One delicious aspect of ALFN’s online farmers market is the near-year-round availability of typically summer produce (peppers, eggplants, etc.) from Arkansas Natural Produce (ANP). Because they grow in hoop houses, they can often provide peppers and eggplants much earlier and much later in the season – yum! (Keep your eye out for their early spring Romanian peppers.) Throughout the year you can get their incredible fresh herbs and greens at GoALFN.com. This ANP Farmer Profile was created for ALFN by Amie Lein, our Program & Market Manager…
Arkansas Natural Produce, aka Jay and Deanna Fulbright and family, have been in the farm business since 1988. However, the seed for gardening (pun intended) was planted in Jay when he was a little boy helping his grandfather in his big garden in Cotton Plant, Arkansas. Since then, Jay and Deanna have been growing everything from arugula to zucchini. Their favorite things to eat are their salad and micro greens. All of their produce is super fresh, has great flavor, and as a bonus, no nasty chemicals on it.
The best thing about being a farmer, Jay says, is producing truly beautiful and delicious vegetables or fruit for people to enjoy. And his least favorite? It’s when they have issues that prevent them from providing enough produce for their customers. Lucky for us, Arkansas Natural Produce has several greenhouses that allow them to generate a supply of out-of-season vegetables that we can buy year round.
You may have seen our recent State of the Market update. Things are looking up, but we know we need to shore up and store up (money) for the winter season. You can help and have a blast by attending Locally Sauced….
Rock Locally Sauced Farmer’s Market Fundraiser
Proceeds to benefit the Arkansas
Local Food Network
August 12, 2019— On September
2019 the Arkansas Local Food Network (ALFN), an online
farmer’s market that promotes Arkansas farms and cottage industries
while bringing the best of local produce to the public, will
host, Locally Sauced, unique and saucy fundraiser.
event will celebrate a variety of sweet and savory condiments while
exploring the intersection between staple foods, in-season
ingredients and delicious sauces and dips. The highlight of the
event will be a series of stations where attendees sample sweet and
savory sauces created with pantry staples and local ingredients.
Each station will feature a basic sauce (hummus, pesto, vinaigrette,
cream-style dressing, chutney, fruit compote, etc.) and provide a
recipe card that outlines the basic formula to make the featured
sauce or dressing. The station will also display a variety of
local ingredients that can be used to make creative variations of the
sauce. Every participant will have a good time, and leave
empowered to buy local and get creative making sauces from scratch in
their own kitchen.
who come to learn how to make sauces with local ingredients will
enjoy heavy appetizers, drinks (cocktails and mocktails), and
desserts. The ALFN is a 501c(3) non-profit organization, and can
provide a tax-deductible receipt for any donation, large or small.
Many local farms and businesses, including The Root Café, Community
Bakery, Kornegay Farms, April’s Family Kitchen, Green Acres organic
farm, Arkansas Natural Produce and more will support the event by
contributing appetizers, sweet treats and local ingredients. Local
sauces and products will be available for purchase.
join us at this great food experience – It’s sure to be a good
over ten years, the Arkansas Local Food Network (ALFN), has worked to
promote strong Arkansas farms and access to fresh local food in
Central Arkansas. ALFN is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. For
more information visit GoALFN.com, call 501-398-1573, or email
Cucumbers are staples in the average American diet, with large cucumbers typically eaten raw and small cucumbers pickled for long-term storage. Even though pickles are made from cucumber, they differ slightly from raw cucumber with respect to their nutrient content. Pickles generally offer more vitamins and fiber than cucumber but also contain sugar or sodium that lowers their nutritional value.
Calories and Fiber
Cucumbers and dill pickles are both low in calories — a cup of sliced cucumber contains 16 calories, while an equivalent serving of dill pickles contains 19. Sweet pickles are higher in calories, at 139 calories per cup because of their sugar content. Reaching for either cucumbers or pickles boosts your fiber intake. This fiber helps speed the movement of food through your digestive tract, combating constipation, and also helps reduce the level of cholesterol in your bloodstream. A 1-cup serving of sliced cucumber provides 0.5 grams of fiber, while dill pickles offer 1.7 grams of fiber per cup and sweet pickles provide 1.5 grams of fiber.
