Hinmahtooyah’s Green Hands: Atlas Plaza Abloom in Orchids

Hinmahtooyah, a server who has been at Michael’s Genuine since the beginning, is gifted with plants. You could say he’s our resident horticulturist, responsible for keeping the patio lush and brimming with flowers. This spring, he fastened the tree trunks in our main planters with orchid seedlings.  Now, a couple months later, phalaenopsis, dendrobium, oncindium, vanda, ascocnda, and paphiopedilum are in full bloom.

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New Beer: Peak Organic Ale

Meet Peak Organic Ale, new as of tonight on the beer list. As we like to do from time to time, a couple more changes will occur over the next week or so including the addition of Southern Tier Oak Aged IPA and Stoudt’s Scarlet Lady Ale.

Peak Brewing Company, with offices in Maine and Massachusetts, is comprised of a gaggle of young home brewers turned brewmasters who in the nineties were on an ongoing mission to experiment with new recipes and styles. According to their Facebook page, the beers were usually “enjoyed after ‘peak’ experiences such as a spectacular day in the outdoors or quality time spent with friends, family and tasty cuisine.”

Today their current product portfolio of Pale Ale, Nut Brown Ale, Amber Ale, Maple Oat Ale, Espresso Amber Ale, India Pale Ale, Pomegranate Wheat Ale with Acai, and King Crimson Imperial Red is brewed in Portland, Maine with ingredients sourced from local farmers who grow organically. You can read more about this small, forward-thinking beer business on its website. Here is an excerpt about the featured beer at Michael’s Genuine.

Our Pale Ale is a complex hybrid between a West-Coast Pale Ale and a British-Style Pale Ale. An abundance of Cascade Hops gives this beer a citrusy, floral nose. We use a high percentage of Caramel Malt to provide a stark contrast to the hoppy front palate, giving our pale ale a smooth, malty finish.

ABV: 5.1% IBUs: 44

Suggested food pairing: Spicy food, sushi, chicken, pork, hummus, mild cheeses, herb cheeses, fruity desserts

First Skype with Grand Cayman, and Exploring the Island

Hedy arrived in Grand Cayman this morning… and miraculously, we’ve had our first Skype conference call!  Here she is with Eric at our island office.  Menus and construction in Grand Cayman are heading into the final stages. See Michael’s Twitpic for a preview!  More photos of the finished restaurant will be coming soon.
In the meantime, follow the jump manager Leilani de Leon’s log of the team’s island acclimation… and Ryan’s secret surf spot.

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The White House Mentions Wholesome Wave Foundation in Task Force on Childhood Obesity Report to the President

Last night we received word from Cristina Sandolo, our regional contact at Wholesome Wave Foundation and director of its nourishing neighborhoods initiative, that the organization’s Double Value Coupon Program (DVCP) was mentioned by name in the “White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity Report to the President.”

Wholesome Wave’s Double Value Coupon Program is mentioned under “Access to Healthy, Affordable Food,” one of the 5 main strategy groups discussed in the report. See the last paragraph on Page 58, and the recommendation immediately following, stating:

Since 2005, a group of farmers markets, foundations, local governments, and nonprofit organizations have collaborated on pilot incentive programs to expand USDA programs to improve the health and nutrition of low income families and their children. Wholesome Wave’s Double Value Coupon Program increases the value of SNAP and other program benefits when used at participating farmers markets, reducing the cost of fruits and vegetables for low-income participants.

Initiated in 2008, the program has expanded to more than 60 markets in 12 states and the District of Columbia. Early results from participating farmers markets often indicate a 300% increase in SNAP and WIC use at farmers markets with the introduction of double voucher incentive programs.

Recommendation 4.7: Provide economic incentives to increase production of healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, as well as create greater access to local and healthy food for consumers. The upcoming reauthorization of programs governed by the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 provides another opportunity to strengthen Federal farm and food policy to help meet the needs of all Americans.

National policy change is happening, folks thanks to the First Lady of the United States (FLOTUS) and her Let’s Move campaign. We are proud to have brought founder Michel Nischan’s DVCP to Miami with the launch of the Roots in the City Farmers Market and look forward to continuing to work hard towards access to affordable, fresh, and healthy food for all community members.  Through this partnership, we’re developing a platform for positive, sustainable changes to our food system, locally and nationally.  Congratulations to Michel and his team for their actions that speak louder than words!

Suggested reading: If you’d like to learn more about the food initiatives of The White House like the new Chefs Move to Schools program, the Obamafoodorama blog does an excellent job with coverage.