Homemade soup with Chef Richard Ruben at Ag Center

Published 10:38 pm Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Mill Spring Agricultural Center began its fourth year of Indoor Farmers’ Markets in
December of last year but they continue to get bigger and better this January as the Ag Center
hosts Chef Richard Ruben, author of the Farmer’s Market Cookbook, to host demonstrations of
making the finest of soups at home from local food.
Chef Ruben has lived across the country, from New York City to Los Angeles, but has chosen to
make his home here in Polk County. Many chefs will try to take you to a level beyond what
many home cooks can or will prepare, but Chef Ruben explains the simple recipes and how to
utilize each part of the ingredients.
Chef Ruben will not only be preparing simple but delicious soups, but he will be on hand to
discuss any questions – from mignon to meatloaf — with visitors to the market.
Local food not only creates a solid local economy but also has the taste of travelling less than
100 miles versus the thousands of miles that prepackaged products taste like.
The Indoor Market at the Mill Spring Ag Center is this Saturday, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. and features
local food and crafts from producers all over Polk County. Dawn Jordan, the County’s
agriculture economic development director, said, “Crafting and creating the types of products
you see at our local markets is something that is akin to a small miracle. The talent that resides in
Polk County is astounding and it comes together at our Farmers Markets. From crafts to
delectable treats, a resilient local economy makes for a strong community able to withstand
outside economic problems and internal natural disasters.”
Supporting your local economy does make sense. In a recent report from the United Nations,
small, local, and sustainable farms can be the backbone of an agricultural community. So, harken
back to the times before 24-hour supermarkets and remind yourself of the simple pleasure of
knowing the neighbor who grows your food at the local farmers’ markets in Polk County.
In addition to the market at the Mill Spring Ag Center, a farmers’ market continues year round in
Columbus. Located at the Columbus United Methodist Church basement, customers can
purchase from local producers each Saturday from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. For more information or to be
a vendor at the indoor market, please contact the Ag Center at 828-436-0029.
-Submitted by Patrick McLendon
PHOTO: Mushroom barley soup

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