Elevated Living: A Food Solution for New England

Our world would cease to exist without visionaries. Those whose ideas take root like a tree to the ground, its creation reaching to the sky, yearning for nutrients and wholesomeness abound. Food Solutions New England (FSNE) was created to provide us with harvest-a-plenty; to come together and form a network in the present, preparing us, our plates, and our bodies for the future.

A network formed from a variety of backgrounds, from scientists to artists, farmers to writers, Food Solutions New England has created the documents, done the research, and implemented the structures to explore New England’s food options beyond our wildest imagination. Not only the betterment of ourselves and each other, but for the planet as well.  Recently creating the document, “A New England Food Vision,” Food Solution New England details their goals for New England to supply 50% of its produce by 2060.

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As quoted from their website:

Food Solutions New England (FSNE) is a regional food systems learning-action network dedicated to advancing a sustainable New England food system. The FSNE network is organized around four interrelated activities:

  • A New England Food Vision, a bold vision that calls for our region to build the capacity to produce at least 50% of food in an environmentally and socially sustainable manner, that promotes health and is accessible by all New Englanders by 2060;
  • New England state food planning initiatives;
  • annual New England food summits and topical workshops; and
  • related analysis, communication and visualization.

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A New England Food Vision is a collaborative report that considers the future of our region: a future in which food nourishes a social, economic, and environmental landscape that supports a high quality of life for everyone, including generations to come.”

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“A New England Food Vision” breaks down into two patterns of projected  food consumption; “The Omnivore’s Delight” and “Regional Reliance.” Both of these solutions are based on, “nutritional guidelines suggested by the USDA’s MyPlate (2014) and the Harvard School of Public Health’s Healthy Eating Plate (2011, 2012).”

The “Omnivore’s Delight” is based on a person with a 2,300 calorie diet, consuming less dairy- as suggested by Harvard’s Healthy Eating Plate. “Regional Reliance” is also in compliance with USDA guidelines, utilizing plant based proteins and regional fruit, completely eliminating imported goods.

 

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At any rate, both of these options have considered and coordinated a variety of aspects such as; deforestation, overpopulation, hazards in over-farming, and safer techniques for the region and beyond. In addition, the Food Solution New England Network has brought together those from communities of science, farming, hospitality, etc. to get back to our roots, in not only farming and other forms of food production, but our culture as well.

Knowing the sources of our food, and reconnecting with where it comes from, protects us mind, body and soul while laying a firm foundation for our future, on our plates and generations to come.

 

Until then, keep finding ways to “Elevate Your Everyday”

XO

*DivAmber

Facebook: Elevated Living   Twitter: @DivAmber   Instagram: @DivAmber

 

Elevated Living: “Things Are Looking Up” for Berkshire Brewing Co.

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Things Are Looking Up!

“Things are looking up!” is an understatement for Berkshire Brewing Company, who will be celebrating 20 years this September. On February 1st 1994 Chris Lalli and Gary Bogoff broke ground and began renovation on an old cigar factory in Deerfield, MA; transforming it into what would be a, “cutting edge microbrewery.” Eventually, with on site expansion and distribution reaching beyond Massachusetts to much of New England, BBC graduated from microbrewery to regional brewery status. Known for their flagship, Steel Rail Extra Pale Ale, BBC now brews nine flavors year-round, as well as seven seasonal ales and lagers. Regardless of expansion, they stay true to their local roots, home brew ingenuity, and continue to be an avid supporter of local farmers and partners in Deerfield, MA and beyond.

Berkshire Brewing Company uses locally grown hops among other supplies in their unfiltered, unpasteurized beer; which also contains no chemical additives or preservatives.

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Local hops

In addition, they continue to, “support local,” by providing already processed grain for animal feed to farmers, where it would otherwise be thrown away. Furthermore, there are even select collaborations such as the Berkshire Bourbon Barrel Scotch Ale. The infamous blend, using four Bourbon Barrels hand selected by Julio’s Liquor Store staff in Westborough, MA, brewed exclusively for Julio’s Liquor Store.

