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Phoenix Food Hub and two up-and-coming food hubs in Denver and Colorado Springs.

BY ROBIN SEYDEL or close to two decades, La Montañita management and staff have shared their know-how with a wide variety of co-ops and food businesses locally, regionally and nationally. Now, we are pleased to announce the formation of our Southwest Development Services project (SDS).


During two decades which saw the demise of hundreds of small co-ops nationally, La Montañita, thanks to tremendous community support, thrived despite increasing competition from corporate chains. In addition to sound business sense, a dedication to providing the best quality local and organic food and friendly customer service, our success is in part also due to a wide variety of innovative community development projects and programs. This, Southwest Development Services, is our newest project. Community Cooperation for Economic Growth The expertise we have developed running a community-owned business for nearly 40 years (watch for a year of fun 40th birthday celebrations beginning in 2016) is in great demand. In keeping with both Co-op Principle 6: Cooperation among Cooperatives and Principle 7: Concern for Community, La Montañita staff has been honored to consult with a wide variety of farmers, ranchers, food producers, food hubs, and cooperative businesses locally, regionally and nationally. Just a few of the businesses and organizations we have worked with, and in many cases continue to work with, include a number of co-ops: The Sweet Grass Beef Co-op, Family Farmers Seed Coop, food co-ops in Española, Dixon, Taos, Trinidad, Alamosa, Manitou Springs, and nationally, with Bellingham, Great Harvest, Blooming Foods and Reno, to name just a few. Farmer/rancher businesses include: Kyzer Pork, Headwaters Food Hub, South

In the past few years, with the growth in the local/regional food movement, these requests have skyrocketed, increasing beyond what La Montañita staff can accommodate while still running our stores with the high degree of attention to detail our member-owners and shoppers expect. For the past year, to continue to provide the support necessary to grow the local/regional food system and spread the cooperative economy, we have been working to create a programmatic structure and a menu of services for a Southwest Development Services Co-op, as a division of La Montañita.

Now it is with great pleasure we announce that with financial support from our friends at Rocky Mountain Farmers Union and the McCune Foundation, the Southwest Development Services program can reach its next level of development. A Menu of Services for Business Growth It has become increasingly clear that running a successful farm or food business takes a specialized knowledge of the industry, the markets and finances. With thousands of collective hours of experience in our management team, La Montañita staff brings their extensive expertise to SDS, both as consultants and as trainers, coaches and mentors for area food and cooperative businesses. We believe that our extensive familiarity with food industry practices will allow us to provide the services needed for success in a more specialized and cost effective way than small food and cooperative businesses can generally access.

A MODEL FOR ECONOMIC DEMOCRACY BY JR RIEGEL or people who care about local community and the larger issues concerning food justice, our economic model is just as important, and in some ways more important, than the local and organic food we sell.


In this newsletter we often spotlight a wide variety of food issues, but it is equally important to understand that we at La Montañita are a cooperative, as it is this structure and economic model that makes us different from all other grocery stores. As international corporations continue to concentrate greater wealth and power in the hands of fewer people, it’s becoming increasingly clear that alternative economic models are necessary for the wellbeing of people here at home and around the world. In both communist and corporate capitalist economies, resources are controlled by a powerful minority. What sets the cooperative economy apart, and what makes it so important to our future, is that its community ownership model keeps the control of resources in the hands of the majority. Corporate capitalist and communist models cannot easily coexist, but fortunately for us, cooperatives can thrive within either. Enclaves of cooperation have been developing around the

world over the past century, and they’ve really picked up in recent years. Today, there are cooperative giants across Europe winning out over traditional corporations, providing better jobs, reducing environmental impact, and growing truly democratic economies. Mondragon, a worker-owned cooperative founded in Spain in 1956, now employs well over 70,000 people and operates a variety of different industries. Each of their subsidiary cooperatives set their own rules to best suit that co-op’s owners. Whereas La Montañita is a consumer cooperative, Mondragon’s retail co-op Eroski is a hybrid worker and consumer co-op. Mondragon also works in the realms of banking, insurance, manufacturing, construction, business services, and education. Mondragon University is cooperatively-owned and run by a combination of its employees, its partner institutions, and the students that attend the school. Compare the impact of Mondragon University’s cooperative model to the predatory corporate “colleges” that have become so numerous in the US recently and it is easy to see the value of the cooperative economy. Here, corporate shareholders have been fleecing students by misleading them into taking classes with little educational or career value. At Mondragon, students actively




model development, Board of Directors development, membership structure and program development, human resources management, branding development and implementation, media contracting and planning, community outreach planning and project development, website development, fundraising and capital campaign strategy development, accounting, account management and financial functions, operational assessments, facility and food safety programs training, security/loss prevention consulting, information technology systems development, procurement, contracting and more. Interested in hearing more about what SDS can do for your food business? Please contact Mark Lane at or call 505-259-4396.

Some SDS services include: organizational structure development, business plan development and strategy, cooperative




influence the direction, practices, and policies of the university to ensure that their needs are met. Switzerland’s largest employer, supermarket chain, and retail company is the cooperative Migros. Like Mondragon, Migros operates a wide variety of cooperative ventures, though Migros is more oriented toward the supermarket industry. Over 90% of the products sold in their stores are produced by subsidiary co-ops, and they operate companies as varied as railways, adult education centers, and currency exchanges. Switzerland’s cooperative economy is going strong, with Migros’ primary competitor being another cooperative simply named Coop. Migros employs about 94,000 people to Coop’s 74,000 or so, and by comparison La Montañita looks itty bitty with our approximately 285 employees. Those numbers alone illustrate the relative scale of the cooperative economy of Europe compared with the United States. We’re one of the largest retail consumer co-ops in the country, but we don’t even have 1% of the number of employees that Migros or Mondragon have. That is by no means bad news though—there’s an enormous opportunity for the US cooperative economy to grow. There is already a diversity of co-ops operating in our area, and they’ve got nowhere to go but up. Echo Ridge is a housing cooperative in Albuquerque, and Nusenda Credit Union, a financial co-op with branches across the state, is only one of a number of independent credit unions serving New Mexicans. Consumer-owned food co-ops like ours can also be found in Taos, Española, Dixon, Silver City and Las Cruces. Producer co-ops like Organic Valley with its hundreds of member-owner producers provide some terrific products for our shelves. Additionally, there are a number of other upand-coming producer co-ops in our region including Sweet Grass Beef Co-op. Keep an eye out in the coming months for more on the value and importance of the cooperative economic model.

Thursday, September 10, 6:30pm at the United Way Bldg. in Albuquerque, at 2340 Alamo Ave. SE. Join the La Montañita Board, Staff and you, our members at our second Co-op Café: Strategic Thinking for the Co-op of Our Future. Sit with a group of friends and fellow Co-op owners to brainstorm what we want our Co-op to be and how it can better meet our community needs. The first 50 members to RSVP will attend. As we face changing trends in our community we must address the question: “How Can the Co-op Meet Community Needs in the Coming Decade?” Come share the future that you see. RSVP: Please contact Lisa Banwarth-Kuhn at or Robin at 505-217-2027

Opportunities for

cooperative growth!

OUR PLANET, OUR SELVES La Montañita Cooperative A Community-Owned Natural Foods Grocery Store

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Nob Hill 7am – 10pm M – Sa, 8am – 10pm Su 3500 Central SE, ABQ, NM 87106 505-265-4631 Rio Grande 7am – 10pm M – Su 2400 Rio Grande NW, ABQ, NM 87104 505-242-8800

ever more important to preserve agricultural lands in order to safeguard our quality of life.

Gallup 8am – 8pm M – Sa, 10am – 6pm Su 105 E Coal, Gallup, NM 87301 505-863-5383 Santa Fe 7am – 10pm M – Su 913 West Alameda, Santa Fe, NM 87501 505-984-2852 Grab n’ Go 8am – 6pm M – F, 11am – 4pm Sa UNM Bookstore, 2301 Central SW, ABQ, NM 87131 505-277-9586


Westside 7am – 9pm M – Su 3601 Old Airport Ave, ABQ, NM 87114 505-503-2550


Cooperative Distribution Center 9am – 5pm, M – F 901 Menaul NE, ABQ, NM 87107 505-217-2010

BY KEMPER BARKHURST, BOARD OF DIRECTORS, RIO GRANDE COMMUNITY FARM very year, the Maize Maze at the Rio Grande Community Farm brings hundreds of school groups and thousands of weekend visitors to explore, play, see wildlife, and learn about the importance of sustainable agriculture. This year, the Farm has partnered with ABQ BioPark to offer pollinator-themed activities at the 8-acre corn maze.


Administration Offices 9am – 5pm, M – F 901 Menaul NE, ABQ, NM 87107 505-217-2001 Administrative Staff: 217-2001 TOLL FREE: 877-775-2667 (COOP) • Interim General Manager/Bob Tero 217-2028 • Controller/John Heckes 217-2029 • Computers/Info Technology David Varela 217-2011 • Special Projects Manager/Mark Lane 259-4396 • Human Resources/Sharret Rose 217-2023 • Marketing/Karolyn Cannata-Winge 217-2024 • Membership/Robin Seydel 217-2027 • CDC/MichelleFranklin 217-2010 Store Team Leaders: • Valerie Smith/Nob Hill 265-4631 • John Mullé/Rio Grande 242-8800 • William Prokopiak/Santa Fe 984-2852 • John Philpott/Gallup 575-863-5383 • Joe Phy/Westside 505-503-2550

The Farm holds a special place in the history of Albuquerque. It occupies the original site of Los Poblanos, one of the earliest Spanish colonial settlements in the Rio Grande Valley. It is, in fact, a living link in an agricultural heritage that extends over 1,700 years, making it among the oldest parcels of continually farmed land in the United States. Years of hard work have transformed the neglected land into community gardens, wildlife habitat, and certified organic croplands. These provide educational experiences, community service projects, recreation and entertainment to a broad segment of our population while honoring our history and protecting the environment. Recent studies have shown that agricultural lands contribute significantly to recharging Albuquerque’s aquifer. As our population grows and as water becomes increasingly scarce it becomes

THE MAIZE MAZE The Maize Maze will be open to the public every weekend from Oct. 3rd through Oct. 31. Groups of ten or more can schedule a visit during weekdays. School groups and others are encouraged to schedule their day early for best weekday selection. Rio Grande Community Farm is located in the Los Poblanos Open Space fields along the north side of Montano Road NW about halfway between Fourth Street and Coors Boulevard in the North Valley. OCTOBER MAZE HOURS ARE: Saturday 10–5pm, Sunday 10–5pm. We are in need of volunteers during the maze which will be open weekends in October. We officially open to the public on Oct. 3 at 3pm. Go to for more information on volunteering during the Maize Maze. Rio Grande Community Farm is a 501(c)(3) non-profit operating on public land, managing a two-acre Community Garden with education programming and advocating sustainable initiatives to strengthen Albuquerque’s bonds to its rich agricultural history and quality, healthy, local food. Rio Grande Community Farm is honored to partner with the Veteran Farmer Project. LEARN MORE at: or email:



Co-op Board of Directors: email: • President: Ariana Marchello • Secretary: Marshall Kovitz • Lisa Banwarth-Kuhn • James Esqueda • Jessica Rowland • Rosemary Romero • Tracy Sprouls • Tammy Parker

ROBIN SEYDEL he deep summer was an exciting time on the Veteran Farmer Project farm. The corn was definitely “as high as an elephants eye” to borrow a phrase from Rogers and Hammerstein’s famous musical, and the sunflowers towered over our fennel, basil, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes and more. Geese, ibis and a diversity of other birds cheer us with sightings and song, and our resident coyote pair and their pup keep the rabbits at bay, protecting our tender greens. We harvest hundreds of pounds of fresh veggies every week, generally sell out at the VA Growers’ Market on Wednesday mornings, and still have plenty to pick for sale to Albuquerque Co-op locations. BY

Membership Costs: $15 for 1 year/ $200 Lifetime Membership + tax Co-op Connection Staff: • Managing Editor: Robin Seydel 217-2027 • Layout and Design: foxyrock inc • Cover/Centerfold: Co-op Marketing Dept. • Advertising: JR Riegel • Editorial Assistant: JR Riegel 217-2016 • Editorial Intern: Katherine Mullé • Printing: Vanguard Press Membership information is available at all six Co-op locations, or call 217-2027 or 877-775-2667 email: website: Membership response to the newsletter is appreciated. Email the Managing Editor, Copyright ©2015 La Montañita Co-op Supermarket Reprints by prior permission. The Co-op Connection is printed on 65% post-consumer recycled paper. It is recyclable.

