Local and Organic Food–on Main Street!

Last week I attended the ribbon-cutting and grand opening of PrairieSun Organics’ new shop here in Vermillion at 108B East Main Street. I’ve just been so tied up in other projects I haven’t had time to blog on it!

I’d planned an interview with owner Angela Jackson this afternoon, but it devolved into talking about local food processing, cooperative ventures, and chatting with various Vermillionites who wandered in the door.  I still got a few tidbits–and there’ll hopefully be more interview to come.

Angela is a long-time Vermillion resident herself, though her farm is just a few miles north of Sioux City.  Besides raising certified organic greenhouse and field-grown vegetables and pastured poultry, she also works as an organic auditor–which means she “certifies the organic certifiers”–often traveling the world to do so.

Her shop carries local and organic meats–chicken, beef, bison, lamb–and will be carrying organic vegetables in season.  She’ll also have locally produced organic dairy products and eggs, and just today received a shipment of Tim and Anita Eisenbeis’ organic flaxseed.

The plan is to continue to expand the selection as more organic goods come into season, and (this might be the thing I’m personally most excited about) also to carry worm composting systems and red wigglers to fill them.  I’d love to see everybody in town with a vermicompost bin to recycle their kitchen scraps into “brown gold.”

The shop itself is cozy–there’s even a little reading nook in the front with a comfy chair and lots of good agricultural reading materials.  Coolers and freezers take up the bulk of the space, the walls are full of lovely farm images, and the racks that now hold flax will be full of vegetable transplants in another few weeks.

Shop hours at this time are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from noon-7pm and Saturdays from 9-5, and Angela has expressed a desire to bring some of her goods up to the Vermillion Area Farmers Market on Thursdays starting in May (Angela’s niece, Tina, sold PrairieSun products at our market a couple of times last season).

I’m excited to see Angela’s venture enlivening our downtown and offering new opportunities and outlets for local production.  Make sure to pay her a visit soon!

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5 responses

  1. Wow, Vermillion must be an awesome town. Wish we had an organic market here. The two food stores in town are like shopping at a 7/11 convenience store. Nothing but plastic food. We have to shop at the Co-op in Sioux Falls and Whole Foods in Omaha normally. And that’s a really long drive.

    • Mary–

      I’ve always loved Vermillion (OK–there were a few times I was desperate to get out–but then I cam back–three times). And as much as I booster, I always wonder if maybe I inflate how great it is here a little too much–but compared to what it was when I first came in ’93, I’d say we’ve come a long ways!

      We certainly have our headaches and setbacks, but people like Angela are a real asset to the community and I’m so happy she has decided to open up shop here. It definitely raises the quality of life in our little town on the prairie.

  2. how exciting for you to have another partner in compost in vermtown! 😉 and Mary, Vermillion IS an awesome town. I’ve been in Seattle for nearly a decade and I still miss the familial feel of it…not sure how much of that is nostalgia, but I do know I met the largest percentage of my favorite people there, including the Queen of the Flying Tomatoes. 😀

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