- Community Supported Kitchens by chef jem
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Blog: Chef Jemichel
I consider Jessica Prentice to be the high priestess of Community Supported Kitchens (CSKs). She is the co-creator of "Three Stone Hearth" in Berkeley. I have been "observing" the kitchen remotely over the last several years since it has come into existence.
In the last week I discovered what I think of as (something on the order of) a daughter CSK (to Three Stone) that was founded by Tressa Yellig.
Jessica says: "It has always been our goal to create a model that would be replicable. So far, Tressa is the only person who has done that in Oregon, taking what we're doing and morphing it into what would work for her. She's been in business a few years now. She's been doing well.":
"We have a lot of health care practitioners that refer people to us. That's how we get a lot of customers: people who are told by a doctor, 'You need to eat these pastured bone broths.' People either don't have the time, or they are not well enough to make them themselves. ... the basic concept is ...: very nutrient dense, healing food is accessible to more and more people. "
I am so glad to hear this! It validates my vision!
Health care practitioners who are introduced to the local CSK can then write nutrition therapy prescriptions for their patients that can be filled at the CSK! Those patients who are interested can also be offered food as medicine workshops at the CSK. Some of the practitioners may need orientation as to the medicinal foods that can be available from the CSK and their use in natural healing programs. (The other day my friend "Your Enchanted Gardener" had a revelation regarding the medicine of gelatin and the quantity that can come from cooking a whole pasture-raised chicken in a slow cooker!)
I commented at the Have Fun Do Good blogspot:
"Thank You Britt and Jessica!
Can hardly tell you both just how encouraging it is to hear this conversation! The sharing of this communication between the two of you is greatly valued here! Communication is life and it is also the foundation for community and I get a lot of life and a deep sense of community through what is published here!"
I am inspired on a daily basis with the vision CSK. I now see it as a fulcrum point between manufactured foods of commerce and real nourishing foods that come from nourishing farms that are then prepared by and for real people (as opposed to manufactured products for "consumers". A nourishing culture includes close connections, relationships and conversations between food sources, the kitchen alchemists and the community all with a community-building spirit and soulfulness that are just not part of the business equation with most "foods of commerce". The contrasts are profound! The real heart of this vision is a very well nourished community! I believe this deserves to have great works of art expressing in many ways the beauties and joys that a CSK offers against the dark background of a decayed food system. (One positive note is that you can compost those products! ;-)
I see real nourishment as a four-fold culture that includes:
1.) The nourishing substances,
2.) All the individuals who participate in the "culturing nourishment" process,
3.) All the processes involved,
4.) All the individuals who are being nourished.
Chef Jem's list of "Nourishing substances":
1.) In my thinking, the very, very first nourishing substance for humans (and all mammals) is mother's milk. However, not all mothers nurse their children or continue nursing them for the full cycle of time that children can be nursed. Then "Real Milk" can be considered if it is grass-fed, whole and raw. After all, mother's milk would not come pasteurized, would it? Real Milk also includes all the various forms of culturing the milk into kefir, yogurt, soured milk and more! Finding the right milk is a worthy process! I personally like goat milk! Dr. Bernard Jensen highly recommended it and especially still warm, right after the milking (which will be possible with a CSK located on or right next to a farm)! (I intend to try camel milk some day.)
Regarding milk for children - Rudolf Steiner recognized the that the infant "does not have the strength to deal with earthly substances, so nature provides a nutrient substance, milk, which demands no forces of its own from the infant and thus makes the incarnation possible."
From: "The Anthroposophical Approach to Medicine". Preview at Books.Google.com
2.) The next nourishing substance is Broth!:
Here is a very nourishing food that I would virtually always have working in a CSK. Traditionally "stock pots" worked continuously. It's practically a lost art.
3.) And soups that are made from these broths!
4.) Then possibly juices (for which there are hundreds of books on all the different kinds of juices that one can possibly have). This either requires a juicer (so that you are getting the freshest possible juice) or this is another food process that may be best in a CSK. I once worked for a juice company that had an industrial size press that was based on the famous Norwalk Press.
5.) Traditional Beverages.
There are dozens of lacto-fermented beverages that are nourishing, super-hydrating, thirst-quenching, and most delicious!
6.) Lacto-Fermented vegetables.
7.) Eggs from pasture-raised poultry.
Another of many reasons why I recommend having the CSK on a farm.
"Eggs from pastured chickens contain vitamins A and D – eggs are a sacred food in China. A nursing or pregnant woman in China will eat up to ten eggs per day, if she can afford them. The Chinese recognize that eggs are a brain food, ensuring that the child will be very intelligent if he or she gets the nutrients through her mother’s pre-natal diet or through her milk."
