2020 Microloan Season

 

 



We are so excited to see our 5th season of the Microloan program kicking off in 2020! This is a program that began in 2016 through a partnership with Crosshatch Center for Arts and Ecology. We had been sitting around the table with Crosshatch trying to identify how we, as a Natural Foods Cooperative could support and bolster the local food and farm economy. Both us and Crosshatch saw the microloan program as something that would do just that and so the rest is history.

The way the program works is that the Grain Train supplies the funds to be loaned, manages the loan distribution and payments and covers Crosshatch’s administrative fees for the program. Crosshatch handles the marketing and promotion of the program and sets up and manages the online application system. They also reach out to past recipients to find out how their projects are going and then tell the stories of those farms through the many channels that they have. There is a Microloan review panel made up of representatives from both organizations as well as others in the business world that look over the applicants and the selection(s) for the year.

We have learned a few things over the years. We started off awarding the funds in early summer and quickly learned that this is too late in the season for farmers so now the funds are disbursed by early March. This started off as a low interest rate loan program and since then we decided to make it a zero interest program. We started the program off by offering up to $6,000 in Micro Loans each year and since 2019 that amount has gone up to $10,000. We want to make sure that this program is as accessible to farmers and food producers as possible. Another thing that makes this program really accessible to farmers is that we consider proposals from $500 all the way up to $10,000. There could be one really strong application that we award the full $10,000 to or there might be multiple applications that we award various amounts to each year.

To date we have loaned $30, 557 to nine farms. In 2019, Oryana Community Coop partnered with Crosshatch adding seven counties and another $10,000 annu
To date we have loaned $30, 557 to nine farms. In 2019, ally to the program. This makes the overall reach of the Microloan program 12 countries with a total of $20,000 in funds to be loaned.

Microloan Applications are open and due February 7, 2020.


WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
This project aims to enhance an existing local food or farming venture or to help start a new one. The ideal candidate will propose an idea that would boost a farm or food business and elevate the region’s local food system. Applicants using sustainable practices are strongly encouraged, but proposals are not limited to particular practices or scale


USES FOR LOAN

essential tools for the farm or food business

materials, land, livestock, or infrastructure essential to the operation

certification

marketing and distribution

professional development

value-added product production

processing, packaging, marketing for farm products


LOAN DETAILS

$500 - $10,000

repayment terms dependent on loan size

0% interest rate

no application fee

We are excited to see what projects come in through this year’s applications. If you or someone you know has an idea to boost, expand or begin your local food or farm business or you are please apply or share this information with anyone you think might be interested! We are honored to be a part of our communities and the Microloan program is just one of many ways we are here to offer support.

Apply Here! 

January 13, 2020 by Mindy Taylor

It's All About You!

Here we are, boldly stepping into a new day, a new year and a new decade—Hello 2020! First off, this year does not need to be any differently than last year. You might be exactly where you want to be right now and that is excellent! You might also be thinking about making a few changes and are not quite sure what that looks like yet. Or you might be hitting the New Year with a new game plan you are really excited about. All of these and anywhere in between are excellent places to be! That’s the thing, it’s all about you.

At the Grain Train we know that a healthy lifestyle, diet and state of mind looks and feels different on each of us. Whether it is January 7 or December 7 we are here to offer you a grocery experience where you can shop knowing that you won’t find a single artificial product on our shelves so you can focus on what you want, not what you don’t. We are a Certified Organic Retailer, and that means we know how to handle our organic products in a way that maintains their integrity all the way from the farm to your shopping cart. We have a knowledgeable staff ready to help you find what you are looking for and our health and beauty section is stocked with vitamins and supplements to support you.



Speaking of vitamins and supplements, we have some new products just in that support a KETO diet that we thought you might like to hear about. Garden of Life’s Dr. Formulated KETO line has hit our shelves and includes the KETO Fit Weight Loss Shake, KETO Meal Balanced Shake, MCT Powder and Butter Powder. Here is what Garden of Life has to say about this line, “The Dr. Formulated Keto line of products is fully transparent, compliant to the keto guidelines, and designed to be convenient—we’ve done the math for you—just mix. Crafted for those seeking to enter into ketosis or stick to a low-carbohydrate diet for weight loss and health purposes, all Dr. Formulated products are Keto Certified, Paleo Friendly and clean: Non-GMO Project Verified and Truly Grass Fed.” In addition to these we also have ZHOU Ketone Powder and Ancient Nutrition KETO Fire Capsules. We have a full line of KETO friendly sweeteners in-stock as well and are happy to help you find what you are looking for.



