Blog & Latest News

Blog & Latest News2017-01-19T21:01:10-06:00
305, 2024

Spring Wine Sale!

May 3rd, 2024|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

Spring Wine Sale

Member-Owners and Student Discount SAVE 15% on more that 200 wines from over a dozen countries!

Choose from a wide selection of red, white, and rosé wines from some of the finest vineyards in the world. Many of our wines are organically grown from small production vineyards with unique varietals. Don’t forget our great selection of Local Iowa wines! You can support fair trade, small businesses, and sustainable practices all at once.

Whether you’re looking for a crisp and refreshing white wine to enjoy on a warm day or a full-bodied red to pair with a hearty meal, we have something for everyone. Save off regular prices, non-members save 5%.

2904, 2024

May 2024 Change for Community: Central Iowa Pet Food Pantry

April 29th, 2024|Categories: Blog, Co-op Nickel|0 Comments

Bailing Out Benji – Central Iowa Pet Food Pantry

Bailing Out Benji is committed to keeping pets with their families and out of the animal sheltering system. We believe that you can’t help animals without helping their people too.

Not having access to pet food and supplies does not mean that someone isn’t deserving of the love and companionship of a pet. Our Central Iowa Pet Food Pantry supports community members without questions or judgement.

We are a donation based pantry and rely on local support and donations to keep food on our shelves.

Learn more and ways to help out!

2904, 2024

May 2024 Word from the Board

April 29th, 2024|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

May 2024 – Word from the Board

Anne Carey, Student Board Member

May is an important month for students at ISU and across Iowa as the spring semester comes to an end and summer break begins. Congratulations to all those students graduating this month! Your hard work has paid off and you’ve (finally) made it. This year the commencement ceremonies will take place over the same weekend as Mother’s Day. What better way to show your mom how much you appreciate her than with a diploma! Even if not graduating, students and professors feel relief and excitement for warm, class-free days ahead. With your newfound free time, why not learn about hot composting, making the perfect pour-over coffee, or mindful eating in one of the Co-op’s cooking and health classes?

As the school year comes to a close many students leave town, but I feel the summer is when Ames really comes alive. The Ames Farmer’s Market will begin again on May 4th and continue every Saturday until October. This is one of my favorite parts of living in Ames (aside from Wheatsfield, of course!). The opportunity to buy freshly harvested, locally grown produce right here on Main Street directly from farmers is a great priviledge. The local fruit and vegetable offerings will also be increasing in the produce section at Wheatsfield as the growing season rolls along. Wheatsfield prides itself on supporting local farmers, offering local products, and helping build the regional economy. As you enjoy summer and plan your graduation parties, Mother’s Day brunches, and BBQs, don’t forget to look for local products at Wheatsfield!

As the student board member on the Wheatsfield Board of Directors, I have been grateful for the opportunity to give a voice to students and learn from my wise and experienced co-members. Becoming part of the Wheatsfield community, even as a student who may only be in Ames for a few years, has been a wonderful experience. I’ve learned about various groups, initiatives, events, and businesses that I can support or take part in and been inspired by all the great things happening around Ames. Wheatsfield strives to be a community building space for all, and I encourage students to take part in the many events and activities Wheatsfield has to offer. Even for those only here for the nine-month school year or for a few years as degrees are completed, the Wheatsfield community makes our time here richer and fuller.

Enjoy the summer days ahead!

2504, 2024

Salama Seedlings

April 25th, 2024|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , |0 Comments

April 2024 Produce Parable

Salama Seedlings

By Adam Calder, Produce Manager

A few months ago, we were saddened to hear that Lonna from Onion Creek Farm was retiring from growing seedlings. Even though seedlings are small, this absence created a huge hole in the projected sales numbers for the produce department. It was no small feat, the thousands of seedlings Lonna grew for Wheatsfield every year, and not that many people are set up to produce such large numbers of plants.

Mike Salama, from Salama Greenhouse in Boone, is equipped to handle the volume we require, and he was excited to grow seedlings for us to sell when I reached out to him. We chatted about what he can grow, the amounts I need, the wholesale cost, and delivery dates. A month ago, we touched base, and he let me know the seedlings were right on schedule.

Here we are now in spring, and the seedlings have arrived! While the varieties are not exactly the same as what Lonna grew, there is still an ample selection of tomatoes, herbs and peppers. Salama also grows some fun new things that we have rarely carried in the past, such as broccoli, kohlrabi, zucchini, cucumbers and eggplant.

The seedlings are priced at $2.69 each, and are available through the end of May. Check back often, as we will get weekly deliveries of seedlings all through the month. The broccoli and kohlrabi seedlings come in four-packs, but they do not cost any more than the single seedlings.

