Farm Journal

Posted 3/23/2010 7:56pm by Renee Savary.

Renowned photographer Eric Marcus was at the farm this week end and he took beautifull pictures ... here is a sample.

E M pix March 2010

E M pix March 2010

E M pix March 2010

E M pix March 2010

E M pix March 2010

E M pix March 2010

Visit his web site : www.emmarcusphotography.com

Posted 2/25/2010 9:00pm by Renee Savary.

Weekly Food Thoughts 2/18/2010

Long day today so my thoughts are going to be shorts !!!!
This week I read Michael Pollan's last book : Food Rules. If you dont know him or have not read any of his books (which planet have been living on??) : go buy them all and read them all, the guy is brilliant and his view on our food system is right on target. Now if you know him this littlle book is really good, nothing really new in it but the format is prefect to take around with you as a reminder and if you are not an avid reader it is really small with large print !!!! What I mean is NO excuses !!!
In the meantime I picked a few points he makes that I particularly liked. About nutrition science, according to his research a fairly young science, is today where surgery was in the year 1650 !!! yup ...
And it is on this "science" that processed food is "created". Actually he does not call it food, he calls it "edible foodlike substances", of course I loved it !!!
On a not so funny note he writes about our so-called Western diet, which consist on a lot of processed food, meat, lots of added fat and sugar, lots of refined grains, lost of everyghing except vegetables, fruits and whole grains and he explains that virtually all of the obesity and type 2 diabetes, 80% of the cardiovascular diseases and more than 1/3 of all cancers can be linked to this diet. Four of the top 10 killers in America are chronic diseases linked to this diet. What an extraodinary achievement for a civilization : to have developed the one diet that reliably makes its people sick !!!
But he also notes that there is a very hopefull fact : people who get off the Western diet see dramatic improvements in their health, good research suggest that the effects of the Western diet can be rolled back and relatively quickly.
So People there is Hope ... that is if you change the way you eat !!!
The first step go buy the book and then come shop at the farmer's market where we sell real food ....
See you All tomorrow ....


The next generation of Laying Girls ...

The New Girls

Posted 2/17/2010 2:34pm by Renee Savary.

Backyard Poultry
the organic way

Workshop covering the basic of raising
and maintening chickens in your backyard.

Sunday March 21, 2010
10am to 2pm
at the farm.

$35 per person
includes workshop packet and light lunch.

You will learn how to raise chicks from brooding to eggs laying hens
the organic way.
We will cover housing, brooding, watering, feeding and free roaming.

Available for you to purchase we will have :
3 weeks old certified organic babies Rhode Island Red.
USDA certified organic feed without soy.
and everything you will need to leave the workshop and start raising your Own.

Limited enrollment. Workshop raine or shine. Gift certificate available. No refunds, credit for produts only.
Register by returning email to reserve your space.

Twin Oaks Farm
USDA Certified Organic
3207 Creek Road
Bonifay FL 32425

baby chicks

Posted 2/12/2010 3:58pm by Renee Savary.

Snowing at the farm ... and yes we are still in Florida !!!!

ducks running in the snow

more snow

definitively snow

Posted 2/12/2010 1:21pm by Renee Savary.

Weekly Food Thoughts 02/11/2010

Good article this week in the NewYork Times about "A federal effort to push junk food out of school" (link below). While I think the effort is somewhere praiseworthy, I also think it totally miss the real problem and here is why ...
Beyond the point, the article mentionned the whole "business" of selling, let's call it junk,  to help raise money to pay for new sport uniforms or other extra cruricular programs !!! quite paradoxal : selling junk to pay for sport equipments !! it is really sad to think that schools have to go to that extend because they don't have the adequate fundings!!!
Now to the point missed: I have cookies or cake every afternoon and I would not want someone to take it away from me (make me unpleasant).
BUT I bake my cookies/cake which usually include: sugar/flour/eggs/butter and, depending the mood and the week, from nuts to dry fruits to chocolate ... in short the usual home made organic taste delicious cookies.
NOW have you ever read mass produced cookies's labels ??? (yaya I went back to the store with my little notepad) I found out that they all have more or less the same ingredients from : palm kernel oil with TBHQ for freshness (no kidding and I am quoting) (see my google result below), cocoa processed with alkali, Polysorbate 60 (often used in cosmetics to solubilize essential oils into water-based products. Polysorbates are oily liquids derived from PEG-ylated sorbitan (a derivative of sorbitol) esterified with fatty acids.) yup I did not know either !! Vanillin : an artificial flavor (sic) (all spelled out), soy lecithin (even my chickens dont eat soy) etc etc etc from yellow #5 to red #40 you got it and here where the real problem is NOBODY goes after the manufacturers of that junk, of course kids (and grownups) are going to buy it : it is available in quantities and it is CHEAP (here again) and as long as nobody will forbid the food manufacturers to put in your food the same stuff you find in your body lotion (polysorbate) why should they stop ???
If we want to stop the health problems of generations of kids let's stop to produce the crap ... if kids are not buying it at school then they will buy it somewhere else.
Let's teach the kids to bake their own cookies with real ingredients, they will love it and dont give me the "no time" crap ...  
In the meantime you can buy real cookies at the farmer's market.
See you all on Saturday ....

