From International Women’s Month to the first day of Spring, March is a month of celebration, change, and new life. All of the seeds that were planted before the first frost (or before the Winter Solstice if your region doesn’t experience frosts) are beginning to bloom or are ready for harvest. It’s fun to see the soil come to life after a few months of rest. While we are celebrating the birth of new life from the soil, we are also celebrating all of the women who have worked, who work, and who will work to build a more inclusive society and sustainable food system, especially women farmers.
To honor International Women’s Month, two of the Happy Dirt crew members created three dishes using produce mainly from two women-owned and operated farms: Lady Moon Farms and Fox Farm & Forage.
About the farms
Lady moon farms
Anaïs Beddard’s father and mother, Tom and Chris Beddard, founded Lady Moon Farms in 1988 in Pennsylvania. Tom and Chris, being from the city, wanted to see the stars clearly at night, for their children to grow up with farm animals, and to grow their own food. Farm life stuck. And now, thirty five years later, their daughter Anaïs has taken over the farm operation.
Anaïs follows the seasons, splitting her time between Lady Moon Farms’ locations in Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Florida. She is a firm believer that in order to be truly organic, you must grow in the soil and under the sun. The soil is home to living, organic matter that plants depend on and that we depend on. Anaïs advocates for soil-grown organic produce and sits on the board of directors for the Real Organic Project. It’s women like Anaïs whose passion and determination move the needle closer to a more sustainable food system.
Fox farm & forage
When you meet Amy Fox, founder of Fox Farm & Forage, you leave with sore cheeks from all of the laughter. Amy is both honest and hilarious. She is also a powerhouse in the world of gourmet mushrooms. As a matter of fact, Amy was the first mushroom grower to figure out how to commercially grow maitake mushrooms, also know as hen of the woods. Mushroom producers from around the world call to ask Amy for her secret, but she continues to keep it a well-kept secret. We would, too, if we spent the amount of hours she has spent researching, experimenting, and growing.
Amy’s perseverance in a highly competitive industry like the gourmet mushroom industry, her confidence in the value of her knowledge and skills, and her genuine love and respect for all living things are all qualities that will impact change for generations to come.
When coming up with the recipes for International Women’s Month, Happy Dirt’s Hannah Taylor and Taylor Meadows wanted to use seasonal produce from women-owned and operated farms. The timing was perfect because Lady Moon Farms had just dropped off a haul of organic shishito peppers, organic cherry tomatoes, organic parsley, and organic ed and green leaf lettuces. Amy grows gourmet mushrooms year-round, so we always have those at the ready. One of our farmer owners had also just delivered organic Brussels sprouts that he had grown for the first time, and we still had organic Cara Cara oranges and organic Meyer lemons in the cooler. Hannah and Taylor had everything they needed to make a feast to feed the entire staff.
Acting as head chef and chief recipe officer, Hannah came up with the following mouthwatering recipes: Blistered Shishito and Mushroom Stir Fry, Parsley Pesto and Roasted Tomato Spaghetti, and Lettuce and Brussels Sprouts Salad with Cara Cara Oranges. Needless to say, there were zero leftovers.
shishito and mushroom stir fry
- 1/2 cup of your favorite rice (we love Carolina Gold Rice)
- 6 oz. mushrooms, sliced
- 2 tbsp. neutral oil or sesame oil
- 1 quart shishitos, halved with stems and seeds removed
- 1 bunch green onions, sliced thinly
- 2 oz. soy sauce
- 2 oz. dark soy sauce
- 2 oz. rice wine vinegar or mirin
- 2 oz. water
- 2 tsp. miso paste
- 1 tsp. honey or molasses
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Chili garlic sauce to taste
parsley pesto and cherry tomato spaghetti
- 2 pints organic grape or cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 lb. spaghetti
- Parmesan cheese, or vegan cheese alternative, finely shredded
- 1 bunch Italian parsley
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1/3 cup walnuts
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Lettuce and Brussels Sprout Salad with Cara Cara oranges
- 1 head lettuce, chopped
- 1/2 lb. Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup of your favorite salad crunchies (nuts, seeds, wonton strips, etc.)
- 2 Cara Cara oranges, peeled and chopped into 1-2 inch pieces
- Your favorite vinaigrette (or make your own!)
You can find all of the organic, seasonal produce used for the recipes. If you have never purchased organic produce or are hesitant to purchase because of cost, we always encourage people to just buy one organic produce item to start. If we take small steps often, we can make a huge impact in our food system like Anaïs and Amy.