Renegades and Farmer’s Markets

Are you a Food Renegade?

I’m certainly trying to be. Trying being the operative word. A couple days ago in the search for a recipe using boneless pork ribs that did NOT involve BBQ sauce (harder than it sounds, trust me.) I came across Food Renegade’s blog. Now, I can’t vouch for loving raw milk as I don’t think I’ve ever had it (and it’s illegal in Ohio, which is a debate for another day) but other than that I am so on board with what this chick’s got going on. P.S. if you read this I hope you’re not offended by me calling you “chick”. I meant it in a super cool, B.A. kind of way.

I especially love her Fight Back Fridays idea, and plan on participating soon… If I can figure out how to link my post, that is – we all know computers are not exactly my strong suit. One of the things that I’ve learned since trying to eat with more SOLE (Sustainable Organic Local Ethical…just found that little treasure this week) is that there are a lot of people out there trying to do the same thing.And even more that have figured it all out and are actually doing it.

This really should say I’m {trying really hard to be} A Food RENEGADE…

I know I talk a lot about other people’s blogs on my blog…and I hope I’m not somehow violating some blog code by doing that. I certainly want to (and do) write about my own stuff, what I feel is important/witty/fun/etc. but I also want the 4.5 people who read my blog to know about these other awesome blogs out there! I certainly love when I find a great blog and there is a link or two (or a whole blogroll) of other great blogs that I probably never would have found. It’s like cutting into a piece of chocolate cake and finding a yummy creamy liquidy chocolate surprise on the inside!

The First Food Preservation Adventure

On Monday, I blanched, cut, and froze fresh corn. Hubster gave me a hard time about freezing it when “we could eat it now” (which we wouldn’t have) and I think he’s going to fight me tooth and nail about freezing other produce but with the drought this year I think it’s really going to be a smart move. Not to mention the fact that we will have frozen it at the peak of the vegetables’ nutritional values and thus should have a much better product than what we would buy in the store from Uzbekistan in December (I know, I exaggerate).

Even the news (which I avoid watching like the plague, you can judge whether that’s a good idea or not) is talking about how food prices will be going up due to the drought this year, and consequently an increase in cost for animal food, increase cost to transport the food, etc. Just goes to show you the importance of eating local and putting away food while you can get 7 ears of corn for 3 dollars instead of 10.

I also froze some zucchini and yellow squash yesterday, both times using the directions from pickyourown.org. Aside from having a little trouble vaccuum sealing the squash because it kept sucking up water content from the squashes (squashi? squash?) I’m pretty sure it was a successful freezing adventure. We’ll see when we eat it!

The little squashi cooling in their ice bath, after all the ice had melted apparently…

North Union Farmer’s Market

Yesterday I continued my Farmers Market adventures with a trip to the North Union Farmer’s Market – for all you Clevelanders I went to the West Side one that’s located at Crocker Park. I am a big fan of this farmer’s market, it is literally an outdoor grocery store with everything you could need with the exception of bulk grains. Veggies, potatoes, grass fed beef and pork, grass fed chicken, and dairy products (cheese, milk, butter) from grass fed, humanely raised animals. One thing I found really awesome is that all the vendors have to be approved and go through a yearly farm-visit inspection. No false advertisment possible!

A video about the farm inspections for North Union Farmer’s Markets

My favorite story from yesterday’s visit needs a little background. Last week I went to a health food store close to my house and bought some local Northeast Pastures cheddar cheese. Northeast Pastures is a part of the Middlefield Original Cheese Co-op, an Amish Co-op. Anyway, my cheese started tasting a little funky after only a couple days of being opened, and I had to throw a little more than half of the block away (and trust me, it takes a lot for me to throw away a $5 block of cheese). Fast forward to yesterday, I saw the Middlefield Cheese Co-op table at the Farmer’s Market and went over to explain what happened and ask what I did wrong. I figured for sure that I should have stored it differently or eaten it quicker, or even that maybe I’m just not used to the flavor of good cheese from grass-fed cows.

The cheese of the day

The man behind the table could not have been nicer, and after I explained what happened, even though I didn’t think to look at the sticker on the package with the date on it (I’m pretty sure there wasn’t one) he said there’s no way my cheese should have gone bad and that they must have kept it on the shelf too long. He had me try the cheese there to see if it tasted different (which it did) and then he just gave me a new block of cheese for free. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, THAT is why I love buying from small businesses, buying local, etc, because they really care that the customer walks away happy and they are very proud of their product. I really did not go into that conversation trying to get a free block of cheese. Honestly I figured it was something I had done wrong! But this gentleman wanted me to have “the good stuff” as he put it, and you better believe I will buy as much of my cheese from Middlefield Cheese Co-op as possible, because of that incident. Pretty cool.

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