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Giving Thanks this Season!

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Giving a Resounding “Thanks” All Across the Board!

We hope everyone had an especially Happy Thanksgiving yesterday, filled with Gratitude, Love, Family, Friends, and of course – Food!

Maybe it’s something to do with all the tragedy this year across the nation – including our very own #VegasStrong – but the Holidays and their requisite cheer and homey happy family vibes seem an especially necessary antidote. It also makes us even more grateful than ever for the strength of our community and relationships, whether its all the people that contribute to or shop the weekly Downtown 3rd Farmers Markets, or volunteer at “Helen’s Garden” the Urban Community Garden located there, or the Chefs who use our Produce, it truly takes a village! So as you battle through the front lines of “Black Friday” today, or clean up after company or pull out the Holiday Decorations, we hope you continue to reflect on that spirit of thankfulness – and take a moment to read our Newsletter so we can let you all know just how thankful WE are…

First off this year we need to give a special note of GRATEFULNESS to our ENTIRE COMMUNITY as we all showed support through our terrible crisis – whether that was by donating blood, or the many who brought food and water to those waiting in line or supporting the recovery efforts, or those who worked tirelessly around the clock at overburdened hospitals and medical centers. In a city of bright lights and tourists our home community shares an amazing capacity for support and togetherness – we truly are #VegasStrong

We are thankful to all the small family and independent FARMS and FARMERS who have made it their life’s work to grow incredible, organic produce in an ethical and sustainable way. And in turn we are thankful for the abundance of produce that these farmers – via our incredible Planet – are able to grow. For the gift of life, energy, and vitality this bountiful Earth gifts us through this produce.

We are thankful to the AWARENESS now being given to the food and agricultural industry, in the hope that our relationship to this system continues to grow as more balanced, sustainable, and symbiotic relationship.

We are thankful for the Vegas area CHEFS who continue to support our markets both professionally and personally – for pushing the use of organic, small farm grown produce in their restaurants and for the time many of them donate to come out and educate us all at our weekly Chef Demo and Talk & Taste Series – an invaluable gift to our local community.

We are thankful to all of our loyal CUSTOMERS who come support us week in and week out. By supporting us you are also supporting all those things we are already thankful for – you are in essence a part of our team, our family, and the Farm-to-Table movement, the paradigm shift from the unconscious to the conscious eating and procuring of food.

We are thankful to our VENDORS who bring their incredible talents and products to the Markets each week, expanding on and supporting our message of sustainability and recognition of artisanal goods.

We are thankful to all the VOLUNTEERS who donate their time and energy to many projects, from the Downtown 3rd Farmers Market to the Urban Community Garden Project “Helen’s Garden” located there, to helping out on The Farm at Malibu.

We are thankful to our Intuitive Forager Family, our TEAM of employees who make the Market happen every week through pure passion, persistence, and a love of all things “Foodie”.

And finally we are Thankful to KERRY CLASBY, the Intuitive Forager, who’s immense passion for delicious produce, sustainable practices, biodynamic agriculture, and a healthier more balanced life for all, is the power behind all that we do. Thank You.

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“A Girl and Her Squash” – The Intuitive Forager Kerry Clasby on The Farm at Malibu

Top Ten Reasons to Shop the Farmers Markets!

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In Honor of New Years –

Why “Resolve” to shop the Farmers Markets?

Over the past couple of years there have been plenty of “Top Ten” articles published on why you should support/shop at Farmers Markets (vs major chain grocery stores), and we must admit they make a pretty good case. After scouring all of these, and adding a couple of our own,  here’s our low-down on the Top Ten reasons why we think you should make the Markets a weekly pit stop (AKA our “Ode to Farmers Markets”):

1. Taste Real Flavors
The Produce you buy at the Farmers Market is the freshest and tastiest available. Fruits and Vegetables are allowed to ripen fully in the field and are brought directly to you—no premature picking, long-distance shipping, no gassing to simulate the ripening process, no sitting for weeks in storage! When we say freshly foraged, we mean business – this food is as real as it gets – we put the fresh in farmfresh.

