Kids Craft: Felting

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This morning our Co-op Kids group had a great time making their own felt. We are blessed in Moscow to have a great yarn/thread/wool store called Yarn Underground that we purchased dyed wool roving from. This is a great activity for little ones, as it teaches them the process of turning soft wool into a small piece of fabric. It’s a colorful, tactile activity that will hold their attention!
To make felt you will need:
wool roving
liquid dish soap
water
plastic sandwich bags (if containing the mess is a concern)
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First, fill a bowl with very warm water and a squirt of liquid dish soap. To get started, pull small off pieces of roving and separate the fibers into a thin layer. Take another piece, separate it and place it over your first piece, layering the fibers in opposite directions. Make 4-5 layers. Place layers of roving into a sandwich and pour a small amount of soapy water into the bag. (If you are working outside or getting a little wet and soapy doesn’t sound so bad, omit the sandwich bag, dunk roving into soapy water and start agitating it.)
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Make sure all of the air is pressed out of the bag before you seal it up and begin agitating the bag with your hands, pushing the fibers into each other. Once the fibers are integrated and the felt has formed into a stiffer piece of fabric, rinse it with cold, clean water and let dry. You can then cut the piece into any shape you want. This method is also great for making felt beads that kids can turn into earrings and necklaces.
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Beet Read: Cows Save The Planet

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Can Cows Save the Planet?
By Rachel Caudill, Good Food Book Club Volunteer Coordinator

 Join us in reading the April Co-op Good Food Book Club book, Cows Save the Planet: And Other Improbable Ways of Restoring Soil to Heal the Earth (2013) by Judith D. Schwartz. The Book Club will meet Sunday, April 27, from6:00-7:30 at a member’s private residence to discuss Cows Save the Planet. Email bookclub@moscowfood.coop for more information and directions.

 “You might ask what dirt has to do with global warming. In reading this astounding book we will learn how to unmake deserts, rethink the causes of climate change, bring back biodiversity, and restore nutrients to our food. In other words, how to staunch and heal the great wound we have inflicted on our planet.”  So says renowned ecologist and writer Gretel Ehrlich in the Foreword to this month’s remarkable book, chosen in honor of Earth Day and this month’s theme.

 As we’ve seen with many of the books in our Good Food Book Club, our food choices are now profoundly intertwined with global planetary health. From industrial farming, to GMOs, to soil erosion, to colossal food waste and landfill excesses, to mass extinction and wholesale destruction of fisheries and ocean health, to climate chaos itself, our global human population and the way we eat has impacted every facet of the Earth’s resilience. What if there was a silver bullet… What if there already exists an overall approach with a suite of strategies that could quickly, cheaply, and massively restore Earth’s food systems (and climate!) to a thriving, healthy stable state?  Would you believe such a thing possible? Even better, could it be as simple as grazing happy cows?

 Come find out as we read this month’s ground-breaking book and learn for ourselves the pivotal role that soil health has in supporting not only healthy food for our global population, but also to curbing—and even solving—the climate crisis.  You can get a taste of the astonishing paradigm reported in this book by watching Alan Savory’s pivotal TED talk, “How to Fight Desertification and Reverse Global Warming.” Savory, of course, is featured in Schwartz’s book.

 As Ehrlich writes, “Widen your mind with a holistic approach to the extinction cliff… Judith Schwartz’s book gives us not just hope but also a sense that we humans—serial destroyers that we are—can actually turn the climate crisis around. This amazing book, wide-reaching in its research, offers nothing less than solutions for healing the planet.”

 Please join us to discuss Cows Save the Planet: And Other Improbable Ways of Restoring Soil to Heal the Earth (2013) by Judith D. Schwartz Sunday, April 27 from 6:00-7:30 pm. Remember to email bookclub@moscowfood.coop for the meeting location and directions and/or to receive email reminders about the Good Food Book Club. Cows Save the Planet by Judith D. Schwartz is available through your local library.  If you are interested in buying the book, check out the area’s local used book stores or visit Book People of Moscow where Book Club members receive a discount. For more information about the Good Food Book Club, check out the Outreach section of the Co-op website at www.moscowfood.coop.

