Thanks!

Thanks to everyone who made the Great River Co-op's annual electronic and electrical trash collection on Saturday, May 16, a success.  We not only earned funds to support the co-op's progress but gathered three truckloads of e-trash from barns, basements, and garages.  Special thanks to volunteers Mark Conca and Denny Searles for their time, labor, and good humor.

2015 NOFA Summer Conference

Make your plans to come to the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) Summer Conference on August 14, 15, and 16 at  the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.  

 

The three-day conference features 150 workshops on wide ranging topics like farming, gardening, nutrition, land care, food politics, and special workshops for teens and children.  Also in store: fun, music, films, and lots more!

The conference offers five pre-conferences on Friday morningHerbal Remedies for Digestive Wellness with Brittany Nickerson; Regenerative Agriculture for the Climate with Connor Stedman; Pastured Poultry with Ken Gies;  Healing Your Body with the GAPS Nutritional Protocol with Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride; and Backyard Beekeeping with Sanne Kure-Jensen.

This year's keynote speakers are Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, medical doctor and nutritional consultant, and Ronnie Cummins, consumer activist and regenerative agriculture advocate.

We're accepting workshop proposals through March 31st. Registration begins April 15. Check out www.nofasummerconference.org for updates! 

 

Help us spread the word! Visit bit.ly/1BmKxu2 for sharable Facebook text, blog posts, calendar listings and more.

 


ATTENTION, MOVERS AND SHAKERS

Hello, member-owners of the Great River Co-op!  It's almost that time of the year again.  Our annual meeting will be held at the end of April.  The date and venue will be announced as soon as they’re confirmed.  Meanwhile, now is the time to put your name on the ballot to become a board member! 

We have reached an exciting time in the process of creating and opening our store.  We are now fully engaged in raising the remaining funds to get us up and running -- but we need all of our member-owners to be engaged in order to succeed. 

Joining the board at this time will give you a central role in making the key decisions about how the store looks, how it’s stocked, and when we open the store’s doors.  If you’re a voting member and would be willing to consider becoming a member of the Board, please contact us at 603-835-6488 or at kimmastrianni@yahoo.com.  If you’re not a voting member, please consider purchasing additional shares to become one.  Your additional support will bring the project that much closer to completion.

Remember, this is your store. 

Thanks,
Kim Mastrianni
President, Board of Directors

YOU CAN HELP THE CO-OP STEP UP TO HUNGER IN OUR REGION

The Fall Mountain Food Shelf has recently lost a key source of food donations and it hurts:  the food shelf is one of New Hampshire’s busiest pantries for people in need, helping between 1,100 and 1,300 families in a typical month, and those families feel the loss.  Donations to the food shelf have fallen off noticeably and the Great River Co-op is stepping in to help. 
 
To fill the gap, the co-op has placed drop-off boxes for the food shelf at the Walpole and Alstead/Langdon transfer stations, also known as recycling centers or “dumps". Eventually, we all have to go to the dump.  When you do, please bring along some non-perishable items to leave in the boxes. The Alstead drop box is in a heated area so glass containers are fine but please avoid glass jars at the Walpole drop box as it is in an area not always well-heated and glass can freeze and shatter.  Please spread the word about the boxes so we can make sure all of our neighbors have access to food.  Call Ben at 603-445-2200 or e-mail info@greatriverfoodcoop.com if you have suggestions for additional drop box locations and watch for new locations coming.

FOOD SECURITY AND THE ROOTS OF CO-OPERATION

By Erbin Crowell & Bonnie Hudspeth, Neighboring Food Co-op Association

 

Imagine you are a poor mill worker in the north of England in the mid 1800s. The Industrial Revolution has made production more profitable, but it has also cost skilled artisans their jobs and concentrated wealth and control among a small group of factory owners. Many in the community are unemployed, while others don’t make enough to afford basic groceries. What would you do to provide healthy food for your family? How might you work with your neighbors to improve the lives of people in your community?

 

On December 21, 1844, after years of organizing and experimentation, a group of weavers, workers and community activists opened a modest grocery store on Toad Lane in Rochdale, England.  Their goal was to provide basic goods members such as butter, flour, oatmeal and candles. Their vision, however, was a transformation of the food system and economy.  Read more here.

 

CO-OP RECEIVES $50,000 MATCHING GRANT FROM THE WALPOLE FOUNDATION, PASSES TWO-THIRDS OF ITS FUNDING GOAL

The Great River Co-op has received a $50,000 matching grant from the Walpole Foundation to help capitalize the business.  The co-op will receive the gift after raising an additional $50,000 from member-owners and other private donors.

 

“The significance of the Walpole Foundation’s support can’t be overstated,” says Kim Mastrianni, president of the co-op’s board of directors.  “The foundation understands the key role of agriculture in the Great River region’s past and present economies, in preserving open space, and a way of life that the people who live here cherish.  With its gift, the foundation is investing in the co-op’s mission to secure and strengthen that vision and the region’s agricultural economy.”

 

The Walpole Foundation’s gift also lifts the co-op past the two-thirds mark in its fund-raising campaign. 

 

Building the co-op’s store on Route 12 in Walpole, installing equipment, purchasing inventory, and operating the store until it pays its own way is a $2.1-million venture, according to projections developed by the Monadnock Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and the nationally-respected CDS Consulting Co-op.  Commitments by MEDC and Bensonwood, the store’s developer, total $1.4 million, leaving the co-op to raise $700,000.  The Walpole Foundation’s grant brings the co-op more than two-thirds of the way to reality.

