Hi! I’m Rachel and I love food. Not just any kind of food, but food made from carefully cultivated farm-fresh ingredients.
I’ve always had a deep appreciation of farmers and people who work so hard to turn dirt and seed into sustenance. As a child, I grew up on a 20-acre horse farm where we had a vegetable garden. I loved sinking my barefoot toes into the dirt in that little plot of land and then digging around for root vegetables, picking snap peas and trying to see how big I could let the cucumbers and zucchini grow before harvesting them. (Not the best idea for flavor, but it was fun).
The produce-hunting didn’t end in the garden, either. We loved picking fruit in our little orchard (consisting of an apple tree and a few pear trees) and foraging in the woods for wineberries, black raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and mulberries. When we couldn’t find enough in the woods, we’d take a trip to Weaver’s Orchard to pick even more fruit. I could go on and on about the healing nature of harvesting your own food, but I’ll move forward with my story.
Naturally when I got married and began cooking regularly, I carried on in my conviction of supporting local farms and found all the farm stands in my area. I loved frequenting the Amish farm stands in the Kutztown area, even if I may have been their youngest customer. I remember asking the farmer what time they closed and he replied “at dark.” I love living in a world that’s in sync with the natural rhythm of things like this. That’s why I chose my career of helping local farms and farmers markets to succeed in marketing their carefully cultivated cuisine.
For the last several years I have been working with several local farms: a family owned farm market in a Philadelphia suburb that focuses on selling homegrown produce, a 100-acre apple orchard with a well-rounded farm market, a raw milk dairy farm specializing in outstanding cheddar cheeses and a free-range beef farm that raises the best beef I’ve ever tasted. My job is to help them promote their amazing products and just one way I do this is through sharing recipes on their blogs.
So that’s where this blog comes in. This blog tells the story behind the story of the food. Over the past few years, I’ve been building a network of freelancer blog writers, photographers and graphic designers who love local food, farms and gardening through my company, VanDuzer Design and Marketing. Our blog writers interview the farmers, farm market vendors and other local food talent about a specific crop to gather recipes and tips. Then I make and photograph the recipes. The articles are published on the farm’s blogs and shared with their customers, and then I share them here.