Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Native Offerings CSA

This will be my first year doing Native Offerings CSA. I wanted to add an additional CSA to my longstanding Porter subscription. When I saw Promised Land had doubles in price since I tried it a few years, I decided to look elsewhere.

Anyway, @kanlam suggested I check out Native Offerings. NO was one of the first CSAs I ever looked into but when I found out they had a waiting list, I didn't really think about them again in the next five years...except when I got Porter Farms newsletters saying they traded onions to get us carrots from NO.

So...I went to their websites and checked out their prices. Everything looked good. They have three share sizes and, like Goldilocks, I thought the middle size would be just right. Te However, they were only accepting renewals from the existing members. I sent a message saying I wanted to join and waited to hear back.

A week or so later, I got an e-mail saying what day sign-ups would open on their website. I was really eager to join, so I wrote back and asked if it was start at midnights or sometime in the morning. I got a mass e-mail a few days later saying sign-ups were be at 8am.

I woke up early that day so I could be right at my computer thirty minutes early, just in case. I remembered the on-line class registration in grad school opening early and students who showed up on time were locked out of classes. I knew this was my chance to get in and once in, I would get to "renew" each year instead and not worry about getting locked out.

Well sign-ups started right on time. I got my veggie share and I added a fruit share. I look forward to keeping you all posted about the shares all summer long.

If you go to now, this is what you'll see on the registration page.

"We're sorry, we are at capacity for shareholders at the Buffalo and Amherst distribution sites. Vegetable and fruit shares can still be purchased for Orchard Park and on farm distribution points."

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Promised Land CSA

I did promised land a few years ago (2009) and I believe I posted pictures, etc on here.

I wanted to try a new CSA, so I signed up for Porter and Promised land and split each with someone else.

Promised Land appealed to me because they had a an interesting variety of vegetables and fruit I wouldn't be getting from Porter. I had the best asparagus and est blueberries I have ever tasted. However, the strawberries were often moldy when I got the vegetables home, I never got an salsify and we really don't eat as many potatoes as we were getting (not a lot) but the different colors were wonderful.

At the time, Promised Land was around the same price as Porter and my overall assessment was that I was getting less volume but fancier items. I thought the price for the volume was comparable to what things would cost at the farmers market so, I didn't renew.

When I decided I would do two shares this year, I went back to check out Promised Land again. A friend had posted a pictures of Romanesco Broccoli and I thought it was awesome. I went back to the Promised Land website and found out their price increase more than 50% when Porter Farms had increased 3% in that same time. They are sold out for the year, so folks must not mind.

I think Promised Land is great for folks who have a hard time keeping up with a normal sized share and don't frequent farmers markets. It saves you the trip but the prices aren't better. The produce is great but if you're looking at a CSA to save money, this isn't the one. If you want some interesting produce you might not find other places and support a local farm, go for it.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Porter Farms CSA - 5 Days left for Early Bird Discount!

This will be my fifth year subscribing to Porter Farms CSA.

Porter Farms give you a large volume of organic vegetables...mostly your every day produce that you would get a store. Their veggies are great and the CSA is the most affordable one I have seen in the area. It's a great for people who have never tried a CSA before.

In Buffalo, there are pick-up sites all over the city. You'll get your veggies every Saturday from a near by porch and once a season, you get to drive out the farm to pick up all the bags for your group. On this trip, you'll get to see the farm, their animals (sheep, etc) and usually load up on surplus veggies.

It's a great delicious local produce for less than what you would pay for non-organic stuff in the grocery store.

A share is $330 but if you pay by April 15, you save $20! The price has only gone up $10 since I have been a member. Other CSAs have doubled their prices in that time.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Locavore Challenge!

Oh my goodness; it's already underway!

Last year it was one week. This year it's the entire month of September!

Find out more...

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Elmwood Bidwell Farmers Market

The market was alive and well today with more vendors than I have seen lately.

Queen Anne's cherries (the golden and red ones) are in! There are lettuces everywhere. I picked up some Japanese turnips that looked positively amazing. I had never had turnips until my Porter Farms farm share and they are just lovely - so smooth and silky when they are cooked. I've never had them raw but folks at the farmers market were discussing how good they are raw.

