LocalHarvest Newsletter, November 24, 2008

Welcome back to the LocalHarvest newsletter.

It's not every day that we get to roll out a brand new feature in LocalHarvest. We look forward to such days because they are so long in the making. Today is onesuch. In a word: blogs.

You know us – we love family farms. We love them in general, from a distance, painted with a wide brush, so to speak. We like the idea of small farms. What they represent and stand for is important to us, so we spend a lot of time promoting them, mostly in the general.

With the blogs it is different. The blogs are about close up and particular. They are about the farmers' own stories and struggles, in their own words. We like that a lot too. In fact, hearing directly from our nation's farmers feels imperative. It allows us non-farmers to get a better sense of what that life is really like, in all its variation and complexity. So, as of last month, we added a personal blog for every farm that wants one.

Already, over 230 LocalHarvest members have created blogs. They are publishing recipes and stories, musings and photos, all well worth a look. We'd like to invite you to visit them, and to add your comments to those entries that inspire you to write. You can use our new blog map to find LocalHarvest member blogs in much of the US. Click on the orange icons to get to our members' blogs.

Last week we invited each of our bloggers to write a special entry on the theme of Thanksgiving, available here. With the holiday of gratitude quickly approaching, we would like to express our heartfelt thanks to all of you for your enthusiasm about LocalHarvest and your support of family farms. At a time of hardship for so many, we are thankful for the enduring blessings in our lives, most especially the non-material gifts that lie within reach: a grateful heart, a hopeful outlook, and a commitment to kindness.

May your tables be laden and your hearts and bellies full,

Erin Barnett
Director, LocalHarvest

From the LocalHarvest Store:

Ready or not, the holiday gift giving season is upon us. Why not avoid the mall and buy presents made by family farmers? We've got over 5000 products in our LocalHarvest catalog, including a wide variety ofa gift baskets, fruit, meats, honey, and of course, our ever-popular gift certificates!

This is also a great time to order a fresh-cut holiday wreath for your door, or one of our beautiful dried flower wreaths.

Nancy's Nutrition Corner: Sweet Potatoes

When I think of sweet potatoes I envision the holidays. In my mind's eye I see that glass casserole dish with warm gooey sweet potatoes covered in melted brown sugar and marshmallows. While using the sweet potato as a holiday table specialty is nice, sweet potatoes are actually much more versatile than one might imagine. There are many ways to include them in one's diet—and many reasons one should. Sweet potatoes are ranked highest of all vegetables in nutritional value by the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Ounce for ounce you get a load of nutrients from a sweet potato. This article will focus on just a few that make this tuber an excellent dietary choice for the cold and flu season.
(Read on...)

Recipe Corner: Sweet Potato Wedges with Rosemary
By Lorna Sass

Despite our reliance on the generic term "sweet potato," a trip to any farmers market makes it clear that not all sweet potatoes are created equal. The most widely available, luscious, bright orange-fleshed vegetable that we think of as "The Sweet Potato" is typically the Beauregard variety, indeed a treat to consume. But to stop there would be to miss some excellent eating.
(Recipes and More...)