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The Food Issue 2018 | arkansasfoodandfarm.com

FARM-TO-TABLE MEALS

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The Food Issue 2018

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DIY CHEESE

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THE HOME HERB GARDEN

FARM TO TABLE RECIPES

THE MURPHY ARTS DISTRICT

THE ARKANSAS SOIL HEALTH ALLIANCE

42

44

HEIFER RANCH CONFERENCE FOR LANDOWNERS

34

DOGWOOD HILLS GUEST FARM

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U-PICK BERRY LISTINGS

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ON THE COVER:

A New York Strip with rich mushroom sauce from Brave New Restaurant. The maitake mushrooms are grown by local farmer Jess Wilkins. Photo by Matthew Martin.

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ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM | THE FOOD ISSUE 2018


www.uaex.edu/arkansas-produce-safety www.uaex.edu/arkan du/ du/arkan sas-produce-safety The Cooperative Extension Service has resources to help growers understand and comply with the new Food Safety Modernization Act regulations. Visit our website and complete a survey to find out how new regulations affect your farm.

DIVISION OF AGRICULTURE RESEARCH & EXTENSION University of Arkansas System

For more information:

Dr. Amanda Philyaw Perez, Produce Safety Educator aperez@uaex.edu or 501.671.2228

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need materials in another format, please contact your (insert appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.


DON’T HANDLE A DOL AUDIT ON THE FLY FINES, FEES & PENALTIES ARE TOO MUCH RISK! WE REPRESENT FARMS RESPONDING TO DOL AUDITS

A Special Publication of Arkansas Times ALAN LEVERITT Publisher alan@arktimes.com EDITORIAL MANDY KEENER Creative Director mandy@arktimes.com LACEY THACKER Editor lacey@arktimes.com ADVERTISING PHYLLIS A. BRITTON Sales Director phyllis@arktimes.com

Contact - Misty Wilson Borkowski, Experienced Immigration Attorney mborkowski@cgwg.com 500 President Clinton Ave Little Rock, AR

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THE REAL CHALLENGES OF SMALL AG

Farmer and publisher Alan Leveritt monitors his flock of sheep. Their farm, India Blue, also grows produce.

Alan Leveritt Publisher, Arkansas Food & Farm Arkansas Times Publishing 8

ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM | THE FOOD ISSUE 2018

PHOTOGR A PH Y BY L I L A L E V ER I T T

O

ur slaughter house burned to the ground last week. I worry about ice, parasites, stinkbugs, heat, flooded fields, squash bugs, hoop house destroying winds and skin cancer, but I didn’t see this one coming. We had taken 200 pounds of fresh hams that were selling slowly back to the slaughter house for their talented butcher to convert into bratwursts and polish sausages, which sell quickly at Hillcrest Farmers Market. We had also taken in Lucky, a four-year-old ram with bad feet, to be slaughtered and converted into lamb bratwurst. Once a lamb gets past about 18 months, the meat can get strong and sausage is the best use. They killed Lucky immediately with a bolt gun and we carried the six-foot ice chest with the hams into the facility. An hour later we called them with some cutting instructions but no one answered. That’s because the place was on fire. They were smoking meat for a customer, and apparently things got out of hand. I have never been entirely at ease with taking our sheep and hogs in for slaughter, but it would not be financially possible for us to run our small farm without meat to sell, particularly in winter. My passion has always been for produce, particularly old 19th century varieties that, with a little extra care, yield great flavor. Kaytee, on the other hand, is the animal person and that trip usually falls to her. Just as we were getting into the sheep business a few years ago, I attended an Arkansas Grown gathering of small farmers in Springdale. The discussion centered on the lack of independent USDA certified slaughterhouses available to family farmers. In the past, every rural community supported a local processor, but as the livestock business consolidated and family farms disappeared, so did the independent slaughterhouses. The big meat companies like Tyson had their own. Then, out of nowhere, came the farm-to-table movement and with it grass fed beef and lamb, pastured pork and free range chickens. Now a farmer needs a reservation to bring in animals, often months in advance. The first time we were going to take some one-year-old lambs to slaughter, we called in October to be sure we could get the meat back in time for Thanksgiving sales. February 4 was the first date they had open. Today I am aware of only three independent, USDA-certified slaughterhouses in the state. While I would not want to operate one, there is a great need. More and more people want meat from animals that are raised humanely and without confinement. I tell people our animals have just one bad day. But that business model works best on a small scale. Small ag, focused on family farming, is the fastest growing segment of agriculture. If it is to continue to grow, more USDA certified processors are going to need to be there to meet demand.


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WEDNESDAY NIGHTS IN JUNE AND JULY FREE movies at dusk at First Security Amphitheater – pets and coolers welcome.

For information and events calendar, visit RiverMarket.info or LittleRock.com

WEDNESDAY NIGHTS IN APRIL AND SEPTEMBER – MUSIC BEGINS AT 6 PM • FREE jazz at Riverfront Park’s History Pavilion • Beer, wine, soft drinks and water available for purchase – no coolers allowed. • Lawn chairs and blankets welcome

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THE WONDER OF GROWING THINGS

I

used to think I wanted to be a farmer; I’ve since learned that what I really want to do is write about farmers. I’m consistently impressed by farmers’ commitment to growing food and all that entails, and I’m always humbled by their willingness to share their knowledge. It’s been an honor to learn from farmers for this, my first issue with Arkansas Food & Farm. In this issue, we’ve collected over a dozen recipes from local restaurants and farmers for our readers to try at home. Once your taste buds are satisfied, continue reading to learn about what one group is doing to improve Arkansas soil health. We explore El Dorado’s revitalization efforts, and Dogwood Hills Guest Farm’s agritourism goals are also highlighted. Interested in growing your own herbs or making cheese at home? Look no further for a primer. And, for landowners seeking conservation grants or financing for land improvements, we’ve included a brief introduction to USDA and NRCS programs. I hope you enjoy learning—and cooking—from the first issue of 2018. Have a farmer, farm-to-table restaurant or new program we should know about? Drop me a note at lacey@arktimes.com. I look forward to hearing from you.

Lacey enjoys a salad at the farm-to-table Prestonrose Beer Farm.

Lacey Thacker Editor

Feast for the eyes, and the fork.

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EASY RICOTTA AND MOZZARELLA AT HOME By Deborah Horn

UA Clark County Extension Agent JoAnn Vann demonstrates mozzarella cheese-making at the 2017 Arkansas Urban Homesteading Conference held in North Little Rock last November.

GETTING STARTED IS EASY.

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J

oAnn Vann makes cheese look easy— even when the guest lecturer uses a single electric burner to heat goat’s milk in order to churn out fresh American mozzarella and traditional ricotta during the 2017 Arkansas Urban Homesteading Conference’s “Making Cheese at Home” presentation in November. “It’s not ideal,” she says about the burner setup. On the other hand, “Mozzarella isn’t complicated,” she tells a group of about 75 people sandwiched into the kitchen of the St. Joseph Center in North Little Rock to watch her work. Although it’s a simple process, she says, mozzarella requires about six hours from start to finish. It’s not six hours of handson effort, but there are moments when the process requires undivided attention as well as a strict adherence to the recipe’s temperature requirements. Otherwise, Vann cautions, “It won’t turn out well.” Vann is a Clark County Extension Agent for Family and Consumer Sciences for the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture. In her spare time, she is a farmsteader who raises rabbits, chickens and goats. She also keeps a garden.

