Eating locally is a way of life... a mind set… a position in the community… a thought process… You either believe it is better for you and your family or you don’t. For Localvors and Foodies… you get it… that is the best way I can describe you… We are not grocery store shoppers loading our carts with packages filled with chemical processes that ‘they’ call food! This is a subject that is continually attracting more and more attention from the media and concerned people who are being daily poisoned by the garbage on the grocery store shelves… pink slime anyone? People are trying to take back their natural right to eat ‘real food’! I often refer in my blogs on how to grow and raise your own food, but I realize and am utterly aware that this is just not a possibility for all of you reading this… my heart aches because of that. I also realize that not everyone really wants to do it themselves but loves the sheer fact they can support some of us who do… and with that I say ‘thanks’. Over the next few blog posts I am going to touch base on how to practice, support and incorporate this into your life from both perspectives… thanks for joining me!
|Happy Galvanting Chickens at our farm!
So what does it mean to eat seasonally you may be wondering. You get the locally part… even though we still eat banana’s~ yes I do too… but seasonally, now that can be a challenge. Many simply don’t have the ability to grow & raise their own. So what do you do then? Well again, support your local farmers markets. In most major cities there are year round farmers market. Our farm started The Old Winery Farmers Market two years ago in Farmington, Michigan. Farmington already had a wonderful and vibrant May through November market, which we have been vendors at for the last five years. Yet it lacked the much desired Winter Market… so was born The Old Winery (see our web site). We are not the only winter market in the metro Detroit area, not at all. Michigan can boast of two of the oldest markets, Eastern Market, Detroit and Royal Oak Farmers Market, Royal Oak and ours of course, The Old Winery Farmer’s Market to name just a few! Although TOWFM is not as old, our building is, we are located in Farmington’s Historic Old Winery building.
|Lettuces and Tomatoes growing in one of
our hoop houses.
With so much study on Season Extension growing methods, much done by Michigan State University, including heated and unheated high tunnels (green houses) we here in Michigan and in other Northern climates can grow fresh salad greens, spinach, lettuces along with carrots & beets to name a few. We have the ability to store Root Storage crops like apples, onions, cabbage, winter squash, rutabaga, carrots, celery, Brussels sprouts, pumpkins, even tomatoes for a certain amount of time… (lots more on this in a couple months). We have the ability to store grains, make home made pasta and bread from those grains. Seriously, this is such a huge topic, I couldn’t do it justice in the small amount of time I have here. Personal research is key to any type of learning process… so research!
With all this we should take into consideration that there is no reason why we can’t eat seasonally to some degree.
So, what to do then…
*If it’s an option grow and raise as much as you can on your own and then what you can’t, find local farmers/producers who can.
*Shop local at the Farmer’s Market in your community.
*Find a Winter Farmer’s Market near you and shop there.
*Join a CSA~ many have summer and winter share options.
*Find a Co-op~ they will have access to seasonally produced goods.
*Know your farmer/ producer… shake their hands and talk awhile.
*Search the web for farmers/ producers in your area if you don’t know any, and then, get to know them. Let them be your farmers.
…so that tells you who to go to, but what about what to eat… next time we will discuss that! Keep posted for more!
A regular market friend gave me these two recipes… she is an incredible cook I believe… enjoy from me & Mary Margaret!
(Rabbit Russian style) Rabbit in Sour Cream adapted from RusCuisine.com
Time: approx. 1 1/2 hours
1 3-5 lb rabbit, cut into 10-12 pieces
1 medium onion, coarse chopped
2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 TBS brandy
3 TBS unsalted butter, melted
2 bay leaves
salt (to taste)
ground black pepper (to taste)
1. Brown the rabbit. Either saute in the butter or bush pieces with butter and
broil until light brown.
2. Place pieces in bottom of a warm Dutch oven or heavy casserole.
3. Saute onion in remaining butter until golden, about 10 minutes.
4. Drain the onions then add to the rabbit.
5. Whisk together sour cream, wine and brandy. Pour over the rabbit and onion.
6. Bring to simmer, add nutmeg, salt (can omit), pepper and bay leaf.
7. Cover and simmer over low heat, or if broiled, place in 350-degree oven for
Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemon, Green Olives and Thyme from Tagines &
Couscous by Ghillie Bashan
Time: 2 hours plus 2 hours marinating
1 7-lb chicken or 8-10 thighs
2 TBS olive oil plus pat of unsalted butter
2 preserved lemons (NOT fresh lemons)*
6-7 oz cracked green Greek olives (NOT pimento-stuffed cocktail olives)
1-2 tsp dried thyme
FOR THE MARINADE:
1 large onion, grated or minced fine
3-5 garlic cloves, crushed
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated leaves from 1 small bunch
cilantro, minced pinch of saffron threads
1 fresh lemon, juiced
1 tsp coarse sea salt
3-4 TBS olive oil
1. Make the marinade by mixing ingredients in a small bowl.
2. Cut up the chicken into serving pieces if not using thighs, remove skin and place in shallow flat-bottom pan.
3. Coat pieces with the marinade, loosely cover with foil and refrigerate at least 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
4.Heat the olive oil with butter, remove chicken from marinade (reserve marinade) and either
(1) saute chicken in a heavy casserole or tagine or (2) place pieces in a jelly roll or shallow metal pan, brush pieces then broil till lightly brown.
1. If broiled, place chicken in heavy casserole, dutch oven or tagine** with reserved marinade. Add just enough water or stock to come halfway up the chicken.
2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 45 minutes. Turn pieces from time to time.
3. Slice the preserved lemons into strips. Rinse and drain the olives if packed in liquid. Add to the tagine with half the thyme.
4. Recover and simmer 20 minutes more, then salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle remaining thyme on top before serving.
Serve with plain couscous.
*Preserved lemons are available in Zingerman's of Ann Arbor and many Middle Eastern groceries. They are better homemade, but only if you use them frequently enough to be worthwhile.
**Tagines (ta-ZHEENs) are conical North African pots, either earthenware or heavy metal. While a cast iron Dutch oven works fine, presentation is more authentic with a tagine. Many cookware shops carry them or can order one for you.
Notes: I prefer to brown meats under the broiler to reduce fat and
spatter/mess. I also either eliminate salt or use next to none. Herbs and
spices taste better anyway. If you don't know how to butcher a chicken (for
2d recipe), Mark Bittman's method on the New York Times website is very
quick and easy to do.