—by Naomi Jackson, Membership Coordinator

(figures are for November 1, 2007)

Total members 2446
Total active members 1505
Shares sold this year 186
Non-volunteering households 951
Volunteering households 278
Senior members 194
Members living >100 miles away 27
Lost address 55
Inactive 926
Stock repurchase 356
Number of orientees 107

—by Jason Kaufman

My first-born is now a first-grader.

The school day is longer, there will be homework, and ... his lunch will be eaten in a remote location.

Through the spring I wondered: pack or pay? School lunch isn’t expensive, and quality looked acceptable. But eventually I decided that since my mother packed my lunches, I was going to pack them for my kids.

Time to hit the library.

While there are not as many school lunch cookbooks as there are, say, cookie cookbooks or throw-a-party cookbooks, there were enough to get me started.

Brown Bag Success: Making Healthy Lunches Your Kids Won’t Trade, by nutritionists Sandra K. Nissenberg and Barbara N. Pearl, is small and inexpensive and doesn’t waste space on things my son wouldn’t dream of eating.

—by Heidi Goar

I shan’t mince words; I am going through “the change.” I am premenopausal. In fact, I have been having symptoms for some time. Now, as you may or may not know, menopause is only one day in a woman’s life. It is not the years and years of hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain, mood swings. It is the one day after not menstruating for 365 days; it is the 366th day of not menstruating.

Further, the “side effects” of this “condition” can precede and succeed menopause. In other words, the effects of lower levels of female hormones women experience as a result of their aging ovaries can last for years and years after they stop menstruating. (They can also be totally nonexistent. Some women never experience one single hot flash or homicidal tinge.)

—by Bonnie Keeler

Nitrogen keeps the world green and growing

Most of us are familiar with nitrogen as an important plant nutrient. Nitrogen fertilizers keep our lawns green, our house plants healthy, and our nation's croplands green and productive. Humans and other animals consume nitrogen as nourishment, primarily in the form of animal or vegetable protein.

Nitrogen is the most abundant element on earth—over 80% of the air we breathe is made up of nitrogen gas (N2). However, nitrogen in the air is unavailable to most plants and animals. Nitrogen becomes usable only when it is “fixed” biologically by plants or specialized microorganisms through a process called “nitrogen fixation.”

—by Naomi Jackson, Membership Coordinator

You can tell it’s fall at the co-op because there are a lot of new faces stocking shelves and chopping carrots and packaging raisins. There are always many new volunteers in September and October, and we welcome them.

It’s time to be thinking about the Annual Meeting. This is what you need to know as a volunteering member: You must be an up-to-date volunteering member in order to vote. Each household is entitled to one vote, so if your household has more than one adult, you will have to decide who gets to vote. Members who volunteer may also run for board positions if they wish.

—by Katharine Holden, HPC Member

Glance around the interior of the Hampden Park Co-op and you will see glass jars. Fat jars sized for cookies, big jars that will hold a family supply of quinoa, tall skinny jars perfect for storing uncooked spaghetti, tiny jars for spices, blue jars, green jars, jars with screw tops, jars with plastic lids, jars with metal spring-pressure lids, sets of matching jars, jars marked Tea or Coffee in case you have trouble remembering what you’ve put in your jars, jars with little dancing bears printed on them, and shallow jars with such loose-fitting lids that they may seem pointless except you could use them when you have a party and you’d like to keep the dog hair out of the olives.

—by Katharine Holden, HPC Member

—by Katharine Holden, HPC Member