Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Bizarre Market + Richmond Food Co-op: Give the Gift!

Bizarre Market Holiday, Richmond's month-long local/handmade pop-up shop, is in its ninth year at Chop Suey Books in Carytown! Featuring all things sparkly, snuggly, modern, functional, delicious and supremely crafty, the market has become a favorite spot for holiday shoppers across the city. Find handcrafted toys, modern jewelry, artisan-made cutting boards, screen prints, ceramics and much more from 60 selected artists.

Making this year particularly special are the third annual TINY AUCTION, a fundraiser for the Richmond Young Writers scholarship fund AND Richmond Food Co-op gift memberships! The auction is comprised of one-off items made by artists in the community, a very special gift-getting opportunity for those who love rare finds. And for the food lovers and community builders in your life, there's the option to purchase a Richmond Food Co-op membership, complete with a rosemary-adorned burlap gift sack of Co-op goodies to stick under the tree. The gift of the Co-op is not just a local gift, it is an investment in making our local even better.

Bizarre Market Holiday
November 29th-December 24th
Chop Suey Books, 2913 W. Cary St. (across from the Byrd Theater)
Open Mon-Thurs 10-7, Fri-Sat 10-8, Sun 12-7

-Bird Cox, Co-op Supporter

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Cooperative Thanksgiving Donation, Part 2: Thank You!

No matter how you say it, grace can transform an ordinary meal into a celebration—of family, love, and gratitude. -Anne Lamott

The Lovely Lockhart Family
This Thanksgiving offered the Co-op community the opportunity to come together and form a few new traditions - a potluck celebration and social, and the start of the Cooperative Donation. Like all things Co-op these came together because of a group effort to take action around shared values. Gratitude is a core value for this community.

The three recipients of the Cooperative Donations came from across the city (Northside, East End & SouthWest) and feasted with their families after a hard year. A single mother and PTA Vice-President, working multiple jobs while getting her degree; a great-grandmother whose house tragically burned down last Christmas; a single mother who has struggled with housing security for years; the common thread between these families is that each nomination stressed the ways that the nominee took great responsibility for caring for their families despite hard circumstances. Being able to provide a cooperatively created meal for these families is a testament of what this community can do together. We even had a sponsorship for one of the families to become Co-op Member/Owners. This Co-op is your Co-op - so thank you.

A very special thank you to Lockhart Family Farm (turkeys!), Shalom Farms (potatoes, kale, salad greens, carrots), Origins Farm (acorn squash), Milton's Local Harvest (pork belly) WPA Bakery (pies) and Costello Personal Services (sweet potato casserole) for making these meals possible. 

A Lockhart turkey prepared by Tim Vidra Eats

Milton's Local Harvest Pork Belly

Origins Acorn Squash
WPA Pecan Pie

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Give the Gift of the Co-op

We are excited this holiday season to introduce our Give the Gift of the Co-op Campaign! Our Co-op Membership Gift comes with a tote bag; a welcome card; a bumper sticker; and a brochure, all beautifully wrapped in a burlap bag tied with red ribbon and a sprig of rosemary. You can purchase these gift packages at all of our upcoming Co-op events this holiday season, through the Co-op website, and at the Bizarre Market on the second floor of Chop Suey Bookstore in Carytown throughout the month of December. 

By giving the gift of the Co-op, you are not simply giving someone a membership. You are offering them access to a warm and growing community in Richmond that cares about our collective health and our environment. You are supporting local farmers, local businesses, and local activists who are striving to create a healthier and more equitable society. And you are broadening our member base to ensure that the Richmond Food Co-op becomes a vital part of a more inclusive and more responsible city. This is a gift that will continue to benefit many for years to come by offering your loved ones community, health, discounts on local products, and a voice in the democratic life of the Co-operative. 

As the holiday season in North America becomes increasingly defined by disposable gifts, ecologically unsound practices, and labor exploitation at home and abroad, let’s make sustainable choices that benefit the health of our families, our communities, and the planet this season and well beyond. The gift of the Co-op is a perfect way to begin!

