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Blog & Latest News2017-01-19T21:01:10-05:00
1806, 2019

Local Sale!

June 18th, 2019|Categories: Blog|Tags: |0 Comments

Saturday, July 13

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 activity and giveaways!

Stay tuned for local producer sampling details!

No further discounts. Non-members save 10%. 

1106, 2019

June, July & August Change for Community Recipient: The Co-op!

June 11th, 2019|Categories: Blog, Co-op Nickel|0 Comments

Round-up for a Bread Slicer!

The response to the email we sent at the beginning of May about restructuring our member loan debt has been overwhelmingly positive. We have heard from many people about how important Wheatsfield is to member-owners and the community. A common question has been, “What else can we do to help?”

A number of member-owners have suggested that we need to change the round up campaign at the cash registers to raise funds to help out the Co-op. After hearing this multiple times, we want to try it out!

For the summer months, June-August, the Change for Community funds will go toward the purchase of a new bread slicer to slice the delicious Co-op Made Artisan bread on demand!

This piece of equipment costs about $6,000, sits on the top of our most wanted list and is often requested by customers. We have even heard that people shop here less because we do not have a bread slicer. A new bread slicer will help us serve you better and can help increase sales! Round up to the nearest dollar or contribute more if you like.

We fully appreciate all of your support and hope that this is something that can help us start to get sales growing again.

406, 2019

4th of July Grilling in our Parking Lot

June 4th, 2019|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

4th of July, 10:30am-2pm
Our annual 4th of July grill-out is back! Stop by before, during or after the parade for hot dogs, bratwursts or a veggie brat grilled in our parking lot! Make it a meal by adding chips and a drink. We’ll offer a traditional made-from-scratch 4th of July dessert as well!

2405, 2019

May Produce Parable

May 24th, 2019|Categories: Blog|Tags: , |0 Comments

By Adam Calder, Produce Manager

Lees Greens GreenhouseMuch like a mighty thunderstorm, spring has rolled across the plains, and in its wake the land has come alive once again. The trees have all their leaves, the flowers are blooming, the birds sing and the bunnies are bouncing.

This cool, wet spring weather is helping Lee’s Greens provide us with some really tasty red, green and romaine heads of lettuce. They add flavor and crunch to any salad and are a welcome addition to sandwiches and wraps. We’ve also been getting some tender and delicious baby spring mix, baby spinach, baby red kale, baby green kale, baby collard greens, arugula and bunches of full grown rainbow chard.

Our Iowa spring weather has also been a great boon to the asparagus out at Iowa Asparagus LLC in Ankeny. We get this delicious asparagus delivered fresh weekly and it is often picked the day we order it! This gives us a product with excellent shelf life, exceptionally good flavor and a delightfully crisp texture. The only way to get fresher asparagus would be to eat some right out in the field. Really fresh asparagus has a patina of naturally occurring yeast on it that you also often find on really fresh cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale and collard greens. You can see it, like a fine film that covers the tips of the asparagus. At this stage of freshness, the asparagus also squeaks when the stalks rub against each other. These signs of freshness fade after a week or so, and are rarely seen on asparagus that goes through larger distribution channels.

We have an exceptionally diverse variety of seedlings this spring, with plants from Onion Creek Farm, Wabi Sabi Farm and the ISU Horticultural Research Station. There are tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, fennel, kohlrabi, onions, kale, lettuce and herbs galore. They are healthy, strong, vibrant little plants and they want to go home with you to live in your garden.

Stay tuned for local blueberries and raspberries from The Berry Patch in Nevada, IA. We usually start carrying those mid-June if the weather cooperates and if Judy and Dean can hire enough nimble fingered pickers to bring in their berry bounty.

2105, 2019

Go Green for Summer Skin Care

May 21st, 2019|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

By Kim McDermott, Wheatsfield Wellness Manager

Many of us faithfully eat organic foods, knowing the value of nourishing our bodies with a healthy diet. And while you may have made this healthy switch to being more intentional about what you put IN your body, perhaps it’s time to take a closer look at what you put ON your body.

