If you had a chance last Saturday to come and pick up a box you had one the most eclectic boxes since the start. We thought that getting through the Winter to Spring (if there is one) might have been a difficult transition–the onset of Spring directly into Summer has been interesting and surprisingly beneficial. Our box ranged from green beans to English peas to yellow onions and finishing with mixed squash. Summer has arrived and you can look forward to having more amazing produce coming in throughout the summer.

Some of this amazing produce is grown right here within the city. Macon Fry ‘Garden Guy’ has an amazing plot only a few blocks away from the Hollygrove Market & Farm on 1020 S. Telemachus. The garden is full of tomatoes: Box Car Willies, Cherokee Purple and a few others. Let’s not forget Italian Roasting Peppers, Yellow Bell Peppers, and a few squash.

Marilyn Yank, one of the founding members of New Orleans Food & Farm Network, has a lovely little urban plot located in Mid-City called: Little Sparrow Farm (at the corner of S. Cortez St. and Cleveland Ave across from the Ruby Slipper). Recently Marilyn, Jeanette Bell, and Joesph Brock were featured in an article in City Business.

While our food supply is supposedly safer than 100 years ago and probably a little better than 10 years ago we still are seeing media coverage about how consumers are getting sick. From reports of a girl in Washington falling ill after eating at a salad bar and let’s not forget the outbreak of e.coli in spinach in 2006. Ever wonder why there are  expiration dates/use by dates on everything including water? It is because of handling, packaging, and transport time. Limited facilities to process items such as spinach and peanuts were once thought to have control over quality but instead has proven to be a game of Risk. Why?

There are several reasons: the handling practices, the processing, and if the item being processed is contaminated with enough of a bacteria and transported across the country with the infected food stuff sealed soundly in a bag — you have the perfect petri dish. By the time it reaches your table:

A) it is not fresh and the longer the amount of time from being harvested to consumption the foodstuff in question has less nutrients.

B) has had the right amount of time for the entire contents of said bag to riddled with potentially harmful bacteria.

President Obama has vowed to work on Food Safety issues and food safety begins with eating and purchasing local food items as much as possible, making sure to know (if you have chance) your grower and their practices, and respecting your food (& yourself) by handling it properly.  It is important to Hollygrove Market & Farm to work with smaller family farms, urban growers, and overall stewards of the land & ultimately our food.

Week 30 Recipe: Stuffed PattyPan Squash

Week 30 Farms: Map