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chequamegon food cooperative


Summer Happenings


Local Food


700 W Main St.


Magic Carrots

WHY buy local?

The big question many people ask about buying local is: What’s in it for me? It’s easy to point to the big picture benefits of buying local. When you purchase a product made in the area you decrease the environmental inputs, increase the money kept in the community, and increase the number of jobs. While these are all compelling reasons in their own right, you can also see many personal, tangible benefits from purchasing goods made and

grown in our community.   Fresher produce: Conventional produce travels several days or weeks to reach the store shelves. Local food often sells within a day or two of harvest.   More nutritious: The decreased travel time gives local fruits and veggies a nutritional leg up because the nutrients have less time to leech out before they reach your plate.   Wider variety: Local growers are not hampered by the sensitive qualities of produce that might be damaged in shipping. Whether you buy local heirloom tomatoes or local berries, you’re more than likely buying a variety that wouldn’t make the trip to the store unblemished if it had to be shipped very far.   To make it easier for you to commit to buying local, the Chequamegon Food Co-op has made some important steps toward furthering our commitment to supplying

this community with locally produced goods. We’ve signed the Good Food Charter which addresses the import role a vibrant local food system plays in the overall health and prosperity of our region. We’ve signed the Superior Compact wherein we agreed to attempt sourcing 20% of our products locally by 2020. We’ve developed our CHIP for Change program to supplement our micro-loan program. We’ve also created the Produce Promises program to insure a steady supply of fruits and veggies for our produce cases.   We also recently implemented our “Buy Local, Eat Local” promotion. The campaign includes new “local” signage and a new “Buy Local, Eat Local” guide. Our new “Eat Local” t-shirts and shopping bags offer a visual way for you to share your commitment to the message. We have also added a line to the bottom of our receipts that tells you what percentage of your purchases was local. We hope these resources help you and encourage you to join us in a commitment to buying local.

juicy news from the Chequamegon food co-op



Farm Tours Have you ever visited the places where your food comes from? This summer, the Co-op will be hosting two farm tours that are open to any who wish to come along. One tour will visit farms that are located south of Ashland, while the other tour will visit farms north of Ashland. The tentative dates are Sunday, July 28, 2013 for the South Tour and Sunday, August 4, 2013 for the North Tour. Stay alert for more details as the dates draw nearer.

For more Local Food News, turn to page 6. Feel free to contact Alan Spaude-Filipczak, our Local Food Projects Coordinator with any local food related questions. E-mail: or phone (715) 682-8251.

PHOTO: Our produce case will be brimming with local fruits and veggies this summer. Here, cashier Christel Sketch models our new “Eat Local” shirt.

2 from the manager

chequamegon food cooperative By Harold Vanselow, General Manager

Today, as I am writing, we are still recovering from the 16+ inches of wet snow that fell on Ashland yesterday, May 2, and looking forward very much to the forecasted temperatures in the 60s coming up next week. The theme of our newsletter this quarter is “local.” As readers of my previous newsletter pieces know, I tend to gravitate to numbers and data when talking about the Co-op (or most anything else). One of my daughters even suggested years ago that my epitaph should read “If it could be counted, he did.”  I'll begin today by citing some of the statistics produced by a 2012 study commissioned by the National Cooperative Grocer Association (NCGA), an organization your Co-op

has been a member of for the last five years. If the following information piques your interest you can find out more at www. This data is nationwide but indicative of the impact you and your Co-op have on the local economy.

• On average, there are 157 local farmers and product producers working with each store. • 20% of the products sold are locally sourced. • 13% of income is devoted to charitable organizations. • 38% of the revenue received is then spent locally. • $14.31 is the average hourly employee earnings, including bonuses and profit sharing.

busi n ess!

* expires 6/30/2013 * certain restrictions apply

  When many of us think about local at the Co-op we focus on local produce. The Co-op defines local as being sourced within 100 miles of the store. Last year we paid 35 local producers 381 checks totaling $31,559, which represented 12% of our total produce purchases for 2012. This year we have already entered into agreements through our Produce Promises program with local producers to purchase at least $54,000 worth of produce from them, a jump of more than 70% from 2012. We would purchase more if they could produce more, and we will need them to produce more for us as we move into our new store with a much expanded produce department in mid-2014.  One of the ways that the Co-op is supporting local producers is through the board-created microloan program which has issued more than $30,000 of no-interest loans in the past six years. A way that you can help us help them produce more for us to buy and eat is by CHIPping in your change when you shop at the store. We ask that you simply round up your purchase to the next whole dollar and CHIP in that change to increase the pool of funds available to be loaned to local producers. Since we initiated this program the first of January this year you have collectively CHIPped in $3,600 through the end of April, an average of $900 per month. We are very pleased to have had this much contributed to the lending pool, but the

busin e s s !


