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Tag Archives: Local Food
I was at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market yesterday getting my fix of my favorite salsa from Nightshade Army Industries. I bought four jars, 3 red 1 green and Stefanie threw in a bag of ground cherry tomatoes.
The have a paper like husk wrapper like tomatillos, but are sweeter and are better raw.
They are sweet and fun to eat because of the wrappers, which makes them a fun party food.
Some say they have an almost tomato cross with a mango flavor. I think they have more of a sweet tomato with an sun dried tomato flavor.
They are my new thing. I try to try new vegetables each year. Last year was amaranth stem.
This is the Real Greek Salad version I had when i was in Greece. No baby spinach, no olives, no fancy dressing, no peppercini.
1-2 peeled and sliced cucumber
1-2 ripe tomatoes large wedge or diced
salt and pepper to taste
a little olive oil to drizzle
and a huge slice of feta
I was at the Ypsilanti Farmers Market yesterday, and I picked up some great salsa. In fact it is the only salsa I every want. It is by Nightshade Army Industries and it is made locally. They grow the tomatoes and peppers and they process the salsa at Beezy’s Cafe.They feature classic red and green and hot sauce and chilly vinegar. It reminds me of Southwest Style, the kind of salsa I loved in New Mexico.
Their partnership with Beezy’s Cafe makes this possible. In order for Nightshade to make their salsa, they need access to a commercial certified kitchen. These kitchen are everywhere. Every restaurant,cafe, or deli has one, but the are hard to come by.
Nightshade comes in after hours to make their salsa. I thought how many other local food products could we have if we could take advantage of a handful of kitchens after hours. What a huge untapped resource.
Think about all of that extra squash/pumpkin in your garden. That can be turned into pie filling. Or that apple tree in the back yard could make for a large batch of apple butter. Or how about small batch pickles, frozen dessert, or any number of food products that take advantage of local food, flavors and creativity.
Nightshade Army Industries does not just make great salsa, they are true local food heroes.
Go get yourself some.
Long after the garden has been put to bed, there are POTATOES.
Above is a picture of some of the potatoes a grew this year, this crazy garden year. It is almost Dec and I am still enjoying my garden.
Looking at my potatoes and preparing my standard recipe pan of simple roasted, I wondered about looking into other potato recipes.
Emily asked why.
Why indeed. I can eat roasted potatoes for the rest of my life and not want for any other potato.
Here is my recipe:
1) Wash and rinse as many potatoes as you feel like. (for my that is about 5 pounds)
2) cut them into about 1 inch size pieces.
3) Place in a pan one layer deep (get as many pans as you need. I usually make two pans for leftovers)
4) drizzle some oliver oil on them
5) shake on some salt and dried thyme or rosemary or both
And bake in a 400 degree oven until they are done (45-60 minutes-ish)
Taste and add more salt if desired.
I use yukon gold and red potatoes. I grew red Pontiac and yukon gold this year.
I am a big fan of local food.
I picked up my Thanksgiving Turkey this year from the farm it was raised. And the pumpkin, sweet potatoes, broccoli, cranberries, eggs and corn meal in the meal were all local.
With that said, I really, really want to see the local food movement grow.
But do Local Food Eaters really want it to grow?
I have been thinking about that lately and part of me thinks NO.
The reason I say this is because I question the incentive for individual local food eaters to bring more people into the fold.
Are local food eater like myself telling friends, increasing our numbers, dragging reluctent friends to the farmers market?
A few years back, I belonged to a food club that offered raw milk. The club was kind of secretive, and I got the feeling that most in the club wanted to keep it that way.
More local food eaters means more competition for the limited supply of locally produced food.
Would the good nature local food eater (myself included) feel OK when they can’t get into a CSA, or they can’t get local eggs, or they get shut out of a community garden plot, or if there is a wait list for chicken when it once was easy to get?
Promoting local food feels like shooting ourself in the foot.
It’s like telling everyone about our favorite restaurant, which results in us never getting a table.
The incentive to not share in our good thing is strong.
But this mentality has a risk because we need more local food eaters.
Without more local food eaters, the movement is sunk because more local food eaters means more local farmers and larger/more farmers markets to meet demand, more local food restaurant, more prepped food products and more access all around for locally produced grown food.
There currently is not enough farmers market shoppers in my town to buy up the current farm production.
There are simply more food shoppers shopping some where else then from local farmers at the farmers market.
So perhaps the current group of local food folks have little to worry about, but that is my point here.
I feel that local food eaters and the movement enjoys the current size of the local food movement and I am one of them, I have to admit.
There is plenty of local food for us now, but not if our numbers grew.
Indeed local food access has grown. It is easier to eat more locally (in some areas). And without the work of local food advocates for years, the current folks like myself who enjoy access to local food would not be able to enjoy their local Thanksgiving.
But I do feel that the movement is vulnerable to stall because of an inclussive and hoarding mentality.
What I say, eventhough it may be shooting ourselves in the foot in the short run, is to tell a friend about local food. Get more folks to eat more locally.
This means dragging your friends to the farmers market until they become regulars, and then not complaining when it gets hard to get some of your local food items.
Be patient supply will grow to meet the increased demand and that is better for all of us.