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Hello PFC community!
First off, a huge thank you to all 644 owners that chose to shop over the recently completed Owner Appreciation Days! That is a record, and it feels GREAT to have been a benefit to so many of our owners. Some of you may recall that during February's OAD I issued a challenge that we see 70 owners per day of OAD shopping. We missed it in February, but we saw 72 per day last week! Please keep the feedback coming about how to make PFC a better investment for you.
And we hope you enjoyed all the great programming that Kalamazoo Public Library and community partners provided during this year's amazing Reading Together series. We are eager to keep the ball rolling as we transition from reading together to the more active eating together. Please join us at the opening day of the 100-Mile Market on May 7 and share your experiences from the Reading Together season, and help inform a vision for how Kalamazoo feeds itself.
Finally, come one, come all to People's best day of the year: Grow-It-Yourself Day! It’s this Saturday, April 26, 9am-4pm here in our parking lot. Get your garden started right with organic plant starts from our own Cinzori Farms near Battle Creek, and organic seeds from Seed Savers and High Mowing. Also enjoy gardening workshops, stories and rhymes for the kids from KPL's Mr. Bill, and music from our PFC Deli troubadour Marc Short, Rootead, and Saxquatch and the Dixie Rustlers. You are not going to want to miss the event of the year. See all the details on our website.
Enjoy the spring weather, and read on for the rest of the news from your co-op!
It’s all about Grow-It-Yourself Day this week! With only five days left until the sixth annual Grow-It-Yourself Day celebration, there’s not much else I can think about.
Grow-It-Yourself Day means a few different things to me. First, it’s a confirmation of spring and the change of seasons. Nothing says spring to me more than putting plants in the ground!
Secondly, it’s a liberating event. When I heard about how Grow-It-Yourself Day was started as an empowering event to encourage people to grow their own food, it made me feel great about being part of this year’s planning team.
Come on over for a fun-filled family-friendly Saturday with friends. This year will be a continuation of past Grow-It-Yourself Days, focusing on education, participation, and celebration around growing your own food. Enjoy live music including drum and dance, arts and crafts and with story time for the youth, workshops on container gardening and worm composting facilitated by Trybal Revival, and more. Kalamazoo Area Wild Ones will be on the scene with information on everything gardening. We will also be planting our very own Willard street garden, so tell a friend, bring the family, and join in on the fun!
The Grow-It-Yourself Day birth story goes as follows: A woman came into the Co-op some years back and mentioned to our produce manager Rosie how much she loved kale and boom! The light bulb went off. Realizing that she along with many others also loved kale, she thought to herself “we can grow this stuff!” The rest is history.
Hope to see you there!
People's Produce is gearing up for another awesome Grow-It-Yourself Day this Saturday! Our dream is for everyone to feel empowered to grow their own food (on porches, raised beds, farms, and beyond). We'll have vegetable plant starts from Cinzori Farms, all cute and petite, ready for your gardens! They're certified organic, grown locally, available to purchase with your SNAP card, and typically grow the BEST gardens in Southwest Michigan.
Look for six different varieties of kale, lots of greens to choose from like collards and chard, plenty of peppers and tomatoes, asparagus and strawberry starts, and loads of herbs and lettuces, too! Please come to our favorite day of the year, share your garden dreams and smiles, and if you stick around long enough, you may learn something, too! Grow-It-Yourself Day is for everyone!
Local produce is finding its way to People's every day in new ways, come check it out!
- Ramps! These are wild leeks growing in forests, foraged just for you with care from John Reuter at Tanstaffl Farmstead
- Spinach! Kept safe and sound, growing more tender and bouncy every day, from Green Gardens Community Farm
- Tomatoes! Cucumbers! Beets! Green beans! All grown by Good News Farm in hoop houses
- What's around the corner? Hopefully we'll start to see spring salad, spinach, watercress, new potatoes, herbs and more as the days get warmer!
