|~ APRIL 2009 ~
Did you know? … In a tough economy,
families are saving money by buying food in bulk. As a result,
home freezers have become the top selling appliance in the
For information about Ranch Foods Direct Home
Service, CLICK HERE.
For spring zing,
savor the taste of the garlic mystique, CLICK HERE.
Have a heritage ham
for Easter dinner!
Multi-hued eggs hand-painted by nature for your
Easter baskets! Made-from-scratch pork or chicken sausages
for Easter brunch. SHOP
RANCH FOODS DIRECT.
Now that’s pizza!
Fresh artisan pizza deserves to be accompanied with a
good wine or a local craft brew. And what a satisfying
combination these ingredients make!
Dave Brackett and his family brings to Colorado
Springs the first class pizza experience his family fell in love
with while living in Italy.
Dave is actually trained and certified
in Naples-style wood-fired pizza-making mastery. He shares
his talents at what is being hailed as the city’s best new
restaurant: Pizzeria Rustica in Old Colorado City.
CLICK HERE for
LAST MONTH'S RESTAURANT EXPO
Creative young chef a rising star
Jake and Telly’s executive chef
Jeremy Engle and “Team Jake” put on a dazzling
performance — complete with knife-throwing theatrics
— to earn top accolades from their peers during the
annual Pikes Peak Restaurant Association Expo last month.
During the Iron Chef-style competition, Jeremy
transformed his Callicrate Beef tri-tip into a lavish dish drenched
in caramelized onion demi-glaze with fried parsnips and
Rockefeller-style spinach — truly phenomenal to see and,
apparently for the judges, to taste. His familiarity with preparing
the Callicrate Beef tri-tip might have given him an edge: at Jake
and Telly’s, he’s already prepared it “like
50 different ways.”
He also created a beautiful lamb and shrimp skewer
perched upright in a blood orange boat surrounded by kiwi
foam and a much coveted goat cheese and vanilla milkshake
with candied pecans and quartered figs. His avocado salad with
hot bell pepper and mushroom medley and lemon-braised
asparagus in truffle oil was also a work of art.
“He’s got an awesome creative
mind,” said proprietor Jake Topakas of Jake and
Telly’s, CLICK HERE as he served food samples at
Jeremy credited his flare for presentation with nine
years of art classes. His grandmother was a classically trained
chef and “food just kind of fell into my lap,” he
explained after the craziness of the competition subsided.
CLICK HERE for more from the
|Hope: It’s in the
“There are people in the world so
hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of
The new Care and Share warehouse at 2605
Preamble Point will host Taste of the Springs, featuring the
talents of many local chefs, to raise funds for the Southern
Colorado Food Bank on Sunday, April 5. The event runs 3 to 6
p.m. and tickets are $65. Another option for supporting the
cause: pick up a Recipes for Hope cookbook, full of recipes
collected from local chefs and featuring Jan Oliver’s
colorful artistry on the cover, for $14.95. (Fully 75 percent of
proceeds go back to the food bank.) CLICK
HERE to order.
The year in garlic
Dan Hobbs is Colorado’s guru of garlic, so
much so that this year he is selling shares of his diverse harvest
to expand his Avondale farm.
Hobbs, who is a member of the Arkansas Valley
Organic Growers that supplies Ranch Foods Direct and
participates in the Peak to Plains Alliance, grows the seed used
by other farmers to grow still more garlic and open-pollinated
fruits for food. He heads up the Organic Seed Alliance and is
also involved in a wide range of community development efforts
including farm-to-school projects.
Somewhere along the path of his early farming
experiences this Denver native got caught up in the garlic
romance rhapsodized in a smattering of lyrical books. “I
do find that there is a certain mystique around garlic,”
Hobbs says modestly from behind sparkling blue eyes.
A resurgence of interest in specialty gourmet garlic
probably got a boost in part from the sweeping changes the
industry as a whole has undergone. Gilroy, California, once the
famed U.S. garlic capital, is no longer what it once was.
“Most of the garlic industry went off to China and
Mexico,” Hobbs says. “Gilroy moved their seed
production to Nevada and bring it back to Gilroy only for
Enter a new wave of interest in heirloom and specialty
CLICK HERE to continue.
Dan Hobbs and family
|More progress ahead on Farm
The seven farmers who make up
Arkansas Valley Organic Growers are plowing ahead with several
fresh-food-in-the-schools projects this year. Many hope the
new vegetable gardens at both the White House and the U.S.
Department of Agriculture in Washington D.C. are symbolic of a
shift toward a new way of thinking about food production and its
connection with institutional food service programs.
The absurdity of a system that keeps fresh, healthy, local
foods out of schools, even ones where health issues are
paramount, is starkly told in the latest issue of Gourmet
magazine. The article features one Native American boarding
school in South Dakota that traded a history of food self-
sufficiency for dependence on the government’s surplus
commodities. “No junk food. And nobody went
hungry,” one former student remembers of the
school’s early days, when growing potatoes and cabbage,
making their own sauerkraut and harvesting their own meat was
part of the curriculum. Recalled another: “Nobody ever
got sick.” CLICK HERE to
read “No Such Thing as a Free
Lunch” by Gourmet contributor Sam
|Did you know?...
Water for irrigation is being pumped out of the Ogallala Aquifer
of the Great Plains at an annual rate 18 times the volume of the
Colorado River. Scientists say it would take natural processes
6,000 years to refill it.
time for Earth Day, Sustainability Network blooms
“I’m hoping this group will
increase the awareness of the importance of supporting the
local community. If you support local business, then you support
local prosperity. If you support Wal-Mart, then we’ll no
longer have local businesses. We’ll just have global
— Mike Callicrate, as
quoted in the Colorado Springs Business
Last fall’s Southern Colorado
Sustainable Communities Conference has blossomed into the
Pikes Peak Sustainable Business Network made up of ecologically
minded businesses and community leaders marshaled together
by Executive Director Eric Cefus. He’s pushing businesses
to adhere to what he calls a “triple bottom line”
approach: profit, people and planet. CLICK HERE
for more information or to become a member.
The network, which overlaps conveniently with the
local and sustainable food mission of the Peak to Plains Alliance,
is bringing together an interesting mix of advocates to share a
vision for a healthier planet.
Among them is Tisha Casida, publisher of
That’s Natural, who is also involved with
Peak to Plains.
The Pikes Peak region is blessed to have a
proliferation of food-related publications, many of which are
available at the Ranch Foods Direct store. That’s Natural
is a Pueblo-based magazine now expanding more broadly in the
Colorado Springs market.
“My brother and I grew up on a farm,”
Tisha says. Her interest in natural and organic products began
when she developed health issues at age 18. She wonders now if
pesticides in runoff water might have been a factor. “Our
farming was minimal but we had big farms all around us,”
she observes. She overcame the threats to her health by
improving her diet and putting a priority on physical
A business and political science major in college, she
became active in environmental politics and studied more about
the food system before returning home to Pueblo.
She started That’s Natural three
years ago and watched it grow to the point where it is available
at 170 locations in Pueblo and El Paso County.
She admits publishing comes with a steep learning
curve but personal passion drives her. With a grant from the U.S.
Department of Agriculture, she is developing a sustainable
agriculture curriculum for Pueblo schools and after-school
“I don’t want to see small farms
die,” she says. “I love free markets.”
Pick up a copy of That’s Natural
next time you visit the Ranch Foods Direct store or CLICK
HERE Tisha is an example of the wonderful and dedicated
people involved in the local sustainability
“Every single choice we make matters.
Simple ripples move the world. What we appreciate
Trathan Heckman, founder of Daily Acts, CLICK
To find great food, farm and nature
activities around the region, visit the Peak to Plains Alliance
online calendar, CLICK HERE.
Living the sweet
Last month the Denver Post profiled the Austin Family
Honey business of Paonia, and the Associated Press later picked
up the story. CLICK HERE to read the article. In addition
to supplying Ranch Foods Direct with honey, the Austin family
provides a wonderful variety of high quality fruit from the
Food for thought —
How animals can make us more
In her latest book Animals
Make Us Human, acclaimed animal expert and autism
advocate Dr. Temple Grandin devotes a chapter to the egregious
welfare standards in the modern poultry industry. If you need a
reason to be selective about where you buy your chicken or
eggs, this chapter will give you all the insight you need and
more. Ditto that for your hams and bacon, and even your
A professor in Colorado State University’s
animal science department, Grandin is not an animal welfare
extremist: she takes practical business concerns into
consideration and works with a wide range of companies, large
and small, to improve their practices. In the past, she has
consulted Ranch Foods Direct founder Mike Callicrate on his
cattle operation and has advised countless others involved in all
aspects of the livestock industries worldwide.
Grandin’s book is fascinating because of her
remarkable gift for understanding animals. “Autism made
school and social life hard, but it made animals easy,”
she has said. In her newest book, she explores the challenge of
how to make an animal “happy” and improve its
quality of life by tapping into the core emotions that have been
proven by neuroscience.
For more, CLICK HERE.
... 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
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
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