the wedge

Co-op on a Budget: The Wedge Co-op vs. Cub Foods

The Wedge Co-op

This is the second post in our Co-op on a Budget series, which explores the different ways that we can shop co-op effectively and affordably. Also check out the first post, on shopping bulk.


About three years ago our young family went through a financial crunch, which I’m sure most Americans shared. My employer was on a two-year wage freeze and hiring-freeze. Rumors of layoffs were the smaller waves of a larger fear that the company might fail altogether. As a relatively new employee, I was confident that layoffs would affect my position. My wife, pregnant with our second child, had recently quit her job to stay home with our 3-year-old daughter and the expected baby, so my income was solely driving our household, and, to be honest, we were scared shitless.

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Gardens of Eagan Turns the CSA Model on its Head

When I got the press release announcing Gardens of Eagan's unique new Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program last week, I was excited. Was it possible that Gardens of Eagan had found a way to address customers' primary concern -- that they're signing up for a box of foods they don't know what to do with -- while still directly supporting the farmers who grow local food? Here's a look at the press release:

Gardens of Eagan - the popular organic produce farm in the south metro - is debuting a unique CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program that enables shareholders to select their produce items at their convenience throughout the 2011 growing season.

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Book Review: Ana Micka’s "The Fresh Girl’s Guide to Easy Canning and Preserving"

I grew up in rural Minnesota, where my parents have a big back yard with an abundant vegetable garden, and where every summer brings a plethora of tomatoes, peppers, and onions. My mom is a canner, and she taught me there's really only one way to deal with all of these summer foods: canning. My mom spends plenty of time in the kitchen in August and September, peeling, chopping, and stewing the season's bounty. After all is said and done, several clean, hot jars of salsa sit on towels on the kitchen counter. My mom waits in the other room, listening for the sealing “pop,” counting to be sure each jar has properly sealed itself.

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Great Reasons to be a Minnesota Local Food Lover

Simple, Good, and Tasty's Local Food Lover program has been getting a lot of good press.

In January of this year, Rachel Hutton from the City Pages wrote:

"It's 25 days into 2010 and you've already taken up a kettlebells routine and finished that novel--but what have you done to incorporate more sustainable eats into your diet? Simple, Good, and Tasty can get you started with its new Local Food Lover card, which offers discounts on local food and beverage from restaurants and retailers around the metro."

In February, Alexis McKinnis from the terrific Girl Friday blog wrote:

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The Evolution of Minnesota's Own Gardens of Eagan

Linda Halley and I stand in the middle of a seemingly empty, sunny field under an impossibly clear sky. She bends over and touches her fingertips to the soil, raking them gently over the top, exposing slightly blacker, wetter soil underneath the grayish first layer. "I don't see any – Oh! There's one. Do you see that?" she asks. "That's the beginning of a weed," Halley explains. Now I see it. She's turned up a tiny matchstick of white, barely noticeable, and easily dismissed as a piece of dried grass. It's the sliver of the root or maybe a stem. Weeds: competition for nutrients, water, and sunlight. Weeds: enemy of the crop and therefore enemy of the farmer. As the manager of the Minnesotan organic farm, Gardens of Eagan, Halley can't use herbicides to rid herself of these pesky plants.

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Unpeeled: A Living Beverage

unpeeled Unpeeled is a probiotic beverage, which means (from their website): Unpeeled is a 100% naturally cultured (kombucha) green tea with cold-pressed fresh crushed, raw ingredients, then barrel-aged to maximize nutritional value (probiotics) and to promote a fresh, crisp, smooth flavor. The brainchild of a former NASA wastewater engineer, Unpeeled claims the following benefits:

[Better] Digestion – ... Fermented foods promote healthy microorganisms in our GI (Gastrointestinal) tract, regulate the level of pH in the GI tract and act as antioxidants, A healthy GI tract is critical for a strong immune system. Better Nutrition – Fermented foods produce beneficial enzymes that allow our bodies to absorb more nutrition from the foods we eat. Fermented foods contain isothiocyanates found in whole unheated vegetables and therefore help fight and prevent some diseases. Unpeeled provides your body with whole food nutrition that helps support the body’s natural energy.

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10 Ways Local Food Has Changed My Life

It was just over 6 weeks ago when I joined my first CSA, bought Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, and started hunting down restaurants serving local, sustainable foods.

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