Category Archives: buy local

The appetite is back!

Well hello good food people! It seems as though I have taken an extended vacation sans internet, not entirely true, but I did somehow manage to vacate my blog during the past several months. Grad school graduation, new job, ending a chapter in Savannah, and writing the table of contents for the next chapter sort of took a toll on inquisitive appetite. But I’m happy to report that I’m back (with an updated look) and exited to share some new adventures. This month is dedicated to all things Slow Food Savannah related, as we gear up and join forces with Well Fed for National Food Day, and next month I’ll be testing out the glorious city of LA and eating up all she has to offer – so stay tuned!

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Freshocracy

Just came across this from my weekly Good Food Jobs email blast, and I have to say, this is a fantastic idea. Freshocracy is the brain child of Christina DeLaura who is working to bring sustainably harvested, fresh market ingredients to kitchen tables across NYC. A simple concept – she does the shopping at the market, prepares healthy recipes, incorporates pantry staples perfectly portioned so there is zero-waste, and delivers them to your door. She’s even done the math – the average cost of eating out is around $48 (with tax and tip), the average cost of take-out is about $19, and the average cost of a freshocracy meal is only $15 (which includes 4 servings). It sounds like a no-brainer for singles or families who want meals made from local ingredients but don’t have the time, energy, or access to farmer’s markets. What I love most is that amateur, at-home chef’s are learning new skills with each delivery, and hopefully spreading the message and sharing food love with others. A message from the maker – Join. Cook. Enjoy.

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A taste of what’s in season

Last week I was lucky enough to spend the afternoon at Green Bridge Farm with owner Michael Maddox and his two trusty sidekicks. We chatted about retirement (Michael is a newbie), what’s in season, the love, sweat, and tears that go into organic farming, and the great reward of finally harvesting the goods and sharing a meal with friends. Along with two of my fellow colleagues, Erin Fenley and Robyn Richardson, I’m planning an evening supper at the farm in a few weeks to initiate two great projects/organizations: Foodscape Savannah and Slow Food Savannah, both in their infancy but boasting with great potential. The first dinner will be a pilot test run and a research study. Hopefully, all is well that ends better (a saying I heard from a friend this weekend), so that this becomes a common occurrence. Michael has done a fantastic job – from designing and building his spectacular two-story southern pine home to creating the most beautiful organic garden landscape I have ever seen. He makes living on the farm a dream come true. The photo story below will help bring the afternoon to life. Enjoy and a special thanks to Michael and his tour guides. Looking forward to “The Great Escape.”

an intruder in the garden

a beautiful herb garden

freshly harvested onions

a growing cilantro field

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starting to change color

a chicken coop made from leftover materials

hello friends

Slow Food in Savannah

It’s finally here, folks! Slow Food Savannah is now an official recognized U.S. chapter. We couldn’t be happier. So now it’s time to get the ball rolling, gain some momentum, and spread the word to the community. We kicked things off last Saturday at the Farmer’s Market. Although we were threatened by storms the entire morning, it turned out to be a fabulous day for both producers and consumers! Springtime boasts great finds when it comes to produce – watermelon radishes, fava beans, beets, spring peas, strawberries, heirloom carrots, and lots of fresh greens. Check out Walker Farms’ artful harvest and award worthy veggies. It’s always my first stop, and it goes quick! Slow Food Savannah is currently recruiting interested members and planning our first event: a harvest supper out at the farm- Green Bridge Farm to be exact. Stay tuned for more details!

Cafe 37

Last week, we took our group meeting discussion over to Cafe 37, nestled off of Abercorn and 37th street right next to the most adorable antique store, with the best collection of antique jewelry I’ve seen in Savannah so far. It’s the perfect lunch spot, with less than 10 tables, the most cheerful of servers, and a french inspired menu that will leave you feeling satisfied, to say the least. The three of us opted for the special salad – fresh greens with a roasted anjou pear stuffed with caramelized bleu cheese, spiced walnuts, grilled chicken, and a champagne|dijon vinaigrette. If your stomach is really growling, the pork sandwich is the best in the city, and worth every calorie. So stop in for lunch or have your meal outside on the picnic table, and stroll on over to 37th on Abercorn Antiques for great vintage finds!

