InterGenerate & the Community Garden Movement in Westchester, NY: Where Hope Blooms Large

InterGenerate’s new community garden in Mt. Kisco

By Peggy Clarke

Until recently, the United States was the breadbasket of the world—able to sustain its population.  Today, America is a net food importer, dependent on large corporations for the nation’s food supply, often turning a blind eye to the human cost paid by migrant workers and generally uninterested in the price that the planet is paying for transporting all that food across countries.

But a movement is growing across the country, as people band together with neighbors, friends, family and complete strangers to embark on the common goal of growing their own food. Community Gardens, like the Victory Gardens of generations past, are sprouting up everywhere, inspiring cooperation that is grounded in the common need for food and a commitment to finding alternatives that are safer for Earth and all her inhabitants.

Gardening is an excellent way to address many problems. Community gardening provides equal access to fresh food at very lost cost. Growing produce locally creates greater food security and doing it organically, as is common in community gardens, reduces the risks associated with pesticides and other agricultural chemicals. Local sourcing also has a dramatic impact on reducing the nation’s carbon footprint, since nearly a third of that footprint currently stems from agri-business and associated transportation. In addition, community gardens can build and strengthen communities across diversities that often divide them.

Currently, there are six gardens in Yonkers, thanks to Groundworks Hudson Valley. There’s also a new garden at Ward Park in New Rochelle, at least one urban garden in Mt. Vernon, a bird-friendly demonstration garden at the Bedford Audubon, and a re-opened and revitalized garden in Ossining. The most established community garden in the county, Onatru, is located in South Salem. And this year, InterGenerate has opened an 80-plot community garden in Mt. Kisco that is also serving families at the Inter-faith Food Pantry.  InterGenerate also opened a Teaching Garden at John Jay Homestead and runs an intergenerational garden camp at Bylane Farm in the month of July.  And this doesn’t count the myriad school gardens that are becoming commonplace in our county. Because these gardens require funding, InterGenerate has founded the Westchester Community Garden Network to raise funds on behalf of all gardens in the county.

With the budding of all these community gardens, people are getting to know their neighbors, learning how to grow their own food and rekindling the home arts of preserving, freezing and pickling to get through the cold winter. The development of local gardens gives people the power of self-determination, provides food security, builds communities and lets us live more gently on Earth.  Grab a hoe and join the revolution!

Peggy Clarke is Co-Founder of InterGenerate. For more information about Community Gardens in Westchester or InterGenerate, visit

Healthy Summer Treats abound at o2 Living’s Live Food Café

Chef Tom Donnelly at o2 living

With summer now in full bloom, Chef Tom Donnelly at o2 Living’s Live Food Cafe has some tasty and interesting new items on the menu. One plate that’s getting rave reviews is a watermelon beet salad with ginger and black sesame seed, topped with micro celery. The vibrant turquoise color jumps off the plate as the flavors jump in to the mouth. It is lightly dressed with lime juice, ginger, shallots, organic extra virgin olive oil and Himalayan salt. There is a fine carrot brunoise as well, and the micro celery gives a slight earthy flavor. The salad is complete with a refreshing burst of watermelon to quench every palate on a hot day.

Another summer offering is the celery root and Jicama salad with a chive, pomegranate vinaigrette. For the vinaigrette, Chef Tom places minced shallots in a bowl with pomegranate juice, apple cider vinegar and dulse (sea vegetables). While this marinades, the Jicama and the celery root are cut into matchstick-sized pieces. This allows more ruby red coloring to brighten the surface area of the white vegetables and provides for a greater absorption of all chive and dulse flavors. House-grown sunflower sprouts finish off this salad to give it extra crunch and create a bright, uplifting energy.

According to Chef Tom, the key to making flavorful and exciting dishes is simple. Start with beautiful, pure foods and keep it simple. Spend the extra time with family and friends, and enjoy what the local farmers markets have to offer.

In additional to a fantastic menu, o2 Living offers three-, five- and seven-day juice cleanses to remove toxins stored in the body from winter.  The bounty of delicious drinks available during the cleanse can jump start a healthy summer.

o2 living is located in Yellow Monkey Village, 792 Route 35, Cross River, NY. For more information call 914.763.6320 or visit

Pet Food: Is Fresh Best for Your Pet?

by Dr. Alex Barrientos

Dr. Alex Barrientos and Ranger at Earth Angels Veterinary Hospital

Choosing a diet for our four legged friends used to be simple. We went to the supermarket and picked what looked best, or followed our veterinarian’s advice and spent more on “Vet Recommended” diets. Today, more consumers are aware of what goes into processed dog and cat food, and it has become harder to argue that a processed product is as good as fresh food for our beloved animal companions. The recent scare over melamine-tainted grain used by the pet food industry intensified this awareness.

