Archives for February 2013

  • Farm Bill Extension Shoves Organics over Fiscal Cliff | 02.27.2013

    On January 1, Congress extended the 2008 farm bill for nine months as part the fiscal cliff legislation. The extension, however, excludes mandatory funding for some organic programs because those provision were not eligible for inclusion.

    Some of the organic programs left out of funding include those supporting organic research, cost sharing to become certified organic, and an organic data collection system. These programs helped organic farmers become more productive and improve marketing to satisfy rising demand for crops, milk, meats and other products.

    “This is a huge loss for the organic sector,” said Barbara Haumann, with the Organic Trade Association, told Food Safety News. “The cuts are severe. It will impact farmers who use safer practices and could discourage some farmers because of the loss of cost-share for certification.”

    To make organic certification more affordable for small- and mid-sized organic farmers, cost-share programs reimbursed them up to 75 percent, up to $750 maximum  annually, for certification expenses.

    Organic agriculture producers lost access to research-based information because the extension did not fund the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative. The program supported organic research by the Cooperative Extension System, an association of designated universities in each state to assist agricultural producers.

    Another unfunded program, the Organic Production and Marketing Data Initiative, tracked the type, location, and cost of organic crops and livestock. “It helps producers and buyers make business decisions across the board,” Haumann told Food Safety News.  The 2008 farm bill allocated $5 million to collect and publish the data.

    According to a Congressional Research Service report, if policymakers want to continue  these programs in the next farm bill, they will need to pay for the program by reducing funds for other areas.

    Kevin Dowling is a Good Earth Market board member.



  • Manager Wanted for Melon Patch Kids | 02.20.2013

    Do you remember all those juicy local melons we get late summer every year?  The melons come from the Melon Patch Kids, a division of Jerry Anderberg & Associates. The Anderbergs are looking for someone to take over this division of their business this year, continuing to run it as a non-profit.  The managers position would be a paid position as would some of the labor that is used to maintain the garden.  The manager would be responsible for growing, harvesting, marketing, and the human resources needs of the Melon Patch Kids.  Melon Patch Kids would continue to be run at the nursery farm with the cash flow needs of the business supplied by Jerry Anderberg and Associates.  What is needed is a “hands on” working manager for Melon Patch Kids.  This opportunity will need to be acted on soon, as ordering seeds and planting must begin! 

    Local ProduceThe entire Anderberg family started this fresh fruit and vegetable business in 1994 to teach the children, Scott, Rachel, Karen, and Jeff, fundamental business practices and leadership skills. This part of the business began to support many Christian and humanitarian ministry projects worldwide (Haiti, Bahamas, Belize, Central America and Europe). Of particular interest to the family is the Child Evangelism Fellowship ministry in Jamaica.

    The Melon Patch has provided several trips in which the family participated personally with the local CEF Staff. Numerous supplies and equipment have also been given, as funds from the Melon Patch were generated.  Although the Anderberg children are grown, Melon Patch Kids continues to thrive in Billings, with all the proceeds donated to organizations locally.  The donors now include The Montana Rescue Mission, InterFaith Hospitality Network, The Salvation Army, Special K Ranch, and others.  The produce is currently sold at the nursery location in late July through September and at Yellowstone Valley Farmer’s Market in Billings by Special K Ranch. Other retail locations are Good Earth Market in Billings, Poly Food Basket in Billings, and the Bozeman Food Co-op

     If you are interested, please contact Jerry Anderberg & Associates.

  • From the Local Producer Committee | 02.19.2013

    As we enter the heart of winter, thoughts of leafy greens, ripe, red tomatoes, and other crisp vegetables fresh from the local farm or garden can seem like a dream. But, while the earth slumbers under a blanket of snow and the sun lingers far away over southern climes, the Local Producer Committee has been striving to make the dream of farm fresh produce a reality sooner than later this spring. We are working with about a dozen local producers to offer an Early Season Farmer’s Market this year.

    Local Produce 2 (3)On the first four Saturdays in June, before the Yellowstone Valley Farmer’s Market opens in July, the Good Earth Market will host morning markets in our parking lot. Customers will be able to find a fantastic variety of spring produce from several of our local producers. We’ll even have starter plants ready to hit the warm soil in your own garden. Some of the favorite producers you’ve come to expect at our booth during the Yellowstone Valley Farmer’s Market in July will join us, including Kenny’s Double D Salsa, das Kuchenhaus baked goods, and Lehfeldt Lamb sausage. There will be a little something for everyone, from GF Harvest’s Gluten Free Oats to bison jerky from Broken Willow Bison Ranch.  We hope this news helps you survive the colds months ahead and fuels your dreams of spring!

    by Heather Ristow, Local Producer Committee Chair

  • Heart Healthy Red Wines | 02.13.2013

    In this season of love, our thoughts lend themselves to those we care about. While considering their heart, both in the emotional and physical sense, why not include a heart healthy libation to show you care?

