Viroqua Food Co+op Blog

Local Producer Profile: New Traditions Homestead

Posted by VFC Marketing Team on Fri, Jun 26, 2020 @ 10:18 AM

Robert and Summer Schulz are the owners and operators of New Traditions Homestead located in rural Hillsboro. “I have been involved in gardening since a child. Our family always had a big garden and I feel it stuck with me,” shared Robert. He started growing his own market garden when he was in high school and college and would sell to local restaurants in his hometown. “I’ve always enjoyed the process of starting, tending, and harvesting produce. Growing food is essential and it offers a sense of self-sufficiency that I believe is important for anyone to truly feel secure in life.”

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Tags: Organic, Local Producers, New Traditions Homestead, Local Food

Springtime Things We Love

Posted by VFC Marketing Team on Sun, Mar 19, 2017 @ 12:34 PM

In case you have been missing our staff picks around the store while you shop, we’ve got a new basket-worth of products for you to try. Each department has been positively raving about these items and we know that if you give them a chance, you will agree! 
As springtime approaches, we get to enjoy local asparagus. Asparagus (started from seed) can take 3-4 years before it produces the delicious stalks you see in our store. Our local farmers are careful to harvest sustainably, maintaining the health of their plants for future seasons. Depending on weather, asparagus has a local season of only 3-6 weeks!


So rejoice in these upcoming seasonal and ongoing delicacies. Even if they are “just pasta” or “just olive oil,” we can’t wait for you to try these healthy, whole foods so their flavors can speak for themselves!

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Tags: Cheese, Fair Trade, Organic, Beer/Wine, Asparagus, gluten-free

A Visit to Herb Pharm

Posted by Erin Murdock, Wellness Buyer on Mon, Mar 13, 2017 @ 06:16 AM

Last August I was one of the lucky winners of a National Cooperative Grocers (NCG) Contest sponsored by Herb Pharm, which included a trip to their state-of-the-art production facility as well as their 80-acre certified organic farm surrounded by the Siskiyou Mountains in Oregon! The experience was top notch. I discovered I love the high desert and have returned to the Co-op with so much great information to share with my friends and customers!

There were many aspects of Herb Pharm that were impressive. I would like to share a few of my favorites.

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Tags: Organic, Wellness/Body Care, Herbs

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

Saving the world one drink at a time

Posted by Waleed Mahmoud on Mon, May 12, 2014 @ 02:35 PM

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

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Tags: Local, Fair Trade, Organic, Deli/Bakery

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

Turkey Choices at Viroqua Food Co-op

Posted by Charlene Elderkin on Mon, Nov 05, 2012 @ 02:09 PM

 

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Tags: Local, Organic, Turkey

VFC Myth Busters

Posted by Charlene Elderkin on Wed, May 09, 2012 @ 11:42 AM

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.”

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Tags: Local, Organic, All Store

Local Food Hub Attracts National Attention!

Posted by Charlene Elderkin on Mon, Apr 23, 2012 @ 01:01 PM

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.

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Tags: Local, Cooperative, Farm, Produce, Organic

Making Your Own Herb Infused Oils +Soothing Personal Lip Balm Recipe!

Posted by Charlene Elderkin on Sun, Apr 01, 2012 @ 03:59 PM

Mary Kehoe,


Herbs & Spices Buyer

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Tags: Organic, Recipes, DIY, Raw, Wellness/Body Care