At the Co-opSpring Tent Sale
Our spring truckload sale will take place the weekend of May 17th and 18th at our East store location. This sale will differ from those in the past in having only non-refrigerated items in the tent, while many refrigerated and frozen items will be heavily discounted inside the store. Note, too, that the folks from Bee Sharp will again be available to sharpen your knives on Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Once all our knives are nicely sharpened to a razor's edge, we'll immediately launch a wine tasting that will last until 6:30 p.m., with contemporary folk band the Jesse Lacy Trio providing a musical accompaniment to your tasting. (This event is a fundraiser for Mother Hubbard's Cupboard and costs $5 at the door. You must be at least 21 to enter.) Plenty of volunteers are needed for the sale, so please email Tom Zeta to get a slot helping out. As always, volunteers will receive a week of 10% discounts for each two hours of service.
Board Election Announcement: Call for Candidates
Do you have an interest in serving your cooperative and your community? Do you share a commitment to your co-op’s mission and values? Are you a conceptual thinker who can grasp the big picture? Can you work in a group to oversee a vibrant developing organization and help it articulate and achieve its end goals? If all of the above applies to you, please consider this call to service as a candidate for our board of directors. Board candidate nomination packets are now available in our stores
Bloomingfoods Forms Partnership with Bicycle Garage
Bloomingfoods is pleased to announce that we've reached a community partnership agreement with the Bicycle Garage. The Bicycle Garage is a locally-owned full-service cycle shop located at 507 E. Kirkwood, just half a block from the Sample Gates. Its owners have been Bloomingfoods members since the late '70s, and they offer co-op members a 10% discount on all bike products and repair service through the year. Bicycle Garage offers quality pre-owned bicycles as well as new Trek bikes and a full array of commuting, fitness and racing accessories, plus rental bikes. The shop offers "Fix a Flat" sessions on Saturday mornings or by appointment. Free customer parking is available behind the shop, and custom orders are welcomed.
May - June Member Days & Product Specials
Member day is Thursday in May and Monday in June. You can view the May product specials and member-owner specials online. You can also download your Co+op Deals flyers or find them in the stores.
Elm Heights Store
(812-822-0235; 614 E 2nd. St.)
Bloomingfoods employees recently selected two Dewig meat items as their "staff favorites": the German bologna and the braunschweiger. We urge you to sample these delicious items soon. Both make a great snack with cheese, crackers, and a hardy bread. We'll soon be entering salmon season, so keep an eye on the seafood case for the sockeye we'll soon be featuring from Wild Alaska Salmon & Seafood. Already have the meat but need something with which to spice it up a notch? We're pleased to announce that the many delicious rubs and marinades we apply to our meats will soon be available for sale. Look for rosemary marinade, Asian marinade, and chili, garlic, and Cajun blackened rubs.
(812-336-5400; 3220 East Third St.)
On Saturday, May 17th, Bloomingfoods will once again be hosting “Blooming Kids for Kindness” (BK4K) and their “Lemon-Aid” stand. BK4K is a local children’s philanthropic organization which works with established community-based, national and international non-profits. BK4K’s goal is to teach children that they can make a difference in the world – for people, the environment, and animals – no matter how small they are! The focus of the group this year is literacy, and one of the projects they wish to undertake is to build and stock several community book boxes known as “Little Free Libraries.” To help cover the cost of building materials for the project, the Blooming Kids will be selling their 100% fresh squeezed lemonade and strawberry lemonade at the truckload sale.
Coming soon to the bulk department, coffee from Noble Coffee & Tea Co. Noble, as its name suggests, is based in Noblesville, IN, where it has been in operation since 1996. It was recently selected as the Peoples' Choice Winner for coffee in Hamilton County. This will be the company's first experience marketing its coffees outside its own shops.
The East store produce department now has the following products available from local producers: asparagus from Melon Acres, spinach, lettuce mix, baby arugula, butter lettuce, morel mushrooms, tomatoes, English cucumbers, Napa cabbage, and radishes.
In the grocery department, we're offering a number of new products, including organic canned beans from Omena Organics, raw milk from Rhodes Family Farm (in the fresh pet supply cooler), Bo's Bones dog biscuits, El Norteno salsa, and UEL ZING coffee. Martha Philion offers these details on these fine products.
