Capsicum lately

I snagged these gorgeous peppers from Scott Arbor Farm, a family farm located in Seguin, about 50 miles south of Austin. I always make a beeline to their stand at the downtown Austin Farmer's Market. According to their website, they have been farming organically at the same location for 32 years. They were...

Lucky bastards of the Northwest

E. I. Ho and I had a wonderful time visiting the Northwest last week. We went to Seattle and then took the train to Vancouver to visit some friends. Both locations were crazy rich with wonderful local food. Not to be Mistress of the Obvious here, but rain really does good things for local harvest choices....

Poser Syndrome

It sucks when it is 107 degrees in Austin, especially if you're farming. I thought I was going to die.  I got there around 7am, and in about an hour it was at that point where the sun was uncomfortably hot on my face and arms.  I fed and watered the chickens, removed fencing, and helped Chickenman move the...

Mostly Glorious Food

I'm a little shocked by my newest role as a "great cook." I've always done more mixing than cooking. Pour something out of a box and add water or cream of mushroom soup. Heat. Stir occasionally. With the bulk of my shopping taking place at farms and farmer's markets, I find myself not only cooking more real...

Jalapeno hands

I was really nervous when I got squirted in the eye by a jalapeno pepper. Before last week, I didn't even know I was supposed to use latex gloves while slicing up the li'l buggers. I was making jalapeno poppers from the peppers I got at the South Austin Farmer's Market. The poppers were alright, if you're...

Would you, Could You, Anywhere?

Ethicurean question of the day: Should omnivores have to kill their own meat? Vegetarians have long used the question as part of an argument for a green diet. “If you can’t kill it yourself, then you shouldn’t eat it.” Of course, their gamble is that you won’t say, “Why yes, I think I should have to kill my...

For those who are visiting

Emilio, an intern from Argentina who helped Chickenman on the farm for ten days, has written a post on his blog about the experience. A very thoughtful, moving account of life on the Food You Can Trust farm. Here is an excerpt: I had not realized to what extent i am what i eat. Food affects my moods, my...

Isn’t It Organic?

I think my friends are starting to get suspicious of me. That's what I hated about being a vegetarian: the wariness. "Oh no, here she comes again, trying to make us feel guilty about our food," or "Great, now we have to make her something without chicken broth in it," or, "Why won't she eat meat? Is she...

Chicks Dig Me…and I Dig Them Back

Farming is hard. And I have a feeling Chickenman is going easy on me. Omnichores: Shoveling the wood chips out of the brooder house to get ready for the imminent hatching of the chicks. The brooder house hasn't been used for a long, long time, except by scorpions and geckos, and really big black spiders....

Sam and Ella Don’t Do Pastured

Food and Water Watch, a nonprofit watchdog organization based in Washington D.C. that advocates clean food for the consumer, has released the names of 106 chicken plants that failed to meet the USDA standards for acceptable levels of salmonella between 1998 and 2005. The data, which was collected via the...

I’ve Heard There Was a Secret Chord

I had a dream about the eggs last night. But before we get into all that, I want to tell you about why. I think the dream could only have occurred from working at the farm. There were things I could know only from touching the eggs, walking in the grass, moving across its landscape, breathing the air....

Things Are Local All Over

I've been keeping an eye on my local Whole Foods in Austin. Not so much the behemoth downtown -- I've mostly been stopping by the li'l one up north, closer to my neighborhood and with much more elbow room. Yesterday when I stopped by to get a cake for a dinner party, I noticed that there were flyers in the...

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