Monthly Archives: January 2015

January 2015 Newsletter


Greetings BFBL Pledge-takers!


Happy New Year! We would like to thank you for your ongoing support in making 2014 a delightful year for Greater Des Moines Buy Fresh Buy Local. As we enter 2015, we are welcoming big changes for BFBL and for a few of our members’ farms and businesses. 


In 2015, the Greater Des Moines Buy Fresh Buy Local campaign and Eat Greater Des Moines are going to be joining forces. Much of the campaign work that has been done by the Drake University Agricultural Law Center will be taken over by the folks at Eat Greater Des Moines. You won’t notice much of a change in the next couple of months as Hannah Linnemeyer will continue to provide content to the BFBL website and Facebook page. Early in 2015, Eat Greater Des Moines will start to take over the communication and networking efforts. We’ll keep you posted. If you haven’t yet been to the Eat Greater Des Moines website, please take some time to do that. This is a great opportunity for Eat Greater Des Moines and Greater Des Moines Buy Fresh Buy Local to combine forces instead of duplicating some of our efforts. 


A couple of our members also have some big changes coming up in 2015 that we would like to acknowledge. Crooked Gap Farm is moving to non-GMO in 2015. They are currently feeding non-GMO corn to their grain eaters – the pigs and poultry (cattle and sheep remain grass-fed), and non-GMO soy meal will soon be to follow, to complete the transition. Visit our What’s Happening Page to learn more about their 2015 Meat CSA. Wheatsfield Co-op in Ames, Iowa will be expanding in 2015. They are adding a larger deli and bakery, juice bar, coffee bar, floral department, full-service meat counter, a teaching kitchen, more deli seating, and more.


We have an updated What’s Happening Page featuring many exciting events going on in January and February. We also list a few farms here in Central Iowa that are currently accepting shares in their 2015 CSA programs.


Be sure to visit our What’s Fresh Page for some decadent hot drink recipes and where to find the ingredients.


We hope you have had a wonderful holiday season and are looking forward to what 2015 has in store!

What’s Fresh: January 2015

By: Hannah Linnemeyer


Mother nature has been taking it pretty easy on us so far this winter. However, temperatures are beginning to drop and there is nothing quite like cozying up with a hot drink in hand. We have gathered some decadent drink recipes that will warm you up on the coldest of days.


First we have a simple, yet delicious mulled wine recipe. All you need are some spices, which you are sure to find at Allspice in Des Moines, and some flavorful red wine. We have some great wineries here in Iowa offering exactly that. Visit Covered Bridges WineryGrape Escape WineryJasper WineryRosey Acres Winery or Two Saints Winery to pick out your new favorite red wine.

mulled wine


1 (750 ml) bottle red wine

1 orange, sliced

1/4 cup brandy (optional)

1/4 cup honey or sugar

8 whole cloves

2 cinnamon sticks

2 star anise


DIRECTIONS: Combine all ingredients in a non-aluminum saucepan, and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and let simmer for at least 15 minutes. Strain, and serve warm.

*You can also place the oranges, cloves, cinnamon, and star anise in a cheesecloth. Then simply strain and pull out the bundle when ready.

Recipe and instructions can be found here.


This Belgian Hot Chocolate recipe will please the entire family. Grab some chocolate from your locally-owned grocer, milk from Picket Fence Creamery and you are good to go.

hot chocolate


1 quart (1l) half-and-half or whole milk

8 ounces (230g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

4 ounces (115g) milk chocolate, finely chopped

tiny pinch of salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


DIRECTIONS: Warm about one-third of the half-and-half or milk, with the chopped chocolates and salt, stirring until the chocolate is melted. Whisk in the remaining half-and-half or milk, heating until the mixture is warmed through. Add the cinnamon. Use a hand-held blender, or a whisk, and mix the hot chocolate until it’s completely smooth. Serve very warm.

Recipe from: David Lebovitz


If you are feeling a bit sluggish on those wintery mornings, a Café Latte from Zanzibar’s is a great motivation to get out of bed. Choose from their large selection of fresh coffee beans and make this recipe yourself or just stop by their Ingersoll location and pick it up hot and ready to go.

cafe latte

Photo by: The Caffeine Fix



 1 shot of espresso

½ cup steamed milk


DIRECTIONS: Heat milk in a saucepan set over medium-low heat. Whisk briskly with a wire whisk to create foam. Brew espresso and pour into cup. Pour in milk, holding back the foam with a spoon. Spoon foam over the top. This recipe serves 1.

Recipe modified from


For more hot drink recipes, head on over to Allspice’s blog and check out their post on Holiday Drinks for Grown-Ups.

