How Local Will You Go?
All September long we are making it even easier for you to Eat Local. We are highlighting local products throughout our stores, adding more sales on local products and inviting more local farmers and vendors into our stores to sample their products and answer your questions about them. We’ll also have Flash Sales, free samples of local foods, contests, and recipes for dishes using only local ingredients.
Like a challenge? Try to eat only local food for two weeks—or even four weeks! You can find a suprising amount of local products in our store, other stores, farmers' markets, CSAs, and other sources. We are offering plenty of resources to help, including recipes that use only local ingredients!
Our four Eat Local Month mini-challenges
We'll be posting one challenge on Facebook each week and randomly selecting three entries per week to each receive a tote bag full of local products worth over $100!
WEEK ONE (Sept. 4): Tell us your favorite local product, why you love it, how you use it, and share a photo.
WEEK TWO (Sept. 11): Make a recipe with at least four local items - list the items and where they came from and share a photo.
WEEK THREE (Sept 18): Preserve (can, freeze, dry, etc.) at least one local item - describe where it came from and how you're preserving it and share a photo.
WEEK FOUR (Sept. 25): List three products that you think could be made locally, but that aren't available in Dane County as far as you know.
Friday Flash Sales
Every Friday in September from 3pm - 6pm! Look for the purple Local tags (listed below)
Friday, Sept. 1st, 3pm-6pm
10% off local Meat
(please order any special cuts of meat by 1pm, 9/1 to pick them up during the Flash Sale and get the 10% off)
Friday, Sept. 8th, 3pm-6pm
10% off local fresh Produce
Friday, Sept. 15th, 3pm-6pm
10% off local Cheese
Friday, Sept. 22nd, 3pm-6pm
10% off local Wellness & Housewares (excluding newspapers)
Friday, Sept. 29th, 3pm-6pm
10% off local Bulk & Packaged Grocery. Includes: frozen, bulk, refrigerated grocery, boxed and canned food. (excluding beer, wine, spirits, coffee, cow’s milk, and eggs)
All Flash Sales are for Willy Street Co-op Owners only and supplies are limited. Sales quantities may be limited.
Samples from local vendors
Throughout Eat Local Month, we'll have a variety of local vendors in to provide you with samples of their products. For the where and when, see willystreet.coop/events/demos. The vendors include:
- Let It Ride Cold Brew
- Nami Chips
- Cress Springs Body Care
- Evan Healy Skin Care
- Madame Chu's Sauces
- Mad Maiden Shrub
- Meloz Honey Spirits
- Paleo Mama Bakery
Why eat local?
Local foods tend to be fresher than those shipped from across the country or farther away, and fresh food has more nutrients. Transporting food long distances requires more fossil fuels and packaging than those grown and prepared closer to home. You’re also supporting your local farmers and keeping the agricultural viability of their communities alive.
(Willy Street Co-op defines “local” as within 150 miles of the State Capitol building or anywhere in Wisconsin.)
Our three levels of local
Lots of stores talk about shopping local. What does that really mean? The definition varies depending on where you shop, there is no set definition for local in the grocery sector. At our Co-op, local means the product was sourced from anywhere in Wisconsin or from within 150 miles of the state capitol building. Local products are noted with purple tags in our Co-op, and we break down our local definition three ways:
Products above this shelf tag are entirely local. If the product has multiple ingredients, all of them are local and the product is baked, cooked, mixed, etc. locally.
At least 50% of the ingredients are grown or raised in the state of Wisconsin, or within 150 miles of the Capitol building in Madison.
Products above this tag are made locally—and may be made with some local ingredients—but they do not meet the criteria we use for our "Essentially Local" designation.
Looking for some helpful suggestions about how to eat more local food? Here are some resources:
Recipes (PDF format - two-sided pages, four recipes per page)Inspirational Blogs/Articles
- 5 Minutes on the Farm - a weekly WORT-FM audio piece about a local farm; interviews by Julie Garrett
- My Eat-Local Challenge - Andre Darlington writes in the Isthmus about how he ate regional food for a month.
