Jessica's Moringa

Moringa Leaves are full of essential disease-preventing nutrients:

  • Vitamin A, which acts as a shield against eye disease, skin disease, heart ailments, diarrhea, and many other diseases.
  • Vitamin C, fighting a host of illnesses including colds and flu.
  • Calcium, which builds strong bones and teeth, and helps prevent osteoporosis.
  • Potassium, essential for the functioning of the brain and nerves.
  • Proteins, the basic building blocks of all our body cells.


Moringa leaves compared to common foods:

(values per 100gm. edible portion):






  Other Foods  


Vitamin A




6780 mcg



Carrots: 1890 mcg


Vitamin C




220 mg



Oranges: 30 mg






440 mg



Cow's milk: 120 mg






259 mg



Bananas: 88 mg






6.7 gm



Cow's milk: 3.2 gm

from Nutritive Value of Indian Foods, by C. Gopalan, et al.

Wild Rice

Give Your Diet a Healthy Boost with Wild Rice

Are you looking for ways to make your diet healthier? Do you have to be careful about what you eat? Wild rice is probably not something you’ve considered, but definitely something you should add to your regular diet. Rather confusingly, wild rice is actually not rice at all but a type of aquatic grass. It’s tasty too, with a chewy covering and the center has a lovely soft, nutty taste.

Wild rice is free from gluten and grain and can be eaten by anyone, including children, vegans and those with food intolerances. But it’s much more than that. It’s bursting with fiber and protein, along with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which protect the body’s immune system.

There have also been suggestions that wild rice has cardiovascular benefits and could even reduce the risk of colon cancer and improve insulin resistance. It’s an extraordinary and underrated food, but the many health advantages of wild rice certainly make it a much better choice than the traditional, processed grain. 

Meet the Grower: Murray Bass / Wyndham Organics


Meet the Grower: Murray Bass

Grove Location: Homestead, Florida, just south of Miami
Uncle Matt’s Grower Since: 2009
Crops: 8 Different varieties of avocados
Acreage: 20
Season: June – January

Murray Bass is an avocado connoisseur. He knows about the 50 different varieties of avocados. He can talk purebred or hybrid — and whether an avocado’s got West Indian, Guatemalan or Mexican “blood” in it. And now that Murray’s gone organic, he’s positioned himself to become a new favorite with guacamole makers looking for a healthy edge in their recipe.

Murray grew up in the Florida Ag industry, following in his father’s footsteps. He received his BS degree in Agriculture from the University of Florida, specializing in Fruit Crops.  He worked at the Florida Citrus Groves Corporation as a grove production supervisor in the citrus industry until 1983 when the freeze forced him to look to South Florida for employment.

Murray landed a job in Southwest Florida with Baron-Collier where he was in charge of a young avocado grove of about 1,000 acres. From 1989 to 2007, Murray worked for Brooks Tropicals and became the Director of Agricultural Operations for the Homestead division.

During his tenure at Brooks, Murray purchased his own 20-acre avocado grove. With the encouragement of longtime friend and business associate, Benny McLean (also Uncle Matt’s dad), Murray began the three-year process of transitioning his avocado grove from conventional to organic.

Here’s more about Murray:

UM: Why did you decide to transition your avocados to organic three years ago?

Murray: These days to make it in agriculture, you have to separate yourself from the mainstream. I thought by going organic, I could move the product a lot better because organic is separate market. When I was making that decision, I began reading up on organic and the benefits for organic, and one could say that’s when I saw the light. Kind of like reading the Bible for the first time!

UM: Sounds like there was more than one transition going on — both in your grove and in your thinking!

Murray: At first, my decision was based more on economics than a health conviction. But after doing some research and reading about being pesticide-free and herbicide-free, I began the transition process and saw my trees really responding. I began to talk with Benny about the high “nutrient density” in organic produce and realized that health-wise, going organic is what I wanted.

UM: In the end, not only did your crops convert to organic, but you did too! 

Murray: You could say that! My wife and I are now a part of an organic buying club down here and we’re trying to live the organic lifestyle. I think that it’s a lot healthier for both of us.

UM: How does the organic buying club work? 

Murray: A group of individuals got together and began to purchase organic produce in bulk from a few of the large organic suppliers. They’ll have everything from celery, tomatoes and all sorts of other vegetables to fruit. There’s even an organic fish dip we love. Because they buy in bulk, they are able to pass the cost savings onto us. We’re just one of the families that belong to this group. I’m able to go and sell some of my avocados to the group as well, and everybody loves them!

UM: Did you have to overcome any obstacles in transitioning your groves over to organic? 

Murray: Mainly it’s not using conventional herbicides to control the weeds. That’s the biggest obstacle and it’s a very big one.  What we do is mechanically mow the groves. My mower neck is extended way out in front of where I sit on the tractor and I’m able to get underneath the canopy and take care of the weeds that way.

UM: So, it’s more labor intensive. 

Murray: It is more labor intensive when it comes to the mowing aspect of it. Yes.

UM: Is the extra work worth it to you? 

Murray: Oh, absolutely. The avocado trees respond incredibly well to the organic scheme. I think that’s the way Mother Nature meant it to be. Take using natural materials for fertilizer, for example. I use horse manure from my wife’s equestrian center and it works great. The bedding around the trees is shaved pine which is used to counteract the high pH in the soil.  This in turn helps the tree to uptake even more nutrients from the soil. Even in the area of dealing with pests, while everyone else is out there spraying more and more, I know I’ll be able to deal with pests through beneficial insects and having my trees healthier than the ones in the grove next door.

UM: Are you thinking of growing any other organic crops? 

Murray: Absolutely, my plan is to grow blueberries and blackberries in Virginia. We have a farm in Virginia that will be strictly organic. We want to grow the blueberries from the beginning to the end of Virginia’s season. I think that’ll be a perfect fit for Uncle Matt’s because they would come in after the Florida season. And, by the way, blueberries are just an incredible fruit when eaten organically. They’re packed with just about every anti-oxidant known to man.

UM: Finally, what’s been the most satisfying reward of becoming an organic farmer? 

Murray: Just being able to supply the general public with an incredible product. As a farmer, when I see my produce in a store I get a sense of satisfaction in knowing I’m making a difference by providing food to the population that’s incredibly healthy. It’s a sense of knowing that what you’re growing is benefiting and being enjoyed by a family down the road from you. I get that from being a grower; I feel like what I’m doing is worthwhile, certainly.

Reproduced from:

Uncle Matt’s Organic

P.O. Box 120187
Clermont, FL 34712
E-mail:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

By Phone:
Tel.: 352.394.8737
Toll Free: 877.364.2028
Fax: 352.394.1003

Transition Sarasota

Transition Sarasota, Building Resilience Through Community | Local Food | Local Economy | Local Energy | Local Community

A network of individuals and groups building more sustainable, just, and conscious community from the bottom up.

Read more: Transition Sarasota


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Jessica’s Organic Farm has been growing a sustainable Sarasota through organic agriculture since 1979. We are one of the original organic growers in Florida.

Whether grown in our own fields or imported from other farms, the food sold at Jessica's is 100% Certified Organic. There are no genetically modified organisms, pesticides, or synthetic fertilizers in our organic produce, and no antibiotics in the dairy we sell. We sell local, grass-fed milk from Myakka City, and our eggs come from Amish pasture-raised hens.

Visit Jessica's for all your organic produce needs and to see one of Florida's premiere organic farms in action.

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