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The Latest News from Wheatsville

Mobile Blood Donation Station at Wheatsville S. Lamar

Wheatsville Co-cp South Lamar is hosting a blood drive! Come lend a helping arm and save local lives. It’s easy, just make an appointment online. We’ll be stationed in the S. Lamar parking lot.

If you have eligibility questions, check out We Are Blood’s website. If you have more specific questions or would like assistance signing up, call We Are Blood at 512-206-1266.

For questions specific to our drive, contact Erica Rose at membership@wheatsville.com, or  (512) 814-2888.

*Remember! Eat a full meal before donating and bring your photo ID.

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This Month’s Vendor Spotlight: Sjaak’s Organic Chocolate

Many thanks to Jessica Holten for answering our questions!

Who started Sjaak’s Organic Chocolates?

Jacques Holten and his daughter Jessica started Sjaak's Organic Chocolates in 2003, after discussing their passion for organic foods, they both felt like it was the right direction to go. They wanted to create a delicious chocolate that was also organic, thus being healthier for the consumer, farm workers and the earth.

How long has Sjaak’s been in business?

Jacques has been creating culinary confections since the age of 12, when he began trade school in his native country of Holland. We joke that he has been making chocolate forever, which is somewhat true. He has been in the confectionery and culinary industry most of his life; either working for himself in various businesses or for chocolate houses throughout Europe.

What is the meaning of your windmill and tulip logo?

The Sjaak’s logo is rooted deep in family history. Jacques, the owner and creator of Sjaak’s Organic Chocolates, was born in the Netherlands and grew up next door to the family grain mill. The original wind mill that is represented in the   Sjaak’s logo was named Antonius Mollen, a family name to this day. This mill was destroyed in World War II, but it was   replaced by a mechanical mill. The tulip in the forefront is iconic of Holland, the largest producers of tulips in the world.

What makes Sjaak’s Organic Chocolates different from other chocolates on the market?

Most importantly, what sets Sjaak's Organic Chocolates aside is taste.  We pride ourselves on creating incredibly delicious chocolates. Sjaak's is also completely organic, vegan, kosher and is a small family owned and operated business.

Does Sjaak’s use Fair Trade and non-GMO ingredients?

All of Sjaak's ingredients are organic, therefore non-GMO. We use Fair trade cocoa and sugar. Sjaak's Organic Chocolates aims to create the highest quality gourmet organic chocolates possible while simultaneously supporting a positive work environment, fair trade practices and encouraging sustainable agriculture through the use of organic, non-GMO ingredients. It is also the goal of Sjaak's Organic Chocolates to build a socially responsible, profitable business that can be carried on for generations to come.

Are your chocolates vegan and Kosher?

All of Sjaak’s Organic Chocolates are vegan products, including chocolate bars, gift boxes and Holiday treats. This means they contain no animal ingredients, such as milk, butter, eggs, and gelatin. We have created a vegan 'Melk' chocolate that that is completely dairy free and is delicious! Even the sugar that we use is non bone char.  Our products are certified Kosher by Earth Kosher.

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Community Action Group for January: Sustainable Food Center

Sustainable Food Center is proud to be the beneficiary of Wheatsville’s monthly giving for January. For those unfamiliar with our work, our mission is to cultivate a healthy community by strengthening the local food system and improving access to nutritious, affordable food. Beyond a shared commitment to a just and sustainable food system, it’s the people behind our organizations that make the local food movement in Austin special. In fact, many on staff at SFC are Wheatsville members. Hear from them about why they are proud to be a part of the co-op!

