Aug 28, 2016

A Tip for Eating More Veggies

Ever wanted your family to eat more vegetables?  Sign up for a fall FarmShare.  Without a doubt, my family eats more veggies when I'm getting weekly veggies from a local farmer.  Rattle's Garden will be starting their FarmShare in a couple weeks.  You can pick up in Vilonia ($150) or Little Rock ($165).

I can't remember when I started getting a FarmShare with Tara, but I've been nothing but pleased for years.  There is a difference between grocery store veggies and fresh from the field veggies.  Most notably you will notice the vibrant colors in local, organic veggies but also they stay fresh longer.

The following is from Rattle's Garden website.

What is Farmshare?
Our Farmshare is the foundation of how we sell vegetables from our farm. It is a subscription agreement in which a family buys a share of what our farm produces during the heart of our growing season. Twice a year we open this up to families wishing to join our farm community and enjoy really delicious organic food.

Why a Farmshare?
For us, it truly is about community. While we are grateful to be part of a large local food movement through the Little Rock markets we also want to share our vegetables and flowers with our rural neighbors. The commitment our Farmshare customers make by forming this membership allows us to do this.

For you, we hope it is because you too want to be part of our community. We hope that it is because you want to know where your food is coming from, who is growing it and how it is being grown. We know that it is because you want the freshest, healthiest, tastiest vegetables available to you.

What is our Agreement?
By becoming a member you agree to take the time to stop by our farm or the Little Rock pick-up point at the designated times for six weeks to receive a basket of organic vegetables we have grown and harvested at the peak of maturity to be enjoyed by your family. In return, we agree to work our tails off growing you a variety of organic, fresh vegetables that have been selected based simply on how fantastic they taste.

What scrumptious vegetables are being grown at Rattle’s Garden?
This is the second year we will be offering a fall Farmshare. While we have been selling vegetables at market since 2008, this is our fourth year growing a fall garden. We’ve learned a lot about growing in the fall over the last three seasons and I’m finally confident enough to offer this program but I do want everyone to go into this with their eyes open and know that we are going to do our best to put together great baskets this fall but we are always at the mercy of Mother Nature. Our crop plan for the fall includes four different varieties of summer squash, green beans, purple hull peas, cabbage, broccoli, kale, spinach, lettuce, swiss chard, radishes, red and yellow beets and carrots as well as the remaining sweet peppers from the summer.

When will this subscription begin?
As with all farming, we are dependent on Mother Nature. We hope to start the Farmshare the third week in September and run for 6 consecutive weeks. If our fall temps are moderate it’s possible we will start a week earlier, it’s more likely though that we would start a week late due to extremely warm temps during August.

What are the pick-up days/times?
The Little Rock pick-up will happen at the home of Julie Majors on Monday afternoons from 4-6 pm. The address is 1600 Tarrytown, Little Rock, 72227.

The farm pick-up will happen on Wednesday afternoons from 3:30-6pm and will be held market style as it was most of this summer (you pick your produce from crates). We will offer a Thursday morning pick-up from 9-11 am on the farm for anyone who cannot make Wednesday afternoons but this pick-up will have the produce bagged ahead of time since the logistics of school are a little more difficult for us this year. I would encourage you to pick up on Wednesday afternoons if at all possible.

What if your family needs to miss a pick-up?
During the summer we offer a make-up week at the end of the season for anyone to use in case they need to miss a week. With the fall season lasting only six weeks and because it will be pushing right up into cold weather, we will not have a make-up week for this season. If you have to miss a week, we ask you to make other arrangements to have your food picked up for you. If this isn’t possible, we ask that you give us a head’s up and we can make sure your basket goes to a needy family in the area through the Spirit of Vilonia Ministries.

Do you get to pick what you want in your basket?
Not exactly…we’ll divide each week’s produce up evenly between the baskets to make sure everyone gets variety and the full value of their basket. As members you will also be given the first opportunity to purchase large amounts of successful crops outside of the Farmshare season at wholesale prices for you to freeze or preserve by canning. If freezing or canning is new to you, we can help!

