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Aryn Henning Nichols / editor & designer
From the Editor
Benji Nichols / logistics & advertising sales
We couldn’t do it without: Kristine Jepsen / contributor Sara Friedl-Putnam / contributor Maggie Sonnek / contributor Sara Walters / contributor The Driftless Food Guide is published annually by Inspire(d) Media, LLC, 412 Oak Street, Decorah, Iowa, 52101. This issue is Volume 1 / 2018 Copyright 2018 by Inspire(d) Media, LLC.
Write US Want to make a comment about something you read in the Guide? Email email@example.com. Interested in advertising? Contact Benji at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 563-379-6315.
Hi friends! Aryn here from Inspire(d) Magazine. Welcome to the first-ever Driftless Food Guide! Let me tell you a little more about what we’ve got going on here: For the past six years, we’ve collaborated with the Iowa State Extension and partners on a fourpage food guide that we produced as an insert in the Summer Inspire(d). This year, though, they handed the print guide off to us… and we expanded it into the publication you’re holding in your hands! (Yay!) At the heart of this publication are the stories of farmers, producers, restaurant-owners, cooks, beerbrewers, wine-makers, spirit-distillers and other foodie-type entrepreneurs who are busy at work, making the Driftless so amazing – and tasty! There’s something utterly magical about biting into a freshly picked fruit or vegetable, drinking a locally made brew, or tucking into a just-baked pie. You can taste the love, the family history, the hard work that went into it. We created the Driftless Food Guide to help you learn a little more about the people behind that hard work, and so that you may be inspired (woot, woot), to make your food local this year. Supporting local businesses directly invests in your community, and building communities is one of the most important things you can do in this life. Plus, you’ve gotta eat. You may as well make it fun and delicious...and make it count! Looking forward,
Visit us online: iloveinspired.com driftlessfood.com
Aryn Henning Nichols
20 22 04
Got a great story? We’d love to hear more! There’s a finite amount of space in each Driftless Food Guide (DFG), but luckily we’ll make a new one each year. We can’t guarantee we’ll write every story we’re pitched, but can promise to learn more about and listen to your ideas!
Missed the ad deadline? Darn, we didn’t get you in this year! No worries! We’ll make another DFG in 2019. Head on over to driftlessfood.com for more information about advertising or getting listed in the Local Producer Directory (see that on page 29).
Enter the code inspiredbacon at checkout for a free pack of bacon jerky with purchase!
Adventure in the
What’s the Driftless, you ask? The Driftless Region COME Region is a section of HAVE FUN! Minnesota, Wisconsin, WISCONSIN ROCHESTER Northeast Iowa, and WINONA Northwest Illinois that LA CROSSE FUN! was never glaciated – i.e. LANESBORO PRESTON flattened out by glaciers – MINNESOTA HARMONY SPRING GROVE VIROQUA thus lacking glacial “drift” LANSING CRESCO (Driftless). It’s lucky for us, OSAGE DECORAH WAUKON because we get soaring PRAIRIE DU CHIEN POSTVILLE bluffs, deep valleys, and MCGREGOR GUNDER WEST UNION interesting Karst topography ELKADER to enjoy and adventure GUTTENBERG iowa upon. The scenery has attracted some awesome COMMUNITY folks to the region, and we just love to write their stories! We mainly cover our tri-state section of the Drifltess area, pictured here.
Inspire(d) Magazine Driftless Region
missionmeats.co HANDCRAFTED IN DECORAH, IOWA
Photo by Erik Dutcher
34 SINCERE THANKS! We appreciate all the support from the folks at Iowa State Extension and Iowa Food Hub as we launched this first Driftless Food Guide. Even though they’re not behind the print guide any longer, they are up to some cool projects, like an online-only listings directory. Any farm or local food business in the Driftless can be listed as long as they grow, produce, sell or distribute farm-identified products. There is a one-time listing fee. Go to iowafreshfood.com and click on “Get Listed” under the About Us page for more information.
Open 7 Days A Week 207 College Dr. • 563-380-3610 • pulpitrockbrewing.net iloveinspired.com . Driftless Food Guide \ 2018
“We value the support of our members and community partners like Decorah Bank to further promote both physical and ﬁscal health for all who come here.” -David Lester, General Manager
Empty Nest Winery
Like us for details!
Wine Fresh Sangria Slushies 10 Taps of Hard Ciders & Craft Beer
Outside & Inside seating! Great Venue for your next event!
Hours: Sat 10-5 & Sun 1-5 + Fridays 4-9 pm May-Oct Hot Food Buffet May through October – Friday nights 5-8 pm & Saturdays 11-2 pm. Menu at emptynestwinery.com or Facebook
May 25-28: Memorial weekend Luau Party Friday 4 to 9 pm; Sat/Sun/Mon 11 am to 5 pm Live Music on Patio Sunday 1 to 4 pm. No cover Hot Food Buffet all 4 days - Release Summer Wines June 1: Release Dragonly Dreams Wine July 6: Release Summer Splash Wine July 27: Release White Lace Wine July 28: Murder Mystery Dinner Theater Advance tickets on Eventbrite August 3: Release Pink Splendor & Parrothead Paradise Wines Aug 31-Sept 3: Labor Day weekend Friday 4 to 9 pm; Sat/Sun/Mon 11 am to 5 pm Live Music on Patio Sunday 1 to 4 pm. No cover Hot Food Buffet all 4 days - Release Fall Wines October 5-7: 5th Annual Wining with the Arts Local Artists, Wine, Beer, and Food. No cover
emptynestwinery.com 563-568-2758 1253 Apple Rd. Waukon, Iowa
armers Markets are one of the best parts of the week, in our opinion! A stroll amid the vivid colors of in season fruits and vegetables, baked goods, wonderfully crafted wares, and the promise of delicious, healthy food for your table is a delightful way to spend some time. Find a market near you, and enjoy this special time in your community! Markets are generally in season May through September or October. Check your local market’s website or social media for details. P.S. If we missed a market, please let us know for next year! Maiden Rock / Off Hwy 35 Saturday 9am-12pm
Chester City Park Thursday, 1-4pm
Platteville Market / City Park Saturday, 7am-12pm
Cresco 2nd St & 1st Ave, Grube’s N. Lot Tues, 2-5:30pm / Fri, 2-5:30pm
Prairie du Chien Lucky Park, 312 W. Blackhawk Ave Saturday, 8 am - 1 pm
Decorah – Winneshiek Market City Lot behind Oneota Coop Wednesday, 3-6pm / Saturday, 8-11am
Stockholm Stroll & Big Arts Happy Hour Second Friday each month, 4-7pm
Dubuque - City Hall Farmers Market Iowa St from 10th St to 14th St Saturday, 7am-noon
Viroqua Farmers Market Western Technical College Lot Saturday 8am-12:30pm
(Dubuque) Millwork Night Market 7th - 9th on Jackson St 2nd Thurs of month, 5-9pm
Chatfield Farmers Market Downtown Chatfield Saturday 8am-12pm
Edgewood / City Park Friday, 2-5pm Elgin Town & Country Market Elgin City Park Thursday, 4:30-6pm Elkader / Keystone Bridge City Park Saturday, 9am-noon Fayette Open Air Market 305 W. Water St Shelter Wednesday, 3-5pm Fredericksburg / Washington Ave Wednesday, 3-5pm Garnavillo / City Park Saturday, 8:30-11am Guttenberg River Park Drive - City Park Saturday, 8am-noon Harpers Ferry / Church Parking Lot Friday, 5-7pm Lansing / Main Street Plaza Saturday, 9am-noon
New Albin / City Park Friday, 3-6pm
Goodview / Elk’s Lodge Parking lot Thursday 3-6:30pm
New Hampton / Car Quest Lot Thursdays, 4-6pm
Harmony Amish Market Country Lodge Motel Saturday 9am-5pm
Oelwein City Lot - 110 E. Charles St Monday, 3-6 pm, Friday, 8-11am Protivin - City Park Wednesday, 2:30-5:30 pm Riceville / 203 Main Street (Hwy 9) Saturday, 9-11:30 am Strawberry Point / Inger Park Wednesday, 4-6 pm Volga / City Park Friday, 4-6 pm Waukon Farmers Market Fairgrounds Monday, 3:30-5:30pm
Lime Springs - Brown Park Saturdays, 9am-noon
Ferryville Market in the Park Saturday, 9 am - 3 pm
Marquette Driftless Wetlands Centre Friday, 4-7pm
Gays Mills / Lions Club Park Wednesday, 2-6 pm
Monona / Gateway Park Wednesday, 3-6pm
La Crosse – Cameron Park Market Between 4th and 5th St, La Crosse Fri 4pm-dusk / Sat 8am – 1pm
Lake City – Market by the Lake Ohuta Beach Park Thursday 5-8pm Lanesboro Farmers Market Sylvan Park, Lanesboro Saturdays 9am-12pm Mabel Simple Living Market Highways 44 & 52 Saturday 9am-1pm Preston Farmers Market Trailhead Inn Parking Lot Friday 11am-2pm Red Wing / Train Depot, Levee St Saturday 8am-1pm Rochester / 4th St SE & 4th Ave SE Saturday 7:30am-12pm Wabasha / Main St & Alleghany Ave Sat 9am-12pm / Wed 3-7pm Winona Farmers Market Corner of 2nd & Main Sat 7:30am – 12pm, Wed 2-6pm Driftless Food Guide \ 2018
Make it to
market! Tip: Go early if you have specific needs. Popular items sell out fast.
you’ve never been to a market, it can be a bit daunting: Stalls bursting with food so fresh it’s still covered in dirt, music and entertainment, sometimes there’s even arts and crafts in the mix. For all you market first-timers, or for anyone unsure of how to act at a farmers market, check out these tried and true tips to help make the most of fresh local food this season.
What to bring: • Reusable bags. Most farmers will have plastic bags, but bringing your own bag helps them keep costs down, plus it’s good for the environment. • Cash/change. Sometimes folks can take cards, but cash is king (and kind). • A cooler, if you’re planning to purchase dairy or meat and have a distance to drive.
Less Miles CAN equal Less Dollars! • Farmers are often able to sell their items at a more affordable cost because they’ve cut out the middleman, there are few transportation and outside labor costs, or grocery store mark-ups. Sweet! Besides fruits & veggies, you might find: Coffee, soup, flowers, herbs, entertainment, advice, new foods, meats, baked goods, crafts, jewelry, preserves, honey, cheese, eggs, oh my!
Canoe Creek Produce Farmers Market CSA Decorah, IA
Local Organic Flowers!
