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Focusing on local products, sustainability, and popular farm-to-fork dining trends, Earth Eats: Real Food Green Living compiles the best recipes, tips, and tricks to plant, harvest, and prepare local food. Along with renowned chef Daniel Orr, Earth Eats radio host Annie Corrigan presents tips, grouped by season, on keeping your farm or garden in top form, finding the best in-season produce at your local farmers' market, and stocking your kitchen effectively. The book showcases what locally produced food will be available in each season and is amply stuffed with more than 200 delicious, original, and tested recipes, reflecting the dishes that can be made with these local foods. In addition to tips and recipes, Corrigan and Orr profile individuals who are on the front lines of the changing food ecosystem, detailing the challenges they and the local food movement face.

With more than 140 color photos, Earth Eats showcases local food at its finest and features everything the local grower and food enthusiast needs to know all year round, including how to cook up a healthy compost heap, nurture a failing bee colony, create an all-natural deer repellant, and ferment delicious vegetables.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780253026293
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Publication date: 03/20/2017
Pages: 296
Product dimensions: 7.40(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Annie Corrigan is an on-air personality and producer for WFIU Public Radio and the host of the Earth Eats radio show.

Daniel Orr is the owner of FARMbloomington Restaurant and author of several cookbooks, including FARMfood: Green Living with Chef Daniel Orr.

Read an Excerpt

Earth Eats

Real Food Green Living

By Annie Corrigan, Daniel Orr

Indiana University Press

Copyright © 2017 WFIU/RTVS
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-253-02629-3


Ready, Set ... Grow! Beginner's Guide to Gardening


Planting time is one of the best times in the garden, second only to harvest.

Sowing seeds is a wonderful step in the process because it's filled with the thrill of anticipation, a dash into uncharted territory, and the belief that all things are possible.

You are the master of your garden. You control what grows where and when. You are ultimately responsible for the success or failure of the plants in your garden. Mother Nature does this all the time, but now it's your turn to play a more proactive role.


First things first, you must determine a spot for this wonderful new adventure of yours. You'll need a sunny location for your garden. That is, unless you live in an especially sun-drenched part of the world. I've learned from experience that a little shade break during the afternoon in a hot, sunny climate can do your plants some good. Too much sun can quickly deplete your soil of moisture, burn your plant's leaves, and generally stress the entire system. Sure, you watered it for an hour this morning, but in places like Florida and Texas where the sun shines hot, by 3:00 pm your plants are acting as if they'd forgotten that they received their daily dose of water.

And speaking of watering your plants, be sure to select a spot close to your water source.


You'll want to determine whether your beds will be inground or aboveground. Raised garden beds can ease the pain in your back, but you'll have to build them. Inground gardens require more weeding, which can also be backbreaking work. Be sure to kill the grass before you begin. The roots will lose their grip after they've died.

Veggies like soft, yet dense soil, with good moisture retention and a rich organic lining. They also prefer a nice deep cushion of 8-12 inches, ensuring that their roots have plenty of space to spread out and spread deep.

Whatever you do, don't skimp on the mulch. Once you have sprouts, you'll need it to keep the weeds to a manageable level no matter which method of gardening you choose. Organic mulch serves a dual benefit. It prevents weeds, and it eventually becomes a source of nutrients for your plants as it breaks down into the soil.


Focus on what you like to eat, not what you think you can grow. While a variety of colorful vegetables may add to your garden's appearance, they'll ruin the effect when left withering on the vine because no one cared enough to harvest them. Imagine you're in the garden, short on time — What are you going to harvest? Your favorites, that's what. Choose your seeds with that in mind.

When planting your seeds in the ground, a good rule of thumb is to consider the size of your seed. Tiny seeds like carrots, lettuce, and broccoli are planted very shallow — about a quarter inch deep. If you plant them too deep, they might not break through all that dirt to reach the surface. Stepping up in size are eggplant, squash, pepper, and beet seeds. These require a bit more coverage, about one-half inch depth. Then there are seeds like beans and corn, which prefer to be buried in about one inch of soil.

What about potatoes? They love to be underground and prefer a depth of about two inches. The same goes for garlic. This depth helps them burrow in for the long cold winter.

Companion planting is the idea of strategically planting certain fruits and vegetables close to one another in order to optimize natural growing conditions.

