Thursday, December 9, 2010

Artisan Day -- and More!

Have you finished your holiday gift shopping yet? If not, come to Local Roots Market this Saturday, December 11, for the next-to-the-last Artisan Day of the year!

Saturday, the market will be packed with local artists and crafters selling a wide variety of hand-crafted gift items. Whether you're looking for handmade jewelry, homespun yarns, pottery, tote bags, hand-carved wood items, note cards, ornaments, mittens... or who knows what?... you might just find the perfect gift. You'll also get the chance to talk to the artisans to learn more about what they have available, giving you the story behind the gift to make it even more special.

Also on Saturday:

--Live music from the Student String Orchestra of Dalton at 11 AM

--Pulled pork from BW Hog Farm in the demo kitchen

--Holiday Waltz at 7:30 PM: no experience or partner required, just come, learn how to waltz, and enjoy! No charge!

Celebrate the holidays at Local Roots!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

For the week of Thanksgiving, Local Roots Market will be open different hours:

Tuesday from 11 AM to 7 PM
Wednesday from 11 AM to 7 PM
CLOSED Thursday and Friday
Saturday from 9 AM to 3 PM

Stop in for your last-minute purchases for your holiday table!

On Saturday, November 27, Local Roots will also host the monthly Artisan Day. Several producer members will be on hand to display and sell their hand-crafted treasures, with everything from homespun yarns and hand-knit garments to wood crafts, jewelry, pottery, and other locally-crafted gift items of beauty and use. Start your holiday gift shopping here!

Saturday evening at 6 PM, we'll have a "Tired of Turkey?" potluck. Plates and serving ware will be provided; please bring a dish to share. Join us in giving thanks for a successful year at the market!

And enjoy the holiday with your loved ones!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Thanksgiving Hours at the Market

At Local Roots, we're encouraging people to eat locally for Thanksgiving. The quintessential American harvest festival, Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate the bounty of the earth -- and we are definitely seeing that bounty at the market!

Stop by the market or read the November newsletter to find out what products are available for special order for the holidays. From turkey to pie, you're bound to find something delicious.

For the week of Thanksgiving, hours will change slightly. The market will be open Tuesday, November 23 and Wednesday, November 24 from 11 AM to 7 PM. Local Roots will be closed on Thanksgiving Day itself as well as on Friday, November 26. The market will reopen at 9 AM on Saturday, November 27 for the monthly Artisan Day.

Come celebrate with us!

Ohio Department of Agriculture Helps Out Again!

From a press release by the Ohio Department of Agriculture:

On October 28, Ohio Agriculture Director Robert Boggs joined members of the Wooster Local Foods Cooperative to announce that Local Roots Market and Cafe in Wooster will receive a $29,500 grant from the department.

The grant, provided by the Ohio Department of Agriculture's rural rehab fund, will help Local Roots to make improvements for their producers and begin renovations for a commercial kitchen that will create jobs, encourage entrepreneurship and provide a place for Ohioans to learn new job skills.

"Local Roots is an exceptional, local food co-op that supports its neighborhood, connects the community back to agriculture and provides access to one of our most basic needs -- fresh, local, affordable food," said Boggs. "Today, I am proud to announce that, on behalf of Governor Ted Strickland and the State of Ohio, Local Roots will receive funding to continue the good work of this local market."

Local co-ops and farmers markets are a vital part of Gov. Ted Strickland's Ohio Neighborhood Harvest Initiative, which was created to improve access to Ohio-grown products, ensure that people in every neighborhood have access to affordable, healthy food and help boost our rural and urban economies.

Local Roots Market & Cafe is a year-round market place that helps connect consumers with producers of locally grown foods and other agricultural products to encourage healthy eating, expand local economic development, and promote community involvement and sustainable agriculture.

For more information about the Ohio Neighborhood Harvest Initiative and sustainable agriculture, visit www.agri.ohio.gov.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Harvest Dance

As the harvest season winds down, we want to celebrate a year of great local food with a dance. And you're invited!

Harvest Dance
Saturday, October 30
7:30 PM
Local Roots Market


--Featuring live music by Pocketful O' Gimmick
--Dances called by Susan English and Bill Alkire (no experience needed!)
--Pot luck dinner at 6 PM
--Apple bobbing and pumpkin decorating for kids of all ages
--Cider and other delicious local refreshments

Suggested admission: $3 for Local Roots members, $5 for non-members

Spend the season cultivating community with us at Local Roots!

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Full Day on Saturday!

This Saturday, September 25, promises to be an exciting and fun day at Local Roots Market. We'll have lots of activities going on:

--Our monthly Artisan Day will bring in several artists and crafters, showcasing their handmade jewelry, felted wool items, knitting, and much more. It's never too early to think about holiday gifts, or even gifts for birthdays and other occasions.

--Speaking of gift ideas, we'll have two book signings: Local Roots producer Karen Geiser and local freelance writer Lisa Amstutz will sign copies of their new book, Local Choices, a beginning guide to the local foods movement. And former food editor for the Akron Beacon Journal, Jane Snow, will be on hand to talk and sign copies of her latest, Jane Snow Cooks.

--Producers will be on hand to sample their goods, both old and new. Come and taste all the good things that Local Roots has to offer!

--Pamela Slabaugh will offer a class on growing mushrooms, with kits available for purchase.

--Susan Sivey will teach interested craft fans how to needle felt a beautiful numo scarf. Another great gift idea!

--A local pastured poultry workshop will meet in the conference room at the market, bringing new people in to see what a healthy local food system looks like.

A busy day! So what are you doing this Saturday?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

OARDC Farmers' Market Relocates to Local Roots

Due to the extensive damage to the OARDC campus caused by last Thursday's tornado, the OARDC Farmers' Market will relocate to the Local Roots Market parking lot TODAY, Wednesday, September 22, from 3 to 6 PM.

Depending on the success of today's market, the OARDC Farmers' Market may continue to open at Local Roots for the next two weeks, until their season ends. Please help us show support for our friends and neighbors at the OARDC by coming down to the market!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Cultivate Community This Weekend

Thanks to all for making this week's pots & pans drive a success! We collected a table overflowing with pots, pans, cutting boards, and assorted utensils that will go to those in need. Keep your eyes open for future events like this. Local Roots feels that access to good food, and the means to prepare it, is for everyone. That is why we also now accept the SNAP Food Assistance Cards. To find out more, contact Jessica Eikleberry, Market Manager.

