Co-op Principle #4: Autonomy and Independence


By Alexis Alexander, GreenStar Membership Manager When I think about the Seven Cooperative Principles, there’s one that I tend to forget: Principle #4, Autonomy and Independence. Maybe that’s because it’s so fundamental to the notion of cooperatives. Then again, it’s also the one I struggle to explain. So, this month, I’m taking up the challenge to share what I know about this important, yet somewhat elusive principle. The International Cooperative Alliance defines Autonomy and Independence as follows: “Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If they enter into agreements with other organizations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by their members and maintain their cooperative autonomy.” At [...]

Co-op Principle #4: Autonomy and Independence2019-06-20T09:59:03-04:00

Hill Side Farm: Local, Organically Grown Staples


By Kristie Snyder, GreenStar Staff For Surik Mehrabyan, farming is a second career — one that has allowed him to put down roots in the Ithaca area. Raised in Armenia, and with an academic background in physics, he came to Cornell in 2003 to work at the Wilson Synchrotron Lab. When the project lost funding, his family decided they weren’t going anywhere. A long-time backyard gardener, Surik joined the Groundswell Incubator Farm Program, becoming their first graduate in 2016. Now still in the process of purchasing a plot of farmland, he grows vegetables, fruits, and fruit trees at his home in Ithaca and on various small leased plots around town. Surik’s beginnings at Groundswell, before they’d installed cooler facilities, [...]

Hill Side Farm: Local, Organically Grown Staples2019-06-01T11:27:37-04:00

The Skinny on Salad Greens


By Co+op, stronger together Loose-leaf and tatsoi and butterhead — oh my! Salads today are a far cry from a simple bowl of iceberg lettuce. Whether you grow your own or pick them up at your co-op or farmers market, a myriad of salad greens make for fun and nutritious eating. Salad has long been a staple, of course. Even in ancient times, Greeks and Romans ate lettuce for a good night's sleep and made love potions using arugula and lettuce. Today, lettuce is the second most popular fresh vegetable in the United States, after potatoes, with the average American eating about 30 pounds of lettuce each year. That's five times the amount we ate in 1900. The nutrition you'll [...]

The Skinny on Salad Greens2019-05-29T10:41:49-04:00

Dancing Turtle Sprouts — Fresh, Vibrant Micro-produce


By Kristie Snyder, GreenStar Marketing Staff What’s a microfarmer? Ask Ellen Brown. She grows crops, to be sure — very, very tiny crops. A small commercial kitchen facility below her Freeville home and a modest greenhouse structure nearby provide all the space she needs to run Dancing Turtle, tending microgreens and sprouts. We all know good things come in small packages. Ellen’s crops are packed with nutrients and as fresh as can be, arriving at the Co-op having been harvested (in the case of the microgreens) mere hours before, or (in the case of the sprouts) still living and growing. “I find it very satisfying that I can produce really healthy food,” Ellen says. “It’s a pretty neat job!” [...]

Dancing Turtle Sprouts — Fresh, Vibrant Micro-produce2019-05-01T13:30:35-04:00

Farmer Ground Flour: Local, Organic Stoneground Flours and Grains


By Kristie Snyder, GreenStar Marketing Staff Wheat has been a staple food of human civilizations since before recorded history, eaten whole or ground into flour for baking an astonishing array of leavened and unleavened bread products. It remains a central part of many people’s diets — those who can’t imagine a hearty soup without a crusty bread alongside know what I’m talking about. For the past decade, Farmer Ground Flour has kept local, organic flours and grain products on Ithaca tables. Owned by Greg Russo, Neal Johnston, and Thor Oechsner, Farmer Ground Flour supplies the Co-op with a very long list (see below) of certified-organic products. Supported in its early years by two late pillars of the local, organic [...]

