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Teacher Appreciation Week starts May 3rd!

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week!

Wow, do we need to send some extra love to our teachers this year! The Seasonal Roots community feels so connected with teachers. Among our team members and customers, many of us in the Seasonal Roots family are teachers. And many of us are parents with kids in the “classroom” — in all the forms that it took this year.

The past year has posed unending challenges for all of us – especially our teachers.

To respond to the shifting safety protocols, teachers had to…

  1. Change their curriculum weekly (if not daily… or hourly.)
  2. Teach and motivate students online and in the classroom (often at the same time.)
  3. Look out for, and advocate for, students facing extra family challenges because of the pandemic.
  4. Deal with the realities of periodic COVID cases or exposures involving themselves, loved ones, and extended school family.
  5. Technology challenges and hiccups every day!

What a year it has been. So during this Teacher Appreciation Week we want to send some extra recognition and thanks your way.

We’re giving away 3 local food prizes worth $150 each for 3 deserving winners, who will be selected in a random drawing on May 6. Winners will need to live in our delivery area. https://www.seasonalroots.com/delivery-areas

We’ll also be donating to a cause that helps children. Which cause? We’ll let you teachers guide us.

Any teacher is welcome to enter the drawing. When you enter, be sure to nominate your favorite kid-related cause to receive our donation. We’ll pick one and also highlight them all to raise awareness.

Be sure to enter before noon on May 6!

 

Click here to enter the drawing!

Many, many thanks for all you do!

ABOUT SEASONAL ROOTS

Since 2011, Seasonal Roots’ online farmers market has connected Virginia families with local family farmers who use sustainable, humane practices. Our market managers – who believe in living better through scrumptious, healthy eating, being kind to animals, protecting the environment, and spreading joy – home-deliver freshly harvested produce, pastured eggs, grassfed dairy and meat, plus artisan fare. We empower our members to eat better and live better with more nutritious, flavorful food that’s good for us and good for the planet. More info at seasonalroots.com.

free home delivery

It’s national Tell-a-Story Day: “Local food to the rescue!”


Hey, gather ’round – today is national “Tell a Story” Day! Do you have a local food story? Like the first time your kids tasted truly fresh green beans? Or that hilariously ugly potato that was shockingly delish? Spin your yarn on our Facebook page, and feel free to illustrate with pix! To kick things off, Faye tells her story about the time she broke her leg… and yes, it actually does wind up being all about local food! 
– The Veggie Fairy Editor

Once upon a time: A member tells her story

– By Faye D, Seasonal Roots member

A few years ago, I broke my leg. For two weeks I couldn’t put any weight on it at all and for eight weeks I was dependent on a wheelchair, a walker, crutches, and finally a cane. Needless to say I couldn’t cook or buy groceries.

Although my husband is not comfortable in the kitchen and only a little more comfortable in a grocery store, he did pitch in to do his best at cooking and the shopping. Still, it was a very difficult time for us both.

Online ordering with free home delivery saves the day

The best thing ever was that just before the accident I had signed up for Seasonal Roots. (In fact, I took that photo of my first home-delivered box of local food.)

What a life-saver! It was easy for me to go online and order the vegetables we needed. They always arrived on time, fresh and plenty to last the entire week. That was something I could count on.

The icing on top: Vegan options

Because we both follow a vegan diet, vegetables are a central and necessary part of our diet, and because of Seasonal Roots having good fresh vegetables to eat, that was one thing I didn’t have to worry about. I loved that. My husband loved getting his favorite vegan cinnamon buns!

This all happened back in the before-covid time. So one of Seasonal Roots’ market managers, Margo, even brought the box in for me and put it in the kitchen since I was still using a cane at that point. Thanks, Seasonal Roots…

THE END (sort of)

Vegan options, free home delivery, and lots of TLC will never end!