Choose from a wide variety of vegetables, herbs, and flowers. For more details visit our website at: www.canoecreekproduce.com Questions or ready to sign up? email us at: email@example.com
or call: 563-382-4899 08
Driftless Food Guide/ 2018 . driftlessfood.com
We provide beautiful arrangements for graduations, reunions, fundraisers, and weddings! Check out pictures on Facebook or our website... Call or email if you are interested.
Make it an eventit’s so fun!
Questions to ask: • What is this? How do I use this? Farmers often sell unique produce, and are more than willing to talk to you. They’ll give advice to use it, the specific flavors it can offer, and how to store it. • Are you here every week? If you find you enjoy a farmer’s wares, ask if they’ll be back, and if they’ll have more of your favorite items. Sometimes they will even hold specific items for you. • Tell me about your operation. Talking about the farms the food comes from is a great way for you to get to know your farmers, and to know your food. • What is new today? What do you think will be ready next week? No one knows more about what’s in season and what’ll be coming up than the farmers who grow the food. Community-supported agriculture (CSA) If you can’t make it to the farmer’s market, there is still a way for you to enjoy local foods direct from the farmer through CommunitySupported Agriculture (CSA). In a CSA, typically, you pay a set amount up front, and receive wares packaged by the farmer based on what’s fresh and what’s ready weekly or bi-weekly. CSA’s are another great way to try new foods and support local farmers
Love to get out and explore food fun? Then add these events to your calendar: Viroqua Special Night Markets – June 20, July 18, Aug 15, Sept 19 A community celebration! A place for vendors, artists, food carts, games, twinkling lights, and a beer garden all in Eckhart Park. www. facebook.com/viroquafarmersmarket/ Nordic Fest – July 26-28, 2018 It wouldn’t be Nordic Fest without food! Varme Pølse, vaffles, lefse, oh my! Buy sweet treats and savory snacks from the many food vendors located up and down Water Street, attend Norwegian Dinner, and don’t forget to visit Decorah’s great restaurants. nordicfest.com 2018 Northeast Iowa Farm Crawl Sat, Sept 29, 10am-5pm; Sun, Sept 30, 1-5pm Learn how local farmers grow your food and manage their farms on this self-guided tour. You might even find fun kids’ activities and local foods to buy and cook up for dinner! Head over to facebook. com/visitiowa/ events page for more information. 12th Annual Bike (or Bus) the Barns – Sun, Sept 16, 2018 Enjoy a day biking or busing to local farms to support neighbors, community, farmers, and local economies. The event features area CSA farms, farm fresh local food, craft libations, and live music. www.csacoalition.org/bike-the-barns FEAST Local Foods Marketplace Festival – Sat, Dec 1, 2018 More than 100 growers and artisans from the Upper Midwest are showcased at this annual event at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester, Minnesota. The public is invited to shop, enjoy cooking demos and activities for children, and more. Head there hungry and bring the family! Admission is $2 for children and $5 for adults with an optional fee for wine, beer and hard cider tasting. More info at local-feast.org
Patchwork Green Farm Erik Sessions and Sara Peterson (563)387-0837 patchworkgreen.com
Find us at the Decorah Farmers' Market from June-October. CSA Market Shares now available.
Find us at the Winneshiek Farmers Market & Cedar Rapids Downtown Farmers Market
Humble Hands Harvest CSA farm serving Decorah, Harmony, & Rochester
humblehandsharvest.com • firstname.lastname@example.org
MAY - OCTOBER 4-8 PM OPEN FRIDAYS
WOOD FIRED PIZZA. LOCAL BEER. COMMUNITY. PASTURED MEAT. GLAMPING
3012 Middle Sattre Rd, Decorah, IA . lunavalleyfarm.com
nettle valley farm
SPRING GROVE ❋ MINNESOTA
❦ Heritage breed pigs ❦ Certiﬁed organic feed ❦ Rotationally grazed
iloveinspired.com . Driftless Food Guide \ 2018
Come on Meet Me At The Hotel
104 East Water Street 10
Driftless Food Guide/ 2018 . driftlessfood.com
get hoppy B
eer has played a large part in the economy of the Driftless Region for well over a century, and while it’s fun to make a historical nod to Gotlieb Heileman and Old Style of La Crosse’s yesteryear, it’s also worth noting that his notion of producing great local beer and keeping it regional (no joke) has come full circle in today’s craft beer scene. (It’s also worth noting that G. Heileman’s wife, Johanna, became not only the first female head of a brewery in the US, but likely one of the first female CEOs in America – but that’s another story!) These days, there’s no denying the impact that is woven into our region’s economy through beer tourism and the amazing crew of craft brewers in the Driftless. Decorah’s Toppling Goliath has built a national name on both their mega-hopped IPAs as well as their incredibly nuanced barrel aged So many great places to enjoy a craft brew! IOWA 7Hills Brewing Company Dubuque www.7hillsbrew.com
stouts that have garnered them much national and international praise. Regional mainstays like Pearl Street Brewery in La Crosse continue to reach farther out while still supporting local community efforts and projects. Meanwhile microbreweries like Forager (Rochester) and Pulpit Rock Brewing (Decorah) keep cranking out fantastic, creative batches of everything from unique wild fermented brews to “pastry stouts” and beyond. Throw in even smaller micro-producers like the cute-as-abutton Karst Brewing (Fountain, MN), and Turning Water’s Back Alley Brewing (Wabasha) as well as new kids on the block like PIVO Brewery (Calmar, IA), and Island City (Winona), and you can see why folks would want to come check it all out. The best part is that every one of these places has smart, passionate folks brewing beer and wanting to share it – so enjoy the journey – and the destinations (but don’t forget your designated driver)!
Driftless Brewing Co. Soldiers Grove www.facebook.com/ DriftlessBrewingCompany
Forager Brewing Company Rochester www.foragerbrewery.com
Hillsboro Brewing Co. Hillsboro hillsborobrewingcompany.com
Karst Brewing Fountain www.karstbrewed.com
Pearl Street Brewing La Crosse. www.pearlstreetbrewery.com
Reads Landing Brewing Co. Reads Landing. www.rlbrewingco.com
PIVO Brewery Calmar www.pivoblepta.com
Skeleton Crew Brew Onalaska www.skeletoncrewbrew.com
Red Wing Brewery Red Wing www.redwingbrewing.com
Pulpit Rock Brewery Decorah www.pulpitrockbrewing.net
Turtle Stack Brewery La Crosse. www.turtlestackbrewery.com
Turning Waters Back Alley Brewing Co., Wabasha www.turningwatersbrewing.com
Toppling Goliath Brewing Decorah www.tgbrews.com
Two Beagles Brewpub Onalaska www.twobeaglesbrewpub.com
Jubeck New World Brewing Dubuque www.jubeckbrewing.com
DECORAH, IOWA Wed-Th: 11-7 pm Fri-Sat: 11-9 pm Sun: 11-6 pm 563.419.8049 email@example.com
Island City Brewing Co. Winona www.islandcitybrew.com
Potosi Brewery Potosi. www.potosibrewery.com
Franklin Street Brewing Co. Manchester www.franklinstreetbrewing.com
117 W. DAY SPRING LANE
Katie Prochaska & Mike Bollinger
We specialize in Farm Direct Wholesale. Interested in getting our produce for your business? Please contact us at:
Certified Organic. Local. Soil Grown
iloveinspired.com . Driftless Food Guide \ 2018
At La Crosse Distilling Co. we source our water locally from the region's glacial aquifers, seek only the finest organic ingredients and obsess over every detail; making each of our spirits a unique expression of a particular place, a farmer’s passion and our careful work. Join us at our new geothermal powered distillery and tasting room where Genuine Wisconsin Spirit is captured in every sip. OPENING AUGUST 2018 • DOWNTOWN LA CROSSE, WI www.lacrossedistilling.co
Driftless Food Guide/ 2018 . driftlessfood.com
e c i l S A of
BY MAGGIE SONNEK
GROWING COMMUNITY AT PIZZA FARMS ACROSS THE DRIFTLESS
ention the term ‘pizza farm’ outside of the Midwest and you might be met with a quizzical look. But here in the Driftless, these agricultural treasures have become a seasonal staple.
LUNA VALLEY photo by Aryn Henning Nichols
photo by Aryn Henning Nichols
A TO Z PRODUCE & BAKERY
or a couple of nights a week, a family farm is transformed into a pizza cookout, encouraging visitors to enjoy some of the farm’s freshest crops while dining al fresco, on blankets spread out under a big rural sky (or cozied up in a barn, should it rain). Maren Beard, of Decorah’s Luna Valley Farm – one of the newest to the Driftless pizza farm scene (read about them on the next page!) – paints the picture: “While you wait for your pizza (which in the summer may take over an hour), experience the beauty of the valley, reconnect with old friends, and greet the farm animals as you walk around field roads and pastures. Wander back to the barn where you can watch pizzas cooking in the wood fired oven (one of them is yours!), then bring your pizza over to your picnic blanket, which just happens to be next to a few friends, and crack open the box. When you take your first bite, you just might think to yourself, ‘Now that’s how food is supposed to taste.’” Indeed, pizza farms provide an idyllic dining experience, and as an added bonus, customers are given the rare opportunity to see food at its simplest, freshest form. There are multiple benefits – beyond the obvious – to the farmers as well. Not only is it a great way to supplement income during this trying agriculture climate, pizza nights can help ease some of the biggest challenges for farmers: perishable products and delivery. Rather than rushing to get fresh produce to the customer’s table, pizza nights bring the customer to the table (or blanket)…right at the farm. While the five pizza farms we featured here all differ from one another, they all have (at least) one thing in common: a deep connection to the land and community. 14
Driftless Food Guide/ 2018 . driftlessfood.com
A to Z Produce and Bakery
N2956 Anker Ln., Stockholm, WI Owners: Ted Fisher and Robbi Bannen Season: May 1 – October Tuesdays, 4:30-8 pm House favorite: Any of the pesto options atozproduceandbakery.com When Ted Fisher and Robbi Bannen, owners of A to Z Produce and Bakery in Stockholm, Wisconsin, fired up their brick oven for their very first pizza 20 years ago, they looked out at their farm. Scattered about were mostly friends and family, lots of them from the area; all with a connection to farm life. Today, though, Robbi says the demographic has changed dramatically. Most travel long distances, often from larger cities, to slow down – if only for a night. A to Z is so popular, two-hour waits for the bubbly, Neopolitan-style pizza are not unusual – and often part of the fun! “People long for connection. And there’s no greater connection than the land,” says Robbi. “I don’t expect people to come here yearning for that verbally and mentally. But real work and real dirt under your feet is grounding.” The husband and wife team are familiar with that work and dirt. They cut the wood for their oven, grind the grain for their flour, and mix the dough for their bread – mainly because they enjoy the process, and it culminates in their offerings: CSA. Pizza. Bread. All “made where it’s grown since 1998.” When it comes to pizza farms, many consider Ted and Robbi the founders of the movement, though Robbi says she got the idea from a farm in Iowa that used a brick oven in a small commercial kitchen. “We didn’t have a scheme or a plan,” she says. “We just had a crazy passion to be more connected to food.”
