 6 Cooperation among Cooperatives 7 Concern for Community The Co-op Connection is published by La Montanita Coop Supermarket to provide information on La Montanita Co-op Supermarket, 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.


urban naturalist FIVE LITTLE BIRDS AND THEIR

TWEETS of wisdom BY DAVE FOREMAN, THE REWILDING INSTITUTE en years ago at the end of a three-week trip in Argentinean Patagonia and the rain-soaked, glacier-whittled southern Chilean coast, I took a nasty fall. After flying home to New Mexico, my back, which had never bothered me before, grew steadily worse. I soon had to stop running six miles a day and cut back sharply on the weight machine. Then I had to give up my greatest love, backpacking, and I haven’t been able to hoist a pack onto my back for nine years now.

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Though my days as a wilderness trekker seem gone, thanks to fusion surgery, shoving from my wife Nancy, and some help from my friends, foremost John Davis, I have done several long raft and canoe trips. Nonetheless, most of my time is spent working in the living room recliner where our feathered friends who visit our birdbath and spread of feeders endlessly enthrall our fluffy black cat Gila and me. I’ve tallied sixty-one species in and over our yard. I cannot overstate how thoroughly I need and love these birds—they are the wild things without which I would not want to live.

And for those blessed to be paid by a conservation outfit, wild things should come before one’s career, job, or the organization for which one works. As folk conservationists in the Cannot Club, let us be a flock of Bushtits. WESTERN SCRUB JAY—VISION The Corvid family—jays, crows, and ravens—are the smartest birds and Western Scrub Jays might be the smartest of all. Their recall is staggering. A Scrub Jay knows where it has hidden upward of a thousand nuts. It goes beyond sheer recall, however. Research shows they have a so-called “theory of mind,” which means they understand that other beings also think—that there are minds other than one’s own. Such studies have found that when a Scrub Jay hides a nut, but knows another jay is watching, it will go back later and put the nut in another hiding spot when the other jay isn’t watching. I put out peanuts for the four jays in my yard and have watched them do this trick. They not only have to watch to see if one of the other three jays

Thanks to my living room birding blind, I’ve gotten to know some birds and who they are well. They have taught me much, five birds most of all.

One of my greatest wildlife run-ins was with a Bushtit. I was watering a little patch of Rocky Mountain Penstemons and went to scoot the sprinkler to a dry spot. As I lifted the hose with the sprinkler head drizzling down, I glimpsed a sudden flash of gray from a nearby New Mexico Locust. I looked down and there was a Bushtit winsomely perched on my toe and showering under the sprinkler. It fluffed and fluttered and flapped its wings for half a minute then flew off. I was in wild-bliss for what was left of the day. Bushtits have no out-and-out leader. For all I know, some (grandma and grandpa?) may show leadership now and then thanks to knowledge, age, or wisdom, but overall their might is in the flock. They teach the strength of grassroots work. Historian Stephen Fox sees two traditions in conservation: Amateur and Professional. These pathways are not split by whether or not one is paid to do conservation work, nor do they have anything to do with how good one is. The cleavage is in feeling, with amateurs working for wild things out of love and professionals working to manage land and resources because it’s their job. Some of us who have worked for conservation outfits all our lives are yet amateurs. And there are those who have worked all their lives for a government agency who are also in the amateur pathway. It’s not whether you have a buttoned-down job or not, it’s why you do it. I name those who shield wildlife and wilderness Cannots and Wildlovers and Cannots are truly amateurs. Just as Cannots need to hew to the amateur pathway, conservation outfits should think of themselves as clubs or teams of like-minded folks, not as institutions or corporations, though they might be legally set up as such.

jays, robins, and doves outweigh them, the thrashers are the boss birds. They own our yard. I put both peanuts and sunflower seeds in one small tray feeder outside my front window in the winter. There might be four brassy jays swooping in and out with peanuts to grab and hide, but when the Curve-billed Thrasher settles in to munch sunflower seeds, the Scrub Jays sit back and wait. Curve-billed Thrashers are tough and won’t be shoved aside. We need to learn that better. Sometimes I get a feeling that conservationists are almost apologizing for asking for what we want. We should never be shy or afraid. We in the Cannot Club are on the most righteous mission in the world—to care for other Earthlings, to let them live their lives in their wild neighborhoods, and not to be elbowed off our blue-green ball of rock and water by greed and shortsightedness. We have come up with the best tools in the world for keeping other Earthlings hale and hearty. They are National Parks, the National Wilderness Preservation System, and the Endangered Species Act. We should never back off from holding these up as marks of American greatness just as we do with the Bill of Rights. We need to stand up for what is right with the same pluck as that of the Curve-billed Thrasher. LADDER-BACKED WOODPECKER— DOGGEDNESS I once watched a Ladder-backed Woodpecker in our yard drill into a tree trunk for thirty minutes until she got what she was after. These little woodpeckers work harder than any bird I know. They are dogged. When they hear or otherwise know a beetle or grub is under bark or in the wood of a branch, they keep pecking away at it. If one drill hole doesn’t reach their prey, they hammer away at their target from another. They don’t just dumbly keep pounding their heads against a trunk; they stop and cock their heads to see or hear if they are on the right track. They shift if they need to, but they doggedly keep at it.

These birds are not those often held up as beacons of certain virtues, such as eagles or owls. Nor are they bright flashes of many-hued loveliness such as orioles and hummingbirds. But in their behavior and mood they are anything but drab. As I have gotten to know them better, their true grit fairly blazes. Let’s meet them and hear their tweets of wisdom. BUSHTIT—GRASSROOTS Bushtits are tiny, drab, and gray, but lively, lovable, and winsome. They move through our neighborhood in a throng of twenty-five or so, swarming into a piñon tree and cleaning it of bugs and caterpillars, then—zoom—they are off in a straggling, chattering rush to another tree, without a blatant leader. They are not seedeaters but pack predators. Were they raven-size, Bushtits would be the fright of Earth.

LESSONS!

July 2013 4

WILDWAYS MOVEMENT

uses wildlife

to LINK National Parks, Wilderness,

STATE PARKS AND SUCH. sees where they hide a peanut, they also have to watch for Curve-billed Thrashers, who gladly scarf up on jayhidden goodies. There are thousands of peanuts hidden all over my yard, some in the most outlandish spots. Scrub Jays are smart, strategic, farsighted, and visionary. We can learn much from them. A blend of paths to keep wild things is good, but all of them—from that of the Sierra Club to that of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society—need to be steered by thoughtful strategy. Key gains in wilderness and wildlife protection have come from great visions. The 1980 Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act gave us more than 100 million acres of National Parks, National Wildlife Refuges, Wilderness Areas, and Wild Rivers. Likewise, bringing back wolves to Yellowstone National Park came from much grunt work both in federal agencies and wildlife clubs. Before the work, though, was the foresight and boldness of a few who saw the need to bring wolves back to the wilderness from which they had been killed out seventy years earlier. One vision, in which I’ve been proud to be a player, is that of the Wildlands Project (now called Wildlands Network). When we began in 1992, we called for networks of National Parks, Wilderness Areas, state parks, and such brought together by wildlife-movement linkages—or Wildways. We also called for putting back big, wild hunters, such as wolves and big cats, owing to the scientific research showing that without top carnivores ecosystems crumble. This vision, which came to be called Rewilding, was shunned and put down at first, even among many conservation biologists. But now it is the wonted path on all continents, among government agencies, scientists, and grassroots conservationists alike. Let us be, then, like Western Scrub Jays. Think. Plan ahead. Have a vision. CURVE-BILLED THRASHER—TOUGHNESS Curve-billed Thrashers are among my most-loved Earthlings. Their orange eyes and the madcap way they run about on the ground notwithstanding, they have a loftiness and steadfastness about them that cows me. It cows the other birds in our neighborhood, too. Though

