—by Naomi Jackson, Membership Coordinator

In the past few months, the Membership Committee has been working to expand our co-op’s presence in the local community and to add some social activities to our co-op calendar. We had volunteers representing Hampden Park Co-op at the Global Warming Day of Action on April 14, at the Anaphylaxis and Food Allergy Association conference on April 21, and at the St. Anthonty Park Arts Festival on June 2. We hope to do more such outreach; if you are interested in being a part of this effort, there is a sign-up form on the bulletin board in the kitchen.

[In her newsletter column "Have you tried...", HPC member Katharine Holden tells us about products on HPC's shelves that the reader may not have tried. Here's one:]

You know those little packets that you get with Asian takeout that you save because you might use them someday, and then you never do? That kind of soy sauce is made from fermented soybeans, roasted grains, water, and salt. Tamari is a darker, richer, and more flavorful Japanese soy sauce made with koji instead of roasted grains. Koji is a fungus used to ferment food and is best known for its help in the creation of sake, the Japanese rice wine. Tamari is wheatfree. You can use tamari just as you would any soy sauce. I add tamari to my chili both for the taste and the color.

—by Naomi Jackson, HPC Staff

Enhance your problem-solving skills! Strengthen your ability to complete difficult tasks! Increase your will power! All this and more when you decide it’s time to get rid of that pernicious pest, quack grass.

The many names of Quack Grass

Latin: Elytrigia repens, Agropyron repens, Triticum repens, Elymus repens

Also known as: quitch, couch-grass, witch grass, dog grass, wheat grass, Scotch quelch, chandler's grass, devil's grass, quake grass, quickgrass, scutch, twitch, cough grass, and Dutch grass.

—by Dan Hernández and Bonnie Keeler, HPC Members

Perhaps the most important consideration in planning a camping trip is the food. Here we give a few of our favorite camping meals (all with food you can buy at HPC!)

—by Heidi Goar, HPC Member

Dear Statistically Determined Reader,

You, yes you, the regular reader of the radical left-wing tract HPC Newsletter, will, I trust, not be particularly shocked to find out that some pharmaceuticals are being found to have some absolutely horrifying side effects that are being virtually publicly ignored by the AMA. And, while we may be becoming bizarrely immune to these stories, you should still find the details really quite disturbing.

That's right, "the man" is at it again. In this case, we are offered a couple of different drug types that are designed to alleviate a condition that is, in many cases, brought on by consuming some types of foods that "the man" pushes on us, i.e. processed, fatty foods.

—by Naomi Jackson, Membership Coordinator

What wonderful weather we had for Mayfest! Many thanks to all the hard-working volunteers, and especially to those who stayed late to help put things away.

Summer is upon us, a time when everyone’s schedule changes (and usually gets busier!). You can make sure you get a volunteer shift that fits your schedule by dedicating yourself to a specific shift each month. You choose the shift you want, and you will automatically be signed up for that shift each month. Leave a note in the membership coordinator envelope (near the volunteer calendars) if you’d like to do this.

—A Book Review by Katie Dahl, HPC Member

Are you more likely to choose a vegetable labeled “certified organic” or “locally grown"? Would you pay a little extra for grass-fed beef? Would you risk eating a mushroom from the wild or play it safe in favor of a mushroom from the produce aisle? If you expect Michael Pollan’s book, The Omnivore's Dilemma, to tell you how you should answer these questions, you’ll surely be disappointed. But if you’re looking for an author who addresses the omnivore’s dilemma with a critical yet honest eye, the book is well worth the read.

—by Dan Hernández, HPC Member

Composting is a great way to supply your garden or house plants with nutrientrich soil and reduce your organic food waste. However, if you live in an apartment or want to compost during the winter here in Minnesota, your options are often limited. Vermicomposting, composting using worms, is a great way to compost your organic waste that takes up little space and, because you can do it indoors, provides a year-round option in cold climates. Vermicomposting is also fun and easy to maintain—good worm bins are odorand insect-free even with thousands of worms in them!