Fizzeology Taps Ancient Wisdom to Offer Healthy Probiotics

Did you know that fermentation is one of the hottest food trends?Faith Anacker

Fermentation is just as much art as science, and for Faith Anacker, it’s the perfect blend to allow her creativity to intersect with the fruitful harvests of Wisconsin’s driftless region.

Fizzeology Foods is the craft fermentation business that she operates out of Viroqua’s Food Enterprise Center, but Anacker (aka “Dr. Fizz”) is frequently out and about. Her passion for fermented foods leads her all over our region as she looks for opportunities to educate consumers on the techniques and benefits of fermentation. Anacker has offered a series of classes with UW-Richland Center Extension that she hopes to reestablish, and most recently she appeared at Fermentation Fest in Reedsburg, Wisconsin.  

Anacker advises folks to “Go Fermental!” She reminds us that fermented foods are found in all cultures around the world and are a true representation of ancient wisdom. If you need a good Fermentation 101, Anacker can tell that story faster than you can track down the dozens of books on the subject. 

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Dairy Done Right

In 2011, two families from Allamakee County in Northeast Iowa decided the time was right to enter the local food market with dairy products made with milk from their own farms.

Five years later, WW Homestead Dairy is a growing brand in Northeast Iowa, Southeast Minnesota, and Southwest Wisconsin.  


WW Homestead Dairy is owned by Tom Weighner, Paul Weighner, and Tom Walleser. Between the three of them they have over 90 years of experience in the dairy industry. “We work hard to produce dairy products that are natural, have great flavor and taste, and are as fresh as possible,” say the WW Homestead Dairy owners.

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O'Brien's Own Granola

“It’s amazing how far we have come by keeping things simple. We use only the finest ingredients with no preservatives and trade shows like FEAST and local farmer’s markets have been a huge blessing and a catalyst for our growth,” say Rick and Belinda O’Brien of O’Brien’s Own Gourmet Granola.

In October of 2010, the O’Briens perfected a  recipe for their own granola, and soon realized they had a spectacular product.

After a few months, they started producing granola for friends, family and co-workers in their home kitchen, and things quickly grew from there.


“Every day is an adventure and you never know exactly what to expect. That's why it's nice to have a convenient snack available,” the O’Briens say.

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Yellow River Dairy

The folks at Yellow River Dairy in Northeast Iowa are gearing up for Feast!Local Foods Marketplace and will be offering new products to try this year!


In addition to the chevres and other goat cheeses they have offered to Feast!-goers in the past, Yellow River Dairy recently started making feta in plain and basil flavors. Pat Lund, co-owner and co-cheesemaker said they purchased a new cheese vat and an additional cheese press this past summer for their on-farm creamery. This allowed them to diversify their retail product line.

Chevre is a soft cheese packaged in a tub, whereas feta is a block cheese with a longer shelf life. It is drier and saltier.

Yellow River Dairy is proud to announce that their "Sterling Reserve" chevre variety earned a red ribbon in its category at the 2016 American Cheese Society Contest.

To learn more about Yellow River Dairy and their delicious cheeses go to or visit their website at

This is the third year Yellow River Dairy has attended Feast! and event organizers are glad to see them back again!  Visit their booth at the third annual Feast!Local Foods Marketplace festival, Saturday, Dec. 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester, Minnesota.


Extra-ordinary Pies

Pies are pies, right? Not according to Sara Hayden!  Using a little liquor and her mother’s pie crust recipe, Sara’s Tipsy Pies are far from ordinary. Whisky, wine and beer are common ingredients in all of your favorite pies crafted by Sara; however, it is not just the local alcohol that makes these pies unique.


In March of 2014, Sara began the “Pie with a Purpose” campaign to raise funds for the Down Syndrome Association of Minnesota. Partnering with a local brewery, Sara donates the proceeds from her two “give-back pies”, salted caramel apple and maple bacon apple, that are both made with beer from Minneapolis-based Finnegans. The campaign has already been able to donate $2,575 to the association—it’s close to Sara’s heart because her daughter Madi is living with Down Syndrome.   

“Everyone said it would be hard, and no doubt, there are extra worries and concerns with raising a child with special needs. But more than anything, having a child with Down Syndrome has been a joy, because having children is a joy,” shared Sara. “Madi’s diagnosis provided me with new perspectives, ways to love, and a deeper appreciation for the little things.”


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The True Story of True Dough

What do a corporate HR runaway and a full-time high school teacher have in common? They both love pizza night! Sisters Elizabeth Aarness and Rebecca Biederman have turned their love of pizza into a business, selling specialty “healthy” pizza doughs using local, organic food sources.


It all started when the sisters wanted to begin a family tradition of pizza night once a week with their children. However, the high cost of quality pizza or pizza layered in grease did not sound appealing. So the sisters worked together to create their own healthy pizzas at home.

Elizabeth and Rebecca began experimenting with healthy, creative options for the pizza dough. As the sisters started to perfect the pizza doughs, they began to give out their dough as gifts. People enjoyed the dough so much they started placing orders for more.


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FEAST Local Foods Network Wins Food Stewardship Award



Bill Swanson, Lanesboro; Jane Olive, UMN SE Regional Sustainable Development Partnership; Devon Ballinger, Renewing the Countryside (RTC); Brett Olson, RTC; Jan Joannides, RTC; Tim Penny, Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF); Eli Goodwell, RTC; Pam Bishop, SMIF; Neal Cuthbert, The McKnight Foundation

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn., June 20, 2016 - The FEAST Local Foods Network and its partners won the Environmental Initiative Award in the Food Stewardship category on Thursday, May 26. This program, hosted by the nonprofit Environmental Initiative, annually honors projects that have achieved extraordinary outcomes by harnessing the power of partnership.

The FEAST Local Foods Network is a collaborative network across Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin of local foods advocates. The FEAST Network organizes the annual Feast! Local Foods Marketplace. Partners accepting the award included Renewing the Countryside, Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF), University of Minnesota Southeast Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, The McKnight Foundation, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Mayo Clinic and People's Food Co-op. The network was created to support local food producers and foodmakers by boosting access to financing, resources, and peer-to-peer learning opportunities...

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