Come harvest the summer “Green sun in a basket of vegetables.”
— Thich Nhat Hahn
Did you know?... Squash is the oldest of the “three sisters,” the famous trio of complimentary foodstuffs that also includes corn and beans. Wendy Johnson, long-time gardener at Green Gulch Farm in California, describes them as “origin plants surfacing from the well of time and tradition,” that “amplify and support one another” while protecting “the skin of the earth.” Traces of squash have been found in prehistoric caves of the Tamaulipas mountains of Mexico dating back 10,000 years. A timeless symbol of abundance, one seed generating a single vine has been known to produce as many as 250 fruits.


Finish the summer off right. Now is the time to savor sweet corn, peaches and other produce in season at Ranch Foods Direct, CLICK HERE.
The Recipe box

Amazing Maize, CLICK HERE for recipes.


The season’s the reason… to cook!

A final class on how to prepare the local seasonal bounty — hosted by food and health extraordinaire Michele Mukatis (one of the coordinators for Peak to Plains Alliance) — will be held September 24 from 5-8 p.m in the beautiful Venetucci Farm outdoor kitchen. Reservations requested by September 20 by calling Michele at 231-6265. Cost is $45.


Did you know?... To produce the typical American diet requires the equivalent of 500 gallons of oil per year per person, according to a recent study by Cornell University. The study’s conclusion? Eat less, and eat better.

September 2008   

“Nobody sees a flower — really.
We haven’t time and to see takes time
like to have a friend takes time.”

—Artist Georgia O’Keeffe


Savoring seasonal magic with dinner under the stars at Venetucci Farm

An evening sun sinking behind blue rain clouds and spectacular bolts of distant summer lightening lit the sky above a wooden patio hung with drying garlic bulbs, as Michael Hannigan welcomed visitors to the first of two fund-raising dinners at Venetucci Farm, a supplier to Ranch Foods Direct and member of the Peak to Plains Alliance.

Farm managers Susan Gordon and her husband Patrick treated guests to a hay rack ride that paraded them by the asparagus shed (the oldest on the farm), a brood mare and her colt Anna, free-ranging rare breed sows and their enthusiastic piglets and fields of popcorn, potatoes, pumpkins and grassy alfalfa, where sleek black Wagyu cattle from Mike Callicrate’s farm northeast of Colorado Springs grazed contentedly in the falling dusk. Scattered along the tree-lined creek under huge cottonwoods were beehives for collecting wild honey.

Now fronted by busy Fountain highway but still surrounded by the creek’s rich fertile valley, Venetucci has been under cultivation since 1862 and is considered the last working farm within 30 miles of Colorado Springs. Hannigan lauded Nick and Bambi Venetucci for entrusting this historic family treasure to the Pikes Peak Community Foundation so it might be protected from urban development and lovingly preserved for future generations. “This could have been a strip mall,” he said, as he raised his wine glass in a heart-felt salute. Susan added her gratitude. “It is incredibly spiritual and very satisfying to be part of the process all the way from the seed to the table,” she said.

A chef who prizes quality beef

Two talented local chefs transformed seasonal produce into a multi-course feast accompanied by unique wines selected by Michele Mukatis at Sovereignty Wines on Eighth Street. Jeremy Engel (shown left), the chef at local favorite Jake and Telly’s in Old Colorado City, prepared the food with Justin Trudeau of Nosh.

As Jeremy pounded seared Mountain States lamb thin to make a delicious sushi-style appetizer (the lamb is sold at Ranch Foods Direct market) he talked about the restaurant’s ongoing patronage of Ranch Foods Direct. (All of the ground beef served is Callicrate Beef as well as two or three weekly special entres, designated on the menu.) CLICK HERE.

Venetucci Farm hosts a second starlight dinner September 15, featuring more seasonal wonders prepared by Eric Viedt of the Margarita at Pine Creek (another Ranch Foods Direct customer) and Rachel Brown of Briarhurst Manor. The Farm Stand is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday afternoons. (CLICK HERE for more info.

Founding Fathers to Speak

Colorado Springs’ own Ben Franklin — aka actor-historian Christopher Lowell — is hosting a live performance Thursday, Oct. 2, 7-9 p.m. at the Pikes Peak Center. Flyers and ticket information are available at Ranch Foods Direct. While channeling an important icon from history, Lowell and fellow historic figure Thomas Jefferson (played by Steven Edenbo) will take on the theme of “Back to the Future: Is it time for another Tea Party?” The event is moderated by Brian O’Shaughnessay, the brilliant and entertaining chairman of Revere Copper and a true descendent of Paul Revere. Tickets for this educational and fun family-style event are $12. CLICK HERE for pdf flyer.

“When you buy from a chain, there’s always a compromise.”
—   British organics pioneer Craig Sams
And Now: The Rest of the Story

In last month’s newsletter, we mentioned Susan Bourette’s book, Meat: A Love Story, which opens with her experience working at the Maple Leaf hog packing plant, Canada’s largest. That blurb foreshadows this month’s announcement that a listeria outbreak in Canada can be traced back to the company and affects 220 different products. It’s just another in a chain of massive meat recalls involving large scale processing facilities. (For more on the Whole Foods’ recall of Coleman Natural Beef products earlier this month, visit our website, CLICK HERE.)

In Canada, a dozen people died before the recall could be activated. "These products have been distributed nationally to retail stores and food service institutions such as restaurants, hospitals, nursing homes, and other institutional cafeterias or kitchens," Maple Leaf Foods said in a news release. "These products may also be sold at deli counters. If the original product identity and ‘best before’ code is not evident, consumers are advised to check with their retailer to determine if the product is included in the list of recalled products."

Public health officials warn that food contaminated with listeria may not look or smell like it has spoiled. The disease has an incubation period of up to 70 days. It is most commonly found in cold cuts and processed deli-style meats.


... 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

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. Closed Sunday
(719) 473-2306 or 1-866-866-6328


Mike Callicrate, Owner

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