January 2019 Newsletter

 
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Catching You Up on the Co-op

Healthy Resolution Special! Have you made a promise to eat healthier this year? Let us help you! If you join the Co-op as a Lettuce or Avocado member through the end of January, we’ll waive the $25 administrative fee! You won’t only be getting access to local, affordable and sustainable food — you’ll be joining a cooperative community where all member-owners get a say about the food the Co-op carries, in how we operate and so much more. Our cooperative community puts a high value on each member-owner having a say.

This month our Product Spotlight and Co-op Q&A both come to us courtesy of member-owner Pam Turczyn. She took a look at our new Lancaster Farmacy organic teas and interviewed one of the farmers, Elisabeth Weaver, to learn more about the benefits of these herbs and how they’re grown and harvested. Lancaster Farmacy is a member of the Lancaster Farm Fresh Co-operative in Pennsylvania, which provides much of the Co-op’s local, organic produce.

Need something to go with that cup of tea? Try member-owner Aly Miller’s recipe for tahini and date baked oatmeal cups. You can find all the ingredients at the Co-op, especially in our affordable bulk section, and it’s easy to whip up these yummy breakfast treats.

Just a reminder: it’s your Co-op! That means you get a say in the products that we have in the store. Our Merchandising team is always thinking about how to expand our product selection to better meet member needs. We’re interested to hear from you! Many of the products currently in the store were a result of our members’ suggestions or requests—things like Dang rice chips, Fine & Raw chocolate, goat milk, Snyder’s gluten-free pretzels, Siete tortilla chips, Bee’s Knees peanut butter, Newman’s Own dog treats, and more. If there are items you regularly buy elsewhere or if you have special requests or suggestions, let us know by emailing productrequests@greenhillfood.coop.

Did you join the Co-op recently? Need to get the lay of the land? The next new member orientations are on Monday, January 21, from 7:30-8:30 pm and Sunday, January 27, from 12-1 pm at the store (1083 Fulton St., near the corner of Classon Avenue). Learn about the Co-op’s history, how we work, and meet other new member-owners! Everyone is welcome to be part of the ongoing discussions about our growing Co-op at the monthly board meeting on Wednesday the 23rd from 7-9 pm held in the lower level.

Product Spotlight: Delicious Healing Teas Now at the Co-op

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It’s winter. The wind is blowing, the skies are overcast, people are coughing, sneezing, chilled and stressed. Maybe their digestion is a bit off. Now, imagine a hot, steaming cup of aromatic tea layered with distinct, robust flavors, a tea that is both pleasing to the palate and crafted to support wellness during the winter season. Just such magical brews are made available to us by Lancaster Farmacy, where the herbs are organically grown and ethically wildcrafted. Cold Care, Tranquilitea, Cleanse and Lifting Lemon are on our Co-op’s shelves now at $7.80 for a 1.5-ounce package, capable of brewing 20-30 cups of tea.

My favorite is Chaga Chai ($18.42 for 5 ounces at the Co-op), a most delicious, warming, cleansing and immune-supporting blend of herbs, spices and chaga mushrooms, which grow on birch trees and are considered to have numerous health benefits. Chai is prepared by boiling 3 tablespoons of the dry tea in one quart of water for 15 to 20 minutes and then diluting it with heated milk. Prepared chai can be stored in the refrigerator and reheated later on. The price point reflects the sustainable practices used to wild harvest precious chaga, but there is good news coming from the tea master herself, Elisabeth Weaver of Lancaster Farmacy: the herbs can be re-used 2 or even 3 times! On the third round of boiling, she suggests you might like to add in some of your own extra flavoring, such as ginger or cinnamon.

Editor’s note:
This article is a part of the Co-op’s Things We Sell blog, which can be found here.

The Co-op Q&A: Herbalist and Herb Farmer Elisabeth Weaver

By Pam Turczyn

Elisabeth Weaver and Casey Spacht of Lancaster Farmacy with their son, Quehanna.

Elisabeth Weaver and Casey Spacht of Lancaster Farmacy with their son, Quehanna.

Intrigued by the flavors, functional properties and the sheer vibrancy of the tea blends, I spoke with Elisabeth about the work she and her partner, Casey Spacht, do.

Pam: Our food co-op sources most of its produce from the Lancaster Farm Fresh Co-operative, including your beautiful tea blends. Could you tell me how you work cooperatively with L.F.F.C.?

