Conspiracy Beer is a collaboration of Tucson's brewers and bikers

The lastest batch of Conspiracy beer was brewed especially for BICAS (Bicycle Inter-Community Art & Salvage) by Dragoon Brewing Co.  An English-style Brown Ale, BICAS Bent Axle Brown is pale brown in color with a nutty bread-like flavor.  It has a hint of English hop aroma, and subtle caramel and fruit flavors.  Proceeds from Bent Axle Brown Ale will benefit BICAS.

BICAS Brown is a great way to replenish your depleted body after a long ride, and pairs perfectly with comforty foods like chicken pot pie, or an open-faced turkey sandwich with gravy. Or anything with gravy.

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About BICAS:

BICAS is celebrating 25 years of serving the Tucson with community education and a bicycle recycling center for bicycles that welcomes people of all ages and walks of life! BICAS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, located in the heart of downtown Tucson.  Through advocacy and salvaging bicycles, the BICAS mission is to promote education, art, and a healthy environment while providing service and opportunity for those in need.  BICAS is an education center, not a traditional bike shop.  At the center one can find classes on how to build and maintain your bicycle to bike camping, refurbished bicycles for sale, community tools for rent at an hourly and used parts, art gallery, earn a bike program, bike scrap parts for art and a metalworks program.

About Dragoon Brewing Company:

Origins of Dragoon Brewing Co. go back to the mid- 1990’s of In 2009, when company founder Bruce Greene brewed his first batch of beer in his kitchen. Right then he decided to start saving to open his own brewery.  Within a few years, his son Eric had been bitten by the brewing bug, helped found a homebrew club (Northern Arizona Homebrewers), become a BJCP certified beer judge, and wandered off to Vermont to study at the American Brewer’s Guild. After an internship in Boston at Mass Bay Brewing Co (a.k.a. Harpoon), he returned to Tucson to brew professionally.  The Tucson Homebrew Club brought father & son together with Tristan White–a like-minded home brewer and craft beer evangelist who’d been entertaining similar fantasies. After working together on a few creative brew sessions, the beginnings of a brewery began to percolate.  Just recently, Dragoon Brewing Co. expanded their Tap Room at 1859 W. Grant Road, Suite 111.


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Water Harvesting and Native Tree Workshop

As part of the co-op’s partnership with Desert Harvesters we hosted a workshop on November 1st in which local rainwater harvesting expert, Brad Lancaster, taught us how to harvest rainwater, air-conditioning condensate, and stormwater to irrigate native perennial food plants. 

We learned how to use bunyips-simple water levels, and how to shape earthworks-landscaping features that direct and capture the flow of water. We also learned where to place trees to maximize summer shade and winter sun. Finally, we applied our knowledge by constructing the earthworks for and planting eight native trees at the entrance to our garden, alongside our kitchen’s walk in cooler, and between the staff parking lot and Hoff building.  They may be tiny now, but one day they will grow to provide glorious shade as well as edible pods. 

We are grateful to Trees for Tucson whose team worked against a tight deadline and came through with eight great quality trees for us, 3 Velvet Mesquites, 2 Desert Ironwoods, 2 Foothills Palo Verde and 1 Blue Palo Verde.  When you are ready to plant in your own yard, Trees for Tucson is a great resource for low cost shade trees!

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Today we got our first rain since the planting.  Look how the earthworks are directing and holding the rain right where the trees can use it!  It’s hard to see in the photos, but the basins are full of rainwater!IMG_0498IMG_0499IMG_0501IMG_0500

Fresh and Frozen Turkeys available!

We have fresh organic, and frozen antibiotic-free, and local heritage turkeys

Coastal Range Organics $2.99/lb (fresh)

Coastal Range Organics chickens and turkeys are raised on a fully-organic diet with all-natural, 100% vegetarian grain feed, free of any animal by-products and synthetic additives. That’s why they are naturally great tasting.

Coastal Range Organics chickens and turkeys are free-range. They are raised on pesticide-free land with plenty of room to grow.

Each package of Coastal Range Organics carries the USDA Organic seal and is certified organic by Quality Assurance International, a third party certifying agency. You can be assured that our facilities handling Coastal Range Organics fresh chicken products adhere to stringent organic production requirements.

Mary’s Turkeys $1.99/lb (frozen)

Mary’s turkeys are raised on healthful grains and allowed to roam in areas four times the size of the average turkey ranch.  Their high protein diets provides the optimum amount of nutrients.

ReZoNation Farm Turkeys $8.59/lb (frozen)

ReZoNation Farm turkeys are hatched and raised in the White Mountains of Arizona. They are fed grasses, insects, natural turkey grower feed, and locally grown vegetables and greens.  They will have a higher percentage of dark meat and leaner portions of breast meat.

Conspiracy Kitchen Thanksgiving Menu for Special Orders

all sides $8.99/lb

(Thanksgiving Order Form)

Let Conspiracy Kitchen make delicious Thanksgiving sides for your table this year.

raw cranberry relish, sweet potato casserole, rustic sourdough stuffing, classic and vegan mashed potatoes, vegan and classic gravy, roasted veggies and fresh herbs and pumpkin pie with whole wheat crust.


Thanksgiving Sale for owners

All day November, 15th owners get:
10% off purchases up to $74.99,
20% off purchases $75-$149.99 and
20% off purchases $150 and up.

Save your lists! The more you shop, the more you save!download

We’ll have sampling of f Thanksgiving sides and organic pumpkin pie from Conspiracy Kitchen, Sana Raw will be sampling new raw offerings now available in the deli case, and sampling of a variety of cheeses. 20% off on Heavyweight wines. Fun activities for the kids.

Get your Thanksgiving turkeys here!

Mary’s Antibiotic-Free $1.99/lb and

Mary’s Organic (organic turkeys are not gluten free this season) $2.99/lb

Mary’s turkeys are raised on healthful grains and allowed to roam in areas four times the size of the average turkey ranch.  Their high protein diets provides the optimum amount of nutrients.


ReZoNation Farm $8.59/lb

ReZoNation Farm turkeys are hatched and raised in the White Mountains of Arizona. They are fed grasses, insects, natural turkey grower feed, and locally grown vegetables and greens.  They will have a higher percentage of dark meat and leaner portions of breast meat.

Special Orders from Conspiracy Kitchen (Thanksgiving Order Form)

Let Conspiracy Kitchen make delicious Thanksgiving sides for your table this year.

All sides are $8.99/lb and 9-inch Organic Pumpkin pies with whole what crust $9.99





Classes at the Co-op

We are pleased to offer a variety of classes in the next phase of the education program at the Food Conspiracy Co-op.  We invited community members to submit proposals and  have a great schedule of classes this November and December from a three part series of classes on fermentation by Dan Dorsey, Vegan & Raw Holiday Classics and Desserts with Sarah Hart, you’ll get the scoop on soy with Rob Oser,  a basics class in chicken keeping after the coop tour, and a class for little chefs ages 5-12 years old.  Click here to visit class schedule and get signed up today!

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Bawk, Bawk, Bawk, It's Time to Take the Chicken Coop Tour

If you’re thinking about raising hens but you’re not sure where to start, we’ve got you covered.  The Food Conspiracy Co-op’s 7th Annual Chicken Coop Tour is a great way to get inspired and informed.   See a wide variety of coop styles and sizes.  Talk to backyard chicken keepers. Learn how to raise chicks.

The tour will be held on Saturday, December 6th from 10:00 – 3:00 p.m.  It is a self-guided tour designed to introduce people to the joys (and challenges) of urban chicken keeping. Tickets cost $5 and will be available for purchase up until the day of the tour while supplies last.  (We’ll cap the sale of tickets at 300, so as not to overwhelm coop owners.)

What: 7th Annual Chicken Coop Tour

When: Saturday, December 6th 10:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Cost: $5, tickets are sold at the co-op while supplies last, and here.


Conspiracy Gardens update

Fall has always been my favorite season. I grew up in northern New York, where fall meant crisp cool days and brilliant foliage on the maple and oak trees. While fall doesn’t make quite as dramatic an entrance here in Tucson, I am just as happy to see it! Summer is a tough time to garden in the low desert. We survived, though, and were able to take some time to assess our first growing season, work on some projects, and plan for the coming year.

