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This past week has been exciting for Kalamazoo, with the opening of a new natural grocery option in town. Earth Fare opened on Wednesday last week, and we want to congratulate them on a beautiful new store that increases access to good food in our area! Special congrats to past PFC staffers Randall, Cid, Tyler and Katie!
With so many great options for good food in Kalamazoo, we appreciate you choosing PFC as one of your sources. We have amazing options at great prices, and will keep striving to do better and better for you.
One part of our business that we're especially proud of is our prepared foods deli. Chris Orsolini and her team of amazing cooks work their homemade culinary magic using organic produce, responsibly raised meats, and other high quality ingredients. And this week, we are inviting you to try it out for only $7.99 per pound (regular price: $8.99/lb), when you show this:
Finally, you should have received your Coop Scoop by now. Inside, you should find a ballot packet introducing you to eight great candidates for our three open board seats, and introducing four Bylaws amendments. The Board supports these amendments that will allow us to have our annual meeting during warmer weather and support online voting for next year, as well as some clarification about how we would go about dissolving the Co-op (we are NOT planning to dissolve the Co-op!).
We need at least 300 people to cast their ballots to have this election be successful. Please bring ballots to the store prior or to the Annual Meeting on March 21. Please vote! We are counting on you.
Read on for more great news, and please know that Chris Moore is out of town this week, so eNews technical issues are all on me!
It's warmer today than this time last week! If you're like me, you're probably getting ready for a winter thaw, trying your best to see through the snow and remember where the ground is that grows green life. In the mean time fresh vegetable juice, hot pot pies, and more hours of daylight are getting me motivated for spring cleaning and yard work to come. Keep up the fresh eating with local & Organic produce at People's this week:
- Celery on owner special $1.49, regular $1.99
- Strawberries on owner special $3.99, regular $4.99
- Local potatoes red or white $4.99 for 5lbs
- Local fingering potatoes $3.99 for 2lbs
- Local heirloom lettuce heads $1.99
- Local Micro Greens or Petite Power Greens for $4.99 each
- Local shallots or cippolini onions $2.99 for 2lbs
- Local beet bunches for $1.99
- Local clover, broccoli, and bean sprouts for $2.99 or $3.49
If you're on the go and still want fresh, crunchy produce in your meals, pre-chopped onions and bell peppers are what you're looking for! Add 'em to your salads, saute them in an omelet for breakfast, or a stir fry with steamed rice. We chop them here at People's with love.
Farmer's Market Assistant
HEY, HEY MARKET LOVERS!
60 DAYS until we kick off market season with the opening of Kalamazoo Farmers’ Market!
64 DAYS until the first 100-Mile Market!
This week we are co-hosting a Community Conversation with Fire Historical and Cultural Arts Collaborative - Wednesday, March 4 from 6pm to 8pm. We will be discussing our work in the Edison neighborhood as it pertains to Kalamazoo Farmers Market and Washington Square. We are really looking forward to hearing from Edison neighborhood residents about this work! If you are one, please come! The conversation will be held at Fire, 1249 Portage Rd. and there will be snacks.
I went to Earth Fare on Wednesday afternoon, and I was excited to see such an enthusiastic support from the community for a natural products supermarket. I think they're a great addition to the healthy food options already available in Kalamazoo from our awesome co-op, Sawall Health Foods, and the Natural Health Center. Having a larger good food presence in town is going to raise the profile of the importance of eating well and making healthy food choices. They have the capacity to reach so many more people than we do at this point, and I'm excited to have their voice added to ours in the mission to get healthier food onto the tables of our community!
I was also excited to see at the new store some of the brands I think are doing awesome work with their products and supporting their wider communities. Alaffia, for example, just sent out their January/February newsletter including an update on the work they've been doing to alleviate poverty and advance gender equality in Togo, West Africa: "The sales of our handcrafted shea butter and coconut oil products fund our Community Empowerment Projects, which include the Bicycles for Education Project, Maternal Health Project, Reforestation Project, the School Supply Drive, and the Eyeglass Drive. Our first Empowerment Project began in 2003. Throughout our 10 years of empowerment, we have been able to accomplish much, and are looking forward to changing more lives together. 2014 was our most successful year to date, and it would not be possible without your support."
Total 2003 - 2014
42,625 Trees Planted
5,800 Pairs of Eyeglasses Donated
11,700 School Supply Recipients
6,300 Bicycles Donated
3,237 Births Funded
1,250 School Benches Built
5 Schools Built
We get asked frequently how we feel about having more competition in town, but I honestly think that healthy food and a healthy world is so much bigger than us, our co-op, or our community. In my opinion the more stores we can get selling real food and real products, made as locally and organically as possible and doing as much as possible to support our communities both locally and globally, the better off we will all be. I love our cooperative business model and our mission, and I'm excited to continue growing our capacity as Kalamazoo grows too. Thanks for being on this journey with us; we can't do it without you!
