May 2013 Newsletter
THE GREENE HILL FOOD COOP - MAY 2013 NEWSLETTER
In this issue
Greetings, Co-op members and other interested parties. Welcome to our May newsletter, full of information about this month’s General Meeting and our special election. Read about the candidates and find out how to vote online. Also in this issue: the deets on our big Spring Hangout and Potluck, news about delicious, local yogurt and meat, a quick carrot salad recipe, and an interview with one of our regional growers. It might just make you want to quit your job and start farming. And of course, we’ve got lots of work opportunities (one’s even paid).
|Greene Hill News
Thursday, May 23, 2013, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. 138 South Oxford Street (between Fulton St. and Atlantic Ave.) Come to this month’s General Meeting for a tasting of Brooklyn-based company Spoonable’s caramel sauces. With a sugar high firmly in place, we’ll finish the election process and fill a post for the Board of Directors as well as the Secretary and Treasurer positions. Check out the last section of the newsletter to survey the candidates and learn how to vote online. We’ll also be re-considering an amendment to the bylaws. Finally, please come weigh in on the decision whether or not the Co-op should continue to carry products from Eden Foods. A full meeting agenda can be viewed here.
Mark your calendars: June’s General Meeting will be held on June 20, 2013, and July’s on July 13, 2013.
What’s going on in our backyard?
No longer an abandoned lot, there have been a lot of changes in our own backyard. The Greene Hill Food Co-op had been involved in conversations with city government and local groups regarding the use and development of the land behind the Putnam Street location (facing Fulton Street). The Mural Committee, working with the Design-Build Committee, hosted a lot clean up event last fall that included priming the back wall of the Co-op’s building.. This was done with the support of Drop Cloth Painters, and a Grant from Build It Green's "BIG! Gives Back Program," providing paint, supplies, and expertise. Lately, there has been interest in the land itself, the construction of a compost bin, and a story that has unfolded about the land ownership and urban development. Want to know the future of this piece of land? Read more here.
Spring Hangout and Potluck: Saturday, June 1st
Time: Noon - 4:00 p.m.
Location: The Greene Hill Co-op Backyard, 18 Putnam Ave.
Bring: Homemade dish to serve 5
Spring has finally arrived, and what better way to celebrate our freshly harvested produce than with a hangout and potluck in the Co-op’s backyard? Bring your own chair (or blanket), meet your fellow Co-op members and enjoy fresh air and fresh food. We will be selling the Co-op’s “spare inventory” of beer and wine, too.
Want to volunteer? We need people to help set up and break down, work tables, handle food, and act as cashiers. You will get work hours, of course. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info. Have a sound system? If you have a speaker set for an iPod that you could loan for the day, we would greatly appreciate it! Email email@example.com if you can help.
| On the Shelf
Berle Farm yogurt is back! After a winter hiatus, the Berle Farm cows are producing milk again, and the folks at the farm are turning that milk into delicious yogurt, packing it into glass bottles, and sending it to us. If you've been missing this fabulous yogurt over the past few months, the waiting is over!
Product spotlight: Brooklyn Cured Bacon and Sausage
Like bacon and sausage? Then check out our offerings from Brooklyn Cured, a Sunset Park-based purveyor of sausages, pates, hams and other meat specialties. The founder and director of a current staff of 6, Scott Bridi, has been working in New York restaurants since 2003. He helped develop the charcuterie program at Gramercy Tavern and staffed Williamsburg's butcher shop Marlow and Daughters. Realizing there was a niche for quality, local meats, Scott branched out on his own with Brooklyn Cured. The Greene Hill Food Co-op has been a proud retailer of Brooklyn Cured products since its early days, and we're excited to watch the company grow. They'll soon be expanding their offerings with poultry patés and lamb terrine with roasted garlic, and they're working on an herb garden with rare varieties for use in future products. Recently they offered the store a 6% cut in prices, so check out the adjusted prices duck fennel sausages, maple glazed hams, bratwursts, and more.
|Try This at Home
Serves: 4 Ingredients:
Whisk oil, lemon juice, honey, shallot, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add carrots, celery root, raisins and walnuts; toss to combine. Source: Adapted from Eating Well by Wellness Concepts September/October 2009
| The Co-op Q&A: Meet Your Local Grower! This month we interviewed Erin Woodard, of Farmerin, whose produce is a regular staple on the Greene Hill Food Co-op’s shelves. We talked to Woodard about farming, food politics, and what we can look forward to from Farmerin this season.
