Week of Oct. 28 – Nov. 3, 2007, Vol. 3, No.1

Edited and Compiled for you, by the Rising Tide Collective

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Openings “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” - Mahatma Gandhi nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/articles/gandhi/index.html  Openings is a weekly feature of Co-op Circles. Send your favourite quote about celebrating co-operatives, communities and a better world for all, to News1@nbnet.nb.ca


This Week in Co-op Circles

·     George Greek passed away in Moncton on Saturday, October 27. He was 76. Many co-operators in Atlantic Canada knew George from his 35 years working at Co-op Atlantic and through his volunteering in the co-op and credit union systems. To read the complete obituary, go to http://www.fairhavenmemorial.ca/Location.aspx?SiteID=8012 Our condolences go out to Sheelagh, Jeff and his extended family. The funeral will be Thursday, November 1, at 11 am. Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Fair Haven Funeral Home, 1177 Salisbury Road, Moncton (506) 852-3530. The family invites you to sign the book of condolences at www.fairhavenmemorial.ca

·     The PEI Eco-Net co-op and the Rescue Mission Canada co-op are currently hosting two Canada World Youth participants. As the two participants will be helping out with Eco Net and Rescue Mission projects until the end of November, you are encouraged to contact Eco Net at peien@isn.net if you have inquiries on any of these projects, or on the participants themselves. – Todd MacLean

·     Co-op Week celebrations were subdued but meaningful for the community of Chéticamp, NS.  Paulite Roach, the last surviving founder of the Cheticamp Credit Union, passed away at the age of 96.  He was a staunch supporter of the co-op movement, truly believing that through co-operation, communities could help themselves. I for one was inspired by Paulite, and realize that if we celebrate Co-op Week, we can thank men like Paulite for having paved the road for us.  Was it coincidence that he should leave during Co-op Week?  I think not. -  Laurette Deveau

·     Wearing an 1895-style tea gown, Margot Bureaux of Nova Scotia-based Just Us! Coffee Roasters Co-op took first place in a tea steep-off. She also won for best pot of assam tea and best hot tea-based latte. http://www.thestar.com/living/Food/article/257895 Just Us! doesn’t yet have an organic, fairly traded assam, so Bureaux brews a pot using leaves from India’s Tarajulie estate that are sold by Metropolitan Tea Co. She won three first-place honours – one for the assam, another for her Pumpkin Spice Rooibos Latte, and a third for overall performance.



Trends – Today I would like to talk about the Freedom Toaster. If you guessed that it is a device that makes French Toast in the United States, you’d be wrong, thankfully. (Just Google ‘freedom fries’ if the reference isn’t familiar). The Freedom Toaster is a vending machine that dispenses digital information instead of food. The Freedom Toaster project began as a means of overcoming the difficulty in obtaining Linux and Open Source software in areas of South Africa where high bandwidth (high-speed internet) is not available. From their brochure: “Freedom Toasters dispense new information, communication technologies, software and content that act as a catalyst for increasing people’s choice and are directly translatable into knowledge, leading to greater freedom.” (I like to think that’s ultimately what Co-ops are for.) Right now, Freedom Toasters are preloaded to dispense free digital products which include software (the Linux operating system), public domain photography, music and literature (including major awareness campaigns on communicable diseases, for example, and even multimedia training programs on improving maternal health, environmental sustainability and agriculture). So the possibilities are pretty endless although I wonder why there isn’t a USB outlet or memory card reader on the machines to ‘dispense’ with the plastic disks. See www.freedomtoaster.org  for more info, including manuals to build your own. Ron Levesque


Circle of Life - October was FAIR TRADE Monthhttp://www.connectwithfairtrade.org/ 

The Fair Trade Certified label appears on products as a guarantee that disadvantaged producers in the developing world are getting a better deal.  Fair Trade farmer groups receive a minimum price covering the cost of sustainable production and a premium to invest in social and economic development projects. The Fair Trade Certified label guarantees that:

·     A stable, fair price is paid directly to democratically organized farmer groups

·     A premium is paid for community and business development projects

·     Farmers receive much-needed access to pre-harvest credit

·     Fair labor conditions exist for farm workers

·     Farmers and workers are free to organize and engage in democratic decision-making processes

·     Harmful agrochemicals are banned from production in favor of environmentally friendly and sustainable farming practices

Many fair trade products are produced by organizations that have adopted a co-operative model of governance.  The following link provides examples of a few of those organizations around the World.   http://www.globalexchange.org/campaigns/fairtrade/cocoa/cocoacooperatives.html

Bronwyn MacKinnon


Co-op Ed 101 - Reverse Garbage Cooperative Ltd. http://www.reversegarbage.org.au/  is a registered not-for-profit cooperative and is one of Australia’s best known and most highly regarded creative re-use organizations. It has been operating since 1974 with four main areas of activity: resource re-use,  education, environmental promotions products and consultancy.  It works cooperatively with business, government and the community, running and participating in education programs and mutual benefit projects. It is committed to: internationally accepted principles of cooperation, promoting participation of all stakeholders in Reverse Garbage projects, encouraging active involvement of members in the running of the organization and ensuring staff participation in decision-making.- Maureen MacLean


