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Daffodils are blooming, ramps are growing rapidly out of the ground, and tree buds are well on their way, too. Things are really ramping up outside! Literally! Ramps are a type of wild leek, they are very delicate and are foraged in the forests where it's wet. This season only lasts a few weeks so get your ramp on with delicious Tanstaafl Farmstead ramps.
Get a hold of your kale intake! We have just what you need to eat more kale, including ready to go one pound bags of "cut and clean" kale for $3.99, each is a never-ending bag of kale. We also have bunches of lacinato kale for $1.49 each. Any way you kale, you can kale more!
Gearing up for Grow-It-Yourself Day we've ordered extra heirloom seeds from Seed Saver's Exchange. I can't wait to see the healthy happy certified organic plant starts arriving April 25 from Cinzori Farm in Ceresco, MI. Come to People's for a day sure to be shiny with a crowd of gardening dreams! It's only two weeks away!
Farmer's Market Assistant
Market goers! Are you ready!? Saturday, May 2, Kalamazoo Farmers Market opens. That’s 18 days from today! Wednesday, May 6, 100-Mile hits the scene, only 22 days away!
But you don’t even have to wait for all of that! Just 11 short days from now...
Saturday, April 25, Grow-It-Yourself Day will be happening right here at PFC! This event is truly the kickoff of our market season, and your gardening season.
There will be a field of flats of beautiful plant starts for sale. Also, musical guests PNUCKLEHEAD; kids activities hosted by Read and Write Kalamazoo! and MSU Extension Community Food Systems Educator, Mariel Borgman; and a bucket gardening workshop hosted by Trybal Rivival. It’s going to be a great time, I hope to see you there!
THE CO-OP DELI
Two bars enter: one bar leaves. In this corner, creamy peanut butter and vegan chocolate ganache coat tasty oat-flour shortbread. And their opponent? Same luscious chocolate, same wheat-free cookie base, but they’re playing it classy instead with organic almond butter. Both are on special for Owner Appreciation Day. Make your choice. The fate of the galaxy might hang in the balance.
I just got back last week from a fantastic vacation that allowed me to use a ton of Badger's best-in-the-industry zinc oxide sunscreens! I'm excited to bring them back in for this upcoming outdoor season. Look for a display soon packed full of Badger sunscreens and organic citronella-based bug sprays. As you start thinking about gardening and playing outside you'll want to protect your skin from sun and bugs!
THE CENTER STORE
Bulk & Bakery Buyer
Hello again, fellow Co-optrillians! Max here, filling in for Ken this week as he undertakes an experimental myco-neural overlay procedure. If the operation is a success, he will be the first human able to control the subtle mineral contents of his sweat glands in order to communicate with the Fungus-Folk of Vega XI in their native "tongue." If all goes well, he hopes to secure the PFC some incredible discounts on a wide variety of their co-operatively grown mushrooms!
I try to think of all the coffees we carry here at the Co-op as unique, special snowflakes. For the most part, this is true: each one of them really brings something unique to the table. But here's the thing: there are some coffees that are just, well, more unique than the others!
One such coffee has just returned for its season, and it is Just Coffee Cooperative's "DR Congo" (named simply for its country of origin.) These Organic, Fair Trade beans are given an ultra-light roast to preserve their utterly unique, almost spicy flavor, and it truly is like no other coffee I've tasted. Whether you're a longtime fan of light roast coffees or a dedicated dark-roast drinker interested in discovering what all the fuss is about, this coffee really demonstrates just how bold and flavorful light roasts can be. Try it this month, as it's on sale along with all of Just Coffee's incredible roasts, for just $10.99 per pound!
A beer worth trying this week is Train-Wreck amber ale for Mountain Town Brewing in Mt. Pleasant. Brewed with just a touch of Michigan maple syrup, this mellow, drinkable ale packs a lot of flavor without assaulting your tongue. Pick up a six pack this week for just $9.99 to go along perfectly with whatever you're out there grilling! (what, you're not grilling yet? the snow's gone! get to it!)
