Now Roasting

 
We’re now roasting Seco Spice organic chile, fresh from the Hatch Valley of New Mexico. Come by for some freshly roasted chile available in three levels of spiciness, or just come enjoy that great roasting smell in the air. For specific roasting time information, call your favorite La Montañita location.

 

 

Local Spotlight: Seco Spice

As summer draws near its end, nothing lets you know that fall is just around the corner quite like the smell of roasted chile. A distinct smoke and spice smell swirling through the unpredictable New Mexico air dissipates into our big blue Land of Enchantment sky.

Over the past 40 years, La Montañita Co-op has been providing the best produce in New Mexico and we’ve done so by partnering with New Mexico’s top producers. One of these partners is Seco Spice, one of the largest organic chile and spice producers in the state, who has been bringing exceptional chile for over 20 years from their home to yours. This family-owned business grows many varieties of chiles and spices, but is best known for their red and green chile.

Since the turn of the century, when the Ogaz family came to the Hatch Valley, farming chile has become their tradition and their passion. For three generations they have researched and discovered the most effective techniques for growing and harvesting chile from seed to soil.

Seco Spice produces 6 million dry pounds of chile and processes over 500 tons of fresh green chile annually! All of their products are certified Kosher and most are certified organic. Recently their red and green chile have received organic certification.

The essence of New Mexico is what makes for world renowned green chile, according to Seco Spice: “We like to think we know why our New Mexico Chile tastes better than any other chile grown in the USA or across the world. We firmly believe that chile grown in New Mexico tastes better in much the same way that the French wine regions believe they make the finest wines, as does California’s Napa Valley. We all agree. Our products are the best because of our heritage, our water, our air, and our local soil.” It’s hard to argue with that.

This unique green chile is good for your health. High in vitamin A (dry chile) and vitamin C (fresh), the chiles contain many times more vitamin C than a single orange. Their vibrant color signals the presence of the antioxidant beta-carotene, which supports the cardiovascular system, healthy eyes, skin, and the immune system. They do not contain fat and block the body’s absorption of cholesterol. And that is just the short list!

What is more difficult to agree on is: Red? Or green? The answers that surround this inevitable question are passionate. Can’t we all get along? After all, it is the same plant, just picked at different times. Whether it’s red or green, we can agree nothing says Nuevo Mexico like our signature roasted chile. Keep your nose up; you’ll be smelling the sweet smell of fall soon enough. Find all your chile fixes at any neighborhood La Montañita Co-op. We will be roasting Seco Spice’s Organic Green Chile!

For more on Seco Spice, you can visit their website: www.secospice.com

Local Farmer Spotlight: Sage Creations

Local Farmer Spotlight: Sage Creations

Sage Creations is a diversified, certified organic and family-run farm located in Palisade, Colorado. Palisade is on the Rocky Mountains’ western slope, in an area famous for its high-quality fruit due to an ideal dry climate of hot days and cool nights.

Owner Paola Legarre has worked in organic farming and marketing for the last 20 years. Her strong beliefs in conserving the environment and maintaining a healthy place for her family and future generations has always been her priority. Her day-to-day decisions on her farm reflect these beliefs.

Paola and her husband Bobby manage the farm and maintain their cherry orchard and lavender fields using sustainable farming practices, nourishing soil life free of herbicides or synthetic fertilizers and encouraging beneficial insects through diverse plant hedgerows, beekeeping, companion planting and insect releases.

Sage Creations seasonally grows and sells sweet cherries, heirloom tomatoes, potted culinary herbs, lavender plants and array of lavender products ranging from lotions and essential oils to neck wraps, eye pillows and wreaths.

Although growing all these crops while maintaining USDA Organic Certification can be costly, the long-term perspective on organic practices shows us that it is actually less costly and more advantageous overall because of the positive impacts on the environment and our health.

 

Sage Creations Organic Basics

Sage Creations is focused on their commitment to organic practices through:
• Building healthy soils, the cornerstone of organic farming practices.
• No damaging tilling; cover cropping; intercropping between rows, planting grasses and legumes whenever possible; use of farm-made compost rotating annual crops; use of organic fertilizers which come from plants, animals and minerals.
• Controlling weeds through mechanical and biological methods: natural and biodegradable mulches, cover crop to outcompete weeds; hoe by hand; use woven weed barriers.
• Controlling pests & disease through non-synthetic pesticides and biological methods: crop rotation; use of pheromone disrupters; natural biological controls; introduce beneficial insects; maintaining beneficial insects and pollinators by maintaining barrier plantings that attract them.

