Concrete Jungle takes the phrase “farm-to-table” seriously. The organization seeks out fresh produce from thousands of fruit and nut trees growing in Atlanta and donates much of the harvest to the poor and hungry.
Tomorrow they will be releasing their first ever cookbook, which features more than 40 recipes from Atlanta chefs, volunteers, and local foodies. The book has recipes that range from Kudzu Hangover Tea to Pawpaw Ice Cream to Grilled Pear and Burrata Salad. All produce are grown and harvested locally.
Katherine Kennedy, the executive director of Concrete Jungle and the cookbook author, Jodi Cash joined Lois Reitzes on City Lights to discuss the mission of the organization.
In 2009, Concrete Jungle was created by founders Craig Durkin and Aubrey Daniels after their experimental creation of “Ciderfest.” The two foragers would go from neighborhood to neighborhood collecting neglected apples on public property or on private land (with permission). As they discovered more and more fruit trees and the variety that Atlanta has to offer, they decided to create “Concrete Jungle.”
This volunteer-run Atlanta organization distributes all of Atlanta’s neglected fruit to the hungry. They also have a small urban farm in Southwest Atlanta, Doghead Farm, that produces about 4,000 pounds of vegetables each year.
“Atlanta has an incredibly high food insecurity rate, 18 percent of adults and 28 percent of kids are food insecure. If you’ve ever been in a soup kitchen or food pantry, you would know that it’s usually boxed, processed foods,” said Kennedy.
“If they do get fresh produce, it was food that was given at the end of its shelf life. Concrete Jungle picks fresh produce at its peak ripeness, so it has the best flavor and the most nutrition for these communities.”
The cookbook launch party will be Aug. 24 from 7-10 p.m. at Wild Heaven Brewery. This event is free and open to the public.