“We’ll take sandbags over pesticides THANK YOU VERY MUCH”
We spent Earth Day moving sandbags and saying goodbye to our overwintered greens – overwintered spinach, tatsoi, spicy greens mix, collards, and kale have all finally gone to seed with the changing of the seasons.
As a certified organic farm, we use sandbags to hold insect netting on top of our pest-sensitive crops, eliminating the need for insecticides. This insect netting works extremely well and lasts for many years, but it is certainly labor intensive (as well as expensive!).
Although it is hard work to move sandbags back and forth by hand, we honestly wouldn’t want to farm any other way. We definitely don’t want to be handling and spraying pesticides for the sake of our own health, nor would we feel good about eating that pesticide-covered produce or selling that pesticide-covered produce to anyone else. When people spray pesticides on produce it is recommended to wear a hazmat suit and ventilator mask so the farmer doesn’t poison themselves (I know, it’s not fun to think about). If pesticides are poisonous enough to necessitate a hazmat suit and ventilator mask for the farmer, why would anyone want to feed that produce to their family?
So, we’ll take the sandbags THANK YOU VERY MUCH. These same sandbags will now be used to hold down insect netting over the new season’s greens, melons, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, basil etc. in an adjacent field.
John Oliver’s main story this week shed a light on the plight of many modern farm workers and the rough conditions and harsh treatment that many endure on farms. Thank you, John, for shedding some light on this troubling topic. In case you didn’t see the segment, I’ve posted it below:
We are a small family operation and have not had very many employees over the years, but sometimes we have needed an extra set of hands. When we have hired employees, we have always worked alongside them and never asked them to do any jobs we wouldn’t do ourselves. We take every precaution to make sure everyone is safe and happy. We provide wide-brimmed hats, sunscreen, sunglasses, water and sun shirts when it is hot, and insulated overalls and jackets when it is cold. We provide a climate-controlled break room and a real bathroom with running water. We have first aid supplies available 24/7. We treat everyone with respect and pay them FAR above minimum wage. We are proud to pay all our payroll taxes, and we supply workers compensation insurance (we have had zero claims). Groundworks really is a great place to work. I wish every farm was a great place to work – sadly this isn’t the case. Groundworks is your cruelty-free produce connection.
Dear 2020, 2021, and 2022 CSA Members, Customers, Supporters, and CSA Host Sites,
Thank you so much for choosing to support local, organic farms like ours during the pandemic. Being of service during the crisis was the proudest achievement of our lives – we were honored by your trust and support. When communities come together we can accomplish great things!
Here’s to a new season of renewal, connection, community, and sustainability ahead,
-Margaret, Kevin Brown and family
Eating well can be difficult…life moves fast…and between work and family commitments it can be hard to find the time and energy to create and maintain the healthy eating habits we all want. It is easy to get stuck in a rut at the grocery store, buying the same canned and processed foods we always eat…because it’s easy.
This is exactly where the Groundworks Farm CSA can help you. Sign up with us and – RIGHT AWAY – you will bring an ever-changing assortment of the most beautiful local and organic vegetables into your house (at an affordable price too!!).
But, it doesn’t stop there. Groundworks Farm CSA is there with you the whole way. We have top notch support and service to help you use your produce and create great healthy, memorable, and easy meals for your family. Helpful tips, simple recipes, and friendly advice await you at each CSA pickup.
And, the CSA pickups are fun! Pick up your produce with your kids! Meet other members in your community! Share your successful recipes and ideas! Get input from others. Make some friends.
We’re here to make it simple and easy for you to eat great local organic produce at home. We want to help you be healthy and happy! Join us this Summer…you deserve it!
Fun Fact: We serve just as many families in the Winter as in the Summer! Some families join us ONLY for the Winter-Spring Season because they love it so much! Join us this season and find out what all the fuss is about.
The darker winter months are right around the corner and with COVID surging we need to do what we can to stay healthy. Groundworks Organic CSA can help you reach and maintain your health goals this winter with a consistent supply of the most nutrient-dense, flavorful, and varied produce you can get anywhere. Join us this Winter and stay on the health train year-round.
Don’t think you like Winter produce? Think again! We deliver a huge variety of quality organic produce at each Winter-Spring CSA Pickup. The Winter-Spring Season has all my favorite vegetables: fresh crisp greens, flavorful roots, winter squash, the best fresh mushrooms around, and even juicy strawberries and wonderful asparagus when Spring roles around.
Keeping Our Communities Healthy and Safe
Per Health Department and CDC guidance, we are taking steps towards making our CSA Pickups the vibrant social events they once were. We have taken the COVID-19 outbreak very seriously and will continue to take all steps within our power to keep our communities healthy and safe while continuing to provide uninterrupted service to our members. Our CSA will remain a very safe and reliable way to get your healthy, local, organic, nutrient-dense household groceries.
