(even if you have to sneak ‘em in!) by Pam Denholm

I am very qualified to make this statement. I have kids. I was a kid. And my husband thinks kale is for rabbits, not people. Greens are the biggest battle facing most families when putting veggies on the table. Whether it is lettuce, kale, chard, beet or turnip greens, collards, bok choy, cabbage or even spinach, here are a few tips to getting greens in and making it an enjoyable experience:

SMOOTHIES – Pineapple and coconut milk will make a pina colada out of anything, even kale. And cocoa powder and bananas will disguise any green as chocolate milk.

MEATBALLS – An egg, some breadcrumbs, finely chopped onion, and a ground protein of your choice (blackbeans and chickpeas are awesome) and a dash of seasoning – bake at 400 degrees uncovered for 15-20 minutes. No one will ever know that you snuck some chopped up greens in.

WRAPS – Leafy greens are a delicious way to wrap up some yummy fillings. Think falafels, tacos, chicken salad, stir-fry’s, and even leftover meatballs. A little dressing and voila.

PESTO – My favorite. Basil might be the go to, but a little oilive oil, garlic, chili pepper flakes, and pine nuts (or walnuts or pecans) will turn just about any green into a delicious fresh pesto. Use the pesto on pasta, flatbreads, sandwiches, wraps or even to roast vegetables or chicken. So versatile (and forgiving)!

GARNISHES – Hide them in plain sight. Sprinkle any chopped greens and make your meal fancy!

SAUCES – Finely chop your greens and you can easily cook them into a marinara sauce, bolognaise, even barbeque.

SOUPS – Soup season is nearly upon us. Add heartier greens like kale or collards ten minutes before your dish is ready, tender greens can be added in just the last minute to preserve color. Warming delicious broth bowls with noodles are always made better with a handful of fresh greens.

QUICHES OR FRITTATAS – Whisk up a few eggs, pour them into an oven proof dish, add seasons and just about anything else – chopped greens, cheese, left over ham, chicken, some asparagus, leeks, onions, mushrooms – you name it! Bake it in the oven at 400 for 30-40 minutes. Easy.

TACOS – Mix and match toppings of your choice, hearty greens great in the background and would never steal the show.

STIR FRY – Greens are delicious with garlic, ginger, and soy sauce. Even sautéed in a pan. So it makes sense that they would be delicious with all the same ingredients, some high heat, and some noodles or rice.

STUFFED – Baked potatoes (whether it is a regular potato, or a sweet potato) is a positively conniving and evil way for you to use comfort food as a vehicle for healthy greens. Go on, do your worst.


All Things Have a Season

Oliver de Serres (1539-1619) once said, “A thriving household depends on the use of seasonal produce and the application of common sense.”

Putting a home-cooked healthy dinner on the table with any regularity is a challenge, whether you are a food writer, chef, farmer, stay at home mom, a commuter, part-time or full-time worker-bee. The struggle is real for all of us. The most common complaints are:

  • I hate staring into the fridge at 6pm,trying to decide what to have
  • I’m so bored with my repertoire, we eat the same thing over and over
  • My children are always whining about what I’ve made for dinner
  • I just don’t have time
  • I’m not a good cook

I read somewhere that since the advent of cooking shows on TV, the number of people who cook regularly has declined, which is interesting. You would think people would be inspired! What has happened, I think, is that cooking shows have raised the bar of what we think is expected, and now, unless we are performing Jamie Oliver or Rachel Ray type feats in the kitchen, we feel like underachievers.

The truth is, there is no secret genie. No magic unicorn answer. Until the visions of star trek producers are realized and we can push a button on a replicator, wait two seconds, and open the door to a steaming roast beef and gravy dinner, we are on our own.

Here is the another truth: every option has it’s pros, and it unfortunately, also has its cons. Whether it is a microwaved dinner (processed, not fresh, stored in plastic, often full of preservatives)  a meal-kit you just need to assemble (packaging nightmare, environmental impact is awful, and it’s expensive by comparison), a farmer’s market trip (getting there in a window time frame can be challenging), or a drive to the grocery store (not the fresh food ideal, food often shipped from far) at the end of the day, no matter how tired you feel, good fresh food takes work.

