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A little introduction…

July 9, 2009

The markets have closed for the summer. After nine months of meeting and feeding so many people from all over, McClendon’s Select has said good-bye to the Town & Country Farmer’s Market for the season and are now preparing the land, the plants and everyone to do it all over again this fall.

Until then, I have cooked up this little blog in hopes of feeding you another way.

To be honest, I don’t grow anything. I can barely keep basil alive in my own kitchen. It is usually done in by an overabundance of attention, rather than neglect, but either way the outcome is the same.

Bob and Marsha McClendon, my lovely in-laws, are the ones who have so carefully grown and cultivated McClendon’s Select. They have created a masterpiece with their land. They hand select every seed. They research and experiment to make sure every fruit and vegetable is grown with the perfect combination of nutrients, water and sun. They pick and inspect and taste every variety, finding those that are beautiful inside and out. Their schedule is backbreaking, but their bounty is breathtaking.

My husband Sean helps as well. Many of you have met him at the Scottsdale and Town & Country Farmers’ Markets. He comes home with new facts about produce or ideas on how to prepare something, along with a big boxes of beautiful treasures for us to enjoy for dinner. He has enjoyed the collaboration his father has created with so many talented chefs across the valley and upwards in Flagstaff, Winslow and Las Vegas.

Even our son, Aidan, has his role on the farm. At seven his attention span is short and ever changing, but he loves to be there helping out. He has sold coloring books about what it means to eat organic at the markets, he has helped plant garlic and in the winter pick citrus, and has eaten more sweet corn than any of us. He doesn’t think it at all unusual to eat a purple carrot, yellow tomato or blood red orange. He loves to run around the farm, usually with his soccer ball bouncing ahead of him, and is happy to introduce Papa’s bees to visitors. It is a joy to see him learn about the food he eats and to feel good about what I put in front of him.

The farm does not just nourish my family, it is also the reason Sean and I first met. Our first introduction was because of box of citrus. While I am limited with my green thumb, I am happy to offer the talents I do have to our family’s endeavor. I certainly have developed an aptitude for appreciating and consuming organic fruits and vegetables.

Sean and I wanted to create a place online to keep you updated as the farm changes through the seasons. We wanted to offer ideas and recipes to help you make the most of what is available and to share our own adventures in the kitchen and the fields. We also love to visit the chefs that use McClendon’s Select produce in their menus and are happy to go visit and report back on the wonderful meals that are being prepared. We would love to hear on what you are preparing with McClendon’s Select organic produce.

So, while the farm is being worked and prepped during these hot summer months to bring you all sorts of wonderful goodies in the fall, I am embarking on providing some food for thought in the meantime.

Enjoy!

Kate McClendon

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