November 3, 2010


A motley crew: Whitney, Kristin, Caleb, Ben, Steven, John

Last weekend, Whitney’s parents, Ben and Elaine, visited from Idaho. Their time with us was replete with apple picking at Carter Mountain Orchard, target practice in the woods, and a 10k for Whitney and Ben.

Ben and Elaine joined a long list of visitors we’ve had at the farm over the past 10 months. One of the benefits of the house at the farm is its ample space for guests. None of the four of us have recently lived in places that accommodated visitors from outside of town, so we knew that living at the Thomas Farm would provide opportunities for our friends and family to stop by and stay a while for a change. Therefore, it wouldn’t be particularly complete to reflect on our time here without commenting on our guests and how they’ve impacted our experience. (more…)

Results of Needs Eatin’ Challenge

September 13, 2010


I think our Needs Eatin’/Iron Chef Challenge a few weeks ago was a success.  Here are the results:

The Sancken team ended up making 3 meals – a Spicy Korean Chicken with a cucumber salad, Curried Chicken with Apple over rice with a carrot walnut salad, and a Bolognese Ragu over rice.  Notice how a lot of things were over rice instead of noodles?  That’s because we had plenty of rice.

Matt and Whitney also made 3 meals – bacon corn chowder with baked potatoes, ratatouille with coconut rice and cantaloupe for dessert, and fried rice with a cucumber-tomato salad.  All of their recipes were from a fabulous Mennonite cookbook called Simply in Season.

Vote and let us know who you think won based on use of their ingredients, creativity and how delicious/edible the recipes sound.  The winning team will win … the other team cleaning their bathroom!  Just kidding, I made that up.  That’s what I wish we would win because I hate cleaning our bathroom.

Lessons from Production

August 22, 2010


In late July and early August, Whitney and I spent a fair bit of time and away from the farm traveling. Consequently, I had grown out of touch with the garden. This past weekend I was able to invest a sizable amount of time reconnecting with it. Our Needs Eatin’ week was so successful in large part because the garden has been producing. After weeks of suspense, our tomato and pepper plants have taken off. The green beans have been steady, and cucumbers are doing well, staving off the bugs that have devastated related plants. Those of us who can consume soy recently enjoyed a small harvest of edamame. (more…)

Needs Eatin’ Week

August 10, 2010


From 7 months of grocery shopping and being at the prime of farm produce season, we have a bounty of food that “needs eatin'” (as my grandmother would say). We decided that this week’s challenge would be to NOT grocery shop all week, and to only use what we had in our cupboards and what came out of our garden, from our CSA, or from a farmer’s market. To facilitate this process, this evening we set out all of the edible food we have in our house and divvied it up auction style.  (more…)

Meat! Glorious Meat!

February 25, 2010


I think I’m the only person in the house that feels so jubilant about meat.  In truth, if we want to live in a truly sustainable way concerning protein, we wouldn’t be eating meat at all because of the sheer amount of resources most meat uses in comparison to other vegetarian sources of protein.  However, my food allergies to soy, wheat and dairy limit our use of vegetarian proteins.  Thus, as long as we’re eating meat, we want to make sure we do it in a sustainable way for our local community, the planet and our health.  And, since I’m the one who prevents us from going vegetarian, I volunteered to look into the pros and cons of various meat sources in our area. (more…)