Sunday, June 2, 2013

A Tale of Three Diets, by Robyn Cornwell

First, let's clarify the often misused term: diet. An individual's diet is a long term pattern of eating or general, daily approach to food. Diet refers to a lifestyle of food choices. It could be healthy, convenient, strict or relaxed, but however it is described, it is well known that one's diet has a definitive impact on overall health.

In 1983, upon noticing a marked tendency to retain fluid (swollen ankles) I was introduced to the vegetarian diet as proposed in the book "Fit for Life." Immediately, it made a difference, and I was convinced this was my future. To change my hard and fast habit of meat-eating, I bought all the vegetarian cookbooks that were available at the time, and subscribed to Bon Appetit magazine just to have the one vegetarian recipe in the back.

Then, while working in St. Louis in 2001, I discovered the raw food lifestyle. It made so much sense! For example, raw foods lower your pH and conserves those all-important enzymes. I went "whole carrot" and became 100% raw for a whole year. I felt fabulous - all my aches and pains vanished as the cleansing effects took hold.

Fast forward to a few months ago. Somewhere in the recesses of my mind I had heard about Dr. Westin A. Price. He was a dentist, who in 1920 decided to travel the world to examine the teeth and jaws of indigenous people's to compare them with those in the US. What he found was astonishing: People who ate only the foods found in nature had 1. No cavities and 2. Jaws wide enough to hold all their teeth, hence no crowding of teeth and cavities that we take for granted in the US.

In spite of raw food being very healthy for you, I had heard it results in dental problems. I was ready to hear more about the Weston A. Price eating lifestyle. So, I attended one of their conferences last February. This was yet another complete turn-around for me as they advocate eating meat! That is, meat with a caveat: It must be ORGANIC! Of course, that is only part of the story...

At our next CHARG! meeting, we welcome Ruth Ann Foster, a Westin A. Price Foundation Chapter leader from Greensboro to share more with us for What to eat? Rediscovering Truth in a World of Choice. Join us at 6pm on Thursday, June 6th at the Planetarium building of the Catawba Science Center in downtown Hickory's SALT block.

Here's a snippet from the talk:

"Before the advent of the food manufacturing industry, there were no nutritionists or dietitians, instinctively, we all knew what to eat! Today, we are bombarded with all sorts of confusing information and advice, from an endless number of "experts." How do we know what is right? More importantly, now what do we eat?

Learn how the food manufacturing industry has hijacked our health and threatens our futures, travel back in time to discover the foods that sustained our ancestors and kept them in vibrant health. Learn simplest eps to apply their dietary wisdom today."

Hope to see you there!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Pockerchicory Farms pork

Here's a great source for local pork! 

This farm is recommended by the permaculture group, We Are All Farmers 

Just letting folks know Pockerchicory Farms pork prices are finally set. Part of proceeds from this goes to support We Are All Farmers projects and lower cost or no cost workshops:

We offer a range of bulk and individually packaged options!!
Save $1.25 - $2.25 per pound if you order whole, half, or quarters!
Whole Hog: approximately 130 lbs meat, $6.75/lb = $877.50
Half Hog: approximately 65 lbs meat, $6.75/lb = $438.75
Quarter Hog: approximately 32 lbs meat, $7.25/lb = $232.00
A whole hog would come to:
(2) Boston Butt shoulder, approximately 4 - 3lb. roasts 
(2) Inner Tenderloins 
Loin Chops (about 23) OR (6 - 3lb.) tenderloin roasts 
(2 - 4 racks) Whole Rib Racks
Ham roasts or steaks - about 30 lbs
Pork belly/bacon, 15 lbs
(4) Shanks, about 8 lbs
Sausages/ground pork would come from shoulders and or hams plus jowls and trimmings
(4) packs, Liver, 3 lbs
(3) Leaf Lard, 3-4 lbs
If you order a whole or half hog it will be cut completely to order. If you order a quarter, we will give you cuts from all parts of the pig to make 32 lbs. Inner tenderloins will not be included since there are only two per hog and they go with the half or whole hogs.
Soup bones, kidneys and marrow bones come with the whole or half if you want them, but are not included in the charged weight.
Hog heads and other delicacy pieces also available. Inquire on pricing.

Save $.50 - $1.50 per pound when you order a family pack, depends on availability!
Family Pack  (Approx. 20 lbs)
6  Chops (3 pack of 2 each)
1  Roast: Shoulder or Fresh Ham  (approx 3.5 lb each)
4  Country Sausage (ground,1 lb each)
4  Bratwursts 1 lb each (will confirm availability soon)
4  Packs of Spare Ribs 1 lb each
1  Pack fresh bacon 1 lb each
Contains a variety of cuts totaling approximately 20 pounds of pork;  Approx. $150
Prices, Individual cuts, depending on availability
$ 8.00/lb Ground Pork
$ 6.50/lb Spare Ribs
$ 9.00/lb Shoulder Roast (bone in)
$ 9.00/lb Loin Roast (bone in)
$ 8.50/lb Pork Chops (1 per package)
$ 4.00/lb Leaf Fat
$ 3.75/lb Back Fat
$ 4.50/lb Organs (liver, heart, tongue, kidneys)
Pork Sausage
100% organic spices, natural sea salt, $ 8.50/lb (still checking possibility of organic mix)
Breakfast Sausage (bulk), $ 9.00/lb

Happy eating!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Local Business Highlight: Matlock's Used Parts

Here's a local contact for used car and truck parts. I hope that none of you need to shop here, unless you are building a robot or sculpture! Car repairs are no fun, but maybe knowing about Matlock's used parts will make it a little easier on the wallet!  

