’Tis the season to give thanks

Be thankful for people like Pyramid Farms’ Matthew Martin, for good food and a ride in the rain

Martin’s the man
Pyramid Farms’ Matthew Martin is at it again. Martin will donate 100 percent of his Nov. 20 Saturday farmers’ market sales to global nonprofit organization Heifer International, marking the third year in a row he has donated his entire day’s take from a pre-Thanksgiving market.

Heifer International’s mission is to work with communities around the world to end hunger and poverty by providing livestock, seeds, trees and training. The resulting food and income go a long way to create self-sufficiency for the recipients.

Last year, Martin earned enough money to provide 56 needy families with 21 flocks of chickens, 21 flocks of ducks and geese, four honeybee hives, four sets of tree seedlings, two goats, two sheep and two pigs.

“I like Heifer because it helps people help themselves,” said Martin. “It helps subsistence farmers all over the world, including the States. … Life’s been good to me, and I like to help struggling farmers.

“Generally, it’s the best market of the year for us,” he said of the pre-Thanksgiving market. “I like to [raise money for Heifer] on a Thanksgiving market because that’s what Thanksgiving’s all about, you know.”

Look for Pyramid Farms’ famous sweet, organic carrots (good for roasting with your T-day turkey, chicken, ham or tofurkey), and organic romanesco, broccoli and cauliflower.

“Rain or shine, we’re there,” he said, “and we hope to sell everything we bring.”

Learn more about Heifer International at www.heifer.org; learn more about Pyramid Farms at www.pyramidfarms.com.

Not too early
I am told by Carol Albrecht—co-owner of Oroville’s Chaffin Family Orchards and co-leader of the Chico/Butte Valley chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation—that it is not too soon to sign up for the upcoming six-week series of WAPF classes titled Journey Into Real Food. Albrecht will be teaching the classes, back by popular demand, focused on nourishing traditional diets using winter-season dishes from Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions cookbook.

Among the many things covered in the Tuesday classes will be the use of fats and oils, making mineral-rich bone broth and soups, a primer and cooking class on dairy foods, canning lacto-fermented vegetables and making simple lacto-fermented drinks, making enzyme-rich sauces and healthful, correct ways of preparing grains and seeds.

The cost for the series, which begins Jan. 4, is a low $20—a little more than $3 per class. Go to http://www.meetup.com/Chico-ButteValleyWAPFChapter for more info and to sign up.

While I’m on the subject of good food and Albrecht, here’s her advice about how to choose a Thanksgiving turkey:

She writes: “When choosing a holiday turkey I think the main concern should be to avoid a ‘pumped up’ bird. These birds are infused with a chemical-containing broth that really is quite nasty. Here is the link to information on these ‘fowl’ birds: http://liberationwellnessblog.com/2010/09/02/fowl-play-pumped-and-plumped-chickens. Beyond that, you do the best you can. It is really hard to locate a pastured, organic, heritage bird that does not break the bank. I do believe hearing that Tyler Dawley at Barbarosa Ranchers was going to raise some this year.” (Yes—go to http://barbarosaranchers.com.)

All I need is my bike,

and the rain.

And I am happy—

I feel no pain.

Josh McBride, eighth-grader at Rose Scott Open-Structured School