PH OTOGR A PH Y BY DEBO R A H H O R N

CHEESE MAKING 101


START CLEAN For those who want to give cheese making a try, Vann says, “Getting started is easy. It doesn’t require any special or fancy equipment.” The electric burner she used was a makeshift milk heating device that Saturday afternoon; however, Vann says she prefers propane or natural gas. “With propane [or gas], you’re able to lower the temperature much more quickly than with electric, but don’t let that be a deterrent.” And temperature is critical: if it’s too low, the mixture will not curd; too high and the curd will be destroyed. Most of the equipment needed for cheese making can be found in the kitchen, except perhaps a clean cloth for straining. Vann says she prefers a handkerchief to cheesecloth and always uses stainless steel pots for heating the milk. “It’s important to start with clean equipment because you don’t want to contaminate your milk,” and ultimately the finished cheese. Vann also recommends straining raw milk prior to starting to remove any debris.

While Vann likes to work with raw milk, saying, “A lot of people keep goats for the purpose of cheese making,” she says fresh cow’s milk or even milk from the grocery store can be used. However, “Ultra-pasteurized milk will not work.” SAVE THE WHEY Ricotta is almost a byproduct of the mozzarella making process, and it can be made from the leftover whey. “It’s simple to make and only takes a few minutes,” Vann says. GRAB THE GLORY “Best of all, you can create your own special recipes, especially using fresh herbs from your garden,” Vann says. For instance, fresh mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes and oregano are delicious on toasted Italian bread or on pizza. “Fresh cheese brings a different taste to your table, and it’s a real treat for your family and friends,” Vann adds.

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Homemade cheese is fun and easy to make—and it’s so delicious. After heating milk with citric acid and rennet, the mixture sits for about two hours to allow curds to form. Next, the whey is strained off the curds, which are then placed in the refrigerator to solidify.

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ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM | THE FOOD ISSUE 2018

OVERALL

BUSINESS LUNCH OUTDOOR DINING


JOANN VANN’S AMERICAN MOZZARELLA INGREDIENTS: 1 gallon milk 1 1/4 tsp. citric acid powder 10 drops rennet 1 tsp. Kosher salt DIRECTIONS: Dissolve citric acid powder into 1/2 cup of cool water. Add to milk and stir well. Warm milk over boiling water, and when it reaches 85 to 95 F, add rennet that has been dissolved in 1/3 cup cool water. Stir thoroughly.

Collect curds by pouring liquid through a colander lined with cloth. Let drain 15 minutes. Save the whey to make ricotta. Break up curds and mix in salt.

Heat milk to 104 F and remove from heat. Let it sit undisturbed for one to two hours. Soft curds may settle at the bottom of the pot.

Place one cup salted curd into a two-cup microwavable measuring cup. Microwave on high for 45 seconds.

Cut the curd into 1/2-inch cubes and crumble the soft curds.

Separate the hot curd from container with the back of a fork and place on a cutting board. Knead the curd to distribute the heat evenly. Stretch and fold to make smooth and elastic. Shape into a ball and place it into refrigerator to solidify.

Over low heat, stir the curds and whey gently to keep the curds separate until the temperature is a uniform 108 F. Hold at 108 F for 35 minutes, stirring every five minutes to keep the heat evenly distributed and the curds from matting.

THE FOOD ISSUE 2018 | ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM

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Basil needs plenty of light. Fresh, it makes a tasty pairing with ginger in a gin fizz. The sweet basil in this picture is from Wood’s Feed in Cabot.

HERBS: AN EXPERT OFFERS SAGE ADVICE

PARSLEY, SAGE, ROSEMARY AND THYME By Deborah Horn

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PH OTOGR A PH Y BY DEBO R A H H O R N

D

iane Brownlee and Jerry Smith recently acquired a 100-acre farm, and the future farm-steaders are eager to explore their cultivation options, including the approximately 150 herbs that can be found in Arkansas gardens. The Little Rock residents are ready to get started, so they turned to expert herbalist and gardener Debbie Tripp of Royal for advice at the recent urban homesteading conference at St. Joseph Center in North Little Rock. Like vine-ripened tomatoes or cucumbers, Tripp said, “There is a big difference between fresh herbs and the dried ones from grocery store. People find that they love fresh herbs.” Tripp suggests, “If you’re a beginner, you might want to start with one or two easy herbs.” These could include mint or parsley in a pot or the garden. Fresh parsley or thyme is great with pasta, and, Tripp said, parsley is easy to dry and use through the winter months. She offered a few words of caution about mint. When planting it, Tripp said it’s best to grow it in a container because it will quickly take over any garden. On the other hand, she said, it’s exciting to explore the many mint varieties like peppermint, lemon, pineapple, chocolate and more.


GROW YOUR PASSION balm. Dried lavender can also be used to add a nice “Plant what you like and what you will use. If you scent to clothes drawers or aid in a good night’s sleep. enjoy cooking, fresh herbs are a welcome addition to the kitchen,� and, she added, “Many of the GROW YOUR GARDEN Mediterranean herbs thrive in Arkansas.� Rosemary, Whether a raised bed in the backyard, a sunny spot for example, is easily grown in Central Arkansas, and on a small patio or a vertical garden in your apartment, once established, it will live several years with minimal almost any space can used to grow herbs, and getting care. “Rosemary can be infused in oils or used on top started can be done on the cheap. A 3-inch pot of of baking bread,� she said. It can also be used as part of an herb blend that adds flavor to homemade products like goat’s cheese. While basil is known as a key ingredient in pesto, a fresh leaf or two puts a different twist on a gin fizz. Another summer favorite, she said, is lemon grass, which can be used in salads or Asian soups. Neither basil nor lemon grass are winter hardy in our climate. When asked what herbs are wellsuited to Arkansas’ hot summers, Tripp rattled off a long list of herbs, including many well-known cooking herbs such as parsley is usually less than $5 at a local store, while sage, thyme, oregano, chives, dill and parsley, and ones some herbs, such as mint or rosemary, can be started less known, like the aromatic tarragon, Texas tarragon, with a sprig or two from a friend’s garden. lavender and sorrel. Tripp advised starting small and acquiring additional If herbs are to be used1023E “as a fragrance in essential plants over time so not to be overwhelmed. Still, she Tractor w/ D120 Loader oils or candles,� she suggested lavender or lemon said, “Don’t be afraid to try something different.�

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Clockwise from left: Let your herb garden reflect your personality and your needs, said herb specialist Debbie Tripp. This container is part of the herb garden at the St. Joseph Center in North Little Rock. The rosemary, pictured in the foreground, thrives in Central Arkansas and is winter hardy. Fresh parsley is a tasty addition to pasta and is easily dried for winter use. It grows well in Arkansas in pots or in the ground. Even an old bathtub with proper drainage makes an interesting and fun herb container. It’s also part of the St. Joseph Center’s garden.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES There’s plenty of information online about growing herbs and their uses, but be sure to cross reference information, especially when it comes to using herbs for medicinal purposes. For more ideas, Tripp urged conference attendees to attend seminars, network and learn from others. She also recommended Anne Kennedy’s book, “Herbal Medicine,” and Lucinda Hutson’s book, “The Herb Garden Cookbook.”

