Where Food Comes From: June 2012 Edition

Real food is an integral part of my life and always has been. I was fortunate to grow up here:   And my parents still own and live on this 220-acre farm in Northwest Alabama. They've always had a garden, although the size has varied, depending on their family and professional responsibilities. Now that they've retired, the scope of gardening has picked up again. During my childhood … [Read more...]

Colbert & Lauderdale County Farmers Markets for 2012

I've been a big fan of the Spring Park Farmers Market for the past several summers. Loved to visit and check out the cooking demonstrations when I could get to the Shoals on Thursday afternoons. Needless to say, then, I was disappointed to learn that the Spring Park Farmers Market is closed for Summer 2012, due to scheduling and logistical problems, according to the Times Daily. Here's a list … [Read more...]

Buy Local, Eat Local

Why not support your locally-owned businesses and merchants this holiday season? Buy American, whenever possible, and from locally-owned businesses if you have a choice. Whether you're buying Christmas gifts for family and friends or food items for a holiday party, there's almost always a local option. Support your community.   "Cheap" comes with a price. The seemingly insatiable desire … [Read more...]

Squam Bridge – New Hampshire

This week's Sunday Sign is rather small—it marks the covered bridge across the Squam River in Ashland, New Hampshire. Built in 1990, the Squam Bridge isn't an historic covered bridge. But it is significant because it represents the idea and values of the residents of Ashland, New Hamphsire. Rather than replace an existing condemned bridge with a modern, 2-lane steel bridge, the citizens of … [Read more...]

Grapevine Grill at Chaumette Vineyards

While wandering around the Soulard Market on August 13, during my last hour in St. Louis, I stopped by the Baetje Farms stall to sample (and purchase) a bit of their divinely-inspired, award-winning goat cheese. I bought the last package of their Bavarian Lemon Creme. As we chatted, I mentioned that I was driving south on I-55 and wanted to stop for a late lunch around Sainte Genevieve. And I … [Read more...]

Finer Grind Coffee Roasters

When it comes to specialty coffees, Birmingham, Alabama has one of the finest micro-roasters in the nation: Woody Wiginton's Finer Grind. Yesterday, I ran across this review of seven top independent coffee roasters on Cool Hunting. Actually, @cutigerash tweeted the link, so I took a look. And I remembered that I'd planned to do a blog post on Finer Grind in early August, just before I had a dog … [Read more...]

Epiphany: Tuscaloosa Farm-to-Table

When I moved back to Tuscaloosa in August 2007 to rejoin my old law firm, Rosen Harwood, I was thrilled to find a variety of new restaurants in the downtown area. I don't recall precisely when Chef Tres Jackson launched Epiphany but it instantly became my favorite after my first meal there. From the outset, Epiphany and Chef Tres Jackson focused on local foods and suppliers that used … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

Warby Parker: Doing Well By Doing Good

Benjamin Franklin is know for his philosophy of "doing well by doing good." Ben also invented bifocals (and didn't pursue a patent). I recently ran across this brief news story in the Financial Times about a new company, Warby Parker, which seems to have Ben Franklin's philosophy as part of its core mission. Warby Parker sells affordable, vintage-inspired eyewear. Nothing particularly new there. … [Read more...]