Recent Articles About Local Eats

How a Modern Root Cellar Could Help Small Farms Sell Food Year-Round

At Food Farm in northern Minnesota, Janaki Fisher-Merritt is getting back to his roots. This second-generation farmer is putting a modern twist on an old-fashioned idea that could help scale up the local food economy in the region. He hopes to build a 3,700-square-foot root cellar that he says has the potential to keep fresh vegetables—not just root vegetable, but winter squash, cabbage, apples, and other cold storage food—available all winter long. Read more

The Man Who Brought You the Sugar Snap Pea Has Something New up His Sleeve

French Laundry culinary gardener Aaron Keefer knew what he cradled in his hands was special. Even legendary.

When he nestled the pea seeds into the ground just shy of spring this year, he had not only pored over a national magazine cover story lauding their distinctiveness, but The French Laundry’s Chef de Cuisine David Breeden had been pestering him for months to procure them to grow in the showcase garden of this landmark Yountville, California, restaurant. Read more

A Decade Later, Isa Chandra Moskowitz Is Still ‘Vegan With a Vengeance’

You’d be hard-pressed to find a vegan who doesn’t own at least one of Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s cookbooks. Her first, Vegan with a Vengeance: Over 150 Delicious, Cheap, Animal-Free Recipes That Rock, came out 10 years ago, and since then, she’s written seven more. Her third book, Veganomicon!, is known by many as the vegan bible, and her blog, The Post Punk Kitchen, has been a resource for both novice and experienced cooks since 2003. Read more

Young Farmers Flock Together to Save Heritage Ducks

On a sunny winter day, the Ancona ducks at Boondockers Farm in Oregon wandered around their pasture and frolicked in several blue plastic kiddie pools, under the watchful eye of two Great Pyrenees livestock guardian dogs. The 500 or so ducks spend day and night outside, protected from predators by the dogs, not walls. Cows, turkeys, and Delaware chickens wander in pastures and barns. Vegetables destined for the farmers’ market grow in a nearby garden plot. Read more

Editor’s Note: The Local Food Revolution

Since we Civil Eats started six years ago, we have cast our net wide to report on local food stories about individuals and communities working together to create a more vibrant, resilient, and just food system. There is so much good news about innovative projects happening nationwide: From Alaska to Hawaii, we’ve been documenting the unfolding of what local food likes like on the ground. In this month’s note, I wanted to share some of our inspiring stories showing how local food systems are connecting producers to consumers, boosting local economies, and building community.

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Boston to Launch the Nation’s First ‘All-Local’ Public Market

The new public market opening this summer in Boston will never sell a banana or an avocado. In the winter and spring, when there are fewer vegetables in the fields, there will be fewer vegetables in the market’s stalls. And if local fishermen can’t catch it, it won’t be on offer.

The Boston Public Market will be home to about 40 vendors, who will sell fruits and vegetables, fish and meat, and honeyall grown, caught or produced in New England. Read more

In Chicago, Former Park Houses Become Cooking Classrooms

In early May, a group of children lined up along tables to press small cookie cutter shapes into blocks of cheese. Next, they were given skewers and fruit and asked to design their own shish kebabs.

Teacher Kinga Kelly extolled the virtues of eating colorful foods–like bright red strawberries and deep purple blueberries–to the group. “What is the benefit of eating the rainbow?” she called out. “We get nutrients,” they called back. “Iron! Vitamin C for your immune system! Vitamin E for your skin! Vitamin A! Vitamin D for your bones!” Meanwhile, the thud of dribbled basketballs echoed from a gymnasium down the hall. Read more

Vermont: America’s Food Relocalization Laboratory

If most Americans were to rank the nation’s most influential states, chances are Vermont would not make many lists. But it should.

Quietly, Vermont has become a cultural, economic, and political force. Its public education system is consistently among the nation’s best. Vermonters weathered the Great Recession better than their counterparts in other states; the state’s unemployment rate is currently around 4 percent and dropping. Then there’s the catch-all distinction of being one of the top places in the country to live for overall quality of life.

Add local food to that list. Read more

This Pastry Chef Wants You to Eat Fewer Sweets

As a pastry chef with 20 years of experience under her belt, Emily Luchetti was tired of being asked why she’s not overweight. As the Chief Pastry Officer at Big Night Restaurant Group in San Francisco and Board Chairman of the James Beard Foundation, she has been perfecting the art of making pastries with fresh, seasonal ingredients. But that doesn’t mean she thinks dessert should be eaten every day. Through her work, Luchetti says, “I’ve learned how to put it all into perspective—how to deal with having sugar around me all the time and still lead a healthy life.” Read more