Monday, January 25, 2010

Farmers We Met This Weekend and Other Things

Justin here.

Friday night, we visited BADSEED, the organic farmer's market near the Crossroads. It's a small but very communal market. This time of year, they obviously don't have a lot of fresh produce, but there were some goodies there. They had lamb, sheep cheeses, breads, preserves, beef, heirloom pumpkins, and eggs. We didn't buy much, just some beautiful eggs and delicious strawberry-apricot preserves from Alice of Western Hills Produce. (Richard, could you confirm that I have her name right?)

Although we didn't buy any beef, we talked to Kim Wells (no relation) of Wells Family Farms in King City. Besides having some very reasonable prices on her organic, grass-fed beef, she was a very entertaining and interesting person. After hearing about her experiences with diatomaceous earth, Richard asked her about buying half and quarter cows, and we were really pleased with how they do the quarters there. Instead of making you pick a front or back quarter, they give you a quarter of every kind of cut you'd get in a whole cow. (This variety makes a quarter purchase much more appealing for us.)

Richard also asked about casings for sausages. Sadly, the slaughterhouse they used isn't able to do that. But Kim was quite excited to let us know that they're going to be opening their own slaughterhouse and that they'll be able to offer even better cuts of meat and more options such as casings! Kim's excitement was infectious, and I'm really wishing her family the best on that adventure. I'm really looking forward to doing some business with them in the future.

Saturday we met up with Sheri from Skyview Farm to pick up some cow milk, goat milk, and chicken livers. We had hoped to get some eggs and cream, but Sheri didn't have enough to go around this time. Instead of being disappointed, I realized that this is how it sometimes will be when buying food from small farms. Sometimes there won't be enough to satisfy everyone. When you're not farming like a factory, you're going to have fewer product to sell. I don't mind that. Plus Sheri has a very fair method of tracking who was short and what they were short on each week to make sure that they get taken care of first next time around.

The milk from Skyview Farm was beautiful, with a good pint or so of light cream on top. It smelled heavenly. The goat's milk had a kind of earthy smell to it that persuaded me that I would not be using it on my cereal. The chicken livers were frozen and some of them kind of fell apart, but for the most part they looked great, and more importantly, they were delicious. (I'm sure that Richard played a hand in that too!) I think we'll be doing more business with them in the future too. The prices were fair and besides the dairy, they sell beef and chicken as well. Sheri's also teaching a cheese-making class at her farm. It's on President's Day which means I can't go, but I hope Richard can make it.

On the homefront, Richard started his gouda. He started it at nearly 5pm Friday, not considering that it's a 12 hour process that doesn't have a clear stopping point anywhere in the middle. It was a long night, but there's cheese sitting in the fridge waiting to age into amazing Gouda, so he must have done it right. I assume Richard will probably share more on his cheese making experience once it turns out.

1 comment:

  1. How cool!! Vicki, my friend who volunteers with me, is a big fan of the Badseed. She has been trying to get us to go down there. I'm so amazed how full force you have embraced this new way of approaching food. And I think it rocks! Inspiring me to to better!