This brings us to the final truth. It’s all in the planning. If you fail to plan, then plan to fail.

It is for this reason that I am so excited to introduce Cook the Seasons. Here’s why, after test-driving many, many products, including the meal kit offerings, we picked Cook the Seasons to share with you:

  • It supports all the food ethics we hold dear: meals based on local, seasonal, farm fresh fruits and veggies
  • It is completely flexible, you can tailor it to what you like to eat, all the while considering what is coming in your delivery
  • Cook The Seasons puts left overs to good use with ‘Reinvention Recipes’
  • It’s easy to use
  • The recipes are super simple, with a casual elegance that allows you to be Rachel Ray, and make it look just as easy! And delicious!
  • Lia doesn’t just give you assembly instructions, she supports each season with a ‘how to stock you pantry for spring’ and ‘kitchen equipment you will need this season’, plus other wonderful tips on which oil to use, or how to de-glaze a pan. You will actually learn to cook.
  • You can make cooking a family affair, and get everybody into the kitchen with you
  • You actually spend less and less time in the kitchen as the week wears on and you lean on ingredients you’ve already prepared
  • You save money

All this for only $55 for three months, AND Lia has generously offered all SSO customers $20 discount with the coupon code SOUTHSHORE. And, we are so confident it will help you use up every morsel in your green box, that we too will give all customers who join us a $10 credit to their account.

Seriously, what have you got to lose?

CTS Day 2 Image 2

Letter From the Daily Table

To: South Shore Organics

Dear Pam,

daily-table-2Thank you for your generous donations to Daily Table in 2016! Through those donations, we were able to continue offering affordable and nutritious food to our community. In recognition of your support, we are pleased to award  you a key supplier certificate.

2016 was a big year here at Daily Tbale. Last June, during our one-year anniversary celebration, hundreds of customers shared with us how the food they bought at Daily Table had positively affected their lives. Over and over again we heard how delicious the food was and how our shoppers appreciated our healthy products at affordable prices. One customer said:

“I shop at Daily Table because there is always a different selection. Daily Table takes all the stress out of shopping because I don’t have to compare prices or make sacrifices–and I know its always healthy!”

Her observations are reflected in the numbers. We are now averaging 300 different items in the store (as compared to only 100 when we first opened). Our average daily customer count is up by 100 over the previous year. We have rescued almost one million pounds of food, to date, selling more than 15,000 servings of healthy and affordable food every day this year in our upbeat, clean, and friendly retail store in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston. Together, we are providing a meaningful, and dignified, solution to food insecurity.

2017 promises to be an even bigger year. We recently signed the lease for our second location, in the Dudley Square neighborhood of Roxbury, expected to open early summer. We are excited through our continued partnership to bring nutritious products at truly affordable prices to a new community.

Your donations make all the difference. Thank you again for being a key supplier for Daily Table.

With gratitude and wishes for a happy and successful New Year,

Doug Rauch, Founder and President


About Daily Table:

Daily Table is a not-for-profit retail store that offers tasty, convenient, and affordable “grab-n-go” ready to eat meals, and a selection of produce, bread, dairy and grocery items all at prices designed to fit within every budget.  The store is clean and friendly, and open to everyone in the community.  We can offer these daily values by working with a large network of growers, supermarkets, manufacturers, and other suppliers who donate their excess, healthy food to us, or provide us with special buying opportunities. In this way, Daily Table keeps prices affordable for all our customers.  Our meals are priced to compete with fast food options, making it easier for families to eat healthier within their means.

About Our Donations:

We made weekly donations of fresh fruit and veggies from local farms all year long in 2016. Daily Table is essentially an oasis in what is considered a food desert, we love their mission, and are delighted that on behalf of our customers, we could support their mission to improve access to healthy food. We made a difference.