This Saturday:

The Community Commons Block Party
Local Roots joins the United Way, Wayne Center for the Arts, The Red Cross, and the Wayne County Public Library in a summer celebration! Free food, kids activities, and family fun this Saturday from 10 AM to 2 PM in the Community Commons (adjacent to Local Roots Market). Come meet the neighbors!

Back at the market:
Sofie Dittmann serves up sandwiches with her delicious, pre-sliced, Bake Haus bread! And Mary Crabtree shows you how to make a Greek salad with summer favorite CUCUMBERS!

DON'T FORGET
Local Roots Summer Potluck this Saturday, July 31, at 4 PM! Celebrate community and great food! Open to all. Bring a dish to share, an extra chair (if you want), and friends. Call or email with questions. Local Roots not only sells great food, but the members are terrific cooks, so come and show off your favorite summer recipe! (Bring copies of the recipe, too -- we'd love to have them for the Local Roots cookbook!)

NOTE:
The August newsletter will be delayed due to the tight schedule for gathering August statistics. We'll have it out as soon as we can, we promise. And it will be worth the wait!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Artisan Days Are Here!

Come to Local Roots for our monthly Artisan Days!

Enjoy local crafters and artisans with hand-crafted treasures including jewelery, fiber arts, pottery, artwork, and unique gifts.

Fourth Saturday of the month, 9 AM to 3 PM
  • July 24th
  • August 28th
  • September 25th
  • October 23rd
  • November 27th
Cultivate Community -- Shop Local First!

Also at the market this Saturday, July 24:

The Wayne Center for the Arts will help us celebrate Artisan Day by inviting kids of all ages to make "Summer Butterflies" using recycled cardboard tubes and colorful paper. This is a free activity!

Sofie Dittmann of the Bake Haus demonstrates some delicious, seasonal sandwich ideas made with her sliced bread, and Mary Crabtree of Penny Lane Products samples a yummy cucumber risotto! Stop by for a snack and to pick up some recipes and ideas you can try at home!

From 12:30 to 2:00 PM we will be "Talking Garlic" with Mary Gnizak (Adonai Acres) and Carmella Massaro (Twin Parks Organic Farm), who will give their tips on growing, cleaning, and preserving garlic. Cost is $5 for Local Roots members and $7 for non-members. Call or email to register!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

At the Market July 15-17

Stop by Local Roots this weekend to see what summer has to offer!

Our coolers and displays are overflowing with lots of veggies, berries, and peaches picked fresh from local farms. Colorful and delicious, you'll enjoy indulging your taste buds with all this fresh food!

This Saturday, July 17th, from 9 AM to noon, Marlene Boyer cooks up whole wheat pancakes in our demo kitchen. Free samples to try with various local syrups!

Next Saturday, July 24th, from 9 AM to 3 PM, is the first of our monthly Artisan Days! Our talented crafters & artisans will be on hand with their beautiful hand crafted items. Shop for a unique gift or treat yourself!

Sign up now for our session on GARLIC -- Saturday, July 24 from 12:30 to 2:00 PM. Producer members Mary Gnizak (Adonai Acres) and Carmella Massaro (Twin Parks Organic Farm) will give their tips for growing great garlic. Carmella will discuss growing, cleaning, and grading garlic, and Mary will show how to braid softneck garlic, a traditional way to dry the garlic harvest (and a delicious way to decorate!). Cost is $5 for Local Roots members and $7 for non-members. Register by calling 330-263-5336 or talk to Jessica (manager) at the market.

Come and enjoy the taste of a local summer!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Celebrate Food Independence

This weekend, we celebrate the birthday of our nation with the usual parades and picnics and fireworks. At Local Roots, we're also celebrating our first year as an official cooperative! Our latest column in the Wooster Weekly News offers some thoughts on the subject.

We can't help you with local fireworks at Local Roots, but we sure can outfit your picnic basket! Stop by for some of the best summertime eating around!

Saturday, stop by the market between 9 AM and noon to see Terri Miller make and bake focaccia and whip up a variety of fresh herb pestos (one great way to preserve your summer herbs!). In addition, John Sterling of Johann's Bakery will offer samples of a variety of his freshly baked breads.

Take a look in the freezer for more picnic or family gathering ideas: Fox Hollow Farm has lamb breakfast patties and links as well as lamb chorizo.

Master Gardener Susan Sivey of Noah's Landing (7575 Brown Rd., Shreve) invites you to tour her gardens this Sunday, July 4, from 2 to 6 PM. Susan has daylilies for sale- most for $5 or less.

Don't forget, Wednesday, July 7th at 7 PM, the Local Roots Board will have their monthly meeting. Members are invited to attend in order to learn more about board business. We will elect new board members in September, so don't miss your chance to learn more about the operations at Local Roots.

Our first Artisan Day is coming up on Saturday, July 24th. Contact Jessica Eikleberry, market manager, to reserve your space today!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

This Week at Local Roots

Summer is off to a delicious start! We have lots of juicy and sweet black and red raspberries as well as blueberries this week, along with a tasty new vegetable: fava beans. In the freezer, you'll find more new products, such as sweet all-beef Italian sausage from Green Vista and fresh-frozen chickens from Rivenoak. Isn't it time you tried something new?

On Saturday, June 26 from 9 AM to noon
, Marlene Boyer will demonstrate recipes using fava beans and garlic scapes, two unusual produce items that may well become your favorites!


Also on Saturday, Susan English will entertain shoppers with her musical offerings from 11 AM to 1 PM.

If you're up for an adventure on Saturday, visit one of our producers for a tour! On Saturday, June 26 from 11 AM to 3 PM, Valley Grass Farm (2386 CR 200, Dundee, OH 44624) and the Yoder family welcome you to their homestead. Come experience a working grass-based dairy farm! The farm tour starts at 12:15 PM, and don't forget to bring a dish for a potluck lunch.

Later on Saturday, join us at Local Roots for a very special event. From 7 PM to 9 PM, local theatrical troupe "Murder with Reservations" will hold a table read for their new comedy murder mystery script, Killing the Cable Guy.

A table read is a group of actors doing a theatrical reading of the first draft of a script. This allows the writer to hear the dialog and decide what changes need to be made based on input from the actors and audience. This part of the creative process is usually held in a private or educational setting, so be sure to attend for a unique experience! Doors will open at 6:30 PM and the reading and discussion should wrap up around 9 PM. Refreshments will be available for purchase before the show and during the two breaks.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Welcome the Taste of Summer

Every week there's something new happening or appearing at Local Roots -- have you stopped by lately?

