Getting to Know Your Farmer

Summer has finally hit New York this month. But for people who love food, the hot and humid weather can have an upside: fresh tomatoes, succulent zucchinis and ripe peaches are just some of the options.

Seeing as my apartment is so tiny, I don't have much room for storage, including my fridge. Luckily there are plenty of green markets dotting the city where I can pick up locally grown produce at a whim. This also reminds me of chefs at school always saying this was their favorite way to shop - to cook with ingredients that are in season.

I stopped at a market near my office in Midtown Manhattan this week to pick up some tomatoes and peaches (both in season now). Usually, I just browse and pick through the selections. But this time I chatted with Amy, who works on a farm across the river in New Jersey.

We talked about everything from the different tastes of the tomatoes she had help grow and harvest to how busy these markets have become over the years as consumers become more aware about buying and eating local.

So when I got home to make my caprese salad, I think it took on more meaning. I shared my salad with a friend over lunch the next day and chatted about this farmer. I don't remember having that type of connection to my food very often, but I have to say it made the meal more meaningful. Corny? Probably. But there's a certain satisfaction I get out of knowing that I supported a local farmer versus a huge corporation. If you have the chance, get to know your farmers.

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            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
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            Baker College is the largest independent college in Michigan with the most focused approach to education and training available. Our mission is to prepare you for meaningful employment.

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            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
            • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
            • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
            • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
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            • Received the 2015 and 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
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            • Students get real-world experience through the required externship at the end of the program.
            • Curriculum includes laboratory sessions, academic preparation and hands-on experience.
            • Program objectives are to provide students with skills needed for cooking wholesome, attractive, food preparations and to assist graduates in obtaining positions in the food service industry.
            • Accredited by the American Culinary Federation (ACF).
            • Has campuses in Melbourne, Sarasota, and Tallahassee, Florida
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            • Gives students the opportunity to earn their associate’s degree in the culinary arts field in less than 15 months or bachelor’s degree in the food service management field in 2.5 years through their year-round schedule.
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            • Offers externship experiences to students for experience in the field.
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            • Culinary Arts program includes the 3-week Farm To Table® Experience, where students gain a direct, in-depth look at where food comes from.
            • Numerous scholarship opportunities and financial aid are available to students who qualify.
            • Accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET), and the Council on Occupational Education (COE).
            • 2 campuses located in Boulder, Colorado and Austin, Texas.
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