Archive for the ‘Why Eat Local?’ Category

Lane cooking Roasted Daikon with a Horseradish Sauce

I had an amazing time cooking and discussing healthy eating with consumers at the Springfield Food Day Celebration this past weekend.

There was an estimated 1,600 foodies that showed up to take part in the food, music, education and games and the weather was perfect- sunny and warm!

It’s always refreshing to see young parents out with their kids at events such as this, and that was the case on Saturday.

Thanks to all that attended the event and came by to say, “We follow you on Facebook and love the recipes.”  Or, “Your blog is my go-to place for local farm recipes.”  THANK YOU!

And, if you haven’t had the opportunity to tell a friend about The Market Lady, I encourage you to do so today.  It’s as simple as going to our Facebook page and clicking the “like” tab.  Be sure and leave a comment on the page too!

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Even though the summer harvest is complete, there are many ways to eat locally grown this fall and winter.  The Market Lady, Lane McConnell, will display how easy cooking seasonally can be, even in the winter.  McConnell will present three cooking demonstrations at the Springfield Food Day Celebration on Oct. 22, in the Wilhoit Plaza parking lot, on the corners of Elm and Jefferson, from 10 am to 6 pm.

“I am so excited to be involved with this event,” said McConnell.  “The event will help provide much needed assistance for the Ozarks Food Harvest and provide an educational experience for consumers and children to learn more about healthy eating and living through local foods.”

Springfield Food Day Celebration (SFDC) will have a beer garden, live music, kids activities, lots of things for families, free food sampling opportunities, exhibitor booths and other fun festivities.

Recipes that The Market Lady will prepare include Roasted Parsnips, an Apple and Walnut Salad and a Curried Squash Soup, all perfect for the season. All recipes will include local ingredients from area farmers in the region. Be sure and stop by The Market Lady’s booth to indulge in free samples after each cooking demonstration.

Below find the recipes  that The Market Lady will prepare this Saturday at the Springfield Food Day Celebration.

Roasted Parsnips
1 1/2 pounds of parsnips, peeled and cut into 2 1/2 inch batons
4 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup of stock – turkey stock, low-sodium chicken stock or vegetable broth (for vegetarian option)*
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
4 teaspoons drained, bottled horseradish (how to make homemade horseradish)
1/2 Tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 Tbsp minced chives
1/2 small garlic clove, minced.

Pre-heat oven to 400°F. In a large roasting pan, toss the parsnips with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Add the broth, cover with aluminum foil and roast, stirring once or twice, until the parsnips are tender and the stock has evaporated or been absorbed, 20-45 minutes (depending on how tender the parsnips are to begin with). Check often to avoid their getting mushy – especially if they are to be reheated later.

Combine the softened butter with the horseradish, parsley, chives and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Toss the warm roasted parsnips with the horseradish-herb butter and serve.

Curried Winter Squash Soup
1 2-lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded, diced into 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch cubes, yielding about 6 cups of cubed squash, roasted
Olive oil
1 teaspoon butter
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 teaspoons yellow curry powder
1 teaspoon whole mustard seeds (if you substitute ground mustard, only use 1/4 teaspoon)
A dash of ground cumin
1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
4 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream (can substitute plain yogurt)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (can substitute parsley)

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large, thick-bottomed stock pot on medium heat. Add a dab of butter to the olive oil. Working in two batches so as not to crowd the pan, add the cubed butternut squash to the pan. Toss to coat all sides with oil. Sprinkle a little salt over the squash. Then spread out in an even layer and let cook, stirring only occasionally, so that the edges and sides get lightly browned. You may need to adjust the heat up to ensure browning, or down to prevent burning or drying out. Add more oil and butter for the additional batches. Remove from pan and set aside.

Heat another tablespoon of olive oil in the pot, on medium heat. Add the chopped onions and cook, stirring now and then, until softened. Add the curry powder, mustard seeds, cumin, and fresh ginger, and cook for a minute or so longer. Use a flat bottomed wooden or metal spatula to scrape up any browned bits.

Return the butternut squash to the pot. Add the chicken stock and a teaspoon of salt. Increase the heat to bring to a simmer, then lower the heat to maintain a low simmer, cover the pot. Cook for 40 minutes until squash is completely tender. Use an immersion blender (or a stand up blender in which case work in batches) to blend the soup smooth. Add more salt to taste if needed.

