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

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

An Organic New Zealand Odyssey

fern-1540867As you read this, I may be streaming over the largest body of water on the planet. The Pacific will beckon as I careen across the International Date Line, south to my favorite island nation, Aotearoa, literally the land of the long white cloud according to the Maori tongue. It is also known as New Zealand. Continue reading

The Lost Turkish Art of Handwoven Towels

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Let’s face it, we take towels for granted. We can buy them cheaply in all manner of color and thickness, in person or online. We drape them casually after they drink up wet beads from our skin, never thinking about their origin or maker.

Towels are part of our everyday existence, mostly unremarkable in their function and form.

This wasn’t always so. Towels were once precious textilian pieces of art produced by artisanal looms and nimble hands. Today, handwoven towels are on the brink of material extinction. Continue reading

The Last Chapter of My Career: Opportunity, Change and Growth

  • Melody DCIt was the beginning of a new millennium. The year 2000 had come with no calamities or misfortunes, but it did bring the winds of change.

I had built a small brokerage business that for six years had linked organic produce growers with receivers across the country. Yet a wrinkle was forming in the fabric of my business model that would change my life forever. Continue reading