Decoder Rings & Egg Cartons

Do you feel like you need a decoder ring to understand all of the labels on egg cartons?  

unnamed-5Let us help you out!

Pasture-Raised: Chickens happily running around on actual grass, or in a movable enclosure to keep them safe from coyotes, raccoons, and hawks.  (Hey, we aren't the only ones who think chicken tastes good.) In this system, they are eating bugs and grass, and can be given chicken feed as well. These happy chickens make some amazing eggs!
Cage-Free: Hmm, this sounds good, but what does it really mean? Well, in large commercial egg houses, hens were kept in dark cages with about as much space to hang out as a piece of copier paper.  Some chicken houses have moved to cage free, which means just that, no cages.  Usually, they are raised indoors in giant barns with thousands of other chickens.  Better, but not as great as pastured!
Organic: Eggs with this label must come from free-range, fed organic feed (no synthetic pesticides), and receive no hormones or antibiotics. They may or may not, have access to outdoors.  It's just all about the food they eat.
Vegetarian-Fed Diet: Did you now that chickens are not really vegetarians?  It 's true!  So to get the protein they need, these ladies are fed soybean meal. So why the label? Some industrial egg houses have fed their hens ground chicken feathers an other, ahem, unsavory byproducts of their industry. Vegetarian fed means that they are only getting grains & most likely eat corn fortified with amino acids.
All Natural/Natural: There's really nothing natural about all-natural.  It's really just a marketing ploy to convince you that the food is somehow "better" because it claims to be natural.
No Hormones: It is illegal to give hormones to poultry; it is the equivalent of putting a label boasting "no toxic waste" on a cereal box
No Antibiotics: Antibiotics are rarely used in egg industry, so it's like another free pass.
Free Range-Cage Free and Access to Outdoors: There is no government oversight to this term, so companies can have more or less interpret it as they see fit.
If you see none of these claims on your carton, you should probably assume the worst.
 
One last note: if your grandma told you that that brown eggs are healthier than white eggs, it is only because back in the day, brown eggs came from real farms.  The color of the egg depends on the breed of chicken.  When these big egg houses started up, they only used chickens that produced white eggs, because consumers thought they were cleaner and healthier.
Get your eggs from your Food Circle Farmer!

Are you ready to hit the Farmer’s Markets?

Kansas City is fortunate to have access to a number of Farmers Markets that only accept vegetable and fruit producers who agree to grow using organic methods. These are our Featured Organic Farmers Markets. Organic growers avoid the use of conventional fertilizers, insecticides, herbicides, and other biocides, and they strive to preserve the health of the living soil. In addition, the farmers at these markets who produce meat, eggs, and dairy products agree to avoid the use of synthetic growth promotants such as hormones and sub-therapeutic antibiotics. For additional information about the markets, please contact the market directly with your questions.


Brookside Farmer's Market

63rd & Wornall, KCMO – Located in the parking lot of Border Star Montessori School

[SNAP EBT + Double-$-Value Beans & Greens]

Kansas City’s market to visit for certified organic food
Saturday Mornings – beginning April 20. 8 am to 1 pm

The Brookside Farmers’ Market has satisfied Kansas City’s appetite for local and organic for over 10 years! Each saturday you will find just-picked, farm-fresh vegetables and herbs, bright flowers, delicious meat from grass-fed animals, eggs from free-range chickens, handmade products for home and body, freshly prepared breads and baked goods including vegan and gluten-free items, the famous Brookside Breakfast Burritos and a place to sit and visit. People from all over the metro area come to Brookside to enjoy the relaxed neighborhood flavor of the market and to shop from multiple growers/producers who are USDA Certified Organic. All our farmers use organic, sustainable and cruelty-free practices. A majority of our vegetable vendors grow on urban farms located in the KC metro area. No vendor travels more than 100 miles to come to market. Plus, no food or other items are sold that are not grown or produced by the persons you will meet in each vendor tent. Know your Farmer – Know your Food!

Visit http://www.brooksidefarmersmarket.com for more details.

Festival Dates:
May – Gardeners’ Festival
June – Kale Festival
July – Heirloom Tomato Festival
August – Children’s Festival
September – Grill Fest
October – Harvest Festival


Ivanhoe Farmer's Market

3700 Woodland, Kansas City, MO 64109 -parking lot of the beautiful Nutter Ivanhoe Neighborhood Center

[SNAP EBT + Double-$-Value Beans & Greens]

Every Friday from 5-7 p.m. beginning the third week of June and running through the last week of September

The Ivanhoe Farmers' Market is an open-air seasonal market operating in one of the Kansas City's historic, food desert urban core neighborhoods.  Having celebrated our first season in 2012 as an extension of the award-winning "Grown in Ivanhoe Project", the market has made available hundreds of pounds of fresh, local, affordable, neighborhood-grown produce to the Kansas City community.

