Archives for December 2013

  • Eat Seasonally: Sprouts | 12.25.2013

    sprouts Sprouts are that rare superfood that hits the sweet spot between flavor and nutrition. In addition to classic alfalfa sprouts, look for zesty radish, peppery broccoli or savory onion sprouts, as well as crisp and crunchy mung bean sprouts.

    At Good Earth Market, local producer The Growing Business, owned by Daphne Zortman, provides us these delicious greens. Daphne started growing sprouts with her sister back in 1984, and she’s still the type of person who likes to get in there and get her hands dirty. She enjoys eating her own sprouts and is convinced of their powerful health benefits. “They’re a powerhouse of nutrients,” she exclaims, adding that her sprouts are very natural, too, being grown in well water and then cleaned – there’s very little processing that goes on.

    It’s hard to improve on the classic sandwich combo of turkey, avocado and sprouts, but how about radish sprouts, fresh goat cheese, and tomato on multigrain bread? Or onion sprouts, cream cheese and cucumber on rye? Sprouts go beyond sandwiches, too – use mild-flavored mung bean sprouts to garnish everything from stir-fries to soups.


    Quick Vegetable Bibimbap
    This recipe is a delicious signature Korean dish, literally meaning “mixed rice”.
    Serves 6, ready in 1 hour


    • 1 cup uncooked medium-grain brown rice
    • 1 tsp sesame oil
    • 1 tsp vegetable oil
    • 1 c. carrots, cut into matchsticks
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 c. zucchini, cut into matchsticks
    • ¼ lb button mushrooms, thickly sliced
    • 6 oz fresh spinach
    • 4 green onions, sliced
    • ½ lb baked or fried tofu, cut into 1-2 inch squares
    • 1 c. cucumber, cut into matchsticks
    • 2 oz mung bean sprouts
    • Pinch of salt
    • Pinch of ground black pepper
    • 6 large eggs


    • ¼ c. hot sauce (Gochujang, Sriracha or other hot chili paste)2 tsp tamari
    • 1 T. water
    • 1 tsp. sugar
    • 1 tsp. rice vinegar
    • ½ tsp sesame seeds

    Start cooking the rice according to package directions. In a small bowl, mix together all sauce ingredients. Set aside.
    In a wok or large skillet, heat the sesame and vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add carrots and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add garlic, zucchini, and mushrooms and stir-fry for another 2-3 minutes. Add spinach, and stir-fry just until it’s wilted and tender (about a minute). Remove from heat and toss the vegetables with the tofu, cucumber, bean sprouts, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside vegetables, and fry 6 eggs over easy.
    To serve, place a scoop of rice in each bowl, top with some stir-fried vegetables, place a cooked egg on top, and garnish with sliced green onions. Serve the sauce on the side for drizzling.

    Reprinted by permission from  Find articles about your food and where it comes from, recipes, and a whole lot more at

  • Montana Heritage Orchard Program | 12.24.2013

     Montana Heritage OrchardWhen you think of states known for their fruit production, Montana is probably last on the list. However, parts of Montana have a rich history of fruit production including apples, pears, apricots, plums and cherries. Historically, orchards were planted throughout Montana by orchardists and homesteaders just trying to make a living. Although the orchardists and homesteaders may be gone, many of those orchards may still be intact today. Montana State University Extension is working across the state to identify and preserve those heritage orchards that still exist.

    One of the first things many homesteaders did after moving west and settling their land was to plant fruit trees. At that time produce did not ship well and was often very expensive. Therefore, eating locally was most likely their only option. If they didn’t grow it, they didn’t eat it.  Because of their value, fruit trees and small orchards used to be a prized component of many farms, ranches and communities. There are still remnants of these successful fruit trees and orchards scattered around the state, hidden in little sanctuaries located off the beaten path.  Some of these orchards hold prized trees of many old cultivars that may be over 100 years old and still producing.  Imagine what we can learn from these heritage orchards, and how they can assist us in rebuilding localized fruit production across the state.

    The first step in preserving these orchards is locating them and giving them the recognition they deserve.  This is where we need your help.  Do you know of a heritage orchard or old fruit trees in your neighborhood or county?

    What constitutes an orchard to be designated as a “Heritage Orchard”?
    There are two Heritage Orchard categories, “Backyard Orchards” and “Farmstead Orchards.” To be considered for a Backyard Heritage Orchard, there must be at least 6 living trees that are 50 years or older. To be considered a Farmstead Heritage Orchard, there must be at least 10 living trees that are at least 50 years old.  If the original planting date is unknown, contact your local MSU County or Reservation Extension Agent for assistance.

    How does the landowner benefit from being recognized as a “Heritage Orchard” location?
    Each landowner will receive a sign designating it as a Montana Heritage Orchard.  The sign will also include the names of the owners, the original planting date, program sponsors, and the web site address where the map of all the Heritage Orchards can be found.  If the landowner chooses, they may participate in the Heritage Orchard tourism efforts, giving them a chance to earn some revenue from the tourist traffic.  If the landowner agrees and wants to participate in propagating the trees, the owner will receive a portion of the grafted trees, and a portion of any revenue that may be associated with it.  MSU Extension will work closely with each orchard location on all aspects of the project.

    How do I get my orchard recognized?
    Contact your local MSU County or Reservation Extension Agent, and give them the information on the orchard.  For a list of all the County Extension Offices and their contact information, visit this web site, The Extension Agent will then send the information to the program administrator who will follow up with each location.

