IMG_1655 (1)

I had a speaking engagement that went so well, it was as if I was getting a little extra help from above.

On a chilly day last week, I visited the Sisters at Camilla Hall, a convent and healthcare facility of the sisters, servants of the immaculate heart of Mary. I brought an assortment of apples with me. The Sisters were very warm and welcoming and I felt they entertained me as much as I entertained them. They enjoyed apple education, camaraderie, applesauce tasting, and my corny jokes (mostly about apples).

The Sisters And I shared apple stories, apple facts and apple fun. We talked about all things relating to Farm to Healthcare.

The most remarkable thing that I got from this was that these ladies remembered the days before we had refrigeration, and how much things have changed. We spoke about the history of food in America, including events like the invention of TV dinners as a result of World War II. They recalled when there were only iceboxes for cold food storage. One of the sisters said she remembered bringing the ice in her little wagon to her house, and another shared her memory of ice deliveries. These stories recall a time before processed food. As a Farm to Healthcare advocate, I would like to see us all get back to those times of scratch cooking and healthier eating.

I brought four different kinds of apples for us to taste and cook with. Each variety had a little bit of a different shape and a different taste. We had a fun discussion about how many kinds of apples there are in the world. We tried to name as many varieties as we could, and although there are about 7500 varieties in the world, 2500 grown in America, and about one hundred commercially available, according to statistics, we could name less than 20. The apples were from Bear Mountain Orchard in Aspers Pennsylvania, purchased from Common Market. Our plan includes Common Market delivering to Camilla Hall.

My program was in conjunction with Williamson Hospitality’s ongoing Farm to Healthcare initiative, which includes providing local sustainably grown products to our healthcare facilities. Harry Williamson of our healthcare division has directed his managers to forge ahead with this project. Karen Duckworth and Jennifer Paganakis at Camilla Hall, are tremendously supportive of the Farm to Healthcare movement. Karen and Jennifer are both committed to serving their clients nutritious, made from scratch food.

As my farm to table journey continues, I am always energized, gratified and encouraged by kind folks like the Sisters at Camilla Hall. Individually we can only make some change, but as a community we can make huge changes.

A pair of Granny Smith apples Malus x. domesti...

A pair of Granny Smith apples Malus x. domestica showing a cross-section and whole fruit. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Facebook