Monday, July 26, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
2 cabbages (1 1/2 lb each)
1/4 cup fat-free chicken broth
3 tbsp olive oil
2 small zucchini, finely diced
1 large tomato, finely diced
1 sweet onion, finely chopped
1 small eggplant, finely diced
1 tbsp chopped garlic
6 oz lean ground beef
1 tbsp each chopped fresh basil, parsley and thyme
1/4 cup whole-grain breadcrumbs
2 tbsp melted unsalted butter
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Cut cabbages in half from top to base. Cut out core; discard. Pull out inner leaves of each half, leaving 3 outer layers (reserve). Finely slice inner leaves.
2. Heat broth and 2 tbsp oil in a medium sauté pan on medium. Add vegetables (plus sliced cabbage), garlic, and beef. Cook until vegetables are tender and meat is browned; add herbs; place in cabbage halves.
3. Mix butter with breadcrumbs; place on top of cabbage; drizzle remaining 1 tbsp oil on top. Bake until tender, about 35 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.
Submitted by Laura Grund
Sunday, July 18, 2010
The concept of “too big” is pervasive in modern society; from our banks to our Ford Expeditions to our waistlines. Between the near financial collapse and the ongoing environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, Bill McKibben’s mantra of scale back and slow down seems particularly sage advice.
For 253 pages in his most recent book Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet, McKibben explains the finer points of the “scale back/slow down” program, which turns out to be less suggestion, and more mandate. McKibben’s mandate is not the kind of government mandate Fox News might frantically label “interference.” This is a mandate from a planet that knows no political affiliation. Eaarth itself will be…a harsh environmental dictator that will force us to bend to new rules. The question is whether we will be smart enough to bend ourselves first. In essence, McKibben says we have “pushed nature around” and now nature is “pushing back with far more power.” McKibben suggests that we have so profoundly changed the planet it needs to be renamed, hence the second “a”.
The book is an easy read, which might temper the sense of urgency were the situation not so dire. McKibben can write in a pleasantly conversational style because the facts of the case and the magnitude of the consequences speak volumes on their own.
Readers will be introduced to a new magic number; 350. As in the upper limit of safety for carbon dioxide in our atmosphere is 350 parts per million, and the 650 that would be devastating to humanity. We are currently at 390.
So what can we do? Read chapter 4 and learn to live Lightly, Carefully, Gracefully. One of McKibben’s tenets of particular interest to members of a CSA is the need to adjust our eating habits in volume and substance. In pointing out that it takes 11 times as much fossil fuel to raise a pound of animal protein as an equal amount of plant protein, McKibben espouses reduction in meat consumption. Chubby Bunny vegetables anyone? McKibben does not argue for local food as a matter of taste as much as environmental necessity.
Far from condemning us all to a post-apocalyptic world, McKibben describes how ordinary people can get us back to 350, scaling back modern American society. This is artfully illustrated in his depiction of the Farmers Diner in Vermont, where all ingredients are from small local farms. Owner Tod Murphy competes with the economics of industrial farming and the preconceived notions about food held by a population that has grown up under the regime of industrial food. Murphy is “constantly working to solve the problem presented by the need to get food from the farmer to the customer at a price point that everyone could live with,” or the need to educate his customers that cream from a cow raised naturally isn’t necessarily white. Murphy’s struggle is a microcosm of the “food issues” facing modern diners on planet Eaarth.
“Like someone lost in the woods, we need to stop running, sit down, see what’s in our pockets that might be of use, and start figuring out what steps to take.” You are already a member of a CSA—what other ideas might McKibben turn you onto?
As a grower of roughly sixty different vegetables, it's challenging to come up with reasonable quantities of good salad mix or head lettuce every week for 22 weeks. Here's why: 1.)The dang deer. I come out to harvest at 5:00 AM on Saturday and I see two adult bucks chowing down three week's worth of Romaine. Should I go chase after them with my 22? Nope, I've got to harvest for the Norfolk farmer's market. My three local hunters have permits to hunt here out of season, but they have not been effective. Basically they try to hunt after work in the early PM, but the deer are here in the early AM. 2.) The dang rain. If it doesn't rain for four weeks, this is two weeks where the salad mix, direct seeded, doesn't germinate. This means we're two weeks behind on mixed greens and all my head lettuce is ruminating in the deer. Who knew head lettuce had brains? 3.) All the rest of stuff to grow anyway. There are whole farms locally who grow exclusively salad mix. This is their art. They grow beautiful mix. Chris Reagan of Sky Farm in Millerton or Ted Dobson's Equinox farm in Sheffield. And they have it down to an art. For us, this is one of 60 crops, so while we do strive for perfection it just isn't always possible. There's fall carrots to weed, there's tomatoes to trellis, there's brussel sprouts to plant, there's a cow giving birth, there's pigs to feed, there's garlic still needing harvest. And so much more...So please forgive imperfections in salad and salad mixes and know that we're doing our best to divide up our time so that you get the best of everything we have to offer. Sometimes it's "primo mix" and sometimes it's lettuces mixed with romaine leaves. Sometimes it's just arugula. What ever shape and size it is pretty tasty, I'd say.
