All posts filed under: Winter/ Spring 2015

Mindfulness Tea

We had some really cold days this winter and on one such day, decided to open the spice cabinet to make a warming and healing mindfulness tea. Thich Nhat Hahn has a wonderful book entitled ¬†Planting Seeds: Practicing Mindfulness with Children¬†that we often gain inspiration from. The children love what Thay calls inviting the bell, and this practice helps them to center and ground themselves. To begin this class we did just that and got down to business learning about the various herbs and spices we wanted to use in our tea. We used a mortar and pestle to grind a some of the herbs to release the healing oils. Many herbs have a multitude of uses and medicinal properties, but we focused in on just one main use for each ingredient we added, so as not to overwhelm ourselves. Together we decided that we liked the idea of drinking a tea with all of these benefits in the gloomy dark days of winter to lift our moods and heal our bodies. We got to …

What’s growing in the winter garden?

The hardiest of the cool weather vegetables can survive the winter. Some of them will need protection from harsh freezing temperatures and some of them can withstand temperatures down to 10 degrees! Interestingly, the adaptation that allows them to survive, also makes them sweeter. When it gets cold, these plants convert some of their starch stores into sugar, which prevents their cells from freezing. It’s the same concept as salt on the road — the presence of salt, or in this case sugar, lowers the freezing point of water. Lettuce, Spinach, and Cilantro are growing under plastic row covers. We follow Elliot Coleman’s four season gardening method, low tunnels heating up with the sun on cool days and protecting from crippling temperatures at night. We plant lettuce in succession to have a fresh supply throughout the winter and early spring. We’ve been using these greens nearly every week in restaurant to make a side salad that feeds 40+. Did you know that lettuce is related to dandelions and was first cultivated by ancient Egyptians? Spinach, …