Archives for September 2017

  • GEM Board of Directors Elections | 10.06.2014

    It’s time to elect your new GEM Board of Directors! As some of you may know, we have nine seats on the board with three year terms, therefore we have three seats up for election – and the great thing is is that it’s contested. With that, we have four candidates for three seats, so choose wisely. This year’s candidates are Eric Holm, Diane Brien, Carol Van Tuinen and Jeff Kreidler – click the names for their info and a pic. Also, you will have an opportunity to meet the candidates in person at the Local Producer Fair on Saturday, October 18th, and at the GEM Annual Meeting on Thursday, October 23rd, so please come out to support Your Community Co-op! And come in to the store to make your voice heard by voting in our Annual Board of Directors Election!

  • Fall Foods for the Whole Family | 08.24.2014

    SquashFall is back-to-school time as well as harvest time for a variety of super nutritious fruits and vegetables. Why not send your kids back to the classroom full of the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants their bodies will need to stay healthy as cold season sets in?

    Squashes are among the cheapest and easiest fall fruits to prepare, and they pack a powerhouse of nutrients, including potassium, carotenoids, folate, and fiber. Best of all, they are both kid friendly and baby friendly, being a great food for infants.

    To prepare squash, simply split any variety (acorn, butternut, pumpkin, spaghetti) down the middle with a large knife, scoop out the seeds, place the halves flesh-side down in a pan with ½-inch of water, and bake at 350 degree for 45-60 minutes. The squash is done when a knife sinks easily into the flesh. To serve, scoop out the flesh and add butter and cinnamon to taste.

    A high-quality butter from pastured animals will add Vitamins A and K2 to your dish as well as a healthy dose of saturated fat. Wait a minute, did I use healthy and saturated fat in the same sentence? Yes! Research is chipping away at the myth that saturated fat is bad, when in fact both saturated fat and cholesterol are essential for growth and development. See for a wealth of information on the benefits of fat and other nutrient-dense foods—or do a Google search for the recent spate of articles in the news!

    Spaghetti squash can be a fun food for kids since it looks like, well, spaghetti! After baking, scrape out the flesh with a fork and serve with butter, salt, and pepper, or with a little pasta sauce and Parmesan cheese.

    Fall is also harvest time for that universal symbol of education, the apple. Making homemade applesauce or apple butter can be a fun project for the whole family, and can spare your kids the high-fructose corn syrup and other sweeteners added to commercial products.

    To make your own applesauce, simply cut apples into 1-inch chunks (no need to remove the skin—it has lots of nutrition!), sprinkle with cinnamon, and steam for about 10 minutes, or until the apples are soft. Place steamed chunks into a food processor and puree with a few squeezes of lemon juice. You can also add a tablespoon or two of virgin coconut oil for extra flavor and nutrition.

    For apple butter, place 10-20 sliced apples in a slow cooker with an inch of water (again, no need to remove the skin). Sprinkle with a generous amount of allspice and cinnamon and cook on low for 8-10 hours, checking periodically to make sure there is enough water in the bottom of the cooker to prevent burning. Puree the apples with the remaining water using a stick blender (or transfer to a food processor), adding a tablespoon or two of vanilla extract as you blend. If it’s too thick, add small amounts of water until you achieve the right consistency.


    Cori Hart is the local chapter leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation, committed to reintroducing nutrient-dense foods into the Standard American Diet. She can be reached at

  • That which we call a Rosé | 05.05.2014


    Rosé- fresh, juicy and an incredible partner for food. So why the stigma that all pink wine is sweet? History tells us that producing wine of a pale pink hue dates back to times of antiquity. With many of the breakthroughs in modern winemaking still unknown, it was very challenging to produce a full on red wine that wasn’t overly tannic and bitter. Considering wine was consumed in place of water you can see why choosing a lighter, fresher variety was desirable. A taste for pink prevailed through the centuries and continues to be produced all over the world-even entire appellations of France devoted to producing only Rosé.

    With all of this history it wasn’t until Portugal’s sticky-sweet pink bubblers, like Mateus, hit the market that American’s began tipping their own Rose filled glass. In 1975 Sutter Home’s winemaking revelation i.e. a stuck Zinfandel fermentation* resulted in a sweet pink wine. Their happy accident was dubbed “White Zinfandel” and went on to sell 1.5 million cases in 1986. This marketing wonder forever changed public view of pink wine.

