santa fe community coop

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Fixing Food Deserts in Santa Fe

Like Tom Philpott of Mother Jones, I believe that community projects like Brooklyn’s Added Value, Oakland’s People’s Grocery, and Boston’s Food Project, will have to play a role in countermanding the food industry’s $4.2 billion marketing effort to sell cheap, profitable food at the expense of people’s health. You have a role to play in Santa Fe. Our new Community Coop will enrich your life and help our community by building a locally owned grocery store with high quality, affordable food for everyone!

Read what Tom has to say about

Supermarkets, Food Deserts, and School Lunch

Fri Apr. 20, 2012 4:00 AM PDT

Supermarkets: part of the solution, or part of the problem? Noodle Pie/Flickr

My colleague Kevin Drum has a good post rounding up recent research on the problem of food deserts—neighborhoods that lack access to large supermarkets and are instead served largely by corner stores.

Food deserts have come under scrutiny as a possible cause of obesity and other diet-related health problems in low-income neighborhoods. But as Kevin shows in his post, there’s no evidence that adding a supermarket to a neighborhood automatically changes people’s diets or improves their health outcomes.

I can’t say I’m surprised. If I don’t know how to swim, it’s highly unlikely that plunking a pool down in my neighborhood will suddenly have me doing laps. If I’m not accustomed to exercise, it’s highly doubtful that sudden access to a state-of-the-art gym is going to turn me into a fitness nut. Daily practices like eating form out of habit, and habits don’t change quickly or easily.

And the food industry has plenty of resources to encourage people to develop habits that engorge its bottom line at the expense of people’s health. In the latest numbers I’ve seen, from 2010, fast-food restaurants alone were spending $4.2 billion per year on marketing—much of it to children (an earlier study pegged the number at $1.6 billion). Fresh-vegetable interests simply can’t compete with that juggernaut.

Moreover, it isn’t as though supermarkets are emporiums of fresh, healthy food. True, a supermarket will offer more abundant and likely fresher produce than, say, a corner store. But produce sections are largely an afterthought—supermarkets mainly profit from selling aisles and aisles of boxed, pre-fab food. I can easily see how someone with a poor diet could switch from shopping at the corner to shopping at at big-box grocer without undergoing much of a diet change.

I agree with Kevin that if we want to improve the American diet, “we need to look elsewhere.” Efforts like Michelle Obama’s push to get Walmart and other big boxes into low-income areas are likely to benefit few but shareholders in those companies.

Where I propose we look first is to the National School Lunch Program, which remains drastically underfunded even after last year’s reauthorization. [See what New Mexico’s  Farm to Table is doing to support healthy school lunches.] I stand by what I wrote two years ago:

School lunches are our society’s most concrete, tangible way of transmitting foodways to rising generations. Sure, we pass on foodways in home kitchens and in our built infrastructure of restaurants/eateries, and well as through advertising; but those are in the private sphere. The public-school cafeteria is where we create a public vision of what the food system should be like. In short, it’s the public contribution to the formation of kids’ eating habits. And the eating habits we develop as kids largely determine the food choices we make as adults. If that weren’t true, the food industry wouldn’t be dropping $1.6 billion every year marketing to kids.

What we’re doing in public-school cafeterias is helping brutalize the palates of today’s children. We’re helping mint literally millions of customers for a food industry that generates tremendous profit selling cheap, abysmal, and ecologically ruinous food. We are helping to shape the food system that we’ll have in 10 years and beyond: a food system that builds health within communities and ecosystems–or one that does the opposite.

But as I emphasized in that piece, transforming the cafeteria alone will not likely transform the food system. The food industry has built up tremendous cultural and economic momentum over decades; having seized control of school lunches is only one facet of its domination over our food culture. I suspect that community-organizing projects—like Brooklyn’s Added Value, Oakland’s People’s Grocery , Boston’s Food Project, and the many other bubbling up across the country—will also have to play a role. Joining the Santa Fe Community Coop will enrich your life and help our community build a locally owned grocery with high quality, affordable food for everyone!


