Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Produce Shopping Guide Dowload

This cut-out is handy to keep in the purse or wallet, or tape to your fridge for easy reference.  Personally, I started with baby steps in buying organic - for the past two months, I've bought strawberries, celery and apples only in organic.  As time goes on, we can try to incorporate more. 

If you have a smartphone, you can use the link to download a free app to carry with you wherever you go.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Vale Wood Farms Summer Jubilee

Roadside beauties!
This past Sunday, Vale Wood Farms (Loretto, PA, dairy) held its annual "Summer Jubilee," an event to host customers at the farm.  We got to take a hay ride around the property, "milk" a pretend cow, enjoy some music from a local band, and eat ice cream (of course).  I learned a few new things about the farm I wanted to share.  (We have Vale Wood listed on our "Local Farms" tab, where you can read a small blurb about their farming techniques.)

The Original Itle Homestead
In addition to growing their own crops for the cows to eat, Vale Wood does not administer any hormones such as rBGH/rBST (a genetically altered hormone created by Monsanto).  While the farm is not "organic," it is their preference NOT to spray the fields and crops.  According to our tour guide, they only do so if the "bug counts" are predicted to be high at a particular time.

Some of the pregnant cows on "break" from their milking duties.
 The cows are given access to pasture and are also given a daily ration of corn and greens (such as timothy hay and alfalfa).  (I am not sure if the corn comes from genetically modified seed.)

Dan talking to us about the calves (behind him) and some of the farm practices.
When the calves are born, they receive vaccinations.  They are kept in these stalls (above) for a short time and then gradually introduced into larger herd settings.

The "girls" waiting to be milked.
If a cow would ever need an antibiotic, their milk is discarded and NOT given to the customer.  The farmers here believe that one ought not withhold antibiotics if an animal is sick.

Vale Wood cows are Holsteins.  Each Holstein cow has a distinct marking/pattern on their body - it is like a fingerprint; no two are alike!

When the cows know it's time to be milked, they also know the order of who goes first!  They line up accordingly, and those first-in-line cows do not give up their spots.  I found that so interesting!

"Milking" the cow!
 The farm has been in operation since 1933.  It's still run by members of the Itle family, and the lady who gave us our hay ride tour had lots of stories of her childhood on the land!  

While I was waiting for my ice cream in the dairy store, I checked out the ingredients on some of the ice cream containers.  I was somewhat disappointed to see lots of additives and thickeners like guar gum and diglycerides, plus corn syrup.  I guess not all things can be perfect!  It sure does taste good, though.  For more information on the Vale Wood product line, click here.

 Also, a Vale Wood employee once told me that the eggs they offer come from a neighboring farm.

I still think that Vale Wood milk is the best I have tasted.  I love knowing that it comes from right here in western PA and that the family is intimately involved in the dairy practices.  They truly seem to care about their cows, and their customers!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Home Delivery by Rosary Acres

If you're on our Facebook page, you know how geeked out we are about discovering that Rosary Acres, a natural & organic foods store in Ligonier, is starting a home delivery program.  I (Sara) met the owner, Rick Adams, at the Farm to Table conference in Pittsburgh a couple of weeks ago.  We are hoping to have him come speak to our group soon about a discount program they offer.  (Details to follow - join us on Facebook so you get them in a timely manner!)

If you would like to receive regular communications from Rosary Acres, you can email Rick and his wife Lisa at wholegraingrocer@gmail.com.  They will add you to their list and you'll get updates on what new products they have and what they're offering for home delivery.  Rosary Acres truly embodies the "buy fresh, buy local" philosophy - they offer tons of products from the region, and tons of natural & organic items. 

Our first delivery to the Indiana area is this coming Friday, April 13th. Today (Monday) is the last day to get orders in, but for future reference, your order must be a minimum of $75.00, plus there is a $5.00 delivery charge.  You can join up with buddies and make a group order if you can't reach the $75.00 - it just has to be delivered to one address only.

