At the Co-opKrejci Award Nominations
It is once again time to recognize and honor a Bloomingfoods member-owner, staff member, or board member by awarding them the Bill Krejci Memorial Award. Bill was a pivotal figure in the history of Bloomingfoods, devoting many years of service to our co-op in a wide variety of positions. After we lost Bill in a motorcycle accident in 1998 we established this award "...to honor and keep in our minds the contributions of Bill Krejci and to reward those who continue his life's work by benefiting the goals of Bloomington Cooperative Services." Anyone wishing to write a nominating letter of support for a worthy member of our Bloomingfoods family should do so by contacting Patty Steward.
From the Board: You Make It a Friendly Place
In this month's report from the board, Carole Bridges reminds us that "Our cooperative is more than just a "shopping experience. Healthy food includes the need for emotional nourishment as well. This is one of the places where hugging a friend in the aisle is okay." It is a lovely essay on the role we all play in making our stores cultural centers of gravity that satisfy our inherent human need for connectedness with our friends and neighbors.
We're very pleased this month to announce the appointment of a new member to our marketing team. Isaac Smith comes to us from Little Egypt (aka, Southern Illinois), where he graduated in 2012 from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale with a degree in journalism. He spent the last year running a newspaper in Cairo, Illinois and will be working on a redesign of the Bloomingfoods print newsletter. Be on the lookout for some big, exciting changes in the coming months!
Board Election and Annual Survey
The 2nd cooperative principle states "Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members." In compliance with that principle, we are now in the midst of our annual board election. This is the opportunity for fully paid members to participate in selecting the men and women who guide our business at the highest level. By now you should have received an email invitation to vote. (If you have not, you can get a ballot at any of our stores.) Please take some time in the days ahead to read carefully the candidate statements, and then select your choices for our board.
Board elections are just one way in which you can participate in guiding the course of your co-op. Another is by sharing your opinions in our annual survey. Please take this opportunity to tell us what you think we're doing well or could be doing better. The opinions expressed in the survey are both strictly confidential and highly influential in guiding our operations.
Bloomingfoods - Jacobs School of Music Partnership
We have a very special partnership to announce! Bloomingfoods has teamed up with the Jacobs School of Music to sponsor their 2013/14 ballet and opera season. Be on the lookout for special promotions and menu items throughout the concert season, including the Figaro Macchiato, available on the mezzanine of the Elm Heights store.
September - October Member Days & Product Specials
Member day is Wednesday in September and Thursday in October. You can view the September product specials and member-owner specials online. You can also download your Co+op Deals flyers or find them in the stores.
Fall Truckload Sale
Our fall truckload sale will take place October 12th and 13th. Plan to stock up on all your favorite items at the best prices we can offer. Plenty of volunteers are needed for the sale, so please contact Tom Zeta to get a slot helping out. As always, volunteers will receive a week of 10% discounts for each two hours of service.
Bloomingfoods Education Series
The Bloomingfoods Education Series will feature several very interesting and useful classes during the next few weeks. In September we'll be offering "Healthy Japanese Sushi" and "Fall Gardening." October will feature "Cooking with Wild Edibles," "Let the Fall Planting Begin," "The Orchard as Ecosystem," "Hydroponics and Indoor Lighting," and "Water, Water Everywhere."
Elm Heights Store
(812-822-0235; 614 E 2nd. St.)
Elm Heights customers young and old are already singing the praises of our coffee bar, where you can now get Bloomingfoods Chai, hot chocolate, and a wide array of specialty coffees. We’re also preparing to bring in a selection of loose-leaf teas from Frontier Co-op. Our Wi-Fi is now operational, making the mezzanine a great place to enjoy your drink while you study, visit with a friend, or just gaze out over the store.
Downstairs, meanwhile, we're very pleased to find business booming, nowhere more than in our meat and seafood department, where the excellent Dewig meats (based in Haubstadt, IN) are proving particular favorites.
Near West Side Store
(812-333-7312; 316 W 6th St.)
Fall is coming on quickly, and our apple selection reflects it, with such varieties as Fuji, McIntosh, Fulford, Gala, Somerset Gala, Jonomac, Swiss Gourmet, and Ginger Gold coming from Olde Lane Orchard and from Apple Works. We also have a huge supply of Honeycrisps, just in from North Carolina. Local winter squash varieties now in stock include butternut, acorn, and spaghetti. Local sweet potatoes too! And though it is getting late in the season, we still have Olde Lane Orchard white and yellow peaches. Outside of produce, be on the alert for the beautiful scarves we now have in stock. They're perfect for those cool Lotus evenings.
(812-336-5400; 3220 East Third St.)
At the East store, look for a shake-up of the general merchandise offerings. Julie Harries, our artist-in-residence who has long managed those items at the Near West Side location, will soon be working her magic at the East store. Objects beautiful and amusing will be appearing soon.
The Garden Center, meanwhile, is at the height of its autumn glory, with a bounty of mums, pumpkins, and squash. Staffer Chris Bobbitt offers these ideas for late season treatment of your grass and for wintering over inside many of the plants that have spent the summer outdoors.
(812-822-0143; 200 Daniels Way)
The Ivy Tech fall semester is now in full swing, and business at our location there is brisk. Helping matters significantly is new signage making it easier to find our store location. There's one street-side sign along Daniel's Way at the entrance to the Ivy Tech parking lot, and another at the building entrance, by the West door of the Connie and Steve Ferguson Academic Building. Both were generously provided by Ivy Tech.
