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We get to meet so many kind, talented, and creative people at High Falls Food Co-op. This year we’ve gotten to know a new member of our community who really knows her way around the kitchen. Julia Turshen.

Julia Turshen is a writer and cookbook author who has written books with the likes of Mario Batali, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Dana Cowin. In 2016, Turshen released her own cookbook, Small Victories, featuring “recipes, advice, and hundreds of ideas for home-cooking triumphs.” A regular shopper around the co-op, we asked Julia to sit down and chat about food, cooking, and life in the Hudson Valley. She kindly obliged.

First things first. We asked Julia how her cooking journey began. “I’ve been cooking since before I can remember,” she says, “the way most kids watch cartoons… I watched cooking shows. My parents worked in publishing my whole life, so there were a lot of cookbooks around for me to explore.” She adds, “My parents didn’t cook much. You know busy New York City folks– LOTS of takeout.” She laughs. “I had an amazing babysitter named Jenny, though, and she loved to cook. Jenny and I spent a lot of time in the kitchen together. She was a very special person in my life. One of her recipes is included in Small Victories.”

Was this instrumental in Julia’s cooking philosophy, we asked. “Oh yes. I’ve always been a home cook, so I always think about cooking from that perspective. I keep it simple. Simple food with lots of flavor. That’s what I do in my kitchen, and that’s how I framed Small Victories.”  So, how did Small Victories come about, and what does the name refer to, we wondered. “Well, I’ve been thinking of doing my own book for a while. I’ve had so many recipes hanging around, it just wasn’t the right time until now. I named the book Small Victories because it’s a term that I love to use. Each recipe in the book contains what I like to think of as a small victory. A little piece of knowledge, or a trick that will make cooking not only these recipes, but any recipes, a bit simpler.” Well, we’re all for that!

So, how did we come to find Julia shopping at the co-op after spending her whole life in NYC? “My wife, Grace, has been coming up to the Hudson Valley for a long time, she’s always loved it. We wanted a place outside of the city, so eventually we took the leap and bought a house! We actually discovered the co-op when we passed it by on the way our closing. It looked interesting, so the next morning when we woke up as homeowners with no coffee we headed to the co-op. We’ve been shopping here ever since.”

“I love to see what’s happening in the produce department. Learning about what’s local and seasonal is always fun. Pawpaws were a revelation!” She says, “My favorite thing at the co-op, though, is probably the bulk department. You can find things in there that are hard to come by in the area. I like that I can go to the co-op and get everything I need for a great meal.”

We asked Julia to leave us with a bit of advice for those of us still finding our motivation and inspiration as home-cooks. “Don’t try too hard! Your home is not a restaurant. Keep it simple. Sometimes, I think, there’s nothing better than a baked potato.” She adds, “I’ve always been a fan of the chef, Lee Bailey. He has this “rule of four” that really helps take a simple dish to the next level. Essentially, everyone thinks of a meal as a protein, starch, and a vegetable. When you add a fourth element, say a really good pickle or some cornbread… that makes a meal special. You don’t need a cabinet full of fancy tools to make a great dinner. I consider my hands the greatest tool I have– Though a good cast-iron pan really helps.”

We’d like to sincerely thank Julia Turshen for participating in this month’s newsletter, and for including two recipes from Small Victories for our enjoyment. We’ll be carrying a limited number of signed copies at the co-op soon. It was such a pleasure getting to know her a bit better, and we hope to collaborate with her again soon.

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The Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s fight to protect our water has inspired the world as many are standing up to the multi-billion dollar corporations that seek to increase the extraction of fossil fuels in America. Over 220 pipeline spills have happened in 2016 alone and just recently, on December 5th, another pipeline burst spilling 176,00 gallons into a creek less than two hours from Camp of the Sacred Stones.

