Co-op Connection August 2013

Co-op Connection

Food and Community News

Bloomingfoods Market & Deli

August 15, 2013

There's so much to report this month, folks, you may want to take it in small bites.

At the Co-op

Elm Heights Project Update
In spite of what some of you may be thinking by now, we really are going to open a new grocery store. Really. It'll have walls, doors, food cases, and groceries and stuff like that. Just not today. And no, not tomorrow, either. But we are very close to opening this beautiful place, and I'll fire you all a special note when the momentous day actually arrives.  In the meantime, the City of Bloomington has given us the go-ahead for our staff to work in the store, so we are building shelves, stocking groceries, our produce pergola is built, and we'll pave the parking areas early next week. We are also fortunate to have a lot of support from outside our own co-op, with crews from fellow co-ops arriving in town to help us in making the store ready for you - from as far away as Willy St Co-op in Madison, Wisconsin and Neighborhood Co-op in Carbondale, Illinois. It's a very exciting time, and our confidence grows daily that you're going to love this place!

Coffee News: A Bar and New Blends
One of the most exciting features of the new Elm Heights store is the coffee bar which will occupy the mezzanine level and which will be run by our own Webb Lucas (left), a highly informed and enthusiastic coffee afficionado.  Webb writes here of three new coffee blends he has already helped develop with local roaster Partridge & Quigley, and he invites you to join him in the coffee bar to explore the delicious world of high quality coffee.

Member-Customer Appreciation Day (MAD-CAD)
Our annual MAD-CAD will be held this year at all our locations on Saturday, August 24th.  Please join us for a great day of special discounts, prizes, demos, and general amusement. All shoppers receive an extra 5% discount. For member-owners, that means 10% off your purchases; for not-yet-members it's a 5% discount; an additional 5% discount will be applied to local products.

August - September Member Days & Product Specials
Member day is Tuesday in August and Wednesday in September. You can view the August product specials and member-owner specials online. You can also download your Co+op Deals flyers or find them in the stores.

Recycling Volunteer Needed
A two-hours per week volunteer is needed to help with recycling duties at our commissary kitchen.  If interested, please contact Pete Kinne.  The selected candidate will receive 10% discounts on his or her purchases while in this position.

Bloomingfoods Community Partnerships
We're delighted to announce that Bloomingfoods has recently established partnership arrangements with two community organizations that will provide special benefits for our members. First, Bloomingfoods members will receive a 10% discount on all products and services received from Revolution Bike and Bean. We've negotiated a similar partnership with I.U.'s Friends of Art Bookshop. Nestled within Indiana University’s School of Fine Arts (1201 E. 7th St, Fine Arts Building, Room 125), the shop boasts a one of a kind book selection, as well as art supplies, posters, calendars, paper goods and handmade gifts. As a non-profit, the mission of Friends of Art is to support the School of Fine Arts and its students through fundraising, education, and social engagement in the wider community. Next time you’re on campus, stop by to enjoy the 10% discount for Bloomingfoods member-owners!

Bloomingfoods Public Bike Repair Rack
Bloomingfoods has received a Sustainability Partnership Grant from the City of Bloomington to install a public bicycle repair stand along the B-Line Trail at our Near West Side location. The stand includes a mount, an air pump, and maintenance tools that will enable cyclists to fill their tires, repair flats, and adjust breaks and derailleurs. This “Fixit” bike station is part of our campaign to encourage healthy and sustainable lifestyles among our staff, customers, and community at large.

Please Update Your Address With Us
Late summer is typically a time when many of our member-owners change residences, so if you have, here's a little reminder to please let me know your new address. We don't want you to miss receiving your newsletter or other mailings of significance that will be going out soon.

Near West Side Store
(812-333-7312; 316 W 6th St.)
The big news here is the installment of our new store manager, Rocky Laster (left). Laster recently arrived from Alaska, where he's been running a family mercantile, grocery store, cafe, hardware store. Please extend an especially warm welcome when you see him in the aisles. Oh, and former manager Jason Hill isn't gone: he's just returning to his roots, having taken over the new role of system-wide beer & wine buyer for the co-op.

Elsewhere in the store, our produce department currently has an enormous selection of local fruits and vegetables, including some exquisite heirloom tomato varieties, Bud Smith melons, and peaches from Olde Lane Orchard. And if you're planning to preserve some of the year's bounty, please note our wide selection of canning supplies. Looking for wine?  You may appreciate our new region-specific shelving arrangement.  Finally, don't miss the last of our summer clothing. It's going fast.

East Store
(812-336-5400; 3220 East Third St.)
In the meat department, we're very pleased to have fresh, wild Pacific sardines, one of the healthiest foods on the planet. Meat buyer Josh Hermes describes the nutritional qualities of sardines, and offers ideas on how to prepare them. 