LOCAL Picuris Pueblo Charcoal

Pick up a bag of LOCAL Picuris Pueblo natural charcoal for grilling season, $12.99 for an 8lb bag while supplies last. Support local and make your grilling extra tasty while you’re at it!

 

Nestled in a setting of serene beauty in what is known as the “Hidden Valley” of the Sangre de Cristo mountains, Picuris Pueblo is one of the oldest American Indian villages, consistently inhabited since about 1000 C.E. Once one of the largest northern pueblos, today the Picuris population has shrunk to just 350. Largely responsible for this decline is the period of revolt from 1680-1696, when all of the Pueblos fought the Spanish conquerors for their land and their autonomy. Picuris remains one of the most isolated of the Rio Grande villages.

Abiding by the Tribal principle of giving back to Mother Nature before you receive, the Pueblo’s Forestry Department is currently focused on sustainable forests, restoration and working towards a better quality of life for all species. By cutting invasive plants and hazardous growth and utilizing all slash and biomass for restoration, the Forestry Department is greatly decreasing the threat of catastrophic wild fires. Picuris charcoal is a product of the Pueblo’s commitment to forest restoration. Made from natural wood, it burns hotter and cleaner than briquette charcoal. Because there are no chemical additives, it enhances the natural flavors in your food while adding no chemical flavor of its own.

Now the Tribe is positioned as the premier source for all-natural wood charcoal in north-central New Mexico. Picuris will continue to focus on forest restoration to preserve the environment and benefit local residents and communities.

More info: https://picurischarcoal.com/

27th Annual EarthFest

2017 EarthFest  •  Sunday, April 23  •  10am–5:30pm  •  Behind our Nob Hill store

La Montañita Co-op Food Market is proud to announce EarthFest 2017! Join the tradition of celebrating the Earth behind La Montañita’s Nob Hill store (3500 Central Blvd.) on Sunday, April 23 from 10a – 5:30p. Admission is free and the whole family (yup, even your furry friends) are welcome!

Each year La Montañita takes over Silver Ave. between Carlisle Blvd. and Tulane Ave. and makes room for hundreds of local vendors, social and economic justice organizations, environmental advocacy groups, performers and, of course, La Montañita’s delicious deli foods.

The two-block party has a large stage front and center where attendees can enjoy a variety of performances throughout the day while walking about to purchase starter plants early in the spring season and receive gardening and farming information from experts in their field. You may even run across a petting zoo filled with baby goats from one of La Montañita’s local vendors, The Old Windmill Dairy. With so much going on, be sure to come early and enjoy all that La Montañita Co-op EarthFest has to offer as it celebrates our local community and planet.

For more information and questions about La Montañita Co-op’s EarthFest, check out page 1 of April’s Co-op Connection newsletter or contact Robin Seydel, Community Advocacy, at robins@lamontanita.coop.

Santa Fe Earth Day BBQ  •  Saturday, April 22  •  11:30am–2:30pm  •  Santa Fe Store

Santa Fe: Celebrate Earth Day with your Co-op on Saturday, April 22, from 11:30am–2:30pm. Enjoy delicious grass-fed or veggie burgers, hot dogs and all the BBQ fixin’s you’ve been dreaming of all winter. While you eat, tap your toes to the great sounds of the Shiners Club Swing/Jazz Band. All profits from this BBQ will go to the Santa Fe Watershed Association.

Gallup: Join us on Saturday, April 22, from 1:30–4:00pm in the Gallup location’s parking lot for live music, free fruit & lemonade, a dance performance by the Foundations of Freedom Performing Arts Center, educational booths featuring local environmental organizations and more.

Westside: On Saturday, April 22, we’re giving away reusable shopping bags with a little Earth Day surprise inside when you spend $10 or more. Use them when you’re shopping in the future to save resources and to make a difference through our Donate-a-Dime program! April bag credit donations will go to the Friends of Valle de Oro Wildlife Refuge.

For location addresses or contact information, visit our website: http://lamontanita.coop/locations

Get Fresh! Buy Local

Our farmers pride themselves with same-to-next-day delivery of field-fresh produce that is full of flavor and powerfully rich in nutrients. Our ranchers’ dairy and meat products are sustainably and naturally raised with care and great regard for their environmental impact.

Through the La Montañita Cooperative Distribution Center, we deliver hundreds of local products to our stores, area restaurants, commercial kitchens and other grocers. By providing business development, marketing services and on-farm consultation, we help producers in New Mexico and the surrounding region increase their productivity, distribution and consumer awareness.

