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The Latest News from Wheatsville

Fair Trade Gifts are Twice as Nice

What does FAIR TRADE mean?

Fair Trade certification means that the power has been put back into the hands of producers. Producers work directly with distributors to get products to market which in turn supports livable wages, families and communities.

By choosing FAIR TRADE products you are supporting businesses that encourage democratic decision-making, transparency, gender equity, and independence all over the world.

PLUS you get delicious, beautiful products that are twice as nice to give as gifts! ENJOY!

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Special Diets & Thanksgiving

While Thanksgiving is traditionally a time for comfort foods, many people have special dietary needs. There’s no need to worry about accommodating non-traditional diets if you make a visit to Wheatsville. We have a wide variety of vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, major allergen-free or Paleo foods that will ensure you or your loved ones can eat as much as everyone else at the Thanksgiving table. Here are just a few examples of the many items you can find in the aisles to suit most diets.

10. Austin EastCiders
      Original Dry Cider

     (Gluten Free)
      Pour it in a glass to be fancy

9. Bou Vegetable Bouillon Cubes
    (Vegan)
    Perfect for soup, gravies and more

8. Follow Your Heart VeganEgg
   (
Vegan, Gluten Free, Non-GMO)
   Use in any recipe that
   calls for eggs.

7. Dandies Marshmallows
    (Vegan, Gluten Free, Nut-free,    
    Kosher, Non-GMO)
    Small batches, big taste

6. Tofurky Beer Glazed Ham Roast
    (Vegan, Kosher, Non-GMO)
    mmmmm....beer glaze.

5. NEW! Bob’s Red Mill
    Paleo Baking Flour

    (Gluten Free, Dairy-free, Kosher)
    Simple and amazing for any recipe
    that calls for baking flour

4. Wholly Wholesome
   Frozen Pie Crust

    (Vegan, Gluten Free, Nut-free,
    Kosher, Non-GMO)
    All the work is done for you
    by experts

3. Pacific Foods
   Gluten-Free Stuffing
   (
Gluten Free, Kosher, Non-GMO)
   No gluten? No problem!

2. So Delicious CocoWhip
    (Vegan, Gluten Free, Kosher,
    USDA Organic)
    Like a popular whipped topping
    but so much better!

1. Tofurky Roast
    (Vegan, Kosher, Non-GMO)
    The one, the only!

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Your Traditional Holiday Meal: Turkey and Ham

It’s that time of year when we all get together and share special moments with the ones we love. Here at Wheatsville, we’re excited to share our best holiday ideas to help you create a perfect holiday meal. Turkey is low fat, big enough to feed a crowd and is  great roasted to perfection, smoked with gourmet woods or deep fried for that juicy moist center.


All of our turkeys are hormone and antibiotic free, vegetarian fed and free range.

Click here to place your Thanksgiving preorders!

Mary’s Natural and Organic Turkeys
best value. These free range birds come from California and are fed Non-GMO feed.

Mary’s Brined Turkey LIMITED SUPPLY!
Pre-order your Brined Turkey 8-20 lb.

Mary’s Heritage Turkeys  LIMITED SUPPLY!
Heritage turkeys are breeds that originally inhabited the Americas, Bourbon Red and Narragansett. These turkeys can fly and still roost in trees. They have naturally darker meat, larger thighs and smaller breasts. These changes the cooking time so a thermometer is recommended.

Mary’s Natural or Organic Bone-In Breast
Great for smaller crowds or as an extra protein for your holiday dinner.

Diestel Smoked or Roasted Fully Cooked Turkeys
These California turkeys are fully cooked for an easy heat and eat dinner.

Click here to place your Thanksgiving preorders!

Holiday Hams

All Our Holiday Hams are:
     • Hormone & Antibiotic FREE
     • Fed vegetarian feed
     • Pasture Raised


Niman Ranch has a network of over 750 independent traditional family farmers and 100% of their pork is  Certified Humane®. Niman Ranch smoked hams are brined in a salt and maple sugar solution, then slow smoked over applewood. Although these hams are fully cooked, they need a good while to heat. For larger hams we recommend an hour or more in the oven to heat it through. Before reheating is a great time to add a glaze to your ham.

Niman Ranch Spiral Cut Bone-In Half Ham

A traditional holiday ham. It’s about 8-10 lbs, and can feed 10 to 14 people. It comes with a packet of glazing seasoning, but you can use your own or none.


Niman Ranch Jambon Royal Ham

Prepared in a European style, this 4-5 lb ham is cut in a different shape and packed with smokier and saltier flavor.

Applewood Smoked Petite Ham
Smaller ham for a more intimate gathering of 2-3 people. Also great for recipes that call for ham.

Click here to place your Thanksgiving preorders!

