Thursday, August 21, 2008

Late Bloomers Farm

I have moved this blog to my own domain, Please join me there for the continuing adventures of my life as a locavore.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

CSA, Week 9

August 20 was the ninth week of our CSA (Waldingfield Farm, pick-up point Sandy Hook Organic Farmer's Market).

Our bounty:

- patty pan squash
- kale
- green onions
- Asian eggplant
- blue potatoes
- lots of different tomatoes
I'm not sure which is which---here are the choices:

Local meal, no challenge:
- grilled beef filet from Laurel Ridge Farm in Litchfield, CT
- baked blue potato from Waldingfield
- patty pan squash sauteed with green onions and tomato (all from Waldingfield) in olive oil and a tad of chicken broth, salt and pepper (from out there). I used very little seasoning to allow the natural flavors of the vegetables to dominate.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

In a Jam

Even on vacation, I can't resist foraging. I find myself collecting food, particularly items that can take me through the winter. Yesterday, we visited Dalton Farmstand, which I think is in Manchester and I got two 32 oz jars of jam (raspberry and mixed berry). They have a berry farm in another town, not too far from the farmstand. My thinking is that it's local here and I'm here and I'm already using the fossil fuels to cart myself here and back.

UPDATED (8/19/2008):
I like to put a big rounded teaspoon of berry jam on my morning yogurt. Several varieties of yogurts that have fruit also contain high fructose corn syrup (like Dannon, Columbo, and Yoplait). In the previous edition of this post, I mistakenly wrote that Stonyfield yogurt contained high fructose corn syrup. It does not. Thank you Sarah Badger for pointing that out. None of the Stonyfield yogurts contain that ingredient! My apologies to Stonyfield.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Another Locavore Vacation Day

After spending most of the day in outlets in Manchester buying clothing made in China and Indonesia, we went down to Bennington to their Farmers Market.

We scored:
- organic beets, carrots, garlic, purple "green" beans, Chinese eggplant, and eggs from Wildstone Farm
- organic watermelon from Mighty Food Farm
- corn from Darling Farmstand
- San Marino plum tomatoes, yellow squash, zucchini, and peppers from the Youth Horticulture Project (grown at Mount Anthony Middle School)
- blueberries (no spray) from Apple Hill Orchard
- multi-grain bread from Avonlea Farm Brick Oven Bakery

We feasted:

The "casserole" consists of a bottom layer of hamburger, topped with a sauteed vegetable medley (one of every vegetable we bought, except for the beets and corn, shown separately), topped with Cabot extra sharp cheddar (it's local here!) and baked just enough to melt the cheese.

Local Meal on Vacation

Frankly, I wasn't sure if we'd be able to keep up with local fooding on vacation, considering how much of it depends on knowing where to go to get the good stuff. Sure, we packed up provisions in the cooler, but certainly not enough to eat for over a week's worth of time. So, an adventure awaits.

When we stopped at Chase Hill Farm in Warwick, MA for raw milk, we also picked up some farmstead cheese and two pounds of hamburger meat (from organic, grass fed cows!). Here's Monday night's dinner:

The tomato came from Waldingfield Farm via the cooler. The bun came from Shaw's in Arlington, VT and who knows where they got it.
(Not enrolled in any formal challenge.)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Raw Milk Detour

Sometimes, life just takes you to wonderful places.

We left the NOFA Conference and segued into our summer vacation: visiting friends and enjoying some down time in the great state of VT. I decided to pick up some raw milk at a farm along the way--well, slightly off the beaten path. This required us to move our driving plans off of a major interstate and on to a local "highway." (It has a number, so it's a highway...other than that, it's a back road.) Good move--the scenic route was the better way.

Chase Hill Farm is in Warwick, MA (Google map) and has organic raw milk, farmstead cheeses, grass-fed beef and veal, and whey-fed pork. They are members of NOFA MA (that's how I found them--in the NOFA guide!). The milk has an excellent creamline and tastes great. For more information, see the dairy page of the NOFA MA site (scroll down to the bottom of the page) .

NOFA Conference Impressions

I went to the 2008 NOFA Conference as an eater, not a farmer. My expectations ran the gamut until ultimately, I'm not sure exactly what I was expecting at all. Some questions I had were: Would it be boring? Would it be aimed at specifically at farmers? Could a small gardener/big eater glean enough to make the trip worthwhile?

The workshop topics were varied enough that anybody could have attended this conference and found something of interest. There were practical and instructional "how to" topics, environmental topics, political and theoretical topics, and more. It was anything but boring!

Kudos to the UMass Amherst kitchen staff that served exclusively organic meals, with Saturday night's dinner being both organic and local!

I'll probably post more about the specific workshops I attended and my impressions of the keynote speakers in upcoming blog entries.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

NOFA Conference

If you're looking for us this weekend, we'll be at the 34th Annual NOFA Conference, At UMASS, Amherst.

Keynote speakers are Dr. Arden Andersen, holistic medical practitioner, expert in human and agricultural nutrition, author, and educator and Mark McAfee, founder of the Organic Pastures Dairy Company in California.

The workshops cover the spectrum of topics of interest from farmers to eaters. It will be hard to choose!

NOFA is the Northeast Organic Farming Association. You don't need to be a farmer to become a member. Here's the site for CT NOFA.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

CSA, Week 7

I'm not usually the member of the household who gets to go to the Sandy Hook Organic Farmers' Market for our CSA pick-up. The market is open from 2-6 PM and I'm not generally in the neighborhood during those hours. However, this week it needed to be me and so I went.

Boy, have I been missing out. This is a most excellent Farmer's Market. There's music, fresh popcorn, and the pop-up tents are arranged like like a little village.

August 5 was the seventh week of our CSA (Waldingfield Farm, pick-up point Sandy Hook Organic Farmer's Market). Our bounty included:

- lots of red lettuce
- green beans
- patty pan squash
- cucumbers
- green bell peppers
- heirloom tomatoes
- yellow squash
- kale
- jalapeno and chili peppers

Patrick of Waldingfield Farm, serving a customer:

My local dinner (no challenge) was:
A salad of red lettuce (from Waldingfield), a sliced hard-boiled egg (from Arno's in Kent), shaved cheese (from Sankow's Beaver Brook), basil (from Stoneledge Hollow), and a sliced pickled jalapeno (from Sister CG at Bluestone Farm). I drizzled some of Waldingfield's salad dressing over it.