Happy New Year: Congress Lays a Golden Egg While USDA Doles out a Lump of Coal

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The end of the year has come and gone – a new year is upon us. I spent the holidays as a serial hostess, whipping up fine organic fare for friends and family. Yet the feasting and frolicking did not distract me from the news that affects the things I hold dear – Food and Agriculture.

While we were all preparing for the holidays, we at once received great tidings from Congress alongside a grimy gift from our dear Administration.

This then is the story of The Golden Egg and Lump of Coal that ended 2018. Continue reading

America’s First Organic and Biodynamic Vineyard Rising from the Ashes

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Frey Vineyards is a third-generation family-owned and operated winery located at the pristine headwaters of the Russian River in Redwood Valley, in Mendocino County, CA.

Jonathan and Katrina Frey met while apprenticing with the famed organic gardener, Alan Chadwick, in Covelo, CA in the 1970s.

When they returned to the family farm, they gathered up Jonathan’s brother, Matthew, and the rest of the enthusiastic younger siblings and established extensive vegetable gardens, vineyards, and fruit tree plantings. These continue to be planted and nurtured to this day. I recently interviewed Katrina Frey about the winery. Continue reading

My Auckland Excursion: A Taste of New Zealand

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New Zealand is a narrow spit of a nation consisting of two elongated islands that almost kiss in the middle. Once part of the massive Gondwanan supercontinent,it drifted away and nestled in the far southwest of the Pacific Ocean.

New Zealand then is the last landmass to be inhabited by humans. The Polynesians arrived by canoes a mere 1100 years ago and established the Maori culture. The Europeans arrived soon thereafter with vigor in the 17thCentury.

Both invasions brought enormous changes to the natural flora and fauna.

They both carried their culinary traditions and applied them to this new exotic landscape creating a gastronomic legacy found nowhere else on the planet. Continue reading

An Auckland Excursion and The Brilliance of Kiwi Ingenuity

NZ TreeAfter traveling through the rich green-scape of the North Island of New Zealand, I must turn myself away from geothermal explorations and culinary indulgences. It’s time for reentry into the stratosphere of business for a brief two days. Continue reading

What Do the Midterm Elections Mean for Organic?

Capitol HillI write from the Land of the Long White Cloud, New Zealand. While I was eating kamura wedges and savoring corn fritters, the people of the US were deciding who would represent them in the halls of Congress. I placed my vote via absentee ballot just before I left.

These red-hot midterms sparked historic turnout. Over 114 million Americans cast their votes. Republicans will remain in control of the Senate in the next 116th Congress while the House will shift to Democratic leadership.

These changes will certainly lead to shifts in federal policymaking and could set the stage for friction between the two chambers as well as the executive branch.

How did Organic Champions Faire? Continue reading