September 2014 Newsletter
THE GREENE HILL FOOD COOP - SEPTEMBER 2014 NEWSLETTER
In this issue
Welcome, autumn. We are looking forward to all of the wonderful produce the season brings, and all of the wonderful Co-op happenings too! Join us for our annual and always awesome fall celebration on September 27th. Don’t forget to vote in our annual board elections, either by email or at our next general meeting. We have a ton of great candidates. Also in this issue: learn how to make a nori wrap, meet an urban farmer and Co-op member, and, as always, find new ways to work your shift.
|Next General Meeting: Tuesday, September 23Do you have questions or concerns about the Co-op? At each general meeting, there is time for members to bring these up. Join us on Tuesday, September 23rd at 138 South Oxford St. from 7-9pm, and don’t hold back! You’ll get work credit and participate in running your Co-op. This month, we’ll elect our new board of directors and introduce our two interim store coordinators, Lauryl Berger-Chun and Nadia Haji Omar, plus discuss our fall celebration and more. For more details, check out the meeting agenda. Don’t forget to save the date for the subsequent meeting on Thursday, October 24th.|
| Election Special: Vote for the BoardIt is time for the annual election of new members to the Board of Directors. We have five excellent candidates who have submitted their bios and experience for your consideration, so be sure to cast your vote! Please keep an eye out for an email with directions on how to vote either online or at the September general meeting.
Meet the candidates:
Pablo began his involvement in the Co-op through a friend, and has been part of several committees over the years: first Branding, then Design Build, then Operations. He was previously a member of the board and held the office of Vice President. Pablo hails from Texas where he got his degree in Architecture. He has lived and worked in NYC since 2007. If you see him at the Co-op he's probably puttering around fixing something in the expansion space, or trying to figure out why X is doing Y instead of Z somewhere else.
I absolutely love the Greene Hill Food Co-op. Over the years, I have met brilliant people full of creativity and wonderful intellect. The Co-op is a great place to be part of a community that cares for our neighbors, our farmers, and the environment. I have been a member of the Greene Hill Food Co-op since March 2012. At the Co-op, I have helped coordinate the installation of our new refrigerators and freezers, organized our stock room, and sourced out new food vendors. I have worked as the co-chair of Design Build and am currently a co-chair for Merchandising. If you have ever shopped on a Wednesday evening, you've most likely seen me buying food for the Co-op. I feel that the Co-op has grown tremendously and can grow even more. If I am on the board, I will strive to help the Co-op grow, develop consistency, and create more transparency.
I believe passionately in the impact we can have on our community through our 100% working Co-op. We are at a pivotal moment. I believe we need to bring in the greater community to become truly inclusive. And we need to be attractive to all. A big challenge and one that's only possible to meet if we empower all our members, to encourage cooperation. The board's role is to empower members, make a long term plan for the Co-op and pay attention to the Guiding Principles as voted on by the members: I'd like to continue to help keep this focus.
I have been involved in Greene Hill Food Co-op since day one. I served as the co chair of branding (now called Marketing), developed the brand identity and brand book, helped get and implement a grant that allowed us to have banners and awnings and a lot more. I served on the Steering Committee for its entire duration (including as co chair for several years) and now serve on the board. I am also a member of Park Slope Food Co-op.
I have lived in Clinton Hill/Fort Greene for 30 years and, as a volunteer, co-founded and published The Hill The Journal of Fort Greene, Clinton Hill and Wallabout for 25 years which is archived at the Brooklyn Historical Society. I am currently a partner in Inquiring Minds which is working to revolutionize how kids learn in K-12 nationally, by putting a focus on self determination and giving kids agency. I'm a graduate of Parsons School of Design/The New School, class of 1970. I am a practicing Quaker, a member of Brooklyn Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends.
William Laviano has been a resident of Clinton Hill since 2007, and Brooklyn for most of his life, with the exception of his formative years, spent in Florence, Italy. He joined the Greene Hill Food Co-op in January 2012, and has been a member of the Park Slope Food Coop since 2003. Since joining the GHFC, William has performed a variety of roles, mostly centering around the membership desk and monthly membership committee meetings, where, often informed by his experience as a PSFC squad leader, he has offered a consistent voice in discussions about work-tracking, member recruitment, delinquency and other membership policies and reforms.