It should be the same for us. If one path doesn’t work, try another, but never back away from warding wilderness and wildeors. Polly Dyer, now in her nineties, is still working after sixty years to get more Wilderness Areas and National Parks in the North Cascade Mountains in Washington. I’m a whippersnapper—I’ve worked on getting Wilderness Areas for only forty years and haven’t given up. We lovers of wild things win against mightier foes time and again thanks to sticking to it. The best conservationists are like Ladder-back Woodpeckers. We never, never give up. MOUNTAIN CHICKADEE—OWN SAKE I’ve never heard anything happier and merrier than chick-a-dee-dee-dee. When these snazzy little gray birds with the sharp black stripe through their eyes show up and tell all the world—chick-a-dee-dee-dee— We are here! And we are chickadees!—I can’t help but smile and chick-a-dee-dee-dee back at them. Mountain Chickadees have a good time. Why? Because they live for themselves. They don't see themselves as a mirthful show for me; they don’t see themselves as any kind of good or help for Man. No, they are chickadees and that is all they need to be to answer for their lives and what they do. And so, the Mountain Chickadees popping into and out of our winter neighborhood carry the most worthwhile teaching of all for us. They believe they are good-in-themselves. We do not need to weave complex ethical theories on how wild things might have inherent value. Chickadees tell us so. Chickadees laugh in our mugs at the outlandish gall that only we—the upright ape—can give something of worth. Chick-a-dee-dee-dee! It means that wild things have worth for their own sake. And when we sing back: Chick-a-dee-dee-dee! It means we have the wisdom, the generosity of spirit, the greatness of heart to let beings be. Chick-a-dee-dee-dee! PLEASE VISIT www.rewilding.org to purchase a copy of Man Swarm and the Killing of Wildlife, see a list of books for sale or make a donation to support the Rewilding Institute. SUBSCRIBE to Dave Foreman’s “Around the Campfire” column by contacting rewilding@earthlink.net.

GRASSROOTS INVESTING AND

MICRO-LOAN PROGRAM • INVESTOR ENROLLMENT PERIOD NOW OPEN • Investment options begin at $250 • Loan repayment terms tailored to the needs of our community of food producers • Loan applications taken on an ongoing basis To set up a meeting to learn more or for a Prospectus, Investor Agreement, Loan Criteria and Applications, call or e-mail Robin at: 505-217-2027, toll free at 877-775-2667 or e-mail her at robins@lamontanita.coop.

the

LA MO N TA N I TA

FUND


summer eating

July 2013 5 combined (not including potatoes), Robinson notes. “Iceberg is the poster child for modern agriculture's nutrient drain.” It's about as bland and non-bitter as water, and nearly as pale as the ice formation it's named after.

FLASH IN THE PAN

THE SWEET SIDE of bitter GOOD NUTRITION T

"The most intensely colored salad greens have the most phytonutrients," Robinson writes. "The most nutritious greens in the supermarket are not green at all but red, purple, or reddish brown. These particular hues come from phytonutrients called anthocyanins... Anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants that show great promise in fighting cancer, lowering blood pressure, slowing age-related memory loss, and even reducing the negative effects of eating high-sugar and high-fat foods."

strong flavor,

BY ARI LEVAUX he people who shaped modern food have consistently selected against nutritional value, writes Jo Robinson in her fascinating new book, Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health. We all know we're supposed to add vegetables to our diet, she argues, but given the state of modern vegetables, that's not usually enough. The vegetables you consume should be as nutrient-dense as possible, and as a general rule, the most nutrient dense foods are usually the strongest flavored and least domesticated.

"Early farmers favored plants that were relatively low in fiber and high in sugar, starch and oil," she writes. These seed savers chose the least bitter specimens to replant, at the expense of their and our health. "It is now known that many of the most beneficial phytonutrients have a bitter, sour or astringent taste," Robinson writes. Vegetable-based phytonutrients are biologically active, plant-derived compounds associated with positive health effects, even if they don't taste like doughnuts. If bitter is indeed better, perhaps it's time we rethink our relationship to this difficult flavor. It's a shift that might not be as hard as one might think. The first time I tried beer, for example, I thought it was horrible, largely thanks to the bitterness. But as my body began to associate the flavor of beer with getting hammered and hanging

DIRECTIONS On low heat, dry roast the walnuts in a heavy pan, stirring often, for 10 minutes or until they brown. When the nuts cool, crush them. Peel the grapefruits and separate the fruit from the membrane. Do this over a plate that catches all the juice that drips. Give the fruit a little squeeze so more juice comes out. You want about half a cup for the dressing. Wash, dry and chop the radicchio and other leaves, about as finely as coleslaw. Mix with the onions, grapefruit pieces, walnuts and optional animal proteins. Whisk together the olive oil and grapefruit juice, and dress the salad.

out with similarly inebriated coeds, those same bitter beer flavors began to invoke feelings of expectation, comfort and delight. Something analogous can happen with dietary bitter greens, thanks to a whole-body understanding of how good they will make your body feel. For some, this flavor becomes like the burn from a set of pushups, a la "no pain, no gain." For others, like my sweetheart, who I'll call Shorty, bitter is truly sweet. She eats radicchio like some people eat potato chips, dipping the leaves into an oily dressing as she goes. It's half olive oil, with the other half equal parts soy sauce, balsamic and cider vinegars.

Taking Robinson's telltale signs to their logical conclusion, one might expect radicchio, with its dark purple leaves, to be among the most nutritious greens of all. And indeed they are, just a few steps behind radicchio's wild cousin, the dandelion, which contains an even richer supply of nutrients—just make sure any gathered specimens haven't been fortified by neighborhood dogs, or with added fertilizers or pesticides. Endive and escarole are also in the same family, as is chicory, their wild progenitor. If you're not a bittervore like Shorty, or aren't the type to make peace with the bitter side of your sustenance, there are some easy ways to soften, obscure, and even put the bitter flavors to work. Adding chopped dandelion greens or radicchio to a salad of paler, milder leaves like lettuce can add depth to the salad's flavor, as the mellow leaves dilute the pain. If such a salad is still too bitter for your taste, consider a sweet or creamy dressing, like honey mustard, or even ranch. "Fat is one of the best antidotes to bitterness," Robinson writes. Indeed, what isn't fat the best antidote for?

Shorty is the exception. Americans consume more servings of iceberg lettuce per week than all other fresh vegetables

INGREDIENTS FOR FOUR SERVINGS: 2 heads radicchio About the same amount of other greens, such as dandelion, endive, escarole, lettuce or lamb’s quarters. Two or three pink grapefruits 1/2 cup chopped onion (red, of course) 1 cup walnuts 1/2 cup olive oil coarse salt and pepper Optional: smoked or baked salmon, fried scallops, bacon or other protein; perhaps a soft goat cheese

SALAD RECIPE

THE MANY USES OF A

DEHYDRATOR Saving the Harvest

BY AMYLEE UDALL o you have a dehydrator tucked away somewhere in your house? Do you sometimes wonder if you should get one but worry it will collect dust? First, you don't have to buy one if you're handy. Some people are able to make them. And if you already have a solar oven you might be able to use it as a dehydrator. So however you end up with one, let's take a look at this surprisingly versatile tool.

D

A dehydrator uses low temperatures and circulating air to dry foods. This method of preserving foods keeps the vitamins and minerals at optimum levels, but removes all of the moisture. Most dehydrators use electricity to dry foods. Others use trays placed in the sun. This method requires less energy but takes longer to dehydrate. Many people make use of dehydration to preserve their summer harvest of fruits and vegetables. Those eating a raw food diet can use dehydrators to help give their foods different tastes and textures while still keeping the food "living," full of those vitamins, minerals, and even enzymes that are lost during cooking. Most people consider foods raw if they do not reach "cooking" temperatures above 115 degrees. Some foods will take longer to dehydrate at this lower temperature. Some of the items that can be made for raw food diets in the dehydrator include kale chips and even crackers and cookies.

