The necessity for this community to come together, what has been on my heart

The Oshkosh community is relatively small with roughly 66,000 people compared to 8 million in New York. If the Oshkosh community as a whole can grasp the need to come together and work toward a sustainable future, it won’t be that hard to do. The problem is that we have to have organization and cooperation. The Oshkosh Food Co-0p is striving for this community setting being that it is a community owned grocery store that will stock it’s shelves with local goods. In the coming years I and many others predict that food will be scarce. We are in a comfort zone and weather has not changed that drastically yet but in many parts of our country and all over the world, many problems have and will start arising and I have so much compassion for these parts of the world because I have no idea what it’s like to struggle! People may even start coming to this area of the world because it hasn’t been hit hard with catastrophes so this community that we are trying to build is all the more important because we may be supporting more in the coming years. We MUST prepare for the future or we will have to go through struggles we have never experienced before. We needn’t cover up the facts here.

 

 

Food for thought.

With peace, love and gratitude,

Nichol

 

Got a bunch of vegetables from the farmers market Saturday?

Farmer’s Market Vegetable Soup

  • 1/2 of a small rutabaga, peeled and chopped (2 cups)
  • large roma tomatoes, choppedfarmers-market-vegetable-soup-R100876-ss
  • medium carrots or parsnips, chopped
  • 1 large red-skinned potato, chopped
  • 2 medium leeks, chopped
  • 3 -14 ounce can vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage, crushed
  • 1/2 – 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup dried bow-tie pasta
  • 3 cups torn fresh spinach
  • 1 recipe Garlic Toasts (see recipe, below; optional)

Garlic Toast

  • 8 1/2 inch slices
  • baguette-style French bread
  • 1 tablespoon
  • garlic-infused olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons
  • grated Parmesan cheese

 

Directions
1. Combine rutabaga, tomatoes, carrots, potato, and leeks in a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker. Add vegetable broth, fennel seeds, sage, and pepper.
2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 9 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 4-1/2 hours.
3. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Stir cooked pasta and spinach into soup mixture. Ladle into bowls and serve with Garlic Toasts.
Garlic Toast
1. Preheat broiler. Brush both sides of bread slices with oil. Arrange on a baking sheet. Broil 3 to 4 inches from the heat for 1 minute. Turn; sprinkle with cheese. Broil for 1 to 2 minutes more or until light brown.

 

 

Have a great Sunday!

With love, peace and gratitude,
Nichol

Interview with Dani Stolley: founder/president of Growing Oshkosh

The Oshkosh Food Co-op wants to honor all of the hard work and dedication Dani Stolley and crew have put in for our community with Growing Oshkosh. It’s so amazing to see how wonderfully our community is starting to come together and to grow our own food, In the process they teach our coming generations the importance of learning all the components that go along with growing food to learn how to live sustainable. Dani, being the busy and hardworking women she is, was able to answer a few questions for me regarding Growing Oshkosh in the following email interview: 

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What prompted you to start Growing Oshkosh?

Dani: I was researching local community sustainabi
lity for my graduate thesis, when I came to the realization that all I wanted to do was grow food and flowers for the people and habitats who need it most in my community. Then Becket’s Restaurant, where my husband is General Manager, sponsored my training at Growing Power in Milwaukee. Growing Oshkosh was incorporated on June 12, 2012 and we built our first hoophouses that fall.

 

Was something on your heart for the community and the needy etc?

Dani: Giving back to my community was always second nature to me, and when “environmentalism” turned to “sustainability” in the mid 2000s, social justice and food security became an integral part of being able to say you’re sustainable. And yes, I am a bleeding heart liberal, with a soft spot for at-risk citizens!

 

How has Growing Oshkosh ‘grown’ since it was founded?

Dani: The biggest growth is in the diversity of our programs. We started out just being a non-profit, urban farm, set up to show people how to grow in the city, but after our very successful first community garden bed installation (at Head Start) we decided to commit to putting food and flower gardens at all Oshkosh schools, beginning with the most at-risk schools first. We have yet to really launch our Hope Garden Program (putting food and flower gardens at locations that need hope, like nursing homes, blighted neighborhoods and at social service agencies campuses, etc.) We hope to kick that off next year.

Currently, we’re readying to move into our new location at 530 Bay Shore Drive, where we’ll have an on-site farm store.

 

I know you have been working with the Oshkosh Area schools in growing gardens, how many have you helped build gardens with so far?