TBHQ is another ingredient that is in alot of food products.
TBHQ, tertiary butylhydroquinone, is an antioxidant derived from petroleum.
TBHQ is a form of butane, i.e LIGHTER FLUID, that the FDA allows processors to use sparingly in our food.
Ingesting a single gram of TBHQ can cause “nausea, vomitting, ringing in the ears, delirium, a sense of suffocation, and collapse.” TBHQ used in lab rats has cause cancer, stomach ulcers, and damage to DNA.
Ingesting 5 grams can kill.
And here’s a gross fact about McNuggests from McDonalds (they love to see you smile). TBHQ is sprayed directly on the nugget or on the inside of the box is comes in to “help preserve freshness.” They “promise” that each nugget has 0.02 percent of TBHQ oil.

The next generation of Laying Girls ...

4 weeks old layers

Posted 2/8/2010 7:27pm by Renee Savary.

Weekly Food Thoughts 02/04/2010

I got an email from someone looking for "ways" to produce organic chicken feed CHEAP!!!

Ok People we need to get out of Cheap Food LaLaLand, either we change the way food out there is getting subsidies or we accept the fact that real food comes at a price and we need to change the way we eat.

Here is how the system works now : MegaFarm is producing corn at $10 a bushel (please don't quote me on numbers or names this just for the purpose of the example) so their cost is $10, here comes UncleSam giving MegaFarm $10 subsidies to each bushel of corn. At this point the cost of producing corn is Zero (0), arrive HFCS inc., mega food manufacturer, willing to pay $5 for the same bushel of corn, of course MegaFarm is happy to sell and makes a $5 profit. I simplified it but this is the principle. Now let's remove UncleSam subsidies. MegaFarm is still producing at $10/bushel and still wants to make $5 in profit therefor they will sell to HFCS inc. at $15/bushel !! Right here the price of your food tripled !!! Of course I am not taking into consideration all the ugly scheme this corn will go through before hitting your plate. Now you wonder where the $10 in subsidies comes from ??? I have news from you ... WE are paying with our tax $$ and subsequent Health Royalties for ever and this is the "beauty" of it : WE pay before we even buy !!! ... There is no miracle or magic formula, Real Food cost to produce, at $6/dozen for my eggs I pay the feed for the chickens that's all !!!

I went to a workshop called "small scale poultry raising" or something like that. Given by UF, the first speaker, PhD in nutrition, spent 17 minutes bashing organic practices, stating that if you want problems, snags, headaches (his words) that was the way to go !! I was wondering what I have been doing for the last two years or so ?? of course the only way he was promoting was factory farms, it amazed me that someone at that level was not more knowledgeable or at least open to organic practices, it shows how brain wash most people are about food, pretending that the food system in this country is one of the safest in the world ... welcome to LaLaLand. Then, at the other end of the spectrum, I was part of a backyard chickens workshop full of people wanting to raise their own chickens and realizing how dysfunctional the food system is. I loved it and made me want to start having backyard poultry workshops here at the farm, I will give you full details next week ...
Back to reality I have a ton of feed (literally) to unload ... hahaha ... see you all tomorrow ...

PS: I watch a great documentary called : food beware: the french organic revolution (Netflix) about how a small village gets its school cafeteria to go all organic and the impact on the community from the parents to the local farmers, a perfect example of how when there is a political will "things" happend. Watch it you will love it ....

Happy Hour at the farm  ...

Happy hour at the farm

Posted 1/26/2010 9:14am by Renee Savary.

Weekly food thoughts 01/21/2010 (broth in can part 2)

