Wednesday, October 26, 2011

All 1-2-3 blogs mentioned!

Since October is the month designated to focus on breast cancer (research, screening, treatment options, survivorship, and hopefully also prevention!), I was recently interviewed for another blog written by Stephanie Clark, RD and Willow Jarosh, RD who interviewed me as a featured 'expert', i.e., knowing a thing or two about breast cancer and nutrition. :-) However, I was also very pleased that they included questions in the succinct interview on their blog about gardening, so in the end, all three of my blogs (along with my book and website were mentioned and tied together by very good questions.

The blog written by these two dietitians is sponsored by Bumble Bee tuna with a focus on whole foods, nutrition, and increasing activity. My plant-based and whole food approach to my diet, with lots of physical activity thrown in by both regular exercise and also gardening/farming, is a nice complement to the information provided by their blog. Donations from this blog are given to support a very worthy breast cancer organization based in Chicago called Y-Me? which helped me with emotional support after my first breast cancer diagnosis way back in 1984 when I was only 34 years old.

Why me, indeed! Hopefully some of you will also benefit from Y-Me?'s support services like I did.

In addition, because my readers know of my advocacy for reducing environmental risk of cancer by eating organic foods, I think you will also find the following blog post (Racing for the Cause) very informative, which is also written by another colleague, Melinda Hemmelgarn, MS, RD, and published at

Thank you, Stephanie and Willow and thank you, Melinda for both mentioning gardening (particularly growing organically) as a very achievable and effective way of decreasing your cancer risk!

Note my first recommendation about gardening is to start small. No one is expecting you to start a farm like my husband and I did! :-)

I will end with two of my favorite gardening (farming) quotations.
To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves.
~~ Mahatma Gandhi
“The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, 
but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.” 
~~ Masanobu Fukuoka

Cultivating health through a garden's nourishment of both body and soul,
Diana Dyer, MS, RD 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Cancer Victory Garden at The Dyer Family Farm

Yes, we have been planting and planting and selling and selling thousands of garlic bulbs for these past two years, but our own personal garden during this time has either been entirely non-existent or sadly neglected. However, during late June (maybe early July), after we finally got the solar-powered electric fence put up around our family garden area at the farm, I planted a few very old seeds from my big box of seeds, seeds, and more seeds.

I weeded several times that first week, but then other priorities took over as the garlic harvest began in earnest followed in early August with prepping and attending farmers' markets on 3 consecutive days each week, with the markets finally ending a week ago. Thus, just this week (just this week!) I finally got back to my beds in the garden, first doing some serious weeding and then harvesting a few of the vegetables that managed to sprout (remember, these were old seeds that were planted quite late, i.e. after the summer solstice), managed to survive the weeds, managed to survive the consecutive 100+ degree days during July plus erratic watering.  I'm not sure when we finally got a proper sprinkler for that garden and/or our water source, but I know that nothing was ideal this summer. I think what I am trying to say is that these vegetables are real 'survivors' because they actually managed to survive neglect! They must have really had a strong will to thrive, or maybe they really did thrive on neglect! :-)

So here they are; a carrot, two radishes, and one turnip.  They are beautiful and they were delicious. Yes, they are already eaten. :-)

(Photo: First non-garlic vegetables from Diana's Cancer Victory Garden - at last!)

One of Henry David Thoreau's quotations illustrates the power and wonder of a seed, and I think my neglected seeds beautifully demonstrated that wonder.  Indeed one might even consider the vegetables produced by these tiny and neglected seeds to be 'wonderful'. :-)

"I have great faith in a seed. Convince me that you have a seed there,
and I am prepared to expect wonders."
~~ Henry David Thoreau

Next year, next year! I can't wait to start planning, start planting, start growing, and start wondering. :-)

Cultivating health through a garden's nourishment of both body and soul,

Diana Dyer, MS, RD