Week of Nov. 8– Nov. 14, 2009, Vol. 4, No. 40

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

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Openings  - Openings is a weekly feature of Co-op Circles. “It is in the shelter of each other that the people live.” - Irish Proverb 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

§      Crops grown on Prince Edward Island will feed up to 700 people for the year, http://www.atlanticfarmfocus.ca/index.cfm?sid=298604&sc=586 On Sunday, Oct. 25, Zion Presbyterian Church in Charlottetown honoured the people who helped grow crops which were donated to the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. It all begins with a landowner setting aside land, about 20 acres, for use by the bank. Congregations provide the money for seed, planting and harvesting through donations. The harvested crops are then sold to the Foodgrains Bank. The profits are then matched 4-1 by the Canadian International Development Agency.

§      Canadian credit union and co-operative members enable millions of men, women and children to forge a better future.  They do this by channelling their knowledge and volunteer services to the International Development Program of the Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA) and by giving generously to its fundraising arm, the Co-operative Development Foundation. CCA invites you to become part of a development education team that will learn firsthand about co-operatives and credit unions in Nicaragua who will then share their stories upon return to Canada.   CCA’s Development Education Study Mission to Nicaragua will take place from January 31st to February 10th, 2010.  Participants will learn about CCA’s work in Central America, visit a number of co-operatives in Nicaragua (agricultural, fishing and credit unions) and participate in a development education workshop before returning to Canada.  During the limited free time, optional learning tours will also be available.  The study mission delegation will be accompanied by CCA staff and a language interpreter. Cost of participating in this study mission is approximately $2,000.  Deadline for applications is Friday, November 27th, 2009.  Applications for this study mission can be found at www.coopsCanada.coop or by contacting Lise Boissonneault, CCA Project Assistant, lise.boissonneault@coopscanada.coop. For more information please contact Karen Timoshuk, CCA Development Education Coordinator, at ktimoshuk@xplornet.com

§      The United Steelworkers of America (USWA) and MONDRAGON Internacional -- the world’s largest worker co-op -- have announced that they will work together to create worker co-operatives in the U.S. and Canadian manufacturing sector. At a joint news conference on Oct. 27, leaders of USW and MONDRAGON announced an agreement to increase employee ownership of businesses through understanding, adopting and practicing the MONDRAGON Corp. model in companies represented by USW. Started in 1956 in the Basque region of Spain, MONDRAGON now has more than 100,000 members in co-operative enterprises in some 40 countries. It is the seventh largest business in Spain. The USWA is North America's largest industrial union, with over 1.2 million members, 260,000 of them in Canada.  “We see today’s agreement as a historic first step towards making union co-ops a viable business model that can create good jobs, empower workers, and support communities in the United States and Canada,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard.  “We need a new business model that invests in workers and invests in communities.” For more information on the announcement, go to http://www.usw.org/media_center/releases_advisories?id=0234.


Trends - You have heard of Red Bull, now get to know Slow Cow. It is the opposite of those energy drinks that are turning well intentioned humans into production machines. Slow Cow is an anti-energy drink (or relaxation drink) that contains L-Theamine (a relaxation ingredient that does not cause sleepiness), chamomile, passion flower, and hops, among other ingredients that will let you wind down rather than wind up. Now, I am not a doctor, so do not take any of this too seriously – but I am intrigued by the concept of a relaxation drink, and hardly surprised it is a Canadian product. I actually like that it is a Canadian product and hope it does develop into a trend. See more here: http://www.slowcowdrink.com/slowcow_en.asp?no=258 Ron Levesque


Young Co-operators: The Buds on the Co-op Tree -  I was pleased to have attended the Education and Training Institute of the North American Students of Co-operation (NASCO) last weekend in Ann Arbor, Michigan. There were over 300 participants from the US and Canada--- focused on developing their understanding and skills to contribute to their co-ops. I have been serving on their Education Board since June and it was very exciting to be involved in our largest annual event. There were nearly 70 workshops along with a variety of working groups and special events. Learn more about Institute at http://www.nasco.coop/institute/ - Erin Hancock


