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FARM TO TABLE WITH MATTHEW COOPER


November is

Soybean Month

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We Haven’t Strayed From Our Roots Arkansas State Fair and Livestock Show is Agriculture in Action! Seventy-eight years ago, we started out as a livestock show and still remain today. We're proud to have awarded almost $400,000 in scholarships and premiums last year.

See the tradition for yourself at the 2017 Arkansas State Fair October 12-22, 2017! www.arkansasstatefair.com


Fall Harvest 2017

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FALLING INTO SUCCESS

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Shawn Peebles made the shift to organic on his 1,500-acre Augusta farm

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Pressurized meat canning is a great way to extend your bulk meat purchase through the winter

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Chef Matthew Cooper of The Preacher’s Son in Bentonville buys local and shares a favorite fall recipe

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The owners of Falling Sky Farm in Leslie built their farm from the ground up and grew a community of farmers

ARKANSAS STATE FAIR ROUND UP Look for changes in the livestock show, carnival and rodeo

FARM TO TABLE

GOING ORGANIC

MORE WAYS TO STORE MEAT

FALL FESTIVALS

SMALL BATCH GIFT GUIDE

Do your holiday shopping with local farmers and makers!

Pumpkin patches, corn mazes, craft fairs and more! Stay connected to Arkansas Food & Farm online. Find more features, photos and interactive listings.

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B R O U G H T T O YO U B Y

ON T H E COV E R :

Andrea Todt raises cattle, poultry and a community of organized farmers. Photography by Matthew Martin.

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CANNING THE SCENT OF SUMMER

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India Blue farmer and Arkansas Food & Farm publisher Alan Leveritt canned more than 100 quarts of his unusually large summer harvest.

ere on India Blue Farm we are wrapping up the summer season and moving into the fall and winter plantings in our two unheated, plastic-covered hoop houses. What had been the field of heirloom tomatoes has been bush hogged in preparation of tilling and seeding the ground with Austrian winter peas, a high-nitrogen winter cover crop. One hoop house is full of 6-week-old heirloom Carbon tomatoes which, with a little help from the weather, should yield a bounty of October and November fruit. As warm as our winters have been, they could last well into December before freezing. Or maybe not. They are already three feet tall and full of green tomatoes. In a couple of weeks I will clear the second hoop house of the remnants of our spring heirloom tomato crop and replace them with butterhead lettuces for winter restaurant sales. There is no better way to spend a bitter-cold winter day than to walk into a 70-degree hoop house full of the fragrance of earth and green plants. This has been the most productive year we have ever had on our small farm. Kaytee’s ewes dropped 35 lambs this spring with nearly all of them surviving. The old-breed hogs are healthy, and we even sold 300 peafowl eggs on Ebay. Laugh all you want, but it makes the tractor payment. While the heirloom tomatoes that we grow under plastic are almost all marketable, about half of the tomatoes I grow in the field are usable but not saleable. Nicks, bites and various imperfections generate hundreds of pounds of what I call “kitchen tomatoes,” headed to either the canner or the compost. Over a four-day Independence Day break, I somehow found time to can over 100 quarts of tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, chipotle tomatillo sauce, Kentucky Wonder pole beans and purple hull peas. Last year the green beans and tomatillos hardly made, but this summer, with the mild temperatures and rain, it’s truly been a misery of riches. On the 4th of July I picked about 50 pounds of tomatillos and worked them up in seven-pound batches, with a few smoked chipotle peppers, cumin, elephant garlic and onion. After cooking the mixture down for 30 minutes, I poured it into sterilized quart jars and canned it in a boiling water bath. Come winter, I will brown some chicken thighs, pour a quart of the salsa into the pot and let it simmer for 30 minutes. The kitchen will smell heavenly and we’ll have the quickest, most exotic tasting chicken dish imaginable. I joke that none of us have ever tasted a No. 1 heirloom tomato. Instead we live off the abundance of No. 2s—the kitchen tomatoes—and when we can’t eat anymore, I can them. To open a quart of Goldie or Anais Noir heirloom tomatoes in February and instantly smell summer is one of the great pleasures of gardening and farming produce. The dark green, leathery texture of Kentucky Wonder pole beans simmered for an hour in pork salt meat is something my family has enjoyed for at least four generations. Now with the abundance from this season, we will enjoy this harvest throughout the winter.

Alan Leveritt Publisher, Arkansas Food & Farm Arkansas Times Publishing 6

ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM | FALL HARVEST 2017


ve Ha ! gs ne in nli ist O r L ed Ou Mov

FIND YOUR SOURCES ONLINE

Looking for our listings? We’ve got all the local farming resources you need at arkansasfoodandfarm.com! Find an extensive lineup of farms, farmers markets, CSA programs, Homegrown by Heroes members, farm to table restaurants, grocers, nonprofit organizations, wineries and breweries from around the state that have signed up as members of Arkansas Grown. Log on to arkansasfoodandfarm.com and click on “Find a Farm” to search for local growers, makers and distributors. CENTRAL ARKANSAS

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Andrea Todt cares for close to 2,000 chickens, among other animals, at Falling Sky Farm in Leslie.