Below is an email I received from Rick last week.  (I may not post more of these in the future, so be sure to ask them to add you to the list if you want more updates!)

Thank You for your support and interest in receiving delivery of Fresh, Natural and Organic Foods and Produce from Rosary Acres. If you are familiar with Frankferd Farms everything in their catalog is available AND in addition we have created a short list of items available outside of the FFF catalog like grass fed beef, fresh fish, The Family Cow Raw Milk ETC. This list will continue to grow quickly we just wanted to simplify to begin.

When placing an order for delivery we ask that you email if possible so we have a record and no confusion on what is requested but we ALWAYS welcome your call for questions or to place your order over the phone. If you do not have a FFF paper catalog you can view at www.frankferd.com
Even things from our store are available for delivery even if you don't see them on the below list but you have been to our Store in Ligonier know we have it available!

Please let me know if you have any questions.

  1. Here is the delivery schedule for next week.And as we get multiple customers in a area we will micro out the route Tuesday-North
    Friday-East A few details...Minimum order is $75.00 and delivery is $5.00, We will need to have the North( Tuesday Route) orders in by Thursday afternoon and all other orders by Monday afternoon.
  2. We will need everyone's complete information( name, phone, address and email) you can pay upon delivery by check only, NOT CASH! or we can accept credit card via the phone prior to delivery.
  3. Please feel free to pass this info along to everyone you know and like us on facebook!

Rosary Acres Natural and Organic Foods now will provide delivery to home or office!
The following is a very small listing of what we have available for home delivery in addition to the Frankferd Farm Foods catalog.  We will be continuing to compose our list until we have most of our products listed.  We have a large gluten free and vegan section, in addition to all of your favorite organic food labels. So if you want something you don’t see, just ask!  We carry over 5,000 products in our retail store.   Every week we will list our fresh organic produce that is available.  If you would like to order in a particular type of produce or fish that is not listed, let us know and we will do our best to have it the following week for you. 

Grass Fed, Organic Beef (local)
-Ground Beef-$6.49 per #
-Roasts-Chuck, Round, Brisket, Arm & English, Rump, Sirloin-$6.49 per #
-Steaks-Del, T-Bone, Porterhouse, Rib, Strip- $16.00 per #
-Minute Steaks-$8.00 per #
-Taking orders for ¼, ½ and whole beef.
Pastured Organic Chicken (some local, some Coleman brand)
-Whole Roasters- $4.50 per pound
-Boneless/ skinless breasts- $9.99 per pound
-Thighs-$4.49 per #
Organic Pastured Lamb (local)
-leg, shoulder roasts, etc $17.00 per #
-Chops-$19.00 per #
-French Rack-$22.00 per #
-Shanks-$17.00 per #
Organic brown eggs (local)
-$3.50 per dozen
Wild-caught fresh fish (this will change week to week)
-Always a variety of Salmon(Sockeye, king, Coho) $14.99 per #
-second fish will vary ( Tuna, Cod, Orange Roughy, Scallops)
Nitrate free Bacon
-Applegate Sunday Bacon(antibiotic free) $5.60 each
-Applegate Org Turkey Bacon-$6.50 each
Nitrate free Hams
-Nitrate FREE, Spiral Cut hams( est size 7-9 lbs) $7.15 per pound
The Family Cow Organic Raw Milk (from Chambersburg PA)
-Raw Milk Gallon-$6.75
-Raw Milk Half Gallon-$4.00
-Raw Milk Cheese Available
Trickling Springs Cream (Chambersburg PA)
-$5.99 each
Family Cow Nitrate Free Beef Sticks (Organic Slim Jims!  Sweet, hot and pepper)
$1.26 each
Shiloh Farms Sprouted Spring Wheat flour-5#- $16.99 each
Shiloh Farms Sprouted Quinoa- 12oz-$13.33 each
Taste of the Wild grain free Dog and Cat food (all flavors and sizes)
Fresh Ground Organic Peanut butter (made in our store with organic peanuts, no salt no sugar) 8oz- $2.99 each, 16oz-$4.50 each
Old Linn Runn Fresh Roasted Coffee (direct trade, locally fresh roasted beans)
Dominican, Sumatra, Ethiopian, Guatemala, Brazilian and Rosary Acres Blend
6oz-$7.00 each 12oz-$12.00 each

