Search

The Wandering Market

From farm to folk.

Profit for Passion 

We’ve become so accustomed to standardized food that I am always surprised by the difference one harvest to the next can bring. This must be a new phenomenon. I imagine people would have traditionally lived in a state of wait and see what grows, rather than I’ll go to the grocery store and have sub par everything all the time. 

It’s been an amazing year for Saskatoon berries and apples so far. Deliciously large and sweet. We shall be enjoying their abundance all winter long. I know that it will most likely mean that next years harvest will be scarce. Radishes sucked this year. Too much rain split them.  I’m ok with that. It’s the flow of nature and I’m excited to see what will be the new abundance. It reminds me to enjoy what is here, now as everything has its season. 

Moving forward with the wandering market has really taught me to go with this natural flow. There’s been times when hail has smashed expected foods or many of the the cherries get frost on their blossoms and the prices skyrocket or animals suddenly die. Sometimes a farmer can’t meet me becuase the cows got out or a pig is on the loose. I’m in awe of how we have been able to deal with each situation as it arises. That’s what farmers do so naturally but us others, we don’t really understand the variables. I’m learning. I’m also learning how to paint the picture for people so they can be a part of it too. 

I love doing this. It wakes me up and whispers to me “cabbbbbbbage.”. The support from people this past year has taken a small buying group and turned it into a full blown business. I’ve had to brace myself and breathe through many fears of paperwork, taxes, trying to make a profit while still payin food producers fairy, obtaining business licenses, driving a trailer home with zero experience and mostly… eliminating my fear of disappointing people. I’ll do my best and it’s pretty damned good most of the time. I hope that I’ll inspire a few people along the way to start their own thing. I’ve had so many inspirational people that have kept me going and made this possible. I think that’s been the main thing: listening to the new ways to stay motivated and inspired. The technical problems can all be solved, but if we can’t conquer our own fears and hesitations… We aren’t going to achieve much. 

I realized today that maybe a businesses passion can be seen in the way they spend their profits. What are the profits funding? This business profits have gone towards a beautiful collection of coolers to keep the foods cool and fresh, a new trailers to haul the amazing food, a clean office space to organize the orders, jars, papers and more. Our next big purchase will be a large refrigerated trailer. You’re a part of this. Each person that has purchased from us has helped build this to where it’s at and where we are going. I am so grateful.  It’s what I think about: How to do more and get the good food out to people with efficiency, care and love for the farmers. 

How are we doing? 

Deeper Meanings

I’m sitting here feeling totally immersed in emotion over The Tragically Hip’s last ever concert. I can’t help but relate it to my own life and journey through providing food for people from local farms. 

The band is into their third encore at this point, going beyond what is necessary. 

I want to live my life like that. Completely giving myself over to the talent and the passions for the people, as if today could be our last. It could be. 

I know what that feels like to feel so much a part of something that you would rip out your own heart and gift it on a plate to people. 

Life is short as it is, even without a death sentence. 

I want to spend it listening and answering the call of free ranged chickens clucking and garden tomatoes ripening. I want to inspire others to the tastes and pleasures of the earth and have them be supported and nourished by it. I want to see the producers of these wonderful foods, in their elements but without all the worry and stress of trying to make a living wage. 

We grow stronger and more united by this every day. I’m here to relay that message to you.

I’ve put myself out there so much  in the last year and it’s scared the shit out of me! Scarier than failure is the fear of success I think. With each success brings on a levelling up and new responsibilities. These responsibilities aren’t just things to do. It’s livelihoods. It’s people’s homes and ability to provide for themselves and continue on making the good food.

There was so much that I was not prepared for when I started putting together food boxes. I had to decide that I was actually doing this and then go full force taking a deep breath every two seconds and just pushin through. We can do this. I have to reconnect and recommit to that every day. It means so much to me and I’m so humbled by the amount of people wanting to do this! 

Even the small changes we make as individuals, adds to the  collective and it makes a difference. What we do and eat in our every day lives matters. No matter how small it may seem, know that that one egg or string bean, was picked and carried to you, for you by a real hand. Someone with ideas and dreams and thoughts. A person. 

I can see that this is building up to something. These are the days that we will look back to with nostalgic fondness.

What are you doing that connects you?  

Prairie Pearl Homestead: Supporting the farm. 

