A Garden Co-op in Bedford for Farm Fresh Produce

In this fast paced, social-media crazed world we live in it comes as no surprise that from time to time one feels run down, emotionally and physically. Where does one start to slow down the pace? At a lunch with the owners at SunRaven, I found a potential solution for those who would like to shift the pace of life and live a healthier lifestyle.

SunRaven is a healing and wellness center situated in Bedford, founded by Michael Finkelstein, MD, executive director of The Slow Medicine Foundation at SunRaven and medical blogger for Doctor Oz, and Robin Queen Finkelstein, certified psycho-spiritual counselor, ordained minister, and green living specialist.

Slow Medicine is a holistic approach to living. The Finkelstein’s philosophy looks at life through a whole systems approach, understanding that everything is inter-connected. One of the ways to lead a healthier life is by reconnecting with nature and growing your own organic produce.

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The center is part of a self-sustainable farm with a converted barn designed to also accommodate the resident raven, SunRaven, who called it home before the Finkelsteins. As you walk through the gates you’ll meet Stanley the peacock, a llama, a horse or two, some chickens and enter the community garden which is more than just your ordinary garden co-op. Being a member of their garden co-op allows you and your family to participate in a hands-on, working and learning garden experience. Trellis making, seeding, germination, harvesting, and making your own compost are but a few of the gardening skills covered throughout the membership period of spring, summer and fall. Members also receive weekly shares, a basket variety of produce, eggs and edible bouquets of herbs and flowers. Suggested meal plans and recipes are also provided. 

On the day of my visit, lunch was prepared by Dr Finkelstein; he mostly used produce from the community garden. He says cooking classes aren’t the focus their program but he always invites members of the community garden to come help in the kitchen and learn new recipes. I had a taste and fell in love with their home baked, gluten-free Socca bread (a thin, unleavened pancake/crêpe made of chickpea flour). This simple and easy bread recipe allows you to add different flavors according to the seasons. Xena D’Ambrosi, SunRaven’s horticulturist, blends her own teas and offers workshops at the center on herbalism, canning, fermenting and cultivating creativity in the garden. 

“Participating in a community garden is an integral part of this nourishment process — growing your own organic bounty, interacting with others and with nature, moving your body doing something you love — these all nurture good health,” says Robin Finkelstein. The center offers consultations and sessions by both Finkelsteins and is home to many workshops, programs, retreats, and special event evenings.

SunRaven provides a setting for reconnecting with nature to take a pause and nurture good health, as well as learning to harvesting your own produce and enjoying meals straight from the earth.

Workshops and special events are open to members and the public. Annual membership to the Garden Co-op is for the whole family and they offer two different packages (seasonal membership is $875 with 30 work-share hours required; $1,225 for no work-share hour commitment). For more information on the center’s workshop and events contact 914.218.3113 | info@slowmedicine.org​

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