Co-op Connection December 2013

Co-op Connection

Food and Community News
Bloomingfoods Market & Deli

December 15, 2013

At the Co-op

Holiday News
Trees and Greenery
We still have a few Christmas trees and wreathes at the East, West, and Elm Heights locations, but they're going fast. Stop in soon for yours. They'll lend a very festive and fragrant air to your home this holiday season.

Gift Ideas
As described in more detail below, the stores are offering a fine array of gift items this year, including many beautiful and useful items from local craftspeople, artists, and authors. Can't decide? Consider a gift basket (perhaps one of our handmade, fair-trade African baskets?) filled with the work of local producers, artists, and artisans. Of course, a Bloomingfoods gift card or, even more, a membership is always a welcome gift.

Holiday Hours
We'll be keeping abbreviated hours at all our locations over the Christmas and New Year holidays. Here are the details for each of the stores.  Please note, too, that we'll be closing our stores at 8:00 p.m. on December 29th in order that our staff can attend the Bloomingfoods holiday party.

Free Tickets to The Banana Tree
Bloomingfoods is giving away two sets of tickets to the Bloomington Playwrights Projects' production of The Banana Tree. One pair is for December 20th and the other for December 21st.  The play was written by Dan Castellenata, the voice of Homer Simpson and several other characters on The Simpsons, and his wife Deb, a writer for The Simpsons. The Bloomington Playwrights Project is the only theater in the state of Indiana dedicated to new plays, and this play has never been performed anywhere else! The play is hilarious and the sets fabulous. For a chance to win a set of tickets, just complete this form.

Newsletter Report
As reported last month, we're making major changes to the format and distribution of our venerable paper-format newsletter, Bloomingnews. Most dramatically: beginning in January it will be issued bimonthly; it will be in a magazine rather than newspaper format; and it will be available electronically, formatted for viewing on smart phones, iPads, and other devices. This last feature allows us to offer you the option of receiving an electronic notice each time a new edition is available. You can then click on the attached link, and view the document on whatever device you happen to be using.  If you'd like to try this option, and perhaps even opt out of receiving the paper version (we'll continue to deliver a few copies to all our stores), simply complete this form.

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

Toys for Tots/Humane Society Bins
This holiday season, Bloomingfoods is hosting a fundraiser and toy drive to benefit Monroe County Toys for Tots. Toy donation bins are posted at our Near West Side, Elm Heights, and East locations. You can also donate using your debit or credit card at the registers at the Near West Side, Elm Heights, East, and Kirkwood stores. Next time you stop by, remember to bring an unwrapped toy, purchase one of our USA-made toys, or donate what you can at the register. This drive will run through Christmas Eve. On a related note, there is a Humane Society bin at the East store into which you are invited to drop pet-related donations.

Mother Hubbard's Cupboard (MHC) Fund Drive Report
November is the month in which Bloomingfoods conducts its annual Share the Harvest campaign in support of MHC, giving our shoppers the opportunity to make a donation to that fine organization. We're very pleased to report that this year's drive raised a total of $4,267.61 to help MHC provide healthy, nutritious food to people in need. On behalf of MHC and Bloomingfoods, thank you for your generosity.

Bloomingfoods Education Series: All About Bird Feeding
Sunday, January 19th, 2 - 3:00 p.m. in the Bloomingfoods East Patio
Free and open to the public. No registration required. The Bloomingfoods East Garden Center lecture series continues with a workshop by Chris Bobbitt, "All About Bird Feeding." It's a good opportunity to learn how to attract your favorite birds (and discourage squirrels) through your selection of food and type of feeder. The workshop will also explore ways to turn your yard and garden into a sustainable avian habitat for the benefit of both the birds and yourself. 

Board Report: Counting Our Blessings
In this month's board report, Carol Bridges shares a few thoughts on the blessings we enjoy as members of this community and this co-op.

Bloomingfoods Employee Wellness Program
We’re pleased to announce that Bloomingfoods is kicking off an employee wellness program on January 1st. As part of our benefits package with our insurance provider, Bill C. Brown, as well as in partnership with Anytime Fitness and Mukti Yoga Collective, we’ll be offering educational classes, monthly incentives, and fitness discounts to encourage wellness among our staff. Many thanks to our community partners for making this benefit possible.

Elm Heights Store
(812-822-0235; 614 E 2nd. St.)
The cheese department would like to draw your attention to an informational tool they've recently implemented.  Each month we will display new signage adjacent to our cheese case, featuring information concerning the cheeses we offer, tips for incorporating them into recipes, and suggestions for pairing them with wines and beers you'll find located on the shelves to their right. December's sign, for instance, features ideas and suggestions for assembling a nicely balanced cheese tray for your holiday parties. We hope this new signage will make your cheese-eating experience just a little simpler and more satisfying.

