Blog & Latest News2017-01-19T21:01:10-06:00
1701, 2022

January 2022 Produce Parable

January 17th, 2022|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , |0 Comments

New Seed Savers 2022

Adam Calder
Wheatsfield Produce Manager

In spite of the cold weather, the produce department has brought in another great selection of heirloom seeds produced right here in Iowa.

Every year Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah, IA, releases a catalog of what seeds they have available for sale. Each year they have a fine selection of tried-and-true favorites. They also go through their varied stores of seed and pick a handful they have never offered before.

This year, from the new seed offerings we have Elka White Poppy, Miss Annie Pearl Counselman Collards and Heshiko Bunching Onions for sale at Wheatsfield.

The Elka White Poppy comes from Chernovec, a town in Slovakia. The delicate flower petals are white with just a brush of purple color at the base. This plant bears large seed pods, and the seeds can be used in baking. All of the rest of the parts of the plant are toxic, so this is perhaps not the best plant if you have curious children or pets roaming about your flower garden.

In 2012, a 94 year old Annie Pearl Counselman gave some collard seeds to Tom Lambard. She told them she had gotten them from her preacher’s wife over 60 years ago, and had been growing the greens and saving the seeds ever since she was gifted them. The leaves of this collard taste sweet, and are about two feet long and one foot wide. When Tom donated them to Seed Savers in 2015, he insisted they be named after Miss Pearl, so we have him in part to thank for these new Miss Annie Pearl Counselman collard seeds.

The Heshiko Bunching Onion is perfect if you are looking for lots of green onions from a small space. The onions grow and spread from root cluster at the base of the plant until they reach their full height of around 12-14 inches. These onions will also overwinter, so they do not need to be re-sown the following spring and will grow back year after year.

We’ve also got our usual selection of Seed Savers cucumbers, beans, tomatoes, peppers, kales, okras, flowers and herbs. All the seed packets are $3.29 each, so come get yours soon while the selection is at its best and get your garden off to a great start this year.

101, 2022

January & February Artist: Tricia Bowers

January 1st, 2022|Categories: Art Gallery, Blog|0 Comments

Tricia Bowers

Artist Statement

As a person and an artist I value beauty above all, and color is by far my favorite quality of reality and the universe.  As a painter I am free to explore and experiment with color, using different and fun techniques to share my beauty.  I make mostly abstract art, focusing on the moment of creation, on the passion of feeling inspired and the intense eruption of color that my hands are able to bring into the world and onto a canvas.

I use acrylic paint and food coloring for my art, utilizing spray bottles and the swift motion of flinging color.  I paint on canvas, as well as on pavement and the outside world.  While the act of painting for me is often very quick and messy, the results come together in a way that is beautiful and surprising, and in the end incredibly fun.

101, 2022

January Change for Community, Iowa Wildlife Center

January 1st, 2022|Categories: Blog, Co-op Nickel|0 Comments

The Iowa Wildlife Center

Change for Community Recipient, January 2022

The Iowa Wildlife Center provides professional wildlife rescue, medical treatment and rehabilitation of native wildlife in central Iowa; teaches about wildlife and habitat stewardship; and provides wildlife assistance skills training.

Most dogs and cats have responsible owners who provide safe homes, veterinarians who watch over their health and animal shelters that provide housing and care when they need it, but where can wild animals find such food, care and comfort? Every year thousands of birds and other animals in Iowa are orphaned, injured, sickened or displaced – often due to human activity. Windows, vehicles, cats, toxins, power lines, and other “unnatural” dangers take their toll, as does conversion of native habitat for human use — all of this along with natural events such as violent storms.

A great number of Iowans care about our wildlife and protecting their habitats. Many who find injured or displaced creatures would also like to give them a chance to be free and wild again. But to whom do they turn?

The Iowa Wildlife Center (IWC) will focus on the place where humans and wildlife connect by providing wildlife rescue, rehabilitation and research for central Iowa that is based on science, ethics and humane care. The Iowa Wildlife Center will offer statewide wildlife assistance skills training for conservation professionals and volunteers and provide wildlife education to all Iowans.

