We’re going to be uprooted and relocate to our new address within the next day or so. The content will remain the same, however, the interface may take a little getting used to.
Also, for those of you reading us via RSS, fear not, we’ve created a feed using Yahoo! Pipes. The lack of an RSS feed was originally our biggest concern when talking about a new address, but now that it’s fixed, we can join the rest of the FG/CH Co-op on the new site. See you there!
Also, don’t forget about the General Meeting this Tuesday, May 20 at 7 p.m. at the Cadman Memorial Church on 350 Clinton Ave.
Another upcoming topic at Tuesday’s General Meeting is rumored to be a new website. Supposedly, the kinks are being worked out to unveil it to meeting attendees at Cadman Church. This site, as discussed at last week’s All-Committee Meeting, will complement the Google groups and introduce the first central location — online or otherwise — for our budding co-op. We’d like to take a quick second to salute the IT Committee for all their work on the new site*! We’re certainly excited about the possibilities!
The blog will continue in its current incarnation until we are able to solve our RSS issues with the new site, so continue to check here often. It’s been great to see so many new visitors this week! Also a reminder, don’t be shy, feel free to drop a line in the comments!
* This wasn’t a slight against the other committees in any way, as all continue to do stellar work towards making our vision of a local food co-op come to life. For those on other committees, make sure to drop us an email about what’s going on in your committee and we’ll be happy to put up a post to let readers know about your progress!
We had discussed punch lists for all the committees at (fittingly) the All-Committee Meeting a week ago today. The idea behind it was that we need to create a way to mark progress for each committee. Currently, we’ve been working with intangibles. If we write down what needs to be done and by when, the general feeling is that we’ll be able to make more progress while visibly recording our progress.
On this past Monday, the Steering Committee met and began to develop punch lists by committee for items that need to be addressed at upcoming General Meetings. Mostly, these lists call for votes on specific actions. This topic will certainly be a prominent one at the upcoming General Meeting on May 20th from 7-9 p.m. at Cadman Memorial Church on 350 Clinton Ave.
As most of you know, the Park Slope Food Co-op (PSFC) is, in a way, our model for building a food co-op. Since its humble beginnings in the 70s, the PSFC has grown into one of the most successful co-ops in the country. We’ve had the fantastic opportunity to listen to Joe Holtz speak at our General Meeting during which he imparted some wisdom he’s gained since going on board with the PSFC. What’s more, we have been privy to much of the inner workings of the PSFC, in thanks to Joe.
Interestingly, the nation’s paper of record had an article about an interesting debate over on Union St. Recently, the PSFC voted to stop selling bottled water. The ban on bottled water is a result of a two-year debate, but certainly will not end the debate. The reason for the embargo on bottled H2O is the environmental cost of plastic bottles.
An argument against the ban was that members should have the opportunity to buy bottled water and should be able to make the environmental decision on their own.
“I just feel that taking bottled water away from consumers is forcing an agenda on people,” Yachet Lebovits wrote in a letter. “Don’t demand totality in a world where it doesn’t exist.”
The debate brings up an interesting point which must be addressed by our potential members. Where do we prioritize environmental cost when ordering our merchandise? This topic came up briefly in one of the first few General Meetings when someone made the point that we should look to buy organic food, but it is more important that we buy non-organic food from New Jersey than organic food from California.
The key takeaway from this lesson, we suppose, is that balancing members’ priorities will continually be a balance. What similar issues do you foresee as we move forward? Where do you stand on the bottled water debate*? Tell us in the comments!
* As a quick aside, does anyone think that Mr. Holtz and his fellow founding members of the PSFC could ever imagine a debate over bottled water 35 years ago? We here at the blog wish we were the bright individual who realized people would drink what is essentially tap water bottled in plastic!
One reason, we’re sure, many people have become involved or expressed interest in our neighborhood endeavor is the cost of food. Recently, with the oil crises as well as rising demand the world ’round, many of us have begun to experience sticker shock at the supermarket checkout counter.
Collectively, we hope to provide the Fort Greene and Clinton Hill residents with a less expensive option for filling their cabinets – and their stomachs, which is ultimately more satisfying – with high quality food.
The most recent issue of TIME magazine takes a look at the factors which are causing money to disappear from our wallets more quickly than we’d like. On the second page is a disturbing graphic about how much prices have risen on some staples and more common purchases.
So, tell us, what do you think is the greatest factor in rising food prices? Have you seen your food bill increase in recent times? What is the most efficient way to bring prices down a bit? What can a potential food co-op do to provide some relief? Tell us in the comments!
In what will hopefully become a regular feature, we here at the CH/FG Food Co-op Blog (whew! we’re going to need a shorter moniker) will look to highlight some co-op and general food news from around the country. It will hopefully give a glimpse into the world of other co-ops and maybe shine some light on some best practices or issues other groups are facing.
• Just Local Food, a food co-op in Eau Claire, Wisc., has recently been the recipient of some fantastic fundraising from a group of local students, an anonymous 98-year-old customer, farmers and other locals. (The Leader Telegram).
• A Park Slope Food Co-op patron made a seemingly unlikely connection with a fellow customer. (Ask Rotoman).
• A patron of a Greensboro, N.C. food co-op details the revelation she made during her shift at Deep Roots Market.
• The New Zealand Herald explores ways to spend less on a family’s grocery bill. One of the suggestions is to seek out a local food co-op. (New Zealand Herald).
• A large co-op in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada hit record sales in 2007 (The Moose Jaw Times).
As a reminder, we always need your help with the blog! If you have any links you want included in the roundup or anything else you’d like covered, give us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Though activity has been slow on the blog, check back next week as we work to update our little corner of the internet more often with information on the development of the Clinton Hill/Fort Greene Food Co-op, as well as news from other co-ops and food in general!
Come to Cadman Memorial Church (Lafayette Avenue between Clinton and Vanderbilt) on Tuesday, April 15th at 7pm for an informational meeting about the Clinton Hill/Fort Greene Food Coop. Learn about what we’ve accomplished so far and find out how you can help get this food coop up and running. This short meeting will give you a chance to meet all of the dedicated people who are motivated to make this coop a reality.
[Download a PDF version of the meetings here.]
Fort Greene/Clinton Hill Food Coop General Meeting
Monday, March 31
Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church
85 South Oxford
GENERAL MEETING MINUTES
Facilitator: Erin (Merchandise and Steering Committee)
Secretary: Veronica (Governance and Outreach Committee)
Start time: 7:05pm called into order by Erin
-Erin welcomed all attendees, appox 50-60 people, and to show a raise of hands for first time attendees and who were on committees
-appox. 1/4th of meeting were first time attendees
-appox. 1/2th of attendees were on a committee
-Erin introduced meeting
- there is lots of interest for this new coop, meetings since January, over 250 people have filled out food survey, over 500 people have signed petition, introduced DK (SC) and Kathryn (SC, OC, FS) as the cooker uppers for this new coop
- each committee explained and formed quickly
- trying something new in this meeting in contrast from last meetings by be able to vote on some agenda items and be involved
- assuming for today’s meeting that everyone here is a member
- introduced that we would be talking about meeting structure (talk and vote) and principles of this new coop
-Erin explained the roles of the proposed facilitator and secretary roles
-these roles were chosen beforehand for this meeting
-any objections to Erin and Veronica holding their respective roles?
Presentation of Main Agenda and Pending Agenda Queue
-Erin discussed how in the future the agenda items will be available with ample time before GM