Farming While Black – Leah Penniman Speech

From EcoFarm’s YouTube Channel:

“Some of our most cherished sustainable farming practices have roots in African wisdom. Yet discrimination and violence against African- American farmers has led to a decline from 14% of all growers in 1920 to less than 2% today. Soul Fire Farm, co-founded by author, activist, and farmer Leah Penniman, is committed to ending racism and injustice in our food system. Earlier this year at the EcoFarm Conference, Leah shared how you too can be part of the movement for food sovereignty and help build a food system based on justice, dignity, and abundance for all members of our community.”

“Leah Penniman is a Black Kreyol educator, farmer/peyizan, author, and food justice activist from Soul Fire Farm in Grafton, NY. She co-founded Soul Fire Farm in 2011 and has been farming since 1996. Leah is part of a team that facilitates powerful food sovereignty programs – including farmer training for Black & Brown people, a subsidized farm food distribution program for communities living under food apartheid, and domestic and international organizing toward equity in the food system. Her book, Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm’s Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land is a love song for the land and her people.”

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Staff Fair Trade Picks

Throughout the month of May, we celebrate Fair Trade products and the partnerships that produce them. In-store we will have signage for our staff’s favorite Fair Trade Certified items, and we will update this list throughout May with any new favorites that we find!

What is Fair Trade?

Fair Trade is both a philosophy and a business model. It keeps small farmers and artisans an active part of the marketplace by fairly compensating them for their work, and through various labeling systems allows consumers to shop in a way that aligns with their values.

It also:

Raises the incomes of small-scale farmers, farmworkers, and artisans

Equitably distributes the economic gains, opportunities, and risks associated with the production and sale of these goods

Supports democratically owned and controlled organizations

Promotes labor rights and the right of workers to organize

Promotes safe and sustainable farming methods and working conditions

“Matr Boomie makes such cute accessories that you can feel good about buying because you know that you are supporting a good cause. They pay the artisans that they work with very well and reinvest a portion of the profits back into their communities.”

Karla, Wellness and General Merchandise Manager

“I love the rich flavor of this tea, it has notes of bergamot just like a proper earl grey should!”

Derlina, Front-end Supervisor

“Dr. Bronner’s coconut oil is an amazing product because of how versatile it is! I use it in baking, to make my own toothpaste, and as a lotion during Spring and Summer to help keep mosquitoes away!⁠”

Madison, Education and Outreach Coordinator

“Divine uses only Fair Trade Certified chocolate from farms owned by their farmers, so you can feel good about indulging in these bars. The white chocolate strawberry and milk chocolate toffee are my favorites.”

Matt, Bulk Department

 

“Coffee is what keeps me going and I love that I can support the farmers that produce it by buying from conscious companies such as Equal Exchange and Pachamama.”

Rocio, Operations and Facilities Manager

“A high-quality olive oil is great for entertaining or using in special meals, I like this one for its flavors of almond and spices. La Riojana is an Argentinian farmer-owned co-op that is the biggest exporter of Fair Trade wine in the world.”

Roberto, Front-end Supervisor

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Staff Sustainability Picks

In celebration of Earth day we thought we would share some of our staff sustainability picks with you!

Ryan from our Deli department loves our selection of glass jars! They’re a great storage option that look pleasing in your pantry and help you buy in bulk. These jars in particular have a vacuum seal that keeps out bacteria.

Rheanna from our Produce team loves using beeswax wraps instead of traditional cling film. Beeswax wraps are washable and are a great way to keep foods fresh and covered. They’re also a great choice for carrying snacks! We carry a variety of wraps with eye catching prints in our store.

Madison from our Marketing team is a big fan of this Booda Butter deodorant that comes in a glass jar. This deodorant is made with pure, organic ingredients and the sustainable packaging that it comes in makes it a part of your self-care routine that you can feel great about!

Aster from our Deli team is a fan of the Stasher bags that we carry. These bags aren’t only great for storage but a perfect choice for marinades and sous vide cooking as well!

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Sowing Seeds to Start Your Vegetable Garden

Cherry Tomato Sprouts!
The roots are breaking through the bottom of the carton! Time to repot!
  1. First, pick your favorite seeds out at the Co-op. Make sure to read the instructions on the back as all plants like to start growing at different times!