2404, 2024

April 2024 Board Meeting Highlights

April 24th, 2024|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

Here are highlights from the April 2024 Wheatsfield Board of Directors meeting:

  • The March Mini-Member Drive brought 59 new equity members and 11 new student discount program participants, bringing the total number of co-op members to 7,372.
  • March sales were another record-setter, at 3.79% over March 2023.
  • The Board reviewed guidance from the attorney regarding preferred shares. The Board also reviewed and discussed a draft form for preferred share-holders to transfer their preferred shares to revocable trusts, and will explore outlining the financial parameters within which the board could consider paying-out a class of preferred shares.
  • The Board was shown the latest plans for the 50th Anniversary Block Party on September 14.
  • The Board heard updates regarding management’s work on updating Wheatsfield’s building lease prior to our next lease extension option early next year.
  • The General Manager shared some reflections from the National Cooperative Grocers (NCG) GM meeting, and the board discussed the latest NCG Board Bulletin.
1004, 2024

Produce Storage Without the Plastic

April 10th, 2024|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

Helpful Tips for Extending the Life of Your Produce

Make sure not to mix fruits & veggies
Fruits emit ethylene as they ripen; pairing them with veggies will result in premature spoilage.

Keep produce cool
Low temps slow the rate of respiration, which in turn keeps the item fresher, longer.

Avoid paper bags
Paper bags can draw moisture from fruits, so they are not great for long term storage *except where needed.

A clean dishtowel
These are a great substitute for items you’re used to storing in plastic bags

Water can damage delicate produce
Avoid washing produce until you’re ready to eat them

Cut the greens
Leafy tops from radishes, carrots. beets, etc. can draw moisture out of veggies, causing them to go limp and lose flavor. Store the greens in a separate mesh bag.

Pack veggies loosely in the fridge
The closer they are, the quicker they will rot.

Fruit and Vegetable Storage Tips

Apples
• store in a cool, dark place – kitchen counter or shelf
• can also be left in the fridge for long term storage
• two weeks to several months

Avocado
• place in a paper bag at room temp.
• put an apple in the bad to speed up ripening
• 2-3 days

Asparagus/Celery
• stand upright in place in a bowl or cup full of water
• store on the counter top at room temp
• 5-7 days for asparagus, 2-3 weeks for celery

Bell Peppers
• refrigerate pepper unwashed, in a reusable or paper bag in the vegetable drawer; keep dry
• red & yellow peppers last 4-5 days,
• green peppers about a week

Berries
• store in a single layer in the fridge or in a paper bag; don’t wash until ready to eat
• raspberries should be eaten within 2 days, strawberries in 3, blueberries about a week.

Broccoli
• mist the heads, wrap loosely in damp paper towels
• keep in the fridge
• 2-5 days

Carrots
• cut off greens, place in a container with lid and cover completely in water
• keep in the fridge, changing water every 4-5 days

Citrus
• store in a cool, dark place – kitchen counter or shelf
• keeping them cool and maintaining good air flow is essential
• 3-5 days

Cherries
• keep refrigerated or in an air tight container
• don’t wash until ready
• 4-10 days

Cucumber
• wrap in a moist towel
• store in the fridge
• 2-4 days

Eggplant
• if you don’t intend to eat the eggplant within 2 days, it should be wrapped in a paper towel and placed in the crisper of your refrigerator
• 7-10 days

Herbs
• store in a closed container in the fridge
• store basil in a jar loosely packed with damp paper on the counter
• 1 week max for fresh herbs; try drying to extend life

Kale/ Hardy Greens
• remove bands & twist ties
• refrigerate a cup of water like a bouquet in the fridge
• 5-7 days depending on the type

Lettuce/Greens
• remove bands & twist ties
• refrigerate in an airtight container with a damp cloth
• 3-10 days depending on the type of green

Melons
• store in a cool, dark place – kitchen counter or shelf
• don’t refrigerate until ripe!
• store cut fruit in the fridge upside down on a plate

Mushrooms
• store in an open paper bag in the fridge, not in a crisper drawer
• 4-7 days

Potatoes/Onions/Garlic
• store each veggie separately in a cool, dry, and dark place, loose in a box or a paper bag
• good air circulation will maintain longevity
• potatoes, 1-2 weeks
onions/garlic, 2-4 weeks

Root Vegetables
• remove greens and store separately
• store in an open container with a damp cloth
• 1-2 weeks

Stone fruits
• Should be stored on the counter until ripe; store in a paper bag to accelerate ripening.
• can be refrigerated for 1-2 days once ripe
• 3-5 days total

Squash
• summer squash may be left on a cool counter for a few days or wrapped in a cloth and refrigerated
• winter squash should be stored in a dark, cool ventilated space
• (whole) winter squash, 1-2 weeks
summer squash, 5-7 days

Tomatoes
• store on the counter until ripe; can store in a paper bag with ethylene-emitting fruits (apples/bananas) to accelerate ripening
• never refrigerate unless cut
• up to 2 weeks depending on ripeness

904, 2024

Earth Day Bulk Sale! Apr 18-20

April 9th, 2024|Categories: Blog|Tags: , |0 Comments

Earth Day Bulk Sale, April 18 – April 20
Get ready to stock up and save! Stock your pantry with all your favorite bulk staples and save 15%! Stock up on beans, seeds, nuts, dried fruit, grains, granolas, chocolates, candy, coffees, teas, herbs and spices, bulk body care, bulk cleaning supplies and more!

