Grounded by the Farm brings food lovers conversations with farmers every other Wednesday. We learn about how the foods are grown, tips on storing & preparing and how their family prepares it, and more.
Deliciously Responsible: From Farm-to-Counter at Bolyard's Meats
Farm-to-counter may not be a thing for most of us, but it is a service that Bolyard's Meats delivers all the time. Bolyard's is a butcher shop that works directly with farmers on the beef, pork, lamb, poultry and more. And in a really unique spin, you not only buy fresh from the farm meats at the meat counter, but you can get a great meal too. And you can eat that while watching the butchers at work in the cutting room from a lunch counter!
In this episode we talk with chef and butcher Chris Bolyard who shares his passion for whole-animal butchery, sustainable practices, and providing high-quality meats to his customers.
Here are some key points from the episode that will capture the interest of food and cooking enthusiasts:
Chris emphasizes the importance of understanding where your food comes from and the impact it has on its quality and taste. He highlights the strong relationships his business has with local farmers, visiting their farms to learn about the animals' upbringing, diet, and living conditions. Seam butchery is a technique used by Bolyard's Meats, allowing them to offer a wide variety of meat cuts to their customers. They take pride in introducing customers to new and lesser-known cuts, encouraging them to step out of their comfort zones. Chris highlights the importance of minimizing waste and utilizing all parts of the animal to create value-added items like charcuterie, deli meats, sausages, and more. The holiday season is already on the mind of folks in food service. We discuss the increased demand for their products during the holidays, including fresh turkeys for Thanksgiving and standing rib roasts and tenderloin roasts for Christmas. Links Available:
See videos of beef being broken down in the cutting room and an interview with the farmer who produces beef for Bolyard's Farm-to-Counter post on groundedbythefarm.com Bolyard's Meats website Price Family Farms website (beef source we talked with) Buttonwood Farms (poultry source)
Tapping into Fresh & Seasonal Cooking: A Convo with Chef Zane Dearien
As we change seasons, we're talking seasonal foods with chef Zane Dearien at a unique restaurant in St. Louis' Central West End -- Bowood by Niche. The restaurant is paired with a garden center, providing a perfect patio environment to enjoy a relaxed meal with friends and family. Our conversation focuses on the importance of utilizing seasonal foods and the on-site herb garden at the restaurant, and ways home cooks can up their game too.
During the interview, several key topics are covered:
Zane's background in food & the restaurant industry. The restaurant's unique concept of combining a restaurant and garden center, offering guests a garden atmosphere and relaxed dining experience. Zane emphasis on seasonality and freshness in his menu planning, focusing on using the freshest ingredients available each season. The on-site herb garden at Bowood, where they grow a variety of herbs used in their dishes, ensuring the utmost freshness and flavor. The growth of Niche from one restaurant to a network of great neighborhood chef-driven experiences throughout St. Louis under direction of chef Gerard Craft. We also talk through the challenges and rewards of working in the restaurant world in a few different ways:
The misconception of the glamourous chef life portrayed online and in the media versus the hard work and dedication required in the industry. The importance of building relationships with local farmers and the need for flexbility at times due to complications of weather, etc. Links Available:
- Bowood by Niche website: https://www.bowoodbyniche.com/
- A video on the on-site herb garden at Bowood: https://youtu.be/gqA877w1kpw
- Detailed show notes post & photos on additional info https://groundedbythefarm.com/seasonal-cooking-zane-dearien/
Artisan Cheddar from the Farm: Cheese Curds & Conservation
Cheese farmer made be a made up term but when you make artisan cheddar cheese from the dairy cows you milk, it seems fitting! This episode we visit David Hemme, a Missouri dairy farmer who began making cheese seven years ago!
The Hemmes are committed to "better from the beginning" and the result is incredibly tasty products with an eye on the future. We cover all the topics from cheese curds -- did you know small batch cheesemakers as they make a 42-pound block of cheese are left with about 27 pounds of leftover curds? -- to regenerative farming techniques being used on the farm.
Topics in the interview:
The process of making cheddar cheese and the production of cheese curds. The search for artisan pizza places and finding cheeses that may be best suited for the preferences of the Hispanic community. David's discovery of higher-quality cheeses and recommendations for some of the best farmstead cheeses. The American Cheese Society event and the vast variety of artisan cheeses available. Key Links:
The Hemme Brothers website hemmebrothers.com Hemme Brothers on Instagram Hemme Brother on Facebook
Uncovering Cahokia's Food History & Forgotten Farmscapes
With Cahokia on our minds after our last episode, we turn to my backyard of St. Louis and are digging into more Native American food and farming history. Joined by guest expert Dr. Gayle Fritz, an anthropologist and professor emeritus from Washington University, we uncover the mysteries of this once-thriving metropolis and its food and farming footprint.
