Crystel is one of those unsuspiciously talented artists. She not only has a knack for colors and fabric patterns, but has a great sense of humor, too!Read More
Viroqua Food Co-op Blog
VFC TURKEY TALK
Adapted from: www.outpost.coop/graze/issues/19#/20
Check out TIPS FROM CARLOS on our recipe blog for even more great tips
and his spin on a super easy Fennel Spice Rub Turkey Recipe!
Do you remember the transiton of being a kid who couldn’t read to one who did? Now, think of how it felt when you picked up a Webster’s Dictionary – it’s like the whole world was contained in those pages. Sure, the sheer weight of it was enough to give any kid spelling bee anxieties.
Despite being a truly awesome amalgamating lexicon, it has always been the good ol' trusty book that one turns to for clarification, interpretation and black-and-white definition of illuminating clarity and knowledge. It may very well be my dorky, undying admiration for the dictionary, but I want to tell you The BIG BOOK of KOMBUCHA is the equivalent for kombucha brewers, and OH-So-Much More!Read More
Whether you take sips or swigs, or are simply looking for homemade beverage recipes you can make and even gift through the holiday season, I’ve found another drink cookbook to guide you in creating your own infused spirits.Read More
Cate and Mat Eddy of Ridgeland Harvest (RH) grow certified organic produce on their farm, located 12 miles south of Viroqua. They started farming in 2000 with a half acre of vegetables and full time jobs. Fourteen years later, they are full time farmers raising 25 acres of certified organic produce along with two busy boys. But what hasn’t changed over the years, is their commitment to providing a diverse selection of healthy and affordable vegetables.
This November, I had the opportunity to attend the 4th National Conference for Women in Sustainable Agriculture in Des Moines, Iowa, which was a three day conference attended by over 400 women and “a few intrepid men”!
During more than one session, I listened to the women presenters start their session with anecdotal jabs about how a few times during the year, they secretly wish how they could work in a cubicle, leave their daily stresses at work, and come home to relax. Instead, they are farmers or agricultural advocates whose work never stops when they are home. Despite the antagonistic quips, all of the presenters were quick to inspire attendees through never-ending passion that resonated through each of their stories and objective teachings.
Holly Carroll, both a teacher and the Oklahoma State Farm Bureau Coordinator, focused on reaching and retaining new young leaders in agriculture. She reminded the room full of women of all ages that even though you may not relate to interacting with your “target market” or peers through social media, it is where our younger generations spend their time. If you have a story to tell, but none of the time it takes to put it into a blog or website, recruit a student in the community who can make it their school project to assist you. Not only does this offer them the opportunity to work with social media (something they already excel at), but by studying your story it gives them reason to take stock in what you do by integrating them into your livelihood. It may even plant the seed for them to get involved in the sustainable agriculture movement in the future! So despite technology being a barrier that may separate us sometimes, it is evermore meaningful to connect with others by way of social media tools.
In the last session I attended at the conference, Wendy Allen, both a PR Professional for Organic Valley and a Writer/Content Editor for Edible Madison, explained how important it is to tell your story – especially when trying to bring a focus to your business, products, etc. More and more people want to feel connected to what they are purchasing. Through a writing/reading exercise, Wendy revealed how when others read and relate to your story, you give them reason to further invest in you and your products or services.
As a native of the Viroqua Area I feel quite privileged to be back here, in hopes to pour whatever strength and courageous ambition I have back into what I do here at the Viroqua Food Co-op. I have a lot of role models who take what they are good at and find a way to surround themselves with as much of it as possible- and it’s contagious (those of you reading this article most likely qualify... yeah, YOU)!
Recently, I found a way to be of service to the people/farmers who grow my food, even if I’m not working on a farm. Every week I help Linda Gallardo, the VFC Produce Manager, tell the story of what is most fresh and local in the produce department. Together, we take two to four products and feature them with a fun recipe, an educational blurb, or interesting ways other food bloggers are working with the same subject matter, and then publish it on our local food blog called “Fresh & Local”. This blog is the Co-op’s way of storytelling and spreading the great word about what our local producers are up to and how you can directly support them when you vote with your dollars here at the VFC.
Please sign up for our weekly email blog by clicking on the “email sign up” symbol in the upper right-hand corner of most pages on this website. Each email takes just a few minutes to read and updates you with what is fresh and locally available at the Co-op!
As the new VFC Marketing Assistant, I wasn’t sure how to take full advantage of my one-day ticket to this year's 24th annual Organic Farming Conference (OFC). I struck it rich when attending a couple workshops based on Women in Farming and Agriculture. These knowledgeable presenters have actually written books on these subjects, so please see the resources listed at the end of this article.
Spring is coming and with it comes the desire to “get in shape and get healthy.” Below are some suggestions to help you do just that.
Last fall, the VFC Board of Directors announced a new Microlending Initiative. Through this program, an individual or farm that is currently selling their product to the VFC is eligible for an interest-free loan of up to $3000, to be paid back within one year. Through the Microlending Initiative we hope to strengthen small, local farms that supply the Co-op and create opportunities to improve their operations. The Microlending Initiative was developed under the direction of the Board of Directors by the Microlending Committee, which consists of two VFC Board Members and two VFC Managers.
Margarita Mitchel, from Jalisco, Mexico joined our produce team in September as the Viroqua Food Co-op’s first intern. She worked with us 24 hours a week, learning about fresh produce from the time the delivery arrived at our dock to preparing foods with our cut fruit and vegetable programs. Upon her recent departure she had a few parting words for us.