2. Cut up some old egg cartons and fill each section with soil. Place 2-3 seeds in each section.

3. Mist the seeds and soil thoroughly every day until the sprouts are 2-3 inches. When they reach this size it is time to repot and you can leave them in the egg cartons! If you look closely some of the roots may already be tearing through the carton! Repot the sprouts in quart-sized pots, remember to water them regularly.

To encourage lots of growth, keep the soil moist but do not leave your plant in puddles. Allow them to grow about 1 to 1.5 feet, then move to a 5 gal pot or pot in the ground. For the first few weeks, you want to water them every day, once they reach maturity you want to start watering them less. Let the soil dry out completely before watering them again. The decrease in water will make convince the plant that it is time to start producing! 

Once it is 1 to 1.5 feet, transfer to a large 5-gallon pot or in the ground!
Repot the sprout (still in the egg carton!) into a slightly larger pot until it reaches 1-1.5 feet.

4. Cutting back your plant will encourage more growth, especially with tomatoes and peppers! Cut off the very tips of the plants once they are about 2 feet and the plant will form more stems, which means more fruit!

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Natural Egg Dyeing

Supplies we used to make designs on our eggs!

All you need is eggs, veggies, and spices! These cold bath dyeing recipes are very simple and kid-friendly. Hard-boil eggs using your normal recipe or our recipe!

1. To hard boil, bring a pot of water to a boil.

2. Once the water is at a rolling bowl, gently at the eggs and boil 5 minutes.

3. Then remove the eggs and place them in an ice bath until cool.

4. Done!

National Co-op Grocers sent out a fantastic guide that is easy to follow to dye eggs: https://www.welcometothetable.coop/food-lifestyle/cooking/naturally-dyed-eggs. For white and light green eggs all the colors will work. If you have brown eggs, stick to the darker colors like purple, blue, green, and black tea. We used brown, green, and white eggs and the cold bath method;

Eggs wrapped in cheesecloth with leaves and blooms, then bound with a rubber band and soak in the onion skin dye.

1. Choose your dyeing ingredients. We used turmeric, onion skins, black tea bags, purple cabbage, spirulina, and pomegranate juice.

2. Measure out your ingredients and boil in a pot of water. We made about 2 cups of each dye, which needed; 4 tea bags, 3 onion’s skins, 2 tbsp turmeric, 2 tbsp spirulina, and 1/2 a small cabbage. Boil your ingredients for about 30 minutes, the longer you boil, the brighter the colors will get!

3. Next, you need some art supplies. We used rubber bands, a small piece of cheesecloth, some beeswax (or a crayon), grains (rice), and leaves and flowers from our garden!

4. Decorate your eggs however you like, wrap in cheesecloth if needed, tie closed with rubber bands or string, and leave in the dye for about 30 minutes.

Our cheesecloth are plastic, as opposed to the cotton or linen ones. Thus, it made a design on our eggs. Cotton or linen cheesecloth should not have any effect on the design!

Top, Left to Right: Spirulina, Black Tea, Onion Skins
Bottom, Left to Right: Pomegranate Juice, Tumeric, Purple Cabbage
Left to Right: brown egg in cabbage, brown egg in black tea, green egg in turmeric, whit egg in onion skins, white egg in cabbage

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Earth Day Competition

Voting has closed! Winners will be announce tomorrow at 10 am! Did get a chance to enter or vote? We hope to keep the community involved through competitions, virtual classes and blogs, and social media engagement! Stay tuned for more! We miss you!

Earth Day Artists:

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Answering your Questions About COVID-19 and the Co-op

Please check back for regular updates on this page.

Here for You

We understand that our shoppers and owners are rightly concerned about the Novel Coronavirus, now known as COVID-19, and have asked how the virus is affecting the Co-op. We wanted to share how we are responding to the COVID-19. 

6/22/20

We have reopened our full service meat counter.

6/15/20

Per guidelines set forth by the California Department of Health, we are allowing the use of reusable bags. Customers must bag their own groceries and we encourage anyone using a reusable bag to frequently wash it. Cashiers will continue sanitizing the bagging area after each use.

6/4/20

Our Bulk department has been transitioning to prepacked items, instead of scoop-style bins, with the exception of the gravity bins. We are currently exploring more sustainable options for packaging.

