Sunday, October 11, 2009

Bailey's Buying Club - Ordering is now open for October 16, 2009

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Notes from Rachael:

Traditional Foods has updated some of their prices. I haven't gotten them all entered (but I did have a lovely family dinner today) and should have them up to date by Sunday night.

We are reintroducing beef from Vibrant Farms this week. Vibrant has organic, grass fed Limousine beef. Last time they had the meat prepared by a new butcher and many of you were not happy with the cuts or the packaging. We're very sorry for that. This time the steaks are cut 1" thick and one per package. Melissa has confirmed that it is all neatly packaged this time. We've also asked for soup bones and some extra bit and pieces that you might use to feed your dogs or the birds.

New Menu Structure
Andrew just updated the menu a bit. Your choices now include 'Prepared' and 'Pantry' with other categories below. If you are looking for Jams, they are in the third level (Pantry>Preserves>Jam). You may find some items from 'other' moving to 'pantry' soon. You can even send and email and make a suggestion that will make items easier to find.

I almost forgot to tell you about the lamb! Rick and Marg Steele will be providing lamb for us through Traditional Foods. When Marg emailed in September she said The lambs "are still growing on the pasture and it takes a little longer when you don’t use growth hormones!  The weather also affects the pasture and that affects growth as well." She hoped to have them ready in a few weeks. We've waited patiently and now they would like to know how much lamb we want.

When I asked Marg to tell me a bit about themselves and their farm she sent:

We have a hundred acre farm in Huron County, which is now entirely seeded to pasture and ~15 acres of bush and our flock now numbers 120 ewes plus their lambs.  We are continuing to grow the flock with our own replacements.  We lamb once a year in May so that the lambs can go right outside with their mothers onto the fresh pasture and stay out for the summer and fall.  We have also been branching out with a few pastured chickens and hope to do pastured pork in the next couple of years.

Rick and I have 3 children; Mathew 16, Sarah 14 and Eric 12 who all help out with chores, feeding, lambing and fencing.  We have been fencing the whole farm with electric fence over the last several years so that we can do rotational grazing with the flock.  We do not use growth hormones and antibiotics (unless an animal is seriously ill and that rarely happens now. We have not used any this year).  We have been focusing on improving the flock health with clean water, healthy food and making sure they get the minerals and vitamins that they need.  Our goal is to have the lambs come right off the pasture and into the freezer, though some years the weather is against us!  We think it will become easier as our pastures become more productive and our genetics improve. We are passionate about the health benefits of grass fed meat and we eat our own product too.

The lamb offering will be separate from our normal weekly offering as  Marg wants to take the orders and then book the lambs into the butcher. She wants to get a feel for what cuts people prefer, before butchering up a large number of lambs!

Andrew (randomly?) chose to open the lamb offering Sunday October 11, 2009 at 9:41 AM and it will run until Tuesday October 13, 2009 at 11:00 PM. Pick up will be on Friday October 23 (our last regular Friday Pickup). We will offer lamb through the winter

Prices are:
1/2 leg of lamb, bone-in $11.00/lb (2.5 to 4 lbs)
1/2 leg of lamb, boneless $14.00/lb
Boneless shoulder roast $8.00/lb
Loin chops $10.00/lb
Rib chops $10.00/lb
Stewing meat (1 lb packages) $9.00/lb
Ground (1 lb packages) $9.00/lb
Heart, kidney, liver $5.00 /lb

Happy Thanksgiving,

Hi Folks,
By the time you read this you may be done with your Thanksgiving feasting.  Did it feel like a celebration of the local harvest?  I'd love to hear stories of your feasts and your families' reactions.  When you're reading this I may be fussing over a turkey. Yes, I decided to go with a turkey after all. I got all excited about making a mushroom gravy so I needed turkey to go with it.  Next week I'll tell you how it turned out.

Ready-to-Eat Foods
This week we are excited to offer new foods from a business in Guelph called Meals that Heal. Nice name, eh?  Meals really can heal.  Caroline is offering us a scrumptious-looking selection of dips, entrées and soups such as:
  • Kim-chi in a jar (Korean cabbage salad - usually spicy)
  • Organic Red Lentil Dahl
  • Organic Carrot Hummus
  • Organic Chickpea and Potato Curry
  • Organic Feta, Mushroom, Garlic and Walnut Pate
  • Organic Tomato Salsa Fresca - Mild or Hot
  • And much more!
To see all of the foods, go to the Prepared section (formerly 'heat and serve') in the order form.
Caroline uses local and organic food in her dishes. If you want the lowdown, check our ingredients page at <a target="blank" href=""></a>.  We are hooking her up with the Steve and Diane, the Hillbilly Bean farmers so she soon may be using local lentils and black beans.  I'm thinking I have to try the Pâté and the Green Thai Pumpkin and Cashew Curry (yum!).

Note from Rachael: All of the foods from Meals that Heal are gluten free and most are vegan or vegetarian. Please check the ingredients to be sure. Enjoy this week's introductory prices.

