Episode 52: Real Food Road Trip

Our 52nd episode of Minnesota food stories is a trailer for what happens next — we are going across the country!  In May we will be traveling from Minnesota to Louisiana to Portland to Florida and back again, once gain creating weekly videos about Real Food.  To do that we need your story ideas and you financial support.  So please donate, Tell a Story and thank you for a wonderful year.

57 responses to “Episode 52: Real Food Road Trip”

  1. Deb W. says:

    We have friends in Suffolk VA who farm using natural and organic methods. Along with their 8 children, they raise cows, goats, turkeys, and chicken. You would be blessed if you visited them…Full Quiver Farm.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hey Deb, If you wouldn’t mind adding that and their contact info to the “Submit Your Idea” section that would be really helpful. Thanks!

      • I wrote a review on Kristin Kimball’s ‘The Dirty Life’ based on her Essex Farm in Upstate NY for the Irish Times….seems like a “must-visit”! Can’t wait to follow along! xx

  2. Jake Olson says:

    Congratulations Daniel! I’ve LOVED the last 52 episodes and I’m excited to see what interesting stories your trip around the country yields. I look forward to playing a small part in contributing to the road trip and prepaying for the enjoyment I’ll experience as I watch the episodes.

  3. Natalya says:

    Hey Daniel and & friends that I don’t see!
    Have you thought about crossing over and visiting you neighbours in Canada? I’m north of Toronto and would love to have you come by and see what were doing out here. I’ll send you more details later…

    I love what your doing…

    • Mirra says:

      We are actually planning to come to Canada as well! Right now, Vancouver and Montreal are the places on our list, but who knows where the trip will take us. Definitely send us any great Canada Local Food details you may have!

      • Deborah says:

        hey mirra and daniel, you two have been doing a GREAT job! i love what you’re doing and am truly inspired by your determination and your creativity.

        we hope to see you in toronto since i know there is a large interested following this way, for sustainable and tasty food.

  4. Mike Adams says:

    Hey, I have enjoyed all 52 episodes over the year and loved everyone of them. Thanks for your time. I hope you can make it to Spokane, WA. We have a small farm. It’s not much but we are trying to be more sustainable. We grow vegetable starts to sell to others, we sell organic eggs, and we garden all summer. There is also a neat place to eat in Spokane called One World Cafe we could eat at. They try to serve only local and/or organic foods and really do a great deal for our community. http://www.oneworldspokane.com/

    Thanks again for all that you do

  5. If you come to Massachusetts try to meet with SkyVegetables in Needham Massachusetts. They are building rooftop greenhouses for large scale year round food. We wrote them up here but I know the farm bill limits the incentives for this type of urban farming and they can use all the encouragement they can get. It’s a fantastic idea. http://www.myfreshlocal.com/articles/article_detail/sky-vegetables-hydroponic-rooftop-farming-for-urban-centers

  6. 30AEATS says:

    If you exclude the panhandle you will not have an accurate account of real food! hardworking people live along the coast from apalachicola to pensacola, inland to the alabama and thomasville ga lines! 30AEATS knows our farmers and they need to be recognized! come see us!

    • Anonymous says:

      I really want to go to the pan handle, we probably will (thinking – invasive iguana!). The map is arough guide. Submit your ideas on the site if you haven’t already! Thanks.

  7. Heather says:

    Wow. Can’t believe you’re not stopping in Vermont! So much good local food here, a vibrant localvore scene, year round farmers’ markets, highest per capita direct sales from farmers, statewide Farm to Plate effort (http://www.vsjf.org/project-details/5/farm-to-plate-initiative), not to mention all the great localvore restaurants and Hardwick! Shame you’re gonna miss it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hey Heather, we will stop in VT, just because its not on the map doesn’t mean we aren’t going. We love VT, Cabot Clothbound is amazing. Sorry for the confusion.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well, if you’re stopping by in Vermont then there’s lot’s of stuff to see. Among them is our family’s Big Project. We have a small family farm where we raise pastured pigs (yes, pigs eat grass, clover, burdock and other forages – no commercial feeds or grains necessary – see: http://SugarMtnFarm.com/animals/pigs) as well as sheep, chickens, ducks, geese, dogs and kids – the kind that do Trig not the kind that bleat. 🙂 We take pigs to market weekly, delivering to area stores and restaurants as well as individuals within about 100 miles of our farm.

