PRODUCE & FLORAL
We pride ourselves in the diversity of our product line. We focus on seasonally fresh produce and continually search for local vendors to fulfill our mission to support local, sustainable agriculture. We receive produce 2-3 times per week assuring the freshest, tastiest produce for our community. You can find organic bananas, local greens, and seasonal specialties such as local, organic green chile (we roast on site!); Velarde, NM peaches, local apples, wheatgrass and other delightful fruits and vegetables.
Our department also features fair trade flowers and we can even order bulk quantities of flowers for weddings, parties, or other special occasions.
Great Produce Specials
- Organic Hass Avocados - $1.29 each (Reg. $1.99 each)
Member Only Sales
- Organic Blueberries - 6 oz - $4.99 each (Reg. $5.99 each)
- Organic Leeks - $1.99/lb (Reg. $2.49/lb)
- Organic Bunched Carrots - $1.99 each (Reg. $2.49 each)
Offers valid Wednesday 5/15 through Tuesday 5/21
Produce and Floral News
Spring time in the life of a Produce Manager
Early spring is a fun and frustrating time in the life of a produce manager. The excitement of local and seasonal items arriving is mixed with the unpredictability of prices and availability due to spring's back and forth dance with winter.
Seasonal items like strawberries and asparagus have hit the Co-op and are in abundance. More and more domestic items are becoming available as the warm weather makes it's way north. We've recently received California zucchini and tomatoes and hope to see domestic bell peppers, eggplant, and blueberries soon.
Most pleasing, however, is the beginning of the local produce season. Lettuce, spinach, and even a few radishes from the surrounding valley farms have made appearances at the Co-op and there is more to come very soon! We've also received local, organic veggie and herb seed starts and local compost for those ready to plant an edible garden of their own.
Thanks for supporting local and organic and see you at the Co-op soon!
A Fresh Farewell
Howdy folks, the citrus season is in full swing. Check out the Clementine Tangerines, they’re awesome. Blood Oranges and Kumquats should be here soon. The Rio Star Grapefruit is particularly tasty this year.
This will be my last newsletter article. My wife has accepted a position with the State of New Mexico in Taos and we’re moving there in February. Getting the Los Alamos Co-op’s produce department off the ground and running smoothly has been an exciting and rewarding experience. The job is challenging for many reasons, and before I go I would like to address one of these challenges. As produce manager I try as much as possible to make sure my product line reflects the wants and needs of the customers. It is a trial and error process, rife with surprises and disappointments. Many times I have tried to carry a product but find there is not enough interest. Produce will only stay fresh-looking for so long, and I need to sell through a case rapidly to make a profit. Ultimately, the members decide what I carry and what I don’t carry. You see, we’d like to carry poblano chiles, plantains and snap peas. Sadly, there isn’t enough interest to make those products (and many more) feasible. As we grow and volumes increase then the Co-op will have the opportunity to carry more varieties of produce. There is no limit to how awesome this store could be. This is an appeal; please tell your friends and neighbors to shop the Co-op. We’re off to a great start but we can always do better. Thank you for all of your support and continued patronage. I would like to wish all of you peace and health and best wishes for the future.
-Phil Kearny (Produce Manager)
Local, Fresh Holiday Gifts
Come on down to the Co-op for some great last-minute gift ideas. We’ve got plenty of New Mexican Red Chile Ristras and Wreaths from Chimayo. These look great and they’re totally edible. Just break off a pod and crush it and there ya go, instant chile powder. ARCA of New Mexico has supplied us with lots of beautiful Poinsettias. These are sure to brighten the darkest winter days. ARCA is a non-profit dedicated to helping people with developmental disabilities. Their beautiful greenhouse in Corrales is staffed by their clients. Also, the Co-op is pleased to lend our support to the Los Alamos Youth History Travel Club by selling their Mistletoe. Great fun at parties, real New Mexican Mistletoe is a sure fire way to break the ice with that certain special someone. My grandpa spent most of his life on a farm back in Illinois. When I asked him what he got for Christmas when he was a kid he said, “one year I got an orange”. Celebrate simpler times by giving your loved ones some delicious Organic Citrus. We’ve got plenty of Navel Oranges and Clementine Tangerines that won’t fail to disappoint. OK, maybe if they were expecting the new ipad, then I guess the oranges would be a little disappointing.
-Phil Kearny (Produce Manager)
Will it Sprout?
Stew season is finally here! Stop by the Co-op and load up on your favorite stew ingredients. We’ve got a great selection of everything you’ll need to make a delicious hearty stew. Organic potatoes, organic sweet potatoes, organic carrots, and organic leeks are all in season. Speaking of potatoes, we keep ours under cloth because light triggers their sprouting mechanism. Non-organic potatoes are sprayed with a chemical called “Bud-Nip.” Bud-Nip is really chlorpropham. This is a toxic chemical that essentially kills the potato and arrests its ability to sprout. Chlorpropham has been shown to cause cancer in lab animals. Also, since it’s applied at the farms, chlorpropham has been linked to run-off related wetland degradation. Here’s a link to a great video of a little girl who wanted to sprout sweet potatoes for a class project.
Shop at the Co-op for produce you can eat or grow.
-Phil Kearny (Produce Manager)
Harvest Season Produce
The produce dept. has some great specials on everything you’ll need to create wonderful meals during October. Look for sales on Organic Pie Pumpkins, Organic Butternut Squash, Organic Yukon Gold Potatoes, Organic Bartlett Pears, Organic Yellow Onions and Organic Green Beans. The Local Jack-O-Lanterns have arrived and when they’re gone they’re gone. Pick yours early! I love the cool weather and I love to cook in October. I’ve been scouring the internet for great new recipes and will be posting them on our website. Happy cooking and Happy Halloween!