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ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM | THE FOOD ISSUE 2018


Herbs are like other plants and require a variety of growing conditions, so, she said, “Do your homework.” Getting started is the hard part of herb gardening, but in reality, herbs are not exotic or difficult to grow, Tripp said.

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REFLECT YOURSELF “Regardless of the space you have available, let your herb garden be an expression of your personality… Containers can be as fun as the harvest,” Tripp said. Almost anything that holds dirt can be used, such as an old wooden barrel, a claw-foot bathtub or a new colorful container. DOWN AND DIRTY One rule is paramount, Tripp said, most herbs don’t like “wet feet.” So while that pot at the retail shop may be the perfect look for your patio, don’t be tempted to buy it unless it has a hole or two at the bottom. Holes allow the excess water to drain instead of remaining trapped in the pot. Poor drainage or over-watering causes roots soften and decay, resulting in root rot. LIGHT IS PARAMOUNT TO SUCCESS Each herb has different light requirements. Some prefer at least six hours of sunlight, while others do better with less. For indoor gardening, herbs need south or west facing windows, but if that’s not doable, consider using a florescent or full-spectrum grow light. Debbie Tripp, herbalist and Rosemary Hill Herb Farm owner, was a speaker at the 2017 Arkansas Urban Homesteading Conference held at the St. Joseph Center in North Little Rock last November. Through practical and informative demonstrations, the conference was designed to share ideas and introduce farm life to city folks, including Tripp’s lecture titled “Herbs.”

Founded just one year ago in 2017, Robertson Smokehouse, nestled in the quiet town of Warren, Arkansas, has already made a name for itself– and it’s not hard to see how. Visitors from all over the state travel to this BBQ destination to try their smoked meats and made-from-scratch sides. “Arkansas Capital looked past the statistics and believed in our vision,” says owner Cody Robertson. “We are grateful they gave us the opportunity to follow our dreams.” 800.216.7237 5 0 1 . 3 74 . 9 2 4 7

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LOCAL EATS

From breakfast to dinner to appetizers, Arkansas restaurants and producers have come together to share recipes that will satisfy the tastes of our readers. Enjoy farm- to-table goodness that can be prepared at home. PHOTOGRAPHY BY MATTHEW MARTIN | STYLING BY MANDY KEENER

FRENCH TOAST

THE ROOT, LITTLE ROCK | SERVES 6-8

INGREDIENTS:

8 eggs, beaten 2/3 cup heavy cream 2 teaspoons cinnamon 1 pinch nutmeg 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2/3 cup real maple syrup 1 loaf of your favorite bread (challah, sourdough, country white, etc.), sliced

DIRECTIONS:

Whisk together all ingredients. Submerge slices of bread and gently squeeze until soaked through. Cook on a hot griddle for 3 minutes per side, until cooked through and well browned. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with real maple syrup and fresh fruit.

*FRENCH TOAST WORKS BEST WITH BREAD THAT IS SLIGHTLY STALE; VERY FRESH BREAD CAN FALL APART WHEN SOAKED. IF THE BREAD YOU PLAN TO USE IS FRESH LEAVE IT IN THE REFRIGERATOR OVERNIGHT IN A PLASTIC BAG.

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ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM | THE FOOD ISSUE 2018


BREAKFAST SAUSAGE THE ROOT, LITTLE ROCK | SERVES 12

INGREDIENTS:

2 pounds ground pork 2 teaspoons minced fresh sage (or more to taste) 3/4 teaspoon marjoram 2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon black pepper 1 1/2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar 1 pinch crushed red pepper 1 pinch ground cloves

DIRECTIONS:

Combine all ingredients. Evenly mix by hand or on low in a stand mixer with paddle attachment. Separate into patties and cook in a preheated skillet or scrabled

THE FOOD ISSUE 2018 | ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM

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STRAWBERRY JAM

BARNHILL ORCHARDS, LONOKE | YIELDS 8 HALF-PINT JARS

INGREDIENTS:

5 cups crushed/blended Barnhill Orchards strawberries (about 8 cups whole berries) 7 cups sugar 1 Teaspoon of butter (optional, this reduces foam produced during the cooking process) 1 box Sure Jell

DIRECTIONS:

1. Sterilize jars and lids by simmering them in boiling water for at least 10 minutes while the jam is cooking. 2. Add crushed strawberries, 1 package of Sure Jell, and butter into a large saucepan on MediumHigh heat. Measure the sugar and set it aside. 3. Bring mixture in saucepan to a full rolling boil. Add sugar and stir constantly. 4. Return the mixture to a full rolling boil and allow to boil for exactly one minute, then remove from heat. 5. Skim the foam layer off the top with a metal spoon (this foam is delicious and can be eaten, but doesn’t look good in the canning jars, so put it in a separate bowl). 6. Ladle the mixture into the sterilized jars, allowing 1/4” of head space. Wipe the rims and threads with a clean cloth, then cover with two-piece lids. 7. Place jars in canner, water must cover the tops by 2 inches. Cover the canner and bring water to a boil. 8. Process jam jars for 10 minutes and remove. Place upright on a towel or cooling rack, allow them to sit for 24 hours. After the jars cool, check to ensure for proper sealing by pressing the center of the lids. If the lid springs back, it is not sealed and refrigeration is needed.

*SEALED JAMS ARE GOOD FOR UP TO ONE YEAR, OPENED JAMS STORED IN THE REFRIGERATION ARE GOOD FOR UP TO 3 WEEKS.

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ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM | THE FOOD ISSUE 2018


SPRING GARLIC & ALMOND SOUP with MACERATED GRAPES THE VAULT, HOT SPRINGS | SERVES 12

INGREDIENTS:

2 tablespoons roasted garlic oil 1 yellow onion, julienned 6 cloves garlic, fresh 3 sprigs thyme 4 ounces raw almonds 2 bay leaves 1/2 cup almond flour All of reserved roasted garlic 1/2 gallon almond milk 24 fluid ounces of Hot Springs mineral water 6 fluid ounces Superior Bathouse Brewery’s “The Bee’z Kneez” brewed with local honey and basil 1/4 tsp white pepper, crushed 4 tablespoons sugar 8 slices Ambrosia Bakery’s French baguette  Salt to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Sweat garlic oil, onion, garlic, thyme, almonds and bay leaves until tender, then incorporate roasted garlic and almond flour, cook over medium low heat until thick. Deglaze with Bee’z Kneez, and allow alcohol to cook off. Add almond milk and Hot Spring water, simmer for 30 minutes. Season with sugar and white pepper. Cube bread without crust and add to soup. Allow bread to soak, blend until thick. Adjust thickness with spring water.

FOR GARNISH:

2 cups your preferred table grape 2 tablespoons sugar 1 pinch of ground cloves 2 pinch cinnamon Mix dry ingredients together and sprinkle over grapes, let sit overnight. Slice thin, place on top of soup. Serve chilled or warm.