Bring in this ad to receive 20% off a hardcover book! It’s our way of saying thanks.

• 68% of employees are eligible for health insurance. • 19% of a store’s revenue is spent on local wages. • 96% of cardboard handled is recycled. • 81% of plastics are recycled.

★ 112 Rittenhouse Avenue · Bayfield, WI 715.779.0200

CHIPping is being done by fewer than 3 out of every 10 shoppers who come through the store. This means that more than 7 out of 10 shoppers choose not to CHIP. We would like to increase the amount of the individual micro-loans above the current maximum of $2,500 per loan but need more customer CHIPping to make that happen. If everyone CHIPped in just every other time they shopped we would nearly double the amount we have been collecting.  Earlier this year the Co-op signed the Superior Compact, an agreement signed by retailers and restaurants across the northland committing to attempt buying 20% of everything purchased for sale or use in the business from local growers and producers. While we may be moving in that direction for produce, we sorely need more local food processors and artisans who would make the fruits of their labor available for sale in your store.  One final piece of local to bring to your attention is the opportunity that members will have later this summer to participate in a member loan program as part of the financing package that we are putting together to pay for the relocation of the store to 700 West Main Street. This member loan concept has been presented at three meetings of members in March and April of this year with very positive feedback and some substantial commitments being received after the meetings. A legal offering of this program will be available in the next month or so, at which time we will begin a formal campaign to solicit

MANAGER continued on page 11

THE GRAPEVINE · S u m m e r 2 0 1 3

the grapevine

Distributed quarterly to the members of the Chequamegon Food Co-op. Editor: Meagan Van Beest Layout & Design: Jill O’Nell at General Manager: Harold Vanselow Board of Directors: (general e-mail) John Beirl, Sara Lehr, (415) 706-5948 Sara Hudson, (715) 209-5836 Joel Langholz Chad Rickman, (715) 209-2018 Joe Russo, (715) 373-2237 Jarrod Stone Dahl (715) 292-2760 Everyone is welcome to attend Chequamegon Food Co-op Board of Directors meetings, held the third Tuesday of the month at 5 p.m. on the second floor of the Vaughn Public Library in Ashland. The Cooperative Principles • Voluntary and open ownership. • Democratic owner control. • Owners’ economic participation. • Autonomy and independence. • Education, training, and information. • Cooperation among co-ops. • Concern for community.

Our Mission The Chequamegon Food Co-op is dedicated to providing ecologicallysound foods and products, the production and quality of which, promote the health of our members and our community. Ends Statement The Chequamegon Food Co-op exists so our community has an enhanced quality of life; our community has access to healthy, organic, and locally-produced goods; our community has a thriving local economy; and our community is knowledgeable about choices that impact the economy, personal wellness, and the environment. Where We Are 215 Chapple Avenue, Ashland, WI 54806 Open Mon-Fri 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (715) 682-8251 · Letters to the Editor Submissions are accepted on an ongoing basis. We do not guarantee that a letter will be printed. Please keep letters to 250 words and include your name, phone number, and email address. We will not print your phone number or e-mail. Letters should be e-mailed to: outreach@cheqfood. coop. Letters and newsletter articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Board of Directors, staff members, or management of the Chequamegon Food Co-op. Advertising Please contact Meagan at (715) 682-8251 or Deadline for next issue is July 31, 2013.

staff profile Where are you from originally and what brought you to Ashland? I grew up in Rockford, Illinois and I came up here to attend Northland College. I’ve left the area a few times, but I’ve always come back. The people and the environment here are unparalleled.

Kristin Opperman


what’s new in bulk?

What do you do at the Co-op? I am the buyer for the freezer department, the bulk spices/ herbs/teas, and the magazines. What’s your favorite thing about working here? Getting to see so many people that I know. Also helping shoppers with new diet restrictions locate products in the store that they will enjoy.


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4 from the board

chequamegon food cooperative

Greetings!  As I sit and write this letter, I am wondering how it can be May and we have over ten inches of snow on the ground. Our garden veggies that were started from seeds now sit tall in the window looking for a bigger home. For now it will be in bigger pots…  Before I begin talking about our future, I want you to know that the Chequamegon Food Coop is doing wonderfully and we as a board are grateful for all the hard work the entire staff puts into making our store the success that it is. Thank you so much.  April was a month filled with information. There were quite a few different meetings that I attended. One of them was the National Cooperative Grocers Association meeting in St. Paul, Minnesota. At this meeting co-op general managers and board representatives from all over the country met to discuss the co-op movement. There was a tremendous amount of information shared by various outlets including the NCGA and individual co-ops. Successful co-ops are expanding at a rapid pace right now. The public today has an increased knowledge and desire for healthy organic, along with locally produce foods.