Natural vs Synthetic Ingredients

Naturally derived ingredients such as olive oil, jojoba, argan oil, cocoa butter, shea butter, etc. are extracted from plants, nuts, and seeds. Real ingredients may cost a little more; but in the long run they are a good investment in your health and present a salutary alternative to synthetic ingredients like mineral oil. Mineral oil is a byproduct of petroleum and prevents the skin from breathing. Naturally occurring oils penetrate and nourish the skin with healthy fatty acids and vitamins. Think of them as value added ingredients – that is, they feed, nourish and support your skin and body in a way synthetic ingredients cannot.

Federal Oversight

Unfortunately, there is little Federal oversight when it comes to regulation of ingredients in body care products. The FDA does not have the legal authority to approve body care products and there is no pre-market testing required for most body care ingredients. Cosmetic companies may use almost any ingredient they choose with no oversight, and sadly, there are a lot of cheap, unsafe ingredients being used. Following are a few tips to help you choose cleaner, greener body care products.

Natural ingredients to look for:
  • Olive Oil
  • Jojoba
  • Cocoa Butter
  • Argan Oil
  • Shea Butter

Parabens & Phthalates

Parabens (methylparaben, propyl-, butyl-, ethyl-) are preservatives used in lotions, hair care, and other products to increase shelf life, but can act as foreign estrogens that build up in the body. Safer preservatives are available, but generally cost more.

Phthalates are ‘plasticizers’ that are sometimes found in conventional nail polish, hair sprays, perfumes, and fragrance mixes.

Phthalates build up in fatty tissues and negatively influence endocrine function, especially in children.

Fragrance or Parfum

Be cautious of ‘fragrance’ or ‘parfum’ in the ingredients. Companies do not have to disclose what is included in their ‘fragrance’ as it can be considered a ‘trade secret’, and may include any of over 3,000 chemicals used in the industry.

Synthetic fragrance can trigger allergic reactions, and may contain phthalates.

Note that some companies will use the term ‘natural fragrance’ to specify the use of essential oils, which does not pose the same hazard.

Best Selling Lotions at the Co-op:
  • Alba
  • Acure
  • Wild Carrot
  • Babo Botanicals

USDA Organic

A body care product carrying the ‘USDA Organic’ Seal can be certified under the National Organic program regulations of the USDA, and by law must contain a minimum of 95% organic ingredients.

Be wary of the terms ‘natural’ or ‘all natural’ on products, as the term is not regulated, and can be virtually meaningless.

USDA Organic Body Care
  • Badger Damascus Rose Facial Care
  • Evan Healy Facial Hydrosol Toners
  • Moon Valley Organic Lotion Bars

Safe Sunscreens

Good: Mineral Based Sunscreens

When choosing sunscreens, consider a mineral based sunscreen. Many health professionals recommend using mineral based sunscreens rather than synthetic chemical sunscreens. Mineral sunscreens employ zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide that sit on top of the skin and act as a physical barrier. The minerals reflect and absorb UVA and UVB rays, affording broad spectrum protection from the sun. Titanium dioxide works best when paired with zinc oxide, as it doesn’t protect as well on its own against UVA rays. Mineral sunscreens present safer options, as they don’t contain harmful compounds found in the chemical based sunscreens.

Bad: Oxybenzone & Octinoxate

Two of the most harmful sunscreen ingredients are oxybenzone and octinoxate. Although these two chemicals are still being used in many commercial sunscreens, the Environmental Working Group ( recommends avoiding them due to safety concerns, especially for babies and children. Studies have associated them with endocrine disruption and possible cellular changes.

Oxybenzone is absorbed through the skin in significant amounts, and according to the CDC is found internally in 97% of the population. 

Reef Safety 

The same sunscreen chemicals mentioned above that pose healthy concerns in humans also present dangers for coral reefs. Oxybenzone and octinoxate can kill or bleach coral at extremely low concentrations. Hawaii and Key West recently banned these sunscreen chemicals in an effort to help protect reef areas. The term ‘reef safe’ is unregulated, and some unethical companies falsely use the term, while still using the chemicals! The only sure way to know if your sunscreen is reef safe is to read the list of ingredients and check for the offending chemicals.

For true ‘reef safe’ sunscreen options, your best bet is to choose sunscreens that use either zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide, are biodegradable, and water resistant.

Sunscreen Brands to Try
  • Badger
  • Babo Botanicals
1705, 2019

2019 Summer Tiny Deck Concerts!

May 17th, 2019|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

Back for its 3rd Season! Join us for FREE Tiny Deck Concerts featuring talented local musicians. Held on select Fridays, 6-7:30pm, throughout the summer. Meet us on the east deck and grab dinner, drinks and friends! Bring a lawn chair too, the deck fills up quick!