All Organic (never Conventional) and Local in Season

Pink Lady/ $3.00 per pound
Cameo/ $2.00 per pound
Gala/ 3# bag/ $5.99 each
Fugi/ 3# bag/ $5.00 each

Strawberries-1# clam/ Driscoll/ $5.25 each
Blueberries-6 oz Clam/ $4.25

Fingerling-Ruby Crescent/1.5# Bag / $3.75 each
Yukon Gold- 5# Bag/ $6.99 each
Russet- 5# Bag/ $5.99 each

Asparagus-1#  package/ $5.45 per #
Bananas- Breaker ECO- $1.19 per pound
Broccoli-$4.49 Bunch
Cabbage- Green/ $1.15 per #
Carrots-Baby Peeled/ 1#/ $2.50 each
Carrots- #2 Bunny Luv-$2.99 each
Cauliflower head- $4.99 each
Celery Stalk- $3.00 each
Zucchini-$2.25 per #
Squash-Yellow Straight Neck-$3.99 per #
Tangerines-Honey -$2.50 per #
Oranges-$2.00 per #
Snow Peas-$5.99 per #
Limes-$2.99 per #
Lemons-$2.99 per #
Eggplant-$3.25 per #
Fresh White Garlic-$5.99 per #
Fresh Yellow Hawaiian GINGER-$5.99 per #
Kiwi-$2.99 per #
Cucumbers-$2.59 per #
Mushrooms- Bulk Crimini- $3.99 per #
Onions-Yellow- $1.25 per #
FRESH Fennel (whole w/Root)-$3.25 each

Rainbow Chard-1 bunch chopped and bagged- $3.99
Arugula Baby Leaf- ½ pound bagged- $4.99
Baby Spinach- 5oz clam-$3.99
Salad 50/50 Blend- 5oz clam-$3.99
Romaine Hearts 3ct Bag- $3.99
Kale- Red-1 bunch-Chopped and Bagged-$3.99

This list and prices are subject to change from week to week.

God Bless,

Rick Adams
724-516-3187 cell
724-238-4140 Store

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Whole Foods on a Budget

I just wanted to highlight a new blog I've added to the "Traditional Foods Blogs" list on the right side of the page.  The blog Whole Foods on a Budget is maintained by someone I know in the D.C. area.  She and I don't know each other very well personally, though we stood together with our friend Becca in her wedding a couple of Octobers ago!  If you check it out, you'll see that Christy has a food budget, a large family, and a desire to feed her family quality food.  She has taught herself over the years to use local co-ops, online vendors, and local farms in a very reasonable, cost-effective way.  I know I have a lot to learn, so it inspires me to see how one mom does it.   

Check it out when you get a chance!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Farm to Table Conference - Pittsburgh

This past weekend, the Farm to Table conference was held at the David Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh.  It was a great place to learn more about resources in our area. [EDIT 3/27/12: Here is a link to the program if you'd like to check out all the exhibitors, speakers, CSA's, etc.]

There were several speakers and demonstrations to choose from every couple of hours - one definitely could not have attended each one.  There was also a large room filled with exhibits from regional farms and vendors.  I was really glad I brought a big bag to carry all my info and purchases!
The exhibit room
The first table I visited was for Building New Hope, an organization that supports projects in Central America.  They had coffee for sale (which is roasted by our own Commonplace Coffeehouse!) and they pay the Nicaraguan farmers a rate that is better than fair-trade.  I was even more impressed when the rep told me they are volunteer-based.  I couldn't justify buying coffee since I just purchased some recently, but I bought a pretty woven bracelet made by a young Nicaraguan man trying to support himself.  You can purchase coffee from BNH by visiting one of these places listed on their site, or purchasing online.