When not at the co-op, William makes his living as a freelance production manager for television, web, and print commercials. Between gigs, he devotes much of his time to his work as an editorial and fine art photographer. From 2010 to 2012 William worked at Transportation Alternatives, a leading transportation advocacy organization, planning bike-tours in New York City to raise money and awareness for safer streets. His passion for good food, ecological sustainability and sensible transportation go hand in hand to support his belief in the cooperative spirit, and commitment to seeing the GHFC improve and expand. One of William’s “dreams” is to some day adding a kitchen classroom to the coop, where members could share their culinary knowledge with one another.
William and his wife Mary live on Lefferts Place with their cat Dante, and are currently expanding the family membership to include a new, as yet unnamed member, this November!
Originally from New York, Allison became exposed to the world of cooperatives while living in Minnesota as a student at Macalester College. She worked for several years in sustainable agriculture and food retail before becoming the Greene Hill Food Co-op's first-ever Store Coordinator. After a year and a half at the Co-op, Allison is transitioning from her role as Store Coordinator to run for the Board of Directors, in the hopes of continuing to create a more enjoyable shopping experience and to further strengthen our community. Her goals for the co-op are to successfully coordinate a switch to a new Point of Sales system this fall, and to continue building a Shift Leaders group to better manage store shifts. Allison is currently pursuing a Masters in Food Systems at NYU; this fall, she will begin studying full-time. She is a canner, knitter, and beekeeper in her spare time.
|Greene Hill News
Sunday, September 28 is our Annual Inventory Count Day
Believe it or not, we stock more than 2,000 items at the store! And we need to count them, so we can prepare accurate financial statements and tax returns. For those who helped us last two years, we're more organized than ever before. All "inventory workers" will receive a list of items corresponding to the fridges/shelves assigned to them, and will only need to fill in the number for each item on the list. We need about 20 members to get the job done, each of us working a 2-hour shift from 8AM-8PM. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help.
We would like to encourage members interested in helping on the Membership Committee to attend our upcoming committee meeting to kick off the new year. We will be meeting on September 24 at 7.30 PM. If you're interested, please email us at email@example.com. Work credit will be given for attending. We are looking for more support for a number of small, medium, and large projects, new and ongoing.
|Events: Fall Celebration and Open Shopping Day on Saturday, September 27
(between Grand Ave. & Downing St.)
Shop, savor and enjoy some of New York’s best local and organic food vendors at the Greene Hill Food Co-op's annual Fall Celebration! All are welcome to experience the Co-op with open shopping for non-members, free food samples and cooking demonstrations. In celebration of our vibrant neighborhood there will be music, games and dancing. Help us celebrate in style! Bring your friends, family and your most fabulous self! Every new member to sign up will be entered to win a $50 gift certificate to Olea restaurant in Brooklyn. Rain date is Saturday October 4th.
We need your help to make this the best event ever! Spread the word, invite your friends, and work a shift at the event. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up!
| Try this at home: Vegetarian Nori Wraps
Serves 2 ~ All products are carried at the Co-op at this time!
Whisk or blend all ingredients together. Add more water until desired consistency is reached.
| The Co-op Q&A: Anna Poaster
This month we met Co-op member Anna Poaster, an avid gardener, food justice advocate, and engaged member of the community. Next time you have compost questions or want to get out to an urban farm, just ask Anna!
Q: Where are you from, and what neighborhood do you call home now?
A: I grew up in Boston, MA and now live in Bed-Stuy.
Q: When did you join Greene Hill and what were some reasons for joining?
A: I joined in July 2013. I was living in another part of Bed-Stuy, further east from where I am now, and the grocery store was beyond awful, especially as a meat and dairy eater. I had a friend who was a member of the co-op and I was used to the idea because my family was involved in a food co-op when I was young.
Q: How do you contribute to the Co-op?
