Category: News

  • We have exciting news! | 08.29.2016

    New deli!We have just launched a full scale deli remodel that will bring you a new and expanded salad bar, a hot food bar, new sandwiches, pizza, and a new grab & go case, with new recipes alongside your many favorites. We’re getting new equipment that will help us be more efficient so that we can get you great tasting, quality food quicker than ever before. And it’s just around the corner. This is very exciting news… a real game changer for us.

    And, right now as we are in the thick of this critical time in our co-op’s future, our customer traffic and our sales have reached a concerning low level. Paying our bills during this time of low cash (as a result of low sales) makes it a challenge to keep the shelves stocked with all of your favorite products. This has been a trying time for us. The staff and the Board of Directors, with the help of National Co-op Grocers, have been fighting hard to get us to this point.


    Right now we need our member support more than ever!

    It will help immensely if you can concentrate your purchases at the Co-op as much as possible while we make our market a better place for everyone.



    Look for hundreds of these everyday low prices!

    We continue to have the largest selection of local foods in Billings. That’s important to all of us. And, we offer great, everyday low prices on hundreds of Co-op Basics items throughout the store. We also have screaming Hot Deals that have been a great value for our customers and are changing the hours of our Beer & Wine Happy Hour to better fit your work schedule. Now you can get 10% off all beer and wine from 3pm to 6pm, Monday through Friday.



    Buy a $50 gift card for only $40!

    And if that’s not enough to get your attention, now through the end of October you can purchase a $50 Good Earth Market Gift Card for just $40. That is a 20% savings and there is no limit on these cards, so buy more and save more. Buying a gift card now and using it for future shopping will be a great way for the co-op to generate cash. It’s a “WIN WIN” for all!

    Come in and take advantage of all these great promotions and support your co-op at the same time. Tell your family. Tell your friends. Everyone is welcome. See you in the store and, of course, thank you so much for your continued support of Billings only local food co-op.

    Mike Howard
    General Manager

    Happy Hour 1up Vertical (4)-page-001


  • Board Notes: It’s our 10 year Anniversary! | 02.09.2016

    Pic - LP FairFebruary is a notable month for GEM – it is the month we moved into the great store we have occupied for TEN YEARS!!!!!! That’s right – TEN YEARS!!!!! On February 19 of 2006 we opened for business – it was a Sunday and it was a cold, cold day outside, but everything was warm and wonderful inside. HAPPY 10 YEARS TO ALL OF US. Looking back over the past 10 years brings to mind:

    • The first farm-to-table designated restaurant in Billings. We’ve got the best deli in the region, putting out the best food with the best local ingredients.

    Billings Gazette Reader’s Choice for Best Health Food Store – 5 times!

    Membership in the National Co-operative Grocers Association – helping us save on our wholesale cost of goods.

    Senator Max Baucus working day – the Senator chose GEM for his day of service in the community.

    Senator Jon Tester’s round table meetings upstairs – promoting and supporting local producers.

    Sunday Suppers – GEM started the movement to bring people together over local food prepared by local chefs.

    Earth Day celebrations – come rain or shine, we’re the place to celebrate Earth Day.

    The Farmer’s Market booth – providing a venue for GEM and our local producers to promote each other.

    The Art Walk and the Apple Gallery – we’re so thankful for our relationship with the local arts community.

    • The community of loyal co-op shoppers – we are so much more than a grocery store, we are a community of individuals who value our relationships with each other.

    Local producers – we are so fortunate to have great local producers and great local products every day.

    Newsletter advertisers – we appreciate your ongoing support of the Co-op!


    written by Carol Beam, GEM’s Board President



    Pic - Jon Tester

    Perry McNeese, Jon Tester, and Carol Beam


    We celebrated two annual meetings at the Babcock Theatre in Downtown Billings!


    We’ve been supporting Local Producers since our founding – farmer’s markets, Sunday Suppers, and so much more.

    Pic - SundaySupper4

    Local dining at it’s best at our Sunday Suppers.

    Pic - Patio2

    Our members pitched in and volunteered energy and resources to install a new patio.

    Pic - Max Baucus2

    Former Senator Max Baucus chose to do his Working Day at the Good Earth Market!



  • Seeking New Members for the Local Producer Committee | 11.17.2015

    Do you want to be involved with helping to highlight all of the great local food and the producers that make it for the Good Earth Market? If yes, consider becoming a part of the Local Producer Committee! Here are the details:

    Purpose: The Committee serves to increase awareness and consumption of local foods and products, and Good Earth Market’s unique role as a source of high quality local foods and goods.

    As a member of the Local Producer Committee you will: Educate the community about Good Earth Market and the importance of local, sustainably produced foods and goods, and provide information about where these items are produced and sold. You will also provide support for opportunities and venues that allow local growers and producers to provide products directly to consumers while supporting Good Earth Market.

    Time Commitment: Currently we meet monthly on the Third Tuesday of the month from 5-6, but are flexible given the needs of committee member schedules. There are some weekend events, such as the Local Producer Fair, that we help out with as well.
    If you are interested in learning more, email Maia Dickerson, the Local Producer Committee Chair.

  • New Wines & Ciders for Your Holiday Table | 11.11.2015

    MontanaCiderAs I write this in October, my thoughts are about beers and ciders, as well as feature wines for the fast approaching holiday season. We’re bringing in several new feature wines for your Thanksgiving table, as well as wines that will be as festive as your Christmas and New Year’s celebrations.

    Have you tried any of our delicious ciders? My favorites are from the local, award winning Montana Ciderworks in Darby, MT. These are English-style ciders crafted from Bitterroot Valley Apples and they are delicious!

    North Fork Traditional is gently bubbly, with a true cider flavor. Expressive bittersweet apple character with wood, grass and smoke notes; this semi-dry cider balances the faintest sweetness against sharpness, astringency, and tart fruit. This cider received a Gold Medal at the 2013 Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition. The blend includes hard-to-find traditional cider apples and crab apples alongside Bitterroot Valley apples. North Fork offers a clean, aromatic finish that enhances the flavor of savory foods.

    The Darby Pub Cider, a semi-dry, New World style cider is another award winner from Montana Ciderworks – an approachable, effervescent cider made for sharing with friends. Appley with wood and spice notes, this medium, semi-dry cider was awarded Silver Medals at the 2014 Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition and at the Northwest Cider Awards.

    If there’s a holiday that begs for wine, it’s Thanksgiving. More than any other beverage, wine is tied to the harvest, to bounty, to the very core of what we are thankful for. A tip for choosing your Thanksgiving wine…with so many flavor variables going on, everything from cranberry sauce laced with orange peel, to Brussels sprouts with chestnuts, to sausage and wild rice stuffing, don’t get too hung up on a quest for the perfect match. Besides, it’s really the feeling around the table, the combined effect of the food, the wine, the people and the ambience that counts most.

    We’ll have several feature wines that we’ve chosen specifically for Thanksgiving in addition to the highly anticipated arrival of Beaujolais Nouveau. According to Wine Country Travel, “at one minute past midnight on the third Thursday of each November, from little villages and towns, over a million cases of Beaujolais Nouveau begin their journey through a sleeping France to Paris for immediate shipment to all parts of the world. Beaujolais Nouveau is as about as close to white Pam Kemmickwine as a red wine can get. Due to the way it’s made – the must is pressed early after only three days — the phenolic compounds, in particular the astringent tannins normally found in red wines, aren’t there, leaving an easy to drink, fruity wine. This, coupled with the fact that it tastes best when chilled, makes for a festive wine to be gulped rather than sipped, enjoyed in high spirits rather than critiqued. As a side note, it makes a great transitional wine for anyone wanting to move from white to red wines.”

    written by Pam Kemmick, our former Grocery Manager & Beer & Wine Buyer, Pam has moved to produce as our new Produce Manager!  Stop by and say hi. 