Q: You've had quite a range of experiences in farming before beginning Farmerin. How did you discover your love of agriculture?
A: I was already in love with my CSA share and my teeny tiny city garden. I was looking for a new job and a friend told me about WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms). I volunteered on a family farm in Vermont for two months in 2009. I had never worked harder or laughed more than I did during that time. It is so satisfying to sell a bunch of carrots at a farmers' market that you harvested the day before or to see seedlings germinating in a tray you seeded. You can point to something and say, I did that. And at the end of the day, sitting down to a meal with your fellow farmers that's made from produce from the field, is really the best thing ever. I knew from that point that I wanted to work in agriculture and I have ever since.
Q: Tell us a little about Farmerin. How did it come to be? What do you grow?
A: Farmerin was a few years in the making. After Vermont, I worked as an apprentice on farms in the Hudson Valley. I gained a lot of knowledge and some amazing mentors along the way. I knew it was time to either manage someone else's farm or start my own. I ended up being very lucky and everything fell into place for starting my own. I now own a few acres of land with a house in a great community in the Hudson Valley. I grow mostly vegetables with a sprinkling of herbs and flowers. I also have a few chickens for eggs and manure.
Q: The debate over "organic" labeling is a hot topic these days in the world of sustainable agriculture. What's your take on the controversy?
A: I think organic doesn't necessarily mean sustainable. Just because a farm is following the organic guidelines, does not mean they being good stewards of the earth they're working.
I once visited a CSA farm that was debating whether they should get their organic certification. They polled their members and the result was that it didn't matter to the members whether they were certified or not. The farmers were very open about the practices on the farm and the members were welcome to visit or ask questions if they had concerns. I really liked that idea. I know that I don't use herbicides, pesticides, or fungicides on my farm and that I do the best I can to treat the earth well so I can continue to do this for years to come. I'm not certified organic, but I know I'm growing in a way that I feel good about.
Q: What is a "day in the life" of a produce grower?
A: My dog, Jack, and I usually do a field walk and make a list of what needs to be done. The list can include cleaning a bed of debris from a spent crop, seeding a new crop, trellising something that's growing or fixing fencing. But, since I don't use machinery, it usually includes a lot of hand weeding. I usually have lunch and possibly a siesta if it's a really hot day. On harvest days, I try to get the greens in before the heat of the day or wait until the dry heat of the day to harvest tomatoes or summer squash. I try to wrap things up by dinner time so I can sit down with my husband. But sometimes I'm out after dark with a flash light, doing one last thing before I can call it a day.
Q: What types of produce can Greene Hill Food Co-op members expect to see from Farmerin this season? Anything to especially look forward to?
A: Starting in June I will have snap peas, mustard greens, hakurei turnips, radishes and lettuce. Over the summer there will be summer squash, cucumbers, beans, ground cherries, and garlic. The fall will bring lots of greens. I'm really looking forward to the red potatoes I'll be harvesting as new potatoes in July. And of course, tomatoes. Nothing beats a garden-fresh tomato. I'm trying out some new varieties this year. After so many months without these things, I'm trying to not make myself drool right now.
Q: Do you ever miss anything about city life?
A: The restaurants!
Q: Beyond purchasing local produce, what other steps can Co-op members take to support small farm owners?
A: The best way to support a farm is to buy their produce. And tell your friends about your favorite farms. The more support and the stronger a community around a farm, the better. Also, go to farmers' markets on rainy days and buy the slightly imperfect produce.
Q: Favorite food that doesn't occur in nature?
A: Popcorn. It does exist in nature, but not with butter on it.
|Work & Shift Opportunities
Graphic Designer Needed
The In Store Design team from the Branding Committee is looking for a graphic designer. Shifts can be done from home! Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if interested.
As we transition into summer, the Membership committee is also going through its own transition. Expanding to meet the needs of our growing membership, we have tasks big and small for members to take on. We ask that interested members commit initially to working these tasks for a minimum of six months in order to build up the committee for the remainder of the year. If you're interested, please email email@example.com.
New Tabling Opportunities
It's springtime, time for our tabling season to begin again! Are you interested in a shift that's outdoors in the sun? Do you like to talk to people and engage with your community? Then this is the job for you! Just sign up on ShiftPlanning (under the label, "community tabling") for the location of your choice. Please make sure to review the tabling instructions and contact Amy at firstname.lastname@example.org before embarking on your shift!
