June 2015 Newsletter



Catching You Up on the Co-op

Catching you up

The free trial membership is still open to all. See if our Co-op suits you while getting the good prices and awesome products for two months with no commitment. Plus Park Slope Food Coop members may now shop with no obligation.

Here comes more bulk! More great food! Almonds, cashews, granola, walnuts! More one-stop shopping.

The new iPad POS system is here! For the past two weeks, members have been hard at work training, troubleshooting, and customizing the system with an eye towards phasing out the old system this week. Cashiers say, “Wow. What a difference.” Shoppers say, “Speedy and streamlined!” Come in and get trained on the new system! For the month of June we’re having cashier trainings every Monday from 6:30-7pm (required for all cashiers). Sign up for the training shift on shiftplanning, get to know the new system -- cashiers, floaters, shift leaders and anyone who wants to learn how to cashier -- and earn credit hours!

Our buyers are awesome. Meet meat buyer Ross Diamond below. Is there something you wish the Co-op sold? Or want to place a special bulk order? Find out how to make a request!

Member-owners are the lifeblood of the Co-op! Help our store keep running by joining our $50 Basket Campaign. Pick up an extra shift when you can, or check out our open job listings below.

And try a yummy recipe for Barley Salad with Green Beans, Criminis, Scallions and Vinaigrette!

New Checkout registers

What’s Up Next? Come to the All-Committee Co-op Meeting on June 24 and find out.

Add your 2 cents at our next General Meeting on Wednesday, June 24, from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm in the store. This is a special meeting, the one time a year that representatives from ALL of the Co-op’s amazing committees will be there to share updates and answer your questions.

We’re also going to discuss increasing our hours for the summer and adding Friday as another open day. Have an opinion? Please share it! Come hear from all the committee members who are innovating to make our Co-op a success. We will provide great snacks while we yak. Work credit may apply! Here’s the full agenda: http://www.greenehillfood.coop/event/greene-hill-co-op-general-meeting/. And, BTW, you are welcome to shop after the meeting if you want... please do!

 Trial Memberships Continue!Tell your friends and neighbors to give the Greene Hill Co-op a try. They’ll get two months of unlimited shopping at the Co-op without working a single shift. Help get the word out so more people discover what makes the Co-op so great! Stop by the store to register and find out more.

Park Slope Coop Members Welcome Don’t forget to tell your friends. As a thank you for all of PSFC's support over the years, Greene Hill Food Co-op has opened its doors to Park Slope Food Coop members for a limited time (yes, PSFC spells “co-op” differently!). No work commitment, no membership needed!

What $50 Can Buy at the Store, and More...50 dollar posterWith summer here for real, we’ve got great produce in the store: Lady Moon Farm's organic cucumbers, those irresistible strawberries, and a huge assortment of fresh herbs like mint and cilantro. Come and fill your basket with everything you need for those picnics in the park.

#thecoop50: Keep the Co-op Afloat with $50 a Week

Summer is an especially slow time for the Co-op, with many members away on vacation. To make sure that this slow down doesn't have an effect on the Co-op's summer 2015 finances, and to help keep it all running smoothly, members should spend $50 or more a week. What does $50 at the Co-op look like for you? Take a photo of your Co-op goodies and post it with #thecoop50, or email your photos to socialmedia@greenehillfood.coop.

Anything you’re missing? Something you wish the Co-op sold and that you’re buying elsewhere? Tell us! Co-ops by definition exist to meet the needs of their member-owners. If there’s something you buy regularly that you’d like the Co-op to stock and that other folks might be interested in having around, you can ask about it by emailing productrequests@greenehillfood.coop. If it’s something that only you might purchase, sometimes it’s possible to place a special order so that you can buy it through Greene Hill. Give it a shot! And if every member spends $50 a week at the Co-op, we’ll be in great shape.

Chat with Slack for member-owner communication

The IT committee has set up a Slack team account for the co-op’s use! Slack is a new communication platform that gives us a co-op-wide chat system that’s archived and searchable. You can chat in private or public “channels”. The IT committee has an #it channel; similarly, each committee could have its own channel (or more than one). The board can have its #board channel to keep track of discussion, to have a place where members can raise issues with the board, even to run virtual board meetings. Slack is especially useful for real-time discussions, since users can opt-in to notifications on specific channels, words, or names, and get notified both on the web and on iOS or Android. For example, as an organization we could use Slack to:
  • find last-minute replacements for shifts
  • communicate between people doing outreach (“More folks needed to help out at Ft. Greene farmers market!”)
  • diagnose issues with store computers or POS (“I can’t print!”, “The website is down!”)

