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Blog & Latest News2017-01-19T21:01:10+00:00
1308, 2018

Upcoming $5 Dinners

August 13th, 2018|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

What’s a $5 Dinner?

Our Deli serves up a healthy portion of a made-from-scratch main dish (meat and a vegetarian option) and a rotating selection of fresh, deli-made sides.
Complete your meal by purchasing a cold beer, glass of wine or dessert! Enjoy live music too!

Why do we host $5 Dinners?

These dinners provide nourishing food at a great price while helping create a community connectedness, belonging and fellowship in the store (one of the Co-op’s vision statements). You can take the food to-go, but you can also eat your meal here, enjoy live music, conversation with your friends, run into your neighbors and hopefully meet someone new! $5 Dinners are about a lot more than just food!

One of the Co-op’s Core Value Statements: Concern for Community Play an active role in building thriving, sustainable relationships between our members, the store and the local community while sharing our resources for the betterment of the community in ways that honor our mission and cooperative principles.

Upcoming Dates and Menus:

Mon, Sept 10 | 4:30-7pm
BBQ Chicken Drumsticks or BBQ Tofu with Baked Beans and Slaw (NG)
Live Music: TBA

Tues, Oct 23 | 4:30-7pm
Meat or Veggie Stuffed Peppers, Sides TBA
Live Music: TBA

Tues, Nov 13 | 4:30-7pm
Meat or Veggie Shepard’s Pie, Sides TBA
Live Music: TBA

Tues, Dec 11 | 4:30-7pm
Mac and Cheese (Vegetarian and Vegan), Sides TBA
Live Music: TBA

The fine print: 

Menus subject to change. No substitutions. No further discounts. Evening hot bar on designated dates will be the $5 dinner. Price does not include salad bar. While supplies last. Seating may be limited.

908, 2018

Local Foods Potluck

August 9th, 2018|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

Join us at Brookside Park’s Maple Shelter for our annual Local Foods Potluck! Bring a dish to share featuring local ingredients (bring your own table setting too to help reduce waste!).

Saturday, August 25, 5:30-8pm
We’ll start eating at 6pm

Live Music: The Cornstars

Wheatsfield will provide a dish (meat and vegan) to share featuring local ingredients. We will also provide water, local beer and local wine! There’s a 2 drink ticket max on wine and beer, so bring your own drinks if you want more.

Enjoy tons of food, kids activities, games and a community atmosphere. All are welcome!



108, 2018

August Change for Community Recipient: The Legal Aid Society of Story County

August 1st, 2018|Categories: Blog, Co-op Nickel|0 Comments

The Legal Aid Society of Story County (Legal Aid) is a local nonprofit organization that has been representing low income residents of Story County in civil matters since 1974. We provides access to justice for residents needing assistance in certain civil legal matters. Legal Aid is not affiliated with the statewide Iowa Legal Aid. We offer income eligible residents of Story County a “full representation model” of legal services, which means that our clients receive the same type of legal representation that they would otherwise receive at a typical private law firm, from initial filing to resolution of their case. We have 3 full time attorneys and average about 350 cases (total) annually. To be eligible, clients must be residents of Story County, be at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines for their family size, and have a qualified civil legal problem.

Legal Aid also operates the Story County Volunteer Lawyer Project, which extends the same services to residents whose income is up to 175% of the federal poverty guidelines. This program coordinates client placement with volunteer attorneys in Story County. This highly successful program is in its third year of operation.

On July 1, 2018 our Co-op Nickel program was replaced by “Change for Community.” Instead of being asked to donate your bag refunds you will have the option to round-up to the nearest dollar and donate that change to the monthly Change for Community recipient. Many co-ops around the country have moved their donation program to this structure and they are raising a substantial amount of money for their local organizations!

Please let us know what non-profits you would like to see featured! 

108, 2018

Good Food Happy Hour!

August 1st, 2018|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

All August and September enjoy these Good Food Happy Hour Specials!

Monday & Wednesday: Applies to 12oz drinks, does not include additions.
Thursday: Fresh baguettes available around 1pm.
Friday: Limit 3 free sausages per customer.
Sunday: Includes any Bakery Case item $2.49 or above.

2707, 2018

The Seasonal Cucumber Bounty

July 27th, 2018|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

By Adam Calder, Produce Manager

The variety and quality of produce at farmers markets is ample and excellent. Gardens across the land are bursting with vegetables which were at first eagerly anticipated but perhaps more recently foisted on friends and family by the bucketful. Amidst all this produce, it is easy to overlook one of the humble stars of the summer months: the cucumber.

