Tag Archives: local food

The Local Harvest Community Seed Library

Part of Local Harvest’s mission is to build a local food community. All of the food we eat- from fresh produce, to grains, meat, and even dairy- can eventually be traced back to seeds.  So what better way to promote our St. Louis food community than to save and share seeds? We are excited to announce the opening of the Local Harvest Community Seed Library.

Seed libraries are popping up all over the country. They act as local seed banks, saving seeds from plants that thrive in their own communities and promoting biodiversity. You may have heard of seed banks like the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, which preserve vast amounts of seeds in case of future calamities. A noble cause! But instead of locking our seeds away, the Local Harvest Community Seed Library will allow us to continue to cultivate and develop strong plants that produce well in the St. Louis area and pass them along to future gardeners.  Saving our seeds as a community frees us from the grips of powerful commercial interests, allows us to truly personalize our crops to our climate, and promotes biodiversity on a large scale.

So how does it work? The seed library is a completely free community resource. Anyone can “borrow” seeds from the library, with the promise that they will return as many seeds (or more) for the next season. The library is broadly organized in three sections: edibles, herbs, and ornamental plants. The edibles section is the largest and is categorized by plant family. Don’t worry, we have a guide to some common plant families posted, as well as a comprehensive index of all seeds available in the library.  Complete directions for checking out seeds will be posted for your use.

Through generous donations from Gateway Greening and Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, the Local Harvest Community Seed Library is chock full of seeds that will thrive in our area. Of course we welcome any seeds you may wish to donate, too! Seed donation directions will also be posted.

The Local Harvest Community Seed Library will debut at the Tower Grove Farmers’ Market this Saturday, June 8. Stop by the Local Harvest booth to learn more about it and check out some seeds! After the market, the Library will be based at Local Harvest Grocery on Morganford, with plans to expand to our Kirkwood store as well.

Feel free to contact us with any questions, comments, or suggestions you may have here on the blog, at the market this Saturday, or in person at our Tower Grove store. Thanks, and happy seed saving!

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Filed under Delicious Tidbits, New at LHG

more recipes!

Hey there –

Here’s a few more recipes to warm your winter hearth:

The first utilizes the leftover turkey that’s still in the freezer – Turkey Pot Pie

Then we have an odd, but extremely delicious – Beef Tongue Pot Roast

Enjoy, and happy cookings!

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What you missed.

Mouth watering tomato salad

Mouth watering tomato salad

On Tuesday, August 25th, we had one of our monthly “Know Your Farmer” dinners – featuring the lovely produce of Earthdance Farms.

That night we heard from Molly Rockamann (founder of Earthdance), as well as watched a short film on the history of the Mueller Farm (the land in which Earthdance is now located).

Then everyone enjoyed a four course meal:

-purple tomatillo soup, with or without chicken (from Earthdance: purple tomatillos and jalapenos)

-tomato salad with genovese basil and flowers (from ED: heirloom tomatoes, basil, nasturium, bachelor buttons, and borage)

omnivore: chicken milenese with wild argula pesto and veggie lasagne (from ED: wild argula, crocknecks, zucchini, basil)earth dance dinner 003

vegetarian: squash samosa and veggie biryani (from ED: crocknecks, zucchini, swiss chard, jalapenos, tomatoes)

-melon sorbet with strawberries and sweet cinnamon basil pesto (from ED: moon and stars melon, white wonder melon, strawberries, cinnamon basil)


earth dance dinner 002I hope you can join us for our KNOW YOUR FOOD CELEBRATION in September honoring our anniversaries (one year for the cafe and two years for Local Harvest Grocery.) 

Sept. 16-19 we will host two “Know Your Farmer” dinners per evening-6 and 8 p.m. seatings by reservation.  At least two farmers or food producers will be on hand to talk with diners and enjoy a fantastic meal prepared using fresh, local foods.  $25 vegetarian and $30 for omnivore. Wine and beer pairings are an optional addition.

On Sept. 20th we will host a big “Anniversary BBQ” at the cafe featuring live music, great food and lots of Schlafly. 

For reservations for any of the farm dinners call 314.772-8815.

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Filed under Dinner Menus, Events

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

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Filed under Politics of Food

100% Grass Fed Beef

grassLocal Harvest Grocery is excited to welcome Missouri Grass Fed Beef as a new vendor.  You’ll find that this  100% grass fed beef is comparably priced, delicious, locally produced and we believe better for the environment and the animal.  And, how great is it to be able to buy it right here in the City of St. Louis. No trip to the county is necessary. 

Please check out the information below to learn more about Missouri Grass Fed Beef.  Jeremy, one of the farmers  and owners, is very knowledgeable and a big believer in the importance of 100% grass fed beef, sustainable farming, and treating animals well.  

