Chase Farm is this month’s “Friday 5″ Local Loyalty Spotlight! Kim and Eric Chase own Chase Farm, in Centre Hall, and offer pasture raised pork products and eggs at local farmers markets as well as through a CSA.
What does local mean to you? As a farmer, local is the interdependence of businesses and individuals to create a robust economy and community at the same time. Local is chatting with one of my customers in the parking lot of the school both our kids attend. Local is calling up the guy who grows and mills my feed and discussing the feeder pig market. Local is contacting the guy who owns the slaughterhouse to find out about who to get, well, pretty much anything I need from. Every link in this chain of local businesses and consumers relies on each other and we all are invested in seeing each other succeed.
Why was it important for you to commit as a Local Loyalty Business Partner? I was a steering committee member with a group trying to start a very similar local food coop when I lived in Helena, MT. I have a good idea of the incredible amount of work that has gone into getting Friends & Farmers so close becoming a reality. So I was thrilled when you all presented a way for my business to support F&F on the path!
What did you eat for (pick one) breakfast/lunch/dinner that was local or from a locally owned business? Tonight we had one of those nights where no one really wanted to cook. So, we threw some leftover mashed potatoes from our garden in a pot with chicken stock made from a Dancing Creek Farm chicken, diced up some of our own Chase Farm smoked ham and tossed in kale from our garden to make soup. Then we put together a salad with tomatoes from our garden and Jade Family Farm’s bell peppers. Done in a half hour and so delicious. And the olive oil and balsamic for the dressing were the only NON-local foods. Perfect!
What is your favorite childhood memory around food or gardening? When we were quite young, growing up in Southern Arizona, I guess you could say my sister and I were into wildcrafting. We’d pick this weed we called mustard (I have no idea what it really is) and put it in a jar filled with water. Then we’d close up the jar and hide it in the garage (in Arizona… in the middle of the summer). After a month or so, we’d pull the jars out and eat what we ‘made’.
As an adult, this sounds like an excellent way to get drunk and botulism at the same time, but we called it ‘Spinach Factory’ and if I ever seem a little off… that’s probably why.
Best local food that you can’t get other places? It’s a three-way tie: pretty much anything El Gringo Taco Truck makes, Good Seed Baking Company’s cupcakes, and Blackberry Goat Milk Ice cream from Byler Goat Dairy!