FEAST! Local Foods SCOOP: February 2019


The Scoop - masthead


Got Local? | Eateries | Fresh & Tasty | Contest Fun! | Who's Fueling FEAST!?


Take heart...there are just 33 days until spring!

Well, okay, that's just what the calendar says. But the good news is that all of this snow should be good for soil moisture, so good for farmers. 
Scroll down to read about some other good things for farmers: bees fostered by Bare Honey, farm-to-table champion Forager Brewery, nutrient-dense microgreens from My Sweet Greens MN, and economic development promoters, Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation. 
And if you need a jolt of spring, check out this countdown clock...

—FEAST! Local Foods Network team members 


Got Local?

Bare Honey

Five-time FEAST! exhibitors, Dustin and Grace Vanasse have worked hard to grow their business, and to promote bee health. They work with farmers to provide safe environments for their bees to forage, and with the U of M's "Bee Squad" to breed bees adapted to surviving Minnesota winters. 

You can find their single-source and spreadable honey products at farmers markets, online, and at many grocery stores in the upper Midwest. (They're in a handful of stores on the east and west coasts, too!)  

Once you try those flavored, spreadable honeys you'll be hooked. Whether it's a tried and true like cinnamon or vanilla, or something more daring like lavender, cocoa or hot & spicy, it's easy to see how they've built a loyal fan base.

The Vanasse family enjoys spending time together doing what they love.

And they remind us, "Family is everything in beekeeping—the beehive is a family in itself."

Bare Honey bees are from an eastern Russian strain!
Learn more about their bees HERE

Follow them on Facebook


Forager Brewery does local with flair


FEAST! fans are likely synonymous with Forager Brewery fans—Forager has based their entire business model on supporting local farms and artisans, and it shows. 

This Rochester brewpup is so much more! Besides using local ingredients in their beer, they also work with over 30 farmers to provide fresh, local ingredients for the kitchen.


They feature their farmer suppliers on their seasonal menu, and since their opening in 2015 they've also hosted "Harvest Dinners" every other Thursday, Spring until Fall, featuring a single farm. Patrons get to hear from those farmers, enjoy 5 courses that utilize their ingredients, and get to know them and their work.

Co-owner Annie Henderson explains that they really work to develop a relationship with their farmer suppliers. "We're hosting our 2nd annual farmer appreciation dinner next week, which allows us to discuss what they're going to grow for us and helps us plan our menus."

Forager's scratch kitchen includes things like house-pulled mozzarella, salmon, bacon and salami that's cured and smoked in-house. Add to that their artisan decor, partnership with Gallery 24 to feature local artists' works, and their Popup Restaurant, a self-contained space they lease to aspiring restauranteurs—they're a thriving hub of all things artisan. And oh, let's not forget the beer!


Pictured: Co-owner and head brewer, Austin Jevne



1005 6th Street NW, Rochester, MN


Fresh & Tasty

My Sweet Greens MN

It's 2019, so, everyone knows about microgreens, right? Super nutritious, grown in soil, older than sprouts and more diverse, and THE gourmet way to garnish just about anything. Agreed?

Dean and Jayne Bredlau started growing the nutrient-rich microgreens in 2016 as a rewarding season extension crop. They quickly discovered the most flavorful blends of seeds, and by 2018 began selling at Farmers Markets. Jayne remembers their first one, in early March, where "we were the only thing 'green' that market day."

Their superfood microgreens are now at four farmers markets May-October, two winter markets, two co-ops, and six Hy-Vee's, not to mention a handful of restaurants. They've attended the FEAST! Local Foods Marketplace for two years, and in 2018 were awarded the FEAST! Most Engaging Booth Award!

Microgreens – items like radish, kale and red cabbage that have not yet hit maturity — reach “microgreen” status when they have their first "true" leaves, usually at 7-21 days of growth. [More on microgreens]


Roasted Broccoli Microgreen Soup
1 head broccoli, cut into small florets
1 large onion, sliced
4 whole garlic cloves, peeled
1 tbsp olive oil
¼ tsp salt
4 c. veg. broth
2 c. microgreens {Sunflower Shoots & Zesty Mix}
3 oz. feta cheese 
1 c. navy beans, canned or cooked
2 tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp chili powder (optional)
3 tbsp sunflower seeds
2 tbsp red or white balsamic vinaigrette
  1. Preheat oven to 425 F and place a rimmed baking sheet in oven as it heats. Toss broccoli, onion and garlic with oil and salt. Spread out on hot baking sheet; roast about 25 min., stirring once.
  2. Place broth, roasted veg, microgreens, feta, beans, lemon juice and chili powder in blender or food processor; blend until smooth.
  3. Serve soup garnished with additional Zesty Mix microgreens and feta, sunflower seeds, and a drizzle of the balsamic vinaigrette.

Treasures at FEAST! 2018


Did you win something at FEAST!, like Clare? 

Clare was the second gift basket winner at the FEAST! festival on Dec. 1, and we're hoping she's enjoyed the local loot!

We loved engaging with some of you this year through our newsletter contests, and look forward to doing more as we get closer and closer to the 6th Annual FEAST! Local Foods Marketplace on Dec. 7, 2019.

If you have a suggestion for a contest, drop us a line...

[email protected]


Who's Fueling FEAST!?

Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation

Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) was one of the founders of the FEAST! Local Foods Network. A donor-supported foundation, SMIF invests for economic growth in the 20 counties of south central and southeastern Minnesota. The Foundation has provided more than $111 million in grants, loans and programming within the region during the past 32 years in the areas of early childhood, community and economic development.
SMIF supports food entrepreneurs in the region with various programs through the FEAST! Network. In addition to the Marketplace event, they facilitate the FEAST! Local Foods Peer Group comprised of about ten regional local foods entrepreneurs that meet at SMIF once a month to share successes and struggles, and learn from technical assistance providers that come as guest speakers. SMIF also supports farm and food entrepreneurs through technical assistance and coaching from the FEAST! Smart Start Program. Last year this program was expanded in the form of a grant, which Region Nine Development Commission and the Cannon River Chapter of the Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota are using to support food entrepreneurs in their communities.

In addition, SMIF supports the Grow a Farmer Fund through the Network by providing lending services to small farmers.

Pictured: Marcia Haley (left), staffing the SMIF booth at FEAST! 2017, where entrepreneur Kelsey Bigby was offered space to demo her fledgling moringa power food business.  

Read more at the SMIF website

The FEAST! Local Foods Marketplace is a production of the FEAST! Local Foods Network, which is always open to new members. Founded by Renewing the Countryside (RTC) and Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF), both the Network and the Marketplace depend on collaboration with partner organizations and individuals.  
The Network supports local food growers and makers by boosting access to financing, peer networking, and sales opportunities. We welcome you to share this newsletter with the buttons below.

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