At the same time, cover-ups like fat and sweet, while making bitter greens palatable, are crutches. They turn eating your greens into a constant uphill battle in which some form of assistance is always required. Embracing the bitter side makes a lot more sense. As you get used to these flavors you'll be able to distinguish one plant's subtle flavors from another's, along with differences in texture, acidity and juiciness. You'll find variety among the shades of bitter. Another worthy approach to consuming bitter greens is to combine them with other bitter foods, which can create a bouquet of bitter flavors. This works best with bitter foods that also have redeeming characteristics to counter their inherent bitterness. Walnuts, for example, are astringent, but have a compensating oiliness. Grapefruit's bitter flavors are balanced with tartness and sweet. SEE THE SALAD RECIPE IN THE BOX AT LEFT that blends bitter red and green leaves with grapefruit and walnuts. It's a bright, unexpected gathering of components, with each one's bitter side adding to a smooth, bitter bouquet.

• crisping up stale crackers • making alternative flours, such as sweet potato flour or coconut flour • as a humidifier Let's take a fresh look at what is commonly made in the dehydrator. Of course, put your own spin on these ideas! • fruit rolls • crackers • kale chips. They've gained popularity recently and are MUCH cheaper homemade. • other veggie chips. Try squash chips, sweet potato chips, butternut squash chips, and beet chips. • fruit chips. Think apple, banana, or pear chips. • other dried fruit, including cherries, grapes/raisins, strawberries, cranberries, pineapple, mango, papaya and more.

• • • • •

meat jerky. Organ meat jerky, if you dare! salmon jerky macaroons preserving vegetables, as well as HERBS drying out nuts and seeds that have been sprouted or soaked to make them more digestible • drying out soaked or sprouted rice, wheat or other grains • drying out yogurt into "yogurt leather" in order to store or make a portable probiotic snack While I have enjoyed my dehydrator for many of the more basic, commonly known foods, I'm continually surprised by what else you can do with a dehydrator. Pull yours out and see how you might surprise your family and yourself. And feel free to share your success with me! www.InspiredABQ.com, on facebook at inspiredbirth

THE ART OF FLOWER PHOTOGRAPHY

Some dehydrators can reach almost 200 degrees. This has given me a great hot weather option for cooking some items outside of the oven and not heating up my kitchen as much, most notably breakfast cereal and granola. Being able to "bake" cookies during hot months has also been a nice surprise. To keep the house from getting too hot I might turn the dehydrator on at night only. This also helps if your model generates some noise. Because it dries out foods slowly, cooking times can be flexible so you don't have to keep a super close eye on the food. OTHER INTERESTING USES FOR A DEHYDRATOR INCLUDE: • as a yogurt maker (set shallow dishes on the trays)

A Weekend Workshop offered by the Native Plant Society of New Mexico, St. John’s College, Santa Fe, August 24-25. An introduction to plant photography with digital cameras. Instructors are Lisa Mandelkern and Bob Sivinski. REGISTER ONLINE at www.npsnm.org.


co-op

news

July 2013 6

EXPANDING CIRCLES OF

LA MONTANITA’S

IMPACT on

GALLUP

COMMUNITY!

zine, Journey, concerning different health issues, such as mitigating the affects of diabetes. Author and naturopath, Bera Dordoni, writes about diet choices and food alternatives to address these different health issues. Journey readers then seek out these food alternatives at La Montanita.

BY JAKE GARRITY, BOARD OF DIRECTORS hen I first moved to Gallup 20 years ago there was a natural food store which had just closed. In order to obtain any organic products we had to drive to Albuquerque, or we had to belong to Gallup’s organic food buying group. Eventually Wild Sage independent co-op tried to fill this void for a few years. Then a great metaphorical sigh of relief went up in the Gallup area when La Montanita took over Wild Sage independent co-op. Since then, La Montanita has accomplished all of the previous visions of Wild Sage. La Montanita, because of its mission, financial resources, employees, infrastructure, and its various networks, has created a mecca in the Gallup area when it comes to providing organic products and a center for like minded folks to meet and share ideas concerning healthy lifestyles.

W

In these difficult economic times, Gallup has been hit especially hard. Many businesses have come and gone. So when La Montanita opened its store in Gallup’s historical business district most of the Wild Sage members, food buying club members, and frequent travelers to Albuquerque in search of organic products gave an enthusiastic shout. Since La Montanita bought Wild Sage, the membership has increased by almost 700%. Besides this increase in membership, La Montanita also impacts the Gallup community in many other ways. La Montanita Co-op is like the pebble tossed into a pond making ever larger expanding circles radiating outwards. Some of these expanding circles include Food Corps, Gallup’s farmers’ market, Community Supported Agriculture, an informal center for information concerning community events, and a health and nutritional information dispenser. La Montanita acts as a nutrition information center for folks inquiring about dietary advice, and also as a source for where one can go for other health related needs. Customers read monthly articles in Gallup’s maga-

The Gallup store’s overall traffic on any particular day can be 50% Native American. Our community is 75% Navajo, which is reflected in the demographic proportion of Gallup’s public schools. When I bring healthy snacks to school for the middle school students I teach, they are always appreciative and amazed to discover that the goodies came from some other grocery store besides WalMart, Albertsons, or Safeway. Many times they convince their parents to stop at Gallup’s La Montanita. This increase in diverse shoppers at La Montanita has greatly expanded since the opening of Gallup’s store. La Montanita’s newest employee in Gallup, Josh Kanter, has also impacted La Montanita’s reputation among Gallup’s younger generation. His full time job is as a Food Corps volunteer working in Gallup’s

schools. Food Corps is an AmeriCorps nonprofit which aims to engage kids in school gardens, healthy eating, and local sourcing of foods for school cafeterias. Josh, along with his Food Corps service mate, Mellissa Levenstein, are gourmet organic bakers who use proceeds from their weekly baking sales to fund these programs at five different Gallup schools. Josh and Mellissa’s programs touch about 1,210 students. Josh and Mellissa purchase about half of the ingredients they need for their smoothie programs featured in these schools at La Montanita. Josh and Mellissa are attempting to educate the students to prefer healthier snacks versus the traditional pickles, popcorn, and soda routine historic to this area. Josh and Mellissa purchase 100% of the ingredients they use for their bread making from La Montanita. Over the last two years their bagels have reached cult status. From East Coast transplants to the hot yoga crowd, folks flock for Josh’s Saturday morning bake sales. Their organic bread products are also available at La Montanita. This effort by Josh and Mellissa touches many kids in the Gallup area who are involved in school gardens, green houses, family food nights, and other nutritional programs. The hope is that these kids in turn, influence their family members to eat and shop organically and increase the potential customer traffic at Gallup’s La Montanita. Gallup’s 24,000 permanent population and its 50,000 plus surge one weekend a month offer great possibilities for collaboration between La Montanita and the Gallup community. As the store’s and its staff’s community involvement continues, the benefits of La Montanita on this small community abound.

MEMBERSHIP IS OWNERSHIP! TRADITIONAL NUTRITION

H IS FOR HUMMUS

DIPPING INTO SUMMER BY SARAH WENTZEL-FISHER s the weather heats up, fresh produce becomes more abundant and spending time in front of the stove becomes less appealing. Perhaps the easiest way to make a meal out of fresh veggies is to supplement them with hearty Middle Eastern dips like hummus and baba ghanoush. The Co-op dairy and deli departments carry a huge variety of different styles and flavors of these simple and delicious tapenades.

