FPP Newsletter: July 1, 2015

Celebrating the 4th with a BBQ!

Not that we need an excuse — but it’s a perfect time to host a BBQ! We spend many days outside grilling up veggies this time of year, but with the 4th around the corner you can bet we will be celebrating the holiday by hosting a bbq with friends on our block. Don’t forget to check your shopping list this weekend and be sure you have everything you need for your July 4th celebrations. We’ve put together a box ideal for grilling and sharing!
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Newsletter: June 25, 2015

FPP Welcomes The Neighborhood Garden

This week, we welcome The Neighborhood Garden, an organic Co-op in Jacksonville that was started by Melissa Garnier in 2009. We are excited for both members and delivery coordinators to join our FPP family. What does this mean to the rest of Jacksonville? We’ve expanded our territory. For each new member you refer to us, we will credit your account $10 — to spend any way you’d like!
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The Heat is On!

The temperature outside has turned up and there is no escaping it from here on out. To keep your produce staying fresh at your doorstep, be sure to leave a cooler out on delivery days. We request that the cooler is large enough to fit the entire box and it’s contents inside. The waxed cardboard helps insulate the veggies and keep them cooler for longer.

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Zucchini Lasagna with Beef & Mushrooms

Originally posted on Laureen the Cooking Queen:

I posted this so-so photo of the lasagna I made last night, inspired by a Skinnytaste recipe. After many requests for the recipe, here’s my adaptation!

Do not be fooled by the fact that the original recipe is Skinnytaste. As you may know by now, I love cheese. So I was compelled to add extra cheese. Not sorry.

Make sure you salt the zucchini slices, laid out on paper towels. Pat them dry after 15 minutes. If you skip this step, you’ll have lasagna stew because zucchini is full of water.

Use any type of ground meat you like – I used half a pound of venison and half a pound of beef sirloin. Turkey…Italian sausage…it will all work great!

I shortcut the sauce by using jarred. 6pm on a Monday after a full day of work is no time to make your own sauce, so pull out the jar…

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FPP Newsletter: June 17, 2015

Supporting Real Food Can Get Ugly

Wow, did you know that the USDA estimates that food waste in the United States is between 30 to 40 percent of the food supply?* YIKES! Our local organic farmers estimate that they lose approximately 20% of their edible produce (organic tomatoes can be up to 75%) because it’s “ugly”! Perfectly edible crops are just left in the fields to rot due to their failure to meet our expectations of physical appearance even though it contains the same nutritional value and taste the same as the runway model version. It may be misshaped, have some hungry bug bite holes, blemished, or may be too big in size or too small.
Americans’ seemingly harmless discrimination against ugly veggies has really made a mess of some things. By insisting on visual perfection, not only do we cheat ourselves out of taste and variety, but we have less food to feed our nation’s hungry and the increased food waste in our landfills contributes to greenhouse gases in our environmentIn addition, if we understand the basic principle of supply and demand — we know that the less items for sale, the more the items will cost.
 CantaloupeSidexsideWe are pleased that using programs like FPP (versus selling to high end grocery stores) can decrease average losses for our farmers because our customers have a better understanding of “real” food. The picture above is a cantaloupe from one of our organic farmers. This cantaloupe had firm, juicy flesh and tasted amazing when we cut into it. However, it may have been one of the “rejects” from the mainstream grocery store. Go us!
While we are firm believers in supporting our local farms and reducing their losses we sure don’t want to serve anyone rotten or inedible produce. During the summer months growing and toting produce can get tricky in Florida, but we provide you 100% satisfaction, guaranteed. If you receive an item that is inedible, call or email us at fp@frontporchpickings.com within 24 hours of your delivery and we will gladly make it right for you!
The question is… What can we do help keep our food supply sustainable?
  • Reconsider your beauty standards for fruits and veggies: Rotten is rotten, but a bruise or a blemish shouldn’t be a death sentence. Once you chop it up — your dish will taste the same!
  • Use retailers that donate their leftover food instead of putting into the dumpster: Here at FPP, if we have extras our employees take it home and then we donate to organizations that feed less fortunate families.
  • Use a meal planner to reduce your own household waste: In 2010, it was estimated that food was the largest single source of waste in California, making up 15.5 percent it’s waste stream.** We’ve created a planner to help! FPP-MenuPlanner3
  • Customize your delivery: If you’ve tried Okra and decided its just not for you be sure to remove it from your delivery instead of letting it go bad in your refrigerator.
  • Store your produce properly to maximize shelf life: During the summer we find that produce is far more stressed after picking due to the heat and proper storage is even more important. Be sure to hydrate produce as necessary and use your crisper drawers correctly. In addition, check your refrigerator temperatures using an appliance thermometer, setting it at 40 degrees or less.
  • Educate Others: Help to remove the stigma associated with “ugly” produce and teach others what you have learned. Here is a great video for more information on the global issue. Your jaw will drop at minute 6 when you see just how many bananas one farm throws away in a day because the bananas do not have the “right” curvature:
* http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentid=2013/06/0112.xml
** http://californiawatch.org/health-and-welfare/food-waste-remains-persistent-problem-farms-grocery-stores-and-restaurants
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FPP Newsletter: June 10, 2015

Getting to Know Happy-Go-Lucky Foods’ Co-Owner, Jenna Kranz

We can’t tell you how exciting it is for us to be adding more items to our store. Last week, we met with the super fun-loving Jenna Kranz, co-owner of Happy-Go-Lucky Foods. We knew it was a match made in heaven within minutes of meeting her! Not only do the granola bars and hummus taste amazing, but she’s super conscious about what goes into her products. Baking with as much organic ingredients as possible, she and her partner, John, create small-batch artisan goods and specialize in vegan and gluten-free happiness! Get to know Happy-Go-Lucky by reading our interview below.