Next I sampled probably the best honey I've ever tasted.
Honey from Bumbleberry Farms
Oh my word.  Maybe it's partly due to the fact that I'm off sugar right now, but I feel like I could drink this stuff.  It's local (Somerset, PA) and it's raw, which means it's therapeutic properties are still intact!  This honey is available in many places, including Whole Foods, but we could request it locally at our grocery stores if we wanted to see it on their shelves (I have a few business cards and will probably suggest this honey to Martin's - let me know if you want a card to take somewhere else).  The good news is, it's also available for purchase and home delivery through Rosary Acres (more on them in a minute)!  Kudos to Karen Mosholder for this fabulous taste of nature!  She also has a few specialty honeys you may want to check out on her Web site.

Of course, no foodie convention is complete without these guys:
I spoke with the girl in the blue shirt for a while, who was volunteering at the table because her health has dramatically improved by switching from pasteurized to raw milk.  In fact, she has an autoimmune disease that she's had since birth - I forget the name but it's the same one Michael Jackson had, where the skin pigment is damaged.  When she made the switch, her skin started healing!  She had no idea that would happen, but it made her a big believer in how much our bodies need good enzymes and bacteria in the gut.

I told her about my personal reasons for getting educated on nutrition (history of miscarriage), and she recommended a booklet to me, which I eagerly purchased.  In case anyone else would ever want to borrow it or get their own copy, the title is "Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts" and it's the "Healthy Baby Issue" (published by the Weston A Price Foundation).

And, while we're on the topic of nutrition and how it relates to healing and wellness, I'll tell you a little bit about the speakers I heard.  One was Janet McKee, a holistic health counselor who gave a cooking demonstration and talk.  I could have spent a long time listening to her!  Check out her Web site by clicking on her name - she has a long list of upcoming events and has tons of interesting info on the site.  One of the most remarkable things she discussed was her current partnership with a physician who beat terminal cancer by changing his diet.  They are working together to educate people and spread the word about the amazing healing power of food.

I also heard one of the owners of Weatherbury Farm give a presentation on grass-fed cows.  There was a lot of information given, which I won't get into in this post, but I am definitely in favor of making the switch!  The thing is, most grocery stores don't sell grass-fed beef - except certain Giant Eagle stores and Whole Foods stores.  You can purchase from Galaxy Farms (grain-finished) - see our Local Farm page - or Manchester Farms, or you can find a grass-fed beef farmer at Eat Wild or Local Harvest.  You can also purchase through Rosary Acres (I promise I'll get to them!).

Manchester Farms also sells grass-fed, whole, organic milk that is NON-homogenized (old-fashioned, cream-on-top milk!) and gently pasteurized.  You may find this milk at many locations around Pittsburgh - see their Web site.

All right - on to Rosary Acres.  I was really excited about them because they are now beginning HOME DELIVERY to anywhere in western PA!  They just finished building up the stock in their store in Ligonier, and just got their refrigerated truck.  Delivery will rotate throughout the region, so that means one area will get delivery about every two weeks (beginning after Easter).  No membership is required - you just call and place your order the week before your delivery day.  There IS a minimum order of $75.00, plus a $5.00 delivery fee, which isn't much when you consider your own cost of gas to get to all the markets in Pittsburgh.  And you can combine orders with a friend and just split the cost, if you can't reach $75.00.  Perhaps we can communicate on Facebook with one another if we are placing orders - that way, if people just need one or two items, they can piggyback on someone else's order.

If this delivery system works out well, it will bring together virtually all of the items this group has discussed - local honey (Bumbleberry Farms), grass-fed beef, local organic produce, raw milk (Your Family Cow), fresh wild-caught fish, herbs, teas & spices, and the entire catalog of Frankferd Farms, plus items from Friendship Farms.  I was ready to hug the man.  You can also shop in their store in Ligonier, located at 1869 Rte. 30 W.  The owners are Rick and Lisa Adams, and I met Rick at the conference - he's a very nice man and I am excited to do business with them.

