At the Co-op

  • Eat Local Farm Tour 2015
  • June 26th, 2015
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    It’s all about the real people behind the real food.

    Experience your food in a new way: directly from the source. The Eat Local Farm Tour is a unique opportunity to explore the diverse farming operations in your area, to meet families that bring fresh food to your dinner plates, and to inspire future generations to support local, sustainable agriculture.

    The tour takes place on July 18, when 21 local farms will open their gates and barn doors to the public, ready to share their knowledge and stories with you.

    The tour is free for anyone to attend. It is a self-guided tour, which means that your will need to pick up a tour handbook at your local food co-op to help you shape your local farm experience. The handbook will provide you with descriptions and operating hours of participating farms, maps of suggested farm clusters, useful tips for tour-goers, and restaurant recommendations in case you want to make a day of it. Handbooks are available in stores now, or here.

    The tour is produced annually by Twin Cities area food co-ops who believe that supporting our local growers is vital to providing healthful food and participating in environmental protection. In the cooperative spirit, we work together to bolster our local foods economy. In 2013, $30 million flowed to local growers and producers from the system of Twin Cities area foods co-ops.

    Sponsoring food co-ops: Eastside Food Co-op, Just Food Co-op, Lakewinds Food Co-op, Linden Hills Co-op, Mississippi Market Natural Foods Co-op, People’s Food Co-op, River Market Community Co-op, Seward Community Co-op, St. Peter Food Co-op and Valley Natural Foods.

    Tips for enjoying the tour:

    • Visit farms only during their set open hours.
    • Because GPS can be spotty in rural areas, check your directions on Google Maps before heading out:
    • Bring a cooler to store all the farm-fresh goods you find.
    • Stay on established paths and don’t pick produce without the farmer’s permission.
    • Leave pets at home
    • Swing by the local food co-op for snacks and drinks

    Participating farms include:

    10th Street Farm & Market
    Big River Farms/Minnesota Food Association
    Buttermilk Falls CSA & Folk School Retreat
    East Henderson Farm
    Garden Farme
    Gardens of Eagan
    Growing Lots Urban Farm
    Humble Pie Farm
    Shepherd’s Way Farm
    Simple Harvest Farm Organics
    Singing Hills Goat Dairy Farm
    Star Prairie Trout Farm
    Stone’s Throw Urban Farm
    The Beez Kneez, LLC
    Thousand Hills Cattle Company
    Whistling Well Farm
    Women’s Environmental Institute

    Farms of the Hungry Turtle Farmers Co-op:

    Bull Brook Keep
    Fresh Pastures Neighborhood Farm
    Steady Hand Farm
    White Pine Berry Farm

  • Michigan Blueberries
  • June 19th, 2015
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    The annual Michigan blueberry sign-up is here! We get our blueberries direct-from-the-grower, so they are always fresh and delicious. Perfect for freezing, jam-making, or pie-making.

    Pre-order your 5 pounds box in the store, or give us a call – 934.4880.

  • The Co-op Garden
  • June 16th, 2015
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    Join us in the Co-op Garden for hands-on activities surrounding food, gardening, and our environment. Activities will be free, but please register with Becca (934-4880; [email protected]).


    July 7, 6 – 7:15pm: Seedy Characters

    We’ll explore the world of seeds – they come in different sizes, shapes, and colors; some are edible, some are not. We’ll dissect seeds to see the inside and make a seed mosaic. Then we’ll discover what seeds need to grow into plants and our food.


    July 14, 6-7:15pm: Space Travelers

    All of our food can be traced back to the soil – we’ll play a game to illustrate this. Then, kids will put on their investigative hats and explore the world of soils – what it’s made of, how it’s formed, and why it’s so important to keep our soils healthy.


    July 21, 6 – 7:15pm: Secret Smells

    Insects and bugs are important for the garden – we’ll discover helpful bugs and learn how they communicate with one another in the environment. We’ll explore pollination and how insects help our garden to thrive.


    July 28, 6-7:15pm: Let’s Get to the Root of This

    What’s going on beneath the soil? We’ll have a special root view box for kids to discover what is usually hidden underground. We will also make our very own root view boxes for the kids to take home to watch how a plant grows and develops.


    And more! Stay tuned for the rest of July and August activities!

    (Schedule subject to change)

    Funding provided by the Statewide Health Improvement Program


  • Class Recipes
  • June 16th, 2015
  • IMG_20150625_1845135675 Ingredients or Less

    Emily shared some cost-effective, simple recipes using five ingredients or less. Tasty and for the taste buds and the eyes.



    Pasta Salads

    These are quick and easy summer salads, great for potlucks or picnics.




    Seasonal Produce, Spring Edition

    Cody from our produce department gave us some great ideas for using up those spring and early summer veggies. He also shared some great salad dressing and vinaigrette recipes. Thanks Cody!


