Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Learning as We Grow

Today I realized, not much has been written about our garden. This is honestly because I wouldn't consider myself anything but an extreme amateur at raising our food. I've been told the process is a 3-5 year learning curve and we are currently in year two. This year is much, much better than the last and I can only imagine what next year will bring.

The first summer I lived with Jules, we had three tomato plants smushed into one medium sized pot. This came along with one teensy parsley bush, one bunch of chives, and two thyme plants. Soon into the season I planted collard greens and spinach.

In the end, the parsley, chives, and thyme plants were far too small to actually do anything with. The spinach I planted turned out to be baby spinach, a cultivar that never gets more than four inch long leaves. Total bust! Our backyard fence was falling down, and the only thing we had to make raised beds out of was pressure treated lumber scraps. It was a very meager beginning. The collards did well, however, and so did the ever persistent tomatoes which yielded surprisingly well. All in all, it was enough to convince Jules to allow me my third of the yard for another go at this whole gardening thing.

By the end of the first summer, Jules tore down the old fence (since it was falling down anyway) and rebuilt our new, gorgeous, North side fence. With that came all the promise the completion a large scale building project can bring with it. Such a boost brought about the garden planning for the next season, the acquisition of proper raised bed materials, and much ordering of seed catalogs.

With such a small house, our 1/4 of an acre lot seems to have an unusually large backyard. After much measuring and a few very bad schematic drawings, we ended up with 6 independent raised beds all 9'x4'. We have composted, amended the soil, chopped up our leaf litter, added grass clippings and finally came out with something resembling good soil. There was digging, clearing, chopping, much adz swinging, aerating, and lots of exercise for my arms. Lots of loading and unloading. Then, finally at the end of it all, planting of precious seeds. This year the raised beds were made from untreated Douglas Fir in luxuriant 2x6x10 boards which mirror the pattern of the fence. There are 18 inch walk ways to allow for my little wheel barrow and a weed whacker to access rather easily but not take up too much space. It is a prim and proper garden that seems to be doing quite well compared to last year. It is quite picturesque in my humble little opinion.

The main thing that I learned the first year, and tried to fix the second, was appropriate choosing of veggies. My goodness there are a lot of different kinds of veggies. I always just thought tomato, spinach, peas, beans and such. Well, uh, no. It is much, much more complicated than that! So I pined, and I looked, and I gleefully accepted all the new seed catalogs which came in the mail.

First I nailed down just what veggies we wanted to grow. There was a very brief discussion with Jules where he reiterated his garden mantra "I don't care what grows as long as it produces food." There is sometimes a variation of "If you grow it in the garden, I'll eat it." But essentially the garden is my domain. He mows; I grow. So I thought about what we ate, what I cooked, and came up with this list:

Peas, Carrots, Zucchini, Pumpkins, Potatoes, Rhubarb,
Spinach, Garlic, Tomatoes, and Beans.
After a quick confirmation from Jules(whose care level rose a bit) he added Peppers, both sweet and hot.

The next major decision was the type of seeds I wished to grow. This one took a bit more internet research. You see, with the advent of modern science, seeds are no longer just seeds. There are Heirloom, open pollinated, hybrid, and genetically modified seeds. To give an extremely brief summation of each I will start with the most recent.

Genetically modified seeds are ones that have been scientifically modified by a seed company. These plants are patented and it is illegal to save their seeds, split the plants, propagate cuttings, etc. Many of these plants have also been altered to have what is called a terminator gene which means they will not reproduce, even if the seeds are planted. Most of the current agricultural crops are genetically modified strands so that the pesticide used by the agricultural companies will kill everything but the specific strain of plants. The seeds are genetically modified to withstand the pesticide. This way the seed company has a market on the seeds and the pesticide. 98 percent of the world's genetically modified sees are owned by the company Monsanto.

Hybrid seeds are seeds which have been bred or cross pollinated with another plant which has desirable characteristics. This isn't science meddling with genes exactly, it is much more like what you did in high school science class with Pundent Squares figuring out what characteristics your child would have with someone else in the class by working with dominant and recessive traits. An example would be if you had a tomato that routinely produced lots and lots of fruits. You would then breed this tomato with another plant that routinely had really, really big tomatoes. The result would be a few tomato plants which routinely had lots of really, really big tomatoes. However, not all the plants would be this way. Some would just have lots of fruit, some would have big fruit, some would just be weird. In this way, you can save all the seeds you want from hybrid plants but you never know what you are going to get. This is called not coming true from seed. If you want the same hybrid plant, you have to re-buy it from the company.