From this knowledge, co-ops are finding that if they don’t expand they run the risk of disappearing due to increased competition. While taking in the vast amount of information they put out at this meeting, I walked away feeling good about our decision to grow our store and help build our local economy. Did you know there are some co-ops out there that have over 30% of their sales from local producers? Wouldn’t it be a huge economic benefit for our local communities if we could do that in our store?!?   This brings me to the next thought…What do we want Chequamegon Food Co-op to look like 5, 10, 20 years down the road after our expansion? Do we want to pay down our debt or double our membership? Maybe we want to be a zero net energy store or maybe we want to have 50% of our sales from local producers. It has occurred to me that we as a board have been in a reactionary position for the years that I have been here. Now that the store is stabilized and things are moving along in a positive direction, I think we need to get to work creating a “vision” for our future. This is going to be a large undertaking and will take some time. I want to make sure



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and have a significantly smaller learning curve, with a solid foundation to understand the decisions we have made.   This all sounds like a lot of work, and it will be, but I feel this Board of Directors is up for the challenge. We are willing to do what it takes to lead us in a positive direction that all members are comfortable with and can fully support. Communication will be the key for everything we do. I will do my best to make sure that the Board of Directors keeps members informed every step along the way. I also hope that as we ask for information and help throughout different communications and committees that you, our memberowner, take some time to give feedback and volunteer. We are a member-owned cooperative. Members helping members. We can make this a true gem in all of Wisconsin and possibly the Midwest. I think we can, and I feel we are ready. Sincerely, Chad Rickman

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By Chad Rickman, Board President

we do this right and have lots of input from everyone. Throughout the next year we will discuss “vision planning” at our monthly board meetings. The creation of our vision, what it entails, and what the process will be at this time are unknown. This is the beginning.   The next year is going to be very busy for this Board of Directors. We have the expansion that will be starting, capital campaigning for the expansion, member participation, and many other areas to work on for the new store. We are also going to spend more time this year working on growing our knowledge of Policy Governance and how to best utilize it to ensure cohesiveness between the board, the store operations, and our members. Time will be spent working on building our vision and future board preparedness. My goal is to make it so that as the current board members leave the board, new board members can step in

400 Main Street W • Downtown Ashland

THE GRAPEVINE · S u m m e r 2 0 1 3

summer events! Saturday, June 8, 2013 8 a.m. to noon Bike Day at the Ashland Area Farmer’s Market, 200 block of Chapple Avenue

Sunday, August 4, 2013 time and itinerary TBA Chequamegon Farm Tour North Route

Save the dates

staff  updates

for these fun summ er activities. Look for additional classes and events throughout the season on our web site Events Page, in the Sunflower Seed, on Facebook, in The Sc oop, or in store.

Thursday, July 4, 2013 11 a.m. Ashland’s Independence Day Parade Main Street in Ashland

Saturday, August 10, 2013 8 a.m. to noon Taste of the Bay Food Festival at the Ashland Area Farmer’s Market, 200 block of Chapple Avenue

Saturday, July 13, 2013 8 a.m. to noon Kids’ Day – A Cheeky Monkey Club Event at the Ashland Area Farmer’s Market, 200 block of Chapple Avenue

Saturday, September 14, 2013 8 a.m. to noon Harvest Festival – A Cheeky Monkey Club Eventat the Ashland Area Farmer’s Market, 200 block of Chapple Avenue

Sunday, July 28, 2013 time and itinerary TBA Chequamegon Farm Tour South Route

We say hello to Mechaela Hudak, bookkeeper, and welcome Jane Anderson as she moves back to cashier/stocker. We say goodbye to Derek Campbell, cashier/produce/ monkey extraordinaire.

what’s new in general?

We also note the following anniversaries at the Co-op: Lucas Allen (1 year) Meagan Van Beest (1 year) Kristin Opperman (3 years) Emily Melco (6 years) Pat Brown (6 years) Harold Vanselow (6 years) Hannah Sorensen (7 years) Christel Sketch (8 years)

A variety of kitchen gadgets from RSVP From knives to herb spinners! New Purses from Blue Q African Market Baskets Sidekick bags from Chico Full Circle Glass Water Bottles

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chequamegon food cooperative

Local NEWS food

Micro-loans Awarded

Spring brought us another great round of micro-loan recipients! Our micro-loan program awards small, interest-free loans to local farmers and food producers in an effort to build a stronger local food economy and to provide more local foods for our shelves.  Sassy Nanny Farmstead Cheese (Michael Stanitis) of Herbster received a loan for fencing materials to be used as part of a forest/ pasture rotational grazing system for dairy goats. Sassy Nanny products are found in the cheese cooler of the store.   Angel Acres Farm (the McCutchen family) of Mason received loans to boost production of both farm-fresh eggs and pastured pork. Angel Acres pork products can be found in the meat section of our frozen department. Be on the lookout for Angel Acres eggs in the future.   Mammoth Pastures (Xander Waters and Melissa Helman) of Ashland received loans to purchase plants, electric fencing, and greenhouse materials. Xander and Melissa are just getting started with their farm, and we hope to see wonderful Mammoth Acres food products in the store someday.