The Bloomingfoods garden center is pleased to announce that it is now a member of the Go Green, Grow Native (GGGN) initiative started in 2011 to encourage retailers to sell native plants. Ellen Jacquart, chair of Monroe County’s Identify and Reduce Invasive Species (MC-IRIS), encourages landscapers to use native plants, noting that they are often superior for landscaping because they provide better wildlife habitat, can survive in the local climate, and are less likely to invade natural areas. Please be guided by the special signage you'll soon see in the garden center, or ask one of our staff for assistance in selecting appropriate species.
The garden center is currently fully stocked with plants, seeds, tools, and soil supplements. Staffer Chris Bobbitt reports he has already spotted both cabbage butterflies and the dreaded tent caterpillars in his home gardens, and he would like for you to know that we have both biological (Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki, commonly referred to as Bt) and mechanical options (lightweight row covers) for controlling these and other garden pests.
Near West Side Store
(812-333-7312; 316 W 6th St.)
Our Near West Side store now has an IU Credit Union ATM. You will find it in the back hallway, near the restrooms. Now, the next time you've forgotten cash on your way to the Farmers' Market, just stop into our store! Many thanks to our local credit union for making this possible!
Also new to the Near West Side location (East and Elm Heights, too), and just in time for summer, is a delicious green salsa from El Norteno. Its flavor and creamy texture are unlike those of any salsa we've ever carried. We believe you'll really enjoy it.
Around TownGreen Drinks Bloomington
Here's our regular reminder that Green Drinks Bloomington meets the 4th Wednesday of every month from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the Banquet Facility at Upland Brewing. A $5 donation is requested; some food is provided. This month Jennifer Meta Robinson, co-author of The Farmers’ Market Book: Growing Food, Cultivating Community and Professor of Practice in the IU Department of Communication and Culture, will deliver a presentation entitled “Beyond Farmers’ Markets: Sustaining the Next Generation of Local Food Farmers.” Bloomington’s vibrant farmers’ market is widely recognized as a national model, yet some farmers struggle to return every year. Join Robinson in exploring the major challenges facing small farmers in our area and how community members can partner with them to build a more sustainable local food system. The presentation will take place during the programmed portion of the evening, from 6:00 - 6:30 p.m. on May 28th. Please join us for a snack, a drink, and a thought-provoking discussion of this topic.
Going Solar Presentation With SIREN
Are you considering installing a renewable energy source in your home? Learn about the costs, financial incentives, carbon savings, and other considerations for installing solar and geothermal systems; have your questions answered by local green energy experts; sign up for a free pre-assessment of the solar potential of your home' and join the growing community of solar adopters. The presentation to tell you how will be held at the Monroe County Public Library, Room 1B on Thursday, June 12th, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Entry is free.
Tuesday Farmers' Market Begins in June
The Tuesday market is a mid-week opportunity to purchase fresh, locally grown produce directly from the grower. Outdoor dining and live music make this a relaxing opportunity to shop and mingle. Easy parking (including free parking in Showers Common after 5 p.m.) makes this market a convenient stop on your way home from work. The Tuesday market is located next to Bloomingfoods Near West Side at the intersection of Sixth and Madison Streets. It is held every Tuesday, June through September, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. For more information visit bloomington.in.gov/farmersmarket or call 812-349-3700.
Bike-Related Events and News
Bloomington and Bloomingfoods is evolving quite a bike culture, as witnessed by these developments:
Bike to Work Day Bash
This Friday, May 16 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. we will once again be taking to the streets for our annual Bike to Work Day block party, on Madison Street adjacent to our Near West Side location. Bloomingfoods will be grilling out and local libations from the Bloomington Brewing Company will be served. The City of Bloomington as well as various bike friendly folks such as Revolution Bike and Bean, Salt Creek Cycles, JL Waters, Mountain Folk Adventure Series, Bicycle Garage, and the Bloomington Bicycle Club will be present to demo bikes, do repairs, and award prizes. Printmaker Kim Ransdell will be selling hip handmade clothing (pictured here). Local celebrity Charlie Bird will also be making an appearance on his bike! Proceeds will be donated to the Bloomington Bicycle Club Community Grant Fund. The event is free and open to public.
