It's a good time to be in the market for local produce, eggs and meat. A number of area community-supported agriculture programs are now taking deposits for the upcoming season. With a CSA, you pay a fee for a portion of the harvest on a given farm or collective of farms. Some require members to work a few hours on the farm or even pick the produce themselves, but many are simply subscription services that have a weekly pickup or delivery of goods.
You might not feed as many people as a Kansas farmer this year -- although preparing Thanksgiving dinner may feel like you're cooking for 129 people -- but you can feature some of what they grow on your dinner table.
The Greater Kansas City Food Policy Coalition has launched a campaign and corresponding Web site, Eat Local for the Holidays, which has a list of farmer's markets, local vendors and a guide to what's in season.
It's easy to get caught up in the sensationalism of a $4 peach. The average shopper would likely say that's a ridiculous price for a single piece of fruit. A few might be tempted to make a moral stand. If that is the price of knowing everything about that peach, then it is completely worth it.
The problem is that to focus on the price of the peach means that we are not discussing what really matters: the cost of the peach.
The sign is up and the groceries began to arrive yesterday. Nature's Own Health Food Market is getting ready to open on Tuesday, September 7.
The corner store at 4301 Main Street has a rich history, which The Pitch's Charles Ferruzza wrote about back in July. A former drugstore and soda shop, the space has hosted a number of grocery stores, including Clearly Nature's Own and Whole Foods.
The Whole Foods location closed July 1 after 17 years of operation. Nature's Own will continue an unofficial tradition by offering organic and local products. A grand opening is slated for September 10.
When you learned to ride a bike, you had training wheels to make sure you didn't scrape your knee or immediately fall over onto the lawn. That's how I see cherry tomatoes.
The tiny, sweet fruit is a great way to work your way up to the thick dinosaur of the tomato world -- the beefsteak tomato. Those mothers -- which will likely be at market in a few weeks -- can clock in at over a pound apiece. So starting with a tomato the size of a marble is how you train yourself to tackle the beefiest tomato.
You've probably been working from the ground floor up when it comes to sweet potatoes. The tubers are easy to master. Once you've figured out fries and mashed potatoes, you're good to go.
But sweet potato greens are just as versatile and can be even more interesting. Because you haven't had them every Thanksgiving and they're not yet widely available on menus. Once you pick up a bunch for your kitchen, you might discover a new side (dish) of sweet potatoes.
The prevailing wisdom suggests that America would be healthier if we were just to consume more fruits and vegetables. And in an effort to get to that point, companies are rolling out all manners of fruit-based pills and drinks designed to make eating produce more convenient.
But we're just hiding the peas under the mashed potatoes. Eventually Americans are going to find the peas and throw them on the floor. Instead, we need to look at Japan's model and start cranking out some weird-shaped fruit.
Sweet corn is like nature's snack food. A little salt and a little heat and you've got yourself a finger food as addictive as Pringles.
Grilled properly with a bit of butter, the stuff will even make you forget that hot dogs are on the grill, too. The kernels pop when bitten, the sweetness mixing with the hot butter and running down your fingers. Throw in some chili powder and lime juice, and you're ready to start selling your grilled corn at the state fair next month in Sedalia.
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