Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

I finished reading this book last week and have felt so inspired by it to support out local farmers and eat locally and seasonally.  We’ve been visiting our farmer’s market and buying a couple of things, but we could do better with our produce.  I’m hoping that we either plant a garden at our dairy farm or support one of the many CSAs available around here.  We already get our milk, eggs, maple syrup, honey, and meat from local farmers, so we’re off to a decent start.

I tried this orzo recipe from, a variation from the one in the book, and oh my goodness is it good!  I also find that Everyday Food is a great source for seasonal recipes and I enjoy meal planning a great deal the week this comes in the mail.

And now with the FDA approving the use irradiation on selected produce, we have even more reason to use our local farmers who use organic practices.  Irradiation is some scary stuff I tell you!

With it being August and everything being so plentiful, I’ve been in the kitchen a lot.  Last week I made 18 quarts of chicken stock for the freezer.  I have strawberries, blueberries and mangos well stocked in the freezer already and decided that we needed some peaches too.  So that’s what I’m doing today… peach oatmeal, peach pie, peach cobbler, peach preserves, frozen peaches.

I also ordered our turkey for Thanksgiving from Skillington Farms this morning.  Can you believe that autumn is knocking at our door already?  I’m sure that we’ll be making a trip to our local orchard for some apple picking and pumpkins soon too.

Farmer’s Market

We get most of our groceries through an organic co-op, a group of 40 families or so in our area working together to get a variety of mostly local goods from Indiana farmers.  A local CSA has a drop-off point there during the summer months and we go through a local organic distributer to get fruits and veggies that aren’t native to our area, bananas, pineapples, avocados, etc.   We get our eggs from Seven Springs Farm.  We have a variety of farmers to get pork, beef, bison, and lamb.  We get pastured chicken from Skillington Farm.  We have the opportunity to get raw milk and dairy products through another farmer.  Maple syrup comes from a farm in Greencastle.  Honey comes from a local beekeeper.  We’ve got so many local farms to work with, yet it still makes me blissful to go down the road to our own town’s farmer’s market.

We don’t usually make it to our town’s square for the morning market, but rather to the evening market less than half a mile from our apartment.  There were only three stands, but that was enough for us to put together a lovely dinner, where most everything literally came within a few miles from us.  James picked out the most beautiful steak from a pastured beef farm in our county and is grilling it.  Jackson made friends with our county’s CSA farmer and scored us some fresh green beans and red potatoes that I’m roasting with my window box herbs.  Alex found our organic dairy farmer that we get our milk from each week and picked out a tomato, basil, pine nut goat cheese that we can munch on alongside some of our co-op’s plums for dessert.

One of the farmers even offered up his land for us to organically grow all the produce we want next summer and let him sell the excess at market!  Break out the heirloom seed catalogs and get me a pen!  I can’t wait to start planning our garden for next year.

Making Buttermilk…

and sour cream, yogurt, and all kinds of cheese!  I’m not doing it all at once, but I just found a wonderful resource with directions for making it all!  I did start a batch of buttermilk this evening.  I can’t wait to see how it turns out.  It should be done in time to make some pancakes for a special little girl on her birthday.