It’s All About the Food: Winter Squash…

| Food For Thought, Nutrition

Winter is fast approaching, as the days grow shorter and the temperature is dropping. With that said, we think about foods that are hardy and supply us with good nourishment. Winter squash are a group of calorie-dense foods that do just that and are in plentiful supply at this time of year. They are an amazing gift from Mother Nature, packed with an incredible variety of nutrients! I like to admire the decorative array of winter squash at the Co-op, in all shapes, sizes, and colors. I have yet to try all the varieties out there but those I have eaten each have their own unique taste and texture. Winter squash are so named because they can be stored during the winter, often for several months at a time due to their hard skin. They all originate from the same vegetable family, the cucurbits. They originated thousands of years ago in Central and South America before moving up north, and by the mid 1800s, they were a staple product in the Northeast.

Brag Bags and Woodfield Press

Brag Bags-  The story of Brag Bags began when Kathleen Kennedy was a child and witnessed her mother’s work as an accomplished seamstress. Crafting gorgeous dresses, hemming pants, and making bags, her mother was very handy with a sewing machine and a true artist. She could walk into a store, see a lovely dress, and then head home and re-create it from her memory and her creative passion. Being exposed to this artistic energy was infectious, and as Kathleen grew from a child to a teenager, she began to pick up a love for drawing and painting, which led to a degree in art from SUNY New Paltz. Throughout her life art has always been a part of her work, from making jewelry and designing gardens to creating floral arrangements, and now with Brag Bags, her line of unique, hand-made purses and totes that we sell here at the Co-op.

Ends Policy No. 1

| Food For Thought, GM Report
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As you may remember, after our fiscal year settles out I report to our Board of Directors how well we have achieved, or attempted to achieve, our “Ends” during that period. These aspirational goals have guided us since 2007, when the then-Board of Directors adopted them. I think you may be comforted to know that this conversation takes place every year, without fail, and is supported by a wide variety of data collection to evaluate our progress. I will communicate as much as possible in these pages.

It’s All About the Food: Turkey

| Food For Thought, Meat

As the days are getting shorter with the change in the seasons, I have enjoyed seeing many wild turkeys this fall. I like watching the rafter of all shapes and sizes amble through the tall grass in our field in the early morning light. They peck at the grass as they forage for bugs and who knows what else as they cross the property. They are unafraid of the deer that often keep company with them. Occasionally I hear a gobble, and the most amazing sights to catch are the flying and the running turkeys since many of these birds are quite large and neither running nor flying seem to be an easy task! 

BOD Report: Restoring Community

The Brattleboro Food Co-op recently agreed to take part in a pilot program using the principles of restorative justice with our partners for retail theft. I was curious about restorative justice, and I found out that it has been around for at least 35 years around the world. The extent of the program varies from country to country, and from application to application. It has helped when prison overcrowding is prevalent by working with low level offenders to repair harm done, addressing other root causes when possible.

And They’re Off!

| Food For Thought, GM Report
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We had noticed a bit of a sluggishness in sales over the past quarter, so we were excited when the Indigenous People’s Day/foliage weekend pushed us well over recent sales levels in the store. The ramp-up that we experience this time of year sometimes takes us a week or so to catch up to, but this year we expect to have a more difficult time getting product on the shelves. I had mentioned in a recent article that service levels from our main natural foods distributor had been trending negatively, and this trend is sure to get worse before it gets better.

Brattleboro Food Co-op Deli

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.

Its All About the Food: Apples

| Food For Thought, Nutrition

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.