Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Stirring Words from a South Dakota Rancher

JoelAround 2,000 family farmers, ranchers, and others from all over the country gathered last Friday on the campus of Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado, to have their say regarding unfair competition and consolidation in the livestock industry. (See my post here for more information.) I have never seen so many fired up ranchers—or cowboy hats—in one room!

Farm Aid was in Fort Collins in support of struggling cow/calf and sheep ranchers, cattle feeders, hog farmers, dairy farmers, contract poultry producers, and industry laborers. Most importantly, we took part to help bring attention to the need for swift implementation and enforcement of the USDA's proposed GIPSA (Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration) livestock rule, which would be a crucial first step in restoring genuine fairness and competition to a livestock industry that is all but monopolized by just a few dominant, multi-national processors, packers, and retailers.

At the workshop I sat next to and visited with Vaughn Meyer (on the right, in this photo), a kind, soft-spoken rancher from Reva, South Dakota, who raises purebred Angus and chairs the South Dakota Stockgrowers Marketing Committee. Vaughn's pro-GIPSA public comment, offered during the lunchtime break between panel discussions, was a beautifully articulated example of why antitrust enforcement is so crucial. You can read it in full below.

Vaughn's stirring words were one of many dozens of two-minute, pro-GIPSA public comments offered during the workshop itself and at the Thursday night town meeting. In the days to come, we'll post more commentary, photos, and short videos from the events in Fort Collins. For now, please send the USDA and the Department of Justice your own public comment (to agriculturalworkshops@usdoj.gov) in support of the GIPSA rule. Together we can begin to break through the silence descending over the countryside and start to restore family agriculture, vitality, and well being across rural America.

Secretary Vilsack, USDA APHIS personnel and fellow agriculture enthusiasts, I am Vaughn Meyer, a rancher from Reva, SD and Chairman of the SD Stockgrowers Marketing Committee. On behalf of South Dakota's largest cattle producer organization, I would like to thank everyone here today for the great input into this controversial issue. Through today's democratic discussion we are initiating the initial steps required for rebuilding our industry.

An overwhelming amount of facts and figures have been presented here today. However, I would like to [refer] briefly to that which will not be said here today. That which is as bone chilling and sobering as an Arctic Northerly in mid-December. The silence here today that is representative of the 370,000 producers who through the past 16 years have lost their hopes and dreams in production Agriculture. The silence of over half a million family members whose last view of their livelihood was in their rear view mirrors. A silence that is relative to the loss of 215,000 rural main street businesses throughout the past decade.

I witness this silence, only broken by the wind, as I pass daily through my home town of Sorum, SD, now zip code zero. Recently that silence has echoed again through the closure of two nearby family feedlots. An eerie silence broken only by the wind blowing through empty pipe corrals. Again this silence is present as one turns into the abandoned parking lot of Black Hills Packing Co. in Rapid City, SD. A parking lot that once accommodated autos of nearly 200 employees.

My point here today is this issue is not about organizations against organizations or producers versus feeders versus packers and retailers. We are here today to strengthen previous rules in order to rebuild America's largest industry, Family Agriculture. A rebuilding which once again will instill voices, laughter and prosperity in our rural towns. A prosperity that will transcend to our cities and the steps of our nation's capitol. A prosperity which will rebuild the agriculture foundation of this great country. An agricultural foundation which is prerequisite for the national security and industrial superiority of the United States of America.

Mr. Secretary Vilsack and Mr. J.W. Butler on behalf of my Grandfather and late Father, I thank you for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime to be present today and witness this rebirth of family agriculture. On behalf of the South Dakota Stockgrowers, thank you and we proudly support your endeavors.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Support Nation Beat as They Spread the Word about Good Food From Family Farms

JenNation Beat, an amazing, indescribably-musically-diverse band who played at Farm Aid 2008, has a new project that we wanted to let you know about.

Building on what the band learned about food and farming at the Farm Aid concert, they wrote a song dedicated to family farmers and they’re working on producing a video.

They need your help to spread the word about family farmers!

