At the Co-opElm Heights Project Update
We're pleased to announce the selection of local rancher-builder Larry Neidigh as general contractor for the Elm Heights project. The Christmas snow storm briefly postponed activity on the site, but Larry promptly plowed it, allowing Smith, Neubecker & Associates, Inc. to stake the footprint and establish the floor elevation. That done, digging of the foundation shall commence soon. Check our ElmHeights page for all the latest news.
Our year-end reporting discovered membership growth to be stronger than ever in 2012, with a record 1,090 households joining the ranks of member-ownership.
Board Report: The Love of Co-ops
In this month's board report, Carol Bridges reflects on the many things our co-op does, some publicly and some behind the scenes, to keep not only our stores but our entire community vibrant, dynamic, and sustainable, consistent with Wendell Berry's observation that, "A viable neighborhood is a community; and a viable community is made up of neighbors who cherish and protect what we have in common."
Recycling Volunteer Needed
A two-hours per week volunteer is needed to help with recycling duties at our commissary kitchen. If interested, please email Pete Kinne. The selected candidate will receive 10% discounts on his or her purchases.
Bloomingfoods Grower Meetings
Though it is now mid-winter, we're already very busy planning another season of fresh and local foods. One facet of this process is to host a series of local grower meetings for both our current growers and new ones. These meetings will be a chance for us to share some information about our needs and guidelines as a store, to have a discussion about the upcoming season, and for us to gather information about our growers and their farms. Please join us to learn more about being a part of feeding our community.
January - February Member Days & Product Specials
Member day is Wednesday in January and Thursday in February. These are the January product specials, and these are the member-owner specials. Your Co+op Deals flyers are available here.
(812-336-5400; 3220 East Third St.)
For the new year, Cutters Brewing Co. has released their beers in 6 packs: their Monon Wheat, Half Court IPA, Floyds Folly Scotch Ale, and the Empire Imperial Stout are all available. Give these great local beers a try if you haven't already. Additionally, the beer world is currently in full-blown " heavy and dark" season, and we have a good selection of both. Ask one of our helpful staff to guide you in the selection of one that will suit your tastes. Wine, meanwhile, is all about those nice, big reds that warm the soul, or maybe a nice glass of port is more to your liking on cold nights. Regardless of your preference, we have a nice selection, including the 2011 Michel Chapoutier Bila-Haut, a truly fine red wine which also enjoys the distinction of being one of the first to feature a braille label.
In the meat department we currently have in stock This Old Farm 100% grass-fed beef, goat, and lamb. We also have a nice variety of seafood options available every week, including tilapia, sole, scallops, and a new line of wild-caught and domestic gulf shrimp. We think you'll also enjoy the ground beef heart we're receiving from Fischer Farms: it's a great substitute for ground beef or round, not to mention a treat your dog will love. If chicken is more to your liking, we think you'll be delighted with our organic Miller Amish Chicken, including boneless/skinless chicken breasts, boneless/skinless chicken thighs, and bone-in/skin-on chicken thighs. Finally, don’t forget to check out our specialty meat case, featuring great items for parties and gatherings. (The sopressata from Citterio is particularly nice.)
Near West Side Store
(812-333-7312; 316 W 6th St.)
Beginning in February, we will have vegetable, flower, and herb seeds available from Renee's Garden and from the Seed Savers Exchange. Also, we're excited to announce that our garden center at this location will be expanded significantly with the coming of spring. It won't quite rival the East store's, but it will be much more substantial than ever before.
(812-336-5300; 419 E Kirkwood Ave.)
At Kirkwood, we're focusing on improving our produce case, and we're now offering such new items as Portabella mushrooms, blood oranges, and mixed dried fruit. We want to meet your grab-n-go produce needs with items such as assorted berries, a variety of apples, bananas, and so on, as well as those items you still need for that fabulous dinner menu you have planned.
If you have produce needs, wants, or dreams just let us know. We love customer input! The deli, meanwhile, is revamping its menu! We'll be keeping some of those long-time favorites, but some exciting new sandwiches will be available soon.
Lastly, we have plenty of items to meet your cold/flu needs, including Emergen-C in individual packs if you just want a little kick or you can get a box for those persistent bugs. For symptom relief we have Zand and Ricola lozenges for coughs and sore throats, as well as Epsom salts in which to bathe your sore muscles. And, for the truly brave, we have Super Tonic: an "ancient High-Potency Remedy for inflammations, fevers, flu, colds, infections." Sure to knock your socks off...at least. To stay current on what's going on at Kirkwood follow us on Twitter (@bfoodskw) and/or Like us on Facebook (BloomingfoodsKirkwood).