Staff Review: Smoothie Mix Micro Greens

Scarecrow (2)

Reviewer:  Pamela Denholm

Micro greens have the reputation of being a wonder  food. They are potent, offer as much as 100 times more beneficial enzymes in than in regular veggies, contain 10 times the anti-oxidants, and are rich in minerals and vitamins that are easy for us to absorb. Essentially, sprouts and shoots contain everything needed for (new) life.

Micro greens from 2 Friends Farm look so fresh and green and vibrant, I was dying to try them and eventually settled on the Smoothie Mix to bring home last week. The same last week of Friday the 13th, and a full moon.

I have to say, right off the bat, that the smoothie portion is generous. If you are adding a handful of micro greens to your smoothie each morning, the clam shell they offer will last about a week. And although it is the ‘smoothie mix’ – it looked like such a nice blend of different micro greens I decided to try a couple different things with it:

  1. Sandwich – I put the micro greens  on a wrap, with cucumber, cottage cheese, grated carrot, and green beans.
  2. Salad – I didn’t have salad greens so added grape tomatoes, cucumber, left over roast chicken, and a drizzle of olive oil to a handful of micro greens for lunch
  3. Smoothie – an orange (peeled), frozen banana, micro greens, and 1 inch peeled ginger

Of course, as I eluded, it was Friday the 13th, the moon was a full, brightly lit round orb. ‘The Wolf Moon’ no less. And guess what? My Vitamix gave up the ghost. That is, it kicked the bucket and went to blender heaven. What the heck!?!  I was committed (to doing this, not to an institution) so after a couple minutes of mild panic and dismay at my recent loss, I threw all the ingredients in my regular blender which made it a little lumpier than usual, but still very enjoyable.

img_4457I really enjoy smoothies, but I am fussy about the flavors. I don’t like it when they taste too ‘grassy’, which can sometimes happen with greens. And I don’t love it when they taste like peas either, which is why I tend not to use pea shoots in smoothies – it is a difficult flavor to mask. But these micro greens which are a blend of pea shoots, baby kale, and other micro greens, were just perfect and not at all overpowering. My smoothie may not have been very ‘smooth’ (RIP Vitamix), but it did go down well and I am eager to make it a morning ritual because it is a no fuss way to get those nutrient dense greens in! They were equally enjoyable in the salad and on the wrap – no need to limit yourself just because the label says ‘smoothie’.

Now I’m off to get on to Vitamix to see if we can do an emergency air-lift. Cross fingers that a full recovery is possible, otherwise I’ll be back on Craigslist hoping somebody’s  New Year’s resolutions dissolved into a ‘Vitamix for sale’ post.

About 2 Friends Farm:

Two friends, who share passion for fresh young greens, sprouted the seed of an idea into a busy, indoor farm growing organic microgreens and wheatgrass  in rich, fertile soil year-round!

“We are organic farmers, consciously growing fresh, beautiful microgreens and wheatgrass, promoting a lifetime of health for your family and ours,” say Ashley and John, Founding Friends.

About Pam:

I believe the healthiest thing for you, is a healthy relationship with food. I enjoy cooking and trying all sorts of things, and have a kitchen full of life that needs sustaining from scoby’s to yeasty bread starters. It is a real treat to have good quality micro greens in my kitchen too, without having to add a tray of young sprouts that would also require maintenance and care.

OCTOBER COOKING CHALLENGE : Week 1, Meal 1 – Sweet Potato and Swiss Chard Calzones

These are easier than you think, and quite delicious! I decided to do the calzones first because I didn’t want to keep the pizza dough too long. This recipe uses a bunch of the greens, and it is a good idea to prioritise use of greens first.

I asked my driver to deliver my order to my home on Friday, and I brought it inside later in the day when I got home. I did this because I wanted ‘the customer experience’. These greens have been sitting in my fridge since Friday. One of the reasons they keep their freshness is because they are stored in Vejibags. Greens in plastic bags never work, but wrapped in soft, organic, wet cotton toweling they will keep for at least ten days.


