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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

Happy New Year – Resolutions and More…

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“Resolute” to a Fresh, Healthy, Sustainable – and Delicious – Way of Eating!

Even though New Years arrives around the beginning of Winter – Mother Natures period of death and decline – the marking of the first day of the Calendar year is a universal and symbolic time of new beginnings, fresh starts, and those (often abandoned) New Years Resolutions. So whether you are challenging yourself with said Resolutions, or simply “Re-Solutioning” last years with renewed vigor and dedication, we ask you to join us in our own continual and resolute determination to spread the word on healthy and sustainable eating, and to both support buying local and the growing Farm-to-Table movement at large (and if you haven’t check out our list of Top Ten Reasons to shop the Farmers Markets).

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More and more people are making increasingly conscientious choices about what they eat: where it comes from, how it’s grown, and how both of those effect the big picture (in terms of sustainability, carbon footprint etc.) – as well as recognizing different produce for its intrinsic energetic and nutrient value.

 

We can’t just eat to eat – to feed our stomachs. We need to feed our blood, our bones, our hearts, our skin and eyes and hair – our brains – every little atom of our body is made to be fueled and work in symbiosis with Earth’s abundant varieties of natural food sources.

 

"intuitive forager" "farmers markets" "downtown summerlin" "las vegas” “farm to table” “fresh produce” “support small farms” “support local” “farmers market” “organic” “non gmo” “farms” “organic farms” “small farms” “independent farmers” "kerry clasby"With Kerry Clasby’s creation of the Farmers Markets here in Las Vegas, she has given the Intuitive Forager family (and by family, we mean You too!) an opportunity to spread not only this message of symbiotic and healthy eating, of mouth-watering organic flavors  and sustainable and ethic farming practices – but also one of communal support. The Markets are a gathering place for not only Chefs and Foodies, for Vegans, Vegetarians, and Carnivores alike, but also for those wanting to support those living around them – like the artisanal farmers and craftspeople who may struggle against the grain in order to provide something that is unique and sustainable.

"intuitive forager" "farmers markets" "downtown summerlin" "las vegas” “farm to table” “fresh produce” “support small farms” “support local” “farmers market” “organic” “non gmo” “farms” “organic farms” “small farms” “independent farmers”It’s meant to be a place of health and happiness, of caring and sharing, a place to not only nourish yourself, but your community around you – and yes – a place of fresh produce – fruits and vegetables ripe with energy and vitality – made not to simply fill your stomach, but to delight your taste buds and join your body in a harmonious dance of energetic creation!

From all of us at the Intuitive Forager Farmers Markets, and from the Intuitive Forager herself, Kerry Clasby, we wish you a healthy, happy, and hope-filled New Year!!

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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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Getting “Biodynamically Correct” on the Farm at Malibu

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"intuitive forager" "farmers markets" "Malibu” “California” “socal” “farm to table” “fresh produce” “support small farms” “support local” “farmers market” “organic” “non gmo” “farms” “organic farms” “small farms” “independent farmers” “vital zuman” “vital zuman organic farm” “Kerry clasby” “biodynamic farming” “biodynamic agriculture” “the intuitive forager” “intuitive forager farmstand”Two of the major factors that influence this type of soil cultivation come in the form of what is both used and not used in the soil: chemical pesticides and fertilizers are not used in Biodynamic Agriculture – disease and insect control are instead addressed through botanical species diversity, predator habitat, as well as balanced crop nutrition. Secondly, livestock manure and special compost preparations are a huge part of the whole farm integration – and most especially the treatment/fertilization of the soil. These compost preparations also employ herbs which are frequently used in medicinal remedies.

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So what does all this mean when applied to our own efforts on the farm and the produce being grown there?

Some of the best tasting produce will be harvested from the Farm at Malibu because of its roots – the soil is where flavor and nutrition start.

With growing fields started ‘the right way’ over 100 years ago, the rich soil at the farm has been disked and harvested over and over – with decomposed matter tilled back into the land – and experienced decades of diverse cover cropping systems, microbiological drenches, and aged nutritional mulches churned into soil microbes (those little ‘fellas’ that cycle nutrients into the earth and make this farm ‘golden’) – all creating legitimate healthy biodynamic soil.

This means we’ll be getting our richest, most nutrient dense, and flavorful crops out of the fields on the Farm at Malibu (as well as preserving and recycling the fields for future crops, additional rotation, and biodiversity).

