Friday, September 30, 2011

Pork Is MVP This Tailgating Season

By Sarah Ford of Indiana Pork

It is time to pass around the pigskin, don your favorite team colors and plan an all-star menu because tailgating season is here! Indiana Pork is ready to show you why pork is your M.V.P. (Most Valuable Protein) this season.  Pork’s great taste, versatility, and value make it easy for fanatics to throw pork on the grill. It is also quick and easy to prepare, making it the perfect choice for game-day festivities.


Keep from fumbling this tailgating season with these tips for a winning menu:
  • “Flavor Hall of Fame” – Get in the “end zone” by adding a delicious sauce to finish off your tailgating dish or a spicy dry rub to enhance the flavor of your meat before cooking. Both are easy to create and very economical flavor boosters. For a great Indiana made product, try Shoup’s Country Foods seasoning and BBQ sauce.  You can find it at a Marsh near you, or visit their website at www.shoupscountry.com.
  • “Menu Playbook” – Make sure to include a variety of dishes for your hungry fans at your tailgating party. Planning a spread with everything from kickoff kabobs to game day pork and chile wraps, ensures no one will be sidelined by hunger.
  • “Points for Protein” – Lean pork cuts such as pork tenderloin and pork chops make great tailgating companions. Consider passing these healthy indulgences during your next game day gathering.
  • “Regional Pride” – Put a regional stamp on any favorite football snack and in Indiana that means the breaded tenderloin!  
For more great tailgating recipes, visit www.porkbeinspired.com.  

Monday, September 26, 2011

Crockpot Mania

By Michelle Plummer of Winners Drink Milk

Dinner in a Dash, 30-Minute Meals, Grab and Go or Carry Out or Drive Thru! Everyone is looking for a way to keep dinner wholesome and nutritious for their families and do it in a way that does not take a culinary degree or hours of prep and attention!

Bringing back family dining should not be the worst thing on your TO DO list. Let me see if I can help you with making dinner and family dining fun!

Crockpots are all the rage and why not! Slowcookers can make your dinner easy to make in one pot, takes less expensive cuts of meat and turns them into tender and moist entrees. By using a slow cooking method many dishes that are generally thought of “as better when reheated” the Crockpot does this the first time. Long slow cooking, can be done while you are at work or on the run. Comfort foods, pulled pork, roasted chicken and stuffing and yes Mac and cheese! 

If you are familiar with Crockpots from the 70’s and 80’s you will be really surprised when you visit sites such as The Crockpot Blog (You will really enjoy the Island Pork, I served this with baked sweet potatoes) OR this great Overnight Oatmeal recipe-- you will not believe how great oatmeal can really taste!
I have used a crockpot for years to keep hot mulled cider, warm applebutter for biscuits, and large amount of Rotel (the Rotel tomato and chilies mixture with processed cheese) or nacho cheese with processed cheese, chili with beans and any condiments you wish to add such as onion, garlic, jalapeño, chips etc.

I have also tried a wonderful chilies chicken with chicken breasts, tomato and chilies mixture and spices. Cook for 4 hours and then shred and serve over tortillas. Add cheese and sour cream. I am getting more adventurous and really enjoying the crockpot for many meals.

I encourage you to try one of these wonderful recipes or something on your own….let me know and you may be the winner of a new crockpot, just in time for all those great tailgates! Check out the widget below to enter to win!  We will select a lucky winner to receive a Hamilton Beach 6 -quart crockpot with clips for secure transporting (great for the busy holiday season) and removable pot for ease in serving and cleaning.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Cantaloupe Listeria Outbreak: What You Need To Know


Jensen Farms has recalled its Rocky Ford-brand cantaloupes in response to a multi-state outbreak of listeriosis. Cantaloupes from other farms have not been linked to this outbreak.

The Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention reports that 35 people in 10 states have been infected with this strain of Listeria monocytogenes.

The FDA advises consumers - especially vulnerable populations, including older adults, people with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women - not to eat the recalled cantaloupes and to throw them away.

Don't  try to wash the bacteria off of the cantaloupes because contamination might be both on the inside and outside. Cutting, slicing, and dicing may also transfer harmful bacteria from the rind to the fruit's flesh.

Source: FDA

Monday, September 19, 2011

Apple Festival & Craft Fair


Check out the upcoming Apple Festival at Anderson's Orchard!

September 24th & 25th, 2011 - Rain or ShineAerial Photo of Anderson Orchard Apple Festival

Orchard, Concessions & Food:
8am until 8pm or dark whichever comes first

Crafter Tent:
9am - 5pm

Join us for:

  • Picked and U-Pick Apples (Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Jonathan, and many other favorites)
  • Visit our Pumpkin Patch
  • Crafter Tent (50+ Crafters)
  • Grilled Sandwiches and Hot Dogs, plus an assortment of sides and drinks
  • Concession Stand is open
  • Straw Pile
  • Picnic Areas
  • Home-made Apple Cobbler with Ice Cream
  • Homemade Breads
In honor of this and all things fall we are giving away a $25 Gift Card to Anderson's Orchard!