Serve in individual bowls with a dollop of sour cream and some chopped cilantro.

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If you are a mom, you may be thinking “why would I torture myself?”  If you are a grandma, you may be thinking, “I’m too old for that nonsense.”  Well, your concerns are understandable.  However, the following ideas may give you “food for thought” (pun intended.)

Fun:   With the right guidance, cooking with kids can be fun.  Look for recipes that are age-appropriate.  If children are preschoolers or young grade schoolers,  choose simple tasks such as making letters out of bread dough or mixing up juice or making pudding.  Older kids can select a favorite food and make with your help. Teenagers can plan and prepare the whole meal.  Allow time  for questions and possible (did I say probable?) messes.   Let kids be creative.  Cooking can be great fun and  an enjoyable hobby or lead to a lifelong profession.

Fact finding:   When kids spend time in the kitchen, they can learn so much.  Younger children learn math by measuring ingredients and setting the oven temperature.  Reading a recipe is great practice.  When kids get to participate in selecting and preparing  foods, they tend to learn more because they are actively involved.   Another tip is to have your youngster select the recipes, write out the grocery list and then go along to the farmers market and grocery store.  Think about the learning involved in adding up the prices and paying for the groceries!  These are valuable life skills that everyone needs to learn before they leave home.    In addition to meal planning and basic nutrition, kids are learning about budgeting and money management.   This could help your pocket book in the long run!!

Fountain of youth:  Okay, this is a stretch to say “fountain of youth” but it is true that  kids who learn to cook tend to be healthier.  Research has shown that kids who spend time cooking and helping with meal preparation, eat a wider variety of foods.  They are more likely to try new foods, such as different fruits and vegetables.   Learning about basic nutrition can help children learn healthy habits and help prevent  overweight. In turn, they will have less risk of diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and some types of cancer.   These diseases are common in America today and all are related, at partly, to eating and exercise habits.   A child may try cooked carrots, dislike them but then eat raw baby carrots dipped in low fat ranch dressing.  He may love a fruit salad recipe that he made because he got to choose it and liked the picture in the cookbook.

The same child may refuse to eat pears because of the texture or color but eat those pears in the fruit salad! Children, starting at grade school age, need at least 2 servings of fruits.  And 2 servings of vegetable daily.  They also need the equivalent of 3 cups of milk/day and teenagers needs the equivalent of 4 cups of milk/day.  Young people who help with cooking and grocery shopping are more likely to try a  variety of dairy products, such as yogurt, string cheese and milk-based recipes.

Finding recipes.   A “kid-friendly” cookbook is a wonderful investment or a fun gift for Christmas or birthday.   Following are suggested  resources that our family has used:


Missouri Pork Producers
 American Egg Council
Missouri Beef Producers

Cooking with kids is wonderful adventure that you nor they will never forget and never regret. Cheers to having fun with your little ones in the kitchen this year!

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Lane pictured with vendors at the Neosho Farmers Market

Written by Kelsie Young, The Market Lady Video Producer

Shade is not something you will find at most farmers markets this time of year, at the 10th Street Farmers Market in Lamar you’re in luck! With all vendors being under a shaded area you do not even skip a  beat in the 90 degree weather. Lamar features an array of options from diverse produce, fresh flowers, clothing and even custom art and wood pieces. One vendor even had elephant garlic, new type of garlic to me that I was able to learn about. The 10 street farmers market can be found just off the square in Lamar, Mo., and you are sure to be welcomed with a smile.

We visited the Lamar Market last week and had a great time visiting with vendors and consumers alike.  Head on over to our Facebook page to see photos of our travels.

It was an early morning for our visit to Neosho and we had a couple extra folks tag along- Lane’s husband, Charlie, and son, Caston.

Kelsie Young with the Lamar Farmers Market Board Members

What a welcoming place! Smiling vendors, friends, families and regulars that return for their favorite products are what to be expected at the Neosho Farmers Market. In the heart of downtown Neosho you will find vendors with a vast amount of sweet goodies, fresh baked breads, a vendor weaving thread and of course produce galore. At the Neosho Market I was able to walk around and find a new story everywhere I turned. One vendor even offered Kohlrabi samples and offered great tips on how to eat and prepare it. Kohlrabi was crunchy and fresh I cannot wait to enjoy it in the next stir fry I make.

Come see at our next market- June 25 in Lebanon.

