Cascadian Farm Organic Goodness

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

Hi friends! Our cereal is one of our most popular selling products, and although it’s great right out of the box, or with a little milk, there are many other delicious ways to enjoy it. Whether you’re looking for a snack to munch on at school, or to enhance a desert, there are endless uses for our organic cereal. Here are a few of our favorite recipes. Enjoy!

Honey-Nut Marshmallow Bars

These gooey cereal bars combine marshmallows and honey nut cereal to make an after-school treat the kids will love.

Raspberry-Granola Bars

These old-fashioned layered crumb bars are simply irresistible!

Maple Brown Sugar Granola Cookies

Mmm! Filled with goodies like raisins and nuts, these chewy maple granola cookies are a must-try.

Triple-Berry Granola Crisp

Warm mixed berries topped with a crispy granola topping—it's simply delicious!

Honey Nut Snack Mix


Honey nut cereal, peanut butter, banana chips and chocolate-covered raisins—this snack mix has it all.

Multi Grain Snack Mix

Perfect for a party or everyday snacking—you'll love this crunchy mix.

Spiced Cereal Trail Mix

Cereal and dried fruit mixed with a touch of honey and spice makes a great afternoon snack.

Over the last couple months we have posted videos from our Home Farm Manager, Jim Meyer, giving advice and sharing his knowledge with us on various organic farming topics such as crop rotation, controlling pests, and planting cover crops. This week, he shares some insights on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).

One question we fairly often from you is "Do your products use GMOs?" The short answer is: No. You can know when you see the "certified organic" USDA seal on the front of our package that GMO crops have not been used. The USDA organic standards board does not allow for any GMO crops to be used in organic agriculture. A farmer using GMO seeds would not be able to use the USDA certified organic seal.

We've talked before about the difference between labeling "Organic" vs "Natural" food. While there is no strict requirement for claiming a food product is "natural," the absence of GMOs are one of the things that you can count on when you see the USDA organic seal...

We know that Halloween is right around the corner because our pumpkin patch is almost picked clean. If you're in the Skagit Valley area, you can still stop by and grab one for your last minute Jack-O-Lanterns!

We hope you and your families have a fun, and safe Halloween this weekend, but we would also encourage you be sustainable with your spooky celebrations. Last week we asked our Facebook community for tips on how to "green" your Halloween, and they came through with some fantastic ideas! Thank you for all your suggestions.

Here are 10 great ideas for a green Halloween from our Facebook community:

1) Go Local: Buy locally produced pumpkins from a farmers patch, local apples, cider etc.

2) Make Your Own Costumes: Resale shops are loaded with Halloween costumes this time of year that have been worn only once and donated. Buy your costumes from there or be creative with used clothes making clowns, scarecrows using old clothes and straw, etc.

3) Reusable Candy Bags: Use a paper bag or pillow case as a trick or treat bag.

4) Use Real Produce for Decorations: Rather than buying plastic pumpkins, window clings, and other decorations, use real pumpkins, squash, and other food to decorate your home with.

5) Plant Pumpkin Seeds for Next Halloween: Use the seeds from this year's pumpkins to grow next year's in your backyard!

6) Re-use Your Pumpkins: Use face paint to paint your pumpkins so that you can wash them off and use them to make pumpkin pies and muffins.

7) Cut Out the Candy: Pass out individual packets of trail mix,boxes of raisins, or cranberries, instead of candy.

8) Compost Your Old Pumpkins: Put your left over pumpkins in your compost pile and use the compost in your garden or flowers.

9) Be Creative: If you’re throwing a party, make your own decorations, recycling materials you already have. Be creative!

10) Donate: Give away the surplus of candy your kids accumulate.

Many of you know that in order for us to use the "Certified Organic" seal, we have to grow our crops without using synthetic chemicals for pest & weed control. Jim explains how he uses natural checks and balances that exist in a diverse ecosystem to keep "bad bugs" in check.

If you're interested in more information about organic pest control, read about how we plant insectiaries for natural pest control.

Hello Friends! As school starts up again this fall, we are happy to announce that Cascadian Farm will be participating in the Box Tops For Education program yet again. It’s extremely important to us that children have the tools they need to get a quality education and this program does just that.

Since 1996, the Box Tops For Education program has raised more than $340 million for K-8 schools, including more than $48 million last year. The money raised is used to buy library books, computers, musical instruments, and more.

The fundraising concept is simple: Cascadian Farm and many other brands have Box Tops For Education coupons on product packages. Simply clip the coupon and send it with your child to school. Their school will then send it to the fulfillment agency, which then sends a check directly to the school. The coupons can also be dropped in donation boxes at grocers or other collection points. Thanks for your support! For more information on the Box Tops For Education program click here.

Now that fall is here and winter is closing in, it’s easy to assume that it’s time to put your gardening tools into hibernation and forget about your garden until next spring. But, in actuality fall is an essential time to prepare your garden so that you can ensure a successful growing season next spring. Jim is busy planting cover crops to prepare for winter (more on that next week), but here are a few tips you can use in your own garden.

