The New Header
"The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person who is doing it."
- Chinese proverb
How one home cook welcomes fall     
For Christine Faith, nothing comforts like apples   
She turns them into applesauce; it's easy to do with a crockpot
Local food advocate and urban agriculture educator Christine Faith was between classes at the Galileo School of Math and Science when she agreed to answer some questions about her favorite fall foods, what's happening with several important community food initiatives and what she hopes to see from the newly seated Food Advisory Council in Colorado Springs.    

ON THE FIRST DISH SHE MADE FOR FALL: Split pea soup! I was so looking forward to it. I always add carrots and sweet onions to mine. It's also very important to use a marrow-filled ham bone.

ON WHY SHE LOVES APPLES: Fresh pressed apple cider is one of my favorites of all time. I like apple pie. And I usually make applesauce. If I'm planning to can it, I cook it down in a big sauce-pan, but if we're eating it right away I just do it in the crockpot. I add honey, a little butter, some cloves and a cinnamon stick, and then some fresh lemon juice or verjuice. Verjuice is made by pressing green grapes; it's a vinegar substitute for when you need something acidic. It goes back to medieval times, but it's also local to this region.

ON HER APPROACH TO FOOD: I eat paleo. I eat as many greens as I can, and smaller amounts of meat, and lots of fruits and vegetables. Everybody's different. That's what works for me.

ON WHAT RANCH FOODS DIRECT BRINGS TO THE LOCAL FOOD SCENE: They've brought a lot of momentum to the local food movement. When they lean in, things move. If they determine something's a priority, it happens. That's refreshing.
ON THE ANNUAL POOPAPALOOZA MANURE DISTRIBUTION EVENT: I think it's a fantastic way to take what is essentially a waste stream and bring it into our community in a way that benefits urban agriculture and also helps to support the needs of the community as a whole.

ON WHY THE PUBLIC MARKET PROJECT IS IMPORTANT: I think it's a way to bring our local food community together to have more collaborative retail power. When you are a small producer like I am, you're a tiny, tiny piece of the market, but when we have many small producers in one place we're not so insignificant anymore. It's about critical mass.

ON THE NEW FOOD ADVISORY COUNCIL: It has good diverse representation. I think because of the expertise and the genuine passion of the folks involved, they can wrestle with an issue and come up with workarounds or new ideas or bring something to the community that isn't here yet. They can pave the way and make recommendations to best support those on the ground who are working daily on critical food-related issues.

Christine Faith is a local food advocate, avid home gardener, certified science teacher and author of the award winning Right to Thrive blog. At Galileo School, she oversees the farmers market and the junior master gardeners program. She was on the steering committee that helped to establish the local Food Advisory Council.

Colorado grown heritage apples (those are honey crisp apples from Austin Farms, above) pie pumpkins, fresh pueblo chilies and lots of other wonderful fall produce! Remember, pork goes great with apples. Check out the "Pig Pool" option at Ranch Foods Direct. Pricing and info below. 
Colorado Springs Public Market announces new home
The Colorado Springs Public Market has announced that it will be launching a fresh and prepared food marketplace in the former Payne Chapel, a landmark city structure built in 1893. Located at 320 South Weber, just southeast of the heart of downtown, the Public Market will join the growing corridor of activity between the Pioneer's Museum and the Gill Center and bring fresh food to the core of Colorado Springs.

The Public Market, which is planning an early 2016 opening, is one of several recent initiatives aimed at increasing local food production and consumption.

Ranch Foods Direct will have a presence in the new building once it's up and running. 
CLICK HERE to read the full news release.

Mike Callicrate applauds arrival of Local Food Shift magazine's first full edition

Ranch Foods Direct owner Mike Callicrate, right, was among the local food enthusiasts who gathered to celebrate the inaugural 160-page edition of Local Food Shift magazine during a special launch party in September. The "nutrient dense" magazine rolled off the presses following a successful online fundraising campaign that brought in more than $12,000 to support the effort. Held at a newly established food cooperative in a West Denver neighborhood, the event gave supporters like Mike a chance to speak about why they consider the new magazine so important.

To make his point, Mike brought to the gathering's attention a recent news item about the controversial sale of a 60,000-acre ranch that had originally been gifted to the University of Wyoming and Colorado State University for educational and research purposes. Instead, the colleges sold the historic Y Cross Ranch, defending their decision by saying that in 18 years of operation the ranch had generated a net income of barely $235,000, whereas by selling it they received $14.4 million to place in an endowment to fund university programs.