What’s Happening: January 2015

By: Hannah Linnemeyer


Many farms here in Central Iowa are gearing up for the 2015 CSA season. Look at this post we did last year on the importance of CSA programs both for the farmers and the community. Here is a list of a few local farms now accepting shares. (If your farm is not listed and you would like it to be, please email us a

Bridgewater farms -learn more here.

Crooked gap farm– they are adding Urbandale and Pella locations to the current Des Moines (The Cheese Shop) and Knoxville delivery options for the 2015 season. Learn more about their meat CSA here.

Grade A Gardens – stop by any of the following local businesses to sign up: The Cheese Shop of Des MoinesZanzibar’s Coffee AdventureGateway Market & CafeHoQ restaurantCapital Chiropractic and Rehabilitation CenterWhole Foods Market West Des Moines.

Grinnell Heritage Farm- learn more and purchase a share on their website.

Wabi Sabi Farm – registration for new members will begin on February 1st, 2015. Click here to find out more.


Cooking with George” classes on January 10th, February 13th, and March 7th, at 6:30 p.m. at Malo Restaurant located in the Des Moines Social Club Gallery at 900 Mulberry, Des Moines, IA

Join Chef George Formaro for an interactive evening filled with great food and libations! Enjoy a chef’s demonstration followed by a four course dinner with wine selections. $65/ guest. To reserve your spot, call 515-244-5000 or email


Wine School 101 at Two Saints Winery- classes begin December 6, 2014 – Feb. 21. 2015

Sample 8-10 wines and learn how to swirl, sip, and serve them. Visit or call 641-396-2102 to reserve your spot.


Malo Wine Classes on January 21st, February 18th, March 18th, and April 15th at 6:30 p.m. (third Wed. of every month) at the Des Moines Social Club Gallery, 900 Mulberry, Des Moines, IA

Join Malo and Gateway Market’s Abbe Hendricks to explore the wines of Spain and Latin America. You may reserve your spot for $30 for a single class or $100 for all 4 classes. Call 515-244-5000 or email to make reservations!


Hot Sample Sunday at Picket Fence Creamery on January 18th from Noon – 5:00 p.m. 

Warm up with some HOT samples and deals at Picket Fence Creamery. They will have everything from Hot Fudge Sundaes to Hot Buffalo Chili, and much more.


CSA Fair at Wheatsfield Co-op on Saturday, January 31st from 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. located at 

The following Central Iowa farms will be there to discuss their CSAs: Heritage Hill Farm, Lacewing Acres, The Homestead, Farm to Folk, Mustard Seed Community Farm, Raccoon Forks Farm, 7 Pines Farm, Lee’s Greens. Meet these local farmers and learn how you can participate in their CSAs.


Sustainable Sweethearts at the Des Moines Botanical Garden on February 6th, 2015 from 7:00 p.m. -10:00 p.m. located at 909 Robert Ray Drive, Des Moines, IA

Are you looking for a significant way to give back to your community? At Sustainable Sweethearts, you can connect with local dreamers to launch a project or create your own. The event is free to attend. RSVP and learn more here.


Valentine’s Day Dinner at the Wallace House on Friday, February 13th at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. located at 756 16th Street, Des Moines, IA

Chef Katie will be preparing a special five-course meal for $60 per person. Tables are available for couples and groups. Call 515-243-7063 or email


Two Times the Fun! Dinner and Entertainment Duo at the Country Life Center on Saturday, February 14th beginning at 5 p.m. 

Treat your Valentine to a three-course dinner at the Country Life Center at 5 pm and then enjoy reserved seating at the 7 pm “Two on Tap” show at the Warren Cultural Center in Greenfield. This dining and entertainment duo is $50/person. Chef Katie will be determining the menu soon. Contact the Warren Cultural Center at 641-343-7337 or


Valentine’s Day Dinner at the Country Life Center on Saturday, February 14th at 7 p.m. located at 2773 290th Street, Orient

Relax and enjoy a four-course meal prepared by Chef Katie at the Country Life Center. There will be more updates to come on the menu details. For reservations call 641-337-5019 or email


President’s Day Sample Sunday at Picket Fence Creamery on February 15th from Noon – 5:00 p.m.

There will be many Iowa foods available to sample. Cherry vanilla ice cream, Stone Cliff Winery’s Sweet Cherry wine, fresh cheese curds, meat sticks, Neva’s bacon cheeseball, bacon chili corn bread, Denison mustards, soups, local jams, caramel puffs, and… “the best darned chocolate milk this side of the Milky Way!” Just to name a few.


Food for Thought Dinners at the Wallace House begin again in Mid-March

The Wallace House invites you to “Food for Thought,” a program 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. Bring your own wine. Reservations are encouraged, as seating is limited. Call 515-243-7063 or email


The Cheese Shop Fondue Night, Wednesdays, 4:00pm – 7:00pm