Open Pollinated seeds are a relatively new things. These seeds are seeds which come true from seed. You can save the seeds from these plants because they are not hybrid cross seeds. These are seeds which have been breed over and over to produce plants which will always develop the same plant every time. This means if you learn to save seeds, you never have to reorder the plants from the company. Many universities are negotiating with specific seed companies to sell these cultivars as a way to increase the diversity of our seed supply in the country.

Heirloom seeds have no formal definition, but it is generally accepted that these seeds need to be at least 50 plus years old (give or take a year or two). These seeds are only in existence through seed saving year after year, passed down through families and seed savers exchange. They will always come true from seed and have been selected year after year for various desirable traits. Amish paste tomatoes, for example, are supposedly the absolute best tomatoes for making paste. Kentucky Wonder green beans are supposed to be the best canning beans from all over. These are seeds which are sold and distributed as a way to keep heritage alive and genetic diversity high. In many instances they take longer (or don't produce as much) than hybrid or GMO seeds, but have a significantly better flavor.

In the end, I decided on as many heirloom varieties as possible. The reason for which is an entire post of its own (soon to follow), but mainly because I wish to keep the process of seed to food as simple as possible. So we tried a sampling of multiple varieties and have yielded a wealth of information this year to aid in next year.

More than anything, the first year's gardening experience told me to focus on what I was planting. If anyone out there has looked at a seed catalog, it will become quite apparent it isn't as simple as just spinach, peas, and tomatoes. There are dozens, upon hundreds of different varieties of each vegetable all complete with their own benefits and drawbacks. Who knew someone had cultivated spinach that never really grew? Or tomatoes which could bear fruit in as low a temperature as 50 degrees? Or peas with edible pods, peas you shell, peas you can shell or eat the pods, and peas that dried in the pods without either eating or shelling? It is all a bit overwhelming.

A lot of seed catalog perusing and my list turned began looking more like this:

Peas: Lincoln Homesteader and Little Marvel
Carrots: Danver Half-Long and St. Valery
Zucchini: Cocoaelle Bush
Pumpkins: Jack o' lantern and Sugar Pie
Potatoes: Baker and Little Red
Rhubarb: Generic Rhubarb (?)
Spinach: Giant Thick Leaved
Garlic: generic grocery store
Tomatoes: Manitoba, Arkansas Traveler, Bonny Best, Brandywine, Mortgage Liter
Beans: Blue Lake Bush Beans and Contender Bush Beans
They were all planted, have grown amazingly well, and we are significantly happier with the turn out from this year's garden. Oh what a difference a year makes!

The process of building a garden is definitely a little more involved than I first thought, but you certainly get out of it the work you put in. Our returns have been plentiful, as well as the knowledge we have gained again. The verdict is still out on many of the variety choices, but this year looks to have been a good one.
More than anything, the garden has shown me a different kind of faith. I must constantly remind myself that 12 days without rain does not mean the rain is going to stop. Just because the beans didn't do well this year, doesn't mean we cannot grow them. The peppers will produce fruit and so will the blueberries all in due time. The spinach knows a lot more about making its own seeds than I do about harvesting them. I must be patient and breathe. All will happen in its due time; all will cycle around again whether I like it or not. The garden tends to remove your ego. I am but the cultivator; not the creator.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Say What?!?

Sometimes it is your children which remind you that your life has changed and you are caught in moments that are so dramatically different you are forced to realize you're not the same. Here are a few things said around our house which you probably wouldn't hear at many of the neighbors:

"You have to finish your strawberry shortcake before you can have any more peas."

"Do you think 100 pounds of apples is enough?"

"Mom, can you sharpen my axe?"

"The rain barrels are not a toy!"

"I'll get your lunch in a minute, I'm eviscerating the chicken right now."

"I figured we had some time before dinner, so I'd take apart the chainsaw."

"Do you want to help me dig up your lunch?"

"Will you check the cottage cheese? It has been on top of the fridge now for two days."

"Sorry I missed your call, I was out hangin' the wash."

"You smell like three day old compost!"
(A four year old insult)

"I'll be in The Hole."

Well, I guess it is official, we're not in Kansas anymore.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Fiesta Time!