As they explain it,

"GROWING STONE" is a song about the plight of the family farmer written when we were invited to perform with Willie Nelson at the 2008 farm Aid concert. At the time of the concert we were not aware how strong the movement to help save the family farmer from the corporate Agribusiness was until looking out and seeing over 20,000 people supporting the cause. We met local farmers and attended a seminar/Q&A with Willie, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews. It was an eye opening experience hearing the statistics and hardships of family farmers during this seminar. It was also very inspiring to hear the positive stories and to meet small farmers who were successfully making a living. This is what our song "GROWING STONE" is about; the plight of the family farmer and how he/she will stand up and win and keep their land!

We could just record the song and stick it onto a CD where it will be bunched together with 13 other songs. But we don't feel like this will do the song justice. We want to give this song special attention so that it's heard all over the world and raises awareness to people of all ages and nationalities to start supporting their local farmers and farmers markets. In today's society, sound alone sometimes doesn't get the point across. We want to put images of real life farmers and show their success stories in this music video. We want to give people a personalized experience through this song by inviting farmers to participate in our music video. This song is about them...it's their voice and we want them to be seen...not just heard.

So, we need you to help make this happen and to help spread the word. With your pledge we can make this music video a reality and help spread this cause to all parts of the word through the internet. And, if you feel like brushing up on your acting skills, contribute as an "associate producer" and you can be in the music video and show it to all your friends and family.

This is a very cool project indeed! If you'd like to lend a hand, click here!

Friday, August 27, 2010

A report from the antitrust in agriculture USDA/DOJ hearing in Colorado

JoelFarm Aid's farmer advocate Joel Morton traveled to Fort Collins, Colorado, this week to stand by America's family farmers and ranchers as they speak out about the lack of competition and fair markets in the livestock sector. Here's what he had to report early this morning...

Last night's town hall meeting in Fort Collins, Colorado, on competition and concentration in the livestock industry, was a rousing affair with well over 500 family farmers, ranchers, food service workers, non-profit staffers, rural and urban food activists, and consumers in attendance. People came from all over the country and at least 20 states were represented. Held in the Fort Collins Marriott, the meeting was so crowded that a divider wall had to be removed to make room for more people as they continued to file in even after the event got started. Six panel speakers spoke for five minutes each, followed by dozens of two-minute public comments by those of us in the audience.

The diverse crowd was united in calling for the USDA's quick adoption and implementation of a livestock rule proposed by the USDA's Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) as a necessary first step in restoring genuine competition in the livestock industry. The evening's event, organized by Farm Aid allies Food & Water Watch, R-CALF USA, and the Western Organization of Resource Councils (WORC), leads in to today's USDA and Department of Justice public hearing on antitrust issues in the livestock industry, to be held on the campus of Colorado State University. Thousands are expected for the hearing, the fourth in this year's series of five historic public workshops on antitrust and concentration issues in American agriculture.

We'll keep you posted with updates! Click here to sign up for Farm Aid action alerts on this and other critical issues facing America's family farmers.

Congratulations for USDA's Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Committee

JoelFarm Aid is pleased to report that blueberry farmer Luciano Alvarado, co-owner of Palomo Farms in North Carolina, has been appointed to serve on the USDA's Advisory Committee on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers. Congratulations, Luciano!

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the appointment of Luciano and ten additional new members, who will join eight incumbents to serve on the Committee. According to the USDA press release announcing the new appointments, "the Committee will advise the Secretary on ways to develop programs to provide coordinated assistance to beginning farmers and ranchers while maximizing new farming and ranching opportunities. They will also work to enhance and expand federal-state partnerships to provide financing for beginning farmers and ranchers." The Committee's new members, including Luciano, other young farmers from around the country, as well state coordinators for the USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, will also advise Secretary Vilsack regarding the 2012 Farm Bill.

We applaud Luciano's appointment, because it both acknowledges the increasing diversity of America's new farmers and recognizes Luciano's potential as deeply caring and committed spokesperson for Hispanic growers and all new farmers and ranchers. Luciano's calm, thoughtful demeanor and intimate knowledge of the Farm Service Agency's loan process will make for an excellent addition to the Committee.