    Aside from color, today’s dry Rosés share very little with these mass marketed blush wines. They come from regions all over the globe and can be made from many grape varieties, offering a wide variety of flavors and styles. This delightful spectrum of color not only makes them fun to drink it is a great clue to what is in the bottle. Wine gains its color via the time is spends with the skins of the grapes (maceration), so the darker the pink the more time with the skins. In the case of most Rosés they are made with red grapes and get their pale pink color from spending a minimal amount of time mingling with the grape skin. Rosés can of course be made from mixing red and white grapes together or by variations of the saignee** method. Aside from the fresh fruit flavors and typically herbaceous notes you can expect a sweetness that is very comparable to a fresh strawberry-ripe, but crisp and laced with a mouthwatering acidity.

    From Champagne’s prestigious Brut Rosés to the humble country wines filling glasses all along the Mediterranean coast- Rosé is refreshing and versatile. Stop into the Co-op and see our fresh new selection of Dry Rosés!

    “Rosé has no season and any day is a good day to have a glass.”-Kermit Lynch
    *Stuck Fermentation is a problem in which the yeast dies off before all the sugar is turned to alcohol.
    **Saignee: French word meaning to bleed. In winemaking it is the process of “bleeding” off some of the juice from the must to create a more concentrated red wine.
    Lena Olson
    Winegardner’s Wines


  • Inner-Ēco Probiotic | 04.10.2014

    Reset and New March 5 (7 of 7)


    What is a probiotic?

    Probiotics are bacteria that help maintain the natural balance of organisms (microflora) in the intestines. The normal human digestive tract contains about 400 types of probiotic bacteria that reduce the growth of harmful bacteria and promote a healthy digestive system. The largest group of probiotic bacteria in the intestine is lactic acid bacteria, of which Lactobacillusacidophilus, found in yogurt with live cultures, is the best known. Yeast is also a probiotic substance. Probiotics are also available as dietary supplements. (WebMD)

    I have used probiotics for several years. For me, they have kept inflammation down in my body, my guts regulated, and definitely help me during allergy season. (Results will vary for every person.) Trying several kinds over the years, I’ve been very happy with inner-ēco Fresh Coconut Water Probiotic  while taking it over the past month. I came down with a slight head cold and noticed this probiotic was helpful in reducing symptoms and duration. (Again, results will vary for every person.)

    I have officially switched to inner-ēco and find it very reasonably priced for 30 servings coupled with great results.

    Currently, inner-ēco is on sale for $16.99, reg. $19.99. The sales ends on Tuesday, April 15th.

    Jodie, Marketing Manager


  • We Have Organic Maca! | 03.26.2014

    Good Earth Market Co-op is now carrying three types of Raw, Organic Maca from The Maca Team in our bulk section.

    Cooler evolution (8 of 13)

    Not familiar? Maca is a root from the radish family and an esteemed, vitamin-rich root, boasting benefits in many categories including: energy, mood balance, sexual health, skin, men’s health, women’s health, and general health. Sourced from The Maca Team, it is grown in a remote, pristine part of the Peruvian Andes.

    Cream Maca is the most abundant color of Maca and has been used for over 2000 years to boost energy, improve fertility, enhance libido and more. $19.99 per pound

     Black Maca is the most effective Maca type for muscle building and endurance, male fertility and libido, and for mental focus.  $24.99 per pound

     Red Maca is the most effective type for hormone balance, female fertility, and bone and prostate health. It is also the highest in phytonutrients and the best tasting. $24.99 per pound

    Usage: Enjoy it with water, milk, juice, or smoothies. Try taking Maca first thing in the morning and on an empty stomach for quickest results. Daily suggested dosage is 1-3 teaspoons. While there are no known side effects, it should not be taken in large amounts just like any other supplement. It’s okay to begin with a half teaspoon and work your way up to 1-3 teaspoons. Rotating a few days on and off is generally recommended.

    Find Maca in our bulk section which is parked next to our produce section. See you soon!

  • Vegan Chocolate Mousse | 03.23.2014

    Avocado Mousse (1 of 3)  I found this recipe the other day and posted it to our Facebook page. As I was sharing I thought to myself, “How could this taste good?!” which prompted me to go ahead and make Vegan Chocolate Mousse! (recipe is found below)

    The list of ingredients includes: avocado, cocoa powder, agave nectar, vanilla extract, and almond milk. I  grabbed some Organic Avocados from GEM’s produce section and decided to substitute the Agave Nectar with Local Honey- Becky’s Berries Montana Creamed Honey with Huckleberries to be exact.

    FYI: We carry this delicious honey and I love mixing it in with my morning bowl of oatmeal!

    This recipe is incredibly easy and takes less than 10 minutes from start to finish!



    Avocado Mousse (2 of 3)I compiled the required five ingredients, threw them into my early 1940’s Hamilton Beach mixer and let it puree the food into a thick, rich chocolate.

