When I think back to one of the joys of summer as a child, the 4th of July, watermelon, and summer fresh fruits and vegetables are what come to mind. Waking up to attend a small town 4th of July Parade in Sonoma this year will be on the minds of several of our local families and vacationers as they prepare to celebrate our nations birthday. The thing that makes our little parade so special is our local hometown flavor with a hint of passion, history, culture and the combined energy of our community to keep it all alive. Our beautiful little town is situated in the backdrop of the Sonoma Mayacama Mountains in the heart of one of the world’s premier wine producing regions (www.sonomacity.org). If you find yourself in Sonoma on July 4th, join in the celebration.
Summertime is also a great time to visit local farms. My mouth starts watering as I recall the tangy taste of tomatoes, the whiff of the basil’s fragrance from a stem I just snapped off, and the sweet juice of a peach on my fingers and my lips as I bite. My hometown of Sonoma is also a wonderful place to explore our local farms. You can learn about our farms that are open to the public by visiting a great online resource: Farm Trails (www.farmtrails.org).
Back in 1973, a group of Sonoma County farmers got together and formed the nonprofit, Farm Trails. Their goal: to help ensure the preservation of Sonoma County’s rich agricultural heritage. The farmers created a map & guide listing the local farms and agricultural businesses and invited the public to meet the farmers and learn more about the origins of their food. These forerunners also produced the Gravenstein Apple Fair held every August to celebrate the heirloom apples of Sonoma County. In addition, Farm Trails created seasonal farm tours to promote their mission of cultivating “community by facilitating both farmer-to-farmer and farmer-to-public educational forums, as well as offering relevant events to foodies and aspiring producers.”
Dry Creek Peach Farm is one of the farms on this “trail” that I visited. The farm grows organic tree-ripened, hand-picked and hand-packed peaches, which ensures that the high quality flavor and the optimal nutritional value of the peaches are retained. This small, family-run farm is located in the Dry Creek Valley of Healdsburg in Sonoma County. It is one of the last remaining peach farms in the Northern California wine country area (www.drycreekpeach.com).
When you visit Sonoma in the summertime, be sure to first visit online at: www.FarmTrails.org to learn about upcoming agricultural and farm events that you can attend during your stay.
OTHER SONOMA LINKS TO VISIT
Gravenstein Apple Fair, Sebastopol, California: August 8-9, 10AM to 6PM: www.gravensteinapplefair.com
Sonoma Visitors Bureau:
Goodall also shares how insufficient plant conservation efforts have threatened the lives of the people of Africa, the wild animals, and her chimpanzees. She brings into dialog the importance of changing our views and understanding of the plant kingdom. By going deeper into uncomfortable areas, Goodall discusses the food we eat and warns of the damage we are doing to animals, plants, and the environment. She points out how consuming pesticide and GMO (genetically modifying organisms) laden products are poisoning our bodies. She discusses how the GMO chemical industry, driven by profits, presents us with both ethical and moral issues and dilemmas.
Goodall champions seeds of hope and seeds of change. She finds hope in saving the plant and animal kingdoms – and ourselves -- through the youth. In 1991 she started a program called Roots & Shoots, with twelve secondary-school students in Dar Salaam, Tanzania. There are now over 15,000 active groups in 130 countries. Participants range in ages preschool through university. The goal of each Roots & Shoots group is to “encourage young people to become involved in projects that have a positive impact on the world around them. Its most important message is that every individual matters and has a role to play, that each of us makes a difference every day and that the cumulative result of thousands of millions of even small efforts brings about major change.” (pp. 148-149) Projects of Roots & Shoots groups (www.rootsandshoots.org) have included restoring wildlife habitats for plants, insects and animals, planting native species, building and installing bird nesting boxes, and growing vegetable gardens.
Today, I challenge you to take part of this “make a difference” movement and get involved in your community. As Jane Goodall has demonstrated in her life, one child can make a difference.
Watch Jane Goodall Present at Dominican University:
Watch Jane Goodall Present at Concordia University:
Medical Herbs: Growing Medicine in Your Yard
SOURCE: GREEN DESERT: http://greendesert.org/Medicinal.html
Moringa - The Miracle Tree
There are many unexpected medicinal plants around the world. The healthy benefits of the Moriga tree has recently been in the news. To learn about its many medicinal effects, please watch this video below:
The Effects of Stress on the Molecular Level
To learn more about the damage stress does to our bodies on a molecular level, watch this video from TEDmed (www.TEDmed.com) on the effects of stress on our telomeres and why it’s important to change your reaction patterns to stress in order to promote health and longevity:
What Do Telomeres Tell You About Longevity?
Use Yoga to Reduce Stress
To learn some yoga positions and stretches that can reduce your stress, read the article, Yoga For Anxiety: 10 Poses To Reduce Stress And Support Mental Health at Huffington Post. It includes some helpful pictures of the various yoga positions that aid in reducing stress. In addition, don't forget the power of breathing: take a deep abdominal breathe when you find yourself feeling tense or in a stressful situation.