Food&Community Grants

This spring, we were able to extend $5,000 in funds from private donors to our local food community by offering a grant opportunity through a request for proposals. The response was strong and significant, and we are happy to announce the recipients:   Hermit Creek Farm (Landis and Steven Spickerman) of High Bridge, a longtime produce supplier to the Co-op, received funds to insulate their new pack and storage building

for vegetables. This building will help Hermit Creek to increase production of their high-quality, certified organic vegetables that have been a staple of the store for twenty plus years.   North Wind Organic Farm (Tom Galazen and Ann Rosenquist) of Bayfield received funds to convert an old Allis Chalmers G cultivating tractor from diesel to solar electric energy. The tractor will be used for environmentally friendly and efficient weeding of the sweet and beautiful berries that have been a perennial favorite at the Co-op since the 1980s.   River Road Farm (Todd and Kelsey Rothe) of Marengo will use their funds to assist in the building of a new wash and pack station for fresh greens and other vegetables. Look for an expanded selection of River Road produce this growing season and in the future.   Northcroft Farm (Brian Clements) received funds for farmers’ market display equipment including stands and baskets. Northcroft has become an anchor vendor at the Ashland Area Farmers Market, and we are looking forward to a beautiful produce display this year.   Angel Acres Farm (the McCutchen family) of Mason received funds to assist in an effort to develop an effective pastured poultry system for farm fresh eggs. The McCutchens will build an “egg-mobile” to move the chickens to fresh pasture on a regular basis.   Great Oak Farm (Chris Duke and family) of Mason and a few neighboring farms submitted a collaborative proposal to purchase a Jang brand crop seeder. The twowheeled push seeder directly sows seeds into the soil at appropriate spacing. The seeder will be used primarily for vegetable crops such as carrots, beets, and salad mix.

Local Food Top 5. Crimini mushrooms 10 Crimini Wish List (brown button)

mushrooms are a hot seller in the produce case! Though we can currently get them from Eden, Wisconsin, we would love to have them grown locally.

Local Food Projects Coordinator, Alan SpaudeFilipczak recently polled Co-op staff to ask what types of locally grown and/or processed foods they would wish we had on store shelves. From that poll comes this top ten list. Read through and consider whether you or someone you know is willing to take the initiative with any of these items. Please inquire for more info.

6. Sweet corn We’re looking for someone to step up to the plate and grow organic sweet corn in sufficient quantity, at a reasonable price. Fresh picked would be a great start, but there is also a need for frozen and canned corn.

1. Rolled oats Farmers have had centuries of success growing oats in northern Wisconsin. Rolled oats (oatmeal) is one of our best sellers in the bulk section, and we would love to see an enterprising person invest in the equipment necessary to champion this product.

7. Rutabaga Given the cultural relevance of “beggies” in our region, it’s befuddling that the produce department has not had a reliable supply of the tubers in the fall and winter. We sell a reasonable amount, and the opportunity is there for an intrepid grower to take.

2. Salsa/tomato sauce Around Labor Day, there are typically more local tomatoes than can be consumed fresh, and many of us set to work preserving the bounty. Salsas and other tomato-based sauces and condiments sell well at the Co-op, and the market niche is ready and waiting.

8. Sour cream We have local milk, ice cream, yogurt, and artisanal cheeses in our cases, but there is a need for other value-added dairy products. Sour cream is a tasty staple in many recipes.

3. Frozen peas & green beans It would be a daunting endeavor for any farm or food processing business to profitably grow, pick, shell, and freeze these leguminous delicacies, but we would love to see frozen veggies of all kinds make their way to the store. 4. Dried herbs Basil, oregano, chamomile, catnip, and many other herbs could be dried and integrated into our bulk herb section. A processing license is required to dry herbs for sale, though the license is fairly easy to acquire.

9. Corn chips We currently stock Blue Farm corn chips from southern Wisconsin, but is it too much to ask for locally grown and/or processed corn chips? Probably, but we can wish. 10. Stone fruits This may seem far-fetched, but anyone who has tasted a Bayfield peach knows how wonderful it can be. If an orchardist can manage climate and other growing challenges organically, there is a market for peaches, plums and other stone fruits—both fresh and dried. BONUS ITEMS We'd also love to see more local non-food handicrafts, including textiles, tools, and utensils.

