October 2013 Newsletter
THE GREENE HILL FOOD COOP - OCTOBER 2013 NEWSLETTER
In this issue
Autumn is in full swing, and we’ve got a set of recipes to help you make the most of its bounty, plus a behind-the-scenes look at the best honey we’ve ever tasted. We’d love to see you at our next general meeting, or swing by the store to celebrate Food Day with us. Missed our Fall Celebration or just want to relive the fun? We have a recap. This month’s interview gives you the scoop on our Food Justice Committee’s hard work. And of course, we’ve got lots of ways you can work your shift and contribute to our community. See you in the aisles!
|Greene Hill News
Election Results from September 26
The results of the Board of Directors election are in: The Greene Hill Food Co-op would like to congratulate member DK Holland, who was re-elected to a one-year term to the Board, and welcome Renee Renata Bergan and Sean Mullane to the Board of Directors; each will be serving a three-year term. Thank you to all candidates in this election, and thank you to all the members who voted. The Co-op would also like to thank our outgoing Board members, April Taylor and Pablo Anwar Armijo de Lazorik (Vice President), for their dedication and hard work. Already serving terms on the board are Nick Collins (President), Lawrence Eichorn, Christina Travers and Aaron Zueck. Sean Mullane is Treasurer and Michael Randazzo is Secretary. More details about the officers and what they do will be included in the next issue - stay tuned!
The next General Meeting of the Greene Hill Food Co-op will be at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, October 29th at South Oxford Space, 138 S. Oxford Street, between Hanson Place and Atlantic Avenue. The Co-op wants to hear from you, and all decisions for the Co-op are made at the meeting, so all members are encouraged to attend! Work credit applies as ever.
Funding for a New Check-Out and Point of Sale System
At the General Meeting on September 26th, after a unanimous vote of the members, the Board of Directors approved a measure that authorized the Co-op to take out a $3,000 loan in order to purchase a new check-out and point of sale system. The Board also approved a measure to build a new receiving desk.
The Co-op would like to remind members of the current “banked hours” policy, which was adopted by the Board of Directors at the January 2013 General Meeting. This policy will be reviewed at the January 2014 General Meeting. Here it is:
Any hours over the required 2 hours per 4-week cycle for regular work (or 4 hours per 8-week cycle for committee work) are considered “banked” hours. Any member may redeem up to 4 banked hours per calendar year (for 2 work shifts). Members wishing to draw upon banked hours should use this form, available on the Co-op’s website. It needs to be approved two weeks in advance, so plan ahead.
There will be a cashier training at the Co-op on Thursday, October 24th, at 7:30 pm. This training is for anyone interested in becoming a cashier, and for any current cashiers who want a refresher on the Co-op’s systems!
Food Day is a nationwide celebration of healthy, affordable, and sustainably-produced food and a grassroots campaign for better food policies. It builds all year long and culminates on October 24. This year, the Greene Hill Food Co-op will join the movement by celebrating Food Day all week long, beginning Monday, October 21 with food tours at the Co-op. Come by for food demos during store hours (6-10 pm) on Wednesday, October 23, featuring delicious new items in the store. And stay tuned for more events during the week to celebrate eating healthier and keeping your family’s diet on track. To learn more about Food Day, watch this video.
The Co-op Mural Completion: Sat., Oct. 26th!
The Co-op is looking for volunteers who love to make art, paint, or draw, for help in completing the Co-op’s mural! Come by on Saturday, October 26 between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. Greene Hill Food Co-op members and Park Slope Food Coop members are eligible for credit. See additional information in Help Wanted below.
| Greene Hill’s 2013 Fall Celebration: A Recap
On Saturday, September 21st, Greene Hill Food Co-op rang in autumn and the 2013 harvest season with the second annual Fall Celebration. Our backyard was filled with new and longtime members, neighbors, kids, mural painters, dancers, and some of our favorite local food vendors.
Besides the barbecue sizzling with Co-op burgers and dogs, local and organic vendors shared samples, cooking tips, and product info—among them were: Granola Lab, Spoonable, Narda’s Ginger Punch, Stony Brook Oils, Brooklyn Cured, North Fork Potato Chips, Barry’s Tempeh and Milk Not Jails,. Kids got to take part in face painting and special yoga lessons by Dou Yoga, learn about recycling with Grow NYC, hear some music by member Naomi Adiv, before tumbling into the fun bouncy house. And several new members joined, some of whom came for our special non-member and extended-hours shopping day.
Also in the backyard, artist and Co-op member Rachel Robbins and team began painting the new back wall mural—a project supported in part by the Brooklyn Arts Council and Build it Green! NYC. Brooklyn’s Fusha Dance led African dance lessons, and Co-op member, DJ and Fort Greene local ddotto kept the music flowing.