    I cautiously dipped my finger in for a taste to see what the heck I just created. This quickly led to spooning half the mixture into a cup and devouring the mousse! It was SO good! It was so good that I ate way too much, ultimately leading to quiet time on the couch until my stomach uh.. settled down.. (Sort of like eating a lot of cookie dough while making the cookies and then you have to lay down while the cookies are in the oven. Or am I the only one who does this?..)



    I got fancy and put my portion in one of my grandmother's cut glass tea cups.

    I got fancy and put my portion in one of my grandmother’s cut glass tea cups.

    If you are serving this as a stand-alone dessert, the recipe is good for two servings. If you are using it as a topping, you should be able to top off about 6-8 servings. Either way, it’s quite yummy.

    Vegan Chocolate Mousse:

    1 ripe avodcado

    1/4 cup cocoa powder

    1/4 cup raw agave nectar (I used creamed honey)

    1/4 cup almond milk (I used SoDelicious unsweetned Coconut Milk – it’s my fave and we have it at GEM in a half gallon in the refrigerated section)

    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Puree until smooth. Serve chilled.

    Jodie, Marketing Manager








  • Wine Spotlight: Drink Well. Do Good. | 03.17.2014

    b8bc97a0a2fc11e3bd540e4cd1fa8f5b_8Wine is one of those transcendent things in life, like food, that naturally brings people together. To share an appreciation for the beauty and complexity found in a wine glass can make for instant common ground.  For the three friends creating Rickshaw wines, a mutual zeal for the grapevine offered just that.  When their paths ultimately converged in San Francisco, the lifelong dream of creating a wine of their own became a reality.

    Rickshaw is the synthesis of two powerful ideals: that one should be able to have a great bottle of wine at a reasonable price and that those of us fortunate to enjoy said wine each night should help out our fellow man. The fellas donate 5% of profits to a food based charity in the state the wine is sold.




    2012 Rickshaw Pinot Noir – $12.99

    Fruit sourced from some of California’s most iconic vineyards; this small production Pinot Noir boasts a mélange of raspberry, pomegranate and cranberry all tied together with classic Pinot Noir flavors of tobacco and sweet leather.

    2012 Rickshaw Chardonnay – $12.99

    Cool climate Chardonnay gently oaked for a toasty complexity. Notes of crème brulee and ripe tropical fruits.


    Written by Lena Olson, Winegardners’s Wines. Learn more at

  • What is Good Earth Market? |


    Good Earth Market is your local co-op! 30% of what we carry is made in Montana, and because we are a locally owned store, 1/5 of our profit is channeled directly back into our local economy instead of going to big companies in other states and countries. We carry good food, quality products, and serve great meals with our community in mind.

    What is a co-op?

    • Owned by members in equal shares
    • Returns any extra revenue to members in proportion to how much they contribute over the year
    • Autonomous and independent, locally owned and run
    • Promotes education, cooperation, and concern for the community
    • Not just stores! If you’ve ever financed a car through a credit union, or if you get electricity from Yellowstone Valley Electric, you belong to a co-op.

    You don’t have to belong to the co-op to shop here, though! We extend discounts to everybody. Come in and see what we’re about!

    Conveniently located down town, with ample customer parking, on the corner of 31st and 2nd at 3024 2nd Ave. N.
    Open Monday-Saturday 8-8, Sunday 10-6.

  • From the Local Producer Committee | 03.10.2014

    Soups 2

    GEM’s soups tell the story of why the Good Earth Market’s Local Producer Committee exists.   I just enjoyed a delicious cup of Greek Minestrone soup made of Seder Ridge turkey and Negaard Farm onions – a tasty, locally-sourced lunch on Valentines Day.  That’s something that sets GEM apart from any other grocery store in Billings, and most every restaurant, too.

    The GEM Local Producer Committee was launched in 2009 to expand the number of local producers who sell their food and products in the Market, and increase the amount of locally produced food and goods sold at GEM.   The Committee was instrumental in creating the Local Producer Map, available at the Market and in outlets around Billings.  The special features of GEM’s local producers displayed throughout the market is an outcome our work.   GEM’s Spring and Fall Local Producer Fairs are promoted and assisted by this committee.  Last year’s Early Season Farmers Market was our first foray into providing direct marketing options for local producers.

    The Local Producer Committee is gearing up for a repeat of the Early Season Farmers Market.     We’re recruiting producers to set up booths in the GEM lot and sell their food and wares from 9 am – noon every Saturday in June.   The Early Season Farmers Market was begun as a way to boost public understanding of the benefits of locally produced food and goods, and introduce shoppers to the farmers who grow their food.  It is timed before the Yellowstone Valley Farmers Market begins in July.  Get fresh greens, bedding plants and “early season” vegetables and other locally-produced items while enjoying a Saturday morning GEM coffee (or, my personal favorite, George of the Jungle smoothie).

