Monday, May 2, 2016

Nutrient Analysis Report of SVO Berries from 2015's Harvest



Everyone here at Sunset Valley Organic's works very hard to ensure our berries are the highest quality. Part of that is the Nutrient Density, and how we compare to the USDA standards when it comes to minerals and nutrient density. We sent out a whole bunch of samples from our 2015 crop, including blueberries, blackberries, and aronia berries. This is a form of a report card for us, and we are very excited about the results, so much so that we wanted to share with you all.

Summary;
Samples of Blueberry, Black berry and Aronia Berry powder were sent to a third party for nutrient analysis. The berries in these powders were grown by Sunset Valley Organics/Wilt Farms Inc. The purpose of the analysis is to compare the nutrient density of Sunset Valley Organic’s berries to the USDA Standards.

In all but the protein and blackberry vitamin C comparison, Sunset Valley Organics berry powders exceeded the USDA standards, and many times by several hundred percent.

The second comparison was USDA Blueberry Standard vs. SVO Blueberry, Blackberry, and Aronia Berry. The reason for this comparison is that many people think that blueberries are the standard for nutrition of berries. That being said this comparison shows how SVO’s berries compare to that standard.


Again, with only a couple of exceptions SVO berries show consistently more nutrient density than the USDA Blueberry Standard.



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Friday, April 29, 2016

Biological Farming Vocabulary + Key Concepts


This month we're going to cover some basics of the vocabulary your going to see a lot as we continue our discussion of Biological Farming. There are also a few key concepts that are the foundation for Biological Farming. 

Vocabulary:

Balance-
            -Microbial: Balance between different microbes; fungi & bacteria.

            -Chemical: Balance between different minerals; to much of one will inhibit availability in others minerals. Example: Phorsphers & Zinc; to much of either one will make the other unavailable.

            -Energy: Depending on the plant; reproductive (fruit blossoms) or growth (after blooms)

Mineral Availability: Just because minerals are in the soil, that doesn’t mean they are available. Microbes are KEY, without microbes the plant cannot pick up the minerals. Microbes are the stomach of the plant.

Timing-
            -Plant Physiology: The grower needs to know so they can feed the appropriate energy (growth/reproductive).

Microbes: Are what do the solubilizing of minerals; are the driving force of the ecosystem. Digest minerals, that the plant can use.

Energy: All life lives off energy; people, plants, , microbes- interaction of different minerals.

Brix: The measure of suable solids in sap and fruit. Also proportional to the percentage of sugar. More minerals = more nutrient density.

Photosynthesis: a process used by plants and other organisms to convert light energy, normally from the Sun, into chemical energy that can be later released to fuel the organisms' activities (energy transformation).

Genetic Potential: The potential charastics of the plant according to its genetic code. Growers don’t realize their potential because they don’t give the crop everything it needs.

Ryzosphere: microscopic area/zone around the root tip. Thousands of microbes feed from the exudates of the plant and in turn reach out and souilblize minerals making them available to the plants.

Organic Matter-
            - Active: Carbon substances where microbes are actively digesting.
            - Non Active: Carbon substance found in soil are not being digested.



Key Concepts:

1.     Microbes are the stomach of the plant. They digest and make minerals available to the plant.

2.     Imperative to plant - resistant disease – has higher amounts of minerals in tissue.

3.     All life lives off energy, sun provides, interaction of minerals.

4.     Nutrient Dense Food; surplus of energy. Food that is lacking in nutrients can pull energy from the body. Example: A granny smith apple takes more energy for your body to digest this means that the apple did not have a lot of nutrients in it to begin with.












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Sunday, April 10, 2016

April 2016 News from SVO

News From Around the Farm

April is here! We are starting to see less rain and are able to start feeding our berries. Our Duke blueberries are starting to bloom, and so are the raspberries and black raspberries, but not as consistently as the blueberries. We think in a week or so, if the weather stays nice, we will have bees brought in. This is one of my favorite times of year, seeing everything waking up and blooming. Before we know it, it'll be summer and harvest will be here. 
This last month we pruned our black raspberries, we posting pictures on our Facebook. We did a short video showing how the machine works, if your interested please click here to see our video. (+ Check out our YouTube Channel! We will be added new videos through out the spring and summer.)
We are also very excited with a delivery or Aronia Berry plants for our newest planting have arrived and once things dry out a bit we will set to work planting them. Bringing our current total of 16 up to 26 acres total. 
Our final piece of news is that we are now selling our products at Natural Groshers in Corvallis, and Eugene, OR. You can find our dried blueberries and spreads, and hopefully we will have our frozen in there as well. We would like to thank everyone for their continued support as we are slowing growing our products and where they are available for purchase. 

New Products In Our Shop

We have a few of new products up in our store, be sure to check them out!
Our New Products:
Coming Soon:
Dried Aronia Berry + Blueberry mix

Food For Thought

These are the articles we found over the last month and just had to share with you all. 
We will have Black Raspberries (and products) and  aronia berries (and more products) available to purchase after the Harvest of 2016. 
Blog News:


Check out our blog for our first post in our Biological Farming series. We will be adding a new entry every month, this is a great way to see our farming practices.

