Last week I attended a class at 21 Acres called “Cleansing With Nature’s Most Important Tool: Food Food.” I was expecting a cooking class but this class was so much more.
The instructor, Elle Freeman, has a Masters in Nutrition from Bastyr University. She said that food, the freshly picked kind, has the ability to transform our health. She explained that our bodies naturally eliminate toxins (from the environment, from normal metabolic functions) and that a healthy body can normally eliminate these toxins. It is when our bodies are missing nutrients or have an overload of toxins that we can have aches and pains that can lead to larger health problems. (more…)
My New Year’s resolution this year was to eat healthier and to learn new skills. I took a cooking class at 21 Acres last week, The Italian Table II, which integrated both of my resolutions with a delicious outcome.
The instructor Paola recently moved from Italy to the United States, bringing with her a wealth of recipes and Italian traditions. The class was small and hands-on. All of the ingredients were local (except for the chocolate) and grown without chemicals (no pesticides or herbicides). We sat at the counter, while Paola gave us instructions in mincing, chopping, whipping and folding, the musicality of her accent taking us away to the region of Emilia-Romagna, the gastronomical heart of Italy, where the recipes we were preparing (as well as our instructor) originated. (more…)
The scent of melting wax and fragrant sweetness in our Farm Market last Friday announced the special arrival of fall honey from our beehives at 21 Acres to anyone who walked through the front door. Our beekeeper (and Principal Education Advisor) Kurt Sahl brought frames of honeycomb with beeswax and beautiful dark raw honey from the farm into the building where it could be separated and the honey extracted. As a regular volunteer at 21 Acres, I agreed to pitch in and roll up my sleeves to help: Some work definitely needed to be accomplished before the honey was ready for consumption.
This morning we were pleased to receive this lovely email thanking us for the Holiday Treats Makeover Class held last weekend:
“I just wanted to thank you for allowing me to attend the holiday baking class at 21 Acres. The class was amazing! The instructor, Ellie, had so much knowledge about nutrition being that she had just earned her masters in nutrition at Bastyr University. The recipes that she created were surprisingly delicious, especially the blondies (a type of chocolate chip bar cookie) that substituted hazelnut butter (created in the food processor) and chickpeas for the butter and flour in the recipe. I exited the class feeling sated (with a belly full of warm cookies and some raw dough) and didn’t have the tired “let down” later or sugar cravings because I had eaten white flour and sugar. Elle peppered her demonstration with tips about beneficial spices and encouraged questions about baking and nutrition. This class was a special Christmas gift from you. The recipes will be treasured and practiced often. A heartfelt thank you, Rose Marie”
Our new local foods coordinator at 21 Acres, Katherine Ratliff, designed the Holiday Treats Makeover class and she has developed a new class series for 2014 with instructor Ellie Freeman, Eating for a Lifetime. Click here for more details.
The topic of food has been in the news lately, especially regarding the transparency of food production methods. Initiative 522, which concerns the labeling of genetically modified food, has brought increasing awareness to Washington State consumers that there are differing opinions on agriculture production methods including about the severity of the impact of those practices on the health of humans and the environment.
The origin of our food and its journey to our plate is explored in author Anna Lappé’s book: Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis At The End of Your Fork And What You Can Do About It. I read this book this summer as part of our 21 Acres reading project and encourage you to do so too. Lappé focuses her attention on our industrial food system’s contribution to global warming by the very processes that grow, harvest and transport our food to the market. (more…)
As the weather illustrated last week, fall is here. It is apparent in the abundant orange pumpkins and golden squash in our market, as well as the shorter days and cooler nights.
A great way to chase the fall chill away is with a hot cup of tea. We have several varieties of local herbal tea from Harbor Herbalist in Gig Harbor: A digest tea, a floral tea called “Indulge;” a nighttime blend called “Dream;” a blend called “Strength;” a “Nursing Mama” tea; and a blend called “Glow.”
To add a little sweetness to your tea, add 21 Acres’ summer harvest honey produced by bees from on our farm. Our bees busily pollinated our organically grown produce all summer long, giving this honey a distinctly seasonal taste. Pick up a jar soon as we have a limited supply.
The perfect accompaniment to comforting tea is a gluten free cookie. We have delicious flavors such as chocolate, snickerdoodle and ginger. If you like a little bread and butter with warm tea, try Asako’s plum hazelnut bread. Perfect for sandwiches or to accompany a soup is our country herb loaf made with an assortment of fresh herbs from our farm. Both breads would be delicious spread with a soft cheese sprinkled with fresh herbs.
If the fall weather and these fall flavors are inspiring, remember the 21 Acres Market is open from Wednesday through Saturday each week. We look forward to seeing you.
Labor Day usually feels like the end of summer as children prepare to return to school. But here at 21 Acres, summer continues to be abundantly present in the bushels of organic sun-ripened tomatoes, zucchini, sweet corn, greens and herbs harvested from our farm and available in our market.
Don’t worry, you also still have time to enjoy juicy donut peaches, yellow peaches, blackberries and strawberries from Tonnamakers’ Family Farm and Garden Treasures, also available in our market. (more…)
Have you ever wondered about the journey that your produce took to end up on your table? At 21 Acres you don’t have to wonder. The produce that is displayed in our market is fresh off the farm and sun ripened using organic and sustainable methods. You can taste the difference in the flavor and juiciness of each bite of and this is particularly true this time of year when tomatoes are in abundance. (more…)
As an intern at 21 Acres, I am trying out some of the products in the Marketplace. This product captured my attention because it is exclusive to 21 Acres. Cherry Valley Dairy Reserve cheese is crafted by Cherry Valley Dairy in Duval. It is an artisan cheese that is rBST free and described as a “stirred curd Jack with hints of cheddar.” My taste buds expected the commercial jack cheese that is rubbery and tasteless. I wasn’t expecting the creamy, nutty flavor of this handcrafted wedge, which is coated in cracked black pepper and cocoa powder and wrapped in natural beeswax. This cheese is ideal for a picnic along the slough, or an outdoor evening concert, if you can make it out of the parking lot without consuming the entire wedge! (more…)