A few weeks ago, I was talking to a Cedar Falls woman about the Co-op while at Hartman Reserve’s Earth Fair. She had previously lived in Decorah, and was a frequent shopper at Oneota Food Co-op. “I LOVE that co-op,” she told me repeatedly. I agree with her, it’s a wonderful co-op.
The season for farmers markets has finally arrived! Whether you’re looking for locally grown organic produce or handmade goods, farmers markets are an excellent place to reconnect with your community. Besides providing a direct market for local producers farmers markets have a positive impact on the local economy, with a study conducted by Iowa State University for the Iowa Farmers’ Market Association in 2003 finding that farmers markets contributed up to $20 million in sales and another $12 million in direct and indirect economic activity (such as tourism). Farmers markets also reduce the environmental impact of food buying by reducing transportation costs and encouraging environmentally friendly farming practices. Be sure to visit one of our many local markets this season to show your support and see what your community has to offer!
From the very beginning, the Cedar Falls Food Co-op has relied on volunteers to keep the momentum going. Two artist have made a huge impact on the Cedar Falls Food Co-op. Meet rockstars Desiree Dahl, who created our logo, and Matt Rafferty, who created our video.
Desiree Dahl is an Iowa artist working primarily in printmaking and graphic design. She graduated with a bachelor of fine arts in studio art from UNI with an emphasis in printmaking and a minor in art history. She worked as a graphic designer for the College of Humanities, Arts and Sciences at UNI for three years, and has worked on freelance and pro-bono projects for community organizations. As an artist-designer hybrid, she seeks to maintain creativity and quality, and work on projects that promote organizations with a positive mission.
A Cedar Valley native, Matt Rafferty graduated from UNI in May of 2014 with a bachelor of science in biology honors research. Along with his studies, he pursued a life long interest in videography and photography by starting his own production company. Matt’s work has been featured nationally with organizations such as the American Heartworm Society and Educause. His 2011 PSA video “Protecting Your Computer in a Public Place” earned a first place award in Educause’s national security contest. Matt is looking forward to continue growing his business and helping people express themselves creatively.
On Monday, March 23 at Three Pines Farm Board and committee members sat down together to share a home cooked meal that included marinated asparagus, split pea soup, sweet potato and quinoa chili, a fresh green salad, homemade biscuits, a growler of SingleSpeed’s Cooperate beer, and other delicious items. It was soul warming, a evening filled with satisfying food and wonderful people. But it was also an informative evening as the four Board members who attended the Up & Coming, Up & Running food co-op conference in February shared details about what we learned.
- Co-ops promote and offer local options
When farmers, producers, and artisans are able to sell their goods locally there is not much of a carbon footprint to be left behind.
Food co-ops work with local growers and business to provide a place to sell their goods. This keeps transportation and fuel use down, and provides the freshest possible produce to customers. It also keeps dollars local.
Imagine getting you’re fresh tomatoes from a few miles away rather than flown, trucked, railed, and or shipped all the way from Mexico!
The best part is things taste better when they’re not shipped half way around the world.
1 handful Onion skins (dye color: dark golden orange)
½ head Purple cabbage (dye color: blue)
4 Tbsp. Turmeric (dye color:yellow)
2 Beets (dye color: pink)
White distilled vinegar
We are into incorporating new & fun ways to cultivate and create in your kitchen with herbs this month! We’ve partnered with two specialty, local businesses to help you add some spice to your kitchen & meal experiences!
Kitchen Essentials & Gifts is offering 15% off of any herb-related kitchen tool that you purchase this month to all card-carrying owners! If you don’t have your card yet, this month is a great time to get it!! Please contact us for more information.
Kitchen Essentials is a cook’s paradise located in beautiful downtown Cedar Falls. Whether you’re a gourmet chef or a beginner, Kitchen Essential’s knowledgeable staff can help outfit your kitchen. Kitchen Essentials – making cooking a pleasure!
Spring has finally sprung and Earth Day is an excellent time to celebrate! Here are a list of some events in the Cedar Valley where you can learn about sustainability and learn how to give back to the Earth.
March 20th is the first day of spring. With dreams of our summer gardens sustaining us through the last of the winter, it is time to start planning! Last year’s seed packets need to be assessed to determine if they are too old to be viable and if more need to be purchased. Now is also a good time to decide if some of last year’s varieties performed well in your garden environment. When you are ready to purchase new seeds, there are a number of sources to choose from that offer organic and heirloom varieties. Choosing organic and/or heirloom seeds helps to preserve diversity in food crops, support seed saving efforts, and keeps potential GMO and chemical hazards out of our gardens. Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah is a local source offering organic and heirloom seeds. They also sell seedlings for those who prefer to start their garden with young plants. Seeds of Change is another company that offers organic and heirloom varieties. Both companies focus on sustainability and the preservation of seed diversity.
Simple Irish Soda Bread
With St. Patrick’s Day on the horizon, thoughts turn to the food and drink originating from the island in the North Atlantic. Among favorites here in the states is Irish soda bread, which is more commonly known in Ireland as “cake” or “cake-bread.” Found in many forms, soda bread at its most basic consists of four ingredients: flour, salt, baking soda, and buttermilk. Baking soda, or bicarbonate of soda, an alternative to yeast, is what gives the bread its rise. If you’re new to bread making, Irish soda bread is a great place to start.