In the grocery department, manager Martha Philion has brought in a nice collection of new products, including blk water, Golden Temple granola, a wide selection of Wildbrine naturally fermented products, and Talenti Gelato Pops.

Summer may be winding down, but that's no reason to suspend your gardening activity. Chris Bobbitt tells you in this report which crops thrive in cooler weather (beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, collards, endive, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, mache, peas, radishes, spinach, Swiss chard, and turnips), and he discusses the simple equipment our garden center can provide to ensure the success of your four-season garden.

Ivy Tech
(812-822-0143; 200 Daniels Way)
Ivy Tech starts its fall semester Monday, August 19th, and this will lead to two major changes in our operation. First, we will extend our hours from 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. in order to  better serve the many students enrolled in evening classes. In addition, we've expanded our staff to help handle the increased volume of customers and to ensure that wait times are short for our made-to-order sandwiches.

Kirkwood Store
(812-336-5300; 419 E Kirkwood Ave.)
'Tis the season for local produce and our deli is taking advantage. We are making great efforts to purchase goods from local farmers to put on the salad bar and on your sandwiches. Some of the local items we've gotten recently include lettuce, arugula, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, cucumbers, and broccoli. In the world of grocery, we recently sampled two new Mary's Gone Crackers flavors, and we LOVE much that we'll now be carrying both the Hot 'n Spicy Jalapeno and Super Seed flavors. Another item we recently tried in the store is Runa tea, and the Guava and Lime flavors have quickly become customer favorites. It's an unsweetened tea containing Guayasa: "Guayusa offers a clear, focused energy by balancing as much caffeine as one cup of coffee with twice the antioxidants of green tea." As always, follow us on Facebook and/or Twitter for our daily soups and sandwich specials.

Around Town

Monroe County United Ministries Food Drive
The eighth annual “Each One, Feed One” Community Food Drive to benefit MCUM’s food pantry will be held on August 23rd, 24th, and 25th. On these days, MCUM volunteers will collect donations at our stores to re-stock their depleted food pantry that serves Monroe County residents in need. Their goal is to collect 16,000 pounds of food, cleaning supplies, and personal hygiene items from generous shoppers. Financial donations are also accepted. Please help, as your means and inclinations suggest.

Fourth Street Festival of the Arts & Crafts
The 37th annual Fourth Street Festival will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 31st and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, September 1st.  Free of admission, the event is a great opportunity to view and purchase art from over a hundred of the area's and the country's finest artists. For folks wanting to really get involved in the event--and get a free festival t-shirt--we have volunteer opportunities available Friday evening and during show hours Saturday & Sunday. Contact Jean Kautt for details.

2nd Annual Garlic Festival
On Labor Day weekend 2013, Saturday August 31st and Sunday September 1st, the Community Art Fair and Garlic, Inc. jointly present the 2013 Community Art Fair and Garlic Fest at Third Street Park. The Community Art Fair portion of the event will feature local artists who will be displaying and selling their works from 10:00 a.m. until 7ish on Saturday and again on Sunday, closing at 5ish. The Garlic Fest portion of the event will feature live music on the Third Street Park stage all day with free admission. There will also be a cooking contest: see their website beginning Monday for the details.

Salsa Contest
The Bloomington Farmer's Market's Salsa Contest will take place this year on Saturday, August 24th, from 10:00 a.m. to noon. If you have your own great salsa recipe and are feeling competitive, hurry in to either our East or Near West Side stores to pick up a registration kit. And whether you compete or not, plan to be there to sample the salsas and see a salsa-making demo by Gregg "Rags" Rago from Nick's. There will also be a salsa dance demonstration by members of the Arthur Murray Dance Studio.

Hillbilly Haiku Music Festival
Kick off the Labor Day weekend with friends, food, beer, and a live outdoor performance at the annual Hillbilly Haiku Music Festival. This year's event will take place August 30th from 5:00 to 11:00 p.m. at the Upland Brewing Company, and will feature performances by Houndmouth, Jason Wilber, and T.V. Mike and the Scarecrows. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door. All proceeds from the event will go to the Sycamore Land Trust, a conservation organization that strives to protect the natural heritage of southern Indiana.

Bloomingfoods Education Series
We have two educational programs coming up soon. First, the "HUB Ferments" will take place on August 21st from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., and will feature Kayte Young and Stephanie Solomon of Mother Hubbard's Cupboard demonstrating how you can transform fresh seasonal produce into such delicious probiotic delicacies as kefir, sauerkraut, kimchee, kombucha, and yogurt. On Wednesday evenings from September through December the "Grow Organic Educator Series" (GOES) will offer participants the opportunity to learn about everything from soil science to seed saving. You can find the details regarding both classes on the Bloomingfoods website.

