250 Million Year Old Salt Expires In 2019

A word about expire dates

~~Sourced from Heartland Health Foods March Newsletter~~

Expire dates are for the most part a joke. They are meant to increase sales and profits.

1) They get the consumer to use it up and come back for more
2) It forces the retailer to mark it down and sell it quicker
3) It allows an escape mechanism for the manufacturer to not stand by its product very long. The first question they ask a complainer is “What’s the date?”

It’s funny how if we find a bottle of something under the ocean of 150 years we can’t wait to try it.

It’s also funny how the government can store a bag of rice under the earth for disaster recovery up to 25 years, but for a package of rice, a lowly store owner get 3 weeks.


Meanwhile in our greenhouse this wild and windy WNC weekend, the first seeds are popping up in the first seedbeds.  Soon I shall be very busy transplanting seedlings!  They have tripled in size overnight! I guess the seedlings really liked the water the Grandson sprayed on them with his squirt gun yesterday!


CSA Farm Shares are available for the 2018 Harvest Season . . . JOIN NOW.



From Food Safety News

EFSA: Home kitchen hygiene crucial to fight foodborne illness

Relatively minor gastrointestinal illnesses can be serious, even fatal, for people from risk groups including small children, pregnant women, very old people or people with weakened immune systems, prompting a reminder that kitchen hygiene is of vital importance.

In an effort to reduce the number of foodborne infections, the Member States of the European Union submit data on foodborne outbreaks every year to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). The agency reports that food consumed in private homes was the source of 40 percent of the European outbreaks in 2016.

The recently released EFSA report on zoonoses — diseases that can be transmitted to humans from animals — and foodborne outbreaks in Europe in 2016 showed that 205 of the 521 “strong-evidence” outbreaks were caused by the consumption of food in private households. The next highest category were outbreaks caused by food in restaurants, etc., with 133 identified. Communal catering facilities, such as lunchrooms in schools, nursing homes and hospitals were found to be responsible for 87 outbreaks.

Outbreak investigations showed that the major sources of disease were meat and meat products, in particular poultry meat, which accounted for 126 outbreaks. Mixed food and buffet meals were responsible for 85 outbreaks, eggs and egg products for 72 outbreaks, fish and fisheries for 70 outbreaks, and milk and milk products for 45 outbreaks.

Although vegetables, fruits, cereals, sprouted seeds, herbs and spices and their products made a much less significant contribution to the outbreak situation in Europe with a total of 34 outbreaks, they should not be ignored, according tot the report..

Overall, Salmonella was the dominant pathogen reported by the EU Member States.

The risk of food-borne infections can be minimized through consistent compliance with the rules of good kitchen hygiene, according to the report.

(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)

© Food Safety News


Your CSA Farmer says:  Do not fret!  Just read the previous Blog Entry .

Bagged Salad Warning

I am sure most have seen that warning on the side of the triple washed salad greens which says  to not wash the greens because your kitchen sink will have even more “bugs” in it which will infect the lettuce.  Sorry, I just cannot help myself.  I WASH my greens!  Here is the hospital-grade/food-grade disinfectant which I use to keep our kitchen sink (and a whole lot more) sanitized without getting bleach spots all over my clothing and inhaling noxious fumes . . .

Vital Oxide® is a broad-spectrum, antimicrobial solution proven to perform against molds, mildews, fungi, spores, yeasts, and viruses. Use Vital Oxide in shower stalls, under sinks, on kitchen counters, in diaper pails, at schools, in daycares, on sports equipment, in basements – anywhere mold or bacteria can be found. Vital Oxide Antibacterial Spray has been independently tested under GLP (good laboratory practice) conditions and shown to kill bacteria and viruses, such as MRSA, H1N1 (Swine Flu), Norovirus, Legionella pneumophila, and E. coli.

Why Vital Oxide?

  • Vital Oxide comes from the family of revolutionary products brought to you by The Ecology Works®, whose products strike at the root causes of many common allergic reactions
  • Vital Oxide is a hospital-grade disinfectant that kills 99.999% of harmful microbial substances on hard surfaces and in the air
  • Kills Bacteria and Virus and for use against Ebola virus
  • Awarded the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) Seal of Approval, Vital Oxide is also effective at sanitizing carpets and removing pet odors
  • Though tough on molds, mildew, fungi, yeasts, bacteria and viruses, Vital Oxide is gentle on you
  • Vital Oxide is for someone who wants an antimicrobial cleaner that’s:
    • An ecologically sound alternative to chlorine-based cleaners and disinfectants
    • Safe for you, your family, and for environment
    • So mild you can wash your hands in it
    • Note: Moms find it great to clean and sanitize toys safely and easily – especially bathtub toys!
    • Non irritating to the skin, and non corrosive to treated articles
    • Colorless, odorless, and will not harm water-safe fabrics
  • Gallon size perfect for big jobs or to have extra on hand
  • EPA registered

Active Ingredient:

The active ingredient in Vital Oxide is chlorine dioxide, which sounds like chlorine, but it’s not. Chlorine dioxide and chlorine are very different, react differently, and result in different by-products (see chart below). Chlorine dioxide has been used in disinfecting water supplies for decades (I did not know this!), but only now, in Vital Oxide, is there a formula that is stable enough to remain potent for home use.

