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Membership status update June 2015

The first Annual Meeting of Ideal Green Market Co-op is set for Tuesday, June 23, 7pm at the Ideal Corners Town Hall.  All are welcome as it’s an opportunity to learn more about this developing food cooperative in Ideal Corners that intends to be open year-round to the public as well as to member-owners.  This meeting will also allow for the election of the first official Board of Directors and a review and vote on the Proposed By-laws originally set in place by the Steering Committee last November.

The new farmers market being hosted at the co-op site (located at the juncture of County Road 16 and County Road 39, next to The Old Milwaukee Club) has been a great success attracting approximately 20 different vendors with 10-13 vendors per week.  Customers have been happy with product options and look forward to a bigger harvest as the growing season progresses.  Vendors have also been pleased with sales results so far with a steady customer flow and sales that make it worthwhile participating.  Quick sales on early greens, have found vendors selling out of these products early.  They look forward to being able to offer a wider variety and larger quantities of produce as the season progresses.

There are currently 90 co-op member-owners since recruitment began last March.  The vision of a viable, sustainable food cooperative in Ideal Corners continues to grow and is closer to realization with a recent capital contribution of $25,000 by a member household.  This contribution builds on capital equity goal of a minimum of $65,000 needed to open the doors. The co-op intends to feature local goods that fit the criteria of non-gmo, natural, and sustainably produced goods.  Additional local goods will also be featured such as soaps and personal care products that meet co-op product criteria.

The Product Development Task Group recently met to more fully itemize a first stocking order.  Member-owner and local producer Megan Loukota stated, “It’s amazing how many local resources really are available in a 60 mile radius.”

 “We really want to source our goods in a more sustainable way, making a smaller imprint on the environment,” said current Board member Dan Yavner. “It’s about the entire cycle of planting non-gmo seed, growing it responsibly in ‘clean’ soil, harvest sustainably, purchase local thereby supporting the local economy, eat healthier resulting in better health, saving seed to re-plant, and the cycle continues.”

Capital equity continues to be raised through memberships, capital contributions, grants and fundraisers.  The farmers’ market is supported in part thanks to a grant from Crow Wing Energized.  There are also many ways to be involved with both the farmers’ market and the co-op and volunteers are welcome.  It’s about working together to create a more sustainable local food system. For more information email Barb Mann, co-op coordinator, at barb@idealgreenmarket.com, or call 218-543-6565.

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