Biggest Produce Theft In History?, Earth Week Crossword Puzzle, Poll for Farms, and More

American Farmland Trust

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Welcome to the April edition of Farm Fresh News. In this issue, test your skills on our Earth Week crossword puzzle, vote for recycling and sustainability, take our poll to save farms and food and more! Click here to view this content on the web.

Florida Hit by Produce Heist

Heirloom TomatoesWhat is the world coming to? The New York Times reported last Thursday that more than $300,000 in produce was stolen in what may have been the biggest and most organized produce heist ever. Six trucks of tomatoes, one truck of cucumbers and a truck containing frozen meat were picked up from produce distribution hubs in Florida before disappearing from the food system entirely. 


Vote to Help Us Save More Farms

Vote Recycling & SustainabilityHelp us win support for saving farms by voting for Recycling & Sustainability in Garnier and EarthShare's contest. 

After you vote for Recycling & Sustainability be sure to sign-up for a one-line daily reminder to make 20 times the difference for farms and the environment.

 Why Save an Acre of Farmland?

Ernie Averett, North Carolina farmer, Tar River Land ConservancyThe decisions about saving farms are made in many places. They're made in the small meeting room where a zoning board opens the door to development. In a farmer’s kitchen where the family convenes to pore over the monthly balance sheet. And in policy makers' offices where budgets are being hotly debated. For our work saving farms to be successful, we need to deliver our message to all decision makers. Please take a few moments to take our poll and help us win the fight to save farms and ranches at every level.


Earth Week Crossword Puzzle

Test your skills on our Earth Week themed online crossword puzzle.


Farm Fresh Recipe

leeks-ffn.jpgThis month's Farm Fresh News recipe was recently enjoyed by appreciative farm advocates in New York at the second annual No Farms No Food® Rally and Lobby Day. The local foods lunch at the rally was prepared by Sodexo with the help of Chef Matt Weingarten of Manhattan’s Inside Park.

Mixed Grain and Charred Leek Salad

A note from the chef:
This is a great early spring salad that combines the delicious texture and nutty flavor of last winter's grains with the first allium shoots of the warm months. Great as an accompaniment to any picnic, or as the star of your feast, it is a great way to support your local farmer. For my salad, I like to use this mix of grains from Cayuga Pure Organics in Brooktondale, New York, but seek out what is available in your region and substitute as fits your needs.


½ lb. wheat berries (about 1 cup)
1/3 cup Spelt Berries
1/3 cup freekeh (Green Wheat)
1 bay leaves
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 Tablespoon salt
2 Leeks or a small bunch of ramps
½ cup chopped Parsley
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1/3 cup olive oil
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste


The night before:

Soak the wheat berries and spelt berries in a large bowl with 2 qts water and leave overnight to bloom.


Split the leeks lengthwise, leaving the root end on. Soak in water to remove any dirt, dry thoroughly and then place on hot grill without oil and char them fairly well all over. When they are done, remove and place immediately in a large bowl or container. Cover the container with a lid and allow the leeks to continue cooking in this container for about 30 minutes or until cool to the touch. When done, remove and chop into small half moons, removing the root end as you go. Set aside.

If using Ramps, simply clean the dirt off of the root end, place on dry grill and than remove and allow to cool uncovered and chop lightly.

To cook the grains:

Place the soaked grains in a large pot with the freekeh or the green wheat and cover with another 2 qts of water. Add in salt, the bay leaf and the cinnamon. Bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and continue to cook for about 30 minutes more or until the grains are tender and the water has evaporated.

Chill down thoroughly and remove the bay leaf.

To complete the salad, fold the cooked grains, the chopped leeks and the herbs together, add in the oil and the vinegar and taste for seasoning.

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