--This Saturday from 9 AM to noon Martha's Farm will offer samples of their new smoked chicken as well as demonstrate cheese pressers and other handmade tools from their farm.

--Congratulations to Marion and Joseph Yoder on the birth of their son, Cedric! Marion is now back to baking bagels but they are only available online for the time being. This is a good time to start using the online order system if you haven't already!

--Stutzman Farms is offering a special deal on their products: a 5% discount this summer on everything except rice flour. That includes their organic wheat, spelt, and oats (whole or flour); puffed grains; granola; snack bars; and more. Try something new!

--On Monday, June 21 from noon to 6 PM, we'll have a special delivery of raspberries and blueberries. These berries are so fresh, sweet, and delicious, they won't last! Reserve yours by contacting Jessica Eikleberry, Market Manager, at 330-263-5336.

--Local Roots will begin to hold "Artisan Days" at the market on the 4th Saturday of the month. Local artisans and crafters may set up a table (no fee for members) or offer their products through the online order system. All items must be original and hand-made, and space must be reserved in advance. If you are interested in participating, contact Jessica.

See you at the market!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Berry Delicious!

Now that June is here, it's strawberry season, and our Local Roots producers have been bringing in sweet and juicy berries for you to enjoy!

But guess what? This weekend we will even have fresh red raspberries in the market, due to an early crop. If you can't wait for the heart of raspberry season, stop by and pick up a pint!

Come to Local Roots on Saturday to enjoy breakfast from 9 AM to noon with Dawn McLaughlin of In the Garden, who will be cooking up some of her savory sausage along with other Local Roots products. And stick around for the music provided by Susan English -- it will bring a smile to your face!

If you're a fan of the Downtown Wooster Farmers' Market, be sure to stop by Local Roots after your visit to the outdoor market -- we'll keep the coffee pot full for you!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

June Newsletter is Out

The June newsletter, The Roots Cellar, is now available online (PDF format). As always, we have lots of interesting articles, news about what's coming this month, and a tasty recipe to help you use seasonal produce in a new way.

The OARDC Farmers' Market opens today (3-6 PM), and the Downtown Farmers' Market in Wooster opens this coming Saturday (8 AM to noon). Many of our Local Roots producers will also be selling at these markets, so be sure to stop and say hello.

Don't forget to visit Local Roots as well! We're now open on Thursdays from noon to 7 PM as well as Fridays (noon to 7 PM) and Saturdays (9 AM to 3 PM), so stop in and pick up some great local food!

Summer is almost here!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Kick Off Your Summer With Local Roots!

The Memorial Day weekend -- the unofficial start to summer -- is finally here, and at Local Roots, we've got plans to make the holiday weekend memorable!

First, the market is now open a third day! Starting this week, Local Roots will be open Thursdays from noon to 7 PM, making our market schedule a solid three days (also Fridays noon-7 PM and Saturdays 9 AM to 3 PM). As the growing season really kicks in, our producers will be bringing in more and more good, fresh, delicious food for you to enjoy.

And if you're heading out for a holiday picnic or family gathering this weekend, stop in at Local Roots for the freshest produce, the tastiest burgers (beef or chicken) or links (lamb brats, sausages, and more), wholesome breads, and sweet treats.

Felting With Tara returns Friday 5-7 PM and Saturday all day. Learn to make your own colorful felt creations! This is a fun activity for children and adults alike -- try it!

New at the market:
--Sherry's Classic Cuisine offers peanut, almond, and cashew butters as well as granolas and brown rice energy bars.
--Looking for flowers, herbs, or vegetables for the garden? Several producers have potted seedlings available at the market; come in and find the right one for your corner of the yard!

Members, don't forget to try ordering online: it's easy, fast, and gets you a sneak preview of what will be available each week. Need help? Stop by the market for a quick demo or handout.

Hope to see you at the market!

Monday, May 17, 2010

What a GRAND Opening!


Thank you to everyone who helped to make the Grand Opening such an amazing success! We had crowds of customers all day long, many of whom were new to the store, and the excitement and enthusiasm stayed at a high level all day long.

We hit a new sales record for the weekend -- almost $11,500 gross sales! We topped our previous record by noon on Saturday and just kept going from there. Several producers completely sold out of their products, and many shoppers were seen heading home with full bags and baskets.

If you missed the event, you can read more about it -- and enjoy photos from the day -- in board secretary Jennifer McMullen's write-up at The Ethicurean. We hope to have more photos from other people to add to the blog and to the June newsletter, so if you have some you'd like to share, please send them to news [AT] localrootswooster [DOT] com.

Thanks to everyone who helped prepare for the market, who brought wonderful products to sell, who volunteered to help on market day, who shared delicious food samples, who provided music, who entertained children and other customers -- and who came and graced the market with their presence.

Thank YOU! Without YOU, Local Roots would not grow as strong as it has.

This IS what a community can do together!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Grand Opening May 15!

It's been a year since we announced the plans to develop Local Roots into a year-round local foods market -- look how far we've come! As our way of expressing our joy and appreciation for the support of the community in cultivating Local Roots, we invite you to our Grand Opening celebration this Saturday from 9 AM to 3 PM.

While we think that every day is a celebration -- of good, fresh, local food -- at the market, we have special events planned throughout the day Saturday:

Cooking Demonstrations

9-11 AM: Breakfast sandwiches by Dawn McLaughlin (In the Garden), featuring her sausage
11 AM-1 PM: Cream of Local Roots soup by Mary Crabtree, featuring what's in season
1-3 PM: Snack on pita pizzas from Jennifer McMullen (The Grain Maker), featuring seasonal produce

Music

Sit back, sip your locally roasted coffee or fresh iced herbal tea, and enjoy the musical offerings from our talented producer members: Marcus Ladrach, Michele Ward, and more!

Kids

Saturday morning will be a special time for the children, with balloons from Dave Lohnes and a separate children's activity area. They'll have plenty of fun while you shop!

All Day

--Meet the producers and sample delicious food
--Enjoy fun and colorful arts and crafts from local artisans
--Plant your own "herb bowl" planter with master gardener Susan Sivey
--Visit with the Wayne County Sustainable Energy Network, check out the SEN Solar Trailer, and find out more about their projects around the county
--Seedling and plant sale by local producers; get your garden started at Local Roots!
--Prizes
--and MORE!

