Fishhugger!

 News and Notes

About Us

1 April, 2015
Hi FishHuggers! We've had a big surge in email subscribers lately, so we thought we'd take this opportunity to tell you a little bit more about us. If you've been familiar with us for a while, you already know that we leave Phoenix for the summer to focus on the Kodiak, Alaska wild salmon harvest (and cooler temperatures). We'll be taking the family to Albuquerque at the end of April (only 4 weekends left in Phoenix) to set up shop at a couple of our favorite New Mexico Growers Markets for the summer (and early fall). Kenny will gear up for fishing and head to Alaska around June 1. His typical season is 90-100 days at sea and he's usually back in Albuquerque by mid-September. We'll be back to our favorite Arizona Farmers Markets with fresh catch in late October.

Why Albuquerque? Long before either of us considered becoming commercial fishermen (or eating salmon, for that matter) we both grew up in different parts of rural New Mexico. Just over 100 years ago, Kenny's Grandad Atchley, a toddler at the time, came to the northeastern corner of New Mexico from Oklahoma via covered wagon. Grandad's parents were homesteaders and Grandad began homesteading on his own as a young man and was a lifelong food producer and agriculturalist. Kenny's extended family still resides in northeastern New Mexico and they collectively maintain several multi-generational farming and ranching activities.

I grew up in the fertile Middle Rio Grande Valley, about 25 miles south of Albuquerque. We didn't officially farm, but my grandparents and parents grew gardens, raised quite a few chickens for eggs & meat, a sheep here and a steer there, cooked good food, harvested wild edibles, canned and cured foods for storage, and took us hunting and fishing all over the state.

Shortly after we met at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, Kenny began his commercial fishing career. He was less than thrilled with college courses, but looking for new experiences, he decided to join the intramural rugby team. That's where he met Kane Fisher, a friend who fished commercially at the time in Alaska. All of Kane's stories detailed the exciting parts of fishing: king crab legs the size of turkey legs, heavy seas, tons of salmon, big-time cashflow (for tuition LOL) and lots of adventure. Well, suddenly, Kane had the opportunity to run his own boat and he asked his buddies who wanted to go. How could Kenny resist?

Not much later we moved to Tempe to look for jobs. We stayed with a fellow fisherman Kenny met in Alaska the previous season. At that time, we quietly stepped into regular life as a carpenter and an accountant. We worked together on the boat a few summers and the wild salmon industry tanked due to the onslaught of farm-raised salmon. Kenny wanted to continue fishing commercially, but there was no way to make a real living at the time. That's when we decided to start FishHugger...well, we played around with a few different names, but officially adopted FishHugger shortly after inception. We heard about farmers markets, met Dee Logan and started our business at a small farmers market in Downtown Scottsdale on February 9, 2002. Later that summer, while Kenny was still fishing, I moved to the Roadrunner Park Farmers market and we've been there every winter since.

Sometime around 2005, shortly after starting our family, I discovered the Weston A. Price Foundation and honestly, I was excited beyond belief. It was so powerful to have our intuitions about health and nutrition validated. This is around the same time that we introduced our 100% Pasture Raised-Grassfed-Grassfinished Beef from the farm and Raw Unfiltered Honey from a trusted beekeeper friend. At this point, we've invested over a decade in research on food, nutrition, health, emotional healing, animal welfare and a variety of related topics.

Thank YOU for considering us when feeding your families! If you'd like a private cooking class, nutritional seminar or you need to stock up for the summer, please give us a call, email us, or come see us at the farmers markets soon. We're happy to answer any questions and further inquires!

Eat Well,

Brenna Aschbacher-Mrs. FishHugger

Sunday Open House!

15 March, 2015
10am-2pm or by appointment at FishHugger's Home (2031 N 47th St, Phoenix AZ 85008). We are only in Phoenix through the end of April, so NOW is the time to consider stocking your freezer and pantry for the summer. Advanced orders are gladly accepted, please let us know if we can help you determine your long term freezer needs or check our website for some popular stock-up bundles:

FAMILY FOOD SHARE OPTIONS

We currently have a wide variety of Wild Alaska Salmon, Smoked Salmon, Cod & Rockfish, our delicious NM Grassfed-Grassfinished-100% Pasture Raised-GrassFAT Beef Burger, Steaks, Roasts, Ribs, Shanks, Bones for Broth, Beef Broth, Beef Tallow (and more), RAW UNFILTERED Honey (16 varieties), FRESH Bee Pollen, Fermented Cod Liver Oil. High Vitamin Butter Oil, Bariani Olive Oil, Essential Oils, RAW Sunflower Oil, Dehydrated Fruits & Nuts, Kenny's Spice Rub, Himalayan Sea Salt and Tallow Soaps & Body Butter.

