Tag Archives: Eat Local

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

Set Your Table For A Feast Of Feats

FeastIf you are like most of us, the start of a year is a convenient time to consider where the previous 365 days have led you, and reconsider where the coming 365 days might take you. Many of us take a moment to check in with how the year has taken its toll on us physically: What is the scale telling me? What is the mirror showing me? Is my wardrobe cooperating? Am I able to keep up with my kids like I used to? Or we consider how the past 12 months have impacted us intellectually and emotionally: What am I reading? Listening to? Talking about? Have I talked with my brother in the past 6 months? When is the last time I sat with my parents and told them I appreciate them? How do the answers to these questions make me feel?

In these reflective moments, consider how convenient our lives have become. Now, lay this thought over the blueprint-value of your definition of a simple word; relationship. What is your relationship with the food you eat? What is your relationship with your body? What is your relationship like with literature? How are you relating with your kids, or brother, or parents?

However the answers to your own questions might ring, they are likely the catalyst for resolution. And if you are like us, the quintessential ‘New Year’s Resolution’ list is filled with hope: I will exercise. I will start a diet…and stick to it this time. I will play with my kids more. I will read that book. I will call my brother.

We, at Our Family Farm offer a single morsel for you to ruminate, with us, as you ponder the past and set the table for a feast of feats in 2011…


  • Food, my friendBuild a relationship with your food- Over the next 12 months we will unpack our version of a 12-step process to building a closer relationship with the foods we eat. There is huge potential through this one relationship to influence nearly every aspect of our lives; how we feel, how we spend time with our family, how we can save money, how our clothes fit, etc. Our 12-step process will look at several things including buying local eggs, milk, chicken, beef, and pork, preserving food, growing something, what we feed our pets, and where to find and purchase fresh fruits and vegetables.


  • Listen to your bodyBuild a relationship with your body- Listen, just listen. Our bodies tell us so much, all the time, but the soft voice that is our body can be hard to hear amidst all of our convenience and thoughtless routines. This relationship is all about timing. The moment we wake up, the moments we get out of bed, the moments our meals settle in, the moments we prepare to leave our homes for whatever work day may lay ahead, the moment we stand up for a break, the moment we exhale after we are done with a day at work, the moments before we fall asleep, are all moments our bodies whisper to us. Listen. Then take care of our bodies.


  • Omnivores DilemmaBuild a relationship with literature- Read books, blogs, listen to experts in their field. Talk with friends who are reading books, blogs, or listening to experts in their field. Lets fill our intellects with things that intrigue and inspire, and then let our emotions agree with the things that are right. After that, we can let our actions take us in a direction that leads us to freedom and health.


  • Family FarmBuild relationships with people- Know your farmer, know your food! Meet the people growing some of the best stuff we could put past our palette. Take care of the people who will take care of us when we need the most care; our family. Tell the folks why we are thankful for them, and leave it at that if we need to. Tell our siblings we love them, and leave it at that if we need to. (whether they receive it or not, it is a good thing to do, and it will make us feel good…because we are thankful for them, and we do love them). Play with, or read to the kids, because it has been said that our kids are our heart walking around outside of our body.

Relationships are why we are here, in our humble opinion. If you are at all like us at Our Family Farm, the coming year’s table is set for a delicious feast of feats that have the power to escort us out of 2011 much healthier, and happier than when we entered it. Dinner is served, dig into relationships.

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Filed under Buying Food, Family Business, Know Your Food