What about all of those chickens in our front yard??
In the summer we have an Eggshare option to the Farmshare program. In the fall however, chickens molt and when chickens molt they stop laying eggs making the number of eggs we have available less consistent. We won’t have an Eggshare option this fall but we should still have plenty of eggs available on request. Our eggs sell for $5 a dozen and they are beautiful and taste fantastic. If you are interested in eggs simply ask when you pick up your food or send me a text to have them included in your basket. If you pick up in LR and know that you want eggs every week, send me an email and we will work something out in advance of the start of the program.

One key to the success of our program is always communication! Occasionally I have tech problems with the farm’s Facebook page but I try to keep it up to date! I will send out a short weekly newsletter to your email address letting you know what you can expect in your basket each week. This newsletter will start coming out the first week in September to let you know how the growing season is going and when we plan to start the pick-ups. We also want to hear from you…keep us posted on which veggies you love and let us know if something isn’t working for you. We can be reached by text at 501-941-0331 or by email at

How do I become a Member?
So, you are ready for the yumminess. Good.

Simply email for the membership agreement and mail it to us with your full payment of $150 (farm pick-up) or $165 (Little Rock pick-up).

If after August 30, please call (501-941-0331) or email ( to check on availability before mailing payment. 

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Aug 5, 2016

Healing the Body Naturally

The following showed up in a private group I follow on Facebook for people who want to heal their bodies naturally.  I asked the author for permission to post here.

Sometimes nothing is better than something. Did you ever think about that? When we get sick we always want to DO something...and that is a natural response. We are fixers. (Ah, yes, just ask your husband if you are a fixer??!!) 
So yesterday this gal texts me that she is coughing up green stuff. I cheered! This is so great! She said "This is what I used to run to the doctor for." 
I hope her doctor also cheers and says "keep coughing." He may not. Why would you want to stop that from coming out? 
In another instance a woman had a sick baby with a high fever. Should she give tylenol?
She chose to nurture the child, hold her close, keep her hydrated, give baths -- and not medicate. The child came out of the fever and has had a beautiful and amazing growth spurt. What would tylenol have done? It would have short circuited the system and not allowed the body to work out the problem or it could have lengthened the time it took to get the issue resolved. 
People sometimes say, "How long should I cough; how long should I let a fever go; how high should the temp. go?" 
I ask, "How do I know what the body needs to do or high it needs to be to resolve the issue? Are there risks?" Yes, it would be foolish to say there are never risks. Life is about risks. You want to minimize them. There are safe things you can do to assist the body. Learn about them. 
There are baths, cool cloths, herbs, rest, liquids, oils, and all kinds of possibilities. But sometimes there really isn't too much or just a little of something goes a long way. 
And then there is patience....

Please educate yourself on natural remedies!  Sometimes when I am sick and it is impossible to think about what I should do, I text natural minded friends.  I tell them my symptoms and ask them to help me remember what I should do.  And then there is always Google.

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Aug 3, 2016

This Post Contains Controversial Information

Besides politics and religion, I can think of few other topics quite as divisive as vaccinations.

When pregnant with my first son, a naturally minded acquaintance implored me not to vaccinate.  This was the time of dial-up internet and I was too lazy to go to the library to search for myself.  In the end, I decided to vaccinate and we have had no ill-effects from the shots.

When my son turned two, we were living in Phoenix, Arizona where many of my friends were naturally minded and I was learning so much about healthy living.  I began to do more research.  The more I researched, the more uneasy I felt about vaccines.  We stopped vaccinating him at 2 years old.

My daughter was born 5 years after my son.  At this point I had read enough to feel strongly against vaccines.  We also have a younger son and have not vaccinated him.   Here are some of my reasons not to vaccinate.

On this journey I have had many controversial conversations.

If you haven't thought the least bit about vaccines, maybe you could start by watching a movie.

There's a new movie that shares the details of how former researcher with Center for Disease Control (CDC) and now whistle-blower, Dr. William Thompson, destroyed and omitted important information regarding autism links and the MMR vaccine.  The movie is called Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe.  Below is the trailer or you can watch it here.