Friday, June 7th
Sugar & the Vincents

Sugar & the Vincents consists of fresh new talent and seasoned musical veterans. They play a combination of cover songs and original tunes with the intent to have a little something for everyone. Their bluesy-rock sound is sweet with heat!

Friday, June 28th
Britches & Hose

Nicknamed the “band to melt all faces” by some people on the Internet, Britches & Hose Ukulele Club is an eight-piece all-ukulele-all-the-time ensemble from central Iowa. Using a combination of ukuleles, voices, and rock-star charisma, Britches & Hose delivers a new twist on popular songs. Song selection ranges from folk to pop to arena rock – you’re never quite sure what B&H will play next.

Friday, July 5th
Jon Marko

Jon began writing and performing original songs at bars around the Midwest in 2013.  After a couple of years and hitting his stride, Jon started touring wineries and breweries from Illinois to Colorado. His sound has been compared to that of the likes of Bob Dylan, Mumford and Sons, Neil Young, and Sufjan Stevens.

Friday, July 26th

Vanessa Ellsbury is a local singer/song writer/multi-instrumentalist musician. Picking up her first guitar at age 11, she hasn’t stopped since! Her sound can best be described as sultry and haunting with a little soul and blues dropped in.

Friday, August 9th
Doomed Pioneers

In the field of geology the term doomed pioneers describes small critters living at the bottom of a shallow ocean that are being unwillingly transported to the deep by mud-slides. In this new and strange environment they become pioneers, and because most of them will not succeed they are doomed. Deanna, an Arkansas transplant, and Jacqueline, from Switzerland, can relate to the feeling of being in an unfamiliar place and working hard on not becoming doomed.

Doomed Pioneers formed three years ago in Ames when Deanna and Jacqueline discovered that they enjoy the same mixture of jazz inspired folk music. Deanna has been singing all her life and is fascinated by minimalistic instrumentation and loves lyrics that employ a good turn of phrase. Jacqueline, originally a saxophone player, discovered the beauty of the guitar ten years ago and infuses songs of various genres with the feeling of Bossa Nova.

Friday, August 23rd
Ben Schrag & the Cautionaries

Filled with the restless energy of a dedicated songwriter, rich with melodic hooks, and supported by the gut level intuitive prowess of a jazz-ensemble-by-way-of-a-street-corner-folk-band, Ben Schrag & The Cautionaries are a free wheeling acoustic throwdown, channeling inquisitive indie-folk with plenty of musical punch.

Friday, September 13th
Chris Myers

Chris Myers, an Ames local, will be returning to the “Tiny Deck” for the second time. If you didn’t catch Chris on the deck a few summers ago, maybe you saw him playing in the dining area during a $5 Dinner or Member Appreciation Day. Either way, you are in for a real treat! Music fans both young and old can enjoy Chris’ original original songs about love, family, travel, and having fun. Chris blends styles of rock, folk, pop, blues and soul into his music, making sure to please all audience members, regardless of if it’s their first time hearing him, or one of his “returning customers.”

1305, 2019

Truckload Sale!

May 13th, 2019|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

Get ready to save! Our popular Truckload Sale is back! Stop by the Co-op on Friday, June 7 and Saturday, June 8 from 9am-7pm, both days, for deep deals from around the Co-op!
Find the deep deals in our warehouse and around the Co-op. Follow the signs to the warehouse (enter through produce). Stock up for summer parties, stock the pantry or even plan ahead for school lunches!

View the discounted price and product list here!

While supplies last, prices valid June 7 & June 8, No Further Discounts. Prices and items subject to change. 

605, 2019

World Fair Trade Day Celebration!

May 6th, 2019|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

Saturday, May 11| 12-2PM | Around the Co-op!

Celebrate World Fair Trade Day with YOUR Co-op! Enjoy fair trade samples (including wine!), giveaways, a kids scavenger hunt (with a fair trade prize!), information and sales!

