EXHIB-IT! has partnered with Albuquerque Business First, Streaming NM, the American Marketing Association, Albuquerque AlphaGraphics and Awards Etc. to add an exciting element and opportunity to the 8th Annual B2B Expo. This year the B2B Expo will feature the first ever People’s Choice Best Local Brand Award. There will be two first place winners in two different categories, one Commercial Company & one Nonprofit Organization.
The top 3 Best Local Brands in each category (Commercial and Nonprofit) have been selected by an impartial judging system graded by NM AMA. Now it’s up to you to pick La Montañita Co-op as the #1 Best Local Brand in the Commercial Category.
Vote TODAY for La Montañita Co-op as New Mexico’s Best Local Brand in the Commercial Category. Voting ends 6:30pm, June 9, so hurry to get your vote in!
Click on this LINK and SHARE THIS LINK For the Voting Process: https://www.facebook.com/TradeShowExperts/app_343236642414878
From Adrienne Weiss
The combination of vegan goat cheese and fresh basil pesto gives this dip a most unusual and tasty flavor. Served with fresh, steamed artichoke halves, it makes a beautiful, seasonal presentation. Equally delicious, try it with an assortment of crudités (cut up raw veggies) and/or cracker and bread choices.
Time: 30 Minutes
For Vegan Goat Cheese:
- 1/2 cup cashews, soaked at least 2 to 3 hours
- Juice of half a lime
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Basil Pesto Ingredients:
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1/3 cup almonds
- 1 tablespoon liquid smoke (more if desired for a smokier taste)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- For cheese, in bowl or food processor/blender, combine cashews, lime juice, vinegar and salt. Purée until smooth and well-blended. This could take up to 2 to 3 minutes, adding water only if necessary.
- For pesto, in bowl or food processor/blender, combine basil leaves, garlic, almonds, liquid smoke, water and salt. Purée until smooth, adding water only if or as needed.
- Combine pesto and vegan goat cheese in small bowl, mixing thoroughly. Can be served immediately, but flavors blend better if refrigerated for at least 2 hours.
La Montañita Co-op is switching to phenol-free register receipt paper.
As a leader in the local foods movement, La Montañita Co-op will be switching to this phenol-free receipt paper at its six locations on June 15. This new receipt paper is free of BPA (Bisphenol-A) and BPS (Bisphenol-S), which have been linked to a variety of health concerns, including hormone disruption.
The phenol-free paper is manufactured using a Vitamin C-based thermal coating, which allows images to be produced when exposed to heat. The tape is yellow in color and the image is lighter, but will remain legible for at least five years if the receipt is properly stored under normal filing conditions.
La Montañita’s Distribution Center is selling the phenol-free receipt paper in New Mexico. For ordering information, contact Distribution Center Customer Service, 505-217-2010. Switching to phenol-free register receipt paper continues La Montañita’s dedication to cultivating a sustainable future for our community and our planet.
Mark your calendars for the 6th Annual Corrales Garden Tour on Sunday, June 7. Sponsored by Corrales MainStreet in cooperation with the Sandoval County Master Gardeners, the self-guided tour includes six outstanding gardens scattered throughout Corrales.
The homeowners have been intimately involved in the creation or revitalization of their gardens. Each garden is unique and adapted to the garden’s physical location, reflecting the homeowner’s personal interests. Waterwise xeric plantings are integrated in the gardens.
There’s something for everyone. A colorful little oasis in the sand dunes describes a delightful garden where native plants provide a stunning background for the artist homeowners’ handsome metal work. A shaded property near the bosque features an extraordinary labyrinth, seating designed to optimize views, and raised beds cultivated as square-foot vegetable gardens.
Still another, once the place to pick wild asparagus, has been rejuvenated with a variety of areas using drip, sprinklers, and traditional flood irrigation to accommodate the different microclimates from sunny to full shade. Homeowners who started with a barren sandhill property achieved their goal of integrating the inside and outside living spaces with an attached free-flight greenhouse, a rose garden, vineyard, an outdoor kitchen, and a native plant area providing food for wildlife.
