Photos © 2019 Blaine Scinta
One of Nourish and Flourish’s contributors is Blaine Scinta, a freelance brand and travel photographer. We caught up with him recently between trips and asked if he would share his story with our readers from his own voice. Here is what he had to say.
Hello! My name is Blaine Scinta. I’m a 27-year-old brand and travel photographer based in Louisville, Kentucky. My generation grew up with social media, and over the years have learned how to create interesting stories and original visual content through photography –one good example is the Instagram platform. Instagram offers a unique opportunity for businesses looking to reach their target market with engaging visual content. As with most social media platforms, Instagram is all about visual sharing. The main goal is to share and find only the best photos and video.
The key is creating your own original content–not using stock photos.
Creating interesting, authentic visual stories is a gift for me. I consider it a true art form. In the business world, it is a very powerful medium for a brand influencer like me to share stories, moments, and special places captured throughout this amazing journey called life. If my artistic talents can be leveraged to show not only the brands I love and trust, but also an outlet for my creative work, it’s a win-win. Stories are everywhere, and they can help us learn more than we could have ever imagined. My profession connects me to the natural world and affords me the time to enjoy the outdoors and travel.
Luckily my entire family instilled a thirst for creativity from my childhood. My father F. Scott Scinta introduced me to what it means to think and apply a creative mindset to everything that I do. As an accomplished art director, professional painter, and graphic designer, he (and my mom and the rest of my family) always encouraged my creative side.
Read all about Blaine and his travels in the current issue. Purchase a copy online today and use the PROMO CODE "Blaine" for free shipping!
“I know sustainable is a popular buzzword today. Everybody wants to be sustainable. But my question is: Why in the world would we want to sustain a degraded resource? We instead need to work on regenerating our ecosystem ~ Gabe Brown, regenerative farmer and author, Dirt to Soil: One Family’s Journey into Regenerative Agriculture.
Gabe Brown, Ray Archuleta and Dr. Allen Williams created the Soil Health Academy to teach other farmers how to apply the principles and practices of regenerative agriculture outlined in new his book, Dirt to Soil. They offer hands-on training for students to see first-hand how those principles and practices are implemented in a host-farm setting.
Read the entire story and excerpt in the current edition of Nourish and Flourish. Available online. This excerpt from Gabe Brown’s book Dirt to Soil: One Family’s Journey into Regenerative Agriculture (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2018) is printed with permission from the publisher.
What is healthy soil and how does it affect human health?
For many years, the discussion about healthy soil and nutrient-dense foods has been limited to agronomists, nutritionists, scientists, organic farmers, foodies, and others on the fringes of mainstream agriculture. Books and articles about soil health, nutrient-dense foods, and regenerative agriculture are now the hot topics of conversation.
What does that really mean? To date, there’s no universally accepted definition of “regenerative” farming or soil health. We have talked to many experts in the field, and each has his or her own ideas about what this means. One thing the experts, social media advocates, and scientists agree on is that it is time for agriculture to move beyond “sustainable.” This practice of giving back what you take just isn’t enough. After all, a farmer’s largest asset is his ground, the soil he tills and relies on to provide a harvest.
Soil is not just “dirt.” Soil filters our drinking water, for example, and supports the plants that feed, clothe, and shelter us. “Without soil, we’d be hungry, naked, and homeless,” quips Clay Robinson, Ph.D., a New Mexico soil scientist who has taught tens of thousands of school kids about soil in the persona Dr. Dirt. We would also be “breathless,” he adds, “because it’s the plants growing in soil that produce our oxygen.”
What does the ground beneath our feet have to do with human health? A lot, as it turns out. Just like clean air and pure water, healthy soil is vital to our wellbeing. On the most basic level, soil supports and nourishes the plants that we eat—and that our livestock eat. Soil filters and purifies much of the water we drink as well.
Healthy soils also play a role in human disease and medicine. Soils teem with microorganisms that have given us many life-saving medications, including the antibiotics streptomycin and cyclosporine—a drug widely used to prevent transplant patients from rejecting their new organs.
