Week of Nov. 15– Nov. 21, 2009, Vol. 4, No. 41

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

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Openings  - Openings is a weekly feature of Co-op Circles. “Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.” - Buddha 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

§         The Canadian Co-operative Association is seeking expressions of interest from co-operative volunteers for a four week placement in Kigali, Rwanda to support the Agriculture Co-operative Development project. CCA’s Rwandan partners UGAMA, the Centre for Co-operative Services (Gitarama) and IWACU (Kigali) have requested assistance to help their member co-operatives to find ways to supplement or increase the income capacity of households based on limited landholdings.  This mission will take place in the early part of 2010. Three or four days will be spent conducting local market research and two weeks will be spent conducting the workshops at the four project co-operatives. One week will be required to create reports and present summaries of the workshops to the co-operatives. A strong back ground in marketing and value added agriculture production, agricultural co-operative experience, experience with group facilitation, training or adult education are required. Although the Rwandan official language is English much of the rural population speaks only Kinyarwanda or French. Closing date for applications is Nov. 27. If you are interested, contact Colleen Berrigan, Volunteer Administrator, colleen.berrigan@coopscanada.coop

§         The holiday season is a time when people create memories by enjoying the company of family and friends – and good food plays an important part in creating those memories. Co-op believes that choosing food from our region can only make those events better. In the month leading up to Christmas, Co-op Atlantic will be engaging visitors on how they can choose Atlantic first to make their holiday even more special. At www.eatatlantic.ca  stories from shoppers about why Atlantic food is important to them at this time of year will be featured. If you organization has any messages about Atlantic food choices that you would like to get out, please send them to Annie LaPlante, Co-op Difference Manager/Directrice de la promotion de la distinction cooperative, annie.laplante@coopatlantic.ca,  (506) 858-6054

§         This holiday season, the Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada (CDF) is holding 'Tis the Season, an online auction that features a selection of items suitable for presents.  The auction will attract Canadians, and will specifically target key leaders from the co-operative and credit union system across Canada.  It will provide you with an excellent opportunity to profile your co-op as a valued supporter of the national and international co-operative movement.   CDF is the charity of choice for Canadian co-ops and credit unions.  It is a charitable organization that creates awareness of and raises the money for the Canadian Co-operative Association’s (CCA) International Development programs. Our mission is to mobilize resources to equip people with the co-operative tools to change their lives for the better. Set up like eBay, the online auction will allow anyone with Internet access to bid on exciting items – with all of the proceeds going towards CDF.  It will also allow people and organizations to donate items to bid on – showing their commitment to CDF’s good work in a new and innovative way.  The first online CDF auction was launched in correspondence to Co-op week 2009.  The site received 10,000 hits and raised $5,500.  ‘Tis the Season, to be launched on November 24, 2009.  The Auction will run from November 24th until December 8, 2009.   Please check out http://realauction.ca/cdfc/en/ to view the last auction.  There are also opportunities for sponsorship. Please contact Sarah Richardson at sarah.richardson@coopscanada.coop to donate an item or for more information.

§         Visit Fair Trade and organic coffee farmers in Oaxaca, Mexico. Explore ancient indigenous ruins, try your hand at harvesting Fair Trade coffee, hike, enjoy spectacular vistas, relax and enjoy the tranquility, and experience the delights of authentic cuisine.  Join this small-group guided travel experience that celebrates local peoples and the environment. Two departures: February 20 - 28, 2010 or March 6-14, 2010.  For more information, please visit www.judesfairtrade.ca/activities/mexico. or email: satya@judesfairtrade.ca


Trends - To reduce the number of plastic water bottles that end up in landfills, consumers are encouraged to buy reusable bottles. Since those can be bulky to carry along, a company in Thousand Oaks, California designed an alternative. Vapur is a reusable water bottle that flattens when empty. Like a regular bottle, it stands upright when full. But when it is empty, users can fold or roll it up to stick it in a pocket or a purse. Made of ultra-durable three-ply, BPA-free polymer, Vapur bottles can be cleaned in a dishwasher’s top rack and can be frozen to keep water cool. Vapur’s green characteristics are not limited to their day-to-day use: since the bottles can be shipped flat, they are also greener to ship from manufacturer to distributors and consumers. All in all, it is an innovative way to make it more convenient for consumers to drink and carry tap water. See more at vapur.us –Ron Levesque


Young Co-operators: The Buds on the Co-op Tree - I was very fortunate to be able to visit the Grand House Student Co-op Inc. in Cambridge, ON last week. The Grand House is a co-op built by architecture students at the University of Waterloo, Cambridge Campus. The project is a very innovative, eco design made from collected, recycled, repurposed and donated materials. I was impressed to see some of their flooring was actually old gym floor. They also collect rainwater to flush their toilets. Visit their website to learn more and to “buy a bale” to support them http://www.wacsa.org/grandhouse/Frameset.htm .  They used some straw bale construction and as a fundraiser you can “buy a bale” to support their project.- Erin Hancock


