About BFBL

What’s Happening: November

By: Hannah Linnemeyer


Downtown Farmers’ Market – Winter Market, Nov. 21 – 22 and Dec. 12 – 13, 2014, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. located at Capital Square and Kaleidoscope at The Hub, Downtown Des Moines

The Winter Farmers’ Market is a perfect opportunity to stock up for holiday meals, parties, and gift giving with more than 130 vendors. Farmers will be selling a variety of locally raised products including eggs, beef, pork, duck, turkeys, holiday hams, and a variety of late season and greenhouse produce. Shoppers can also expect to find an abundance of fresh handmade products including locally produced honey, jams, salsa, wine, cheese, noodles, breads, pies and cinnamon rolls. In addition, poinsettias, fresh cut Christmas trees, wreaths, handmade holiday ornaments and home decorations will be available.


Iowa Food Cooperative’s Annual Meeting and Potluck, Saturday, November 15, 2014 from 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at 445 Maple Street, Waukee, IA (Agri-Cultured HQ)

Attend Iowa Food Cooperative’s meeting and potluck to hear about the co-op’s journey through 2014 and what is ahead for next year, while enjoying local food. Please bring a dish to share and table service.


Opening of La Mie Express set to open on or before November 15, 2014 located at 1220 Locust Street, Des Moines, IA

The popular café in Des Moines, La Mie Bakery, is set to open a second location in mid-November. Their new location will offer a smaller menu, focused more on to-go items.


Holiday Open House at Edge of the Woods Berry Farm on Saturday, November 22 , 2014 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Edge of the Woods Berry Farm will be turning this year’s harvest into jams, jellies, and other goodies for their Holiday Open House. They will also have local vendors offering fresh baked pies and jars of delicious relishes. Arts and crafts by local artists will also be available.


Sample Sunday at the Picket Fence Creamery on Sunday, November 23, 2014 from noon – 5 p.m.

Join the Picket Fence Creamery for their monthly Sample Sunday to enjoy free samples of local food and much more!


Food for Thought Dinners at The Wallace House on Thursday, November 13 & 20, December 4, 11, & 18 from 5:30pm – 8pm

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 deannebryce@wallace.org.


Meals at The Gathering Table Restaurant on Friday, November 7, 14, & 21, December 5 & 12, Lunch from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. and Dinner from 5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Country Life Center, 2773 290th Street, Orient

The Gathering table prepares fresh, locally grown ingredients for a unique country dining experience. The menu changes weekly. Walk-ins are welcome, though reservations are encouraged.


Cookin’ with Katie Culinary Class at the Wallace Center of Iowa on Tuesday, November 18, 2014 beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Learn how to prepare a Hunter’s Feast featuring meats such as elk, pheasant, deer, and bison. Learn more at http://www.wallace.org/events.html. Sign up to reserve your via email deannebryce@wallace.org or call 515.243.7063.


Wine School 101 at Two Saints Winery- classes begin December 6, 2014

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


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

What’s Fresh: November

By: Hannah Linnemeyer

It’s beginning to get chilly here in Iowa but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any locally-grown produce available. Parsley, garlic, onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, Swiss chard, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, mushrooms, carrots, greens, parsnips, beets and turnips are some of the fresh ingredients you can work into those holiday recipes. If you are looking for a delicious Thanksgiving side dish to highlight your locally-grown vegetables…check out this recipe:

Root Vegetables with a Honey and Thyme Glaze

Root Veges

  • 2 lbs carrots
  • 1 lb beets
  • 1 lb parsnips
  • 6 sprigs of thyme
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup raw honey
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  •  salt & pepper to taste
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wash, peel, and chop vegetables into uniform pieces so that they cook at similar speeds. Mix the honey, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and thyme in a bowl and toss with veges. Salt and pepper vegetables and lay them on a baking sheet lined with foil. Throw in the oven for ~30 minutes or until the edges begin to brown.


  • This dish is extremely versatile. You may interchange these for pretty well any of your fall harvest vegetables, from sweet potato to butternut squash. Just make sure to chop vegetables uniformly and adjust cooking time.

