Kim Falter

Kim Falter grew up in Kansas City, Missouri and has lived all over the U.S. She has been a wildland firefighter in Arizona, studied sensitive plant species in the Smokey Mountain National Park, apprenticed on an organic farm in Wisconsin, and worked at an herb nursery in North Carolina. She currently works as the Wellness Coordinator at the Cook County Whole Foods Co-op in Grand Marais. Kim has a B.S in Biology from Northland College and a M.S. in Holistic Nutrition from Clayton College. She lives off-grid in Colvill with her husband and two sons.

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Recent Articles by Kim Falter

The Abundant Zucchini
posted on Wednesday, Jun 28, 2017
Gardening on the North Shore can be a challenge, but one vegetable you can count on in abundance is the bountiful zucchini. Technically a fruit, although used primarily in savory dishes like a vegetable, the zucchini finds its origins in the Americas. This can be misleading as the zucchini we all grow or purchase in our grocery stores is actually a cultivated variety founded in Italy. The zucchini is a member of the Cucurbita family, which includes pumpkins, winter squash and all other varieties of summer squash. The Cucurbita family…

Probiotics, Prebiotics and Optimal Health
posted on Friday, May 26, 2017
It is difficult to comprehend that bacteria can actually be good for us, yet this is precisely the case with probiotics. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that reside in our gut. In fact, you have more bacteria in your body than cells. For optimal human functioning, we must maintain a balance of a variety of strains of these favorable bacteria, as any imbalance allowed to flourish will lead to a whole host of problems, most prominently, digestive disorders. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Kidney Diseases, approximately 70 million…

Enjoy Spring with Spring Greens
posted on Monday, May 01, 2017
The official first day of spring was March 20, but along the North Shore, spring tends to blossom a little later. While most gardening books say we can begin planting spring greens in early spring, we know for us that could be as late as early May. Spring greens are a lovely crop for those of us antsy to get our hands in the soil after a long, cold winter. A typical spring green is described as a member of the cabbage family that does not come to a head.…

Homeopathy Explained
posted on Tuesday, Mar 28, 2017
Natural remedies come in many forms. Supplements and herbs, teas and tinctures—wading through the options can have your head spinning. Of all the remedies, homeopathics seem to foster the most confusion. The word itself is often used to explain or encompass all natural remedies, which is simply and profoundly not the case. So what are homeopathics and how can they help? To really grasp homeopathics, we need to define the difference between a natural and conventional remedy. When faced with an ailment that requires aid of some sort, the approach…

Kiwifruit: The Sunny Peach
posted on Monday, Feb 27, 2017
With a name like “kiwi” we would assume this fruit originates from the picturesque country of New Zealand, but, the kiwi comes from the Yangtze River Valley and Zhejiang Province of northern and eastern China, where it was called Mihou Tao and Yang Tao, or “sunny peach.” The kiwifruit grew in forests on woody vines that could reach heights of 12 feet and cover an area 15 feet wide. According to a study by Purdue University, “It was cultivated on a small scale at least 300 years ago, but still…

Melatonin Equals Healthy Sleep
posted on Thursday, Feb 02, 2017
  One of the great mysteries of human existence is our necessity for sleep. But why do we need it? We may never fully understand why, but we do know there is a succession of chemical reactions within the body that triggers wakefulness and sleep to keep the body healthy and balanced. Circadian rhythms are the 24-hour cycle of which all living beings are internally wired based on environmental cues. Humans have always relied on our circadian rhythms to regulate our sleep cycles, due to our exposure to light and…

History of the Potato
posted on Tuesday, Dec 27, 2016
Controversial, life-changing and versatile— the potato has truly shaped our world. How exactly did that lovely baked potato sitting on your plate go from a staple of the Andean diet to a world power? Well, the potato has a lot going for it. First, it resides underground. Since it is not dependent on a stalk for production—above ground and exposed—it is quite prolific and can grow in size. Second, you don’t need to dig it up and store it unlike corn and other grains. In the past, potato crops were…

Echinacea: Keeping Immune Systems Strong for Centuries
posted on Monday, Nov 28, 2016
  As cold and flu season approaches, the most popular herb on everyone’s mind seems to be Echinacea. It is the herb we gravitate to at the first sign of a cold, during a cold, and when we’re worried we might catch a cold. But do we really know why it is useful? With so many other effective immune enhancing herbal remedies out there, why such a pull towards this one? A beautiful purple flower from the Aster family, Echinacea derives its name from the Greek word for hedgehog, echinos,…

Pepons, Pompions, and more Pumpkins!
posted on Friday, Oct 21, 2016
Derived from the Greek word pepon, translated from French to English as pompion, then evolved to what we all know as the pumpkin—this harbinger of fall has been a mainstay of North America for over 5,000 years. Its origins are believed to be the Oaxaca region of Mexico, where it looked more like a crooked neck variety of winter squash than the perfectly rounded pumpkin we see today. As a matter of fact, the word pumpkin has no botanical significance; the pumpkin is truly, simply a winter squash variety. It…

