It’s a common misconception that whatever is printed on a label is fact, but most often times, these labels contain buzz-words as a marketing tool. Just because something says it is organic, doesn’t mean it actually is.  

So, how do you know what is what? Well, you have to read the label. If something says that is gluten-free or vegan, double check the ingredients list to make sure. Tip: If a food item has ingredients that you have never heard of, can’t pronounce, or there is way too many of them, it likely isn’t very nutritious.  

Watch out for foods that claim to have no sugar. There could still be added sugar with honey, agave, or worse, high fructose corn syrup. Look at how many grams of sugar something has. Some foods do use ingredients with natural sugars, but if the number of grams is high, it probably means they added sugar.  

Next, you want to make sure something is truly organic. Foods that are officially and certifiably organic will contain green and white USDA Organic seal, which proves it has met the regulations for organic food. This can be trickier with produce. Look at the price look up number on the produce. Organic produce will have a five-digit number that starts with 9, while non-organic produce only has a four-digit number. Absolutely all of our produce at Wagner Farm Stand is organic, but if you are at a farmer’s market, as the vendor about their operation to get a better idea if they are true organic.   

Also, do you research. There are lots of websites that can vouch for brands of specific foods. At Farm Stand, we only use products that we believe are the best for our customers. We will never sell you something we wouldn’t want our own families to eat.  

So, the next time you are at the store, make sure to read all the labels to know for sure what you are putting into your body. 

Coming Soon – Our Own Full Restaurant (!!!!)

We are so excited to announce that, after several years of planning, we will soon be able to open the Wagner Farm Restaurant!  

This is a dream a decades in the making. Just three years ago, the Farm Stand started selling sandwiches, soups, and salads. It was a huge success. People loved that we were making items with the stuff we sold in the store, so they could try out a particular kind of vegan cheese or gluten-free bread before buying it. Soon, we became a hip lunch spot and we didn’t have enough room to fit all of our hungry customers.  

Two years ago, an old diner closed up shop and the building sat empty for months. Our owners started thinking about the space and how it could be the perfect home for Wagner Farm Restaurant. It needed to be gutted (so much fried oil still lingered in the air), but it had the potential to be a perfect space. They decided to go for it and make the restaurant dream a reality.  

We got to work, even having a staff demolition night! We installed new flooring, windows, and carpeting and painted every inch of the place. We installed all new stoves, sinks, toilets – you name it. Pretty much everything but the studs of the building is new! We then set out to work on decorating it to make it feel fresh and hip, but also warm like the Farm Stand store.  

Next, we hired a locally-renowned chef to come up with the menu. Because the Wagner Farm Restaurant is in a different building than the Farm Stand, we decided to veer from using only our ingredients because we wanted to create a variety of dishes. The Farm Stand will still sell the food on its current menu, but the restaurant will be something brand new.  

This new menu will feature all vegetarian and vegan foods, but you won’t know it by looking at our dishes. Our chef found a way to revitalize vegetables and give them textures you never thought possible. There will also be tons of gluten-free dishes, and absolutely everything will be made with organic ingredients.  

To ensure we are doing right by our staff, we are working with a local food service union and Jim Wetzel, a personal injury lawyer, to keep everyone safe and happy.  

 The new establishment will contain art done by local artists, and we’ll host a variety of community events. We are also planning to launch a special program that trains and gives jobs to train individuals who are homeless or recently released from prison.  

Our restaurant will serve breakfast and lunch every day, and dinner on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  

We are so excited about this new venture and we hope you visit us on opening day!

Eating Healthy Doesn’t Have to Cost More

Most people think that healthy eating means more money, and sometimes it can. Across the country, we’ve seen the rise and trend of the healthy eating, with wealthier people being able to keep up while those in the lower income brackets unable to get nutritious food.  If your version of healthy eating is high-end energy bars with seeds brought in from the Himalayans, then, yes, it is going to be more expensive. But remember, people ate healthy long before smoothies, Buddha bowls, and avocado toasts were a thing.  

Eating healthy takes two main things, both of which are not money: Time and planning. Part of the reason why low-income families eat unhealthier is that they may have to resort to pre-prepared foods, which are loaded with preservatives and fats. Making a healthy meal of steamed vegetables and rice does take more time, there is no doubt about it. However, educating people on how to make these foods faster and easily could help. We believe that kids need to be taught in schools how to make this food, and that just a bit of extra time could do wonders for their nutrition, which improves their sleep, energy levels and mood.  

This is where planning can come in handy. If you know you are making three rice dishes in a week, you can make one big pot and reuse that rice for each dish. Same with other grains. Pairing ingredients over multiple dishes takes planning, but it ensures we aren’t spending so much for things you may not use all of. 

While it takes time and planning, healthy eating won’t break the bank. Stay away from foods that market themselves as health foods and keep to the basics of vegetables, brown grains, and simple sauces without extra sugar and you will be eating healthily in no time!

Partnering with Public Schools

Last year, we launched our Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities initiative in the local public schools, and we are in awe of all the good that is doing! 

The program was started to teach kids about healthy eating and how to make healthy food choices, and it is contains three main components: 

  1. First, school lunches. Every two weeks, Wagner Farm Stand donates all the ingredients to make lunch for all the schools in the area. These meals are all vegan and gluten-free but contain delicious foods that even the pickiest of eaters will enjoy. And, don’t worry, we don’t forget the desert.  
  1. Once a month, we host cooking demonstrations in each of the schools. The kids all get to select one meal that they love, and we show them how to make a healthy meal out of it.  
  1. And, every year, we take the kids on a tour of the farm. This is usually in the fall, during apple season, when kids can see the orchards, learn how we take care of the trees, and see apple cider being made. Each kid then gets some apples to take home to make their own tasty dish.  

It’s been a great program and we can’t wait to see how it expands in future years!

Being a Vegan Isn’t Really That Hard

Many people get very defensive when you tell them they are vegan. It’s almost like they think poorly on them for eating meat, when in reality it is your own choice. However, most people get scared about being a vegan because they think it is going to be hard work. Well, we have a secret: It’s not! 

The Standard American Diet contains way more meat than most humans need. The next time you are at a restaurant, look at home many items how meet. Do we really need meat in our soups and our salads? We don’t think so.  

People also assume it’s expensive to be a vegan. Sure, buying vegan cheesecake is not cheap, but there are tons of foods we eat every day that don’t have animal products in.  

Maybe you aren’t ready to be a vegan just yet, but try limiting how much dairy, eggs, and meat you consume in each meal. Try to give up meat just one day a week, or skip the cheese on your next salad. We bet that you will see being a vegan is actually pretty easy! 

The Wagner Farm Stand Story

The Wagner Farm Stand started two decades ago, when our grandfather wanted to open up a local grocery store that focused mostly on healthy foods. He wanted a place where people could run into their neighbors but also buy good food that you can’t get at other grocery stores. Our grandfather saw that people were turning to convenience when it came to food, and he wanted to remind them that good food is about good ingredients.  

The store opened with just a few items in the produce section and a couple of barrels of grains, but from there, it has grown into a full-fledge store with its own bakery, butcher, deli, and natural beauty and cleaning products section. We have items to match every palette, but we focus on vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free items. Most of our produce comes from our family farm, and we even have a compost program where our customers can bring in their compost and we can use it on our farm!  

Anyway, that’s the story of Wagner Farm Stand and we hope you stop by!