For example, if you know dill attracts the hornworm, and you know hornworms can devour a tomato plant down to the bare stem, you'll know to not plant these two next to one another. How about rosemary and cabbage? Rosemary acts as a natural repellent for the cabbage moth, which just so happens to love to eat cabbage plants. Corn and beans are great friends, as corn provides the trellis for beans to climb. Garlic repels aphids, while tarragon seems to disgust most insects. Take a look at your selection of seeds and do the research. It will save you a basket full of heartache later on.


While some climates allow for an extended growing season, most plants still need certain growing conditions to thrive. Play it safe your first time. Read the seed packet labels and sow accordingly.

You can plant vegetables several times throughout the season. That's called stagger planting. Let's take tomatoes. Many tomatoes mature at between 55 and 80 days. If your first planting date is May 1 and your growing season effectively ends in October, then you might consider planting in the first week of May, the third week of May, early-to mid-June, and the beginning of July. By staggering your planting dates, you'll stagger your harvest, giving you an endless stream of tomatoes fresh from the vine. You'll also ensure that your last batch is mature prior to fall's first frosty nip.


Plants need nutrients to thrive and survive. Many nutrients like carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen can be obtained from the air and rainwater without your help. Other important nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and sulfur are harder to come by.

These elements are present in healthy soil but usually not in sufficient amounts to promote strong growth. That means the plants will rely on you to supply them.

Your powerhouse nutrients are N-P-K — nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium.

Nitrogen helps keep the leaves green. When they begin to fade or turn yellow, consider adding nitrogen. When you need nitrogen, composted manure (e.g., from chickens, rabbits, and cows) works well. Blood meal and fish emulsion, both considered organic fertilizers, are also great for a nitrogen boost. Plant cover crops for a "green manure." Phosphorous helps your plants develop strong roots and produce fruit. Minimal flower growth and fruit production, as well as a purplish tint to the leaves, can be signs of phosphorous deficiency. To add phosphorous, consider bone meal and rock phosphate.

Potassium promotes the overall health and well-being of your plants. It helps regulate their internal functions. Generally speaking, when your plants become susceptible to disease and seem a bit "thin-skinned," think potassium. Potassium can be found in sulfate of potash, wood ashes, and seaweed fertilizers. Infuse your garden with calcium, magnesium, and sulfur by adding limestone, eggshells, Epsom salts, and sulfur.

And don't forget the compost! Adding compost improves soil structure and provides organic material for your plants.


Hello, Spring Greens

Saag: Indian Style Mustard Greens


One of our mantras at Earth Eats is "Local ingredients with global flavor," and we're going there with a recipe for saag. This dish of pureed greens is usually served with paneer, a fresh cheese popular in the cuisine of South Asia.

Most American restaurants use spinach as the base, but we're using a Japanese mustard green called mizuna. Adding a bit of arugula and spinach will give the dish a nice balance, since mizuna can have a strong flavor. My general rule for cooking with aggressively flavored greens is to add a touch of sweet, a touch of heat, and a touch of fat.

This recipe calls for two pounds of greens, which may seem like a lot, but it will cook down to one quarter of that volume. Be sure you cook the greens completely to a velvety texture. This is not one of those dishes where you want crispy, crunchy greens! You can serve this finished dish in two ways: right out of the pan, complete with big pieces of greens, or blended to a smooth sauce.


* 2 pounds mustard greens, stemmed, or broccoli rabe, trimmed and chopped

* ½ pound cleaned spinach and arugula

* 2 tablespoons cornmeal

* 1 cup heavy cream

* 1 tablespoon toasted cumin

* 6 garlic cloves, chopped

* 4 jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped

* 12-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

* 2 red onions, finely chopped

* ¼ cup vegetable oil

* salt (to taste)


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the mustard greens and cook for 2 minutes. Add the spinach and cook for 30 seconds. Drain the greens.

In a medium-heat pan with oil, combine the garlic, jalapeños, toasted cumin seeds, and ginger. Add the onions and cook until lightly browned.

Add the greens and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle the cornmeal over the greens. Add the heavy cream and combine. Serve when greens have completely wilted.

Or add cooked greens mixture to a food processor. Add another handful of spinach and a dash of water. Blend until smooth. Serve over paneer.

Green Goddess Breakfast Juice


* 1 cup kale

* 1 cup baby spinach

* ½ cup parsley

* 1 carrot

* ½ cup pineapple

* small piece of ginger

* 1 cucumber

* ¼ cup citrus trio (start with equal parts lemon, lime, and orange juice, but feel free to adjust to your taste)


Start by juicing the dry green ingredients. Juice the ginger, carrot, and pineapple. Finish with the cucumber. Finally, add the citrus trio. Serve over ice and enjoy!

