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Green River Aprons & Wild Blossom Designs

December Producers of the Month

Green River Aprons— For six years now Green River Aprons has been stitching up the finest aprons around. Edith and Kathy’s approach is one of precision made possible by their talented eyes and hands as well as their impressive Swiss-made Bernina sewing machines. The finished products are made of beautiful 100% cotton cloth that features splendid artwork. Edith’s passion for sewing dates back many years. She fell in love with being a seamstress

Measuring Impact

| Food For Thought, GM Report
GM Report Banner

I have previously referred to the process that our board uses to measure how well we are achieving our goals at nearly every board meeting. As the one charged with the execution of these goals, this methodology forces me to quantify our success. Few assessments are more important than monitoring the overarching “Ends” policies, which hopefully you reviewed and commented on at our annual meeting last month. These policies are quite extensive in their scope, and challenging to encapsulate in an annual report, but reviewing the data is fascinating and useful.

It’s All About the Food: Cranberries

| Food For Thought, Nutrition

Winter is just around the corner as the days grow shorter now. All the berries are gone for the season except the ones in my freezer, but there is still one variety in season: the marvelously deep red cranberry, which like so many berries has many nutritional attributes. The cranberry’s tartness and unique flavor make it one of my favorites. I love the sour taste of biting into one in its crunchy raw state. I prefer cranberries served with as little sweetener as possible. The cranberry is a cousin of the blueberry, and is a native of North America that is grown in both Vermont and Massachusetts. It has been around for several thousand years but not in its cultivated state. Only in the last few hundred years—since the early 1800s—has it been cultivated and grown, nearby and across North America. Wild cranberries were presented by the Native Americans as a welcoming gift to the pilgrims in the early 1600s. Eastern Native Americans referred to them as sasumuneash. Their original English name, “crane berries,” came about because their blossoms resembled the neck and head of the cranes that often visited the cranberry bogs.

Board of Directors Report: A Gathering Place

Ok, it’s no secret — I hope, anyway — that I’m a realtor, have been for the last 15 years. I often get to entertain people from out of our area who are considering living in and/or around Brattleboro; it’s actually fun to be a tour guide, as I get to talk up my favorite everythings of life up here in what many, maybe most, consider to be “the boonies.” I show people our wonderful array of restaurants, stop at the New England Youth Theatre if the buyers have kids, wave to and talk about New England Center for the Circus Arts, cruise the neighborhoods, give interested parents a view of the schools, point out the Farmer’s Market, expound on the Literary Festival weekend, wow people with the Harris Hill ski jump, and show off Sam’s, and the Latchis Theatre with its great range of movies, Art Deco styling and real butter on the popcorn, if you want it. My real favorite, big surprise, is talking to these potential newbies about the Brattleboro Food Co-op. Honest! Why?

Bulk Department Update

| Bulk, Food For Thought

Thanks for all of the feedback on our Bulk Department redesign. We appreciate the honesty, ideas and support. We felt it appropriate to share a few of the questions/comments/feedback from our Shoppers/Shareholders and some more information on our plans moving forward. Please know that all feedback forms are responded to, and placed in the Café.

It’s All about the Food: Sweet Potatoes

| Food For Thought, Nutrition

I have always loved the glorious sweet potato!! I ate them frequently as a child since my mother was very nutrition-conscious and wanted to provide us with the best foods. Many people I know grew up eating sweet potatoes with marshmallows and brown sugar—the thought of which is a disgrace to this incredibly nutritious root vegetable. They are so naturally sweet and tasty, why would anyone want to mask all their natural goodness? Perhaps the reason was because they were served out of a can, which hardly does them justice. A real baked sweet potato is a sight to behold, when you cut through the dull orange brownish skin to find the magnificent deep orange flesh underneath. We are fortunate to have access to locally grown sweet potatoes right here in southern Vermont and New Hampshire, since the majority of sweet potatoes in this country are grown in the south. Their peak season is from early fall though many of the winter months, provided they are stored in a cool dark place. There are reported to be 400 varieties of sweet potatoes, and they with yellow, white, cream, orange, pink, and purple flesh. But the deep orange sweet potatoes are most commonly grown here.

Laughing Child Farm

November Producer of the Month

A Whole Lot Of Sweet Potatoes— The biggest sweet potato producer in Vermont, Laughing Child Farm, is tucked away in the Butternut Bend neighborhood of Pawlet, VT. Brooke and Tim Hughes-Muse have raised their family and a whole lot of sweet potatoes over the past five years on 39 acres. In fact, they will grow 180,000 pounds of sweet potatoes on their land this year, all certified organic and mostly planted and harvested by hand. It is a

Board of Directiors Report: Radical Tact

I joined the Co-op board three years ago with a desire to understand where all my money was going—to put my mouth where my money is, in a reversal of the popular expression. I found in the Co-op management—and on the board—a remarkable transparency, a deep love for community, many new relationships, and an expansion of what a friend recently described as “radical tact.”