THE T H E GRAPEVINE G R A P E V I N E · · S wu minter m e r 20 08·1039 Cooperation in the


The Chequamegon Food Co-op recently signed the Superior Compact—a pledge to make 20% of all purchases storewide from businesses within the western Lake Superior region by 2020. This will be a major challenge, and we’ll need the help of our local food producers to ensure that there is a large volume and wide variety of local foods on the market.     Maybe you can help! If you or someone you know has a skill for growing a particular food or has a delicious recipe, we would like to encourage the entrepreneurial spirit. For many of us, the hurdle of starting a certified kitchen is too high to jump over, but there are other options available. Talk to local restaurateurs and see if kitchens are available for rent during off times. A few kitchens, including those at Big Flavor Foods in Washburn and Freehands Farm in Ashland, are currently willing to discuss shared use of their space. Both businesses can be contacted via telephone: Big Flavor Food (Will & Mark) at 715-373-0452 or Freehands Farm (Michelle) at 715-563-0323.

what’s new in the fridge? Happy Hollow Fresh Mozzarella - Local Springbrook Organic Dairy Cajun Cheese Curds - Local Smoked Provolone Bass Lake Pepper Chevre Organic Valley Organic Whipping Cream - Carrageenan Free


The Fascinating History of

As we prepare to move into our new space at 700 West Main Street in Ashland, many customers have wondered about the building’s history. Board member Joe Russo put in a request for information to the helpful folks at the Ashland Historical Society. Here is what we discovered.  Built by Thomas E. Pugh between 1899 and 1901, the two story building belongs to one of five blocks built by Lewis Cass Wilmarth.

Company in 1902. According to an article from the September 17, 1902 edition of The Daily Press, the automobile is said to have had “a chain drive, a clutch, steered by a lever, the engine was started by a crank on the side of the car” and it was “a one-seater with an iron step to get into the car.”  Rowe worked hard to drum up business through regular

What is an ends statement?

A ends statement defines in the newspaper Wilmarth built a mini real estate advertisements empire in Ashland, as did many and the company grew quickly wealthy families of the Victorian in its first five years. According era. (In fact, the Wilmarth to a 1905 article, The Glass Block employed 20 to 30 clerks mansion is just a couple blocks to and occupied 13,000 square the south of our store on Chapple feet of sales space. Due to the Avenue.) The adjacent one-story store’s size, the manager used building at 700 West Main Street an internal telephone system was built in the late 1950s. At to communicate with the staff. some point, the warehouse that Their sales in the first part of stood in place of the parking lot 1905 grew by 30% compared was destroyed by fire. to the previous year and Rowe   The building first housed a expected to top 50% by the fall. general store operated by Thomas The store motto was “where a C. Shutt and Albert W. Rowe dollar does its duty” and Rowe called The Schutt Brothers. Within was described as “a genial, well the first year of operation, the met fellow, courteous to the last business name was changed to degree, and a loyal supporter of Albert & Rowe’s The Glass Block Company. The Glass Block initially Ashland’s every interest.”   In 1913, Sam Sherbacov specialized in dry goods and purchased the building from glass, but expanded to become Wilmarth and installed his a full department store in 1905. own furniture store called They carried house furnishings, women’s clothing, and home décor. Columbia Furniture Company. He also changed the building’s   The store’s delivery car, a rarity identification block from at the time, frightened a horse belonging to the American Express “Wilmarth” to “Sherbacov” to


West Main signal the switch in ownership. It is Sherbacov’s name that we still see today. The company mainly sold household furniture, including mattresses, beds, and couches. At some point, the store added Admiral radios and refrigerators to the mix and proudly advertised them on a large neon sign.   Columbia Furniture Company operated at 700 West Main Street from 1913 through 2006. In that time, the business was mostly owned by Sam Sherbacov or his descendants. Ownership transferred to William “Bill” H. Boutwell, Sherbacov’s nephew, in 1979. Boutwell owned the business until 1995, when his son Sam took over the company. In 2006, the business was sold to Hank Martinsen, Sr. Shortly thereafter, Bob Hilgart bought the business (but not the building) and changed the name to Bob’s Factory Outlet. For nearly 40 years, through ownership and name changes, the familiar face of salesman Tom Marzari has greeted customers at the door.  In 2011, the Chequamegon Food Co-op Board of Directors voted to purchase the building for a possible expansion. Now, we are preparing to write the next chapter in the fascinating history of 700 West Main Street as a cooperatively owned and operated grocery store.


