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.

The Hampden Park Co-op board of directors is currently seeking candidates for the 2013 board election.

—by Hannah Miller

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 Food can be no more than six months out of date.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