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Sage

Posted on by Jill Ratcliffe

SAGE
 

In this week's share you will find a small brown bag of dried sage. Sage is a herb that I have only recently began to incorporate in my cooking, and I am hooked! Anything roasted in the oven with sage has rich aromatic flavour that keeps me digging into the pan for every last delicious morsel.
 

I am constantly amazed in learning how many of our common kitchen herbs are beneficial for health in our minds and bodies; sage is no exception to this rule. Our ancestors who relied on plant based medicine would incorporate these tasty plants in culinary exploits for flavour and for the all benefits their consumption brings. These traditional flavours have been passed down through our recipes but are rarely acknowledged for their powerful healing properties.
 

Sage or salvia literally means good health, to cure or to save, and has been considered a sacred plant by many peoples around the world. Sage is said to act as a digestive aid, especially when served alongside fatty foods. Sage, steeped in hot water to make tea, is reported to sooth coughs, and to reduce perspiration, depression, memory loss, and Alzheimer's disease. Some women use sage for painful menstrual periods, to correct excessive milk flow during nursing, and to reduce hot flashes during menopause. Sage is also used topically, as a poultice, to help fight bacterial and fungal infections. If you would like more information on herbal healing learningherbs.com is a great place to start. As well, a wide variety of books on herbal healing can be found through the Halifax Public Libraries.
 

This past season the Taproot Herb Division was established. Our mandate is to explore and grow a wide variety of annual and perennial herbs to enhance our CSA and our market. We dried much of what we grew in a walk-in dehydrator. All of our dried herbs have been harvested in the late morning when the plant's potent oils are high in the leaves, for maximum flavour and healing potential. You can look forward to a sampling some of these herbs in the upcoming share boxes. If you are interested in our dried and fresh herbs check out the updated add-ons list, or get in touch with us at csa@taprootfarms.ca

 

I have been using sage, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper tossed with chopped root veggies and squash baked in the oven for 40 minutes at 400 degrees as my staple winter meal. Throw some sausage in the pan and a nice steaming pot of quinoa on the side, and you are sure to nourish all who eat your creations. Sage is also lovely when mixed with butter, or coconut oil, and rubbed on your chicken before it is roasted. I have also been enjoying sage steeped in hot water as a soothing and nutritious tea. It is nice blended with thyme and nettles.

Tonight my friend Amanda is coming over for dinner. I am in the process of making Sage Flat-Bread with Goat Cheese and Roasted Butternut Squash Soup.
 

I look forward to hearing about your kitchen adventures with Sage.
 

For the love of herbs,

Jill

 



My Swan Song for East Coast Organic Milk

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East Coast Organic Milk shut its doors last week. Launched in 2012, this initiative has been a work in progress for a number of years. It was nursed infancy in the pastures along Highway 1 in Grand Pré with the Mentink’s organic cows in the early 1990s.

An organic farming system has integrity because all the steps along the way protect and support the organic crop or product. For East Coast Organic Milk some of the steps that had to be considered were specific trucks for organic farm milk pick-up; a separate pasteurizing process; transitioning grain fields to organically managed grain; growing grass instead of corn. These pieces were thought through and developed over the course of many years.

East Coast Organic Milk farmers made the commitment to transition their farms long before ECO milk hit the shelves a year and a half ago. They were working towards a unique product that could get a price that represented the value and work of organic farming systems. When East Coast Organic Milk hit the shelves last year it meant that they were no longer building these beautiful healthy farms and pouring  their milk into the conventionally-farmed milk system, it was now possible to sell their milk for what it was, an organic product with a label. Their faith that East Coast Organic Milk would one day happen is what made it possible to even consider creating the product.

One of the reasons ECO milk has had to ‘stall operations’ is the presence of Nielsen’s organic milk, an Agropur product, based in Quebec, and launched in Nova Scotia grocery stores within weeks of the ECO milk launch date in 2012. Better able to afford prime grocery store real estate, and a cheaper deal for customers because of Agropur’s economy of scale, Nielsen’s cheaper organic milk has contributed to East Coast Organic Milk’s demise. Yuck.

The regional network for organic farming, ACORN, has a tagline which is “Local and Organic, better together!”. I love that. It summarizes the powerful synergy that supporting local economy and healthy natural systems can and should have. Organic farmers in Nova Scotia continue to act everyday with a tremendous faith in the future; let’s continue to put our $ where our mouth is.

 

 

 

 

 

 



Warning: May contain stones!

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Hi folks,

A member emailed me saying that she found a pea-sized stone in her frozen peas, and so I just wanted to send everyone a warning to watch out for stones.  This is something that I believe is somewhat common with mechanical harvest; many of the baked bean recipes I read warn to rinse the beans and watch for bean-sized stones.  Ours we're picked by hand and shelled mechanically, so I hope this is just an isolated incident and that the rest of you won't have any problems, but I wanted to save your teeth just in case.

I recommend letting the peas thaw a little before dumping into your cooking so that you are able to have a good look through them.

Please let me know if you have questions or issues with your frozen peas.

Thanks!

Teri