Dani: 6 raised beds each at E. Cook, Webster Stanley and Washington Elementary, and we’re working on a project with Merrill Elementary and Middle school to install 10 raised beds there this summer, one for each grade level, and one for a summer school program. We also partnered with Shattuck Middle School in Neenah, and their at-risk 7th and 8th grade program, called, Velocity, to build 11 beds there as well.

 

What are your future plans for Growing Oshkosh?

Dani: Growing more food, getting our new office and store open and selling all sorts of local food related items at the store. We also plan on building a kid’s garden at the farm, in order to have Storytime in the Garden reading sessions. Another major accomplishment will be when we finally get our lake perch into our aquaponics system.

 

Are there plans to work with the Oshkosh Food Co-op once we are open and what is your vision regarding that?

Dani: I’m sure we will partner with the Co-Op, particularly on the education and outreach side of things. We have a great relationship with all the leadership and we all are strong, local food and sustainability advocates, but now that we’ll have our own store, I imagine we’ll probably have a limited number of items being sold there–perhaps only niche items, like our shoots, worm castings, edible flowers, mushrooms and garlic, just to name a few. We’ll probably end up, hopefully, donating our more traditional veggies, like cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers. But however our product offerings shake out, we’re excited to see the progress of the co-op!! Thank you!!!–Dani

 

Take a peek at their awesome photos: 

Farm Photos

 

With peace, love and gratitude,

Nichol

The overly abundant dandelion..an amazing weed!

The most commonly seen weed in our yards this time of year…the dandelion. The weed that my daughter thinks is a flower and picks for me in abundance. The dandelion is certainly not abundant for no reason. It is GREAT for us! The whole plant can be used for herbal remedies. The roots, leaves and the flower! If you are having digestion problems…look into your backyard and go pick this free and abundant weed. Are you in need of a diuretic and want to try something other than a pill? Use dandelion greens! It also aids in lowering blood pressure and relieving premenstrual fluid retention.

The dandelion roots can also be used to stimulate digestion and help balance blood sugar. The roots contain inulin, levulin and taraxacin which are what aid in these. What else do the roots of a dandelion aid in you ask? They are wonderful in cleansing the colon and detoxifying your body. It is very helpful to your body when your digestion improves because nutrients can be better absorbed and it is easier to remove waste from the body.

Do you have pesky warts that you’d prefer not to spend more to get rid of? Well dandelions can surely help with that! That white sticky resin that the roots, stem and leaves have can be applied to the warts several times a day and the warts will slowly be dissolved.

On top of all of that the dandelion is a good source of potassium, calcium, manganese, iron and magnesium. Also it’s rich in vitamins like folic acid, riboflavin, pyridoxine, niacin, vitamin- E and C. It is the RICHEST herbal source of vitamin K.

The various serving methods are as follows: DandelionPetalTea

  • The fresh greens and flower tops can be used for cooking. pre-wash greens and blanch in boiling water for a minute and then cool immediately in cold water. (blanching gets rid of some of the bitterness)
  • The young tender shoots, raw or blanched, can be used in salads or sandwiches (combine with other greens if you’d like)
  • The fresh greens can also be used in soups, stews, juices and as a cooked veggie
  • dried leaves and flower parts can make tonic drinks and herbal dandelion teas
  • dandelion flowers can be used for making wine, schnapps or pancakes
  • Roasted and grounded roots can also be an alternative to coffee!!

Want to enjoy a nice tonic salad this afternoon? Here is a recipe..

http://southsidermagazine.com/2014/04/the-spring-tonic-salad/2/

This post is certainly not meant for medical advice but for informational purposes and a natural remedy for common health concerns.

http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/herbal-remedies/dandelion-herbal-remedies.htm

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/dandelion-herb.html

With love, peace and gratitude,

Nichol

It’s time to get back to the way humans use to eat!

Have you ever heard of a paleo diet? If not, a paleo diet is a diet that focuses on eating natural, real and unprocessed foods.  It’s what nature intended for us to eat. The paleo diet is eating food the way humans ate before the last 10,000 years. The agricultural revolution started incorporating grains into our diet and our bodies have not well adapted to them.  Grains have been associated with many dangers when they are eaten. They have been shown to damage gut lining, hurt immune systems and much more. The paleo diet gets rid of tons of preservatives, salt and sugar that are added to food. Here is what a paleo diet consists of:

  • Lean Meats – Beef, Veal, Venison, Lamb, Chicken, Bison and more. Try to have these grass-fed if at all possible.
  • Fish – Salmon, Tilapia, Bass and more.
  • Seafood
  • Eggs – Have at ‘em.
  • Vegetables – don’t leave these out!
  • Some Fruit – Lean towards berries & those of the less sugary variety)
  • Nuts in moderation – don’t go too crazy on these.
  • Natural oils (olive, coconut and avocado oils are all great).