Over the months since its establishment on April 1, 2016 by LaDonna Brave Bull Allard and her grandchildren, an entire autonomous village has sprung up centered around protecting the water and the commitment to be engaged in prayer and ceremony. Leadership is solely from the Native American tribes and there is a set of non-negotiable rules that everyone emus abide by including no alcohol, no drugs, no weapons. Over 300 recognized tribes from the Americas have joined together at camp in solidarity with the understanding that Mni Wiconi – Water is Life!

Philip J. Deloria, a professor of American Culture and History at the University of Michigan, sees the fight as historic:

“The whole thing is kind of amazing, really. It’s a conjuncture of local organizing, social media activism, tribal-generated intertribal solidarity, semi-traditional ‘march on Washington’ strategies, and alliances with environmental and other political action groups… I think a lot of Indian people are seeing it as a moment of new possibility.”

For months the water protectors have been harassed by the local sheriff’s department (Morton County) on their own land.  Earlier this past summer a private security group with attack dogs was hired to intimidate and attack those at Camp of the Sacred Stones and an investigation is in process. The Morton County Sheriff’s department has had the assistance of over 75 different law enforcement agencies often in para-military gear who have senselessly attacked people in the midst of ceremony and prayer with tear gas, LRAD cannons, rubber bullets and concussion grenades. Helicopters fly over the camp constantly despite the area being a no-fly zone. One woman had her arm nearly blown off the night the police used water cannons to soak people in below freezing temperatures. A highway with faster access to the hospital in town has been closed down with concrete barriers by the police which, along with all of the other aggressive tactics, is violating basic human rights. Where are our government leaders condemning this violence?

On December 4th when the Army Corps of Engineers denied DAPL the easement to continue working on the pipeline, Chase Iron Eyes, lawyer and activist from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe had this to say about the wider implications of the forces of colonization at play with DAPL,

    “Look, it’s not just indian people who are colonized. Everybody on the planet was colonized. Everybody’s mind was separated from their spirit. Everybody’s labor was separated from meaning. Everybody had a connection to their food source, a sacred connection to the universe. But that changed somewhere 4-500, 600 years ago. But we still have that connection. And so what people need to realize, is when we talk about indigenous peoples, when we talk about world views and cosmologies connected to the universe, that’s not a mystical, magical or “other” thing. That’s something that all human beings can ascend to, can aspire to and that’s what we need to be doing right now.”

But, as the saying goes, the battle has been won, but the war continues as Energy Transfer Partners (ETP owner of DAPL) has chosen to keep working on the pipeline despite this official order. Their fine for this offense? $50,000 per day, which makes one wonder just how much money is invested and by whom? Right now there is over 10 billion dollars from 35 banks who are supporting building this pipeline. Not only do they have the backing of some of Wall Streets most powerful institutions but also the silent support from both sides of the political aisle. President-elect Trump is heavily invested in the pipeline and Rick Perry, his pick for Energy Secretary sits on the board of Energy Transfer Partners – the company who owns Dakota Access Pipeline.

Pipelines are a hazard all over the United States including those of us in the Hudson River Valley. Be aware of the AIM pipeline project that is set to go under the Hudson River in 60 year old pipe right next to indian point. Cuomo has banned tracking in New York State, but we are allowing these natural gas lines to criss cross our communities. Here is what Sane Energy Project (SAEP) has to say about it,

The Spectra Algonquin Incremental Market project is one of the more insane proposed projects, as it traverses densely populated suburban areas, the Hudson River, a fault line, Metro North rail lines carrying propane trains, and would come dangerously close to the aged Indian Point nuclear plant and its overstuffed storage pools for spent fuel rods. A savvy opposition is headed by SAPE in alliance with anti-nuke groups such as Shut Down Indian Point Now. The groups demand that FERC rescind their approval of the project, and a lawsuit is under way.”

Food and Water Watch has written extensively about the forces surrounding the Dakota Access Pipeline and has created an excellent map showing all of the banks investing in ETP. To go to their article please click HERE. It is short and well worth your time.

So what can we do???

