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Owner Appreciation Days October 2017

Not an owner yet? Now’s a great time to join!


More information available at check-out or the Hospitality Desk.
SHOP EARLY for BEST SELECTION!
 
Owner Appreciation Days FAQ:

  • 20% OFF OWNER shops including Co+op Deals & Owner Deals
  • Discount can be used on ALL OWNER SHOPS 10/19-10/22
  • Discount can only be redeemed 10/19-10/22
  • Discount cannot be stacked with other case discounts
  • ALL Co+op Basics EXCLUDED (prices are already as low as we can go)
  • Sorry, we cannot issue RAINCHECKS on out of stock items.

Thanks for being a CO-OP OWNER!

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Winter Squash Guide

Easy Winter Squash Cooking Techniques

Squash is super easy to cook, delicious, and good for you, too! Pair with nuts, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, bacon, cheese, pretty much everything!

Roast It!

Squash is easy and delicious when roasted in the oven.

  • Preheat your oven to 425 degrees
  • Peel and cut squash into evenly-sized pieces
  • Put squash in a pan or oven-safe skillet
  • Toss with a little olive oil.  You could add some herbs, spices, salt, pepper, etc
  • Throw it in the oven! Check for doneness by poking with a fork.  Use your nose and ears, too!  The kitchen should smell like nicely cooked veggies

Steam It!

  • Fill the bottom of a large pot with about 1” water. Insert your steaming basket. The water level should be below the steamer basket.
  • Heat water to boiling, then reduce to a simmer.
  • Peel and cut squash into evenly-sized pieces. Put them into the steamer basket and cover the pot.
  • Test for doneness by poking with a fork. It should take about 30 minutes.

Squash Guide

Acorn Squash

FLAVOR AND TEXTURE: Tender-firm, holds up when cooked. Versatile, mild flavor

USES: Baking, stuffing, mashing.

Butternut Squash

FLAVOR AND TEXTURE: Sweet and slightly nutty.  Smooth texture, falls apart when cooked.
USES: Soups, purees, pies.



Butterkin Squash

FLAVOR AND TEXTURE:
Sweet, buttery, and creamy.

USES:
Baking, roasting, and steaming.

Carnival Squash

FLAVOR AND TEXTURE:
Sweet, nutty, and buttery with a texture similar to sweet potatoes.

USES:
Best roasted, but can be steamed or pureed.

Delicata Squash

FLAVOR AND TEXTURE: Rich, sweet; tastes like chestnuts, corn, and sweet potatoes. Edible skin.
USES: Sauté, bake, broil.

Hubbard Squash

FLAVOR AND TEXTURE: Yellow flesh is moist.
USES: Generally peeled and boiled, cut up and roasted, or cut up small and steamed or sautéed: longer time baking in the oven is needed. Perfect for pies.








Kabocha Squash

FLAVOR AND TEXTURE: Similar in sweetness and texture to a sweet  potato.
USES: Soups, curries, stir fry, salads.








Pie Pumpkin

FLAVOR AND TEXTURE: Mildly sweet. Creamy, rich texture
USES: Pies, custards, baked goods, curries, stews.




Red Kuri Squash

FLAVOR AND TEXTURE: Chestnut-like flavor, mildly sweet. Dense texture holds up shape when cooked.
USES: soups, pilafs and gratins, baked goods, curries.




Spaghetti Squash

FLAVOR AND TEXTURE: Stringy, spaghetti-like strands.  Not very sweet with a mild, versatile flavor.
USES: Baked and the strands separated, then mixed with tomato sauce, pesto, or your favorite pasta topping.

Sweet Dumpling Squash

FLAVOR AND TEXTURE: Rich, honey sweet flavor. Dry, starchy flesh similar to a potato.
USES: Baking with cinnamon and butter

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Celebrating Co-op Month

As a retail grocery consumer co-op, we’ve had a long history of being pioneering trailblazers. In fact, the first modern grocery co-op was opened in 1844 by the Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers in England. It was the first business that allowed women to own shares and vote, offered education to working class people and was the only place people could go to get unadulterated goods like flour, butter, sugar, using honest weights and measures.


Wheatsville is a for-profit business, started in 1976, right here in Austin. We’re independent and locally owned by over 21,000 people, many are your neighbors, friends and coworkers! We’re not traded on Wall Street, our shareholders are our owners – YOU! Owners don’t pay annual membership, it’s a one-time refundable investment. ANYONE can shop at the co-op, not just owners, but if you become an owner you get to vote in our elections, run for a seat on the Board of Directors, and enjoy special sales just for owners. Plus you get the cool owner card. NICE!


