March 2023 Newsletter

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The Mushroom Messenger

KCG Monthly Newsletter: March 2023

Bringing you monthly news of the Kennett Community Grocer, a growing Food Co-op committed to local food, community, and culture.

Hello to our Member-Owners and Friends!

In this month’s news: the KCG board’s Call to Action, a market study update (video), a preview of an exciting April event, and a Special Feature on Cochranville beef farmer Bruce Balik.


We are currently at a member-owner count of 290! We are adding approximately 5 new members per month. This is good, but let’s increase it significantly as the year goes on. Currently, we are working on finding a space to have monthly new member socials where new and current members can come together, grab a drink, and get to know one another. Stay tuned for more information. If you have ideas to share on how to make this social more impactful for new members, please reach out.


In February, the KCG Board members met to discuss our Marketing Strategy for 2023. We set as our goal a strategic Call to Action to encourage 210 more people to join the membership by December 2023. KCG events—including LIVE BETTER events at the Kennett Library, lots of social media presence, the monthly KCG Co-op Boxes, and emails and press releases in local papers and magazines will be directed to this goal. For our member-owners, the Call to Action includes following us on Facebook and Instagram, sharing KCG news and events as often as you can, and most importantly, recruiting one friend or neighbor to join us. If we all pitch in to do this, we will quickly surpass the 500 mark. When you speak to people, please remind yourself and them why we are doing this:

We all want a place to buy nutritious and healthy food that is thoughtfully produced and sold, a place that supports our local farmers and artisans 365 days of the year. This is an engine for sustainable care of our Chester County land and farming families and for building strong community.

A member-owner count of 500 is critical to the process of getting grants, securing a loan, putting forward a capital campaign, and securing the actual store. Your participation in increasing our membership is vital.

An update from Board President Edie Burkey
March KCG Co-op Box: Pick up will be on March 25. Please purchase online by March 19.

April 13 Speaker Event: Together with the Kennett Collaborative, KCG will present speaker Jon Steinman and Building a Better Community with a Community Grocer. Jon is an internationally recognized expert on improving food ecosystems through promotion of food cooperatives. Joining us for the evening will be local farmers and artisans for a mix-and-meet after the presentation. An invitation will follow shortly where you can register. Seating is limited, so sign up early! We look forward to seeing you Thursday, April 13, 6:30-9:00 PM at the Presbyterian Church on South Broad Street in Kennett Square.
SPECIAL FEATURE: Bruce Balik’s Cochranville Farm

Many people ask us why buying a membership in a food cooperative is important. This may be another way of saying, “what is in it for me?”

If you are a meat eater and were lucky enough to receive ground beef in your February Co-op Box, here’s an example of the benefits: Bruce Balik’s healthy, totally grass-fed steers guarantee a product that is  full of good nutrients from enriched soil and free of the chemicals commercial producers add to cattle feed to fatten them prior to processing. Bruce’s prime pastureland produces meat containing more heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids and less of the harmful omega 6 fatty acids. Grass-fed beef contains more antioxidants and conjugated linoleic acid for increasing immunity, regulating blood sugar, and providing anti-inflammation properties.

The membership question could also be asked this way: “what’s in it for the community?” Bruce’s 134 acres of beautiful pasture land near Cochranville, PA is actually a wonderful “carbon sink.” Because Bruce expertly rotates where the cows graze each day, the grasses are healthy and abundant. This process nourishes the soil, absorbs the manure and, because the land is never turned over or “tilled,” the soil nutrients stay intact and carbon from the atmosphere is absorbed, not released.  If all the pastures in the US used the same process, the resulting carbon sequestration would have an enormous positive impact on climate change. Many of our Pennsylvania farmers are practicing this carbon sequestration, and these are the farmers KCG will support.

Meet Bruce Balik with Edie Burkey
(The beef cattle were enjoying a grassy pasture out of camera range.)

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