The cheese counter at Formaggio Kitchen is pasted with articles, vintage cheese labels, stickers, helpful tips and lovely old pictures from our early days in business. All are interesting to peruse, but one sticker in particular always resonates with me as I pass it daily – a small, hardly noticeable, green sticker right at the entrance to the counter. It reads, “No Farms, No Food.” This statement may seem obvious, but in a time where triple-washed, packaged, pre-cut and peeled vegetables are the norm, it is difficult to remember that everything we eat was grown by farmers in wide spaces, deep in the dirt. By maintaining close relationships with the farmers that produce our food, the gap from field to consumer is ultimately closed and enormous benefits are immediately apparent. Not only is it now possible to know the exact date of harvest, but we can discuss the pest management techniques used on the farm, inquire about the diet of livestock and poultry, and even know the farmer’s most recommended crop of the week. With this in mind, Formaggio Kitchen aims to be an equally transparent connection between our customers and farmers. We are happy to talk at length about the practices of each farm and alert customers as to when we receive produce from each grower. Recommending the perfect fruit or vegetable comes naturally when we are so highly tuned into what is happening on the fields! In that spirit, here is an in-depth look at some of our favorite farms and growers in the New England area. (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘hops’
Posted in Farms & Gardens, Produce, Producer Profile, United States, tagged barley, eating locally, eggs, farm, farms, flour, food, grains, hops, local farms, locavore, Maine farms, Massachusetts farms, organic, Produce, Red Fire Farm, Rockville Market Farm, sod, Sparrow Arc Farm, sustainable, Vermont farms, wheatberries on August 6, 2011 | 2 Comments »
Peak Organic, based on Portland, ME is a relatively young brewery, having started operations in the ’90s. Jon Cadoux, the brewer behind the company, began with the goal of developing something tasty while striving at the same time for sustainability. Even in the early days, he tried to source as many of his ingredients from local, organic farmers as possible. Today, the company’s commitment to producing organic beers remains the same. In 2009, they helped Maine farmers grow the first harvest of commercial hops in that state since the 1860s. This harvest was organic.
Peak Organic focuses on doing “contemporary takes on traditional styles of beer.” Right now, I can’t get enough of their Simcoe Spring Ale. The Simcoe hop is a particular strain grown by the Maine farmers mentioned above. Simcoe hops are amazingly piney and have a dark sweetness like sap honey. Peak Organic has captured the essence of this hop perfectly. Their Simcoe Spring Ale is deep enough and dark enough to be a belly warmer for the first chilly days of early Spring but it really shines on those optimistic 50 degree days when you might think about sitting out on the back porch in the afternoon with a beer and a book.
Among the many hats he wears, Eric Meyer is the Beer Buyer, Grill Master and a cheesemonger at Formaggio Kitchen Cambridge.