Blog & Latest News2017-01-19T21:01:10-05:00
1904, 2021

Plastic Free Produce Storage

April 19th, 2021|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments



Make sure not to mix fruits & veggies
Fruits emit ethylene as they ripen; pairing them with veggies will result in premature spoilage.

Keep produce cool
Low temps slow the rate of respiration, which in turn keeps the item fresher, longer.

Avoid paper bags
Paper bags can draw moisture from fruits, so they are not great for long term storage *except where needed.

A clean dishtowel
These are a great substitute for items you’re used to storing in plastic bags

Water can damage delicate produce
Avoid washing produce until you’re ready to eat them

Cut the greens
Leafy tops from radishes, carrots. beets, etc. can draw moisture out of veggies, causing them to go limp and lose flavor. Store the greens in a separate mesh bag.

Pack veggies loosely in the fridge
The closer they are, the quicker they will rot.

• store in a cool, dark place – kitchen counter or shelf
• can also be left in the fridge for long term storage
• two weeks to several months

• place in a paper bag at room temp.
• put an apple in the bad to speed up ripening
• 2-3 days

• stand upright in place in a bowl or cup full of water
• store on the counter top at room temp
• 5-7 days for asparagus, 2-3 weeks for celery

Bell Peppers
• refrigerate pepper unwashed, in a reusable or paper bag in the vegetable drawer; keep dry
• red & yellow peppers last 4-5 days,
• green peppers about a week

• store in a single layer in the fridge or in a paper bag; don’t wash until ready to eat
• raspberries should be eaten within 2 days, strawberries in 3, blueberries about a week.

• mist the heads, wrap loosely in damp paper towels
• keep in the fridge
• 2-5 days

• cut off greens, place in a container with lid and cover completely in water
• keep in the fridge, changing water every 4-5 days

• store in a cool, dark place – kitchen counter or shelf
• keeping them cool and maintaining good air flow is essential
• 3-5 days

• keep refrigerated or in an air tight container
• don’t wash until ready
• 4-10 days

• wrap in a moist towel
• store in the fridge
• 2-4 days

• if you don’t intend to eat the eggplant within 2 days, it should be wrapped in a paper towel and placed in the crisper of your refrigerator
• 7-10 days

• store in a closed container in the fridge
• store basil in a jar loosely packed with damp paper on the counter
• 1 week max for fresh herbs; try drying to extend life

Kale/ Hardy Greens
• remove bands & twist ties
• refrigerate a cup of water like a bouquet in the fridge
• 5-7 days depending on the type

• remove bands & twist ties
• refrigerate in an airtight container with a damp cloth
• 3-10 days depending on the type of green

• store in a cool, dark place – kitchen counter or shelf
• don’t refrigerate until ripe!
• store cut fruit in the fridge upside down on a plate

• store in an open paper bag in the fridge, not in a crisper drawer
• 4-7 days

• store each veggie separately in a cool, dry, and dark place, loose in a box or a paper bag
• good air circulation will maintain longevity
• potatoes, 1-2 weeks
onions/garlic, 2-4 weeks

Root Vegetables
• remove greens and store separately
• store in an open container with a damp cloth
• 1-2 weeks

Stone fruits
• Should be stored on the counter until ripe; store in a paper bag to accelerate ripening.
• can be refrigerated for 1-2 days once ripe
• 3-5 days total

• summer squash may be left on a cool counter for a few days or wrapped in a cloth and refrigerated
• winter squash should be stored in a dark, cool ventilated space
• (whole) winter squash, 1-2 weeks
summer squash, 5-7 days

• store on the counter until ripe; can store in a paper bag with ethylene-emitting fruits (apples/bananas) to accelerate ripening
• never refrigerate unless cut
• up to 2 weeks depending on ripeness

1404, 2021

Earth Week Activities at the Co-op

April 14th, 2021|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

Earth Week Activities at the Co-op!

April 19-24, Earth Month themed activities, sustainably geared information, and giveaways culminating in our Produce Sale!

Monday, April 26, 10am
Event: Clean Up Around the Co-op

NO RSVP NEEDED! Join Co-op Staff to Stash the Trash around the Co-op in honor of Earth Day! Trash bags and a snack provided!