A

Hummus, a basic garbanzo bean dip with lemon, tahini, olive oil and garlic, can be spiced up with a variety of traditional flavors like olives, sundried tomatoes or capers. Or it can be a perfect fusion food complimented by Western flavors like green, red or chipotle chile. You can get

pre-flavored hummus, or you can get a basic hummus and spice up your own with your favorite fresh herbs or spicy salsa. One can rinsed chickpeas, called garbanzo beans 1 large lemon, juiced 1/4 cup tahini 1 large garlic clove, minced 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving Salt, to taste Pinch ground cumin 2 to 3 tablespoons water Dash of ground paprika for serving The easiest way to make hummus is in a food processor. The secret to good hummus is the order in which you add ingredients. Start by creaming together the tahnini and lemon juice. Then add the garlic, salt, cumin and olive oil. Scrape the sides of the bowl, then add half the chickpeas and process for about a minute. Scrape the sides again, add the remaining chickpeas, and blend for a few minutes more. If the mixture looks too thick, add a few tablespoons of water. Serve with a pool of extra-virgin olive oil sprinkled with paprika if you’re a traditionalist, or add your favorite chile to spice things up and serve beside salsa. Roasted eggplant comprises the base of baba ghanoush. This flavor-packed dish is made by slow roasting whole eggplant until it is mushy and soft. The flesh is scooped out of the skin, drained, then mixed with tahini, lemon, olive oil, garlic and salt. Parsley, mint, cucumber and more olive oil frequently top off this traditional Levantine dish. 1 large eggplant 1/4 cup tahini 2 garlic cloves, minced

1 large lemon, juiced 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil Pinch ground cumin Salt, to taste Prepare this recipe in much the same way as hummus. You’ll need to start by preparing the eggplant. Slice the eggplant in half from top to bottom and place flat-side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. In a 375° F oven, bake the eggplant for about 30 minutes or until the meat is soft and beginning to pull away from the skin. Let the eggplant cool for about 15 minutes, then scoop the meat out of the skin. In a food processor, cream the tahini and lemon. Add the olive oil, garlic, cumin and salt. Finally, add the eggplant and pulse until it is a desired consistency. Serve with additional extra-virgin olive oil and fresh parsley. Both baba ghanoush and hummus are delicious on fresh artisan bread, pita or pita chips, tortilla chips, or your favorite crackers. Fresh veggies like carrots, peas in the shell, green beans, salad turnips, radishes, cucumbers and any other of your favorite crunchy veggies make a meal out of these dishes. If you’re not in the mood to make your own, La Montanita dairy cases offer up a wide array of local and regional hummus and baba ghanoush producers. FIND LOCAL FAVORITES Purple Onion from Santa Fe or Arabian Nights from Taos in the dairy case at any Co-op locations. From further afield, the Co-op offers organic Hope Hummus varieties from Boulder (www.hopehummus.com) and Zilks from Austin (www.zilksfoods.com). Finally, you can also find in-house hummus in the cold cases in the deli. Instantly turn the BOUNTY of your garden or next grocery store trip into a picnic or a party by picking up some HUMMUS OR BABA GHANOUSH!

SANTA FE CO-OP FOOD

DRIVE

Serving Santa Fe children, youth & families experiencing homelessness. Help us by donating non-perishable food items PLEASE: NO OUT OF DATE ITEMS, USED ITEMS, OR CANS W/O LABELS! Place your donations in the barrel by Ice Machine.


co-op news

July 2013 7

THE INSIDE The construction of the Westside location continues. Most of the trenching and drain work is completed. It is still a dusty and dirty place to visit right now, but is moving forward. The opening date moves around but we expect September to be the opening month. Anyone who has ever built a house knows the range of emotions that accompany such a project. One day all is going great, the next day an issue needs to be resolved that was not expected. Fortunately our operations manager Bob Tero and I have more years of experience than we like to remember concerning new store development and nothing has surprised us so far. I will keep you all updated as we move forward and have a definite opening date.

SCOOP

The month of June saw our only loan, consisting of the Santa Fe purchase in 2005 and Santa Fe remodel of 2007-2008, paid in full. I can’t express the importance of this accomplishment; it is great to see those notes retired. The support by you, our members, and your continued patronage of our stores made this possible. It is a great feeling to have these loans behind us before we begin to pay the new loan for the Westside location. My sincere thanks to all for your support. Please contact me by e-mail anytime at terryb @lamontanita.coop or by phone at 505-2172020 if I can ever be of service. TERRY B.

W E S T S I D E S T O R E U P D AT E

EVERY DAY SUPER

FOOD: OATS!

MELISSA MCCLARIN hat do you think of when you think of oats? If you’re like most people, you think of oatmeal—the bowl of soupy instant oats many people have for breakfast. Well, I’m here to stand up for the oat and shake up that view a little bit. BY

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Did you know that there are 26 grams of protein in just one cup of the regular rolled oats you can find in our bulk section? That’s right, 26 grams of those essential amino acids we hear so much about. Oats are an everyday superfood that sadly don’t get much news in the press. Each cup of rolled oats has the following: protein, omega-3s, omega-6s, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and folate, and minerals calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, and zinc. And all for about $1.50 a pound. This is not a superfood price! Do you believe in the power of the little oat now? There are so many other ways to enjoy these health packed grains. One of my favorite ways is to cut up one or two peaches and top them with dry rolled oats, a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg, and a dusting of almond slivers over the top. It’s almost like a quick cobbler in the morning. Here’s a recipe to get you started thinking a little differently about oats (beyond the soupy bowl). If you’re so inclined you can call these energy bites, considering how much protein and healthy fat is in each little morsel. And you’ll be surprised at just

July Calendar

of Events 7/1

Board Elections Candidate Packets available! 7/16 BOD Meeting, Immanuel Church, 5:30pm 7/20 Board Elections Candidate Nominations period OPENS 7/22 Member Engagement Committee Don’t forget to use your Member Survey BOUNCE BACK COUPON IN JULY!

CO-OPS: A Solution-Based System A co-operative 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.

how decadent they taste, while being packed with health. Dark Chocolate Oat Bites 1 cup dry rolled oats (from the bulk section) 1 cup pitted Medjool dates 1/2 cup almond butter 3 tsp pure vanilla extract 1/4 tsp cinnamon 1/4 tsp nutmeg 2 TBS unsweetened cocoa powder (with no added ingredients), plus 2 extra TBS for dusting in a separate small bowl a small amount of water as needed to blend everything together

SHOP

CO-OP!

Mary Alice Cooper, MD

TO MAKE: place all ingredients in a bowl and begin to crumble together by hand. The dates are easy to mash and tear apart once you get the mixture going. Continue to crumble and knead until the mixture starts to look somewhat uniform. Add a little water in as you go to get the consistency you need. Once you can easily roll the mixture into small balls, do so. Roll each ball in your reserved bowl of unsweetened cocoa powder and place daintily on a plate! I promise that if you make these no one will believe they’re healthy until you give them the rundown of ingredients. Tip: you don’t have to share the secret if you don’t want to. I’ve tricked many a little one into asking me to make this “chocolate dessert” again and again. NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION from ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb and cronometer.com

EATING FOR YOUR HEALTH WORKSHOP

July 20

BY SUSAN CLAIR f you are a member of La Montanita Co-op Food Market, you are already aware of the importance of eating foods that nourish your body and ease the earth’s environmental load. You are aware, too, that there is a direct correlation between your good health and the fresh, whole foods you eat.

