Category Archives: Food

Fresh and Local Food Movement Gains Momentum From New Web Service

Sourcing local food just got a lot easier

New web service seeks to fundamentally change the way our food systems function!

Using the site is very simple – farmers just load the products they are selling and include important details such as the quantity, variety and agricultural cultivation methods used, for example organic or free-range. Buyers can search the site using their zip code to browse farms or products in their local area. Purchases can be made from multiple farms at the same time, directly on the site using a PayPal account.For getting the products to the buyer, farmers using the site specify their availability to either deliver the product directly, or arrange for product pick-up. Buyers can also choose how they wish to receive their purchased products.The local food movement just gained a new head of steam. A new website, Pick-A-Pepper.com, just introduced a new web platform for buying and selling locally produced food. The service is free for farmers and food artisans and gives consumers of all types (schools, restaurants, families) a central location to source fresh and local products. Farmers, gardeners, and food artisans, large and small alike can use the site to post their fresh produce, meat, and kitchen creations (just to name a few) the moment they are available for sale.

Localy grown vegetables.

Emma O’Connell of Redbuds Farm in Rocheport, Missouri is the CEO and Founder of Pick-A-Pepper. On the launch of Pick-A-Pepper.com, she said:

“As a small-scale farmer and mother of two I was looking for a more flexible and independent way to sell my products than the weekend Farmer’s Market. Pick-A-Pepper allows farmers to connect directly with consumers the moment they have products available, pay online and arrange for a convenient exchange. As a farmer and mother, I believe in the importance of fresh, local food, it is not only healthier but it also supports the local economy helping keep our communities strong. Having worked in the restaurant business for years I was always frustrated to see tomatoes delivered from California when it was prime tomato season in Missouri. Pick-A-Pepper makes it easy for any individual, restaurateur, or institution to purchase fresh food from your neighborhood gardener or local farmer.”

The site also includes a weekly blog by Emma on topics of interest to farmers and local food consumers. The site will also regularly highlight “featured vendors” across the country so you can learn more about the people producing the food on your table. Emma continues to explain:

“I am confident that this website will make buying local easier and more accessible for everyone, it’s fresh local food at your fingertips.”

To begin buying or selling fresh, local products or to learn more visit http://www.pick-a-pepper.com, you can also become a fan of the site on facebook or follow Emma’s tweet @localandfresh

For more information contact: Emma O’Connell at (emma@pick-a-pepper.com)

Cooking Sweet Potatoes

Plowing, planting, and growing and digging sweet potatoes can be a pretty big job, especially when done on a large scale for the market. It can be daunting for a kid when he looks down the row in both directions, and can’t see either end! Of course, they, along with all the other crops we grew paid the bills, and there were always plenty to eat.

In fact, there is one way to eat sweet potatoes which almost made the whole process worthwhile by itself. Baked sweet potatoes, with lots of butter.

You can have all the sweet potato pies, and sweet potato fries, and candied yams, just give me mine baked, hot out of the oven with a pat of butter!

I can remember walking up the long hill after school, with the fragrance of baked sweet potatoes floating in the cool autumn breeze. It was a calming influence, and meant that the crops were in, the summer heat was over, and Thanksgiving and Christmas were on the way.

How do you prepare such a delicacy? All it takes is sweet potatoes, preferably about 2 to 3 inches in diameter, foil, an oven, and patience.

This is how it’s done:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Wash the sweet potatoes.
  3. Slice off a small part of the ends of each.
  4. Wrap the sweet potatoes in the foil.
  5. Place the foil wrapped sweet potatoes in a baking pan.
  6. Place the pan in the heated oven.
  7. Cook for from 30 to 70 minutes determined by size and maturity.
  8. The skin will be a dark brown on the outside and blackened on the inside and the potato will be soft when done.

Some juices will probably leak out during the process. This is normal.

  • Allow them to cool a little while to make working with them easy.
  • Unwrap the foil, and remove the potato.
  • Place it on a plate.
  • Slice lengthwise.
  • Add butter
  • Eat

Notice that there is no spice added. Why ruin a perfectly flavored dish?

Learn to grow, cure and store sweet potatoes:

Growing Sweet Potato Slips

Curing And Storing Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes The Curing Process

For even more information on the subject of sweet potatoes see:

Sweet Potato Culture for Profit. a Full Account of the Origin, History and Botanical Characteristics of the Sweet Potato

Sweet Potato: An Untapped Food Resource

The Sweet Potato: A Handbook for the Practical Grower [ 1921 ]

Sweet Potato: Post Harvest Aspects in Food, Feed and Industry (Food Science and Technology)

Sweet potato culture. Giving full instructions from starting the plants to harvesting and storing the crop