Nourish and Flourish is one of the very few national consumer publications that is dedicated to showcasing farmers, doctors, scientists, advocates, educators and companies involved with soil health and regenerative farming + living. Each edition of Nourish and Flourish will feature profiles, stories, news and recipes directly related to this emerging and vital conversation for the future of our children and our planet. The time is now to learn more about the ground below your feet and get involved! Check back often as we will be sharing more news about the organizations and people to watch. Exciting times are on the horizon.
LET'S CELEBRATE NATIONAL S’MORES DAY!
National S’mores Day is today, and it recognizes one of the most popular campfire treats! Millions of people of all ages love this warm, gooey, chocolatey treat.
S’mores consists of a roasted marshmallow with a layer of chocolate bar sandwiched between two pieces of graham cracker. The origin of this tasty snack is credited to the entrepreneur Alec Barnum. However, the first recorded version of the recipe can be found in the 1927 publication of "Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts" Even though the Girl Scouts were not the first ones to make s’mores, Girl Scout groups describe them in their reports as early as 1925. Earlier recipes used the name “Some Mores.” It is unclear when “S’mores” became the more common name.
Today, many variations on the original s’more find their way around a campfire.
Preparing the Plank: Completely submerge the plank in water for an hour or so, placing something on the plank to keep it submerged. Turn the plank so it gets soaked evenly and is more resistant to charring on the grill. Soak for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Big Green Egg S’mores with Bananas
Suggested plank: 1 cedar grilling plank, soaked in water for an hour. Preheat the EGG for direct cooking without the convEGGtor at 350°F/177°C.
8 graham cracker squares (about 3 inch pieces)
4 – ½ oz. pieces of a semi-sweet or milk chocolate bar
8 pieces of sliced bananas
8 large marshmallows
Place soaked plank on the cooking grid and close lid. Heat plank for 3 minutes and flip plank, using tongs or Grid Gripper.
Assemble s’mores directly on plank, placing a cracker first, chocolate, bananas, marshmallows and top with a cracker. Close the dome and cook about 6-8 minutes, or until marshmallow is melted and crackers are toasty.
Serves 4 – best to garnish with campfire stories or kids of any age!
No one can deny that an Italian meal is a truly sensory experience. When you sit down to an Italian meal, the traditional first course is “antipasto” (plural: antipasti). The term is derived from Latin “ante” (before) and “pastus” (meal, pasture).
Fresh Green Salad with Boiled Quail Eggs
For the Salad
5 ripe strawberries cut into pieces
1 small cucumber, sliced
1 watermelon radish sliced thin or shredded with a mandolin
1 pound baby greens such as frissée, arugula, romaine hearts, or microgreens rinsed and dried with a salad spinner or paper towels
crumbled feta cheese
¼ cup red onion sliced thin
salt and pepper
4-5 boiled quail eggs
In a large bowl, toss greens, cucumber, and onion. Top with sliced strawberries, watermelon radish, and crumbled feta cheese. Garnish with quail eggs cut into halves. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with or without your favorite dressing.
Assemble a plate of cured meats, fresh cheeses, artichoke hearts, olives, peppers, and herbs that will satisfy guests until the next course is ready. These items can be found in most natural food markets or grocery stores. There are also many specialty food companies online that sell prepared antipasti products. This is simple, savory, and delicious.
Boiling Quail Eggs
To boil quail eggs, place them in cold water, bring to a boil, and cook for two minutes. To make shelling easier, you may want to first soak them in cold water, enough to cover them, along with a couple of tablespoons of white vinegar. This will help break down the lining in the shells so that they peel off easier.
First, a little history:
The invention of the chocolate chip cookie happened in 1930 when Ruth Graves Wakefield and her husband Kenneth were running the Toll House Inn on Route 18 near Whitman, Massachusetts. Mrs. Wakefield, a dietitian andfood lecturer, prepared all the food for the guests at the inn and had gained an enviable local reputation for her impressive range of desserts.
