CSA programs…

What is even better than the Farmers market? Fresh fruits and veggies at your door! Here are some local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs:

WE Cooperative
You can choose weekly delivery or every other week. If you pay in full and get 52 weeks it is less than $800 for the year to always have fresh, local organic produce in your fridge! WE works with Catalan Family Farms, which is owned by Maria Catalan, the first woman in California to own her own organic farm. Maria is an advocate for immigrant farmers and is a huge promoter of organics. She collaborates with organizations that work to empower agricultural workers and small organic farms. Her farm is located in Hollister, CA. http://www.wecooperative.com
CSA Details: Season is February through November. Full Share: $25 a week. Half Share: $15 a week. Both have the option of an additional $12 subscription to local goods which could include eggs, bread, olive oil, honey, sea salt, granola and many other items. A goods subscription consists of at least two items a week.

Live Earth Farms (LEF)
The LEF CSA has nearly 50 pick-up locations from San Francisco in the north to as far south as Carmel. There are three share sizes to choose from, plus the opportunity for additional “options” such as Extra Fruit, Pastured Eggs, and Bread. A new member online Web Store features local products to compliment your weekly box of produce. The farm operates year-round with a 33 week “Regular Season” from April to November and a “Winter Season” from December through February. With lots of pick-up locations, you should be able to find one near you! New locations are occasionally added, so please visit the website (www.liveearthfarm.net) for the most comprehensive and up-to-date information, and to sign up!
CSA Details: Season is February through November. Full Share: Small box $20/week. Family box $30/week (available after April only). Small boxes are 7 to 9 items a week, family boxes are 10-12 items a week. Starting in April, LEF tries to make all boxes ½ fruit and ½ vegetables.

Serendipity Farms
Serendipity Farms is now taking subscriptions for the 2011 season for weekly shares of certified organic vegetables, fruit and flowers. You get a weekly box of fabulous produce all grown in Carmel and Carmel Valley, with convenient pick up locations throughout Monterey County. Every week’s box is unique- it has at least one new weekly item and a generous mix of seasonal vegetables and herbs. One box size typically feeds 2-4 people for a week, depending on how much of your diet is produce. Other benefits include a weekly farm newsletter with nutrition information, a list of the weekly produce and recipes, as well as two seasonal farm tours with samplings of our delicious produce prepared by our local chef friends. http://serendipity-organic-farm.com/
CSA Details: Season is March through November. Full Share: $25 per week, minimum 12 weeks commitment. 10% off when you sign up for the entire season. Add flowers for an additional $7 per week.

Volunteering is another great way to get connected with the foods we are eating and the system as a whole. Alba Farm is a good place to start. You can support Alba in its mission to advance family farm viability and healthy local food systems, brush up on your gardening skills, and get to know your local farmers. http://www.albafarmers.org/alba_organics.html
Volunteer Activities:
Farm work – weeding, planting, harvesting (and a little bit of tasting)
Conservation & Land Stewardship – planting, landscaping, data collection, weeding Requirements:
Flexibility and a good attitude!

For more information on local farms visit


If you have not yet taken advantage of the brand new unique escape we are lucky enough to have right here in Carmel called Refuge, it is a definite must! Refuge is dedicated to providing the ultimate in hot and cold water therapy. This outdoor spa will help you to increase energy, improve circulation, detoxify and clear negative energy. The experience starts upon check-in with Jessica or Zoe who are very helpful and will explain in full detail the exact sequence and timing you need to maximize this therapy. The extremes of hot and cold water cause your muscles to expand and contract which offers gentle detoxification as toxins are squeezed from your muscles. It also improves circulation, increasing fresh oxygenated blood to all areas of the body – as a result cleansing any stagnant areas where toxins may have been. My personal experience was so amazing, I am now addicted! I started out in the eucalyptus steam room, which made me feel healthier in just the first few minutes! After braving the icy river it was then time to let my body rest on the zero gravity chairs. I decided to relax in the spa with a waterfall over my shoulders while gazing up at the beautiful oak trees and peaceful surroundings. It is recommended to repeat this in the same order several times. After a number of hours recharging inside of Refuge I felt as if my entire body was reset, energized and clear.
The price for a massage and Refuge is only $99. This is an outstanding price for the treatment you receive and the overall wellbeing you walk out with!
Anyone looking for a day of rejuvenation, THIS is it! Go on to our website cypressconcierge.com to book your massage and all day privilege into Refuge.

Cypress Wellness

The world of food and wine is about drinking great wines, eating tasty meals, and living the good life. The health and wellness world sometimes may seem exciting and motivating when reading about it, but usually entails restrictions of some kind and doing less of what you actually enjoy, therefore it does not last.

Let’s blend these two worlds together, giving us the opportunity to enjoy the holidays, family, and friends guilt free. Bring healthy to the holidays.

This weekend I had two great wines. I went to a friend’s home on Saturday who can not drink reds because she has a reaction to the sulfites. She introduced me to a wine which she can drink due to the fact that this wonderful (and wonderfully priced $10/bottle) Grenache has no added sulfites. I highly recommend it and you can purchase a bottle at Stone Creek Kitchen in Monterey. While you are there take notice of the products and displays that are skillfully and thoughtfully placed by the talented Aga Simpson.

That night we also had an acorn squash pie. It is great for kids. They think they are getting a yummy desert but it is actually an extra serving of vegetables with a very small amount of sugar.
I just used frozen pie crust from Whole Foods (no hydrogenated oils of course!).
You can use any squash or pumpkin you want. Just cut into squares bake or boil with a little salt.
Mix together eggs, milk, sweetener (stevia, sugar, agave, coconut sugar, etc…) spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves)
Pour into crust and bake at 400 for around 35-40min.

Sunday we had a Cotes Du Rhone, Les Gendrines 2009. This is a fabulous wine with the most beautiful label – one of the bottles you keep to put flowers in or candle holder.
After a weekend of wine and cafe which both create a very acidic condition in our bodies, we need to alkalize to balance out the fun. Things to be aware of: drink lots of water with lemon (most alkaline food), millet instead of rice, and greens. Although it’s getting colder and warm soups and winter foods are good – it’s also good to fill some percentage of your diet with raw foods.

Whole Foods and Cornucopia have PH strips you can buy to check how acidic/alkaline your body is. Try it out!

Sustainable Living

There are some very convenient and affordable ways to ‘go green’ here on the Monterey Peninsula. Our favorite option for commuting is the Rideshare Program through the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments. Go to www.commutealternatives.info for additional information about the Rideshare Rewards Club and how the program will benefit you.

Join the Monterey Monthly Beach Clean-up on Saturday, November 12th from 10 am – 12 pm at the Fort Ord Dunes State Park in Marina. Check-in is located in the main parking area off of 8th St and Stillwell Hall. Individuals and small groups welcome. Cleanup materials provided.

Another interesting source of information about reusing water and how to do it safely can be found at www.montereygreywater.com – “it’s time to get smart about water.” 

Also, countywide cleanup day is April 15, 2012 from 8:00am – 12 noon. Contact Gabriela Carbajal CarbajalGE@co.Monterey.ca.us. What can you do to help? Organize a cleanup group, publicize the event, adopt a road, and more!