What is now the Los Poblanos Fields Open Space was purchased by the City of Albuquerque after a two-year campaign to preserve this last remaining parcel of farmland in the North Valley. Recognizing the value to the community of maintaining this agricultural space, the City passed a two-year 1/4 cent sales tax to provide funds for its acquisition.

SEED SAVING CLASS Sean Ludden is both Farm Manager at Rio Grande Community Farms and owner/farmer for Nepantla Farms, which he operates along with his wife in his scant spare time. From managing diverse organic farming acreages in the North Valley for 5 years, and growing medicinal herbs at home, Sean has many years of experience in the art of farming in arid lands. His philosophy on organic farming, heirloom seed preservation, and traditional farming methods have been featured in interviews with The Huffington Post, Santa Fe New Mexican, and New Mexico Magazine. Sean tirelessly promotes the use of traditional seeds and techniques in contemporary agriculture and helped to found Bosque Seed Collective last year to help local farmers renew the art of seed stewardship in the Middle Rio Grande Valley. Go to to register for Sean’s Seed Saving class the last Saturday in September.



hoop house ready for planting. Turning in the cover crops that thrived during the summer, putting together our irrigation system, saving seeds from our summer garden and other late summer/early fall tasks. We hope to have some wonderful late fall and early winter produce to share with veteran families and the larger Co-op community through Co-op Produce Departments. In the meantime, stop by the farm on Tuesday or Thursday mornings to walk the rows, weed and just enjoy Nature’s bounty. Or come to the VA Growers’ Market on Wednesday mornings for great produce at economical prices and wonderful camaraderie.

In July we were honored to have a variety of visitors and be the topic of several TV news items and shows. On July 21st the association of Western Secretaries of Agriculture visited the farm bringing two bus loads, approximately 70 or so people from Departments of Agriculture around the country. We shared samples of Armenian cucumbers, veterans shared their stories of their farm experience, and Rio Grande Community Farm Manager Sean Ludden and NM Dept. of Agriculture’s Organic Program lead educator Joanie Quinn spoke about both the area and what it takes to overcome our climatic and soil challenges. Also in July we had great fun with the families of the Kiwanis Learning Center Garden. These home school families manage the new gardens at the Natural History Museum. They brought some extraordinarily knowledgeable kids as well as adults. The great variety of beneficial insects, as well as the diversity of vegetables that we grow at the VFP farm, were of special interest. In August we worked on getting our 30’x70’

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Phone: 505-217-2027 or on project


GATHERING October 24 at the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market Pavilion at the Railyard. Enjoy a delicious, local natural foods dinner with your Co-op friends and fellow owners. Participate in a discussion led by Santa Fe community leaders on 21st century trends in food, farming, health and community-owned economics.


NEXT YEAR OUR CO-OP TURNS 40 YEARS OLD! Over the next year, we invite you to participate in series community discussions to think about cooperative economics in the next 40 years. Celebrate our Co-op! WE OWN IT!


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ZIA FAMILY FOCUS CENTER T BY SANDRA MARROQUIN-EVANS he Zia Family Focus Center (ZFFC) is not just a before and after school enrichment program for children and families, it is a unique program that exists on the campus of an Albuquerque area public school. We believe that "family" means more than just the home. It extends to friends, neighbors, businesses, and institutions that work together to create a positive place to live.

The mission of the Zia Family Focus Center is to provide an after school enrichment program in a safe, nurturing and fun environment for the children it serves, at a minimal cost for families. Our core values upon which we operate and hope to instill in the youth that we serve include integrity, responsibility, individuality, appreciation for diversity, selfworth and appreciation for the community around us. ZFFC is a non-profit organization with a volunteer Board of Directors that works closely with local businesses and organizations such as La Montañita Co-op, offering both employment and volunteer opportunities as well as family-oriented community events. For 20 years, the Zia Family Focus Center primary received funding from Bernalillo County, but this unfortunately came to an end last May. We are working diligently to secure other financial support so that we can continue to provide these much-needed activities. Despite the fact that we currently have very limited funding we are continuing to provide a quality enrichment program for local youth and families. As a small nonprofit, ZFFC hires a diversity of local community members including artists, musicians, dancers, fitness instructors and other cultural creatives and academics to bring their expertise and passion to the children and families that are engaged in the programs. The Family Focus Center also provides learning experiences for both children and adults, and volunteer opportunities in the classroom and at other events such as the Fall Festival, talent shows, and silent auctions. We also provide high quality tutoring and academic enrichment. Enrichment Classes Include: Flamenco, ballet, karate, acting, lego building, jazz and creative movement, archery, capoeira, sewing, art classes, tap dance, soccer league, piano, guitar, intro to sports, homework assistance, basketball, gardening and science, and much more. The Program also offers day camps during Albuquerque Public School breaks. Happening this Fall: The Fifth Annual Fall Festival is Saturday, October 24, from 5 to 9pm. The fall festival is one of the Family Focus


Center’s big events and one where much volunteer help is needed. The fall festival is a wonderful opportunity for the community to come and enjoy carnival games and to walk through the Center as it gets turned into an enchanted forest filled with many surprises, as we encounter characters from fairly tales. The festival brings the whole family together to enjoy a safe and fun environment. On December 11, from 5–7pm, join us for our Winter Talent Show and Silent Auction. The talent show and silent auction celebrate the end of the semester and showcase all that the children have learned. Enjoy performances in ballet, flamenco, theatre, music and much more. The event is combined with a silent auction which gives the community a wonderful way to support the Family Focus Center as you shop for holiday gifts. How to Support the Family Focus Center There are many ways you can support and make a difference in the lives of the community members the Family Focus Center serves. Sponsors are needed for events, classes or student scholarships. Volunteer in classes, offer office support or help before, during or after events, and donations of all kinds including financial, your time and energy and office supplies are always welcome. FOR MORE INFORMATION, to enroll children in our program, volunteer, or to make a donation, contact us at 505-260-6106, email: or go to We are honored to be the bag donation organization of the month. Thanks for bringing a bag when you shop at the Co-op and donating the dime. When you do, you are supporting two wonderful community organizations, the Zia Family Focus Center and La Montañita Co-op.





SEPTEMBER BAG CREDIT DONATIONS go to Zia Family Focus Center: unique youth enrichment in a safe and fun environment. In July your bag credit donations totaling $2,697.32 were given to: Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice. THANK YOU!

Alamed a Blvd. Coors Blvd.

Continuing Education Credits have been applied for through MEAC and ACNM for all conference sessions. You must pay the CEU fee of $35 with your registration in order to receive the CEU packet when you check in at the registration desk. Workshop schedules, more information and registration is all available at

3601 Old Airport Ave. NW 505-503-2550



The theme of the ABQ conference SHINE speaks to the radiance of birthing parents and newborns, the professional nourishment the conference provides, a celebration of the growth of the midwifery profession and a reflection of the warmth of the New Mexico sunshine. The conference will be held at the Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town, 800 Rio Grande Blvd NW.

Old A irport Ave.

OCTOBER 15–18 n 1982, the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) was established as a non-profit 501(c)(6) professional organization for all midwives. MANA grew out of a grassroots coalition of diverse types of midwives including nurse-midwives, lay midwives, directentry midwives, and traditional midwives from across North America. Along with welcoming all midwives, MANA established an American professional midwifery association for direct-entry midwives who entered the profession directly rather than through a nursing route, just as most midwives do in Canada and Europe. In addition MANA created a professional association for midwives attending births in out-of-hospital settings at a time when there was no other organization of its kind.

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


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Food Justice Our ancestors didn’t have a word for food justice. That was just their way.

Bellamy's project is a mosaic of interviews, photographs, video, and originally poetry designed to drive an authentic cross-community conversation around our personal food histories and our collective food security. SFAI is a growing hub for social change. You can see some of the work of other residents, and find out how to support SFAI's work at The Co-op Connection News is publishing a series of Hakim’s poems from this body of work. Inspired by Dr. Wendy Johnson Weber ’ve always gardened, in a lot of places. I lived in Cleveland and in Seattle, then here. I’ve had community gardens in all three places. That whole tradition was just something that is in my DNA. I really do think it is in my DNA from Italy. I don’t cook with recipes, but I cook a lot. I cook from scratch. I’ve always been into farm to table, it was my grandmother’s garden to table before it was called farm to table. It’s nice that the rest of the world is now reawakening, because that’s all of our roots really, it’s not just my roots; if anyone in this country goes back enough, that’s all of our roots, wherever we come from.


We’ve coined this term “food deserts,” and now in Santa Fe there are four big food deserts, identified by census tracts, all located in the Southside. There’s no good grocery stores. So when I see a patient in my office, and they are struggling with obesity or nutrition issues, and I say, “Oh, you really need to eat more fruits and vegetables. You need to exercise more.” You know, most doctors say that, and they don’t ask, “Where you live?” And “What’s your life like?” And if I’m a single mama and I am working ten hours a day, I don’t have a car so it takes me a half-hour, 45 minutes, an hour to commute to work, back and forth on the bus. Especially in Santa Fe, we have terrible public transportation. And then I have to pick up my kids, and where am I going to go to eat, because there is no grocery store on the bus route. But there’s a McDonald’s and a Wendy’s and a Taco Bell and a burrito spot.

The revolution happened at least three times a day. And the irony of those three is that they were square. Back when house call had nothing to do with telephones. When primary care and primary address had something in common besides the patient and the bill.

It’s no secret. We all know where the treasure is. Great grandparents left us the map and the menu. Gave us a gang of ingredients like love and genetically modified forearms.

Back when medicine men and medicine women could not save someone’s life without seeing how they live. Back when the root word of pharmacy was farm. When the “drug store” was right out back, in the garden.

But there is no time for hunting and gathering between Bob’s Burgers and bus tops, between homework and housework, between headaches and heart attacks. Just enough time to pill, food doesn’t fit, so we blame the dulling of our incisors on evolution, to numb the reality that we don’t even have time to chew.

When the prescription for better living was hidden in the bottom of our plate, in the locker room of your gym, underneath the playground at the park where their great-grands were still digging like China was on the other side. Just like the previous night’s dinner of hand mashed potatoes, shoveling to the China on the other side.