1lb sweet potatoes

1 bunch swiss chard

1 head lettuce

1/2 pint cherry tomatoes

1 lemon

1 green pepper

2 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1lb pizza dough

4oz Atwells Gold cheese

8oz Poblano Farm pasta sauce

4 tablespoons olive oil

Step 1 – Prepare Vegetables (10 minutes)



Before you begin, preheat oven to 475 degrees


Peel and dice sweet potatoes

De-stem and chop up chard

Slice cherry tomatoes in half

Shred lettuce by hand

Cut half a lemon into wedges

Mince garlic

Core and dice pepper

Dice cheese

Step 2 – Sauté (15 minutes)



Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a large pan over medium heat

Add sweet potato and garlic, sauté for ten minutes

Add swiss chard, keep over heat until wilted

Add 1/5 the jar of pasta sauce and remove from heat






Step 3 – Assemble Calzones (10 minutes)



Dust flat surface with flour, divide dough into four balls

Roll ball out flat until it is about the size of a side plate

Dust baking sheet with flour, lay out flat dough

Spoon sweet potato and chard onto one side, add blocks of diced cheese

Fold over, and press edges closed with a fork

Tip: I assembled these on the baking sheet so that I wouldn’t have to move them once assembled because they are soft

Step 4 – Bake Calzones, Assemble Salad (18 minutes)


Bake calzones in heated oven for 16 to 18 minutes

Add tomatoes and green peppers to lettuce (I had some left over cheese, so added that as well)

For the dressing, mix 3 tablespoons of olive oil with juice from lemon wedges and season with salt and pepper

I had enough time to clean up, stack the dishwasher and wipe down the counters once the salad was made so the kitchen was clean before plating the food



Step 5 – Plating The Food (2 minutes)



Four plates – each get their own calzone and dressed salad

Divide the remaining pasta sauce between the four plates for dipping








Quick Analysis

Assessment: Terrific Meatless Monday meal. It was very filling, everybody cleaned their plate. The dipping sauce was nice to have because the parts of the calzone without filling were very dry. I barely tasted the chard which is a plus if you have fussy kids like me. I loved the salad dressing, but then lemon, olive oil, and pepper are one my go-to favorites.

Total time: 55 minutes

Mess factor: one large pan and a baking sheet (and lots of bowls if you are photographing the process LOL)


Waste: I saved the chard stems, garlic peels, pepper core and stem, and the sweet potato peels for a veggie stock later in the week.

I composted the cardboard pint container, lemon tips, and outer lettuce leaves.

I put the elastics from the chard and the tomatoes in my office drawer to reuse.

Not featured is the glass jar from the pasta sauce – it was in the dishwasher!

It was just the plastic the cheese was wrapped in, and the bag the dough came in that needed to be recycled.

 What’s Left Over for the Week?

1 spaghetti squash

4 ears corn

1 bunch radishes

2lb sweet potatoes  1lb sweet potatoes

1 bunch brussel sprout leaves

1lb sweet peppers 2 sweet peppers

1lb green beans

1 fennel bulb

1/2 pint cherry tomatoes

1 green leaf lettuce 1/2 a green leaf lettuce

1 bunch swiss chard

1.2lb chicken thighs from Feather Brook Farm

8oz Atwells Gold cheese from Narragansett Creamery 4oz cheese

16oz pasta sauce from Poblano Farms

1 lemon 1/2 a lemon

8oz of garlic 6oz garlic

1 bunch of cilantro

1lb pizza dough

1 can organic garbanzo beans (chickpeas)

10oz GMO-free lo mein egg noodles

1 can organic coconut milk

Glyphosate: Not So Easy to Escape

From Berkshire Organics

First releasedround up commercially in 1974, glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, as well as DuPont’s Abundit and BASF’s Extreme brands.  After the introduction of “Roundup Ready” soybean crops in 1996, other glyphosate-resistant crops soon emerged—and its corresponding use increased dramatically. Over 20 years later, glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in commercial agriculture, and the second most widely used in home gardens—in part due to the misinformation provided by its producers, who have touted their products for years as being rapidly biodegradable and safe for humans and wildlife.  In fact, it was this very promise of safety that kept it from being monitored by the USDA or the FDA. In March 2015, however,  the  World  Health  Organization’s  International  Agency  for  Research  on  Cancer classified glyphosate as a probable carcinogen. Perhaps in response to this information, the FDA plans to begin testing corn and soybeans within the food supply for glyphosate residue—for the first time ever.