    You can help us make the Early Season Farmers Market bigger and better.  Come down to shop and support the local producers, and bring along a friend.  Contact one of the Local Producer Committee members below if you’d like to help with advertising, set up and support.

    Serving on the Local Producer Committee are Heather Bilden, our capable committee past chairperson, new Board member Maggie Zaback, Maregurite Jodry  of Wholesome Foods, Kenny Reimche of Kenny’s Double D Salsa, Andi Buckley, former GEM, Alexis Bonogofsky, who with her partner Mike Scott farm off of Tired Man Road on the Yellowstone River, and GEM President Carol Beam.  Since the Local Producer Committee was first launched in 2009, we’ve been ably assisted by Marketing Manager Alicia Weber who is leaving.  Thank you, Alicia, for your commitment and excellent efforts!

    Early Season Farmer’s Market
    9am – 12pm
    Saturdays in June
    Good Earth Market parking lot

    By Theresa Keaveny, Board Secretary & Local Producer Committee Chairperson

  • Notes from the GM | 03.04.2014

    Joshua JacksonTo start, I would just like to say how honored I am to work with such a strong cooperative community! The staff, members and board have been very inviting, and I have only felt positive energy from everyone that I have come into contact with. With all of the support, I can truly envision the future successes of Our Co-op, and having strong supporters (like you all) will be imperative for us to accomplish our goal of being the cornerstone for community, education and healthy living.

    As some of you may have already noticed, we have already started to change a few things around the co-op. To start, we are working harder than ever to ensure that we have the most knowledgeable staff that provides the best customer service in Billings. We are currently developing trainings on cooperatives, natural foods and customer service, and we intend to uphold the 6th Cooperative Principle, Cooperation Among Cooperatives, in order to provide more professional development opportunities for our managers. This entails sending our managers to more National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA) trainings, as well as sending our managers to successful co-ops, like Community Food Co-op in Bozeman, to train in their respective departments.

    In addition, we are working to make sure that we have the right products, at the right price, in order for you all to be able to find (and afford) the products that you enjoy. As you may have noticed, we have been resetting a number of the sections in the store, including: fridge (dairy), juices, meat, freezer and a number of other sections in center-store grocery. We have also been trying to clean up the façade of the store by paying closer attention to ‘details’.

    Lastly, we are planning on moving forward on the new produce cooler, which we hope to have installed by mid-March. I am very confident that we will accomplish this project with the $17k that we have already raised, which will pay for the new cooler, installation, new merchandising gear (nice shelving, basketry, etc.) and install an additional 3-doors of freezer in order to expand our bread department.

    As you can see, we are really working hard to take Our Co-op to the next level, and I know that all of you wonderful supporters will be even prouder of Your Co-op moving forward!

    Joshua Jackson, General Manager


  • Shopping for Cleaning Products |

    Looking for cleaning products that are eco-friendly and up to the task? Many kinder-to the-environment products are widely available and equally effective. And that’s a good thing because, according to conservative estimates by the Clean Water Fund in Washington D.C., the average American uses about 40 pounds of toxic household cleaning products—like chlorine bleach, formaldehyde, phosphates, phthalates, petroleum products, and sulfuric acid—each year. These are chemicals that make their way into our waterways and may also linger in our home environment in our air, on our counters and in our clothes.

    It’s easy to make the switch to natural cleaning products – look for options in the co-op’s household supplies/cleaning aisle and consider making some simple green cleaning products from ingredients you probably have stocked in your pantry.

    At the co-op, some things you might want to pick up are a natural, all-purpose cleaner and a glass cleaner. There are also excellent eco-friendly shower cleaners, toilet bowl cleaners, tub and tile cleaners, floor cleaners, carpet cleaners, and spot and stain removers. You can even find natural, botanically-based disinfecting cleaners and wipes (commercial disinfectants are typically highly toxic). Don’t forget dish liquid and dishwasher detergent, as well as a natural rinse aid (yep, those are available now, too). Opt for concentrates when possible, as well as post-consumer recycled plastic or cardboard containers.

    For real savings, you might want to concoct some of your own natural cleaning supplies, using common household ingredients.

    • White vinegar can be used as softener in your washer’s rinse cycle or combined with equal parts water for an all-purpose/glass cleaner.
    • Cornstarch can be sprinkled on carpet to freshen before vacuuming or made into a paste with water for cleaning silver.
    • Washing soda makes a great spray cleanser when combined with hot water (1 teaspoon soda per 2 cups of water) or a solution for soaking grimy items like barbecue grills (1 cup soda per sink-full).
    • Baking soda works wonders as a sink/tub scrubber or as a diaper pail freshener.
    • Plain liquid soap and a few essential oils combine for a scented cleaner with disinfecting properties.

