Late Summer Update 2015
The next few months will be filled with bushels of delicious fresh fruits and wholesome grains and dry goods. Here’s what’s in sight.
Dry Goods & Whole Grains
Each of these upcoming truckload sales will offer a great selection of whole grains and dry goods.
Our Michigan orchard has produced a bumper crop of apples for us. Beginning with Galas in late August or early September, we plan to haul in several truckloads of crisp, juicy apples throughout the fall and into December.
These European gems are unlike the plums we commonly find at grocery stores. Wildly popular in Germany and eastern Europe, the Stanley plum’s firm, sweet-tart flesh makes it an excellent choice for canning, kuchens and other baked delights, and for drying. Of course, they are wonderful enjoyed fresh as well.
Stanley plums will be available only once in early September.
Juicy, sweet, and speckled, Bartletts are the quintessential fall pear. Put them up in jars, gobble them fresh, and bake a simple pear tart that looks and tastes like gourmet.
Bartlett pears will be available only once in early September.
Baby Gold Peaches
If you’ve ever tasted commercially-prepared cling peaches in a can, you’re probably familiar with their terrific firm texture and delicate sweetness. Those are Baby Gold peaches, or some very similar variety.
The Baby Gold is unmatched for putting up in jars. This peach also stays firm in all kinds of baked sweets; pies, cobblers, tarts, and muffins.
However, be forewarned: Baby Gold peaches are not well-suited for fresh eating. Their flesh is almost rubbery when raw, certainly not juicy. Furthermore, this is a cling stone peach, so be prepared to cut it away from the pit for processing and cooking.
Baby Gold peaches: unsurpassed for baking and canning. Not so good for fresh eating.
Baby Gold peaches will be available only once in early September.
We’re not sure about the grapes for this fall. It takes a good sized group of people to hand pick Concord grapes for us, and fewer pickers than usual have signed on to help at the orchard where our grapes come from. If we are able to offer grapes, they should be available in late September, early October, or both.
Did you ever wonder why grape flavored candies taste almost nothing like common grapes? Those grape candies are made to taste like Concord grapes – the deep purple, slip-skin, sweet grapes that Welch’s purple grape juice is made from.
These grapes make awesome juice – easy to do in our Mehu Liisa steamer juicer. Turn ’em into wine, freeze the grapes whole (mini ice pops, right?), or eat Concord grapes straight out of the box, which is what most people do.
Tim & Erin
Organic Blueberries, Grown With What?
While other Kentucky growers struggle to farm blueberries organically, our grower, Travis, is using some interesting practices that make his farm one of the healthiest – if not THE healthiest – in Kentucky. The reason is that Travis’s clever family also runs a worm farm for the very purpose of harvesting an abundance of castings, which they use on their blueberry plants.
Castings, or worm manure, are packed with minerals that are essential for plant growth, such as concentrated nitrates, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and calcium. The castings stimulate plant growth and enrich the soil more than any other natural product on the market, making them the most nutrient dense natural fertilizer a farmer can use. As little as one tablespoon of pure worm castings supplies enough nourishment to feed a 6-inch potted plant for over two months.
Thriving on the rich castings, our grower’s plants easily produce big delicious blueberries without the need for chemical sprays. The berries taste better, the plants are strong, and the whole system is marvelously sustainable.
These, my friends, are some excellent berries!
A few weeks ago, we got a call from our friend Don…
We met Don about a year and a half ago when he discovered that he could get super fresh wild caught shrimp at a good price in southern Florida. He wanted us to set him up as the shrimp guy back then, but there were a lot of things to work out before that could happen.
Fast forward to now, and Don is ready to go. The fresh, wild caught shrimp is amazing. He made some for us a couple days ago – best we’ve ever tried. It tastes like the clear blue sea, not fishy at all. The shrimp comes from the beautiful waters of south Florida, it is flash frozen right after it’s caught, and then goes directly into Don’s freezer (in his red van).
And he’s now taking orders for delivery this coming Tuesday, where you will pick it up right out of the freezer in his red van.
Pre-order at the following link and pick up your fresh, wild caught frozen shrimp on Tues of next week. The locations are limited to what Don can deliver in one day. If it’s popular, he plans to deliver to more locations in the future.
*Update: Sign up for our emails to be notified when Don is delivering fresh ocean caught shrimp in your area.
Key West Pink: Why These are the “Good Stuff”
They are healthier. Farm-raised shrimp are simply a health hazard. In many cases, the people who grow them won’t even eat them, because they know what conditions they were grown in. They are not required to clean the ponds between harvests, and there are no regulations on what they are allowed to feed the shrimp. Some ponds have been found to be about 20% raw sewage. And that, my friends, is disturbing. Wild caught is better, though, right?
