Strawberry Shortcake

Local Strawberries arrive Today at LifeSource!

Long before the sun rises above the horizon,  Amanda and Gustav, of Zorn Organic Farms are planning the day ahead. As the demand for locally grown Oregon strawberries is reaching a crescendo, the farm workers are filling flat after flat with ripe berries. The shifting pink and orange colors of the sky hint at the perfect day ahead., as people stir from their slumber, not yet anticipating the delights the day may hold for them. Today is the day that Beth sets out for the fertile bottomland of the Champoeg region to gather the first truckload of the season from Zorn family Farms.  Beth’s Tacoma, laden with berries,  has just now arrived back in Salem, and as we unload the strawberry flats from the truck, the sweet smell of organic strawberry goodness fills the air at LifeSource.  Come to the store on your way home today and get your fresh Oregon strawberries, your freshly baked shortcake from LifeSource deli, and maybe a little organic cream to whip up for dessert.  It is officially Strawberry Shortcake time!

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Oregon Blueberries

Though winter is just beginning, you can still experience the flavor of summer at its peak, with dried Oregon blueberries.

Grown organically, just outside Corvallis, these blueberries are expertly dried to keep all their flavor and nutrition.

Let’s celebrate the return of the light by enjoying a taste of summer. Sunset Valley organic dried blueberries are now available in the bulk department at LifeSource!

bee-blueberries

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Our visit to Hunton’s farm, and Camas Country Mill

So many of the products we carry at LifeSource are locally grown in the Willamette Valley.  Recently,  several of our staff payed a  visit to Hunton’s farm and Camas Country Mill.  Located in the heart of the valley, these businesses supply us wheat and spelt flour for our bulk department.  The tour was an incredible opportunity to see the process of flour production from field, to mill, to bag.  We began our tour with a short visit to the actual fields, where we saw hard red wheat only days from harvest. Growing next to the hard wheat was an experimental planting of durum wheat, ideal for pasta. After a nibble of some fresh pastries, we set off to see the stone mill where the flours are ground. The miller had just finished milling some bread flour, and we watched as it was bagged for shipment. We learned about the triple-sifting and testing process that ensures the highest level of quality of the finished flour. As we have the opportunities to visit more local farms and businesses, we’ll bring you articles and posts in our newsletter, and here on www.lifesourcenaturalfoods.com.

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LifeSource thanks Hummingbird Wholesale, The Hunton family and Camas Country Mill, for making this all possible!

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Hummingbird Wholesale Sustainability Report

A great company, from whom we buy several local products, has published their first sustainability report!

 Let’s acknowledge Hummingbird Wholesale, both for their sustainability efforts, and for their beautiful documentation!

Keep it up, ‘Birds, kudos to you!

[embeddoc url=”https://lifesourcenaturalfoods.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/HWSR2015.pdf” width=”100%” download=”all”]
Dig Deeper

The Sweet Side of Organic Farming – By Nigel Willerton, CEO, Wholesome Sweeteners

 

Dig Deeper

The Sweet Side of Organic Farming


In appreciation of their support, we invite Rodale Institute Business Members to share an article about their work on our website. These articles often include insightful information based on their experience and line of work.  It provides a unique perspective of organic agriculture that we enjoy sharing with our readers. 

By Nigel Willerton, CEO, Wholesome Sweeteners

Indonesian coconut tree

At Wholesome Sweeteners, we believe that a healthy planet allows for healthy and happy people. So from the very beginning, organic, sustainable farming has been at the heart of our philosophy. We proudly partner with farmers who help us create this ideal by producing our sugars in a safe and ethical way without sacrificing superior quality or harming the land. Our customers can be confident in the great taste and great care we’ve taken to bring them the best sweeteners.

Our Organic Sugar comes from sugar cane grown in Paraguay and milled at Azucarera Paraguaya. These farmers provide an excellent model for organic, sustainable farming; every step of their process fosters a high quality product with very low environmental impact. The sugar cane is “green cut” or hand-harvested, and the tops of the sugar cane are left in the field to enrich the soil and control weeds. The cane is never burned or sprayed, a damaging practice to the cane and the field and lethal to the local wildlife trapped in the fields. After harvesting, the cane is transported to the mill where it’s crushed to extract the sweet juices. The crushed stalks, called bagasse, are used to fuel the mill’s boilers, providing enough electricity for the mills and neighboring villages so that fossil fuel is unnecessary. In fact, the mill creates so much energy from the bagasse that they are able to sell some of the electricity back to the state.

