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Yummy Tummy Farms 2013 in Review

Let me the 101st person to wish you, dear reader, a happy new year. I often wonder about why I’m blogging, why people would read my blog, what makes a post interesting? Based on how-to articles and my past experience, I thought I had a clue. Apparently, I have no clue about what readers find interesting except that I’m convinced pictures really help. As you will see below, the most interesting posts, based on reader views, were some of my simplest posts and the formula is more or less this: take a cool picture, write one to two sentences, and maybe conclude with a question. Part of me is thrilled with that simple formula because it means a lot less hours thinking about and working on content, but part of me is a bit disheartened because it means that anything I have written, of what I thought was substance turns out to be forgettable or unremarkable, based on views on this blog. The evidence is below in that my most popular post was a simple picture of an eggplant. What do you think? What would cause you visit this blog more? What types of content causes you to visit other blogs daily or weekly?

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,100 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 3 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


The USDA and Processed Chicken

Chicken Nuggets

Chicken Nuggets

I recently read the salt blog and discovered an article dated September 5, 2013 by Maria Godoy entitled, Was Your Chicken Nugget Made In China? It’ll Soon Be Hard To Know. I was amazed at what I was reading. Our very own USDA just lifted the prohibition on processed chicken made in China; furthermore, the USDA will permit processed meat products to be imported to the U.S. without the country of origin. Paraphrasing, the article goes on to say that chickens raised in the U.S. and Canada will be shipped to China, processed into pieces parts, probably battered and fried, and shipped back to the U.S. Does that chicken get frequent flier miles?

I’m sure China has promised the best food processing facilities it can provide; moreover, I’m also sure the presentation that the Chinese factory owners provided to the USDA was impressive.  China’s track record on food safety is, diplomatically speaking; challenged. Does anybody remember these scandals? Eleanor West of the Food Republic blog in an article entitled, 5 Food Safety Problems in China elucidates many of my concerns in a very articulate manner. In reviewing the Centers for Disease Control website, the United States track record on food safety is nothing to be proud of; moreover, like China, it is pretty shameful too. The objective of this particular post is not to spread fear and worry without a solution, but instead to increase awareness and to provide strategies for keeping you and your family as close to optimal health as possible.

Here are my observations, experiences, and suggestions:

  1. Most of the foodborne illnesses reported on the CDC website are from salmonella, which can be managed with fastidious attention to detail around hand washing, temperature control, and facility cleanliness. If you insist on eating chicken, you had better be a food warrior meaning, going on the offense when sourcing your chicken and on the defense when cleanliness, temperature, and food preparation are concerned. Eating in restaurants and/or eating factory farmed poultry are risky propositions at best.
  2. I have suffered through salmonella poisoning twice in my lifetime and I would not wish it upon anybody, it is absolutely awful. The diarrhea, headache, uncontrollable teeth chattering are some of the most hellish combination of symptoms that I have endured; moreover, suffering through salmonella is enough to compel anybody to make life changes.
  3. My suggestions are listed in order from least effective to most effective:
    1. Source your poultry from higher end grocery stores because they are less likely to buy from large factory farms.
    2. Buy your produce and as much of your weekly food at your local Farmers Market
    3. Buy heritage breed poultry from small family farms wherein you develop a relationship with that family farm and your knowledge and comfort level of how the birds are raised and cared for makes the prospect of eating them less risky.
    4. Adopt fastidious cleanliness and rigorous temperature standards for meat storage and preparation.
    5. Stop eating meat at home and when in restaurants.
    6. Stop eating meat and dairy at home and when in restaurants. A plant based vegan diet is easier to do than you think, healthier for you and your family, and quite delicious.
    7. Buy your produce from a local urban farm that grows fruits and vegetables in your neighborhood; for example, Yummy Tummy Farms.

The second core value of Yummy Tummy Farms is self sustainability and eating closer to where you live can address many food safety related concerns, not to mention environmental concerns. Foodborne illness and processed foods are linked in many ways; moreover, just by understanding that the more times food is handled the greater the risk for foodborne contamination means you understand more than the average consumer. I hope that I have achieved my goals of increasing your awareness and providing useful applicable tips to achieving optimal health. I will conclude with a question in an attempt to encourage some dialogue.

As you have become more aware of food, have you made any changes to your diet or the way you acquire your food? Please comment.