-Phil Kearny (Produce Manager)
100% Organically Grown: End of the Jicama search
Since before we opened, our produce manager, Phil, dreamed of having a produce department where each item was grown with organic methods. Until recently his dreams were just beyond reach as he searched for orgainic jicama. He finally found a grower who cared for the soil as much as the jicama. Guzman and Sons, will now be providing organically grown jicama, which meets Phil's goal for a fully organically grown produce department. Supporting farmers who care about the long term effects on their soil and products is one of the ways we meet our bottom line: People, Planet, Performance.
Local Apple Energy
Greetings, the produce department is stocked with lots of great local apples. We’ve got Double Red, Gold Blush, Gala, and Jonathan. This was a bumper year for New Mexico fruit, please take advantage of all the wonderful flavors.
There’s a lot of talk about “energy” drinks and coffee providing energy but do they really work? Let’s take a look. When you hear that a food gives you energy, there are two possible meanings to the word. Some foods give you calories, where a calorie is literally a measure of the amount of energy -- the potential to do work -- in a food. Other foods fire up your nervous system and make you feel attentive and energetic, without providing your body with cellular fuel (calories). Apples contain calories. The three types of calorie-providing molecules in food are proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Apples have small amounts of protein and fat in them and contain plenty of carbohydrates, including both sugar and starch. When you eat an apple, you absorb the nutrient molecules, and your cells can burn them to generate ATP, which stands for Adenosine Triphosphate. ATP is literally cellular fuel, and your cells use it for all the processes that require energy. Unlike apples, coffee contains almost no calories, unless you add calorie-containing extras like milk and sugar. The "energy" you get from a cup of coffee or an energy drink doesn't come in the form of nutrient molecules that your cells burn to make ATP. Instead, these beverages stimulate your "fight or flight" nervous system, causing your heart to beat faster, your blood to flow to the peripheral muscles, and the sugars in your blood to be moved into your cells resulting in lower blood sugar levels. So if you’re feeling sluggish at work, bite into a New Mexico Apple.
-Phil Kearny (Produce Manager)
Local, Fresh, & Fantastic!
Good news everyone! This has been a great year for Northern New Mexico Peaches. Because of the bumper crop, we have been able to negotiate a super price. Come on down for some of the best Peaches you’ll ever eat for just $2.99/lb! I call these Peaches “Sink Peaches” because they’re so juicy you have to eat them over a sink. In addition to Peaches, we’ve got lots of locally grown produce right now. Onions, Blackberries, Cucumbers, Green Beans, Tomatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, Apples and Potatoes are all available and they’re all super delicious! Organic New Mexico Green Chile will be here soon, I’m going to roll out the roaster for the first time this year on Saturday the 18th. I’ll be roasting every Wednesday and Saturday until I run out of chile sometime in October. You can order chile in the store or by email.
Eat well, Phil Kearny (Produce Manager)
Mouthwatering and Local!
All the farmers around these parts can breathe a sigh of relief now that the monsoon season has started. They were fretting all June, but their prayers have been answered. The early harvests are in, so c’mon down to the Co-op and try some great locally grown produce. Zucchini, salad mix, carrots, onions, peaches, apricots, and tomatoes are all on the shelf right now. Check out our website, for weekly local produce updates. We’ve got some rainbow carrot bunches that you have to try, so tender, so sweet, so crisp! The local onions are sold with their tops intact. You can use these tops as you would green onions. Add them to stir-frys, salads, or mix them into rice and pasta dishes. Growing Opportunities supplies us with beautiful heirloom tomatoes for most of the year (except summer). In just a few weeks our farmer friends from Velarde, Tim Martinez and Danny Farrar, will be providing us with field-grown Sungold Cherry Tomatoes and Shady Lady Tomatoes. They are terrific tasting tomatoes. Help support your local farmers. See you in the produce department!
Most folks tend to think of berries and cherries as a guilty pleasure. Nothing that tastes as wonderful as a strawberry – so sweet, so delicious, and so satisfying – could be good for you, right? Wrong. Way wrong. Strawberries, blueberries and cherries are among the MOST nutritious things we can eat. They are loaded with anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants balance blood fat levels, which help regulate cholesterol. Berries contain lots of vitamins (A, K, E and C) and fiber. Fiber provides a feeling of fullness that makes it easier to eat less. The vitamin C found in most berries helps increase the production of cartinine, which boosts the metabolism. Another major health benefit of berries is their immunity boosting capabilities. In addition to keeping your defenses strong against general illnesses, berries also improve heart health. So, if you can enjoy berries without the aid of cream or sugar, you can be sure to extend your life and improve your quality of life. Come on down to the Co-op for all your berry needs.
Green Fire Times: Eremita Campos, one of our wonderful farmers, is featured in the May issues of Green Fire Times. We are proud to carry her salad mix and romaine lettuce. Click here to read the full article (on cover and pg 17).
Velarde, New Mexico is home to a proud agricultural tradition that goes back several generations. A lot of the local produce we’re going to offer is grown in Velarde. The Sierra Vista Farm and the La Jolla Farm are two great examples of local sustainable agriculture. On May 1st I was given a tour of these farms by the owner of Sierra Vista, Tim Martinez. Tim is in the process of getting his Organic Certification and was happy to talk with me about his methods. I had many questions about the challenges facing organic farmers. Pest control is probably the most difficult part about organic farming. Tim and other liked-minded farmers in Velarde use an organic pesticide made from crushed Chrysanthemums. Beneficial insects also play a big role in keeping dangerous insects at bay. Ladybugs were spotted diligently removing aphids. By supporting the Sierra Vista farm and other local farms that employ sustainable agricultural practices, the Los Alamos Co-op is making our little corner of the world a less toxic place. Taste the difference organic methods make all season long at the Co-op! -Phil Kearny