If you'd like to place an advance order, please call 602-286-9233 or send email

*Due to the Ahwatukee H.O.A's annual event, The Ahwatukee Farmers Market will not be held today. Please join us at the market again next Sunday, March 22, 2015*

Honey for Health

27 January, 2015
Kenny & I have been consuming honey as our primary sweetener for just over 10 years and we have seen a variety of health benefits. Our family typically consumes about 3 pounds (1 quart) of honey per week. Just to finish out the math, 52 quarts of honey = 4-5 cases or roughly 1 case per person per year. Since honey has an infinite shelf life and is nature's perfect survival food, consider purchasing a case (12 jars). Honey also makes a great gift. Here are our case prices:

Hex Jars (14oz honey) 12 jars for $110 (8-12 varieties available)

Quart Jars (46oz honey) 12 jars for $200 (3-4 varieties available)

So, what is honey? Honey is a natural, sweet substance, made from the nectar of flowering plants and trees by honeybees, to which nothing has been added and nothing taken away. Honey is a "non-standardized" food with over 300 varietals produced in the U.S. alone. Many people mistakenly believe that health benefits are only associated with "local" honey. There is zero value in "local" honey that has been strained and filtered, heated and pasteurized (many valuable parts of honey-pollen, propolis, wax, royal jelly-are taken away in this manner). RAW and UNFILTERED are the two most important words when searching out quality honey. Of course, "local" honey typically allows you to make a relationship with beekeepers and those closest to the production of honey. Did you know that over 90% of the "honey" consumed in the U.S. comes from China? Basically any supermarket honey is suspect to this category...even in your high end grocery chains. Honeystix? Not honey...pasteurized filtered Chinese honey with added corn syrup, chemical colorings & flavorings. Honey at your favorite Mexican food restaurant? Not honey...stocked at restaurants in 5 gallon buckets labeled "sopapilla sauce", it's a mix of about half pasteurized filtered Chinese honey and half corn syrup. We take honey with us when we go out for Mexican food. Buying local at the farmers market and asking a lot of questions of your honey purveyor does help ensure that you are getting RAW UNFILTERED honey. All of our honeys are always raw and unfiltered and sourced from western USA floral sources, we consider all of them local. Our beekeepers have good relationships with their honeybees and the natural environment.

Honeybees are native to Europe, this region has a history with honey and honeybees that dates back to the late 5th and 6th centuries BC. The French, in particular, are the world's most fanatical honey connoisseurs and they say there are 2 types: Sauvage and Cultivé. Sauvage, or wild honey, is honey that is wildcrafted by bees harvesting natural forage. Cultivé, or cultivated honey, is honey that is produced by bees harvesting nectar from agricultural crops. We typically offer a wide variety of both types. The majority of our southern Arizona honeys are wildcrafted, sauvage, and include Mesquite, Arizona Buckwheat, Cactus Blossom and Wildflower. Our most popular cultivé honeys include Strawberry-Raspberry, Meadowfoam and Orange Blossom.

Fresh Honey Harvest!

8 January, 2015
Happy New Year FishHuggers! We're excited to present 3 fresh Arizona Honey varietals! More on that later. First, here's the story of how we came to love honey. The average American consumes about 3 pounds of added sugar per week, a full pound of that is in the form of regular soft drinks. Even if you're not currently consuming soft drinks, many are still getting about 2 pounds of extra sugar per week. That's over 100 pounds per year. That equals an industrial dumpster full of sugar for a lifetime. Some may find it surprising, however, our bodies have no nutritional requirement for sweetener. In fact, sugar in most forms actually decays our bones, teeth and bodies, causes inflammation and reduces overall immune function. For more on physical degeneration by sugar/flour, please refer to the work of Dr. Weston A. Price. Based on this information, we decided to rid our diets of as many sources of sugar as possible a little over 10 years ago. We first started by consuming more whole, real foods including beef & salmon (less chicken) + lots of organic vegetables and fruits. Then we decided to throw away/give away/eat/use/finish/get rid of all the white sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar, cane sugar, raw sugar, corn syrup, agave "nectar", etc. At first, we entirely replaced our sugar consumption with honey. We met a beekeeper and instantly had access to 3-4 different varieties of RAW honey. Sure, we'd had honey many times before. A bottle here, a couple of bottles there. I've decapitated my share of plastic honey bears over the years. I admit, when Kenny came home with the first 50 pounds of honey, I felt a twinge of panic. How could we possibly eat this much honey, EVER? It was gone within a month. In the beginning, 2 adults consumed about 5 pounds of honey per week, mostly in the form of homemade chocolate sauce (honey + cocoa powder + heavy cream or coconut cream for the dairy free) and homemade soda (honey + fresh squeezed lemon and grapefruit juice + a pinch of sea salt + sparkling water). Several months later we noticed that our weekly honey consumption was down considerably. Flash forward to 2015 and our family eats about 3 pounds of honey (1 quart) per week. It's still mostly in the form of chocolate sauce, soda, sore throat remedy (honey + essential oils) and used to sweeten tea, coffee and hot drinks. We are pleased to offer 3 fresh RAW honeys from southern Arizona. It's really hard to choose a favorite. Arizona Buckwheat: A medium amber color, thick texture due to low moisture content, classic desert honey with a subtle finish of medicinal buckwheat. Best choice for allergy suffers and diabetics. Arizona Cactus Blossom: A light amber color, buttery texture, low acid, wildcrafted of various cactus and Sonoran desert plants. Arizona Mesquite: A light amber color, classic desert mesquite, light and delicious with a robust finish. Will be quick to crystalize and have a fine grain texture. All of these honeys are good for homemade: soda, lemonade, chocolate sauce, ice cream, dressings, sauces, desserts, sweet cravings, hot drinks and a lot more. We typically recommend choosing your honey by taste. Don't assume that the honey you like the least will be the best for you. Trust your personal taste and instincts and go with the honey that you like best. It's also fun to get 2 or more varietals and run your friends and family through a honey tasting at home. And remember, honey's shelf life is practically infinite (we conservatively say 100 years) so you can always include that liquid gold in your will. It's raw, it's unfiltered, it's local and it will have benefits. It is typically recommended to consume 1-2 Tablespoons of honey 2-3 times per day. Best times are upon rising in a warm beverage and before bedtime taken by the spoonful. This will promote restful sleep by maintaining blood sugar levels overnight. We currently have about 15-16 RAW varietal honeys available from Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and California and we'll be bringing 10 varieties to the market. Largely as a result of last fall's rains making lots of blossoms and bee forage, there is an abundance of southern Arizona honey available this season!

