At the Co-op
Elm Heights Project Update
The last couple of weeks have seen great progress at the Elm Heights site, as steel workers have now fully erected the metal framework of the building. By the end of the month we expect the roof and exterior walls to be installed. See the Elm Heights page for all the latest.
Bloomingfoods Cafe at Ivy Tech
Elm Heights isn't the only new development for our co-op! Bloomingfoods and Ivy Tech are delighted to announce a partnership that will bring a café and food store to Ivy Tech’s main campus, in the Connie and Steve Ferguson Academic Building. The food store, referred to as Bloomingfoods Ivy Tech, is under construction, and if all goes well, will open in mid-to-late March. Chancellor Whikehart had this to say about the relationship: "What better partnership than our community college and our community food co-op.”
Patronage Rebate Checks
Along with the good news we have concerning our expansion efforts, we are also pleased to report that patronage rebate checks for the fiscal year 2011-2012 have now been mailed. This year more than 3,200 households qualified for checks ranging from the de minimus amount of $5 to over $100. Thanks to everyone for the contribution you make to the success of your co-op.
Board Election: 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.
Bloomingfoods on Facebook
If you haven't done so already, please visit and "like" our Facebook pages. We have one for each location - East, Near West Side, and Kirkwood - and they each feature a wide variety of timely, site-specific information.
This is Our Moment
Throughout the world, approximately one billion people are members of at least one co-op. Bloomingfoods, itself, enjoys the member-ownership of over 10,000 households. In this month's board report, Carol Bridges reflects on the fact that co-ops are splendid organizational structures for addressing many of the big-picture problems confronting the world, and she observes that each and every one of us, as member-owners, has a role to play, with our energy, our vision, and our skills.
March - April Member Days & Product Specials
Member day is Monday in March and Tuesday in April. These are the March product specials, and these are the member-owner specials. Your Co+op Deals flyers are available here.
BloomingArts Features Stella Winterman
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. March is "Youth Art Month," and we're pleased to be featuring the work of Stella Winterman, a freshman at Bloomington High School South. To learn more about this program, contact Member Services Coordinator, Jean Kautt.
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, March 24th, Ed Burns of Wiggling Winnie's fame will discuss vermiculture (composting with worms); on Sunday, April 7th, Chris Bobbitt will share tips on better lawn care; and on Sunday, April 21st, Ferrol Johnson of Abundant Harvest Farms will speak about soil improvement and urban gardening. All classes will take place between 2:00 and 4:00 p.m. in the garden center patio.
(812-336-5400; 3220 East Third St.)
Grocery manager Martha Philion is delighted to tell the story of Hartzler Dairy milk, which we now carry in returnable 1/2 gallon bottles. Finally! We have all-natural, fat-floatin'-to-the-top-milk in glass bottles that will be reused for years! It's just one small investment dairy lovers can make toward sustainability.
The produce department wants you to know that during March and April it will be offering greens from Nature's Gift Aquaponics, in Morgantown. The aquaponic process involves growing the greens in water also being used to raise tilapia. We're finding that this process produces particularly tasty greens.
In meats, meanwhile, we have new products from Smoking Goose, as well as several traditional options for your St. Patrick's Day meal.
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 month, the garden center will be greatly expanded this year. Our trellis is now built, upon which we'll hang baskets; shelving has been constructed on which to display plants; we have Yukon Gold and Red Pontiac potato eyes ready for your planting; pansies from Bennett Nursery in Lafayette have been received and are being hardened off; and the small structure that has heretofore housed our recycling is now being converted into a casual dining space.
(812-336-5300; 419 E Kirkwood Ave.)
The Kirkwood location is a dynamic place these days. Manager Heather Beery's monthly report tells of delicious Easter candies, a variety of new quick Indian foods we've brought in, as well as personnel changes in our deli. 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. Please note, too, that local permaculturalist Peter Bane will be bringing an "expert speaker" to lead a free session on permaculture and agri-forestry at the store on Sunday, April 14th, from 2-4:00 p.m. And lastly, the Kirkwood location has new Sunday hours: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Around TownMonroe County and Climate Change: Implications for Gardeners
A panel consisting of Ben Brabson, climate expert and IU Professor Emeritus of physics, Michael Simmons, Master Gardener, and Rebecca Barthelmie, IU Professor of Atmospheric Science and Sustainability will present the latest research on global and American Midwestern climate research, as well as what climate change could mean for local farmers and gardeners. There will be time for questions and discussion as we try to understand and adapt to our changing climate. Please join us, 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, April 2 in Program Room 2B, second floor, Monroe Co. Library.
