August 2017 Newsletter



a) Message from Board President
b) Strengthen the Co-op
c) Chef Gerard Almarales
d) We Hit 950!
e) Meet the Goodiers
f) Upcoming Events


     By now you have probably heard the slogan for our capital campaign - “Rooted Today… Your Columbus Food Co-op Tomorrow”- and seen the colorful graphic of a big purple beet, with six long roots. Those six roots represent the impact our Co-op will have in our community.

Economic Growth
Wholesome Food
Sustainable Agriculture
Supporting Farmers

     Over the next few months I want to talk about the roots. “Economic Growth” is a great place to start. Let’s consider how the Co-op will influence economic growth in our community.
     First is what I’ll call the co-op multiplier effect. A study by the National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA) found that for every $1,000 spent at a local food co-op, $1,604 in economic activity is generated in the local economy (that’s $239 more than if that same $1,000 had been spent at a conventional grocer in the same community). This impact comes as money spent in the Co-op is recirculated. For example, the Co-op purchases food from local farmers, who in turn use some of that money to buy supplies, goods and services from other local businesses. We estimate first year sales at our store will be approximately $3 million. With the multiplier effect, we will have over a $4.8 million impact in our community.

     A second major impact is through new jobs. The NCGA study found that the average food co-op creates 9.3 jobs for every $1 million in sales (compared to 5.8 jobs per $1 million created by conventional grocery stores). We expect to create 20 - 25 new jobs in Columbus.

     Finally, because the Co-op is locally owned - by me, you and hundreds of our friends and neighbors - we can decide how much we will spend with local farmers and other suppliers. Our current estimate is that in our first year of operation, the Co-op will spend over $500,000 with regional farmers (within 100 miles of the store).

     Together, as a Cooperative, we will make a direct and positive impact on our local economy. If you’re a current owner, encourage a friend or colleague to join us. They can sign up on our web site  If you’re not a current owner, but are following us on social media, what are you waiting for? Join us today! You’ll be in good company as an owner of a great company! Thanks for all you are doing to make our vision of a full-service, community-owned grocery store a reality in Columbus.


Mike Johnston, Board President


Help Strengthen the Co-op!

     In order to bring The Columbus Food Co-op to fruition we need your help.  As an owner you have committed to making the co-op a reality. The Columbus Food Co-op Capital Campaign will launch on Sept 13th with an exciting Kick-Off Party at our new location. If you are an owner, make sure you're there to celebrate and create the momentum we need to begin our work on Sept 14th. If you haven't signed up yet, now is the time. Go to to become an owner today.
     We need our owners to step up and be volunteers. It's simple, fun work and we will train you!  The only experience you need is the ability to be passionate about making the co-op a reality.  Please contact April Williams at



"Our food sources are very important, especially having young ones I want to give them proper nutrition not just what is on the store shelf.  Being a chef I have become very aware of what's in our foods.   When we go back to the natural sources of food, we are assured of its quality and wholesomeness.  I want to feed my children healthy, wholesome food.  The food co-op will provide this year round and at the same time sustain our local economy."
Gerard Almarales, Chef & Columbus Resident


We have just welcomed our 950th owner. 
Home-grown and locally-owned is what your local co-op is all about. Join NOW and watch us grow even more. So easy to click & join
"We moved to Columbus in 2015, and from day one it was evident that we had not just moved to a small town, but we had joined a community. We had been looking for a way to become more involved in the community, and when we were introduced to the Columbus Food Co-op, it just made sense.
As we live in a rural area, we will quite literally be supporting our neighbors when we buy from the co-op. As a mom, I am always looking for healthier options, I know I will be making the ethical choice in fresher, locally sourced produce".
Kerry Leigh Goodier


Cooking Across Cultures - Join us at North Christian Church on September 8th as we learn about French Cuisine with Olfa Chehimi. Space is limited, so book your place early to avoid disappointment.
E-mail Sarah Grey at

CFC Street Fair - Save the date, October 7th for our annual Street Fair. Children's activities, music, food stalls, crafts & fresh produce  for details.

Co-op Website
Buy an Ownership Share
Hometown Food Guide 2017
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Columbus Food Co-op
PO Box 1270
Columbus, IN 47202

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Search Your Hometown Food Guide Here

Hometown Food Guide Map & PDF Print out

 Looking for local food in the Columbus area? You've come to the right place. Once the Co-op doors open, you'll be able to find local food featured in our full service grocery store. Until then, we're working hard to connect our 890+ members with nearby farms and farmers. We hope this Guide will be a useful community resource that promotes farms and helps more people eat more local food!

 If you'd like a print out of the guide, download this phone book style directory. It lists all of the farms from the map and a basic description of what food they produce and how to find it. Put this on your refrigerator or in the car so you always know where to find local food!


 Farmers, we'd like to include you!

 Farmers, we want to add you to the Guide! If you aren't already listed, simply we fill out a 2 minute survey that lets you create your listing for the Guide. We plan to update the Guide a few times a year, so be patient with us. Please encourage your friends who sell food directly to customers to participate in the Guide, too. We want to include as many farmers as possible! Here's the link! 



If you have any questions about the Guide, email Michelle at or call Liz at (317) 258-5217.


Hoosier Harvest

Click HERE for the Hoosier Harvest brochure. 

For more information about Hoosier Harvest, contact:

Harriet A Armstrong, MS, CFCS

Health and Human Sciences Educator
Purdue Extension – Bartholomew County
1971 State Street
Columbus, IN 47201- 6965


Fax: 812-376-3200


Interested in Farming? Great Local Opportunity!

**Message below is from a local resident.  If you’re interested, please contact him (info below) or SaraBeth and she will help connect you.  Thanks!

