A longtime dream of Theresa Depies, her husband Jeff, their five children, an aunt, and many others became a reality in 2008, with a Mother’s Day gift of one Jersey cow starting it all. Springbrook Organic Dairy has grown by leaps and bounds since then, adding new products each year. Located north of Springbook, Wisconsin,
Seasonal eating means building your meals around what is fresh at the moment. Fruits and vegetables consumed in season have more vitamins and minerals than their off-season counterparts. Plus, they often have more flavor and richer color. When you choose to eat in season, you will also see lower prices which mean a lower overall grocery bill. Not surprisingly our bodies are even hardwired to eat seasonally, with a craving for lighter, greener meals in spring and summer followed by a need for dense, protein-rich foods in fall and winter.
Summer is a great time to start eating seasonally because you skip the challenge of limited selection of winter. Seasonal eating means changing the way you prepare your grocery list. You need to switch from thinking about what your taste buds say they want to what has recently been harvested. This approach to meal planning often means that you shop first and develop a meal plan from your purchases.
What can you expect to be fresh each season? Spring and early summer will bring a variety of greens and herbs, which mean salads and light soups would make a natural addition to your menu. As summer progresses, you’ll find more tender vegetables come into season like delicate summer squashes, tomatoes, and broccoli. Fall and winter bring root vegetables and squashes, with a few greens and herbs, too.
Can you imagine seeing an empty shelf and a sign that says “Bacon Out of Season” at the store? It might be hard to believe, but meat, fish, poultry, and dairy products also experience seasonality. Traditionally, animals spend the summer plumping up before being slaughtered in the fall. This means bacon and steak really should only be on your autumn and winter menu (unless, of course, you either freeze the meat or are a vegetarian). Eggs too are seasonal, with the bulk of laying occurring naturally in the spring and summer. Farmers use supplemental light to convince the birds to lay in the off season. Milk (both cow and goat) generally also becomes more plentiful and sweeter in the spring and summer because cows rely on fresh grass, rather than hay, for feed.
Start your hunt for seasonal foods at your local farmer’s market. While some areas enjoy markets year ‘round, many northern farmers start their selling season in June and continue through October. After market or on non-market days, stop by the Co-op to fill in the rest of your grocery list. This will be your opportunity to grab staples like oil, vinegar, and spices to complement your fresh produce and meats. Consult the seasonal ingredient map at Epicurious to see what’s fresh each month and give you a jumping off point for menu making.
In case you haven’t heard the exciting news, the Chequamegon Food Co-op and the Ashland Area Farmer’s Market recently agreed to a year-long management partnership. This agreement calls for the Co-op to provide a market manager and supply marketing support for the farmer’s market. The Ashland Area Farmer’s Market brings together local food and craft
Starlit Kitchen owner Kathy Presnell started working in the kitchen of Bayfield’s Wild By Nature in the wee hours of the night. She initially started selling her wares at the Bayfield Farmers’ Market. Her products soon developed a following amongst local restaurants and food retailers. Now, Kathy works out of a small kitchen on Rice
Local products sometimes cost more than their conventional counterparts. There are a number of reasons why this may be the case. First, large agricultural corporations receive subsidies (basically grant money that does not need to be paid back). Second, larger food companies often work with machinery that allows them to produce a larger quantity. By
River Road Farm is located just south of Ashland, near the town of Sanborn. Operated by Todd and Kelsey Rothe, the farm consists of 30 acres with about one acre currently in production.
River Road currently grows spinach, lettuce, mixed greens, turnips, radishes, carrots, beets, cabbage, peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers. They also have added a variety of berries to the mix. Todd and Kelsey plan to operate their farm in accordance with biodynamic principles and are looking at becoming certified organic.
As part of the Chequamegon Food Co-op’s new farmer agreement program “Produce Promises,” River Road will supply the Co-op with mixed salad greens, cilantro, and radishes. They may fill in with other crops as they become available.
In case you missed it, the Chequamegon Food Co-op’s Micro-loan and Grant programs were featured last month on Wisconsin Public Radio. Check out a transcript of the story at Business North.
Founded in 2009 and expanded in 2010, Big Water Coffee Roasters in Bayfield, Wisconsin specialize in robust coffee roasts created on site. The enthusiasm of owners Jon and Danielle Ewalt come through in every bag of coffee. They sell a variety of coffees at Chequamegon Food Co-op, all with Big Water’s unique flavor profile. Soon,
The Chequamegon Food Co-op recently pledged to increase the percentage of local products it carries by signing the Superior Compact. Superior Compact signatories aim to purchase 20 percent of their products locally by 2020. The document is a purchasing commitment developed by the Lake Superior Good Food Network, a group of regional organizations working to
Four generations have worked the waters around Bayfield, Wisconsin to supply fish for Bodin Fisheries. On the shores of Lake Superior, Bodin Fisheries operate a dock, warehouse, and retail shop. They specialize in fresh, frozen, and smoked Lake Superior trout and whitefish. Fishing boats leave the docks daily to harvest fresh Lake Superior fish. The
In January, we kicked off our new CHIP for Change donation program. Thanks to all of you who said yes to CHIP, we collected $848.22 in our first month! We will add this amount to the funds available in the next round of our micro-loan program. As we head into the next month of CHIP, we
Maybe you’ve seen the brightly colored labels in the refrigerated case. With exotic sounding names like kim chi and curtido, maybe you’ve also wondered what exactly is in those pretty Spirit Creek Farm jars. Spirit Creek Farm makes tangy (and tasty) lacto-fermented foods. Processed in Cornucopia, Wisconsin from locally grown organic produce, these products start with vegetables in salt