Friday, October 19, 2012

$124 BILLION Euros per year.....

Equals the true cost of cancer on an annual basis in Europe. What does that translate to in US dollars? Here is the current conversion rate today (1 US dollar = 0.7679 euros) so it is clear that $124 B figure is even more staggering when translated to US dollars, which would equal $161 Billion USD.

$161 Billion each year..............the true cost of cancer treatment and cancer survivorship (and/or lack of it) concerns, all rolled up into one crushing figure. What else could be done with that money?

I don't think a study like this has been done with US cancer data, taking the economic/productivity loss into account. Here is the link to the press release of the study, which includes a second study about the huge toll (economic, disease, quality of life) that cancer takes on cancer care-givers, which the study calls 'the hidden patients'. Yes, I know this, too...........

I don't know what else to add that would be succinct. However, these data make me even more committed to my current professional and personal touchstone, written by my friend Angie Tagtow, MS, RD, in which she says:
"Healthy soil grows healthy food, 
which nourishes healthy people 
who create healthy communities." 

We could easily sell all of our organic garlic by shipping via internet sales all over the country, and likely for higher prices than we sell at our four local farmers markets. However, our business model has been intentionally developed to sell it all locally, and sell it preferentially to individual eaters who are going to go home to cook, thus experiencing the lively taste of a truly new food.  Our customers tell us over and over again that they just cannot go back to 'store-bought garlic'. We like hearing those words and seeing their smiles. :)

Our customers also come from all parts of the economic-spectrum of our community; they are not just from the 'high-end'. Many of them use food assistance programs to purchase our garlic, and we participate with every program possible. It is the increase of all individuals who become committed to doing more purchasing of locally grown organic food, supporting local organic farmers, growing the local economy, plus just as importantly, enjoying cooking with healthy foods along with eating with family and friends (reducing the 'grab and go' mentality of our unhealthy processed and fast food society) that we are intentionally working to nourish and cultivate.

I added a little more than I intended past the 'succinct' remark. :)

I'll be posting a little more frequently now since we are done marketing (100% sold out), are planting for our 2013 crop, the daylight hours are decreasing, and I am still resting a hurt foot from a freak horse accident. My husband says I can now add 'horse wrangler' to my eclectic resumé. :)

Cultivate your life - you are what you grow - inch by inch, row by row,

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Fall Farewell Newsletter

Here is the last farm newsletter for 2012 along with a list to links of all the newsletters I wrote for our farm in 2012 (I just found this!).

Now on to planting our garlic for 2013, but first, i.e. today, we really need to finish the harvest of our family garden. A good (bad) frost is expected tonight, so we need to keep focusing on bringing in our own food rather than what we need to plant for our income in 2013. Where to spend our time is always a balancing act!

Off to the garden!

Cultivate your life - you are what you grow (and freeze, can, or dry) - inch by inch, row by row,

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Another favorite poem

Instructions for living a life.
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.
~~ Mary Oliver

I think I could add a few more lines to this poem, but very few.  "Start a farm" would be one of them. :)

What lines would you add?

Cultivate your life - you are what you grow - inch by inch, row by row,

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Monday, October 1, 2012

Organic festivals nurture "Common Ground"

Here is a great article in the New York Times about a celebration of organic farms, farmers, and food in Maine. 

There are so many great 'one-liners' in here from the farmers themselves (not the writer) that truly give an accurate picture of this life, why people are doing it, and why it is vitally important to the health of our communities. "I want to take a nap" is one of them :) but we won't get to do that until after our garlic is planted. 

Here is another one:
“People spend so much time quibbling, they don’t know what it means to be alive,” said Mr. Bunker, who generally avoids talking politics. But who could argue with dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico, he said, “from all those nitrates flowing down the Mississippi.”

I have not had time to weigh in on the recent uproar over 'the Stanford' study that showed 'no benefit' to consuming organic foods. I still don't have time to do a thorough discussion, but I will easily say I don't agree with their conclusions at all. 

The comment above could not have summarized my position better. (Thank you, Mr. Bunker!) 

I can also say with complete truthfulness that my husband and I have thrown our hat in the ring for the long-haul and have no plans to move or do anything else in the future. We see the future and want to help create it, thus the motto for our farm became "Shaping our future from the ground up", where "our" is intentionally very large, very inclusive, starting with our soil and simply widening up and out from there to include our family, our community, our State of Michigan, my profession (dietetics) and our other health care professions, and society at large, i.e. finding, cultivating, and nurturing our "common ground". 

I hope you can take the time to read the article

Cultivate your life - you are what you grow - inch by inch, row by row,

Diana Dyer, MS, RD