Cascadian Farm Organic Goodness

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

Hi friends! Have any of you ever visited our home farm in Washington state? If so, we would love it if you would share some of your photos, stories, or any memories of the farm from your trip.

Our 28-acre farm is nestled in the foothills of the breathtaking North Cascades mountain range in western Washington's Upper Skagit Valley. This is where our array of delicious organic products was born, and where we are currently pruning and planning for this year's crops to be sold at the home farm store.

If you haven't visited our farm yet, we would love to have you visit us this summer! Our Roadside Stand opens in May, so you can stop in to pick up a pound of our fresh, seasonal berries or a pint of our homemade organic ice cream. We also have luscious shortcakes, preserves and delicious organic snacks for you to try. If you have a little more time, spend an hour or so in our U-Pick berry fields (Raspberries & Strawberries earlier in the year, our famous organic blueberries late July - August). Trust us, the scenery is beautiful, and the food can't be beat! You'll be glad you made the trip.

Do you have any photos or stories of your Cascadian Farm trip to share? Post them on our Facebook wall!

Hello Friends! As the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, we're surely seeing signs that spring is on its way. Before we know it we will be back outside getting our hands dirty again. Can't wait! Until then, we've been doing anything we can to get ourselves in the spring state of mind. What better to get you thinking warm weather than popsicles? Recently we made some homemade popsicles using our grape juice concentrate and they couldn't have been sweeter. We thought we would share the recipe to get you thinking spring. They're extremely easy to make and are a surefire way to get your family out of the winter blues. Enjoy!

Things You'll Need:

• 1 can Cascadian Farm grape juice concentrate

• Plastic wrap

• Toothpicks

• Two ice cube trays

Instuctions:

1. Make the grape juice from concentrate.

2. Fill each tray with grape juice. Leave about 1/8-inch from the top of each cube.

3. Cover the trays tightly with plastic wrap. The top of the wrap should be taut.

4. Insert toothpicks through the plastic wrap into each cube. Make sure the sticks are standing as straight as possible.

5. Freeze the ice cube trays for at least three hours.

6. Remove the plastic wrap and gently pull the frozen grape juice cubes out of the tray.

7. Place on a plate and enjoy!

Recipe from: www.ehow.com

Photo by Daehyun Park

Hello friends! A couple weeks ago we asked you to send us your favorite recipes that incorporate granola. We were overwhelmed at the response we got! So many wonderful recipes were posted, many of them were extremely creative, too. Looks like we can learn a thing or two about cooking from some of you.

There were so many great recipes, but we only have room to highlight a few. Thanks again for sharing your recipes with us. They sound delicious!

CHEWY GRANOLA COOKIES

Yield: 5 dozen

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 3/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon baking soda 1 cup butter, softened

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 1/2 cups granola cereal

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F

In large bowl, stir together flour, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and baking soda. Stir in remaining ingredients except granola; mix until smooth. Stir in 3 cups granola. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls, roll into a ball & roll in the remaining 1/2 cup granola. Place two inches apart on lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.

 

BANANA BREAKFAST

Take 1/2 banana and top with:

2 tbsp almond/peanut butter

1 tbsp honey

1/3 cup dark chocolate almond granola

 

OATS and HONEY YOGURT

Peach Yogurt

Oats & Honey Granola

Pecans

Peaches

Blueberries

Combine Oats and Honey Granola with Peach Yogurt. Top it off with some pecans, sliced peaches and blueberries. Yum! If you have a granola recipe you make at home and would like to share it, post it to the comments section below.

 

SWEET JERK CHICKEN

Oats & Honey Granola

Nuts

Flax seed

Cornstarch

Salt

Pepper

Cayenne

Cumin

Curry

Combine Oats & Honey Granola with nuts and flax seed and chop it into a crumble. Mix with cornstarch, salt , pepper, cayenne, cumin and curry for a sweet and spicy crunch coating!

If you have any more granola recipes to share with us, feel free to leave them in the comments below or on our Facebook page!

Photo by Average Jane

Hi, friends!