8.) Living soil! I am now declaring living soil as an important nourishing substance that needs to be considered for inclusion in the CSK environment. Wherever a CSK is located it can at least have worm bins. The worm castings can then be included in a potting mix and at the very minimum the CSK can grow baby greens. These baby greens can be potted in small starter pots that can be a source of very fresh greens for the CSK subscribers. One of my favorite greens is beet tops! "Your Enchanted Gardener" says: "plant a beet and you're a gardener"! Then you can harvest the beet tops and they will continue growing back! The CSK can plant the beet and then the subscriber can take home "Keep the Beet" and just harvest the greens! Although anyone can do this virtually anywhere I still hold a vision for a CSK on a full working farm with the animals! (There you can have enough living soil to roll around in! ;-) And the compost piles that can be built on a farm are so far beyond the limited composting that is possible in the city! But in any case start composting where you are and at least grow some soil!
Consider "Soil as Medicine"!
Dr. Dale Jacobson, DC (DJ) in "Raw Milk: The Whole Truth" says: "Pasteurized and sterile are like magic words in this society. People are in love with those concepts. What they don’t understand is that’s what's killing them."
Mark McAfee: "That’s exactly right."
DJ: "The kids who eat dirt in Mexico don’t have mineral deficiencies. The people in this society that wash everything and sterilize and use Listerine, they are walking candida cases."
Fortunately, you may not have to "eat dirt" to benefit from having living soil in your environment! However, it is a link in the circle of life (and there are nutritional therapy and other remedies that include clay as a healing agent)! In any case connecting with living soil can bring you closer to the literal foundation of the many nourishing foods that come from the soil! Children say grace: "Earth who gives us food to eat". It is the living soil that makes that possible!
Also see http://curezone.com/blogs/c/fm.asp?i=1819639
for hot links to 19 blogs with the Waldorf CSK Vision in mind.
Here is my vision for a Community Supported Kitchen that I offer to the world and with a special interest to communicate this vision in the communities of Waldorf Schools:
"I envision Community Supported Kitchens that are located on or next to mixed farms that include pasture dairy. The 'ownership' of the kitchen can be as diverse as that of Community Supported Agriculture. A CSK can be held in a private Trust with a trustee/s representing each party of interest.
The dietary orientation of the CSK will include a mix of traditional foods with an overall emphasis on nutrient-dense foods. These are foods that have been grown/raised on nutrient-dense soils, harvested at their peak of ripeness and processed in proper ways that maximize their nutritional capacity and deliciousness. (For further information on nutrient-dense foods see: Nourishing Traditions. For further information regarding nutrient-dense soils see Biodynamic agriculture and other sustainable agriculture approaches that build up the soil.)
The kitchen can offer opportunities for training in various capacities including culinary, nutrition, nutritional therapies and CSK gardening. These trainings can be made available on a tuition basis.
If you do not already know about the advantages of organic and especially Biodynamic foods then you may at least appreciate knowing that: "Children consuming an organic food diet exhibit reduced pesticide exposure, and a lower body burden of pesticides (Curl, Fenske & Elgehun, 2003). The expectation of consumers that organic food is a healthier choice for them and their children is corroborated by a meta-analysis of the nutritional value and safety of organic food (Lairon, 2010).
Three Stone Hearth (TSH) is a CSK in Berkeley, California and probably the leading example of a successfully run Community Supported Kitchen. ("Salt, Fire and Time" in Portland, Oregon is another example.) THS was inspired by CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) and therefore people can look to CSAs to better understand the idea of CSK. Although CSAs are widespread and with diversity across the country there are currently only a small number of CSKs. Therefore the vision of a CSK needs to be fine-tuned to the community that it is intended to serve as well as the location.
May 22, '11 Update:
When the Waldorf School was founded (Steiner) proposed that education must have a therapeutic orientation – always serving individual development and focusing on the child’s developing health. Thus the pedagogical question
becomes a medical-therapeutic question."
Waldorf CSKs would be devoted to "focusing on the child’s developing health" and fully able to serve "food as medicine"!
June 4, 2011 - My idea of heaven on earth: Every Waldorf school has a CSK serving nutrient-dense foods to the whole school. Each school has Biodynamic gardens producing as much food as possible on the school's campus. Each school is connected to a Biodynamic farm with enough of a dairy operation to meet all the demands of the school's CSK. The CSK also provides products for sale to the school's whole community. These sales provide a positive cash flow for the school that supports the rest of the farm-garden-kitchen-community food program. Therefore - All the children are very well nourished!They know exactly where all their food comes from. The know the farmers, the gardeners and "the kitchen fairies"! The parents of all the children are truly hapy to have their children so very well nourished! The parents are most attracted to volunteering in the program so they can learn how to extend this into their homes and nourish the rest of their families as well! The teachers are
both supported by the program and most supported of it as they see the difference in the children! The school is blessed with all of these dynamics that are working together in support of the sole purpose for it's existence - that the children may flourish!