chequamegon food cooperative



HERMITCREEK at a glance Owners: Landis & Steven Spickerman Location: High Bridge, WI Started: 1993 Size: 100 acres with 10 acres in active tillage, 4 acres in apple and pear orchard, and about 20 acres in active sugarbush Noted features: Certified organic Specialties: Carrots, spinach, mixed greens, winter squashes, cherry tomatoes


The Secret to those great tasting carrots Although best known for their scrumptious carrots, Hermit Creek Farm is actually a diversified vegetable farm located 20 miles of south Ashland in High Bridge, Wisconsin. Owned and operated by Landis and Steven Spickerman, the farm runs for a full 11 months out of the year, with four employees added each growing season. The farm encompasses about 100 acres, with seven in vegetable production and about the same in cover crop, along with a small orchard and sugarbush.  Hermit Creek Farm began almost by accident in 1993. Having both been raised on farms, Landis and Steven love to grow things. They started out with a plan to produce all of their family’s food. When Linda Rise, then general manager of the Chequamegon Food Co-op, asked Landis if she had any extra lettuce, the Spickermans obliged with a delivery of leafy greens. This initial supply led to one of the longestrunning producer relationships the Co-op still maintains, with two deliveries per week coming in during the high season.   When asked what they love about farming, beside their aforementioned affinity for growing, Landis and Steven


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cited independence. They both like setting their own pace and having a tangible sense of accomplishment. That feeling often comes from something as seemingly simple as weeding an overgrown bed or growing top-notch carrots. Steven also appreciates the immediate feedback they get from customers.   When visiting Hermit Creek Farm, you’ll notice several unorthodox looking things, inlcuding the clipboards hanging in the hoop houses. Unlike the stereotype of farming as riding tractors and making hay, work at Hermit Creek Farm requires a lot of record keeping (where those clipboards come in handy) and hands-on labor (where an able back and hands come in handy). The Spickermans do have a host of machines to help with farm tasks, including a transplant rig that requires four people to operate. All told, the farm staff transplants about 100,000 seedlings per year, whether by hand or machine.  Now, let’s get back to those carrots. When asked whether they have ever heard of Hermit Creek Farm, many Co-op shoppers immediately identify the farm’s signature crop as a favorite. The Spickermans credit their soil fertility for the superb taste of all their crops. They utilize an



intensive crop rotation system that includes a diversity of cover crops and fallow periods, as well as a rotational grazing plan with pastured hogs. For 20 years, they have also composted the food scraps from the Co-op, The Black Cat, and more recently, Ashland Baking Company for use on their fields. In any given year, they compost approximately 15,000 pounds of waste from the three Chapple Avenue businesses.   Landis and Steven utilize several season-extending techniques to keep their crops on schedule, which are especially important in years like this one that seem to have every extreme of weather in any given week. The farm has nine hoop houses, which help the Spickermans start crops sooner and keep them longer into the fall. Landis and Steven also count on their diversity to help them weather the unpredictability of farming.  Besides a diversified product offering, Hermit Creek also uses a variety of ways to sell their products. Their primary focus has been selling quality produce through the Chequamegon Food Co-op. Steven says that their relationship with the Co-op has really shaped their business as they have grown. It has been and will be the number one place for them to sell. They also provide shares


· Personal Injury 715 · 682 · 9151 Proudly · Workers’ Comp 200 chapple Avenue · Wrongful Death Supporting p.O. box 486 · Criminal Defense / OWI the Ashland Ashland, Wi 54806 · General Trial Practice Area Farmer’s · Divorce & Family Law Market! · Wills / Power of Attorney * Located across from the Food Co-op · Boundary Disputes & Easements

T H E GRAPEVINE G R A P E V I N E · · SUMMER w inter 20 08·1039 THE

PHOTO: Steven and Landis in one of the farm's nine hoop houses for their successful community supported agriculture (CSA) program. The Hermit Creek CSA offers a whole-diet, year-round opportunity to purchase fresh, local foods. The farm also has a well-attended stall at the Ashland Area Farmer’s Market in the 200 block of Chapple Avenue each summer. Landis and Steven both enjoy the opportunity to directly talk to their customers at market and also share stories from the trenches with other farmers.  Harvest time at Hermit Creek requires hand-picking produce at least four times per week. Sometimes, if the crops have really hit their stride, Landis and Steven pick veggies daily. Much of the harvest goes to the Coop, into CSA boxes, or to market. Late-season storage vegetables (including their carrots) are kept in a root cellar until needed.

