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...

Nature’s Harmony

Nature’s Harmony

Jun 12

This farm in Georgia is going the distance, raising chickens for eggs and meat, rabbits for meat, cattle for dairy and meat, sheep, turkeys and pigs. As part of the local food scene around Athens, Georgia, Tim and Liz Young are committed to sustainable farming and “reconnecting with the land.” Their free-range eggs (not cage-free — the chickens are kept in eggmobiles that are moved...

This American Life covers an industrial pig farm

This American Life covers an industrial pig farm

Jun 11

For more than fifteen years and four hundred episodes on Chicago Public Radio, This American Life has been telling honest human interest stories without an angle. Each episode deals with a theme, though how the stories relate to the theme aren’t always immediately obvious. For two years, this radio show also produced a TV series, which aired on Showtime. One of these TV episodes, entitled...

Urban Farming Book List

Urban Farming Book List

Jun 09

If you have a small yard or no yard at all, or if you have very little experience with gardening, you may find the prospect of growing your own food daunting. Because we live in a city and know that cities are most in need of fresh food, here’s a list of books related to urban farming and self-sufficiency that we have found. Many we have read or browsed, though some we have not. Some will...

The Story of Stuff

The Story of Stuff

Jun 09

We just discovered this video, thanks to a Facebook friend. It’s a great and simple look at our consumer culture and the ways in which it is unsustainable.

Obesity Undermines Military … ?

Obesity Undermines Military … ?

Jun 08

A recent USDA e-mail update I received described a press conference concerning MyPlate (the new national food icon, replacing the pyramid) and the high costs of obesity. One of the high costs, said one retired Air Force Lieutenant General, is the undermining of our military. It’s a small thing, an opinion by one man, but the Secretary of Agriculture chose him to speak at this press...

Recipe Wednesday: Olive Oil Cake

Recipe Wednesday: Olive Oil Cake

Jun 08

John and I are traveling to Italy in September and this past week I spent a few hours researching attractions, museums, historical sites and the like for us to see while we are there. My next mission of research is food! Where to find the best markets and restaurants, the best espresso and gelato, the best pizza and pasta. Its going to be a culinary feast while we are there and it’s gotten...

Pine Twenty2

Pine Twenty2

Jun 05

Our original goal in changing our diet was to stop supporting industrially-produced meat — which we feel harms people, animals and the planet — and start supporting sustainable methods. We quickly discovered that while there are numerous opportunities to buy raw sustainable meat, it is much more difficult to find restaurants that serve it. So we were very excited to find Pine Twenty2, a...

Jun 02

I’ve been reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver and only 11 pages in, I found a great quote (and many more in the pages after that will be posted here as I can find time). “A quick way to improve food-related fuel economy would be to buy a quart of motor oil and drink it. More palatable options are available. If every U.S. citizen ate just one meal a week (any meal)...

Saving Water, Saving Sunlight

Saving Water, Saving Sunlight

May 30

As most of our friends are already aware, Laura and I quit television months ago. (You can do it, too! It’s just a simple eight-step program.) As a result, we are often the last to hear about major headlines. However, I’ve recently seen a couple things in the Orlando Sentinel that I want to share. First, a company called Blue Chip Energy has acquired the rights to turn a 200-acre...

Pine Twenty 2

Pine Twenty 2

May 28

About two years ago, John after eating a burger out at a restaurant, turned to me and said “Don’t let me eat burgers out anymore.” The burgers out always seemed too big, too fattening, too greasy, too loaded down with mediocre toppings and a bad bun, all of which left him feeling yucky after he finished. So I have kept him to the no burgers out agreement, until now. While...

Book Review: The Town That Food Saved

Book Review: The Town That Food Saved

May 26

I’ve been working on this book for a while, reading chapters intermittently between all the other books and magazines on my plate. (Perhaps you remember Laura’s initial post on this book, after we first heard about it?) Originally, Laura and I sought out this book after a friend mentioned Hardwick, Vermont, a small town that is trying to be a model for local food economies throughout...

Recipe Wednesday: Blueberry Soda

Recipe Wednesday: Blueberry Soda

May 25

For Christmas John and I got a soda carbonator, SodaStream, and we love it. Why drink still water when you can have it bubbling on your tongue? Unfortunately when it come to flavored sodas, the ones the company sells are full of excess crap. John has discovered that he loves making flavored syrups that use natural ingredients, usually some water, sugar and a fruit or extract, nothing more. Well,...

Blueberry Jamz

Blueberry Jamz

May 23

Have you ever tasted fruit preserves or juice “with no added sugar” that still tasted really sweet? Have you ever passed these products up in the grocery store because they’re so expensive? Well, I just made blueberry jam, and let me tell you: It takes A LOT of fruit to make a sweet concoction without adding any processed sugar. I used about 6 cups of berries, added what felt...

Strawberry Ale

Strawberry Ale

May 23

After a wonderful strawberry season, I have a strawberry red ale that just finished carbonating. My first thoughts after tasting it are that it’s wonderfully fruity and delicious, but still needs some time to “condition” in the fridge. Right now, it still has a pretty yeasty aftertaste, so hopefully the time in the cold will help mellow that out. I was a little worried about how...

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...

Veg Boot Camp

Veg Boot Camp

May 20

Vegetarian Times magazine is currently doing a Veg Boot Camp, where they have an all vegetarian, 28-day diet plan. They of course want everyone to try it and go veghead full time, I just like it because I think it’d be a great way to get everyone to eat a more plant based diet (and for those of us who already do, there is a lot of yummy, innovative recipes to freshen up your meal...

Recipe Wednesday: Ketchup

Recipe Wednesday: Ketchup

May 18

I am a big fan of Jamie Oliver. I loved Food Revolution, his TV series about making food better in the public schools and teaching people to eat better, and Season 2 started yesterday. I think he’s brilliant and how can you not fancy a chef with an adorable British accent? In his honor, I post his recipe for homemade ketchup. I made this recipe in a mondo sized batch in December to give the...

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...