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Buzz About Bees

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Scientists discover what’s killing the bees. Todd Woody @ greenwombat writes:

. . . the mysterious mass die-off of honey bees that pollinate $30 billion worth of crops in the US has so decimated America’s apis mellifera population that one bad winter could leave fields fallow. Now, a new study has pinpointed some of the probable causes of bee deaths and the rather scary results show that averting beemageddon will be much more difficult than previously thought.

Scientists had struggled to find the trigger for so-called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) that has wiped out an estimated 10 million beehives, worth $2 billion, over the past six years. Suspects have included pesticides, disease-bearing parasites and poor nutrition. But in a first-of-its-kind study published today in the journal PLOS ONE, scientists at the University of Maryland and the US Department of Agriculture have identified a witch’s brew of pesticides and fungicides contaminating pollen that bees collect to feed their hives. The findings break new ground on why large numbers of bees are dying though they do not identify the specific cause of CCD, where an entire beehive dies at once.

When researchers collected pollen from hives on the east coast pollinating cranberry, watermelon and other crops and fed it to healthy bees, those bees showed a significant decline in their ability to resist infection by a parasite called Nosema ceranae. The parasite has been implicated in Colony Collapse Disorder though scientists took pains to point out that their findings do not directly link the pesticides to CCD. The pollen was contaminated on average with nine different pesticides and fungicides though scientists discovered 21 agricultural chemicals in one sample. Scientists identified eight ag chemicals associated with increased risk of infection by the parasite.

Most disturbing, bees that ate pollen contaminated with fungicides were three times as likely to be infected by the parasite. Widely used, fungicides had been thought to be harmless for bees as they’re designed to kill fungus, not insects, on crops like apples.

“There’s growing evidence that fungicides may be affecting the bees on their own and I think what it highlights is a need to reassess how we label these agricultural chemicals,” Dennis vanEngelsdorp, the study’s lead author, told Quartz.

Labels on pesticides warn farmers not to spray when pollinating bees are in the vicinity but such precautions have not applied to fungicides.

Bee populations are so low in the US that it now takes 60% of the country’s surviving colonies just to pollinate one California crop, almonds. And that’s not just a west coast problem—California supplies 80% of the world’s almonds, a market worth $4 billion.

In recent years, a class of chemicals called neonicotinoids has been linked to bee deaths and in April regulators banned the use of the pesticide for two years in Europe where bee populations have also plummeted. But vanEngelsdorp, an assistant research scientist at the University of Maryland, says the new study shows that the interaction of multiple pesticides is affecting bee health.

“The pesticide issue in itself is much more complex than we have led to be believe,” he says. “It’s a lot more complicated than just one product, which means of course the solution does not lie in just banning one class of product.”

The study found another complication in efforts to save the bees: US honey bees, which are descendants of European bees, do not bring home pollen from native North American crops but collect bee chow from nearby weeds and wildflowers. That pollen, however, was also contaminated with pesticides even though those plants were not the target of spraying.

“It’s not clear whether the pesticides are drifting over to those plants but we need take a new look at agricultural spraying practices,” says vanEngelsdorp.

What can we do?  Buzz About Bees has some suggestions.


There is much you can do in your own gardens to help save the bees! Ensure you have flowers and plants in bloom for as long as possible in the garden. Some bee species may come out early, and will be looking for much needed pollen and nectar sources provided by spring bulbs such as daffodils and crocuses. Pussy willow and herbs such as rosemary are also useful. Remember, some bees will continue foraging late into the season too, so try to ensure you include late flowering blooms in your garden, such as winter heathers. Check out the following link (opens new window) featuring calendarised lists of great bee plants.

You could also make efforts to purchase plants, bulbs and seeds free of neonicotinoid and systemic insecticides – more about this below. These pesticides are used widely in Holland, a major supplier to garden centers, grocery multiples and other plant sellers. Why not establish a relationship with a local nursery or grower you can trust, and ask them whether or not they are using these products.  Many conservation charities are asking for a suspension of these pesticides, and for an overhaul of the regulatory system.  As of August 2013, I’m not aware of a full ban on any of these produces – merely some temporary restrictions to some of these chemicals in certain circumstances.  This applies particularly to the EU and you can read more about it here and the global scenario here.