  Like many small farms, Hermit Creek requires that one person works the land full time and the other has a “regular” job. Landis is the primary farmer, while Steven, a botanist by trade, supplements the family’s income with an off-farm job at the U.S. Forest Service. While no farmer could ever be accused of getting into the business for money, Landis says she and her family earn enough to be perfectly comfortable. Plus, Landis says that growing produce means they can have the freshest foods and eat like kings.   What does the future hold for the fields and hoop houses of Hermit Creek Farm? Landis and Steven recently received a grant from the Co-op to purchase new equipment for their new packing facility. They also plan to add two or three more hoop houses, along with adding more acreage into production. Steven says they want to become Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certified, which focuses their efforts on best agricultural practices that verify fruits and vegetables have been produced, packed, handled, and stored in the safest manner possible. They also hope to change over their seasonal employees to year-round. And, of course, Hermit Creek will be expanding the amount of food they grow to keep up with the demand for locally grown produce, especially their sought-after carrots.   To learn more about Hermit Creek Farm, please visit their website at:

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Order forms available on our website (below) or by calling: (715) 278-3978


chequamegon food cooperative save the date!

2nd Wednesday of each month means 10% off on health & body care products!

JUL 10 · AUG 14 · SEPT 11


amy billman, LMT vAuGhn librAry buildinG AShlAnd

715-373-5836 NortherN Light AcupuNcture Kristy Jensch cAc (Wi), LAc (MN)

wellness wednesdays Julie Sorensen, Wellness Manager Summer will soon be here and I am looking forward to the local farmers’ markets and the abundance of fresh produce. I like author Michael Pollan’s seven words for eating. He says everything he’s learned about food and health can be summed up in seven words: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” He goes on to say, “Eat food: means to eat real food – vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and yes, fish and meat.” Pollan also suggest avoiding what he calls “edible food-like substances.” He also has food rules and my favorites are “Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food” and “Don’t eat anything with more than five ingredients or ingredients you can’t pronounce.” I am eating the real food diet and encourage you to try it, too. Enjoy this summer’s

what’s new in supplements? Noni Juice Superfruit, Burdock and Gotu Kola Capsules from Now Dynamic Health’s Nopal Gold Cactus Juice Thompson Calm & Focused For Kids   

what’s new in body care? Dr. Wood’s Facial Cleanser Zion Health Clay Brite Toothpaste JR Watkins Hand Soaps

rm 306 · Vaughn Library Ashland Wi (715) 373-5491 · (715) 209-1485

Pureline Tongue Cleaners Aloe 80 Shampoo & Conditioner

fresh produce and support your local farmer.   July brings Katherine Roman to the store. Katherine Roman originally trained at Therapeutic Body Concepts in San Antonio, Texas. While certified in massage therapy in Texas she worked in a variety of spa and clinical settings as well as maintained a private mobile massage practice. Katherine and her husband moved to Ashland in 2006 to start a family and she attended the WITC Therapeutic Massage program to become nationally certified by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB) and licensed in the state of Wisconsin. She has worked to build on her skills as a massage therapist by attending classes and hands-on workshops including neuromuscular, deep tissue, myofacial and craniosacral, prenatal massage, reflexology and Reiki energy work. She has a full-time practice in the Ellis School where she utilizes her skills as a massage therapist to help her clients alleviate pain and maintain their wellness goals. Katherine will be at the store from 2:30 until 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 10, 2013.   For all sports, it is important to eat in a manner which will provide the greatest comfort, safety, and performance possible. Nutritional needs are greatly increased when activity levels are high and physical demands are great. Are you feeling drained after that run? Our August guest is Craig Schowalter and he will be able to answer those sport and performance nutrition

questions from Noon to 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 14, 2013. Craig has a Bachelor of Science degree with graduate research in food chemistry, biochemistry, and nutrition. You may think nutrition sounds stuffy and boring, but Craig makes performance nutrition exciting. Plus, it is essential not only for performance, but for recovery, injury repair, general health, weight management, and wellness.   Thinking about remodeling your home this fall? Our September Wellness Wednesday, Seth Vassar, may be able to help you. Seth Vassar started Wintergreen Remodeling because he wanted to remodel homes in a way he could feel good about. This included creating healthy homes for healthy occupants. He has completed the Environmental Protection Agency’s lead remodeling certification as well as many courses offered at the Midwest Renewable Energy Association. He will be available from 3:00 until 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 11, 2013 to discuss lead paint hazards and precautions, volatile organic compounds present in paints, adhesives and other products, mold and moisture issues, bringing fresh air into a home, and to answer any other questions you may have about remodeling your home safely.   We still need Wellness Wednesday guests for the fall, so if you have a health related business and would like to fill a slot, please let us know. Play safe in the summer sun and take time to smell the flowers.

