A Flock of Grace and a Gaggle of Gratitude, Thanksgiving and Abundance

thanksgiving abundanceThanksgiving is the holiday I adore the most. It’s about exercising my culinary muscle while throwing all buckets of restraint down the drain. I was just 12 when I concocted my first Thanksgiving meal for the family, so I’ve had some practice. As I remember, I secured a butterball in a plastic bag, plopped canned beans in a creamy quagmire of mushroom soup topped off with French fried onions, then rehydrated a box of mashed potatoes… my how my culinary times have changed! Continue reading

Is GMO Testing in Organic Necessary?

Indigenous SeedsMany of us purchase organic food and textiles to avoid unwanted toxins that may be present from the industrial chemical complex that pervades modern agriculture. Others who are wary of GMO technology purchase organic because GMO’s are prohibited in organic production. Because GMO’s are living reproductive plants that are wont to spread their pollen hither and yon, those modified genes are often cast across furrow and valley.  No longer contained in the lab, these mutant genes are difficult to stop. Just how much of our organic supply is contaminated? There is one state organic program bent to find out!    Continue reading

NOSB Fall 2015: A Delicious and Dirty Meeting

fall foliageOnce again, I find myself hunting the illusive meaning of organic regulatory and culinary bliss. I have traveled to Stowe, Vermont at the tail end of the peacock show of autumn foliage. I am not here to walk the sodden paths and observe auburn leaves aflutter. I come here to attend the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting, held twice a year and open to the public. I come to participate, make public comment, and network with colleagues. Of greater import I show up to listen and learn, to get a read on the health of our organic process and the people who fuel it. I am an avid and eager organic participant. I am eternally hungry.  Continue reading

It takes a Village—Fostering the Next generation of Organic Farmers

Organic farmThe National Young Farmers Coalition recently hosted a full-day land trust training on a Sunday in sunny Sacramento. After several weeks of back-to-back travel, was I really ready to spend my precious weekend learning about preserving farmland? Everything I do in my work, everything I eat and much of what I wear relies on a farmer and the farmland to sustain it. With so much of my very being linked to farmland, I was destined and driven to attend this event. Continue reading

A World of Fermentation — Why Miso Matters

Miso2Fermentation isn’t something new. Long before fermented “live” foods became all the rage in upscale aisles, our ancestors were hard at work perfecting the process to preserve food.  Long winters and short growing seasons made them the masters of invention in using fermentation to extend the availability of the food supply.  Across cultures people utilized the process to create and enjoy cheese, wine and beer. One of the most ancient and healthiest of the fermented foods is miso, みそ or 味噌,which originated in Japan, as early as 14,000 BC in the Neolithic era. Of all the fermented food, what makes miso so special? Continue reading