Environment, Organic Policy and Regulations, Social Implications in Agriculture, well-being, What is Organic

Stay Safe, Stay Sane, Stay Strong – We May be in for a Wild Ride

We are in for one wild ride!
Photo by 立志 牟 on Unsplash

I’m as tired of sheltering in place as almost everyone is by now. It’s been months of not touching or seeing beloved friends and family. Zoom receptions don’t cut if – where’s the wine?

If the experts are right, we are ill-prepared for what’s yet to come ahead. This pandemic isn’t over, nor is the social unrest and discord in our political circles. 

If you ask me, all people deserve the right to nutritious organic food, health care, education, clean energy and a planet that isn’t degraded.

While we sort this out and deal with a global pandemic, here are a few tips to keep us safe, sane and strong, while making the planet a better place.

Continue reading “Stay Safe, Stay Sane, Stay Strong – We May be in for a Wild Ride”
Culinary Delights, Environment, Organic Policy and Regulations, Social Implications in Agriculture, What is Organic

An Ode, an Ask and a Recipe for The Early Girl Dry Farmed Tomato

Those early girls, they get me every time.

Those sweet young firmed-skinned beauties, blushing with the deepest blood-red fluids

that issue forth from their skin. 

Punctuating and protecting a burst of seed and flavors that take me to the early taste of spring entranced with hints of late summer.

Their tasty tentacles embrace my culinary imagination.

Continue reading “An Ode, an Ask and a Recipe for The Early Girl Dry Farmed Tomato”
Organic Policy and Regulations, Social Implications in Agriculture, What is Organic

Albert Lusk: My Friend and Pioneer in the Organic Produce World

Albert Lusk a True Organic Pioneer

My profession and personal life have been interwoven and influenced by Albert Lusk over the decades. He was driven by his passion for organic agriculture and founded Albert’s Organics in 1980 when Whole Foods had one location.

I was working at Community Foods, a Natural Food Store in Santa Cruz, in the early 1980s. When Albert began delivering organic produce from Southern CA, our store expanded its organic offerings.

He came to be a friend and a mentor, sometimes a competitor, and he married my good friend, Claris Ritter.

Over time his company became the largest certified organic wholesale distributor of organically grown fresh produce in the United States. It was purchased by United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) in 1998. A few years later, UNFI purchased my company, Source Organic. I became part of the Albert’s Organic family and carried on his legacy there.  

Albert retired and moved to Costa Rica. He was fond of hiking to a wild waterfall in Braulio Carillo National Park.

In late September, he went missing with his car as the only clue to his whereabouts near this densely forested region.

Albert loves hiking in the Mountains of Costa Rica

While the search is not over, the story of this organic pioneer can be heard from the many produce veterans who helped him build a nationwide organic produce network.

Continue reading “Albert Lusk: My Friend and Pioneer in the Organic Produce World”
Environment, Social Implications in Agriculture, What is Organic

Molino Creek Farm Ablaze with Fire and Hope – Give Them the Lift They Need to Alight Again

Photo by Tom Hermans on Unsplash

I will never forget the first time I bit into a dry-farmed, early-girl tomato. It was 1984, and I was working at Community Foods, a natural foods collective. A coveralled man offered me a box of these red orbs to sell in our store.

I found them to be a bit small. Since they were organic, which was hard to source in those days, I took a bite.

The sweet, seedy richness exploded and dripped. The very essence of tomato-hood danced in my mouth. They were exquisitely sweet and firm with a touch of tartness—like a complex wine.

The dusty local farmer, Mark Lipson, would someday become USDA’s first organic policy advisor. He is one of the founders of California Central Coast’s oldest dry-farmed organic tomato endeavors, Molino Creek Farming Collective.

Last week, this historic and iconic community farm was ravaged by the CZU Lightning Complex Fire that exploded across the Santa Cruz Mountains. 

The pictures of the devastation are mortifying and terrifying!

Photo by Matt Howard on Unsplash
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Environment, Organic Policy and Regulations, Social Implications in Agriculture, What is Organic

Let’s Tip Towards Reason and Heal This Chaos

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

I can’t help but think it’s getting mighty precarious for our big-brained species from where I sit with ash raining down and smoke choking the air. The earth behaves like a petulant child, and we understand why we are the recipients of her fury.

We can choose to retreat for fear of fire and flood, pestilence and disease. Or we can decide to listen to the portend of her message and take action to put things back in order.

It used to be thrilling as a child! The wind, lightning and rain were a sign that mother nature was alive and vital. 

Now, the entire world is in peril, not just meteorologically but psychologically and philosophically: all have all gone off orbit.

Chaos reigns from the depths of both regions of the exterior and interior. While we prepare for the worst of it, yet to come, I serve forth learnings to keep us somewhat on the firm course of reason.

Continue reading “Let’s Tip Towards Reason and Heal This Chaos”