You can see the movie in North Little Rock next Monday at 7:30pm.  Buy tickets on line here.  I dare you to go.  And beg your pediatrician to meet you there.

Consider what you learn then learn some more.

Another movie that exposed life changing damages from vaccines is called The Greater Good.  I saw it a couple years ago at Wise Traditions, the Weston A. Price national conference.  You can't watch the documentary and think the same about vaccines.

Educate before you vaccinate.
Vaccines are not mandatory though you may feel bullied.
Vaccines and the AutismOne Conference


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Jun 15, 2016

Awesome Conference in Montgomery, AL

One of the best investments into my health journey has been attending the Wise Traditions Conference, hosted by the Weston A. Price Foundation.  This year it is within driving distance, in Montgomery, Alabama, November 11-14.

I've attended twice before and each time I learn so much!  At the end of the conference, I tell my husband, "this is such an incredible investment into our family's health!"  Unlike other conferences where the food is cheap and often inedible, the food at this conference is AMAZING and traditionally prepared.  Both is offered at most meals, as well as kombucha.  Another favorite part of the conference is all the vendors.  Many, like Green Pasture, offer tastes of their products.

Since this year's conference is within driving distance, I would love to see a giant caravan from Little Rock drive to Montgomery.  To save conference costs, if you want to share a hotel room, email me and I will try to help: luvmyhub@gmail .com

Register by June 30 for early bird discounts.

Financial Assistance Available
In exchange for 6 hours of volunteer service, the foundation offers a scholarship and the July 1 deadline is quickly approaching.  On their website click on financial aid.

Hope you will join me in Montgomery!

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May 13, 2016

Mosquito Control

Mosquitoes are all over the news these days.  Such a tiny creature is causing much distress and panic.  The City of Little Rock has a mosquito-spraying program to address the issue.  We thought our readers might want to know exactly what this service entails.   This post was written by Erin. I'm so thankful for her research and a heart for healthful living.   --Julie

The City’s policy:

  • The entire city of Little Rock is sprayed/fogged during the evenings (after 5 PM) on a schedule from April until the first frost.  Every other street is sprayed.
  • Neighborhoods are not notified of scheduled spraying since there are many factors affecting whether or not they are able to spray.  These factors include wind speeds greater than 10 mph, rain, and the presence of individuals outside their homes.
  • When an individual calls 311 to request mosquito control, the entire neighborhood is subject to spraying.  
  • The City of Little Rock buys its mosquito control products from Clarke.  The two products used are called “Mosquito Master” and “Mosquitomist.”  They are applied alternately on a 3-week rotation from April until the first frost.
  • The labels on these chemicals state they are “extremely toxic to aquatic organisms” and “highly toxic to bees.”  I highly recommend reading the labels for yourself.
  • The mist is “ultra fine,” which means it can cover a very large surface area relative to volume.  The mist has a 350-foot drift.
  • You can opt out of spraying by calling 501-888-2208 or 3-1-1.   They will try to stop spraying 350 feet before and after your house because of the drift.  This does not guarantee your property will not be sprayed.
  • The Solid Waste Division is responsible for spraying.  Warren Atkins is the director.  He can be reached at 501-888-4581.
  • The City also works with UALR to monitor and control mosquito larvae, which is a much more effective method of management.  However, this is only applied to public property, not private. 
Of course, there are many private companies which also offer mosquito-spraying services.  So how can you protect yourself, your children, and your pets from these pesticides?

The following suggestions are taken from

How individuals can protect themselves from exposure to dangerous pesticides:

  • Leave the area.*
  • * Infants, children, pregnant women, the elderly, and individuals with compromised immune systems are the most vulnerable populations and should take extra care to avoid pesticide exposure. People with multiple chemical sensitivities or other pesticide illnesses are also more vulnerable to pesticide exposure.
  • Close the windows.
  • Turn off air intake on window unit air conditioners.
  • Take toys and lawn furniture inside.
  • Remove shoes before entering homes to avoid tracking in residues.
  • Cover swimming pools.
  • Don’t let children play near or behind truck-mounted applicators or enter an area that has just been sprayed.
  • Wipe off paws of pets with a wet cloth before they re-enter your home.