First full disclosure, I never bought a can of soup, dont ask why but even before I "knew better" I always thought it was easier to make it ... anyway this explain that I am totally facinated by that ingredients list ... so I went back to the store, with my little pad and a pen and yes they look at me funny !!! 
The ingredients I forgot last time : chicken broth (water, chicken stock) !! They are selling chicken broth made with chicken broth !!!! hahahah ... I wonder if that chicken broth was also made with chicken broth ... you know dilution like in homeopatie ... the more you dilute the stronger ... lol ...
but then next to it was that cute plastic box containing cubes : beef stock.
Ingredients : salt, sugar, MSG, maltodextrin, garlic powder, onion powder, palm oil, wheat flavor, spices, citric acid, caramel, paprika, turmeric, corn starch.
You know how labelling works ?? the most comes first, here it is salt !!! I made sure I did not forget the beef or anything closely related to beef ... like beef bones for example. They sell beef stock that does not contain any beef !!! 
On my way home I was thinking it would be funny to reconstruct backward the food that is out there ... like my chickens: once it is in your plate, we could rewind and we would end up pretty much with a chicken, a little crooked but a chicken, now let's start to rewind a beef stock that does not contain beef to start with ... or the chicken of the chicken broth ... Imagine that one little chicken in a thousand gallons of water ... lol ...
The other day I was watching a re-run of Martha and Michael Polland was on, he said something that I liked very much: you can vote 3 times a day with your fork !!!
Another news this week Forbes Magazine named Monsanto company of the year 2009 !!! what are those people thinking ??? Time to vote I guess ...
Hereafter a great article about organic from you dont know where :
http://vtdigger.org/2009/12/02/your-organic-food-made-in-china-part-2/
Another good reason to come to the market, we may not offer everything you need but at least you know where it comes from ....

See you Saturday .. even if you dont need anything, come by, grab a coffee, look around, chat with your farmers ... we love to chat ...


The ducks playing in the mud this morning ...

Ducks playing in the mud

Posted 1/21/2010 12:17pm by Renee Savary.

Weekly Food Thoughts 01/14/2010

Two days ago I was at a local grocery store, as I was passing the "can section" (you can not miss it : it is basically 2/3 of the store!) I looked at the label of Chicken Broth .... I went to the cashier and got a pen and paper, I would not miss any of the "ingredients" :
Hydrolized soy, Corn protein, Monosodium Glutamate, Chicken fat, Vegetable juice concentrate (humm ... my favorite so far) Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Guanylate etc etc etc ... oh let's not forget the Natural Flavor ....
I googled the first ingredient "Hydrolized soy" and here I just copied the first result :
Hydrolyzed Soy Protein -- The extraction process of hydrolysis involves boiling in a vat of acid (e.g., sulfuric acid) and then neutralizing the solution with a caustic soda. The resultant sludge is scraped off the top and allowed to dry. In addition to soy protein it contains free-form excitotoxic amino acids (e.g., MSG) and other potentially harmful chemicals including cancer-causing chemicals in many cases. A newer method of hydrolysis involves the use of bacteria by itself or in addition to the chemical processes described above. There is a possibility that genetically-manipulated bacteria may be used.
The food industry sometimes uses large amount of hydrolyzed proteins as a "taste enhancer" because it contains significant amounts of MSG (monosodium glutamate). This is what is known in the food industry as "Clean Labels" -- adding MSG to food, without having to list it as "MSG" on the label.
In almost all cases, hydrolyzed soy protein contains a significant amount of genetically-manipulated soy. The hydrolyzed protein products currently added to foods should be considered a detriment to one's health.
Recommended Reading: Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills by Neuroscientist Russell Blaylock, M.D.

It is late so I will let you google the other ingredients ...
see you on Saturday ...
Ps: I will go back to the store because on my list of ingredients that I carefully copied I dont chicken !!! I wonder if I missed it or not ...

Morning chat at the water cooler ...

Water Cooler talk

Posted 1/14/2010 9:27pm by Renee Savary.

Weekly Food Thought 01/07/2010

The New York Times run a great article "Safety of beef processing method questionned", you will find the link down the page if you have not read it yet.

Basically ground beef is injected with amonia in order to kill salmonella and co.
Nice ....
The USDA endorsed it and FDA signed off on the use of ammonia, concluding it was safe when used as a processing agent in foods <!!!>
and because it is a processing agent no need to disclose it on the label ...
School lunch official buy it because it shaved 3 cents, yes 3 cents, per lb ... Hi it's your kids, I dont have any still I find it disturbing <!!!>
 As usual the motiv is cheap cheap cheap ...
I am no doctor but honestly last time I was around amonia was when my Mom was doing her spring cleaning and she used it to clean ... the windows !!!
and it brings me to a story that I read some time ago, the largest or second largest cheese producer in France, I dont remember the exact details, announced they would make their signature camember with pasteurized milk instead of raw milk .... that started an uproar from the street to the food critics to people picketing the factory .... and it worked, the consumers succeeded and the factory backed out and kept making their camember with raw milk !!!!
My whole point is how much more amonia do you need to start to react ??? I mean a real reaction, one that will boycott all process food, one that will make certain you know where your food comes from ??? One that will make you start to grow a few "things", raise a couple of chickens ??? I know it is work and time consuming and money and changes but ultimately it is your health ...

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/31/us/31meat.html?emc=eta1

Muscovy ducklings arrived this week, 2 days old snuggling in their box with a little heat pad to keep them warm during their overnight trip

Ducklings 2 days old

Ducklings 2 days old

 

Posted 12/25/2009 7:55am by Renee Savary.

Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for 2010


Holidays 2009