In the Field: An Interview with Audra Mulkern

Founder of The Female Farmer Project, Amazing Grass interviews Audra Mulkern on her views and experiences about the farming industry. We ask openly, she answers candidly – we dig deep. Join us and read what’s next.


For the readers, let’s do a quick one-liner of who you are:

Audra Mulkern – Founder, The Female Farmer Project, Executive Producer, Women’s Work: The Untold Story of America’s Female Farmers.

 

Where are you based?

My favorite places are in a pasture, barn or the capitol building, but often I’m in an airport or in my office/studio in a rural community outside of Seattle WA.

 

You’re a storyteller for the untold, but what about your story? What was your first look into farming which has ultimately brought you here?

I’m an alumnus of a large software company where I used to do business development and project manage development of very cool 3D software and audio for the internet. In 1999, I had my first child and began to pay attention to who was growing my food and then began to actively seek locally produced food. One of the things I learned in the software is to pay attention to interesting business models and become an early adopter of them. I became a member of one of the first CSA programs (Community Supported Agriculture) in the region. It was eye-opening to experience the vegetables I had never seen or cooked with before – I felt as if my whole life had been limited to lettuce, broccoli and carrots, now I was eating strange looking things like kohlrabi and sunchokes. As my children got older, I became more actively involved with the local farms and tried helping them tell their story utilizing this exciting new social media platform – Facebook.

The time spent with farmers at the market resulted in a book called Rooted In The Valley. The response to the book was so overwhelming that I realized others wanted to know more about their local farms and farmer as well. Then one summer, while standing in the middle of my local farmers market, I was surprised to notice that behind every single table was a woman farmer. Then I was surprised to be surprised. So I took myself to the library and began a months-long search for women’s role in agriculture, looking for stats, pictures, and came up empty-handed. That was the beginning of The Female Farmer Project – a documentary project to illuminate the modern role of women in agriculture. I am currently in fundraising and pre-production-mode of documentary film that does the same for the history of women in agriculture – starting with the original American female farmers – the first nation women. We begin shooting Women’s Work:The Untold Story of America’s Female Farmers in August.

 

With The Female Farmer Project, you meet an array of people and travel to all these places. What’s one story that hit home for you?

Its hard to point to one story, so many of them are rich in their diversity. They do share a narrative thread that I try to amplify as often as I can. Many of the women farmers I meet are first generation. So they aren’t inheriting the farm, they’re starting from scratch with land and education. Women farmers have a harder time accessing the capital needed to buy land –even though statistically they’re a better credit risk! One of the great efforts by American Farmland Trust is their Women For The Land Initiative, they are helping women to access farmland, education and mentorship in order to be successful farmers and businesswomen.

But if I had to pick one hero, its definitely Karen Washington. She lives in the South Bronx area of New York – an area that suffers from poverty and is the poorest district in the nation. One of the struggles in the South Bronx is access to fresh produce which contrasts sharply with Manhattan, its only five miles away yet home to some the world’s finest dining. Karen had a vision that the empty, abandoned lots in her community could be filled with gardens and people growing food. Despite the odds, she was successful. So successful that she needed to start a weekly market in order to get the food into people’s hands – her mission was that if you come to market hungry, you will not leave market hungry. She recently retired from her job as a physical therapist and has been farming full-time with 3 other women at Rise and Root Farm. She’s in her late 60’s and she’s just getting started!

 

Now that’s amazing. What about you though? You have a full plate as well. Take us on inside the life. What happens in your every day?

Like everyone else I have to tackle in email inbox, I also manage my social channels and try to read as many articles and white papers about what’s happening in the agricultural world. Some days I work on my keynotes and presentations, other days I grab my camera, throw on my boots and go visit a farmer. I also have a podcast “The Female Farmer Project” with my co-host Kate, who is a future female farmer – we cover topics from financing the farm to different business models for diversifying income. The entire team, including myself are volunteers to this project. I also have a volunteer board of directors for our non-profit film production company, Demeter Productions.

I’m in progress of researching and writing the documentary film with my research assistant, Greta. Also, my writing partner, Debbie and I have been publishing a series of pieces in The Guardian about water issues, agricultural worker suicide and have one publishing soon about farmland loss. The Female Farmer Project team have been advocating and working with legislators to get legislation and funding for behavioral health services for those who work in agriculture and were able to get a bill passed here in Washington State and have bills actively working through Congress for the 2018 Farm Bill.

In order to do and fund all of the above, I take on commercial photography work and its fun to walk into grocery stores and see my photography covering entire walls, or on food packages on the shelves.