So don't forget -- stop by Local Roots this Saturday to shop, and enjoy the celebration!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

May Day at the Market

Welcome May and the ever-improving spring weather this weekend at Local Roots! More fresh produce is coming in every week, the freezers are full of good local meat, and you can find more than enough to make a good meal at the market. Stop in and find out what's new this week -- Friday from noon to 7 PM and Saturday from 9 AM to 3 PM.

What's Cooking?

From 9 to 11 AM on Saturday, Jennifer McMullen (The Grain Maker) will make breakfast pita pizzas with good local eggs, a variety of cheeses from Lucky Penny Creamery and Blue Jacket Dairy, and fresh greens from selected producers, as well as her homemade whole wheat pita breads. If you're looking for ideas to liven up your mornings, stop by to taste something new.

Fun With Felting

Tara Herberger is back this week with her Fun Felting Sessions on Friday from 5 to 7 PM and Saturday from 11 AM to 1 PM. This week, learn how to make a Garden Bug Mug Rug! Cost is only $5 as always.

Board Meeting May 5

The May meeting of the Wooster Local Foods Cooperative, Inc., board of directors will take place Wednesday, May 5 at 7 PM in the market. The meeting is open to all Local Roots members.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Grand Opening May 15

One year after its initial public meeting, the Wooster Local Foods Cooperative, Inc., is pleased to announce the Grand Opening celebration at Local Roots Market on Saturday, May 15 from 9 AM to 3 PM.

From an empty county-owned building and a big dream for a year-round local foods market, the cooperative has moved swiftly over the past year to open, staff, and stock Local Roots with a wide variety of local agricultural products from nearly 100 producer members. "We'd like to thank everyone in the community who helped make this possible," notes market manager Jessica Eikleberry, citing a broad base of community support from the Wayne County Commissioners, who approved the use of the building, to local businesses such as Buehler's and Friendtique (who provided display units) and the many volunteers who helped to renovate the store space and continue to operate the store on market days.

"This is a celebration not just of spring and of the market, but of what this community can do together," enthuses Eikleberry, stressing the market's missions of supporting local agriculture and the local economy. The Grand Opening will include music, tastings of new and favorite items from Local Roots producers, a demonstration on how to create an herb pot for home, cooking demonstrations featuring items found in the market, arts and crafts items from cooperative members, and much more. Producer members have been invited to be on hand to share their goods or to talk about their farms and businesses.

The market is currently open on Fridays from noon to 7 PM and Saturdays from 9 AM to 3 PM, but Eikleberry expects to see expanded hours shortly after the Grand Opening. Products are arranged by broad categories such as produce, meats, dairy, baked goods, and other items, and within those areas by producer so that shoppers can maintain the connection to the people who grew, raised, or made the food. Everyone is welcome to shop in the market, though the online order system is available to Local Roots members only.

Local Roots will continue its missions of education and community involvement throughout the year, working with other people and organizations in the community. For information on upcoming events or membership, visit the web site at http://www.localrootswooster.com or sign up for the monthly newsletter.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Greens for Earth Day

Today is Earth Day, and what better way is there to show your love for our world than by supporting local, sustainable agriculture? Not only do you save on the energy used to transport and sometimes even produce the food, but you keep money circulating in the local economy -- and you enjoy really good food.

And if you really want to "go green" for Earth Day, may we recommend stocking up on fresh leafy greens and green herbs at Local Roots? Our producers are bringing in lettuce, spinach, kale, mixed leafy greens -- even wild greens such as dandelion and stinging nettle -- to give you that fresh taste of spring.

What's Cooking?

On Saturday, we'll have two tasty treats in the demonstration kitchen:

9-11 AM: Mary Crabtree and Sofie Dittmann will make delicious breakfast panini, using whole wheat bread from The Bake Haus and selected fresh produce and local cheeses.

1-3 PM: Jennifer McMullen will cook up a few tasty dishes that will make you want to eat your "weedies"! Spring is the perfect time to taste wild edible plants such as dandelion, stinging nettle, chickweed, lambsquarters, and violets. Try them -- you just might like them!

More Fun With Felt

For this week's felting session, Tara Herberger will show you how to create designs based on what you're growing in the garden. Sessions are 5-7 PM on Friday and 11-1 on Saturday; cost is $5.

Grand Opening May 15th

Don't forget to mark your calendars for our Grand Opening celebration on Saturday, May 15!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

What's Happening This Week (April 16-17)

Warmer days and plenty of sunshine have brought more trees and flowers into bloom around town, and we're excited about all the beautiful possibilities that springtime brings! And a lot of those possibilities are happening at Local Roots...

Local Agriculture and Society
This Thursday, April 15, Local Roots will host a discussion on local agriculture and society from 6:00-7:15 PM with Darwin Kelsey (Cuyahoga Countryside Conservancy) and Brian Gwin (Wayne Economic Development Council), moderated by Brad Masi. At 7:30, we will break into smaller groups to brianstorm ideas for the Mellinger Farm development. We would love to get wider community involvement in these discussions, as the Mellinger Farm can emerge in the years ahead as a great resource for local farming and education. Feel free to invite anyone in your network to the event -- there is no charge!

And don't forget, April 19 through 25 is Sustainable Agriculture Week. It's a great time to start a garden at home, visit a local farm, or -- dare we say it? -- buy plenty of good local food at Local Roots.

Felt Class
This week the felt session with Tara Herberger of the Fiber Arts Guild will celebrate Earth Day (April 22) by creating a cool "Table Top Mug Rug" and sharing ideas for your personal appreciation towards the 4 Elements of Earth - wind/water/fire/light. Friday 5-7 pm, Saturday 11-1. Class is $5.

A Toast to the Demo Kitchen!
From 9 AM to 11 AM on Saturday, Betsy Anderson (of Summer Hill Farm) will demonstrate making French toast, using a selection of breads from Local Roots producers. It's so easy to do, you'll want to buy a loaf (or two!) and make French toast a regular feature of your week!

Relax!
On Saturday the 17th from 9 AM to 1 PM, Rosanna Ralston, licensed massage therapist from Spa Collections, will offer chair massages at the market to raise money for Down To Earth Community Gardens (DECG). DECG is nonprofit organization that not only offers land to gardeners but is also starting the first Green Food Pantry in Orrville through the Salvation Army. DECG is currently working on expanding their gardens to more locations in Orrville and the surrounding area. Come help support another grassroots effort -- and feel totally relaxed afterward!