It’s not ALL KETO around here though. Amazing Grass Green Superfood powders are in stock and on sale. The single serve packets are 4/$5 so you can easily give them a try. They are a simple way to get more greens into your diet. Garden of Life Dr. Recommended Probiotics and MyKind Elderberry Gummies are great for immune support and the Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal makes a tasty meal replacement shake. We are also excited to add Garden of Life Sport Organic Planted-Based Protein for those of you hitting the gym or looking for a sports shake. You can enjoy savings on all of these today.

We also have a sale on Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides in both the 10 oz and 20 oz size. Here’s what Vital Proteins has to say, “We know that while our bodies’ collagen production slows as we age, our need for it only grows as our bodies become less efficient and we maintain a vibrant life. And Vital Proteins believes that if you want to, you can make the most out of every moment you’re given—that your body shouldn’t be a limitation, but a catalyst.” We will let you decide if any of these supplements are what you are looking for but know if you have any questions, we are here to help!



One last product that just hit our shelves is The Purple Beet Frozen Smoothie Packets made in Boyne City, Michigan. “The Purple Beet is committed to creating convenient, nutritious, and delicious foods for you and your family. Life is crazy. Eating healthy doesn't have to be!” Their products contain only real ingredients and you only need a blender and 1 cup of liquid and you have a nutrient packed meal in minutes! Look for them in the freezer section. We will have them in to do a tasting soon, keep an eye out for more information on that!

No matter who you are and what your plans for the New Year are we are happy to be a part of it! Making a Difference One Bite at a Time is our mission and we are here to inspire healthy choices for both people and planet. We look forward to seeing you at the Stores and Cafe. Happy New Year!

January 07, 2020 by Mindy Taylor

Wrapping Up The Year

As we celebrate 2019 coming to an end and settle in for the start of 2020, we want to sincerely thank each of you for being a part of the Grain Train. We could not be more excited to see what this new decade has in store. One thing we know is that we will be here seven days a week to bring you fresh, local, natural, and organic goodness—just like we have been doing for nearly 50 years. Don’t forget to stop by between now and the New Year for your New Year’s Eve supplies.

The Cafe is the perfect spot to bring family and friends for a delicious breakfast, lunch, latte, or snack. When stopping by the stores make sure to stock up on all your favorite dips, chips, and crackers along with everything you need for a festive holiday cheese tray! Of course we have champagne (at the Petoskey Store) and sparkling juice for the kids to toast the New Year!

For those of you thinking ahead. We know that many of you take the New Year as a time to focus on goals and resolutions and we are here to help you with those, but we want to be sure to say that we know that healthy looks different for each of us. So whatever your new year brings, we are excited to be a part of it.

Next week we will talk about some of the great new products we have coming in to support your New Year. Until then, enjoy your time with family and friends, celebrate safely, and make sure you come see us! We are open regular hours at all our locations through New Year’s Eve and then closed New Years Day.

December 30, 2019 by Mindy Taylor

Stocking Stuffers


One of you recently asked if we would take a little tour with our blog this week and talk about stocking stuffers ideas from around the stores—so let's explore what you’ll want to know when doing some holiday shopping at the Grain Train.

First off, Gift cards. With cards from our stores or the Cafe you can give the gift of natural, local, and organic food to you and yours. Need something for that neighbor who always lends a helping hand? Maybe they haven't had lunch at the Cafe yet and it's time to treat them back. Store gift cards can be used at both our Petoskey and Boyne City locations, and we also have special gift cards for the Cafe as well.



