We’re Looking for Growers!
This past weekend we hosted a small group of people who are interested in working with our company to help us create new products. We toured the Napa garden and spoke about new and innovative approaches to using plants as medicinal food. I had many ideas and examples of plants for them to see, feel and even taste, but I focused on five that I am particularly excited about and that will help us fulfill the dictum “let thy food be thy medicine.”
For about 40 years, Drs. James and Dorothy Morré, a husband and wife team of researchers, have been studying cancer and aging at their National Cancer Institute research laboratory at Purdue University. Specifically, they have studied a group of proteins called the ENOX group, which might shed light on the etiology of cancer and aging.
Along with our leek products, our Wild Ramp Powder is my favorite Dr. Cowan’s Garden product. Not only does the subtle, oniony flavor of wild ramps go well with almost every savory dish (as Alyssa, who works with me in my office, says: “Everything tastes better with Ramp or Leek Powder!”), but Wild Ramp Powder also epitomizes the principles that our company stands for.
The first of the three core principles that underlie all we do is increasing the vegetable diversity in your diet to include all the colors, growth habits and parts of the plant. This strategy assures that you will avail yourself of all the many disease-preventing nutrients that plants have to offer.
About a dozen years ago I heard a farmer present the results of his work on his decades-old biodynamic farm in Australia. He showed slides of the massive pit they had dug in which they laid dozens of cow horns filled with manure, which were used to “enliven” the fields. He shared how they made the biodynamic preparations that are at the heart of the biodynamic process. These preps stimulated calcium uptake by the plants, as well as root and fruit development, and others strengthened the plants against various diseases. But the main thing that stuck with me were the slides he showed of an insect on his farm that had been declared extinct a decade earlier.
One of the first things one learns when switching to a traditional diet is that eating an authentic, traditional diet involves a lot more thought and preparation than one is typically used to. My guess is that most people decide what they are going to eat for their next meal either right before mealtime, or, at most, when they shop the day before. Not so when one eats a traditional diet.
The other day I saw an advertisement from the University of California at San Francisco medical center that invited us to imagine a world without disease. The ad’s message was that because of the diligence, innovation and bold experimentation going on at UCSF, we are on the verge of such a utopian existence.
This is my favorite gardening time of the year. Spring has finally arrived in Northern California, and the long, cold rains have abated. While the winter rains have stimulated a lot of weed growth, the garden has a fresh, new look, with young, healthy, vibrant plants that haven’t peaked yet.