Transition Whatcom

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Community Food Co-op

A page for dialogue, visions and ideas for how the Co-op can best serve the community as part of the Transition movement. This page is overseen by the Member Affairs Committee (MAC).

Website: http://communityfood.coop
Members: 32
Latest Activity: Jan 6, 2014

Discussion Forum

Bellingham Cohousing rental opportunity!

Started by Kelsie Mullin Jan 6, 2014. 0 Replies

Come share a two bedroom two story home in Bellingham Co-housing, a lovely intentional community for anyone looking to experience a more sustainable and connected lifestyle.…Continue

Supporting Local Growers & Local Shoppers by Bolder Labeling of fresh Vegies, Fruits, Dairy & Grains Next to Price on Coop Shelves.

Started by Heather K. Last reply by Jade Vantreese Oct 26, 2010. 3 Replies

 When I went to the coop last week to choose a local dairy for a bit of cheese & yogart, I was surprised to see how much time it took me to open the cooler and take out each product and read the…Continue

Tags: buying, farmers, growers, shopping, logo

Herbicide tainted manure and compost used for organic farming

Started by Angela MacLeod. Last reply by Walter Haugen Aug 11, 2010. 5 Replies

The Herald recently reported on the local use of a new herbicide being used on crops which passes through dairy cattle and stays viable in their manure. A lot of this dairy manure is used in organic…Continue

Comment Wall

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Comment by Angela MacLeod on September 30, 2010 at 10:04pm
Thanks, Megan and Laura. That is helpful. Especially distinguishing between in-store operational stuff from broader and new directions/projects.

I just thought of something that might fit here....In the event of access to trucked in foods being interrupted (whether it be natural disaster, fuel shortage or other causes), how could the Co-op be a hub or a facilitator of local food security?
Comment by Megan Westgate on September 30, 2010 at 9:41pm
Hi Angela,

Yes, the post about herbicide is definitely relevant. I believe Co-op staff already have articles planned for the newsletter (there may even be info in the October edition). I will also pass along your ideas about having a class on the subject (again, staff may already have this planned, but I'm not sure--suggestions for classes can also be made using the online comment system). Noah and I have 22 yards of contaminated compost on our land, so I am keenly aware of what a major issue this is!

Regarding big picture visioning, the post Laura just made is a good example. Rather than making requests about specific things that are directly in the hands of Co-op managers (e.g. what kinds of products to carry, etc.), we're looking for more open-ended ideas that will be fruitful to collectively discuss and consider. Ideas like what Laura posted can be discussed at MAC meetings, commented on here, and evolve over time as part of the Co-op's vision.

To be completely honest, I myself am often challenged by understanding how to separate operational issues from governance issues, and appreciate that it can be a blurry line, but I think we are starting to move in the right direction on this page!
Comment by Laura J Sellens on September 30, 2010 at 9:18pm
Hi Megan, I too would appreciate an example of what kind of thinking you're looking for. And, if you can, please be patient with us. We are a big group thinking big thoughts, and lots of them. I really appreciate this opportunity to coordinate our efforts. Thanks for reaching out.

I have two ideas that may relate:
What about the idea of a county-wide delivery system for large-ish orders (smaller than $500, which is the minimum to get the distributor to deliver to you)? I'm thinking of the miles we could collectively save if single-family members didn't have to drive in from Maple Falls, Blaine, etc for their weekly shopping. Perhaps if they had their major shopping delivered they would be less likely to rationalize driving into town for minor shopping as well.

Also, the personal finance workgroup has been exploring options for creating a local, resilience-oriented investment network. I've got no details for you (yet), but perhaps we could find common ground here? Obviously food and farming would be things our members would like to support, but from our perspective anything else that fosters local economy and resilience (alternative energy, sustainable transport, local textiles, anything) would be of interest. I can see potential for the Co-op to be helpful in attracting investment opportunities as well as investors, educating the public about supporting sustainability and keeping money circulating locally, and publicity.

Is this helpful?
Comment by Angela MacLeod on September 29, 2010 at 3:10pm
Megan, can you give some examples of what you mean by big picture thinking and long-term visioning?