More ideas? Make sure you sniff out our line of Pranarom diffusers and essential oils. The 2020 WeMoon datebooks are here and we also brought in the WeMoon anthology book for this holiday season. From Juniper Ridge we have wildcrafted Douglas Fir tea, sage bundles, and sweet grass braids. The three would make a beautiful gift together or any one of them would add beauty to a stocking.

Bring in the light of Solstice with Poppy Candles. These 100% percent pure beeswax candles make excellent gifts, add a natural beauty to any holiday table, and are perfect for bringing in the light on Solstice. Speaking of your holiday table, we just got a delivery of Open Sky Farms’ holiday arrangements. We also are stocked up with Poinsettias, Christmas Cactus, and more! Grab a bottle of Riojana wine and a tuck it in with any of these items and you have a perfect hostess gift.



They were so popular last year we have brought back Terra Natural Designs scarfs. We have their Cotton Square Scarves and the Alpaca Infinity Scarves that are so soft and colorful you might as well just get one for yourself, too. You can feel really good about getting and giving these works of beauty. Don’t just take it from us though, Terra Natural Designs says that, “When it comes to shopping for fashion accessories, there are always plenty of options; however, not every option has a positive impact on society or the planet. We are here to offer a real handmade indigenous product, that will help keep your vibration high, with natural and intelligent materials.”

Sometimes we forget the practical in gift giving. A bottle of local maple syrup or honey will surely sweeten up a stocking. Chocolove chocolate bars are on sale right now and are always a welcome gift. Higher Grounds Highland Humanity coffee is a local product that is organic and fair trade, it tastes delicious and as they say, “High quality coffee is sustainable only through a human-centric approach. It's a simple idea. And as we like to think of it, our secret recipe for the best cup of coffee in the world.” We think you can taste that difference in every cup! Filling one of our beautiful African Baskets with goodies or staples like these from the Grain Train is a perfect gift option.

NOTE: Some popular gift items will be on sale this Friday-Sunday in our next Weekend Flash Sale. Keep an eye out in your inbox to see just what those items will be!

We hope this gives you some ideas for holiday shopping at the Grain Train. We are still taking pre-orders for fresh Duerksen holiday turkeys and our house-made, veggie trays. It's easy to pre-order online just by clicking on the links above.



One last item we want to bring to your attention—to help support local community members in need this holiday season, please consider ROUNDING UP at the register as you check out at the stores.

And, remember Solstice is on it’s way Saturday, December 21 at 11:19 pm—and bringing with it the light! May it reach each one of you this holiday season!

December 16, 2019 by Mindy Taylor

Making A List and Checking It Twice

This time of year has everyone making all sorts of lists and checking them twice. There are a few opportunities coming up at the Grain Train that we know will make planning your holiday festivities a little easier and a whole lot tastier!

First, we have a limited quantity of fresh Duerksen turkeys coming and we are currently taking pre-orders. These will sell out fast so get your orders in now! These holiday turkeys are raised on pasture in northern Michigan and never frozen, so they arrive on your table supremely fresh and delicious. Whole turkeys are $3.99/pound and have a use by or freeze by date of December 26. These turkeys will arrive on December 19 and you can pick them up anytime between then and December 23.

You can also pre-order a veggie tray made with organic vegetables for your holiday party, gathering or dinner. We are offering size small (serves 8-12), medium (serves 25), and large (serves 50). These range in price from $14.99-$49.99 with an additional $5 charge for ranch dip or hummus. Pick up dates range from December 19-23. Let us make this for you so you have a little more time to spend with family and friends.

We know that seafood holds a special spot in numerous holiday traditions and we are so excited to be bringing you a Dock Fish Sale on December 23. We have been working hard to find you the most delicious, sustainably harvested seafood available. More details to come but you can expect to find Maine Coast Lobster Tail, Wholey YellowFin Tuna, Cannon Fish Company Salmon Fillets, King Crab Legs, Wholey Cooked P&D Tail On Shrimp, Louis Select Raw Shrimp Shell On, Wholey Red Argentine P&D Shrimp, and more. All products are wild and sustainably caught and backed by the Marine Stewardship Council. Make sure you add to your list our house-made tartar and cocktails sauces for this special event!