I have about 35 handouts and catalogs sitting beside me, so I can't cover everything I saw there, but it was a great resource and I hope this information helps us here in Indiana to connect with the many healthy food options available to us!  Feel free to ask questions here or on the Facebook page... I am not sure if the comment form is even working here, so if you have problems, let me know.

I leave you with a couple of gratuitous Pittsburgh pictures.  I think we have a very lovely city :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

C.S.A. - Davis's Greenhouses

For those interested in community-supported agriculture, there is now an Indiana drop-off for produce from Davis's Greenhouses.  (Davis's is taking over customers from Misty Morning Farms, which is no longer operating.) Thanks to Barb, Andrea and Allison for doing some of the legwork to connect us with this CSA!

Free-range eggs will be provided through them as well.  Full share will include one dozen per week; half share will include one half dozen.

Davis's is not certified organic, but Tom Davis, the owner, used the term "naturally grown."  He tells me they use plant food and if they are forced to spray, it is the same kind of spray that organic farmers use.

Click here to visit Google Docs for the produce list. 

 If you have further questions about the eggs or the farming practices, please give Tom Davis a call at (814) 948-9202 or send him an email at davissgreenhouses@yahoo.com.

Here are some more details from Tom Davis:



Community Supported Agriculture is a partnership of mutual commitment between a farm and a group of subscribers forming a direct link between the production and consumption of food.  Subscribers cover a year's farm budget by purchasing a "share" of the harvest in advance.  Subscribers then receive a weekly portion of the farm's product during the production season.  Davis's Greenhouses & Produce C.S.A. is seeking subscribers ready to embark on the enjoyment of sustainable local vegetables and fruits.
Signing up by June 1, 2012 insures your full 20 weeks membership.   

Davis's Greenhouses & Produce is located on Davis’s Farm on Spruce Rd off of Rt 580 between Uniontown and Pine Flats. As a member of C.S.A, you can receive fresh produce from early June through October. We will offer vegetables, salad greens & some fruits as they become available.
Weekly delivery will be via picking up at the Greenhouse or at specified drop-off points.

A Full Share is ideal for families.
A Half Share is ideal for couples or singles.

Full Share Prices:
            $300      20 weeks

Half Share Prices:
             $150     20 weeks

 To join this CSA, you must fill out and return this form along with payment to Davis's Greenhouses.

Butter, delicious butter

Thanks to Allison for this helpful picture of Whole Foods' store prices on Kerrygold butter! 

Allison must really be a fan, because she also posted this one from Sam's Club, which sells the 500 gram size (1 lb, 1.6 oz.) for about $7.00.  Thanks, Ali!

If you're on our Facebook page, you may have seen the group's conversation about this butter a few weeks back.  Here are some excerpts pertaining to people's reasons for choosing Kerrygold:

From Hillary:
"It's Irish butter made from grass-fed cow's milk. I haven't actually tried it yet, but it's supposed to be wonderful and good for you too!"

From Rebekah:
"Giant Eagle has it.  I bought the unsalted stuff and it is AMAZING!!!"

From Elaine:  
"Giant Eagle has it for $4.19 a block; the cheapest place I've bought it is at Trader Joe's -it's $2.74 a block there. I've written Wal-Mart and requested they stock it in Greensburg We could request it for Indiana."

Elaine also added:
"Wal-Mart is trying to provide more organic and other healthier choices. I think requesting it as a group is a great idea; demographics believe that every letter/email sent represents about 100 people so making requests as a group would be terrific. Groups represent buying power to companies. ...

... Wal-Mart had a form that we filled out while we were there and the other stores just sent us to their website. Communicating through the websites seem to be the way the stores accepted requests."

So the idea has been thrown out to contact local stores via their Web sites or by requesting products in person if there's a product we'd like to see offered for sale.  Out of curiosity, has anyone done this, and have you seen any results?  Feel free to share your comments below!