We need canvassers to help us get the word out for the Spring Hangout (see above). This is a great job for those of you who want to work on a flexible schedule, take strolls around the neighborhood, and love to talk with people. Canvassers pick an area (check below for the map) and drop off promotional material at restaurants, stores, churches, apartment buildings (with their approval) and other places. We also hand flyers for upcoming events to passers-by on the streets. A copy of the canvassing map is available here. E-mail Miriam at email@example.com if you’re interested in joining the team!
Join the Events Committee
Love to party? Join the events committee! We are looking for folks to help the committee in planning the upcoming fall celebration, a summer happy hour, and monthly content for the Co-op's general meetings. We need 1-2 awesome members who can commit to at least 2 hours a month, much of which can be done from home. If you are interested please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Write for the newsletter
The newsletter committee is looking for another member or two to help us gather items, write and edit copy, and find art. It’s a great job to do from home on your own time. No experience necessary, but a willingness to meet deadlines is a must. Write us at email@example.com.
Paid temporary position available
The Co-op is embarking on Phase 2 of it's long term renovation (Come to the General Meeting on the 23rd to hear more about the plan). This will require a period of 2-3 weeks of oversight during construction. You will work hand in hand with the contractor to supervise, troubleshoot and help facilitate the budget and timeline remaining on track. The position requires a qualified individual who, ideally, has experience with either General Contracting, Project Management, or other architectural/engineering qualifications or is an individual who has other experience and strengths applicable to qualify for this position. The timeline for construction is early June and will be preceded by a few meetings in preparation for construction. Rate is negotiable. Please email a resume with cover letter articulating why you are a qualified candidate to firstname.lastname@example.org by end of day, Friday, May 24th. Reference "Application for Construction Project Manager” in the subject line. The applicant does not need to be a member of the Co-op.
Join the Floater Group
If your schedule doesn't accommodate working the same shift every month, consider joining the Floater group. This group of members does not work a recurring shift each cycle, but rather, receives a weekly email from Allison, our Store Coordinator, listing shifts that need coverage that week. Pick up one of these 2-hour shifts per cycle, and you'll stay current with your hours. Benefit to you? You choose your own schedule! Benefit to the greater good? We get better coverage, hence shorter lines, happier shoppers and workers, etc., etc. To join email email@example.com.
Use Your Banked Hours
Don't forget that over the course of this year, members who have banked hours can redeem 4 of them! Just apply online 2 weeks in advance!
Don't have banked hours? Get some! Any hours over 2 hours per cycle are banked and you can use them for vacations or travel. Cover another member's shift to spread good karma and put hours in your bank.
Make Up a Missed Shift
Can't make your shift? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Confused about how to make up shifts? The best way is to cover another member's shift. Here’s how:
Please don't schedule makeup shifts through Shift Planning. Only recurring shifts should be scheduled through ShiftPlanning.com.
|Special Election: Vote Online May 19-23 The Greene Hill Food Co-op is holding a special online election and at this month’s General Meeting to fill one vacant spot on our Board of Directors and to elect a Secretary and Treasurer. All those elected will serve temporary terms. The person elected to the Board of Directors will serve until the Annual Meeting in 2013, when the annual Board elections are held. The Secretary and Treasurer will serve until October 2013, when the annual Officer elections are held. Biographical information for the candidates is located below. All candidates are in good standing regarding work hours at the Co-op.
Online voting will begin at 10pm on May 19th and end at noon on May 23rd. You can vote online here.
Paper ballots will be available at the May 23rd General Meeting. The General Meeting will be held at 7pm on May 23rd at 138 S. Oxford St. Votes will be tallied and election results announced during the General Meeting.
You will need your keyfob number in order to vote both online and by paper ballot. If you are a member of Greene Hill Food Co-op, but you do not have a keyfob, you may cast a provisional ballot by attending the May 23rd General Meeting. Provisional ballots will be counted once membership is confirmed.
If you have questions or experience trouble casting your ballot, please contact Silas Allard at email@example.com.
Candidates: Board of Directors
Most of you know me, I Joined the Co-op in its neophyte phase. As a Merchandising Co-chair, I have been instrumental in launching the buying club as well as the store. I have enjoyed working with my other Co-chairs in building a successful committee which grew to a large dedicated group of reliable members. I was also one of the primary campaigners for the creation of an Operations Committee, of which I am also a Co-Chair. I have enjoyed helping to craft this integral committee.
