a weekly round-up of our favorite finds from the front lines of food
- The perfect slice: Ohio artist, Dennis Wojtkiewicz explores the sensitive nature of time in his oversized oil paintings of fruit (above).
- Authenticity is the flavor of the new year, says NPR (and the rest of us): "What might be called urban neo-ruralism has apartment dwellers canning tomatoes, keeping bees and churning butter. The small farmer is the new gastronomic superhero, sourced on restaurant menus." Expect more craft butchers, more unusual meat (at least for Americans) like goat and rabbit, and more small batch distilling.
- All this artisan stuff is actually real business. Hyper-local markets provide big economic boost in San Francisco and across the country. "This is about jobs, the economy and community vitality....It's created a renaissance in agriculture and that's very exciting." Local Roots Market in Ohio got press as a smart new version of a farmers market. Said one participating farmer: “We won’t be slaves. We will be able to make a business.”
- Southern farmers profiled in the New York Times describe "a thriving movement of idealistic Southern food producers who have a grander plan than just farm-to-table cuisine. They want to reclaim the agrarian roots of Southern cooking, restore its lost traditions and dignity, and if all goes according to plan, completely redefine American cuisine for a global audience."
- Farmers forging partnerships is key to building regional food systems. "Food has really been the bridge that has healed the urban-rural divide."
- Looking across to Italy, we see farmers carving out new economic niches to flourish, with women-run farms ahead of the curve. Some farms are even offering day care centers as part of the mix. "The involvement of women in multifunctional agriculture has helped society in important ways 'like food security, rural development and the safeguarding of the natural landscape.'”