It’s always a good thing to join in and help others.

This post will begin a new mini series for us.

Heirloom Charlie on his upcyled, recyled tractor getting ready to do some organic farming!

Last year we tried to help out with the use of Heirloom Charlie. He was introduced to you all in May 2013, and with each sale of an Hieloom Charlie product I stated I (as The Botanical Beauties & Beasties) would donate 15% to Long Life Farm. The hope was to help out a family in need to be able to obtain a CSA farm share within the Long Life CSA program. This translates into the ability for a family to eat fresh organically grown vegetables that has been grown locally without the use of chemical pesticides or herbicides. Well, last weekend I am proud to say I did indeed write a check for the intended purpose. I was not able to raise enough to buy a whole share, but Laura (one of the owners and farmers of Long Life Farm) told me that the Botanical Beauties check brought the total up to the needed $ amount to indeed obtain a share for a lucky family. Other shareholders had also donated monies, and this check just happen to be that last part. I find that wonderful in a strange and magical way. I am thrilled to be able to help out in this small fashion.The website for Long Life Farm is I  find the site engaging and hope you take a minuet to check it out. It is filled with all sorts of good information! 

Another cool piece of this story is that Heirloom Charlie is also a main character of our new book! The book is coming along nicely-I think we may do some test marketing at The Hopkinton Farmers Market this summer. (Sundays 1-5 Hopkinton, MA.) If you are interested, and particularly if you know anyone in publishing, please let me know! Heirloom Charlie now has a new nick name- the (working) title of the book is The Food Dude!

Now, on to one last piece of business for this post.

Our helping this summer will come as blog postings and a new character called Diggerfoot. Diggerfoots purpose is to help a friend of mine who’s name is Kirk. He, his wife (Cindy), and a daughter (Charissa) will start hiking the 2,666 mile Pacific Crest Trail in a few days. Cindy has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. In his own words- from his website“We will use the hike for a mission to spread Hope for Alzheimer’s.  The first avenue of hope is with Cindy’s journey, demonstrating that people with Alzheimer’s still can pursue their dreams.  The second avenue of hope is through raising awareness for how lifestyle choices can improve Alzheimer’s patients and caregivers.  The most important of these lifestyle choices is physical exercise, the only “treatment” show to halt and even reverse brain decay.  The third avenue of hope is through Exercise for Brain Health Research, for which we are raising funds.” To see, how you can help us spread Hope for Alzheimer’s please visit his website. Kirk will naturally be writing about their hike, my postings will be an additional outlet to let more people follow their path, and raise awareness of Alzheimer’s. Naturally, my post will link to Kirks site which has a plethora of resources and a place where one can donate if you care to help the cause in that way. So get your hiking shoes tied and get ready for a long distance hike from Canada to the Mexico boarder! Next posting on the trip you will get to meet Diggrfoot and see how the trip is going. These post will be peppered into the “normal” Botanical postings, and DIggerfoot will be acting as an interviewer looking to share a bit of the adventure with you all!

Is being a strong advocate for local food political?

Local Markets, Farm Markets, and local food continued.
“The best food is that which feeds body and spirit.”

Read these few paragraphs and please answer our 1 question poll at the end of the article. Thanks

Again, the focus is on a really interesting thoughts, and words, from Local This is from their May 25, 2011 newsletter.

“Welcome back to theLocalHarvest newsletter.

While spring came achingly slowly to my part of the country this past month, I spent a lot of time pacing in front of the window looking out at heavy gray skies. The soil being too wet to dig, I had extra time for rumination, much of which revolved around what LocalHarvest most values.

In last month’s newsletter I said that in this period of budget cutbacks we as a society need more public dialogue about how to make sure that everyone has enough good food to eat. My article struck a chord with many. With a number of others, it hit a nerve. There was plenty of emotion to go around Readers from across the political spectrum wrote in to voice their frustration or support, aimed variously at the federal government, the media, Wall Street, liberals, conservatives, the system at large, and the poor. In addition, a number of people wrote to express their disapproval of LocalHarvest being vocal about the federal budget process. These writers argued vehemently that I should stay out of politics.

Most people don’t give a hill of beans what we write about, but others absolutely want our work to reflect at least some of what they hold dear. This is particularly true for some of our members, the 25,000 people who list their businesses in our directory. Partisan politics is something we have always avoided in the newsletter because we know that our members’ leanings cover the entire political map and then some. Steering clear of particular political parties or heads of state is relatively easy, but avoiding politics all together is impossible. Being a strong advocate for local food is itself quite political, given our current food system.

We stand behind our belief that having an adequate and steady supply of good food is a basic human right, and that those with plenty have a moral obligation to look out for those who do not. There is ample room for discussion and debate about how far that obligation extends and how it gets paid for.

Meanwhile, the rest of our manifesto reads like this: The best food is that which feeds body and spirit. This food can best be found at a farmers markets, through a CSA, and in your own backyard. Cooking fresh, unprocessed food and sharing it with people you love is one of life’s great pleasures. We support farms which place primary importance on building healthy soils, protecting the ecosystem, fair treatment of farm laborers, humane treatment of animals, and a sustainable life for the farmers. Protecting biodiversity on farms and seed saving are both good ideas. Genetically modifying crops is a bad idea, as is the current approach to farm subsidies. Local and regional food systems are of vital importance in this changing world and should be encouraged on every level. There is plenty of work to be done to strengthen and expand these systems, work in which each of us can play a role. Onward!

As always, we appreciate hearing what you think.

Take good care and eat well,


Erin Barnett

We at Botanical Beauties and Beasties agree “that having an adequate and steady supply of good food is a basic human right, and that those with plenty have a moral obligation to look out for those who do not. There is ample room for discussion and debate about how far that obligation extends and how it gets paid for.” How do you feel about it all?