Monthly Archives: January 2011

Local Food Connection

 

Please join Our Family Farm as we gather with local people interested in learning where their food comes from, or where they can access good, local food. We have been asked to sit on a discussion panel to talk about how the use of social media has impacted our business. If you come, make sure to find us and say hello!

 

Linking Local Farmer, Fishers, Ranchers and Food Buyers!

Local Food Connection, February 7, 2011, Eugene, OR.

Now in its fifth year, this lively event brings together local food producers and buyers for business connections and to share information about building strong sustainable food networks. Details & registration at: localfoodconnection.org.

 

Networking & Education are the pillars of this event:

Inspiring Keynote – highlight three local food success stories. Learn who has made recent impacts in the local food economy and how!

Informative Workshops showcase hot topics, trends, and new data in the local food arena,  helping your business prosper! Examining key areas in buying and selling to restaurants, grocery stores, & institutions; farm GAP certifications; meat industry processes; local food market analysis; farm energy improvement programs and changing climate impacts …to name a few.

Table Displays with a variety of exhibitors including farms, processors, suppliers and advocacy groups.

Networking Session & Local Food Luncheon:  As a food producer you will network with key area buyers, making new contacts and deepening client relationships.  As a food buyer, research a large variety of producers & products in one setting, finding what fits your customer’s needs best. Network while enjoying a delicious luncheon donated from local producers!

 

In this environment it’s vital to network, learn and strategize together.  Please join us at the Local Food Connection 2011!

 

Host: Cascade Pacific RC&D. Sponsors: EWEB, LCC, Oregon Tilth, Stahlbush Island Farm, Organically Grown Company, First Alternative Co-op, Lochmead Dairy, Glory Bee Foods, Verve Northwest and Good Company.

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A Nation Of Farmers

“~How City Farmers, Backyard Chicken Enthusiasts, Victory Gardeners, Small Family Farms, Kids in Edible School Yards, Cooks in Their Kitchens and Passionate Eaters Everywhere Can Overthrow our Destructive Industrial Agriculture, and Give us Hope for Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness in a Changing World”

What do you think? Sound too far out there, too far removed from your reality? Yes? Well, regardless of the pennies in your bank account, you are the greatest at risk.

Sound inspiring? We will say this much, if you are at all interested in how you will feed your kids, and eventually how your kids will feed you as the future of food systems dramatically change our landscape in the coming years, you may want to glean the pages of Sharon Astyk and Aaron Newton’s book, A Nation of Farmers.

Sadly, the pacification that allows for almost all of us to walk sleepily through our weeks is covertly stripping us of one of our basic freedoms; our freedom to choose. Sure, we can choose between Stouffer’s and Healthy Choice, but those companies choose what GM vegetables and CAFO meats fill the box. Do we know the baker who made that loaf of Oroweat bread, with the herbicide infused grains? Do we know the farmer who raised that Rocky Chicken in the confines of a giant hen-house with thousands of other chickens? Probably not. And we trust these strangers with the nutritional health of our families. If this idea concerns you, you may take a closer peek at A Nation of Farmers. You might also consider a couple of simple things:

  1. Read the books and blogs, have the conversations, and in general educate yourself
  2. More importantly, do something in response to it all

Here are a few ideas for us all, as a way to do something:

  • Go to your Farmer’s Market
  • Plant something or join a community garden
  • Get to know a farm/farmer who raises produce and meat products
  • Share what you know and what you do, with others
  • Take responsibility for your life by eating locally and sustainably

If the idea of planting something inspires you, but you don’t have the space or know how, you might consider joining a community garden, or team up with some neighbors to transition a back yard into a garden. We have started a community garden and we would love to share this experience with you. If you are interested, email us and we will bring you into the fold.

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Year Of The Local: A 12 Step Program- Part 1

One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.  ~Luciano Pavarotti and William Wright, Pavarotti, My Own Story

The reality is that most of us, OFF included, have been bastardizing one of the nicest things about life in our failure to plant, purchase, prepare and eat delicious, natural food. Henry David Thoreau even has 2 cents to add to this idea-“He who distinguishes the true savor of his food can never be a glutton; he who does not cannot be otherwise.”

This month Our Family Farm begins an enticing 12 step program to transitioning the way we grow/buy, prepare and eat food. Our goal is to walk gingerly into this process, thoughtfully researching and making choices to discover and support the people working hard in our area who grow happy, healthy food. And if you don’t mind, we would like to share our discoveries with you in the hope that our experience might allow for a more gracious transition for your family, too. Perhaps you will even share what you are learning with us. All in favor? Onward, then!

