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Friday Favorite: Meeting Farmers

April 10th, 2015

The best part about sourcing your food locally is meeting the farmers who grow it. The community of people who love animals and love to garden is a great one to infuse yourself into. Yesterday I met Joss at Over the Moon farm to pick up a tom turkey for my poor lonely turkey hen.
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She gave me a tour of her small farm. One of her goats had just kidded an hour before I arrived, the cow and many other goats were due any day now. There was a beautiful blind cow named Candy that she told me all about. She’s the companion cow for her dairy cow. She had wonderful stories to tell of how the sighted cow calls for the blind cow when she gets too far away and doesn’t know her surroundings.
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There were muscovy ducks, guinea fowl, turkeys, geese, chickens, sheep, goats, cows, and a horse on her farm. Along with dogs and cats of course. We chatted for over and hour about all kinds of things.

Are you familiar with any farmers in your area?

Maine Maple Sunday

March 23rd, 2015

Yesterday was Maine Maple Sunday, a day of sweetness all around Maine. People flock to the local sugarhouses and eat all sort of sweet maple goodness. My neighbor and I went to four different places, some large, some small, each unique.
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We ate waffles with maple cream, pancakes with maple syrup, maple bread, maple cookies, maple donuts and the kids had ice cream with maple syrup on top. Even though it was bitterly cold and there were gale force winds it was a lovely way to celebrate the arrival of spring.

Do you have any local spring festivals that you like to attend?

Freezing Avocados

January 28th, 2015

A few weeks ago I ordered another box of avocados from Freckleman Farm. It’s a small farm, they only have 16 avocado trees. The variety is ‘Fuerte’ and they’re FANTASTIC!!!!!
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I was really amazed at the quality of fruit. They were perfectly ripe and flavorful about 5 days after I received my box. They stayed fresh in my cool pantry for a week and a half. After eating them fresh on salads for the past 10 days, I decided it was time to freeze the rest of them so they wouldn’t go bad.
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So I whipped them up with lime zest and juice (1/2 lime per avocado). Into small jars they went and I’ll enjoy the guacamole when I during the seasons when I can’t get fresh avocados.
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I’m ordering another big box of these avocados because they’re so good. It’s difficult to find good avocados at the local stores around here, it seems they’re always bruised up and they go bad so quickly. It’s so nice to live in a time when you can order directly from small farms and get great produce!

Do you like avocados? What’s your favorite way to eat them?

Did Somebody Say Bacon?

January 24th, 2015

I finally got all the bacon in the freezer this week. It certainly is a lot of work to cure and smoke so much bacon. I figured we ended up with around 40 pounds of bacon per pig. I smoked it in two batches using clippings from our apple tree out front. I used the recipe from The River Cottage Meat Book because it was our favorite last year.
This year our pigs were a different breed. Mary breeds for specific characteristics in the meat and you can really tell. She did a great job. Our bacon was much meatier than it was last year. Looks like we won’t be running out of bacon any time soon! One of my favorite ways to enjoy bacon is on a salad, with avocados and eggs – mmmm.

What’s your favorite thing to enjoy with bacon: eggs, pancakes, french toast, burgers?

Flower Sprouts

December 18th, 2014

This past Friday I got some Flower Sprouts at the local farmers market. These are new to me, I’ve heard of them and seen them in seed catalogs but I’ve never seen them before. They are a cross between brussels sprouts and kale and that’s exactly what they look and taste like.
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I settled on making them just like I make broccoli salad. Warm bacon, red onions, mustard, walnuts, dried cranberries red wine vinegar, yogurt, olive oil, and splash of maple syrup and they were perfect for dinner!
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I hope these are at the market all winter because they were great. They won’t appear in my garden, I don’t usually have much luck with brussels sprouts or the longer season brassicas. I’m happy to simply buy them from a local farm. If you’re interested in adding them to your garden next year you can buy seeds from Johnny’s Seeds.

Have you had any new vegetables lately?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but just recently moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine.