by Joe Dennis, Nostalgia Farms
December winds are finally here, along with the season of holiday cheer. Still waiting for that first substantial snowfall of the season, just to put the final cap on the garden season. Nothing puts the garden to bed like a good blanket of snow. All thoughts can now focus on the tasks at hand: shopping, decorating and of course cooking.
In recent years we have all been touched by a rediscovery of eating local and healthy, Nostalgia Farms has prided ourselves with keeping up with this trend. We are lucky to be in the heart of an active farming community, all working hard to provide the Quad Cities with a varied selection of local vegetables, herbs and meats. There are still a great selection of root crops, potatoes, squash and even a decent selection of greens available at the market along with fresh eggs, herbs and fresh baked breads. Ed and his mom just came back from processing the last batch of chickens for the season along with a few ducks. Pasture raised beef, local raised pork, poultry are all available to meet an ever-growing interest in knowing where our food comes from.
These are all positive ways to grow into a healthier lifestyle. The fresher the ingredients, the easier it is to eat healthy. A fresh fruit salad, even
though the fruits have traveled by the holidays, still is better than the mayo or whipped cream salads many of us grew up on. Using local honey to add sweetness to salads or your sweet potato casseroles is another healthy choice. Cutting the butter content in my dressings by adding half olive oil when cooking the vegetables also rates as a heart-healthy alternative.
And as always an easy way to bring in local ingredients into holiday recipes is to support your local farmers by using farm fresh eggs. I believe it is one of the things that has made our baked goods so good for so many years.
We wish every one a Safe and Joyous Holiday Season and thank you for allowing us to share our farm and food with you and your families.
|Joe Dennis is a farmer at Nostalgia Farms in Walcott, Iowa. Together with his partner, Ed Kraklio, they sell locally-grown, organic produce at the Freight House Farmer’s Market in downtown Davenport, IA near LeClaire Park, every Tuesday (3-6 pm) and Saturday (8 am -1 pm). You can visit the farm’s website at:www.nostalgiafarms.com. Read more of Farmer Joe’s blog posts on MVHNews, or try any of the Nostalgia Farms recipes on this website.|