September 2009

Our Harmony Valley Farmshare Arrives Again!

The list of things in my life that happen according to schedule is a pretty short one. Haircuts? Maybe you get them every 6-8 weeks, but I haven't been to a barber - much less a hairdresser - in more than 10 years. I just shave my head when the spirit moves me (see my picture for evidence). Housework? I wish - in my house, we're more likely to clean like crazy people just before guests come over (or when there's something sticky on the floor) than we are to pick a weekly time.

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Looking for Heaven? It's in (a) Budapest (cake)

I wandered into Lucia’s To Go a few Sundays ago, on my way to the Uptown Market. I don’t get to Uptown very often, so I will take (or make up) any excuse I can to visit one of my favorite Minneapolis spots.

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The Environmental Cost of Cheap Food: Part Two

Yesterday, I wrote about two of the biggest ecological challenges we face, both caused directly by agricultural practices, and both driven by the U.S. appetite for cheap food. Factory farming and its effect on oceans was the focus of yesterday’s blog post. Today, I will examine a vital collection of forests that are literally losing ground to the raising of one small (in size) but significant (in sales) crop: shrimp. In South America and Southeast Asia, mangrove forests once lined the coasts. Mangroves are amazing trees. These salt-tolerant plants grow directly in the ocean, sinking a thicket of aerial roots into inter-tidal areas. The roots trap sediments and protect the shoreline from the battering waves of tropical storms.

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The Environmental Cost of Cheap Food: A Two-Part Series

Satellite image of the Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone, courtesy of Phytoplankton Dynamics Laboratory, Texas A+M UniversitySatellite image of the Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone, courtesy of Phytoplankton Dynamics Laboratory, Texas A+M University

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Food Fight: Tomorrow Night at the Riverview Theater

First, there was Fresh. Then, Food, Inc. Now, the latest food documentary that begins with the letter F gets its own Minneapolis screening tomorrow night.

Food Fight approaches the local-food movement from the perspective of a chef, acknowledging that food is, above all, “a sensual experience.” Fittingly, it prominently features the chefs, like local-food icon Alice Waters, who were among the first to claim that the best-tasting food comes from the healthiest, most sustainable sources. Or, as nutritionist Marion Nestle exclaims on camera, “Who would ever have guessed that the taste of vegetables would turn out to be the start of a revolution?”

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The Local Food Pig Roast and Potluck was Awesome

What more I say? Last night's pig roast and potluck at Boom Island Park in Minneapolis was awesome. As in, I'm still in awe of the event. The night was really perfect - fantastic weather, delicious sustainable and organic food,and truly amazing people - about 150 of us!

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Preparing for the Pig Roast (Pictures Below)

The time has come! Dave and Don brought over the pig last night - an 80 pounder from Hidden Stream Farm, purchased from Clancey's in Linden Hills, MN. Within an hour, we had prepared the pig with a bunch of tasty seasonings and enclosed it in a homemade China Box. I think Dave and Don - both experienced pig roasters) are getting sick of my nervous quips, but what do you do when you come face to face with your first dead pig? Frankly, getting to know my food makes me a little bit uncomfortable.

Here are a few pictures from last night's preparation. They're not for the squeamish, but I think they're worth seeing and thinking about. Here goes.

This is my friend Dave Micko, getting the pig ready. In the absence of a table, we made due with an old door from my house, covered with foil and resting on the China Box.

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Our Harmony Valley Farmshare This Week

As you can see, this week's Harmony Valley farmshare box looks every bit as good as the one we've just eaten our way through. Of all last week's treasures, none went over quite as well as the broccoli romanesco, which my kids ate raw in a matter of minutes. In fact, we've been through 2 heads of the great green stuff this week (thanks, Seward Co-op!) - and a bit of tasty cheddar cauliflower as well. I made a batch of fresh salsa from last week's ingredients that was a hit, too - it's so easy when the tomatoes, garlic, jalapenos, cilantro, and onions come fresh, direct from the farm.

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How Our Food Choices Affect the Weather

It’s been a weird growing season in the Twin Cities this year. We had a hot spell in spring, then crazy rain, then a dry but cool summer. Not so much fun for my flowers, but good material for grousing with fellow gardeners. It puts me in mind of that old saw, “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

Nobody says that very often anymore, perhaps because it’s no longer true. Most of us do, in fact, contribute to the root causes of unstable weather, the climate change it heralds, and the general planetary degradation that marks our age.

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Recipe: Sweet Corn Soup with Pan-Roasted Grape Tomatoes and Fresh Thyme

Adam Anderson, former chef at Lucia's (currently at Whole Foods), creates and shares Simple, Good, and Tasty recipes on an ongoing basis, using the ingredients from our Harmony Valley Farm CSA boxes.

Can you go wrong with sweet corn and tomatoes? Only if you try to do too much with them. This is one of my favorite dishes I've prepared this summer. It's simple, yet sophisticated enough to enjoy with a nice, oaky bottle of California Chardonnay - and plenty of sunshine.

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