Saturday, July 12th, we will be hosting a Farm Tour of Solstice Seeds and Heartland Farms in Hartland, VT. These farms are located right next door to each other. They are offering a guided tour opportunity. The first tour begins at 11am and the second at 1pm. Cost is $15 with a vegetarian lunch provided at noon. You must register ahead of time if you are interested in this event. By phone: 802.295.5804, by email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or in person at the front end of the store.
Saturday, July 19th, we have our last Sew-op class of the Summer, Chalkboard Mats with Sally. This class will be from 10am-noon, $20 for Co-op members, $25 for non-members, $30 per sibling team.
Thursday, July 24th, there will be a workshop in the Community Garden at Ratcliffe Park on Latham Works Lane. Cat Buxton will be stopping by at 6pm to share some information on weed and bug identification. This is a FREE workshop open to the Upper Valley Community and a yearly event!
Starting Saturday, July 26th, we will be doing a store reset. The goals for this reset are two-fold. One is to ease traffic flow in areas where it tends to get jammed and the other is to consolidate the bulk offerings. Please bear with us as we start packing up parts of the store Saturday evening. We’ll be closed all day on Sunday, and we’ll open again Monday at noon.
To register for an event, or if you’d like to help with the reset, email Chris Jacobson at email@example.com or call 802-295-5804.
Tuesday, June 3rd, threatened to storm as we gathered around Misha Johnson of Free Verse Farm. He planted our walkway herb garden last year and it is starting to come into its own. Misha told our participants how to design your own herb garden and tips for growing and maintaining the garden. There will be a part two to that workshop in September. We will take a look at the Walkway garden and Misha will show us how to harvest the herbs and maintain the plants over winter.
The Co-op’s E&O served on a panel of Co-op folks at the Consumer Education & Marketing Working Group meeting for the Farm to Plate Network. We represented as a smaller Co-op with a significant volume of volunteers and loyal customers. We also held our own with our dedication to locally made and sourced products.
The weather was beautiful for our June First Friday. We had music from the lovely Miranda Moody Miller and tasty treats from Yummy Yammy’s Sweet Potato Salsa. There was also a tasting of June’s Cave-to-Coop cheese, Bon Pere. By the way, if you liked the Roasted Red Pepper & Barley Salad that our Sweet Lilac Deli sampled out, you can find it in our to-go fridge next to the hot bar.
Seeing as the First Friday in July is the 4th, we will not be hosting a First Friday Event that month, but make sure to stop by on August 1st for our next one!
Carol Stedman of Clay Hill Corners came out to our Community Garden at Ratcliffe Park on the 9th and gave a group a chat and hands on experience putting together a no till garden. The crowd was very pleased with the info. Carol is a local grower. She provides flowers, greens, quiche and jam among other things, to our Co-op.
We’re looking forward to our Anniversary and Solstice Celebration this weekend, with family fun activities from 10am-4pm on Saturday the 21st. There will even be sewing classes upstairs in the Sew-op! But they’re pre-registration only, so make you sign up early to grab your spot!
For the general public come on over between 10am and 4pm with your coupon for 5% off all purchases. There will be an assortment of fun & free activities and community frolicking:
Live music outside between 11 and 2
Cookout from 11 to 1
Free samples inside the store
Cake & Ice Cream at 12:30
Kid’s activities all day
Free raffles! Drawing at 4pm
Please come out and spend some time and grab some grub!
Buzz Away Extreme
You no longer have to choose between being bite-free or chemical-free. Buzz Away Extreme’s proprietary DEET-free formula of natural ingredients has been proven to offer protection against mosquitoes, ticks, flies and gnats. Made with natural ingredients and essential plant oils including soy, geranium, cedarwood, citronella, peppermint, eucalyptus and lemongrass.
Green Toys EcoSaucer and Jump Rope
The Green Toys EcoSaucer™ Flying Disc is made in the U.S.A. from 100% recycled plastic grocery bags that save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while the eco-jumper is made with US-made 100% cotton rope (7 feet long and adjustable) and 100% recycled plastic handles. All Green Toys products are packaged in recycled corrugated boxes with no plastics, cellophane or twist-ties, and are 100% recyclable.