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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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Winter Squash Guide

It’s that time of the year, once the weather starts getting a little cooler, or at least out of the 100s here in Texas, that our winter squash season begins. They come in many shapes, sizes and varieties, too many to mention here. They also have many uses, from being used as decorations, to being  made into soups, pies, used as a pasta substitute or just roasted as a side dish.

  •  Acorn  Mild, slightly nutty flavor.
  •  Butternut  Very sweet flavor, a crowd favorite. 
  •  Spaghetti  No it doesn’t taste like pasta, but it’s very mild flavor and stringy texture makes it an excellent substitute for spaghetti.
  •  Delicata  Sweet nutty flavor that has a hint of corn.
  •  Kabocha Much like Acorn, sweet slightly nutty taste.
  •  Pie Pumpkins  Sweet flavorful, best squash to use to make pumpkin pies.

When picking your squash, try to find one that feels heavy for its size, and still has a nice stem attached. Stay away from squash that have any soft or moldy areas on the outer flesh.
If you are not going to use your squash right away store them in a cool dry area away from direct sunlight; the bottom of your pantry would be best in most homes.

Here’s a recipe for Walnut Cranberry stuffed Acorn squash that we will be selling in our produce departments. If you don’t have the time to prep these, come by and pick some up and just stick them into your ovens at home.

Ingredients:
  • 2 Acorn Squash
  • 1 cup roughly chopped Walnuts
  • 1 cup dried or fresh cranberries
  • 1/3 to ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • Honey (optional)

1. Pre-heat oven to 375°
2. Cut squash in half, try to make halves even as possible.
3. Place cut side up on baking dish.
4. In a large bowl combine all ingredients with a drizzle of honey if desired.
5. Divide mixture into all halves evenly.
5. Top each half with a tablespoon of butter
6. Bake for 60 to 90 minutes or until fork tender.
7. Remove and serve.

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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Work Strong Austin

This past fall Council Member Greg Casar introduced a proposal to Austin City Council that would make earning paid sick time the law in Austin as it is in over 40 cities nationwide. Unfortunately, approximately 223,000 Austin workers – 37% of the total workforce – are at risk of losing wages or being fired if they follow doctor’s orders when they or a family member is ill. His proposal to begin a stakeholder process regarding this issue was unanimously passed by council in October.


Because of Wheatsville’s longstanding earned paid time off benefit the co-op was asked to consult with Council Member Casar’s team along with other local businesses including Black Star Co-op, Sweet Ritual, Homeslice Pizza, Compost Peddlers, Purple Fig Cleaning Co, SAFE and many other businesses of all sizes, on the proposal and campaign.


At our Annual Owner Meeting, Greg Casar called out Wheatsville’s positive approach to worker’s rights in his remarks by saying that progressive businesses like Wheatsville give him and the rest of council the ability to move along a positive progressive agenda that helps more working people make a good living in our city.


The Austin City Council has begun a process to ensure all working families across our city have a better deal through a proposed earned sick days ordinance in Austin. If you would like to show your support, please find more info at workstrongaustin.com

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We Are Thankful

With almost 22,000 owners and 230+ staff members our co-op has a long history of being an ethical, progressive, and positive business leader in Austin. Since 1976 Wheatsville has worked diligently to live up to our shared values of caring for others, being an inclusive and welcoming community, and working to create a better and more positive world. That being said, we want to take a moment to look back at our year and reflect on what we’re thankful for.

We are thankful to have a leadership team that is 50% female, 39% LatinX, and a Board of Directors that is almost 80% female. We are Millenials, Boomers, Gen X’ers and Gen Y’s. We are parents and singles, gay and straight, vegans and omnivores, voters, activists, and community leaders.

We are thankful for the opportunity we had to participate in the Austin PRIDE Parade this year. Through a staff idea and a groundswell of support, we all grew closer and more resolute about the importance of LGBQT acceptance and equality. All along the parade route, as the crowds cheered us on, we underscored our co-op’s commitment as a safe and welcoming space. 

We are thankful for the work we’ve all done together to create a welcoming, safe place for people of all backgrounds and for the launch of our Diversity & Inclusion Committee. In the year ahead, we look forward to open, honest, and thoughtful collaboration to create more racial diversity at our co-op.

We ate thankful for the constellation of people we see shopping at the co-op from day to day – our neighbors, community leaders, and friends. We are thankful for your participation in our co-op. When you shop co-op you help make a positive difference in our world.

When we say “EVERYONE WELCOME” we mean everyone. When we say our goal is to have “More Happy People” we mean YOU. And when we say “We’re so glad you’re here.” we mean it. Our co-op is not one person, it’s a reflection of our community. THANK YOU for being a part of our wonderful co-op family. We look forward to a happy and bright 2018 - together!

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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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