Spraying has been proven to be ineffective for controlling mosquito populations.  Even Zika virus experts interviewed on radio, t.v., and online acknowledge this fact.  Spraying only kills adult mosquitoes that come into contact with the pesticide while it is airborne.  In addition, mosquitoes can easily build up resistance to pesticides over time.  So what can you do about these pests?  We have a few facts to share on the matter.

How to control mosquitoes safely and effectively:

  • Wear repellant.  The safety of DEET is questionable - do your research.  Natural repellants made with essential oils can be made at home or bought at local stores and farmers markets.  Neem oil repellants are also effective.
  • Apply a repellent in your yard.  There are several products on the market to serve this purpose.  Garlic sprays are a popular choice.
  • Buy a device like the Mosquito Magnet to kill adult mosquitoes.
  • Try making your own mosquito larvae trap like this one called the ovillanta. It is being used to fight the Zika virus and is made out of old tires.
  • Attract birds, frogs, bats, and other beneficial creatures to your yard.
  • Have a few backyard chickens.  Mosquitoes=free chicken food!
  • Empty ALL standing water.  This includes places like birdbaths, but it also includes less obvious places like small lids, pet dishes, shovels, gutters, holes in trees, tarps, and pots where water can collect.
  • Use Mosquito Dunks in birdbaths, drainage ditches, rain barrels, gutters, etc.  These dunks use B.t. toxin, which kills mosquito larvae.  This soil-derived toxin will also kill bees, butterflies, caterpillars, and other organisms, so use sparingly.
  • Use plants in your landscaping that naturally deter mosquitoes.  These include garlic, onions, citronella, lemongrass, peppermint, basil, thyme, geranium, and marigold.
  • Keep window and door screens in good working order.

If all else fails, stay indoors during peak hours of mosquito activity (dusk).

An excellent resource for more information on pest control is

It would send a clear message to the City of Little Rock if entire neighborhoods opted out of mosquito spraying.  This service is not only financially and environmentally costly, but it is also ineffective.  Kindly share the information you learned from this post with neighbors who might be interested.

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May 11, 2016

Choosing An Orthodontist

In response to the previous post on Orthodontics, Mouth Breathing, Non-Nutritive Sucking, Sleep Apnea a friend emailed this comment:

My TMJ dentist, Dr. Dalton at Central Dental, would very much agree with you.  Jessica, my 22 year old daughter is currently in orthodontics with him for the purpose of resolving TMJ and opening her airway which were the goals of my treatment with him as well.  Unfortunately, both of us had orthodontics previously along with permanent teeth removal from orthodontists who were only concerned with aesthetics and really messed us up.

Be very careful who does orthodontics on your children and never let them remove permanent teeth from a crowded mouth,


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Apr 27, 2016

Orthodontics, Mouth Breathing, Non-Nutritive Sucking, Sleep Apnea

My 11 year old was recommended to see an orthodontist, the 6 year old wakes with a dry mouth and the 3 year old has a fierce finger sucking addiction.  My mother is trying her best to learn to sleep with a sleep apnea machine for her severe apnea.

Could these things be related?

Carol Vander Stoep, RDH, seems to think so.  The above dysfunctions plus allergies, sinus infections, snoring, diabetes, head and neck pain as well as many other ailments could be caused by a crowded airway.
image Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body

A friend of mine emailed the following links to help educate myself, knowing that I was already familiar with some of Dr. Weston A. Price's work.  This book of his is a fascinating publication of some of his findings.

My friend sent these links:

Here's a thorough explanation, the same author wrote a book called Mouth Matters: Better Mouth, Better Health - which is available at the library.

Dr. Mahon, who is a myofunctional orthodontist in Rogers, trained with Joy Moeller who is interviewed by Dr. Mercola here.

Here is an article by Mercola explaining Buteyko Breathing.

Buteyko Meets Dr. Mew is a book on the Buteyko Breathing method has a lot of info and is very kid friendly.

Here's for taking health into your own hands!

