Week of Dec. 13– Dec 19, 2009, Vol. 4, No. 45

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

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Openings  - Openings is a weekly feature of Co-op Circles. “Never get tired of doing little things for others. Sometimes, those little things occupy the biggest part of their hearts.” -Author Unknown 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

§      Farmers Markets of Nova Scotia President Jeremy Frith died suddenly on Dec. 8 at his home, Mountain Meadow Farm, North River, St. Ann’s Bay, Cape Breton. Born June 3, 1945, in Bermuda, Jeremy lived around the world before settling to create his dream, Mountain Meadow Farm in North River, St. Ann’s Bay. He was a visionary and a maverick in all aspects of life with a remarkable sense of humour. Jeremy was a fixer and a thinker, a dreamer and a doer, a poet, musician and storyteller. He was a passionate farmer and a steward of the land since the age of two. Jeremy was a very generous community man, an elder at the St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church and a man who felt strongly about the co-operative movement. He is survived by his wife, Sue; his two sons, Josiah and Alec; a stepdaughter, Laura Russell; and siblings, John, Michael and Wendy and their families. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the forestry program of the Ecology Action Centre in Halifax. For further details, see http://www.inmemoriam.ca/announcement-28070-Jeremy-Frith.html - Thanks to Don Black and Margaret Cornect for forwarding  the information.

§      New Wood Manufacturers of Centreville, Superior Waterproof Coatings of Gander, Blanchard’s Cabinet Doors of Bishop’s Falls and Platinum Builders, formerly Geange’s Manufacturing, of Glenwood have formed the Central Newfoundland Manufacturing Co-operative. The co-operative hopes to extend its membership base to include more manufacturing companies in central Newfoundland and Labrador. It hopes to reach 25 members for maximum advantages and solid lobbying power. http://www.thetelegram.com/index.cfm?sid=49188&sc=82

§      Scotsburn Dairy board president Jim Burrows says that the co-op has “certainly fulfilled our goal of becoming quick and flexible in order to grab opportunities when they came along. Now that decision is paying dividends.” Today, the co-op is owned by approximately 120 dairy farmers, has more than $250 million in annual sales, 700 employees, and 10 processing facilities and 31 distribution centers in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland. For more on the Scotsburn growth see the Atlantic Farm Focus Web site http://www.atlanticfarmfocus.ca/index.cfm?sid=293282&sc=589

§      Opposition is mounting to a decision to close three credit union branches of East Coast Credit Union.  The board plans to shut down branches in North East Margaree, Mulgrave and D'Escousse, on Isle Madame, by the end of February. http://www.porthawkesburyreporter.com/opinion.asp?id=802 http://www.cbc.ca/canada/nova-scotia/story/2009/12/11/ns-east-coast-credit-union.html


Trends -   This week’s Trends will highlight the importance of researching your stories before you ‘go to print’, so to speak. A trend site I refer to often announced last week that Del Monte Foods and the 7-Eleven chain of convenience stores were working together to test innovative packaging that would extend bananas’ shelf life to 27 days. Basically, individually wrapped bananas (I assume with an inert gas to prevent oxidation) would be sold in 7-Eleven stores in the Dallas area before rolling out the product across the U.S. It did not take long for environmentalists and consumer groups to cry foul (with good reason). When I tried to ‘check the facts’ by going to both the Del Monte and 7-Eleven websites, nothing could be found. Was the announcement a hoax or did both companies see the error of their ways? Who knows? Find out more (if you can) by Googling ‘Del Monte 7-Eleven’–Ron Levesque


Young Co-operators: The Buds on the Co-op Tree - The Co-operative Business Journal included the section “Young Co-operators Speak Up!” in their September/October issue.  Read about 5 youth in the movement: Gabe Riving (Co-operative Business Journal’s Assistant Editor), Suzanne Perdue (communications intern for Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative), Shannon Tubb (former Director of Member Services at the Inter-Cooperative Council at the University of Michigan from 2003-2008), Nick Mignanelli (member of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s Youth Leadership Council) and Mingwei Huang (coordinates educational programs and services for the North American Students of Co-operation). Read the article at  http://www.nasco.coop/coopvoices/photos/CBJ_youthincoops.pdf  - Erin Hancock