-Margaret and Kevin Brown
Most people would agree that healthy eating is important for a variety of reasons. We know we can all improve our energy levels, strength, cognitive function, disease resistance, and longevity, and decrease our chances of many chronic illnesses through simply making healthier food choices. We know we should eat more healthy foods – nutrient-dense foods with more vitamins, minerals, and fiber per calorie like fruits and vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and clean meats. We know we should eat less unhealthy foods – those foods high in saturated fat, sugar, salt, and simple carbohydrates. When you’re on a healthy eating kick you feel great – you get sick less often, you have more energy, you do more things with your kids, you are happier at work, you have energy for your hobbies. But, let’s be honest – it’s hard to stay on that wagon. It takes willpower, and effort, and knowledge to feed yourself and your family healthy food every day. It’s very easy to fall off the health wagon, and once you’re off, it’s hard to get back on.
It takes willpower, effort, and knowledge to drive past that pizza restaurant, or to resist the temptation of mouthwatering take-out and make yourself a healthy meal at home. We are all bombarded with seductive ads for unhealthy sugar, saturated fat, salt, and simple carbohydrate-filled, nutrient-poor food all day long. And it’s an easy sell because these kind of foods taste AMAZING! While you’re eating a bowl of ice cream, or a plate of white pasta with creamy clam sauce, or a greasy cheeseburger on a white bun your brain can release dopamine that makes you feel euphoric. Our brains (and our children’s brains) are programmed to LOVE this kind of food (a relic from our evolutionary past), so it is very difficult to resist. Because of this programming it takes effort and energy to get a child to eat healthy nutrient-dense food and vegetables – they eat unhealthy food happily and without complaint. It is a very easy path to feed children the unhealthy food that their brains crave, and to avoid the tougher task of teaching them to choose healthier foods instead. That Euphoric feeling you get when eating sugar, saturated fat, salt, and simple carbohydrate-filled foods is temporary though, and we know that we (and our children) will have less energy overall, be less happy overall, and be more likely to get sick, if we eat these foods regularly. It is easier in the short-term to feed our kids the unhealthy foods they crave, but we may be doing them a disservice in the long run.
It is worth noting that it even takes willpower, effort, and knowledge to avoid buying unhealthy food and ingredients at the grocery store. Displays lined with candy bars, chips, sweet breads, sweetened drinks, frozen meals, ice cream, white pasta, boxed mac and cheese, sugary snacks, and other nutrient-poor foods are featured prominently. This food tastes amazing, AND it is easier to prepare than nutrient-dense whole grains, organic vegetables, and lean proteins…who could resist them? We know if we eat these foods regularly we will have less energy overall and be less happy overall, and more likely to get sick overall, but it takes willpower and effort and knowledge to avoid these foods…even in a grocery store.
Is there an easier way to stay on the health food wagon? There is.
Please forgive my somewhat obscure sports metaphor…Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya is the greatest marathon runner who has ever lived. He has won his last 12 marathon races and holds the current world record. His sport, and his training, is an ultimate test of willpower and effort. It takes extreme willpower and effort to continue running at high speeds when every part of his body is screaming for him to stop. His sport is an individual sport – often in his races he is running alone (except for the crowd) – but yet he puts a high value on training with other athletes, and completes most of his training in large groups with other like-minded runners. Even though he is a world-class athlete, he knows that he would not have the willpower, on his own, to complete the training necessary to race at the speeds he does. He feeds off the energy and community of the runners he trains with (and the spectators at his races) in order to push himself to run just a little bit faster. Eliud Kipchoge has said “100% of me is nothing compared to 1% of the whole team.” In short, were it not for his community of runners all striving to run their best, his coaches, nutritionists and trainers, the greatness he has achieved would never have been possible.
This so-called Group Effect has been documented by Sociologist John Bruhn who writes,
“When people work together, their brains release greater amounts of mood-lifting, discomfort- suppressing endorphins than they do when the same task is undertaken alone. Consequently, endurance athletes perceive less effort and perform better when training and racing cooperatively than they do alone. The group effect is not something that has to be acquired. It is a coping skill that exists latently in everyone, ready to be activated by the right situation.
What is the right situation? There are two – call them micro and macro – that are relevant to running. One situation (micro) is any type of group workout or team competition in which a number of individuals work together. The other situation (macro) is a broader sport culture in which numerous groups of athletes train and race together often.”
In other words, when attempting a difficult task (such as feeding your family healthy food), we can achieve greater success by working together with a community of others striving for the same goal. We don’t have to be professional runners to understand this effect, which Bruhn points out exists latently in everyone. I’m sure everyone can think of a situation when they rose to a higher level because of the Group Effect. But to a lesser extent, most of us actually experience the Group Effect every day when we show up at work with our coworkers, or go to the gym. When we have a community of people striving for the same thing in the same location – working for the success of the company at work, working to make our bodies stronger at the gym, we all go farther than we could ever go alone.