It’s often said that necessity is the mother of invention, and so too it was in this story. One night, Ruth decided to whip up a batch of Chocolate Butter Drop Do cookies, a popular old colonial recipe, to serve to her guests. But as she started to bake, she discovered she was out of baker’s chocolate. Ruth then chopped up a block of Nestlé semi-sweet chocolate that had been given to her by Andrew Nestlé of the Nestlé Company. Ruth had expected the chocolate to melt and disperse through the cookie dough as regular baking chocolate would. Instead, the chocolate pieces retained their individual form, softening to a moist, gooey melt, and the world had its first known chocolate chip cookie.
Other Chocolate Chip Cookie Facts:
• Chocolate chip cookies were first called “Butterdrop DoCookies." Wakefield's recipe first ran in a Boston newspaper. In 1936, she published her first cookbook, Toll House Tried and True Recipes, and renamed them "Chocolate Crunch Cookies."
• The first chocolate chip cookie was the size of a quarter. It was super crispy and could be devoured in just one bite.
• Ruth was paid for her recipe with a lifetime supply of chocolate from Nestlé. After acquiring her recipe, the company invented the now ubiquitous teardrop-shaped chocolate chip in 1939.
• The world's biggest chocolate chip cookie weighed 40,000 pounds and had a diameter of 101 feet. It was created in 2003 by The Immaculate Baking Company in Flat Rock, North Carolina.
Make or pick-up your favorite chocolate chip cookies and celebrate!
- Sources: todayifoundout and epicurious.com
By Jennie Lyons, NOAA Fisheries Public Affairs
Feature article in Volume #1 of Nourish and Flourish
A millennium ago, nearly 500 ancient fishponds provided food security for Native Hawaiians living on an island in the middle of the Pacific. Today, this beautiful fish pond full of hatchery-born mullets is one example of how folks are tapping into cultural wisdom in hopes of improving our nation’s healthy food supply for the future.
“Locally grown seafood in waters around the nation is critical for environmental responsibility, food security, and a stronger economy,” says Michael Rubino, NOAA’s Senior Advisor for Seafood Strategy. “With the population growing fast, expanding our nation’s seafood production is really a gift for our children and grandchildren. It’s the responsible thing to do.”
The history of growing fish in nearby waters dates back hundreds of years, if not thousands. In Hawaii, 488 fishponds once dotted the islands to provide a reliable staple of a healthy diet. We can step into a piece of the past at the 800-year-old Paepae o He’eia fish pond, one of only 50 such ponds still in use today. The pond currently sells nutritious whole fish directly to the community. The nearby Kualoa Farm grows oysters in constructed ponds between 800 and 1,000 years old. Fresh oysters are one of the delicacies locals and tourists alike enjoy.
These ponds are part of a push to raise more fish and shellfish around the islands for cultural reasons as well as to feed a hungry wave of tourists who visit each year. The locally grown food promotes health and environmental responsibility. As Native Hawaiians know, it’s also a source of food security in an area nearly 4,000 miles from the United States mainland. But experts say expanding current pond production is just a first step.
The Oceanic Institute of Hawaii Pacific University, just a short drive away, is researching cutting-edge technology to support sustainable aquaculture and notes a wealth of untapped potential both off Hawaii’s coast and around the nation.
“For domestic aquaculture to expand, science-based approaches need to be developed and implemented to compete with cheap, imported seafood,” said Dr. Shaun Moss, the Oceanic Institute’s Executive Director. “By using advanced technologies, the United States aquaculture industry should be able to replace a significant portion of foreign imports to provide American consumers with high-quality aquatic protein in a sustainable manner.”
Seafood is vital to the Hawaiian economy and culture. Fish, shellfish, and seaweeds are an important part of local diets, and seafood demand is further increased by millions of visitors who crave high quality, freshlocal seafood.
Just off the rocky Kona coast, Blue Ocean Mariculture, the nation’s only offshore fish farm, is helping provide a native kanpachi species to meet this growing demand for seafood. “Among local species, Hawaiian kanpachi was a clear choice for its high quality, versatility, and natural ability to hit sustainability benchmarks,” said Blue Ocean Mariculture farmer Tyler Korte.
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Read the complete article in Volume #1 of Nourish and Flourish. Purchase a copy on line today.