As a bonus, we live very close to Amish country and have ways to purchase local, raw milk butter from the Amish.  The last time I personally purchased it, I paid around $3.85 per pound.  The color and taste were delightful.  Here it is next to a stick of butter from a local dairy:

We love seeing that beautiful golden color, indicative of nutrient-dense butter from a cow feeding on rapidly growing grass in the spring and fall!  (And you can buy butter in bulk then freeze it for safe-keeping.)  Even Ma from the Little House books yearned for that gorgeous hue - she colored her pale winter butter with the juice of a carrot!

If you'd like to be a part of a buying group for Amish butter or Kerrygold butter, get in touch with the group on Facebook, or send an email to greenlifeindiana (at) gmail.com.  

For more information on nutrient-dense butter from grass-fed cows, check out The Skinny on Fats over at the Weston A. Price Foundation, or read any of the traditional food blogs in the column to the right.  Move over, margarine!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Pink Slime Action Items

Thanks to Rachel for passing on this link to a petition to the USDA.  It is very easy to type in a few lines and get this message to multiple people regarding the use of "pink slime" in ground beef. 

Googling "pink slime" will, of course, turns up lot of articles.  Here is an ABC News article that contains more details on the filler and lists the practices of some of the major grocery chains.

We can make a difference in our local community as well.  Here are a few suggestions for taking action (these are just suggestions, and in no way are they intended to represent this group's official position - they are offered here merely as options for those who may be interested in taking a stand):
  • First and foremost, always be polite :)
  • Call the grocery stores where you shop, ask for the meat department, then ask if they use "lean beef trimmings" or "pink slime" as filler in their ground beef.  Let them know you do not want to eat ground beef that is filled with chemically treated scraps, and that you will not purchase there anymore if it is used.  
  • If they do use the filler, tell them you will also be letting your friends and family know so they can make the choice to keep purchasing ground beef there or not.
  • If you have an extra few minutes, we'd love to hear what you find out.  If you could, would you please report back to us at this page in the comments section?
  • Buy meat from local farmers instead of the store.  Check out the links on our "Local Farms" page and see if you come up with an alternative that works for you.
  • Letters to the Editor of the local paper are a great way to spread the word and invoke change.  Businesses (like grocery stores) are very highly motivated to stay in business!  That means they are sensitive to where your dollars are going.
What about you?  Do you have any other thoughts on this subject? 

Friday, March 9, 2012

"Pink Slime" ground beef filler not labeled

Yet another reason to buy meats and produce straight from the farmers: USDA whistleblowers have revealed that about 70% of supermarket ground beef contains a filler known as "pink slime."

The filler is leftover fat and scraps of unused beef (trimmings that have typically been used in dog food), heated then treated with ammonia, then packaged into pink "bricks" for grocery stores to mix with beef.  Consumers don't even get the courtesy of a label.

Retired USDA microbiologist Carl Custer calls the pink slime a "salvage product" and does not consider it beef.

People might look at you crazy if you're one of those folks who grinds your own food, such as ground beef or grains.  But if a former USDA scientist, Gerald Zirnstein, is now grinding his own beef, perhaps it's not so crazy after all.  

I don't know about you, but this makes my stomach turn.  What's equally sickening is that we don't get a label because, according to ABC News' Jim Avila, "Over objections from its own scientists, USDA officials with links to the beef industry labeled pink slime 'meat.'"  In fact, it was former Undersecretary of Agriculture, Joann Smith, who made the decision to call it that, and in so doing, paved the way for Beef Products, Inc. (the manufacturer of pink slime) to make "hundreds of millions of dollars."  Interestingly enough, after stepping down from the USDA, Smith was appointed to the Board of Directors for one of Beef Products, Inc.'s principle suppliers.

Folks, this ain't right.