DIVEST from all banks supporting the Dakota Access Pipeline. This includes stocks, mutual funds etc. Divest from all fossil fuels. Click HERE for an excellent article by YES! Magazine on this important action.

Camp of the Sacred Stones has info on how you can help. Click HERE.

Participate or plan a #NoDAPL ACTION. Click HERE for info.

And THIS ARTICLE on how to support Standing Rock is PERFECT. Check it out.

Let us hold our public officials accountable for a speedy transition to renewables. The United States can be a leader in renewable energy instead of digging up these contaminating old dinosaurs and lining the pockets of the 1%.

MNI WICHONI! Water IS Life!

 

by: Adriana Magaña

10. December 2016 · Comments Off on Meet Your Local Soap Makers: MEOW MEOW TWEET · Categories: Blog, Health & Beauty, Uncategorized · Tags:

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One of the best things about being at the co-op is meeting all of the interesting and creative folks who pass through our doors. Over the past year, we’ve gotten to know Tara Pelletier and Jeff Kurosaki as two of our friendly co-op members who stop by on a regular basis. As we got to know them, we learned that not only are they great people, but they also own a great company! Meow Meow Tweet, a hand crafted skin care line made with raw, organic ingredients; located right here in the Hudson Valley. Always looking to carry a wider array of locally made products, we tried Jeff and Tara’s soaps… and we fell in love. Now, Meow Meow Tweet is available at the co-op! We stopped by MMT headquarters recently, to learn a bit more about Tara, Jeff, and their whimsical, vegan, soaps and deodorants.

The Meow Meow Tweet story begins in Brooklyn, 2009. Jeff and Tara were artists looking for an income source with a flexible schedule. That, combined with a mutually piqued interest in handcrafted soaps lead to the birth of their very own small business. Tara’s background as a chef served the couple  well while developing their formulas in their Brooklyn kitchen. “All of our scent combinations are inspired by taste combinations,” Tara says, “We thoughtfully source all ingredients for the highest level of efficacy.” Together, Jeff and Tara have created an organic, cruelty-free, eco-friendly product that just so happens to have the cutest packaging ever (featuring illustrations by Jeff.)

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So what exactly are Meow Meow Tweet products made out of, we asked. “Everything is made with organic, raw plant oils and butters, steam-distilled and cold-pressedessential oils and organic or wild-crafted botanicals,” Jeff says, “We pride ourselves on being a vegan brand. We us no animal-derived ingredients, so all formulas are free of carmine, beeswax, honey, palm oil, lanolin and tallow.” Tara continues, “We start with raw fair trade ingredients and formulate for lather and skin feel. Our soaps feel good, and leave your skin feeling good. Because we don’t use conventional detergent bases that strip the skin of moisture, we can taylor a bar of soap to specific needs. In our Rosemary Avocado Shampoo Bar for instance, we add rosemary and hops flowers to promote shiny, bright hair and scalp health.” “We’re really proud of Meow Meow Tweet, the way we make our products, and what we’ve accomplished,” says Jeff.

Last year, when Tara and Jeff’s business outgrew their Brooklyn apartment, the pair decided to move north to Ulster County, and we’re so happy they did. “We would come hiking here a lot, so we loved the area. We found a little place to set up shop on Rt. 209, and the rest is history,” Jeff remembers. “We actually lived in the back of the factory for a moment when we were still splitting time between upstate and Brooklyn. We’d grab food at the co-op, work all day, and essentially bathe in Deep Hole. It was kind of fun and kind of challenging,” Tara says, “but it was worth it. We’ve got a house now and the business is doing well here.”

“We love being here in the Hudson Valley, and honestly the High Falls Co-op accounts for about 10% of that feeling. That’s a big margin!” Tara kindly informed us. “We really like the co-op,” Jeff adds. “A friend of ours who grew up in this area told us about the co-op when we were moving up. They said we had to go. Best advice we got while moving.”