It’s safe to say that these “Roundup Ready” crops will contain glyphosate; however, given the extensive use of the herbicide, it’s also likely to be found in other foods as well. In an effort to get a jump start on this process, the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) USA used an accredited independent laboratory to test both organic and conventional versions of 12 popular breakfast foods and ingredients for glyphosate residue: flour, corn flakes, instant oatmeal, bagels, yogurt, bread, frozen hash browns, potatoes, cream of wheat, eggs, non-dairy creamer, and dairy-based creamer. The testing showed that 10 of the sample ingredients (instant oatmeal, conventional and organic bagels and bread, whole grain oatmeal, conventional and organic eggs, organic dairy and organic soy coffee creamer) contained detectable levels of glyphosate, although most were well under the EPA allowable daily intake (ADI) of 1.75 mg per kg of bodyweight.

However most critics are quick to point out that the EPA’s ADI for glyphosate is almost 6 times higher than that of the European Union. Surprisingly, the highest levels of glyphosate residue were found on foods that have no direct contact with the herbicide, including both organic and conventional eggs and dairy-based coffee creamer.  Gretchen DuBeau, executive and legal director for the ANH-USA states that this is likely evidence “…that it’s being passed on by animals who ingest [glyphosate] in their feed.”

Based on the fact that producers have long touted the chemical as being highly biodegradable, she goes on to state that “This is contrary to everything that regulators and industry scientists have been telling the public.” Perhaps most disturbing is the fact that all of the wheat products tested (including those labeled organic) showed detectable levels of the herbicide.  The ANH said that these findings indicate that glyphosate is being sprayed on crops which are not designed to withstand it—but which for some reason are.

It’s also worth noting that glyphosate was up for its 15-year toxicity reassessment by the EPA in the summer of 2015, but action was postponed for one year.  Furthermore, the FDA has stayed conspicuously silent when questioned by the press about the WHO report released last year, and is dragging its heels on the testing of corn and soy products. Meanwhile Roundup, Abundit, and Extreme are being sprayed on a multitude of crops…and subsequently finding their way into every corner of our nation’s food supply. After reporting on the ANH-USA’s findings, naturopathic medical doctor Alan Kavish at the Center of Health recommends the following: “Continue to eat organic foods, and petition the EPA and your government officials to take an interest—not a donation from Monsanto—in reducing our maximum levels of exposures to EU standards.” To this, South Shore Organics would like to add how important it is to know where your food comes from. Supporting local farms and pushing for non-GMO ingredients allows us to continually strive to offer foods that we can all trust are clean.

Gillam, Carey. “Private Tests Show Cancer-Linked Herbicide in Breakfast Foods; FDA Mum on its Assessments.”
The Huffington Post. 19 April 2016.
“Glyphosate Levels in Breakfast Foods: What is Safe?” The Alliance for Natural Health USA. 19 April 2016.
Kadish, Alan. M.D. “Herbicide (Glyphosate) in Your Organic Eggs and Creamer and More.” Center of Health. 20 April 2016


right to knowBy Pamela Denholm

To get everybody up to speed, Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) are food products, mostly crops and recently salmon, that have been genetically modified to produce certain traits. Genetic intervention was undertaken because scientists are crossing the species barrier, and inserting genes from an entirely different organism and this cannot be achieved through selective breeding. These foods are in our mainstream food system.

