rogueApron’s Dirt to Table Dinner

rogueApron is very excited to announce that we’ll be putting together a dirt to table dinner this summer at Harvest Farms in East Atlanta. As you can check from this really-well-done video (ahem), young farmer Collins Davis is really starting from dirt. Located within the perimeter on Bouldercrest road in East Atlanta, the Harvest Farm is an ambitious project that plans to wed a sustainable, organic farm with an eco-friendly housing development. We wish them the best of luck as they break ground and sow seeds.

We’ll check in with Collins from time to time to see how the farm is going – and this summer we’ll be heading out to get dirty and get fed!

(p.s. Sorry the video isn’t super awesome, gang.)

Should the Obamas have a White House garden?

A President, growing food on the White House lawn? Ah, but it’s been done – check out this cute vid esplaining the history of Presidental Prudence.

And, a tidbit from the Godfather herself, Ms. Alice Waters, on what qualities the Obamas should look for in a First Chef:

I want them to consider somebody who thinks about food as being connected to nature, to time and place, who understands where food comes from. I’m not thinking of someone who is a celebrity chef. Sometimes the celebrity gets in the way of a focus on real food. I think it should be somebody who just really understands the philosophy. [NYTimes.com]

Have two minutes? Sign the Food Democracy Now petition to get sustainable food-friendly folks into important government jobs.

Oh, and p.s.? Next dinner February 13th.

Attracting Young People to Georgia Organics

Hey guys!

As some of you know, rogueApron is really gearing up to be more involved in our local food community in ’09. We’re very pleased to announce that we’re working with Georgia Organics to help attract young people to the organization. (Yay, GO! You can join here.)

A great group of folks convened this week to meet and to brainstorm … and I’ve had so many ideas since then that I just had to share.

How would you attract young people to Georgia Organics? Here were my ideas! [Download as a formatted pdf here.]

***
Create a Supporter/Fan classification
This generation doesn’t pay for anything – not downloaded music, newspaper content, or streamed television. As the economy retracts, and wallets shrink, the membership fee becomes even more of an obstacle to attracting membership. Create a ‘free’ membership classification – think of it as an entry-level membership.

Create a significant difference between the free and the paid membership levels, to retain the loyalty of paying members
• Use the free/supporter/fan classification to grow your membership numbers – imagine telling your congressman you represent 50,000 Georgians!
• Use the free/supporter/fan classification to reach out to more people about Georgia Organics, and the farmers and programs it supports. Increase your digital media output (via Facebook, Twitter, emails, and the like), and feed your supporter/fans with a constant stream of relevant information about local food
• Create constant incentives to ‘upgrade’ to a ‘paid’ membership – earning ‘paid’ membership via community service, getting access to exclusive food events, or dining incentives (e.g. percentage off bills for GO members at participating restaurants)

Create Blog/Website membership levels
Atlanta food blogs will be some of the best way of recruiting food-savvy folks. After all, their readers are local food lovers! Create a ‘blog/website’ membership level, and create digital ‘badges’ that sites can display to signal that they are a supporter of GO. These badges, incidentally, act as free advertising for GO, encouraging readers of these sites to join GO.

Think transparent
Whatever we end up doing – and there are so many great ideas! – keep the process transparent. Post materials like this – even seemingly boring stuff like meeting minutes – on the web for others to view and comment on. You never know where the next great idea will come from … so keep the discussions out in the open. Let’s inspire people to become more involved in their communities!

Merry Grinchmas Recap

rogueApron Grinchmas

Thanks to everyone who joined us for the Grinchmas eve dinner! We were loaned a gorgeous home in Old Fourth Ward, which Reneé, Becca, Jill and Denise made absolutely gorgeous with some creative design touches.

Here’s a sneak peek at our menu, which was almost 100 percent locally sourced!

Here’s wishing you a Happy New Year!