        Getting meat processing is a big challenge as well as a huge cost (~40% of our income depending on how much processing is done (e.g., roaster vs cutter vs smoked)). In 2008, with two slaughterhouses that burnt down, two more that were retiring and another that was forcibly closed we decided to build our own on-farm USDA/State inspected slaughterhouse, butcher shop and smokehouse. We’re in the third year of our project and moving ahead. Our family is doing all the construction and we’ll do all the work in the facility – truly family built, owned and operated. The walls are up to the top of the first floor ceilings. The building is super insulated and high thermal mass for energy efficiency. Refrigeration is a major cost for a processor and we’ll keep that cost and carbon footprint down through using the seasonal energy shift and other techniques. When the snows finish melting we’ll start pouring concrete again in the reefer which is about 2/3rds of the building.

        My wife, who does the deliveries, is really looking forward to opening as it will save her seven hours on the road each week. We’re all looking forward to it because it will give our farm more security knowing we’ve got processing slots for the pigs bred today that are ready for market in ten months (4 months gestation, 2 months nursing, 4 months growing) and it will save us a lot of money while giving us more control over our product so we can innovate. Our customers, who have been helping with funding with CSA Pre-Buys, are looking forward to the improved meat quality of on-farm slaughter and improved humaneness of not having to have the animals do that long trip each week.

        We can’t offer any financial support to your Big Project since very penny we have had for years has been going into our Big Project but you might be interested in checking out what we’re doing at my blog:


        I’ve been writing about our project and putting plans on the web so that others might also build their own nano-scale meat processing facilities.


        -Walter Jeffries
        Sugar Mountain Farm
        in Vermont

  8. sweettea says:

    Hey, just stumbled upon this site… first glance and I’m impressed. I notice ya’ll will be traveling through my temporary-neck-of-the-woods in Arkansas (Little Rock maybe?) If so, check out a chef at the White Water Tavern — Nick Castleberry. He has set up kitchen (Castleberry’s) in the Tavern and promotes local grown sustainable healthy-happy sourced food. He’s cooking up some tasty stuff during the evenings on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, with lunch on Fridays as well. Castleberry is fighting the good fight here in Arkansas (no easy feat I must say, as everything is typically bought from Tyson’s and is salted, floured and deep-fried… ) Cheerio!

  9. Judith Nemes says:

    You guys are awesome! I’m a freelance reporter in Chicago specializing in writing about green issues, local sustainable food, urban/corporate sustainability. I also write a weekly column in Crain’s Chicago Business online called the Green Scene, where I profile people/companies doing cool things in the local green economy (find me: http://www.judithnemes.com and on Twitter: @JudithNemes). Local food comes up all the time and I have so many people to recommend for you to meet and profile when your road trip takes you through Chicago (are you coming here?). One person at the top of my list is Cleetus Friedman, owner of City Provisions, a Chicago small biz, who puts his heart and soul into local, sustainable food. He’s a caterer, has a storefront deli that showcases local food, makes his own deli, etc.. but he does much more. He organizes incredible farm dinners to bring city folks out to experience nearby farms and their feasts, he sponsors and shows up at so many major and minor Chicago events that highlight sustainable local food and he’s constantly pushing the envelope to find new ways to connect local farmers and artisanal foodmakers with Chicago residents. I can rattle off other suggestions too if you contact me. So glad you’re finally on my radar. I’ll be watching you … where can I make a contribution to your cross-country adventure?

  10. Judith Nemes says:

    If you hit Chicago, Growing Home is another important group you should know. Urban ag is a huge trend in Chicago and this non-profit is a leader in designing a model of how you can grow organic food in empty lots in parts of Chicago that are considered food deserts (they’re based in Englewood on the South Side). A central part of their mission is a training program that teaches farming skills to folks down on their luck trying to get back on their feet. They sell their fabulous food at Green City Market and other farmers markets in Chicago. They get tons of support from celebrated Chicago chefs and anyone else who knows their story and has tasted their produce. They’re big players in efforts to promote more urban farming in Chicago get local politicians to pass laws that are friendly to urban farmers. Don’t miss them.