Dear Aspiring Farmer, 

I have a four acre former alfalfa field that is fairly flat, good soil.  I also have a 16' X 100' unheated hoophouse in which I have grown vegetables directly in the soil. A small corner of the acreage has been planted in asparagus, grapes and wildflowers which I would like to expand to include bramble fruit and garlic etc.  I have tried to grow vegetables for the past 2 years, but my time just doesn't allow me to be successful.  I am willing to provide all the inputs; land, seeds/transplants, fertilizer, plastic and irrigation, equipment etc.  I have various small equipment and a tractor that runs occasionally ( though I wouldn't couunt on that for much).
What is need is someone to provide full-time labor including; planting, growing, harvesting, selling etc.  This acreage has tremendous potential, I just don't have the time to work it.  I say a partnership because there would be no salary involved, I would provide all the inputs, the partner would provide the labor and we would split income from sales in half.  I can occasionally provide labor and marketing, just not consistently. I think by partnering with someone, this venture will be much more successful than hiring employees.  People tend to work harder when they have motivation to see greater profits from their effort compared to just earning an hourly wage.

In the past I have been funded for several research and demonstration grants, I would like to begin with this again sometime later as well.

My ideal partner would be a young couple that has experience/education in agriculture.   One would be required to be full-time, NO OTHER JOB OR OTHER LAND/GARDEN TO CARE FOR! The other would  be able to help but would likely need at least a part-time job at first.  This land requires full-time work, I tried to do it part-time and it just doesn't work.

Also depending on their situation, I own a home nearby that has 4 bedrooms, 2 full baths and a 1 car garage that I could rent to them.    I would have to get $800/ month to make the mortgage payments, but that is pretty cheap rent for a house like that in Columbus. It is a nice home, sits on nearly 2 acres, but I plan to pasture sheep on part of that.

Anyway, this seems like a perfect opportunity for someone that would like to become a farmer but doesn't have access to land.  There is great potential for income, someone who is motivated can make as much money as they are willing to put in the work for.

812 603-7722


Local Food: Information for Your Community

Local Food is defined in many ways, but most importantly, it means food from farmers in your county, state, or region — whether chickens_sue.jpg you buy it at a farmers market, restaurant, or grocer.

You can buy most of the food you need from Indiana farmers, including flour, popping corn, beans, veggies, fruit, syrup, honey, jam, meat, sausage, chicken, eggs, and fish, to name a few.

The advantage of buying local is that you support a local food economy that sustains our agricultural heritage and family farms, addresses food security and land use concerns, and retains food dollars in our state economy. 

Click HERE for more information about Indiana Agriculture. 


Hoosier Harvest Food Preservation Classes

Home Food Preservation: Hoosier Harvest
Can It! Freeze It! Dry It! Do It Safely!

A workshop for home food preservers Juicy ripe peaches, snapping fresh green beans, plump tomatoes, flavorful herbs… Make the most of our Hoosier Harvest by preserving it to enjoy throughout the year.
Using research-based food preservation techniques is the best way to insure the foods you preserve are of high quality and safe to eat. This hands-on workshop is designed to assist not only the first-time food preserver but also the more experienced food preservers too.

Topics and Dates
July 16 – Food Safety & Freezing Food
July 23 – Boiling Water Process
July 30 – Pressure Canning
Aug. 6 – Pickling & Drying Foods
Aug. 13 – Jams and Jellies

Times: 6:00-9:00 PM
Location: East High School, 230 South Marr Road Columbus, IN 47201

To register, use this brochure. Additional forms can be acquired at Bartholomew County Extension website or call the Bartholomew County Extension Office, (812) 379-1665.
Pre-registration is required one week prior to the scheduled workshop. Class size is limited. Early registration is recommended.
The registration fee is $10.00 for each class, or $45.00 for the complete series. You may come to all or only selected class. Please indicate your selection on the registration form.

The class will be given by Harriet Armstrong, Health and Human Sciences Program Assistant, Purdue Extension - Bartholomew County.


*Your gauges need checked annually! Contact Harriet and she can check your pressure gauge for free. 


Middle East Cooking Class -- Recipes

On Friday, May 17 we held another “Cooking Across Cultures” class at North Christian Church. The class was full again and we had such a great time learning new recipes, sharing, and meeting new people.  Hanna Omar, with the Islamic Society, along with her husband and a friend showed us how to prepare rolled grape leaves, Egyptian chicken and onions, and baklava.  We are lining up more cooking classes, including Indian, Ethiopian, and Sri Lankan!  Make sure you’re signed up for the newsletter so you don’t miss out.  

Get the recipes here

HUGE thanks to the Heritage Fund Welcoming Comm. Grant and North Christian Church for letting us use their wonderful facility.













Beautiful rolled grape leaves. 


Feathered Friends Poultry Club Show

On Tuesday evening at the Mad City Chickens screening, Matt John shared news about an upcoming chicken show at the Bartholomew County Fairgrounds on Saturday, May 4.  Click HERE for a link to the website with all the information.  Hope to see you there! 


Books, Websites, Films, etc. -- Resources for you!

HERE is a list of resources if you’re looking for a new book to read or film to watch about food/ag/environment news.  The websites are a great place to start and can take you down many more avenues!  Have a recommendation? Let us know!


Exposing Ag-gag laws

Exposing Ag-gag laws and why undercover reporting is neccessary.

"The USDA stated that its inspectors had been present "continuously"9 at Hallmark, and the plant also passed no less than 17 separate, independent food safety and humane handling audits in 2007.10 Yet these layers of oversight didn't stop horrible, ongoing animal abuse, and they didn't stop the plant from putting millions of people at risk of food-borne illness. It took an undercover investigation to stop these cruel and reckless practices."


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