BY HAKIM BELLAMY This is the second in the series of Food Justice Poems created by Hakim Bellamy as part of the Santa Fe Art Institute’s residency program. From July 2014 through June 2015, the Santa Fe Art Institute’s project encouraged creative minds to come together and examine the territory of food justice.



Our ancestors didn’t need a word for “food justice” because food was magic to children and grandchildren who named the chicken that bore the egg but’d be damned if they could figure out how that first generation magician in the kitchen abracadabra’d it into a soufflé. It’s not them “old days” it’s them “old ways” that might save us from ourselves Remind us that to them! food justice, was simply cutting the pie right down the middle, so the siblings didn’t fight. Just making sure everybody got a fair slice. BY HAKIM BELLAMY

The Co-op, The Center for Contemporary Arts and Lilly Films Screen Symphony of the Soil BY BRIAN GIBBLE a Montañita Co-op is pleased to sponsor a screening of the critically acclaimed documentary, Symphony of the Soil at the Center for Contemporary Arts Cinematheque in Santa Fe on Friday September 25 at 7:30pm. Additionally, the Co-op cordially invites you to join director Deborah Koons Garcia in person for a discussion after the film.


Drawing from ancient knowledge and cutting edge science, Symphony of the Soil is a feature-length documentary and an artistic exploration of the miraculous substance soil. By understanding the elaborate relationships between soil, water, the atmosphere, plants and animals, we come to appreciate the complex and dynamic nature of this precious resource. The film also examines our human relationship with soil, the use and misuse of soil in agriculture, deforestation and development, and the latest scientific research on soil’s key role in ameliorating the most challenging environmental issues of our time. Filmed on four continents, featuring esteemed scientists and working farmers and ranchers, Symphony of the Soil is an intriguing presentation that highlights possibilities of healthy soil creating healthy plants creating healthy humans living on a healthy planet. The film has received numerous awards and critical acclaim since its release, and it was recently shown at the US Capitol and later the United Nations Headquarters in New York City for World Soil Day, which launched 2015 as the UN International Year of Soils. The film has also been incorporated into the teaching curriculum at over 250 schools and universities

like Cornell, MIT, Brown and Vassar. The US Forest Service and the US Department of Agriculture have used it for educational purposes. Prior to making Symphony of the Soil, filmmaker Deborah Koons Garcia directed the groundbreaking film The Future of Food (2004), which examines the alarming issues surrounding the rapidly increasing corporate domination of our food supply. It was the first major film to cover the history and technology of genetic engineering and the complex implications of releasing such crops into the food environment and food supply, and the film helped jumpstart what is now called the local food movement. Following the film, La Montañita Co-op and CCA are honored to welcome Director Deborah Koons Garcia for a community discussion on the subjects the film documents so engagingly and our ability to help heal ourselves and our planet. Join La Montañita Co-op for a screening of this beautifully inspiring and informative film at CCA on September 25 at 7:30pm. For more information or to purchase tickets, call the Center for Contemporary Arts at 505-9821338 or visit For more information on the film, please visit:





September 2015 5




BY JR RIEGEL n July, we looked briefly at the Mexican gray wolf and mentioned its importance as a keystone species in the Southwest. Public awareness of the gray wolf's plight seems to be improving bit by bit, but government action to defend and promote the growth of lobo populations is still lacking. Looking at the vital impact that Mexican gray wolves have on the environment, it's hard to believe how little is being done by the agencies we've entrusted with their protection. They are a keystone species, and the importance of that term cannot be stressed enough. It's sometimes thrown into discussions casually as an emphasizing buzzword, but the term carries the weight of the entire ecosystem as we know it. I find that for me, periodically reflecting on concepts that I underappreciate or misapply helps keep everything in context and refreshes my appreciation for this deeply interconnected world we live in.


Species Survival Keystone species are so named because they play an integral role in the continued functioning of the ecosystem they live in. Just as the grandest arch would crack and crumble were its keystone removed, so too do many delicately balanced ecosystems start to fall apart when certain species are taken out of the picture. All other stones rely on this central piece to maintain their position in the wider structure, and they shift unpredictably when it's removed. Under the best of circumstances, stones close to the center shift their weight onto others and preserve the general structure, but this leaves a much more tenuous and sensitive arrangement than before. In the worst cases, entire structures fall apart, and in falling, some stones are damaged beyond repair. The keystone is an extremely apt metaphor to express the absolute importance of certain species. If only ecosystems could be seen as easily as arches, perhaps people would be more worried about the beautiful structures falling apart around them.


That's where a lot of the challenge in protecting keystone species lies—their impact reaches through enormous systems rather than appearing in single, noticeable points, so people sometimes have difficulty seeing their great importance. When the signs of a declining keystone species go unnoticed, it's tough to convince people (let alone government agencies, though they of all people should know better) to take action. Edu– cation is the solution; never undervalue the importance of sharing your thoughts! Institutionalizing education on keystone species would be even better though, so while you're at it, see if you can have a chat with our elected representatives and government agencies.

I'm all for optimism in the face of changing ecosystems, as my June article on non-native species attests. Change is the nature of nature, after all. However, the human-caused decline of keystone species goes beyond the normal changes with which ecosystems are able to cope. Robert Paine, the scientist who coined the term "keystone species," observed a dramatic decline of species richness (nearly half) after removing the starfish Pisaster ochraceus from sections of an intertidal ecosystem in the Pacific Northwest. While the role that a keystone species plays in an ecosystem can vary dramatically, they each can have similarly enormous impacts on other species in their ecosystem. We usually hear about keystone predators such as P. ochraceus and the Mexican gray wolf, but there are plenty of keystone engineers and mutualists as well. When I was a kid, I loved the cute way that prairie dogs would peek out of their network of burrows. I didn't understand just how important their burrows are to other creatures, though I'm sure it would have made me like them even more. They act as engineers


A basic, useable definition of keystone species is a plant or animal that plays a unique and crucial role in the way an ecosystem functions, and without which the ecosytem would be dramatically different or cease to exist. In their paper “Culturally Defined Keystone Species,” Sergio Cristancho and Joanne Vining of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois, at Urbana/ Champaign propose a definition of cultural keystone species. They write, “…not enough is known about the importance of certain plant and animal species for the cultural stability of human communities. Historically, some animal and plant species have been attributed tremendous spiritual or symbolic value by different cultures. Some of these species are so important that a cultural group may define them as critical elements in their relationship with and adaptation to the environment. ...We propose the concept of Culturally Defined Keystone Species (CKS) to designate those plant and animal species whose existence and symbolic value are essential to the stability of a culture over time.”

Closer to home, the Mexican gray wolf provides all sorts of benefits by regulating grazer populations. An overabundance of grazing animals is bad news for New Mexico's trees, especially when combined with our ongoing drought conditions. Stunting new tree growth has impacts that ripple across the ecosystem as habitat is lost, riparian areas erode, and non-natives are given the opportunity to thrive. Wolves are truly integral to the balance of New Mexico's ecosystems—they hold together architecture more beautiful than anything humans have built, and I hope that as more people come to appreciate this, the government agencies responsible for their protection will step up and truly help them out. Want to know how one plant holds together the ecosystem of western Australia, or how large a domino effect can be seen when keystone species are lost? Ask around, visit the library, or take to the internet! Tell your friends and neighbors to help them understand how truly key these keystone species are, and while you're at it, let me know what you find out too! You can reach me at

The term KEYSTONE is often used casually as an emphasizing buzzword, but it carries the weight of the ENTIRE ECOSYTEM as we know it.

CORN BY ROBIN SEYDEL n thinking about keystone species most of us automatically think in terms of animals, and predatory animals at that: like wolves, bears, mountain lions and others. And while many keystone animals are predators, many are not: e.g. beavers whose dam-building efforts provide the still waters that many species need for survival; prairie dogs whose tunneling channels rainwater into the water table and whose burrowing mixes different layers of soil aerating it; and hummingbirds whose pollination activities ensure a greater diversity of plant life. There are also many plant species that are true keystone species. Specific trees, like the sugar maple are keystones in hardwood forests, or the red mangrove whose roots protect tropical shorelines from erosion and offer protection to small animals and reef fish.

of their ecosystem, and the changes they make help so many other species survive that they're considered a keystone. In addition to directly providing habitat to other ground-dwelling animals, prairie dog tunnels help prevent soil erosion, encourage water infiltration, and counter soil compaction caused by large herbivores. Whitebark pines are similarly important in moderating the erosive effects of precipitation in their ecosystem, and they are a great example of keystone plant species. At the peaks of its Coastal and Rocky Mountain homes, whitebark pine regulates snowpack melt and helps all the plants and animals downhill by creating conditions that make for slower, steadier runoff.

Now during the height of corn harvest with all its delights, not the least of which is getting lost in the Rio Grande Community Farm’s Maize Maze, corn and its importance in our lives is rattling around in my brain. Given the above definition, corn (Zia maize) is clearly a cultural keystone species on which both indigenous populations and modern societal functioning depends. Corn as we know it was developed by Native peoples in, many archeologists believe, the Tehuacan Valley of Mexico. Over a period of thousands of years beginning some 7,000 years ago, the wild grass (Teosinte) became maize as we know it. Corn was the cornerstone of a highly developed social, economic and spiritual system throughout much of the western hemisphere by the time of European colonization. Corn-like pollen that is believed to be 80,000 years old has been found in archeological drill cores 200 feet beneath Mexico City. A study of bat caves here in New Mexico uncovered corn pollen that radiocarbon dates back 5,600 years. Native peoples’ agricultural acumen has given us a grain considered to be one of the world’s most important crops. A crop that we, like the indigenous communities of generations long gone by, continue to depend upon for much of our food and fuel (ethanol).

Given our dependence on corn and its relevance as a “cultural keystone species,” the news back in 2001 that wild stocks in what was the cradle of corn development are now contaminated with genetically modified genes is quite concerning. And although the research done by Dr. Ignacio Chapela created a firestorm of controversy and almost derailed his academic career due to biotech industry pressure, today even the Mexican government acknowledges the contamination. Previous to Dr. Chapela’s report, researchers had assumed that corn varieties, some of which are grown only by subsistence farmers in remote areas, were pristine. For a while the planting of GMO corn was banned in Mexico and scientists and community members continue to express concern that that the foreign genes could act to reduce genetic diversity in the country's native corn varieties and in the wild progenitor of domesticated corn. This contamination has an enormous impact! In some ways it is akin to the extinction or near-extinction of keystone species prevalent in the news: wolves, lions, and panthers to name but a few. The thought of the contamination of our cultural keystone food species is daunting on both an environmental and emotional level. Dr. Chapela has said, “The people are corn, and the corn is the people.” Given this truth, the struggle to maintain GMO-free corn, chile and other keystone sustenance species near and dear to our hearts and to our survival, is indeed food for thought.



September 2015 6



UPDATE BRENT “SHAGGY” EDELEN am a sixth generation beekeeper and a fourth generation domestic beekeeper. My great grandfather, Edward Haefeli, passed through Ellis Island around the turn of the last century, on his way from Switzerland. He had come to America to seek work and medical help for tuberculosis. He made his way to Illinois, where he had family, but found the high humidity of the area aggravated his TB. He continued west towards California.



