Monthly Archives: April 2009

Chef’s Tasting!

i have been a bit quiet lately. vacations mixed with a great increase in business is my excuse.

as maddie mentioned a few weeks ago – spring is here – beginning the most exciting seasons of produce. we have already seen some lovely buttery spinach and finally the asparagus was trimmed and sent to us. slowly the sprouts are growing into plants, that willl soon bear the wonderful fruits of summer.

we can’t wait!!

for about two months, we have been offering saturday night chef’s tastings. basically i go to the market in the morning and create a four course meal from whatever inspires me. it requires a bit of trust, as you never know what you will be eating until it is on the plate in front of you. for a while the slim produce pickings made my job extremely difficult – you can only be so creative with potatoes and parsnips.

but last week was the first time i could truely say there was a beautiful bounty at the market. it was very inspiring.

here is what i made for 6 very trusting people:

-roasted asparagus with toasted walnuts and lemon zest

-crowder pea stew topped with lightly sauteed pea shoots

-black radish salad with pickled beet vineagrette, topped with radish sprouts

-celery root mash with braised celery

-lamb meatballs stuffed with goat cheese, served with roasted rhubarb and a rosemary brown sugar butter sauce

we all had a great time (me cooking and them eating).

i am so glad spring is here.


Leave a comment

Filed under Dinner Menus

Help Missouri ‘Do It Local’

Hi, I’ve been asked by Maddie and Clara to be a guest blogger for the Local Harvest Dish on food issues. As an introduction, I worked at the grocery briefly when it first opened, volunteered last summer at the Tower Grover Farmers Market, work with the Missouri Coalition for the Environment as my day job, am in an organic farming apprenticeship at the Mueller Farm in Ferguson and will be assisting Andy Ayers with his local food distribution business, Eat Here St. Louis, this summer.

Whew! Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk food. As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, there’s a bit of a swine flu thing going around. What you may not have heard yet is that some sources are already pointing to factory farming giant Smithfield as the culprit:

According to one community resident, the organic and fecal waste produced by Granjas Carrol isn’t adequately treated, creating water and air pollution in the region. I witnessed—and smelled—the same thing in Hardin County, Iowa, a couple of years ago, another area marked by intensive industrial hog production.

The connection has not been confirmed, but evidence seems to be mounting:

“Government officials today said they believe the swine flu began in a small community next to a large pig farm in the southeastern state of Veracruz, where a four-year-old boy who got sick in April tested positive for the virus,” reported ABC News, which called the small village “Ground Zero,” and said the deadly virus “somehow spread to Mexico City.”

Well, Mexico and Iowa must have a lot in common with Missouri because the Show-Me State has quite a few of these CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations). These operations have a LOT of clout in Jefferson City and have stopped nearly any legislation that would control or decrease their numbers, or make it harder for them to obtain permits (for either constructing more CAFOs or controlling the wastes from them).

The possible link between the swine flu outbreak and factory farming is a disturbing one… What can you do about it other than making sure you eat only sustainably-raised pork from Local Harvest? One thing is to use this awful situation to make the case for the negative health effects of factory farming.

You can also contact Governor Jay Nixon and ask him get behind local food. The Show Me Local Food Coalition includes groups such as the Missouri Rural Crisis Center, which has been leading the fight in Missouri against factory farms for some time. Here’s a short primer of theirs on CAFOs and how they affect local communities.

So remember, “Doing It Local” isn’t just about purchasing decisions but also about how we ensure that our political system addresses these problems.

– Brian DeSmet

Leave a comment

Filed under Politics of Food

Plants, plants, plants at Local Harvest Grocery

Sun golds

They’re back–lovely herbs and vegetable plants from Biver Farms. This year we’ve lowered the prices–$2.99 for herbs, $3.49 for vegetable plants.  We are cheaper than Whole Foods! These plants are special because they are certified organic and because Biver Farms supplies us with many hard to find varieties–especially for tomatoes.  This year you can even buy the Sun Gold cherry tomatoes to grow in your own garden. These fly off the shelves at our store and he can barely keep them in stock at Farmer’s Markets.  These tomatoes are a beautiful and vibrant orange color with a taste that is  so sweet you’ll eat them right off the vine.

Leave a comment

Filed under Delicious Tidbits, New at LHG

Baetje Farms Goat Cheese–get it now!

baetjeA couple of weeks ago, very quietly, we started carrying Baetje Farms goat cheeses. Some varieties of these beautiful and delicious cheeses are even heart shaped which is perfect because they are so buttery that it will melt your heart.  The cheeses are award-winning and you can tell that with the first bite.  The flavor is a bit milder than other goat cheeses I’ve tried and I imagine that even folks who don’t typically like goat cheese, might convert if they tried Baetje cheeses.  I recently enjoyed the dill goat cheese  (the whole “heart” of cheese was covered in fresh dill) with some smoked salmon (also from LHG of course) and loved every bite of it.   We offer several varieties and it varies each week. 

The farmers take extra care with their goats. I found this on their website and thought it so lovely.

Our dairy goats receive an unlimited supply of filtered spring water to drink from a spring here at our farm. We also supplement their diet with organic herbal teas, (which they love warm esp. in the cold of winter). They receive daily: organic mineral supplements, locally grown alfalfa hay, browse pasture, and are fed an all natural antibiotic free whole grain ration that has been custom prepared to our specifications. We make sure in essence that our goats are receiving the correct amounts of protein, vitamins, minerals and other necessary nutrients. Our goats are free to choose what they prefer to do, whether it is to skip and run up a hill, lie under the shade of a tree, soak up some sunshine, or play with one of their herd mates. They are not in tie stalls or kept in confinement as are done on other dairies. Nor are they fed hormones to increase their milk production, nor are they on a constant stream of feed laden with antibiotics.

Hope to see you soon.



Leave a comment

Filed under New at the Cafe

Springtime produce

Okay, we have our first arrival–local spinach. It’s full and hearty with just enough specks of dirt to show that is was recently picked!  We plan on some asparagus in the next week or so and have been promised some turnip greens asap.  This is the time of year I so love…….

Leave a comment

Filed under Delicious Tidbits