Guest Blogger: Jen Caruso, Law of Attraction Life and Wealth Coach gives some health tips for Central NJ, where she has been a CSA member for years. She became an advocate of organic produce and became a farm friendly mom when her children were born. Her bias is keeping herself and her family healthy in a way that supports the environment and local economy as well. As a type 1 diabetic, she knows that eating a lot of veggies is the best insurance for good health. Jen and Michelle are offering a Law of Attraction for Diabetes Class on Weds. March 16th from 6-7 pm at The Center for Conscious Caregiving in Brick NJ. Call to register at 848-232-8392.
Home Grown Local Produce with CSAs and Organic Farms in Central NJ
Now that it’s mid-winter, when energy is depleted and I’m looking to up my energy and vitality, I’m really wishing I had some juicy in-season summer veggies, like tomatoes, zucchini, and basil for a tasty and beautiful looking winter sauté.
It happens every year…my mouth starts watering thinking about the most amazing NJ fresh vegetables, where for six months of the year, we can find a cornucopia of organics spread out across a few farms–diamonds in the rough. Well, even if I don’t always eat organic, I still miss farm stands in the colder months. It just serves to get me ready to eat every bit of what I enjoy as a CSA member…
CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture, means that consumers pay the farmers for their share before they actually get the food–the farmer uses the money to pay for seeds, labor, and everything that goes with farming, and the consumers get the benefit of the share reserved for them. This means that the price of a share is relatively low compared with grocery store prices. If you are vegetarian, vegan, eat organic, or like to prepare and store food for winter, or if you have some health issues and are just trying out some new recipes and lifestyle ideas (like diabetics), a CSA is an especially good choice. This farming practice also keeps people very connected to where their food comes from, the real people farming so we can all eat. You can see firsthand that eating a bounty of fresh produce means real health that you can count on, and this doesn’t come from a store or a box! Real health is a choice, so are you ready to jump in and experience it?
Western NJ: I started buying a farm share from Honeybrook CSA, the largest CSA in the state and one of the largest in the nation–also a model for the country. They have a huge variety, U pick privileges, a large amount of produce, a few sizes and pick up sites for their shares, and even payment plans. If you want a lot of produce, this is the one. If you choose to become a member here, and you visit the Pennington location, the kids will love to climb the magnolia tree. The Chesterfield location isn’t quite as much fun, but there is U pick. There are dozens of boxed shares delivery sites around the state and into PA, some at members’ homes, and some at health food stores. The Jersey Shore has a few, at Ocean, Neptune, Brick, Spring Lake Heights, and Belmar. Basic info: http://www.honeybrookorganicfarm.com/join-us
Central NJ: Earthen Harvest is a CSA service for those who want the best produce, but don’t care about visiting the farm. They deliver a full sized organic veggie share to your door for only $675 for 26 weeks of organic produce. http://www.earthenharvest.com
Silverton Farm in Toms River. They don’t have a CSA but I do get there often come mid-May to buy the plants for my own garden. They will sell you any type of seedlings, veggie or herbs and flowers, and have a lovely working small farm. It now has a bathroom for those of you with children. Farmer Tom can easily be seen and will show you around. Berries and eggs are also available. http://www.silvertonfarmsnj.com.
The point is that now is the time to submit an application to a CSA so that you will have your share, come the end of May through around Thanksgiving.
If you are not sure if a CSA is right for you, maybe this great salad recipe can get you interested in your best health, a strong body, and recreating the feeling of aliveness within you.
Law of Attraction Life and Wealth Coach
Facebook Group: Diabetes Into Wellness https://www.facebook.com/groups/DiabetesToWellness/
Visit my blog for class information, offered in Brick NJ.
Makes 2 servings
Salads, and what you dress them with, are full of wonderful, nutritional ingredients that are vital to a healthy body. This recipe is a guide, but think about using up the odds and ends in the fridge.
If you don’t have exactly what’s on the list, improvise! You could add some tuna, grilled chicken or beans for a protein punch.
- 4-6 cups fresh salad greens like butter lettuce, red-leaf lettuce, spinach or romaine, mix it up!
- 1 small to medium handful of arugula or kale
- 1/2 avocado peeled and diced (or use the whole avocado if you like!)
- 1/2 (or more) tomato, diced OR hand full chopped cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 medium cucumber, chopped into bite-size pieces
- 1/2 carrot, chopped or grated
- 1 small piece of celery, chopped into small pieces
- 3-4 chopped fresh basil sprigs and/or 4-5 chopped fresh cilantro sprigs
- 1 teaspoon hemp seeds (optional)
- 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, or almonds
- salt and pepper to taste
Grab a big salad bowl with lots of room. Add the lettuce, arugula, kale, avocado, tomato, and cucumber and whatever other veggies you’re playing with. Top with the carrot shavings, and herb/s. Sprinkle with the seeds and nuts. Lightly salt & pepper if you like.
Drizzle the dressing (ideas below) directly onto the salad and toss. And voila! Your super salad is ready for you.
Apple Cider Vinaigrette:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- Whisk all together in a bowl until creamy.
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon lemon rind
- squeeze of lemon
- oregano, salt, pepper, garlic, basil to taste
Thank you to Jennifer Caruso for guest blogging and explaining the importance of CSA’s. If you are interested in joining Jennifer and myself for the Law of Attraction for Diabetes class on Weds. March 16th from 6-7 pm please register by calling 848-232-8392.