November 2016 Newsletter


Welcome to Greene Hill Food Co-Op's Newsletter
November 2016


Listen up, Greene Hill Food Co-op Community:
Now more than ever, it is time to plug in! Let’s support each other and our neighbors. Let’s create space for community and strengthen pre-existing spaces. Ask yourself: who is doing the work that empowers and protects those of us who are most vulnerable and marginalized? What can we do to aid that work? Here are just some of the local organizations on the front lines fighting for social justice: Audre Lorde Project, Communities Against Anti-Asian Violence (CAAAV), Council on American Islamic Relations (Cair-NY), DRUM-South Asian Organizing Center, Families for Freedom, Fifth Ave Committee, Families United for Racial and Economic Equality (FUREE), Global Action Project, Make the Road, and Sylvia Rivera Law Project.
Catching You Up on Co-Op News

The next Board meeting, on November 16, is an important one — we’ll be counting the votes for new members of the Board. Read on for information about the election process and the candidates for our two vacant spots.

The days are growing shorter, but one thing that’s not going dormant is our membership numbers! September and October saw some of our biggest growth in the past couple years. A big shout out to our new member-owners listed below.

Sure, Halloween has passed, but pumpkin season is still here. And those gourds make a tasty cooking vessel, as in this amazing recipe for pumpkin stuffed with everything good (aka shiitake mushroom-gruyere cheese risotto).

Our Social Justice Spotlight focuses on Transgender Awareness Week and the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance—a time to honor and call attention to the lives lost to bigotry and violence around the world. You can find information about events below.
Also, consider learning more about and supporting organizations that help people being targeted by our immigration policies, e.g. Families for Freedom. Since 2002, this New York-based organization has been helping families who are facing or fighting deportation.

In this month’s Co-op Q&A meet Dara Fedrow, composter extraordinaire. She’s a professional!

Are you new to the Co-op and looking to sign up for shift? Or a seasoned member ready to take on something new? There are plenty of fun and interesting opportunities in the Help Wanted section. You can sign up and orient new members, help spiff up the website, support our finance team or ensure that our shelves are stocked with tasty items. It’s all worthwhile and all needed.

And if you’ve got an old, usable laptop lying around, why not give it a new life at the Co-op? We’re looking for a new one for the check-in desk.

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What's Up Next at the Co-op?

Find out by coming to our next Board meeting. It’s on Wednesday, November 16, from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm, at the Co-op (18 Putnam Ave). As the meeting approaches, you can view the agenda online—because of the Thanksgiving holiday, this meeting is being held one week earlier than usual. We are a valued community asset and space. Get involved! Meetings are open to all in our community—members and non-members. Bring a friend or two!
Our annual Board of Directors elections will take place at the Board Meeting on November 16! Read on for more information about the elections process and our stellar candidates.

The next new member orientation is set for Saturday, November 12, at 11:00 am. All new members are required to attend an orientation. They last one hour, take place at the Co-op, and earn you a full work shift credit. RSVP or direct any questions to

In Case You Missed It...
The Co-op is now open seven days a week! Yep, every day of the week. And note that all weekdays we are now open till 9 pm. We have a hunch the new hours are already paying off!  October saw our highest number of shoppers this year and record high sales! Let's keep it up. And if you pay with a debit card, SNAP/EBT or check, our system will have an easier time tracking all these transactions.

Our store hours are:

Monday through Friday, 3 pm to 9 pm

Saturday and Sunday, 10 am to 6 pm

Join and/or follow the Greene Hill Food Coop!
Interested in joining the Greene Hill Food Co-op?  Check out our website to learn about membership, Like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter. Or simply stop by our store at 18 Putnam Avenue (off Grand

Avenue) with any questions!

Donate Your Old Laptop
The Co-op is seeking a new laptop for our check-in desk. If you have a working laptop that you can donate, please contact
Board of Directors Elections on Nov. 16
It’s that time of year again! Get ready to cast your vote for the Greene Hill Board of Directors. There are currently two vacant board seats. Elections will take place online and in-person at the Board meeting on November 16, 7:30 pm to  9:30 pm, at the Co-op.

