Green Pages » May/June ‘14

The New Eau Claire Farmers Market

Back in 1980, a few small producers, hoping to find a way to sell fresh produce, founded the first farmers market in the Eau Claire area–the Eau Claire Farmers Market. Their dream was to have a sustainable summer and fall market and provide fresh produce directly to consumers.

Since the market started, there have been many changes and additions to locations. We have seen the Downtown Farmers Market branch off, providing accessibility to fresh goods throughout the downtown area. Still, the market stayed open, and producers fought to keep the waning stream of customers even up until last year. During the 2013 season, the Eau Claire Farmers Market could be found at The Oakwood Mall on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

However, a move was in the air–the market was noticing a decline in customers visiting the mall area. Discussion amongst market vendors grew to concern as we spoke up and suggested that perhaps it was time to revamp the market and form a new board of directors who were committed to making the market the best it has been in thirty years.

This January 2014, a new board took the reins, consisting of Chairperson Galen Klisiewicz, Vice Chairperson Mark Loer, Treasurer Pat Matthews, and Secretary Amy Powis. By the end of January, we had improved the by-laws and secured a brand-new location.

Because of the new and dedicated board and our new location, 2014 promises to be a banner year for the oldest farmers market in Eau Claire. We have expanded our market to three days and not one but with two new locations. The details: Tuesdays & Saturdays, 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Gordy’s on East Hamilton Avenue in Eau Claire and Wednesdays, 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Gordy’s on Birch Street in Eau Claire.

We can now serve Eau Claire better by offering fresh produce, fruits, vegetables, pickled salsas and relishes, organic-fed meats, handcrafted farmstead items, cheeses, and freshly baked items in not one, but two, locations in Eau Claire. We also worked to make our by-laws more inclusive to not only locally grown produce but local businesses hoping to make an impact on the community. We welcome any local small business owner looking for a direct-to-consumer outlet to join us this season.

With the tremendous help of Gordy’s, we will settle into our new market spaces beginning June 14. The Eau Claire Farmers Market will continue through the summer and into fall until October 18.

If you have never enjoyed our market before, we suggest you make your way over to Gordy’s starting in June. It is a wonderful place to find all your favorite locally produced items. Vendors and customers can find more information and applications at www.eauclairefarmersmarket.com. Look for us on Twitter and Facebook as well.

Eau Claire Farmers Market: It’s good for your health, good for the community, and good for the environment. Join us in 2014 for a fantastic place to enjoy everything you love about growers and small businesses in the Eau Claire area!

Mike’s e-Bikes Brings Green Biking Transportation to Eau Claire!

When Mike Kelly left the military service, he brought with him the conviction to continue serving his country, protecting its resources, and helping develop eco-friendly technologies. While working on an invention, he came across the new high-tech electric bicycle (e-bikes). With the hilly topography, a young professional population who would enjoy riding bikes effortlessly to work (and maintaining a professional work hygiene), and an aging population who enjoys riding bikes yet need assistance, Kelly sees this as a needed form of transportation in the Chippewa Valley.

Kelly is proud to introduce this innovative way of travel by opening Mike’s e-Bikes, LLC at 431 Water Street on April 1, just before the riding season’s official opening. Mike’s e-Bikes will be the only exclusive brick-and-mortar e-bike dealer in the Chippewa Valley, Western Wisconsin, and Central Wisconsin. Kelly has a strong passion for green energy and has spent the last few years investing in green technology, including solar panels for his household, a hybrid car for longer distance transportation, and the development of his own e-bike for shorter commutes. He has a strong desire to educate others about the importance of efficiently using existing resources and has been involved with many historic building renovations and green projects in the Chippewa Valley.

As a retired combat veteran, Kelly has developed a high aptitude for and working knowledge of electronics, engineering, and mechanical design. He is committed to assisting and hiring other veterans who share similar backgrounds, values, and service and who are looking for a way to transition back into civilian life.

E-bikes are one of the most efficient modes of transportation. In comparison to walking or traditional biking, they allow a rider to travel faster and farther while expending less energy. They produce zero emissions and are an inexpensive green alternative for getting about town.

The e-bike is a great solution for individuals who want inexpensive, healthy, and fun transportation, without the sweat. For commuters, the elderly, or those physically unable to ride traditional bikes, e-bikes can be the difference between dread and delight. E-bikes provide a pain-free and low-cost alternative to cars for running errands.

To learn more about Mike’s e-Bikes, you can access Kelly’s website at www.mikes-e-bikes.com or call Kelly at 715-577-5429.

