Market Musings Blog

Express your Values this Gift-giving Season

Gifts Under $20

Searching for the perfect gift for that special someone? You’re sure to find one at the co-op that’s beautiful and reflective of your personal values. This holiday season, give the gift of honesty — fairly-produced food and goods made with reverence for the people and places where they’re crafted.

Local Raw Honey Tasting Pack

This single-source honey tasting pack offers a diverse combination of flavor profiles for the discerning palate. Gift receivers will experience the joy of five best-selling varieties from Ames Farm. Packages vary and contain honey made from the pollen of local basswood, sweet clover, prairie flowers, alfalfa, and more.

Local, Organic Maple Syrups

Gift receivers are sure to enjoy the earthy flavors of organic maple syrups from Maple Valley Cooperative and Wild Country. Harvested from woodlands in the Great Lakes region and Sawtooth Mountains near Lake Superior, these 100-percent-pure maple syrups are produced with the greatest care given to sustainable harvesting methods and social responsibility.

Organic Fair-trade Coffee

An array of organic fair-trade coffee blends is available at the co-op from Just Coffee Co-op, Kickapoo Coffee, Peace Coffee, and Equal Exchange Co-op. These locally-roasted blends are full of robust flavors and ethically sourced from farmers who are paid fair wages for their work and goods.

Cooperatively-Produced Winter Scarves

Terra Natural Designs’ winter scarves are cooperatively produced and artisan crafted. Handmade with sustainable, renewable fibers and naturally-sourced dyes, your purchase supports a social justice movement that empowers Indigenous female entrepreneurs to continually preserve, practice, and get paid for their South American crafts.

Essential Oil Holiday Blends

Veriditas essential oil blends offer an organic model for self-care and relaxation. During the hectic end-of-year season, provide your loved ones with the grounding, healing power of herbs and flowers. These comforting blends work well when added to a diffuser or homemade potpourri.­­­

Local Profile: Pastures A Plenty


Pastures A Plenty is third generation family-owned-and-operated by the VanDerPols.

Pasture-to-Plate Pork

Pastures A Plenty in Kerkhoven, Minn., is decidedly different. This mutigenerational family-owned-and-operated farmstead takes a hands-on approach, focusing on attention to detail. For over three decades, the VanDerPol family has shown strong commitment to the environment, their community, and long-term farm sustainability. They raise Berkshire, Duroc, and Chester White heritage hog breeds that are primarily pasture-fed and never receive hormones or antibiotics to promote growth. These rugged, hardy breeds love to forage and roam outside and, as a result, produce premium, high-quality pork.

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Wild Rice – A Native Minnesotan Grain

Post presented by Kristin Hamaker of Goosefoot Kitchen, Mississippi Market’s exclusive chef partner.

True wild rice is a native Minnesotan food, and we should celebrate the fact. Earthy and comforting, wild rice is highly nutritious, packed with B vitamins, fiber, and protein. There are two types of wild rice, native (manoomin), which is lighter in color and flavor and quicker to cook, and cultivated, which is darker and richer. Yes, it is pricier than its white or brown cousins, but wild rice swells up to 4 times its size, making it a good value; 1 cup of dried rice=6 servings. You can freeze any leftovers, and please save the “broth” it’s cooked in, since it is so delicious and can be added to soup as a base.

 

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A Local Champion: Featherstone Farm

Featherstone Farm has been growing organic fruits and vegetables for over 20 years with a focus on personal, financial, and environmental sustainability. At their 250-acre certified organic farm in Rushford, Minn, Featherstone produces over 70 different crops annually for delivery to local food co-ops, natural food stores, farm-to-table restaurants, and wholesalers. They also operate a successful Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, which delivers fresh produce throughout the summer, fall and winter seasons directly to CSA customers in the Twin Cities, Rochester, and Winona.

The farm’s philosophy is rooted in the belief that the freshest, best-tasting, most nutritious fruits and vegetables come from holistic, sustainable production systems. As organic farmers, Featherstone possess a strong ethic of environmental stewardship. A 2,200 square foot, 38 kilowatt solar panel array that sits atop their machine shop serves as one example of their practical, long-term commitment to a clean, sustainable future. We particularly respect their dedication to building healthy soil, protecting natural resources, creating renewable energy, and serving as a regional food hub that connects our urban and rural communities. Their delicious organic carrots and butternut squash are amazing!

