LocalHarvest Newsletter, September 24, 2009

Tensions ran high in at least five communities last Thursday, the final day of the "Love Your Farmers Market" contest, sponsored by LocalHarvest and Care2. After weeks of impressive campaigning, there was shuffling among the top placeholders even on the last day of the contest. When I spoke with manager of the Fernandina Beach market, Jan Smith, on Wednesday, her market was in third place. She had been campaigning all summer, but was not letting up the pressure. Meanwhile, up in Carrboro, NC, market manager Sarah Blacklin had just been on the radio, reminding would-be voters that the contest was about to end.

Winner of the $5,000 first prize was none other than Flint Farmers' Market in Flint, MI, with a strong showing of support at 6,083 votes. Congratulations to all top five vote getters, and to to the markets who won the weekly drawing prizes of $250!

  • First Place: Flint Farmers’ Market, Flint, MI
  • Second Place: Fernandina Farmers Market, Fernandina Beach, FL
  • Third Place: Carrboro Farmers’ Market, Carrboro, NC
  • Fourth Place: Midtown Farmers’ Market, Minneapolis, MN
  • Fifth Place: Market Square Farmers’ Market, Knoxville, TN

The interesting thing about how this contest turned out is that the top three markets are each so different. Our contest winners page includes a description of each market, its strategies for winning this contest, and the community it serves. Read more about them!

All told, 98,147 people cast a vote in this contest, and with their vote nearly 65,000 people posted a short review of their favorite market on LocalHarvest. We would like to express our gratitude to Care2.com for partnering with us on this contest, and for putting together such a fantastic package of prizes.

Speaking of contests, this is the last month of our "Find the Missing CSAs" contest. We are soliciting readers' support in finding CSAs that are not yet listed in our database. The person who submits the most new (to us) CSAs will win a $100 gift certificate to the LocalHarvest catalog. Contest ends September 30. We appreciate your help in rounding out our national directory!

As always, take good care and eat well,

Erin Barnett

From the LocalHarvest Store:

Our Thanksgiving turkeys are already finding good homes with good food fans all across the country. LocalHarvest farmers raise heritage breeds, "regular" organic turkeys, and – for those who want both – organic, heritage birds. Ready to reserve yours? You can search for one locally, or have one shipped to you. Reserve yours now!

CSAs – they aren't just for summers anymore! The LocalHarvest directory includes more than 1000 CSAs that offer winter shares, some of whom sell these shares through our store. To see if there's one near you, click here and then enter your zip code to narrow the search.

Once Upon a Time, I Was Obsessed with a Plant: a Contest

It's not that we're fixated on contests. Really, it's not. But in case anyone is getting that impression, let's call this one a giveaway. Here's what's up: a new movie based on Michael Pollan's best selling The Botany of Desire will be airing on PBS next month. For those who like to mark their calendars, it's Wednesday, October 28, from 8-10 p.m. Called an "eye-opening exploration of the human relationship with the plant world — seen from the plant's point of view," and narrated by Frances McDormand, this is sure to be good. For those who haven't read the book, the idea is that we think that we control the plant world. But what if, in fact, they have been shaping us?

We have a director-signed copy of the movie, so we are introducing a new contest giveaway playing with the theme of the book. To enter, send us your story of a time you were obsessed (or at least taken up with) with something in the plant kingdom – like, going to great lengths to protect your tomatoes from frost, watching and waiting for your seedlings to come up, praying for rain for your crops, or spending a summer growing flowers for your wedding. Anything. Submit your story by October 18, and we'll announce the winner of The Botany of Desire DVD in our next newsletter. Stories will be published on the LocalHarvest website.

To view the trailer and learn more about the film, visit PBS.org.

Food from the Farm: Greek Kale Salad

Many thanks to Tana Comer of Eaton's Creek Organics in Joelton, TN for sending us the following recipe. We love kale, but had never tried it like this, and had a hard time imagining how it would taste. It's good! This would be a good recipe for people who haven't yet fallen in love with kale. The strong flavors of the feta and olives, combined with the acid of the lemon juice, set the kale's flavor to the background.
(Recipes and More...)