Green Pages » Mar./Apr. ‘14

Camp Memories Begin Here

Wisconsin Farmers Union’s Kamp Kenwood is located along beautiful Lake Wissota near Chippewa Falls, making it the ideal spot for youth from all across the Midwest to come together, have fun, and learn.

The camp, built in the 1940s, was the vision of Wisconsin Farmers Union President Ken Hones who advocated for leadership training for farm boys and girls, believing that education was the cornerstone of a better future for rural communities. Farmers Union members from across the state donated time and treasure to build a summer camp where youth could come together to have fun and learn. Named after the visionary who inspired this work, Kamp Kenwood’s 23 acres feature rustic cabins, hiking trails, sandy beaches, and a dining/activities lodge. Generations of families have spent time each summer at Kamp Kenwood.

Kamp Kenwood is not just for farm kids. All children are welcome. Our affordable overnight camps are for young people from rural and urban areas to enjoy a summer camp program with a focus on cooperation and leadership. Kamp Kenwood is a great place to make friends, have fun, and learn about cooperation, family farms, social justice, leadership, and sustainability.  Activities include hiking, campfires, swimming, sports, singing, and drama, speakers, workshops, co-op games, theme nights, and arts and crafts.

Just as they have for generations, Wisconsin Farmers Union Summer Youth Camps promise a summer experience that kids won’t forget!

We hope you’ll join us this year!

For camp dates, rates, and more information, visit www.wisconsinfarmersunion.com/farmers_union_youth or call 800-272-5531.

Young Farmers Camp: Connecting Children to Their Food

How many times have you coaxed, bribed, or attempted to sneak more vegetables into your family’s diet? There is an easier way to entice appetites toward healthier choices. Develop a connection to your food. Through a series of workshops designed for children ages 8–11, Katydid Ranch, near Fall Creek, Wisconsin, is connecting children to the food they eat and making eating vegetables fun. Budding young farmers will explore their relationship to food and nature while planting seeds, preparing soil, caring for animals, and learning basic cooking skills.

Whitney Coleman, owner of Katydid Ranch and author of Plant Grow Eat Thrive: Connecting Families to Their Food (release date June 2014), says her passion to teach healthy agricultural practices was sparked twenty years ago as a Peace Corps volunteer in Africa. “I saw an incredible transformation in students who, for the first time, felt confident in their knowledge and skills growing the food that would eventually feed their families. The benefits of connecting to your food source are universal.”

Multiple studies support the benefits of this type of program. The Journal of the American Dietetic Association reported higher levels of vegetable consumption, vitamin C, vitamin A, and fiber intake in children receiving nutrition education through a school gardening program compared to those receiving classroom-only education (Volume 107, Issue 4, 662–665, “Garden-Based Nutrition Education Affects Fruit and Vegetable Consumption in Sixth-Grade Adolescents”). Whitney says, “Gardening is also a great physical activity, builds confidence, and teaches useful skills.”

The workshop series begins Saturday, April 12 with a Planting Party and continues through August. To enroll your child in this educational and transformative experience, visit www.KatydidRanch.com and click on YOUNG FARMERS.

Voyaging Vet & Tech Services (VVTS)

Voyaging Vet & Tech Services (VVTS) is a doctor of veterinary medicine and certified veterinary technician team that is bringing back the old fashioned “house call.” Dr. Erin Weiss and Patrice Anderson, CVT, operate a mobile, small animal veterinary practice that provides veterinary care where your pet is most comfortable, in YOUR HOME! Having VVTS come to your house means less stress for you and your pet—and you save on gas, too! Our services include wellness exams, vaccinations, blood testing, hospice care, and home euthanasia. We also offer puppy and kitten packages for your new little one, and a Friendly Neighbor Discount for people scheduling appointments for the same day their neighbor does! Voyaging Vet & Tech Services strives to provide the personal touch and the highest quality veterinary care, based on what YOUR individual needs are. During our appointments, Dr. Erin and Patrice take the time to find out about you and your pet. They will work WITH you to decide what is the best medical plan.  Voyaging Vet & Tech Services will make every effort to make your pet’s veterinary care as pleasant as it can be. Give us a call at 715-861-4676!

Green Pages » Jan./Feb. ‘14

Empower Your Life with Meditation at the Christine Center

Meditation is ancient wisdom practice for today. Found at the heart of all the great religions, it’s a spiritual practice that helps us grow into our full potential. Regular practice brings many benefits that can make us feel better, more relaxed, hopeful, and better able to handle our lives. Meditation is now accepted as having a highly therapeutic effect and is recommended by mental health workers for stress reduction and to gain more self-awareness.

The Christine Center for Meditation offers retreats for meditation from both East and West.

