East Lake Farmers Market

I'd only been in the East Lake community of Birmingham once before this summer. That was in the Fall of 2009 when I attended a couple of session of a sustainable foods conference held at East Lake United Methodist Church. Last year, I moved to the east side of town. The East Lake community is a few miles away, on the northern side of I-20. It's an area that's been economically-challenged for … [Read more...]

Averiett Branch Farm: A Heritage Farm

One of the nicest things about hanging out at farmers markets is that you get to talk to the men and women who grow and raise your food. Over the past two months I've had several short (he's always busy), but pleasant chats with John H. Wesson, current purveyor of Averiett Branch Farm in Sylacauga, Alabama. John's ancestors established Averiett Branch Farm in 1850. Seven generations of Averietts … [Read more...]

Peaches from Witt Farms

I bought the most delicious peaches from Mr. and Mrs. Hays who were representing Witt Farms at the East Lake Farmers Market last Saturday, July 16. These peaches have been scrumptious. I've eaten them as a snack, as dessert and mixed them into my smoothies this past week. I'm not sure where else you can get peaches from Witt Farms but I can promise you won't be disappointed. Here's Mrs. Hays … [Read more...]

Winfrey Farms at East Lake Farmers Market

Last Saturday I visited with Jeff Mott of Winfrey Farms. Winfrey Farms, located in Boaz, Alabama, sells a variety of wonderful produce at the East Lake Farmers Market in Birmingham. So far this season, I've bought cabbage, cucumbers, onions, yellow pattypan squash, new potatoes and green beans from Winfrey Farms. That's what I can think of. Every bit of it has been superb. The cabbage was the … [Read more...]

Whited Farms at East Lake Farmers Market

I spoke with Jennifer Smelson of Whited Farms at the East Lake Farmers Market last Saturday. Jennifer's family owns Whited Farms. So far this season I've bought strawberries and green beans from Whited Farms and have been quite pleased. I look forward to trying more of the wide assortment of vegetables and fruit grown on Whited Farms in Blount County, Alabama. Whited Farms - Jennifer Snelson … [Read more...]

Oak Hill Angus: Grass-fed Black Angus Beef

I met Richard Harvell, owner of Oak Hill Angus at the Homegrown Alabama Farmers Market in Tuscaloosa a few days ago. Mr. Harvell raises grassfed, antibiotic- and hormone-free Black Angus cattle at his family-owned farm in Eutaw, Alabama. He didn't have any steaks that day, so I bought two packs of ground round and a pack of ground chuck. The beef is all USDA Inspected, of course. At $2.79 - $2.99 … [Read more...]

Grilled T-bone Steak (Grassfed Beef) & Grilled Veggies

I have a steak about once every three to four weeks, preferably grilled. For the past few years, I've pretty much limited my beef consumption to grass-fed beef, buying  as "local" as possible. More and more ranchers and farmers are raising grass-fed beef and selling it directly to consumers at farmers markets. Some producers offer regular delivery points when farmers markets aren't in operation. … [Read more...]

On encountering cows while running….

I always say "Hey" to cows whenever I pass them while running. Kind of like when Scout says "Hey" to Boo Radley. … [Read more...]

Making Squash Casserole

Inundated with yellow squash? There are many ways to take advantage of the bounty of yellow squash that's coming in right now.  Boiled or steamed, raw in salads, pasta salads, fried alone or with zucchini or okra. One of my favorite dishes is squash casserole. I learned to make squash casserole from my grandmother, who was a home extension agent. I've made it so many times over many decades that … [Read more...]

Where Food Comes From: June 16, 2011 Edition

I grew up in a rural area. Many of my relatives were active farmers and cattlemen (or both), full or part-time.   My parents and grandparents always had large gardens during those formative years. Summers included lots of time spent planting, hoeing, picking, shelling, washing, peeling, canning, freezing. I was never required to do hoeing or picking, though, because the adults were afraid I would … [Read more...]