DOWN TO FARM
The Diamond Island Newsletter
**Health Is Wealth: Value Growth!**
Greetings Growth Enthusiasts,
Welcome to the summer harvest of our DTF newsletter, "Health Is Wealth: Value Growth!"
In this edition, we’re gonna take a walk through a brief history of a beloved root, explore it’s origins and discover how it came to be known in its current hue…
We’re also gonna get into the sometimes contradictory concept of “value versus convenience” and explore its significance in our pursuit of healthy lifestyle choices.
As owner and farming lead at Diamond Island Farm on the North Shore of Oahu, I have invested a great deal of my time and energy into growth analysis and growth processes.
But, what do I really want?
I want to grow crops; I want to grow my customer base, I want to grow my income, and of course I want to grow my business in order to expand the nutritious offerings I bring to market.
I want to do all of this and more without sacrificing my health…but where should I start?
Well, I am going to explore what we might think of as value and ask questions like...
How does our sense of what we value affect our choices and what we are willing to pay?
Don’t worry, I am gonna ask myself these questions…
So, are you ready?
Let's Grow! 🌱
🥕Dacus carota: The Untold Story
"I am Jack's Dacus carota."
Carrots, scientifically known as Daucus carota, have a long and fascinating history deeply intertwined within the collective human experience...
In the modern era, orange carrots have become the most common and recognizable variety.
High beta-carotene content makes them an excellent source of vitamin A, benefiting vision, immune function, and overall health…
🥕 Were you aware that carrots exist in a diverse range of colors, including purple, white, yellow, and even red. So, why orange? How did we get here?
The modern dominance of orange carrots is the result of many intersectional factors…
Let’s take a walk…
Way Back in the day, the purple carrot, also known as the Eastern carrot, originated in the region encompassing present-day Afghanistan and Iran.
These carrots boasted a vibrant hue due to the presence of anthocyanins, natural pigments responsible for the purple color.
🥕 In addition to their eye-catching appearance, purple carrots offered a wide range of flavors and nutritional benefits.
💜 Historical records indicate that purple carrots were cultivated and consumed extensively by the Persians, Greeks, and Romans.
Ancient Civilizations: Persians, Greeks, and Romans cherished carrots. These civilizations recognized the health benefits and medicinal properties of carrots, valuing them for their ability to improve vision, aid digestion, and cleanse the body.
💛 Carrots continued their evolutionary journey, capturing Europe's attention in various hues. The arrival of the yellow carrot, introduced by Arab traders to Spain in the 10th century, sparked a shift in popularity. Soon, the yellow variety overtook its purple counterpart, becoming the dominant carrot color across the region.
🌍 Fast forward to the 16th century, and enter the Dutch growers who unlocked a world-changing discovery: the orange carrot! Bursting with beta-carotene, this variety quickly became a culinary sensation, captivating the Dutch population and symbolizing national pride.
Dutch Revolution: Enter orange carrots in the 16th century, synonymous with Dutch pride. Orange carrots soon found their way into the hearts and dishes of Europeans far and wide.
⚙️ The industrial revolution propelled agriculture into a new era, transforming the carrot landscape. Mechanization and advanced farming techniques enabled the cultivation of carrots on a larger scale, transitioning from small-scale farming to industrial production. This shift ensured a steady supply of this nutritious vegetable to meet growing demands.
Industrial Shift: Mechanization and advanced techniques propelled carrot cultivation on an industrial scale, ensuring a steady supply.
🥕 In today's modern era, orange carrots have emerged as the iconic and widely recognized variety. Packed with beta-carotene and valuable nutrients, they offer a multitude of health benefits, including improved vision, fortified immune function, and overall wellness. However, let's not forget the beautiful array of other colorful carrot variations still available, including purple, white, yellow, and red!
Modern Marvels: Orange carrots prevail but embrace the diverse palette of purple, white, yellow, and red varieties.
🌈 The agricultural evolution of carrots marches onward, with farmers exploring heirloom and specialty varieties, rekindling interest in the vibrant purple carrots and other captivating colors. Innovative techniques like hydroponics and vertical farming have also revolutionized carrot cultivation, enabling year-round production in controlled environments.
