At the Co-opElm Heights Project Update
"The thing is, it's not natural." So noted our soil scientist, as he studied soil core samples pulled from our foundation trench. No big deal. It just means some of the area in which our foundation was ultimately poured contained "fill" from previous construction projects, not desirable as a base for our own foundation, so in those areas we dug a little deeper and poured a little more concrete. And now the foundation and a retaining wall are complete, and we'll begin erecting the metal framework in the next few days. See the Bloomingfoods Elm Heights page for all the latest.
Board Election: First 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 sounds good to you, please consider this call to service as a candidate for our board of directors.
February - March Member Days & Product Specials
Member day is Thursday in February and Monday in March. These are the February product specials, and these are the member-owner specials. Your Co+op Deals flyers are available here.
Garden Center Seminars
The East store garden center is hosting a series of free classes this spring, designed to help you hone your gardening skills, simply and inexpensively. On Sunday, February 24th, J.D. Lucas will teach a course on container gardening; on Sunday, March 10th, Sara Kinne will offer a seminar on daffodils and spring bulbs; and on Sunday, March 24th, Ed Burns will explore the use of vermiculture in your gardening activity. All classes will take place between 2:00 and 4:00 p.m. in the garden center patio.
BloomingArts Features Juliana Burrell
The BloomingArts Series exists to support and promote emerging artists, highlight community organizations, and provide artists a venue for their work. We use the café spaces in all our locations to feature new art each month. This month we're featuring the "large canvas and acrylic paintings with bold lines, vivid colors, and defined shapes" that are the hallmarks of the work of Juliana Burrell." To learn more, contact our Member Services Coordinator, Jean Kautt.
(812-336-5400; 3220 East Third St.)
The big news here is that our patio now has heat, making it a very appealing place in which to dine and visit with friends. Saint Valentine's Day is tomorrow, and we have fair-trade long-stemmed roses and chocolate, and a good selection of sparkling, dry, and sweet dessert wines for that special love of your life. In produce, we have organic Kent mangos that are smooth, sweet, and delicious. The meat department is currently featuring beef soup bones from Fischer Farms, sockeye salmon, and a good selection of charcuterie (salame, prosciutto, Serrano ham, patés). In March there'll be Smoking Goose corned beef and Fischer Farms brisket for your St. Patrick's Day festivities. This month's grocery report includes a review of our selection of Valentine's Day candies, cards, as well as the many other new products we've brought in. Finally, spring is not far off, and our garden center is a hotbed of activity and new products. See Chris Bobbitt's report for all the details.
Near West Side Store
(812-333-7312; 316 W 6th St.)
As we reported last week, our garden center will undergo a significant expansion this spring, with a focus on urban, container gardening. Beginning in February, we will have vegetable, flower, and herb seeds available from Renee's Garden, the Seed Savers Exchange, Red Rosa Farms, and Nature's Crossroads. Schlegel Greenhouse in Indianapolis and Bennett's Greenhouse in Lafayette will be among the companies providing us with flowers and bedding plants. We'll also feature bird baths from Clay City and colorful Mexican pottery from Carlota Gardens. (The folks who run this latter business also operate a non-profit corp. focusing on the exploration, preservation, and conservation of the Sierra Mazateca in Oaxaca, Mexico.) Are you interested in expanding your gardening activity but need a little guidance? We now have in stock the following books to help ensure your success: The Backyard Homestead; Grow, Cook, Eat; The Complete Guide To Seed Saving; The Kitchen Gardener's Handbook; and Your Farm in The City.
We're very excited to announce that we'll soon be selling three to four-foot logs inoculated with shitake mushroom mycelia cells, allowing you to easily and inexpensively cultivate your own mushrooms for three to four years. See our displays for more information, including how you can order your own log. Thanks to local grower Michael Cullers for making this opportunity available to our shoppers.
(812-336-5300; 419 E Kirkwood Ave.)
Feeling as though your lunch time activities lack culture? Come grab a sandwich, soup, salad (or whatever floats your belly boat), then come upstairs and check out this month's featured art by local artist Juliana Burrell. It's beautiful. Be sure to check out the full report on our new products, which include Earnest Eats Hot & Fit hot cereal cups, Guayaki Yerba Maté for brewing, as well as the fire gourds and straws used traditionally in drinking yerba maté. And as always, if you have products you'd like us to carry, ideas for how we can better serve you, want to know the daily soups or sandwich specials, like us on Facebook and/or follow us on Twitter.