    For ease on cleaning day, stock all your cleaning supplies in a large galvanized bucket, along with some colorful washable cloths (instead of paper towels) for cleaning.

    Recipe reprinted by permission from  Find articles about your food and where it comes from, recipes, and a whole lot more at

  • New Marketing Manager Jodie Tenicin! | 02.27.2014

    Tony-OConnor-Hair-5-of-5-copy-701x1024Hello lovers of Good Earth Market Co-op! I am so pleased to announce that I have been hired to be your new Marketing Manager!

    The wonderful Alicia Weber, your former Marketing Manager, made the tough decision to leave her post to join her family’s business. This decision created an opportunity for me to take on what is quickly becoming my dream job!

    It is a marriage of my backgrounds in the wellness industry, social media management, photography, writing, blogging, and promoting healthy living.

    Let me tell you a few things about myself. I endured Fibromyalgia for the better part of my 20’s and into my 30’s. If you are not familiar, it’s an auto-immune disorder that inflicts consistent muscle and joint pain, low immune function, insomnia and depression among a myriad of other symptoms. After conventional medicine did not work for me, I turned to the world of nutrition and alternative therapies. Healthy eating, yoga, massage, acupuncture and supplements combined to open up my body’s systems and I have been Fibromyalgia-free for over eight years! Certainly this experience has given me tremendous insight to the world of wellness and healthy living.


    I was so inspired by the magic of alternative therapy I became a massage therapist seven years ago. The bulk of my clients have been individuals seeking relief from chronic pain, post surgery, and injuries. This type of massage became a way for me to pay forward the incredible gift of having my health restored. While I rarely do massage these days, I keep my license current and retain a few favorite clients.

    Judi_LensI have been a freelance photographer for nine years. My first shoot was an album cover and from that moment, people have continued to hire me. It’s been a fascinating journey filled with a lot of hairy learn-as-you-go scenarios and many incredible experiences. I love my camera as it’s been my passport to so many worlds that I otherwise may not have encountered! Snakes, local publications, a few celebrities, food, excellent people, comedians, wild animals and local businesses are part of a long list of subjects I have shot. Sharing the world through my lens and passing on photography knowledge and skills are passions of mine.

    I began writing and blogging as a way to promote my photography. Over time, I picked up paid jobs blogging and providing content for websites and PR gigs. I’ve blogged for (a local events blog) for over two years and will continue to do so. It’s been a fantastic way to get to know the Billings community and all of it’s offerings. I’ve enjoyed trying out restaurants, attending local theater, covering live events, and Dennis Quaid even grabbed my hand three times from the stage while I was covering an event for ZooMontana. This of course makes me very special…

    irrigating (1 of 2)

    I do health posts here and there for 365. This particular post included me taking a selfie while demonstrating how to irrigate your nose. This probably upgrades me to “extra-special”…

    I am a hodgepodge of skills and experiences. Coupling those facets with my active outdoor lifestyle and a passion for encouraging people to thrive, I feel I have what it takes to get people excited about Good Earth Market Co-op on a large scale!

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    Look for more and more social media through our Facebook page, blog, and Instagram account as well as media outlets. If you don’t mind, help us spread GEM’s message of Community and Buying Locally by sharing our media!

    AND, I’d love to post some stories about you the customer and showcase you in our Instagram feed! If you are interested in publicly supporting Good Earth Market in that way, please email me at:

    Hope to see you in GEM soon!

    Jodie Tenicin



  • My Co-op is Extraordinary because… | 02.04.2014

    My Co-op is Extraordinary because edit for web

    In October, we unveiled our new board, located at the bottom of the stairs – “My Co-op is Extraordinary because…”.  This space for sharing and caring about what’s great about our co-op, friends, and the good food we eat is already filling up!  Next time you’re in the store, make it your first destination and share what YOU love about your co-op – here’s a selection from the board so far:

    “…I work with the BEST.  PEOPLE.  EVER.  And the Pumpkin Bars are amazing.  And the Kale Salad.  And the Eggplant Parmesan.  And And And…”

    “…Everyone knows you and greets you – I can buy REAL food!”

    “… Best customers ever.  J”

    “…Everyone always has a smile on their face and is super friendly!”

    “…of the people.  The staff, the members, Everyone.  J”

    “…The awesome peanut butter machine!  I want one of my own. Haha!”

    “…We care.”