Our Market mission is to provide the Ivanhoe and surrounding neighborhoods with seasonal access to local, organic food;  To build a thriving community gathering space by providing safe and beautiful market spaces, local entertainment, and artisan crafts; To grow the Ivanhoe community by building a thriving network of market customers, market vendors and neighborhood growers.  Our vision is an Ivanhoe community with local food on every table.

While parents shop, children can play at the "All Kids Can Play" Playground just feet away from the market vendors.  Local entertainment provides free music while shoppers are treated to free lemonade.  The Ivanhoe Farmers Market is a proud participant in the Beans & Greens Program and EBT/SNAP patrons are treated with dignity and respect.


 KC Organics and Natural Market at Minor Park

“Uniquely nestled in a beautiful park, On the grass and Under the trees!” – Just East of Holmes on Red Bridge Road (at about E. 110th St),Kansas City, MO (one mile south of I-435 at Holmes Road)

http://www.kcorganics.com

Saturdays, 8 am—12:30 pm, May 4th – October 12th

Come visit us in the park! Our family farmers offer organic produce that is fresh-picked and locally grown, natural specialty, free-range and heritage breed meats, honey, mushrooms, edible flowers, herbs, grains, artisan breads, cereals and pies, fresh eggs, freshly-brewed “FT” coffee & more. We continue to pioneer ECo-ProduCts, with the highest organic- content hand-made bar soaps & body care items, woodcrafts, candles, artisan natural- stone custom jewelry, and much more. We are a “Fair Trade” Market, with occasional gourmet Chefs demos featuring KC’s up and coming talent and Live and Local “Organica music.”

Please visit our website and join our email list via , for special events or call 816-444-FOOD(3663).

(In cooperation with the KCMO Parks and Recreation Department)

We host a Special INDOOR “Holiday Market” at Notre Dame de Sion High School (on December 13), at 106th & Wornall Road.


Niles Garden Market

13th and Highland Avenue (behind Clymer Center – 13th and Paseo)
Mondays starting in June from 4 to 6pm — June through late October

1911 E 23rd Street (east of Downtown, close to Garfield Ave) KCMO
Tuesdays from 4pm to 6pm — June through late October

Niles garden is an educational and tranquil garden site located on the niles Home for Children campus. Niles uses organic no-till practices on garden beds however makes no certification claim for that practice. The intent is for Niles to serve as a model for beginning gardeners to learn sustainable urban agricultural techniques. The produce market benefits Niles and other community youth who work the garden.

Some of our garden practices can be seen at http://organotill.org, and catch up with Marty in Facebook at Organotill:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/117114924967392/

Niles/Clymer Collaborative Produce Market
[SNAP EBT Accepted]

Niles/Clymer Collaborative Produce Market is located at Clymer Community Center 13th & Highland in KCMO. It opens the last week of May and runs weekly on Monday afternoons from 4 – 6 pm. This community market offers a variety of vegetables.


Raytown Farmer's Market

Thursday 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
May 2nd to October 31, 2015

6210 Raytown Road (West of the Raytown Mid-Continent Public Library) Raytown, MO 64133

Beginning our 2015 Market Season, Raytown Farmers’ Market will be a Natural Farmers’ Market that offers both  USDA certified organic producers and also non-certified organic producers.  The Raytown Farmers’ Market is committed to providing the best organic and locally grown produce to our patrons.

Raytown Farmers’ Market was created to give children, adults, and families in the Raytown/Kansas City area knowledge, education, engagement, and access to fresh locally grown organic produce, while supporting the local and urban growers and producers.


 Waldo Farmer’s Market @ ReStore

1 Block East of Wornall on W 79th St (303 W 79th Street)

Summer Season: Wednesdays 3pm-7:00pm, May 7 – Oct. 1.

http://www.waldofarmersmarketkc.com

http://www.facebook.com/waldofarmersmarket

The Waldo Farmers’ Market features USDA Certified Organic and non-certified sustainably grown vegetables, meats, eggs, cheese and honey, plus artisan breads, jams, transplants (spring), flowers, herbs and sweet treats produced as close as 4 miles from the market to no more than 100 miles away. Vegetable and meat vendors are required to be USDA Certified Organic or members of the Kansas City Food Circle and abide by the KCFC farmers’ pledges.