AMAZING LOCAL FOOD • LUNCH • DINNER • DRINKS
THE STONE BARN
The Stone Barn
S685 Co Rd KK, Nelson, WI Owners: Matt & Marcy Smith, Amber Smith, & Anne Magratten Season: May 18 – October Fridays, 5-9 pm; Saturdays, 4-9 pm; Sundays, 12-8 pm House favorite: Alaskan Pizza – Smoked salmon, onions, dill and capers on a cream cheese base facebook.com/thenelsonstonebarn
photos courtesy The Stone Barn
During the school year, Matt and Marcy Smith, owners of The Stone Barn, teach at the local high school. But come May, they trade in their curriculum for chefs’ knives. They bought the farm, land, and residence two years ago after the original owners – friends of theirs – moved to Arizona. But they’re not new to the scene; Matt spent his summers cooking in the Stone Barn kitchen while Marcy bartended. But now, as owners, they say it’s been exciting to see their new venture come alive. They serve up rectangular, Italianstyle thin crust pizzas, cut into squares. “People are everywhere, sitting on blankets, walking around,” says Marcy. “It’s just surreal.” On site, there’s an old granary store that sells Stone Barn-branded apparel, local artwork and pottery, and homemade maple syrup, and on another part of their property is a fully renovated barn for weddings and special events.
120 WASHINGTON ST DECORAH, IOWA
563-382-3067 RESERVATIONS APPRECIATED
Prairie’s Edge Farm Retail and wholesale cuts of beef and lamb
Grass-fed, finished on home-grown grain. Because happy tastes better! At the Winneshiek Farmers Market or fresh from the farm all year.
Blossom Hill Orchard and Farm
645 US 52, Preston, MN Owners: Hillary and Dane Diede Season: May 18 – September 1 Saturdays, 5-9 pm House favorite: Mad Farmer Pizza – Goat cheese, arugula and kale facebook.com/blossomhillorchardandfarm
photos courtesy Blossom Hill
While it was a dream to start a pizza farm eventually, Blossom Hill Orchard and Farm owners Hillary and Dane Diede decided to focus on developing their apple orchard first. And then disaster struck. They lost an entire apple crop due to an early frost. “It was devastating,” says Hillary. “But, I think it pushed us to do what we had a passion for: preparing food for others.” (Continued)
118 Washington St. Decorah, Iowa
www.prairiesedgeiowa.com. firstname.lastname@example.org. 563- 605-1336
Single origin pour overs. Nitro Cold Brew. Bulk Coffee. iloveinspired.com . Driftless Food Guide \ 2018
While they’re still cultivating their apple crop, they’ve fallen in love with the pizza farm enterprise. Hillary, a classically-trained chef, uses whatever ingredients Dane grows. “When it comes to creating a menu, our BLOSSOM HILL offerings are always seasonal,” Hillary says. “We’re not serving anything that’s out of season.” Besides crafting the pizzas, Hillary also runs the Shop at Blossom Hill, where she sells delicious pies (not of the pizza variety), rolls, other baked goods, and more. The Shop is open to the public in the spring, summer and fall, everyday except Mondays.
photo by Silver Moon Photography
Luna Valley Farm
3012 Middle Sattre Rd, Decorah, IA Owners: Maren and Tom Beard Season: May 4 – October Fridays, 4-8 pm House favorite: Iowa Margherita – Margherita pizza topped with locally-sourced sausage lunavalleyfarm.com
SUNCREST GARDENS Suncrest GARDENS Farm
S2257 Yaeger Valley Rd, Cochrane, WI Owners: Heather Seacrist Season: May 4 – September Fridays, 4-8:30 pm; Saturdays, 4-8:30 pm House favorite: Last year, Heather served rhubarb salsa to people as they waited. While it’s not pizza, it was a crowd favorite. suncrestgardensfarm.com
photos courtesy Suncrest Gardens
When Heather Seacrist left her childhood home and dairy farm for college, she vowed her farming days were over. Now, she laughs at that thought. “The root of agriculture was in me. I liked working with the land. I liked knowing where my food came from.” Today, she’s the owner of Suncrest Gardens Farm, located in the Wisconsin Yeager Valley, where she and her family raise a handful of sheep, pigs, and host pizza nights in season. She says offering a pizza farm has been a hugely gratifying experience. “It’s a labor of love,” says Heather, whose husband runs a dairy farm just down the road. “So much work goes into each and every pizza. To be able to see it – and the ingredients – in the finished product…that’s a very satisfying moment.” Heather has worked hard to make Suncrest a family-friendly place to enjoy a night out. Live music, yard games, a small petting zoo, and a playground area keep visitors of all ages happy. Campfires are often lit at dusk, and s’mores are welcome! 16
“We get a little excited about good food and community,” says Maren Beard, co-owner of Luna Valley Farm just outside of Decorah, Iowa. “We love bringing people together over good food, especially when we can share ingredients we’ve grown here at Luna Valley Farm.” Maren and Tom Beard bought their 133-acre certified organic farm five years ago. And while they love tilling the land, raising cattle, pigs, and sheep, and growing corn and soybeans, they were burdened by the debt they were shouldering. “We started brainstorming ideas that could help,” says Maren. “We both have a passion for food and community. We love hosting dinner parties. Then, we saw this pizza farm enterprise. We were both like, bingo! This is what we’ve been searching for.” Using Tom’s skills as a farmer and chef, and Maren’s passion for sustainable food systems and food procurement, they kicked off their pizza farm in 2017. And, happily, folks headed on out to the country to try their artisan pizza, resulting in sell-out nights on more than one occasion. “Decorah is community-minded,” says Maren. “People care about local food and small farms. Right from the beginning, we knew the community would have our back.” This year, Tom and Maren are introducing glamping (glamour camping). A 12 x 14’ tent, nestled in an Oak Savanna hillside, will feature a king-sized bed and whimsical lanterns. In the morning, glampers will get to enjoy a breakfast basket and coffee on a private patio overlooking the farm. Visiting these pizza farms? Let us know! #driftlessfoodguide
Driftless Food Guide/ 2018 . driftlessfood.com
If you’re new to pizza farms,
here are some tips and ideas to get you started: • Bring your own blanket or lawn chairs. Some farms have limited tables, but don’t count on it. Check the pizza farm’s website to see if you need to bring in plates, silverware, garbage bags, etc. You can generally bring salads, snacks, dessert, and sometimes non-alcoholic beverages (although many farms work really hard to offer amazing beverages and/ or appetizers, so if you’re short on time or want to further support the venture, hooray!). Some farms do allow you to bring in alcohol, others don’t (or state laws prohibit it). Again, call or check the website. • Remember this is someone’s home. Be respectful of the guidelines regarding open spaces, animals, recycling, and waste (sometimes you’ll need to carry out your own garbage, etc). • You’re in the country, so often your cell phone will not work. Enjoy this lack of connection by finding a new connection: to your friends, family, and the land. • While many pizza farms accept credit cards, it’s helpful to bring cash. Less credit card fees for small businesses means more money supporting the community! • If you plan to come with a group of 20 or more, please let the pizza farms know so they can accommodate your large group.
Maggie Sonnek, wife & mom of three, cannot wait for summer. She plans to sip iced coffee outside, take walks to the park & explore these pizza farms. (Maybe even Glamping at Luna Valley). Head over to millcitycreativempls.com to learn more about Maggie’s work & her blog spotlighting entrepreneurial women (including a beekeeper and alpaca farmer).
• The wait time for pizzas can be long, especially in July and August. Bring a deck of cards, a book, or a yard game, if you’d like. • Additional helpful tips: Bring a headlamp or flashlight in case it gets dark while you were having fun on the farm. Assume all fences are electric. It’s best to leave your pets at home.
IA COOP BULK ITEMS ARE GREAT TO FILL IN A CHEESE BOARD
LOCAL love WI CAESARS WAS VOTED BEST HAND STRETCHED STRING CHEESE AT THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP CHEESE CONTEST
WAVING GRAINS SOUR DOUGH
IA HIGHLANDVILLE HONEY DRIZZLED ON TOP OF ORGANIC VALLEY FETA. WI YUM.
KYMAR ACREâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S PEPPER JAM IS SO GREAT!
Putting together a local cheese board is fun and easy! We had a blast not only sharing the foods with friends, but sharing the stories of the farmers and producers behind them. 18
Driftless Food Guide/ 2018 . iloveinspired.com
IA PRAIRIE BREEZE IS AN INSPIRE(D) FAVE!
PICK BLUEBERRIES THIS SUMMER WI AT ECKER’S!
CAPRA NERA CONTADINA MN
VALLEY FISH & CHEESE AMAZING SMOKED FLAVOR
YOU’VE GOT TO TRY THESE!
IA KYMAR PICKLED BEETS
IA RIVER ROOT FARM MICRO GREENS ARE SO TASTY!
