Thursday, June 28, 2012

Haifa, Israel - Baha'i Pilgrimage

"In brief, all in the Garden were recipients of the choicest bounties and in the end expressed their thanksgiving unto their Lord. O that all God’s beloved would have been present on this day!" 
~ Bahá'u'lláh

I'm still processing the amazing and glorious past 9 days of our Baha'i Pilgrimage in Haifa/Akka, Israel....for now here's my favorite 2 pictures from the trip:

Shrine of the Bab

Garden of Ridvan

Thursday, June 14, 2012

CSAs are for lovers: fresh organic fruit and veggies

Veggies & fruit from our CSA have started rolling in! I’ve wanted to join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) ever since I found out they existed. Location (sometimes laziness to travel far) and other things always got in the way. This year we found a CSA with a pick-up location that is a 10 minutes walk from our place. Our delicious organic veggies come from The Farm at Miller’s Crossing, a 200-acre farm in Hudson Valley, New York. We also got a fruit half-share from Breezy Hill Orchards, a third-party Eco Apple-certified orchard also located in the Hudson Valley. A single share of veggies a week is more than enough for my husband & I (see picture for proof). However, I sort of wish we got a full share instead of a half for fruit. A half share equaled a batch of organic strawberries that we ate in 3 days. Our CSA also offers shares in Eggs, Pasta, Meat, Herondale Farm Beef and Chicken, Cheese and Coffee.

There are tons of benefits to joining a CSA. I recommend researching if your community has one.
  • It’s healthy! CSA vegetables are organic and free of harmful pesticides. Plus there’s nothing like having a batch of fresh veggies delivered every week to encourage you to cook healthy meals.
  • It’s fresh! CSA produce is super fresh and delicious because it’s hand picked the same day it’s delivered.
  • It’s affordable! Most CSAs have no paid staff and there is no wasteful packaging thus reducing costs. For veggies at our CSA a Single Share: $320 ($14.55 per week) & Double Share: $580 ($26.36 per week); Fruit Full Share: $264 ($12 per week) & Half Share: $176 ($8 per week) my husband & I only spend an average of $22.55/week for veggies and fruit ($11.25/person/week)
  • It’s good for the environment! CSA is better for the environment because no chemical fertilizers and pesticides are used, and fossil fuels are not wasted on long distance transportation.
  • It supports a local farm! As more and more small farms are losing out to ‘agribusiness’, joining a CSA is great way to support a family farm. Farmers receive payment early in the season, which helps with the farm's cash flow. We paid for our CSA in full in April, then the picking season begins in June-November. CSA involve a ‘shared risk and reward’ agreement, i.e. that the consumers receive what the farmers grow even with the vagaries of seasonal growing
  • It builds community! CSA is a great way to get to know your neighbors and get more involved in community activities. We've already gotten invited to some neighborhood block parties/events.

Friday, June 8, 2012

San Diego - Torrey Pines

I've been traveling every other week, between that and work there's not much time for blogging. In the meantime here's some lovely pictures of San Diego's Torrey Pines.

My husband and I spent 3 days enjoying the Cali outdoors with my older brother. Hiking and running trails, eating lemons & oranges from trees in my brother's backyard & eating lots of food.

Next stop Haifa, Israel in 9 days!!!!