2. Enjoy the Season
A big part of the Intuitive Forager’s message (and her actual “foraging”) is based on the natural Seasonal process of growth, and the food you get at the Farmers Market is in-season – which means it is freshly foraged, at its peak deliciousness, and reflecting its truest flavors. Shopping and cooking from the Farmers Market helps you to reconnect with the cycles of nature in our region. As you look forward to asparagus in spring, savor sweet corn in summer, or bake pumpkins in autumn, you reconnect with the earth, the weather, and the turning of the year.

3. Support Family Farmers
Family farmers need your support! Now that large agribusiness dominates food production in the U.S., small family farms have a hard time competing in the food marketplace – despite the fact that your small family farms typically practice much more ethical and sustainable farming practices. Buying directly from farmers at the Markets gives them a better return for their produce and gives them a fighting chance in today’s globalized economy.

4. Protect the Environment
Food in the U.S. travels an average of 1,500 miles to get to your plate. That’s right – 1,500 miles! All this shipping uses large amounts of natural resources (especially fossil fuels), contributes to pollution, and creates trash with extra packaging. Conventional agriculture also uses many more resources than sustainable agriculture and pollutes water, land, and air with toxic agricultural by-products. Food at the farmers market is transported shorter distances and is generally grown using methods that minimize the impact on the earth. (See our Blogs under Sustainable Farming, which discuss sustainable farming methods such as biodynamic agriculture – something practiced by many of our Farms).

5. Nourish Yourself
Much of the food found in the average grocery store is highly processed and grown using pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and genetic modification. Some of it has been irradiated, waxed, or gassed in transit. Many of these practices have negative effects on human health. In contrast, most food found at the Farmers Market is minimally processed, and many of our farmers go to great lengths to grow the most nutritious produce possible by using sustainable techniques, picking produce right before the market, and growing heirloom varieties. Just because it looks like an Apple doesn’t mean it is an Apple – in the nutritional sense. So make sure your “apple a day”, will “keep the Doc away”.

6. Discover the Spice of Life: Variety
One of the multitude of benefits coming to us via the Intuitive Forager, Kerry Clasby, is her abundant passion for – and knowledge of – untold varietals of produce. One of her goals has always been to share these with you, to introduce you to produce you may never have encountered before, and which is nutritious, delicious, and in-season. At the Farmers Markets you will find an amazing array of produce that you don’t see in your average supermarket: from uncommon roots like Burdock and Salsify, to a rainbow of Heirloom Tomatoes, from exotic greens like Puntarella and Stinging Nettles, to Green Garlic, Chocolate Persimmons, rare Mushrooms, and much, much more. It is a wonderful opportunity to savor the biodiversity of our planet.

7. Promote Humane Treatment of Animals
At the Farmers Markets, you can find meats, cheeses, and eggs from animals that have been raised without hormones or antibiotics, who have grazed on green grass and eaten natural diets, and who have been spared the cramped and unnatural living conditions of feedlots and cages that are typical of animal agriculture.

8. Know Where Your Food Comes From
A regular trip to a Farmers Markets is one of the best ways to connect with where your food comes from. Meeting and talking to Farmers and food Artisans is a great opportunity to learn more about how and where food is produced.

9. Learn Cooking Tips, Recipes, and Meal Ideas
Few grocery store cashiers or produce stockers will give you tips on how to cook the ingredients you buy, but our Intuitive Farmshop employees along with our Farmers and Artisans at the Farmers Markets are very often also passionate cooks with plenty of free advice about how to cook the foods they are selling. And almost every Saturday you can also attend our free Chef Demos or Talk & Taste series led by Top Vegas Area Chefs. These World Class Chefs often donate their time to both support the Farmers Market, as well the community at large because they are passionate about what they do and they are passionate about freshly foraged, family farmed, organic produce. So make sure you take advantage of these often opportunities! Visit our upcoming events page to see what’s coming up next.

10. Connect with Your Community
Wouldn’t you rather stroll amidst outdoor stalls of fresh produce on a sunny day than roll your cart around a grocery store with artificial lights and piped in music? Coming to the Farmers Market makes shopping a pleasure rather than a chore. The Farmers Market is a community hub—a place to meet up with your friends, bring your children, or just get a taste of small-town life in the midst of the bright and flashing neon lights of Las Vegas.

