Something exciting is happening I want to share with you.
Felipe and I are still in Nicaragua(yep, still married) at Rancho Santana. In the time we have been here Felipe and his team have grown our organic gardens, orchards and animal husbandry program into such a dynamic part of the food and beverage department that Oustanding in the Field is coming!
The international pop-up will set up camp at Rancho on January 18th 2020.
I am so proud of Felipe and his accomplishments, as I have always been. If you have spent much time reading this blog you are aware of what an amazingly diligent and creative person he is. I’m elated to see him recogonized in this way.
I have, for the past two years, had the honor of running Rancho’s butchery and milk program We make all kinds of yummy meats and cheeses from Felipe’s animals and his Reyna Criollo cattle’s milk, a breed unique to Nicaragua. You can have a look at what we do on my instagram page sharpbladesharpmind.
This post is dedicated to my friend Larry Prater who died near this time last year. We met here on vsvevg. He loved Felipe and would be very proud of him. He was the best of men and friends. I miss him alot.
When I lived in Chicago, I would leave the restaurant and sometimes see people sifting through the still nourishing food we threw into a vile trash bin; salvaging bits, tainted only because we’d put them in an unsanitary place. We also sent weekly meals to a homeless shelter, but it didn’t assuage the guilt I felt for serving piles of food that few could possibly finish, but to many who would complain if the portions were reduced. Some want their money’s worth, even if it is only to throw it away.
Finally, I have a restaurant job that has solved this dilemma. At La Finca y El Mar all of our waste is sorted: citrus rinds for compost, plate waste for pigs, plastics, glass and cardboard recycled, which creates a significantly decreased trash output .
Felipe comes to the restaurant each morning and collects the food waste bins. The pigs get a diverse and tasty supplement to their feed, his adopted farm dog Lucas, enjoys the pork scraps and bones he and his coworkers pull out of the pig’s portion, the compost benefits from a boost of acidity for our alkaline soil, and I am freed from agonizing over my contribution to waste and indifference.
Self Sustainable. Organic. Farm to Table. Appealing words— admirable concepts. But we seldom consider what it entails to bring such belief systems to fruition; how we navigate the road from farm…to table.
Farmer Chris and Sous Chef Adam on Machete Duty
This week at Rancho Santana’s chicken facility our farm and kitchen staff walked that path.
Felipe and Omar Plucking
Melky and Justin Butchering
Hen to plate.
Sautéed Chicken Liver with Radish, Fennel Frond Salad