I also have two teenaged kids, two dogs and a very supportive husband of 27 years. If it sounds like a lot, it is. But all self-inflicted! I struggle to find time for me, and I know I am not alone in that regard. But my work is extremely fulfilling on many levels.

 

More about you – describe yourself in 3 words?

Passionate, Thoughtful, Creative.

And on the topic of the farming industry, how would you describe that in 3 words?

Foundational, Misunderstood, Struggling

From what you’ve seen, heard, and discovered. What’s the 1 thing we/society should be being paying attention to?

Our Un-Instagrammed Food. One of the most important things we do every day is eat, so shouldn’t we learn more about how who grew or raised it, how it got to our plate, and how we can support the people who make it happen? From the farmers, farmworkers, truckers, dishwashers, cooks, the list goes on of invisible people in our food system. As Rooftop Farmer, Annie Novak says – “ignorance is not bliss, it’s disempowerment.” Instead of just taking a picture, we should empower ourselves and learn a bit more about how our food system works.

…And of course, we just gotta know. What makes you feel amazing every day?

Giving an unsolicited compliment to a stranger. Eating well. Hugging my kids. Amplifying the voices of female farmers.

That’d make us feel amazing too. Thanks for your time and insight, Audra. Where can we find you and stay in touch online?

IG: @rootedinthevalley

Twitter: @femalefarmers @womensworkdoc

Facebook: /femalefarmerproject /womensworkdoc

Audra Mulkern, The Female Farmer Project

*Amazing Grass is raising up to $50,000 to support American Farmland Trust. You text, we donate – by just texting “Ilovefarmers” to 54815 you’re already contributing. Follow more on the campaign here.

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Professional snowboarders get real about healthy eating!

Professional snowboarders Chanelle Sladics and Kjersti Buaas know what it’s like to push their bodies to the max and in their line of work that can mean the difference between winning and losing.

Chanelle was lucky enough to grow up with influences that educated her on healthy eating and she in turn passed that education onto Kjersti.  Once they discovered the power of food, they began digging deeper into the benefits and impact this healthier lifestyle had on their lives and the world around them. Four-time Olympian, Kjersti, says her eating habits didn’t change until she met Chanelle.  “Looking back, I was often sick or had a stuffy nose and was constantly running low on energy.  To my surprise I was still able to achieve so much, yet I was nowhere near my potential. I am confident that the food I eat and the lifestyle I live today is the biggest reason I can still fly over 75-foot jumps at 33 years young.”

So what does ‘eating healthy’ mean to them?

“We like to say that healthy eating is conscious eating. Knowing the value and benefits of organic, local farming, the power of “raw food” and how best to give our body the nutrients it needs to recover from our daily activities and thrive! Learning that the way we eat matters for us, the planet, and future generations. Cutting down on eating meat makes for a more balanced Eco-system inside and outside our bodies. By supporting organic farming we keep the harmful chemicals out of the air, the soil, the water, and our bodies as there are no hidden toxins to run from, not to mention how delicious food is again?”

To read more from Chanelle and Kjersti, including their favorite superfood smoothie head over to the BLDG 25 blog.

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Follow Chanelle on Instagram

Follow Kjersti on Instagram

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Hello Real Life gets summer-ready with greens!

“It’s about that time that everyone starts changing their diets and hitting the gym to get summer-ready. Goodbye burgers, hello kale. But let’s be honest—sometimes it’s near impossible to eat well at work or school, and there’s only so many salads you can have before they start tasting “blah.” Thankfully, there are new options to getting your greens in, and they’re easier and tastier than ever. If you’re struggling to improve your nutrition on-the-go, we’ve got you covered.

Meet Amazing Grass. This brilliant superfood company offers the most nutrient-dense, ready-to-drink greens to help you achieve the recommended 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. What makes them different from other brands is their use of high-quality ingredients, their affordable prices, and the overall taste. We’ve all had our share of unappetizing green drinks in our day, and honestly, Amazing Grass actually knows what they’re doing. Their products are not only USDA organic, Non-GMO, vegan, and gluten free, but they’re also legitimately delicious and filling.”

 

Check out the complete review from Hello Real Life here.

 

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Mindy White is the author of lifestyle blog, Hello Real Life. “I find that too many sites these days suggest tips and lifestyles that just aren’t practical. I have a different   outlook, and that’s where Hello Real Life comes from. I want live a real, happy, genuine life–whatever that means.”

