Friday, August 30, 2013

Community Forums Return!

Back to school..back to work..back to life...back to your Co-op!

It's time to get back at it! With Labor Day fast approaching it may be time to say goodbye to summer, but it also time to say hello to the return of the Co-op Community Forums - a monthly opportunity for us to strengthen our shared vision and get one step closer to opening our doors. The Fall Community Forum series will be held on the third Monday of the month, September through December, and we will be relocating our meetings to FeedMore (1415 Rhoadmiller Road). The schedule each month will be an Information Session for prospective and new member/owners at 6pm, and a General Meeting for existing member/owners at 7pm. 

The information session will cover cooperative basics and provide an overview of this community grown venture. Anyone interested in learning more is welcome to join. We also encourage new member/owners to attend this orientation session once (and bring a friend!).

The general meeting for current Co-op member/owners is a monthly gathering for those who want to contribute to the process of starting this venture. Member/owners will have the opportunity to engage with committee representatives, contribute to projects, and receive monthly updates.

For all the details visit our website.

This is your Co-op. This is your community. Welcome back.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Feeding More

When I found out about the Co-op’s volunteer day at Shalom Farms earlier this summer, I jumped at the opportunity to tag along. As a FeedMore Chef I have had the pleasure to work with the beautiful produce Shalom donates to our Community Kitchen, where it is used for meals in the Kids CafĂ© and Meals on Wheels Programs. I wanted to be a part of what that days harvest was to yield; I wanted to better understand where the food I was cooking with was coming from; and I wanted to meet the individuals who make so much food so easily accessible to so many insecure families.

If you are visiting this website and reading this blog then you are one of the lucky ones. You understand the need for a drastic change in the way our nation’s communities and families are educated and nourished. You understand the value of quality foods and how they affect our lives. You are aware that “meal time” is one of the most important traditions in our culture and cultures around the world, as it brings families and neighbors together, further strengthening the fabric of our communities. If our meals are composed of foods that are unhealthy and tainted with harmful pesticides, chemicals, and ingredients that could never occur in nature, and produced by way of unsafe and unsustainable methods, then our neighborhoods are bound for figurative and literal mal nutrition.

We must repair our communities. We must educate and nourish our youth. We must provide our next generation with the knowledge needed to eat well and the courage necessary to take a stand against poor food practices. A great way to start is by coming together as a community to volunteer our time and energy. This Friday’s Co-op Volunteer Day in FeedMore’s Community Kitchen, where we feed 1400-3500 kids a day, means you are bound to make a tangible difference in a child’s life. I began as a volunteer at FeedMore, and believe in its mission and value to our city. This Co-op is a way to honor our values through action. Let’s get the ball rolling to create the momentum for change.

-Brandon Walton, Co-op Member/Owner

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Farm to Table Fun

On August 23rd, the Lockhart Family Farm will be hosting the 1st of its on the farm workshops, and this one is going to be extra special. As a farm with a social conscious, we aim to re-connect people with the things they eat through educating the public, preserving heritage breeds, and ensuring that people from all income brackets (and those left out) have access to good quality, local food. We are in our first year, but have already made a commitment to donate 10% of all our produce to local food banks and offer scholarships and work training programs for Refugees in the Fredericksburg and Richmond area.

At our farm workshop, we will be giving a tour around the farm introducing you to the different components of our permaculture inspired system, our heritage animals (some of which are endangered), and give you the opportunity to taste some of these elements. Following the tour, we will sit down with you to enjoy a meal cooked by a local chef with many of the ingredients encountered on the tour (and some from other local farms). The workshop and meal costs $65 to attend.

Being a social business ourselves, we find it important to support other socially conscious businesses. Not only are we members of the Richmond Food Co-op, but we are committing to donate $5 from every ticket to the Co-op to ensure it hits the ground running and is able to provide good food to the people of the Richmond metro area. If you are not a member of the Co-op, make sure to join before buying your ticket as Co-op members get an additional 7.5% off of every purchase (including workshops) from the Lockhart Family Farm through the Buy Local Program.

Click here to purchase tickets. Co-op members email for the promo code.

-Josiah Lockhart, Co-op Member/Owner

Friday, August 2, 2013

Who Builds a Co-op?

Who builds a Co-op?  Its member/owners!

The Co-op is calling for volunteers as we continue our journey towards opening the store.  The work we have to do will happen in three phases:  growing our Co-op right now, building our brick-and-mortar space, and ultimately running the store.

Since January, we are an established cooperative business more than 250 members strong.  Our priority right now is growing the membership base and funding needed to open our doors.  Because we are all friends and neighbors, this process is fun, creative, and extremely rewarding.

We're looking for a wide range of skills from within the people who make up the Co-op.  That's you!  Please take our skills survey, which lists the specific things we need in all three phases.  You probably have something unique to offer that we haven't even thought of - so tell us that, too.
Now is the time to get involved and make your Co-op what you want it to be.

Click here to take the Member Skills Inventory today!

-Erin Ball,  Buy Local Chair