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#59548 CSA Recommendations - Produce, Meat, Dairy, Etc

Posted by jgv on 13 August 2007 - 06:20 AM in Shopping, Growing & Foraging

I've been buying great pork from Graf Century Farm in Corbett for years.  Then have the bacon or ham cured at Otto's.  They were previously heavily into the egg and chicken business but have recently divested of that (grain prices fueled by ethanol?).  I've heard about Fife and Higgins being customers.

I think the CSA model with small, periodic deliveries probably doesn't work with the batch processing nature of meat or the cost of storing frozen meat on the supplier's side.


#43774 Introduction...Frustration...Farmer's Market

Posted by jgv on 11 April 2007 - 12:24 PM in Shopping, Growing & Foraging

Thanks so much for the replies.  I'm on the E. side of Vancouver, which when you look at the produce guides in the Oregonian and the Columbian, there is something like an imaginary ring around where I live without any farms or farmstands.  Kind of weird as it's only been in the last few years that this area (between 164th and 192nd) has gone bonkers--there is still farm land in use (probably in negotiations now for a new development).  

I have several personal idiosyncracies (sp?) to deal with when shopping, but it makes sense for me to put my $ into the Vancouver FM and see where that leads.  I like Sat and Sun opportunities and will look for some vendor gems.  

I'll try to report back and share.  


#43261 Introduction...Frustration...Farmer's Market

Posted by jgv on 08 April 2007 - 08:25 AM in Shopping, Growing & Foraging

I don't recall making an intro...

I'm an overwhelmed housewife/mother wanna be foodie.  In the day before the three year old (also have 17 yo and 15 yo) I aggressively shopped, processed, obsessed over food.  To give you some ideas, I cut apart and froze 95 chickens (Graf Century Farm), 12 flats of blueberries (Klock Farms), picked 50 lbs strawberries, purchase and freeze (and subsequently cook!) 1/2 grass-fed beef, 1/2 pork, purchase 100+ lbs of cherries (Rose's fruit, the Dalles) etc.  I would drive all over Portland metro and beyond and then come home and work the rest of the day and more over these hauls.  It seems crazy and it was.

I shopped at the PDX Farmer's Market when they opened in the AM, pulling my red plastic wagon.  The purveyors were thrilled to see me and my cash when the market was dead and I was thrilled to fill my wagon for my family of five and get the heck out of there!  I swear I was a significant chunk of business for a couple of the farms in their first years at the mkt)

Now I just can't do it all anymore!!  The crowds, the drive (I live in the 'Couve--Hi Nick--love your blog and websites), the PRICES, the dogs, the social shoppers. Stop...I'm giving myself an anxiety attack.  

Let's see if I can describe my request...I am looking for the produce sleeper.  The "Your Kitchen Garden" (remember Shel at the PDX Farmer's Mkt) where I can load up in peace at prices that recognize that I am going directly to the source.  The dream is that I can pick anything they offer without wondering how fresh it is (the one-day/week farmer's market really limits the produce languishing around after picking)

I'm thrilled that the PDX Farmer's Market is where it is today and really don't think I can beat the quality in one-stop shopping (though New Seasons, Concordia is competitive if you factor in the huge convenience factor) but any suggestions are welcome.


#42180 Dream Dinners experience

Posted by jgv on 31 March 2007 - 07:51 AM in Shopping, Growing & Foraging

I don't see a premium ingredient, bulk cooking business thriving because ingredient hounds are a picky bunch and have a "can do" attitude.  So:

ingredient hound + "can do" + time= cook at home.
ingredient hound + "can do" minus  time= make time (like making fois gras-force it) and cook at home or cook at home very streamlined or lower ingredient standards and use prepared foods/mass market bulk cooking sessions
ingredient hound + $ = personal chef service or dining out

I'll be interested to see how Around the Table (Camas) proceeds.  

Hehe...we're all living in Camas's lengthy shadow, aren't we?

I wonder if you'd have to hit the perfect storm of bedroom community + Whole Foods shoppers to make an idea like that work. The problem might be that the demographic that *would* be into that is probably allergic to cooking outside their high-end kitchens.

#42176 Dream Dinners experience

Posted by jgv on 31 March 2007 - 05:54 AM in Shopping, Growing & Foraging

Dream Dinners gets their food from Sysco, but I guess I expected something like this. They're not going to make money (at the prices they're charging) if they go with a high-end food purveyor.

Now here's a business opportunity. If you can't be original, take something and make it 'premium'.

When the bulk cooking idea had a mini blossoming a few years ago (I think the newspapers had some articles as the first of those type places was arriving in Vancouver) I ran across a business of that sort that advertised premium ingredients.  It was called Cuizam (in Kirkland or SEA).  I studied the website and was impressed.  When I visited the website later, they had changed to emphasize cooking classes and now I suspect they are out of business (the website is kerplunk).

There is a new place in Camas (yes, folks, it's ALL happening in Camas!) called Around the Table.  They opened about one month ago and I think they are going to launch some freezer cooking sessions.
http://www.around-th...il_freezer.html.  They also have take out meals.  I haven't tried anything there yet.


#31302 Source for SAF instant yeast

Posted by jgv on 20 December 2006 - 05:15 PM in Shopping, Growing & Foraging

Every couple of years I pick up a small brick sized bag at the Winco in The couve.