Locally Grown

Who Are Your Heroes? Mine Are Farmers.

Hero: he·ro/ˈhi(ə)rō/, noun:

  1. A person who is admired for courage or noble qualities.
  2. One who saves lives


Our society is based on a “hero mentality,” with us commoners daydreaming about those who would be there to save us from whatever evils would befall us.  There are movie and comic-book (sorry, graphic novel) based super heroes with otherworldly powers saving puny humans from natural disasters, historical bad guys, and other super people whom have chosen to live a life of utter evil.  There are every day heroes like doctors and nurses and the mortal humans whom keep you healthy and safe.  There are even celebrity heroes such as Steven Tyler, whom work diligently to save you from having to listen to the wrong singing talent on your television.  Thanks, ST.  These heroes all serve their purpose in life, from stopping your gaping bleeding wounds, to saving your sanity, to keeping your house from burning to the ground, to just simply giving you hope that giant flying magnetically charged creatures from another dimension will not be descending upon your city to devour or enslave its population.

Larry Cleverley of Cleverley Farms in Mingo, Iowa watching the sun set over the farm. Larry is a real hero.

But who are the real heroes of our lives?  The people raising the food you (should) be eating.  There is really no more noble, humble, or courageous a profession than to be a farmer.  A real farmer, someone concerned with the well-being of not their bank accounts or the happiness of corporate overlords, but with the health of the land they farm and the people being fed from that land, and of the welfare of the community surrounding their farm.

Does this make you hungry?

My hero’s a farmer.  A real farmer.  A person whom I can talk to, have a conversation about what they are raising, and not be given the run-around due to someone above them putting restrictions on what they can or can’t say about their operation.  I see these people as the real heroes of our world, sustainable raising nourishing items that can feed our population…without creating more health-realated problems.  The farmers who understand what to do with the food they raise, the ones whom can teach cooks or chefs what to do with their wares, the farmers that spend their lives feeding you FROM THE HEART, making sacrifices, getting out to the markets to sell to and meet produce/meat buyers face to face.  THIS is a real hero.  People like this guy:

Because THIS is what makes me hungry.

Today’s rant isn’t supposed to be some wildly informative treatise on local sustainable farming/food, but just to get you in that mindset.  Spring is around the corner and we will be talking more in the near future about ways to enrich your lives through these heroes of agriculture.

I hope that you are as excited as we are…

The cook.



Tuesday’s Gone With No Win…

Well, happy Wednesday oh Faithful Tens.  You are probably expecting the return of some long, rambling griping, finger pointing, and nonsensical post-election schmooooozing.  Not today.  I have a whole day, and a mostly healed wrist, to go out and enjoy riding my Salsa Chili Con Crosso on some fabulous Iowa gravel roads.  As I ride towards Gravel Glory I will be surveying the beautiful Iowa countryside, pondering what fate it will suffer now that my fellow state-dwellers decided to re-elect the incumbent Ag Secretary, Bill Northey, over the almost-too-qualified Francis Thicke.  Bill Northey, the person who danced around questions like a true politician while on IPR last week.  The Person who only spoke of “industry” and not of farmers.  This is not who we need in this most important office, but the people have spoken and it turns out either the citizens of Iowa are in love with having factory hog lots forced on their counties and love the comfort of having a few giant companies control the food that they eat, or they just didn’t care, which often gets the incumbent elected.

Iowa also voted out three supreme court justices for the simple fact that they made same-sex marriage legal.  Another great leap backward for our Great State.  I wonder if those people understand that the next justices may uphold the law, and that it will be eight more years until all of you who voted the original perpetrators can vote the new replacements out.  Wait, or do you think that this “scare tactic” will influence the future decisions of the Iowa Supreme Court? ” If you want to keep your job, you better do as we say” seems like a travesty of our Justices.  Very Sad, Iowa.

If there is one thing I can’t stand more than the whiny French, it’s a bunch of overbearing a-holes imposing their love of inequality on the rest of the population.


Give yourselves a hand, Iowa. You have just made virtual time travel a reality!

And on to other news

-San Francisco Bans Happy Meal Toys

-Trader Joe’s is all set to open this Friday, Oct 5 at 8am.  There are some vague references to “special events” for the opening, I imagine it will include opening the doors and allowing the Trader Joe’s starved residents of the DMZ to have the privilege of shopping at the Red Lobster of natural foods stores.  Oh, 6505 Mills Civic, WDSM.  I hear the first 20 customers get to be the first 20 customers in the door, FREE OF CHARGE.

-Copa Cavana is the new Caribbean/Cuban themed restaurant which has stolen the hearts a few fellow chefs and some foodie friends.  The restaurant, located somewhere around 36th and Ingersoll, is so good it has already gotten two 5 star reviews on the uber-wise user review site Urban Spoon.  Woo.  Wait til Yelp gets involved.

-Locally Grown speculates that outgoing Governor Chet “the Sweat” Culver will possibly lend his likeness as a spokesperson for the Culver’s restaurant chain to promote the new “ButterBurger Diet” which he has obviously been on for the past few years.  Jarad, your sandwich diet got nothin on a Butter Burger.

-I found out two disturbing things about teen pop culture yesterday.  Justin Beiber has a “Rap Name”

Shawty Mane: The New Face Of Gangsta Rap?

and my beloved Spaghetti Taco from a few months back is now the subject of many a “Mommy Blog” due to the “iCarly” show on Nickelodeon.  Here is MY recipe for the “Spaghetti Taco”

Locally Grown/Veg Chef Spaghetti Taco Recipe

  1. Make Spaghetti
  2. Put Spaghetti in Tortilla.  Soft Flour works best, as commercial corn tortillas tend to crack easily, leaving you with a crying child with spaghetti hands. Traditionally the hard corn shell is used.
  3. Place Spaghetti/Tortilla combination on a serving vessel such as a plate or napkin.  Do not place on household pets.
  4. Blammo!  It’s a Spaghetti Taco!

After reading numerous articles about this “phenomena” in such publications as the NY Times, I would like to refute that this meal was invented for the show.  My own spaghetti taco predates the October 5, 2010 S.T. by at least 3 weeks, and there is no way my tiny little chef brain was the first to rock such a terrible idea.  I remember my childhood neighbors eating spaghetti sandwiches back in the 1980’s.  None the less, the more I write about this lowest form of fusion food, the more I crave a spaghetti taco for lunch…Sorry, Copa Cavana, I am staying home for lunch…Hello Spaghetti Taco!

The Cook.