anna brones

writer + artist + producer

Posts Tagged ‘local food

Andrea Bemis

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“…food is the center of our lives and connects us to our community, our landscape, and our homes.”

-Andrea Bemis

Farmer and author Andrea Bemis is dedicated to not just growing food, but helping people have a better connection to what they eat.

Bemis and I met in person last spring when we worked on a project together, but I had been a follower of her blog Dishing Up the Dirt for a long time. In 2008, Bemis and her boyfriend (now husband) Taylor were living in Bend, Oregon, when they decided to move to Massachussets to work on his family’s organic farm. After a few seasons, the West Coast was calling, and in 2012 they landed on a 6-acre plot of land near Parkdale, Oregon, which they lovingly named Tumbleweed Farm.

With her hands literally in the dirt, Bemis has taken her love of growing food and turned it into a platform for not just getting people excited about what they eat, but having a deeper connection to it. She wrote a cookbook with the same name as her blog, sharing her recipes and wisdom for what to do with local and seasonal ingredients. She started an initiative called Local Thirty, where for a month she committed to sourcing her food from a 200-mile radius: “local food from local dirt.” That spawned a documentary film following Bemis and her husband on their journey, meeting local producers along the way.

I think that Bemis is wise in her understanding of the soil and what it produces, and her understanding of community. She knows that food is not just something that we eat, it’s something that sustains us, physically and emotionally. It connects us to people and places, and the more that we honor that, the more enjoyment we get.

What does wisdom mean to you?

Wisdom to me means having empathy for other people.

Is there an influential woman in your life who passed along a piece of wisdom to you? Who and what?

My older sister is very wise. She’s strong, thoughtful and has always encouraged me to not judge others and always put myself in their shoes.

What does investing in local food bring to your life, both as a farmer and as an eater?
I believe food is the center of our lives and connects us to our community, our landscape, and our homes. Knowing how, where and who grows my food is something I am extremely passionate about. When you know your farmers you are rooted deeper into the place you call home and I think that is very powerful.

How do you see the local food movement growing over the next few decades?

I think people are so damn hungry for connection. I have to believe that the local food movement will grow. It’s a great way get to know one another and discover a bounty that is all our own. When we start looking around and talking to each other I think we’ll discover that we all have so much. It’s time to ditch convenience and start connecting with our neighbors, our landscapes and our homes.

What lessons have you learned from being a farmer?

Being a farmer has taught me about patience, discomfort, and perseverance. When you’re a farmer you give, and then you give some more, and just when you think you’ve got nothing left in your fuel tank the farm gives back, and rewards you with bountiful harvests that will not only feed your household or your community, but it finds its way to feed your soul.

What wisdom would you share with your younger self?

The wisdom I would share with my younger self is to always be kind, and more often than not, be kinder than necessary. With myself, my friends, strangers and acquaintances.

This papercut and profile are a part of the Women’s Wisdom Project, a project focused on showcasing the wisdom of inspiring, insightful women by making 100 papercut portraits.

Written by Anna Brones

June 28, 2019 at 09:36

How to Make Dried Apples

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How to Make Dried Apples, photo by Anna Brones

In an attempt to eat more local, I have been trying to find things in my regular baking and cooking repertoire that I can switch out for alternatives that come from closer to home. Dried fruit is something that I use a lot of, and this week I experimented with drying my own apples. Turns out it’s super simple, and the footprint of these apples is a whole lot less than figs, apricots and dates that come from much farther away.

You use the same method you do for drying citrus peels – an hour or two in the oven at low heat (I did them at200°F (95°C)) – and you end up with tasty dried apples that are good on their own, or in baked goods. The full explanation is over on Foodie Underground.

Next on the to do list: drying pears.

Written by Anna Brones

February 27, 2015 at 09:32

What is Food Gentrification?

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Have you heard about the new term “food gentrification“? It’s this week’s topic on Foodie Underground.

“Food gentrification” started as a hashtag by writer Mikki Kendall, who wrote about the impact of turning ordinary products into trendy ones, and the ultimate social impact. “My grandmother was a master of turning offal into delicious, and I still use many of her recipes to this day. But now, once-affordable ingredients have been discovered by trendy chefs, and have been transformed into haute cuisine. Food is facing gentrification that may well put traditional meals out of reach for those who created the recipes,” Kendall wrote in January.

Just like rebuilding neighborhoods has shot up real estate prices and pushed out locals, rebuilding the food movement, putting certain common-day vegetables on a pedestal, in turn making them more expensive, is pushing people away from eating them.

There was a time when we all had access to fresh food and ingredients. Think back to our grandparents. There were few things available, but the things that were available were real food. There were vegetables, there was fruit and there were no Doritos. Often there was a garden. People ate real food simply because it was the only thing available.

Hop on over to Foodie Underground to read the full article.

Written by Anna Brones

March 19, 2014 at 12:08

Plate & Pitchfork: Changing Perspectives on Food with Local Farm Dinners

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Originally published here.

An organic dinner of farm raised ingredients. A table full of jovial guests and local wine. A summer night to appreciate good food and where it comes from. There’s a lot of talk about farm-to-table, and most of us living in high paced atmospheres have a tendency to romanticize pastoral images of happy cows and organic tomato plants. “If only I could be a farmer,” we think, forgetting the hardships that go into devoting a life to agricultural production. But part of having a better appreciation for what we eat, means having a better connection to where it comes from, and at the simplest level, that means eating there.

That’s the idea behind Plate & Pitchfork, an Oregon based business that helps people have a better of understanding of food and where it comes from, by serving it to them in the same place that it’s sourced. Hosting farm dinners, Plate & Pitchfork founder Erika Polmar puts consumers and purveyors together, in the ultimate farm-to-table experience.

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Friday Photo: Fresh Eggs

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A refrigerator fully stocked with fresh eggs from the local chickens down the road.

Country life is beautiful.

Written by Anna Brones

September 30, 2011 at 16:27

Posted in Friday Photo

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Local Food Tours in Boulder

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Tack on another reason to go to Colorado (again) to my ever expanding list… Local Table Tours. Thanks to Megan for doing this interview!

With a lot of local residents from the nearby Denver area taking part in her tours, Bucholz has built her business to not only explore food, but benefit the local businesses of Boulder. “The idea of the tour is that at the end you get to decide where you want to return because I want to drive business back to the restaurants.” Her tours include downtown dining tours, market-to-tables tours and even more coffee-centric ones for the caffeine obsessed, because as it turns out, Boulder has a lot to offer.

Written by Anna Brones

September 28, 2011 at 16:53