B the Change with B-Corps

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The Moscow Food Co-op is very excited to be part of the B Lab’s “B the Change” campaign. Certified B Corporations are leading a global movement to redefine success in business as not only being the best in the world, but the best for the world. B Corps are new and existing businesses that are certified by the nonprofit B Lab as meeting rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. B Lab is a nonprofit that conducts third party evaluations of business practices. They use a customizable platform for benchmarking, measuring and reporting on business impacts and host the world’s largest database of verified social and environmental performance data for private companies. An analogy that has been used actively during the campaign is that B Corp certification is to sustainable businesses as LEED certification is to green buildings or Fair Trade certification is to coffee.
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Today, there is a growing community of more than 900 Certified B Corporations from 32 countries and 60 industries that have signed the B Corp “Declaration of Interdependence” which states:

“We envision a new sector of the economy which harnesses the power of private enterprise to create public benefit. This sector is comprised of a new type of corporation—the B Corporation—which is purpose-driven, and creates benefit for all stakeholders, not just shareholders. As members of this emerging sector and as entrepreneurs and investors in B Corporations, we hold these truths to be self-evident: That we must be the change we seek in the world. That all business ought to be conducted as if people and place mattered. That, through their products, practices, and profits, businesses should aspire to do no harm and benefit all. To do so, requires that we act with the understanding that we are each dependent upon another and thus responsible for each other and future generations.”

In addition to providing a certification that labels businesses as socially and environmentally responsible (B Corp certification), the B the Change campaign has helped pass legislation in 19 states and Washington D.C. that creates a new form of corporation, the “benefit corporation.” These entities operate in the same way as traditional corporations but with legal protection to pursue purposes other than profit. According to the B Lab founders, marketers use terms like green, responsible, sustainable and even local, yet there are no standards to back up the claims. Although there exists an increasing number of narrow product or practice specific standards (e.g. “Organic”, “Fair Trade,” “Energy Star”, “LEED”, etc.), there are fewer standards outside of the B Corporation certification that provide a comprehensive understanding of a company’s performance as a whole. This makes it difficult for a consumer to tell the difference between a ‘good company’ and just good marketing.
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The B the Change campaign aims to make it easier for consumers and investors to support businesses that truly align with their personal beliefs by providing a reliable certification logo to look for as well as a searchable database of all existing certified B Corp businesses.

You will soon find posters around the store with the certified B Corp logo and the campaign slogans. In order to help our customers identify brands we carry that are currently B Corp certified, you will also find tags with the logo next to certified products. If you are interested in learning more or joining the campaign on a personal or business level, please visit www.bthechange.com.

This article was written by Misty Amarena, Outreach + Education Coordinator, and was originally featured in the April issue of Community News.

Meet the Makers: Nutritive Body Care

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The Co-op is excited to introduce a new skin care line- made right here in Moscow! Nutritive Body Care is handmade in small batches by Kristy Bonner using the best ingredients around. After a conversation with her mother about her frustration trying to find products for her maturing skin, Kristy decided it was up to her to make a natural, organic product line that led to healthier, younger looking skin.
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Kristy developed Nutritive Body Care, not only to make a safe skincare line for her family, but also to avoid the toxins and synthetic hormones that are in most conventional beauty products today. Kristy has been learning about natural, raw and organic ingredients for close to ten years and it is this knowledge that has led to creating products for her daughter’s eczema, natural salt toothpastes and face and body creams.
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“I have plans for a sunscreen/insect repellent lotion for this spring, maybe some lip balm, deodorant, and a rash/bite/scrape ointment,” says Kristy. Her latest ingredient obsession is red raspberry seed oil due to its significant content of nutritive components including essential fatty acids and antioxidants. Look for her expanding line of products in the Co-op’s Wellness Department!

Meet The Makers: Landgrove Coffee

 We are so lucky to have such passionate and talented local producers in our area and we’re thrilled to bring you profiles on them in our new series called “Meet the Makers”. Landgrove Coffee is roasted in Troy, ID by Hannah and Jon Binninger. Since 1998 they have been roasting the finest beans from Kenya, Ethiopia and Indonesia with a focus on sustainability.

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Landgrove is a family operation. Here are Hannah and Jon with their two kiddos, Flora and Clem (not quite coffee drinkers… yet.).

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Hannah says that one of the most important things they do is “making people aware that a good cup of coffee means something.”

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To learn more about the Binningers and Landgrove Coffee visit www.landgrovecoffee.com or come in to the Co-op and sample a cup in our deli.

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How To: Throw a Co-op Birthday Party!

