July 2019
Featuring Tomatoes of Common Ground, Top Ten In Wellness, Honoring Our Struggles, and More
In this month's newsletter:

  • A Word from the General Manager
  • A Word from Your Board of Directors
  • September Chill & Grill
  • Art Gallery Reception: Roberto Sabas & Nika Lucks
  • Dance Party: Honoring Our Struggles
  • The 2019 Board Elections
  • Gift Card Blackout Period
  • September Owner Appreciation Days are Almost Here
  • The Tomatoes of Common Ground
  • Top Ten in Wellness
  • New in the Bakery
  • New in Meat & Cheese
  • In the Media
  • Round Up For Good
  • August Classes & Events
From the GM
Gary Taylor, General Manager
Read Gary's article as he "spills the bulk beans" on some exciting news for our Co-op!
Board Visioning Update
An update from Board Member Margaret Johnstone
August 2019

Board election season is upon us and this year there are 6 seats up for election. As a co-operative, Common Ground is run not by a corporation, but by its owners, through an owner-elected Board of Directors working with the store’s general manager and staff. We are looking for candidates who are willing to devote their time to building a better co-op, and who like working cooperatively with others. Current board projects include visioning how we can take our emphasis on local to the next level and providing more varied options for owners to interact with the board.

Originally, I was appointed to the board. I saw an ad at Common Ground looking for a director on the board. I had never been on a board before, although I was on several committees at a previous job. What drove me to apply and seek election was that I believe that Common Ground serves a great need in the Champaign Urbana area, especially when it comes to local foods. During my time on the board, I have served on the board development committee. The primary function of that committee is running the board election. In addition, I have served as secretary of the board for 2 years. In the past 3 and a half years that I have served on the board, I gained many skills and learned a lot about Common Ground and cooperatives. 

As an owner of Common Ground, you have the opportunity to run for the board. If you would like more information, we have a board candidate information session on August 12 at 5:30pm in the Flatlander classroom. Also, please consider attending the August board meeting on August 12 at 6:15 pm at the Urbana Methodist Church by Lincoln Square. You can also email the board for more information or if you have any questions about running for the board. The deadline to apply for the board is August 15 by 10:00 pm.

The next meeting of the Board of Directors is Monday, August 12th, from 6:15 to 8:15 pm at First United Methodist Church of Urbana located on Race Street near the west entrance to Lincoln Square. Owners are welcome and encouraged to attend. Please use the entrance with the maroon awning, on the east side of the church.
First Friday: Chill & Grill
The next Chill & Grill is August 2nd
Our next Chill & Grill is happening on August 2nd from 5-7pm on the porch. We will be having Triple S Farms grilled chicken or marinated grilled tofu . They will be served with a side of corn on the cob & pit beans.

Live music will be provided by singer/songwriter Anika Emily . Find the complete line-up of this summer's Chill & Grills here .

A special thanks to Triple S Farms, our sponsor for the Chill & Grills this summer! 
Art Reception: Roberto Sabas & Nika Lucks
The Art Gallery Reception is August 9th
Join us on Friday, August 9 from 5:30-7:30pm in our Flatlander Classroom to celebrate two amazing local artists , Roberto Sabas and Nika Lucks (SolidSoul Photography)
Enjoy free food and beverages and meet the featured artists!

Artwork will be available for purchase.

Visit our website to learn more about the local artists.
Dance Party: Honoring Our Struggles
Join community member and lover of all things Urbana, Sophie Meyn, on Saturday, August 10th from 5-8pm in the Co-op mall hallway for a DANCE PARTY as she celebrates the 3 year anniversary of her craniotomy and a time to honor the struggles we all face. Come celebrate the love and life that is all around us always and be together with community. All folx and feelings are welcome. Kid friendly, too!

Champaign County Health Care Consumers will be providing health care resources and accepting donations during the dance party. Drink refreshments will be provided by Common Ground Food Co-op.

