Farm Update 
 

Hi Everyone,

With the arrival of March there have been so many things to do on the farm. Planting new seeds, transplanting seedlings, constructing netting for the vertical growing, preparing plots in the field for planting, and setting up water systems are just a few things on the to-do list here at JRF. Step by step everything is coming together nicely. We have expanded to the field out behind our original box set up and a nice section of land has been graded to prepare for zucchini, summer squash, and melon planting. If everything goes to plan, there will be an abundance of squash and melons for your eating enjoyment this summer. However lets not forget all the other good stuff coming your way! Cucumbers and beans have been planted in some of the vertical frame boxes and there are also freshly sprouted tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, cilantro, basil, chard, collard greens and kale underway!  

St. Patrick's Day is right around the corner and we thought it would be a great idea to have a special "green" sale for the holiday. Why limit yourself to wearing green when you can be eating green too! This Saturday come celebrate your St. Patrick's Day with some real greens from the farm and enjoy our special pricing for the day. Spinach will be available for $2 a bag and lettuce will be $2 a head or 3 for $5. We hope you will be able to join us!

Health Focus 

Chewing 

When it comes to increased health, it’s not just what we eat but how we eat. Digestion begins in the mouth, where contact with our teeth and digestive enzymes in our saliva break down food. But these days most of us rush through the whole eating experience, barely acknowledging what we’re putting in our mouths. We eat while distracted—working, reading, talking and watching television—and swallow our food practically whole. On average we chew each bite only eight times. It’s no wonder that many people have digestive problems.
 
There are many great reasons to slow down and chew your food:

  • Saliva breaks down food into simple sugars, creating a sweet taste. The more we chew, the sweeter our food becomes, so we don’t crave those after-meal sweets.
  • Chewing reduces digestive distress and improves assimilation, allowing our bodies to absorb the maximum nutrition possible from each bite of food.
  • More chewing produces more endorphins, the brain chemicals responsible for creating good feelings.
  • It’s also helpful for weight loss, because when we are chewing well, we are more apt to notice when we are full.
  • In fact, chewing can promote increased circulation, enhanced immunity, increased energy and endurance, as well as improve skin health and stabilized weight.
  • Taking time with a meal, beginning with chewing, allows for enjoyment of the whole experience of eating: the smells, flavors and textures. It helps us to give thanks, to show appreciation for the abundance in our lives and to develop patience and self-control.

 
The power of chewing is so great that there are stories of concentration camp survivors who, when others could not, made it through with very little food by chewing their meager rations up to 300 times per bite of food. For most of us 300 chews is a daunting and unrealistic goal. However, you can experience the benefits of chewing by increasing to 30 chews per bite. Try it and see how you feel.
 
Try eating without the TV, computer, smartphone, newspaper or noisy company. Instead just pay attention to the food, your breathing, and chewing.
 
This kind of quiet can be disconcerting at first, since we are used to a steady stream of advertising, news, media, email and demands from others. But as you create a new habit, you will begin to appreciate eating without rushing. You have to eat every day—why not learn to savor and enjoy it?

Food Focus

Quinoa

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah), is a nutritional powerhouse with ancient origins. It was originally cultivated by the Incas more than 5,000 years ago; they referred to it as the “mother of all grains.” Quinoa grows best in mountain regions 10,000 feet above sea level and thrives in poor soil and extreme conditions. While quinoa is widely considered a grain, it's actually the seed of a plant called Chenopodium or Goosefoot, related to chard, spinach, and beets. Quinoa is a gluten-free grain and has a similar effect as other whole grains in helping stabilize blood sugar.

Quinoa boasts an impressive amount of health benefits. It contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein, which is very rare in the plant world. The fact that it is a complete protein makes it a great source of protein for vegans and vegetarians. Quinoa is also high in magnesium, fiber, calcium, phosphorus, iron, copper, manganese, riboflavin and zinc. There is a lot of fiber in quinoa and this will help with preventing colon cancer, optimizing gut health, preventing constipation and bloating, and maintaining healthy cholesterol. The high fiber in quinoa also makes it idea for anyone trying to lose weight because it digests very slowly and will leave you feeling full for longer. Quinoa provides sustained energy and much more nutritional content than cereals or breads made with refined grains. Quinoa is also very rich in antioxidants that fight free radicals in the body and help prevent cell and DNA damage, which will eventually lead to cancer. The fact that quinoa is a gluten free grain makes it a great choice for people with digestive disorders such as celiac disease.
  
