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Posts Tagged ‘Localvore’

I just read this on a blog I just started following!! This is an AMAZING commercial! All my feelings on the farming industry summed up in 2 minutes. Check it out!! Back to the Start –

Back to the Start

Two Barn Farm

I’m not one to post back-to-back entries, I’m usually good for one a week but if you didn’t see the new ad for Chiptotle, take a couple of minutes and watch it. This is Chipotle’s first tv ad and wow! They nailed it, amazing. Smart campaign to target a “Back to Basics” farming approach in this short animated commercial featuring Willie Nelson covering Coldplay…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMfSGt6rHos

It reminds me of Pixar’s “Up” when they were able to convey so much emotion in the first ten minutes (when she was unable to have children) completely through nonverbal means. I’m not saying go to Chipotle’s (owned by McDonald’s) but I am saying what they made here is gold and will hopefully force change in the industrial agricultural factory farming community.

Baby steps, right?

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So when I think about what I want for my family and how I want our home, farm and business to run when we get to that point…this is a pretty good starting point.   Given that we have proven that we can successfully raise chickens without total failure, we maybe jumping onto this bandwagon sooner rather than later.   🙂   Regardless of your eggtrapreneur plans, this is a great article.  Thanks Flying T!!

 

The Egg Business – Progress Report.

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Pictured below is a picture of one of my favorite go to dishes for dinner or brunch: Farmers Quiche. Essentially, it is a giant omelette fully loaded with whatever toppings make you happy. I adapted it from the plaid standard, Better Homes & Gardens. I start with some frozen shredded potatoes, shredded my own potatoes, and used tatertots , which I think are my favorite, and put them into a 9×13 baking dish. Cook up some toppings, bacon, Swiss chard, ham, sausage, onions, mushrooms, peppers, diced tomatoes, etc. Put the cooked toppings over the potatoes. Sprinkle about a cup of shredded cheese (whatever kind you like) then take a dozen eggs, beat them with some milk, salt and pepper. Pour it over the top of the casserole and bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven for 55 minutes or until firm and bubbly. Makes about 12 servings and at about 6 WW Points per serving it is a great dinner served with a salad and can become a great way to start the day in the morning. As clearly shown in my photo ( apparently the directions wait I have to take a picture fell in deaf ears) my family couldn’t wait to dig in. I haven’t tried it with egg whites replacing some of the whole eggs, but I imagine that would also be delicious!! Enjoy!!

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Grades of Vermont maple syrup. From left to ri...

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If you are one of those people who know maple syrup as the sticky thin stuff found in bottles featuring girls with braids or in the shape of a jolly looking grandmother, than you are missing out on North America’s Nectar of the Gods, pure Maple Syrup direct from the tree to the table.   And by “direct” I mean sap tapped from a tree, put through a rigorous and long boiling process to find it’s way onto my pancakes.  My yogurt.  My oatmeal.   Into my baked goods.  Into my tea and coffee.  Onto roasted carrots.  Into a glaze for bacon wrapped scallops and salmon.  Into a marinade for steak and chicken..well you get the picture.  In this house there is nothing a bottle of magical Maple Syrup cannot do.   It is worth EVERY PENNY.  Especially for this Farmgirl who has cut out all refined white sugar.   Without this gem of a sweetener I would be a very, very, very, sad and irrationally irritable panda.    The best thing about living in Vermont is that generally thinking you or someone you know will either produce or be related to someone who does produce this amazing sticky sweet goodness.  So whether you get your syrup fix from Vermont, NY, Maine, Canada or anywhere else that has the climate and the fauna for Maple production, if you have not tried the authentic product, there is no better time then the present.

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A single week's fruits and vegetables from com...

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As I prepare my last batch of hot pepper jam for this season and plot out the holiday baking madness for the upcoming season I am also preparing to put our garden down for an extended rest.   That’s right, for Garden Season 2012 we will not be planting anything in our garden plot.   Does that mean this Farmgirl has given up only 3 years and 6 chickens in?  On the contrary,  this Farmgirl has been inspired by a great book that I picked up at my local Tractor Supply  The Backyard Homestead:

This book is a must have desk reference for anyone who wants to start a backyard homestead or begin to dabble in producing  their own food from scratch.    Upon purchasing this book I had some AHA moments about  being a bonified urban homesteader.    I have not mastered anything mind you (as clearly illustrated by this year’s less than bumper crop of carrots and beets),  but I do feel that I have a good handle on growing vegetables in a garden.    So 2012 our goal is to make our yard a well-rounded food bearing garden retreat.   We would like to add apple trees and perhaps some pear trees.  We would like to clear out the random and useless rock garden next to our pool and create a blueberry patch.   We would like to plot out a location for  raised strawberry and raspberry beds.   Perhaps a deck and real live fireplace and/or bread oven.   Perhaps a door yard full of berries and nuts.  Boxed herbs and of course a handful of containers loaded with tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers.  Oh and maybe, just maybe we might actually get that compost system set up that we have been threatening to put into operation for 3 years now.

