Fire Cider Recipes

It's A Medicinal Tonic. It's A Cocktail Mixer. It's Both…and More!

Archive for the category “Update”

You Need This: Bee’s Wrap

I am always looking for ways to reduce, reuse and recycle.  At home and at work, I know how important it is to shop responsibly.  When it comes to the kitchen and our home environment in general, there are a lot of ways to save money and reduce our impact on the earth.  Fact: I have not bought or used plastic wrap in YEARS!  Same with paper towels and plastic bags.  Yes, you can live without those throw away products.  And yes, there are alternatives that are healthier for you and for the environment all while saving you money, check it out:

Let’s say you pay $2.49 for a 100 foot roll of SaranWrap.  So if you use 8 rolls a year, that costs you $19.92.  You will use all the plastic wrap, a few feet at a time, slowly throwing away the entire roll.  Yes, you just paid for garbage that will now spend decades not rotting in a landfill. Same goes for those sandwich bags, zip lock bags, paper towels, you get the idea.  It’s all garbage, it’s all going to end up in a landfill polluting the earth that we rely on for food, clean water, clean air, you know, life as we know it.

Bee's Wrap - www.beeswrap.com

Bee’s Wrap – http://www.beeswrap.com

Now consider a 3 pack of Bee’s Wrap for $18 which will last for a full year and when it’s done keeping your groceries fresh, you can compost it and it will become part of next years garden.  Or use it as a fire starter in your wood stove.  It’s a little less money and zero waste. Bee’s Wrap is made from organic cotton infused with bee’s wax, jojoba oil and tree resin.  Plus you get to feel really good about yourself by supporting a sustainable, earth friendly business instead of a mega corporation that produces trash.  Everyone wins!

Paper towels and paper napkins are an even easier fix, instead of buying and throwing away toxic bleached paper products that are stripping our land of oxygen producing plants, you can buy some washable kitchen towels and napkins and turn your clothes that are too far gone into rags for messier projects.  And when you absolutely need to you can use bamboo towels that can be washed and reused as well.  Bambooee is the brand that I recommend.  On their site they state this: Trees are being cut down at an unsustainable rate and 3,000 tons of paper towel waste are produced per day. (According to the US Environmental Protection Agency).

Here are my rules for shopping: is this healthy for me, is it made by a company that is in alignment with my values, is it earth friendly ie is the product and it’s packaging biodegradable, recyclable or reusable?  If the answers are all yes, then buy it!  There are 313.9 million people in this country, if we each do a little, it will add up to a lot more resources for us all to enjoy for many generations to come.  So make the switch, save money and our planet, how’s that for multitasking?!

 

 

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Fire Cider At Expo East and The Big E

September is our busiest month of the year and this year was no exception.  We spent 8 days at the Big E in Springfield MA and during that time we gave out over 25 gallons in samples alone, holy wow, that’s a new record! Twenty five gallons translates to about 17,500 Fire Cider samples – in home compostable sample cups of course!  We are so thankful to everyone who came out and gave our strange tonic a try.

Sheri and Dan taking their daily shots of Fire Cider at the Big E.

Sheri and Dan taking their daily shots of Fire Cider at the Big E.

While the Big E was going on, four of us went to Baltimore Maryland for Natural Products Expo East, second only to Expo West which we will be attending in March.   We were lucky to have Daniel Esko, formerly of the Berkshire Coop Market join Team Fire Cider on September 2nd.   Daniel, Brain, Dana and I drove 6 hours to Baltimore, in two cars packed to the gills with Fire Cider for the Expo.

Arriving at Expo East in the Baltimore Convention Center.

Arriving at Expo East in the Baltimore Convention Center.

We had an awesome time at the Expo- we met a whole bunch of our retail partners, whom we have known for years via email and phone.  It was so nice to finally meet them in person!  We also connected with a lot of people who were excited to try Fire Cider for the first time as well as some super fans who went home with free bottles, t-shirts and shot glasses.

Having fun at the Expo! Daniel, Brian and Dana with the backdrop I made.

Having fun at the Expo! Daniel, Brian and Dana with the backdrop I made.

Fire Cider was nomininated for the NEXT award given out by New Hope Media who runs Expo East and Expo West, what an honor!

