Tomatillos, a.k.a. Green Magic

From the kitchen of Co-op member-owner Cynthia Foster

Iowa is a state where tomatillos grow well. The problem is that most people only think of them for salsa. While the salsa is great and I have a few recipes if you want one, the real magic happens when you roast a combination of tomatillos, onions, carrots, red bell pepper, and a few cloves of garlic. Place these roasted vegetables in a food processor and chop until it is a very thick sauce. Then your seasoning – salt and pepper to taste. Now you have a cooking sauce that will go over chicken, pork chops, and fish or in some casseroles and soups. It’s tangy and can be used to make over tried and true old recipes. See below for the cooking sauce and a delicious recipe to go with it.

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Were you there? Fall Food Fest 2019, an event to remember!

Fall is here, and as has become our custom, we celebrated last month at our much-awaited sixth annual Fall Food Fest! Rooty, the carrot welcomed dozens of people as they came to the Cedar Falls Community Center to enjoy food samples, a photo booth opportunity, face painting from the Hearst Center for the Arts, and lively music spun by DJ Jumpsuit.

Local food trucks, Kubo and La Calle, were outside selling delicious meals, while indoors local producers and other vendors provided food samples and some local food items for sale including the new Farm Shed Market with fresh fresh juice, squash and garlic from Kaiser Farm, and Yellow Table Farm’s lamb sausage and fresh garlic. In addition, guests sampled Homan Honey, sautéed mushrooms from Solstice Farm, crunchy cucumber and temporary veggie tattoos from Whistling Thistle Farm, and Country View Dairy yogurt. The UNI Local Food Program educated people about Greens to Go which provides fresh produce in areas of the community that don’t have easily accessible fresh grocery options. And no one could miss the popcorn smell wafting from Fitkin Popcorn who provided the popcorn cube given to our 1000th member-owner. Continue reading

From the Board President: A Smorgasbord of Updates on Your Co-op

Before we get into this month’s column, I want to take a moment to thank everyone who helped make this year’s Fall Food Fest a smashing success! From the farmers, producers, and restaurateurs to the musicians, to the face painters, to all the volunteers who helped move tables and chairs, hung posters around town, and more. This is what it means to build community. This is what happens when people work together for a cause. It’s amazing to see. And it’s exciting that we crossed the 1,000-member mark at the event. This is a win for our entire community!


As of press time, the deadline to apply to serve on the Co-op board of directors hasn’t arrived, but will have by the time you read this. So I won’t be able to announce the slate of candidates here. We’ll do that in a separate email. Stay tuned for more details soon, as the voting period begins Oct. 14.Continue reading

Meet “Grocery Story” Author Jon Steinman, October 30

It’s just around the corner – Jon Steinman’s only Iowa stop is this month, right here in our community!  Find out why the fascinating new book, Grocery Story: The Promise of Food Co-ops in the Age of Grocery Giants is making waves across the country, and why the largest grocers exert influence over the global food supply, which impacts all of us here in the Cedar Valley.


In cooperation with the Hearst Center for the Arts, your co-op is hosting Canadian journalist and author Jon Steinman.  Jon will share the amazing work food co-ops are communities are doing across the country.

The event is free to attend at the Hearst Center for the Arts on Wednesday, October 30 from 7 – 8 p.m. Check out the book ahead of the event if you wish, but regardless, come join us at the end of the month. You won’t want to miss this!

From the Board President: How Much Longer Until We Open Our Doors?

It was a year ago this month that the Cedar Falls Food Co-op almost signed an agreement for our future home. Unfortunately, the landlord withdrew the offer, so after almost 4 months of negotiations, we were back in the hunt for a new site.

Last year, as we were getting closer to signing the agreement, we also started making hints at some Co-op events – hints that we would be making an exciting announcement soon. We also started working with one of our committees on planning a site announcement party. Of course, as you know, there was no announcement. No party. No site.Continue reading

Now is the Time! Help Lead the Co-op through its Most Exciting Stage

The Peace Corps (1961): “The toughest job you’ll ever love.”

Nike (1988): “Just do it!”

Cedar Falls Food Co-op (2019): “It’s Up to You.”

Right now there’s an opportunity you should consider: Serving on a board to help launch an organization. If elected to serve on the board, you will be part of the leadership of the Cedar Falls Food Co-op as it journeys through the single most important event in its history: The grand opening of the store!

The deadline to submit applications to serve on the board of the Cedar Falls Food Co-op ends Sept. 14. Complete details can be found here.

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National Co-op Month marks our Member Share Scholarship Season

Have you been wanting to become a member-owner of the Co-op but financial constraints have kept you from purchasing a share? We have an option for you!

In honor of National Co-op Month in October, we will open up our scholarship application season. Due to the generous donations of several Co-op supporters, we will have $100 scholarships to award to several individuals. This means that you’ll only need to pay $100 toward your member-owner share. Stay tuned… we’ll have application details on our website starting in October. The application is a simple form, and the deadline is October 18. Questions? Contact

Our Popular Fall Food Fest Event is Coming Up!

Your Co-op is hosting its 6th Annual Fall Food Fest on Tuesday, September 24 from 6 – 7:30 p.m. at the Community Center downtown Cedar Falls!  Come join Rooty, the co-op carrot and get free food samples from fabulous area vendors while you enjoy lively tunes spun by DJ Jumpsuit! Bring your appetite because the local vendor food samples are only the beginning;  Kubo and La Calle, two delicious local food trucks will be selling full meals  just outside. There will be activities for the kids via the Hearst Center of the Arts, a photo booth, and, yes, we will have door prizes. Not a member-owner yet? You can join that night. We’ll also have Co-op t-shirts and stickers for sale. Bring your friends and family. This event is free and open to the public.

Enjoy fresh local food samples and demos featuring many fabulous local producers, vendors, and businesses. The list so far includes:



Learn what’s going on with the Co-op while enjoying good community and showing your support for our local businesses, producers, vendors and much more. We can’t wait to see you there!Continue reading

Celebrating our Co-op Booth Volunteers….

At many community events, you’ll find our telltale orange tent or at least our table staffed by friendly people often wearing Co-op t-shirts and eager to talk about this amazing community-grown business we are founding in the Cedar Valley. If you haven’t stopped to say hello, please do! We have lots of great information, free refrigerator magnets, and the last of our founding member tote bags we are giving to new member-owners who are the first 1000+ to invest in their community in this important way. Continue reading

Upcoming Events

Please Join Us…

While our board and committee members continue important behind-the-scenes work on site selection, name change, and much more, there are also upcoming public events we are planning and welcome your attendance! The following events are for the whole community, meaning that you don’t have to be a member-owner to join in on the fun. We do hope you will ask questions at these events and consider investing in your community in this important way if you haven’t yet.Continue reading