SALSA, SWISS CHARD, AND BELL PEPPERS Find Community at the Farmers Market
fter a strange spring indoors, summer is almost here! One of my favorite parts about
summer is the opportunity to spend time with loved ones outside. A great way to do that is by visiting a farmers market. There’s nothing quite like shopping at a farmers market. Throughout history, there have always been outdoor markets to buy and sell goods, and in the United States, they hold a special significance. According to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, the movement to revive farmers markets was part of a mission to reimagine American cuisine. In fact, between 1960 and 2000, the number of
farmers markets nationwide grew from 100 to 3,000, and there are even more today! Depending on which one you go to, you can experience fresh produce, local art, craft goods, fun activities for children, food trucks, live music, bar services, and more. I love visiting our local farmers market. It’s great to meet the farmers and get produce that is grown much closer to us than what is sold at the grocery store. It was through our farmers market that I learned about Berry Patch Farms in Brighton, Colorado. Berry Patch is a family-owned organic farm that sells delicious fruits and vegetables. Throughout the year, Berry Patch holds fun events for kids and families — including petting zoos and tractor rides — and in the summer and fall, people are welcome to pick lots of berries, pumpkins, and wildflowers. In addition to supporting local farmers, visiting the farmers market also gives us a greater understanding of the approaches to food in our community. On my
first visit to a farmers market, I noticed that the produce looked a little strange compared to that at the grocery store. When I asked one of the farmers, he said that the produce we see at grocery stores is held to very high aesthetic standards. If it doesn’t look perfectly uniform, then it likely won’t be put on the shelves. On top of that, depending on which region you are in, it may just be thrown straight in a landfill and not even composted. That is a terrible waste of perfectly good food, especially considering how many people could use it. The things I always look out for at the farmers market are fresh salsa, hot sauce, bell peppers, and rainbow chard. I like to use those ingredients to make a Southwest tofu scramble wrapped in a hot tortilla. It is so good! If you have the chance to visit a farmers market this summer (and it’s safe to do so), then I highly recommend making the trip. Fingers crossed they will be open!
Bolster Your Child’s LiteracyWith Newsela
HANDS-OFF LEARNING FOR BUSY PARENTS
If you are looking for easy-to-implement strategies to improve your child’s literacy at home, check out Newsela. Newsela is a content platform that partners with sources like The Washington Post, Smithsonian.com, and The Economist to provide content that is relevant to the moment on a broad variety of topics. Unlike a newspaper or magazine article, though, the content on Newsela is aligned with Common Core educational standards, meaning that time spent practicing skills with Newsela’s learning exercises will help your child start the next school year ahead. Articles come with questions and multiple- choice answers already written, and kids can choose from over 20 different genres, including current events, sports, and even science. The platform publishes 10 new articles every day, and the level of reading and assessment difficulty is adjustable, so your child can practice reading texts that push them without being frustrating or too difficult. Newsela includes a functionality that allows parents or teachers to manually set a Lexile level — a text difficulty level the reflects your child’s
reading ability — but if left unadjusted, Newsela will gather data about how your child performs on assessments to automatically set texts to the appropriate difficulty. Newsela collects data on how your child performs on the standards identified in each assessment, so spending some time looking at that data can help you understand their strengths and weaknesses and fill in any gaps in their learning. Whether you adjust text difficulty or Newsela does, learning about your child’s Lexile can be an excellent way to better understand your child’s strengths and weaknesses, which is a great way to help bolster their literacy.
Volunteer In a time of social distancing, volunteering may be discouraged, but nonprofits still need volunteers to operate. The good news is that many nonprofits need volunteers for positions that maintain social distance, such as driving. Food banks and kitchens need drivers to pick up donations or ingredients from donors and to deliver food to people in need, such as the elderly or those with disabilities. Advocate Even if you don’t have time or resources to give, you can become an advocate for important causes around your community. While it might not seem like much, sharing information about local nonprofits on social media can make a genuine difference. Nonprofits need exposure, which is greatly boosted through community support. Sharing useful information about nonprofits — or sharing their posts — increases their visibility so more people will take action.
Over the past several months, families, businesses, and nonprofits have had to navigate life in this challenging “new normal,” and it can be hard to support your favorite nonprofits when times are tough. Here are a few ways to help these important entities even when resources are slim. Donate While many people donate generously during the holiday season, nonprofits need donations throughout the year, and different nonprofits need different things. A monetary donation can often go a long way, but never feel obligated to give money, especially when your budget may be tight. Instead, consider cleaning out your closet. What clothes, shoes, or other accessories can you part with? What about dishware or small appliances? When you clean out your home and donate unused items, you benefit those in the community who need them most.
To learn more about nonprofits you can help in your area visit GreatNonprofits.org/state/colorado.
