We're All Turtles
By Dean Williamson, Board of Director
My grandmother loved to talk. Oh, could she talk! And she had one expression that I’ve always really liked. “If you come across a turtle on top of a fence post, you can be pretty sure it didn’t get there by itself.”
When I heard this as a little kid, I would imagine a slow-moving creature, pulling itself up a rope, which is still pretty funny to me. I find myself returning to that saying a lot these days as I try to make sense of our nutty world. So much talk seems to emphasize individualism, and so little seems to stress community.
Then, the other day when I walked into the Co-op. It hit me that I did not, and never have, climbed any fencepost by myself. We’re all turtles and we can all achieve great things, with a little support.
That’s the whole reason we have a co-op. We owners have decided that we don’t want to go it alone. We have figured out the power of working together. A co-op is a different way of doing business. People before profits is not just a cute expression, it’s the mission of the organization. Our co-op exists to serve its members, to provide the very best in food and healthcare products and to take care of employees and community. It’s not about returning profits to a single individual or small group of outside investors. It’s about building a better system.
And what better time of year to remember our connectedness than at the holidays? I have such gratitude for the fabulous co-op in our town. I’m thankful for the expert staff working hard to bring us the healthiest, most affordable and sustainable products. The Co-op is a great place to connect with neighbors, to nourish our bodies and our relationships. It’s a big deal to have such a place in our town.
That’s important for me to remember, especially when I feel like I’m drowning in incessant internet and media noise, which is always trying to pull us apart and to convince us that turtles do, in fact, fly. I know better. My grandmother taught me that turtles may be talented, but they occasionally need a helping hand. We are all stronger when we come together for the benefit of the greater good. Happy Holidays!
More Co-op News
Part of what makes co-ops unique are the guiding 7 Principles of Cooperation. One of the seven that is felt strongly in Ashland is "Concern for the community" - and that's why the Co-op is offering a new way to give back to our community for the month of October. When you pay at the register, you can round up your total to the nearest dollar. For example, $11.68 becomes $12, and $0.32 is donated.
Donations in October will go to the Ashland Food Co-op Community Fund, which funds the Community Grant program (over $29,000 was provided last year to local non-profits).
Find out how fun and educational Co-op cooking classes are! Sign up below for the chance to win two free seats (for you and a friend or loved one) at the next class, "Chicken Done Simply" with the Co-op's own Michelle Guerrie.
Thanks to alpine trails and shaded valley creeks, outdoor recreation is year-round in the Rogue Valley. But fall usually makes for more frisky feet, so we asked Co-op employees for their favorite fall activities and recommendations for what they grab before they head out.
Just in time for the school year, Applegate products are being added to the Co-op Basics program! The Co-op carries a variety of Applegate products, like sliced deli meat, cheeses, bacon, and sausages. Now as part of the Co-op Basics program, you’ll be saving up to $2 on Applegate products across the store, every day.
Another successful farm tour is in the books! With 30 farms this year, visitors could see how bigger farms work, like Herb Pharm, Fry Family Farm, and Rogue Creamery, while also experiencing the joys of smaller farms, such as Turning Point Farm, Fox Run Farm, and Daily Blessing Farm.
Visitors of all ages enjoying Goodwin Creek Gardens
Ashland is a paradise for the outdoors - but sometimes Mother Nature has different plans for us.
When smoke from wildfires becomes an issue, there are still plenty of great activities to enjoy around our wonderful town. Check out this list for some inspiration!
The AFC juice bar has several fresh, organic juices that help with lung support. Here are a few suggestions:
This year, the Ashland Food Co-op proudly celebrates their 20 year partnership with Magnolia Farms. Their pasture raised, no antibiotics, no hormones lamb is a staple in the Co-op Meat Department. Magnolia Farms is graciously donating the lamb for our August First Friday in celebration of our long standing partnership.
The Co-op has been asked if compostable plastic bags are a viable alternative to the standard plastic bags offered in the produce and meat departments.
For several reasons, compostable bags are not in line with the Co-op’s goals and standards.
Not compostable at home
We are happy to announce that we are a member of the Energy Trust of Oregon’s Strategic Energy Management program. This is a free program available to customers of Avista and Pacific Power, which offers awesome incentives including a paid internship!
The Ashland Food Co-op donated over $29,000 to 28 local nonprofit organizations through their Community Grant Program.
The Community Grant program is the focus of one of the fundamental Cooperative Principles, which all cooperative enterprises follow. Our Community Grant Program supports Principle 7, Concern for Community.
Congratulations to Annie Hoy, Melina Barker, Lisa Beam, and Steve Bowman for their election to the Board of Directors! We were delighted to have such a strong slate of candidates to fill our four vacancies. You can read more about each new director here.
Have you thought about how sustainable your paper home products are? While the use of single-use plastics has (rightfully) been criticized, some products are made to be single-use - like toilet paper, paper towels, and napkins. With these products, it’s best to examine sustainability by looking at what goes into their production.
We are grateful for the engaged community that supports the Ashland Food Co-op. We're a grocery store owned by you (with a few thousand of your friends). But your ownership isn't just coupons and discount; you help shape the future of the Co-op through the election of the Board of Directors.
This year, seven candidates are nominated for four board positions: two will serve a three-year term; one will serve a two-year term; and one will serve a one-year term. Additionally, the current board has proposed three by-law changes for approval.