The folks behind the meat counter, meanwhile, want you to know that our locations have plenty of turkeys (frozen), hams, ducks, and other delicious and sustainably produced meats from such fine producers as Fischer Farms, Miller Amish Chicken, Gunthorp Farms Chicken, Dewig Meats, and Smoking Goose.

Near West Side Store
(812-333-7312; 316 W 6th St.)
Trying to wrap up your Christmas shopping?  General merchandiser Julie Harries has assembled a wonderful collection of gift items in our stores, and this is especially true of the Near West Side location.  To begin, we have the very popular "Blue Q" lanterns (pictured left), a collection of beautiful cutting boards from Jewell Hollow Woodcraft, 100% pure beeswax candles from Poppy's Honey Candle Co., and Splendid Scents incense. Additionally, we have many great items from "Kikkerland," including music boxes and night lights.  See, too, the line of "Vessel" drinkware, some beautiful fair trade handmade glass bead jewelry, a great array of warm and lovely coats and jackets from Kathmandu Imports, and "Green Toys" constructed of 100% recycled plastic. Finally, discover in our atrium area the very interesting and often unique collection of bird feeders and feed, plus bamboo bee houses.

Around Town

Winter Farmers' Market
The 2013-14 Winter Farmers Market will be held every Saturday morning from 9:00 a.m. to noon, from December through March (excluding December 28th), at the Harmony School Gym (909 E Second Street). Join us there for breakfast, local produce, meats, baked goods, dairy, and the companionship of neighbors and friends. The Market would like for you to also know that it now accepts SNAP benefits, and that it will be distributing coupons good for $1 off a cup of coffee at our Elm Heights coffee bar. Please note, too, the following Winter Market special programs:
11:00 a.m. every Saturday, yoga (donations requested)
1/11 11:00 a.m. Navigating the Natural Foods Market with Larry Howard
1/18 11:00 a.m. Empowered Birth with Amanda McKenzie
1/25 11:00 a.m. Children's Program: When People Had Two Sets of Clothes

Bloomington Urban Woodlands Project
The Bloomington Urban Woodlands Project is dedicated to combating environmental degradation and fragmentation caused by invasive species (mainly Purple Winter Creeper), and to restoring native species.  Their activities include working in Dunn's Woods, in Latimer Woods, as well as in the greenhouse in Jordan Hall.  If you would like to participate as a volunteer in this effort, please contact Natalie Christian at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit for more information."

Food, Eating, and Health

The 25 Cookies of Christmas
Among the many culinary traditions associated with the holiday season, one of the most enduring is baking cookies. Whether they're to be given as gifts, shared with your office mates, or simply provide you an opportunity to share a fragrant kitchen with family and friends, it's a fine way to pass a few hours. Epicurious offers this selection of 25 of its readers' most popular cookie recipes: everything from biscotti to gingersnaps to brownies to thumbprints to stained-glass ornaments.  The complete set of Epicurious Christmas recipes is also excellent, by the way, and should be able to inspire and instruct you in the preparation of about any kind of holiday meal you desire.

Hartzler Dairy
One of our favorite vendors is Hartzler Family Dairy, out of Wayne County, Ohio. Hartzler uses the lowest levels of pasteurization allowed by law, and it foregoes homogenization, which is what accounts for the signature layer of cream you can see through their returnable glass bottles and for the unique, rich flavor of its milk and butter. The story of farm patriarch Harold Hartzler's adoption of organic methods beginning in 1964 is enlightening and inspiring. It is told here in a MOON Co-op newsletter article we have placed on the Blooomingfoods website for your convenience.

Environmental News

Bee Portraits, Unlike Any You've Ever Seen
Sam Droege is the head of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Bee Inventory and Monitoring Laboratory.  Using recently developed photographic techniques, Droege has captured some of the most extraordinary images of bees ever taken. The level of detail, the color, texture, symmetry, and raw beauty revealed in these portraits will take your breath away. Seem them here, on Sam's flickr moment.

Finding the Silver Lining In a Very Brown Cloud
Let's close out the environmental news for 2013 on a droll note.  Beijing is notorious for its thick, filthy air. Rumor now has it that citizens there have decided if they're going to be literally smoking the air with every breath anyway, they'd better do it through, what else, a cigarette filter thrust into each nostril. Interestingly, a journalist for China's state-run radio station recently extolled the benefits of the smog, noting that it has a cultural leveling effect, since it affects the lungs of rich and poor, alike, that it had proved a boon for Chinese humor, since the people had turned to viewing from a comic perspective their "airpocolypse," and that it was promoting education by providing a focal point from which to address subjects such as meteorology, geography, physics, chemistry, and history.

Closing Thoughts

"Treasure the farmer. Nurture the soil. Plant wherever you are. Learn from nature. Cultivate your palate. Make your own. Eat whole foods. Share the harvest. Teach children the art of simple food."
~ Alice Waters, in The Art of Simple Food II


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