    “….Every dollar that we spend locally (last year almost 2 million) creates $1.62 in LOCAL economic VITALITY!”

     In response… “Awesome!  Keep on shining.  You guys rock!”

    “…They care and show it!”

    “…Best sandwiches ever!”

    “…thanks for the turkey!”

    “…because it provides healthy and yummy choices of food.  As well as a great environment for me to study and get through college.  Thank you.”

    “…Buying great, local healthy food makes ya feel good on so many levels.”

    “…BEST!  Juice bar ever!  You have helped me stick to my healthy lifestyle change.  Thank you.”

    “…I love the sandwiches.”

    “…Best produce and deli ever!  Ever!”

    “…our team will work all day doing their regular work and an evening event and still put in a full day’s work the next day.”

    “…it’s my community!”

    “…It promotes local producers!”

    “…thank you for the food! J”

    “…You guys are the best!”

    “…I love the co-op.”

    “…We get to meet/know our producers…who are incredible!”

    “…Local, non-GMO food, supporting local farmers/business, supports the community.  And you’re friendly.  J”

    “…people are family.”

    “…Best organic produce in town!”

    In response, “Amen!”

    “…Best cashiers ever!  Love you guys!”

    “…because cooperatives offer an excellent business model that promotes a more sustainable, human, and community-based future in a world where such values are in short supply.  GEM is an amazing example of what a Co-op can be!”

  • New Members of our Board of Directors | 01.20.2014

    Congratulations to our recently elected Board Members!  During the month of October, with voting results announced at our Annual Meeting, you, the members, co-operatively elected Adam Cassie (newly appointed Treasurer), Maggie Zaback, and Theresa Keaveny (Secretary) to our board.

    These three board members join the following individuals on the Good Earth Market board of directors – Carol Beam, President; Kevin Dowling, newly appointed Vice President; Greg Jahn; Heide Mankin; Jeff Kreidler; and Diane Brien.   Learn more about our board of directors here.

    We would also like to thank those who have resigned from the board – Dana Pulis, Peter Tolton and Alan Ostby (former Treasurer).  We greatly appreciate your years of dedicated service to the Co-op, helping to grow our Co-op to where it is today.

    Our board of directors

    Front row left to right:  Greg Jahn, Jeff Kreidler

    Middle row, left to right:  Adam Cassie, Joshua Jackson (General Manager), Carol Beam, Perry McNeese (former General Manager), Diane Brien, Maggie Zaback

    Back row:  Kevin Dowling

  • Wine Spotlight: Liquid Transportations | 01.15.2014

    The grapevine is most cherished for its ability to capture the complexity of its surroundings. A growing grape is made up of all things that surround it. It is the water that runs through the soil, the aromas of the air, even the vegetation sharing an elemental exchange while they grow side by side. In the right expression, a wine will serve as a gateway, much as smell connects to memory. It is why so many return home from traveling and have a heightened taste for the local wines that filled their glass while away.

    The Locations project started with a simple idea; to search the world for the best sights to make the best wine. Winemaker Dave Phinny has applied his out of the box blending ideas to the world’s most notable wine regions, offering up a liquid world tour. Smell and taste the world from the comfort of your living room.

    Find them at the Co-op:

    Wine logo2

    I-1 Italy
    Location: Piedmont, Puglia
    Grapes: Negroamaro, Nero d’Avola, Barbera, and native varietals
    Italy – the land of 1,000 grapes, so named for its numerous indigenous grape varietals – offered a diverse palate of choice for this blend. The result is a vibrant wine that captures the spirit of Italy with a new world bravado.
    ON SALE for members $11.99.  SAVE $5

    E-2 España
    Location: Priorat, Jumilla, Toro, Rioja, and Ribera del Duero
    Grapes: Grenache, Tempranillo, Monastrell, and Carignan
    Truly sourcing from all of Spain’s most prized wine regions. Concentrated fruit from old vines with low yields are accented with a judicious oak program for a balanced and distinctive wine.

    F-2 France
    Location: Roussillon, Rhone, Bordeaux
    Grapes: Grenache, Syrah, Bordeaux Varietals*
    Sensibly blended in an original style that showcases the best of what this historic land has to offer.

    AR-2 Argentina
    Location: Mendoza
    Grapes: Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Tannat
    At the foot of the Andes Mountains, this perfect plot of extremely well drained soil offers low yields and small berries for a vibrant and complex blend.


    Written by Lena Olson, Winegardner’s Wines. Learn more at
    *Bordeaux Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot


  • Meet our New GM | 01.13.2014

    Joshua JacksonHello GEM family and thank you for the warm welcome! I can’t tell you how excited I am about joining the GEM Team, as I believe that the co-op has a lot of opportunity for growth in the Billings community. To start, I would like to provide a little background on myself.