This post is as much for all you out there as it is for Jules. Apparently someone at work asked him when we were getting married. This has him a bit out of sorts and, well, just plain scared.


Jules and I aren't married. We don't really plan on getting married any time soon. That can also be read, we don't just plain don't plan on getting married at all (don't worry, Honey). This doesn't concern either of us in the least. As I have told Jules, if in ten years it really, really, bothers The Spicy Barracuda and he can give us a decent reason, we should consider it. As it stands however it doesn't really matter at all to us. The reasons are as follows:

For one, marriages are expensive. The average United States wedding now costs $20,398 dollars with most couples spending somewhere between $15,299 and $25,498. Are you insane!?!That is a huge chunk of our house payment! That doesn't even count the honeymoon.

Secondly, why mess with something that works? We love each other. We still giggle back and forth at the end of the night when we are snuggling in bed. I still get excited at the idea of him coming home from work. We can both express our inner evil, sinister, and just plain screwed up thoughts to each other (admit it, you have such screwed up thoughts too!). Even in stressful, crazy times when we mess up badly (like me killing his car or him making a Freudian reference to me being a whore), we love each other. We don't need to add a lot of societal baggage with the word "marriage" to the equation.

Third, we are committed without a piece of paper or a ring. We share something much larger than a federal designation; we share a child. The only father that The Spicy Barracuda has ever known is Jules. In fact it was The Spicy Barracuda himself that insisted in calling Jules "Dad" in the first place. We share a house, a dog, a cell phone contract, and expenses as well (some how those aren't quite as important). We share a life. Isn't that was marriage is supposed to be anyway?

So there you have it: not married, not getting married, no need to worry Honey.

Now, all of you might be wondering what this has to do with our blog. Here is what: Fiesta plates! I seriously lust some Fiesta plates. My life might be bordering on domestic completion with a set of Fiesta plates! Screw marriage; Fiesta plates! Ya, get me? However, with the recent phone call from Jules expressing some nervousness about are impending imaginary wedding proposal, I knew if I just posted about china patterns and permanent household dish purchases this would not go over well. The above disclaimer was to calm him down so I could elaborate on the wonderfulness of bright happy colored glazes; simple concentric circle designs; microwave-, oven-, and dishwasher-safe gorgeous dishes.

The only problem existing with the Fiesta plates (other than the $150 it would cost to have six place settings of them) is that there was no color which matched our kitchen. UNTIL JULY THAT IS! Meet Lemongrass:

This is the newest edition to the Fiesta line and a definite item I'm saving up my tip money for. It is the exact color of our kitchen! I believe this is a sign from The All-Knowing-Heavenly-Powers-That-Be. How awesome would they be in our open air cabinets...and with Tangerine accent accessories.... Squee!

I don't get girly very often, but I'm truely excited about this. Could you tell?

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Charlotte's Web is long gone, but not a bit forgotten. Though his lip began to quiver a bit at Charolett's passing, no tears were shed. A sniffle or two perhaps, but no tears. He laughed and snickered with Templeton the rat and was delighted with the goose's stuttering speech (my favorite character personally). He thought Mrs. Arable quite wrong about a barnyard being a terrible place for young children and thought slops sounded just atrocious. The smashing of Templeton's spoiled egg caused a turned in face all scrunched up at the smell and the fair made him ask about three or four times (in that chapter alone) if we could go to one of those. Now small spiders are gracing his hands as he finds them all over the garden and carries them about. (He still exclaims panic over large spiders though.) All in all, rave reviews and quite a quick read. I think this one took less than two weeks. So we are on to the next book: Winnie-the-Pooh.

Now I was a bit concerned with this due to which copy of Winnie the Pooh we own. You see, it is so old there is no ISBN number to get a picture from Google images. After much searching I stumbled onto it by adding the word "vintage." Moreover, it's copyright is 1926. There are no colored pictures except the solitary bear in yellow on the front. The red canvas book has long since lost, what I believe, was gold sparkly lines bordering the front and rear covers trying to make it appealing to young children. This is not Disney. The language is not contemporary at all. It is the sort of book that if taken to the Antiques Roadshow the expert looks at you in bewilderment and exclaims "Why were you handling this, let alone reading it to your child!?" It is one of those books that doesn't get to reside on the child's bookshelf and only gets to be read with Mommy taking it down from her bookshelf. But I don't care; I love it. I believe it was my grandparent's, and I know it was my mother's. In any case, what it has in sentimentality, it totally lacks in flash. Small Barracuda boys are a bit addicted to flash.