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, Shahzeen Attari, Assistant Professor at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, will deliver a presentation entitled "Public Perceptions and Biases Related to Energy and Water Consumption." The presentation will take place during the programmed portion of the evening, from 6 - 6:30 p.m. on August 28th.  Please join us for a snack, a drink, and a thought-provoking discussion of this topic.

First Friday Evening Science of Art: Aerial Arts
Enjoy half-price admission as you explore the art and science of aerial acrobatics! Watch aerial performances by members of Flight Club Fitness - Blooomington. It's all taking place at WonderLab Museum on September 6th, from 5:00 to 8:30 p.m.  A small-plate meal, freshly prepared by Bloomingfoods, will be available to purchase in the WonderLab café.

Free Cookie Give-Away at the Farmers' Market this Saturday
Visit the volunteer tables this Saturday, August 17th, at the Bloomington Community Farmers' Market to get a coupon that earns you a free cookie at the Bloomingfoods booth. We have 100 cookies to give away on a first come first served basis to people who check in at various non-profit tables at the Market.

See Black Gold at the IU Cinema
Bloomingfoods is pleased to co-sponsor a screening of "Black Gold" (2006), directed by Marc and Nick Francis, on Sunday, September 8 at 6:30 pm at the IU  The film looks at the politics of coffee. Fair trade coffee and and information that brings the issue up to the current moment will be available, too.

Food, Eating, and Health

Bloomington Farmers' Market
The American Farmland Trust is sponsoring a program this summer called the "I Love My Farmers' Market Celebration," the object of which being to raise awareness about the farmers' markets around our country and to cultivate a better understanding of why it is important to support the work of the markets and the farmers, and also to highlight the importance of protecting farmland. Participants pledge dollars they intend to spend at their farmers' markets. One pledge = A commitment to spend $10 at your farmers' market that week. The Top 100 most celebrated markets will receive a special logo honoring their achievement, “No Farms, No Food”® gear, and recognition on the Celebration’s website.  Our Bloomington market is currently ranked 1st in Indiana, but is well behind the national leaders.

Edwardian Supersize Me
Many of us sensitive to food and nutrition are wont to lament and deplore the excesses of the "supersize me" mentality that pervades the fast-food industry feeding much of modern society. But as this wonderful little investigative documentary demonstrates, we've nothing on our Belle Époque era forefathers. "With the doctor's warning still ringing in my ears, I'm looking...forward to a week of constipation, heartburn, and gout" declares restaurant critic Giles Coren following his checkup before embarking on the adventure of dining in the fashion of a wealthy Edwardian for one week.

GMO Crops in France: Not if President Francois Hollande Can Stop Them
The French government recently overturned its country's ban on gmo corn. President Hollande quickly stepped up, though, and extended the moratorium. Nation of Change has the story, and also offers this map illustrating where the world's countries stand on this issue.

Environmental News

Kentucky Author-Poet Wendell Berry Wins Dayton Literary Peace Prize
For decades Wendell Berry has urged us to live in peace and harmony with our natural environment, decrying the violence done by many of our cultural practices to the land on which we depend. In recognition of his work, he was recently named the winner of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize's lifetime achievement award. The Washington Post has the story.

Radioactive Wolves, or Chernobyl, 25 Years Later
Remember Chernobyl?  The reactor melt-down released more radioactive materials into the surrounding area than did the Hiroshima explosion, rendering 2,600 km unfit for human habitation.  Unfit for humans, perhaps, but not for nature at large. If you're looking for hope and encouragement that nature can cure herself when finally released from the human grip, you'll find it in this wonderful documentary from PBS.

Darkness as a Natural Resource
The captions to the left read, from left to right: inner city sky; suburban/urban transition; suburban; rural; "excellent dark sky site." In his book, The End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light, Paul Bogard has much to say about "darkness as natural resource" and why we need to preserve it before we lose it completely.

Bee News
Colony collapse disorder continues to ravage our bee population. You can make life a little easier for the bees in your particular area by setting up a hive in your yard or garden. If a traditional hive seems too heavy, cumbersome, or otherwise impracticable in your yard, consider instead a Top Bar Hive. They're very inexpensive and simple to construct yourself, or you can readily buy a pre-constructed model from a company such as Bee Thinking Hives (stunningly beautiful in cedar, albeit much pricier than building it yourself from whatever materials you have lying about).  It's simple, and the healthier bee population it will promote will reward you with both better pollination in your gardens and honey, to boot. Mother Earth News says this about Top Bar Hives: "Conventional methods of keeping bees are effective, but top bar beekeeping is simpler, less expensive, gives bees a greater degree of freedom, and still leaves you with honey and pollinated crops."

Closing Thoughts

Sitting in the garden, in the warmth of the afternoon and early eve, experiencing this glorious summer fleeting by, I am reminded of the wonderful haiku:

Of an early death
showing no awareness,
the cicada sings.

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