Western or Christian Meditation is considered a way of prayer that goes beyond reducing symptoms to a deeper level of healing. According to the World Community of Christian Meditation, “In the silence of meditation we begin to know in the depths of our being that we are loved and accepted, that we are held by a gentle power, which transcends fear and can never leave us.”

The two most common forms of Eastern or Buddhist meditation are Mindfulness of Breathing to achieve deep calm and inner peace and Loving Kindness Meditation to make positive changes in our lives and be more accepting and forgiving of ourselves and others.

However your journey is inspired and informed, at the Christine Center we’re here to support your inner and outer transformation: work drawing you toward your essence and growth of soul.

In addition to various meditation retreats offered throughout the year, we also offer art and writing as contemplative practice, yoga, Jungian dream work, sacred dance, and many other programs for personal growth. We offer a three-year certificate program, Spiritual Deepening for Global Transformation. You can come alone to experience the transformative power of a personal retreat or bring a group of friends, family, or coworkers for get-togethers or meetings.

Stay in a hermitage in the woods or in our guest house. Eat home-cooked meals, full of life, and made with love or prepare your own food. You’ll find a beautiful chapel and meditation hall. Our guests note the hospitality as warm and generous; the atmosphere: peaceful, rich, restful, transforming, or life-affirming. We offer support for your inner work. The art studio, the bookstore, and library may be just what you need. Hike or cross-country ski the trails through the 120 acres of woodlands.

Awesome times! These days in which we live and stretch ourselves to the tasks of love and service are an amazing opportunity, where we learn the power of sitting still in meditation, of engaging in soulful creativity, and of focusing our energies for the good of all.

We invite you to come, be in the moment, confident that “just to be is a blessing.”

The Christine Center. W8303 Mann Road, Willard, WI 54493. Call for more information and to register at 800-366-7507 or 715-267-7507. Email at christinecenter@tds.net. Visit www.christinecenter.org.

Healing Energy through Art and Color Erin Designs, LLC

Color can stimulate, relax, or change your mood. Focusing on how color affects us from the inside or higher-self is another way to think of and view color. Certain colors can stimulate an inner knowing of who you are and can amp up your energy level.

On the premise that we are all made of energy and there are seven main colors, think of the colors in a rainbow, which are part of an energy system called chakras. Each color is assigned to an energy center within our body. When our life/bodies are not in balance, it is said that we have energy blocks and dis-ease can result. Through art, color, and intension, healing is possible!  By understanding the chakras and associated colors, you can be inspired to wake up to the beautiful and colorful life you are meant to have. Embracing and loving who you are. To make this world a better place to live.

1st Chakra – Root – Red – I AM Grounded
I nurture my body with clean food and water, exercise, and relaxation.

2nd Chakra – Sacral – Orange – I AM Passionate
I experience the present moment through my all senses.

3rd Chakra – Solar Plexus – Orange – I AM Authentic
I express myself in a powerful way to manifest my hopes and dreams.

4th Chakra – Heart – Green – I AM Loving
All Love resides within my heart.

5th Chakra – Throat – Sky Blue – I AM Strong
With spoken word, I express my truth with ease.

6th Chakra – Third Eye – Indigo – I AM Enlightened
I am wise, intuitive, and connected with my Inner Guide.

7th Chakra – Crown – Violet – I AM Oneness
I connect with the wisdom of the Universe.

Erin O’Brien is an artist and interior design consultant with Erin Designs, LLC. “Together we can create a beautiful, healthier, greener place to live, work, and be.” She teaches water aerobics at the Eau Claire YMCA and is Reiki level one attuned. www.erindesigns.com

Green Pages » Nov./Dec. ‘13

Stay Tuned …

Around the Farm Table takes viewers through our farming landscape to shine a spotlight on midwestern farmers and artisan food producers. The show is designed to increase our understanding of sustainable farming practices through stories, recipes, and information all delivered with a dose of fun, entertainment, and original music. Our host, Inga Witscher, is a fourth-generation organic dairy farmer whose knowledge and disarming charm gets even the quietest farmers to join in the conversation. Driven to seek out the best ingredients our region has to offer, Inga is featured in each episode as she gathers what she needs to produce a meal that celebrates our landscape and our appetites. Around the Farm Table. Premiering November 2013, catch the show on your local PBS station.

Inga Witscher, Host
A passionate dairy farmer, Inga, along with her husband, Joe Maurer, own and operate a small organic dairy farm near Osseo, Wisconsin. When she’s not setting up pastures for their cows to graze, milking the fifteen Jerseys, making cheese with her father, or indulging her passions for gardening and cooking, Inga collaborates with her team to develop narratives for Around the Farm Table. After growing up on her family’s dairy farm on the West Coast and later making cheese on the East Coast, she is thrilled to now be in the middle of the country, home to truly happy cows and a vibrant agriculture all of which she loves to celebrate Around the Farm Table.