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HUSBAND AND WIFE TEAM CODY HOPKINS AND ANDREA TODT BUILD A FARM FROM THE GROUND UP AND GROW A COMMUNITY OF FARMERS By Lisa Herndon Armstrong Photography by Matthew Martin

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ith a name like Falling Sky Farm, it sounds as if something frightful might happen. And at first, livestock farmers and husband-and-wife team Cody Hopkins and Andrea Todt did face tough times. With their 200-acre, pasture-based livestock farm in Leslie, founded in 2007, the couple hopes to “start a revolution in small-scale farming in Arkansas," Hopkins said. Selling high quality, sustainable poultry, beef, pork and other products, Falling Sky Farm is turning a profit. But it has taken the decade since they started farming, plus lots of hard lessons and hard work to get there. Raised by her back-to-the-land parents in Marshall, Todt met Hopkins after her return from college. Interested in exploring broader horizons, Todt wanted a ride west to Colorado, and Hopkins offered to take here there. While in the Golden State the young couple visited Polyface Farms, “America's premier non-industrial food production oasis." Inspired by that farm's community building approach, Hopkins and Todt were enthused about their prospects in Arkansas. However, still uncertain about farming, Todt set off for an equine internship, as horses are her “first love."

Hopkins stayed behind in Arkansas and started a small chicken farm near Marshall. It wasn't long before the formula of absence and the desire to farm helped Todt realize she was in love with Hopkins and wanted to return home. “We started our farm with chickens as they are the most manageable and have the greatest profit return," she said. As both were first generation farmers, there were some bumpy spots on the road to success. “Our biggest challenge was learning to treat the farm as a business," Todt said. "At first, we were trying to do too much— raising poultry, processing the meat, compiling orders and making deliveries. I was processing turkeys within a week of having my first child," she said. The couple also encountered another set of challenges—competition. Nearby small farmers were also raising sustainable poultry. “Even though we were competing for the same dollars, we were helping each other out, making deliveries and sharing the cost of feed," she said. As a result, Todt and Hopkins decided to start a cooperative business, at first just with their neighbors. FALL HARVEST 2017 | ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM 9


(From left) Todt carries buckets of GMO-free chicken feed she and partner Cody Hopkins developed with the assistance of a poultry nutritionalist. The chickens belly-up to the poultry feeder to enjoy the feed, which is a mix of corn, roasted soybeans, wheat, alfalfa and a probiotic. In 2014, Heifer International's Seeds of Change manager, Perry Jones, heard about what Todt and Hopkins were doing and offered to help. Seeds of Change, a domestic program of Heifer International, works with farmers in Appalachia and Arkansas to support small sustainable farmers build infrastructure and provide funding. “Seeds of Change was integral to our success with technical assistance and training for the co-op. We also set standards for farmers who wanted to become members," Todt said. The couple’s program, called Grass Roots Co-Op, now includes more than 15 sustainable livestock farmers from all over Arkansas. Grass Roots Co-Op has also helped found a meat processing company, allowing a reasonable distance and better control on how their meat is handled. Natural State Meat Processing in Clinton has created 17 new jobs in Searcy County, a place where jobs are often difficult to come by. 10

ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM | FALL HARVEST 2017

Between Todt managing the farm, plus Hopkins managing Grass Roots Co-Op, the demanding workload continues, especially during the busy season from March to November. Working together to distribute the responsibilities that were once so tedious for the couple alone, the co-op has provided them and other farmers with accounting, distribution and marketing services. A typical day for Todt begins with animal care four days a week. Using tractor-pulled “schooners," 2,000 chickens must be moved to new ground, once daily. The 40 head of cattle must be moved twice a day, which requires taking down and putting up fences to accommodate them on greener pastures. More than 100 hogs must also be fed twice daily, as well as 400 turkeys. “I have a man who has been with me for several years who helps me, as well as a woman who is getting into the business as part of the coop,” Todt said.


“We’re trying to raise animals right, while remaining environmentally conscientious.” FALL HARVEST 2017 | ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM

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(Left) The cattle herd varies at Falling Sky Farm depending on the time of year, but they’ve had up to 80 head at a time. (Right) Todt raises animals on her farm in an environmentally conscientious manner, and even finds time to give them special extra affection. 12

ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM | FALL HARVEST 2017


FALL HARVEST 2017 | ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM

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Falling Sky Farm raises poultry March-November with around 400 turkeys and a fluctuating onfarm chicken flock that ranges from 1,500-1,800 birds, but has gotten up to 5,400. 14

ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM | FALL HARVEST 2017


Starting out with a consumer-supported agriculture meat share program with limited offerings, Falling Sky Farm now provides an e-commerce platform for CSA customers called “Build Your Own Box." This approach allows consumers to cherry pick the types and amounts of meats they want. Todt said Falling Sky Farm is also working to get their meats into retail grocery establishments. “The bottom line is: How is your wellbeing affected when you consume meat that has

been raised in the industrial system? There's a lot behind our price tag. We're trying to raise animals right, while remaining environmentally conscientious. If people are going to continue to eat meat, our approach is the only way, and that’s sustainable," Todt said. All things considered, she attributes Falling Sky Farm's successes to people. “The only reason we've gotten where we are is because of the people we've gotten to know and who have helped us."


ARKANSAS STATE FAIR ROUND UP

LOOK FOR CHANGES FOR THE CARNIVAL, RODEO AND A NEW DIVISION IN THE LIVESTOCK SHOW

PH OTOGR A PH Y BY A R K A NSA S S TAT E FA I R S TA FF PH OTOGR A PH ER

By Dwain Hebda

The Starr Barn at the Arkansas State Fair livestock show is filled with the best of the flock for the poultry competition.

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ew hog divisions and facility improvements await this year’s exhibitors and spectators at the Arkansas State Fair livestock show. The fair’s competitions begin Oct. 12 and run through Oct. 22. Sherman Lites, livestock director, said the 2017 event will feature the opportunity for a breed market hog competition. “Our market hog numbers are up this year,” he said. “In the past we’ve just done crossbred hogs; this year if a particular breed has 25 head that meets the characteristics, then we will have a breed show.”


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FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT HEIFER USA’S WORK WITH COOPERATIVES OF SMALL-SCALE FARMERS, VISIT HEIFER.ORG/USA. FALL HARVEST 2017 | ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM 17


PHOTOS BY ARK ANSAS STATE FAIR STAFF PHOTOGR APHER

FAIR-GOERS WILL BE IMPRESSED BY SOME OF THE OTHER UPGRADES ON THE 2017 SCHEDULE TO ENJOY AFTER A LONG DAY OF PREPPING AND SHOWING ANIMALS.

(From top) Young competitors learn much at the youth swine exhibition. Cows wait patiently to be groomed in the cattle barn.

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The State Fair competition offers a range of divisions within the general animal categories of beef and dairy cattle, boer and dairy goats, sheep and swine as well as miniature donkeys. The poultry divisions include rabbit, chicken, duck, goose and turkey. Competitors fall into two classes, Open or Junior. The Open class is open to anyone while Junior class is comprised strictly of bona fide Arkansas 4-H Club members enrolled in projects they are exhibiting or FFA members in the State of Arkansas for the current school year. Junior competition is limited to exhibitors between 9 and 19 years of age (as of opening day of the fair). Lites said that while certain competitive divisions experience fluctuations in numbers, overall participation has remained strong. “The steer numbers have fallen through the years simply because of cost,” he said. “It’s just the steers themselves are so expensive and the feed nowadays is just really, really high. Our lamb numbers and goat numbers have gone up because more kids can afford that.” Registration efforts for the 2017 edition of the state fair have thus far gone well. “Our Extension people and our ag teachers are aware of our deadlines and we work together well with them and they work well together with each other. Everything is going pretty smooth,” Lites said. Exhibitors and spectators will also notice facilities upgrades around the fairgrounds’ livestock areas, including new fencing and other improvements. Lites said fair-goers will be impressed by some of the other upgrades on the 2017 schedule to enjoy after a long day of prepping and showing animals. “We have a new carnival coming in this year and it’s the largest traveling amusement show in the nation,” he said. “Also, we’re going back to a full rodeo this year instead of just a bull ride, so we’re going to have a lot more traffic this year than normal.”

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Shawn Peebles paid attention to economic shifts and farming trends and took the leap to organic farming. He now operates a 1,500-acre farm and encourages other farmers to go organic. By Lacey Thacker Photography by Matthew Martin

Though Shawn Peebles (left) and farm manager Dennis Martin (right) hand-plant and hand-pick crops, a tractor is still a necessary piece of equipment on the field. FALL HARVEST 2017 | ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM

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Peebles looks across a portion of the 1,500 acres he farms.

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hawn Peebles of Peebles Organic Farms in Augusta has been farming his entire life, but it wasn’t until about 10 years ago that he made the switch from conventional to organic farming. When asked what motivated him to make the change, he laughed, admitting, “I was broke!” After graduating high school, Peebles joined his father’s farm where he eventually became a partner. However, around 2005, the economy was beginning to shift. Peebles said, “We were just farming soybeans, corn and wheat. We didn’t have good ground and we were in a flood zone. We had sustained several floods and we decided, well, let’s do something different.” A friend of the family, Joe Taylor, had been trying to convince Peebles to try organic farming for years, but it wasn’t until the economy took a turn that he gave in. “It was the necessity of survival,” he said. His father began growing vegetables on their original 700-acre property, while Peebles decided to finally “give this organic thing a shot.” Peebles had a farm sale and sold all his conventional farming equipment, a huge risk on a new venture. Taylor, who was nearing retirement at the time, suggested Peebles first try farming 300 acres of his already-certified property. Peebles believes Taylor’s farm was one of the first organic farms in the state, as it was certified around 1989. “You meet these people that are visionaries every once in a while, and he’s one of those guys,” Peebles said. Though his health keeps him out of the fields, Taylor still has the interest and drive to participate in the farm, so Peebles makes sure to touch base daily and continues to value the experience, and advice Taylor has to share. Today, Peebles farms 900 acres, including some property bordering Taylor’s farm that they acquired as it came available. “We farm around 1,500 acres—all organic. We’ve been doing it for close to 10 years. We grow edamame, sweet potatoes, processor pumpkins, green beans. We’ve done sweet corn,” Peebles said. But he doesn’t do it alone—Peebles Farm employs between 40 and 50 people from May through November each year.

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Peebles enjoys knowing his kids can eat edamame right out of the field.

While many organic farms in Arkansas sell to restaurants or through farmers markets, Peebles’ strategy is unusual for the area. Peebles Farm contracts with several processors every year. Each January, Peebles is told how many acres of which crops the processors would like. This keeps him from playing a guessing game regarding what will sell well the next season. Ever wondered where your grocery store sweet potatoes came from? There’s a good chance they came from Peebles Farm. “In every acre of sweet potatoes, there are three markets. Not everything can go into a grocery store; it’s not that quality. So we contract with Costco on our jumbo potatoes and they go to make organic sweet potato chips. Our processor-grade crops go to baby food. Fresh, market-premium potatoes go directly into Sam’s and Walmart, places like that,” Peebles said. Aside from the challenges of weed and bug control, Peebles works to ensure his product is

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near spotless. “That’s part of the arrangement we have with our processors, that the product will be spotless, which is a challenge in organic,” he said. As a result, every row is hand-planted and handharvested. Peebles is convinced organic is the way to bring back the family farm of yesteryear, saying, “I can take anybody who wants to try and is capable of doing so, and they can take 300 or 500 acres and their family can make a living. There’s no question; it’s doable, but you just don’t see it here in Arkansas, and there is a huge market for the average-size farm that used to be here.” Though he acknowledges the challenges inherent in transitioning from conventional to organic, Peebles is on several boards in both Arkansas and Washington, D.C. that encourage organic farming. He wants to change the way people farm, because he is certain this is a better way—for both the farmers and the consumers.


