Monday, June 4, 2018

Interview with Farmer Tracey Doonan

I recently attended the Todays Dietitian Spring symposium and went on the farm tour, it was well organized with stops at farms that grew sorghum,  The American Botanical Council and a small organic farm that trains young folks in farming and leadership skills. Sadly it was a rainy day and this prevented us from walking into the fields. 

The first farmer was a lovely gentleman who farmed nearly 2000 acres of corn, soybeans and sorghum that mostly went to China. Historically most Sorghum has been grown for cattle feed in the US but times are changing as this is a healthy and tasty grain and theres a push to get more of us eating it. One thing that stuck with me with after the tour was that the first conventional farmer stated that he sprays the sorghum with glyphosate/ round up to speed up the drying process this didn't sit well with me at all. Also he stated starting to use Dicamba this has been banned in Arkansas as its volatile and can damage neighboring fields. The reason its being used is that weeds have grown resistant to Glyphosate that is used along with the GMO corn and soybeans. 

Around this time I had started following Tracey on twitter enjoying his tweets and I got to wondering what do organic farmers do to dry their grains? he replied that mostly he lets them dry in the field by the sun, being honest this put my mind at ease. I feel as a society our agriculture has become too chemical dependent and there is another way. I learnt a lot from the tour and loved the lunch at another farmers house and chatting to the other dietitians on the tour and as always I am thankful to social media to have connected me with another awesome farmer. I thought it would be wonderful to interview him for you all to get to know him, and I am sure you will agree he's a gem and like all farmers be that conventional or organic he's an asset to this Country.

Tracey and Mary Doonan

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Ramp and Lion's Mane Mushroom Pasta

Depending on where you live its the start of farmers market season. I recently visited a newer market in Pfafftown NC and got some Ramps from a farmer that had driven 2 hours to his friends land to forage for ramps a spring wild leek often found in woodland. They look and taste similar to Scottish wild garlic and I remember having the best wild garlic and oil to dip bread into on our trip to Ireland last summer. The restaurant staff told us they also foraged for it in a local woodland area. Farmers are a wonderful bunch, passionate and hard working and are happy to share tips for their produce. I am proud to call myself one, after now farming on our little property in Yadkin County for 2 years. 

Monday, April 23, 2018

Spicy Shrimp and Spaghetti

Here's a simple and flavorful recipe for those busy week nights. This could also be good without shrimp or with added vegetables.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018


We recently visited Kennedy space center in Florida and got to see a rocket launch here are the details of its mission below and I thought I would share this really cool moment with you all. My Dad wanted to take a rocket selfie!

SpaceX is scheduled to launch Dragon CRS-14 aboard Falcon 9 for a resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS). The delivery of supplies and equipment will include science investigations for National Laboratory research. Highlights include:
The Atmosphere-Space Interactions Monitor, an Earth observatory that will study severe thunderstorms and their role in the Earth’s atmosphere and climate.
An investigation that seeks to better understand how the lack of gravity affects a process used to produce high-performance products from metal powders. This research could lead to improved manufacturing techniques.
Continuing research on growing food in space, as the Veggie Passive Orbital Nutrient Delivery System experiment tests a new way to deliver nutrients to plants.
This mission will launch from SLC-40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

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Monday, March 12, 2018

Chocolate Brownies

My daughter loves brownies especially the ones in Krankies coffee shop in Winston Salem. On valentines day we had some fun and made some together and decorated them with edible flowers from our garden.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Beef, Vegetable and Farro Soup

We recently had snow and the kids were off school for 3 days, after sledding and playing in the woods, nutritious and flavorful soups fit the bill, they also make great leftovers. Embracing and eating leftovers is a great way to decrease food waste also. 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

McLeod Plantation, James Island, SC

On a recent trip to the Charleston area we visited The McLeod Plantation. When I was looking for places to visit I read all the websites and reviews of the area plantations and the admission rates. After much thought I decided that McLeod would be a great fit for us and great for the kids. Most of the plantations have a strong focus on the history of the family that owned the plantation showcasing their success and immense wealth.

 Allowing you to tour lovely gardens and old homes full of antiques while this is still enjoyable to be honest it only tells 1/2 of the story. On a visit to Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's house a few years ago I was impressed by the tour about the enslaved people and was pleased to see the museum making an effort to tell their story. This is a positive trend in recent years. 
Much of history is difficult and uncomfortable but shouldn't be brushed under the rug it should be embraced and told it shaped America and its important for us all to learn. 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Carrot and Lentil Soup

 Soups are perfect cold weather food, easy and nourishing and they help in season produce to shine, these carrots are from a farm near mine. We grew a few but somehow we never seem to plant enough.
This soup reminds me of Scotland as you find a lot of lentil soups on menus there and I feel the Scots are very good at making soup.


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