Market Musings Blog

Know Your Local Plant Sale Growers

This year’s Plant Sale offerings have once again been sourced from some of the best local growers. You’ll find an expanded assortment of unique pepper and herb varieties, a wildly beautiful tomato selection, a nearly three-fold increase in edible flowers and pollinator plants, and an array of Japanese vegetables for your garden. Everything at the Plant Sale has been grown to organic standards, with a healthy selection of certified-organic vegetables also available. Read on to learn about this year’s Plant Sale growers.

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2018 Plant Sale & Gardening Demos

 

Plant Sale | May 4–May 28 | 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. daily | West 7th Store

Visit our West 7th store throughout May for our annual spring Plant Sale. Known for its comprehensive assortment of Minnesota natives and extensive vegetable and herb selections, the Plant Sale enthusiastically ushers in the return of Minnesota’s peak growing season. As always, a variety of exciting new plants will be available in response to feedback received from co-op shoppers and staff.

This year’s plants will once again be sourced from some of the best local growers, including Carter Farms, Glacial Ridge Growers, Green Earth Growers, Prairie Road Organic Seed, and Rush Creek Growers. At this year’s Plant Sale, you’ll also find an expanded assortment of unique pepper and herb varieties, a wildly beautiful tomato selection, a nearly three-fold increase in edible flowers and pollinator plants, and an array of Japanese vegetables. Everything will be grown to organic standards, with a healthy selection of certified-organic vegetables also available.

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Local Profile: Tempeh Tantrum

Begun in 2014, Minneapolis-based Tempeh Tantrum makes two varieties of fresh organic tempeh. A traditional Indonesian staple dating back to the 12th century, it has a unique nutty flavor and firm texture. Unlike tofu, which is made using soy milk, tempeh is made using whole soy beans, which are naturally cultured through a fermentation process that binds them into a cake form. Because of this fermentation process, tempeh is less processed than tofu and generally healthier since it contains greater amounts of protein and fiber.

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Local Profile: Mama C’s Salsa

Small-Batch Salsa from the East Side

There’s no denying Juan Cervantes loves his mother. Founder of local East Side Maker Mama C’s Salsa, Juan is a proud second-generation Mexican-American who exemplifies the innovative spirit of an independent business owner pursuing the American Dream. Named after his mother Carmen Cervantes, Mama C’s Salsa is an homage to her entrepreneurial legacy and the dedicated work ethic she imbued in her beloved children.

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Announcing: $3 Community Dinners

$3.00 Dinner | Local Food | Live Music | Raffle Prizes | All are welcome!

Save the date – join your co-op community during our first $3 Community Dinner on Thursday, May 17 at our East 7th store. Celebrate community with good food, great people, and live music.

$3 Community Dinner: Enchiladas
May 17 | 5:00–8:00 p.m. | East 7th store

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Eating Local Year-Round

Frigid temperatures, frozen ground, frosty breath. It’s nearly inconceivable that eating locally-grown produce during Minnesotan winters is possible. Local hydroponic, aeroponic and aquaponic farmers have proved otherwise. Producers like Living Waters in Wells, Minn. (hydroponic tomatoes), Living Greens Farm in Faribault, Minn. (aeroponic salad greens and microgreens), and Urban Organics in Saint Paul, Minn. (aquaponic salad greens) provide Mississippi Market Co-op shoppers with an abundance of locally grown food not only during our cold winter months, but also throughout the year. Living Waters grows over 7,000 tomato plants a year, Living Greens produces over 1 million heads of lettuce annually, and Urban Organics currently harvests up to 15,000 pounds of salad greens a month.

From L to R: hydroponics, aeroponics, aquaculture, and aquaponics

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Honoring the African-American Co-op Movement

Throughout history, grassroots activism has played a key role in addressing racial and socioeconomic oppression, exploitation, and segregation. The cooperative movement formed in direct opposition to corrupt business practices to address food and social justice issues, economic independence, product quality standards, labor conditions, and methods of ownership. Oftentimes, the consumer co-op story begins in mid-19th-century England with the founding of the Rochdale Equitable Pioneers Society. This group of 28 British citizens is regarded as having successfully opened the first truly cooperative grocery business. At the time, this was a radical departure from exploitative practices they faced at company grocery stores provided by their textile factory employers.

The consumer co-op scene in Minnesota grew from the roots of formal cooperative business efforts taken by the Rochdale Pioneers and 19th-century Finnish and Scandinavian immigrants in Northern Minnesota. These British citizens and European immigrants made impressive contributions to the co-op movement. However, if we stop there, the story remains incomplete and inaccurate. To truly understand the power of cooperatives, we must recognize, share, and celebrate contributions to the movement by a multitude of races and cultures, especially those that have been historically marginalized.

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Commemorating Credjafawn Co-op

Many people associate the growth of local grocery co-ops with the 1960–1975 period, during which many of our region’s existing stores began. A notable exception to the 1960s local food co-op movement was the Credjafawn Co-op Store, which briefly served the Rondo community in the years immediately following World War II. Its freestanding building at 678 Rondo Avenue, at what was then the corner of Rondo Avenue and St. Albans Street, lay roughly four blocks northwest of Mississippi Market’s Selby store.

Lively photographs of Credjafawn Co-op from 1948 document a tidy, well-equipped corner store with white-painted porcelain cases, a two-tiered air-conditioned produce display backed by tall mirrors, and grocery carts small enough to thread their way through narrow aisles packed with fresh food for sale. The Co-op’s two large street-facing windows were partly papered with posters featuring the familiar twin-pines logo of the National Cooperative Business Association, which also served as Mississippi Market ‘s logo for a short period of time.

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Local Profile: Taking Stock Foods


Taking Stock Co-founders Maddy Kaudy and Molly Clark

Support your Health with Whole-food Broths

As the New Year begins and resolutions are made, take stock of your personal health with delicious, locally-sourced broths. Co-founded in January 2015 by Mississippi Market member-owner Molly Clark and her good friend Maddy Kaudy, Taking Stock Foods produces three kinds of nourishing bone broths made with organic chicken and a hearty vegan broth full of robust flavors imparted by oyster mushrooms and ginger. Molly and Maddy’s culinary backgrounds in cooking at local restaurants, as well as their partnership with a registered dietitian and nutrition advisor, helped inform Taking Stock’s slow-cooked recipes. An extended 12-hour-long cooking time allows for the extraction of tasty flavors, beneficial minerals, collagen, and amino acids into the broths from bones and vegetables.

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Holiday Gift Ideas: Foodie Favorites

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Searching for the perfect gifts for the foodie on your holiday list? We’ve got a great selection for lovers of unique, quality-crafted foods. Try our Foodie Faves below – they’re sure to please!

DEER CREEK CHEESES

We love these amazing, locally-made, handcrafted artisan cheeses from Wisconsin! We recommend The Fawn, a sweet and nutty mellow cheddar.

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EXCLUSIVE RIOJANA EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

Exclusive to co-op shoppers, this cold-pressed, fair trade olive oil is made from a blend of certified organic Arauco and Manzanilla olives​ and cooperatively produced by family farms in Argentina.

VELVET BEES GOURMET HONEY BUTTER

A luscious blend of honey, butter, cream, sugar, and vanilla results in a velvety smooth spread that serves as the perfect complement to toast, pancakes, and desserts.

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EQUAL EXCHANGE HOT COCOA

Nothing says winter quite like a warm, steeping mug of hot cocoa. We steer towards Equal Exchange’s fair trade organic hot cocoa mix since its ingredients contain cocoa and sugar grown by small co-operative farmers and milk produced by Organic Valley, a Wisconsin-based dairy cooperative.

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THE BEEZ KNEEZ MUSTARD AND HONEY

Based in Minneapolis, The Beez Kneez promotes sustainable urban beekeeping and utilizes their bees to make incredibly flavorful small batch raw honey and mustard. The honey imparts these unique flavors as a result of the bees foraging for these types of natural pollen. Did you know? Mississippi Market is an urban apiary partner of Beez Kneez, hosting honey bee hives on the rooftop of our West 7th store!

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BARE HONEY FLAVORED HONEY

Another local favorite, Bare Honey produces and distributes chemical free, antibiotic free, Treatment Free honey. Along with raising their own bees, they operate as a distribution outlet for sustainable Minnesota beekeepers. Flavors include raw wildflower, vanilla bean honey spread, and cinnamon honey.

RUSH CREEK RESERVE

Local Rush Creek Reserve farmstead cheese from Uplands Cheese Co. in southern Wisconsin is one of the best cheeses of the year. Rush Creek Reserve is only made in the autumn as the cows move from summer pasture to winter hay, which produces a richer milk. It is a soft ripened cheese wrapped in a strip of spruce bark that imparts a sweet, woodsy flavor. Pair it with one of Wood from the Hood’s charcuterie boards for an extra special gift.

ISABEL STREET HEAT AND NUCLEAR NECTAR HOT SAUCES

If the foodies on your holiday gift list enjoy spicy foods and promoting local businesses, then these two aromatic hot sauces should fit the bill. Isabel Street heat located in St. Paul and Nuclear Nectar located in Minneapolis craft beautiful products that’ll add a kick to omelets, eggs, quesadillas, pizzas, and soups. We carry Nuclear Nectar ‘Nero Red, a habanero hot sauce, as well as a range of Isabel Street Heat sauces including Chipotle, Habanero, Jalapeno, Thai Chili, Serrano, and Ghost Pepper.

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