When you purchase fair trade goods you support:

  • Principle One: Creating Opportunities for Economically Disadvantaged Producers
  • Principle Two: Transparency and Accountability
  • Principle Three: Fair Trading Practices
  • Principle Four:   Payment of a Fair Price
  • Principle Five:  Ensuring no Child Labor and Forced Labor
  • Principle Six:  Commitment to Non Discrimination, Gender Equity and Freedom of Association
  • Principle Seven:  Ensuring Good Working Conditions
  • Principle Eight:  Providing Capacity Building
  • Principle Nine:  Promoting Fair Trade
  • Principle Ten: Respect for the Environment
305, 2019

Double Up Food Bucks

May 3rd, 2019|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

We are excited to announce our partnership with the Healthiest State Initiative on their Double Up Food Bucks program!
What is it? For every $1 that those with SNAP benefits spend on fresh produce, they will receive a $1 coupon to use on a future purchase of LOCAL fresh produce! Limit $10 in coupons per transaction.
The Ames Main Street Farmers’ Market will also be handing out and accepting Double Up Food Bucks this season. They expect to be offering this service in the next few weeks.Double Up Food Bucks can be redeemed at any market or store in the state that participates in the program.
305, 2019

May & June Artist: Eric McCabe

May 3rd, 2019|Categories: Art Gallery, Blog|0 Comments

Eric McCabeEric McCabeEric McCabe

The point of Zen art, for both the artist and the observer, is finding inner stillness, awe, and appreciation – not of the calligraphy as much as for life itself.  The Chinese characters may not have any meaning to you until you read the translation.  Zen Art, however, is not about the meaning of the words but the spirit underlying them.  The lines flow like water, sometimes fast, sometimes slow, sometimes stopping.  There is awareness of the space between the lines.  “Nothing” – the space between lines – is present, too.  “Nothing” or “Boundlessness” is what ties us together.  It is both the space between objects and the space within us.  Boundlessness is not an object but a characteristic of all things.  When we look carefully at anything we can see it is connected to everything else, and therefore has no boundary.

2404, 2019

Local Spring Seedlings

April 24th, 2019|Categories: Blog|Tags: , |0 Comments

April 2019 Produce Parable
By Adam Calder

Spring is being welcomed with open arms here at Wheatsfield Cooperative.  After such an icy, cold and all around brutal winter we are so very appreciative of our local seedling farmers.  Onion Creek Farm right here in Ames and Wabi Sabi Farm in Granger have been quite busy for the past several weeks getting an army of tiny plants ready to go home with you.

These farmers have been filling seedling trays with soil, delicately placing seeds in each cup of the tray, gently watering the trays and then setting them somewhere warm and sunny.  Our dedicated local farmers did all of the waiting and watering so you don’t have to.  That is, you don’t have to until you buy some to take back home to your garden.  With the head start these verdant little plants have been given, they should have no problem settling in nicely to their new homes in your garden.

We have an excellent selection of herbs, greens and tomatoes with more to come!  The selection can change quickly, so it is best to check often to see what is available.  Our first batch of herbs and tomatoes from Onion Creek contains the following tomatoes: Early Girl, New Yorker, Black Prince, Kellog’s Breakfast, Jubille, Garden Peach, Sky Reacher, Taxi, Ponderosa St. Doro, Aunt Ruby German Green, Brandywine, Frgo Yellow Pear, Patio, Tiny, Juane Flame, Green Zebra and St. Pierre.  For herbs from Onion Creek, we have Pineapple Sage, catnip, parsley, Cuban Oregano and Garlic Chives.

From Wabi Sabi, we have red cabbage, green cabbage, leeks, kohlrabi, kale, broccoli, rainbow chard, onions, lettuce, fennel, parsley, chives and garlic chives.

While you are checking out our seedlings, don’t forget to have a look at our gorgeous hanging geranium baskets from Hassevoort Farm in Leon, IA.  Kevin and Liza Hassevoort have been tending to these overflowing baskets for several months.  Considering how cold the last few months have been, this has surely been a challenge.  You’d never know these plants ever had a day of stress in their lives just by looking.  Cheery spring colors billow out of these baskets.  Delicate perfume becomes a heady, intoxicating musk as the flowers unfurl.  They are heavy with the scents and sights of spring, and they exude an aura of life renewed.

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Upcoming Events

  1. Coffee with the Board

    June 22 @ 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
  2. Soft Scrambled Eggs

    Egg-cellent Recipes

    June 25 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
  3. New Member-Owner Orientation

    June 26 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  4. Tiny Deck Concert: Britches & Hose

    June 28 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm