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Despite the temperature dip, I hope you don't lose hope. Spring IS on its way!
We are smack-dab in the middle of Owner Appreciation Days! Help us break 600 owners shopping this week! This 10% discount is one of your biggest benefits of ownership, other than owning the coolest grocery in Kalamazoo, of course. Come on down and make it even more fun!
Breaking news... Novella Carpenter, author of Farm City, was JUST in the store! Consider coming out tonight to Kalamazoo Central High School at 7pm for her presentation, the Reading Together finale for 2014.
This weekend is Easter Sunday, and if family meals are part of your traditions, consider a leg of lamb, lamb shoulder, or smoked ham from Naturally Norm's Norm Carlson in Lawton. These clean meats are a great option for your table.
Also, stay tuned for some great bulk food incentives for Earth Day, next Tuesday, April 22.
Finally, please know that the railroad crossing on Harrison Street, just outside of our building, is closed for construction as the crossing is replaced. The railroad folks working outside estimate that repair to last three days once started. Our recommendation would be to use Porter or Riverview to Ransom from the east, and Pitcher to Ransom from the west as routes to make sure you have access to your co-op through that event.
Thanks everyone. Have a great day, and enjoy the rest of the news from your co-op!
Peace people, I hope all are well and preparing for spring.
One of my favorite things about spring is watching my mother’s garden grow. If you’re like her, you’re itching to get in the garden! Lucky for her and you and all garden and plant lovers, we only have 11 more days until our sixth annual Grow-It-Yourself Day. It’s on Saturday, April 26 from 9am-4pm, so save the date, tell a friend, and bring the family! It will definitely be a great time for all.
The People's Food Co-op is also participating in the May Art Hop, with PFC owner Virginia Hudson as the featured artist. Virginia will be displaying some of her beautiful prayer flags along with her magical fairy houses. Please stop in on Friday May 2 from 5-9pm as Virginia will be in the store to meet and share her art.
We still have available spots for both of this month’s cooking classes, so stop in or give a call today to sign up.
Delights for Diabetics -- Tuesday April 22
With registered dietitian Lindsey Merkel. April is heart month, so come learn some delicious tips for a healthy diet.
Delicious and Allergy Free Breakfast -- Monday April 28
PFC owner Vicky Mitchell will be hosting. This cooking class will include a variey of treats, free from common allergens including wheat, soy, nuts, and dairy.
Cooking class registration is $20 per person. To sign up you can simply call or stop in the store anytime! Have a good week! Peace.
My goodness, it's like a party here in People's Produceland! Tomorrow we are adding more to the mix. As soon as you walk in the door you'll be co-mingling with melons of three different varieties! We'll have mini seedless watermelon for $3.99 each, Galia melons which are very much like a cantaloupe honeydew cross, and good ol' honeydew for $3.99 each!
Also coming in tomorrow morning: green beans for your holiday dinner with the family! We love green bean casserole, we love dipping green beans in hummos, and most of all we love green beans seared with salt, red pepper flakes, and a dash of toasted sesame oil.
Good News Farm in Cedar Lake, MI (just south of Mt. Pleasant) is delivering local tomatoes on Thursday! Also, we are in abundance of local spinach freshly harvested from Green Gardens and their hoop houses. Fresh local produce at People's and it snowed yesterday! Can't get better than this...
Farmer's Market Manager
Get ready eNews readers across the universe! The Kalamazoo Farmers' Market opens in three weeks! On Saturday, May 3 from 7a m-2pm at 1204 Bank Street, The Kalamazoo Farmers' Market begins.
Featuring over 100 businesses, live music, wider aisles and early May weather, THE place for you and yours is at the Kalamazoo Farmers' Market each and every Saturday. It starts with a place to get your food fresh and there’s no limits to the amount of fun and sun you will experience all season long.
Please do not bring your dog or pets to the farmers' market. We love all pets, but the Kalamazoo Farmers' Market is not a safe space for them.
SNAP Food Assistance Program and Double Up Food Bucks and WIC Project FRESH, Market FRESH Coupons and Market Bucks are accepted by many of our businesses.
For all your market information, including a vendor list, parking ideas, and the stories of our businesses, please visit us online. Peace!
THE CO-OP DELI
Spring is here! Well, was here. It seems to have left. However, according thousands of years of recorded evidence, it’s coming back. Probably. In eager anticipation of its (re)arrival, our Co-op Deli is rolling out a whole slew of new salads. Our first foray into springtime feasting involves the return of our Vietnamese Noodle Salad. It is, as the kids say these days, dank and family friendly.
Packed full of wheat-free noodles tossed in a zesty-sweet ginger sauce, this salad gives you a big tang for your buck. For added nutritional goodness, not to mention fabulous flavor, we’ve thrown in a healthy (one might even say hearty) helping of shredded carrots, celery, red onion, parsley, and red onions, finishing it with a delicious medley of cilantro, chives, and sesame seeds. It’s on sale now for $6.99/lb, so get it while it’s hot. Or cold. It’s March in Michigan, after all.