Guiding Principals

The Center will focus on the medical treatment, rehabilitation, conditioning and release primarily of native wildlife, with a special focus on native birds, bats, reptiles, amphibians and mammals of conservation concern.

  • IWC will offer professional wildlife rescue in central Iowa – if we determine that the animal does need to be rescued and that you cannot safely rescue it yourself, we will either send our own staff or try to locate someone near you qualified to capture the animal.
  • IWC will work cooperatively with existing wildlife rehabilitation and education programs, strengthening each of our missions by doing so. Gladys Black, right, was a mentor to many early Iowa conservation professionals. Known as “Mother of Wildlife Rehabilitation” to some and “Bird Lady” to others, she was a central figure in the wildlife rehabilitation and education communities in the 1960s and 70s. IWC honors her dedication to both fields with our mission and cooperative work.
3012, 2021

5 Tips to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

December 30th, 2021|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

It’s that time of year again…for New Year’s resolutions. Let’s be honest – everyone makes big resolutions for themselves on January 1st, but seldom are they brought to fruition.

According to fitness expert and nutrition specialist Joey Thurman, founder of The Lifestyle Renovation, people tend to think too narrowly about the New Year’s resolutions, and that can cost them in the long run.

“When folks approach the New Year with a goal – any goal – they often don’t think big enough,” says Thurman. “For example, if the goal is to lose weight, people often overlook the incredible health benefits of actually doing so,” says Thurman. “Instead of aiming to look good in a bikini or eat fewer carbs, resolve to adjust the things in your life that cause you to turn to food for comfort.”

Below are Joey’s top five tips to keeping your resolutions and renovating your life.

Top Five Tips to Keep Your Resolutions

  • Set the Right Goal
    • This might seem intuitive, but it’s a critical first step. “This is about setting realistic goals that address the problems you want to fix most,” says Joey. “So, if you want to eat healthy, start by resolving to substitute unhealthy desserts for fruit. That way, you’re making smaller changes that will have a bigger impact.”
  • Lose the Negativity
    • Although you may have tried and failed in the past, this is now, and you can do it. “When people think about failure, they set themselves up for failure,” says Thurman. Think positive thoughts about your resolutions each morning, and that positivity will stick with you all day long.
  • Rid Yourself of Enablers
    • Everyone has that one friend that encourages them to eat unhealthy food or skip the gym. “Be up front with the enablers in your life,” suggests Joey. “Let them know your goals and ask them to be supportive or stop hanging out with them.”
  • Stay Accountable
    • Whether it’s working with a fitness coach or tracking progress on an app with friends, accountability is the key to success. “When my clients aren’t accountable to someone else, they often rationalize cheating on their resolutions, which is a very slippery slope.”
  • Celebrate Your Successes
    • Setting goals only works if you celebrate your success. “Achieving milestones is something to be proud of and celebrate,” says Joey. “Plan how you want to celebrate and do so with vigor. Then, get back to work the next day.”

Posted with permission, This article originally appeared on

3012, 2021

November 2021 Board Highlights

December 30th, 2021|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

  1. The Board heard an update from management that the distribution of the preferred share dividend declared in July will be completed in the coming weeks with gift cards being distributed to those choosing that payment method and preferred share dividend checks being mailed the week of December 13.
  2. We welcomed three new board members, Becky Mattan Pratt, Cal Rebhuhn, and Emilie Ruehs, as well as student board member Derek Franklin.  We look forward to their contributions to the Board in the coming year.
  3. The Board had an extensive discussion about the Ames Climate Action Plan. As a co-op we are interested in participating and want more information about the possible scenarios. Board members attended the November CAP meeting and will also attend the CAP meeting on December 21.
  4. The Board reviewed 1Q2122 financials, the Wegner financial review, a revised budget, and a member loan debt summary from the Finance Committee from their November 17 meeting.

Thank you to our members and shoppers who have supported the co-op over the past year. Our co-op is successful because of your patronage. We wish you all a healthy and restful holiday season!

2812, 2021

Top 10 Wellness Products for 2022

December 28th, 2021|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

By Kim McDermott, Wellness Manager

An annual tradition continues! Each year our Wellness Staff pick their top supplement and body care products for the new year.