THE FOOD ISSUE 2018 | ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM

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WALDORF CHICKEN SALAD

BOULEVARD BREAD COMPANY, LITTLE ROCK | SERVES 6

INGREDIENTS:

1 whole chicken, picked thinly sliced celery macerated red onions chopped parsley roasted pecans dried cranberries homemade mayo honey minced basil or seasonal herbs pinch of cayenne white wine vinegar salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Combine all ingredients. Mix well. Chill for at least 2 hours. Serve with crackers or on bread.

*THE WHITE WINE VINEGAR ADDS AN EXCITING KICK THAT PAIRS WELL WITH THE SWEETNESS OF THE DRIED CRANBERRIES. 24

ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM | THE FOOD ISSUE 2018


PICO DE GALLO SALAD

THE GRIFFIN RESTAURANT, EL DORADO | SERVES 2

MIX PICO DE GALLO WITH A RIPE AVOCADO, ADD IT TO AN OMELETTE OR USE IT AS A DIP.

INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon sweet onion, brunoise cut 1 tablespoon gold bell pepper, brunoise cut 1 tablespoon poblano pepper, brunoise cut 1 tablespoon Roma tomato seeded, brunoise cut 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, finely chopped 1 splash agave tequila salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl. Chill. THE FOOD ISSUE 2018 | ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM

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NY STRIP with SKILLET ROASTED MAITAKE MUSHROOMS and MARSALA SAUCE BRAVE NEW RESTAURANT, LITTLE ROCK | SERVES 1

INGREDIENTS:

1 New York Strip 1/2 cup maitake mushrooms 1 minced shallot 1/2 cup good olive oil 1/2 cup marsala wine 1 tablespoon butter Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Grill or sauté your steak to desired temperature and set aside. Preheat a heavy sauté pan on moderately high heat. Add the mushrooms to the pan, carefully turning them until they get almost crispy. Remove and reserve on a warm plate lined with paper towels. Pour off most of the remaining olive oil and sauté the shallots till caramelized and then deglaze with the wine. Be careful of flames from the alcohol as it evaporates. Reduce by three-fourths, then add the butter. Serve sauce over the steak then garnish with the roasted mushrooms. 

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ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM | THE FOOD ISSUE 2018


GREEN BEAN BUNDLES

CAVENDER’S GREEK SEASONING, HARRISON | SERVES 10

INGREDIENTS:

2-3 cans whole green beans 6 strips bacon cut into thirds toothpicks (if desired) 3/4 cup brown sugar 1/2 stick butter 2 teaspoons garlic salt Cavender’s Greek Seasoning

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. Drain green beans in colander. Take 5-6 green beans and wrap with piece of cut bacon. Do not double wrap bundles. Secure with toothpick if desired and place in 9x13 baking dish. In small sauce pan, melt butter and brown sugar together and season with garlic salt. This mixture will burn so stir constantly until mixture is melted. Mixture will be slightly thick. Dollop mixture evenly over green bean bundles. Sprinkle top with Cavender’s Greek Seasoning. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until bacon is done.

*A POPULAR TRADITION AT MANY GATHERINGS, GREEN BEAN BUNDLES ARE THE PERFECT APPETIZER.

THE FOOD ISSUE 2018 | ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM

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RICOTTA CAVATELLI with SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS and EDAMAME THE HIVE, BENTONVILLE | SERVES 8

FOR THE CAVATELLI:

ROASTED SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS 1 quart shitake caps

4 cups all-purpose flour 1 egg 1 pound full-fat ricotta cheese 1 teaspoon salt 1/3 cup heavy cream

In a large bowl, add flour. Make a well in the center. Add remaining cavatelli ingredients into the well; stir until dough comes together. Place dough on a well-floured surface; knead 2-3 minutes until smooth. Cover dough with plastic wrap or a damp cloth. Allow dough to rest for 15 minutes. When ready to prepare cavatelli, cut dough in half. Place one half on a lightly floured surface and roll to a thickness of about 1/3 inch. Cut into strips about 1/2 – 3/4-inch in width. Flour strips well. Using one hand, pass strip through wooden cavatelli rollers, turning the crank clockwise with the other hand. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook cavatelli for about 5-7 minutes until they rise to the surface. Cavatelli should be al dente as they will continue to cook during the final phase. Drain well; set aside. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter ¼ cup mushroom stock ¼ cup roasted mushrooms 1/4 cup roasted soybeans 1 heavy pinch chopped parsley Marash chile Lemon juice Salt and pepper Shaved parmesan

1/4 cup Riceland Rice Bran Oil or canola oil Salt to taste 2 sprigs fresh thyme Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place quartered shitakes on a baking sheet and toss with oil (garlic-infused optional), salt and thyme. Roast 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are golden brown.

FRESH PASTA IS BEST USED WITH DELICATE SAUCES SO THE TEXTURE OF THE PASTA CAN BE FRONT AND CENTER.

In a large sauté pan, combine unsalted butter, mushroom stock, roasted mushrooms and soybeans. Bring to a simmer to reduce and thicken. Add cooked cavatelli to sauté pan; season with salt, pepper, minced parsley, Marash chile and lemon juice. Place in serving bowl and garnish with shaved parmesan.

THE FOOD ISSUE 2018 | ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM

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RATCHFORD FAMILY CHILI

RATCHFORD BUFFALO FARM, MARSHALL | SERVES 8-10

INGREDIENTS:

2 pounds ground buffalo meat 1 ounce chili powder 12 ounces stewed tomatoes ½ quart of Granny Madge’s tomato juice 12 ounces cooked red beans Worstershire to taste Salt to taste 30

DIRECTIONS:

Combine all ingredients in a crockpot on High for 4-6 hours depending on model. Serve warm and top with shredded cheese, sour cream, and corn chips or cornbread.

ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM | THE FOOD ISSUE 2018


CARROT TURMERIC COCONUT CAKE PRESTONROSE BEER FARM & BREWERY, PARIS | SERVES 18

INGREDIENTS:

1 cups extra virgin olive oil 2 cups unrefined organic sugar 4 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla 1tablespoon orange zest 1 teaspoon baking soda 4 teaspoon baking powder 3 cups unbleached organic flour 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut 1.5 cups shredded fresh organic carrots 2 tablespoons grated fresh turmeric or ginger

DIRECTIONS:

Mix oil, sugar, eggs and zest well in stand mixer. Mix dry ingredients separately, then add slowly to oil/egg mix to incorporate. Fold in carrots, coconut and turmeric and mix well by hand. Line sheet cake pan with parchment, or grease and flour a bundt pan. Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes, depending on the pan you choose—the deeper the cake, the longer the bake. Be sure to “cake test” the finished product by inserting a knife or toothpick to be sure it comes out clean. Top with powdered sugar, cream cheese frosting, or a ginger glaze.

THE FOOD ISSUE 2018 | ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM

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THE LOST SPUDNUT

THE GRIFFIN RESTAURANT, EL DORADO | SERVES 1

INGREDIENTS:

1 day-old spudnut 2 eggs 1 pinch cinnamon 1 pinch nutmeg ½ teaspoon vanilla extract ice cream whipped cream chocolate drizzle fresh berries

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DIRECTIONS:

Combine the eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. Whisk together. Cut the spudnut in half and briefly soak in the egg batter. Remove from batter and then cook on a preheated griddle until golden. Stack as an ice cream sandwich and top with fresh berries, whipped cream and chocolate drizzle.

ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM | THE FOOD ISSUE 2018


SAVE THE DATE FOR THESE EVENTS! APRIL 12 ARKANSAS MADE MAY 10 MARGARITA FEST

SHOP LOCAL AT CENTRAL ARKANSAS’ PRODUCER ONLY FARMERS’ MARKETS!

Bernice Garden Farmers’ Market Located in the Bernice Garden at 1401 S. Main Street, Little Rock Open from April 14 - mid October Sundays from 10am - 2pm

SHERWOOD FARMERS MARKET EST. 2017 PAV ILION AT THE FOREST

JUNE 15 PIG & SWIG Hillcrest Farmers’ Market YEAR-ROUND

For more info visit

centralarkansastickets.com

Located on the sidewalk in front of Pulaski Heights Baptist Church, 2200 Kavanaugh, Little Rock Open year-round on Saturdays May-September, 7am-12pm October-April, 8am - 12pm

Westover Hills Farmers’ Market 6400 Kavanaugh Blvd, Little Rock Open May 1 through October Tuesdays from 3:30 pm - 7 pm

THE FOOD ISSUE 2018 | ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM

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GOING MAD FOR GRIFFIN’S

Downtown El Dorado opens farm-to-fork eatery

By Deborah Horn

PH OTOGR A PH Y BY DEBO R A H H O R N

The Griffin Restaurant, located in the former Griffin Auto Company building at 117 E. Locust St. in downtown El Dorado, offers only farm-to-your-fork items on its menu. It’s part of the Murphy Arts District Phase I downtown renovation.

A

t four, John E. Peters III was shucking oysters, at 14 he was washing dishes at a local eatery, and by 29, he was sauté cook for New Orleans’ Commander’s Palace when it earned the James Beard’s “Best Restaurant in the United States” award in 1996. Now, he’s The Griffin Restaurant’s executive chef, and while he admits the award was one of the high points of his career, Peters says he’s not done yet. The Griffin Restaurant dishes up farm-to-fork Southern fare with a flare for Creole cuisine, set inside the recently renovated Griffin Auto Company, 117 E. Locust St. in downtown El Dorado. It’s part of the El Dorado Murphy Arts District or MAD.

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Left to right: The Griffin Restaurant in El Dorado is upscale but not uptight. Patrons pack the restaurant at lunchtime. A floor to ceiling glass panel offers patrons a glimpse into Executive Chef John E. Peters III’s world at the Griffin Restaurant. Peters was the sauté cook for New Orleans’ Commander’s Palace when it earned the James Beard’s “Best Restaurant in the United States” award in 1996.

The old Griffin showroom was transformed into a kitchen, and the auto repair shop is now the dining room. Although it’s thoroughly modern, it retains some of the original features like the elaborate floor and wall tile work. The restaurant’s revamped interior is industrial, upscale but not uptight, casual and children are welcome. Downstairs, where the Ford cars were assembled—in the old days, cars were often shipped in parts and assembled at the dealership—is the 2,000-seat Griffin Music Hall, says Bob Tarren, MAD’s CMO. IT’S ALL LOCALLY SOURCED Chef, as others call him, is soft-spoken and his lazy Southern drawl marks him as hailing from Monroe, La., but in the kitchen, he moves with intent and the speed of sprinter. He may speak in low tones, but his specialty dishes speak volumes. Like his Tournedos, two fillet mignons on top of grilled green tomatoes, one smothered in a red wine reduction and the other in a béarnaise sauce, or his fresh-from-the-Gulf-to-the-table red snapper. Of course, he plays tribute to Arkansas’ favorite sons with his Razorback Mac dish that’s made with Arkansas-raised pork. There’s also Arkansas quail and catfish on the menu. The Griffin Restaurant also offers handcrafted libations and live music every Thursday evening. Most ingredients on the Griffin Restaurant’s menu are grown or produced in Arkansas, but since the El Dorado restaurant sits within 20 miles of the northern Louisiana border, they hope to tap into any fresh produce available there as well, says Elizabeth Young, MAD’s Farm and Sustainable Initiatives director. It would allow them to extend the calendar of fresh menu offerings, such as blueberries. According to Young, produce usually ripens a few weeks earlier in the El Dorado area than Central Arkansas. To make life easier for Chef, she’s putting together a spreadsheet—a harvest calendar of sorts—that let’s him know what item will be available when. “It allows me to plan and highlight items during their peak,” Peters says. Peters, with past experience cooking with farm-fresh products and menu planning, says he looks forward to the demands of this spring when the “crops come on.” It will require him to dig deep to create new dishes with the bounty of fresh veggies and fruits, as well as allow him to add a fresh flare to old favorites. “We will change the menu to reflect the season and offer chef specials every day, along with small plates so people can taste the amazing difference between fresh and canned,” Peters says. THE FOOD ISSUE 2018 | ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM

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"WE ATTEMPT TO ACQUIRE AS MUCH FOOD LOCALLY AS POSSIBLE, AND WE ARE STRIVING TO SET OUR OWN QUALITY STANDARDS."

IT AIN’T EASY TO BE FARM FRESH Over a basket of Griffin’s signature melt-in-your-mouth hush puppies, served warm with local jelly and butter, and a boat of barbecued shrimp, Young talks about her role of cultivating relationships with suppliers and increasing community outreach. In the past, Young farmed in North Carolina and worked for the Rockefeller Foundation planting an orchard at Petit Jean. She says local sourcing is easy, but keeping a steady supply can be difficult. “We attempt to acquire as much food locally as possible, and we are striving to set our own quality standards,” Young explains, by relying on producers who use environmentally sound practices. She points to a growing list of partner farms’ plaques hung on the restaurant’s dining room wall, as talks about niche North Little Rock ’s Ben E. Keith is filling. The food distributor offers Arkansas-sourced options that help ensure quality, adequate quantity and on-time delivery, and that helps keep Peters’ staff of 48 moving plates from kitchen to table, Young says. In turn, “It makes for a better dining experience,” says Tarren. There are some culinary restrictions when preparing a farm-to-table menu. For example, there is sometimes a limited selection available, depending on the season, but Young’s goal is to grow the restaurant’s offerings and client base through marketing, education and by starting a farmers’ market right outside the restaurant’s patio seating area.

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Left to right: Griffin Restaurant’s Executive Chef John E. Peters III works his magic in the kitchen preparing a dish with fresh from the boat to the table Gulf Coast Shrimp. Griffin Restaurant’s Boat of Barbecued Shrimp isn’t prepared ahead of time but cooked “la minute,” or made only after ordered. Arkansans can’t find delicate crab cakes like these in the frozen section of their neighborhood super center but it can be found on the menu of the Griffin Restaurant in El Dorado. Elizabeth Young, director for Murphy Arts District Farm and Sustainable Initiatives, says the Griffin Restaurant is attempting to grow its list of Arkansas partner farms. The collaboration benefits both their patrons and farmers.

