Monthly Archives: February 2014

Rolling Out the 2014 Campaign

We’re well into the 2014 Buy Fresh But Local campaign, and this year we hope to increase our efforts in creating a network of local farmers, business owners, and eaters all working together to promote locally grown in Greater Des Moines. Our campaign exclusively promotes foods and farm products grown on farms in Central Iowa, and aims to create transparency in the Des Moines local food movement. Our pledge takers, eaters, and supporters are vital to the campaign. We need you to come to us with questions, concerns, and excitement surrounding local food and farm products and the events celebrating these Central Iowa treasures.

20014 CSA fair at Campbell's Nutrition

20014 CSA fair at Campbell’s Nutrition

Here’s a quick look at what we’ve already got going for 2014. If you know of other happenings, new businesses, or new farms please send us a note to make sure we’re inviting them into this campaign.  If your favorite “locally grown” place to shop, dine, or visit isn’t in our network, please invite them to join our efforts. This is a campaign where members and supporters work together to further develop the awesome culture of locally grown in Greater Des Moines.

In addition to renewing farm and business memberships, we’re recruiting new members. Most of our members either grow or sell locally grown farm products. We’re seeing interest from new members who support the movement in other ways. Our relationship with Kitchen Collage, a seller of specialty kitchen and cooking items and a long standing sponsor of BFBL, is one example of a business enriching our campaign not by selling locally grown foods but partnering with farms and businesses that do. We’re also excited to announce that Break Through Performance Center has signed up as a member for 2014, a gym that integrates local farms with their programming. The owner Amanda Werts plans to arrange a CSA pickup at her gym, become a delivery location for other farms, and even get her gym members out onto local farms. Last year, you could see gym members traveling together at the Downtown Farmers Market talking with farmers, buying produce and meats, and learning about how locally grown can be an invaluable ingredient for better health.

We’re working hard to help our CSA farms with the 2014 membership drives. Thanks to all the BFBL supporters who turned out for the first annual CSA Fair at Campbell’s Nutrition earlier this month. If you couldn’t make the event but are still interested in learning more, check out our list of 2014 CSA memberships.

“We think the CSA fair was important for our customers to get in touch with some of the farmers to know more about where their food comes from,” says Diane Lahodny, owner of Campbell’s Nutrition. “I think having the fair here was a win-win situation. A lot of our customers were very interested in signing up. It was a good opportunity for them to talk to the people directly involved.”

Farmers too were excited to get together with the Greater Des Moines local food community. “I love coming to these just to tell people about my CSA,” said Ben Saunders from Wabi Sabi farm. “I get to reconnect with a lot of my CSA members who work here at Campbell’s and shop here.”

The Drake Agricultural Law Center is also working with Iowa Heartland RC&D on a project connecting CSAs with Des Moines area employers.  The project involves CSAs and employers working together to deliver shares directly to worksites making it easier for employees to access and eat more fresh produce.

“This project is a win, win, win.  Employers provide a proven strategy for better health, employees receive a growing season’s worth of the freshest produce possible, and farmers are able to expand their farms,” says Shirley Stout Fredrickson the executive director of Iowa Heartland RC&D. Certainly let us know if you know an employer who would like to participate in this program.

We’ll continue Plant a Mile and the Harvest Party, changing and developing the programs this year based on what we’ve learned in previous years. Plant a Mile will again provide opportunities for people to volunteer on participating farms, and a deeper partnership with Meals from the Market, and DMARC are being explored. Look for updates and opportunities to be involved later this spring.

As we move forward into 2014, our plan is to keep looking for new and innovative ways to provide people and organizations the opportunity to work together to bring more fresh, locally grown foods to Greater Des Moines.  We feel energized and excited about the work to come, and echo the sentiment of Melissa Dunham from Grinnell Heritage Farm, “We’re looking forward to a really good year!”