Indonesian farmers with Coconut Palm Sugar

In Java, Indonesia, Wholesome Sweeteners partners with family farmers that create Organic Coconut Palm Sugar. Palm trees have been rich, food sources in Indonesia for more than 4,000 years. Farmers tap the sweet nectar from the coconut palm tree flower and turn it into Organic Coconut Palm Sugar. The trees grow wild on their property, so there is no need to use harmful, chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Every day the farmers climb the palm trees to tap the coconut palm flower at the top. Once they collect enough nectar, they heat it in large kettles where it’s stirred by hand until it cools and crystallizes, leaving behind a rich brown sugar. The farmers enjoy a reliable living from these trees: the nectar is produced year round for up to 25-40 years; the coconut fruit is used for its meat and water; and the fibrous husks are used for twine or weaving material. Most importantly, the extraction process leaves the local environment intact since the trees are never cut down destroying the farmers’ forested properties.

Wholesome Sweeteners’ organic farming practices stretch across our liquid sweeteners as well. Our Organic Blue Agave is grown in Jalisco, Mexico. The

 

leaves of the large plants are hand-cut by the farmers with a large blade, a “coa,” and left behind to protect the soil. The remaining core of the plant or the “piña” houses the blue agave nectar. The piña is crushed to extract the juices, which are then gently heated and filtered yielding a sweet amber agave syrup.

Our Organic Honey comes from hives located deep within the secluded jungles of Brazil and Mexico, where beekeeping protects native plants and encourages biodiversity. The beekeepers maintain an organic environment for the honeybees by never using antibiotics or other toxins on the hives. The hives have been placed among a variety of organic flora for miles and miles, knowing that bees will only travel up to 4 miles from their hives for food. Since the bees are feasting on a variety of wildflowers that change with the season, the honey’s flavor characteristics constantly evolve, deepening in color and flavor. The honey is minimally filtered allowing it to retain its inherent pollens and enzymes. In Brazil the beekeepers recycle the wax honeycombs once a bee colony has left for a new home.

Our efforts to produce safe and flavorful sweeteners would be nearly impossible without the time and dedication that the farmers give to their crops. That is why Wholesome Sweeteners is a proud supporter and advocate for Fairtrade programs. We believe in paying farmers a fair price for their crops and are encouraged to see how the added premiums are improving their lives. Nearly all of our organic granulated sugars are Fairtrade Certified as well as our Organic Blue Agave and Organic Honey. Wholesome Sweeteners has paid more than $9 million in Fairtrade premiums to villages in Paraguay, Mexico, Brazil and Malawi. This money has helped cultivate vital needs for those communities like electricity, healthcare, schools, clean water supplies and new farming equipment.

As more and more consumers demand safe and healthy food options, Wholesome Sweeteners continues to champion organic, sustainable farming whenever possible. This method of farming serves as a great reminder of the bountiful capabilities inherent in Mother Nature and how the right kind of human intervention can be the best formula for yielding a safe and delicious harvest.

Nigel Willerton, CEO, Wholesome Sweeteners
Since establishing Wholesome Sweeteners in 2001, Nigel has helped grow the Texas-based sweetener company into the U.S.’s largest Fairtrade Certified, USDA Organic and Non-GMO Verified supplier of sugars, syrups, stevia and honey. Because of its strong focus on social responsibility, Wholesome Sweeteners has paid more than $9 million in Fairtrade premiums to impoverished farming communities around the world. For more information on Wholesome Sweeteners’ commitment to organic, sustainable farming or to learn about its Fairtrade practices, visitWholesomeSweeteners.com.

Garlic-scapes

Recipe! – Spring Garlic Scape Pesto

Scape Pesto from Teal Creek Farms

Instructions:
Puree scapes, lime juice, zest, and olive oil in a blender or food-processor.

After blending, the first four ingredients, the pesto can be used fresh or frozen for later.

Thaw if frozen, then blend in Parmesan cheese and let set for one hour in a bowl

 

Ingredients:

¼ pound scapes 1/2” removed from tips & chopped

2 ½ Tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon lime zest
½ cup olive oil
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

To serve, thaw, blend in cheese and enjoy fond memories of spring during winter.

Garlic-scapes