This is a big project and we need your help. 

The Prairie Pearl Homestead is hoping to sell their pasture raised lamb through individuals rather than take them to market where the animals end up in a feed lot and the Pearls end up not making a profit. 

We have eighty lambs to sell for them. 

When we first started out on this last year, I was surprised that so many people we’re opposed to eating lamb and so I asked why. The two main reasons: people don’t know how to cook it and some think they are eating little fuzzy babies. This isn’t the case. The animals are over 100 lbs as shown in the picture below. 


I have a few ideas to get these sold.

1. We put lamb in the food boxes. We can do that! We can also provide some amazing recipes to easily cook lamb.

2. People purchase lamb bags for $120 for 10 lbs. 

3. People can purchase wholes and halves at $6 lb hanging weight plus $100 butcher fee. Works out to approx $300-$400 per lamb. 

4. New idea for the entrepreneurs: if anyone is wanting to take on selling Prairie Pearl Homestead lamb as a project, I will forfeit my $1 lb and give it to anyone that can sell (or buy themselves) 5 or more lambs and they can keep the money for their efforts. ❤️ 

This would also work as a bulk buy for groups of people. 

Here’s our order form for more info. 

Lamb order form

That was Last year. 

And this is this year…

So lush in the night. 

These animals have an amazing life. ❤️


Prairie Pearl Homestead on fb
Jen and her tiny potatoes:



And Brian is going to hate me for sharing this selfie he sent me…. 😂

I wish I could remember what this was in reference to. 

Ground Pastured Pork: ten tasty uses for it.


I use to avoid ground pork. I didn’t know what to do with it and I had no idea how delicious and nutritious it could be. 

When we started ordering full pastured hogs, I had to figure out what to do with it as we had soo much. 

It’s a very cost effective meat, so I would love to encourage you to use it and I want to share with you what I do with ground pork. ❤️

1. Wonton soup. Omg. Homemade wonton soup is one of the best things ever. Sometimes I even make it without the wrappers and just the seasoned meat and it’s still amazing. We add hot sauce too! 

2. Fried Wontons

3. Pork fried rice

4. Pasta with ground pork meat sauce. 

5. Meatballs! Italian or sweedish? 

6. Breakfast sausage patties! With maple syrup…. Soooo good. 

7. Creamy Squash and ground pork soup. Or another type of soup? Italian tomato?

8. Meat pies!!!!

9. Meatloaf.

10. Empanadas, burritos, tacos! 

Other ideas from awesome local food lovers:

11. Cabbage rolls!

12. Seasoned spicy and on pizza! 

13. In everything! (Lol)

14. Hamburgers! 

15. Souvalki with tzazitki ! 

16. Mixed with wild meat to add moisture.

17. Scotch eggs!  

Do you have any ground pork recipes to share?

Letting go.

I had an epiphany today. I’ve spent the last seven weeks telling myself to let it go and find peace and acceptance. That it didn’t matter that a friends husband was aggressively copying and competing with my business in an unethical and totally self-centered manner. Other people told me to let it go too and that I’d do fine regardless. That may be true but today I realized that my being consumed with it is natural. Of course I’m going to be outraged when my deepest passion and drive is threatened! My heart pumps and beats to the sound of homegrown Prairie Pearl Homestead potatoes being chopped. I wake up and bounce out of bed when I remember my Purpose for the day; to head out to a farm and facilitate the good food. So, I think I can absolutely be bothered by people copying what I’ve started and worked so hard on and turning it into the exact thing I wanted to avoid by doing this: capitalism, exploitation, franchise, greed, dishonesty. 

