Fresh and Local! Blog

Local Salad Greens, Fresh Turmeric, & Citrus Peel Preserves!

Posted by VFC Produce Team on Tue, Jan 27, 2015 @ 05:00 AM


Local Salad Greens

Salad Greens from Jacob Stoltzfus

Yes, tender green leaves spring from the earth in this Amish heated greenhouse. So tender & gentle, tasty & nourishing. Spinach, arugula & a mixed green salad are all available in the Produce Department each weekend… As the sunlight grows, so do the greens, & the harvest, & the length of time we’ll have them on the shelf before they run out!


DFS Class:
Baking Sourdough Bread
Saturday 1/31, 1pm-4:30pm

Youth Traveling
Cooperative Institute
Saturday 1/31, 1pm-8pm

Fresh Turmeric

Turmeric (straight from the grower) in Hawaii

This deep, rich, orange relative of the ginger plant loves warmth & moisture & nourishes our bodies’ natural ecosystem. Turmeric has many anti-inflammatory properties that help in treating various health problems like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis & ulcerative colitis. It also helps people with cancer, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, & high cholesterol. Read more about brewing a cup of turmeric tea here:

Click here for
Reg. $3.69

Owner Deals!

Candied Citrus Peels

Citrus Peel Preserves with Blood Oranges

BLOOD ORANGES are in season right now. These beauties give deep color & rich flavor to your fruit salald, green salad, juices, cocktails, & snacktime! You love the juicy insides, & with these recipes you can use the rind, too!
CLICK HERE for "Confessions of a BRIGHT-EYED BAKER" DIY Candied Orange Peels! CLICK HERE for the "CHOW" recipe for Spiced Preserved Lemons! They add exotic sunny flavors to any gray day!



February 12-14, 2015
Bath & Body Products in Wellness Department

OPEN DAILY: 7am-9pm


Tags: Driftless Folk School, Turmeric, Salad Greens, Citrus Peels

Hen of the Woods, Local Arugula & More-Protein-Than-Milk Ettinger Avocados!

Posted by Shana Meshbesher on Wed, Dec 24, 2014 @ 01:14 PM

Maitake Mushrooms

Maitake Mushrooms from California

These are certified organic, offer many health benefits & have an alias of "Hen of the Woods." Maitakes are often used to boost the immune system &, in turn, fight off cancer & certain infections, are rich in minerals (potassium, calcium & magnesium) along with various vitamins (B2, D2 & Niacin), fibers & amino acids. Also touted as a natural remedy for diabetes, high blood pressure, & high cholesterol. In addition, maitakes are sometimes marketed for their supposed benefits as a weight-loss aid! Try some in your turkey stuffing, mixed into a risotto or even slivered and added to your next salad!


Holiday Hours:

Christmas Eve:

Christmas Day:

New Years Eve:

New Years Day:


Arugula from Jacob Stolzfus

More local greens! Low in calories, high in antioxidents, fiber, vitamins, minerals & flavor! Adds a bit of a zip to your salads, stirfries, sautees, pizzas & sandwiches. Back in the Produce Bulk Bins!


Happy Holidays
from our
Co-op Family
to You & Yours!

Ettinger Avocados

Ettinger Avocados from

These large (size of entire hand!) organically grown beauties are still green when they are ready to eat. With just a slight softness around the neck – just like your standard Hass, eat these avo's when they are more firm than the standard Hass. Creamy & rich, these burst with nutrients – vitamins, A, B-complex, C, E, H, K, & folic acid, plus the minerals magnesium, copper, iron, calcium, potassium & many other trace elements. Avocados provide all of the essential amino acids (those that must be provided by our diet), with 18 amino acids in all, plus 7 fatty acids, including Omega 3 & 6. Taboot, avocados contain more protein than cow’s milk, about 2% per edible portion! Try this variety while they are perfectly ripe & available!

Click here for
Artists to Watch 
$1.00 OFF
Per Pack

Owner Deals!

Open Daily: 7am-9pm


Fresh & Local! Biodiverse Carrots, Flemish Beauty Pears & Infinitely Restoring Horseradish Root!