To sign up, please send the IT committee your email address by using this form. If you have an @greenehillfood.coop email alias, you can also sign up directly here.

Questions, comments or ideas? Please email it@greenehillfood.coop, or take the Slack tour at https://slack.com/is, or sign up to Slack and write something on the #general channel!

Q&A with Ross Diamond

Interview by Aly Miller

This month, we talk with Ross Diamond who is our Co-op’s meat buyer! Here, he shares the farm-to-co-op story of meat and offers ideas for how members can reap the benefits of their memberships by buying wholesale.

Ross DiamondQ: Where are you from and what kind of work do you do?

I was born in Brooklyn, raised in Maplewood, N.J., and moved back to Brooklyn in 2010. I do natural resources work for a private engineering firm whose clientele is primarily the NYC Department of Environmental Protection. Work is in the city and also in the watershed areas of the Catskills for the water supply system. Environmental impact assessment, environmental permitting and planning, field surveys for threatened and endangered species habitat, and wetland delineation are some of what I do.

Q: What neighborhood do you live in and what do you like about it?

A: I live in Clinton Hill, two blocks from the co-op, on Fulton and Saint James. I really like our grocery options and the strong community feel here. Pretty much everything one could need within a several block radius!

Q: What were some of your reasons for joining Greene Hill?

A: I definitely wanted to take more of an active role in my food-scape.

Q: We're familiar with the farm-to-table story, but what does the farm-to-co-op story look like? Specifically, how do we stock meat at the Co-op?

A: There are many variables at play in the farm-to-co-op story: the size of our co-op and the size of the farms we want to work with are huge factors. Because we are such a small operation, many vendors that would be extremely desirable to work with, from a price and sourcing standpoint, are inaccessible because they only deal with whole or half animals, which the co-op is not currently logistically or physically set up to handle. Thus, we are limited to vendors that offer reasonably apportioned, sturdy retail packages of butchered cuts. Also, many of the smaller farms who we’d like to work with are not set up to butcher, package, and distribute to our distributors, who strive to bring many of the farms under the same roof.

With regards to sourcing of our meat, given those limitations, we do our best to work with family-owned or cooperatively run farms in a reasonably local area. I personally strive to take on new vendors that are located in the Hudson Valley, but we do have some co-op favorites located outside of this region, such as Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative in Pennsylvania, and The Piggery, located in Ithaca, New York.

Q: I’ve noticed that some meat at The Co-op does not have a sell by date. Can you explain why?

A: The sell by/freeze dates are often not provided by the vendor and so we move all meat delivered fresh to the store refrigerators into a freezer no more than 3-4 days after its arrival. Most meat arrives on Friday and is moved to the freezer on Sunday at closing time. The only exceptions to this rule are: meat that is delivered frozen; in which case it stays frozen, or meat that is sent to us with a use by/freeze by date. For those we tend to refrigerate longer per the date on the package.

Q: Of all the meats that we store, which are you excited to bring your next BBQ and why?

A: If I were going to be limited to the grill then I think some of our steak cuts would do nicely or our Cascun Farms thighs/drumsticks. I've never had fresher tasting chicken.

Q: Where would you like to see the Co-op in five years?

A: From a purely meat perspective, I would be pumped to have a larger variety of fresh as opposed to frozen meats available to our member owners. Providing this would hinge on having a larger member/owner shopping base.

Q: Do you have any tips for the more adventurous meat eaters of the Co-op?

A; While we are limited with what we can stock in the store and reliably sell in a timely manner from the freezer, if you spread out all our vendor catalogs, we would have a nice wholesale butcher shop at our fingertips. Clinton Hill is unfortunately lacking a neighborhood butcher, and I think the Co-op has the potential to fill the gap by offering a robust special ordering program for our member-owners. I personally take advantage of this frequently: I've ordered a whole 15-pound pork shoulder for pulled pork/picnics, a whole bone-in lamb leg for a dinner party, a 9-pound brisket for a holiday party, large bags of chicken backs/necks/feet for stock, and a whole 8-pound pork belly for exploratory bacon-based pursuits.

