Midwest Pantry: Power to the (Local) Producer

I've always had a dream about community and neighbors. I'm not sure when the dream started, but I would imagine what would happen if I could fix someone's bicycle and they would pay me with a box of veggies or by helping with my taxes or by watching my kids. In the world of capitalism and trade that we live in, I grew up to hope that perhaps there might be a place where we could all see what our local communities and neighbors were producing. The closest thing I could find would be a flea market, farmer's market, or, later on, a coop grocery store. But I knew that something was still missing. It was never quite a complete picture.


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Adventures in Sugaring: Making your own Maple Syrup

After a long winter, it was finally time to make maple syrup—otherwise known as "sugaring". So on a strangely warm Thursday, my friend and I jumped into our car and drove north and then east to my family's cabin near Hayward, Wisconsin. This year did not look too promising with the weather being so balmy and not getting below freezing at night, even in northern Wisconsin...but hey, you never know.


A few minutes drive from our cabin is the Sugarbush, 60 acres of beautiful, thickly wooded land where we tap 35 maple trees. It is a small, family operation but has definitely come a long way through the years. It hasn't necessarily grown but over time, it has become more functional, with the exception of the old logging road that goes onto our land. It is too over-grown to really be considered a road so we park and walk the half mile to where we tap the trees. 


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Welcome Apple Season with a Humble Crumble

Isn’t it funny how some days you can be humming along, getting all sorts of things accomplished with nary a thought of fruit crumble, and then someone drops off a bag of Dudley apples from Hauser’s Superior View Farm in Bayfield, Wisconsin, and casually mentions they’re supposed to be good baking apples, and suddenly, you can’t get crumble off the brain? Not even for one minute? Not even for one second?

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Finding Blueberry Magic at Rush River Produce

I’m still a paper calendar kind of a gal.

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Local D'lish: the Cream and the Crop

This is an excerpt from the full article “Local D’lish aims to be the cream of the crop” published by Live Green Twin Cities on June 30, 2009.

Local D’lish is a grocery and gourmet-food store near downtown Minneapolis that focuses almost exclusively on local foods. The care and planning that has gone into making the place both beautiful and inviting is immediately evident: Tomato plants greet visitors, and the warm, sunny walls make the little shop feel like a celebratory outdoor market; and the selection of foods and food products is vast and unique, made up almost exclusively of good, local, real foods made in Minnesota and surrounding states (Obsession Chocolates, made with fresh local ingredients in Wisconsin, are a particularly tempting find).

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Will Allen and Growing Power

growingpowerIf you're a Midwesterner who follows urban farming (and you know you are), then you're likely to know all about Milwaukee, Wisconsin's 2008 MacArthur Fellow - and recent NRDC "Growing Green Award" winner - Will Allen.

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The Every Kitchen Table Blog: Why CSAs Aren't Enough

Some of my favorite writing on the topic of local, sustainable food these days comes from Rob Smart in Vermont, whose Every Kitchen Table blog (and Twitter posts) cite some of my favorites (Michael Pollan, Eric Schlosser) as inspirations. Smart's March 27 post, explaining the downside of the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model, is especially good.

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