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Thursday, April 24, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 48.0° F  Light Rain Fog/Mist
The Daily

LOCAL FLAVOR

Women flourish in farming

Tricia Bross is no farmer's wife. She is the owner and farmer at Luna Circle Farm in Rio. Twenty years ago, when she started, women were farming, they just weren't always getting credit. "When I first started, it was hard to get recognition," says Bross, 51, of being a woman farmer -- and a non-dairy farmer at that. When she sought assistance after a hailstorm, she says she was asked: "How many cows do you milk, and who's your husband?" >More
 Women flourish in farming: Seed money

A number of programs and grants help women farmers get their start. Those going the organic or sustainable agriculture route can look to the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service for a one-stop listing of federal grants, loans and cost shares for women, as well as locally directed initiatives that offer classes, training, and research or steward sponsorship. >More
 The native aronia berry is healthful, sustainable and quite tasty

The native Wisconsin aronia berry, or black chokeberry, may be the ideal fruit for this area. It's more grower-friendly and pest-resistant than many common fruit crops, and although its potential to be marketed fresh is limited, it offers an abundance of health benefits. >More
 Nose-to-tail catches on at Madison restaurants

In one kitchen cooler, a large piece of pork hindquarter hangs with the telltale layer of lard covering the open cut, a whole prosciutto emanating a sweet, musky odor. In another you'll see a foreleg, coppa, that carries a similar olfactory punch. Nearby you may see a head. "We usually do get the whole animal," says Michael Pruett of Steenbock's on Orchard. "The off cuts, I'll grind them and make sausage." >More
 Effective ways to store vegetables through the winter

The chill of winter can hit the committed locavore like a slushball in the neck. The outdoor farmers' markets have ended. The grocery store features peppers from Mexico or Israel. The specter of four months of leek soup looms, and it threatens the determined farm-to-table chef. >More
 Raw milk's genteel cousin finds a fan base

Dairy purists trumpet raw milk's health benefits and superior flavor. But aside from being able to occasionally obtain raw milk from a dairy farm, they have to turn to the black market for the white fluid. >More
 City or country, farm dinners showcase southern Wisconsin's artisanal food

Farm dinners take place at restaurants and sometimes on location at the featured farms. The events connect diners to producers through the work of chefs. "It's just about cultivating these relationships and building the community," explains sous chef John Nodler of Merchant, which is planning to hold such a dinner for one of its smallest produce providers, By George Farm. "For small farmers," explains Nodler, "it gives them a good chance to have their products showcased." >More
 A first-of-its-kind study analyzes how much Madison-area gardeners produce and why

When Vincent Smith came to Madison to study urban agriculture, he picked fertile ground. Gardening is a growth industry here. One in three Madison-area households grows some of its own food. There is a waiting list for plots in many of the area's 50 community gardens, and there are more than 40 organizations involved in local food production, with some of that produce going to food pantries. >More
 Get your goat

A ruminant bleating in the distance, goat remains for Americans an afterthought, the kind of ingredient you might find in an obscure Mexican restaurant on the edge of a Texas town. It's not usual in mainstream American cooking, though, and in Madison it has typically been confined to Indian and Jamaican restaurant kitchens and has been on menus at Chautara and Dobhan for some time as well. Goat is headed for the mainstream, though. >More
 Bidding on fruits and veggies at the Tri-County Produce Auction in Dalton

Dalton, Wis., isn't far as the crow flies, just under 50 miles from Madison. Once there, you'll find the kind of American farm life that lives in the imagination, but isn't always easy to see up close. A few cars were pulled up to the massive shed that houses the Tri-County Produce Auction when I arrived on a weekday morning. Horse-drawn buggies soon outnumbered cars, as Tri-County was founded by Amish growers. Those attending the auction ranged in age from three upwards; all who were big enough were helping. >More
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