As blog readers may recall, Farm Aid hosted Luciano as part of a new farmer fly-in last January at the Drake Forum on America's New Farmers and accompanied him to meetings with the USDA and at the office of his congressional representative. If you'd like to learn more about Luciano, you can see our profile and video interview of him by clicking here.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Farm Aid Supporters Call on FDA to Stop the Abuse of Antibiotics on Industrial Farms

HildeToday, more than 180,000 letters signed by concerned citizens across the United States were hand-delivered to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sending a clear message: antibiotics are a vital foundation of public health in the United States and should not be misused to prop up an industrial system of livestock production that puts us all at risk.

The letters, collected by Farm Aid and a broad coalition of consumer and family farm groups, were in response to the agency's request for comments on rules governing the use of antibiotics on industrial farms.

For years, Farm Aid has been warning about the dangers of industrial or "factory farm" livestock operations and their impact on family farms, the environment and our health. Chickens, pigs, and beef cattle raised on industrial farms are routinely fed antibiotics to make them grow faster and compensate for overcrowding and unsanitary living conditions. In other words, to keep industrial farms as productive and profitable as possible, animals are fed a diet of drugs — the same drugs we rely on to keep ourselves and our families in good health.

This overuse of antibiotics creates stronger and more drug-resistant bacteria that can cause tragic results. Serious, painful illnesses and even death are too often the outcome in both vulnerable and healthy individuals. At Farm Aid, we understand that antibiotics have a place on the farm — when they're needed to treat sick animals, not to promote an industrial system that compromises animal health, human health and the livelihood of family farmers who manage their animals more responsibly.

Thanks to all our supporters who participated in this critical campaign. Although the formal comment process has now closed, we will continue to collect and submit signatures to demonstrate the overwhelming public support for responsible livestock care and protecting human health by limiting antibiotic use in animal feed.

To receive email updates of future Farm Aid actions promoting resilient agricultural practices that are healthy for animals, family farmers and eaters too, click here to sign up for our action alerts.

Want to learn more? Check out Farm Aid Farmer Hero Russ Kremer's inspiring personal story about the threats of antibiotic resistance and his transition to more sustainable methods on his hog farm in Osage County, Missouri.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

National Honeybee Day

HildeToday, August 21st is National Honeybee Day! The documentary film Vanishing of the Bees, narrated by Ellen Page (Juno), explores the mysterious worldwide honey bee disappearances and offers solutions to protect the bees and our ecology. These fuzzy pollinators are of vital importance to our food supply and the environment! Check out the buzz at www.vanishingbees.com.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

New Artists Announced for Farm Aid 25: Growing Hope for America

JenLast week at our concert announcement at Miller Park, we announced the Farm Aid 25: Growing Hope for America headliners, Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young and Dave Matthews. This morning we announced some of the additional artists who will join Willie, John, Neil and Dave for this year's concert, many of whom are Farm Aid friends eager to take part in our 25th anniversary. Those artists include Farm Aid veterans Jeff Tweedy (of Wilco), Kenny Chesney, and Jason Mraz, and first time Farm Aid-ers Norah Jones, Band of Horses, Amos Lee, Robert Francis and Milwaukee natives The BoDeans.

Farm Aid 25: Growing Hope for America tickets go on sale on Saturday, August 14th, at 9 am CST. Get them by going online at www.tickets.com, dialing 414-902-4000 or visiting the Miller Park box office.

If you're not in the Milwaukee area, you can catch Farm Aid 25: Growing Hope for America live on DirecTV's The 101 Network beginning at 6pm ET/5pm CT.