IA TWO WORDS: BACON JERKY. WE LOVE THIS SNACK FROM MISSION MEATS
IA WE’RE BIG FANS OF YELLOW RIVER DAIRY’S PEPPERCORN GOAT CHEESE LOG
PHOTO BY ARYN HENNING NICHOLS
Photos courtesy Capra Nera Creamery
BY KRISTINE JEPSEN
apra nera” means “black goat” in Italian, a language Katie Bonow, founder of Capra Nera Creamery, speaks fairly fluently because of a major in Italian studies and two stints as a WWOOF volunteer in Italy (World-Wide Opportunities in Organic Farming). “It’s definitely a play on ‘black sheep,’” she says. “I guess I’ve always been a little different.” But don’t let Katie fool you: Italian goat cheese might be a bit unexpected in her neighborhood of Scandinavian heritage, but
Driftless Food Guide/ 2018 . driftlessfood.com
Katie’s success making it and building a treasured brand around her six-stall goat-milking parlor is not surprising for anyone who knows her. Katie (pictured at left) grew up milking dairy cows with her parents, Larry and Sharon Wiste, near Black Hammer, Minnesota, and won her first goat, Blossom, at age 12. She wanted one badly enough to write the winning essay for a contest held by her Houston County 4-H club. Blossom was Nubian, a breed known for its small stature and the high fat content of its milk. Katie bred Blossom and her descendants with Alpine, Saanen, and Lamancha bucks, favoring the hardiness of ‘hybrid vigor’ and a more balanced milk profile. “Fat equals flavor, and protein equals cheese volume,” she says. “I wanted neither too much nor too little of each.” Female goats, or does, as they’re called, give birth – on average – to twin kids each year, although sometimes it’s triplets and quadruplets. Katie quickly had plenty of production on her hands. “Wistes don’t ‘waste’ anything, you know,” she says with a chuckle, referring to her dad’s ability to repair anything with the barest of materials, and her mother’s prodigious knowledge of canning and other homesteading skills. So, Katie started making simple fresh cheeses like feta, then advanced her craft through workshops and farm internships, including the Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese. Today, Capra Nera Creamery produces Contadina cheese and limited edition Italian seasonal varieties like rosemary asiago. The Contadina, a hard cheese Katie says tastes like “cheddar crossed with Parmesan,” is available year-round in a variety of locations across the Driftless (see sidebar for details). All her cheese – 1,500 pounds of it a year! – comes from Katie’s 25 goats, which produce milk once a day March through December. All the milking happens in a 1970s cow parlor that Katie and her husband, Ryan, retrofitted for goats. Katie processes 30 gallons of milk into cheese every other day on average, a frequency that keeps the milk fresh – and not ‘goaty’ tasting. She is known for wheels of masterful hard cheeses weighing four to eight pounds, aged at 50-55 degrees for 60 days or more.
Producing cheese on the farm, in an insulated room adjacent to her milking facilities, preserves the integrity of the raw milk. When milk is picked up by truck and transported to a central processing facility – the industry standard with cow’s milk – it gets pushed and pulled through lots of pumps, then sloshed around in the truck’s tank in transport. “Goat milk contains three short-chain fatty acids that are susceptible to oxidation – and more of them than in cow’s milk,” she explains. Making the final product (cheese), without handling the milk too much mechanically, keeps these fatty acid chains from breaking apart, preserving its natural rich flavor. There’s something to be said for the care and handling of these short-eared pasture-fed goats, too. (Katie likes the nubby ears of the Lamancha genetics.) She’s always mindful of the relationship between her goats’ health and the quality of milk they produce. The Capra Nera Instagram feed (@capra_nera_creamery) is full of cuddly baby goat pictures, videos of mama goats standing placidly in their milking stanchions, milk pump chugging in the background, and funny clips of goats being goats, romping on pasture. And each year, the goats get named according to a theme. There’s a Jackie O. and a Lady Bird Johnson from the season of presidential debate. And there’s a Dorothy and a Toto from the year they chose names from The Wizard of Oz. This year, Capra Nera’s logo holds babies have names from treasured a story, too: It’s based on a picture of Katie moving her children’s books, like Laura (Ingalls does – on leashes – down the Wilder) and Jessie and Violet from road to a local schoolhouse The Boxcar Children. plot, where she pastured them In February 2017, Katie and Ryan to mow down the grass. welcomed their first human kid, Oren (not named according to a theme), who has been known to come along for chores in a baby carrier. For now, Katie can still reach around him to tend to the goats, but she looks forward to the day that he takes up some farm venture of his own – if he wants to. “‘There are some who can live without wild things and some who cannot,’” Katie quotes from A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold. An avid reader, Katie says she revisits the book each year. “Here’s hoping that Oren is the latter.”
Bluff Country Co-op We know good food.
Fresh Daily! 8 am to 8 pm
Juice Bar Salad Bar Hot Bar Grab & Go! 121 W 2nd St Winona, MN 55987
Once upon a time, Kristine Jepsen milked a ‘house cow,’ skimmed the cream and made butter. But this foray into dairying with her family’s Jersey cow, named No. 12, failed to produce any good cheese. These days you’ll find Kristine writing for literary journals (more at kristinejepsen.com) and in the cheese aisle of Red’s IGA in Spring Grove, buying up Contadina.
Find Capra Nera CHEESE Look for Capra Nera folks in person at Meadowfest, a weekend-long market hosted by Seven Bridges Pottery in Houston, Minnesota, each June. Find Capra Nera product a growing number of groceries across the Driftless: Coops in Rochester, Winona, and La Crosse; Hy-Vee in Winona; Forager Brewing Company in Rochester; Lunds & Byerlys stores in the Twin Cities; and Katie’s hometown grocery store, Red’s IGA in Spring Grove, Minnesota.
iloveinspired.com . Driftless Food Guide \ 2018
STORY & PHOTOS BY ARYN HENNING NICHOLS
ork hard and do good work. These are values instilled in Anna Herzmann and Mari Holthaus, two of the six kids of Lee and Kathy Newman. They grew up north of Mable, Minnesota, where the whole family did just that: worked hard, helping out around the house and tending to large gardens “There wasn’t an option,” Anna says. “We had to grow our own food so there was enough to eat.” So it wasn’t a huge jump when Mari and her husband, Kyle Holthaus, began operating their 15-acre farm, Kymar Acres (a combination of their two first names), near Waukon, Iowa, in 1998.
The Kymar Acres pies are amazing – our favorite is blueberry (pictured here). Not too sweet, the perfect texture, and a nice flakey crust – using lard, of course, and made from scratch by Anna Herzmann.
Say hi at a Farmers Market! Winneshiek Farmers Market, Decorah Harpers Ferry Farmers Market Marquette Farmers Market Waukon Farmers Market kymaracres.com 22
“Mari would rather talk to plants than people,” Anna laughs. In the past two decades, Kymar has gone from growing a one-acre garden and raising sows, to their current five acres of vegetables and herbs, and a small flock of laying hens. Kymar Acres is GAP certified. In addition to farming, Mari is a CPA, and Kyle works Windridge Implements in Decorah. Anna self-purportedly acts as a “bouncer” for Mari during tax season. “I field the calls and handle emails and social media things,” she says. (And does interviews with magazines, ha!) At Kymar, it’s a family affair, just like when they were growing up. Kyle and Mari’s son, Teddy, joined the farm – and the world – in 2001. Teddy helps in the gardens – they harvest everything by hand except for the potatoes – and tends chickens. And now, since he’s 16 and can drive, he handles the Harpers Ferry farmers market all on his own. Daughter Violet came into the world in 2003. Now 15, she also helps with weeding and picking, and at farmers markets. Anna’s been working with her sister and Kyle since 2008 – a decade now. As sisters do, they can sometimes bicker, but the pros still outweigh the cons. “Of course, we are sisters!” Anna says with another laugh. “But I always say, ‘It’s way better than having a ‘real’ job!’” Anna makes the baked goods and candies from scratch, plus washes and packages vegetables, and goes to the four other markets Kymar frequents. Baked goods and canned or frozen items – all grown at Kymar – are all processed in the “galley” – what they call their commercial kitchen, built on-site in 2013. Called the galley to keep Teddy and Violet from getting it confused with the house kitchen, it is a licensed food production facility. It’s where Anna makes the crusts and fillings for pies and turnovers as well. “75 percent of the fruit we use comes from us,” Anna says. “The rest we source as locally as possible. We get apples from Peake’s Orchards – they’re just a few miles away.” Mari has been making tasty Kymar jams since they began – even before the galley – and the jams have always been in high demand (the red raspberry hot pepper is a best seller). You can find those and other pickled items in a handful of retail locations or by ordering directly from Kymar. They’ve shipped cases of jam as far as California. Find Kymar ACRES items at Northeast Iowa retailers:
Sparrow’s, Decorah Unionland Feed & Supply, West Union Iowa Food Hub, West Union By the Spoonful, McGregor That Iowa Girl, Clarion
At Farmers Markets, they sell their produce, plants, baked goods, and more. And this year, they’re adding an exciting new offering at the Winneshiek Farmers Market: Hot breakfast! They’ll cook on-site, serving up breakfast burritos, fried egg sandwiches, French toast, coffee, lemonade, pies, and turnovers. Every possible ingredient will be from their farm – eggs, homemade bread... Anna’s even trying her hand at making her own tortillas. “We’ll see how that goes,” she says with a wry grin. “Go big or go home, right?” Homemade tortillas or no, the Kymar crew will create something they can be proud of, no matter what. “Above all else,” Anna says. “We’re sticklers for quality. If it’s not good, we start over until it is.”
Offering over 40,000 plants!
108 E. Wilbur St, Hawkeye, Iowa 563.427.5373 • Open daily May - October
12 th ANNUAL
BIKE THE BARNS
Sunday, September 16, 2018
Live music, farm tours, and a spectacular day of biking fueled by gourmet food. Funds raised support Partner Shares, which ensures all families can afford to join a CSA farm.
BUS THE BARNS Enjoy farm tours, gourmet food, on-farm activities, and Same day as Bike the Barns.
live music on a guided bus tour!
Registration Opens in June
WWW.CSACOALITION.ORG/BIKE-THE-BARNS Aryn Henning Nichols was expecting the pickled beets and hot pepper jam to be good, but she didn’t know HOW good! Seriously. Yum.
Photo by Alex Larioza
iloveinspired.com . Driftless Food Guide \ 2018
Photos courtesy Ecker’s Apple Farm
ecker’s apple E
BY SARA WALTERS
cker’s Apple Farm clearly has, well, apples. But there are lesser-known – and equally as tasty – treats to be had at this Trempealeau, Wisconsin orchard too. Jess Ecker and family serve up delicious blueberries, a refreshing assortment of beer, and, of course, those delicious apples. It’s been a labor of love for Jess, who also handles all public relations, human resources and design aspects of the business. Her mom, Mary, owns the farm, while her sister, Sara, functions as the orchard manager. Jess’s husband, Simon, also assists with operations. Together they work hard to make Ecker’s both a wellproducing orchard and a fun Driftless destination. Before the apple season hits in late August, Jess stays extra-busy tending to her 1,000 blueberry plants. In March she was pruning. Early spring, she focuses on getting mulch down, fixing irrigation issues, and fertilizing as she prepares for the mid-season crop in July. Her plants produced 500 pounds of blueberries last year. She’s hoping for 700 pounds in 2018. But this impressive volume of berries didn’t grow overnight. “This is something we’ve done for eight years, but the plants take 24
Driftless Food Guide/ 2018 . driftlessfood.com
a while to mature,” Jess says. “You do have to be patient.” As she waited, watered, and worked, the berry harvest continued to grow. Now visitors to Ecker’s Apple Farm can pick their own blueberries on Saturdays and Sundays in July, paying by weight and enjoying the literal fruit of Ecker’s labor. Jess suggests visitors make a day of it and enjoy summer on the farm, “Come get a beer at the beer garden and pick your own blueberries!” For some, the beer itself is the draw to this eclectic little orchard. Their beer garden, known as Hog’s Back Brew Farm, is essentially a keg in an open field among apple trees, surrounded by the beauty of the Driftless Region. Well, let’s say kegs…Ecker keeps 12 taps rotating and rarely doubles up on offerings. “There are so many great beers that I just keep changing it up,” she says. “We have every style – stouts, porters, IPAs, reds, ambers, ciders.” One that’s particularly special to Jess and her family is the hard cider made from their own apple harvest, comically named Fat Blossom Girls. With the help of a sister orchard, they were able to ferment their own Honeycrisps, Cortlands, and McIntoshes – among other varieties – to create the popular sparkling cider. They debuted it last year, much to customers’ delight. “It was a big hit,” Jess says.
