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...

New Bird in Town

New Bird in Town

Nov 15

If you’ve ever searched Orlando for local food — especially local meat — you’ve probably been disappointed at the apparent lack of sources. Laura and I have done a lot of research to come up with the multitude of options we’ve posted here on our blog. But it’s easy to feel like Orlando is something of a local food desert. I assure you, however, it’s not. Just to...

Find Local Food: Online Resource Roundup

Find Local Food: Online Resource Roundup

Apr 20

I’ve posted many online resources for finding local food, but I realized recently that they are all over the place. Some are in the links section, others are in full posts, and others may be just on Facebook. So, here’s a round-up of all the websites I’ve found that help you find farmers markets, local food, and restaurants that serve local food. Local Dirt: Find local...

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...

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...

Local Producer Spotlights

Local Producer Spotlights

Mar 25

We may live in a subtropical hothouse, we may generally be known as the tourist capital of the world, and we may have a largely transient population, but here in Central Florida, we also have a thriving community of more-or-less-permanent residents who are gardening, farming, and raising animals. When we first discovered some of these local producers, Laura and I assumed they were the exceptions...

The Life of a Dirt Farmer

The Life of a Dirt Farmer

Mar 21

We went to our first Organic Growers’ Meeting last Wednesday, the monthly meeting hosted by the Simple Living Institute. Every month, they bring in a guest speaker and hold a plant raffle. We walked away with six plants, including lettuce, zucchini and swiss chard. We also brought a camera to record this month’s guest speaker, Tom Carey, owner of Sundew Gardens in Oviedo, Florida. The...

Building a Community Around Food

Building a Community Around Food

Mar 18

Happy food is about more than happy animals; it’s about happy ecosystems and, more importantly, happy people. Eating is something we all have in common, but not everyone is privileged enough to have a choice about how they enjoy it. Laura and I both grew up in families that took advantage of that choice. We ate dinner with our families and learned to love good food, good ingredients, and...

Big Wheel Provisions Food Truck Preview

Big Wheel Provisions Food Truck Preview

Mar 14

Tony Adams and his partners at Big Wheel Provisions hosted a preview of their food truck last Friday, March 11, which you can see and read about on the Daily City. We need to start making our own media, so that we can be invited to these events! They will be officially debuting the food truck this Wednesday at the corner of Washington St and Orange Ave! I’d be more excited if I had some...

Deep Creek Ranch

Deep Creek Ranch

Mar 12

Some day we’ll visit Deep Creek Ranch and see the animals for ourselves, but in the meantime we are quite sure they produce happy meat. One of the owners is highly involved with Slow Food Orlando and they often show up at the all-local farmers market – College Park and Audubon Park – as well as various events, like the Winter Park Harvest Festival. The beef I have tried from...

Food shaping our cities

Food shaping our cities

Mar 11

Carolyn Steel talks about people and their relationship with food. She gives a great mini history lesson about cities and how people have fed themselves over time. She argues that we now need to reconceptualize of how food shapes our lives. Food needs to now be in focus, we need to make time for food, make it apart of our family lives, we need to think about food, plan meals and know where our...

Big Wheel Provisions

Big Wheel Provisions

Mar 10

Best. Bacon. Ever. The owner of this company, the real driving force behind it, is Tony Adams, who has become something of a local icon, at least in the local food scene. He is a professionally trained chef with a passion for the freshest ingredients he can find, a talent for charcturie, and a commitment to using as much of each animal as possible. Find him at the only all-local farmers markets...

Social Farming

Social Farming

Mar 09

I had this great idea recently, based on what I know of the Central Florida Sustainable Food Project which is trying to produce a printed Local Food Resource Guide with local growers and restaurants that cook with local ingredients. Since I’m currently reading The World Is Flat by Michael Friedman, I immediately started thinking about crowdsourcing, and about how great it would be if we had...

Keeping Tabs on Government Policy

Keeping Tabs on Government Policy

Mar 06

Although I am loathe to get involve in politics and know that I am personally not a good enough speaker to effect change in that area, I am also becoming more and more interested in keeping tabs on big agriculture and the government’s policies on agriculture in general. So many aspects of daily life are regulated (or lack regulation) by the USDA that it’s important to be aware of...

Gardens

Gardens

Feb 27

John and I, after much discussion, have decided we will be in Orlando for the next few years and that we are ready to buy a house. We are looking in a great little area of town, close to my job, our favorite coffeeshop, downtown with easy access to both of our families and the best areas of of the city. Near where we are looking there is a 17 acre site that used to be a Naval base and now is city...

Building the Local Food Community

Building the Local Food Community

Feb 21

Though we still actively avoid factory farmed meat and continue purchasing those products we’ve found to be safe and happy, we are also turning our sights more on happy produce and our local food cycle. Ultimately, the thrust of our efforts with meat and dairy was not to make animals happier for themselves, but to make them happier because that will make US — the consumers — happier....