So how can you take advantage of the Group Effect to increase your healthy eating success? If you live near one of our distribution locations, you can join our CSA program. We have a one-of-a-kind CSA program, designed to take maximum advantage of the Group Effect, while also fitting seamlessly into your busy life. When you join Groundworks Farm CSA, you are not JUST getting a curated assortment of the freshest and highest-quality local, organic produce available. You, perhaps more notably, are getting to participate in the benefits of the Group Effect of the Groundworks Farm CSA Community (at no extra charge). But, instead of training to run world record marathons races like Eliud Kipchoge, we are practicing the daily willpower, effort, and knowledge battle of feeding ourselves and our families healthy food:)
Each of our weekly CSA pickups is a vibrant event where cooking tips and recipes are shared freely (although, if you are in a hurry you can be in and out in just a couple minutes). Everyone is happy to be there, and you can bet everyone you see around you is making the difficult effort to feed themselves and their families healthy food. We strive together to set ourselves and our kids up for success in whatever we do with healthy food every day. If you want to feed yourself and your family nutrient-dense healthy food – and stay on that wagon – you cannot make a better decision than joining the Groundworks Farm CSA Community. You don’t have to go it alone:)
A native Hawaiian combination between a sushi roll and Chipotle-style burrito bowl, a Poke Bowl is the answer to all your savory cravings. And, you can make this dish quickly in your own kitchen. If you have a CSA Share, you probably have most of the ingredients in your kitchen already. Ok, you might have to purchase toasted seaweed and toasted sesame oil, but otherwise I bet you’re all set.
At it’s heart, like a Chipotle burrito bowl, a Poke Bowl is a grain bowl. So, it starts with rice. I like to use organic brown Basmati rice cooked in my Instapot (this handy pressure cooker takes about 20 minutes on the “rice” setting). While your rice is cooking, you can prep your vegetables. I like to use 4 different kinds of vegetables (it actually matters very little which vegetables you use, so get creative and use your CSA Share!), plus seaweed. Chop your vegetables into very small pieces and leave them raw or cook them quickly, as appropriate. For a recent Poke Bowl I prepped small pieces of kale to use raw and very thin inch-long carrot sticks to use raw, and I cooked small mushroom pieces and very small beet pieces for about 3 minutes in the microwave. Set all your vegetables aside to add to your rice later.
Now, prep your protein. Tofu, chia seeds, and hemp seeds are great vegetarian options. For an incredibly delicious, crispy, and fast tofu, cut the curd into pretty small 1/2″ cubes. You can fry these on your stove top with oil or in an air fryer with sprayed-on oil. Cook until evenly brown and crispy on the outside. For the meat lovers out there, try grilling (or air frying) a steak, chicken breast, pork chop etc. and then cut it into small pieces and set aside.
The last three ingredients you will need to set out on your counter are: toasted sesame oil, seaweed (I recommend buying roasted and salted seaweed snacks, they sell these at most grocery stores now), and any Asian-style salad dressing or sauce (I recommend any of the tahini-based salad dressings, such as the Dress It Up Sesame Tahini Salad dressing for sale at our CSA pickups or the Annie’s Goddess Dressing).
Assemble your ingredients like this for each family member: Start with a personal bowl half-full of rice. Spoon in a little of each of your 4 vegetables and spoon in a little of your protein. Take your kitchen scissors and cut slivers of your roasted seaweed snacks into the bowl. Now drizzle about 1/2 tablespoon of toasted sesame oil on top of your bowl. Lastly, drizzle just a touch of your chosen sauce (I recommend tahini salad dressing) on top. Now, carefully stir your ingredients together with a spoon, and enjoy. You can add a touch of soy sauce or some more tahini dressing if needed.
Our four-year-old loves to help prep this meal by stirring all the ingredients together. If you have young helpers stirring you may want to use an over-sized serving bowl to stir the ingredients together before transferring to a personal bowl so their unpracticed stirring doesn’t fling ingredients all over your floor.
I love recipes like this because you can utilize a wide range of seasonal vegetables interchangeably. Also, you do not need specific quantities of each vegetable – you can use all the odds and ends of your CSA Share. If you only have 1 carrot left, or just half a sweet potato, or only 2 leaves of kale…no problem, just chop those stragglers up and throw them in the recipe to nourish your family. When you eat multiple varieties of vegetables at each meal like this you are likely to get a more complete suite of vitamins and minerals in your belly, helping to stave off winter colds, have more energy, and feel better overall.
For more information on any of our programs, please email us at email@example.com, or call us at 443.220.2338.
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