Sunny D
posted on Tuesday, Sep 27, 2016
We buy that bottle of vitamin D, guessing at the potency, simply because we are told to do. But why? We know it has something to do with the lack of sun, but do we really understand why we need this vitamin, or what it does to promote health? Vitamin D has been shown to help with thyroid issues, psoriasis, muscle weakness and kidney problems. But its primary role is to regulate calcium and phosphorous, in order to build healthy bones. Part of this job of regulating calcium is to…

The Colorful Story of the Carrot
posted on Monday, Aug 29, 2016
By Kim Falter The history of the simple orange carrot is extensive and colorful. Fossil pollen has revealed its existence as far back as the Eocene period, around 55 million years ago. All carrots we see today are descendants of the wild carrot, which studies have shown probably originated on the Iranian plateau (present day Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran). Northeast of the city of Tehran in Iran, exists the Dasht-e Haveej, or the Carrot Field, where it is believed carrots first made the shift from wild to cultivated status. The…

Turmeric: The Spice of Life
posted on Monday, Aug 01, 2016
There is no doubt that the herb trending right now is turmeric. Everyone seems to be expounding the miracles of this golden spice. From a simple spice popular in Indian curries, it has now blossomed as the cure-all for every ache and pain. But is there any truth to these claims? Turmeric is believed to be high in antioxidants, and help with digestion and inflammation. | STOCK Turmeric has been around for centuries. Traditionally called the “spice of life,” it has been used as far back as 4,500 years ago…

The Farkleberry
posted on Monday, Jun 27, 2016
Known in the past as the sparkleberry, cowberry, bilberry, and yes: a farkleberry; the blueberry is one of few fruits native to North America. Gathering blueberries was a common practice amongst Native Americans, where they were gathered and eaten fresh or used dried, to flavor soups and stews, and as a meat rub. The range of the wild blueberry is vast, stretching from as far north as the Arctic Circle, down here to Minnesota and across the northern United States. The blueberry belongs to the genus Vacinnium, typically represented as…

Bug Repellents
posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2016
By Kim Falter On the North Shore, we cannot escape the onslaught of mosquitos, blackflies and ticks headed our way. At worst, we come face to face with insects that carry potentially harmful diseases. At the very least, they leave us with a painful bite. Although we should always be aware of exposure to bug-borne illnesses, we must consider possible side effects from the sprays and creams we put on our skin to avoid these pests. We do not want to contract a debilitating virus, but do we want to…

The Peach
posted on Wednesday, Apr 27, 2016
There’s nothing like biting into a juicy, ripe peach on a hot summer day. Hard to believe it began as a small, fuzzy, sour fruit in China. Although the botanical name, Prunus persica, finds its origins in Persia (present day Iran), peaches originate in China, where wild peach trees are still found today. Wild peaches are mentioned in Chinese culture as far back as 10th century B.C. Cultivation into the varieties we see today began around 1000 B.C. Trade routes sent the peach on its way throughout China, Turkey and…

Natural Solutions for Allergies
posted on Monday, Mar 28, 2016
After a long winter, mild spring days and budding trees are a welcome sight. But for some people, spring brings the dreaded allergy season. A common topic this time of year, allergies can be a real problem for people year-round. They can exist not only as a reaction to the pollens during the warmer months, but also as a result of exposure to molds, dust, pet hair, chemicals and foods. The good news is that common acceptance of allergies as a chronic condition is being challenged. Although incredibly complex and…

Cabbage: A European Staple
posted on Tuesday, Mar 01, 2016
As with most of the fruits and vegetables we enjoy today, the history of cabbage is centuries old. When we walk into our grocery stores, we are viewing produce that has been bred and cultivated over hundreds of years to arrive at that juicy orange or crisp apple. The apple it is believed to be from the forests of Kazakhstan. The orange: the depths of Southeast Asia, and the cabbage comes from the coasts of southern and western Europe. The original wild cabbage, enjoyed a solitary life on cool, remote…

Sunlight, Cold Weather and the Human Body
posted on Tuesday, Feb 02, 2016
  Adding an extra hour of sleep each night and having a daily routine can help ease the stress of winter. | STOCK Animals live in tune with nature. They expend and conserve energy, eat and sleep following cues by the body in accordance with natural rhythms. Humans, not so much. When it begins to get dark earlier and earlier, we simply flip on the lights. As the cold weather encroaches, our natural tendency to store fat for the impending cold leads to sugar binges due to an abundance of…

A Citrus History
posted on Monday, Jan 04, 2016
From humble beginnings in the forests of Southeast Asia, the citron is the oldest known member of the citrus family. This small evergreen tree, which produces an oblong fruit with a thick, tender rind, found its way to Mesopotamia where it became a highly regarded fruit. It was bitter, so it was not consumed the same as our lovely, juice-filled citrus today. For centuries, the peel of these golden fruits were candied or preserved, or used medicinally as an antidote for poison, an antispasmodic, a sedative and as an antibiotic.…

Digesting the Holidays
posted on Wednesday, Dec 02, 2015
  The holidays are a special time of year. We spend time with family and friends, the air is full of festive spirit and wonderful food is abundant. But, flip the coin on all the holiday spirit and we see that all this time with family and friends can feel a little busy and we become overindulgent when it comes to all the wonderful food. Very aware of the food that may cause digestive discomfort throughout the rest of the year, we throw caution to the wind when it comes…