Farmer Ground Flour: Local, Organic Stoneground Flours and Grains2019-04-11T23:14:19-04:00

Asian Pickles from Stick and Stone’s Chaw Chang


Chaw Chang of Stick and Stone Farm recently shared with us this quick Asian pickle recipe. In his words, " you can use this recipe for anything you might want to quick pickle. Cucumbers, carrots, radishes, kohlrabi, deep-fried tofu, fishcakes, green beans, turnips, parboiled or roasted eggplant, or boiled bean sprouts (mung bean or soy). Adjust sugar:vinegar ratio depending on sweetness of vegetable." Ingredients 1-2 lbs. Asian radishes (mu, purple mu, daikon, etc.) ½ lb. carrots 6 or more cloves of garlic, 3 minced fine, 3 coarsely minced ¼- ½ cup granulated sugar ½ cup distilled or rice vinegar 1 Tbsp salt 3 Tbsp of canola oil 2 Tbsp of toasted sesame oil sprinkle of Chinese Szechuan peppercorns optional: 4 [...]

Asian Pickles from Stick and Stone’s Chaw Chang2019-02-14T13:11:28-04:00

Head + Heal: Local hemp extract produced with integrity


By Kristie Snyder, GreenStar Staff Both Allan Gandelman and Karli Miller-Hornick of Head + Heal successfully used hemp extract to regain function from debilitating illnesses — in his case, Lyme disease, in hers, anxiety and panic attacks — without the side effects of either pharmaceuticals or medical marijuana. No wonder they felt a calling to put their farming expertise to work to bring high-quality locally and organically grown hemp extract to the region. Thanks to the recent legalization of hemp in New York State, that dream has become a reality.   Allan, a co-owner of the Main Street Farms organic vegetable CSA in Cortland, and Karli, the farm’s CSA manager, formed their own company in 2017 with the intention to [...]

Head + Heal: Local hemp extract produced with integrity2019-05-17T10:19:30-04:00

The Stinky Girl Beauty Co. — Effective Natural Deodorant


By Kristie Snyder, GreenStar Marketing Staff It was while working in hot, steamy kitchens that Carly Dougherty, co-owner of Food and Ferments, discovered she couldn’t rely on any of the natural deodorants she found in stores — but she didn’t want to turn to artificial fragrances or aluminum-based antiperspirants. A friend suggested she try making her own. "I couldn't believe it worked!" Carly said. She started sharing it with friends and family, and another business was born — the Stinky Girl Beauty Co. Carly and her husband Dave mostly rely on word of mouth from devoted users to build a market for their product, but you can find Stinky Girl on the shelves of the West End store's Wellness [...]

The Stinky Girl Beauty Co. — Effective Natural Deodorant2018-11-28T12:27:15-04:00

Food and Ferments — A Twist on Local Tradition


By Kristie Snyder, GreenStar Marketing Staff Carly and Dave Dougherty have rooted their business in her family’s deep local farming tradition, and grown it from their shared love of age-old fermentation processes. Food and Ferments, based in Truxton, supplies the Co-op with a variety of health-supporting, probiotic-rich, and tasty foods. Carly and Dave met in Philadephia in food industry circles — after attending a traditional foods conference, their interest in fermented foods grew. An internship confirmed their direction. The couple launched Food and Ferments in 2013, then relocated to Carly’s family’s organic dairy farm in New York State a year later, realizing it provided a much better location for sourcing ingredients from local farms. "Fresh vegetables really make or [...]

Food and Ferments — A Twist on Local Tradition2018-11-28T12:27:51-04:00

GM Report: The Importance of Telling Our Story


By Brandon Kane, General Manager These are stressful times. Many of us are overworked and find it increasingly difficult to cover our basic living expenses without performing some form of balancing act to get us to the next paycheck. Cooperation, economic and otherwise, offers us an actual alternative to the debt-ridden isolation of conventional capitalism. All around the world, co-ops have transformed battered communities by creating a more sustainable economy financed by owner participation. The Evergreen Cooperative Initiative of Cleveland, OH is an inspiring example of building community wealth in a post-industrial America. We have more options than ever before in regard to where we purchase our food. Competitors are everywhere, from brick-and-mortar stores to online meal delivery services. If [...]

GM Report: The Importance of Telling Our Story2018-11-05T12:36:23-04:00
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