TEDx : Changing the Way We Eat

TEDx : Changing the Way We Eat

Jan 19

On this coming Saturday, January 21, Laura and I will be attending a free web conference at the Winter Park Welcome Center. We will be watching a live video feed from a TEDx conference in Manhattan called “Changing the Way We Eat.” The lineup of speakers is impressive and should prove to be both eye-opening and reassuring. Respect for food really is about changing the way we eat,...

Where to buy local happy meat!

Where to buy local happy meat!

Jan 04

We talk a lot about happy meat from animals raised naturally and humanely. But we are often asked, “Where can I buy happy meat?” Even so long after changing our diet, it’s a hard question to answer off the top of our heads. Part of this is because we haven’t personally ordered meat from most of the out-of-state producers, even though we’ve done the research to make...

Making A Difference: WKMG News Segment

Making A Difference: WKMG News Segment

Dec 23

Although we’ve settled into something of a routine recently, neglecting our blog in the process, we are still passionate about our pursuit of happy meat and local food. This morning, a cameraman from WKMG News Channel 6 came to our house to record us talking about why and how we have changed our eating habits. The footage will make up one of their “Making A Difference” segments,...

Local Food Conference

Local Food Conference

Nov 19

Laura and I attended the first Winter Park Local Food Conference today. Actually, we volunteered for the entire thing, 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Overall, the event was a huge success, though the day was overly packed with intense learning and brainstorming. If you were interested in going, but couldn’t make it, you’re in luck: We’ve been authorized to recap the highlights of the...

Winter Park Harvest Festival Conference

Winter Park Harvest Festival Conference

Nov 16

It’s almost upon us! The Harvest Festival Conference is an all-day event coming up this Saturday that will cover all sorts of topics to help producers, vendors and entrepreneurs play a larger role in the local agriculture scene. Laura and I will both be volunteering (two of only six volunteers!) all day, so if you’re there, please say, “Hi!” I’ll be the go-to...

Green Day Fair

Green Day Fair

Oct 20

The large corporation I work for has created a day called Green Day. It’s sort of the autumn counterpart to Earth Day, and in honor of it they host a “green fair” where local vendors brag about their eco-friendly products. This year, however, they decided to incorporate a farmers’ market with real live local farmers — among the many food vendors were Growing Synergy...

Eat Local Week 2011

Eat Local Week 2011

Jul 23

Are you interested in eating local, but not in doing all the work required? Well, this November, Slow Food Orlando will make it easy for you, by hosting a week of local dining November 11-18, 2011. We’ll be reposting news from Slow Food Orlando as we get it, but you can also check it out for yourself at...

Diamond P Ranch

Diamond P Ranch

Jul 10

Down in Kissimmee there are forty acres of land divided by neat white fencing and populated by a herd of cattle and goats, a flock of chickens, a plot of tilled and cultivated land and a beautiful, idyllic house. This is the setting for Diamond P Ranch, owned by Alan and Nancy, who bought it a few years ago from some horse ranchers. They have a house in Kissimmee that they “just...

What is permaculture?

What is permaculture?

Jun 16

After a long couple months, I’ve finally completed a nine-minute video for the Simple Living Institute. It attempts to cover what exactly permaculture is and how to implement it, as well as some of the particulars of the Permaculture Design Course that the Institute held in the Spring. They’ve already scheduled another for the fall, though they’re not taking registrants yet....

From Dirt to Dinner

From Dirt to Dinner

Jun 14

The Orange County Extension Center is hosting a six-week workshop called “From Dirt to Dinner,” covering topics such as soil composting, insects and pests, organics, container gardening, square foot gardening, safe food preservation, storage, nutrition and food preparation. I’d love to join, but it’s Friday mornings from 9am – noon. It’s a great opportunity to...

Local Producer: Beck Brothers Blueberries

Local Producer: Beck Brothers Blueberries

May 22

Anxious for a taste of this year’s blueberry harvest, Laura and I drove over to Windermere this morning to harvest our own at Beck Brothers Blueberries. Incongruously located in the middle of upper-class suburban sprawl, the farm is clean and friendly enough to make Martha Stewart proud. The owner of the farm (one of the Beck brothers?) told me he’d lived on that same street all his...

Organic Growers’ Meeting: Growing Blueberries

Organic Growers’ Meeting: Growing Blueberries

May 22

The Organic Growers’ Meeting on May 18 was a great success. The room was pretty well packed, the seats filled with attentive growers, all anxious to produce their own little patch of blueberry bliss. Ethos Vegan Kitchen provided some free pizza, and Our Vital Earth announced its new worm container, The Worm Cafe. (It’s basically a Can-O-Worms that is rectangular, with some other...

Making Use of Wasted Food

Making Use of Wasted Food

May 18

I just read an article in Urban Farm magazine about how an organization in San Francisco is working on collecting scraps from local restaurants. They are putting the scraps in biodigesters and generating electricity from the methane generated when the food decomposes. They are currently powering some crazy amount of homes and will soon start selling the power to the local power company. I love...