Intimate, quiet spaces in a garden near the bosque have evolved through 40 years of tender nurturing. Serene living spaces are bordered by blossoms humming with bees and butterflies. A wealth of ideas includes a rainwater catchment system, a compost bin, and a pond with a variety of water plants, which together invite you to walk around or to dawdle and meditate.
Sandoval County Master Gardeners will be at each garden to answer questions. Two lovely quilts will be raffled to benefit SCMG. Plein air artists wil be painting in the gardens. The tickets are $10, available beginning May 1, from the Frontier Mart and Village Mercantile in Corrales, at local garden centers throughout the area, and online at www.corrales-gardentour.com. Tickets can be purchased on June 7 at tents on Corrales Road. Funds raised from the tour will be used for a landscaping project in Corrales.
Information: contact MainStreet at 350-3955 or email@example.com. Pictures of gardens and gardening tips are available on the Corrales Garden Tour website, www.corrales-gardentour.com.
By Katherine Mullé
Let’s be honest—as women, we all have moments where we fuss over our appearance. Whether it’s over frizzy fly-away hairs, dark under-eye circles, or some inevitable skin imperfection, we stare at the mirror with feelings of discontent as we pick and prod. While there are a plethora of beauty products out there readily available to us, the reality is this: by the time we walk out the door in the morning, after carefully applying moisturizer, makeup, hair spray, and all our other favorite products, while we may have helped our appearance (at least, according to society’s standards), the amount of chemicals we’ve likely applied to our bodies can be disastrous for our health.
Among the most lethal of these chemicals are endocrine disruptors, chemicals that interfere with the body’s endocrine (or hormone) system, and can have catastrophic effects on one’s health. Phthalates, for instance, a group of chemicals commonly found in nail polish and fragrances, have been linked to breast cancer and early puberty in girls as they directly affect hormone receptors.
According the Breast Cancer Fund, “In the U.S., major loopholes in federal law allow the cosmetics industry to put thousands of synthetic chemicals into personal care products, even if those chemicals are linked to cancer, infertility or birth defects. At the same time as untested chemicals have been steadily introduced into our environment, breast cancer incidence has risen dramatically.” There are approximately 80,000 chemicals in commercial use, many of which have not been tested, and there have been few if any tests on the synergistic effects as we experience a diversity of multiple exposures.
Unfortunately, the cosmetic industry is not the only industry taking full advantage of these loopholes, which means that endocrine disruptors are not only found in cosmetics; they’re found in common household products including detergents, disinfectants, and plastics, and also appear in much of America’s food from pesticide and herbicide usage. But no matter their source, they can all be detrimental when they come into contact with the body.
Beth Greer, an award-winning journalist, green holistic health educator, and impassioned champion of toxin-free living, learned of this truth the hard way in 2002 when she discovered, after three unsuccessful sessions with a chiropractor, that the pain she was feeling in her shoulder was caused by a tennis-ball-sized tumor in her chest.
“I thought I was healthy. I was also exercising and eating right [mostly organic foods]. I had a successful business, a great marriage, and a meditation practice. It came as a complete shock,” Greer said in an interview with Awareness Magazine. Rather than undergoing surgery—a surgery that three different surgeons insisted upon—she opted for a different method: undergoing a serious detox.
“I began my cleanse with raw vegetable juices and wheatgrass. Within three days, the pain started going away. So I decided to stay on the path of cleansing and simplifying. I ate raw, pure whole foods that had no labels. I also bought a juicer and a dehydrator.”
But Greer knew that her cleanse wouldn’t be complete if she only addressed what was going in her body, so she also looked at the products going on and surrounding her body. As she became more aware of the staggering number of unpronounceable chemicals found in the ingredient lists of many of her household and cosmetic products, she began working to find natural replacements.