While crossing the Rockies he found the high, dry mountain air helped this condition considerably. He eventually settled in the San Luis Valley (7,600 ft. in altitude). As was the custom in those days, Great Gramps farmed a living for his family and anything extra was sold or traded within the community. They settled on a nice piece of river bottom next to the Rio Grande. Along with all of the vegetables the farm also had a large apple orchard. Having had experience in Switzerland with honey bees, Great Grampa naturally started a few colonies of bees at the farm to help with pollination, particularly the apples. He was quite

impressed and surprised at the end of the first honey season. The bees had made an extraordinary amount of honey—much more than the family could use. It was traded and sold, with great appreciation from neighbors and friends. The next few years Edward increased his bee hive numbers to accommodate more demand for the light, sweet, and natural “liquid gold.” It wasn’t long until the bees were occupying most of his time. As mechanized farming practices slowly came to light, farmers became more specialized in what they were best at growing. For Gramps it was honey. It was easy for him to produce large honey crops and trade for what the family needed with honey. Thus the first “commercial” beekeeper of the family came to be. My grandfather, John Haefeli, Edward’s son, naturally grew up helping his dad with the bees. Out of the children in the family he was the only one that stayed with the business. John was a teenager during the Great Depression. He was as hard a worker as his dad, and as younger generations tend to do, he was dreaming big dreams about the family honey business. He grew the business by building beehives and expanding the numbers of bees. While the depression had virtually crushed the American economy, commodities such as coffee, flour, sugar, and honey still held their own in the marketplace. Grandpa bought his first delivery truck to deliver honey.

And since John was now one of the largest producers of beeswax in the country, he would not be shipped off to war but would be required to step up production of beeswax for the war effort. So, the business continued to grow. At one point John was the largest beekeeper in the US, maintaining some 12,000+ beehives with four different honey processing plants in three states, and fleet of trucks, and slew of workers. John Haefeli died in 1976. His three TIMES CHANGE children, John Jr., Jay Douglas, and and as we all know Pat (my mother), all grew up in the business. But really, it was only John now, BIGGER ISN’T ALWAYS BETTER. Jr. that expressed interest in running it. I spent all of my summers as a kid I am able to at the honey farm. I despised the hard watch over the bees work of beekeeping, particularly the and produce several getting stung part. So I decided to go RARE, RAW to college, as my mother had done, and leave the hard work behind. HONEYS. After college and a short career in an office, I realized how much I missed working outdoors and how much I loved producing something special. I went back to work for my uncle, John Jr. Working for family is never easy, and so I bought 150 colonies of bees and started out on my own. I currently have about 600 beehives and often wonder how my recent ancestors were able to manage such large numbers of hives. Times change and as we all know now, bigger isn’t always better. I am able to watch over the bees and produce several rare raw honeys. EDITORS NOTE: La Montañita Co-op’s Distribution Center is pleased to be distributing Brent’s honey throughout our foodshed. You will find jars of Simply Honey in the grocery aisle of your favorite Co-op location as well as in the bulk honey dispensers in the bulk liquid area of select Co-op locations.



BY KATHERINE MULLÉ ut... where do you get your protein?” If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, I’m sure you’ve been asked this question more times than you can count, and probably accompanied with furrowed brows and wide eyes to boot. If herbivores had a dollar for each time they’ve been asked this question, the “plant strong” movement might just have more monetary wealth than the ever-booming meat industry (what a world to imagine)!


And while it may not be surprising that adults are questioned, it may be more so that children are as well. As I was raised a vegetarian child, I’ve experienced this first hand. Even as a little girl, many of the adults in my life—my teachers, relatives, friends’ mothers—would often enquire, and many times when my parents weren’t around to answer for me.


While it’s certainly a common question, and although it may be one that you find yourself growing tired of answering, that doesn’t mean it’s not a good one to receive. This question means that meat eaters are interested in your lifestyle, or at the very least, bewildered enough to want to know a little more

about it. This curiosity presents us with an opportunity to educate—to plant the idea that the common beliefs so many of us heard growing up (Read: “You need meat for protein,” or “You need milk for strong bones,” etc.) just aren’t true. With the new school year just underway, recognizing the prevalence of this question presents the valuable opportunity to educate your child sooner rather than later about why, exactly, you choose to eat as you do, and what alternatives you use to ensure that your family gets enough protein. Even as a young child, I knew how to answer these sorts of questions (I think I was the only 5year-old in my class who knew what a “legume” was!), and looking back, I’m happy that I had this knowledge—that I knew that the beans, tofu, and rich leafy greens my mother added to our meals helped ensure we got enough protein and calcium. In educating your child, this may also mean brushing up on the facts yourself. This might involve reviewing how your dinner staples fare nutritionally, reading labels more closely, or maybe even learning about a new pro-



SEPTEMBER 5, 11:30AM–2PM Burgers and Veggie Options! Start the holiday weekend right with a delicious BBQ at your Santa Fe Co-op!

tein source or two. While many know that beans, whole grains, tofu, legumes, etc. are great sources of protein, other excellent sources may be less obvious. For example, just 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast, the well-known vegan delight that is often added to recipes or sprinkled over popcorn and salads for a nutty, almost cheesy flavor, has a whopping 8 grams of protein—that’s more than beef’s 7 grams per ounce (about 2 tablespoons)! And nutritional yeast is not the only veggie product that surpasses beef—so does the peanut butter on the kids’ PB&Js, and the spirulina you secretly add to their morning smoothie (among others!). What’s more—just as it’s great for your kids to know where they’re getting their nutrients from and learn more about the food they eat, it’s also as important, maybe even more so, to address the question at the heart of the matter: “Why do we eat this way in the first place?” Whether your dietary choices developed out of a respect for animals, the environment, your health, or a mixture of the three, relaying the important pros of your diet to your children will help them not only to understand your lifestyle more fully, but also to embrace it. Because after all, while children have to eat what their parents make at home, once school begins and they enter a world of meaty and cheesy foods, when it comes to deciding which proteins to fill up on, the choice becomes their own. In educating them, you will not only give them the tools they need to answer any questions thrown their way, but you will also enable them to make an educated decision about what they eat outside of your home—something that too many kids (not to mention adults) unfortunately lack. What an awesome lesson to kick off the school year.


BREAST WISHES FUND Breast Wishes is a non-profit organization made up of caring individuals with deep knowledge of breast cancer treatments and prevention best practices. Breast Wishes has served thousands of people with cancer and those concerned with prevention. Breast Wishes Fund is trailblazing a movement, participating in a new paradigm for breast cancer awareness utilizing the brand line “Give US Choices”.





September 2015 7




BY BOB TERO, INTERIM GENERAL MANAGER nother month has flown and by the time you read this we will have finished our 2015–2016 fiscal year budgeting process. This is a collaborative process that includes everyone in our leadership team: store, department, and administrative team leaders. We welcome all input from our staff, recognizing that everyone has a positive stake in the process and its outcomes. Each store team leader meets with the General Manager and John Heckes, our CFO, to finalize their individual budgets. The GM and the CFO finalize the entire organizational budget for the coming year which we then share with the Board of Directors. As an approximately 39 million dollar organization with 6 locations and a distribution center, this budget is a highly sophisticated document and a critical planning tool as you might well imagine.


In keeping with Co-op values we are pleased to announce that we have hired from within the ranks of our knowledgeable and dedicated staff to

fill a newly-created position. We welcome Daniel Hodges, former Front End Department Team Leader at the Rio Grande location, to fill our new IT Help Desk Technician position. This is about advancing the Co-op into the 21st Century and better utilizing the technological tools available. This will also enable us to greatly improve our operational efficiencies. You will be hearing more about this in the future, but we know this will help us better serve you, our member-owners, and all Co-op shoppers. On page one of this issue of the Co-op Connection News, please be sure to read the announcement of our newest project, Southwest Development Services. This project is both ambitious and exciting and we will keep you updated as to the progress as we move forward.

September Calendar

of Events 9/5

BBQ at the Santa Fe Co-op! 11:30–2pm

9/10 Co-op Focus Cafe 6:30pm, see page 1 9/15 BOD Meeting, Immanuel Church, 5:30pm 9/21 Member Engagement Committee 9/25 Symphony of the Soil at the CCA, see page 4

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.

We are working on many other new projects and strategies to strengthen our position in the marketplace and grow the cooperative economy in our communities. More to come! As always I enjoy hearing from you, our valued memberowners, as we are here to serve you. Please contact me at, or 217-2028.

BROCCOLI STEM COOKERY: THE HEART OF IT This shift began when I was at the farmers market recently, hanging out near the end of market like I do, waiting for the deals to come to me. Sure enough, a farmer offered me the rest of his broccoli—about 20 pounds—for 20 bucks. It was a screaming deal on fresh, organic broccoli, and I accepted without hesitation.

Flash in the Pan



BY ARI LEVAUX used to grumble at grocery stores that sell broccoli heads shaped like lollipops, in which tiny crowns sit atop lanky, woody stems. I have even gone so far as to break those stems off, right there in the produce aisle, and leave them in the cooler while I only purchased the heads. And I felt completely justified in doing so. The grocer was trying to charge me crown prices for something that was mostly stem. They weren't going to play me like that.


It isn't news to me that the stems are edible. But until recently I haven't been inclined to eat them, much less do the work required to prepare them. By work, I guess I just mean peeling them, something I'm happy to do with onions. But onions are necessary, while broccoli stems are a burden, precisely because they are edible. You can't throw them away without wasting food. By my relationship with broccoli stems has recently changed. I now eat them, and not out of guilt, but desire.


Back in the kitchen, I broke the crowns into florets and prepared them for freezing. After blanching them for three minutes in boiling water, I plunged them into cold water to cool them quickly and fix their bright green color. Then I packed them into quart freezer bags. When the steam dissipated and my bags of blanched broccoli were in the freezer, I still faced a pile of broccoli stems, feeling a mixture of annoyance and guilt. One stem I could have tossed to the chickens without much of an issue, but the mountain of stalks I faced that day had to be climbed. I had been operating under the assumption that the stems are not only less tasty than the crowns, but offer fewer nutrients too, and are more labor-intensive to cook. But it turns out broccoli stems have nearly the same nutrients as the crowns, plus more fiber. Those nutrients include sulforaphane, a substance that has been shown to protect against several types of cancer. Broccoli is also suspected to help rid the body of toxins, thanks to a large study in a polluted area of China. So anything you can do to eat more broccoli, and throw away less, is going to be good for your body as well as your wallet. While there is the extra labor involved in peeling the stalks, in some ways they are also more forgiving to pre-

broccoli hearts


broccoli stems clove garlic, minced tablespoons hoisin sauce tablespoons soy sauce tablespoon sugar tablespoon chili flakes, or a crushed dried chili pepper (optional) 1 scallion, chopped Oil or bacon, for the pan Peel and slice the broccoli stems. If you want to be fancy, slice them on an angle. Cook the stems in oil or bacon for about five minutes, until soft, on medium heat. While they

cook, combine soy sauce, hoisin sauce and sugar. Add the garlic and chili flakes, and stir it around. After about a minute, add the sauce mixture. Stirfry for another minute. Remove from heat. Garnish with chopped green onions, and serve. BROCCOLI STEM SOUP This soup has turned out to be the only way my kids will ever eat any form of broccoli. It works as a great chilled soup in summertime, and also would be lovely served warm in the colder months. It's similar to vichyssoise, the famous French potato leek soup. 5 broccoli stems, peeled and chopped into medallions 2 medium carrots, sliced

pare. They aren't as easy to overcook as the florets, which turn a dark shade of green, and become mushy and bitter, while the stems only get sweeter with prolonged cooking. As for the flavor, it's neither better nor worse, but different. And delicious. Since the fateful farmers market when I acquired all of that broccoli, I've made broccoli stem and scallop fried rice, broccoli stems with Ethiopian berbere spices, broccoli stem chips, Thai-style coconut curry with broccoli stems, broccoli stems with bacon, as well as my two favorites: broccoli stem soup and stir-fried broccoli stems with hoisin sauce. Not once during this binge did I feel that I was eating a 2nd class vegetable. Those stems were so good, in fact, that I think some different vocabulary is in order, words that convey the dignity and supreme edibility that these plant parts deserve. Thus, I'm going to start calling them broccoli hearts, and the slices thereof: medallions. And today I'm the proud owner of a few bags of blanched broccoli heart medallions in the freezer, alongside the crowns. Knowing what I now know, don't be surprised if I reach for them first. Below are my two favorite recipes for broccoli hearts. Both can be made with fresh broccoli stems, or with broccoli heart medallions from the freezer. (By the way, everything that can be said about broccoli stems also holds true for cauliflower stems.)