  11. Molly Ambatalia says:

    Super excited to watch this. Talk about reality shows!! Can’t wait, thank you michael Pollan for the shout out.

  12. happy hostess says:

    Visit Badseed Market in Kansas City!

  13. Beverly says:

    Coming to Florida! You have to come to Sweetwater Organic Community Farm in Tampa! http://sweetwater-organic.org/
    Incredible farmers, bountiful local and organic shares, educational and children’s outreach, I can’t say enough about how they impact our local community.

    And while you’re here in Tampa, you can check in with Grass Roots Vegan / Vegetarian Restaurant…http://www.thegrassrootlife.com/

    Not far from here are quite a few organic and grass fed animal farms as well. http://www.eatwild.com/products/florida.html

    This is definitely one area you won’t want to miss!

  14. Sunshyne2368 says:

    You should make a stop in State College, PA and check out our local CSA”s, Ottos that serves locally raised foods and awesome beer, The Enchanted kitchen State College’s RAW restaurant, Websters Coffee Shop and our great local farmers markets. Their is great hiking and fishing close by too!

  15. Ausmar47 says:

    Why are you skipping Cape Cod? You will find amazing places for the best fresh fish in the world. Cooking fish is an art and I doubt it will be found in the states to which you are travelling. So next trip, please remember this!!!

  16. Lotacats says:

    Visit Cafe Berlin in Columbia, MO. Recently kicked a customer out for negative comment on public breastfeeding.

  17. Nmedusa says:

    Defintely check the Chicago Green City Market and all the inniciatives for urban agriculture in Chicago.

  18. Chiggins says:

    Hope you will consider stopping in Upstate NY (Warren/Washington County)…loads of wonderful farms…and Farmer’s Markets…Last year Glens Falls Hospital hosted its first Farm to Table Fundraiser (September) which support our regional health centers…when will you be in our area?…perhaps we can coordinate…that would be incredible…Claudia @ Glens Falls Hospital Foundation

  19. This is super exciting! I am glad to see OH is on your list. I can think of a TON of places you should see, but Crown Point Ecology Center in Bath, OH in Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a must see. Not sure what your time line is like or when you’d be here, but I’d love to come to a screening and spread the word and help put you in touch with a few local people if it’d be helpful. 🙂

  20. Loren Klein says:

    sounds like a fun trip! i’m in northern virginia, although i don’t think i know enough about food around here to help. good luck!

  21. Susie Teague says:

    Very excited you are coming to Arkansas. You will have great fun foraging in the Ozarks, it’s a very rich area.

  22. […] year documenting local food, and look forward to tracking them as they head off for a cross country Real Food Road Trip! Leave a Comment LikeBe the first to like this post.Leave a Comment so far Leave a […]

  23. I am so incredibly stoked that I found your website! I love the episodes and I’m really happy that you are bringing it on the road. I’m active duty Navy in MD, when I finally got to buy a house in the suburbs the first thing we did was start tilling. Due to the nature of active duty and because I want what’s best for my small children… I can’t help but work quickly, but within our single-income means. I just wish there was a larger, nearby community (you know, like the neighbor’s house). I’m always stunned when my neighbors come out of their big mcmansions and say they are amazed that I grew corn, or radishes, or potatoes in trash cans, lol. I tell them it’s easy, and give a couple of tips, and they kind of walk away smiling and say they can’t. Then, they go home and drop hundreds of dollars on maintaining a lawn we never see them use.

    We live on a corner lot, and part of me wants to inspire them to use the farmer’s market that’s less than a 1/4 mile away, or to plant more than a couple of hybrid tomatoes they bought at Lowes. It’s great to find such an inspiring website like this one. It helps to know my family are not alone in trying to eat sustainably and adventurously. Thank you so much, and If you plan to go to U.P. Michigan, please comment. I have a great friend, an army wife, whose family raises sheep for wool and meat in the U.P.. They’d LOVE to have a visit from you all. Thank you again – Crystal

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks so much for writing. Do you live in the U.P? I don’t think we’ll be
      up there, but your story sounds really interesting.

      Good luck and thanks for the kind words.

