Toward the end of Forrest Pritchard‘s memoir Gaining Ground, about his becoming a livestock farmer, he writes a chapter that I want to call attention to, and expand on, as we are now at the height of farmers’ markets, and this is in fact national farmers market week. I requested a Q&A to address continual questions he gets from friends and customers. Forrest, why is food at the farmers’ market so expensive?! On our farm, the food we raise reflects our true cost of organic production. When we set our prices, we do exactly what every other business in America does: we factor in our expenses, and establish a modest profit margin. That way, we’ll always be around to farm the following year. It’s Economics 101. Everywhere we go, there’s a price-quality association in our Read On »

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A correctional facility in Colorado teaches inmates how to care for farm animals and make cheese, via Culture.

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What follows is an example of the best of all possible processed foods. In an effort to be better connected with the food I eat, I visited the Schmidt Family Farms in Medina, Ohio. It’s managed by Susan Schmidt, whose specialty is honey. She gave me some of her good stuff and it’s the best honey I’ve ever tasted. By far. Tastes like the actual wildflowers around her home. Susan’s farm is organic. She gives Bradley Cramer, who works in a music store in Medina, a small part of it to raise chickens on during the summer. (“People don’t realize that chicken is a seasonal food,” he told me.) He keeps them in large hoop cages that he wheels around the pasture every day so they have fresh bugs and stuff to eat. He tried letting Read On »

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How much does it cost to grow the food we eat? Farmer Ben James answers this question, via The Atlantic.

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A while ago I wrote about Aaron Miller (above, photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman) and his grassfed beef, which I’ve found to be astonishingly succulent for 100% grassfed (it’s all in how you treat the grass, he says; you are what you eat, even if you’re a cow). We cooked his turkey at Thanksgiving.  He also raises excellent pigs. And now he’s started a lamb program,  available by order from their site.  I cooked some for Jonathon Sawyer, chef at The Greenhouse Tavern, and he took one smell and said, “You can smell it’s grass-fed!” Aaron and his wife Melissa are part of growing number of small farmers raising animals on grass. I’d love for more bloggers to post links to livestock farmers in their area raising animals for food, sustainably and well. If you Read On »

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