Another option is to purchase your plants, bulbs and seeds from organic suppliers.

Remember too that a supply of water and mud are useful. Some bees, such as Mason bees, use mud for constructing their nests.


When selecting plants for your garden, always remember that simple, old-fashioned varieties are better than highly cultivated ones. Herbs and heathers are generally great for bees, as well as traditional cottage style flowers (and whatever anyone says, they NEVER go out of fashion!).


Plant wildflowers in your garden, or even create a small meadow. There are several ways you could do this:

– allow a patch of lawn to grow, only mowing twice during the year (early and at the end of the season). Wait and see what comes up.

– sow seeds, or buy potted wildflowers (some may be difficult to establish otherwise).

– many grassy areas will not convert easily to meadow, because of resilient grasses that prevent wildflowers establishing themselves. If this is the case for you, sow a wildflower that is parasitic on tough grasses such as Yellow Rattle, which is loved by bees, and will out-compete the grass.

Take a look at these ideas for your lawn, including incorporating wildflowers.


If you want to help save the bees, try natural methods of pest control – such as putting up bird boxes and blasting aphids with water.

Many well-known garden pesticides contain neonicotinoids. The same applies to lawn care products.

The fact is, most insect species are beneficial or harmless.

Neonicotinoid pesticides can remain in the soil for years, and continue to be taken up by the plant (and the bees). Neonicoitinoids include imidacloprid, Acetimacloprid,Clothianidin, Thiacloprid, Thiamethoxam, Dinotefuran and Nitenpyram. To read more, follow this interesting link looking at patents for pesticides and what they reveal, go to this link to look at how neonicotinoids work, and this link about organic gardening.


A bundle of hollow canes could make a home for solitary bees. Some bumblebee species will take up residence in bird boxes, or an upturned plant pot (with holes) provisioned with bedding, and located in a secure, shady area. Take a look at this useful bees nest Q&A.

If you come across a bee nest or swarm, try not to disturb it. If it’s a solitary or bumblebee nest, they only last a season – and be careful not to mistake solitary bees for wasps, as some look alike. Most bees rarely sting unless provoked – see may page about bee sting facts.

Meanwhile, if you are concerned about a swarm or honey bee nest, contact a local beekeeper. Take a look at my information page about bee swarm removal.


Spread the word about the need to help save the bees! This could range from sharing these tips to chatting with your neighbour or giving a talk about bees to your gardening groups.


If you are going to buy honey, buy local honey from a beekeeper you trust who cares about their bees.

See these honey buying tips.


There are lots of ‘Save the Bees’ types of initiatives, from signing petitions to ban suspect pesticides and GMO crops, to asking governments for more funds for positive action into helping bees and pollinators. Participate where you can.

Social media is great for raising awareness.  Why not share these ‘Bee Menus’, or general gardening pages?


Write to your local council or political representative. Tell them about the need to save our bees, and ask them to stop the use of pesticides in public spaces (from parklands to community planting schemes), to plant more bee-friendly plants, and to make space for wildflowers along verges etc.

For further information about how councils can help to prevent bee decline,  see these ideas.


Neonicotinoid and systemic pesticides are used in agriculture on food crops – and these of course, end up on the shelves of supermarkets.

Perhaps now is the time to start growing your own pesticide-free fruit & veg? You’ll be surprised just how many corgettes and green beans you can grow – even in a few pots outside!

If you cannot grow your own, then try to select as much organic produce as you can when you are buying your shopping.

When you spend your cash, you cast a vote.

If you buy at least some organic produce, your purchases, along with those of others, will send a signal to retailers, which will ultimately send a signal to farmers.

It’s as simple as that!

If you want to read more, check out Lisa Law’s Save the Bees Hysterical Historical Parade handout, BUMBLE_beerackƒ

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Santa Fe’s New Social, Economic and Environmental Cooperative Model

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We want to get the word out about our new social, economic, and environmental cooperative model. Bridging the North and South sides of Santa Fe, our new cooperative provides high quality, affordable food to everyone. It brings food & health equity and new farming models together, growing more local food and creating more local jobs in Santa Fe, while preserving our most vulnerable resource, water.