All are invited to attend the Board meeting, but please note that voting (both online and in person) is only open to member-owners. The online ballot will remain open until Wednesday, November 16, at 7:30 pm. Votes may also be cast in-person at the Board meeting on November 16, but please remember that each member only gets one vote! Results will be announced at the Board of Directors meeting once all votes have been tallied. You will receive a link to the electronic ballot in your inbox, so please cast your votes now! Any election-related questions can be sent to

We have two fantastic candidates who are seeking to join the Board of Directors: Elizabeth Macon Agee and Cecile Arnaud. Read on to learn more about them, in their own words!

Elizabeth Macon Agee

Elizabeth Agee
I’m a native of New York and a resident of Brooklyn for the past 20 years. I’m also the mother of two boys: Indigo, age 17, and Orion, age 8. I previously lived in the south of Spain for 9 years, working and living as an artist. I was educated at Kenyon College and the University of Colorado at Boulder, where I received a BFA in painting. I also attended the City College of New York for an MA in Applied Anthropology.

I’m currently mothering and restoring a Bed-Stuy brownstone, and I look forward to being a painter again at some point in the future.

Cecile Arnaud

Cecile Arnaud
“Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want.” -- Anna Lappé

As a member of the Park Slope Coop, I had a chance to experience it first-hand. After joining in 2008, I grew to love the place and what it offers, not only the products and the prices, but also the friendly environment and the social experiment, a place where you can buy and learn at the same time. Attending its general meetings, I realized the importance of supporting other co-ops to extend the offer to a larger number. I joined the Greene Hill Food Co-op in 2012, and have been a shift leader since. I believe in our Co-op and really want to help it thrive.

I am a mosaic artist by trade with a strong background in management through education and professional experience. And I love food!

Fall Brings New Members and More Shopping
Our membership numbers are up! September and October saw some of our best new membership numbers in over two years. We welcomed 22 new member-owners with 14 joining in October alone! Our active membership base has grown by about 30 percent since January 2016.

Mary A.

Kathryn H.

William N.

Cristina V.

Charlie A.

Emma H.

Rebecca S.

Destiny W.

Keri B.

Emily I.

William S.

Sarah W.

Joe D.

Jean K.

Jessica S.

Jacqueline Z.

Hugo F.

April M.

Robert T.

Fast F.

Nina M.

Nikki T.

Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good (Shiitake, Gruyère Risotto Edition)
Recipe by Molly Neuman

pumpkin stuffed with risotto
The pumpkin stuffed with everything good is a notoriously decadent, indulgent, and (likely) delicious dish that often rears its head around this time of year. In preparation for my own festivities, I thought I'd see what the risotto variation would be like. Turns out—it's a hit! Because pumpkin sizes vary, you may have extra rice mixture left over after stuffing, in which case continue cooking it on the stovetop with a little more stock and eat it on its own. But using a pumpkin as a cooking and serving vessel is a real treat. Per the recipe below, I scraped out the insides and mixed them with the rice to serve, but you may want to present the pumpkin to your guests in its entirety for the maximum wow factor.
Serves 4-8 people as a main or side dish.

1 pumpkin, about 1.5 pounds

2 cloves garlic, one of them finely chopped

4 T olive oil

1 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced

1/2 medium-sized onion, finely chopped

½ red pepper, finely chopped

1 cup arborio, bomba, or calasparra rice

2 cups vegetable or chicken stock

1 cup Gruyère cheese (can substitute Emmentaler or Parmesan), grated

1 cup + ¼ cup if needed heavy cream

pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

3 T fresh chives, finely chopped

Salt and freshly ground pepper for seasoning throughout


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil. Cut a cap out from the stem end of the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds and strings from the inside.  (You can set aside the seeds to roast for a delicious snack.) Rub the inside of the pumpkin with a clove of garlic and about a tablespoon of olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast the empty pumpkin in the oven for 30 minutes to soften.

