Farming Cuba — A new model for cities and countries facing threats to food security brought on by the end of cheap oil
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, Cuba found itself solely responsible for feeding a nation that had grown dependent on imports and trade subsidies. Citizens began growing their own organic produce anywhere they could find space, on rooftops, balconies, vacant lots, and even school playgrounds. By 1998 there were more than 8,000 urban farms in Havana producing nearly half of the country’s vegetables. What began as a grassroots initiative had, in less than a decade, grown into the largest sustainable agriculture initiative ever undertaken, making Cuba the world leader in urban farming. Learn more in Farming Cuba: Urban Agriculture from the Ground Up, by Carey Clouse, available next week from PAPress.
Hey fellow backyard gardeners! Did you know that you can grow and donate to your local food pantry? Well you can! So join me in planting a row for the hungry and check out ampleharvest.org to find local food pantries accepting donations. Help fight hunger in your community with fresh treats from your garden.
A Place at the Table is an amazing documentary that shows how hunger poses serious economic, social and cultural implications for our nation. It is a problem that could be solved once and for all, if the American public decides — as they have in the past — that making healthy food available, and affordable is in the best interest of us all. Please watch and share with others.
Here is an easy, healthy, and tasty snack to accompany your morning cup of joe or for the munchkins. Also check out my new eco friendly American made cutting/appetizer board that is in the shape of my sweet-ass home state! I got mine at my favorite grocery store New Seasons. If you don’t live here in good ol’ Oregon you can check them out at http://www.epicureancs.com/ and pick up your own home state.
Whole wheat blueberry banana muffins
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
3 bananas mashed
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 Tbs. cinnamon
1 cup frozen bluberries
1. Heat the oven to 375°F.
2.Grease or line 12 large muffin cups.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, applesauce, oil, brown sugar, vanilla and bananas.
4. Combine the flour, baking soda, and cinnamon.
5. Stir flour mixture into the banana mixture until moistened.
6. Fold in the blueberries until evenly distributed.
7. Spoon batter into muffin tins.
8. Bake for 20 minutes or until the tops of the muffins spring back when pressed lightly.
Have you ever tried to find or buy organic breadcrumbs? If you find them they’re really expensive and never that good, so I have started making my own with leftover crusts and heels. I always have a freezer bag of bread crust that my little Miss Olive wont eat. When I cut them off her sandwiches and toast I just throw them in the freezer till i get enough to make some delish crumbs.
Take any leftover bread pieces you have and throw them into your food processor or blender and toss in a clove or two of garlic, a pinch of salt and pepper, and any herbs you like; rosemary, thyme, sage, parsley… choose your own breadcrumb adventure. Whiz it up and throw them into a skillet and toast over medium heat till you get to your desired crunch level. Store in an airtight container and presto you have breadcrumbs made out of scraps you were going to throw away. You win.
They’re awesome over salads and pasta and a great filler for veggie burgers and meatloaf.
This Kale salad is a power house of vitamins, antioxidants, fiber and tastes great. It is enough to feed you and 2 other peeps. Give it a try, your body will thank you.
- One bunch of kale of your choice
- 1/2 lemon or 1 Tbs. of lemon juice
- 4 Tbs. olive oil
- 1/4 fine grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 bread crumbs (homemade breadcrumb recipe in my next post)
- 1/2 cub of finely chopped parsley
- 2 medium cloves of crushed garlic
- 2 cups of cooked brown rice
- 1/2 cup finely diced chicken breast
- Hand full of diced Kalamata olives
- Handfull of halved cherry tomatoes
- Salt and pepper to taste
Dressing: Whisk together your olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic. Once your dressing is mixed well add salt and pepper to taste and a pinch of your chopped parsley and whisk again.
Chop your of Kale into small pieces and toss with dressing and let sit for at least 30 mins this will help soften and flavor the kale. Once the kale has sat add the rest of the ingredients toss and enjoy.
Note: All kale bunches are different sizes so you may need to increase dressing amount. Play around with all ingredients add and subtract what you like, and figure out what makes you say “wow” about a kale and parsley salad.
So after the holidays my body was in need of a little nutritional lovin’ so instead of yummy beer, dip, and pie I made the switch to lemon water and Green Superfood. Perhaps not an equal flavor exchange but my body is much happier.
Why the lemon water? Its an immunity booster, excellent source of potassium, aids in digestion, cleanses your system by stimulating your liver, helps keep your skin radiant, reduces inflammation, and last but not least an energy booster. So how much do you need? Rule of thumb if you are 150 lbs. or less you should be consuming the juice of half a lemon a day if over 150 lbs. consume the juice of one whole lemon. After doing this for a week I was loving it but noticing how much I was spending on organic lemons so I have a found a great substitute. Santa Cruz Organic lemon juice. It has saved my budget while still providing me and the fam a GMO free and organic solution. FYI 2 Tbs. of lemon juice equal one medium lemon.
Green Superfood: I would love to be able to make fresh green juice in the morning but i don’t have a juicer or really the budget to buy the needed quantity of organic produce. So second best is this stuff which provides you with around 4-5 servings of organic fruits and veggies in each scoop along with good dose of chlrophyll, vitamins, minerals, proteins.
Have a try and see how ya feel!
So my new years resolution for 2014 is to buy everything second hand or locally made, so I will be a legit Craiglist thrift store creep. Love this idea of revamping a suitcase for a dollhouse and I am sure when the dolls are not kickin’ it in their sweet digs it could be great toy storage or overnight bag for Nanie’s house. Keeping this one in mind for my little ladies.
Im trying to lower the amount of products that i buy in packages and recreate them at home. So here is a granola recipe that has worked for me put it on your yogurt, oatmeal, ice cream or just eat out of your hand. Once again if you don’t have the exact nut or fruit or improvise with what ya got.
5 cups old fashioned rolled oats
¾ cup raw almonds
¾ cup pecans
½ cup organic brown sugar (optional)
3 t ground cinnamon
1 t sea salt
¾ cup unsweetened applesauce
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup honey
2 T of coconut oil
1 T real vanilla
1 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 300F.
Mix together applesauce, maple syrup, honey and coconut oil in a small bowl.
Combine oats, almonds, pecans, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl.
Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and stir until completely combined.
Spread over two cookie sheets in a thin layer and bake for 25 min, then flip over with a spatula and put back in the oven.
Bake for another 25 min. Then turn up the oven to 315F for about another 10 – 15 minutes (this allows it to brown up a bit more and get crispier). Keep a close eye on it and take it out when it is evenly brown on top and feels dry.
IMPORTANT: let it cool completely on the trays before you move it! This allows the clusters to stay together.
Once it has completely cooled, move to a large bowl and stir in the raisins.