2 medium potatoes, sliced 1 medium onion or leek, sliced 2 cloves garlic, minced 1/4 cup red lentils A pinch of fennel seeds Beef, chicken or veggie stock Cream, sour cream, or mayo as a garnish (optional) Add all of the ingredients to a pan, and cover them with stock by at least an inch. Grind in a generous amount of black pepper. Simmer until soft. Let cool to the point where it can be pureed. Puree. Serve with cream, sour cream, yogurt or mayo if desired.

La Montañita’s

Our New Mexico cheese makers are local masters of traditional homestyle taste and unexpected combinations. The Old Windmill Dairy of Estancia and Tucumcari Mountain Cheese Factory are both award winners, each with their own areas of expertise.


Cheese is fun. It is also mysterious and strange with Ed and Michael of The Old Windmill Dairy

its assorted textures, tastes, colors, sizes and smells. It loves company in creative combinations or stands center stage on its own. From the seemingly common cheddar to the historic Cheshire Mammoth Cheese weighing in at more than 1,000 pounds, eating cheese can be an extraordinary experience.

Our New Mexico cheese makers are local masters of traditional homestyle taste and unexpected combinations.

It’s true. Cheese can improve your mood. Those little crunchy clusters in cheeses like Romano, Parmesan and aged cheddars are really pockets of tyrosine, an amino acid that is both flavorful and good for your brain. It fires up mood-boosting neurotransmitters that stimulate focus, adrenaline and pleasure. Wow! Cheese is calming. Another amino acid—tryptophan—has been shown to reduce stress, provide relief from hypertension and induce sleep. Sweet dreams! Cheese helps prevent tooth decay. By promoting the flow of saliva, it eliminates sugar and acids from the mouth. It is also good for your bones and muscles with its high calcium content and numerous vitamins and minerals. Betcha didn’t know that!

Ed and Michael Lobaugh began their dream in 2002 in Estancia, NM, forging fences, erecting a building and buying two Nubian goats. Michael was ready to apply his corporate training and explore entrepreneurship based on living a simpler lifestyle. Ed’s passion for goat farming combines his childhood experiences with his professional career as a psychiatric nurse practitioner, working with children and families. The Old Windmill Dairy milks Nubian goats, as their milk contains more butter fat than any other goat milk. The goats are fed Grade A alfalfa, silage, grains and molasses for a healthy diet. They are well cared for, and even given names like Franny, Milk and Princess Grace. They have accumulated numerous national awards with their semi-soft goat chévres. The dairy attributes its success and growth to its customers and partnering with other farms and local businesses like La Montañita Co-op. These partnerships have created jobs, economic stability and increased the number of handcrafted local artisan cheeses. For more info and recipes go to

CREAMY SPINACH SOUP Serves 4 1 3/4 lbs farm fresh spinach 1 tbsp olive oil 1 large onion, chopped 1 oz wholemeal flour 1 1/2 pints whole milk Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper Pinch nutmeg, ground Two 5 oz containers of The Old Windmill Dairy “Great Plains” fromage frais Wash the spinach thoroughly and trim away any tough stalks. Shred the spinach finely. Caramelize the onions in the frying pan by adding oil and onions to medium heat skillet. Add in flour to the onion mix. Slowly add the milk while stirring to create a cream gravy-like stock. Stir the spinach into the onion and milk mixture and cook for five minutes over a gentle heat, adding a little water or milk if the mixture becomes too thick. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste. Put the soup into a liquidizer or food processor and blend for about 30 seconds, until the spinach has been roughly chopped. Return the soup to the saucepan, cover and cook for another five minutes. Stir all but two tablespoons of the fromage frais into the soup and reheat gently without boiling. Pour the soup into individual bowls and garnish with a swirl of the remaining fromage frais. —

Thanks to,,,,


support your local foodshed producers year-round. they are always making something good.

Cheese is high in calcium and rich in vitamin B, aiding calcium absorption. Award-winning Feta, Organic and Artisan Cheeses from Tucumcari, New Mexico



TMCF Cheese Wheels

TUCUMCARI MOUNTAIN CHEESE FACTORY Chuck Krause, a fourth-generation Wisconsin cheese maker with over 40 years experience, has been practicing his craft in New Mexico since 1995, when he found and converted an old Coca Cola bottling plant into his cheese-making facility. Tucumcari Mountain Cheese Factory (TMCF) began modestly with a small business loan and second-hand equipment wrangled at auctions. Chuck notes: “We are still tiny, compared to other cheese plants, but as Co-op members and customers know, small is beautiful!” Beginning with organic and natural cow’s milk from Schaap Dairies in Clovis, NM, 10,000 pounds of feta are produced every week, made by hand. Ninety-five percent of TMCF’s product is this award-winning feta. TMCF also produces yellow and white cheddars, some with green chiles, Chimayo Jack, Gouda and Muenster. Chuck especially enjoys creating fine Asiago, an Italian cheese similar to Parmesan and Asadero, a Mexican melting cheese used in quesadillas. Look for his private labels with chile, tequila and roasted garlic. Word has gotten out about these handmade cheeses, and orders are coming in from LA, Chicago and New York. La Montañita shoppers can be especially pleased to have

Aged cheeses contain little or no lactose. The older the cheese, the lower the amount of lactose.

A Family Tradition Since 1960

these cheeses brought to us directly from Tucumcari by the Co-op Distribution Center, delivering most of our local products statewide.

GRILLED APPLE, ONION & AGED CHEDDAR FLATBREAD This combination just simply works. Sliced apples and cheddar are a long-standing, cherished snack. However, when you grill flatbread, red onions and apples, the depth of flavor greatly intensifies. Ingredients: 2–3 medium organic apples, thinly sliced into wedges 1 small red onion, thinly sliced 1–1 1/2 cup shredded aged cheddar cheese 2 tbsp freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves Salt and pepper, to taste Olive oil Naan or other flatbread Drizzle some olive oil on an indoor grill pan over medium-high heat and grill the bread on both sides until golden brown grill marks form (about 1 minute per side). Remove from heat and place on a parchment -lined baking sheet or pizza stone. Grill apples and onions until they become soft and grill marks form. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.

Schwebach’s famous local sweet corn has arrived! Schwebach Farm is a small family-owned and operated farm in the Estancia Valley in the town of Moriarty, New Mexico. Their love of growing spans the generations with Farmer Dean and his family being the sixth generation of farmers. The current farmland in Moriarty has been worked by the Schwebach Family for over 45 years. They bring to market the highest quality, nutritious, local, non-GMO and pesticide-free produce. Also, look for their green beans, carrots, summer squash, onions, tomatoes, kale, chard, lettuce and peas brought to you by our Co-op Distribution Center.

SWEET CORN PUREE & FRESH CORN SALSA 4 cups chicken stock 3 large ears of fresh sweet corn 1/2 tsp garlic, chopped 2 tbsp yellow onion, chopped Pinch of fresh thyme 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream 2 tbsp cornstarch 2 tbsp cold water 8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional) Fresh Corn Salsa for garnish In a Dutch oven, bring the chicken stock to a simmer over medium heat. Slice the corn kernels from the cobs and add to the chicken stock along with the garlic, onion and thyme. Cover and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. Puree the corn mixture using a blender or hand mixer and return the puree to the Dutch oven. Add the cream and bring to a simmer over low heat.

Mix the cornstarch and cold water in a small cup and add to the puree. Stir to thicken. Divide among four bowls. Top with crumbled bacon and Fresh Corn Salsa.

CORN SALSA 2 large ears fresh sweet corn 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped 1 jalapeño pepper, chopped 2 tbsp chopped red onion 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 poblano pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped 2 tbsp chopped cilantro 2 tsp kosher salt 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper 1 tsp red wine vinegar 3 tbsp olive oil Slice the corn kernels from the cobs and place in a medium-sized bowl. Combine the corn with the other ingredients. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving. —

Assemble by placing apples and onions on flatbread and top with cheeses and thyme. Bake in a 375º oven for 5–8 minutes or until warmed through and the cheese is bubbling and golden brown. Re-season with salt and pepper, if needed and desired. —




September 2015 10

VEGAN FOR A REASON YUMMY CORN CHOWDER From Adrienne Weiss Serves: 6 / Time: 45 minutes Fresh, sweet corn, especially at this time of year, calls for many uses. Along with delicious corn, potatoes give this soup a creamy, hearty body and the jalapeños give it just the right kick. 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch pieces 1 large red bell pepper, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups) 1 cup carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces 1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch pieces 2 stalks celery, finely chopped 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and thinly sliced (or 1 for less heat) 2 teaspoons dried rosemary 2 teaspoons dried thyme 2 teaspoons dried dill A few dashes freshly ground black pepper 1 teaspoon salt 4 cups vegetable broth 3 cups fresh* corn kernels (about 5 ears) 2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch chunks 2 bay leaves Pinch cayenne Juice of 1 lime 1/2 cup cashew milk or plant-based milk of choice 1 tablespoon maple syrup or agave *When out of season, frozen corn kernels work fine In stockpot, sauté onions, bell pepper, carrots and jalapeños in olive oil over medium heat until onions are translucent, about 7 minutes. Add rosemary, thyme, dill, black pepper and salt; sauté 1 more minute. Add broth, corn, potatoes, bay leaf and cayenne. Cover and bring to boil, lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Uncover and simmer 10 more minutes to allow liquid to reduce a bit. Remove bay leaf and purée half the chowder, either using a handheld immersion blender or by transferring half to a blender, blending until smooth and then adding back to pot. Add lime juice, milk and maple syrup or agave and simmer 5 more minutes. Let sit for at least 10 minutes and serve. This soup tastes even yummier the next day after everything has melded together overnight.