Tuesday, April 20, 4:30-7pm
Event: $5 Dinner is Back!

We know this isn’t really Earth Month themed, but it’s back after a year this week! Take out only, served in to-go containers off the Hotbar.

Thai Chicken Curry (no gluten) or
Thai Tempeh (vegan, no-gluten)
with Steamed Jasmine Rice & Roasted Veggies
Future dates and menu to be determined.

Wednesday, April 21, 6:30pm
Class: Beginner Bike Repair with Skunk River Cycles, Free!

Want to learn how to fix a flat or to oil your chain? Some simple preventative maintenance can keep your bike working well and help you avoid costly future repairs. Join iconic Skunk River Cycles owner, Ronn Ritz as he talks you through some of the basics of bike repair. Class will be located in the parking lot, masks required and participants will be spaced apart. RSVP’s required.

Thursday, April 22
Giveaway: Seed Saver’s Exchange Seed Packets

THE TRADITION CONTINUES! We are giving away 500+ Local Seed Saver’s Exchange seed packets at the registers in honor of Earth Day! All day, while supplies last, one per customer, no purchase necessary.

Friday, April 23
SAVE: Earth Week Produce Sale

Celebrate Earth Week with a Produce Department sale! Member-Owners and Student Members save 15% on a regularly priced produce, Non-Members save 5%.

Friday, April 23, 2-5pm
Activity: Plant Some Seeds

Come one, come all! Join Co-op Staff outside the store to start your garden. We will provide a selection of local Seed Savers Exchange seeds and seedling cups with soil. Masks & social distancing will be observed.

Saturday, April 24
SAVE: Earth Week Produce Sale

Celebrate Earth Week with a Produce Department sale! Member-Owners and Student Members save 15% on a regularly priced produce, Non-Members save 5%.

Saturday, April 24, 11am-2pm
Activity: Plant Some Seeds

Come one, come all! Join Wheatsfield co-op Board Members outside the store to start your garden. We will provide a selection of local Seed Savers Exchange seeds and seedling cups with soil. Masks & social distancing will be observed.

All Month
Activity: Earth Day Coloring Contest

Get coloring for Earth Month! Winners picked at the end of the month by Co-op staff. 5 winners will receive a kids club gift! Hand in coloring pages at the front registers. Please write name and contact on back when entering.
Pick up a coloring page in store or print one at home! Download here

Earth Day Starts at Home

Are you working to waste less this year and use more of the food you buy? Here are a dozen tips that can help reduce your waste, and as a bonus, save you money!
Curtesy of Co+op, Welcome to the Table
Irish Cow, Grazing on Pasture

Pasture Perfect: How Livestock Can Slow Climate Change

Adopting a plant-rich diet is one of the top things we can do as individuals to help slow climate change, but can some of the most popular foods fit into such a diet? Cheese, ice cream, bacon and eggs—did we mention cheese?

We’re happy to share that many climate scientists and agronomists agree that more sustainably produced dairy, meat and animal products are possible; some even say that animals are an essential part of a thriving, regenerative farming system.

Curtesy of Co+op, Welcome to the Table

Plastic Free Produce Storage

Check out these great tips on our Blog post for extending the life of your produce.

Beeswax Food Wraps

Check out this easy recipe for making your own Beeswax Food Wraps!
1304, 2021

April 2021, Word From the Board

April 13th, 2021|Categories: Blog|Tags: , |0 Comments

Casey Szymanski
Board of Directors

Spring Has Finally Arrived,

and here at Wheatsfield we are anticipating more local produce and the celebration of Earth Day next week! Did you know environmental responsibility is one of our co-op’s core values? And more than just a day-long celebration, our store embodies a commitment to sustainability throughout the year in numerous ways, large and small. We embrace environmental stewardship with:

-Our business practices: The City of Ames has recognized Wheatsfield’s sustainability efforts with its highest-level Platinum certification in its Smart Business challenge for the past 5 years, recognizing the ongoing commitment to the innovation of Wheatsfield staff in continuing to improve sustainability systems in the store. Learn more about specific store waste and energy reduction efforts on our website.

