By Carolyn Givens

Contributing Writer

This time of year, our minds are on beginnings and endings and the cycle of the new year. Here on the farm, the fields are lying fallow, gathering nutrients and waiting for rain.

Water is so precious that we can’t plant cover crops without it, so everything is holding its breath and hoping for precipitation. You are likely to find us doing a rain dance on the farm and watching the sky anxiously.

However, the citrus trees got their water earlier in the year, so be on the lookout for oranges, lemons, and – best of all – tangerines.

Citrus fruits supply calcium, potassium, fiber, folates, and vitamins A and C. There’s no reason not to eat one! Lemon and lime slices are great in a glass of water and help alkalize the body; oranges can be cut up and put in your salad; and you can buy grapefruits that are so sweet that they don’t need any extra sugar. Thank you, California.

In the new year, we always want to stop chowing down on all the holiday treats and start eating “right” again. Of course, what’s right for you is something you have to decide. We believe eating “right” means feeding your body the correct nutrients it needs to maintain a healthy weight and feel good every day.  Some people start small, just changing one little habit, and some people go for the juice cleanse to jumpstart their New Year’s resolution.

We’re not here to nag – and we’re not against a good juice cleanse – but we know everyone is busy, the kids are underfoot, and dinner has to get made. You could start by just adding vegetables to dinner and lunch and, hey, did you ever think about breakfast?

Adding vegetables to your breakfast sets a great tone to your day and can lead to fewer cravings later in the afternoon. If you have a juicer, you could put together a Grapefruit Green juice (1 grapefruit, 1 green apple, a bunch of kale, 4 celery stalks, half a cucumber, and 1 lime) to have with your morning routine.

You can use a butternut squash for so many things, even a breakfast hash. Peel it and chop it into cubes, then fry up some slices of bacon in a large pan. Remove the bacon from the pan, add some chopped onion, and sauté.

Then add enough squash to cover the bottom of the pan, some chopped apple, a teaspoon of salt, and a splash or two of maple syrup. Cover the pan and cook until the squash is tender.

Then you can add chopped spinach or kale and fry an egg on the side of the pan and add it to the top. Then add the crumbled bacon from earlier. (If you can’t or don’t eat bacon, leave it off, and substitute some coconut oil for the bacon grease.)

Happy New Year!


Carolyn Givens operates Something Good Organics, a community-supported agricultural program, and a Thursday-Sunday farm stand on the corner of Santa Rosa Road. Contact her at