Who’s Responsible for Your Dinner?

Last Sunday, as we sat down to dinner, we realized that three family businesses were responsible for most of the food on our plates. It’s not often that we “know our food” quite so well! Here is our “tip of the hat” to these fine folks!

To insure that we – and others who look for good food – have food that is carefully raised, carefully processed, and sold with mindfulness, we must support small farms and small businesses that are doing their best to deliver it to us.

On Sunday’s plate we had chicken from Crown S Ranch (that’s Jennifer Argraves – top right –  in her chicken processing facility), emmer and wild rice pilaf from Bluebird Grains (Brooke Lucy – bottom right – in her farm store in the family mill), homemade bread (yup, that’s me) made with whole wheat flour from Fairhaven Organic Flour Mill (Kevin Christenson – bottom left – in his mill), and leeks and shallots from our garden (that’s Ken – upper left – who harvested the shallots last fall and the leeks in the afternoon).

What can you do to have a Sunday dinner where everything on the plate has a producer’s name attached?

  • Grow your own. Yes, if you want to go “hyper local,” throw a few onions or shallots and some leeks into the ground. In Puget Sound and other cool, moderate climates, leeks will rapidly take over your garden if left to go to seed! Or find a sunny spot – a balcony or window will do too – and plant a pot of something.
  • Shop at farmers’ markets. Folks like Brooke, Jennifer, and lots of great producers bring their products to your community every week during the summer. Some markets run only in the summer, while others are open all year. Don’t pass up those early spring greens if you’re lucky enough to be near one of those year ’round markets.
  • Shop at your nearest food co-op. Kevin and many other thoughtful food processors sell wholesale to food co-ops, natural food markets, and small, family-owned regional chains. Pick up flour, milk, cheese, meat, eggs, and fresh fruits and vegetables from producers in your backyard. Get in the car and go visit them; they’ll be glad to hear from you. (Call ahead though, summer is a busy season!)

Rather than fill your plate with food that has traveled thousands of miles, been processed until there is no food value left, and is full of additives, preservatives, and artificial colors and flavors, go local or regional, organic, and direct. You’ll support a small business that needs all the help they can get and you’ll eat fresher healthier food.

Our thanks to these folks for a wonderful Sunday dinner.



Learn more here:

Crown S Ranch

Engineering an Organic Farm: Crown S Ranch
Video: The Grazing Eco-System – Crown S Ranch
Video: Engineering an Organic Farm – Crown S Ranch

Bluebird Grains

Search and Rescue: Reclaiming Farmland and An Ancient Grain
On the Road: Emmer, an Ancient Grain
Emmer from Bluebird Grain Farms

Fairhaven Organic Flour Mill

How to Buy a Flour Mill: Check Craig’s List
Video: Kevin Christenson, Fairhaven Organic Flour Mill

Farmers Markets/Food Co-ops/Urban Agriculture

Farmers Markets – The Alternative Food System
Farmers Markets – Home of the New Food Revolutionaries
Food Co-ops – No Longer All Crunchy Granola and Birkenstocks
Natural Food Co-ops – Putting Local Sourcing Into Practice
Let’s All Plant a Garden 
Community Gardens: Growing Your Own
Urban Agriculture: Growing Your Own
The Urban Farm Handbook