December 9, 2011 |
Jere Gettle's been called "a young, countrified Elvis," and you can see why. The guy runs around in hokey tunics and overalls, goofy shirts and hats. Please read The Heirloom Life Gardener, by Jere and his wife, Emilee, with Meghan Sutherland, just published by Hyperion ($29.99). You'll learn a ton about this unusual fellow, who deserves respect for his family's commitment to the local food movement - specifically, heirloom seeds from around the world, which they sell through their 13-year-old company, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, in Mansfield, Mo. In 2009, they also converted a 1920s bank building in Petaluma, Calif., into the Seed Bank, and last year, they bought the venerable seed company Comstock, Ferre & Co., in Wethersfield, Conn.
July 11, 2011 |
Eve Minson had challenging careers in advertising and education, but what she loved more than anything else was working the soil. Now, at 53, she makes her living - in the most holistic sense of the word - growing vegetables, flowers, and herbs on a rented swath of heaven that she calls Just One Seed, a field of barely 1 1/2 acres in rural upper Bucks County. Her equally enterprising neighbors, Marc and Joanna Michini, raise hogs, lambs, chickens, turkeys, and rabbits on another rented parcel carved from the 120-acre Come Along Farm, about a mile from the Delaware River in Tinicum Township.
July 8, 2011 |
USED TO BE, eating off a food truck meant grabbing a kielbasa or some General Tso's - or, if you were feeling reckless, a gyro. These days, thanks to the recession and the culinary world's teenagerlike eagerness to follow trends, Philly has a growing fleet of gourmet trucks that serve up delicacies like pork bulgagi and buttercream cupcakes. This weekend, old-school carts meet their tweeting newbie counterparts in our city's first-ever Vendy (as in "vendor") Awards, a competitive celebration of sidewalk grub.
March 17, 2011
By Bryan Collins The face of City Council is changing. At least five new Council members will replace retiring incumbents in January, and there is fierce competition for other seats. This new energy should be harnessed to enhance the city's environmental quality, strengthen its neighborhoods, and increase its economic competitiveness. During the 2007 mayoral election, the Next Great City coalition, led by PennFuture and 130 partner organizations, urged the candidates to focus on neighborhood quality-of-life issues such as parks, energy efficiency, recycling, and transportation.
March 3, 2011 |
Dinner at the Kensington home of John Vick and Amanda Jaffe is as simple as roast chicken, mashed potatoes, salad, and biscuits - and as complicated as farm-raised, sustainably grown, homemade, and locally sourced. Jaffe uses chicken from Griggstown Quail Farm outside Princeton, unaltered by hormones or antibiotics. Vick mashes the All Blue potatoes, a variety that produces colorful flesh as well as skin, from Tuscarora Organic Growers in Hustontown, Pa., adding butter from Hometown Provisions in Lancaster County and whole milk from Trickling Springs Creamery in Chambersburg, Pa. For his biscuits, Vick blends heirloom cornmeal from Rineer Family Farms in Lancaster and buttermilk from Maplehofe Dairy in Quarryville, Pa. The salad greens, baby arugula, and baby spinach were grown hydroponically at Woodland Produce in Fairton, N.J., by a farmer who recently got a grant from the USDA to install photovoltaic cells in order to run his greenhouses on solar energy.
November 11, 2010 |
THINK GREAT American food towns and what comes to mind? Definitely San Francisco/Napa for wine and farm-to-table cuisine. Then there's New Orleans for eclectic Creole bites, Memphis, Tenn., for barbecue. And don't forget Boulder, Colo., home to an awesome farmer's market and a slew of innovative food companies. Or Portland, Maine, where craft beer and fresh seafood form a perfect union. New York? Natch. But aren't we forgetting something? How about our hometown? Philadelphia deserves much more than its connection to the cheesesteak when it comes to making a culinary splash.
June 15, 2010 |
Something was cooking yesterday at the Reading Terminal Market, but it wasn't just DiNic's roast pork. The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corp. launched the Philly Homegrown project inside the market to get more people to buy locally grown food. Philly Homegrown was created to help the region become known for more than just cheesesteaks, said Jeff Guaracino, vice president of communications for GPTMC. "People don't normally think of Philadelphia as this place with lots of healthy, home-grown food," he said.
January 29, 2010 |
For those who desire to vote with their food dollars in support of a different food system, Milk & Honey Market at 45th Street and Baltimore Avenue is a good option. The market focuses on locavore, whose definition depends on whom you ask. For some, it means adding as much fresh and local foods to the shopping cart as possible. Others have geographic boundaries - eating or drinking nothing that comes from beyond a 150-mile radius or, in the extreme, 50 miles. I'll admit my bias here.
November 26, 2009 |
Smoked duck with lingonberry and pecan glaze, braised mustard greens and oyster chowder were on the menu at Philadelphia University's Thanksgiving dinner for 600 students last week. Chefs were carving roasted turkey; cherry chutney, parsnip mash, and a cranberry and sour cherry polenta tart were among the offerings. If that wasn't impressive enough for a college dining hall, consider this: The entire menu was sourced locally, the free-range turkey from Koch's Farm in Lewistown Valley, the produce from 12 surrounding farms, the oysters from Long Island (OK, a stretch there, but still within 150 miles)
October 11, 2009 |
All you need is shampoo - or so you say. You go to Target, ignore the giant red shopping carts at the entrance, and dart to the health and beauty aisle, determined to stay focused. The next thing you know, you're at the checkout juggling a snowman doormat, a Captain America kiddie T-shirt, a box of Cheerios, and a stash of paper towels big enough for a bomb shelter. You are Target's dream customer, and there are a lot of you out there. But now the Minnesota retailer wants you to drop by more often, so it has come up with new bait it's testing across the Philadelphia area before launching it nationwide.