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Daily archives for March 19th, 2018

The Future of Food

Imbolc                                                                           New Shoulder Moon

third plate Mentioned The Third Plate a few posts ago. A book by chef Dan Barber, owner of the Blue Hill restaurant in Manhattan and a principle in the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Westchester County.

SELECT TASTING OR DAILY MENU
Rotation Grains
smoked farmer’s cheese and broccoli pistou
~
Maine Diver Scallop
bacon, winter squash and kohlrabi
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Stone Barns Pig
tsai tsai, horseradish and pickled grapes
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11 day dry-aged bolero carrot steak
mushroom, kale and onion rings
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blue hill farm milk
yogurt, turmeric and ginger
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Malted Triticale porridge
White Chocolate, quince and Beer Ice Cream
Stone Barn Center for Food and Agriculture

Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture

He uses four big concept areas, pictured at the top: Soil, Land, Sea, Seed to tell a story about what he sees as the future of food. He’s trying to take the conversation about food beyond the now well known critiques of books like Hard Tomatoes, Hard Times, Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Aldo Leopold’s The Sand County Almanac, and any number of books published in the late sixties like Eull Gibbons, Stalking the Wild Asparagus, Small is Beautiful by E.F. Schumacher. Throw in Wes Jackson’s Becoming Native to This Place, almost anything by Wendell Berry and the thought world championed by John Muir and Edward Abbey and you can see the big conceptual field Barber has tried to plow.

He seems on to something. Using examples like the dehesa in Spain that produces jambon iberico, The Bread Lab run by Washington State plant geneticist Stephen Jones, the farm of Klaas Martens who teaches him about reading the language of the soil, Veta La Palma, a Spanish aquaculture corporation set up in an estuary of the Gulf of Cadiz, and Anson Mills, a fascinating concept by Glenn Roberts who uses landrace farming to resurrect old grain crops and nurture new ones, he seems to propose a recursion to localized crops, that is, wheat, for example, that grows best in upstate New York.  This recursion includes animals, too, where their rearing takes on the characteristics that oenologists call terroir in wines.

nutrition

This recursion would have chefs take their cues, their menus, from what farmers can grow in their immediate area and from those sites with a focus on sustainability and ecosystem regeneration. The fascinating aquaculture experiment that is Veta La Palma  uses the Guadalquivir River and the salt water of the Gulf of Cadiz to farm high quality sea bass. The focus does not have to be only local or regional but can include instances of food production with ecosystem supportive techniques.

This seems similar to the disaggregation idea in power production, local solar and wind and geothermal and hydro.  Anything that deemphasizes the industrial and the corporate in favor of the local and ecological.

EatLocal

He talks about his idea in agriculture as middle agriculture, that is agriculture smaller than corporate, but larger than the small family farm or the boutique garden. He’s trying to get to scale sufficient that it could actually feed large numbers of people.

It makes me want to cook in the way he suggests. That is, find food grown here in the Rockies, use it along with food sourced from the Veta La Palmas, the dehesas or the Bread Labs, and build our menus at home around it, changing with the seasons. Right now that would take a good bit of work, but it might be possible and it would certainly be worth it.

A continuing theme.

Welcome, Spring. But hold off just a while, o.k.?

Imbolc                                                                  New Shoulder Moon

equinox josephine wallbreath

equinox Josephine Wall breath of gaia

Spring comes tomorrow at 10:15 a.m. MST. At least that’s the timing of the Equinox when the sun lines up at a right angle to the equator. The snow out my window says winter’s not done quite yet. And we hope it’s not. Bring more snow. Please.

 

Bear’s Day

Imbolc                                                                             New Shoulder Moon

repairSometimes. Well. So, the washer failed first, on Thursday. Then, a day or so later, the dishwasher. 1 Stop appliance, the folks who do Samsung repairs up here, only have two days in Conifer, Monday and Wednesday. Monday was full, so Wednesday. That’s the day before Kate’s surgery.

Then, this morning around 4 am, Kepler began to puke. On the comforter. On the quilt. On the carpet. OK. Kate woke up first and as is our agreement, first one aware cleans up. I got up, too, carried comforters and quilts to the laundry room. (but, if you’ll recall from paragraph one, the washer is not working.)

Last night we got about 4 inches of snow, too. That figures into all this because we have our physicals this morning in Littleton. And, obviously, afterwards, I have a trip to the laundromat.

“Monday, Monday, so good to me
Monday mornin´, it was all I hoped it would be.” Good song, but posted here, as you might have already guessed, ironically.

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