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Blog & Latest News2017-01-19T21:01:10-05:00
1802, 2019

La Riojana Cooperative Fair Trade Wines & Olive Oils

February 18th, 2019|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

La Riojana Cooperative Fair Trade Wines

La Riojana Wines Cooperative, a collection of Fair Trade Certified farms in Argentina, is the single largest producer of Fairtrade certified wines in the world. Each wine stands for the ethos of the winery, teaching La Riojana growers to produce wine using sustainable and ethical farming practices as well as supporting health and education throughout their communities.

When you purchase La Riojana wines you are not just purchasing quality wine, you are helping more than 422 cooperative members continue to invest in a brighter future.

La Riojana Malbec

This dark, full-bodied Malbec shows off its intensity with herbal berry aromas. Pumped-up candied black-fruit flavors are thick and gooey, with cooked brown sugar, mint and toasty flavors on the finish. A perfect match for grilled red meats, tomato based pasta dishes, cheese or chocolate.

La Riojana Cabernet Sauvignon

This wine is clear and bright with a deep ruby color. It’s a sophisticated wine with concentrated, succulent fruit. It is dry in the mouth with silky tannins. It has pronounced intensity flavors of dark plums, dark cherries, cocoa, and hints of coffee. Enjoy with pasta, grilled steak, pork chops, meats or stews.

La Riojana Cooperative Fair Trade Olive Oils

La Riojana produces Fairtrade extra virgin olive oil from select olives grown in the Antinaco Valleys in South America. This is one of the most important olive producing regions in South America. They received Fair Trade certification for their olive oils in 2015, the first producer in Latin America to do so.

Extra virgin Fairtrade olive oil

A balanced blend made from Arauco, Arbequina and Manzanilla olive varieties with a ripe olive bouquet and notes of almonds and spices.

Extra virgin Fairtrade organic olive oil

A blend of Arauco and Manzanilla organic olive varieties with an aroma of green and ripe olives and notes of dried fruits and a combination of spicy and sweet flavors.

 

1502, 2019

10 Year Celebration!

February 15th, 2019|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

Can you believe Wheatsfield moved to Northwestern Ave 10 years ago! Wow! AND, 45 years ago, the Co-op was founded as Mutual Aid Food Association (MAFA) on the ISU Campus. Celebrate with us on Saturday, March 9th from 10am-4pm!

More details to come, but here is what is planned now:

GIVEAWAYS

300 Coffee Cups! 11oz cups with the Wheatsfield logo. Starting at 10am. One per person.
$50 Gift Cards! Sign-up to win or win at random as you check out!

LIVE MUSIC

Tom Russell + Friends 11am-1pm
Ben Shrag +  The Cautionaries 1:30-3:30pm

Deli Seating Area

SAMPLES!

10am-Noon
Nebullam, Ames
Kalona Supernatural, Kalona

Noon-2pm
CADO Ice Cream, Fairfield
Saltlickers, Nevada
Agri-cultured, Waukee
Jenuinely Pure, Ames

Avenues for Health, Massages

KID’S SCAVENGER HUNT

Discover items around the Co-op, get a prize!

502, 2019

Ten Words for Ten Years

February 5th, 2019|Categories: Blog|Tags: |0 Comments

Megan Myers2019 Quarter 1 Board Report
By Megan Myers, Board Member

March 18, 2009 marks Wheatsfield’s move to its current 413 Northwestern Avenue location. As Wheatsfield approaches the tenth year since its expansion and relocation, this decade-long anniversary serves as an ample time to reflect on what Wheatsfield means to the community. At recent $5 dinners (if you haven’t yet checked these out, I would highly recommend them!) I asked ten individuals who were enjoying their dinners alongside family and friends to define Wheatsfield in just one word.

FRIENDLY. COMMUNITY. RECIPROCAL. YUMMY. INCLUSIVE. EDUCATIONAL. LOCAL. COOPERATIVE. SUSTAINABLE. GIVING.

These are only ten words, from just a handful of community members, that attempt to describe all that Wheatsfield encompasses. The ten responses are different, but also connected. They speak to the mission of the co-op, but also to the store culture and product selection. A reflection on the tenth anniversary of the store location on Northwestern also entails looking back and remembering the previous store locations, the roots of the Wheatsfield that our community knows and enjoys today. To offer a brief history, Wheatsfield first opened its doors in Ames (then known as the Mutual Aid Food Association or MAFA) at Alumni Hall on Iowa State’s Campus in 1974. Three years later, a new storefront opened in downtown Ames on 136 Main Street and in 1980 the store was moved to 413 Douglas, where it remained for 29 years. While operating from this longstanding location, approximately 3,000 square feet, the co-op saw many important changes: the addition of a small eating area, the joining of the National Cooperative Grocers in 2002, and the establishment of the patronage dividend system, to mention only a few.

