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the view from a gorgeous driftless lunchtime run.

the view from a gorgeous, driftless lunchtime run.

it’s impossible to convey the beauty of the view from the top of the ridge just a mile from my desk at organic valley. maybe a picture is worth a thousand words.

the view of the classic driftless region geography makes for quite an energizing “out and back” lunch run even on a dull day, all the more so when it’s sunny, green and lush.

do yourself a favor and view large on a big screen.

15 miles. alone, on country roads. personal best 3:40 marathon pace. could have done 20. why?

15 miles. alone, on country roads. personal best 3:40 marathon pace. could have done 20. why? I.

my motivation isn’t synthetic. and now, neither is my recovery shake :-)

26 grams of protein never tasted so good. also, lactose free.

yes i’m an organic valley brand manager so i’m a bit of a partisan, but i really do love this stuff and so does odin – so much so that we have a bit of trouble keeping it stocked in the house!

if you’ve ever made a product then you know how hard it is to go from the idea to an actual thing without making compromises along the way. if it were easy to make a great tasting, organic, high protein recovery shake with a short ingredient list and no words you can’t pronounce, then somebody would have done it already. i couldn’t be prouder of the super team who made this A Real Thing.

15 miles. alone, on country roads. personal best 3:40 marathon pace. could have done 20. why? II.

we’re still getting it stores, so if you’re interested tell your local, favorite store you’d love to have it on the shelf. if you have a whole foods or ncga coop nearby there’s a good chance you’ll find it there. also available via amazon fresh and fresh direct. of course, you can always check our product locator for more locations.

if you try it, i’d love to hear what you think.

recipe: chocolate mayonnaise cake with whipped cream frosting ( and a glass of grassmilk ) .

recipe: chocolate mayonnaise cake with whipped cream frosting ( and a glass of grassmilk ) .

speaking of grassmilk i have long thought i should start a recipe series for “things that pair well with a Big Glass of Grassmilk”. i guess now is as good a time as any :-)

make a chocolate mayonnaise cake and top with whipped cream frosting ( you could use something other than organic valley heavy whipping cream, but really, why? ). grab a glass of the cream on top grassmilk.

enjoy the perfect pairing. very much odin approved.

that sound you hear this week is grassmilk consumers rejoicing.

that sound you hear this week is grassmilk consumers rejoicing.

every day since we launched our 100% grass-fed, cream on top grassmilk, i’ve heard from loyal fans who wanted a screw cap on the carton so they could shake up the “cream on top” milk to get the cream mixed back in without spraying milk all over the place which would happen if you didn’t very precisely pinch the entire old school gable top opening. seriously, if you call in to our consumer hotline or email a comment, i read it. every. single. one :-)

and so, i’m happy to announce you’ll be seeing caps on the grassmilk that’s in stores east of the rockies ( sorry west cost folks, we’re still working on it for you ).

an added bonus in our household is that we can lay the cartons down after opening which is super useful when the space available for standing up a carton is occupied, as is often the case in our fridge.

day 3683: odin doesn’t know it but he’s learning lessons from The Cosmos Organicos Garden Collective.

day3638 - odin doesn't know it but he's learning lessons from The Cosmos Organicos Garden Collective. I.

over the years odin has learned a lot of things in the employee garden we tend at organic valley. we’ve been kite flying and planting and hoeing and weeding since he was barely old enough to push a wheelbarrow and it’s neat to know he thinks it’s normal that people grow food where they work and lots of folks we work with care about where there food comes from.

and now, since we joined The Cosmos Organicos Garden Collective, he gets to see how great it is when a group of people get together to share in the effort.

holy cow we have a whole lotta of food! the plot is on the right and goes all the way back to where the guy is watering in the background. and we’ve started take over another plot across the path that he’s watering in photo.

and i have to say another fun part of the story of The Cosmos Organicos Garden Collective is the nice man in the background is our vice president of sales, eric newman and the woman in front is theresa marquez our chief mission executive ( so now i don’t have steal theresa’s green beans because they’re our green beens :-) ). i don’t know about you but other companies i’ve worked for the “c-suite” executives didn’t hang out with employees and certainly didn’t get their hands dirty in the garden!

day3638 - odin doesn't know it but he's learning lessons from The Cosmos Organicos Garden Collective. II.

odin doesn’t know it yet, but he’s also learning that working at organic valley really is quite different than many other companies in a lot of ways.

who knows maybe someday he’ll have his own employee plot and join the garden collective.

day3638 - odin doesn't know it but he's learning lessons from The Cosmos Organicos Garden Collective. III.

side note, i can’t even begin to describe how gorgeous a day it was in the rolling hills of the driftless region.

day 3505: hanging out with the cosmos organicos garden collective contemplating probabilities.

day 3505: hanging out with the cosmos organicos garden collective contemplating probabilities. I.

exactly one year after the fire at the organic valley headquarters, we re-opened the rebuilt section of the building. hurray! and a few days after that cosmos organicos garden collective was in the garden preparing beds and planting. it’s great to get out and get your hands dirty and even more so when you’re doing it in the “shadow” of a rebuilt headquarters ( big shout-out to everyone who made it happen )!

day 3505: hanging out with the cosmos organicos garden collective contemplating probabilities. II.