Another Ecker’s favorite is the Saugatuck Brewing Company’s Neapolitan Milk Stout. It’s one of the only beers that she’ll break her own “order one keg” rule for. “It’s so delicious!” she raves. To truly appreciate its tastiness, Jess suggests pairing it with a slice of their signature caramel apple pie. Gourmet caramel – a recipe developed in 1995 by Peter Ecker and made almost daily in season – paired with their own homemade pie, is best washed down with this à la mode, ice cream-inspired beer. With such a bounty of delicious apples to choose from – Ecker’s has 20 different varieties – it’s no wonder they’re turning out equally as yummy baked goods. In addition to the famous pies, caramel apples, and turnovers, soon fudge will be available in the farm’s bakeshop. So, if fruit, beer, and treats are up your alley, Ecker’s is the place to be… especially in October for their annual Hootenanny. 2018 marks the tenth anniversary of this event. “What started as a friendly gettogether of close friends and patrons has exploded into a day packed with bluegrass music, food trucks, and damn good beer,” the Ecker’s team writes on their website. But food and fun is had all throughout the season at Ecker’s Apple Farm, from July’s blueberries to the final pie pickup the day before
Thanksgiving. At Ecker’s, it’s always about the beauty of the region and the bounty of the harvest. Oh and the beer. It’s also about the beer. Sara Walters lives in La Crescent, Minnesota, where she enjoys the the beauty of the Driftless Region with her husband and two young daughters.
VISIT ECKER’S APPLE FARM W27062 State Road 54 35, Trempealeau, WI 54661 608 539-2652. www.eckersapplefarm.com
Situated on the scenic Great River Road in the heart of the Driftless, Ecker’s Apple Farm features stunning views of the old north bank of the mighty Mississippi. Ecker’s also features a John Deere train (the Honeycrisp Express), an apiary, observational beehive, morel mushrooms in the spring, blueberries in the summer, and Wisconsin peaches in the fall. JULY AND AUGUST
Blueberry Picking by Appointment LATE AUGUST THROUGH OCTOBER
10am to 6pm - Monday through Friday 10am to 6pm - Saturday and Sunday NOVEMBER - END OF DAYLIGHT SAVINGS
10am to 5pm - Monday through Friday 10am to 5pm - Saturday and Sunday Final Day of Season: Wednesday before Thanksgiving
ICE CREAM PARLOR
207 Pearl St • Downtown La Crosse, WI www.pearlicecream.com • 608-782-6655
STORY & PHOTOS BY SARA FRIEDL-PUTNAM
re you afraid of bees?” Joel Fassbinder, owner of Highlandville Honey Farm, asks as he approaches a threefoot-high hive outside his home off scenic Old Bridge Road near Decorah, Iowa. Envisioning perhaps a dozen honeybees buzzing inside the hive, I nonchalantly reply, “No.”
Joel gently removes the hot-pink lid to reveal at least five times that many bees flitting and flying across the board that stretches across the length of the hive. I, of course, jump back – admittedly just a little scared. While the bees don’t show much interest in either of us this damp Driftless morning, that’s not always the case, says Joel, who prefers to handle the hives barehanded. He believes the thick sheepskin gloves often worn by handlers can make the bees defensive. “Yes, I’ve been stung a lot, but sometimes there’s no getting around that with an aggressive hive,” he says. “Bee stings are definitely an occupational hazard.” It takes a heavy dose of passion – and at least a dash of daring – to pursue an occupation that’s guaranteed to bring some pain, but Joel has beekeeping in his blood. He was not yet born when his father, Dave, established Yellow River Apiaries in Monona, Iowa, more than 35 years ago. (And his Uncle Bob owns Fassbinder Apiaries in Elgin, Iowa.) “I wasn’t heavily involved growing up,” he says. “But I was always around it, and I was always comfortable being around the bees.” Even as Joel moved away from his hometown to pursue academic goals – a bachelor’s degree in geology at the University of Iowa and a master’s degree in atmospheric science at the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities – beekeeping was never far from his thoughts. He and his wife, Rachel Brummel, were living in Easton, Pennsylvania, where Rachel served on the faculty of Layfayette College, when a faculty position in environmental studies opened up at Luther College in Decorah. Rachel applied, and was hired, in 2014. “We jumped at the chance to move back to the Midwest,” says Joel, whose family also includes daughter June, 7, and son Adrian, 2.
Where local & organic aren’t just a corner of our store, they are the cornerstone of our cooperative business.
FOOD COOPErative decorah, iowa
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everyone can shop
Driftless Food Guide/ 2018 . driftlessfood.com
grocery bulk produce café meat cheese bakery wine/beer supplements body care
no membership required
“And doing so also presented a golden opportunity for me to get into beekeeping, with the help of my dad and my Uncle Bob.” Since 2014, he has produced (give or take) 100 pounds of honey from each of his 100 hives, or about 10,000 pounds a year. Joel’s hives are spread out in eight different locations in Winneshiek and Allamakee counties, with no more than 15 hives per spot. “I keep the number of hives per location fairly limited, as having too many hives can be detrimental to the native population of bees,” he explains. In just a few short years, Joel has earned a reputation for delivering a palate-pleasing product that boasts a rich, golden color and tastes sweet and not the least bit bitter – the result, he says, of harvesting it at the perfect time. “I take my honey from the boxes before the fall flowers, like goldenrod, bloom,” he points out. “The honey that comes after those later-season flowers bloom tends to be darker and more bitter-tasting.” Joel moves the honey from frame to bottle in a large shed located behind the family’s cozy farmhouse. There, an extractor (envision a centrifuge) spins the honey frames and whips out the honey, which then flows into a large metal clarifier tank, where it sits while any impurities float to the top. “I heat my honey to 100 degrees or so, and that makes a big difference,” says Joel. “The honey is less viscous, more liquid, and things separate through gravity.” He harvests it this way to preserve the beneficial antioxidants, minerals, enzymes, and pollen found naturally in honey. “All of the things I want in a job I have found in keeping bees,” Joel says. “I have a flexible schedule, get to solve problems while managing my own business, and have the opportunity to work outside. But most importantly, I get to provide good food for my local community. It feels extremely rewarding to do that.”
Sara Friedl-Putnam wants to thank Joel for sharing a bottle of his delicious golden honey with her; she has enjoyed it on her oatmeal most mornings since visiting his Highlandville Honey Farm in March.
Find Highlandville Honey Highlandville Honey Farm honey is available at the Oneota Co-op and Quillin’s in Decorah. Joel also produces a limited amount of honeycomb. Email email@example.com for details.
Luther Catering food. first & foremost WEDDINGS - BANQUETS - SHOWERS - PARTIES RECEPTIONS - LUNCHEONS - REUNIONS
700 College Drive, Decorah, Iowa 52101 563.387.1463 - firstname.lastname@example.org - luther.catertrax.com
THURSDAYS 5-8PM FRI & SAT 5-9PM
High, Wide & Handsome
Call 563.562.9029 to order. 117 E. Main St. Calmar, IA
Amazing Algerian & American Food Appetizers & Entrees Sandwiches & Salads Vegetarian & Gluten-free Options Delicious Desserts Signature Cocktails Craft & Import Beer & Wine
Elkader, Iowa • 563-245-1992 • scheras.com iloveinspired.com . Driftless Food Guide \ 2018
VALLEY fisH & STORY & PHOTOS BY BENJI NICHOLS
hard to miss the incredible collection of carvings, bird decoys, turtle shells, hand painted signs, and fishing gear outside of Valley Fish & Cheese in downtown Prairie du Chien. Mike Valley’s flat-bottom boat may be parked on the boulevard, if he’s back in from the day’s adventures, and if you’re lucky, you’ll also catch the sweet, sweet smell of slow burning hickory rising from the smoke house. On any given day, Mike will have been out early to check an assortment of nets, traps, or runs for local game like snapping turtle, or Mississippi River fish including carp, perch, catfish, buffalo fish, and more. He’s the fourth generation of his family to fish the Mississippi, although in his grandparents’ day, it was commercial fishing. “In 1980, I had an auction in Harper’s Ferry and sold out all of our commercial fishing gear, everything – I went into sign painting full time. In 1982 I opened a small market over in Marquette, and in 1983 we moved to Prairie,” he says. “And I realized at that point in time that although the wholesale end of river fishing was done, we could still do something unique in retail.” Mike has made quite a name for the Valley Fish & Cheese outpost on Highway 18. House made catfish bologna? Yep. Perch strips? Mmhhmm. Frog legs? No problem. Snapping turtle Jerky? It’s a winner. “You’ve gotta think off the block – I’ve always said we sell things Wal-Mart don’t,” says Mike, with a wry half smile on his face. Being a proud river rat isn’t just a business for Mike – it’s truly a passion and an inherited way of life. Take his hand-carved bird decoys, an art that was passed down to him by family: 28
Driftless Food Guide/ 2018 . driftlessfood.com
“The decoys were practical for generations – hunting decoys – but around my Dad’s time they became more decorative as well… but I use mine.” he says. “They’re carved to be used.” Mike still hand paints signs for his shop, carves morel mushrooms, and has expanded into a new carving arena – hand carved bird decoy urns (they’re beautiful!). When he’s not busy working at the store or checking nets, you might find him relaxing in a kayak on any number of the region’s rivers – maybe casting for bass, or just pan fishing. You’d be hard up to find anyone more in tune with the Mississippi River. “Fill in – things are filling in at a rapid pace on the river. And the disappearance of carp over the last couple decades – habitat mostly. Yet on the other hand, 30 years ago it was a huge deal to see an eagle, and they’re everywhere now.” And as much as the river has provided for generations of commercial fisherman and river rats, the only constant is change. “Well it’s all kind of coming to an end – in a few years it’ll be gone,” Mike says of the fishing business on the Mississippi. “There’s a few people around, part timers here and there, but most of them are around my age. There might be five of us left right now, and nobody really coming up behind.” Mike turns to the back door. “I still enjoy it though,” he says over his shoulder as he heads out, hickory smoke curling up ahead of him.
