Sunday, May 3, 2015

Identifying Flavor

Foraged & Sown

Monotony is plaguing our grocery store shelves in the form of shiny Navel orange pyramids, uniform rows of Russet potatoes, and plastic bags filled with waxy Golden Delicious apples. The sea of homogenous fruits and vegetables perfectly arranged and displayed sans bruises or imperfections may be skewing the perception of our taste buds, but alas, Kate Hodges of Foraged & Sown has come to our rescue by offering delicious and nutritious foods that are sure to satisfy our palate’s curiosity.

Kate’s mission is inject a dose of variety into our diet and help us step outside our comfort zone to discover new flavor profiles through her foraged and sown foods. Before she began cultivating for our benefit, last June Kate purchased her North Linden home and was eager to get her hands in the dirt to begin intensive home growing. It wasn’t until she got involved with the Columbus Agrarian Society and met other likeminded, and coincidentally Northside urban farmers, did she realize that she could transform her love of growing food into a career. Kate was inspired by the growers she encountered, and after meeting the author of Restoration Agriculture (a book explaining the benefits of creating agricultural systems that mimic nature) she knew she wanted to offer a way to spread these ideas to others.

In order to apply the Restorations Agriculture concept to an urban setting, Kate and fellow homesteader Rachel Tayse Baillieul founded a project called The Little Farms. Together they assembled what they dubbed the Urban Bundle; a kit containing chestnut trees, hazelnuts, raspberry bushes, gooseberries, and currants. While amassing orders, it was brought to Kate’s attention that a farm previously offering herbs at the Clintonville Farmer’s Market was not planning to participate in the upcoming market season. With the success of The Little Farms Project still fresh in her mind, Kate quickly decided to leverage this void into an opportunity. She started Foraged & Sown as a way to offer a perfect harmony of foods, “some you know well and some you’ve yet to experience”, sourced from the wild (foraged) and cultivated (sown).

Kate aims to make personal connections with her customers by sharing not only the tastes of, but also her passion for the foods she totes to market each week. Foraged & Sown offers a variety of herb seedlings selected for flavor and hardiness for our growing zone, as well as foraged items, and soon to be available for purchase fresh cut herbs and berries. As Kate identifies what her foraging properties have to offer in abundance, be on the lookout for garlic mustard, edible flowers, and lambsquarters. Next year she hopes to have gooseberries, summer raspberries, black raspberries, and blackberries currants. Although she admits that getting you to purchase an unfamiliar foraged food can be difficult, she is up for the challenge. Bitter, sweet, delicate, and bold, trust that Foraged & Sown is pushing the envelope of flavor and urges you to break from your conventions and sample what these underexplored foods have to offer.


The Foraged & Sown ramps (pictured left) traveled 25 miles to Columbus. In previous posts, I compare food miles of the same ingredient found at our local grocery stores. Ramps, also known as wild leeks, are not found in our local markets so I am unable to do a comparison. Their flavor is rich of onion and garlic and they can be substituted for either - they are a perfect ingredient to add to eggs, soups, in pasta or pesto.


First Time Foragers
Breeding the Nutrition Out of Our Food

Ramp & Ricotta Ravioli

If you don’t have time to make homemade pasta sheets you can fill dried pasta tubes or shells with the ramp filling.

Click on the recipe cards to print your copy:


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