  • A Letter from our Board President, Carol Beam | 11.06.2015

    THANK YOU!!!!!  It’s been a week since we gathered for our annual meeting and the activity in the store is proving that we’re all serious about our commitment to “add one more item to our basket” every time we shop.  Monday’s basket was $3.43 more than last year and Wednesday’s was $3.76 more.  If you read the article in the Billings Gazette, you would have seen my quote of $2.39 more per basket – glad we are all over achievers!!!!!!!

    Let’s keep this momentum going.  Working together for the good of our co-op is the right thing to do.  As Ed Gulick told us at the annual meeting, shopping locally leads to real prosperity, not false prosperity.

    And, if you love winter squash, now is the time to stock up.  One of our local farmer friends (outside of Laurel) saw the article in the paper and called to donate winter squash to the market – as he said “this is my way to help a great co-op.”  We’ve got a heck of a deal on all varieties – 19¢ per pound.   Bring your friends and stock up.

    At times like this, I always reflect back on one of my favorite quotes by Margaret Mead –

    “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

    Thank you for being thoughtful, committed co-op members.


    Board Members Diane Brien, Carol Beam, Theresa Keaveny, Maggie Zaback, & Kevin Dowling

  • Your Co-op was voted Best Health Food Store for the 5th Year! | 11.01.2015

    2015 rclogo_CLRThank you for taking the time to vote – your Co-op was named the Billings Gazette’s Reader’s Choice Best Health Food Store for the fifth year, an achievement we can all celebrate.

    In the article, which was announced October 24, our GM, Mike Howard mentions one of the many things that sets our store apart from the others – the awesome staff!  “We have people who live what they sell,” he says.

    We’re so proud to share with our community why we love our Co-op!

    Read the full article here, on pages 25 and 26.

  • Vote for your Board of Directors | 10.12.2015

    October is national Co-op Month and we like to celebrate by voting for our Board of Directors!  We appreciate you taking a moment the next time you’re in the store to vote (look for the table at the front door), and joining us when we announce results and other co-op news at our Annual Meeting on October 29.




    Carol Beam_high res colorCarol Beam

    Dear Good Earth Market Members,

    It is with enthusiasm, vigor and passion that I submit this notice of intent to run for re-election to the Board of Directors. GEM continues to be the hub of activity for the local food movement thanks to the great co-operative effort of your board, the management of the market, the staff of the market and all of you active, supportive members. I am looking forward to our continued success and I am confident my contribution to the leadership of the co-op will help us keep our momentum going.

    The most important issues facing the co-op are growth and member engagement. We are in a time and a place where choices abound for grocery shopping. GEM is working hard to provide more options for shoppers – we want to be the first and only place you need to shop. But the board and the staff can only do so much to provide options. The members need to make a commitment as well. During the next three years, it will be my goal to help our members understand the importance of recommitting to this movement we call Good Earth Market.

    The biggest strengths I bring to the board are my leadership skills, my tenure and my continued passion for GEM. I have been committed to the success of the co-op for the past 12 years and I will continue to be committed to its success. It is unfathomable to image living in Billings, Montana, and not having the Good Earth Market as the place to go for my food and my friends.

    My greatest interest for the Board for the next three years is member engagement. Today, GEM is a member supported co-op rather than a true member owned co-op. GEM is actually one of the very few member supported co-ops in the country. The Board has done a lot of studying to better understand the pros and cons of our current structure versus the true member owned co-op structure. It is my belief that our member engagement will be significantly enhanced if we move ourselves to a true co-op and reward members for their loyalty to the store. If reelected, this will be one of the areas of focus for me and the Board.

    Thank you all for the continued support of your co-op and the support of your member election process. Here’s to three more successful years.


    IMG_4807Kevin Dowling

    I submit this letter of intent to run for reelection to the Good Earth Market Board of Directors. I have served two rewarding terms on the Board and am seeking another term.

    The Good Earth Market pioneered access to organic products. Then, the Good Earth Market led the movement for local foods and products. The Good Earth Market has responded to the needs of its membership. New competition is an opportunity to continue to grow the Good Earth Market to serve the members.

    Over the years, I’ve participated in the community by serving on the boards of Community Seven, the local access television station, and Washington School PTA. That experience has provided experience in grant writing, fundraising and communications—skills to use to build the membership, attract more consumers, and grow the Good Earth Market’s presence in the community.

    I would appreciate the opportunity to continue to grow the Good Earth Market by increasing the membership and customers shopping at the store.

  • Coffee at Risk | 10.07.2015

    Coffee at Risk_RoyaGrowing coffee on far-flung mountain slopes in ways that respect the earth and build rural communities is quite an accomplishment, there are routine, significant challenges to overcome. Now there is a new threat that is hitting many communities hard all at once.

    Coffee Leaf Rust, or roya in Spanish, is a fungus that starts with visible spots on the coffee tree’s leaves. As it progresses, Rust renders the leaves unable to photosynthesize, essentially choking the plant. The fungus spreads from tree to tree, farm to farm, community to community. Its range has reached across continents. Its spread is fast and impact severe. Some farmer co-ops have seen production levels drop 80% in a span of 3 years.

    The cause of this plague is due to a variety of factors, but likely one of the most significant is climate change, specifically an increase in temperature in higher altitudes where this fungus previously could not have thrived. This is an example of how unsustainable use of resources in industrialized countries contributes to climate changes that leave some of the most vulnerable communities to bear the biggest burden.

    For some farmers, the solution to Rust is chemical. But the most effective fungicides are not organic and are unrealistic solutions for our farmer partners. For farmers committed to small-scale, organic production, the answers need to fit that model. Through their own field tests, farmers report that the best results come from bolstering soil health and replacing diseased trees.

    Equal Exchange has responded in two ways. The first is to continue doing what we do: focusing not just on a product, but on the people and infrastructure that grow the product. We provide pre-harvest financing, support replanting projects and facilitate info-sharing between farmers. We have also dedicated $150,000 this year to directly fund Coffee Leaf Rust projects that farmers are managing in Mexico, El Salvador, Peru, and Guatemala.

    Equal Exchange logoEqual Exchange products will be on sale in October and we hope to draw attention both to the serious challenge of Coffee Leaf Rust, and to the perseverance and leadership of small farmers in finding better solutions. With your help and your purchases, together we continue to fuel an alternative trade model that does more than just trade.

    For more thoughts and analysis on this ongoing work, please visit our website and blog:


    By Lynsey Miller, Sales Director at Equal Exchange

  • Carol Beam One of the Billings Gazette’s 20 Exceptional Women | 09.01.2015

    Carol Beam_high res colorIf you frequent the Co-op at all, odds are you’ve met our Board President, Carol Beam. One of the Co-op’s biggest fans, Carol has been Board President for 12 years and has been instrumental in guiding our store not only to our new location, but to it’s ever growing place in our community.

