Organic

Localvore Beef Stew

As our Eat Local Challenge rolls on, we’re excited to share this celebration of local ingredients known as Localvore Beef Stew. It combines many locally-grown items that you’ll find in our weekly sale from September 12th – 18th, making this a budget-friendly option. We also think you’ll love the flexibility of this recipe, as it can be a catch-all for the abundance of produce coming out of your late summer garden. That’s why you’ll find celeriac in this recipe in the place of the more traditional celery since celeriac is more likely available from a local farm this time of year and offers a very similar flavor profile. No celeriac? No problem! Just use celery, instead.

Spotlight on Field Day

We’re shining our Member Deals Spotlight on Field Day this week! Member-owners can enjoy 20% off all Field Day products from August 15th – 21st. You may recognize these products as part of our Co-op Basics lineup, so you’ll be thrilled to hear that the discounts run even deeper this week! Read on to learn more about this company with a goal to fill consumers’ homes with a wide selection of value-priced items that they can use and feel good about every day.

Field Day believes in understanding where our food comes from. At every step of the way, they ensure that their products meet the highest quality standards. All of their ingredients and products undergo third-party certifications such as USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project, Whole Grains Council, Gluten Free and Fair Trade. You will never find preservatives, artificial colors or artificial flavors in any of their products. What you will find is delicious, good-for-you and genuinely simple products.

Values

  • Real food: Promoting organic and natural products with a commitment to Non-GMO.
  • Real flavor: Producing genuinely simple products that are not only good-for-you but taste good.
  • Real people: Field Day works as a team, from their valued employees to their inspiring retailers to their treasured consumers, every step of the way.
  • Real fun: Creating memories one family meal at a time.

 

Mission

Their goal is to fill your home with a wide selection of value-priced items that you can use and feel good about every day. Their harvest of Non-GMO, organic, and quality products are delicious and genuinely simple. They take a less-is-more approach with ingredients and packaging. No confusion, just what you need. That’s Field Day.

 

Promise

  • To sell only the highest quality of products. Field Day ensures that offerings adhere to the most rigorous of standards through third-party certifications.
  • To provide great taste. What they leave out in artificial flavors, colors, and unnecessary preservatives, they make up for in pure deliciousness.
  • To remain value priced. With the cost of living and organic food on the rise, Field Day believes that healthy eating should be an achievable lifestyle for every family.
  • To have you and your family’s best interest in mind. From the growth of an idea to the moment it hits your dinner table, Field Day acknowledges what their products mean to your family.

 

 

Organic

What does it mean? This means knowing exactly where our food comes from, how it was made, and that it meets the highest quality standards along the way. Bearing the USDA Organic seal ensures that products are grown and processed according to federal guidelines addressing soil qualities, animal raising practices, the use of additives and more. 

How does it affect your family? Organic foods are cleaner for your family and the environment because they do not allow toxic persistent pesticides, GMOs and antibiotics and growth hormones. They prohibit the use of artificial colors, flavors and preservatives. 

What are is Field Day doing about it? Whenever possible they source organic ingredients to produce USDA Certified products that you can use and feel good about every day.

 
 

Non-GMO

What does it mean? The Non-GMO Project defines GMOs as genetically modified organisms that have been “artificially manipulated in a laboratory through genetic engineering, creating unstable combinations of genes that do not occur in nature.” 

How does it affect your family? Many of the foods that are popular among families and children contain GMOs. In North America, over 80% of our food contains GMOs, meaning that these unwelcome additions are likely present at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Their use and consumption could lead to harmful effects on both the environment and human health. 

What is Field Day doing about it? All of Field Day’s products are currently verified by or enrolled in the Non-GMO Project, a third-party organization that tests and certifies a product does not contain GMOs. The seal indicates that any at-risk ingredients are continually monitored and tested through a rigorous verification process. Field Day works to source organic products, support sustainable farming practices, and give you the right to make an informed choice. Therefore, by choosing Field Day, you are committing to live Non-GMO.

