I’ve always known that a book was needed to accumulate all the funny things I’ve experienced over the years working with great people and tasting great foods. I met my co-author Mike Edison while doing a show on the Heritage Radio Network, and I knew I had found a perfect communicator for these ideas.
Tag: patrick martins
Anne and Patrick with their son Max.
Heritage Foods USA and Heritage Radio Network founder Patrick Martins has the privilege of being married to Anne Saxelby of Saxelby Cheesemongers. This partnership has resulted in project like No Goat Left Behind that create bridges through the food world and help us build a more sustainable system.
Last weekend Patrick and Anne traveled to Meadowood Farms with their family. Below is Anne’s account of their trip:
By Anne Saxelby
This past weekend, we mongers packed it into the old cheese wagon and headed up to Meadowood Farms in Cazenovia, New York for a sheep-tastic cheese-filled visit!
Meadowood Farms has been around since the early 1900’s; its original owners the Chard family (no agricultural pun intended) wanted to make it a ‘scientific, sustainable model farm’. More than a century later this vision has come full circle. The farm raises Belted Galloway cattle for beef and East Fresian sheep for meat and milk on just over 200 acres of farmland overlooking beautiful Cazenovia lake.
Cheesemaker Veronica Pedraza transforms the milk into a delicious array of cheeses all bearing monikers of local roads and landmarks. Ledyard, Rippleton, Lorenzo, and Ten Eyck (the cheeses) can all be found within a few miles distance of the farm. In fact, driving around was kind of like a cheese scavenger hunt… spotting the signs on the side of the road that corresponded to each cheese became a game like the old slug bug one, minus the punching (there were three adults, one baby and two dogs in the car, so that could have gotten ugly real fast…)
The cheeses are sublime… They are made starting in early spring and finished by mid-fall when the sheep are dried off for the winter months. Stop by the shop for a taste today or order our special ‘Cheesemongers Choice’ selection featuring Meadowood Farms cheeses.
Want a hot recipe? Here’s one: choose a lovely, well-sourced piece of meat — from a merchant that you trust, sourced from a farm that you know, and a breed you have come to love, and add fire. Et voila! There’s your recipe. Just remember, the fire is the constant, the meat is the variable. And don’t forget where it came from, so you can do it again.
No one’s saying to fricassee a Komodo dragon, or cacciatore an American Bald Eagle, but you should definitely think about roasting a Gloucestershire Old Spot pig, or grilling a Tunis lamb….
There are about 900 million of my kind in the world. Wherever I have ever existed, humans have done well. My domestic brethren are fertile year round and offer a reliable source of food. I was the primary source of meat for middle Stone Age peoples. Cro-Magnons drew pictures of my kind on the walls of Altamira over 30,000 years ago.
I am closer in intelligence and trainability to a dog than any other livestock. My snout is a sensitive tool for exploring and smelling. My kind are meant to scavenge and forage. I love to root. In the past, I prepared land for crops and I cleared forested land. I am industrious. I helped humans build resistance to diseases like influenza, flu and pertussis.
Lard from my back fed Roman armies and was a principle source of protein for troops in The Revolutionary War. My lard makes soap, candles, and is used for cooking. It has been said that my bacon is the olive oil of the Americas. I was brought here by Vikings, Columbus, Cortes, and de Soto. Just like the humans, I settled in Jamestown. The Pilgrims brought me to Massachusetts. I came to your shores from China, Russia, Africa and the Pacific. I used to roam free on city streets keeping them clean. Cincinnati is known as Porkopolis and Chicago as the Hog Butcher to the World.
Today, factory farms have violated the sacred relationship we have developed with you over millennia. Of the 90 million of my kind in the U.S., almost every one is raised in crowded barns, removing any chance for our curiosity and intelligence to flourish. This has made us meaner to you and each other. I am fed food that is unfit for consumption.
Today most of my kind have weak genetics. We are pushed to grow too fast and yield unnaturally lean meat. Because of these living conditions, we develop new diseases and I now need medicine in my food. By stupidly relying on only two genetics, my rich diversity is risking extinction. You decrease the chance that my kind can ever again become the strong, proud animal it once was.
But there is hope. Hope flickers on family farms that dot the surroundings of your farmers markets and in places like Kansas and Missouri where rare and heritage breed associations honor us. Companies like Heritage Foods USA actively maintain our strongest claim to a secure future. All Pigs vote for Heritage Foods USA, its farmers, and its processors. Won’t you?