As you start to transform your eating habits you will start feeling better.

For more information on how to start your transformation visit :

http://ultimatepaleoguide.com/#paleo-diet-overview

 

paleo-recipes_almond-flour-pancakes1-354x234

To start your morning here is a yummy Almond flour pancake recipe:

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 Tbs coconut flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup water (consider soda water for slightly fluffier pancakes)
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • coconut oil
  • fresh berries

Instructions

  1. Combine almond flour, applesauce, coconut flour, eggs, water, nut meg and sea salt in a bowl, and mix together completely with a fork. The batter will appear a little thicker than normal mix.
  2. Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat with 1 tsp coconut oil.
  3. Drop 1/4 cup of batter onto the pan once it is fully heated. Spread out batter slightly if desired.
  4. Flip like a normal pancake when the bubbles start showing up on the top, and cook for another minute or two.
  5. Add more oil to the pan and repeat with remaining batter.
  6. Top with fresh berries.

Note: If the pan is too hot, the cakes will stick, burn on the outside, and/or not cook entirely through.

With love, peace and gratitude,

Nichol

Round of Applause for Wisconsin Meadows!

0025_GrassFedCowWisconsin Meadows is a cooperative of over 90 Wisconsin family farms.

Located in Elkhorn, WI, Wisconsin Meadows raises cattle on 100% grass-fed diet.

The benefits of grass-fed beef vs. grain-fed are numerous and it is important to know the reasons behind why cows and people benefit from grass fed cows.  Cows are ruminant animals, which mean that they have 4 stomachs used to digest their food.

Ruminants are not accustomed to eating high-starch foods like corn, which upsets their digestive system. Cattle create a lot of gas, which they usually expel, but when their diet is high in starch and low in roughage, it forms a layer of foamy slime in their stomach called the rumen.

This slime can trap the gas, causing the rumen to balloons out and press against the animal’s lungs. Unless you act quickly and relieve the pressure, the cattle will suffocate.

A corn diet can also generate acidosis. Unlike the highly acidic stomachs of humans, cattle’s stomachs are normally a neutral PH. Due to is acidic nature, corn turns their stomach unnaturally acidic. Acidotic animals tend to have diarrhea, ulcers, bloat, liver disease and a general weakening of the immune system (Matthew Thorne 2012).

 

So it seems that when cows are 100% grass-fed they live a lower-stress life and have no reason to be treated with antibiotics or other drugs. It is far more nutritious to the cow and compared to feedlot meat, grass-fed beef has less total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and calories. There is also more vitamin E, beta-carotene, vitamin C and a number of health-promoting fats, including omega-3 fatty acids.

Knowledge about grass-farming is essential to providing cattle with the proper nutrients we both need. If you want  tender and succulent grass-fed beef, the forage should be high-quality grasses and legumes. Thus, the soil must also be healthy and careful management of the pasture is required to ensure the plants are maintained at an optimal stage of growth.

Wisconsin Meadows: “Our aim is to bring locally produced grass-fed beef to the closest markets, by establishing groups of farms around the state and sending their cattle to nearby processors and on to restaurants and stores in the nearest markets” (www.Wisconsingrassfed-coop.homegrowncow.com).

  • 100% Grass-fed, healthy beef
  • Naturally-raised without the use of growth hormones or antibiotics.
  • No GMOs, chemical herbicides or pesticides used.
  • Local beef from Wisconsin family farms, who own our Cooperative.
  • Never fed corn, grain or animal by-products.
  • Humanely raised cattle who spend their entire lives living in (and eating) Wisconsin meadows!

http://www.eatwild.com/basics.html

Visit this website to see how you can order your local grass-fed beef!

https://wisconsingrassfed-coop.homegrowncow.com/browse/beef/ground

With Love, peace and gratitude,

Nichol

 

 

We have almost reached our 100 Founding Members!!! YAY!!!!

Are you that passionate about the Oshkosh Food Co-op and want to be known as one of the founding members?
You still have an opportunity to join, we have roughly 10 spots open!  If you become a founding member by June 7th
you will be invited to attend an exclusive founding member event.  We will be taking a photo with all of our founders and screening

the new food coop documentary, “Food For Change.”

If you’ve already become a founding member be sure to RSVP to the Evite we sent to your email.

With love, peace and gratitude,

Nichol