Here is what we will be researching, learning about and sharing with you and your family as the year unfolds:

  • Januaryish- Local grains; bread
  • Februaryish- 2009’s food of the year; the egg
  • Marchish- Discover the where and why for raw (it’s not a dirty word) milk
  • Aprilish- Join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and plant something, anything
  • Mayish- Buy local, natural chicken (we like the birds from Our Family Farm:)
  • Juneish- Visit a farm, and get to know the people who grow the food you eat
  • Julyish- Pick berries, delicious berries. We will share some of your favorite places for those sweet lil’ devils
  • Augustish- Preserve something, anything. Jam, pickles, sauerkraut, make your own marinara
  • Septemberish- Pet food- give the good stuff to the critters that bring so much joy to your family
  • Octoberish- Stock the freezer with a side of beef
  • Novemberish- Where and why to track down a hog for that sausage, bacon, and ham to get you through the winter
  • Decemberish- You will have to stay tuned. It’s the season for wrapped surprises…

A quick snap shot of what we are learning about grains:

  • They have been eaten for centuries, and it is only since the advent of modern culinary technology we have been able to strip nutritional value from something so pure and perfect.
  • They are perfect: Grains contain all of the components required for a body to assimilate the nutrition there within.
  • When we process grains, we strip their inherent offerings, and ability to do what they were designed to do- benefit us!
  • With a little bit of thoughtful attention to “processing” our own grains, we can usurp most of the health issues associated with this life-giving gift.

Here are a few simple steps we have taken to transition how our family takes advantage of this readily available, highly healthy food.

  1. Learn- Our new friend John Rice recommended an awesome book that we recommend to you; Nourishing Traditions- The Cookbook the Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats. It is to food what Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States is to American history.
  2. Buy a bread machine- …and make your own bread. That’s right, technology isn’t all bad. We can pick and choose the things that benefit us more that hurt us.
  3. Discover where you can get whole, healthy grains- For those of us in the Southern Willamette Valley we will make it simple for you. There are a few ways to get the good stuff.
    • Get yourself out to the farm, meet the person growing your grain, and build a relationship. Hunton’s Farm is taking land historically used for grass seed, and transitioning it to grow organic food crop like beans, lentils, and grain products.
    • Take advantage of your local wholesaler. We especially like Hummingbird Wholesale for a robust selection of local grains, legumes, nuts, flours, and sweeteners. It’s a wonderland of delights!
    • Find it in the grocery store. Sundance Natural Foods or The Kiva are supporters of the local movement.
    • Start, or join a buying club. Conspire with a group of friends and family to purchase food in bulk, at wholesale prices. If you are interested, ask us about the buying club we are starting.

That’s it. Make it simple, keep it simple. Our Family Farm started with local grain grown at Hunton’s Farm, made into flour and purchased in a 2 pound package at Hummingbird Wholesale (they happen to have retail hours Tuesday-Thursday). We tossed it into a bread machine with a few of the other usual bread suspects, and we have been enjoying delicious, healthy bread all month long. You can do it, too.

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Filed under 12 Step Program, Eugene-Local Eating, Know Your Food, Preparing Food/Recipes

Buying Clubs

Pure awesomeness, and power to the people!!

Buying clubs…

This is such a great buying option for our friends and family living outside of the Eugene area that are we offering up a simple post to tell you about it, in addition to adding a whole page for the freshly crafted ‘Our Family Farm Buying Club’ (see tabs at the top of the page).

The idea is simple, really. We have buying power in numbers! When you and a few of your friends/family pool an order for food items, you have the opportunity to pay wholesale prices. That’s it!

With this said, chew on the idea, let it stew for a bit. Consider your friends and family who live a bit further from the farm, the people who would appreciate having Our Family Farm products for their family. Next, share the good news. Or, if you are that person living  a bit further from the farm, make the choice to start a club for you and your  neighborhood.

Good Morning America shared a post to their site that talks about this very thing. Take a look at their post titled, Join A Grocery Buying Club And Save Money. You can even see our friend, Tyler Jones of Afton Field Farm talk about buying clubs, below:

Amanda and I are even starting our own buying club for our friends and family, specific to locally raised grains and legumes. More on this to come. So for now, savor the idea of a buying club, and see if it is dish you want to serve up for you, your friends and your family to dig into.

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