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  • Cliff McConville

February Healthy Eating Newsletter

FARM HAPPENINGS

I am writing the February newsletter this week from beautiful La Crosse, Wisconsin where Anna and I are attending the 31st annual MOSES Organic Farming Conference, with about 3,000 other organic farmers. We came up early Thursday morning to attend a day long workshop on Managed Grazing for Healthier Beef and Dairy Herds, and learned so much from the speakers that we can apply to our farm. Friday and Saturday we will split up and attend a number of shorter workshops on a variety of farming topics.


Its also a great venue for networking with our farmer friends and meeting new farmers from around the world. We had lunch yesterday with David Vetter, who was profiled in the documentary film "A Vetter World" which we screened at McHenry Country College back in August. Very soft spoken gentleman but a pioneering figure in the organic grain world.


Molly is keeping everything running smoothly at the farm store in our absence, and she tells me its time to hire another team member to help out in the farm store, part time now but with increased hours as we get into the busy summer season. We are also hiring for a farm apprentice position that would start in May. To learn more about the open positions, please review the Employment Opportunities page on our website.


See pic below of The Moo Crew eating organic hay from their new portable hay feeder. Its really saving us a lot in wasted hay!


FARM STORE UPDATE

As noted in the January newsletter, our egg shortage came to an end last month, now we are heading into a surplus as the longer, warmer days are encouraging the hens to really produce. We are bringing back the discounted egg bundles, available both in the store and for online purchases. Six dozen large for $36, and 10 dozen large for $50 (our wholesale price). Share with family and friends!


This is the last week we will have the early season bonus levels included with our Friends of the Farm CSA debit card. Through Sunday, March 1st we will include a $150 bonus with the $1000 card, a $50 bonus with the $500 card, and a $15 bonus with the $250 card. The cards can be used anytime for in-store purchases, click here to learn more.


We now have a variety of Ethereal Chocolate bars and baking supplies in the store, made locally in Woodstock from carefully sourced organic/fair-trade cacao beans. And several new varieties of locally made Frontier Soup Mixes - Ski Country Chili, Ginger Carrot Coconut, Connecticut Cottage Chicken, and Chicago Bistro French Onion. And a great compliment to the soups is our artisan sourdough breads made fresh every Tuesday and Friday morning from local+organic stone ground flours by Chef Douglas.


On sale this week at 30% off, all of our remaining pasture-raised turkey products, including ground turkey, sausages, wings, and necks (perfect for making turkey bone broth!).


HEALTH NOTES - KETOGENIC DIET PROTECTS AGAINST ALZHEIMER'S

Alzheimer’s disease — the most severe form of dementia — is proving to be stubbornly resistant to conventional remedies. More than 190 human drug trials have ended in failure and despite a burgeoning epidemic, the best drugs on the market only ameliorate symptoms while adding other health risks.


At present, the best conventional medicine can really hope for is improved diagnosis, which is why prevention is so crucial. Mounting research suggests your diet is indeed a foundational driver of this disease, and an effective prevention strategy. Perhaps the most important dietary factor that impacts your Alzheimer’s risk is the amount of net carbs (total carbs minus fiber) you consume on a regular basis. A high-sugar diet triggers insulin resistance — currently thought to affect as many as 8 in 10 Americans — and there’s a very strong link between insulin resistance and Alzheimer’s.


For example, a longitudinal study published in the journal Diabetologia in January 2018, which followed nearly 5,190 individuals for over a decade, found that the higher an individual’s blood sugar, the faster their rate of cognitive decline. Even mild elevation of blood sugar and mild insulin resistance are associated with an elevated risk for dementia. Diabetes and heart disease are also known to elevate your risk, and both are rooted in insulin resistance.


One of the most striking studies on carbohydrates and brain health revealed high-carb diets increase your risk of dementia by 89 percent, while high-fat diets lower it by 44 percent. Read the full article.

RECIPE OF THE MONTH - HOMEMADE BEEF BONE BROTH We get many customers in the farm store interested in making bone broth from our grass fed beef bones, and many questions about the best way to make the broth. This recipe is from Grass Run Farms.


Ingredients:

1 lb. beef marrow, shank, or knuckle bones

4 qts filtered water

½ white onion

2 celery stalks

2 carrots

2 garlic cloves

½ tsp dried thyme

½ tsp dried rosemary

1 tbsp sea salt

½ tsp pepper


Directions:

Place bones on baking sheet. Roast in oven for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Pour water into slow cooker and add roasted bones. Add onion, celery stalks, carrots, garlic cloves, thyme, rosemary, sea salt, and pepper to slow cooker and stir well. Let simmer on low for 18-20 hours. Strain the broth and store in fridge.

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I am working on Part 2 of our journey to farming story, and hope to have it ready later this weekend. In the meantime we hope everyone has time to relax, enjoy the warmer days and sunshine coming next week, and spend time cooking and enjoying a meal together with family and friends.


Cheers!


Cliff, Anna, and the Farm Team

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