A time of growth and appreciation

Editor’s Note from Stephanie Mandel

After a fall, winter, and spring full of interesting weather, the prospect of a long, hot Nevada County summer sounds like a refreshing change of pace.

With all the sun will come more and more locally grown fruits and vegetables, at BriarPatch every day and at the farmers markets. Super fresh and delicious blueberries, lettuce, tomatoes, melons… I can’t wait!

Beyond the appeal of all the fresh local produce, it will be an interesting summer here at the Patch as we all watch the new parking lot take shape and anticipate the crowning moment when the monumental solar structure goes up.

I understand that when the time comes, it will happen quickly, all within a few days: up go the steel support beams, the panels are set on top of them — done. If you’d like to see a parking lot solar structure that’s similar to the one we’ll have, just go right up the hill from the Patch to Sierra College, at the far end of Lot 6. Installed in 2013, theirs isn’t quite as big as ours will be, but you’ll get the general idea.

For answers to common questions about the solar parking project and a project schedule, see http://www.briarpatch.coop/go-summer-good-energy-watch-progress-solar-parking-project/

For BriarPatch’s 40th anniversary series, this issue is dedicated to the Joerschke Drive store era. The Co-op occupied that building (now Smiley Guys Smokehouse) from 1992 to 2007 and over those years we made great leaps as a retailer, a responsible employer, and a community hub. All the hard work and progress that was made there laid the groundwork for the expansion to our present store on Sierra College Drive. Great credit is due to the hundreds of people who contributed to BriarPatch in that era: volunteer Board members, volunteer workers, and staff whose wages didn’t always reflect their hard work. Lots of people pitched in then just to be part of a group effort that would benefit the whole community.

With so many years spent at Joerschke, there are many stories and many people who were part of it — too many share in a few pages of this newsletter. The photos offered here show a few of the people and projects from those days. You can see more photos in our website photo galleries. Check them out at www.briarpatch.coop/know-briarpatch/40-year-anniversary-galleries.

Community Fund and Co-op CAUSE update

This year we have $3,000 to donate from our Cooperative Community Fund’s interest income. Applications for both Community Fund grants and our Co-op CAUSE program will be available starting in July, both by download from our website and at the Customer Service window.

The CAUSE program, launched in April of 2015, raised $15,000 in its first year. Donations have been increasing in recent weeks, thanks to cashiers and shoppers, and that amount will soon be $20,000. We’re proving the name to be true — change adds up!

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