    DSC_0017Cooking with Grains

    The bulk aisle has a wide variety of grains available…but how to use them? Stefanie Hailperin shared some of her summer favorites. Some gluten free options and they’re all vegetarian friendly.

  • Organic Grapes
  • June 2nd, 2015
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    Organic grapes, back from a winter hiatus. These gems are definitely the best we’ve seen all year.

    Red, green, and black varieties…all $1.99 through June 7.

    While they are delightful all on their own, they are mouth-watering in this recipe, courtesy of our very own Margo.

    Franc Comtoise

    In a glass serving bowl, place thick slices of avocados, peaches, and grapes (a combination of red and green grapes is recommended – you could even do this with just the grapes). While still chilled, dice Brie or Camembert cheese. Combine with fruit and toss gently with freshly squeezed lemon juice. Allow to marinate at room temperature about 1 hour. Serve with a warm baguette.

  • The Mighty Lentil
  • May 18th, 2015
  • Lentils…the most delicious legume in the world. Well, that may be up for debate, but they certainly are versatile. Here are four recipes from our Thursday night class all about the Mighty Lentil.

    Lentil Loaf

    A delicious alternative to the traditional meat loaf. The glaze is really the best part…

    Lentil and Brown Rice Casserole

    A very quick meal when you’re running low on fresh vegetables.

    Lentil and Spinach Soup

    Now that local spinach is available, this soup is even better than usual.

    Indian Tomato Dhal

    A great introduction to dhal as this is a very simple recipe. Serve it with rice, naan, or roti.

  • Seed Matters
  • April 14th, 2015
  • SeedMatters_logoWe usually don’t think about seed when we sit down to eat our cereal in the morning or tuck the kids into their cotton sheets at night, but it all starts with seed. And the seed we sow affects the quality, nutrition, cost and environmental impact of all the food we eat and every fiber we wear.

    During the last several decades of industrial agriculture, seed has been developed to be suited for intensive chemical agriculture. While this has sometimes resulted in higher yields, it has come with very real costs to our environment. Unintended consequences include air and water pollution, increased pesticide use, greater dependence on fossil fuels, degraded soil health, increased exposure to toxins for farm workers and the loss of biological and genetic diversity.

    The success of diverse, regional and resilient food systems requires a different approach to seed – an organic approach.


    Organic Mandan parching corn, originally grown by the Mandan people of North Dakota. (photo credit: Seed Matters)

    Seed Matters

    As a member of National Co+op Grocers (NCG), our co-op has partnered with the Clif Bar Family Foundation Seed Matters initiative to work to improve the viability and availability of organic seed and ensure healthy, nutritious and productive crops. Seed Matters, partnered with NCG co-ops, Organic Valley, Annie’s and Earthbound Farm Organic is making a noticeable difference. Across the country, organic farmers have received training from their programs and are returning to the fields with new skills in seed production and crop improvement. They launched the first ever fellowships in organic plant breeding and funded 13 graduate students, returning public seed research to the public good. And dozens of communities have received support to launch local seed swaps, launch free seed libraries and plant seed saving gardens.

    Learn more – and win a free organic gardening kit

    As food co-op owners, retailers and eaters we all want to protect our ability to choose food raised sustainably…but what can any of us as individuals do? You can begin to help determine the future of food by visiting the Seed Matters website to learn about and engage in seed solutions today.

    As an added incentive, visit the Seed Matters website between March 15and May 15 and you can enter a sweepstakes to win an organic garden kit that includes regionally appropriate organic seed, seed-starting materials, garden tools and seed saving educational materials. The prize also includes 4 hours of consultation with a local garden expert that specializes in edibles, and recipes designed by well-known Farm-to-Table chefs that are based on what you will harvest from the organic seeds provided in the kit. A total of four prizes will be awarded, nation-wide.

    Sow a better future with organic seed –


    Seed Matters Graduate Fellow Claire Luby, University of Wisconsin – Madison, is breeding colored carrots with increased nutrient density. (photo credit: Seed Matters)


  • How-to: Grind-Your-Own Nut Butter
  • February 17th, 2015
  •  Jenn, our bulk buyer here at the Co-op, took some time to show off our nut grinders (almond and peanut) and explains how to use them.

     peanut butter snap shot

    Why grind-your-own?

    - Freshness: you can’t get a fresher nut butter
    - No additives, just peanuts or almonds
    - Add-your-own mix-ins: honey, salt, raisins, cinnamon…
    - Portion control: take as much or as little as you like
    - Delightfully delicious

  • Compost at the Co-op
  • January 23rd, 2015
  • The Co-op deli has been composting in the back for well over a year, diverting 27 tons of waste from the landfill.  Just this week, we drilled new holes in the garbage area, so we could compost in the seating area, too. Take note of the change and we’ll report back on how much waste we’re turning into soil, instead of into the landfill. Where’s it going? Full Circle Organics has a composting facility in Good Thunder.

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