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That’s right, that special time of year is finally here – strawberry season! Our Vermont strawberry harvest doesn’t last long, but what it lacks in longevity it makes up for with that sweet-tart, good-for-you, ravishingly rosy berry. Local has provided us with luscious organic strawberries that they grew right up the road in Westminster. We’ve also got conventionally grown berries that ain’t too shabby either.
In Association with ADM Milling Co, King Arthur Flour Company, Inc. voluntarily recalls limited quantity of Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (5 lb.) because of possible health risk
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — June 13, 2019 – Norwich, VT — In cooperation with ADM Milling Company, King Arthur Flour, Inc. is voluntarily recalling 14,218 cases of 5 lb. Unbleached All-Purpose Flour due to the potential presence of Escherichia coli bacteria (E. coli).
Over the course of the past few years, the town of Brattleboro has seen an unfortunate rise in addiction and poverty, affecting many of our lives. We at the Co-op have experienced this first-hand, as addiction has deeply affected our staff, family, and friends. The experience of walking in downtown Brattleboro is not unlike that in many other towns and cities. From Greenfield to Burlington to Bennington we are seeing and feeling the same effects of an economic, political, and health care system that is broken, which makes folks turn to the street. In recent months, we as a Co-op have tried to show leadership when we can as a response to what is presenting itself here in our town. People who are struggling and in need of support are often overcome by demons in their search for ways to cope. We at the Co-op feel a need to try and be a part of positive change that can be a way to shift what is happening here and all across the country. As our Ends Policies state, we are and believe we must be a “welcoming community marketplace,” one that is built on the Cooperative Principle “Concern for Community.” We are proud of our actions thus far, and think that it is important to be publicly involved in all of the initiatives that are underway in our community. We were not among the merchants who authored the anonymous open letter that The Commons printed on May 29th.* Although we understand and appreciate the work that this group, like many others, is pursuing to come up with solutions, we think that public dialogue with clear authorship is important to better further a community-wide initiative. As we reflect upon our role as an anchor downtown merchant with thousands of employees and customers impacted by the current reality, we feel it is important to reiterate the projects we are involved with, and inform about internal actions we are taking.
During June, July and August, for every New Chapter product purchased at the Co-op, New Chapter will donate $2 on your behalf to Groundworks Collaborative. We want to reach a $2,000 total donation, so nourish yourself and support a wonderful community organization.
Each month, Co-op employees nominate colleagues they want to honor, and a committee comes together to vote on a winner. This month Sam, a cook and baker in our Commissary Kitchen, was selected. As her colleagues stated: “Sam has been such as asset to our department. She is extremely flexible working in the kitchen and on the Deli line filling in/covering shifts. This is very much appreciated.”
A few weeks ago I was faced with a tough decision while in the produce department. The conventional red bell peppers looked “perfect”: they were big, symmetrical and a deep, bright red. On that day, the organic peppers that I normally buy were a funny shape and dark red and green. I happily snapped up some conventional reds and headed home. To my dismay, when I got my peppers home and cut them up, I found my “perfect” peppers to be watery and lacking in flavor compared to the organic peppers I am used to.
Editor’s note: This March we successfully completed our first Annual Vermont Cheese Madness event. A delicious 32 Vermont cheeses from 26 different cheesemakers were sampled throughout the month. We presented eight categories for the bracket: cheddar, gouda, bloomy, blue, washed, alpine, tomme, and goat. Each day we offered two cheeses for customers and staff to sample and then vote The prize: a feature as our June Producer of the Month. On March 31st, Jasper Hill Farm’s Alpha Tolman was declared the overall winner. And so, Cheese manager Joe and Marketing manager Jon visited Jasper Hill last month to bring you this feature article. Enjoy, and thanks to all who voted!
Co-op shareholders, especially the ones who have been around since the very beginning of our Co-op in the mid-70s, are no strangers to reducing their use of packaging. In those buying club days, breaking down large quantities of grains, rice, produce, and cheese, we were focused on access to non-conventional foods in bushel boxes and fifty-pound bags. But even then, we sometimes broke things down into plastic bags.