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, Tom Evans, Associate Professor in the Department of Geography, and Burney Fischer, Clinical Professor in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, will present a talk entitled “Forests in our Cities? Changes in Urban Vegetation in Bloomington and Indianapolis.” The presenters will discuss research related to forest dynamics in Indiana and long-term trends in forest change in the state, including the carbon impacts of urban forests. This will all take place during the programmed portion of the evening, from 6 - 6:30 p.m. on March 27th. Please join us for a snack, a drink, and a thought-provoking discussion of this topic.
On March 22, 2013 the Buskirk-Chumley Theater will be once again brimming with ideas that may just change the world. TEDxBloomington, the officially licensed local version of the famed TED conference, will feature local and national speakers covering a broad range of topics, inspired by the theme JumpIN! Among the speakers this year will be Bloomingfoods friend, Drew Ramsey, MD, one of psychiatry’s leading proponents of dietary change to balance mood, sharpen brain function and improve mental health. Please join us for a day of exciting ideas and challenges.
Harmony School Visitor Day
Hoosier Half Marathon and 5K Runs
Bloomingfoods is pleased to be a supporting sponsor of the 8th annual Hoosier Half Marathon and 5K, which will be held this year at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday morning, April 6th, 2013. A couple of thousand runners and walkers are expected to participate in this event, which is a benefit in support of Stone Belt ARC, The Teachers Warehouse, and IU Health’s G.O.A.L. (Get Onboard Active Living) program. Please visit their website to register to participate, for more information concerning the course, or to learn about opportunities to volunteer.
In the Co-op WorldBloomingfoods Hosts Co-op Start-Up Conference
The fourth consecutive "Up and Coming, Up and Running" co-op conference Bloomingfoods hosted last month was a wonderful success, with 107 visitors representing over 30 organizations participating in sessions conducted by Bloomingfoods staff and industry experts from Cooperative Development Services. Our thanks to the Indiana Cooperative Development Center (ICDC) for helping us offer this valuable event, to the Bloomington Conference Center for providing very comfortable meeting rooms, to Finch's Brasserie for hosting a delicious and very amiable reception on Friday night, and to all the many members we were told had chatted with our visitors and made them feel welcome and quite at home.
Food, Eating, and HealthLooking for a Food Desert?
If so, the USDA's new Food Access Research Atlas may be just the tool. With just a few clicks, you can quickly identify census tracks and communities around the country that are outside easy walking or driving distance of a market. The atlas is intended as a tool for policymakers, local planners and nonprofit groups concerned about food access.
Don't Rip Up Your Yard to Grow Vegetables
It's that time of year when many of us are surveying our yards with an eye to realizing more food and less mowing. If you find yourself in that camp, Northwest Edible Life offers a great approach that maximizes the fertility of the soil that has been created by years of grass growth and decay, that preserves the very structure of your soil profile, and that is much less back-breaking to complete than uprooting heavy sod.
Heroic Man Builds Oreo Separator
The Oreo cookie celebrated its 100th birthday last month. Now, cookie-favoring physicist, David Neevel, seeking to enhance the enjoyment offered by this venerable cookie has created what he believes to be the world's first Oreo separator machine (OMS). "My Oreo machine is based entirely on my dislike for creme and my preference for cookie," Neveel said. The OSM was constructed out of scrap aluminum, wood, a hatchet, and floss in a Portland garage. Neveel reported that building the contraption was a big time sink, during which "I didn't see my girlfriend or my dog for hours at a time." You can get the details on this dramatic development, including droll video footage.
New York City Soft-Drink Ban Revoked
Last year in an alleged effort to promote the health of his city's residents, New York City Mayor Bloomburg ordered his city’s Board of Health to ban the sale of sugary drinks larger than sixteen ounces by movie theaters, restaurants, mobile food carts, and delis—though not grocery stores or convenience stores. This week, just before the ban was due to take effect, a New York state supreme court justice revoked the ban, declaring it "arbitrary and capricious," as well as unenforceable and unworkable. He didn't bother to address whether it was legal. Grist's Deena Shanker has these thoughts on the decision.
Standing Be Good
The conniving Dogbert lays it on the line. If you'd like to see some of the evidence underlying his pithy assertion, however, you can find it here, in the Food & Health section of the April 2012 enewsletter.
Environmental NewsForests Growth Reported in the Arctic
Good news? Bad news? The jury is apparently out on whether it is good or bad, but scientists now report that lush stands of trees, brush, and other vegetation are springing up in arctic regions that were nothing but ice a mere thirty years ago.
London Mayor Pledges Big Spending for Bike Infrastructure
London Mayor Boris Johnson has announced that the city will spend a whopping $1.5 billion on better bike infrastructure — including a 15-mile bicycle highway that will connect the west and east sections of the city. It's very unclear from where the money will come, given the miserable condition of UK finances, but it's nice to see strong administrative support for change.
Closing Thoughts“Fast food should be made of fast animals.”
~ Stephen Colbert, addressing the European horse meat scandal.