Maddie Earnest co-owns two grocery stores and three cafes in the St. Louis area that she operates under the name Local Harvest. For all five businesses, Earnest tries to source 50 percent or more of the inventory from local farmers and producers, which means she spends a lot of time with growers.
By CINDY HOEDEL
The Kansas City Star
Last year she decided to compile the information she had gathered about small farms into a book called “Missouri Harvest: A Guide to Growers and Producers in the Show-Me State” ($18 at Green Acres Market).
One of the first things she learned was that Missouri is second only to Texas in number of small farms, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Earnest’s book, which she co-wrote with Liz Fathman, is divided by region. Readers will recognize some of the Kansas City area entries — Bad Seed Urban Farm, for example, and Local Pig. But the guide also highlights lesser known nearby growers such as Prairie Birthday Farm in Kearney, Mo., which supplies heirloom and native fruits and vegetables to local restaurants.
Recipes from farmers for classic and heirloom Missouri vegetables complement the grower listings.