A Brief History of the Newsletter
Up until March 2003, the newsletter was called The Garlic Press and was put together by former member Shelly Thomas. Back then, Newsletter Editor was a board position, and you can see that Shelly put a lot of effort into her job!
After Shelly left the Coöp, the board position was renamed Communications Director. The main tools of communication became the website and Horde webmail, and for several years there was no newsletter. Then in November 2006, a rudimentary form of newsletter re-emerged when news bulletins about certain key developments started to appear. Those bulletins came together in a more "formal" way in February 2007, when Dana Janssen, who was then the Coöp's Secretary, started publishing an actual newsletter again.
However, Dana was unable to continue as Secretary after August 2007, and for a while the job was effectively vacant until Diane Brady took it over in May 2008. In the interim, Janice Mechan (Vice President at the time) and I managed to put out a couple of issues of the newsletter, and it actually acquired its longest-running title It's Just Food! in December 2007.
That title, by the way, came from a remark by Cindy Damon (President at the time), who uttered it in exasperation over the obsessive tendency of certain members to update their orders at the last minute. Those late order revisions were driving all the batchers crazy -- even Susan Kataja, who at that point was still saddled with the FoodLink ordering software. In its more extended form, Cindy's point was this: "Getting everything you want into your order is not a matter of life and death. After all, it's just food!"
As the title of the newsletter, that remark became an ironic double entendre. On the one hand, it's not merely food. For a coöp emphasizing whole foods free of chemical pesticides, fertilizers, GMOs, etc. it really is a matter of life and death! On the other hand, it's not only food, but also earth-friendly household products, health and beauty aids, etc.
Anyway, Diane produced the newsletter until January 2009, when she took over the Nuts/Honey/Syrup Batcher job and Denise Hauk became Secretary. Denise then produced the newsletter until September 2009, when the Board decided to transfer that job function from the Secretary to the Communications Director. Thus did the newsletter come full circle back to the Newsletter Editor, now called Communications Director.
In 2013, Megan Putnam assumed the job of Communications Director. She and the Board decided the newsletter would work best as a timely email, which came to be called the BFC News Blast. But by the end of the year, Megan was unable to continue in the job, so it reverted back to me.
And that's a brief history of the newsletter. I am publishing it again, but now under the new title. If you have any news items, recipes, commentary, etc. you'd like to contribute to the next issue, please send them to me!
BFC Communications Coordinator / Newsletter Editor