Farm Aid Concert, "Come Together" for local food, Blogging for Farmland and more

American Farmland Trust


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Welcome to the October edition of Farm Fresh News. This fall issue sings the benefits of farmland and highlights the music behind the eat-local movement. Take a day for an immersion in music, movies, and food, find out who won the friends of farmland blog contest, indulge in a delicious recipe from local foods champion Chef Piper Odessa and more!

Music, Farmland and  Fun

Farm Aid

At 2008 Farm Aid, 20,000 farm fans and local food lovers gathered together and danced their hearts out for America’s farmland. The concert, put on each year by music legends Willie Nelson, Neil Young, Dave Matthews and Jon Mellencamp, raised awareness about farmland loss and the benefits of farms. Down in the Homegrown Village, the strains of music reverberated through the trees while at AFT’s booth, concert-goers tested their aim, dexterity and brain capacity for trivia at our bean bag toss and farmland trivia game of chance and skill. Throw on some tunes and test your skill!


Monday, “Let It Be” Local


Former Beatle, and long-time vegetarian, Sir Paul McCartney is calling for Britons to “Help!” in his quest to give up meat every Monday. What if one day a week everyone in the United States ate local? Though foregoing food from a distance may seem like “A Hard Day’s Night,” you could drastically reduce your carbon footprint. If we could all “Come Together” and eat something from closer to home just one of the “Eight Days a Week,” positive change could be felt “Across the Universe.” So sit at Sir Paul’s table and go veggie on Monday; if giving up meat isn’t for you, sign our Keep It Local Pledge!

Women with Wine

Watch, Eat, Listen
Get Your Itinerary!

Living Local, a Multimedia Immersion in Farms and Food

In the past few years, the local food movement has spread from the farm to mainstream media, inspiring musicians, film makers, and TV networks. Supporting local farms and local food is no longer limited to a weekly visit to your neighborhood farmers market or an afternoon at a pick-your-own orchard. Immerse yourself in locally grown goodness with AFT’s Itinerary for the Complete Locavore

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Friends of Farmland Blog Contest Winners

Starting in July, we asked for your help to spread the “No Farms No Food” message across America. Over 40 bloggers pitched in to elevate the discussion of local farms and local foods. While everyone deserves our thanks, here are the winners!

1st Place: Pamela at Red White and Grew
2nd Place: Abbie at Farmers Daughter
3rd Place Tie: Ben at Cooking With the Single Guy and Colleen at FoodieTots  

Local Flavor-Filled Recipe


The door of L'Etoile, Chef Odessa Piper's restaurant, opens out into the famed Madison, Wisconsin farmers market. L'Etoile, french for star, is the most appropriate name for a menu featuring locally grown, organic and naturally-raised ingredients. Now a resident of the DC Metro area, Odessa can now be found bringing the same attention to fresh local foods and markets in a new Capital city!

Beet Soup with Autumn Raspberry Cream

1 pound red beetroots
1 Tablespoon Vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon (plus) raspberry vinegar (or balsamic or red fruit vinegar)
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
3 Tablespoon unsalted butter
Yellow onion, peeled and diced to yield about 1&1/2 cups
2 Tablespoon picked fresh thyme leaves
2 Tablespoons chopped mixed fresh herbs such as parsley, tarragon, fennel, sorrel
6 cups light vegetable stock or water
2 Tablespoons (plus) Raspberry preserves (seeds strained out)
1 Cup cream (may use half and half
1 Cup crème fraiche (or sour cream)

Scrub the trimmed whole beets with their skins still on and place in a small baking pan. Add a couple of pinches of sea salt and cracked pepper; drizzle with vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon fruit vinegar and roll in pan to coat beets thoroughly. Fill pan with 1/8 inch of water, cover loosely with lid or foil and roast in a 375-degree oven until soft enough for a knife tip to easily insert into the center. (Small beets will take about 40 minutes. Large beets may take up to 1.5 hours.) When beets have cooled enough to handle, slip off and discard the peels. Reserve juices for soup. Cut beets into a large dice.

Place a 6-quart saucepan on medium high heat. Add the butter, diced onion and fresh thyme leaves. Sautee till onion is translucent and fragrant.

Add the diced beets and their roasting juices, and stock or water and simmer about 30 minutes so flavors can marry, then take pot off the heat. Puree the beet mixture in a blender, or with an immersion blender. Pass puree through a fine sieve to achieve an elegant texture. Return to stove and stir in one cup of light cream and season with salt and pepper to taste. Heat gently.

Strain raspberry preserves into a bowl and pour most of that into the soup, along with additional drops of fruit vinegar, to taste. Leave some pureed raspberry in the bowl. Put that bowl into the refrigerator to chill for garnish step.

Transfer crème fraiche/sour cream into the chilled bowl with remaining raspberry puree and whisk to thicken cream slightly. Add a couple of drops of the red fruit vinegar to taste; then add a couple of drops of the beet puree to achieve an appealing pink color.

Reheat soup gently and portion into preheated bowls. Serve immediately with a melting dollop of the raspberry cream and a scatter of chopped fresh herbs

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