Small Farms Making a Living on Leased Land

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This past summer, I had the pleasure of traveling across Virginia’s Piedmont region (and a little south) to capture the stories of eight farms. My photographer friend Jami McDowell traveled with me for most of them, capturing these beautiful photos (despite very real fears that she might have to deliver my baby on that last … Continue reading

Glorious lamb — what’s on your Easter table?

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I have lamb, spring and Easter on my mind, so I thought I’d reshare a post from two springs ago, when I wrote about lamb four ways for NPR’s Kitchen Window. We will be joining these same lamb-loaded friends for Easter this year, and I’m still deciding on the side dishes. Until then, enjoy some lamb-spiration … Continue reading

Thanksgiving side dishes to bring — from the farm

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Here’s a post from the archives to inspire some farm-based dishes for your Thanksgiving feast. Also check out the NY Times’ recipes from 50 states — but use my sweet potato casserole recipe below instead of the one they suggest from Kansas!  Today was the last day for my ’round-the-corner farmers market in Mount Vernon, the last … Continue reading

Oh the things you can do with local, whole wheat flour…

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In the last month, I’ve visited about 10 farms for various stories and projects I’m scrambling to complete before baby arrives (less than two weeks!). Farms are among my favorite places, even if I’m rarely dressed appropriately (they don’t make pregnant farmer clothes, really), perpetually hot (yet thankful for this relatively mild August!) and always a long … Continue reading

Rebuilding the Foodshed, Soil & Human Health — VA Farm-to-Table Conference

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year. That’s right, it’s food-and-farms conference season. It’s that time of year when production in the field slows  and farmers huddle inside event centers to discuss best practices and plot their course for the coming years. Did I mention that local farming conferences have some great local food? … Continue reading

Glorious lamb and a story along those lines

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“It’s 9 a.m. on a Sunday, and my bathrobe and hair already reek of garam masala — burnt garam masala, to be exact. Who’d have known that the key to this Indian-Pakistani recipe for lamb biryani would be the French cooking mantra of mise-en-place? Or that the minute it takes for the pile of spices to get … Continue reading

Going online to buy local produce? Exploring Relay Foods

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When I first met with Caesar Layton for a story about Relay Foods, a Charlottesville-based online grocery store and farmers market that recently expanded into DC and Baltimore, I didn’t quite get the convenience factor. I mean, I am one of those people who drives to three or four different stores and markets each week. I … Continue reading

Highlights: Virginia Farm-to-Table conference

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It took some prodding from an ice cream-making farmer I met for a story, but boy was I glad I decided to attend at least one day of the Virginia Farm-to-Table conference last week. Sure, it was a 3-hour drive to Wyers Cave, Va., but waiting there was a wealth of food story ideas and the people … Continue reading

This is how local food should be

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I was having a rough morning at the farmers market today. I had already stopped by in a rush just after it opened at 8 a.m. to have my pick of the seconds bin apples at Twin Springs Fruit Farm‘s stand. While in line, I glanced into my wallet to find a severe lack of … Continue reading

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