Labels that Grow

When I can’t get to the farmer’s market on the weekend and I’m desperately in need of some produce for a mid-week meal, I head to the grocery store- usually my local Kroger because I can walk (trading 1 carbon footprint in for another). One of the things I struggle most with is packaging for fruits and veggies (plastic bags, plastic wrap, the occasional styrofoam tray, and those annoying PLU stickers). My favorite alternative for plastic comes from BAGGU’s mesh produce bags, which I just realized they no longer carry (you can still find some on other wholesale retail websites). That’s a total bummer, they’re awesome and I’ve gotten so many complements at the market and the store!

But this student from UK, Ben Huttly has the answer. He’s created a take on packaging that solves the waste issue: using 100% biodegradable, recyclable, and plantable paper that is laser-cut and laced with seeds, an extra bonus for mother nature. The twine that holds everything together is made from natural cotton and is also 100% biodegradable. And not to mention, it’s super cute. Let’s bring this idea overseas!

Back in the Day

A recent visit to one of my favorite Savannah food stuffs provided the perfect opportunity for an impromptu photo-op. Back in the Day is known for its amazing confectionaries and freshly baked bread, resulting in perfect panini pairings (my fav are the madras curry chicken and bacon jam) oozing with flavor explosions. But aside from the delicious eats, I love the interior charm. It really is like being back in the day, with self-serve cream and italian sodas in the refrigerator and workers running about, adorned in their home-made printed aprons. So next time you’re in town, slow down and stop in for a sweet southern surprise, and cozy up in their eclectic space.

It’s not uncommon to see a birthday princess in her tutu

 

The Equal Exchange Free Range Cafe

Would you like your coffee served from the cutest on-the-go trike ever? Yes, please! Meet the Equal Exchange Free Range Cafe, the first mobile coffee trike of its kind in Boston. An initiative from the West Bridgewater company, which focuses primarily on sustainable and environmentally conscious business practices, Equal Exchange decided to take fair-trade brew to the streets of Boston. The title “free range cafe” is perfectly symbolic of the trike’s mission and  it’s ability to cover lots of ground. Cafe developer Meghan Hubbs conceptualized Equal Exchange, and through its presence in the city, hopes to reframe the company’s local image and perhaps change Boston’s coffee culture. The Free Rangers say it’s caffeinated euphoria, I think it’s simply smart and too cute to say no to.

On your next morning commute, visit the Free Range trike at the Charles MGH station.

Reflections on progress

The subsequent paragraphs written by Jean-Louis Flandrin explain precisely the need for alternative food networks and validate the potential impact of Slow Food on our industrialized landscape.

“The undeniable advances in agriculture have brought problems along with benefits. The exodus from the countryside has left today’s farmers in possession of much larger farms than in the past. They obtain much better yields from the soil with less effort, thanks to mechanization, artificial fertilizers, and new species, yet they suffer from crises of overproduction, and [are] burdened by enormous debt.

Strangely enough, neither farmers nor farm organizations seem inclined to question the wisdom of the continual improvements in yields that have led to the present situation of chronic oversupply and attempts to limit production by leaving some land unplanted. Nor do they seem to worry that steadily falling agricultural prices (coupled with the fact that the demand for food cannot increase indefinitely) have decreased the share of the average family budget spent on food.

For consumers the benefits of agricultural progress are no less ambiguous. Not only has the environment been seriously polluted by modern fertilizers and intensive farming methods, but the decrease in food prices has been accompanied by a decrease in quality. Fruits look impeccable to the naked eye because they are free from damage by insects or disease, yet they may be tainted by invisible pesticides. Harvested while still immature, they lack fragrance and flavor…Gourmets will often travel long distances to buy [produce and meat] from specialty farmers. Is this progress?”

What a great question to end on.

a modest practice in farming

 

Co-ops on Campus

I just came across this organization, and quite frankly, don’t know how I missed it! COFED (cooperative food empowerment directive) is a nationwide training program that reaches out to college students and educates/empowers them with ways to create and establish “ethically-sourced and cooperatively run” sustainable food stores and cafes, as an alternative to the fast food options that inevitably lead to those unflattering Freshman fifteen. Currently, they  have partnered with 8 west coast schools: University of Washington, Oregon State University, Humboldt State, UC Davis,  UC Santa Barbara, UC Berkeley, City College of San Francisco, and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo… and they have grand aspirations for the next five years: train 1,000 student leaders, initiate 35 new sustainable store fronts, and reach over 700,000 college students. They are presently seeking donations to match the $30,000 already attained through their Launch Committee, so if you have a few dollars to spare after those tax refunds, put them towards educating the next generation of America’s college students on the value of alternative food systems.

 

I'll always take fresh over frozen.