Thank you Tara and Jeff for sharing your story with us. We are proud to carry Meow Meow Tweet soaps, shampoo, and deodorant in our Health and Beauty department. We are also equally pleased to have you as members of our community. Visit Meow Meow Tweet’s website for more information. Also… Tara and Jeff are musicians! What can’t these kids do? Hear their music HERE and HERE.

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07. November 2016 · Comments Off on Meet Your Local Herbalist: Wild Seed Apothecary · Categories: Uncategorized

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Some of the best loved products in our personal care and supplement departments come from Wild Seed Apothecary, a local producer of organic, herbal health and beauty products, based just minutes from the co-op in Rosendale, NY. Wild Seed is owned by the talented and knowledgable Erin Domagal. Erin is a long time member of our HFFC community, and we are so very proud to carry her creations.

Recently, we sat down with Erin to talk about Wild Seed and winter wellness. She gave us some wonderful information and a few very helpful tips.

First, we wanted to know the history of Wild Seed, and Erin graciously obliged. “I’ve been involved in the plant world for about ten years,” Erin says, “gardening, farming, you name it. I’ve always loved plants, and when I had to opportunity to take Dina Falconi and Rosemary Gladstar’s herbalism classes, I jumped at the chance. I learned so much and I was really inspired. I decided that I wanted this to be my focus.”

Erin continues, “I took some time to figure out how to make herbalism my business, all the while making and perfecting my recipes.” Then, as it has so many times in the Hudson Valley, inspiration hit Erin while hiking. “I had a vision of creating a seasonal share of herbal products that come out once a season. That’s still a big part of my business.”

Erin went on to inform us on where she grows her herbs. Of course, it’s right here in Ulster county. “I have a big garden in New Paltz. I’m so lucky. When I started Wild Seed, I was living above the Rosendale Café, they were kind enough to let me grow a small garden there. When I moved from there, the garden had to move. I needed to expand. A chance meeting at a farmer’s market helped take me to the next level.” Erin met a woman named Helen Coyle Bergston, and after talking a bit, Helen agreed to let Erin grow all of her perennials on her land in New Paltz. “It’s a good setup for me. I’ve got some plants over there, some in my home garden, and some I forage locally as well.”

“I started this in 2013, and I’m so proud of what Wild Seed has accomplished since. The Seasonal Wellness Shares are still going strong. We’ve been written up in prominent magazines, and now Wild Seed is available in many stores throughout the region. From NYC boutiques to the High Falls Food Co-op.” We are so happy to be a part of Erin’s journey.

Since we’re well into cold and flu season here in the North East, we asked Erin for some tips on how to stay well. First and foremost, she recommends acting quickly. “You know your body. The earlier you respond to feeling under the weather, the better. Start fighting. Drink tea, use our Dragon’s Breath Tonic. Don’t ignore the symptoms and signs.” Dragon’s Breath Tonic is an immune-boosting tonic based on the old folk remedy Fire Cider, it’s available at HFFC. We asked Erin how she recommends  Dragon’s Breath be taken. “As a preventative, a tablespoon a day with food works well. If you are already sick, take less more often. Maybe half a tablespoon every four hours. I like to take my Dragon’s Breath as a cordial, splash some DB in a whiskey cocktail at the end of the day. That’s the fun way to stay well.”

Something else Erin recommends is the use of sage. “A really simple home remedy for a sore throat is sage tea. You can drink it or gargle it. It works really well. Sage is also very easy to dry if you are using some from your garden. Sage will dry well just sitting on your counter top.” Another way to sooth and aid a sore throat is with Wild Seed Mouth Rinse, also available at the co-op. “I use the mouth rinse all the time,” Erin says, “aside from sore throats, it fights gingivitis and infections. It’s not super sweet like many mouth rinse brands, but it tastes GOOD! Earthy and refreshing.”

