July 2015

By: Loris Sofia Gregory, Healthy Kitchen & Home Coach, Apple Valley, MN, Guest Blogger *The local items listed in this blog post are subject to limited daily availability July gifts us with a healthy abundance of flavorful fresh produce: the crisp nutrient-packed greens of basil, broccoli, cabbage, cilantro, cucumbers, dark leafy greens, garlic scapes, parsley and zucchini; the succulent yellows, reds and oranges of beets, berries, carrots, melons, radishes, romaine and summer squashes; and the captivating earthy rainbow of heirloom tomatoes. Satisfying summer meals and optimum health are not the only benefits of eating a rainbow of FRESH & LOCAL produce. When we buy local, we help our local farm families earn a living, which in turn preserves farmland around us. Buying fresh local food also supports our local economy and saves money through minimizing and eliminating processing, packaging, marketing and transportation costs.

Here's a sneak peek of the new logo! Soon we will be unveiling a fresh, new look for Valley Natural Foods. Large visual changes are in progress now through August including removal of existing vinyl graphics and a fresh coat of paint. Project goal: The goal of the project is to make things clearer and easier to find in the store. Fresh Values Our values haven’t changed, but you’ll see some changes in our appearance to better reflect our values, as well as the quality of the products we offer to our customers. Project Steps We talked to staff members and owners and collected a consensus for what Valley Natural Foods really “looks” like. Did you know we were originally organized by a group of families looking for healthy food? Keeping in mind the history and the mission of the business along with feedback we developed

Greetings! Many of you are asking about the metallic brown/black beetles that are all over your bean plants, roses and grapevines. These are the much despised Japanese Beetles, and they are everywhere. [caption id="attachment_23585" align="aligncenter" width="347"] Japanese Beetle. Too bad they can’t just be earrings.[/caption] Earlier in the spring, I was really hopeful we wouldn’t see too many of them because I didn’t find too many JB grubs in the ground. (Their grubs are the white ones with the orange faces.) They over-winter underground and start to emerge late June-mid July where they start a gluttonous party that would put the revelers of Dionysus to shame. [caption id="attachment_23586" align="alignnone" width="230"] Dionysus. Like the Japanese Beetles, he’s got your garden by the grapes.[/caption] JB’s will notoriously go after just about anything edible, and even some things that aren’t. Gardener chat sites are filled with discussions about them, any

Well it’s officially summer! It’s the season most Minnesotans wait for all year long. We keep the memories of it tucked in our parka pockets as we make it through those twenty-below days the other half of the year. It’s our reward for, well, surviving what could be the reality show called “Cabin Fever: Extreme Edition.” (You heard it here first.) Summer is here, and the earth is green, and flowers are blooming and the first harvest of lettuce, spinach, scapes, strawberries and even currents are gracing our tables and tummies. Here at Valley Natural Foods, our gardens are bursting forth with life. We have an assortment of gorgeous flowers blooming in our central perennial garden. (On display now are Peonies, Yarrow, Daisies, Columbine, and Baptisia.) In our leased out co-op gardens we can see the beginnings of what looks to be a