I

You may not be aware, however, that there is more to know about maintaining your good health than randomly picking out foods you like without understanding how to create a balanced nutrition plan. By better understanding and applying the basics of good nutrition, you can optimize functionality of your body’s organs, mental activity and cardiovascular and immune systems. Over time, if you do not give your body the nutrients it requires, health problems can be expected. Chronic diseases of inflammation are also called degenerative dis-

Eating for your Health: Advance registration is required. July 20, 10:30am to 12:30pm, Highland Senior Center - Albuquerque To register, contact Susan: 505.281.9888, clair@nmia.com.

eases of aging because onset is often in middle age. More than 100 inflammatory diseases have been identified, the most recognizable of which are cancer, arthritis, fibromyalgia, diabetes, asthma, atherosclerosis, obesity, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. In the United States, where inflammatory diseases are at epidemic levels, there is an overabundance of calories and a deficit of proper nutrition, causing overcaloried people to be malnourished.

modifications. Because you eat several times each day, nutrition is one of the most critical components of your overall lifestyle.

Who does not know a family member, friend, or co-worker who has been diagnosed with one of the common— or not-so-common—diseases of inflammation? If one of these people is a member of your family, you may be concerned that you are destined for a similar diagnosis. The good news is, genetic predisposition does not mean your cellular makeup will automatically express itself as an inflammatory disease. You can prevent and often reverse inflammatory diseases through food and lifestyle

I invite you to read my story of healing through stage three (advanced) multitumor breast cancer—diagnosed in May 2006—using nutrition as my primary method of healing and electing to not have surgery, radiation, or post-cancer pharmaceuticals. Prior to my diagnosis, I had only a basic knowledge of nutrition and the severely detrimental effects of chronic stress. My cancer odyssey revolved around the most educational experiences of my life! Please visit www.newmexicomercury.com, and click on the “Wellness” tab for “How Breast Cancer Helped Me Know Who I Am.”

it’s F re e!

The fundamentals of proper nutrition are receiving broad press coverage: eat plenty of vegetables and fruit; reduce meat consumption; minimize intake of sugar, salt, and “bad” fats; and ensure healthy hydration with pure water and green tea. Some aspects of nutrition are not covered as broadly and are not well understood: omega-3 versus omega-6 essential fatty acids, acid-yielding foods versus alkaline foods, plantbased versus animal proteins, good fats versus bad fats, and organic versus conventional.

For the past four years, I have been helping people learn how to eat to stay healthy, and I facilitate a free, monthly “Eating for Your Health” workshop for people who have had cancer or are now healing through cancer.


CO OPCatering

TOO HOT TO COOK! MAKE YOUR SUMMER SOIRƒ E A SUCCESS! WITH

|

PARTY PLATTERS • ENTREES • SALADS • DESSERTS The Co-op Deli uses the best selection of high quality organic and local foods. Let our chefs do the work and make your next event or meeting a success! Local means fresh. Fresh tastes best! If you give us 48 hours notice we will be happy to work our magic. Call our deli managers! Robin at the Valley, 505.242.8800 Frank at Nob Hill, 505.265.4631 Jeff in Santa Fe, 505.984.2852 Breakfast, lunch, dinner & dessert!

CALL US: ABQ/ NOB HILL 505.265.4631 • VALLEY 505.242.8800 & SANTA FE/ 505.984.2852


A gift for the person who has everything! From aromatherapy to zinnias. Ask your cashier!


news What’s Next? GE food

GENE JOCKEYS: HERE COMES HIGH-OLEIC

SOYBEAN OIL

BY ARI LEVAUX oods that are organic or otherwise more "natural" have reached unprecedented levels of public acceptance. But in the valuations and price action that represent truth on Wall Street, fast food companies are beating the tar out of organic corporations. The stock market is a forward-looking indicator, reacting not to the way things are, but to the way the market expects things to be. And the fast food industry is counting on two new varieties of high oleic soy oil, set to hit the fryers this year, to add gravy to its train.

F

Oleic acid is named after olive oil, the most concentrated naturally occurring source of this monounsaturated fat. Widely lauded for its healthfulness and flavor, olive oil offers many reasons to love it. But it's the oleic acid that industrial food processors drool over. Oleic acid is stable at room temperature for long periods of time, and can endure repeated bursts of heat without breaking down. High-oleic oils first entered the market about ten years ago as the industry attempted to phase out its use of partially hydrogenated oils—aka margarine—which have been shown to contain dangerous levels of trans fats. Several high-oleic oils have entered the market to fill this void of shelf- and heat-stable fats, including oils made from sunflower, corn and canola seeds. These high-oleic oils have become the industry's preferred substitute for partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, and are used in all manner of processed food, especially snack foods that need long shelf lives, and in the vats of hot oil used to deep-fry food. While these new oils lacked trans fats, they were still not ideal for the industry, explains Melanie Warner in Pandora's Lunchbox: How Processed Food Took Over the American Meal. Regular soy oil, Warner notes, is the cheapest form of fat there is, making it the obvious first choice for industry. Soybeans are also one of the best sources of protein in the plant world, which is why pressed soy cake is so valuable as animal feed. Other products, like lecithin and vitamin E, are extracted from soy and sold separately. But despite soy's multi-market upside, the industry is heavily subsidized. And since everything from burgers to fries to buns contains soy oil, subsidizing soy equals subsidizing fast food. The same can be said about junk food. Enter high-oleic soybean oil. There are two new types, DuPont's Plenish and Monsanto's Roundup Ready Vistive® Gold. Both are made through the genetic modification technique called gene silencing, but there are slight dif-

SUBSIDIZING

FA S T F O O D?

July 2013 12

ferences between them. Plenish boasts higher oleic acid levels, on par with olive oil at 75%. Vistive® Gold is lower in saturated fat, which many people still believe is bad for you. Vistive® Gold also boasts lower levels of linoleic acid, aka omega-6 fatty acid.

Beyond these arguably aesthetic and philosophical differences, perhaps the single most important comparison is that oils from corn, canola, safflower, sunflower and soy—sometimes referred to as "seed oils"—are about as new to the human diet as fast food.

Efforts by Monsanto and DuPont to perfect high-oleic soybean oil, Warner told me via email, are "part of a

The relatively new "getting to know you" process between humans and seed oils has already delivered an unexpected series of problems. First there were the issues with trans fats. More recently, problems created by linoleic acid have been discovered, including the creation of toxic aldehydes when linoleic acid is heated. Most seed oils contain linoleic acid. Olive oil does not. And to its credit, neither does Vistive® Gold.

GE for

PROFIT not health

decades-long struggle by the food industry to make soybean oil suitable for processed foods. Ever since trans fats became a health concern, the oil industry has been trying to find a way to prevent soybean oil from going rancid in food and in frying vats." Among its many industry-friendly qualities, high oleic soy oil can withstand up to three times as many fryings as the current industry standard. Thus, vegetable oil costs for processed foods could be cut by as much as a third in the coming years. Is high-oleic soy oil the only reason fast food is outperforming whole food? Of course not. But it's interesting to see how each industry's oil of choice reflects the basic qualities and values of the foods where they are found. Olive oil is the standard of healthy, natural oil, and is the backbone of the widely respected Mediterranean diet. Olives are grown by hand, in ancient orchards on terraced hillsides, while biotech soybeans are grown by machines on laser-leveled fields. Soy oil is extracted and treated with heat, pressure and chemicals to make it (supposedly) safe and palatable, and olive oil is naturally healthy and delicious.

