Hol­i­day cheer — as we gather around a beau­ti­fully set din­ner table– will have a dif­fer­ent mean­ing to every indi­vid­ual.

This last week of the year serves as a vehi­cle to reflect, rejoice, rem­i­nisce and pon­der.

Good health or a healthy recov­ery (from injury, ill­ness or dis­ease) is a bless­ing with tremen­dous value.

Impor­tant to remem­ber are those friends and fam­ily mem­bers who have expe­ri­enced chal­lenges and set­backs over the past twelve months. Not every­one comes to the table with a clear mind, body and spirit.

Invari­ably, real life changes in 2017 will prompt emo­tions, anx­i­ety, stress and expec­ta­tions when it’s time to cel­e­brate with others.

Read more: The Last Bite →

Food his­to­ri­ans credit Por­tugese cooks for the tasty spread we’ve come to know as mar­malade.

Orig­i­nally made of quince (marmelo is the fruit’s Por­tugese name), the sweet/​tart gel like paste is used in desserts, breads and cakes.

Quince are a rel­a­tively unusual fruit in that they are rarely, if ever, eaten raw. Mak­ing them into a jelly/​preserve/​compote allows them to be savored well past their sea­son.

In Brazil, most marme­los are boiled, sweet­ened and then reduced to a thick jelly-​like paste called marme­lada.

Quince are very tart and tan­nic, mak­ing them almost impos­si­ble to eat in their nat­ural state. Dur­ing cook­ing, their tan­nins mel­low and change color, giv­ing cooked quince a lovely pink-​to-​reddish hue.

Read more: Marmelada →

Decem­ber hol­i­days beg for some décor that is fresh and nat­u­rally fra­grant to com­bat the assault of plas­tic, glit­ter all things arti­fi­cial.

Yule­tide cheer has evolved from past tra­di­tions into mod­ern day dec­o­ra­tions using ever­greens, berries, fruits and lights.

Gar­lands, wreaths and can­dles were once the only sure thing when it comes to door­ways and man­tels.

The sig­nif­i­cance of a wreath, sym­bol­iz­ing ever­last­ing life, goes back to ancient Greek and Roman times.

A renewed approach to fresh arrange­ments main­tains mean­ing to the com­po­nents. Con­tem­po­rary designs appeal to a much broader con­sumer base.

Read more: Greens & Berries →

Mar­ket­place trends are hot top­ics for dis­cus­sion when lean­ing in on the fresh pro­duce busi­ness.

Sim­i­lar to other indus­tries where mov­ing prod­ucts from “Point A to Point B” is nec­es­sary, the fac­tor of trans­porta­tion is crit­i­cal to agri­cul­ture.

So much is hap­pen­ing in the truck­ing indus­try right now, that it is a chal­lenge just to keep up with activ­ity. Con­vey­ing the impact of truck­ing to fresh mar­ket stake­hold­ers is another mat­ter alto­gether.

Tech­nol­ogy advance­ments, new reg­u­la­tory require­ments, dri­ver short­ages, increases in freight rates and dete­ri­o­rat­ing high­ways are top of mind for all truck­ing com­pa­nies and dri­vers.

Start­ing on Decem­ber 18th of this year, the com­pli­ance phase of the ELD (Elec­tronic Log­ging Device) man­date begins as dri­vers and fleets must start using Fed­eral Motor Car­rier Safety Admin­is­tra­tion (FMSCA) approved ELDs in their vehicles.

Read more: Keep on Truckin’ →

Few hum­ble ingre­di­ents pro­vide such com­fort and sus­te­nance as greens and beans.

By beans, we nat­u­rally mean legumes– that class of veg­eta­bles that include lentils, peas and beans of all types.

Can­nellini, Ital­ian, chick peas (gar­banzo), black, white, navy, north­ern, lima, fava, Adzuki and but­ter top the list of pow­er­house beans.

Legumes are typ­i­cally low in fat, con­tain­ing no cho­les­terol, and are high in folate, potas­sium, iron and mag­ne­sium. A good source of pro­tein, legumes can be a healthy alter­na­tive to meat.

Due to their blend of fiber, pro­tein and nutri­ents, legumes aid in blood sugar reg­u­la­tion more than almost any other food group, a key qual­ity for dia­bet­ics and those con­cerned with main­tain­ing sta­ble insulin response.

Read more: Greens & Beans →

Good­bye mon­key, hello rooster”. The Lunar New Year begins on Jan­u­ary 28, with fif­teen days of cel­e­bra­tion and feast­ing ahead.

Shrug off the shenani­gans of 2016 (those mis­chie­vous­ness mon­key traits) and usher in the con­fi­dence of the rooster.

Always well dressed, other rooster traits include loy­alty, talk­a­tive­ness, punc­tu­al­ity, hon­esty and hard-​working dis­ci­pline.

As the two week Spring Fes­ti­val cel­e­bra­tions take place, fam­i­lies and friends travel great dis­tances to be together over shared meals and spe­cial events.

Read more: Rule the Roost →