Mouthwatering Watermelon

Mouthwatering Watermelon

Watermelon is as integral a part of the summer experience as building sandcastles at the beach or catching fireflies on a warm evening. Easily filling the role of dessert, it is as tasty as it is fun to eat. Even as adults, we love the flavor of this melon, whether it is paired with a cheese in a salad or used as the foundation for an adult beverage. Though August is now in the rear view mirror and the apple picking season is just around the corner, Colchester Neighborhood Farm continues to harvest this sweet summer vegetable…yes, I said vegetable, because technically, it is considered both a fruit and veggie. And here are few more fun facts to consider about this sweet summer staple.

According to the website, betweenusparents.com, Americans consume more watermelon than any other melon. Cantaloupe comes in second place and honeydew in third place.

A cousin to the cucumber, pumpkin, and squash family, watermelon is considered both fruit and vegetable. However, according to the website, livability.com, in 2007, the state of Oklahoma removed any ambivalence about how to categorize the gourd when it passed a bill declaring it a vegetable, and the official state vegetable, at that.

According to the website, thetowndish, early explorers used watermelons as canteens.

In China and Japan, watermelon is given as a hostess gift similar to our tradition of bringing flowers.

In Israel and Egypt, the sweet taste of watermelon is often paired with the salty taste of feta cheese.

Egyptian hieroglyphics indicate that the first-ever watermelon harvest took place roughly 5,000 years ago. The sweet fruit (vegetable) often was sealed into the tombs of kings because, really, who couldn’t use a snack in the afterlife.

An estimated 40,000 visitors check out the soaring 154-foot watermelon-shaped water tower each year in Lulling, Texas, home of the annual Watermelon Thump event, named for the sworn-by method of “rind-thumping” for checking a melon’s ripeness.

The seedless variety of watermelons was invented 50 years ago.

According to Guinness World Records, the world’s heaviest watermelon, weighing 268.8 lbs. (121.93 kg) was grown by Lloyd Bright of Arkadelphia, Arkansas in 2005.

It takes approximately 90 days to grow a watermelon….from planting to harvesting.

The United States ranks 5th in worldwide production of watermelon. Florida, Texas, California, Georgia and Arizona consistently are the leading producers.

Every part of the watermelon is edible, including the seeds and the rind. In fact, the first cookbook published in the U.S. in 1776 contained a recipe for watermelon rind pickles.

Though the summer season and its harvest is winding down, the workers at Colchester Neighborhood Farm are still picking plenty of organically grown vegetables and fruits, including watermelon, which lets the taste of summer linger just a little longer.

Colorful Facts About Chard

Colorful Facts About Chard

You can certainly file this list of fascinating facts about chard under “things I will probably never need to know,” but, then again, there’s no telling when one of these pieces of trivia will present itself as a clue on Jeopardy and you will end up sounding—and feeling—like a genius when you shout out the answer.  Boasting the colors of the rainbow, red, yellow, purple, and orange, chard is the leafy green that can dress up any dish. It comes in three varieties: rainbow, green—better known as Swiss—and red chard.  Packed with nutrients but containing very few calories, Swiss chard is at the top of every dieter’s list. Colchester Neighborhood Farm is currently harvesting this oh-so-good-for-you vegetable.

Here are some other lesser known, but equally interesting, tidbits of information about chard.

Though it is harvested between June and August, chard is available year round.

According to fullcircle.com, Swiss chard is called such because the botanist who discovered it came from Switzerland.  However, the plant originated in Sicily. As a result of its origins, Swiss chard is an integral part of Mediterranean and Italian cuisine.

According to webmd.com Chard comes from the Latin word cardus, meaning thistle.

It is a member of the beet family, but its roots are inedible, so don’t even think about it!

Like other leafy greens, such as kale and spinach, chard is packed with Vitamins K, A, and C.

It is also rich in magnesium, iron, potassium, and dietary fiber.