I joined the co-op about two years ago when I realized that I was hanging out at Wheatsville probably four or five times a week! I was sucked in by the great local produce, the friendly staff and the sense of community. So happy I found them and that they are my grocery store of choice J.
—Sara Law, Food Access Manager

I love seeing products sourced from local farmers and ranchers who I know!
— Joy Casnovsky, Deputy Director

I’ve been a Wheatsville member for so many years I’ve lost count. In addition to being a nearly daily stop on my way home from work, Wheatsville was instrumental in helping me start NadaMoo!, the coconut milk ice cream I created in 2004. Wheatsville was one of my first retailers and an ingredient supplier in my start up years. Simply put, they are the real deal when it comes to supporting the community and local food businesses. I love you, Wheatsville!
—Amy Rodman, Business Development Manager 

I love being able to depend on finding locally-sourced and organic produce at Wheatsville. It’s great to be able to support an Austin coop and local farmers at the same time!
—Sari Albornoz, Grow Local Program Director

Becoming a member of the co-op was one of the first things I did when I moved to Austin a little over a year ago. As a big supporter of local food, I love seeing the amount of variety from local farms and small producers at Wheatsville.
—Lucinda Ugarte, Grow Local Education Coordinator

I am proud to be a member of Wheatsville Co-op because Wheatsville champions health, well-being and community for a stronger Austin.  Thank you, Wheatsville!
— Barrie Cullinan, Finance Coordinator

There is a unique joy that is felt in spaces that are truly community-centered. Wheatsville was one of the first places I ever visited in Austin and I could feel that warmth immediately. Shopping here is a perfect complement to the bounty I can find at SFC Farmers’ Markets. Thank you!!! 
—Simone Benz, Food Access Projects Manager

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Local Vendor Spotlight: Big Swig Sparkling Water

Crisp & Clean Sparkling Water from Deep in the Heart of Austin,Texas

Big Swig balances thirst-quenching bubbles and fresh flavor for a crushable beverage enjoyed any time of day. The can is bold but the bubbles are refreshing, not overwhelming. It’s perfect for hydrating during a weekend at Zilker Park, a weekday lunch, a night out, and everything in between. Anywhere around Austin, Big Swig sparkling water brings a bubbly zip and burst of flavor, delivering Texas-Sized refreshment. Crack one open!

Big Swig Sparkling Water is available in 12-packs of 12oz can.

Original Sparkling Water — A timeless classic. Like a good pair of blue jeans, our Original Sparkling Water always feels right and goes with just about anything.

Key Lime — Sparkling water with a refreshing zip to get you up and running. Light, bubbly, and delicious without any calories, sugar, or worries.

Ruby Red Grapefruit — A sparkling citrus explosion, with a hint of sweetness. Made with no sweeteners, no calories, and no bull—but plenty of love and care.

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2018 Board of Directors and Community Action Election Results

The election results are in! Wheatsville has two new Directors and two returning incumbent Directors. We’ve also chosen ten non-profit organizations to benefit from our Community Action program. Thanks to all of our Owners who voted and congratulations to all four of our election winners: Jason Bourgeois, Lyz Nagan, MeriJayd O'Connor, and Don Jackson.

As with any properly functioning democracy, elections are a required and critical part of the process. Most co-ops today are guided by the Seven Cooperative Principles laid out by International Co-operatives Alliance, the basic statement of which were set out by the Rochdale Pioneers in the mid-1800s. The second cooperative principle, and arguably the defining characteristic of a cooperative, is Democratic Member Control requiring cooperatives to be “democratic organizations controlled by their members—those who buy the goods or use the services of the cooperative—who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions.” For Wheatsville, this means that we depend on those Owners who are willing to give the time and energy required in order to participate in this important way.

Less than a thousand owners voted this year. There are now over 21,000 Wheatsville owners and we know we can do better! Remember, as an owner, you have a voice and every year we need to hear from you when it’s time to choose the owners you want to lead Wheatsville!

2018 Wheatsville Election Results 
BOARD OF DIRECTORS  (top 4 in blue have been elected)

Jason Bourgeois

643

elected for 3 year term

Lyz Nagan

596

elected for 3 year term

MeriJade O'Connor

527

elected for 3 year term

Don Jackson

493

elected for 3 year term
Brian Mikulencak 404 not elected
Brandon Hines 323 not elected

   
COMMUNITY ACTION ( the top 10 in blue have been selected)

SAFE

627

People's Community Clinic

592

Meals on Wheels Central Texas

589

Central Texas Food Bank

557

Hospice Austin

534

Urban Roots

522

Austin Pets Alive!