ABOUT SEASONAL ROOTS

Since 2011, Seasonal Roots’ online farmers market has connected Virginia families with local family farmers who use sustainable, humane practices. Our market managers – who believe in living better through scrumptious, healthy eating, being kind to animals, protecting the environment, and spreading joy – home-deliver freshly harvested produce, pastured eggs, grassfed dairy and meat, plus artisan fare. We empower our members to eat better and live better with more nutritious, flavorful food that’s good for us and good for the planet. More info at seasonalroots.com.

vegan home delivery

Seasonal Roots to the rescue!

EAT BETTER LIVE BETTER NEWSLETTER / April 18,2018

Tips, hacks, recipes, stories, and the weekly special all help you eat better live better with fresh local food!

A NEW MEMBER TELLS HER STORY
By Faye D, Seasonal Roots member

On February 9, I broke my leg. For two weeks I couldn’t put any weight on it at all and for eight weeks I was dependent on a wheel chair, a walker, crutches and finally a cane. Needless to say I couldn’t cook or buy groceries. Although my husband is not comfortable in the kitchen and only a little more comfortable in a grocery store, he did pitch in to do his best at cooking and the shopping. Still, it was a very difficult time for us both.

The best thing ever was that just before the accident I had signed up for Seasonal Roots...

Read the rest of the newsletter below, or view this issue as a printable PDF with clickable links.

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free home delivery

Free home delivery of local food to the rescue!

A new member tells her story

– By Faye D, Seasonal Roots member

On February 9, I broke my leg. For two weeks I couldn’t put any weight on it at all and for eight weeks I was dependent on a wheel chair, a walker, crutches and finally a cane. Needless to say I couldn’t cook or buy groceries.

Although my husband is not comfortable in the kitchen and only a little more comfortable in a grocery store, he did pitch in to do his best at cooking and the shopping. Still, it was a very difficult time for us both.

Online ordering with free home delivery saves the day

The best thing ever was that just before the accident I had signed up for Seasonal Roots. (In fact, I took that photo of my first home-delivered box of local food.)

What a life-saver! It was easy for me to go online and order the vegetables we needed. They always arrived on time, fresh and plenty to last the entire week. That was something I could count on.

The icing on top: Vegan options

Because we both follow a vegan diet, vegetables are a central and necessary part of our diet, and because of Seasonal Roots having good fresh vegetables to eat, that was one thing I didn’t have to worry about. I loved that. My husband loved getting his favorite vegan cinnamon buns!

Then this week, Margo, one of Seasonal Roots’ market managers, even brought the box in for me and put it in the kitchen since I’m still using a cane. Thanks, Seasonal Roots…

VEGGIE FAIRY EDITOR’S NOTE:
Many thanks to Faye for sharing her story – we’re so glad our free home delivery was a help. And a big shout out to Tracy at Yummvees for her vegan-licious buns and other vegan treats and meals!

Also, like a lot of Seasonal Roots members, Faye’s first box of local food inspired her to snap a photo. We love it when members post their veggie pix on our Facebook page!

ABOUT SEASONAL ROOTS

Since 2011, Seasonal Roots’ online farmers market has connected Virginia families with local family farmers who use sustainable, humane practices. Our veggie fairies – mostly moms who believe in living better through scrumptious, healthy eating, being kind to animals, protecting the environment, and spreading joy – home-deliver freshly harvested produce, eggs, grass-fed dairy and meat, plus artisan fare. We empower our members to eat better and live better with more nutritious, flavorful food that’s good for us and good for the planet. More info at seasonalroots.com.

Magnolia Farm mushroom health benefits

Secret mushroom health benefits

EAT BETTER LIVE BETTER NEWSLETTER / April 11,2018

Tips, hacks, recipes, stories, and the weekly special all help you eat better live better with fresh local food!

PLUS SURPRISING NEW THINGS THEY'RE MAKING OUT OF MUSHROOMS

In American culture, there’s a stigma attached to mushrooms. They are, after all, a funny looking fungus. And when it comes to wild mushrooms, most parents tell their kids, “Don’t touch them, you’ll die!”

So it takes a certain sense of adventure to move beyond those white button mushrooms you find in every grocery store and try a mushroom that looks like, say, an oyster. Mike M’s oyster mushrooms come to us through Schuyler Greens, the company his brother...