    The Billings Gazette recently published an article highlighting Carol Beam as one of our community’s 20 Exceptional Women, solidifying how proud we are to have her as our Board President. Read about her passion for the Market and work in our local health care system.

  • So what’s the big deal with our store reset? | 07.16.2015

    IMG_4903We just finished our store reset!  So what’s the big deal?  Read what our GM, Mike Howard, has to say:

    I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about some of the many exciting things happening at our Co-op. As many of you may have already noticed, we have moved things around a little… ok, well a lot. And many of your favorite products are in new locations throughout the store. Our reasons for doing that were

    One, to improve flow and item location to make our Co-op easier to shop, and
    Two, to generate over 150 linear feet of aisle space to expand variety throughout the store.

    150 linear feet of retail space might come as a surprise because now our Co-op feels so much more open. How could we have created that much aisle space? We utilized space better by rearranging the bulk department to add another aisle of product and thoughtfully rearranging product on the shelves to make better use of shelf space. We also decreased the width of the endcaps to generate a more open, welcoming feel. These changes allowed us to add roughly 400 new products throughout the store!

    The reset was a huge, tedious task and it took a lot of hard work and long hours from our staff, many member volunteers, our main distributor (UNFI), plus many other brokers and sales representatives. We all put our heads and experience together and decided, as a team – what are some staple products our Co-op is missing? We went through every section with a fine tooth comb, using national and regional sales data in addition to all our own individual experience and combined knowledge of the natural foods industry. The result is even better then we could have imagined. We have expanded varieties on everyday products in key categories, such as

    – Condiments
    – Nut butters
    – Ethnic foods
    – Packaged grains
    – Soups
    – Pasta
    – Coffee
    – Hot cereal
    – Dried fruit
    – Baking items
    – Packaged spices
    – Snack items
    – Beverage
    – Cold pressed juices
    – Probiotic drinks
    – and so many more!

    If by chance you have not been in for a while, we welcome you to come by and see the improvements we’ve made to our Co-op.

    In addition to the improved variety and flow, we have been working hard on value. The department managers are buying more aggressively so we can have more aggressive prices. Make sure you check out the wall of values as you enter the store and see what great deals are available! And throughout the store we have so many Co-op Deals, Member Prices and Manager Specials to add value and variety to your shopping experience.

    IMG_5263[1]The end result more shoppable store that will reduce the need to shop other stores. Our hope is that you will concentrate your shopping to the Co-op and help us make it stronger.

    If by chance we have not have not met, or you have any questions whatsoever, feel free to ask for me the next time you are in and I would be happy to chat.

    Your Co-op General Manager,
    Mike Howard

    Want to see more pictures?  Check out the album on our Facebook page or our last blog.  Better yet, come to the store and see for yourself!

  • The reset is almost done! | 06.25.2015

    We’ve been resetting the store this past week to expand our offerings and use our space more efficiently.  This means greater selection of products and an easier shopping experience for you, our members!

    As we near the end of this project, you may notice some empty space on our shelves.  You can expect to see those holes filled with brand new product!  We’ve already added around 150 new items, with much more to come, and expanded options in beer, snacks, baking, packaged spices, coffee, ethnic foods, soups, nut butters, condiments, and dried fruit.

    Thank to all of our staff who have been working diligently from 5:00am to 5:00pm this week, to our volunteers (Adam Cassie, Kevin Dowling, Heidi Mankin, and Maggie Zaback), and to industry professionals from UNFI and other companies who have helped us put product in the most practical places (at no cost to the co-op).


    Charlotte and Hal from UNFI were here to help us put product in perfect places!


    Pam (Grocery Manager) and Mike (General Manager) resetting the drink aisle, now directly across from the Deli Cafe.

    We hope you’ll have a more enjoyable shopping experience and find a new, favorite product to add to your meals! Take a minute to browse around the store the next time you’re in and please don’t hesitate to ask if you can’t find something!





    Beer and wine moved to the corner where supplements once was!

    Our new, closed-in supplements aisle.

    Our new, closed-in supplements aisle.


  • Big store reset has begun! | 06.18.2015

    Bulk resetAs you may have noticed, we have begun resetting the store – a total store re-merchandising to make it easier to shop, expand our offerings, and make better use of our space!  Re-organizing has begun in the bulk and produce departments and will continue through the rest of the store on Monday, June 22.

    If you can’t find something, please don’t hesitate to ask our staff.  And if you see any changes you like, let us know. It’s our goal to make this transition as smooth for you – our members – as possible.   Once complete, you’ll find new delicious foods, or perhaps some old favorites we didn’t have room to carry, to make your shopping experience and dinners at home more exciting and adventurous.

  • Update from the Grocery Department | 06.11.2015

    Pam KemmickSomeone asked me the other day, “What’s so great about the Co-op?” I decided to take a little time to think about that. What IS so great about the Co-op? My first thought was the food, the beautiful, fresh food. Oftentimes grown, raised, produced and delivered by people I actually know and have developed relationships with over the years. I’d say that’s pretty great. I enjoy having the opportunity to “Special Order” items. It may be a unique item that we don’t carry or something I use a lot of and want to buy in quantity. And yes, that’s me making my way across the parking lot under that GIGANTIC box of toilet paper that I special ordered! I also love knowing that when I shop, I’m supporting a Co-op business model where the dollars I spend will recirculate in my own community. Talk about great! Then I thought about what may be the greatest thing about the Co-op. The feeling of the shopping experience. It’s a very pleasant place to be! It smells really good. There’s nice music playing, people are friendly and happy and helpful. I see so many people I know there, that’s it’s practically a social event. I like the way that feels. I feel something special, something nice, and I hope you do too.

    At the Good Earth Market, we hope you experience a feeling of community. We, as a community have come together intentionally to create and sustain this special place. A place where we can buy whole, healthy food to feed and nourish ourselves and our families. A place where we can shop in an environment that is friendly and pleasant, and yes…where everybody knows our name! That’s the experience we want you to have every time you shop. Every time you choose to shop at the Co-op, you’re making a difference. So come shop with 5,000 or so of your member neighbors and support YOUR community Co-op! It really does matter. We promise to do our best to make your shopping experience everything you want it to be…and then some!

    The Grocery Department includes the Chill and Frozen, Meat, Beer/Wine and Household/Pet departments. It takes a team of cooperative, dedicated and hard working people to keep things humming. I’d like to introduce them to you briefly. They’re a super swell bunch and eager to help you in any way they can.

    Dustin Ferguson is our Chill/Frozen Department Buyer and is also starting to take over the Meat Department. You’ll see him zooming around between the chill cooler, the frozen department, meat cooler or maybe at the Customer Service counter checking in some local eggs. He moves fast, but catch him and say hi! He’s a very friendly guy and anxious to help you find what you need.

    There are a couple of things we’re really focusing on in our departments. I hope you will notice and approve. One is out of stocks. As the buyers, Dustin and I have been working hard to reduce out of stocks as much as we possibly can. We want you to be able to find everything on your list and maybe even a little something extra that happened to catch your eye. The other thing is finding you, the Members, more savings. We are using every resource available to find deals that we can pass on to you. Look for the orange MEMBER SPECIAL tags throughout the store

    What makes the Co-op so great? If someone asked you, what would you say? Think about it, and then come on down and share the feeling and the food with us. We sure look forward to seeing you!