      • My family and I are currently stationed in MD. I had never really thought about our story being all that interesting, lol, so thank you very much for the compliment. Are you familiar with River Cottage and what Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is doing, in the UK? We were just stationed in the UK, and his show has been incredibly inspirational. I still go back to old episodes for tips on homesteading, bread baking, gardening, etc. Your episodes remind a lot of his show too. Thank you again for the compliment. 🙂

        • Anonymous says:

          I grew up in the UK – so Hugh was a big inspiration for this project. Love his books!

          • I have a few of the River Cottage Handbooks. I had never baked before I read the bread making one. My first time… we made bagels from the handbook. I’ve tried other bagel recipes but the best one is the one in the handbook. When we bought our first 1/4 steer locally, I also bought the Meat book. We didn’t have the option for choosing the cuts of meat, so it was pretty standard cuts with some beef sausage included. We finished that first 1/4, and purchased a 1/2 this year. We asked for everything but the hooves to be included this time, just so we could try some of the recipes in the Meat Book. I still haven’t braved beef liver or tongue but we plan too. In the mean time, I have 80 lbs of ground beef and a party to plan for Armed Forces Day. I think my neighbors might love me after this :D:D. Do you have any good advice or recipes for beef tongue? You might have something on one of the episodes, but I confess, I haven’t made it through them all yet. Thanks.

  24. Melissa says:

    My husband is a falconer. There are lots of falconers across the country that hunt for their dinner (grouse, pheasant, rabbit, duck, ect) using trained hawks and falcons. Although we dont generally eat what we catch, we know folks that do. Cant wait to see what is coming up for you both!

  25. Alan says:

    I think that you will be completely blown away when you get to Portland, Oregon. If the local food, slow food, organic food, urban homesteading, grow your own food movement has a ground zero, then Portland has a strong claim to be that glorious place. With 30 farmers’ markets in the the Portland Metro area and 103 statewide, 4 local-food-oriented Co-op grocery stores. the largest local natural foods chain in the country (New Seasons Market), a huge backyard chicken and goat raising community, a local organic training farm (Zenger Farm), you’ll find any number of program’s worth of great food and food activism. And, of course, we’re located next to the Willamette Valley, one of the world’s great agricultural regions and to the Pacific Ocean with numerous plentiful fisheries.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m very excited about Portland – and the North West in general. we’ve got
      a lot of great stuff planned.

  26. […] back in March I blogged about the Real Food Road Trip that David Klein had planned for this summer? Well, they’re […]

  27. gracie says:

    How can you not come to Santa Fe….An abundance of home grown food – Farmers Markets, along with restaurants that only buy local. Its a must-see on your road trip! 

    • Anonymous says:

      we are going to santa fe – if you know of any folks using cactus or other
      indigenous plants, please let me know. Thanks!

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  30. […] year we created 52 episodes about sustainable and adventurous food in Minnesota. For the final episode of this past season, we announced our plans to take this web series on the road. And with this […]

  31. […] year we created 52 episodes about sustainable and adventurous food in Minnesota. For the final episode of this past season, we announced our plans to take this web series on the road. And with this […]

  32. […] Plate video series shared 52 episodes about sustainable and adventurous food in Minnesota. For the final episode this past season, we announced our plans to take this web series on the road. Traveling with my […]

  33. […] Plate video series shared 52 episodes about sustainable and adventurous food in Minnesota. For the final episode this past season, we announced our plans to take this web series on the road. Traveling with my […]

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  36. Ted says:

    This trip sounds like a hoot, where do you plan to visit in NY?   Lookorward to future webisodes. 

  37. Krash63 says:

    Check out what the Half Moon Bay fishermen are doing to provide sustainable, fresh fish to Google.

  38. Susan says:

    Daniel–you two have to come see what many young farmers are doing on the coast from Santa Cruz to Half Moon Bay.  WONDERFUL stories to be told as I mentioned when we were at the Edible Institute in Santa Barbara.  Send me an email about timing and we’ll work out details.

  39. Rob Beck says:

    I just watched episode 1 after by chance stumbling across episode 146. I’m sure by now that you realize this series is about much more than food. I can’t wait to start at the beginning to see where it made the change from food alone to people enjoying the most basic endeavor of humanity…procurement of food. My family “commercially” farms in Oregon much as those do in episode 146, but with a lot more machinery. We hold the same basic feelings as those who are subsisting on the land and we are also producing “real food”. I feel a strong connection to all those in your travels who produce food. Thank you for your outstanding productions!

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