Enter on the widget below:

Friday, September 16, 2011

It's Apple Pickin' Time!

By Jen from Mess Hall to Bistro and Real Farmwives of America and Friends

With four kids ages 7 to 15, it’s nearly impossible to find something they all enjoy and doesn’t break the bank.

One of our family’s favorite things to do in the fall is head out to the local orchard and go apple picking. It’s one of the times we get to see the rare sighting of a 15 year old smile.


We don’t just limit our apple picking weekends to the six of us; we usually bring along some friends and, of course, grandpa.


The kids (and the big kids!) love riding in the back of his truck through the orchard as we fill bags with different kinds of apples.


 And what’s a trip to the orchard without some apple sampling!


After lots of hard work out in the orchard, we step into the store to check out the other fresh produce and get an apple cider slushie!


After a morning of picking, we head home and can our bounty. The kids love to help me out in the kitchen making apple butter, sauce, pie filling and caramel apple jam! If it was up to the kids, we would pick bushels of apples every weekend; I just wish we had a place to store them all!

Visit my blog at http://messhalltobistro.blogspot.com

Monday, September 12, 2011

Meet Chris York – Mom, Businesswoman, Pork Farmer




Each night, Chris York does everything she can to get her two kids, ages 6 and 10 ready for the morning.  She lays out their clothes, and then plans the next day’s schedule to ensure the family is ready for the morning rush.  Once she puts both kids to bed, she follows the same routine for herself, going through preparations for her 5 am alarm.

The scene isn’t unusual for busy moms who juggle the responsibilities of home and work life, but unlike other moms Chris spends her morning in a unique setting:  a hog farm that she runs with her husband Mark.  Chris is the manager of her family’s 12,000 wean to finish pork farm in Wabash County, IN.

Growing up, Chris had a much different path in mind, obtaining a business degree from Central Michigan University.  Then she met Mark, and when they married and built their first hog barn together, she quit her nine-hour-a-day bank job and jumped into the business.  She spent extra hours in the barns simply learning how to read the animals to determine their needs.  Once the couple had their first child, Chris dedicated time to running the farm and raising children.

At the end of the day, after Chris puts her kids to bed, her work doesn’t stop.  Many days, particularly if there are young pigs on the farm, she ventures back to the barn to check on the herd. She makes sure the pigs are fed, watered, sheltered and comfortable. As a woman in a job dominated by men, her nurturing instinct ads a unique dimension to the business. 

The schedule is hectic, but the job is meaningful – Chris knows that she is helping to feed millions both here in Indiana and around the world.

Indiana Pork would like to giveaway a $100 grocery gift card in honor of Chris York to one of you!

Please see the widget below to enter!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Meet the Campbells

Welcome to Campbell Family Farms!
Larry & Judy
Chris, Jennifer, Casey, Emi Lou & Cole



I can’t wait to show you around our farm but we do have just a couple of rules:
  1. No Dirty Boots In The Barns – if your boots have been in any other hog barns please don’t wear them in our barns – web translation: kick up your feet and enjoy the tour!
  2. No Photography!  Web translation: the pictures here are mine please don’t use them without my permission!

So sit back and have a look around our farm!

We farm 2000 acres of corn and soybeans and have a farrow to finish confinement hog operation where we sell 2000 head of fat hogs a year.  The home farm is a Hoosier Homestead; we are multi-generational farm and are proud to say that our kids will be the 7th generation to farm this same ground if they choose to do so.  I am very proud of this fact in that I also come from a multi-generational farm, my nieces and nephew  will have the opportunity to carry on that farm as well if they choose – so Chris and I both know and understand how special that bond to agriculture is.


This is our primary set of grain bins – it sits on the home farm between our home and my in-laws.  Nearly all the corn we raise is handled thru this facility; our scales to weigh semis, as well as our corn dryer are located here – on an average year apprx. 180 thousand bushels of corn pass thru this facility.   All soybeans that are not sold straight out of the field also pass thru here.  We can store 140,000 bushels of grain (corn or soybeans) here.  The fields we farm are scattered out over Johnson and Shelby County’s and range from 7 acres to 225.


The corn and soybeans we raise are used for a variety of purposes.  We use a portion of our corn in the feed we grind for our hogs, the rest of the corn we sell and haul to National Starch  where it is made into corn starch.  Most of our soybeans are sold and hauled to Bungee in Indianapolis. Bungee has facilities where the soybeans are pressed into bean meal for livestock feed and the oil that was removed is then sold for various end uses such as the vegetable oil we cook with.


Here at our house we also have our cattle barn.  Our “cattle operation” is really just a 4-H project run-a-muck!  We started 7 years ago with the oldest starting 4-H with one steer to test the water and see how she liked it – this year all 3 kids will show, we have 5 cows (all bred), 1 heifer, 1 steer and currently looking for next year’s “show string” – a steer for each kid and two heifers – and least we not forget Luke our adopted dairy calf!


