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.

Read more …

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.

Read more …

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.

Read more …

Something’s a-buzz at Mississippi Market!

We’re proud to announce a new partnership with The Beez Kneez, a local pollinator advocacy organization and honey producer that is committed to “reviving the hive for healthy bees, healthy lives” by establishing and maintaining honey bee hives throughout the Twin Cities. They partner with various Twin City restaurants, museums, food co-ops, schools and urban farms who serve as urban apiary host sites. Recently, Mississippi Market was put in touch with The Beez Kneez and asked if we’d be willing to partner. We jumped at the opportunity!

Read more …

Local Cheese Madness: Final Round

Round 3 Match-Up

Redhead Creamery Little Lucy Brie and Sartoti Montamoré made it through the first two Local Cheese Madness rounds and now face off in our final head to head match-up.

Sample these two cheeses in our deli today, April 3rd and vote for your favorite from 11:00am-1:00pm. A winner will be chosen based on votes received and will become our Local Cheese Madness Champion! Who will reign supreme? Stay tuned to find out which local cheese will take home the glory and be on sale tomorrow, Tuesday, April 4th.

            

Local Cheese Madness: Round 2

Round 2 Match-Ups

Round 1 of Local Cheese Madness has ended resulting in our final four local cheese champions. This Saturday, April 1 Deer Creek’s The Blue Jay and Redhead Creamery’s Little Lucy Brie will face off in our fifth match-up. Then, on Sunday, April 2 Marieke’s Gouda and Sartori’s Montamoré will face off in game six.

Sample these local cheeses in our deli each day and vote for your favorites from 11:00am-1:00pm. Two winners will be chosen based on votes received and will advance onto the Final Round on Monday, April 3. Who will reign supreme? Stay tuned to find out which local cheese will take home the glory and be on sale for one day only on Tuesday, April 4th.

Game 5: Deer Creek The Blue Jay VS Redhead Creamery Little Lucy Brie

              

Game 6: Marieke Gouda VS Sartori Montamoré

              

Local Cheese Madness: Shepherd’s Way Farms VS Deer Creek

Round 1 Match-Up

Get to know local cheeses available at Mississippi Market during Local Cheese Madness! Our fourth match-up is a blue cheese face off between Shepherd’s Way Farms’ Big Woods Blue and Deer Creek’s The Blue Jay.

Sample these two cheeses in our deli today, March 31st and vote for your favorite from 11:00am-1:00pm. A winner will be chosen based on votes received and will advance onto Round 2. Who will reign supreme? Stay tuned to find out which of our eight competing local cheeses will take home the glory and be on sale for one day only on Tuesday, April 4th.

Shepherd’s Way Farms – Big Woods Blue

Shepherd’s Way Farms is located in Nerstrand, Minnesota where Jodi Read handcrafts small batch cheeses on the Read family farm. Shepherd’s Way is among the first local farmstead sheep’s milk cheese makers in Minnesota and has been crafting them since 1998. Their Big Woods Blue balances the sharpness of a typical blue cheese with the creamy flavor of sheep’s milk to create a complex flavor and finish. It has been named one of the best blue cheeses in the country.

VERSUS

 

Deer Creek – The Blue Jay

All of Deer Creek’s artisan and specialty aged cheeses are handmade in Wisconsin. Founder Chris Gentine named all of them after characters in a beloved childhood storybook called “The Golden Storybook.” The Blue Jay cheese is a quintuple crème blue infused with juniper berries, making for a bold creamy cheese with a delicately piney bouquet finish.

Local Cheese Madness: Marieke VS Roth Kase

Round 1 Match-Up

Get to know local cheeses available at Mississippi Market during Local Cheese Madness! Our third match-up is an aged hard cheese face off between Marieke’s Gouda and Roth Kase’s Grand Cru.

Sample these two cheeses in our deli today, March 30th and vote for your favorite from 11:00am-1:00pm. A winner will be chosen based on votes received and will advance onto Round 2. Who will reign supreme? Stay tuned to find out which of our eight competing local cheeses will take home the glory and be on sale for one day only on Tuesday, April 4th.

Marieke Gouda

Marieke was born and raised in the Netherlands where she grew up on her parents’ 60 cow dairy farm. When she and her husband emigrated to Thorp, Wisconsin they started a 350 cow dairy farm, bringing authentic Dutch Gouda cheese to the region. In 2015, Marieke was the first woman to win the Wisconsin outstanding young farmer award. Her Gouda cheese is packed into 18lb forms before going under the press, then brined for 60 hours, before being aged on Dutch pine planks for a minimum of 14 days.

VERSUS

 

Roth Kase Grand Cru

Roth Kase’s roots go back to 1803 when Roth, a cheese maker from Switzerland, started exporting cheese equipment. The company has changed over the years but is still in the cheese making business. In 1991, Roth Kase refocused its efforts on producing award winning cheeses. The Grand Cru is an original, alpine style cheese aged in Roth’s cellars for a minimum of four months. Made in Monroe, Wisconsin the Grand Cru was named World Cheese Champion in 2016.

Local Cheese Madness: Sartori VS Milton Creamery

Round 1 Match-Up

Get to know local cheeses available at Mississippi Market during Local Cheese Madness! Our second match-up is a creamy hard cheese face off between Sartori’s Montamoré and Milton Creamery’s Prairie Breeze Cheddar.

Sample these two cheeses in our deli today, March 29th and vote for your favorite from 11:00am-1:00pm. A winner will be chosen based on votes received and will advance onto Round 2. Who will reign supreme? Stay tuned to find out which of our eight competing local cheeses will take home the glory and be on sale for one day only on Tuesday, April 4th.

Sartori – Montamoré

Sartori is a fourth-generation family-owned and -operated company that has been around since 1939. Their Montamoré cheese is sweet, creamy, fruity and ends with a tangy bite. Its name comes from the Dolomite mountains that tower over Sartori Founder Paolo’s hometown of Valdastico, Italy.

VERSUS

 

Milton Creamery – Prairie Breeze Cheddar

Milton Creamery is located in Southeast Iowa in the town of Milton. All of their milk is sourced from cows on small Amish dairy farms and herds are not given artificial growth hormones. Prairie Breeze is a twist on a well-aged white cheddar and is a four time blue ribbon winner. Aged for a minimum of nine months, it is sweeter than your typical cheddar, crumbly yet creamy with a little crunch from calcium crystals developed during the aging process.

Local Cheese Madness: Alemar Cheese VS Redhead Creamery

Round 1 Match-Up

Get to know local cheeses available at Mississippi Market during Local Cheese Madness! Our first match-up is a soft cheese face off between Alemar Cheese’s Bent River Camembert and Redhead Creamery’s Little Lucy Brie.

Sample these two cheeses in our deli today, March 28th and vote for your favorite from 11:00am-1:00pm. A winner will be chosen based on votes received and will advance onto Round 2. Who will reign supreme? Stay tuned to find out which of our eight competing local cheeses will take home the glory and be on sale for one day only on Tuesday, April 4th.

Alemar Cheese – Bent River Camembert

Alemar Cheese was founded on the premise that great ingredients coupled with patience, knowledge, and passion can produce extraordinary results. In 2008, they began to make small batches of soft-ripened artisan cheese. Alemar’s first cheese, Bent River, is a Camembert-style soft cheese named after a sharp turn in the Minnesota River located a few hundred yards from their production site.

VERSUS

 

Redhead Creamery – Little Lucy Brie

Alise, the president and CEO of Red Head Creamery, grew up on a Holstein and Brown Swiss cattle farm and fell in love with farmstead cheese at the age of 16. Since then, she has worked tirelessly to become an artisan cheese maker. The Little Lucy Brie is named after Alise’s daughter Lucy because it is small, cute, and irresistible.