I believe in the foods so much that I want them to get out more and more but I don’t think it has to be that way. We should never facilitate our passions out of desperation. If this is indeed his passion, which I highly doubt it. I feel so sick and sad about the whole thing. I still go to text her or call as we always did so often and then I remember everything that has happened and that we aren’t friends anymore and it makes me suppress the salty tears. But it’s ok. I guess it has to be for now because today I realized that it is ok for me to feel angry and sad as I watch and hear that the people that use to be good friends are going to farmers and are talking them down to the lowest price possible and then the products are marked up to the highest possible rates in the form of food boxes where no one knows the actual value of what they are getting and they aren’t allowed to know where a lot of the foods are coming from.  So many people have told me they feel cheated or ripped off and it makes me cringe. We do not have to fear our sources being taken away because we shared them. I can not possibly and personally feed everyone, but I can pass on a name and inspire others to source some food too. People will still buy what they need from me and they will be closer and closer to having pantries and freezers loaded with the good local food! It’s also better for the food producers if we pass on a name and they get more business. We don’t need to be afraid of such things. I want all deception to stop but I can’t control what other people do. There is no reason that we can’t share sources or that we should make as much or more than the food producers! It’s not our sweat and blood and tears and being tied down every. Single. Hour. To the farm. I want to scream but instead I’ll grab some local carrots and munch them to death. 

We are just the messengers of the good food and it is a big responsibility. People are desperate for good food and will pay and that must not be exploited. The farmers are so vulnerable as they try to compete and struggle to make enough off their food to live and that must be recognized and honoured. It’s very serious and this will all end farm by farm if we sit back and watch it happen. We need to encourage and build up our farmers instead of interrogating them about their input costs and time. We need to offer them more instead of asking them for their wholesale prices and what their bottom line is and then call it negotiating! It’s negotiating the death of the family farm. Every year I hear of some of my favourite food producers getting out of some food that I have loved because it’s not profitable. It’s heart breaking when you consider the alternatives. 

 I often think that it would be so much easier to just buy from superstore but then I remember. I remember the food lacking in flavour and nutrients with the huge cost to the environment and the terrible treatment of animals and the earth. And it’s not worth it. I’d rather push on, talking to farmers and food consumers to find a way to make it work. We have to. If we can’t feed ourselves, then what are we?!?

With this business, I know it’s so important for me to stay humble and pay myself a reasonable wage for sourcing food so that the farmer gets paid decent and the consumer can afford to eat the good food. With this power (amazing food trend) comes great responsibility not to exploit people. 

I know I can’t control what other people do. We are each responsible for what we do. But that doesn’t mean I can’t tell my story or speak up about things I disagree with, especially as I hear that it’s still going on. And I do feel that it’s harmful and it hurts me. And that’s ok. I feel like not trying to be ultra spiritual has freed me to let go. Sometimes we gotta feel and use it to motivate us to do good. Because we are all faced with human emotion and conflictions. We are all faced with the possibility to do wrong. We can make good choices. Do good things. Even if our first thought was not good. We can work through it. Peace to you on your own non-peaceful journeys.

❤️farm to folk. -Nadine 

I see more and more that as we share and be open and honest, the more successful I am. We don’t have to hide and cheat to get our needs met. Because one of our deepest needs as humans is to live in harmony and community with one another. Without this sharing, we are not expressing what it means to be human. 
*picture is of Prairie Pearl Homestead pig bums and a chicken in their new grassed area that they are quickly digging up. 😆*

Working with Farmers; thoughts. 

   

 I forced myself not to do food boxes this week. I worried I was letting people down or that I would lose customers but I knew it had to be done if I wanted to be able to be of good service 
It was starting to feel too fast on the road and too crowded in my office. I was quickly picking up food from farms and headed on to the next place flying by the seat of my pants. I can’t lose that connection of being able to have coffee and words and deep frying doughnuts spontaneously. 

Look at those yolks! The batter is totally coloured by yolks only!

  
  
  
I have to admit that with The Front Door starting to sell food boxes in the area, I thought I had to do more and be bigger and better. I’m glad I saw it before it killed me. I was able to step outside of it and consider what really matters. 

Getting good food to people along with working with farmers so they get a fair enough wage to make the work worth it. This is not an easy task. It’s very hard to compete with big business that have endless resources and cheap or free (machines) labour. This week, I’ve reminded some of my farmer friends that their work is so valuable and that they can charge grocery store prices or more. Whatever they need to pay for their inputs. Becuase if we don’t do this, the good food will be short lived and we will be back where we started with few options and most of them make me feel like I’m going to die. We need options. 

So, I’ve spent the week organizing, cleaning, preparing, staring into my children’s eyes as they speak and hanging out with friends who just happen to be producing amazing food. I love how the “farmers” are friends. I love how I’ve been able to work with them in a way that works for them, for me and for the customers. 