Stay tuned to www.farmaid.org for additional announcements about our 25th anniversary concert.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Policy Workshops for Organic Farmers coming to Massachusetts, Nebraska and California

JoelLooking to add to your summer to-do list, or help an organic grower with his or hers? Here's an idea: take a few minutes to alert your organic farming friends and acquaintances to an upcoming series of workshops designed to explain how organic growers can apply to serve on State Technical Committees or Local Working Groups, and why it's crucially important that they do so.
The 2008 Farm Bill contains several provisions that expand federal support for organic agriculture, especially around conservation and natural resource issues. Successful implementation of these new organic provisions requires the expertise of those who best understand why and how the new provisions matter - organic farmers and ranchers themselves! For this reason, we're urging organic producers to share their expertise by serving on their State Technical Committee (STC) and/or Local Working Group (LWG).

Want to learn more? Workshops on how to participate on STCs and LWGs will be held at key locations and conferences around the country in August and November.

  • The first occurs at the Northeast Organic Farming Association's (NOFA's) summer conference in Amherst, Massachusetts, August 13-15. The NOFA workshop, called "Growing Organic in USDA Conservation Programs," is being held this Friday, August 13th from 4:00-5:30, and put on by Farm Aid partners the Center for Rural Affairs and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. Farm Aid's Alicia Harvie will be in attendance, and can be contacted for more details via email.
  • Another workshop on STC and LWG participation will be held at Ponca State Park in Ponca, Nebraska, on Monday, August 23rd. For more information on this one, contact Traci Bruckner at the Center for Rural Affairs at (402) 687-2100 or tracib@cfra.org.
  • Finally, in November, a third workshop will be held, this time in Davis, California, at the UC Davis Agriculture and Natural Resources Building. The date and time for this workshop is TBA, so stay tuned.
Meanwhile, here's a primer to get you started.

State Technical Committees serve in an advisory capacity to the Natural Resource Conservation Service and other USDA agencies, providing information, analysis, and recommendations directly to USDA officials. These recommendations significantly shape the way federal conservation programs are prioritized and managed within the state and how dollars are allocated to pay for these activities. Since 1996, STCs have been required to include producers who represent the variety of crops and livestock raised within the state, including the increasing number and diversity of organic producers. What this means is that organic producers throughout the country have a greater chance than ever of serving on STCs and advocating for organic interests.

Organic producers can also serve on Local Working Groups. LWGs are, in effect, localized subcommittees of the STC charged with providing recommendations on local natural resource issues and criteria for conservation activities and programs. Serving on an LWG gives organic producers the chance to share their expertise on land, soil, and water stewardship in their region.

Interested organic producers (or groups, including sustainable and organic farming organizations and conservation groups) should submit a request directly to the NRCS State Conservationist in your state. Requests should explain your interest and outline your relevant credentials for membership. Contact information for your State Conservationist can be found on your state's NRCS website. Visit www.nrcs.usda.gov to find a link to your state's NRCS website.

Also, a new handbook, "A Guide for Organic Farmers and Ranchers to Participating on USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service State Technical Committees and Local Working Groups," will be available soon on the websites of several groups Farm Aid has been working with (thanks to a generous grant from Organic Valley's Farmers Advocating for Organic Fund) to urge organic producers to get involved in shaping USDA policy concerning organic agriculture. You'll be able to download the new "Guide" (and share it with your organic producer friends!) at any one of these sites in the coming months (we'll keep you posted!): National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition; Center for Rural Affairs; Organic Farming Research Foundation; Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service; and, of course, Farm Aid.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Farmers Market Recipes: Corn & Zucchini Enchiladas with Chile Sauce

CorneliaOur celebration of National Farmers Market Week continues, with these delicious vegetarian enchiladas. Like most of the other recipes we've featured, you could make these throughout the year, but the bright, fresh, delicious flavors of summer are at their best.

