Food For Thought

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What Next?

| Food For Thought, GM Report
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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.

Artisan Beverage Cooperative

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.

It’s All About the Food: Swiss Chard

| Food For Thought, Nutrition

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.

Old Friends Farm

In Amherst, Massachusetts, 34 miles as the crow flies from the Brattleboro Food Co-op, seated in and amongst a picturesque rail trail, a golf course, suburban homes, and a strip-mall development, is a hidden gem of sorts—a farm which holds the local food movement to a lofty standard. Despite its high standards, Old Friends Farm is not pretentious. It’s simply the expression of the founders who care deeply about the land and the workers who derive a living from that land. Their salad greens, fruits and vegetables, cut flowers, ginger and turmeric, and specialty products shine bright with the care and love that is poured into the work and the land every day.

The Buffeting of the Industry

| Food For Thought, GM Report
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In June of last year, the news broke that Amazon was purchasing Whole Foods. This was the biggest news in the natural foods sector in some time, and the effects of this acquisition continue to merit our attention. This summer, the news broke that United Natural Foods, Inc., had reached an agreement to purchase the conventional distributor SuperValu, based in Minnesota, for $2.9 billion. Many of you know UNFI as the warehouse in Chesterfield, NH, the former site of Stow Mills way back in the day.

Cantaloupes

| Food For Thought, Nutrition

Looking at the tan, rough-skinned exterior of a cantaloupe, it’s hard to imagine that inside contains such a vibrant and luscious surprise! Another one of Mother Earth’s treats for us! Nothing beats biting into this juicy and sweet orange flesh on a hot summer day. I find myself craving melons of all types during the warm summer months, they are so refreshing and thirst quenching, and full of oh-so-many of the nutrients that we often sweat away during the summer months.