Around Town6th Annual Percussive Dance Festival
Don't miss the 6th annual Percussive Dance Extravaganza, Thursday, January 17th at 7:30 p.m. at Rhino’s All Ages Club. Various styles of percussive dance will be presented in a full-length program, with choreography by Tamara Loewenthal. Master old-time fiddler and vocalist Brad Leftwich will be the featured musician, and will be joined by the likes of Jamie Gans on fiddle, Sam Bartlett on banjo and mandolin, Jim Nelson on guitar, and, Dedo Norris on bass. Bloomingfoods will provide refreshments.
The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Bike Ride
Bloomington Transportation Options for People (B-TOP) announces that neither rain nor sleet nor snow nor roving bands of zombies will keep them from the streets during Bloomington's second annual "Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Bike Ride," January 19th from 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m., departing from City Hall. The 7-mile ride will traverse urban cycling routes around Bloomington to demonstrate that it's possible to bike in all kinds of weather. Intended for both the fearful and the fearless. Then join the gang at Lennie's for brunch, which will be available to participants at 50% off. More information is available at this website, at this email, or by calling 349-3837.
Joel Salatin Presents: The Sheer Ecstasy of Being a Lunatic Farmer
Earlham College, a mere two-hour drive from Bloomington, will host Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm on February 2nd at 7:30 p.m. as part of its Artist and Lecture Series. This is a short drive, indeed, to be entertained and enlightened by one of this country's foremost farmers and philosophers of sustainable agriculture.
Jim Hightower Appearance
National radio commentator, writer, public speaker, and New York Times best-selling author Jim Hightower will be at the Buskirk-Chumley on Thursday, January 24th at 7:00 p.m. to help WFHB celebrate its twentieth birthday. "... the smallest dog can lift its leg on the tallest building," has observed this outspoken critic of big money, big government, and big corporations. Don't miss this amusing, thoughtful, and outspoken "progressive cowboy." Get your tickets here.
TEDx Manhattan: Changing the Way We Eat
Don't miss this year's TEDx "Changing the Way We Eat" webcast on Saturday, February 16th January 21st, from 10:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is a small nonprofit organization dedicated to exploring and spreading ideas that can shape a happier, healthier future for our world. At the "Changing the Way We Eat" event, over a dozen leading figures from the sustainable food and farming movement will share their thoughts concerning the work being done to shift the U.S. food system from industrially-based agriculture to something more local, sustainable, and nutritious.
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 Michael Hamburger, Professor of Geological Sciences at IU, will deliver a presentation entitled “Catastrophe! Natural Disasters, Sustainability, and the Future of Civilization" during the programmed portion of the evening, from 6 - 6:30 p.m. on January 23rd. Please join us for a snack, a drink, and a thought-provoking discussion of this topic.
Soup Bowl Benefit
The 19th annual Soup Bowl Benefit will take place on Sunday, February 17th at 5:00 p.m. at the Monroe Co. Convention Center. This is a great opportunity to break bread with your friends and neighbors, enjoy delicious soups and bread from more than 25 local restaurants, great entertainment, a smorgasbord of beautiful handmade bowls, and all in the name of supporting the Hoosier Hills Food Bank.
In the Co-op WorldWolcottville Organic Livestock Feed (W.O.L.F.) Cooperative
Here is a small piece of good news from northern Indiana. In early 2011, the Indiana Cooperative Development Center (ICDC) was contacted by Organic Valley and asked to assist a group of 80 organic milk producers in northern Indiana form a cooperative to purchase a local organic feed mill. By the beginning of 2012, necessary organizational documents had been drafted, in April the cooperative was registered with the Indiana Secretary of State and a board was elected, and by mid-February the cooperative will complete its purchase of the mill.
Bloomingfoods to Host Start-Up Conference
For the fourth consecutive year, Bloomingfoods will host a co-op start-up conference. This conference, which began as a very modest event for folks in states bordering Indiana, now brings together people from throughout the country who are interested in launching cooperatively-owned grocery stores. The Indiana Cooperative Development Center (ICDC) website offers full coverage of the event.
Food, Eating, and HealthOne Pot Cooking
There are few things more wonderful than coming into the house on a cold day, and being greeted by the fragrance of a soup or stew gently simmering on the back of the stove. Here is a fine article addressing the satisfying ease and simplicity of such food, reminding us of the wonderful observation of Waverly Root regarding pot-au-feus: "No city restaurant can match the pot-au-feu of the French farmhouse, where the kettle has been simmering on the back of the stove for years, never being allowed to cool off, constantly being replenished with new ingredients, changing with the seasons."