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!
- Paleo Snacks – Tuesday, May 12, 6:30-8:30pm
With Stacey Schmitzer
2014 ANNUAL REPORT
2014 - what a year! People's Food Co-op is so grateful to all of our owners, shoppers, and Kalamazoo's food community for another amazing year providing access to healthy food. Read our 2014 annual report for the low-down on the challenges and successes of the past year. Spoiler alert: PFC achieved record levels of local purchasing!
VOLUNTEER ORIENTATIONMonday, April 20, 7:30-8:30pm – 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, April 22, 8:30-9:30pm – 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 general manager, Chris Dilley.
GROW-IT-YOURSELF DAY!Saturday, April 25, 9am-4pm – People’s Food Co-op (507 Harrison St., Kalamazoo)
Join us to educate, participate, and celebrate all things home-grown. We'll have live music, free workshops, plant starts for sale, and a chance to get your hands dirty in our Willy Street garden.
Buy a whole flat of plants for a discount, and as a part of Owner Appreciation Days, Co-op Owners will get 10% off their entire plant sale!
Schedule of Events:
- Live music from Pnucklehead: 10am - noon
- Kid's writing activity with Read & Write Kalamazoo: 11am-1pm
- "Garden Anywhere" bucket gardening workshop from Community Homeworks: 1-3pm
MAY PFC BOARD MEETING
OWNER COUNT/EQUITY UPDATE
Current owner count: 2781!
New owners in 2015: 97!
Current equity invested: $423,457!
To share news or an event, please email media and communications coordinator, Chris Moore.
PIERCE CEDAR CREEK INSTITUTE: RESTORING BIODIVERSITY AT HOME – WHY YOUR GARDEN MATTERSSaturday, April 18, 11:30-2pm – Pierce Cedar Creek Institute (701 W. Cloverdale Rd., Hastings, MI 49058)
Douglas Tallamy, who will be speaking at the Institute for "Restoring Biodiversity: Why Your Garden Matters," recently wrote an op-ed article for the New York Times about the benefits of gardening with native plants and the inter-relationships between plants and animals. In his view, being a gardener is more than growing pretty plants; it's about supporting and sustaining life. Don't miss your chance to hear Tallamy speak, register today!
NICOLETTE HAHN NIMAN: DEFENDING BEEFMonday, April 27, 7pm -- Stetson Chapel (1200 Academy St, 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.
URBAN DEMOCRACY FEASTSaturday, May 2, 6pm (doors at 5:30) – Hispanic American Council (930 Lake Street, Kalamazoo)
A group of community organizations, educators and graduate students, independent media operators, urban farmers and professional cooks have started a face-to-face crowd funding process in Kalamazoo. The goal is to put together a meal every few months in order to generate funds that can kick start projects that might otherwise not get funded, or help them make a qualitative leap in their work. Groups will submit an application, and four applicants will be selected to make a five-minute presentation at the supper.
Applications in English and Spanish are available at the FEAST website, and hard copy versions at the Arcus Center, People’s Food Co-op, Kalamazoo Peace Center, Hispanic American Council, and Black Arts Cultural Center. Tickets are available online or at the door. More information at www.urbandemocracyfeast.org.
LAKE VILLAGE HOMESTEAD FARM: FARM WELLNESS DAY 5KSaturday, 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 CAMPSessions running June through August - Circle Pines Center (8650 Mullen Road, Delton)
Our 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
- 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:
- Borgess Indoor Farmer's Market, Kalamazoo – Every other Thursday, 11am-2pm
- Kalamazoo Farmers’ Market, Kalamazoo – OPENING DAY: MAY 2; Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7am-2pm (June – October) and Saturdays 7am-2pm (May – November)
- People’s Food Co-op 100-Mile Market, Kalamazoo – OPENING DAY: MAY 6; Wednesdays, 3pm-7pm (May – October)
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.