Tag Archives: Joel Salatin

Savour Life – My reflections on a day with @JoelSalatin – (Farmers I know – Chapter 1)

Joel Salatin (middle) with #UCanFarm workshop organizers Alex Judd and Rob Avis of Verge Permaculture

Joel Salatin (middle) with #UCanFarm workshop organizers Alex Judd and Rob Avis of Verge Permaculture

You can read my notes on the full day #UCanFarm workshop here.

Spending a day with Joel Salatin was profound. I think I’m a positive person but Salatin’s complete faith in abundance and solutions made me realize I still harbour hesitation and caution that are not serving me in my own small business, Calgary Food Tours Inc. I do believe in the great abundance of our universe in my life in general and in my relationships but somehow I’ve not had the kind of courage to take the leaps I need to take in business. Running a business is relatively new to me. I was a professional nurse for over 20 years and had the luxury of everyone who needed my services lining up in a never-ending queue. I can see now that I need to transfer my faith in life’s abundance and the good of all people to this next arena of my life – my business practices.

I forget to ask for the help I need. I am fearful of taking “the next step”. I wonder how I will find time to do everything I want to do. I am that person that groans when they think of contracts and lawyers and managing staff. My day with Salatin really made me look at all that and exam if any of my fears are justified.

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Savour Food –The #UCanFarm workshop with @JoelSalatin & @vergepc

Joel Salatin at the #UCanFarm workshop in High River Alberta

Joel Salatin at the #UCanFarm workshop in High River Alberta

Joel Salatin is a farmer and owner of Polyface Farms in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Polyface is 450 acres mixed forest and open grazing land with a biodiverse livestock and soil management program. Polyface provides food directly to 7000 families and 50 restaurants within a four hour radius of the farm and has been featured in Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma and the movie Food Inc.

I signed up for a farming workshop with Salatin produced by Calgary’s Verge Permaculture, not because I have latent plans to become a farmer, but because I wanted to spend a day in the company of someone who has some real solutions for the quandary our food system is in. Salatin delivered. Midway through the day, I introduced myself to Salatin and asked him how much of my notes I could share. His response: share it all; I’m an open source. In fact, he said it with a lovely wide-open smile on his face and we shook hands and I thanked him. Jefferson is not the only polymath to come out of Virginia. I got to meet his modern day contemporary.

This blog is what I was able to glean from the workshop including a short history of Polyface farm, the group’s brainstorming session of why people want to farm, the pros and cons, application of business principles and lots of examples of how aggregate food systems could replace our current industrialized mega grocery supply structures. Salatin actually predicts the day when the middle man could be eliminated and all our fresh food could come directly to your doorstep via farming distribution cohorts. Intrigued? Please read on with my apologies for any mistakes. I’m sure they’re from my note-taking and not Salatin’s depth of knowledge.

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Savour food Savour life – Growing a Food Forest

Rob Avis explains how his front lawn became a "Food Forest"

Rob Avis explains how his front lawn became a “Food Forest”

Rob & Michelle Avis's backyard "lasagna" layered garden

Rob & Michelle Avis’s backyard “lasagna” layered garden

Growing a Food Forest.

Amen for the writing of Jacquie Moore in The Calgary Herald’s Swerve Magazine today (click on the link above). I hope you will take a few moments to read her exemplary piece on the growing (pun intended – groan if you must) permaculture movement. If you look through some of my recent posts you’ll see I’ve been writing a bit about it myself and that I talked about it in my last CBC Radio One Alberta @ Noon column.

Permaculture is one of the most exciting solution-oriented ideas/philosophies/systems/lifestyles I’ve ever come across. I love it because it encourages humanity to live with respect for our selves, our communities, our food and our dear planet.

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Savour Food – Start some seedlings or start a farm

Here’s the CBC Radio One Alberta @ Noon podcast from Thursday, March 7 when I talked about ideas to help you grow your own food – everything from starting your own seeds to starting your own farm. I’m at the 12.22 mark in the podcast.

Karen’s Monthly Food Column on Alberta @ Noon – Ways to grow your own food

There are lots of great gardening workshops and how-to farm sessions coming up in Alberta this month for those interested. I may never farm but I’m going to Joel Salatin’s “You Can Farm” workshop on March 20 in High River, Alberta. I want to see if he lives up to all the hype. I’ll report back to you on that later. Besides, one of my favourite ways to savour life is to meet people on the leading edge of thought. Maybe I’ll see you there?

Information about Seedy Saturdays and Sundays in Alberta for 2013

Calgary – Saturday, March 16, 10 A.M. – 3 P.M. at Hillhurst/Sunnyside Community Hall, 418- 7 Ave NW -Cost: $2.00
Jasper – Saturday, March 16, 10 A. M. – 1 P.M. at the Seniors Lounge at the Jasper Activity Centre
Edmonton, Sunday, March 17, 11 A.M. – 4 P.M., Alberta Avenue Community Hall, 9210- 118 Ave N.W.
Red Deer –Saturday April 6, 10 A.M.-5:30 P.M. Red Deer College-Margaret Parson Theatre

Information about permaculture workshops and the upcoming Joel Salatin farming workshops is available here.

The Tasty Apple Chicken Turnover recipe I talk about on the podcast is availabe here or here. It’s another great way to savour your food.

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Savour Food – Tasty Apple Chicken Turnover – Just in time for Easter Brunch

Tasty Apple Chicken Turnover

Notes to the Cook
I developed this recipe because I knew I was going to talk about Joel Salatin’s Farming Workshops on CBC Radio and I thought this would be the perfect way to use Pastured Poultry – one of Salatin’s topics for his workshops. Sunshine Organic Farm and Sunworks Farm are two Alberta farms already raising chickens in this humane and healthy way.
The recipe makes enough for 2 large turnovers. If you are having a lot of guests in for Easter brunch cook both. If not, make them both at the same time, cook one and freeze the other. When you want to cook the frozen one later, just thaw it in the fridge overnight and pop it in the oven the day you want to entertain. That’s cooking it forward.

Ingredients
2 lb ground chicken
1 c uncooked bacon, chopped in to thick bits (or use Valbella Gourmet Meats bacon bits if you can get them)
1 onion, diced
2 apples, diced
1 c mushrooms, diced
1 tsp savoury
1 tsp thyme
Dash salt and pepper
2 sheets puff pastry, thawed (I used Pascal’s Pastries brand – available @Blush Lane Organic Market in Edmonton and Calgary)
1 egg, beaten

Method
1. Mix all the ingredients (except puff pastry and egg) in a bowl.

Diced ingredients ready to mix with the chicken sausage

Diced ingredients ready to mix with the chicken sausage

2. Divide the mix in half and form each half into a log about 4 – 5 inches wide and 2 inches high.

3. Spread 2 sheets of parchment paper (the size of a cookie sheet) out on your counter and lay a sheet of puff pastry on each parchment.

Parchment with a few slits

Parchment with a few slits

4. Roll the pastry out to within a few inches of the parchment.

Roll the puff pastry out to within a few inches of the parchment paper edge

Roll the puff pastry out to within a few inches of the parchment paper edge

5. Lay the meat mixture down the middle of each pastry piece

6. Cut the pastry in 1 inch wide strips from one end of the meat to the other

Lay the meat in centre of pastry and cut the strips along the sides

Lay the meat in centre of pastry and cut the strips along the sides

7. Wrap the end pieces up over the meat mix and then criss-cross the strips to create an overlapping lattice effect.

Make a lattice of crisscrossed strips

Make a lattice of crisscrossed strips

8. Brush the pastry with the beaten egg (not the turnover you are freezing)

Brush with egg and bake

Brush with egg and bake

9. Cook the turnover on the parchment (with a few holes poked in it) on a rack on a cookie sheet in a 375°F oven for about 90 minutes.

This chicken sausage roll might be just the thing for Easter Brunch

This chicken sausage roll might be just the thing for Easter Brunch

Serving it up
I served this with sides of bacon, scrambled eggs, fresh fruit and some mini-blueberry muffins hot from the oven. More importantly, I served it to friends, Cindy Lazarenko and Geoff Lilge of On Our Table and their daughters as well as my talented CBC colleague Tina Faiz (credit to Tina for the last picture above). I usually get up in the dark each winter Sunday morning to go skiing with my family. Because I had company, I stayed home, drank some coffee and slowly put together a nice little brunch for us to savour together in my sunlit kitchen. I love skiing but it was nice to have an easy paced relaxed visit with my friends.

That will always be the best part of cooking for me. I love sitting down with friends to savour our food and savour our life together. I wish you and your family a Happy Easter. Maybe you’ll even try this tasty turnover.

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Savour Food – learn to grow some – Seedy Saturdays, Permaculture and workshops with the “World’s Most Famous Farmer”, Joel Salatin

If you love food ENOUGH, you might like to grow some of your own. If you are growing some of your own food, you’ll likely want to grow more and grow smarter, not harder. If you grow food for a living (a.k.a. FARM – the verb), you will ALWAYS look for better ways to do that.

March is the time when Canadian grower’s collective thumbs start to twitch and turn green with envy of people in warmer climes who are already “digging in” to a fresh season. This post provides some ideas to support you in your quest to grow food in Alberta whether you are just sprouting your green thumb, already a seasoned gardener or one of our few treasured and oh so dedicated farmers.

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