La Montañita Co-op is a leader in the local foods movement, carrying more than 1,000 local products from over 200 farmers, ranchers and producers by way of our regional foodshed — approximately 350 miles from around ABQ. We have been growing a food revolution since 1976 through our support of and commitment to small farmers and ranchers in New Mexico and the wider La Montañita foodshed. You can taste the difference!

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Congratulations to Our First Scholarship Recipients!

Thanks to the Sustainability Studies Program matching La Montañita’s donation and the support from our generous community, we were able to award four outstanding UNM students with the La Montañita Co-op Marshall Kovitz Memorial Scholarship. Congratulations Carly Anderson, Christina Hoberg, Pam Quintana and Amy Sedillo. The Co-op is proud to be able to support your aspirations of positively impacting our planet through sustainable farming and ecological conservation.

Here’s a brief bio from each of the first four recipients of the La Montañita Co-op Marshall Kovitz Memorial Scholarship:

Carly-Anderson Carly Anderson is an International Relations Major at the University of New Mexico.

I’m minoring in sustainability studies and traveling abroad to Italy this summer with a program that focuses on local food systems. I am hoping to further develop my knowledge in regards to sustainable and productive food supply that I’ll apply to my research on National City resilience and self-sufficiency. I’m thrilled to have discovered the Sustainable Studies program here at UNM and am looking forward to being a part of such an amazing opportunity in regards to local food shed, growth, and environmentally beneficial issues.

Christina Hoberg is a UNM student pursuing a B.S. in Geography and a minor in Sustainability studies.

Her main interests are focusing on human-environmental interactions through restorative ecosystems and sustainable agriculture. She is a graduate of the Las Huertas Farmer Training program and is currently in the process of creating the Firewheel Women’s Collective at Rio Grande Community Farm, a group that will allow women to grow food abundantly while giving their children an outdoor experience. Christina also enjoys exploring new places and thoughts, having great conversations and eating delicious food.

Carly-Anderson
Carly-Anderson Pam Quintana is originally from northern California.

I spent a lot of time at the ocean and in the mountains and have always had a reverence for our beautiful planet and a passion for sustainability. As a returning student to UNM after an extended break, I am majoring in Environmental Communication and minoring in Sustainability Studies. My specific area of interest in terms of sustainability is food waste – from the toxic impact it has on the environment to the other end of the spectrum, which is food insecurity. I currently work as an APS reading intervention teacher for grades K-2nd and refugee students, I have two amazing kids and I love bike riding, hiking, growers markets, traveling and swimming.

Amy Sedillo was born and raised in Northern New Mexico among the beautiful Sangre de Cristo mountains.

All the fishing trips I took with my father and brothers helped to develop my deep love for nature. My passion for food grew while I was attending high at Eagle Rock School in Estes Park, CO. The foundations of my education provided me the tools for engaging in the world as a steward of the environment. I am currently a student at UNM, studying sustainability and social sciences as a means for creating change in the world. I am a ‘foodie’ who loves exploring the local food scene and sharing my discoveries with family and friends. I have a strong belief that access to healthy, tasty food should be a basic human right, and yet New Mexico is one of the most food insecure states. My mission is to help others develop a love for fresh, local food and encourage the younger generations to learn about where their food comes from.

Carly-Anderson

Want to learn more?

Check out our announcement of the La Montañita Co-op Marshall Kovitz Memorial Scholarship for more information. If you’re interested in supporting UNM Sustainability Studies students by making a donation to the scholarship, you can do so here.

Marshall Kovitz Memorial Scholarship

We are excited to announce that La Montañita Co-op is teaming up with the University of New Mexico’s Sustainability Studies Program to offer the La Montañita Co-op Marshall Kovitz Memorial Scholarship.

Named for La Montañita founding owner and board member Marshall Kovitz, the scholarship benefits students who have declared Sustainability Studies as their interdisciplinary minor at UNM. Preference is given to those choosing Food Systems as their area of concentration. If you’re interested in making a donation to help this scholarship grow and support more UNM Sustainability Studies students, visit unmfund.org/fund/la-montanita-marshall-kovitz.

“The Sustainability program actually has a long and wonderful history with La Montañita and our students learn about the role of Co-ops and markets in our communities. Students then plan and operate a one-day market on campus,” UNM Sustainability Studies Program Director Professor Bruce Milne said.

Students can pair the Sustainability Studies minor with a wide variety of majors to create an integrated course of study rooted in the principles of ecological conservation, Milne explained.

According to the program website, the Sustainability Studies minor degree provides students from most disciplines with sustainability knowledge, skills and experiences that complement their major, thereby preparing them to bring sustainable practices to many sectors.