495

Workers Defense Project

483

Sustainable Food Center

477

Caritas of Austin

475

Ecology Action 415
Save Our Springs 401
Farmshare 350
Austin Clubhouse 324
Farm 1-1 251
Colorado River Alliance 212
Austin Cooperative Business Association 195
We Viva 185

*Honey Bee Protection Agency received 577 votes, but did not meet the requirements for Community Action Groups. Caritas, the next group with the most votes will therefore be included in the 2018 Community Action Calendar schedule.



Votes received by:   
   mail 15
   email 328
   in-store 563 (Guadalupe 169, S. Lamar 394)
   Total Valid Ballots 813
    
   invalid ballots 9

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Sweet Potato and Parsnip Latkes

Total Time: 30-40 minutes        

Servings: 12 (12 latkes)

This tasty latke variation can be enjoyed with applesauce, chipotle sour cream, horseradish sauce, smoked fish and more!

Ingredients

2 cups shredded sweet potatoes
1 cup shredded parsnips
3 scallions, sliced
2 eggs, beaten
1⁄3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Vegetable oil for frying

Topping

1/2 cup light sour cream
1 cup apple, peeled and minced

Preparation

Peel the sweet potato and parsnip and shred using a grater or food processor. Wrap the shredded sweet potato and parsnip in a few paper towels and squeeze to remove excess liquid.

In a large bowl, mix the sweet potato and parsnip with the scallions, eggs, flour, salt and pepper.

Heat a large iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom and come up the sides at least a quarter of an inch. When the oil is hot, scoop about 1/4 cup of latke mixture into the pan and slightly flatten. Repeat until the pan is full but not crowded. Brown the latkes on each side 3-4 minutes.

Set aside on a plate lined with paper towels when done. While the latkes are cooking, stir together the sour cream and minced apple.

Serve the apple sour cream on top of the warm latkes.

from StrongerTogether.coop

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Local Vendor Spotlight: Cuvée Coffee

Who started Cuvée Coffee, when and why?

Mike McKim started roasting coffee as a hobby in 1998 and immediately knew
that it was what he wanted to do for the rest of his life.


What makes Cuvée Coffee different from other coffee on the market?

Cuvée Coffee pioneered the specialty coffee movement in Texas and is considered one of the best roasters in the country.

How has your business evolved?

The business has gone from a part time, garage enterprise to a coffee roastery, cold brewery and coffee bar. It has also become a place where passionate coffee people have an opportunity to build a career in the coffee industry.


Anything new being developed?

Cuvée pioneered specialty coffee in Texas, was part of the Direct Trade coffee sourcing movement and introduced the world to nitro cold brew, so it’s safe to say that the company is constantly considering what’s next.


What is your favorite thing about Wheatsville?

That you carry Cuvée Coffee, of course :)

OUR PROCESS SEED TO CUP:


SEEKING OUT EXCELLENCE
Through diligent tasting, communication, and good old fashioned searching, Cuvée has sought out the very best in quality coffees. Beyond just the beans, we’re honored to have surrounded ourselves with grower-partners who see the same in us, and strive to be the very best.


CULTIVATING SUSTAINABILITY
Through open discussion, and mutually fair agreements, we ensure that the people behind our coffees are able to sustain themselves, their families, and grow their businesses. Allowing for their return year  after year, producing your favorite coffees!


BUSINESS THROUGH CONTINUED TRUST
With such amazing partners working alongside Cuvée, and the trust in our continued connection, growers have the confidence and assurance to improve, test, experiment, and evolve themselves to produce  unique coffees, which we proudly share unto you.

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Local Vendor Spotlight: Dewberry Hills Farm

Really Good Chicken — We Promise:

Good Stewardship  All our animals are raised compassionately and with a deep appreciation of the gift they give us. We never fed them anything we would be afraid to eat ourselves. By managing the pastures properly and rotating our chickens, we naturally fertilize and restore the earth.

Environmental Responsibility  We work with the seasons and the land. We recycle every part of the chicken but the feathers. We minimize the fossil fuel imprint by only selling locally.

Absolute Honesty  We encourages farm visits by appointment. (Drop-in visitors will be handed a shovel and put to work!) Come see for yourself.

