Viroqua Food Co+op Blog

The Del Cabo Cooperative

Posted by Charlene Elderkin on Mon, Jan 16, 2012 @ 12:59 PM

Nestled in the pristine valleys between the Sea of Cortez and the rugged mountains of the Baja Peninsula, over 400 farming families of the Del Cabo Cooperative nurture their crops to bring you excellent organic produce.

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Tags: Cooperative, Fair Trade, Food, Farm, Produce, Organic, Sustainability

Coulee Region Co-op Community Fund

Posted by Charlene Elderkin on Fri, Jan 06, 2012 @ 06:00 AM

Do you believe in supporting local growers, in livable neighborhoods, in strong schools, in supporting other co-ops or in programs that make this community an even better place to live? Viroqua Food Co-op and its partners, the People’s Food Co-op and the Bluff Country Co-op, administer the Coulee Region Cooperative Community Fund Grant. This grant fund was established in 2003 by the People’s Food Co-op with a mission to provide supplemental or project-specific funding to local non-profit organizations which have missions consistent with the goals of our co-ops. It is a wonderful way of applying Co-op Principle 6 “Cooperation among cooperatives” and Co-op principle 7, “Concern for Community,” making our communities healthier, stronger and more sustainable.

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Tags: Local, Cooperative, Food, Farm, Produce, Organic, Sustainability, Farm to School

Fresh and Local: Burdock Root, Beauty Heart Radish, Red & Yellow Onions!

Posted by Charlene Elderkin on Tue, Jan 03, 2012 @ 03:22 PM

Red Onions & Yellow Onions from Keewaydin Organics & Ridgeland Harvest

All of our Red and yellow onions have been local awesomeness and are still available. Though we have run out of local sweet onions, we expect local yellow and reds for at least a month, yet.

 Beauty Heart Radishes from Driftless Organics

A gorgeous winter variety of radish that features a rather mild flavored bright magenta sun-burst of a center.  Beautiful & delicious grated raw into salads or sliced with dip, pickled, or cooked briefly in soups or stir-fries.  In a plastic bag in your fridge they will keep for months, their flavor getting mellower with age. Check out the Edible Madison article written by Dani Lind for additional information and details on these beautiful delights.

 Burdock Root from Harmony Valley Farms

Burdock root is very crisp and has a sweet, mild, and pungent flavor with a little muddy harshness that can be reduced by soaking julienned or shredded roots in water for five to ten minutes.

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Tags: Local, Food, Farm, Produce, Organic

Fresh and Local Produce Nov 16th - 22nd: Carrots, Yellow Onions and Honey-nut Squash

Posted by Charlene Elderkin on Tue, Nov 15, 2011 @ 04:08 PM

Carrots (bulk & bagged) from Ridgeland Harvest – 

Great growing season for carrots in our area this year. They are super crunchy & fresh, full of vitamins & minerals.  No need to peel fresh organic carrots – most of their nutrition lies in or just below the skin.  Store in plastic in the fridge, keeps for a long time.

Yellow Onions (bagged and bulk) from New Traditions & Keewaydin -

Caramelized onions anyone? Yellow onions are milder than the Red and a great addition raw or cooked to just about anything. Onions are very high in antioxidant flavonoids & vitamin C.

Honeynut Squash (mini-butternut) from Ridgeland Harvest –

Yeah, single-serve butternut squash, everyone gets their own for Thanksgiving Day dinner in my house. This 4-5” long mini-butternut has a dark, healthy, orange-buff color. Smaller than Ponca with a much more defined and uniform butternut shape. Simply cut in half and bake! Shows moderate to high levels of field resistance to Powdery Mildew; able to ripen to full maturity with a high-sugar content. Stores well.

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Tags: Local, Food, Farm, Produce

Ferndale Market's Naturally Grown Turkeys

Posted by Charlene Elderkin on Tue, Nov 15, 2011 @ 10:32 AM

Nearly seventy years ago, Dale Peterson settled in Cannon Falls, MN, to do what he knew best: raise turkeys. In the early years, he shared a residence with incubators, and the sound of day-old turkeys routinely filled his home. Dale’s wife, Fern, had grown up raising turkeys, and although she thought she had left them forever when she left home and became a school teacher, her plans changed when she met Dale! Fern was an avid advocate for the environment, and believed that everybody had a role to play in preserving our earth. The legacy of Fern and Dale guides our mission, so it’s only fitting that the market, Ferndale, is named in their honor.

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Tags: Local, Food, Farm, Meat & Fish

Fresh and Local November 9th - 15th

Posted by Charlene Elderkin on Tue, Nov 08, 2011 @ 04:27 PM

Juice Carrots (15# & 25#) from Ridgeland Harvest & Driftless Organics – this was a great year for local carrots – they’re super sweet with lots of color.  These are “juice” grade, meaning they’ve got some cosmetic blemishes, funny shapes, broken ones, etc. that are perfect for juicing, but also just fine for cooking up into soups, stews, sauces, etc. at an approximately 40% savings over “table” grade ones. 