White Cow Dairy, which has many seasonal flavors, was showcasing rhubarb, rhuberry, lemonberry and mintberry in addition to some other regular flavors. They also had cheese and quark samples.

I also bought pasta from Pasta Peddler and some maple to take as gifts on a trip next week.

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Whole Hog

So Buffalo has a new food truck and it is dedicated to all local ingredients and their slogan is "Local Mobile Sustainable"

In addition to a bbq pork sandwich, they surprisingly have mostly vegetarian and vegan options. I figured it was just a pork truck from the pig silhouette and the name of the truck, The Whole Hog.

For the most part, you can find them at Ellicott and S. Division downtown, across from ECC, Tues thru Friday from 11am-2pm. Weekends you can find them at festivals. They'll be at Citybration this weekend!

GoVeggies! Lentil Burger

It took me awhile but I just got around to trying another GoVeggies! burger variety.

The lentil burger is awesome. I feel better now saying that I wasn't in love with the Spinach Burger (but it's the most popular, so you don't have to take my word for it.) Now that I can praise another burger variety, I don't feel so guilty. I guess this is how Olympic judges feel, when they have to adjust the first Olympian's score in case someone better comes along.

The lentil burger held together better. It seems the trick is to let the first side get a good crust before flipping it. I put a frozen burger in a pre-heated pan with cooking spray. The burger has a great flavor and meaty texture which will still stand out garnishments and condiments. I had it with local red lettuce from the Bidwell Farmer's market and Five Points multi-grain bread. So good.

I would definitely buy the lentil burger again.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

GoVeggies! Spinach Burger

I bought all 5 varieties of GoVeggies! burgers and most are still in my freezer.

Tried the spinach burger which is their most popular. It's mainly spinach and rice and browns nicely in a pan. It's a nice light burger for summer. There's some spices in it; it has a really nice flavor.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Community Supported Vegetarianism

This is the share program being run by Go Veggies! which I mentioned in an earlier post.

Community Supported Vegetarianism

You can participate by buying a monthly share, payable at the beginning of each month. This saves you money, supports spreading vegetarianism, supports us, and helps the planet!
$80- Family Share- 20 products per month
$40- Individual Share- 10 products per month
if you forget, we keep track of how many products you have left to pick up for the month (you don't have to grab them all at once).

"The well-known products of our company are our Veggie Burgers, Veggie Rolls, Mango Pudding and other veggie snacks. Our Veggie Burgers are a blend of American and South-East Asian appetites, Our products are greatly welcomed by health conscious people."

I think I have had some samples in the past but it has been ages since I have tried Go Veggies! products. They are made from local ingredients when available. I will sign up for the share and report back!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers Market

So today was the first EBFM of the season. I got there right at 8 when they opened and I can honestly say I was the first person there. Obviously some of the farmers were already there and set up, but I was the first shopper. I grabbed as much cash as I could find while running out the door but once I got to the market, I realized it was not enough.

I got some little potatoes from Weiss Farm, some apples from the guy who pretty much only sells apples (I have a house guest from Africa staying with me and he LOVES apples) and a vanilla yogurt from White Cow Dairy (a flavor I haven't had!) with actually visible bits of vanilla bean. I can't wait to eat it.

I wish I had about $10 more so I could have bought 3 jars of fruit butter from Blackman Homestead Farms. I sampled the Pumpkin Maple Butter and the Pear & Vanilla Butter and they were amazing!! Next time I am going have to try a third so I know what other flavor I will get. They are $7 each or 3 for $20.

I also stopped by the Go Veggies! tent and was told about their new share program. For $40, you can get 10 items in a month from various which should be the Farmers Market (I was asked if I thought it would be a good location and I think it would). This would save one about $1 per package. I think I'll give it a try. I've tried to vegetable shares and two bread shares...why not a veggie burger/spring roll/mango pudding share?

There were about ten tents when I went. I am sure some were not there yet but I wonder if some vendors won't be coming for a few more weeks. Today seems to be mostly bread, jarred foods and cellar-ables like apples and potatoes with a little bit of produce.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Five Points Bakery

Last fall, Buffalo First coupon in hand, I decided to sign up for a breadshare from Five Points on Rhode Island. The wheat is all local and the other ingredients are as well.

FPB has really organized their share in a consumer friendly can pick from a list of breads and baked goods and have the same thing every week or change it constantly. I pretty much stick with the Multi-grain. I love it so much. There is just something so wholesome about having a fat slice of toast with jam for breakfast instead of boxed cereal. I feel like I'm doing something special or decadent.

I tried the 100% Whole Wheat and the sourdough ciabatta. The ciabatta is good, very soft, especially for 100% whole grain, and lighter than the multigrain. We can eat it in a day or two whereas the multigrain lasts us all week. It's also quite sour.

Another reason I was sticking with multigrain is that it's one of their only vegan breads. However, seeing as I have re-committed myself to this blog, I will try all the breads so I can report back.

Oh, the cinnamon rolls, fresh (not frozen) are incredible. They're also 100% whole grain and frosted and delicious. They fill you up like whole grain and have a pit of a wheaty taste in the background, but are quite good...much more cinnamon roll like than I expected for a whole wheat dough.

The last time I went in, I saw they had two different rye breads. I love rye and can't wait to try them.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Soy Boy

I'm not trying to do a bunch of posts about brands; it's just happening that way.

Just tried the Soy Boy Caribbean tofu for the first time and it was super delicious. I tried it right out of the package, cooked and also in my recipe (jambalaya). It was great! I thought the Carribean flavor would get diluted in the tomato and spice in the jambalaya but I could still taste it's distinct flavor.

I wanted to mention Soy Boy because when it comes to vegetarian protein sources, it's hard to find something local. Soy Boy is in Rochester and their soy beans don't come further than Michigan.

Before, I'd only had Soy Boy's regular tofu but this flavored ready-to-eat tofu was great; I want to try all the flavors.

Friday, April 29, 2011

White Cow Dairy - revisited

This blog had a post awhile back about WCD. I have always admired the adorable glass jars but could never bring myself to spend $3 on 5.5 oz of yogurt. However, after reading Eating Animals and re-affirming my commitment to foods that are friendly to animals AND having a job that would pay for my meals, I decided to give it a try.

Oh. My. Goodness. This yogurt is incredible. It is definitely worth it when you think of the price of dessert in a restaurant or a drink at a bar...and I would always pick the yogurt given the choice. It is so good. I've tried tons of flavors and it seems that the base taste is pretty consistent and whatever the flavor is just adds to that already delicious taste. This is not true for the orange flavor, which really does over-power the super-yummy yogurt.

These are the flavors I have tried -
- rhubarb
- apple pie
- gingerberry
- maple
- chocolate malt
- cherry
- orange
- butternut

I've had each one once because I just thought it would be fun to keep trying different ones. There are more to try...but I don't know if I'll try to the lemon or the citrus...they would be delicious no doubt but it's not worth missing out on the main yogurt/sweetner flavor.

A little birdy told me the yogurts are cheaper at the Farmers Markets, so you better believe I'll be lining up for them.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Long time, No local

Well, that's not entirely true. Still local, but not really blogging.

I think this blog has been unofficially handed over to me and I just wanted to let the universe know that I am going to take charge and keep posting.

I used to think I was an unlikely contributor because I was a little too local...that is I almost never left the house.

Well, this year hubs and I have turned over a new leaf. I'm out of school and I have a job so we're going to restaurants, buying higher quality (more expensive) food and so I'll have much more on which to report!

Stay tuned, gentle readers!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Juniper - a new restaurant

Juniper opened about a month ago. Right away, Whitney began organizing a dinner. Everyone's schedules dictated that we wait until this weekend. It was worth the wait.

Juniper is amazing and delicious. The menu incorporates local ingredients and even brought a card to the table saying which ingredients were local that week.

The food was excellent. There were seven of us and we ordered six different things and everyone was very happy with their meal. We split two desserts which were also incredible. Highly recommended.

The average main course is about $24. Soups are $6, Desserts $6, salads and appetizers are $8-9. It's a little expensive for Buffalo, but the quality justifies every penny.

Vegetarian options look amazing and I was even able to make a plate out of side dishes from other courses.

I don't eat out a lot, but this has to be one of my favorite places in town.