What's With the Name?
America's Food & Health Crisis
Our Food Supply Madness
Factors Affecting Food's Nutrition
Small Farm Economics
10 Year Plan
What does the name NECY stand for?
I am glad you asked! NECY tells you right away what I am trying to achieve here… Nutrition, Education, Community & Youth…
Nutrition: At the heart of any food farm is feeding people… that is always mission #1. To provide a nutritionally superior product at a competitive price. Sometimes it means amending soils, sometimes it means a different crop variety or cultivar, sometimes it means handling or storing harvested products differently. In the case of livestock or poultry, it usually also means feeding them more nutritionally dense food. It ALWAYS means getting it to market/consumers straightway!
Education: What are the most nutritionally dense foods?
There is so much to know about food! Nutrition, flavor, taste, storage, preparation, cooking, holding times, use of leftovers… How can you improve the nutrition density of the foods you already love? How can you broaden your tastes and do better nutritionally?
Just one example: Have you ever tried or thought about kohlrabi? It's loaded with fiber, a cup serving has 140% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C, is also a good source of Thiamin, Folate, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Vitamin B6, Potassium, Copper and Manganese.22 Its antioxidant content makes it a powerful weapon against inflammation and diabetes23 and like other brassica vegetables (think: cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, etc.) it can be enjoyed raw (think finger foods) or cooked. A serving of air-fried kohlrabi fries has 20 calories, 0 grams of fat and 5 grams of carbs vs. a small McDonald's fries at 230 calories, 11 grams of fat and 29 carbs. Just substituting kohlrabi fries once weekly will have your teenager 15 lbs. lighter after 5 years, and what teenager ever eats just a small fry?
Does your teen have an eating disorder? 20 Calories is easy to swallow, literally. Over time I hope to significantly improve your family's nutrition, food enjoyment, and bottom line.
Community: A gentle sense of feeling we're in this together, your second or 3rd 'happy place', your 'year round' summer camp experience…
People need family outlets.. a place where you can go and find a safe and affirming decompression zone, and a safe/fun meeting place no matter how large the family has grown.
Growing up in Quebec my Uncle Howard and Aunt Florence owned a family farm just outside Sherbrooke. There was a big old pine tree in the yard, and I fondly remember my entire extended family sitting in lawn chairs near the tree. Sandy, an amiable golden retriever, would share his 'man's best friend' status with all… and a big meal would ensue, full of farm fresh ingredients, lovingly cooked on a gargantuan wood stove. The dining room was too small to fit everyone, but the laughter that frequently punctuated every room illustrated that everyone genuinely was having fun together.
Uncle Howard and the farm have been gone for many years and so too the happy family gatherings. The family has spread across Canada and the USA… Cousins have had children and grandchildren. Almost all of the generation above me is gone, and now when I see extended family, it's a brief hurried event organized around a funeral.
All of my adult life I have wanted to recreate the sense of community there was on the farm… and more than ever, to create one that can be your happy memories also.
Youth: Nothing is more precious than the laughter of a child.
Arriving in the USA at age 12, I first lived in East Haven, VT. Then a small town of 130 people, life was simple. Our roof antenna received 3 TV channels (plus a French-speaking channel) and our radios received perhaps 5-7 radio stations. I hiked alone in the nearby woods, drinking from any brook, wandering absent of any fear of being snatched. Hunger, poison ivy and disorientation were my only foes. I never saw a bear, and never got so lost I couldn't find my way home. I read lots of books. There were scores of titles but the only ones I remember were the Hardy Boys series.
Two years later on July 20th, 1969, like a half billion people around the planet, I watched the grainy black and white images broadcast from Tranquility Base, where Neil Armstrong dismounted lunar module Eagle to take mankind's first steps on the moon. It was a GREAT moment!
Sadly, today's youth live in a vastly different world. I fear that the majority of kids today are traumatized in varying degrees by the challenges facing their generation. They are over diagnosed, over medicated, over stimulated, peer threatened, sleep deprived, digitally dependent, socially interdependent and prematurely peer funneled into adulthood. For many their physical activity has atrophied, and natural curiosities have been blunted, stunted or abandoned in the pursuit of video game mastery or social connectivity. They need emotionally and physically safe places to be just kids even if it's a few hours' stretch at a time.
We'll do all we can to cultivate and/or awaken their age appropriate childhoods, nurture their curiosity and heighten their appreciation of healthy food, a healthy lifestyle, animals and the great outdoors.