Here at Cascadian Farm, we like to identify the topics that interest you the most so that we can keep sharing stories, recipes and tips that help you on your path toward sustainable living. Looking back at 2010, these are the top four posts that you all interacted with most on our Facebook page:

Popcorn: Forget the Microwave, Bring on the Hot Air! Air-popped popcorn not only is cheaper than microwave popcorn, but it saves on packaging waste, is all natural and tastes better! Janice outlines why she chooses to pop her corn herself.

12 Fruits & Veggies to Buy Organic Kari breaks down which produce have the highest amount of pesticide residue, proving this post to be a handy tool for your grocery shopping!

Steamed Apple & Blueberry Ice Cream Topping Janice shares a mouth-watering recipe for homemade ice cream topping that topped our list of Best Recipes of 2010.

10 Ways to Live Organic in 2010 Shaina explains some of the ways she fits organic and sustainable practices into her life -- without breaking the bank.

What are your favorite topics on our blog? Share your thoughts in the comments box below or on our Facebook page! We would love your feedback.

It’s the New Year, friends. So, why not make a resolution to eat more organic foods? It’s easy and can truly help protect the environment for generations to come. If you look at our boxes on the store shelf you’ll see the certified organic seal. Many people may just see it as a logo, but to us it means we care about providing you and your family with delicious organic food! Here are 11 reasons you should go organic for 2011. Happy New Year!

1. Organic food tastes delicious

Since organic crops are grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, the food that is produced has more natural flavor and nutrients.

2. Organic foods have strict standards

Organic foods are grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, chemical fertilizers, or genetically-engineered ingredients. The USDA has also developed specific labeling rules to help consumers know exactly what’s in the food they buy.

3. Keep chemicals out of the soil

Because organic farmers don’t use any synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, the soil that our crops are grown in stays untouched. Just like Mother Nature intended.

4. Organic farming practices preserve water

No chemicals in the soil and air means no chemical run-off into streams and rivers nearby. Thus, the quality of the water around an organic farm is preserved.

5. Healthy soil is produced

In order to meet the USDA standard for organic farming regulations, farmers are required to demonstrate how they’ve improved soil quality. We do this by partnering with farmers that rotate their crops, compost and plant cover crops over the winter. 

6.  Vote with your dollar

When you buy organic food at the grocery store it is a vote to preserve more organic farmland. It’s easy to see how buying organic food preserves our land for future generations to come.

7. Organic farmers are leaders in research

We rely on our partnerships with organizations like the Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF), who are constantly leading the way with research to foster the improvement and widespread adoption of organic farming systems. In turn, minimizing the impact farming has on the environment.

8. Organic farmers preserve biodiversity

It’s important for farmers not to lose the variety of species on the farm. By planting seasonal cover crops, organic farmers preserve biodiversity.

9. Help local farmers

Many organic farms are genuinely family owned. When you buy organic foods, you’re supporting your community and the people that work within it.

10. Help generations to come

If we eat more organic food, more farm land will be converted to organic, creating less impact on the environment for future generations.

11. Organic farms use less energy

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Association, Organic agriculture performs better than conventional agriculture on a per acre scale, both with respect to direct energy consumption (fuel and oil) and indirect consumption (synthetic fertilizers and pesticides).

 

Sources: Organic Center, Organic Trade Association, Food and Agriculture Association of the United Nations

Photos: All Organic by Tim Psych and Veggies at the Market by Kari Burks

Here at the Cascadian Farm blog, we always look forward to providing you with more of the stories, tips, and recipes that help you on your path toward organic living. As we count down toward 2011, we joyfully look back at your favorite recipes of 2010. These are the recipes that you all enjoyed the most based on the wonderful comments we received.

5. Almond Butter Honey Nut O's Bars: This update on traditional cereal bars including Cascadian Farm Honey Nut Os cereal, and many ingredients that you may already have in your pantry.


4. Vanilla Blueberry Almond Bread: How can you go wrong with such tasty ingredients? Some of you even made this one into muffins for a sweet breakfast treat! If you can’t find fresh organic blueberries this time of the year, look for our Cascadian Farm frozen organic blueberries in your grocery’s freezer section.