Aside from Dragon’s Breath and Mouth Rinse, High Falls Food Co-op also stocks Wild Seed’s Tick & Bug Repellent Spray. If you’re a history buff, you’ll want to head over to Wild Seed’s website to read all about it’s recipe’s legend involving the bubonic plague!

We thank Erin for her work creating these great products which help to keep our staff, members and shoppers healthy and fresh! We hope you all try a Wild Seed product if you haven’t already, and we hope to be carrying more from Erin in the future.

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09. October 2016 · Comments Off on The Citra-Solv Problem (But the Good News is…) · Categories: Uncategorized

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From baby products to household cleaners to cosmetics and personal care products, most reading this will have a good sense that they are aware of harmful ingredients in the stream of consumer products and the importance of label-reading.

But we can all fall prey to green-washing, marketing and what we may feel is convenience!

A recent study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), titled the Hall of Shame, reveals the unfathomable number of hidden and proprietary ingredients in household cleaners; and, in some cases, ingredients which can interact with environmental pollutants, creating harmful results.

This was the report for Citra-Solv*, a decades-old mainstay on the shelves of most health food stores, including HFFC. I have used it for years, carefully diluted and conservatively, to remove the awful smells from compost buckets, greasy stains from floors, and so on. The label on the product reveals three ingredients. But, according to EWG, the first ingredient, limonene, can interact with ozone pollutants and formaldehyde (a known carcinogen) creating particles which can cause severe lung damage when the product is sprayed.

More mainstream products, Simple Green, along with a store brand oven cleaner, are marketed, respectively, as “non-toxic” and “fume-free”, actually contain ingredients which can cause red blood cell damage, and an “unidentified substance known to the state of California to cause cancer.” This is just a sampling of the information sourced from this report. For a more thorough read and helpful solutions to everyday home applications, go to: www.ewg.org/cleaners/hallofshame, where you can also find ratings and reports on other categories of products. Some results may take you by surprise!

The EWG is just one among a myriad of consumer organizations working to take down the smoke screen of our corporate-driven marketing system. As someone with decades of history in this industry, I have relied on these sources to help with personal and professional choices.

My thanks to my co-worker, Daisha, for bringing this specific report to my attention, and for the continued information and feedback we get from our membership and customers!

*As of this writing, CitraSolv will no longer be available at the Co-op.
-Ruth Molloy

09. October 2016 · Comments Off on FEATURED STAFF MEMBER: Maggie Dulka, Produce Manager · Categories: Uncategorized

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High Falls Food Co-op has a new produce manager! Her name is Maggie Dulka, and we couldn’t be happier to have her. Many of you may know Maggie as a long-standing member of our community. A few years back, Maggie (a former cook) was a vendor to HFFC, providing us with soups, baked goods, and other prepared foods. After hanging up her apron, Maggie took some time to explore other aspects of the food industry; which ultimately lead her back to the co-op with an expanded set of skills.

“When the opportunity presented itself,” Maggie says of her latest role, “I couldn’t refuse. The co-op’s food and community values align with my own; that’s important to me… plus, I love fruits and vegetables! Working with them every day is a pleasure.” Maggie’s experience as a cook gives her an advantage while placing orders and assisting customers. She’ll not only provide the best of what’s in season, but she can tell you how to prepare it, too! That’s something we find very helpful.

We asked Maggie what our members should be bringing home this autumn, and how to prepare it. “Squash!” Maggie says, “We have beautiful, local, organic squash this year. Beets as well. Fall is one of my favorite seasons simply because you can make delicious food while keeping it simple. Just slice open a squash, scoop out the seeds, drizzle olive oil, roast. Easy! Butter, salt, and pepper— all set. This is my go-to when I’m bringing a dish to a dinner party.”

As far as fruits go, we love our apples in the Hudson Valley, and the co-op’s got a great selection this year. Though, Maggie urges us all not to forget about pears. And citrus! “Fall is the time to enjoy so many fruits. I’m a juicer, and I like to stay healthy by mixing grapefruit and valencia oranges or a vitamin C boost.”