The Events Committee led the day—big thanks go out to Renee Bergan, Tara Cinani, Gretchen Johnson, Gisela Sanders Alcantara, Kelsy Chauvin, and many others who helped turn a Co-op event into an all-welcoming community celebration!
Gretchen helped recap all that was great about this year’s Fall Celebration: “For me the best part about the day was talking with folks from the neighborhood who wouldn't normally stop by the Co-op—but who were excited to learn more about it. A few ladies who stopped by to sample food told me that they were a bit intimidated by the Co-op—they had walked by it in the past but didn't know what it was, and hadn't been sure it was something for them. But once they had experienced it they were very impressed. They made a few purchases and one even planned on joining!”
| On the Shelf
Pumpkin Village Foods Honey and Maple Syrup
The delicious maple syrup and honey we stock are from Pumpkin Village Foods, a very small producer (Seth Wolcott-MacCausland, his wife, and brother-in-law) based in Green Wind Farm, a 50-head Jersey dairy farm and 4,000 tap maple operation run by Seth's parents in Vermont. Pumpkin Village's syrup is distinctive because of its longer boiling time and reverse osmosis processing of the raw sap, which raises the final sugar content of the syrup and intensifies the taste. They maintain a diverse environment for their maples, rather than a monoculture of maple trees, which makes for a healthier, more ecologically sound environment. And much of their sap gathering is done the old fashioned way, with buckets and horses!
Why is Pumpkin Village honey so good? Well, it's packed directly after extracting from the comb: it's never reheated or over-handled. Beekeeper Josh White's bees forage on a mix of grass crops, woods, and land in transition from field back to woods primarily in Franklin County, Vermont, providing the bees with a diverse, stable, and sustainable home. And the best honey comes from the happiest bees! Pumpkin Village honey is light but complex, delicious on toast or oatmeal, in yogurt or tea. It's a bit more expensive than mass-produced honey, but a little goes a long way!
Pumpkin Syrup is available at the Greene Hill Food Co-op at $9.58 per pint, and Pumpkin Honey is available at $5.13 for 10 ounces.
| Try These at Home This month we present to you two recipes. Wonder how they taste? Stop by the Co-op for Food Day Wednesday, October 23, where we will be making these two dishes for members to try.
Three Sisters Salad
Bragg Health Vinaigrette or a Delicious Marinade
Perfect for salads, dressings, greens, dips, marinades, veggies and most other foods. Ingredients
Mix thoroughly and apply!
| The Co-op Q&AThis month The Co-op interviews Amy Stuart and Susanne Fuchs, members of the Food Justice Committee, to find out what the Co-op is working on to ensure that our products are not only sustainable but also socially responsible.
Q: How is Greene Hill Co-op committed to food justice?
Amy: The Co-op aims to provide food that is locally and sustainably grown, plus healthful and affordable. We want to make sure that our suppliers treat their workers well, with adequate pay and decent working conditions. Of course, there are tradeoffs among these goals; for example, organic food is healthful and (relatively) sustainable, but often expensive. So we use guidelines rather than hard-and-fast rules in choosing suppliers. We're also in the process of developing an appeals process that members can use to express concerns about a vendor.
Q: When did the committee begin, and what are your goals?
A: Susanne: At the beginning, the food justice committee was a sub-committee of the Outreach committee. Last winter, when I attended to my first Outreach/Food Justice meeting, the structure was changing; people in the group were primarily interested in food justice issues and we grew into the Food Justice committee.
Q: What is the food justice committee working on right now?
Susanne: Over the last months we developed a survey for non-members that we want to distribute in the Greene Hill neighborhood, especially among parts of the population that are not strongly represented in the Co-op. With the help of this survey we hope to find out what could be done to make the Co-op more attractive to a larger variety of ethnicities, lower-income groups, or people with diverse educational backgrounds.
The Food Justice committee also conducts research for the Merchandise Committee. That means that we look into details concerning these items or agencies from whom we are considering buying products.
Q: Are your meetings open to all members? Susanne: Yes! We post the dates of our meetings on the Coop's website. Since the locations of the meetings change, it's worth writing to us at FoodJustice@greenehillfood.coop to get the latest information.
Q: What are some local food justice issues we interact with here in Brooklyn?
Susanne: Obviously, different parts of society have different access to goods, which is true for food too. Not only is affordability is an issue, but also accessibility. A very simple illustration are the prices at and locations of farmer markets.
Amy: Gentrification is also a concern in Fort Greene / Clinton Hill. Food co-ops tend to be agents of gentrification, and we want to be very conscious of our role in the community. We can't prevent or reverse gentrification, but we can strive to serve the entire community by actively reaching out to our neighbors as well as by educating ourselves about the dynamics of race and class as they relate to the co-op and the politics of food more generally.
