Week of Aug. 9– Aug. 15, 2009, Vol. 4, No. 28

Edited and Compiled for you, by the Rising Tide Collective*

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Openings  - Openings is a weekly feature of Co-op Circles.  “Few people know how to take a walk. The qualifications are endurance, plain clothes, old shoes, an eye for nature, good humor, vast curiosity, good speech, good silence and nothing too much.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson  www.online-literature.com/emerson/ 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

§      Join the Eat Atlantic Challenge – for the Environment, the Economy, the Future! Friday, September 4. It’s easy to be part of this event. Visit the Eat Atlantic Challenge website at www.eatatlantic.ca and make the pledge to eat only Atlantic foods for one day. When you register you automatically qualify for a chance to win a $250 gift basket of Atlantic foods. Earn extra ballots by telling us why eating Atlantic is important to you and your family. Encourage family members and friends to join the challenge for extra chances to win. Facebook, Twitter - Become an Eat Atlantic Challenge fan on Facebook and follow updates on Twitter. Children’s Contest - Kids can be part of the Eat Atlantic Challenge too! See the link to the Kids Clubhouse at www.eatatlantic.ca or go to www.co-opsonline.com/kidsclub/ and enter to win a bicycle. The contest, open to children ages 6-12, is a fun and easy way to discover the benefits of eating made-in-Atlantic products. Why Eat Atlantic? Eating Atlantic foods is the best choice for you and your families’ health. It’s also the right choice for your local economy and the environment.   And Atlantic Canada has a rich abundance of quality healthy, tasty products to choose from.   On Friday, September 4, make a difference. Buy products made close to home. It’s good for your health. It benefits the economy and it’s kinder to the environment.

§      Credit Union Central of Canada, the national voice and trade association for Canada’s credit unions, has increased its membership level with the Filene Research Institute, a consumer finance think tank for the North American credit union system. http://www.peicreditunions.com/news/article.php?ID=718  The new members from Canada are: Corey Bowes, Chief Operating Officer, OMISTA Credit Union, Moncton, NB; Dawn Collins, Project Manager, Mount Lehman Credit Union, Abbotsford, BC; Louise Delaney, Manager, Marketing, Salmon Arm Savings and Credit Union, Salmon Arm, BC; Josette Gauthier, Senior Vice-President, Human Resources, Alterna Savings, Toronto; Domenic Vinci, Senior Vice President & Chief Operations Officer, Interior Savings Credit Union, Kelowna, BC.

§      The 27th annual Beef Barbecue sponsored by Farmers Helping Farmers (FHF) will be held Aug. 15 from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Harrington Research Farm, 1200 Brackley Point Road, in Charlottetown, PEI. The menu includes barbecued steak, salad bar, new potatoes and strawberry shortcake.
Money raised at the barbecue will support several FHF projects that are currently underway in Kenya aimed at improving farm incomes, food supply and the quality of life for rural families. http://www.atlanticfarmfocus.ca/index.cfm?sid=273966&sc=586

§      Caisse populaire de Clare has been recognized by the Nova Scotia government for its work in the area of community development. The Church Point-based caisse populaire is one of three finalists in the category of Community Development Excellence. Recognizing Caisse populaire de Clare’s support of more than 60 community initiatives, a panel of judges highlighted the establishment of a $50,000 Community Development Fund and a $2,000 grant to École Stella-Maris. Awards will be given out during the Celebrating Communities Conference in Truro on September 23, 24 and 25th. http://www.ns-credit-unions.com/default.asp?mn=

§      Canadian Fair Trade towns are growing! Wolfville, Nova Scotia is Canada’s first Fair Trade town. Others are following Wolfville’s fine example. On July 1st, the rural municipality of Gimli, Manitoba became the sixth town in Canada to become a Fair Trade town (approx 350 worldwide).  Other Fair Trade towns in Canada include: La Pêche, QC (November 9, 2007),  Port Colborne, ON (April 28, 2009),  Nakusp, BC (April 29, 2009), Golden, BC (June 8, 2009) For more information on Fair Trade towns program and towns in the process of becoming Fair Trade, please visit http://transfair.ca/en/fairtradetown

§      The Co-operative Enterprise Council in New Brunswick has just revised its Web site.  The address is http://www.cecnb.ca Wendy Keats is the executive director and she can be reached at  keats@rogers.com

§      A pattern has emerged over the past 8 years with Community Economic Development Investment Funds (CEDIFs) in Nova Scotia where Funds develop the Offering Documents and attachments throughout the summer and early fall so as to attain the Equity Tax Credit Certificate (Minister of Finance) and Letter of non-objection (NS Securities Commission) in November, or early December. This enables the Funds to be able to sell into the period between December and 60 days after the calendar year end, also know as the “RRSP season”. While CEDIF’s can be issued at any time of the year, most organizations prefer to sell these shares during the traditional RRSP season. At this time of year, potential investors are actively looking for ways to reduce their tax burden and make investments. It is important to note that CEDIFs can take 3 - 6 months of preparation to ensure the Offering Document and attachments have satisfied the requirements of the Minister of Finance and the Nova Scotia Securities Commission. Multiple submissions of revised documents are often required to satisfy these requirements, prolonging the process. If your co-operative is considering a CEDIF fund to finance a business in your community, or if your existing fund is preparing for another offering, it is important that you do not delay in the preparation and submission of the documents to ensure all requirements have been met in time for the fund to be approved for selling during the “RRSP season”. If you need additional assistance in preparing a Community Economic Development Investment Fund, the Nova Scotia Co-operative Council provides CEDIF Turnkey Solutions.  For more information visit www.nsco-opcouncil.ca or  www.gov.ns.ca/econ/cedif/background.