The Veggie Fairy Blog has a Q&A with Mike about how he grows his oyster mushrooms (including a photo), links to scientific studies, and more cool ‘shroom inventions.

Read the rest of the newsletter below, or view this issue as a printable PDF with clickable links.

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Schuyler Greens mushroom health benefits

Secret mushroom health benefits

Plus surprising new things they’re making out of mushrooms!

– By the Veggie Fairy Team

In American culture, there’s a stigma attached to mushrooms. They are, after all, a fungus. They’re funny looking. They have a reputation for growing in manure, which isn’t exactly appetizing. And when it comes to wild mushrooms, most parents tell their kids, “Don’t touch them, you’ll die!”

That may be why, until relatively recently, most mainstream grocery stores just carried those bland, clean-looking white button mushrooms. There are so many mushroom varieties — portabello, shitake, enoki, morel, and on and on… but it takes a certain sense of adventure to move beyond those white buttons to a mushroom that looks like, say, an oyster.

It’s an adventure that rewards you with an amazing array of flavors, nutrients, and a surprisingly long list of health benefits. But wait! There’s more! Creative engineers are using mushrooms to make animal-free leather, and Ikea is starting to use mushroom-based biodegradable packaging for its furniture.

Turns out mushrooms are pretty magical, which is right up our fairy alley. So we turned to our Seasonal Roots mushroom farmer to find out more. Mike M’s oyster mushrooms come to us through Schuyler Greens, the company his brother founded for growing greens, herbs, microgreens, and specialty crops.

Mike definitely has a sense of adventure. He’s been foraging in the woods for years around his family farm, Magnolia Farm in Esmont, Va. To him, the woods are a world of wonder. Hunting for wild treats like pawpaws, a native fruit that shyly hides among the leaves, was like a treasure hunt.

One day he came across a cluster of wild oyster mushrooms on a dead tree, like the ones his daughters are holding in the photo.

Mike was fascinated, started reading about them, and discovered they have all kinds of health benefits. He told us that because of the mushroom stigma, scientists didn’t study them much until recently. Now we’re learning lots of new things about mushrooms. Modern-day scientists are rediscovering what the ancients knew from living close to nature. For example, there are elements in mushrooms that may help inhibit the growth of cancer cells. (Read the study here.)

Oyster mushrooms in particular are used in traditional medicine to treat infections, diabetes, cancer, and to lower cholesterol. They support the immune system. Laboratory experiments and studies done in mice have shown that oyster mushrooms do indeed have antitumor, antifungal, and cholesterol-lowering properties. A study of children with upper respiratory tract infections showed that oyster mushrooms have anti-allergic effects, too. They have even been shown to lower glucose levels and increase insulin levels in patients with type 2 diabetes, though more studies are needed to confirm that. The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center has details on oyster mushroom health benefits here.

VEGGIE FAIRY:

Why are mushrooms so good for us?

MIKE:

Well, one reason is that they don’t have skin to protect them from bacteria. Their cell walls are their exterior, so they’re programmed to fight off bacteria. We get some of that anti-bacterial benefit when we eat them. Scientists and engineers are also using the mycelium — the vegetative tissue of mushrooms — as a filter in water treatment to make contaminated water drinkable. Mushrooms are so adaptable and they grow exponentially. Because of that you can train them to do things like break down diesel fuel and other petrochemicals to treat contaminated soils in a process called mycoremediation.

VEGGIE FAIRY:

The oyster mushrooms you sell for eating — do you gather them from the wild or do you grow them yourself?

MIKE:

We grow them. We started doing it for fun. We have cattle, sheep, and so on, but we’ve got two little daughters and growing mushrooms is something we can do as a family. It’s not dangerous like working with animals or equipment can be. And mushrooms are fascinating. I’ve got the kids doing all this really great science with mushrooms. We have petri dishes with all these different strains growing in our bedroom — my wife is very patient. Anyway, it’s turned into a family thing.

VEGGIE FAIRY:

Okay, so be honest. Do they really grow in, um, manure?