Farm to Fork Dinner

Farm to Fork Dinner

May 17

Last Thursday John and I attended the Osceola County Grown Farm to Fork Dinner. Amidst a sprawling green farm with cows, a garden and gorgeous house, was three long tables beautifully decorated and chairs for about a hundred. The dinner was delicious, and again like we say every time tasted even better because it was fresh, local and prepared with some serious love! Turns out the chefs, all from...

Osceola County Farm to Fork Dinner

Osceola County Farm to Fork Dinner

May 07

This Thursday, May 12, we will be gong to another farm to fork dinner hosted by Osceola County Grown, an organization dedicated to bringing small farmers of Osceola County together. Our first farm to fork dinner, where all the ingredients come fresh from the producers and are assembled by a local chef on-site, was at the Winter Park Harvest Festival. The cost was prohibitive for many, but the...

Find Some Free Fresh Fruit

Find Some Free Fresh Fruit

May 03

In my most recent issue of Budget Travel, however unlikely, I found a nifty iPhone app called Find Fruit, created by the good folks at the website Neighborhood Fruit. Essentially, this app maps out the locations of publicly accessible fruit trees in your area. Free fruit! Unfortunately, there’s no free fruit documented in the greater Orlando area. It’s a little difficult to use the...

Waiting for Our Food to Change

Waiting for Our Food to Change

May 02

Laura and I have both been reading a lot of anecdotal books about agriculture and community, like the one I’m currently reading about the town of Hardwick, Vermont, and how a few enterprising individuals there are trying to build a model for a local food economy. Throughout many of these books, I’ve noticed a common thread, a shared sentiment that something is awry with the American...

Building a Local Food Network

Building a Local Food Network

Apr 24

At the Lake Eola Earth Day Festival yesterday, John and I watched a panel discussion on ‘Building a Local Food Network’. The panel of experts were Michael Tiner from Homegrown Co-op, Stephanie Syson of Gray’s Gardens, Tia Meer of Econ Farm and president of Simple Living Institute, and Kendra Lott of Edible Orlando magazine. I can’t say much was discussed that we...

Pickling Demo with Bill Hettig

Pickling Demo with Bill Hettig

Apr 24

You’ve already seen our Perfect PIckler that we got at last week’s Organic Growers’ Meeting. You’ve seen us attempt to use it for the first time. Now you can learn for yourself what pickling is all about — why it’s important, how to do it, and how you can use the Perfect Pickler to make it easier. Check out our video of Bill Hettig’s presentation and...

Pickling Introduction @ Organic Growers Meeting

Pickling Introduction @ Organic Growers Meeting

Apr 19

Don’t forget that the Simple Living Institute’s Organic Growers Meeting is this tomorrow night (Wednesday, April 13) at Leu Gardens. It’s free to all, so come out and enjoy a demonstration and introduction to the basics of pickling just about anything. Not to mention the free plant raffle – bring a plant, go home with a different plant (or three, or four, or five).

UCF Arboretum

UCF Arboretum

Apr 15

I spent my morning at the organic community garden at the UCF Arboretum. The Arboretum sits on the UCF campus and is part of conservation land. The Arboretum was started years ago with the mission of giving “students, faculty, staff, and the greater community of Central Florida a comprehensive environmental and outdoor living laboratory for education, research, recreation, and human...

Filming the Permaculture Class

Filming the Permaculture Class

Apr 10

Laura and I dropped in on the Simple Living Institute’s Permaculture Design Course yesterday, planning to stay from 10am – 2pm, just to get some footage of the students and teachers in action. We were received so warmly and hospitably that we stayed until 6pm, learning, making new friends, and eating good food along the way. The nine-week, 72-hour certification course in permaculture...

Local Producer Spotlight: Sundew Gardens

Local Producer Spotlight: Sundew Gardens

Apr 08

“I’ll give it to the chickens,” says Tom Carey, owner of Sundew Gardens in Ovideo, Florida, as he demonstrates a head of lettuce gone to seed. “These leaves will taste way to bitter for people to enjoy.” It’s a warm Spring morning that is quickly becoming hot, and Tom is explaining his techniques for soil cultivation, pest control, and planting cycles, while...

Busy at the Bazaar

Busy at the Bazaar

Mar 30

Laura and I stopped by the first Orlando Food Truck Bazaar on Tuesday night, held in the parking lot of Discovery Church on south Orange Ave, and we were pleasantly surprised (at first) to see a ginormous crowd of people gathered around the trucks and the simultaneous community market (which apparently happens every Tuesday there). We weren’t so pleasant after joining the line for the Big...

Strawberry Flats Forever

Strawberry Flats Forever

Mar 26

We visited the Winter Park Farmer’s Market this morning and scored a half-flat of Plant City strawberries for only $6. You can get yours next Saturday morning, if you’re so inclined. We plan on making strawberry jam and starting a strawberry red ale.