Dennis Martin carries sweet potatoes, which are a recent addition to the farm.

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(Top) Everything on the farm is hand-picked. (Below) Crates stacked full of produce are ready to be sent to the processor.

To keep things exciting, Peebles is passionate about educating people. His father’s 14-and-a-halfacre corn maze drew about 40,000 visitors last year; though they don’t sell direct to consumer, he uses strategically placed signs around the farm to share information about organic farming. “That’s what keeps it exciting for me—there’s a different way to do things, and we don’t [often] see that in Arkansas. We’re an oddity; we know that, but we think it should be more mainstream. It’s all about educating people.” 26

ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM | FALL HARVEST 2017


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Bradley County Cooperative Extension agent Michelle Carter with our finished product, seven pints of delicious, ready-to-eat canned meat.

MORE WAYS TO STORE MEAT

PRESSURIZED MEAT CANNING IS A GREAT WAY TO EXTEND YOUR BULK MEAT PURCHASE AND ENJOY TENDER CUTS THROUGHOUT THE SEASON. By Jennifer Sullivan and Richard Ledbetter

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here’s no fresher way to enjoy a savory cut of pork, beef, lamb or venison than by ordering it straight from the farm. There are many places to order up farm-raised meat in bulk, and lots of ways to store it and make it last through the winter. You can, of course, freeze it, but if you’re looking to get creative and store your cuts in a more convenient way that doesn’t take hours of thawing and planning ahead, think about canning. Canning meat produces that delectable, fall-off-the-bone texture and it’s always ready to incorporate into a meal or eat as a snack. Arkansas Food & Farm attended a University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service meatcanning workshop in Warren to learn the art of meat canning. Bradley County Extension agent Michelle 28

ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM | FALL HARVEST 2017

Carter hosted the four-hour class, which included hands-on meat preparation and processing to take the mystery out of learning to can meat. “There is some fear around the process of pressure canning, but if one follows the directions and understands the science behind it, the results are worth the effort. I don’t want anyone to be afraid of pressure canning,” Carter said as the class began. “Canning meat is one of those things most people don’t try because it looks more difficult than it is. It’s well worth the effort because—if done right— [the meat] is so tender and tasty and has good shelf life.” Some canning can be done in an open pot with boiling water, but foods with low acid, like meat, must be pressure-canned. “Food pH levels range


Bradley County Home Extension Service meat canning workshop participants from left: Diane Clement, Robin Hollis, Hazelene

McCray, Michell Carter and Precious Thomas.

from 0 to 14,” Carter explained. “Below 4.6 is high acid and above that is low acid. Fruits are high acidity and tomatoes are medium acidity—around 4 pH—so they may be open-pot canned without a pressure-cooker. Meat, however; is considered a low-acid food so it must be pressure canned.” If you find yourself with an ample supply of meat, whether from buying in bulk from a farmer or scoring big on a hunting trip, you must be careful to store the meat properly until you are able to begin the canning process. “For the hunter who doesn’t have access to refrigeration, you’ll want to begin canning as soon as the body temperature cools. Keeping beyond that, meat should be stored from between 40 degrees Fahrenheit to freezing. If you’re going to hold it more than a couple of days, meat should be frozen until canning,” Carter said. There are two methods of meat canning, hot pack and raw pack. Carter demonstrated the hot pack method, but information regarding raw pack or any other home-canning methods may be obtained through your local County Extension Office or online at uaex.edu.

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(From left) Precious Thomas, a 4H member, browns meat cubes. (Bottom left) Dipping precooked 1-inch meat cubes into jars. Adding a half-tablespoon of salt to pints of cubed meat. Pouring hot water into jars of prepped meat.

HOT-PACK MEAT CANNING 1. Begin by trimming all the gristle, fat and bruised spots from the meat. Wash hands, surfaces and knives, and don’t leave meat lying around after prep to prevent bacteria growth. 2. Cut meat into equal one-inch cubes so it cooks through at an even rate. 3. Precook meat to rare by browning in a small amount of oil. Pack hot meat loosely into hot jars, being sure not to overfill. 4. Add one tablespoon of salt per quart (1/2 tablespoon per pint). It’s best to add salt before liquid so measured headspace is not affected by the addition of salt. 5. Add boiling broth, water or tomato juice, leaving one inch of headspace. 6. Gently stir contents to remove air bubbles. 7. Wipe down jar rims and screw on lids and rims by hand. Carter pointed out, “It’s very important to only ‘finger tighten’ rims so when meat is cooking, the air may escape creating a vacuum seal on finished jars. Leaving more than the recommended one inch of headspace can cause jar lids to buckle in the pressure cooker. 8. Place two to three inches of water in pressure cooker pot before setting filled, sealed jars inside. Carter notes, “A handy trick is to fill in any empty space in the pot with water-filled jars so there’s no room to allow canned jars to tip over. The final water level should not reach the jar lids. 9. Close pressure cooker lid tightly according to manufacturer instructions and turn the heat on the 30

ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM | FALL HARVEST 2017

highest level. Heat until a steady stream of white water vapor is seen venting from the petcock. Place weighted jiggler on petcock and allow pressurizing for 3 to 10 minutes. “In Arkansas, jigglers should always be set to the 11-pound slot due our being below 1,000 feet above sea level. When the reading on the pressure gauge shows proper 11 pounds, this translates to 240°F cooking temperature. Most bacteria are killed by boiling, but bacterial spores must have 240°F for 75 minutes to be destroyed,” Carter said. 10. Turn down heat once desired pressure is obtained and regulate temperature to maintain an even 11 pounds pressure for 75 mintues. This will be approximately 3 jiggles per minute. It’s best to check gauge pressure reading regularly, every 5 minutes as a rule. 11. At the end of the allotted 75-minute cooking time, turn off the burner and allow the pot to cool at least an hour before attempting to open pressure cooker. 12. Gently remove finished jars from hot water, being especially carful not to tilt their contents so the hot liquid within doesn’t damage the rubber lid seals. The meat will continue to bubble and cook in jars well after removal. 13. Allow the finished product 24 hours to cool before further movement. Once they cool, be sure to date and label your canned goods. After that, store them in a cool, dry place and enjoy the meats of your labor!


(From left) Removing air bubbles from filled jars

There are several Arkansas farms that sell bulk meat to the public, if you want to try to can your own. In Northwest Arkansas, Roger Remington of R Family Farm of Cane Hill sells at local farmers markets and directly to the public in quantities from whole animal to halves, quarters and by the pound. They process and package the meat to ensure the utmost quality. To learn more or order their pasture-raised beef, pork, chicken or duck call 479-841-8277. In Central Arkansas, Damon Helton, farmer and owner of Olde Crow General Store in Benton owns the farm where all the animals sold in his store are raised. He does pasture-based farming with strictly 100 percent grass-fed beef as well as pork and poultry that is free of hormones

and measuring head space with bubbler/measuring stick. Filled and sealed canning jars placed in the All American, cast aluminum pressure cooker.

and antibiotics. Customers may purchase anywhere from a whole animal down to quarters or by the pound. Learn more by calling 501-798-2393. Katie Short of Farm Girl Meats in Perryville sells half and whole hogs custom-cut or by-the-pound. Their pricing includes all processing and delivery within Little Rock metro or on-farm pickup. They offer two rounds of custom hogs per year—one in the fall and one in the spring. For more information email katie@farmgirlfood.com.

brews Naturally Made

There’s quite a lot brewing inside our borders this Fall, starting with a craft beer scene that’s second to none. Get out and sample one-of-a-kind local brews along with innovative food pairings that are just as flavorful. Arkansas with its amazing culinary scene is just outside your door and waiting to be savored. See what’s on tap this weekend at arkansas.com/taste. What will you make in Arkansas?

Arkansas.com

FALL HARVEST 2017 | ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM

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Fall Festivities

THERE IS SO MUCH GOING ON IN ARKANSAS IN THE FALL. THE LEAVES ARE CHANGING, THE WEATHER’S COOLING AND FOLKS ARE READY TO GET OUT AND ENJOY THE SEASON. HERE ARE A FEW HIGHLIGHTS TO MARK ON YOUR CALENDAR! Beginner and veteran beekeepers alike will love this educational, fun-filled festival at Bemis Honey Bee Farm in Little Rock. It’s a day of beekeeping education, food, live music, children's activities and all things honey. Enter your own jar of honey in the honey contest, or just peruse the craft vendors, sample the food trucks or watch the kids enjoying hay rides, a petting zoo, face painting, a bounce house and more. “This free event is family-oriented and we focus on all things honey and educating the community,” said Emily Bemis. “Beekeeping can be a difficult hobby at times. Education and support from other beekeepers are crucial to maintaining a successful apiary long term. Our classes and events are geared for all levels of beekeeping,” she said. Hourly throughout the day, guest speakers will give talks about their area of expertise in beekeeping. Also, look for honey smoothies and purchase a container to bottle your own honey on-site. Bemis Honey Bee Farm not only sells honey, but also honey-related products and starter kits (complete with bees!) for the beginner. They offer classes throughout the year, sell supplies and host a larger festival in the spring. Log on to bemishoneybeefarm.com for more information. Oct. 7, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. 13206 Asher Road, Little Rock 501-897-2337, bemishoneybeefarm.com

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PH OTOS COU R T E S Y O F V EN DO RS

ARKANSAS HONEY FESTIVAL


ARKANSAS FRONTIER

Get a dose of Arkansas frontierlife history at Arkansas Frontier. In addition to the seasonal pumpkin-patch activities including a hayride, u-pick pumpkins and farm-animals exhibit, step back in time to learn about early territorial settlers and Native American populations that came before them. Guides in period garb take visitors for a journey through replicas of an early 1900s dogtrot house and one-room school house. Oct. 1-Oct. 31, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat., Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. by reservation only. 1625 Wesley Chapel Road, Quitman 501-589-3122, arkansasfrontier.com Admission: $9, children under 2 free. Cash only.

BOBROOK FARMS

The whole family will love this

pumpkin patch set in a lovely valley near Pinnacle Mountain. The 230-acre farm is filled with fun activities including hayrides, an animal petting farm, corn pit, slides, snack bar and a sunflower maze. Don’t miss the pumpkin patch, where families can either choose u-pick or pre-cut pumpkins. Crafts and refreshments are available for purchase. Sept. 30Oct. 31, Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. 3810 Combee Lane, Roland 501-519-5666, bobrookfarms.com Admission: $6 ages 2 and up.

