• Books,  Eating,  Local Products

    2014 Minnesota Grown Directory Now Available

    The 2014-2015 Minnesota Grown Directory is now available!!! If you have yet to get your hands on a copy, this is the gold-standard text for anyone eating and growing local in Minnesota. With more than 978 entries, it’s the largest guidebook to farms, farmers markets, orchards and other vendors around the state. I’ve used the Minnesota Grown directory both online and in print to find everything we need, A-Z.  From wineries to winter farmers markets, from alpacas to elderberries if it’s Minnesota Grown it’s in the guidebook. And the best part…It’s FREE!!! What’s in the Minnesota Grown Directory? 1. Individual listings for farmers and growers including name, location, website or contact…

  • Books,  Cooking,  Foodies,  Local Products

    Spoonriver Cookbook & Giveaway

    Don’t let anyone to fool you. Learning to cook like a gourmet genius is hard work. Learning to love vegetables and whole grains if you’re not a fan takes even more. Ever wish there was a cookbook that could help you do both? Meet The Spoonriver Cookbook. Written by Twin Cities local food pioneer Brenda Langton, this book is a must-add to all Minnesota locavore cookbook shelves. Langton is the award-winning chef and owner of Spoonriver restaurant in downtown Minneapolis. The new cookbook adds to a large body of work promoting local and sustainable food, begun in the co-op movement of the 1970’s. Not only do the recipes and photos…

  • Books,  Eating,  How-To Guides,  Local Products

    Find it Local Friday: Minnesota Grown Directory

    Taking a break from spinach today to help announce the release of the 2012 Minnesota Grown Directory. It’s one of my favorite days of the year and a terrific way to kick of the summer growing season. Why is the Minnesota Grown Directory worth a Find it Local Friday of its own? It’s a one-stop shop for answers to all your locavore questions: How can I be a Minnesota Locavore? Listings for 945 sources for locally-grown food and products around the state. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s comprehensive list can help you find whatever your locavore heart desires. How do I eat local on the road? The guidebook is divided by…

  • Books,  Local Products,  Other Writings

    Find it Local Friday: NEW Resource Map and Cookbook Shelf

    I have big plans for Minnesota Locavore in 2012 with lots of new features and posts. For Find it Local Friday today, I’m releasing a rough-draft (as usual, I’m too excited to wait until the final product!) of a new Find it Local resource map and cookbook shelf. You can find both of them using the new Find it Local menu bar on the left. Part of my blogging goals in 2012 are to help more readers explore local food on their own. Sort of the “if you teach a man to fish…” idea. One of these new features is a Google map I developed of all the local producers,…

  • Books

    My out-of-the-kitchen obsessions

    My friends and family can regularly attest to the volumes of “light reading” that seem to pile up around the house. I always have a book in my purse, a stack of 8 or 10 from the library on my desk, and far too many subscriptions in my RSS feed. I inhale cooking and gardening writing with the same pleasure (and hefty appetite) as local food. Decided to take a break and share some of the things I’ve dined on lately: The Perennial Plate This site puts my creative thinking about local food to shame, is inventive and just plain good. The squirrel hunting epsiode is hysterical. Tender: A Cook…

  • Books,  Eating

    A Year of Local Eating

    Last year on April 24th, the St. Paul Farmer’s Market opened their summer market and our local eating challenge officially began. The original challenge: eat locally (by pre-assigned definition 250 miles) Farmer’s Market open to close, April to October. Six short months of figuring out what grows in Minnesota and how to prepare it. I was eager to start last spring with visions of salads, broccoli and green beans galore. Was it ever a shock to come home from our first farmer’s market with a jar of honey, some assorted greens, and a peck of last year’s potatoes left from cold storage. Umm…what am I signed up for again? Slowly…

  • Books,  Local Products

    Minnesota Grown Directory Now Available

      The  Minnesota Grown directory is now available and is celebrating 30 years of connecting Minnesotans with local producers! This guidebook has been a lifesaver for us since we started eating locally and still lives in a handy drawer in our kitchen. It lists hundreds of products and services available direct from the farm, including the standard produce, meat, and dairy and the not-so-standard items like wild rice, wine, and emu. It also includes farmers markets, CSA’s, and my favorite, an index of listings by product.  Our 2010 copy has circles, notes, and prices scribbled in from trying to find the first available pick-your-own strawberries.  All of the apple orchards…

  • Books,  Eating

    The book that started it all…

    Question: So how did this local food thing start? Answer: February 2010 I read Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, the remarkable true story of how one family comes to know local food, sustainability, and living simply.  It charts their first year of a locavore diet and was an inspiration for my own journey.  The book is spotted with humor and some surprising data on the status of our food system. It literally transformed the way I felt about food page by page. Now, I will never argue that reading this same book will convince you to cold turkey begin a locavore diet, nor will I insist that it is the one…

  • Books,  Cooking

    Plotting for Preserving

    This morning I took out my Ball Blue Book of Preserving and started my list of projects. Just like gardening enthusiasts grab the seed catalog to plot their crops, I’ve started plotting my summer preserving. It may be excessive or it may be a way to inch spring along a little further, but mostly it’s to ensure that I plant the right goodies or get what I need at the farmers market at its peak. The freshest food takes a bit of foresight. Last year my preserving was exclusively freezer-based. (I canned 5 jars of hot pickled peppers in an experiment and promptly gave them away as a gift). This…