Vitamin K Content
Pickles offer more vitamin K per serving than cucumber. Your body uses vitamin K to activate enzymes responsible for cell growth and development, as well as bone and cartilage health. It also plays a central role in blood coagulation, which protects against blood loss. A 1-cup serving of sweet pickles contains 72.1 micrograms of vitamin K — 58 percent of the recommended daily vitamin K intake for men and 80 percent for women. An equivalent serving of sliced cucumber provides 17.1 micrograms of vitamin K, while a cup of dill pickles offers 60.4 micrograms.
Vitamin A Content
Reach for pickles over cucumber as a source of vitamin A. Sweet pickles, in particular, come loaded with vitamin A. Each cup provides 1,169 international units of vitamin A, which is 39 percent of the daily vitamin A needs for men and 50 percent for women. A cup of sliced dill pickles offers 284 international units of vitamin A, while cucumbers contain 109 international units per cup. The vitamin A abundant in pickles aids in the development of new blood cells, regulates thyroid gland function and supports healthy vision.
Sodium and Sugar Content
Cucumbers offer major health advantages over pickles because they’re naturally low in sugar and sodium. Each cup of sliced cucumber contains just 1.7 grams of naturally occurring sugar and 2 milligrams of sodium — less than 1 percent of your daily sodium limit. Dill pickles, on the other hand, contain a whopping 1,356 milligrams of sodium per serving, or 59 percent of your daily limit. A a result, you should limit your dill pickle intake, or you risk the high blood pressure and heart disease associated with a high-sodium diet. Sweet pickles are also high in sodium, at 699 milligrams per cup, and also contain 28 grams of sugar per serving. This sugar offers no nutritional value but boosts your calorie intake and contributes to tooth decay.
Beetroot, also known as beet, has been gaining in popularity as a new super food due to recent studies claiming that beets and beetroot juice can improve athletic performance, lower blood pressure, and increase blood flow.
Beetroot has been gaining in popularity as a new super food.
Consuming fruits and vegetables of all kinds has long been associated with a reduced risk of many lifestyle-related health conditions.
Many studies indicate that eating more plant foods, like beetroot, decreases the risk of obesity, overall mortality, diabetes, and heart disease and promotes a healthy complexion and hair, increased energy, and overall lower weight.
Dementia: Researchers at Wake Forest University have found that drinking juice from beetroot can improve oxygenation to the brain, slowing the progression of dementia in older adults.
Studies on alpha-lipoic acid have also shown a decrease in symptoms of peripheral neuropathy and autonomic neuropathy in people with diabetes.
Diabetes: Beets contain an antioxidant known as alpha-lipoic acid, which may help lower glucose levels, increase insulin sensitivity and prevent oxidative stress-induced changes in patients with diabetes.
Digestion and regularity: Because of its high fiber content, beetroot helps to prevent constipation and promote regularity for a healthy digestive tract.
Inflammation: Choline is a very important and versatile nutrient in beetroot that helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning, and memory. Choline also helps to maintain the structure of cellular membranes, aids in the transmission of nerve impulses, assists in the absorption of fat and reduces chronic inflammation.