THE CENTER STORE
Grocery and Merchandising Manager
Thanks for tuning in to another edition of the eNews. Max is in Columbia this week. No, really. Max is in Columbia on holiday for a week. I suggest buying as many Bulk and Bakery items this week as possible, to let him know we missed him.
New sales start this week and we have some doozies: Bionaturae is doing somewhat of a line drive sale with 16 oz. pasta at $1.99, and 24 oz. strained tomatoes 2/$5. As you get ready for a little March Madness it’s a good to me to stock up on some tasty varieties of those crunchy, salty snacks from Kettle Chips, 13 oz. bags 2/$8. And add a 4-pack of Natural Brew sodas for only $3.69. Just thinking of that creamy Root Beer makes me want to construct a "Dagwood" size ice cream float, with some Aldens Ice Cream also on sale for $5.69.
If soup & salad is more your thing then come take advantage of the Imagine Soup sale: 32 oz of several varieties of creamy Organic goodness for $3.39 each. You can add in huge piles of Field Day Round Crackers for only $2.99. And dress the salad with some Annie's salad dressings, 8 oz for $2.19. Enjoy the rest of the e-news, and don't forget to take advantage of this week's coupon!
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!
- Spice Exploration – Tuesday, March 10, 6:30-8:30pm
Make your own curry powder in this tactile, sensory class with Lindsey Merkel. We will discuss whole and ground spices, and cooking tricks for coaxing complex flavors out of the bulk spice section and beyond. Participants will go home with a jar of spice!
- Veggie Sushi – Tuesday, April 14, 6:30-8:30pm
With raw food genius Sara Koz
- Paleo Snacks – Tuesday, May 12, 6:30-8:30pm
FIRE, PFC, & FARMERS’ MARKET: COMMUNITY CONVERSATION
Wednesday, March 4, 6-8pm – Fire Historical and Cultural Arts Collaborative (1249 Portage Road)
Edison residents are invited to meet people, eat food, and share ideas about your market and your neighborhood! Enjoy food and a community conversation hosted by Fire, People’s Food Co-op, and the Kalamazoo Farmers’ Market. All are welcome! More information here.
Monday, March 16, 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.
Wednesday, March 18, 7-8pm – 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 general manager, Chris Dilley.
ANNUAL OWNER MEETING!
Saturday, March 21, 6:30-10pm – Kalamazoo Institute of Arts (314 South Park Street, Kalamazoo)
Save the date for your Annual Owner Meeting! Come for the business, stay for the party of the year!
Doors open at 6:30pm for socializing. Snacks and a couple of drinks are on us, so meet up with friends and relax. At 7, join us for the meeting, where you’ll hear from staff and others about your Co-op, and get a chance to talk with others about the issues on your mind around food and Kalamazoo. Board director elections and other vote results will be announced.
Kiddos four years and older will be treated to a free supervised art class from 7-8pm, allowing parents to check out the meeting portion. Children 4-6 years old will need a parent accompanying them, 7 and older can participate alone. RSVP is ONLY required for childcare, no need to RSVP unless requesting childcare! please email Chris Moore to RSVP for childcare.
At 8, Kalamazoo’s own genre-bending Maraj kicks off the party! Don’t miss it!
DEBUT ALBUM ‘KINGDOM COME’ BY CELLIST MICAH LING AT CO-OP
‘Kingdom Come,’ the debut album from Lansing-based singer and cellist Micah Ling, is now available in the Co-op Music Section. The new album, released on Earthwork Music this past year and produced by Chris Bathgate, features a host of well known traditional songs and tunes that Ling learned while growing up playing in her father’s old-time string band, Hawks and Owls, as well as many she’s picked up in her work as a folklorist. Listeners of traditional Appalachian ballads and tunes will recognize titles such as “Willow Garden” and “Train on the Island,” and the heartwrenching “Peg and Awl” – a traditional song lamenting the steady march of industrialization during the late 19th century, done beautifully in this case with three part harmony. ‘Kingdom Come’ is a rich and varied debut – a gem hiding at the Co-op.
OWNER COUNT/EQUITY UPDATE
Our owners are why we are here! Owners are shoppers and investors, and it is their investment, in part, that will make our expansion a success. Here are the current stats:
Current owner count: 2750!
New owners in 2015: 65!
Current equity invested: $415,755!
To share news or an event, please email media and communications coordinator, Chris Moore.