Down the road, west a half mile is our hog barns, shop and 2 more grain bins!  This is where all our hogs are as well as where we work out of.

The hip roof barn in front was originally a dairy barn, we converted it to house our sows during breeding and this is also where we artificially inseminate and naturally breed all our sows.



We have a well equipped shop where we do most of our own repairs on equipment and all our maintenance.  Next to the shop are 2 more grain bins and our feed grinding center.  We grind all our own feed; we grind about 7 different rations (recipes) depending on the age and size of the pigs.

The hog barns are behind the shop, we have 2 farrowing barns where we farrow (pigs are born)  22 sows every 5 weeks.  We have a 2 room nursery barn, when the piglets are weaned at 25 days, weighing from 12-15 pounds.  Each room in the nursery has 10 pens and we sort them by sex and size to allow even competition.  After 60 days in the nursery they move to one of our 2 finishing rooms, this is where they stay until they are ready for market, approximately 280 pounds – it takes about six months from birth for a hog to reach market weight.  The last room in our hog barns is the gestation room; we have enough room for 72 sows in this room.   After breeding we move the bred sows into this barn from the front barn.  This ensures that each sow get her required amount of feed without competition, this minimizes injury and ensures that she is well cared for.

Well there you go – short of a tour of Chris’ office that is our farm!  We love our life and what we do – if you want to read more you can check out my blog and you can also keep up with the farm on Facebook!



Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Mythbusters: Freezing Food

Did you know that September is National Food Safety Education Month?
Periodically this month we will be sharing from their Mythbusters Series to share some lesser known facts about food safety!

Tune in and test your knowledge!


Friday, September 2, 2011

Food For Thought: Last Stop!


After two years of traveling around the Hoosier state, the Food for Thought exhibit will make its last stop of the adventure in Evansville. The exhibit will be visiting the Central Branch of the Evansville-Vanderburgh Public Library from Sept. 10 to Oct. 2, with other events taking place at various branch locations.

 
Stop by the exhibit to learn about Indiana’s unique and growing food culture. In addition to the exhibit, Evansville is offering a variety of classes and activities, ranging from a session about apples to a program on local foods. During the month, visitors can learn how to cook, and even how to make smart, cheap, and healthy grocery decisions!

Remember, this is the exhibit’s very last stop, so this is your final chance to check it out before it finds its permanent home! Get pumped about Evansville’s programming by watching this video. Also, get a preview of all the great events by checking out the schedule below. (All events will take place within the Evansville-Vanderburgh Public Library system.)

  
For adults…
Sept. 12 – Food for Thought: Buying Local Food –
Learn about supporting local food options and buying from local farms.  6:30 p.m. in Meeting Room, North Park Branch, 960 Koehler Dr.  For details, call 812-428-8237.

Sept. 19 – Apples: Fall’s Bounty – Susan Plassmeier, Vanderburgh County Extension Educator, will share apple recipes as well as canning and preserving tips.  6:30 p.m. in Meeting Room, Oaklyn Branch, 3001 Oaklyn Dr.  For details, call 812-428-8234.

Sept. 20 – Dollar Stretcher Series: Eating Healthy on a Budget – Learn how to select healthy foods that fit into your food budget.  6 p.m. in Browning Events Room B, Central Library.  Registration required.  To register, call 812-759-7625.

Sept. 24 – Country Kitchens Remembered – Author Marilyn Kluger joins Jane Jett of the Posey County Extension office in a program on preserving our past in memories and food.  A cookbook exchange will follow.  10 a.m. in Meeting Room, McCollough Branch, 5115 Washington Ave.  For details, call 812-428-8236.

Sept. 27 – Dollar Stretcher Series: Shopping Smart – Learn how to make smart choices at the grocery store, and evaluate how healthy your shopping cart really is.  6 p.m. in Large Group Room, Central Library.  Registration required.  To register, call 812-759-7625.


For teens…

Sept. 12 – Cooking with Mrs. Cookie – Learn about cooking techniques, menu planning, and more.  Plan and cook an entire meal at the end of this series.  3:30 p.m. at East Branch, 840 E. Chandler Ave.  Registration required.  To register, call 812-428-8231.

Sept. 19 – Cooking with Mrs. Cookie – Learn about cooking techniques, menu planning, and more.  Plan and cook an entire meal at the end of this series.  3:30 p.m. at East Branch, 840 E. Chandler Ave.  Registration required.  To register, call 812-428-8231.

Sept. 26 – Cooking with Mrs. Cookie – Learn about cooking techniques, menu planning, and more.  Plan and cook an entire meal at the end of this series.  3:30 p.m. at East Branch, 840 E. Chandler Ave.  Registration required.  To
register, call 812-428-8231.