-Julietta Singh, Co-op Board Member

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Give Thanks for Your Co-op Potluck

Coming from a family of entrepreneurs in upstate NY, I am a huge proponent of local and homegrown businesses.  Having lived in Richmond for the past 12 years, I wouldn’t say I had much experience with what a co-op was or what it stood for.  Coincidentally, I have a cousin who lives in Brooklyn who introduced me to the Park Slope Food Cooperative seven years ago.  While I understood the general idea of a co-op, I honestly didn’t give joining one much thought until April 2013, when a good friend of mine was pitching her business model for online clothing line at the Carpenter Center.   Serendipitously, Michele and Susan were also there giving their presentation for starting the Richmond Food Co-op.  It didn’t take much to convince me to jump on board.  I started out as a pioneering member, but quickly found an opportunity to use my experience as a Coordinator at Capital One to help grow and advance the Richmond Food Cooperative initiative.  I’ll be helping to plan our events and implement creative opportunities to expand our membership.  Our goal is to have a brick and mortar establishment that will provide local, organic and sustainable goods to those who may not have previously had access to healthy options. 

Given the time the season, we all start thinking about how we can give back to the community.  Partnering with Re-Establish Richmond, we are hosting a member-driven potluck.  This will be an opportunity to share the mission of the Co-op with friends and family.  This could also be an opportunity to share some of your favorite holiday recipes with your fellow members/owners the week prior to Thanksgiving.  I know myself, I plan on taking some of this culinary inspiration with me back home to NY to show off my newly-acquired cooking skills.

The Potluck will also serve as the launch of our Give the Gift of the Co-op Campaign - what better time of year to share your Co-op with your loved ones? Walk away with a gift of community and good food for that special someone in your life.

So let’s all take a couple hours on November 24th to meet, greet, eat and give thanks to this first (and very successful) year of the Richmond Food Cooperative.  I look forward to meeting each and every one of you on Sunday. 

-Patrick Basloe, Co-op Events Chair

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Cooperative Thanksgiving Donation

This Thanksgiving, the Richmond Food Co-op will be sponsoring a Cooperative Thanksgiving Donation. We are teaming up with Lockhart Family Farm, Shalom FarmsWPA BakeryCatering By Jill, Costello Personal Services, and Party Perfect to create a few cooperatively delicious meals.

Thanks to a generous donation from the Lockhart Family, some creative thinking, a cooperative community with shared values, and a little elbow grease, we are able to provide three families with a Thanksgiving heritage breed turkey and all the trimmings to go with it.

There are many initiatives throughout the state that aim to fight hunger, however, many families fall shy of standard qualifications. This nomination process aims to make that net a little wider. If you know a family who has found themselves in an unfamiliar circumstance, is experiencing unforeseen challenges, or is especially in need this holiday season, then sign them up

How can you get involved and help?

  • Nominate a family
  • help prepare and deliver the meals* 
  • sponsor a Co-op membership for the recipient*, or 
  • contribute a donation*

Nominations are due by Wednesday, November 20. Recipients will be notified by Friday, November 22, and meals will be delivered Thanksgiving morning.

Lets give back - the Co-op way!

-Brandon Walton, Co-op Member/Owner


WPA Bakery

Lockhart Family Farm

Shalom Farms

Party Perfect

Catering By Jill Inc.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

First Annual Boulevard Pumpkin Festival: A Cooperative Dining Experience

Greetings Coop Family!

I am pleased to be writing about a collaboration that has been in the works for months - The Boulevard Pumpkin Festival - which will be held this Saturday, October 26th from 12-6pm. This is an original vision between local start-up Experience RVA (myself and James Crenshaw) along with the Richmond Food Co-op’s Michele Lord and Susan Hill. After a long road, and a lot of hard work, we are extremely excited for an event that will feature delicious local food, a COOPERATIVE DINING AREA, craft beer, wine, live music, and a family friendly Kid’s Zone.

It has always been our vision to create a locally focused event to draw attention to the up and coming neighborhood of Scott’s Addition. As the Co-op grows we feel as though this was a unique opportunity to be integral participants in its transition from an underutilized industrial zone to a vibrant community. After all, this is our future new home!

At the Boulevard Pumpkin Festival this the Richmond Food Co-op will be running the Cooperative Dining areaWhat is the Cooperative Dining area, you ask? It is one of the best opportunities to expose our mission to nearly 10,000 festival-goers. We will have a full street on North Boulevard to get out en masse and spread the Co-op Gospel. This is a MEMBERSHIP DRIVE! We are hoping to decorate each table with a Co-op table top, get as much signage as possible, and utilize our burgeoning member/owners to be at the front lines talking about the Co-op, signing up new member/owners, and discussing the importance of the Co-op as an integral part of the Scott's Addition community.

Friends, this is a call to arms! We need you to fully take advantage of this opportunity by signing up with our Volunteer Coordinator Katherine Hill, katherinescotthill@gmail.com. I promise a great time with friends new and old, delicious Pumpkin food, and a membership drive to remember! 

