Local harvest

From the beautiful Colorado peaches to the small dappled green watermelons with the sweet golden flesh, there's never been a better time to shop Ranch Foods Direct at 2901 North El Paso in Colorado Springs, and pick up some local produce with your mouth-watering meats!



Melons, peaches, heirloom tomatoes, green beans, and much more, all grown by smaller family farms without chemicals. These products are from the Peak to Plains Alliance partners and include Colorado Springs' Venetucci Farm as well as the Arkansas Valley area Larga Vista Ranch and Hobbs Family Farm in Boone, Greenhorn Acres in Fowler, Country Roots in Pueblo, and Javernick Family Farms in Canon City.  Much of the gorgeous seasonal fruit comes from Austin Orchards in Paonia, Colorado.

Anytime, anywhere, you can also shop Ranch Foods Direct on-line. CLICK HERE to enter the on-line store and browse the monthly specials. 

 
Plain Goodness

Peak to Plains Alliance, a local food and agritourism cooperative which includes Ranch Foods Direct, is hosting a fundraising “harvest dinner” on Sunday, September 9, at The Margarita at Pine Creek . The multi-course dinner starts at 4 p.m. and lasts til 8. Chef Eric Viedt will prepare Callicrate Beef short ribs, Chico Basin bison and round out the meal with a harvest of fresh produce, all the while featuring Colorado wines. CLICK HERE for more about Peak to Plains, of which Ranch Foods Direct is a founding member. To make a reservation for the dinner please call 598-8667.

 
Did you know…

… Farmers nationwide are preparing to harvest the largest corn crop in U.S. history. Support payments to farmers, administered through the farm bill currently being debated in Congress, are often the critical difference between whether a farmer makes a profit or suffers a loss. To see one documentary team's recent take on all of this, CLICK HERE.

 
Recipe Box

CLICK HERE for some simple steps for smoking a Labor Day beef brisket as well as a couple of ways to make use of the bounty you'll find at the area farmers markets throughout early fall.

 
 
 

September 2007

"Good farming is the greatest form of artistic expression. Farmers create the bridge between nature and human nourishment. Food as the product of the agricultural arts goes beyond any image on the wall of a gallery or museum. Good eating, in that sense, could be considered one of the most integrated forms of art appreciation.”

- Michael Ableman, author of Fields of Plenty, and founder of the Center for Urban Agriculture


Here's to Milt's
There's something timeless about hot coffee and good food

Milt's Coffee Shop doesn't advertise much, but that's because it's already well-known and well-loved by the locals. Like a good cup of java, it's brimming with character and packs all the flavor of a memorable personality. At 85, Milt isn't on the premises much anymore, but his spirit is alive and well. From his picture on the wall, he looks out over the diner, while his daughter Marcy is still behind the counter.

“Dad taught me don't play with the food,” she jokes. Then, more seriously, she adds, “He told me to buy the best quality stuff. Always take the high road, be the better man.”

For more on Milt's, a colorful local place that buys its meats from Ranch Foods Direct, CLICK HERE


Garden of Eatin'
When it comes to produce, it doesn't get any better than this

Susan has a farmer's hands, seemingly permanently encrusted with the dark stain of rich black soil. Under a ball cap, her sun-kissed face is dusted with freckles. She radiates a no-nonsense down-to-earth vitality, a reflection of ample time spent in the great outdoors. As manager with husband Patrick of Venetucci Farm, her role includes being educator and advocate, but she is first and foremost a serious farmer, with the fate of late-season beans and basil weighing heavy on her mind even as she smiles and greets a visitor.

“I'm trying to restore this to a working farm. This is such hard work but it's such good important work,” she says of her job farming 190 acres along a busy road that connects Colorado Springs and Fountain, a responsibility she and her family took over in February. Prior to that, they farmed five acres in Canon City and sold produce at the Colorado Farm and Art Market. “It's so gratifying being involved from the seed to the table,” she adds.

Her family's emphasis on growing good food is evident in the quality of the produce, some of which ends up at Ranch Foods Direct as well as at the Colorado Farm and Art Market, and a few lucky local schools and restaurants.

Fall at Venetucci Farm means winter squashes, lots of green beans, tomatoes, sweet corn, onion, leeks and, of course, pumpkins. But it also means community festivals and visits by eager hordes of excited school children.  CLICK HERE to see a schedule of upcoming events.

For more about Venetucci Farm, CLICK HERE or call (719) 389-1251 ext 106 and ask for Larry Stebbins, education coordinator.


Reading, writing and local food

It's back-to-school time for students everywhere and the state of Colorado is urging school districts to celebrate the bounty of the state's farms with a special promotion this month.

Governor Bill Ritter has proclaimed September 12 as Colorado Proud School Meal Day. This fourth annual event encourages schools to incorporate Colorado products into their meals to celebrate Colorado agriculture and to educate students about healthy eating.

“Colorado offers a wide variety of delicious and nutritious products, so it's important to educate young people about the state's agriculture industry,” said John R. Stulp, commissioner of agriculture. “We need to start early in stressing the significance of making healthy decisions when choosing what foods to eat.”

CLICK HERE for more about how your school can get involved.



Authentico Mexicano
This is a tortilleria, not a Taco Bell

In an unassuming strip mall at 405 N. Union, young and handsome Luis and his lovely wife Paula run a small restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week. They are originally from California, but moved here to be closer to Paula's sister.

At Restaurante La Herradura, the dishes are distinctly Mexican and the meat is from Ranch Foods Direct. CLICK HERE for more.

"The crucial point now is no longer, as it has been for all too long, the quantity of food that is produced, but its complex quality, a concept that ranges from the question of taste to that of variety, from respect for the environment, the ecosystems, and the rhythms of nature to respect for human dignity." -Carlo Petrini, Italian founder of the Slow Food organization and author most recently of Slow Food Nation: Why our food should be good, clean and fair.

 




... Your local source of
natural beef, poultry,
buffalo, pork, lamb, eggs,
wild seafood, deli meats
and cheeses, meals
and more!

Member, Peak to Plains Alliance
(www.peaktoplains.com)

Store and Meat Plant
2901 N. El Paso, Colorado Springs 80907
Retail Hours: Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
Saturday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
(719) 473-2306 or 1-866-866-6328

www.ranchfoodsdirect.com

Mike Callicrate, Owner

Please note: You can subscribe to the RFD newsletter or sign up for the birthday club at the Ranch Foods Direct website www.ranchfoodsdirect.com or in our stores.

This newsletter is published by: Candace Krebs Writing, Editing, Photography, Design - Candace Krebs is a freelance writer and communications specialist. Contact her at candacejk@aol.com.

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