Although soy has been eaten for thousands of years in Asia, it's mostly been in fermented forms like soy sauce, tempeh, natto, miso and tamari. Even tofu was once commonly fermented. But soy oil was rarely consumed. "The only vegetable oil eaten in any significant quantity was olive oil," Warner writes. She quotes Joe Hibbeln, acting chief of nutritional neurosciences at a research division of the National Institutes of Health, who calls the rise of soybean oil "the single greatest, most rapid dietary change in the history of Homo sapiens." The many adjustments, dead-ends and wrong turns that have occurred as Homo sapiens have tried to adapt to vegetable oils might be a clue that we're trying to fit a square oil into round bodies, so to speak. Our neverending quest to tweak away health complications and bad odors, and insert supposedly healthful qualities, may turn out to be a fool's errand. But on the other hand, maybe the gene jockeys at Monsanto and DuPont have finally figured out exactly what we want and don't want from our oil, and how to get soy oil to be that. Soy is the backbone of junk food and fast food, and high-oleic soybean oil is poised to make related businesses more profitable. Whether the oil turns out to be good for the people who consume it remains to be seen.

ACTION ALERT! G E R I G H T- T O - K N O W

To comment online go to www.justlabelit.org.

H AV E Y O U TA K E N A C T I O N Y E T ?

NATIONAL GE FOOD RIGHT-TO-KNOW ACT!

I

n April Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) introduced the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act, bipartisan legislation that would require the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to clearly label genetically engineered (GE) foods so that consumers can make informed choices about what they eat. More than 90% of Americans support the right to know what is in the foods we feed our families. Consumers are used to reading labels to see if foods contain MSG, gluten, trans fats, high fructose corn syrup or aspartame and clear-

ly want more information on whether or not foods are made using genetically engineered ingredients. More than one and a half million Americans have filed comments with the FDA urging the agency to label GE foods. Sixty-four countries around the world already require the labeling of GE foods, including all the member nations of the European Union, Russia, Japan, China, Australia and New Zealand. More than 70% of processed foods in America contain GE ingredients, and now, whole foods such as apples and potatoes, engineered to keep from browning, and even salmon, engineered to produce growth hormones year round, could soon end up in our food supply, unlabeled. The measure would direct the FDA to write new labeling standards that are consistent with international standards. By mid-June more than 25,000 supporters had contacted their members of Congress in support.

LET’S GET THE WHOLE NEW MEXICO DELEGATION SIGNED ON AS CO-SPONSORS OF THE GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOOD RIGHT-TOKNOW ACT. Currently only Senator Martin Heinrich has signed on as a co-sponsor. Please contact our other delegates and ask them to co-sponsor in the Senate S.809.IS, in the House HR.1699. Tom Udall: Albuquerque: 505-346-6791; Santa Fe: 505-988-6511; DC phone: 202-2246621; www.tomudall.senate.gov/ Michelle Lujan Grisham: Albuquerque: 505346-6781; DC phone: 202-225-6316; Fax: 505-346-6723; www.lujangrisham.house.gov/contact/email-me Ben Ray Lujan: Santa Fe: 505-984-8950; Rio Rancho: 505994-0499; Gallup: 505-863-0582; www.benrlujan.com Steve Pearce: Socorro: 855-473-2723; DC: 202-225-2365; www.pearce.house.gov

U N A P P R O V E D G E W H E AT C O N TA M I N AT I N G FA R M E R ’ S F I E L D

USDA FAILS! The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced in early June that unapproved, genetically engineered (GE) wheat was found contaminating an Oregon farmer’s field. The GE wheat, known as Roundup Ready, was developed by the Monsanto Company to withstand direct application of Roundup (glyphosate) herbicide. This incident underscores why stronger regulation is long overdue. Congress needs to investigate how this occurred and determine the prevalence of contamination. Until then, USDA, at a minimum, should immediately place a moratorium on open-air field testing of genetically engineered crops. Tell Congress, President Obama and USDA to stop all open-air field trials of GE crops! This is not the first case of experimental GE crops escaping from field trials. Past transgenic contamination episodes involving GE corn and GE rice triggered over $1 billion in losses and economic hardship to farmers. Already Japan

and South Korea have suspended imports of US wheat because of this contamination. USDA has a terrible track record overseeing these field trials. The Center for Food Safety has sued USDA over past field trial failures in Hawaii and Oregon—and won. They’ve even forced USDA to publicly admit to new field trial contamination incidents, like this one, that they otherwise tried to keep secret. Even the USDA’s own Inspector General issued a scathing report detailing numerous violations of agency rules in regulating genetically engineered crop field trials. USDA officials did not know the locations of many field trials it was charged with regulating, and did not conduct required inspections of others. Tell Congress, President Obama and the USDA to stop all open-air field trials of GE crops! To voice your concern that the USDA’s Secretary Vilsack is more interested in supporting his friends at Monsanto and in the biotech industry then protecting American consumers, make a donation to support the work of Center for Food Safety, go to www.centerforfoodsafety.org.


waste not

want not

July 2013 13

FOR THE ECONOMY FOR THE EARTH

THE INHERENT VALUE of

Avoided Landfill Costs Whether your community owns and operates a landfill or simply transports its waste to one, landfills are an expensive enterprise. To build a new landfill can cost in the

RECYCLING

Energy and Natural Resources Recycling reduces greenhouse gas emissions by significantly saving the amount of energy needed to manufacture the products that we buy, build and use every day. The energy saved by recycling can then be used for other purposes, such as heating our homes and powering our automobiles.

BY ENGLISH BIRD, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NM RECYCLING COALITION here are many ways to look at why recycling is important to you and your community. Each piece of recyclable material has an inherent value—be it economic, jobs, saved local costs to expand a landfill, energy savings, reduced water usage or less fuel to transport.

NEW MEXICANS recycled 14% of the waste stream in 2010, which conserved in energy savings the equivalent of 62 million gallons of gasoline or enough energy to power 72,234 households’ annual energy consumption (New Mexico Environment Department Solid Waste Report, 2010). Nationally, the recycling rate average is 33%.

T

Economics and Jobs Recycling plays an important role in the national and local economy. The recycled materials processing industry is larger than the automobile manufacturing sector, with more than 450,000 jobs nationally and with 930 direct and induced jobs in New Mexico in the sector that purchases, processes and brokers recyclables (Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, 2011). These numbers do not include local government collection and processing jobs. The recycling sector has grown steadily by 8% since 2005 (US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010) and pays on average $19/hr and creates full-time positions. The Institute for Local Self-Reliance estimates that for one job at a landfill there are on average five jobs in recycling. If you think about the process this becomes clear. Imagine an aluminum can when it gets recycled. First, it must be locally collected and processed for sale to a mill. It is then transported to that end-market destination, where it is cleaned and transformed back into a sheet of aluminum. It then gets printed, cut and turned back into a can. It has a lifecycle, where several different hands and companies touch and use the material. When a can is placed into the landfill, that is the end of the proverbial economic road. Another economic calculator states that for every one job in recycling there are 1.4 jobs created through associated economic activity (“The Economic Impact of Recycling,” South Carolina Department of Commerce, 2006). By recycling, you are part of stimulating economic development with new jobs both for your community and the nation. The more you recycle, the more positive effect you can have.

range of $2-3 million depending on capacity, and to expand a landfill can cost in the range of $1 million. There are associated costs to haul the solid waste to the landfill and then the cost to dispose of it, called a tip fee. All of these add up as a cost to you as the taxpayer. Recycling Has Value According to a 2012 landfill rate analysis report commissioned by the New Mexico Recycling Coalition, more than 1.6 million tons of municipal solid waste were disposed of in 2010. Using national waste characterization figures from the US EPA, we can estimate that approximately 54% of that waste stream can be recycled for a current market value of $168 million; on the other hand, using the state average tip fee to dispose of waste at $31.29 per ton, New Mexicans spent $51 million to bury their waste (and many valuable materials). In 2010, New Mexico recycled approximately 200,000 tons of recyclables with an estimated market value of $79 million.

