Wednesday, December 2, 2009

local dinners

There are about a million and ten reasons why its good to eat local. I could go on and on about it... but I won't. I'll just share our recent dinner that was about 90% local.  Cream of yellow squash soup, arugula salad with toasted pecans and feta, and fresh squeezed orange/tangerine/lemon juice. It was yummy!

Monday, November 23, 2009

farm news

We spent most of Sunday picking. washing and sorting veggies to sell at my sister-in-law's coop. I had the task of picking beans, and I just have to say that there is no possible way that beans can/should ever be sold for .99 cents lb. And the fact that they are, and have been for probably the last 10 years shows that farmer's are so under valued , or should I say the day laborers who do the stooping and bending that is the back breaking work of picking are. Machines can not pick beans. Surely machines grow them and spray them full of pesticides, but our beans are hand picked one by one with love by yours truly :)

And now, I wanted to share some updated photos of the farm from yesterday.

This next series is a bit obscene. These are the flowers (the female parts) that when pollinated become the fruit....

cover your eyes.... green bean


another type of bush bean

The farm itself is a perfect eco-system with ponds surrounded by wildflowers which in turn bring lots and lots of bees that bumble about doing the pollination work. Here are a few of the wildflowers around the pond.

And last but not least... farmer Doug works his magic on his prize-winning mustard greens..

Friday, November 20, 2009

How do you like these tangerines.

Citrus season is upon us! First come tangerines, tangelos, lemons and grapefruits. Followed by the flood of navels and honeybells. Doug picked enough off our neighbor's tree to last us several weeks, and I'm really excited to make some candied rinds for Christmas presents... more on that in another post.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Natural Deoderant

In most issues related to health and wellness I tend to stick to the cautionary principle. For this reason, ever since I heard about the potential health risks of deodorants I stopped using them in favor of natural alternatives. In addition to the harsh chemicals in most deodorants such as aluminum and parabens which have been linked to both alzheimer's and breast cancer, they also inhibit the natural cleansing and cooling process that sweating promotes.

For many years now I've been purchasing far too expensive all-natural deoderants. I've long known the wonders of baking soda in household cleaning, I use it to make up a cleaning spray, sprinkle it on especially stinky laundry, in the bathroom for scrubbing showers and toilets, but had never considered it for cosmetic uses. My sister-in-law first recommended it to me recently for use as deoderant. I was skeptical, but gave it a try. After many uses throughout the last 6 months or so I can confidently say, it works! Even Doug uses it.

I wouldn't recommend full strength baking soda however, which is how we first used it. At full strength it can sometimes be irritating just after shaving and during heavy activity or exercise.

Here's a recipe I really like:
1/2 cup baking soda
1/4 cup cornstarch (basically a natural alternative to talc based powders)
few drops of essential oil of your choice, I like lavender

Shake this up in a small tupperware container. Moisten fingers before using, dip in the powder and rub under arms.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


As if Doug did not have enough obsessions... he's now head over heels in love with radishes! He wants to grow all kinds, all shapes, all colors of 'em. I like a radish now and then, but they don't make my heart skip the way a good artichoke or red beet do. 

This week Doug and I are trying something new. Green smoothies! Doug cheats and has a side of eggs & coffee with his. But, I've been trying to stick with it atleast for breakfast. I'm not fanatical about health, but I am politically aware and that's why I don't eat meat, try to buy local & eco friendly foods. I don't like bandwagon trends or prescriptions for ever-lasting life, and I appreciate the cultural significance that food has for others and myself. Frankly, I just like tasty good food.

You probably know where I'm going with this? I'm not so much into the hype over raw food. I'm not a raw foodist, but I am very interested in alternative health and I do believe food and diet are a huge part of that. I can get on board with many of the principles behind a raw food diet, but I don't think I can afford or incorporate it into my life fully out or principle and sure taste. That's why I really like Kim Snyder's blog. She says that if you can incorporate a smoothie into your life here or there, or some raw food replacements, you are still getting the benefits and energy that whole food has. The idea is that cooked foods require much more energy to digest (the cooking process destroys alot of the enzymes necessary to digest food) than raw ones. Thus, when eating raw your body is able to break the foods down much faster, leaving you with much more energy. Nevermind all the great nutrients, enzymes and vitamins you can pack in :)

So, what's a green smoothie? Basically its any combination of greens, veggies and fruits that you like or have left over. Because Doug is selling some of his veggies we get to keep all the bad, small, abnormal, eaten up things from the garden. This week that included radishes and their greens. Which I did not know are great for eating in salads, cooked or in smoothies.

My basic recipe that even Doug will drink!

Couple handfuls of greens (this week that has included radish greens, mustard greens, bok choy)
One apple chopped
One banana
Handful of seeds or nuts
2 t of flax seeds
1/2 c orange juice
1/2c water or more if its too thick

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Our first harvest...

The purpose of this journal will be to log our adventures in family farming, share recipes and provide useful information about organic farming in Florida. This week's news: our first small harvest has come in. Doug dropped off a load of cucumbers, green beans, peppers, and squash early this morning. I will leave you with a photo of the beginning of our journey back in August.