Today was very inspiring. I went down to Fairbury, Il - about 2 h from Chicago - to visit Spence Farms and meet Kris and Marty, two greatly motivated farmers that want to bring change to the Midwestern agricultural mindset. But more about that visit in a later post. What the trip brought with it, were hours in the car and no willingness on my side to stop at one of the famous pit-stops along the road. So I brought two carrots and an apple to be my lunch (no breakfast cause I had eaten far too much the night before). Calculate the vanilla ice cream cone I bought at the Kilgus Farmstead – farm fresh ice cream so to speak – my lunch came in at 1.90$ (1$ for the ice cream, 50c for the apple and 20c each for the carrots).
The stop at the Kilgus Farm was delightful indeed, I am so glad I stopped there following Marty’s advice. Even if they were out of goat meat (heck), I bought some beautiful cheese from a farmer friend of theirs, a roastbeef, a couple of steaks and some milk. Which had me debating with myself for a while, cause it comes in a plastic bottle. Ever since I have seen the documentary Plastic Planet over Christmas, food that comes in plastic makes me worry. So I asked Trent, one of the owners, why he did not use glass bottles. And he made a very compelling argument: here is this small family farm with pasture raised jersey cows. They have better tasting milk than, but have to sell it to the big bottlers, not knowing today what price the market will determine tomorrow. Everyting else but motivating! So they invested in their own bottling plant. Which -although small in size - this is a huge step for the farm. Glass bottles would have increased the magnitude of the operation beyond levels they felt comfortable with: washing & storing the bottles, logistics of their return. Trent really gave me the feeling that they had thought about it a lot, and that they were considering switching to glass once they had the whole chain figured out. So I happily bought my milk with them, cause it is clear that this is a family with vision and on a mission that needs to be supported! I have not yet tried their non-homogenized milk, but it is supposed to be sublime.
Ok, so now to dinner: bite size pieces of ½ organic yam and 1/3 organic butternut squash (both from Dill Pickle Coop), ½ organic onion (Trader Joe’s), coated in an organic olive oil from California I found at the Dill Pickle Coop, together with 1 lamb bratwurst (they come in packages of four and I was unable to separate them in their frozen state, so now it is Lamb Bratwurst for four days!), and popped into the oven for 20 min. Finished off with some cumin, salt, pepper and chilli flakes. Very delicious. Total cost: 30 c yam, 50 c squash, 25 c onion, 2$ bratwurst, 8c total for spices, 40 c for two tablespoons of olive oil = 3.53$.
Total food cost for today: 5.43$