Tag Archives: local products

Bulk-up in the New Year

bulk-photo1That’s right I wrote Bulk-Up.  Of course I’m referring to our ever expanding bulk section. In the coming weeks we hope to add several varieties of loose leaf tea, more varieties of nuts and possibly even flour if space and equipment permits.

Locally grown bulk items included: pecans in the shell, popcorn, Black-Eyed Peas (great for New Year’s), Lima Beans, Crowder Peas, Black Beans, Pinto Beans, Kidney Beans and a lovely Heirloom Red Bean.  We also carry almonds, pinenuts, walnuts, cashews, pumpkin seeds and crystallized ginger.

We welcome your suggestions for other products.

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Blue Heron Orchard–products

local-harvest-blog-photos-010If you are ready for some special treats you need look no further than products from Blue Heron Orchard.  Pomona’s Ambrosia is pure decadence.  This apple syrup is a wonderful topping for ice cream, cheesecake, pumpkin pie and you can bring it “down home” by using it on french toast, pancakes, or bread pudding.  For a more savory treat use as a glaze for meats, drizzled over brie or in salad dressings.  The foodie (and non-foodie) will love this tasty treat.  

And if sweet is not your bag, they also make Apple Cider Vinegar and Habanero Apple Cider Vinegar. Both are great in salad dressings and if you are one who believes in the health benefits of apple cider vinegar, you won’t go wrong with these.

Blue Heron Orchard is a certified organic farm. Oh, and did I mention that they  have lots of apples??  And we still have many of their varieties in the store.

All of these make great stocking stuffers.

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Meet our farmers–the Edwards

edwards-pecans1

Ethan, Clark, Marie and their pecans

This week we welcomed a new farm to our store–Edwards Farm from St. Claire, Illinois which is also known as Shiloh Valley. Marie Edwards grew up on the farm. She, her husband Clark and their son Ethan, who recently returned home, run the farm. We are super excited to introduce their dried beans and peas. We don’t have them all out yet as we’re still obtaining jars for our newly arranged bulk section, but we do have the black-eyed peas, crowder peas, and shelled pecans available for purchase now. Soon you will find their lima beans, kidney beans, black beans, and an unnamed heirloom bean.

We were also so happy when they also showed up with beautiful sweet potatoes, acorn squash, and butternut squash. As you can guess, it’s hard to find local produce now so this was a special treat. Not as special though as this family. Seriously, they are such a warm, friendly, and genuine group that I want them to permanently hang out at our store and cafe and just visit with people.

Last night they came with a load of pecans for us. They were on their way to see their son Ethan play cello with the St. Louis Philharmonic Symphony. Seriously! I learned a lot in our short visit last night. Here are the highlights and they revolve around pecans. They brought two varieties of pecans–yes varieties of pecans. I think we all get used to thinking that there is one type of everything–carrots, bananas, nuts, tomatoes, etc, because that’s we’ve learned from large chain grocery stores.

Well, last night I was introduced to River Bottom Pecans and Grafton Pecans. We did a little taste test and I was so amazed at the difference. The River Bottom Pecan is a much smaller pecan with a hard shell. It has a very intense pecan flavor–and I mean that in the best way. I can imagine that a pie made with these would be unbelievable. The Grafton Pecan is larger and has a mild earthy flavor. Also delicious.

Marie told me that her grandfather planted the the River Bottom Pecan trees about 150 years ago. The Grafton Pecan trees are probably 90 years old. And I learned that when they were building the Mid-America Airport they passed an ordinance that said no building could be taller than the tallest River Bottom Pecan Tree on the Edwards Farm. I love that.

Meeting this family is another reminder to me about why buying local is so important and a reminder about how much I love the mission of our store and the people who make it possible.

Yours in local eating and sustainable farming,

Maddie

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new at the cafe.

we are now selling Goshen whole beans at the cafe – so after you have your latte, you can buy a pound or two.

for the holidays, Matt from Goshen also stocked us with single cup coffee brewers to sell – perfect holiday gift for the dorm dweller or the waste conscience.

coffee is good for you. at least that is what the Italians say.
-clara

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