Farmer's Market Manager
The Kalamazoo Farmers' Market opening day is right around the corner. Be sure you and yours join us on the first market day of the season, Saturday May 3! The market features over 100 businesses, including many of your favorite growers, producers, retailers, and artisans.
With the opening of our 2014 season, we are excited to show off a new market layout and new locations for some of our businesses. Be sure you visit the Courtyard where 35 businesses are set up to sell you their beloved products.
We'll have live musical performances by Kaitlin Rose from 8-10am, as well as a lunchtime performance by Cam from the Kalamazoo Folklife Organization 11am-1pm. Be sure to be there with us on opening day to experience the vibrant place to get your food fresh!
Have you seen our B Corp information on the front side cap yet? B Corporation status is a great way for companies to step up their transparency and commitment to doing good in the world. Several of the brands we carry are certified B Corps, and so is the National Cooperative Grocers Association, of which we are a member!
Our two B Corp body care brands are Preserve, which makes recycled plastic toothbrushes and razors, and Badger, the creators of my favorite natural sunscreens and USDA organic hand, body, and lip balms. Badger even scored in the top 10% of certified B Corps this year and is on the B Corp Best for the World list for 2014!
THE CENTER STORE
Bulk and Bakery Buyer
Hello Co-oppers, Max here filling in for Ken while he travels to the faraway outpost of civilization that is Marquette, MI, presumably to help the excavation team dig through the perma-snow layer to reach the new location for their awesome food co-op! The Cool Folks (tm) from the Marquette crew were a huge help when we moved to our new location, and I know Ken & Co. are super excited to return the favor. If you are ever in the area you should definitely check them out, they are an awesome Co-op already, and the new spot will allow them to take their natural and local foods game to the next level!
Okay, on to your regularly scheduled Grocery news. Have you all been trying every variety of Sarkozy bread you can get your hands on? I learned this week that their entire recipe book went up in flames at the old location, so Judy and her crew are re-creating the old favorites entirely from memory! As they perfect more and more of their revamped recipes, expect to see a wider and wider selection here at the co-op. This week we're bringing in incredible Ciabatta Sandwich Rolls, delivered fresh daily as always. Keep an eye out for more as spring creeps in at last!
For the meat-eaters out there, look to our frozen meat section for tons of new lamb cuts from Carlson Farms in Lawton, MI. These animals are pasture-raised, antibiotic-free, grass and non-GMO-grain finished. If you've never had lamb before, now's your chance to try a true springtime classic!
This week's question: Thanks to everyone who came out to the Annual Owner Meeting! If you attended, what did you like about the meeting? What could we improve? If you didn't attend, why not?
PFC COOKING CLASSES
Register for one of our fun, interactive cooking classes! All classes are held in the Can-Do Kitchen (511 Harrison St). Values Program classes are $5 each; all other classes are $20 per adult, kids come free. And come hungry! In our classes, you’ll always eat well. Space is limited, so please sign up today with a friendly PFC cashier!
- Delicious Allergen-Free Breakfast – Monday, April 28, 6:30-8:30pm
Explore the world of allergen free cooking with PFC owner Vicky Mitchell
- Gluten-Free Goodies – Tuesday, May 6, 6:30-8:30pm
Who says gluten-free can't be delicious? Join PFC Deli superstar Elizabeth Sell-Kimble and learn both savory and sweet dishes, all without a trace of gluten! Please note: because our kitchen is not certified gluten-free, traces of gluten from the environment may be present. All recipes use 100% gluten-free ingredients.
- Kombucha Kick – Tuesday, May 20, 6:30-8:30pm
Join PFC grocery lead and kombucha aficionado Cid and learn to brew kombucha at home. Cid will cover two brewing methods, bottling, flavoring recipes, as well as instructions for creating kombucha-based salad dressings!
GROW-IT-YOURSELF DAYSaturday, April 26, 9am-4pm – People's Food Co-op (507 Harrison St, Kalamazoo)
Educate, participate, and celebrate in growing your own food at the sixth annual Grow-It-Yourself Day!