3rd Annual Holiday Sampler

Holiday Sampler: Tasting & Gift Fair

Saturday, December 9 | 11:00am-2:00pm | West 7th store

Brighten your season at our third annual family-friendly Holiday Sampler! This is a great chance to:

  • Meet local vendors
  • Taste festive flavors
  • Peruse local gifts
  • Sip on tasty mocktails and eggnog
  • Enjoy live piano music
  • Take part in a string-cheese-snowman kids’ craft
  • Splurge on limited-time-only holiday sales on favorites such as local cookies, cheeses, candles, and more
  • Receive a seasonal gift with purchase when you spend over $50, while supplies last

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Seconds Count – Using Ugly Produce

Post presented by Kirstin Hamaker of Goosefoot Kitchen, Mississippi Market’s exclusive chef partner.

Scabbed, bruised, punctured, gnarled, undersized, crooked. Here’s to imperfections, and unrecognized beauty. Ask your farmer or produce manager for any “seconds”, the ugly and discounted produce that often gets thrown away.

Food waste statistics in our country (and around the world) are distressing. Food gets tossed for many reasons, and we each play a role, whether it’s scrapping leftovers forgotten in the fridge, or easily overlooking bruised or dented fruit. But really, there are simple acts we can do each day to combat this ill, such as using fresh eyes at the market and in our own kitchens, using and respecting what’s there already, however imperfect or seemingly unflattering.

Here’s a perfect, simple, seasonal recipe that captures this idea, and credits resourcefulness.

HOMEMADE APPLESAUCE

Serves 4-6

Get the kids involved in making this recipe; depending on their age, they can peel, chop, stir, or even simply choose which spice to add at the end.

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Introducing: Goosefoot Kitchen

We’re proud to introduce you to Goosefoot Kitchen, a weekly meal planning service run by local chef, cooking instructor, healthy food advocate, and gardener Kristin Hamaker. Goosefoot has recently begun serving as Mississippi Market’s exclusive chef partner. 

Trained in 2005 at Ballymaloe House, a unique culinary school in County Cork, Ireland, Kristin absorbed a truly comprehensive education. While studying there, she had the opportunity to learn French culinary techniques, vegetable and herb gardening, how to milk a cow, and fishing skills in the frigid Celtic Sea. Afterwards, she returned home to St. Paul and started a real foods personal chef service named Farm to Fork, which she cared for and grew over the course of 10 years, eventually selling it on good terms in 2015. Somewhere along the line she married her best friend, started a family, and has been exploring meaning as imperfectly and deliciously as the next person.

In the near future, Kristin will be featuring nutritious, home cooked meal ideas on our Market Musings blog and in our Market Medley member newsletter, as well as conducting in-store healthy eating demos and providing you with delicious recipes while you shop. Goosefoot recipes focus on simple ingredients and healthful food for you and your family.

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Local Profile: Ferndale Market

ferndale-market

Dale Peterson arrived in Cannon Falls, MN in 1939 ready to do what he loved – grow turkeys. He found his farm in the Little Cannon River Valley with his wife Fern. Now their grandson, John, and his wife, Erica, carry the farm into the third generation. They grow turkeys free-range during the warmer months and move the birds to fresh pasture weekly all summer so they have access to clean air and fresh grass.

Ferndale turkeys grow naturally, without the use of antibiotics or artificial growth promotants, and they enjoy constant access to a diet of grains, vitamins, and minerals from a local feed mill. All Ferndale turkeys are processed-naturally, without additives. Ferndale ground turkey is available year-round in our co-op, and we carry whole turkeys for Thanksgiving. You can’t beat the flavor!

ferndale-turkey3

 

Local Craft Beer & Artisanal Cheese Pairings

Prepare for fall gatherings with these expertly curated local craft beer and artisanal cheese pairings courtesy of our amazing staff! The following local cheeses can be found at our co-op, while the beers may be picked up at your local liquor store or obtained directly from the source. In true cooperative spirit, be sure to take advantage of Fair State’s Co-op Member Mondays – receive your first pint for half price in their taproom when you show your Mississippi Market membership card.

Special thanks to Selby Store Deli Manager Leif Moser and West 7th Store Cheese Buyer Martin Devaney for their input and suggested pairings.

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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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