Richard McCarthy

Former Member — Community Advisory Board

Richard McCarthy embodies the phrase, “think globally; act locally.” After growing up in New Orleans and earning his master’s degree at the London School of Economics, he co-founded the Crescent City Farmers Market in 1995.

As executive director, he led the organization to grow from a weekly farmers market into marketumbrella.org, an internationally recognized mentor for markets, community-building and sustainable economic development with an annual operating budget of $750,000 and a staff of seven.

Grilling Fruit

Jul 7, 2012

If your holiday barbecue embers are still glowing with heat, consider joining the throng of chefs who have discovered the joys of grilling fruit.

A decade ago, it was exciting to simply taste savory salads that feature watermelon, peaches and figs. Today, that seems pedestrian. I marvel at how chefs are finding ways to grill summer fruit and how to pair them. Among the surprises is grilled watermelon.

This time of year, all eyes are on watermelons, and for good reason: local farmers grow stars and stripe melons just in time for the July 4th weekend.

Each year, food system solutionaries attempt to eat within 200 miles of New Orleans as part of the Eat Local Challenge. This is a marvelously interactive addition to our local food revolution.

However, the Challenge triggers deeper questions about local self-reliance. While you may find Louisiana rice on sale, why is it you don’t find local rice vinegar? Rice wine or rice syrup? The same could be said of pecans and sugar. This raises questions about economic development priorities at the state level.

With farmers market tables piled high, watch the produce fly. These are peak season weeks crying out for fun in the kitchen. But, if the fresh aroma of peaches, blueberries and basil is not enough to inspire you to cook, consider next Saturday’s annual cookbook swap.

Eula Mae Doré

May 26, 2012

At the Saturday morning market in the New Orleans Warehouse District, festivities centered around the launch of the 2012 wooden token. At market, this is how shoppers convert plastic credit and debit currencies into market money. Last year, the market converted almost $400,000 in wooden coins.

I noticed this morning at market a most welcome site: squash blossoms for sale.

I don’t know whether you grow vegetables. I do. Well, let me correct myself: I try to. Mostly, I seem to raise snails. Yes, I too have tried to grow squash. Unfortunately, the squash borers appear to be in cahoots with my snails. They eat them before I can.

 

I spoke with several mothers today at this morning’s markets. In each case, the women are  farmwives managing, or having just managed, to look after ailing husbands.

Mayhaw

Apr 28, 2012
CCFM

Are you familiar with a traditional food that’s just come into season: Mayhaw. It is so named for May Day, its peak season. According to mayhaw mythology, this wild, apple-like cousin of the hawthorn tree thrives in swampy coastal Louisiana and Texas.

CCFM

Tomorrow is Earth Day. While I risk sounding cliché, every day should be Earth Day. Instead, we treat the planet like trash. So, what is to be done?

For those of you who are discovering the joys of growing and cooking with fresh ingredients, might composting serve as one small step towards ecological responsibility? I know that sticking out of my market bags are voluminous carrot tops and leek greens. And that’s only that which I couldn’t fit inside the bag. Sometimes, I make stock with this excess fiber. Other times, I cut and disregard.

Wild Foods

Apr 14, 2012
CCFM

With spring comes wild foods that inhabit our region. Last week, I met a group of visiting culinary students from France at a market.

Mid-conversation, the group’s leader took several steps away to harvest a lone mushroom on an adjacent patch of grass. He was elated to discover this fungus, like a familiar friend. “This wild mushroom is popular in France,” he said. To prove his point, he took a bite. I chose not to remind him that dogs favor that spot for cocking their legs.

Pages