Living Well With Michelle: From Farm to Table at Walden Farms

Local News

BESSEMER, Ala. (WIAT) — In this week’s “Living Well with Michelle,” we’re giving you an inside look at one local farm and an upcoming event that celebrates the “Farm to Table” movement. 

Michelle took a trip to Walden Farms in Bessemer to see how one family is turning their love of the earth into products you can see on store shelves. Plus how you can see their products creatively used in a food-filled event next weekend. 

Walden Farms is a dream come true for co-owners Trevor and Joanna Mann.

“It’s amazing,” Joanna said. “It’s like being in our little Garden of Eden. And our kids grow up and they know where their food comes from.”

Their backyard has turned into a profitable organic farm.

“We grow the most nutrient-dense food you can get,” Trevor said “Like, we can go outside and pick our dinner. We don’t have to go to the store and pick our dinner. And it is empowering.”

The Manns are now able to share the fruits of their labor with others in Alabama. 

“We supply in Golden Temple in Southside, Bama Health Foods, Crestwood Pharmacy,” Joanna said. “We’re at Pepper Place every other Saturday.”

The Alabama Sustainable Agriculture Network’s annual “Graze” event is giving greater opportunity for collaboration. It’s connecting  Alabama farmers with local restaurants to collaborate on a menu. 

“It’s really cool to see what the chefs can come up with to do with our products because they think of things we never would have,” Joanna said. “Like, last year we were with Magic City Sweet Ice and they did a bitter orange sorbet with one of our syrups and it was incredible.”

This year, Walden Farms paired with Roots and Revelry in Birmingham to highlight their medicinal recipes. 

“We’ve talked about creating a pastry dish and we’re gonna be using some of our tastier herbal medicine products that come off the farm,” Trevor said.

These products include foods like syrup using elderberries. 

“Which has really gotten popular over the last few years kind of as an immune-boosting product, we may do a glaze with that,” Joanna said.

The Mann’s also create recipes using honeysuckle. 

“When you’re harvesting for herbal medicine, you just pick the whole flower, put it in hot water and then we preserve it with vegetable glycerin, which is also sweet,” Joanna explained.

For the Mann’s, their farm-to-table mission is to spread the healing and flavorful properties of their plants to others. 

The Alabama Sustainable Agriculture Network’s “Graze” event is coming up this Sunday, Sept. 8, at Avondale Brewery.

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