Joe Maurer, Producer
Joe is a founding partner of Around the Farm Table and collaborates as a writer, editor, musician, and producer. Outside ATFT, Joe brings experience as an urban designer.  Joe’s passion for landscape led him to work with urban gardens in Eau Claire. See: Forest Street Pavilion and Community Gardens.

Ricky Witscher, Producer
Ricky is a founding partner of Around the Farm Table and collaborates as a producer and our lead set designer. Ricky has worked as a professional musician, producer, and performer for television. He brings past experience as a dairy farmer on both coasts. He currently is licensed as a cheese maker in the state of Wisconsin.

Collaborators
Peter Eaton, director of photography, brings experience as a photographer, director, and colorist. Peter has written and directed several of his own short films and music videos, notably Sugar Mountain, which was shot in the Chippewa Valley.

Mindful Motions Therapeutic Yoga @ The Center

As yoga gains popularity in the Eau Claire community, it is also gaining international attention as modern science and research are confirming the ancient teachings of yoga. With evidence-based medicine to support yoga, it is now being recognized as a therapeutic modality for everything from heart disease to cancer to work-related stress. Therapeutic yoga seeks to integrate conventional, complementary, and alternative medical systems for the purpose of  health maintenance, prevention, and rehabilitation. Therapeutic yoga is provided by a highly qualified yoga instructor who is also a licensed health care professional. It is holistic, considering every aspect of the body, mind, and spirit.

Heidi Dix, an Eau Claire native and founder of Mindful Motions Yoga, is passionate about bringing safe and effective therapeutic yoga services to the Eau Claire area. Heidi Dix has combined her kinesiology and athletic training degree with the principles of medical yoga to help anyone dealing with pain, suffering, and stress. Heidi makes yoga accessible to people at all levels, creating a safe and comfortable environment to lower stress and pursue balance, healing, and inner strength.

Heidi has been involved with the health and wellness industry for over twenty years.  She has her bachelor’s degree in kinesiology/sports medicine and her master’s degree in education from the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire. Heidi is a licensed athletic trainer and a registered yoga teacher (RYT 500). For the past nine years, she has served as a therapeutic yoga instructor and wellness educator at Riverview Hospital in Wisconsin Rapids. She currently serves as a master trainer and yoga therapy program director for YogaFit Teacher Training Systems Worldwide.

Your Food Dollar

by Beth Martin

Food Budgets.  Most of us are acutely aware of this topic.  We all have finite funds with which to feed ourselves and our families each month.  What drives your food purchases?  Do you purchase only sale items or the cheapest brand?  Or, do you look at food as an investment in your health?

Most of us probably agree that finding a fair price for something — be it food, a car, or item of clothing — is the top of our list when making purchase decisions.  But there is more to the story than the bottom dollar.

Think about value.  Perhaps you are willing to pay more for something because of its inherent value; higher quality components, parts, better materials, longer life, health benefits?   How does this relate to your food purchases?  Not so long ago the items in your local grocery store included a selection of fruits, vegetables, dairy products, meats and canned/packaged goods — much like it does today.  But the foods in your grocery store today are not the same as they were fifty years ago.  Not all foods are created equal.

Your local grocery cooperative — Just Local Food — offers a wide selection of organically grown fruits, vegetables, dairy products, meats and packaged goods from predominantly local farmers and producers.  Just Local Food’s mission to provide real foods that are not only healthier for you, but keep your food dollars in our region,  ultimately protecting our valuable soils — hence the use of the word “Just” in our name — justly grown, produced and distributed.

So while you may be able to purchase an item for less from another store — think about the true cost of what you are supporting.  A vibrant local economy and good health?  Or large corporate interests and substandard nutrition from the foods you eat?

There are many ways to save money while transitioning to a healthier diet:

• Utilize the Dirty Dozen listing available through the Environmental Working Group
• Purchase fruits and vegetables in season.
• Purchase less expensive cuts of meat and learn how to make stews, soups and sauces from those cuts.

Your grandparents would not recognize most of what passes for ‘food’ these days.  Make them proud and reclaim your health by eating a cleaner more nutrient dense diet.

Your hard earned dollars used to purchase organic/natural foods not only contributes to greater personal health but a thriving local economy.  The friendly folks at Just Local Food are available to walk you through the store, answer your food and cooking questions and get you started on the road to better health and a stronger community.