The Coop offers one-stop-shopping for healthy, nutritious, mostly organic and non-GMO, local whenever possible, food; along with nutritional supplements, basic housewares, some hardware, beauty products, and select gourmet. It will be home to a rich and progressive culture where Santa Feans actively participate in improving their own lives and lives of others . . . where we, together, deliver on our commitment to live a life of meaning.

The Coop is family-oriented, with childcare and desks for homework, cooking and nutritional classes, and high quality prepared food for seniors and singles. Built on a solid ecological model, the backbone of the coop is an energy efficient system that optimizes thermal outputs, recycles grey water, deploys solar energy, and uses proven and emerging agricultural technologies in a model, economically and environmentally viable, grocery store replete with high-yield, water-efficient urban farming. Working with La Familia Medical Center, Youthbuild job corp and other community NGO’s we are marshaling our community’s economic and social resources to empower Santa Fe’s growth and health.

The Coop uses a proven business model, the Park Slope Food Coop in Brooklyn, which has been in business for 40 years . . . with whom we have strong and active strategic alliance. Located in a walking community of 73,595, the PSFC is one of the top five independent grocery stores in the country. It is highly efficient, with $6,500 annual sales per square foot compared to Whole Foods’ $777. It has 16,000 working members, and charges 21% mark-up compared with most natural grocers’ mark-up of 65% and more. The Coop saves shoppers 20%-40% on food, selling organic Yukon Golds for $.57 lb and organic leeks for $2.37. They take healthy food to a new level, stocking 85% organic compared to Whole Foods’ 26%. The Coop will launch with a 29% mark-up.

The Coop needs your help. We cannot do this without you. You are the foundation of the cooperative . . . its owners, its cheerleaders, its heart and soul. We encourage you to join and to let your friends know about the Coop so they can join. The Coop needs 400 Founding Members to secure our site and our financing; we will not spend your pledge or move forward until we have 400 Members. By joining now, you will save your first year’s $25 membership fee, and you will have the pleasure of knowing that you have helped make an outstanding contribution to our community, a contribution that delivers on Santa Fe’s promise of citizen engagement, cultural diversity, and ecological stewardship.

To join, click here. If you want to learn more, you will find lots of information on the Coop’s web site and Facebook page. We invite you to attend a community gathering where you can meet Members and newcomers. Our next meeting is Monday, September 23, 5:30 – 7:00, at La Farge Branch Library, 1730 Llano Street.

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Dreaming New Mexico Farm Facts

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many thanks to Dreaming New Mexico, a bioneers collaborative project

• number of farms: 20,930, a growth of over 35% since 2002. the large increase is, in part, adding native amercan farmers to census. land in farms: 43.2 million acres (about 60% of State). about 87% of the farmland is range and pasture. number of acres in farms decreased by 4% since 2002.

•  average size of farm: 2,066 ac. median size: 40 ac.

• full owners: 15,850 (39% of all acres). Part owners and renters: 4,007 (54% of all acres). tenants: 1,073 (7% of all acres).total operators; 32,109.

• agriculture is primary occupation: 10,040 (48% of operators).

• farm is place of residence for operators (76%).

• operators who worked zero days on farm in past year (36%); who worked 200 or more days (35%).

• farmers younger than 35: 818. Percent of total farmers (4%). farmers above 60 years of age: 9,140 (45%).

• farms with less than $2,50 worth of sales: 10,496 or 50%.farms with over $100,000 in sales: 1,689 or 8%.

A central element of the Dreaming New Mexico project is to help build a far more self-reliant local food system including a community-based, restoration economy that:

  • Strengthens the vitality of the environmental and social fabric of the state and region
  • Builds local prosperity, creates good jobs and locally owned businesses
  • Places a central emphasis on providing food security while honoring vital cultural traditions and bio-cultural diversity

Lots more information about New Mexico foodsheds in this 50+ page pamphlet, DNMAgeofLocalFoodshedsandAFairTradeStateBooklet.pdf.