    Here are just a few of my new and old favorite products:

    Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Baking Flour – Bob’s has made it easy for our gluten-free friends. Use this flour just as you would regular flour in all your recipes!

    Elk Medallions – Delicious!!

    Numi Tea – New Savory Teas! – Savory Teas make a great snack alternative, compliment a light lunch and are comforting when you’re feeling under the weather. They come in several tasty flavors: Carrot-Curry, Tomato Mint, Garden Sampler, and Beet Cabbage. Find them near the soups!

    Our Go-To Snack at Home – Organic multi-colored popcorn made the old fashioned way on the stove top using Nutiva Coconut Oil! So yummy!

    Montebello Pasta – I had not tried this pasta until recently….love it!! This pasta is imported from Italy and made with the finest Italian organic durum wheat. Try it in your next pasta dish, I bet you will love it too!


    written by Pam Kemmick, GEM’s Grocery Manager


  • No price increase on local eggs | 06.04.2015

    IMG_4506We are happy to say that we haven’t seen any increase in price in our local eggs, even with egg prices recently doubling due to a bird flu outbreak.  As our Grocery Manager, Pam Kemmick, says, “Just one more great reason to buy local!”IMG_4505

  • Meet GEM’s new GM! | 05.18.2015

    Mike Howard, GEM's GM

    Mike Howard, GEM’s GM

    Mike Howard is a seasoned retail manager with 20 years of experience. Mike began his career in 1996 with Smith’s Food and Drug is Salt Lake City, UT. In 2005, he took a position in Jackson Hole, WY as Assistant Store Director. Mike was introduced to natural foods in 2011 after he took a position at a local independent store in Jackson Hole, The Jackson Whole Grocer, where he quickly learned the benefits of healthy eating and good food. Mike helped drive that store to great success and was instrumental in helping them relocate to the new, beautiful location they are in now.

    The next step in Mike’s career has brought him and his family to Billings, Montana. Mike plans to help his team drive the Good Earth Market co-op to the same successes he has become accustomed to in his career. Mike is excited for the opportunity to bring his experience and passion for natural foods to the community of Billings.

    Mike will also be joined by his wife, 7 year old daughter, and 4 year old son. They are also excited for this new chapter. Mike says when he told his kids they were moving to Montana, they were both so excited because they wanted to meet Hannah Montana. Innocent minds makes the cutest connections. Family is very important to Mike and he cherishes every minute with them. When he is not working, he is no doubt somewhere with his wife and kids, hopefully around a campfire under the stars as much as possible and still trying to find the elusive answer to the ultimate question… what is the secret to making organic s’mores? The marshmallow is still the problem.

  • New Summer Rosé | 05.17.2015

    Carpineto Dogajolo Rosato
    Dogajolo RosatoA dry, elegant rosé from internationally acclaimed Tuscan producer, Carpineto. The lastest edition to their entry-level line of wines, this rosé, made from a blend of 100% Sangiovese, has enticing floral aromas and bright fruit flavors.

    The name Dogajolo was invented by Carpineto’s founders, derived from the Italian word doga, meaning “stave” — the narrow strips of wood used to form oak casks. Carpineto Dogajolo Rosato shows vibrant floral aromas of rose and myrtle with hints of fruit, like apples, currants, and sour cherries. A refreshing wine with an invigorating acidity and a clean finish, enjoy as an aperitif or paired with antipasto platters consisting of cured meats and mild cheeses. Also excellent with grilled fish!
    Domaine de Fontsainte Gris de Gris
    pic - gris de grisThe Fontsainte vineyards surround the hamlet of Boutenac in the area known as “The Golden Crescent” in France, a swath of land whose sunny setting and cool sea breeze create a beautifully balance terroir. The first vineyards at Domaine de Fontsainte were planted by the Romans. Artifacts found in these vineyards, such as an old coin dating from the time of Marcus Agrippa in 25 A.D., are a testament to its antiquity.

    Yves Laboucarié’s family has been making wine here since the seventeenth century and believe that “great wines are made in the vineyard” and less in the cellars. They farm the land sustainably and keep treatments to a minimum. Many of their vines are older, especially the parcel known as La Demoiselle, which recently celebrated its hundredth year.

    Look for the highly affordable and supremely delicious Gris de Gris, a saignée rosé made from Grenache Gris—among the finest rosés on the planet. Expressive and particularly tonic, the wine immediately gives off notes of raspberry, cherry and freshly picked strawberries – followed by exotic aromas such as pineapple and mango. Stunningly balanced, this is an extremely appetent wine! Ideal as an aperitif with toast and crushed olives, or with wok-fried vegetables and garlic mayonnaise, grilled fish, lamb tagine, or finely roasted chicken with rosemary.

    Sean Minor Four Bears Vin Gris
    Pic - Sean MinorSean Minor Family of Wines has a passion for coaxing things out of the earth and bringing them to the dinner table. After beginning a career in finance, Sean Minor began working with Napa Valley’s Beaulieu Vineyard. Realizing he had a passion for winemaking, Sean took classes in viticulture and enology and learned the trade at several vineyards in Napa Valley and the Pacific Northwest. Sean Minor Family of Wines was founded in 2005 with a focus on creating great, affordable wines.

    Sean Minor’s Vin Gris is a pale salmon color with vibrant aromas of ripe strawberries and watermelon. On entry, the wine displays bright tangy flavors of raspberries, cherries and strawberries. Throughout the mid-palate and finish, raspberry and cherry fruit characters are balanced with spicy and crisp acidity that linger creating a refreshing and lengthy finish.


    A to Z Oregon Rosé

    14AZRS_webThe 2014 A to Z Oregon Rosé leads with aromas of strawberries, tangerine, watermelon and grenadine with hints of thyme and hibiscus then opens to reveal plum, apricot and more strawberry notes. Clean, balanced and approachable with generous fruit, the crisp and juicy A to Z Rosé integrates excellent texture with firm acidity finishing long and pretty.

  • Our NEW Produce Cooler! | 03.27.2014

    First of all, Yahoo!!!

    cooler final (1 of 4)

    After many months of generous donations rolling in from lovely, lovely people through our Give an Inch Campaign, the day has arrived: We have a new produce cooler and it’s up and running!

    This campaign proved beyond a doubt that Good Earth Market Co-op is truly a community- exactly what a Co-op is supposed to be. How beautiful to see a group rally around it’s own and improve upon a hard earned foundation.

    GEM cooler instagram (1 of 1)

    Our produce manager, Dan (who is sometimes affectionately called Dan the Produce Man), had goose bumps yesterday when he got to work. Gone are the days of spending more than two hours just to keep moisture on and around the produce. His time has now been reduced to 20 minutes as this slick new system will keep hydration and temperature consistent! Of course it’s more than reduced watering time he is excited about. Efficiency just went through the roof maximizing freshness and reducing costs, and this spreads out to all of us. It will allow for better separation of items and this is especially important to people who have allergies. It also looks gorgeous!

    This is phase one of Project New Cooler. New shelves and all sorts of gadgets and shiny things are on their way to create an even better experience. We can’t wait!

    One third of the old cooler has been donated to a group in Cody who are starting their own natural foods store! There are still two pieces left. If you have ideas on who and where they might land- please contact us. (

    cooler final (2 of 4)

    And now, we’d like to heartily thank our gracious donors- you are Superstars in our universe! Soon we will have something to proudly display in our produce area and give a proper thank you to these good people.

