Friday, January 8, 2010

Where does food come from? Do you know?

A few interesting statistics that I read about today from a farmer in Illinois who was at a CCA meeting:
-70% of Americans at 4:30 P.M. will not know what they are eating for dinner.
-Most Americans say that food comes from the grocery store.
-These Americans don't care if your farm or my farm stays in business as long as there is food at that grocery store.

I find these statements rather ALARMING. I have a sister who taught school in Utah for ten years, she made the same comments regarding the students that she taught. So I guess this means the adults are failing to teach their children where their food comes from. My sister had a small lesson that she prepared to help them understand the link between her hometown farm and how the grains, potatoes, and beef were raised and then sent to the store. It is my hope that as the year progresses my family will keep you updated on what stages our crops are in from planting through harvest and finally shipping them to the store or farmers market as the case may be.

Take for instance today: I had an order for potatoes to deliver to a local store. I gathered up 17 boxes that would each hold 50 lbs and drove the 2.5 miles to our storage unit (spud cellar). It is here that we can control the temperature which we keep as close to 38 degress Farenheit using a system of fans and tunnels laid beneath the pile of potatoes. The temp outside today was -15 degrees, but inside it was 40. My brother helped me as we sorted out potatoes into a couple of piles: 1-nice smooth 8-10 ounce potatoes, 2-large knobby or unshapely potatoes, 3- small (under 8 ounce), 4 - frozen, badly damaged, way too small, way to rough, or spoiled potatoes. We had a very bad frost that occurred in the middle of our harvest so roughly 10% of our crop was frozen. These potatoes as time goes by start to go very soft and mushy so mushy your finger can go right through the potato. If you have enough of these bad spuds (approx 20%)in a pile you can't bring the temperature down and the whole pile will soon be rotten.

So I now have 1o boxes of large knobbies as I call them, and 7 nice boxes of bakers ready to go. Saturday a friend will help me wash them up and double check for blemishes hidden by the dirt and Monday we will deliver them to the store ready for people to buy. I also sell them from my home so if you're nearby and need a fresh supply let me know.

(Nathan) Subbing in for J since she is taking a needed break.

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