It's time to get all the ingredients together for your Thanksgiving feast. Thanksgiving is now a week away. A couple hundred people will enjoy all the trimmings with a special theme.
Andy Krieger's crops are just coming into season. He says, "Our crops come on, really mid-November, right at this time for Thanksgiving all the way through the Christmas season and the new year."
He grows produce like carrots, squash and greens at E. Krieger Greenhouse in Boone during the off season. He says, "We're able to offer a few vegetables and a few greens that people don't have access to and a lot of the farmers can't produce during the off season because we're growing them in the greenhouse."
He's one of 125 farmers who sell locally grown goods through the Iowa Food Coop. Communications Coordinator Jennifer A. Miller says, "The Iowa Food Coop basically operates like an online farmers market."
Farmers list what they have to sell online. Shoppers buy what they want and pick up one to two times a month at various locations throughout the year. The Iowa Food Coop currently has about 800 members and many pledged to have a local thanksgiving. Miller says, "If we had 1,000 people spend around $50, buy $50 worth of local food, that would have generated about $50,000 into the local food economy and into Iowa farmers' pockets."
Members didn't quite meet the goal for Thanksgiving, but more than two hundred people did take the pledge, which brought in a record $19,000 in sales this selling cycle. She says, "We had several people buy turkeys, some people bought capons, some people bought big beef roasts."
Iowa Food Coop leaders hope to continue the momentum through the holidays encouraging people to take a pledge to buy local this Christmas. Miller says, "Think about what they might want to give as a gift as a local gift: we have candy, pies."
Krieger says selling through the Iowa Food Coop provides a little extra income for what is normally his slow time of year. He says, "It also has an impact, I think, on the general area, knowing we do have good products here. We have good producers here, we have good producers here to produce them, and we know it and we grow it."
An Iowa Food Coop membership is typically a one-time $50 refundable fee. But, you can now sign up for a six month free trial membership. Click here for more information.