Dela Ends (on the right) with Milwaukee CSA organizer, Rhonda Van Pembrooke.
Dela Ends (on the right) with Milwaukee CSA organizer, Rhonda Van Pembrooke.

Scotch Hill Farm trailblazes CSA path

If farming had professional athletes, Dela Ends of Scotch Hill Farm would be an all-star.

Her certified organic, family-run farm located in Broadhead, has provided nourishment through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) to Milwaukee and neighboring cities since 1994.

Scotch Hill’s offerings also include farmstead products like eggs, organic flowers, pickles, preserves and all-natural, goats’-milk-based body care products.

CSA is an "eat local/eat seasonal" concept where consumers purchase "shares" of vegetables directly from their neighborhood farmer. The CSA "basket" as it’s come to be known, is picked up or delivered during the season, usually June through October/November.

The share purchase is typically done in full and in advance of the season, so farmers can prepare what and how much to grow, but sometimes shares are made available on a per-delivery basis. And farms like Scotch Hill offer many options and add-ons to fit most family’s needs.

The recent emphasis on the importance of eating non-genetically modified food and a renewed interest in farming as a career by a younger generation makes what Ends and Scotch Hill Farm are doing that much more vital. The impact of consciously grown, local, seasonal produce extends beyond just a healthful choice. It’s a delicious alternative that has positive implications on the environment, economics and the cohesion of the area they serve and well beyond.

Scotch Hill Farm is a genuine reflection of the spirit of the "community" piece of this agricultural model. In fact, a dedicated group of Milwaukeeans’ participation in Scotch Hill’s weekly vegetable delivery has been key to the farm’s success.

End’s generously took time out of her busy day to have a conversation with me about the physical component of her daily routine, what it takes to transition into the agricultural life, Milwaukee’s contribution to the development of Scotch Hill Farm’s CSA, the far reaching impact of sustainable farming pract…

"SKINUE sources the camel milk whey for its products from the camels of the royal family of The United Arab Emirates."
"SKINUE sources the camel milk whey for its products from the camels of the royal family of The United Arab Emirates."

A potential clear skin solution

Acne. It’s one of the most prevalent and aesthetically pesky skin care challenges both men and women deal with at some point in life.

Acne usually strikes first at puberty, but can stick around through adulthood. Even celebrities cop to dealing with breakouts, enthusiastically endorsing their favorite infomercial and mall kiosk acne-battlers.

Most of these over-the-counter topicals use harsh ingredients like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide that can dry out and redden skin. Dermatologists often prescribe a regimen of even more invasive treatments like oral antibiotics or Acutane paired with abrasive prescription creams/gels. Natural remedies tend to be a bit gentler and include tea tree oil, white willow bark and topical/internal probiotics.

Penelope Shihab, founder of biotech company MONOJO and CEO of Milwaukee’s Columbia Biotech USA has an innovative take on creating and maintaining clear skin. The ingredient Shihab utilizes for her new skin care line SKINUE is pretty unexpected. In fact, it’s as quirky as it is exotic. SKINUE relies on camel milk to battle blemishes. And this isn’t just any ordinary camel’s milk. SKINUE sources the camel milk whey for its products from the camels of the royal family of The United Arab Emirates.

The science behind SKINUE began at MONOJO – the only applied biotechnology firm in the Middle East and North African region. Shihab discovered the effectiveness of camel milk for treating acne after "MONOJO started its biotech research back in 2005 and focused on researching monoclonal antibodies. MONOJO conducted research on camel’s milk, as it is easily found in Jordan where MONOJO is located, and discovered that the camel milk, due to high protein concentrations in it, can be used to provide specific and highly effective therapies. In 2011, the research studies provided that using engineered camel milk, with its specific anti-acne proteins, helps in fighting acne. MONOJO then started formulating skincare products that bo…

B-fit MKE's Angelina D'Amico.
B-fit MKE's Angelina D'Amico. (Photo: ExpertMarketingPro)

Grow a butt

It would seem that Sir Mix-a-Lot was ahead of the curve(s) when he confessed, "when a girl walks in with an itty bitty waist and a round thing in your face, I get sprung."

Follow fitness in the media, especially on social media like Instagram and it’s hard to miss the ubiquitous trend of exaggeratedly curvy female glutes. Think J.LO or Kim K. to the one rep max.

They have big butts and I cannot lie: the images make me do a double take. These swollen backsides have me wondering how this is achieved? How does a major muscle group so interconnected with adjoining body parts get such isolated growth? What are women doing to attain these protruding heinies while maintaining, "itty bitty waists?" My somewhat rhetorical question is answered by the abundance of the following hashtags: #growabutt, #shesquats, #humpday #waistoassratio  #buttpump.

Bodybuilders have become #bootybuilder (s) and fitness "athletes" are more like #assletes. They are wearing high cut booty shorts and sometimes less for locker room selfies that show off their assets. Forget about the front view: a side view or a back-to-the-camera-look-over-the–shoulder-pose emphasizes that humpty hump.

From a functional perspective, I have to wonder if intentionally overdeveloped glutes for aesthetic reasons affects performance. From an athletic standpoint powerful glutes mean powerful hips, which as long as flexibility is maintained improves performance, but I wonder if, when the natural proportions are tipped out of balance to the extreme, "junk in the trunk" could be a negative or risky aesthetic to squat for?

Not according to Milwaukee’s own BJ Gaddour, named one of Men’s Health Magazine’s 100 Fittest Men of All Time. Gaddour told me, "The glutes are a muscle group that can never get enough work, especially because of all the sitting we do all day which shuts your glutes down. All athletic movement is driven through the hips and they are also highly metabolic as our largest muscle group. Hit them 2-3 …

"This fascination with naturalism has led me to discovering who I am. I am no longer lost."
"This fascination with naturalism has led me to discovering who I am. I am no longer lost." (Photo: Hayley Young)

Natural beauty found through "Lost"

This is what happens when someone who writes a blog "with a polished finger on the pulse of beauty, fashion, fitness and nutrition trends" binge watches the first season of "Lost." While everyone else is asks, "Are they all really dead?" or "Are those polar bears aliens?" I ponder how the stranded vagabonds maintain that perfectly beachy hair, why some are not leaner from the imposed foraged diet, how some still have silky legs and clean shaven underarms and where I can get a pair of those cargo pants?

Really, "Lost" has verified that if I was stranded on an island and could bring only one item, it would be a razor. But, in a bigger sense, "Lost" has stimulated my fantasies about a live-off-the-land, minimal footprint lifestyle – minus the homicidal supernatural threats and non-option of retreating back to civilization.

There is an undeniable "look" that coincides with the eco-living trend that has evolved over the past decade or so since "Lost" debuted. I’m intrigued with how choices for the comforts and luxuries of a more aesthetic vein fit in to this neo-hippie existence, since products still foster this minimalist ideal and often bolster natural beauty.

I’ve always been fascinated with beauty and health rituals, the products and fashions that go with them; it’s what motivated this blog at its inception back in 2009. Skin care, outfits, health food, natural remedies, cosmetics, fitness regimes and youth preserving contraptions – I love it all. But, lately – in the last year or so I’ve been making an effort to pare down my personal routine, to minimize product consumption and to continue to seek out the least toxic, most natural items. I’m consciously choosing the "Lost" beauty regime instead of being forced into it.

Part of what has flowed from this is that I wear much less makeup in my everyday life. I call it a "makeup cleanse." My instinct to go barefaced as much as possible has been echoed by the emergence of the 5:2 Skin Diet that encoura…