Kindest Regards,

-Andrew LaBonte (Member/Owner)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Join Us: 1st Annual Richmond Food Co-op Member Meeting

We are so excited to be holding our first member/owner annual meeting tonight and hope to see you there!

When: Tonight — Monday October 7th, 2013 from 6:00-7:30
Where: Feedmore 1415 Rhoadmiller Street Richmond, Virginia 23220 Directions — HERE

We are looking forward to recapping just how far we have come since starting our membership drive back in February. We've had some exciting happy hours, potlucks, community forums and our first annual picnic. Of course, we have some business to take care of too and will be electing some new board members!

To recap, the following 3 members are up for election are:

Board nominees: Julietta, Tom and Kelsey
  • Tom Karnes, professor at VCU. Learn more about Tom here.
  • Kelsey Miller, local Tax Associate and Scott's Addition resident. Learn more about Kelsey here.
  • Julietta Singh, English professor at the University of Richmond. Learn more about Julietta here.
In other exciting news, we have just been awarded with and are eager to announce a $10,000 seed grant from the Co-op Initiative, a cooperative assistance nonprofit. What does this mean and how will it help your Co-op? Find out tonight!

We also have plenty of committee signup opportunities. Are you awesome at outreach, event planning, or have you just been itching to get involved in a community garden? These are some of the avenues where we can use your help (and awesomeness). This is a great chance for you to get involved with your Co-op!

Then there is the fellowship. Fellowship is one of the main drivers of a good Co-op. What is the definition of fellowship?

Fellowship: friendly association, especially with people who share one's interests.
"They valued fun and good fellowship as the cement of the community."

So come spend some time with us tonight and meet other member/owners and share in our joint interest of community, local healthy food, and our vision for a Co-op in Richmond, Virginia. It's long overdue, don't you agree?

-Tim Vidra, Board Vice-Chair

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Growing our Leadership

The Richmond Food Co-op grows every day.  Our recognition spreads, new members sign up, and current members become more involved.  Over the past year, this venture has expanded from a living room meeting of a dozen interested participants into a community of nearly 300 member/owners.  Our earned media record, relationships with national cooperative organizations, and popular chalkboard membership campaign all tout our success.  We were also just awarded a $10,000 seed grant from the Co-op Initiative, a cooperative assistance nonprofit.

Not bad, Richmond Food Co-op.

Now we are at the point to grow our leadership core.  This month, the board expands from five to seven members, and we will add a project manager position. 

I write to speak to the excitement and importance of the implementation of a paid project manager.  We have made incredible strides as a volunteer-run start-up.  The Co-op’s marketing and planning is a consistent part of many of our lives.  And now we find ourselves with a burgeoning business on our hands, requiring daily attention and maintenance.  Our attendance (thanks to a scholarship) at the Consumer Cooperative Management Association’s conference back in June taught us how tightly formal project management and successful start-up progression are linked.

Michele Lord’s transition from Board Chair to Project Manager is natural and necessary.  She has been at the helm of the Co-op, from idea to implementation, and is currently managing all member administration and communications.  Her new role will help advance the Co-op in several critical ways:

                Increase our membership base
                Strengthen the power of our member committees
                Identify new allies and sources of support in the community
                Stay connected with the national food co-op organizations

The Co-op is growing and growing up.  We celebrate this benchmark of our first hire as a sign of progress and commitment to opening this business as soon as possible.  We are on our way!

-Susan Hill, Board Chair

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Meet the Board Nominees! Part 3

Want to Cook Everything Perfectly?

Anyone can do it. I am not talking about sauces, flavor combinations and presentation here, but about cooking your food to the perfect degree of doneness every time. This can be easily achieved by anyone regardless of their cooking skill using a technique called Sous Vide. I have been a Professor at VCU teaching chemistry to pharmacy students for many years. Since I am a chemist, I have a natural interest in cooking because the changes that occur during cooking are in fact Chemistry. This interest has led me to the study of  culinary arts and I have been certified in culinary arts and food handling for about 2 and a half years.  As a teacher at the University of Richmond Culinary arts program, I have integrated Sous Vide cooking into my class on The Science of Cooking For Non Scientists and have found it to be the most interesting techniques I have worked with. 