Depending on where you live, it may or may not be this cold yet, but when night time temperature drops to less than forty-five degrees Fahrenheit for more than four days in a row it’s time to start taking precautions to get your garden ready for winter. Here are some tips to help you do just that.

1. Evaluate Your Garden- Take a look at which crops you planted this season and evaluate if they worked well for you or not. Think about which ones should stay and which ones should go.

2. Clean and Clear- It’s important that you weed your garden and remove any diseased leaves that may be lying around. Weeds and rotten leaves have a tendency to carry insects and diseases that may be harmful to your garden.

3. Mulch is a Must- Putting mulch or a cover crop over your garden is essential to protecting your plants from extreme temperatures and heavy snow. To make mulch you can use a number of materials including grass clippings, bark or pine needles.

4. Clean Your Tools- Take the time to clean and sharpen your tool so that they don’t rust and they’ll be all set to go for the spring!

Do you have any gardening tips that you’d like to share? We love to hear them. Leave them in the comments box below or on our Facebook page.

While we hate to see the summer go, one of our favorite parts about fall is when families come visit the farm to pick pumpkins and tour the farm on a hayride. This is a part of the Skagit Valley's Festival of Family Farms, and we're thrilled to be participating again this year at our home farm.

This is the same farm that was started by Gene Kahn thirty-eight years ago. Gene, an idealistic 24-year-old grad-school dropout, wanted to make a difference, so he set out to farm organically on a little stretch of land next to the Skagit River in the Cascade Mountains of Washington. Today Cascadian Farm is recognized as a pioneer in converting conventional farms to organic.

On Saturday & Sunday, Oct 2nd-3rd Cascadian Farm will be participating in the 12th annual Festival of Family Farms, and Farmer Jim will be giving farm tours via hayride both days. If you're in the area, you won't want to miss this chance to learn about organic farming, and how we use the natural ecosystems of the Cascade forests around our farm to feed healthy soil, and grow healthy crops. You can also grab your Halloween pumpkins from our pumpkin patch!

If you're in the area, we hope you'll stop by our farm, as well as some of our neighbors' farms here in the Skagit Valley. But no matter where you live, we hope you'll get out to a local farm this fall with your family. Check out the fall colors surrounding your local pumpkin patch, or apple orchard.

If you have ideas for family fun during the fall, please share them in the comments below, or on our Facebook wall!

Hello Friends! School is back in session and it’s time again to start thinking about what to pack your kids for lunch. Between fighting to get them out of bed and getting them dressed, packing a healthy lunch is probably the last thing on your mind. Not to mention the other battle of getting your kids to actually eat the lunch you packed- not see it end up in the playground trashcan.

The key to getting your kids to eat their lunch is making it fun to do so. We found a wonderful blog by a mother from Michigan called momcooks.net, that has many creative ideas on how to liven up your kid’s lunch. Here are a few of them. Click here to get all of the recipes.

Crazy Eights

Lunch is a lot more fun when you have eight of everything. Here’s a great idea, pick your child’s favorite combination of healthy snacks and package them up in eights. You’d be surprise how much more fun it is that way!

Tic Tac Toe Lunch

Obviously playing with your food is always more fun! Turn lunch time into play time with this creative food idea.

Safari Lunch

Why not give each lunch a theme? This is an easy way to get your child excited about lunch each day. Here is a recipe for a Safari themed lunch.

Do you have any fun lunch ideas that work with your children? Leave them in the comments below or post them to our Facebook page.

 

Photo By: Carly & Art

On Friday August 20th, a group of Cascadian Farm employees, and their friends and families enjoyed a beautiful Skagit Valley day, and took part in a longstanding tradition: we hiked up to the top of Sauk Mountain for a mile-high picnic, and then came back down to the farm to pick a basket of our mouth-watering organic blueberries. This has been an annual event for Cascadian Farm and Small Planet Foods employees for the last 7 years!

Check out the Flickr set for this event!

Summer is winding down (as much as we don’t want to admit it) and aside from school starting soon; many kids are also getting back on the field for fall sports. Between getting your kids in their uniforms and driving the car pool to practice, the last thing on you mind is packing a healthy snack to keep them going during and after practice. But don’t worry, we’re here to help with a list of quick and healthy snacks that will keep your kids moving all season long. One of which is our spiced cereal trail mix your kids are sure to love.

Do you have any healthy snack ideas? If so, feel free to share them in the comment box.

Half-Time Snacks: Give your kids fruit during half time, this way they’ll get charged up without filling up.

•Orange slice

•Easy-peel Clementines

•Grapes

•Cantaloupe or watermelon chunks

•Strawberries

Post-Game Snacks: After the game, they will have more time to eat and they will surely be hungry.

Early morning games:

•Whole-wheat mini-bagels with cream cheese and jelly

•Mini-yogurt cups

Granola bars

•Whole-grain muffins

Just before lunch games:

•String cheese

•Half sandwiches on whole-wheat bread (PB&J, turkey & cheese, etc.)

•Peanut butter on celery sticks

For afternoon games:

•Popcorn and baby carrots

•Whole-grain crackers and cheese

Spiced Cereal Trail Mix

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