The greatest thing has happened though: he loves it. Since Saturday's beginning there hasn't been a night which goes by that a request for at least a chapter isn't sprinkled into conversation. Tonight, after getting in trouble for sneaking peas from the garden (I literally had to tell my child at dinner he must finish his strawberry shortcake before he could go eat our garden peas!) his quivering little voice asked, "Can we still read?" He adores Pooh's bewildered antics. He understands the complexity of language and comprehends the story line. No Disney, No color, Hardly any pictures....a hit! Whew! Take that flash! At this rate we are going to be moving on to Stuart Little by Monday of next week. Wow, so much for my dubious mothering.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Hoods Are Here!

There aren't too many great things that the Pacific Northwest can claim come from all our rain. If you grew up here, the benefits are many, but you are used to a lot of grey skies and it is just normal. However, if you are from out of town, the rain can be a bit of a complete downer. In fact, I have known more than a couple of people who needed to move due to the onset of seasonal depression from all our rain.

It makes things green. We have cheap hydroelectric power. But most of all, we have access to Hood Strawberries. Oh dear sweet Mary Mother of God, these berries are so good. You will only find them in Pacific Northwest grocery stores which sell seasonal berries because they exist for only three weeks out of the year and don't keep much more than a couple of days. They don't travel well and so they also tend to be a bit expensive. Oh, but it is worth it. There is very little in existence which says summer more than these strawberries.

We could have visited our local organics store, paid a lot more, and quickly acquired a very small little container of berries to munch on for the next couple of days. One better, there are many roadside stands advertising the onset of strawberry season with berries spread all over their tables ready for anyone to drive up and purchase. However, if there is one thing I have seen in us raising our own food, it is the importance exposing the Barracuda to the process of growing. By choosing to U-Pick your berries they are not only cheaper and you can get large volumes of berries, but you can see the farm and develop a relationship with those who grow your food. So much of the time it is forgotten that our food comes from the ground by people who work sun-up to sun-down. It is a lot of work for a reward often gone unappreciated. It is important to me that The Barracuda not miss these facts about his meals.

After packing a picnic lunch, and getting gasoline, we were on the road to the farm. The drive is gorgeous, only about 30 minutes, and a great way to build the anticipation of the event. The U-Pick farms in our area step up a tent right off of the parking lot where they sell boxes, have a weigh station, and park the large wagons used to hall everything to and from the fields. We had our 5 gallon bucket weighed by Ashley (a local farm girl) and she pointed the way to the fields. They rotate the picking every other day or so, allowing the berries to ripen and be picked evenly rather than totally annihilated. You are rarely in the same field twice in one week.

The Barracuda hopped into a wagon with our bucket and I began to pull us up the dirt road, past the herb garden, and through the peach orchard, to rows upon rows of strawberry plants. The romance of such a walk surpasses the mere 5 minutes it takes to get there. You would never know we were only thirty minutes from the city. Life here is just plain slower. The jobs require more time, harder work, and a level of patience which slows the pace of life. As a city dweller, the Barracuda wouldn't know such a world exists without our excursions. I would like him to realize other people fully live the type of life we are allowed to have small portions of with our lifestyle.

Jules and I have often wondered just how weird our undertaking in simplicity is. When the Barracuda and I got within view of the strawberry fields it was very obvious our family is not alone. The fields were full of people. Families, moms, kids of all ages, and even grandparents were out picking in groups with their own picnic lunches. These were all homeschooling families (school is still in for another week and it was noon on Friday) who were out picking to make jam, can, and generally have a desire to experience the slower pace of life much like our family has. It was a welcome relief for the Barracuda to see other kids doing the same things we were and much fun was to be had among all the children.
Picking your own berries requires that reminder of patience, of a slower pace, of harder work. It is a very simple task, but one to enjoy the rambling up and down strawberry rows taking in all the farm environment has to offer. This means you will get dirty hands, bitten by bugs, and if you are not careful a sun burn. It also means you will get to hear your child amazed at how berries can go from green to purple in the course of their lives. The Barracuda could see the pollination we had talked about for his homeschooling first hand in the progression of the berries. I was able to talk to other moms who let their children roam the fields as I did enjoying being outside on a great day. (The fields are open and flat so kids have to go quite a ways to be out of sight and ear shot.) We were all enjoying a Friday afternoon in the sun, with our families, taking part in the season. The Barracuda picked berries with me, as did most all the other children. There were people with colanders, Tupperware, cardboard boxes, and bowls all there to enjoy the season in our little chunk of the world. It was quite refreshing.