Young Co-operators: The Buds on the Co-op Tree - Trevor MacDougall, the Atlantic Co-operative Youth Leadership Program’s Coordinator reports an excellent seminar experience. Trevor joined the program over the summer and attended his first seminar on PEI this fall. Trevor commented that the staff and especially the senior staff were so helpful in making the experience a success for everyone. There were 35 youth from across Atlantic Canada who participated in the seminar. If you are interested in teaching youth about co-operation and being part of the upcoming programs, contact Trevor at Leadership@acyl.coop (506)862-0737. The program is getting a new Website and it should soon be updated with more pictures and information, but get some info from the October ACYL newsletter at http://acyl.coop/english/Newsletter102007.htm  Erin Hancock


Today I Learned Something New: International Development Through the Eyes of Students - During the year, as part of my work with the Canadian Co-operative Association, I visit schools and talk about co-operatives and communities in developing countries. I always appreciate the insights of the students, shared through comment sheets.  From Jason, NB: “I liked the presentation because it really helped me understand what goes on in different countries and cultures. I liked seeing the clothing.  It was cool to get the coin at the end of class from the Philippines.  Thank you.”


Co-op Community Bulletin Board

·     November 3 – Special Membership Meetings for Co-op Atlantic and Consumers Community Co-operative, Moncton, NB

·     November 16 - The Prince Edward Island Co-operative Council’s (PEICC) inaugural Annual General Meeting is scheduled for Friday, November 16, from 3 to 5 p.m., at the Delta Prince Edward in Charlottetown. For more information, or to nominate a Board member, please email peicoopcouncil@gmail.com. All PEI co-op and credit union members are welcome to attend.

·      November 22-24 CWCF’s AGM/Conference “Community Sustainaibility & Worker Co-ops”, Ancaster, Ontario. http://www.coopzone.coop/en/CWCF_Conf07

Remember to send news items and bulletin board items to News1@nbnet.nb.ca


Contest of the week – Week 52 winner was again Glenna Weagle, NS .Well done!! We sure appreciate our regular players.  The contest entry deadline each week is Tuesday, 12 noon.  Send your answer to contest1@nbnet.nb.ca.  All entries will be place in the “Contest Can” for the month end draw. Last week’s contest: During Co-op Week a contest was held with 10 Co-op relay teams. It was a fine fall day, sunny and 16 degrees. The first place prize was $100 gift certificate to be used at each runner’s Co-op store. Some of the teams felt they had an advantage because they had a larger staff. Four teams did well to finish ahead of the opposition. Market Town was not last and the team wearing blue was not third. Country Morning was before the team in green. Co-op Gold came first. Country Morning finished before Market Town. Harmonie wore red but Country Morning did not wear yellow. Can you determine where each team finished and the colours they wore?


 # Team                                    Colour
1 Co-op Gold                          yellow
2  Country Morning                  blue
3 Market Town                        green
Harmonie                              red

This week’s contest: Jake is very odd. He likes balloons, but does not like parties! He likes books, but does not like reading! He likes weeds, but does not like flowers! He likes swimming, but does not like water! Does he like towns or villages?


Co-op Cooking – Autumn brings squash and pumpkins from the garden with their wonderful fall colours. They look great as decorations around out homes and taste great on our tables. I received this recipe from a friend this week. Haven’t tried it yet, but am told it is delicious and it certainly reads that way.
Squash and Onion Soup Gratinee
2 tbsp butter
4 onions, thinly sliced
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp dried)
1/2 tsp pepper
pinch grated nutmeg
5 cups beef stock
1 cup apple cider (or apple juice)
2 tsp cider vinegar
3 cups cubed, peeled butternut squash
12 baguette slices (3/4-inch thick)
2 cups shredded, aged gouda or gruyere cheese 
In large saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Fry onions, stirring occasionally, until evenly golden. Stir in flour, thyme, pepper and nutmeg; cook for 1 minute. Add stock, apple cider and vinegar; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add squash; cover and simmer until tender (about 12 minutes). Ladle into 6 ovenproof French Onion Soup or ovenproof bowls. Top each with 2 baguette slices and sprinkle with cheese. Bake on rimmed baking sheet at 400F until cheese is bubbly and lightly browned. Note: To make lower fat version, put onion in pot with a little water; cover and simmer until transparent. Add other ingredients as instructed. Onions don’t brown but taste is just as good. To speed cooking, place bowls under broiler instead of baking to bubble and brown cheese. Leftover soup may be reheated in microwave. - Glenna Weagle


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Co-op Circles is part of Rising Tide Collective’s commitment to the Co-op Principles of Co-op Education and Concern for Community. This electronic newsletter is published every week. It is available free of charge to anyone with an e-mail address and an interest in co-operative and community development in Atlantic Canada and around the world. We will be happy to put you on our Co-op Circles mailing list. We are proud that co-operators from Canada, the U.S, England, the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand are part of our Circle. To subscribe: circles1@nbnet.nb.ca or to unsubscribe: circles2@nbnet.nb.ca  Tell your friends about it. Please e-mail us with your questions, suggestions and memories at News1@nbnet.nb.ca

Thanks to the Marie Michael Library, Coady International Institute, for archiving Co-op Circles. http://www.coady.stfx.ca/library/coop_circles/index.htm 


Next Co-op Circles: Wednesday, November 7, 2007