Viroqua Food Co+op Blog

Get ready to garden: VFC has local/organic seeds

Posted by Charlene Elderkin on Tue, Mar 25, 2014 @ 04:48 PM

As the growing year approaches we send out blessings for all the seeds we plant. If you didn’t save your own seeds, we hope you’ll come to the VFC for your fresh stock. Ninety percent of our seeds are certified organic this year! And three out of four of the flower and vegetable seed companies we carry are P6 producers! Let’s give you a little run through.

For 39 years, Seed Savers Exchange, a P6 Producer from neighboring Decorah, Iowa has been on the forefront of the heirloom seed movement, working with gardeners to preserve our food heritage. All their seeds are open pollinated, meaning the seed can be saved and planted again, and have not been genetically modified in any way. They maintain a seed bank with thousands of varieties. Each one has a story behind it—you’ll be connecting more deeply with history as you work with these plants. While we carry a relatively small selection of their collection, we order often and can special order anything in their lovely catalog for you!

Inspired by the intrigue of living forces, Kathy Shepherd from Gays Mills (P6) has brought her seed saving experience to the public this year. You’ll find her Seed Shepherd packages on our racks (which are organized by like seeds together… roots, greens, brassicas, etc.).

We proudly round out our fine selection of certified organic seeds with packages from the reputable and successful company, High Mowing Organic Seeds from Vermont. We’ll have some specialties like fava beans (to be planted when cool outside), Kaboko napa cabbage, and Kaitlin white cabbage (which are great for kimchi and sauerkraut respectively). All in all, we’ll have a total of 23 kinds of tomatoes, 7 kinds of peas, 12 kinds of lettuce, plus 4 different salad mixes for your growing pleasure and fresh eating delight! And all at below catalog prices!

As if all that isn’t exciting enough, this will be the first year that some seeds will be in our Basics program. Most of the plain white packages from Fedco, a seed co-op from Maine, are only $1.99 each, while still being certified organic AND from a P6 producer! Please note there are a few exceptions, like larger sized “B” packages and special varieties not found from other companies, like parsnips, baby white turnips and cutting celery (a parsley-like plant that tastes like celery).

Can you say “13 varieties of potatoes?” They’ll be arriving soon from organic certified growers Vermont Valley Community Farm in Blue Mound, Wisconsin… another P6 producer!

We gardeners know that healthy food comes from healthy soil. So in our efforts to help you build soil we will again carry some bulk cover crop seed! Varieties will include white clover, red clover, rye and buckwheat.

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Tags: Seed Potatoes, Seeds

P6 Tailgate Party - with Local and Cooperative Food producers

Posted by Bjorn Bergman on Thu, Mar 06, 2014 @ 08:15 AM


Shake off those cold winter blues! Come celebrate spring with a variety of our local, cooperative and small farmers/producers at our 2nd Annual Principle Six (P6) Producers Tailgate Party on Saturday, March 29, 10am - 2pm. We’d love to have you join us to learn about P6, sample P6 products and have a P6 lunch from our patio grill.

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Tags: P6 Producers, P6, Announcements, Events, Product Information, CSA, Principle Six

VFC Owner Benefit: Discount on select Drifltess Folk School Classes

Posted by Bjorn Bergman on Mon, Mar 03, 2014 @ 07:35 AM

Cooperatives are rooted in education. The fifth (of seven) International Cooperative Principles, which the Viroqua Food Cooperative closely follows, is “Education, training and information. Since our birth as a cooperative in September 1995, we have been dedicated to educating our owners about co-ops, food and sustainable farming through a variety of classes and events hosted in our community.

On August 10th, 2013 we partnered for the first time with the Driftless Folk School, Driftless Café, Rooted Spoon Kitchen Table and local farmers to put on the 100 Mile Meal – A Pop Up Restaurant Class and Benefit Dinner. The event was a resounding success! We had 12 folks participate in the class and we had a full house at the Rooted Spoon to enjoy the meal for the benefit dinner.
Wanting to build on our first success, the Driftless Folk School and VFC have been thinking about ways for our organizations, which both have missions that overlap, to further educate those in our community through collaboration.

So, it is with great excitement that we announce a partnership between the VFC and the Driftless Folk School beginning with the 2014 Spring & Summer Course Catalogue. The Driftless Folk School is offering Viroqua Food Cooperative Owners a discount on 11 food-based courses. Discounts for VFC Owners will be $10 off full day classes and $5 off half day classes.

See above for a full listing of DFS classes offered at a discount to VFC Owners. Pick up a 2014 course catalogue, check out their website (, or contact DFS to learn more at:

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Tags: Classes, Driftless Folk School