Have you noticed? Warmer weather is officially here. That means it’s time to start bicycling and eating fresh local food! On June 29, you can do both, while learning about local farms that supply produce to the Viroqua Food Co-op and CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), by riding in the 2nd Annual Bike the Barns Driftless!
Viroqua Food Co-op Blog
It had been a hard winter for Chief Woksis and his tribe of Iroquois. Spring came upon them with the smell of new life in the air and a fresh energy. Chief Woksis threw his tomahawk at the closest tree with a hoot, he couldn’t believe the luck his hunting parties had this morning. They had more meat than they had seen in months, there would be a feast! As he pulled his tomahawk from the tree and walked away, his wife touched the thin sap that came out of the tree’s wound. It was sweet! She quickly gathered enough of the liquid to boil her meat in that night, creating a maple aroma that permeated the camp. When it came time to eat the sap had become thick syrup! All of the water had boiled off during the day. The Iroquois knew they had stumbled on to something monumental this day.
The Arabs had banned the sale of fertile coffee beans for over a hundred years before this day, but the Dutch trader Pieter van der Broecke had a plan. It was 1616 and he was not going to deal with these Arab traders anymore, he had gotten his hands on some of the closely guarded coffee bushes from Mocha in Yemen. He would get them to Amsterdam where they would thrive in the Botanical gardens there. Within forty years the beans from these plants would start a thriving industry that spread to Sri Lanka, Java, and Suriname….and eventually these beans would make their way to Viroqua.
The sun was just beginning to rise when Steve finished milking the last of the 50 cows in his herd. He was ready for the truck to come pick up the new batch of organic milk this morning; he was the first stop on this route. He started back towards the house to get some breakfast before starting another day on the farm, his work was never done.
When you buy a Cold Press Maple Latte from the VFC Deli, or encourage some else to buy it, you aren’t just getting one of the most delicious drinks you’ve had in your life. You are keeping your friends and neighbors in business. You are telling the world you can make it happen in your own backyard. You are keeping history alive. This isn’t just a drink, this is a statement - loud and proud - shouted to the whole world. When you buy this you are making Local, Fair Trade, and Organic a reality.
Don’t let the spirit of Chief Woksis down.
Waleed Mahmoud, Viroqua Food Co-op Deli Manager
Do you enjoy riding your bicycle in the rolling hills of the Driftless? Do you love local food? Are you interested in learning more about Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and the local farms that supply produce to the Viroqua Food Co-op? If you answered yes to all those questions, do we have the event for you!
Bike the Barns West is a recreational bicycle tour featuring FairShare CSA Coalition farms and local food in the Driftless region on Sunday, June 30. This unique bike tour takes riders to CSA farms around the region to raise awareness of and participation in local CSA farms. Bike the Barns West riders travel a 52 mile scenic route that starts and ends in Readstown, Wisconsin and visits Keewaydin Farm and Small Family Farm, both of which are CSA farms that supply delicious organic produce to the Viroqua Food Co-op. The ride is fueled by gourmet food grown by local farmers and prepared by Rooted Spoon Culinary, including snacks, lunch, and post-ride refreshments.
Funds raised through rider pledges support FairShare CSA Coalition’s Partner Shares Program, a community initiative to improve access to fresh, local fruits and vegetables, and support local farmers. Bike the Barns West is a fantastic way to roll through the countryside, visit local farms, eat delicious local food, and support a great cause.
You may have seen this large “mythbusters” sign in the front of the store. It reads, “Myth #1 - It’s too expensive to shop at Viroqua Food Co-op.”
by Bjorn Bergman,
Promotions and Educational Coordinator
On Monday, April 2nd 2012, USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan and a number of individuals from USDA Rural Development and the Wisconsin Farm Services Agency visited Viroqua to learn about the developing local food economy in our region.
Herbs & Spices Buyer
Assistant Produce Manager
Spring circles around again, and as we have for thousands of years, we plant seeds of hope for our future. The seed is the beginning of the cycle and also the end. These days, as we vote with our dollars, we can choose to continue supporting the return to a clean planet by buying seed that was grown organically.
The event will feature:
- Small Family CSA, Jillian Jacquinot, La Farge, WI
- Ridgeland Harvest, Cate and Mat Eddy, Viroqua, WI
- Driftless Organics, Noah Engel, Soldiers Grove, WI
We hope to see you there!
About Community Supported Agriculture (CSA):
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a partnership between the CSA member and the farmer. Farm members buy a CSA share each spring. In return they receive a weekly box of produce directly from the the farm that is delivered to a dropsite near their home. Produce is delivered during the height of the growing season for 15-22 weeks. With each box of produce, members receive a newsletter of farm news, recipes and cooking tips. CSA represent a great way for citizens to support local agriculture, support sustainable family farms, know their farmer, and increase their consumption of nutritious locally produced fruits and vegetables.