Benji Nichols recalls Sunday afternoon rides to Prairie du Chien as a kid – and has never lost his love of river towns, the genuine people who live in them, and smoked fish.
Stop by for some turtle jerky (and more!) Valley Fish & Cheese 304 S Prairie St, Prairie du Chien, WI 608-326-4719. www.valleyfishpdc.com
Farmers / Producers
LOCAL PRODUCER DIRECTORY
Canoe Creek Produce 2912 Manawa Trail, Decorah, IA 563-382-4899. canoecreekproduce.com Canoe Creek Produce is a small certified organic farm producing a wide variety of vegetables, herbs, and cut flowers. Sheep, chickens, and geese are also raised providing meat and eggs. The farm has produce available at the Winneshiek Farmers Market, Oneota Food Coop, and area restaurants. G It’s fresh 2059 Co Rd W14, Calmar, IA 563-379-3951. gitsfresh.com G It’s Fresh is a certified organic produce farm located near Ridgeway, IA started in 2008 by Glen. At G It’s Fresh we are committed to providing healthy, sustainable, certified-organic vegetables to consumers who care about the environment and their well-being. We are at Winneshiek county farmers market on Saturdays. Ask us about bulk produce. Hawkeye Buffalo Ranch 3034 Pembroke Ave, Fredericksburg, IA 563-237-5318. www.hawkeyebuffalo.com Bison meat has less fat than chicken, is high in protien, iron and B12. Feel the difference when you start eating clean meat, feel your heart swell when you support a small family farm. Our animals live on pasture and get the tiniest bit of corn for treats. Our small farm store is open by appointment, and don’t be afraid to ask about delivery.
Destination Farms Country View Dairy 15197 230th St., Hawkeye, IA 563-422-8633. www.countryviewdairy.com At Country View Dairy we make award-winning yogurt right here on the family farm & turn milk straight from our cows into yogurt the same day they are milked. We also have an on-farm store featuring lots of other local products and a viewing window into the creamery. Stop by to try our farm fresh yogurt or flavor of the day frozen yogurt soft-serve.
IOWA Kymar Acres 2168 Winnmakee Rd, Waukon, IA 563-382-0489, www.kymaracres.com A family owned and run sustainable farm since 1998 offering started plants, fresh produce, herbs, eggs, jams, pickles and a variety of baked goods. Find us at five local farmers markets, five retail locations and on the farm (by appt. only). Patchwork Green Farm 3031 Middle Hesper Rd. Decorah, IA 563-387-0837. patchworkgreen.com At PFG, we grow vegetables for our Decorah neighbors. We raise produce chemical-free and with attention to soil and plant health, and our customers relish the clean, beautiful, flavorful, and fresh offerings. You can find us at the Winneshiek Farmer’s Market from June – October, buy a CSA share and purchase produce at the Oneota Coop.
Highlandville Honey Farm 3437 Old Bridge Road, Decorah, IA email@example.com Providing raw honey and comb honey to Decorah and the surrounding area. Made by bees right here in the driftless. Can be purchased at Oneota Food Co-op and Quillin’s in Decorah or for larger quantities contact HHF directly.
River Root Farm 1007 Locust Road, Decorah, IA www.riverrootfarm.com (Local - Organic - Soil Grown) We believe soil is the ‘tablecloth on the banquet of civilization’; and that healthy soil makes healthy food, in turn creating healthy communities. We specialize in farm direct wholesale of seedlings, microgreens, salad greens, herbs, and flowers grown in the rich Driftless soils of Decorah, Iowa.
Jóia Food Farm 2038 March Ave, Charles City, IA 641-228-1583, www.joiafoodfarm.com Jóia Food Farm is a diverse organic grain and livestock farm in Floyd County. We focus on biodiversity, with the sharing of plants and animals working together to create healthy food. We raise slow-food Animal Welfare Approved pigs, sheep and lamb, chicken for eggs and meat, and turkeys. Purchase our products on our website. Delivery is available.
Upper Iowa Organics 2251 Oil Well Road, Decorah, IA www.upperiowaorganics.com Coming summer 2018, locally grown Wagyu beef! Experience the rich, well-marbled grain in a healthier, more delicious pasture raised animal. Upper Iowa Organics also processes and offers large amounts of compost for your growing projects. Please contact us for more information and availability of our products.
Humble Hands Harvest Hidden Falls Road, Decorah IA humblehandsharvest.com Hannah Breckbill and Emily Fagan are your farmers, and we grow organic vegetables, grass-finished lamb, and pastured pigs as we work to craft a perennially abundant and resilient landscape in northeast Iowa. Our food can be found at the Winneshiek Farmers Market and in our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) boxes, so come dig in! Luna Valley Farm (Pizza Farm!) 3012 Middle Sattre Rd, Decorah, IA lunavalleyfarm.com We love bringing people together over good food, especially when we can share ingredients we’ve grown here at Luna Valley Farm. We are open 4-8pm on Fridays from May - October for wood-fired pizza, craft brew and community! Pasture-raised meats available for purchase. Want to linger a little longer? Book one of our platform tents! Peake Orchards Inc. 323 Northline Dr. Waukon, IA 563-419-0449. Peake Orchards on Facebook Peake Ochards is a family run orchard featuring great tree ripened apples! We currently sell about 9 different varieties including: Honeycrisp, Cortland, Haralson, Red Jonagold & many others! Visit our farm stand WEEKENDS and take a hayride through the orchard on Sundays 2 – 4pm. We’re at Winneshiek Farmers Market, starting mid September! Prairie’s Edge Farm 1206 150th Street Castalia, IA 563-605-1336, www.prairiesedgeiowa.com Grass-fed, grain finished beef and lamb from the heart of the Driftless! Retail and wholesale from a half pound to the whole animal. Because Happy Tastes Better!
KDEC FM 100.5 & Good Time Oldies AM 1240
We reap what you sow.
We offer a harvest of thanks.
Destination Farms Cont.
Oneota Slopes Farm 2665 Lannon Hill Road, Decorah, IA www.oneotaslopes.org Christmas Trees plus Gourmet Meats! We sell chemical-free, 100% grass-fed beef and lamb “on the hoof”. This means you need some freezer space, though some of our customers share orders. And our cut-your-own trees are super-fresh, 100% chemicalfree, sustainably grown, and available weekends during the magical season - please come!
High, Wide & Handsome 117 E. Main St. Calmar, IA. 563-562-9029 www.facebook.com/High-Wide-Handsome Looking for an Awesome Pizza Experience? Stop in at our Location or Call 563.562.9029 and order your High, Wide & Handsome Pizza or Wings. We offer Take Away or Take and Bake! Open Thursday 5pm - 8pm and Friday & Saturday 5pm - 9pm. All at High, Wide & Handsome, 117 E. Main St in Calmar, Iowa!
Shrimptastic 15916 Lincoln Rd, Fayette, IA 563-425-3232. www.shrimptasticllc.com We raise Pacific white shrimp in an indoor saltwater operation; free of contaminants & environmentally friendly. Our customers (individuals & restaurants) enjoy our FRESH shrimp year round. Hours are Friday from 1-6 p.m., Saturday from 9-noon, or by appointment (call 563-425-3232). Check the website for availability & sign up for email alerts.
The Irish Shanti 17455 Gunder Rd., Elgin, IA 563-864-9289. thegunderburger.com Closed Mondays, OPEN Tuesdays to Saturdays 10a - 10p, Sundays 11a - 3. Famous for the 20oz Gunderburger and many other gastronomic delights. As for libations, there are many craft beers to tintilize the palate. For the Irish palate, there are many obscure Irish whiskeys to choose from. Only come to the Irish Shanti, if you are radically HUNGRY.
Plants / Garden Supplies K&K Gardens 108 E. Wilbur St. Hawkeye, IA 563-427-5373. www.kkgardens.com Located on the southern edge of Northeast Iowa’s rolling hills in the small community of Hawkeye, Iowa, this retail nursery has been referred to as a “must see” destination for every gardener.
Java John’s Coffeehouse 400 W Water St. Decorah, IA 563-382-5690. javajohnscoffeehouse.com Organic coffee brewed fresh, individually crafted espresso drinks, and fresh baked goods from our own kitchen daily. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner entrees. Fine wine, craft beers, and desserts. Live entertainment weekly. Mon-Thu 6:30am-9pm. Fri-Sat 6:30am-11pm. Sun 6:30am-3pm. The place where Decorah gathers.
Seed Savers Exchange 3074 North Winn Rd Decorah, IA 563.382.5990. seedsavers.org Growing, saving, and sharing heirloom seeds is at the heart of Seed Savers Exchange. Our 890-acre farm and visitors center are often hailed as a “bucket list” stop. Tour lush gardens filled with stories, explore trails and trout streams, and discover heirloom seeds for your garden. Open daily (closed July 4th), 10am5pm + special summer events.
La Rana Bistro 120 Washington St. Decorah IA 563-382-3067, facebook.com/laranabistro La Rana Bistro is a small 40-seat restaurant with the concept of a ‘farm to table’ approach. We are proud to support local farmers for most of our produce and meats and believe in using the highest quality ingredients in our foods. We also have great wines, local beers, & cocktails made with fresh squeezed juices. Lunch & Dinner Monday-Saturday
Restaurants Daly Creek Winery and Bistro 106 N Ford St, Anamosa, IA 319-462-2525, dalycreekwineryandbistro.com Tucked away in historic downtown Anamosa, you will find a welcoming atmosphere, delicious eats, great service, and exceptional company! Come and let the wine tantalize your palate, the cuisine amaze, and satisfy your taste buds every Wednesday - Saturday starting at 11am-9pm!
McCaffreys Dolce Vita 2138 Twin Springs Rd, Decorah, IA 563-382-4723. www.mcdolcevita.com We are a full service restaurant serving wood fired pizza, salads, pastas, hoagies, and nightly specials. Named best pizza in Iowa in 2010 and 2013 by USA Today. Check out our outside seating area with live music on Saturdays during the summer. Brunch on Sundays from 10 am until 1:30 pm. Regular menu Until 8 pm. Stop in and enjoy!