MIKE:

Some do. But oyster mushrooms grow on cellulose, like wood or straw. That’s why out in the woods you find them on logs or dead trees. They help break down the wood as it decomposes. But we grow them indoors where we can control the elements. For example, a change in temperature will change the color a little. The cellulose in straw grows excellent mushrooms but straw has a lot of variability when you pack a big bag. It’s hard to be consistent and predict what you’re going to produce and that makes it hard to fill orders. So we’re trying sawdust now, which is more uniform. Everything’s an experiment. Each tweak you make changes the yields.

Schuyler Greens oyster mushrooms health benefits

VEGGIE FAIRY:

So what do you do — like, plant seeds in the straw?

MIKE:

Sort of. The mushroom equivalent of seeds is called “spawn.” You mix the spawn in with the sawdust and incubate it in the bag at a certain temperature. It takes a few weeks to colonize the substrate. Shitake mushrooms trigger with water. With oyster mushrooms, you cut a hole in the bag and the surge of oxygen tells the mycelium that it’s time to fruit. In the woods, the mycelium grows inside the log. When it reaches the outer edges it runs out of food and hits oxygen. Then when humidity and rain come that’s when the fruiting happens. That’s the magic of the woods. Every time it rains there’s something new and exciting to find.

*

So the next time you go for a walk in the woods, keep your eyes peeled — you’ll probably spot some fabulous fungi. But — at the risk of sounding like your mother — unless you are an experienced mycologist like Mike, do not eat any of the mushrooms you find growing wild! Many poisonous species look very similar to the edible ones. Best bet is to place an order for Mike’s magically delicious, nutritious, farm-grown beauties, then sit back and enjoy all those mushroom health benefits with yummy peace of mind.

ABOUT SEASONAL ROOTS

Since 2011, Seasonal Roots’ online farmers market has connected Virginia families with local family farmers who use sustainable, humane practices. Our veggie fairies – mostly moms who believe in living better through scrumptious, healthy eating, being kind to animals, protecting the environment, and spreading joy – home-deliver freshly harvested produce, eggs, grass-fed dairy and meat, plus artisan fare. We empower our members to eat better and live better with more nutritious, flavorful food that’s good for us and good for the planet. More info at seasonalroots.com.

mobjack bay fair trade coffee

This is how fair trade coffee helps the Chesapeake Bay

EAT BETTER LIVE BETTER NEWSLETTER / April 4,2018

Tips, hacks, recipes, stories, and the weekly special all help you eat better live better with fresh local food!

FAIR TRADE COFFEE'S GOOD FOR RAINFORESTS & PEOPLE, TOO!

Celeste was a professional ballet dancer. Jo was a corporate IT guy. But they had always dreamed of running their own business together. And they both loved the waters of the Chesapeake Bay near their Virginia home.

So in 2007, talking over their morning coffee, they decided to launch Mobjack Bay Coffee Roasters.

The business com-bines their love of coffee...

Find out more about Celeste and Jo, how to visit their tasting room and what "Fair Trade" & "Rainforest Alliance" certified means below, or view this issue as a printable PDF with clickable links.

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Mobjack Bay fair trade coffee

This is how Fair Trade coffee helps the Chesapeake Bay

Fair Trade coffee’s good for rainforests and people, too!

By the Veggie Fairy Team

Celeste was a professional ballet dancer. Jo was a corporate IT guy. But they had always dreamed of running their own business together. And they both loved the waters of the Chesapeake Bay near their home in Virginia. Back in 2007, they’d talk about it over coffee.

“Our morning ritual has always been having our first cup of coffee together,” Celeste says. “We wanted to wake up in the morning knowing that we were working to make a difference in the world.” They decided to launch Mobjack Bay Coffee Roasters… and make it eco-friendly.

The business combines their love of coffee, family, and the water: The coffee beans are roasted right in the shop… Celeste’s father helps in the retail store while a close friend is the master roaster… and a portion of every coffee bag sold benefits the Chesapeake Bay. (Learn more about efforts to save the Bay and the challenges it faces.)