The technique involves sealing the food to be cooked in a vacuum bag and poaching it in a water bath at a very precise temperature. The vacuum bag is used to protect the food from air which may oxidize and discolor some types of foods. The water bath temperature chosen is the temperature that provides perfect doneness for the food being cooked and this doneness is achieved throughout the entire portion of food, not only in its center. In conventional cooking, since the foods are heated from the outside, one must overheat the outside of the food in order to completely cook the inside. Not overheating the outside of the food is important especially for meats, poultry and fish because the overcooked outside will be tough, less moist  and less flavorful. In addition,  food overcooked on the outside at a high temperature (think outside grill) will contain mutagenic and carcinogenic byproducts of such cooking.

This picture picture shows the cross section of a steak cooked conventionally and having a large temperature gradient along with the steak below it with that has a  small temperature gradient representing a steak cooked Sous Vide.  

The picture on the right shows the finished product of what a steak cooked Sous Vide would actually look like.

For fruits and vegetables, imagine the perfect amount of crispness in each piece of carrot  or apple even if the size of the pieces were not uniform to start with. Since the temperature is being held at exactly the temperature of perfect doneness, it is virtually impossible to overcook your food using Sous Vide. Some foods may become even more moist and flavorful if cooked for several days in the water bath. 

So, How do you get started? The first thing you will need is a Sous Vide cooker. These are available commercially - they can be a little pricey, but they are coming down in price pretty rapidly due to increased demand. Another option is that a Sous Vide Cooker can be put together from common household items that you may already have. You can construct a Sous Vide cooker using an aquarium heater, a crock pot, a probe thermometer and an inexpensive electric on/off controller. The crock pot cycles on and off to maintain the temperature set from the controller and read by the probe thermometer. The aquarium circulator is for keeping the water  in the crock pot moving for convection. Various instructions on how to do this are available online. 

The only other thing you will need is a vacuum seal bag. Again, you can go the expensive way and use a "Food Saver" type vacuum sealer, which you may already possess as a way to keep frozen foods fresher/longer. The inexpensive way is to use Ziploc Vacuum Freezer bags that have an air tight nipple  and come with a plunger to manually suck air out of the bags once sealed.  I have found that these work fine and are a very inexpensive and a suitable alternative for both Sous Vide cooking and vacuum freezer storage. 

As a Co-op member/owner (and Board Nominee) I hope to advocate not only healthy foods, but also high quality delicious and interesting foods such as fresh/local foods cooked by the Sous Vide Technique. Sous Vide cooking could be integrated into the Co-op's prepared foods, and represent a unique offering to the food conscious members of the Co-op community. The Co-op opens up an opportunity for us to come together as a community and share ideas about how to push Richmond's food future forward, and I am glad to be a part of that conversation. 

-Tom Karnes, Co-op Member/Owner

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Meet the Board Nominees! Part 2

Why Co-op?

While I can’t speak for the nearly 300 member/owners who have already joined the Co-op, I can tell you that I see the Co-op as more than just an opportunity to cut down my walk to the grocery store. I see this as an opportunity to support my neighborhood and my city at large. I say Co-op because it’s the Richmond thing to do.

The way I see it, a Co-op is long overdue in Richmond. We’re a city chockfull of eco-friendly people who bike to friends’ houses to enjoy a nice Legend Lager and then recycle the bottle. We grow our own staples and then walk to the grocery store to fill in the gaps. We support the business owners we know, whether that means shopping at Plan 9 on Small Business Saturday (and every other Saturday of the year) or growing hops for Hardywood Brewery. We reuse and recycle by starting companies like Books, Bikes, and Beyond that keep us outfitted in Richmond-appropriate attire while supporting community literacy. We paint murals for change. We grow things together.

I could go on, but I think you get it and you've probably reached the real question: How have we not Co-oped already?

Okay, it’s also an opportunity to potentially cut down my grocery store walk by more than 2 miles. But that’s just a side benefit.

-Kelsey Miller, Co-op Member/Owner (and Scott's Addition resident)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Meet the Board Nominees! Part 1

Greetings Friends and fellow Co-op Member/Owners!

I am thrilled to be nominated for a position on the Board of the Richmond Food Co-op. There are many reasons for my keen investment in working toward the growth and prosperity of our co-op, all of which merge my intellectual and personal commitments. I grew up in Canada with a mother who was a political activist and who fought diligently against the unsustainable practices of the Manitoba hog industry. Through her work, I learned at a very early age that contemporary factory farming is at every turn unethical: Its treatment of animals is abhorrent; its environmental practices wholly unsustainable; and its stressful working conditions produce extraordinarily high rates of family abuse and suicide.  My father was an allergist who specialized in food allergies. From him I learned about the sensitivities that each of us face in relation to the sustenance of our own bodies, and the poisonous effects of mono-cultural production that affect us all today in the wake of globalization. My early childhood, then, was one seeped in food politics. 

