Friday, July 2, 2010

Bailey's Buying Club - Ordering is now open for Friday, July 9, 2010

Click to log-in and order. Ordering closes at 8:00 pm on Tuesday, July 6th.
Please be sure to read the wavier on our website when you log in. It reminds you that items placed your shopping cart are automatically saved (there is no 'checkout' button).

Items you order this week are to be picked up at First United Church on Friday July 9 between 3:30 PM and 7:00 PM. Ordering will end on Tuesday July 6, 2010 at 8:00 PM

*** Mark Sunday, August 15th on you calendar for Bailey's Picnic Pot Luck in Waterloo Park! We have reserved the Servery by the Bandshell for our group! More details to come!

Message from Nina:

Hello Local Food Lovers,
After a year, I was finally able to visit Noah's farm yesterday (one of the main farmers of Traditional Foods). They live near Auburn, just 10k or so from the Lake Huron shore in an Amish community that has less than 500 members. Their community was settled by in the 1980's (yes, just 30 years ago!) from Ohio who came looking for affordable farmland. Their farms look different than Old Order Mennonite farms in Ontario. Amish farms have smaller houses and barns (usually white houses). The Amish farms don't have electrical poles or lines since they don't have electricity like most Old Order Mennonites. I've noticed that both Amish and Old Order farms often have neat straight rows of vegetables in their HUGE gardens and nary a weed around the fence posts or trees (thanks to weed wackers?). I loved seeing small groups of people working in these gardens/fields. Tended by hand.

I asked Noah why he farms naturally (he uses a more expensive natural feed for his livestock, no GMOs, no antibiotics, no drugs, no animal by-products in the feed) when most of the Amish around him farm conventionally and sell to the stockyards. He said that he, "Believes in it." He also explained that the farmers who sell to stockyards are struggling financially to make ends meet. Noah is hopeful that Traditional Foods will be able to pay their member farmers more than the stockyards (though they are not yet). Like most farmers in Ontario, Noah says that Amish farmers need off-the-farm income to pay the bills. For Amish, the off-the-farm jobs are very limited due to few transportation options and schooling that ends at grade 8. Many farmers are able to hide their financial struggles with loans and a second or third job. Hiding poverty is especially important in rural areas where it still a strong stigma to be "poor." I'm trying to figure out how to say this tactfully: The Amish farms I saw were not able to hide their financial struggles.

Since our visit yesterday I've not been able to stop thinking about how we as grocery shoppers and "we" as a society are unintentionally cruel to our farmers. I was tempted to write an email focusing on the beauty of the fields and the sweetness of the children and little yellow chicks (all true!). The truth that I saw yesterday is that some farmers in Ontario do not have enough money to pay for decent footwear and dental care. This is not a sob story. This is what we choose when we demand cheap food.

Noah said that he'd give me a breakdown of how much the farmer received from a dozen eggs. From what he said it is less than $.70 a dozen that the farmer is left with to cover labour, heat, bedding, equipment, insurance, taxes and family expenses like footwear and dentist bills. More info to come on this.

Noah and Amelia have 9 children but only 7 of them live on their 100 acre farm. The other 2 are married and live elsewhere. Roy, 11 years old, and Katie, 7 years old, gave us a tour of the animals in the barn: work horses, pink pigs, Berkshires (black/brown) pigs, a couple roosters, chickens for meat, 200 day-old chicks, a couple ducks and geese... Their farm is a true "mixed farm" where they don't depend on one crop or one animal for the income.

Noah said that he's noticed the manure from the chickens smells better when they are fed natural feed. We feed our hens in our backyard this same feed. When we ran out a couple months ago my Dad picked up a bag of conventional feed at a feed mill and the hens refused to eat it for 5-6 days! They seemed to be on strike until we were able to get more of the feed from Traditional Foods.

If any of you want to visit Noah's farm, it is on the way to Kincardine (off of 86 - I can give you the address) and they welcome visitors to their little farm store where they sell everything from frozen chicken to green beans and even sea salt (not from the farm!). You can often talk to Noah at pick-up as he comes in about once a month. He's the man with the straw hat and long beard.

Cherries for Winter
Cherries can be labour-intensive to can or freeze if you pit them first. I pitted one gallon bag full last summer and made a few precious cherry milkshakes this Winter that were definitely worth the half hour of pitting. I'd recommend picking up a hand tool called a cherry pitter from Home Hardware to make the job go faster. I have friends who freeze sweet cherries without pitting them and then when they thaw them they lay the flat of a knife on them and the pit slips out. I'm going to try that this year. Amelia was canning jars of sweet cherries with the pits in them and a sweet syrup around them. They eat them in the Winter like we do fresh cherries (spit out the pits as you eat them).

Look For:
This week we have our first cucumbers coming in from Kingwood Farms! We'll also have the first of the super sweet carrots from Eva and her family. I've been waiting for these carrots since last November.

  • cucumbers
  • carrots
  • eggs for egg-salad sandwiches
  • ricotta for pasta dishes
  • swiss chard (steam it and use it like spinach in recipes such as quiches)
  • turkey breasts, feta and salsa (for an easy meal pour the salsa on the breasts and bake - add feta on top 10 minutes before it is done)
  • first few raspberries (more will be added to the order form on Friday)
  • Divinely Raw's tasty "Celestial Burgie" is this week's special (vegan and gluten free creative version of a burger)
I hope that you are savouring the first few days of "real summer" (when school's out, of course) and enjoying the local foods wherever your adventures take you.
Bailey's Local Foods

P.S. We can use your fruit baskets and jars from preserves again if you return them.

Is this your first email from us?

No comments: