Newsletter for Co-op Box (Week One Cycle)

Greetings Our Farm Community members,

This week is week one of our cycle. We are starting to see the changeover from veggies grown more south to farther north. We too are starting to plant into our fields and the warmer days are yielding growth to our spring time veggie starts. Still it is early; frost still shows up on our fields and we even found a small sheet of ice on a puddle that had collected on an old lid – too early yet to plant sun loving crops without cover. Nevertheless, we can begin the planting of peas and grain, as well as the hardy brassicas, kale, broccoli and cauliflower.

After a nice stretch of weather, this week looks like rain and drizzle and showers, par for the course for the Pacific Northwest. So soup is a good thing for the menus and this week we have a good supply of hearty soup ingredients, especially the traditional base veggies, carrots, onions, celery and potatoes. So many soup recipes start with these healthy delicious ingredients.

Please have a look at a great site nicely entitled, Worlds Healthiest Foods, at http://www.whfoods.com. They have lots of information about current research on the healthy qualities of food as well as great ways to us them in the diet.

For example, here is just a short section of what is available on celery:

A Few Quick Serving Ideas:
Add chopped celery to your favorite tuna fish or chicken salad recipe.
Enjoy the delicious tradition of eating peanut butter on celery stalks.
Use celery leaves in salads.
Braise chopped celery, radicchio and onions and serve topped with walnuts and your favorite soft cheese.
Next time you are making fresh squeezed carrot juice give it a unique taste dimension by adding some celery to it.
Add celery leaves and sliced celery stalks to soups, stews, casseroles, and Healthy Stir-Fries.

Celery and Pesticide Residues
Virtually all municipal drinking water in the United States contains pesticide residues, and with the exception of organic foods, so do the majority of foods in the U.S. food supply. Even though pesticides are present in food at very small trace levels, their negative impact on health is well documented. The liver’s ability to process other toxins, the cells’ ability to produce energy, and the nerves’ ability to send messages can all be compromised by pesticide exposure. According to the Environmental Working Group’s 2013 report “Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides,” conventionally grown celery is among the top 12 fruits and vegetables on which pesticide residues have been most frequently found. Therefore, individuals wanting to avoid pesticide-associated health risks may want to avoid consumption of celery unless it is grown organically.

Nutritional Profile
Celery is a rich source of phenolic phytonutrients that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These phytonutrients include: caffeic acid, caffeoylquinic acid, cinnamic acid, coumaric acid, ferulic acid, apigenin, luteolin, quercetin, kaempferol, lunularin, beta-sitosterol and furanocoumarins. Celery is an excellent source of vitamin K and molybdenum. It is a very good source of folate, potassium, dietary fiber, manganese, and pantothenic acid. Celery is also a good source of vitamin B2, copper, vitamin C, vitamin B6, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids).
Celery also contains approximately 35 milligrams of sodium per stalk, so salt-sensitive individuals can enjoy celery, but should keep track of this amount when monitoring daily sodium intake.

One Final Important Note:

We want to conclude this week’s newsletter with an invitation for members to join our Community Supported Agriculture Program. Our CSA is different than most in that we do not offer a set box of veggies. Instead we offer our farm members a choice of what they want each week from a wide variety of produce, prepared foods and grains, beans and other healthy prepared and fermented foods we produce. They are all available to members through our program as part of their weekly shares. Members pick up their shares each week at one of the four farmers markets we attend each week and the program goes for 20 weeks. There are vacation credits so even if you go away for vacation you still retain your credits for food. Please have a look at our program at our web site http://www.geecreekfarm.com. Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about our innovative local community agriculture program.

Thanks again for your membership in our local food co-op. Each week we are able to help hundreds of folks because of the program which we support.

Enjoy your food in health!

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