Hello! My name is Dr. Amy Sapola.
I’m a Certified Wellness Coach, Institute for Functional Medicine Certified Practitioner (IFMCP) and Doctor of Pharmacy with a B.S. in Nutrition. I’ve completed a two-year fellowship with honors in Integrative Medicine from the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine (AIHM)—and more to the point of this post, I’m honored to announce that I’ll direct the farm’s health and wellness program.
I wholeheartedly believe in farmacy as a lifestyle, and so I want to focus on this topic today.
A Brief Look at Pharmacy
The definition of pharmacy—with a “ph”—is “the science or practice of the preparation and dispensing of medicinal drugs.”
Because of my background, I have a heartfelt appreciation and reverence for two key things:
- importance of nutrition as foundational to human health
- lifesaving ability of many prescription medications
That said, our bodies are literally made of the food we eat, and chronic conditions are not occurring because of a medication deficiency.
The standard American diet, unfortunately, is often calorically adequate while being nutritionally insufficient in large part because of:
- highly refined and processed foods
- conventional farming practices, which deplete the soil of nutrients, leaving plants without nutrients they need to thrive—and then where does that leave the consumer?
Instead of thinking about how many calories a particular food has, what if we thought in terms of nutrient density? In other words, how many vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals are in the food you are consuming?
Here’s the beauty of this approach. You can use your senses to explore the possibilities of nutrient density. You can, for example, ask yourself these questions, among others:
- How colorful is this food?
- How fresh does it smell?
- How does it taste?
- How does eating it make me feel
Eating nutrient-rich foods is at the heart of farmacy—with an “f”—and so are regenerative farming practices.
Farmacy at the Chef’s GardenⓇ
At The Chef’s Garden we grow our plants to be optimally healthy using regenerative agricultural practices—and then we harvest our vegetables at the peak of ripeness, often reaching the consumer within one to two days after harvest.
The benefits of optimal levels of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals are therefore passed onto you. We’re so serious about growing optimally nutritious plants for health that we have an agricultural research laboratory on site that provides regular nutrient testing of the plants we grow. We aren’t guessing that our plants are more nutritious: we know.
Farmacy at the Chef’s Garden, to me, is the art and science of the growing and distribution of nutrient dense plants in their optimal state of health, which are intended to nourish the consumer and optimize health and wellness.
Farmacy is all about building a greater understanding about how health is impacted by the regenerative agriculture principles that we practice here on the farm, including:
- promoting biodiversity
- creating healthy soil
- reducing the use of synthetic chemical inputs
We’re striving to create health—not just for people today but for future generations.
Let’s Not Forget About Flavor
The Chef's Garden vegetables are often more colorful (more phytonutrients) and more flavorful (more satisfying) and are smaller (containing fewer carbohydrates) than what you’d find in the grocery store.
This is not a new concept. Instead, we’re honoring farming practices of the past with a mission of healthy soil, healthy plants, healthy people, and a healthy planet.