Monthly Archives: November 2013

Harvest Party 2013

The 4th annual Harvest Party took place on Sunday, October 13.  Click here to read the feature we wrote about the event, Jennifer Miller’s article from the Des Moines Register, and watch a video from 2012.


Last year’s menu included:

Cyds Catering –

Meatballs: Wallace Farms ground pork, Coyote Run Farms ground beef

Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Coyote Run Farms garlic, Rinehart’s Family Farm butternut squash

Beet and Green Salad: Grade A Gardens arugula, Wabi Sabi kale, Grinnell Heritage Farm carrots and beets, Coyote Run Farm and Butcher Crick Farms heirloom Tomatoes, la mie focaccia


Sodexo Dining at Drake University

Maytag Blue Mac and Cheese: Maytag Dairy Farms blue cheese, Picket Fence Creamery cream

Roasted Lamb: SalAmander Farms and Wirth Farms lamb

Beet Chocolate Cake: Grinnell Heritage Farm beets

Appetizer Tray: The Homestead apples, Frisian Farms gouda and gouda curds, Sunstead Farm melon, Rinehart’s Family Farm peppers, Grinnell Heritage Farm carrots, Griffieon Family Farm sheep summer sausage, Jelly Lady jam



Black Bean Baba Ganoush and Naan Bread



Appetizers featuring their signature seasoning


Member Donations:

The Homestead – Redfree, jonafree, and liberty apples.

Picket Fence Creamery – Vanilla, caramel, and apple cinnamon ice cream

The Jelly Lady – 7 varieties of jam

Griffieon Family Farm – Sheep summer sausage

Rinehart’s Family Farm – Produce

Frisian Farms—Gouda and gouda curds

Coyote Run Farms – Potatoes, garlic, and tomatoes

Butcher Crick Farms – Tomatoes

Zanzibar Coffee Adventure – Coffee

HoQ – Black bean baba ganoush and naan bread

Maytag Dairy Farms – Maytag blue cheese

Rosey Acres – Sampling wine

Grade A Gardens – Arugula

Wabi Sabi – Green beans

Grinnell Heritage Farm– Beets and carrots

SalAmander Farms – Lamb



allspice – Gift basket

Splash Seafood – Gift cards

Kitchen Collage – Stock pot filled with goodies

Peace Tree – Gift card

Mo’Rub – BBQ/tailgate basket

Maytag Dairy Farms – Gift Basket



Cyds Catering

Sodexo Dining at Drake University



Supporters Deliver Produce From Local Farms to Central Iowa Families


Drake University faculty, staff, and students at our Plant a Mile volunteer day at Grinnell Heritage Farm

By: Kelsey Johnson

Greater Des Moines Buy Fresh Buy Local member farms delivered over four tons of fresh, locally grown produce to Drake’s Plant a Mile project this year. By weight, that’s roughly 13 Iowa State Fair butter cows, but a whole lot healthier.

Plant a Mile connects volunteers passionate about local food, local farms growing fresh produce, and organizations and businesses willing to invest in helping families at risk put fresh produce on their tables.

Becky Whitlow, Food Pantry Network Director with Des Moines Area Religious Council, is most excited for “How enthusiastic people are to have access to fresh produce like sweet corn they maybe couldn’t afford,” she said. “Produce is expensive. So it gives us the opportunity to help people try things they might not have spent money on otherwise.”   She specifically mentioned kale as something that families might not want to try on a limited budget, but this program gave them that opportunity and suggestions on how to prepare it.

The Plant a Mile project provided families in the community a more diverse and abundant selection of locally grown produce including summer squash, apples, kale, tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet corn, and sweet potatoes. This produce was offered in addition to the two servings DMARC already provides in every box they distribute. Plant a Mile supports other DMARC efforts and the Downtown Farmers Market Meals from the Market program to provide extra locally grown produce for families to take when available. According to Becky, the extra produce always gets taken by families excited to eat more fruits and vegetables.

