Food Community: Murphy and Tom

murphyMary Murphy (just “Murphy” to her friends) grew up in the forests of Maine and has felt the call of the mountains in her soul since she was young. She has been leading wilderness trips professionally since 2005, mostly in Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and New York. In 2009 she solo-hiked the entire Appalachian Trail (you can read her Trail Journal here). She is passionate about helping others reconnect to the spirit of the land by becoming competent and comfortable in the wilderness. Some of her favorite skills to share are safe and responsible backcountry camping, canoeing, archery, wilderness survival (shelter, fire, navigation), woodland crafts, first aid, and ethical hunting. She sees wilderness expeditions as a path to personal empowerment and spiritual connection with the land and our deepest selves.

Murphy is also a medieval scholar: she earned high honors from Mount Holyoke College for her thesis on cultural understandings of love in 14th-century England, and is currently pursuing research on Old Norse literature and its mythological archetypes of female empowerment and shamanic culture of magic & prophesy. In the summer of 2014 she shared her mythological expertise in Mountainsong’s Nordic Woman trip to Sweden.

Murphy lives at Good Heart Farmstead in Worcester, VT, in a Tiny House she designed and built with her own hands. Murphy is the founder and “alpha wolf” of Mountainsong Expeditions which offers workshops in skills for living close to the land and guided wilderness trips in northern New England.

Murphy says:
When I’m not in the mountains, I work for Farmers To You two days a week, packing orders and delivering them to Lexington, Arlington, and Porter Square. I love bringing a little bit of Vermont magic to the city every week, like a modern day Robin Hood smuggling the vibrancy and connection of good food to the people who want it!

 

TomM.jpgTom MacKenzie has been a musician for most of his life, starting with the obligatory piano lessons then on to marching band in high school and finally into the world of traditional music on the Banjo, Hammered Dulcimer, Guitar, Keyboard and recently the Ukulele.

Everything from French Canadian to American Old Time to Scandinavian to Ragtime to Classical is fair game for Tom. Clarinet Polka on the Dulcimer, why not? Hall of the Mountain King on Banjo, Sure! A common fixture at hundreds of New England Contra Dances over the years, Tom has recently been composing songs and tunes at a blistering rate.

Tom was a member of the Woods Tea Company for many years, but now keeps busy working with a number of other musicians and will probably appear in a town near you. In addition, if you live in Central Vermont and are looking for lessons on Banjo, Ukulele, or Hammered Dulcimer, Tom is your man.

Tom lives in the town of Calais, VT with wife Jo, a retired teacher, who is now a watercolor artist jomackenzie.com. He’s a full time musician (tmackenzie.com) and partners with the one and only Patti Casey in their duo Shady Rill. This Shady Rill Video, from a performance at a local community club, will certainly warm your heart!

Tom also leads snowshoe tours for Peace Pups dogsledding.

Tom does everything that needs to be done on Tuesday and Wednesday at our Farmers To You Hub, from receiving, invoicing, to verifying, packing, stocking items … he’s an invaluable member of the team, and keeps us humming.

Tom says:
I love the entire concept of Farmers to You, especially being of the age where TV dinners and frozen meals were the “latest and greatest” things to come along. I may have grown up liking spinach if I had had the opportunity of getting the real deal.

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Tips from the Kitchen: Jen and Shane

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Two partners tell us what they create in their kitchens with their orders. Jen picks up in Somerville, and Shane gets delivery to his office.

Give us a peek into your kitchen by commenting here, or sending your ideas to info@farmerstoyou.com or post on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram.

From Jen:

The haddock was so tasty, Eva.

I only got a couple bites because I finished cooking it right before I left for the gym and my boyfriend devoured it all while I was out. He said, “If that’s how haddock tastes, I will eat it all the time!”

I soaked it in milky egg, tossed it in a mix of plain bread crumbs, flour, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese, then fried it in oil and served it with Farmers to You frozen corn.

I have lots of other recipes I make up from your foods! :)

Breakfast maple sausage…into the pan and grate on top of it 1-2 peeled potatoes and one peeled apple. Fry it all over medium, no oils/spices needed. Serve it with maple syrup or sour cream.

Alpha Tolman Over Easy–melt a little butter in a skillet over medium and crack an egg into it. After a couple minutes, turn it over easy and grate Alpha Tollman over it. Cover pan and turn heat off. Serve carefully after a couple minutes. Yolk will be runny inside and cheese will be all melted and delicious.