Well, the northern coasts, including the east coast, all have a share of problems. Run-off from the agricultural states makes its way into the oceans, near the coast where the shrimp are caught. They feed in the chemical and pesticide-tainted waters, allowing toxins to enter the meat. The shrimp are then gathered, packaged, and sold, and what are we eating? Basically the filters of the dirty water they came from. Gross!
These Key West Pink variety of shrimp roamed free in the sparkling waters of the Gulf of Mexico all of their lives. The Gulf is safe from the pesticide run-offs of other coasts, and its white sand bars are beautiful clean feeding grounds for the little creatures. The flesh is firm and white, the meat is sweet, and the shell is the vibrant color of a flamingo, unlike the grey or muddy colors of shrimp in polluted environments.
100% Natural and Wholesome. These are completely wild caught, natural, whole shrimp. They have not been processed or treated like commercial shrimp. When the shell and head are taken off of shrimp, unless you are planning on preparing them immediately after, you loose the natural barrier that protects the meat and keeps the moisture and flavor inside. To combat this, processing plants treat the shrimp with a preservative. It doesn’t even have to be listed on the label. A package could say just “shrimp and water”, and still be saturated in a chemical bath. These shrimp are fresh caught and frozen, that’s all there is to it.
Sustainable. 7 C’s shrimp is caught in the Gulf of Mexico, but only in United States waters. These are governed by stewardship regulations regarding catch limits and species permitted to be harvested at a given time. We won’t run out of shrimp anytime soon by responsibly managing the resources God has entrusted us with.
They Taste WAY Better! A local restaurant recently did a taste test in which two separate batches of shrimp grits were prepared, one with commercial, farm raised, chemically treated shrimp you can get at the supermarket, and one with 7 C’s wild caught natural shrimp. The tasters were asked to guess which was which, and get this…every SINGLE taster guessed correctly. For a difference that well recognized, there has gotta be something to it, right? The natural shrimp was described as tasting fresh like the ocean or the sea, and having very similar texture and taste to a good lobster. Don’t know about you, folks, but I’m starting to get hungry!
We’ve been given the opportunity to offer a limited number of fresh, pasture-raised eggs from one of our local farms! The Black Star chickens that laid these beautiful brown eggs are free to roam for most of the day, enjoying fresh air, sunshine, and eating bugs and greens from their pasture. Their diet is supplemented with grain.
The yolks of the eggs we sampled from this farm were a rich, deep yellow, indicating a high-quality yoke that’s replete with vitamins A, D, E, and beta carotene. They were delicious, too!
Limited Quantity & Limited Time To Order
We have a limited quantity of these eggs available right now. If they are popular, we will try to continue offering them. The farm needs our order by Thursday morning, and they may sell out before then, so make sure you grab ’em now while you can! Click here to order.
What’s So Great About Pastured Eggs?
According to a study Mother Earth News conducted, comparing true pasture-raised eggs to conventional store-bought eggs (and even supposed “cage-free” eggs), pastured eggs are way more nutrient dense. Consider these stats.
Pastured eggs contain:
- twice as much omega 3 fatty acids than conventionally raised eggs
- 60% more vitamin A
- 3 times as much vitamin E
- 7 times more beta carotene
- and 2 – 6 times as much vitamin D.
Fun Fact: Two scrambled pastured eggs provide about 63 to 126 percent of the recommended daily intake of 200 IU of vitamin D, whereas 2 supermarket eggs only give you up to 68 IU’s.
Many of us who buy natural foods also grow organic gardens (or we’d like to anyway). Paul Dysinger, one of our local organic farmers is hosting a free organic gardening webinar on March 31st, and we wanted to be sure to spread the word. Paul is a great local resource with a passion for organic gardening.
Watch this video for a sneak preview of what Paul will be teaching in the webinar.
And click here to set up a handy email reminder and register so you don’t miss the free webinar.
Hi! It’s Paul Dysinger here and if you love gardening then you’re my friend. :)
I live with my amazing family on Bountiful Blessings Farm in Tenenssee where we’ve been serving the community for over 14 years with fresh fruits, veggies, herbs and berries.
So, if you love growing robust veggies that burst in your mouth with flavor (or want to learn how without using all that chemical stuff) then join me on March 31st for a free webinar.
The number one big thing you can do right now to start building a healthy garden that is resistive to insect pests and diseases:
by Paul Dysinger
Years ago my sister, a couple cousins of mine, and I, grew our own market garden project. It was a fun project over the summer and we were able to keep the income in exchange for breaking new ground on the farm. The farm was expanding and so we were given the new land to grow on.
It was hard work breaking up the new ground, adding amendments, and growing our crops. I remember having to jump up and down on spading forks just to get the ground loose…
That summer our green beans were wiped out by Japanese beetles. Ouch. Literally demolished. You could walk down the isles in the early morning and literally pick off handfuls of beetles at a time. It was fun feeding them to our ducks…
We never put up traps or used any pesticides or anything like that. But year after year we watched our Japanese beetle problem diminish and fade away until we hardly had any!