Our first twenty three weeks of growing included thirteen food crops and several ornamental flower varieties planted in the twelve north garden beds’ 900 square feet. During this period, we harvested 81 bunches of root vegetables, 354 pounds of greens, squash, peppers, tomatoes, and basil, and 93 bouquets of flowers, all of which we sold in the store or used in the kitchen. I estimate that we averaged 0.48 pounds of food per square foot of growing space for those five months. While intensive gardening methods do have the potential to generate much higher yields than that, one study I read concluded that “As a general guideline, a yield expectation of 0.5 lb/square foot is a realistic value for mixed stand, small-scale agriculture.” So, while we didn’t shatter any records in our inaugural season, we held our own, and we will continue to work on our intensive practices in order to make the most of our microfarm space.

As we only just planted the fruit trees this past spring, lemons, limes, and figs were not part of the first season’s harvest. The citrus trees struggled through the summer sun and heat, but the fig trees thrived! They have more than doubled in size since we planted them, the foliage is green and healthy and they have even started forming fruits!

The monsoon rains allowed us to get a look at our water harvesting designs in action. The basins in our fruit tree forest and the sunken garden beds did their job well.  Our cistern got its first real workout and we were able to identify several minor adjustments that needed to be made in order to maximize rain capture.

We also used our first summer season to cover crop the twelve south beds which had never been planted and some of the north beds whose crops were finished for the season.  This will improve the quality of our soil in preparation for fall crops. It was interesting to see how much variation there was in quality of growth among the beds. Even in a single bed there were sections where the cover crop was healthy and sections where it barely grew. In the north beds which had already produced one crop, the cover crop was much more robust than in the south beds. This goes to show how much just one season of cultivation can improve the soil. It also shows how important it is that we keep working on building soil quality and consistency.

For two weeks in June, we had the privilege of hosting City High Summer School students. Conspiracy Gardens served as a site for the students to conduct a spot observation project for their science class.   This was a hands-off educational experience for them to observe nature in silence. We were very happy to connect with City High and are looking forward to collaborating further with them in the coming school year.

Now that summer is behind us, we are looking forward to the getting all twenty four of our garden beds in production with fall crops. To help get us off to a strong start, we are turning to two well established local farms, Las Milpitas Farm and San Xavier Co-op Farm, to start seeds for us. We’ll be growing kale, lettuce, spinach, chard, beets, carrots, herbs and flowers. When the starts are ready to go in the ground, we’ll have a planting party and you are all invited! We’ll keep you posted as to the exact date.

We have also begun a partnership with Desert Harvesters to plant native food producing shade trees around the garden and throughout the co-op property. We hope to host a hands-on tree planting workshop this fall and hope you will join us. We’ll keep you posted regarding details of that event as well.

We are looking forward to our first full year of growing and collaborating on projects with other local growers, organizations, and students in our community. This promises to be a very busy and exciting year! Next time you come in to shop and have a few extra minutes please feel free to take a stroll through the garden and see what’s new or check it out for the first time. We invite you to come see your produce growing and we welcome your feedback!

Try the newest Conspiracy Beer, an IPA by 1702

Our new batch of Conspiracy Beer will debut on Friday, August 1. It’s an India Pale Ale brewed by 1702.

What is Conspiracy Beer?

  • Conspiracy Beer is brewed by a local Tucson microbrewery.
  • The style of beer changes every two months.
  • The price of the beer will vary, depending on the style.
  • The profits from the sale of Conspiracy Beer will benefit a local nonprofit.
  • Sales of the first six batches of Conspiracy Beer will benefit El Grupo Youth Cycling.

Eden Foods and Affordable Care Act

Thank you to those of you who’ve contacted the Food Conspiracy Co-op and shared your thoughts regarding Eden Foods and the Affordable Care Act.  When a few owners called for the co-op to take action on this issue it presented an opportunity for a conversation.  On Tuesday, July 23rd, 8 owners, two Board members and three Food Conspiracy staff met in an open meeting in the Hoff building.  The intention of this meeting was not vote on whether or not to remove Eden Foods from the store.   It was an opportunity to meet in a safe space, share and create a better understanding of the issues, and to share the co-op’s history and philosophy on requests for boycotts.  Our policy is to focus on providing choices and information so our customers can choose which companies and products they believe in and want to support.   We did agree that more educational information that may impact customers shopping choices needs to be provided and available in the store.  If you are an owner and would like to have more conversation with other owners about Eden Foods, the next discussion will be at the Owner Linkage Committee meeting on Saturday, September 20 at 10:00 a.m. in the Hoff Building behind the co-op.