I just saw an article this morning about Target's new “Made to Matter - Handpicked by Target” campaign highlighting natural and organic brands they're partnering with that are in some way making a difference with their products. I have mixed feelings about this marketing message. On the one hand I'm glad to see it, because it means that what we've been saying for over 40 years is finally getting out into the mainstream marketing world, which I think is huge progress. Some great brands are getting more support and recognition, and that makes me happy.
On the other hand, I feel a little defensive about it. Target is jumping on our bandwagon because there's finally profit for them in it now. The vast majority of their products, however, are not Made to Matter. Target gets the appearance of doing good in the world while still supporting a whole lot of junk. (Slightly biased opinion here!) I still think it's a step in the right direction, but I also think that we do it better!
The whole point of our existence as a Co-op is that all of the products we carry and everything we do should matter. I do a lot of research to select the products for the wellness department that have the best ingredients and also do terrific work in their communities to help make the world better for all of us. That's why we all love shopping here. We don't have to look for a little seal that tells us the products are good amidst a sea of products that aren't. We know that just by walking in the doors we're entering a place where everything has already been curated to meet our shared values. Our Ends statement says it best: The People's Food Co-op exists to create access to food that is healthy for people, land, and the economy.
If you find yourself needing to shop at Target, (and I will be the first to confess that I do it too!) look for the little green Made to Matter seal, but just remember that if you want to be in a place where everything matters, come to the Co-op and be re-inspired.
THE CENTER STORE
Meat and Cheese Buyer
We know you all love bacon! Ever wonder why that delicious clean bacon from Young Earth Farm is often out of stock? The reality of raising animals for food is that there is only so much of each cut on an animal.
Farm Fact: On a 300 to 350 pound hog, which takes 8 to 10 months to raise, there is only about 20 pounds of bacon.
In factory farming situations, this statistic will be slightly different, but because our mission is to create access to food that is healthy for people, land, and the economy, we work with small local family farmers. Our 'hogmaster', Dave, from Young Earth Farm raises heritage breeds on pasture, which means they grow a little slower and smaller than the factory breeds, but the flavor is that much better.
Dave knows we love bacon, and knowing that it is in high demand but short supply, he has worked with us for years to help create other awesome breakfast-y delicious bacon alternatives. Have you tried the Cottage Bacon? This is both of my hog farmers' favorite, as well as my own. Around here we call it "superior bacon" or "even better than bacon." Cottage Bacon is made from the front shoulder, the same place that the butt roast (which makes delicious pulled pork) comes from. It is processed similarly to bacon, and turns out meatier, but nice and fatty.
Another option is the Breakfast Ham Slices. It’s just that: thinly sliced ham portions, deliciously hammy, and quick to warm up.
Of course, there is always a variety of Sausage forms, made by Dave, leaner than normal because Dave uses a lot of hams and roasts along with the more traditional sausage ingredients. Find sausage ground in bulk 1 pound packages, links, patties, all kinds of brat-type link varieties, or as just straight up ground pork to mix up your own sausage.
This week's question: Thanks to everyone who came out to the Annual Owner Meeting last week! If you attended, what did you like about the meeting? What could we improve? If you didn't attend, why not?
NOW HIRING A CASHIER
We are seeking a smiley, self-motivated and people-loving person for the part-time position of Cashier. Applications are available in the store and online, and are due Monday, April 21.
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!
- Delights for Diabetics – Tuesday April 22, 6:30-8:30pm
Registered Dietitian Lindsey Merkel will walk us through tasty recipes tailored to a diabetic diet.
- 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.
OWNER ORIENTATIONWednesday, April 16, 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.
VOLUNTEER ORIENTATIONMonday, April 21, 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.
MAY PFC BOARD MEETING
GOOD FOOD KALAMAZOO: GOOD FOOD ROUNDTABLE
OWNER COUNT/EQUITY UPDATE
Current owner count: 2474!
New owners in 2014: 116!
Current equity invested: $364,698!
To share news or an event, please email media and communications coordinator, Chris Moore.
KALAMAZOO PUBLIC LIBRARY: READING TOGETHER 2014
Selected Reading Together Events:
- Meet Novella Carpenter
Tuesday April 15, 7 pm -- Kalamazoo Central High School Auditorium (2432 N Drake Rd, Kalamazoo Township, MI 49006)
- Campus Visit – Novella Carpenter
Wednesday, April 16, 1:15-2:15 pm -- Light Fine Arts Building, Kalamazoo College
KALAMAZOO NATURE CENTER: VIBRANT VEGETABLE GARDENS - BOXES, CONTAINERS & TRELLISES
CONNECTIVITY & CONDUCTIVITY: WMU'S BACKYARD & YOURS
KALAMAZOO NATURE CENTER: GROW YOUR OWN FRUIT!
KALAMAZOO NATURE CENTER: EARTH DAY CELEBRATION
COMMUNITY PLACEMAKING WORKSHOP: GETTING TO CRITICAL MASS IN KALAMAZOO
CAN-DO KITCHEN: COLLECTING KITCHEN GADGETS
CAN-DO KITCHEN THIRD ANNUAL KITCHEN GADGET GARAGE SALE
LAKE VILLAGE HOMESTEAD FARM: FARM WELLNESS DAY 5K
FAIR FOOD MATTERS HIRING PROGRAM COORDINATOR
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.