Co-op Ed 101 -  I have talked about Equal Exchange Co-op many times in this column and had the chance to meet some of their members at various conferences in the eastern US a few years ago. This is a great co-op that demonstrates what a vision and three people can do. Read their story at http://www.equalexchange.coop/our-co-op.  It all started with an idea: what if food could be traded in a way that is honest and fair, a way that empowers both farmers and consumers? What if trade supported family farms that use organic methods, rather than industrialized agribusinesses that rely on harmful chemicals? Equal Exchange’s founders – Rink Dickinson, Jonathan Rosenthal and Michael Rozyne – asked these questions as they envisioned a trade model that values the farmers, consumers and the earth. So they took a big risk and plunged full-force into changing a broken food system. In 1986, they started with fairly traded coffee from Nicaragua and didn’t look back. I continue to watch their growth and this week I was reading about their new venture—“It’s time to go beyond the peel”. See what they are doing about Fair Trade bananas. http://www.beyondthepeel.com/ - Maureen MacLean


Co-op Community Bulletin Board

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

§      June 14-16, 2010 – Canadian Co-operative Association Congress 2010: Co-operation and sustainability: the way forward, The Westin Bayshore, Vancouver, BC


Contest of the WeekLast week’s winner: Last week the correct answer came from David Kerr and we thank him for his inclusion of the carbon footprint information. Well done!  Answer: The car will always have 4 tires on it so the total tire distance will be 4 X 5,000 or 20,000. Each of the tires will travel 4,000, 1/5 of 20,000. The carbon footprint, assuming a 15 centimeter wide tire will be .15 X 20,000 or 3,000 square kilometers Thanks to all who tried.   This week’s contest: This week’s contest is a fill in the Christmas riddle. Have fun.

Q. What do snowmen wear on their heads?
Q. How do sheep say Merry Christmas in Mexico?
Q. What is a snowman's favorite lunch?
Q. What do vampires put on their Christmas turkey?
Q. What did Elvis’s ghost say to Santa Claus?
Q. What do you call a snowman party?

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 – Christmas at our house is a mixture of quiet and bustling times. We have a family dinner with 10 to 12 people on Christmas Day. Then on Boxing Day we hold a pot-luck for the extended family which can see as few as 20 or as many as 30 people filling our home. As there are more people than seats, it is eat where you feel comfortable. A number of people usually find their way to the staircase in the living-room where they can eat and watch at the same time. Along with the usual casseroles, salads, leftover turkey, and special desserts, some of the more popular items are Coffee Nog, mulled apple cider, and a wonderful seafood chowder prepared by my husband. One dish that always makes an appearance and is always enjoyed is the Pecan Baked Squash brought by my daughter. It is a dish that can make you love squash even when you thought you hated it.
Pecan Baked Squash
1 good size Butternut or Hubbard squash (approx. 4 cups)
1/2 cup butter, melted, divided
2 large eggs
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Cut squash lengthwise, remove seeds and place cut-side down on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 350F for 50 minutes. Let cool until you can handle it. Scoop the pulp out of skins into a medium bowl. Mash pulp with a fork; add 1/4 cup butter, eggs and salt, mixing well. Turn into 3 qt ungreased casserole or 9-inch square pan, spreading evenly. Stir together: remaining butter, brown sugar, flour and pecans. Spread evenly over top of squash. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.- 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

§      “Many thanks to Erin Hancock, Ron Levesque, Brenda MacKinnon, Maureen MacLean and Glenna Weagle for the production and circulation of Co-op Circles.”DK, MB

§      “Hi Glenna et Al, This is a repeat recipe I'm sure. But that's OK. Anybody who hadn't tried it the first time ought to this time. I tried it the first time and it makes a delicious meal!!!!” – YG, 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, Dec. 23, 2009


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