Search for Seed Quality and “Seed Test Weight”

I’ve been on a quest for the highest quality vegetable garden seeds that I can find among the seed companies I have patronized over the years. As recommended by David Forster at the first BFA meeting I attended in January 2015, and Nigel Palmer at our September 2015 BFA meeting, and also Dan Kittredge, BFA Founder, on multiple occasions, I have been contacting numerous seed companies to inquire about their “seed test weights”. I have had email and phone conversations with the following: Baker Read more [...]

Start up a Quality Food Buying Club!

Food Buying Clubs are a great way to stretch your grocery dollars! It is a great way to vote with your dollars as well by supporting businesses that are in keeping with your values. All you need to start are a few people to split orders with because when you buy in bulk you can often get better deals on pricing. As your group grows larger and your order sizes increase your savings will increase as well. Below are the general steps. Beneath those I expand on each step to give you more detailed Read more [...]

Hartford BFA Chapter’s Tour at Harrington’s Organic Land Care

On Wednesday, October 7th the Hartford BFA Chapter was invited to have a tour at Todd Harrington's Organic Land Care in Bloomfield. Todd and Rusty were very generous with their time and experience. Todd started us off with a talk on the soil food web and the importance of healthy living soil biology. Todd's mentor is Elaine Ingham whose methodology focuses on the living organisms in the soil. We then were given a tour of their lab and got to see some specimens of living biology under Read more [...]

“Why I Have Leprechaun Hands” or “My Brixing Revelation”

Today I learned a huge time-saving lesson on how to brix test difficult items. For anyone new to using their refractometer and press, I wanted to share some tips. When you have leaves to test that are not watery-juicy you can easily get the sap to flow before you use the sap-press. I spent an hour struggling to get a drop of sap from a dozen leaves today when I stopped and decided there had to be a better way. So I thought about what exactly the press was doing. It occurred to me that Read more [...]

Seed Bank to Open at Berlin-Peck Memorial Library!

Last night Mark and I attended their first tomato tasting and seed collection event. Chris Fasciano, a trustee of the Berlin-Peck Memorial Library, is the energy behind this very worthy effort. He wants to ensure that the community has access to fresh, healthy foods that they can grow themselves, and that there will be a secure supply of heirloom varieties that may have been in someone's family for years and are no longer available or really hard to find in current catalogs. This is a great Read more [...]

Notes from 9/1 BFA meeting: Lessons From Weeds at George Hall Farm in Simsbury

(Handout is at the end of these notes) Welcome to the Hartford-Area Chapter of the Bionutrient Food Association For anyone new to us please help yourself to the pamphlets on the resource table - you can learn about the BFA and membership opportunities. Before we get started I’d like to take a poll. How many of your heard about us from social media? How many from paper flyers around town? How many word-of-mouth/ from a friend? How many of you are farmers? How many home gardeners? Consumers? Tonight’s Read more [...]

Hartford Area BFA Chapter – A year in our life

For anyone new to the Bionutrient Food Association, and particularly this chapter, here is a calendar of events, past and to come, for 2015. Also included at the bottom are some suggested topics for future meetings. And remember, Mark and I are happy to take requests if you have topic ideas you'd like to share. Also, if you would like to speak to our group at one of our monthly chapter meetings please let us know! We are always looking for new speakers on soil health and remineralizing, and Read more [...]

New Events Planned!

The Hartford-Area BFA Chapter is gearing up for meetings this fall. If you have any topics you'd like to request please direct them to Mark or Kris either messaging here, or on our chapter email: Please RSVP for any and all events that we organize. It is SO helpful to know how many we'll be expecting because we have to do all our own setup at our venues, we sometimes have occupancy limits to work around, and we like to make sure we have enough supplies Read more [...]

Using a Refractometer & Sap Press

At Thursday's Chapter meeting at Flamig Farm, Dan Kittredge gave us a brief lesson on using a sap press and refractometer to measure food quality. It was towards the end of the meeting and was past daylight so a little difficult to see the numbers in the refractometer. I thought a review plus some links were in order. I would also like to encourage you to get your children and grandchildren involved in food quality testing. On Friday I had my 8- and almost 3-year old grandkids over and Read more [...]

So about getting more of those minerals….

I was doing some research this morning on weeds, a.k.a. "cover crops" and "companion plants". I found this interesting post by Susun S. Weed on making Mineral-Rich Medicinal Vinegars. She says that vinegar draws minerals out of plants, and in the case of cooked greens it magnifies the minerals available to our bodies. It stands to reason that the same would be true for our gardens and making mineral rich herbal- (or weed-infused) apple cider vinegars would make high quality minerals more available Read more [...]