What’s Happening: February/March

Chocolaterie Stam Wine Dinner (Sbrocco), February 25, 6:30pm 
Come for a very special Sbrocco Chef’s Dinner with Chocolaterie Stam. We’ll have four courses, all prepared with February’s favorite: Stam’s chocolate. But don’t think it’s all sweet, we’ll bring a savory flavor to the evening. Then each course will pair perfectly with a different wine. Cost for this dinner is $65 per person or $120 for two. Do call ahead, reservations are required and space is limited!


Peace Tree Brew Dinner @ HoQ, February 26
Five courses of gourmet farm-to-table fare paired with Peace Tree brews for $65 per person. Give us a call at 515-244-1213 to reserve your spot for the event.


Wine Tasting (Sbrocco), February 27, 5pm – 7pm
Each month, Sbrocco hosts a different portfolio for a free wine tasting. This month, we’ll have Kim St.Pierre with Glazer’s.


Pathways to Food Security: Environment, Economics and Equality at Drake University, February 28
Drake University is hosting a half-day Engaged Citizen Conference on Friday, February 28 from 1:30 to 8:00.  The event is free and open to the public.  Please register online if planning to attend.  The Engaged Citizen theme this year is: Economic Inequality and Social Responsibility. Detailed information is available on the Engaged Citizen Experience webpage (

The keynote panel, co-sponsored by the Harkin Institute, is Pathways to Food Security: Environment, Economics and Equality.  Featured speakers include
•Marc Gunther, Editor-at-large, Guardian Sustainable Business US Moderator
•Chinh Dao, Associate Professor of Biology, Drake University
•Cassie Edgar, Platform Operations Director, DuPont Pioneer
•Sarai Schnucker Rice, Executive Director, Des Moines Area Religious Council
•Ricardo Salvador, Director and Senior Scientist, Food & Environment Program, Union of Concerned Scientists
•Darci Vetter, Deputy Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services, United States Department of Agriculture


Fat Tuesday Dinner (Peace Tree), March 4, 5:30pm
Fat Tuesday is just around the corner, so to celebrate, we’re inviting our friends from Le Jardin in Des Moines down to Knoxville for a New Orleans-inspired beer dinner! Chef Tag Grandgeorge will treat beer and food lovers alike to a decadent four course meal. Each course will be paired with Peace Tree brews and Chef Tag will sneak some beer into his recipes as well. Our staff will be on hand to roll out the red carpet, talk beer and give brewery tours. Dinner is $55 including tax and gratuity. Additional beers may be purchased. Reservations are required and a credit card number will be taken to confirm your reservation. Reservations can be made online at or by calling (641) 842-2739.


“Meet the Farmers” Andrew and Melissa Dunham (Grinnell Heritage Farm), March 7, 6 pm – 8pm
This event is designed to introduce more people to Andrew and Melissa and their farm. For a personal invitation, contact Kylee at


Thrilla in the Skillet (Tacopocalypse) March 9, 6pm
The Thrilla in the Skillet is Des Moines’ premier latke cook-off to benefit the DMARC Food Pantry Network. Attendees participate in the latke tasting and vote on their favorite for the “Tasters’ Choice Award.” A silent auction for fabulous packages will be held. The main event is an Iron Chef style presentation and judging by an esteemed panel (with special guest judges). Event page here.


Wallace House Cooking Classes with Katie, 5:30pm
All classes focus on using fresh, locally produced ingredients. Each class begins at 5:30 pm, lasts at least 2 hours and includes food tastings. Cost is $40 per person per class. Select any or all of the classes. Make your reservations with Carla by calling 515-243-7063 or emailing Class size is limited. Advance payment is required. Full refund with 48 hours notice. Check, cash or credit card.

