I wrote the essay below on Mother’s Day, 2006. Actually, it’s more accurate to say that this essay came through me more than from me. I woke up in the middle of the night full of thoughts that had to be put down. I grabbed a few scraps of paper from my bedside table, snuck into the bathroom and by the light of the kids’ nightlight, transcribed the stream-of-conciousness that’s below. The next morning, I pieced together my scrawl, and was picked up by my mother for our annual Mother’s Day journey to our favorite nursery. As mom drove, I read. When I finished reading, Mom was speechless…tears flowing. This essay has been the introduction to my first book, almost unchanged, since that day.
My mom has not only shared, but inspired my clean food journey. Thank you, Mom, and wishing you and all moms a wonderful Mother’s Day. May you receive as much love as you give…this and every day.
Eat clean live well!
My farmer doubles as my gardener! It’s true. Despite my good intentions to turn my garden, nourish it with fresh compost, and plant an early spring crop of lettuce, spinach and more, it’s rare that it actually happens. This year is no exception, except I’ve been partially saved by the late-planted spinach and kale I put in the ground last October that is miraculously thriving this spring. Nevertheless, in just a short time, my farmer will save the day once again. Yes, I’ll be loading up with organic seedlings at this year’s Urban Oaks Organic Farm Seedling Sale – the biggest organic seedling sale in Connecticut…if not further! You definitely don’t want to miss it!
While I was thinking about the sorry shape of my garden last week, I stopped by the farm to see how things were shaping up. These pictures tell the story better than I ever could.
If you find yourself in the same boat as I, or if you’re just now thinking how great and easy it would be to grow your own organic produce this summer, this seedling sale is for you!
ORGANIC SEEDLING SALE!
Friday, May 17 | noon – 6:00pm
Saturday, May 18 | 9:00am – 2:00pm
Sale will run for 4 consecutive weeks during regular farm stand hours
Fridays 2:00 – 6:00pm | Saturdays 10:00am – 1:00pm.
225 Oak Street, New Britain, CT 06051
There’s always lots going on at the farm, from seasonal festivals and CSAs (both summer and winter!) to their year-round farm stand featuring organic produce, baked goods, cheeses, meats and products from Connecticut, Vermont, Massachusetts and New York! Chances are good you’ll see me there, so be sure to say hi!
Until then, eat clean live well!
When 64% of the students attending a school qualify for assistance in the form of one to two meals a day, food accessibility and security is a hot topic. This is exactly why I was brought in to work with Connecticut River Academy (CTRA) on their recent Food Accessibility and Security program. While originally intended to simply educate students about the value of a local food system, together we turned it into the foundation for this community to develop and implement their own sustainable food system.
Students watched the documentary “Foodstamped,” participated in Foodshare’s “Hunger 101” program, and took part in a food sustainability fair where they engaged with local farmers, nutritionists, food access agencies and distributors from all over the state. Next they took part in discussions that were facilitated so that students, faculty and administrators could talk all on the same level, share ideas, frustrations and vision for their future.
You can’t make healthy choices if you don’t know what the options are, and you can’t create change if you don’t have a voice. This was the focus of my session which supported the goal of the entire program…to create a sustainable food system for their micro-community. To lock in this intention, the entire community came together to plant their very first seeds.
The event was capped off by a celebration of food featuring dishes provided by some of our area’s favorite chefs and vendors. The entire CTRA community literally tasted how delicious and nourishing it will be to grow clean food that will nourish their community.
And as this program proved many times over, food has the powerful ability to divide us, but its power to bring us together is even greater.
Special thanks to those who nourished us with delicious clean food as part of our celebration of food:
Executive Chef Anthony Camilleri, Rizzuoto’s, West Hartford
Erich Kronschnabel, Flatbread, Canton
Pam Dunn, Boxed Goodes
Urban Oaks Organic Farm, New Britain, CT
Waverly Markets, ShopRite, Manchester and East Hartford, CT
CTRA Students led by faculty member and chef, Tom Kilgus
Here’s to planting the seeds that allow us to eat clean and live well…at CTRA, in every school and in every community!