November is a time for delicious food, for giving thanks and for enjoying loved ones. Here at the Co-op we are excited for November because it means we get to be a part of supporting your holiday meals with friends and family. Whether it be a fresh turkey from Stonewood Farms, bulk flour from King Arthur Flour, or sweet potatoes from Laughing Child Farm, we are excited to help make your holidays special. While we know many people love to cook their own recipes from scratch and take deep pride in a Thanksgiving meal, we are experiencing an increase in demand for conveniently prepared foods ready to eat.
Food For Thought
Katherine B, BFC Shareholder, is here till 1pm with a free sampling and tasting of Nutiva Coconut Oil.
Film examines food co-ops as a community-based economic movement
I am always grateful when the first apples of the season are ripe and ready to enjoy. Every year by late summer, I am anxiously waiting for the new apple crop to be harvested. In spite of the all the other fruit choices available during the summer season, I feel a void in my diet without a crisp delicious apple—nothing hits the spot like a tart early local apple! I eat one every day when they are available. Some of my favorite early varieties are Paula Red, Ginger Gold, Zestar, and Sansa. And of course the choices don’t stop with those—there will be many more to choose from, along with all of the heirloom apples that have such unusual and fabulous names.
I’m just completing the final year of my first 3-year term on the BFC Board of Directors, this time around. It’s very interesting to think back to my prior service on the Board back in the early 2000’s. At that time the Co-op was being lured out to Putney Rd. to fill an empty box store space. Kudos to the Cassidy brothers of BAST Corporation whose offer to sell the shopping plaza property to the Co-op turned us from renters into owners. That’s what made the numbers work in support of remaining in the downtown space. Now the Co-op is well-rooted as a downtown anchor. I for one wouldn’t want to imagine downtown Brattleboro without the Co-op walking distance from the residential and commercial core of our town. Over time it’s easy to take significant things for granted and forget the challenges we worked through to get to where we are today.
We had a visit not too long ago from Tracy Shriver, the Windham County State’s Attorney. She, along with Mel Motel from the Brattleboro Community Justice Center, proposed a program whereby the Brattleboro Police Department, on our behalf, would refer persons caught stealing items under a certain dollar amount from the Co-op to the Restorative Justice Center to work on confronting their behavior and making things right, for us, our shareholders, and our community.
Every October, cooperatively-owned businesses around the world celebrate National Cooperative Month. No matter what type of co-op it is—whether it’s an electrical utility, credit union, or food cooperative like our own BFC, it is our shared values and principles that steer our businesses forward, and this is the month to share our successes! Look for signs calling out cooperative food companies, follow us on Facebook for fun facts, and view our website events calendar to see our scheduled tastings and demos featuring cooperative companies. And in this month’s Food for Thought, we are taking the opportunity to share the story of one cooperatively-owned business that is locally owned…and quite possibly chilling in your fridge.
FULL TIME: Finance/I. T. Manager
VT Farmstead Cheese Co and Lawson’s Finest Liquids are mixing it up in our Cheese Department.
One of the most striking vegetables I see throughout the whole growing season—either at the farm stand or in the produce section or in the garden—is Swiss chard. The magnificent colors of its stalks are a sight to behold. There are several varieties but my favorites are Ruby Red and Rainbow Chard. With the abundance of vegetables in the summer many people do not take the opportunity to sample or prepare Swiss chard since it is not as well known as other dark green veggies. But this is one that should not be missed, and it can be harvested from early spring until the first hard frost. It is a biennial plant, which means that it has a two-year life cycle. It remains dormant for the winter after its first growing year, then comes back in the spring to complete its growing season.