BugBand Insect Repellent Wristbands
BugBand wristband is a great multi-purpose, natural bug repellent. A good choice for recreational and lighter-duty applications, it is designed with a patented break-away strap that snaps if it becomes entangled. It can be worn on belt loops, hatbands, pet collars, fastened in tents, attached to baby carriages or applied to other areas where insects could be a problem.
Badger Sunscreen & Outdoor essentials
Badger is a small, family-owned & family-friendly company nestled on the banks of the Ashuelot River in rural Gilsum, New Hampshire. They blend organic plant extracts, exotic oils and butters and beeswax, and make safe mineral sunscreens and other personal care products that work and feel remarkably good. They hold every single ingredient to the “Badger Natural Standard”, a rigorous look at the growth, sustainability, and supply chain of each ingredient they use.
Co-ops Cultivate Co-ops; Co-ops Cultivate Community
As I write, the Supreme Court just ruled in the McCutcheon case, increasing yet again the ability for the wealthy to control the country’s political process. Meanwhile, back at your local co-ops, the co-operative principle of “democratic member control” still holds: one member, one vote. As a co-op member-owner, you have a real say in what happens at your business: who serves on the board of directors, what changes are made to the bylaws. You also have the ear of the board, management, and staff. And any profit the co-op makes goes not to a few, but rather benefits member-owners and the community.
One consumer co-op may not have much influence in national matters. But when added together, co-operatives can be a huge force. When the co-operative model becomes the model that businesses want to emulate, that can change everything. The International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) has set a goal that by 2020, co-ops will be the acknowledged leader in economic, social and environmental sustainability – and that cooperatives will be the fastest growing form of enterprise.*
This ambitious goal can be made reality largely because of another of the seven principles: “cooperation among cooperatives.” Co-ops support each other both formally – through organizations like the National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA) and the Neighboring Food Co-op Association (NFCA) - as well as informally, such as in the way UVFC and the Co-op Food Store in WRJ send customers to one another.
In New England, the NFCA supports existing co-ops, expansions, and start-ups. NFCA provides educational programs and materials as well as gatherings and communication platforms for its member co-ops. NFCA also partners with the New England Farmers Union, which supports co-operative undertakings (such as a producer grant with Deep Root Organic Co-op), organizes educational opportunities, and partners with NFCA around issues that affect family farmers.
NFCA Executive Director Erbin Crowell (guest speaker at UVFC’s 2013 Annual Meeting) has been involved in another huge milestone: co-ops are entering the economics department. UMass now offers a course, “Introduction to the Co-operative Movement,” as well as an Undergraduate Certificate Program in Applied Economic Research on Cooperatives.
Co-ops return more money to the local economy. When the “multiplier effect” of money re-circulating in the local economy is factored in, every $1,000 a shopper spends at their local food co-op generates $1,604 in economic activity in their local economy. That is $239 more than if they had spent that same $1,000 at a conventional grocer.
Food co-ops promote community food security, buying from local farmers and producers and fostering regional food distribution systems. While, on average, conventional grocers work with 65 local farmers and food producers, food co-ops work with 157. Locally sourced products make up an average of 20 percent of co-op sales, compared to 6 percent at conventional stores.
Regionally, co-ops are introducing programs to be sure that all members of the community have access to healthful food options available at food co-ops, and to the benefits of member-ownership.At UVFC, information, classes, a community garden, meeting space, inexpensive lunches, and a place to talk with friends are additional contributions made to the local community. What others can you think of?
*This includes all types of co-ops – Consumer (food co-ops, credit unions, housing cooperatives), Worker (e.g., Brattleboro Holistic Health Center Co-operative , Once Again Nut Butters), Producer (Deep Root, CROPP/Organic Valley), Purchasing/Share Services Cooperatives (i.e., Ace or True Value hardware), and Hybrid (Weaver Street Market in Hillsborough, NC is owned by both consumer members and worker members).