Dishing Up the Dirt: Week #19 – Oct. 13th, 2021

 In CSA Newsletter

Dishing Up the Dirt – Take a Look!

One of my favorite things to do in winter time is peruse cookbooks. There’s so much promise, so much potential in them. I’m always looking for seasonal recipes that combine ingredients that tend to be available at the same time. (Like how did it become that cilantro should ever be part of salsa? They are never ready at the same time! Cilantro likes it cool; tomatoes like it hot… but I digress).

There are loads of cookbooks out there that claim to be seasonal and farm fresh, but they are constantly pairing ingredients that don’t share a season in Wisconsin. Perhaps many of these cookbook writers live in California where there are micro seasons that make most things available all year round?

Last winter I came across Andrea Bemis. She lives on an organic farm out west with her partner, and from what I can tell she used to farm, but has now made quite a name for herself as a foodie through her website, recipes, and cookbooks. As a collection of recipes that reflect true seasonality, her cookbooks are some of the best I’ve seen.

She has two cookbooks: Dishing Up the Dirt and Local Dirt.  Her website also has lots of recipes. She’s quite skilled at marketing a romantic, beautiful view of dirt, vegetables, and food. Her Instagram page is also fun if you’re into that sort of thing.

Now I don’t normally promote this sort of thing, but many of the crew members share my admiration for her recipes. Also, I went on a slight rant about her in the field, so I felt compelled to share her in a positive way.

My rant? You curious?

As a woman farmer, I do get a little frustrated when women who don’t technically farm present and/or describe themselves as farmers. It is already so very hard to legitimize oneself as a woman farmer, especially if you are a woman farmer who works with a male partner. When women place themselves under the umbrella of farmer when they actually live on a farm and do other work besides farm, it just adds to the patriarchal perception that men are the true farmers and women just play supporting roles in the farming industry.  It irks me. There ARE those of us women out there who get dirty, seed, plant, and harvest food, lift heavy crates, mange soil health, plan logistics, drive tractors, operate machinery, etc. And when women who create recipes and write cookbooks call themselves farmers, it adds to all the societal noise that makes it hard for those of who are true women farmers to be seen as such.

Having said all that, Andrea’s work is great and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Farmer Cassie