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Be Informed – Plant Diversity

#intuitive forager "be informed" "#beinformed" "global seed vault" "agriculture" "facts" "biodiversity"This fact came from an article we recently read on the GLOBAL SEED VAULT:

So much is, and has, disappeared that scientists felt it necessary to create the Global Seed Vault (aka the “Doomsday Vault”) on the northern archipelago of Norway, Svalbard. Here deep in the mountain, are the seeds of some 825,000 crop plants – and where, should the electricity ever fail, the temperatures are cold enough to preserve them for several decades. 825,000 may sound high, but consider that we’ve already lost some previous 75 percent over the past 100 years.
You can read more about Svalbard here:
http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20140401-the-worlds-most-endangered-food

Foraging into the Future – Further Future Recap

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The Intuitive Forager Farmers Market team was in full force at Further Future as we participated as one of this years food vendors – headed by Executive Chef Sonia El-Nawal – in addition to Kerry Clasby’s contribution as a Guest Speaker.

This past weekend’s Further Future Festival (which took place just north of us on the Moapa Indian Reservation), was not simply a “rave in the desert” but a gathering of innovators, tech moguls, scientists, spiritualists, and creatives – communing, sharing, and spreading an abundance of information and ideas on how we can all shape a more harmonious and sustainable future. The three day festival saw a variety of talks, including Sunday’s presentation given by Forager, Farmer and Ecologist and which represented another opportunity to demonstrate the power behind an informative movement – and thus “Be Informed.”

California Farmer Philip McGrath stunned the audience with facts about the amount of chemical infiltration allowed by USDA inspection –  which has gone from an initial allowable use of 30 (minimally adverse) chemicals for organic inspection to the present day 300 allowable chemicals for organic growing (and a whopping 3000 for commercial agriculture).

Hunter Francis, Director of The Center for Sustainability at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, inspired us to continually connect with all aspects of food, specifically the sacredness of soil and the emerging practice of Biodynamic Agriculture.

The Intuitive Forager, Kerry Clasby, hosted the panel with a definitive message that inner transformation is needed before any global shifts regarding a threatened food-shed can be solved. Her commitment to be the essence of the ‘tipping point’ was witnessed by many as she embodied the informant – the connector and influencer of “doing what’s right” by following our inner voice, Intuition – the ever present inner compass. Perfectly summed up in the final note – Know Thy Self – Know Thy Food!

From the front line at the Intuitive Forager Farmshop Cafe booth:

"further future" "intuitive forager" "las vegas" "vegas" "events" "music festivals" "festivals" "chef sonia el-nawal" "festival food" "food vendor" "farmshop" "cafe"Wow – what an experience this past weekend was out in the desert at Further Future !! With storms threatening to wash everyone out and doing their best to the dampen the weekend, we were super thankful to the many “still smiling” faces of the festival goers who came and ate with us – and to our amazing staff that continued non-stop for 4 days straight – and especially our Farmshop Cafe’s Executive Chef Sonia El-Nawal for curating the perfect menu for attendees and helping make it all happen!

Happy Earth Day 2016 – A Special Message

Celebrate Earth Day 2016!

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Earth Day is the perfect moment to not only celebrate our beautiful planet and all its wonderful life forms, but to recommit ourselves to making more knowledgeable and sustainable choices in our daily lives, and to lessening the impact of our ecological footprint.

When you start to look at the things you eat in terms of a continual partnership – with both your body and the planet around you – food moves from the category of a necessity to a companion in the transference of abundant energy and vitality.

Food that is developed with the use of chemicals and processing procedures (and then transferred thousands of miles loaded with even more chemicals in order to preserve it) may represent a certain number of calories, ingredients, and even a numerical nutrient value – but it is missing the biggest value of all – the inherent energy of all natural living things.

The energy that moves from the sun to the nutrients in the rich soil, from the stalks to the leaves of what we eat, and even back out into the air we breathe – this is the energy and cycle of life we should be allowing to participate in our bodies, growth, and minds.

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