IT BENEFITS BOTH RESTAURANT AND GROWER “The more farmers can sell to Griffin Restaurant or at the [MAD] Farmers’ Market, the more willing they will be to grow more or try their hand at new things,” she reasons. MAD is hosting their fourth Southern Food & Wine Festival in early May, and their farmers’ market is set to open this spring. “It will give folks a chance to sample fresh,” she says. Young says she’s reaching out to the El Dorado School District and encouraging schools to start their own gardens. “Kids get excited about growing vegetables,” she says. EXPANDING THEIR HORIZONS “We’re [the restaurant] less than six months old,” but already Young says they ’re looking forward to the future and the opportunities that the expanding Arts District will bring. Tarren explains that the Griffin Restaurant is only part of El Dorado’s Phase I downtown revamp and new construction. It also includes the new MAD Amphitheater with the capacity to accommodate 8,000, the Farmers’ Market, the indoor 2,000-person Griffin Music Hall, a plaza and a children’s two-acre play-scape, yet to be built. Phase II includes an art gallery and the restoration of the Rialto Theater. THE FOOD ISSUE 2018 | ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM

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Robbie Bevis kneels in one of his fields covered with a mixed cover crop.

THE ARKANSAS SOIL HEALTH ALLIANCE TAKES ROOT Local Farmers Work to Decrease Inputs and Improve Soil Health

“I

By Lacey Thacker

don’t see how we’re going to continue to farm the way we currently are. Something has to change,” Robbie Bevis says. Bevis, a fifth-generation farmer in Scott, is one of a group of farmers working to develop the Arkansas Soil Health Alliance, a new 501c (3). Bevis, who began running the farm in 1999, began decreasing tillage on his property soon thereafter. He says that while some farmers may subsoil or do “deep tillage” and think it’s having a positive impact on their soil, if you can easily stick your finger in the dirt, it has no structure, and if it has no structure, it’s not healthy soil. “When you go over to this healthy soil and it’s got root wads, you can’t push your finger through it, which causes some to think the soil lacks aeration. Quite the opposite,” Bevis says. It’s the roots, the glomalin (a protein produced by fungi), and everything else that’s in the soil that makes it healthy. “So even though you can’t push [your finger] through it, it still has a lot of air in it,” Bevis explains. He picks up a wad of healthy soil to demonstrate; sure enough, it clings together. The soil with no organic matter crumbles without any effort. Bevis Farms grows mostly soybeans and corn; the majority of his fields haven’t been tilled in years. Instead, Bevis plants a cover crop of mixed species. It’s allowed to decompose in the fields, then corn or soybeans are planted directly into the ground underneath the biomass. As the biomass grows over the years, it enriches the soil. 38

ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM | THE FOOD ISSUE 2018


Left to right: To the top of the image is black oats; to the bottom, cereal rye, both of which are part of Bevis’ cover crop mix. Cover crops provide many benefits, including decreasing erosion. Brassicas, pictured here, are an excellent option for adding organic matter to the soil during the off season. Tillage radishes help improve water infiltration and soil aeration as well as decrease soil compaction.

PRACTICALITY Much of Bevis’ interest in no-till low-input agriculture is practical. He notes that one can make almost anything work on an acre; it’s the farmer who is able to make something work on 40 acres—or 100— that he’s inclined to pay attention to. Bevis doesn’t just want anecdotal evidence; he wants research that provides scientific data about the efficacy of what he, and other farmers like him, are doing. Bevis is quick to point out that he doesn’t necessarily think every farmer has to go 100 percent organic, but he also thinks tilling, spraying pesticides and herbicides, and even fertilizing by default, are simply tools, and, “We need to use the right tool at the right time.” In fact, Bevis calls it a “bad habit” to use a tool just because you have it. Bevis likens the situation to antibiotic use, saying, “Antibiotics don’t work as good as they used to because we’ve overused them.” It was a man named Ray Archuleto who encouraged Bevis, and others, to decrease their inputs and decrease, or stop, tilling altogether. “‘I want to get you to where it hurts you to do tillage,’ he said to me. I told him, ‘I’m to the point where it hurts me to watch other people do tillage,’” he recalls. Bevis says he isn’t against tilling in and of itself, but he says he sees the number of trips some farmers make across their fields, simply out of habit, and he translates the trips into dollars, noting that the multiple trips across the field weren’t necessary. Instead, they were done because of habit and a desire to make the field look a certain way.

FORMING THE PLAN After their success with soil health practices, Bevis and several other farmers began tossing around the idea of a formal organization to help educate others. They discussed the idea off and on for a couple years, but each year they became busy with their jobs— farming. Finally, the members of the group were ready to put in some of their own money to really get the program started. “Next thing we knew, NRCS gave us our grant to help get it started,” he says. Bevis has been contacted by agencies and individuals from surrounding states who’d like Bevis to participate in developing a Mid-South soil health group, but Bevis says he’s had to learn to say, “Not yet.” Bevis says the group is still trying to figure out what exactly they’re doing in Arkansas. While they have a pretty good idea—education and advocacy—the group must establish itself in its home state before branching out. Bevis says his passion comes from seeing the difference a different set of agriculture practices can make. One example he cites is a farmer who, over the course of 30 years, was able to change his soil classification. He believes if the Soil Health Alliance can spread the word far enough, the impact of wind erosion and water erosion can be mitigated, and along with that, water quality and water infiltration can be helped. Bevis says, “It’s hard not to get excited about something when you see the difference it can make. Not just for agriculture, but for society as a whole.” THE FOOD ISSUE 2018 | ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM

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Natural Resources Conservation Service representative Canton Ford describes programs available to landowners designed to help fund conservation efforts on their property.

THE USDA AND THE NRCS COME TOGETHER TO TALK MONEY n February 3, Heifer Ranch in Perryville hosted an afternoon-long seminar about services offered by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Farm Services Agency and the National Resources Conservation Service.

FINANCING THROUGH THE FSA The Farm Services Agency (FSA) representative was Carol Hoyt from the agency office in Morrilton. The FSA is a subagency of the USDA. According to Hoyt, the agency exists to provide funding to those for whom other financing is not available. BENEFITS TO FINANCING THROUGH THE FSA According to Hoyt, because the FSA understands farming, they often finance projects that other banks won’t even consider. Generally, the FSA is also able to offer lower interest than a traditional bank loan. Worried about that ding on your credit that’s a result of factors outside your control? The FSA is able to consider those factors. While most banks won’t loan over 50 percent; the FSA is able to loan 100 percent in many situations. ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS Applicants must have spent three out of the last 10 years managing a farm—not just putting out feed for a relative but making marketing or other decisions that directly impacted the success of the farm. The FSA will also work with applicants to obtain detailed information about their plans in order to answer one big question: Will the project result in positive cash flow? 40

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SPECIAL FINANCING PROGRAMS The newest type of loan program they offer is the microloan program. The microloan program has a limit of $50,000 and is generally repayable in seven years if for livestock or equipment or 25 years if for a farm ownership loan. The FSA also offers a youth loan of up to $5,000. The loan, repayable over one to seven years, does not require a cosigner, but a sponsor to vouch for the applicant and their ability to repay the loan. HOW TO PURSUE FINANCING Visit your county’s FSA office. According to Hoyt, each situation has different requirements, and so it’s easiest to simply speak to someone in the office. All applicants will need to bring their farm records, financial records and a general plan for use of the financing.

USDA AND NRCS PROGRAMS ARE AVAILABLE TO FARMERS AND LANDOWNERS.