Calories 233; Calories from fat 54; Total fat 6g; Saturated fat 1g; Trans Fat 0g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 818mg; Total carbohydrate 42g; Dietary Fiber 5g; Sugars 13g; Protein 6g SPINACH BASIL PATE From Cheryl Traverse Serves: 4 1/2 cup raw cashews 2 cups spinach or greens leaves (kale, collards, or chard), blanched first if desired Small handful of fresh basil leaves—we are using lemon basil A couple of fresh mint leaves (spearmint or peppermint) 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste) Black pepper, freshly ground 1/2 Serrano chile, seeded and diced 1 medium potato, cooked (you can dice this before cooking, it works well) Blend cashews, greens, basil, mint, chile sea salt and 1/2 cup of water until smooth. Add the potato, check the taste, and add seasonings as desired. At this point you can put directly into the bowl you want to serve it in, or you can layer it with roasted red peppers and basil leaves to make it look really pretty. You can also use it for a sandwich spread—your choice. We like to serve it with chickpea flatbread and a dollop of smashed avocado! NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION PER SERVING:

Calories 163; Calories from fat 75; Total fat 9g; Saturated fat 1g; Trans Fat 0g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 318mg; Total carbohydrate 18g; Dietary Fiber 3g; Sugars 2g; Protein 6g CHICKPEA FLATBREAD From Cheryl Traverse Serves: 8 2 cups chickpea flour (garbanzo flour) 1 teaspoon cumin seed, toasted and ground 1 teaspoon rosemary minced 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes 1 teaspoon sea salt 4 cups water, as needed In a large bowl, combine chickpea flour, cumin, rosemary, pepper flakes, and sea salt. Gradually whisk in water, adding more water as needed to bring batter to the consistency of heavy cream. Preheat oven to 400° F, grease an 8” x 10” sided baking sheet, and line it with parchment. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes or until the bread is brown on the edges and firm in the center (check often). Let cool before slicing and cut into wedges. You can store this in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Reheat in a 250° oven until warm. NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION PER SERVING:

Calories 119; Calories from fat 18; Total fat 2g; Saturated fat 0g; Trans Fat 0g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 407mg; Total carbohydrate 18g; Dietary Fiber 3g; Sugars 3g; Protein 7g VEGAN CAESAR SALAD From Cheryl Traverse Serves: 6 Chickpea Croutons 1 can of cooked chickpeas (approx. 15 oz.), or cook your own! 1 tablespoon olive oil 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste) 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, or a couple fresh cloves of garlic, chopped finely Vegan Parmesan 2 tablespoons raw sesame seeds 3 tablespoons hemp seeds



2 tablespoons sunflower seeds 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste) 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast Dressing 1/2 cup sunflower seeds (pre-soaked overnight) 1/4 cup water Juice from 1/2 fresh lemon 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 2 cloves of fresh garlic or 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce 1 teaspoon capers Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste Salad 1 bunch lacinato kale, de-stemmed and chopped (approx. 5 handfuls) 1 1/2 head romaine lettuce, chopped (not too finely) Chickpea Croutons Preheat oven to 400° F, drain and rinse chickpeas, place in a tea cloth and rub. Place them on a large, rimmed baking sheet, drizzle oil on and roll to coat. Toss with sea salt and seasonings. Roast them for 20 minutes, roll them around, and roast them another 15–20 minutes until browned nicely; then let them cool. Dressing Put all of the ingredients in the blender and blend on high until the dressing is very smooth. If needed, add a splash of water to get it blending. Season to taste, remove from the blender, and set aside. Vegan Parmesan Process till finely chopped in a food processor, pulsing to make sure all the ingredients are combined. Check the taste and season to your liking. Assemble the Salad When you’re ready to serve the salad, add the dressing onto the lettuce/kale mixture and toss until coated. Sprinkle on the roasted chickpeas and vegan parmesan. NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION PER SERVING:

Calories 274; Calories from fat 131; Total fat 15g; Saturated fat 2g; Trans Fat 0g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 590mg; Total carbohydrate 25g; Dietary Fiber 13g; Sugars 4g; Protein 13g SCRUMPTIOUS FALL SALAD From Cheryl Traverse Serves: 4 If you happen to know anyone that grows some nice butternut squash, get some because butternut is sublime when done like this!

1 bunch lacinato kale, stemmed and chopped 1 bunch rainbow chard, chopped 1 or 2 ripe Bartlett pears, or your favorite in-season pear, cored and thinly sliced Seeds from 1 medium to large pomegranate—cut it in half, then stick your fingers into the pockets of seeds and put them in a bowl, removing the bits of the pomegranate stuck to the seeds that are not edible 1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds, either raw or lightly toasted with sea salt Small handful of fresh sage leaves (for the dressing) 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced 2 tablespoons coconut oil, for roasting butternut 2 Fuyu persimmons, thinly sliced. Fuyu persimmons are a cinnamon-flecked and tasty fall fruit 1/2 cup grapeseed oil 4 tablespoon apple cider vinegar 1 bulb of fennel, shaved thinly (sliced) Preheat your oven to 400° F. Toss the butternut in a bit of coconut oil and add sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Put it on a roasting pan and slide it in the oven for 35–40 minutes. You are going to lightly fry the sage leaves in a couple tablespoons of grapeseed oil. Heat that up in a small sauté pan, lower the burner once it’s hot, and put your sage leaves in. They will sizzle and fry. Turn them over to fry evenly, remove from the pan, and set aside. Once that oil is cooled off and your squash is finished baking, get ready to assemble! Put the greens on the bottom of a large flat plate and begin to layer the salad. Start with the pear, then the persimmon, the butternut, and the fennel. To make the dressing, mix up the grapeseed oil, apple cider vinegar, and some sea salt and black pepper to taste. Cooking the sage in the oil gives it a great flavor! Equally distribute the pumpkin seeds and crumble up the sage leaves, then drizzle the dressing on top of the salad plate. At this stage, you can add more seasonings to suit your tastes. Let this sit there a moment to marinate and you are ready to serve! NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION PER SERVING:

Calories 629; Calories from fat 384; Total fat 43g; Saturated fat 10g; Trans Fat 0g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 215mg; Total carbohydrate 59g; Dietary Fiber 14g; Sugars 32g; Protein 11g Special thanks to Cheryl Traverse and Adrienne Weiss for these delectable recipes. Cheryl is an ardent vegan for animal humane and environmental reasons.

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September 2015 12






EPIDEMIC? BY MARCIA LEE, KIDS FOCUS n US classrooms, beginning in preschool, kids are asked to do two things—sit and be silent. Preventing kids from talking and moving shuts down the centers in the brain that support learning, focus, and self-regulation. In other words, our classroom model creates the very behavior that the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) calls ADHD. Then we force kids into a medical straitjacket to mimic the focused behavior we prevented them from developing in the first place! In Finland, for every 45 minutes of learning in the classroom, children do 15 minutes of movement. US schools have gone in the opposite direction, stripping out PE and recess, and refusing to let kids move in the classroom.


It’s not rocket science—it’s brain science! Current neuroscience sheds the most light on ADHD type behavior in kids. A normal kid’s brain is not wired to develop high level cognitive functions and self-regulation until around age 10 through the teenage years. Asking preschoolers to act like they’re older just doesn’t work. When ADHD medications are used to force focus and self-regulation at a young age, the child loses the opportunity to develop the areas of the brain that support more mature behavior and concentration. ADHD drugs do not cure ADHD because no biological illness or injury exists in the first place. That’s why Michael Weisend, neuroscientist at the Mind Research Network, calls ADHD “a garbage bag diagnosis.” Ritalin can force anyone to focus, but that doesn’t mean a child has ADHD. Fighter pilots use it for focus on combat missions. Both the FDA and DSM admit that there are no brain scans or blood tests that prove ADHD exists. Brain scans don’t work at the brain cell level so their results can’t provide accurate information. ADHD drugs cannot heal anything—because there is no physical

better job than they can. What happened to selfmotivation and building a child’s confidence to be the best and brightest they can be? disease or injury there to heal, just a set of challenging behaviors. Psychiatric medications like Ritalin conceal rather than treat the real causes of children’s behavioral difficulties. The Albuquerque Journal article “Fighting to Focus” (6/8/15) stated that ADHD medications have a “long, solid safety record” and leave the body within hours—both are blatant lies. ADHD drugs have dozens of mild as well as severe side effects. ADHD drugs immediately limit up to 30% of the blood flow to the brain and disrupt hormones and neurotransmitters at the cellular level during the most critical periods of brain growth in a child’s life. No long range testing has been done to see what these medications will do to a child’s brain and physical growth later in life even after they stop taking them. The consequences of the use of ADHD medication on children can be devastating. You only have to look at a young child newly taking Ritalin to recognize the zombie affect, stomach aches, insomnia, mood swings, stunted growth, and lack of appetite at a time when a healthy appetite is essential to a growing brain and body. Children consistently complain that ADHD drugs make them feel sick. So doctors add additional drugs to mask the ill effects of the original medication. Severe “side effects” include depression, aggression and suicide. And every year the recommended age for prescribing ADHD drugs gets younger, in spite of repeated warnings from the FDA that ADHD medication can be dangerous to children’s health. The ADHD label can also be emotionally crippling. Children on ADHD medication tend to believe they have broken brains and that only a pill will allow them to think, focus and self-regulate. On ADHD medication, young kids lose self-confidence and their zest for learning. They believe a pill can do a

SEPT. 10

We have the power to stop these lies and make the ADHD epidemic disappear. As parents, teachers, and counselors, here are just a few powerful strategies you can implement for your children right now to build sharp brains and better behavior: 1. Get kids up and moving in American classrooms. Cross-lateral movement is safe and easy and helps balance the brain quickly so that children can eagerly give 2000% in the classroom without being drugged into compliance. 2. Just say NO to drugs! Stop medicating children for a bogus disorder called ADHD. Ask a medical professional to help wean your medicated child off the medication safely and carefully. Remember! Ritalin and other ADHD medications are Schedule II controlled narcotics that carry the same serious dangers as cocaine. 3. Start asking questions and exploring the causes of a child’s struggle to focus and self-regulate. Does your child get enough sleep? Doctors speculate that 25% of behavior labeled ADHD is actually just sleep deprivation. Does your child get nutritious food and lots of protein to build essential brain networks for learning and memory? Does your child have wise restrictions on screen time (i.e., computer, video games, tablets, smart phones, TV, etc.)? Every hour of screen time can increase the risk of ADHDtype behavior by 10%. 4. Explore positive behavior management and parenting and teacher training courses that help improve discipline for challenging behaviors and promote a positive relationship between parent, teacher and child. My deepest appreciation to Marilyn Wedge, Ph.D. and her book A Disease Called Childhood. Marcia Lee is the founder of Kids Focus, an innovative movement program for every classroom that helps kids focus and self-regulate in minutes. Contact Marcia Lee for Kids Focus Workshops and private lessons in ABQ. Website: Email: Phone: 949-468-9841


CO-OP CAFE AT THE SANTA FE FARMERS’ MARKET PAVILION AT THE RAILYARD Enjoy a delicious local, natural foods dinner with your Co-op friends and fellow owners. Participate in an exciting discussion led by Santa Fe community leaders on 21st Century trends in food, farming, health and community-owned economics and a Co-op Focus Cafe.

Sept. 10, 6:30pm, 2340 Alamo Ave. SE., Albuquerque. Join the La Montañita Board, Staff and fellow members at the second round of the Co-op Café: Strategic thinking for the Co-op of our future. Brainstorm what we want our Co-op to be and how it can better meet our community needs. To RSVP: contact Lisa Banwarth-Kuhn at or Robin at 505-217-2027 or


CO-OP TURNS 40 YEARS OLD IN 2016! Over the next year, we invite you to participate in a series of community discussions to think about cooperative economics in the next 40 years.



