News & Blog
This week I had the privilege to be at the Urbangreens board meeting that is held every Wednesday night. I think I'm among the few who has been to a board meeting without being a board member, so I would like to write about it today. I believe many of us non-board members want to know what they are up to, especially in this time before the opening of the new market. Let me remind you that board meetings are open to everyone. You can see the schedule at urbangreens.com/events.
At the meeting, I learned that our co-op now has almost 800 members, who are not only in Providence, but also from throughout the state! This number even before the opening of the market is encouraging. I can see the expectations are high! I will list some of the things they discussed below.
• How to approach the groundbreaking of the store (hint: it will involve food)
• Deep discussion on the new logo and branding
• GM governance policies
• and so on!
Even though they still can't say for sure when the exact date will be for the opening of the market (because so much permitting, construction and logistics are involved), the board members are definitely moving things forward. We’ll be hearing about the groundbreaking of the market in no time!
Safer and cheaper DYI alternative to commercial pesticides
The weather is finally good and it’s time for home gardener’s to get to work! I see every hardware store featuring pesticides for home gardeners, but I believe that I’m not the only one who is concerned about the long-term environmental effect of using commercial pesticides (Glyphosate). I did a lot of research on DYI alternatives for Glyphosate-based pesticides and found a few variations of a vinegar based DYI product. After trying a few different kinds (and even trying Glyphosate-based pesticide against my will for research purposes!), I’m convinced that the environmentally friendly and all-natural solution works not only as good but even better. Here is the recipe I would like to share.
1/2 gallon White Distilled VinegarRead More
Council Member Elections
The council is nominating 5 current council members whose terms are up for re-election to the cooperative council, as well as nominating 1 new member to serve on the council:
Antonieta Falconi (current council Secretary)
*Rendering courtesy of Truth Box Architects
Happy (belated) New Year!
We've been so busy, we can't believe it's already February! I'm sure some of you have gone by the future site of Urban Greens and noticed it's been pretty quiet over there. While it may seem still, we've been working overtime on all the details required to break ground this spring.
Over the last year, a lot has happened for Urban Greens: In partnership with Truth Box Architects and D+P Realty, the overall development was awarded a Rebuild RI tax credit, helping make sure the project moves forward. And since May, Urban Greens has raised nearly $400,000 towards store opening costs! Due to some planning changes to the overall project (to both the housing aspect and our store) we were not able to break ground before winter, but we are ready to go this spring!
Project Changes & Timeline
As you can see from the updated rendering above, the project has undergone a significant change. After reviewing several options, our partners in the development, Truth Box Architects and D+P Realty, felt it made more sense to keep Urban Greens as a standalone building, moving housing from above the store to next door. This standalone store will have even more visibility, and give us more flexibility in our store design. While changes like this mean some extra planning time, we’re very excited about the new design!
It’s important to note that this will push the store’s opening by a few months. Urban Greens had a goal of opening by the end of 2017, and because of the schedule change upfront, we now plan to open in early 2018. We understand this has been a long project, but we’re committed to seeing this through—and we want members and supporters to know how committed we are to this project.
We’ll be planning a groundbreaking event for this spring, as well as our annual member meeting, and we’ll be sending out emails soon with even more specifics.
I am issuing a Grain Challenge for 2017! Dare to cook one alternative grain per month. This recipe alone has FOUR! You can make this dish vegetarian by using regular cheese or even non-vegetarian by adding ground beef or chicken. Any way you cook it this recipe is filling, delicious and healthy.
Vegan Four Grain Vegetable Bowl
A Vegetarian sweet spiced Grain and Bean Bowl
o 1 15 oz. can(s) black beans, (drained & rinsed)
o 1 tablespoon(s) oil
o 3/4 cup(s) carrot, diced fine
o 3/4 cup(s) leek, diced fine
o 3/4 cup(s) onion, diced fine
o 1/2 cup(s) celery, diced fine
o 3 1/4 cup(s) vegetable broth, (or more if needed)(divided use)
o 1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
o 1/2 teaspoon(s) cumin, ground
o 1/2 teaspoon(s) coriander, ground
o 1/2 teaspoon(s) cinnamon, ground
o 2 garlic cloves, minced
o 1/2 cup(s) brown rice
o 1/2 cup(s) lentils, dried
o 1/4 cup(s) barley, uncooked
o 1/4 cup(s) raisins
o 1/8 teaspoon(s) salt
o 1/8 teaspoon(s) pepper
o 1 cup(s) tomato, diced
o 1/3 cup(s) cheese, vegan
1. Cook the brown rice in water and salt as directed. Cool and set aside.
2. Boil the barley in enough vegetable stock (1 1/2 - 2 cups) until the barley is cooked, puffed, and tender. This could take an hour or more. Cool and set aside.
3. Sweat carrots through celery in Dutch oven for 10 minutes over medium heat.. (Place 1/4 cup vegetable stock, then the celery, then the carrots, cover and cook. Do not stir.)
4. Add the oil and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Then add the leeks, onions, vegetable broth (1 1/2 cups), chili powder, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, garlic, lentils, raisins, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, simmer until the lentils are cooked. Add the beans and tomatoes, heat 2 minutes, then remove from heat and let cool. Add the rice and barley. Mix gently.
5. Add the cheese and enjoy!
About My Chef Lara
My Chef Lara is comprised of two chefs who believe that wellness starts with the food we eat. Cooking and eating for your health is within everyone's reach and we are here to educate people that they can achieve their wellness goals and still enjoy what they eat.
My Chef Lara comes into your home, cooks about a month worth of meals to your specifications, packages them and put them into your refrigerator and freezer for you to eat at your convenience. Our model of cooking many meals at once makes our services affordable and our customization allows you to reach whatever goals or needs you desire.
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