FARMLAND ADVENTURES

The fall festivities at Farmland Adventures are never-ending! The entry fee gains access to the giant and mini corn mazes, human foosball, kid's corner, pedal karts, petting farm, pig races, pumpkin

patch, teeter totters, tire play area, and wagon rides and pony rides. Pumpkins can be chosen from the pre-picked batch or from the u-pick pumpkin patch. There’s also a hay bale maze, a picnic area and concessions. Sept. 8-Nov. 4, Thurs. (Oct. only) 3 p.m.-9:30 p.m., Fri., 1.9:30 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m-9:30 p.m. 5355 Parsons Road, Springdale 479-799-5033 farmlandadventures.com Admission: $13, adults; $10, children; under 2, free.

HOMESTEAD FESTIVAL

The Parker Homested, a recreated 19th century town, has been farmed by four generations of Parkers. What began as an interest in local history has become an educational experience open to the public. Tour the homestead at the annual Parker Homstead

Little Rock's original farm to table, fine dining restaurant.

Farm to Table

Founded in 1991

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Festival and see the inn, several homes, a general store, blacksmith shop, post office, print shop, smokehouse, broom shop, loom house, sorghum mill and a oneroom schoolhouse. Activities include wagon rides, sorghum making, kettle corn popping, broom making, hay baling, cross cut sawing, and so many more old timey trades. Oct. 14-15, Oct. 21-22. 16738 Homestead Road, Harrisburg 870-578-2699, parkerhomestead.com Admission: $7.

J&P RANCH, INC.

There’s so much to do at this pumpkin patch with a focus on animals. Kids can toddle their way through a maze of round hay bales, take a ride in a covered wagon, learn about exotic fish in an aquarium or feed rabbits, goats and chickens in the petting zoo. Children can also hop on a pony for a guided horseback ride or

play to their heart’s content at the basketball and volleyball courts. Sept. 30-Nov. 5, 1 p.m.-5 p.m. Sat.Sun; weekdays by appointment only. 966 McCoy, Scott 501-920-6537 Admission: $5, free pumpkin for every child under 12.

MOTLEY’S PUMPKIN PATCH

This southwest Little Rock farm is celebrating its 35th anniversary of providing memorable, fall family fun to Central Arkansas. There’s a pick-your-own pumpkin patch, a country store, tractor-drawn wagon rides and a petting zoo packed with chickens, goats and pigs. New this year are the Kangaroo Pillows, which are inground trampolines you can experience for an added entry fee. Sept. 29-Oct. 29, Sat.-Sun. 9 a.m.-6 p.m., weekdays by appointment only.

13724 Sandy Ann Drive, Little Rock 501-888-1129 motleyspumpkinpatch.com Admission: $9, $12 for trampoline access, children under 3 and seniors over 60 free.

MOUNTAIN HOME BERRY FARM

During the annual fall festival at Mountain Home Berry Farm, families can enjoy its most popular attraction, a long hayride tour that stops by a petting zoo, a kid’s corn maze, Mulch Mountain and the pumpkin patch. Rides leave every 30 minutes. An on-site store features apple cider and homemade jams, jellies and other delectable foods. Sept. 22-Nov. 5, Fri. noon-5 p.m., Sat.-Sun., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; by appointment only on weekdays. 693 CR 57, Mountain Home 870-425-7028 mountainhomeberryfarm.com Admission: $6.50 for all attractions.

Little Rock’s dining and craft food and beverage scene is on the rise. Whether enjoying a romantic dinner for two, using our Locally Labeled Passport program to sample our city’s everexpanding offerings of ales, wines and spirits or savoring any of the amazing products our artisanal food producers are making, there’s never been a better time to enjoy great food and drink in Little Rock.

Tour Lost Forty Brewery> To see more, visit LittleRock.com

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ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM | FALL HARVEST 2017


PEEBLES FARM

open fire until it turns into thick, gooey molasses. Enjoy old-time demonstrations while feasting on samples of foods made with sorghum, including gingerbread and molasses cookies. Oct. 28, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Get lost in the 16-acre, themed corn maze or meander through 65 acres of u-pick pumpkins to select the perfect gourd. You’ll find tons for the whole family to do including cotton picking, tunnels, swings, slides, duck races, hay rides, horse-and-wagon rides, tractor-pulled train ride, play area, barn yard, sunflowers, concessions, a compressed-air corn cannon and more! Sept. 22-Oct. 31, Mon.-Thurs. 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 9 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun. noon-dusk.

819 Luzerne St., Mount Ida 870-867-4422, hhmmc.org Admission: Free.

WAR EAGLE MILL FALL ARTS AND CRAFTS FAIR

CR 249, Augusta 870-919-6162, peeblesfarm.com Admission: $8 entry, $3 hayrides, $3 horse and carriage rides, $1 per shot on the corn cannon.

SORGHUM FESTIVAL

Sorghum, also called molasses, was harvested by pioneers and used often as a sweetener. This sorghum-themed festival at The Heritage House Museum in

Mount Ida keeps the fall harvest tradition alive. Come watch the authentic mule-drawn sorghum mill squeeze the juice from cut canes, then watch the juice get cooked in aluminum pans over an

Experience handmade arts and crafts, live music and fantastic food in the beautiful War Eagle Valley. This four-day annual craft fair hosts 250 local and national artisans to showcase their creations as more than 125,000 visitors peruse the wares. Oct. 19 -22, Thurs.-Sat. 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. 8 a.m.-4 p.m. 11045 War Eagle Road, Rogers 1-866-492-7324, wareaglemill.com Admission: free, $3 parking.