D ESE RT w w w. n m w a t e r c o l l a bo r a t i v e . o r g



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back to

SCHOOL BY AMYLEE UDELL or the first time since having my oldest almost 14 years ago, I have a child in school. "Back to School" now has a tangible meaning for me. Our years of home school are over and I'm living a new reality: having to have someone out of the house by a certain (very early) hour each morning. I can’t help but wonder, "How have y'all done it all these years?” I researched, posted, scrolled and polled to find back to school (BTS) organizational ideas to make the entire school year go smoothly for your time, energy and financial budgets.


Haven’t a Thing to Wear! Do you really need a BTS wardrobe? You can buy clothes frugally throughout the year and/or as needed. But, the truth is, BTS time is often a good time to take stock of what a child has and what is needed. Of course, thrift shopping is a great way to get your kids covered. If you have a child who's tough on clothes or wants to wear the same pants every day, investing in a few newer, good-quality pieces that will last might be a better investment than a cart full of thrift store items. As someone who does not enjoy clothes shopping (but was blessed with three girls), I use an idea of my mother-in-law's as my girls get older: Give each child a budget for the year/season and let them buy as they want. "Here's $XX to spend on your clothes. That's all you get this year/season." If your child spends it on fancy shoes and one shirt that will likely provide some good lessons. This exercise gives kids freedom and teaches them to prioritize comfort vs fashion, classics vs statements, quantity vs quality, all within the given budget. There are probably some adults that might benefit from this, too! Another idea for clothing is to host or participate in a clothing swap. This could even be done in a park with folks getting right down to business to decrease any expenses. Or you could make it a shindig and share food, as well. Planning for Stress-Free Menus Food is a huge part of all our budgets whether or not we have kids in school. We're all busy, and school and its accompanying extracurricular activities keep us that way. Plan your menus to reduce the stress of meal preparation and allow for those family meal times. This keeps you within your budget, gives higher nutritional value and makes take-out runs non existent. Meal planning is invaluable! Save meal prep time by

How can we PREPARE and SUPPORT our kids’ bodies for school? GOOD FOOD IS THE FIRST AND BEST STEP. That’s true at any TIME and any STAGE. making freezer meals regularly so you can grab a meal from your supply, drop it in the slow cooker and return home to a warm meal. Breakfasts: I've always favored the make-ahead breakfast. Crockpot breakfasts or baking the night before allowed me to sleep longer in the morning and reduce morning kitchen mess. They also gave me a more peaceful morning as we eased into the day. How easy it would be to give everyone cereal every morning! But I don't find that the path to balanced nutrition or checkbooks. Also when we eat cereal, everyone is famished an hour later. So we all need some make-ahead and other time efficient strategies to get real, solid food into everyone in the morning. Bonus points if older children can manage these on their own. Here are a Few Ideas • SMOOTHIE PACKS: Into bags or jars, place pre-cut fruit and veggies, yogurt or kefir, nut butters, any protein or green powders and your other smoothie additions. Freeze. The night before, remove one pack and place in fridge. In the morning, toss into blender with ice for quick smoothie. Can be prepared days to weeks ahead of time. • OAT OR CHIA SEED PORRIDGE: Find lots of recipes online, but these make for great warm weather breakfasts. Mix oats (from groats to rolled) with any type of milk, dried fruit, coconut, nuts and flax or other seeds. Top with fresh or frozen fruit. Place in refrigerator to thicken into a pudding-like consistency. In the morning, grab 'n go. • MUFFINS: Traditional sweet or savory egg/omelet type. Make several batches and freeze. Take out as many as you need and reheat in the morning. Prep weeks to months ahead of time. • PANCAKES: Make a large batch and freeze with wax paper in between; in the morning, heat in the toaster. Prep weeks to months ahead of time. • MUFFIN OR PANCAKE BATTER: Make a big batch of batter that stores in the fridge. In the evening or morning, pour and bake as many as needed. Great when you want convenience with fresh-baked comfort.

KEEPING KIDS HEALTHY DURING THE SCHOOL YEAR By Jennifer Quinn, Nob Hill Wellness Department Manager


T'S BACK TO SCHOOL TIME and as parents look for ways to keep kids happy and healthy, La Montañita's Wellness Department offers a few tips!!

Gaia's Kids Black Elderberry Syrup is an excellent yummy syrup to help boost the immune system and help ward off colds and flu! Co-op herbal extracts for kids such as Kid's Echinacea Plus and Kid's Cough are highly effective in helping to boost immunity and treating a cough and scratchy throat.

Wishgarden's Kick It Immune is a high potency herbal extract with echinacea, elder flower, osha and yerba santa to help kick out a lingering cold with runny nose and sore throat. Boiron's Coldcalm for kids treats all types of colds. Hyland's Kids Cold n' Cough is a terrific homeopathic remedy for all types of colds, tastes great and has no side effects!! Remember to help your children eat well and get lots of rest!!! All of us in all the Wellness Departments throughout the La Montañita Co-op family of locations are here to help you. Please don’t hesitate to ask for help in choosing your wellness products.

• OATMEAL: It's quick. You can soak the oats overnight and they'll cook up in a few minutes. You can also make oatmeal in the crockpot or pressure cooker the night before. A great freezer meal idea is baked oatmeal. Pre-mix everything and defrost overnight. Turn the oven on in the morning to bake. • OTHER FREEZER IDEAS: Pre-make and wrap breakfast burritos, English muffin breakfast sandwiches, hash brown casseroles or quiches.

Lunches and Snacks Make batches and package your items. If you have more time than money, it might be worthwhile to buy raisins, nuts, chips or crackers in bulk and then repackage appropriate portions. You can also do homemade yogurt, fruit rolls or granola bars and either do fewer (in the case of yogurt) or freeze for later. Some of the breakfast ideas also work here. One friend shared what she does with her family: "For lunches I make about 50 sandwiches at a time and freeze them, stock the bottom fridge drawer with fruits, veggies, and cheese sticks, and the snack cabinet with granola bars and chips etc. Then the kids have the job of making their own lunches in the morning, but really all they have to do is grab the stuff I already stocked." Sounds great! Though doing the stocking can be easier said than done if you're not using pre-packaged items. Let's not forget the power of leftovers. It's OK for kids to take dinner food for lunch. Invest in a good thermos or lunch box "system" so that kids can take soup, meatloaf, kale salad or any other type of dinner deliciousness with ease. There are also reusable sandwich wraps, "baggies" and even juice box options. Depending on how your family does lunch, these might be worth considering. Staying Healthy Lastly there is BTS health. How can we prepare and support our kids' bodies for school? Good food is the first and best step. That's true at any time and any stage. With more and more studies showing that children are chronically deprived of sleep, making sure our children are getting plenty is another step. Start adjusting your children to an earlier bedtime as the school year approaches. Next, does your child need any immune boosting help for the school year? Not only is your child surrounded by more children, but for some children school can be stressful. Stress impacts our immune systems. Some suggestions that might help on both of these fronts: an essential oil foot rub before bedtime, a relaxing bath, elderberry syrup, Chamomile tea and more probiotics in the form of a supplement or lacto-fermented pickles. Start offering these bonuses as the school year progresses and as we enter cold and flu season.



September 2015 14








e’re all familiar with the idea of seed banks such as the venerable Seed Saver’s Exchange (founded in 1975, the first to popularize the term “heirloom seeds”) or Native Seeds/SEARCH (conserving native crops seeds of the greater southwest since 1980). Since that time, regional and local seed banks and seed libraries have sprouted everywhere. But before the 70s, in the US, there were only Department of Agriculture facilities like The National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation in Fort Collins, CO or The North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station in Ames, IA. There are some valuable resources stored in these places, but that’s the key word: “resources” as in germplasm, genes and genetic material of economic value mostly to modern mechanized farming. The “material” stored in these vaults (traditional seed collected from across the globe) has been mostly seen as breeding stock for cross pollination and genesplicing, rather than being valuable seed varieties on their own merits. In fact, in the past, much of the original seed stored in these places was dumped when it was judged to have little or no economic value or no genes valuable to breeders focused on agribusiness need. Some of that attitude has changed, but the true issue in seed conservation is not turning to preservation. To me, preservation is like lifeless butterflies pinned to cardboard, a collection of living things no longer living and of little value except for superficial study. Conservation connotes keeping stuff around for later use and not just hangin’ on the wall. Here, the word “exchange” is critical: keep the seeds flowing and growing each year rather than stuck in storage where they rarely see soil and light of day. Granted, it can be difficult. Seed collections can easily grow out of hand with more vari-

eties than one person or family could grow out for fresh seed in a lifetime. Believe me, I know. My collection started in 1979 and, after combing most of New Mexico for old seed stock, grew to over a thousand varieties by the 90s. Good thing I was able to pass most of it along into caring hands.

Somehow there needs to be a BALANCE between longterm“doomsday” storage and shortterm storage for yearly use.

So, somehow there needs to be a balance between long-term “doomsday” storage and short-term storage for yearly use. Seeds can easily be stored with no technology for a couple of decades but as each year passes, certain genes (and the traits that accompany them) go dormant. This keeps happening until the seed finally dies. Even a seed that sprouts after a decade of storage has lost some of its original diversity, and as we all know, diversity is key to conserving all species. So what are we to make of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault located 800 miles from the North Pole, funded mostly by the Norwegian government? Almost 900,000 varieties of seed are stored at this facility built deep in the permafrost. This is longterm storage, not meant for checking in and out. Rather than being a collection deemed valuable by the government, it is one that is deposited by over 1,700 individual seed banks that wish for an extremely long-term back up of their collections, just in case. If the polar ice caps melt, Svalbard will remain above the new waterline. The idea is that the seed could remain safe and

GMOLABELING? ROBIN SEYDEL n July 23, 2015, the Center for Food Safety, the Organic Consumers Association and a wide variety of other organizations were deeply dismayed when the House of Representatives voted to pass H.R. 1599. This bill preempts state and local authority to label and regulate genetically engineered (GE) foods. Known in consumer circles as the DARK (Denying Americans the Right to Know) Act, backed largely by House Republicans, it codifies a voluntary labeling system approach, blocks FDA from ever implementing mandatory GE food labeling, and would allow food companies to continue to make misleading “natural” claims for foods that contain GE ingredients. Hence its second nickname, the “Monsanto Protection Act.” The bill passed 275-150. FROM WEB SOURCES BY


“Passage of this bill is an attempt by Monsanto and its agribusiness cronies to crush the democratic decision-making of tens of millions of Americans. Corporate influence has won and the voice of the people has been ignored,” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of Center for Food Safety. “We remain confident that the Senate will preserve the rights of Americans and stand up for local democracy.” As written, H.R. 1599 has sweeping preemptive effect, which could negate well over 130 existing statutes, regulations, and ordinances in 43 states at the state and municipal level. This radical federal overreach could take away local governments’ ability to enact measures to address the specific locality’s cultural, agricultural, and ecological concerns, issues that have long been recognized as falling under local governments’ traditional powers. This passage and support by small government Republicans shows that they are all for big-government regulation when it helps their corporate cohorts.

