Side Dish 

At your service

According to its December newsletter, Ranch Foods Direct (2901 N. El Paso St.) "is launching its own version of a CSA" (community supported agriculture) share, comprised of a six-month supply of sustainably farmed (or fished) meats and flash-frozen organic vegetables, delivered to your door.

Pete Vieth is manager of the month-old Home Service program, as it's being called.

"The idea is to make dinner simple, healthy and convenient," he says. "This is an alternative to the massive grocery store system."

Vieth says the service is completely customized and tailored to a family's tastes and needs. At a half-hour in-store or at-home "interview," Ranch Foods reps will find out how many nights per week you tend to cook at home, how many servings are typically consumed, and other information to help plan portions and menus for you. The price fluctuates, but Vieth insists Ranch Foods will work with any budget, and this option will save occasional Ranch Foods shoppers money in the long run and "feed your family every night of the week affordably."

Side note: To those thinking this service sounds like a wave of the future, Vieth reminds that the model actually dates to the 1940s. Visit ranchfoodsdirect.com for more.

Seeds and sushi

In response to my Nov. 13 story "Range on the home," which detailed local growth on the sustainable urban gardening front, I received a letter from Randall Tomlinson from Pollock, La. In it, Tomlinson writes, "As a federal prisoner, I think such vegetable gardens should be allowed inside prison."

Let's see: Inmates allowed to grow healthy food, and perhaps generate funds for the prison system, just as Colorado Correctional Industries does through greenhouses, fisheries, dairies and vineyards. Not a bad idea.

Also on Nov. 13, we told you about Monterey Bay Aquarium's wallet-friendly Sustainable Sushi Guide. For those who like to text, another route to sustainable fish info is texting "FISH" followed by the type of fish on which you want the 411, to 30644. Visit blueocean.org/fishphone/index for more.

Sweet 15

OK, it's not as noteworthy as a Sweet 16, but like the Indy, Phantom Canyon Brewing Co. (2 E. Pikes Peak Ave.) turned 15 this year. In celebration, head brewer Andrew Bradley has crafted an Anniversary Pale Ale, along with the much-anticipated Connor's Holiday Pundie Ale. Fifteen bucks nabs a pint of the anniversary beer and a T-shirt; $6 buys a pint of Pundie and a commemorative anniversary glass, with 25 percent of those sales benefiting Zach's Place, a local center for families of children with disabilities. Bradley will tap the 2008 Old Man Winter Barley Wine on Dec.24. Visit phantomcanyon.com for more.

Compiled by Matthew Schniper

Send the word on festive ales and eats to scene@csindy.com.


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