  • 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!

    hammock girl (1 of 1)

    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



  • 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,


  • October is Non-GMO Month! | 09.30.2013

    This October, Good Earth Market will be one of more than 1,500 grocery retailers across North America participating in the fourth annual Non-GMO Month—a celebration of people’s right to choose food and products that do not contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

    Studies show near-universal support for GMO labeling — over 90 percent of Americans want to know whether or not their food contains GMOs, and 2013 has seen a groundswell in the “right to know” movement. More than 1.2 million Americans have contacted the FDA asking them to implement mandatory labeling of GMO foods and 27 states have taken up GMO labeling bills like those passed in Maine and Connecticut in June.

    “With GMOs now contaminating as much as 80 percent of conventional packaged foods, we are more committed than ever to helping people find safe, healthy non-GMO choices,” says Alicia Weber, GEM’s Marketing Manager. “We believe people have the right to know what’s in their food, and we will be celebrating that right throughout Non-GMO Month this October.” During Non-GMO Month, Good Earth Market will help shoppers identify Non-GMO Project Verified choices with special shelf tags, end cap displays, sales, and educational materials.  Good Earth Market will also feature a free showing of the film “Genetic Roulette” on Wednesday, October 16 at 5:30pm.  Discussion to follow.

    Public concern about GMOs is rising as studies increasingly raise doubts about the long-term safety and environmental impact of this experimental technology. GMO labeling is mandatory in 64 countries around the world, including Australia, Russia, China, and all of Europe, but no such requirements exist in the U.S.

    Verified logo“The right to know what we’re eating and feeding our families is so basic,” says Megan Westgate, Executive Director of the nonprofit Non-GMO Project, which created Non-GMO Month. “Americans deserve the same freedom to avoid experimental GMO foods as people in other countries.”

    While consumers fight for their right to know at the polls, the Non-GMO Project provides shoppers an immediate solution to the presence of unlabeled GMOs.  As the only third party non-GMO verification in North America, the Non-GMO Project Verified seal is quickly gaining popularity. It is now the fastest growing label claim in the natural products industry with more than 11,000 Non-GMO Project Verified products.

    For additional information, visit the links below:

    “What is GMO?”

    “Non-GMO Month”

    “Labeling Survey Results”

    “State Labeling Initiatives”



  • NCGA Resources for YOU! | 07.25.2013

    In the spring of 2011, we became a member of the National Cooperative Grocers Association (a.k.a NCGA). Your little Co-op is growing up! Joining NCGA has given us access to numerous resources, helping our Co-op remain competitive in the marketplace.

    PrintYou’ve probably noticed many changes already: more competitive pricing, new Co+op Deals sales program, an overall step-up in our operations, the little Co+op Stronger Together logo that peeked its little head and has now become a store foundation. The staff is working very hard to use the resources and implement the programs that work for the uniqueness and individuality of our own cooperative.

    But along with the resources that have improved your shopping experience in the store, NCGA has numerous resources developed specifically for you, the member-owner!
    NCGA’s consumer website. Check it out! You’ll find a plethora of helpful articles – seasonal recipes, how-to’s on gardening and making smart food choices, how to cook just about anything. For you travelers, you can search co-ops anywhere in the nation to ensure you get to eat the tastiest, healthiest food while on vacation. Visit and “Like” Co+op Stronger Together on Facebook.

    Co+op KitchenCo+op Kitchen
    A brand new NCGA release – 55 how-to videos by co-op experts from around the country, with more on the way! When it comes to cooking at home, choosing the right ingredients and understanding basic kitchen skills can make the difference between a good meal and an amazing one. In the video series, Co+op Kitchen, you’ll find handy hints from chefs and food enthusiasts who love sharing their passion for great food, plus easy recipes for delicious homemade meals.

    From learning about tempeh and how to grow your own sprouts to making a delicious Tempeh Taco and cooking the perfect steak, you’ll want to see what’s cooking in the Co+op Kitchen!

    And, be sure to check out the FREE Co+op Kitchen iPad app for iOs6 on iTunes.

    Co+op DealsCo+op Deals Ads
    Two flyers monthly! Not only do these ads feature the top sales at your Co-op (with big savings!), look inside for tips and information on your food and where it comes from. Check out each issue for information on seasonal produce, cheese, cooking tips; as well as recipes!


    NCGA is providing more resources all the time in an effort to support and build local food and local communities. At the heart of the mission is taking care of the individual member-owner, that’s you!, and building the value around your food choices at the Co-op and the impact it has in our community.




  • | 05.10.2013

    Between May 1 and 21, 1% (minimum donation of $5,000) of your purchase of Alaffia, Alter Eco, Divine Chocolate, Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps and Equal Exchange products at your Co-op will be donated to Root Capital. These companies are strong supporters of Fair Trade principles, including stable and fair prices for farmers, organic and sustainable agriculture practices, and community-led development projects.

    Root Capital is a nonprofit social investment fund that grows rural prosperity in poor, environmentally vulnerable places in Africa and Latin America by lending capital, delivering financial training, and strengthening market connections for small and growing agricultural businesses. Learn more about Root Capital at

    World Fair Trade Day

    Join us this May 11 as we celebrate World Fair Trade Day. When you choose a product from a committed fair trade brand like Alaffia, Alter Eco, Divine Chocolate, Dr. Bronner’s, Equal Exchange, Farmer Direct and Maggie’s Organics, each fair trade product you choose supports:

    • Long-term direct trading relationships
    • Prompt payment of fair prices and wages
    • No child, forced or otherwise exploited labor
    • Workplace non-discrimination, gender equity and freedom
    • of association
    • Safe working conditions and reasonable work hours
    • Investment in community development projects
    • Environmental sustainability
    • Traceability and transparency

    Your purchase has power. Learn which of your favorite products are fair trade. Choose them with pride on World Fair Trade Day, and throughout the year.

    What is World Fair Trade Day?
    World Fair Trade Day is an annual global celebration occurring each May. Celebrations bring consumers and businesses, nonprofit organizations, churches, student groups, and advocates together to host thousands of events worldwide. This year, World Fair Trade Day is May 11.

    What is Fair Trade?
    Fair trade is a social movement and market model that aims to empower small-scale farmers and workers in underdeveloped countries to create an alternative trading system that supports equitable trading, sustainable development and long-term trading relationships. Fair trade supports fair prices and wages for producers, safe working conditions, investment in community development projects, and the elimination of child labor, workplace discrimination and exploitation.


  • Manager Wanted for Melon Patch Kids | 02.20.2013

    Do you remember all those juicy local melons we get late summer every year?  The melons come from the Melon Patch Kids, a division of Jerry Anderberg & Associates. The Anderbergs are looking for someone to take over this division of their business this year, continuing to run it as a non-profit.  The managers position would be a paid position as would some of the labor that is used to maintain the garden.  The manager would be responsible for growing, harvesting, marketing, and the human resources needs of the Melon Patch Kids.  Melon Patch Kids would continue to be run at the nursery farm with the cash flow needs of the business supplied by Jerry Anderberg and Associates.  What is needed is a “hands on” working manager for Melon Patch Kids.  This opportunity will need to be acted on soon, as ordering seeds and planting must begin! 

