Sunday, June 28, 2009

Bailey's Buying Club - Ordering is now open for July 3, 2009

Hi Folks,

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How's the local eating going? Are you finding foods that make you happy? Let us know how we can make this buying club work for you and your family. We want to make local eating a norm in your life - not a fad. How were the tamales? I haven't tried steaming them myself yet but the ones I've eaten warm from Doug McKechnie were authentically Mexican and extremely tasty. I'm from Indiana so I'm used to GOOD Mexican food. Now I can serve GOOD Mexican food in my house.

Grand Opening
Thank you to everyone who attended and especially to those who volunteered to make this event a success. We are grateful to have you all as part of our Buying Club.

We had farmers talking about local food, we had samples of many of the products that we offer and we had strawberries! Stephen Woodworth (MP from Kitchener Central) shared a farm story from his youth about catching chickens. On his way out he told me to call him if I ever need anything. OKAY! How about... more flexible municipal zoning for local food initiatives? But that is not federal. How about including local food in the light rail? Add an insulated car at the back and move fresh food from Elmira to Waterloo. How about local food vouchers for those living on government assistance? But that is provincial... What should I ask him for? This is my chance!

Strawberries - so fragile and fleeting
We had strawberry shortcake for breakfast. It was a great way to start the day. The berries from Paul and Saloma Bowman were gorgeous. The other ones were obviously not picked Friday morning. Strawberries are so very perishable. The slightest bump or dampness or heat and they start to go downhill. We'll not be ordering strawberries from Obeid or Pfennings for next week since they cannot pick them Friday morning for us. I'd rather have too few berries and know that they are all fresh and scrumptious than offer sad berries.

Soup in a Jar
We have a new product this week: asparagus soup base in a jar. It is just: fresh asparagus, sodium, reduced chicken stock, onion, lemon juice, salt , pepper. Sounds like it would be delish in a bowl diluted with milk or water. I haven't tried it yet since I just picked it up yesterday. It is from Barrie's asparagus and they are going to be also offering broccoli, sweet potato and cauliflower soups in jars! I love it when I hear of local folks beginning to process local food. Tim Barrie is contracting two sisters, Edna and Melinda Brubacher (near West Montrose) to make these soups in their new commercial kitchen. Tim says that there is almost 2 lbs of asparagus in each jar of soup base and it stores on the shelf for 18 months. He also says that many people eat cooked asparagus for medicinal purposes. If you want to read more about this, see

New European Breads
We are also offering new breads from a new bakery. Antony John of Soiled Reputations (who grows us those amazing salad mixes) offered to bring in bread from Neil Baxter at the Rundles Restaurant in Stratford. I got to sample Neil's breads and they were heavenly. Nothing squishy or fake about these breads. This is the kind of bread that you want to just rip off a hunk and eat as you walk home. We'll be offering his sourdough and olive breads for four weeks. Please tell me what you think of them. Then we'll offer his Potato, Seed Bread, and Walnut Raisin. All of the breads with the exception of the potato are cold fermented sour doughs. They are slow fermented for 4 hrs then held overnight to allow the flavour to develop. His flour is from Quebec. He tried local flours but wanted flour milled "the European way" (whatever that is) so he is happy with the Quebec flour.

Broccoli Already?
Paul Bowman tried broccoli in a hoop house (unheated greenhouse) for the first time this year. This is great for us because it means we get to eat broccoli now rather than in a few weeks. The drawback is that it has heated up too quickly in the hoop house and some of the varieties of broccoli have turned a little yellow. Paul is selling us the ones with some yellow on the tips at a reduced price - look for Broccoli Seconds. The firsts are also available.

Hot Jam and More
Edna and Melinda make more than asparagus soup for Barrie's. They also offer a selection of jams and jellies. Including their popular Hot Jams and Hot and Spicy Chili Sauce and Cucumber Relish. They use local ingredients whenever they can. Sometimes they need to go to northern Ontario for blueberries or Niagara for soft fruits but they buy it from as close to West Montrose as possible. I'm thinking that a Hot Jam (or Jelly) would go great with goat cheese and a not-local cracker. Wish we had local crackers...

Goat Cheese is Here
We now have Mornington Goat Cheeses available. They are SO GOOD! Made in Millbank and kindly delivered to us by their neighbour Millbank Cheese. Why try goat cheese? Some people love it because they are lactose intolerant and goat cheese is easier to digest. Others like that it can be lower in fat and calories and cholesterol than cow cheese (depending on what you are comparing it to). Others like that is does not contain rennet. I just love how it tastes. For supper I had the Bistro Salad mix with Old Cheddar Goat Cheese and Grape Tomatoes on it. With a piece of bread, it was a complete and delicious meal. Rachael's family likes the Garlic and Herb flavoured Goat Cheddar the best. We have still not found a local source of Feta. Millbank is working toward beginning production of Feta in 2010. I may send out a Feta survey later to help them know if there is a demand for it.

Herbal Teas
Karin from Little City Farm has prepared some new loose leaf teas for us. We have "6-Mint Medley", "Sweet Dreams" and "Red Raspberry Leaf" teas available this week. All the teas are grown using organic methods at Little City Farm. A recipe for herbal iced tea will be included with each order.

To Members who live in the Waterloo core (between Westmount-Erb-Weber-Union),
A friend of Nina's, Ellen Desjardins, is doing her thesis on: Food and Place: How People Navigate their Food Environment.

She'd like to interview buying club members. Here is the purpose of her study:

The purpose of this study is to understand why people choose the places where they normally shop for food or eat away from home. This interest stems from the fact that the places where foods are sold in our region continue to change, yet we are not sure how this matters to people in their everyday lives, and what difference it makes in terms of what they normally eat. The study will focus on adult residents of the area surrounding Uptown Waterloo.

Why do I encourage you to make time for a one hour interview with her? How often do you talk to someone and they listen eagerly while taking notes on every fascinating thing you say? Sounds refreshing, eh? Also, you get a $30 food voucher that can be used at Bailey's Local Foods. That is about 10 lbs of asparagus. Or two litres of maple syrup. Or six loaves of artisan bread... Here is her explanation of the perks:

In appreciation for your time and participation, you will be given your choice of a $30.00 food voucher or $30.00 cash upon completion of the third dietary questionnaire. As a participant, you will receive a personal dietary analysis from your questionnaires, as well as a report of the results of this research when it is completed.

Sound interesting? If you would like to know more, email Ellen at:

I hope you enjoy your holiday in the middle of the week. We hope to bike up to north of Columbia Lake for a picnic. If you're going to be out of town on Friday, don't order this week : )

See you soon,
Bailey's Local Foods

P.S. We can use your strawberry boxes and egg cartons again if you return them.

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