Wishing you a stress-free and joyful launch into Spring!,
The chef-owner is Swedish borne Helene Henderson. Cooking is not a new profession for Helene. She grew up on a farm and in the kitchen. In 2005 she even published a cookbook titled, The Swedish Table (University of Minnesota Press) which draws on her childhood memories and her insight into the treasures of Swedish cooking. The 125 recipes found in the cookbook offer both traditional Swedish dishes and modern recipes.
Helene hadn’t planned on opening a restaurant when she and her husband bought a two-acre property in 2008 on the coast of Malibu to start a family farm. She only opened her restaurant a few years later from the urgings of her family and friends who tasted many of her incredible dishes.
Malibu Farm’s menu and website (www.malibu-farm.com) makes it clear what is served and why I love this place so much. They serve fresh, organic, and local: everything from the menu comes from four local farms including their two acre Malibu Farm where everything is organic and seasonal, and the chickens, pigs, and goats are named, live happily, and are range-free.
Their cuisine is simple “real food,” prepared to bring out unique flavors and complementary blends that tantalize and tickle both the sophisticated and finicky taste buds. Nothing is low fat or non-fat, as “whole” foods is best. No fake food like margarine, veggie butter, nor sugar substitutes. Their mantra: Lots of local, fresh, organic veggies, whole wheat and whole grains, free-range and sustainable dairy, meats, and seafood.
We arrived around 9 AM and although there was a line, the seating was very prompt and stress-free. My husband ordered the multigrain pancakes, bacon bits and maple syrup dish ($12). The pancakes were fluffy, gorgeous, and scrumptious. I had the quinoa oatmeal maple syrup with coconut milk ($8). A lovely blend with a sweet base of coconut milk that was a tasty, healthy, and a delightful way to start my day.
This unexpected dining pleasure reminded me that the sustainable and locavore food movement for the few is no longer. Instead it has become a lifestyle choice that is now out in the open for all to enjoy.
ADDRESS: Malibu Farm 23000 PCH, Malibu, CA 90265
(located at the end of the Malibu Pier)
CONTACT: (310) 456-1112, firstname.lastname@example.org,
HOURS: Wednesday to Sunday, 9am-3pm. Closed on Monday and Tuesday.
What's at the Market This Winter?
The following produce can be found at most local farmers markets and grocery stores. Seasonal foods vary depending on your region:
Winter Vegetables: Arugula, beets, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, chards, collard greens, fennel, garlic, kale, kohlrobi, leeks, lettuces, mushrooms, mustard greens, onions, parsnips, rutabagas, scallions, spinach, sweet potatoes and turnips.
Winter Fruits: Citrus, apples, kiwifruit, Pears (Asian, Cactus), dates, and red currants.
A Winter Recipe with Seasonal Vegetables
Enjoy this warming recipe made of winter root vegetables. Expand the “home fries” concept by including local seasonal winter root vegetables from your region alongside of, or in place, of potatoes. I have made this recipe several times and it is absolutely delicious. It will warm up your chilling bones during any meal on a cold winter day or evening.
Recipe taken, with permission, from Flavors of Health Cookbook, page 74. By Ph.D. Ed Bauman, N.C. Lizette Marx,
© 2012. To purchase: http://astore.amazon.com/baumcollholin-20/detail/0985722908
As we enter winter solstice season, this offers us the opportunity to spend extra time with family and friends and to share traditions and recipes. Use this occasion to remind yourself of what is really significant in life. This is also an important time to unplug electronically and slow down your lifestyle. Start a new tradition for yourself by doing these simple, free, and valuable activities:
I wish you a happy holiday season with positive and healthy memories to last a lifetime.
Chicken Bone Broth
Servings: 4 (About 4 Cups) – double for Hearty Lentil, Chicken, and Vegetable Soup as needed.
2 cups of chicken bones or bone remnants of a whole chicken
8 cups of cold filtered water (enough to just cover the bones)
4 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar
2 celery sticks chopped
1 large carrot chopped
1 large onion chopped
6-8 cloves of garlic chopped
1cup shiitake mushrooms chopped
2 sprigs fresh parsley chopped (or dry 2 tsp dried parsley). Alternative: 1 sprig of fresh thyme chopped (or 1 tsp dry thyme)
1/2 tsp freshly ground peppercorns
CHICKEN BONE BROTH DIRECTIONS:
Combine all ingredients into a large stockpot and let stand for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Bring to boil and remove any excess fat and foam that rise to the top. Reduce heat to a simmer for 3-4 hours. You can reduce cooking time by cutting bones into small pieces. Strain broth through colander, or fine cheesecloth for a clearer broth. Discard bones and cooked vegetables. Best served fresh in 1 to 2 days. Divide remaining broth into 1cup containers or ice cube trays (once frozen remove cubes and store in glass freezer-safe containers) and freeze for future use. Use within 3 months.
How Sweden Transformed Their Food Movement:
Oak Hill Farm was started fifty years ago by Otto and Ann Teller. Their family farm is designated as a “protected wild land” through the Sonoma Land Trust. Like Jack London, the Tellers continue to farm responsibly with natural resources that follow an organic farming model: no chemical pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers.