Swiss chard can reach up to 28 inches tall!

Chard has been around for a while. Dating back to the fourth century B.C., Greek philosopher Aristotle wrote about the leafy vegetable.

According to the website whfoods.com, the ancient Greeks and later the Romans once revered this vegetable because of its medicinal properties.

The best way to store chard is to place it in a plastic bag and to squeeze as much air out of the bag while wrapping the chard tightly. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days. Do not rinse the vegetable until just before ready to use.

Chard can be used in juices but most websites recommend cooking it, since it can have a somewhat bitter taste. It can be steamed, braised, boiled or cooked in a stuffing. Most sites recommend cooking the leaves the way you would spinach and cooking the stems in the same manner you cook asparagus. Including this powerhouse in your diet is definitely a healthy move! To purchase this and other healthy and organic vegetables, visit Colchester Neighborhood Farm in Plympton.

Organic Ways to Beat Fear and Anxiety

From Organic Gardening…

Sometimes, natural stress remedies are all in your head.

Stress and Worry Are Human Creations

The best explanation of stress we’ve ever heard comes from Stanford neurobiologist Robert Sapolsky, PhD, the author of Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers.  “If you are a normal mammal,” he notes, “stress is the three minutes of screaming terror on the savanna after which either it’s over with or you’re over with.”

If you’re a human mammal, stress comes not from fear of being eaten but worry about somebody eating your lunch.  Unlike other animals, we have a large brain relative to our body size—a brain that worries.  And now our worry is triggered by the passive-aggressive boss, the weight of a 30-year mortgage, and the job of caring for children and ill parents at the same time.

No wildebeest would understand these fears, but the perceived threats spark the same bodily survival responses that crocodile attacks do.  And they last way longer than a croc’s lunchtime.  But you can do something about stress.  Search and destroy.  Here’s where stress typically strikes and how to strike back.

  1. Stress Spot: The BrainThe Fix: Don’t be so damned conscientious
  2. Stress Spot: The Neck, Head, and BackThe Fix: Create a three-legged life
  3. Stress Spot: The HairThe Fix: Focus on somebody besides numero uno
  4. Stress Spot: The Sympathetic Nervous SystemThe Fix: Twist yourself into a pretzel and laugh
  5. Stress Spot: The GutThe Fix: Give yourself a hand
  6. Stress Spot: Your DNAThe Fix: Meditate
  7. Stress Spot: Your Sex LifeThe Fix: Unleash the oxytocin

A Celebration of Spring for All Ages

On Saturday May 4th, we celebrated spring by reconnecting with the land and community through planting, sharing a meal, and expressing gratitude for earth’s renewal.  There was a wonderful turnout of friends and volunteers to see the progress and changes that have occurred over the last year at Colchester Neighborhood Farm.

Activities included planting, potluck lunch, visiting with our young cashmere goat kids and the other animals, creating clay art projects, growing a sunflower project, getting away from it all by taking a quiet walk through our labyrinth, Kerrie tending to her new hive of honey bees, and a perennial plant share.

Click on an image below to begin a slideshow!

4 Reasons to Eat More Kale

ImageFrom Organic Gardening…

Kale is one of those vegetables people plant with the best intentions, but too many times it sits in the garden until it’s covered with snow.  You know it’s good for you and is one of the best “superfoods” you can add to your plate, but kale has other far-reaching benefits if eaten in place of a primarily meat-centered dinner.  Adding kale to your plate might be the easiest way to save the world.

Found out all four reasons by clicking HERE.

Vote for “Goat 4 Sale”

This was sent to us from Beth who raises goats and whose goats most of our goats are related to.

I hope this gets enough votes to be Dorito’s Super Bowl ad.  It’s so funny.  I go vote every day and get a laugh out of it to start my day with a smile.

The explanation below is from Elaine who owns 4 of the goats who reside at Colchester Neighborhood Farm!