Fire Cider was nominated for the NEXT award given out by New Hope Media who runs Expo East and Expo West, what an honor!

It was certainly not all work for the three days we were at the Expo in Baltimore.  Mom’s Organic Market, one of our retail partner’s held a party at Alewife, a local bar with 40 beers on tap, at the end of the first day of the Expo.  We had a blast, thanks guys!

The Mom's Organic Market party was the place to unwind after the first day!

The Mom’s Organic Market party was the place to unwind after the first day!

And we got a recommendation to try out a Butcher Shop and Restaurant called Parts and Labor that sources local and humanely raised, free range animals which they butcher and cook on site, using the whole animal.  This place was so similar to Fore Street in Portland Maine it’s almost as if the idea of nose to tail local butchers working closely with near by farms is catching on!

This Wendell Berry quote really captures the whole knowing your food and your farmer idea.

This Wendell Berry quote on the menu really captures the whole knowing your food and your farmer idea.

And on that note we ate about half the menu, our dinner ended with a recommendation from our server Issac who we will all remember forever for his insights:

Best ham ever, it was truly a divine experience.

Best ham ever, it was truly a divine experience.

Thanks Baltimore, it was fun, it was exciting and we are already planning for Expo West in L.A. this coming March 2015!

Sheri had more than a TON of shipping to do after the Expo, 4 pallets plus the cart, all in one day!

Sheri had more than a TON of shipping to do after the Expo, 4 pallets plus the cart, all in one day!

 

Pallet Garden and Hops Update

Our little pallet garden has been growing strong, we’ve picked a bunch of cilantro and made a few salads with all the greens.  The radishes never make it into the house, got to have something to eat while I’m picking food for a meal!

Baby lettuces are delicious!

Baby lettuces are delicious!

Meanwhile, our garden in Richmond has turned into a Comfrey field.  And while Comfery is an amazing medicinal plant, it can not be eaten and it choked out all the rest of our plants!

Dana whacking back the Comfrey, perhaps next year we'll grow vegetables?!

Dana whacking back the Comfrey, perhaps next year we’ll grow vegetables?!

We covered the whole garden up and will see if we can get a fresh start next spring.  What our garden at Green Means Farm lacked in vegetables this year, it made up for in hops, four different varieties, although the Cascades are doing the best by far!

Picking hops really makes me want to drink a beer, they smell so good!

Picking hops really makes me want to drink a beer, they smell so good!

Dana dried them out and has already brewed a 5 gallon batch with some of what we picked.   The brew should be ready by Friday, and we’ll certainly enjoy it after our first day at the Big E!  Dana, Sean, Brian and I hope to see you there, we’ll be on the Rhode Island side of the Massachusetts building all weekend!

Recycled and Biodegradeable: No More Plastic!

Plush recycled paper wrapping and biodegradable food starch packing pillows- be the change you want to see in the world- one shipment at a time!

Plush recycled paper wrapping and biodegradable food starch packing pillows – be the change you want to see in the world- one shipment at a time!

We are celebrating another small step in the right direction: our new packing materials just arrived!  Every Fire Cider order will now be wrapped in recycled, recyclable and reusable cushioned brown paper.  Goodbye plastic bubble wrap.  We are still using compostable food starch packing peanuts, which you can easily compost at home.  Only now, the peanuts are wrapped in a biodegradable pillow so they are contained and easy to re-use or toss into the compost.  Don’t you wish every business used earth friendly packaging?  It’s never too soon to start or to at least start bugging your local haunts to make the switch!

Coming later this fall: 100% post consumer custom Fire Cider boxes and paper tape.  Yeah,  paper tape instead of plastic, it’s stronger and recyclable, how cool is that? In about a month everything from our Fire Cider bottles to our promotional material to all of our shipping material will be recycled, recyclable, re-usable and/or home compostable.  Oh yeah!  Love your Mother Earth and have a happy Labor Day weekend!

 

Sean Callaghan Joins Team Fire Cider!

Dana and Sean with our other new addition!

Dana and Sean with our other new addition!