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New Mexico: Chile Hot Spot

Repost from Bonny Wolf

ristra200Dried red chiles — strung into ristras — hang in many New Mexican homes and are used for cooking throughout the year. The state is the largest producer of chiles in the United States.

The Spanish conquistadors brought chiles to New Mexico in the 16th century, and they’ve been part of the cuisine and culture ever since. The chile is so valued that it’s been named the state vegetable (even though it’s technically a fruit). The modern New Mexican chile was developed in the late 1800s by Fabian Garcia, a horticulturalist at the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts — today’s New Mexico State University. He wanted to breed a more standardized New Mexican chile.

In 1896, the sheriff of Ventura County, Calif., brought chile seeds back from a trip to New Mexico and planted them near Anaheim. The name stuck, and Anaheim chile is the generic name often given to the New Mexican chile.stew200-s3

However, there has been much breeding and improving over the years, so you’ll see chiles called Espanola, Sandia, Nu Mex, Big Jim, Long Green and others.

Recipes for breakfast quesadillas with New Mexican red chile sauce and green chile stew.

How to Roast Peppers

Place whole peppers over a gas or charcoal grill or under a broiler. They should be turned frequently with tongs until all sides are charred.
Put the charred peppers into a plastic bag and let sit until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes.
Wear gloves to peel peppers, to keep seeds from eyes and skin. Peel the peppers (the skin should come right off) and remove the seeds and stems. Chop the pepper and set aside until ready to use. They may also be frozen in plastic bags with all the air squeezed out.

Hot Tips

Dairy products are the best way to combat that burning sensation. There is a substance in dairy products that counteracts the heat in the chile. So if your mouth feels like it’s on fire, drink a glass of milk.Try to keep the chile away from body parts. The oil can burn your skin and hurt your eyes. Wear gloves when handling chiles.
The chile’s heat comes from a chemical compound called capsaicinoids. They are located on the membrane of the chile. Many people think seeds are where the heat lives. Actually, they absorb it from the membrane.

Matt Romero Roasting Chili's

Chili farmer Matt Romero turns his roaster by hand at our very own Farmers’ Market.

Source: New Mexico State University Chile Pepper Institute

About the Author  Bonny Wolf is Kitchen Window‘s contributing editor and a commentator on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday. She also hosts the Kitchen Window podcast. Her book of food essays, Talking with My Mouth Full, is out in stores. You can find more information at

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A Simple Fix for Farming – a third path

Repost from Mark Bittman, New York Times, Opinionator, October 19, 2012

IT’S becoming clear that we can grow all the food we need, and profitably, with far fewer chemicals. And I’m not talking about imposing some utopian vision of small organic farms on the world. Conventional agriculture can shed much of its chemical use — if it wants to.

This was hammered home once again in what may be the most important agricultural study this year, although it has been largely ignored by the media, two of the leading science journals and even one of the study’s sponsors, the often hapless Department of Agriculture.

The study was done on land owned by Iowa State University called the Marsden Farm. On 22 acres of it, beginning in 2003, researchers set up three plots: one replicated the typical Midwestern cycle of planting corn one year and then soybeans the next, along with its routine mix of chemicals. On another, they planted a three-year cycle that included oats; the third plot added a four-year cycle and alfalfa. The longer rotations also integrated the raising of livestock, whose manure was used as fertilizer.

The results were stunning: The longer rotations produced better yields of both corn and soy, reduced the need for nitrogen fertilizer and herbicides by up to 88 percent, reduced the amounts of toxins in groundwater 200-fold and didn’t reduce profits by a single cent.

In short, there was only upside — and no downside at all — associated with the longer rotations. There was an increase in labor costs, but remember that profits were stable. So this is a matter of paying people for their knowledge and smart work instead of paying chemical companies for poisons. And it’s a high-stakes game; according to the Environmental Protection Agency, about five billion pounds of pesticides are used each year in the United States.