There is a lot of controversy around these genetically modified foods. Many have called into question their safety, and the environmental impact of using GMO’s is of grave concern – evident by the recent discovery that GMO Canola plants, which are wind pollinated, are already mutating. GMO’s are also banned in twenty-six other countries, including Japan, Russia, Germany, France, and Italy. In the U.S. they are now so widely distributed they are hard to avoid. A very public and grassroots movement across California and New England states called ‘Right to Know’, is fighting to have GMO foods in our grocery stores labeled as such (as they are in other countries – England for one). The movement has been gaining momentum, with Vermont to be the first state to actually pass laws around the labeling of GMO products.

However, on July 29th, 2016 President Obama signed bill S.764 into law. This law, called the DARK Act, supersedes Vermont’s GMO labeling law, and it has created a lot of confusion amongst the general public because it is being paraded as a broader, Federal solution to the cry for labeling primarily because it gives the USDA two years to come up with labeling criteria for GMO’s that will be nationally implemented. Sounds like a solution right? Wrong. I’d like to clear up any confusion, and share with you why it’s NOT the solution we fought for and I’ll be concise:

  • DARK Act literally stands for Deny Americans the Right to Know.
  • It excludes most processed foods from the label (most processed foods that contain GMO’s)
  • Companies will not have to declare on the package that the product contains GMO’s, consumers will be required to use phones to scan barcodes and then visit a website, or call a number.
  • There will be no enforcement or penalty if products are not labeled

Looks like they a window dressing solution, doesn’t it? What is upsetting was that a grass roots movement driven by individuals with no hidden agenda was undermined by corporations. Here is how the bill got enacted:

  • 764 began life as “A bill to reauthorize and amend the National Sea Grant College Program Act”
  • That original bill, which had nothing to do with food labeling, was initially passed by the Senate, but since it never made it any further, Sen. McConnell then hollowed out S. 764 and replaced it with a bill to defund Planned Parenthood. Then that text was gutted and replaced with the first attempt at outlawing state-level GMO labeling laws by creating a voluntary national labeling standard.
  • When that bill failed – and with the July 1 launch of the Vermont labels approaching – two of the Senate’s biggest recipients of agribusiness money, Sen. Pat Roberts (KS) and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (MI) rushed out a “compromise” bill that would eventually create a national standard while outlawing any state-level labeling rules

Because McConnell fast-tracked that bill, it never saw a day in committee, where there would have been hearings involving stakeholders, followed by proposed amendments. Instead, it went straight to the Senate floor, where members from both sides of the political spectrum okayed it with minimal consideration. Call me naïve and idealistic, but fair and equitable process was denied to anybody who fought for their right to know when this bill was enacted last Friday, and it has become more important than ever for anybody who wants the right to know, to vote with their dollar and let their voice be heard.

Resources: Institute for Responsible Technology “President Signs a Law…With Barcodes”, July 29, 2016

Staff Review: Insect Repellant by ‘Things That Work’


Reviewer: Michelle Berry

“Vacationland here we come!” I smiled, thinking of spending time with friends on our annual trip to Old Orchard Beach, Maine.  Our ‘camping tribe’ expands each year, and we anticipate new stories, lots of laughter, and that familiar feeling of coming home.  It was a great trip, but we did have a few hundred uninvited guests.  As soon as the unpacking began, we were eagerly greeted by hungry greenhead horse flies, we expected mosquitos at dusk but not these tenacious beasts during the day! They were everywhere; the campsite, the beach, and they even accompanied us on our morning kayaking expedition through the curving canals, under the Amtrak bridge, and the along the sparkling coast. This was a good test for Things That Work deet-free insect repellent.

