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Photo: Lindsay Hunt

As Elvis Costello sang, “Welcome to the working week.” This is an amazing time, entering the dog days of summer, a week out from Fourth of July and the cookouts and fireworks that Independence Day brings here in the States. And here at Food Republic, it’s an exciting week we’ve got planned. Following up on the last seven days and nights of our quick, easy and delicious 7/20 recipes, we thought it an ideal time to follow up with a week of hors d’oeuvres and party snacks. Our pledge to you: At least two hors d’oeuvres recipes per day. But first, a serious note.

Earlier this morning we posted a story, We Need The Farmers of the Future, that discusses the lack of a new generation of farmers. Like a lot of other stuff you get from the media, it has an alarmist hook — that the food shortage in the world could become even more bleak because not enough young people have gotten into farming, and industrial agriculture has made it almost impossible for small farms to exist. But there’s one important point in the story that offers a way to help do your part to encourage small farmers. Buy locally. 

I’ve personally been practicing what this story preaches lately, and I have to say, with utmost sincerity, I’ve been eating better because of it. In the past 10 days, I’ve shopped at a half-dozen roadside farm stands on eastern Long Island, and I bought the bulk of my vegetables and herbs at a greenmarket in Brooklyn this past weekend. The eggs I bought were superior; I used my Long Island bounty to make scrambled eggs last weekend, and this weekend the eggs I purchased from a New Jersey farm at the Prospect Park market enlivened my French toast and a delicious courgette linguine carbonara I made with three different types of summer squash, also bought at the market.

Now I know that not everyone has access to farmstands and greenmarkets, but if you do, I hope you’ll make the effort to start buying produce and other items there, especially at a time when so much is in season. The farmers who dedicate their lives to working the land deserve our support, and as an added bonus, I’ve found that the ingredients are insanely superior to the ones I get at the supermarket. 

Have a great week, and please check back often for more recipes, news, interviews and ideas from Food Republic.