Hahahahaha!!  She looks like my Zoe, and who is my crazy eater!  The funniest part to me that most people don’t know is – goats really do love Doritos (corn chips)!  And while that was a dubbed human voice, some goats really do yell just about like that!  So I think it’s twice as hilarious as it’s just about true!!! 

Click –> Goat 4 Sale

Go ahead… vote early and often!

5 Top Foods for Pain Relief

Here are five top foods for pain relief from Dr. Jack F. Sarro D.C., Clinic Director

Sarro Chiropractic Back and NeckCenter | 198 Columbia Road | Hanover | MA | 02339

Fish and Seafood: Salmon
Fish and seafood are high in omega 3 fatty acids, minerals, and antioxidants which helps to reduce pain and inflammation.  Eating fish a minimum of 2-3 times per week has been shown to reduce arthritis pain.  Salmon, shrimp, and mussels are all good tasty choices.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: olive oil
Extra virgin olive oil’s polyphenols are rich in antioxidants and enzymes that reduce pain and inflammation.  Try cooking with EVOO on medium to low heat, or drizzling it over food after it is cooked.
Ginger: ginger
Ginger contains compounds known as gingerols which reduce pain and inflammation while improving circulation.  Ginger can be used fresh or dried to add spice and flavor to many dishes.  It can also be steeped into a pain relieving tea, which tastes great with a bit of honey.

turmericTurmeric:
Turmeric is  a cousin to the herb ginger.  It contains an antioxidant curcumin which is largely responsible for it’s pain relieving properties.  Turmeric is common to curries, and is delicious on chicken and turkey with coconut milk.

PineapplePineapple:
Pineapple is high in a protein digesting enzyme called bromelain.  It has been shown to help reduce scar tissue formation, inflammation, and pain.  Pineapple is great to eat after a large meal as it aids in proper digestion.  It is the perfect refreshing after dinner snack.

Seven holiday superfoods to keep you healthy!

Dr. Jack F. Sarro D.C. |  Sarro Chiropractic Back and Neck Center
198 Columbia Road | Hanover | MA | 02339 | (781) 829-9300
 
Superfoods can be fun, tasty, and healthy all at the same time. Seven of them are listed below that you can incorporate into your meals and deserts this season.           
   Use these superfoods to add spice and variety to your dishes!

  1. Cinnamon – The sweet spice cinnamon is popular during the holidays, flavoring cookies and pies, eggnog, ciders and even meats. In addition to being tasty, cinnamon has many health benefits. Cinnamon tea can alleviate colds and congestion. Cinnamon also improves blood sugar levels by enhancing insulin.cranbowl
  2. Cranberries – Cranberries are able to prevent bacteria from attaching to the urinary tract, thus preventing urinary tract infections. Cranberries may also help in preventing cavities and warding off viral infections like the flu.
  3. Pumpkin – Pumpkins seeds contain many important nutrients: iron, which is essential for blood cells; zinc, which can increase testosterone and form protein; calcium, which builds strong bones and magnesium, which builds healthy nerves and muscles. Pumpkin seeds are also a good source of protein and the essential fatty acid omega-3
  4. Wine- In moderation, drinking wine is good for cardiovascular health.wine
    Resveratrol, a component of wine, acts as an antioxidant and prevents cellular damage in the body, but it also prevents blood clotting and plaque formation in arteries. Studies have shown that wine can also prevent Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
  5. Ginger – Those little brown men aren’t just the cutest Christmas cookies, they may be one of the healthiest options. One of the biggest benefits of ginger is easing nausea. Ginger oil has even been used in massage to relieve arthritis with its anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger is often included in many herbal decongestants and can help to minimize the symptoms of respiratory conditions, colds and allergies.
  6. Pecans – This all-American tree nut is often scattered among many holiday dishes. Pecan pie, stuffing and appetizers. Pecans are high in fiber, a good source of protein, contain healthy fats, and are rich in antioxidants, like vitamin E. They will help fill you up as a snack before your big holiday meal so you don’t head to the table with an empty stomach.ppie
  7. Nutmeg – Nutmeg, native to Indonesia’s spice islands, contains a range of aromatic compounds beneficial to overall digestion. Nutmeg contains anti-inflammatory agents as well, which help to relieve pain. Nutmeg is also rich in the super-antioxidant quercetin, which provides powerful protection to the body and brain. So be sure to have ground nutmeg handy this year when you serve egg nog.