“My goal in this position are to provide the co-op community with the best organic produce I can, and source it from as locally as possible.” She continues, “It’s exciting to see people view the first crops of a season. The vibrant colors, the freshness, it can’t e beat. I try to stay true to that and offer what is in-season.”

It’s been wonderful having Maggie back as such an important part of our team. If you ever have any questions, comments, or requests, Maggie welcomes your input. We look forward to continuing our relationship with this talented, knowledgable, individual. Thank you Maggie, for coming aboard.

30. August 2016 · Comments Off on Coyote Kitchen Watermelon Rind Pickels  · Categories: Uncategorized

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Chrisso Babcock is not only one of our knowledgable High Falls Food Co-op sales associates, but he’s also an educator specializing in Homesteading Arts. Chrisso teaches kitchen-based workshops through his organization Coyote Kitchen.

“I have an upcoming 3 session fermentation and traditional kitchen skills intensive I will be teaching through the SUNY Ulster Continuing Ed program this fall,” Chrisso says. “I have taught this same course three times in the past, and it is one of my favorite ways to connect deeply with a group of students — a 3-hour class, once a month, for three months. If you are interested in learning to make cheeses, sourdough breads, vegetable ferments and preserves, I invite you to sign up for the class.”

Working at HFFC, Chrisso is always inspired by the bounty of locally grown and organic produce available on our shelves. He’s always giving our staff, members, and customers great advice for making the most of their co-op purchases. We asked Chrisso to give us a taste of what he’ll be teaching in his upcoming Coyote Kitchen workshop this Fall.

Coyote Kitchen Watermelon Rind Pickels 

by: Chrisso Babcock

-Organic Watermelon

-Real Salt, or any high quality unrefined sea salt

-Jars, preferably mason jars

-Optional– Beet, Onion, Garlic

These are a favorite of mine, and in my opinion only worth making with organic watermelons. So, nows the time! When you eat your watermelon, save the rinds; you can keep them in the fridge for a day or so. Alternately, when you cut open your watermelon, you can process it entirely, separating and saving all the fruit in the fridge and prepping the rinds right away.

When making Lacto-fermented pickles like these, there is no need to sterilize the jars, can them, etc. It is enough to work with a very clean working surface, very clean hands, and very clean jars.

1. To prep the rinds, put them on their side and cut away any pink fruit left on the inside, and cut away the dark green outside skin. You are left with a thin green rind. Shapes will vary depending on how you cut and ate your watermelon.

2. Put the rinds in a jar. A quart jar or two will probably do unless you are making a lot.

3. In a separate jar, make a 4% salt brine. This is a very useful salt brine for all sorts of lacto-fermentation / pickling — I especially love to pickle Daikon in this same brine. The brine is made up of 2 Tbsps of salt per quart of water. Make a quart of Brine. Using room temperature water is fine — vigorous stirring or shaking will break down the salt quickly into the water.

4. Pour the brine into the jar with the rinds, taking care to fully cover all the rinds. Leave a little airspace at the top, say half an inch.

5. Optional — Cut a round of onion or beet to fit the top of your jar and hold all the rinds under the surface of the water. Beet will have the added advantage of turning your pickles a lovely pink shade. You can add other spices, like whole garlic cloves, or mustard seeds — but i recommend making a plain batch first to taste the watermelon rind in its simplest form.

6. Place the lid on the jars, tightening just slightly so that air pressure can still escape. Place the jar or jars on a plate (as they are likely to bubble and leak) and leave them on your counter at room temperature for 2-3 days. They will bubble and start to smell like a classic sour pickle. At this point they are ready to transfer into the fridge. They can be capped more tightly and they will keep for 3-6 months.

To sign up for Coyote Kitchen’s workshop:

The sign up for Homesteader’s Kitchen Intensive is through SUNY Ulster. You can sign up over the phone by calling 845-339-2025, or you can register online at www.sunyulster.edu/ce. For online registration, click the link and choose the Register and Pay tab, and then type “homesteader” into the class title box.