Local Roots Are Spreading
Now that the season of festivals has begun, Local Roots will start getting out into the community to share our vision for local foods and sustainable agriculture. Find us this Saturday, April 17, in Orrville at the YMCA Healthy Kids Day from 10 AM to 1 PM and Tuesday, April 20, at the 3rd Annual Scarlet, Gray, and Green Fair at the OSU Wooster Campus from 11 AM to 7 PM.

Know about other events where you think Local Roots should participate? Contact Jessica Eikleberry, Market Manager, at jessica [AT] localrootswooster [DOT] com with details.

Grand Opening May 15th!
That's right, we've finally set the date for our Grand Opening: Saturday, May 15. We'll have plenty of exciting activities that day, and we would like to invite our arts and crafts members back to the market to share their products! Please contact Jessica by May 1st for details or to reserve your spot. Keep your eye on this blog for details about Grand Opening events as they evolve. And be sure to bring a friend or two that day to help us spread the word about Local Roots!

Got News?
Just a reminder: the deadline for news, articles, or ideas for the May Local Roots newsletter is upon us. Got something you'd like to share? Drop a line to news [AT] localrootswooster [DOT] com and we'll help you get your news to a larger audience.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Global Meets Local

We know you love the taste of local food, but don't let eating locally make you forget about all the wonderful flavors of other cuisines! Yes, you can have the world on a local plate this Saturday at Local Roots!

From 9 to 11 AM, Martha Gaffney of Martha's Farm will share the delicious flavors of Ecuadorian cuisine, featuring local foods. If you've never ventured into this ethnic cuisine, you're in for a treat! (And it will wake up your taste buds and get you ready for next week's Ethnic Fair at the county fairgrounds.)

From 11 AM to 1 PM, Susan English will share her accordion music with market-goers. With a hint of Old World harmonies or the lively toe-tapping tunes of the British Isles, Susan will lift your spirits and make you want to dance!

Tara Herberger, recently returned from Germany, has brought back plenty of colorful felt and fun ideas to share, so come for her Fun Felting class this week. Sessions will be held Friday from 5 to 7 PM and Saturday from 11 AM to 1 PM. This week, needle felt your own artistic spring flowers -- make 3 for only $5!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Spring Surprises!

This week, we have so much going on at Local Roots, you won't want to miss out!

In the Kitchen

--From 9 AM to 11 AM, Marion Yoder (The Shepherd's Market) will make and share homegrown popcorn. Popcorn for breakfast? Why not? Save some for your Easter basket, too!
--From 11 AM to 1 PM, Marion will serve up some freshly baked whole wheat bread, too.
--From 1:30 to 3 PM, Dawn McLaughlin (In the Garden) will make sausage burgers -- a treat worth saving room for!

In addition, Deanna Ferry (Garden.Vineyard.Grove) will be on hand to offer samples of her delectable gourmet jellies and mustards, a perfect accompaniment to the various cooking demonstrations. And if you missed the fun of local ice cream last week, the Schlonegers will be back -- along with the warm weather! -- to provide more of their sweet and creamy ice cream delights.

For the Young... and the Young at Heart

Children of all ages (yes, even you "senior" children are welcome, too!) are invited to join Karen Geiser as she demonstrates making paper. Why make your own paper? It's a great way to recycle scraps and to create one-of-a-kind works of art. Come join us and find out more.

And if you're up for more craft fun, join Tara Herberger for the first of her spring sessions in Fun Felting. Learn how to felt your very own colorful Easter eggs from a broad assortment of brilliantly colored fibers. Sessions will occur Friday from 5 to 7 PM and Saturday from 11 AM to 1 PM; cost is $5 per person for 3 eggs. Young children are very welcome if accompanied by an adult.

Happy Holidays!

To all our members and friends at Local Roots, we wish you the very best during this Passover and Easter season!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

What Are You Doing This Weekend?

Maybe it will be warm and sunny enough for you to get out and work in the garden, or take a hike, or just enjoy the day. But we hope that somewhere along the way, you'll stop by Local Roots and stock up for your weekend meals. New things are coming into the market all the time!

If you stop in Saturday around lunch time, you'll enjoy two special treats:

--From 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM, Betsy Anderson will demonstrate how to make a delicious lamb stew. It's the perfect meat dish to welcome spring -- try it and see!
--From 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM, Susan English will provide familiar and favorite tunes as she strolls around the market with her accordion. We think it gives the market an Old-World flair, and Susan will be happy to play your favorite tune for you!

If you're interested in learning more about local foods or want to swap recipes and ideas with other local-foods lovers, join us at a table up front around 1:00 PM for this month's Eat At Home discussion.

And don't forget, we are now open on Fridays, too, from noon until 7:00 PM. Stop by on your way home from work to pick up a loaf of bread, some milk, and maybe some fresh produce and meat!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Welcome Spring!

Saturday we celebrate the first day of Spring, and it hasn’t come soon enough! Stop by Local Roots this weekend for your first taste of spring. Whether Spring tastes to you like fresh greens, some locally-raised lamb, delicious herbed cheeses, or tasty cookies, we’ll have something to wake up your taste buds!

Expanded Hours Fridays from Noon to 7 PM

Our doors are now open Fridays from noon to 7 PM, so stop by and pick up some goodies for the weekend! (Please note that many producers will still bring their products in later on Friday or Saturday morning, so it may be a while until the store is fully “stocked” on Friday; stop by after work anyway!)

What’s Cookin’?

The demonstration kitchen will be busy Saturday morning, so stop by and try something new!

9-11 AM: Lynn McGinnis from Weedy Ways will bake her gluten-free goodies and be available for questions on living gluten-free.

11:30 AM-1 PM: Elizabeth Geiser will offer a cooking demo for kids. Bring your young ones and introduce them to the fun of cooking!

We’ll also have guitar music by Morgan Quinn to liven the shopping atmosphere from 10 AM to noon. Come in, grab a cup of locally-roasted coffee and a delicious treat from the bakery case, and enjoy the music!

Ready to Green Up Your Thumb?

