Election Results & Store News
The votes are in and the co-op is getting into the Fall swing.

Read on for First Friday sushi & sake, an indigenous cooking class, new local items, new local art, Humans of the Co-op, Rounding Up for the Independent Media Center, & more.
From the GM
Gary Taylor, General Manager
General Manager Gary Taylor just returned from the National Cooperative Grocers Fall Meeting. Read his October update , including his top 10 reasons to shop at Common Ground!
2018 Election Results
Voting for new Board members, Round Up for Good organizations, and an amendment to the Bylaws concluded at the annual Meeting of Owners on September 21. We're excited to announce the results from this year's elections - you can view them here.

Next meeting of the Board of Directors:
Monday, October 8th, 6:15 pm at the Urbana Civic Center
FREE EVENT: Friday, October 5, 5:30 - 7:30 pm in the classroom
For this month's  Urbana First Fridays, we're sampling sake, wine, and local Urbana LL Sushi (which will be on sale). Plus, Revolution Brewing is coming from Chica go to sample their regionally crafted brews. This is a free event in the classroom!

Wine not stop by sushi what's going on?
Food of Indigenous America : Cooking with UIUC Native American House
Sunday, October 7, 11 am - 1 pm | Tickets $20
Join us in celebrating Indigenous Peoples' Day by attending our first-ever class taught by Cara Feng and students from UIUC's Native American House.

This class will cover traditionally native foods to our area, indigenous history and cultural perspectives and allow you to taste a delicious indigenous-inspired meal while hearing stories from leaders of N.A.H. All proceeds from class tickets will support the day-to-day efforts of UIUC's Native American House. 
Friday, November 2, 5:30-7 pm
Come by for an evening of knitting inspiration in the mall hallway. Klose Knit's customers will bring their wonderful creations and show them off - you will be inspired by their creative works and the story of their hand-created, personalized garments.

Tickets are $10, available for purchase on the Klose Knit website. I ncludes 1 glass of wine and appetizers, plus a donation to the Reading Group, a not-for-profit learning center which specializes in serving children and adults who struggle with learning difficulties.
New Items Around the Store
Local produce, new coffee, and scratch-baked seasonal goodies
  • Lots of local on the last legs of the season, including:
  • Local apple varieties from Cary's Garden of Eatin' and Red Crib Acres
  • Local apple cider from Red Crib Acres
  • Local hand-dipped caramel apples from Minonk Candy Co
  • Local winter squash varieties from Blue Moon and PrairiErth Farm
  • Let us know what you think of our new coffees!
  • Sallie Sues: Regional and Fair Trade
  • Zuzu's: Local Gourmet Coffee
  • Steam Shovel Coffee

Prepared Foods
  • Fall seasonal items, made from scratch in the co-op:
  • Vegan options:
  • Maple Pecan Bars, Orange Cranberry Bread, Harvest Pie, Apple Pie & Apple Crisp Muffins (right) with local apples from Red Crib Acres
  • Wheat-free:
  • Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting, Peanut Butter Pie, Pumpkin Pie (V & WF)
New Local Art Gallery Installations
Kenny Andrews
local painter & co-op staff

See Kenny's work

Get in touch
Brianna Lawrence
digital artist & printmaker 

See Brianna's work

Get in touch
Meal Kits Update
Last month we offered 3 different $15, 4-serving meal kits for Family Meals Month. They were so popular that we're turning meal kits into a permanent program at the co-op beginning in 2019. Thanks for your support of this idea! Stay tuned.
October Deli Features
Pumpkin Spice Latte
Sweetened for the season with co-op made syrup: real pumpkin puree and bulk pumpkin spices. Get it hot or iced!
Now there's a drink special in the deli for every day of the week!
This month we interviewed two active members of the Urbana human community.

Maggie Taylor , an owner of Delight Flower Farm, one of Common Ground's most local producers, and Brian Dolinar , Manager of the Independent Media Center, Common Ground's neighbor to the north and the October Round Up recipient.
Maggie (Delight Flower Farm owner, owner #3550)
"For us a big motivator is making an impact in the conventional floral industry. It’s a multi-billion dollar industry and most of the flowers we get in the United States are imported, coming from South America and Africa. The statistics vary depending upon the source that you research but it’s anywhere from 80 to 85% of U.S. Flowers are imported. So what you see in regular grocery stores or from a florist or when people plan flowers for a big event or for a wedding, all of those flowers, most likely, are coming from another location. Let’s say 15% aren’t imported - 85% of those are grown in California. So we’re really fulfilling what we consider a need to provide local flowers in this area and we’ve had people as far as Indiana and Chicago contact us and say, 'I can’t find any flower suppliers locally, you’re the closest thing.'