 

 

Made in the USA

What does it mean? The majority of Field Day’s products are produced in the USA with some containing domestic and imported ingredients.

How does it affect your family? By taking pride in our country and the work that our farmers put in every day, sourcing Made in the USA and local growers we work in supporting your communities and bringing the fruits of their labor directly to you!

Spotlight on New Leaf Organics

With local harvest season in full swing, we’re casting our Co-op Spotlight on a wonderful organic farm that not only provides our Co-op with a bounty of organic vegetables but also allows us to offer a stunning variety of locally-grown veggie and herb starts for gardeners in the spring! New Leaf Organics is featured in our Member Deals Spotlight this week, and member-owners can enjoy 20% off their glorious produce from August 8th – 14th!! Read on to learn more about this fantastic local, organic farm hailing from Bristol, VT:

Nestled in the rolling hills near the Bristol-Monkton town line is a sweet little farm called New Leaf Organics. Now in her 19th year in business, Farmer Jill Koppel leads her rockstar crew to produce some of the most beautiful and delicious flowers, fruits, and veggies you’ll find anywhere in Vermont. Their farm has evolved quite a bit over the years, but their core mission remains the same; growing high-quality organic produce, flowers, and plants that improve soil health and strengthen the community.

Their Mission

  • to grow high quality, deliciously fresh organic produce and flowers.
  • to maintain and build the health of our soil and water.
  • to keep this land open and in agricultural production.
  • to bring community together in appreciation of good food and eating with the seasons.
  • to help couples create a memorable wedding day brightened with our beautiful flowers
  • to be a healthy and joyous place for kids to roam and discover and help them learn where our food really comes from.
  • to provide a positive and meaningful place to work for our employees and ourselves.

They grow 5 acres of vegetables, berries, and flowers which are all sold in Vermont. You can find them at farmers markets in Waitsfield and Winooski and they deliver to various area stores and restaurants. You can also sign up for their fruit & veggie CSA.

Looking to send a local, organic bouquet to someone special? New Leaf Organics offers Home Sweet Blooms floral deliveries to homes and businesses in Hinesburg, Vergennes, Middlebury, & Bristol!

Need flowers for an upcoming wedding or event? New Leaf Organics raises over 100 varieties of organic, specialty cut flowers and creates exquisite floral arrangements for weddings and events, from casual to formal. Their services, from full-service arrangements and delivery, to “pick-your-own,” to “weddings-in-a-bucket” are a great fit for all your events. Buying direct from the grower ensures the freshest, highest quality flowers at the best price. Buying organic ensures that agricultural chemicals aren’t endangering our environment or the farmworkers who handle the flowers. Click here to read more about why this matters.

According to Farmer Jill, “I’ve been lucky enough to find a dedicated crew of farming “geeks” who get equally as excited about discovering a great new variety to try or the thrill of our first seeds germinating in the Spring. Having a great crew keeps the farm dynamic and is better every season because of them. My kids, Ruby and Ada, and husband Skimmer make sure we don’t work the whole Summer away… Thanks for your interest in our farm! Supporting local farms like ours ensures that high-quality agricultural soils will be kept in farming for generations to come and proof that together we really can keep Vermont agriculture alive and thriving!”

Peachy Pecan Sundae

Celebrate the flavors of summer with this peachy pecan sundae! You’ll find those famous Pennsylvania peaches in our weekly sale display from August 1st – 7th, along with the ice cream, pecans, and a handful of other items that are perfect for a summer ice cream extravaganza!

Spotlight on Aqua ViTea

Our Member Deals Spotlight shines brightly this week on Aqua ViTea! All of their non-alcoholic Kombucha is 20% off for member-owners from August 1st – 7th. Read on to learn more about this unique local business with humble beginnings on a Salisbury Farm!

 

History

In 2005, founder Jeff Weaber and his wife Katina Martin moved to Salisbury, Vermont from Portland, Oregon. Portland had been their home for nine years as Katina pursued medical degrees in Naturo

Mike Kin creates the signature Freshketch artwork for Aqua ViTea

pathy, Midwifery, and Acupuncture. During those years, Jeff became a brewer for The Lucky Labrador Brewing Co. and was in the unique position of honing the craft of brewing and fermentation at work, while learning about functional foods and the governing role of the digestive system from Katina at home.

 

While reading Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions and diving into the research of the Weston A. Price foundation, Weaber was introduced to Kombucha. He began experimenting with home-brewed Kombucha and shared the surplus with friends. Weaber found himself amazed by its popularity with both the naturopathic and beer-drinking crowds. “I realized right away that I had found a way to do what I loved and sustain a healthy lifestyle,” says Weaber. The more I learned about the benefits of Kombucha, the more passionate I became about making it available to my community.

His commercial brewing operation began in the cellar of his Salisbury farm and by 2007, Weaber was selling his Kombucha to the happy crowds at the Middlebury Farmers Market under the Aqua ViTea brand. By 2008 he was bottling his product and selling wholesale to our Co-op and a handful of other local markets and, in 2009, our Co-op was proud to be the first co-op in the country to offer Kombucha on tap! Our fountains have been flowing ever since!

As the business grew, Weaber called on Mike Kin, who was a close friend of Weaber’s in Oregon and convinced him to move to Vermont with his family to become the company’s brewer. And if you dig the artwork on Aqua ViTea’s packaging and materials as much as we do, you’ve got Mike to thank for these. He sketches each one by hand, creating the funky, colorful, amazing signature artwork that you see on all of AquaVitea’s products!

By 2014, demand began to outpace production capacity and plans to move Aqua ViTea’s production off the farm began to ferment. They first moved to a state-of-the-art facility in Bristol, VT, followed by yet another upgrade in 2017 to an even more impressive facility -the former home of Woodchuck Cider on Exchange Street in Middlebury. They now produce about 30,000 gallons a month and their line of bottled and draft kombuchas is distributed in 25 states!

Jeff Weaber & Mike Kin

Mission

According to Aqua ViTea’s website:

Our mission since the beginning has been to sustain and cultivate the core foundation of healthy, sustainable communities through a series of interrelated actions and principles.

We evaluate the environmental impact of our business decisions to remain mindful of how they will affect all aspects of living and life. We seek to source the finest quality ingredients and work with regional providers whenever feasible. We work to create opportunities not only for our team, but for you, that will make a positive difference in our and your food consumption, lifestyle choices, and career paths. We recognize and remind ourselves and you to acknowledge the responsibility to contribute and give back to the community.

Commitment to Authenticity

Controversy has been brewing in the Kombucha community surrounding the fact that many commercially available Kombucha brands have been found to contain significantly more sugar and more alcohol than their labels disclose. Additionally, some large-scale Kombucha products are being manufactured in a lab setting, force carbonated, and even pasteurized, with the probiotic cultures added artificially as “ingredients” to the end product.

Aqua ViTea, since day one, has shown a deep commitment to authenticity. This begins by sourcing the highest quality ingredients, including sustainably-sourced organic tea from Middlebury’s Stone Leaf Teahouse and organic cane sugar to feed the ferment. Their Kombucha is the product of a live, active fermentation, which allows the live cultures and enzymes to develop naturally and delivers the tangy effervescence that Kombucha drinkers love.

Additionally, they are one of only two Kombucha makers in the U.S. to invest in a spinning cone column – a machine typically used in wine-making – which allows for the extraction and recovery of volatile compounds, including alcohol, without the need for excessive heat. And since the alcohol is removed at the end of fermentation, the active cultures can grow at their own pace, which results in authentic, delicious and non-alcoholic Kombucha. They even employ an in-house microbiologist to analyze the safety and purity of their products! Dr. Bill Yawney oversees their food safety standards and works in their state-of-the-art in-house lab to create standards for testing alcohol levels in Kombucha produced by Aqua ViTea and by other Kombucha producers. You can read more about that here.

The Famous Cone Extractor removing the alcohol from Aqua ViTea’s Kombucha

 

 

You’ll notice that Aqua ViTea Kombucha now bears the Alcohol Extracted Verified Seal, so you know what you’re getting (and not getting) when you drink their Kombucha.

 

 

Wonder where that alcohol is going after it’s extracted from Aqua ViTea Kombucha?

They send it right down the road to their friends at Appalachian Gap Distillery, where it is turned into a distinct and flavorful vodka known as Aqua Vodka. It’s the perfect blend of ancient tradition and modern technology! Click here to read all about it.

Also, an exciting new addition to the Aqua ViTea lineup is AfterGlow Hard Kombucha! This is a smooth, tasty alternative to beer and cider and a more natural option than spiked seltzers. It’s organic, gluten-free, non-GMO, and made with only the finest sustainably-sourced ingredients. While they do extract the alcohol from their traditional Kombucha, that alcohol is not used in creating AfterGlow. Instead, they let AfterGlow’s natural alcohol mature through fermentation and into the can – resulting in a mindfully made adult beverage. Click here to read more about it.

 

 

 

 

Spotlight on Stonyfield

We’re shining our Co-op Spotlight on Stonyfield this week to highlight their commitment to organic dairy, the family farmers that make it possible, and the Earth that sustains us. Member-owners can enjoy 20% off their full line of organic dairy products from July 25th – 31st!  Read on to learn more about Stonyfield’s history and mission:

 

History:

While Stonyfield is best known for making yogurt, yogurt wasn’t the way the founders of Stonyfield thought they’d change the world. In 1983, Stonyfield co-founders Samuel Kaymen and Gary Hirshberg were simply trying to help family farms survive, protect the environment, and keep food and food production healthy through their nonprofit organic farming school.

Just to keep things running, the duo started putting their farm’s seven cows to work making yogurt. They knew they were making a healthy food grown with care; what they didn’t expect was how much people would love it.

People went crazy for the yogurt from Samuel and Gary’s little farm school, and the two knew they had found a way to make a real difference. With this yogurt business, the two organic farming teachers could show the whole world that a company could make healthy, delicious food without relying on toxic chemicals that harm the environment and public health.

So, the two went all-in on yogurt and, over 30 years later, the folks at Stonyfield continue to honor the example their founders set. They’re still located in New Hampshire, just 30 miles east of the old farm. And now, their organic ingredient purchases support a huge network of food producers made up of hundreds of organic family farms, thousands of organic cows, and over 200,000 organic acres!

They‘ve also pioneered planet-friendly business practices—from offsetting emissions at their production facility to making yogurt cups from plants instead of petroleum to making their own renewable energy, and much more.

The thought and passion that started Stonyfield Organic in the first place have only grown stronger, and they’ve never stopped working for healthy food, healthy people, and a healthy planet.

Commitment to Organic:

Stonyfield’s products are all 100% certified organic – made without the use of toxic persistent pesticides, artificial hormones, antibiotics, and GMOs.  Eating organic isn’t just good for you and your family, it’s straight up good for other people and the planet. One of the main goals of organic farming practices is to avoid contamination of our precious soil, rivers, drinking water, and air with toxic persistent chemicals. Which also means organic farmers themselves and their neighbors aren’t exposed to potentially carcinogenic herbicides. Organic agriculture not only means less dependence on fossil fuels, it can actually help reduce climate change. It’s estimated that converting all of America’s cropland to organic would have the same carbon-reducing effect as taking 217 million cars off the road!

There is also compelling evidence to support the notion that organic dairy is more nutritious than its conventional counterpart. Why? Because it comes from cows that are actively grazing on grass, as nature intended. Organically raised cows spend their days outside on pasture so the milk they produce is significantly higher in Omega-3 fatty acids and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), heart-healthy fats that can help lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol. There is a lot to be learned and said about organic farming, and Stonyfield hopes you will join them in the journey towards better food systems. Click here to learn more.

Spotlight on Navitas Organics

Looking for healthy snacks to fuel your summer outdoor adventures? We invite you to check out Navitas Organics! They’re basking in the glow of our Member Deals Spotlight from July 4th – 10th and all of their organic superfoods are 20% for member-owners! Read on to learn more about Navitas and their commitment to being a force for positive change:

 

 

Navitas (Nuh-vee-tus) is Latin for ‘energy’ and their super-nutritious organic superfoods aim to give you the energy you need to live each day to the fullest. What’s more, they work hard to power the positive in all they do: from the careful ways in which they source their products to the work they do to contribute to the greater good. They choose to work with small farmers who use sustainable organic farming methods to grow their superfoods. They operate with a focus on leaving the lightest footprint on the earth as possible. They also contribute to healthy causes by supporting nonprofit initiatives like A Growing Culture.

Path

The Navitas story began during a carefree time where two loyal music fans toured the country in search of adventure and community. Although unacquainted during those years, they would evolve to adopt the true ethos of this lifestyle, embracing everything from the gritty, entrepreneurial spirit to a steadfast appreciation for organic, plant-based foods. Years later, founders Zach and Meghan Adelman would marry, bringing with them the ideals cultivated through their experience with a hopeful vision for the future that placed health and wellness at the very core of their value system. In 2003, the Navitas brand was born as a result of that unique history, longstanding friendships and a shared penchant for wanderlust to exotic regions around the world. Curiosity about ancient cultures and traditional foods led to a special collaboration with a small farmer cooperative in Peru and the discovery of the wondrous health benefits of Maca.

Through this relationship, founder Zach Adelman was introduced to a variety of additional health-enhancing foods that have been sustainably cultivated and consumed around the world for centuries, known to enhance longevity and well-being. This new knowledge sparked an unwavering determination to bring these ancient treasures to North America and integrate them into our modern lifestyle. Navitas is an organic industry leader and has stayed true to its commitment to the discovery of ancient, indigenous foods, vowing to support causes that help reduce environmental burden through ethical agricultural practices.

Culture

Navitas Organics is dedicated to the idea that success isn’t just about profits and promotions. Along with 1,800 leading businesses from 130 industries across the world, they have earned B Corporation certification. Certified B Corporations are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. Together, Certified B Corporations lead a growing, worldwide movement of people using business as a force for good. 

Principles

At the core of their business are the principles they hold true, which are evident in the diverse, playful community atmosphere at Navitas. They are a hardworking, creative, and open-minded group resulting in a company culture that is defined through a collaborative team management approach. Their dedicated employees possess the commitment and determination to help fuel the health-conscious movement sharing in a passion for mindful living, at the heart of which is a robust, nutrient-dense diet. They embrace a culturally diverse team, strive to promote from within and provide mentoring and support to each individual to reach their own true potential. They work hard and play hard, and believe that without a hearty amount of laughter and humor, no amount of success is worthwhile. Through the spirit of generosity, they are committed to developing the finest products in the industry, advocate for the principles they stand for and provide superior service to their valued customers.

 

 

Spotlight on Wood’s Market Garden

There are certain fruits and vegetables that seem to announce the changing of the seasons and for us here at the Co-op, the day we receive our first delivery of local, organic tomatoes and strawberries from Wood’s Market Garden, we know that summer is finally here! We’re casting our Co-op Spotlight on Wood’s Market Garden this week to highlight their magnificent 150-acre organic farm in Brandon, VT. Member-owners can enjoy 20% off all of their glorious local, organic fruits and veggies from June 27th – July 3rd.  Read on to learn more about their farm and the family that makes it possible for us to offer such a beautiful bounty:

Wood’s Market Garden is a fruit, vegetable & flower farm and seasonal market nestled in the quaint town of Brandon, Vermont. Their fields have been producing fresh food for the greater Brandon community for over 100 years!

The farm consists of 150 acres of Vermont farmland and woods. Known far and wide for their delicious sweet corn and plump, sweet strawberries, they also grow over 50 kinds of vegetables and fruits on 60 acres of sandy loam soils. Their produce and vegetable plants are certified organic, and in addition to their field production, they also have 7 greenhouses for raising bedding plants, ornamentals, vegetable starts and the tastiest early tomatoes in the state! Their unique varieties of plants and passion for quality crops keeps people coming back year after year.

Farmer Jon Satz purchased the iconic Wood’s farm from Bob and Sally Wood in 2000. With his passion for growing and sustainable farming practices, the farm and market have blossomed into a destination for beautiful organic vegetables, quality bedding plants and some of the sweetest strawberries around! Jon, his wife Courtney, and their 2 young sons make their home on the farm and enjoy the continued legacy of farming the land that the Wood family started generations ago.

Their farm stand and market are open 7 days a week during the spring and summer season. Outside, it’s a paradise of plants, hanging baskets, creeping vines, and gardens to wander. Perhaps you’ve seen it while driving down Route 7 South through Brandon? You’ll notice Jones Mill Pond, which during the warm summer months is covered with those famous pink water lilies, and Wood’s sprawling acres of lush fields and greenhouses surrounding the pond.

Inside the market, the shelves and baskets are filled with gorgeous fresh produce from the farm. Depending on what’s in season, you’ll find everything from fresh spinach to strawberries to squash. In addition to produce, they have an unbelievable variety of artisanal cheese, organic milk and local dairy products, local meat and poultry, fresh baked goods, maple syrup, honey, jam and more! It’s a foodie paradise at Wood’s Market….a really fun place to shop, and guaranteed to make you smile. Stop in and see them on your next trip through Brandon!

Spotlight on Neighborly Farms

As part of our celebration of Dairy Month, we’re shining our Co-op Spotlight on a fantastic local, organic dairy farm hailing from Randolph Center, VT: Neighborly Farms! Member-owners can enjoy 20% off their award-winning organic cheeses from June 20th – 26th!  Read on to learn more about this 210-acre organic dairy farm that calls VT home:

Neighborly-Farms. Round Logo

Established as an operating dairy farm in the 1920s, Rob and Linda Dimmick, along with their son Bobby and his wife, Brooke, are continuing the tradition of family farming. Nestled in the rolling hills of Randolph Center, Vermont, Neighborly Farms decorates the countryside with its red barn and white post and beam farmhouse built in the 1800s. They operate on 210 acres with cropland and grazing fields to support the dairy and a sugarhouse for producing pure Vermont maple syrup. The lush green fields are home to 70 Holsteins in the warmer months and provide hay for the cows during the cold Vermont winters. 

The Dimmick’s are continuing the family farming tradition because they have a deeply-rooted passion for the land and animals. They are a totally organic farm. This means the farm is run in complete harmony with the land and the animals; no antibiotics, no hormones, and no commercial fertilizers. Just pure and natural techniques that keep the cows healthy, happy, and the dairy products wholesome and chemical-free. It means that the high-quality cheeses produced at Neighborly Farms are 100% organic and reflect the terroir of their surroundings. 

Neighborly Farms of Vermont is not just another dairy farm. Their commitment to organic practices and their solar energy system illustrate their love for the land and animals and deep respect for the environment.  They’ve made an active choice to integrate sustainable practices that best care for the earth, their cows, and their neighbors in both this generation and for generations to become. They make cheese the old-fashioned way and believe that caring for the land and surroundings helps them produce the finest cheeses possible.

At the Co-op, you’ll find a rotating variety of their small-batch cheeses including Jalapeno Jack, Monterey Jack, Colby, Feta, Green Onion Cheddar, and their staple Raw Milk Cheddar, many of which have been honored with awards from the prestigious American Cheese Society. They hope you enjoy them and they thank you for supporting your local, organic dairy farms!

Better Burgers

Tired of bland burgers? Looking to up your burger game? Then this recipe is for you! A hamburger patty is a great vehicle for loads of flavor, so feel free to be creative! This particular recipe features Italian flavors, but you can experiment with other herbs and spices for your own unique twist. You’ll find McKnight Farm’s local, organic ground beef in our weekly sale from June 13th – 19th, along with Vermont Bread Company’s organic hamburger buns, and Cabot sliced cheeses, so it’s a perfect time to fire up the grill and give these a try!

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