Don’t forget, our Square Foot Gardening workshop will take place this Saturday (the 20th) from 1 PM to 2:30 PM. You can get all the production of a traditional row garden in just 20% of the space, with only 2% of the work and no weeds. Master Gardener Cassie Holderman D’Aula has trained directly with the author and creator of Square Foot Gardening, Mel Bartholomew, and in this class she will cover the ten basics of the method. It’s so easy, you’ll be able to get started right away!

We still have places available in the class. The cost is $5 for Local Roots members and $10 for non-members, and the class will take place in the meeting room at the market.

Get Your Fresh Food Fix With a Couple of Clicks

Members, have you used the online order system? If not, you’re missing the chance to order ahead on almost 300 different items, from fresh produce to select cuts of meat to specialty pastries and more, some of which are only available online. If you think you’re too busy to spend time shopping at Local Roots, shop online and make your trip quick, easy, and efficient. The next order cycle begins on Sunday.

Volunteers Needed!

We’re having a volunteer day on Tuesday, March 23 from 10 AM to 4 PM. We still have much to do to spruce up the market. Stop by next Tuesday to help Jessica clean, make t-shirts, and more!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Get a Breath of Fresh Air!

The weather this week has been telling us that spring is, indeed, on its way -- isn't that great? And if you have any further doubts, stop in at Local Roots this Saturday.

If the online order system is any indication, more farmers will have fresh spring greens such as spinach and salad mix available for sale. Add a little local cheese, some minced green onions, a slice of wholesome bread on the side -- welcome spring with an early salad!

And if that's not enough of an idea to get you into the kitchen, we have two tasty cooking demonstrations on Saturday:

9-11 AM: Karen Geiser (of Karen's Garden Delights) will show you how to make yogurt and soft herb cheese with Hartzler Family Dairy milk. The yogurt features Schmidt Family Farms' raspberry honey, and the cheese will include Adonai Acres' dried herbs and be served on toasted Desem bread from Valley Grass Bakery. How can you resist?

11:30 AM-1:30 PM: Dawn McLaughlin (of In the Garden) will offer samples of a savory sweet potato and sausage skillet dish using her own bulk sausage. Save room for this at lunchtime, and grab a roll from the bakery case to go with it.

You never know what we'll be cooking up this spring at Local Roots!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

More on Organic Gardening

Our gardening workshop series continues this week!

On Thursday, March 11, at 7 PM in the Local Roots Market building, local farmer Monica Bongue (of Muddy Fork Farm) will present part two of her discussion of organic gardening techniques. Participants from the first session said the ideas were very helpful in their own gardening planning this year.

If you didn't attend part one, don't worry! Come anyway and pick up plenty of tips to make your organic garden even better.

Cost for the program is $2 for Local Roots members and $4 for non-members.

Get growing with Local Roots!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Home Gardening and Preserving 101

Yes, even though the snow is scheduled to return this week, we've still got dreams of garden greens in our minds! And you're thinking what we're thinking -- that the perfect antidote to the winter blues would be planning your garden -- you're not too late!

This Thursday, February 25, at 6:30 PM in the Local Roots Market building, Melinda Hill from OSU Extension will begin the Home Gardening and Preserving 101 series. (Co-leader of the series, Ron Becker, may not be able to make this workshop.) This first of three sessions covers what you need to know in planning your garden this year.

The following two sessions in the series will be:

--Thursday, May 6, 6:30 PM, Planting the garden
--Thursday, July 15, 6:30 PM, Preserving the harvest

This series earned an enthusiastic response when it was held at the Wayne County Public Library last year, so don't miss it at Local Roots! You still have time to register by emailing events (AT) localrootswooster (DOT) com.

Cost for this session is $5 for Local Roots members and $10 for non-members. Cost for the three-part series is $10 for Local Roots members and $20 for non-members.

This year, get growing with Local Roots!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Organic Gardening Program

Yes, the snow has piled up over the past few days, and probably the last thing you're thinking about is starting your garden. (Unless you're like some of us, who can't wait for that next glimpse of ground...) But it's never too early to start thinking and planning for this year's crops!

This Thursday, February 11 at 7 PM, Local Roots board member Monica Bongue will lead the first of two programs on organic gardening techniques. As the owner of Muddy Fork Farm in Wooster -- a certified organic farm -- she has learned many useful tips over the years and is willing to share them with you.

(Bongue is also president of the Real F.O.O.D. chapter of the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association, which meets at Local Roots on the 3rd Thursday of the month at 7 PM. You are welcome to join us!)

The second part of this series will be held on Thursday, March 11 at 7 PM. Both sessions will be held at the Local Roots Market building at 140 S. Walnut Street in Wooster.

Cost for the program will be:

$2 per session for Local Roots members
$4 per session for non-members

Get growing with Local Roots!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Snow Day at the Market

If you took a look outside this morning, you probably saw an awful lot of white and not much else. Hardly the sort of day you'd want to venture out and visit the market, right?

Well, believe it or not, Local Roots was open today!


The intrepid (and local) few made it in to open up the market early and to clear a path to the door so that shoppers might know we were a safe haven at the end of the snowstorm. Things were pretty quiet during the morning -- there was still a Level 2 snow emergency for county roads -- but by afternoon a few people made it in to stock up on local food and to pick up their first online orders.


Some producers had brought in their items on Friday, so the shoppers who made it through the snow were still available to find good fresh produce, fresh bread, and the usual array of meats, dairy, and cheeses (with new cheeses available).

Thanks to those who made it in to help run the market -- and to those who came in to buy! For those who were unable to get to the market for their online orders, we'll have a special pick up time for you on Monday; stay tuned for details.

Yes, we'll work on a better snow day policy and notification system for the market since we don't want people to risk their lives to come in.

And if you can, enjoy the snow while it lasts!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Ohio Winter Farmers' Markets

Our Ohio has recently published a list of winter farmers' markets across the state, and Local Roots is on the list! Thanks for helping us spread the word!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Deborah Madison at Local Roots

Last night we welcomed a special guest to Local Roots: Deborah Madison, chef and cookbook author known for such titles as The Savory Way and Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone and, of course, Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America's Farmers' Markets.

Madison spoke first at The College of Wooster's Wellness Series, talking about how food and culture intertwine. Reviewing the history of "American" food from the immigrants to today's local foods movement, she explored how the process of growing your own food or buying from local producers you know and trust brings more pleasure to the act of cooking meals at home -- and of enjoying them.


After the reception on campus, Dan Dean -- coordinator for the Wellness Series -- brought Madison to Local Roots for a members-only reception at the market. Volunteers provided savory mushroom pate, crackers from local grains, spiced nuts, and decadent desserts using local ingredients.