Amount Per 1 beet (2″ dia) (82 g)100 grams1 cup (136 g)1 cup (136 g)
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0.2 g
Saturated fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated fat 0.1 g
Monounsaturated fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 106 mg
Potassium 442 mg
Total Carbohydrate 13 g
Dietary fiber 3.8 g
Sugar 9 g
Protein 2.2 g
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Okra is a member of the Mallow family, related to cotton, hibiscus and hollyhock. It is a tall (6 ft) annual tropical herb cultivated for its edible green seed pod (there is also a red pod variety, which turns green when cooked). It has heart shaped leaves (one species is cultivated for its edible leaves), and large, yellow, hibiscus-like flowers. The seed pods are 3 – 10 inches long, tapering, usually with ribs down its length. These tender, unripe seed pods are used as a vegetable, and have a unique texture and sweet flavor. The pods, when cut, exude a mucilaginous juice that is used to thicken stews (see Gumbo), and have a flavor somewhat like a cross between asparagus and eggplant.
Lady’s fingers. Just one of the many names given to okra pods in English-speaking countries (Great Britain first and foremost). In fact, the slender, delicately tapered pods recall the shape of a woman’s fingers.
Nutrition. Largely made up of water (90%), with a fair content of carbohydrates (7%) and proteins (2%), okra befriends the figure-conscious because it is low in calories (100 g add up to just 33 kcal) and fats, but at the same time it is rich in fibre, vitamins A, C and K; it is also an excellent source of folic acid, potassium, calcium and magnesium.
Quality. When buying okra, choose medium-small pods because they are more tender and less stringy. Okra is generally green – make sure it is a nice bright even shade, with no blemishes or colour alterations – but on some markets it is also possible to find the red and burgundy coloured varieties. Top quality okra must be firm and springy when you handle it. Only the pods are sold on our markets but in the countries where it is grown and picked, the leaves are also consumed: they are excellent for eating raw in salads and may also be boiled or pan tossed, in the same way as spinach leaves.
Seeds. The dried seeds may be roasted and ground for use as a coffee substitute. In fact, when coffee imports were impeded by the American Civil War (1861), the Austin State Gazette reported that “one hectare of okra plants is able to produce sufficient seeds to replace those of fifty coffee plants, with a product that is identical to the coffee imported from Rio”.
Emeril Lagasse. Stewed and spiced, but also marinated in buttermilk before being fried and served with a Creole sauce, the famous bayou blast; or alternatively, okra is fried and served with shrimps or crabmeat, as in gumbo with shrimps, or with chicken and smoked sausage. These are just some of the recipes containing okra presented by Emeril Lagasse, a celebrity US chef who, in recent years, has become the number one authority on Creole and Cajun cuisine.
Gumbo. In this unchallenged icon of Louisiana’s Cajun cuisine, okra appears as one of the most widely used thickeners, on a par with filé powder (sassafras) or roux (flour and butter). It is the opinion of food archaeologists that this tasty recipe dates back to the XVIII century as a variation on a stew common among the Cochtaw Indians (from the territories of what is now Alabama, Florida, Mississippi and Louisiana), who used to thicken it with “kombo”, today’s filé powder obtained from dried and ground sassafras leaves.
Vocabulary.Okra, gombo, lady’s fingers, bhindi, bāmiyā; but also krajiab kheaw (Thailand); okura or kiku kimo (Japan); gambô, quibombô or quiabo in Portuguese; oh k’u ra (Korea), grønsakhibisk (Norway); bomiyon in Uzbek… It would be a massive job to list all the names for okra used throughout the world: a full list can be found here.
Did you know that when you buy locally grown produce, you’re making a choice to do something that’s better for you and your family, but that also benefits your community and the environment? Well it’s true. Not only do you prevent the negative consequences that come from shipping, trucking and flying produce long distances, but you also boost the health and economic and cultural vitality of your community in ways you might not have thought about. Here are ten ways, both direct and indirect, that buying locally grown produce like Plenty’s benefits everyone.
Local is supporting your community.
Local leads to less waste.
Local is more nutritious.
Local contributes to cleaner air.
Local is safer.
The longer food is stored, the greater the risk it will rot or become contaminated. That’s why so many fruits and vegetables are treated with fungicides, disinfectants, gas, fumigants, coatings, and other chemicals. Buy local and you won’t have to worry about what’s been done to your food in the name of preservation.