Future Generations As a country, the United States consumes 25% of the world's extracted resources and represents only 5% of the world's population. With the growth of global economies and standards of living in countries such as China and India, the need for more material inputs will continue to increase. Recycling will play a critical role as a solution for continuing to provide consumers with the products they require in the modern world. Your Part By recycling, you play a critical role in supporting jobs, assisting in economic growth, conserving energy and natural resources, as well as ensuring a quality of life for future generations. To find drop-off locations or local recycling coordinator contact information, use NMRC’s NM Recycling Directory at www.recyclenewmexico.com. Next month the Co-op Connection is pleased to continue our series from English Bird on recycling.

LA MONTANITA

FUND

IN NATURE THERE IS

NO WASTE

BY ANN ADAMS, HOLISTIC MANAGEMENT INTERNATIONAL aving parents who grew up in the Great Depression, I grew up hearing the saying, “Waste not, want not.” It has certainly influenced my behavior over the years, but most particularly around food. If you have ever grown food of your own, you realize the amount of work and value there is to the food. The increased value causes you to savor it and not waste it.

H

But due to a host of factors, including the increase in people eating away from home and processed food, the relative availability of cheap food, an international food system that requires food to be shipped an average of 1,500 miles, and our sense of humans and our activities as being separate from nature, some estimates are that we waste half the food that is grown. It is of concern that we treat food this way when there are so many people who do not have access to nutritious food and the result of that food waste is overtaxed landfills. In the US we expect to spend 5% of our income on food. That is a very different proposition than other countries where 15% of personal income is spent on food. If you spent three times the amount of your income on food, how would your shopping choices

differ? What would be your expectation of that food? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that the US generates more than 34 million tons of food waste each year. Likewise, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) report that the US per capita food waste has increased by approximately 50% since 1974. While clearly there is need for policy changes, making personal changes at home is a great place to create change and be an example for others. Having animals, including dogs, can be a great way to reduce food waste. In our house, there is a definite pecking order. Humans, dogs, chickens, worms/ compost. Live alone and like it that way? Too busy to compost? Find a neighbor who isn’t. Put all your scraps in a freezer bag in your freezer. When it’s full or on a pre-determined time, deliver to the masses eagerly awaiting their frozen treats. In a natural system, there is no waste, just transformation of energy from one source to another. With food we have almost total control of the amount of waste we generate. Take the opportunity to create a food system that not only feeds you but also feeds countless others and builds relationships at the same time.

WAYS TO REDUCE FOOD WASTE 1. See the value in food. If you don’t want it, who would? Find a neighbor who composts. Raise some chickens. 2. HB 324—Crop Gleaning Project for Food Banks—died in the New Mexico legislative session this year. Work to support projects that encourage the use of all food. 3. Learn about the Society of St. Andrew at endhunger.org

4. Learn about ways you can start a gleaning project at: www.usda.gov/documents/usda_ gleaning_toolkit.pdf 5. Buy local. 6. Eat a whole diet. If you are in more control of the whole food coming into your house, there is less waste. Ann raises goats and chickens at Happy Goat Lucky Farm in the Manzano Mountains and has been a member of La Montanita Co-op for 20 years. For more information: www.thinkeatsave.org.

OUR GRASSROOTS INVESTING and micro-loan FUND is currently making loans to FOOD PRODUCERS of all sizes. CONTACT Robin at 877-775-2667 or robins@lamontanita.coop.


the value of local

eco-systems

THE RIO GRANDE VISION:

July 2013 14

KEEP THE BOSQUE

sideration was given to the conservation needs of the bosque in devising the plan. The bosque needs to have controlled flooding at some point, because cottonwoods seeds will not sprout without flooding. However, the Rio Grande Vision does not require that the development in the bosque be designed so that it can withstand flooding. The bosque will not continue to exist as an ecologically diverse natural space if we do not invest in its restoration and preservation.

TURNING GOLD INTO

DROSS?

RICHARD BARISH, SIERRA CLUB, CENTRAL NEW MEXICO GROUP lbuquerque Mayor Richard Berry has initiated a process called "ABQ: The Plan." One of the principal components of ABQ: The Plan is the Rio Grande Vision. The Rio Grande Vision can be viewed from the link at riograndevision.com. BY

A

The Rio Grande Vision proposes significant development in the bosque within the levees. The plan for the bosque includes: boardwalks, viewing platforms at the river, five new pedestrian bridges over the river, multiple boat ramps and artwork throughout the bosque. The development is scattered throughout the bosque. While some development of this sort might be appropriate, there is simply too much of it in the Rio Grande Vision. The Rio Grande Vision also has a significant, though non-specific, public-private partnership component that will allow for some commercial utilization of the bosque. The wonderful thing about the bosque is that it is a green, natural place right in the middle of Albuquerque. Within five, ten, fifteen minutes of virtually any place in the City, you can experience the beautiful forms of the cottonwoods, a multitude of birds, the murmur of the (usually) flowing Rio Grande, and the peacefulness of nature. It is an incredible, perhaps unique, treasure for a city of this size to have immediate access to such a wild, riverine habitat. Many who read this will probably know that Aldo Leopold, the great ecological thinker of the first half of the last century and author A Sand County Almanac, lived in Albuquerque for a number of years and was the original secretary of the Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce in 1918-1919. Leopold promoted a park along the Rio Grande, because he understood that, as wildlife biologist Dave Parsons says, healthy human communities need healthy natural ecosystems for their support and well-being. Our state legislature understood that connection when they designated the bosque in Bernalillo County as the Rio Grande Valley State Park in 1983

for the purpose of preserving and protecting the bosque. That understanding was also apparent when, in 1993, the City of Albuquerque enacted the Bosque Action Plan, the City plan that governs development in the bosque. The Bosque Action Plan provides that the overriding management goal for the bosque is the preservation and protection of ecological diversity. The Mayor's Rio Grande Vision places the goals of the Rio Grande Valley State Park and the Bosque Action Plan in jeopardy. The plan looks like it was created by someone in Dubai who never actually set foot in the bosque, but only looked at what other cities had done with their parks. The Rio Grande Vision should not be trying to replicate what has worked in other urban parks, but should be emphasizing and enhancing what makes our bosque unique and wonderful, that is, that it is a natural, green riparian space in the heart of Albuquerque. The plan states that it is designed to "Connect, Protect, and Excite!" but there is no actual "Protect" component in the Rio Grande Vision; it only gives lip service to conservation. There are no conservation or restoration projects, and no con-

WILD

The Bosque Action Plan, the controlling City planning document, requires that the ecological impacts of any projects in the bosque be evaluated before any dirt is turned. The mayor has expressly refused to comply with this requirement, a blatant violation of the law. The Bosque Action Plan and the City's extraordinary facilities ordinance require review of bosque projects by the Environmental Planning Commission and the Open Space Advisory Board. Again, however, the mayor has refused to submit his plans for review to these bodies and, in fact, has already allowed the construction of some projects, including boardwalks and viewing platforms, in clear violation of these laws. The Rio Grande Vision was a top-down initiative that originated in the mayor's office. The mayor proceeded to enter into an expensive contract with a private planning firm to implement his ideas, without adequately seeking to determine what the citizens of Albuquerque wanted to be done with their bosque. There was wholly inadequate public outreach, and, apparently, none whatsoever to neighborhood associations and environmental groups like the Sierra Club. Once the mayor's plans became known, there was an outpouring of opposition to them from bosque users, who are passionate about preservation of their bosque. The City needs to devise a plan that focuses on promoting, protecting and facilitating what is special and unique about this treasure we are privileged to have in our City, that it is a marvelous, green space where Albuquerque residents can enjoy the peace and beauty of the natural world minutes from their homes.