What’s Fresh September 2014

Buy Fresh Buy Local simply loves this time of year. So much is in season: zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant, sweet corn, cucumbers, peppers, potatoes, onions, peas, cabbage, beets, etc.  We are also seeing the beginning of fall fruit: apples, pears, melons, even some fall raspberries.  Here’s a great recipe to celebrate the bounty and flavors of September.

Recipe thanks to Maytag Dairy Farms.

Watermelon, Tomato, Cucumber SaladTomato-Watermelon-Cucumber-salad-1024x779[1]

      • 1/2 cup Red Wine Vinegar
      • 3/4 teaspoon salt
      • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
      • 1/2 cup olive oil
      • 3 cups watermelon chunks
      • 3 cups coarsely chopped heirloom tomatoes
      • 3 cups coarsely chopped cucumbers
      • 1 cup chopped basil
      • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
      • 3/4 cup crumbled Maytag Blue Cheese

1. Combine vinegar, salt, pepper, and oil; whisk well. Gently toss remaining ingredients into a large bowl. Pour vinaigrette over salad and toss to coat. Serve Immediately. Serves 12.

What’s Happening: August/September

What’s Happening

Des Moines Restaurant Week, August 15 – 24 Dine at 31 of the city’s top restaurants for only $25 for two lunches or one three-course dinner. That gives you the perfect opportunity not only to go to your favorite eatery but also to check out a restaurant you’ve been thinking of trying—but haven’t yet. There are so many BFBL members involved we can’t possibly list them, though you can find a list of restaurants here!


Wheatsfield Co-op’s 40th Anniversary Celebration, August 23, 2:00 – 6:00pm Come down to the east parking lot of the Wheatsfield Co-op on August 23rd to celebrate their 40th anniversary! There will be live music, lawn games, and TONS of free samples! More info here.


Iowa Food Cooperative Open House, August 24, 12:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Spend a few hours sampling local Iowa food at the Iowa Food Cooperative Open House and grab some free sweet corn as well!  Read more about the ethnic food samples that will be cooked by the LSI Global Greens’ farmers at the Open House here.


Slow Food Harvest Potluck, September 7, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Sept. 7th is the Slow Food Harvest Potluck from 4:00-7:00 p.m. at the South picnic shelter at Des Moines’ Water Works Park. You can bring any kind of dish you like, but if it happens to be a pie or a locally-sourced vegetable dish, you can enter it in the pie (or vegetable) contest, so grab some vegetables from one of our many BFBL member gardens or farms and create a great local dish to share!


Des Moines Culture Crawl, September 11, 4:30 – 7:30 p.m.

This year the “Garden Party” theme features 3 fascinating stops at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, the World Food Prize garden, and Jasper Winery’s vineyards! All three stops will be filled with culture as well as food and drink! For tickets or more information click here.


6th Annual “Line in the Soil” Farm Celebration, September 13, 5:00 p.m.

The Cory Family Farm’s “Line in the Soil” Farm Celebration will include an organized potluck and barn dance for all ages! For more information click here.


Brews & Muse 2014, Saturday, September 20, 5:00 – 10:00 p.m.

Come out to Knoxville, Iowa and enjoy the blockparty hosted by Peach Tree Brewing Company with limited-release beers, including small batches, barrel-aged brews, and seasonal brew you won’t find anywhere else!


Campbell’s Nutrition’s 77th Anniversary, Friday, September 19 and Saturday, September 20

Friday, September 19th and Saturday, September 20th come celebrate Campbell’s Nutrition’s 77th year! That’s 77 years of being locally owned and committed to educating our community about healthy living through the best in organic foods and nutritional support.


World Food and Music Festival, Friday, September 19 – Sunday, September 21

Friday Sept. 19-Sunday Sept. 21, 2014 is the World Food and Music Festival in Downtown Des Moines on the Walnut Street Bridge. Enjoy great food, music, and entertainment and make sure to stop buy our BFBL members’ booths, the Kabab House and Local Yocals!


Grinnell Heritage Farm 6th Annual Heirloom Tomato Tasting, Sunday, September 21

Sunday, September 21, 2014 join Grinnell Heritage Farm for their 6th Annual Heirloom Tomato Tasting! In addition to the heirloom tomatoes there will be a special guest speaker, kids’ activities, music, and miniature horses!


