Audio

The benefits of sourdough breads of ancient grains w Therese Asmus

I hope you enjoy this Deep Roots Radio interview with Therese Asmus, of Artistta Homestead, is a long-time baker and teacher dedicated to the nutritional and flavorful benefits of sourdough breads made with ancient grains. She shares research and insights into the nutritional differences among ancient grains and contrasts their digestibility with commercially varieties.

Loaves made with ancient grains


She says many customers who can’t tolerate goods baked with conventional varieties can now enjoy bread again.
Sylvia

Herbalist/farmer Nancy Graden talks about medicinal herbs on her certified organic Red Clover Herbal Apothecary Farm.

I hope you enjoy this Deep Roots Radio interview with trained and experienced medicinal herbalist and farmer Nancy Graden, owner and operator of Red Clover Herbal Apothecary Farm, Amery, Wisconsin.
Nancy brings decades of training and field experience to her farm and to the people of Amery, Polk County and the Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota metro area.

Deep Roots Radio, 91.3FM and www.wpcaradio.org

Deep Roots Radio, 91.3FM and www.wpcaradio.org

When it’s too hot: Get ready…set…ferment!

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It feels like 150 degrees out there; way too hot for picking beans, weeding beets and thinning carrots. And the thought of putting huge pots of water to boil to blanch greens and can veggies is crazy-making. But that’s what summer’s about, isn’t it – enjoying what you can now of the fruits and veggies from your garden, CSA box or farmers market, and preserving the rest for the much cooler days we know are ahead.
Fermentation is a great way to preserve veggies without heating up the kitchen. For example, yesterday – when it was 84 degrees – I put up kimchi (think of a very spicy Asian version of sauerkraut) and swiss chard stems. It was easy.
What is fermentation, you ask? It’s a method of preserving foods that’s been used for thousands of years by cultures the world over.
In a nutshell, and at its most basic, what you do is submerge your chopped, sliced or whole veggie in salted water (a brine) and then let the action of anaerobic bacteria do their work to “sour” the food. The beneficial micro-organism harnessed for this work is lactobacillus bacteria. That’s why this process is sometimes referred to as lacto-fermentation.
By the way, although the terms sound similar, lacto-fermentation has nothing to do with milk and lacto-intolerance. Instead, lacto refers to the lactic acid produced by the bacteria which acidifies the food, releases additional nutrients from the veggie, and keeps it safe to eat. Think of sauerkraut – fermented cabbage. Fermented foods can be ready to eat in a handful of days or after several weeks, and then stored for months more. Key to this process is constantly keeping the veggies submerged.

Napa cabbage kimchi and swiss chard stems ferment

Napa cabbage kimchi and swiss chard stems ferment


Oh, and what did I do with the chard leaves I stripped from the stems? I blanched them in boiling water for two (2) minutes and then plunged them into ice water to stop the cooking and ready them for the freezer. Again – easy.
So what’ll it be this weekend (after it cools down enough to head out to the garden)? I think I’ll pick green beans to ferment with a brine and a variety of other spices. Fennel? Caraway? Dill? What will work best with my grass-fed beef burgers, pot roasts and steaks?
Here are some of the books I’m using to build my fermentation skills:
– The Art of Fermentation, by Sandor E. Katz
– Fermented Vegetables, by Kristen K. Shockey & Christopher Shockey
– The Kimchi Cookbook, by Lauryn Chun
– The Nourished Kitchen, by Jennifer McGruther
– Preserving Food Without Freezing or Canning, by The Gardeners & Farmers of Terre Vivante
What are you fermenting?
Sylvia

How to find your local farmer – July 4, 9-9:30AM CT, Deep Roots Radio

What: Deep Roots Radio interview with Julien Roberge, co-founder of Agrilliance, a website that quickly helps consumers find their local, sustainable farmers.

When: Saturday, July 4th, 9:00-9:30AM Central Time

Where: WPCA Radio, 93.1FM and streamed live at www.wpcaradio.org

Why: The demand for high-quality, sustainably-grown foods continues to grow in the US and worldwide. Consumers are concerned about herbicides, pesticides, GMOs, sugar, salts, and processing chemicals in their foods. Food lovers are also increasingly interested in the systems behind their foods: the environmental impacts, use of energy, antibiotics used in industrial livestock operations, and fair wages on the farm.
Agrilliance also sees these local markets as strong and viable ways to meet the needs of a growing world population, the challenges of climate change, and the political pressures felt around the globe.
Agrilliance is a new effort, web-based, to make it easier for thoughtful farmers and consumers to find their local markets. The idea is to build local connections in every community – worldwide.
I hope you’ll tune in.
Sylvia

Connecting the dots between what we eat and how it's grown

Connecting the dots between what we eat and how it’s grown

What goes with garlic, brandy, home-made bone broth, & 3 hours?

How to start dinner!

How to start dinner!

One of the great things about being a sustainable farmer is that sometimes you’re faced with interesting challenges.
So there I was with a gallon of home-made chicken bone broth (from the roasted carcasses of our own free-range birds) and a cool spring afternoon. What to do?
I paired the rich broth with several home-grown garlic cloves, a couple of harvested chickens – including an old nasty-tempered roaster that weighed in at over 12 pounds – some good brandy, red wine and celery.
First, I browned about half a pound of bacon in a very large fry pan. I sautéed a huge chopped onion in the fat, and then distributed the fragrant mix between a couple of large enameled cast iron casseroles.
I dredged the disjointed chicken pieces in flour seasoned with salt and freshly ground pepper. I heated up the fry pan once again and browned all the chicken. They, too, went into the casseroles.
I swished 1.5 c of brandy in the hot fry pan, tossed in a lit match and jumped back as flames shot up. What a glorious aroma. I divided the brandy between the two casseroles, and now used the same pan to heat a quart of the broth. While it was warming, I chopped 8 celery sticks into 1.5-inch pieces and added them to the pots.
Once the broth reached a simmer, I portioned it out to the two casseroles. I brought both pots up to a low simmer, covered them, and popped them into a 250-degree oven.
It’ll take at least three hours for these old birds to become —- coq au vin!
I hope you’re having a great dinner as well.
Sylvia

Morning break after a three-dog night

It hit -28 last night at Bull Brook Keep, and that’s without taking windchill into account.
After pulling on my flap-earred hat, long-johns and heavy jacket, I fed and watered the chickens and fully expected to find frozen eggs in the nest boxes. Today’s harvest was small and cold, but not frozen. I’ll check the coop several times this morning to gather up any new contributions before they freeze and crack.

Hot and spicy break after a three-dog night

Hot and spicy break after a three-dog night


Chilly morning chores prompt substantial morning breaks. Today’s includes toasted French sourdough fortified with pastured butter and homemade jalapeño jelly, extra sharp Cheddar, a fresh pear and piping hot organic Welsh Morning tea with plenty of organic half-and-half and vanilla-spiked organic sugar. Thank you God.