Two weeks ago I was doing a house food shop at Vitamin Cottage, and noticed a new kind of pasture-raised eggs in their cooler. We’ve had trouble maintaining a steady supply of local eggs at the scale the co-op network consumes them… so I was excited. They came in a bright pink carton, from a local family run operation called Cottonwood Creek Farms in Merino, Colorado — out along the Platte River near Fort Morgan.
The retail price was steep, but I wondered if they might be interested in supplying the whole co-op system, so I did a little research, and got in touch with them. The minimum order to make doing a drop in Boulder worthwhile was 100 dozen, and after a few days of back and forth with the other co-op bulk food buyers, it sounded like we could probably swing that many every two weeks or so, which is the same as our ordering schedule with our bulk dry-goods supplier Golden Organics, so we decided to go ahead and take the plunge!
Just a few days later, 110 dozen eggs were dropped off in our kitchen, by Matt Kautz and his son, who was adorable.
It was great to see our community pool its resources so quickly in support of a small scale, local sustainable producer — and get a great price at the same time. A dozen pastured eggs for less than $5 is something you won’t find in grocery stores. And they’re close enough that we might even be able to do a weekend overnight bike ride out to visit the farm some time this coming summer. They also raise other livestock in a rotation that sounds similar to that of Joel Salatin’s Polyface Farms.
If you want to learn more about Cottonwood Creek Farms, check out their website, or see the video below. They also make the rounds at the region’s farmers markets.bulk, buying, club, co-op, cottonwood creek farms, eggs, food, local, pastured
Last Tuesday we had 11 Boulder City Council candidates and about 80 audience members attend a forum that we put on in collaboration with some local organizations dedicated to social justice issues. Participating candidates included: Aaron Brockett, Bob Yates, Cha Cha Spinrad, Don Cotes, Ed Jabari, Jan Burton, Jared Kaszuba, Julie McCabe, Jyotsna Raj, Keith Percy, & Michael Kruteck
Candidate Bill Rigler had intended to attend, but had a bad cold the night of the forum. Cindy Carlisle RSVPed, but had something come up at the last minute. Leonard May didn’t respond to our initial invitation, and by the time we were sending out reminders in the lead up to the event, had other obligations. We gave all the candidates the opportunity to submit written responses if they were going to be unable to attend the forum.
Because the forum was on a Tuesday night, the incumbent candidates (Suzanne Jones, Lisa Morzel, and Tim Plass) were unable to attend, but they all submitted written responses to our questions, which you can find below. If you want to see the questions they were responding to, check out the forum’s event page.
We also recorded the discussion, and the video is embedded here.
2015, boulder, candidate, city council, election, forum, homeless, progressive
As you may or may not have noticed, this lovely little thing we call BoCHA has been playing the local city politics game in the name of community and shared housing in Boulder. Through this process we’ve seen how underrepresented young people, students, renters and lower income folks are in city politics, and we are trying to do something about it.
Most of the things we care about, like enabling legal co-ops, and making it easier for more people to live together legally depend on electing a friendly City Council. There are also several ballot initiatives that would directly affect our efforts. Our endorsements were made with BoCHA’s specific issues in mind, including:
- Enabling shared housing by lifting occupancy limits, and enabling co-ops and ADUs, as well as promoting affordable housing more generally.
- Making our civic sphere more accessible to renters, young people (including students), and lower income residents, and fostering a diverse and inclusive community more generally.
We made all of these decisions by consensus of the BoCHA Advocacy Committee. Everyone was notified prior to the meeting and encouraged to submit written comment if they could not attend the endorsement meeting. The meeting included representatives from two Boulder Housing Coalition co-ops, three independent rental co-ops and one community member unaffiliated with any housing co-op. All of them have been involved in our advocacy work for some time, and most of them for the entire 2+ years that we’ve been working together.
- For City Council we endorse:
- Aaron Brockett
- Cha Cha Spinrad
- Suzanne Jones
- Bob Yates
- We encourage a NO vote on:
- 300 (Neighborhood Right to Vote)
- 301 (Development Shall Pay)
- We encourage a YES vote on:
- 2N (Short Term Rental Tax)
- 2R (Increasing City Council Pay)
For the full story on each of these endorsements, read on!2015, aaron brockett, bob yates, boulder, cha cha spinrad, election, One Boulder, Short Term Rentals, suzanne jones
We hear a lot of stereotypes about people who share housing. It’s often assumed that only students would want to live that way, and that students are necessarily bad neighbors, and undeserving of affordable housing. But we know that isn’t true — there are thousands of people in Boulder working service jobs, or doing child care, or trying the change the world for the better in our thriving non-profit scene, who need affordable housing to be able to live here, and avoid a costly, time consuming, polluting commute.
It’s also often assumed if you’re violating the occupancy limits, but you’re a “good neighbor” who never gets prosecuted, there are no negative impacts. But too many of us have had to move on short notice due to a threat from a neighbor or landlord, been forced to pay a cash “supplement” to the rent listed on our leases, or felt the chilling effects of trying to engage with someone in a neighborhood meeting or political process, knowing they have the power, potentially, to take your home away.
We want to combat these preconceptions, and so we’ve built a little application to put a face on over occupied living, and break these stereotypes. If you’re living over occupied in Boulder now, or have in the past, please share your story and a photo of yourself, and help us humanize the issue:
announcement, application, boulder, colorado, housing, occupancy, over occupied, share, story
BoCHA has grown into quite a little collection of programs and committees, with hundreds of people directly participating in and benefiting from the things that we do in Boulder. Our bulk food ordering system has outgrown our current volunteer labor capacity, and needs its own bank account and legal entity. As we look to taking more explicit political stances, like City Council candidate endorsements, or positions on ballot initiatives, it’s important that we have a well defined, democratic method of determining what positions our members support. For these reasons and others, we’re looking at incorporation, perhaps as a member cooperative, under the guidance of the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union and their Cooperative Development Center, down in Denver.
However, before we get too far down that road, we want to know more about the needs and desires of our potential membership and current participants. To that end, we’ve put together a community survey, which we’re in the process of rolling out to each of the households we’ve been working with over the last couple of years.
We’ve put together a short packet of background information, trying to explain what we’re doing now, why we think those programs are important, and how having a more formal, durable organizational structure would help us do better. We’re going to try and distribute the survey in person at house meetings to encourage broad participation, and give folks the chance to ask questions and give feedback. It’ll also be available online for those who miss those in person meetings. A link will be sent out to participating households.
co-op, community, feedback, incorporate, RMFU, survey, vision