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V-TOX 5 Day Challenge

Amazing Grass invites you to participate in a 5-day challenge to move towards a plant-based diet and an overall healthier lifestyle.

 

The V-TOX Challenge will empower and challenge you to take steps toward a healthier lifestyle in the following ways:

  •  Incorporate more greens into your daily routine with Amazing Grass.
  • Explore and try new plant-based recipes.
  • Challenge yourself to complete a daily workout.
  • Educate yourself on the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle.
  • Connect with the V-TOX community & WIN prizes along the way.

When you sign up with your email address, you will receive a daily email with a link to articles, the daily workout, one of our favorite plant-based recipes, and additional challenges. At the end of each day, it is our hope that you have completed a challenging workout, tried a brand new recipe and/or incorporated new ingredients into your diet, and learned about the benefits of a plant-based life.

Are you up for the challenge?  Join us and sign up!

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Oxygen Magazine features Amazing Meal Café Mocha

January 2014’s edition of Oxygen Magazine included an article titled “Go Au Naturel.” The article featured five all-natural products that will keep you lean and eating clean and Amazing Grass’ Amazing Meal in Café Mocha was included! “Café Mocha from Amazing Grass blends green organic superfoods (such as acai, maca and flax) with 10 grams of protein, sinfully decadent chocolate and rich coffee to make a tasty all-in-one drink. Bonus: Each serving delivers 100 milligrams of caffeine – same as a cup of coffee.”
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“January 2014 Oxygen Magazine cover”
“Buzz Alert! Amazing Meal Café Mocha featured as all-natural product to keep you lean and eating clean.”

Amazing Meal comes in four additional flavors: Chocolate, Vanilla Chai, Pomegranate Mango, and Original. Café Mocha is the only flavor in the group to have the added plant-based caffeine but all Amazing Meal blends offer a satisfying mix of protein and superfoods that provides amazing energy and amazing health. Boost your smoothie or simply add to water or milk!

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“Fitness for the Rest of Us” Reviews Amazing Grass

October 11, 2013- Amazing Grass Drinks & Bars – The Most Powerful Vegetable on Earth –

Amazing Grass has a full line of super healthy superfoods that were a huge hit at my house. I had the opportunity to try their amazing meal and their Energy Bars. I loved both and could taste the real, fresh, whole food ingredients. Amazing Grass brings clean eating to a whole new level of delicious and availability! Quick and easy to enjoy and packed full of real ingredients like: greens blends, goji berries, hemp protein, flax seed, antioxidants, protein, and more- you will love the taste & your body will love the health benefits! Perfect for back to school snacks, lunches, and breakfasts on the go.

Amazing Meal:

What happens when you combine organic Green Superfood with plant based protein, fruits and vegetables? You get Amazing Meal, the 100% whole food nutrition mix. Each serving has 10 grams of complete protein and 6 grams of fiber and are organic and raw. Amazing Meal comes in canister or in individual envelope servings.
Available in five wonderful flavors all unique and all deliciously healthy: Original, Chocolate Infusion, Pomegranate Mango Infusion, Vanilla Chai Infusion, Cafe Mocha

Energy Bars:

These fabulous bars allow you to take all the healthfulness of Amazing Grass with you on the go. Amazing Grass Green SuperFood Whole Food Energy Bars pack all the nutrition you need in a portable and affordable bar. We combine fruits and vegetables with our organic Green SuperFood drink powder for a treat that’s Mother Nature approved! You can taste the whole real ingredients and you will love the health benefits. I really loved the Chocolate Chip Coconut variety but they were all amazing. All moist and full of flavor and very filling. Use as a portable snack or a light meal on the go. Toss in your bag or keep in your desk drawer. Available in a variety of awesome flavors, some of my other favorites are Chocolate Peanut Butter, Sweet & Savory Almond, and Whole Food Energy.

Source: http://lindseylu8.blogspot.com/2013/10/amazing-grass-drinks-bars-most-powerful.html

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Alisha from Go Dairy Free dishes about Green SuperFood

Perhaps it really is all of the raw organic greens that they pack into Amazing Grass Green SuperFood powder: wheat grass, barley grass, alfalfa, spirulina, spinach, chlorella, and broccoli!
To be clear, Amazing Grass Green SuperFood isn’t protein powder (in fact, there are only 25 to 30 calories per serving) and it isn’t a vitamin supplement (update: some of the flavors do now have vitamin & mineral infusions, too). It’s a raw, vegan whole food supplement with the aforementioned powdered greens, powdered antioxidant-rich foods (like organic acai and green tea), fiber (from oats, flax seed, and more), digestive enzymes, prebiotics and probiotics.

