Stacy Fahey, [email protected],
Reader’s choice award honors Southern Wisconsin food and farming champions
VIROQUA Wis. — A record number of Southern Wisconsinites cast thousands of votes for Edible Madison’s fourth annual Local Hero Awards, honoring local food and farming entrepreneurs in five categories: farmer/farm, chef/restaurant, food shop, food/beverage artisan and non-profit organization.
The Local Hero Awards are “people’s choice” awards—nominated and voted on by readers in an open process. Credit goes to the supporters of these local businesses and organizations for recognizing the hard work they have put into championing farm fresh, locally-produced food for this special piece of Wisconsin they call home.
“We congratulate this year’s Local Hero Award winners for their leadership in our food community,” said Jamie Lamonde, publisher and editor-in-chief of Edible Madison. “It is a well-deserved honor from our readers that recognizes awardees for their responsible environmental and social practices, high quality products and services, positive economic impact and commitment to building a robust local food system.”
Edible Madison is proud to announce the 2015 Local Hero Award winners:
Farmer/Farm: Kristen Kordet, Blue Moon Community Farm, Stoughton
Blue Moon Community Farm is a small, diverse CSA and market farm that raises pastured meats and more than 40 different organic vegetables (in 200 varieties!) on six acres. Kordet rotates the vegetable fields with grazed pastures as a natural way to replenish fertility. Fruit trees and flowers add more farm diversity, which Kordet believes is essential to good land stewardship. In addition to the farm, Blue Moon’s website has a long list of recipes that feature each vegetable grown on the farm. Find Blue Moon Community Farm at the Westside Community Market in Madison every Saturday starting in April.
Chef/Restaurant: Chef Patrick DePula, Salvatore’s Tomato Pies, Sun Prairie & Madison
DePula doesn’t cut corners when it comes to his tomato pies, and he has awards to show for it. He ferments his dough rather than adding sugar, makes sausage and pesto in-house, sources seasonal Wisconsin vegetables and cheese, and sources sustainable seafood from Sea to Table. He recently opened a second location in Madison. But what really sets DePula apart is his work in the community. DePula is a founding member of the Madison Area Chefs Network (MACN) and helped organize MACN’s inaugural Yum Yum Fest. Nominators were especially grateful to DePula for volunteering to run the school lunch program at Immaculate Heart of Mary School in Monona.
Food Shop: Conscious Carnivore, Madison
“Respect for every animal on four feet or two” is the slogan for this community butcher shop that opened in Madison as a retail location for Black Earth Meats in 2013. They insist on sourcing meat that is antibiotic-free, humanely harvested, and fairly traded, specializing in antibiotic-free chicken, heritage breed pork, local and Halal lamb and goat, and grass-fed, hormone-free beef. Conscious Carnivore and its parent company, Black Earth Meats, have had a stressful year, but co-owner Bartlett Durand has emerged more energized than ever and determined to continue bringing high quality, sustainably and humanely harvested meats to our southern Wisconsin region.
Food/Beverage Artisan: Annemarie Maitri, Bloom Bake Shop, Middleton
Bloom Bake Shop is a small-batch, local, organic and fair trade bakery that serves up all the sweets (plus some savories) you’d expect with many gluten-free and vegan versions. Maitri works hard to source locally and seasonally, as well as support organic, fair trade, cooperatives, and antibiotic- and hormone-free ingredients. Despite the shop’s busy schedule, Maitri believes in “slow food,” donates extra food to local charities at the end of each day, and helps other small food businesses get off the ground—an act of paying it forward in gratitude to the local businesses who, rather than treating her as competition, helped Maitri get started.
Non-Profit Organization: Middleton Outreach Ministry, Middleton
Middleton Outreach Ministry (MOM) leads a community-wide effort to prevent homelessness and end hunger for people in Middleton, West Madison and Cross Plains. MOM’s food pantry employs a unique model where clients can take as much food as they can use and visit as often as they need. MOM also runs a mobile food pantry, a snack bag program at Middleton High School, and three food pantry gardens that support the food pantry and serve as teaching spaces. In 2014, the gardens produced more than 8,000 pounds of food and the pantry served more than 4,000 people per month, distributing more than one million pounds of food.
Each of the five awardees gets to select a Wisconsin non-profit organization to receive a $500 donation from Edible Madison’s Local Hero Awards.
The Local Hero Awards are sponsored by Organic Valley, a La Farge, Wis.-based organic, farmer-owned cooperative with farmer-owners in 34 states. Organic Valley is on a mission to save family farming culture through organic agriculture and provides organic dairy, eggs, soy and produce to food co-ops, natural food stores and supermarkets nationwide. The Local Hero Awards are also sponsored by Heartland Credit Union, a full-service financial cooperative based in Madison that serves 28 counties in Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois. Heartland Credit Union’s mission is to provide its members with personalized financial services that contribute to their social and economic well-being.
To read more about Edible Madison’s Local Hero Awards and see the past winners, visit http://www.ediblemadison.com/local-hero-awards.
About Edible Madison, a magazine on a mission
Dedicated to celebrating the food and agriculture of southern Wisconsin, Edible Madison magazine is published quarterly with the seasons. Edible Madison’s mission is to promote that eating locally is good for the economy, environment and health and to connect eaters with local, sustainable food sources. The magazine accomplishes this through food education and by telling stories about the people behind the region’s dynamic food movement. For more information, visit ediblemadison.com.