So, that's my salad rant. If the salad's not perfect, enjoy the kale or chard or cabbage or arugula. Enjoy the 56 other veggies and herbs as well, knowing you are benefiting from a real season in Falls Village, CT. And thanks for all your positive feedback and support. This connection with you feeds us and fuels us through our challenging work.
Here's the approximate harvest:
maybe cucumbers, we'll see
maybe eggplant, we'll see
Monday, July 12, 2010
Support People’s Garden NYC’s Effort to Plant a Garden at City Hall!
People’s Garden NYC is actively petitioning Mayor Bloomberg to plant a vegetable garden at the front steps of our City Hall. The petition calls for the garden to be tended by NYC public school students, in collaboration with the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation and our region's talented gardeners and farmers. The harvest will be donated to a nearby food pantry to feed the hungry.
Greenmarket Chef’s Tour and Taste Luncheon
Thursday, July 22nd, 11:00am
Help bring farm fresh food and farmers into NYC schools while enjoying a great lunch! Henry restaurant and Chef Mark Barrett will lead a behind-the-scenes tour of the local 116th Street Greenmarket followed by a seasonally inspired lunch menu made from the day’s bounty. All proceeds from this event will benefit the Greenmarket’s Youth Education Project. Make reservations with the Greenmarket Manager or at Henry’s (2745 Broadway at 105th Street).
Basics of Local Seasonal Cooking
Wednesday, July 21st, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pmIn this class, you'll learn how to create meals centered on the bounty of locally-grown produce.
Cost is $18 and pre-registration is required by Monday July 19th. Click here to download the registration form.
Location: 197 East Broadway (near the East Broadway F)
4 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces slender asparagus spears, trimmed, cut on diagonal into 1-inch pieces
1 medium zucchini, trimmed, quartered lengthwise, seeded, cut on diagonal into 1-inch pieces
4 1/2 cups (or more) low-salt chicken broth
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 3/4 cups (11 1/2 ounces) arborio rice or medium-grain white rice
3/4 cup dry white wine
8 small or baby carrots, peeled, tops trimmed to 1/2 inch
1 1/3 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 4 ounces)
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
Additional freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1. Cut 1/4-inch slice off 1 long side of carrot to stabilize. Cut lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Stack half of slices and cut lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick strips. Cut strips crosswise into 1/8-inch cubes. Repeat with remaining slices.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add asparagus and zucchini; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté until vegetables begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Set vegetables aside.
3. Bring broth to simmer in medium saucepan over low heat. Cover and keep warm. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and cubed carrot. Sauté until onion begins to soften, about 2 minutes. Add rice; stir until rice is translucent at edges but still opaque in center, about 3 minutes. Add wine and simmer until absorbed, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Add 1 cup warm broth and baby carrots. Simmer until broth is almost absorbed, stirring often, about 4 minutes. Add 2 cups more broth, 1 cup at a time, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding next and stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Mix in sautéed vegetables and 1 cup broth. Simmer until broth is just absorbed, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add 1 1/3 cups cheese, peas, butter, and 1/2 cup broth. Simmer until butter melts, rice and vegetables are just tender, and risotto is creamy, stirring often and adding more broth by 1/4 cupfuls if risotto is dry, about 3 minutes longer. Mix in basil; season with salt and pepper.
4. Transfer risotto to large shallow bowl. Sprinkle with pine nuts. Serve, passing additional cheese separately.
Submitted by Laura Grund
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Here's the approximate harvest:
Sweet Onions, Carrots, Beets, Thyme, Basil, Chard, Broccolli, Zucchini, cabbage, Kale, SaladMix/Arugula, Eggplant?
Monday, July 5, 2010
July 4 means that the potatoes are flowering, the garlic is just about ready for harvest, the first round of tomatoes has set fruit now we wait for ripening. We also celebrate the end of June! While T.S. Elliot said "April is the cruelest month," for us it is definitely June. Another way of thinking about the farming season is a slow steady build up in the spring until we hit the frenzy of the summer solstice as the zenith and then the pace of work very gradually slows as we go toward the winter solstice. So as the days literally start to get shorter we look to our work days getting shorter as well, even if only a minute less each day.
Here's the harvest: carrots, beets, scallions, basil, peas, kohlrabi, salad, golden chard, collards, spring cabbage.