April 14: Don’t Forget About the Kids: introducing new foods to the young palate
April 28: Pizzas at Home: traditional and inspired crusts with fresh garden toppings
Oct. 20: The Hunter’s Feast: preparing pheasant, deer, elk & bison
Nov. 10: Hearty Soups: stews, pureed soups and broth soups for family meals
Dec. 15: Holiday Brunch


The Cheese Shop Fondue Night, Wednesdays 4pm – 7pm


Homemade Happy Hour Cooking Demonstration, Every Other Monday 3pm – 5pm
These demonstrations will happen bi-weekly 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! March 10 & 24


Yoga & Brunch (HoQ), March, 10am – 2pm–check with HoQ for exact March date
It’s a one hour all-levels yoga class followed by a hearty continental breakfast for $25. Did you resolve to eat better, shop local, exercise more, manage stress, or try new things in 2014? If so, or even if you didn’t, come check it out! Call 515-244-1213 to reserve your spot.

What’s Fresh: February

By: Kelsey Johnson

Spring is coming. The snow is melting, the grass is beginning to peak out, the birds are warming up for their regular 4am coral program, and it even stayed light outside until past 6pm this past weekend. Sure, we might have a week or two left of bitter cold, but we’re definitely on the up swing.

As the days get longer and warmer, framers are beginning to get started planting in preparation for the coming season. But in the meantime, the Iowa Food Coop is still your go-to place for fresh, local foods year round. The shop opens again on February 28 for the next cycle. You can expect to find recurring products from BFBL members at the Coop. Here are some members with poultry, pork, lamb and beef.  The links take you to their IFC profile page: Cory Family Farm, Dalla Terra RanchEbersole Cattle Co., Fieldstone Farms, Griffieon Family FarmHedgeapple Farm, Timber Ridge Cattle Co., Wild Rose Pastures, Wirth Farms, and Yoke S Ranch. If you’re looking for something different, say apples or cheese, Iowa Orchard, Wills Family Orchard and Frisian Farms also have products available. The February delivery last week even included some fresh produce, frozen Iowa sweet corn, and value added foods like flour and fruit preserves.

Our featured recipes this week are of the meaty variety, and are presented by Dalla Terra Ranch and Mo’Rub (also available at Iowa Food Coop). So invite some friends over and impress guests with the best meat around town!


Makes 4 Servings

    • 1 1/2 pounds ground lamb
    • 1/2 cup minced fresh mint
    • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
    • 1 tablespoon paprika
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 7 to 8 ounce block feta cheese, sliced
    • 4 kaiser rolls, split, lightly toasted
    • 8 onion slices
    • 4 romaine lettuce leaves
    • Purchased hummus or Yogurt Garlic Sauce

1. Mix first 7 ingredients in medium bowl; shape into four 4-inch-diameter patties.

2. Prepare grill to medium-high heat. Grill patties until desired doneness on first side (approximately 4 minutes for medium rare). Flip patties over and top with feta cheese. Continue cooking to desired doneness, about 3 minutes longer for medium-rare. If a grill isn’t available, burgers can also be pan sauteed.

3. Place burger on bun and top with onion, lettuce and hummus or Yogurt-Garlic Sauce from the Lamb Soulvaki recipe from this website


Mo Joessloppy-joe[1]


    •  1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
    • 1 1/4 pounds ground beef sirloin
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar
    • 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon Mo Rub (The more mo’ rub the more kick, FYI)
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
    • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
    • 2 cups tomato sauce
    • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
    • 4 crusty rolls, split, toasted, and lightly buttered



Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil and meat to the pan. Spread the meat around the pan and begin to break it up. Combine brown sugar and Mo Rub. Add sugar and Mo Rub mixture to the skillet and combine. When the meat has browned, add onion and peppers to the skillet. Reduce heat to medium and cook onions, peppers, red wine vinegar and Worcestershire sauce with meat for 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce and paste to pan. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to simmer and cook mixture 5 minutes longer. Using a large spoon or ice cream scoop, pile meat onto toasted, buttered bun bottoms and cover with bun tops. Serve with your favorite sides or sliced tomatoes seasoned with salt and pepper, Dill pickles etc. Have plenty of napkins on hand!