There are hundreds of cucumber varieties on the market, though they can be broken down into a few broader categories to make it easier to find the cucumber that best suits your particular needs.
Cornichon (also known as Gherkin): These small cucumbers are usually harvested when they are between one to four inches in length. They are often pickled in a vinegar brine or lacto-fermented and commonly served in relish trays, with pâtés or cold-cuts.


Any cucumber can be pickled, although certain varieties have been bred for characteristics that are desirable when processing cucumbers such as void-less flesh and uniformity in size and length. Pickling cucumbers are usually harvested when they are four inches long and one inch wide.

Seedless (also known as Burpless):

A production method similar to the one used to make seedless watermelon is used to make cucumbers that produce fruit without fertilized seeds. They tend to have thin skins so they dry out quickly after harvest. These cucumbers are commonly sold shrink-wrapped in plastic to extend their shelf life. English, Asian, Persian and Indian cucumber cultivars are some of the more commonly available seedless varieties. The fruit from some of these varieties can reach lengths of two feet.


The most commonly grown and consumed style of cucumber. These are grown with the intent they be eaten fresh and in their unripe green stage. When the fruits are left to mature fully, they become yellow with a sour flavor and tough seeds and skin. For markets in North America, these cucumbers are usually picked when they are five to twelve inches in length and two to three inches in diameter.

Easy Cucumber Salad

There are few pleasures in life as simple as a summer salad made with little more than fresh cucumbers, onions, sugar and vinegar. In fact, here is one such recipe that is sure to please all who make and eat it.

Just mix, chill for a couple of hours and enjoy.  Add fresh dill as a garnish.

1 lb cucumbers, sliced thin
1 small red onion, sliced thin
½ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup sugar
½ tsp salt

1007, 2018

Are you willing to run for a seat on the Board of Directors?

July 10th, 2018|Categories: Blog|Tags: |0 Comments

By Liz Kolbe, Board Member

I lost my bid for student council representative from Mrs. Hollibaugh’s homeroom in the sixth grade. Years later I was not elected Homecoming Queen. In graduate school I was not chosen as the winner of the chili cook-off, placing third to a chili with no beans, no tomatoes, and no ground meat (I maintain it was simply a cheese dip).

Soon after moving to Ames, some friends asked me to run for a seat on the Wheatsfield Board. Losing an election can put a hit on our ego, especially if it’s for something we care about. I cared about Wheatsfield, but as a new member I decided it was pretty ego-safe; if I lost, I didn’t know that many people anyway. When I ask members to consider running for the Wheatsfield Board of Directors, I sometimes sense that they, too, don’t want to run in the election and lose in front of their peers.

But while serving on the Board and recruiting candidates, I’ve learned that running for the Wheatsfield Board isn’t an act of celebrity (like Homecoming Queen or the chili cook-off), it’s an act of service. You are saying to the Wheatsfield membership: “I am willing to give of my time and skills to ensure that our Co-op continues in the right direction.” It’s a wonderful gift to give to Wheatsfield and the membership. No matter the outcome of the election, we will be grateful to know we can count on you to be an active leader in the Co-op.

What the Board does:
The Board works together with Wheatsfield management and staff to ensure that the needs of our member-owners are being met. The Directors work as a team to set policy, hire and evaluate the general manager, maintain the fiduciary responsibility of the Co-op and represent the membership to create a vision for the Co-op’s future. The Board meets monthly, and is also involved with Co-op events, like the Fourth of July parade and “Coffee with the Board.” Serving on the Board has allowed me to learn more about our Co-op, to meet many of our member-owners and to work alongside a group of caring and committed people.

All member-owners are welcome to apply to be a candidate for the Board of Directors. Three seats are up for election. Election will take place in Nov. 2018.

How to Apply

Read and complete the application packet:
• Pick up an application at the registers, or
• Download an application here.

Submit application to Linda Johnson, General Manager, via email or in person, by August 27, 11:59pm.

907, 2018

Locally Sourced: The Cellar Winery

July 9th, 2018|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

An interview with John Barber, Co-Founder of the Cellar Winery

(L to R: The Cellar logo, John Barber and Barb Hokel, Josh Ellenberg, The Cellar varietals carried at the Co-op)

A: There are five faces behind “The Cellar.” My wife, Barb Hokel, and I started the business, but now employ our son-in-law, Josh Ellenberg, as our Wine Maker, Christie Jensen as our Marketing Coordinator and we recently added Emilee Newell to assist in the tasting room. We all do whatever it takes to move our vision forward. It’s a small business!