With our five gallon bucket filled half-way, our hands and knees very dirty, and our stomachs rumbling we trekked back to the weigh station to pay for our harvest . By having our bucket weighed first when empty that amount is recorded with masking tape on the side of the bucket and then subtracted from the end weight. This way we only pay for the berries and not the extra 2.25 pounds of bucket. We stood in line, paid, and then ventured off into the peach orchard for a picnic lunch of tree climbing and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

The afternoon passed quickly and soon we were home to get cleaned up and can our wonderful bucket of bounty!

After washing the berries, the Barracuda capped and sliced them while I cleaned up the kitchen and prepared the cans. He is getting so good with both his axe handling and his knife skills that I hardly have to watch him anymore. This has helped significantly with getting things around the house done. He can be set to one chore (taking in the wash, preparing food to can, making kindling, cleaning the yard before mowing, his schoolwork) and I can take on an entirely different task within the same vicinity knowing I won't have to constantly observe and mediate. By the time he was done slicing, strawberries were all over his hands, his legs, his right eyebrow, his left cheek, and a bit mushed into his hair. Upon further inspection both elbows and his neck also has been christened with bright red juice. He was just plain sticky, dirty, and quite tasty according to Guadalupe who wouldn't stop licking him all over. So the strawberries went into a saucepan with 1/2 cup of sugar and the Barracuda went into the bathtub.

All in all 8 and 1/2 pounds of berries yielded 3 full quarts of berries. Previous 8 1/2 pound batches have given us 9 pints of berries and syrup. Both are processed at 6 pounds of pressure for eight minutes. With another couple of trips we will be well set up for the winter and be able to enjoy our three weeks of deliciousness all year round.

Jules will come out with us next time as the school year finally winds down and he is free (Only one more week! Not that I am counting). Over the summer we will be back to the farms for blueberries, blackberries, peaches, pears, and corn. We can all enjoy the whimsy of watching our food go from plants to our table and slowly creating family food traditions which will hopefully last all the way through much eye rolling and personal teenage embarrassment from the Barracuda. Little does he know how much the girls will enjoy strawberry picking dates, harvest festivals, and corn mazes!

Friday, June 05, 2009


I apologize for my absence as of late. Life kind of threw up all over us this last week. Running a thousand miles an hour, every day, for going on two years now finally hit Jules and I in the face. Coupled with the stress of this last quarter of the school year, our cup of endurance ranneth over. ::sigh:: But life as a way of helping us out when we need it and a few late night baths while eating Pop-Tarts (there are just some things that can't be as good when homemade!), the arrival of a new book ordered from Powells, and much sleeping it off has given us back some light at the end of the tunnel.

This past year's food shift has taken quite an unexpected turn. When this all began, I thought that if I began to remove processed foods from our life in favor of foods I personally created our family would somehow become healthier. What I now realize is that what I really wanted was for our family to become healthier in more than just the physical sense. I've been addressing our physical chemistry with the removal of food additives, but not the culture with which we eat our food.

Homesteading, or Voluntary Simplicity, or whatever you want to call this lifestyle, causes you to shift the way you look at the surrounding culture because, for the first time, you are removed from it. As Micheal Pollen writes, "To reclaim this much control over one's own food, to take it back from industry and science, is no small thing; indeed, in our time cooking from scratch and growing any of your own food qualify as subversive acts." With this removal from current cultural trends, I now find myself looking about at our lives and finding large empty holes where I might never have seen them.

For the last two years, Jules and I have been juggling a life which includes one full-time (and then some) teaching job; one part-time, semi-erratic restaurant job; a precocious child who is too young for school; me in school; and a fairly small household budget. What this all boils down to is that we don't every really see each other. When Jules goes to work, I take care of the Barracuda; Jules comes home and takes care of the Barracuda while I go to work. It is emotionally exhausting.