The Food Systems concentration within the Sustainability Studies program is vital for continuing to enhance and grow New Mexico’s local foodshed. “Foodshed” is a term describing the regional food economy.

“Local food is among the top reasons students get into sustainability, and we’re thrilled to be on the hunt for the first recipients of the scholarship. In fact, we are matching the money to ensure that deserving students have the critical resources to stay enrolled and progress to graduation. Thanks to La Montañita we’ve seen tremendous growth and innovation around local food in the last 10 years,” Milne added.

Kovitz, who died in March 2016 at age 68, was a champion of preservation and environmental sustainability.  Kovitz was a beloved and active member of the La Montañita community, and his legacy lives on through this memorial scholarship.

“Marshall gave 40 years to La Montañita and is an example of dedication to education and his commitment to our community. It’s our honor to name this scholarship after him,” said Dennis Hanley, La Montañita Co-op General Manager.

The Co-op already has its GRABnGO location on UNM’s main campus, and La Montañita is continuing to look for more ways to partner with the University to develop programs and initiatives that further enhance civic and environmental responsibility.

Supporters wishing to make year-end contributions are encouraged to consider a gift to the La Montañita Co-op Marshall Kovitz Memorial Scholarship.

 

Securing Grants for NM Producers

Securing Grants for NM Producers

In 2016, La Montañita secured more than $330,000 in USDA grants for New Mexico farms and ranches! The La Montañita Co-op Distribution Center’s value chain team wrote these grants for two local food producers in order to help strengthen their businesses, ensuring their long term viability and continued contributions to the New Mexico economy.

With these grants, Beneficial Eggs and The Old Windmill Dairy will be able to increase both their production capacity and sales of their eggs and cheeses, respectively. Because Beneficial Eggs is a shared brand that multiple New Mexico egg producers use, these grants are supporting a number of different NM producers.

Grant writing is one of the many value chain services that La Montañita provides to local farms and ranches.  According to the USDA, the hallmarks of food value chains are “transparency, working together, and providing fair returns to all partners under shared environmental or social values.”  These values are embodied in La Montañita’s Ends, and are what guide how the co-op conducts its daily business with local food producers.

La Montañita’s Co-op Distribution Center is home to a value chain team that provides a whole host of services to local growers, supporting these Ends of environmental stewardship, transparency, working together, and fair returns.  These services include matching producers with scale-appropriate market opportunities; providing technical assistance around production, marketing, food safety, and other aspects of food businesses; advocacy around farm-related policy, both local and national; securing funding and resources for growers; and testing new business models that provide greater returns for businesses along La Montañita’s entire supply chain.

This is all to say, value chain work often extends beyond the day-to-day transactions between a buyer and seller.  For example, some of La Montañita’s value chain services only benefit the co-op indirectly, including our writing grants for New Mexico farms and ranches.  The USDA’s “Value Added Producer Grant” is one such funding opportunity, and it’s through the VAPG grant program that La Montañita recently secured the $330,000 for local producers.

These VAPG grants will provide funding to support the marketing efforts of Beneficial Eggs and The Old Windmill Dairy, and will be awarded in their entirety to the beneficiaries.  As a result of these VAPG grants, Beneficial Eggs and Old Windmill Dairy will be able to increase both their production capacity as well as their gross sales.  The grants will also support three new, full-time, good paying jobs for New Mexico’s economy.

Have questions about these grants, or want to learn more about our work with local producers? Contact our Value Chain Specialist: benjamin.bartley@lamontanita.coop

Your Perfect Holiday Turkey

 

They’re here! Embudo Valley Organics’ fresh, local and organic turkeys are available this year for only $3.99/lb. We also have a great selection of Mary’s turkeys: Mary’s Organic turkeys are $3.99/lb, and Mary’s Non-GMO turkeys are $2.69/lb.

Order yours today by calling your favorite Co-op location, or come on in and order in person:

Embudo Valley Organics’ turkeys are always outside in the fields and sunshine, grazed in open irrigated pastures, fed only certified organic grains, and are cared for and harvested by hand to ensure the highest quality product in the most humane manner. This small, local farm produces the nation’s first Certified Organic Turkeys with no artificial ingredients, from the ground up!

Mary’s turkeys are free-range, fed a vegetarian diet, and are raised in California. If you have any questions about our turkey options before you place your order, just give us a call at one of the phone numbers above.

Need a vegan- and vegetarian-friendly option, or want to make Thanksgiving easier by having our professional chefs handle your side dishes? Check out our holiday catering options to see how we can help complete your perfect Thanksgiving dinner.