No one expects Iowa corn and soybean farmers to turn this thing around tomorrow, but one might at least hope that the U.S.D.A.would trumpet the outcome. The agency declined to comment when I asked about it. One can guess that perhaps no one at the higher levels even knows about it, or that they’re afraid to tell Monsanto about agency-supported research that demonstrates a decreased need for chemicals. (A conspiracy theorist might note that the journals Science and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences both turned down the study. It was finally published in PLOS One; I first read about it on the Union of Concerned Scientists Web site.)

Rosie Gainsborough

Debates about how we grow food are usually presented in a simplistic, black-and-white way, conventional versus organic. (The spectrum that includes conventional on one end and organic on the other is not unlike the one that opposes the standard American diet with veganism.) In farming, you have loads of chemicals and disastrous environmental impact against an orthodox, even dogmatic method that is difficult to carry out on a large scale.

But seeing organic as the only alternative to industrial agriculture, or veganism as the only alternative to supersize me, is a bit like saying that the only alternative to the ravages of capitalism is Stalinism; there are other ways. And positioning organic as the only alternative allows its opponents to point to its flaws and say, “See? We have to remain with conventional.”

The Marsden Farm study points to a third path. And though critics of this path can be predictably counted on to say it’s moving backward, the increased yields, markedly decreased input of chemicals, reduced energy costs and stable profits tell another story, one of serious progress.

Nor was this a rinky-dink study: the background and scientific rigor of the authors — who represent the U.S.D.A.’s Agricultural Research Service as well as two of the country’s leading agricultural universities — are unimpeachable. When I asked Adam Davis, an author of the study who works for the U.S.D.A., to summarize the findings, he said, “These were simple changes patterned after those used by North American farmers for generations. What we found was that if you don’t hold the natural forces back they are going to work for you.”

THIS means that not only is weed suppression a direct result of systematic and increased crop rotation along with mulching, cultivation and other non-chemical techniques, but that by not poisoning the fields, we make it possible for insects, rodents and other critters to do their part and eat weeds and their seeds. In addition, by growing forage crops for cattle or other ruminants you can raise healthy animals that not only contribute to the health of the fields but provide fertilizer. (The same manure that’s a benefit in a system like this is a pollutant in large-scale, confined animal-rearing operations, where thousands of animals make manure disposal an extreme challenge.)

Perhaps most difficult to quantify is that this kind of farming — more thoughtful and less reflexive — requires more walking of the fields, more observations, more applications of fertilizer and chemicals if, when and where they’re needed, rather than on an all-inclusive schedule. “You substitute producer knowledge for blindly using inputs,” Davis says.

So: combine crop rotation, the re-integration of animals into crop production and intelligent farming, and you can use chemicals (to paraphrase the report’s abstract) to fine-tune rather than drive the system, with no loss in performance and in fact the gain of animal products.

Why wouldn’t a farmer go this route? One answer is that first he or she has to hear about it. Another, says Matt Liebman, one of the authors of the study and an agronomy professor at Iowa State, is that, “There’s no cost assigned to environmental externalities” — the environmental damage done by industrial farming, analogous to the health damage done by the “cheap” standard American diet — “and the profitability of doing things with lots of chemical input isn’t questioned.”

This study not only questions those assumptions, it demonstrates that the chemicals contributing to “environmental externalities” can be drastically reduced at no sacrifice, except to that of the bottom line of chemical companies. That direction is in the interest of most of us — or at least those whose well-being doesn’t rely on that bottom line.

Sadly, it seems there isn’t a government agency up to the task of encouraging things to move that way, even in the face of convincing evidence.

Note from the Coop: Even the organic protocol allows targeted application of chemical fertilizers when critical to a crop’s survivial.

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Updated FAQ featuring new incentives for 400 Founding Members and links to the Coop’s new, online subscription form with options to pay with Visa/MC, PayPal or check.

Q:      What is the Santa Fe Community Coop?

A:     A new grocery store that bridges the North and South sides, bringing high quality affordable food to everyone; a grocery store where your voice will be heard.

The Coop will offer one-stop-shopping for healthy, nutritious food; mostly organic and non-GMO, local whenever possible. 

It will be home to a rich and progressive culture where Santa Feans actively participate in improving their own lives and lives of others. 

