On March 25, GreenStar members, councilmembers and staff joined over 100 community members in Brooktondale at an open house hosted by local farm Cayuga Pure Organics (CPO). The festivities started with a tour highlighting the farm’s recently completed processing facility. People gathered to learn the history of the farm from co-owner Erick Smith, and what is involved in getting their beans, grains and seeds from field to table from CPO’s inspirational advisor and enthusiast John Hamilton.
Afterwards, people lined up eagerly to enjoy a free meal provided by GreenStar including chili made with CPO’s organic black beans, a salad made with local hydroponic lettuce and local cider.
“Supporting local farms and helping to build a sustainable local food system is a part of GreenStar’s mission and values,” says Liz Karabinakis, GreenStar’s Member and Community Services Manager who helped coordinate the event. “Helping to make local food accessible in our community is more than operating a retail business- it is about connecting with our farmers and being a part of their accomplishments.”
Community members and businesses that have been instrumental at helping CPO overcome daunting challenges where identified to the crowd and given a heartfelt appreciation.
“We are thankful that so many people value what we are trying to do,” says Erick Smith, “This is a great opportunity to work together and help develop a local food economy that is rooted in ecological responsibility and strives to grow, produce and sell the highest quality products to our community.”
The afternoon ended with a farewell to CPO farmer Melissa Madden who is pursuing a farming endeavor in Wisconsin, and a warm welcome to Shamus Clancey, the newest member of CPO’s beanery team.
Guests were excited to learn that the processing facility is operational and black, pinto, small red and cranberry beans, as well as whole oats and whole wheat, are now available at the Co-op!
As busy as the CPO team is putting finishing touches on its new bean facility and gearing up for the upcoming growing season, they also continue to expand their operation. The farm recently acquired and will soon install a commercial mill. Watch for locally grown, locally milled whole grain flours at GreenStar soon!
New in Grocery
As always, we've got you covered for Thanksgiving, from the main course to the sides and everything else.
All right, members, you know the drill. ... It's Thanksgiving time once again! This year, just like every year, we have everything you're looking for to complete your holiday table right here in the Grocery Department. Organize your meal around either a local turkey or a number of main-course vegan options. From there, we've got stuffing boxes or ingredients, tasty, high-quality organic pumpkin and organic cranberry sauce in cans, organic baking ingredients, and every other fixin' you might need! For the record, it's never too early to start thinking about the next round of holidays coming up soon. We'll be rolling out some tasty desserts and treats to keep the holiday celebration going and going and going and going. ... And if you haven't yet, look for our new and improved Co-op Basics list, found at the front of the store. The Grocery Department is full of bargains perfect for pantry-stocking.