Co-op Ed 101 - The Grainery Food Co-Operative, Halifax, NS,  http://thegrainery.wikispaces.com/ is a non-profit, volunteer run organization dedicated to making local and organic food affordable and available to Halifax communities. It strives for a membership that includes people of diverse backgrounds. It supports other non-profit action groups. There is no fee for membership in the Grainery. Each member works a minimum of 6 hours per month. These hours are spent in a variety of ways: shifts at the Saturday Market or at the Agricola street store, bagging, cleaning, maintenance or communications work. Members receive a 15% discount on all purchases from the Grainery. To learn more you can visit the Agricola store at 2385 Agricola St., Tuesday and Wednesday 4:00 - 6:30 PM and Thursday, Friday, and Saturday 1:30 - 7:00 PM. The store is staffed by volunteer members, so you may wish to call ahead at (902) 446-3301 to confirm it is open. –– Maureen MacLean


Co-op Community Bulletin Board

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

§      Nov 18, 2009 - Justice in Your Cup- A Coffee Producer’s Perspective. Come watch a new film about Guatemala entitled Madre Tierra, and hear from a Guatemalan coffee producer about the struggles and successes of fair trade. 7-8:30 pm, Just Us! Spring Garden Coffeehouse, 5896 Spring Garden Road, Halifax, NS.

§      Nov 19, 2009 5-6:30 pm, Just Us! Wolfville Coffeehouse, 450 Main Street, Wolfville  A new film, Madre Tierra, highlights the work of the CCDA Presented by Breaking the Silence and JUDES (Just Us Development and Education Society www.judesfairtrade.ca

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

§      Nov 25, 2009 Heritage Credit Union invites people for a Lunch-n-Learn session focusing on the benefits of group retirement solutions. 12 Noon, Heritage Credit Union’s Corporate Office, Suite 102-238A Brownlow Ave, Dartmouth, NS. RSVP is required by Nov. 13 to Susan Peterson (464-7106) or e-mail susan.peterson@heritagecu.com 

§      Nov 25, 2009 NBTA Credit Union Annual General Meeting / Call for Board of Directors takes place at 650 Montgomery Street, Fredericton. Details at  http://www.nbtacu.nb.ca/

§      Apr 15-17, 2010 – Credit Union Central of Nova Scotia Annual General Meeting

§      May 28-29, 2010 – Co-op Atlantic’s Annual General Meeting


Contest of the WeekLast week’s contest: Last week’s first entry was from Brian Murray, Moncton, NB, followed closely 10 more entries. Thanks to all who write and chat to us each week.

Answer: Last week’s contest was about the animals at the zoo being visited by the co-op board members.  Answer: 

Gerry - Grass - Pear

Kathy - Stream - Orange

Carole - Rock - Apple

David - Tree – Banana

This week’s contest: Do you like math? In this special sequence of numbers which can be added multiplied, subtracted or maybe divided, what number comes next? and if you are really good what 2 numbers come after that? 8, 5, 4, 9?  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 – If you are looking for an elegant dessert to finish off a meal, here is one that is bound to fill the bill. It uses the apples which are so abundant this time of year and it is very easy to prepare which is an added bonus in my house.

Vanilla-Apple Phyllo Crisps

2 frozen phyllo pastry sheets

1 ½ cups sliced cooking apples (Granny Smith, Cortland, Gravenstein)

3 tbsp maple syrup

1 ½ cups cold skim milk

1 pkg (4-serving size) instant vanilla pudding

3 tbsp whipped topping or whipped cream

Place a phyllo sheet on work surface; spray with cooking spray or brush with melted butter. Cut into three crosswise strips with kitchen shears; fold each strip into thirds to form square. Repeat with second phyllo sheet. Use shears to round off corners of each square. Press each square into a cup of medium muffin tin. Bake 5 minutes or until golden brown. Cool. Cook apples in syrup in skillet on medium-high heat for 5 minutes, or until apples are tender, stirring frequently. Cool. Add milk to pudding mix; beat with wire whisk for 2 minutes. Refrigerate for at least 5 minutes. When ready to serve, fill phyllo cups evenly with pudding; top with apple mixture and dollop with whipped topping or cream. - Glenna Weagle


Our Readers Write - Tell us what you think. Send news, events and information for the Co-op Community Bulletin Board. Suggest features you think might be beneficial to people reading Co-op Circles. We want this electronic newsletter to serve you (be sure to include your e-mail and phone number). Send your item(s), comments and suggestions to News1@nbnet.nb.ca

§      Okay, I’ve been missing my contests. Hope everyone’s well.  I also hope I may see you at the AGM in Memramcook.  I’ll be stepping down from the board this year after these 16 years of continued directorship.  Then, I will have even more time for the contests of the week!MF, BC

§      Just to let you know I read ''Co-op Circles''. I read it with interest and enjoy it. Merci beaucoup, - LR, NB


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, Nov. 18, 2009


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