Archives for January 2016

  • Meet our New Grocery Manager: Tom Parks | 01.28.2016

    Tom ParksI would like to start by introducing myself – my name is Tom Parks and I am the new grocery manager at Good Earth Market. I know I have some big shoes to fill following Pam, who has taken over the produce manager position. A few words about my background, I am a longtime resident of Laurel. My past experience includes work as a buyer for various industries, as well as both wholesale and retail sales. I have also spent quite a bit of time in the agricultural field across Montana. My agriculture background gives me a huge appreciation for the mission of Good Earth Market in providing sustainable, local and environmentally friendly products in a co-op structure.

    I’m excited to be a member of an awesome group of employees and I look forward to meeting and getting acquainted with each of you as you shop. Please, make a point of introducing yourself when you are in the store.

    Tom Parks & Cassie M. at GEM

    Tom, Grocery Manager, & Cassie (Cashier & Grocery Clerk) are working hard to keep our shelves full with your favorite products!

  • Melatonin & Children | 01.04.2016

    sleeping-baby-1504680-638x468I have asked myself many times whether to use melatonin with children in a clinical setting. Many times, lifestyle and dietary changes make such an impact on sleep that supplements may not be necessary. For children and adults, a bedtime routine is a very important step in sleep hygiene. A bedtime routine sets the stage for sleep. Finding a pattern that best fits your family can be a challenge, but this could include: brushing teeth, story time, sleepy time tea, followed by an appropriate bedtime.

    Other general sleep guidelines include:
    – Decreasing mental activity after dinner (including computer and television).
    – Avoiding caffeine after lunch.
    – Keeping the bedroom quiet and dark while sleeping.
    – Dealing with anxieties & worries before bed.
    – Taking a hot bath with Epsom salts or essential oils.
    – Avoiding large snacks or meals before bed.

    The list could go on and on, but if the night time ritual is not working, is there another option? Is there a way to work with the body’s natural ability to fall asleep versus causing a drugged sleep? The answer is “yes”, based on current research, melatonin can play a role in the sleep puzzle.

    What is melatonin?
    Melatonin is a hormone made in the pineal gland in the brain. When melatonin function is healthy, it is released in a pulse-like pattern throughout the day; lower in the morning and higher at night. Melatonin works as our internal clock; it changes with the season based on light cycles. As we age, melatonin levels begin to decrease. Melatonin levels are highest in infancy and drop in the adolescent and elderly age groups.

    Melatonin has been found to be safe for long term use in children. Based on a large Dutch study, there was found to be no statistically significant pubertal change between the group taking melatonin and a matched group of the same age and sex. On average, melatonin had been taken for three years at an average dose of 2.69mg. Other long range studies have also been published showing the safety of melatonin in children.

    So how does melatonin work?
    Melatonin works in children with delayed onset of sleep. This means that some children likely have a dim light onset melatonin (DLOM) occurring later than other children who fall asleep easily at bed time. Melatonin has been shown to move the DLOM earlier when it is taken 1-2 hours before bedtime. At the recommended dosage, minimal side effects were seen. The most common side effects seem to be headache and grogginess.

    For children with delayed onset of sleep and night awakenings, melatonin may be a great option when given under the supervision of a physician. Taken at appropriate times, it can support the body’s ability to make melatonin earlier and help the body fall asleep easily and at an appropriate time.

    Dr. Rachel DayRachel Day N.D., is a family practice physician at Yellowstone Naturopathic Clinic. She can be reached at (406) 259-5096. Learn more at



  • Local Producer Spotlight: White Deer Ranch | 01.01.2016

    White Deer Ranch


    Lee and Roxanne, the owners, during a farm tour 2015. Photo credit Casey Paige, Billings Gazette.

    Lee and Roxanne , the Owners of White Deer Ranch, believe that if they take care of the earthworms and the honeybees with proper earth stewardship, everything else will thrive. They grow micro-greens in their historic ranch building converted to a greenhouse. Pick up these highly nutritious and tasty plants at the Good Earth Market in the produce section in 2.5 oz clamshells. Micros can be used in salads, smoothies, topping your favorite dish savory dish. A fantastic ingredient in pesto, dips, stews and more! Its fresh and its local!!

    What is is? A microgreen is a tiny vegetable green that is used both as a visual and flavor component or ingredient primarily in fine dining restaurants. Fine dining chefs use microgreens to enhance the beauty, taste and freshness of their dishes with their delicate textures and distinctive flavors. Smaller than “baby greens” and harvested later than “sprouts” microgreens can provide a variety of leaf flavors, such as sweet and spicy. They are also known for their various colors and textures. Among upscale markets, they are now considered a specialty genre of greens that are good for garnishing salads, soups, plates, and sandwiches.

    Edible young greens and grains are produced from various kinds of vegetables, herbs or other plants. They range in size from 1” to 3” including the stem and leaves. A microgreen has a single central stem which has been cut just above the soil line during harvesting. It has fully developed cotyledon leaves and usually has one pair of very small, partially developed true leaves. The average crop-time for most microgreens is 10–14 days from seeding to harvest.

    Lee and Roxanne invite you to come visit them at their ranch/farm, which is organic certified for hay, pasture and foraged plants, to learn more about the animal systems that integrate with farming and ranching systems to renovate and regenerate the land. You can buy free range eggs, microgreens, dried herbs, mushrooms, Roxanne’s natural creams and potions and MORE at the Farm Stand located on the porch of the Yellow House where they live.

    Schedule a tour for individuals or for groups. The tours are very affordable and might include all or any of these topics, a demonstration or a classroom setting and can be set up to suit different age groups and interest levels. Fun sights to see anytime of year are the microgreen production in the greenhouse, beehouse, pastured pigs, mobile chicken coop, dwarf goats, Jersey/Angus cross cattle and the farm store.  They often include some refreshments or tastings of their homegrown goodies.

    This is agricultural tourism in motion! See how we experience a back-to-the-land approach to vacationing, which is authentic, relaxing and educational. Two different rental houses to choose from that fit many family sizes or couples.

    Contact them and learn more through Facebook or their website.


    Known in Turkey as cacik, this garlicky mixture of green vegetables, fresh herbs and yogurt can be served as a salad or as a dip with pita and raw vegetables.  Traditionally, cacik is made with a number of vegetables, including cucumbers, cabbage and beets.

    2.5 oz. clamshell of sunflower microgreens
    1 garlic clove, minced
    1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried
    3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried
    1 tablespoon fresh chopped mint or 1 teaspoon dried
    2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
    1 cup thick greek style yogurt
    1/4 cup chopped fresh scallions (optional)

    Combine all ingredients in a food processor and use short bursts to chop the sunflower into small bits and to mix the ingredients together.  To prepare without a processor, chop all ingredients finely and mix together.  Refrigeration only makes the flavors combine better, so make a double batch and save it in a lidded jar in the refrigerator.


    This is the inside of the beehouse. One of the many features of White Deer Ranch. Photo credit: Tracy Konoske, visitor.


    China the Meishan Sow is a pastured pig living her life as nature intended loving being a pig. Photo credit: Roxanne Dunn.


    The goats are really friendly and love petting. Photo credit: Alexis Brill, visitor.


    Lee explains the benefits of the behooves to a tour participant in 2015. Photo credit: Tracy Konoske, visitor.