Our Co-op Kids program turned 8 years old last week (that’s eight years of positive programming for the kiddos in our Co-op community), so of course we had to celebrate! Here are some photos from the birthday party, along with some tips for throwing your own little ones a birthday party- Co-op style.
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We know that there are a variety of dietary issues facing our little ones nowadays, so we offered a vegan chocolate cake and gluten-free vanilla cupcakes. It’s always good to check with other parents to find out if their kids have any allergies or food sensitivities. It’s really nice for children with dietary restrictions to feel like they can participate in the fun at a birthday party. Look for the recipes we used at the bottom of this post!

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While it’s easy to spend a ton on birthday parties, we like to recycle items we already have, like newspaper to make birthday hats and colorful paper to make decorations. For these goody bags, we used sample sizes of kid-friendly snacks, little puzzles, some temporary tattoos and plantable seed paper.

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We also made sure we had a special drink station for the grown-ups with coffee, tea and hot chocolate. We used a chalk runner to write a message, but you could also run this down the middle of the kids’ table and let them draw as part of the festivities.

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Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe:
1 1/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt, until well combined. Add the water, vanilla, oil, and vinegar, and mix again so that it’s really well combined. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides if necessary. Line the bottom of a cake pan with parchment paper and pour batter into pan. Place in oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean. Cool on a rack completely. To make a layer cake, double the recipe and bake in two separate cake pans.

Gluten-free Vanilla Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour blend, like Bob’s Red Mill
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1 large egg
3/4 cup almond, soy or cow’s milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners. Combine the flour mix, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt in a medium mixing bowl and whisk. In another mixing bowl whisk together the sugars with the egg, milk, vanilla and oil. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and whisk until smooth and it starts to thicken slightly. Be careful not to over mix the batter or cupcakes will become dense. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin tins and bake for 18 – 22 minutes or until they are golden brown and the tops spring back slightly. Makes 12 cupcakes.

Democracy in Action: 3 Days Left to Vote!

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One of the greatest things about a cooperative business model is the democratic process for deciding who will create and guide the policies that make us successful. We know our owners and community members care about their Co-op and the direction we’re headed and that casting a vote for the Board of Directors  is really important.

Co-op Board of Directors 2014 elections are March 1-7. Vote in the store anytime from 7am-9pm March 1-6 and 7am-5pm March 7. The ballots will be counted the evening of March 7 and the results will be posted in the store and on our website. For more information about the candidates, how to vote and the Board’s impact on our store click here.

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Democracy In Action: VOTE!

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One of the greatest things about a cooperative business model is the democratic process for deciding who will create and guide the policies that make us successful. We know our owners and community members care about their Co-op and the direction we’re headed and that casting a vote for the Board of Directors  is really important.

Co-op Board of Directors 2014 elections are March 1-7. Vote in the store anytime from 7am-9pm March 1-6 and 7am-5pm March 7. The ballots will be counted the evening of March 7 and the results will be posted in the store and on our website. For more information about the candidates, how to vote and the Board’s impact on our store click here.

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Beet Read: Cooked: Transform Your Life and the World, By Michael Pollan

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Oprah’s got a book club, Gwyneth Paltrow’s got a book club… and so does the Moscow Food Co-op! The Good Food Book Club to be exact.  Coordinated by fabulous Participating Owner, Rachel Caudill, this book club is sure to offer something for the health, eco and community minded reader. All book club selections can be purchased at BookPeople of Moscow, 521 South Main Street and are discounted for book club members.

In keeping with January’s theme around the Co-op of “Fresh Starts”, Rachel chose Cooked: Transform Your Life and the World, written by Michael Pollan, to kick off 2014. You can read Rachel’s review of Pollan’s book after the jump.

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Stocking Stuffers: For the Soap Lover

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For the person in your life who lives to lather, we carry two lines of local soaps that are sure to please. Meadowlark Heritage Farm uses milk from their own goats to make bars of soap that smell delightful and are amazingly moisturizing.  Goat’s milk soap is great for sensitive skin and contains alpha hydroxy acids which aid in removing dead skin cells.  To learn more about Meadowlark Heritage Farm and the goats they call family visit www.meadowlarkheritagefarm.com. All Meadowlark Heritage farm soap bars are $5.99.

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Another great line of local soaps we carry is from Orchard Farm.  They are dedicated to using organic and fair trade ingredients and they use their own unique blends of essential oils and 100% botanical infusions. They also make lip balms, hand salves, candles and more.  Orchard Farm soap bars are $4.99 each and the soap balls (pictured above) are $3.50 each. To learn more about Orchard Farm visit www.orchardfarmsoap.com.