Earth Day 2008

The week of Earth Day and Arbor Day 2008 was a busy one for us at Bloomingfoods. 

On Tuesday I went to Bloomington High School South to speak to students in Nutrition II classes about vegetarianism. I got lots of good questions and shared information about why people choose the vegetarian lifestyle, and talked about how to eat well so as not to alarm the parents! Several students were interested in working for Bloomingfoods (some aspire to be future chefs) and I enjoyed talking to some of the athletes about their own health and nutrition principles. Even the cafeteria was a pleasant surprise – other than the packaged chips and brightly colored drinks, there was an amazing variety of food available and I saw a lot of fresh fruit.

On Wednesday Julie Harries and I set up our table for six at Terry's Banquets and Catering, for the Arts of the Table contest, a Jill's House fundraiser. Our theme was "Growing Community: the Local, Organic Table." BCS board members Donna Stroup and Mary Beth Haas loaned us place settings, silver, and antique chairs. Julie created a magnificent tree with real herbs and flowers for our centerpiece, and she made vintage-style seed packets to hang like leaves, each bearing the name of one of our local producers. The overall effect was rustic and elegant, a perfect reflection of how we envision dining on local foods. We didn't win the contest, but the experience was exciting and we were proud to contribute to such a good cause.

On Wednesday night I coordinated the Paul Nison Raw Food lecture and dinner at the UU Church. There were several dozen participants, and Marcia Veldman, Kathie Gullick, Justin Goellner, and Angelina Price deserve a special thank you for helping prepare and serve a fantastic entirely raw dinner. My tastebuds were delighted! So delicious, and very filling. This event was cosponsored by the Green Sanctuary Task Force of the UU Church.

On Friday, I went to Bloomington High School North with Darcy Harvey, to host an Earth Day table, sponsored by the Student Environmental Group. As a way to engage the students as they roamed about the atrium we asked them "Eco-quiz" questions, and in exchange for a correct answer – or a solid try – we gave them a reusable bag or a CFL light bulb. The word spread through the school that "Bloomingfoods is giving away their brown bags," and we kept the students engaged with organic, fair trade chocolate and tips about recycling. "The overwhelming enthusiasm and interest of the students regarding environmental issues made this experience so rewarding," said Darcy. "Spending a few hours at BHSN talking about our passions – good food and environmental stewardship - was a great way to spend time during a very uplifting Earth Week."

Immediately following, I sped to the YMCA to speak to a Parkinson's support group about whole, natural, and organic foods. About 24 people attended, and I enjoyed sharing resources and answering questions. The group showed lots of interest in the co-op and what we have to offer.

Later that afternoon, Sycamore Land Trust gave away native trees in our three stores to celebrate Arbor Day. This year we had great publicity, and shoppers were gathering at the stores even before the appointed start time. How exciting! Thanks, SLT, for a great event.

Besides serving as BCS Member-Owner Services Coordinator, Jean is the host of ‘Heath Styles’ (Saturdays from 11:30am-12noon), and ‘Where Your Art Is’ (Fridays from 6-6:30pm), on WGCL radio .