    Local ProduceThe entire Anderberg family started this fresh fruit and vegetable business in 1994 to teach the children, Scott, Rachel, Karen, and Jeff, fundamental business practices and leadership skills. This part of the business began to support many Christian and humanitarian ministry projects worldwide (Haiti, Bahamas, Belize, Central America and Europe). Of particular interest to the family is the Child Evangelism Fellowship ministry in Jamaica.

    The Melon Patch has provided several trips in which the family participated personally with the local CEF Staff. Numerous supplies and equipment have also been given, as funds from the Melon Patch were generated.  Although the Anderberg children are grown, Melon Patch Kids continues to thrive in Billings, with all the proceeds donated to organizations locally.  The donors now include The Montana Rescue Mission, InterFaith Hospitality Network, The Salvation Army, Special K Ranch, and others.  The produce is currently sold at the nursery location in late July through September and at Yellowstone Valley Farmer’s Market in Billings by Special K Ranch. Other retail locations are Good Earth Market in Billings, Poly Food Basket in Billings, and the Bozeman Food Co-op

     If you are interested, please contact Jerry Anderberg & Associates.

  • From the Local Producer Committee | 02.19.2013

    As we enter the heart of winter, thoughts of leafy greens, ripe, red tomatoes, and other crisp vegetables fresh from the local farm or garden can seem like a dream. But, while the earth slumbers under a blanket of snow and the sun lingers far away over southern climes, the Local Producer Committee has been striving to make the dream of farm fresh produce a reality sooner than later this spring. We are working with about a dozen local producers to offer an Early Season Farmer’s Market this year.

    Local Produce 2 (3)On the first four Saturdays in June, before the Yellowstone Valley Farmer’s Market opens in July, the Good Earth Market will host morning markets in our parking lot. Customers will be able to find a fantastic variety of spring produce from several of our local producers. We’ll even have starter plants ready to hit the warm soil in your own garden. Some of the favorite producers you’ve come to expect at our booth during the Yellowstone Valley Farmer’s Market in July will join us, including Kenny’s Double D Salsa, das Kuchenhaus baked goods, and Lehfeldt Lamb sausage. There will be a little something for everyone, from GF Harvest’s Gluten Free Oats to bison jerky from Broken Willow Bison Ranch.  We hope this news helps you survive the colds months ahead and fuels your dreams of spring!

    by Heather Ristow, Local Producer Committee Chair

  • The Non-GMO Project: Preserving a Future for Ourselves and our Children | 10.17.2012

    You have the right to know what’s in the food you’re eating and feeding your family. Most governments agree—nearly 50 countries around the world, including Japan, Australia, Russia, China and all of the EU member states, have either banned genetically modified organisms (GMOs) completely, or require that food containing them be clearly labeled.  The experimental technology of genetic engineering forces DNA from one species into a different species. The resulting GMOs are unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes that cannot occur in nature or in traditional breeding. GMOs have not been adequately tested, and have not been proven safe for human consumption.



    In the U.S., we do not have mandatory GMO labeling, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require safety assessments of GMO foods or even review all of the GMO products hitting the market. Meanwhile, close to 75% of our conventional packaged foods now contain GMOs. In response to this dire situation the Non-GMO Project was founded, with a mission of protecting consumer choice and preserving and rebuilding our non-GMO food supply. By offering North America’s only third party standard and labeling for non-GMO products, the Project helps fill the information gap for the increasing number of Americans who are concerned about the health risks and environmental pollution associated with GMOs.

    This October is the third annual Non-GMO Month – an event created by the Non-GMO Project to help raise awareness about the GMO issue and celebrate Non-GMO Project Verified choices. As part of our participation in Non-GMO Month, we are sharing this article to help you understand what Non-GMO Project Verification is all about.

    Since late 2009, the Project has verified over 5,000 products to its rigorous standards for GMO avoidance, and this number increases daily.  Companies enroll in the Non-GMO Project for many reasons. For some, it is part of their company’s mission.  For other companies, verification is driven by the demands of retailers and consumers. Doug Foreman, the founder and chairman of Beanitos says, “We were totally unaware of what GMOs were until a health food store questioned us on whether we were verified Non-GMO. This was an eye-opening moment for us. We found an abundance of evidence revealing possible problems with genetic modification in our food supply and immediately began the process of verification.”

    More and more people are looking for the Non-GMO Project Verified label, and asking their favorite brands to participate, but what does that really mean? The butterfly on the “Verified” seal is a real eye-catcher, but many people are still curious about what it takes for a food producer to earn that lovely lepidopteran.  When you see the Non-GMO Project Verified seal on a product it indicates that the product is compliant with the Non-GMO Project’s Standard – a transparent document requiring producers to meet strict requirements for GMO testing, segregation, and traceability. The butterfly’s cute, but it represents a tremendous level of commitment on the part of the brands that have earned it.

    Here’s an overview of what it takes to become Non-GMO Project Verified…

    First, an interested manufacturer, farmer, or restaurateur reaches out. The Project answers basic questions and helps them understand what to expect.  The company shares basic information, such as product names, ingredients and number of production facilities.  All this info helps the Project’s technical advisors to pinpoint high-GMO risk ingredients and facilities, sketch out a rough idea of what any individual verification will entail, and figure out what the verification process will cost.

    As a mission-driven Non-Profit organization, the Non-GMO Project works to keep the cost of verification as low as possible – after all, the more Non-GMO options, the merrier!  For the many brands that do decide to pursue Verification, contracts are signed ensuring that confidential product information stays confidential, and that products only get to use the Verification Mark once they’ve completed Verification. It’s all legalese to many of us, but it’s an important step in making sure that shoppers can trust any product bearing the butterfly seal.

    Even more important is the Verification process itself.  Companies provide hard data about the products they are enrolling: ingredient lists, production facility information, test results from approved laboratories, etc. Once the data upload is complete an evaluator with FoodChain, the Project’s technical advisor, begins the review process – and what a process it is!

    To quote Brian Ray of Garden of Life, “Our Multi-Vitamins, for example, can contain 50 to 60 different food based ingredients.  It’s a staggering amount of work to evaluate each product. And the Non GMO Project auditors are extremely thorough. Even though we collect certifications from every supplier verifying that each ingredient is GMO-free, the auditors work tirelessly UP the food chain, challenging each statement and requiring that suppliers prove through adequate agricultural controls and regular DNA testing protocols that GMOs are not unintentionally introduced.”

    For companies with low risk ingredients the process can be quite a bit simpler.  In describing their verification, Doug Foreman of Beanitos says, “The process itself took just a few months to complete. The longest part was waiting for our supplier’s 3rd party lab tests proving their commitment to sourcing Non-GMO ingredients. One of our seasoning suppliers couldn’t guarantee that the milk in our cheddar was sourced from hormone free cows. We subsequently moved to a supplier that is just as dedicated to Non-GMO as we are.”

    If a product contains only low-risk ingredients, with no GMO varieties on the market, testing is not required, but FoodC hain conducts a thorough review of ingredient specification sheets for an in-depth assurance that there is no risk of GMO presence.

    For companies with major high-risk ingredients in their products, the Non-GMO Project standard requires ongoing testing of those risk ingredients. High-risk ingredients are any derived from crops grown commercially in GMO form–from corn and canola to the occasional summer squash. After testing, ingredients must remain segregated from other GMO risk factors, and traceable from that point on.  This ensures ingredient integrity through to the finished product.  To ensure that everything’s being produced properly, manufacturers must pass on site inspections of any facility that uses high-risk ingredients.