A: As I believe most wineries in the Midwest begin, it was a dream of keeping busy in retirement and combining that with some fun. We started to discuss creating a vineyard operation in 2009, actually took over management of a vineyard in 2012, and that same year planted our own vineyard of Marquette grapes. WOW, the work was somewhat overwhelming, but as we learned our way it became clear that vineyards alone were not enough to sustain the venture especially when you consider all the work. We were about to withdraw from vineyard management and just harvest our small vineyard to make dry red for family and friends.

Things took a turn when I decided to leave the engineering firm that I worked at for 32 years. At that same time, friends of ours purchased the former White Oak Vineyards and Winery to set up an event venue. However, they didn’t want to manage the grapes and wine production. We talked, and there you have it! Still a ton of work but in time it will be sustainable.

Josh and I are engaged in the industry working with the Iowa Wine Growers Association, where I sit on the Board. We are also an apprenticeship winery and Josh is one of the first apprentices in the state. This all has helped us learn the craft, but it is an endless learning combination of art and science.

A: We grow Marquette and Frontenac and soon will be planting Frontenac Blanc.

A: We love red wine but also like to have a summer white as well. Frontenac Blanc is a newer variety that we feel has a lot of promise. When we look toward the West Coast wineries and vineyards, we see them specialize in particular varieties versus growing and making everything under the sun. We would like to find that niche in a dry red and white and feel these varieties are cold-hearty, disease resistant and make excellent wines.

We do purchase the following varieties from vineyards around Central Iowa:

• Iowa State University Research Farm (Gilbert, Iowa), La Crescent and Marquette
• Hickory Creek Vineyards (Adel, Iowa), Brianna, Frontenac Blanc, Marquette, Riesling, St. Pepin
• Tin Roof Vineyards (Baxter, Iowa), Edelweiss
• Victoria’s Vineyard (Altoona, Iowa), Edelweiss, La Crescent
• Back Country Winery (Stratford, Iowa), St. Pepin

A: Patience, knowing the chemistry and technical knowledge required for wine making, passion, and knowing the story about each wine and why these cold climate wines are so nice.

A: Meeting people. We are best at direct to consumer sales. The biggest reward is when a person has been dragged to an Iowa Winery by friends, but all they drink is Cabernet or Chardonnay and think all Iowa wines are low quality and sweet. When we sample our wines they are blown away at these nice, fruity crisp wines and then purchase a case.

I love all wines from all regions, as Thomas Jefferson said, “We could in the United States make as great a variety of wines as are made in Europe, not exactly of the same kinds, but doubtless as good.” I believe he was right and the same applies to these cold climate wines grown in the Midwest today versus the vinifera from the west coast.

A: 1) Being a part of a small team and having to grow grapes, maintain a facility, run a tasting room, make wine, do events, distribute wine, administrative work and have a life (life is the most important).

2) Convincing people that Iowa is not all sweet wine and taking that challenge to the industry as well.

This may sound cliché or corny – we prefer to remain a small boutique winery where excellent cold climate wines are shared with our friends and customers. We like to create personal connections and leave the stresses of the daily grind behind. Limit email and social media to connect our business to new friends and other businesses, while relying on human-to-human interaction for the most part. We love music, especially the Blues, and we love to make good wine. We would love to continue that indefinitely.

A: YES, people can visit the winery! It’s a great place to relax and visit. We have a ton of things happening, like music every other Thursday evening and a Vines to Wine series where we meet and discuss monthly activities and eventually will be making some wine with attendees.

Two big events this summer are:
• July 8th: The Reds Whites and The Blues Music Festival (four bands) Co-sponsored by Central Iowa Blues Society.
• Labor Day: Annual Polk County Breweries Invitational Harvest Event

207, 2018

Local Food Sale!

July 2nd, 2018|Categories: Blog|Tags: |0 Comments

Saturday, July 14

Join us to save 20% on local products around the Co-op (that’s right around 1,000 products!). Enjoy local vendor sampling, live music, a kids scavenger hunt and giveaways!

Local Vendors


Kalona Supernatural
Jenuinely Pure
Morning Bell Coffee Roasters


Cado Avocado Ice Cream
Raccoon Forks Farm
Avenues for Health

Kid’s Scavenger Hunt!

Co+op Explorers, discover local products around the store for a special treat!

Local Wine and Beer Sampling!

Join us in the Deli Seating Area and East Deck to sample wines and beers from the following local producers:

Kalona Brewing Co.
Millstream Brewing Co.
Mistress Brewing Co.
Firetrucker Brewing Co.
Iowa Brewing Co.
Exile Brewing Co.
Backcountry Winery

Live Music

Chris Myers

Dan DeGeest

207, 2018

July Happy Hour Specials!