The current buzz is fresh foods, cooked or raw, created specifically for dogs and cats at home or by specialty companies. With these new alternatives gaining popularity, pet owners are caught between veterinarians’ warnings against such possibly dangerous diets and their desire to do better for their pets.

As a pet owner and a veterinarian, I have experienced both sides of the argument. I have recommended alternative diets while practicing holistic medicine since the 1990’s, finding them extremely helpful with chronically ill patients. It has taken well over a decade for this “diet revolution” to evolve to the point where veterinarians are advocating cooked and raw diets, as they are done responsibly and under knowledgeable guidance. Just as being a vegetarian involves more than eating vegetables, so does the choice to feed fresh or raw foods involve more than just serving what’s in our refrigerators. Fortunately, companies catering to this new trend have emerged, making it easy to properly feed our animal companions.

Long time breeders and owners of chronically ill pets were the first to try diet alternatives that deviated from conventional processed dry and canned foods. Many different beliefs arose, more based on experience than science. Today, there are more than 20 raw pet food producing companies in the United States, with most meeting and even exceeding “complete and balanced” AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) standards. Raw frozen diets are available at pet shops and veterinary hospitals, and there is even a company (Stella & Chewie’s, LLC) that certifies their raw meat product as pathogen safe through a high pressure process that does not alter food but eliminates bacteria.  This new technology pleases even the most fanatic raw food feeders, appeasing concerns about irradiation and other processes that alter the nutritional value of a fresh diet.

The pet industry in America is changing, as seen by the emergence of companies that produce vitamin and mineral supplements as well as pro-biotics for homemade diets. Preparing a complete and well balanced diet for our pets is now easier than ever. When considering homemade cooked or raw diets for dogs and cats, there are excellent recent publications with recipes backed by nutritional studies and food analysis. Monica Segal’s K9 Kitchen is a good place to start, while Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats by Kym Schultze and Give a Dog a Bone by Dr. Ian Billinghurst are also very informative.

Although not for everyone, a fresh food diet—cooked or raw—is possible for our pets if we so choose.  As a veterinarian, I know that there is no “perfect diet for all.” Dogs and cats are individuals, after all, and not likely to succeed with a cookie cutter approach 100% of the time. If and when you decide to try a fresh diet, consult with a veterinarian who has experience in this type of feeding and is supportive of your choices.


Onions May cause a life threatening anemia in dogs and cats.

Garlic Small amounts are for OK for dogs, but none for cats. May cause anemia

Nightshade Veggies (tomatoes, eggplant, etc.)  Aggravate inflammatory conditions like arthritis, allergies, asthma, acid reflux. OK to use in healthy young dogs but avoid in older and/or ill dogs as they will exacerbate inflammatory conditions.

Broccoli & other Cruciferous Veggies Exacerbate hypothyroidism so avoid if thyroid low.

Kelp High in iodine so avoid in hyperthyroid cats. Great for hypothyroid dogs.


Stella and Chewies Raw and freeze dried available. Pathogen-free certified. Good pricing.

Bravo Raw is best. Complete as well as non-complete diets available. Good pricing.

Natures Variety Rich and complete. Be careful with pets that are over-weight. Expensive.

Dr. Alex Barrientos completed her undergraduate and graduate studies in Veterinary Medicine at Cornell in ’98.  She is the founder of Earth Angels Veterinary Hospital in Wappingers Falls, NY, where both alternative modalities and conventional medicine are offered to companion animals. She resides in the Hudson Valley with her husband, 2 children, 3 dogs and 4 cats, and looks forward to bringing alternative pet medicine to the region.

Farm-to-Table Focus at Next Natural Awakenings Night on Tuesday, July 13

Chef Adam Strong creates farm-to-table delights at The Flying Pig on Lexington

Learn about what it means to be a “Farm-to-Table” restaurant at the next Natural Awakenings Night on Tuesday, July 13 from 7 to 9 p.m. at The Flying Pig on Lexington in Mount Kisco, NY. Executive Chef Adam Strong will be there to speak on the topic and share an insider perspective on how it all works. The event is free and all are welcome to meet and mingle with their holistic neighbors and Natural Awakenings readers. Light refreshments will be served.

The Flying Pig on Lexington is Northern Westchester’s standard-bearer for local, natural and farm-to-table foods. With a menu that showcases farm-fresh offerings from the Hudson Valley and beyond, the restaurant captures the vibrancy of seasonal flavors and brings them to your table for a unique and delicious dining experience.