-Our support for community: We invested in the SunSmart Ames community solar project and annually select several environmental organizations as recipients of the Change for Community register roundup program.

-Championing producers and products that embody our environmental commitment: Thanks to our Member-Owner and customer support this past fiscal year organic sales were 40% and local sales were 23.7% of total store sales.

Despite all these successes, we recognize there is much more work to be done to create a thriving environment for all. Let us know if you have any questions about our sustainability efforts or products. You can ask a staff member or leave a comment in the feedback box located in the main entrance vestibule. Help us do better together!

Also, if you are able, please consider stopping by the Co-op for some of these fun, sustainability-focused upcoming events. As the pandemic continues, we of course are still prioritizing the safety of customers and staff; all events will still require face masks and social distancing.

Mon., Apr. 19            Stash the Trash at the Co-op – 10AM

Tues., Apr. 20          $5 Dinner – 4:30pm-7pm – To-go on Hotbar

Wed., Apr 21             Beginner Bike Repair – 6:30pm – RSVP Online

Thurs., Apr. 22        Earth Day Seed Packet Giveaway – At the registers

Fri., Apr. 23              Produce Sale! & Plant-A-Seed – 2PM-5PM – Outside the Co-op

Sat., Apr. 24              Produce Sale! & Plant-A-Seed – 11AM-2PM – Outside the Co-op

We hope you join us at one of the Wheatsfield Earth Week activities this month. There is much to celebrate about what is possible when we come together as a cooperative community with shared values and a strong commitment to protecting people and our environment.

1004, 2021

Earth Week Produce Sale

April 10th, 2021|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

Friday, April 23 – Saturday, April 24

Celebrate Earth Week with a Co-op Produce Department Sale! Member-Owners and Student Members save 15% on all regularly priced produce, Non-Members save 5%.

3103, 2021

April Change for Community: Outdoor Alliance of Story County

March 31st, 2021|Categories: Blog, Co-op Nickel|0 Comments

Clean Water, Heathy Food

The Outdoor Alliance of Story County (Outdoor Alliance) is a non-profit organization founded in 2013 at the request of Mike Cox, the Director of Story County Conservation.

Since then, the Outdoor Alliance has raised funds for land acquisitions, trails, adult outdoor education, county park improvements, reconnecting the South Skunk River in Ames at the dam in North River Valley Park and improving water access at Ada Hayden Heritage Park.

Our service outings have involved collecting prairie seed, planting trees, trail maintenance, removing old fencing and more, working with Story County Conservation, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation and other formal and informal groups and individuals.

Plans for 2021 include raising funds for Story County Conservation’s on-going water monitoring program. This is the first step in addressing water quality issues in the county. Improving water quality will enhance our health, the viability of our communities and outdoor recreational opportunities.

Still, much remains undone and the Outdoor Alliance is working to make more of these projects possible. Wheatsfield, Story County Conservation, the Outdoor Alliance and so many other groups and individuals are all working for the kind of world we want to live in and leave to those that follow.

The Outdoor Alliance mission is to enhance outdoor recreation, education and conservation in Story County. For more information about the Outdoor Alliance, our on-going and previous projects, as well as membership information, please visit

Greg Vitale
Outdoor Alliance Board Treasurer

2603, 2021

March 2021 Board Meeting Highlights

March 26th, 2021|Categories: Blog|Tags: |0 Comments

1. The Board finalized a vision statement for Wheatsfield Co-op, which is nested among the Mission and Core Values. The Vision reads: “Everyone’s favorite place to shop, learn, and connect.” This action completes the Board’s 2020-2021 update of the Mission, Vision, and Core Values.
2. Wheatsfield’s financials are strong, with rolling year-to-date sales 15.47% higher than the previous fiscal year and a strong cash position. Our current financial position has been driven by larger basket sizes and steadfast customer support during the pandemic. Thank you, members and shoppers!
3. The Board discussed the importance of the Co-op community in maintaining a safe environment for shopping during the pandemic. We extend our special thanks to the Wheatsfield staff – from the managers to the cashiers and all other staff – for their diligence and leadership in this effort. Thank you, staff!

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