we are whole-heartedly embracing local/organic food (back story posted below), doing our best not to re-bankrupt ourselves in the process. this weekend there was a local farm tour, sponsored by the local "local" market, among others. we had a BLAST touring farms within 30 miles or so of home. there were about 60 to pick from in the "triangle" area - all the way toward raleigh.
the first farm we went to was a cow farm. they did a neat tour on an open bus-type ride, pulled by a tractor, in amongst the calves and cows, and steers, and within sight of the bulls' paddock (but they were off in the shade so we couldn't see them). it was interesting, educational, and fun! LaLa said "COW! hi cow! hi cow!" a lot. tried to climb down whenever the farmer would stop the ride and talk. we distracted her with the camera and i'll try to upload later. picked up a couple of roasts at $5/pound (for grass-fed, organic beef). picnicked on leftover pasta salad we'd packed for the ride in the cooler they advised we bring for bringing home products of the farms. yes, i'm feeling virtuous.
then we went to the prawn farm. prawn are freshwater shrimp. they showed us how they farm them, told us what they feed them, but it was over 90 saturday and the kids were getting peaky. so DH did most of the tour while i distracted the overheated children with sodas and learned about prawns. brought home one pound of prawns ($10) for dinner. (could've used 2 pounds but we were trying not to blow the budget)
then we went to a farm that had a little of everything. we'll be going back out for strawberries to this one soon! they aren't very far from us, and they showed us the greenhouse for starting baby plants and the herb gardens. #2 son had really overheated and waited in the car for us to look around, and #1 son was sweet and stayed with him. LaLa loved the herb garden, plucked a nasturtium. the lady farmer said "now that you've picked it you have to eat it!" so she stuck it in her mouth. (she had previously mentioned they are edible, good on salads, a little like radishes.) LaLa spat the petal right back out, but i felt that if she tasted one, i should too. they have a nice clean crisp taste, with a sharper ending flavor. they would be nice sprinkled on a salad. we bought some hamburger for dinner sunday.
finally, we wanted to see a farm that was just a couple of miles from home. it was really neat. they have in the last two years totally reclaimed a worn-out farm, designed it, and are providing organic produce and meat to local restaurants. the map really didn't work for this one and despite its being very very close to home we had to go around it at least once to find the turn that was marked wrong. but the kids played with their australian collies until they were bright red and flushed. working dogs are FUN for littles and mediums! they kicked the soccer ball for the dog to retrieve and just had a blast. we didn't buy anything here.
then we came home and had a BIG nap (LaLa). DH cooked up the prawns in a garlic sauce with red pepper and they were fabulous. right up there with scallops. they are supposed to be protein-rich and very healthy, and easy to cook b/c they take on the flavor of most of what they're cooked with.
sunday we went to church, worked, played, and had hamburgers for dinner. we wanted to get an idea of what the meat tasted like on its own. it was slap-your-momma good! like burgers used to taste. we slurped them up.
the driving around was one of our favorite kind of things to do, so it was a great weekend. if we had had room in the apartment for our chest freezer (sold when we moved) we could really stock up on some local and organically-raised produce and protein. as it is, we'll have to drive around on a somewhat regular basis - darn!