My doctoral work in Comparative Literature built from this early interest in food to investigate how global writers use food in their literary works to illuminate myriad forms of oppression: State-sanctioned poverty, domestic abuse, animal welfare, and institutional forms of racism. I have published diverse articles on how literature employs food and eating to upset many of our most deeply held beliefs, including how Western rational thought has enabled our species to act in wholly self-serving ways at the expense of other species and the environment. At the University of Richmond, my course “Food for Thought” brings together literary, environmental, historical, anthropological, and philosophical discourses on food and eating to rethink the very basis our eating practices. If we agree that “you are what you eat,” then we also must consider that in eating we are always in a state of becoming something different. Eating, then, paves the way for new possibilities in the future and new forms of being human. 

For my family, which includes my partner Nathan Snaza and our 16-month old daughter Isadora Singh, having a thriving Co-op is vital to our investment in Gandhian thought and practice. Like Gandhi, we believe that a society that thrives on the subjugation of many for the betterment of some is a sick society. Food is the best way to gauge the health of any community: Only when all community members are well-fed can we begin to build abiding alliances between individuals and families regardless of race, class, sex, or religion. “Well-fed” of course does not mean “full.” It’s not enough to provide cheap fast-food meals for families; we must provide sustainable, healthy, and ecologically responsible food for everyone. My vision for our Co-op is one where we will come together as a diverse collective, learning from our differences but united in our mutual desire to nourish ourselves alongside of—rather than in spite of—others who may be less fortunate.

-Julietta Singh, Co-op Member/Owner and Board Nominee

Friday, August 30, 2013

Community Forums Return!

Back to school..back to work..back to life...back to your Co-op!

It's time to get back at it! With Labor Day fast approaching it may be time to say goodbye to summer, but it also time to say hello to the return of the Co-op Community Forums - a monthly opportunity for us to strengthen our shared vision and get one step closer to opening our doors. The Fall Community Forum series will be held on the third Monday of the month, September through December, and we will be relocating our meetings to FeedMore (1415 Rhoadmiller Road). The schedule each month will be an Information Session for prospective and new member/owners at 6pm, and a General Meeting for existing member/owners at 7pm. 

The information session will cover cooperative basics and provide an overview of this community grown venture. Anyone interested in learning more is welcome to join. We also encourage new member/owners to attend this orientation session once (and bring a friend!).

The general meeting for current Co-op member/owners is a monthly gathering for those who want to contribute to the process of starting this venture. Member/owners will have the opportunity to engage with committee representatives, contribute to projects, and receive monthly updates.

For all the details visit our website.

This is your Co-op. This is your community. Welcome back.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Feeding More

When I found out about the Co-op’s volunteer day at Shalom Farms earlier this summer, I jumped at the opportunity to tag along. As a FeedMore Chef I have had the pleasure to work with the beautiful produce Shalom donates to our Community Kitchen, where it is used for meals in the Kids CafĂ© and Meals on Wheels Programs. I wanted to be a part of what that days harvest was to yield; I wanted to better understand where the food I was cooking with was coming from; and I wanted to meet the individuals who make so much food so easily accessible to so many insecure families.

If you are visiting this website and reading this blog then you are one of the lucky ones. You understand the need for a drastic change in the way our nation’s communities and families are educated and nourished. You understand the value of quality foods and how they affect our lives. You are aware that “meal time” is one of the most important traditions in our culture and cultures around the world, as it brings families and neighbors together, further strengthening the fabric of our communities. If our meals are composed of foods that are unhealthy and tainted with harmful pesticides, chemicals, and ingredients that could never occur in nature, and produced by way of unsafe and unsustainable methods, then our neighborhoods are bound for figurative and literal mal nutrition.

We must repair our communities. We must educate and nourish our youth. We must provide our next generation with the knowledge needed to eat well and the courage necessary to take a stand against poor food practices. A great way to start is by coming together as a community to volunteer our time and energy. This Friday’s Co-op Volunteer Day in FeedMore’s Community Kitchen, where we feed 1400-3500 kids a day, means you are bound to make a tangible difference in a child’s life. I began as a volunteer at FeedMore, and believe in its mission and value to our city. This Co-op is a way to honor our values through action. Let’s get the ball rolling to create the momentum for change.

