Marialisa Calta, a Vermont-based food writer with the greatest kind of curiosity, alerted me to a sunflower program going on in Vermont that sounds too beautiful to be true. For the first time this year, Adamant Co-op in Calais, Vermont, handed out black oil sunflower seeds for participants to plant in their yards, on street corners, anywhere they chose. They're going to build a press to make sunflower oil with the blossoms. While the press is still in the works, Butterworks Farm in Westfield, VT is making local sunflower oil as well. Marialisa bought some, and says it's so flavorful and nutty that she can’t wait to fry up some potatoes with it. The Adamant Co-op newsletter says they're hoping to distribute more local crops this way—corn for cornmeal, oats for oatmeal. Maybe mayor Mike Bloomberg would be interested in a NYC beautification project of a similar nature: I love the idea of Fifth Avenue aglow in sunflower blossoms. And french fries cooked in sunflower oil—that’s an easy way to cut down on trans fats.
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