Food Warrior

Sun Lu-t'ang

Sun Lu-t’ang

I, Farmer Donald, am blessed to have the experiences associated with farming the land around my suburban home. I had motivation from many sources, but key sources of inspirations were family lineage, supporting the honey bees, feeding myself and my family healthy food right from the garden. In my personal quest to understand more about where my food comes from, how it was raised, how it interacts with my body, both in the short term and the long term, I have found maintaining clarity is very difficult. Food is personal.

My health is all that I have for without health; everything else in life becomes more and more challenging. I feel that it is imperative to arm myself with the latest information, protect myself and my family from industrial food companies, and defend my community from lies and deceit. It is difficult not to feel embattled from the many foodborne illness headlines, GMO produce, GMO meat, packaging contamination such as BPA in plastics, vitamins and supplements that work one day and the next week they are linked to a malady, and on and on it goes. Speaking as a farmer, I feel a certain energy and zeal when speaking about food, nutrition, and health; therefore, I am going to evolve this blog into discussions around health, diet, food, nutrition, recipes, and how-to guidelines. There are a lot of people doing similar things; however, I hope that I will inspire you, dear readers, to follow this blog, recommend this blog, like my posts, leave a supportive comment, and even visit the farm some day. In becoming a Food Warrior, I hope to enlighten and bring a bit perspective to the wide and diverse subjects around food; moreover, I hope to interact and learn from other bloggers and learn from the fine community of readers too. Lastly, while being a Food Warrior will be an evolving term, it is my goal to fight for enlightenment, peace, and a long healthful life for me, my family, and my community.

2013 Silicon Valley Tour de Coop

Come and get it at Yummy Tummy Farms!

Come and get it at Yummy Tummy Farms!

The Silicon Valley Tour de Coop 2013— a self-guided bicycle tour of chicken coops and urban farms between Menlo Park and San Jose.

The second annual Silicon Valley Tour de Coop, bike ride and coop tour is taking place 9am – 4pm Saturday, September 14, 2031. This free, self-guided bicycle tour of chicken coops and backyard urban homesteads, including honey bees, worm composting, and organic gardening, and, of course, chickens. Experienced urban farmers will show off their coop handiwork while sharing their joy of raising chickens and the benefits of creating backyard ecosystems that support the residents and neighborhoods, as well as the planet.

Your very own local suburban farm, Yummy Tummy Farms will be a featured urban farm stop where Farmer Donald, friends, and neighbors will be greeting cyclists, offering delicious farm samples, and leading regular farm tours. Full details are available at:

In addition to providing a fun, family friendly, community building event, the organizers also hope to energize those “on the fence” to jump into the urban homesteading movement. As Michael Pollan says in his book Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual, “What we eat determines to a great extent the use we make of the world– and what is to become of it.” In a time when lists of ingredients are virtually unintelligible, raising chickens or honeybees, and gardening organically provides wholesome, fresh, nourishing food, as well as being a balm for the earth.

This year’s tour features a variety of coop tour routes, with individual city loops (5-10 miles) and a larger 50 to 100 mile loop including stops from San Jose to Menlo Park and every city in between. Participants, or “tourists” register for a limited number of reservations on Eventbrite and a few days prior to the tour receive a printable map showing the tour route. Full details are available at the Coop Tour website,

So grab your bike, your friends, and family and join us on the Silicon Valley Tour de Coop! Find out for yourself how to reconnect to the great outdoors of your own backyard. Enjoy meeting your neighbors and making new friends while cruising between urban farms on bikes!

Yummy Tummy Farms: "Harvesting Healthy Happiness"

Yummy Tummy Farms: “Harvesting Healthy Happiness”

Ripeness Report for 7/20 and 7/21

Summer time has been super busy for us at Yummy Tummy Farms with bountiful harvests of lettuce, arugula, shallots, and garlic; moreover, new crops are ripening and ready to be harvested.

Yummy Tummy Farms is located at 5611 Doorn Lane in San Jose, CA and is open from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm; earlier or later by special prearranged appointment. If you have a need to come by earlier or later, please email

We still have lots of beautiful butter leaf lettuce and peppery arugula to cool you down in the summer heat with a refreshing salad. The honeybees have been healthy and have made plenty of extra honey to share, so come and get it!

So good, you will want more!

Delicious Local Honey

Produce Prognosticator:

Organic Heirloom Tomatoes– full crop (over 30 varieties) within two weeks and some limited availability this weekend 7/20-7/21

Ghost Cherry

Ghost Cherry

Basil– within two weeks (Genovese, Lime, Royal Thai)

Tomatillos– within two weeks (Green and Purple)

Peppers – within two weeks (multiple varieties sweet to spicy)

Purple Beauty-Bell Pepper

Purple Beauty-Bell Pepper

Crop Focus: Cucumbers

Our latest crops to ripen are sassy pickling and delicious Marketmore cucumbers. Marketmore cucumbers are the perfect snack for hot weather with a simple sprinkle of pink salt or you can dress them up a bit by adding a squeeze of lemon and a drop of hot sauce as well.