Farm to Table Dinner: Success!

Farm to Table Dinner: Success!

Nov 21

Yesterday marked the start of what I hope is an annual tradition: The Winter Park Harvest Festival, followed by a five-course "Farm to Table Dinner," an event with limited seating, exclusive live music, a host of hors d'oeuvres, and free-flowing wine. Roughly twenty hors d'oeuvres were set out before dinner and each table was beautifully set with two loaves of bread and breadsticks made locally by Olde Hearth Bread Company. Drinks included red and white wine, soda, cucumber mojitos made with locally distilled vodka, and a pomelo-aged pale ale brewed ONLY for this dinner. Of the two local folk / bluegrass bands who played during our meal, one (Jubal's Kin) is among thirty-five folk bands being considered for a Grammy Award this year, and all three members happen to be under twenty-five. Tickets for the dinner were initially intimidating, at $95 per person, but now that all is said and done, it was entirely worth the cost: Amazing local food, live music, and alcohol.

Grow Box

Grow Box

Sep 26

I posted last week about John and I planting our Second Spring garden. Our seeds are sprouting nicely and I am excited to see them inch high and higher. Last weekend at the Evening on the Farm event we attended, we learned about the Winter Park Harvest Festival. It is a food festival held 5 days before Thanksgiving, with cooking demos, meet the farmer sessions, and most importantly, a farmers...

Evening on the Farm

Evening on the Farm

Sep 25

Last Saturday night, John and I drove out to Lake Meadows Naturals, for the Slow Food event, an Evening on the Farm. We had been really excited to finally make it out to Lake Meadows, since that’s where the eggs we buy through Big Wheel Provisions come from. And we were not disappointed by the farm at all. It for one, it’s gorgeous. Green and lush, with a acres of fields full of happy...

Day 45

Day 45

Sep 14

Sorry (again) for the lack of posts, we are watching my nephew this week, a little 9 month future foodie, and he takes up a lot of time! John and I bought tickets for a bash on Saturday night, the annual Slow Food Dinner hosted by Lake Meadow Naturals (the farm where we love to get our eggs.) At the dinner we will “Tour the farm and enjoy culinary treats masterfully created by Central...

Taking Action

Taking Action

Aug 26

If you've read some of my recent posts, I may be sounding a bit like a conspiracy theorist to you. So let me clear the air: This blog (and my conviction) is not about any one group plotting to control the world. The fact is simply this: People want to make money. Companies use their money to battle government legislature that would lower their bottom line by lobbying and intimidating. The government will continue to represent the companies (instead of us, the constituency) unless we make our voice heard. Here are seven ways you can make your voice heard. (It's a lot of info, but it's worth at least skimming!)

Luma on Park

Luma on Park

Aug 21

We went out for a fancy dinner last night at Luma on Park, a restaurant who we heard sources their ingredients locally and organically. The food was delicious, the service excellent, and the meal was easily the best we've eaten in Orlando. Ever. Unfortunately, it was a bittersweet experience for us. We discovered this morning that the "local" and "artisanal" meats the restaurant uses are by and large NOT local and come from confinement operations! We are so angry at being fooled that we may not return, even though the food was so incredible.

Eat Wild

Eat Wild

Aug 11

This site has been listed under resources in our sidebar for a little while now, but I wanted to post about it, since I assume you don't click all our links to see where they lead. (And if you, well, thanks for trusting us.) Eatwild.com is a huge repository of research concerning the differences between grass-fed beef (i.e. pasture-based) and feedlot beef (i.e. factory farm or CAFO). As the disclaimer on the main page says, it's authored by an investigative journalist who has written a New York Times bestselling book about the subject. (You can expect a book review in the coming months, if we can get our hands on a copy.)

Day 8

Day 8

Aug 08

We have been eating largely vegetarian meals, partly because we feel it's responsible to eat less meat, and partly because natural meat is just so darn expensive! On the dairy side, we are finding many options that are not so cost-prohibitive. We will be posting local producers here shortly. We uncovered some fairly exciting news: Semi-sweet chocolate chips and dark chocolate bars typically have no dairy! (Click 'read more' for a little more.)

Daring! Adventurous! Raw!

Daring! Adventurous! Raw!

Aug 06

Laura and I visited a farmers market yesterday, where we found some fresh goat cheese. I urged Laura to buy some without hesitation, and we sampled it at home yesterday evening. It's delicious — slightly tangy, super fresh and, best of all, completely raw. Wait. What? Raw!? Yes, we bought and ate unpasteurized, potentially deadly goat cheese. And you know what? It felt a little daring, a little adventurous, and a little subversive. Basically, it felt good. Click 'read more' for some great information on pasteurization in general.