Beyond the Farmers’ Markets – Farm to Fork

Beyond the Farmers’ Markets  – Farm to Fork

– [Announcer] Your
support helps us bring you programs you love. Go to,
click on support, and become a sustaining member or an annual member. It’s easy and secure. Thank you! – Woops! (laughs) And that’s the thing
I love about food. It’s living. – A little crazy at
times, but (laughs). – Bumps in the road,
yes, but that’s okay. Life is not always
a smooth road. – You can get everything
from worms to cupcakes, you know (laughs)? – You give people a place to kind of incubate their ideas and then grow them. – I’ll show you the
calorie palace tomorrow. That’s gonna be pretty cool. – [Announcer] Getting Local, beyond the farmer’s market, on this Farm to Fork Wyoming. – [Female Voice] Thanks a lot. – That’s all. – [Vendor] Thank you. – [Announcer] Funding
for Farm to Fork Wyoming is provided by viewers like you. Thank you. – [Announcer] The local food
economy all around Wyoming has grown for many years now, yet affordable and
convenient distribution remains a challenge. But thanks to a handful
of creative thinkers there are a variety of solutions popping up around the state. In Gillette, a storefront ushers farm and cottage goods from
underground to mainstream. – Well I’ve been
involved in local foods and farmer’s markets
for, I don’t know, 15 plus years. – [Announcer] Once
an outlaw activist, selling raw milk,
Frank now manages a producer run cooperative that has the best selection of cottage and farm
foods in the state. – When I first started, there was almost no local
foods available in Wyoming. But everybody was
always buying eggs from their neighbors and the awesome
cook down the road was always doing
lemon meringue pies, and people would
buy a half a beef and split it with
seven neighbors. – [Announcer] All part
of a long rural tradition of Wyoming feeding itself, with everything from
beef to raw milk from the neighbor’s cow. – So all of that
kind of came out when the Food Freedom
Act was passed, and it now gave a
year round opportunity to market local foods. – [Announcer] Relaxed
regulations on the sale of raw milk has helped many small farms
and markets grow. – That’s where it really
started to take off several years ago, so we
moved a farmer’s market in here with about five people, close to two years ago. We’re about 25 to 30
vendors in here now. We all come in and participate. – [Announcer]
Producer participation keeps the store open, while keeping overhead low, and the sale of raw
milk in compliance with the Food Freedom Act. – So we’re able to be
open six days a week, year round, whereas the
traditional farmer’s market would be open for
two and a half months in the summertime here. So the market for the customers has also exploded exponentially because they’re able to come in and get milk and eggs and
Amish noodles year round, six days a week,
and that makes it so much more
convenient for them, so they are spending more money on local foods because
it’s not too hard to do. (slow acoustic guitar waltz) So as you come into the market, we have things that
we like people to see, which is of course
the local produce this time of year is awesome. Purple cauliflower,
which you won’t find in any supermarket,
yellow wax beans, carrots, beets to
make pickled beets, or beet soup, but
tomatoes all come from local gardens. The corn comes from
the Amish gardens over by Hulett. – [Announcer] It’s a
market where you know firsthand where your
food comes from. – If you go to the
grocery store these days, you might pick up
a package of meat, and it says a
product of the USA. Well, currently the regulations don’t requirement the
beef under that label to be actually grown
in the United States, only to be cut up and
packaged in the United States. Well here, you know
where the beef was grown. You know the locker plant
where it was cut up. It’s just a much
closer connection to your food. If you wanna talk to ’em, if you wanna go out
and see the cows on the ranch, you can do that. I would guess you would call it an informal coop. We all pitch in a
percentage of our sales to pay the bills, and
then that percentage drops way down once
you reach that, and we’re putting a small amount into a kind of a savings
account internally for things like
more refrigerators and remodeling the
building a little bit. We have a local lamb producer. – [Announcer] And the
variety is impressive. (slow clarinet waltz) – Sausage and hams
and pork chops, homemade tortillas, a
couple little Amish boys come and make ice cream
once in a while (laughs). This is a cheese, Kuchen, and so it’s a German style
pie, I would describe it. Fresh cow’s milk, non pasteurized,
non homogenized. They do some very nice yogurts. Then we also have a
goat milk producer here. He’s also making some
cheeses out of the goat milk. – [Announcer] This small,
producer driven market is nimble when it
comes to giving new products a try. – The biggest new products that we’ve had in this market are the ketogenic foods. Very simply it would