Product Spotlight strawberriesYes, it’s June. And June means….STRAWBERRIES! Keep your eyes open for juicy, delicious strawberries from Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative (LLFC) at the low price of $3.41 per pint. LFFC has been one of our suppliers since we were in our infancy as a buying club, and our relationship with them has meant that we can get the freshest produce and dairy from a cooperative coalition of farms in and around Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

These strawberries are perfect for a shortcake, a pie (especially with rhubarb, also from LFFC), on top of ice cream, or just eaten out of the container. Meghan, a member of the Merchandise Committee who took the mouth-watering picture here, tries not to eat all the strawberries on the way home from the Co-op, but it’s very, very hard. And who can blame her?

Recipe: Barley Salad with Green Beans, Criminis, Scallions and Vinaigrette

Recipe by Molly Neuman

barley salad recipeA few weeks ago we made a trip up to Blue Hill at Stone Barns and had a wonderful lunch in their cafe. This salad was inspired by one we ate there that featured hen-of-the-woods, shiitake and another kind of mushroom. The Co-op often has lots of different mushrooms and crunchy greens so you can start with this recipe as a base and mix it up from there!

Because barley is so sturdy, this salad is perfect for a picnic or packed lunches. Store in an airtight container and it should stay fresh and delicious in your fridge for a few days. This recipe makes two main dish servings or four side dish servings.


  • 2 cups cooked barley
  • 1 cup cooked sliced green beans
  • 1/2 cup sauteed crimini mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup sliced scallions

For the vinaigrette:

  • 1 T. tamari
  • 1 T. rice vinegar
  • 1 T. sesame oil
  • 3 T. olive oil

For best results, soak the barley overnight. Then drain, rinse and cook in three cups of water with a pinch of salt for about an hour. Drain and set aside to cool. Once cool, add vegetables and mix thoroughly. Combine vinaigrette ingredients and taste to see if the proportions need adjusting. Pour it onto the barley and vegetables, toss and serve!

Total cost of ingredients? $7.75 or less than $2 per side serving!

Having a baby? Broken your leg? Life goes on! Did you know Greene Hill has a team dedicated to making sure members with serious situations that affect their member/ownership in the Co-op can be heard and resolved? The Member Relief Councill has been around since 2011, when the first member asked, “So do we have parental leave?” We didn’t but the Counsel helped institute one soon after -- and in time for both parents to take off from their work shifts but continue to shop.

Here’s how it works. The members of the Council consider the problem and then make a recommendation to the membership at a General Meeting to see if they (the majority, at least) agree with the recommended action. If the issue is universal enough, after the vote approves it, it also gets written up, to become an accepted rule in the Member Handbook. If you ever want to reach the Council, email membership@greenehillfood.coop; put “Member Relief” in the subject line and explain your situation. Someone from the Council will get back to you. Want to see what our policies are currently? http://www.greenehillfood.coop/member-info/membership-policies/

Be an Extra Shift Hero Summer is a slow time for our Co-op when many people leave town for vacation. In order to continue moving toward a more consistent and awesome shopping experience, the store needs strong staffing. Why not consider temporarily taking on an extra shift to help counter the summertime lull? Every time you do so, you are ensuring that the store can stay open! So keep an eye out for those open shifts on our Facebook page and sign up on the spreadsheet if you can. This helps keep the Co-op going strong, counter the summertime blues, and draw in more members.

Help WantedAll members work a 2½ hour shift every 4 weeks. It's part of being a member/owner. Here are some opportunities to earn work credit.

Sunday Store Workers Needed!

As you may have heard, we’re open from 10 am to 6 pm on Sundays now! Great, right? This is an important step to make shopping more convenient for all our members. But we need more people to help operate the store for these new hours. Please consider picking up a Sunday shift to keep things running smoothly!

Interim Directors Wanted

The nine member Board of Directors has 2 open seats, and any member with a minimum one-year membership at the Co-op is qualified to join. You can help shape the direction of our Co-op. The Directors are involved in all aspects of guiding Greene Hill activities from maintenance and store management to strategic planning. Directors are expected to about meet monthly (12x/yr) at the GM. More details here. If you’re interested or have questions, please contact governance@greenehillfood.coop.

