Crop Stories is a quarterly cooking zine with a sharp focus on the labor involved in bringing a crop from seed to market. I often call it a food and farming zine, but that pays little service to the zine's bulging recipe section. So, a cooking zine.
It's all about one crop at a time, a crop with centuries-old ties to Georgia, a crop whose story is definitely local.
To kick it off, we picked blueberries.
Crop Stories is the creation of the farmers and organizers of the Athens (Ga.) Farmers Market. I was brought in for my journalistic skills, to help tell an agricultural and culinary narrative with pictures and words. I joined up with two great farmers, a few talented ag advocates and a bad ass designer. We also called on help of the likes of Hugh Acheson, Whitney Otawka and Matt McFerron of the Old Pal to put together a 64-page zine of facts, food porn, recipes and a funny, insightful story of an Oglethorpe County blueberry farmer. I'm pretty impressed with the final product.
Many of the recipes are vegan and gluten-free, if that's your thing. Here's sample of a few: Blueberry Dutch baby, chili lime blueberry salad, parfaits, blueberry compote pork chops and the Blue Marie, an awesome cocktail utilizing a vinegary syrup called a shrub.
There are more issues planned. But first we need to sell the first one. We've got Athens, Ga. covered, so if there are any readers out there, especially on the West Coast and in the Northeast, we are looking for hip farm and food-focused bookstores who can stock our Crop Stories. Please reach out.
I'll be in Atlanta at the Freedom Farmers Market on Aug. 9 if you want to come say hello. And buy a copy, naturally.
Here's a peek.