Grape Escape Winery Social Sundays, 2:00 – 5:00pm Wine Education Segments and Bags Tourney with winners each week and season championship. Great Wines and good times with friends, new and old. More info here.


Food for Thought Dinners, Thursdays 5:30pm – 8pm 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 deannebryce@wallace.org. Themes by week: August 7: Bacon August 14: State Fair Delight August 21: Canning-The New Phenomena August 28: The Kids’ Palate


2014 unWINEd Concert, Fridays, 5:30 – 8:30pm Jasper Winery and the City of Des Moines have partnered for this after work event that will take place every Friday evening alternating between Gray’s Lake and The Hub. More information here. Aug. 1- Retro Rockets feat. Tony Valdez (Gray’s Lake) Aug. 8- Planetpassengers (The Hub) Aug. 15- Crooked Mile (Grays Lake) Aug. 22- Soul Searchers (The Hub)


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


What’s Fresh: July

What’s Fresh: July

Independence day is upon us, and nothing says the 4th of July like a red white and blue dessert! While the holiday itself may be over before we know it, this berry patriotic parfait is too delicious to limit to one weekend. This red white and blue parfait brings you all the sweetness of fresh berries with the savory decadence of fresh cream.


2 cups raspberries 2 cups pitted cherries, sliced 2 cups blueberries 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 6 cups fresh cream 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 tbsp confectioners sugar 1 tablespoon lemon zest

(We recommend purchasing your berries at Edge of the Woods Raspberry Farm and your fresh cream at Picket Fence Creamery!)


1. In a small bowl, mix together raspberries, cherries, and blueberries with 2 teaspoons of lemon juice. Set aside

2. In a large bowl, whip cream until stiff peaks are just about to form. Beat in vanilla and sugar until peaks form.

3. In another bowl, mix the newly whipped cream, and lemon zest.

4. In 6 small glasses layer ½ cup fruit mixture, followed by ½ cup yogurt, ½ cup fruit, and another ½ cup yogurt. Top with a sprig of mint, a few blueberries, or lemon zest. Enjoy!

What’s Fresh: June

It’s Strawberry season here in Iowa, and we couldn’t be more excited! Because strawberries season only lasts a few weeks, there is no better time than the present to dive in and enjoy everything these berries have to offer. Try this Old-Fashioned Strawberry Shortcake Recipe for the perfect treat to end a long summer day.

Some Strawberry fun-facts:
– One serving of just 8 strawberries gives you 140% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C
– Strawberries are the only berries with seeds on the outside
– Strawberries are grown in all 50 states of the US!


Classic Strawberry Shortcake

  •  2 (16-oz.) containers fresh strawberries, quartered
  • 3/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cup cold butter, cut up
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 (8-oz.) container sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Garnish: fresh mint sprigs



1. Combine strawberries, 1/2 cup sugar, and, if desired, almond extract. Cover berry mixture, and let stand 2 hours.

2. Beat whipping cream at medium speed with an electric mixer until foamy; gradually add 2 Tbsp. sugar, beating until soft peaks form. Cover and chill up to 2 hours.

3. Combine flour, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and baking powder in a large bowl; cut butter into flour mixture with a pastry blender or two forks until crumbly.

4. Whisk together eggs, sour cream, and vanilla until blended; add to flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Drop dough by lightly greased 1/3 cupfuls onto a lightly greased baking sheet. (Coat cup with vegetable cooking spray after each drop.)

5. Bake at 450° for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden.

6. Split shortcakes in half horizontally. Spoon about 1/2 cup berry mixture onto each shortcake bottom; top each with a rounded Tbsp. chilled whipped cream, and cover with tops. Serve with remaining whipped cream. Garnish, if desired.

Strawberry Jam Shortcakes: Prepare recipe as directed. Before topping shortcake bottoms with strawberry mixture, stir together 1/4 cup strawberry jam and 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint. Spread cut sides of bottom shortcake halves evenly with jam mixture. Proceed with recipe as directed.