Smidgen S2, Ep5: Know Your Farmer

“Local food” is a term we hear more and more. It feels good to say, it seems to capture the spirit of an ideal we would like to uphold. Looking a bit closer, the issue of local food gains some depth and complexity. On this episode of Smidgen, host Anne Milneck starts off her local food journey by speaking with John Cotton Dean, Director of the Rural Prosperity Initiative for the Central Louisiana Economic Development Alliance (CLEDA.) John breaks down food deserts, identifies who are the stakeholders in local food production, and explains how each of us can have a major impact on local food in our own communities (hint: only $5 per week!) Anne is currently working to be a Louisiana Food Fellow through CLEDA.

Next, we talk to a real-life urban farmer—Allison Guidroz of Fullness Farm. Allison and her husband farm in Baton Rouge, growing fresh produce for local restaurants, farmers markets, and for their CSA subscription program. Allison shares the reality of local food and some of the joy involved in working with the seasons, producing fresh veggies year-round. We are confident you will come away from these interviews informed, but also inspired about what is being produced in your own communities (and maybe even your own garden!)

Taking a tip from Allison, we head to the Red Stick Spice Test Kitchen to make Eggplant Burgers. Wowza! If you are going meatless or want a dish that uses a bumper crop of eggplant, this dish is sure to please (it even converts cooking assistant Cameron into an eggplant eater!) Made with our savory Farmstand Veggie Blend, these burgers are quick to prepare and delicious to eat. (We also have a version of the recipe to make meatless eggplant meatballs.)

Mentioned on the show:

  • John referred us to The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future to learn more about sustainable food systems
  • Allison and her husband were inspired by Eliot Coleman and his farm in Maine
  • Join us for a Red Stick Spice Company Farm, Food, & Cooking Tour! A day-long tour filled with farming and food, and ends with a fabulous cooking session. One of the many stops is a fun and informative tour of Fullness Farm. Connect with local food in a real way on this tour.
  • Lemme at ‘em! Eggplant Burgers are sure to become a go-to dish for you. Cameron whipped up Slow Roasted Cherry Tomatoes to serve as a condiment for the burgers (also a perfect solution to the moment when your home garden produces more cherry tomatoes than you know what to do with.)
  • Our Farmstand Veggie Blend is great on the eggplant, but it also can perk up veggie dishes that have become a bit same ol’ same ol’
  • Use our Premium 18 Year Aged Balsamic Vinegar to make the Slow Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
  • We offer an array of beautiful Avocado Oils that are perfect for roasting a variety of vegetable dishes
  • Listen to the episode for a Red Stick Spice Company discount code, special for you, our Smidgen listener.

Did this change your thinking on local food? Tell us about it on FacebookInstagram, or Twitter.

Hear all Smidgen episodes on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, Pandora,or your browser, or your favorite podcast app.  Smidgen is the podcast of Red Stick Spice Co.


Anne & Cameron Cook Eggplant Parm Burgers 


Anne & Allison Talk all things Local Farming 


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