This week we got to head to Lexington Montessori School to check out their greenhouses, their farm and their farming curriculum. It was amazing! All the students from Pre-K to Middle School participate in creating a beautiful environment and a delicious bounty. We were GIDDY thinking about kids learning about the importance of food and treating it with respect throughout its life cycle. Heck Yes, LMS! We bought some seedlings for the double shares too!
About the program, from their site:
"Children discover where food comes from, how it is grown sustainably, and begin to appreciate the hard work it takes to grow nourishing food on a small “farm”. We spend time learning and discussing nutrition, aiming to understand the importance of eating a rainbow of colors. In addition, the middle schoolers take a compassionate look at food insecurity in America and the lack of fresh fruits and veggies for those in need. From toddlers to 8th graders, the farming program allows students at LMS to explore their surroundings, challenge themselves, think deeply, and participate in growing and nurturing new life."
What a dream. To start the mission of all of THIS early. We know we sound like a broken record**, but thank you all so much for supporting the mission of Family Dinner and spreading the good word of local food.
** To all of our 20-30 something customers: "records" are an analog sound storage medium in the form of a flat disc with an inscribed, modulated spiral groove. It's how we all listened to music when dinosaurs roamed the Earth.
There is a really specific joy in getting out to see them on their land and spending time in the field, to see how it's all done. Andrew and Diana Rodgers run the farm and have an incredible team.
Clark is an idyllic place; expansive fields and happy animals snorting and baaaah-ing here and there. They didn't even mind when I stole a baby pig and drove off like a maniac with it riding shotgun listening to Phil Collins. How kind is that??
Behind the beauty is a passion and dedication to mission that makes us proud to work with them and be a small part of what they're trying to do. If you're ever in the neighborhood, stop by their farm stand. If you're feeling like geeking out on sustainable food conversations; check out Diana's podcast Sustainable Dish on iTunes. And keep an eye out for her forthcoming film Sacred Cow - making a case for better meat. We can't wait!
It's the Kentucky Derby, Cinco de Mayo and, most importantly (!), we are celebrating our 100th order with Tad from Featherbrook Farms - Break out the Chips and Dip!
You've probably seen photos of Tad before, a lovable guy with a big smile and an appreciation for overalls.
Tad has been with us since the beginning, since even before the beginning. Teaching us, encouraging us and supporting us as we explore the wonderland of local food. He sent this week's invoice with a note: " Yayyyyy! Order number 100. Who would have thought!!!"
We couldn't do any of this without the incredible network of farmers that makes up Family Dinner. Tad, Fran and Brenda from Busa Farms in Lexington, Luke and his family at Brookford Farm, Andrew at Clark, Andre at Heron Pond- and the many, many makers, bakers, and purveyors whose goods fill your bags every week . We are so grateful for the amazing, and delicious, work they do. Here's to 100 more orders, Tad.
(DID SOMEONE SAY CHIPS ???)
Oh yeah! We also have Tortilla Chips from Mi Nina this week. Perfect for watching the latest episode of GoT on repeat.
Have a great weekend!
This allows you to customize the components and amounts of your share a bit more. You can add meat or fish each week, choose veggie shares of different sizes etc. These can be add-ons to your current share or you can design your full share out of these parts.
Some of your waved the flag that you wanted more meat (and more of the same kind) to feed the unquenchable appetites of a houseful of teenagers. Some of you wanted to say YES to veggies and fish but take a hard pass on eggs, dairy and grain.
We hear you! Thanks for the input! We have been slowly rolling out the B.Y.O.S concept and gathering feedback.
Let us know what you think!
Erin and Tim
There are signs of hope coming out of the ground and they're taking the unexpected form of Spring Dug Parsnips.
According to the wonderful folks at Clover Food Lab: "Spring-dug parsnips are the first vegetable coming out of the ground in early spring. Parsnips planted in the previous spring are left in the ground to “Winter” and experience a deep freeze. As this happens, the starches are converted to sugar, the flavor matures, and the flesh becomes a bit more tender."
So they are sweeter, softer and tastier. They are also like the Paul Revere of the vegetable world, riding into your shares and letting you know that "Spring is Coming!"
Also- because it IS still grey and cold; we're bringing you pizza. As we know, pizza has naturally occurring curative properties- it makes everything better.
Dough from Forge, Fresh Mozzarella from The Mozzarella House and Chorizo from Tad. Just gives you the warm fuzzies all over.
The title of this week's email may sound the start of a bad/uncomfortable joke - but is just shorthand for three nuggets of news we would like to share with you!
Ted: The TedX Natick talk that we gave a few months ago is now live! You can see us gush all about local food on the YouTube link.
Blondies: This week's treat is Chocolate Sea Salt Blondies from Dirty Blondies Bake Shop. Dirty Blondies Bake Shop was founded in 2018 by a dirty blonde, Alyssa Nadeau, after she discovered the glory that is brown butter. With its toasty flecks and nutty flavor, this 'dirty' butter is at the base of every Dirty Blondie. In four signature flavors, bite-sized so you can try more than one, Dirty Blondies are the dessert you saved room for...even if you didn’t!