be like no sugars, no starchy foods, no flours, but the people that are
missing the sweet things can come in here and get
a non sugar sweet thing which just tastes lovely. One of my most
popular items in here. She’s probably nine years old. She comes in with her
mom, another vendor, so she got into making soups out of the leftover produce, so she’s now the
soup lady (laughs). My section, which would
be the fermented foods. I do sauerkraut and
kombucha and kefir soda all probiotic type, make
you healthy kind of foods that still taste in my
mind pretty good (laughs). From fermented mixed vegetables to the typical sauerkrauts, loaded with probiotics, so there’s a lot of reasons why people are coming here. To me most of it
is because okay, so is there a difference between homemade bread and
store bought bread? Yes (laughs). So that’s probably
the best example. It’s just good food here. (indistinct speaking) – [Announcer] In another
part of the state there’s a different
kind of cooperative, the
website provides the storefront for this consumer and producer owned marketplace. Manned by volunteers
for the past 10 years, Wyofresh kicks into
gear once a month to fill its customers’ orders. – So this is a basic sorting of all of the
products for Wyofresh, and what happens in Wyofresh is we have the
drop off locations, and then volunteers like myself will pick up the items
from our drop off location, bring it here to Wheatland, and in Wheatland
we sort everything to go back to the customer in the locations
that they bought it, so if you’re selling
or if you’re buying, you never have to
leave your area. So (laughs), can be a little
crazy at times, but (laughs). – [Announcer]
Through the website, customers and
producers from Cheyenne to far off Casper
are able to connect. – The online farmer’s
market does two things. Number one, it’s a
year round market, and the other thing, it
provides an opportunity to reach out past a
local farmer’s market and most of us sell at the
local farmer’s markets, but it’s just a way of
a year round market, and people can go online, and they can order
a loaf of bread, a dozen eggs, a pound
of hamburger, whatever. It’s not like Bountiful Baskets where you got a box of stuff, and our products are local. – Wyofresh is a coop, so if
you just wanna be a customer, it’s a five dollar
annual membership, and then you pay
the cost plus 10% of the products that
you order each month. The 10% goes to the delivery to help compensate
volunteers for mileage, and if you’re a vendor, it’s $10 annual membership, and then 12% of your sales. – [Announcer] And
the benefit is mutual for consumer and producer alike. – A lot of people
love the comfort of being able to
get things online, that they don’t have to go
down to the local market to get fresh things. They can get online, look, and they know that
they’re getting quality ingredients
just with the click of their mouse, so (laughs). It’s very user friendly. People have a great opportunity not only with pictures
but descriptions, have a bio, you can talk about how you got started
in the business, and I think it’s great. (country guitar and
piano acoustic music) – [Announcer] The
volunteers also get some shopping done
on distribution day. – Yeah, hee, hee. I ordered one of my
favorites, the steak package. Lots of fun ones. The New York
sirloins, cubed steak, the round steak. These ones are corn, but
there are grass fed options. We have bison options as well. – Everything I make
is from scratch. I try to use fresh
local ingredients whenever I can. I just really believe in
supporting our community and our state as
much as possible, instead of outsourcing things. I think we’re a
sustainable state, and why not utilize what we have in our resources? So, I utilize berries and things that Leroy has, fresh
vegetables that I get, when there’s more
fruits, more vegetables, more things like that. I’ve gotten eggs
before as well, yes, and they’re delicious,
and I love it. It’s great to be able to bake with fresh things. Well, and things
that are kind of borne out of love. We all put our heart and souls into what we do, so I think that
makes a difference. – [Announcer] And for
ranchers like Cindy Gertz, who has been direct
marketing for years, it’s a different clientele. – People that are looking for all different
kinds of things, not just beef, so bringing them to the website gives them an opportunity
to try new things, and so it gives us a new
customer base as well. – You can get everything
from worms to cupcakes, you know? (laughs) I mean that’s a lot
of different things. It’s not just one thing
that we’re trying to offer. It’s a gamut of products. (slow acoustic waltz music) – As a producer, I like
that I can reach customers farther throughout the state without having to go any farther than from Laramie
here to Wheatland, but I can reach
customers in Trenton, Capser, Cheyenne, Wheatland, and not have to go any
farther really than Laramie, so now I’ll take
all of the items that our Laramie
customers bought back to Laramie to the
Big Hollow Food Coop and they’ll pick it up there. – So hi Melissa,
