July 15th, 2013
12:10 AM ET
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Editor's note: Darrin Nordahl is the author of "Public Produce: The New Urban Agriculture." Aiming to increase food literacy in America, Darrin also pens the daily food blog Today is...Fava Beans! Follow him on Twitter.

What's better than fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables? How about fresh, locally-grown, free fruits and vegetables, all within an easy walk of your home or office?

Such is the philosophy behind the growing movement of public produce.
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5@5 - Make the most of the farmers market
June 20th, 2013
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

Say the name "Franny's" to any pizza-loving New Yorker, and they'll grow visibly excited. Francine Stephens and Andrew Feinberg, have developed a large and loyal following for their Brooklyn restaurant, due in large part to their commitment to using sustainable, in-season, locally-grown ingredients.

In their new book, "Franny’s Simple Seasonal Italian," the duo, along with food writer Melissa Clark, celebrate the fundamental pleasure of fresh food gotten straight from the men and women who grow, raise and craft it.

Creating those trusting relationships is an essential and enjoyable part of the process. It can also be a little intimidating for people who aren't used to coming face-to-face with the people who produce their food, or fruits and vegetables that don't come shrink-wrapped from the grocery store.

Feinberg and Stephens are here to help your confidence bloom.

Five Ways to Maximize Your Farmers Market Visit: Andrew Feinberg and Francine Stephens
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Filed under: 5@5 • Cocktail Recipes • Farmstands • Local Food • Make • Recipes • Sip • Spirits • Think • Vegetables


Young minds bloom on an urban farm
May 20th, 2013
03:15 PM ET
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Editor's note: The Southern Foodways Alliance delves deep in the history, tradition, heroes and plain old deliciousness of Southern food. Today's contributor, Emilie Dayan, writes a weekly SFA blog series called "Sustainable South" about food and the environment, nutrition, food access, food justice, agricultural issues and food politics.

In recent years, there has been a lot of talk about urban agriculture and the solution it provides for sustainable and healthy living. The Jones Valley Teaching Farm (JVTF) in Birmingham, Alabama, however, is much more than an urban farm. Their vision is to educate 10,000 Birmingham children annually.
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National strawberry picking day
May 20th, 2013
09:00 AM ET
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.

When fresh fruit comes along, you must pick it. May 20 is National Strawberry Picking Day!

Nothing says springtime like fresh fruit, and there’s nothing quite as satisfying as picking your own. This time of year fruit farms across the country open their gates to let the general public help themselves to their latest crops.

Picking your own fruit isn’t only a fun outing with family or friends; it’s also an opportunity to meet and support local farmers. You get a better sense of how the food you enjoy is cultivated, and smaller farms often use more sustainable growing practices.
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Filed under: Breakfast Buffet • Farms • Farmstands • Food Holidays • Fruit • Local Food • News • Spring Vegetables


May 8th, 2013
01:33 PM ET
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The San Diego Padres are heating up.

The Major League club has put a new twist on an old baseball drill called "pepper," where fielders surround a single batter who has to hit the ball quickly back to them. (Many teams have banned this game because it can get a little dangerous.)

Now, the Padres are playing pepper in a whole new way.

The team has planted a honest-to-goodness garden of hot peppers in its bullpen at Petco Park. It turns out the sandy soil used in Major League parks is a perfect environment for sowing the seeds of success.
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Filed under: Gardening • Local Food • Sports • Think • Video


Clean, green dining for Earth Day and beyond
April 22nd, 2013
11:30 AM ET
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April 22 is Earth Day, and there's no better way to start celebrating and protecting the planet than by taking a closer look at what's on your plate.

We're challenging everyone we know to grow one thing - just one thing - that they can eat, and of course, we're putting our money where our mouth is and planting a garden, ourselves.

You could also consider joining a CSA (that's community supported agriculture), buying direct at a farmers market, staying as local as possible, keeping a close eye on the origins of your seafood or supporting chefs who are doing the right things for the environment.

Chew on that while you explore our simple and endlessly delicious tips for eating eco-friendly.
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Filed under: Earth Day • Local Food • Sustainability


Random acts of farming and hope
April 22nd, 2013
10:00 AM ET
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Editor's note: The Southern Foodways Alliance delves deep in the history, tradition, heroes and plain old deliciousness of Southern food. Today's contributor, Emilie Dayan, writes a weekly SFA blog series called "Sustainable South" about food and the environment, nutrition, food access, food justice, agricultural issues and food politics.

Since 2000, Joe Nelson Icet has been advancing on Houston’s Northeastern front. He calls himself a guerrilla gardener. As founder and director of the Last Organic Outpost, he takes abandoned lots littered with trash and turns them into fertile land. Planted off of Emile Street, Icet engages the community in urban farming, his biggest plot in the industrial ruins of the old Comet Rice Mill. In doing so, land in Houston’s Fifth Ward is revitalized through farming.

The mission is simple:
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Why women and kids should farm
April 3rd, 2013
01:45 PM ET
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Editor's note: The Southern Foodways Alliance delves deep in the history, tradition, heroes and plain old deliciousness of Southern food. Today's contributor, Emilie Dayan, writes a weekly SFA blog series called "Sustainable South" about food and the environment, nutrition, food access, food justice, agricultural issues and food politics.

To some, Bonita Conwell is a farmer. To others, a butcher. For rural Southern women and youth in agriculture, she is an advocate for economic and social justice. No matter how you frame her, Conwell is a tour de force in the Delta region of Mississippi, and her influence extends up the Mighty Mississippi to Chicago and westward to Houston, Texas.

Based in Mound Bayou, Mississippi, Conwell is the driving force behind Robert’s Meat Market. Built in 1985, the market found success in providing Mississippi-made meat products to Southerners living in Chicago. To the west, Conwell sells the greens of her sweet potato crops - a part of the root that is usually discarded - to an African market in Houston. SFA director John T. Edge is such a fan of Conwell's sweet potato greens that he included them on his list of the top ten dishes of 2012 for Garden & Gun magazine.
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March 22nd, 2013
08:17 PM ET
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Plenty of traditional foods pack an emotional whallop, but few of them back it up with a sensory punch as strong as horseradish's. The pungent root is a key part of a Passover Seder plate (along with salt water-dipped vegetables, a shank bone, a hard boiled egg, a sweet paste of apples and nuts called charoset, and a bitter vegetable - often lettuce) and symbolizes the harsh lives of the Israelites before they were delivered from slavery in Egypt.
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