RSVP is appreciated but last minute guests are always welcome. To RSVP, call Natural Awakenings at 914.617.8750, or email The Flying Pig on Lexington is located at 251 Lexington Avenue in Mount Kisco, NY. For more information, call 914.666.7445 or visit

Farmers’ Markets in Westchester and Putnam Counties, Updated for July 2010

Chef Emily Peterson

Chef Emily Peterson demonstrates the art of seasonal cooking to aspiring chefs at the Croton-on-Hudson Farmers' Market

Armonk Farmers Market – 3-7pm, Thursdays, through October. Kent Place Parking Lot (New Castle Library) Armonk.

Bedford CornersDaisy Hill Farm Stand. Fri, Sat & Sun. 214 West Patent Rd. (between Guard Hill & Rt. 172). Info: 914.244.1132.

Brewster Farmers’ Market – 9am-2pm, Wednesdays & Saturdays, through Nov 20. Rain or shine. 208 E. Main St. at the bottom of Peaceable Hill Rd. (the Borden Bridge, Rts 22 & 6).

Bronxville Farmers’ Market – 8:30am-1pm, Saturdays, through Nov. 20. Rain or shine. Balanced variety of vendors with plenty of parking. Stone Place at Paxton Ave. Bronxville. 914.337.6040.

Cold Spring Farmers’ Market – 8:30am-1:30pm, Saturdays. New Location this summer: the old Butterfield Hospital , Rt. 9D & Paulding Ave., Village of Cold Spring. Info:

Croton-on-Hudson Farmers’ Market – 11:30am-6:30pm, Wednesdays, through November 17. Rain or shine. Municipal Lot on Municipal Pl. and Riverside Ave. (Street Address: Across From 1 Municipal Pl.)

Dobbs Ferry Farmers’ Market – 10am-4pm, Fridays. Located alongside the Hudson River overlooking the Palisades. Cedar and Main Sts. Info:

Hartsdale Farmers’ Market – 8:30am-1pm, Saturdays, through Nov. 20. Rain or shine. Soons Orchard and Westchester Greenhouse. Hartsdale Train Station, DiSanti Plaza. Info:

Hastings Farmers’ Market – 9am-1pm, Saturdays. Info:

Irvington Village Farmers’ Market – 3:30-7:30pm, Wednesdays. Behind the Main Street School. Free parking in the back lot of the Presbyterian Church. Info:

Kent/Lake Carmel Farmers Market – 9am-3pm, Saturdays, through October. Route 52, Lake Carmel Recreation Ctr. Parking lot.

Larchmont Farmers’ Market – 8:30am-1pm, Saturdays, through December18. Metro North Parking Deck #3 off Chatsworth Ave. (Street Address: Near 1 Railroad Way.) Info:

Mount Kisco Farmers’ Market – New this year. 8:30am-1pm, Saturdays, through November 20. Rain or shine. Sponsored by Boys and Girls Club of Northern Westchester (Address: 351 Main Street). Info:

New Rochelle Farmers’ Market – 8:30am-3pm, Fridays. through November 19. Rain or shine. Sponsored by Library Green, Huguenot Street and Lawton Street (Street Address: Near 264 Huguenot Street.) Info:

Ossining Farmers’ Market – 8:30am-1pm, Saturday, through December 18. Rain or shine. Corner of Main and Spring Streets, Street Address: Ossining Post Office, 100 Main St. Info:

Pawling Farmer’s Market – 9am—12pm, Saturdays through September 25. Charles Coleman Blvd, Pawling. Info: 845.855.0633;

Peekskill Farmers’ Market – 8:30am-2:30pm, Saturdays. through November 20. Bank Street/ Downtown Peekskill Between Main Street (Rt. 6) and Park Street. Info:

Pelham Farmers’ Market – 9am-1pm, Sundays, through November 21. Rain or shine. Corner of Harmon Avenue & Fifth Ave. Street Address: Near 85th Ave. Info:

Pleasantville Farmers Market – 8:30am-1pm, Saturdays, through December 18. Rain or shine.  Memorial Plaza off Manville Road. (Street Address: Across From 42 Memorial Plaza.) Info:

Pound Ridge – 11am-4pm, Sundays, Scotts Corner, Pound Ridge. Info: Joan Silbershir 914.764.0015.

Purchase Farmers Market at PepsiCo – 11am-6pm, Tuesdays, through Nov. 800 Anderson Hill Rd, Purchase.