“Plant a Mile delivered over 8000 pounds of locally grown produce,” says Matt Russell, coordinator of Greater Des Moines BFBL at Drake.  “We’ll have final numbers early next year when the Maytag Dairy Farms popcorn gets delivered.  This has been an incredible second year for Plant a Mile with five farms participating, over 50 people volunteering, and an expanded donor base to help grow the project.”

Russell says all of the BFBL sponsors increased their level of support this year to specifically expand Plant a Mile. While BFBL and Plant a Mile is primarily a project of Drake University, additional sponsors include Campbell’s Nutrition, Cultivating Compassion: The Richard Deming Foundation, Devour Des Moines, Downtown Farmers Market, HoQ Restaurant, Iowa Heartland RC&D, Kitchen Collage of Des Moines, and Maytag Dairy Farms.

“While BFBL and Plant a Mile have always been a Drake University project, the support and leadership of our community partners is vital to helping us grow these programs in ways Drake couldn’t do on our own,” said Russell.

The project made it possible for the following farms to contribute highly nutritious local produce to the DMARC’s Food Pantry Network throughout the growing season: Rinehart Family Farm, Ali Family Garden, Busy Bee Garden Center, and Grinnell Heritage FarmMaytag Dairy Farms grew a full mile of popcorn that will be processed and packaged by volunteers for delivery in January.

Greg Rinehart from Reinhart’s Family Farm helped pilot the program last year and knows how meaningful it can be to find support from your community in a time of need.  “We like to help those less fortunate,” he said. “We’ve had times on the farm when we’ve barely made it, and it’s nice for people who are having trouble to be encouraged.”

Excited by the success of the program, the third year of Plant a Mile will roll out the 2014 season with a volunteer event at Kitchen Collage of Des Moines in mid-January. “We’re hosting a ‘funraiser’ with Maytag Dairy Farms in January to finish up the 2013 Plant a Mile and kick off the 2014 project. We’ll be inviting folks to help shell this season’s popcorn from Maytag and get people fired up about next year,” said Teresa Adams-Tomka of Kitchen Collage of Des Moines.

In addition to helping shell and package the donated Maytag popcorn, volunteers will enjoy a Plant a Mile happy hour with snacks and beverages. Keep following BFBL for more details.

Drake University is excited to partner with private businesses and volunteers to help families in need access fresh, healthy foods, and to work with farms to put extra produce to good use. “It’s really a win-win,” said Greg Rinehart. “It’s good for us to not see our vegetables go to waste, and it’s good for people that need it. I hope to see the program continue to grow.”

What’s Happening: November

Eat, Play, Love; November 7, 5pm – 9pm
You’re invited to Eat, Play, Love Des Moines night at Confluence Brewing Company to Benefit Greater Des Moines Buy Fresh Buy Local! Come drink some great local beer at Confluence Brewing Company, listen to some live music, eat some great local food, play some games and help a great organization.  Get some give-a-ways and have a great time!  The best part is that entrance is FREE and proceeds to go Buy Fresh Buy Local! Dinner for purchase from Mo’rub. More info here.


Tim Stop @ Gramercy Tap with Jake Bender, November 8, 9pm

Come on.  You know the drill by now.  You come to Gramercy, for free, and we rock out.  Pretty simple. If you’re lucky, you might get a guest appearance from Jake Bender.  Which would essentially be the equivalent of buying a winning scratch-off lottery ticket.


The Cheese Shop Anniversary Party, November 8 & 9

Come help us celebrate our second year of Cheese Shop-ness this weekend. To mark this momentous, uh, moment, we’re going to bust out the good stuff ! We’ll be clearing out our cellar, which is full of reserve wines that we almost NEVER pour by the glass. We’ll also feature fresh East Coast oysters from the Westerly area in Rhode Island – Watch Hill oysters.


5th Annual Two Saints Winery Open House, November 9, 12pm – 4pm

Welcome the Holiday season with hot mulled wine and lots of specials in the tasting room. We will be conducting a “California vs Iowa Wine” blind tasting with our newest wine that will be released at the Open House. Sip, swirl and taste these wines and try to determine if you can pick out the local wine.