We are getting ready for our biggest fall yet and so we have hired our first full-time employee, welcome to team Fire Cider Mr. Callaghan!   Sean’s actually been helping us out, officially and unofficially, for years.  Sean and Benny ‘Fingers’ Kohn wrote and recorded a rock n roll theme song for Fire Cider in 2012.  Sean has helped us in the kitchen making Fire Cider, and has personally hand washed many, many pounds of horseradish roots.  Sean is now offering in store Fire Cider tastings and attends the SoWa Farmer’s Market in Boston every Sunday.

Ready to rock at the SoWa Market in Boston.  Nice T-shirt!

Ready to rock at the SoWa Market in Boston. Nice T-shirt!

Now that he’s officially, finally, part of Team Fire Cider, you’ll see Sean all over New England offering free samples of Fire Cider at festivals, shops and cafes.  Sean will be working closely with our retail partners too.  Want to see Fire Cider for sale somewhere?  Feel the need for an in store demo aka free samples?  Sean can be emailed directly at, you guessed it: Sean@FireCider.com

The Big E is held in Springfield MA every year.  Sean, Dana, Brian, Sheri and I will be there, next to the Massachusetts building on the weekends, Friday September 12 through Sunday the 14th, the weekend of the 20th and 21st and Friday the 26th to Sunday the 28th.  Last year we gave out about 15,500 samples of Fire Cider (in biodegradable cups!) over the course of the event.   Let’s see if we can’t beat that record this year!

Sean and Dana having a laugh in the warehouse.

Sean and Dana having a laugh in the warehouse.  DIY Halloween costume!

Fire Cider Photo and Video Contest

Show us your best Fire Cider face!   Or your Fire Cider tattoo (no, seriously, we heard this was a real thing!), your friends trying Fire Cider for the first time, the funniest, weirdest, coolest way you use Fire Cider.  Get creative and you could win one of four $25 gift certificates to your favorite Fire Cider retail shop.  Sound like fun?  Here’s how to enter the contest:

Send us one photo OR one 60 second or shorter video along with your favorite place to buy Fire Cider.  We’ll let our Facebook fans pick two photo winners and two video winners and each will receive a $25 gift certificate to the shop of your choice.

Amy and Dana say: Beware The Underdose!

Amy and Dana say: Beware The Underdose!

Email your photo or video with the subject line “Fire Cider Contest” to Amy@FireCider.com by Monday July 14th at midnight est.  We will post your photos and videos on our Facebook and Twitter during and after the contest.  Brian, Dana, Sheri and Amy will narrow down the entries to our top favorite picks and let people vote on our Facebook page starting on Tuesday July 15th.

Our daily doses, down the hatch!

Our daily doses, down the hatch!

Like us on Facebook if you haven’t already!  The four winners will be emailed directly with how to redeem their gift certificates.  You can send in as many submissions as you like, one per email please.  Here’s Amy and Dana’s Fire Cider faces, show us yours!!

Hurts so good!

Hurts so good!

No Matter The Dis-Ease, Food as Medcine

I wanted to share this story since it’s something that I wasn’t aware of until recently: cancer caused by asbestos exposure and because Heather Von St. James relied on her healthy diet during her treatment and recovery process.  No matter what the disease or imbalance, part of the answer is always food as medicine!  Here’s Heather’s story, I’m happy to help her spread awareness about safely avoiding asbestos exposure:

“During my cancer treatment and beyond I have maintained a balanced healthy diet. Eating nutrient rich greens and lean protein I was able to maintain my weight and energy to fight off infection and recover more quickly. Chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery to remove my lung all affected my ability to eat as I normally did before I was diagnosed, but I could not let the side effects take control over my life. Foods do have healing powers, and adding more fibrous options, fish, and green tea to my diet I believe helped my healing process. I do advise to consult a doctor before making serious changes to any diet to determine if such changes are beneficial for them.

Heather Von St. James

Heather Von St. James

 

n 2005, at the age of 36, and only three months after giving birth to a beautiful daughter Lily Rose, Heather Von St. James was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer caused by asbestos exposure. She was exposed to asbestos from her father’s work coat that was routinely covered in the harmful fibers. After a life saving surgery that included the removal of her left lung, she made it her life’s mission to spread awareness about mesothelioma and the dangers of asbestos. She carries out her mission to be a beacon of hope for those afflicted with mesothelioma by sharing her story of faith, love and courage as a keynote speaker at conferences, through social media forums, and blogging for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance.

