Thursday, February 28, 2013

Documentary Review: The Greenhorns

Last week I took advantage of "Do Something Reel Fest", I was able to pay $3.99 to rent the film for three days on  

The Greenhorns: a documentary film about young farmers.
Directed by Severine von Tscharner Fleming

This was a great film capturing the spirit and enthusiasm of young farmers today. The director drove around visiting farms all across the united states over a three year time period. It is inspiring to see all the young people wanting to get back to our roots and grow our food. "It's not a want, it's a need." 

We need to recapture what our great or maybe great grand parents knew, which is how to grow food on your land to support your family. I think that it is crazy that the bell peppers are coming from Mexico or Holland. Are there no warm areas year round in the U.S. to supply bell peppers.

I learned about how each farmer is doing things not necessarily the easy way, but a way that is best for the land. Focusing on seed saving, so we don't have to rely on a few large seed manufacturers call the shots.

How we are losing 2,880 acres of land everyday. How the average age of a farmer is 57 and will be retiring with many of their children not wanting to continue in their foot steps.

To think that agriculture in the U.S. is such a large part of our economy and now the percentage of farmers is less than 2%. And the population is are we going to feed everyone.

I'm inspired to do my part in this revolution, this movement that is starting as a spark and will soon burn into a fire. I recommend watching this film, and feel the movement that 
will hopefully effect you into wanting to do a part in our future.

So plant a garden, plant a container garden, shop at farmers market, save your seeds, and teach your children how to grow food:)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

My First Food Swap

Defined, a food swap is a recurring event where members of a community share homemade, homegrown, or foraged foods with each other. Swaps allow direct trades to take place between attendees, e.g., a loaf of bread for a jar of pickles or a half-dozen backyard eggs. Swap events also include a potluck as an immediate food-sharing (and sometimes item-sampling) component. These events are a delicious way to diversify the homemade foods in your own pantry while getting to know members of your local food community.

Sounds fun, doesn't it!!

So I’ve been super excited to attend a food swap, I was unable to attend any of the past few meetings.

With the “derby city food swap” setting a date, I started going through my pantry  to see what I had extra of in the canned good variety. Then went on to search my freezer and fridge. After looking  through everything, I decided on the following:
2 jars of spaghetti sauce
2 jars of peach BBQ sauce
1 jar sweet potato butter
2 frozen pizza dough
2 bags black walnut (1/2 cup each)
4 mini pumpkin chocolate chip breads

So I busied myself making cute labels and tags for all of my items. Then packed up my box and went to the meet up. Walking in I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was greeted by one of the organizers, asked to make a name tag, how to fill out my bidding sheets, donation jar and name for a door prize. It was a lot to take in, in two minutes :)

So I went into the next room where table had been set up and ladies were busy setting up their items. I found an empty spot and started to unload my items. Trying to layout my space to be appealing, room for my samples, bidding sheets and still leave room for others to come in and set up.

Then I stood back and started to gaze around at what all had been brought. Within twenty minutes the two organizers explained out the swap would work.

Here is how a standard food swap goes:

Swaps usually last about two hours.

The first 30 minutes of the swap are devoted to sign-in, set-up, and greetings. Swappers fill out name tags and swap sheets and set up their wares on the tables.

The next 30 minutes to 1 hour are for everyone to walk around, examine, and sample items from the other swappers. Swappers will write their names and items they brought on the sheets for any items they would like to take home.

The final 30 minutes are when all the swapping actually happens. Everyone goes back to his or her original sheets of paper, looks at the offers, finds interested offers via their name tags, and swaps.

So what was there to choose from? A lot of lovely homemade, home grown, home raised goodness, including chicken eggs, meats, dish towels, pizza sauce, protein bars, granola, jams, ketchup, chicken broth, basil infused vodka (yes, you heard me), pie fillings, vegan gravy, biscuits, and banana puree ice cream. Like I said, a lot.

So I went around putting down what I would swap for each item, we did everything 1 for 1, to keep things simple. 

Then it was time to go back and look at your offers and decide which ones you wanted to swap with. This was a time of people going back and forth, searching for names and making final “yes” to the swaps at hand. Collecting our goods and stashing them under the table so to keep them safe. Then as the noise settles down, with last minutes of “I have this left who wants to trade?”  You gather everything up and lay it out on the table to see what all you collected in the blur of the past ten minutes….