Tomatoes (Slicers, Heirlooms & Cherries) from Scenic Valley Farms (green house grown) – kind of makes you think summer isn’t over yet!  We should have them through Thanksgiving, but get ‘em while you can, as they won’t have them all winter.


Cabbage Red & Green from Keewaydin Organics & Pat Slattery – both  are very high in vitamin C, K, & lots of Brassica-family antioxidant phytonutrients.  Red has some different phytonutrients than green because of its color, so be sure to mix them up a bit.  Either will retain nutrients better if you eat them raw or lightly steamed/sautéed rather than cooked for a long time. 

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Tags: Local, Food, Farm, Produce

Buried Treasure

Posted by Charlene Elderkin on Sun, Nov 06, 2011 @ 12:03 PM

by Linda Gallardo, Produce Manager

It is our later harvests, more-dependent-on-cool-weather root crops that mark Wisconsin’s seasonality. Crop availability and harvest times vary year-to-year, making them a very valuable local food source to see us through the winter months. Most root vegetables are cured and stored for use throughout the winter, and some are a sweet seasonal sensation that we enjoy for a shorter period of time, making these rooted wonders a real buried treasure. Who would have thought, right here in the Kickapoo Valley, that we could have so much treasure lurking about under the soil? Come check out the gold (beets & potatoes), jewels & garnets (sweet potatoes) and other treasures our local farmers have dug up for us this year.

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Tags: Local, Food, Produce, Organic

Fresh and Local Produce Oct 26th - Nov 1st

Posted by Charlene Elderkin on Tue, Oct 25, 2011 @ 12:14 PM

Arugula 4oz Bags from Snow Goose Farms – a very tender and slightly spicy, peppery green that does very well in un-heated hoophouse conditions this time of year. Wonderful fresh in salads or on sandwiches or tacos, or folded into an omelet. In Italy arugula is popular in Panini sandwiches or cut into little ribbons (chiffonade) & heaped on pizza after it comes out of the oven. Store in plastic in the fridge & use up within a few days.
Sweet Potatoes/Yams from Keewaydin & Harmony Valley – being a somewhat challenging heat-loving crop to grow in our Northern climate just makes local sweet potatoes that much sweeter! Sweet potatoes are related neither to true yams (although they are commonly called a yam) or potatoes, but morning glories.  Try them baked whole, cut up & tossed in oil & roasted, or simmered in soups, chilis, or curries. Store on the counter for a couple weeks or in a cool (not cold), dark, well ventilated place for longer.
Fennel from New Traditions – a member of the very large Umbellifereae family with parsnips, carrots, & parsley.  The whole plant is edible – bulb, stem, leaf, & seed - & high in vitamin C & potassium.  Commonly used in Italian dishes, the sweet anise-like flavor of fennel lends itself well to Asian dishes as well.  Also delicious raw in salads or on veggie platters, or cooked in stock, soup, stir-fries, sautés, & gratins.  Store in plastic in the fridge & use up within a few days.
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Tags: Local, Food, Farm, Produce

Fresh and Local Produce Oct 19th - 25th

Posted by Charlene Elderkin on Wed, Oct 19, 2011 @ 10:18 AM

Fall Salad Mix 8oz Bags from Snow Goose Farms

A very unique, delicious and super fresh mix from our friend Emily Bunting’s hoophouse.  Includes spinach, several varieties of arugula, baby red Russian kale, wild garden kale, baby chard, & a bunch of Asian greens:  mizuna, Tokyo bekana, red komatsuna, Chinese mustard, & tenderleaf.  The mix is lettuce-free, but very mild & tender from being raised in the greenhouse & packed full of flavor & nutrients from all the spinach, chard, & brassicas.  She should have it through the fall & into early winter, taking a hiatus through the coldest months, & back again in late winter/early spring.

White Onions from Snow Goose Farms

A somewhat sweet & mild onion that don’t add color to dishes.  A great onion to use fresh in salads & sandwiches, it’s also the classic onion to make pico de gallo (fresh salsa) with.  Onions are very high in antioxidant flavonoids & vitamin C.

Rapini from Snow Goose Farms

Also called “broccoli raab”, rapini is a tender cooking green in the cabbage (brassica) family.  Very sweet & cooks up quick – just barely wilt it by sautéing, stir-frying or adding at the last minute to soups or sauces. Very high in vitamins & minerals.
Viroqua Wisconsin
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Tags: Local, Food, Produce, Organic

Right2Know March for GMO Labeling

Posted by Charlene Elderkin on Mon, Oct 17, 2011 @ 11:18 AM

Do you think genetically engineered foods should be labeled? A February 2011 MSNBC poll showed that 96.2% of 45,410 respondents think so. Yet, foods with genetically engineered (GE) ingredients are not labeled. Consumers who wish to eat or avoid GE (also known as GMO, short for Genetically Modified Organism) foods do not have the information needed to make informed choices about their food. The Right2Know March aims to change that.

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Tags: Local, Events, Food, Organic, Sustainability, All Store, No GMOs