There will be free wine tastings, appetizers, local vendors in the banquet room and specials on our wine just in time to pick out that perfect gift for your loved ones. Buy a case of wine and receive 15% off the price. All other wines will be 10% off. We would be happy to help you select your holiday wines. Grab your friends and enjoy a fun filled afternoon.


Live Music: Lojo Russo @ Peace Tree, November 9, 8 pm – 10 pm


Iowa Food Coop & Eat Greater DsM Speed Dating, November 11, 1pm – 3:30 pm

Are you a local producer who is interested in selling your product to local restaurants? Considering getting into wholesale? Already selling wholesale? Are you a chef trying to connect with great, local producers? Would you like the chance to talk directly to a producer about what you would like to see more of when purchasing? Interested in being a part of a discussion to talk about wholesale distribution of local food within Iowa? This could be JUST the kind of speed dating you need! We are looking to bring together 15 producers and 15 chefs in a speed dating type of atmosphere.



Fine Wine Smackdown (The Cheese Shop), November 11, 6pm In other TCS news, you’ll want to check out our class on fine (read: expensive) wines. We’ll pit Cheese Shop pet wine rep Marcus and other reps from the fabulous Okoboji Wines against each other. At only $50, this is a helluva deal and a one-time opportunity to taste all those high-end wines you like to ogle when you’re in here. AND it’s the only chance you’re going to have to get a special price on these special wines, which have limited availability.  Come at 6 for a warm-up sip; class starts at 6:30. Call 515-528-8181 for reservations; seats go fast!


Live Music: Har-di-Har, Dylan Sires & Neighbors @ Peace Tree, November 11, 7pm – 10pm


Get Your Pie On (Kitchen Collage), November 14, 10am – 12pm  

Lebo will be teaching the fine art of pie-making for $50 a person. From 12pm-1pm there will be a “pie social” which will include pie sharing (guests are encouraged to bring their own), readings and book signings. Read about the event in The Des Moines Register.


99th Annual Iowa Farmers Union State Convention, November 15th & 16th

Beginning farmers and farm policy advocates should attend to learn, discuss and share ideas on how policy can be used to promote the success of Iowa’s next generation of family farmers.  The day will feature a series of interactive workshops on policy topics impacting beginning farmers and ranchers. More info and registration.


Sbrocco’s 6th Annual Holiday Wine Show, November 16, 11am – 3pm

Sbrocco’s sixth annual Holiday Wine Show will be on Saturday, with $10 admittance. Winery representatives will be on hand to help sample 70+ wines. Light snacks will be included. Some wines will be available at special pricing that day only. Sbrocco’s 2014 Wine Club will be introduced that day as well. For a $30 annual fee, members will receive free admittance to the Holiday Wine Show & bi-annual high end tastings. Additionally, members will receive year-round discounts, including 10% off retail case buys, 1/2 price appetizers & wines every Sunday, 20% off entrees on Mondays, 20% off all wines by the bottle, plus parties & member-only perks.


Chef’s Dinner (Sbrocco), November 19, 630pm

Sbrocco has teamed up with East Village favorite allspice to present our next Chef’s Dinner. Four courses, all prepared with allspice oils, vinegars & spices then paired with wine. Cost is $55 a person, $100 for two. Reservations by phone are required (282.3663) & space is limited.


Holiday Open House (Edge of the Woods Raspberry Farm), November 23, 10 am – 4 pm

Sample this season’s bounty in flavorful jams and jellies as well as honey, locally made relishes and other specialties.  We will also feature local crafts, funky collectibles and art by VB Designs. Located north of Indianola and just east of the Summerset Winery. Address is 15285 Fairfax St. and phone is 515 961 7252.


Sample Sunday (Picket Fence), November 24, 12pm – 4 pm

Come for free samples and killer deals!


