June 2013 Newsletter
THE GREENE HILL FOOD COOP - JUNE 2013 NEWSLETTER
In this issue
This month, find out what’s happening at our upcoming general meeting, learn how to join an event that will help beautify our building and teach you to wheatpaste, and find out what is happening with store construction. Get the background on one of our most delicious new products—Lioni Mozzarella di Bufala. Check out this month’s recipe, and read an interview to learn how we really choose and procure all our amazing produce. Plus, of course, check out the latest opportunities for workshift fulfillment.
|Greene Hill News
Come to this month’s general meeting, which will be held at 7:00 pm at 138 S.Oxford Street on Thursday, June 20, 2013. Learn about how to detox your home using natural products, hear about member Ron Finley’s TED Talk, Guerilla Gardiner, and contribute ideas for fall events and ways to add increase membership. And as always, contribute suggestions for how our Co-op can work for you. A detailed agenda is available here.
New Officers and Board Member Announced
Congratulations to the new board member and officers of the Greene Hill Food Co-op! Please welcome April Taylor to the board of directors, Michael Randazzo as secretary, and Sean Mullane as Treasurer. Congratulations, and thank you to everyone who participated in this election.
Our Co-op Recycles
Members of the Greene Hill Food Co-op recently recycled all of the Co-op’s old electronic equipment to the Lower East Side Ecology Center, located on President and Nevins Streets in Gowanus. Special thanks to Treasurer Sean Mullane (pictured) and Board Member DK Holland (behind the camera) for organizing this event. To learn more about how you can recycle your unused household electronics, visit the Lower East Side Ecology Center’s website.
Construction begins next week! Our necessary repairs and improvements to the store to combat our pest problem and to get us ready for the next phase of store build out are underway. We need members to come help us empty out the expansion space this weekend. If you are available to help with moving furniture and other items please contact Nick@greenehillfood.coop. We will also need members to help clear out the stockroom when the time comes; look for announcements on Facebook. The store may have to close for a day or two to accommodate construction; please check our website and Facebook page before shopping!
Help Beautify Our Facade: Saturday, June 22
The In-store Signage committee is looking for a few talented hands to help with a project for spiffing up the front grille on the store. We will be wheatpasting a large graphic on the grille with the store’s hours of operation, and some member portraits too. We’ll start working at 11AM on Saturday, June 22, weather permitting. This is a great opportunity to help with getting the word out to the public about our hours and create a gorgeous new façade for the store. Please reply to Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in picking up a shift and helping out.
| On the Shelf
At the Greene Hill Food Co-op we try to work with local manufacturers and suppliers, with delicious results. One recent addition is Lioni Latticini, which supplies us with fresh mozzarella. Founded in Brooklyn in 1980 by the Salzarulo family, the company gets its name from the Salzarulos' hometown in Italy. They originally set up shop in Brooklyn, and then, as demand for their cheeses grew, they moved to nearby Union, New Jersey. In the past few years, Lioni has been getting the attention it deserves: their mozzarella has been featured in Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine, Saveur, O: The Oprah Magazine, and Martha Stewart Living, and was selected as Whole Foods' pick for best mozzarella. At the Co-op you'll find three of their most popular products: fresh mozzarella ($4.86/lb), smoked mozzarella ($5.12/lb), and their award-winning burrata con panna ($5.55/lb), which took home the gold in the World Cheese Awards in 2012. Not only is their cheese delicious, but the Co-op's unbeatable prices mean that members pay much less for it than you would at grocery stores. Check the cheese refrigerator next time you’re shopping!
Editor’s note: We have tried this, and it is completely amazing. We can’t wait until tomato season because it is going to make an incredible caprese salad!
|Try This at Home Asparagus with Miso Dressing
| The Co-op Q&A: Meet a Purchaser! This month, the Greene Hill Food Co-op Newsletter interviews Co-op member Rachelle Faroul, of the Purchasing Committee. She gives us the lowdown on how we choose and manage our produce.Q: How long have you been a member here at the Greene Hill Food Co-op and why did you decide to join?
A: I joined the Co-op one day last fall while selling produce for Wilklow Farms at the Fort Greene farmers' market. Someone was canvassing and I signed up during my break. In some ways, becoming a member was an impulse purchase because I knew the coop existed but I had heard mixed reviews and didn't know any fellow Brooklyn natives that had joined. Ultimately, I joined because it's important to me that the membership of the Co-op be representative of the surrounding neighborhoods and right now it isn't. Many people of color from the neighborhoods have reservations about joining and I hope that my presence encourages more of the "old-timers" to join.
Q: What drew you join the the purchasing team? Why did you get involved?
A: I joined the purchasing team because fellow Greene Hill member Lauren Melodia wanted me to help her take over Aaron Zueck’s responsibilities while he's off farming at Garden of Eve. I was really intrigued by the idea of getting a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to buy produce for a lot of people whose dietary restrictions, cultural differences, and taste preferences vary wildly.
Q: What is the process of determining what the Co-op will sell? Who decides what to buy, and how much of it?
A: Fortunately, I don't get to decide what the Co-op sells; members do. As we grow, I'm sure we'll continue to have conversations about whether to prioritize local over organic, labor/workers' rights issues, etc. but for now, I continue to purchase a lot of the items that Aaron has been providing and I try to get suggestions from other members whenever I'm in the store.
Q: Can you explain the ebb and flow of what is available at the Co-op? Why does the availability of certain products change from week-to-week, while others are more stable?
A: I run a Department of Health-funded farm-to-food pantry program for a living. By far, the thing that I love most about my job is being able to engage with food pantry guests and answer all of their questions about how the produce is grown, where it comes from, and who grows their food. I know that I've succeeded when pantry guests understand "seasonality" - that is, knowing when to expect certain vegetables throughout the year. I try to employ a similar mindset when I buy produce for the Co-op. Of course, there are some fruits and vegetables that I absolutely have to buy year round - bananas, avocados, lettuce, to name a few - but for the most part produce - especially, local produce - is cheapest when it's in season. We're a small coop, a startup essentially, so to keep our costs down we try to buy produce when it's cheapest, and that just so happens to be when there's a lot of it. Availability fluctuates for many reasons. Sometimes it's because a certain vegetable/fruit has a really short season - asparagus is a good example of that. Other times it's weather-related; recently there was flash flooding and late frosts upstate so small farmers lost a bit of their harvest. But usually, we're trying to strike a balance between continuing to provide what folks seem to love and introducing different/new varieties of vegetables and fruits.
Q: How do you choose what new items to introduce to the Co-op? What's the process of finding and bringing new products to the lineup?
A: I work with farmers for a living and I am always at the farmers' market. Greene Hill Food Co-op members are a pretty adventurous bunch, so I like introducing more unfamiliar vegetables that will only be around for a few weeks. Aaron had a great relationship with small farmers and foragers, some of whom we continue to work with. I like being able to connect directly with the farmer or farm cooperative to get a heads up on unusual vegetables that are coming in. Overall, the process is very collaborative. I like to pick Aaron and Allison's brain whenever I can and whenever we think we've found a producer that we want to work with, we discuss it as a group before we agree to start working with them.
Q: What is your favorite item offered at the Co-op?
A: My favorite item offered at the Co-op (besides all of the produce) is definitely Milk Not Jails products. I'm lactose intolerant so I don't buy MNJ products as often as I'd like, but their political message and the issues around racism, the prison industry, and food justice on MNJ's agenda are deeply personal for me. An East Flatbush native, I've witnessed first-hand how the prison industry has destroyed both black neighborhoods and the black (particularly male) psyche. I would like to think that when Co-op members buy MNJ products, they do so for both sociopolitical and epicurean reasons.
Q: What's your favorite thing about being on the purchasing team?
A: My favorite thing about being on the purchasing team is figuring out how much produce to buy. I still haven't mastered the produce buying but I love the challenge and look forward to getting your suggestions!
|Work & Shift Opportunities
New Tabling Opportunities
It's tabling season! 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 email@example.com before embarking on your shift!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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.
|Et ceteraPhoto credits: “Greene Hill News” photograph courtesy of DK Holland. Asparagus by kayaker1204. Q&A photograph courtesy of Rachelle Faroul.
The Greene Hill Food 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.