Stop by the Co-op on FRI, AUG 19 and SAT, AUG 20 for deep deals 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 outdoor summer grilling, replenish the pantry, plan ahead for school lunches, stock up for budget meal planning and more!
Discounted price list coming soon!
While supplies last, prices valid August 19 & August 20, No Further Discounts. Prices and items subject to change.
The SHOP – Students Helping Our Peers, Student Food Pantry
The SHOP was created in 2011 by a group of students from the Food Science and Human Nutrition learning community who were looking to combat food insecurity among their peers at Iowa State. SHOP’s mission is to engage with anti-hunger advocates and serve the student population by increasing hunger awareness and food security. To accomplish this mission, SHOP provides free, non-perishable food and personal care items for ISU students. The student users do not have to show identification, making this service confidential. Operations are supported by student and staff volunteers as well as financial and food donations. SHOP continues to find ways to better serve the student population and reduce food insecurity through building new relationships with the community.
Summer greetings to all of you from your Wheatsfield Board. As hard as it is to believe, July just turned into August on our calendars! I hope the summer has been a good one for all of you so far, and remember there is still time to enjoy many more summer activities before the leaves start to turn.
One of those activities is the Iowa State Fair. Growing up on the farm, that event was special, because it was our summer vacation. We’d get up early for the two-hour trip to Des Moines, and arrive as the gates opened, so we could find the perfect parking spot. Then it was watching livestock shows, viewing machinery exhibits, touring the Agriculture Building (Butter Cow), and taking in as many “Fair” sites as possible. On a side note, we packed our lunch, so we missed out on the many “fried on a stick” options.
Reflecting back on those trips, I believe one of the things that made them enjoyable year after year was seeing all the locally produced jams, jellies, fruits, vegetables, and livestock. I truly feel this was how I developed my passion around locally produced food. Today, your co-op’s focus and commitment to “LOCAL” remains strong. Did you know that 25% of Wheatsfield sales are products grown or made locally? No other area grocer does “LOCAL” like Wheatsfield, and knowing where your food comes from and how it was produced is more important today than ever before!
Shifting gears to a financial note, Wheatsfield’s fiscal year ended June 30th, and it was a solid year. THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT, as this would not have been possible without your continued patronage. Please know that the Board, Management Team, and all employees remain focused on Wheatsfield providing you great value for your food dollar.
In closing, enjoy the rest of your summer, have a fantastic rest of the year, and thanks again for supporting Wheatsfield Cooperative.
Avocados are one of the most popular fruits sold at Wheatsfield, and rightly so. They are delicious, versatile, and full of healthy vitamins, minerals, oils and fiber. If you start to look past their culinary qualities, the avocado reveals itself to be a plant out of place in time.
Many plants and animals evolved together over the eons. These arrangements are usually beneficial. The plant gets pollinated or has its seed spread by a particular creature, and that animal gets food in return. Humans have been eating avocados for over ten thousand years, and cultivating them for about the past five thousand. But the avocado evolved in Central America long before humans came along to eat and grow it, so it raises the question: who or what shaped the evolution of the avocado before humans?
The answer to that question lies thousands of years in the past, with a now-extinct group of mega-fauna such as giant ground sloths and an elephant-like animal called a gomphothere. These animals were much larger than their present day counterparts, and they would consume avocados whole. After a couple of bites, enough to open the skin of the avocado but not enough to crack open the large and slightly toxic pit, these animals would swallow their tasty meal. The flesh and skin of the avocado would get digested, and the pit would be deposited in the animal’s droppings.
The avocado pit, freed from its skin and now nestled in a bed of fresh fertilizer, would sprout a tree and the cycle would begin anew. No other animals in Central America were big enough to eat an avocado whole and pass the pit without severe gastrointestinal pain, or without dying from the obstruction.
When nature selected giant sloths and gomphotheres for extinction, the avocado should have followed. When the characteristics and qualities of a living species were created through favorable selection in the past because of coevolution with a now extinct species, scientists call this an evolutionary anachronism.
There are many evolutionary anachronisms still around to this day, such as papaya, persimmon, mango, hawthorn, pawpaw, cherimoya, and ginkgo trees to name a few. All of these plants have a quality or trait that calls out to creatures that are no longer around to hear the call. Humans, ever adaptive and hungry, heard those cries and picked up where these extinct animals left off.
So the next time you are sinking your teeth into a creamy smooth bite of avocado, think about the giant sloth the size of a semi-truck making a snack out of a tree’s worth of avocados in a few gulps. Imagine that animal lumbering away on some ancient journey, eventually depositing those avocado seeds in a place far from the tree they grew on. Wonder how many cycles of animal and plant it took to reach out through time to the present day. Marvel in the depths of this line, and enjoy the fruits of this long and improbable journey.
I first heard of Wheatsfield three years ago, when I told my advisor where my partner and I would be living in Ames. “Oh, you’ll be really close to Wheatsfield,” he told us. “You really need to check that place out.” So, it was one of the first places we explored after moving to town and it’s been a staple for us ever since. And for the past 10 months I’ve been honored to be the student representative on the Wheatsfield Board of Directors, where I’ve learned a great deal about the history of the co-op and what it takes to keep Wheatsfield humming. My position is to ensure that students have a voice at Wheatsfield, as the leadership at Wheatsfield wants to be mindful of students’ perspectives.
