Market Musings Blog

Local Profile: Humane Animal Husbandry with Pastures A Plenty

Special thanks to guest bloggers and farmers Jim and LeeAnn VanDerPole from Pastures A Plenty for contributing! We carry a variety of their locally and humanely-raised pork products.

Pastures A Plenty in Kerkhoven, Minnesota is a grazing-based farm that uses holistic management for all of our farm decisions. We are committed to environmental, community and long term farm sustainability. We raise Berkshire, Duroc and Chester White breeds of hogs for our pork products because they love to be outside! The hogs are fed primarily on pasture and never receive hormones or antibiotics to promote growth.

Most of the hog industry feeds gestating sows by computer, either in the context of groups, or tight individual confinement. Here at Pastures A Plenty, our approach to the sows follows our mission statement – “….careful and humane”. Oh, we use computers. We just don’t allow them to come between us and our animals. When that human-animal connection is broken, and its elements handed over to electronics, the conditions ripen for abuse of both animals and humans. Animal husbandry is critical to us.

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Eating Local with Local Foodie Kim Werst

Kim Werst (pictured center) with cooking class participants at our West 7th store.

In honor of August being Eat Local Month at the co-op, we’re pleased to highlight local eating tips, tricks, and suggestions from our friend Kim Werst, a local food educator, entrepreneur, and food justice activist. You may recognize Kim as one of our class instructors – she co-teaches an on-going series titled Cooking with Co+op Basics that we offer on a monthly basis. These free classes feature budget-friendly, from-scratch cooking techniques; recipes that feed a family of four for under $10; and tips for shopping the co-op on a budget. Additional information about Kim’s efforts to eat closer to home can be seen on her website.

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Celebrate Eat Local Month

August is Eat Local Month at the co-op! Join us as we show our appreciation for local food and local farmers. This time of year is especially exciting for local food fans as farmers work to harvest fresh crops at their peak and deliver them to the co-op for your enjoyment.

We define “local” as food and products grown, produced, or processed within a five-state area that includes Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. There are multiple ways to celebrate throughout the month, including taking part in our Eat Local Challenge and #EatLocalSTP social media giveaway for your chance to win local foods, and writing Thank a Farmer postcards to show your appreciation for some of our favorite local growers. A number of locally-grown, locally-raised, and locally-produced foods are also on sale throughout the month.

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Hispanic Heritage Month Recipes

September 15–October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month, a period that honors generations of U.S. Latinos who have positively influenced and enriched our country. During this month-long annual tribute, we celebrate the rich cultural traditions, histories, and contributions of those who can trace their ethnic roots to Spain, Mexico, and the Spanish-speaking countries of Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. The chosen dates reflect September independence anniversaries of multiple Latin American countries, including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, Chile and Belize.

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we are pleased to share a number of traditional Salvadoran recipes with you from our beloved staff member America Jimenez. Originally from El Salvador, America has a passion for cooking and sharing her delicious food with others. Check out her delicious recipes below for a homemade meal you’re sure to enjoy.

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Apostle Island Trek: Fueled by Mississippi Market

We’re proud to announce that Mississippi Market employee Daniel O’Kane is setting off on a three and a half week journey around the Apostle Islands. Over the course of 23 days, he plans to swim 48 miles across the southwest tip of Lake Superior.

Daniel credits Mississippi Market with his love for nutritious food and his passion for living an active, healthy lifestyle. During his aquatic voyage, Daniel will be led by a sea kayak loaded with delicious, nourishing foods from our co-op. He states, “The best fuel for the trip comes from bags and boxes of food that I’ve been stocking up on at Mississippi Market.” This includes one of his favorites – trail mix from our bulk department.

Beginning July 16th, he’ll start at Sand Bay, then head northeast toward Devil’s Island, and, if all goes according to plan, end August 7th at Red Cliff Dock. Once each island is reached, he plans to hike and paddle his stand up paddle board through to the next leg of the swimming trek.

Out of respect for their status as bird sanctuaries, Daniel doesn’t plan to visit Eagle or Gull Island. According to the National Park Service, these two islands account for 88% of the lakeshore’s breeding herring gull populations and 80% of the herring gull breeding population on the entire Wisconsin shore of Lake Superior.

We wish Daniel good luck on his adventure and fully support this awesome endeavor! If you’d like to follow along, he’ll be posting updates on Instagram at Ap.Is.Ex.

Celebrate National Night Out with Mississippi Market

Let Mississippi Market help you host a National Night Out gathering!

Once again, we are sponsoring National Night Out (NNO) events in St. Paul by giving away free $30 gift cards. Interested co-op members and shoppers may use them to purchase food and drinks for their NNO event or as event prizes. This year, National Night Out will take place on Tuesday, August 1st. We will be accepting applications for the gift cards beginning Monday, July 10th.

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Create Positive Change: Run for the Board!

Help improve access to healthful, local foods and create a more just, equitable food system.

Once again, we are seeking candidates to run for Mississippi Market’s board of directors. This is an exciting opportunity for member-owners to serve the community while shaping our collective future. The board of directors set policy and governance parameters, monitor co-op performance, and act as the decision-making body for important issues such as our overall strategic direction.

Board applications may be picked up in-store and are also available digitally. The deadline to apply is Thursday, August 10th.

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Show Your Pride!

Show your support for our diverse LGBTQ community this Sunday, June 25th at the 2017 Twin Cities Pride Festival. We’ll be marching as sponsors in the Pride Parade from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. with other local Twin Cities food co-ops including Seward, the Wedge, Lakewinds, and Eastside. Our collective Twin Cities Co-ops theme is a rainbow of shopping carts. 15 staff members from Mississippi Market will be wearing Co-op Pride t-shirts and marching with festive green shopping carts that we created. Join us and the greater LGBTQ community as we celebrate diversity, foster inclusion, and raise awareness of equity and equality issues. Share your Pride photos on social media with hashtag #cooppride!

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Introducing: Local Food Fest

Local Food | Live Music | Exclusive Sales | Raffle Prizes | And More!

All store locations

Join us on Saturday, June 17 from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. as we celebrate all things local! At this fun, family-friendly event, you will meet local growers and producers, sample their delicious fresh foods, shop exclusive sales on local products, and enjoy live jazz, blues, and acoustic music. Come taste some of our favorite local meats, cheeses, fresh produce, ice cream, and more. Local vendors will include favorites such as Ferndale Market, Salad Girl, Gerhard’s Brats, and many others. Additionally, youth interns from Urban Roots, our June Positive Change recipient, will be leading cooking, gardening, and environmental conservation activities at each store.

Featuring Live Music & Activities with Urban Roots Youth

East 7th store

  • Acoustic ukulele music with Alicia Renée.
  • Test your sense of smell with Urban Roots’ Market Garden fresh herb identification game.

Selby store

  • Jazz music with saxophonist Jack Breen.
  • Meet Urban Roots’ Cook Fresh Crew and sample youth-made treats featuring seasonal produce. Recipe included!

West 7th store

  • Old-timey blues music with Old-Time and Clawhammer Mike.
  • Speak with Urban Roots’ Conservation Crew about native Minnesota plants. Learn all about the activity taking place below ground and guess how deep native roots can reach!

A Tour through America’s Dairy Land

by Matt Olson, Fresh Purchasing Manager

Recently, I had the opportunity to tour cheese country in Southern Wisconsin with a group of people from other local food co-ops. During the trip we visited a dairy farm, toured half a dozen different creameries, tasted a wide selection of delicious cheeses, and learned about the cheese making process from a variety of Master Cheese Makers. I came away with a more robust understanding of what makes our neighboring state one of the premier cheese making regions in the world.

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