If you want to meet him yourself, he will be at the Maplewood Farmer’s Market this year. 

The meat arrives on March 26th so we hope to see you soon!


Website: http://www.eatmograssfedbeef.com/

Our mission at Missouri Grass Fed Beef is simple:

>Treat our animals humanely and ethically
>Provide the highest quality grass fed beef in a reliable year round supply
>Enable small farms to continue their way of life while leaving the smallest footprint on the environment

We forbid any growth hormones, steroids, or antibiotics to be given to our cattle so that our customers can be assured of receiving pure, healthy beef the way nature intended.
The beef we sell has been born and raised on the same farm from start to finish.  They are processed at less than 1 year of age which results in the leanest, most tender grass fed beef available.  They have never been fed any grain or animal by-products(standard practice at commercial feed lots) and have only had grass, legumes, mother’s milk, and free choice minerals.
Our family has been in the cattle business since 1945 and we have seen many changes in farming and ranching throughout the decades.  One thing that has not changed is our commitment to the land and to our animals.  We keep our land healthy and productive by utilizing a rotational grazing system.  This insures that our cattle are taking in the highest quality protein. 


Filed under Meet Our Vendors, New at LHG

Meet our farmers–the Edwards


Ethan, Clark, Marie and their pecans

This week we welcomed a new farm to our store–Edwards Farm from St. Claire, Illinois which is also known as Shiloh Valley. Marie Edwards grew up on the farm. She, her husband Clark and their son Ethan, who recently returned home, run the farm. We are super excited to introduce their dried beans and peas. We don’t have them all out yet as we’re still obtaining jars for our newly arranged bulk section, but we do have the black-eyed peas, crowder peas, and shelled pecans available for purchase now. Soon you will find their lima beans, kidney beans, black beans, and an unnamed heirloom bean.

We were also so happy when they also showed up with beautiful sweet potatoes, acorn squash, and butternut squash. As you can guess, it’s hard to find local produce now so this was a special treat. Not as special though as this family. Seriously, they are such a warm, friendly, and genuine group that I want them to permanently hang out at our store and cafe and just visit with people.

Last night they came with a load of pecans for us. They were on their way to see their son Ethan play cello with the St. Louis Philharmonic Symphony. Seriously! I learned a lot in our short visit last night. Here are the highlights and they revolve around pecans. They brought two varieties of pecans–yes varieties of pecans. I think we all get used to thinking that there is one type of everything–carrots, bananas, nuts, tomatoes, etc, because that’s we’ve learned from large chain grocery stores.

Well, last night I was introduced to River Bottom Pecans and Grafton Pecans. We did a little taste test and I was so amazed at the difference. The River Bottom Pecan is a much smaller pecan with a hard shell. It has a very intense pecan flavor–and I mean that in the best way. I can imagine that a pie made with these would be unbelievable. The Grafton Pecan is larger and has a mild earthy flavor. Also delicious.

Marie told me that her grandfather planted the the River Bottom Pecan trees about 150 years ago. The Grafton Pecan trees are probably 90 years old. And I learned that when they were building the Mid-America Airport they passed an ordinance that said no building could be taller than the tallest River Bottom Pecan Tree on the Edwards Farm. I love that.

Meeting this family is another reminder to me about why buying local is so important and a reminder about how much I love the mission of our store and the people who make it possible.

Yours in local eating and sustainable farming,



Filed under Meet Our Vendors

Dinner Menu 11/24

come in for the best gourmet hot dog in south city…and some missouri beef meatballs.

Dinner Menu
November 24, 2008

Cheese and Antipasto Plate – 8
(local salami, cheeses, various pickles & marinated olives)
House Made Meatballs – 4
(served with roasted red pepper aioli)

Small – 4     Large – 7
Artichoke Salad (mixed greens, served with dried cranberries, red onion, and avocado with a roasted garlic artichoke dressing)
Side Salad (mixed greens, cucumbers, red onions, and balsamic vinaigrette.)

Green Plate Special – 8
(roasted butternut squash & apple soup, served with a
croissant & mixed greens)

Roasted Garlic Lasagna – 8
(served with roasted brussel sprouts)

All Missouri Beef Hot Dog – 8
(served on a Black Bear Bun with grainy mustard, mayonnaise, onion, cole slaw, pickles, hot green chilis, roasted red peppers)

Pizzas – 8
Simple Pizza  (tomato sauce, mozzarella, roasted peppers)
Athena (roasted garlic oil, olives, roasted red peppers, and feta)

Brownies, Raspberry Chocolate Bars, Apple Spice Cake – 2
Four Seasons Sweet Quick Bread – 4

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