Monthly Archives: January 2012

Tomatoland and why I won’t eat tomatoes in January

It was tough getting into Barry Estabrook first few chapters of Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit, a book I bought to read while on vacation in Florida last August. I am glad I didn’t read it there, because our vacation would have turned into a research project. The more I read about the working conditions and the unfair practices of the farm bosses, the more upset I get. I am glad I have chosen to eat with the seasons where I live, it sits well with me. I don’t think I will buy another store bought tomato ever.

Politics aside — I feel all workers should be treated fairly and humanely.

It’s such a multifaceted issue and you can’t talk about illegal farm workers and not talk politics. People complain about the price of EVERYTHING and if the workers were able to make a living wage, the price of tomatoes would sky rocket. I have so many feeling about it, I am certain that anything I would say could potentially get me into an argument. I can say one thing, the tomatoes at the grocery store taste like $#!t. If given a choice between buying tomatoes that were picked by workers who are essentially indentured servants (slaves) or not having tomatoes in the winter, I will pass on the BLT.

This is a video posted to introduce you to a problem I didn’t even know existed.

The Alliance for Fair Food (AFF) is a network of human rights, religious, student, labor, sustainable food and agriculture, environmental and grassroots organizations who work in partnership with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), an internationally-recognized human rights organization working to eliminate modern-day slavery and sweatshop labor conditions from Florida agriculture.

Episode 17: Big Ag Co-Opting Farm To Table

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As the Super Bow…er…Big Game approaches, we’re talking about commercials in this episode. Specifically a recent commercial from McDonald’s that tries to make it seems like they’re a part of the farm to table movement.



Photos of what fast food commercials say you get vs what you actually get

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Chicken from Montvale turns asian

I made chinese food tonight. Our local chicken turned into General Tso’s chicken. Every time I make a chicken dish that I made in the past with store bought chicken, I think this is gonna be the one thing that is a deal breaker. I have made my mushroomed stuffed rolled chicken, chicken Milanese and now General Tso. It could be time to get over it already and admit, other than roasting time, this chicken is no different from store bought chicken, except for the fact that it is totally different.

We have decided we can’t get this house

One of the things I am working on in life is even though I might be afraid and uncertain about things, I need to trust that others do know what they are talking about and have my best interest at heart. As much as I love the property and think the upstairs of this house is charming and perfect for us, we can’t buy it — as is or not. My father in law and brother in law went and walked around the place yesterday and they were concerned to say the least. Zach, who has bought a few houses and fixed them up was positive it could all be fixed, but the amount of time and money would be prohibitive. Boomer’s dad Jerry was just concerned about the whole place, the age and the estate wanting to sell it as is. Here is a pictorial of the concerns.

Open cictern and oil storage over the open cistern

Plumbing–is it original/does it work?

Needs a new roof and gutter system

The wiring in the house might be inadequate for the needs of a modern home

And this looks like water damage and is the only room without a bunch of stuff on the floor.

Oh and there’s always this crack

And this

And in case I forget (when I think back about this house, with delusions of grandeur) the open cistern.

Now with all that, I am sure you have concluded that this house would not be a good choice for us too. Oh but how I want land. This is only the second house we have been interested in, maybe there is another house we will like a few months from now. (sigh)

Inventory

I decided to check where we are food wise with our freezer. Here’s what we have left

9 whole chicken
6 lbs of ground beef
3 lbs of chorizo
2 lbs of stew meat
2 lbs of pork sausage
2 packs of sugar cured bacon (1/2 lb each)
1 lb of pork stir fry
1 lb of Italian sausage
1 pack of Ribs (2 lbs)

It seems silly to look at it, but when I plan for next winter I will need to buy more Italian sausage, ground pork and breakfast sausage. It’s good knowing what we have and what we used and if we over bought certain things. Also next year before I have a dozen or so whole chicken frozen into blocks, I will cut half of them up and put them in freezer packs. Much easier to thaw out a pack of two leg quarters then a 5 lb bird that is frozen solid. I have found that we aren’t just baking a whole chicken, except maybe if we have trying to have a nicer, special occasion dinner.

I know I am a little obsessive about the chicken, see we can still get beef and pork easily, I can stop by the market downtown and pick up all kinds of beef and pork. I am trying to make my chicken last.

More pictures

The fireplace and floor in the living room.

I feel very comfortable with the clutter on counters. There were so many little things left in this house, knitting, sewing machines, canning, it feels like the life that the owner had is like the life I want to have.

Another house

This one is smaller, but still works for our small family. Yes I know about the slope of the forch roof.

The land

I will post more pictures tomorrow.

Looking at another house

So we have found another house we might be interested in. The house is located on over 2 acres of land and is in our price range. It’s zoned for agriculture and is the right size for our family. We will keep you posted.