Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Why Am I A Preceptor?

For the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, April is National Preceptor Month.  As a Preceptor of dietetic interns and a Guest Blogger, I contributed this piece to Food and Nutrition Magazine here.

There is a shortage of internship slots for dietitians in training and a recent news article predicted the demand for dietitians to increase, calling it one of the hot jobs for the near future.  Sounds like a perfect storm.

Consider contributing to the future of your profession.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The More Things Change

I was reading a biography about Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts.  During World War I, the idea was that "food will win the war" and that if families grew and conserved their own food, more would be available to send overseas to soldiers.

Housewives pledged to:
  • use all leftovers
  • adhere to voluntary rationing plans such as wheatless Mondays and porkless Saturdays
  • plant a kitchen garden
  • preserve their garden's excess
These remind me of current initiatives to reduce, reuse, recycle, meatless Mondays, and the resurgence of home gardening and backyard farming.  Canning is also making a comeback.

As part of the war effort, Girl Scouts pledged to "give up candy and soda water".  Perhaps the children of today need a more noble cause to help them make better food and beverage choices.  If not for themselves, then whom?

Juliette Gordon Low-The Remarkable Founder of the Girl Scouts, Stacy Cordery, 2012

Monday, April 20, 2015

Chuckles From the Chicken Coop-Back in Business

We are back in business! Day 1:

Eight little Rhode Island Red chicks are growing in our temperate basement, awaiting transfer to the coop. Here is their home for the next few weeks:

They already have some wing feathers. They have the sweetest little chirping sounds and they hush and listen attentively when I give them my, "Chick, chick!"  This is how I call to them when I approach the chicken coop or gather them after free ranging. Train them up in the way of the farm and they will not wander.

It's been awhile since we have had farm fresh eggs - and yes, there is a difference.  The taste is richer and there is pride in having raised them ourselves. A tree fell on our outdoor chicken yard that is attached to the coop.  At the time, a predator had recently taken our last chicken, so we waited till spring to rebuild.  Pictures soon! 

I look forward to fresh eggs just a short walk from the kitchen, a place to throw my fruit and veggie scraps, chicken manure blended with pine shavings from the coop as mulch and fertilizer for my gardens, and the antics of "my girls."

Sunday, April 12, 2015

What's In My Garden Now? Gimme Five

The first flower on the strawberry plants.  Straight lines of radish, lettuce and spinach seedlings.  Beet tops emerging from the soil. Tendrils of snow pea vines, reaching for the lattice support.  New potato leaves, popping out of their mounds.  #GimmeFive  Oh, and weeds.

Early spring is a such a wonderful time to visit the garden.  Each day, something new appears. I look forward to a visit each day after work.

Clearing out the weeds in the raised beds is hard work (I really need to try a cover crop or black plastic sheeting), but seeing the weed-free, dark rich soil ready for planting is gratifying.  Cucumber starts (from seeds prepped in the greenhouse) went in today.  I place a black one gallon pot with the bottom cut out around each seedling to protect it from wind, rabbits, and to absorb and provide extra heat for the tender starts. I'll remove the pots before the cucumber vines extend past them.

Five in the garden will soon be five on our plates.  Plant now for good nutrition later!