Scallops! Melt some bacon fat in a pan over medium heat and place scallops it. Crack pepper over them. When they are quite browned, turn them over and turn off the heat. Cut bacon strips in half width-wise and wrap one piece around each scallop so the less-cooked side of the scallop is exposed. You can hold it on with a soaked, wooden toothpick (soaked so toothpick doesn’t burn). Broil the wrapped scallops with the less-cooked side facing up for about 4-minutes or until bacon is cooked.

These are typical things I do with my Farmers To You groceries. There are many more but these are three favorites in our home. :) Thanks for all the wonderful stuff you provide us, and stay warm!

From Shane:

I “hire” Farmers To You to do a job, make sure I have convenient, delicious ingredients ready to keep me powered throughout the week. My ordering priority is simple …

  1. Multiple pounds of root vegetables in winter, green things in summer.
  2. Stock up on any staples like oats, flour, eggs, cheese.

My prep for the week is simple, I’ll roast as many sheet pans worth of vegetables as I can fit in the oven, and make big buckets of grains. On the weekend or for dinner I get to be ‘fancy’, I fry eggs and make toast.

Hope that helps, happy to give back for what you give to me!

Thanks Jen and Shane for sending in your inspirational ideas. We’d love to hear more …

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This Week’s Bounty: Butternut, Butterballs, Cultured Butter, and Kidding

banner.willowmoonbabygoatsThis is the most difficult time of year for local vegetables (yet it affords us lots of opportunity for great fun and creativity in the kitchen). Sadly, we no longer have leeks, but compared to just two years ago – it’s an accomplishment we’ve had them this long into late Winter! Next year, thanks to YOUR partnership (that our partner farmers can rely on) we will have alliums even longer in the season. Thank you!

We are super fortunate to have our selection of frozen vegetables from both Pete’s Greens and Harlow Farm (oh, that corn is so sweet and good).

Specials:
This week we are offering a special price on Harlow Farms Frozen Butternut Puree Squash. Whether you use it to create an amazingly satisfying soup, or just heat it up with some butter to serve hot – it’s wonderful.
Frozen Butternut Puree – 2 pounds – usually $6.75 Special $5.90

Mark and Megan Cannella at Valentine Farm in East Montpelier, are one of our new farmer partners. They grow wonderful potatoes, and this year I asked them to grow us Butterballs because these are one of the best mashing potatoes on the planet. We have been using up our supply at Burnt Rock Farm and now are switching over to Mark and Megan’s. They happen to be a better value!
Butterball Potatoes – previously 2 pounds for $4.70, now 3 pounds for $4.90

Our Ground Beef Special Continues
Ground Beefusually $8.25 per pound, Now $7.25 per pound.

So how was the Butter? We are extending our special introductory pricing because some of you did not get any last week. Sadly, we underestimated how much you wanted! We are well prepared this week.

News From the Farms:

  • The weather continues to be a challenge – especially with our greenhouse growers and our egg and dairy folks. The warming sun is helping in the greenhouses. Lee from Blackwell Roots (also maker of that amazing sauerkraut) said to us this week – “Hey – I think the spinach is actually thinking about growing again!” We’re ready!
  • In another couple of weeks our egg farms will be increasing production and hopefully satisfying all your requests each week. We are so sorry that we have not been able to do so up to now.
  • It’s Kidding season for our goat farmers …
    • Willow Moon (Chevre and Feta Cheese) – Kim and Sharon have been up late many nights making sure the new kids are warm and well fed. With these extreme temperatures, there is not much room for error. To make sure they have the milk they need – they will not be making cheese this week, but should be able to start up again next week. We invite you to get to know these wonderful women and their goats – watch their Partner Farmer Video and check out their baby pictures on Facebook.
    • Fat Toad Farm (amazing Goat Milk Caramel) is also in the middle of kidding. A recent message from Judith told us they too are working harder than usual to keep the little ones warm and well fed: “Hope all is well with you. We are being challenged by a very active kidding stretch over the past 3 days (75 baby goats?) and temps are not very helpful. Jeesh. Judith.” We invite you to view both our Partner Farmer video and their own delightful The Fat Toad Farm Film.

Red’s Best will have their Fresh White Fish selection this week along with Sea Scallops. Jared and Jason promise us more selection in a few weeks when the weather improves.  As you can imagine, it has been brutal in the extreme cold. We are eternally grateful for their dedication, skill, and fortitude.

