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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So this is it, a gloomy fall day, and smallish haul (summer’s bounty fading, sigh), with a lot of green plum tomatoes, not even very good green plum tomatoes.  Anyone have a good pickling recipe for them!? Think I may try a curry flavored pickle.  Would fry them but have been having too much fun frying the sweet potatoes—so much better than russets! Parsley, kale, lettuces, beets, some nice crisp apples, onions, scallions, delicious watermelon. So what’s the final verdict on this summer’s CSA experience?  Ours?  The product over all was good.  I think the value was acceptable, and worth it for the quality and for our desire to encourage and support the farmers who help us get good food for our families. There is only one negative, but it’s a big one.  Choice.  I Read On »

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Yesterday was 92 degrees.  This morning was low sixties, with that wonderful slate sky that descends in fall and the chill wakes me up and makes me want to cook.  There’s still corn the farmers market, fat kerneled and juicy, still very sweet, still aching to be baked.  The green beans are getting big and tough and can be roasted (hot oven, chilli flakes, cumin, smashed garlic, 20 minutes).   The chillis are vivid and the jalapeno plant that Donna planted in the spring is loaded down with fat hot ones.  I got a jar of chilli’s pickling, more or less this recipe here out of this awesome book, only I’m going to let set out at room temp to get them fermenting a little before putting them in the fridge. I’ve got a best friend Read On »

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CSA week 16 is easily the heaviest bundle yet, with the apples, big tomatos, the (surprise!) bok choy, more nice green beans under all the lettuce.  Apples, fall is here.  Sweet potatoes, more fall.  I’m getting pretty goddam tired of those green peppers though.  Wish the dog would eat them.  I ordered eggs this week $2.50 extra, well worth it.  They’re a buck more at the farmers market.  And I just ate two of them, another Saturday morning favorite: egg sandwich, yolks intentionally broken, fried gently in butter, salt and pepper, topped with chopped bacon and slipped between two pieces of soft white bread fresh out of the plastic, one piece generously smeared with Hellmann’s.  Yes, Hellmann’s mayo.  I know I make a stink about making your own mayo and how easy it is.  But Read On »

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Week 15 from Geauga Family Farms.  I think they’re getting better—the lettuce is fresher, there’s less signs of travel in the soft vegetables. As I’ve pointed out before, just because you grow heirloom fruits and veg, doesn’t mean they’re good. You’ve got to be a good farmer or grower.  And just because you grow excellent fruits and veg, doesn’t mean they’re still excellent when they arrive on the table of the family that purchased the CSA.  Every part of the process matters. Fun CSA this week: I’m not a huge fan of cherry tomatoes—too much skin relative to the amount of flesh, and frankly, I don’t love them enough to blanch, shock, and peel them.  But last night, photographing a bacon and eggs pizza for the new book, I had some leftover dough and cheese, Read On »

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