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…
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.