(812-336-5300; 419 E Kirkwood Ave.)
The big news at Kirkwood is a new menu in the deli! Our deli manager, Patrick McGill, got really creative and came up with some delicious combinations. In addition, we took a good hard look at the quality of the ingredients we were using and decided to bump it up a bit. We're confident you're going to love the difference you'll experience. We'd also like to direct you to a new staff favorite: the Explore Asian Mung Bean fettuccine. It's gluten free, high in protein and awfully good. We can't keep it on the shelf because the staff keeps buying it!
Around TownLotus World Music & Arts Festival
For lovers of food, wine, diverse music, and revelry, nothing that occurs in our community quite compares to the annual Lotus World Music Festival. This year's festival will run from Wednesday, September 25th through Sunday the 29th. Here is the list of artists we'll be seeing this year, and here is the performance schedule. Tickets are available at all Bloomingfoods locations.
Peacetree Mountain Chocolates
One of our favorite local vendors is Peacetree Mountain Chocolates. Linda Armes, Gretchen Handlos, and Lisa Hornibrook provide us with some of the most delicious and beautifully packaged chocolates we've ever eaten. We're very pleased, therefore, to learn that Peacetree is a nominee for a Martha Stewart Audience Choice Award. If you have enjoyed their chocolates as much as we have, please cast a vote for them; if you haven't yet tried their luscious products, do so soon and you'll immediately understand our enthusiastic support for their nomination.
Fall Homegrown Indiana Farm Tour
Enjoy a delicious taste of agrarian life on the Fall Homegrown Indiana Farm Tour, Sunday, September 22nd, from 1:00 - 8:30 p.m. This tour will take you to Amish country in Daviess County where you'll visit two farms featuring orchards, dairies, produce operations, and wagon-making shops. The evening will conclude with a simple meal of seasonal soup, home-baked bread, and cookies.
Shadows to Light: A Concert to Benefit Amethyst House
Bloomingfoods is pleased to be a sponsor of a concert featuring Carrie Newcomer on Saturday, September 21st at 7:00 at the Buskirk-Chumley Theatre. Local novelist and essayist Scott Russell Sanders will make a special appearance. Proceeds will benefit Amethyst House, a local not-for-profit agency providing residential and outpatient services for people with addiction problems.
Going Solar Presentation
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, Chad Roeder, owner of Bloomington Pedal Power will deliver a presentation entitled "Improving the Conditions for Recycling in Bloomington." The presentation will take place during the programmed portion of the evening, from 6:00 - 6:30 p.m. on September 25th. Please join us for a snack, a drink, and a thought-provoking discussion of this topic.
Back Roads of Brown County Studio Tour
Tucked away in the hills and hollers of Brown County are the studios and gardens of some of Indiana's most talented artists and craftspeople. A select group of these artists will open their studios to the public for the entire month of October. You will be able to see demonstrations, meet the artists, and have an opportunity to make purchases. We think you'll find that the Studio Tour is a splendid way to experience the arts and crafts of "The Art Colony of the Midwest," while moseying along the scenic back roads of Brown County.
Hunter's Honey Farm Fall Harvest Celebration
Our friends at Hunter's Honey Farm invite you to join them in celebrating over a hundred years in business on Saturday, September 21st, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. It'll be a wonderful opportunity for guests to watch an apiarist work on a beehive, tour the honey barn, enjoy lunch in the Busy Bee Cafe, and even indulge in a helicopter ride, weather permitting.
Food, Eating, and HealthU.S. Ok's Chinese Purchase of America's Largest Pork Producer
Grist reports here that the U.S. government has determined that the purchase of Smithfield Foods by a Chinese firm would not constitute a threat to national security. Regardless of how distasteful many of us in the Bloomingfoods community find Smithfield's practices, the Chinese have no such qualms and are anxious to acquire American innovation and expertise in industrial food production. The Chinese government and other companies are reportedly watching this unfold with intentions of making similar purchases in the future. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) ponders the national food security ramifications of growing foreign ownership of our means of food production. Yet another good reason, perhaps, to support our own local producers.
On the GMO Front
The latest battleground pitting consumers and farmer advocates against agribusiness corporations is Washington state. Residents there will vote on November 5th on Proposition I-522, a citizen’s initiative that would mandate clear labeling of genetically engineered (GE) ingredients on food packages. The Cornucopia Institute strongly supports the measure and offers readers a most revealing infographic of the organizations and companies on either side of the argument. Here in Indiana we can't vote on the proposition but we can vote with our buying dollars for the companies that are aligned with our values. Be sure to check out the infographic.
Bike News: Chamois Panties
If you're a fan of bikes, entrepreneurship, and comfort, you're gonna love the chamois panties Kickstarter project by Christiana Guzman. Whether you choose the sexy "Bettie" or the more modest "Brigitte" design, you'll be riding in comfort and style. As the esteemed partner of this editor wryly observed, "Now there's a project we can all get behind."
Environmental NewsCroatian Bees Trained to Find Land Mines
During the Balkan Wars in the 1990's, 90,000 landmines were widely scattered throughout Croatia, and in the days since then they have killed thousands of people. Many remain hidden to this day, and finding them is very difficult and dangerous using traditional methods. Resourceful scientists are now working with honeybees, which possess an especially keen sense of smell, to find the mines by training them to associate the scent of TNT with food.
Closing Thoughts"A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business."
~ Henry Ford