Posts Tagged ‘pastured’

food

Today I made the short journey to the weekly Farmers’ Market. There are others during the week but this is the big one. Here is what I found

  • Locally grown, organic whole wheat flour from Grindstone Farm
  • Locally roasted, organic, fair trade coffee from Recess Coffee
  • Locally made cheese from Buttercup Cheese
  • Locally made (but not locally sourced) granola made by the Amish in Ovid NY
  • Locally raised, pastured, organic beef and chicken from Longhorn Ranch
  • Locally made pure maple syrup from Tully NY

I had no idea anyone here was growing wheat. We are largely a corn growing area. They tell me the wheat and is soft and sweet tasting and makes excellent pancakes. I will need to cut it with regualar wheat flour and I haven’t found that locally.

Maple syrup is something I never buy from the supermarket. If we do not support small producers all we will be left with is maple flavored sugar water from the big producers. Someone in my urban neighborhood has been tapping trees right here in town and is boiling up the syrup in his backyard a few blocks away. I love that.

I don’t use tremendous amounts of cheese but we do like it grated and it really isn’t too much trouble to grate it myself and keep it in a handy container in the fridge. I have a small food processor that  will do the job.

I got the coffee as whole bean. They offered to grind it for me but I own a grinder and enjoy it made fresh. This company is right in my neighborhood about a half mile away.

The granola is something I have been eating for years. I’ve never gotten such good granola anywhere else and I like supporting my local Amish community. It has coconut and raisins and almonds in it so it certainly isn’t local and isn’t organic but I love it anyway and at $3.50 a pound the price is right. They also sell a large variety of delicious baked goods and I sometimes buy their bread. Bread is something I rarely make from scratch for two reasons – I don’t have a bread maker and it is very time-consuming. I’m actually afraid that if I get a bread maker I will eat tremendous quantities of bread and gain weight!

The big experiment is the meat. I love, love, love that it is local, pastured, and organic. That combination isn’t easy to find pre-packed unless you want to buy half a cow. My neighborhood has enough power outages that I don’t really want 6 months of meat in my freezer. I got a whole chicken, which is thawing for tomorrow. That means tomorrow night I will probably be boiling up the carcass for stock. I got 2 lbs. of ground beef at $2 a lb. less than organic at the grocery store. I got a chuck roast to make in the slow cooker sometime this week. It is all vacuum packed and frozen solid so I will need to remember to thaw things.

Later today I plan to whip up some pear-applesauce with help from my daughter. It’s a good day.

Oh, and I saw a bald eagle on my way home. I figure it’s a good sign.

eggs

Here is a little something to contemplate. It is “The Story of an Egg”.

I’m currently getting pastured eggs. I’m taking the farmer’s word for it that they are hormone and antibiotic free. Considering he is also Amish, and that he is vouched for by my CSA farm, I’m inclined to believe him. Many small farmers find it too expensive to obtain formal organic certification, so they rely on their good name.

The main differences I notice are that the yolks are a more intense color and the whites are less runny. The eggs come in various shades of brown and the sizes are not as well-matched as commercial eggs but that is ok with me. They are delicious and are cheaper than organic eggs at the grocery store.

I notice that some hens are being fed a “vegetarian diet”. I’m not sure why that is supposed to be better. Chickens are natural omnivores who love to eat bugs and worms. I’m not in favor of forcing a vegetarian diet on animals. Also, if the feed is not organic, but simply vegetarian, they may be getting a big dose of pesticides and antibiotics.

Even the stalwart USDA admits that pastured eggs are healthier.

‘Nuff said