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Press Release:
The Market Lady project kicks-off filming on Friday, May 6, 2011, at the Webb City Farmers Market in Webb City, Mo.  The Market Lady and video crew will begin at 11:00 a.m., with a baby food cooking demo using fresh produce from the market, followed by interviews with market customers, shopping tips for market visitors and end the day with a two final cooking demos incorporating various market products.

“We’re excited about The Market Lady coming to Webb City.  So often folks want to add fresh produce to their diets and that of their family but don’t know how to prepare it.  Eating fresh doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming and the health benefits, both to your family and to your community, are important,” said Eileen Nichols, Webb City Farmers Market Master. “Those of us raised on boxed, canned and frozen foods – or fast foods – can be intimidated by the market tables loaded with fresh produce.  But it’s easy to go from farm to table and The Market Lady will show us how.”

One recipe The Market Lady will be preparing at the market is a homemade baby food to teach mothers how easy it is to feed their baby locally grown specialty crops from their local farmers market.  Below find one of the recipes that will be demonstrated on May 6 at the market.

Baby’s Asparagus Medley
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 bunch asparagus
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon marjoram or oregano

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add onion and sauté until tender. Add asparagus, garlic, chicken broth and marjoram; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until asparagus is tender. Remove from heat; purée in batches in a blender. Heat through to serve.

NOTE: We will post more recipes this week that The Market Lady will be cooking at the market on Friday…stay tuned!

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Press Release

Thursday, April 21, 2011 – SPRINGFIELD, MO. – Looking for a FRESH perspective on eating local in the Ozarks?  Looking for ideas in cooking seasonally that incorporate food that is grown by local farmers?  Want to learn how to shop at your local farmers market?  Ever wonder exactly what the terms organic, all-natural, grass-fed, low pesticide or even humanely-treated mean?  The Market Lady is here to help.

The Market Lady, Lane McConnell, offers consumers healthy eating tips through a rainbow of flavors with weekly visits to local farmers markets across the Ozarks. She will take consumers on a tour of farmers markets to bring families simple recipe solutions using local foods purchased at the farmers market and help consumers put a face to their food.

“I will provide tips on selection, preservation and preparation of produce that you can use in your kitchen and advice on spicing up your family’s dinner table that all ages will appreciate,” said McConnell, The Market Lady. “Farmers markets offer a rich variety of homegrown fruits and vegetables as well as other farm fresh goods such as meats, dairy, eggs and value-added products – something for every family.”

With the help of Missouri State University’s William H. Darr Agricultural Center, The Market Lady project comes to life through television and online video segments.  Videos will include onsite farmers market cooking demonstrations, interviews with farmers about the sustainable methods in which producers grow, raise and harvest farm fresh products and ways to preserve the freshness of local produce year-round.  All information will be archived at themarketlady.com.

Videos will be distributed to KY3 News in Springfield, Mo., and KSNF TV 16 in Joplin, Mo., weekly throughout farmers market season, beginning after May 10, 2011.

The Market Lady plans on filming at the following markets: Aurora Local Farmers Market in Aurora, Mo., C-Street Farmers Market in Springfield, Mo., Cabool Farmers Market in Cabool, Mo., Christian County Farmers Market in Ozark, Mo., Eastland Farmers Market in Springfield, Mo., FARM, Camdenton, Mo., Fair Grove Farmers Market in Fair Grove, Mo., Greater Polk County Farmers Market in Bolivar, Mo., Greater Springfield Farmers Market in Springfield, Mo., Greater Springfield Farmers Market – Downtown Springfield, Joplin Farmers Market in Joplin, Mo., 10th Street Farmers Market in Lamar, Mo., Lebanon Farmers Market in Lebanon, Mo., Marshfield Farmers Market in Marshfield, Mo., Monett Farmers Market in Monett, Mo., Mountain Grove Farmers Market in Mountain Grove, Mo., Neosho Farmers Market in Neosho, Mo, Webb City Farmers Market in Webb City, Mo., and West Plains Farmers Market in West Plains, Mo.

Find Lane and The Market Lady Video Crew at farmers markets across the Ozarks presenting cooking demonstrations, interviewing local food producers about their farming practices and talking with consumers about seasonal produce and other farm fresh products.  Learn more at themarketlady.com or find videos and recipes on The Market Lady Blog at themarketladyblog.com or follow The Market Lady on Facebook.