Unfamiliar with the Issue?

Eden Foods appears on track to win its fight with the federal government over funding insurance coverage of contraception in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s controversial Hobby Lobby ruling.   This has upset some of our shoppers who don’t agree with Eden Foods’ politics. A few have called for the Co-op to boycott the company’s products.

Food Conspiracy Co-op serves a diverse customer base and there are individuals on both sides of this debate. As a result, we feel that we can best serve our community by continuing to focus on providing healthy foods without taking a stance on the politics of this particular issue.

It is important to consider that Eden Foods has been an industry leader in maintaining organic standards and bringing BPA-free packaging to the U.S. market. Eden’s offerings are amongst the most high quality products available at the Co-op due to their commitment to organics, GMO labeling, and using BPA-free cans. Eden has been an industry leader in organics and maintaining standards in the face of corporate attacks. They have fought to maintain organic standards in the face numerous attempts to water them down. They also almost singlehandedly brought BPA-free lining into cans to the U.S. market and raised the bar, so that BPA-free cans are becoming or have become the industry standard for natural/organics.

What does the Hobby Lobby case have to do with Eden Foods?

Eden Foods was not a plaintiff in the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case, meaning the Supreme Court has not made a ruling specific to Eden Foods. However, in their Burwell v. Hobby Lobby ruling, the Supreme Court ordered the lower courts to reconsider their earlier decisions against Eden Foods.


What is Eden Foods’ stance on the Affordable Care Act as it relates to women’s health care?

Eden Foods objects to a provision of the Affordable Care Act that requires companies, if they choose to offer health insurance to their employees, to include coverage of a wide array of contraceptive choices. Here’s an excerpt from Eden Foods’ statement on the issue:

We believe in a woman’s right to decide, and have access to, all aspects of their health care and reproductive management. This lawsuit does not block, or intend to block, anyone’s access to health care or reproductive management. This lawsuit is about protecting religious freedom and stopping the government from forcing citizens to violate their conscience. We object to the HHS [Health & Human Services] mandate and its government overreach.

Some people are calling for a boycott of all Eden Foods products. What is our co-op’s stance on this issue?

Our co-op serves a very diverse customer base and there are individuals on both sides of any issue. We believe that we can best serve our community by continuing to focus on providing healthy foods without taking a stance on the politics of this particular issue.

We also encourage our customers to vote, on this and other issues, with their dollars by supporting those companies they like and believe in. When (for any reason) products don’t sell, the co-op stops carrying them. As always, consumers can and should choose to purchase the products that meet their own needs. Consumers can choose to personally not buy the product, but we will not be discontinuing our sales of Eden Organics at this time.

We are, as members and shoppers of a co-op, united in a common set of principles. We are also individuals with differing views on a multitude issues. It is not when we all agree that makes the Co-op stronger, it is when we all have a voice.

Owners wishing to have a deeper discussion about Eden Foods are invited to the next Owner Linkage committee meeting on Saturday, September 20th at 10:00 a.m. at the Hoff Building behind the co-op at 425 East 7th Street.

There is a provision for an owner to start a petition to have a special meeting called or a have a proper issue presented to a vote of the owners. Here are the by-laws and links to Food Conspiracy Co-op bylaws.

Section 3.2 – Special meetings.  Special meetings of owners may be called by the Board. Special meetings shall be called by the President as soon as possible after the receipt of petitions signed by ten percent of owners, such petitions stating any proper business to be brought before the meeting.

Section 3.9 – Issues submitted by owners.  Notices of a meeting of owners shall include any proper issues submitted by petition of at least five percent of owners.  Petitions must be received by the co-op not less than one hundred and twenty days before the date of the meeting at which or in connection with which they are to be presented to a vote of owners.

Statements from Eden Foods July 11

On response to Affordable Care Act  Heath and Human Services Mandate April 2013

Salon Article  Organic Eden Foods’ quiet right-wing agenda (April 11, 2013)

Salon Article Eden Foods doubles down in birth control flap (April 15, 2013)

Salon Article  Eden Foods CEO’s bad week continues (April 18, 2013)

Philidelphia Inquirer Co-op’s Quandary: Boycott or Not? September 2, 2014