-Brandon Walton, Co-op Member/Owner

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Farm to Table Fun

On August 23rd, the Lockhart Family Farm will be hosting the 1st of its on the farm workshops, and this one is going to be extra special. As a farm with a social conscious, we aim to re-connect people with the things they eat through educating the public, preserving heritage breeds, and ensuring that people from all income brackets (and those left out) have access to good quality, local food. We are in our first year, but have already made a commitment to donate 10% of all our produce to local food banks and offer scholarships and work training programs for Refugees in the Fredericksburg and Richmond area.

At our farm workshop, we will be giving a tour around the farm introducing you to the different components of our permaculture inspired system, our heritage animals (some of which are endangered), and give you the opportunity to taste some of these elements. Following the tour, we will sit down with you to enjoy a meal cooked by a local chef with many of the ingredients encountered on the tour (and some from other local farms). The workshop and meal costs $65 to attend.

Being a social business ourselves, we find it important to support other socially conscious businesses. Not only are we members of the Richmond Food Co-op, but we are committing to donate $5 from every ticket to the Co-op to ensure it hits the ground running and is able to provide good food to the people of the Richmond metro area. If you are not a member of the Co-op, make sure to join before buying your ticket as Co-op members get an additional 7.5% off of every purchase (including workshops) from the Lockhart Family Farm through the Buy Local Program.

Click here to purchase tickets. Co-op members email info@richmondfoodcoop.com for the promo code.

-Josiah Lockhart, Co-op Member/Owner

Friday, August 2, 2013

Who Builds a Co-op?

Who builds a Co-op?  Its member/owners!

The Co-op is calling for volunteers as we continue our journey towards opening the store.  The work we have to do will happen in three phases:  growing our Co-op right now, building our brick-and-mortar space, and ultimately running the store.

Since January, we are an established cooperative business more than 250 members strong.  Our priority right now is growing the membership base and funding needed to open our doors.  Because we are all friends and neighbors, this process is fun, creative, and extremely rewarding.

We're looking for a wide range of skills from within the people who make up the Co-op.  That's you!  Please take our skills survey, which lists the specific things we need in all three phases.  You probably have something unique to offer that we haven't even thought of - so tell us that, too.
Now is the time to get involved and make your Co-op what you want it to be.

Click here to take the Member Skills Inventory today!

-Erin Ball,  Buy Local Chair

Monday, July 1, 2013

Raw Vegan Kohlrabi Fries

If you didn't get a chance to make it out to the Food Coop picnic last weekend you missed not only some wonderful fellowship and incredible music, but you also missed a couple of cooking demos by me. For those unfamiliar, my name is Tim Vidra — I live here in Richmond, am a local food writer, author the blog E.A.T. and am also very proud to be a part of the board of directors for the Richmond Food Co-op. Today, I'm excited to share one of those recipes here on the co-op blog for you to enjoy. I love cooking and teaching people about food and how to prepare it. 

So let's talk about kohlrabi! It's a lesser known vegetable I love to pull out and see the surprise when I turn it into something amazing, easy, and equally delicious! Today we're going to make raw kohlrabi fries, perfect for summer snacking.

Kohlrabi is really part cabbage and part turnip with long stems and leaves. There is a green variety and a purple variety and once peeled they both have a white fibrous flesh. The kohlrabi I picked up and used for the demo were purchased from Origins Farm in Hanover County! Let's see how easy this vegetable really is to prepare!

  • 2 kohlrabi cleaned and peeled (see above)
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 2-3T chili garlic sauce
  • 2-3T rice wine vinegar
  • 2-3T soy sauce
  • dashes of sesame oil to taste 

Once the kohlrabi is cleaned, cut into 1/4" chips and then slice each chip into fries.

Place fries in a bowl and sprinkle the salt on top, allowing to set for 30 minutes. 

Meanwhile, let's make the sauce by add all of your wet ingredients to the bowl:

Adjust according to your taste and spiciness liking:

Drain the kohlrabi and you will be amazed at how much water the salt pulls out. Rinse the kohlrabi thoroughly of any salt.

Mix in your sauce, toss with the kohlrabi and you can serve immediately.

These are delicious served as an appetizer or as a side dish. So if you have been ducking and hiding from this vegetable in the past, or just never noticed them, take a moment to give them a try — I am sure you will be sold and a little sad when these are no longer in season and you have to wait until next year!

This vegetable can also be made into a delicious soup. Here is the recipe for my Kohlrabi Soup that I love making in the winter.

At the co-op we want to build a food community and also help educate those who may not be familiar with certain foods and cooking methods!