Co-op Ed 101 - This week Co-op Ed 101 features the Canadian Worker Co-op Federation (http://www.canadianworker.coop/)   The Federation will be in Memramcook NB this weekend for its annual meeting. I  had the privilege of volunteering on this board for eight years beginning in the late 1990’s. During that time CWCF was putting in place the groundwork for the  federal government’s Co-operative Development Initiative (CDI) http://www.canadianworker.coop/funding/cdi A second phase of CDI has been approved to start April 1, 2009. The program is providing $19.1 million investment over the next four years aimed at the creation of new co-operatives, support for existing co-operatives and the promotion of innovative ways to apply the co-operative model to meet social and economic challenges. Both start-ups and existing co-ops are eligible to apply for support.

Celebrating 17 years, the Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation is a national, bilingual grassroots membership organization of and for worker co-operatives, related types of co-operatives (multi-stakeholder co-ops and worker-shareholder co-ops), and organizations that support the growth and development of worker cooperatives.  CWCF was incorporated in 1992. Visit CWCF’s Web site there is a wealth of information on worker co-ops and co-op start-up information there. –– 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: We had no correct entries. Thanks to all who tried  Answer: In this  special sequence of numbers which can be added multiplied, subtracted or maybe divided, what number comes next? If you are really good, what 2 numbers come after that? 8,5,4,9,? The answer: 4,4,8,..Answer: add them 8 + 5, = 13 (1+3) = 4, 5+ 4 = 9, 4 + 9 = 13 (1+3) =4 so the next number in sequence is 4 followed by another 4 and then an eight. This week’s contest:  Brendan and three of his friends were part of the school yard improvement group that decided to plant several new trees. The new trees would each be put in a different area of the front yard .Each friend sold tickets and bought a different kind of tree and planted their tree on a different day of the week at lunch time while the rest of the students and teachers watched.  From the clues below, determine the full names of each friend, what kind of tree each bought, where in the yard it was planted, and on what day of the week each tree was planted. Annie, whose last name wasn’t Frost, didn’t plant her spruce tree by the patio. Kathy planted her tree before Student Dart but after the student who planted the ash tree. Student Best, whose first name wasn’t Sally, planted their tree in the front yard, but not on Friday.  Robert didn’t plant his tree on Monday. Student Grand planted their tree before the student who planted a tree in the back yard. Robert didn’t plant the cherry tree. The trees were planted, in chronological order, as follows: Student Frost, in the garden, Annie, the maple tree.  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 – It is hard to believe that winter is really just around the corner. Some areas in our region have already experienced their first snowfall. This time of year cranberries are in every farm market and I look for new ways to serve them. Here is a recipe we recently enjoyed.

Pork Medallions with Cranberry Stuffing

1 pork tenderloin

1/4 cup sun-dried tomato and oregano dressing

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

1 pkg stuffing mix for chicken

1/2 cup dried cranberries

Cut meat crosswise into eight slices. Pound the meat slices, cut side up, with meat mallet to 1/2-inch thickness. Add to large, nonstick skillet which is lightly oiled or sprayed. Cook on medium-high heat for 3 minutes on each side (until browned on both sides). Reduce heat to low. Combine dressing and mustard; pour over meat. Continue cooking for 3 minutes on each side (until cooked through and sauce is thickened). Prepare stuffing as directed on package, reducing margarine to 1 tbsp., adding cranberries to the water. Spoon the stuffing onto serving plates. Add meat and drizzle with sauce. - 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

§      “As a member of the board of directors of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, I want to than Rising Tide for the announcement about the growing project on PEI. I was there to speak on the day they gathered to prepare the land for planting. My parish is involved in a growing project (albeit smaller one) where children plant a garden at the rectory, adults contribute veggies they grew to raise money for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. This year, we had an urban partner, St George’s Church in Saint John that is selling our squash to raise money for CFGB, we hosted a visitor from Bangladesh for a week who spoke, and the kids made pickles from the cucumbers grown to sell to raise money (can you tell that I'm proud of them?) and in the end, we raised hundreds of dollars that with the matching turns into thousands of dollars to assist people overseas. I also wanted to tell you about the new project at Midland Baptist Church, where they have a coffee drive through (in the middle of nowhere), that not only raises money for CFGB, but also uses JustUs Coffee. Marvelous isn't it?    We are now looking at teaching our kids more about traditional agriculture and co-op principles taking them through the process of raising sheep, processing and using the wool to make products to sell to raise money for CFGB. That project begins Friday night. After the announcement in Co-op Circles I am interested in suggesting that someone (or more) from our parish look at the CCA Study Tour. Will advertise it in my parish Enews.” – M L-J, NB

§      “Thanks for another good newsletter. Please tell Erin that Andrew from NASCO says hello. In cooperation, Andrew”

§      “Thanks, Merci. I read with interest the piece about Mondragon coops and USW.”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. 25, 2009


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