Here are 10, in no particular order, selected for 2022.

1. Plus + CBD ‘Calm’ Gummies

What do you get when you combine CBD with other calming ingredients like L-theanine and 5-HTP? A stress-busting supplement that helps in these trying times! L-theanine regulates a neurotransmitter that can promote a Zen-like state, while 5-HTP supports healthy serotonin levels, and may be associated with calm feelings and a positive mood. Find your calm!

2. Wild Carrot Wildflower Prairie Body Oil

Think of this as your ultimate self-care pampering product! Wild Carrot Herbals hand crafts skin care in their small Oregon community using high quality botanicals. This lovely body oil is made from skin-loving rosehip, olive, and hemp oils infused with prairie flowers, arnica, St. John’s wort, and a whole lot more. See how this herbaceous scented oil wonderfully hydrates winter parched dry skin immediately after your shower or bath.

3. Natural Factors Beets & Berries Powder

Natural Factors has hit it out of the ballpark with this product! Beets and Berries powder gives you a full antioxidant boost -it’s chock full of healthy beets, blueberries, strawberries, black currants, raspberries, and acai berries. I like that it’s very low sugar, mixes easily in water, and has a natural fruity flavor. Use as a pre-workout drink, in smoothies, or anytime you want to boost your antioxidant levels.

4. Melora Manuka Toothpaste

Melora is a newer Australian company that features the super plant Manuka. Manuka honey and oil are known for their healing, antimicrobial properties that give this toothpaste its beneficial properties. Melora gel toothpaste is fluoride-free, low foaming, and has a mild mint flavor that really leaves my teeth and mouth feeling clean!

5. Wheatsfield Brand Mushroom Defense capsules

Mushrooms have been used medicinally for centuries, and have grown immensely in popularity in the coop’s wellness aisles, especially in the past year. Valued for their potent immune-stimulating properties, each mushroom species has its own unique defense supporting components, like beta glucans. Our blend has 8 different mushrooms; thereby giving it broad based immune supporting capability.

6. Inesscents Roll on Perfumes

All natural perfumes expertly blended with some of the world’s most precious essential oils in an organic jojoba oil base. Try one or all four scents! Staff favorites are Liquid Sunshine, with uplifting citrus notes, and Temple Blossom, containing notes of neroli and sandalwood.

7. Nordic Naturals Magnesium Complex

A complex with three highly absorbable, digestive friendly forms of magnesium- magnesium glycinate, aspartate, and taurinate. Magnesium supports healthy cardiovascular and muscle function, energy production, and overall relaxation. A lot of customers report getting a better night’s sleep with regular magnesium use. I’m getting a blissed out feeling just thinking about these!

8. Gaia Bronchial Wellness Syrup

When you’re in need of serious cough and respiratory relief, Bronchial Syrup to the rescue! Gaia’s bronchial syrup combines herbs like plantain, grindelia, and eucalyptus that have been traditionally used to support respiratory health. Star anise essential oil gives the syrup a black licorice flavor.

9. Aura Cacia Medieval Essential Oil Blend

Similar to the popular ‘Thieves Oil’, this blend combines many of earth’s most potent essential oils for protecting us during the winter season. Oils like thyme, tea tree oil, eucalyptus, and rosemary provide a synergistic blend to help purify and cleanse the air. Make a protective travel spray using 24 drops of the oil in 2 oz of water and use in a mister bottle.

10. Bulldog Razor

Staff members sing praises for this effective razor. Its ecofriendly bamboo handle looks sleek and enables a firm grip. The rotating head glides effortlessly over those hard to shave bony areas like chins and shins with nary a nick! Lather up for a pleasant shave you actually look forward to.

2312, 2021

DIY Holiday Fragrances

December 23rd, 2021|Categories: Blog, Recipes|0 Comments

With a few simple ingredients from our produce and bulk departments, you can fill your home with the festive scents of bright cranberries, zesty citrus and warm cinnamon and cloves.
By: Mississippi Market Co-op

Top-down view of cooking pot of hot wine with aromatic spices on a black textured background. Christmas mulled wine. New Year’s warming drink.

