—by Naomi Jackson, Membership Coordinator

Insects in this issue

The first article I ever wrote for this newsletter was about bees. That was fifteen years ago. Since then, I’ve developed an insect- friendly herb garden, become a bee keeper, written bee poetry, and now am turning my attention to the issues that threaten the survival of our pollinating insects.

In this issue, Margot Monson and Roxy Bergeron provide information and resources for you to insure that your home garden does no harm to beneficial insects and to address the wider issues of toxic pesticides and habitat loss. You can also buy insect-friendly seeds and plants at our co-op.

Annual patronage Letters

—by Roxy Bergeron

—by Kari Simonson, building manager

As many of you probably know, there are a number of other tenants in the 928 Raymond Building besides the Hampden Park Co-op. Have you ever wondered who those tenants are and what they do? Here’s your chance to learn about the other occupants in our lovely turn-of-the-century building!

The following is an introduction to the four other tenants in their own words. All of their entrances are on the Hampden Avenue side of the building, either directly into their space, as in the case of Vienna Community Arts, or through the double doors under the archway that open to a shared staircase for second-floor tenants.

—by Emma Onawa

Sugar! Admit it, we all love it, even though it can wreak havoc on our bodies. Sugar sweetens our lives in many ways, but there’s an aspect to sugar that’s not so sweet. The U.S. agricultural policy on sugar is anachronistic and expensive, yet surprisingly resistant to reform.

The U.S. produces sugar from two primary sources: cane and beets. Cane and beet sugar are essentially indistinguishable. Sugar cane is produced primarily in four southern states, as well as Hawaii, with Florida the leader in sugar cane production. Beet sugar is grown in 11 states, with Minnesota the leader in production.

—by Roxy Bergeron

—by Nicole Infinity

After being volunteering members of the co-op for a couple of years now, we still find new foods in every section. Over the past year, we have made an increased effort to reduce our amount of recycling and garbage by buying fewer foods with packages. Also known as, bulk is fantastic.

Now, I am not talking about the Costco/Sam’s Club version of bulk with processed foods in packages within packages within packages. I am talking about the lovely corner in the co-op full of happiness and food to put into jars and other containers of your choosing.

HPC is again offering garden seeds from Seed Savers Exchange, which is located in Decorah, Iowa. SSE is committed to preserving agricultural diversity by growing and sharing heirloom seeds.

This year we will be carrying over 100 varieties of SSE vegetable, flower, prairie, and herb seeds. If you want to start your plants indoors, we have tomatoes, cabbage, peppers, broccoli, eggplant, and more.

Visitors are encouraged at Seed Savers Exchange. Their Lillian Goldman Visitors Center is open March through December and hosts workshops and food-related events. For more information, visit their website at

—by Stacie Robinson

Wild rice is a staple of Minnesota’s natural nutrition as well as cultural heritage. The waving stands of grass are part of the picturesque vision of Minnesota’s lake country. According to Anishinaabe lore, those rice-rich lakes, “food that grows upon the water,” were the signal that early tribes had found the right land to settle. The abundant grains fed native communities and nourished waterfowl and other wetland wildlife populations. Today wild rice is still a keystone of Minnesota lake ecosystems, and a delicious and popular wild crop.