Thursday, June 28, 2018



During the spring we visited Florida and Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, when I was planning the trip I stumbled upon this amazing garden and worked it into our itinerary. Edward W. Bok was a highly successful publisher, Pulitzer Prize-winning author, who immigrated from the Netherlands he enjoyed visiting the Lake Wales area and had a vision to create a beautiful gardens and singing tower on the hill for future generations. It was given in 1929.

The gardens are truly special with a great children's garden, kitchen garden and outside kitchen used for education, trails and bell performances from the singing tower. When you visit Bok Tower gardens you can also tour The Pinewood estate the Estate was built in the early 1930s for Charles Austin Buck, a Bethlehem Steel vice president. Its a magnificent Mediterranean style mansion and so worth a visit. 

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


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