A: I am currently working in receiving, though until recently I was a shift manager. I also volunteer to help maintain the co-op's compost bins.
Q: I know that you're involved in several food justice and agricultural projects in the city. Can you briefly explain what they are and why you're drawn to these projects?
A: I've been involved in urban agriculture and gardening education since I moved here. Currently, I am the farm manager at Hellgate Farm, a production vegetable farm growing in backyards and on rooftops in Astoria and Long Island City. I also work as a community organizer for the Corbin Hill Food Project, a nonprofit farm share that uses a flexible CSA model to bring produce to low income communities. I also help coordinate school and community center gardens for the Children's Aid Society.
I was drawn to work with food because it is a common denominator across classes and cultures; in community building, it is something everyone can get behind. We should all eat good food. There are so many avenues to making that happen and the action happening in New York and the United States around food is tremendous. I also realized recently that one of the best things about growing food is that it is a lifelong endeavor. Even seasoned and successful farmers will tell you they are always learning and improving!
Q: How can interested Greene Hill members help out at one of these outstanding projects?
A: I would love for GHC members to come visit Hellgate Farm! They can email me at email@example.com if they would like to volunteer or just stop by and see the place. But in general, I highly recommend finding a way to get dirty and garden (there are MANY community gardens in this part of Brooklyn). It is a wonderful way to use a different part of one's brain and be outside and physical.
Q: What is your dream for farming in the city in 10 years? 50?
A. My dreams for farming in the city in the future are many! One thing I've learned is that the city landscape presents a lot of funky challenges. I've seen and been a part of so many innovative and DIY growing techniques and I see that as something that will get continually more efficient. But I also think there are some ways in which urban agriculture can be seen as exclusive and I'd like to see a growing awareness that a glittering hydroponic greenhouse in Greenpoint is a part of the same movement as a community garden in Bed-Stuy and that both can teach each other.
I'm also excited about the future of compost in NYC. Compost is such a no-brainer for cities: right now, we are literally paying for organic waste to be hauled out of state to a landfill, when we could be processing and using it right here in the city! It is awesome that there are curbside compost pick-up pilot programs going on and I hope that program grows and connects to urban food production directly.
Q: How do food coops like our Co-op fit into that vision? What can we do to get there?
A. In the future, I see Greene Hill Food Co-op as being in a position to address some of the inequalities in food access that are all around us. I'd love to see how we can increase participation from low income communities and do more outreach and education to people who are new to the idea of a co-op. I also like the idea of members being able to work in "good food" for their hours (once all the store jobs are covered of course!) How sweet would it be to work in a garden for your work hours commitment!?
|Help WantedAll members work a 2 hour shift every 4 weeks. It's part of being a member /owner. Here are some opportunities to earn work credit.
Help Build Our Financial Infrastructure
The Finance Committee needs more members with financial experience, and with interest in helping build our business. We need members interested in working more than the minimum two hours every four weeks. Our start-up business still requires a lot of work, as we build up our accounting, budgeting, financial control and forecasting systems. If you'd like to help us build Greene Hill's ‘financial infrastructure,’ please email 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 has stepped up to coordinate accounting at the Co-op. He'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 Co-op produce financial statements on a regular basis. You can set your own hours! Please email email@example.com if you'd like to join us.
Seeking IT Committee Members
The IT Committee is looking for new members for both in and out of store tasks. We are looking for IT individuals who are willing to work in the store, to troubleshoot new and existing challenges with the POS machines and network. Individuals that have experience with LAMP (Linux/Apache/MySql/PHP) applications, Drupal, CiviCRM, Wordpress, Linux server administration, or network setup and administration would also be an asset to the Committee. If you are interested or have questions please send them to: IT@Greenehillfood.coop.
Credits: Recipe and Nori wrap photo by Jill Hoffman. Bio photos courtesy their subjects.
The Greene Hill Food Co-op Newsletter is edited and published by (in alphabetical order) Anna Avrekh, Carola Burroughs, Roxanne Earley, Sonia Garbesputzel, Debbie Grossman, and Alexandra Miller. Contact us with any feedback, suggestions, or requests at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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