    Upon successful completion of the verification process, the manufacturer receives a certificate of compliance, and can start using the Verified seal on their packaging. Even at this point, manufacturers who have committed to Verification aren’t off the hook – they must continue testing every single batch of their high-risk ingredients, and complete an annual audit process to remain verified.

    As you walk through Good Earth Market this October, then, keep an eye out for the many Verified products we sell. 

    In honor of Non-GMO Month, we’ve taken the time to hang special tags so they’re easier to find, and many of the sale items on our promotional displays are verified, too.  Pick up your copy of GMO FAQ’s to assist you in purchasing non-GMO products. 

    Supporting manufacturers who have committed to Non-GMO Project Verification sends a powerful message about what you want on your family’s table, and helps support some of this country’s best farmers.

    In this day and age, it can take a lot of extra energy to provide reliable Non-GMO products, but as Doug Foreman says, “Being verified by the Non GMO Project has been a 100% positive for us. Consumers want to eat food that is safe, and being Verified is a big part of making sure that happens.”

  • News from the Farm – Negaard Produce and Greenhouse | 08.14.2012

    Daniel, Obadiah and Leah planting onions

    Here at the Negaard’s farm it has been a very busy year so far:  planting tomatoes in the greenhouse the 1st of February, starting calving the sixth of February, planting and starting seeds to go out in the gardens when it is time, Rachel making jams and syrups in her spare time with Leah helping when she can, calving finishing and now time to start planting the gardens.  With that comes the weeding and water (which is a non-stop job).

    This spring found us to be very busy with starting the clean-up from the flood of 2011, which made quite a mess.  Daniel spent a lot of time moving gravel that had washed up on our flats and trying to re-level one of our gardens that had a lot of damage.  We couldn’t get in there last year because it was too wet.  We also rebuilt a walk bridge that had washed out so that we could get to the garden easier.

    Daniel also spent some time building new tools to go on the garden tractor to try and make things a little easier.  Daniel and Joshua are building some cement forms to go around our large greenhouse so that we can put new plastic on it.   This has to be done every so many years, and it is well past due.

    We started picking tomatoes the end of April and each week we have new crops ready to start picking.  Just this week the zucchini and snow peas are ready. We also grew some new produce this year, including kale, tomatillos, colorful carrots, and turnips. 

    Obadiah and Leah are very busy picking and getting the orders ready for Rachel to haul to market.  When they are not picking, they are busy weeding and watering.

    Daniel is on the constant go working tomatoes, hoeing, and making sure everything gets watered when needed.  Rachel concentrates on calling for the orders each week, delivering, selling, and baking bread for the Good Earth Market Deli, bookwork, plus all the other things that a mother and wife have to do to keep up. 

    The middle of June we started putting up our hay and were pretty much done by the 4th of July.  This was early for us, which is good, because usually we do not start until the  first of July and this puts us into the time that we get very busy picking produce.

    This time of year on the farm we put in very long hours – 4:00 or 5:00 in the morning until dark.  Sometimes, like today, when the temperature reaches the 100 plus mark, it is nice to come in during the hottest part of the day and take a little rest and get out of the heat. 

    Joshua is also home from college this summer and helping – it is always nice to have an extra hand.  Last fall when he returned home from being deployed to Iraq, he put up a nice building for us to get our produce ready for markets in.  (Of course, with the help of Obadiah and Daniel.)  This sure has been a blessing for us because we always did this outside in the heat or cold.

    This pretty well brings you up to date on what is going on at the farm so far in 2012.  We enjoy working and being a part of the Good Earth Market and enjoy getting to know each of you as time goes on.  As always, we look forward to working with all of you in the years to come.

    by Rachel Negaard, Negaard Produce and Greenhouse

  • News from the Farm: Wholesome Foods | 05.03.2012

    By Dick and Patricia Espenscheid

    As the days grow longer and the earth wakes up from winter, our thoughts turn to the bounty of summer. To prepare for the coming months of growth and productivity, our local producers have already begun planning, planting, and calving. The Local Producer Committee decided to bring the farm to you so that you can participate in the excitement of the season. We will be highlighting a number of local producers in our new feature “News from the Farm”. We hope you enjoy this glimpse into the love and labor of their lives.   –  Heather Ristow, Board Member and Local Producer Committee Chair

    Greetings from Wholesome Foods and the Espenscheid Ranch!  We were delighted to be asked to share “News from the Farm” for the spring newsletter.  Life at the farm really picks up speed this time of year.  Planting has already begun indoors for the season – it is a joy to see the small green sprouts growing and waiting to get outside.  This year, because we purchased a high tunnel hoop house, the plants will be outside six weeks earlier than usual, enjoying the warm spring sun and secured at night in a protected environment.  Because of the intense winds we sometimes experience in the valley, we’ve taken the extra precaution to set the hoop house poles in cement just to keep it at the ranch!

    The winter project of building an insulated chicken house is completed. The new structure has a “nursery” for the 100 baby chicks and turkeys arriving in mid-april.  After they feather and develop sufficiently, the new chicks will be introduced into our flock of 50 laying hens, two roosters, 10 geese and four Moscovy ducks.  It is a fun day to watch the baby fowl meet their elders!  To expand our herd of free-range cattle and hogs, this year we have added an additional 305 acres to our ranch for them to roam and have fun (check out our delicious pork and eggs at GEM).  As of now, we have 12 new calves romping with their moms.  By the end of April we should have 22 new calves. 

    The most exciting news is that the Espenscheid ranch will be at Yellowstone Valley Farmer’s Market this summer with other GEM producers, selling our beef, veggies and eggs.  We have added a farm manager/partner to our staff to help make this all possible.  Andrew Riedel, MSU Bozeman alumnus and agriculture major, joined the Espenscheid Ranch in January and we are very fortunate to have him.

    Over the last five days, our pond has thawed and the sun is bright and warm.   What a lovely sight to see our geese enjoying the natural beauty of our ranch.  Happy Spring, everyone!  See you at Good Earth and the Yellowstone Valley Farmer’s Market!

    Dick and Patricia Espenscheid of  Wholesome Foods operate a sustainable ranch near Bridger, MT.

  • 2012 International Year of Cooperatives | 04.23.2012

    Cooperative Enterprises Build a Better World

    The United Nations has declared 2012 as International Year of Cooperatives and we, along with co-ops around the world, are celebrating the occasion. Each year, the United Nations seeks to raise awareness of ideas or initiatives that truly make the world a better place. And while we may be a little biased (as a cooperative representing a virtual chain of food co-ops), we’re thrilled about the opportunity to highlight the many benefits cooperatives bring to their communities.  According to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, “Cooperatives are a reminder to the international community that it is possible to pursue both economic vitality and social responsibility.”  We couldn’t agree more.

    International Year of Cooperatives was officially launched at the United Nations New York headquarters in October 2011 with the theme, “Cooperative Enterprises Build a Better World.”  “Cooperation is a real solution for today’s challenges,” said Charles Gould, the director general of the International Cooperative Alliance.  United Nations “year of” designations may come and go, but for cooperatives, the 2012 spotlight represents an opportunity for co-ops to build on their global presence.

