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Happy Cat Farm

Produced by Monica Rogozinski

November 2012

Tim Mountz is a seed fanatic. After the death of his grandfather in 1993, he received a jar of beans that would generate his fascination with food and its history. Now as the owner of Happy Cat Farm, Tim seeks to instill that sense of history and tradition into great, naturally grown food. Starting as the hobby of a seed collector, Happy Cat Farms has grown into a national distributor of both seeds and plants. Describing the endeavor as a "triple-bottom-line" business, the farm is dedicated not simply to profit, "but [to] people and planet as well."

In this segment, Art of Food walks us through the history of various heirloom varieties of seeds, engendering in the land a cultural relevance not readily apparent. Through explaining his love of farming and living off the land, Tim Mountz reminds us what it means to live simply and by the seasons in the face of a complicated modern world.

"My grandfather's gone but his beans are right over there, still growing. That's my life's mission, to make sure everybody knows that story."

Tim Mountz on Genetically Modified Organisms
Tim Mountz explains the history and methods of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), as well as their potentially disturbing consequences for consumers. By contrast, he emphasizes Happy Cat Farm as an example of local, do-it-yourself farming that ensures quality and unadulterated food.

BAT — Bacon Arugula and Tomato Sandwich

A staple of our summer outdoor living cuisine, these are so easy to make and are great at a picnic or a long lazy lunch down by the Brandywine. We care a small English grill bucket in our truck, because you never know when you will find the perfect tomato. Recipe or rules as we call it:

  1. Bacon, it must be from a local natural source this is of the upmost importance but not the most important.
  2. Arugula, well if you are not growing your own you should be ashamed it is that easy.
  3. Tomato, This is where all the messing around stop, for real this has to be on the vine when you start cooking the bacon and cut right before you eat. You will thank me later.
  4. Mayo, This you don't have to over think you can make your own which will blow your mind, but the one you get at the store will do.

Start your bacon and get the bread ready it can go on the open flame and the char and smoke will convert you to this style of cooking. Cut the tomato, smell it, show it to your friends, make them smell it.

Bacon is done, put it on a paper towel to pull off some of the grease, but not too much.

Go time, grab your warm bread, cover it with Mayo, pop on a fat tomato slice or two, layer on the Arugula and consume in the moment. Smile and be happy.

If you have more time we also like to parboil some new fingerling potatoes and finish them in the bacon grease for a side that could stand alone, and has many of times.