CO-OPversations

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 CO-OPversations

Have you thought about how things could be different in your community? Bring those ideas and join us for a second round of Co-opversations as we explore what it means to build community wealth. La Montanita Co-op has invited the historian and political economist, Gar Alperovitz, to speak at our October 18th annual member meeting. In preparation for his visit we’d like to have some engaging conversations about strong, collaborative communities. Learn a little and share a lot.

Join us on THURSDAY, Sept 18, 5:30-7pm for a CO-OPversation. In the Santa Fe Co-op Community Room, 913 West Alameda and in ABQ at the Bachechi Open Space, 9521 Rio Grande Blvd. Beverages, Coffee and snacks from the  Westside and Santa Fe Delis!

For more information email the Co-op’s Board of Directors at bod@lamontanita.coop, and keep a look out on our Facebook page and weekly email sales flyer.

Santa Fe Co-op Offers an Education in Cheese

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Santa Fe Co-op Offers an Education in Cheese

Beginning this month, Jade McLellan, our Santa Fe Cheese Department head will offer classes on the history, varieties, and methods for making cheese. While you won’t make cheese at these workshops, you will receive a 10% coupon to purchase any item from the cheese department during the following weekend.

The first class, Cheese 101 will take place on Thursday, September 25 from 6:30 – 8pm, at our Santa Fe store in the community room.

You must RSVP to attend the class, as seating is limited. Please fill out the form below to reserve your space, or call Jade at 505-984-2852.

This will be the first of a series of classes on cheese, so stay tuned for upcoming events!

Registration for this class has closed. Please check back soon for future classes.

 

Tailgate with the Co-op

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Tailgate with the Co-op

Get the Ball Rolling with Mt Vikos Spreads: Kalmata Olive • Babaganoush • Roasted Eggplant and Artichoke vegetable spreads on Lil Kristi’s Chips and Salsa, local from Roswell.

Tag team with organic Chicken Wings and T&B’s Cajun Marinade, a savory premium blended marinade, rich with spices and seasonings made right here in ABQ. Go the distance with our in-season, local & organic veggies. Slice, dice and skewer them with some of our local & organic Kyzer pork sausage and grass-fed beef.

Or, just sit back and relax and let us make the play with Co-op Catering!

It’s Hempening!

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By Ruth Fahrbach, Taos HempLLC

Hemp, or Cannabis sativa, covers a lot of ground in the literal sense. It is the plant genius that will grow nearly anywhere with little water and no pesticides, herbicides or fungicides. No way does this plant equate with being “high.”   It is an economic wonder and an agrarian salvation. As the planet becomes more arid from climate change and farmlands are planted with mono-crops year after year depleting the soil and whole ecosystems, it is imperative to understand hemp’s revitalizing role.

Hemp yields food, clothing, shelter, medicine and fuel. Hemp gives us our basic needs. Hempseeds, aka “hemp hearts,” are high in omega 3 and omega 6 essential fatty acids; the EFA’s our bodies do not produce on their own. The brain thrives on this oil along with the rest of the body. Hemp hearts have a perfectly crafted 3:1 Super Omega-3 Stearidonic Acid (SDA) and Super Omega-6 Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA). Hempseed can be hulled from its shell and used in many ways: sprinkle on smoothies, cereals, salads, or just eating a handful and tasting the nutty flavor. Birds too, love hemp! It’s the highest protein in the plant kingdom after the soybean. There are no recognized allergens or gluten in hemp. With the Omega-3 EFA and high Vitamin E content, hemp oil is perfect for body care products. For more info go to www.hempoilcan.com, www.nutiva.com, www.livingharvest.com, www.manitobaharvest.com, www.thehempest.com.

Hemp grows tall and lanky, up to 15 ft. high, dependent on the seed cultivar. Choosing the correct cultivar recognizes altitude, and humidity. It takes four to five months to grow hempseed and its oil.   Hemp’s taproot sinks deep, to eight feet and aerates the soil. Textile production is another use for the plant and pure hemp textiles made from the long strand fiber of the stalk is the strongest fiber on the planet. China is the leading producer of hemp textiles. China’s hemp textile goal: 1.3 million hectares of farmland, equivalent to 10 million tons of hemp plants and thus 2 million tons of hemp fiber for textiles. One hectare is equal to 2.47 acres of land. Romania, Hungary, Laos, and Canada are some of the secondary hemp textile manufacturers. For details, visit: www.hemptraders.com, www.taoshemp.com, www.envirotextiles.com, www.santafehemp.com.