 

If our members and the community will join in the effort, the store could be built a year from now.  All together now!

 

HELP BUILD THE CO-OP – GIVE A TREE

The team at Bensonwood, our builder, has offered us a great idea that could give us a more elegant building, cut the co-op’s operating cost, and involve the Great River community:  if we can collect donations of 100 to 150 hemlock trees (and donated or reduced-price logging and milling services), the Great River Co-op’s home could be a Bensonwood-built timber frame structure.

 

Bensonwood is hoping for old hemlocks but other species also might work.  The trees should be mature and tall.  If you have trees to offer, or ideas of people we can approach to ask for trees, please call Ben at 603-445-2200 or e-mail trees@greatriverfoodcoop.com.

Together, we can build it!

Help plant the seeds.  Click here to make it happen.

Tedd Benson, Bensonwood, and the Monadnock Economic Development Corporation have joined us as partners to build and open the store.  But your fellow member-owners need you to help.  Click here to see the three ways you can take part.

The co-op has a location.  Tedd Benson and his team at Bensonwood are designing our store's building.  The Monadnock Economic Development Corporation is working with us to secure $2.2 million in funding.  But the Great River Co-op's market can become a reality only if we all step up.  Click here to learn how you can help make it happen.

From the Great River Co-op's annual meeting

Members gathered at the Great River Co-op’s third annual meeting on Tuesday, April 29.  Our guests were Jack Dugan, president of the Monadnock Economic Development Corporation (MEDC); and Tedd Benson, renowned timber-frame builder and founder of   Bensonwood.  Both organizations are partners in the creation of the co-op’s store.

 

Tedd presented a preliminary sketch of the building and site plan.  The barn-shaped building will begin as a 4,000-square-foot structure, the initial size recommended by our market study, and is designed to be easily expandable to 6,000 square feet when needed.  The south-facing side of the roof is planned to be lined with photovoltaic panels and Tedd explained that, within our budget, he hopes to make this a “net zero” building – producing as much power as it uses.  Bensonwood will design and build the store.

 

Jack outlined the $2.2-million plan to open the store next year.  Both Bensonwood and MEDC will invest directly and will jointly own the store building.  Those investments will be combined with a series of grants, low-interest loans, participation in the state’s tax-credit sales program, and an investment from the Great River Co-op.  The funds not only will allow the building to be built; they also will equip and stock the store and give the co-op several months of working capital.  At several points in the future, the Great River Co-op will have the option, but not the obligation, to buy the building.

 

The co-op’s share of the investment is $750,000, which will be raised over the next 12 months through the sale of membership shares and gifts and loans from members.  The co-op’s fund-raising campaign will begin shortly.  Watch for details and think about how you can participate. 

 

The co-op can’t happen unless each of us takes a role.  Look for details soon.

 

WHY JOIN THE GREAT RIVER CO-OP?

  • You can share in the co-op’s profits. 
  • You can help bring much-needed foodstore competition to our region.
  • You’ll shop at a community market stocked every day with meat and produce raised right here.
  • You’ll help strengthen and expand local agriculture and protect open land.
  • You’ll shop at a family-friendly store that won’t stock sugary cereals at kids’ eye level, stack candy bars by the cash registers, or have what retailers call a “Mommy, I want” aisle filled with impulse purchases.
  • You’ll have a say in the products the store carries.
  • You can have a voice in governing the co-op.
  • The co-op’s profits stay in our community.
  • You can help to develop community education programs through the co-op.
  • Joining now can make it possible. Your memberships and donations will give the co-op additional capital and demonstrate the community support this initiative needs to stay on track.

UPDATE

Food shelf collection box now in Acworth store

The Great River Co-op's food collection box for the Fall Mountain Food Shelf is in place at the South Acworth Store.  Please be generous -- the need now is as great as ever.  And remember the other collection boxes at the Walpole and Alstead transfer stations.

CO-OP HIRES PROJECT MANAGER

The co-op’s board is delighted to announce that John Cook has taken on the challenge of guiding the co-op’s fund-raising campaign. John is a resident of Walpole and has an extensive background in development and fund-raising.  He is working with the board to complete a strategic plan to raise the money that can open the store. Welcome, John!

FUND-RAISING  SUCCESS

The Great River Co-op has received a $10,000 pledge from a member committed to the co-op's success. 


Please show your commitment by investing what you can -- $20 a month, a $25 pledge, or an outright gift or loan.  Your gift can be tax-deductible if you send to the Monadnock Economic Development Corporation, Railroad St., Keene, NH 03431, and include a note that your gift is directed to the Great River Co-op.  For details and more information, call Kim at 603-835-6488, Ben at 603-445-2200, or e-mail info@greatriverfoodcoop. com.

WHAT'S NEW? READ THE BLOG.

Click here for news.

TWO MORE REASONS TO LOVE YOUR CO-OP.

A message from member-owner Minna Good:

Upgrading my membership from one share to a full voting membership of four shares was something I’d been meaning to do for the last couple of years but something always "came up".  But now is the time for all of us, including myself, to upgrade.  We all need to support our local farmers and to help create a year-round market that features produce and food products created locally.  It is getting close to the time for our dreams to come to fruition.  The more of us who upgrade our memberships, the quicker the co-op becomes a reality.  So I urge all of my fellow member-owners of the Great River Co-op to become voting members, if you are not already, by purchasing a total of four shares.

See the latest progress in store design.  Click here.

Membership Form

GRC-Membership-Information-2011-5-16.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document [82.8 KB]
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GRC_Brochure_fnl.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document [1.9 MB]
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