S - Insect Repellent

Needless to say, we sprayed down frequently.  During our leisurely bike ride on the Eastern Trail, snowy egrets, glossy ibis, salt marshes, winding tributaries, wildflowers, and busy, buzzing insects were the stunning back drop that lead to a cool, woodsy, flat, open path.  The temperature was a perfect 75 degrees and fluffy white clouds floated overhead.  We passed backyards with large gardens, roaming chickens, and watched a playful little goat trying to engage a big black potbelly pig in a game of barnyard tag.  We found a trail off to the side that lead down to a steep, roller coaster (precariously rooted) path, to a quiet river.  All the while, only a few horseflies landed on us and we had no itchy bites.  I’m happy with the effectiveness of the spray.  The scent is pleasant too and I don’t feel concerned reapplying often since it is made from essential oils.  No weird chemicals seeping into my pores.  It wasn’t sticky and didn’t have an overly strong scent.  The bottle size is generous too.  I do give it a good shake before applying.

I’m relieved to report, we weren’t covered with bites as I expected after four days and nights.  This deet-free insect repellent is a “Thing That Works”.

About Things That Work:

Lisa is a busy wife and mom of four. She’s a career gal by necessity and a creative by choice. She always has a new project in the works, such as wild crafting herbs for the medicine cabinet, growing and canning vegetables for the pantry, making rag rugs for the floor, hand spinning yarn, or whatever her newest passion is.

Things That Work started as one of those projects to eliminate toxins from her home in 2012. She started by making her own detergent and cleaners that were free of controversial chemicals and provided better everyday options for her home like Fluoride Free Toothpaste, Non-aerosol Hairspray, Aluminum Free Deodorant, Fragrance Free Detergent and a Bleach Free Cleaner. In 2014, this developed into a business to help others in her surrounding community discover the benefits of using natural based alternatives, paired with a passion to support small, locally owned businesses with her own.

About Michelle: 

Michelle’s work at SSO aligns with a personal mission to live sustainably and meaningfully. She and her family grow vegetables, and happily play host to honey bees. Michelle is a good woman to have around, she doesn’t complicate simple situations and enjoys finding ways make it easy for her family, and our customers, to enjoy the local harvest.

Staff Review: Fresh Rolled Oats

B - HazelReviewer: Hazel Bacigalupo

For a many years I have enjoyed oats for breakfast, aware that they are a healthy way to start the day – unlike empty calorie-packed breakfast cereals! When South Shore Organics started selling rolled oats, Pam gave me a bag to see if I liked it.   I didn’t expect to notice any difference to the oats I had previously being buying from the supermarket, but I was in for a pleasant surprise.

These oats are naturally sweet and fresh, supermarket oats taste like cardboard in comparison. I don’t cook my oats in water, but instead use skim milk allowing them to simmer slowly (around 20 minutes, which is longer than generally recommended).  They are wonderfully chewy and so tasty, it is like eating a favorite dessert.  I find oats for breakfast are filling enough to keep me on the go until lunch time.

"I find oats for breakfast are filling enough to keep me on the go until lunch time

“I find oats for breakfast are filling enough to keep me on the go until lunch time

I also use them when cooking an excellent cookie recipe I used to make when living in Zimbabwe.  Say “Crunchie” to any Zimbabwean or South African, and they will know exactly what you are talking about!!  They are square cookies with a wonderful crunchy chewy consistency (hence the name) and they don’t hang around for long, especially with kids in the house.

Recipe for Zimbabwe Crunchies


  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 2 cups oats
  • ½ lb. margarine (or butter)
  • 1 large tablespoon of Lyle’s Golden Syrup (available in the British import section of Shaw’s or Stop ‘n Shop), I have also used honey in a pinch and it works well.
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Optional – ½ cup dried cranberries

Put all dry ingredients in a bowl. Melt the margarine and syrup (or honey) together, add baking soda and stir till frothy.  Add this to the mixed dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Flatten (I use my hand) into a large greased shallow pan and bake at 3000 until golden brown until crisp – about 30 minutes.  Cut while warm and leave to cool in the pan. Best enjoyed with a good cup of tea, Zimbabwe style. YUM!!!

