Sunday, March 21, 2010

Far Side of The Market, Part 2


In early fall, we were set to drill. The dudes were in place. It was brief moment of excitement...not to last, however.

Donation slips at Jacque's in Huntington

It was a turning point in the project. One that allowed me to set the store aside and focus on tertiary objectives. The LTCM isn't about corn-laden consumables or cheap beer-it's about community. I pitched an idea to the Richmond Food Shelf and sponsored the project with the help of designer Shawn Patrick Rice. It's been a joy to see how successful its been for them.

3rd week in October

I planted some tiny raspberry plants in the spring, and they shot right up, much to my surprise. They continued producing until the last week of October!

Wicker Robbins, 11 months old

Friends were mostly back to school and I was starting to go a little stir crazy, so I decided to participate in some canine respite. His name is Wicker and he is a white shepherd and husky mix.

Wicker catches a grouse for dinner

We had some epic adventures throughout the fall and winter, during which I discovered his many talents.

We were joined from time to time by a neurotic luck dragon (labradoodle), Oakley.

creature pile

Not surprisingly, everyone got along with Sir Carl.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Far Side of The Market, Part I

Gillette Pond

Things have finally dropped below a fever pitch here in Jonesville, and these days the only thing bubbling over is my sourdough starter. Lately, I've been engaged in a bit of digital housekeeping, and amidst the desktop rubble, I discovered some great memories from the past year. It's been an interesting reflection on how I chose to navigate the clear absurdity of life at the LTCM, when not otherwise engaged in slinging mud, setting traps, and fighting dragons.

Sir Carl of Wickett

Perhaps the most important individual for you all to meet is Sir Carl of Wickett. He's my pet gremlin, who I discovered in the stairwell of my apartment on the corner of Church & Main in Burlington. Malnourished, covered in fleas, with respiratory and eye infections; he was the perfect oddity. Having the keystone apartment in Burlington does require an appropriate mascot, and Sir Carl appropriately fit the bill.

Sir Carl of Wickett

He quickly became a local legend after escaping from an open window on the second floor, dropping directly into the late night fray of a typical Saturday. From eyewitness accounts, we learned that he spent the night boozing his way around town before shooting up some ungodly substance on the back steps of City Hall. Two days later, he eventually wandered into the Contois, where he was discovered by a group of thespians.

Wheat Beet Dough

The forerunner project that launched this whole mess with the store was a brief, but successful pie venture, Backcountry Pizza. I ran my small wholesale operation out of the Green Grocer until it closed doors in early spring. A lot of folks like to work with unique topping combination, but my big thing is crust. I've always felt that not enough people like crust enough to finish it, so that's where I wanted to focus my energy. Toppings were far from arbitrary, as they were largely informed by what type of base they were being paired with. Fan favorites included the cider rye, maple kabocha, and wheat beet.

Catering Prep

I catered a wedding in early fall. It was great to feed over 125 people, using only Vermont products, save for a spot of King Arthur flour. All of the meat and veggie toppings were sourced in Huntington, where the event was held. The total cost of ingredients, from Gleason's to Grafton ran shy of $300, an impressive feat considering the quality, variety, quantity and source of each product.