Let the extraordinary history of Dacus carota remind us to cherish our agricultural heritage and embrace the incredible diversity found within our natural world.
🌿 Finding the True Value:
As we navigate the realm of health and wellness, it's crucial to discern the true value of our choices. Choices concerning sleep, food, fitness, and focus… to name a few.
What are the intrinsic benefits of sustainable living, organic farming, and clean eating? I think these are important ideals and they require us to work a little harder to get the quality that we need, but are they worth the effort?
My answer is “Yes!” and here a few reasons why:
Sustainable living promotes harmony with our environment, reducing our carbon footprint and preserving natural resources. This requires us to be aware of what we are choosing and to consciously choose to use, promote and create sustainable means to live our lives and achieve our goals. It requires work.
Organic farming fosters healthier soil and produces food free from harmful pesticides and genetically modified organisms, supporting our overall well-being. This means that we have to do a little more work to cultivate these types of crop yielding practices or be sure to purchase our crops from farms that we know are using organic farming techniques.
Clean eating is crucial. Embracing whole, unprocessed foods can ensure that we are getting the nourishment that our bodies require, consuming foods with a multitude of vital nutrients while minimizing exposure to artificial additives. And again, this may require us to pay more for our meals.
We have to set a standard for ourselves and honor the commitment to our long term health:
Choosing proactive holistic practices can optimize our health, cultivate a stronger connection with the natural world, and contribute to a more sustainable future for generations to come. Idealistic? Yes. Possible? Also yes.
The harmony we create between our bodies and the environment can produce in us a profound sense of well-being and belonging. We simply need to set aside the time and settle into a solitary space where we can achieve this on a daily basis. Get yourself some forest or garden time… Or farm time if you have access to one. Regardless, get outside, unplug, and do some slow breathing for about 15 minutes.
You can thank me later.
Embracing Nature's Wisdom:
As an individual that spends a lot of time outside working the land, I've witnessed first hand, the positive impacts of being in the natural elements…
And of course, this could be considered subjective as it relates to my own perspective of personal physical and mental health...
So, what are the real therapeutic benefits of spending time outdoors, connecting with the land, and nurturing our bodies through the consumption of farm-to-table products and practices?
Well, spending time outdoors, connecting with the land, and consuming farm-to-table products have all been associated with therapeutic benefits, supported by scientific studies.
Here are 5 examples that I have gathered (from my amateur research endeavors):
Improved Mental Health: Research has shown that spending time in nature can reduce stress, anxiety, and symptoms of depression. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that participants who walked in nature experienced decreased activity in the brain regions associated with rumination, a common factor in depression.
Enhanced Physical Health: Engaging in outdoor activities promotes physical fitness and overall health. For example, studies have found that spending time in green spaces is associated with increased physical activity levels, leading to improved cardiovascular health.
Stress Reduction and Relaxation: Numerous studies suggest that nature exposure can reduce stress and induce relaxation. Research published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology demonstrated that even brief interactions with nature, such as looking at natural scenes, can elicit physiological and psychological relaxation responses.
Increased Connection and Social Bonding: Participating in farm-to-table practices, such as community-supported agriculture or farmers' markets, can foster social connections and a sense of community. Studies have shown that engagement in local food systems leads to increased social interaction, support networks, and community cohesion.
Nutritional Benefits: Consuming farm-to-table products can offer nutritional advantages. Freshly harvested produce often retains more nutrients compared to products that have undergone long storage or transportation.
If you want to explore the health conscious options of some of the North Shore's eateries…
Here are some of my favorite local community supported nourishment hubs:
Spotlight on Diamond Island Farm:
As the farming lead at Diamond Island Farm, I'm thrilled to showcase our commitment to sustainable agriculture and the local community.
Discover some of our farm-to-table practices and find out where you can experience the incredible flavors we are cultivating and yourself some locally grown, organic produce.
Check out all you want to know about us here.
You can also “Meet us at the Market”
Kaka‘ako Farmers Market
919 Ala Moana Blvd & 210 Ward Ave, Kaka’ako
(Park at the old lot at 1050 Ala Moana Blvd. or at Fisherman's Wharf)
MARKET UPDATES: Posted for 7/29/23
Farmers Market Lineup:
purplette green onion
sunflowers (SPECIAL $2 each)