Save off regular prices, non-members save 5%.

904, 2024

Mindful Eating with Wild Foods

April 9th, 2024|Categories: Blog, Classes|0 Comments

Mindful Eating with Wild Foods

Join neuroscientist and mindfulness instructor, Crystal Jewell, for an interactive exploration on mindful eating through the lens of wild foods, including lion’s mane mushrooms, purslane, & dandelion. Learn how wild foods alter our nervous system, foster a sense of belonging, and create resilient communities as we settle into the moment and taste the land we live on.

Instructor
Crystal Jewell M.S. is a science communicator and PhD student studying the neuroscience of mindfulness. Outside of academia, she nourishes her passion for food sovereignty through foraging, gardening, herbalism, and experimenting with traditional food preservation.

Date and Time
Tuesday, May 28, 6-7:30pm

Special
Educational
Wellness
Tasting

204, 2024

April 2024 Word from the Board

April 2nd, 2024|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

April 2024 – Word from the Board

Sarah Davis, Board Secretary
Love your Mother Earth! Wheatsfield Co-op members know that April is Earth Month. This year, we can also celebrate Earth’s relationship with the Sun by witnessing a Total Solar Eclipse. What a great event to marvel at the wonders of our world and the intricate dance of light and dark, warmth and cold that make this globe a nurturing home to living things.
We are fortunate that modern astronomy can tell us when and where the eclipse will happen and assure us the sun will shine again. Also fortunate is that modern climate science can tell us it is not too late to stop contributing to human-caused global climate change. Earth Month can remind us that we can move from shadow to light and take action to love our Mother. Our co-op gives us many ways to care for our home planet, either through personal sustainable practices to reduce our consumption or through engagement in earth-loving community events.

One high-impact area for reducing our carbon footprint is our food choices. A recent New York Times article cites a large study showing that reducing meat eating by half can reduce environmental impacts by upwards of 30%. Wheatsfield can help us consider options to eat meat-free more often. I have found that with a quick trip down Wheatsfield’s aisles, I can create satisfying, colorful meals from fresh vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. Not only that, when we shop at the Co-op, we support local farmers and sustainable farming practices, and can make sustainable animal product choices, all while making healthy, varied, mostly plant-based choices that are better for us and for our Mother.

You can also express your Mother Earth love at many Co-op Earth Month Events – from DIY classes like bike repair, and worm composting, to the Incredible Bulk Sale (great for reducing packaging waste), to the free Plant a Seed event, to a Stash the Trash event in the Co-op neighborhood in conjunction with the City of Ames Event.

Whatever way you express your care for our home planet in April, I want to thank you for your ongoing membership to Wheatsfield Co-op. It is a clear, positive way you love our Mother every day. Thank you!
204, 2024

April 2024 Change for Community: Friends of Ledges State Park

April 2nd, 2024|Categories: Blog, Co-op Nickel|0 Comments

The Friends of the Ledges State Park is a 501 (c)(3) dedicated to supporting the park for public appreciation and enjoyment. Volunteers from Friends of the Ledges [FOL] help park staff maintain trails, manage invasive species, and improve infrastructure and services for tens of thousands of annual visitors.

In 2024 FOL will honor the park’s centennial year with an array of special events and projects, both educational and celebratory. In addition, FOL has established an endowment for the care and protection of the park in perpetuity.

2703, 2024

March 2024 Board Meeting Highlights

March 27th, 2024|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

Here are highlights from the March 2024 Wheatsfield Board of Directors meeting:

  • The Board heard updates about planning for Wheatsfield’s 50th anniversary block party, which will be held Sept. 14, 2024 from 11am-4pm.
  • The March Mini Member Drive will run from March 18 through March 31and membership is up! The goal for this member drive is to add 30 new members and by the board meeting date there have been an additional 22 new-member owners and 11 student discount program participants.
  • February 2024 sales were the best February sales EVER (+7.24% compared to February 2023). It helped to have an extra day in this February!
  • The Board discussed strategies for long-term management of preferred shares. Discussion included consideration of amendments for clarity and flexibility in the articles and bylaws regarding preferred shares, and future development of financial benchmarks and guidelines for possible repayment of preferred shares.
  • The Board reviewed and discussed options for updating Wheatsfield’s lease which expires in January 2025 with additional extensions beyond those that run until 2035 in the current lease.

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