Weekend Tidbits

Some news we've noticed recently at Savoring Kentucky:

  • In States Where Most Kids Go Hungry, 24/7 Wall Street identifies sparsely settled areas, including some in Kentucky, as the very worst for children who may not have enough to eat.
  • Some recent Savoring Kentucky item caught the attention of Shagbark Seed & Mill of Athens, Ohio, which supplied heirloom popcorn, beans and corn seed to Berea College. Those great products will be available at the new Berea College Farm Store, which has its grand opening today, May 3!
  • New to us: Kiva Zip, a way to use "crowd funding" to raise 0 percent loans for small businesses. Louisville Farm to Table Coordinator Sarah Fritschner wrote recently to describe this exciting new way for all of us to support local growers:

Kiva Zip (https://zip.kiva.org/) program is a new program designed like the original Kiva platform, a crowdsourcing microlending program that uses the power of social media to provide zero-interest loans to borrowers whose projects have some element of social impact. 

Two Kentucky farmers are among the first wave of US projects to attempt funding. One is Ben Abell.  Ben is trying to get a loan to purchase sweet potato harvesting and packing equipment that will allow him to increase the efficiency and profitability of his sweet potato production. Ben sells sweet potatoes for processing, and they eventually get sold to places like Fayette and Jefferson county schools. Here is a link to Ben's loan application on the Kiva Zip platform:  http://zip.kiva.org/loans/3777/i/uksv .

The second is for Adam Barr.  Adam's loan is to support the building of a packing shed.  Here is a link to Adam's loan:  https://zip.kiva.org/loans/3680/i/uksv. He's very close to his goal -- but no money is dispensed if the goal is not met. [Update: Adam and Barr Farms reached their $8,000 loan goal and the loan has been dispensed. Yea!]

Loans start as low as $5 (and it is a loan, not a gift). I was hoping some of you might be interested in helping these farmers, both of whom are transitioning to organic production, or might know others who would be.

  • Food truck cuisine? Before you laugh, read how food truck chefs' inventive menus influence restaurants, including fast food, because of what they have taught consumers to expect and value. The food truck effect: How food trucks have influenced consumers, menus, from SmartBlog on Food & Beverage.
  • Those of us who live in urban areas without grocery stores and with money to support local growers may take heart at this NPR story: Urban Greengrocers Are Back, To Serve Big-Spending Locavores (hat tip PB.) It's not an appealing title but it is an appealing development, one small way of getting more local products into local kitchens and onto local plates. To quote a bit:

These aren't your parents' big-box grocery stores. They're closer to the places your grandparents might have shopped — but updated for the modern foodie.

"This renaissance of small markets has happened in just the past couple of years," Friedberg says. She and Conaway say they opened theirs because they sensed a growing appetite for high-quality, local foods.

But even though Each Peach carries a lot of quirky specialty goods, Friedberg says the biggest draw for most customers is the "neighborhoodiness."....

People also prefer the small grocery store for the same reasons they prefer the independent coffee shop over Starbucks or the local bookstore over Barnes & Noble, McMahon says. "They tend to be a great place to meet your neighbors."

Lots happens in the world of food. Here's to your gardening, cooking, and shopping local this weekend—and always.

Rona RobertsComment