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Apr 24, 2016

Preserved Lemons

Last week I went to a fermenting class where one of my friends brought her stash of fermented foods for us to try.  Included in her haul was preserved lemons, sometimes called Moroccan lemons.


I wish every single person reading this could taste them.  Very bright and lemony but not overwhelming.  They are very easy to make, so just go ahead and do it.  Thank me later.  They are so good you might find yourself sneaking a bite from the jar, just as a weird snack.  Really, they're that delicious.

How I plan to use them:
- as garnish for fish or roasted chicken (you can eat the rind and pulp)
- as garnish for anything especially Mediterranean dishes like hummus and babaganoush
- add to salads, like tabbouleh, or any salad dressing
- anywhere you want a brighter flavor
- experiment blending (vitamix) a small spoonful into water for an electrolyte drink
- eat right out of the jar

My friend WooPigFoodie  says he uses them with any stew or braised dish from chicken to beef to pork.  It would be delicious on toast with butter and honey.  Plus there's a Chicken Marbela dish from the Silver Palate cookbook that is so good with them.

Don't just take my word for it.  Go make your own!  Here's the recipe from Nourishing Traditions:

7 organic lemons, preferably the thin-skinned variety
3 tablespoons sea salt, without anti-caking agents
3 cinnamon sticks, broken up (optional)
2 tablespoons, whey

Wash lemons well, slice 5 thinly and cut slices in quarters.  Toss in a bowl with salt and cinnamon sticks (if using).  Place in a quart-sized, wide-mouth glass jar then press down lightly with a wooden pounder (Fermentables in North Little Rock carries them), meat hammer or wooden spoon.  Juice the two remaining lemons and add to the whey then pour into jar, pressing down so that the liquid completely covers the lemons.  Lemons should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar.  Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.  (I left mine on the counter for 3 days, the kitchen was about 75* - taste everyday and observe how the flavor profile changes.  It's crazy, really!  Remember, if your kitchen is cooler than 70* you will need more time.)  To insure kahm yeast does not grow on the surface, twice a day open the jar, stir then press the solid pieces under the liquid.

Where to get whey?
People are sometimes stumped about whey.  It is simply the liquid that pools in yogurt.  To harvest whey, buy full fat, plain yogurt.  Set a strainer over a bowl.  Spoon about 3/4 cup into a coffee filter that is set into the strainer.  Overnight the whey will drip into your bowl.  What's left in the coffee filter is really thick yogurt (think greek yogurt).  The yogurt is still totally edible.  If you make too much whey, it will store for about 6 months in the fridge.

Is organic necessary?
When foods are fermented, they become easier to digest or more bio-available to the body.  In the same way, if conventional foods are used when fermenting the pesticides are also easier to digest.  So, I usually advise people to use organic when fermenting.  Also worth noting: I bought organic lemons at Natural Grocers and they were the same price as conventional lemons at Kroger.

Here's a recipe from Nourished Kitchen, who doesn't use whey.

- Julie

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Feb 26, 2016

Free Fermentation Workshop TODAY

There will be a free veggie fermentation class for beginners today, Saturday, February 27 from 1 -2:30pm at Natural Grocers in Little Rock.

Cat Swenson will be demonstrating easy starter ferments like kraut, but will also show you how to tackle the perennial favorite: dill pickles!  

You will also learn about your amazing personal ecosystem, your "microbiome" and how to take care of it so it takes care of you.

I went to one of Cat's workshops a few weeks ago and highly recommend it. --Julie

Making Your Own Probiotic Pickled Veggies Using Fermentation
Date: Saturday, February 27            
Time:  1pm-2:30pm
Location:  Natural Grocers
9210 N. Rodney Parham Rd, Little Rock, AR
more details here

Cat Swenson
Owner & Fermenter-in-Chief of Great Ferments

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Feb 25, 2016

Foodshed Farms Cooperative CSA

Friday, February 26 is CSA Sign-up Day, a day picked out by Small Farm Central to celebrate and encourage Community Supported Agriculture (CSA).  My family has participated in a CSA for several years now and I love it.  Admittedly there is a learning curve to eating in season and thinking through the lens of "use what I have."  There are many benefits of participating in a CSA.  Best of all, it encourages me to get more vegetables on the table.  Hands down, local veggies taste better.