Matlock’s Used Parts
2681 Heart Drive
Claremont NC 28610
(828) 459-9010 
Business hours: Mon through Fri, 8:00 am– 5:00 pm

Features: Over 1 million used car & light truck parts 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Local Business Highlight: Resource Warehouse and Gallery

And now for a little something for our creative minds! Resource Warehouse is a great place to hunt for reclaimed materials at low prices. Their vision and goals are valiant and worth reading about on their website, but for today, we are just covering the basics. Everything they offer has been diverted from the urban waste stream, organized and made available for a creative eye to claim.

They also offer reskilling classes and have a workspace available for parties. They always have a special deal on something, of which I benefited greatly when hunting fabrics for our backyard Shakespeare play last fall. I scored a 50 gallon bag of upholstery scraps for just two dollars!

Resource Warehouse and Gallery
451 Eleventh St. NW
Hickory NC 28601
(828) 256-2695
Business hours: Tues – Sat 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Features: Furniture, fabric, books, glassware
(Also, consigned re-used crafts in gallery)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Permaculture thoughts by Robyn Cornwell


The following are excerpts from my notes at Permaculture Training in Portland, Oregon presented by Darren Doherty and Geoff Lawton of the Permaculture Institute in New South Wales, Australia. I hope it is helpful and spurs some curiosity.

·   Permaculture is about food; agriculture is about commodities.
·   Put ducks in a pond on high ground; when it overflows it fertigates your garden below. Fertigation: Mixture of fertilizer with water. See book: The Power of Duck.
·   The east coast of the US is the most difficult place to design for because it has arctic winters and tropical summers with humidity. You would need two structures to be sustainable. The most sustainable building material is what is locally available – clay!
·   The key line is the valley between the convex and concave part of the hill. Build a dam below the key line and build swales on contour. Terracing is the same as contour without the key line.
·   Look at the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map and compare it with other countries with the same climate to see plants you can grow here.
·   Interrow Planting: Alternate fast-growing and slow-growing species. The fast one creates light competition and forces the slow one to grow more.
·   NFT: Nitrogen-fixing trees: Alder and Douglas (
·   Interplanting: In drier conditions, plant closer together, which protects from frost.
·   Grasslands (prairie) grow carbon faster than trees on the planet. The US has the greatest potential.
·   Don’t pull weeds – cut them at the base and leave the roots in, which create humus.
·   Weeds are fast carbon pathways that repair damaged land.
·   Organics is passé. Soil creation is the most important (Ecosystemic).
·   The US averages 200 tons of soil loss per year going into the ocean. This is how we nearly lost the Earth and life. All global warming is linked to it.
·   It takes nature 5,000 years to build 1” of topsoil, Yeoman can build 3” of topsoil in one year (see P. A. Yeomans at the site).
·   A sustainable system produces more energy than it consumes (with surplus to maintain its system) over its lifetime.
·   Earth will not be sustainable in our lifetimes. We are cheating time using gas that equals 1,000 years of sun in the forest without using real time. If we can’t learn to live in real time we are gone. We don’t need 300 horses per person; we need one horse for 100 people.
·   Moderate climate with:
Rocks: They offer thermal mass
Water: It offers thermal mass and reflection
Color:  White walls to cool, black tank to warm inside water.
·   Plant according to orientation:
Windy side: Bamboo
West: Hot plants; Black locust, bay laurel, chestnut, fig, kiwi (male and female), reflective leaves
East: Chestnut (grow very big)
North: Olive (only fruits when under stress), tall poplars. Make a mirror image of the sun’s arc on the north side with plants and tree heights.
For more fantastic information on permaculture see:
-Robyn Cornwell

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Local Business Highlight: City Shoe Repair

Morning everyone!  This week's local business highlight is one of my favorite little repair shops! City Shoe Repair and Cobbler shop in Hickory. It's on a one way street, so you have to drive around the block depending on your approach, but it's so worth it to be able to get a little more life out of a pair of boots or shoes!

Also, they were very helpful when my six year old needed custom straps for her little red accordion. It's a rare instrument these days, particularly for such a little person, and the shortest straps I could find still required a few more notches and some excess cut off.

It's always nice to know someone with heavy duty leather and fabric tools!

City Shoe Repair / Cobbler Shop
291 1st. Ave. SE
Hickory NC 28602
(828) 324-0871
Business hours: Mon – Fri 8:30 am – 6:00 pm, Sat 9:00 am – 3:00 pm

Features: Repairing footwear, luggage, zipper, handbag

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

CHARG! group logo

It is with great pleasure that I share with you the new logo for our Community Health and Wellness group: CHARG! 

CHARG! stands for Community Health And Resource Group. This group is meeting on the second Thursday of each month at the Catawba Science Center Special Events meeting room in the Planetarium/Aquarium building at 6pm.

Attendees include local farmers, holistic practitioners, nutritionists, nurses, massage therapists, local health food store owners, curious residents and more. The group is enjoying getting to know others in the area with like minded interest in supporting health and wellness by advocating healthy lifestyles, quality foods and natural approaches to dealing with illness and ailments.

As their first outreach to the community, the CHARG! group has rallied around the idea of the Bucket Garden with John Elian from The Fisherman's Garden in Lenoir. Together they will be teaching a Bucket Garden Workshop at the Catawba Science Center this Saturday and giving away 25 to 30 completed buckets of greens! 

Here's to the health of the Foothills!