Berkshires Episode

Sometimes it’s great to take the show on the road and that’s exactly what this episode does, as it visits Carmel at her home in the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts. Carmel shows us a world and fabric of life that is dedicated to the simple but delicious notion of fresh farm to table cuisine, from the pizza parlors to old time favorites to the highest end gourmet dining. Carmel cooks the perfect summer recipe in the Berkshires with one of the region’s best chefs, goes climbing through the treetops and zip lining across the forest at an aerial adventure park, and learns about Shinrin-Yoku, or the Japanese practice of “forest therapy” from a Zen master. Additionally, she makes some homemade granola bars in her Berkshires kitchen.

The Farm to Table Movement

The Berkshires is a beautiful rural environment set in the mountains of western Massachusetts. It is here where one can find the Farm to Table movement in full swing. What is Farm to Table? Farm to Table or Farm to Fork is the idea of purchasing food locally and directly from the source. The philosophy comes from the belief that it takes fewer hands and a shorter amount of time to get fresh food from the farm to your table.

Carmel with a chef in the kitchen at a Berkshires restaurant.

This movement benefits the environment, the local economy and certainly your health because the food is so fresh and therefore filled with vitamins.

I witnessed the farm to table movement in its various stages while shooting my show in Berkshires as I visited Chef’s Adam’s restaurant, Café Adam and browsed through the impressive open air West Stockbridge Farmers Market. It’s nice to see the whole community behind this noble effort that is in line with my philosophy that fresh is best!

If you are interested in learning more about the Farm to Table movement, I have provided helpful links below:

http://source.southuniversity.edu/farm-to-table-and-the-local-food-movement-49961.aspx

http://www.culinaryschools.com/farm-to-table-movement

Forest Therapy

Is city life making you crazy? Is the hustle and bustle of life fraying your nerves? If the answer is yes, my advice is to head to the forest. That’s right! Forget the glass of wine and the soothing music. If you want to get back your peace of mind, get back to nature. It is truly the answer to stress reduction.

Forest therapy started in Japan and is also known as shinrin-yoku or forest bathing. The idea is to drink in all the benefits of nature by walking through the forest and with a quiet mind observe the natural beauty with all your senses. Breathe in the fresh air, feel the velvety ferns and the cool temperature of the stream. Listen to the birds and look and the natural beauty that surrounds you.

During my show in the Berkshires I walked through the forest with a Zen Master to learn all the benefits of this natural antidote to stress. It certainly relaxes the mind and leaves you with a sense of peace. Give it a try!

For more information on Forest Therapy, just click onto the links below.

http://www.shinrin-yoku.org/

www.natureandforesttherapy.org

Carmel in the forest in the Berkshires with a Zen Master

Granola Bars

granola in a deep baking pan

View Recipe