I’m not sure if anyone reads this, but if you do, thank you for not complaining when I haven’t posted here for the past 3 months. I have been kicking myself for that. As I tried to think of something to post and the time to do it, I started thinking about all the “cool” things that the Co-op has been doing and wondered why more members are not taking advantage. We have been signing up lots of new members lately and some of them are not actively involved. So I thought I would try and make a few posts on those things we do, and see if it will encourage more involvement or more “cool things” getting started.
The main “cool thing” that is going on now is the Farmers Markets. The Co-op is participating in the Wednesday afternoon/evening market sponsored by the CCFA (www.ccfa.coop) and the Saturday morning market next to the library and arts center (www.canoncityfarmersmarket.com). We currently have some women volunteering (Cori on Wednesdays and Sandy on Saturdays) to be there every week and bring things to sell, but not enough other volunteers to help with the sales, and visiting with prospective members that also goes on at the market. Any member is welcome to sell their own products. You can bring in your extra garden produce (zucchini anyone?), flower bouquets, plants, crafts, anything handmade, or just bring your business cards to leave on the table. Cori sells her goat’s milk lotions and soaps, Sandy sells the extra produce from her garden (currently raspberries and tomatoes) and Donia sells her herbs, herbal soaks, dream pillows and hearbal heating pads. What do you have to sell? Come and work (or visit) with us for just an hour or two. We have lots of fun and are always meeting new people. And the produce that doesn’t sell at the end of the day, you can take home.
Along with the farmers markets goes the greenhouse. The Fuselier’s were generous enough to let us use their greenhouse and we are getting better every year at keeping the plants alive. We are currently harvesting lots of chard and kale, along with some beans, cucumbers, squash, tomatoes, peppers, turnips, beets and herbs. Any member is welcome to join in and plant seeds or starts, and help with weeding and harvesting. If we are successful in our vision, we will have fresh greens available for our members all during the winter. We had a community garden on our vision board when we started, but this greenhouse could turn into something bigger and better with everyone’s help.
Corky has been working on the greenhouse keeping the automatic watering system going and doing repairs on the swamp cooler and automatic vents and fans. He has some other ideas to help with keeping it running and growing. He goes over there and catches grashoppers for his fishing trips and just spends time in the peaceful lush environment. It is especially peaceful and warm and inviting during the winter. Volunteers are still needed to pick on Saturday mornings to help supply the market with produce. If you would like to help, let us know.
I have been reading books on eating local and the “100 mile diet” and I realize that it is difficult to get everything we use in the kitchen locally, but when we have this opportunity to grow our own and know that it is organic and local, how can we not take advantage of this. We need to support the local economy and keep our neighbors in business. Buy at the local farmers markets, buy Colorado, buy Made in the USA, stop supporting fuel based big business and learn to eat what’s in season and what is grown locally. I recently made a trip to Oregon and was amazed to see menus in most restaurants serving local, organic and natural dishes–you don’t even have to ask there–it is just assumed that the patrons care what they are eating.
Come join the Co-op and help us do more “cool things.” What would you like to see in our community? Come to a meeting and let us know. I will be blogging about some of the other “cool things” the Co-op does on here such as educational classes, Co-op lending library, lending tool library and bulk/wholesale buying. By the way, if anyone is going to the western slope and would like to bring back some organic fruit for our members, let us know. And until next time “Grow Your Local Community!”