Their openness to ideas and collaborations is something they’ll be bringing to Hyper-Local Brewfest 2014 with two very distinct flavors.  Dean’s Beans Coffee House Porter is made with organic coffee extract from Dean’s Beans in New Salem, MA. Dean Cycon, CEO, travels the world to find and produce coffees that are organic, fair trade, and kosher. Using the cold press process for this extract, there are five gallons of coffee extract for every 250 gallons of porter. (This would make for a great adult ice cream float; or a wonderful marinade for some ribs!)

Speaking of food, BBC will also be delighting with their Raspberry Barley Wine Style Ale, formerly known as “Raspberry Strong Ale.” Continuing in the ‘strong style,’ packing a punch of 9% ABV, this ale changes a bit each year, varying upon the produce of season. Using locally grown raspberries from Deerfield, MA, purchased and frozen when ripe, until thawed for brewing in January. Spending about two-and-a-half to three weeks in the fermenter, they use one pound of raspberries per pound of beer. Perfectly complemented by the malt barley, it’s a subtle hint of summer in your bottle.

A celebratory year, it’s apparent the, “No Hype- Just Good Beer,” motto translates to the employees and a typical day at the brewery. “We get up every morning, with a passion to make good beer. We’re an honest company, precise to historical styles and processes; where quality and customer service come first.”

What makes it all happen!

Where the magic happens!

This rings true to the founders quote, “It’s all about the beer, but the beer is nothing without the people.” Cheers to 20 years- and many more- of taking these local ideas to a whole other level; in our bottles and beyond.

Until then, keep finding ways to “Elevate Your Everyday”

XO

*DivAmber

Facebook: Elevated Living   Twitter: @DivAmber   Instagram: @DivAmber

Elevated Living: Frugal? Yes. Cheap? Never

As a frequent traveler between Brooklyn, NYC where I was born and raised, and Boston, MA my current home, (#YankeesForever) I have tried many a routes, services and options to connect the two as a passenger. As a college student, and even in my post collegiate days, I was always scouring for the fastest and cheapest availability; which was usually never a match. The most popular, affordable, and being in Brooklyn convenient of these options, was “The Chinatown Bus.” Cheap may be an option, but after a bus full of infested cockroaches falling from the air conditioning units I soon realized it was not the only option.

The fundamental aspect to understand whether one is being Frugal and when one is being Cheap, no matter how broke you are, is knowing your worth. Are there other extenuating circumstances? Always. Does Whole Foods accept EBT? I believe not. My opinion clearly stems from the availability of being fortunate enough to: Have Options.

On my latest trip home, being now, wherein which I write from an Amtrak whizzing 20 minutes south of Providence, RI, I am enjoying a Brooklyn Beer Summer Ale, homemade popcorn and two seats to myself. I was proactive enough to provide my own Adult Bevy (it is Happy Hour y’all) and snacks thus saving some funds. Always traveling with my trusty water bottle (I hate paying for water when I can bottle at home!) I opted to splurge on a sandwich for the road.

Many think of “Amtrak” and believe they can’t afford it. Instead, because I booked two weeks in advance, I was able to score a $49 OW (one way) fair. Greyhound/ Peter Pan is known to charge as much as $40 OW for an even longer bus ride. Also, signing up for Amtrak’s Frequent Traveler Miles program (Free) I earn miles towards trips.*

This is something I think that comes up a lot, with my peers, friends, and even family. We believe so many things to be unattainable, instead of spending time figuring out how they can be attainable. We think we lack worth in the form of being able to afford something, instead of taking the time to be proactive, persistent, and patience in planning our course of action. I’m sitting in a seat for $130+ easy, yet I have two for $49. People on this train are paying $6 for Coors Light (Bless your heart) and I’m chilling with Real Beer; if that helps to further my point.

Which, in summary is this:

You make your own decisions.

Make sure they are in your best interest, serving your best worth.

These are the only ways to Elevate Your Everyday.

Oh and that bus I no longer ride has this on their website: “Suspending all buses service to compliances a requested by US Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for inspections and repair services.” Yeah. About that. So cheers for now, I have a beer to drink and a view to enjoy.

Until then, keep finding ways to “Elevate The Everyday”

XO

*DivAmber

Facebook: Elevated Living   Twitter: @DivAmber   Instagram: @DivAmber

*Create an email account for any and all “Frequent” travel, dining, whatever cards- AS LONG AS THEY ARE FREE! So many gifts out there waiting to be claimed by just being “A Member”