I ordered baby carrots from Pfennings assuming that they'd be local and they were imported from the States. I'm sorry! I'll be more careful not to assume that during carrot season they'd be local carrots. Pfennings said that Canada does not have the baby carrot processing facility (to cut and shave them down to look like babies).  Is this possible??  Wayne Roberts has a great article coming out in the Oct 19 Alternatives Journal where he proposes that Canada "Eat This Recession" by offering families $10 for every $100 spent on local food.  He outlines how this money would stimulate so many thousands of jobs.

Nuances of Beans
I ignorantly thought that all dried beans are similar (except for garbanzos and lentils which are obviously different) until last week.  I was so wrong!  They are like squash with different textures of dryness and moistness, and subtly different flavours. I cooked up a pot of Small Red Mexican Beans and then sautéed them with onions and garlic (like I usually do with beans). They were way tastier than the Romano beans I'd been using! This is all subjective, of course. Now I need to try each kind of bean and see what the other flavours and textures are.

In love with Celeriac
Have you discovered celeriac?  It is a humble (and ugly) root vegetable that provides much appreciated variation to the carrots, beets and potatoes of a Winter diet.  It doesn't seem very sexy to me in August when it is first available but when the Niagara fruits fade and the tomatoes and sweet peppers are gone, celeriac holds steady and starts to shine.  I love winter because it is the beginning of the soup and stew season in our family.  We still make pizza and pasta, don't get me wrong, but soups and stews become our default.  With good bread and cheese, it is a lovely simple meal.  Make it grilled cheese and the kids cheer.  Each of our kids has their favourite soup.  Foster fawns over the brothy soups.  Ezra eats a bowl of chili and asks for more. Mona, she's more fickle but if we let her plop her own sour cream in, she'll eat a bowl of just about any kind of soup - especially a cabbage borscht.  I'm telling you all of this to tell you how much we love and depend on celeriac to make these soups.  We add it to any kind of soup in place of potatoes (or in addition).  It adds a subtle celery flavour and many mistake the chunks for potatoes when they eat it in a soup.  A tip for cutting celeriac: cut off all of the knarly roots. If you try to wash them, you may end up cursing. Just cut it off until you get to the "meat" of the root and then rinse it and chop it into chunks.

The Sexy Cabbage
Why is Chinese Cabbage sexier than green cabbage? It is easier to chew and it does not cause gas.  Yes, these things matters.  Chinese cabbage (also called Nappa Cabbage) makes awesome coleslaws (try it with sweet and sour vinaigrette with toasted almonds or sunflower seeds).  It is also great in stir-frys and soups.  As the lettuces freeze and keel over, consider making Chinese cabbage your new salad-staple.  (Due to his foresight and good farming, we WILL continue to have amazing salad mixes from Antony.)

We're Famous!
A doctoral candidate from the University of Western Ontario contacted me to ask if I'd give an interview with her as part of her research to bring about a "better understanding of how regions of food sovereignty have been able to emerge throughout Ontario."  She has chosen to interview people in Waterloo Region because we have "achieved one of the most developed alternative food systems in the province."  Really?!?!  I guess we should be proud of ourselves. Or feel sorry for everyone else who has an even more messed up food system.  People are noticing what we're doing here. Here in Waterloo Region and here with this model of a local food buying club.  We're getting requests to speak and to give interviews.  People are eager to know: "Is it working?"  People are eager for a model that they can try in their city.  You're part of something significant here. You are re-localizing the food system.  You are showing how it CAN work for urban families to eat locally (even if only 10% local, that is significant).

Let's Celebrate! Dessert Potluck after Pick-Up
Last week I took the one unclaimed pumpkin pie at the end of Friday, and handed out forks to the volunteers cleaning up.  We dug into that communal pie and it was gone in mere minutes.  That gave me the idea for a dessert potluck.  We don't need to all eat out of the same pie plate this time - but we could.  So let's celebrate that we're changing the local food system! Let's celebrate the end of our growing season with a dessert potluck after this Friday's pick-up.  Bring a dessert (perhaps somewhat local in character - or not) and join us at 6:30.  We'll be cleaning up and checking out a few final orders. We can pull out some chairs, boil water for tea and share desserts with each other.  We'll provide plates, forks, mugs, and tea.  You bring your self. Bring your kids.  Bring something desserty. If you are too tired to bake, order macaroons from Golden Hearth to share.

We'll kick you out by 8 so that we can go home and crash.

Local Mixed Drink
I went to Rachael's new house last Friday to celebrate their soon-to-be home.  We sat on the wood floor in the empty house and enjoyed sparkling cider with rum - with tortilla chips (gotta love those chips!).  I think this is an untapped niche market: local mixed drinks.  Have you discovered any good combos? If so, please tell me and I'll pass on the ideas.  I can see someone making a little funky booklet with local mixed drink recipes. I'd like one for Christmas.

This week look for:
  • Gravenstein apples from Pete (Apple Creek). Wikipedia says that Gravenstein are "one of the best all-around apples with a sweet, tart flavour and is especially good for baking and cooking."
  • Hummus from Meals that Heal
  • Curry dishes from Meals that Heal
  • Soups from Meals that Heal
  • Celeriac - your new "potato" alternative
  • Chinese Cabbage - your new "lettuce" alternative

Thank you for choosing "fair trade" food,
Nina Bailey-Dick
Bailey's Local Foods
P.S. We can use your fruit boxes and jars from preserves again if you return them.

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