Hillberry: A Family Blueberry Farm Is Born

By Kristie Snyder,

GreenLeaf Editor

hillberry-smFor Pat Hickey and Karin Dahlander of Hillberry, farming is a family affair. The couple owns a young blueberry farm perched on a beautiful hillside in Berkshire, running it with the help of their parents, children, and friends. This year, for the first time, they are marketing their fresh blueberries in GreenStar's Produce Department.

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Living with Our Living Wage

Friday, 01 August 2014 16:39

By Brandon Kane, General Manager,
Michael Hoysic, Human Resources Manager, and
Dan Hoffman, 
Council Member

brandon kaneThis year marks GreenStar's tenth anniversary of paying a living wage to our employees. Back in January 2004, a GreenLeaf article reported that "GreenStar has become the first retail business of our size in the Ithaca area, and perhaps in New York State, to commit to paying its employees at least a livable wage. We are pleased to announce that, starting in January, our Level 1 entry wage will be $8.21 per hour. That is a 17 percent increase from our 2003 starting wage of $7.00." The state and federal minimum wage was $5.15 at that time.

During these ten years, GreenStar has increased its base wage to match an updated living wage figure every other year, in even numbered years. In 2014, we implemented our latest wage increase, bringing our entry level wage to $11.80/hour, a 44 percent increase from that first living wage in 2004. The state and federal minimum wage today is $7.25.

GreenStar has always been a local leader in the living wage struggle, but now the Co-op suddenly finds itself involved in a debate over what exactly constitutes a living wage.

Read more: Living with Our Living Wage

GreenStar Community Projects Receives $20K Grant

Friday, 01 August 2014 17:20

By Holly Payne, 

GreenStar Community Projects Coordinator

GSCP logo 435What can a very small non-profit do to address the looming problem of food injustice, in which the current industrialized food system disempowers people — especially those living in poverty — from regularly accessing healthy food grown nearby? GreenStar Community Projects is a small organization with modest means, but it is strategically positioned within a cooperative framework to connect players to the emerging sustainable food system, with the goal of making healthy food accessible to all.

GreenStar Community Projects (GSCP) has just received $20,000 — its largest ever grant — from the Park Foundation to help bring food justice to Tompkins County. We are grateful for this vote of confidence! GSCP will use the money to strategically link diverse players across mainstream boundaries of race and class and across professional sectors, empowering everyone interested to participate in the emerging sustainable food system.

In 2012 and 2013, with start-up support from the Park Foundation, GSCP initiated the work of linking players together by holding regular networking sessions — free and open to all — to strengthen voices less heard and build collaborative efforts for a fair, sustainable food system. Requests for many more sessions have catalyzed continued networking. This year GSCP has already held three sessions, each addressing a different component of the food system: a "Communications Action" session was held in February; a "Business to Business Action" session was held in April; and a "Food Policy Action" session was held in June.

Read more: GreenStar Community Projects Receives $20K Grant

 

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  • By Joe Damiano,
    Bulk Department Manager

    Peanut plant NSRWDid you know we make granola right in our new GreenStar kitchen? We do, and it's available here in the Bulk Department.

    Have you ever tried GreenStar's own Oasis Maple Nut Granola? Baked in small batches in our new kitchen then stocked fresh in Bulk at both stores, it's fast becoming a favorite of Ithaca's granola crowd. I'm betting it'll satiate your taste buds...

    Read more...
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