I believe that the post about the problem with the herbicide and it's effect on our local farmers, local produce and commercial compost products for gardeners is a big picture issue that the Co-op could be more involved in. Could the Co-op be offering education for members on the topic and any ways we can be helping our farmers, some thing in the newsletter?....what could be more important? This issue in particular is likely to be a long term problem affecting local food security.
Comment by Megan Westgate on September 29, 2010 at 2:27pm
Hi Everyone,
I'd like to offer a clarification regarding the role of the Member Affairs Committee, and the purpose of this page. We are a GOVERNANCE body for the Co-op, meaning we help with big picture thinking and long-term visioning. Almost all of the comments posted here are related to OPERATIONS. It's important for the health and functionality of the Co-op that MAC and the Board don't "micro-manage," so therefore this page isn't the best place to post comments or suggestions relating to specific operational requests/day-to-day details. That said, Co-op managers (who are in charge of many of the things commented on here) DO want your feedback! In order to make sure it gets to them, please use the Co-op's comment system. It's online at http://www.communityfood.coop/about/comment.asp and you can also submit comments at the customer service desk in either store. There are a lot of great ideas here, and we want to make sure they get to the right place! Again, this page is monitored by MAC, not by Co-op staff, and is a place for big-picture visioning. If this distinction proves too confusing, we may discontinue the page. We want to make sure your wonderful comments are in the right place so that they can be responded to appropriately. Thank you!
Comment by Heather K on September 29, 2010 at 2:04pm
We have not yet heard back from anyone in the coops members affairs committee who started this group back in July.
Many of us have been encouraging the coop to have a more abundant & visible presence of locally or regionally grown produce, grain/beans, dairy, etc. (See discussion above in this group- http://transitionwhatcom.ning.com/group/communityfoodcoop/forum/top...).

Yesterday i went to the coop for some of those canning jars Walter mentioned. I also went to the speciallty cheese section and again at first glance could not tell what was local and what was imported.
I looked around the shelves at the store and noticed that the labeling for items on sale (yellow), or organic (green) had very large and visible shelf tags, but this was not done for any of the items our local farmers had grown.
I then took time to write on a comment sheet while there, and requested that a response be made on this online group.

I'm willing to work together with others who would like assist in having the coop make their local/regional edible foods more abundant and easier for the shopper to locate. (their current 'local roots' label is very difficult to see or identify as it is very small and dark in color).
(cheers to the staff working there who are excellent and very helpful when asked about finding local products!)

It would be helpful to have posted on this group a list of the current board members, and a list of the members on the Membership Committee.

Re - Comment by Megan Westgate on July 30, 2010 at 2:16pm This group was created by the Co-op’s Member Affairs Committee (MAC), inspired by our desire to expand connection between the Co-op and Transition Whatcom. What are your visions and ideas for how the Co-op can best serve the community as part of the transition movement? This is a place for big-picture conversations and visioning, and will be monitored by Board members rather than staff. We look forward to your suggestions on how the amazing community resource that is the Co-op can continue to play a vital role in our sustainable future!
Comment by Kimberly Lauzon on September 24, 2010 at 11:51am
I love your ideas Peter! I am working on starting a local food co-op in my city (I live in Canada) and I think the canning and preserving workshops are essential for people who want to take advantage of buying in bulk.
Comment by Charles Kelm on September 5, 2010 at 1:11am
I agree with you Peter. I spend most of my money at the co-op on bulk items, especially special orders with large amounts (150 pounds of wheat, etc.)
Comment by Peter Holcomb on August 7, 2010 at 2:51pm
I think the coop idea can be very helpful. First it needs to forget about being another big yuppie super store and concentrate on bulk buying with lots of barrels from which customers can fill our own containers. The food coop could serve better if it had supplies and classes in food preservation for whatever is in season at the moment, including canning fish ahead of a run (or smoking it). I understand why organic food is sometimes more expensive, but the food coop should be underselling canning jars and lids that promote sustainability.
Comment by Megan Westgate on July 30, 2010 at 2:16pm
This group was created by the Co-op’s Member Affairs Committee (MAC), inspired by our desire to expand connection between the Co-op and Transition Whatcom. What are your visions and ideas for how the Co-op can best serve the community as part of the transition movement? This is a place for big-picture conversations and visioning, and will be monitored by Board members rather than staff. We look forward to your suggestions on how the amazing community resource that is the Co-op can continue to play a vital role in our sustainable future!
 

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