Elisabeth: Lancaster Farmacy is one of about 200 farmers in the co-op. L.F.F.C. is an organization that supplies everything you can imagine: produce, bread, eggs, flours, meat and dairy. Lancaster Farmacy is unique in doing the medicinal herb part and offering the products that go along with that. So we’re not only growing fresh herbs but preparing them into natural remedies. We offer a C.S.M. (Community Sponsored Medicine) share that features the seasonal products that we make. That’s where we started making our tea blends, to connect people with what is growing during the season but have it be shelf-stable. We also do tonics, tinctures, salves and other natural products. We just launched doing these teas as a wholesale option so we are really happy to know that your co-op is carrying them.

Pam: Your website states, ”Lancaster Farmacy empowers others to reclaim their health through the ancient knowledge of natural healing traditions of whole foods and herbs.” How can integrating the use of herbs into our daily lives benefit our health?

Elisabeth: We used to be way more connected to using herbs in our daily lives but, over time, people have lost touch with that traditional knowledge. I’d like to remind people that much of modern day medicine derives from these plants. We’re excited about connecting people back with nature. The medicine we put in our bodies should make us feel more connected and alive. Hippocrates was writing for then and now when he said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” We also appreciate modern day advancements in medicine and are happy to see a move toward integrative medicine so we can utilize the benefits both offer.

Eating and using herbs seasonally increases awareness of what’s going on around us. When things are available is the best time to take them. For example, stinging nettles, that comes up in the spring, is such a nutrient-rich, mineral-rich tonic herb that I wish everyone had access to. It is such a great cleansing herb that helps our bodies adjust into springtime because it helps detox the stagnation that builds up during the winter months. These herbs are growing at the perfect time for us to utilize them.

There’s much more to this interview! Click here to read the entire interview with Elisabeth Weaver of Lancaster Farmacy and the healing powers of plants.

Recipe: Tahini and Date Baked Oatmeal Cups

Recipe by Aly Miller

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If you've ever enjoyed baked oatmeal, with a slightly crispy top and a soft, warm interior, you'll love this easy, portable spin on it. What I love about these breakfast treats is that they're healthy, they pair well with coffee, and once you make them, you've got breakfast for days.

My recipe was inspired by the Kitchn's baked oatmeal cups, a naturally gluten-free recipe. I chose to make this recipe vegan as well by substituting flax seeds for eggs. If you're looking for a choose-your-own-adventure type of recipe, this one's for you.

In the ingredients list below you’ll find some of our Co-op’s most affordable ingredients: banana, oats, and scant amounts of flax, dates and walnuts which are available in the bulk section. And finally, there's tahini, an earthy, versatile seed butter. I recommend trying our Soom tahini, which is made from single-sourced Ethiopian White Humera sesame seeds. Tahini is a superfood, full of protein, omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, iron, and calcium. It carries more savory flavor notes than almond or peanut butter, and for this reason, it's excellent blended into smoothies and baked goods like these.

Ingredients

2 eggs or 2 flax eggs (mix 2 T of ground flax seeds with 5 T of warm water and let sit for 5 minutes)

  • 1½ cup milk (I used our milked walnuts from Elmhurst)

  • 1 mashed banana (1/2 cup)

  • ¼ cup tahini

  • ¼ cup honey or maple syrup

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • ½ tsp ground cardamom

  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

  • 1 t baking powder

  • ½ tsp salt

  • ¼ cup chopped dates

  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts

  • ¼-½ cup chocolate chips

Directions

Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease one 12-cup muffin pan with a neutral oil or cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs or flax eggs, milk, mashed banana, tahini, honey, and vanilla extract. Next, add in the oats, baking powder, salt, dried fruit, and nuts. Mix with a wooden spoon or spatula until well-combined.

Scoop about ⅓ cup of batter into each well of the muffin tin. Each one should be filled to the top. Drop chocolate chips into each muffin well, pressing gently into the batter.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the tops are slightly golden. Let cool in the tin for 5 minutes and remove to a cooling rack. Enjoy!

We’re Hiring!

Do you know someone with great organizational and people skills who’s looking for a job that reflects their cooperative values? We’re hiring a full-time (35 hours/week) General Manager. This position reports to the Board of Directors and works with Co-op member-owners in managing store operations. As the Co-op continues to grow, the General Manager will play a key role in supporting sustainable business practices, cultivating member-owner leadership, and continuing to improve the Co-op’s accessibility. For the job description and to apply, check out the listing here

Et cetera

Photo credits: Lancaster Farmacy tea picture by Pam Turczyn, all other Lancaster Farmacy photos courtesy of Elisabeth Weaver, oatmeal cup pic by Aly Miller.

The Greene Hill Food Co-op Monthly is edited and published by the following member-owners (in alphabetical order): Liz Baker, Carola Burroughs, DK Holland, Alexandra (Aly) Miller, Pam Turczyn and Gitta Zomorodi. Contact newsletter@greenehillfood.coop with any feedback.