“For example, instead of using deodorant, I took a glass salt shaker—the kind found in restaurants—and filled it with baking soda. After my shower, I sprinkled baking soda in my hand and applied it. Right after a shower, your armpits are slightly moist, so it sticks. It works great.”
As for household products, Greer questions, “Why use the toxic stuff? I switched to hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, and baking soda—things my grandmother used.” After six months, not only was Greer’s pain was completely gone, but an MRI scan showed that her tumor had remarkably disappeared.
So what’s the takeaway from all this? Being aware of what’s in the products you use every day and taking steps to avoid harmful chemicals is key. Greer’s story also teaches us that it’s never too late to turn your health around. She states, “This experience convinced me that the tumor came from environmental exposure, since I had no genetic predisposition for it. Our bodies are magnificent self-healing organisms if we treat them right and are as natural as possible! When I cleaned up my home environment, I healed myself.”
To find out more about using safe products, visit: www.safecosmetics.org and www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners. You can also find natural cosmetics, safe household products, and (of course) awesome food at your favorite Co-op location.
Adapted by Adrienne Weiss from Café Gratitude
This refreshing, rich golden soup combines a variety of flavors. The melding of sweet, spicy and salty ingredients creates a unique and distinct taste. These can be adjusted to one’s liking since some coconuts are sweeter than others and jalapeños can vary in heat. This soup pairs well with a seasonal crisp green salad for a light dinner or lunch. It can easily be brought along to a picnic or other outdoor gathering as well.
Time: 30 minutes
- 4 cups coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons minced ginger
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 large dates, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons Tamari
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 2 jalapeño peppers (remove seeds for less heat)
For Garnish: (Choose all or some of the following plus cilantro)
- 1 avocado, cubed
- 1/3 cup diced tomato
- 1/3 cup diced cucumber
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
Add all but garnish ingredients to blender and purée until smooth. Result should be a nice, rich golden soup. Taste and adjust flavors (see introduction). When soup is to liking, divide among four bowls. Add chosen garnish ingredients and top with cilantro leaves. Serve room temperature or chilled.
By Ulonda Faye Mills, Santa Fe Co-op
Do you know that our Co-op sells flower essences from Flower Essence Services (FES) and Siddha Flower Essences in California, as well as Healing Herbs Ltd. and Bach Flower Remedies Ltd. of the UK? Many of you might already be familiar with the Bach Rescue Remedy for stress relief in all of its many forms; however, are you aware of all the other flower essence products our Co-op offers?
What are flower essences and exactly what can they do to support our health and well-being? Here’s a quick overview to assist us in better understanding exactly how these amazing flowers, found in various products and forms, can help us all bloom into our full potential this spring!
What are flower essences?
Flower essences contain the high vibrational healing energy of plants. While creating them, our trusted formulators place the specific flowers in a base of either pure spring water or local water acquired from a flowing stream near where the plant has been growing. This allows for the complete energetic imprint of the flower to fully and deeply penetrate all of the water molecules. During this process, the flowers are placed directly in sunlight, the source of all life, while the energetic imprint of the plant is completely encapsulated into the water.
These essences are used to address emotional and mental imbalances that can manifest in the physical body. Why is this important to address? Imbalances and blockages in our bodies may lead to disease and illness. This is because there is a direct link from our emotions and mental state to the way we feel. When supporting our emotional and mental well-being, we ultimately support our physical health.
The Siddha Flowers Essences website offers a more in-depth description:
“These remedies work by making an individual’s nervous system aware of blockages or discrepancies in a person’s overall electromagnetic field. These blockages, having been brought to the attention of the central nervous system, are then subjected to the natural and balancing forces of the body.”
How to incorporate the essences of flowers into your life.
In selecting a flower essence or a specific flower essence formula, it is important for us to reflect upon lifestyle and environment as well as emotional and mental states of mind we need to address. Flower essences can help us get unstuck from feelings of inadequacy, anger, resentment, jealousy, and anxiety, which are a few among a long list of emotions that can create mental states that lock in our energy, preventing a free-flowing self. When we are free-flowing and allowing, we are at our full potential in so many ways!