Posted by Shana Meshbesher on Wed, Dec 03, 2014 @ 05:25 PM

Purple Carrots

Purple & Scarlet Carrots from Ridgeland Harvest

Ridgeland Harvest not only grows delicious orange carrots but purple & scarlet carrots, too. Available in 3# bags, they add festive color to your veggie trays & hot dishes for the holidays. Try them – they taste just like the orange ones & have all the great nutritional value, if not a bit more, they’re just a different color. Ridgeland Harvest is adding diversity back into our menus, despite the orange version dominating the industry standard. Not only does this help manage pests through biodiversity within an ecosystem but it keeps a diverse selection of heritage seed varieties accessible to those seeds that would otherwise vanish!


3pm - 7pm" target="_blank">Friday, December 12
3pm - 7pm

Bob Hill & Susan Frank
The Sutherland Family 
Bakery Items & Pies
Herbal Body Products
Wine Samples Too!

Pears Flemish 02

Flemish Beauty Pears from Partner Farms in Michigan

Flemish Beauty inventory is winding down and is at its peak flavor – especially for pear sauces, pear butters, salads & just plain ol’ fresh eatin’! Regionally grown, pretty soon we will be ordering from California, Oregon and Washington. If you haven't tried them yet, they're a roundish pear with thick, clear, yellowy/tan skin blushed with red when ripe. The creamy-colored flesh becomes meltingly tender when ripe. Only available from mid-September to January, come get some today!

Click here to view OWNER DISCOUNTS
December 4-6


Owner-only Sale:
10% OFF
Bulk Dept.

(Sale items
not included)

Horseradish Root 02

Horseradish Root from
Harmony Valley Farm

'Tis the season for our bodies to get a dose of horseradish root. Try grating a little into your kim chi, on your pork roast or beef, or in your spring rolls & wraps for extra kick. Not only will your cold and flu disappear but it will boost your immune system this winter. Horseradish has expectorant, antibacterial, strong antibiotic, coronary vasodilator, anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic, anti-anemic & diuretic properties... It's used as a natural treatment against respiratory and rheumatic disorders, helps in mild diabetes, circulatory problems, water retention, digestion & tooth aches. It stimulates the body's immune system & appetite too. This amazing root, with its endless beneficial properties, can be found right here at the Co-op. Try making some homemade horseradish today! 

Click here for


Artists to Watch 
$1.00 OFF
Per Pack

Owner Deals!

Open Daily: 7am-9pm


Tags: Ridgeland Harvest, Horseradish, Owner Deals, Pears

Don't Blow Up The Oven, Perfumey Quince & Sweet Window Sills & Swags

Posted by Shana Meshbesher on Wed, Nov 26, 2014 @ 01:48 PM

Chestnuts from Iowa

Chestnuts from Iowa

Fresh nuts to roast or be eaten raw! Chestnuts contain high levels of essential fatty acids, including linoleic acid, which is beneficial to cardiovascular health & proper neurological development. Click here for more info on how nutritious these brown guys are! Do remember to pierce the skin before cooking so they don’t blow up in your oven/fire!


We are open daily
7am-9pm except for this Thursday in order to allow our staff a chance to observe this Thanksgiving Holiday.
Thank you for understanding! 


Quince from California

Related to apples & pears – but NOT to be eaten raw… too hard & sour! But since they are full of pectin, they make excellent thickeners. The very strong perfume means they can be added in small quantities to apple pies, jams and cranberry sauce. Adding a diced quince to apple sauce will enhance the taste of, and even add a lovely pink color to, an apple sauce with the chunks of relatively firm, tart quince. We only get these a for a few weeks so be sure to try this old world food in your pies, crisps & sauces!

December 4-6

thru Saturday

Owner-only Sale:
10% OFF
Bulk Dept.
(does not include Bulk Coffee nor Bulk Herbs & Spices) 

Holiday Branches Twigs and Swags from Shining Hills

Holiday Branches from
Shining Hill Farm & Gardens

I’m sure you’ve noticed winter has arrived. One good thing about it is outdoor décor will decorate our entryway! We have local pines, cedars, spruces, colored willows & other twigs. So take some home to decorate your outdoor flower pots & boxes…. Make yourself a swag, decorate your mantle, window sills, or anything else you want to smell good and give you some healing green imagery. We have beautiful wreaths, too, which are made by Ryan Evans, Owner & Operator at Shining Hill Farm & Gardens!

Click here for

VFC To-Go Mugs
$11.99 / ea

Non-owner Price:
Owner Deals!

Open Daily: 7am-9pm


Tags: Wreaths & Decorative Branches, Chestnuts, Quince

Local Ginger, A Rainbow of Squash & Potatoes Gonna Potate...