Thank you for you patience

5/8/20

We have introduced Curbside Pickup for a contactless shopping experience. Click here to place a Curbside Pickup order.

4/27/20

Following Yolo County guidelines, all shoppers must be wearing a facial covering in the store. We have a staff member at the front entrance to ensure this is followed. The staff member also sanitizes all carts and baskets as they are returned.

Thank you for you cooperation

4/20/20

Measures Your Co-op is Taking to Keep the Community Safe:

  • Frequent sanitizing of all touch surfaces (doors, card scanners, etc.) and restrooms with a medical-grade virucide.
  • Hand sanitizer or sanitizing wipes and gloves available to all shoppers upon request.
  • Staff member assistance in bulk.
  • We are supplying and requiring all staff members to wear masks or facial coverings. 
  • Prohibiting outside containers and bags in the store.
  • Adhering to social distancing guidelines and signage in-store. We are here to help you, please be mindful of employee’s space.
  • Store Signage reminding shoppers to only touch what you intend to buy.
  • Plexiglass shields and bright yellow social distancing reminders at registers.

4/16/20

Hello Co-op Shoppers!

We are now requiring staff members to wear masks. We hope that you will do the same!

4/13/20

We are currently not allowing reusable bags in the store. If you like to use your own bags please leave them in your car or at the exit, when you have paid for your groceries, refill your cart and transfer your groceries to your bags at your car or on our brown bench.

Bulk Mochii has been moved to aisle 2, where a staff member can assist you!

Thank you for your understanding!

4/9/20

Co-op Shoppers and Owners,

For a few weeks, we have not been collecting bottles but due to a request from Straus, we are changing our policy. The folks at Straus creamery have asked us to keep collecting bottles for them. We will be giving bottle returns to you when you check out and all you have to do is place your bottles in the crates by the exit. This way the people in our store do not come into contact with any outside containers and we can help Strauss keep their milk moving.

Thank you!

4/7/20

Our meat department is fully stocked in the grab and go prepackaged section, but we have closed our meat counter.

In our bulk department, we currently have plastic bags and small paper bags for your items. We are working on getting larger paper bags for our shoppers who wish to limit their plastic waste! Than you for your patience!

4/6/20

Dear Owners and Shoppers,

In order to keep our high-contact surfaces sanitized for you, we are changing the operations of our Bulk Department. Starting this Monday, we will not be permitting the use of outside containers in our Bulk section. There will now also be staff members present in each of the bulk aisles to help you with your shopping. We thank you for your cooperation and understanding. 

3/27/20

Hello Co-op Owners and Shoppers!

We are not currently accepting returns, refunds or exchanges.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation!

3/25/20

Our Valued Owners and Shoppers,

With the retail environment shifting rapidly, we are continuing to balance how we serve the community while taking care of the staff. The changing nature of this virus is making it difficult to balance both. Our goal is to continue to nourish our shoppers, support both our staff and shoppers at this time of need and provide calmness in the face of uncertainty. You might have noticed that supply levels in certain areas such as dry grocery and bulk are still bare and it will take some time to level out the supply chain. We are working closely with all of our partners along the supply chain and are confident that there is a sufficient level of product available to meet the needs of consumers over the next few months.

Staff Appreciation 
We shared with all staff that effective immediately, every single employee will receive an additional $2 per hour to recognize their hard work, positivity and courage as we work to meet the needs of the community.

Stocking the Store
We currently are unable to take bulk or special orders with the exception of our Wellness department. Our Co-op, similar to other stores, are getting a limit placed on what we are able to purchase due to the warehouse experiencing an unprecedented amount of pressure put into their system. We realized that the distribution system is not prepared for the extreme demand that stores are experiencing at the moment. Therefore we ask that you kindly purchase only what you need to get by. When all of us work together, we will have enough items for everyone to purchase.

Store Hours
Starting yesterday, we changed our store hours from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. We designated the first two hours for our most vulnerable members of our community, which include seniors that are 65 and older, pregnant or otherwise at high risk of infection. We ask that you allow our older and immunocompromised community members the time and space they need to do their shopping as safely as possible. If you do not fall into these categories, we invite you to shop with us from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. each day.  The change in hours provides us the opportunity to serve both our community and the staff. Many of our staff are seeing the fear first hand in our customers and experiencing fear themselves due to the uncertain state of this pandemic. We are supporting our staff in all ways possible, while we maintain a limited crew of staff who share these concerns but are willing and able to put themselves at risk to serve our community.

