Celebrating National Garlic Month

Updates on our co-op journey

As we look forward to a new season of gardening, outdoor activities and events, Shared Harvest continues in our mission to transform the local food economy by opening our community-owned grocery store in downtown Elgin. Over the past month our board spent time with the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs’ Value-Added Sustainability Development Center, a group that assists communities through business guidance especially in the areas of food access. Their team performed an updated, high level market study for Shared Harvest focused on a future downtown Elgin location. Insights gained underscored our desire to open Shared Harvest within the USDA food desert that includes downtown Elgin to serve our diverse and vibrant population. We also discussed state level grant opportunities for organizations such as ours that focus on food system and sustainability improvements. 

In addition to securing our location, our other two priorities are expanding community relationships and growing our number of shareholders. This month there are two big ways we’re doing this work. First we’ll be participating in the upcoming 2024 Elgin Earth Summit, Saturday, April 20, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., at The Centre of Elgin’s Heritage Ballroom. This year’s event will feature sustainability focused local organizations and educational opportunities, including an update on the Kane County Climate Action Implementation Plan. Plus you can enter for a chance to win an EV Bike (must register before or day of event, and be present at the drawing to win)! Registration for the Earth Summit is encouraged but not required – all are welcome. 

Secondly, we’re proud to be a sponsor of this year’s inaugural Home Run for PADS 5K event on Saturday, April 27. PADS of Elgin offers 24/7 emergency shelter year-round to individuals experiencing homelessness and helps them develop a sustainable future by providing essential services. In addition to shelter and case management, the program also provides guests with referrals to medical, mental health, and addiction services, as well as necessities such as hygiene products, clothing, and footwear. Click here to learn more or register for Home Run for PADS. If you’re not running or walking in the 5K, come out that morning to cheer on all of the participants! 

We’re making preparations for this year’s Downtown Elgin Farmers Market – a great opportunity to connect with the community including current and future shareholders, while spreading the word about our vision for a healthy, sustainable local food network. We are so pleased to share that we’ll once again be partnering with Allison’s Wonderland Farm to offer fresh, locally grown organic produce. The farmers market kicks off on Friday, June 7 and we hope to see you there!

Zero-Emission Yard Equipment Rebate for Elgin Residents

Did you know that operating a new gasoline lawn mower for one hour emits the same amount of volatile organic compounds as driving a new car 45 miles? The City of Elgin and the Elgin Sustainability Commission seek to reduce use of yard equipment that causes harmful air pollution. Elgin residents who buy either an electric lawnmower, leaf blower, trimmer, edger, snow blower or manual reel lawnmower can receive a $50 rebate check for their purchase. And to support local businesses, the purchase must be made in 2024 at a retail establishment located within the Elgin area to be eligible for the rebate. Click here for all of the details – sixty rebates are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

PADS of Elgin Home Run 5K on April 27 

You still have time to support PADS of Elgin by registering for their first-ever Home Run 5K! The event includes a 5K Run/Walk and a 1 Mile Kids Fun Run, starting at the Gail Borden Public Library. PADS provides overnight and day shelter services as well as comprehensive case management to community members experiencing homelessness in Northern Kane County. Click here to learn more about PADS and get the details on their upcoming event. 

Celebrating National Garlic Month

In the U.S. we consume more than 250 million pounds of garlic each year and for good reason — it can be eaten at different stages of its growth, it’s nutritious, and it can enhance just about every meal. Garlic, a member of the onion family, has been used medicinally and as a food source for over 7000 years. Whether we’re sautéing, roasting or pickling it, some of us regularly use twice as much as any recipe calls for because we love it! 

Check out this Garlic Guide from National Co+op Grocers and try their recipe for Spicy Roasted Garlic Hummus. Pro tip: eating a lemon wedge or small amount of juice will alleviate bad garlic breath. 

Become a Co-op Owner

While Shared Harvest will welcome everyone to shop, becoming an owner means so much more. Learn about the benefits of co-op ownership and consider joining us today!

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