March 2004

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Readers’ Write!

GM Report

Board Report

A Brief History of Irish Cuisine

Farmer Appreciation Dinner Wrap-up

Book & General Merchandise News

Juice Bar News

Cinematic Cuisine

Specials Information

Annual Report

Producer Profile: The Igl Family

Ask the Midwife: Starting Your Baby on Solid Food

Herbal Corner: Spring Equinox Bloomers

Recipes & Drink Recommendations

For the Vegetable Less Traveled... Buy Local!

Community Calendar

Produce News
Jenny Ohlsen
Produce Manager

Welcome to March! I have officially convinced myself that summer is just weeks away and with it a whole host of gorgeous fresh local produce that will grace our produce aisle. I guess I’m jumping into the summer months a bit too fast here. Perhaps I need to slow down, take a deep breath and embrace the last remaining moments of winter and talk of the changes that have happened and will be happening within the produce department.

A Brief Introduction
This is the perfect opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Jenny Ohlsen and I feel honored to have been chosen as the new produce manager. I have worked at the Willy Street Co-op for almost seven years and have spent every moment of that time in produce. When I first applied for a job at the Co-op, I was looking for a job in any department. I was lucky enough to get hired on as a produce stocker and I was, I guess you could say, quickly hooked. My eyes were opened to local and organic produce and the beauty of fruits and vegetables. Now, seven years later, I have transformed into a serious produce nerd, and I'm darn proud of it! I have worked in every capacity within the produce department: stocker, buyer, assistant manager and now my new gig as produce manager. I am excited to discover the new challenges that lie ahead for me in this new job.

Loretta’s New Gig

The produce department, even with the change in manager, will remain true to the course that Loretta Wilson set for us long ago. Loretta was the produce manager for 14 1/2 years. She is a hardworking, dynamic woman that believes with her whole heart in the social mission of supporting local and organic food. Loretta has chosen to stay in the produce department in the capacity of the produce trainer. This is an exciting position within the department because this person is directly responsible for training new staff members as well as current ones about high quality standards, display and produce systems. This is a perfect fit for Loretta because she is the person that created many of these standards we strive for within produce. Loretta has been my teacher over the past seven years and I can’t express my gratitude enough that she has chosen to stay in the produce department. Thank you, Loretta, for your time and dedication as the produce manager!

March Specials

For the month of March we are featuring 5-pound bags of russets, red and yukon potatoes for $2.49/bag from Igl Farms from Antigo, Wisconsin. We have been fortunate to sell potatoes from the Igl family for quite a few years. We do most of our business dealings with Brian and, at times, with his parents Tom and Nancy. Often when I call to place an order at their family house Nancy will answer, and I get a lovely mental image of a bright and airy kitchen with a fresh pot of coffee on the stove. Whether or not this is an accurate picture I’ve created, it still makes me want to transcend space and time and join Nancy for a cup of coffee at the kitchen table and chat. We are truly lucky to have such wonderful local potatoes and from such a delightful family. Thank you, Igl family! For more on the Igl family, see Lynn Olson’s Producer Profile.

Other Specials

Please be on the look out for our other featured items in March, Fair Trade Kent mangoes for $1.19 each. An Argentina pear is always a sure sign of spring and we are offering Bartlett Pears for $1.19/lb. Finally, we offer a five-ounce bag of baby romaine mix, a very crisp and tasty twist in salad mix for $2.29/bag. Enjoy!

Next Month

I think that’s all for my very first newsletter article. I will be at the Upper Midwest Organic Farming Conference February 27th and 28th. I will report back on news from this year’s conference in the April newsletter. Have a wonderful March and keep your fingers crossed for a quick and speedy spring.