Speaking of made in-house, keep an eye out for more holiday offerings from our Bakery/Deli showing up further into the month.

While you are out holiday shopping, make sure you stop by the Cafe for lunch, a coffee, or one of our holiday smoothies like THE SUGAR PLUM, made with almond milk, spice syrup, raisins, cherries, red grapes, raspberries, coconut date rolls, walnuts, orange zest, cranberries, or the CRANBERRY-APPLE made with organic cranberries & apples, coconut milk, banana, maple syrup, cinnamon. Yum! See you there!



Don’t forget to grab a tag off any one of our three giving trees and help spread holiday cheer this season.



Speaking of the holidays, you might be wondering what our holiday hours are? Here you go:

December 10, 2019 by Mindy Taylor

Giving

As we are still basking in the light of gratitude from our time of Thanksgiving with friends and family, we want to share some opportunities to spread some JOY as we continue into this holiday season.

Tomorrow, December 3, is Giving Tuesday. This day which follows Black Friday and Cyber Monday, has become a “Global Generosity Movement” where people across the world are helping others through the gift of their time, donations, goods, or voice. A few of the ways we are supporting the movement this year are: Round Up at the Register for Manna, the Giving Trees, the Community Winter Wear Bank, and the Women’s Resource Center’s Safe Home Food and Household Donation Cart. Each of these opportunities to give begins and ends with your generosity.



This is the perfect time of year to remind you about the option in the stores to Round Up your purchase to the nearest dollar for the Manna Food Project. We don’t always ask you if you would like to participate in this program, but we want to remind you that all you have to do is tell us you'd like to participate and we will make sure those cents are donated. They really do add up and we are honored to support this organization: “Manna Food Project (Manna), a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, helps feed the hungry in Antrim, Charlevoix, and Emmet Counties. Over 250 committed volunteers, partnering with a staff of eight, work together to achieve our mission. Manna is a partner organization of the national Feeding America Food Bank Network. Manna operates a food bank (distribution center), a food rescue program, a weekly food pantry, and the “Food 4 Kids” backpack program.”


An annual tradition at the Grain Train is the Giving Tree. The Women's Resource Center and other community resources provide us with a local family's wish list and we, along with your help, make sure it gets fulfilled. We are very excited to be adding Giving Trees at our Boyne City store and also at the Cafe this year. Next time you are in, just select a tag from one of our Giving Trees and bring back each gift wrapped and with the tag attached to whichever location the tag was picked up from (Petoskey store, Boyne City store, or Cafe). At the Petoskey store and the Cafe, gifts are due back by December 12. In Boyne City, presents are due December 16.



You might remember the Coat Tree that was on the corner of Petoskey and Michigan Streets last year? It was a community project where coats, hats, gloves, and all sorts of winter wear were dropped off for anyone who needed them. It was a great idea that had one drawback, the clothing froze out in the elements. In 2018, a Public Safety officer asked us if we would house the project and we thought the back porch of the Cafe was just the spot. The Winter Wear Bank is up and running again this season. This is still a community project and we are asking for your help in keeping the rack and bins full, neat, and orderly. If the area is full, kindly donate elsewhere.


One last way to give that we want to touch on today is the shopping cart in the entryway of our Petoskey location. All of the donations that go inside the cart are collected for the Women’s Resource Center’s Safe Home. Purchasing one item to donate per shopping trip can really go a long way to making sure that the Safe Home is fully stocked and ready for those in need. Should you wonder what items they are accepting, here is their needs list.

So, in the spirit of giving, we hope you will participate in these opportunities as you are able. We love Giving Tuesday but let’s keep that caring for our community alive and well all year long.

As for what is happening at the stores and Cafe this week, we are gearing up for the rest of the holiday season! More details of that to come. We are excited to extend the Cafe’s hours this Friday, December 6, for the Downtown Petoskey Open House. We hope that you will come in, warm up and enjoy what we have to share with you this festive evening! See you there!