As a new board member and a Mom of young children, I might add that my one-word description of Wheatsfield is accessible; the co-op is not only easily accessed by bike, by foot, by stroller, or by car, but the space itself proves accessible for our youngest and oldest community members. Regardless of the word(s) that describe Wheatsfield, the important realization is that these values – the ways that people view and define the co-op and its mission and outreach – are constants. Alumni Hall, Main Street, Douglas, or Northwestern, regardless of location, the heart of the store is a constant. Happy tenth year anniversary, 413 Northwestern!

502, 2019

Fair Trade Roses for Valentine’s Day

February 5th, 2019|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

Fair Trade Roses

Arrive Thursday, February 7

  • $2.49 Each
  • $27.49 Dozen

Available in traditional red and vibrant colors like yellow, purple and peach. Fair trade roses from One World Flowers help support a fair wage, benefits, environmental protection and economic development in the Ecuadorian communities where they are grown.

102, 2019

2019 CSA Fair

February 1st, 2019|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

Saturday, February 16, 1-4pm
Community Room

Stop by our annual CSA Fair to learn more about CSAs, meet local CSA farmers and sign-up for their 2019 offerings.

Farms Attending:
Raccoon Forks Farm, Red Field
Backyard Harvest, Maxwell
Lee’s Greens, Nevada
Onion Creek Farm, Ames
Wabi Sabi Farm, Granger
Thankful Harvest, Holstein
Heritage Hill Farm, Ames

What is a CSA?
CSA (community supported agriculture) consumers pay the farmer a lump sum at the beginning of the season and receive a weekly share of vegetables (or other farm products) throughout the growing season.

102, 2019

January Board Meeting Highlights

February 1st, 2019|Categories: Blog|Tags: |0 Comments

1. Year-to-date sales were 6.5% below the previous year, but actual sales remain above budgeted sales.

2. Sales to members in December 2018 were 80.5%; the highest ever percent of total sales to members. Thank you for your support!

3. The board set the meeting schedule for 2019, and reviewed dates the board and education and outreach committee members will volunteer at store events.

4. Wheatsfield currently has 6,190 members, and an additional 123 non-equity student members (student memberships are renewed annually).

5. The most recent $5 dinner brought 321 people into the store. Wheatsfield is considering adding a Saturday or Sunday brunch to attract additional shoppers.

3001, 2019

February Change for Community Recipient: Good Neighbor Emergency Assistance

January 30th, 2019|Categories: Blog, Co-op Nickel|0 Comments

Since 1997, Good Neighbor Emergency Assistance, Inc. (Good Neighbor) has provided needed assistance and support to thousands of households throughout Story County.  The agency provides rental and utility assistance in an effort to avoid homelessness and/or the disruption of essential services. Healthy Food Vouchers are given to ensure that nutritious meals are available within the home. Gas Vouchers are available to assist with emergency transportation needs.  All assistance is provided in an atmosphere of dignity, comfort and encouragement.
Funding from the Change for Community program will support the agency’s Healthy Food Voucher Program (HFVP). The HFVP provides Story County residents with vouchers that are good for the purchase of meat, dairy products, eggs, fruits and vegetables from one of five Ames grocery stores (including Wheatsfield Co-op*) as well as stores in Nevada, Story City, Slater and Huxley.  Each voucher can be used to purchase up to $10 worth of food items. Three vouchers are distributed at a time, up to four times per year. Last year, Good Neighbor distributed vouchers worth $41,059 to Story County households.
* Did you know? Wheatsfield treats redeemed vouchers as a donation, we do not ask for reimbursement.
Round up at the registers to support Good Neighbor during February!
2801, 2019

Wine, Cheese & Chocolate Sale

January 28th, 2019|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

It’s back! Our “Best Sale Ever.” Shop the Co-op on Friday, February 8 & Saturday, February 9 to save 20% off on Wine, Cheese and Chocolate! Grab what you need to make your Valentine’s Day even more special. We will have plenty of decadent samples in the store both days.

