Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I'm Sorry, I Just Can't Help Myself

I don't usually "blog" this much but THIS is something worth reading.  Mouth watering, exciting, riveting, cutting-edge, something worth writing a list for.  Something worth being very, very proud to be a part of.

I am getting ready for a super special dinner this weekend and I usually never write a "shopping list" for the market, but I just did today.  If I got just one or two things from each vendor I would have all the colors in the rainbow in my house and on my plates, as well as every taste, texture, smell and summer explosion.  And that is very very special.  I almost thought about going to the grocery today (something I haven't done in over a month) but who needs a grocery when they have (organically/sustainably grown and raised): figs, herbs, cucumbers, peppers sweet and hot galore, sun golds, edamame, pink-eyed and purple hull peas, green beans, yard long purple beans, melons, grits, onions, broccoli  cabbage, potatoes, cheese, coffee, zucchini, eggplant, garlic, squashes of many kinds, blackberries, lamb, eggs, beef,  okra, chard, pork (bacon),  corn, tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes!!!!!!!!!!..... and I'm not even done.  (there's more!)


What's Coming to Market:

Alexzanna Farms: Cantaloupes, Raspberries, Eggs, Potatoes, Herbs, Flowers and Fresh Figs  

Circle S Farm: Tomatoes, Edamame Soybeans, Bell Peppers, Cherry Tomatoes, Okra, Eggplant and Pie Apples  

Crabtree Farms: Sweet Carmen Peppers, Okra, Jalapenos, Garlic, Cherry Tomatoes, Squash and Cucumbers   

Creekridge Farm: Pasture Raised Eggs, Okra, Herbs and Squash  
Fall Creek Farms: Grass Fed Beef & Lamb, Heirloom and Beefsteak Tomatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, Sweet & Hot Peppers, Red & Green Okra, Summer Squash, Eggplant, Mixed Specialty Beans, Melons, Basil, Cabbage, Swiss Chard and Fingerling & New Potatoes  
Hoe Hop Valley Farm: Pasture Raised Chicken, Eggs, Chicken Livers and Blueberries 

Link 41: Handmade Fresh Sausages and Bacon   
Niedlov's Breadworks: Artisan Breads and Pastries  

Pocket Farm: Pink Eye Peas, Green Beans, Italian Heirloom Zucchini & Yellow Squash, Heirloom & Sungold Tomatoes, Sweet & Hot Peppers, Fresh Basil and Cut Flowers  

River Ridge Farm: Beef (steaks, roasts, ground beef), Chicken (breast, thighs, legs, wings, and wholes), Pork (thin cut pork chops, bacon, Boston butt, breakfast sausages, fresh brauts and fresh Italian links) and Market Special this week: ground beef $5/lb and ground pork $4.50/lb

Riverview Farms: Organic Grits, Cornmeal, Polenta, Sweet Corn, Melons, Squash, Potatoes, Tomatoes and Barley  

Sequatchie Cove Creamery: Artisan Farmstead Raw Milk Cheese  

Sequatchie Cove Farm: Beef, Lamb, Pork, Eggs and Blueberries

Signal Mountain Farm: Tomatoes, Blueberries, Sunflowers, Greens, Fennel, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Squash, Cucumbers, Sungolds, Onions and Cabbage 

Tant Hill Farm: Pastured Eggs, Blackberries,  Cherry Tomatoes (wild cherrry, tomatoberry and sungold), Heirloom Tomatoes, Diva Cucumbers, Green Beans, Hot Peppers, Green Bell Peppers, and Purple Chinese Long Beans  

TiRoc Farms: Tomatoes, Hot Peppers, Squash and Purple Hull Peas  

Velo Coffee Roasters: Organic & Specialty Hand Roasted Coffees  

Williams Island Farm: Tomatoes (heirlooms and sungolds), Peppers (sweets and hots), Eggplant, Cucumbers, Summer Squash and Winter Squash (butternut & acorn) 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Putting Up. Again

It's time to Swim in Tomatoes!  A few weeks ago we went out to Crabtree and pulled up irrigation tape in trade for 2nds tomatoes.  That means they are spotty and need to be dealt with.

