FM-comp-2014

  I’m finally home for a spell, long enough to plan out meals from my farmer’s market, or precisely, grower’s market, and I was eager to see what was available, this early in the season and after an uncommonly long, cold winter. Thanks to greenhouses there were plenty of greens, all kinds of them, kale, tatsoi, pea shoots, spinach, beet greens, basil. We have good local cheese makers so I picked up some sheep’s milk cheese and chevre. Two dozen eggs of course. Jason from Tea Hill Farms said, “Been so cold the chickens just don’t want to grow.” His chickens were just over two pounds and I bought a couple of them. They are so pristine, firm, taught skin, they seem a different species from the ones in the grocery store. I bought oats and Read On »

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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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