Dates:

9am-12pm, Saturday Mornings, 9/17, 10/15 & 11/19

Location:

Stone Ridge Campus (Kelder building)

Tuition: $189

Material fee: $50, payable in class

26. August 2016 · Comments Off on Meet Your Local Flower Farmer: Marybeth Wehrung · Categories: Uncategorized

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Flowers can be a great addition to any tablescape or household. A little bit of beauty to dazzle the senses and lift the spirit. At High Falls Food Co-op, we are proud to offer lovingly grown, fresh cut flowers from Stars of the Meadow, an organic flower farm (located just seven miles from our door) in Accord, NY. Marybeth Wehrung is the owner and farmer at Stars of the Meadow. We sat down with her to talk inspiration, motivation, and to get some flower education.

Marybeth Wehrung began her farming career as part of a CSA (community supported agriculture) group, specializing in medicinal herbs called Wild Wind Herbal.  During her time with Wild Wind Herbal, Marybeth began growing flowers as a hobby alongside the medicinal plants. “It went well,” she says, “So well that I decided to start selling the flowers at High Falls Food Co-op as Stars of the Meadow. That was 2012.” As more and more of the flowers she planted bloomed, so did Marybeth’s love for that work. “I found myself drawn to the flowers. I decided to put all of my energy there.”

“The success I had selling flowers at the co-op helped me expand my flower business. High Falls Food Co-op truly supported me. They truly support local farmers.” We are so happy we were able to help. Over the past four years, Stars of the Meadow has grown to be a successful, admirable, sustainable local business.

We asked Marybeth how she first found the High Falls Food Co-op. “Well, years ago, I was visiting a friend living in Rosendale. I was based in New Paltz at the time, and becoming more and more interested in healthy eating. Discussing this, my friend showed me her pantry… Bulk peanut butter… WHOA!  If that weren’t enough, she fed me popcorn sprinkled with nutritional yeast. I had to learn more. I had to visit this place with all of this wonderful food. The rest is history.”

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One of the things Marybeth loved about the co-op was that the fact that we offered a large selection of locally grown food. “It’s important to choose to buy local flowers, just as it is local food. The global floral industry has a large amount of problems. From human rights issues, to transportation— which consumes huge amounts of fossil fuels.” She adds, “Supporting local businesses that use organic practices, simply put, conserves resources and land. Plus, local flowers supply insects with nectar. Our pollinators love that.”

We adore Marybeth and all of her flowers, but we had to ask, which flower is her favorite. “New ones! Flowers I haven’t yet seen! Though, I do have a special place in my heart for dahlias. I’m always looking to expand my crop. This year I’m growing lots of scabiosa. There are a million varieties of flowers. There is no end to discovering favorites.” She continues about her botanical love, “I’ve always been fascinated by plants. When people come into the presence of flowers something energetic happens that transforms them. It happens to me, too. As some would say, ‘As I grow the flowers, the flowers are growing me’.”

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Field season for Stars of the Meadow is May to October. Bouquets are available at High Falls Food Co-op, as well as other local farm stands and flower shops. For large orders or special events, contact Marybeth at Stars of the Meadow directly. Treat yourself to a bit of beauty while supporting local farming. Thank you Marybeth for your work with flowers. Thank you Marybeth for your work in this community.

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01. August 2016 · Comments Off on Veto the DARK Act · Categories: Uncategorized
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On July 13, Bill S764, commonly known as the Deny Americans the Right to Know (DARK) Act, passed the Senate, the second of both houses of congress.  This is now on its way to the desk of President Obama who is, reportedly, in favor of signing it into law.  August 8 is the cut-off for public comment, including petition signatures and voice messages.