- Burp! - a Milwaukee-based blog that focuses on cooking with local, sustainably raised, and organic food whenever possible
- My Year of Food - by former Willy Street Co-op staff member Stephanie Ricketts!
Co-op Newsletter Articles
- Eating Local Year Round - Ben Becker talks about our partnership with Innovative Kitchen to help provide local produce in any season
- Preparing for Willy Street Co-op's First Ever Eat Local Challenge - Katie Powderly outlines how to preserve strawberries, rhubarb, asparagus, sugar snap peas and snow peas
- Taking the "Challenge" Out of the Eat Local Challenge: Root Vegetables - Katie Powderly's 2008 article about taking an Eat Local Challenge
- Are You Up for the Eat Local Challenge? - Megan Blodgett's article introducing our Eat Local Challenge
- Extending the Local Season: Food Preservation Intro: Pesto! - Katie Powderly's introduction to food preservation, including a tasty recipe for pesto
- Extending the Local Season: Home Fermentation: The Basics of Kraut - Katie Powderly walks you through how to make your own sauerkraut (it's easier than you may think...)
- Extending the Local Season: Canning Tomatoes - well, that's pretty self-explanatory, isn't it?
REAP Food Group - REAP Food Group wants to see locally produced food on every plate in Southern Wisconsin. For nearly 20 years, REAP Food Group has been working throughout Southern Wisconsin to build and sustain a local food system that supports small family farms and locally owned businesses, promotes sustainable agriculture practices, and provides access to fresh, healthy food for the entire community.
REAP's Farm to School program aims to serve over 100,000 pounds of local produce to 50,000 students throughout the 2016-17 school year. The program includes nutrition and agricultural education, hands-on culinary training, local food procurement for school meals and a snack program that serves a fresh, locally grown fruit or vegetable to over 5,000 low-income students every week. REAP also reaches consumers through its Farm Fresh Atlas and Farm to Business programs, which foster millions of dollars in local food sales each year. Check out the online version of REAP's 2016 Southern Wisconsin Farm Fresh Atlas, a great resource for sustainable farms, food producers and local food organizations.
Check out the online version of REAP's 2016 Southern Wisconsin Farm Fresh Atlas, a great resource.
FairShare CSA Coalition - FairShare CSA Coalition is a coalition of people invested in the vitality and strength of our community. Through education, outreach, community building and resource sharing, we are working to raise the bar on quality and accessibility of CSA shares in our region.
CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture, typically means that members of the farm purchase a share in advance, committing to the farm for the season and helping cover the initial annual costs of the farm operation. In return, members receive boxes of the farm’s produce or products throughout the growing season, as well as satisfaction gained from reconnecting to the land and being more knowledgeable of local food production.
If you don't own a copy of "Farm-Fresh and Fast," their follow-up to "From Asparagus to Zucchini," you should get one. It's an invaluable cookbook, especially if you are interested in eating local!
Slow Food UW - Slow Food UW's mission is to "promote affordable access to "good, clean, fair" food by creating awareness about and engagement with our food system." It is made up of a group for UW students who are interested in where their food comes from, geographically and culturally. The group builds on years of success in uniting local chefs, farmers, and students in bringing the rich traditions of slow, sustainable, and local eating to campus.
Major projects include: Family Dinner Night (weekly dinners events); Celebrate South Madison (aiding underserved neighborhoods by connecting farmers, the UW campus, and the South Madison community); Market Baskets (a partnership with Growing Power consisting of weekly deliveries of fresh fruits and vegetables); The Slow Food Cafe (serving the most delicious, affordable, sustainable food on campus) and ongoing outreach (workshops on canning, composting, and other skills; lectures given by farmers and chefs; and volunteer work trips to local farms)
Although the sign-up period has ended, you can always eat more local food!