To keep it minimally processed and “raw”, Amazing Grass utilizes a very low temperature dehydration process that ensures the antioxidant and phytonutrient power remains intact. As an added bonus, it contains no added sweeteners, yet the powders have natural light sweetness to them.

Amazing Grass Green SuperFood comes is a myriad of flavors, and thus far, I’ve trialed the flavors that follow (I will update as we sample more of them) …

Chocolate Amazing Grass Green SuperFood –

Merely opening the handy canister of the Chocolate flavor created a strong first impression. The fine powder was pleasant in appearance and my nose was immediately met with the most delightful, rich chocolate scent. As my official introduction to Amazing Grass Green SuperFood, I decided to run the chocolate version through a few tests:

Trial #1 – Chocolate SuperFood “Milk”:

Giving in to a touch of sugar, I sampled a glass of plain rice milk (possessing a bit of evaporated cane juice) with a scoop of this Superfood. This was definitely a winning drink, and much closer to an “instant breakfast” experience than many other powdered supplements. It dissolved quite thoroughly in my drink with only a slight powdery finish. I could easily see myself polishing off the entire canister in an instant rice beverage fashion, but…

Trial #2 – The SuperFood Shake:

…I was still holding out hope for some no added sugar goodness. Into my blender went 1 frozen banana, 2/3 cup unsweetened chocolate almond milk, 2 tablespoons almond butter, and 1 serving Chocolate Amazing Grass Green SuperFood. It was wonderful! The Superfood actually took my typical smoothie up a small notch, creating a rich chocolate flavor that the chocolate almond milk was unable to sustain alone.

Trial #3 – The Slim SuperFood Smoothie:

Omitting the almond butter in the shake above turned out to be an excellent option for my last minute pre-workout breakfast. I was able to down this tasty concoction just a half hour before my workout; I didn’t sustain a single side cramp, and I had enough energy to keep me going until I arrived home. All in all, it was just 150 calories or so, just a few small grams of fat, and a load of nutrients.

Berry Amazing Grass Green SuperFood –

Within minutes of receiving the Berry (Acai+ Goji) canister, I busted it open and dished a scoop into some ice cold water for both my husband and I. We had just finished our workout, so its arrival couldn’t have been more timely. I really didn’t expect much, since healthy drink powders with no added sugars aren’t usually the stuff dreams are made of … but, it wasn’t bad. It had a slightly sweet yet mellow berry flavor that I had no trouble polishing off. My husband said it tasted “wheaty, but not bad,” as he downed the entire glass. Trust me, the fact that he even finished it is high praise from my greens-hating husband. When consumed this way, the powder did tend to settle, but a few shakes as I gulped away kept it in the mix.

Like the Chocolate, I prefer the Berry Amazing Grass Green SuperFood as a smoothie perfecter, rather than a pure greens drink. One heaping scoop of the Berry adds brightness and just enough flavor to push my smoothie into yum. My current favorite smoothie for using the Berry SuperFood is this Amazing Pom-Mango Smoothie.

Lemon-Lime Energy Amazing Grass Green SuperFood –

Though I still prefer the berry and chocolate flavor-wise, the Lemon-Lime Energy Amazing Grass Green SuperFood actually has a slightly sweet taste that adds some spring to my smoothies. As for that high energy infusion … I didn’t even notice a taste of matcha or yerba mate (thank goodness) but I did notice an almost immediate boost in my energy!

I first sampled it straight (with ice water) after a high energy workout. I was fatigued, but a scoop of this powder perked me up and actually kept me going long enough to make a nice dinner. Reportedly, caffeine (this boasts 85mg per serving) also helps with muscle recovery. Nonetheless, like all Amazing Grass Green Superfood powders (thus far, read on…), I prefer it in smoothies rather than straight-up. For my first Lemon-Lime smoothie trial, it was morning, I was tired, and my stomach wasn’t yet awake. I chose a light blend of 1 cup watermelon, a handful of sliced frozen strawberries, a wee bit of water, and a scoop of Amazing Grass Green Superfood. Wow, not only did it taste great and go down easily, but it woke me right up! My brain felt sharper and I was ready to take on the day. I am not someone who can usually tolerate caffeine, but the overall blend seemed to work for me without creating the jitters or a corresponding crash.