Your purchases allow us to pay livable wages & benefits to over 230 staff members, pay fair prices for goods sold, make repairs and buy equipment, invest in our future growth, and contribute to local community non-profits and events.


Our co-op works towards making progress on our BIG Direction Goals of 1) More Local, Organic, and Sustainable Food, 2) More Co-op Economy and 3) More Happy People. Progress is made through literally every decision we make on behalf of our owners. That’s why we have 2,000 local products in store and a produce department stuffed full of organic. Our sustainability goals drive us to do what we can to reverse climate change. That’s why we have energy saving LED lights, doors on the refrigerators, and buy Green Choice energy that invests in wind!


In addition to our store’s independent goals, ALL CO-OPS work with the same set of values and principles. A kind of code of ethics on how we as co-ops, all co-ops, do business. Co-ops help each other and even though we’re the only retail food co-op in Texas we’ve got loads of friends coast to coast and belong to a bunch of other co-ops that help us do everything from secure Co+op Deals and Co+op Basics pricing to build new stores!


When you belong to a co-op or credit union, when you buy cooperatively made goods, or use a co-op service, you are supporting a democratically run business that operates with the same values and principles. Co-ops do business in a way that strengthens and benefit the whole community.


Throughout the month we’ll have self-guided tour maps available at both stores that will show you all the ways your co-op is making a difference. We invite you to learn more and THANK YOU for your PATRONAGE! GO CO-OP!

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Local Vendor Spotlight: Johnson’s Backyard Garden

As part of Wheatsville’s BIG Direction, we work to grow relationships with local farmers, creating good local jobs and providing more local, sustainably grown food for our shoppers with the end result a happier, healthier Austin. One of our key partners in this endeavor is Johnson’s Backyard Garden. Owner Brenton Johnson started this farm in his tiny Holly Street backyard back in 2004. Now the farm sits on 186 acres just east of downtown right along the Colorado River. JBG vegetables are 100% organic, meaning no toxic compounds for you or your family.   During the height of the growing season, literally dozens of vegetables from JBG are available at Wheatsville seven days a week: sweet carrots, deep green heads of broccoli, bundles of greens of all kinds, beautiful, glossy zucchini and mounds of root vegetables are a treat for the eye and the taste buds. You can even pickup your CSA share at either of the Wheatsville locations, making a one-stop shopping experience. 

1. Why did you decide to farm in Austin?

I didn’t really decide to farm in Austin... it kind of happened by accident! While working for the government in Wyoming, I came to Austin on a business trip and immediately feel in love with the culture. When I was looking for a place to move, Austin seemed like the great fit! I moved to Austin, and so naturally my hobby moved with me--gardening. When I moved into a house on Holly Street, I started a garden and slowly started bringing my produce to the Downtown Farmers’ market to make a few extra bucks. This hobby got a little out of control, and over the course of a few years, gardening turned into farming, and our CSA was born.


2. What new produce items are you growing or planning to grow?

We love to try and grow new varieties.. it helps keep things interesting around here! This year, we planted over 100 pecan trees at the farm, over 100 Asian persimmons, as well as a lot of pears, figs, and pomegranates.We also planted some Muscadines– a grape variety that is native to the Southern U.S. In the Southeast (where I’m from), Muscadines are used to make wine, preserves, and even fresh juice. Because they’re a native species, they are really resilient and pest resistant. This year we also planted lots of new pepper varieties. This past summer season, we also tried a lot of new tomato varieties (and planted over 50,000 plants!), many of which made their way onto the Wheatsville shelves as well as the deli. We had a lot of success with some of the new cherry and slicing tomato varieties we tried out, and they will make their way into our crop plans for years to come.


3. What is your favorite produce that is in season in October?

Some of my October favorites include sweet potatoes, collards, okra, hot peppers.. maybe you can see a theme? I really like all the produce that lends itself well to Southern cooking. Right now, I’m battling a hot pepper addiction. This year, we went a little crazy with peppers and planted a ton of new varieties, many of which are Arc of Taste varieties that Slow Food International is working to promote and preserve for future generations. Some of these include Hinklehatz, Cherry Bomb, Beaver Dam, Jimmy Nardello (Anaheim), Wenk’s Yellow Hot, Sheepnose Pimento, and Texas Bird’s Eye Pequin. 

4. What are your biggest crops?

Our biggest crops are kale and carrots.