Store Sanitation
These additional hours also give us the opportunity to clean more frequently, and to adhere to social distancing when we are stocking products in the store. The Co-op has also hired maintenance personnel who are ‘patrol sanitizing’ the entire store, including the carts, hand baskets, fridges doors, tongs and scoops, and other highly touched surfaces. We are currently unable to supply wipes at the entrance or hand sanitizer throughout the store due to limited supply. We have placed orders for these items, but again we are being limited by our suppliers on quantity as well as shipping delays.

We have made a number of operational changes in the last few weeks, which you may have seen throughout the store and social media: 

  • Installed Plexi Shield at the front lanes to provide an additional barrier to staff and to shoppers.
  • Put up signage in the store to remind shoppers to self distance and to only touch products they intend to purchase.
  • Made single-use gloves available for our shoppers, by the deli area when you enter the store.

Continued Communication
We will continue to share any other store updates via social media and through email. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve the community when we need it the most. We appreciate the overwhelming love and support we have received for coming to the front line when we are called to do so.

At the store level, we continue to shift and prioritize on a daily basis. Everyone has been so appreciative and have been amazing letting us know how valued we are in the community. Our store team has been working tirelessly to ensure that we have products on the shelves. It has been so amazing to see the camaraderie that everyone has shared and how the entire staff has stepped up to take care of the community in the time of need. Heros come in all forms and they have truly represented themselves in that capacity during this time.

In cooperation,

Prasanna Regmi, General Manager

3/23/20

Effective March 23, 2020 the Davis Food Co-op will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. We have reserved 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. for those most at risk. 

In order to remain available to the most vulnerable members of our community we are reserving these first two hours for those who are 65 and older, pregnant or otherwise at high risk of infection. If you do not fall into these categories, we invite you to shop with us from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. each day.

These new store hours will be in effect until further notice. Thank you for your cooperation as we continue to make our store safe and accessible to everyone.

In Cooperation, The Davis Food Co-op

3/20/20

We are currently working on systems to keep our community healthy and safe, along with keeping our shelves stocked. We will have more update soon! Please stay up to date on Yolo County COVID-19 updates: https://www.yolocounty.org/health-human-services/adults/communicable-disease-investigation-and-control/novel-coronavirus-2019/shelter-in-place

Thank you for you patience!

3/17/20

Dear Davis Community,

Effective March 18, 2020, we are limiting our store hours from 8am to 8pm. This will allow us to focus on stocking our shelves so that we can serve our community and give us the extra time to focus on more cleaning. With this change, we also wanted to provide our senior shoppers with an exclusive shopping hour from 8am to 9am. This first hour would allow them to shop with minimal foot traffic in the store.  At this time, we will not be asking for IDs to validate age, but will remind people to come back during the 9am shopping hour if they are not a senior. 

We are reminding our staff and asking our shoppers to practice the following: 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue (sleeve if necessary), then throw the tissue in the trash, and wash your hands
  • Practice social distancing when in public. 

Prasanna Regmi, General Manager

3/17/20

We appreciate the tremendous trust our community has given us over the years and this past week. We appreciate your kindness, your patience and you just “checking-in” in with us and thanking us for keeping our doors open.  We take the role that we have given very seriously and continue to evaluate operations to keep up with the ever-changing situation we are facing with the COVID-19. 

As we continue to stay close to Yolo County COVID-19 Guidance for Food Facilities we are staying in line with following their advice on how to keep our member-owners, shoppers, and staff safe. The county has advised that Buffet, Serving Lines and Self-Service food formats discontinue whenever possible. So, out of an abundance of caution, we have voluntarily closed self serve prepared foods areas including our Hot Bar, Salad Bar and Soup Bar. We will revisit these areas and re-open when it feels responsible to do so. We will keep our Grab N’ Go area along with the bakery area still open, since each item is wrapped individually. We truly apologize for any inconvenience this may cause to our shoppers.

