March 12, 2007
Contact: Heather Gray  (404) 765-0991
Federation/LAF Launches "Recipe of the Week" Initiative
Supporting small farmers and local production - it' s the only way!!!!

ATLANTA...The Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund is launching a new initiative to encourage the support of local production in our southern states. Every week you will now find on our website recipes from throughout the south - from our farmers - both men and women - and other rural folks. We are calling this initiative"From the South to the Mouth" and you are in for a treat. We think the recipes from our region are the best in the country including, of course, the spicy Louisiana cuisine, and all the amazing offerings of recipes with our southern crops of collard greens, turnips, squash, okra...there's simply no comparison. We are famous for our corn breads and low country boil from South Carolina, our pecan pies, and gumbo. We will teach you and inform you about it all. This week we have Myra Bryant's "Okra and Tomato Skillet" and read our history of okra.

We will provide educational opportunities about the history of our crops - and you need to know that the farmers in the Federation/LAF network grow a diversity of crops you would not believe. For example, our farmer members grow cabbage, pepper (green, red - all of them), collard greens, sweet corn, okra, turnip greens, kale, herbs, pecans, soy beans, squash, watermelon (seeded, seedless), blueberries, beans, honey, peaches, peanuts, peas (green and the famous black-eyed variety), spinach, turnips, sweet potatoes, cucumber, snow peas, onions, tomatoes, broccoli - and that's just for starters. We have goats, cattle, sheep, chickens. You name it, then you can rest assured that someone in our agriculture network grows it or produces it.

Also, significantly, more Americans are recognizing the importance of supporting American family farmers, to purchase locally produced food, and to purchase crops in season. More farmer’s markets are being created in the U.S., along with increased interest by consumers in knowing where their food is produced. Black farmers and the Federation/LAF have been central to this movement through, years ago, the creation of rural/urban direct markets throughout the south and these are increasing as well.

Join us as we celebrate our southern culture and food. We are not shy in saying that we think we have the best and we want to share it with you.

Note: The Federation/LAF, now in its 39th year,  assists Black family farmers across the South with farm management, debt restructuring, alternative crop suggestions, marketing expertise and a whole range of services to ensure family farm survivability.