Six Hidden Reasons To Join A Food Coop

By Susan McBrine

When considering joining a Food Cooperative (Coop), the obvious reasons come to mind: fresh, direct-from-the-farm produce that is bursting with the season’s goodness. But there are other “hidden” advantages to joining. The following are just a few reasons you may not have considered!

1. The Food Coop Workout
Anyone who has ever volunteered to work a Coop will tell you to show up with sleeves rolled and your good shoes at home. You will spend your time lifting, stretching, pulling, dragging and lugging crates, sacks, and boxes in all sorts of weather conditions. Erecting and collapsing those tents beats any 20-minute workout! You emerge, sore but victorious, knowing that you’ve “done your bit”.

2. Sharpening Your Math Skills
Quick! How many ounces in “two pounds, four ounces of carefully weighed heirloom tomatoes”? How many tomatoes make two pounds? How do I balance this scale? How many people are waiting behind me while I try to do the math? Continue reading

It’s Time for Callaloo!

It’s not just fun to say, Callaloo is a leafy green, mineral rich staple in the Carribean diet. While there are many variations from region to region, the ingredients always contain a big leafy green similar in appearance to Kale, onions, scallions, and coconut milk. The ‘name’ of the vegetable is sometimes itself referred to as Callaloo but can be amaranth or taro.Try this variation below for a delicious Jamaican style Callaloo. If you already used up the callaloo, you can substitute greens, like sweet potato or “Asian cooking greens”, in this recipe. Continue reading

Grilled Zucchini and Leeks with Walnuts

This leek-heavy recipe is straight from the Bon Appetit website. The perfectly paired portions, grilled enough to soften the veg without completely turning it all to mush, tastes to me exactly like late summer should. Topped off with walnuts it leans into September taking with it the last remains of summer squash. Take a dive into leeks as a prominent flavor and see what you’ve been missing.

Ingredients
1/3 cup walnuts (easily omitted for non-nut consumers)
1 garlic clove, grated
2 tbsps fresh lemon juice
5 tbsps olive oil, divided
2 large leeks, white and pale-green parts only, halved lengthwise with root still attached
2 zucchini, halved lengthwise
1/2 cup fresh parsley with tough stems removed
salt & pepper to taste
Directions
Heat grill to medium-high heat. Toast walnuts in a dry small skillet over medium heat, tossing until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Coarsely chop toasted walnut and toss with garlic, lemon juice, and 3 tbsp oil in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper.

Brush leeks and zucchini with remaining 2 tbsp oil; season with salt and pepper. Grill vegetables, turning frequently, until tender and charred in spots 5 – 8 minutes for leeks, 8 – 10 minutes for zucchini.

Transfer vegetables to a cutting board. Trim roots from leeks and cut zucchini into bite-size pieces. Add vegetables and parsley to bowl with walnuts and toss to combine. Season with more lemon juice, salt and pepper if desired. Enjoy immediately.