    I believe that I am an energetic, ethical, innovative and egalitarian cooperative manager who values the Triple Bottom Line and believe that profits should serve to support people and place. I also believe that cooperatives are a viable and innovative sector of the economy, which serve to mobilize the skills and savings of all members of the community towards socially beneficial ends – and I personally treasure the values of community, sustainability, education, democracy and autonomy.

    From my experience running a natural food cooperative in Durango, Colorado, as well as over ten years of restaurant management, I have accumulated a number of critical skills needed to be a successful co-op leader. My accomplishments include partnership cultivation, team building, sound financial management, outstanding customer service, strong systems of communication, and clean and consistent branding. With my passion and experience, I feel competent to lead GEM to a fruitful and successful future.

    I truly believe that GEM is already a very successful organization, mainly due to the outstanding support of the community and devoted staff. I don’t think that any major or immediate changes are necessary, although I believe that refining a few areas could prove to provide more for the community and the staff.

    I envision GEM putting more energy into Outreach & Education, including: partnership cultivation with local organizations, building a strong and consistent brand that successfully communicates our vision for community support and success, and strengthening education for our staff and the community. In the store, I would like to build upon systems of efficiency and communication, as well as provide more products and services for our members, including a larger selection of fresh items (deli, produce, meat and cheese) and an expanded assortment of locally produced goods. I also believe that there is some opportunity to fix up the façade of the store including some new signage in the store, some improvement to the floors and more landscaping outside (in the spring, of course).

    With all of that, I can’t tell you how excited I am to work with each and every one of you in accomplishing these goals. I truly believe that there is a lot of opportunity for GEM to be a very influential organization in the Billings community, and I believe that the co-op should not only be trusted for its food, but also be expected to provide education and support for the Billings community – and I can’t wait to get started!

    – Joshua Jackson

    P.S.  I was born in Houston, Texas, in the 70’s, went to Texas A&M University and soon after, moved to Durango, Colorado.  For ten years prior to getting involved with co-ops, I managed restaurant and catering businesses.  Aside from my professional aspirations and love for cooperatives, I enjoy travelling, reading, whitewater rafting, snowboarding, surfing, backpacking, music, and long walks on the beach.

  • Anti-Cancer Foods: Can Food Be Your Medicine? | 01.09.2014

    You may have more control over your health than you thought!  Whether you have a family history of cancer or are currently battling the disease, there are lifestyle choices which can boost your immune system and minimize your risk of developing cancer and other diseases.

    The consensus of numerous studies is that eating more fruits and vegetables can reduce your risk for developing all types of cancers. Fruits and vegetables contain phytochemicals, compounds found in plants that may help your body fight cancer.  Remember, it is unlikely that any single compound will protect you against cancer; a balanced diet that includes five or more servings of a variety of fruits and vegetables per day will be the most effective way to reduce your risk of developing cancer and here’s why:

    1. Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, radishes, turnips, watercress, brussel sprouts): Cruciferous vegetables contain a variety of compounds (Indole-3-Carbinol, glucosinolates, sulforaphanes) that have been shown in research studies to slow cancer growth and development.

    2. Citrus fruits (lemon, grapefruit, orange): Citrus fruits contain Vitamin C, fiber, flavonoids and ellagic acid; these phytochemicals act as antioxidants, enhancing detoxification and the immune system. High intake of Vitamin C is associated with a decreased incidence of intestinal cancers – vitamin C can block the formation of these cancer-causing compounds.

    3. Dark berries and grapes: Berries contain bioflavonoids (anthocyanidins and ellagic acid), which are two most researched cancer-fighting compounds found in berries. Resveratrol, high in red or purple grapes, is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory and is thought to prevent cell damage before it begins, preventing tumor formation.

    4. Whole grains: Whole grains contain a variety of anti-cancer compounds: fiber, antioxidants, lignans, selenium, zinc and vitamin E which support elimination and detoxification pathways in the body while enhancing the immune system.

    5. Green tea (regular or decaf): A rich source of polyphenols, like epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) may slow or prevent the development of a variety of cancers.

    6.  Garlic and onions (scallions, leeks, and chives): Garlic contains allicin, diallyl disulfide, cysteine, selenium and flavonoids (quercetin), thought to block the formation of cancer-causing agents and slow or stop the growth of tumors.

    7. Spices (especially ginger, rosemary and turmeric): Spices contain many compounds, like curcumin, that act as potent antioxidants, anti-inflammatory agents, and enhance the immune system and detoxification pathways.