Marketmore Cucumbers

Marketmore Cucumbers

Our pickling cucumbers are also ripe and ready to harvest. We are planning on making several batches of pickles this season: dill, semi-dill, bread-n-butter, sweet, hot-n-spicy, and all variations in between. We will be preserving our pickles via the pressure canning method so as to have some shelf-stable jars for winter. We will also do several small batches of refrigerator pickles that we will consume regularly with lunches and dinners over the summer and throughout the fall.

Pickling Cucumbers

Pickling Cucumbers

So I ask you my dear readers:

1. What is your favorite type of pickle or types of pickles?

2. What are your favorite recipes for preparing pickles?

3. How do you serve your fresh homemade pickles or what do your serve fresh homemade pickles with?

Free Publicity and Free Art Farms

Yummy Tummy Farms has three primary core values and those are to spread suburban farming, increase self sustainability, and to reclaim domesticity. I (Farmer Donald) do a lot of public outreach spreading the messages, learning, and benefits of suburban farming; moreover, as part of those efforts, I also founded San Jose Urban Farming on San Jose Urban Farming Meetup events will reoccur about every two weeks and focuses on all things farming, gardening, and sustainability; moreover, if you live in the Santa Clara Valley, please attend a San Jose Urban Farming Meetup soon. We are always looking for fun interesting hosts, so if you have an interesting idea for hosting a future San Jose Urban Farming Meetup, please email Farmer Donald at

As part of my outreach, I teach classes on farming, gardening, and self sustainability all over the SF Bay Area and as an outgrowth of a class I taught, I had the good fortune of meeting Tracy, proprietor of Free Art Farms in Santa Clara, CA. Tracy attended my Starting Heirloom Tomato Seeds class in early 2013 then joined San Jose Urban Farming. Tracy is super ambitious, full of energy, and an impressive urban farmer that did more than just talk the talk, she really took action and started her farm with conviction and purpose. Tracy took it upon herself to proactively reach out to the San Jose Mercury News and invited the newspaper to do a feature on her farm, Free Art Farms. The San Jose Mercury News did a full page story on her farm that was very flattering and inspiring. We at Yummy Tummy Farms, thank Tracy for the kind mentions in the San Jose Mercury News.

Here is a link to the San Jose Mercury News article and some pictures from the San Jose Urban Farming Meetup which occurred yesterday 7/13/13:

Here are some pictures from the San Jose Urban Farming Meetup

Tracy Free Art Farm 2013

Tracy Free Art Farm 2013

Yellow Peach Free Art Farm 2013
Yellow Peach Free Art Farm 2013

Vining Strawberry Border Free Art Farm 2013

Vining Strawberry Border Free Art Farm 2013

Tomato Privacy Wall Free Art Farm 2013

Tomato Privacy Wall Free Art Farm 2013

Squash Wildflower Blend Free Art Farm 2013

Squash Wildflower Blend Free Art Farm 2013

Squash Wildflower Blend Free Art Farm 2013 #2

Squash Wildflower Blend Free Art Farm 2013 #2

Free Art Farm Corn Privacy Wall 2013

Free Art Farm Corn Privacy Wall 2013

What’s Ripe?

Yummy Tummy Farms is the neighborhood’s local suburban farm and we are selling farm fresh produce every weekend 10:00am to 4:00pm. This weekend 6/29 & 6/30, we are featuring four varieties of garlic, French red shallots, arugula, butter head lettuce, organic raw honey, local-made jam, BBQ Sauce, large heirloom tomato plants, exotic eggplants, relish, bread & butter pickles, fruit leather, and farm-grown blue popcorn. Over 30 varieties of Heirloom Tomatoes ripening soon; forecasted ripening date is July 28th! FREE vegetable plant with any purchase, just mention Nextdoor. If you have fruit trees that need harvesting, we’ll come by and harvest them and return some of the fruit back to you in the form of delicious fruit jam. Come by 5611 Doorn Lane San Jose, CA near Blossom Hill and Meridian or call 408-320-5365 for more info. Please support your local suburban farm and buy your fresh neighborhood grown produce from us. Prices vary and cash only.

Orange Flower with Honeybee

Orange Flower with Honeybee

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