Cornelia's Corn & Zucchini Enchiladas with Chile Sauce
Courtesy of Food & Wine

  • 1 pound tomatillos, husks removed
  • 1 large unpeeled garlic clove, plus 1 peeled and minced
  • 2 dried de árbol chiles, stemmed
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano
  • 1 zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • Eight 6-inch corn tortillas
  • 1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese (about 3 1/2 ounces)

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat a grill pan or a large cast-iron skillet. Grill the tomatillos and unpeeled garlic clove over moderately high heat, turning often, until the tomatillos and garlic are soft and blackened in spots, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the chiles to the grill and toast just until lightly charred, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool slightly. Coarsely chop the chiles.
  2. Remove the papery skin from the garlic clove. Transfer the garlic to a blender, add the grilled tomatillos and chiles, the water and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and blend to a coarse sauce.
  3. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the onion, minced garlic, oregano and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook over moderately high heat until the onion has softened, about 5 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes longer. Stir in the corn and cook just until heated through, about 1 minute.
  4. Pour half of the tomatillo sauce into a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. In a medium skillet, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil over moderately high heat. Using tongs and working with 1 tortilla at a time, dip both sides of each one briefly in the hot oil just until the tortilla softens; let any excess oil drip back into the pan. Lay the tortillas on a work surface and spoon about 21/2 tablespoons of the zucchini filling across the center of each; sprinkle each one with 1 tablespoon of the cheese. Roll up the tortillas and transfer them to the baking dish.
  5. Pour the remaining tomatillo sauce over the enchiladas and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Cover the dish with foil and bake for about 10 minutes, or until heated through. Serve immediately.

Beer recommendation: Beer is the best choice with these tart, mild, cheesy enchiladas. Stick with the southwestern theme and serve something like Santa Fe Pale Ale.

"First Tomatillo!!!1111!!!!" photo courtesy of flickr user urtica through use of Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Farmers Market Recipes: Cool Cucumber Soup

HildeIt's been a very hot summer in Boston (the second hottest July on record, actually), so there have been a lot of nights when you don't feel like cooking. This soup is just what we need right now.

Cool Cucumber Soup
Serves two.


  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint
  • 1/3 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 1 Teaspoon to 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • pinch cayenne pepper

Peel cucumbers. Blend all ingredients until it reaches a smooth consistency. Taste to see if you want more salt, vinegar, or cayenne pepper. Chill in refrigerator. Enjoy!

"Cucumber photo in public domain. Retrieved from Wikimedia Commons.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Farmers Market Recipes: Celebrating the simplicity of corn

GlendaI'm a simple person.

I like plain corn on the cob, and off the cob.

Each week when I go to the farmers market, I buy extra corn. When I get home, I shuck the corn husks into my compost bin.

I start a big pot boiling, toss in 6 to 8 ears of corn, and when it boils again, I remove the corn with my handy hand-made wooden tongs.

After cooling the ears a bit, I cut the kernels off, put the equivalent of 3 or so ears in a freezer baggie, chill, then freeze.

Come midwinter, corn combined with edamame beans or lima beans, with butter, salt and pepper becomes the center of a quick meal.

Or use it as a basis of corn chowder, or corn bread, or corn and black bean salad, or...

Good. Simple. Plain.

"corntastic" photo courtesy of flickr user Darwin Bell through use of Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Farmers Market Recipes: Asian Cucumber Salad

KariSummer in Boston is no joke. Especially this summer! Heat, humidity and exhaustion from concert planning...I rarely feel like cooking once I make it home. This is an easy and quick cucumber salad with an Asian twist that I found on eatingwell.com. It stores well and is a nice, refreshing snack to tide me over until my husband has made dinner!

Asian Cucumber Salad!


  • 2 medium cucumbers
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 t sugar
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 2 T toasted sesame seeds

Slice cucumbers in half lengthwise, scrape seeds out. Cut cucumbers into very thin slices. Lay out on a paper towel and squeeze any excess moisture.

Combine vinegar, sugar and salt and stir until dissolved. Add the cucumbers and sesame seeds; toss. Serve immediately.

"Beetlejuice Cukes" photo courtesy of flickr user Zeetz Jones through use of Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Farmers Market Recipes: Beet Stacks with Minted Goat Cheese & Fava Bean Bacon Vinaigrette

CorneliaThis recipe was inspired by a HOMEGROWNer, Rachel, and comes from my weekly series: "CSA Cookoff", where I create a new dish from the just-picked veggies in my farm share.

