Category: News


Rainbow Haven Farm Goats

Rainbow Haven Farm

Grahamsville, NY

Rainbow Haven Farm Goats

Rainbow Haven Farm is a small family farm owned by Patricia and James Mercado and their 3 sons, Jimmy, Mikey and Robert. As a family they raise dairy goats, Irish Dexter cattle, Romanov sheep, and Berkshire pigs on 10 acres of pasture in Sullivan County, NY. The resident guardian llama watches over the animals. The goats, cattle, and sheep are all milked and all their babies are then bottle fed – making them all healthy and friendly. Jim says his favorite breed is La Mancha because of their sneaky, comical personalities.

Return of the Bison

The species of grass that are out there, the wildlife, the birds, all of those things – even the contour of the land reflects the hoofprint of the bison. – Dave Carter, President National Bison Association

 

Bison

Dave Carter is the Executive Director of the National Bison Association, a resource for ranchers working to preserve, promote, and market bison as a sustainable industry.

Bison are a keystone species of the prairie ecosystem.

One might say bison are the “keepers of the plains”. The bison’s diet consists of native grasses, maintained by the slight disturbance of the bison’s cup-shaped hoof. In their hay-day two subspecies of bison, the plains bison and the wood bison, grazed from Alaska south into Mexico and out toward the eastern seaboard of the United States. Bison were so incomprehensibly plentiful, millions upon millions of hooves of migrating herds of bison laid the track for what is now highway U.S. 150 – year after year they wore one path, which crossed the Ohio River, running northwest to the Wabash River and into present day Illinois.

Dave Carter: I fly a small plane and it’s interesting when you fly over the prairies and you see these prairie potholes – these small lakes or ponds that are out across the prairies. A lot of those prairie potholes were formed throughout hundreds of thousands of years of buffalo wallowing in the dirt and kind of excavating it out and creating a catchment. When you create the prairie pothole, well then you have got an ecosystem that brings in the birds and the predators. So we feel that this is the animal that belongs in this part of the world. One of the things that we try and promote is that with bison the less that we tinker with the animal, the better.

Four hundred years ago estimates place historic buffalo populations around 50 million head. By one hundred and twenty years ago the American bison had been hunted down and driven to less than a thousand head.

DC: A hundred and twenty years ago there were less than seven hundred animals left alive. And there were five ranchers that essentially gathered up the remnants of the herd and saved them from extinction. People talk about the Bronx Zoo and the animals that were in Yellowstone, but it was really Charles Goodnight, and Samuel Walking, James Phillips, and the Pablo-Allard Group who gathered up the remnants and saved them.

Even though bison are being raised for meat production, the species remains wild in the sense that they don’t require any assistance mating, birthing, and can withstand cold winters without shelter. Today total bison numbers are estimated around half a million. Luckily, ranchers and the National Bison Association are committed to increasing numbers and keeping the species free of antibiotics, growth hormones, and heavy genetic selection.

 

Short Ribs

Judith’s Akaushi Short Ribs

Judith is a longtime friend, supporter of Heritage Foods USA, and serious cook. She’s shared one of her favorite preparations for Akaushi Short Ribs –

 

Short Ribs

 

1. The ribs have arrived and are beautiful. I just vacuum sealed them and put them in the immersion circulator…I’m going to do a 72 hour 136 degrees (alá Thomas Keller) and then will season and finish them on Saturday. I’m sure they’ll be delicious.

2. After my 72 hour sous vide cook at 136 degrees, I took them out, cooled them down and they’re a beautiful pink…a perfect medium to medium rare. They’re totally tender. I took off the big pieces of fat (between the fat and the bones, I probably lost about 50% of the product), and put the large pieces of meat into vacuum seal bags where I added a red wine reduction sauce, with a little honey mustard. I vacuum sealed them and they’re in the freezer. They’re now ready to eat with just a gentle warming.

The “scraps” of the ribs, or the smaller pieces, I turned into a filling for dumplings. I added sautéed onions and leeks, parsley and a little salt and pepper, pulsed a few times in the food processor and put it back into the fridge to tighten up and chill. WOW what a flavor!

My pasta dough has been resting and I’ll soon be rolling that out to make the dumplings and freeze them.

3. I did make about 100+ small dumplings, froze them, and then ran out of energy.

The next day, I took the remaining 2 cups of short rib filling and tossed it with the fresh fettuccine I rolled from the remaining pasta dough. The flavor of the Akaushi beef was intense, the meat very tender and still pink in color. The sautéed leeks and onion added sweetness, the parsley added fresh herbal notes and texture. A little Omnivore Salt finished it off. I made a point of only warming it gently before tossing it with that delicate fresh pasta, but wanted to avoid re-cooking the product to preserve the sous vide benefit.

What a glorious dinner we had last night as a result! I sprinkled the dish with a little Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese and it was perfect.

Good Shepherd Institute

Good Shepherd Institute Agriturismo

Good Shepherd Institute

At the heart of Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch is Frank Reese, a fourth-generation farmer on a 100-year-old farm in central Kansas with more than 60 years of experience in breeding and farming heritage poultry.

This year we are proud to announce the development of The Good Shepherd Institute, a 501c3 non-profit dedicated to supporting the health of our national food system by educating agricultural experts, farmers, and students about techniques for preserving rare and heritage livestock. Course content will include both hands-on and lecture-style training. The curriculum is being developed in conjunction with Kansas Wesleyan University as an extension of their Environmental Studies Bachelor’s degree program.

We invite you to review the University program first-hand! Join Frank, working side-by-side, in a completely immersive farming experience. Learn about all aspects of sustainable heritage farming on-site at Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch while exploring the historical, biological, and cultural importance of heritage poultry. This experience is a complete program for the novice to the experienced farmer – visit a USDA certified processor, tour local historic sites and learn from experts in the field.

Good Shepherd Institute

 

Package Includes:

· 4 nights at the Swedish Country Inn.
· Breakfasts, lunches and dinners catered by local chefs.
· Transportation within Kansas.

$1400 per person
$1900 per couple

Agriturismo Tours support the development of the Good Shepherd Institute’s University accredited program, providing funding for on-site classroom facilities and program infrastructure. If you can’t make the trip and would still like to contribute, we are accepting charitable donations for continued curriculum development and infrastructure at The Good Shepherd Institute.

Please make checks payable to Good Shepherd Institute and mail to Heritage Foods USA, 790 Washington Ave, PMB 303 Brooklyn, NY 11238. Donations are tax deductible.

Wholesome Wave

As we’ve mentioned before, Heritage Foods USA is a proud promoter of biodiversity and food security. We are pleased to share the work of Wholesome Wave, which has had a tremendous impact on our nation’s access to fresh and quality foods by pioneering the National Nutrition Incentive Network. Visit Wholesome Wave’s website to see initiatives in your area.

 

IMG_0465

Here is some more information about Wholesome Wave:

Wholesome Wave

Vision: Affordable, healthy, local food for all.

Mission: Wholesome Wave inspires underserved consumers to make healthier food choices by increasing affordable access to fresh, local and regional food.

What We Believe: At Wholesome Wave, we believe that everyone should be able to put the same, healthy, fresh fruits and vegetables on their table and provide that for their families. Our team believes that we can use food as a very powerful, binding, changing force. Food, as a single subject, has an incredible impact on environmental, social, economic and human health. We see an undeniable truth, that if we fix food, we are going to see improved health, stronger local and regional economies, and more income for small and mid-sized farm businesses.

Wholesome Wave Georgia believes that all Georgians should have access to good, wholesome and locally-grown food. Their goal is to increase access to good food for all Georgians while contributing to the local food economy. Wholesome Wave Georgia strengthens local food communities by empowering networks of farmers to facilitate access to and awareness of healthy food choices.

By doubling each federal or state nutrition benefit (SNAP, WIC, SFMNP) dollar spent at participating partner markets, WWG leverages existing government food nutrition programs to create financial incentives for low-income shoppers to shop at local farmers markets.

The program is committed to supporting producer-only farmers markets, in which vendors are only permitted to sell items that they have grown or produced themselves.

Every nutrition benefit dollar spent at a WWG partner market becomes two dollars for the shopper and for the farmer. This means more money for local farmers and more Georgians with access to good, wholesome and locally-grown food.

 Laura 1

 

If you happen to be in Georgia this September 13th, the 6th Annual Southern Chef’s Potluck will be held from 3-6pm in benefit of Wholesome Wave Georgia – with an impressive list of participating chefs. Tickets are $150 each.

Guests will dine family style with some of the South’s chefs on the pastoral grounds of the Inn at Serenbe. In addition to food and fellowship, the event will feature local beer, wine and cocktails created by renowned mixologists and a live auction for one-of-a-kind chef experiences.

Each chef contributes a side dish along with homemade pickles, relishes and desserts to be shared. Side dishes will complement main dishes provided by White Oak Pastures and Jim N’ Nicks Bar-B-Q.

 

2015 Heritage Turkey Flock

Every morning it’s the same routine for poultry farmer Frank Reese. Frank walks several thousand turkeys from their barn out to pasture, where they spend the day foraging in the rolling Kansas plains. In the evening he opens the large barn doors, cuing the flock to head indoors where they can roost safely for the night.

Exercise and access to natural forage help to keep heritage turkeys strong and healthy. It also enables the birds to develop fat, nutritional content, and flavor. Not too long ago this was how all turkeys were raised, but Frank has gone to great lengths to preserve traditional standards of raising turkeys. Each year, as his flock is developing, he closely watches the birds mature. At the end of the season Frank will select the individuals with the most desirable traits to parent the next generation.

This yearly cycle drives the sustainability of Frank’s operation. All of his turkeys mate naturally, have a long and productive lifespan, and develop at a healthy rate – simple traits that really allow his flock to stand out from commodity production.

Follow our blog for more 2015 heritage turkey updates!

 

 

 

Tunis Lamb

Heritage Breed Tasting at Lupa Osteria Romana

A heritage breed tasting event was hosted at Lupa Osteria to celebrate our long standing partnership and their commitment to sustainability and biodiversity.

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