Members of the steering committee gave Madison a tour of the market building and answered her enthusiastic questions. She repeatedly expressed her delight with what Local Roots members have organized, and she even purchased a few things from our producer members! She shared her support for our work and hoped to be able to spread the word further, promoting Local Roots as an example of what the local foods movement can do to change the food system.

We're thrilled that Deborah Madison was able to come and visit -- thanks to everyone who made the evening such a success!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Local Roots Re-opens!

Local Roots reopened today -- but not as a farmers' market, as an honest-to-goodness store that features local foods. We received our Retail Food Establishment license from the Wayne County Health Department this week, thanks to all the hard work from our volunteers, so we're now ready to be a year-round store!

Producers didn't have to be on-site (though a handful were at least part of the time), and items for sale were arranged by general category (with shelves or tables for producers to display their products):

The new freezer and coolers housed locally-produced meats, cider, milk, butter, cheeses, and LOTS of eggs.

One row of display units featured racks of assorted baked goods...

...while the produce growers had the tilted tables in the middle of the floor loaded with potatoes, onions, squash, apples, and high tunnel roots and greens.

The new coffee bar does not yet have all the equipment needed for brewing freshly-ground locally-roasted coffee, but volunteers offered samples of these coffees throughout the day.

At the other end of the coffee bar, a glass pastry case allowed local bakers to show off their specialty items: muffins, bagels, German lye rolls, cupcakes, French pains au chocolat, and more.

While we didn't have as many people stop in to shop as we did at the holiday farmers' markets, the crowd provided a steady stream of activity throughout the day, and most people seemed impressed with the store design.


The new checkout area still needs some work, and volunteers are still getting used to the new checkout system, so lines were slow, but we are grateful that shoppers were patient with us! (It will get better, we promise!)

We also had a modest but enthusiastic turnout for our community garden discussion in the meeting room at 1 PM. Representatives from local gardens shared their experiences and answered questions, and others expressed their interest in starting other gardens or helping out where possible.

Local Roots Market will now be open on Saturdays from 9 AM to 3 PM. The online order system is now live, with the first pickup date scheduled for next Saturday, February 6. (The online system is open to members only.)

So what are you waiting for? Stop by Local Roots for your shopping, and become a member to make your shopping even more convenient by going online!

We're definitely taking Roots in the community!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

First Snow Ball a Success!

On Saturday, January 23, volunteers cleared the main retail floor in preparation for the Midwinter Snow Ball. Around 100 people showed up to dance to the lively music of Pocketful o' Gimmick and the calling from Susan English and Bill Alkire.


Squares or circles, lines or contras, no matter the style of dance, people of all ages jumped in and had a great time!


Susan and Bill took turns on the calling, and they chose dances that were easily learned by newcomers and familiar to more experienced dancers.


The floor was packed! And look at those smiles! Volunteers brought refreshments ranging from sweet to savory, so even when people weren't dancing, they could enjoy good local food and conversation with friends.

Several people said they enjoyed themselves so much, they'd like to do it again! So we'll be planning another dance for this summer -- and hope to make the Midwinter Snow Ball an annual tradition.

(In the meantime, you're welcome to attend the Wooster contra dance on the 1st Saturday of the month, October through May, from 7:30 to 10:30 PM at Valley College Grange on Rt. 226.)


Wouldn't you want to join in at a fun night like this?

Photos courtesy of Bill Boyer, who has a CD-ROM with more photos and video clips from the dance available to anyone who's interested. Catch him at the market and ask him about it!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Saving Energy At Home

As part of Local Roots' mission, we want to provide community members with the resources they need to live a more sustainable life. That's why we support the work of the Wayne County Sustainable Energy Network, a local organization dedicated to promoting information on renewable energy, energy conservation, and green living.

Our friends at WCSEN have been busy this winter, finding ways to help homeowners reduce their energy costs. Now you can find out more, too:

What: Homeowner's Energy Clinic
When: Thursday, January 28, 7-9 PM
Where: Prentke Romich (PRC), 1022 Heyl Road, Wooster

This free clinic will give you the chance to ask a panel of local builders and energy experts your questions on how to improve the energy efficiency of your home:

"How do I choose an energy efficient home builder?"
"How do I know if my home is well insulated?"
"How can I plan to use renewable energy in my home?"
"What do I need to know about weatherizing?"
...and more!

WCSEN has also organized a group to perform home energy audits, and you can learn more about this service at the clinic.

Come and find out more!

A New Look for the New Year

If you've managed to stop by Local Roots lately to look in the windows, chances are you've seen a lot of activity. Since just after Christmas, our hard-working volunteers have given the market a whole new look:


In late December, volunteers pulled up the carpet in the meeting room and the main market retail space.


Once the carpet came up, volunteers scraped up any glue that remained, and a crew came in to grind the floor down to a beautiful dusky red concrete (not seen here) before refinishing.


After knocking down a wall to install new electrical wiring for our new coolers and freezer, volunteers replaced it with fresh drywall and laid a couple new coats of paint on the walls. We've also had a couple of experienced carpenters come in to build a coffee bar (seen in progress here).


The plumbers came in to install new plumbing for our commercial sinks. (Don't worry, this hole in the floor has been filled in, and the bathroom is functional once more!)

There's more work to be done this week, though, from finishing the construction of our coffee bar and checkout counters to catching all the little finishing details required by the county health department for inspection. If you're available and interested in helping, contact roots (AT) localrootswooster (DOT) com and let us know when you can come in to do your part!

And a very BIG thanks to all of our wonderful volunteers who have made this all possible!

Photos courtesy of John Anderson, Local Roots steering committee member.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Have a Ball at Local Roots!

Winter weather got you down? Looking for ways to stay warm? Local Roots has an idea to perk up your spirits -- and pick up your feet: an old-time dance in the market building.

This Saturday (the 23rd) from 7 PM to 10 PM, Local Roots will host the Midwinter Snow Ball, an old-time dance featuring contras, squares, and other set dances for all ages. Local callers (and Local Roots members) Bill Alkire and Susan English will call the dances, and local band Pocketful o'Gimmick will provide the lively music to set your feet tapping.

The first hour of the dance will feature "talls and smalls," dances designed to partner children and grown-ups -- a special treat for families! Every tall person must dance with a "small" one to share in the fun.