Bike Repair Demonstrations and Discounts
Our friends from Revolution Bike and Bean will be setting up shop at our Near West Side community room from 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 31st for a free bike repair demonstration. The event is limited to 30 participants, so please RSVP here. Remember that all Bloomingfoods member-owners receive a 15% discount at Revolution Bike and Bean. In addition, during the month of May, Bloomingfoods employees will receive 20% off at Revolution Bike and Bean.
Scalley Cat Bike Scavenger Hunt for Charity
Our East, Near West Side, and Elm Heights locations are on the map for the Scalley Cat Bicycle Scavenger Hunt for Charity on Saturday, May 17. Bike duos will take off from Rev. Ernest D. Butler Park, and will hustle from one bike-friendly checkpoint to another, vying for the scavenger hunt “gold.” Bloomingfoods has a limited number of tickets that we're giving out on a first-come, first-served basis. Contact Emily if you're interested!
Clips Beer and Film Tour
For the 4th consecutive year, the Clips Beer and Film Tour is coming back to Bloomington's Bryan Park, on Friday May 30th from 8:00 to 11:00 p.m. The program presents a series of short films that highlight bicycling and sustainability, and is sponsored by New Belgium Brewing Company of Ft. Collins, CO. The event is free and all ages are welcome. Food, beverages, and merchandise will be available for purchase. There will also be yard games and a raffle for a brand-new Fat Tire cruiser bicycle (raffle tickets can be purchased at the event). The event is a fundraiser for Open Streets Bloomington.
Food, Eating, and HealthThe Fresh Taste of Spring
At last, our gardens and markets are again rich in greens! Bon Appétit offers these 18 salad ideas to help you maximize your pleasure in the bounty.
And don't neglect, or abuse, the lowly dandelion. Its flowers are an important source of early summer food for bees, and they are tasty and nutritious for people, as discussed here by the Prairie Homestead, which offers sixteen promising recipes using one or more part of the plant.
Val and Eli take us on a tour of their permagarden in this documentary from Films for Action. At their Jacksonville, FL home they have created a natural space filled with fruits, vegetables, herbs, medicines, colors, water, fragrances, and wildlife. It's a very simple, informative, and inspiring examination of a young permacultural farm on a very small urban space.
Vermont Senate Passes GMO Labeling Bill
Vermont recently became the first state to require mandatory labeling of all food products made from genetically modified crops. The law mandates that by July 2016, any food produced with GMO ingredients must be labeled. Nation of Change reports that within hours of Governor Peter Shumlin signing the law into effect, the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association (GMA), headed by Monsanto & Dupont, announced its intention to sue Vermont to prevent the bill from being implemented.
Bavaria Signs GMO-Free Agreement
Meanwhile on the international scene, Nation of Change reports that Germany's state of Bavaria has become the 62nd world region to reject GMO seeds on its farms. The rationale? "The agreement is a clear political commitment and highly symbolic for the people of Bavaria. The vast majority of the population is against genetic engineering in agriculture, risks were not sufficiently clarified. Bavaria stands for high quality regional and seasonal foods. Plant biotechnology is incompatible with the sensitive natural areas and small-scale agricultural structure of the Free State.” For a snapshot of GMO labeling and laws around the world, Natural Society is a fine source.
Environmental NewsMethane Backpacks Capture Cow Gas
Yep, that's right, the various gases emitted by cow farts. This experiment by the Argentinian government is described as an effort to simultaneously decrease the release of climate-changing methane into the environment while capturing it as "green energy" for use by man. No animals were harmed in this experiment, we're assured. One wonders, is this really the best mankind can come up with?
New Caledonia Creates World's Largest Protected Area
The French "special collectivity" of New Caledonia announced recently a legislative decree creating Le Parc Naturel de la Mer de Corail. The new law brings under close multi-use management an area totaling 1.3 million square kilometers. The area encompasses large areas of coral reefs, 25 species of marine mammals, 48 shark species, 19 species of nesting birds, and 5 species of turtles. All that said, the management plan does permit limited mining, an activity to which some environmental groups object.
Closing Thoughts"Whether we and our politicians know it or not, Nature is party to all our deals and decisions, and she has more votes, a longer memory, and a sterner sense of justice than we do."
~ Wendell Berry, farmer, scholar, poet, philosopher, essayist