Wine Education Series (Splash Seafood), November 26, 6pm – 7:30pm

Discuss and taste wines from around the world and pair them with light appetizers created by Splash Executive Chef Dominic Iannarelli. The November class features wine from Northern California presented by Ben Nelsen, Certified Sommelier. Cost is $40 per person. Reservations required. Call (515)244-5686.


Homemade Happy Hour Summer Cooking Demonstration Series, Every Other Monday 3pm – 5pm

These demonstrations will happen bi-weekly starting June 24th on Monday afternoons from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the kitchen of Kitchen Collage. The event is free and there are many samples to be had! (Dates: November 18)


Food for Thought Dinners, Thursdays 5:30pm – 8pm
The Wallace House invites you to a new program, “Food for Thought,” that combines locally-sourced dining with conversation about food. Diners will order from a changing menu of appetizers, entrees, and desserts created from local ingredients, including fruits and vegetables grown at the Country Life Center. Entrees range from $15-$20, appetizers $6-$8, and desserts $5. Bring your own wine. Reservations are encouraged, as seating is limited. Call 515-243-7063 or email carlahicklin@wa​ http://www.wall​​html
November 7: Local Meats
November 14: Abundance
November 21: Functional Foods

What’s Fresh: November

By: Kelsey Johnson

The mother of all food holidays is within our grasp. Don’t be fooled by the garland and snowman candy bars lining the shelves of your local Walgreens… it really is early November. Fall foods like parsley, garlic, onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, Swiss chard, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, mushrooms, carrots, greens and turnips are still available. So if you have developed a relationship with a farmer around town, now is a great time to give them a call and get the inside scoop on the fresh foods they sill have in stock, but may not be actively marketing. If you don’t have a strong connection with a local farmer, it’s never too late to start, so make the first move and ask what they might have available! (All contact info is listed in our 2013 food guide.) It’s too late to sign up for Fall CSAs, but some winter shares may still available, and it’s never too early to start thinking about the spring!

Though never fear, Gateway Market, Campbell’s NutritionIowa Food Cooperative, and Wheatsfield Cooperative all have some of the best Iowa produce available year round. No reservations required.

When it comes to local turkeys, Gateway Market, Campbell’s Nutrition, and Picket Fence Creamery all have birds available. For more information about how to order, click here.

While it may not be full-blown Christmas season, despite what consumer hubs might suggest, it’s starting to get pretty cold outside, and what’s better at warming you up on a chilly day than hot, homemade soup? This week’s recipe is from our favorite allspice recipe archive, and features a whole slew of local, in-season ingredients. But if Butternut Squash Soup doesn’t speak to you then perhaps Potato Red Lentil Soup might be more your thing – also an allspice masterpiece.


Butternut Squash Soup with Sage Breadcrumbs


Photo from Busy Bee Garden Center


    • 1 1/2 Tbsp butter
    • 1 1/2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    • 2 Cups chopped onions
    • 1/2 Tbsp dried Parsley
    • 1/2 tsp, Rubbed Sage
    • 4 Cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled seeded butternut squash
    • 1 Cup 1/2 – inch cubes, seeded Granny Smith apples
    • 1 1/2 tsp Coarse Sea Salt
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • 5 to 6 cups Chicken Stock

2 slices fresh whole grain wheat bread, crusts cut off, torn to pieces
4 teaspoons butter
1/2 Tbsp Sage, Dalmation Leaf


For soup:  Melt butter with oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, parsley, and sage; sauté until onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Add squash, apples, and coarse salt; sauté until squash softens and onions are golden, about 6 minutes. Add garlic; stir 1 minute. Add 5 cups stock; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until squash is very soft, about 25 minutes. Cool slightly.

Working in batches, puree soup in blender, allowing some texture to remain. Return soup to pot (Or do in one batch with an immersion blender) Thin with stock, if desired. Season with pepper and more salt, if desired (and if you’re into sweet, add a little brown sugar).

For breadcrumbs:  Place bread in processor; blend until fine crumbs form but some slightly coarser crumbs remain. Cook butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until golden, about 2 minutes. Add breadcrumbs and sage. Cook until crumbs are crisp, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs.