Week of Jan. 13 – Jan. 19, 2008, Vol. 3, No. 9

Edited and Compiled for you, by the Rising Tide Collective

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Openings “We’re not going to have the ingenuity to solve our problems unless we start adopting a greater degree of humility and prudence within our lives. To stop, to listen, to think carefully about where we’re going, to listen to other people, to pay attention to

the signals around us that might suggest that things are going awry – environmental signals, social signals of various kinds.” – Thomas Homer-Dixon www.homerdixon.com/  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

§      ViewPoint, a co-operatively run photo gallery of more than 25 members has moved from its second-floor Gottingen Street space in Halifax, to 1272 Barrington Street, next to the Waverley Inn and across the street from Bearlys. The new store-front gallery is wheelchair accessible and is at street level. Hours are noon to 5 pm, Wednesday through Sunday. Currently the NewPoints exhibit is running until Feb. 3. Gallery Web site is www.viewpointgallery.ca

§      A gas station isn’t the first place most people think of for environmental innovation. But customers at the new Co-op Express gas bar recently opened in Caraquet can fill up knowing that their purchases have the least possible impact on the environment. The environmentally-friendly project, which required an investment of $1.4-million, involved the installation of three solar panels on the roof of the gas bar that provide the hot water necessary for its various services. The gas pumps are made of stainless steel, limiting the use of plastics as much as possible. Also, the underground tanks are made of steel and covered with polythene, for greater safety. They were manufactured by Dugas Équipement, a Caraquet company renowned for this type of product. http://www.coopatlantic.ca/htm.aspx?id=546 

§      The public is invited to participate in the “Going Green in your Home, Community and Business” Conference and Trade Show to be held at the Memramcook Resort (Memramcook Institute), 488 Central Street, Memramcook NB on February 2nd and 3rd, 2007. Open displays will begin from 3pm to 9pm on Friday, February 2nd 2007 at the Memramcook Resort, McGingly Room 5A. Exhibitors include Independent Power Systems Inc., Fundy Solar, EnerGreen Builders Cooperative, Energeia Inc., Renew Co-op, Kwesawek Energy, NBCC Moncton, as well as Cape Jourimain and EOS Eco-Energy Inc. and more. The conference will officially open at 7pm on Friday with a reception. Workshops and presentations will be held throughout the day, 9am to 5pm on Saturday February 3rd 2007. There will be three simultaneous sessions available to participants: general workshops in both English and French, as well as workshops of special interest to businesses and institutions. Participants will even have a chance to visit homes that showcase energy efficiency choices such as solar heat, and an institution that has implemented energy efficient measures. Admission for Friday evening is free.  The Saturday program fee is $15. http://list.web.net/archives/sust-mar/2007-January/001122.html

§      The president of the P.E.I. Organic Dairy Producers Association sees a bright future for those willing to make the changes to fill a niche market. “It’s not for everyone but there is some room for organic milk and there is a market,” says Joey Arsenault. “I’ve been slowly changing my farming practices to go organic.” He runs a 60-head milk operation in St. Nicholas in the Acadian region of P.E.I., just west of the city of Summerside. “If you don’t have healthy soil, you don’t have healthy animals,” says Arsenault, who with his brother Ray, crop 500 acres — plenty to grow their own organic feed for their herd.
“I’ve just started, but you can see the difference.” The P.E.I. Organic Dairy Co-op began when Organic Meadows in Ontario came shopping for some Maritime producers. The company shipped organic milk from central Canada to markets in the Atlantic Provinces and thought buying local would be more accommodating. Roger Henry, a co-ordinator of the co-op, says about eight producers are seriously involved in the transition effort to become organic and others are interested to make the switch. “It’s really a positive agricultural story,” he says. “Right now, it’s mainly concentrated in the western end of the province, but we have guys from all over the Island talking about it.”