HEIFER INTERNATIONAL

O

By Lacey Thacker


ASSISTANCE OFFERED BY THE NATIONAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION SERVICE Canton Ford spoke on behalf of the National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The NRCS exists to assist landowners with their efforts to preserve and maintain national resources. Their most well-known service is establishing a conservation plan for landowners to assist them in things such as responsible irrigation, prescribed grazing, forest stand improvement and other conservation practices. BENEFITS TO WORKING WITH THE NRCS Landowners interested in conservation practices, particularly landowners from historically underrepresented categories, may apply for grants through the NRCS that make those practices more financially accessible. REQUIREMENTS The NRCS has several programs that offer financial assistance for land improvements. To qualify, each landowner must get a track number and a wetland determination. The track number is for identification purposes, while the wetland determination is used to make sure endangered areas are properly conserved. After a landowner has each of these items, they should take in their deed, track number and wetland determination to the office, where they will fill out an application. A representative in the office will be able to assist with filling out the form. Before beginning any conservation plan, landowners must apply and be approved for funding. The NRCS cannot contribute to already-installed features. PROGRAMS The Conservation Stewardship Program helps landowners develop a plan to improve the condition of their land while also improving the success of their operation. Examples include scheduling planting of cover crops or implementing no-till planting to reduce erosion. The Environment Quality Incentives Program provides assistance to landowners as they implement practices that improve soil, water, air or other natural resource quality. HOW IT WORKS After an applicant is selected for funding, they’ll work with an NRCS representative to determine their timeline—are these improvements attainable in a year? Five years? Ten? Once their plan and timeline are established, the NRCS will assist with 60 to 75 percent of the average cost per square foot of the county’s average cost for the items. For example, for $10 of fencing, the NRCS will contribute around $6—after the fence is installed.

Join a ccoommunity garden in your neiighborhood ne North Little Rock has 24 community gardens growing healthy, delicious food! Want to learn how to grow your own food? Need more growing space? Want to volunteer to help others?

There’s a garden for you! NLR Community Gardens (501) 975-8780 fit2live@nlr.ar.gov www.nlr.ar.gov/gardens

For more information, contact your local FSA or NRCS office. Interested parties may also visit their websites at fsa.usda.gov or nrcs.usda.gov. THE FOOD ISSUE 2018 | ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM

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Agritourism Takes Root By Lacey Thacker

Left to right: Grace Pepler has been participating in 4-H since she was 3 years old. Today, she’s a 17-year-old dairy farmer who takes great pride in her herd and working on the guest farm. A family on a farm stay at Dogwood Hills Guest Farm feeds goats, one of many activities available to visitors.

R

uth Pepler’s daughter, Grace, has been showing animals with 4-H since she was a Pee Wee showing chickens. When the family moved to Arkansas 11 years ago, Grace’s interest in animals and agriculture only expanded. Now 17 years old, Grace has shown all types of livestock except pigs, though she’s now narrowed down her showing to only dairy and fiber. Grace currently has ten dairy cows, and she recently took out her second youth loan to purchase a trailer with which to haul her animals to show. After moving to a larger property several years ago, the Pepler family began considering how they could become involved with agriculture education in a more significant way. First, they built a guesthouse, which visitors can book for up to a week. “Any longer than that and the kids begin to get a bit comfortable,” Ruth says. While staying in the guesthouse, visitors may participate in farm life by helping milk cows, working in the hoop house or helping with other chores. In 2012, they broke ground on a barn, and last spring, they began the process of becoming “bus-ready” for tours ranging from two hours to full days. This winter, they’ve been working on completing a farm store, where value-added goods and local produce will be available for sale.

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FARM COOKING In September, Dogwood Hills began hosting a monthly farm-to-table dinner, which Ruth originally envisioned as a place for people who don’t have local family to come for Sunday dinner. Consistency, she’s found, is key. Even if only five people RSVP, she won’t cancel. Meals consist of five courses: appetizer, salad, soup, entrée and dessert. Though all of the ingredients that pass through their certified kitchen aren’t grown on the farm, the herbs, dairy and eggs usually are—in fact, the dairy comes from Grace’s own cows—and the majority of the other ingredients come from Searcy County. A nearby gardener supplies their lettuce greens, and they’ve just recently transitioned all their protein to locally supplied options. “It’s really a community effort,” Ruth explains.

Top to bottom: February’s farm-to-table meal included homemade beef stock, blueberry vinaigrette, blueberries, winter squash risotto, sweet pea sprouts, locally aged tenderloin and flourless chocolate cake. Old Pete regularly sleeps in the barn. The farm store, a new addition for 2018, will soon be open.

MULTIPLE GOALS While Ruth enjoys agriculture itself, she says it’s really the education that comes along with an agritourism operation that excites her. She notes that there are several interest areas served by the farm—culinary arts, agriculture and tourism. Ruth was recently elected president of the newly formed Arkansas Agritourism Association, which will focus on promoting the growth of agritourism in Arkansas but will also “work collaboratively to address issues and challenges facing the agritourism industry” and “encourage public policy to support agritourism enterprises,” according to the UA’s Cooperative Extension Service website. The ability to carry insurance is of particular concern to Ruth, who notes that many insurance companies simply don’t understand what is involved in agritourism, and so are often unable to quote a policy. What insurance agents unfamiliar with agritourism in general, and Dogwood Hills in particular, can’t know is that Dogwood Hills was designed with visitors in mind; the fences are sturdy and of an appropriate height for safety. Closed-toed shoes must always be worn in the barn, where children are not allowed unsupervised. “Everything was really designed with visitor safety in mind from the beginning,” Ruth says. Instead of a farm that became a tourist destination, Dogwood Hills is a tourist destination that happens to be a farm. A youngster’s love of animals inspired a family’s appreciation of farm life; now, visitors can steal a weekend or a week, step away from their hectic lives and enjoy all that farm life has to offer— including the food.

THE FOOD ISSUE 2018 | ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM

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Blueberries ripen at Wye Mountain Flowers and Berries.

U-PICK BERRY LISTINGS

You don’t have to grow your own to have freshly-picked blueberries, blackberries or strawberries. U-pick farms all across the state offer the opportunity to pick your own berries to freeze, can or bake. See arkansasfoodandfarm.com for other listings. CENTRAL ARKANSAS CABOT MOUNTAIN HIGH PRODUCE 1000 E. Justice Rd., 501-983-8881 U-pick strawberries during season. Call for availability. U-Pick. THE CABOT PATCH 500 Mt. Carmel Rd., 501-605-1313 cabotpatch.3m.com Pick yourself or find pre-picked strawberries, peaches, okra, plums, purple hull peas, tomatoes, cantaloupe and watermelons. 8 a.m.-6 p.m. 7 days, April-Aug. U-Pick. CANEY CREEK BERRY FARM 2568 Little Creek Dr., 501-548-0475 U-pick berry farm. Call for availability. U-Pick. CONWAY DAVID WILSON 2568 Little Creek Dr., 501-548-0475 Small U-Pick and pre-picked berry sales to individuals or restaurants. Call ahead for availability. GUY CADRON CREST ORCHARD 86 Mode Rd., 501-679-3243 battlesorchard.com Offers u-pick strawberries, peaches, apples, watermelons, cantaloupe and tomatoes throughout the season. Call in advance for availability, May-Sept. U-Pick. 44

ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM | THE FOOD ISSUE 2018

LITTLE ROCK BEMIS PUMPKIN PATCH 13206 Asher Rd., 501-897-4931 bemispumpkinpatch.com U-pick pumpkin patch that offers hayrides, games and other family fun. Facilities available for birthday parties, weddings and educational programs. Call for hours and availability. U-Pick. PRATTSVILLE A&B BERRY FARM 2929 Hwy. 190 S., 870-699-4792 Pick your own blueberries during season. U-pick. ROLAND WYE MOUNTAIN FLOWERS AND BERRIES 20309 Hwy. 113, 501-330-1906 wyemountain.net U-pick blackberries, blueberries and raspberries. Also offers flowers in season. U-Pick. QUITMAN KIRBYMEL 450 Pearson Rd. South, 501-351-3555 Grows three thornless varieties of Blackberries (Osage, Ouachita and Natchez), as well as pears and apples.