Q: If you could fill your shopping bag with some of our most socially-just products, what would you fill it with?
Susanne: I don't think I can choose. There are so many aspects involved when I think about “socially just”: Is the product cheap (can people afford it)? Does its production consume little energy (which is not easily the case for dairy or meat products)? How far did it travel? How did it travel? Who worked in its production, how were they treated? Which agencies are involved in the distribution/selling process? Products may score high in one or two of these categories, but do less well in others. There's almost always advantages and disadvantages mixed. My neighbors planted some tomatoes in a little box on the street in front of their apartment. I will choose those!
A few additions and clarifications from incoming Board member and Food Justice Committee Chair Renee Renata Bergan:
The food justice committee was started by Nina Goepfert about 2 years ago. It is still a sub-committee of the Outreach Committee. The FJC has also been instrumental in lowering the Apple Plan investment amount to make the Co-op more accessible to those with lower incomes. As noted above in the GM agenda section, this will be discussed at the upcoming GM.
|Work & Shift Opportunities
Board of Director administrative positions
Are you looking to get more involved in the administration of the Co-op? The officers of the board of directors are looking for a secretary and a treasurer. Being an officer of the board means that you will be taking a very active role in the business of the Co-op - and of course you get work credit for your time. For these positions, you must be a member in good standing with the Co-op. So if this is you, and you would like to become more involved, send an email to email@example.com with a bit of explanation as to any experience that you might have that would make you a good candidate for the GHC board secretary.
The secretary is responsible for ensuring that minutes are taken at the monthly general meetings and at board meetings, that they are kept in a safe, accessible repository, and posted on the Co-op’s website. The secretary is not required to attend every monthly meeting and board meeting, however, they are responsible for delegating the task of minute-taking to another individual if they cannot be present.
The treasurer is responsible for documentation and administration of the Co-op’s finances. The treasurer is expected to attend as many of the monthly and board meetings as possible, and to deliver a monthly treasurer’s report that is to be made available to membership on the Co-op’s website.
Join the Membership Relief Council
The Membership Relief Council needs new folks, in particular a Co-ordinator! Are fairness and equity important to you? Are you responsive to emails? By joining Membership Relief, you could help the Co-op make important policy decisions (without a big time commitment). Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Office Work Available
Interested in doing some office work at the store? One of our members is a professional bookkeeper who's stepped up to coordinate accounting at the Co-op. She's organized bookkeeping tasks at the store into easy, well-structured steps: handling invoices, entering data into our accounting software, and so on. You'd get all the training and guidance you need, while working at a dedicated Finance desk and computer. And you'd be helping the Greene Hill produce financial statements on a regular basis. Please email email@example.com if you'd like to join us.
Compost Manager Work Shift
We are looking for someone to join our compost team to oversee our backyard composting efforts. This person will coordinate with our existing compost manager to ensure we have all supplies needed and to educate our members regarding composting processes and policies. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if interested.
Creatives Needed to Develop Educational Pamphlets
The co-op would like some writers and/or creative people to develop educational pamphlets! Are you passionate about supporting local food producers? Do you read up on corporate food companies in your free time? Are you trained as a nutritionist and want to share your knowledge and recipes? The education and marketing committees, along with Allison Stewart, are starting to compile information for a series of educational flyers that will help disperse knowledge in our community. Topics possible to include: eating healthy on a budget, local food economy and farms , nutrition facts and myths, GMOs, big-business corporate food company, urban food access, and MORE! What are you curious about? Share with us your ideas of what you would like to read and/or what you can contribute. Email email@example.com for more information.
Website Committee Co-Chairs Needed
The website committee is looking for one or two members who are interested in taking a leadership role in the committee. We're looking for people who want to make the website an even better tool for getting new members and conveying information to existing members. If interested contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
In-Store IT Support
The IT committee needs somebody who is able to perform IT hardware support at the store, such as maintaining printers and installing software and drivers. Email email@example.com if interested.
Tabling Shifts Workers Needed
The season for tabling is not over yet - come enjoy the fall weather while getting work credits! We need volunteers for 2 hour shifts from 10 - 2pm on Saturday, October 26th. Bring friends, bring your kids. (As ever, PSFC members can earn FTOP credit.) If you have any questions or to sign up in advance please email Outreach@GreeneHillFood.coop.
The Co-op Mural Needs Your Help
Love to paint or draw? Interested in public art? Earn Co-op credit while making art on on Saturday, October 26th between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. Email Rachel at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in helping.
Photo credits: Squash by Williumbillium. Mural picture courtesy of Rachel Robbins.
The Greene Hill Food Co-op Newsletter is edited by (in alphabetical order) Carola Burroughs, Debbie Grossman, Matthew Hayes, and Alexandra Miller. Contact us with any feedback, suggestions, or requests at email@example.com.