Farm to Table: Your Thanksgiving Plate

This time next week you’ll be wishing you owned more elastic waistband pants.

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, so we thought it was a perfect time to educate eaters about the food on their heaping plate. Because, let’s face it: When you’re stuck at the table with the awkward uncle, you may need something to talk about.

We all know the star of the Thanksgiving Day show is the turkey.  Your turkey might have come from one of these top turkey-producing states: Minnesota, North Carolina, Arkansas, Indiana and Missouri. We know a lot of farmers in our trade territory who have put up turkey barns in the last ten years.

Did you know this about the big birds?:

  • Turkey is low in fat, high in protein and is a good source of iron, zinc, phosphorus, potassium and B vitamins
  • Cartoon turkeys you normally see are actually dark feathered or wild turkeys. Farmers typically raise a different breed of turkeys which are more efficient at producing meat. These turkeys have white feathers.
  • Benjamin Franklin proposed the turkey as the official United States bird.  Dismayed by news of the selection of the bald eagle, Franklin replied, “The turkey is a much more respectable bird, and withal a true original of America.” It makes us wonder how our diets might be different had the turkey triumphed.

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Read more about turkey farming in our area.

  • Cranberries, along with blueberries and Concord grapes, are one of three cultivated fruits that are native to North America.
  • Some cranberry vines in Massachusetts are more than 150 years old.
  • Cranberries don’t actually grow in water, rather they grow on dry land and are harvested using water because cranberries float.
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Did you know Ocean Spray is also a farmer-owned cooperative?
  • Starting in October pumpkins start to make their way onto stoops, into coffee cups and onto plates. Pumpkin Spiced What-te?
  • Squash was part of the Three Sisters, a combination of corn, beans and squash that were planted together by Native Americans
  • The stalks of the corn supported the beans, the beans added nitrogen back to the soil and the squash spread across the ground blocking sunlight from weeds.

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  • Sweet potatoes are a staple on most Thanksgiving Day tables.
  • You may have heard “sweet potatoes” and “yams” used interchangeably, but they are actually from different botanical families.
  • Sweet potatoes come from the morning glory family and yams come from the lily family.

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  • The turkey isn’t the only animal at the table.
  • Most marshmallows contain gelatin, which is a protein substance derived from collagen, a natural protein present in the tendons, ligaments, and tissues of mammals.
  • Before you consider going vegan, remember how marshmallows make the sweet potato casserole.

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We wish your family a very Happy Thanksgiving

 

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Source: American Farm Bureau Federation

Food Desert? Not in Our Backyard

As part of our commitment to cultivate local communities, Harvest Land  recently donated $1,000 to the Centerville United Methodist Church food pantry for their food ministry, then applied for – and was granted – a matching $1,000 grant from Land O’Lakes. Land_O_Lakes_Logo.svg A total of $2,000 was donated for the monthly food ministry, as well as the on-demand food pantry where families can receive food assistance any day of the work week by calling the church office.

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Left to right:  Karen Dickson, Sam Dickson, Sally McCaslin, Jan Hofmann, Ken McCaslin, Kevin Smith, Jess Price and Jared Martin, Harvest Land’s CFO

The United States Department of Agriculture defines “Food Deserts” as parts of the country void of fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthful whole foods, usually found in impoverished areas. Centerville and certain rural areas of Wayne County unfortunately fall into this category.

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The Centerville United Methodist Church Monthly Food Ministry was created in an effort to alleviate this problem in our own back yard. They team with Gleaners Food Bank, Inc. of Indiana to provide canned and boxed food, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables to those in need. Since beginning their monthly food ministry in September 2017, they’re assisting over sixty local family units each month.

The hunger epidemic can seem so far away when we hear about it on the news. But it really hits home when you realize it affects neighbors in our rural communities. 

We’re proud to partner with Land O’Lakes to provide a bit of assistance in the Centerville area this summer, especially while children are home for summer and not able to receive school-prepared meals. 

 

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