3. Lemon Quinoa Salad with Feta and Wilted Spinach: This quinoa salad is not only a great option for our gluten-free friends, it is also a delicious spring meal or side for everyone!


2. Avocado Wraps: Perfect for kids and adults alike, this quick meal packs avocados and cranberries into a tortilla. Some readers suggested substituting hummus or bean dip for the cream cheese and romaine leaves for the tortilla… both great ideas!

And our number one recipe of 2010:



1. Steamed Apple & Blueberry Ice Cream Topping: No surprises here… who doesn’t love ice cream? Some of you even used this recipe to top waffles, pancakes, or oatmeal, making it perfect for any time of day!

 

What were some of your favorite recipes of 2010? Did you try any of the ones listed above?

"Spread a little summertime on your toast." That used to be the tag line for one of our very the first products we ever made at Cascadian Farm: Fresh Berry Freezer Jams. If you've ever had our berry jam, you'd know that nothing else quite brings out the flavor of fresh, organic fruit. Freezer jams are a little different than what you may be used to seeing on the grocery store shelves. Since these jams use fresh fruits, they need be used quickly, or be kept in the freezer until you’re ready to use  them (hence the name “Freezer Jams”).

It wasn’t long after Gene Kahn dropped out of grad school and leased the plot of land that’s now our home farm that we had a whole crop of fresh strawberries, raspberries, and eventually blueberries too. At times we had more berries than we could use at home or sell at the market; producing jams & jellies seemed to be a natural side-effect of our new life as organic berry farmers. Before long, we were selling freezer jams, and Strawberry Fruit Spreads at the Pike Place market in Seattle. From there, we were able to grow Cascadian Farm and we now have our fruit spreads in co-ops and grocery stores across the country!

We don't know about you but right now, in the dead of winter, we sure could use a little summertime on our toast. While we can't offer you fresh fruit this time of year (stop by our farm in Washington from late June through August), we can offer you a little summertime with our Fruit Spreads.

 

Photo by @joefoodie

Here are five delicious organic appetizer recipes to try at your next gathering. Best of all, they won’t break the bank! After you’ve tried them, come back and let us know what you think. We’d love to hear from you!

Blackberry-Almond Bruschetta

Blue Cheese Quesadillas with Peach Salsa

Spinach-Artichoke Dip

Asian Green Beans with Almonds

Corn and Black Bean Salad

Hi Friends! Thanksgiving is fast approaching and we wanted to give you a hand in the kitchen. Well, not literally, but we do what to help you to make this year’s festivities memorable for all your turkey day guests. Updating side dishes is an easy way to jazz up your holiday meal. Here are some great recipes to try out this Thanksgiving.

Asparagus Risotto

You'll enjoy the mild, creamy flavor of this vegetable risotto.

Curried Squash Soup

Creamy and rich with a hint of curry, this squash soup is simply outstanding!

Peas with Mushrooms and Thyme

Make this tasty side dish in just 10 minutes—and wait for rave reviews!

Country Blueberry Dessert

As this homey dessert bakes, the batter rises to the top, creating a delicious pudding-like creation that is irresistible!

Photo by: Joe Marinaro

With Thanksgiving on the way, we thought it would be the perfect time to take a closer look a classic turkey day vegetable –winter squash. We grow plenty of squash on our farm in preparation for this time of year. What would Thanksgiving be without this delicious vegetable?

Because squash is a frost-tender vegetable, the seeds do not germinate in cold soil. Winter squash can be harvested whenever the fruits have turned a deep, solid color and the skin is hard. It’s usually harvested in September or October, before heavy frosts hit.

Other than being delicious, squash has many important health benefits. It’s a good source of complex carbohydrates, such as starch. It is high in vitamins A and C. Not to mention, high in beta-carotene.

Here is one of our favorite squash recipes, perfect for the holiday season. Enjoy!

Curried Squash Soup

Creamy and rich with a hint of curry, this squash soup is simply outstanding!

 

Photo by: Nociveglia

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