Special recipes have been produced for the output of Chattanooga area local growers, Thomas O'Neal of Signal Mountain Farms said.
He said, “'Buy local' is a buzz-phrase in our region, where local farms and food producers are providing access to fresh, sustainably raised foods at a great value to consumers. One of the barriers for shoppers, however, is not price or shopping location, but finding the right recipe. Many Americans are shifting away from unhealthy pre-packaged convenience food diets, and returning to home-cooked meals.
There is no doubt that local farms are playing an important role in improving the health of our nation.
"Since 1998, our farm has been growing some of the regions tastiest organic produce, and selling directly to Chattanooga residents through the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program and at farmer’s markets.
"What shoppers have learned over the years is that our locally grown treasures are not the same as the standard shipments from California that fill grocery chain produce departments. You won’t find our hand-picked kohlrabi or prized heirloom tomatoes wilting on the shelves at Bi-Lo or Walmart. Locavores and foodies may enjoy the challenges of finding recipes for the less common vegetables, but not everyone has the time to research recipes before mealtime.
"We believe the next step in making fresh fruits and vegetables accessible to everyone is in providing innovative tools for sharing recipes and preparation ideas."
Mr. O'Neal said last year Signal Mountain Farm partnered with prize-winning food blogger Chyela Rowe. "Over the course of the 24-week CSA season, Chyela crafted nearly 60 deliciously healthy and nutritious recipes, tailored specifically to each week’s farm share. Weekly emails and Facebook posts notified CSA members of the latest recipes posted on Signal Mountain Farm’s Recipe blog.
"As Chyela comes back for a second year with some fresh ideas, our hope is for the blog to continue to be an interactive tool for CSA members, and anyone else who might appreciate having tips and suggestions for making the most of each season’s bounty."
He said in addition to providing produce to restaurants, Whole Foods markets, and other farms in the Southeast, Signal Mountain Farm will be providing four CSA pickup locations on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays for the 2013 season. These locations include Main Street Farmer’s Market, Signal Mountain Farmer’s Market, the Chattanooga Market, and Crossfit Brigade.
For last year’s recipes or more information about joining the Signal Mountain Farm CSA program, go to http://signalmountainfarm.com/