MJ’s Bar & Grill 103 E Center St, Monona IA 563-539-8370 MJ’s open at 11 a.m. 7 days a week. We are best known for our very clean facility, many GLUTEN FREE menu items, and always fresh, not frozen, food. We have daily lunch specials ranging from salads, burgers, pasta, seafood, and pizza. We are handicap accessible. Stop in and see us!! Restauration at Hotel Winneshiek 104 E Water St. Decorah, IA 563-382-1837, www.hotelwinn.com From traditional comfort foods to specialty dishes, Restauration showcases scratch-made, locally-sourced cooking. Serving breakfast, dinner, and Sunday brunch. Rubaiyat 117 W Water St, Decorah, IA 563-382-9463. www.rubaiyatrestaurant.com At Rubaiyat, we feature a seasonal American menu – dishes that reveal our commitment to using the highest quality products, in season, and local when available. Reservations greatly appreciated and highly recommended. Schera’s Algerian-American Restaurant 107 S Main Street, Elkader, IA 563-245-1992, scheras.com Schera’s features Algerian and American cuisine, great vegetarian options, along with a stellar craft beer selection. Located along the Turkey River, Schera’s patio over the river is a favorite place to enjoy a summer evening. Named one of Travel Iowa’s 99 Restaurants to visit in 2018. Current hours, menu, & tap list at scheras.com.
Ice Cream / Cheese WW Homestead Dairy 850 Rossville Road, Waukon, IA 563-568-4950, www.wwhomesteaddairy.com Come visit the Cheese Curd Capital of Iowa! Sample our award winning cheese curds including; White Cheddar, Garlic & Dill or Bloody Mary. If your sweet tooth needs to be satisfied try our homemade premium ice cream, a little Iowa Twister or Purple Cow will brighten your day. All of our products are made in our plant, using only milk from our cows!
Wine, cider and beer & over 100 food makers from IA, MN & WI. Sip, sample & shop in Rochester, MN, December 1, 2018
Driftless Food Guide/ 2018 . driftlessfood.com
IOWA Bakeries Beyond the Bar Bakery 404 West Water St, Decorah IA 563-419-4016. www.beyondthebarbakery.com If you are looking for delicious, made-from-scratch goodies, then look no further! Come in and try our famous One Bite Cakes in one of twelve flavors, or pick out a bar or cookie (or two!) Open 10am-4pm Tuesday thru Friday, and 10am-3pm on Saturdays. We can bake for your parties and gatherings too! Waving Grains Cooperative Bakery 421 W. Water St. Decorah, IA 563-382-4445 Waving Grains Cooperative Bakery is a communityowned business featuring whole grains and certified organic ingredients. Currently, our products are available at Oneota Community Coop and Impact Coffee in Decorah.
Bed & Breakfast / Catering Dug Road Inn 601 W. Main St, Decorah, IA 563-382-9355. dugroadinn.com Dug Road Inn Bed & Breakfast, just blocks from Luther College, is a blend of classic and contemporary style. Our 1860’s Italianate villa features original artwork and custom furnishings in its three guest rooms, two suites and lovely public spaces. Enjoy our signature 3-course breakfast featuring local, organic ingredients. Come stay with us!
Luther Catering 700 College Drive Decorah, IA 563-387-1463. www.luther.edu/dining/catering Luther Catering is an award-winning, culinary wheelhouse supplying the community with diverse and unique, in-house and off-site, catering experiences. With over 60 years of combined fine dining experience, we strive to produce an unparalleled menu that is custom and personalized for you. Let us help you start planning your next event today!
Coffee Impact Coffee 118 Washington St. Decorah, IA 563-419-3141. www.impactcoffee.com Family owned and operated, Impact Coffee offers a full espresso bar, seasonal handcrafted coffee beverages, nitro cold brew and a large selection of high quality loose leaf teas. Stop by our coffee bar for a fresh brewed pour-over and one of our homemade pasties, or visit our online store to have fresh roasted coffee delivered right to your door.
Beer / Wine / Spirits Backwater Spirits & More 117 W. Day Spring Ln, Decorah, IA 563-419-8049. www.facebook.com/gunnypuppy/ Decorah, Iowa’s premier dedicated liquor store offering a carefully curated selection of fine wines, craft beers, exceptional liquors and handmade cigars. Conveniently located downtown on the north side of the Water Street buildings (parking lot). Please check Facebook for current hours, events and updates. Empty Nest Winery 1352 Apple Road, Waukon, IA 563-568-2758, emptynestwinery.com Empty Nest Winery opened 2011 specializing in pure berry & fruit wines, fermenting whole fruit for ‘TRUE TO THE FRUIT’ wine. 2015 reclaimed our century barn in new winery seating 200; provides cozy relaxed fun atmosphere to sit & enjoy a glass of wine, sangria, 10 taps of craft beer & cider. Come taste & feel the difference! Facebook for hours. Madigan Winery 1536 Lily Rd. Lansing, IA 414-559-1003. www.madiganwinery.com Award Winning wines in the heart of Northeast Iowa’s Driftless Area. Our quaint and comfortable tasting room is an 1895 granary. Producer of an International DoubleGold awarded, estate grown dry red. Wines for every taste. Outdoor seating available. Beautiful and bucolic country setting. Open 12-5 Saturdays and Sundays or by appt. PIVO Brewery & Blepta Studios 101 Huber Dr, Calmar IA 563-562-1053. www.pivoblepta.com Hand-crafted beer & beer-crafted art are what you will find in this taproom that feels like home. 40 taps serve up a huge variety of PIVO’s beers and ciders, as well as a few guest taps. Wine & non-alcoholic offerings also available. Family-friendly. HOURS: Oct-March: W-F 2-9, Sat 11-9, Sun 11-6, April-Sept: W-F 2-10, Sat 11-10, Sun 11-6
Pulpit Rock Brewing Co. 207 College Dr. Decorah, IA 563-380-3610. www.pulpitrockbrewing.net Our brewers are always creating fun and innovative brews. The rotating tap list features a wide variety of styles, ranging from refreshing lagers, to rich coffee porters, juicy IPAs, and fruity sours. Relax on the dog friendly patio in the summer or stay warm in the rustic taproom during the winter. M-W 2-10p, Th 12-10p, Fri & Sat 12-11p, Sun 12-8p Toppling Goliath Brewing Co. 1600 Prosperity Rd, Decorah, IA www.tgbrews.com World-renowned brewery with large two story taproom featuring draft, packaged beer, gift store, outdoor bar and patio. Winneshiek Wildberry Winery 1966 337th St, Decorah, IA 563-735-5809. wwwinery.com Winneshiek Wildberry Winery is a family owned and operated winery specializing Midwestern grape and fruit wines. The winery makes its home in an Amish rebuilt barn where you can stop in for a tasting, glass, or bottle of wine year round or from May 1st until October 31st for lunch. We look forward to spending a day in the country with you.
Grocery / Retail Oneota Community Food Co-op 312 West Water St, Decorah, IA oneotacoop.com The Oneota Community Food Co-op is a cooperatively-owned grocery store specializing in organic, local, and sustainably produced products since 1974. For over four decades we have been providing whole foods at a reasonable cost, with an emphasis on organic, local, and bulk foods. Everyone is welcome at the Co-op! Mission Meats Decorah, IA. missionmeats.co Mission Meats strives to provide good food and help foster positive relationships. We source only the finest grass-fed beef for our meat sticks, with 10% of our profits to social good organizations. Our mission began in the Driftless, and reaches across the world. Enter “inspiredbacon” with your first order for a free pack of bacon jerky!
iloveinspired.com . Driftless Food Guide \ 2018
Destination Farms Ecker’s Apple Farm W27062 State Rd. 54 35 Trempealeau, WI 608-539-2652. www.eckersapplefarm.com Our beer garden, Hog’s Back Brew Farm, is open on weekends after July 4th! Ecker’s Apple Farm opens its orchard August 25th for Honeycrisp, U-PICK, caramel apples, and gourmet caramel apple pie. Sip craft beer, listen to live music, and ride the John Deere Train on weekends in Sept and Oct! Honeycrisp Hootenanny - Oct 13, 2018 Wehling Farms & Country Store S764 Jore Rd, Westby, WI 608-393-6227. www.wehlingfarms.com Farmer Danika invites visitors year round to her beautiful organic dairy farm and new on-farm Country Store that has a variety of Meat, Eggs, Dairy Products, Produce, Natural Soaps, Photography and Crafts. New items monthly! Tours are available by request. (608-393-6227) OPEN: Fri-Sun 10am-6pm www.wehlingfarms.com
Plants / Supplies / Compost
Growing For Good 520 E. Terhune St, Viroqua, WI 608-637-8200. www.growingforgood.org Our mission is to nourish beauty, educate the community and cultivate a just and resilient local food system. Our facility has plants year-round, an outdoor garden, and a spring garden center sure to make any gardener happy. We make our own soil, and utilize beneficial insects. We also provide a community compost collection program in Viroqua.
Cowboy David’s Bake Shoppe 207½ South Main Street, Viroqua, WI 608-638-2253. cowboydavidsbakery.com It began with “the best ever” cookie at the Kickapoo Valley Ranch Guest Cabins near La Farge. From The Original™ Double Chocolate Chip Cookie w/ Walnuts, to cupcakes, SuperMuffins™, brownies, scones, & incredible cakes, Cowboy David’s provides hand made treats to the heart of the Driftless. Viroqua store open Tuesday-Sunday. Call for availability!
Beer / Wine / Spirits
The Mint 1810 State St. 608-519-5011 The Root Note 115 4th St S. 608-782-7668 La Crosse, WI. driftmore.com The Mint is a neighborhood craft bar & eatery providing locally sourced, consciously prepared food & craft cocktails. The Root Note, located in the historic downtown La Crosse, offers sustainably sourced food and drink as well, and an eclectic mix of acts & performers ranging from nationally touring acts to local favorites.
La Crosse Distilling Co. 129 Vine St., La Crosse, WI www.lacrossedistilling.co Each of our spirits is a unique expression of a particular place, a farmer’s passion and our careful work. Join us at our new geothermal powered distillery and tasting room where Genuine Wisconsin Spirit is captured in every sip. Opening August 2018.