Beet Stacks

Beet Stacks with Minted Goat Cheese and Fava Bean Bacon Vinaigrette
(From HOMEGROWN.org)


  • 1 bunch beets
  • 1 lb. fava beans
  • 5 oz. softened goat chèvre
  • 1/4 lb bacon
  • 2 T. fresh peppermint, finely chopped
  • 2 T. Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 T. champagne vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

1. Boil beets until just tender, then let cool. Once cool, peel beets and cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds.

2. Combine chèvre and mint with a fork until creamy.

3. In the same water in which you boiled the beets, blanch fava beans - in their pods - for 5 minutes.

4. Transfer favas to an ice water bath to stop their cooking.

5. Shell the fava beans, then peel tough outer skin by slitting one end of the skin, then squeezing the tender bean out. Also retain the tender little lobe that connects the bean to the pod — it's tender and tasty, too!

6. Cook bacon until crisp and chop finely. Combine with oil and vinegar, adding salt and pepper to taste. Pour vinaigrette over fava beans and gently mix.

7. Spread a thick layer of the chevre-mint mixture on top of each beet slice, taking care to stack them in a way that they form the "original" beet shape again.

8. Serve with fava bean vinaigrette mixture and mint garnish.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

National Farmers Market Week: Farm Aid Celebrates With Recipes

MattI'd like to think of summertime as "National Farmers Market Season," but I guess that's being a little greedy. Instead, the USDA has announced that August 1-7 is National Farmers Market Week (see the very official proclamation at this PDF link). Last year, we celebrated the week with some of the Farm Aid staff's favorite recipes made from farmers market ingredients (to see them, scroll to the bottom of this page and work your way up) and this year we'll continue that tradition.

To start our recipes off, I'd like to highlight one of my favorite activities after a long day at the Farm Aid office as we prepare for the concert: relaxing with a tasty beverage (or two, in this case)! Yes, fresh herbs, fruits, and even vegetables enhance cocktails of all types.

One of the first things I realized when I started making drinks was the difference using fresh-squeezed juices makes to the end product—no neon-green "sour mix" or "cosmo mix" with a list of artificial ingredients three paragraphs long are allowed in my house. So that's a good start and then adding something like fresh cucumbers and fresh basil, like in these two recipes, takes things over the top. When I visit the farmers market, I'm always looking out for anything I can experiment with eating or drinking.

Irma La Douce
(Created by LUPEC Boston)

This is enough to make one drink and it features a light and delicious cucumber flavor perfect for summertime sipping.


  • 1 ½ oz gin (Hendrick's brand, with a subtle cucumber flavor is best, but a brand like Plymouth or others would also be delicious)
  • ½ oz Green Chartreuse
  • ½ oz fresh lemon juice
  • ½ oz fresh grapefruit juice
  • 2-3 slices of peeled cucumber
  • ¼ oz simple syrup (1 part sugar mixed with 1 part water – shake or stir to combine)

Put the cucumber and simple syrup in the bottom of a cocktail shaker and muddle with a muddler or back of a wooden spoon or other tool. Pour other ingredients in and top with ice. Shake the mixture 10-15 seconds and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a slice of cucumber (and a sprig of mint if you've got some lying around).

Basil Limeade Slushies
(Adapted from Food & Wine)

And now a non-alcoholic drink the whole family can enjoy! These are also good made with a little light rum or vodka if you are so inclined.

Makes 6 servings.


  • 4 cups ice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 ½ cups fresh lime juice
  • 1 ½ cups lightly packed basil leaves
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup soda water or sparkling water

Combine all ingredients (except soda water) in a blender and blend until it's as slushy as you want. Pour the limeade into chilled glasses and top with 2 tablespoons of soda water and garnish with a couple more basil sprigs.

Come back all this week for more recipes (and the rest are all food, I promise). If you've got a favorite farmers market recipe or ingredient, feel free to share in the comments!

"Chartreuse" photo courtesy of flickr user Jeremy Brooks through use of Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic license. "Basil" photo courtesy of Wikimedia author Fastily through use of Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.