LocalHarvest Newsletter, March 27, 2008

Asked to picture a farm in Iowa, and most people think of endless fields of corn. Though accurate for many parts of the state, there is something else going on in the northeastern corner of the state, something we would love to see cropping up all over the country. It is a cooperative of family farmers who joined together to market their products to local institutions. The local college, a couple of nursing homes and hospitals, and even a casino are now proudly serving healthy food, bought directly from local farmers. The barriers to such a scheme are considerable, but not insurmountable. Our main article this month looks at the draws and drawbacks of small farmer cooperatives like Iowa’s GROWN Locally.

Elsewhere in the newsletter -- if your diet needs some whole grains to balance out the jelly beans, be sure to read our nutrition and recipe articles about whole grain rice.

As always, thanks for your interest in LocalHarvest.org and your support of family farmers. See you next month, and until then, take good care and eat well!

A New Kind of Co-op: GROWN Locally

Nearly a decade ago, an idea was born in a field outside of Decorah, Iowa. After a field day at Sunflower Fields Farm, several farmers wondered if they could band together, coordinate their marketing efforts, and sell their products to local institutions under a single name. They tried. Some things flew, others flopped. Nine years later, the cooperative endures. These Iowan farmers might not like us making too much of it, but the truth is, we think their model is the way of the future. (Read on...)

From the LocalHarvest Store:

The best thing about March may be maple syrup season! Get your amber sweetness here, and start mixing up a stack of pancakes.

March is also a good month to order your seeds if you haven’t gotten yours – or maybe order a second round if you think you’re going to need a few more. We have a wonderful seed collection.

Is this your year to join a CSA? Found one yet? You can click here to search for a local CSA and here to see if there is one available for online subscriptions.

Nancy's Nutrition Corner: Righteous Rice

Often there is much confusion around rice. Is it good for you? Too starchy? Brown vs. white, is one better than the other? This article attempts to define the difference between white and brown rice, and to aid in better dietary choices. (Read on...)

Recipe Corner: Try Wild Rice with Your Meals - By Lorna Sass

Wild rice is denser than the white rice most of us are used to. Cooking it requires more water and time, but the rich nutty taste and excellent health benefits are well worth a little extra effort! Eating wild rice always feels so celebratory, it's a shame most of us don't do it more often.
(Recipes and More...)