At the Farmers Market I met many people, saw many smiles, and had a lot of wave hello's. What a social place it is. Between people walking up already knowing what they want, and the people who have never bought SLU's things and asking questions of curiosity. It's a very interesting place. While I was there I had a brief interview with Jeremey Parker of Missouri Grass Fed Beef, LLC. At first, I was a little bit thrown off about having Meats at the Farmers Market. I didn't understand the transportation aspect of it. So, I asked Jeremey. That is actually how I started off the interview. He simply told me, " This freezer stays at about 5 degrees below zero. So when I unplug it to bring it to the market, it barely gets to 0 degrees. Then when I do arrive here, I plug it in. The meat's are fine in this freezer." "Meat's work as its own ice pack." His response cleared up a lot for me. We then started getting into how he got into this business. He seemed to focus on it just being in the family, he is the 4th generation So, I take it that it's just something that runs in the family. I asked how he maintained a steady income for his family, and he said that his wife works at a bank. We then went into how he handles his cows. He commented and said this " We use no growth hormones, steroids, pesticides, or antibiotics. We do rotational grassing and use no bi-products, and we have fresh water sources." Missouri Grass Fed Beef has about 100-120 animal, 120 mother cows. The calfs are 12 months old when they are butchered. However, they do not process their cows on site. They take the cows to Swiss Meats in Herman Missouri. There is a USDA processer on site. The do not process on their farm because it is cost prohibiting. I give Missouri Grass Fed Beef, LLC 2 thumbs up - and I only say 2 thumbs because that's all I have!
Also at the farmers market I talked to Lee Abraham of Berger Bluffs. They have Onions, tomatoes, and Blackberries (that are delicious!) I also spoke with Nicola from Ozark Forest. She had Orange Mushrooms they grow at the base of a tree. She had Yellow one's too. Amazing. Lastly, I spoke with Ivan from Ivan Fig Farms. Ivan has the only fig farm in the St. Louis area. They only grow in his Hoop House, and he said they grow on tree's.
Healthy Eating with Local Produce (HELP) is a Farm to School program
dedicated to bringing fresh local foods into schools and supporting local
agriculture. We have developed relationships with area farmers to provide whole fresh foods to Maplewood Richmond Heights School District through the Salus Processing Center. HELP uses the processing center to turn food into items that can be stored for year-round use in the cafeteria. In Year One, there were four primary foods used for processing: apples, tomatoes, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. Some of our favorite processed items are tomatoes into marinara, sweet potatoes into sweet potato fries, and apples into applesauce. HELP works closely with school foodservice staff to create delicious healthy foods for students while educating them about the benefits of a more healthful diet. The HELP grant is designed to test if food processing and distribution can be fiscally sustainable for school districts.