Putnam Valley Farmers Market –  3-7pm, Fridays, through Halloween. Tompkins Corners. Info: Eric

Rye Farmers’ Market – 8:30am-1pm, Sundays, through December 19. Rain or shine.  Parking Lot 2 on Theodore Fremd Ave. Behind the Purchase St. Stores. (Street Address: Directly Behind 73 Purchase St.) Info:

Scarsdale Farmers Market – 9am-1:30pm, Saturdays. Year round market. Village Hall, lower level parking lot. 100 Post Rd, Scarsdale.

Somers at Muscoot Farm – Sundays. 10am-3pm. Muscoot Farm, Route 100, Somers. Info: 914.864.7282.

South Salem at Gossett’s Farmer’s Market –9am-1pm, Saturdays, year round. Rain or shine.1202 Rt. 35, South Salem. Info:

Tarrytown Farmers Market – 8:30am-1pm, Saturdays, through November 20. Patriot’s Park on Route 9. (Street Address: Adjacent to Tarrytown Public Library, 121 N. Broadway) Info:

White Plains International Farmers Market – 8am-4pm, Wednesdays. At a new location this summer: the parking lot on the corner of Court and Quarropas Streets. Info: 914.422.1411.

Yonkers St. John’s Church Farmers Market – 9-4pm. Thursdays, through early Nov. Outdoor farmers’ market in the courtyard and a Flea Market in the churchyard. St. John’s Church Courtyard, Getty Square, Hudson St. & S. Broadway, Yonkers. Info: 914.963.3033.

Yorktown Heights at Hilltop Hanover Farm Stand – 10am-6pm, Fridays & Saturdays (correction: not open Sundays), through the end of October. 1271 Hilltop Hanover Farm, 1271 Hanover St. Yorktown Heights. Info: 914.962.2368,

New Pharmacy in Mahopac Offers Holistic as well as Traditional Medicine

Pharmacist Nagi Wissa of Lake Mahopac Pharmacy & SurgicalThose looking for a holistic pharmacy that also provides prescription medicines can find this combination at the Lake Mahopac Pharmacy & Surgical. The first of its kind on the east coast, this new pharmacy focuses on the well-being of a person’s body, mind and soul through both prescription medicine and alternative, natural and homeopathic remedies. The husband and wife team of owners includes Nagi Wissa, R.Ph., a pharmacist with a background in herbal remedies, and Paula Chamoun, a green-living and environmental affairs enthusiast. By opening this new pharmacy in Mahopac, the two combine their loves and passions to provide a neighborhood pharmacy where customers can feel comfortable filling prescriptions and exploring new natural remedies and exciting international Fair Trade gifts.

Lake Mahopac Pharmacy & Surgical is offering $5 off new and transferred prescriptions, and free delivery. They have also started a Medicine Recycling Program in which they will properly dispose of old/expired medicine. These local parents with four kids (including triplet boys), understand families’ needs and concerns, and welcome all to come by and visit.

Lake Mahopac Pharmacy & Surgical is located at 559 Route 6 in Mahopac, NY. Hours are M-F: 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sat: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. All insurances accepted and a 30-day generic program is available. For more information, call 845.208.0424 or visit

Transformational Women’s Empowerment Weekend July 31 & August 1 with Jennifer Magnan-McLeod

Jennifer Magnan-McLeod

Jennifer Magnan-McLeod is in the business of transformation, and Lifedesigning is her transformational coaching process. On July 31 and August 1, Jennifer will bring her coaching skills to the Wainwright House in Rye, NY as she leads a Women’s Empowerment weekend.

Jennifer is certified in Transformational Life Coaching by Coaching that Works, an intensive, cutting-edge, program at the New York Open Center. She’s also certified in Success Coaching, and she’s completing a course with Tony Robbins and psychotherapist Cloe Madanes for a certification in Strategic Intervention and Marriage Education. Jennifer delivers talks and workshops on topics like “Starting Over” and “Creating a Life by Design not by Default,” and she includes Reiki and the Emotional Freedom Technique in her client toolkit. Jennifer works from the premise that a person’s beliefs create the conditions of their life, and she believes that everyone is currently involved in a great shift and call to awaken.

“We must wake up and become consciously active in the creation of our lives,” says Jennifer. “We must decide now that we will settle for nothing less than a life filled with joy, passion, love and happiness. It is our birthright, our choice, and our duty to our children and the sacred planet that we live on.”

For a complimentary consultation with Jennifer Magnan-McLeod or to learn more about her Woman’s Empowerment weekend at Wainwright House, call 914.772.4078 or write to

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