The “secret ingredients” we added to the soil is not a secret among organic farmers. It’s simply something we’ve always done consistently every single time we plant. But make no mistake about it: What I’m about to share with you is the number one thing you can do to build a healthy garden that resists insect pests and disease.
Add a good amount of organic matter to the soil. Organic matter (compost/worm castings) is the number one soil enhancer. It helps balance out any soil and aids in forming good soil structure. It adds nutrients to the soil and encourages microbiological life which help make nutrients available to your plants, and so much more…
In turn, it helps give your plants a healthy immune system. Think of the plants like our bodies. The healthier we are, the less susceptible we are to diseases…
In the webinar we’ll talk more about adding organic matter, but we’ll also touch on soil structure, soil testing, and some natural things you can do if you already have a large bug infestation.
Click here to set up a handy email reminder and register so you don’t miss the free webinar.
Cinnamon Tingle Butter Oil/Fermented Cod Liver Oil Blend Giveaway
If the taste of cod liver oil ranked equally as good as its claims of being good for you, would it make sense to consider the massive rise of testimonials by those who have plugged in to remarkable dental health – even the remineralization of cavities and naturally straight teeth?
Stay with me here.
I understand this superfood-for-teeth may sound a bit fishy seeing you’ve probably never heard anything like it from your dentist. Maybe you’re thinking, “Suuurre, Grandma’s old fashioned vitamin oil is making a stylish comeback from the 1950’s just like those cool geeky frame glasses we’ve all become re-fond of lately.”
I assure you this is not a trendy wave of exaggerated claims. Ordinary folks are empowering dental health to occur in themselves and their children, sometimes seeing results within just a few months of taking this high powered oil.
What About The Taste?
If you’re afraid of the taste, but you know your family should be taking cod liver oil, you really should give the Green Pasture flavored cod liver oils a try. Although we do get phone calls from people who don’t like it, the cinnamon tingle flavor is our most popular cod liver oil and our family’s favorite.
Win A Free Bottle!
Whether you want to try it for the first time, or you’ve already experienced the benefits of cod liver oil for yourself, enter to win one of several bottles of Green Pasture’s Cinnamon Tingle Butter Oil/ Fermented Cod Liver Oil Blend – our most popular flavor!
Here’s how to enter:
- Post a comment below, telling us how cod liver oil has benefited your family, why you already use it, or why you want to try it.
- Order anything from our March order form. Anything you like, small or large. Everything you see on the order form is available to order. Just click the item, and it will open up a quantity menu if it doesn’t already have one.
Order here if you want to pick up your order locally, from any of 50 locations across Tennessee and into the surrounding states.
If you win, your free bottle of cod liver oil will be included when your order ships or when you pick it up locally, depending on which order form you chose. How’s that for a great way to try something new?
Straight Teeth Without Ortho: Our Family’s Experience
Cod Liver Oil & Butter Oil Questions And Answers
Candid Kids’ Cod Liver Oil Taste Test Video
Five Kids, No Cavities, Here’s Why
Can Cavities Be Reversed?
Slavery is real.
We have an idea of what that means, from our history lessons; galling physical labor… small amounts of food…whips. But we don’t usually think about it now. After all, our country has been free from that kind of slavery for generations.
It is not a thing of the past. And the chocolate that we see at the store, that we give as gifts, or eat for a comforting snack, is often a product of slavery.
Most chocolate plantations on the Ivory Coast, including the ones that supply Nestle, Hershey, Ghiradelli, and Mars, utilize slave labor to work their cocoa crops and produce their chocolate.
The majority of the slaves are children from poor families, who are bought, coerced or captured into the trade between the ages of five and seventeen years old.
They regularly use chainsaws to clear forests, spray harmful chemical pesticides without protective clothing or gear, use machetes to harvest cocoa beans, and carry 100-pound bags of cocoa back to be processed. Many have scars from the machetes. If they do not work quickly enough, they may be beaten.
And most have not even tasted chocolate.
“Aly Diabate was almost 12 when a slave trader promised him a bicycle and $150 a year to help support his poor parents in Mali. He worked for a year and a half for a cocoa farmer who is known as “Le Gros” (“the Big Man”), but he said his only rewards were the rare days when Le Gros’ overseers or older slaves didn’t flog him with a bicycle chain or branches from a cacao tree.
Aly said he doesn’t know what the beans from the cacao tree taste like after they’ve been processed and blended with sugar, milk and other ingredients.
“I don’t know what chocolate is,” said Aly.
Aly is only one of the fifteen thousand children forced to work under these brutal conditions. The horrible truth of slavery should make you never want to touch that kind of chocolate again.
Read these eye-opening statistics:
70% of the worlds cocoa comes from the Ivory Coast in Africa.
