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An artisanal plea from a fed-up foodie

When you find me behind bars, locked up for a fit of lexical rage, please know that it was granola that pushed me over the edge. Not just any granola: "artisan granola." Presumably its makers meant artisanal granola, made in limited quantities using traditional methods, rather than crunchy-buttery-nutty...

I am woman, hear me store: Review of “The Complete Root Cellar Book”

Now that the farming season is winding down along with my energy levels, I find that I’m really grateful that the food preservation method I lean on most for the produce harvested at this time of year is the simple task of root cellaring. Not that I have a root cellar: I keep my living space temperatures on...

Bean there, done that: A tour of Hodo Soy

Farmers markets are far more than a source of good food from small farmers and a place to build connections among the community. They can also serve as incubators for food businesses, places where new entrepreneurs can try selling prepared foods on a small scale or where experienced market participants can...

One sick chicken

With a few exceptions, the animals on my farm are not pets. My sheep and chickens have jobs to do -- eating grass and bugs, making eggs and meat and babies. If they don't do their job, they don't stay on my farm. That isn't to say that I don't treat them well or care what happens to them. In stark contrast...

Notes from a new farmer: Q&A with Michael Gallagher, Square Roots Farm

In every school, there is a legendary former student -- the one whose academic prowess knew no bounds. "Brilliant," people marvel about this student, even decades later. "That kid was brilliant." (Or, here in New England, you might hear: "Wicked smaaaaaht.") At my daughter's school, that individual is...

Math lessons for Budiansky: Industrial concentration vs. local choice

On Friday, New York Times op-ed contributor Steven Budiansky challenged local food advocates to rethink their math, mainly about food miles. As it happens, I was already doing some food calculations that day -- but not of the sort Budiansky discussed. My numbers included the following: As of Friday, 450...

Hey USDA & DoJ: Ranchers want more competition in the cattle industry

Big hats carrying small sticks: The CEO of R-Calf, which represents cattle raisers, has been criss-crossing the country, exhorting people to get to Fort Collins, Colorado, on Aug. 27th for a federal-level workshop about competition in the cattle industry. He wants 25,000 to show up and "send a message to...

Neophobia 101: When picky eaters confound Ethicureanish intentions

My four-year old ate a vegetable frittata the other day. Mind you, this hardly ranks among the most staggering of childhood achievements. It's not exactly up there with the 2-year-old who gained admission to Mensa, or the kid who paints like Rembrandt, or the 13-year old best-selling author. But in our...

Cooking outside the zone: Agretti, paired with fregola

At last week's farmers market, one of my outside the zone choices (made in honor of National Farmers Market Week) was agretti (Salsola soda) from La Tercera Farm. Agretti is a deep-green, spindly vegetable that goes by many names, including barba di frate ("friar's beard" in Italian), roscana, marsh...

Foraging restaurant and suppliers adapt to new rules

Forage gleans a new strategy: When Forage restaurant opened in Los Angeles's Silver Lake neighborhood, they used produce from customers' backyards to supplement their normal produce purchases, paying for the backyard produce with food or drink from the restaurant and often noting the donor's name on the...

Cooking outside the comfort zone: green tomatoes

In the world of science, there's something called "publication bias," which recognizes that studies with positive results are more likely to be published than studies with negative ones. I suspect there is a similar bias in the world of food blogging: a blogger is much more likely to spend time writing a...

Cooking outside my comfort zone, Part 2: Fresh chickpeas

Last week, I vowed to escape my farmers market rut and cook outside my comfort zone in honor of National Farmers Market Week Aug 1-7. Farmers markets are spreading like (edible) weeds around the country. There were 5,279 as of 2009 by the USDA's count, up 13 percent from the previous year. The new figures...

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