here’s your order. – [Announcer] In Cody,
there’s another online market fueled by one man’s passion. – I’m not from this
culture at all. I was raised in
suburbs of Chicago, and the neighborly culture that’s prevalent around here is not really what
I was raised in, but it’s a really
pleasant surprise. People value face to
face relationships here, like relationships
are a really big deal. That’s how a lot
of business is done based on relationships, not
price or something like that. – [Announcer] With the
tools of the internet and a vision for
bridging the gaps in our busy lives, Zach is taking the legwork out of getting local. – The thing that I
love most about Zach is that he buys directly
from the farmers, so it is literally
from farm to plate. – [Announcer] While preserving
that personal connection for over 20 producers. – They’re fun to pick. – But yeah, what
we’re trying to do is really extend the reach of
the producers’ personality. The producer doesn’t have
enough time in the week to go develop a relationship with hundreds of people. – [Announcer] Through
Zach’s online hub, Cody shoppers can explore
and find local producers at their convenience. – We’ve got a whole
page that lists all the producers,
explains who they are, where they’re located, and so this is our
produce department, so right now you
can see everything that we have available. – You don’t even have to log on and make an account yet. You just kind of go in
and you literally shop, so it’s all of the pictures of what’s going to
be there that week. – And the cool thing about working with a
couple different farms in the Big Horn
Basin again is that these farms are all located
at different elevations, so the growing season is
a little bit different, so for example, we have
peppers and cucumbers right now and they’re from Worland, and Worland’s a lot hotter. They grow tomatoes and egg
plants and night shade stuff a lot better than
right down the street at Shoshone River Farm, ’cause the climate
is a lot cooler here, so he grows things like
lettuces and greens really, really well, carrots, all those
cool weather crops, he grows much
better than they do. So what we’re trying to do is make it so this can be a
one stop shop for people. We supplement with
other products to make it more like a
full on grocery store, and then when people
need to buy lettuce, we’ll be supplying exclusively lettuce from
Shoshone River Farm. What we’re trying
to do is make it convenient for people
who are working two jobs, have four kids, and
the cool thing is you can also do it on
your phone, same thing. You just press that button, so it’s that simple, and you’re doing your
shopping right there, and you’ve got four
things in your cart, and then you check out,
use your credit card, just like you would
shopping on Amazon or any other online website. So this is our Thursday
pick up option, from people ordering
off our website, so what you see here
is all for sale, so it’s kind of like
a farmer’s market slash hybrid of picking up what people order
off the website. The customer will pick up anytime between 4 and 6
p.m. here on Thursdays. Then we also have a
pick up on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 12, same idea. So that’s one way
that online customers can get their product. We also deliver
Monday through Friday. We’re not trying to just attract one specific group of people, ’cause if you do that, there’s not that many
people around here (laughs). So this is what we call
the calorie palace, ’cause it’s filled
with calories, the calories that we peddle. In the national market,
a lot of businesses will just target one
specific type of person. We can’t afford to do that. It’s just too small here, so. The meat department
is right here, so this is where we keep
all of our local meats. Every home delivery order is distributed in
this type of cooler. We actually have
some that are bigger, but they’re all out to
customers right now, and then we put an icepack
in the bottom of it, and a cardboard divider, so this icepack area is
the frozen department, so you can put your
frozen meat in here, and that will stay frozen, and then that
divides the produce so the produce doesn’t freeze. We really do have
to build bridges between a bunch of
different demographics, if you will. Throw the produce on
top, not literally throw. I say that a lot. So leeks, some purple
peppers, Nubia eggplant. We got that
delivered on Tuesday, so it’s all super fresh. And then basically all you do is close it up, and
that will stay fresh for up to 24 hours, so the customer
doesn’t necessarily have to be home, and we don’t have to schedule a pick up or anything like that. We just drop that off, and then the customer
will leave the empties for us the next
day or next week, whenever we get over
there to pick it up. – My goal is to
rely less and less on a supermarket and
more and more locally. So he definitely provides that. It makes it very easy. – [Announcer] In
the heart of winter, we caught up with the
small but industrious Wyoming produce grower
