Around Town

Community Orchard News for August 2010

the Bloomington Community Orchard is flourishing, and there are so many ways you can help nurture and support this fine new organization in our community. First, having already won fruit trees from the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation and Edy's Fruit Bars, the Orchard is competing for a $20K grant from Tom's of Maine. Please cast a daily vote here from now until Sept. 10.

Also, we have begun work at Winslow Woods Park to prepare for our initial tree planting on October 9. Volunteers are working at the site every other Saturday from 9 till 1 or 2. We may be adding or alternating Sundays for those who can't make in on Saturday. Folks who are interested in joining in the physical labor, or in any other aspect of this all -volunteer community project, such as soliciting funds or materials, maintaining the website,, and so on, should call the Orchard Involvement Coordinator,  Stacey Decker at 812-327-0181.

If there are individuals who would be interested in joining a Community Orchard Speaker's Bureau to share the vision with groups in our community, and/or if one is a member of an organization or congregation which would be interested in learning more about what we are creating, they should contact Sarah Ryterband at 812-333-9139, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Fields of Agape Loaves, From the Oven of Jamie Gans

ImageMember-owner Jamie Gans is not only a first-rate fiddler but, as these beautiful loaves suggest, a fine baker as well. Jamie says of these loaves:

Both are made with 90-95% home ground 'Fields of Agape' wheat berries. I made a rye loaf too but did not include it in the photo because it was made from Canadian rye berries and not Indiana wheat. It is difficult to see from the quality of the snapshot but the loaf on the left (leaning at a slant)  is made from hard red and the loaf to the right with the darker crust is made from the hard white berries. I don't know if you have tried them (the red and white berries) both yourself, but the 'hard red' loaf has that traditional whole wheat robust flavor (my favorite) and the 'hard white' loaf has a lighter, milder, but still full bodied taste.

With cooler weather coming on, baking and indulgence in hearty fare such as this will be a delight.

Bloomington Community Orchard Wins $20,000

ImageFantastic news just in from Amy Countryman.!!!

Dear Bloomington Community Orchard Rock Stars,

Are you sitting down?  The word is finally official, and we can spread it around!  We won the Tom's of Maine grant for $20,000 thanks to all of your support and incessant voting. 


Pinnacle School: Teaching the Way You Learn

Imagine:  You are sitting in the back of your 4th grade classroom, slouched in your seat – avoiding eye contact with your teacher. This morning, you had your usual fight with your mom about going to school. Now, you are hoping with all your might that your teacher won’t call on you to read out loud. But, she does.

You start to sweat. You look down at the page, but can’t make out anything. There are jumbles of letters – in your mind letters don’t make words, and words don’t make sentences. You open your mouth, slowly sounding out  “Tuh huh eh.” That doesn’t sound right. You try again. Your classmates snicker, and your teacher is tapping her foot. Finally, someone whispers, “The. The word is the.” But by then it is too late and the teacher calls on someone else.

You bow your head, trying to hide your tears, knowing that this day will again be spent getting laughed at and failing school work.
One in six children have dyslexia. Many of these bright children get held back in school. Their self-esteem plummets. They are 37% more likely to drop out by the time they reach high school.

What is Pinnacle? For nearly thirty years, Pinnacle School has provided a hands-on learning environment for bright students with dyslexia and similar learning differences in grades K-12. Pinnacle Learning Services provides after school reading and math tutoring, education therapy, summer programs, and dyslexia screenings for ages 5-24.

Pinnacle and the Community:  The curriculum at Pinnacle School has a strong emphasis on community partnerships. Field trips and guest speakers show our students how to become more responsible and engaged citizens.

Last year, teams of our students worked on a monthly project at Lake Lemon with Carroll Ritter from the Sycamore Land Trust. This year, members of our community are sharing their stories and chosen livelihood during “Career Mondays.” Our students have the option of buying organic milk from Bloomingfoods, and we emphasize wellness and the importance of eating healthy and locally.

Build Our Future: Pinnacle wants to serve more people in the community through our school and outreach programs. But we can’t until we add more classrooms, a lab, and a gym. Please consider giving to the Build Our Future Campaign. Your gift will help build our community’s future by making sure that all children get the quality education they deserve. It’s easy to do – just tell your Bloomingfoods cashier that you want to help Pinnacle!

For more information about dyslexia, admission to Pinnacle, and the Build Our Future campaign, visit or call 812-339-8141. Pinnacle is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Becky Eisinger, Resource and Development Director
Pinnacle School

Share the Harvest Campaign 2010

ImageThis November Bloomingfoods will host the 7th annual “Share the Harvest and Donate a Dollar” campaign for Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard (MHC). Bloomingfoods customers have the opportunity to donate a dollar – or more, or some spare change – at the register when checking out at all locations.

100% of the funds raised will support MHC's food pantry, where $1 helps to buy 10 pounds of food. 

“The healthy food that I receive at Mother Hubbard's Cupboard is a lifesaver. My kids love the yogurt and picking out fresh fruit.  MHC helps my family get enough food and also allows me to prepare balanced meals during a hard financial household transition,” says one Mother Hubbard’s Cupbaord client volunteers, a single working mother of two.

MHC is Monroe County’s largest food pantry, providing healthy groceries to more than 1,900 clients each week. At MHC, we believe that a healthy diet is the foundation of personal well-being, and we want all people to have access to quality food. MHC’s work goes beyond just a food pantry. MHC’s educational programs focus on nutrition and gardening, and work to empower patrons and build community by passing on important information and lasting life skills.

Many thanks to all you co-op members who came out to the Fall Truckload Sale and bought a little extra for MHC or donated at the table! Our clients were thrilled to select healthy items from the 520 pounds of food you donated.

Join us at these upcoming November events:
• MHC’s Share the Harvest Auction and Dance Party: Saturday, November 13th, 7-11pm  at KRC Catering Hall. $10 tickets on sale at all Bloomingfoods locations, Relish, Landlocked Music and at the door.
• Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week: November 14–20. Check the Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard website for a list of events.
• “Are They Smarter Than a 5th Grader?”  Thursday, November 18, from 6:30-8:30 at Bloomington High School South. $10 each or $20 for a family of four.

For more information about programs at Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard, or if you would like to get involved, visit

Brooke Gentile, Development Director
Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard