Month: August 2013

Saturday Swinetacular: Curtis Whitlock’s Purebred Sow

This circa 1940 photo of farmer, Curtis Whitlock, and his prized purebred sow comes from the Shorpy vintage photo collection. The caption provided says that Farmer Whitlock bought his sow, some foundation dairy cows, and a “fine work mare” with a loan from the Farm […]

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Saturday Swinetacular: Pork People Like, circa 1956

Recently I wrote an article for Modern Farmer on The Rise and Fall of The Great American Hog. This video was not the least of the bits of inspiration that went into it so I thought it might also be a good piece of vintage […]

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Charred Sweet Corn + Zucchini Relish


We didn’t get a sweet corn patch planted this year, and it’s really a shame, because it’s been a great year for it. Fortunately, we have generous friends and neighbors who did and we’ve been enjoying the fruits of their labor instead.

It hasn’t been enough to do any significant freezing or canning — as my Granny always said, “Beggars can’t be choosers!” — but it’s been plenty to keep us in fresh grilled corn on the cob and some of our favorite summer sweet corn side dishes. (more…)

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Q&A with ‘In Meat We Trust’ Author Maureen Ogle

If you’d asked me a couple weeks ago if I wanted to hang out with a historian I’d have told you no, but then I met Maureen Ogle. Maureen is the author of In Meat We Trust: An Unexpected History of Carnivore America and she […]

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Monday Miscellany: End of Summer Edition

I know what you’re thinking, did she really just type that? She did. And she’s not any happier about it than you. This weekend we picked the last of the season’s peaches. (From our trees, local orchards will still have peaches for a few weeks.) […]

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Thoughts on Chipotle, Antibiotics & Where We Go From Here


In March when news of a sign spotted in a Chipotle Mexican Grill location in Kentucky was making rounds I spoke with Chris Arnold, the company’s Communications Director and Spokesperson. The sign — which said simply, “Due to supply shortages, this store is currently serving conventionally raised steak” — was displayed on the restaurant’s counter and a customer snapped a picture. The picture showed up on the Foodstuffs Foodlink Facebook page, migrated to a blog or two, and created quite a bit of buzz on Twitter. Chipotle was a divisive corporate figure in the farm world long before Panera started making waves so I wasn’t surprised their sign and the corporate road blocks it signified were hot news. Rather, because I had previously looked into Chipotle’s meat supplier requirements I was curious if the shortage had been at least partially self-inflicted. (more…)

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Raising Pigs: Why We Use Pastures And Pens

Recently pastured meats have become quite popular. It’s not just pork either, “grass-fed” which is a different but similar label for beef and lamb products, as well as pastured and even “vegetarian” versions of poultry have been hitting shelves in increasing numbers. Due to the […]

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Moroccan-Inspired Pork Stew

Normally the slow cooker and dutch oven are tucked away at the back of the cupboards this time of year, but it’s been chilly here. For much of the last two weeks of July and all of August thus far it’s felt more like mid-Autumn […]

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Peppery Fig Preserves

Fig Jam Preserves

I have read that there are people here in Michigan who grow figs in big pots and well-protected gardens despite the species’ decided preference for milder climates. I have not yet figured out how to do that myself, though someday I’d certainly like to give it a try. We are however, fortunate enough to have a reliable source of quality produce from far-flung places within an hour’s drive of the farm. So when things like figs are in season in the states where they do grow well (in this case California) I try to pick up a pint or five and put them by for a snowy day. It’s part of my older, wiser, more balanced approach to locavorism: Eat as much as possible from as close as possible; it eases the guilt of indulgence in everything else. (more…)

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Monday Miscellany: 4-H, Back to Basics, and the Approach of Autumn Edition

And, we’re back. We spent last week — one that was at once both very long and very short — at the fair. The Small Humans finished out their 4-H projects for the year and have already begun planning again for next. Best of all, […]

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