2301, 2019

Sustainable Agriculture Colloquium

January 23rd, 2019|Categories: Blog|Tags: , |0 Comments

January 2019 Produce Parable

By Adam Calder

The Iowa State University Sustainable Agriculture graduate program recently reached out to me to see if I was interested in discussing my role in procuring local food for the Ames and Iowa community. I eagerly agreed to be part of a panel discussion on local food procurement and distribution with three other panelists: Dan Olmstead, produce manager at the west Hy-vee in Ames; Karen Rodekamp, Manager at ISU Campus Dining Services; and Patty Yoder, Executive Director/Coordinator at Food at First in Ames.

We all discussed our roles, big and small, in sourcing and distributing local food.  On the big end there is the Farm to ISU program Rodekamp helped start at ISU. This program buys produce directly from local farmers and feeds it to ISU students, faculty and staff in the halls of dining service.  Rodekamp said she started the program by reaching out to local farmers and discussing her needs with them.

According to Rodekamp, communication is an important factor in the success of the ISU local food program. “Our growers needed to know that specifications were important to us,” Rodekamp said.  “So bringing them into our facilities and letting them see what our operation was like was important to us.  Working with the ISU Extension program we had a lot of workshops along the way and then, in turn, our staff went to the growers.  We went and weeded rows and rows of melons and crops to see what it took for those growers to get the product to us so it was a two way communication.  I think that’s what made it successful from the beginning.”

In the middle Olmstead talked about the Homegrown Program at Hy-vee, where anything grown within 200 miles of the each store’s front door can be labelled with a “homegrown” sign.  Olmstead said he works with several local farmers throughout the year.

“We work with six growers all year round at the west Ames Hy-vee,” Olmstead said, “during peak season we can work with another ten additional growers.”

On the smaller end of the scale, Patty Yoder talked about feeding the community via Food at First.  “We’re a free meal program and we also have a food pantry. It’s primarily for those in need but everyone is welcome.”

Yoder also spoke of how the service wouldn’t exist if not for the generosity of the community. “There’s no funding except for donations. All of our food comes from local businesses, Iowa State, local growers, the Hort Farm and anywhere anyone has excess food,” Yoder said. “We’re all about recycling and using that food in a good way. Last year we served 26,000 hot meals and we served 44,000 people in our pantry. We’re open every single day.  We serve every day of the year, every weekend, every holiday, every single day you can get a hot meal.  It’s pretty cool we have that in Ames, and it’s only because of the people and the businesses.  Everyone who donates food to us, it’s only because we built those relationships.”

During my turn to speak, I talked about the quality standards in the Wheatsfield produce department and some of the requirements to sell produce to the cooperative. I expressed how important our standards of quality are, and how important it is that the farms we buy produce from grow that produce organically.  While organic certification is not required to sell produce to Wheatsfield, we do give the highest priority to produce that we can represent as organic since that is what our customers desire.

A couple members of the audience asked what we as local food procurement professionals do ensure diversity among the farms we source our produce from.  All panelists agreed that while the majority of the farmers we buy produce from are Caucasian, it is mainly because that is the demographic of most farmers in Iowa.  None of us prohibit anyone from selling produce to our respective businesses because of their minority status.  Everyone is given the same chance to sell produce to Wheatfield, and everyone is held accountable to the same standards and requirements to ensure fairness and transparency.

There were common threads tying all the panelists together.  Everyone has standards and protocols in place to address quality and accountability.  We all talked about the importance of building and maintaining relationships between the people who grow food, the people who sell food and the people who buy and eat food.  All were grateful for the hard work and dedication of Iowa farmers.

This panel was but the first of many designed to foster and further the discussion on sustainably produced local food.  If you are interested in attending the rest of the discussions, they are scheduled for every other Wednesday from January 30 through April 24th.  The colloquium starts at 3:10 p.m. and goes until 5:00 p.m. in room 0013 Curtis Hall on Iowa State University’s central campus, and is open to the public.  If you need additional information, you can reach out to Kristine Lang at kneu@iastate.edu.

1701, 2019

Easy Ways to Incorporate CBD Oil Into Your Diet

January 17th, 2019|Categories: Blog, Recipes|Tags: , |0 Comments

CBD is a supplement! Use as directed by your doctor.

The taste of pure unfiltered CBD oil is often described as nutty, earthy or grassy. You might like this additional flavor to your dishes, you might not! If adding to cooked food, do not overheat. This can alter the effectiveness and taste of the oil. Instead, add it to your dish after you’ve removed it from heat or whisk it into a dish topping.

• Drizzle on toast.

• Add to a smoothie, juice, coffee, turmeric golden milk or other drink of choice.

• Add to pasta sauce, pesto, a nut butter, guacamole or hummus.

• Add it to salad dressings.

• Stir in with yogurt.

• Look up recipes for baked goods like fat bombs or chocolate cups.

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