 

Education is very much the first step in dealing with asbestos issues. Asbestos is not dangerous when it is in tact, but only when it becomes friable, or the fibers are loose, and airborne is when it becomes dangerous. As with lead, the same applies. Encapsulate it, or have it removed by a licensed and bonded abatement company. Do not attempt removal of asbestos on your own. It is dangerous.

 

The symptoms of asbestos exposure have a long latency period and can take years to show up. It can be 30 years before any health problems arise, so it is important to know what you are dealing with. Knowing where asbestos could be in your home is key. A few examples: attic insulation, called vermiculite (it looks like gravel) also spray insulation around boilers and such, tape, drywall, floor tile and adhesive, roofing, siding. Educate yourself before your renovate. Household exposure is a growing danger with people doing their own renovations and unknowingly tearing into asbestos containing walls, etc. One can never be too careful!

 

If you’d like to check out more information about Heather feel free to check out her blog!

New Equipment, Thanks to The CDC!

Have I mentioned lately how amazing it is to be working in partnership with the Franklin County Community Development Corporation– say that 5 times, fast!   They offer guidance to anyone interested in starting a business and they have provided us with a space to produce Fire Cider and continue to grow our small business.  The CDC is currently under construction to expand their cold and dry storage as well as their commercial kitchen.   We are stoked to have more space to make more batches of Fire Cider.

Last year the CDC’s loan program, headed by Alan Singer, made it possible for us to upgrade all of our equipment to food grade stainless steel.   We were super happy to say goodbye to all of our plastic barrels.  We found them homes as rain barrels!

Stainless steel steeping tank, stainless steep pump parts, only the best for your Fire Cider!

Stainless steel steeping tank, stainless steep pump parts, only the best for your Fire Cider!

Less than a year later, we approached Alan with another loan request, this time for two pieces of kitchen equipment that would save us many long hours in the kitchen, taking a lot of stress and physical labor out of making Fire Cider.  The result?  An awesome scrubbing tunnel that has turned a 10-12 person hour job into a 30 minute exercise.  Yes, you read that correctly.  It used to take 2 people working non stop scrubbing organic horseradish for hours on end just to prep that one ingredient for 2-3 batches of Fire Cider.  Now, we can achive even better results in just 30 minutes, and that includs set up, clean up and break down!   Here’s a fun video of Dana and Brian trying out the scrubbing tunnel for the first time.  It’s a bit loud, so turn the volume down!

Here are the before and after photos, can you tell we are super impressed with our investment?!

Organic horseradish, covered in not so delicious organic dirt!

Organic horseradish, covered in not so delicious organic dirt!

So fresh and so clean and ready to be turned into Fire Cider.

So fresh and so clean and ready to be turned into Fire Cider.

With our second loan we were also able to purchase a chopper for the lemons and oranges.  Processing hundreds of pounds of citrus by hand is just asking for carpal tunnel, not to mention an injury waiting to happen.  This chopper, with it’s graphic warnings, is definitely scarier than the chef’s knives we’ve been using, and will save our hands and arms, as long as we keep them away from the blades!

All thumbs ups, not to worry, we have cut resistant gloves to protect our hands while cleaning the machine.

All thumbs ups, not to worry, we have cut resistant gloves to protect our hands while cleaning the machine.

And here’s our new chopper in action, making batches Fire Cider just got a lot easier, which means that the three of us can safely continue making you Fire Cider for many years to come.   Yup, this video is loud too, what can I say, I’m working on my videographer skills!

We are super thankful to the CDC and their staff for supporting the growth of our small business, we truly couldn’t do this without them!  If you are thinking about starting a business, the CDC has you covered from the very beginning.

Fire Cider, Co-op Grocery Stores and the Dr. Oz Show!