    8. Tomatoes: Lycopene is the anti-cancer agent found in tomatoes that has been shown to combat prostate cancer.

    9. Legumes and beans (especially soybeans, garbanzo and kidney): Phytochemicals in beans, isoflavones and genistein, act as hormonal modulators and estrogen receptor blockers. These may be protective in some hormonally-based cancers and are associated with a decreased incidence of digestive cancers.

    10. Nuts and seeds: Essential fatty acids and many nutrients like vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, and zinc are found in nuts and seeds.

    11. Mushrooms: Mushrooms contain polysaccharides and beta-glucans, phytochemicals that promote specific immune cells, like natural killer cells.

    12. Cold-water fish (salmon, cod, halibut):  These are great sources vitamin D and essential fatty acids (EFA’s) like EPA and DHA which enhance immune function and inhibit tumor formation in the body.

    Pic - Dr.  Jeane13. Dark Green Leafy Vegetables: Excellent sources of the carotenoid family of antioxidants, romaine, spinach, mustard greens, parsley, and Swiss are also rich in folate, a vitamin shown to reduce the risk of cervical, breast and lung cancers.

    By Dr. La Deana Jeane, ND, Yellowstone Naturopathic Clinic.  Learn more about making smart food choices to reduce your risk of developing cancer.  Join Dr. Jeane on Thursday January 15th, 2014 for a free workshop at Good Earth Market and visit

  • A Goodbye from Perry | 01.03.2014


    It is with a heavy heart and mixed emotions, that I write my comments this month.  As you may have heard, I have decided to retire from GEM at the end of the calendar year.  While I won’t be at the Market on a daily basis, I am still going to be an active member of the Co-op and will stay in close contact with the new General Manager and staff.

    Looking back, I can easily say the last 6 ½ years have been the highlight of my working career.  Not only has the Co-op grown exceptionally in both sales and membership, but it has changed me forever.  There in lies what has been truly satisfying.  I have learned the true importance of sustainable local food in our communities and our own lives.  You, the Members and producers, have taught me a whole new set of values that I will carry the rest of my life.  I have made many new relationships/friends that will be with me always.  GEM has become a real community, with cause and purpose, and is having a positive, accumulative impact on the communities we live in.  Please keep it moving forward, I know you will.

    Looking forward I see a bright future for the Co-op, one of both growth and challenges.   I am confident that we have a strong management team and Board in place to meet those challenges.  The Board is well on the way to finding a strong and qualified GM.  Sales so far thisfiscal year are on track to beat not only last year, but to surpass the record sales of the year before Natural Grocers opened.   We are half way to raising the funds for the new produce case remodel.  If you haven’t “Given an Inch”, please consider it soon, as the remodel is a critical part of getting ready for our newest competitor, Lucky’s, coming in February.  As for me, I will be focusing on my family and fencing business with an eye on the Co-op.  I will be available to consult with the Board and new GM, and can see some working member projects that I haven’t gotten around to, and will run for the Board next fall.

    I will ask you all to keep in mind that Good Earth Market is a “Cooperative” and is only as strong as its loyal shopping, supporting, participating Members.  I will count on you to do your part in the years to come and commit to doing mine.

    So to my many newly found friends, and all of the Members, Producers and Staff I wish you well!

    Hope to see you in the coming months,


  • Book Spotlights: Grain Brain and Wheat Belly | 01.01.2014

    Pic- Grain Brain

    Grain Brain by David Perlmutter, M.D.
    Member Price – $19.99
    Reg. $27

    Renowned neurologist David Perlmutter, MD, blows the lid off a topic that’s been buried in medical literature for far too long: carbs are destroying your brain. And not just unhealthy carbs, but even healthy ones like whole grains can cause dementia, ADHD, anxiety, chronic headaches, depression, and much more. Dr. Perlmutter explains what happens when the brain encounters common ingredients in your daily bread and fruit bowls, why your brain thrives on fat and cholesterol, and how you can spur the growth of new brain cells at any age. He offers an in-depth look at how we can take control of our “smart genes” through specific dietary choices and lifestyle habits, demonstrating how to remedy our most feared maladies without drugs. With a revolutionary 30-day plan, GRAIN BRAIN teaches us how we can reprogram our genetic destiny for the better.


    Pic - Wheat Belly
    Wheat Belly by William Davis, M.D.
    Member Price- $19.99
    Reb. – $25.99

    Every day, over 200 million Americans consume food products made of wheat. As a result, over 100 million of them experience some form of adverse health effect, ranging from minor rashes and high blood sugar to the unattractive stomach bulges that preventive cardiologist William Davis calls “wheat bellies.” According to Davis, that excess fat has nothing to do with gluttony, sloth, or too much butter: It’s due to the whole grain wraps we eat for lunch