Once the right essence is found, how are they taken?
There are individual flower essences in dropper bottles that you can begin by taking individually. You can start by placing 4 drops in a glass of water or under the tongue 4 times a day. Some of these essences can be applied directly onto the skin at the pulse points and anywhere there is fast absorption into the skin. If choosing a formula in a spray bottle, simply spray either directly into the mouth, around the body, or on pulse points.
Can we benefit from flower essences in conjunction with other supplements?
Absolutely! Since flower essences function and operate at a vibrational level addressing the electromagnetic fields of the central nervous system, they can be taken in conjunction with other supplements operating at the biochemical level of the physical body.
Not only do humans, adults, and children alike benefit from incorporating flower essences into a wellness routine, but our pets can also greatly benefit from the remedies. For example, do you have a cat or dog that undergoes separation anxiety when left alone or is terrified of thunderstorms? Try flower essences. Our pets have feelings too, and often need assistance in accepting boundaries as well as other temperament challenges.
Nearly all of the flower essence companies have specific formulas for our pets (e.g. Animal Relief Formula from FES). To love up your pet, simply mist a specific formula around its body or on their favorite area for nap time. When using a dropper bottle, just put drops of it in the water bowl and fill it with water, allowing the flower essences to penetrate all the water molecules. As with us humans, you can also put drops or sprays directly on areas of their body that will provide maximum absorbency.
You could begin with these:
SELF-HEAL: FES – Assists us in recognizing areas in need of attention for optimal health.
FIVE-FLOWER-FORMULA: HEALING HERBS – For transitional and high-stress times in life.
EMOTIONAL DETOX: SIDDHA – Lets us breath, release, and let go of non-beneficial emotions.
BACH RESCUE REMEDY: BACH FLOWER REMEDIES – for adults, kids, and pets – stress relief.
My personal favorites:
Flower Essence Services and Healing Herbs are both Demeter certified, which is a method of organic farming based on Rudolf Steiner’s biodynamic farming principles. A true imprint of the flower, our earth, sun, moon and sky are put into the tincture with these intentional practices while hand-harvesting flowers for essence creation.
“Now a farm comes closest to its own essence when it can be conceived of as a kind of independent individuality, a self-contained entity. In reality, every farm ought to aspire to this state of being a self-contained individuality.” -Rudolf Steiner
Please see the following links for more information, and stop into our Co-op’s Wellness Department for more information. Personally, I am forever grateful for all the support flower essences have provided me in my growth and spiritual blossoming. Happy spring flowering and harvesting to come!
RESOURCES: Demeter USA: www.demeterusa.org/downloads/Demeter-Farm-Standard.pdf
Flower Essence Services (FES): www.fesflowers.com/
Healing Herbs Ltd.: www.healingherbs.co.uk/
Siddha Flower Essences: http://siddhaflowers.com/
Bach Flower Remedies Ltd.: www.bachflower.com/
By JR Riegel
California’s new water rules have made quite a splash in the news recently, and though they have been hailed by many as a great change, they only impact a portion of California’s water usage. Roughly 80% of water used in the state goes to the agriculture industry. Cutting only the urban portion of California’s water usage by 25% is a laudable step, but the mandate may have come too late for some species in the state.
The delta smelt is a small fish endemic only to California, and the most recent survey of their population size suggests that they might be very near extinct in the wild. In previous years, intensive spring surveys of the delta smelt found hundreds of the fish in their native Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta. Last month, the survey found only six.
Your Water Footprint
These days, almonds invariably come up when discussing the agricultural use of limited water resources in the Southwest’s ongoing drought. They’ve become a whipping boy for the criticism of agricultural water use, and though they deserve their reputation, it’s important not to get too fixated on one crop in particular. By weight, roasted coffee beans, chocolate, and sesame oil each use up even more water than almonds. It takes about a gallon of water to make an almond, but a head of broccoli requires more than five gallons.
