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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Local food day showed variety

by Rhonda Gordon, Wednesday, November 9, Emporia Gazette

If you missed Food Day on Oct. 24, you missed a fun filled day. This was the first Food Day celebration held in Emporia to my knowledge. Several organizations joined together to bring great demonstrations and information to the public. Food Day was hosted by the Emporia Area Local Food Network, Emporia Community Health Coalition, Emporia Farmer’s Market, K-State Research and Extension, Lyon County and Our Local Food-Twin Rivers Chapter.
The day started off with the Lyon County Master Gardeners providing a demonstration and information on composting. Carolyn Turney and Tom Fowler provided information on using compost and how to start your own compost at home. They showed samples of the local soil that usually has lots of clay in it. They explained how to incorporate compost into your gardens so you have healthier soil.
The second demonstration of the day featured easy crock pot meals. I was assisted in this demonstration by Megan Gordon and Ava Jordan. These two girls helped me demonstrate how to get the children involved in meal preparation. When children help with a meal they are more apt to try what they help prepare. We used two different recipes. Lemon Pepper Chicken and Vegetables which was a featured recipe in September during Family Day, the second recipe we used during Food Day was a Slow Cooker BBQ Beef. Both of these recipes are easy to prepare and inexpensive to make. Using the slow cooker is easy and dinner is done when you get home in the evening, your home will also smell great.
Our Local Food-Twin Rivers Chapter gave the next demonstration. Tracey Graham was representing this organization and presented on sweet potatoes. Tracey showed us how to select and size, clean and use our sweet potatoes. Tracey explained how versatile sweet potatoes are, that they can be either sweet or savory. She shared two savory recipes and two sweet recipes. Sweet potatoes can be used in many of the same ways that pumpkin or butternut squash can be used. I will share with you one of my favorite recipes that Tracey made; it is a sweet potato and black bean burrito.
The Women, Infant and Children program from Flint Hills Health Center presented the next demonstration. They had a wonderful presentation on crock pot applesauce. They had used local apples from The Orchard in preparing this delight. The recipe for the crock pot applesauce will also be included at the end of this article. They had used Jonathon apples in making their applesauce. When making an applesauce or apple pie use more than one variety of apple; you will add layers of flavor to your dish by including different varieties of apples.
The Lyon County Master Gardeners from K-State Research and Extension then gave a second demonstration on cold frame gardening. Adding cold frames to your garden you are able to extend the use of your garden when it is typically to cold to garden in Kansas. Jerilyn Henrikson, Ruth Wise and Duane Henrikson gave insight information on how they constructed their own cold frames and what they have found that works well as crops in their cold frames. I learned of a new lettuce that I would like to try, it is called Deer Tongue lettuce, named for its shape. It is a type of green bibb lettuce.

To see the recipes, view the rest of the article here.