Viroqua Food Co+op Blog

VFC Owner Discount on Select Driftless Folk School Classes

Posted by Bjorn Bergman on Wed, Jan 14, 2015 @ 01:00 PM

As the New Year begins, what’s on your bucket list? Are you interested in learning about homeopathy? Grafting fruit trees? Making sourdough bread? Gluten-free baking? Well, you’re in luck! As a VFC Owner, you get the opportunity to participate in a variety of upcoming Driftless Folk School (DFS) Classes at a discount.

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Tags: Announcements

P6 Microloan Applications Due February 6

Posted by Bjorn Bergman on Fri, Jan 09, 2015 @ 11:02 AM

Calling all local farmers and producers! Do you have a project that will help bring your local farm/food business to the next level? Would you benefit from a no-interest loan to jumpstart that project?

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Tags: Announcements

The VFC Experience: Viroqua Food Co-op prepares for the next chapter

Posted by Charlene Elderkin on Fri, Oct 10, 2014 @ 11:37 AM

At the Viroqua Food Cooperative, we take planned and measured steps to ensure the long-term financial health and well-being of our Co-op. We’re big on building a strong foundation of preparedness so when opportunities come along, we’re ready.

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Tags: Announcements

Bike the Barns Driftless - June 29

Posted by Bjorn Bergman on Thu, Jun 19, 2014 @ 10:02 AM

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!

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Tags: Local, Announcements, Events, Food, Farm, Organic, Rooted Spoon, farm to table, Bike, Tour, Bike the Barns, CSA, volunteering, Driftless Organics, Ridgeland Harvest, Bike the Barns Driftless

P6 Tailgate Party - with Local and Cooperative Food producers

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

CHEER ON YOUR LOCAL and COOPERATIVE PRODUCERS

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

Second Cloud on the Left recipient of Viroqua Food Co-op Microloan

Posted by Charlene Elderkin on Wed, Feb 26, 2014 @ 10:56 AM

In the fall of 2012, the VFC Board of Directors started a P6 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 $3,000 for a new project or infrastructure. Loans must be paid back within one year. Through this Microlending Initiative the VFC strengthens small, local farms and producers that supply the Co-op and creates opportunities to improve their operations.

We are pleased to announce that Second Cloud on the Left Farm in La Farge, Wisconsin is the 2014 VFC P6 Microlending recipient. The Committee is happy to fulfill their entire request of $1,629 for their Lettuce Mix Harvesting and Season Extension Project. Second Cloud is owned and operated by Toril and Drew Fisher who specialize in growing two specific varieties of produce: heirloom tomatoes and heirloom leafy greens. Though they have made tremendous strides in both areas, market demand is stronger in the area of greens.

Harvesting leafy greens is extremely time consuming. With hand held harvest knives and bins, one person can harvest about 6 pounds per hour and wash and pack around 12 pounds per hour. With one part of the loan, Second Cloud is purchasing a hand-held, mechanized harvester that harvests greens at a maximum rate of 175 pounds per hour. This will allow Second Cloud to complete their harvesting process in less than an hour and move field workers onto the wash and pack line, increasing their ability to move and ship more product to market and improve sales.

With the second part of the loan, Second Cloud will improve upon their season extension technologies on the farm. Season extension technologies such as hoop houses and row covers provide numerous advantages to farmers who can leverage these technologies and increase their production from eight months to 10-12 months of the year. Currently, Second Cloud has two hoop houses. Part of the VFC P6 Microloan will be used to improve their greenhouse operations through the purchase of a large roll of greenhouse plastic to maximize and extend the greens season in both hoop houses into December and January. The plastic will replace woven agricultural fabrics that provide secondary coverage for greens in the hoop houses. This cover holds and maintains soil temperatures and humidity better than the agricultural fabrics.

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Tags: Announcements, Microlending Committee, Microloan Recipient

Viroqua Food Co-op is expanding

Posted by Charlene Elderkin on Thu, Oct 24, 2013 @ 02:15 PM

Our Co-op is growing! More owners, more sales, more great tasting fresh organic and local foods. For the VFC staff, this means we’re always looking to bring in products you’re asking for. Our job is to find room for exceptional new products, too. Sometimes the logistics of getting this great tasting food to Viroqua is a challenge. After all, we’re a small, rural community not even close to major highways that most food travels on (not that we mind this part), but that’s only a piece of the problem. Even our local vendors and farmers need to limit their deliveries per week—they carefully balance their time between the field, the kitchen and the delivery truck. This means we need to hold enough product behind the scenes to get us to the next delivery, week by week.

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Tags: Announcements

Celebrate Co-Cycle and Cooperatives with Music and Food

Posted by Charlene Elderkin on Fri, Jul 12, 2013 @ 07:06 AM

On Wednesday, July 24th, Co-cycle, a youth-led, bike-powered tour linking cooperatives across the United States, is once again visiting Viroqua! Come out to the VFC and celebrate their arrival that day from 4:30-8pm in the store parking lot. Meet the members of Co-Cycle and learn about a number of the wonderful cooperatives in and around Viroqua.

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Tags: Announcements, Events, co-cycle

Gleaned Food Project of Southwest Wisconsin

Posted by Bjorn Bergman on Thu, Jun 27, 2013 @ 02:46 PM

The Gleaned Foods Project will have a table at the Viroqua Food Co-op on Saturday, June 29th from 11am-3pm. Please stop by and learn more about how you can get involved in this great community program.

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Tags: Announcements, Events, Farm, donations, farm to table, volunteering, Gleaned Food Project, People with Disabilities, VSN

Bike the Barns West - Sunday, June 30th 2013

Posted by Bjorn Bergman on Mon, May 13, 2013 @ 04:44 PM

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.

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Tags: Local, Announcements, Events, Food, Farm, Organic, Rooted Spoon, Bike, Tour, Bike the Barns, CSA