· THE GRAPEVINE Summer 2013 ✂

We Love OUR


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what’s new in grocery? Ray’s Polish Fire Wheat Free Ginger People Ginger Sesame Marinade Amore Tomato Paste La Tourangelle Black Truffle Oil Bob’s Teff Flour Que Pasa Blue Corn Chips Vermont Real Sticks- 3 Flavors (Meat) Reed’s Kombucha – 3 Flavors Virgil’s Dr. Better Probar Core – 2 Flavors Annie’s Fruit Bites – 2 Flavors Alive & Radiant Foods Kale Krunch Dream Blends Drink - 2 Flavors “Milk” Flax USA – Flax “Milk” – 2 Flavors Mi-Del Chocolate Snaps Glutino Sandwich Cookies Lakewood Organic Prune Juice


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C L I P TO R E D E E M · N a me & mem b er n u m b er m u s t a ppe a r on re v er s e s ide !

MANAGER continued from page 2 loans from any member living in Wisconsin who is interested in supporting the growth and relocation of the Co-op with a loan. This program is good for the Co-op, good for the member making the loan, and since it is a local investment, it helps grow the local economy in a way that will benefit all of our current and future members.   That brings me to the last point of my message for the quarter. We need more members. Having more members helps the Co-op in several ways. One of the ways is that our financial viability is measured by lending institutions and other external parties by the ratio of our debt to our owners’ equity. We know that our debt will increase by about $2 million as a result of the relocation. One of the ways that we can increase our equity is by having new members join and for existing members to become fully vested. Those actions provide us with much needed cash flow through the expansion as well as increasing the equity portion of our balance sheet. Consider talking with friends, relatives, and neighbors about joining the Co-op or consider

giving a $25 membership as a gift. We currently have more than 1900 current and fully vested members. If 10% of us could get one other household to become a member that would add more new members to our roster than we normally get in half a year. One of the benefits of membership is receiving a patronage rebate. The rebates for your purchases during 2012 will be available at the cash registers when you shop beginning sometime in June. All you have to do to get your rebate is shop at the store sometime during the 90 day period that the rebates will be legally available.

Watch your mailbox for a notice as to the official timing of the rebate availability.  Our members are the driving force behind both our mission and our success. The staff and board thank you for supporting your Coop and making “buy local” more than just a catchphrase.  Harold Vanselow, General Manager

CHECK ONLINE! You can get The Grapevine and the Co+Op sales fliers right from our website at:

·The Draw GarD ens LLC·

Waters Edge Nursery a local permaculture nursery specializing in northern climate food producing trees, shrubs, and vines online catalog at: LoCaTeD on oLD CTy K, 4 1/2 miLes off hwy 13 715-779-0155 • Open Sat & Sun 9 am - 5 pm

T H E G R A P E V I N E · w inter 0 8·0 9

PreSRT STd. U.S. Postage PAID DULUTH, MN Permit No. 1003

Change service requested

Store Hours! Monday-Friday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Saturday 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. Sunday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

plug in


If you would like to receive this newsletter via e-mail rather than U.S. Mail, please send an e-mail to, or call Meagan at (715) 682-8251.


215 Chapple Avenue · Ashland, WI 54806

We offer local bread options every day here at the Co-op, including Starlit Kitchen of Bayfield, Third Street Bakery of Duluth, and Coco Bakery of Washburn. from Coco's Monday: Barley, Cranberry Walnut, White Sourdough

Tuesday: Cracked Wheat, Blue Cheese,

Thursday: Whole Wheat Sourdough, Swedish Rye,

Wednesday: Roasted Garlic, Cranberry Walnut, Seedy Bread, White Sourdough

Friday: Cinnamon Raisin, Saturday: Kalamata Olive, Blue Potato Cheddar, Cheese Rosemary, Cranberry Wild Rice, Cranberry Walnut, Cinnamon Raisin White Sourdough Everyday Bread: Others Regularly Harvest Grain, Whole Stocked: Wheat Oatmeal, Lavash, Crostini Baguettes, Foccacia from Starlit Kitchen Monday & Thursday: French Fair Sourdough, Gaia, Blue Horizon Wheat, and a rotating fourth flavor

Get Informed

spread yourword With a quarterly circulation of close to 2,000 families, the Grapevine is a great way to advertise your business to local customers. For rates, or to place an ad, contact Meagan at (715) 682- 8251 or e-mail:

Large: 4.4” x 5.36” $120/issue Medium: 4.4” x 2.6“ $60/issue Small: 2.12” x 2.6” $30/issue One-time $30 set up fee 10% discount for annual contracts

To find out what’s fresh at the Chequamegon Food Co-op, member-owners can submit their email address to outreach@ and subscribe to our weekly e-newsletter, The Sunflower Seed. We also communicate with member-owners through Twitter (@cheqfood) and offer special promotions through our Facebook page – be sure to “Like” us!

The Grapevine - Summer 2013  

Chequamegon Food Co-op's quarterly newsletter