The true solution to seed conversation is people growing them out every few years (if not every year) but with the ratio of farmers to the population quite small these days, this option has mostly been excluded from modern agriculture. This makes small-scale seed banks and libraries even more important. Never mind the fact that most people are never going to save seed to the highest purity standards that most of us seed tweaks prefer. Any seed saved is better than none, crossed or not. In the mission to conserve seed and keep it pure, it’s sometimes forgotten that the thousands of crop varieties passed down to us (as well as the wild plant population) made it to the modern day because cross pollination happened most all the time, contributing to the strength in diversity. Now if only we could acknowledge the need for diversity among human beings, we might have a chance of avoiding our own doomsday…

A far better bill that protects consumers right to know has been introduced by Senator Boxer and Representative DeFazio, and is called the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act, which would require mandatory labeling by food manufacturers of foods that contain genetically modified ingredients. This common sense bill would guarantee all Americans the right to know what is in their foods while respecting the need by companies for a uniform, federal standard.



even viable for hundreds of years. What kind of climate would be waiting for the seeds if global catastrophe struck is another matter altogether. Can you store a seed for hundreds of years and expect it to thrive in what might essentially be a new climate? That’s not really the point here, it’s merely seen as a combination of high and low tech storage that hopefully will never have to be accessed. A safety net in other words.



of this writing, a Senate version of this bill has not yet been introduced. Sixty-four countries around the world require GE food labeling and have not reported higher food costs as a result. More than 30 states in the US have introduced legislation to require GE labeling, with laws recently passed in Vermont, Connecticut and Maine.


Over 300 farmer, consumer and environmental groups opposed the bill, including the nation’s second largest farming group, the National Farmers Union. Consumer groups channeled well over a million letters of concern to members of Congress. In a letter signed by half a million people and sent to congressional representatives, the Center for Food Safety notes “H.R. 1599 rests on the false tenet that there is a broad scientific consensus that GMO foods are safe. The undersigned organizations contend that this is not the case since the approval process relies on studies conducted by the companies seeking to sell new GMO crops, rather than on any independent review.”

September 24-26, Carbondale, Colorado The Biodynamic Association (BDA) is a nonprofit association of individuals, groups, and organizations who are committed to rethinking agriculture through healthy food, healthy soil, and healthy farms. Founded in 1938, the BDA is considered to be the oldest sustainable agriculture organization in North America.

As expected, a number of farm state Democrats joined House Republicans in passing this bill under immense pressure from the major agribusiness lobby. Of our Representatives, only Steve Pearce voted yes; Ben Ray Lujan voted no and Michelle Lujan Grisham did not vote. Twelve Republicans voted against the bill citing infringement of states’ rights and local control. With only a limited number of Democratic defectors, it is hoped that this anti-consumer bill will receive a cold reception in the Senate. At the time

Build your understanding of biodynamic principles and practices through intensive workshops taught by leading farmers and educators. The full workshop series is designed to fulfil the requirements for the North American Biodynamic Appren-ticeship Program (NABDAP). Workshops may also be taken individually. The program combines 24 months of structured on-farm training and mentoring, an independent, on-farm project and class-

WHAT H.R. 1599 DOES: 1. Forbid states from labeling GMO foods or enforcing existing labeling laws passed in Connecticut, Maine and Vermont. 2. Prohibit any state or local county or city oversight of GMO crops, even when the federal government has declined or failed to regulate them. 3. Weaken already impotent federal regulations on GMO crops at USDA and FDA. 4. Allow GMOs to be labeled as "natural!" To stay on top of this issue, sign up for action alerts from or

room study in biodynamics. Upon completion of their training, apprentices are awarded a certificate in biodynamic farming from the Biodynamic Association. The workshop will be held at Sustainable Settings in Carbondale, CO. Participants will help make 9 biodynamic preparations and learn to apply these homeopathic preparations to enhance the quality and quantity of life in/on your garden and farm. Work with experienced preparation makers Lloyd Nelson and Brook LeVan to harvest all the necessary ingredients from the animal, plant and mineral kingdoms to make these holistic agricultural therapies to restore the land. Scholarships are available through the Biodynamic Scholarship Fund. If you wish to apply for a scholarship, please do so before registering. For more information or to register for the workshop please go to:




September 2015 15



BY SUSAN S. SEHI-SMITH he similarities and resemblances of many diseases that occur in both animals and humans are so numerous that the diseases are virtually identical. Parallel diseases include cancer, epilepsy, diabetes, arthritis, PTSD, dementia, heart disease, anemia, and colitis. With the advent of modern technology like MRIs and the complete mapping of both the human and canine genome, it is apparent that the disease processes are also the same. In other words, cancer is cancer, not human cancer or dog cancer or ferret cancer. Cancer is simply cancer.


Looking at domestic pets in particular offers tremendous insight in translational/comparative studies because these animals completely share the human environment and lifestyle. They live in our houses, walk on our fertilized lawns, drive in our cars, eat our leftovers, suffer our stresses…they are models of the human experience that, because of their shorter lifespans, run in fast forward. Translational research uses that natural link to explore the real world impact on how disease is generated, how it grows, and how it can be eradicated for both humans and pets. By their very nature, these studies are compassionate medicine. Since the pur-

pose of this type of research is to find connections and parallels in the life experiences of different species as a means of determining common causality and potential cures, it is vital that the subjects start at the same base point: naturally occurring disease and “normal,” unmanipulated environments. Caged animals with induced illnesses do not fit these criteria and ultimately would disqualify the validity of the comparison. This is not a futuristic dream. It is a combined attack on diseases that is revealing secrets and progressing us toward new therapies and new ways to view illness. Comparative studies truly benefit both dogs and people alike and are a rapidly growing field as researchers realize the bridge between people and pets is a vital key to ending disease. Here are a few examples of work being accomplished: • Limb-sparing techniques for dogs and teens with bone cancer (developed by physicians and veterinarians at Colorado State University). • Treatments for malignant melanoma (developed by oncologists at Memorial Sloan Kettering and the Animal Medical Center). • Organ regeneration and other cancer research (through partnerships between the National Cancer Center’s Comparative Oncology Program (COP) and veterinary cancer institutions in North America). • Spinal cord injuries (a project between Texas A&M and UCSF). • Tufts University is investigating Targeted Molecular Therapies that are in some instances already being used to treat both dogs and people. • Epilepsy drugs developed and used in the treatment of epi-dogs are those initially developed for human use. • The senior dog is a spontaneous model for Alzheimer’s research and therefore can play a valuable role in devel-

oping treatments. Conversely, the knowledge gained from studying Alzheimer’s is highly relevant for understanding brain aging and cognitive dysfunction in companion pets. • Veterinary approaches to challenges such as eating disorders, self-injury, anxiety, OCD, sexual dysfunction and bullying have much to offer psychotherapists studying the human counterparts. These types of studies are typically extremely underfunded or even unfunded. The mission of Paws To People, Bridges To Cures is to bring awareness of these amazing studies taking place across this country and abroad. It is the organization’s goal to bring the money needed to this type of out-of-the-box inclusive thinking to spur more of the translational studies and connections that will change the way we think of medicine in general.

PAWS TO PEOPLE is at the front line to help DEFINE a new approach to medicine and to REDISCOVER our CONNECTEDNESS to the rest of the planet.

Paws To People is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, founded and based in Albuquerque. It is an all-volunteer group of people filled with hope of the potential of translational studies research. They are determined that their work remains focused on funding this important research and they keep operating costs minimal.

In Paws To People’s first fiscal year, just completed, through the help of grassroots participants across the country, Paws To People was able to fund a $10,000 research study that will explore the co-transmission of dog tick fever, canine hemorrhagic fever, and lyme disease while developing an improved screening method for diagnosing these diseases in dogs. These tickborne bacterial diseases also afflict humans and are difficult to detect and treat. Paws To People is at the front line to help define a new approach to medicine and to rediscover our connectedness to the rest of our planet. By building bridges we will find innovative solutions to how we detect, prevent and cure diseases that take too many too soon. FOR MORE INFORMATION visit the organization’s website: or email them at info@BridgesToCures




September 13, 10am–4pm Robinson Park, at Central and 9th Street


on’t miss OFFCenter’s 13th Annual Folk Art Festival and Giant Puppet Samba Parade. The folkfest includes art, music, dance, performance and art-making projects for the whole family! This year’s giant puppet parade theme is “Life along the River” and will feature fish, forest creatures and more. And this year, due to popular demand, the festival will once again take place at Robinson Park, in downtown Albuquerque on Central and 9th. Other festival highlights include: family-friendly arts and crafts market with over 100 artist vendors, free art-making activities for the whole family in our Giant ArtMaking Tent, food and snacks from some of Albuquerque’s favorite food trucks, wonderful local entertainment including bands, dancers, Pink Elephant Magic, fortune telling and more. We Art the People Folk Fest relies on volunteers each year to make the Festival run smoothly. Before the event, volunteers are needed to help make signs, decorations and other fun stuff at the studio (contact Marci at 505-247-1172 for details). Create giant papier maché puppets/creations to carry in the parade. On September 13, volunteers are needed to help with many fun aspects of the festival including setup, cleanup, art-making tents and more. To become an artist vendor contact Marci at 505-247-1172. To volunteer contact Folk Art Festival Co-coordinator, Chami MacPherson at or 505-280-7041 or go to



BY LAURIE FRAPPIER The Supportive Housing Coalition of New Mexico’s annual fundraiser, The Bowl-A-Thon, is the culmination of our Strike Out Homelessness Campaign 2015 and supports our mission to prevent and reduce homelessness in New Mexico. A non-profit, SHC-NM also works to increase the quality of life for people with behavioral health issues in New Mexico by creating affordable, supportive housing in partnership with local communities and member agencies.



FIESTA September 26, 10am–5pm CNM Workforce Training Center


or more than a decade, NMSEA has produced Solar Fiestas. These solar specialty festivals bring homeowners, numbering in the thousands, together with solar and sustainability experts to develop custom plans to save on home energy costs and to make homes more comfortable, healthy and attractive utilizing renewable energy sources. There are a wide variety of workshop including special events for children to introduce them to the world of renewable energy and sustainability. WORKSHOP TRACKS INCLUDE: • Do-It-Yourself Sustainability • Solar and Other Renewables • Policy and Current Events • Outside Demos • Hands-on Workshops and more! The New Mexico Solar Energy Association is a nonprofit educational organization founded in 1972. For more information go to or email them at

SHC-NM continues to be in a league of our own as the #1 provider of housing vouchers for the ABQ Heading Home Initiative, providing even more vouchers than ever this year. The support of our community partners and sponsors is instrumental in providing housing for nearly 600 individuals and families experiencing homelessness in New Mexico. Come to the Bowl-A-Thon on September 26 from 1–4pm at the Holiday Bowl, 7515 Lomas Boulevard NE, Albuquerque, NM. You may go to our website to register: For more information contact us at 505-255-3643, ext. 1111 or




September 12, 6–8:30pm Santa Fe Farmers Market Pavilion


he New Mexico Environmental Law Center is pleased to present the Wild and Scenic Film Fest on Sepember 12 at the Santa Fe Farmers Market Pavilion. They have a great lineup of films this year. You’ll see a mix of inspiring, environmentally-related stories on gritty communities, grand adventures and more! Check out the film lineup, see trailers and find out about special guest Craig Childs at Become a member of the NMELC and come to the members-only pre-party from 4:30–5:30pm. Author Craig Childs will give a special presentation to members. Hors d’ouevres provided by Joe’s Dining; Abbey Brewing will sell beer and wine. Wild and Scenic Film Festival at 6–8:30pm. Tickets on sale now! Go to to get yours before they are gone.

Co-op Connection News, September 2015  

La Montañita Co-op's monthly newsletter's September 2015 issue.

Co-op Connection News, September 2015  

La Montañita Co-op's monthly newsletter's September 2015 issue.