In the lush Florida countryside resides the Miller Blueberry Plantation, a family farmstead dedicated to cultivating fresh blueberries since 1979. As one of the oldest commercial blueberry farms in Northern Florida, the Millers have been committed to making a positive impact in their struggling community of Putnam County. Their family farm is located in one of the poorest counties in Florida with 20% of the population living below the poverty line and an unemployment rate of 7.2% (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). The Millers who hire seasonal workers, realized early on they could make a difference by educating their employees with on-the-job training programs. They began paying their employees to arrive at work 30 minutes early each day to participate in “New Skills” training. The Miller Family is not only dedicated to growing delicious, good for you blueberries, they are dedicated to providing the tools and support their employees need to secure a full time job once the harvest is done.
“We have a mission to accomplish some good with our employees during the 6 weeks they are here, we also encourage our employees to make our training and support available to their other family members in need.” – Vohnda Miller
The Millers commitment to their community extends out to many different branches such as assisting in health education. They host a county health fair at their farm every year for locals across the county. Information at the health fair is focused around fighting diabetes, cancer and many other illnesses. The Miller family wants to encourage individuals take positive steps toward a healthier and happier life.
Along with their dedication to their local community, they also follow sustainable farming practices to conserve water. The Miller Blueberry Plantation utilizes drip irrigation that uses lower volume and pressure to conserve water. They have also installed soil moisture sensors to help them determine a crop’s water usage and weather data to help make educated decisions on their farms water consumption.
Summer is just around the corner and we know you are kicking it up a notch with your workouts! Unfortunately, intense exercise can sometimes result in muscle soreness.
A study by Breaking Muscle explains that “If you have ever become sore after an intense exercise session, then you have probably experienced what is known as exercise-induced muscle damage.”
No pain, no gain -right?
According to Breaking Muscle, we don’t always have to be in pain! There are foods that can help accelerate muscle repair and get us back into our groove. The Medical Daily says “A handful of blueberries may be what you need to recover from a hard workout.”
With that in mind, we’ve found a delicious post-workout snack from LiveEatLearn.com to keep you moving!
Researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle studied the link between having a positive attitude about eating healthy and actually achieving a healthier diet. After interviewing nearly 1,000 adults they found that having an upbeat, informed approach about good nutrition from the start helps shoppers make better-for-you food choices regardless of whether they shop at high-end or lower-cost supermarkets. In fact, in some cases, those with highly positive attitudes about nutrition ate twice as much fruit and veggies than shoppers who had neutral or negative attitudes. So while where you shop may influence some purchase behavior, researchers concluded having a positive mindset is what matters most.
One sure way to boost positive attitudes about nutrition is with education. Serving up higher quality nutrients isn’t always more expensive, harder or less tasty if you know how to fill your grocery cart right and attach importance to healthy eating. Make eating healthy a priority in your mind and watch how your actions follow suit.
Strawberries have long been hailed for their health benefits. Low in sugar and bursting with vitamins, the American Diabetes Association already lists them as a top 10 superfood. Now a new study adds yet another berry good reason to load up on strawberries.
Research just published in February 2016 reveals that the anthocyanins in strawberries, the powerful antioxidants that make them beautifully red, also helps mitigate insulin resistance.
A risk factor for heart disease and type 2 diabetes is when the body’s cells don’t respond normally to the hormone insulin. Typically after a meal, the pancreas produces insulin to move glucose (blood sugar) into the cells. Insulin resistance is when the cells don’t respond, glucose builds up in the bloodstream and the pancreas then churns out extra insulin to get the job done. This can eventually lead to type 2 diabetes.
In the study, researchers served strawberry shakes to obese adults with insulin resistance. Those who drank heavily concentrated strawberry shakes (with about 3 cups of fresh strawberries) did not need as much insulin to metabolize their meals as those drinking the least concentrated versions. While the exact process is unclear to researchers, it appears the strawberry anthocyanins may help the insulin do its job better on the cellular level and thus reduce build up and risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
“These results add to the collective evidence that consuming strawberries may help improve insulin action,” says study author Britt Burton-Freeman, Ph. D., MS, Director, Center for Nutrition Research, Institute for Food Safety and Health (IFSH) at Illinois Institute of Technology.