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When did you start creating and selling granola bars and other artisan goods? We started selling granola bars under Florida Cottage Law in December of 2013. The “company” didn’t have a name because it was a winter break experiment. We sold out the first time we went to the farmers market, and I just couldn’t believe it. So we kept at it and named the company Happy-Go-Lucky Granola. We kept adding varieties, tweaking the recipes, and offering seasonal flavors. We didn’t add hummus until July of 2014 when we were fully licensed and cooking out of a commercial facility. Then, funny enough, we had to change the name because we just didn’t sell granola bars anymore. We’re now Happy-Go-Lucky Foods, and the rest is delicious history.

Where did you learn how to cook? Was there a special person who inspired you in the kitchen? I’m a self-taught cook. I’ve always been a tinkerer in the kitchen, for as long as I can remember anyway. I started watching the Food Network when I was 12, and have been a foodie my whole life. My parents always said that I would choose going out to dinner over a new toy. What five year old does that? As for John, his mother is a fantastic baker. He learned from her, but now he can teach her a thing or two. I think he loves that.

Why is the use of organic, gluten, and dairy free ingredients important to you? The ingredients we use are more than just important. I think they reflect our ethos as a company. Our slogan, “…for the conscious foodie,” isn’t just a tagline. It’s how we choose to eat and want people to feel good about the food they’re eating. We use as many organic ingredients as we can and we like to support other small businesses along the way by buying our stuff from them. As, as for the vegan side of things, we know a lot of vegans that always say they have trouble finding treats they genuinely love to eat. We’re happy to fill that void. We’re proud of what we do.

What is your favorite part about living in the Daytona Beach area? I love being able to garden year-round and walk to the beach.  And I really love my community and especially my farmers market. I love the people I’ve met and am proud to be a Daytona Beach resident. I said “love” a lot. I’m OK with that.

Do you have a special recipe you’d like to share with our FPP Customers? I have so many recipes I love. I’m a food blogger for fun and have buily up quite the library. I think my new favorite is a curried roasted sweet potato soup. Here’s the link: http://deliciousdaydreams.com/2015/02/19/freakin-5-star-restaurant-curried-sweet-potato-and-coconut-milk-soup/

If you know a great local business making amazing products, please contact us at fp@frontporchpickings.com. Continue reading

FPP Newsletter: June 3, 2015

Stocking up on Summer’s Harvest!

Now is the time of the year that tomatoes are plentiful in North Florida. We saw miles of tomato plants on this week’s farm run to Hoover Organic Farm. And that’s good news if you like to make your own sauce! We are stocking up — This week we’ve added Canning Tomatoes by the bushel under the “Bulk Items” tab and Kristy from Jones Family Jams has graciously helped us with a step by step tutorial on preserving diced tomatoes (See “Veggie Unearthed” below).
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In addition to tomatoes, blueberries are now bursting with flavor and in full swing at Harriett’s Bluff Organic Blueberry Farm of Woodbine, GA. Prices have dropped and we have added blueberries by the flat to the store. Freezing blueberries is super simple and gives you the opportunity to use the local organic berries for months to come. We pop them into smoothies for a berry delicious morning (excuse the pun) or eat the frozen berries as an after dinner snack.
If your interested in receiving other items in bulk, please contact us at fp@frontporchpickings.com. Continue reading

Newsletter: May, 27 2015

FPP to Start Delivering Eggs & Cheese!

Good news for all those folks who have been patiently waiting for our new certification. We are now able to add dairy to our online store! We spent hours this week chatting with farmers and producers and are excited to introduce Wainsright Dairy Cheese (Pasteurized and Raw) and Lake Natural Meadows Free Range Eggs (non-GMO) this week. We know many of you have been waiting! We will be adding more products to our store over the next few weeks.
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Lake Meadows Naturals

Lake Meadows Natural, located in Ocoee, FL, is owned and farmed by Dale Volkert. Dale moved to Central Florida in 2000 and purchased the property on Lake Meadow.The day the property closed, chickens were delivered in honor of his father — 44 years to the date of his father’s first flock delivery. He even received the chickens from the same hatchery.

Dale started small, giving away most eggs to his friends and selling some through Local Harvest. All the chickens are free-range, roaming pastures and eating bugs! He feeds good quality, vegeterian feed and does not use antibiotics. With his passion for clean and humanely produced food, Dale expanded Lake Meadow Naturals visibility by joining Slow Foods Orlando.  Today, the success of his farming is shared in the culinary world, health stores, markets, and now FPP!

Wainright Dairy

Wainright Dairy, a 300+ acres dairy farm located in Live Oak, FL, is owned and operated by the Wainwright family.  Their farm produces milk and cheese “the way God intended” — all natural. The farm uses no hormones or antibiotics and their grasses are non-GMO crops . The happy cows graize in the pasture except for when they are being milked twice a day.

Carl Wainwright began in the dairy industry in 1958 working for Gustafson’s in Green Cove Springs. In the late 60’s along with his wife, Gail, he started farming in Suwannee County. As their family grew, their dream of a family farm became a reality. Their sons, James and Roy ,work at the dairy and their daughters, Lisa and Cheryl (and their families), help in the cheese plant. Using fresh milk, the Wainwrights make cheese twice weekly. It truly has become a family operation! 

If you have any questions please contact us at fp@frontporchpickings.com.

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