Worried about the food you are eating? So am I. You may know me from Haymaker Farmers Market, The Kent Stage, or around town where I serve up farm fresh grub, and humanely raised meat and eggs with a big ole' dimpley smile. I've been at it for the last six years or so. I'm a former long time Kent resident and KSU grad, turned farmer, currently tending my farm and catering gig in Randolph (Salt of the Earth Farm and Catering, check us out online or on FB/Twitter).
This whole way of life started with a box of peeps, and a Little House on the Prairie fixation. After years of relentlessly nagging my husband to get chickens, he finally succombed and then came a box of 26 heritage breed chicks. One thing I can tell you is that this farming thing is addictive, and the chickens quickly were sharing the barn with a couple big old large black hogs, then came the ducks, and the geese, and the sheep... you get the idea. Well, people started knocking on the door after seeing the good thing we have going on here, asking me to raise healthy food for their tables. Being a consumate entrepreneur, I could not say no, so the farm grew, and grew, till I expanded and formed relationships with other local farmers to help me supply the huge demand for humanely, pasture raised meat. Is it profitable? Not so much. The farm sustains itself, and that's enough for me. It's important work that I am obliged to do for my family and others. I just don't feel right charging more than I'd be willing to pay.
To try and make money to sustain my family, I started the prepared food business around town, using the products from my farm and other local farms. I started with a hot dog cart, licensed by the Portage County Health Dept, which I use for everything but hot dogs, added a grill, various other cooking gadgets, refrigerators, batteries, and inverters. It's cooked soups and chili, burgers and sausages, fried french fries and chicken, as well as stir frying veggies and lo mein, among many other items. The menu changes daily, based on what's locally available. Moving all this gear is quite a challenge. Each time I take it out means moving everything including the kitchen sink in and out of my vehicle four times daily. It's a work out, but I am one determined individual who will do whatever is required to make it work.
A food trailer set up has always been the goal, but accumulating the $10,000 needed is a big hurdle. Any money earned by me is desperately needed to support the farm and my family. Whenever a chunk of change was saved up, something catastrophic would happen like a huge medical bill or car repair. Such is life, you know the drill.
I've initiated a KickStarter campaign to make the food trailer a reality, and am looking for local investors, and I have some incredible rewards to offer in return. For every donation over $500, you will receive the same dollar amount in local, catered goodness. Donate $1000, get $1000 worth of food product. Think of it as a prepared food CSA. Don't like to cook? Get a weekly supply of local, deliciously fresh food. Having a party, or a wedding? Why not help fund a local business and support local farms in the process? The menu will continue to feature locally farmed goodness, and will allow me to expand the catering operation to handle events from 10-250. I'm also able to adapt a menu to fit any dietary need: vegetarian/vegan, soy, corn, wheat or dairy free, what ever is needed.
Here's my KickStarter pitch. Check it out. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/421355105/scratch-taking-our-down-home-local-cooking-on-the
Not convinced? Come by the market and Saturday and check out my fare. You won't regret it, just ask the line of people waiting for my vittles. Questions? Drop me a line via facebook, or email and ask away.