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V.20 No.31 | 8/4/2011
Students of Our School at Blair Grocery make compost.
Ari LeVaux

Have Fork, Will Travel

The Seeded Side of New Orleans

From garbage to garden in the Lower Ninth Ward

In the syrupy charm of New Orleans' Garden District or the debauchery of the French Quarter, you might think the city has recovered from the trauma of Katrina. Streetcars are running, music is playing and tourists have stumbled back with beads on. But in the poorest part of the city, which also happens to be the lowest part, it's a different story.

But despite the setbacks, Our School at Blair Gorcery in the Lower Ninth Ward is using composting and farming techniques to bolster their situation in a fragile economy.

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V.20 No.23 | 6/9/2011
Eggs Benedict is a plateful of good mornin’.
Sergio Salvador salvadorphoto.com

Locovore

Cafe Green

Fresh ideas in seasonal cuisine

Meat, of all the ingredients a restaurant serves, is arguably the most deserving of care in how it is sourced. Unless, perhaps, the name of the restaurant in question is Cafe Green. At the three-year-old Downtown breakfast and lunch joint, the greens of both the salad and the chile persuasions are local. And some of the meat on the menu is too, if you consider Pueblo, Colo, to be local. (We do.)

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V.19 No.47 | 11/25/2010
Josh Slotnick surveys his family farm outside Missoula, Mont. New legislation could require small growers like him to build cost-prohibitive industrial facilities.
Ari LeVaux

Food for Thought

Farm vs. Factory

Congress will soon vote on the most significant piece of food legislation ever passed. Here's some of what's at stake.

Produce, milk, meat, eggs, nuts and all manner of processed foods have made people sick in recent years, and Congress has been understandably itching to cook up a big pot of food-safety legislation. The result, Senate Bill 510, is likely headed for a vote soon in the lame-duck session.

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V.19 No.45 | 11/11/2010
If anyone can bring foliage back to our cities’ “food deserts,” it's the independent grocers.
Courtesy of James Johnson Piett

Food for Thought

Apples to Urbanites

How one man is reconnecting the inner city to fresh produce

James Johnson Piett digs retail—specifically, food retail. Focusing on things like "operationalizing how consumers move through a store," as he puts it, might seem prohibitively geeky. But Piett makes it seem very cool.

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V.19 No.35 | 9/2/2010
Chile ready for roasting
courtesy of Wagner Farms

Mina's Dish

It’s in the Air

A couple of weeks ago I got a whiff of roasting chile. All of a sudden it’s fall, and I am reminded once again of how New Mexico made me her own.

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V.19 No.33 | 8/19/2010
Plant a Row for the Hungry garden marker

Mina's Dish

Giving Gardens in Albuquerque

Plant a Row for the Hungry

The next time a friend says thanks, but no thanks, to your latest offering of homegrown zucchini, think about donating it. You could join the network of organizations across the country that directs unused food toward the nation’s hungry. Food Forward, founded by Rick Nahmias and manned by hordes of volunteers, has gleaned tons of fruits from farms in Southern California to be distributed to food pantries. They post regular schedules on Facebook so volunteers can meet to pick fruit.

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V.19 No.29 | 7/22/2010
Eric Williams ericwphoto.com

Feature

Crop Art

Reviving an ancient farming tradition starts at home

Sarah Montgomery holds an ear of corn in each hand.

"These look like two ears of white corn to most people," she says. "But they're totally different."

Montgomery is the founder and director of The Garden’s Edge, a nonprofit that promotes sustainable agriculture within the state and in Guatemala. A central piece of that puzzle is preserving an ancient farming technique that's endangered: seed saving.

The corn in her left hand is Hopi, she explains, a dry land variety from New Mexico. "Farmers plant it far underground to get the moisture, and the seed is adapted to getting rained on only a few times a year." The other ear is Guatemalan. It's the Hopi corn's opposite, she explains, which is eager to soak up tropical rains and moisture. "Each one is adapted to its particular bioregion."

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V.19 No.24 | 6/17/2010
Jeffrey Lee and Elaine DiFederico in the Hand To Mouth greenhouse
Mina Yamashita

Mina's Dish

Hand To Mouth Foods

It’s Los Ranchos Growers’ Market opening day, and when I arrive at 7 a.m., a lively crowd is already jockeying for position around the stalls. I find Hand To Mouth Foods, LLC where Jeffrey Lee and wife Elaine DiFederico offer tables full of starter plants, assorted greens and carefully packed early harvests. I’m looking for breakfast, and in the midst of the greens is a tempting array of baked goods. I walk away munching a piñon-spangled custard tart, saving an onion galette and a fruit tart for later.

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