More than 600,000 children who live in this region work on cocoa fields
284,000 children work in dangerous conditions
15,000 are captured, beaten, forced to work, underfed and not paid.
40% of child slaves on cocoa plantations are girls, while the other 60% are little boys.
What is Fair Trade?
Fair Trade ensures that the farmers are paid fair prices, making slavery less of a temptation for plantation owners. Fair Trade organizations regularly inspect member plantations, and will not certify or ship any chocolate that has been produced by or with the aid of slaves, child or adult.
Ever since our family became aware of the serious and ugly issue behind most commercial chocolates, they lost their appeal. We just can’t enjoy the taste knowing it’s likely that someone’s young son (or daughter) was cruelly abused to produce it.
As one former slave put it, “When people eat chocolate, they are eating my flesh.” (source)
We’ve been buying fair trade chocolate and cocoa ever since.
This Valentine’s Day, treat your special ones to chocolate that not only tastes good, but is produced virtuously and ethically as well.
Be an abolitionist. Buy Fair Trade Chocolate.
The Wonderful Thing You Should Do With Your Citrus Peels
Isn’t there something gratifying about using a food in it’s entirety that would otherwise be partially wasted; ground egg shells for the chickens, homemade bone broth from leftover beef bones, and fertilizing your tomato plants with banana peels?
How about using citrus peels?
These gorgeous candied orange peels taste as good as they look -almost like gumdrops – and provide some unexpected benefits too.
Orange, lemon, and grapefruit peels contain about 5-10 times as many vitamins and minerals as the juice of the fruit! That’s a big boost of extra vitamin C, plus some special nutrients that aren’t found in the flesh of the fruit at all.
Orange peels contain tangeretin and nobiletin — flavonoids that prevent cancer, diabetes, and reduce inflammation.
In Chinese medicine, orange peels are used to improve digestion, relieve intestinal gas and bloating, and resolve phlegm.
So candied orange peelings may even be medicinal, right?
White Sugar vs. Rapadura
We made two batches of candied orange peels; one using plain white sugar and the other, rapadura. I was surprised that they were almost indistinguishable taste-wise, although the brown color of the rapadura version wasn’t nearly as pretty as the white sugar. Maybe the entire peel could be dredged in chocolate to disguise the color?
Of course, rapadura makes these quite a bit healthier, since rapadura retains all of the natural vitamins and minerals found in sugar cane.
(Rapadura sweetened orange peels at left, sugar sweetened at right.)
Other Kinds Of Peel
We used orange peels here, but you could do this with grapefruit, lemon, minneola, or any other kind of citrus fruit you want. Lemon and chocolate are a classy combination, and we think grapefruit might pair well with a white chocolate dip.
Because of the possibility of pesticide residues on the fruit, consider choosing organic (or at least minimally sprayed) fruit for this recipe. (both available here)
No Special Equipment Necessary
Candied citrus peels are easy to make and don’t require any special equipment. We dried ours in a dehydrator to speed the drying process, but they can be spread out to dry at room temperature as well. Without the dehydrator, we found it’s best to give them a full two days to dry, so plan some extra time if you’ll be doing it this way.
Ideas for using candied orange peel:
add to oatmeal chocolate chip cookies
make cranberry muffins with candied orange peel
lovely addition to orange shortbread or pound cake
include in trail mix
sprinkle on yogurt or ice cream
Eat them plain for no reason, or for a special Valentine’s Day treat.
6 thick-skinned oranges, like Navels
2 cups water
1 cup sugar or rapadura
additional sugar for coating
6 oz dark chocolate (optional – we used 2 – 3 oz dark chocolate bars)
1. Score each orange in quarters and remove the peel from each section carefully.
2. Slice the peel into 1/4 inch strips.
3. In a medium sized saucepan, cover the orange peels with water and bring to a boil. Drain and repeat up to 3 times. The more times you repeat, the less bitter the rind will be. We did this three times, and they turned out delicious, but I think once or twice would have been enough. Just taste them to be sure if you want to cut corners here.
4. Combine the 2 cups water, 1 cup sugar or rapadura, and orange peels in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and simmer for about 30 minutes. Drain through a colander, reserving the orange flavored syrup for another purpose.
5. Toss the orange peels in additional sugar to coat.
6. Spread the orange peels out on a drying rack to dry OR lay them out on dehydrator sheets. It takes about 2 days to air-dry the orange peels. Mine took 2 hours in a dehydrator set to 130 degrees.
7. Once the oranges are as dry as you’d like, you can eat them, store them, chop them for a recipe, or dip them in melted chocolate.
Ideas for using the leftover orange flavored syrup:
Sweeten your tea with it.
Make caramel popcorn.
Drizzle over vanilla ice cream for an orange Julius sundae.
Use as a pancake or waffle topping.