Grow Happy

By Robin Ostfeld,
Blue Heron Farm

Everyone who has the opportunity should grow some of his or her own food. Even if it’s just a container with herbs or a single tomato plant, it’s worthwhile to grow something. Of course, I’m biased. Plants play a huge role in my own life, being both my livelihood and my hobby.  But there are so many reasons to get your hand dirty!

One morning last summer, a friend brought a copy of the magazine Discover to the farm. In it was an article that linked contact with soil bacteria to the release of serotonin in the brain.  In other words, inhaling or touching the soil bacteria (called mycobacterium vaccae) can cause a peaceful state of mind or, in a depressed person, an alleviation of the symptoms of depression. Wow! A new reason to garden! Not only is it good for the environment (there’s no food more local than that which you pick from your own backyard) and personal health (from the standpoint of the exercise involved and the fact that fresh picked produce has the highest amount of nutrients), but now it’s been shown to promote mental health as well! Of course, I knew it all along.

Read more: Grow Happy

 

Bread and Roses

By Kristie Snyder,
Marketing Assistant

Hearts starve as well as bodies; give us bread, but give us roses!

—James Oppenheim, from a 1911 poem supporting a Lawrence, Massachusetts textile worker’s strike


The workers that James Oppenheim’s poem paid tribute to were mostly immigrant women, who fed their families mainly—and meagerly—on a diet of bread. They were striking, ultimately unsuccessfully, against a pay cut. Starving was a very real threat; presumably they were less worried about their hearts. But the “bread and roses” quote endures—a testament to the power that the beauty of flowers holds.

Today, it’s South American flower workers, most of whom are also women, who might well be seeking “bread and roses.” Amy Garbincus, a flower and vegetable farmer at Three Sisters Farm and GreenStar Wellness staffer, says she is often asked, “Who cares if flowers are organic?”

Read more: Bread and Roses

Get a Jump on Spring: Grow Your Own Seedlings

By Stephanie Van Parys

Summer is only four months away, so it’s not too early to think of your summer garden. After making a list of what veggies you want to grow next summer, the next step is to figure out what you can start early by growing seedlings. Let me give you a few reasons why it’s worth the effort to grow your own vegetable starts:

You control the varieties and quality of the transplants going into your garden based on your own selections, not what the local garden center has available;

  • You control the timing of when you want to plant your garden;
  • More plants for less money;
  • Preservation of heirloom and rare varieties;
  • Fun!

Read more: Get a Jump on Spring: Grow Your Own Seedlings

 

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New in Produce

Citrus and Sun

Andrew Hernandez,
Produce Manager

Backlit slice of a blood orange January 2010Winter citrus lovers, we've got great Member Deals going on organic lemons and grapefruit. Juice 'em up and enjoy!

It's certainly not Bermuda but it'll do. ... Welcome to February! With a daily temperature in the thirties and a whole hour and fourteen minutes of daylight added by the end, we embrace our steady thaw toward the forty-eight degrees of March and the unrelenting wet of April, waiting for and wanting that familiar glow of sun-emblazoned sky, conquering our cruel wintry gray master with the promise of sun. But let's stay focused (and cold)! Stick and Stone Farm have carrots galore and their patented root medley (which you should enjoy while you can) and Blue Heron Farm offers their gorgeous garlic, beautiful beets, powerful potatoes, and ravishing rutabagas. Finally, dear members: please make sure to enjoy member deals this month on powerful vitamin-C-packed grapefruit and wonderful tea, cleanse, or tonic accoutrements, lemons. Also, enjoy the best citrus in town with our beautiful blood oranges and perfect Pixie tangerines. Cheers.

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