@AgCouncilofAR

Is your agr in the event PROMOTING AGRICULTURE SINCE 1939 Ag Comp is a policy for w Join us today! farms, ag agcouncil.net/join Le @AgCouncilofAR facebook.com/AgCouncilofArkansas

THE AG COUNCIL ofARKANSAS

THE AG COUNCIL ofARKANSAS PROMOTING AGRICULTURE SINCE 1939

We are committed to telling the story of row crop agriculture in Arkansas. We advocate for farmers and agricultural businesses to ensure the continued success of our great state.

Join us today! agcouncil.net/join @AgCouncilofAR

NORTHWEST BOONEVILLE SUNNYLAND BERRY FARM 6688 W. State Highway 10, (479) 675-3893 U-pick blackberries and blueberries during season. U-pick. CLARKSVILLE COX BERRY FARM 1081 Hwy. 818, 479-754-3707 Offers strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, tomatoes, peaches, apples, pumpkins and nursery plants. 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Sat. U-Pick.

Is your agricultural business adequately protected in the event of a workplace injury? It is with Ag Comp! Ag Comp is an affordable and proven risk management policy for workplace injuries that protects Arkansas farms, agricultural businesses and employees. Learn more at AgCompSIF.com

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Is your agricultural business adequately protected in the event of a workplace injury? It is with Ag Comp! Ag Comp is an affordable and proven risk management policy for workplace injuries that protects Arkansas farms, agricultural businesses and employees. Learn more at AgCompSIF.com

Our Roots Are Planted Here, Too At Wright Lindsey Jennings, we’ve been serving the legal needs of Arkansas’ agricultural community for 118 117 years. Whether you are a producer, processor, distributor or supplier, we offer experience and guidance on a wide range of issues: · Tax & Estate Planning · Land & Equipment Sales & Leases · Litigation & Bankruptcy · Government Regulations · Labor & Employment

· · · ·

Immigration Intellectual Property Environmental Concerns Capital Raising & Investments

An Arkansas resource for Arkansas farmers.

ELM SPRINGS MELONJ GARDENS 126 Water Ave., 479-601-3099 Offers a variety of gardening services, from simple tilling and soil preparation to full garden installation and maintenance throughout the growing season. Also offers an on-site and u-pick market. U-Pick. EUREKA SPRINGS ASHLEY’S BLUEBERRIES 245 CR 329, 501-253-8344 Sells organic high-bush blueberries. U-Pick.

Rogers

Little Rock

For more listings visit

arkansasfoodandfarm.com THE FOOD ISSUE 2018 | ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM

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FAYETTEVILLE REAGAN BERRY FARM 241 E. 13th St., 479-601-2268 Family farm offering u-pick strawberries. U-Pick. STA-N-STEP FARM 3104 Wildcat Creek Blvd., 479-3612789 sta-n-step.blogspot.com Pick your own blackberries, blueberries and raspberries. 7 a.m. to 2p.m. Tues., Sat. U-Pick. HARRISON CLINE BERRY FARM 224 S. Spruce St., 870-741-7121 clineberryfarm.com Offers several varieties of blueberries during season. U-Pick. FENTON’S BERRY FARM 7217 Fork Creek Rd., 870-741-9607 Offers u-pick blueberries and blackberries. LONDON RENEE’S BERRY GARDEN 1265 Will Baker Rd., 479-293-3229 sites.google.com/site/ reneesberrygarden Pre-picked and u-pick blueberries. Call ahead for picking conditions. U-Pick. MULBERRY BLUEBIRD SONG FARM 5260 Chastain Rd., 479-997-1996 Conventionally grown muscadine grapes and blueberries. U-pick fruit and blueberry bushes for sale. U-Pick. ROGERS NEAL FAMILY FARM 1246 W. Laurel Ave., 479-659-1750 facebook.com/Nealfamilyfarm U-pick blueberries in season. U-Pick. THE BLUEBERRY BARN 650 Lippert Dr., 479-636-9640 U-pick blueberries. Call for picking conditions. U-Pick.

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THE BLUEBERRY PATCH 1201 Longview Dr., 479-631-2483 Offers pre-picked and u-pick blueberries. Buckets and bags furnished. 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.Sat. U-Pick. NORTHEAST ARKANSAS EVENING SHADE PINEY FORK BERRY FARM 163 Blueberry Ln., 870-368-5001 Highbush blueberries available during season. Call ahead for availability. U-Pick.

ARKANSAS CHEESE Arkansas dairies are few, but they're all worth a visit. And, for the DIY cheesemaker, there are several excellent companies who supply equipment.

WYNNE KILLOUGH FARMS 661 Highway 64B, 870-238-7038 Pick your own blueberries on-site. Daylight hours during season. U-Pick. SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS NASHVILLE JAMISON ORCHARD 195 Orchard Rd., 870-845-4827 Third-generation peach farm, also grows plums and blackberries. Sold u-pick at the orchard, at farmers markets and wholesale to vendors and restaurants. U-Pick. SOUTHWEST EUDORA ATKINS FARMS 253 Atkins Ln., 870-355-2211 Offers u-pick blueberries and blackberries during season. Also offers squash, cucumbers, eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, corn, string beans, butter beans, pinkeyed peas, zucchini and okra. U-Pick. PRATTSVILLE A&B BERRY FARM 2929 Hwy. 190 S., 870-699-4792 Pick your own blueberries during season. U-Pick. WARREN JIM PARKER 23210 U.S. 63 N., 870-357-2748 Sells u-pick tomatoes, blackberries and cantaloupe. U-Pick.

ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM | THE FOOD ISSUE 2018

ELKINS WHITE RIVER CREAMERY 11701 AR-16 479-310-0355 FAYETTEVILLE STEVE’S BREW SHOP 455 E. Township St 479-587-3887 LITTLE ROCK THE WATER BUFFALO 106 S Rodney Parham Rd. 501-725-5296 SOUTHERN TABLE FOODS 323 South Cross St. 501-379-9111 NORTH LITTLE ROCK FERMENTABLES AND HOMEGROWN HOBBIES 3915 Crutcher St. 501-758-6261 ROSEBUD HONEYSUCKLE LANE CHEESE 1192 Hwy 5 501-730-5075 FAYETTEVILLE SWEET FREEDOM CHEESE 479-466-6694 or info@ sweetfreedomcheese.com


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Arkansas Food & Farm | Food Issue 2018  
Arkansas Food & Farm | Food Issue 2018