Posted by Shana Meshbesher on Wed, Nov 19, 2014 @ 01:57 PM

Fresh Ginger

Fresh Ginger from Harmony Valley Farm

It’s so fresh you won’t know if you want to eat it or plant it! This locally grown tuber can be eaten without peeling, but use a spoon to scrape the skin off if you must. We recommend to add some slices to your hot tea, in stir fries – but especially add a hint to this season’s Pumpkin Pies. Plus, make tea with the stems! Support a P6 Farmer, feed your internal fire & aid your digestion – all at the same time!

Turkey Roasted 01There's Still Time To Get Your Organic Turkey!

Ask Cashiers for 
custom sizes!

Winter Squash

Winter Squash from Various Local Farms

We now have a rainbow of 12 varieties, which includes: green & striped Acorns, 2 kinds of Butternuts, Spaghetti Squash, Red Kuri, Blue Hubbard, Pie Pumpkins, oblong Delicatas – & 2 lesser known ones called Kindred & Seminole. Each one gives you soluble fiber, lots of vitamin A as well as significant amounts of C, B6, B2, manganese & copper. Squash make delicious soups, casseroles, roasted sides, waffles & flatbreads. Plus the seeds are edible and nutritious! Click here for a quick visual guide to winter squash!

11/22 - 11/24

Owner-only Sale:
10% OFF
All Beer, Wine & Spirits...

Be sure to pick up your holiday libations during your next VFC shopping trip! 

Red & Yellow Local Potatoes

Red & Yellow Potatoes from Driftless Organics

Everyone’s favorite winter comfort food… Put in creamy soups, serve au gratin-style, bake ‘em, deep or shallow fry ‘em, serve ‘em mashed with meats, as potato pancakes, or in breads. They fit in breakfast, lunch or dinner menus – whichever way you want to serve ‘em!

Haters gonna hate

Open Daily: 7am-9pm


Tags: Turkey, Ginger, Potatoes, Winter Squash, Owner Deals

Parsnip+Cheese Soup, Inglorious Apples & VERY Local Black Garlic!

Posted by Shana Meshbesher on Tue, Nov 11, 2014 @ 01:59 PM

Local Parsnips

Parsnips from Harmony Valley Farm & Driftless Organics

Freshly dug, sweet & rooty, these umbelliferae family members are related to carrots, parsley, celery & dill. Keeps you grounded with vitamin C and several B vitamins and many anti-oxidants. Several research studies have found that these compounds have anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal & anti-cancer functions as well as offer protection from colon cancer & acute lymphoblastic leukemia. So roast them, sauté them or toss them into a soup. Click here for a super delicious & EASY Potato Cheese soup recipe!


Sign up for a
fresh, limited supply
of organic turkey
($20 deposit required) before they are gone.
Available for pick-up starting 11/21 for $4.39/lb. 

Kitchen Apples

Kitchen Apples from Countryside Orchard & Two Brothers Orchard

Our best deal in apples... & called "kitchen" apples because they are a mixed variety & may have a blemish or two that in no way affect the taste! Use them for crisps, pies, turnovers, sauce, you name it! We aren't the only ones loving our kitchen apples: take a look at what Europe was able to do with "the uglier side of fruits & vegetables" by clicking here! It'll make you seek the odd-shaped produce in no time!

Or simply wait for the
Ferndale Market Turkeys. Available first come, first serve in the meat case starting 11/18 for
(no deposit/sign up necessary).

Black Garlic

Black Garlic from Wisconsin Fermentation Co.

Black garlic is regular garlic that has been fermented for a month with specified heat & humidity. This process increases the amount of antioxidants, while making it milder & much sweeter. Eat it as a spread, add it to a spread, or pasta, or ice cream, or seafood, or meat- the list goes on! Click here to see what recipes our VERY LOCAL P6 Producers at Wisconsin Fermentation Co. are preparing with this fine, garlic delicacy!

Click here for

Owner Sale This Week:
Lüsa Lip Balms
Non-owner Price:

Owner Deals!

Open Daily: 7am-9pm


Tags: Black Garlic, P6 Producers, Parsnips, Apples

Lady Gaga of Broccoli, 8 Easy Cabbage Recipes & Flemish Pears for Dessert!

Posted by Shana Meshbesher on Thu, Nov 06, 2014 @ 01:01 PM


Broccoli, Cauliflower & Romanesco from Driftless Organics & Small Family Farm

Get these while you can because soon they will all be from far away! Plus, this tail end of the season brings the cool temps, which in turn brings out the sweetness in these flower bud brassicas. Combine them into a lovely crudité (french for raw veggie appetizers with vinaigrette/dipping sauce), sautée or roast together for a side dish, or blend together with cheese for a hearty soup! Click here for a quick but delicious recipe utilizing the Romanesco, the Lady Gaga of Broccoli!

Turkey Roasted 01Time to Talk Turkey!

Time to sign up for
an organic holiday
turkey today.

See cashiers in store
for details!

Napa Cabbage

Napa Cabbage from Harmony Valley Farm

If you’ve never tried this lettucy cabbage, do! It’s mild & crispy, so you can eat it raw, fermented or lightly cooked. Click here to check out EIGHT great recipes, including a quick-to-make spicy kim chi, a couple kinds of cabbage rolls & some slaws!


Click here for

Owner Sale This Week:
Winter Squash
79¢ / lb
Non-owner Price:
$1.29 / lb

Flemish Pears

Flemish Beauty Pears from Partners Farm in Door County

Again, let’s eat regional fruit while we can! These pears used to be the nation’s most popular variety because the large, rounded fruits have creamy-yellow skin blushed red along with firm, creamy-white flesh that becomes meltingly tender, sweet & aromatic. They make for great snacks, salad ingredients, or with some honey, nuts & wine for your dessert course!!!

Owner Deals!

Open Daily: 7am-9pm


Tags: Recipes, Napa Cabbage, Owner Deals, Romanesco, Pears

Green Smoothies, Customized Cookies, Burdock Stir Fry & Shallot Sale!

Posted by Shana Meshbesher on Tue, Oct 28, 2014 @ 12:15 PM

Dandelion Greens

Dandelion Greens from Harmony Valley Farm

A very nutritional green that often gets over-looked, dandelion greens can be consumed raw or cooked. Partial to sauteed spinach? Cook these same way: tear or coarsely chop leaves into pieces the size of baby spinach. Saute lightly in butter or olive oil with caramelized onions & fresh garlic for about five minutes, until just tender, then fold them into an omelet or serve as a side dish. Vary their flavor & texture by adding raisins or currants, crumbled bacon or toasted nuts just before serving. Older, larger, stronger-flavored greens can also be sauteed but usually benefit from a few minutes of blanching in boiling water first. Check out the top 10 reasons why you should be juicing these greens or adding them to your smoothies:

Daggar Cupcakes

Cookies & Cupcakes from VFC Deli!

Did you know you can custom order pies, cupcakes, cookies & cakes from the VFC Bakery? Give 'em a couple days heads-up & the Bakery Team is sure to deliver!

Burdock Root

Burdock Root from Harmony Valley Farm

Tis the season to be picking burdock stickers from our pets’ coats. What a headache! But, did you know the root can relieve your headaches, treat both bacterial and fungal infections, as well as many other medicinal uses??? Check out the website for a great way to utilizie it in a vegetarian Burdock Root Stir

Bridget & Cupcakes


VFC Owners:

Shallots 5

Shallots from Levi Miller

Beautiful, large red shallots are now seasonally in – & on sale this week! Here are the differences between shallots & onions:
1) Shallots grow as a cluster of bulbs from a single planted bulb, similar to garlic. Onions grow as a single bulb per each plant.
2) Onions are round, bigger bulbs with white, yellow or purple skin while shallots can appear like elongated, larger garlic cloves with redish orange skin.
3) The common onion is Allium cepa while the commonly accepted shallot is Allium ascalonicum.
4) Although a bit milder & sweeter, the shallot resembles an onion crossed with garlic in flavor.
5) Onions are more difficult to grow than shallots.
6) Onions are seed-propagated, whereas shallots are vegetatively multiplied.

Please check out our new store flyer with all the

by clicking here!

Owner Sale This Week:
Ridgeland Harvest Carrots
$4.99 / 3#bags
Non-owner Price:
$5.99 / 3#bag

Owner Deals!

Open Daily: 7am-9pm


Tags: Dandelion Greens, cookie, Recipes, Shallots, Burdock Root

Exclusive Kindred Squash Story, Pink Applesauce & Red Bananas!