Stir-Fried Baby Bok Choy



* 1 pound baby bok choy

* 3 tablespoons sesame oil

* 4 cloves garlic, halved

* 3 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted

* ½-1 teaspoon red pepper

* sea salt, to taste


To toast the sesame seeds, place a dry frying pan over medium heat until hot (about 3 minutes). Add the seeds, stirring constantly. When they become golden, transfer to a bowl. Heat sesame oil over medium heat until hot. Then add garlic and red pepper, stirring often for about 3 minutes.

Arrange one layer of bok choy face down in the pan. When one side has browned, transfer to a covered dish while you repeat the process with the rest of your bok choy. Toss bok choy with sea salt and toasted seeds and serve immediately.

Sesame Roasted Kale


Before we get cooking on this kale creation, cleaning the greens is step one. I find that washing veggies in lukewarm water gets the dirt and grit out better than cold water. You can also add a splash of vinegar to the water if you find little bugs hanging on to your greens.

We are only using the leaves for this dish, but don't throw the stems into the compost heap. Cut them into small rounds and toss them into soups and pasta sauces.

We want to keep the natural color and crunchiness of the kale, so we're simply wilting it in the pan. Be careful not to overcook it!


* 1 bunch kale (cleaned with stems removed and sliced thinly)

* 2 cloves garlic, chopped

* 2 tablespoons olive oil

* 2 dashes sesame oil

* tamari (to taste)

* salt and pepper (to taste)

* toasted sesame seeds (garnish)


Heat olive oil in sauté pan. Add garlic, sauté for 10 seconds. Add kale.

Cook kale with cover for 3-5 minutes. Add tamari, salt, and pepper.

Turn off heat. Add dash of sesame oil. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve hot.

Massaged Kale Salad


* 2 cups kale

* 2 tablespoons olive oil

* ¼ cup mint

* pinch black pepper

* pinch kosher salt (only a pinch!)

* juice of half a lemon

* juice of half an orange

* sliver of lemon peel, very finely diced into zest


Slice kale into thin ribbons, or chiffonade. Roughcut mint into large pieces.

Combine kale, mint, seasonings, olive oil, and juices. Massage kale forcefully with your hands for several minutes. This tenderizes the greens. Serve with an orange wedge.

Curried Kale Chips

This recipe can be the beginning of your love affair with kale. It has the satisfying crunch of potato chips. The bitterness of the greens cooks out in the oven.

You won't use the stems in this recipe, but that doesn't mean you should throw them in the compost. You can chop them up and put them in a soup, braise them with lentils, use them as skewers, and even pickle them.


* 3-4 cups kale leaves

* 1 tablespoon olive oil

* pinch of kosher salt (only a pinch!)

* pinch of fresh ground black pepper

* healthy pinch of curry powder

* healthy pinch of garlic powder


Preheat oven to 250°F.

Remove the kale leaves by running your fingers along the heavy stems. Leave the kale in large pieces, as they will shrink in the oven.

Massage oil and seasonings into kale. Spread kale onto cookie sheet.

Cook for 25-30 minutes or until crispy.


Cooking Up a Healthy Compost Heap

"It's kind of like cooking," says Michael Simmons. "Some people use a very careful adherence to a recipe and others do it more by intuition." He teaches the Master Composter Class through the Bloomington, Indiana, Parks and Recreation Department.

He says the recipe for a building an active compost heap consists of four parts:

* The correct carbon and nitrogen ratio should be 25–30 parts carbon to 1 part nitrogen.

* The proper moisture content should be 60–65 percent, or that of a squeezed-out sponge.

* Airflow is important to a compost pile. It needs to be turned, or aerated in some other way.

* The pile should contain a source of microorganisms. That can be achieved by adding a few spades of garden soil or some finished compost.


The browns are the carbon sources (e.g., straw, sawdust, and dried leaves). The greens are the nitrogen sources (e.g., food scraps, coffee grounds, and human hair).

If the pile has too much carbon, nothing will decompose. If the pile has too much nitrogen, it will give off an ammonia smell. Perhaps the best way to judge what's in your compost is with your eyes. Building a layered pile will allow you to keep track of your ingredients.


Knowing what not to compost is just as important, says Simmons.

