Friday, March 30, 2012

Terra Madre - second essay

What is your vision for the food movement? How have you contributed to this vision locally, nationally, and globally?

Just now, my youngest (5) asked me “What are you doing?”  I told him I was writing; but, the real answer is that I’m changing the world.  This would have been hubris when our family embarked on our sustainable farming adventure ten years ago. Over the past decade, I’ve learned that sustainability is as much about the support and involvement of community as it is about farming practices.  
Just as we are feeling the effects of Norman Borlaug’s “green revolution” forty years hence, the eating and farming decisions we make today will ripple into tomorrow.  My vision is that I help to teach people to eat thoughtfully with import and a connection to their food and their grower.  My hope is that my small efforts combined with many others locally, nationally, and globally will reach Malcolm Gladwell’s “magic moment” when it “…tips, and spreads like wildfire.”

A to Z blog challenge

So.... beginning this Sunday, we will be posting nearly daily (A-Z through April) to this blog. I'd like to say that I'm prepared and have a backlog of posts all ready to go.

I don't, but I've got a theme. I'm going to focus on COMMUNITY, specifically, on Cedar Valley Sustainable Farm's community. As I've thought about it, delivering food to over 200 families a month is definitely a group effort!

Over the next month, I hope to give an overview of what our farm's community is and just how important it is.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Dry-rub for ribs

Rib rub recipe

1/4 cup paprika

2 Tbs garlic powder

2 Tbs minced onion

2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

1 tsp white pepper

2 tsp chili powder

2 Tbs ground cumin

3 Tbs ground coriander

1/4/ cup sea salt/kosher salt

1/4 brown sugar

1 tsp dried orange peel

Rub on ribs and let stand overnight in the fridge. Bake uncovered for 2 hours (or longer) at 250 degrees, cover then bake 1 hour at 325 degrees.


Monday, March 19, 2012

Terra Madre 2012

Over the next 10 days or so, Beth and I will be writing applications to be delegates at Terra Madre 2012. We will share them here on the blog as we go along. The bolded text comes from the application, our response is below. Please leave comments and help shape our application!

Tell us about yourself! How has your community's food history, culture, and system shaped your identity, values, and sense of purpose? (Max. 150 words)
I grew up on a diverse grain and livestock farm in northern Illinois. This medium sized farm (500 acres) provided a high standard of living for our family of six and two business partners. Much of what we ate came from our farm. Grains and livestock were sold into competitive markets. However, in 1987, I left the tradition of family farming for university when the farm credit bubble burst.
Leaving the farm left a void in my life. When we moved back to ancestral land ten years ago, farming was different from what I had known. It was no longer possible to make a living on a small (or medium sized) farm growing commodities. I could not come back farm like my father. I had to reach back into my grandfathers’ heritages and produce food for sale directly to my community. Looking backward, I’ve become a 21st century farmer.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Recipe - Sloppy Jacks

Sloppy Jacks

Sloppy Jacks are our version of the traditional Sloppy Joes that are a favorite of our youngest, Jack.

The method is very loose, so I'll describe it here rather than try to call it a recipe!  

  • Start by browning your ground meat (beef, pork or a combination). 
  • Add a can (or 2) of drained pinto beans.  
  • Season with generous amounts of onion powder (that way there are no yucky onion chunks for anyone to complain about) and garlic powder.  
  • For the sauce squirt in about a cup (I never measure, so I'm guessing) of ketchup, then about half as much mustard.  
  • Keep playing with the amounts of each until you have a flavor and consistency that you like.  
  • If I'm feeling very ambitious I'll throw in a little vinegar and balance that with brown sugar, maybe salt & pepper if I think of it.  
  • Taste as you go and see what you like!  Serve on buns, or if you're like Jack, scoop it up with potato chips!