Around TownBike to Barns (B2B) Bike Ride
The Local Growers’ Guild is hosting Indiana’s first annual Bike to Barns event on Saturday, March 30th. B2B invites cyclists of all ages and skill levels to bike to farms in Monroe, Owen, and Brown counties during this day-long event. Funds raised will support the Local Growers' Guild, a cooperative of farmers, retailers, and community members dedicated to strengthening the local food economy in southern Indiana through education, direct support, and market connections.
Going Solar Pitch-in and Forum
Mr. Powell Writes a Memo
One of the great social issues of our day is that of corporate personhood. Last May "Move to Amend-South Central Indiana" co-sponsored a play, “The Prosecution of Judge Waite,” about the Chief Justice in the 1886 Supreme Court decision mistakenly cited as the legal precedent for corporate personhood. A sequel to that play by local author-activist James Allison will be enacted at the Unitarian Universalist Church on March 1st and 2nd at 7:00 p.m. This play will explore the manner in which Associate Justice Lewis Powell masterminded the counterattack against the regulatory reforms of the 1970s, paving the way to Citizens United in 2010. Other characters in the play are broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow, and citizen activist Ralph Nader. Admission and reception are free.
And if this topic is of interest to you, you should be aware that in a Washington press conference earlier this week, Move to Amend announced its proposed 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It consists of two sections: 1. Artificial Entities Such as Corporations Do Not Have Constitutional Rights, and 2. Money is Not Free Speech.
The 2013 Trashion Refashion Show will take place on Sunday, April 21st at 7:00 p.m. at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater. Fashion designs are now being accepted in two categories: "Trashion" is the result of creatively turning discarded items into fashion; "Refashion" is the result of modifying existing clothing into something more fashionable. Submissions are due by March 1st.
Green 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, members of the local faith community will discuss their decision to install photovoltaic panels on four Bloomington places of worship this spring. The presenters will discuss why climate change mitigation is critical and why working through faith communities is a good way to do that. They'll also discuss saving energy in congregation facilities, spreading the word to the larger community, and the most promising solar hardware currently available, This will all take place during the programmed portion of the evening, from 6 - 6:30 p.m. on February 27th. Please join us for a snack, a drink, and a thought-provoking discussion of this topic.
Soup Bowl Benefit
The 19th annual Soup Bowl Benefit will be held on Sunday, February 17th at 5:00 p.m. at the Monroe Co. Convention Center. This is a great opportunity to break bread with your friends and neighbors while enjoy delicious soups and bread from more than 25 local restaurants, great entertainment, a smorgasbord of beautiful handmade bowls. And it's all for the good cause of supporting the Hoosier Hills Food Bank.
Farmers' Market Accepts SNAP Benefits
The Bloomington Winter Farmers’ Market is now accepting “Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program” (SNAP) benefits. Customers must simply bring their EBT cards to the information booth directly inside the doors of the west entrance to the Market, where they will be able to collect tokens equivalent to dollar amounts. Further, due to the generosity of an anonymous donor, the Winter Market will double customers’ SNAP benefits up to $18. You can find the details here.
In the Co-op WorldEmployees Now Own New Belgium Brewing
The company that produces Fat Tire beer is now completely owned by its employees. Fort Collins-based New Belgium Brewing, the country's third largest craft brewer, is now completely owned by its 456 employees. Managing director Michael Harden says he expects other craft brewers to consider employee ownership as a means of remaining independent in an era in which a great deal of consolidation is occurring in the industry.
Bloomingfoods to Host Start-Up Conference
For the fourth consecutive year, Bloomingfoods will host a co-op start-up conference. This conference, which began as a very modest event for folks in states bordering Indiana, now brings together people from throughout the country who are interested in launching cooperatively-owned grocery stores. The Indiana Cooperative Development Center (ICDC) website offers full coverage of the event.