Pineapple Lemongrass Amazing Grass Green SuperFood –

At long last I’ve found a refreshing flavor of Amazing Grass Green SuperFood that I love straight up with water! The Pineapple Lemongrass has the same amazing base ingredients, but the light, citrus notes made it pleasing as is. This is a winner for a delightful afternoon pick-me-up.
Though I’m not usually a big supplement fan, I’m quickly became addicted to Amazing Grass Green SuperFood. Something about it just makes me feel good. Is it more energy, does it tame my tummy, or does my head clear? Perhaps, but for now I can just say it tastes and feels like something that should be a part of my diet every day.
As a side note, Amazing Grass also sells some super-cool BPA-free shaker cups. I have had two of them for years and we love them. I was excited by the new, better lid design, and the fact that they offer a sampler cup filled with packets of each superfood flavor.

Certifications:

Amazing Grass Green SuperFood is Certified Kosher Pareve. It is labeled as vegan and gluten-free, and they do use organic ingredients, but we did not note certifications for these.

Dietary Notes:

By ingredients, this superfood is vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free (but not wheat-free), nut-free, peanut-free, and soy-free. Nonetheless, read the label and check with the company on their manufacturing processes before consumption if potential allergen cross-contamination is an issue for you. Processes and labeling are subject to change at any time for any company / product.

Source: http://www.godairyfree.org/product-reviews/amazing-grass-green-superfood

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Pineapple Lemongrass Smoothie is a hit with Two Classy Chics

September 6, 2013- Health & Wellness Products from Amazing Grass + Giveaway

For the past 9 months my husband and I have been really working hard to eat healthy and to get more physical exercise. So far this year…we have both lost some considerable weight and we are definitely feeling a lot healthier these days.

Recently we were introduced to the high-quality health & wellness products by Amazing Grass and were very impressed with them. Their products are available for purchase online, at Whole Food Stores, GNC, Natural Grocers and at other locations. You can use their store locator on their web site to find a location near you. For our review we were sent a smoothie cup, 2 packets of Amazing Grass Amazing Meal Dietary Supplement in the Café Mocha flavor, 2 packets of Amazing Grass Green Superfood in the Pineapple Lemongrass flavor, 2 packets of Amazing Grass Raw Reserve Green Superfood in the Berry flavor and a carton of all natural Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Almond Milk…yay!

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The Amazing Grass Café Mocha is a healthy mix of organic green superfoods, 10 grams of complete, plant-based protein in a tasty blend of chocolate and coffee. For our review we decided to make their Café Mocha Almond Smoothie Recipe which you can find & print that recipe directly from their web site. It was really easy to prepare and you simply toss the ingredients into the blender and within a few seconds you have a delicious smoothie to enjoy. Hubby and I made two of them and had them for breakfast last week and they were delicious! Since we both love chocolate and coffee, this was the perfect smoothie for us to enjoy!

The Pineapple LemonGrass Green SuperFood is infused with vitamins and as soon as my mother saw these 2 packets…she ran off with them. Mom is much more of a health nut than I am…so I was more than happy to share with her. The following day she printed out the Ray Ray’s Mango Pina Colada Smoothie Recipe from their web site and whipped up one using her blender. Later that day I got a phone call from her and she was raving and raving to me about that smoothie. She said it was delicious and even better than most expensive smoothies she buys as smoothie shops!

Overall…we loved these products and for hubby and I…we really enjoyed our Café Mocha Almond Smoothies! They were easy to prepare and healthy for us! Yay!

Source: http://twoclassychics.com/2013/09/health-wellness-products-from-amazing-grass-giveaway/#WTQHxCwG8CRLZ3aI.99

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Raw Reserve wins “Best Green Foods Supplement”

Amazing Grass Raw Reserve Green SuperFood has won the “Best Green Foods Supplement” award in the 2012 Supplement Awards from Delicious Living Magazine! “Unless you have a degree in medicine, or perhaps chemistry, trying to choose a dietary supplement by scrutinizing the bottles facts panel can feel like deciphering hieroglyphics.”

DLM’s editors and medical experts studied the science behind the ingredients of the best-quality formulas out there and chose their favorites: the most innovative and effective supplements on the market today. In the Greens Food Supplement category, Amazing Grass Raw Reserve came out on top, “With more than 25 billion probiotic CFUs per serving, this tasty organic green foods powder also includes antioxidant acaí and maca.”

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“The 2012 Supplement Awards announces winners and honorable mentions in 32 categories, from Best Men’s Multivitamin to Best Probiotic to Best Anti-Aging and many more.”

Review all the awards in the March 2012 issue of Delicious Living Magazine by clicking the link below.

Full list: Delicious Living’s 2012 Supplement Awards winners

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