Follow them at www.dirtyblondies.com and @dirtyblondies on instagram & facebook!
Vegan Loaves: This week we went to Mandarava Organic Kitchen in Newburyport to taste some of the vegan goodies coming out of Akara, their newest culinary concept. Mary is a lovely lady and her food is crazy delicious- we are so happy to share with you!
We are hosting another In Season Dinner with Forge Baking Co in Somerville!!
She wants you to mooooove on over to Eventbrite and join us.
(Yes, I know that joke was brutal. Its 7 am)
The inspiration for the dinner will come from Forge's owner and chef Jennifer Park’s heritage to highlight Japanese and Korean Street Food. This will be a vegetarian-friendly meal with a few pescatarian dishes. The fresh ingredients for the meal will be sourced from local farms by Family Dinner. Come with an empty stomach and ready to experience a unique cultural flavor combination!
Included in your ticket price is the fresh food made that evening with Japanese and Korean inspired drinks.
We will be giving a percentage of our proceeds from this dinner to Community Cooks! If you would like to donate more, we will have an option to do so at the dinner.
Doors open at 6:30 - Seating is limited so be sure to get your tickets before it is too late!
** Daisy is unfortunately unable to attend the dinner - but she is GORGEOUS And we wanted to include her in this week's email. Daisy lives at Busa Farm in Lexington where she enjoys getting her hair brushed (so fun!) eating bagels and grazing in the sun for hours. We LOVE our jobs.
When we got there we found that the sheep (and goats!) had been moved out of the barn and onto the field. Can a sheep look delighted? Because these guys sure did, basking in the sun to chew and nap their days away. It is a scene to take pride in, animals being raised with love and respect, letting nature play its part. Letting sheep, be sheep.
The joy of the scene was contagious. Feeling the suns warmth made me day dream of all of the amazing produce that is being planted and that will make its way into your shares. Bok Choy, Micro Greens, Greenhouse Tomatoes, and Fiddleheads! Warmer weather also means maple syrup and more abundant eggs from the hens.
As much as we love rutabaga, change is in the air- and it's going to be delicious.
You know who else loves sunshine? Your insulated Family Dinner bags! Please return them to your driver so they can see the light of day and be reused!!
We were tickled pink to be featured by the amazing Rachel Caldwell in the most recent edition of Edible Boston.
It perfectly captures what we are trying to do with Family Dinner, the love we have for our farmers and members and that facts that we're complete nerds. We would say that's about perfect.
We have two New Kids on the Block this week!!
Maine Grains and Lark Fine Foods are coming into your Family Dinner shares for the first time!
Maine Grains is the maker of the rolled oats you'll discover in your bags. Maine Grains wants to be a "partner in the regenerative economy by milling nutritious, organic and heritage grains using a traditional stone milling process. "
These little guys are packed with flavor and ready to play a role and in your sweet or savory recipes.
Next up, Lark Fine Foods is a 100% female owned (oh, heck yes!) bakery of "Cookies for Grown Up" in Essex, MA.
We got to visit the beautiful facility two weeks ago and sample all the fresh goodies. Erin ate cookies for breakfast for days. (Three cheers for Research!) We settled on the flavors we see in your shares. We hope you love them as much as we do!
About the Nectar & Green Almond Milk:
Our almond milk is made from whole, organic almonds—a lot of them. First we sprout them. Then we press them. Then, we combine them with a short list of ingredients that we find especially beautiful and nourishing (like honey from local hives and sea salt from the Atlantic). We never use heat to process, and we say no to refined sugars and fillers. Because almond milk should be delicious, and what you put in your body matters.
It has so many uses; coffee, milk for your granola, add it to oats (they're on the slate for next week!), soak your bread for a different French Toast, or drink it straight. So many ways to love it!
The lambs that arrive each year at Clark Farm are a joy to see. They are birthed and within twenty minutes they are walking around and feeding off their mothers. Surrounded by hay and warmth they have all the space and time they need to stumble, get back up and wander around like the tiny, furry drunken adults they are. It's amazing.
We are excited to expand our friendship and partnership with Andrew at Clark Farm. We met yesterday to put our heads together about Spring Crops for Family Dinner. Pouring over seed catalogues we brainstormed an array of Asian Greens; mustards, mizuna, tatsoi as well as a few other staples to keep you excited and invigorated about warmer weather cooking. Spring is on its way, people. I promise. And its going to be delicious.
And last but not least we want to talk about new friends in new zip codes.
Like every hero in Game of Thrones does at some point: we are headed North (again).
This time we are expanding to Peabody, Saugus and Salem. We're coming for you, North Shore!
Know anyone who would love to try Family Dinner?
Have them use NSHORE50 for 50% off their first order, and we will bring it North!
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