The market is conveniently located for after-work stops, shoppers on tight time schedules, bikers and walkers using the adjacent Trolley Track Trail and neighbors out for a stroll. The market is very kid-friendly and welcoming to pets on leashes. A substantial portion of vendor fees are donated to Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore, the market’s host.

Contact the Market Managers for more info: stonycrest (a) sbcglobal.net or (816) 304-2517.

Farm to Table Dinner at Harvest

Where else can you enjoy a delicious farm-to-table dinner in a beautiful castle? Only at Renee Kelly’s Harvest.

Join us to find out what Chef Renee Kelly (recently seen on Bravo’s hit TV series “Top Chef”) has in store for your tastebuds. We will deliver a basket of the freshest local & organic ingredients from our farmers to Chef Renee and she will create an amazing meal for us.

Chef Renee will also discuss why she sources locally and the farms she sources from.

Your ticket price includes dinner at Harvest, a glass of wine, or a beer. Vegetarians are welcome, simply email  with any dietary restrictions.

This event is limited to 20 people and our Members get first dibs. Don't miss your chance to enjoy this one-of-a-kind event with food from your favorite KCFC Member farmers!

“Surprise Basket” Farm to Table Dinner- Webster House

We are kicking off our Farm to Table dinner series in a HUGE way & celebrating Spring at The Webster House! Tuesday evening, May 3rd from 6-9pm. Come behind the scenes with Chef Brandon Winn as he opens the Webster House just for us.  Chef Brandon will use his culinary chops to create an on-the-spot menu of fresh and delicious local, organic, free range fare.

Your ticket price includes dinner in the Webster House kitchen, cocktails, wine & "mocktails". Vegetarians are welcome, simply email with any dietry restrictions.

This event is limited to 30 people and our Eater Members get first dibs. Don't miss your chance to enjoy this one-of-a-kind event with food from your favorite KCFC Member farmers!

Get Tickets

Not a member yet?  Join in on the fun!

How to Cook with Lard

Have you heard about the benefits of cooking with lard? They are many, both of flavor and of health! And when you're using lard from local, humanely raised animals, you are getting the healthiest and most delicious natural fats available.

Join Schenker Farms and learn how to easily create your own lard at home for pennies on the dollar and sample some delicious home cooking and take a jar home with you! You will also find out your best local sources!

WHEN
Sunday, April 17, 2016 from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM (CDT)
WHERE
Howard's Grocery, Cafe and Catering - 1708 Oak Street, Kansas City, MO 64108 - View Map

Tickets Required

Members get discounts to all our classes and events.  Join here.

Join us at the Expos!

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Join us April 2nd at JCCC and April 9th at Penn Valley Community College for the 18th Annual Eat Local + Organic Expo! Local farmers, makers and foodies converge to show you the best the area has to offer.

Do you know your farmer?

Join us at our 18th annual Eat Local & Organic Expos for a chance to meet and buy directly from some of the best local, organic, and free-range farmers in the area. Snatch up early flower and garden seedlings, fresh greens, herbs, free-range meat and eggs and get our free Directory of local organic and free range producers. Getting a subscription to a farm (a CSA) gets you top pick of the best food in town.

For more info, visit http://eatlocalexpokc.com

New Workshop "How to Eat Local and Organic" 

Starting at 10:00 and held every hour on the hour, these 15 minute workshops will empower you with all of our best tips for making the most of the bounty available to us in the midwest!

Wilma's Good Food & the Fungal Fusion Food Truck will be at JCCC.  Plantain District will be at Penn Valley.

It’s National CSA Day!

How I found my way to my CSA

Emily Akins, Coordinator of the Kansas City Food Circle, reflects on finding her CSA & shares some things that she learned through the process. 

Last year was my 10th season with my Community Supported Agriculture program (CSA) with Fair Share Farm in Kearney, MO. I've been reminiscing lately - especially now that my weekly farm fresh veggies are a well-entrenched way of life for me. How did I first get started with my CSA?

It was 10 years ago when I signed up as a Fair Share member, at which time Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma, and Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle had not even been published yet, much less had I read them. I hadn't heard of the 100-mile diet; I hadn't learned that most food in the industrial food chain comes from 1,500 miles away. Locavore didn't become the New Oxford American Dictionary's word of the year until 2007. "Food, Inc." didn't come out until 2008.