In a saute pan, heat one tablespoon of olive oil and saute the shiitakes until softened and slightly brown, season with salt, remove and set aside. In a medium saucepan, heat two tablespoons of olive oil, add the red pepper, onion and garlic and saute. Once the vegetables are softened, add rice and saute until it's translucent. Add one cup of stock, stir well and let simmer until the liquid is mostly gone. Add a second cup of stock and repeat. Once the liquid is mostly gone, remove the saucepan from the heat and transfer the rice mixture to a mixing bowl. Add mushrooms, cheese, two tablespoons of chives, ground nutmeg and one cup of heavy cream. Stir well. Add about a teaspoon of salt (the rice is about ¾ cooked so it won't be pleasant to eat but you can still taste and season it to your preference).

Spoon the rice mixture into the pumpkin and place its cap on top. Place on the baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, using a knife to test the tenderness of the pumpkin. Once it's soft and the knife goes in easily, remove it from the oven. Scoop out the rice and as much pumpkin as you can scrape from the sides and place in a serving dish. Mix thoroughly. If rice appears dry, add a bit more cream and season again if needed. Garnish with remaining chives and serve.

Cost estimate: $12-15 (depending on availability of pumpkin and cost of cheese)

Social Justice in Brooklyn: Transgender Day of Remembrance

Trans Day of Remembrance with Glaad
Transgender Awareness Week is this month, November 14 - 20. The final day is the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR). This day was first memorialized by trans advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith in 1998, after the murder of Rita Hester. Every year since, the transgender community, their families, and allies have come together to remember the countless transgender victims of violence and hatred. The tradition includes the reading of names of people who were killed in the preceding twelve months around the world. Even in death, transgender people are often misgendered which means an official count may not be an accurate one. The collection of stories and accounts shared by community members create a fuller record of lives lost. Learn more about TDOR, including how to find a vigil near you.
The Co-op Q&A With Dara Fedrow

When you see Dara Fedrow working her shift at the store, ask her about compost!
Q: Where are you from? What do you do?

A: I grew up on Long Island and moved to Brooklyn two years ago. Currently, I am working with the NYC Compost Project as an Organics Coordinator. My job is to establish new food scrap drop-off sites around Brooklyn and compost all the collected material at Red Hook Community Farm, which is the largest compost site in the country run entirely on renewable energy.

Q: Where is the Compost Project’s closest compost drop-off to the Co-op?

A: The closest food scrap drop off to the Co-op is at the Clinton Avenue C subway entrance on Mondays, 7:30 am to 9:30 am, year round!

Q: What were some of your reasons for joining the Co-op? 

A: I joined the Co-op because I wasn’t feeling fulfilled buying my food from grocery stores. Food is such a huge expense; I wanted to make sure my money was going to a cause I believed in. I love how the Co-op supports local farms, buys socially-responsible goods and fosters a sense of community. I joined the Park Slope Food Coop two years ago and joined the Greene Hill Co-op when I moved to Bed-Stuy in March.

Q: What shift do you work at the Co-op?

A: I am a floor attendant at the Co-op. I just attended a shift leader training and plan to use what I learned to manage more during my shift. I enjoy stocking the veggie displays and working on the compost whenever possible.

Q: What is your experience with composting? 

A: I was first exposed to composting in college with the urban garden club. I was amazed that food and plant scraps could be turned into soil. After graduating, I worked on a farm and gained some more experience with composting, but it wasn’t until my most recent job that I have gained a true understanding of the process. It is all about the microbes! If you can give the aerobic microbes in your pile the proper conditions to thrive -- enough air, moisture, carbon and nitrogen -- then composting will happen!

Q: Do you have any advice for how Co-opers can compost at home? What's the easiest way?

A: There are two types of home composters: those with access to outdoor space and those without. If you have a sizable amount of outdoor space, then I’d suggest trying an outdoor system. Tumblers are effective at keeping away rodents and are easy to turn regularly.