Last Friday I had the opportunity to share my favorite home remedy, Fire Cider, with Dr. Oz, two of the sharks from the show ‘Shark Tank’ as well as the Oz studio audience!   Fire Cider isn’t just the best home remedy I know of, it’s also a great big gateway to using food as medicine.  Why?  I think a big part of what makes Fire Cider so awesome is that it’s accessible: all the ingredients can be found in any grocery store, they are all easily recognizable by most people and they combine to make one powerful tonic with immediate results!  Good foods combine to make better, more medicinally potent foods.  And maybe you’ll start with Fire Cider and branch out into other plant-based remedies, start using more organic, whole foods in your diet or discover the power of co-cooperatively owned and operated grocery stores.  True story: a customer told me she started shopping at her local co-op because they were the only store around that carries Fire Cider.  Now she shops there all the time.  And that’s exactly what I mean when I say Fire Cider can be a catalyst for change.

A big part of what inspires Brian, Dana and I is how Fire Cider works on a personal, local and national level.  I think it’s pretty to clear to most of us that our food system is broken and totally unsustainable.  And it seems to me that healing our food system and turning it into something that’s health building, good for mother earth and sustainable into the future is up to us as individuals and is the responsibility of all of us who work in the natural foods industry.  Since we started our business of getting Fire Cider to as many people as possible we have been working closely with locally owned retail stores and specifically with NCGA Co-Ops aka community owned grocery stores.  When you shop at a co-op your money stays in your local community, it supports the store so that it can offer low prices for high quality food that directly meets the needs of the community the store serves.  Your food dollars go towards supporting local agriculture, high quality foods and well-paying jobs for your friends and neighbors.

When you shop at a conventional chain grocery store, most of the money you spend goes to the corporate headquarters.   The majority of these chain grocers offer conventional food and ‘food products’ most of which contains one or all of the following: herbicides, pesticides, hormone disruptors, genetically modified organisms, refined sugars and carbohydrates.  No one would choose to put that kind of poison into their body and a co-op grocery offers a whole community the power to choose.  Owned and operated on a local level,  a co-op grocery store puts food choices directly into the hands of its community.   We are proud of the mutually supportive relationships we have formed over the past 3 years with retail shops and co-ops all over the country.  By working together we can all help each other succeed.  Everything is connected: what you buy and where you shop are powerful ways to make your voice heard! When you look at things in this way, Fire Cider is so much more than a product we sell, it’s a ripple effect that can positively effect our local community, our amazing customers and business owners across the county who are committed to making important changes in our food system.

I love handing out samples of Fire Cider, we’ve handed out over a quarter of a million samples in the past 3 years, and it’s amazing to watch the paradigm shift that happens when someone tries Fire Cider for the first time.  These simple, everyday foods, have a potent and immediate positive effect, food becomes medicine for the first time and a whole new door of possibility opens!  It happened for me years ago and I’m so happy to be able to share my passion with anyone and everyone willing to give Fire Cider a try.  And that’s the long version of why I jumped at the chance to go on national television and tell all of Dr. Oz’s viewers why Fire Cider is my go-to, all time favorite remedy.  Fire Cider has a long history, stretching back as far as ancient Greece and we are proud to be bringing our version of this old-time combination of cider vinegar and honey to folks who have never heard of it or even thought of their food as their best health care.  Brian, Dana and I are committed to spreading the word about food as medicine and contributing all that we can to making our food system healthy and wholesome for all.  Here’s a short clip from the show, the link to the full show is below!

Watch the full clip here on the Dr. Oz website!

 

Fire Cider May 2014 Event Schedule

sowa opening day 2014

Our official SoWa market representative, Sean, will be sampling and selling Fire Cider at the SoWa Sunday Market in Boston every Sunday this month from 10 am to 4 pm – May 4th, 11th, 18th and 25th!  Oh, and he’ll be there for the rest of the season too, though October!  Sean- you can even email him- sean@firecider.com- will take special orders for bulk, t-shirts and more, stop by anytime for a free shot of your favorite fiery health tonic!

Brian getting ready for another great Sunday at New Amsterdam Market!

Getting ready for another great Saturday at New Amsterdam Market!

Amy and Dana will be at the first New Amsterdam Market of the season on May 31st, Saturday from 10-5pm!  We are looking forward to seeing you all there!

Blue Russ Health Coach sharing the love!

Blue Russ Health Coach sharing the love!

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