Community Supported Agriculture with Tam John
Fresh Seasonal Food Grown Close to Home
Excerpt from Tam's title:
"Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a means for farmers and consumers to share risk and reward of farming operations. The consumer pays an annual (or seasonal) fee to the CSA. This membership entitles the consumer to share the farm's bounty. Risk and reward is shared accordingly. If the farm has a bad season due to a weather event or other circumstances, the shareholder won't receive as much bounty. The shareholder either picks up produce or other goods weekly at the farm or a pickup location nearer the residential area of the shareholders is provided. " (John, 2018)
My love of growing and preserving heirloom veggies is something I have enjoyed for nearly a decade. In my restoration back to optimal health I believe veggie gardening nourished me to wellness in body, mind and spirit. On my five acre spread I've grown such a huge bounty of veggies that I used to take veggies with me on my business meetings and give them to my clients and colleagues. It beat a stuffy marketing brochure every day! To give an idea of my scope, my best year in the pumpkin patch portion of my spread produced 30 sweet pie pumpkins. I perfected pumpkin everything and the pureed frozen pumpkin lasted to spring time for my dogs. Needless to say I love growing my own food.
I have completed two University level horticulture programs which gave me the science behind the thrill of watching the seed germinate, flower and produce fruit and vegetables. Scaling back my urban gardening endeavors best I can say is I lovingly dabble with my veggie cultivation today. Since I can't grow as many veggies as I want to eat, I lean to a CSA to augment my gardening.
I am delighted to have found a local farm - Sandy's Way Microfarm - I feel so good about I purchased a seasonal share. As the fall season transpires I am offering a blend of what I know from my perspective as a Nutritionist, Recipe Creator and lover of fresh lively food.
Even if you aren't a member of the CSA I bought into, you will likely see many of the same veggies and herbs at the farmer's markets and local produce sections of your grocery market. It is my wish you are inspired with the ideas I offer here. Inspired to try a fresh seasonal food that is new to you; and inspired to explore a CSA share purchase for the next growing season; and inspired to stick your fingers in the dirt, toss some seeds down and see what you will cultivate.
I continue with the eighth week of my CSA share loot…
Excerpt from my title: A Fresh Wellness Mindset… “ Variety is the spice of life. Variety implies a wide array of nutrients. Eating a wide selection of food creates more opportunity for the body to get all of the nutrients it needs….” (John, 2018)
Zesty Chicken Soup with Sassy Spanish Rice is fuel for warm glowing energy
This soup is perfect for cool autumn weather. The combination of seasonal thyme, carrots, onion, tomatoes, celery and peppers will nourish and satisfy you. The recipe is fresh on Tam’s DIY Wellness blog. It is easy to whip this soup together in 45 minutes and is easy to double for leftovers if you are feeding a tribe or small army.
Toscano Kale: My goodness! Can you even get enough kale? Kale is notorious for being rich in vitamin K; so rich in fact it is said to be the namesake for the vitamin. I don’t know if this tidbit is factual or folklore. The World’s Healthiest Foods credits kale as being the most lutein rich food (think vision health and cancer prevention) along with being an excellent source of vitamins A, C, B6 and manganese.
Tam’s 3 favorite ways to enjoy a kale bounty:
Kale salad is recipe #11 in A Fresh Wellness Mindset (19 recipes in all in the book): The combinations to dress and trim this kale salad recipe are endless. The recipe will guide you to ‘finesse’ the kale to optimize its taste and your assimilation/digestion of its wonderful nutrients when consumed raw. Check out the book at Douglas County Library in Colorado if you would like to give the book a spin before you buy it.
2. Kale and Bacon: Simply chop bacon and an onion. Once the bacon is getting nicely limp and happy in a cast iron skillet (ideally but any large skillet you like can work), add the onion and saute until both are done. Add de-stemmed and chopped kale to the pan and fold in until the kale is wilted. Serve over steaming hot brown rice with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar! This will woo even the most skeptical kale critics!
3. Kale and Sweet Potato with lime coconut dressing: While a few sweet potatoes are baking, saute de-stemmed and chopped kale in coconut oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add a little garlic if it pleases you. Remove from heat when wilted. Stir in a Tbsp of lime juice to the kale. Put hot baked sweet potatoes in a large glass dish. Let the skin slide off or include some for a more rustic dish. Add another Tbsp or two of coconut oil and Tbsp of lime juice. Stir until creamy (some lumps are okay). Add cooked kale. Fold to incorporate and serve warm.
Fresh Thyme: A sweetheart to preserve for your fall and winter roasting, stews and soup. Dry thyme by simply leaving it out on a paper towel, then store it still on the sprig of run your fingers along the sprig to release the leaves. Don’t chop the sprig into your recipe, but you can put the whole of it in a stew, slow cooker or arrange it among roasted vegetables. It compliments poultry especially well.
Carrot tops: Don’t throw those out! Cale from Sandy’s Way suggests making a pesto with them. I wholeheartedly agree. Get Tam’s pesto recipe on the DIY Wellness blog and substitute parsley with the tops. Wash the tops by letting soak for a few minutes in a solution of white vinegar and water, then rinse well and spin dry before putting in your food processor.
Super Salad Mix: Use super salad mix as a bed for everything! Grass fed beef hamburgers are delicious served on top of greens, or if leaves are large enough, replace a bun with a lettuce wrap; Wrap turkey around lettuce mix and more veggies like sliced or grated carrots and red ball radish. Add a few lettuce leaves to your morning smoothie or alongside whatever you are eating for breakfast. You don’t have to eat a salad. Even a few leaves is a great upside for your breakfast. Be 'bragadociously' strong when you start your day with a veggie.
John, T. (2018). A Fresh Wellness Mindset: Personalize Your Food Life & Find Your Truth about Gluten. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. North Charleston, SC.
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According to Gray L. Graham, BA, NTP, Founder of the Nutritional Therapy Association, Inc. & Author of Pottenger’s Prophecy, How Food Can Reset Genes for Wellness or Illness….
"A Fresh Wellness Mindset is a refreshing and needed addition to the myriad of books written on the subject of nutrition and wellness. So many authors of nutrition take the position that they have discovered the one way and that their way is the only way. ...... Tam John’s book is, on the other hand, a guide to self discovery that will lead her readers to the diet that works for them. No more “diet of the month” approaches here. Tam carefully explains the nuances of important topics… “ Read Mr. Gray Graham’s full book review here