David and Michelle at Valicenti Organicohave some wonderful, colorful pastas for us:
Roasted Apple w/Camembert & Toasted Almonds Ravioli
Slow Barbecue Lamb w/Caramelized Sweet Potato Ravioli
Ruby Beet Tagliatelle
Blonde Lumache
Gluten Free Carrot & Ginger Fettuccine
Gluten Free Natural Trenne

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Contentment

 

Do you remember Robert McCloskey’s Burt Dow, Deep-Water Man?  The New England children’s classic about a feisty pod of whales calmed by pepper-mint-striped Band-Aids on their tails?

 As the whales swim away, Burt remarks, “I never did see so many tons of contentment come from such a little old Band-Aid box!”

 Contentment comes from seemingly simple things, such as a Band-Aid, a kind smile … or bursting-with-flavor food.

~

 We just received this testament from a contented Mother.

Just wanted to send a quick note to thank you for continuing to provide an amazing service even in these past few weeks when weather has been so difficult. I’m home with a toddler and infant, and we’ve been dealing with various seasonal illnesses, and getting out of the house has been especially challenging for us. I’m so, so thankful to be able to rely on FTY and my CSA to keep my family well fed. We don’t mind when an item isn’t available, or when there is an occasional mix-up. This just serves to remind us of the seasonality of our food and all the hard work and complex logistics that go into our local food supply chain. Thank you so much for all you do; it means the world to us.

Here’s wishing you warmth and “tons of contentment” this weekend.

~

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This Week’s Bounty: Cultured Butter, Queso Fresco, Two Chowders, Roasted Apple Ravioli

banner.ploughgatefarm.butter.jpgThe big news this week is Butter! We are so pleased to be introducing you to Marisa Mauro of Ploughgate Farm in Fayston, Vermont. It has been over two years since we were able to offer you butter and we were frustrated that – up here in Vermont – dairyland – no one was producing high quality, hand churned butter.

Marisa’s story is one of true grit and determination. Three years ago, her Ploughgate Creamery located on another farm had a devastating fire, and she was forced to close the business. (some of you may remember her wonderful cheese). She was able to acquire the historic Bragg Farm in Fayston, overlooking both Sugarbush and Mad River Ski areas in the Mad River Valley. Over the past year she has worked tirelessly to rebuild her creamery on this spot and we are so honored to be able to support her work and determination.

Presently her cream comes from one of the last independent milk coops in Vermont – St Albans Coop -but this Spring, her herd of Jersey Cows will return and she will rebuild her beautifully integrated farming system on her mountain grass farm.

Her butter is nothing short of perfection, and we wait with anticipation for her to begin production of fresh cheeses. Visit her beautiful web site and enjoy the pictures of her new farm. Welcome back to our partnership Marisa!

Cultured Butter – ½ pound. Usually $7.90 Now $6.90

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Since we did not have the Queso Fresco Cheese last week from Champlain Valley Creamery – an excellent snack cheese – we continue special pricing - Usually $6.75 Now $5.75 for 8oz

We have a fresh shipment of Beef this week from Woodbourne Farms!!
We will also be continuing our special price on
Ground Beef – usually $8.25 Now $7.25

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This week, Red’s Best is offering their White Fish Fresh Catch and Sea Scallops. With the severe weather of late – the Martha’s Vineyard Scallop beds that produce Bay Scallops are frozen over.

On growing vegetables in deep winter … Joe Buley and Lee Blackwell tell me that their greenhouse spinach is growing again! Perhaps you have noticed that the mid-February sun is much warmer than in January – and the plants and birds and trees notice the same thing. This is when the birds start to sing, and if you look very carefully (check out the mosses) you can see that the plants have started to grow. We hope to have Spinach again soon.

Golden Beets will be coming from Pete’s Greens now along with his wonderful Mixed Shoots and root vegetables.

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Joe at Screamin Ridge Farm has two winter chowders for us this week – Clam Chowder, and Corn Chowder.  If you haven’t use his sauces as meal starters – give them a try. These are Joe’s suggestions:

  • Chimichurri Sauce – Add to roasting vegetables or meat in the last 15 minutes of cooking
  • Enchilada Sauce – Cook Chicken, Pork or Tofu in this for incredible flavor – so easy
  • Maple Chipotle BBQ Sauce – great to toss and roast root vegetables
  • Tomato SauceGood old plain roasted tomatoes – use to create your own pizza sauce, spaghetti sauce, or add to stews for deep savoriness.

David and Michelle at Valicenti Organico have some wonderful pasta for you this week:

Don’t forget their Red and Golden Gravy – the flavor is rich and perfect for the whole family. You can also use these on a Red Hen Pizzaz to make your own homemade pizza. Grate some Queso Fresco and Grafton 1 year Cheddar, then sprinkle on your favorite topping!

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