If this is your first time with a CSA, ask a friend or neighbor to join you.  This way you can take turns picking up the food AND practice using half your share.  Some people feel overwhelmed with all the vegetables they receive.  Please note that this CSA is for Little Rock, Conway, Bryant and Ft. Smith!


Foodshed Farms Cooperative CSA 
     --guest post by Liz Wenzel

Foodshed Farms is a farmer-owned cooperative that supports the livelihoods of small-scale Arkansas farmers while increasing access to fresh, local produce. We care about our state and the people in it, so we joined together to grow food that cultivates jobs, community, and wellbeing.

The primary way we do this is through a multi-farm CSA (community-supported agriculture) program, in which shareholders sign up and pay in advance to receive a weekly share of fresh produce throughout the growing season. The CSA model secures a market for our farmers all season long and reduces some of the risk associated with small-scale farming.

Working together as a cooperative has additional benefits for our farmers, allowing them to consolidate marketing, distribution, and technical training so they can turn their energy to growing food that is good for both consumers and the environment.

All of our farmers are Certified Organic or Certified Naturally Grown, demonstrating their deep commitment to sustainability and long-term health.

Sourcing produce from different regions of Arkansas also helps our shareholders by ensuring a dependable product with lots of variety. We embrace the opportunity to provide our shareholders with the best flavors of Arkansas, from new and exotic vegetables, like kohlrabi and fresh ginger, to tried-and-true favorites such as tomatoes, squash, and kale.

Additionally, as a farmer-owned business, we put our farmers first and support their livelihoods in ways that traditional agriculture typically doesn’t. While USDA research shows that farmers nationwide receive an average of only 15 cents for every food dollar spent, we’re able to give 80 cents of every dollar right back to our farmers.

Through the Foodshed Farms Cooperative CSA we hope to expand the local food market in Arkansas and keep our food dollars in Arkansas’ economy, bettering the lives of small-scale farmers and consumers alike.

2016 Season Details
Full Season Share
16 weeks (May-August)
$440 ($27.50 per week) + tax

Half Season Share
8 weeks (May-June or July-August)
$240 ($30 per week) + tax

Each share contains 6-10 pounds of fresh, seasonal produce with an average of 7-9 items. We recommend one share to supplement the diets of 2-3 vegetable eaters or for an individual who wants to share with friends and family.

Share contents depend on what’s in season and harvested each week, but we will provide a tentative list the week of each pick-up. In addition, you’ll receive a weekly newsletter with recipes, storage tips, and information about the farms your produce is coming from.

Meat Share Add-Ons
Shareholders also have the option to add on a share of pasture-raised, non-GMO meat from Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative. Meat shares will be delivered once a month to your regular CSA pick-up location. Choose between the Whole Farm Share (pasture-raised chicken, grass-fed beef, and forested pork) for $100 or the Cackle Pack (pasture-raised chicken) for $90.

Pick-Up Locations
Deliveries begin May 4-6 and go through August 17-19.

Little Rock
Arkansas Children’s Hospital* (Thursday 4-6 p.m.)
Baptist Health* (Thursday 4-6 p.m.)
Baptist Health* NLR Campus (Friday 4-6 p.m.)
Heifer International* (Thursday 4-6 p.m.)
Unitarian Universalist Church (Friday 4-6 p.m.)

Conway – The Locals Food Hub (Wednesday 4-6 p.m.)

Bryant – Natural Things Food Store (Wednesday 4-6 p.m.)

Fort Smith
Mercy Hospital* (Wednesday 11 a.m.-1 p.m.)
ArcBest Corporation (ArcBest employees only)

Payment Methods
E-check (upfront or in installments)
Credit/Debit card (upfront or in installments)
*Payroll deduction for eligible employees at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Baptist Health, Heifer International, and Mercy Hospital (Fort Smith)

Sign up for a Foodshed Farms CSA share at

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