Get ready to have your mind blown as Gayle delves into the incredible discoveries and hidden histories of Cahokia. It was major city and the largest metropolitan area long before Europeans arrived here. It was the largest city north of Mesoamerica between 1000-1400 CE.
Did you know that the original residents of Cahokia cultivated crops we still grow like corn, squash and nuts? They also grew so-called "lost crops" as they are no longer in production?They even had their own version of quinoa! Plus, we'll explore the various purposes of the mounds found in Cahokia, from ceremonial rituals to burial grounds.
Whether you're a foodie, history buff, or curious about native heritage, this episode will leave you hungry for more knowledge. So grab a snack and tune in to "Grounded by the Farm" as we dig deep into the culinary legacy of Cahokia!
Key topics and moments from the episode:
The difficulty in fully understanding the Cahokia site due to limited archaeological search and human activities like farming, ranching, and construction. The ongoing discovery of history at Cahokia, including occasional finds due to erosion during bad storms. The cultural and historical significance of Cahokia as a major city and trading hub. The role of mounds in Cahokia and other Mississippian sites, serving various functions such as ceremonial sites and burials. The interconnectedness of St. Louis and Cahokia, with similar pottery and the presence of mounds in downtown St. Louis. Links Mentioned:
The book on Cahokia's food Dr. Gayle Fritz has written is Feeding Cahokia: Early Agriculture in the North American Heartland (Archaeology of Food). It's available through this affiliate link on Amazon
Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site: https://cahokiamounds.org/
Interview with Dr. Natalie Mueller on the lost crop of erect knotweed https://news.stlpublicradio.org/show/st-louis-on-the-air/2023-05-15/what-americas-lost-crops-tell-us-about-food-in-the-age-of-climate-change
Cahokia Rice and the River: Intertwined Story of Improvement & Adaptation
Did you know that rice is grown in Southern Illinois where the Ohio River meets the Mississippi? And there's actually a rice that has been bred to deliver a higher protein content that makes it low glycemic too!
We talk with farmer Blake Gerard of River Bend Farms about the unique challenges of growing rice, how he came to grow and market an enhanced variety of rice, and some of the ways it's grown. His operation is very different from many farms as he's right along the river... so even in a year where many Midwestern farmers have had issues of drought, the water table on his farm kept everything growing.
We explore the intersection of food and farming and shed light on various environmental pieces that touch rice from filtering muddy river water into crystal clear water, thanks to the soils natural filtration powers.
See photos, a video farm tour and more: https://groundedbythefarm.com/cahokia-rice-river/
A post that provides definitions of some of the rice farming terms we used: https://groundedbythefarm.com/rice-farming-terms/
Cahokia RIce online Website https://www.cahokiarice.com on instagram at http://instagram.com/cahokiarice Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cahokiarice and YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtpYayjbGdwYZXRibzMn_6A
Beyond the Ordinary: Wagyu Beef's Unmatched Tenderness and Marbling
The marbling of wagyu beef adds benefits to the tenderness and flavor that makes it stand out according to Jeff Swanson. We visit Jeff & his family in Adams, Tennessee -- just an hour or so from Nashville. We delve into the history and flavor profiles of this extraordinary beef in this episode.
Find out what makes wagyu different -- on the plate as well as the pasture -- as we hear the history of the cattle and how the Swansons settled on this breed and have been building their family operation from the ground up.
Whether you're a steak aficionado or simply a fan of delicious food, this episode will have you salivating. From chuck eye roll roasts to sirloin tips or ribeyes, Jeff shares their expertise on utilizing different cuts of wagyu to create exceptional steaks.
For photos & video: https://groundedbythefarm.com/wagyu-beef/
Find the Swansons on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/southwindscattleco/ and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SouthwindSCattleCo
You are is what you eat. Love staying educated and Janice does such a good job of this!
One of best ag podcasts
I can’t say enough great things about this podcast, hosted by my friend and colleague Janice Person. She’s got the best approach with tackling challenging topics. Making ag accessible, Janice uses her own extensive experience and engages with her massive network of agriculturalists—many of whom serve as guests on the podcast.
Real farmers. Real stories.
There’s a lot of food and agriculture podcasts out there but what’s different about Grounded by the Farm is that the host, Janice, really loves ag and the farmers she has on her show really love their products. This enthusiasm and love for the land and what it can give us permeates each episode and makes you wish you had more farmer friends. Plus, you’ll always learn something new about the food you eat. Definitely give it a listen.