Food, Eating, and HealthSB 391: The Ag-Gag Law
One of the things we commonly tell folks as we conduct store tours and discuss our local meat producers and their products is that if they could see the conditions under which the vast majority of restaurant and grocery meat is produced, they wouldn’t touch it, for both ethical and nutritional grounds. It seems the folks producing that meat agree. Under the weight of their persuasion, Indiana legislators have introduced SB 391, which would make it a crime to take photographs of a CAFO (a confined animal feeding operation) or for a reporter to work undercover at such an operation. In the words of one astute commentator, "Corporations are asking compliant legislators to apply the tools of the national security state to muzzle critics of corporate greed." This late-breaking update: The bill passed in committee 7-2, and it now moves on to the Senate.
Better Health Care Through Your Smart Phone?
Here's a fascinating NBC news video exploring how the latest generation of smart phone apps may revolutionize health care, allowing much more personalized health care, including ongoing monitoring of a huge array of vital signs and chronic conditions, and rendering unnecessary many of the very expensive tests now routinely prescribed and administered in medical facilities. World-renowned cardiologist Dr. Eric Topol can be seen discussing this technology in this TED talk.
Why Are There So Few Vegetarians?
Between 1994 and 2009, the percentage of meat-eaters in the United States varied between 97% and 99%. (A research team from Yale University puts the number of "strict" vegetarians at less than 0.1%.) In this brief Psychology Today article, Hal Herzog, Ph.D., explores the factors dissuading people from eschewing meat, in spite of the health, environmental, and ethical factors which clearly recommend it. The article is well worth the two minutes it takes to read it.
Vegan, With a Very Bad Attitude
Do you think of vegans as mild-mannered types? The Vegan Black Metal Chef will forever disabuse you of that notion while sharing recipes and techniques for delicious vegan dishes.
Vitamin D for Diabetes?
Julie Chen, M.D., writing in the Huffington Post, reports on a recent study reaffirming the findings of previous studies that people with deficient vitamin D levels tend toward the development of Type 1 diabetes. Additionally, another dimension of this study suggests that people with a 25-hydroxyvitamin D level of at least 50 ng/ml seemed to have lower risk of developing diabetes than those with lower levels. The author acknowledges that the issue is complex and the findings hardly conclusive, but that they are suggestive that knowing and, possibly, supplementing your vitamin D levels may be worth discussing with your physician.
TEDx Manhattan: Changing the Way We Eat
Don't miss this year's TEDx "Changing the Way We Eat" webcast on Saturday, February 16th, from 10:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is a small nonprofit organization dedicated to exploring and spreading ideas that can shape a happier, healthier future for our world. At the "Changing the Way We Eat" event, over a dozen leading figures from the sustainable food and farming movement will share their thoughts concerning the work being done to shift the U.S. food system from industrially-based agriculture to something more local, sustainable, and nutritious.
Garden Tower Kickstarter
We love the garden towers being produced here in Bloomington from American-made parts by a fine team of artisans, engineers, and gardeners. They're a great way to garden, offering a host of benefits, especially when you want to maximize productivity in a space. Bloomingfoods will be happy to sell you one, of course, but please consider helping develop this product by supporting it on Kickstarter. You'll see that there are many opportunities and benefits at all levels of participation.
Environmental NewsThe Sea Chair Project
The Sea Chair Project was launched to revive the struggling British fishing industry by turning fishing boats of varying sizes into floating plastic chair factories. After making a few adaptations to their boats, former fishermen will now trawl for the growing volume of plastic that litters our seas, rather than the diminishing fish populations, then convert the scrap plastic into useful items. The project won an RCA Sustain Award in 2011.
REI Chief Tagged to Head Dept. of Interior
President Obama recently nominated Sally Jewell, currently the CEO of outdoor clothing and gear cooperative, REI, to head the U.S. Department of the Interior. Jewell, whose career has evolved from petroleum engineer to banker to retailer, is widely recognized for her environmental awareness, winning the 2009 Rachel Carson Award for environmental conservation from the Audubon Society.
Bike-Friendly City List!
The League of American Bicyclists recently released it latest report on America's bike-friendly cities, recognizing 214 communities in 47 states. Bloomington makes the list as Indiana's most bike-friendly town, receiving a silver award.
Closing Thoughts“We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects.”
~ Herman Melville, in Moby Dick