    Cooperatives are all around us—in the U.S. and around the world.  More than a billion people are members of cooperatives and the international cooperative movement has a strong global impact. If the world’s cooperatives were a country, it would be the size of Spain, represent $1 trillion in revenues, and rank as the tenth largest Gross Domestic Product in the world.  This economic activity is all the more impressive because it is generated by people working together in a democratic fashion to meet their own needs while benefiting the local economy and the community.  The United Nations’ acknowledgment of the value of cooperatives is important recognition for of the positive contributions co-ops deliver to our nation and our world.

    The cooperative model is a business model that is based on values and focuses on fairness, transparency and democracy. This values-based focus doesn’t mean standard business practices–like efficiency, effectiveness and profitability—take a back seat. Far from it.  Cooperatives seek excellence in all aspects of their business while upholding their values and principles.

    In addition to cooperative values, most cooperatives adopt a set of seven cooperative principles.  The sixth principle, cooperation among co-ops, is one that will be highlighted in 2012 as co-ops celebrate the year together.

    The International Cooperative Alliance has a goal that by 2020, cooperatives will be the fastest-growing business model worldwide. Indicators so far are positive; interest in cooperatives is already growing.  People around the world play an important role in this development by supporting their local co-ops with their investment and patronage, taking part in creating businesses that serve the greater good and build a better world.

    Be sure to check out or for more information about the world’s cooperatives and their activities, along with the National Cooperative Grocers Assocation Co-op Video Series.

    Article courtesy of

  • Are rising global food prices affecting your Co-op? | 04.12.2012

    Global food prices rose in March for the third straight month this year, after coming down from a February 2011 record peak, the UN’s food agency recently said.  The rise in prices is mostly due to rising gas prices and global weather fluctuations.  So what does this mean for your local Co-op?

    Good news!  Your food Co-op hasn’t raised prices on products purchased through our primary distributor, United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI) since August 2011!  These products make up almost half of all the products that we carry.  Since joining the National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA), we have seen a decreased cost of goods, which we are passing on to our members by not raising prices for the past eight months.  Also, Co+op Deals, another NCGA program, has offered an additional assortment of competitively priced sale items.  It’s becoming easier to save at your local co-op!

    Local products have also seen very little fluctuation in price.  Buying fresh local food is the easiest step to take in securing our food future.  As we build a sustainable regional food system, we become less dependent on food supplied from other regions, and less subject to rising gas prices affecting cost of food.

    What steps have you taken to save money on your groceries?

  • What’s the deal with raspberry ketone? | 04.05.2012

    From Dolly, GEM Wellness Guru

    I’m sure many of you have heard of it by now – raspberry ketone, as seen on the Dr. Oz Show, seems to be the new miracle fat-burner, the cure-all for those stubborn spots. Here’s some great info that I found helpful and I hope you will too!

    According to supplement company Wellgenix, raspberry ketone “is the primary aroma compound of red raspberries, and is a safe and healthy supplement with no side effects. This compound regulates adiponectin, a hormone that causes your body to boost metabolism. In turn, the fat within your cells gets broken up more effectively, helping your body burn fat faster and more efficiently. In order to get enough ketone to have an effect on the way your body burns excess fat, you would need to consume 90 pounds of raspberries! But, just 100mg of the supplement per day is enough to get your body burning fat the way you want it to.”

    Here’s more – the ingredients list on the new hormone-free HCG Amino Support + Raspberry Ketones boasts a nice range of metabolism boosting amino acids, along with herbal support for the immune system, stress reduction, and energy production.

    I wanted to share these simple facts and tidbits with you, and let you know that we now have this product in stock now in the Wellness Department!


    Photo Courtesy of zole4.

  • Get your favorite recipe published! | 04.04.2012

    As you may have heard, GEM recently partnered with Dr. Sarah Keller’s Media for Social Change class at MSUB for a variety of exciting projects. One of those projects gave us a great start on an official GEM cookbook and it looking fantastic! We’re set to include lots of great information about seasonal availability and local producers.

    What we really need now, though, are your recipes. After seeing countless loads of groceries leave through the doors of GEM, we now want focus on what happens in the kitchen. Whether it’s a family favorite passed down through the generations, or an experiment gone right, we’d love to share it.

    Recipes can be submitted to  If you’d like to submit a photo, they are best in .jpeg format. 

    Recipes will be considered for the cookbook and may be used in the future in the store and our website.  Recipes submitted will be entered in a drawing to win a $50 gift certificate and one of 10 cookbooks.  Deadline May 1.

    *Recipes, unless merely a list of ingredients, reprinted word-for-word are subject to copyright infringement. Adaptations, however, are acceptable for reprint. Please personalize your recipe.

  • Curry Lime Chicken? Yes, please. | 03.27.2012

    Mark's making Curry Lime Chicken Salad!


    Years ago, we began cooking this healthy recipe which quickly became an obsession among members.  Curry Lime Chicken Salad, with its sweet and spicy deliciousness, is not your average chicken salad and has been the subject of numerous recipe requests!

    Is Curry Lime Chicken Salad your favorite Deli Café salad?  Or do you have another obsession?






    Curry Lime Chicken Salad

    Serving size: 8-10
    Prep time: 1 hour
    Cooking time: 30 minutes
    Ready in: 1 hour 30 minutes

    5 lb. boneless chicken breast, cooked and cut into ½-inch cubes
    ⅜ c. olive oil
    ⅓ c. curry powder, a mix of hot and mild
    1 c. red onion, finely diced
    1 c. carrots, sliced in squares
    2 c. red pepper, diced
    3 c. frozen mangoes, chopped into small pieces
    ⅜ c. currants
    1 c. cashews, toasted
    1⅓ c. shredded coconut, toasted

    Dressing Ingredients:
    ⅜ c. lime juice
    2 c. mayonnaise
    3/8 c. Patak’s mango-lime chutney

    Heat olive oil.  When hot, add curry powder and combine until just fragrant.  Remove
    from heat and add to cubed, cooked chicken. With gloved hands,
    mix until each piece of chicken is coated with yellow curry mixture.  Add
    all vegetables, nuts, coconut, and mangoes to chicken mixture. Mix dressing
    with a whisk and add to chicken.  Mix until combined.  Add sea salt to

    In the Deli Café:
    Curry Lime Chicken Salad – $11.99/lb.


  • Our Blog is Certified Organic | 02.10.2012

    This blog is a place where ideas are exchanged, information is shared and everybody gets to be a part of something great.

    Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

    Well, now that you’ve had a chance to see our new website, it’s my privilege to welcome you to the new Good Earth Market blog. Some of our members have asked about what we’ll be posting here and what they can expect, and I’m glad to have the chance to share with you our plans for the blog.

    First, we’ll be sharing updates about things that are happening here at the co-op. It might be special events, an unexpected sale, or even just a story about the day in the life of the co-op.

    Second, we’ll also be posting about things of interest to our members. Now we know that we have a wide variety of people who are members of the co-op as well as people who are not members, but who shop with us or enjoy our deli. That’s why our topics will be as varied as the people who come here, ranging from eco-friendly living to hosting the perfect corporate event.

    Third, we’ll be asking people to contribute guest blogs which feature the things about which they are particularly passionate. It could be cooking, health and wellness, gardening, raising pets, downtown living or parenting. If you’d like to contribute a post or two, I’d love to talk with you.

    Most importantly, our goal is to make this blog a place where ideas are exchanged, information is shared and everybody gets to be a part of something great.

    Just like the co-op.