The Local Grocer

News and blog

Welcome to the blog.
Posted 2/24/2016 11:10am by Jennifer Harris.

They are cuter than kittens on the internet.  Erin and Franklin have started planting seeds for spring and the baby veggies have arrived in the solarium at The Local Grocer.

 

The red kale is particularly adorable.  Don’t you just want to hug it and squeeze it and name it George?

Even the onions are on their way.  Doesn’t it make you weep tears of (onion scented) joy?Soon these babies will move out to the hoop houses on the farm and a few short weeks later onto our shelves.  You know where they end up from there - on your plate and in your happy belly.  Soon...Soon.

Posted 2/16/2016 10:39am by Jennifer Harris.

When the snow blows and the temperature drops again and again, it’s time to break out your favorite comfort food recipes. One of my favorites are Galumpkis, otherwise known as stuffed cabbage rolls. A friend of mine that is of Polish descent introduced me to the dish smothered in a tomato sauce atop a pile of mashed potatoes. Not every restaurant serves Galumpkis, nor do I have the patience to parblanch the cabbage leaves and individually wrap each roll. So how do you feed that craving on a busy schedule? Pick up the ingredients, throw them in a 9 x 13 pan, and make a casserole; that’s how you do it!

I created this recipe by taking the method from one cookbook and the stuffing ingredients from another. The classic The Joy of Cooking got the stuffing right, but Sandra Molter of Beavercreek in Ohio Valley Vittles compiled by the Ohio Valley Telephone Pioneers Chapter 80 gave me the idea to make a cabbage roll casserole. Sometimes those old spiral bound fundraising cookbooks that your grandmother gives you have some pretty good ideas in them, especially in the days before Pinterest and Food Network.

Most of these ingredients are available right now at The Local Grocer, and some of the others (like rice) you may have on hand. The recipe makes the cabbage roll portion. Get some potatoes and make your favorite mashed potato recipe to go underneath this savory goodness.

 

Cabbage Roll Casserole

1 cup cooked rice

1 pound ground beef (ground turkey or meatloaf mix work well too)

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

2 sprigs of fresh thyme

Dash of cayenne (optional)

1 small head of cabbage, chopped

1 - 29 oz. jar of tomato or spaghetti sauce

1 cup of water

Brown ground beef with garlic and onions in a skillet. Add herbs and cayenne to the mixture. When meat is crumbly drain. Layer everything in a 9 x 13 pan. First layer the chopped cabbage, followed by ground beef, and then cooked rice. Top with tomato sauce. If sauce is rather thick you can add a cup of water to loosen sauce so it sinks through the layers in the pan. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Serve with mashed potatoes. The flavors marry well and taste even better on the second and third day.

Posted 2/11/2016 5:58pm by Jennifer Harris.

Sometimes fruits and veggies do some shape shifting and appear as something funny, odd or just plain different.  This week we have a giant beet that looks like a heart.  So from all of us at The Local Grocer to all of you, we wish you a very happy Valentine's Day!  I hold your heart in my hand.

 

 

Posted 2/4/2016 9:34am by Erin Caudell.

We'll have music and food samplings at the store to help say thanks to everyone who's helped us get up and running. Help us celebrate a great start!

Thanks to our Kickstarter supporters we have stocked the shelves, opened the kitchen, and put in a whole building water filtration system. 

Saturday, February 6

10:00am to 5:00 pm

Location: 601 Martin Luther King Avenue, Flint, MI 48502

Posted 2/2/2016 8:16pm by Erin Caudell.

Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow this morning, predicting that spring will come early. This is good news when you’re looking forward to starting seeds, planting gardens and enjoying locally grown produce. Everyone is eager for fresh tomatoes and basil, even though they are months away in our climate.

Today is also Candlemas and Imolc. It is 40 days following Christmas and the halfway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. The days are getting longer, and winter is slowly loosening its grip on us. Even Fat Tuesday and the season of Lent are upon us next week. From a historical context all of these holidays, celebrations and spiritual practices of feasting and fasting have been influenced by an agrarian society of the past. In the time before our food was shipped from places like South America, Mexico and California and in good supply at the local supermarket, people had to store food for winter. The feasting of Christmas has ended, winter stores are running low, but it’s too cold to plant new crops. When it’s cold out chickens don’t lay many eggs, cows aren’t milking unless they’re nursing calves, and hunting is thin when the animals have a hard time feeding themselves too. Lenten fasts made the food last longer in order for everyone to survive until spring. Adding a spiritual component in the community makes a virtue out of a necessity for our ancestors that we in our modern society don’t have to face.

We are halfway to spring. The days are longer. The amount of local produce will gradually increase in the weeks to come. Because we have hoop houses at the farm we can start sowing seeds and transplanting baby plants in the upcoming weeks, like kale, collards, spinach and pac choi. For the rest of us, we need to wait another month or more to start seeds indoors or cold tolerant plants outdoors. If you want to keep the dream alive of tomatoes, peppers, kohlrabi, sweet peas and sweet corn, check back to our blog and Facebook page often. In the next few weeks there should be information regarding sign up for the 2016 CSA shares. Don’t stop believing!

Posted 1/26/2016 1:13pm by Jennifer Harris.

We definitely are in the middle of winter. Snow is on the ground and the temperatures are often below freezing. It’s hard to imagine that there could be any local food available this time of year, but there are still a few things left in the ground.  

Roots are what’s in season now. Eat those potatoes, beets, carrots, turnips, parsnips and sunchokes. And thanks to hoop houses greens like lettuce, spinach, and kale are still available too. It’s not just the temperature that affects the slow growth of plants, but the amount of daylight plays a significant role too. Here in the Flint area it’s not until February that the days are long enough for the greens and roots to begin actively growing again. So it won’t be long before the amount of produce available increases in volume and variety.

Turnips are plentiful now.  They weren’t in the dinner rotation when I was a kid (I’ll admit I was a very picky eater), but now I put them in my pot roast as a low carb replacement for potatoes. I'm tired of that one trick pony, so here are several suggestions to try something new. The Kale, Turnip and Turkey Sausage Soup sounds particularly yummy on a cold winter's night.

 

10 Turnips recipes (Garlic Mashed Turnips sound really good.)

18 Turnip Recipes

Kale, Turnip and Turkey Sausage Soup 

 

Posted 1/20/2016 9:29pm by Erin Caudell.

You’ve heard all about The Local Grocer’s new location this winter. All of that growth means that there is more to be done in a day's work.  We’d like you to meet Jennifer Harris.  You have probably already met her if you’ve been to the farmer’s market on a Tuesday or Thursday, or if you were a member of last summer’s CSA.  After helping us box up summer veggie shares she has stayed on not only at the market, but will be writing some blog posts for us. Jennifer has been cooking with our produce for a couple years now and understands some of the special challenges those with dietary restrictions face. Here’s to more recipes, farm, store and food news on the website.

 

Posted 1/12/2016 2:58pm by Erin Caudell.

If you haven’t stopped by yet to check us out at our new location come on over. We are getting more new products on the shelves every day. We have an expanded health and body section. Canned goods, snacks, bread and baking mixes line the shelves, and the coolers and freezers are filled with produce, meats, dairy, drinks and ice cream. The kitchen even has some prepared grab and go items in the cooler too. The kitchen is open Monday through Saturday and the menu will be posted daily on Facebook.

At the store we are currently accepting cash and credit for payment. Our ability to accept EBT is pending and there should be an update soon. Our Flint Farmer’s Market location is still open during regular market hours. And at this location we still accept cash, credit, EBT, Hoophouses for Health Coupons and Double Up Food Bucks.

Coming Soon - Look for news here on our website and Facebook about our Grand Opening Celebration.

What you need to know:

Address: 601 Martin Luther King Ave. in Flint

Store Hours: Monday - Saturday 7:00 - 7:00 Sunday 10:00 - 2:00

Kitchen Hours: Monday - Saturday 11:00 - 3:00

Posted 11/24/2015 2:15pm by Erin Caudell.

Have some last minute shopping to do? You're in luck.  The Flint Farmer's Market is open this Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, from 9-3.  Normally we are open on Thursdays, but will be closed this week for the holiday.  We will reopen again on Saturday from 8-5.

The Local Grocer has a lot of your holiday meal staples fresh from Michigan farms ready to go.  We have carrots, potatoes, pumpkin (fresh and canned), cranberries, butternut and other squashes, plenty of salad greens and other seasonal veggies.  If you want an extra special treat on your pumpkin pie, we carry Shelter Dairy's heavy cream.  You can make whipped cream by adding a little sugar and whipping with your mixer. Even better you can make butter by shaking the cream in a jar and pouring off the liquid and serve the solids as fresh homemade butter.  

All of us at The Local Grocer are grateful to be able to provide you with fresh and local ingredients to make your holiday meal special for all of your family and friends.  Have a Happy Thanksgiving. And we look forward to seeing you again on Small Business Saturday!

Posted 11/10/2015 8:19am by Erin Caudell.

  FLINT, MICH -   The Local Grocer, a Michigan-made specialty grocery, has launched a Kickstarter Campaign to support its business expansion into the former Witherbee’s Market at the corner of ML King and University Avenues in Flint, Michigan. The goal is to raise $30,000 in 25 days!  

Campaign support is critical to leveraging resources for The Local Grocer to successfully open their new doors in December and meet the demands of customers and the greater community. The new location will feature produce, meat, pantry and personal items well as a farm to table kitchen. The Local Grocer operates on the premise that you can get all of what you need to live within close proximity of your home.

Owners and farmers, Erin Caudell and Franklin Pleasant grow much of the all-Michigan produce they sell at their store in the Flint Farmer’s Market. Keeping up with the demand for local produce year-round has meant expanding their reach to other nearby producers. All of the farmers they work with grow with organic practices, use season extension techniques and are good stewards of the land.

“Our customers shop with us because they know that everything that they get from The Local Grocer has been vetted for health, environmental impact, and fairness and justice.  They also know that they are investing in their community’s future with every purchase. This expansion will allow us to do an even better job creating and sustaining jobs for local growers and producers,” stated Franklin Pleasant

The new store will have an even larger variety of products than the market location. When sourcing other retail items The Local Grocer looks for the highest quality, made as near to Flint as possible.“Our store provides an innovative, flexible retail platform for new and established entrepreneurs, making high quality Michigan-made goods.” says Erin Caudell. Donors to this Kickstarter campaign and customers will be proud to know that every dollar spent in the new location will also be an investment directly back into the local economy.

A Civic Economic study in Grand Rapids, MI found that for $100 spent at big box stores, $48 remains local. If that store is locally owned, $68 stays in the community. The Local Grocer is committed to returning all $100 to the community.

Contributions can be made at www.tinyurl.com/thelocalgrocer through Saturday, December 5, 2015  

For more information, contact Erin Caudell at (810) 252-2644 or erin.caudell@gmail.com or visit TheLocalGrocer.com.