Sometimes co-op shoppers bring food shelf donations from their home cupboards. This is fine, as long as you remember two important things:

1. The product must be in its original container, unopened.

2. Food can be no more than six months out of date. If it’s older than that, the food shelf has to dispose of it.

Whether you’ve brought it from home or bought it at the co-op, ask the cashier where to put your donation. Deb Ahlborg, our food shelf volunteer, picks up donations twice a month and brings them to Midway Food Shelf, located on University Avenue near Prior. She reports that donations have been down during the summer months, while the need continues unabated.

—by Jerry McClelland

In the Midwest we make a bit of a fuss over sweet corn. It is an iconic food of summer and worth the eleven-month interval between harvests. It is easy to take it for granted, but it was by happy accident that we have it at all.

Some corn in Peru slipped a genetic cog about 10,000 years ago. A mutation on chromosome 4, called the sugary (su) allele, made the corn sweet rather than starchy. Someone discovered one of these sweet tasting ears among the others being harvested in the early period of corn cultivation. People in Peru traded the seeds with others here and there, and after a while the corn showed up in New England.

—by Monica Rojas

Grapeseed oil is made by cold-pressing grape seeds. A fairly new product, it was made only beginning in the twentieth century, because the techniques and needed mechanics to extract the oil from the seeds are highly specific.

The abundance of grapes, and the practice of wine making, have made acquiring the seeds very efficient. Many producers of grapeseed oil use wineries as a supplier, because of the huge amount of seeds left from the wine making process.

There are two common uses for grapeseed oil, one being as the oil itself for use in the kitchen, and two as an ingredient in cosmetics.

—by Kathryn Tempas

—by Naomi Jackson, Membership Coordinator

Thank you, Mayfest volunteers

Several dozen volunteers helped out with this year's Mayfest Plant Sale. I continue to be impressed with the quality of work provided by our excellent volunteers.

Help needed in June

As I write, the June evening calendar looks dismal. I know people are exceptionally busy in June. Also, many volunteers have worked ahead and don't need to work in June. However, if you have free time on a June evening, stop in and sign up. We could really use your help!

Road construction and parking

—by Hannah Miller, Chair

—by Roxanne Bergeron

In late April, while I was wrapping up this article for the June newsletter, several inches of wet, heavy snow were falling. A few days later, the snowy landscape had transformed into a tennis-friendly, bird-chirping extravaganza wrapped in an 80–degree day. Then on May Day, upwards of nine inches of snow were predicted to fall upon the Twin Cities over the following two days. Then my furnace kicked on.

Was I the only one thinking—what gives?! Climate change sure has a wicked sense of humor! What will summer be like? Spells of crazy, blistering hot winds? Weird cold snaps in July? Only time will tell.