If you are limited to an apartment, then I suggest a worm bin. This is essentially a big bin (think of a big Rubbermaid) with bedding, such as newspaper, and red wiggler worms. You feed these worms your food scraps every week and they poop out dark and crumbly vermicompost, valuable to anyone with plants. This bin can be kept inside and has no odors if taken care of properly. If interested, the Lower East Side Ecology Center has red wiggler worms for sale.

Q: What is your vision for the Co-op compost system?

A: I would really like to get the store composting 100 percent of its fruit and vegetable waste. I would also love to see a compost team created to be responsible for managing the three-bin system in the back. We recently applied a finished batch of our compost to the street trees surrounding the Co-op. To be able to do more community-oriented projects like this with our compost would be great!

Help Wanted
All 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.
Looking for Leaders: New Member Orientation 

Do you know the Co-op in and out? Do you like speaking to others about the Co-op? We’re looking for new folks to help run the monthly orientations. You need only commit to a minimum of two orientations for an entire year. They last one hour, and you get a full work shift credit for conducting them. Help us educate the new generation of Co-op member-owners!  Contact if you

are interested.

Governance Committee in URGENT NEED of Members!

Want to learn more about how our bylaws are amended and our Board of Directors are elected? You can play a vital role in shaping the Co-op’s future by joining the Governance committee. We are urgently seeking new members to assist with the elections process and future projects as needed. All work can be completed on your time from home. Please email to learn more.

IT Committee in Urgent Need of PHP/LAMP Stack Developer!

The IT Committee is looking for help with the Co-op’s public-facing website ( as well as our internal systems, including our CRM and Shift Planning. If you have skills with PHP, Drupal, MySQL and CRMs (we use CiviCRM), then we could use your expertise. This work can be done remotely and is critical to ongoing success of our co-op. For further information, email Chad Donnick at

Membership Desk Seeks Help

We’re looking for people to run the Membership Desk in the store. You’ll be fielding member questions both in person and online, signing up new members and processing hours’ crib sheets. You’ll get credit for this in-store shift. We are aiming to fill regular Saturday slots (11 am to 1:30 pm) first. Because this role requires special training, we ask for a minimum six-month commitment. Please contact if you are interested.

Seeking Designers & Writers for New Membership Campaign!

Help us design an outreach campaign to engage new members to join the Co-op community! We’re looking for writers, designers, community organizers, and people with experience in event planning and marketing. Working for the Marketing and Outreach Committees are great ways to get your shift credits from home, or have more flexible hours. Email to help out.

Seeking Finance Committee Members

If you have an interest in being involved in the day-to-day financial operations or finance strategy for the Co-op, please email

Finance Office Assistant Shifts Available

Interested in doing some office work at the store? Your role would focus on handling invoices and entering data into our accounting software. You'll 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 if you'd like to join us.

Merchandising Committee Needs New Members

Interested in how food ends up on the Co-op shelves each week? Join us and make the magic happen. This position requires a 2½ hour monthly commitment (like any regular work shift), including attending one monthly meeting of 1½ hours. If interested, email

Beer and Wine! Help Us with the License Application Process!

We’re applying for a beer and wine license. We need help as we attempt to expedite the application process. Many hands will lighten the load: dividing up the application, identifying what needs to be done, doing it, compiling, and submitting. If you’re interested in being a part of this process, please respond to with SLA in the subject line.

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Credits: Happy people with gourds and co-op greeter photos by Greene Hill Food Co-op, stuffed pumpkin pic by Molly Neuman, photos of Elizabeth Macon Agee, Cecile Arnaud and Dara Fedrow courtesy of themselves.
The Greene Hill Food Co-op Newsletter is edited and published by (in alphabetical order) Carola Burroughs, Sonia Garbes Putzel, DK Holland, Alexandra (Aly) Miller, Molly Neuman, Shannon Sodano Heffernan, Alejandro Varela, and Gitta Zomorodi. Contact us with any feedback, suggestions, or requests at
Join and/or follow the Greene Hill Food-Op!
Interested in joining the Greene Hill Food Co-op?  Check out our website to learn about membership, Like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter. Or simply stop by our store at 18 Putnam Avenue (off Grand Avenue) with any questions!