December 02, 2019 by Mindy Taylor

Community

 

We are an organization that was founded 48 years ago by the community coming together around food and those roots still run deep within us today. Giving back to and taking part in our communities is a part of who we are at the Grain Train. When you choose to spend your dollars at our stores or at the cafe, you are putting those dollars back into the community. That is part of what being a natural foods cooperative is, our profit goes back to our member/owners, is invested in staff, is used to improve the stores and cafe and, last but certainly not least, goes out to enrich the community in numerous ways.

As we go into the time of Thanksgiving, we wanted to share a story that has our mission, Making A Difference One Bite At A Time, right at the heart of it. We are truly grateful and honored to be a part of this story.

Chef Jon Kirk wanted to find a way to “introduce students to a home style kitchen through fun cooking activities.” The main idea was to give the kids kitchen experience. He started asking around for how to get it started and was connected with Susan McCloskey of the Rambler Wellness program. Through his partnership with Rambler Wellness with support from Fustini’s, FreshBaby and the Grain Train, the Rambler Wellness Cooking Activity Club for Boyne City Middle School students was born in 2018.

When Jon reached out to us again this year to see if we would cover the expenses of the ingredients for the club, we asked what made him want to partner with the Grain Train. He said that, “It gives students exposure to the healthier, organic choices that the Grain Train offers. The Grain Train’s products stimulate conversation about certified organic, sustainable farming, and healthier choices.” We loved that answer! It is our mission in motion without a doubt! We are excited to be supporting this program again in 2019.


There have been 50 children through the program to date and this year they have been up to some seriously tasty-looking cooking. Earlier this month each students made their own pepperoni pita pizzas. They also learned about avocados, cooking eggs, making smoothies, and cleaning up after themselves. The recipes for the Egg and Avocado Toast and the Green Smoothie came from Cheryl Tallman’s book, I 💓 Vegetables. Cheryl is the founder of FreshBaby and is from Petoskey.

Last week the club made two FreshBaby recipes from their vegetable cookbook using Grain Train ingredients. They learned all about using an electric griddle while making Pumpkin Pancakes. They also explored making an egg dish by creating a Broccoli Egg Bake, another FreshBaby recipe. Other recipes they made in the past include pizza casserole, chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes, chocolate truffles, bread pudding (one of Jon’s recipes featured in a March 2018 issue of Northern Express), and sweet and savory puff pastries. We sure love to see those smiling faces and youthful hands forming a lasting relationship with cooking and food.


We will keep sharing the story of what Jon and the kids are up to in the kitchen via Facebook, so if you don’t follow us there, please do! We want to extend our gratitude to Chef Jon Kirk for donating his time and being the driving force in this program. It warms our hearts to see what the kids are cooking up each week. Keep an eye out in the community for more Cooking Activity Clubs. You may have heard about his classes at a Local Food Alliance meeting or with the Girl Scouts Badge classes. Keep up the good work, Jon!

From all of us at the Grain Train we wish you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving. We are open regular hours through Wednesday the 27th, are closed Thanksgiving Day, and open regular hours on Friday the 29th. Duerksen Turkeys and the Deli’s Maple Pumpkin Pie pick up will be Tuesday, November 26th and Wednesday, November 27th. We are stocked up with all your holiday staples plus so much more. Stop by and see us at the stores and don’t forget to grab lunch at the Cafe while you are downtown!

November 25, 2019 by Mindy Taylor

All The Trimmings

 

All the trimmings might not be the show stoppers of your holiday table but the ingredients that go into them really are the foundation of your meal. This week we thought you might like to take a look at some of our favorite holiday staples as you start to make your holiday shopping lists.



Who doesn’t like it when Cascadian frozen veggies go on sale? It’s extra exciting when you have way more mouths to feed than an average meal and organic frozen green beans that are already prepped and ready to go into your favorite dishes are going to save you time and money.

Yes, you will get a bountiful amount of broth from your Duerksen Turkey, but for some dishes it would be handy to have that stock before the turkey comes out of the oven. For that we have Pacific Organic Broth on sale. It’s a customer favorite. We carry Beef, Chicken, Low Sodium Chicken, Mushroom, and Vegetable broth. If you are looking for a bone broth option, Bonafide Provisions Organic Bone Broth is on sale in our freezer section right now, and we also have shelf-stable bone broth options. Don’t forget to stock up on Imagine Organic Gravy. It is never a bad idea to have some extra gravy on hand just in case grandma’s recipe doesn't pan out like you imagined. Imagine Gravy is easy, organic, and gluten free! Not to mention it’s really tasty!