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Farm to Tabl e e

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ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM | FALL HARVEST 2017


MATTHEW COOPER, EXECUTIVE CHEF OF THE PREACHER’S SON IN BENTONVILLE, BUILDS RELATIONSHIPS WITH LOCAL FARMERS TO BRING THE BEST SEASONAL INGREDIENTS AND FRESHEST FLAVORS TO HIS RESTAURANT. By Amy Gordy Photography By Novo Studio

S

upporting local farmers and creating fresh, interesting and healthy dishes are what makes Chef Matthew Cooper’s menu at The Preacher’s Son in Bentonville stand out in a city of notable restaurants. One thing diners may not notice as they are engrossed in the heavenly atmosphere of the historic, renovated former church is that the menu is entirely gluten-free. This is a conscious choice by Cooper, who has celiac disease, to create a place where people with food allergens feel comfortable. “We don’t advertise that the restaurant is 100 percent gluten-free (other than the beer on tap, which is contained), so a lot of people don’t realize it,” Cooper said. “There is no wheat, gluten or rye that enters my kitchen. It’s more than a trend, it’s about my health and creating a place where people with food allergies don’t have to ask a bunch of questions they don’t want to have to ask.”

FALL HARVEST 2017 | ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM

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ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM | FALL HARVEST 2017


Chef Matthew Cooper has built a great working relationship and friendship with Rafael Rios of Rios Family Farms, where he gets herbs and greens for his restaurant.

Due to the gluten-free nature of Cooper’s menu, he incorporates a very high percentage of vegetables into his dishes, and has a strong commitment to supporting local farms. “About 80 percent of my vegetables are local,” Cooper said. “I get all my lettuces and most of my herbs from Rios Family Farm. I get my chicken from Spencer over at Across the Creek Farm. I try to work with anyone local so that I can put that business right back into our local community. It’s a huge thing with me. And why wouldn’t I when I can order from someone here that’s doing a good job?” Cooper is flipping the script a bit when it comes to his relationships with farmers. “Traditionally, the relationship is that chiefs tell farmers what we want and they grow it. There’s a really important evolution happening with chefs that’s changing that dynamic.

Instead of saying ‘This is what we want,’ we say, ‘What are you passionate about growing?’” He’s found that passion at Rios Family Farms where Cooper lets Rafael Rios take the lead on growing greens for the restaurant, such as mustard, mizuna and other non-traditional greens. “Rafael and I are good friends, and he’ll call me and say this is what we have this week and I say bring it on. I support them in a way where I’m still able to be creative and provide a consistent menu, but if they have a lot of peppers then I’ll bring those in and use that as my special,” Cooper said. Using this approach and dedication to wholesome, sustainable, locally grown foods, Cooper is able to a offer a beautiful product that’s prepared minimally to highlight the food’s natural flavors.

FALL HARVEST 2017 | ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM

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RoastedBeet and Apple Salad Courtesy of Chef Matthew Cooper

Wye Mountain Flower & Berry Farm

IRWIN PARTNERS

FOR SALE

20309 Hwy AR-113, Roland, AR 72135

Dressing 1 cup chopped basil 1 tablespoon garlic 1 tablespoon shallots 1 cup grape seed oil 1/3 cup champagne vinegar 1 tablespoon honey Salt and pepper to taste

• Wye Mountain Flowers and Berries is a “U-Pic” berry and fresh flower farm • Established retail and wholesale business • Beautiful 3,700 sq. ft. house, 5br 3.5 bath • Great location between Conway and Little Rock with loyal repeat customers • 18.22 acres with automated drip irrigation system and 2 wells Contact Ruth Presley at

501.225.5700 • www.tourfactory.com/1619539 or go to www.wyemountain.net for more info

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Salad Beets Spicy mustard greens mix 2 apples Feta Marcona almonds

ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM | FALL HARVEST 2017

Directions Roast beets at 350 degrees for 45 minutes in apple cider vinegar and sprinkle with sea salt. Chop apples roughly. Pack basil into a blender with champagne vinegar, garlic, shallots and grape seed oil and honey and blend. Toss lettuce mix with the dressing and top with beets, almonds, feta and apples.

e


NORTHWEST ARKANSAS FARMERS MARKETS

E. POPLAR ST. S. 1ST ST.

DOWNTOWN FAYETTEVILLE SQUARE Saturdays April - November, 7AM-2PM Thursdays & Tuesdays April - October, 7AM-1PM Winter Market (indoors) at Ozark Natural Foods. Saturdays -December -March 9AM-1PM.

S. ARKANSAS ST.

Farmers Market Saturdays The Bentonville Square April 22nd-Oct 28th | 7:30am- 1:00pm downtownbentonville.org Visitbentonville.com

E. CHERRY ST.

101 E. CHERRY STREET

fayettevillefarmersmarket.org

FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT MAINSTREETROGERS.COM

May - October Saturdays 8am -1pm

8IB8EJ8J 8>I@:LCKLI< ;<G8IKD<EK

Check out our online farmers market at http://downtownrogersfarmersmarket.locallygrown.net

100% Certified Organic & Certified Naturally Grown. From our farms to your table, with love.