The place a food is grown makes a large difference in its relative environmental impact; it’s important to educate one’s self on both the water demands and the origins of your food. California farmers grow so much of the food we consume that it’s nearly impossible to avoid using some of their limited water every time we sit down to eat, but being mindful of the impact of what we choose to eat can make a big difference. If you’re interested in water footprints or would like to see how thirsty your favorite foods are, you can learn more at www.bit.ly/waterfootprints.
Though almonds use up about as much water as beef, meat is the larger problem because of the sheer amount the average American eats. California’s alfalfa crop uses more water than any other single plant in the state, and unfortunately a large portion of that water-hungry alfalfa is being shipped out of the country. Due to cheap shipping costs stemming from our trade deficit with China, it’s often more profitable to ship alfalfa across the Pacific Ocean than it is to sell it to a rancher in the state. In today’s complex world economy, everything is interconnected so that something as simple as buying a locally-made mug rather than an imported one can be related to water resources and the near-extinct delta smelt.
The Albuquerque–Santa Fe stretch of the Rio Grande is very sensitive. Due to human activity along the river, the Rio Grande Silvery Minnow is now endangered and occupies only about five percent of its historic range. They used to be common in our stretch of the Rio Grande, but now they are at such risk here that efforts to restore their numbers have largely moved out of state to Texas. We can make the Rio Grande more hospitable to all the species it’s historically been a home to if we all do our part and reduce our water consumption as much as possible.
The Personal and the Political
Educating oneself and adopting more environmentally responsible buying habits is only one part of the solution. Encouraging action at a governmental level is very important as well. Thanks to quick citizen action back in February, we were able to halt the premature bulldozing and development along the bosque. The bosque is very important for the well-being of native species such as the endangered Southwestern Willow Flycatcher, so your continued participation in local government is more important than ever. A perfect example you can get involved with today is the community action against the ill-conceived Santolina development plan.
Yet another way we can help improve our personal water footprints is by managing our yards in harmony with the local ecosystem. Utilizing xeriscape or permaculture principles can dramatically cut your water requirements. There are extensive resources available to help anyone interested; the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority has published a complete regional guide to xeriscaping that you can access at www.bit.ly/NMxeric and has rebates available to defray the costs. Their xeriscaping rebate is detailed at www.abcwua.org/Xeriscape.aspx, and you can find out about their other money-saving programs there as well.
Conserve, Conserve, CONSERVE!
No matter what, we will eventually have no choice but to dramatically cut our water use. By getting actively involved and self-educating on the issues now, we can make the transition much easier and more enjoyable. In addition to reading up on the foods you eat, getting involved in local policymaking, and re-designing your yard, you can become a member of one of many local organizations that deal with water issues in our area. Agua es Vida Action Team, Citizens for Alternatives to Radioactive Dumping, Transition Albuquerque, the New Mexico Acequia Assocation, and so many more organizations are all actively trying to help improve water issues in the state, and they can always use more help.
Native New Mexico species are being pushed to the brink by our current water practices. We don’t have time to wait for something to change—if we can all make even a little change in our own lives, we’ll be well on the way to a water wise future and a sustainable new normal for New Mexico!
If you’d like any help finding or connecting with a local organization, or if you’d like to see more information on this topic, I’m here to help! You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Next month, I’ll be getting into native pollinators and invasive species.
La Montañita Joins National Action to Challenge USDA Change to Organic Rule
By Paige Tomaselli, Center for Food Safety, and Robin Seydel
On April 8, organic stakeholders, including La Montañita Co-op, filed a lawsuit in federal court protesting a USDA change to the sunset of allowed synthetics in the organic rule, bypassing the public input process. The lawsuit maintains that the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) violated the federal rulemaking process when it changed established procedures for reviewing the potential hazards and need for allowed synthetic and prohibited natural substances used in producing organic food. La Montañita was honored to be one of only two co-ops nationally invited to join a coalition of 15 organic food producers and farmer, consumer, environmental, and certification groups asking the court to require USDA to reconsider its decision on the rule change and to reinstitute the agency’s customary public hearing and comment process.
