Winter Locavore in Maine (with recipe)

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That’s us, Winter Locavores in Maine. Today is February 5, 2014, on which we got about a foot of snow! Denny and I are committed to a locavore lifestyle. 

Definition: Locavore—a person who eats mostly food grown on farms within a hundred mile or so radius. I first heard this term while we were still in the swing of the raw-vegan lifestyle and we watched the excellent movies, Food Inc, and Fresh. 

I loved both of these movies that introduced us to Michael Pollan and his book, Omnivore’s Dilemma, and Joel Salatin and his book, Everything I Want to Do is Illegal. This was around the end of 2010, at the same time gas prices were hitting an all time high of $4 per gallon.

To say the least, all of my reasoning powers converged on the idea that here in Maine, with our strong and growing stronger farm community, we could more than likely eat from local farms and farmers all year. And i just found a blog, The Birth of Locavore, by the originator of the term, Jessica Prentice. This is well worth your time and definitely sets the record straight.

Here it is a little over 4 years later, since we made the commitment to being Locavores. Its easy enough in San Francisco where the term originated and certainly in Maine during the growing season, but come on, really—All Winter in Maine where there is 2 feet on snow on the ground. Our estimates are that 98% of all of our food comes from local farms, all year, for real! (That is unless you call coffee and tea food.) I will have to add a very delightful book to the list, Barbara Kingsolver’s, Animal Vegetable Miracle

Maine and New Hampshire share an amazing community of farmer’s markets that even last through the winter. Here, on the seacoast, the Seacoast Eat Local sponsored markets, among other local markets, meet about every other week. And yes, believe it or not there are still many choices of produce and meats, even in February in New England.

As I have mentioned in an earlier blog, we don’t consume grains, so it actually makes our choices easier to fall into the “Locavore” category! Denny teaches an art class on Saturday mornings and I cook a locavore meal for some of the students who stay for lunch. Thus our usual market days are otherwise happily filled. But don’t despair for us. We are delightfully rescued by our friends Nell and Josh from Misty Brook Farm (, farming north of us by about three hours, who make a stop at the next town on Friday afternoons. We are able to purchase all the ingredients for our lunches for each week, including the Art Class locavore Luncheon.

Winter Stew

Serves 4 or makes great leftovers. I doubled the recipe when I made it for the class.

1 quart of beef broth made earlier from bones from your farmer

cube cut one large black radish and one golden turnip


cube cut one medium yellow onion (winter onions that farmers will part with are usually small, so use 2)

slice one small head of cabbage

Cook vegetables until tender in a stainless skillet in about 1/4 cup bacon drippings, lard or coconut oil, I love the flavor of the bacon, so that’s what I use

Buy 1 pound stew meat, beef from your farmer and cut the pieces into smaller bite sized pieces


Heat 1/4 cup bacon drippings in a large cast iron skillet. Cook stew meat until browned


Season the veggies with 1 teaspoon Himalayan salt

Season the meat with 1 teaspoon salt and several sprinkles of Chipotle or Cayenne and maybe a bit of onion and garlic powder.

Pour both the veggies and the meat into a large Dutch over and then add 2-4 cups of previously made stock or broth. Let this simmer until the veggies are very soft, actually starting to turn to mush and the meat is very tender. This could be anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. The longer it cooks the better the tastes gets and the more tender the meat is.


The satisfaction level of this meal is very high and is best served with some fermented vegetables, like kimchi. Keep tuned my next blog will be How to make Kimchi.

P.S. I decided I had to confess, Denny and I had to take a break. We went to the Local Health Food Store, and thank goodness for our local Portsmouth Health Food Store, a wonderful store and we bought Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli and a red pepper. Next day at lunch we had sauteed veggies from who knows where in organic Coconut oil, processed in Thailand!

Next day back to winter local vegetables and then when spring finally gets here and Asparagus season appears we will be over the top happy and excited and really understand why!