Its funny how our cyclical our country is. We constantly fall in love with something, reject it, and then fall back in love. Often the second time around of loving something it becomes almost elitist.
For example, in the early 1800's most American's were in love with having pale, white skin...just look at those pasty gentleman in the photo to the left. Considering most work at the time was outdoors, dark skin equated a laborer, as those from money spent their afternoons resting indoors during the heat of the day. Then the Industrial Revolution happened. With the creation of new industries and factories people left their farming jobs and headed to the city. They began working on assembly lines, all day indoors out of the sun, causing them to now have pale skin. The wealthy refused to settle for such a thing, and quickly decided that tan skin would now be the new status symbol; as this meant you could spend all days outdoors in your flower gardens, resting by the pool, or lounging on the beach. This trend has stuck, and Americans have slightly altered the tan skin reputation by making it a more than billion dollar annual industry...now you actually need money to be tan.
Why did I tell you this little story? Because the same thing is happening with America's food movement. Primarily, the preservation of our food. As with most of our major scientific breakthroughs, they come from the need of the government. Before the invention of pressure canning most of our food was either eaten fresh, pickled, or dried. These preservation techniques were not very good for Napoleonic France trying to feed their rather large armies, and thus a hefty reward was announced for a new way to preserve food.
Thus, pressure canning was born.
It was a miracle.
...and we loved it.
Everything was then pressure canned. Having a pressure canner meant families could feed themselves through winter with out of season produce. Green beans in December? It was an amazing invention that completely altered the way the world consumed their food. With automation, canned foods came to our grocery stores allowing us access to incredible convenience and variety. After all, why would you spend the time and labor raising a garden and canning your own food when you could just purchase it? This is when canning saw its fall from grace. Canning now meant you didn't have the money to shop for your food.
But the last decade (and recession) has American's changing their old, and expensive habits. With any recession, the sale of food growing and preservation supplies rises. During our latest recession alone sales rose 11.5%. Couple that with our growing knowledge of the dangers of chemical pesticides and GMO's, and you create a food movement. People are going back to the basics to ensure their families health...and that starts with what you put in it. Every. Single. Day. So, everyone is talking about canning again...we love it. However, since most of our parents just headed to the supermarket for canned goods, the art of pressure canning was lost. Today most people think of it as complex, dangerous, and even out of reach. I hear people remarking about wishing they knew how to can all of the time. The truth is, pressure canning is very simple. There is an amazing government website, and of course the canning bible: The Ball Blue Book.
The best part about canning is the amazing value. But wait, with the cost of local, organic tomatoes around $3.00 a pound, how on Earth can you possibly save any money?
You read that correctly: Ugly's. This is the ever so affectionate term we give to produce that just isn't in Grade A marketable condition. They could have a bruise, a small blemish, cracked, split, or forked. These maladies make the shelf life decrease markedly, requiring them to be worked up rather quickly. The price makes it worth it. They are usually marked down between 50-75% of the usual cost. This allows you to purchase a large quantity for preserving and saves you a huge chunk of money at the same time. So, pull out your cookbooks and find that perfect marinara or salsa recipe, because it is going to be even better knowing it comes from fresh, field ripened, local tomatoes. A jar of homemade sauce in winter sure sheds a little light on those bleak evenings.
Since harvest is beginning next week, be sure to keep up with the blog to see what ugly's are available each week. They will also be posted to our facebook page as well.
A few of the many varieties nearing harvest: Above is romaine lettuce and below, potatoes.
Members, we expect to begin harvesting next week. It will primarily be romaine lettuce, loose leaf lettuce, collards, Kale, green onions, and possibly leeks and carrots. There may be more weather dependent. We expect full harvests to begin the middle of July (potatoes, onions, tomatoes, squash, etc). In order to continue to be enrolled in our program you must complete the form under the "Current Member" tab above. You can also click
You will notice that the Farmers Market is not listed as a pick-up site yet. This is because our garden slowly begins producing and about 2 weeks into harvest, really ramps up the production. So, it will be about 2 more weeks before you see us at market. In the meantime we will offer farm pick ups 7 days a week as well as making a weekly Thursday delivery to the Tempur-Pedic Headquarters. More info is in the form.
If anyone has any questions, please feel free to email, text, or call us...whichever is most convenient for you! Until next week...