CSA goods

CSA goods

In 2005, my friend and co-worker, Heather, had invited some farmers to the EcoTeam at work, a resource group focused on sustainability. These farmers - Tom Ruggieri and Rebecca Graff of Fair Share Farm - had a lot of interesting and thought-provoking things to say, the specifics of which I can't quite remember now. What I do remember is that the idea of getting food directly from a farm nearby sounded quaint, wholesome, and delicious. And maybe it was a little old fashioned sounding too (and I am just enough of a romantic to feel nostalgia for a time I have never known).

Heather and I were both interested in the CSA and perhaps a little daunted by the notion of subscribing. So we decided to go in together and to share a "full share" - that is, a subscription to a larger portion of fresh vegetables to be picked up each week from May to October. Over the course of that first year, we split the share half and half, which made it easier for us to get into the swing of things. When it came time to sign up for the next year, we were both hooked on the idea of CSA. We each signed up separately for our own smaller "partial share" now that we were both confident about making the commitment.

3183616727_c4a510e6a6_bI have learned a lot and enjoyed food so much in the years since that first season. And I inadvertently became much healthier; I hadn't set out to eat more whole foods, but joining the CSA encouraged me to do so.

It is a big shift in the way you eat, especially if you (like all of us in the modern industrial food era) are accustomed to eating food that comes in a box or a can and that will sit happily on your shelf until you are ready to eat it and that will give you exact instructions on the side of the packaging for how to prepare it.

With each share of my CSA, it is our farmers providing instructions, not a label. This is the beauty of the CSA model; I know the people who grow my food. They have taught me how to store, prepare, and even preserve all the interesting and delicious produce that comes to me fresh from their farm each Wednesday. I can even visit the farm and see with my own eyes where my food comes from. Best of all they have provided me with confidence; I know the farm and the farmers where my food is grown. I know that their sustainable farming practices both enrich the earth and make for delicious, fresh produce that I get to eat every week.

The CSA model is also great for the farmers. Since I pay for the subscription before the season is half way over, the farmers get the capital they need early on so that they have enough to grow all the food for the CSA. They also have the assurance that the food they grow will be eaten by their committed members.Being a member means that I share with my farmers in the ups and downs of sustainable farming in the midwest, which means that sometimes crops struggle but other times they flourish and I get to reap the rewards.

Over the course of my membership, I have revisited favorite vegetables and old beloved recipes (like okra, which I love, or the Strawberry Dumplings of my childhood), and I have explored and come to love new foods, as well (the spaceship-like kohlrabi which is delicious and versatile or kale, the "valedictorian of vegetables"). I have also changed my mind along the way. I used to say I didn't like tomatoes; but after joining the CSA and eating the freshest and most interesting tomatoes I'd ever seen, I realized - I just didn't like bland, plastic-y, flavorless tomatoes at the grocery store. It turns out I love a good heirloom tomato!DSCN1057

Now that I have been eating with the seasons for so many seasons I can barely remember what it was like before my weekly CSA veggies. Lettuce heads so colorful, curly, and flavorful; an abundance of the freshest of healthy foods like spinach and sweet potatoes; tomatoes that were still on the vine only hours before they came to me; pungent herbs and fresh berries - I truly can't imagine my culinary life any other way than this.

 

WANT TO JOIN A CSA?

The KC Food Circle has a variety of farms that offer CSAs. Visit our website to browse our CSA farms and contact the farmers directly if you have questions. Take a moment to find the CSA that's just right for you.

Look for a CSA that has a drop off or delivery point that is close to where you live or work. 

Most offer different share sizes and prices. Some CSAs offer fruit and vegetables, some offer meat and eggs as well. Others are meat only or mushrooms only.  Email us if you need any assistance.

Tea Cupping with Hugo Tea

Join Hugo Tea and The Kansas City Food Circle for an afternoon of tea!

Zach, from Hugo Tea will guide us through the basics and demo international cupping procedures. We will also sample all 8 of Hugo's teas and cup the tea ourselves.

WHEN
WHERE
Hugo Tea - 1007 Swift Street North Kansas City, MO 64116 -

Get tickets: goo.gl/zcyoSh

Hey Carnivores! Time to stock up!

Did you know that "eating seasonally" refers to pasture raised meat as well as vegetables?  It's true!  Fall and early winter means a bounty of meaty goodness for you.  Right now our farmers'  freezers are full of roasts, burgers, and chops just waiting to go home and jump in your crockpot.  All of our farmers avoid growth hormones and antibiotics, and raise their animals outdoors the way nature intended.   You can buy the whole animal, half, or even in the individual cuts, depending on the farmer. Visit these links below to find a farmer near you.  Most farmers will happily arrange a meet up point if you can't make it to their farm.

Beef

Pork

Lamb

Chicken and Turkey