And what did I walk away with, well the following: 2 pkgs of pork chops, 1 ground sausage (1lb), jar of curried ketchup, bag of granola, 1 dish cloth, 1 jar of pizza sauce, a dozen eggs, jar of strawberry rhubarb jam, container of chocolate banana puree ice cream, and 2 bundles fresh rosemary

Get was a great swap and I can’t wait for the next one, which they say should start being monthly!! If you are in the area please checkout their blog or 'like' them on facebook, links are below:


Sonya loved the dish cloth and got busy cleaning her stove.

Monday, February 18, 2013

My Past Two Fairy Tale Weekends

Zoo Snack

Momma and little bit

In the Process of making orange scented vinegar for a homemade all purpose cleaner.

Oranges in Vinegar, because its beautiful

What I got at my first food swap

Hope everyone had a great weekend.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

So what do you eat?

The way we eat has become a foundation of who we are. A person could be any of the following and I’m sure there are other new definitions being created as I speak.

Vegetarian – someone who lives on diet of plant based foods, eggs and dairy.

Vegan – someone who consumes only plant foods such as vegetables, grains, legumes (beans and peas), fruits, nuts and seeds. Avoiding all animal foods including meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy, and honey.

Flexitarian –  someone who eats vegetarian or vegan most of the time but eats meat and animal products every now and then. Also, could be called a semi-vegetarian.

Locavore – someone who eats food made near where they live, usually within 100 miles.


In the winter of 2010, after the birth of my daughter, I started getting interested in watching documentaries. My first one was Food Inc., after viewing the film, I had a desire to start making better choice about the food my family ate.

So for defining purposes, my family is a Flexitarian with a lot of Locavore and Homegrown thrown in. And to keep things interesting, my step-daughter is also a Chickenarian, one of those new words/terms I mentioned above. We have a 2 chicken flock in our backyard, they give us eggs and after they are done producing eggs. They will become well….dinner. So after time to think about this Avery at the ripe of age of 9 decided to stop eating chicken all together. Avery will be turning 11 in February and is still chickenless.

In the summer of 2011, I moved and expanded our failing first garden. In the garden, I grew tomatoes, melons, carrots and peppers. The garden did wonderful and in 2012 we made and installed all raised beds and expanded the garden just a little. We grew tomatoes (several varieties), peas, cucumbers, green beans, greens, lettuce, peppers, carrots, pumpkins, herbs, blueberries and raspberries. The garden did fantastic, leaving me with the planning of this year’s garden.

I shop every Saturday at the Farmers’ Market, where I try to get and plan the majority of my meals around. I also stock up on produce during the peak seasons to preserve for the winter. I preserve through hot bath canning method, blanching,  freezing and drying.

I buy Kentucky flour from a local store, so that I can make bread, pizza dough, pie crust, cookies, desserts and homemade pancake/waffle mixes.
Veggie Skillet (includes: onion, potato, kale and eggs)

Our meals consist of a heavy vegetarian diet, I personally feel that it balances out of all the good things to eat. I try to purchase mainly local meat, and from the grocery store organic meats. Another reason we eat a lot of vegetarian meals is because of the cost to purchase organic meat.
The majority of our meals are made from scratch after work. I try to plan leftovers for lunches over the next couples days and for a dinner, if there is enough. It is challenging to make this effort everyday with the world around me throwing convenient food at me. But this is something that is key to making healthy food for my family. And we may not eat until 6:30-7:00 o'clock some nights, but its worth the wait.
Homemade Pizza (includes: homemade dough, tomato sauce, red pepper, dried tomato, spinach, sausage and cheese)
Now I’ve watched many more documentaries that help keep me focused on the little things I can do that will make a big difference in my family’s diet. Both of my kids are not picky eaters. Both drink water and some milk with very little or no soda or juice. My step daughter’s diet varies from our, because she is at her mom’s house half of the time.
Vegetarian Quesadilla (includes: cheese, black beans, corn, red pepper, onion and tomato)

Now we do have things in our house that are not “healthy”, these are mainly for the kids and my husband. In our pantry you’ll find potato chips, Dortios (at times), little Debbie snacks and some sugary cereal. We are a work in progress.
I try to always keep in my mind a quote from one of Michael Pollen’s books, “You can eat all the junk food you want as long as you made is from scratch.”