§      Scotian Gold Co-op in Coldbrook, NS, has fast tracked the building of additional controlled atmosphere storage facilities, because of the forecasted large crop of apples last fall. The addition provided room for 5,700 bins of apples, giving the co-op the capacity to handle the more than 52,000 bins harvested in 2007. These long-term storage facilities result in firm and crisp apples all year long. Fifty growers in the co-op take all their apples to Scotian Gold with another 25 growers providing apples that go to pie producers. Scotian Gold was formed 50 years ago when many of the small apple warehouses throughout the Annapolis Valley were consolidated to form the co-op.


Trends – Over the past month or so in the Maritimes – it is actually been longer than that, but the situation has compounded since the decline in value of the American dollar – beef and hog producers have been taking a beating at the farm. Hog producers in particular, are leaving the industry in droves – thousands of animals are being withdrawn from the marketplace weekly because producers simply cannot absorb any more losses. It has been called the Perfect Storm – a strong dollar that makes exporting more expensive, prices paid for hogs down 40 percent since July, and the cost of feed up 60 percent, mostly because of demand for corn to fuel the ethanol craze. It is not really fair to producers and it is out of their control. Consumers can play a role, but likely will not – we are conditioned to seek out the cheapest and that is what we are getting...at the expense of local producers. Wikipedia begins its section on “Fair Trade” with this: “Fair trade is an organized social movement and market-based model of international trade which promotes the payment of a fair price as well as social and environmental standards in areas related to the production of a wide variety of goods.” Is it time for Fair Trade pork and beef from the Maritimes? - Ron Levesque


Circle of Life - Evergreen.ca – Brick Works: Evergreen has started an interesting project transforming Toronto’s historic Don Valley Brick Works factory from an underused, deteriorating collection of buildings into a thriving environmentally-based community centre that engages visitors in diverse experiences connected to nature.  Find out more about the project:  http://evergreen.ca/rethinkspace/?page_id=12Bronwyn MacKinnon


Co-op Ed 101 – Now, I am almost in the middle of winter because I consider winter to be December, January and February. Why? Well, the snow from storms in March isn’t usually on the ground long and the temperatures don’t fall below –20. So March is not winter. After three months of cold weather my grandson is in a phase of “no matching” mittens. Although most of his are store bought, I have fond memories of helping my grandmother unwind huge skeins of wool yarn and rolling it into balls that fit in the basket by her chair. She seemed to produce mittens for her 11 grandchildren effortlessly. What a lot of work that must have been! She was an amazing woman. I was wondering if many people still make mittens and where they get local wool. I did a web search for co-op wool and found this site in Ontario. Canadian Co-operative Wool Growers Limited   http://www.wool.ca/  The Co-operative grades and markets approximately 3 million pounds of raw wool each year; the majority of this coming from Quebec, Ontario and Alberta. Each of the three general classes of wool (fine, medium and coarse) is sold wherever the best price is available. Canadian Co-operative Wool Growers Limited occupies what was once the round house and machine shops for the Canadian Pacific Railway. The company is located in Carleton Place, ON. - Maureen MacLean 


Young Co-operators: The Buds on the Co-op Tree - Australia’s Shopfront Theatre for Young People Co-op Ltd. was awarded special status and a 6 year grant by the Australia Council Community Partnership Committee. Its founders describe Shopfront as a “co-operative where all young people, regardless of background or ability can create themselves.” The arts centre was recognized for its innovative arts and drama programs. The youth co-op is moving into its 33rd year of activity. Read more about the award at http://www.shopfront.org.au/pdfs/KeyProducer_PR.pdf or visit the co-op’s website at http://www.shopfront.org.au/. – 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 Melissa, PEI: “I really liked your presentation. I thought it was touching and helpful. I think what you do is very nice and kind and some day I hope I can do what you do because I love helping people like who you help. It was really nice to hear what you guys do for a job.”