Stovetop Potpourri

This potpourri is a great way to use up any produce that’s on its last leg.


  • 1 cup of fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1 apple, sliced (optional)
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary or a couple short pine clippings from your holiday tree
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 tsp. whole cloves
  • 1-2 star anise pods (optional)


Place all ingredients in a pot or slow cooker and add 4-6 cups of water.

Simmer as long as desired, adding more water when needed. You can store the potpourri in the fridge between uses, and re-simmer as desired until the scent runs out. When you’re finished with it, drain the liquid and compost the fruit and spices.

Flat lay composition with pomander balls made of fresh tangerines and cloves on wooden table

Pomander Balls

These two-ingredient orange and clove balls are a fun holiday craft for all ages. You can hang them (which dries them faster and makes them more aromatic) or place them on a mantle or tabletop.


As many oranges as desired

Whole cloves


Leave the orange whole, and stick whole cloves into the rind. You can stud part or all of the fruit, and even make patterns with the cloves if you’re feeling creative! Poke the rind with a toothpick before inserting the clove to make it a little easier on your fingers!

If you want to save your pomander ball, store it in a paper bag for a few weeks until it’s completely dried out. Be sure to stud it with lots of cloves, which will draw out moisture and make the orange shrink. You can also dust the ball with cinnamon for added fragrance and preservation (cinnamon has natural antifungal properties!). Once dried, place the ball in your closet or dresser drawer for a delightfully scented sachet, or save to use as an ornament for the next holiday season!

1412, 2021

Dec. 2021 Produce Parable: Eliza Tibbets, the Mother of Navel Oranges

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

Eliza Tibbets, the Mother of Navel Oranges

By Adam Calder, Wheatsfield Produce Manager

Navel oranges are one of the most popular winter fruits we sell at Wheatsfield, and understandably so. These oranges are known the world over for their sweet taste and thick peels that are easy to remove, and allow for easy packing and shipping. They are a welcome burst of color, nutrition and flavor during the cold months of the year. How did these oranges come to be, and who is responsible for sharing them with the world?

We owe the navel orange’s prevalence to a strong and courageous woman named Eliza Tibbets (1823-1898). She and her husband Luther had briefly lived in Virginia, where they were advocates of racial equity. Because of this, the racist members of their community sent threatening letters to the Tibbets by way of the Ku Klux Klan until the Tibbets moved to Washington, DC.

It is here Eliza met William Saunders, who was then the head of the experimental gardens division of the United States Agricultural Department. A couple of years later, the Tibbets moved away from there, although Eliza would make trips back to Washington to march as a suffragist.

The Tibbets were some of the first residents of Riverside, California. The community struggled at first, and once the townsfolk completed an irrigation channel Eliza wanted a cash crop to help support her family. She contacted her friend Saunders back in D.C., and asked him if he had any suggestions.

Saunders had been busy growing oranges in D.C. and had recently acquired some unique orange tree specimens from Bahia, Brazil. These oranges were truly sterile, with no seeds, no pollen, and pistols that are so mutated they cannot receive pollen from other oranges. The “navel” of the orange is actually a second, immature fruit. Saunders grafted twelve of these Bahia orange trees on some young orange tree rootstock. When he got the letter from Eliza asking for his help, he sent her two of the trees he grafted.

Eliza planted these next to her kitchen door, and according to legend she nurtured them with dishwater. The trees thrived, and soon she was selling grafts from her trees to local nurseries. Her orange trees became known as Washington navel oranges, and their planting and popularity spread rapidly across California. These oranges caused California to transition from a wheat producing state to an orange producing one.

Navel orange trees descended from Eliza’s two trees now grow all over the world. They are genetically identical to those first two trees planted two hundred years ago. One of those two trees is still alive and can be visited, although the tree is shrouded in a protective screen to keep away pests. The next time you hold a navel orange in your hand, know you are holding onto an exceptional piece of fruit. You also hold a line that connects you to an incredible person from two hundred years ago, who’s legacy lives on to this day.

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