Warm Weather Product Highlight

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.

The May June Newsletter is available online and in-store!

may June coverWelcome to another publication of our Community Newsletter! This issue focuses on cultivating sustainable growth in the garden, in business and in our lives.
 
The offerings include our cover photos and introduction to Deep Meadows Farm in Ascutney. They have gone through many evolutions to get to their current model and location. ops as well as local businesses directly supporting local producers.
 
All of these words speak to the many ways that we can and do build resilience in our Upper Valley. It is these small businesses that are most intimate and in tune with the needs of the community. This requires the ability to remain flexible and open with an eye on the goals in the distance, much like steering a ship. We at the Co-op are ever grateful for our community and are always improving the ways we meet your educational and resource needs in the area of food security.
 
The Upper Valley Food Co-op takes its cue from the mission. We as a business pay attention to the members’ wishes and balance that with sustainable intentions and financial viability. The Upper Valley Food Co-op works to educate consumers about the options here at the store without judging individual decision making processes. We recognize that everyone’s reality is different and what works for you today may not be the same tomorrow.
 
Thank you for supporting us and for helping us do the work that makes for a resilient, co-operative and successful community organization! And stay tuned…there are many exciting changes coming this summer. Our GMT will outline the next transformations in the July/August newsletter.
 
Please enjoy this article by our Board President, Debbie Diegoli. Check out the newsletter online or pick one up in-store.
 

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).

Hemp History Week: June 2-8

What is Hemp?

Hemp is the distinct oilseed and fiber varieties of the plant species Cannabis sativa L. It is a tall, slender, fibrous plant that has been cultivated worldwide for over 10,000 years. It is important to note that hemp has no drug value. Hemp seed contains little to no measurable amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient in drug varieties of Cannabis. Using hemp products will not cause a false positive drug test.

A low-impact agricultural product, hemp is a renewable resource that can be grown without pesticides or agricultural chemicals.

A nutrition powerhouse, hemp is also an environmentally sustainable solution for potentially thousands of products ranging from body care to plastics, paper, textiles, building materials and even ethanol. With a rapidly expanding market for hemp products, cultivating hemp is an untapped opportunity for American farmers.

Did You Know?

  • Industrial hemp has been grown in the U.S. since the first European settlers arrived in early 1600′s.
  • The Declaration of Independence was drafted on hemp paper
  • George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams all grew hemp and actively advocated for commercial hemp production.
  • Hemp was a staple crop of 1800′s American agriculture, reflected in town names like “Hempfield” and “Hempstead.”
  • Hemp was handled by the U.S. government like any other agricultural crop. More than 150,000 acres of hemp were cultivated as a part of the USDA’s “Hemp for Victory” program during WWII.
  • America is one of the only industrialized nations to federally prohibit industrial hemp farming.

5th Annual Hemp History Week   June 2-8, 2014

Vote Hemp

Rural Vermont Agricultural Hemp Campaign

 

Upcoming Events: June

hemp posterJune 2 through June 8 is Hemp History Week. On Wednesday, June 4th come hear from Robb Kidd of Rural Vermont. He will host a hemp info forum in the gathering room from 5:30 to 7:45.

Swing by on Friday, June 6th for our First Friday event. Members of the Board of Directors will be in attendance to talk to you, answer questions and find out if you have a skillset to offer and an interest in joining the board. Lisa Johnson will be here as well serving up her Yummy Yammy products. Miranda Moody Miller is our musical guest. Come out on Friday and get a 5% discount on purchases made between 4 and 6:30pm!

Saturday, June 21st is our Solstice/Anniversary Celebration! Come by and join in our cookout from 11 to 1. We will have samples and vendors in-store as well as demonstrations and food outside. 5% discount when you present this coupon.

This is our last full month of classes at the Sew-op. Check out the offerings: Pajama Pants, Draft Your Own Skirt, Tech Gadget Sleeves, Kids’ Classes and Open Hours. Look for offering on our Community Calendar.

Please note that the UVFC Library is closed beginning in June. We are tackling some renovations and will be opening the upstairs in September with a wonderful teaching facility and meeting space.

Happy June!

VCGN Grow-It! Workshop

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Charlie Nardozzi giving us tips on soil testing.

The White River Community Garden is slowly coming to life as more and more plots are being covered with compost mulch. In preparation for the full bloom of spring, the UVFC Education and Outreach team attended the VCGN Grow-it! Workshop in Woodstock. The Vermont Community Garden Network is an organization that works to connect community gardens throughout Vermont. Their focus is on the operational side of a garden, training garden leaders, funding garden projects, working to connect youth to growing their own food and advocating for fair and just community-based food systems. 

 

The Grow-It! workshops include fun activities. This past week the participants learned how to distinguish the different components of soil using a simple technique involving a mason jar and a bit of time. Charlie Nardozzi is a partner with the VCGN and he helps to facilitate the workshops bringing practical methods to use in the garden. Charlie lends his expertise and humor to the experience making it a fun time for all.

 

The spring workshops with VCGN are done, but if you’re interested in getting more involved with your garden, talk to your garden organizer about attending one of the fall workshops. And keep an eye out for what’s happening at the White River Community Garden! Workshops and farm tours can be found on the google calendar on the Education page or here.

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Productive breakout group discussing challenges and solutions for Community Gardens.

© 2014 Upper Valley Food Cooperative