When Steph Davidson and Jennifer Swartout heard talk that the local food trend in Bloomington-Normal had maxed out, they decided to take action.
“That was actually one of our real motivations,” said Swartout. “We were aware of this and thought ‘uh-uh.’ We are not going to let this die.”
Swartout and Davidson are the contributors to the food blog Legit Local and behind the Legit Local Facebook page, both of which launched in May. The blog and Facebook page are designed to promote the Downtown Bloomington Farmers’ Market and Artists’ Alley and serve as a practical guide for customers. Swartout thinks there is a minority of people at the farmers’ market using it effectively. Davidson agrees.
“Part of the reason we started the blog was actually because trying to piece together meals out of what’s in season is sometimes hard when you’re not used to knowing what’s in season,” said Davidson. “It can be hard to figure out what to do with a ton of tomatoes, basil and turnips.”
Actually, there’s not much you can do with tomatoes, basil, and turnips together, according to Davidson. Swartout joked that you can’t really do anything with those ingredients other than “two different meals.”
Legit Local offers recipes, guides for “putting up” vegetables (freezing or preserving), and preparing meals or key parts of meals and freezing for later like soups and marinara sauces. For instance, the produce at the farmers’ market has peaked and will be strong through Thanksgiving, according to Swartout. The things purchased on a Saturday farmers’ market don’t have to be eaten in the next week.
“Roasting. I think we could probably do multiple posts just on roasting,” said Davidson. “I think you can throw practically any vegetable on a pan with a little olive oil and salt and pepper and roast it for 20 or 30 mintues and blend it and you have soup.” Roasted veggies can also be frozen for later use.