Lloyd Craft Farms. – We work a lot with Terry
Craft down in Worland, with Lloyd Craft Farms. They are the biggest vegetable
farm in the state of Wyoming as far as I know. I think there’s six and
a half to seven acres, which is actually pretty
small for a vegetable farm. There’s farms up in
Montana that are 20, lots of farms that are 20 acres. – [Announcer] In
addition to growing, they run the distribution gamut, from customer
direct buyer’s clubs to wholesaling to
grocers and distributors. – The stuff that
we have stored here is what we call
our winter storage, and so it’s cabbage, celeriac,
carrots, Daikon radishes, and that’s what’s in
this room right here. – [Interviewer] Oh, all right. – And then in the other
cooler is winter squash. – They have a tremendous
amount of winter squash. We had some of it
up until like March. – You’ll see we’ve
got our potatoes stored in here too. I’ve got fingerling potatoes. These are Cipollini onions, the saucer shaped, flat. – So January of this year, we got deliveries
still of squash and onions and stuff like that. – So that’s all that we’re
selling in the winter time. – [Announcer] It’s December, and Terry is
wrapping up the last of her weekly Fall
Buyer’s Club boxes. – This was our very
last Fall Friday box that went out December 15th. – So all of this would have been in a box this size. – Yep, and so what we had, and this one I don’t
bake for every box, but this was the last one, and we had a whole bunch
of these sugar pie pumpkins that needed to go, and I also wanted people to have an incentive to buy this box right before Christmas. – (laughs) That’s kind
of when you have a slump. – (laughs) Yeah, so I
baked 30 pumpkin pies and they all went into the box, so this is a sample
of what was in it. We had our cabbage. This is five pounds
of red potatoes, red onion, and then of course our favorite, Cosmic
carrots, two pounds of that, and then the pumpkin pie, and this this is our
winter sweet kabocha, and then of course
the sugar thing. With each box that goes out, there’s a sheet that tells you about each one of the items, how to store it, little
tidbits about what’s in it, why it’s good for ya. – What an education. – And then on the
back are recipes, so with this box they had
a recipe for coleslaw, a recipe for a carrot soup, a recipe for old
fashioned cabbage rolls, and then sweet and spicy
roasted kabocha winter squash. – [Announcer] After Fall
Friday shares are done, they still have more in storage, so they start the
Winter Buyer’s Club. – Starting in January, we
start our buyer’s group. This’ll be the fourth
year on the buyer’s group, and what I do is we
supplement our own stuff with produce from
Spokane Produce. We’re not certified organic, but we use organic principles, so we’ll be able to
bring in USDA organics to supplement with ours. We open that one
up to the public. I have what we call
walk ins welcome, so I have my 60 people
that are signed up, but then anybody
in the community can come in and shop too. We’re in the back of
a health food store, and so we have one table for the people that
have signed up, and then the other three tables are just the produce
that we’ve brought in. We do that January,
February, March, April, May, and then we take June off to get the CSA and
the garden going. – [Announcer] And
the summer members enjoy six weekly boxes
straight from the farm. – So our CSA is
the Big Horn Basin, six people in Buffalo,
and 30 in Casper, and we’re hoping to expand that. In the Big Horn Basin, we have Thermopolis,
Basin, Grabill, and then Worland of
course, Ten Sleep. – [Announcer] These
buyer’s clubs provide a stable customer
base for the farm, but some crops need
to be moved fast in the peak of the season. – And then we sell wholesale, and so we have a
buyer up in Montana, out of Boseman, that
we’ve been dealing with for four years now, and so every week
our truck goes north, so I have a buyer in Cody, Zach, with Farm Table West, and so he’s buying from us, and then he resells
in the Cody area. – We love working with them, ’cause like I said,
they have a different growing season down there, and they also kind of specialize in hot weather crops, which also tends to be
what people really want, so peppers, tomatoes, melons. Their melons are spectacular. – And then every Friday, we go over the
mountain to Sheridan. And I have two
health food stores, and a deli, but with
those three programs now, we’re able to provide produce 10 months out of a year,
so it’s been great. – [Interviewer] Cool. – Love it, six years (laughs). – [Interviewer] And
you’re still alive. – And we’re still alive, barely. – [Announcer] In Laramie,
the Big Hollow Food Coop has provided a year round outlet for local foods since 2007. – One of the things we’ve found is that with the
local producers, we really have to
have flexibility, and be open to accepting
whatever they bring in. This is from Ryan Ranch, which is just south of town. We’re carrying some
of their squash. We have Planet Laramie
kale and greens, and we have Sheila Bird Farms, that we’ve been working
