Real Food Department: Zany Mystic’s Garden Tower, and “Lucky’s Market” comes to town.

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Garden Tower

Really? Only one week? Seems unusually fast. Maybe we should have a contest to see who can grow Garden Tower food the fastest? If so, it looks like Zany Mystic, aka Lance White, might be declared winner before it even begins. P.S. he tends his Tower in droughty California, and even there it needs needs only one/tenth the amount of water as a regular garden.

On last Saturday’s interview that Lance did did with my son Colin Cudmore, inventor of the Garden Tower

— Lance told how he he has already started eating from his Tower, and even took some of the harvested greens over to his neighbor — who, he said, found the flavors too strong! Yep! That’s what happens when the flavor of real food, as he says, “bursts” in your mouth. The flavor reminded him of how food from his family’s farm garden tasted when he was a kid. So different than “store-bought”! So nourishing!

Lucky’s Market

Lucky’s Market, here’s their philosophy —

originally out of Boulder Colorado (and now with stores in eight states) — features fresh produce, much of it organic and/or local, and a number of other wonderful features, that, frankly, remind me somewhat of Trader Joe’s (the nearest, in Indianapolis), as well as of a larger, and much more efficiently organized version of our beloved local food co-op (since 1976) — held its Grand Opening today on the west side of town, and I frankly, I can hear the death knell of Bloomingfoods Cooperative ringing in my ears already. Unless, that is, our beloved co-op leaps into its imagination, and dares to transform itself into something far different — like a from a members’ co-op into a genuine worker’s coop? Already

The 2014 co-op workers’ drive to unionize got everybody fired up.

Or, since the Co-op is not running efficiently, perhaps break it up as a conglomerate, with each of its three major stores linking more intimately to their surrounding neighborhoods?

Lucky’s Grand Opening was the top story in today’s local paper, and predictably, hordes of people came to check it out. Me, too. When signing out with my specials (two pineapples for $1; 85% lean “natural” ground beef $1.99 pound), I asked the cashier how long it took to set up the store, which occupies the location of an old Marsh’s that went defunct a few years ago. Aside from construction, he said, three weeks. I asked how many came from Colorado to help with set-up. Twenty, with about thirty people in all participating in the set-up. Obviously this place is already efficiently run. Plus the food departments are well organized and the fresh food beautifully presented.

When I got back home, I took one of the ground beef packages and one of the pineapples over to Rebecca, pod mate next door. Her friend “Shy” was visiting. I told them of my visit to Lucky’s.

“Shame on you!” he said, only half joking.

He’s right. In a sense, my visit was a betrayal, despite that I’ve been faithfully attending board meetings of our Co-op every month, during this fraught time when the board, the General Manager, and interested Co-op members try to come to grips with the advent of both Lucky’s this year, and of Whole Foods in 2016. I don’t think Whole Foods will be as competitive with our Co-op as Lucky’s, since, as we know, it’s also called “Whole Paycheck.”

I was taken aback, while at Lucky’s, by the presence of three immensely obese people in wheelchairs, slavoring over the huge selection of fresh “natural” meats (including nitrate-free bacon smoked on site). Only in America.

P.S. Question for Lucky’s: What does the word “natural” mean? I wonder how they would answer. Because it seems to me that this word, which is pasted on just about every Big Food cereal box, for example, has utterly lost its sense. We ’60s folks started using the word “natural” back then to denote something not artificial or mechanical, something organically growing, alive. But the word “natural” got co-opted and diluted by mainstream culture long long ago. At this point, the same thing is happening to the word “sustainable.” And is especially ridiculous when we talk about “sustainable development.” There is no such thing!

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