Phoenix Year End Stock Up

1 December, 2014
Now taking appointments through Dec 8. Now is a great time to stock your freezer with salmon and beef for the season. Our prices on Grassfed-GrassFAT Beef are BETTER than Phoenix area supermarket prices on commercial beef. We NOW have the largest variety of Wild Alaska Salmon & Whitefish available for the season: Coho Salmon Fillet, Sockeye Salmon Fillet, Salmon Bacon, Red King Steaks, White King Salmon Steaks, Coho in the Round, Sockeye in the Round, Smoked Sockeye Salmon, Halibut Cheeks, Sablefish/Black Cod Fillet, Rockfish Fillet, and Pacific Cod Fillet. Call 602-286-9233 or email for an appointment

Beef Recipes

13 November, 2014
We've recently added some new beef recipes

2014 Fresh Catch Available!

8 September, 2014
A ton of Sockeye Salmon fillet just arrived at our cold storage in Albuquerque, NM. Consider ordering a 30 pound case for fall/winter 2014. Based on average consumption, a case will feed two people once a week for a year. Each fillet is individually vacuum-sealed, PBO (pin bone out) and 1.25 pounds+. The case will fill one full shelf in a full size upright freezer. This sockeye was harvested during the last week of June and first few weeks of July 2014. Orders can be placed by phone, email or in person at the market. All cases will be sold unopened and as is. $450-$510

Rational Eating

22 August, 2014
Hi FishHuggers! Over the last several years, there has been a lot of excitement surrounding the locavore movement. If you're not familiar with this terminology, it is basically the practice of eating locally whenever possible. This seems to be a fairly reasonable idea, although it has always concerned me that society at large rarely considers seeking out or demanding locally made shoes, clothing, appliances, furniture, cars and so much more.

What I've been thinking about is taking this idea of eating locally a step further to something that has been described as rational eating. And I don't mean rational as in rationing out your provisions, although that is part of the long term picture. I'm talking about rational as in responsible, reasonable, logical and sustainable.

Consider an example: From our most recent harvest, our average beef yields approximately 400 pounds of good food for your freezer. The precedent set by your local butcher conveys the misconception that a beef consists of mostly steak and burger. However, of the 400 pounds of beef in our example, only roughly 60 pounds is prime steak…ribeye, ny strip, top sirloin, tenderloin, flank, skirt, etc. Another roughly 240 pounds (over half) of the yield is cut into roasts, ribs, bones, colloidal tissue, organs, etc. Therefore, if we are eating rationally, for every 1 pound of beef steak we eat, we also need to consume 4 pounds of roasts, ribs & bones. I've had a lot of experience with farmers and ranchers over the years and I find them to be a rather rational bunch of folks. Talk to any ranching family and you'll find that in their freezers, roasts and bones are gone first, followed closely by ground beef, and the prime steaks go begging.

Beef, fish and poultry all taste better and provide extra nutrition when cooked on the bone, but we've sacrificed flavor for convenience, forgetting how bones can enhance taste, texture and presentation of good food. Traditional cultures around the world consumed all parts of the animals they harvested including bones and organs…some fresh, some fermented and some cooked. It can take a substantial amount of time to prepare meats and fish with the bones in-tact, but it is well worth the effort and you will be rewarded by excellent flavor and superior nutrition. Ask about our current specials for rational eaters!

Salmon Update!

15 August, 2014
Kenny and the crew have been fishing Duck Cape for a week and scooping a fair amount of pink salmon to pay the bills. Everyone has put in a lot of hard work for an average season, plenty of 20 hour days fishing. We expect him back in the Albuquerque area sometime in September.

Cooking in the Village~Bouche

9 August, 2014
Join us on Saturday, 9-August-2014 at Los Ranchos Growers Market. 7a-12p at 6718 Rio Grande Blvd, Los Ranchos NM. A guest chef will be preparing and sampling a variety of the available local produce and goodies of the high summer season! A great time to pick up your GrassFAT Beef freezer order, let us know your beef needs for the next 3-12 months.


 
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