Berry Picking, Kombucha and Equality
You know what I love the most about summer? All the fresh fruits and veggies. It’s like heaven. Yesterday we decided to get an early start to our day and go pick some blackberries and hit up one of the local farm stands for some other fruits and veggies. We got our morning run/dog walk done and packed up all our buckets ready to head out to the farm stand and when we pulled up, our eyes lit up. The stand had all kinds of fresh, local produce that we just couldn’t resist! We loaded up on peaches, nectarines, cantaloupe, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, garlic, purple cauliflower (because we’ve never had it), butter beans, cucumbers, okra, and corn. We may have gone a bit overboard, but how could we not???
With the car full of produce we headed over to pick some blackberries! Unfortunately, the blackberries were way too sour and very icky, but luckily we tasted one first before we picked 30 pounds of them! Oh well, just have to wait a few more weeks for the nice plump berries that are perfectly sweet and juicy.
It ended up not being a total disappointment though because we learned that the blackberry place also had pick your own cabbage and kale! We’ve never picked either one, so I was extremely excited to pick my very own cabbage and kale. The cabbages were only $1 per cabbage too (compared to the $5 cabbage we bought from Whole Foods on Sunday)! We ended up picking 3 cabbages and 2 huge bags full of kale, with a little bit of purslane thrown in there too. Purslane is apparently becoming a big thing these days! It’s basically just a weed, but is said to have anti-aging properties and is very high in Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Who knew!!
We came home from picking to see the news that the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage nationwide! After years and years of fighting it was so exciting to finally achieve marriage equality for everyone. It’s so great to have people finally realizing that we are all people and we all deserve the same rights and treatment. While the fight isn’t over yet, we are slowly making our way toward truly being equal.
To round off such a fantastic and historic day, we headed over to our Whole Foods for the 2nd Annual Kombucha Showdown. It was more of a tasting, but we did vote for our favorite kombucha flavor at the end. If you haven’t tried kombucha, you definitely should! It’s a tea that has been fermented with a Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast (aka SCOBY). Because kombucha is fermented with with live bacteria, it contains probiotics and is a variety of health benefits to the gut. Not to mention fermented foods were recently found to be linked to decreased levels of social anxiety, I mean how cool is that???
So anyway, there were only 4 companies there, but it was still loads of fun. The companies participating were all fairly local companies, which was pretty cool and I’m always happy to support local businesses. We got to walk around to each little booth and try all of the flavors available. We started with Barefoot Bucha and tried their Black Raspberry, Ginger, and Bluegrass flavors. I liked all of these, but I think my favorite was the Bluegrass with Ginger coming in second. We didn’t really get to learn much about the company itself, but they are located in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Next we popped on over to Mountain Culture Kombucha and tried their Blueberry Lemongrass, Mango Fire, Fresh Mint, and Ginger flavors. Of all of these our favorite was the Fresh Mint, but the Mango Fire was pretty interesting because it left this little spic in the back of your throat. Mountain Culture is also located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, but the thing I liked most about this company was that they grow their own mint and juice their own ginger for the kombucha.
The third stop was Ciara’s Kombucha where we tried a ton of different flavors. We tried Totally Berry, Mango Berry, Peach Bellini, Ginger, and Coconut. Our favorite was definitely the coconut, but since my mom and I both have a slight allergy to Coconut we probably won’t be buying that flavor. I highly highly recommend it though! Since we wouldn’t be buying that one any time, our second favorite was the Peach Bellini. The first thing we noticed about Ciara’s Kombucha was that it has a much more mild flavor. Sometimes you get a pretty strong vinegary taste from kombucha, but this one was very smooth and quite a bit less fizzy than any kombucha I’ve ever had. These would probably be excellent for someone who is just starting to drink kombuca, but I kind of missed the fizz. Ciara’s is located in New Jersey and for every bottle or keg of kombucha that is sold, they make a donation to fund liver research.
Last we tried Buchi Kombucha where we tried Avonlea (Orange, Mango, and Sea Buckthorn), Seed (Turmeric, Pineapple, and Coconut Water), Sovereign (Ginger, Peach, Molasses), Air (Peppermint, Pineapple, Lime, and Echinacea), Water (Elderberry, Coconut Water, and Blueberry), Fire (Ginger and Spices), and Earth (Roasted Roots, Holy Basil, and Maple Syrup). I absolutely loved all of these flavors, but if I had to pick a favorite, it would definitely be Water, but my mom’s favorite was Avonlea. Buchi is located in Asheville, North Carolina and out of all the companies, they were our favorite. They seemed to know the most about kombucha and have a real passion for sustainability. I highly recommend checking out their website and learning a bit more about the company and what they stand for.
All in all we had a fantastic day and it was definitely one to remember. How do you like to spend your Friday nights? 😛