More good news about strawberries: Clinical research suggests that eating a serving of eight medium strawberries a day may improve heart health, help manage diabetes, support brain health and reduce the risk of some cancers. Wow!
It is hard to believe that 2016 will mark 110 years since doctors first discovered Alzheimer’s disease and the devastating effects on the ability to think, remember and reason. Estimates vary, but experts suggest that more than 5 million Americans may have Alzheimer’s.
A newly published study points to how eating strawberries and blueberries may be part of a solution. The MIND diet, a hybrid between the Mediterranean Diet and DASH diet, includes berries and was found to lower the risk of Alzheimer’s by 53% for strict followers and by about 35% for even moderate followers. The diet, developed by Rush University Medical Center, focused on 15 dietary factors including 10 “brain-healthy food groups.” Berries are the only fruit to make the cut for the MIND diet based on past studies of their impact on protecting the brain.
How to get started? The California Strawberry Commission suggests eating eight strawberries a day which amounts to about one cup a day and a total of only 45 calories. Strawberries help protect your brain as well as offer more Vitamin C per serving than oranges and valuable nutrients like folate, potassium and fiber.
According to researchers, the longer a person follows the MIND diet, the less the risk that person will have of developing Alzheimer’s. “One of the more exciting things about this is that people who adhered even moderately to the MIND diet had a reduction in their risk for Alzheimer’s” said lead developer Martha Clare Morris, PhD, Rush University Medical Center.
The study was funded by the National Institute on Aging and published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association. For more information: https://www.rush.edu/news/diet-may-help-prevent-alzheimers
Sources: Rush University Medical Center and National Institute on Aging
2016 is officially here and we’re looking for ways to cool down, chill out, and stay healthy. When it comes to fast and fresh, there’s no better companion than Berry Infused Waters. Drinking infused water with berries and other healthy produce can boost metabolism, flush toxins out of the body, and lower muscle fatigue.
These clever beverages are an ideal replacement for soda and juices because they contain added vitamins and antioxidants. It’s also super easy to prepare, so they can be made the night before to grab on the go, or thrown together right before you dash out the door. Best of all, with so much fresh produce in season there’s bound to be perfect infused water for every personality! So here are some of our favorite Berry Infused Waters, from fat flushing to mood boosting. Bottoms up!
Lemon Berry Spa water: Load up on antioxidants and boost your digestion with this delicious water.
Citrus-Berry Infused water: Need an afternoon pick-me-up? This infusion will be your secret weapon against fatigue and dehydration!
Raspberry and Lime Infused water: The tangy duet of raspberry and limes will be your ace in the hole for staying fresh and hydrated!
Strawberry Basil Infused water: Did you know that basil can alleviate inflammation, and that strawberries are packed with age-fighting Vitamin C!
Blackberry Ginger Lemon Infused water: This combination is the ultimate tummy tamer. Ginger has been known to sooth nausea and motion sickness, so if you’re traveling this summer keep this infusion in your to-go bottle!
Top 5 Easy Berry Infused Waters for the New Year |Naturipe Farms
In the fog drenched fields of California’s beautiful central coast, strawberry harvesting innovation is quietly at work. Glenn Noma of Tanimura and Antle, a premier strawberry grower for Naturipe Farms, watches over his solar powered harvester as it slowly inches down the strawberry rows. As a farmer, Glenn is always looking for new ways to improve his employee’s working conditions and the farm’s production efficiency. For years, diesel powered harvesting aids have been used to assist workers in lettuce fields throughout California. So when a local fabrication company came to Glenn with an idea to build a solar powered harvester for strawberry production, he jumped at the chance. Glenn, who has a degree in Mechanical Agriculture, saw this as an opportunity to not only improve harvesting technology but reduce his operations carbon footprint at the same time.