I have immensely enjoyed participating in Steering (& our unique retreats) and collaborating with other committees. Overall, I am someone who has encouraged this Coop to look to the future, to focus on our goals and not our hurdles, and to not let fear or discouragement sidetrack us from achieving our goals.
My professional work experience, as a production manager on projects that employ several hundred people, has provided me with an excellent foundation of knowledge and the practical applications of running a business and handling complicated problems.
I am also interested in insuring that the balance is struck between running & operating a progressive Business vs. a community organization or a not for profit. If the business succeeds we will have the luxury of nurturing the more communal and personal aspects of this business. If the business doesn't succeed, nothing can be achieved. We need to focus on how to innovate and make our business really stand out.
Renée Renata Bergan
I have been the Outreach Chair for 1.5 years, before that, I was involved with the co-op for around 1.5 years. This month I have stepped down from the Outreach chair position and am now running for the Board. I feel I would be an excellent candidate for numerous reasons:
My long time involvement with the Co-op (now about 3 years) shows my dedication to the creation and survival of the Co-op and demonstrates my understanding of the Co-op's history. Being that the Board will be developing short and long-term strategies, this history I think will prove invaluable for some decision making moving forward.
My experience as Outreach chair- and Steering Committee member- has taught me invaluable communication, delegation and project management skills; as well as a commitment to make sure the Co-op continues to work towards being inclusive and welcoming to the diverse people in the surrounding neighborhood.
My commitment to transparency: I believe all members, being investors, should be as informed as possible about what is happening at the Co-op and I will always strive to ensure this happens. For me this information transparency not only keeps all members "in the know," but with information comes action. It allows all members an opportunity to be decision makers.
Thank you for your consideration and I hope you choose to have me on the Board so that I can help the Co-op continue to grow and develop and be an invaluable asset for our neighborhood.
Arts administrator, community organizer and educator, Michael Randazzo (BA, M.Arch., Columbia University) currently directs community projects for LIU Brooklyn. While in the employ of contemporary art collector Wynn Kramarsky from 1991 to 2012, Randazzo was involved in a variety of art-related projects, including AboutDrawing.org, a comprehensive website on the varied exhibition program of one of the country’s leading contemporary drawing collectors.
Formerly an adjunct faculty member at Parsons The New School For Design, from 1998 until 2003 Randazzo was the director of The New School for Social Research’s Computer Instruction Center (CIC). In this capacity he developed innovative curricular responses to fast-moving developments in the web-based technology and design industries.
In addition to his academic pursuits, Randazzo also helps organize conferences and special projects, including BLUR_O2, Power at Play in Digital Art and Culture with Creative Time, the Future of War with the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and The Brooklyn Bridge Cup for Kids and Fort Greene Track and Field Day with Young Rock Soccer Academy.
Sean Mullane has been a member of the Co-op since January 2011, working as cashier leader in the store, and on other issues and projects with the Operations, Finance, Merchandising, Governance and Outreach Committees. He has also served as one of our liaisons with the Park Slope Food Co-op,where he is also a member. His career focus has been on finance, in the non-profit healthcare sector and previously with Merrill Lynch as a money manager and Credit Suisse First Boston as an investment banker. He has an MBA in finance and BA in philosophy at Columbia University. Raised in San Francisco, he now lives happily in Bedford-Stuyvesant. “I’m deeply committed to Greene Hill as a 100% working co-op. We are united as equal owners, equal workers, and equal beneficiaries of low prices for good food. What a wonderful change from the competitive workplaces and markets we’re used to! My goal is to work with Finance Committee members to assemble and present a clear financial picture to the Board and membership each month, so that all of us can continue to keep Greene Hill financially healthy, as we improve and expand our Co-op in the months and years to come. We’ll be building on the great work of past and present Committee members, co-chairs and treasurers. As for my diet, I’m a thirty-year vegetarian, with a longstanding interest in safe, nutritious and fresh food. And there’s no better food in our City than the groceries we sell at Greene Hill!"
Photo credits: Bananas poster: Jeanne Verdoux. Carrots: MGF/Lady Disdain
The Co-op newsletter is edited by Jenny Akchin, Debbie Grossman, and Matthew Hayes. Contact us with any feedback, suggestions, or requests at firstname.lastname@example.org.