Organic consumers and producers expect a high level of scrutiny and are willing to pay a premium with the knowledge that a third-party certifier is evaluating compliance with organic health and safety food production standards. The burgeoning thirty-five plus billion dollar organic market relies heavily on a system of public review and input regarding decisions that affect organic production systems and the organic label.
The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is a 15-member multistakeholder board comprised of farmers, consumers, environmentalists, retailers, certifiers, and food producers who advise the Secretary of Agriculture and the National Organic Program on all matters related to organic food and agriculture policy. Board members, appointed to a 5-year term by the Secretary of Agriculture, hold semi-annual meetings to solicit public input and to write recommendations to the Secretary on organic policy matters, including the allowance of synthetic and non-organic agricultural materials and ingredients.
Maintain Public Process
The organic label is built on a history and solid foundation of holding public hearings and soliciting extensive public participation. Many of us remember when the originally proposed rule—which would have allowed GMOs, sewage sludge, and irradiation—resulted in a large outpouring of public input. It was important that the public had an opportunity to be heard before the rule was adopted. This opportunity created the public belief that the process behind the organic label was something that could be trusted. Ever since then, whether there was agreement on a decision or not, we could believe in the decision-making process and the integrity of the organic label.
We, the plaintiffs in this case, maintain that the USDA organic rule establishes a public process that creates public trust in the USDA organic label, which has resulted in exponential growth in organic sales over the last two decades. We believe the UDSA’s action to adopt a major policy change without a public process violates one of the foundational principles and practices of the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (OFPA), that of public participation in organic policy-making.
Sunset the Sunset Rule?
In adopting the OFPA, Congress created standards for organic certification and established the NOSB to oversee the allowance of synthetic materials, given a lack of alternatives, based on a determination that they do not cause harm to human health and the environment, and are necessary in organic food production and processing.
At issue is a rule that implements the organic law’s “sunset provision,” which since its origins has been interpreted to require all listed materials to cycle off the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances every five years unless the NOSB votes by a two-thirds majority to relist them. In making its decision, the NOSB is charged with considering public input, new science, and new information on available alternatives.
In September, 2014, without any public input, and in a complete reversal of accepted process, USDA announced a definitive change in the rule it had been operating under since the inception of the organic program. Now, a material can remain on the National List in perpetuity unless the NOSB takes initiative to vote it OFF the List.
The failure of USDA to comply with public hearing and comment procedures on the sunset rule change serves to usurp a process and label that the organic community began building long before the agency even recognized the legitimacy of organic systems as a viable and productive form of agriculture. It is our hope that the filing of our lawsuit will help maintain respect for the process as the organic sector faces important questions of practices and synthetic material use in the future.
Public Voice, Public Trust
We believe in the value of the public voice in the process, as we seek to grow the organic sector through public trust in the organic label. Consumers and farmers working together have helped to grow organic from the beginning. We are at a critical and historic moment when stakeholders must lead in ensuring that our government respects what we have built and remains true to the public process and the legal framework that gives organic its integrity.
In a joint statement, we the plaintiffs, who represent a broad cross section of interests in organic food, said: “We are filing this lawsuit today because we are deeply concerned that the organic decision making process is being undermined by USDA. The complaint challenges the unilateral agency action on the sunset procedure for synthetic materials review, which represents a dramatic departure from the organic community’s commitment to an open and fair decision making process, subject to public input. Legally, the agency’s decision represents a rule change and therefore must be subject to public comment. But equally important, it is a departure from the public process that we have built as a community. This process has created a unique opportunity within government for a community of stakeholders to come together, hear all points of view, and chart a course for the future of organic. It is a process that continually strengthens organic, supports its rapid growth, and builds the integrity of the USDA certified label in the marketplace.”
