The Ames Animal Shelter exists as a safe place where animals without a human voice to speak for them can find comfort and safety. They believe every life that comes through their doors matters—be it wild, domestic, or somewhere in-between. Through their services, education, and advocacy, they work to build a humane community that promotes compassion and seeks to strengthen the human-animal bond. By partnering with their dedicated volunteers, donors, and community supporters, they can run a progressive animal sheltering agency that always puts the needs of their animals above all else.
They are proud to serve the Ames community as a no-kill animal shelter. Since 2005, the Ames Animal Shelter has boasted an over 90% live release rate, with an over 95% live release rate since 2015. They pride themselves on their transparency, ensuring all of their statistical data is posted on their website. Because every beating heart that comes in their doors matters, you will see that every animal is accounted for in their statistical data regardless of age, breed, or condition upon arrival. It is their solemn pledge that no animal’s life end by their hands unless that animal is suffering from irremediable conditions, in which case they feel it is their duty as caregivers to end the suffering.
Each year the Co-op’s Wellness Department puts together a favorites list for the new year. These products are hand selected by our wellness staff and represent go-to products for both co-op staff and customers. Best wishes from the Wellness Department for a healthy and safe 2021.
Listed in no particular order.
1. Gaia Herbs Black Elderberry Syrup
Elderberry syrup has historically been used for immune health, especially during the winter months. Gaia’s syrup is an elderberry concentrate that provides a meaningful, potent dose, with each teaspoon providing the equivalent of 14 grams of fresh elderberries. We like that it’s made from organic elderberries and is low in sugar.
2. Wild Carrot Vanilla Bean Face Cream
A skin care medley of chocolate, vanilla, and rich skin butters that smells heavenly! This richly moisturizing concentrated blend contains cocoa butter, shea butter, and sea buckthorn oil, and absorbs readily into the skin. Wild Carrot is a small Oregon company with an ethos of caring and respect for the land and planet. This translates into using organic ingredients and glass packaging that can be recycled. A best seller!
3. Organic India Ashwagandha
Sometimes called ‘Indian Ginseng’, ashwagandha has been used for centuries as a botanical source for energy and vitality. Being an adaptogenic herb, it provides a healthy response to physical, emotional, and environmental stress. This is one of the Co-op’s top selling supplements.
4. Booda Organics Booda Butter
This buttery moisturizer gets my skin through the dry Iowa winters! An all in one moisturizing butter that contains only 5 simple ingredients, including cocoa and shea butters for long lasting moisture. Use it on skin, hair, lips, cuticles, and more.
5. Trace Minerals Power Pak
Power paks are flavored electrolyte packets that contain 1,200mg of Vitamin C, plus vitamins and minerals, including the essential electrolytes potassium, calcium, and magnesium. What makes them stand out from other brands is the low sugar, no caffeine, and no artificial colors or flavors. These little packs really are powerful, and are great for pre and post workouts, to combat dehydration, and to fight fatigue. Just add a packet to your water bottle.
6. Mad Hippie Facial Cleanser
Mad Hippie skin care is one of the newest additions to the Wellness facial care section, and has developed a loyal customer following in a short time. The cream cleanser checks all the boxes: clean ingredients, doesn’t dry out sensitive skin, gentle formula with bioactives that provide antioxidants and skin rejuvenating properties. Oh, and its subtle orchid scent is so refreshing!
7. Garden of Life CBD Intensive Recovery Lotion
A high potency CBD lotion that provides 800 mg of CBD in a THC-free formula. A good choice when you are looking for a non-greasy, effective, and concentrated option.
8. Carlson Melatonin Gummies
Carlson offers you an easy and tasty form of melatonin in a 2.5 mg gummy. These delicious strawberry gummies are vegetarian and low in sugar.
9. Nordic Naturals Immune Daily Defense
Nordic has come up with a convenient product that combines four of the most popular immune supporting ingredients: Elderberry, Vitamin C, Vitamin D3, and zinc. These powerful nutrients provide antioxidant support for a healthy response to immune stressors. Can be used on a daily basis.
10. Moon Valley Lotion Bars
Lotion in a bar – it doesn’t get any more convenient than that! These wonder bars glide right over dry, cracked skin to hydrate and soften. Simple, clean ingredients provide day long hydration. In two scents, lavender and lemon vanilla.
With very little effort, and fresh and organic ingredients from the co-op, it’s easy to whip up an impressive mocktail everyone can celebrate!
Grapefruit & Lychee Fizz
1 large red grapefruit, peeled and seeded
2 Tbsp lime juice
8 Canned lychees, drained
mint leaves (optional)
In a blender, combine grapefruit, lime juice, and lychees until smooth. Strain, discarding solids; divind juice equally among 4 champagne glasses and top with sparkling water. Garnish with a grapefruit twist, lychee, and some mint, if desired. To make this a cocktail, add a shot of vodka or gin.
Pomegranate & Fennel Elixir
1/2 cup unsweetened pomegranate juice
1 Gala apple, cored
1/2 cup roughly chopped fennel bulb
2 Tbsp lime juice
In a blender, combine all ingredients, except sparkling water, until smooth. Strain, discarding solids, and divide juice equally among 4 highball glasses filled with ice. Top each glass with sparkling water. Garnish with some pomegranate seeds, if desired. To make this a cocktail, add a shot of vodka.
Turmeric Orange Tonic
3 oranges, peeled and seeded
1 inch knob gingerroot
1 inch piece fresh turmeric root, peeled
1 cup ice
In a blender, combine oranges, ginger, turmeric, and ice until smooth. Strain, discarding solids, and divide juice equally among 4 ice-filled tumbler glasses. Top each glass with ginger kombucha. Stir to mix and garnish with an orange wedge, if desired. To make this a cocktail, add a shot of rum.