"If universities teaching agriculture can't make the ranch work, wouldn't it be nice if they had at least shared that with Americans and let them know that there's something wrong in rural America?" Mike said. "Wouldn't it have been nice if Americans would have been told, even as recently as 20 years ago, that the food system was broken? If they'd known, maybe they would have responded differently. Instead they've been kept in the dark about what a struggle it is to produce food in this country."

"Local Food Shift is a hopeful sign that maybe we can get the real story told," he continued. "(Publisher) Michael Brownlee, thanks to you and your team, hopefully soon more people will know the truth. Most Americans simply don't have the information they need to act responsibly and make informed choices when they buy their food."

The premier issue of the magazine includes articles on food democracy and food sovereignty as well as profiles of local farmer-chefs and a section called Local Food at Home, filled with cooking advice and recipes, introduced and compiled by Colorado Springs' own Nanna Meyer. Mike Callicrate, a guest contributor, reviews the film, Merchants of Doubt. Subscriptions to the beautiful quarterly are available at LocalFoodShift.pub. You can also visit the website to read the articles online. Or pick up a copy at Ranch Foods Direct.

Renovations underway at the new east-side location

Renovations are currently underway on a new Ranch Foods Direct retail store that will open inside the food distribution warehouse at 4635 Town Center Dr. In addition, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack recently announced that among nearly $35 million in new grant funding to support local and regional food systems, USDA would be making a $100,000 contribution to Ranch Foods Direct for establishing a commercial kitchen inside the warehouse. The creation of kitchen facilities will expand the company's ability to preserve and distribute local food products and enhance its role as a food hub for Southern Colorado.

Ranch Foods Direct will have more exciting updates in the weeks ahead.

Timeless bread made with ancient grains   
Shawn Saunders, owner of the Sourdough Boulangerie, introduces bread made from Einkorn and Emmer flours    
Shawn Saunders, right, makes fresh breads for Ranch Foods Direct daily. He recently began researching two traditional varieties of wheat -- Einkorn and Emmer, also known as farro -- that are among the first plants ever to be domesticated and cultivated. These much-sought-after but exceedingly rare grains are considered healthier than modern wheat varieties and easier to digest. This is especially important for those who are gluten sensitive or diabetic. Shawn purchases the grains in whole form from a farmer-owned cooperative and has them milled in a traditional stone grinder. The flours are then made into breads using real sourdough starter and no commercial yeast. "My customers are very excited about these new products," Shawn notes. Get yours today at Ranch Foods Direct, along with other artisan breads, cinnamon rolls, muffins, dessert bars and more. To visit Shawn's Facebook page, CLICK HERE.  
Get by to see Lorena before the season ends   
Lorena's Azteca Gourmet tamales are made with love...   
...and now feature beef and chicken by Ranch Foods Direct
  Slow-cooked, shredded Callicrate Beef and chicken will be available at the Colorado Farm and Art Market on Wednesdays and Saturdays through Oct. 10... tucked inside the gourmet tamales handmade by local food artisan Lorena Jakubczak, owner of Azteca Gourmet and well-known vendor at the seasonal Colorado-only farmers market.
Lorena introduced her Callicrate Beef tamale a week ago during the farmers market at the old Ivywild School and sold out. This past week she sold out even faster with her beef and newly introduced chicken tamales.
"There's such a huge difference between regular supermarket beef and Ranch Foods Direct. The taste, the texture... Changing the meat makes all the difference. The Callicrate Beef was so tender! We didn't even have to shred it! It was like butter," she says.
"People really appreciate that we are getting our meat from Ranch Foods Direct," she adds.
Lorena's beef and chicken tamales weigh in at a hefty 10 ounces. The beef recipe that debuts at  Saturday's market contains four different dried peppers and authentic hand-ground Oaxacan cocoa. All of her authentic style tamales are based on original family recipes she and her sisters grew up making with their mother in Southern Mexico. In fact, Lorena brought her mother from Mexico to Colorado Springs to help her fine-tune her meat tamale recipes. "We cooked every day she was here," Lorena says.
At the market, Lorena also offers unique dessert tamales in flavors like pumpkin pie and apple.
The Colorado Farm and Art Market has only three more markets remaining in the season. Saturdays, you can find the markets at the Margarita at Pine Creek restaurant from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; Wednesdays at the Ivywild School, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., through Saturday, October 10. Locally grown peppers and tomatoes are particularly abundant this fall! Stop by the outdoor market and enjoy the festive atmosphere before the season ends.