We appreciate the community being nimble with this situation and being flexible with the changes that are facing together. 

Davis Food Cooperative

3/16/20

Dear shoppers, 

Due to high demand for products, like other retailers, we are starting to experience a shortage in our store. While we are tirelessly working to find different sources to meet the demand, this shortage is affecting different areas such as bulk, grocery and produce. 

In our produce department,  we are starting to see a shortage in organic offerings. As we have shifted, over the last two years, to prioritize local and organic, our farmers and partners are feeling the stress of fulfilling customer requests. Farmers and distributors can not keep up with the demand and recent wet weather has inhibited harvesting of items like berries and bunched greens. While we prioritize local, organic and transitional offerings in produce, we are currently exploring conventional items to replace produce that we might have a hard time sourcing.

Keeping everyone updated with new changes is critical to everyone’s success and we are sharing this information so that our community can plan accordingly. 

Davis Food Cooperative

3/14/20

About the Virus

We realize the information related to the COVID-19 virus is changing rapidly. For most up to date and accurate information we are following information from our partners at UC Davis and Sutter Health. We are also following guidelines given by Yolo County Health Department to guide store operations.

You Tube video:

The Co-op’s Response & Sanitation

We have many procedures already in place to help protect the safety of our employees, members, and shoppers—procedures we rely on to reduce the spread of foodborne illness and seasonal colds and flu every year. With the rapidly changing COVID-19 virus, we are focused on increasing the frequency of our cleaning regiment, throughout the store. With this, we are sanitizing our frequently touched hard surfaces every two hours with a medical grade virucide. Provided that we have enough supplies on hand, we will continue to have wipes available for carts at the customer service counter. Should we run short on disinfectant wipes, we will provide virucide spray (with disposable paper towels) to wipe down carts.  You will also see hand sanitizer stations in different areas of the store. Since handwashing is the best way to combat any virus, including the COVID-19, we have set up a portable sink for your convenience to use at the front entrance.

For our Team

Over the last three days, we have spent a lot of time talking and being available for our staff. Because we truly care about our community, our practice has always been for staff to remain at home when they are sick.  All of our full-time and part-time staff accumulate paid time off to cover sick time. During this time, we are instructing employees to take any needed time off for themselves or their families either due to illness or due to other circumstances such as school closure. We are reminding our staff to follow good hygiene during this time and sharing information from both Yolo County and Center for Disease Control (CDC). 

For our Shoppers

As a community grocery store, we have always been the trusted source for your grocery needs. Our goal is to continue to provide the same service as we have in the past to serve our community. Please know that we are doing our best to keep up with high-demand items, such as hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes and cleaning supplies.  We will continue to work tirelessly and to the best of our ability, to keep our shelves stocked and be present for our community. 

Working together

We acknowledge that this is a trying time and value your kindness and patience as we are learning to navigate through this ever-changing situation together.  The outpouring love and support of our community does not go unnoticed.  We appreciate each and every one of you helping us get through this together.

Serving you since 1972

Davis Food Cooperative

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Tips for Sustainable Shopping At The Co-op

Co-op shoppers tend to be folks who are concerned about the environment and their impact upon it. Here are some ideas for both the conscious consumer and the budding environmentalist alike on how you can make your next stop at the co-op a little bit greener:

Find A Way To Get Here Without A Car

While many of us need to use our cars to get to the co-op, those who are able to find alternate ways of commuting can help make the environment and their bodies just that little bit healthier. If you’re fortunate to live close enough for walking to be an option, don’t miss out on an opportunity to get some fresh air while you grab your groceries. Participate in Davis’ bike culture by pedaling your way over. If you need to use a car to get here, see if you can start a carpool with family or friends!

Bring Something To Carry Your Groceries Home In

This might seem like a no-brainer to many, but always making sure to have something to tote your groceries home in goes beyond the bag that you use at the checkout counter. You avoid creating waste by bringing your own produce bags, using your own cloth bags in the bulk aisle, or by bringing a mason jar with you for your favorite freshly-ground nut butter. 

Shop In The Bulk Section

Not only can the bulk section save you from contributing more packaging waste to the environment, but it can also save you money at the checkout counter. Buying package-free products also helps you avoid the chemicals that lurk in plastic wrappings and can potentially sneak into your food.

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