Refreshments

Fairview Farms Homemade Egg Nog
East Atlanta Brewery Gingerbread Ale & Saison

Roast Beast with Who Pudding

Harris Farms Roast Round of Beef, with a Chocolate Ancho Rub
Pink Grits with Beet Butter and Keene’s Cheddar and Hawaiian Sea Salt
Crystal Farms Mixed Baby Turnips and Fingerling Sweet Potatoes
Love is Love Farms Braised Greens
& Sea Beans

Congrats again go to Ms. Susan O. for winning the Concrete Lace doorprize for her treat contribution of delicious chocolately goodness; she went home with a pretty rad New Year’s survival kit, including bloody mary mix, super-hot infused vodka, Baton Rouge rim-salt, a set of East Atlanta Brewery pint glasses, and a pair of Katie Kaiser original letterpressed Hopping John cards. And thanks, thanks, thanks go to Melissa and Steven for helping in the kitchen!

We’ve got quite a few ideas for the New Year, so join our mailing list for a seat at the next dinner!

[Photo by the incomparable Broderick, who we just love. Have pix? Send ’em our way!]

Your Local Food Resolutions

Hello and hi, friends of rogueApron. I thought I’d take a minute to share some great Local Food Resolutions, written by Judith Winfrey of Love is Love Farms. Judith and Joe, in addition to being rad young local farmers, are simply great people who’ve really put their hearts into transforming a Dougasville farm – and by our extension, our attitudes toward food and life. rogueApron is going to be taking these resolutions to heart in the following year … please join us!

Love,

Lady Rogue

1) Eat Some Local Food

You don’t have to give up coffee or bananas or even fast food to eat locally. The beauty of eating local food is that we have 3 opportunities a day, 21 a week, 90 a month, and 1092 a year to do so. Try having an all local meal just once in the 21 meals you’ll have next week. Try purchasing one item from a local farm while it’s in season instead of from the grocery store. If everyone spent just 5% of their average home food expenditures (just $67.50) on local food this year, we would keep millions of dollars in our local farms, support our local economy, and strengthen our local food culture.

2) Savor the Flavor of Food

Enjoy the fresh flavor and texture of locally grown food. Take time with your meals. Slow down. Be present. Be mindful. We have to eat, but it shouldn’t be a chore. Pay attention to that ripe heirloom tomato and recognize the quality and freshness there you can’t find in any grocery store.

3) Grow Something Edible

Try growing something simple wherever you can: a windowsill, a patio, the backyard, the front yard, the neighbor’s yard (with permission), or in a community garden.

4) Meet a Farmer

They are the face behind your food. They work hard through the cold of winter and the heat of summer, driven by a passion for growing. This passion carries through to the food that you eat, pure bliss at the height of the season and fresh from the ground. Getting to know your farmers restores a social dimension to our food largely absent in today’s society. They can tell you stories about your food, its trials, tribulations and triumphs.

5) Tour a Farm

Food does not come from a grocery store. It comes from the ground. So why not visit a farm? A farm, the way it looks and smells and sounds, is a good reflection on how our food tastes and provides a window into the personality of a farmer.

6) Try Out Family Recipes (or Make Your Own)

Ask your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and inlaws (if you still get along after the holidays) for family recipes. Make sure to get the story behind these recipes. Try writing the recipes out on a card and putting the stories on the other side of the card. Retell the stories when you serve the meal to your family and friends. Put yourself in the stories and pass them along.

7) Cook with Friends

Cooking alone can be frustrating. Invite friends over to help out, especially those culinarily inclined ones, and have fun. Even if you make a mess and burn everything to a crisp, you’ll have the memories.

8) Share Food

Eat as a family. Invite friends over. Host a dinner party. Throw a potluck. Have a picnic. Just turn off the television (or whatever else distracts from conversation) and see what happens. Eating together doesn’t have to happen over local food, although I encourage that.

9) Give Thanks

Remember that your food was grown by an real person at a real place. Even if you don’t know that someone or that somewhere, acknowledge the time, energy and (hopefully) love they put into planting, growing, and harvesting your food.

10) Donate to an organization that works on local food issues in your area.

Here are a few of my favorites.

ATLANTA
SlowFoodAtlanta.org
CVCAtlanta.org

ATHENS
LocalPlace.org

SOUTHEAST
SouthernFoodways.com

US
SlowFoodUSA.org