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Books Over Movies

I finally gave in to the nagging of my Netflix queue and watched the movie Forks Over Knives.  I did so dutifully and at times enthusiastically.  I nodded in agreement with certain parts, offered my own commentary to the talking heads and gasped in awe at some of the statistics.  When it was over I expected to feel inspired.  What I felt instead was a little dismayed.  I kept thinking “I don’t want to be sick.  I want to be healthy!  Do I have to be vegan?”  I am not a vegan, though I do admire those who are.  If you are anything like me and these types of questions plague you too, let me cheerfully recommend the BOOK Forks Over Knives.
Foremost, it is a cookbook with over 100 mouth watering recipes.  There is a list of handy kitchen tools that make quick work of all the fruits and veggies you’ll be making into masterpieces.  There is even a conversion chart in the back.  The recipes range from the most basic like Steamed Veggies with Brown Rice (pg. 137) to the new and intriguing like Green Pea Guacamole (pg. 74).  Interspersed are short biographies of the doctors, their patients, and other folks who support this way of eating.  
Notice I didn’t call it a diet.  When I think of a diet, I think of all the things I can’t eat.  This is a way of eating that reminds me of the abundance and variety of all the things I can eat!  By and large the message is that we shouldn’t worry about eating a particular food to get enough of a particular nutrient.  If we focus on eating a variety of foods, and not using animal products as the foundation, we will be exposing ourselves to all the nutrients we need.  
So vegans, vegetarians and the rest of us can take heart – health is attainable and it tastes so good! 
  Looking for more plant-based culinary inspiration?  Check out Fields of Greens.  Based on recipes from the Greens Restaurant in San Francisco, it is a treasure trove of vegetarian dishes. 

McKenzie River Organic Farm

The Kiva has long been a supporter of local farms.  When McKenzie River Organic Farm approached us a while back about carrying their delicious organic blueberries year round in our freezers, we jumped at the opportunity.  Today we carry other fresh produce from the farm as well as blueberries, when seasonally available. Local business liason Tom and produce buyer Lauren recently visited the farm, and they brought back some great pictures and information to share with you.

The McKenzie River Farm was originally planted in 1952. 16 years ago, when Douglass Moser and Carol Ach bought the farm, it was overran with blackberries. The blueberry bushes were untrimmed and overgrown. Since then these family farmers have made it into the beautiful and well cared for farm you can see today at 44382 McKenzie Highway. Between their farm and a neighboring plot that they rent they have around 5,000 blueberry bushes. Douglass died 3 years ago, but he was the driving force behind the farm and is responsible for much of its current momentum.

Left to Right: Sam, Carol and Jack

The farm is a true family run farm, owned and operated by Carol and her sons.  Today the day-to-day farm operations are overseen by Carol’s sons Jack and Sam. Every night they have their own farm-to-table as they sit down and eat their own food as a family. Not only is the farm certified organic, but they practice biodynamic methods of planting and harvesting as well.  Sustainability is important to the family, so they create compost from their cow manure and are working towards a closed system where waste is reused to satisfy all fertilizer and soil amendment needs.   Jack describes the farm operation succintly;

“We are organic rednecks growing organic food using biodynamic practices.”
Now that her sons are assuming control of the family business, Carol plans to start a school for farmers and dreams of founding a Farmers’ Retirement Home where old farmers can eat good food. Carol believes that traditional schooling methods cannot teach farming. Sitting at a desk under the wrong light will not get the job done. She envisions a school where farming is learned through practice out in the fields. Carol observed that farming is a very skilled activity, including knowledge not just of growing crops but of maintaining soil fertility and saving seeds.

McKenzie River Farm produces between 4-500 pounds of picked, cleaned and sorted blueberries a day during the season.
They also raise cows, chickens and pigs on the farm and sell farm products and their own fresh produce at their farm stand. They have grapes, figs, apples, pears, peaches and more! You can buy their local fresh salad greens year round at the stand, as well as pure blueberry juice (they bottle about 200 gallons of pure blueberry juice each year).
Their u-pick business has been increasing every year, and between u-pick, people buying berries at the farm stand and the three farmer’s markets they attend, over 70% of their total berry sales are accounted for. They sell at the Tuesday and Saturday Farmers’ Market in Eugene and the Friday Farmers’ Market in Springfield.  Repeat customers from as far away as Sisters and Roseburg come every year to their u-pick field!

Lauren in the U-Pick Field

We sell McKenzie River Farm organic blueberries frozen and dried in bulk year round and fresh in season (come on down and get ’em while they’re hot!)

As of today, we also have beets and turnips grown at McKenzie River Farm in our produce section.

McKenzie River Organic Farm Contact Information:

Address:  44382 McKenzie Highway, Leaburg, OR 97489
Phone:  541-896-3928