Posted by Shana Meshbesher on Thu, Oct 23, 2014 @ 03:01 PM

Kindred Squash

Kindred Squash from Chrysalis Farm

In '84, Stephen & Marcia were two Minneapolis food co-op workers who met & got married. Served at their self-cooked wedding meal was half a Kindred Squash per person. It was so good that they requested their co-op start carrying it &, one step further – Steven & Marcia started growing it the next year when they moved to what is now the Viroqua-located Chrysalis Farm. Not only did they originally order it through Seed Savers down in Decorah, Iowa, they saved seed & eventually became the only people who grew Kindreds & kept this seed variety alive. It is now available only through a few small seed companies, thanks to them... Come taste the history & authentic terroir of our region through Kindred squash today!

from Harmony Valley Farm

A lovely blend of organically grown roots, which include multicolored carrots, parsnips & turnips.
Roast, sauté, toss in a soup - whatever floats your boat!

$7.99/3# bags

Liberty Apples

Liberty Apples from Countryside Orchard & Two Brothers Orchard

We've got a multitude of in-season, fresh-off-the-tree apples but want to direct your attention to Liberty apples, which besides being a tart, crisp & juicy, all-purpose apple, makes PINK APPLESAUCE! Celebrate Breast Cancer awareness month by serving pink sauce to your friends & family! We now also have 5# bags of kitchen apples which are certified organic & perfect for pies, crisps, tarts & cut up into ready-to-eat treats!

VFC Owners:

Please check out our new store flyer with all the
by clicking here!

New this week:
Organic Valley
Cream Cheese & Neufchatel Bars
Non-owner Price:
$3.39/8oz bar

Red Bananas

Red Bananas from Mexico

Smaller & plumper than the common Cavendish banana, when ripe - raw red bananas have a flesh that is cream to light pink in color. They are also softer & sweeter than the yellow Cavendish varieties, with a slight raspberry flavor. They give you good fiber, potassium & vitamins B & C, along with their dessert-like flavor! Click here to blow your mind (& potentially your tastebuds), one Banana Bourbon Cupcake at a time!

Owner Deals!

Open Daily: 7am-9pm


Fresh & Local! Irish Potato Alternative, Magic Molly Potatoes & APPLES Galore!

Posted by Shana Meshbesher on Wed, Oct 08, 2014 @ 04:35 PM

White Flesh Sweet Potatoes

White Sweet Potatoes from Levi Miller

This O’Henry variety is a white-fleshed sweet potato that tends to be more dry & less sweet than the orange type so they can be prepared as regular potatoes are. Traditionally considered a more regionally suitable alternative to the "Irish" potato in the southeast. When you taste how creamy the O’Henry is in a dish of mashed sweet potatoes, it may become to be your first choice!


10/15/14 receive 10% off all supplements, homeopathic & herbal formulas from Wellness Department!

10% off PARSNIPS
in bulk since wellness
& healthy eating
go hand-in-hand!

Blue Potatoes

Blue Potatoes from Fazenda Boa Terra

These potatoes called Magic Molly are a relatively new variety that produces large fingerling-shaped tubers with dark purple skin & solid dark purple flesh that retains its color when boiled. The tubers have an excellent earthy flavor, especially when roasted. Colored potatoes have more carotenoids which provide us with many health benefits, including cancer protection.

It pays to be a
VFC Owner...

On top of
Owner Discount Days
we are also offering
Owner Deals...

Please check out our new store flyer with all the
by clicking here!

Apple Cortland

Local Apples from Two Brothers Orchard, Countryside Orchard & Hoch Orchard

Still on the scene: Honeycrisp, Cortland, Haralson, Priscilla & Dayton.
Daytons are a brilliant red fruit & are crisp, juicy, sweetly tart & very flavorful. They are a new generation of disease resistant apple!

Owner Deals!

Open Daily: 7am-9pm



VFC is committed to carrying at least 90% organic fresh produce, of the finest and freshest quality possible. Priorities in the selection of produce shall be as follows:

1. Local Certified Organic (seasonal)
2. Good quality Certified Organic from closest possible source
3. Local Non-certified Organic (seasonal)
4. “Integrated Pest Management” (IPM)
5. Local (non-organic)
6. Conventional on temporary basis and only when organic or quality organic is not available

Local Farmers

For more info about various seasonal produce, visit the following links:

Satsuma Mandarins!­
Winter Radishes
Fresh Cranberries!
Brussel Sprouts
Celeriac (celery root)
Local Sweet Potatoes
Spring Bulbs
Fresh Horseradish
Pears Heavenly Pears
Winter Squash
­Local Apples
Heirloom Fruits & Veggies