Fall is my favorite time to drive to this farm and shop for local fruits and vegetables to make my SOUL food: Seasonal, Organic, Unprocessed and Local.
The drive along scenic Highway 12 that winds gently through the gorgeous vineyards and olive grooves of this Mediterranean landscape is enough to relax your soul and prepare you for the amazing bounty that awaits you at Oak Hill Farms Red Barn Store. As food and wine connoisseurs start to descend into this region to view the earth’s beautiful and amazing show of vibrant fall colors and flavors, they once again get to experience the region’s famous grapes as they dance off the vines and into their glasses. You know that wine harvest activities have begun.
Early fall on the farm is also a time to gear up your senses and celebrate the abundance of the season’s fruits and vegetables harvest. Fall’s unique produce contributions to farm-to-table recipes include: apples, pears, eggplants, beets, sweet peppers, pumpkins, broccoli and rainbow chard. Tables are delightfully complemented by the local array of flowers in season: zinnias, cosmos, and broomcorn.
Patrons have a variety of ways to purchase the local bounties of Oak Hill Farm: visit the Red Barn Store, their booth at a local farmers markets, or subscribe to their CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program. For more information, visit: www.oakhillfarm.net
To help you experience the flavors of our local fall harvest, please enjoy my Roasted Harvest Frittata recipe.
Roasted Harvest Frittata
By Chef Lynne Bennett
10 large organic eggs
1 small organic pumpkin
1 large walla walla onion, cubed
1 small head of roasted garlic
1 antohi pepper, seeded and diced
1 corno del toro pepper, seeded and diced
1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced
2 cups blanched organic Swiss chard
8 ounces crumbled Greek feta
8 ounces grated Vella Daisy Raw Milk Cheddar
1/4 tsp turmeric
pinch cayenne pepper
Himalayan sea salt and black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400° Fahrenheit. Quarter and clean the pumpkin, then dice into cubes. In a large roasting pan combine pumpkin, onion, and peppers and roast approximately 20 minutes until fork tender.
- Mix eggs in a large bowl until frothy.
- Add feta, spices, and vegetables to eggs and combine well.
- Lightly oil a Le Creuset 12-inch skillet and pour frittata mixture into it.
- Place in oven (still 400° Fahrenheit) for 25-30 minutes or until top is golden brown. Sprinkle the raw milk cheddar on top to retain health benefits of CLA.
Eggs: are high in tryptophan, selenium, iodine, riboflavin, protein, Vitamin B12, and Vitamin D. Eggs are a source of choline that boosts brain health and reduces inflammation. Eating eggs for breakfast helps promote weight loss.
Pumpkin: The health benefits of pumpkin are wide-ranging. High in Vitamins A and C, pumpkin also has a modicum of Vitamin E and is high in potassium, dietary fiber, and manganese. Eating pumpkin promotes lung health.
Onions: are beneficial for their high quercetin content as well as chromium, Vitamin C, dietary fiber, and manganese. Eating onions promotes cardiovascular health and supports bones and connective tissue. Onion’s anti-inflammatory properties help with a variety of health conditions.
Peppers: are famous for their capsicum content, as well as Vitamin K, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, potassium, manganese, dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin B6, and folate.
Swiss Chard: is a super food high in Vitamins K, A and C, magnesium, manganese, potassium, iron, Vitamin E, dietary fiber, copper, and calcium. Chard helps regulate blood sugar and has high anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.
Feta Cheese: Feta is high in riboflavin, Vitamin A, B6, B12, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium.
Raw Milk Cheddar: is high in CLA (conjugated linoleic acid— a good fat that also fights cancer) and Omega 3 fatty acids.
Turmeric: is a natural liver detoxifier that may prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease by removing amyloyd plaque buildup in the brain. It is a potent natural anti-inflammatory that works as well as many anti-inflammatory drugs but without the side effects. Turmeric aids in fat metabolism, helps with weight management, and is used to help fight cancer.
Cayenne: is so amazing it is being used to kill cancer cells in the lungs, prostate, and pancreas and is can purportedly stop a heart attack in 30 seconds. Cayenne increases metabolism, helps rid the body of bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Cayenne stimulates the peristaltic motion of the intestines and aids in assimilation and elimination.
Himalayan Sea Salt: helps regulate the water content throughout the body and promotes a healthy pH balance in cells, particularly in brain cells. Promotes blood sugar health and helps to reduce the signs of aging. Assisting in the generation of hydroelectric energy in cells in your body, Himalayan sea salt helps absorb food particles in the intestinal tract. Sea salt also supports respiratory and sinus health.
Copyright 2011, Lynne M. Bennett , California Culinary & Wellness Adventures
Lynne Marie Bennett is a certified Natural Chef, Nutrition Consultant & Educator, and certified Culinary Travel Professional through World Food Travel Association. Her company is California Culinary & Wellness Adventures.
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4th Of July
Fall Season Harvest
Flavors Of Health
Food & Travel
Gravenstein Apple Fair
Jack London Historic State Park
Malibu Farm Pier
Oak Hill Farm
Roasted Harvest Frittata
Roots And Shoots
Seeds Of Change
Seeds Of Hope