From Flora’s Farm to Dallas Farmer’s Market – Eat & grow organic!

Flora’s Farm and Field Kitchen
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I just back from a whirlwind vacation of the west coast, which included a tour of the Giant Sequoia National forest – truly amazing and I hope everyone gets a chance to see the red giants, Disneyland for my daughter – such a blast for a 5 year old (the character autographs were the highlight of her visit), and ended with an amazing trip to Cabo San Lucas. I could write a blog and more on each segment of our trip but I had a very special experience in Cabo which has impacted in ways I could never imagine since my return. This was our 3rd year to Cabo and first year that I ventured off the property for an activity. I signed up for a cooking class which I was not super excited about but really just looking for an afternoon to myself and always up for a new recipes.

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After driving about 30 minutes through town and the last 10 minutes down a very bumpy dirt desert road, I arrived in a garden valley oasis, Flora’s Farm and Field Kitchen, a ten acre organic farm in the foothills of San Jose del Cabo. Every where I looked I saw row and row of flowers and vegetables intertwined together to make a lush garden paradise. I jumped off the bus, totally excited by the beauty of nature all around me. I was greeted with a warm welcome from the owner of the property and a delicious Farmarita, a cocktail of heirloom baby carrots and tequila served in a salted rim small baby mason jar glass. I made my way to the outdoor preparation and cooking area and right in the middle of the field was the beautiful farm dining table. I have to say it was a great cooking class, the weather was perfect and the views (the sheer beauty of farmed land and vegetables growing so organically (in every sense) truly touched me and all I could think is why don’t we have something like this in or around Dallas? After lunch, we were given a grand tour of the property and found out everything served at lunch and in their restaurant is grown onsite without any form of pesticide. The beautiful daisies and sunflowers were planted as natural pest deterrents and are then used on the tables as decor. They compost all the vegetables, hand turn the soil, never digging up the beds and they have their very own water system which is filtered through reverse osmosis several times. The garden and patrons receive the same purified water. http://www.flora-farms.com/

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Besides longing for a Flora’s in Dallas, this experience led me was back to my own upbringing in East Texas, where we grew almost all of our own vegetables and sadly for me, some very well cared for animals whom I considered treasured pets..my mother considered differently…grass fed natural meat. Afternoons were spent shucking real sweet corn, pulling potatoes, carrots and onions, picking big juicy tomatoes off the vine and so forth. We shared our extras with friends and neighbors and they with us. We always had an over abundance of vegetables, fresh eggs from our chickens and grass fed meats. It makes me so sad that these gifts from the earth (vegetables) now come at such a price. To enjoy clean healthy food grown without pesticides and antibiotics or tampered with in a lab has become a luxury. This farm visit reminded me of the simplicities of life and nature and what a special experience I had growing up in the country that I didn’t fully appreciate until now.

Garden Inspirations
All the way home I thought about starting my own garden, I have a large back yard and even if not in the yard than perhaps containers. I did several searches on the Internet for garden plans, hey I am pretty citified now! And what I came up with that I like best is a mother/daughter team from Waxahachie called the Farm Girls who teach an array of gardening and cooking classes in Dallas and Waxahachie. I have signed up for two classes and I am anxious to get started with a small garden and get my daughter involved too! This will be fun for both of us! http://www.gardeninspirations-tx.com/index.html

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Urban Acres Produce Market
Next through casual conversation with another mom at a kids party, I learned about Urban Acres, an organic produce and pick-up market. I was completely shocked and annoyed with myself that I had not heard about this before. Every two weeks, for $30 you get 15 pounds or for $50 you get 30 pounds of organic locally farmed seasonal produce. They have pick up locations all over town or you can pick up from their market in Oak Cliff. I’ve signed up for the half share and am very excited to see what I get. I’m also excited to visit Whole Foods a little less. I really love the place but it can get quite expensive. http://www.urbanacresmarket.com/membership

Fullosphie
My next discovery is Fullosophie, farm to fork gourmet. This is a locally run meal delivery service. Not only is the food gourmet but the ingredients consist of grass fed meat and all organic locally grown produce. Your can order meals the night before and they come fully prepared or Fullosophie has DIY option, they deliver the ingredients and directions and you cook yourself. http://www.fullosophie.com

Dallas Farmers Market
While I don’t get downtown as much as I should, the Dallas Farmers Market has over 100 vendors that consist of local seasonal produce, local natural grass fed meats and so much more.
http://www.dallasfarmersmarket.org

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No-gmo
And last but not least, the importance of supporting our local farmers means the food we ingest is hopefully organic but most importantly non-gmo. Its a sad fact that the US does not require food companies to include altered food ingredients on their packaging. Here is a handy app you can download for your iPhone in the app store to reference Non-gmo products in your supermarket. http://www.nongmoshoppingguide.com

Happy Healthy Eating, Kathy Fit Fashionista

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