Glorious Green Cooler
2 English cucumbers, roughly chopped
2 cups green grapes
3 kiwi fruits, peeled
1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves
1 cup brewed green tea
Still mineral water
In a blender, combine all ingredients, except mineral water, until smooth. Strain into a pitcher, discarding solids, and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour. Divide among 6 ice-filled tumbler glasses and top with still mineral water or extra chilled green tea, if desired. Garnish with slices of cucumber, frozen green grapes, and mint leaves, if desired. To make this a cocktail, add a shot of tequila.
The holidays offer us an ideal time to reflect and as I look back and reflect on the year as a Wheatsfield board member, the first thing that comes to mind is our revised mission statement: “The Co-op offers food, services and education to cultivate a healthy environment and socially just community.” The statement, unveiled at our annual meeting of the members this past October, builds on the cooperative principals and also speaks to the values that form the core of Wheatsfield’s daily practices and role in the community (see more here: https://www.wheatsfield.coop/history/).
In the spirit of reflection, with a new year around the corner and the holiday season upon us, it is equally important to remain grounded in the present (or the presents!). For many of us, this reality might mean procuring final gifts, stocking stuffers, or maybe just brainstorming a last-minute way to show someone you care about them. Let Wheatsfield give you the “gift” of a safe space to shop for those final holiday purchases—where you can also give back to your community (and round up your purchase for our monthly Change for Community!).
Allow me to recommend a few of my favorites:
Chocolate—try fair trade and organic chocolates from Lake Champlain and Theo Chocolates.
Gift card—the gift that keeps giving!
Wine/beer—try the incoming (Dec. 17) Winter Cider from Jefferson County Brewing. (Alternatively, if you’re in-store, build your own 6-pack of Iowa beer …the perfect personalized gift!)
Coffee and tea—get that water boiling and give Celestial Seasonings’ “Candy Cane Lane” a go!
For seasonal produce organic pomegranates and winter citrus favorites like satsuma mandarins are in stock!
For the perfect stocking-stuffer, you could purchase Badger chapstick—I recommend the Cinnamon Swirl flavor.
Local Eggnog from Picket Fence Creamery—this is perfect if you’re looking for something to add to your contactless cookie box drop-off on friends’ front porches!
A fresh persimmon is one of winter’s lesser known treats, and with a little bit of foreknowledge one can incorporate persimmons into their winter celebrations.
Persimmons are a member of the genus Diospyros, which in ancient Greece translated loosely to “divine fruit.” They are native to China, but are grown in Asia and the United States as well. The word “persimmon” come from the Algonquian language, and means “a dry fruit.”
pictured: fuyu persimmons
It is odd that “persimmon” means “a dry fruit,” as anyone who has ever eaten a ripe persimmon knows they are in fact juicy, succulent gems. There are two varieties commonly sold in the United States, Fuyu and Hachiya, and they both do start out rather firm and dry, so perhaps this is where the name comes from.
Fuyu’s are flat, and Hachiya are more acorn-shaped. The Fuyu can be eaten at any stage of ripeness, be it firm and dry or soft and juicy. They are delicious at any stage, although they do get sweeter as they get softer.
This fantastic fruit can be eaten whole, just like an apple. The Hachiyas should first be allowed to ripen to a soft, jelly like consistency before they are eaten. This seems counter-intuitive and flies in the face of everything we’ve ever been taught about selecting fruit, but trust me; you do not want to eat an under-ripe Hachiya. In their unripe stage, they are full of tannins and therefore incredibly astringent. A bite of an unripe Hachiya will make your mouth implode into an arid wasteland of crippled taste buds, so make sure you let it get soft and juicy first!
Persimmons ripen rapidly at room temperature, so store them in a refrigerator until a couple of days before you want to eat or cook with them. They will continue to ripen in your refrigerator, but at a greatly reduced rate. If you find they have become soft, squishy and ripe and you still are not ready to use them, then remove the stem of the plant and then toss the whole fruit, peel and all, into a blender, food processor or food mill and then put the puree in a ziplock bag or other freezer safe container and freeze until needed.
Persimmons have been used in this country to make a special holiday dish, persimmon pudding, since the 1800’s, when persimmon trees were first introduced to the United States. If you are looking to start a “new” holiday tradition, then try out this recipe from the mid-1800’s:
2 cups pureed persimmons
1 cup white sugar
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
6 cups milk
1 tablespoon butter
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together eggs and persimmons in a large mixing bowl, then whisk in sugar. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and soda. Add half the dry mixture to the wet mixture, then alternate between adding the dry mix and the milk to the wet mixture until all are fully incorporated. Pour into a large greased casserole dish or crock, cut the tablespoon of butter into little pieces and place them on top. Bake for 2 ½ hours. If you want the dish to be more like pudding, stir it every 15 minutes in the oven. If you would like it to be more like a dense cake or brownie, do not stir.
Highlights from the November 2020 Board of Directors Meeting.
1. The board reviewed sales and financials for September and October. Sales in both months were strong, with rolling year-to-date sales ahead of FY2019 by 22.59%. Thank you members and shoppers, for your support!
2. The board revised and updated Wheatsfield Cooperative’s Core Values statements, which will be approved at the January meeting and then made available on the website.
3. As the first board meeting with newly-elected board members, the board elected officer positions and approved committees and chairs for 2021:
Board Officers for 2020
Liz Kolbe, President
Kevin Stow, Vice President
Ron Eichmeier, Treasurer
Rachel Dakarian, Secretary
Ron Eichmeier, Chair
Penny Brown Huber
General Manager Evaluation Committee
Liz Kolbe, Chair
Nominations/Board Recruitment Committee
Jeff Kushkowski, Chair