NOTE: you don’t have to cook your oats, in the heat of summer, you can make ‘overnight oats’ that are just as chewy and delicious. Just do equal parts oats, to your choice of liquid (almond milk, soy milk, yogurt, cows milk) and let stand overnight, here are some other yummy combinations for you to play with:

  • oats, almond milk, peanut butter, banana
  • oats, almond milk, agave or honey, blueberries
  • oats, french vanilla yogurt, pumpkin pie spice, banana
  • oats, almond milk, vanilla extract, dried cranberries, sliced almonds
  • oats, greek yogurt, brown sugar, cream cheese, vanilla extract
  • oats, greek yogurt, bananas, mango
  • oats, almond milk, apples, maple syrup, cinamon
  • oats, milk, chocolate chips, cherries

About Maine Grains:

Their mission is to cultivate and deliver exceptional stone ground grains, which are locally grown and sourced. Through a unique stone-milling process, Maine Grains preserves nutritional content and the performance of their grains and flours for natural fermentation baking and cooking. Locally grown grains provide a variety of delicious hearty flavors, and are non-GMO and sustainably grown, preserving Maine land for work and play for generations to come.

About Hazel:

Don’t let Hazel’s petite frame, blue eyes, and lovely accent fool you, this lady is as tough as nails.  From a remote farm in Zimbabwe to the South Shore community of Massachusetts, she’s seen it all and knows how to get the job done, and it is her breakfast of champions that keeps her going long after the rest of us are worn out!

Chemical Load of our Environment

no bugsI am on some of the Facebook gardening groups, and there seems to be a buzz across the board about bees! Not about keeping bees, but about how few we are seeing in our gardens, and I see it my garden too. Bees love certain spots in my garden, they LOVE the sage and salvia flowers, bees simply can’t resist clover – which is starting to flower right now, and they go gaga for catmint. But in the last two weeks I have counted just three bees. And it is not just bees, my garden is quiet. I have not seen many bugs at all, especially flying bugs.

Who knows what the reason is, it could be the mild winter, the cool spring, the cold snap, the prolific amounts of pollen everywhere – maybe bees just don’t have to forage. Maybe all they have to do is dust the hive (or they could come dust my house, pollen has been everywhere this spring!) I did call our town to see if they had done any spraying, and they hadn’t – they sent me over to Plymouth County Mosquito control. I have not heard back from them yet, but in the meantime, I did my own research, and what I found, was staggering.

chart 2chart 1What I looked at was land use, specifically, how many acres in the U.S are committed to agricultural uses (cropland and pasture), and how many acres are committed to urban use. I then looked at average annual spend on herbicides, which includes fertilizers, per acre for each, and I found that the average home owner spends three times per acre more than our farmers for herbicides. Okay, so we are paying retail, and farmers are buying in bulk. But then, this article is not about the weeds, it’s about the bees. Right? So I did the same exercise for pesticides, and guess, what, we are bug-a-phoebes! Here the average spend of homeowners was nearly 15 times higher and although I didn’t give it a graph, when I included commercial and industrial spend, non-farmers spent 21 times more on pesticides than farmers did.

I think we come down on farmers because a) there is much more farmland than urban area – for each acre of urban area, there are 17 acres of farmland and grassland/pasture. That makes farmers the custodians of a large chunk of our land. And b) what farmers are growing, is the food we put in our bodies – so of course we care about what they are doing to it!

Those of you that have been with us a while know how I feel about agricultural monocultures and industrial farming, of course. I am not condoning these practices. But what about our responsibility? As custodians? We raise our children in urban areas, we visit recreational ponds which are the ultimate catchment areas for our garden run off during the rain. In my rational mind, I understand that I cannot dictate what my neighbors do in their homes and gardens, and I understand that mosquitos and ticks spread diseases that are no laughing matter – but the toxic load of our environment is no laughing matter either, and sacrificing one for the other will not prevent us from getting sick, just look at the out of control cancer statistics.

Ultimately, we have to be responsible too. Our communities cannot point fingers for the disappearance of the honey bee, or the large number of butterflies whose numbers are dwindling. We are a part of that problem, and as a community, we need to collaborate, educate, and make better, organic, and healthy choices for our gardens and open spaces.

By Pamela Denholm