Darjeeling Tea  - It’s the champagne of teas. Farmers in Darjeeling, northern India’s prime tea-growing region, hand-pick two of Equal Exchange’s www.equalexchange.com Darjeeling teas. Because tea bushes continue to grow and produce new leaves through much of the year there are multiple harvests. "First flush" refers to the first harvest of the year, "second flush" refers to the second, and like different vintages of wine, each flush has its own distinctive character. Here are two of the fairly traded Darjeeling teas that Equal Exchange carries: Organic Darjeeling First Flush – This tea has a floral and spicy aroma, a light golden liquor, delicate astringency and subtle notes of the classic Darjeeling muscatel flavor. Grown by the members of the Pashok Co-operative. (SRP $12.99 per 3.5 oz tin) Organic Darjeeling Second Flush – This second flush tea carries a floral aroma, a golden liquor, balanced astringency and the full classic Darjeeling muscatel flavor. Grown by the members of the Pashok and Sanjukta Vikas Co-operatives. (SRP $13.59 per 3 oz tin) Also, Just Us! Coffee Roasters Co-op is working with small producers of Darjeeling tea in India and hope to have it available to Atlantic Canadians over the next few months. www.justuscoffee.com/ To learn more about Darjeeling tea go to:


Co-op Community Bulletin Board

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

·     Feb 26-28 – Advanced Co-op Developer training, Moncton, NB -  A detailed outline is posted at http://www.coopzone.coop/en/node/2070

·     April 26 – Co-op Atlantic Annual General Meeting

·     June 23-28, 2008 - What’s Working in Community Development conference, Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia The pre-conference announcement can be downloaded from: http://www.horizonscda.ca/PDF%20Files/PreConfLo.pdf  If you are submitting an abstract or presentation outline, it must be received by December 31st, 2007.  The call for abstracts/presentations can be downloaded from: http://www.horizonscda.ca/PDF%20Files/AbstractsLo.pdf


Contest of the Week - This week’s winner was Joanne Sheppard, Newfoundland. Congratulations, and welcome back to all those who sent entries .The Contest entry deadline each week is Tuesday, 12 noon.  Send your answer to contest1@nbnet.nb.ca.  All entries will be placed in the “Contest Can” for the month end draw.

Last week’s contest: Messrs Butcher, Baker, Carpenter and Plumber are currently attending an annual convention. No one is currently, nor ever has been in the same profession as their name and no one has had the same profession twice. Charlie has never been a carpenter and Mr Butcher is now a plumber. Dave used to be a butcher, whereas Mr Brian Baker never has. Mr Plumber is not called Eddie and Mr Carpenter did not used to be a butcher. Can you determine the full names of each of the attendees, along with their current and previous profession? Answer:  Eddie Butcher is currently a Plumber and was a Carpenter. Brian Baker is currently a Carpenter and was a Plumber. Charlie Carpenter is currently a Butcher and was a Baker. Dave Plumber is currently a Baker and was a Butcher. This week’s contest:  These words follow a logical progression:
Which of these could be next?


Co-op Cooking – As we move through winter I tend to look for more recipes which feature vegetables such as cabbage, turnip and carrots which are still to be found locally. Here is one of my favourite cabbage dishes. It has all the flavour of cabbage rolls without the fuss.

Lazy Cabbage Rolls

4 cups cabbage, shredded, packed

1/2 cup long-grain white rice

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1 1/4 cup boiling water

1 1/2 tbsp onion, finely chopped

1/4 lb lean ground beef

1 can tomato sauce or tomato soup (optional)

Place cabbage in large, ungreased casserole dish. Scatter rice over top, allowing a bit down into the cabbage by poking with a fork. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour boiling water over. Cover and bake at 350F for 1 hour or until cabbage is tender. Remove from oven. If mixture seems dry, add a bit of boiling water. Heat butter in frying pan; add onion, stirring over heat until softened. Add ground beef, breaking into small pieces. Stir and cook until beef is browned and onions are golden. Add tomato sauce if desired. Pour beef mixture over cabbage, stirring gently to mix. - 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, January 23, 2008