And I think the other thing that sets us apart aside from doing local cut flowers is that we are a sustainable farm. We use all organic methods. In fact, we don’t even spray organic sprays on our flowers. We do hand-picking of caterpillars, we bag our dahlias, we do all sorts of beneficial insect control, so ladybugs and praying mantis eat other bugs that would eat our flowers. And we have what I consider fair wages for our employees, even though the work environment is challenging because we’re out in the sun a lot, the days seem long, we’re lifting heavy buckets and swatting flies. The morale is pretty high in this work environment and we have a lot of fun and joke a lot, care about each other’s well-being, which I think is pretty unique in a workplace in general, but specifically for farming."

You can find Delight's flowers as soon as you walk into the co-op.
Brian (IMC Program Director, owner #2093)
"The IMC has helped support young brilliant minds in our community. The IMC helps to support emerging artists of color. One example is Mother Nature, two young women of color, Truth and Shasta, who are now performing in Chicago, Atlanta and New York and are blowing up! A really unique hip-hop act, even unique for Chicago. So Mother Nature in some part got started at the IMC - they held a hip hop workshop.

The mural right here by Langston Allston is a mural that was done as a part of the Miseducation of Hip Hop Workshop that we had here. This is the Good Vibes Only mural by Langston and they got together a group of twenty youth and put together the mural. Langston sketched the outline of it and the local youth came in and painted it. It was the perfect kind of youth engagement, drawing upon local artists that came together for the project. And it was really out of Mother Nature’s vision that we applied for and won the National Endowment for the Arts grant to continue that project. So when it came time to choose artists for the four workshops, Mother Nature was one of those four. And they brought all their friends.

We’re trying to continue those creative collaborations and ultimately provide resources for the youth. We have a stage, a sound system, a space where they can put on events and now we’re trying to create a community music studio down in the basement where youth can come in and record. A free music studio where you can set up a time and we can get folks in here and playing together. We are pulling together volunteers for the technology, the media, and the hardware to make it happen. We have a lot of resources in the community, we’re just trying to materialize it into something that local youth can use, who don’t have access to media technology, they don’t go to the university, they graduate from the local high schools, they work jobs in the community. They sweep our floors during the week but on the weekends they like to get down and have hip hop shows. So that’s the kind of space we create."

You can Round Up for the IMC all October long - see below.
Did you know we've raised over $200,000 for local community organizations through Round Up for Good since 2010? The program has shown continual growth, with each year's total being higher than the last. That's cooperation in action!
October Recipient: U-C Independent Media Center (The IMC)
This October, we're Rounding Up for the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center.

"The mission of the Independent Media Center (IMC) is to foster media and art that gives expression to marginalized voices and perspectives. IMC is a hub for youth engagement, movement building, and local art and music."

Visit their website to learn more.
Good Food Reads (Click headline for full article)
"Americans presume there will always be enough — money, clean soil, healthy water — to fulfill our desires. But our ravenous economic disposition goes against the very nature of our world and its finite resources. Advocates for sustainable agriculture argue that we ought to recognize the limits of our world and, as Mr. Berry writes, 'live in it on its terms, not ours.'”

"In each of the past two years, drifting dicamba has been blamed for damaging more than 1 million acres of neighboring crops, mostly soybeans. It has provoked fights between farmers and set off a huge controversy. Receiving less attention, so far, is the damage to wild plants. Few people were watching them quite so closely."
Read a 2017 co-op staff article about Dicamba & the co-op here .

" Already, the movement is making a noticeable difference. The Puerto Rican Department of Agriculture is aiming to have food imports down to 65 to 75 percent by the end of the year, which could represent as much as a 20-percent decrease on pre-Maria levels and a 30-percent drop from the island’s post-Maria peak."

"The state, already leading the nation in pork production, is experiencing a rapid rise in large-scale hog operations. Between 1982 and 2012, the most recent U.S. Department of Agriculture census, total hog production in Iowa rose from  14.3 million  a year to  20.5 million . During the same time period, the number of farmers producing hogs dropped from  45,768  to  6,266 ."
October Classes & Events
See what's new for the month of September 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, show it on your device, or mention the word "purple" to your cashier. Valid through end of September. May not be reused or used for sale items, Co-op Basics, or alcohol.