See you in the Spring!

Free Range Farm Truck is taking a Winter break, but we’ll be back in action this Spring when the ground thaws and greenhouses start producing!  Until then, stay warm and eat well.

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February 8, 2013 at 10:57 pm Leave a comment

the gateway meat

Last week we picked up some amazing pork from Heritage Farms, including what has come to be known as “The Gateway Meat” – Bacon.  Haven’t been sold on the benefits of local, pastured meats yet?  Bacon is your gateway.  There are T-shirts that say so.

Often, the distinctions made between commercially raised meats and the local, pastured meats that we sell are in terms of nutrition and values.  Pastured and grassfed meats, from small-scale local farms, are better for you.  Production is better for the land, animals are treated with respect.  (More details in our Grassfed Primer).  But there is also a distinction in taste and nowhere is this more true than with Bacon.  Remember, fat means flavor!  All bacon is fatty, but the quality of fat from pastured pigs is different – the flavor is richer, the texture smoother.  (more…)

April 24, 2012 at 9:40 pm Leave a comment

on the road with farm truck

Each week our members receive brown bags filled with fresh cheese, bread, vegetables and meats from area farms, and as you can imagine there’s an awful lot that goes on behind the scenes to make that happen! We thought it might be fun to start recording our travels, so that you can get a better sense of where all this food is coming from.  We consider ourselves incredibly lucky to get to travel around our region visiting farmers and picking up delicious food and we’d like our members to get a sense of what those travels are like.  Each week, we’ll write a quick post about where we were, who we were with and what we picked up to share with you over the past week or so.  It’s just another way of connecting us all to our foodshed.

On the road with Free Range Farm Truck, March 19-30
Monday– Drive to Half Moon Gardens greenhouse for red lettuce.
Tuesday– Meet the Smyrna Menonites(Wilson Hilty and Robert Kauffman) in Bangor (they hire a driver) for 2 lambs, 2 pigs, 2 cows, and 50 lbs of cheese. Drive to Massimo’s for bread (which we do every tuesday, thurs, and saturday) and then to McLaughlin’s Seafood for haddock, scallops and shrimp and finally to a little homestead in Hampden for 5 dozen eggs.
Monday– Drive to Peacemeal Farm in Dixmont for Spring dug Parsnips, which involved driving about two miles in 5 inches of mud without 4 wheel drive. That’s how dedicated we are to our members!
Thursday- Drive to Heritage Farms in Winterport for maple syrup
Saturday– Drive to Living Land Farm where we meet Mark Allen and picked up spinach and red onions, and then to Pittsfield’s Balfour Farm where Heather Donahue hooks us up with some amazing cheese.  

Within that schedule, of course, we delivered all of those amazing products to our members who turned them into amazing, healthy meals.

April 3, 2012 at 1:28 pm Leave a comment

Spring-Dug Parsnips

Members of our vegetable share are the lucky recipients this week of Spring-Dug Parsnips from Peacemeal Farm in Dixmont.  Yes, we’re featuring another root vegetable, but Spring-Dug Parsnips are really something special. 

Parsnips mature in the fall and can certainly be harvested and stored at that time, but most farmers in-the-know leave at least a portion of their crop in the ground through the winter to be dug as soon as the soil thaws in Spring.  This is not merely a tactic meant to save labor in the fall or space in the root cellar – that over-wintering process makes the parsnips sing with sweetness in a way that fall parsnips, however delicious, never will. 

For those of you interested in science, what’s happening is this: the starches in those mature parsnips convert to sugars as the deep freeze hits – it’s the plant’s way of protecting itself.  (more…)

March 27, 2012 at 9:59 pm Leave a comment

Featuring…turnips!

We know what you’re thinking:  ‘it’s 70 degrees out and you’re writing about turnips?!’  Yes. We are.  And we’re  hoping that this photo of an adorable child holding a turnip (courtesy of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds) will help you warm to the idea.

We realize that this time of year it can be hard to get excited about root vegetables.  It feels like Spring is here, even if it’s not, and most of us are thinking *green*, as in spinach, salad mix, lettuce, fresh herbs.  We’re thrilled to be working with Everlasting Farm in Bangor, Living Land Farm in Winterport and Half Moon gardens in Thorndike, to bring greens to our members through the winter, but the fact of the matter is that root vegetables still make up the bulk of local vegetables available to us right now and it’s still worth finding creative ways to work with them.  So, back to turnips.

The purple and white  bulbous roots are rich in dietary fiber, folate, calcium, potassium, copper, manganese, vitamin C and B6 plus 5 grams of protein.  That’s quite a list!  (more…)

March 20, 2012 at 5:35 pm 1 comment

free range farm truck at PechaKucha!

We’re presenting tonight at the Bangor Opera House as part of this amazing event!  Here’s the facebook page:
http://www.facebook.com/events/217639705001347/

PechaKucha Night Bangor Vol. 4 is Friday night, March 9th, at the Bangor Opera House in Downtown Bangor and hosted by Bari Newport, artistic director of Penobscot Theatre. A selection of new presenters will surprise the audience with images and stories about their creativ…e work and ideas.

Doors open @ 6pm
Presentations @ 6:40pm
End @ 8:30 pm

$5 at the door
Cash bar (more…)

March 9, 2012 at 12:55 pm Leave a comment

grassfed steaks!

Last week’s meat share members were the lucky recipients of grassfed steaks and ground beef from a local farm.  In the next few days you’ll be able to access Farm Truck’s “Grassfed Meat Primer” complete with cooking suggestions, nutrition information and FAQs, but the fact is that steaks deserve special attention.  Why?  Because grassfed steak in particular is probably one of the most delicious cuts of meat and also the one that’s the easiest to screw up.  You’ve probably heard that grassfed beef is delicious and better for you.  You’ve probably also heard that it’s tough.  We won’t lie to you – grassfed beef, and especially grassfed steak, has to be handled differently than the beef you find in the supermarket.  If you try to cook it the same way, you may very well end up with a steak with the texture of shoe leather.  The good news is, it doesn’t have to be that way.

We’re not going to get into nutritional and environmental benefits here – that’s a discussion we delve into in the Grassfed Meat Primer.   What we want to do today is help you understand how to cook a kick-ass grassfed steak.

So, why is grassfed meat different?  We’ll try to keep it simple.  Cows that are “grassfed” eat only grass, hay and sometimes baleage (slightly fermented hay with a higher moisture content).  Cows’ stomachs are designed to process the stuff.  Most of the beef you find in the grocery store is from cows that are finished in feedlots and fed grain (primarily corn) which their stomachs are not designed to digest properly.  Grassfed cows have done a lot more walking around to eat all that grass.  (more…)

February 16, 2012 at 4:27 pm Leave a comment

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