Winter Newsletter
Week 13

Greetings!


 

 

I laugh when I get asked what a standard day is like. There is no such thing, especially this time of the year when I'm trying to line up supply for the coming year. This past week was a prime example.

One of our challenges in doing pasture-raised pork and poultry is finding a good, reliable supply of non-gmo grains. Unlike beef and other ruminants, the pigs and chickens require grains to supplement the forage they find. Very few feed mills offer certified non-gmo grain, which is usually transitional organic. When you find it, the prices is considerably higher.

One of my growers is intending to grow and mill their own grain this year. Their neighbor has been growing non-gmo grains for years but getting paid conventional prices. By partnering with the neighbor for expertise, they will be able to successfully grow the grain and harvest it. The next challenge is storing it.

So the farmer went to an auction last week and bought some grain bins. The next challenge is moving them. So last Wednesday and Thursday, myself and two Amish guys went to move them. I stopped and picked up a trailer and threw my tools in my truck. Away we went to get the bin.

 


 



The bin in the picture below is the smallest of the three. We were able to transport it intact as it was 8 ft wide and 16 ft long. This holds 6 tons of grains and has a 100 ft flex auger to pump the grain out into feeding troughs. In this case, this bin was installed a confined feeding operation, so the flex auger was of use. For us, it will be spare parts in the barn.

With a little ingenuity, a grinder, and some wrenches, we lowered the bin onto the trailer without any power equipment. We wrapped a few ratchet straps around the bin like a belt and then using carabiners, chains, and come-alongs, we were able to pull the bin over gently while applying resistance from the back and sides to steady it. To keep it from rolling, we landed it on a few old tires and spread mud on the deck of the trailer to allow the tires to slide easily up onto the trailer. Within a few hours we had it loaded and back on the road.

And while my college education cost more than most homes and was intended to keep me from working with my back and knees, I do enjoy work like this, even if it is all day in the rain and mud. This is problem solving you can't learn in a textbook, and in the truck, I learn cultural things. On our many trips back and forth, Leon and David gave me an education on the Amish culture, including an interesting discussion about horses.

Did you know that buggy horses can range from $4,000 to $12,000? The horses are judged based on characteristics that seem trivial. Is the horse a trotter or a pacer? Does it have a shiny black coat? 2 or 3 white hooves add a few grand to the price tag. How about a majestic gait, tall stance, and some white on the face? It was interesting to learn that the most expensive horses aren't the strongest or fastest or most reliable - they are the prettiest. They are essentially luxury cars!

 

This Week's Bag


 

In this week's bag, we have some standout veggies. Also, this is (fingers crossed) the last week to feature frozen vegetables. The temperature are warming up, the rain is falling, and we're expecting some great Spring crops. 


The carrots are interesting this week. Most of the carrots are what we are calling "survivor carrots." They overwintered under row-cover on an urban farm in Parma. They are petite but super sweet. The flavor is amazing.

The spinach is also similar. It was planted in November and slowly grew up until the end of the year. It has taken some hard frosts over the winter in Harvey's hoophouses. During the days, however, the sun heats up the hoop house and thawed it out. It doesn't really grow much in the very cold of winter and particularly with limited sun, but the sugars do develop and the flavor is excellent.


Reminders
New Products

New Crazy Monkey Granola
Teresa at Crazy Monkey has a new flavor that she is previewing with our customers first. She is calling it "Tuxedo Chip" as it has both white and milk chocolate chunks in it. This is available preorder at http://csalogin.freshforkmarket.com or at the back of the truck. $6.

Ravioli
The slower pace of the second half of the winter season allows us to experiment with our producers. We recently worked with Ohio City Pasta to make a couple custom raviolis from spinach we had frozen.

There are two flavors and they are $10 per dozen raviolis.
Spinach, Garlic Scape, and Ricotta Stuffed Whole Wheat Raviolis
Spinach, Cream Cheese, and Black Pepper Feta Stuffed Whole Wheat Raviolis

The cheeses are from Lake Erie Creamery and really pair nice with the spinach.


Sign up for Summer & Spread the News!

Check out our cheat-sheet online to learn more about the fantastic Summer Farm Share 2015. Also, we are a work-of-mouth organization, so please pass this along to your friends and family and tell them how they can eat fresh and local all summer long! 


Special Orders

In case you need anything extra for your cooking this week, don't forget to place your special order online at http://csalogin.freshforkmarket.com by Tuesday at midnight.

What's In The Bag?
Omnivore 

Recipes
Yellow Bean "Mac" & Cheese
Want to include some more veggies in tonight's dinner? This sneakily-healthy bean dish looks and tastes just like home-baked mac n' cheese, but instead of noodles, we used our yellow beans! 

Bag Contents Used in Recipe: Yellow Beans, Eggs, & Spinach.


 

To view the recipe, click here: Yellow Bean Mac n' Cheese

 

Pork, Beans & Greens
This recipe has all the fixings for a chilly Spring evening's dinner-- a rich tomato sauce covering our cannellini beans and green onion brats or sausage. 

Bag Contents Used in Recipe: Cannellini Beans, Green Onion Brats, Carrots, Spinach, & Frozen Tomatoes. 


 

Click here for the full recipe: Pork & Beans.


 

For another variation on a similar theme, check out our recipe for Pasta e Fagiole (Pasta & Bean Soup) 

 

Rustic Corn Chowder
One of our more popular recipes, and a great way to use some of that frozen corn you might have stockpiled over the past few weeks!

Bag Contents Used in Recipe: Carrots, Frozen Tomatoes, Frozen Corn

 

Click here for the full recipe: Rustic Corn Chowder

 

Parker's Tomato Jam

This sweet and savory jam is a great addition to any sandwich, cheese plate or maybe even for a surprising ice cream topping! Just make sure to chill it first. 

 

 

Bag Contents Used in Recipe: Frozen Chopped Tomatoes


 

Click here for the full recipe: Parker's Tomato Jam

 

Links to Other Recipes on the Web
"Lentil & Sausage Soup for a Cold Winter's Night"

Giada's Spinach & Cannellini Bean Dip

Turkey Club Sandwich from Food Republic


In This Issue
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Cooking Dried Beans

-1 cup dried beans
- cup each of diced onion, carrot and celery
-1 bay leaf and of dried thyme

Spread the beans on a tray. Pick out any broken pieces or pieces that look damaged. Shake the tray to look for pieces of bean shell or other impurities. Place the beans in a bowl and cover with water. The water should be 2 or 3 inches above the beans. Soak overnight or for 6 or 8 hours.

Strain the beans and rinse. Place the beans in the cooking pot, cover with water and bring to the boil. Boil for a couple of minutes and strain. Rinse the pan and add the rinsed beans and clean water. Bring to the boil again. Skim for a couple of minutes. Reduced the heat to medium and add all the other ingredients. Do not add salt until the beans for cooked.
Fresh Fork Market | 800-861-8582 | info@freshforkmarket.com | http://www.freshforkmarket.com
PO Box 609612
Cleveland, OH 44109