Community Building  We try to source all our supplies locally and we do 95% of our business with small businesses in the area. Our special grain mixture is grown and ground just 15 miles down the road which helps support another farmer in Lee County.

Dewberry Hills Farm, owned by Jane and Terry Levan, has been a partner here at Wheatsville since 2008.  Jane’s a former city slicker who’d always dreamed of moving to the country. Terry was raised on a farm in northern Illinois and majored in livestock nutrition while at university. Terry was disheartened by what was being taught—methods that turned animals into commercial commodities with complete disregard to both the health of the animal and the quality and safety of the meat produced.

In 1999, they purchased 20 acres near Lexington Texas, about 50 miles from Austin. After reading Joel Salatin’s books on beef and poultry, they agreed this was the model they would use—diverse, sustainable and run in accordance with nature. They realized that the best use of their limited acreage was to focus on raising really good chicken for their neighbors in the city. They still use sustainable natural methods—rotating their pastures, moving the tents daily and processing onsite.

The life of a farmer can be very difficult. The weather is a huge factor and is beyond the control of the farmer. Here in Texas we have heat and thunderstorms and hurricanes and the occasional cold snap. Another substantial factor is predators. All sorts of wildlife like to eat chickens—from coyotes to predatory birds. There are some collateral pests, like feral hogs, that do not necessarily want to eat the chickens, but want the chicken’s feed and water. The damage can destroy the chicken’s shelter and feeders.

For most chicken farms, the way to deal with both of these issues is to house the chickens in a barn. Controlled climates and four walls will solve both of those issues. Jane and Terry use a different method, based on the Salatin model. “Tents” are constructed in the pasture to work more closely with the needs of the land and the animals. This allows protection from the elements and relative security. A chicken’s digestive system requires small rocks or pebbles to aid in digestion. By letting them roam from an open shelter, they are able to keep busy engaging in what chickens do and they stay happy and healthy. By moving the tents frequently, the fields are fertilized by the chickens.

One of Jane and Terry’s biggest problems, and they agree that it is a good problem, is keeping up with the demand for their chicken. As Wheatsville was setting up it’s own expansion to a second location, Terry and Jane decided it was time to grow as well. Overcoming the limitations of cold storage and the number of chickens they can raise at a time, takes money and time. Luckily Jane and Terry have always supported their fellow local farmers and that kind of goodwill, has been rewarded. Having investment partners like David Perkins at Beatnik Foods and having a guaranteed placement of their product is bringing that expansion to a reality.

Over the years of our relationship with the Dewberry Hills Farm, we have brought in everything that we can, up to and including chicken feet. With the help of Wheatsville owners we have been able to help Dewberry Hills Farm utilize the whole bird and contribute to their sustainability as a business and as stewards of their land and animals.

One of the best things about having such great local products is being able to shake the hand of the person that is raising your food. We have known Terry and Jane now for about nine years and it is always a pleasure to work and grow with them.

Terry’s Simple Roast Chicken

Ingredients:
1 Dewberry Hills broiler
Fresh finely chopped rosemary 4-5 sprigs
Fresh finely chopped garlic 3-4 cloves
Olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 450°.
2. Mix garlic and rosemary in olive oil.
3. Gently loosen skin on chicken breast by sliding your hand underneath skin without tearing.
4. Rub skin under breast with oil-herb mixture. Use any leftover mix in cavity.
5. Place chicken breast side up in rack on roasting pan.
6. Roast at 450° for 15-20 minutes or until skin begins to turn a light golden brown.
7. Carefully flip chicken over (Inserting a wooden spoon in the cavity helps with this) and roast an additional 15-20 minutes. Immediately turn oven down to 350°. Turn bird several times as it roasts. It will take about 1.5 hours total to roast a 4.5 pound bird. Your chicken is done when a meat thermometer inserted in the breast reaches 165°.
8. Remove chicken from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before carving.

Warning: as you roast the chicken, a wonderful smell pervades your kitchen and may attract members of your family.

To read Jane’s own words about farming visit
wheatsville.coop/news-and-events/news/dewberry-hills-chicken#more

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