    Red wine continues to gain praise as a “heart healthy” beverage.  Red wine contains polyphenols, a variety of antioxidants that have positive test results indicating their benefit for strengthening the immune system, reducing the risk of heart disease, and even preventing cancer. 

    Polyphenols are also responsible for a wine’s flavor profile and texture in your mouth.  The same structure, or tannin*, that helps a red wine age gracefully is one of the main polyphenols benefiting the human body.   In essence, tannin helps both you and the wine age gracefully.

    Resveratrol is one polyphenol in particular that is receiving lots of attention.  It is finding its way into many anti-aging tinctures as well as being credited with reducing inflammation and blood clotting (heart disease). The deep color and high phenol concentration of red wines comes from its extended contact with the skins, pips, and stems of the grape, a process called maceration.

    White wine grapes contain a similar potential for this antioxidant-rich notoriety, but they often times spend far less time macerating and end up absorbing less from the nutrient rich skins and stems.

    Find These Wines at the Co-op

    Lomas del Valle Cabernet Franc:  Cabernet Franc is one of the parent grapes of Cabernet Sauvignon. A tamer version of its offspring, Cab Franc is well suited to cool climates like Chile and the Loire Valley. Flavors include dark berry, black current and violets.

    Wine - MontepulcianoPietrantonji Montepulciano d’Abruzzo:
      This Italian winery dates back to the 1700s and is literally the oldest winery in Abruzzo, doubling as a museum for the area which sits just north of the heel on the eastern coast of Italy. This Montepulciano is made in the traditional style in homage to their ancestors. This wine offers sweet spice flavors of vanilla, anise and dried tobacco in the mouth, with a hint of chocolate on the finish.

    Le Pigolet Rouge:  This French Rhone style blend of 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 5% Cinsault and 5% Carignan shows pretty flavors of roasted herbs, smoke, and ripe red fruits and pomegranate. Blended by the Brunier family of Vieux Telegraph fame. 

    *Tannin: Consider the “drying” sensation after swallowing a bite out of an apple or a flathead cherry. Tannin contributes greatly to the way a wine feels in your mouth. It can also find its way into wine via oak barrels.

    Written by Lena Olson of Winegardners Wines.  Learn more at


  • Local Product Shopping List | 02.05.2013

    The middle of winter is a dark time for our favorite local fruits and veggies, but the Market still has plenty of local products to be tasted!

    Breads, Grains & Beans
    □  Barley (pearled, purple, quick-rolled)Cream of the West2
    □  Beans (black, red, pink, pinto, great northern)
    □  Bread
    □  Cereal (7-Grain, wheat)
    □  Farro
    □  Flax seed
    □  Flour (white, wheat, pastry)
    □  Lentils (black beluga, pardive, petite crimson, dupuy, green)
    □  Oats
    □  Pancake mix
    □  Pizza crust (frozen)
    □  Yellow split peas

    □  Beef (ground, steaks, roasts)
    □  Buffalo (ground, ground patties, steaks)
    □  Chicken (whole)
    □  Duck
    □  Emu (ground, steaks)
    □  Goose
    □  Jerky
    □  Lamb (sausage, chops, stew meat, kabobs, leg of lamb)
    □  Pork (sausage, baby back ribs, ground, Italian sausage, chops, tenderloin, hock, whole hams)
    □  Turkey (whole, ground, slices, sausage)

    □  Butter                                                                          Lifeline logo
    □  Cheese (various flavors cheddar, jack, curds, mozzarella)
    □  Eggs
    □  Goat cheese (chevre, feta)
    □  Honey
    □  Milk

    □  Flour & baking mixes (various)
    □  Flour (toasted oat, timtana)
    □  Oats
    □  Pie Crust Mix

    Prepared Foods
    □  Barbecue SauceOnThyme
    □  Cookies
    □  Enchiladas
    □  Granola
    □  Jams and jellies (various flavors)
    □  Non-dairy cheese spread
    □  Pesto (various flavors)
    □  Salsa
    □  Soup mixes
    □  Spice mixes
    □  Sprouted Almonds

    □  BeerRLAles
    □  Tea
    □  Water
    □  Wine

    □  Brownie Mix
    □  Caramel
    □  Chocolate
    □  Chocolate sauce
    □  Hot chocolate mix
    □  Ice creamLogo - Windrift Hill

    Health & Beauty
    □  Emu oil
    □  Lip balm
    □  Lotion
    □  Soap
    □  Sunscreen