Ten Tips to Reduce Holiday Stress

Here are some tips to make this season a little easier and more joyous from Dr. Jack F. Sarro D.C., Clinic Director

Sarro Chiropractic Back and NeckCenter | 198 Columbia Road | Hanover | MA | 02339

This is an important topic as the holiday season is fully under way and stress can put a significant damper on family festivities.  Excessive stress can also be very hard on our health.  Stress is associated with heart disease, weight gain, depression, and joint pain. 

  1. Make lists. Organize your daily and weekly tasks to plan ahead.  Check off items as you complete them.  This will make      things manageable and reduce becoming overwhelmed.                                                                                                                         
  2. Spread out shopping. Plan days that are for gift shopping and separate days for food shopping and errands.  Spread these days out over several weeks.
  3. Be realistic. The holidays don’t have to be postcard perfect or just like last year. As families change and grow,      traditions and rituals often change as well.
  4. Set aside differences. Try to accept family members and friends as they are, even if they don’t live up to all of your expectations.  Grievances can be dealt with at a later date.
  5. Don’t overspend. It makes us feel good to give gifts, but overspending can lead to financial stress both before and after the holidays.  Homemade deserts or crafts don’t have to be expensive and are very thoughtful gifts.
  6. Hire a mothers helper or babysitter. This will free up some of your time and energy for uninterrupted gift wrapping, decorating, or meal planning.
  7. Learn to say no. Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling stressed, resentful and overwhelmed.  Friends, co-workers, and family will understand if you have to scale back on commitments.
  8. Continue your healthy habits. Overindulging on sweets, alcohol, and neglecting your sleep and exercise program can leave you feeling run down.  Try to practice moderation this season, and you’ll start off the new year on a good note.
  9. Have fun being creative. Look through some magazines for new recipe ideas and go shopping for a new holiday outfit.  Take time each week to watch a holiday movie with friends and family.
  10. Take time for yourself. Spending 15 minutes alone, without distractions, may refresh you enough to handle everything you need to do.  Take a walk at night and stargaze, get a massage, have a chiropractic treatment, and listen to soothing music.  Find something that reduces stress by clearing your mind and relaxing your body.

Annual Harvest Gathering for CSA Members & Supporters

On Sunday, October 21st, Colchester Neighborhood Farm held its Annual Harvest Gathering Open House.  There was a wonderful turnout of CSA Members and Supporters.

The Open House included a Potluck Lunch of favorite dishes for sharing.   There was also Tours, Yoga in the Field, a Cooking Demo, Donor and Supporter Recognition, a Beekeeping Presentation, & more…  Hayrides and Music were ongoing throughout the day!!

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Who is behind the recent study of organic food and why?

From Organic Gardening magazine…

Okay—let’s not miss the point about the Stanford “study” on organic food, the one released in early September that concludes that the scientific literature “lacks strong evidence that organic foods are significantly more nutritious than conventional foods.”

Every reaction I’ve seen in the press grants that maybe organic food isn’t more nutritious, but it’s healthier in many other ways, like much lower amounts of toxic agricultural chemicals, and so on.  But there are many studies that show that organic food is indeed more nutritious.  To really understand those studies, you have to know who paid for them.  If Monsanto or Cargill is paying a researcher at a land-grant university to look into the nutritional value of foods, there’s a temptation there to work the data in favor of the company paying the bills, especially if they like your work and order more studies.

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