The Co-op was excited to welcome back Nutty Steph’s founder Jaquelyn Rieke for a talk on relationships in business. The event was held in the seating area downstairs and the casual atmosphere allowed for a fluid discussion of each attendee’s experiences in the business world. Jaquelyn shared her own experiences as a business owner and the obstacles she faces turning her business into a worker cooperative, while also sharing tasty samples of her chocolate. Check our calendar for upcoming events!
Last Wednesday Robert Rockwood, of Replenish Plus skin care, stopped by the Co-op to give an informative talk on commercial beauty products. He shared his experiences with the processing side of the skin care industry, most especially the lack of regulations in the industry and how companies are able to skirt around the few regulations that do exist, easily including hundreds of toxic ingredients in every bottle and jar.
He explained why lipsticks are allowed to get away with 65 times the amount of lead that is legal for paint, and why sunscreen actually increases your chance of getting skin cancer. I’m sure you’re dying to know the logic behind that, so I’ll tell you. In order to be effective at all you would have to apply half a bottle of sunscreen every half an hour. Otherwise the heat from the sun breaks down the chemicals in the lotion turning them into free radicals, you know, the things that cause cancer. When you apply just a thin layer, the UV rays aren’t being blocked, plus the chemicals turn into free radicals more quickly!
If you’re bummed you missed the talk and you’d like to be notified the next time we offer a similar one just leave a comment at the bottom. Robert is also working on a book about all the dirty secrets of the skin care industry, so keep an eye out for that!
Our SuperWorker Appreciation Day was a success! Thank you to everyone who came, and especially to the staff and SuperWorkers who brought food for nibbling on. The Co-op lives on the shoulders of the community; staff, SuperWorkers, and patrons alike. Thank you to everyone who contributes to holding up the Co-op, you are truly appreciated.
Last Friday, the Co-op’s own Charlotte Hultquist stopped by to share her knowledge, experiences, and tasty samples of cultured foods from her own kitchen. The gathering room was full, even with kids sitting on laps, eager to snack and listen. Charlotte brought sourdough starters, water kefir, and yogurt to pass around as she described her processes for making them. Attendees were full of questions and stories of their own experiences with cultured foods. The discussion had so much momentum that everyone stayed late, even the kids. It was a fun night, and we’re hoping to have her back for another discussion soon!
Desperate to get out of the house? Come to the Co-op and check out our upcoming events!
Jaquelyn Rieke will be returning on January 31st at 6pm for Cracks in the Wall, a talk on relationships in business and her experiences building Nutty Steph’s Granola and Chocolate Company.
In February we’ll be having our monthly First Friday with free vendor samples from Liberty chocolate and our friend Judi, and 5% off everything in the store from 4 to 6pm. We will also hear from one of our Antioch interns who is working on the question of GMO labeling. Stop by and talk to Sarah about your concerns and understanding of GMOs in Vermont.
On February 12th at 6pm, guest presenter Robert Rockwood will be joining us for a discussion on Understanding Beauty Products. He’ll arm you with insider information to help you select products that are good for you.
On Valentine’s Day the Co-op will be hosting our annual SuperWorker Appreciation Day. Stop by to mingle with your fellow volunteers and take home a gift from the Co-op. This is from 4 to 6pm in our back room.
There’s lots happening at the Co-op. Next time you are in on’t forget to check the bulletin boards and sign-up sheets at the front end!
Expect to see major changes in availability of crops from California this year. Not only have farms there been hit with freezing temperatures, but the lack of snow and rain has had a major impact as well.
Citrus is the crop most affected by cold weather, with California varieties coming close to the end, and higher prices on what little remains. Some farmers have lost their entire crop. This has created higher demand for Florida citrus, bringing their season to an early end as well. We will do our best to stock oranges and tangerines, but will keep an eye on price.
Row crops (the annual veggies like cucumbers, zucchini, lettuce, tomatoes, cabbages, broccoli, melons, peppers, etc.) are also being affected by both the cold and the drought. In the Fresno area, irrigation water is extremely limited. Farmers are letting (lettuce) fields go unplanted, and directing what water they can get to permanent crops like citrus, nut trees, avocados and asparagus. An official from one large farm said, “A lot of land is going to be fallow, and a lot of people are going to be unemployed. Everyone’s scrambling.”
What’s the good news? The Upper Valley Food Co-op is still ordering from local farms such as Deep Root Cooperative and Pete’s Greens. We have good supplies of local potatoes, carrots, cabbages, turnips, rutabagas, beets, celeriac, parsnips, Jerusalem artichokes and the like. Make a cole slaw salad! Roast local roots! And our local apple selection is the best in the Upper Valley, including IPM and organic!
We cannot predict how this will all play out. We’re keeping our eyes open and our ears to the ground, so that, whatever happens elsewhere, we will be your go-to place for good local food!