We’ve been able to work it so it’s not a simple me purchasing from them system but rather we can access what needs to happen on a much broader scale. Sometimes what they need is a good meal because they’ve been stuck in a barn or the field for 16 hours to produce food they may not get a chance to eat. Sometimes it is them telling me they have 90 dozen eggs and they need to move them, and so I take them and find a market for eggs. It’s all about listening to what wants to happen. Selling food hasn’t really been that hard. It’s something everybody needs. People have been very receptive to understand that we need to eat the abundance  and not expect to have everything all the time. Eating the abundance is essential to eating as locally as possible. We eat potatoes until we are so sick of them that the sight of potatoes makes us want to run. And then just like that, potatoes are done and the new abundance of fresh spring greens is exciting and so satisfying! You really feel the beautiful and miraculous shifts and changes of nature when you eat what is available. Along with coffee, chocolate and olive oil. 😉 

So, I’m excited for what’s next. I’m looking forward to pitching my tent in yards where chickens and baby pigs roam freely like at Sloughbottom Pastures and Prairie Pearl Homestead last year. I’m delighted by the idea of all the unexpected people that will come together for this amazing cause: GOOD FOOD. Because  food is life! If we don’t have good food to sustain and nourish us. What do we have? 

  
Here’s a picture of Clarissa’s broccoli because eating locally grown, buttery, not-sprayed broccoli in the winter makes me feel blessed. 
*Pictures of chickens and doughnuts: taken at Andrea’s. Or as we call her “On-it-Andrea” because she’s such a go getter and gets right on it.* 

Uni-Power

  
  

I look at this picture and for the first time ever, I love my growing in Uni-brow. 
I started growing it (mostly out of forgetful laziness) but then justified by a certain power that needed to be harnessed within me. This goes back to those first shamings in junior high when the boys teased me about my excess facial hair on the first day of school. I went home that night and hacked away at it through tears from the blinding pain of ripping hairs from sensitive skin. It was only to please them that judged me and I continued to do it for 21 years. The shamings went on as an adult from past friends and boyfriends. As soon as it would start to grow in, the readings would commence. Sometimes It started even before the first signs of it. I wonder if they were afraid of how they would feel towards me if I were to be my natural, hairy self. It’s a strange thing. 
Now, as I look at my two young daughters I see the same strong traits of when Norweigans breed with Native people and I notice this uni-brow appearing in them as well. I think back and consider that there must have been many women before us who wore their faces proud and furry. I wonder how my daughters will feel about it in the future and I hope I can provide them with the circumstances that allow them to choose to uni or not, based on their own desires and not someone else’s. 
As I am allowing it to grow, I sit and stir and feel the discomfort of wondering if someone is staring at it as we talk. 😂The uni-brow is teaching me a lot. I have learned to feel comfort in the discomfort. I recommend mastering this comfortable discomfort as its the best survival skill possible. 

Uni-power to me! And to two eyebrows or no eyebrows or painted eyebrows or caterpillars or tattoo-brows or you cut your butt hairs and glued them to your face brow or whatever you desire … power to you!
  
  
 Beautiful uni-brow girls. 

Meeting the Challenges. 

  

These last few weeks have been very challenging and I’m worried that it’s starting to show in how I deal. That’s me. Hiding under a table after bagging over two thousand pound of fresh nuts and fruit in combination with tryin to sort out some major conflict with some people I care deeply about and it’s concerning the thing dearest to me: the local food movement. 

 I keep telling myself to wait and struggle on because it’s in the hard times that we grow and get better. 

I like these hard times for one thing: it helps me really understand and see people. It heightens what really matters. I get how hard it is for everyone and I just want to curl up in an armchair, with a bulletproof coffee, in front of them and let their stories wash over me. 

It’s during these times that I learn to be slow and thoughtful and patient with other people when they need to cancel an order or make changes or forget to pay me. 😂

Our stories are so important. We all want to be heard and considered. I think it’s part of what really defines us as humans. 

My story lately is that I’ve made A LOT of mistakes in the past few weeks and it leaves me wondering what the heck am I doing?  Does it matter? Do I care? What’s next?

Obviously I do if the mistakes upset me so much, I care so much. 

It’s time to get back to the basics. Simplify. 

What’s important? 

To be connected. 

How do I become connected? 