In 2011, Glenn partnered with Valley Fabrication Engineering to help bring their idea to life – together they designed and developed a light weight solar powered harvester aid that would perform in the unique conditions of a strawberry field. This “Green” machine utilizes a golf cart battery powered by solar panels located on the roof, and a drive train lubricated with food grade vegetable oil. In addition to being very efficient, the aids are silent, odorless and highly mobile; which allows them to be moved easily to different fields across California’s central coast.
“We are thrilled with the positive impact the solar harvesting aid has made to our operation. We definitely see this very versatile technology, expanding into other agriculture commodities and growing regions.” – Glenn Noma
The harvester features two ‘arms’ that extend out over several strawberry rows, and can accommodate up to sixteen harvesters. The arms carry a supply of cartons and serves as a receiving station for the full flat of strawberries. Unlike traditional harvesting, this innovative machine moves with the harvesters, eliminating the need for them to carry their packed cases back to the end of the row. In addition, these lightweight machines won’t compact the soil, leaving the strawberry fields undisturbed.
Glenn and his Naturipe colleagues are dedicated to sustainable operations and green innovations in their fields that minimizes their environmental impact, watch the video below to see the Solar Harvester in Action.
In beautiful Northern Wisconsin nestled amidst the Chequamegon -Nicolet National Forest, known for its crystal clear lakes and array of wildlife species, lies James Lake Farms, a premier organic cranberry grower for Naturipe Farms. Owners John and Nora Stauner believe their commitment to organic practices has had a positive impact on the health of the rich ecosystem they manage. The Stauner family vision is to provide a great place to work and raise their families, to manage the land in a sustainable fashion and to provide a healthy product to consumers.
“As organic farmers, we believe in protecting the natural integrity of the food we grow and the land on which we grow it.”
The James Lake Farms organic cranberry marsh grows five different fruit varieties across 64 acres of marsh beds. Originally started in the 1950s, James Lake Farms has a rich history of growing and farming innovations, and is committed to continuing this tradition by adopting the best and most effective organic growing methods.
Sustainability does not end at the farm according to their son Ben Riker. Ben the oldest of the Stauner’s three children, is the assistant farm manager and lives on the farm with his wife Ann and their two children. Ben, a veteran, who served 8 years in the Wisconsin National Guard and was deployed twice to the Middle East, is a member and advocate of the Farmers Veteran Coalition whose mission is mobilizing veterans to feed America.
The Coalition aspires to lead the national effort of connecting veterans to agriculture. They believe that veterans possess the unique skills and character that is needed to strengthen rural communities and create sustainable food systems for all. The Farmers Veteran’s Coalition provides tools to help our military transition from military-service to the many career opportunities available in the Agriculture industry.
Do you have leftover cranberry sauce? Put it to good use with these hearty, yummy turkey burgers, and finish it up with some sweet potato fries. Viola! Dinner is done.
– Nancy Bourget, Fort Hood, Texas
Despite conventional wisdom, cranberries do not originate in gelatinous canned molds; they grow in marshy bogs, on vines. Just before they’re ready to be harvested, the bogs are often flooded with water. The water is then churned, to help extract the berries from the vines. They can also be harvested “dry” with an automatic picking machine. Fresh cranberries have a very tart, sour flavor that is best when tempered with a little sweetness.
HOW TO BUY
When buying fresh cranberries, look for ones that are should be pert, perky, and bright red. Pale or faded color is an indication of top-early harvest (meaning they are under-ripe). However, a few pale pink or green berries always sneak in, and are in no way an indication of an entirely bad batch.
HOW TO STORE
Keep your cranberries in a tightly sealed zip-top bag with the air removed. They’ll keep well for a few weeks, up to a month. If you’re planning on cooking with them at a much later date, freeze them on a rimmed baking sheet (to avoid clumping), and then transfer them into a well-sealed plastic bag. Of course, you can always turn your berries into a sauce, jam, or jelly, and either can or freeze it.
Let's Make a Meal: Mixed Berry Pie KVOA Tucson News Start by taking your frozen berries and sugar and putting them in a 2 quart sauce pot on medium heat. Once the sugar starts heating, it will melt into liquid. You also get liquid from the frozen berries so there's no need to add anything to the berries…