ecomii food & health alternative blog

ecomii healthy living

Ramps and Other Spring Goodies

By Patrick Horan
May 7, 2009
File under: Healthy Eating, Local Farmers, Produce

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In most New England farms like mine, April is a month of greenhouse work, plowing and planting.

However it also represents the beginning of the spring season for delicate greens, both cultivated and those found in the wild. Found underneath row coverings to keep them warm, or within hoop-houses, spring salad greens have emerged to provide the first harvest of the season.

Our first cuttings will offer such delicate lettuce varieties like Lola Rosa and Red Oak, Japanese greens such as Mizuna, and the ever popular Arugula. These extremely tender leaves are best eaten with very little dressing. I suggest some good extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice (with a little salt and pepper).

Ramps are a crop my farm does not cultivate, but we have found them all over the wooded hillside on our property. …read more of Ramps and Other Spring Goodies here

 
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The Farmers Conference Part II, CSA

By Patrick Horan
May 3, 2009
File under: Local Farmers, Produce

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CSAs are hot right now, really hot.  CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and is an investment in a farm for a season and in return you receive a fresh, weekly box of produce (some offer meats and dairy) during the growing season.

Prices range depending on the length and type of a program. It is important the consumer to understand and accept the risks before hand. However, should the season prove to be a productive one, then the reward is a bounty of goods for your kitchen.

At a recent conference (www.harvestnewengland.org), one of the panel discussions was about CSA programs. CSAs have long been associated with organic farms, but recent trends show that conventional growers are recognizing the benefits of offering CSA programs as well (which could lead to fewer chemical applications being used as the growers sees the consumer willing to carry higher costs of organic food sources, and the shared risk associated with CSAs). …read more of The Farmers Conference Part II, CSA here

 
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The Farmer Attends a Conference

By Patrick Horan
April 28, 2009
File under: Local Farmers, Produce

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I recently took a trip to the Harvest New England Agricultural Marketing Conference & Trade Show in Sturbridge, Mass, where I took part in a panel discussion on institutional purchasing from local growers.

There were panel discussions on topics as wide ranging as how to use the Internet for marketing and increase sales, the emergence CSA programs, to agricultural energy conservation and land transfer programs for the family farmer.

What struck me most, however, was how many people from the public were looking into starting small growing operations. It was also interesting to see how many conventional growers see organic in the larger context of farming in the US. …read more of The Farmer Attends a Conference here

 
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Earth Day 2009

By Patrick Horan
April 21, 2009
File under: Healthy Eating, Local Farmers, Organic, Produce

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When I was a little boy growing up in New York City I became aware of the environment, and our planets health, because of a television ad which depicted an elderly, wise looking American Indian canoeing through trash strew rivers and watching highway drivers throwing trash out of their windows. It closed with a tear running down his face. I was just a boy but I will never forget the image, and I’ll bet I am not alone.

At our farm in Connecticut we have grown vegetables organically, with no chemical sprays of any kind, for twenty years. Our farming was directly related to how we felt about the environment and a chemical free world we wished for future generations. It seemed “alternative” back then but today terms like organic, local, and green, are pretty much understood for what they are.

This year our farm will help celebrate Earth Day in three different forums. …read more of Earth Day 2009 here

 
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Back to the Land

By Patrick Horan
March 11, 2009
File under: Healthy Eating, Produce

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County Line Harvest, a farm in Petaluma, Marin County, CA., is one of the many farms I was introduced to at The Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in San Francisco, CA.

The farmer, David Retsky, offers a diverse vegetable selection of organic greens like salad mix and radicchio, kale, chard (all of which were available at the February markets I attended), turnips, broccoli raab, and strawberries. His staff, which was working the Tuesday farmers market, was knowledgeable and friendly and even suggested a trip to the farm.

After an easy drive up Highway 101, I came across David’s farm tucked into a gorgeous valley just outside the city of Petaluma, in Marin County. Located on 28 acres, and just an hour drive from San Francisco, the farm is thriving and producing everyday to meet the demand for the crops they grow.

I was pleased to see the home of the greens I had eaten just days before. …read more of Back to the Land here

 
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An alternative approach to health, wellness and disease prevention. Marie Oser and her team of bloggers bring you creative natural solutions to issues affecting our health and wellbeing.

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