5. What are your favorite things about Wheatsville Co-op?

This is a hard one! We love Wheatsville for so many reasons, all stemming from the fact that you guys are one of our best customers. Your commitment to buying locally is like a huge hug from the Austin community—even in the hardest seasons, we know that you guys will be there to buy our produce and help get seasonal produce into hungry Austin mouths. We love that you guys are able to provide such a unique grocery-store experience on the store-front side (with amazing customer service), and then also provide such an enjoyable experience working with your produce buyers from the “back-end”. You are always willing to listen to our needs as farmers, and are always there as a reliable outlet for our produce--even helping us push produce that isn’t the most popular. We love that when we make deliveries or even stop in the store as customers, we always end up getting to sample fresh fruit. We also love that local agriculture makes the list of local causes you guys support (like your support of Farmshare Austin).. you truly put your money where your mouth is, and are constantly giving back to the Austin community. Last but certainly not least, we love that you guys host a CSA Pickup for us on Thursdays and Fridays.

Thanks to Ada Broussard, JBG’s CSA and Marketing Manager, who facilitated getting answers to our questions. Photos by David Scott Gordon.

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Local Vendor Spotlight: Austin EastCiders

1. What led you to start Austin Eastciders?

At the beginning of the 20th century, cider was the #1 beverage in America. Then came Prohibition, which resulted in America’s cider apples orchards being destroyed. When people here began making cider again in the 90s, culinary apples were the only ones widely available. That’s why American ciders today are known for being overly sweet. We set out to make America fall in love with cider all over again by making it the traditional way.

2. What kind of apples do you use?

We use real cider apples that we source from Europe. Unlike culinary apples, cider apples are full of tannins that create astringency and a much more complex flavor profile. We then marry them with apples from Washington State.

3. How would you describe the flavor of your ciders?

Austin Eastciders ciders are perfectly-balanced ciders that are dry, clean, crisp, refreshing and taste almost too good going down.

4. What are some of your favorite pairings?

There’s no question our ciders are great on their own. They fill the role of beer in some ways. They fill the role of wine or champagne in others. They also happen to adapt quite nicely all around the drink world. From Pineapple serving as the base in an $18 cocktail to our Texas Honey whiskey on poker night, there’s no wrong way to enjoy Austin Eastciders. As far as food goes, Austin Eastciders pairs well with really anything from a cheese board to barbecue to a five-course dinner.

5. What kind of new products can we expect in the future?

Our Research & Development  department is constantly experimenting with new flavors and styles, some of which you can try in our tap room opening in November!

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September is Organic Harvest Month!


What does “organic” mean?

Crops must be:

  • Grown in safe soil
  • have no modifications
  • must remain separate from conventional products

Farmers are NOT  allowed to use:

  • synthetic pesticides
  • bioengineered genes (GMOs)
  • petroleum or sewage sludge-based fertilizers

Organic farming is better for the environment. Organic farming practices reduce pollution (air, water, soil), conserve water, reduce soil erosion, increase soil fertility, and use less energy.


Why buy organic?

Organic farming is better for the environment. Organic farming practices reduce pollution (air, water, soil), conserve water, reduce soil erosion, increase soil fertility, and use less energy.

Organic produce is grown with natural fertilizers and with natural weed & pest control.  Small local farmers often use organic methods but sometimes cannot afford to become certified organic. Visit a farmer’s market and talk with the farmers. Find out how they produce the fruits and vegetables they sell. You can even ask for a farm tour.

Organic food buying tips:  Buy in season! Fruits and vegetables are cheapest and freshest when they are in season.


Why buy local, organic produce?

More money goes directly to the farmer and  stays within the community to strengthen the local economy. It also requires less fuel and time to get to market resulting in fresher, tastier food for your table.

Fruits and vegetables where the organic label matters the most:

According to the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit organization that analyzes the results of government pesticide testing in the U.S., the following 12 fruits and vegetables, also known as the Dirty Dozen, have the highest pesticide levels on average. Because of their high pesticide levels when conventionally grown, it is best to buy these organic:

  • Apples
  • Strawberries
  • Grapes
  • Celery
  • Peaches
  • Spinach
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Imported Nectarines
  • Cucumbers
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Imported Snap Peas
  • Potatoes

Non-organic fruits and vegetables with low pesticide levels:

These conventionally grown fruits and vegetables, also known as the Clean 15, were found to have the lowest levels of pesticides. Most of these have thicker skin or peel, which naturally protects them better from pests.

  • Avocado
  • Sweet Corn
  • Pineapples
  • Cabbage
  • Sweet Peas (Frozen)
  • Onions
  • Asparagus
  • Mangoes
  • Papayas
  • Kiwi
  • Eggplant
  • Grapefruit
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cauliflower
  • Sweet Potatoes

Why buy organic meat and dairy?