with since we started here. They’ve gained their
organic certification, and they actually
produce quite a lot. Some of their zucchini. – [Announcer] Catering to
a larger customer base, they’ve struck a balance between being an all inclusive grocer and keeping local
products on the shelf. – We’re very strategic specifically about
our local goods and our produce. We’re really committed
to those being affordable to anybody who
wants to buy them, can afford them. One of our biggest things that we sell locally
and what we’ve seen a huge increase in is meat, and this is a new product that we just brought in,
University of Wyoming, Cowboy Bread and Meats. These are brand new since
we opened the new store. There’s a variety down here, and we will move over and look at our huge frozen
meat selection, so we’re very
fortunate to have that, and that is one
of the key things that brings people
in, in my opinion. You’ll see that we
work with a number of different local
meat providers. High Point Bison, which is, we’ve been working with
them since we opened up, and they also, because of
the type of business we do, they expanded into doing
grass fed beef as well, which is down there, and they’ve developed
that product, because of this store, and their ability
to sell it here. And then we also work
with Prairie Monarch that’s here locally in town, and then Wags, and
Wags carries pork, beef, lamb, and goat,
for this community, and so all of these
meat suppliers are really popular, and we sell a lot
of their products, particularly the bison. I think they said one time that we sell essentially one
buffalo a month (laughs), which is a lot for them. The producer sets the price that they need to get for that. The same thing for the eggs. We don’t tell people, this is what we’ll pay for eggs. The producer comes in, they tell us what
they need for them, and then we put a very
small margin on ’em, and so because
again, we want people to have local eggs. We probably work with at least 10 to 12 different egg
vendors at all times, who just sell ’em locally
here at the store. We also sell a number of
things like baked goods that we’ll see
throughout the store. These are locally produced here. We have a salsa supplier. Need More Salsa,
which we sell here. It’s also locally produced. She’s distributing in
other grocery stores now. That’s one of the things
that’s been real fun about here is we
give people a place to kind of incubate their ideas and then grow them. We also sell Night Heron Bread, which is produced locally
right across the alley. Cheyenne Honey, and
we’ve been working with this company for
about eight years as well. We also sell it in bulk, so people can bring
in their own container and fill it up and get
it that way as well. We sell lots of that. – [Announcer] And
all of this evolved from a small group
of Laramie consumers. – This community has a very
vibrant farmer’s market, and there was a
desire by local people to be able to have the ability to get the farmer’s market
products year round. They decided that the
best way to do that is to create a
cooperative grocer. Before we even opened the doors, before they even hired me, 500 families had committed
to shopping here, and put their money towards it, and now we run between
1,800 and 2,000 families that have memberships here. You don’t have to be
a member to shop here, but if you are a member, if you buy into it, then
you get a 5% discount, so all of our staff
right now is paid, and we have 20 employees here, which has grown from three
when we started (laughs), which is great,
and I don’t know. We might be adding
more on this fall. We’ll see. – [Announcer] Having started
as a community effort, the focus has remained
on community cooperation. – Because we’re downtown, there’s a lot of things
that we don’t carry because it’s already
being done really well, and the coop is an anchor store, so I think overall
it has contributed to the vibrancy of our downtown, because people come down
to get their groceries, but then they might also go over and get their hair cut, and buy some specialty cheese, and it’s all right here, so. It’s grown unbelievably, largely because the
community support, and the local producers. – [Announcer] One
thing these markets all have in common is the focus on making local food
more conveniently
available year round. – [Announcer] This episode
of Farm to Fork Wyoming is available for $25. Order online at This program was
produced by Wyoming PBS, which is solely responsible
for its content. To learn more and watch
Wyoming PBS programs online, visit us at

5 thoughts on “Beyond the Farmers’ Markets – Farm to Fork

  1. Nicely done!  We are excited about fresh, locally sourced products and so pleased to have our Big Hollow in Laramie!  Thank you all for your efforts on your communities' behalf!

  2. I agree with healthier eating and I am Not knocking. I didn't see price for other items so please , help me understand the $5.00 / dozen eggs.

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