sustainable agriculture and the end of cherry harvest

If you have read my blog at all, you probably have noticed that I am a big fan of sustainable agriculture and buying local, growing your own and farmers markets. With that in mind, I just want to call your attention to an article that Michael Pollen wrote about the farm bill here. He is my hero, he and Michael Moore, but that is a different post. Thanks to Chez Pim for posting it first so that I was aware of it and could send it on to others! He does mention the bad nutrition of tater tots, however I am a huge supporter of those little tots, everything in moderation. They were a potato once upon a time, after all and I did grow up on a potato farm (and fruit). Since my family has always been in the fruit and veg area, they are subsidy free. Yet, still cannot control the price they get for their products unless they sell them directly to the store or at the Farmer’s market. But I will save the rest of that discussion for another post or at least cocktail hour…..

Cherry harvest is now over on the farm (always a sigh of relief, no downpour of rain, no injuries), all except for the Balatons, a newer variety of tart cherry that gets picked by hand. If you can find these in the store, snap them up. They are tart, sweet, dark and juicy all at the same time. They really look like a dark sweet cherry, but in fact are a tart cherry. They make great pies, jam, sauces and I just eat them straight. Last year ours were distributed via my bro and a refrigerated truck to stores like Whole Foods in SE Michigan. Hopefully they will be again. Strangely enough I have no photos of cherries or of harvest on this computer. I will see what I can find and post one soon.

My next post will be about Pancetta our pig, finally. I actually had the entire post written up, went to move a photo and lost the whole post. I have been unable to speak to my computer for 2 hours now. I think we have made up now.

i’m out

Cherries, not just another berry…berries and other things I forgot to mention

The last two weeks have been busy with other things too, distracting things. I did a bone density test and found out I have the early stages of osteoporosis, not being even 40, this was a bit of a shocker (even though it runs in the family). Thank goodness for a new doc who looked up what treatment Celiac patients should have on a regular basis. I am getting two crowns put on my molars, this is just so much fun. And the kicker, I got my hair cut. Too much. It is now a bit (ok a lot) too short for me. I had at least 5 inches cut off and now feel surprised every time I see my self in the mirror. Of course it looked great the day I came home and I can’t seem to duplicate the look twice.   Moral of the story, if you are Celiac, get a bone density test done asap.  And take calcium supplements with vitamin D.  Do it.

And now, back to cooking and gardening….or gratuitous farming and shopping via traveling friends.

I am a lucky girl. I am from a fruit farm (3.5 hours and 200 miles away) and it just so happens that one of my friends (fellow homebrewer and hobby cook to boot) works with a fruit program on campus and has to go visit many cherry farms all season long, including a site at my dad’s. So, when he goes up, he lets me know and then I let my family know and beg for what ever is in season to be sent back down. I find this to be a near perfect grocery shopping method, esp for that it is free! Recently I received 5 quarts of strawberries and some new potatoes that were volunteers in the oat field (my bro planted oats to feed his pheasants and chicks). Then I received 4 quarts of cherries and 1 more quart of strawberries and more new potatoes. One of those trips blessed us with an organic, free range chicken that my brother had just processed. While I haven’t taken a photo of the raw frozen chicken, here are some fruit photos to make me go yum! I couldn’t eat all of the cherries before they were going spoil, so I pitted them and put them in jars of vodka. Of course then I remembered that I had done that with raspberries from the farm last fall and they are still in the fridge – beautiful pink juicy vodka laden fruit. Perfect for the cocktail that I keep forgetting to make.

cherries, white sweets for maraschino dark sweet cherries from the farm Bardenhagen Berries!

ah summer fruit from the farm

“Cherries, not just another berry” is the new marketing slogan for the Cherry Marketing institute.   Lots of cherry recipes on that site.  I tend to just eat them as is.  Now I just have to ask for some tart cherries and the new Balaton tart variety to be added to the shopping list.

i’m out