    Livestock are given all organic feed.
    Clean housing and rotational grazing.
    Livestock must have access to the outdoors.


What are the benefits of organic wine?

Organic grapes are not sprayed with chemicals and are produced by sustainable farming methods. In addition to producing a healthier wine, this also creates brighter flavors in the wine.

Does organic wine still contain sulfites?

Organic wines contain less sulfites then traditional wines. Sulfites are salts or sulfurous acids that occur naturally in most wines (it is very rare to find a wine that does not have any sulfites). Traditional wines contain added sulfites to help in their preservation, whereas organic winemakers do not add sulfites. The less sulfites a wine contains, the healthier it will be for your body.

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Meet the Managers

Rory at Guadalupe

Who are you and how long have you worked at Wheatsville?

Rory Alexander, and I have worked at the Guadalupe store for 5 1/2 years


What do you love about Wheatsville compared to other grocers you worked at?

I really enjoy the more personal aspect of WV. The previous company I worked for started small and grew to thousands which very much changed the company and culture. It is easy to connect to all staff which makes it more fun to work here!


Why should someone who hasn’t shopped your store in a while come on by?

The Guadalupe location has transformed through our recent refresh! New cases, new menus, new floors, new energy efficient LED lighting and yes we really do still sell cheese and coffee (in new locations)! Please let us show you their new home!

What’s your favorite deli or Bakehouse item?

I eat a cashew butter cookie every day!
I am also a huge fan of our Bakehouse Sourdough Sandwich bread! It makes awesome
sandwiches and TOAST!


What do you love about your crew?

The staff is what makes my job the most rewarding. Our crew works so hard and makes it fun with such amazing sense of humors and the generosity to be there for each other when life gets tough. I also very much enjoy helping staff learn and develop so they can grow their roles at Wheatsville.


Why do you and your team work so hard for our co-op?

It is easy to work hard when you enjoy what you do and believe in your efforts. Our staff show up every day to make our Co-op a better place to work, a preferred place to shop all while making our community a better place to live. Most of us are also owners of the Co-op too which means taking workplace “ownership” to a whole new level!

Sal at South Lamar

Who are you and how long have you worked at Wheatsville?

My name is Sal Mendivil and I am the Store Manager for WV Sola (South Lamar store) and I have been with WV 3 years.


What do you love about Wheatsville compared to the other grocers you worked at?

I really love that here at Wheatsville, leadership truly listens to what our employees are saying, and actually acts on making things better. While working here, hearing employees talk about not making enough money to live in Austin, WV Leadership took this concern and addressed it head on. Not only did WV Leadership address the issue BUT it made sure that ALL employees had an opportunity to be involved in finding a solution, together! The result was our Livable Wage & Benefits project that made such a tremendous positive affect on so many staff at the co-op.

Why should someone who hasn’t shopped your store in a while come on by?

Two reasons, our products and our people. We carry some of the best natural and organic products you will ever find in this town at a very reasonable and affordable price– and they taste AMAZING! Our people truly deliver exceptional customer service. When our employees speak about our products, about their particular favorite item, it’s because they truly mean it and have a passion for food and to serve the Austin community. I love to hear customers say “this person went above and beyond in helping me today.” The thing is we will always go above and beyond with our customer service because that’s what we do, all day, everyday!


What’s your favorite deli or Bakehouse item?

Wow, tough question, so many cool and delicious items!! OK, our Bakehouse Rustic Olive Loaf. It’s so good! I usually spread some triple cream brie on it. I’ve finished an entire loaf in one sitting! Deli, I love our Buffalo Popcorn Tofu. I’ll make sandwiches out of it, put it on salads, or just eat it out of the container...so yummy!


What do you love about your crew?

I love the passion for food and service that my crew at S. Lamar have. I love the tenacity and drive my crew has to grow our coop economy and I really love the compassion, kindness, and love that my crew has for one another and for our customers.


Why do you and your team work so hard for our co-op?

Because we love what we do and we love the people we work with. WV is unique in that it’s not just another grocery store, it’s a place where friends meet and enjoy each other’s company over some awesome food from our Deli. It’s a place where families come to support local farmers and vendors. In doing so, it makes their families stronger and healthier and in turn makes the local Austin economy stronger and healthier as well. It’s a place where people come to learn about cool new products, taste new items, and grow their knowledge about healthy, natural, organic foods that are affordable! Working for WV we truly are making a positive difference in people lives. I feel extremely lucky to be able to make such a positive impact and doing it with people that share the same values and beliefs for making our communities stronger.

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