01 April, 2012

Philly Farm and Food Fest

Gardening, Local Foods
I've decided I want to be a beekeeper.

I wrote that sentence, spent about 2 minutes researching beekeeping, and would like to retract that statement.  The condo is apparently not conducive to raising bees.  Or 'keeping' them I should say.  C'mon, I knew that!  Was thinking when we moooove!  I think I'd be a great beekeeper.  I'd keep those bees real good.  They'd be 'kept' bees.  :)   I didn't realize when considering keeping bees, you'd have to also consider where they fly for pollen and water, how much they might bother neighbors if neighbors are nearby, where their excrement is going to land (it apparently damages car engines somehow), etc etc.  I kind of thought they'd just do their thing.  And I'd just go get some honey here and there.  That said, I'm still going to think about it.  Do more research.

Anyway, what got me started on the whole beekeeping thing- I've been interested in general, and then I went to the Philly Farm Fest and found Urban Apiaries and Subarashil Kudamono.  Urban Apiaries has this awesome raw honey that has a grainy texture, and Subarashil's Asian Pear Blossom Honey is amazing!!  As I understand it, honey from local bees is pretty much infused with asian pear blossom.  I can't wait to cook something with it, I just don't know what yet.  I did use my raw honey in tonight's dinner.  I made Mango-Chorizo Pork Chops with a Raw Honey and Mango Glaze.  I'll post the recipe tomorrow.  I can't wait to use the rest of the items I bought:

Goodies found at the FarmFest
The FarmFest was a good opportunity to meet local farmers, learn about food co-ops and CSA's, learn about gardening and bees and other farming related things!  I'll be volunteering at a local CSA this spring and I can't wait. In case you don't know, CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture.  The community helps support the farm.  They do this by buying a share (maybe $300 for a membership for the year).  Then every week during growing season, they get a share of the crops.  They are supporting the farm by sharing the risk; i.e. if the farm does not produce many crops, the members don't get much produce.  But the farmer still survives.  If the farm has a great season, then members get tons of local farm-fresh produce!  It's a great way to get local, often organic fruits and veggies.  It's also a great way to be exposed to things you wouldn't normally buy (like maybe you've never cooked with leeks or used swiss chard...your share of crops gives you a sampling of the farms produce).

Some CSA's offer work-shares, which is what I'll be doing.  You commit to volunteering for a specified amount of time every week for the season (I'll be working 4 hours) and you get your 'share' of produce free!  Here's more info if you are interested.  http://www.localharvest.org/csa/  If you are going to buy a share at a farm near you, try to meet the farmer.  There's been recent controversy over what a CSA really is.  I've heard some farms are importing items so they can support more CSA shares (make more money), which completely defeats the purpose!  The purpose is to support your local farm!  Where real food comes from!  If he can't make money, he must sell his land.  And then townhouses will be erected where farm used to be, and this will happen all over PA until there are no farms.  And then over the U.S.  I really could continue this tirade, but I'm just not going to right now.

Let me just say this- If you went out to dinner, ordered a steak, and then saw your waitress injecting your steak with some unknown substance with a big syringe before bringing it out, would you eat it?  That's what genetically modified food is.  It's no different.  A tomato being injected gets shipped to a supermarket, where you purchase it, and bite into it like an apple and the juices and chemicals and genes from other species drip down your cheek.  Are you thinking 'well I'll just buy organic!  I won't buy genetically modified food!'  Well the U.S. Food and Drug Admin has decided you don't need to know when food is genetically engineered, although 40 other countries clearly label food that has been genetically modified:  http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012/03/27/149474012/activists-say-americans-support-labeling-genetically-modified-food?sc=tw  Pretty rude.  How can we trust the food in our own supermarket?  I didn't mean to get so far off track, but that is why it's important to support your local farms.

Anyways, here's a few more pics from my day:

Philly Farm and Food Fest
Hydroponic Garden
Outback Farm

Reading Terminal Market, Andrew Zimmerman
Well as long as it's anatomically correct...
Stopped by the Reading Terminal Market since I was in the area, and found these weird chocolates.  I think Andrew Zimmerman is some kind of ambassador of these products, but I can't be certain..

Reading Terminal Market, Andrew Zimmerman
Chocolate Dentures

1 comment:

  1. Part of the USDA definition for organic food is that it doesn't contain GMOs, so you ARE avoiding genetic modification by eating organic.