working in the healthy organic soil you find lots of friends like this toad and many, many earthworms.

day 3505: hanging out with the cosmos organicos garden collective contemplating probabilities. III.

and even more fun – one of the collective found a four leaf clover! which got me to wondering what are the odds? turns out, it’s about 1 in 10,000 clovers which is a square of 100×100 clovers. assuming there are about 4 clovers in an inch, that’s a square of 33″x33″ or almost 3′x3′. so in every 3 foot square you should find a 4 leaf clover. that sounds relatively trivial, but the way my eyes work, i’ll never find the four leaf clover. they all look the same. the odds of me actually finding a 4 leaf clover in a 3 foot patch are small.

day 3505: hanging out with the cosmos organicos garden collective contemplating probabilities. IV.

odin helped out in the garden which is always fun and reminded me of just how many years he’s been toiling away in our garden plot, since well before the formation of the collective! in fact, i think that yellow wheel barrow is the same from the photos taken five years ago. it’s amazing how time flies.

day 3505: hanging out with the cosmos organicos garden collective contemplating probabilities. V.

work break! don’t tell The Suits odin was running around on the roof of the tool shed. haha. just kidding. there are no suits.

day 3505: hanging out with the cosmos organicos garden collective contemplating probabilities. VI.

amazingly enough, just a bit after finding a a four leaf clover the same person found a five leaf clover! this hurts my brain a bit. the odds of finding it are about 1 in 1,000,000 clovers which is a square of about 1,000×1,000 clovers which is about 333″x333″ or 27′x27′. so that’s a manageable amount of search space but still, IT’S A MILLION CLOVERS! i mean, the actual odds of me picking put a 5 leaf clover out of a million clovers is nill. nada. zip. and yet i’m working side by side with someone who can do it like it’s a parlor trick.

i asked him how he does it.

“i dunno, the irregularity sticks out.”

so we’ve got a four and five leaf clover finding savant in the collective. my question is what are the odds of finding a 4 leaf clover and then a 5 leaf clover? it feels like a similar calculating the odds of rolling two successive yahtzees in two rolls but how do you factor in the visual heuristic?

Everything is Awesome!

Everything is Awesome!

i very much enjoyed a 100% organic lunch delivered from organic valley HQ thanks to a new delivery service. i haven’t had a lunch like this since being relocated after the fire ( there’s no on-site kitchen at our new digs ).

tater tot casserole, mind bending chocolate pudding goodness and a chocolate chip cookie – ’cause that’s how i roll.

seriously, if you’re ever visiting organic valley ask if there’s any chocolate pudding around. it’s incredible. it all starts with the best ingredients and a dash of love :-)

btw, i’m not denigrating the local faire, so much as i’m making an observation about the spectacular awesomeness of the folks in our kitchen.

thank you all.

finding a new home for the old me.

finding a new home for the old me. I.

for over a year this photo of me has been hanging in the organic valley headquarters near the coffee station where i used to get coffee every day before the fire. the photo was taken right before i started running again, before i ran clear across the country and before i lost 110 pounds. so, it’s a good reminder to not let that happen again.

a little birdy told me that the picture was coming down to make way for a new one, so i thought i’d proactively “steal” the picture and put it somewhere where it might be appreciated.

but where?

finding a new home for the old me. II.

i knew i wanted to put it up in our post fire work digs in westby but i couldn’t put it up in my office because, well, that’d be weird, right?

aha – i found the perfect spot in our executive marketing director’s office! i just know lewis would really enjoy having me looking down on him at his desk.

and if he ever wonders what do to, he can now just look up and ponder, “hmmm, what would eric do?”

frida surveys the splendor of the cosmos organicos garden plot.

frida surveys the splendor of the cosmos organicos garden plot. I.

we’re still harvesting the bounty from the labors of the cosmos organicos garden collective so frida had her first chance to survey the splendor!

you can see ongoing work after the fire on the organic valley headquarters in the background. hopefully when we plant next year all the work will be done!

frida surveys the splendor of the cosmos organicos garden plot. II.

you see this face? that’s frida being super happy that i won’t let her about and half eat all the bell peppers while i’m trying ot pick them :-)

the bounty from the labors of the cosmos organicos garden collective.

the bounty from the labors of the cosmos organicos garden collective. I.

we’ve had an employee garden at organic valley for years and have mostly small mountains of garlic for the past few years.

this year we joined forces with other gardeners and dubbed ourselves the cosmos organicos garden collective and have about 12 active beds that contain all manner of Good Things – garlic, tomatoes, potatoes, toooooons of salad greens, onions, broccoli, squash, tomatillos and on and on and on. it’s been a lot of fun working with five other wise and industrious green thumbs to keep on top of the chores. in the end it’s been less work than “going it alone” as we’ve done in the past. i think we’ll definitely continue on as part of the group effort next year. who knows maybe we’ll continue to grow and eventually the entire space will be managed by the collective :-)

in the background, you can see the work being done on headquarters after the fire.

the bounty from the labors of the cosmos organicos garden collective. II.

here’s the view from the other end of the garden. i wish i could figure out how to take the close up of each bed and stitch them together in a panorama to show end to end view. it’s quite a garden – the power of the collective!