How We’re Growing Our Ends This Spring

I saw a wooly bear cross the road during a warm day in late February. Will it be an early Spring? Is it climate change? Whatever the reason, I take it as a sign of good fortune and a harbinger of things to come. With the sun getting higher, the days getting longer, and the temps getting warmer, Spring is a time for optimism (and gardening).

Our cooperative shines year-round, and Spring is no exception. This Spring, we bring our Ends to life through support for our local farmers and food system, providing local access to food, social interaction, and environment, and by giving our owners a sense of belonging and voice in how they eat, shop, and live.

With COVID-19 safety measures still in place, our indoor dining area has been seasonally transformed to serve a number of needs. This Spring, the Menomonie Market garden center will occupy the space, giving our owners and patrons access to the seeds, soil, and support they need to grow the perfect garden. Ask around, and there’s no shortage of expertise and opinions on how to do it.

For those whose thumbs are not quite so green, our cooperative carries the best produce in town, right next door to our outstanding Menomonie Farmers Market. Both offer an abundance of locally produced goods. You can’t just stop at one without visiting the other!

Finally, get to know your farmer a little closer by purchasing a share or membership from a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm. At Menomonie Market Food Co-op, selling good food is only part of the equation. To achieve our Ends in a bigger way, we use our voice to make connections between the local farmers who grow and raise food and the people who want it. This Spring, we’ll make an extra effort to get the word out about the CSAs serving the Chippewa Valley and how to connect with them.

From the perspective of the board of directors, we couldn’t be more pleased with the impact we’re having in our community. As we’ve grown, we’ve never forgotten our roots. For Menomonie Market Food Co-op, our growth is a means to better achieve our Ends. Enjoy our gateway to gardening. Our celebration of Spring begins now.

What’s my favorite thing to grow? Cowpeas, garlic, buttery wax beans, and ever-changing varieties of winter squash.

This article was originally published in the March/April 2021 issue of our bi-monthly newsletter, The Morsel. If you’d like to read more stories like this one and stay up to date on the latest co-op news and events, pick up a print copy in-store on your next grocery run or find more news on our website here.

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