As an activity, we went apple picking and brought home 18 pounds of apples — not very much in comparison to the 40 pounds of peaches from a couple weeks ago — but still enough that I knew I had to do something with them before they rotted. I know, seems backwards, buy to get rid of ??? Right, like as soon as I bought the apples, first thought was HOW AM I GOING TO GET RID OF THEM? The best trick is to make dried apples — so super duper easy — but it requires time — almost 12 hours in a low heat oven. A lot of time.
The apple of my eye, holding an apple.
Introduced to me by my go-to-about-everything-friend, Grass Roots Coop is a farmers’ coop that sells chicken, beef, and pork online and ships it to you directly. This is a great alternative to going to the grocery store during this chaotic time, as well as a great way to get fresh, 100% pasteurized meat grown on family farms across the country.
It feels good to know that you are supporting small local farms, buying good quality meat, and not needing to go out in public to get some food! Everyone wins.
How it works.
There is SO much I love about my hometown, Eugene, Oregon, but one of the things I love most is the quality of the food. We get two deliveries of CSA vegetables per week (Turnip the Beet and Wintergreen Farm — my parents have been members of both farms for over 20 years!!!) as well as fresh chickens and eggs from Havurah Farms every other week. You literally don’t have to go to the grocery store except for pantry and freezer items. And the chickens?!?!?! MAN they are good. Who knew chickens could taste THAT good. They come from Havurah Farms and are pasture raised and non-gmo fed. Also, kosher, organic and killed young. You can literally taste the difference.
Every other Monday, my parents go to someone’s house for pickup. You get your chickens and eggs, check off your name, and then you are on your way. Old school, honor code. The chickens are killed the morning you pick them up.
Since I got a heads about a new butcher in the neighborhood, I have (oddly) spent a lot of time browsing their website and visiting their store. Located on 76th and 3rd avenue in NYC, they are exactly what I have been looking for: high quality meat from local farms. They have beautiful honeys, jams, yogurts, and spices… along with raw meat and cured beef sticks and beef jerky.
Simple sausage. Beef and pork raised right.
All my California friends are doing the bee thing — meaning, they have bees and they harvest honey for fun. DON’T YOU LOVE CALIFORNIA? I swear I am going to be the first Manhattanite mother with a bee farm — really, seriously, I am doing it. Get ready, Natori Family, here come the bees! I am learning from my dear friends out west — and thankfully, my good friend, Katie, agreed to do a post on how to harvest honey — so fascinating (nature is insane, right?) — take a look!
As summer comes to a close and fall ushers in, we did our honey harvest recently to capture sweetness to carry us through the winter. Beekeeping seems intimidating from afar, but once you get into it, you see that the hard working honey bees mind their own “bzzz-ness” for the most part and the honey harvesting process is fun, easy and satisfying…truly, five simple steps!
The first step is pulling frames full of honey from the hive. We only take only half of the frames and leave the rest of the honey filled frames for the bees to feed themselves over the winter. Paul uses smoke to calm the bees while he does his work.
Paul and his bees.
Good Eggs is the local and homegrown version of Fresh Direct. Founded in San Francisco by two tech entrepreneurs, this company’s mission is to grow and sustain local food. Currently in just a few cities (San Francisco, Brooklyn, Los Angeles, and New Orleans), Good Eggs connects people to food by giving you information and history on the producers. It is a modern day farmer’s market that delivers (or you can opt to pick it up).