Meet Chubs and Jorge – “Biodynamically” Modern Foragers

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Chubs and Jorge, the first poultry residents on the Farm in Malibu, are chickens on the forefront of Biodynamic Farming techniques – including that of Managed Rotational or Intensive Grazing – a way or reproducing a more natural “Foraging” effect of chicken and land. Left to their own devices in the wild, foraging animals will continually move around in order to avoid predators, and thus also creates a natural cycle, or recycle of the land they forage upon. Chubs and Jorge enjoy a portion of their time in their usual yard and coup area as well as part of their days “free-ranging” in an area designated by this moveable cage, allowing them access to fresh areas under a constant rotation.

Many Biodynamic farms currently use a rotation of livestock and chickens to eat down a certain portion of the grassland, trample another portion, and finally leave the last portion for regrowth. This enhances grass re-growth, prevents overgrazing of their favorites grasses and finally, the trampling of the grasses feeds the earth worms and microbes while slowly converting it to the precious humus that ultimately creates our top soil.

Operating in this way, Chubs and Jorge become a lot more than just egg producers, they act as part Weeder and Insect Patrol (they love some of your not so favorite pests like snails), part Garbage Disposal, part pollution-free Rototiller (as their natural proclivity to scratch, dig, and peck at their terrain is the perfect way to turn over the soil in your garden bed) and help contribute to your own brand of Organic Fertilizer (chicken manure is very rich in nitrogen and when mixed with other components such as fall leaves or pine needles, along with your spring grass clippings creates a nutrient rich compost much more economical than buying the prepackaged version).

So what does all this mean for the farm and its produce you may come to consume? In addition to happier animals (and plants), it means less waste both physically and energetically, and thus more sustainable farming practices – and more nutrients and vitality for you.

The Farm at Malibu – an Intuitive Forager joint Project

Many of you may have noticed recent posts on our social media featuring a farm in Malibu – which resulted in a slew of questions about Kerry Clasby’s latest project – so please read on below to learn more about just what is going on over on the California Coast:)

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Vital Zuman Organic Farm located in Malibu, California, was once known as Fig Tree Ranch, a nickname given to it nearly 50 years ago after George and Alice Cunningham planted a slew of Fig Trees for erosion control. It was serendipity as a necessity turned into the farms most coveted item – and area locals still praise the farm and its fruit: “this is the place I have been coming to since 1986 to buy the best figs around, and to get a fix of farm life in the metropolis.”

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The Intuitive Forager, Kerry Clasby, overseeing the restoration of the farm land

This fertile land has seen many a vision come and go since its hay day during the Cunningham’s active farming of the land – including a variety of farm produce in addition to its famed fig harvests. The Cunningham’s son Alan even blessed the land by calling the farm “Vital Zuman” which takes its name from the Chumash word, “Zuma”, which means “abundance”.

And abundance it returns to as the trio of Alan, Kerry, and land owner Shelly Sterling come together to curate the farm and fig orchard back to its original state. Now called the Malibu Fig Ranch, lead by the vision of the Intuitive Forager, will be hosting a Farmstand featuring produce grown on the land including (in addition to Figs) Mulberries, Wild Radish, and even New Zealand Water Spinach!

Look for more additions and continuing updates on the Farm at Malibu on our Facebook pages (including The Intuitive Forager, The Intuitive Forager Farmers Markets, and the new Intuitive Forager Farmstand at Malibu).

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!

Meet the Farmers – Oya Farms

Our Cilantro comes to us from Oya Farms – the perfect example of the small family farm trying to make a difference in the way we as country grow and consume. A few years ago Marsha Sayuri Habib and Modesto Sanchez Cruz made a decision to chance everything and make a go at organic farming on their 15 acres of certified organic land in Hollister, California.

Bringing a youthful mix of agro/ecological and traditional knowledge, they also collaborate with several other neighboring small organic farmers who inspire and support them with both equipment and knowledge. They share the besting produce with friends and chefs, famers markets and even host twilight raw veggie picnics with our dedicated foragers.

Oya Farms uses sustainable, organic practices to grow a little bit of everything: many varieties of tomatoes, peppers, corn, beans, squash, cucumbers, lettuces, leafy greens, root crops, herbs, flowers, melons, strawberries, and pasture raised hen eggs – and our favorite Cilantro!

By shopping at the Intuitive Foragers Farmers Markets you become patrons of young farmers such as Martha and Modesto – and aid in a much needed global paradigm shift to a more sustainable, connected, and healthy future for us all.

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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