Their focus on doing good didn’t end there. As Celeste and Jo gained experience in the coffee industry, they learned coffee was the cornerstone of life for families and communities in many countries.

“We realize that it would be self-serving to only think of our front yard, the Bay, without considering our backyard, the source of our beans,” Celeste says. “So we have structured our business as a model that also supports our interests in environmental protection.”

Mobjack Bay Coffee Roasters has chosen to focus on beans grown by socially responsible farmers who follow Fair Trade and Rainforest Alliance guidelines. These are two very challenging certifications.

“At times, we must be understanding of the difficulty and length of time it takes to become certified,” Celeste explains. “In these cases, we learn about the plantations’ processes so we can make our own decisions regarding responsible purchasing. This assures us that we are thinking globally while acting locally.”

What does “Rainforest Alliance Certified” mean?

The Rainforest Alliance works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices, and consumer behavior.

In the 1970’s coffee farmers were introduced to modern farming techniques. Forests were cleared, agrochemicals were sprayed, and yields were increased. Simultaneously, the shaded canopies of traditional coffee farms vanished. Birds and all types of animals were displaced while rivers were choked with silt and pollutants. In 1993 the Rainforest Alliance partnered with Sustainable Agricultural Network to demonstrate that traditional, forested coffee farms were the only choice for sustainable farming in harmony with nature. The Alliance helps its farmers survive the erratic global market by improving farm management and accessing premium markets.

The Rainforest Alliance Certified seal is a guarantee that coffee is grown on farms where forests are protected, and rivers, soils and wildlife conserved. Workers are treated with respect, paid decent wages, properly equipped, and given access to education and medical care. Forested coffee farms are critically important to serve as migration stopovers for birds traveling from as far away as Canada and Alaska. In areas where deforestation is rampant, these coffee farms may be the only habitat available to provide shelter and food for weary birds.

Is Fair Trade certification different?

Fair Trade coffee is a different way of achieving the same goal. We Americans are the number one consumers of coffee in the world. In the race to offer competitive pricing, the losers in the economic equation are often the people who work the hardest — the farmers who grow and pick the coffee. This forces them into cycles of poverty and debt.

Fair Trade pays farmers a fair minimum price for their coffee. Importers that are certified Fair Trade have met stringent international criteria, pay a guaranteed minimum price per pound of coffee, and empower farmers to grow sustainably. Successful sustainable farms lead to stronger communities, better health care and education, and improved stewardship of the environment. Fair Trade plants seeds of hope.

So that’s why all the beans roasted at Mobjack Bay Coffee Roasters are either source certified Fair Trade or Rainforest Alliance.

Meanwhile, Celeste and Jo also continue to support grassroots efforts to restore and protect the Chesapeake Bay. Along with their three children, they spend many days in the tributary waters that feed the Chesapeake Bay and out on the Bay itself — Jo especially, who is an avid sportsman and outdoor enthusiast.

Whole bean or ground?

In the Seasonal Roots online farmers market, Mobjack’s whole bean coffee is available in the Extras section. Plus, for the first time ever, members can swap up to two single-pot packets of ground coffee into their baskets! It’s so delicious (thanks to Mobjack’s all-American-made San Franciscan Roaster), and best of all, with every cup of joe you’re helping make the world a better place, right here at home… and far away, too.

If you’re in the area, stop by Mobjack Bay Coffee Roasters at 7060-A Woodsville Rd. in Hayes, Va., and check out their tasting room! It’s open Fridays 10-5 and Saturdays 9-4.

ABOUT SEASONAL ROOTS

Since 2011, Seasonal Roots’ online farmers market has connected Virginia families with local family farmers who use sustainable, humane practices. Our veggie fairies – mostly moms who believe in living better through scrumptious, healthy eating, being kind to animals, protecting the environment, and spreading joy – home-deliver freshly harvested produce, eggs, grass-fed dairy and meat, plus artisan fare. We empower our members to eat better and live better with more nutritious, flavorful food that’s good for us and good for the planet. More info at seasonalroots.com.