Buying locally, blogging globally

Special offer from Palouse Brand products:

Working full time and trying to get everything around here done doesn’t leave us a lot of free time. Because of this, we find ourselves doing more and more of our shopping online. Something we found recently on Amazon.com was Palouse Brand lentils. We were especially attracted to them because they are local,  Non-GMO project verified and looked like a small business we would like to support (yes, we realize the irony in using the internet to find local businesses to support). We ordered a five pound bag of Spanish lentils, and have been delighted with them! Here is a recipe for one of the first dishes we cooked with them.

Bacon and lentils-

Cook ½ to 1 pound of bacon in the oven at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes, depending on how crisp you like your bacon. We cook ours on a cookie sheet with a cooling rack for all the fat drippings. After the bacon cools, coarsely chop.

Boil 2 cups of lentils with a heavy pinch of salt. Drain.

Prepare a mirepoix (carrots, celery and onions sweated in a frying pan), add in the chopped up bacon towards the end of sweating.  Add a can (hopefully home canned) of crushed tomatoes, and then add the lentils.

We also love lentil soups. There are a lot of really good recipes on Pinterest. We usually make ours on a chicken broth base. Simply add lentils, potatoes, carrots, celery and season it with thyme, salt and pepper.  The amount of each of these to use depends on how chucky or “hearty” you want the soup to be. We have read rosemary is also good in this soup.

Another really cool part about this farm is that you can order a “trial pack” of all of their products.  It includes 1.5 pound of each: garbanzo beans, hard white wheat berries, hard red wheat berries, soft white wheat berries, lentils and green split peas.

We are running low on our winter stores of dried grains and legumes. I am looking forward to restocking our larder for next year with a local, GMO-free source. It has been a challenge to find a grain supplier of this quality at this price anywhere. Here is a statement from the farm…

  • Our food products are NOT Irradiated (an accepted practice that exposes your food to radiation for sterilization).
  • Identity Preserved – each bag comes with a code you can scan to identify the field we grew it in and harvest date.
  • Certified Kosher Parve and Non-GMO Project Verified
  • All Palouse Brand products will sprout!
  • We grow it, harvest it, truck it, process it, bag it and get it to you – it never touches a middleman.

If you are intimidated by the sizes of some of their offerings, rest assured five pounds is less than it seems. If you are trying to increase you self reliance, the larger bags are a really good deal too. These kinds of products will store indefinitely if kept properly, and even a family of four will go through a lot of lentils or wheat in less than a few months, especially if you are making bread with it, which is not hard to do, and makes the best bread you have ever had.

Another option is to buy as a group, splitting the larger bags up amongst multiple families or people. If you are trying to maximize savings, you may want to explore this option.

If you choose to buy in bulk, there are many ways to keep your food for a very long time. The reason these kinds of food have become staples is because they keep so well. If you keep them dry, out of light, and airtight, they will probably last as long as you could ever wish them to. When kept in whole grain form, especially with wheat, these items will keep exceptionally well. If you want to guarantee freshness, you may want to look in to some of the many resources online for prepping.

We really like this farm, and hope you do too. Here is a little bit about them from their website:

Five generations ago the Mader Family started farming. Our farm operations span across the southeast part of Washington State and are headquartered in Pullman, Washington. In 2001 we acted on an opportunity to add a cleaning facility to our operation. Our cleaning plant, Palouse Trading, is located in Palouse, Washington, just north of Pullman. Originally named Wallace Grain and Pea Company in the 1930s, Palouse Trading was designed for quality instead of quantity. We take raw food product and clean it into food grade edible product, which our customers find appealing because of the nutritional and aesthetic values.

The farm operation has been using the latest in sustainable agricultural practices. We have been using Direct Seeding and NO-Till practices since 1982. These changes have greatly reduced soil erosion, have increased soil health and helped us control our cost in an ever-rising input cost environment. In 2006 we became “Food Alliance” certified.

 

We are pleased to announce that Palouse Brand has been generous enough to offer our readers a chance to win two five pound bags of their product, of your choice. To enter to win, sign up for our email list, found on the right of the screen. We will pick the winner at random from the list of our subscribers on May 9th. Also, feel free to visit Palouse Brand on Facebook. The opinion of these products are our own, and we have not received any financial or product incentive associated with this giveaway.

Palouse Brand has also offered our readers a coupon code for 15% off their products on Amazon.com from now until the end of June. Enter promo code “HOMEST20” during checkout to redeem your discount.

 

Thanks for reading!

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