Trends - www.plantconcierge.com is a new site that helps those in need of gardening advice find local experts who can help. Whereas many online directories list professional gardeners, Plant Concierge includes experienced amateurs who may just be available for a few hours per week, for example, but who can still provide the expertise that is needed. Professionals and amateurs alike can register on the site, creating a profile with the geographical area they are willing to serve, photos of their past projects and the types of services they can provide. (Registration is currently free, but ultimately there will be a charge, Plant Concierge says; retail stores can list themselves as well.) Consumers in need of help, meanwhile, can conduct a search on Plant Concierge based on where they live (the first three digits of their postal code suffices in Canada), the type of help they need and the types of plants involved – edibles, for example, or lawns and hedges. Profiles and reviews can help consumers choose the gardener they would like to help them, and all arrangements and payments, if applicable, are negotiated directly by the consumer and the gardener. With growing interest in all things green—and, in particular, urban farming and locally grown food, there should be plenty of demand from consumers lacking the expertise or time to handle all the gardening themselves. For talented amateur gardeners, meanwhile, it is a golden opportunity to earn a little extra cash. Then, of course, there are sites like Plant Concierge, which stand to win by making this win-win possible. Currently Netherlands-based Plant Concierge serves the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Hopefully we will soon see experts from Co-op Country Stores listed for Atlantic Canada  –Ron Levesque (mostly from www.springwise.com)


Young Co-operators: The Buds on the Co-op Tree - The Ontario Council for Agencies Serving Immigrants offers a website for young newcomers to Ontario that spells out some housing choices young people might consider – including housing co-operatives. If you or someone you know is moving to or within Ontario, this website outlines a number of housing co-op options: http://www.newyouth.ca/life/housing/what-co-op . However, if you are living outside of Ontario, check with your provincial umbrella co-op organizations to find a housing co-op in your area. - Erin Hancock


Co-op Ed 101 - Last weekend I attend a street fair in Charlottetown, PEI.  The purpose was to promote organic producers. One of the displays was by SeaSpray Co-op. http://www.internaturalmarketing.com/farms_seaspray.html   SeaSpray Atlantic Co-operative was formed in 2002 to provide a one-desk selling operation accessible to commercial organic producers in the Maritime Provinces and to facilitate sales to wholesalers in eastern and central Canada , and the New England States . This project is designed to increase the market share of local organic production sold to wholesalers, retailers, institutions, buying groups, restaurants, and food processors.  The co-op markets only its own members’ products, but membership is open to any certified organic grower in the Atlantic provinces. They are required to buy a lifetime share of $100, and five per cent of each SeaSpray sale is reinvested in the co-op in order to help cover the co-op’s administration and marketing costs. – Maureen MacLean


Co-op Community Bulletin Board

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

§      Nov 19-21, 2009 Canadian Worker Co-op AGM and Conference, Moncton, NB


Contest of the WeekLast week’s contest: We had 10 correct entries. Welcome back everyone!  First correct submission was from Kathy Day, Just Us! Coffee Roasters Co-op, NS. Answer: I am a number between 100 and 500. I am odd. If you double me, you will get a number between 200 and 249. My last digit is not 1 and my middle digit is 2. What number am I? Answer: 123.  This week’s contest: A 1-6 number cube is sitting on a table. Lenore counts 17 dots on all the sides she can see. Which face of the number cube is resting on the table? Please keep those entries coming! Everyone who enters has their name placed in the contest can for the month end drawing The Contest entry deadline each week is Tuesday, 12 noon. Send your entry to contest1@nbnet.nb.ca.


Co-op Cooking –. Here is a take-it-in-your-hand breakfast for busy days. Cranberry Flax Breakfast Cookies are so nutritious they will keep hunger away until lunch time and you can keep some in the freezer for a tasty way to start your day. 

Cranberry Flax Breakfast Cookies

2 cups coarsely crushed bran flakes

2 cups rolled oats (preferably large flake)

2 tbsp ground flaxseed

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/2 cup nonfat plain or vanilla yogurt

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 large egg

1/2 cup skim milk powder

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup coarsely chopped dried apricots

1/2 cup slivered almonds

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

In a large mixing bowl, combine bran flakes, rolled oats, flaxseed, cinnamon and sugar; stir to combine. Set aside. In another large mixing bowl, combine applesauce, yogurt, vanilla, egg and skim milk powder; whisk until blended.  Add baking powder and baking soda; mix until combined. Gradually add bran flake mixture to applesauce mixture.  Add dried cranberries, apricots, almonds and sunflower seeds; mix well. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto parchment paper lined baking sheets. Bake at 350F for 15 minutes or until golden. Let stand for 5 minutes before removing from pans. Cookies will firm up as they stand. Store loosely covered. Cookies may be stored in the freezer. Note: For a hint of chocolate, substitute dried apricots with 1/2 cup chocolate chips. - 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.mystfx.ca/coady-library/coop_circles/index.htm 

Next Co-op Circles: Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2009


Rising Tide Collective* - Erin Hancock, Ron Levesque, Brenda MacKinnon, Maureen MacLean, Glenna Weagle