We have savory stuffing, cornbread stuffing and gluten-free stuffing (though it’s hard to keep that stuff on the shelf!) Any of these are tasty on their own but when you add a little celery, apples, wild rice or sausage, they can really pop. Lundberg Family Farms Wild Rice Blend is on sale right now and would make a perfect addition to your stuffing or inside an acorn squash. We also have some really tasty bread from Stonehouse Bakery in Traverse City that could be cubed into the base of your favorite stuffing. There are about as many variations of stuffings as there are tables they land on, so get creative—who knows, you might start a new tradition!

Bacon-wrapped just about anything is sure to be a hit and Garrett Valley Bacon is on sale right now. Their Uncured Sugar-Free Bacon is perfect for a keto-friendly table. This Three Bean Salad with Bacon recipe adds a splash of color to the table. Speaking of splash of color, we are stocked up on Woodstock Organic Cranberry Sauce. Don’t worry, we also have fresh cranberries too for your favorite cranberry relish!

Remember to check out our selection of La Riojana Organic and Fair Trade Wines. At $7.99 a bottle you really can’t go wrong. You can feel good knowing that every bottle is helping to support and build the Riojana community. November 21st is Beaujolais Nouveau Day and that is when you will start seeing this French wine made with the season’s first grape harvest appear at the Grain Train.The release of this wine is a huge holiday in France. For us here it is a fun tradition. You never know what the 2019 vintage will taste like but we are always excited to see it hit our shelves. We also have Knudsen’s Organic Sparkling Juices, Farmer’s Creamery Eggnog, So Delicious Coconut Holiday Nog and Cultured Kombucha or GT’s Kombucha in bottles or on tap. Basically, we have you covered when it comes to beverages for you holiday table.

 



When it comes to dessert, we know you will have the best of the best if you preorder a Maple Pumpkin Pie from our Bakery/Deli, but we have some other great handmade pie options from Willamette Valley Pies to round out your dessert offerings. Their American Apple, Cherry Crunch and Pumpkin Chiffon are beautiful and so yummy and are a steal at $12.99! Willamette Valley also has some really tasty prebaked options that are ready to eat but really pop when you do a quick egg wash to brown them. The Marionberry really is an exceptional pie and they are only $8.99! We also have all the ingredients to make your own pies, including Immaculate Baking Pie Crusts that are on sale right now. Whatever pie you choose, don’t forget the Alden’s Ice Cream!

When it comes time to set down to the table this holiday season, you can take pride that you are dishing up food made with love and the best ingredients. Remember, when you are shopping with us, you don’t ever have to worry about finding artificial anything. So let your eyes and your taste buds lead you and we will see you at the Stores!

 

November 18, 2019 by Mindy Taylor

Harvest

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Family gathered all around. A Savory Apple Tart is in the oven and you are about to sit down to a meal that fully captures the season—harvest season. Whether you are planning for your Thanksgiving feast or are just soaking up the local splendor, it really is an exquisite time of year for food. It is starting to look festive around the stores but, just like always—produce really sets the stage.

Right now we have the most delicious Honeycrisp apples from Kriesche Farm in Rudyard, MI. They live up to their name with every bite being so crisp and refreshing with just the right amount of sweet. They are a treat as-is, but if you are looking for some ideas to bring that sweetness into more dishes on your table, we can help with that too.

Start your day with this Morning Apple Crumble alongside a helping of Squash, Apple and Bacon Hash. As you plan for your upcoming holiday meals make sure to give this Cinnamon Apple Stuffed Squash a try. Maybe swap out the dried herbs for Bear Creek Organic Farm fresh herbs in this Apple and Celery Stuffing recipe. Speaking of Bear Creek, their salad mix and micro greens will make any salad pop!




