Nothing is more nourishing for you body, soul and tastebuds than organic veggies right out of the earth. It is a game changer for flavor and nutritional value. The average ingredient in a grocery store travels 1500 miles to get to you shopping cart and then onto your plate. In order to transport food long distances, much of it is picked while still unripe and then gassed to “ripen” it after transport, or it is highly processed in factories using preservatives, irradiation, and other means to keep it stable for transport and sale. This greatly diminishes the nutrient value (that is already lowered by modern factory farming practices). By supporting a local CSA you are doing good for you body, the environment and the community, not to mention saving money!
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and essentially means that you help inject funds into the farm (typically in one lump sum) to assist in their seasonal operation by purchasing a weekly “share”- AKA a box of amazingly fresh produce only days if not hours old.
The nice thing about a CSA is that it is typically cheaper than the grocery store organics and sometimes the farmers market as they choose what to send you (based on what is growing in abundance). They also typically deliver to a drop-point near you so that you don’t have to trek to the market. Local farmers markets are also a great option but get to know your farmers as they are not always selling local and organic or non-sprayed produce- ask questions!
If you are not in South Florida or Austin visit Local Harvest for a CSA or farmers market near you. If we missed someone important on this list please let us know!
CSA Programs in South Florida
Bee Heaven Farm
Grower Margie Pickarski offers a weekly or biweekly FAMILY share, which usually satisfies the produce needs for a plant-centric family of 2-4. For individuals or small families, the farm offers a weekly or biweekly SMALL share, which is sufficient for 1-3 people. Additional items may be purchased from a webstore, to accompany your share on your delivery day. Learn More
Harpke Family Farm
Tamer and Claire Harpke (follow their travels in Egypt this summer on social media) offer weekly LARGE shares at their Urban Farm in Dania Beach which usually meet the produce needs for a family of 2-4. Individuals or smaller families who don’t consume lots of produce, a weekly SMALL share is available. Check out their super interesting microgreen CSA & Flexible Carrot Program too! Learn More (more…)
Sprouts are fun and easy to grow and are delicious, alkaline and packed full of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. These fun little projects are also a great source of vitamins E, C, B and A as well as potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium and protein. Sprouting unlocks the nutrients & protein inside the plant cells more readily and makes the protein found beans as well as nuts & seeds more bioavailable and more digestible. Sprouting as well as soaking, or fermenting foods also significantly reduces enzyme inhibitors, greatly increasing the digestibility and absorption of all nutrients in food, including amino acids.
For a more in-depth look at why sprouting is so awesome, check out my guy Dr. Josef Mercola’s article.
Step #1 Select Your Bean & Quantity:
Use organic beans such as adzuki, lentils, mung beans or chickpeas. The beans beans will at least double in size during sprouting, so only prepare as many sprouts as you can eat in about 4 weeks. The fastest to sprout are mung beans and lentils, especially if you live in a humid climate. My favorite beans are adzuki beans (shown here) for their nutty texture, high protein and iron and anti-oxidant content. Most dry beans are good for sprouting but you want to avoid black beans as they can be toxic. Note that “split” beans or peas will not sprout.
Step #2- Soak Your Beans:
Place your beans in a wide-mouthed glass jar and fill with filtered water until the beans are covered by about 4 inches of water (use this rule for any amount for beans). Allow them to soak in the water overnight, or for about 8 to 12 hours and then rinse and drain them very well as they can go off if they are too moist. I do this several times inside the jar. Cover with a piece screen from the hardware store (shown here) or a piece of cheesecloth. Leave the jar in a semi-lit place while the beans sprout (I like my kitchen near the window). (more…)
A new Baker is in Town & She’s A Woman 😉
Lucia Meneses of Massa Madre makes magnificent bread. If you want the best handmade artisan bread money can buy, she’s the woman for the job.
You can purchase through a google form and pay safely on Paypal for a monthly share for $32 (can you say bread CSA!?) and receive bread on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. If you only want one loaf, you’re welcome to one! ($8).
Lucia’s base is a Country loaf which is typically made up of 60-70% white bread flour and 30-40% whole wheat flour. She makes variations on this theme by incorporating walnuts, sesame, sunflower, or flax seeds. She makes Whole Wheat variations as well as a delicious Oat Porridge bread using many organic ingredients as she can, incuding nuts and flour for her rye starter. She uses only filtered water and sea salt in all of her breads.
Email Lucia Meneses at masamadre dot csb at gmail dot com for more information.
I’m sure that we have all been told to “Go with the Flow”. Sometimes when sayings become cliche, they lose their power. But the truth this statement could not be more powerful. When things or life in general are not going “your way” it’s probably because you’re not going the right way.
We can plan, work and push all we want, sometimes it works with ease, with flow. Sometimes however, that could not be further from the truth, and it feels like you are pushing boulders up a mountain. THIS my friends is when it is time to stop- and take inventory of where the flow actually is going. It may not be the direction you planned, or a direction you even want. Most likely is uncomfortable and scary, but chances are that there is more wisdom and opportunity in that flow than anything your ego could have had in mind.
As the saying goes, “Your body is a temple.” In order to have a happy, healthy life, we are supposed to eat clean, exercise regularly, sleep 8 hours, drink plenty of water, and generally live a balanced lifestyle. So simple, so doable! As we all know, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Not even for me, and I am in the business of health.
I do my best, and more often than not, I succeed, but I always feel like I can be doing better. I drink my green juices, do some yoga and take long bike rides…but I also love wine, chips & salsa, margaritas, and sweets. I often choose work over play. So despite my “model” behavior much of the time, I still have my vices, and I’m okay with that.
The saying “Love is the answer” conjures up images of a bunch of hippies in a circle singing Kumbaya Is that really a bad thing? I have approached a difficult situation with anger, frustration and blame so many times in my life only to be met with the same energy coming right back to me. When I respond/react with love and compassion, 9 times out of 10, I see the situation diffuse,even dissolve- and relationships and situations evolve into new possibilities I hadn’t even imagined.
I have had one of the most intense experiences in the last six months, one that has changed my life forever. (more…)