Zest for Life!

By the time January rolls around, winter cooking styles begin to feel a little heavy and I am ready for something with some zing! Oranges, lemons, grapefruit, and limes to the rescue. It's the high tide of citrus season and it's going to last for another month or so. There is a great little tool called a zester that is specifically designed to take off just the outer citrus peel and leave the bitter white pith on the fruit. I get a blast of citrus aromatherapy every time I do this, and sometimes a nice little aerosol spray of citrus oil on my forearms. With the right angle and a little thumb pressure, the tool shaves along causing lovely long strands of peel to pile up on the table.

I have learned the hard way to take the zest off before juicing the fruit.  Zesting a flabby citrus shell is frustrating and usually not very productive.  Another zesting trick is to move the tool in vertical strokes down the side of the citrus, rotating it just a bit after each stroke until the entire fruit is bald.  Of course some citrus are better candidates for this process than others.  Generally oranges with a very firm skin like navels or cara cara work best.  Limes, grapefruit, and regular lemons also zest well.  There are lots of reasons to choose organic citrus over conventional, but when it comes to using the peel, organic definitely makes more sense.  Sometimes dye is injected into conventional oranges to enhance their color and it’s not unusual for them to be coated with a petroleum-based wax to protect them from bruising. 

How do I use zest, let me count the ways!  I always add it at the end of a recipe and prefer not to cook it so the flavor stays really bright. However adding it to baked treats like muffins doesn't seem to dilute the flavor at all. Veggie or grain salads, are my favorite places to sprinkle a little zest, and it's really nice partnered with crème fraiche as a soup garnish. 

More Co-op News

2018 Electronic Coupon Schedule

To further our sustainability efforts and to serve you better, we began offering Electronic Owner Coupons in January 2017 at the register.

No more forgetting to bring your owner coupons. No more waiting for your newsletter to arrive. Cashiers simply ask if you want to use your owner coupons when you check out.

As we enter our second year of Electronic Coupons we wanted to share a couple of friendly reminders and the 2018 month by month schedule.

Please note:

What Does Democracy Have to Do with Cooperatives?

By Annie Hoy, Marketing Manager

We often refer to cooperatives as “democratic enterprises.” But what does that really mean? The Ashland Food Co-op, like all other co-ops in most economic sectors, is owned and controlled by the people who use its services.

Proposals Sought for the 2018 Community Grants

The funding cycle for the 2018 Co-op Community Grants for nonprofit organizations begins in February.

Every spring, for more than 20 years, we’ve been donating to area nonprofits through our Community Grant program. We are committed to creating healthy, sustainable communities and this program helps us fulfill that commitment by supporting the amazing work of local nonprofits. The Community Grant program is also the highlight of Cooperative Principle 7, Concern for Community, and is something we take to heart.

From the General Manager’s Desk

By Emile Amarotico

As we commence our lap around the sun in 2018, I wish to recognize the longstanding contributions of an amazing group of professionals. We are blessed with the dedication of eleven department managers expertly coordinating the daily flow of people, products and services that breath life into our Co-op!

  • Lynne (35+ years’ tenure) our Grocery Manager oversees keeping the aisles abundant with shelf stable products and coolers full of fresh perishables.

The Role of the Board in Co-op Governance

By Gwyneth Bowman, Vice President

After serving on the AFC Board for fourteen years my passion for the Co-op model has strengthened my commitment to the Cooperative Principles and Values. Of special importance is how we work together as a governing body with one voice. We are the ultimate decision-makers of our Co-op and hold a trusteeship for the benefit of our owners and community.

Fall Favorites from the Co-op

Like it or not, the cool weather has arrived. Whether you are heading out for a hike or enjoying a good book by the fire, the Co-op Deli has what you need to fuel your favorite fall activity. Stay warm with these comfort food recommendations from the Co-op Deli.
 

From the General Manager's Desk

By Emile Amarotico

A recent visitor commented that our parking is totally inadequate to our business volume. What’s true is that we cannot create more parking due to space and municipal code constraints. Thus, the value of each available space is increasing over time. Assuming only half of Co-op shoppers use automobile parking, each space supports at least $200,000 in annual sales.

Meet Board of Director Julie O'Dwyer

When not working on Board of Director efforts, my profession is an Interior and Building Designer. I own the Ashland Design Studio, located in the Historic Railroad District, and have a design services studio there - JulieO Design. I have been in the architectural design business my whole life; from crawling around my father's architectural studio to traveling around the world working on buildings large and small to now having created my own niche in the local building community. I took a few years off this path to own and run Tease Restaurant here in Ashland.

5 Reasons to Love Co-ops

October is National Co-op Month, so what’s the big deal? Being a co-op is special. Yes, we know we are biased, but being a cooperative enterprise means we do business differently. We don’t have a single owner living on their private island drinking margaritas all day without a care in the world. We are owned and governed by you, our 10,000 members. We share the burden in hard times and share the benefits in the good times. We put people, the planet and our principles before profit.

From the General Manager's Desk

By Emile Armarotico

This spring, National Co-op Grocers recognized Ashland Food Co-op as a Co+efficient Sustainability Star for our excellent sustainability efforts.

Our Sustainability Vision aims at being carbon neutral by 2030. We’ve taken a great stride toward this by installing a 39 kilowatt solar electric system on our rooftop with the capacity to generate approximately 7% of our electricity usage. The cost was partially offset by a $27,000 REAP (Rural Energy for America Program) Grant.

Local Starts at the Co-op

When we say local, we mean local. We source our local goods from within 200 miles of the store. By purchasing goods from local producers, we aim to create and maintain a healthy local economy and support family farms. What could be better than helping your community by buying local goods?

With all the local products that we offer, it’s hard to pick a favorite. But that’s exactly what we asked our staff to do. Here are some of their go-to local eats.

Your Fruit. Your Cider.

How often can you browse the shelf at your neighborhood grocery store, see a bottle of hand crafted, local cider and say, “Hey, I help make that!” Well, at the Co-op you can.

Millions of Peaches, Peaches for Me

Many of us wait all year for this moment. We spend the winter months dreaming of a certain fuzzy stone fruit, its sweet juices dripping from our face and the buttery golden pie crust those yellow-orange slices will inhabit.

Good news! The wait is over. That local, sweet orb of sunshine has finally arrived. That’s right. Rolling Hills peaches are here!

2017 Board Election Results

The Ashland Food Co-op Board of Directors is pleased to announce the results of the 2017 Board Election. There were five excellent candidates running for three Board positions. In total, 733 votes were cast, representing 9% of owners. 
 
Congratulations to the following candidates who will serve three-year terms on the Ashland Food Co-op Board of Directors.

We're Sustainability Stars!

Deep in our hearts we've always known we were sustainability stars, but now we have an award to prove it.

We recently received a Co+efficient Sustainability Star award from National Co-op Grocers (NCG) recognizing our positive environmental and community impacts.

Co+efficient, NCG’s sustainability program, measures social, environmental and local economic impacts from participating food co-ops across the country.