Cold Weather Shipping is Back!

It's spring time again and that means the weather is starting to warm up. If you've been putting off taking advantage of our cold weather shipping please place your order soon with us. Once temperatures are hot again we will not be able to offer the ground shipping option.
For those of you who are new to our site, every winter we are able to offer better shipping prices on our frozen berries. We are able to do this by shipping by ground rather than by 2-day air, which is standard in our store online. To take advantage of our ground shipping this winter, give us a call at 541-752-0460 (10 am to 4 pm, PDT). 

Winter + Holiday Office Hours

Our Winter hours are Monday to Friday 10 am to 4 pm PDT. 


Aronia Berry Granola Bars

Great snacks for on the go! A nutrient dense + delicious choice!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Honey
  • 1 Cup Dried Aronia berries
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup raw, unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 2/3 cup roasted, unsalted almonds
  • 1 cup dried, pitted dates
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  • Whisk together the honey, cinnamon, & vanilla in a larger bowl. Stir in the oats and mix until evenly coated.
  • Toast sunflower seeds in a dry pan on medium heat until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, pulse the almonds and dates in a food processor until coarsely chopped. 
  • Add the toasted sunflower seeds and chopped almonds and dates to the oat mixture; mix well. The color of the mixture should be more of a purple hue.
  • Press the mixture into an 8X8 inch baking pan lined with parchment paper and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool, then place in the freezer until firm. After about an hour, cut into bars and enjoy!
  • Note: Store in airtight container up to 1 week. 


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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Biological Farming: Why farm Biologically? + What is Biological farming?



Welcome to our first post in our series of Biological Farming 101, in which we will be looking at lots of areas of our farming practices and how we tackle tasks around the farm. Such as pruning, pest control, science of remineralizing our soils, and many more. We will be posting a new entry every month (near the end), so be sure to keep coming back!

In this first post we are going to cover why we have chosen to farm biological, what it means to us, and what it means to you, our customers. If you have any questions at the end, please leave us a comment, we would love to answer your questions!

Why We Farm Biological
In 2003 we decided to go certified organic. After three years of transition, in 2006, we became Certified Organic. But that wasn’t enough for us. We wanted to do more, to do better, for our customers, and for our soils. Today, we are Biological Farmers using certified organic inputs. Just because a farm is certified organic, that doesn’t mean the farmer is embracing the soil biology or minerals. What certified organic does is guarantee that your food will be free of GMO’s and pesticides. We wanted more, we wanted Nutrient Density.

What is Biological Farming?
Biological farming is like going back to old school, to a time before NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium) fertilizers were common place instead are used more judicially. Biological farming looks at the whole picture in a holistic way. Examining exactly what is in the soil; considering all 79 minerals, and the delicate balance of them in the soil food web. An end result that can be directly seen by the farmer and consumer is the final products improved Nutrient Density.

What we found when we first started farming biologically was that our soils were deficient of all 79 minerals including soil carbon, which is the food and shelter for microbes. It’s necessary to have minerals to feed microbes, the microbes in turn solubilize the minerals. Making them available to the plant. It is these 79 minerals in a balanced for in the plant that make Nutrient Dense food.

A Note About Nutrient Density
I’m sure we’ve all seen things in the super market with the labeling of “Nutrient Dense” but what does that actually mean? In Biological Farming it means more minerals per ounce of food and that requires active biology in the soil. Those “Nutrient Dense” labels you see in the supermarkets are often labeled that way because of the absence of problematic ingredients- fat, sugar, and sodium- not for the inclusion of of beneficial nutrients they might contain. This is because there is no regulated way for food labeling of Nutrient Density, even though there are regulated ways for testing for it.

The difference between Biological Farming and Certified Organic Farming?
The simplest way to think about the differences in the two farming practices is that Certified Organic Farming doesn’t use salt based fertilizers, or pesticides. Biological farming is taking it to the next level in looking at the whole picture and how to improve, and restore the soil biology and mineralization.

Benefits of Biological Farming the farmer sees
Biological farming is not the short term solution most farmers are use to. These farmers are use to going out applying a fertilizer or pesticide and seeing results in a few days, this can make them impatient with how Biological farmers handle the same problems. Biological farmers see long term solutions to their problems, which is also tied into their holistic approach. Another benefit we’ve already touched on is Nutrient Density, having a higher nutrient density can be seen through BRIX- sugar content and soluble solids- which also means higher yields. Most crops are sold based on a measurement of weight, and the heavier crop, the more yield the farmer sees. In biological farming quality drives yield where as in conventional farming (or even certified organic farming) yield drives dilution of nutrition.

What this means for consumers?

The biggest way that consumers are going to see a benefit is the nutrient density of biologically grown foods. We hope that this also results in, instead of taking vitamins and supplements everyday, you get to eat a delicious bowl of berries, or other produce that your body can get all the minerals and vitamins from, to keep you healthy in a natural way; in other words, food will replace supplements.


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