Don't compost dairy products, meat, and bones. Those kinds of things will attract pests.

Domestic pet waste should not go into the compost. Theoretically, the high temperatures over a given period of time would be enough to kill any pathogens, but you don't want to chance it.

Avoid a lot of citrus, especially with a vermicomposting bin. (That's a compost bin full of worms!)

Avoid large quantities of garlic, because garlic is a natural antibiotic. It would kill the microorganisms you need working for you in the heap.


The temperature of the compost pile dictates when it needs to be turned.

The optimal operating temperature is 135-160°F. Measure that with a compost thermometer, which is a dial thermometer with a long shank that can be thrust into the center of the pile. When the temperature begins to fall, turn the heap. The reintroduction of oxygen will cause it to reheat.

Simmons often fields questions about the smell of a compost pile. Generally speaking, bad odors occur when the pile is starved for oxygen and parts of it have become anaerobic. A good turn should do the trick. You can also cut odor by covering the food waste with a layer of brown, carbon-rich materials.

The same goes for vermicomposting: there should be no odor. Often a smell comes when the worms are overfed and uneaten food begins to mold or decompose. When a worm box is started, it will take a while for the red wigglers to acclimate to their new living arrangements and to begin to digest the food. As they reproduce, they will be able to handle larger and larger quantities.

If the compost does start to smell, stop feeding the worms for a week or two to allow them to catch up.


If you're patient, almost anything organic will break down eventually, but some items take much longer than others. Corncobs and avocado pits are especially hardy.

Eggshells also take quite a while to decompose. Crush your shells before throwing them in the heap and they'll break down more quickly. If there are eggshell fragments in the compost when you apply it to your garden, don't worry. They will continue to slowly release calcium as they break down.

You can add a little spice to your heap in the form of hot peppers. Some composters believe this discourages flies.

How do you know when the compost is ready to be applied to a garden?

Simmons suggests planting bean seeds in it. If the seeds sprout and grow, that usually means the compost is ready to use.


Excerpted from Earth Eats by Annie Corrigan, Daniel Orr. Copyright © 2017 WFIU/RTVS. Excerpted by permission of Indiana University Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Ready, Set Grow! Beginner's Guide To Gardening
The Perfect Location
Which Bed Is Best
Plant What You'll Eat
Time and Patience
What Shall I Feed Them?
Hello, Spring Greens
Kale Recipes
Cooking Up A Healthy Compost Heap
Browns Vs. Greens
Compost No-Nos
Turn It Up
Break It Down
Build Your Own Compost Bin
The Birds And The Bees Of Growing Food
Swarm Of Bees Free To A Good Home (If You Can Catch Them)
Science Of Swarming
Nurturing A Dying Beehive Through Its Final Season
One Sting At A Time
Requiem For A Beehive
This Orchard Is Looking For A Few Good Bees
A Little Help From My Friends
Bachelors Of The Bee World
Home Sweet Home
Security Guards For The Orchard
Chickens: The Snack Food Of The Wild Kingdom
Most Wanted Criminals
Where The Wild Things Are—Not In Your Coop!
Chicken Run and Pen
Eat Your Flower Garden
Up Your Local Food Game With Community Supported Agriculture
CSAs Are Make Or Break For Farmers
Sharing The Risk
My Food Budget
New To Carrot Tops? This Pesto Is A Good Place To Start
One Heckuva Sandwich
Sugaring Season
Maple Tree Tapping 101
Boil It Down
BFFs: Rhubarb And Strawberries
Marshall Strawberry Explores Its Artistic Side
Spring Treats
Get To Know Spring Wild Edibles
Into The Woods
Wood Sorrel
Backyard Adventures
Autumn Olive
Sustainable Foraging
Hunting For Morels
Fresh Spring Flavors
All in the Allium Family
Cooking With Garlic Scapes

Summer Farmers' Market Must-Haves
The Day To Day Job Of A Gardener
The Weeds Have It
It's All About The Wet Stuff
Good Guys Vs. Bad Guys
Disease Control, The Organic Dilemma
Even The Pros Pull Weeds
Name The Enemies
For The Love Of Organic Farming
The Cycle Of A Vegetable's Life
It's Harvest Time!
Tons Of Tomatoes
Jeff Mease's Life With Tomatoes
Preserving Tomatoes
Tomato Ice Cubes
Tomato Recipes
Roasted Tomatoes
Sun-Dried Tomatoes
The Chicken and the Egg
Hot Days, Cool Chicks
The First Eggs Are Here... I Think?
Brooding Season
Practice Your Poaching With A Breakfast Salad
Southern Indiana's Lots Craft—Oak Road Baskets
Record Of The Past
Porch Drinks
U-Pick, U-Cook Berries Adventure
Summer Sauces For Salads, Sandwiches And Snacks
Simple Syrups Meet Your Herb Garden
Pesto Time, Excellent
What Are You Bringing To The Pitch-In?

