Sunday, July 27, 2014

Quote for the Day

"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds."
~Edward Abbey

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wellness Wednesday

Here's a chart from Huffington Post showing the pros and cons of three sleeping positions:


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Taste of Tuesday

A blogger friend requested that I post the recipe to go with the photo in last week's "Farm Friday."  Here ya go:

White Beans with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

2 pints cherry tomatoes (halved if large)
5 cloves garlic, sliced
5 springs thyme
2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1 15-oz. can cannellini beans (or other similar beans; I used freshly cooked October/cranberry beans), rinsed and drained
1/4 t. kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 425F.  In a 9" x 13" baking dish, toss the tomatoes, garlic and thyme with the oil. Roast until the tomatoes start to brown and the garlic is tender, about 30 minutes. Remove and discard the thyme sprigs. Toss the beans with the tomatoes and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.

Bon appetit!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Quote for the day

"It is good to have an end to journey towards, but it is the journey that matters in the end."
~Ursula K. Le Guin

Friday, July 18, 2014

Farm Friday

Delicious dish made almost entirely from food we grow
It has been a while since I last posted a "Farm Friday."  That's because, in addition to the VIP visit and our trip to do a presentation about sustainable food, we've been in the thick of the summer vegetable production.  We both get up before 7 every morning and go into the evening, usually ending our work day around 8:30.

What are we up to?  In addition to harvesting beaucoup squash, zucchini, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and beans, we've been putting up food for our personal consumption over the winter.  The freezer in our basement refrigerator is almost full.  We also get the "leftovers," that is the produce that has gotten a little too old to sell or has bad spots.  Don't feel sorry for us because we've been eating like royalty.  Some of the dishes I've made include cranberry beans (known as October beans here) with crispy sage and garlic; another dish with October beans, cherry tomatoes, garlic, and thyme; roasted squash and/or zucchini (four varieties of squash and two of zucchini); tomato salad; gazpacho; and plain old cucumbers with salt and pepper in vinegar.  Last night I made a savory summer cobbler as our main dish.  I've also been making white sandwich-style bread so that Bill can have his beloved tomato sandwiches.

I've also started preserving herbs, both to sell and for us.  I'm going to package dried herbs (and some mixes) to sell at the farmers' market - and maybe to delivery customers.  

I need to start thinking about the holiday craft shows.  I've been looking at fabric and placed an order yesterday.  These fabrics will be used for my traditional halter-style apron.  I've also come up with a half apron design that I want to start making as well.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wellness Wednesday

Hair Pieces  77
Almost two years ago, I made the decision to forgo any highlighting or color on my hair. Initially, when I started highlighting my hair, it was because I said I missed my Florida highlights.  Then I became even more vain and wanted to make sure that no one could tell that grey was creeping around my temples and hairline.  However, as I was evaluating my life and how I was contributing to sickness, both in my own body and to the planet as a whole, I realized that the chemicals in hair color products couldn't be good and had to go.  I tried to do some research but didn't have the time to do it justice at the time.

Last week, I picked up a copy of Mary Jane's Farm magazine, one my my guilty pleasures and occasional treats.  In the June/July issue, there was a brief article about studies that connect the use of hair color to various cancers.  Here are the stats that I had been looking for:

  • 87 out of 100 breast cancer patients have used hair dye long-term
  • Women who changed their hair color (instead of simply masking the gray) tripled their risk of breast cancer.
  • Ovarian cancer rates increase by 70 percent for women who colored their hair one to four times per year
  • Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and multiple myeloma rates quadrupled in women who color their hair

The article went on to say that the European Union has banned 179 hair coloring chemicals; the US has none.

Although correlation does not necessarily mean causation, these statistics should make anyone pause before making the decision to use hair dye.  Here's the article that Mary Jane's Farm referenced.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Quote for the Day

"Keep close to Nature's heart...and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods.  Wash your spirit clean."
~John Muir

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Wellness Wednesday

Laboratory Glassware
As more people struggle with health problems, we see an increased interest in chemical-free foods. However, what many don't realize is that the cosmetics and body products we use are also dangerous to our health. I was among that group. Our skin is our body's largest organ. Applying toxic chemicals to it is going to affect our health, either in the short term where we immediately notice a rash or other reaction or in the long term where we don't make a connection between a life-threatening illness and the products we apply to our bodies.

The David Suzuki Foundation has a dirty dozen list for cosmetic ingredients to avoid, similar to the one put out by the Environmental Working Group for produce. Below is a quick guide to those nasty ingredients found in our personal care products:

  1. BHA and BHT
  2. Coal tar dyes
  3. DEA-related ingredients
  4. Dibutyl phthlate
  5. Formaldahyde-releasing preservatives
  6. Parabens
  7. Fragrance
  8. PEG compounds
  9. Petrolatum
  10. Siloxanes
  11. Sodium laureth sulfate
  12. Triclosan

For full details on where these ingredients are found, the various other names they're called, and the side effects, go to the website.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Taste of Tuesday

As things return to normal around here ("normal" being a pretty relative term), I'm slowly returning to writing blog posts and reading those of others.  

For a quick taste today, I'm sharing a post from Food 52's blog about strawberry water.  It's a great way to create a refreshing drink using the tops of strawberries which would otherwise be discarded (composted, I hope).  After enjoying the water, remember you can still compost those tops.  Also, keep in mind that conventional strawberries are among the worst for pesticides so buy organic - or grow your own.  I'm thinking you can use this same idea with cucumbers!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Monday Morning Amazement

Sweet video that gives a whole new visual for the phrase "creature comforts":

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Quote for the Day

"We must all learn to live together as brothers or we will all perish together as fools.  We are tied together in the single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality.  And whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.  For some strange reason I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be.  And you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be.  This is the way."

~Martin Luther King, Jr.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Wellness Wednesday

As the song goes, it's summer time and the livin' is easy.  But it's also hot, so we need to stay hydrated.  Approximately 75 percent of the human body is water, so it's important to keep replenishing the water we lose as we sweat.  Here are a few tips to keep you hydrated, especially when you exercise:

  • Don't wait until you're thirsty to get a drink of water
  • Make sure your urine is light in color
  • For most exercise, drink water (rather than other beverages) before, during, and after
  • Avoid alcohol the day before and day of exercise
  • Fruits and vegetables help keep you hydrated