Wheelchair accessible entrance is available through our main entrance to mall hallway.  
The 2019 Board Elections Are Right Around the Corner
Apply by August 15th
Gift Card Blackout Period
Gift cards temporarily unable to be processed for up to two weeks
As previously mentioned, we will be switching our gift cards over to our new payment processor in August. If all goes well, we will be beginning the switch the week of August 12. In order to accurately move the balances of existing gift cards over to the new system, we will need to stop processing gift card transactions for up to 1-2 weeks. Assuming that everything goes according to plan, we will resume processing gift cards no later than August 23. All existing gift card balances will be redeemable after this blackout period.
September Owner Appreciation Days are Almost Here
It's the best time of year to be an owner
Queen Anne's Lace Farm Tour
Local farm to face skin care products
Queen Anne's Lace  is renowned for their local farm to face skin care products made by hand with ingredients grown by Linda Oberg and family in Camargo, 25 miles south of our Co-op. The farm and homestead is home to honey bees, horses, goats, cows, and rows of perennial herbs and flowers.
You may know Linda and Queen Anne’s Lace from their beautifully decorated farmer’s market stand at Urbana Market at the Square on Saturdays or from being one of our longest standing local producers in our Wellness department. Some of the staff at the Co-op were lucky to visit Linda and her daughter, Elsie on their homestead where they showed us a day in the life and introduced us to all of their animals including their beautiful horses.
At the end of a lovely tour, they treated us to an incredibly delicious English high tea alongside homemade scones, Linda’s secret clotted cream recipe, strawberry jam, and farm raised honey. It was such a treat!
Read more about our farm tour at Queen Anne's Lace.
The Tomatoes of Common Ground
Tomatoes types, tastes, and uses as told by Produce Assistant Manager Anne Bargar
Tomato season is upon us, and with it questions about what each one tastes like and how it can be used. Generally, tomato flavors vary depending on their color, although there are a few exceptions. Here's a basic guide to the types of local tomatoes we get, and why you might want to consider them your tasty friends you might not have discovered yet.

Very generally, there are three main types of tomatoes: slicers, cherries, and paste tomatoes. You can pretty much use any of these for the same things, but paste tomatoes are generally better for cooking, while slicer tomatoes work well for fresh use, and cherry tomatoes are fantastic for snacking. We shall start with the slicing tomatoes. 

Red tomatoes: What we consider the classic slicing tomato, there are a number of varieties of red, round tomatoes. A ripe red tomato will have a good balance of sweet tomato flavor with a bit of acidy goodness.  

Orange, yellow, and most marbled/striped tomatoes: Orange and yellow tomatoes tend to be less acidic than others, and thus have a sweeter, milder flavor. If you're looking for a less acidic tomato experience, these are the ones to try. Striped and marbled tomatoes have the extra bonus of looking really cool when cut open.

Pink tomatoes: Rich tomato flavor, sweet, but not as acidic as reds.  

Purple and black tomatoes: Acidic like a red tomato. Very rich, melt-in your mouth flavor. Sometimes they're described as smokey and complex.  

Green tomatoes: This really depends on the variety. Some, like Aunt Ruby's German Green, are sweet and taste a lot like a red tomato. Others, such as Green Zebra, are more tart.

Cherry tomatoes: Cherry tomatoes are fantastic for snacking, salads, and kabobs. Flavor profiles are the same as slicing tomatoes.  

Paste tomatoes: Also known as Roma tomatoes, these are oblong tomatoes with a lot of meat. They tend to be less juicy than others, making them particularly good for cooking.

Red paste tomatoes - This is the classic sauce tomato.  

Orange paste tomato - Usually goes by the variety name Orange Banana. This is a fabulous tomato that no one has ever heard of, and it tends to get overlooked when on the shelf. It cooks down very quickly and makes a rich, delicious sauce. It's definitely worth a try!

This is not in any way a complete compendium of the world of tomatoes, but hopefully this information can enhance your tomato shopping experience.

Top Ten in Wellness
A top ten list of wellness products from our Wellness Manager Jacob Dilley
1.Earth Paste: The best toothpaste I’ve ever experienced. Gritty Texture and excellent mouth feel leads to a feeling of freshness unparalleled by anything else.

2.Plant People “Be Calm” : CBD is a big buzz around here and this brand is already ahead of the curve. Featuring other cannabinoids known for their relaxing properties such as CBN and CBG coupled with powerful adaptogens this product has never failed to help me find my peace again.

3.Amazing Grass Plant Tablets: I love greens. Love them! Yet, I still tend to struggle to remember to eat them. :( This product has been a lifesaver when it comes to that. Just dropping on tablet into my water bottle equals a whole servings of greens. They taste good and I can feel the life entering my body with every sip.

4.Dayempur Elderberry Syrup: This is my #1 Immune recommendation every time. If I’m coming down with something, getting over something or right in the middle of something this is the first thing I reach for. Within an hour of taking a few sips I can feel the effects of the syrup and a sense of well being returning to my body. Not to mention how awesome Dayempur Farms (Located in Carbondale IL) is!

5.Wild Botanicals Body Balm: This Locally made skincare balm is off the charts. Part of my daily routine and what I attribute all of my glow to! It’s easy to apply directly to the skin, and a little goes a long way when it comes to moisturizing and smoothing out any blemishes.

6.Amazing Grass “Glow Protein”: Collagen is everywhere these days in the Health and Beauty world. I love this product because it’s based on helping your body's own natural production rather than supplementing from another animals collagen. It’s vegan friendly, tastes great, and comes from an amazing company.

7.Straight Hemp CBD: This is by far and above my favorite CBD brand we carry in the store. They have made a commitment to not using industrial hemp plants and instead are using specific cultivars of hemp plants known for there CBD oil production. The difference in quality is notable with a better mouthfeel, taste, and potency.

