Well where does one get the food to fulfill and optimize life? I use a couple of websites which help narrow down my searching.
The best is eatwild.com
This is the best for aiding in finding that farmer who directly markets his/her amazing product. Not to mention this site has the ability to be used nationally and sparsely outside the US as well. This site includes restaurants and stores. Don't forget that the farmer's website might also list places they sell their product to as well. Like for instance Dave Matthew's farm sells for to local restaurants between RVA and C-ville. Oh yeah Dave sells grass fed beef out of Best Of What's Around farm.
There is also grassfedpal.com and localharvest.org. Grassfedpal.com seems to be similar to eat wild.com but its always nice to have multiple sources when trying to locate deliciousness.
Local harvest.org has an eclectic mix of farmer direct marketing info to delivery options.
So essentially these sites generate list given your stated location. I enjoy eatwild.com more because it interfaces with Google maps and when using a Droid it makes it easy for me to get directions to the farm or market.
Some of the local farmers/farms that I have vetted and decide to patronize (meaning where I spend my money/visit):
Deer Run Farm of Amelia; these folks are fantastic. They were some of the first farmers we met when Liz and I moved to Virginia and they have been to most hospitable people. They sell amazing grassfed beef products including fat. Yes bags of frozen fat... Ruth Ann has seen me try in buy fat out of peoples hands, it is that good. They also sell eggs from pastured hens and fed non-GMO corn which is a pretty big deal. The concept here is vital to creating healthy, SAFE eggs. I eat these egg yolks raw in certain foods, i.e honey mustard sauce I make. Deer Run makes drops in neighborhoods outside RVA and are at South of the James like clock work.
Sunny Vale Farm. I have purchased some of the best brisket from these guys. They are kind and leave the fat cap on the brisket which is ideal for slow cooking like in a crock pot or smoker/oven mix. FYI brisket is the bacon of cow and should be treated with an equal amount of sanctity. Also if you had not extrapolated this from my strict convictions they are also grassfed... in fact you can rule in that if a ruminant product is on here it will be grassfed and finished.
Dragonfly farm They have the best tasting beef I have ever had. I am sadly at times a commodities cut consumer which is poor and wasteful. I was on a brisket kick over the spring and summer and the brisket from this place makes you go crazy it is so delicious. PEOPLE, I MEAN DELICIOUS, AMAZING, PERFECT. The fat is yellow and the darkest yellow I have had since eating grass fed meat. This means it is rich and beta-carotene, vitamin K2, A, D and E. This Ladies and Gentlemen is real food. If you decide to contact them and get some brisket, my suggested recipe lightly rub with coarse sea salt, allow it to sweat and then cook on low for 6-8hrs or when ever it breaks up with a fork. AMAZING. They also have the best lamb. There prices are high but the meat I feel is worth it. Now every farm on here has its merits but the taste of those briskets was notable different.
Tontem Farm Brian and Autumn are excellent people who are super inviting and transparent. They want you to come to the farm and lend a hand or hang out. They grow some delicious herbs and vegetables. They have high quality eggs and poultry products that are pastured and supplemented with a non-GMO feed. For everyone who is not aware chickens are birds, birds eat seeds. It actually helps cut down on some of there water intake by eating fresh seeds. It's evolutionary. Not what is not ecologically sane or safe is this free range myth. Essentially what the big industrial chicken houses have done is create a "run" which is a 3-D box made of fencing that they have "access" too. This is flawed and dangerous marketing and far from the image generated in your mind when you read or say the words "free range". This again is beneath the standards at this wonderful farm. They also have a CSA which is amazing. I will blog about CSA's soon enough.
Saturday, November 30, 2013
So the first post did not scare you off... good job taking the red pill. You are ready to partake in the revolution. First lets begin with the mentality behind a participant of the current Agrarian Revolution. By the way do you know the definition of revolt? Well it is predominantly used in modern day syntax as a verb which is a word used to describe an action, state, or occurrence. Revolt - a rise in rebellion or a cause to feel disgust. It can also be used as a noun; an attempt to put an end to the authority of a person or body by rebelling. You may think the concept of this blog which is that of the current Agrarian Revolution is almost too prickly. You might not like the idea of viewing yourself as a Revolutionary, BUT if you have disdain for the current food structure in the United States which encompasses the ever prevalent GMO concept, CAFO or food waste you are participating, you are REVOLTING!... or revolted, like I am. To further enhance your effectiveness you need to understand your opposition - the commercial or rather Industrial Agriculture infrastructure does not participate in direct market share. What does that mean exactly, well it means Monsanto is not going to have a booth at your farmers market next Saturday offering an end of season special on Roundup ready corn. It means Cargill slaughtered beef from a robotic assembly line factory slaughter house wont be the Delmonico available in your CSA meat box. So again what is direct marketing for a farmer, it means he or she brings and sellers their product directly to the consumer. This concept was the case for ages until around the Industrial Revolution and the rise of consumerism over ran productionism, to accommodate this new trend we created self proclaimed business of excellence, "SUPER Markets". Direct marketing hibernated till now.
The Locavore mentality is a giant step in to the inner circle of safe and rewarding eating. Again the multinational companies who lobby for a more oppressive farm bill, refute independent research proving their products unsafe or hell a government based regulatory body forcefully ensuring your consumption of such sub-optimal products like homogenized dairy and nitrate cured food, they use self proclaimed stores of excellence as their profiteering looting-place (not market place with such criminal tactics). The Locavore embraces his/her community to provide the solutions to their dietary dilemma. I can go to my Saturday morning 3 season farmers market and take home: Foraged fed bacon, raw goat cheese, non-homogenized low pasteurized Jersey Cow milk (with cream line!!), grass-fed steaks and pastured eggs fed organic scratch. Try getting that from Grossger or Unsafeway. Best thing about it is that my money leave my wallet and lands in the hands of the wonderful guy or gal who raised, birthed, planted, slaughtered (sometimes), milked or cured that product. Wow talk about an amazing opportunity to create transparency in your own diet. You at this point know who for the most part is creating your food.
More to be posted, this will be a stream of consciousness.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Hello my name is Patrick. I am a foodie who dreams of perennial pastures, permaculture, paleo , food forestry, charcuterie, beyond organic produce and sustainable living. Now before you start plaguing yourself with the idea that I am attempting to be hip and trendy... well I am not. My infatuations come from resounding spiritual beliefs and convictions around modern day maladies. I have decided to dedicate sometime to disseminate knowledge about these topics at the encouragement of friends. If you want to understand tips and tricks on how to buy local and optimal foods, maximize the products you spend your hard earned money on and best thing yet improve your overall LIFE! Eat better for less, disconnect from the entertainment matrix, become a critical thinker about the fuel for your body and improve your health. I am no expert, I am just a guy with a curiosity that cannot be satiated.