"And a child shall lead them."
19 Related Blogs:
"A Rallying Cry For The Traditional American Diet" at:
"The Need To Support/Recover the 'Sense of Taste' in Children" at:
"Nourishing Our Children" at:
"Artistic Entrepreneurship For Children In Support Of Sustainable Food Systems!" at:
"The Three-stone Hearth" at:
"Visit 'Raw Milk: The Whole Truth'" at:
"Ultra-healthy Babies" at:
"Weston A. Price 'Too Much White Flour And Sugar'" at:
"Support of humane animal producers is patronage of traditional farming" at:
"Scientific Evidence For Biodynamic Food" at:
"Weston Price's 'Activator X', Vitamin K2 and Dental Health" at: http://www.curezone.com/blogs/fm.asp?i=1563670
"Restoring Nutrient-Dense Traditional Foods to the Human Diet Through Education" at:
"Possibly the Quickest, Easiest, Most Economical and Even a Most Interesting Way to Learn What Nutrient-Dense Foods Are!" at:
"Student Boycotts of School Lunch Cropping Up All Over The Country" at:
"Heidi, A Story About Children, Love and Raw Milk" at:
"Biodynamic Agriculture - The Mother Paradigm of Sustainable Agriculture and Higher Vibrational Human Nutrition!" at:
"The Glories of The Renaissance Were Created With An Average Intake Of One Teaspoon of Sugar Per Head Per Year.":
"Dreaming of A New Summer Camp" at:
"The Use and Benefits of Very High Vitamin Butter For The Control of Dental Caries" at:
November 10th -
On Wednesday, November 5th at 11:56 PM I noted my inspiration for a restaurant devoted to the traditional Italian cuisine of the Italian Renaissance and filed that in my “research” binder with the intention of identifying what this cuisine most notably consisted of. Now about four days later I suddenly am somewhat “compelled” to sort through a tote-box of books and pull out about ten books (that I want to make further determinations about as to whether or not I want to include them around my office library). One of these is “Full Moon Feast – Food and the Hunger for Connection” by Jessica Prentice. I open it at the beginning and it’s almost like I had never seen the book before! I’m firstly impressed with “World-Come-to-an-End-Food”. I do a search for that title online and add a link to my “Raw Milk: The Whole Truth Blog” at Curezone. Next I read in Jessica’s foreword by Deborah Madison where she mentions Waverly Root’s two volumes on France and Italy … "food cultures that are based on butter or olive oil or lard.” That really gets my attention and I search for "Root’s" Italy (my first and most spontaneous search since I noted my inspiration five days earlier).
I find the book at Amazon and begin reading the lowest star readings (my cautious approach to most any new books) and find they consist of three four-star reviews. I read those and find nothing serious enough to complain about and check the availability of used books and find several starting at 39 cents! I order one with “one-click”! After ordering it I now discover that I can “Look Inside” the book! I then read the introduction by Samuel Chamberlain. It isn’t until I read the following that I realize this choice is right on the meridian of my enthusiastic intention that I had set in motion a few days earlier! I am so looking forward to this book!
"Mr. Root’s regional explorations begin in Tuscany, the heartland of Italy. Here the people speak the national language in its purest form. Appropriately enough, they grow and grill beef better than anyone else. Florence dominated this center of the Italian Renaissance, and her cooking stood unrivaled
Such dedication is truly extraordinary, and it marks the author as the most devoted of epicures, and his book the most authoritative volume on the subject of Italian food and wine yet to appear in English.” - Samuel Chamberlain:
November 22nd -
The book arrived on Wednesday the 19th! My magnetic attraction toward identifying the food of the "Italian Renaissance" draws me to the second chapter: Tuscany. where I read: "It is not enough to say that the great period of Florence was that of the Renaissance. Florence was the renaissance. She created it."!
Also just sent an email to Jessica following-up on the creation of this blog (started four years and nine days ago!). Can San Diego have a community supported kitchen? I think there are people here who would really appreciate having healing foods prepared for them. I am convinced it is needed when I talk with professionals in the nutrition field who essentially rely on the convenience of restaurant food. Especially when these professionals specialize in teaching what foods best support a healthy gut! Something is not aligned in that picture! I understand about making a commitment to building a career, a business, etc. Then I think the nutrition career people deserve to have their own CSK for their upgraded "convenience" as well as a place they can endorse and fully recommend to their clients! So now the "question" becomes: Can San Diego professionals in the nutrition field get behind a local CSK of gut-healing foods? I am so looking forward to receiving the answer/s to this one!