This job/childcare juggling is becoming a mainstay in our society when more and more people are becoming two person working families, but I don't know how they do it. Perhaps they don't, and that is why divorce rates are so high. Even though both Jules and I are reaching breaking points (this mornings stressful bickering included the lines "I don't like my existence" and my retort "My world isn't filled with joy either!" both of which now make me laugh) we realize there is no one else we would be struggling through with. The end of the school year is near and in less than 10 days and we will have our family back. However, some major changes are coming from this realization of yet another hole created by the mainstream cultural juggle of work/childcare: family intimacy.

It has become apparent that our family doesn't dialog well. We have fun together; we work well together; we love each other and can be silly, but not much talking about substance. Perhaps this comes from a lack of modeling (though that seems way to easy a blame). Growing up, communication wasn't a strong point among members of my family. Dinner centered around eating as fast as possible so that none of us had to speak to one another.

As much as our family dialogs well in one on one situations, the act of community conversation is lacking. I find myself wondering, "What would we discuss around a dinner table?" or thinking of the agonizing, forced conversation we are all dreading when we come to the table. But this summer, the adventure begins a new with family dinners and conversation.

Secondly, our TV is dying. We are not switching over to digital. Here in the States, if you are not a cable subscriber, you will need to purchase a converter box for your television set to work. We're not buying in; we are unplugging. Though much of our television is now present on the Internet or checked out of the local library, the ease of flipping a switch and turning off interaction will be gone.

Third, music will be coming back into our house. The Barracuda has always loved music. He can dance far better than either Jules or I, mystifying both of us and other onlookers as we all wonder "where did he learn to do that?" His musical repertoire includes everything from The Beastie Boys and Andre 3000 to The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan to Solomon Burke and The Band. The Barracuda (so named after the Heart song) has a drum circle drum that he enjoys playing incredible rhythms on, writes and sings his own songs, and finds the rhyme schemes on the classic poetry we use when homeschooling him only to beat out the words on his drum when reciting the lines. It is something that is apparently in his blood.

As much as Jules and I enjoy it, we haven't done all that much (other than dance parties) to foster it. This next year that will be changing. I have purchased a guitar and am one again teaching myself to play. Jules wants to learn how to play the banjo something awful. And, just the other day, a childrens' guitar was found at the local Goodwill for $20. Last year's Solistic present was Guadalupe, this year's will be music.

So, for now, I am left looking within for patience and personal solace. I read in an old National Geographic that the primary task of a farmer's wife was that of patience. At the time I thought it was dramatically underestimating the efforts of farm women, but now I understand. The hardest part of all is reminding yourself this too shall pass, spring will come again, the rains haven't left forever, and soon the snow will be melting.

Monday, June 01, 2009

I Can't Believe It's Butter!

While surfing around and avoiding doing my chores today, I found this:

"And why would I be so insistent that you eat butter? Take a look at the long list of the benefits you receive when you include it in your diet:

  1. Butter is rich in the most easily absorbable form of Vitamin A necessary for thyroid and adrenal health.
  2. Contains lauric acid, important in treating fungal infections and candida.
  3. Contains lecithin, essential for cholesterol metabolism.
  4. Contains anti-oxidants that protect against free radical damage.
  5. Has anti-oxidants that protect against weakening arteries.
  6. Is a great source of Vitamins E and K.
  7. Is a very rich source of the vital mineral selenium.
  8. Saturated fats in butter have strong anti-tumor and anti-cancer properties.
  9. Butter contains conjugated linoleic acid, which is a potent anti-cancer agent, muscle builder, and immunity booster
  10. Vitamin D found in butter is essential to absorption of calcium.
  11. Protects against tooth decay.
  12. Is your only source of an anti-stiffness factor, which protects against calcification of the joints.
  13. Anti-stiffness factor in butter also prevents hardening of the arteries, cataracts, and calcification of the pineal gland.
  14. Is a source of Activator X, which helps your body absorb minerals.
  15. Is a source of iodine in highly absorbable form.
  16. May promote fertility in women.
  17. Is a source of quick energy, and is not stored in our bodies adipose tissue.
  18. Cholesterol found in butterfat is essential to children's brain and nervous system development.
  19. Contains Arachidonic Acid (AA) which plays a role in brain function and is a vital component of cell membranes.
  20. Protects against gastrointestinal infections in the very young or the elderly."
Information Acquired from: http://www.bodyecology.com/07/07/05/benefits_of_real_butter.php

There is quite a bit more information on the website. However, I know nothing of their diet or products and am not endorsing them in any way. The information was just cool.