Vital Oxide comes in a one-gallon (128-oz) refill size that is affordably priced, and great for big jobs. Also available in a ready-to-use 32-oz spray bottle, and a handy 3-oz travel size with pump sprayer (both sold separately).

You can find this product on National Allergy Supply web site.  I have dealt with this company for decades. They are the best! Very reputable and if you are dissatisfied with your purchase will make it right; but trust me, you will love what they offer!  Currently, they are having a 20% Off Sitewide + Free Shipping* on Orders over $59 CODE: RELIEF20


Thinking About Veggies

We are thinking about veggies! The cold weather and snow and ice can make anyone want to ignore reality. However, we must start thinking about vegetables now so that we are ready to fill CSA boxes when May arrives. The gardens have been cleared of the 2017 Harvest Season debris which is a bigger chore than one might imagine–but it is done and the fields are ready to start all over again for the 2018 Harvest Season!

We know our CSA Members are committed to maintaining and improving their health. In the coming days, we will be asking for your commitment to our family farm for the 2018 Harvest Season. We need to gather this information now so that we know how many shares we have available to offer to new families who want to join our community of veggie lovers.

In the meantime we find the best way to enjoy “store bought veggies” is to make smoothies–all the while dreaming how much better the drinks will taste when we are able to make them with our own family farm, fresh veggies! Here’s to a Happy New Year!


Grateful, Merry, Happy New Year!

Time certainly passes quickly! Our Thanksgiving cacti bloomed, our Christmas cacti bloomed, our Christmas tree went up, and then the tree came down. In between, Robert and I attended an important, family graduation in the Research Triangle area. And were pre-school Show-and-Tell for our favorite four-year old—farm photos and Local Food stickers in tow, of course! We reconnected with family and made new friends including an insightful, young lady completing a Master’s Degree on Food Insecurity.

We are fortunate to reside in Western North Carolina where local food is in abundance. Granted that food may be coming from a freezer this time of the year, but we know where and how it was grown.

The food one eats either fuels disease or fights disease. There is no middle ground. Eating a clean diet and living an active lifestyle are the most important elements to staying healthy. Science-based research is available on supporting the body systems through  nutrition, supplementation, and detoxification. Your Body is a miraculous Temple! Treat it with the love and respect it deserves and it will serve you well for many decades.

WNC is in a deep freeze at the moment.  However, despite the record breaking temps, the sun is shining brightly on our country, kitchen table encouraging us to start thinking about our spring gardens!

20180107_152932 Creek Freeze

Happy Thanksgiving!

We are actually celebrating Thanksgiving on Friday this year. I just cannot ask my children to eat two celebratory meals in one day. The request seems inhumane. This means that today I am still in pie making mode. We got enough apples from our trees this year to make a pie. They were ugly, little apples, but tasty. When finished, this pie will go well with the pecan, pumpkin, and cherry pies!


It is not only deserts on our table. The kale seems to get better after a good frost. The garden keeps providing and we are most grateful for each and every bite. But exactly when do the “garden pests” go away?!


We are purist when it comes to our sweet potatoes–no sugar and marshmallows on top, in other words. I think we are getting enough sugar from the pies! I see I am not the only purist. A long-time CSA Member sent me this photo earlier in the week. Look at the beautiful dish she made from our (admittedly) unimpressive sweet potatoes this season!


We shall be eating Raviolis with a delicious sauce made from a base of our own roasted tomatoes mixed with grass-fed, ground beef. The beef was raised on my “fourth-generation, family farm of origin” which I visited in late October.  Also, shrimp which Robert caught on his last fishing trip at the end of this harvest season. No matter when or where you celebrate, traditional or nontraditional, I trust you have a Blessed Thanksgiving surrounded by family, friends, and great food.



Just A Dab


We have been in Harvest Time since last May as you well know–but this colorful guy is Seasonal. In the boxes: White potatoes, sweet potatoes, red cabbage, zucchini or perhaps patty pan squash, colorful bell peppers, individual spaghetti winter squash, and perhaps eggplant or tomatoes.

I try to put similar sized potatoes and sweet potatoes in boxes in order to make for consistent preparation. If you get small ones this week, they should be larger next time.


The late sun makes any zucchini we are fortunate enough to harvest as sweet as sugar. If you have not yet made a shredded zucchini salad, now is the time to give it a try.

Just a dab of peppers?  Slice thinly and roast with a drizzle of olive oil in the oven. While waiting, make a cup of quinoa and open a can of black beans–drain and rinse. Mix the roasted peppers, quinoa, and beans together with a some finely diced onion, a couple of TBSP of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice. This dish has plenty of protein and fiber, but is short on calories and fat!

Tomatoes can always be tossed into a salad. If you would rather make a side dish, open a can of chickpeas and drain. Dice the tomato to your desired size.  Heat finely diced garlic cloves in 2 TBSP of olive oil until the garlic starts to get color, then add the tomatoes and chickpeas and heat through!

With a couple of exceptions, the veggie boxes will end on October 31–BOO!! Trust this does not SCARE you!