Recognizing member contributions

Karma Co-op is made up of members who contribute their time, expertise, and passion for local food and products to make this community an open, vibrant, and knowledgeable food store for all of us.

Our members dedicate themselves to many parts of the co-op, including the array of committees we have that help Karma thrive. Some of our members have gone above and beyond, committing years of service on committees, showing leadership, and helping shape the community we have today.

In this e-Chronicle, we turn to our newsletter — The Chronicle — and extend our gratitude to long-serving members of this committee.

Karen Fliess
Karen first joined the Chronicle Committee in 2008, contributing articles and fulfilling the role of publisher and later communications manager, only recently retiring from her position in the spring of 2017. Many meetings were hosted in her home, where committee members shared food and enjoyed tea while reviewing past issues and discussing what stories would appear in the next newsletter. Karen also introduced us to other members through her column “In the aisle.” Individuals and couples were interviewed by Karen, explaining why they shopped at the co-op, what products were their favourites, and what improvements they would appreciate seeing at the store. We are very grateful to Karen for the leadership, order, and high standards she helped to set for our co-op’s newsletter and the many members she worked with on the Chronicle Committee.

Ellen Pauker
Ellen is a professional graphic designer and lent her valuable skills to The Chronicle for more than five years, taking numerous newsletters and transforming them into wonderfully designed co-operative publications. Any member of this committee can tell you this position is no easy task — fitting the articles and photos into the set number of pages, finding creative ways to lay out pages, and making edits, all in a condensed period of time. While Ellen has since retired from her position on the committee, we are very grateful for all the newsletters she designed for us. Thank you, Ellen!

Amy Stein
Amy has been an active editorial contributor, copy editor, proofreader, and content editor of The Chronicle for several years. Thanks to Amy, we’ve been introduced to some of the local farmers and producers of the special food available at the co-op. She is an excellent editor and helped polish many articles over the years. Amy also stepped up and helped engage the committee and membership in discussing the evolution of the newsletter from print to online. We want to thank Amy for these and so many other contributions she’s made to our community over the years. Amy moved on from the committee in the spring of 2017.

by Kate Rusnak

Meals on a budget: a day in the life


The challenge: to produce healthy meals on a tight budget, using all-Karma ingredients

Breakfast: super morning oats

Total cost per serving: $1.38
Prep. time: 12 minutes
Ingredients (for one serving):

½ cup bulk organic rolled oats — $0.16
Small handful of bulk organic nuts/seeds (e.g. walnuts, filberts, pumpkin seeds) — $0.57
Small handful of bulk organic black currants — $0.15
Drizzle of bulk Temple’s Sugar Bush maple syrup — $0.20
Sprinkle of bulk ground cinnamon — $0.05
Splash of milk (of your choice — ours is Hewitt’s goat milk) or yogurt — $0.25


1. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Add oats, smallest pinch of salt. Stir. Reduce to medium heat.
2. Immediately add the nuts/seeds and currants. Stir.
3. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Add the syrup, cinnamon, and milk/yogurt.

Lunch: Karma-style instant ramen noodle soup

Total cost per serving: $4.07 with kimchi ($3.82 without)
Prep. time: 8 min.

Ingredients (for one serving):

1 package Lotus Foods Jade Green Ramen — $2.49
1 small bok choy (or ½ large bok choy) — $0.75
1 Homestead free-range egg — $0.58
(optional) 1 tbsp. Ontario Natural Food Co-op Organic Kimchi Style Sauerkraut — $0.25


1. Follow directions on package to make ramen.
2. While ramen noodles are cooking, boil the egg in a separate pot until medium soft.
3. Break apart bok choy and slice leaves lengthwise. Add to water when ramen noodles are halfway done.
4. Serve in your favourite soup bowl. Add boiled egg and (optional) kimchi.

Dinner: fish on kale and squash

Total cost per serving: $5.23
Prep. time: 50 min.

Ingredients (for four servings):

1 Kabocha squash or 2 small acorn squash — $3.00
1 bunch organic kale — $3.50
2 small portions frozen wild caught salmon — $13.14
Zest of 1 lemon — $0.50
Sprinkle of dill — $0.15
(optional) 1-2 tsp. coconut sugar or maple syrup — $0.10
Olive oil


1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Chop squash in half. Drizzle olive oil inside squash and on pan. Place halves upside down on pan. Bake for approximately 40 minutes. Remove cooked squash from skin and mash with a fork. Add optional toppings.
3. Bring large pot of water to a boil. Blanche chopped kale in water for 3–4 minutes. Remove kale and rinse under cold water.
4. Place thawed fish in a pan with a little olive oil. Cook fish on low-medium heat with lid on. Add lemon zest and sprinkle dill to taste. When internal temp is 70°C (158°F), it’s ready. Cut each cooked portion of fish in half. Check for bones.
5. First plate the squash, and then the kale, and lastly place the fish on top. It looks pretty and tastes good!

by Kate Tessier

First published in The Chronicle (Spring 2016)

Karma’s New e-Newsletter and Blog

We’re joining forces! Over the past several months, members of our co-op’s board and Chronicle Committee have been working on combining our member e-newsletter with the great content from our printed newsletter, The Chronicle. What you’ve received today is the result of this work: a monthly e-newsletter called the “e-Chronicle.” The e-Chronicle merges the monthly content you’re used to receiving from the board with the more in-depth features and articles found in The Chronicle.

What this means is fewer emails coming to your inbox (combining content means we’ve been able to eliminate emails about the quarterly Chronicle newsletter). It also means more timely access to the content fellow members are researching and writing. We’re embracing digital communications in more ways than one.

As part of this launch, we’re excited to share Karma Co-op’s new blogging section with you. All of the articles in the e-newsletter will also appear on Karma’s website. Content will be posted as soon as it’s ready and will be promoted via the co-op’s social media sites.

Our e-newsletter is meant to be accessible to the public and will be managed by the Chronicle Committee. If you have a story for the e-Chronicle, blog, and/or print Chronicle, you can send it to Guidelines for submissions are available on our website.

We hope you enjoy the updates and encourage you to share your feedback with the Chronicle Committee.

Kate Rusnak, on behalf of the Karma Co-op Board of Directors

Not your traditional farmer: Tony Neale of Wheelbarrow Farm

Photo by Amy Stein

Have you heard this one before? A boy grows up in Toronto, gets a political science degree, and considers a career in social work. But then he takes up farming instead. That’s not a punchline, but rather the story of Tony Neale, owner of Wheelbarrow Farm in Newmarket and one of Karma’s produce and pork suppliers.

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