Anyway, for our little co-op to start organizing and getting some firm connections to local farms, we need to hold an informational meeting.  We just need a location that's big enough, and free.  Please comment below or send us an email if you have any suggestions!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Local Business Spotlight: Glick's Bulk & Discount

There's a great little Mom-and-Pop store called Glick's Bulk & Discount less than 10 minutes outside of town on Route 286 East.  I have now been there twice and am beginning to realize what a gem it is!  They have a wide selection of spices, baking needs, candies, jams, honey, pasta, meats and cheeses (John F. Martin and Sons), dried fruit, local eggs, and many other grocery items - almost all purchased in bulk so that it's sold very cheap.  In my mind, I could even begin to call it "Indiana's Trader Joe's" - as long as you ignore the fact that they don't have fun balloons and fresh produce and exotic sauces and ... OK, well, there's a lot you have to ignore.  But as far as getting some rare items and getting them cheap, Glick's has a lot to offer!

For instance, for the gluten-free diet, there's sorghum flour, rice flour, GF oats, GF brownie mix and chocolate chip cookie mix, lots of Bob's Red Mill items, GF pasta, and many other GF flours for baking (too many for me to write down in my little book while shopping!).  I got a 3-pound bag of Bob's Red Mill gluten-free oats for around $7.00 - pretty reasonable for a specialty item like this.  You can also buy small containers of arrowroot powder for $1.00-$3.00, which is better, in my budget, than buying a large bag at the grocery store for over $6.00.

Here's a list of some noteworthy items I found at Glick's (there are tons more!):
  • Honey (raw "rough" honey, Yoder's, and others), some for around only $10.00 per quart
  • Flax seeds and flax meal, $1.00 for 0.5 lb.
  • Polenta
  • Flake coconut
  • Coconut oil, $6.29 per quart (though I could not see info on its processing)
  • Carob powder
  • Butter (John F. Martin and Sons, Hillendale Farms)
  • Dried fruits
  • Dried vegetables
  • Vegetable chips
  • Tons of gluten-free baking supplies
  • Arrowroot powder
  • Bob's Red Mill flours 
  • Stevia
  • Maple syrups
  • Farm fresh local eggs
  • Tons of spices, including rare finds like whole nutmeg - all very well-priced
Glick's is located at 5381 Hwy. 286 East (before you get to Clymer) and is open every day but Sunday (M-Th. 8-6, F. 8-7, Sat. 8-5). Ph: (724) 349-5453.

What about you?  What local businesses would you like to tell us about?  If you have a place you'd like to share with us, send us a message or leave a comment!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Food-Brain Connection

I have lots more to learn on this subject, but I am becoming more and more convinced that much of the health problems our nation faces, including mental & behavioral health, stem from problems with our food. 

There is much that could be said on this subject, but for now, I just want to share this link to one family's success story of essentially "curing" autism in their son simply by changing their diet and food sources.  Check it out here.

The other day, I went to Medical Wellness Associates in Jeannette, PA.  The doctor I met with (Dr. Noah Erickson) had a brain full of information - I sort of wished I had a tape recorder!  (Er, do people still use those?  I guess they are digital now...)  One of the most remarkable things he shared with me was how he was able to treat a child's autism with diet and supplements, and now that child does everything the medical doctors said he wouldn't.  Can you imagine how awesome those parents must feel, to have their son back?!

I hope to share more about that appointment in the coming weeks, but don't just take it from me.  What we eat has life-changing effects.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Joining Forces

I am not sure how many people have heard of the Holistic Moms Network, but I first found them through a link on my friend Bethanie's blog, Green and Grateful.  (I am not even sure if Bethanie is a member!)  It looked cool, and I discovered there is a chapter in Pittsburgh.  However, I never checked it out because, well, it's in Pittsburgh.  It also looked like you had to be a member.

But recently, I emailed the chapter leader, Jennifer, and heard back that anyone is welcome to attend a meeting to check out the group, then decide if they want to join.  She was excited about what we're doing here in Indiana (even if we're not doing much yet, haha!) and said it sounds like we have some similar mindsets.  She let me know that they are having their first chapter meeting of the year on TUESDAY, February 28th.  That's THIS coming Tuesday! 

The meeting is to be held at the Wilkins Community Center PlaySpace (Regent Square) at 6:30 p.m, located at 7604 Charleston Ave., Swissvale, PA, 15218.  Children and spouses are welcome, and there is a play space for the kids (hence the name "PlaySpace") to use while the adults talk. 

