Archive for the Food Category

Baby Quail

Three years ago I set a goal for myself to start growing most of my own food.  Many of you might remember this past summer when I got my chickens, I had put up some post about them (see them here).  Well now they are almost full grown and soon to lay eggs.

I then learned of quail which have a few unique attributes that really appealed to me.  In my journey to grow my own food, I have set another goal to design everything to minimize work put in, maximize what I get out, to integrate ergonomics, set the stage to ramp up production in the event of a long term crisis (think Katrina) and develop a high level of diversity.

Quail does all these things, they are raised in a square foot per bird, are able to be kept on wire without harm (so dropping simply pass through the mesh) to minimize cleaning, they are prolific breeders laying 300 eggs a year, and I have two species of birds to add to my chickens, making a higher diversity.

Oh did I mention they’re really cute?

The Beekman Boys

So I have come across a video series called Beekman Boys, which shows the life or partners, one formally a drag queen,  the other is a VP from the Martha Stuart empire, They have decided to become farmers.  It is an interesting mix of polo shirts and pig farming.  I really like the dynamic of the two and it is pretty entertaining, plus a bit eye opening.  Check it out!

Click the photo below for the video

Their website

Baby Chicks

So about 2 years ago I started a long term goal of mine: to gradually grow most of my food on my own.  Today I am taking a huge step, I am adding animals!  I just picked up 6 Rhode Island Reds baby chicks!  I have built a coop for them when they get a bit older, but for now here is a quick video in their new home.

I choose this breed of chickens because they are known for laying large eggs frequently, which is what I primarily want them for.  They don’t get broody, generally quieter, aren’t too jumpy.  The other upside is that they do pretty well as a meat chicken in the event that I have to do so.  This is kinda a big step in the process that I am working on and I hope I am doing it right!  Anyway, there is more to come on the chicks in the coming weeks.

 

A Distrubing Trend

Being that it is Tuesday and on Tuesday I talk about gardening I have a rather disturbing story to tell.  Last weekend I went to the farmers market to get veggies etcetera for this weeks meals.  I stopped off at my favorite hole-in-the-wall breakfast place and off I went.

I make my way down to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture’s Farmers Market, located off Yorkmount road in Charlotte NC.  I love this one, it one of the bigger farmers markets in the city and it is certainly the most popular.  As I walk around I see all shades of green.  Bok choy, asparagus, collard greens, beans and so on.

As I make my way down the rows, navigating the crowd I see out of the corner of my eye.  There it was, a vendor taking strawberries out of mass packed plastic containers and dumping them into these green cardboard buckets.  They then took these and placed them in their stall labeled “LOCAL NORTH CAROLINA PRODUCE”.

The way it is setup you can walk behind the stalls so I walked over and took a peek at these plastic containers.  “product of Mexico, packaged in the USA”.  Local washing is where you brand items as local produced when it is not.

As I walked around I found this to be the case for so many and not just strawberries, it was practically everything.  I found one guy who grew asparagus in his garden in Charlotte and I gladly handed him my four dollars.

I began to think about how this came to be or why this came to be.  I realized that smaller farmers simply cannot produce enough to meet the demands and the variety that people want.  This is why I think they have to buy mass produced items and sell them.  But I find that they lie and brand them as local is objectionable

What do you all think about this practice?   Do you see this at your local farmers market?