So,  you ask what will these homesteaders do for fresh and local produce next year?   Well, we will start by getting a full share in our CSA, Maplewood  Organics.   My final calculation after this last pick up of what we received for this season was nearly $350 of organic potatoes, peppers, onions (which, I might add, organic onions were going for $2 a lb. today at the grocery store) brussel sprouts, broccoli, tomatoes, fresh-cut flours, swiss chard, kale, radishes, lettuce, green beans and more.  Given that, I am super excited to see what a full share will garner us.  Of course there is always our local farmers markets and farm stands where buying in bulk is encouraged.  Having  just filled my belly with Gluten Free Lasagna made with delicious homemade tomato sauce, we will make sure to do whatever it takes to get our hands on fresh tomatoes.  So. long story not so short, we will do what our ancestors have always done and give our garden plot a rest after what can only be described as a “challenging” season for growers across the nation.    We will fill it with winter rye,  and host a potato sack race over the top of it for leap year in July!!!  We will build the backyard homestead/haven of our dream and in 2013 recreate the veggie magic of old.   And by then, ideally, I will be picking my first apples from our own tree, making my own soap, jewelry and clothes (try to contain your envy) and munching on homemade yogurt and string cheese.   At the end of the day, homesteading is an attitude and a lifestyle.  Gardening is a huge part of that, but anyone can grow a vegetable, a true homesteader grows and decorates an entire buffet.

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There is nothing quite as magical as going to an open air market on a beautiful day. Whether you are in Africa or Hometown USA, the overall feeling is still the same: COMMUNITY. Where else can you go with $15 in your pocket and leave with $30 worth of produce and kettle corn? Even here in my hometown, which could stand to amp up it’s farmer’s market a scootch, the market has an amazing feeling of warmth and highlights all the wonderful things our town has to offer. In two hours I tasted honey, smelled kettle corn and chit chatted with a local farmer about his growing methods while negotiating a salsa/dilly bean trade with my friend and neighbor. I learned a little about soap making (one of my next big homesteading endeavors) and I learned that a local crafter makes these amazing fleece backpack blankets, perfect for even the coolest of preschoolers. This is not the same experience you get a big grocery store. Upon stopping at our local grocery store my farmer’s market perusing com-padre and I reveled in our fresh and frugal successes when compared with store prices. For example: I got nearly 6 pounds of zucchini for $1.00. At our grocery store, $1.49 per pound for not so fresh or delicious looking zucchinis. You do the math. Beyond the joy of the market experience there is also a certain thrill for every aspiring homesteader and/or culinary artist of drawing inspiration from the bounty you have gathered whether from the market or your own garden:

Creative inspiration

When I look at all of that delicious, fresh, vegetable goodness on my table I see not only zucchini, spaghetti squash, tomatoes, hot peppers, green beans and apples, but I see salsa for a Mexican fiesta in January and zucchini bread on a cool fall morning. I see a pasta dinner with no noodles and a green bean casserole (that is my favorite GF Recipe) on Thanksgiving morning. I see money that I will not have to spend and meals filled with fresh, delicious and local ingredients. In fact, I was inspired to make an entirely local dinner on Saturday night that featured vegetables from my stores not even shown here. It included carrots, beets, pork, honey, maple syrup and cabbage. Every bit of it produced within 30 miles of my house. Without getting on a soap box about eating local, I can tell you that there is nothing quite so tasty as a vegetable grown in your backyard or just down the road. When you put your food on the plate and it is composed of whole and delicious foods there is a sense of pride and accomplishment and a feeling that you are providing your family with a healthy meal packed with nutrients.

Spicy Glazed Pork Chops, Sauteed Red Cabbage and Roasted Root Vegetables

So the moral of the this story? Whether you are into the localvore movement or growing your own food or not, a visit to your local farmer’s market is always worth the trip and you never know what kind of practical magic it might inspire.

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