I came onto the Board with an appreciation for Wheatsfield. I love that there is a patio where cold beverages and food can be enjoyed on-site. I love that Wheatsfield has a teaching kitchen where people can learn about how to prepare and preserve food, because these are hard skills to learn and major barriers to changing eating habits. I love Wheatsfield’s Tiny Deck Concerts (a witty reference to NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts). And my absolute favorite part of Wheatsfield is its coffeeshop and bakery, where my go-to order is an Americano and a brownie. The Wheatsfield breads are also amazing, along with the local cheeses—my favorite is Lost Lake Farm’s Iowa Alpine!
Most of my time on the Board has been spent learning, and I’m really grateful for the patience of fellow board members who have been willing to explain financial terms and backstories to me throughout our meetings. Here are some of the things I’ve learned (and appreciated!) so far:
· Wheatsfield recognizes that students are an integral part of this community, and Wheatsfield’s managers and Board value student voices and input.
· Wheatsfield has been around for (nearly) 50 years! And it has evolved, expanded, and even changed locations.
· Wheatsfield’s managers, Board, employees and members care deeply about the community, environment, social justice, and honoring the dignity of anyone who walks through Wheatsfield’s doors.
· How amazing the hot bar is! You can try all of the things!
· COVID-19 has presented all businesses with challenges and on many scales, and Wheatsfield has met these challenges while doing its best to keep guests and employees safe.
· Wheatsfield is itself a member of a co-op of cooperative grocery stores—this co-op of co-ops helps stores across the country learn from one another and better serve their members.
· Linda Johnson (Wheatsfield’s General Manager) is good at pretty much everything.
I still have a couple months left on the board, so students please let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the co-op, or questions about serving on the board in this role. I’ve learned a great deal and thoroughly enjoyed the experience; there are many wonderful people in and around Wheatsfield. I thank you for this opportunity.
Join us on Saturday, July 23 to save 15% on local products around the Co-op (that’s over 1,000 products!). Enjoy local vendor sampling, co-op explorers scavenger hunt, samples and giveaways! The co-op defines local as grown or produced within the state of Iowa. No further discounts. Non-members save 5%.
Kat Silent Water is a printmaker based out of Ankeny, Iowa, working in woodblock and linoleum relief since 2014. She recently embraced the alchemical properties of encaustic painting in her latest body of work, ‘Wax Cathedral’. Silent Water’s inspiration has taken root in Art Nouveau’s celebration of organic forms and cultural anthropology.
Silent Water earned a Bachelor of Arts in Art and Visual Culture from Iowa State University in 2015, with an emphasis in printmaking and painting. Her work has been exhibited across the state of Iowa and St. Louis, Missouri, in national group exhibitions. She also painted a Mural for the University of Colorado Boulder, College of Music.
About Kat’s Artwork: Wax Cathedral is a glance into a world we have yet to visit; the bee hive. The body of artwork celebrates the sisterhood and hard work of honey bees in North America. Capturing their sainthood of agriculture and modern struggles against incursion of mites, fungi and disease with beekeepers as watchful guardians of the hive.
Cathedrals are seen as hallowed ground. When individuals walk through the threshold of the sanctuary, they are transported to a safe place of spiritual solace. Cathedrals embellish every detail in their interior, allowing daily worries and hardships to dissipate. It creates an unworldly and beautiful place, as though you were in heaven itself.
Just as these spiritual institutions are maintained amongst a community of like-minded individuals, so is the hive of the honey bees. The unique fortress is founded on hard work and communication. It serves as an escape from the plague of predators and treachery. The worker bees build their interior with careful yet creative consideration.
The resilience shown in both the honey bees and beekeeper community have been the foundation of my artistic inspiration Although the enemies of mites, fungi and disease threaten the bee’s hallowed sanctuary, the beekeepers find ways to repair and mend these colonies with research and patience. Making the art of beekeeping even more valued just like Kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing and beautification of broken objects.
The Outdoor Alliance of Story County (Outdoor Alliance) works to enhance outdoor recreation, education and conservation in Story County.
Wheatsfield has been supporting these efforts since 2016 by helping to fund Story County Conservation’s Jordan Acres land acquisition. This land is adjacent to the South Skunk River and near the wells Ames depend upon for its water. Since then, Wheatsfield’s donations have been instrumental in water monitoring in
the county too. The Outdoor Alliance together with Wheatsfield, Story County Conservation, Prairie Rivers of Iowa and a host of citizen volunteers are gathering the information needed to protect the water we depend upon. The Outdoor Alliance has also been busy since the Jordan Acres acquisition Wheatsfield supported and are highlighted below.
Water Monitoring: Its what we drink too.
Land Acquisitions: Eight so far and counting.
Trails: Heart of Iowa Trail and Tedesco Trail GoFundMe Improvements.
Service Projects: Trails, Tree Plantings, Seed Collecting, River and Creek Cleanups.
Park Improvements: Hickory Grove, Ada Hayden and the Skunk River Water Trail.
Environmental Education: Presentations, Workshops and Ames Reads Leopold
Outdoor Recreation: All Season Hikes and kayaks at Hickory Grove Park.
Access Ada Hayden Boat Dock GoFundMe Project.
Assisting with Reconnecting the South Skunk River 13th Street Dam Modifications.