UMVLFP (http://www.umvlocalfoods.org/) has been working toward building small food processing center for a long time, and it’s becoming a reality in 2012! Housed in a beautiful, historic building in Vermillion, SD, the Red Earth Coop and conjoined processing center is currently under renovations with plans to re-open March-April 2012. In the meantime, the team is holding a series of meetings and could use your help! Get involved by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chef Paul: Real Food, Inc.
He’s been a staple chef in the local food scene around Sioux City for many years. Last year he helped pull off the first ever farm-to-fork culinary tour and now he’s cooking up yet another great idea. Totally local in inception, procurement, design, labor, and renovation, he’s converting a retro Airstream trailer into a mobile restaurant. You’ll soon see “Sproutstrem” (our favorite nickname) rolling across the region serving up fresh, local, organic cuisine. Follow Flavors for updates—we’ll keep you in the loop!
Schools: What are YOUR kids eating?
There are a number of schools in the region who have been putting in gardens, incorporating vegetable growing into their Biology curriculum, and trying to add fresh, locally grown foods into kids’ lunches. On our radar in 2012 is Lunchtime Solutions out of North Sioux City, South Dakota. Lunchtime Solutions manages the lunch programs in 38 school districts in South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Minnesota, Iowa, and Missouri. Six of their districts in South Dakota (Vermillion, Dakota Valley, Madison Central, Flandreau, Sioux Valley, and Dell Rapics) added home-style beef chili to their menus in January—using organic locally raised beef from the Cook Family Farm in Adrian, MN. We can’t wait to see what might be next for farm-to-school. Parents: let us know if you have an interest in fresh, healthy, local foods at YOUR school or share your schools’ current farm-to-school project to be featured on the Flavors blog!
South Sioux City, NE
Joining Marcus, Quimby, Holstein, Ida Grove, Salix, and Onawa in the ranks of new and/or emerging farmers markets will be South Sioux City, NE. We just love the little city—with its bike trails along the river, one of our favorite fresh Italian restaurants (Tratorria Fresco), and its proximity to Cardinal Farms tomatoes among other great qualities. So what’s not to love about their new efforts to add another market day to the Siouxland area?! Intended to be complimentary to the Sioux City Farmers Market, South Sioux City is looking to offer a farmers market incorporating their successful community gardeners on Sunday afternoons. Follow the Center for Rural Affairs for more information.
Dan Avery: Dakota Earth Artisan Italian
Seriously. I had no idea there were so many different flavors of pasta! Artisan Italian is the name of Dakota Earth’s pasta line. An upwards of 43 gourmet flavors available leave me scratching my head, wondering how Dan has so much energy every time I see him. No hydrogenated oils, no transfats, high fiber, no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, low sodium, MSG free, GMO free, and a good source of whole grain, Artisan Italian pastas are made using organic whole grain flour with organic fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices. Oh, and did I mention they taste amazing?? Visit Dakota Earth website and Artisan Italian website to learn more and find out where you pick up your favorite flavors in 2012!
The Little Sioux Growers Cooperative, Spirit Lake, IA
Flavors is just starting to get familiar with our friends to the north in the Great Lakes region but the Little Sioux Growers Cooperative preceded with their reputation as one of the most successful growers groups in the region. You may have tasted some of the fresh produce grown by the members at Maxwells, Minervas, La Chiesa, and Rababs in Spirit Lake last year. This year, you can order fresh produce directly from them, delivered to a convenient location near you in Spirit Lake and Spencer! Check out their website: http://www.littlesiouxgrowers.com/
I ran into the Gettings recently at the High Tunnel Production workshop ISU Extension offered last month. Frantically, I informed them that “I’m down to my last frozen quart of your strawberries!” Apparently, I was far from the first one to tell them this. Each January around the same time, strawberry loyalists from across the region open their freezers to discover that they are out of Getting’s strawberries. It is a sad, sad day. Our only consolation is that Getting’s Garden will open during strawberry season in 2012! Like them on Facebook to follow the countdown to opening day. Do yourself a favor and pick one more flat than you think you will eat. You will thank yourself next January.
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Farms
Popular for over a decade across the country, we’re seeing more of them popping up in our neck of the woods! These are three that I know of:
The Cornucopia, Sioux Center, IA (712-490-1004)
Eden Valley Apple Orchard and Farm, Akron, IA (712-540-0127)
Heikes Family Farm, Vermillion, SD (605-222-3949)
Sioux City Farmers' Market
One festival a month?! Continuing on with a Monday evening market?! Even MORE vendors, food, and musicians on site?! The Sioux City Farmers Market opens May 9 for the Wed. and Sat. markets and July 16 for Mondays. Watch for exciting new events happening down at the market in 2012!
Flavors of Northwest Iowa, of course
Gear up for more farm-to-fork culinary tours! Planning is underway. We’re also hosting a series of FUN local food summits across the region. Yes! It’s going to be a local food roadshow. You won’t want to miss it when we come to a city near YOU!