Foodtank: Thought for Food
Danielle Nierenberg and Ellen Gustafson have just launched Foodtank, an online venue at which farmers around the world can interact and share ideas "in a wiki-style format," as well as a clearinghouse for critical food and agriculture reports otherwise very difficult for growers to find. The website states: "The global food movement grows from the kitchens, gardens, and farms of the countless citizens who have committed to making healthy, sustainable choices about cultivating and consuming food. Food Tank exists to amplify these voices."
Organic Food Expensive
Here is a satiric report on the circumstances surrounding the outrageous prices we pay for locally produced organic food and the obscene profits enjoyed by the fools and rascals that produce it.
Tennis Pro Buys Year's Supply of Rare Donkeys' Milk Cheese
It was reported last month by the DailyMail that tennis pro Novak Djokovic had purchased a year's supply of rare donkeys' milk cheese from Zasavica, one of his native Serbia's most famous natural reserves. The white, crumbly cheese, known as "pule," has been described as similar to Spanish manchego, but with a deeper, richer taste. At $600/lb., it is also somewhat more expensive. See the full report for details and many pictures.
Latin Americans are Most Positive
"Money won't buy you happiness." Apparently there is more than a little truth in this maxim. A recently-conducted Gallup poll found Latin Americans to be the most positive people in the world. Countries in which people are wealthier (Qatar, Singapore), live longer (Japan), or are better educated (Canada) generally fell well below the Latin Americans, as indicated by their responses to whether they were "well-rested, had been treated with respect, smiled or laughed a lot, learned or did something interesting and felt feelings of enjoyment the previous day."
On the other hand, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, for Americans there is a connection between income and happiness. For our citizens, the average income required to be happy day-to-day, to experience “emotional well being” is about $75,000 a year. According to the researchers, past that point adding more to your income “does nothing for happiness, enjoyment, sadness, or stress.” Your happiness plateaus.
What does this have to do with health? Perhaps, everything. According to a growing body of research, including this study published in the journal Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, which states that, "A review of more than 160 studies of human and animal subjects has found 'clear and compelling evidence' that—all else being equal—happy people tend to live longer and experience better health than their unhappy peers...I was almost shocked and certainly surprised to see the consistency of the data,” said lead author Ed Diener. “All of these different kinds of studies point to the same conclusion: that health and then longevity in turn are influenced by our mood states.”
Chefs Reflect on Why Knives Aren't Just Knives
The foremost tool in the arsenal of most professional and home chefs is the knife. Here's a nice article in which some leading chefs expound on the beauty and utility of splendid knives, including Mike Ward, who observes that "When you appreciate the knife as an extension of your arm, these knives can do amazing things."
Fiscal Cliff and the Farm Bill
According to Politico, the tax package finally signed on New Year's day included a nine-month extension of the Farm Bill, dashing the hopes of all who had hoped for major reform. “The deal is blatantly anti-reform,” said Ferd Hoefner, policy direct for the Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. “Many smaller, targeted programs to fund farm and food system reform and rural jobs…were left out completely. The message is unmistakable — direct commodity subsidies, despite high market prices, are sacrosanct, while the rest of agriculture and the rest of rural America can simply drop dead.”
Environmental NewsSea Otters Win!
The Los Angeles Times reports that after 25 years of trying, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has thrown in the towel on its goal of relocating otters from coastal waters used by commercial fisherman. The otters almost universally died or returned. As a result, the otters will now be allowed to expand their range into Southern California.
New York Times to Discontinue Its Environmental Desk
The environmental world was somewhat taken aback last week by the Times' announcement that it would be eliminating its environmental desk. The Times assures its readers that this was purely an internal restructuring in response to the fact that environmental stories are more complex than they were once regarded, and that, consequently, "We need to have people working on the different desks that can cover different parts of the story.” And perhaps it is so, but it remains disturbing that, according to Grist, the number of newspapers that maintain a weekly “Science” section dropped from 95 in 1989 to 14 currently. InsideClimateNews has the full story, including a thoughtful collection of reader responses to the decision.
Ah, The Wonders of Nature
And finally this month, scientists continue to find new animals, alive and extinct. Here is a nice look at some of the strangest of the lot found last year.
Closing Thoughts"January is the quietest month in the garden. But just because it looks quiet doesn't mean that nothing is happening. The soil, open to the sky, absorbs the pure rainfall while microorganisms convert tilled-under fodder into usable nutrients for the next crop of plants. The feasting earthworms tunnel along, aerating the soil and preparing it to welcome the seeds and bare roots to come."
~ Rosalie Muller Wright, Editor of Sunset Magazine, 1/99