TOUR DE FARMS, 2017 Meet Your Farmer Dinner

1554 N. College, Fayetteville , AR 479.521.7558 | www.onf.coop

FALL HARVEST 2017 | ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM

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Small Batch Gift Guide With the gift-giving season just around the corner, it’s a great idea to think local and support farmers and crafters with your holiday shopping dollars. There are so many interesting, original gift ideas that are handmade by Arkansans. Here are a few to help start filling out that holiday shopping list:

ONYX COFFEE LAB

POZZA’S PASTA

Lucius and Alison Mhoon continue the tradition of producing handmade pasta just as their Italian ancestors did when they settled in Tontitown more than 100 years ago. The traditional spaghetti is made with unbleached, all-purpose flour and eggs, and contains no preservatives. It’s handmade and air-dried to create superior pasta with a unique taste and texture. pozzas-pasta.myshopify.com.

BEEHIVE STARTER KIT

Did you know honeybees are in danger of becoming extinct? Between pesticides and habitat loss, our honeybee population is dying off. While you may not be able to tackle the pesticide industry or global warming, you can become a backyard beekeeper to help provide a home for the honeybees in your neighborhood. Purchase a starter kit from Bemis Honey Bee Farm. The kit comes with boxes, a frame and lid, and you can order the bees to fill it (pick those up in April). bemishoneybeefarm.com.

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ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM | FALL HARVEST 2017

PH OTOS COU R T E S Y O F V EN DO RS

The Buku Natural is one of Onyx Coffee Lab’s most popular varieties and one of those rare coffees that are bold and unique, while still being totally approachable. It’s crisp and very fruit forward with hints of raspberry, bergamot and coconut. onyxcoffeelab.com.


Find Recipes & More at

ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM

Arkansas is the #1 producer of rice in the U.S. Arkansas is home to 2,500 rice farms with 96% of them being family owned.

For more farm facts, vist arfb.com. FALL HARVEST 2017 | ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM

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HONEY SOAP

Bathhouse Soapery makes sweet bath products that can make getting clean feel like a trip to the spa. This honey soap is luxurious and made in Hot Springs with natural ingredients that leave your skin silky smooth and smelling amazing. bathhousesoap.com.

MONK SAUCE

Legend has it that this hot sauce will give you the inner peace of a monk. It’s actually made by monks at Subiaco Abbey and the peppers used are grown on the abbey grounds. There are green and red varieties— the green is a bit milder than the red, but both are flavorful. countrymonks.biz.

ARKANSAS KETCHUP CO.

FARM-RAISED BATH PRODUCTS

PH OTO COU R T E S Y O F S TAC Y COX

Tammy Sue is a farm girl who spent her entire life learning to live off the land and honing her craft to create all natural, luxury bath products under the brand Tammy Sue’s Critters. Her line of soap, lotion, lip balm, bug repellent and more is cruelty-free, wonderfully scented and made entirely on her farm in Central Arkansas. You can find her products at The Green Corner Store, The Freckled Frog, Historic Arkansas Museum Store and online. tammysuescritters.com.

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BREAD MIXES

War Eagle Mill in Rogers is the only working mill in Arkansas still powered by an 18-foot cypress waterwheel. The company produces healthy, organic foods and offers many varieties of grains, flours, soup and bread mixes and more. This dinner roll mix is just like what Grandma used to make, without all the mess in the kitchen—just add water. wareaglemill.com. ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM | FALL HARVEST 2017

PH OTOS COU R T E S Y O F V EN DO RS

Enjoy a robust locally made ketchup that’s more than just a condiment with a bottle of Arkansas Roma Tomato Ketchup by Arkansas Ketchup Co. The company was founded in early 2017, and the sauce is manufactured at the University of Arkansas Food Innovation Center in Fayetteville. Find it in various small food stores in Little Rock and at the Bernice Gardens Farmers Market. arkansasketchup.com.


DOWNTOWN CONWAY 1321 W. OAK ST.

Gourmet Crepes with Arkansas Ingredients Join us for Brunch! Tuesday-Friday: 7am-2pm Saturday-Sunday: 8am-2pm 501-205-9904

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Late Night OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK

Chef Matthew McClure

James Beard Award Semifinalist

479.286.6575 TheHiveBentonville.com @TheHiveBentonville Located at

BENTONVILLE

FALL HARVEST 2017 | ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM

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A Season for Harvest

-Wendell Berry

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ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM | FALL HARVEST 2017

PH OTOGR A PH Y BY M AT T H E W M A R T I N

“The grower of trees, the gardener, the man born to farming, whose hands reach into the ground and sprout, to him the soil is a divine drug. He enters into death yearly, and comes back rejoicing. He has seen the light lie down in the dung heap, and rise again in the corn.”


hunter

@LOST40BEER

the

oktoberfest x fall seasonal

only in arkansas

every drop of lost forty beer is made and sold only in arkansas. independently & locally owned

FALL HARVEST 2017 | ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM

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JOIN FOR EASTER JoinUS Us for HappyBRUNC Hour BRINGING THE FINEST OF ARKANSAS TO YOUR TABLE JOIN US FOR EASTER BRUNCH Join Us for Happy Hour

Monday through Friday • 4Bloody p.m. until 7 p.m. Enjoy Regional Brunch Specials, Live Music, Mary and Mimosa Spec Monday through Friday • 4Bloody p.m. until 7 p.m. Enjoy Regional Brunch Specials, Live Music, Mary and Mimosa Specials

CACHE |PROUDLY ARTISANS AND FARMERS 425 President SUPPORTS Clinton Ave., LittleLOCAL Rock | 501-850-0265 | cachelittlerock.com | CacheLitt CacheRestaurant Brunch served Saturday and Sunday 10am - 2pm | CacheLittleRock Clinton Ave., every Little Rock | 501-850-0265 | cachelittlerock.com CacheRestaurant | 425 President Brunch served every Saturday and Sunday 10am - 2pm

Arkansas Food & Farm | Fall Harvest 2017