Heralded as a great achievement on the part of the Agri- and Biotech industries, this bill puts into “code” any ingredients which have been genetically modified. It is recognized in the halls of Congress to be the universal GMO labeling a majority of consumers have been asking for!  However, verification can only be made through electronic process with online devices, and does not contain the level transparency we have been demanding.

But the greatest ill to this would-be law is that it contains language which would negate current state laws that make GMO labeling mandatory, as well as prevent any state from passing new requirements for labeling.

You can call the White House:
202 456-1111

AND

Go to:

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/veto-dark-act-s764

to sign the petition for the President’s veto of S764!

For further information on the movement to label GMOs, you can access the following pages on Facebook:

Organic Consumers Association

Just Label It

GMO Inside

Institute for Responsible Technology

Thank you for all you do, and thank you for lending your attention to this important issue. As we forward this to our members, we’d like to note that High Falls Food Co-Op never shares or sells email addresses or personal information.

Sincerely,

High Falls Food Co-op

 

**********UPDATE:

Here is a portion of an email sent by We the People from the White House staff: ” The legislation provides flexibility for companies to choose from the following options:

A text statement or symbol directly on the food packaging itself indicating bioengineered ingredients
A digital QR (Quick Response) code that customers can scan with their smartphone if they want to learn about bioengineered ingredients
Smaller companies could also offer a phone number or URL on the package that consumers can access for more info

Before the new disclosure program is put in place, the law calls for a study to be conducted to assess whether challenges exist related to consumers’ access to electronic disclosures. If the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) determines that consumers would not have sufficient access to the information, the bill directs USDA to provide for alternative methods of disclosure. USDA will do everything possible to ensure that the program provides information in an equitable way” How the study is to be conducted is not specified, however!

20. July 2016 · Comments Off on High Meadow School’s Second Grade Tour of High Falls Food Co-op · Categories: Uncategorized
HFFC's Paul Tobin holding court over High Meadow's second grade class, photo: Ilona Ross

HFFC’s Paul Tobin holding court over High Meadow’s second grade class, photo: Ilona Ross

There’s nothing unusual about bringing a shopping list to the grocery store and planning menus for your new restaurant – unless you’re eight years old. Each year, the High Meadow School in Stone Ridge assigns its second graders the class project of starting a restaurant, and this year, the students came to the High Falls Food Co-op armed with their recipes and list of ingredients. They asked questions of the staff, they looked through the produce and dry goods, they took a tour of the basement storage area, and they bought what they needed for their new restaurant.

Under discussion, and new information to even some of the parents who chaperoned the outing, was how a co-operative differs from a regular grocery store and whether it’s fun to work at a co-op.

Grocery Manager, Kenny Rowe, and General Manager, Jodi Fogel, lead High Meadow kids on a stock tour, photo: Ilona Ross

Grocery Manager, Kenny Rowe, and General Manager, Jodi Fogel, lead High Meadow kids on a stock tour, photo: Ilona Ross

Transmitting to the next generation the importance of healthy food is very important, said General Manager Jodi Fogel. “It was exciting to see all these kids here at the coop. I feel extremely fortunate that at some time in my life I was exposed to health food, and as a result the quality of my life is a lot better. My relationship with food has determined the quality of my health.”

The perspective of these second-graders may be a little more near term. “They wanted to see how we buy food. We explained about deliveries coming in, we talked about ordering,” said Jodi. There was also some discussion about the differences between the co-op and larger chains such as Hannaford’s or Shoprite.

Second grade teacher Joanna Shaw said the idea was for the children to incorporate local ingredients into their final menu and to be more involved with the local community. “We thought what better places than the High Falls Food Co-op. I have a personal connection because I worked there when I was younger and Marybeth [Wehrung, who also teaches second grade] was on the board.”

"Let me tell you another one..." Paul Tobin and the kids of High Meadow School, photo: Ilona Ross

“Let me tell you another one…” Paul Tobin and the kids of High Meadow School, photo: Ilona Ross

 

story by: Ilona Ross