July 2nd, 2018|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

The specials for June were so good, we decided to keep them for July!

Fine Print:
Monday & Wednesday: Applies to 12oz drinks, does not include additions.
Thursday: Fresh baguettes available around 1pm.
Friday: Limit 3 free sausages per customer.
Sunday: Includes any Bakery Case item $2.49 or above.

2706, 2018

8 Body Care & Supplement Must-Haves for Summer

June 27th, 2018|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

By Kim McDermott, Wellness Manager

Summertime in Iowa is a great for getting outside, traveling, or just enjoying the sunshine and the beauty in your own backyard and gardens. And though you may love the sunshine and the outdoors, these hot, windy, buggy summer days can take a toll on your skin and body. Engaging in strenuous activity in the heat can also cause the depletion of important electrolytes, causing dehydration, fatigue and exhaustion. So if you’re playing hard this summer, be sure to arm yourself with a good quality sunscreen, bugspray, and other items to protect your skin and body.

Here are a few of my top must haves for summer!

Acure, Micellar Cleansing Towelettes

These towelettes are saturated with micellar water, rose and cucumber extracts. Micellar water is one of the cooler innovations to happen to body care. Made up of tiny oil droplets suspended in water, micellar water acts like a magnet on dirt and sweat. These are great for removing make-up, a quick clean up post work-out, or anytime you just need to freshen up fast. No rinsing necessary.

Heritage Store, Rosewater

This lovely smelling rose water quenches dry summer skin. The mist can be used as a facial toner and hydrator, or even a perfume and body mist. Keeping it in the refrigerator makes it even more refreshing on a hot day!

Bug Soother, Bug Repellent

Produced by a family owned company in Iowa, this all natural bug spray contains lemongrass and vanilla. It’s deet- free and safe for adults, children and pets. Many customers swear by this product, and it smells great too!

Badger, Zinc Clear Sunscreen

Badger sunscreens are rated very safe by the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database. This new formula uses a clear non-nano zinc oxide, which acts as a physical barrier on top of the skin to prevent sunburn. Clear zinc offers the additional benefit of not leaving a white sheen on the skin, unlike regular zinc oxide.

Inesscents, CBD Skin Salve

CBD skin salve has myriad uses as a topical for the skin and body. CBD oil contains naturally occurring fatty acids, powerful antioxidants and vitamins, in addition to anti-inflammatory properties. The original CBD skin salve also contains skin healing herbs, which makes it a useful first aid remedy for bumps, bruises, bug bites, etc. Weekend warriors may find the anti-inflammatory aspect helpful for supporting sore joints and muscles after a strenuous workout.

Sunny Green, Organic Beetroot Powder

Made with organic whole beets, this powder offers the convenience of beets in a powder form. Beet root is touted as one of the new superfoods, due to its high nutrient density and ability to boost endurance. Specifically, beet root contains high levels of nitrates, which convert to nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide acts as a blood vessel dilator, which helps oxygenate the muscles, which in turn increases performance and endurance in any given activity.

Trace Minerals, Power Pak Electrolyte Packets

These handy packets can be added to your water bottle to supply needed electrolytes. These work great to rehydrate during the summer months, and are especially useful for athletes, farmers, and anyone working or exercising out in the summer heat. They provide essential electrolytes like sodium, potassium, and magnesium plus B vitamins and Vitamin C for immune support. Very low sugar, no artificial colors or flavors, no caffeine, and great flavors like raspberry and pomegranate/blueberry.

Lifeflo, Magnesium Lotion

Magnesium is known as the relaxation mineral, as it assists in the relaxation response of muscles. It’s necessary in hundreds of biochemical reactions in the body, and maintains healthy nerve and muscles, keeps the heart beating steady, and helps keep bones strong. Being physically active and perspiring a lot on a hot summer day can deplete your body of electrolytes like magnesium. The magnesium in this lotion is absorbed through the skin, making it an ideal treatment after strenuous activity and or for sore tired muscles. A magnesium topical lotion can be applied directly to the area that needs it the most, like sore calves or hamstrings. Great for helping prevent those painful night time leg cramps too!

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Upcoming Events

  1. Tiny Deck Concert: Pleather & Feather

    August 17 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
  2. neck spine

    Balancing Your Mind & Posture

    August 18 @ 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
  3. Canning

    Small Batch Canning

    August 21 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
  4. nate making bread

    Sourdough Bread at Home, The Basics

    August 23 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
  5. Local Foods Potluck

    August 25 @ 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm