Salmon, Herring, and Turkey

Salmon enthusiasts will be excited to learn that there are several new wild-caught salmon options available in the East Side meat department. First of all we are now offering Troller Point pink salmon filets. Pink salmon, typically found as a canned product, is a smaller fish possessing what is often described as a milder flavor than Coho or Sockeye. If you especially value the nutritional qualities of wild salmon but felt you couldn't afford it, pink salmon might be a solution. Its omega-3s and protein levels are comparable to those of the more popular Coho and Sockeye varieties, but it is significantly less expensive. It is available as whole side in the meat coffin freezer.

From the same company and for a limited time, we currently have 4-ounce flats of King salmon lachs for $9.99 per each. Troller Point decided to stop producing the product due to the rising cost of King salmon, so grab some at a bargain price before its gone forever! King salmon has more omega-3s than any other variety of salmon, and with only a few ingredients, it is my pick for the best lachs offered by Bloomingfoods.

For those who aren't privy to all the seafood secrets of Bloomingfoods (and as a reminder to those who are), we always have frozen filets of Coho salmon available by request. This is the same Coho that we cut, wrap, and stock in the refrigerated meat case. If you need more than a portion or two of salmon and want to reduce the amount of plastic and styrofoam used by the co-op, consider asking for a whole filet! Frozen salmon has a shelf life of 5 days after being thawed. Just ask for someone in meat or perishables, and we'll find a filet that's perfect for you.

Departing from the theme of salmon but remaining in the oceans, we're also trying a new product: salted, smoked herring (and when we say salty, we aren't kidding!) It is $9.99/lb and available in the seafood area of the fresh meat case.

Finally, if you're in the mood for turkey, we still have several whole, frozen birds leftover from Thanksgiving. To help clear them out, we are now offering them at 10% off. Turkeys are currently available at all locations. Your discount will be automatically applied when you check out.

Justin See, East Store Meat Buyer

January 2014 Garden Center News

the East store Garden Center has lots of products and services to meet your winter needs.  Be sure to check us out for:

√  Over 500 varieties of bulk and packet garden seed
√  Bird seed, feeders, and accessories
√  Sprouting seed and supplies, including citric acid in bulk
√  Hydroponics and indoor, tabletop Aerogarden  systems for growing herbs all year
√  House plants, flower pots, and very decorative Mexican pottery
√  Tools, including heirloom quality handmade in Linton by Dave Smith
√  Heat mats, starting trays, peat pots, humidity domes, grow lights
√  Organic pest controls for household and garden
√  Repellents and live traps
√  Potting soils and fertilizers, custom recommended based on soil testing done on site
√  Floating row cover and frost blanket, available by the foot
√  Expert advice from gardeners with decades of experience
√  Firewood

We are especially excited to be offering the row cover cut to whatever length you need for your raised bed, hoop house, or cold frame.  Online and mail-order, it comes only in 250 or 500 foot rolls for big bucks plus oversize shipping!  At B-foods, we’ll cut just the length you need. It comes in 6 and 12 foot widths, and in several weights. I use the medium weight (1.5 oz. per cubic yard)  and my cold frame is usually 10 degrees warmer than the outside air, keeping my kale, chard, mâche and claytonia happy.

It will soon be time to start your tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants. We have all the supplies you’ll need to get an early start on this year’s outdoor garden.

How about growing a tray of micro-greens right now?  We have 4 kinds of kale, 4 of spinach, 4 of Swiss chard, 7 kinds of lettuce, and 9 varieties of radish all in bulk.

Whatever your gardening and bird feeding needs, be sure to check out your Bloomingfoods Garden Center for the best selection and prices around.

January hours for the Garden Building with garden seed, soil amendments, pest control, tools and staff are Fridays and Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

The bird supplies, hydroponics, pottery and sprouting seed are in the Patio Room, open daily 8 a.m. – 10 p.m., and purchases may be rung up in the Grocery.

Written by Chris Bobbitt

Holiday Gifts at the Garden Center

With gardening and bird watching being America’s first and second most popular hobbies, you’re almost certain to find just the right gift for that special someone.  And for yourself!

Garden seeds make an inexpensive gift or stocking stuffer. Our packet seeds are already here; as before, the basic vegetables are also available in bulk, so you can get just as much as you need.

Check out the AeroGarden  table top hydroponic system. Just like on the TV cooking shows, you can turn to your living basil or rosemary plant and harvest the freshest leaves possible, right from your kitchen counter.

When it’s time to start tomatoes and peppers, use our seed starting cells with extra high dome and a heat mat.  Grow lights would also be a useful gift.

Noah Smith Tools in Linton is making wonderful hand tools, available a la carte or in a handsome wooden trug. They may look like instant antiques, but they’re also very well designed and meant to be used.

House plants, including Christmas cactuses and poinsettias, brighten the holidays.

Share the bounty with a bird feeder or two, or three. At our house, we have four feeders hanging from the eave just outside the living room window, as well as several on shepherd hooks in the front and back yards. A source of fresh water is also important for wildlife, and the Garden Center carries birdbaths and electric deicers.

Bird seed is available year around in large bags as well as 5 pounders so you can try out different blends.  The gift is the enjoyment of watching the birds at close range and the good feeling of generosity.

To make your gift selection even easier, at the Garden Center we are assembling collections based on themes: seed starting, young gardeners, bird watching, etc. in a variety of sizes.

Whatever your gift giving needs, be sure to stop by the Bloomingfoods Garden Center in the small building and in the Patio Room open every day 10 – 7.

Written by Chris Bobbitt

New at the Garden Center

New at the Garden Center:

We’ve already had our first few snowflakes. Fall is definitely here, and with it the cooler weather actually preferred by certain plants in the garden – lettuce, kale, Swiss chard, mustard greens, bok choi, as well as some you might not be familiar with, but which are certainly worth trying, such as mâche and claytonia. Sugar acts as the plant’s internal antifreeze, so with the approach of frosty weather, brassicas turn their starch into sugar, resulting in sweeter, milder Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, and the like.

To help you protect the slightly less hardy lettuce and spinach, the East Garden Center now has frost blanket in bulk.  Measure your raised bed or area you would like to protect an additional 8 degrees, remembering to cover the ends of the rows as well, then come in and we’ll roll out just as much of this heavy duty row cover as you need. It weighs 1.5 oz. per square yard and is 6 feet wide. The material lets both light and rain through, but holds in warmth. Multiple strips can be joined or overlapped to protect wider beds. This is what I did to cover my 4’ wide raised bed; the cover is held in place with clothespins, attaching it to a frame made from ½ inch CPVC plumbing pipe.

Garden seeds for the 2014 season are already here! The Livingston Seed Company sent their packets in early November so that we would be able to offer an outstanding selection well before the big box stores.  We have some exciting new products this time, including a mix of several colors of carrots, not just orange and purple.

Dave Smith of Linton is making garden trugs for us – handsome wooden boxes for carrying the handmade tools you may remember seeing last year. He has developed some new tools as well. Be sure to stop in and try them in your hand.

You’ve no doubt noticed the hydroponic gardens at the south end of the Patio Room. We are expanding this line with the AeroGarden, a table top unit that makes it a snap to grow herbs and vegetables right in your kitchen all year around.

The Garden Center is now home to the Sprouting Seeds department. Sprouts are very easy to grow, and make a tasty and extra nutritious addition to sandwiches, salads, stir fry, or even eaten straight out of the jar. Try fenugreek, clover, alfalfa, broccoli, mung bean, lentil, sunflower, and several more varieties.

Looking for a holiday centerpiece?  Need to make up with someone? The Garden Center is now in charge of cut flowers for bouquets. We also have an outstanding selection of low-light houseplants including decorative and medicinal aloes in the Patio Room.

Christmas trees will be arriving early in Thanksgiving week. Things will become very busy in the Garden Center then, so right now would be a very good time to beat the rush and come check out our new offerings. Our hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day.

Written by Chris Bobbitt



August Grocery News

With all the busyness of opening up a new store, we still have found some time to bring in a few new items that I’ve highlighted below.  Enjoy!

Have a little taste of our brand new granola in the Bulk Department.  Maple Pecan Dream Granola from Golden Temple is a blend of whole rolled oats, rolled wheat, coconut, pecans, puffed rice, puffed corn, and natural maple flavors. It is cooked to a light golden brown color and has a predominantly nutty aroma.

For all you fermentation fans out there, check out our new Wildbrine items in the refrigerated section at the back of the store.  They’re pretty delicious!  We brought in:  Arame Ginger Sauerkraut Salad, Madras Curry Cauliflower Sauerkraut Salad, Red Beet and Red Cabbage Sauerkraut Salad, and Miso Horseradish Kimchi. "Wildbrine™ products are made with a new twist on the time-honored process of brining or fermenting foods.  Fermentation is a natural, traditional method of preserving the harvest that maintains the health benefits of raw food, boosting its nutritional value, and delivering deliciously complex and balanced flavors!   While Wildbrine utilizes the age-old technique of fermentation to preserve the nutritional value of raw foods, our flavor profiles are targeted to be in line with today’s culinary and health conscious consumer.  All our products are 100% natural and wild-fermented.  We use no vinegar!  With everything we do, we stick to our philosophy: Fermentation is Wild!™"

By customer request we have brought in a few new items including:
Blk. Water, Maine Coast Seasoning with Cayenne, Glutino English Muffins and Food For Life Gluten Free English Muffins.  If nothing else you should take a look at the blk.water!  From their website:
blk.(bee • el • kay) n.
blk is the first ever fulvic-enhanced all-natural mineral water. blk is what happens when fulvic trace minerals are added to pure water. blk is powerful electrolytes and a high pH. blk is serious hydration. blk is a delicious beverage without any sugar, carbs or calories.

Talenti Gelato Pops:  A new line from one of our most popular frozen brands!  Coffee Chocolate Chip, Sea Salt and Double Dark Chocolate all dipped in a decadent dark chocolate. (FYI they make for a wonderful lunch on a hot summer day!)

August Meat & Seafood News

The dog days of summer are upon us and here at Bloomingfoods East, we are ready to help keep the summer swing going and at the same time help you get back into the swing of the school year.

Right now, Bloomingfoods East has sardines from Supreme Lobster on sale.  Sardines (Pacific, wild-caught) are one of the healthiest foods we can consume, according to health and environmental experts. These nutritional powerhouses are one of the best sources of omega-3 fats, with a whopping 1,950 mg/per 3 oz. (that’s more per serving than salmon, tuna or just about any other food) and they’re packed with vitamin D.  What do you do with them? Why grill them, of course. Wrapped in grape or fig leaves, grilled over charcoal with olive oil and lemon is just about perfect.  Since they are whole sardines, you do have to deal with the bones. The best way to do this is to split or butterfly your sardines.  Do this and you will only have a few gossamer bones remaining, and they are soft enough to eat safely.  You can also fillet fresh sardines and marinate them in salt, olive oil and lemon juice to make a Mediterranean version of ceviche. This is a common way to serve sardines in Greece, Spain and Italy.  Fresh sardines are also good filleted and baked. They go well with full-flavored sauces, especially tomato sauces. Spicy, citrusy salsas also work well.  But the bottom line is this: If you buy fresh sardines, simplicity is the key. Enjoy the rich flavor of the fish with little more than salt, lemon and a little olive oil.  Supreme Lobster Sardines: $3.99/lb.

The newest addition to the Bloomingfoods family is almost ready to open its doors.  Yes, I’m talking about our new store located in the Elm Heights neighborhood of Bloomington.  This store will be the flagship of our meat and seafood departments, with a full service meat and seafood  counter and all the retail ready meats that you have come to love.  Our new store will also carry all the specialty and charcuterie meats that currently are available at our existing locations with a few new surprises as well.  So when you get a chance, stop on in at the new Elm Heights Bloomingfoods and check out what all the excitement is about.

Josh Hermes

Bloomingfoods Meat Buyer