Built on a solid ecological model, the backbone of the coop is an energy efficient system that optimizes thermal outputs, recycles grey water, deploys solar energy, and uses healthy, high-yield agricultural technologies.

Q:      There are a lot of grocery stores in Santa Fe. Why do you think we need another one?

A:     The Santa Fe Community Coop is as much about community as it is about food. The Coop will have a cozy eating area, a community room, culturally attuned nutritional programs, cooking classes, child-care and desks for homework, home-made stocks and sauces, and more.

Importantly, our food will be affordable, so everyone in the community can enjoy the benefits of high quality, nutritious food.

Q:      Why do you think the cooperative will be successful?

A:     We are following in the footsteps of the most successful food coop in the country, the Park Slope Food Coop in Brooklyn. With $48 million in sales and 16,000 active members, it is one of the top five independent grocery stores in the country.

While most natural food stores charge a mark-up of 65% or more, the PSFC charges a mark-up of only 21%, saving shoppers 20% to 40% a year, between $2,400 to $4,800 a year for a family of four. At the outset, the Santa Fe Community Coop’s mark-up will be 29%.  The Coop hopes to reduce this over time.

Mostly organic, the PSFC stocks 85% organic compared to Whole Foods’ 26%

With the cost of food rising 4% to 7% a year, healthy, affordable food is rapidly disappearing from the commercial marketplace. The Santa Fe Community Coop fills this gap.

Q:      How is it different from La Montanita?

A:     Just as there is more than one grocery store in Santa Fe, there can be more than one cooperative. A second coop will expand local options for high quality, healthy, affordable food.

The Santa Fe Community Coop is a uniquely member-driven organization. Only members can shop; everyone is welcome to join. Members participate actively in the coop’s ownership, operations and governance. We have special membership options for those with low incomes or disabilities.

Q:      Why should I join?

A:     If you want to enjoy fresh, high quality food and vibrant community, we’re the grocery store for you. We welcome all, multi-generational New Mexicans and newcomers . . . singles, families and seniors.

Q:      What does it cost to join?

A:       Every Member will pay an annual $25 Membership Fee, make a one-time $100 Pledge, and be required to fulfill the Coop’s work requirement, currently two 2 3/4 shifts every four weeks. All adults over 21 in your household must be Members.

The Coop also has an out-of-town membership that allows folks who do not live in Santa Fe year-round to shop 12 times a year. It has the same Membership Fee and Pledge requirements; however, you will only be asked to work two shifts.

Q:     How do I join?

A:     Click here!

You can pay your $100 per Member pledge with Visa/MC or PayPal or you can send  a check. Pay the full amount or sign-up for monthly or quarterly installments.

If you are one of 400 Founding Members, the Coop will waive your first year’s $25 Membership Fee.

Q:     When will it open?

A:     Our projected opening is early 2015.

Q:      Why should I join now?

A:     Our business plan demonstrates that 400 members are needed to ensure the right location, get bank financing and complete our build-out.

The Coop is waiving the $25 Membership Fee for the first year for its 400 Founding Members.Y our name will be included on our special Founding Member wall, and you will  have the pleasure of knowing that helped make this outstanding contribution to our community possible.

No membership contributions will be spent until we have 400 members. If we do not have 400 members by December 31, 2013, all monies will be returned.

Q:      How do I get more information?

A:     If you have questions, email the Coop at The Coop also holds monthly Community Gatherings. Check for logistics by clicking COMMUNITY CALENDAR on our Home page.

Q:      How can I participate?

A:     Help the Coop recruit members. You can find out more about the Coop and its recruiting process at Volunteer Gatherings. Check for dates and locations, coming soon, by clicking COMMUNITY CALENDAR on our Home Page.

The Coop also invites you to join a work group. Or, if you have special skills that you want to volunteer, please let us know! The Design Team is currently  designing the Coop’s building, so let us know if you have skills you would like to contribute. The Coop always need graphic design, and we will soon need web programming and design skills. Marketing, financial and administrative skills are always welcome.   

If you like the Community Coop, please tell your friends about it! “Follow” at, “Like” Santa Fe Community Coop on Facebook.