Trybal Revival Garden, located on the east side of Kalamazoo is seeking a Garden Intern interested in work exchange for the 2015 gardening season (Mar-Sep). Intern responsibilities include: assistance with market prep for Wednesday afternoon (100 Mile Market) as well as basic garden maintenance (weeding, watering, and mowing) and assistance with vermicomposting. To learn more or apply, please see the internship page of the Trybal Revival website.
FILM SCREENING: COWSPIRACY
Thursday, March 5, 7:30pm – Alamo Drafthouse (180 Portage Street, Kalamazoo)
Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret is a groundbreaking feature-length environmental documentary following animal agriculture, the most destructive industry facing the planet today – and investigate why the world’s leading environmental organizations are too afraid to talk about it. Visit the Facebook event page here. Tickets are $5. Check out the trailer here.
KALAMAZOO AREA COMMUNITY SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE (CSA) FAIR
Friday, March 6, 6-8pm -- Anna Whitten Hall Room 128 (202 North Rose Street, Kalamazoo)
Find your farmer and enjoy information artworks on Food and Farming from The Lexicon of Sustainability. Meet local farmers face-to-face, learn about CSA programs, and find out if a CSA is right for you. Michigan State University (MSU) Extension, People’s Food Co-op, and Kalamazoo Valley Community College are hosting this event in conjunction with ArtHop.
KALAMAZOO NATURE CENTER: MAPLE SUGAR FESTIVAL
Saturday, March 14, and Sunday, March 15 – Kalamazoo Nature Center (7000 N. Westnedge, Kalamazoo)
Join KNC for the 50th Annual Maple Sugar Festival. Start your day with delicious pancakes smothered in real Michigan maple syrup! Learn about the process of making maple syrup as you walk along a wooded trail with a Naturalist for a maple sugar tour. Experience amazing Birds of Prey up close! The whole family will enjoy the sweet experience. KNC Members free, Non-members $7/adult, $6/senior, $4/child (4 – 17 yrs), children 3 years and under are free.
NICOLETTE HAHN NIMAN: DEFENDING BEEF
Monday, April 27, 7pm – Kalamazoo College Stetson Chapel (1200 Academy Street, Kalamazoo)
Tuesday, April 28, 6:30pm - Portage District Library (300 Library Lane, Portage)
Nicolette Hahn Niman's new book, Defending Beef: The Manifesto of an Environmental Lawyer and Vegetarian Turned Cattle Rancher, describes how we can eat a more balanced diet and support a food stream that is humane, ecological, and sustainable.
She shows how foods from cattle-milk and meat, particularly when raised entirely on grass- are healthful, nutritious, and an irreplaceable part of the world’s food production. Sponsored by Portage District Library, The Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership at Kalamazoo College, and The Mary Jane Underwood Stryker Center for Civic Engagement at Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo College Library, People’s Food Co-op and Barrett’s Smokehouse with major funding from the Kalamazoo Community Foundation.
LAKE VILLAGE HOMESTEAD FARM: FARM WELLNESS DAY 5K
Saturday, May 16 – Lake Village Homestead Farm (7943 South 25th Street, Kalamazoo)
Lake Village Homestead Farm presents the Farm Wellness Day 5K, a celebration of the connection between the health of our bodies and minds and the health of the earth and animals that inhabit it. Click here to learn more and to register.
CIRCLE PINES CENTER: SUMMER CAMP
Sessions running June through August – Circle Pines Center (8650 Mullen Road, Delton)
This co-ed residential camp program, open to youth ages 7-17, combines elements of a traditional summer camp (swimming, sports, campfires, theater, dance, and arts) with cooperative work projects (construction, organic gardening, trail maintenance and cleaning). Educational activities focus on topics like climate change, food politics, and social justice. Committed to supporting sustainable agriculture, kitchen staff works hard to provide delicious and nutritious meals from scratch using primarily local and organic ingredients. Click here for more information and to register.
UPCOMING ERACCE EVENTS
Because of PFC’s goal to provide access to healthy food for all, we have partnered with ERACCE(Eliminating Racism and Claiming / Celebrating Equality). If you’re interested in this work, please consider the following upcoming events, or visit ERACCE online for more information. All events are held at KRESA West Campus unless otherwise noted.
- 2½-day Understanding & Analyzing Systemic Racism Workshop – May 14-16
- 2½-day Understanding & Analyzing Systemic Racism Workshop – September 24-26
- 2½-day Understanding & Analyzing Systemic Racism Workshop – December 3-5
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:
- Bronson Winter Market, Kalamazoo – Tuesdays, 10:30am-2pm (through March 24, 2015)
- Borgess Indoor Farmer's Market, Kalamazoo – Every other Thursday, 11am-2pm
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.
If you know of someone who'd like to be added to our list, or have event suggestions to share, please email our outreach assistant, Chris Moore.