Reclaiming The Old Ways: Fermentation
It All Started With A Garden
Advice For First Timers
New Flavors: Acarajé
From Gourmet to Everyday
Fear Not, Fermentation Rookie
Persimmons: Orange Globes Hang From Fall Trees
Spoon, Fork Or Knife?
Persimmon Recipes
The Giving Tree
Unexpected Housemate
Strength In Numbers
Fall Favorites: Paw Paws
Paw Paws Are Still More At Home In The Woods Than On Farms
Paw Paw Pioneers
Way Down Yonder In The Paw Paw Orchard
Paw Paw Recipes
Gary Paul Nabhan's Favorite Apples
Apple Recipes
Get Your Home Cooking On With Clara Moore
From Restaurant Chef To Frugal Home Cook
Meal Planning Is Not Lame, You Guys
Better With A Plan
Questions To Ask/Answer
Plan, Shop, Cook, Eat
Adaptability Is The Name Of The Game At Community Kitchen
Kitchen Basics
Lentils 101
Bone Broth With The Hub's Domestic Diva
Sprout It Yourself
Gardens Still Going Strong In Fall
Cover Crops
Crop Rotation
Next Level Gardening: Seed Saving
The Magic Of Pollination
Seed Saving 101
Beyond The Jack-O-Lantern

One Farmer, Five Dogs And The Eighty Sheep They Tend
A Life With Animals
Cold Hardy Greens Thrive In The Hoop House
Green Recipes For The Cold Months
All Are Welcome At Joshua Ploeg's Pop-Up Vegan Café
Pizza Party
Baking The Perfect Homemade Pizza: How Do Pizza Stones Work?
Choose Your Chickens Well
Egg Layers
Meat Birds
Winterizing Your Chickens
A Dry Coop Is A Happy Coop
Frostbite Hurts!
To Heat Or Not To Heat
Eat, Drink And Be Merry
All Cooped Up
Root Vegetables Will Be There For You This Winter
Meet Shadow, The Asian Water Buffalo From Indiana
A Ton Of Fun
Comfort Foods
First Meal
Breakfast Recipes
A Farmer And A Chef Walk Into A Bar
Soups And Stews
And A Happy New Year
Wassailing Once Again
Good Excuse For A Party

What People are Saying About This

"Earth Eats is an eye-popping, mouth-watering celebration of local food and the people who produce it.  Savor this beautiful book slowly like you would a rich helping of Chef Daniel Orr's Persimmon and Raisin Bread Pudding. Me, I gobbled it down like a bowl of Curried Kale Chips, and it left me craving more.  With eight years of Earth Eats broadcasts under their belts, I hope Annie, Daniel, and their collaborators have another book in them. This one is a peach (locally grown, of course)!"

Christine Barbour]]>

Earth Eats is an eye-popping, mouth-watering celebration of local food and the people who produce it.  Savor this beautiful book slowly like you would a rich helping of Chef Daniel Orr's Persimmon and Raisin Bread Pudding. Me, I gobbled it down like a bowl of Curried Kale Chips, and it left me craving more.  With eight years of Earth Eats broadcasts under their belts, I hope Annie, Daniel, and their collaborators have another book in them. This one is a peach (locally grown, of course)!

The Hoosier Gardener - Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

"Writer, radio host, and gardener Annie Corrigan and chef and gardener Daniel Orr whet the appetite with tips on natural growing practices, harvesting, and eating delicious and healthful food. You can almost taste the goodness in Earth Eats."

Christine Barbour

"Earth Eats is an eye-popping, mouth-watering celebration of local food and the people who produce it.  Savor this beautiful book slowly like you would a rich helping of Chef Daniel Orr's Persimmon and Raisin Bread Pudding. Me, I gobbled it down like a bowl of Curried Kale Chips, and it left me craving more.  With eight years of Earth Eats broadcasts under their belts, I hope Annie, Daniel, and their collaborators have another book in them. This one is a peach (locally grown, of course)!"

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