This fun-filled community event and plant sale will feature a variety of workshops, live music and dancing, hands-on gardening demonstrations in PFC’s Willard Street Garden, as well as organic/heirloom seeds and locally-grown organic plant starts for purchase.
A family-friendly event, there will be a variety of children’s activities, including garden story time offered by Kalamazoo Public Library. Local organization participation includes the Kalamazoo Area Wild Ones, Tribal Revival, and Organic plant starts from Cinzori Farms!
Organic plant starts and organic/heirloom seeds at the event will be eligible for purchase using SNAP food assistance benefits. More information and schedule of events here.
MAY PFC BOARD MEETING
GOOD FOOD KALAMAZOO: GOOD FOOD ROUNDTABLE
VOLUNTEER ORIENTATIONMonday, May 19, 7-8pm – People's Food Co-op (507 Harrison St., Kalamazoo)
Volunteers are what make co-ops great, and we believe we've got some of the best volunteers in the country! If you've applied to volunteer at People's, you'll first need to attend an orientation session, where we'll make sure you have everything you need to join our all-star team. Please RSVP with our volunteer coordinator today! To learn more about becoming a volunteer, check out our Help Out page.
OWNER ORIENTATIONWednesday, May 21, 7:30-8:30pm – People's Food Co-op (507 Harrison St, Kalamazoo)
Perhaps you are a PFC owner, but you're not really sure what that means. Maybe you just became an owner and want an introduction to the store. Join us for one of our new monthly owner orientations! Gain a better understanding about ownership, learn more about your Co-op, and meet other PFC owners and staff. If you are interested in joining us, please RSVP with our media and communications coordinator, Chris Moore.
OWNER COUNT/EQUITY UPDATE
Current owner count: 2488!
New owners in 2014: 130!
Current equity invested: $366,018!
To share news or an event, please email media and communications coordinator, Chris Moore.
CONNECTIVITY & CONDUCTIVITY: WMU'S BACKYARD & YOURS
KALAMAZOO NATURE CENTER: GROW YOUR OWN FRUIT!
KALAMAZOO TRANSITION MEETING
KALAMAZOO NATURE CENTER: EARTH DAY CELEBRATION
COMMUNITY PLACEMAKING WORKSHOP: GETTING TO CRITICAL MASS IN KALAMAZOO
KALAMAZOO MARATHON: VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
CAN-DO KITCHEN: COLLECTING KITCHEN GADGETS
CAN-DO KITCHEN THIRD ANNUAL KITCHEN GADGET GARAGE SALE
LAKE VILLAGE HOMESTEAD FARM: FARM WELLNESS DAY 5K
KALAMAZOO CLIMATE CHANGE COALITION: RAIN BARREL SALE
SUSTAINABLE GRAIN GROWING COOPERATIVE PROJECT
UPCOMING ERAC/CE EVENTS
- 2½-day Understanding & Analyzing Systemic Racism Workshop – May 8-10, 2014
- 2½-day Understanding & Analyzing Systemic Racism Workshop – September 25-27, 2014
COMMUNITY SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE SHARES
Get connected with local food and local growers! Check out the full list of Kalamazoo Area CSAs.
LOCAL FARMERS' MARKETS
Farmers' markets are providing a great opportunity to meet local farmers and to pick up some great food, including:
- Bank Street Winter Market, Kalamazoo – Saturdays, 8am-1pm (December 8 – April 28)
- Borgess Indoor Farmer's Market, Kalamazoo – Every other Thursday, 11am-2pm
- Bronson Winter Farmers' Market, Kalamazoo – Every other Friday, 10:30am-2pm (December 20 – March 14)
Are you inspired to eat closer to home? Do you want to find sources of local foods and share with other locavores? Well, here's a tool you'll not want to miss. To join hundreds of others with similar interests, visit their Yahoo Groups page. To learn more, please email Lori Evesque.