—by Jerry McClelland

A self-guided tour through Minnesota’s Bluff Country
—by Emma Onawa

We Minnesotans have a lot of reasons to be proud—great schools, friendly people, relatively progressive politics, strong industry—and lots of food co-ops. Minnesota boasts at least twenty-one co-op locations, more than any other state in the Midwest and, although not fact-checked, likely in the U.S. These reasons and others, of course, help to make up for the weather.

—by Meredith Sommers

—by Naomi Jackson, Membership Coordinator

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Buy a share of stock

Hampden Park Co-op is a member-owned business. You can become a member and have a say in the operation of the co-op. The cost is currently $30 for a share that covers your household (one or two adults, and children if you have them). This is a one-time purchase, not an annual fee.

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 Food can be no more than six months out of date.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