La Montañita Co-op is honored to be included in the coalition of plaintiffs and be represented by counsel from Center for Food Safety. The organizations filing the suit include: Beyond Pesticides, Center for Food Safety, Equal Exchange, Food and Water Watch, Frey Vineyards, La Montañita Co-op, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, New Natives, Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance, Northeast Organic Farmers Association Massachusetts, Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association, Organic Consumers Association, Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association, PCC Natural Markets, and The Cornucopia Institute.
Taking a Stand
We must stand together, and in true democratic fashion, hold USDA accountable to the public process that helped establish and grow the organic food industry. If we do not hold the line on public process, we are concerned that in decision after decision, organic will lose its meaning. In taking this collaborative legal action we seek to prevent USDA activities from possibly causing the demise of this treasured sector, built by farmers, food producers, and the public at large, with a vision that embodies the values and principles that have made the organic label trusted and strong.
For more information, to see the lawsuit filing and to make a donation to keep organic strong, go to www.centerforfoodsafety.org.
Every month, La Montañita sponsors a local community-based organization through our Donate-a-Dime bag program.
Many Mothers (MM) is an all-volunteer organization that works to contribute to a healthy and vital community by providing free, in-home care and support to any Santa Fe family with a newborn. Helping families from the very start is preventative and reducing the need for future intervention with its higher societal costs. The degree of a mother’s post-partum depression is inversely related to the amount of support she receives. A new baby thrives on love and attention. So does a new mother.
Providing support for families with newborns is hardly a new idea; it has been a way of life for many millennia. However, in the last twenty-five years the support provided by extended families has changed as more and more women must work away from the home, and families in our mobile society often live far from each another.
Today families with new born babies often do not get the help they need. MM knows how exhausted and overwhelmed mothers and families can feel after the birth of a baby. New mothers usually leave the hospital 24-48 hours after giving birth. Extended families are often no longer available to offer consistent and needed support.
New research on women and stress, such as the study by Laura Cousino Klein, Ph.D, demonstrates the effectiveness of woman-to-woman interaction. The natural stress reliever, oxytocin, is released when women are together. When acts of service are incorporated, stress is further reduced, providing the mother the opportunity for healthy bonding with the baby. The Many Mothers program of women-to-women care is designed to ensure that new mothers are afforded every opportunity to appropriately attach to their infants.
Bonding and attachment are essential for a baby’s development. Mothering the mother ensures she is more available to mother her infant. With all the joy and excitement that accompanies the birth of a baby, there can also be isolation, a sense of being overwhelmed, exhaustion, and, sometimes, postpartum depression.
MM has served approximately 600 moms, nearly 700 newborns including 43 sets of twins and 2 sets of triplets, and 2 older adopted children in the 18 years they have served the Santa Fe community. MM works with Anglo, Latino, Native American, Asian, and African American families and many mothers seeking MM support are single moms (28%) raising their children alone. Half of the families MM works with have annual incomes below $30,000. All of MM services are completely free and your bag credit donations this month will help keep it that way.
Its Hoop House Program is a collaboration with Ken Kuhne of Grow Y’Own. It has been providing fresh produce, education, and community connections to its recipients since 2010. Families participating in this program receive a 4×8-foot, raised bed garden with soil, covers, water system, heating system, set-up, and starter seeds and plants. Hoop houses are offered currently to eight families per year.
The “Many Mothers Circle” is a free monthly gathering for moms to learn from educational presentations and to network for peer support and self-empowerment. Home visiting programs are proven to improve children’s ability to form healthy relationships, succeed at school and earn higher paying jobs, and to increase life expectancy while reducing juvenile delinquency and substance abuse.
If you’d like to volunteer, make a donation, or are a family with a newborn that would like to request a volunteer, contact Many Mothers at 505-983-5984, email@example.com, or visit www.manymothers.org to learn more.
“Nearly all of us receive our first lessons in peaceful living from our mothers.”
~The Dalai Lama