NM WILDERNESS ALLIANCE

TWO GREAT

HIKES

J

oin New Mexico Wilderness Alliance for two fabulous July hikes. Please visit our website at www.nmwild.org or email nmwa@nmwild.org to register or make a donation. For more information, call the office in Albuquerque at 505-843-8696 or in Santa Fe at 505-216-9719. San Pedro Parks Botany Hike Join the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance on July 13 in Northern New Mexico for a special day of plant identification with expert botanist and founder of the Pajarito Environmental Center, Chick Keller, in the San Pedro Parks Wilderness. San Pedro Parks is very special, and the flora there is unique. After the last Ice Age about 10,000 years ago, some plant species retreated to higher elevations in the mountains. But those

in San Pedro Parks were “trapped” at the lower elevation, around 10,500 feet, and had to adapt instead to warmer temperatures. As a result, plants now found above Taos at nearly 12,000 feet also occur in San Pedro Parks. The hike will begin at the Resumidero Campground on the Vega Redonda Trail where we will pass through conifer forest with many fascinating plants. In about two miles we’ll come to our first wet meadow with orchids, yellow paintbrush, buttercups, sedges and other colorful plants. Here we can see a blue polemonium that looks like a bedraggled Jacob’s ladder not found elsewhere in New Mexico. How far we get after that will depend on weather and people’s interest. Hiking distance: 4-5 miles. Hiking time: 5 hours

Columbine Hondo Wilderness Study Area Local groups and the conservation community are currently working to convert Columbine Hondo WSA to true wilderness. Legislation has recently been introduced, and we will need all supporters to keep the federal delegation informed about the importance of this landscape and its protection. The July 20 hike will begin at the Columbine Campground and will take us up Columbine Canyon. Elevation change will be from 7,800 feet to approximately 8,800 feet. Bring your walking shoes and plenty of water and join us for this fabulous outing in the Carson National Forest in Northern New Mexico. Hiking distance: 6 miles. Hiking time: 6 hours

ALBUQUERQUE PARKS AND REC

OPEN SPACE

BY BILL PENTLER, ALBUQUERQUE OPEN SPACE lbuquerque’s Parks and Recreation Department, Open Space Division, invites you to a summer of family friendly events during the 2013 Open Space Summer Series. All Saturday Sunset Series programs take place at the Elena Gallegos Double Shelter Amphitheater at 7pm with the exception of Nature Dancing and BalletAfrique on July 20 which will be at the nearby Kiwanis Shelter. All talks and performances are free with a $2 entry fee per vehicle to the park. The Elena Gallegos Park is located at the end of Simms Park Road, east of Tramway Boulevard, just north of Academy.

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The Sunday Hikes will continue to explore the Open Space’s outlying properties in the East Mountains and elsewhere. Please check www.cabq.gov/openspace under Open Space Events for more information on details and directions to the individual events, or call Bill Pentler at 452-5222 for pre-registration or other questions. You’ll find something to entice everyone in the family in this year’s series. Come explore with us, expand your views and enjoy a summer of family entertainment through Open Space.

Saturday SUNSET SERIES at Elena Gallegos Picnic Area The Saturday Sunset Series will feature talks, demonstrations and shows by some of Albuquerque's best speakers, educators and performers at the Elena Gallegos Double Shelter Amphitheater on Saturdays at 7pm, except for Solar Viewing on June 1, which will begin at 5pm. July 6/A Thunderous Evening with NM Taiko Without Rain: A concert led by Calvin Kobayashi demonstrating Taiko’s long history which blends martial arts choreography and synchronized drumming. July 13/We Interpret: A talk and demonstration of interpreting for the deaf and hard of hearing with Marti Stockdale and Jessica Anderson, www.WeInterpret.net. July 20/Ballet-Afrique: A new dance style by Romy Keegan of the Maple Street Dance Space combining naturally aerobic and energizing African movement with ballet forms for an evening of expressiveness and joy. July 27/An Officer’s Perspective: A talk and discussion of the job and activities of an APD Open Space Law Enforcement Officer by Lt. Todd Hudson.


community

forum

July 2013 15

CALLING ALL KIDS AND THE YOUNG AT HEART FOR SUMMER

Registration for the Summer Programs is held at each Playground Program Summer site and each site participant limit will vary from site to site. The registration is held on a first-come first-served basis. If you are not able to register on the first day of registration, you will still be allowed to register your child in the program at any time during the regular program hours, provided there is still space available for additional participants. Once a site registration is full, a waiting list will be kept and maintained. Parents will

SOLAR

PANELS

FOR ZONA DEL SOL YOUTH CENTER!

AT YOUR LOCAL POOL

JUMP RIGHT IN! Albuquerque is home to eight beautiful public pool facilities with some great amenities, and they only cost $1.50 for kids, or $2.25 for adults. Consider bringing a picnic to the Rio Grande pool, which offers the sounds of elephants in the background and a place for a blanket under cottonwoods. Or head to the Sierra Vista pool near Coors and Montano to experience two fantastic waterslides. Want to swim in the evening? The Montgomery pool is open until 8pm on weekdays. Or, if you’re not much for swimming, but want to get wet, consider checking out the splash pad at the Wells Park Community Center, where you can play in the spray of a dozen different sprinklers.

FUN! D

id you know that Albuquerque Community Centers offer amazing and inexpensive summer programming for kids through their Summer Playground Recreation Program? This program offers summer recreation for children 6 through 11 years old at various elementary schools during the summer months. These programs provide planned, organized and supervised activities especially for kids! Don’t let your kids get stuck in front of the TV during extrahot summer days. Send them to a local community center to make a friend, play a game, and maybe even learn something.

KEEP COOL

CHILL out!

be notified as space becomes available. A completed registration form is required for all children that attend the program. There is a $10 registration fee and a $15 per kid per week fee for the program.

By patronizing a public pool or a community center, you are supporting fun and meaningful recreation activities that are affordable for most of our friends and neighbors. They offer a great way to see our beautiful city, meet new people, and spend a few hot summer hours doing something cool. For more information on PUBLIC POOLS in Albuquerque visit www.cabq.gov/parksandrecreation.

Contact DORIS CASADOS at 505-767-5800 for site locations and more information on program activites, or visit www.cabq.gov/family.

EARTH CARE ALLIES

NEEDS OUR VOTE

Earth Care's Youth Allies and New Energy Economy are partnering on a grant proposal to bring solar panels to the Zona Del Sol Youth and Families Community Center on the south side of town.

Premium Compost

Zona Del Sol is located in Santa Fe’s Airport Road corridor where a large majority of working families, Hispanic residents, and young people live but few public services and community resources exist. This solar project would support programs housed at Zona Del Sol, including Earth Care's youth leadership and environmental education programs, the YMCA's childcare and early childhood development programs, Fine Arts for Children and Teens' art classes, Food Depot food distribution, and the Zona Del Sol summer camp.

Topsoil Blend

SUPPORT SOLAR ENERGY FOR ALL! Vote for the Earth Care/Zona del Sol project by clicking on their Youtube video at www.earthcarenm.org and click on Youth Allies.

• Our locally made Premium Compost is approved for use on Certified Organic Farms and Gardens. • Ready for planting in raised beds or flower pots!

Mulch • A variety of decorative and functional mulches.

Foodwaste Recycling • Albuquerque’s only restaurant foodwaste recycling pick up service

Greenwaste Recycling • Bring your Yardwaste to us and keep it out of the Dump!

9008 Bates Rd. SE Open Tues. through Sat. 8am to 4pm Please come down and see us • www.soilutions.net


Co-op Connection News July, 2013  

The La Montañita Co-op Connection tells stories of our local foodshed--from recipes to science to politics to community events. Membership i...

Co-op Connection News July, 2013  

The La Montañita Co-op Connection tells stories of our local foodshed--from recipes to science to politics to community events. Membership i...

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