Secretary Wanted for General Meetings

The Board is looking for a secretary that will be official note takers for General Meetings, the 4th Wednesday of each month . This position will be roughly 2.5-3 hours per month and responsibilities are to take detailed notes at meetings, edit, and upload them to our website! Contact Board@greenehillfood.coop if you are interested.

Outreach Committee Seeks New Members for Canvassing and WinWinWin Program

You can spread the word! Tell our Co-op neighbors and friends about this incredible member-owned business and let them know how they can join and support Greene Hill. The Outreach Committee is seeking new members for regular canvassing, distributing flyers in the neighborhood, and assisting with special events and Open House days on site. This position is great for members seeking a flexible schedule and who can work independently. We’re also seeking one member to spearhead and oversee the fantastic WinWinWin program. You’ll solicit new local businesses to join the program and give discount offers to all Greene Hill Co-op members. This is a perfect job for someone who wants to work from home! Contact Alix and Juliana at outreach@greenehillfood.coop for more information.

Designers Wanted!

Calling all graphic designers and communications pros! Support the Marketing Committee on a few upcoming projects – including designing a fresh membership campaign. Join the committee, or help out on a per-project basis. Drop us a line at marketing@greenehillfood.­coop!

Design Build Operations (DeBOp) Co-Chairs & Members Wanted

Are you an avid project manager? Do you like to get things fixed? Do you want to work behind the scenes at the Co-op? Then join the Design Build Operations team! As a Design Build Operations co-chair, you will be designing, building and planning the operations of the store. Contact Jeannie Hamilton with inquiries at mintjellyjeannie@gmail.com

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 people who are willing to work in the store to troubleshoot new and existing challenges with the POS machines and network. Individuals who 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.

Become a Shift Leader and/or Shift Leader Co-Coordinator

Considering becoming a shift leader? Take the plunge! We’re looking for good people, especially for leading shifts on the weekends, Sundays in particular. There are no qualifications necessary. We’ll get you formally trained so you have the tools to lead with confidence. You’ll be invited to our monthly meeting where you can meet the other leaders and contribute your ideas and opinions June's meeting will be held Saturday the 27th at the store's expansion space from Noon to 1:30pm. You can make a difference in how our store runs! Concerns or questions? Contact Matthew Talmage, Shift Leader Coordinator, at shiftleaders@greenehillfood.coop. Shift leader and Cashier training sessions take place every Monday evening for June from 6:30 – 8 p.m. We’ll go back to every other Monday (weeks B and D) starting in July. Sign up on ShiftPlanning and get trained!

Shift Leader Co-Coordinator Also Wanted

Help the Shift Leader Coordinator with email traffic, scheduling, social media contact, representation at General Meetings and Shift Leader Meetings. Not necessary to be a shift leader (yet!). Organizational skills a plus! Work load is 2.5 to 5 hours/month depending on your availability. For further information contact Matthew Talmage at shiftleaders@greenehillfood.coop.

Membership Co-chairs Needed

The membership committee is in need of 2 individuals who want to help lead the management of work tracking and helping the fellow members with their questions. Work can be done from home and is flexible around your hours. Please email membership@greenehillfood.coop for more information.

Love social media?

Well, Greene Hill also has a Social Media Committee that helps spread the word about the Co-op. We’re looking for some need contributors. If you’re interested in finding out more, contact them at socialmedia@greenehillfood.coop.

Et cetera


Credits: Putnam Triangle proposal illustration: NYC DOT, DDC and ThomasBalsey Associates. Bulk bins photos: Renee Renata Bergan. The Greene Hill Food Co-op Newsletter is edited and published by (in alphabetical order) Carola Burroughs, Roxanne Earley, Sonia Putzel, Alexandra Miller, Amy Nazer, Molly Neuman, and Gitta Zomorodi. Contact us with any feedback, suggestions, or requests at newsletter@greenehillfood.coop.

Join or follow the Greene Hill Food Co-op!

Interested in joining the Greene Hill Food Co-op? Check out our website to learn about membership, like us on Facebook, or stop by our store at 18 Putnam Ave. (off Grand Avenue) with any questions!