Monthly Archives: June 2012

One year of local meat

I was trying to figure out when it was that we stopped buying non local meat, and it looks like it was about a year ago. Making the decision to get away from the grocery store with our dairy and meat was final. That video made it impossible for me to support those company’s anymore. (I can’t guarantee the person elected is the person I voted for, but I do get to elect who gets my money.) I had done a bunch of research on who to buy beef and pork from, that was a fairly easy solution. It was the chicken that was the problem.

It seemed to me that a farmer can raise a 1200 pound cow or a 500 pound pig and take it to the processor and come away with a fairly large product to sell. But a chicken…3-5 pounds and all those feathers didn’t make as much sense for local farmers. I searched and and found a couple different producers. Tried contacting some, some were out of the chicken business, but on one website saw that Bramble Hollow would be at the farmer’s market.

So before my shift one Saturday I went and got two chicken, whole birds with the neck still on (which at the time seemed odd, now it’s the norm). I paid more for those two whole chickens than I had ever spent at one time on chicken. I put them in the freezer at work and worried that someone might steal them, my expensive chicken. I felt silly at one or two points in the day, think that I was kidding myself to think that we could get away from the 99 cent a pound chicken, how could I feed my family spending so much on chicken. Who do I think I am a Rockefeller?

Those birds sat in our freezer at home for a couple weeks, trying to save them for a special occasion, maybe Thanksgiving chicken? When my mom was her for her summer visit we made one of the birds. It was so good, different from chicken from the store, more flavorful, better. The difference was huge from store bought and locally grown chicken.

What I have since discovered, that even in the local chicken market there is a difference. We have tried all the types of chicken Bramble Hollow offers. When we ran out of chicken in early spring, we had to buy some from another farm and they just weren’t as good. I don’t know why or how, could be the non gmo feed that Anna and Brent feed their birds, could be the breed, but that reason why doesn’t matter.

So, here we are a year later, we bought a chest freezer to make sure we can always have enough of their chicken on hand. We have helped process the chicken we eat, visited the farm, gotten to know a great farm family. If that’s not enough, they still have the best tasting birds around.

csa bag 8

This week broccoli, beets, basil, lettuce and cucumbers. The bag as you can see is changing and it’s one of the things I love about eating with the seasons. The greens and lettuces will be gone, and more squash and tomatoes will appear.

I have to say working this later shift at night (this is my last week) I have noticed we fall back into easier, just reheated food. I am the only one who really cook around here, so Boomer wouldn’t be able to just whip something up with the last of the scapes, zucchini and sqaush. Some of the items haven’t been eaten by a human. We took some stuff out to the pigs at Bramble Hollow and other foods that haven’t been consumed have gone to the worms. Keeping that in mind, if you are a busy family who doesn’t have time to wash, cut, chop and cook/prepare fresh foods, than a CSA is not really for you.

Filed Under: CSA

Finally we have more Bramble Hollow chickens

This was our freezer Sunday night. I had to make sure it was empty and defrosted (we have food in the other freezer, so don’t think we are starving). We didn’t make it out to help process this time due to scheduling conflict. So we made the trip out today to the farm to pick up. When we got there, a few other folks were picking up their birds, so we went and fed the pigs.

It is one of my favorite things, bring food out for the pigs, we feed them and they eventually feed us. I like that we have a connection to our food, we know where it was raised and how it was raised. Most of the chickens were put up for the pick up time, so Madigan didn’t get to chase them around too much. We got to spend a little time hanging out with Jack and Marren, she cooed and smiled and seemed content with everyone making a fuss over her. Jack gave us a picture he colored, which made me smile.

We loaded up our coolers and had to get home to get them cut up and in the freezer before I had to go to work. I am very happy to have the Bramble Hollow chicken back in the house. Since last winter was the first time we bought local chicken we didn’t know how many to get, so in January or February we ended up having to get about 4 extra chicken from another farm. I am happy that the other farm had them available, but they weren’t as good. I don’t know why or how, I just know that the Bramble Hollow chickens are better tasting.

This is what the looked like out of the cooler, and this is what they looked like after an hour. Nicely cut up, in freezer bags, portioned out.

We picked up a rack of ribs for when my mom visits, cause I don’t want to have an issue like last summer when I couldn’t find ribs.

CSA bag 6

Another Tuesday means another CSA bag. The bags are starting to change. We got broccoli, Chinese cabbage, chard, lettuce, scapes and green onions. We also got some green and yellow squash. I like when we start getting the new veggies. We will say good bye to scapes and the green onions soon, but that just means tomatoes are right around the corner.

Filed Under: CSA

Episode 36: Jodie Finally Got Her Champion Juicer

We have a new addition to our little family. Jodie got a used Champion Juicer! In this episode we share the strange story of going to get the juicer and what our initial thoughts are about the juicer.

Links for this episode:

Champion Juicer

Food Matter Documentary

Andrew Saul

David Wolfe

Fat Sick and Nearly Dead

Raw Food Diet Recipes

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Garlic Scapes

You might remember my love affair with the garlic scapes last year, it was in fact my #1 favorite thing to discover in my CSA bag. I had never had them, in fact when we got them the first time, we had NO IDEA what it was. I shared half these with a foodie friend from work. It’s a limited time, while supplies last, and I am going to enjoy every aromatic moment.