From the hempstalk’s core comes the “hurd.” When pulverized with the “shiv”, the smaller fiber pieces hackled from the stalk-fiber, it can then be compressed into fiberboard, building blocks (similar to adobes), plastic automobile parts, insulation, hempcrete (a hemp mix with lime). Building with hemp is carbon neutral to carbon negative for industrial use, non-toxic and stronger than wood. These attributes make hemp a no brainer for contemporary building. The film “Bringing It Home” shows how hemp is a toxic building syndrome cure for the building industry.

Through a process called gasification, fuel can be made from hemp. Hemp has a high lignin content and thus is superb for bio-fuel and plastic production. Phyto-remediation with hemp cleans up benzenes, toluenes, xylenes and sulfolines so cleanly that the plant retains its industrial useage for building materials, paper, and fuel after its use in environmental detox. It shows great promise as a phyto-remediation healer for toxic land chemical waste. See: www.hempcleans.comwww.cannavest.com, www.sensei.com.

In February 2014, President Obama signed the US Farm Bill, approving all states who have passed legislation for industrial hemp, to proceed with pilot studies and research. A first step is establishing the appropriate seed cultivars for each state. Twenty three states have passed state bills. Colorado and Kentucky planted their fields in 2013 and 2014 respectively. Read more at www.votehemp.com, www.hemphistoryweek.com, and www.thehia.org.

A half billion dollar industry in the US currently imports hemp materials: Canada for seed, Chine for textile, and the European Union for building materials, production of hemp could be major economic development for farmers in arid lands agriculture. The American farmer can net $300 to $800/acre depending on the final usage of his hemp crop. Hemp is a “multi-tasker” that is bringing our economy back and providing work for farmers. Support hemp legislation in New Mexico and vote online at www.votehemp.com.

Organic Valley Offers New Kingdom Cheese

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Cooperation Among Cooperatives: Product Spotlight

By Jessica Morel, Organic Valley Co-op

Cooperatives have always been about…well…cooperation. Kingdom Organic Cheddar, La Montanita’s newest offering in premium imported cheese, is the result of an emerging partnership among two organic family farm dairy cooperatives; one in the US, the other in Great Britain.

Hundreds of years ago, farmers in the Somerset area of Southwest England began aging cheese in the limestone caves of a deep gorge in their region. They named this delicious sharp cheese after the village at the bottom of that gorge: Cheddar.  Through the centuries, dairy farmers and cheese makers in this region have honed their skills to introduce distinctive English Cheddar to shoppers around the world.

English organic dairy farmers were frustrated, though, because the slight differences in the organic regulations between the US and the European Union prevented them from being able to market a quality organic English Cheddar to shoppers in the US.  All of that changed when the United States and Europe negotiated an agreement in 2012 that set up a procedure to allow EU organic products into the US if those products could be verified to meet the USDA organic Standards.

Dairy farmers belonging to England’s major organic milk cooperative went to work to start creating a pool of milk that complied with the USDA standards so that they could make a quality cheddar for the American marketplace.  The Kingdom Cheddar they produced has won accolades from cheese experts around the world. The creamy texture with notes of fresh, green grass, make Kingdom a perfect cheese for entertaining, recipes, or just for an afternoon snack.

English organic dairy farmers knew they needed a solid partner in the U.S. to bring that premium cheddar to the marketplace. They reached out to their fellow organic dairy farmers who owned Organic Valley Co-op, the most established organic dairy brand in the United States. The partnership forged among these two cooperatives is allowing the British organic dairy farmers to bring their premium, heritage cheddar to La Montanita through the network of Organic Valley.

Richard Hampton, the head of the British organic cooperative that produces Kingdom Cheddar, said, “Our farmers are very proud of the bold, distinctive premium heritage cheddar that they help produce. By connecting with our fellow organic farmers at Organic Valley, we have developed the ability to bring our unique products to shoppers in New Mexico and elsewhere around the United States.”

Look for Kingdom Cheddar in all La Montanita Co-op’s cheese cases. For more information, please visit www.kingdomcheddar.com.