For quinoa and whole grains in general, the majority of digestion occurs in the mouth through chewing and exposure to saliva. For optimal nutrition and assimilation, it is vital to chew your grains well and with awareness. For best results, rinse quinoa before you cook it or even soak it for a few hours or overnight. When cooked, it has a fluffy, slightly crunchy texture. Try it in soups, salads, breakfast porridge, or even as its own side dish.
 
 

Recipes

 

JRF Original Recipe: Quinoa, Beans, and Vegetables

Ingredients: 1 Cup of quinoa
                     
4 Cloves of garlic (minced)
                      1/2 Red or white onion (chopped) 
                      1/2 Cup of green onions 

                      1/2 Medium red bell pepper (chopped)
                      1/2 Medium green bell pepper (chopped)
                      1 Whole large tomato (chopped small)
                     
1/4 Cup chopped cilantro (for garnish)
                      1 Can or one cup of black beans
                      Graded raw cheddar cheese to taste
                      2 Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil or unrefined coconut oil     
                      Salt and pepper to taste
                      1Tsp of cumin
                      1/2 Tsp of cayenne pepper (If you like spicy)         

Cooking Instructions:
First put your quinoa in the rice cooker or cook it on the stovetop according to the package directions. Start heating up the black beans in a pot, throw in a pinch of your minced garlic and a few tomato slices, add the cumin, a pinch of salt, cayenne pepper and mix. Now cover and put on low or simmer. In a large pan start heating up the oil to medium. As the pan begins to warm throw in the rest of your garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Then add your onions, bell peppers, and any other veggies you would like. After cooking those down for a couple minutes add your tomato and green onion. Stir frequently for 2 minutes. Now that you're done cooking the veggies it's time to serve. Place quinoa down on your plate first then add the black beans, and top it off with your cooked veggies, cheese, and garnish with cilantro. Now you have an incredibly tasty meal that's going to fight disease and fill you up JRF style!

Incan Salad With Mangos

Ingredients: 1 Cup of quinoa
                      1-2 lbs of chicken breasts 
                      1-2 Cloves of garlic, minced or finely chopped
                      1 Cup of diced mango
                      1 Cup of diced carrots
                      4 Cups of spinach
                      2 Tsp. Curry powder
                      Sea salt or Himalayan salt, to taste

Dressing: 1/2 Cup coconut milk
                  1/2 Tsp. red chili pepper
                  1/2 Tsp ginger
                  1Tsp. raw honey
                  1/4 Tsp. white wine vinegar
                  1/4 Tsp. lemon and/or lime juice
                  Pinch of salt

Cooking Instructions:
Broil the chicken and slice up later or slice up and stir fry in some unrefined coconut oil. Meanwhile throw the quinoa in the rice cooker or follow the instruction on the bag for stovetop preparation. Put all of the dressing ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Then put sliced up chicken in a bowl and mix in 1 Tbsp of dressing. Finally put the rest of the ingredients in the same bowl and add the rest of the dressing or as much as you see fit. Toss well and enjoy. For those of you who do not want chicken, it can be easily excluded from this recipe and the salad will still taste great.

Health Links 

The following links are informative articles relating to personal health and current news within the natural health world.

Diet Soft Drinks Linked to Heart Disease

Amish Farm Kids Have Lower Risk of Asthma and Allergies

Is There Plastic In Your Food?

White House Refuses to Reveal Ties to Monsanto

How to Maintain and Restore a Healthy Gut

New Study Suggests a Link Between Sleeping Pills and Early Death

FDA Adds Diabetes and Memory Loss to Statin Side Effects

Stronger Intestinal Barrier May Prevent Cancer in the Rest of the Body 

Forward to a Friend

It’s such a pleasure to help those closest to us become happier and healthier. Please forward this newsletter to friends, family members or colleagues who might be interested and inspired by it.