Cascadian Farm Organic Goodness

WELCOME TO OUR ALMANAC! READ ABOUT ALL THINGS ECO FROM ORGANIC VEGGIE
GARDEN TIPS TO GREEN FAMILY ACTIVITIES.

GOOD QUESTIONS

Why do you grow organic?

Because every little bit helps. While I am still on my journey to a greener lifestyle - there are many who are far ahead of me! - I believe that each time I take a greener step and make a more earth-conscious decision, I have made a difference. I want to preserve the world for my children and I want the world to be a healthier, safer place for them and their children.

What is your best organic tip?

Vinegar to boost natural dishwasher detergent and laundry detergent. I have used natural detergents for years now, but I must admit that sometimes the smell from musty towels that were left in a wet heap or the build up in my dishwasher makes me crazy. To get rid of the smell, I add white vinegar. Works like a charm!

What is your favorite CD?

I suppose if I have to choose, I would say R.E.M. Automatic for the People - but really it is impossible to choose just one of their albums. I adore R.E.M.

If you had to decide, what would you be: animal, plant, or mineral?

Animal. I would want to feel, to run, to eat and drink, to give birth - I would want to experience the world around me.

During the winter, I miss the fresh produce of spring and summer. I long for my grocery basket brimming with berries and veggies straight from the soil at our local farmer’s market.

But fortunately, we have lots of wonderful frozen fruit and vegetable options these days to keep us going through these cold, long months.

My favorite frozen food that my family eats every single day is blueberries! We add them to cereal, smoothies or eat them plain. My kids love them, I love them, and they are oh so packed with vitamins and nutrients – it is win, win, win!

If you and your kids are missing the sweet pies and treats from the holiday season, but you are trying to trim off the fat this New Year, here is a super simple treat that I whip up for my family: Steamed Apples and Blueberries.

Ingredients

3 apples, peeled and sliced

2 cups frozen blueberries

2 tsp corn starch

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tbsp lemon juice

½ cup water

Directions

Toss sliced apples in lemon juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg

Add apple mixture, blueberries and water to saucepan

Cover and bring to a boil

Reduce heat and keep covered to steam apples (you may want to check periodically to ensure there is still enough liquid and it doesn’t burn)

When apples are tender, mix corn starch with a splash of water and stir into sauce to thicken

Once sauce is thickened, allow to cool for 3-10 minutes before serving

Serve warm (add a dollop of whipped topping or cream if desired)

I love long, hot showers. It is hard to resist standing under the hot stream of water while cocooned in my own personal steam room. I get my best thinking done with the warm water pounding down on my face. But as much as I may enjoy a long shower, I keep my showers as brief as possible in order to conserve water. However, trying to get my seven year old son to keep his showers short used to be a little more difficult!

When he got in the shower, he got lost in the warm mist. He would stand in there for thirty minutes if left to his own devices. I constantly had to holler, “Hurry up Jackson – you are wasting water!” But he usually ignored my nagging and chose to linger in the soothing comfort of the hot water. Tired of reminding Jackson to expedite his showering rituals, I came up with an idea! I would use my son’s competitive instinct to get him moving faster...

I suppose for many it goes hand in hand with Corn on the Cob, the melted stick of butter that everyone rolls their corn of cob in before dousing it with salt. I was raised that way too. I can still remember the plate of butter with melted impressions of kernels and a cob size valley in the middle.


But somewhere along the way, I stopped buttering up my corn. I stopped dumping salt all over it. I started tasting how incredible it was on its own. Now I am not crazy – a freshly buttered cob of corn is delicious. But I just can’t bear to take something so healthy and pure and corrupt it. So I skip the butter and salt – and, perhaps most importantly, I am teaching my kids to do the same.


When I pass my children a cob of corn, they don’t instinctively reach for butter and salt. They just eat it and enjoy the mouth-watering taste of fresh corn. And I find that training their taste buds on naturally flavourful and sweet vegetables like corn on the cob helps when I hand them a plate of other cooked vegetables...

I need to stock up on cloth napkins...


Don’t tell anyone, but I am using a baby washcloth for a napkin as I sit here munching my salad at my laptop. Yes, it is pretty sad when I am so short on cloth napkins that I turn to baby washcloths. But I least I am trying, right?

Now, before I start, let me assure you that I do believe in table manners, and I am not trying to raise uncouth children.


But I have to tell you a little secret about how I encourage my children to eat certain cooked vegetables...


I let my children eat them with their fingers.


I know – it sounds ridiculous right? But wait – hear me out. I feed my children tons of raw veggies, so they are used to dipping vegetables in salad dressing and eating them with their fingers. Something about eating vegetables like French Fries, makes the process less intimidating and inherently childish.


So, when it comes to a couple of cooked veggies, I add some childish spins. When I feed my little ones broccoli, I call them trees and insist that my kids are dinosaurs, ripping off the leaves and devouring the trees. It works like a charm on toddlers and preschoolers. And before you know it, their palates are accustomed to the taste and broccoli becomes a “go to” vegetable in the house.


Yellow beans? Well, that is just easy! I tell my kids they are healthy French Fries. They gobble them up by the fistfuls. Seriously.

Most children resist eating vegetables, but in our family eating in “courses” solves the problem!
I can still remember my stomach growling. I was hungry and cranky when I came into the kitchen looking for dinner.


“I’m hungry Mom,” I would whine almost every day while my working mother flew around the kitchen preparing dinner.


And on most of those days, she handed me a carrot stick, freshly peeled. My twin sister and I would readily accept the offering – we would devour almost all of the raw carrots and she would have to swat us away so she had something to cook.


We knew nothing else was coming before dinner and somehow veggies tasted so much better when we were starving and begging for food....

 

I am a light shade of green.

I have not arrived, but I am on the journey towards a “greener” lifestyle. Yet in all honesty, sometimes I get overwhelmed. Sometimes it can seem like there are so many changes to make, so many things I am doing wrong. I still drive a minivan, I shower a bit too long and I let my kids play in the sprinkler on a hot day – to name just a few.

 

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