Field Notes
Volume 1 | Number 19 October 10, 2013

HARMONY FARM AT OWL CREEK FARM

By Patsy Harman

As a GYN provider, I see patients everyday that have a variety of health problems. Not just the garden variety(no pun intended) yeast infections, painful monthlies and breast lumps youÂ’d expect a womenÂ’s nurse practitioner might see, but more serious conditions like high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, diabetes, arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, depression, anxiety and insomnia.
Most of these women have primary care providers who are prescribing the appropriate medication, but the women are discouraged. They donÂ’t want to be on so many pills; they still feel lousy and they arenÂ’t getting any better. The problem is that while they decry the need for the capsules and tablets, they have no other approach to their aliments.
Certainly there are genetic factors occasionally involved. Some people, no matter how much they exercise or how perfectly they eat have dangerously high cholesterol. Their father died of a heart attack at 45 and they need the pills if they want to make it to old age, but thatÂ’s not the case with the rest of us.

Baby Purple Carrot!

Baby Purple Carrot!

Though I talk to every patient who is over or underweight (not many of those) about diet and exercise and what they can do better, I only recently started talking to people about the quality of their food or where it comes from.
?As a way into the conversation, I tell them that IÂ’ve been eating more veggies this year and loving them. I tell them that the colors of the food often indicate something about the health benefits and that by buying local chemical free fruits and veggies you can enjoy your food more.
So you and my patients wonÂ’t think IÂ’m too pure, IÂ’ll admit that I, like the rest of America, canÂ’t resist a sweet, creamy, starchy treat. If thereÂ’s chocolate or caramel in it, thatÂ’s even better, but the question is, do we need everything that is available to us on the grocery shelves? Rows and rows and rows of processed foods, breakfast cereals, pasta dishes out of the box, puddings, cakes, and 20 variations on the Pop-Tarts? No.
Interestingly, as part of this conversation about diet and exercise, when I ask my patients what they think they could do better, this is what I hear over and over. “Eat more fruits and vegetables and cut out the fast food.” It’s almost universal. People know what to do, but they don’t do it. So why not?

Pea Shoots reaching for the Sky

Pea Shoots reaching for the Sky

Maybe it’s because as a kid, “Eat your vegetables,” was our mother’s mantra, but the veggies just weren’t that good. “When I was a girl,” I tell my patients. “I don’t remember loving carrots or greens or even tomatoes. I ate them because I was told too. Now it’s different, to eat a carrot that’s just been picked is a treat. To eat fresh greens grown in healthy soil is better than dessert!” Some of the women might roll their eyes, but when I encourage them to treat themselves by making a trip to the Farmers Market or investing in a subscription to a CSA, I hope they will think about it.

Everyone wants to live well and be happy and healthy, right? To get off the medicines and feel strong? But as Americans we have to think differently. We are what we eat, thatÂ’s the old mantra, and no matter what ails you, friend, good food can help.
Be Well- Patsy Harman

CSA pick-list
Peppers- Green, Red, or Orange Bell plus a few hot peppers.
Baby Spinach – Enjoy!
Baby Arugula – Mild. Great as a salad green.
Scallions-Enjoy!
Sugar Snap Peas – Enjoy!
Kale- Red Russian Variety
Eggplant- Th e plast eggplant of the season! Some of you all love it, so I am giving it another week. If you still want more please ask.
Parsley- Did you know it has more vit C
than oranges? ItÂ’s super food, I love to simply eat it as a snack.
Enjoy- Farmer Sky

Mustards and arugula ready for harvest

Mustards and arugula ready for harvest

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