8.Himalaya “StressCare”: Adapatogens are a growing category in the supplement world and seems to be on the tip of everyone's tongues right now with new product launches. This brand and product has its roots set long before this current buzz though. Based on traditional Ayurvedic formulas, this awesome supplement can really help restore balance to you on a daily basis.

9.Badger “Sore Muscle Rub”: Sometimes you’re sore. It just happens. Maybe it’s after a long day in the garden or a particular intense workout. Regardless, this simple and effective balm has worked for me time and time again to soothe my muscles and provide a relief I’ve had trouble finding elsewhere. 

10. Host Defense “Brain Energy Powder”: Combing the power of mushrooms with some seriously potent herbs this powder has a serious energy behind it. One scoop in my morning drink or smoothie has my brain zipping along all day. Better than a cup of coffee if you ask me!
New in the Bakery
Introducing weekly bakery specials
Now introducing our new weekly bakery specials. It's like the weekly meat specials but much sweeter!

We now have a theme for each week of the month, and during each designated week a bakery item will go on sale which relates to that theme. For example, if it's the first week of the month, you would see a special on one of our cake slices. For the second week, a special on one of our pies. The fourth week is the most exciting because it's baker's choice, so you're in for a surprise treat!
Our Co-op Bakery is located in the Co-op Kitchen, where all of our delicious Co-op foods are made from scratch, with love, with local and organic ingredients whenever possible.
New in Meat & Cheese
  • Uncured Pepperoni(pork)
  • Turkey Pepperoni
  • Genoa pepperoni

  • Peppered Turkey bacon
  • Uncured Beef Franks, No sugar added
  • Black forest ham nuggets. avg 1.75 lbs
  • Smoked Turkey Kielbasa
Other Happenings in Meat & Cheese
  • New Frozen products for the fall season are coming soon
  • Holiday Cheeses will be arriving OCT-DEC.
  • Expect the return of seasonal favorites as well as new additions
  • Shelf-stable charcuterie will be moved onto a shelf this month, making room for more general merchandise.
Milestone Bill to Clean Up Coal Ash Pollution in Illinois Becomes Law
On July 30th, Gov. Pritzker signed a bill to protect IL waterways and communities from toxic coal ash pollution. The Sierra Club speaks on how important this step is in protecting clean water and public health.

Here is a quote from the article:

"This is the most significant step to protect clean water and public health that has made it into law in years. People across the state who have struggled with the impacts of toxic coal ash are grateful that their calls for action to protect our groundwater and hold big polluters accountable have been heard. It’s now critical that the Illinois EPA develop the strongest possible coal ash rules with community input to ensure that this historic bill realizes its promise for coal ash communities across Illinois,” said Joyce Blumenshine of the Sierra Club."

July Round Up: Eastern Illinois Foodbank
An update on the July Round Up

In July together we raised over $3,900 for
Prairie Rivers Network and contributed towards its efforts to promote the restoration of polluted rivers and the preservation of pristine rivers - with the goal of safeguarding resources for future generations.

It is Illinois' only statewide river conservation organization, and the state affiliate of National Wildlife Federation.

Round Up For Good is a call-to-action inspired program, which began in February 2010 when Common Ground owners expressed a desire to help fund the relief of the earthquake in Haiti. Since then, the program has transformed into a community-focused ongoing effort to help fund local organizations that are selected democratically by store owners.

August Round Up: Central Illinois Foodbank
Central Illinois Foodbank distributes food and grocery items to over 16 non-profit feeding programs in twenty-one central and southern Illinois counties, who in turn provide food to those who are seeking food assistance in our communities. Central Illinois Foodbank's agencies are given access to an ever-expanding inventory of quality foods. Central Illinois Foodbank's mission is to provide food, and develop awareness of and creative solutions for food insecurity.

CIF also provides healthy food distribution, kids summer food program, mobile kitchens, and food donations. Visit Central Illinois Foodbank's website for more information.

Central Illinois Foodbank is a member of Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization.

August Classes & Events
Wed, Aug 7, 2019 6:00 PM CST
$10 Meals for Four
Common Ground Food Co-operative, Urbana
Sat, Aug 17, 2019 2:00 PM CST
Ethiopian Flavors: Vegan Lentil Stew
Common Ground Food Co-operative, Urbana
Thu, Aug 22, 2019 6:00 PM CST
Veggie Tapas
Common Ground Food Co-operative, Urbana
Sat, Aug 31, 2019 2:00 PM CST
Fridge Pickles
Common Ground Food Co-operative, Urbana
See what else is new for the month of August in our classes email.

You can always sign up online or in store and classes are listed on the class calendar.
Enjoy $2 off your next purchase of $15 or more
Just bring in this slip or show it on your device. Valid through the end of August. May not be reused or used for sale items, Co-op Basics, or alcohol.