The Market Lady is funded through a Specialty Crop Block Grant through the Missouri Department of Agriculture and filmed through partnership with Missouri State University’s William H. Darr Agricultural Center. The Market Lady mission is to engage southwest Missouri consumers to buy local food via their local farmers markets and encourages healthy eating habits. The project helps consumers learn about healthy eating, provides fresh recipe ideas and aids in linking consumers with local farmers.

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Have you heard the news?

Slow Food of Southwest Missouri is celebrating “Local Week,” this Friday with their first Farm to Table dinner of the year, followed by Movies at the Moxie. What better way to spend a Friday night, right?

There  is a spring dinner featuring local producers Real Farm Foods, OOVDA Winery and Suncrest Farm. Tickets for the farm to table dinner can be purchased at Homegrown Foods and Pickwick House, 611 S. Pickwick and tickets are $40 per person or $15 for children 12 and younger. 

The group is also highlighting local restaurants that serve locally sourced foods like the Farmer’s Gastropub, Tea Bar & Bites and Mama Jean’s Deli.

If you want to learn more call 417-827-4207.

Dinner from local farms, local drinks and a movie – sound like a great date night!

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I see it every market season. Customers coming to market and asking, “Where are the tomatoes?”

“No tomatoes yet,” says a vendor. “They’re not in season yet.”

If your family wants to eat more locally, the first step is to learn what’s in season- and across Missouri that changes depending on the region you live. If you know what to expect on your trip to the market you can plan you weekly meals and snacks accordingly. And, the best part about eating locally is your diet will change with the seasons!

Here is a seasonal guide to go by that will help you plan.

In Season Now
Currently, you can expect to find items such as root vegetables, hearty greens, some herbs, spring asparagus, garlic, onions, peas and just you wait – STRAWBERRIES are just around the corner (about mid-May).

But, don’t forget all the other items you can shop for at the market. Items like meat, cheeses, breads, jams, jelly, honey and honey made products, soaps……

And remember – the season changes year to year depending on the weather! So, ask your farmers how the season is looking and when they expect produce to come in…they are the caregivers of our food and can provide you with tip-top advice. Cooking seasonally doesn’t mean that you have to dress up your food because it’s already at its best- FRESH and LOCAL! Visit a market today and enjoy in the spring harvest!

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Local Carrots from the Ozarks1. Unbeatable taste: Why do tomatoes from a farmers’ market taste so much better than most store-bought tomatoes? According to http://www.foodroutes.org, fruits and vegetables shipped from distant states and countries may spend a week or even two in transit before arriving at the supermarket. In contrast, most farmers’ market tomatoes have been off the vine for less than 24 hours when set out for sale. Local produce also tastes better because most shipped varieties are grown for their ability to withstand industrial harvesting equipment, extended travel and a long shelf life.

2. Better health and nutrition: Buying locally allows consumers to make selections based on the farmer’s use of pesticides, hormones, antibiotics and other additives. Currently, producers do not have to include this information on food labels. In addition, local foods — especially fruits and vegetables — have more nutritional value because they are allowed to ripen on the vine.

3. Greater variety: Local growers offer a tremendous selection.

4. Easier on the environment: Aside from the environmental concerns associated with industrial agriculture and confinement animal feeding operations, an industrial food supply requires transporting food items thousands of miles, which uses up fuel and creates pollution.

5. Support for family farms: The 2002 Census of Agriculture showed a steep drop in the percentage of principal farm operators 35 years old or younger, from 15.9 percent in 1982 to 5.8 percent 20 years later. Eating local helps create the demand necessary to motivate a new generation to enter this risky business.

6. Improved security: According to a 2007 report by Hendrickson and University of Missouri rural sociology professor emeritus William Heffernan, 11 large firms control 83.5 percent of all U.S. beef slaughter, 66 percent of pork packing, 58.5 percent of broiler chicken production and 55 percent of turkey production. The same report shows four large firms control 55 percent of all U.S. flour milling and soybean crushing. If something bad happened at one of this big companies — anything from a safety recall to terrorism — the effect would be severe.

7. Stronger relationships: For many “localvores,” this benefit is the reason they feel passionate about local food systems. They love knowing the stories behind their food, they love connecting to a particular place, and they love interacting with other people who are passionate about food and culture.

Why do you choose to eat local? Tell us why and leave us a comment.

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