Jennifer let me know that there is a membership fee, but that it "pays for itself" with all the discounts and freebies from holistic partners.  Something to keep in mind.  Even if anyone from here attended, it would be a great way to connect with an established network, see what is already going on in our region, and get ideas for our group here.  I would be curious to see what they are about!

[EDIT 2/24/12: Bethanie, my friend through whom I heard of this group, left a comment on our Facebook page -- she said, "We are a member of the Centreville (Northern Virginia) chapter and we absolutely love it. We have learned lots and gotten lots of support/ideas for our lifestyle. We highly recommend becoming members!!! Let me know if you have any questions about them."  Just FYI!]

Thursday, January 19, 2012

We're Working ...

It's been over a week since we initiated the Green Living Co-op, and maybe some folks are wondering, "What happens now?"  It's been a little quiet here on the blog, though our Facebook page is generating lots of conversation among like-minded people in the community!

I know that many of you are interested in 1) local produce, 2) pastured meats, and 3) organic foods & products.  There also seems to be a lot of inquiry into a buying club.  Please rest assured that our little team of two is looking into this, and we will definitely keep you posted!  Hillary is hard at work making calls in between running her business and caring for her family.  And Sara's gathering information for the blog pages, trying to post the resources you've given us in some sort of organized fashion, also while caring for her family.  (I don't know how those professional bloggers do it all!)

While we've been working behind the scenes, I've often wanted to encourage us all with this thought:

"Don't make the perfect the enemy of the good."

I know for myself, it can become quite daunting to read foodie blogs, cookbooks like Nourishing Traditions, and talk to friends who seem make almost everything from scratch. When I first became interested in "real/traditional foods," it was exciting at first, and then completely overwhelming.  To pile on to my stress, I began finding out that not everyone who is well-educated on nutrition follows  with a "traditional foods" philosophy.  (And if that's you, please don't leave - we want you here, too!)  Some people began to tell me not to eat dairy, and some people advised me to avoid meat.   

I have come to accept that it's OK for us to have different approaches regarding diet, and it's OK for us each to do what works for us.  

It's also freeing to realize we can make changes anytime we want!

The reason this group is leaning toward a whole foods, full-on meat & dairy diet is merely because the two gals who had the idea and rolled with it are on that page.  It's OK if you're not!  Our goal is to help everyone connect with the local, natural foods available in our area and to learn from each other.  We believe it's good for us, good for farmers, and good for the planet.

So, when you see me at the grocery store, you might see I am "shopping the horseshoe" more (meaning I am buying less from the middle of the store and more from the outer aisles of produce, meat and dairy), but you'll also see me buying potato chips, M&M's, and that completely unhealthy 12-pack of soda!  I have a long way to grow, and have learned we're all just taking baby steps on our own paths toward eating well.  ;)  We can try our best, but we'll make ourselves really unhappy if we make perfection the only acceptable way to live!  

As always, contact us anytime (greenlifeindiana at gmail dot com) with your thoughts, suggestions, resources, and offers to help.  We are all ears and we need your input to make this co-op benefit as many people as possible!

Sunday, January 8, 2012


Welcome to our site! We are a work in progress, so please bear with us!

As of today, we are just a couple of gals trying to form a cooperative -- a group of people who have similar goals and want to help each other learn and connect with local resources. Our goals are loosely defined at this point; as time goes on, the co-op will take shape and our goals will solidify with it! In general, we have a few simple ideas:

  • Spur one another on to eat more "whole" or "traditional" foods and avoid processed foods.
  • Help each other connect with local farms and merchants who sell these types of foods.
  • Share ideas about living "green" - avoiding toxins in home cleaning products, cosmetics, and the home in general.
We hope to use this site as a one-stop shop for the community of Indiana, PA, to use as both a reference and a place to share. So, let the fun begin! Connect with our Facebook group, and/or send us your suggestions via email. We look forward to getting to know you!