Ice Cream / Restaurant The Pearl Ice Cream Parlor & Confectionery 207 Pearl Street, La Crosse, WI. www.pearlicecream.com In historic downtown La Crosse, you can’t miss The Pearl, a 1930s style ice cream parlor and confectionery featuring their own homemade, award-winning ice cream, hand-dipped chocolates, nostalgic candies, homemade waffle cones, an espresso bar, and more! You won’t find anything like this without a time machine! For current hours visit them online.
Coffee / Bakery Kickapoo Coffee’s Viroqua Cafe 302 South Main St. Viroqua, WI 608-638-7701. www.kickapoocoffee.com It was a long-time dream to open up a cafe in our beloved hometown of Viroqua, WI. Located on Main Street, it’s a 1940’s gas station turned specialty coffee shop. In addition to our coffee offerings, you’ll discover a teeming bakery case and food menu inspired by the area’s local and organic bounty.
Driftless Food Guide/ 2018 . driftlessfood.com
Lost Island Wine & Skeleton Crew Brew 570 Theater Rd STE 100, Onalaska, WI 715-570-9463. www.lostislandwine.com www.skeletoncrewbrew.com The idea for a tropical themed winery started back in 2011 and that was when Lost Island Wine was born. In 2016 we added Skeleton Crew Brew, our pirate themed nano-brewery. We love going down roads lest traveled so we invite you to stop in, grab a pint or bottle, and GET LOST! Hours Wed-Thu 4-9PM Fri-Sat 12-10PM Sun 12-5PM Vernon Vineyards Winery S3426 Peterson Ln, Viroqua, WI 608-634-6181. VernonVineyards.com 75 Gorgeous Acres, flowing vines and spectacular views. 16 sumptuous wines made from locally grown grapes and WI cranberries. Open all year: Check facebook for seasonal hours. Free wine sampling. Enjoy the gentle sounds of the countryside from our deck or patio, take a stroll between the vines, and “Experience Wine With a View.”
Grocery / Retail
Farmers / Producers
Beer / Wine / Spirits
People’s Food Co-op 315 5th Avenue South, La Crosse, WI 519 1st Avenue SW, Rochester, MN 608-784-5798. 507-289-9061 www.pfc.coop A locally owned natural foods grocery store featuring products from 480 local farmers and producers, fresh and organic produce, made-from-scratch deli, inhouse bakery, full-service meat and seafood, coffee and tea bar, wine, beer and spirits, and a wellness department. Anyone can shop. Everyone is welcome! Open 7 days, 7 am – 10 pm
Capra Nera Creamery 17491 Bethany Dr, Altura, MN facebook.com/CapraNeraCreamery Farmstead goat cheese – Contadina (think tasty cheddar crossed with parm) & limited edition Italian seasonal varieties – by Katie Bonow, made in small batches with milk from her own pastured goats. Find it in Driftless co-ops, Hy-Vee in Winona, Forager in Rochester, Lunds & Byerlys in the Twin Cities, & Red’s IGA in Spring Grove.
Turning Waters Back Alley Brewing Co 136 Bridge Ave, Wabasha, MN www.turningwatersbrewing.com Turning Waters Back Alley Brewing Co is located on the premises of Turning Waters Bed, Breakfast and Adventure in Wabasha, MN. Our small batch brews exhibit real flavors like toasted coconut & almonds to blood oranges added to our IPA. With real ingredients sourced as local as possible, we strive to make your stay in Wabasha memorable.
Nettle Valley Farm PO Box 121, Spring Grove, MN www.NettleValleyFarm.com Our heritage breed pigs feast on diverse pastures & woodlots, certified organic pea & barley feed (corn/ soy free!), & apples, pumpkins & nuts in the fall. NVF pork is beautiful dark red meat that is full of character, flavor & nourishment. Customer-certified & transparent in our practices, email to set up a farm visit! - Dayna Burtness & Nick Nguyen
Rock Filter Distillery 113 Maple Dr, Spring Grove, MN 507-498-7625, rockfilterdistillery.com A small farm distillery in SE Minnesota producing award-winning bourbons and whiskies from our own organic and heirloom grains. Born of farmers, we work the Minnesota land our ancestors settled. The better the soil, the better the ingredients, the better the whiskey. Share it with old friends & drink it with new ones. Today’s drink is tomorrow’s story.
Grocery / Retail
Sweet 16 Farm 21215 State 16, Houston, MN 507-864-2260, sweet16farm.com Sustainability & Community - A destination farm in the heart of Minnesota’s bluff country. At Sweet 16 Farm we grow stunning cut flower bouquets, seasonal produce and fresh hops. We operate a 20hole disc golf course and host two annual events: A Mother’s Day Weekend Starter Plant Sale, and Hop Harvest Fest in August. Open May-October.
Bluff Country Co-op 121 West 2nd St, Winona, MN 507-452-1815. bluff.coop Winona’s community-owned, cooperatively run grocery store and deli. We welcome you to stop in! Good food daily: 8 am - 8 pm.
Wisco Pop! 1201 N Main St #4, Viroqua, WI 608-638-7632. www.wiscopopsoda.com Organic craft soda and sparkles made from scratch with whole ingredients. Look for ginger, cherry, and strawberry soda or ginger, lime, and lemon sparkles (unsweetened) in locations across the Driftless.
Events Bike or Bus the Barns FairShare CSA Coalition 303 S Paterson St Suite 1B Madison, WI 608-226-0300. www.csacoalition.org Bike or Bus the Barns on Sunday, September 16. Tour organic CSA farms in the gorgeous Driftless countryside. Enjoy gourmet farm-fresh meals, live music and fun on-farm activities at each stop. Bikers have two route options (~25 miles, ~60 miles), while bus riders enjoy a full day tour. Proceeds from this charity event benefit fresh food for all!
Coffee / BakerIES
Blue Heron Coffeehouse 162 W 2nd St. Winona, MN 507-452-7020. blueheroncoffeehouse.com Serving organically grown, fair trade coffee and food made from scratch since 1998.
Sno Pac Foods, Inc. 521 Enterprise Drive, Caledonia, MN 507-725-5281, www.snopac.com Sno Pac is a family owned and family operated producer and processor located in Caledonia, Minn. We have been in business since 1943 and strive to bring our customers the best organic fruits and vegetables nature has to offer.
Feast! Local Foods Marketplace The Wired Rooster Coffee Shoppe Mayo Civic Center, Rochester, MN email 131 East Main St., and Caledonia, MNsustainability@luther.edu 507-405-4045. www.local-feast.org 507-725-8199, www.thewiredrooster.com This 5th Annual local foods festival for all ages Small town life, armed with good coffee. The Wired brings together 100+ artisan businesses from Rooster specializes in espresso, coffee, tea, sodas, MN, WI and IA who sample and sell their food, snacks and ice cream. Bagels for breakfast, paninis beer, wine & cider. Also enjoy cooking demos, kids for lunch/dinner, craft beer and wine in the evenings. activities, and vote for your favorite booth for a Trivia nights every other Friday. Free wifi and kid’s chance at a local foods gift basket. Sat, Dec 1, 2018, playroom! Mon.-Wed. 6am-6pm, Thu.-Fri. 6am-9pm, 10am-4pm. Shop 100 local businesses under 1 roof! Sat. 7:30am-9pm, Sun 7:30am-6pm.
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iloveinspired.com . Driftless Food Guide \ 2018
THIS SALAD IS A GO-TO AROUND INSPIRE(D) HQ. WE LOVE THAT YOU CAN PREP THE INGREDIENTS IN ADVANCE, AND IT’S PRETTY ENOUGH TO SERVE TO COMPANY. ADDED BONUS: IT’S VEGAN AS IS, BUT IS ALSO DELICIOUS WITH GRILLED CHICKEN ON TOP. IF YOU ADD THIS TO YOUR SUMMER MENU (YOU SHOULD!), LET US KNOW BY TAGGING US ON INSTAGRAM @ILOVEINSPIRED. HAPPY EATING!
Spring Roll Salad
BY ARYN HENNING NICHOLS Makes 6-8 salads
Notes: I love to prep as much as possible in advance for these salads. So I choose greens/ Ingredients: Base of salad:
1 small head purple cabbage, chopped 1 bunch kale, de-stemmed and chopped 3 carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks 2 red bell peppers, cut into matchsticks
1 C Peanut butter 1/8 C Rice vinegar 3 T Soy sauce 2 T Brown sugar 3 cloves Garlic, minced or pressed 3 t chili paste (sambal oelek) Squeeze of half a lime 3/4 C warm water (more if the sauce needs thinning –it tends to thicken in the fridge) Salt to taste
For on top of the salad: modified from a recipe at abeautifulmess.com
1 box stir-fry rice noodles 1 bunch cilantro 1 bunch basil Salted peanuts
veggies that do well chopped up in advance (it’s tasty with other greens too if you want to change it up or add some on). I cut everything ahead of time, and store the kale and cabbage in separate gallon-sized bags with a damp paper towel in each, and put the carrots and peppers in a storage container. Then when it’s time to make the salads (we usually make two at a time), all we need to do is soak the rice noodles while assembling (you can also make more rice noodles than you need so they’re all ready in the fridge…they’re best fresh, but they’re still good later too).
Here’s the how-to: 1. Soak your rice noodles in hot (not boiling) water 15-30 minutes. I usually do about a quarter-
sized handful when I’m making two salads. Break the noodles up into smaller sections before you soak them – it makes them much easier to eat on the salad! Replace the hot water when it cools. Check periodically, then drain and set aside when they’re just right for you. We like there to be a nice al dente bite to the noodles still. 2. Make peanut sauce/dressing. Combine all ingredients and stir with a fork. It will seem like it’s not going to come together, but don’t worry – it will! Add salt, lime, and more chili paste to taste. Note: This makes a BIG jar of peanut sauce/dressing, because you always need more peanut sauce than you think. You’ll be happy you made extra. 3. Prep all ingredients for the base of the salad (or begin assembling if they’re already prepped.) Put a handful of kale and cabbage in each bowl, then a handful of peppers and carrots. 4. Put a small handful of rice noodles on the salads now. It’s your call on how noodle-y you want these salads to be. This is the point to add chicken too, if you’re doing that. 5. Pour on your dressing. Don’t worry, you can add more later, so use your best judgment. 6. Pick a few leaves of basil and wrap them around several cilantro leaves. Chop (or better yet, use your kitchen scissors to cut them up). Top the salad with these and a handful of peanuts. 7. Revel in the beauty of what you just made for a minute…then eat!
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Wed– Sat: 5 pm - close. Sunday Breakfast + Bloody Mary Bar: 9am-1pm. Reservations appreciated. rubaiyatrestaurant.com
new location, same award winning beer