The Legality of Non-Seasonal Foods, A Prairie in the Heart of Farmland, AFT's Favorite Summer Reads, Farm Fresh Recipe and More


American Farmland Trust

 

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Welcome to the June edition of Farm Fresh News. In this issue, see how wildlife and native prairie come together in the heart of farmland, discover a farm that grows its food kid-sized, check-out our favorite reads for the summer, and enjoy a perfect corn-off-the-cob recipe for serving to guests at your summer parties. 

Open Space in the Open Prairie

Arial Image of Afton Forest PreserveMaintaining farmland as a source of food for communities, or keeping a particularly sensitive piece of land free from development, makes good conservation sense wherever you are. Preserving open space and farmland offers many benefits, including recreation, scenic beauty and a safe harbor for wildlife. The Afton Preserve in DeKalb County, Illinois, is no exception. The only difference is the surroundings. Located in the heart of Illinois farm country, the preserve provides a snapshot of prairie left to its own devices. 

 

(Local) Food for Thought

Gordon Ramsey Book CoverHell's Kitchen chef Gordon Ramsay, known for controversial statements, has found himself in hot water! When he suggested that English Parliament ban all out-of-season vegetables, and fine chefs who don’t comply, he set off a searing debate. Proponents feel using local foods makes environmental, financial and nutritional sense, while others question the practicality. Others accuse Ramsay of stirring the pot---saying he “fails quite brazenly to practice what he preaches at his own restaurants.” All in all, the basic issue of local food systems is food for thought!

Summer Reading for Fans of Farms, Local Food and the Environment

NFNF tote with book
Summer is a great time for catching up on your pleasure reading. But you don’t have to miss out on substance when you pack a book into your beach bag or vacation luggage this season. There are many choices for your beach blanket or backyard hammock that can entertain while also making you think. Here are five summer reads we recommend for those who care about farms, local food and the environment.

Baby-Sized Fruits and Vegetables from a Baby-Sized Farm?

Baby Chef
Baby-sized carrots, zucchini, eggplant and tomatoes offer big flavor in small packages. "Thinking small”—from the produce grown to the size of the farm—is what it’s all about at one- and one- third-acre Half-Pint farm. Restaurant and farmers’ market customers have proven to be big fans of the baby produce from Half-Pint farm as the veggies are so young and fresh they can be eaten raw. And mini-sized has also found its way into a very grownup-sized apple orchard: 2,500-acre Fowler Farms is meeting the growing demand for mini-sized snack apples by offering Empire Juniors, Mini Macs and Lil’ Reds.
 

Local Flavor-Filled Recipe

Corn on the Cob

Warm corn-off-the-cob salad with mozzarella and thyme

Janine MacLachlan is a farm groupie, advisor to Slow Food Chicago and owner of The Rustic Kitchen cooking school, where she teaches private group classes at her Michigan farm. She frequently takes students on field trips, often to the farmers’ market, to show them the rich experience and interesting ingredients you get when you buy directly from the grower. 

While few people get tired of corn on the cob, this salad is a great and colorful way to serve a crowd.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
6 cups fresh corn kernels (about six ears)
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves or 2 tablespoons dried
4 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2 -inch cubes
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat large sauté pan over medium high setting. Add olive oil and onion and sauté until translucent, about five minutes. Add corn and red pepper and sauté just until warm, another three minutes or so. Transfer to serving platter and toss with thyme and mozzarella. Season with salt and pepper. 

Makes about seven cups.

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