Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Maggie's Local Food Update 3-12-08

There is lots of local food news around KAXE this week!

Scott Hall and I talked with Kent Lorentzen of Jacobson this morning. Kent is a local farmer and manager of the Grand Rapids Farmers’ Market. The Grand Rapids market is open Wednesdays and Fridays through the summer. This year, they’re moving to a new location, across the road from the Central Square Mall (on Highway 2). They’re also opening earlier this year (the first Saturday in May) to sell bedding plants and other items like jams and maple syrup. Kent specializes in beets, potatoes and onions. His garden is about 100’ x 120’, and he has a potato patch that is between half an acre and an acre in size. Kent said several members of the market specialize in certain foods that they can grow best on their land. Market members pay annual dues and a daily fee. For more information, and pictures of last year’s market, visit their website:

About ten people attended KAXE’s book club meeting last night, to discuss Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal Vegetable, Miracle. It was a lively discussion that encompassed recipes, apple tree pruning, and raising calves. It was also a yummy discussion. Participants brought a variety of local food—beets, potato salad, cheese, venison sausage, salsa, blueberry muffins, and black current wine.

Jane Grimsbo Jewett, volunteer producer for many of KAXE’s local food segments and staff member for MISA (the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture) has offered 5 hogs for sale (they are sold by the half). The cost is approximately $234 for a half hog (that’s about 80# of meat net), including slaughtering and butchering by Beier’s Country Meats. The hogs will be butchered in late March or early April. Those ordering hogs would be paying the grower (Jane) $1.60/# for the animal. Beier’s charges $45 to slaughter and $.50/# to cut and wrap the meat to your specifications. The staff at KAXE has purchased two halves. That leaves 8 remaining. If you eat meat and are interested in some sustainably raised pork—email (Stephanie Rose). You can sign up for an entire half or, if other people go in with you, you can split up a half.

Finally, KAXE staffer Linda Johnson is organizing a seed exchange, for those who save seeds or wish to procure some. If you’re interested in participating, email her: She’d like to set up a day for the exchange!

If you are a local food producer, or if you know someone we should interview about local food, please let us know. Also, we’re interested in your local food recipes. We made local crepes in the KAXE kitchen this morning (with a dash of non-local Cognac in the batter, courtesy of KAXE historian and gourmet club member Don Boese). Do you have a favorite local food breakfast?

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