C alling an attorney for help can be very difficult to do. When people get the courage to reach out to us for help, we want them to know we care about helping them find a solution. That is why we trust Corey Cruz as our Intake Specialist. Corey’s job is to talk directly with our callers and their families in times of crisis in order to determine their needs. He does this naturally through his strong communication skills and attention to detail. Having developed an in-depth understanding of our procedures and goals, Corey is able to make our callers feel comfortable knowing they can reach out to us and be directed to the right person at the right time. Corey has a passion for helping people. “Family is a crucial support system, and I want to be there to support our clients’ commitments to their families during difficult times,” he says. Family law, specifically, is a good fit for Corey because he knows how to show compassion to people who are vulnerable and in pain. He explains, “Our callers deal with things most of us don’t deal with on a regular basis. My goal is to connect with clients on a personal level to let them know Johnson Law Group is more than a law firm. It’s also a place where people can feel comfortable airing out their issues and take steps to improve them.” As our Intake Specialist, Corey does not just take care of our potential and current clients. He is also learning the skills necessary to eventually take care of his own family law clients in the future. Corey has been studying for the LSAT and plans to apply to law school here in Colorado, which our whole team supports. Something else important to Corey is building and maintaining supportive relationships in his community. In his free time, he volunteers with Friendship Circle of Colorado, an organization that provides special needs individuals with friendship and support. Corey also has a love for basketball, which he cultivates by coaching a competitive youth team in the Colorado Lightning Basketball Club. This club serves as a bridge team for middle schoolers to get the necessary skills to play in high school. “In everything I do — whether that’s coaching the kids on my team or working with our clients — I put my all into it,” Corey says. “At Johnson Law Group, I want our callers to know that when they need someone to talk to, I’m here for them. No matter what you are going through, there is no shame in expressing yourself or letting people know you need help. We all need someone to hear us out, especially during difficult times, and I’m happy to be that someone for anyone who needs it.”
WATERMELON AND TOMATO SALADWITH TURMERIC OIL
Inspired by BonAppetit.com
This light summer salad is packed with flavor and color!
1/4 cup virgin coconut oil
● 1 tsp peppercorns, coarsely crushed
● 1 tsp coriander seeds, coarsely crushed
● 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
● 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
● 4 cups seedless watermelon, diced into 1/2-inch pieces 2 medium heirloom tomatoes, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
● 8 oz mild feta, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
● Flaked sea salt
In a small saucepan, heat coconut oil, peppercorns, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, and turmeric for about 3 minutes or until fragrant. Let cool slightly but do not let coconut oil solidify. In a large bowl, place diced watermelon, tomatoes, and feta. Drizzle with oil mixture and finish with a dash or two of salt.
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All About Food
Bolster Your Child’s LiteracyWith Newsela
Helping Local Nonprofits in Challenging Times
Corey Cruz Enjoys Providing Emotional and Practical Support
Watermelon and Tomato SaladWith Turmeric Oil
A Day to Honor Doughnut Lassies
The Sweet History of National Doughnut Day
G et ready to treat yourself because June 5 is National Doughnut Day! Contrary to popular belief, National Doughnut Day wasn’t created as an excuse for Americans to eat more doughnuts. The celebration was actually started by the Salvation Army in 1938 to honor “Doughnut Lassies,” the women who served doughnuts to soldiers on the front lines during World War I. The Salvation Army still celebrates National Doughnut Day by delivering doughnuts to veterans across the country. The earliest version of the doughnut is believed to have come to North America with Dutch settlers in the seventeenth century. The Dutch brought with them balls of fried, sweetened dough called olykoeks , which translates to “oily cakes.” Though they were tasty, we don’t think many people would be eager to pick up a dozen "oily cakes" for the office. According to Smithsonian Magazine, the word “doughnut” was coined in the 19th century by a woman named Elizabeth Gregory. Her son, Handon Gregory, was a New England ship captain. She began making deep-fried dough treats with nutmeg, cinnamon, and lemon rind for her son and his crew. She would put hazelnuts or walnuts in the center of the pastry where the dough might not cook through, so she called her creation “doughnuts.”
Handon Gregory also gets some credit for making doughnuts recognizable: He was the one who first put the hole in the doughnuts, though the exact reason is unclear. Some say it was to use fewer ingredients, while others suggest he created the hole by accident after skewering the pastry on the spokes of the ship’s wheel when he needed to steer with both hands during a storm. Whatever the reason, that hole is still part of a classic doughnut to this day. There are lots of ways to celebrate National Doughnut Day. Perhaps recognize the history of the holiday by donating to the Salvation Army or by sending a box of doughnuts to a veteran in your life. You can also order from your favorite local doughnut shop or fry up some homemade doughnuts with your family. There’s a pretty great recipe at SallysBakingAddiction.com/how-to-make-homemade-glazed-doughnuts.
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