By listening to what wants to happen and doing it. What wants to happen is farmers with eggs, cabbage to shred, food to move, chickens to butcher, poop to shovel, gardens to plant and on and on. 

The purpose becomes becomes apparent to me when I see and hear from people and they tell me what these foods mean to them. Of course! These foods mean everything to me. They are the soil, the earth, the sky and the rain. They are what dreams and a good life are made of. They facilitate it all; life. I remember how different these foods are when I visit the boxed goods at coop. They are so easy and tempting yet they always let me down with lacking in flavour and excelling in making me feel like crap. 

I never thought it would be so much work to move another persons hard work. I often think about the work with so many steps involved in the food. 

I look down at a stick of butter at the grocery store… Even at $7 lb I wonder how so much could go into something for so little. A farmer with only a few cows could get only a few lbs of butter a day. How can they compete with the feed lots of thousands and the machines to process it all? And at what cost does this happen? Handmade food is so sacred. 

I was at the grocery store the other day and was consumed by both how expensive food is and how cheap it is at the same time! 

If you actually think about what something is, from its origin to its end, you begin to wonder how one can even put a price on it. It seems ridiculously cheap as you hold a kilo of bacon and yoi consider all the hands of farmers and food handlers as well as all the animals and industrial stuff involved. It’s a life you hold in your hand and it’s on sale for $7.99. The shrimp rings are $12.99 and that’s like twenty lives!  But then I think about how much of each product/life we need to survive and it feels expensive. I don’t know what’s the truth and what the answer is but I know it is ok to continue on with what I do know and just keep improving on that. 

I know that supporting the farmers is good. Supporting them means paying what they ask, or more, because most farmers aren’t asking enough to pay themselves more than wayyyyyyy below minimum wage. Are they super vulnerable people to have to compete with the big guys? And they work sooooo hard, to the point of fall down exhaustion at the end of every day. Maybe we can find a way to make it a little easier. Maybe we can lend a hand and enjoy all the beautiful food that comes with it. These simple things are the reasons we are here; to be a part of what is happening. To wake up and ask what needs to be done today. I’m ready. Are you?  

 

*Green Sister Garden Greens*

Happening Thoughts

It’s late and I’m feeling nutty because I been nut baggin’ 1500 lbs of nuts and dried fruity fruit. 

My husband is possibly allergic to pecans and I always feel so scandalous when I bag those nuts while he is at work. I try to make sure there’s no evidence. Of pecans. 

Im lying in bed while the images of nuts dance through my head…I’m thinking and wondering what’s next. I am thinking about all of the people getting involved with the local food movement. The ones just starting and pursuing new ventures as well as the ones established. 

So much has happened in the last while and I’ve learned so much about what it means to be more than just a business and to be a part of a community. I’ve learned that my actions are very much more important than my words. And that I need to work hard to be accountable to the words. I like this. 

I’ve learned that I can trust and not feed the fears. I take deep breaths and go against what seems to be my human nature. But maybe it’s not human nature to immediately feel the pull to take for myself and only consider me? It does come up, and I wonder if all people experience the greedy need first and then rationalize and exude love and make good choices. I’ve discovered that my initial reaction, when not pure, only requires deep breathing and trust. If it comes up as a bad, pit in stomach feeling, then I need to do the extreme opposite of what it tells me. I have the stomache pit and want to keep sources a secret when someone asks where I get something? I turn that into share all the sources!!! Someone can’t prepay and says they will pick up their perishable food that you imagine melting and becoming instantly infested with maggots because in your mind they don’t pick it up? Trust all the people! Someone changes their mind and says they can’t afford a food box right now and you worry how you’ll sell it and the stomache pit comes back because maybe they just really hate you? Give free food boxes to the people! 

Ok, I’m being toooooo nutty now if that’s possible. So long as it’s fresh from the farm nutty. 

I’ve discovered that I can put people first. Always. I can be flexible. I can give to those unable to provide for themselves at this time. I can refund someone’s money becuase they are pregnant and everything makes them sick. The further I go into listening and responding to what people want, the more successful I am. I realizing that the more I share (from the right place), the more I have. I can pass on someone’s contact to purchase their own local food bulk order even if it means I don’t directly profit with cash. Because  I mean, the cash just gives me a feeling and what if I could Just directly access and go to that feeling and bypass the cash?  

  

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.