So I dealt with them.  Next time I'm just using a freezer, I've got enough jars to satisfy that desire a lady has to see colorful gems of jars lined tidily up on shelves- waiting for "hard times".  (Winter).

eggplant tomato relish (in background)

Books I used:

Canning For a New Generation.  I don't do Facebook but they do.  You should at least get their real book, even if you aren't interested their face.

The Joy of Pickling by Linda Ziedrich.

But there are lots more.  If you have a favorite canning/pickling book let me know.  I'd really love to get some newer ideas.  For next tomato season.

tomato "chutney" with ginger and fenugreek 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What Else I've Been Up To               http://chattanoogacantbefiner.blogspot.com/

Friday, July 8, 2011

That's My Story, And I'm Stickin' To It

These days, it seems we have to take a semi-radical stand about most things.  Even as someone who only subscribes to the National Geographic, I know that our direction as Earth's human race needs to change, and now.  Of course larger groups of people are going to make a larger visible change, but that doesn't stop you and me from trying in our own teeny tiny ways.  There are loads things I try to support (or not) via my buying and lifestyle habits.  I try to only buy fair trade sugar/coffee/chocolate.  I don't use the clothes dryer unless I have to.  I try to generate less trash, buy organic dairy products, beans and grains, never go to big-box stores, think conscientiously about supporting only local businesses, craftspeople and farmers.  I never buy produce from the produce department, usually.  I try not to buy any processed foods, ever (except chips).  If I can cook it myself, I might as well.  And if I can't...well...guess I shouldn't eat it.

But those are all "tries".  I've bought non-fair trade sugar before.  Same goes for non-organic dairy products, and conventional produce.  I'll eat it if it's offered to me, and sometimes I'll even order it in a restaurant. I've bought apples from the produce department of Whole Foods, even when they're not in season (!).  There is nothing that I do that is one hundred percent consistent,  except this one thing:

I never, ever, ever eat meat that is from somewhere I don't know, unless it is absolutely and completely too rude to refuse.  For much longer and more involved versions regarding "vegetarianism" and other local food choices, each with a different take (and hopefully a little humility mixed in) visit my older posts here or here or...hmm...maybe here.  

The reason is, I think CAFO meat is bad, bad, bad (and more bad).  It's bad because of: the grainfedforcefedanimals, petroleum dependency, antibiotics, hormones, GMOs, mono cropping,  the bees, the ozone,  the runoff, the waste, the slaughterhouses, the workers, the land, all the living creatures, and, of course, most of all ME.  Because, whether we admit it or not, it all comes down to mememememe!  (or you).  There are way too many factors to ignore, and it's so so easy to just say "no, I won't support that, ever.  No authentic fajita, or pulled pork sandwich, or duck confit will change my mind."

So what good does it do?  Maybe a very small amount.  But think, I could be eating meat from "those places" every day, and I'm not.  I eat meat once every couple weeks, and it's from animals I met, who are helping the land not hurting it.  They are happy and healthy, grassfed and sun warmed, and are killed one at a time by men and women who are not risking their lives every time they punch in for work. I believe in supporting good instead of just "boycotting" the bad.   And you know what- I don't even care how small my difference is, I'm still not gonna change it.

I have some blanket rules for my life- Low impact as comfortable, Local when possible, Organic when reasonable, and Why buy clothes retail?  All things, I'm sure, can be improved on, and some things I should be more diligent about.  But I will always have that One Thing I'm not going to back down on, ever.   There is no "try" in this rule, and I like it that way.  It gives me some stability and also perspective into how hard I actually may or may not be trying with the other rules.

We all need at least one Story to Stick To, one thing that we don't do because we have to, but because we want to.   And every day, we should refine our other stories more.  Like, maybe I'll try to eat less chips.

So, if'n you wanna, tell me your story, the one that you stick to always and all the time.  I really want to hear it; maybe it's something I haven't even thought of yet and maybe sharing it will help grow the story into some small kind of change.  Ask Ben Franklin, small change one day makes big change, even if it's just a penny's worth.

Most of you know my email address, or just leave it in the comment box.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Farm Photos from potluck and contest Visit them Here.