    If the orchard is a suitable Heritage Orchard candidate, the location will be placed on an interactive map administered through MSU Extension.   While on the website, a map user will be able to click on each location and read about the history of each orchard location.  It will also include a list of all the identifiable cultivars at each location.  MSU Extension will work closely with each landowner to preserve the existing trees, and propagate offspring for future generations to enjoy.

    Finally, in addition to recognition, preservation and propagation, the project will work to foster agro-tourism around these orchards.  Agro-tourism is a growing segment of our State’s economy and there is a prevailing interest among tourists to get off the beaten path and visit rural areas of the state.  The Montana Heritage Orchard Program will help encourage the public to visit these orchards, thus contributing to rural economies.

    Extension Agent’s Involvement – Options
    The Extension Agents can have as much or as little involvement in the project as they desire. Depending on the agent’s interest or available time, they can pick their level of involvement in the project.

    • Option 1 – Little to no involvement – send all Heritage Orchard correspondents directly to Toby Day, Horticulture Specialist or Brent Sarchet, Lewis and Clark County Extension Agent and they will be responsible for the follow up.
    • Option 2 – Contributor – flexible based upon the agent’s expertise or interest. The local agent could follow up with each location in their county verifying the number of trees, health of tress, cultivars if known, planting date, etc, and then pass on that information to Toby or Brent.
    • Option 3 – Partner – the local agent could be involved in all aspects from site visits, and research on the history of the orchard, to assisting the owners with tree health and propagation.  If you have a passion for fruit trees and want to be involved in the project on a state-wide basis, contact Toby or Brent.


    For additional information contact:
    Brent Sarchet, MSU/Lewis & Clark County Extension Agent


    Toby Day, MSU Extension Horticulture Specialist




  • Goals for a More Vital 2014 | 12.22.2013

    Dolly, GEM's Wellness Manager#1 – Build your muscles. Weight lifting and resistance training strengthen muscles, which support bones and joints. For women, it’s crucial for preventing muscle and bone loss with age. Exercising also makes your heart muscle strong (*very important!). Being strong makes daily tasks easier and more enjoyable!

    #2 – Swap it out. Trade your desk chair for a stability ball. Watch your core strength and posture improve!

    #3Eat at least two fish meals per week. The evidence is strong that the oils in darker types of fish, such as salmon, tuna, mackerel and herring, are beneficial for the heart and brain and may even lower risk of cancer.

    #4 – Drink water. Drink an 8-ounce glass of water as soon as you wake up in the morning to rev up your metabolism. Stay hydrated throughout the day! Drinking water can curb the urge to snack mindlessly, especially if you are not truly hungry.

    #5 – Play more. Get a dog, get moving, get up and DO something. Use a pedometer, set a goal for 10,000 steps in a day! Spend time outside. Don’t go without the mood-lifting benefits of sunshine and fresh air!

    #6 – Take up a new hobby. Find an activity that fulfills your passion. Take a class, learn a new skill. Challenge yourself! You can do it!

    #7 – Eat breakfast. Eat small meals every 3-4 hours, include lean protein, healthy fats, and cut out the sugar. This will keep your energy up, and eliminate hunger pangs, especially in the evening.

    #8 – Increase protein & fiber in your daily regime. Make smart food swaps such as turkey for beef, a green salad for starchy peas and corn, whole grains for white processed breads.

    #9 – Add more veggies to your meals. Nutrient-dense options include leafy greens, kale, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, radish, bean sprouts, peppers, turnips, carrots, cauliflower, artichoke, tomato, onion, and garlic.

    #10 – Stop making excuses.  Say YES more often. Try new things!

    #11 – Take your vitamins! It’s difficult to get all you need from the food you eat. Choosing a great multi-vitamin can make a difference

    #12 – Read the labels. Know what’s in your food. Can’t pronounce it? Look it up! Be aware of what goes into your body; be an intentional consumer.

    #13 – Sleep. All healing requires extra sleep.  During the day, one primarily uses the sympathetic nervous system, associated with spending energy and tearing down the body.  This is balanced by the parasympathetic system, associated with rest, nurturing and regeneration of body tissues.  This is equally important and takes place when one is resting.  One may call it maintenance or repair time.

    Written by Dolly Fansler, GEM’s Wellness Manager

  • Book Spotlight: Humans of New York | 12.06.2013


    Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton
    Member Price – $21.99
    Reg. $29.99
    SAVE $8

    Based on the blog with more than a million loyal fans, a beautiful, heartfelt, funny, and inspiring collection of photographs and stories capturing the spirit of a city

    In the summer of 2010, photographer Brandon Stanton set out on an ambitious project: to single-handedly create a photographic census of New York City.  Armed with his camera, he began crisscrossing the city, covering thousands of miles on foot, all in an attempt to capture New Yorkers and their stories.  The result of these efforts was a vibrant blog he called “Humans of New York,” in which his photos were featured alongside quotes and anecdotes.

    The blog has steadily grown, now boasting more than a million devoted followers.  Humans of New York is the book inspired by the blog.  With four hundred color photos, including exclusive portraits and all-new stories, Humans of New York is a stunning collection of images that showcases the outsized personalities of New York.

    Surprising and moving, printed in a beautiful full-color, hardbound edition, Humans of New York is a celebration of individuality and a tribute to the spirit of the city.

    With 400 full-color photos and a distinctive vellum jacket