Right now the local squash is really amazing. Check out this guide on picking just the right variety for whatever you are planning. We have organic squash from Providence Organic Farm including Acorn, Buttercup, Butternut, Delicata, Carnival, Spaghetti, and Sweet Dumpling. We also have organic Komboca in stock right now.

Did you know that Delicata and Kobocha squash are known for their tender skins that are perfect for eating? Kobocha squash makes a really tasty soup as well! Speaking of soup, it is downright chilly out there and nothing hits the spot quite like a bowl of soup. Combine a couple of harvest favorites in either of these squash-based soups. Butternut Apple Soup with Ginger and Butternut Apple Bisque are sure to warm you up. These are best served with a warm slice of Spiced Winter Squash Bread. Yum! 

We mentioned chestnuts roasting, and that is because we have fresh chestnuts from Bachi Farm in Williamsburg, MI! According to BBC goodfood, “Fresh chestnuts must always be cooked before use and are never eaten raw, owing to their tannic acid content.” Check out this BBC guide to roasting chestnuts.

Of course, we have all the regulars you expect to find—organic celery, leafy greens, potatoes, sweet potatoes and yams, onions, fresh cranberries, pomegranate seeds, and fresh poultry herbs. Whatever you decide to savor during this harvest season, we are here with all the bounty you need 7-days a week! Don’t forget to stop by the Deli Hot Bar or Cafe and taste some of these ingredients in action. See you there!

November 11, 2019 by Mindy Taylor

Time to Talk Turkey!

 

It’s November. It’s November 4th actually. The time changed yesterday and we are seeing reminders of the upcoming holidays everywhere. For us at the Grain Train, the focus of the season remains the same—being the trusted source of what goes on your tables. Making a Difference One Bite At A Time is our mission be it January, June, or November. Though this time of year, there is one item that we think really deserves the spotlight - Duerksen Turkey Farm turkeys. 


Why do we make such a big deal about these turkeys? The short answer is that they are simply worth all the fuss! Let’s talk about why— 


Rick and Sue Duerksen have been running Duerksen Turkey Farm since the late 70s, a tradition they carried on from Rick’s grandmother. In fact, this year marks their 40th anniversary turkey farming! Their four children were raised on the farm and took part in every aspect of the business as well. 


In 2007, they began producing pasture-raised turkeys. Pasture-raised means that these birds are humanely raised and truly cared for. Here’s what the Duerksen’s have to say “ Our turkeys spend their lives in wide open spaces. They dine on tender green grass and breathe fresh country air, while chasing after a delicious meal of a variety of insects and grasshoppers.” 


So today, all their turkeys are pastured-raised, chemical free, antibiotic free, growth hormone free and GMO free. There is a lot of work and intention that goes into these birds and we think you can taste the difference. We know that having a bird you can feel good serving on your holiday table is important to you, and these birds fit the bill—well beak as it may be. 


If you haven't tasted a Duerksen Turkey make sure to stop by the Petoskey store from 2-4 PM on Friday, November 8, to talk turkey with Sue Duerksen herself—which is worth the trip alone! While you are here, be sure and sample a taste of their mouth-watering, oven roasted turkey. The 8th would be a great day to pre-order your holiday bird (unless you are ready to order now—we can help you with that, too). One more perk to stopping by to see Sue on the 8th is that if you pre-order your turkey at that time, you will be entered into a drawing to win a $50 Grain Train Gift Card! 


Duerksen turkeys come to us fresh and never frozen (now, if due to timing you need a frozen bird, we have those, too). That means you are getting the most premium product at its peak. The large size is going quickly! Your ordered turkeys will be available for pick-up at both the Petoskey and Boyne City stores on Tuesday, November 26, and Wednesday, November 27, from 7 AM–9 PM. 


If you are passing on the bird this year, we have you covered, too. We have Tofurky Roast and Tofurky Plant-Based Ham Style Roast, Gardein Holiday Roast, and Field Roast’s Celebration and Cranberry Hazelnut Roast. We also have all the fixings for your table, but we will talk more about those in the next couple weeks. Until next time, stop by and say Hi to Sue on the 8th and we will see you there!

November 04, 2019 by Mindy Taylor