Monday, December 20, 2010

Things That Make Me Happy

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Last week was a slog. You know what I mean. Some days go smoothly, with everything falling into place and at the end it feels good. And some days don’t. Last week there were a lot more of the latter than the former.

So I did a few things to get out of my funk. I took a long walk. I cleaned house (makes me feel better after I’m done). I talked to friends on the phone. And on Saturday I went to the indoor Farmers Market.

I tell you, it fed my soul. And, of course, our stomachs. I picked up an assortment of local, grass-fed beef cuts from a new source so we can taste-test it before committing to ordering an eighth. I bought a pound of locally grown mushrooms, a bag of cold-frame-grown greens, and a hunk of my friend Meg’s fabulous artisan cheese, then went on to talk to a personable young man looking to sign up folks for a poultry CSA share.

Oh, this last one was big. For one thing, finding local pastured birds has been difficult, and we eat quite a lot of chicken. Yet I’m really digging my heels in about not buying any kind of “regular” chicken at the grocery store, given the way that industrial agriculture allows (forces) them to be raised – unhealthy for us and cruel for them.

Plus, I do my best to eat (and consume in general) locally. So when someone gives me the option to buy into a poultry CSA, I’m all over that.

Jodar Farms offers two different programs. One is a regular CSA model where you get X amount of birds per month. The other is a Farmers Market program, where you pay up front and then pick up what you need each week at the summer Farmers Markets until you’ve used up your prepayment. 

Get this: not only do they offer chickens, but also ducks, turkeys, Cornish game hens, eggs – and a limited supply of pastured pork (!!!). The pork isn’t on the website, but Aaron Rice, a CSU graduate who tends the flocks mirroring the models of food advocates like Michael Pollan and Joel Salatin, mentioned it. The only thing harder to find than local, pastured poultry is local, pastured pig.

I came home energized. For dinner we had a completely local dinner:  soufflĂ© made with CSA eggs, Meg’s cheese, piima cream, local mushrooms cooked down in homemade butter with a red onion from the garden and thyme and parsley from the window sill, along with a simple salad of baby greens. So good!

Last night we tried some of the ground beef cooked up with local corn, home-canned tomatoes, herbs and the rest of the artisan cheese, all stuffed into green peppers from the freezer and baked with bread crumbs on top. Tonight the rest of the mushrooms will go into hearty tomato soup to be eaten with fresh bread and butter.

These are things that make me happy. Turns out I’m not the only one. There are lots of us. If you’re one and live in northern Colorado, check out Jodar Farms. If you don’t live in this area, take a look at Local Harvest to find food producers near you.

And now I’m off to write up a storm. Because, contrary to the mythology, I write more – and better – when I’m happy. Talk about Win-Win.


  1. I have the same poultry and pork dilemma. I'll check into Jodar Farms.

    Your meals sound delicious!

  2. I'm getting pickier and pickier about our foods, so when I had a chance to bid on an organic produce box from at the NCW silent auction, I did...and won. Not only was the produce top quality, but it was delivered to my door. I think I'll sign up for a regular delivery.

    Now I'm off to check out Jodar Farms. Thanks for the link.

    Merry Christmas, Cricket. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.