The remaining dances will encourage people 10 years and up to join in the fun. Each dance will be "called" or taught step by step, so no experience is necessary. Dress comfortably, wear rubber-soled shoes (they'll be much more comfortable on the concrete floor), and bring your energy!

Admission for the event will be:

$3 for Local Roots members
$5 for non-members
$1 for youth 10 and under

Refreshments will be provided by volunteers (including some of the fantastic foods from Local Roots!).

Come join us -- we're sure you'll have a ball!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Excuse Our Dust...

Things have been quiet here at Diggin' In, but Local Roots Market has been a hive of activity since Christmas! The renovations of the building continue, but we're making great progress. So far, our excellent volunteers and a handful of local contractors have worked on the following:

--stripped carpet from the main retail floor and the meeting room
--refinished the concrete floor in both areas
--took down the flimsy wallboard on one side of the main retail floor
--installed new electrical wiring for new coolers and freezer
--installed new drywall to replace the removed wall
--painted the main retail space and the meeting room
--replaced the furnace in the meeting room
--purchased the first equipment from our ODA grant: coolers, freezer, sinks
--relocated the bathroom door to make room for work sinks
--installed new plumbing for the new sinks and for the new coffee bar
--started construction of the coffee bar (with cabinetry and storage space)
--started cleaning up

More work needs to be done through next week, but we are still on track to hold our Midwinter Open House this coming Saturday from 10 AM to 3 PM. Stop by to see what's going on and to learn how to use the online order system.

(If anyone has photos from any of the work days that they'd like to share here on the blog or in the monthly newsletter, please send them to news (AT) localrootswooster (DOT) com and we'll be happy to post them!)

Producer members: Don't forget our producer meeting at the market tomorrow -- Thursday, January 21 -- at 8 PM. We'll talk about the online order system as well as how things will be set up in the market and get your ideas for how to make it all work smoothly.

See you soon!

Friday, January 8, 2010

A Midwinter Market's Dream

Have you been missing your local foods? We sure have!

But as volunteers wrap up the renovations at Local Roots over the next week or so, we're getting ready to reopen -- not as the indoor farmers' market you saw in November and December, but as a store, with areas designated for broad categories of food and producers' items grouped within those categories.

(If you haven't stopped by the web site lately, download and read our Market Update (PDF) to find out more about what you can expect.)

On Saturday, January 23, from 10 AM to 3 PM, stop by Local Roots to see the end results of the renovations: new (old and refinished) floor, new plumbing and electrical for store facilities and equipment, and a new wall (replaced after the electrical work was done). We'll also plan to have demonstrations of the online order system for members, so you should be able to place your first order!

At 1 PM on the 23rd, don't forget to stop by for our first Eat At Home discussion to share questions and ideas about eating locally and how we can all do more to support a local food system. Bring your lunch and your thoughts!

On Saturday, January 30, we will officially reopen Local Roots, the Market. Hours have yet to be decided, but you can expect them to be roughly what they were for the farmers' market. We'll be talking to producer members to find out what all they will have to sell -- we think you'll be pleasantly surprised by the variety of local foods, even in winter.

We'll also have our new coffee bar open, so you can enjoy a cup of hot, locally-roasted, delicious coffee along with some very tempting local baked goods while you shop or sit and talk with friends.

Don't let cabin fever get you down this winter -- come to Local Roots!

Local Roots On Facebook

Did you know that Local Roots is now on Facebook?

Check us out! If you're on Facebook, get connected to us. We'll keep our events posted over there, too.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Thinking About Local Food

Yes, things have been a little quiet here at Diggin' In. The market is closed for renovations, so we haven't had much to report (although the renovations are progressing nicely; can't wait to show you the end results!).

That doesn't mean we're not thinking about food -- good, healthy, delicious, local food. (Some of us are always thinking about that, really.)

In yesterday's L. A. Times, food writer Russ Parsons ponders the national discussion about food and farming -- why tensions sometimes run high between conventional and organic farmers and what we really should be talking about in common. It's a superb article, worth your time to click through on the link and read it, and it's something that really resonates here at Local Roots.

Local food, especially as you find it at farmers' markets and at Local Roots, tends to be produced by small-scale family farmers, many of whom use organic practices or at least ecologically sound, sustainable methods. It ties into the traditional image most of us have of Old MacDonald's Farm, with a variety of animals and plants in a harmonious ecosystem.

The reality, especially in a place like Wayne County, Ohio, is that "local food" also includes local farmers and local agriculture -- even when those farmers grow and harvest commodity crops (such as corn, soy, or wheat) or raise large herds of animals on large acreage. This form of local agriculture does play a significant role in our local economy as well as our local culture.

Where Parsons brings these two images and realities of agriculture together is in pointing out the shared goals: farmers are in business and thus have making money as a goal. Farmers on both sides of the equation produce food (as well as feed for the animals that become food for us). So we're all in this together, as long as we're part of the American food system.

But maybe that's not good enough. If you saw "Food, Inc." with us back in November, you know there are some critical problems with the American food system, many of which are making farming of any kind more difficult. So what can we do to change the system to support local farmers and get great local foods to market? How can we keep more of the money from those crops in the farmers' hands -- and in our communities?

Over at Grist, writer Steph Larsen emphasizes the need for community in the food system -- and in relocalizing more of the different businesses involved in bringing food from farm to table: butchers, meat lockers, grain mills, bakeries, drivers, as well as markets like Local Roots and community members like you.

Again, we're fortunate here in Wayne County to have some of those. Our meat producers can go to a couple of different meat processing facilities in the area. One of our producers grows grain and has the equipment to mill some of his spelt into flour. Several producers provide the market with baked goods.

Is it enough? What more can we do in this area to make better connections for local farmers and local shoppers? Local Roots has taken the first step, but we know there's still more work to be done in building a resilient local food system that serves many people.

We're starting a year-long discussion at Local Roots as a way to encourage people to make more local food choices. Join us the fourth Saturday of every month at 1 PM (during market hours) to discuss what we can all do to "Eat At Home." If you are just starting to put an emphasis on eating locally, come and learn from others how you can make it easier. If you have ideas and tips to share for growing, preserving, and eating local food, please share! If you want to talk about what more we can do as a community to support local food, be there.

Make this the year you really "Eat At Home."

Eat At Home discussion begins Saturday, January 23, 1 PM, at Local Roots -- during our Midwinter Open House