It’s almost summer, y’all. May has finally hit, and the McGolrick Park Farmers Market is making its seasonal debut this Sunday (5/7) from 10am-4pm. This weekend about ten vendors will be selling lots of delicious veggies, fruit, herbs, and pantry staples, with more vendors joining the mix as we cruise into summer. Support your local farmers and foodmakers and hit up the market!
It’s really easy to get all your veggies this spring and summer in North Brooklyn with the vast variety of CSAs. CSAs (which stands for Community Supported Agriculture, and CSAs are also sometimes called farm shares) are a great way for people to have access to local, fresh vegetables, fruit, and other food directly from the farms. Participants purchase a “share” for a season—shares are based on items, delivery regularity, or size—paying in winter or spring for a box of locally delivered goods. By providing financial support to the farmer early on, you support the farmer no matter what the weather—and you get to be treated to the bounty of whatever the weather provides. Best of all, you don’t have to deal with worrying about oversleeping and missing the good stuff at the farmers’ market!
Because you generally don’t get to pick which kinds of vegetables and fruit, and you are often exposed to new kinds of fruit and vegetables, it’s a great chance to learn how to cook new veggies. Many of the CSAs also provide a website or Facebook group with recipes; be sure to inquire.
If you’re interested in signing up for a CSA, you should get a move on. Some have already closed for the season, and many are nearing capacity.
This weekend’s weather might keep you inside, but that’s a great excuse to cook. My husband and I are signed up for the Lancaster Farm Fresh CSA, which drops off boxes of organic eggs and produce at Manhattan Avenue’s Eastern District each week. The CSA winter session just started, and I was excited to open my box this week to a variety of root vegetables.
Today’s soup stars two of those CSA gems, carrots and sweet potatoes, both rich in potassium — an important mineral most Americans underconsume. So stock up on this hearty deliciousness to SOUP UP your healthy muscle, heart and kidney function! What else are you going to do tomorrow while you’re inside Netflixing and chilling?
Stopping at a gas station upstate the other weekend, I had my first taste of this fall’s apple crop. A lady had set up a fruit stand just outside the food court, and there was no way I could pass up the little pint of slightly waxy Macouns she was selling. After months of resigning myself to the mealy leftovers of last year’s harvest, I couldn’t shut up about how much I was enjoying this freshly harvested apple– its bright, snappy crunch, it’s still-slightly-green astringency, it’s sweet-tart flavor. Continue reading →
Carrot Chips I can make a carrot lover out of anyone, including children. Let’s first start with an interesting carrot. You know, like a purple or a yellow one; they come in so many colors, let’s switch things up a little bit. The farmers market in McCarren Park usually has a nice choice of colors for carrots. For this recipe, I chose the yellow ones, which can also have shades of green towards the ends. Here’s what you need:
1 lb of carrots, washed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon each salt & pepper
1 ounce grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
Don’t peel the carrots; it won’t affect its appeal once we’re done (pum-dum). Cut the hard ends off the carrots. Cut the carrots lengthwise with a long, sharp knife about 1/16th of an inch or like the thickness of corrugated cardboard. Put them in a large bowl and drizzle half the olive oil on top. Stir with a fork or your hand. Then add the rest of the oil. You want to make sure they’re well coated on all sides. Add salt & pepper while mixing to get it evenly coated. Now you’re going to want to place all the pieces in one layer on a baking pan. Ideally you have a silicone-baking sheet: these things are amazing, safe & you will never have to scrape a baking sheet for the rest of your life. If not, brush some extra oil on the pan, but not too much. Try not to overlap or have pieces touching. Continue reading →
This Sunday, April 7th, McGolrick Park’s Down to Earth Farmers Market begins its second season at the corner of Russell St and Nassau Ave. The market will run every Sunday through the end of December, 11 am – 4pm. As we prepare for Opening Day, let’s sit back, take a deep breath, and remember:
Brooklyn Cured: Scott and his crew make the best charcuterie this borough has ever had. Lamb sausage with yogurt and olives, country pate, New York Style hot dogs, and more.
Grown in Brooklyn: Barry with his hot wok, stirring up tempeh samples. He creates tempeh with unique mixes of beans and grains: White bean and brown rice; soybeans and toasted walnuts, to name a couple. He also makes market salads with peanut sauce. Fresh tempeh tamales. Get it to go, right then and there.
Horman’s Best Pickles: Nick and friends bring big barrels full of brine-soaked pickles: red flannels, sweet and sour, new dill. They’ll let you try a bite of anything – and everything.
Orwashers Bakery: Walt starts every market morning behind a fortress piled high of bread. Bit by bit, all day long, he is freed by the lines of people coming to buy the loaves. And he rocks out to the radio. Sourdough, Rye, Chardonnay Miche, Ciabatta, round Pumpkin loaves in the fall…
Pie Lady & Son: Will brings stacks of white boxes full of pies by his uber-talented mama. Pies that change with the harvest – blueberry pies in early summer; apple pies arrive in the fall. And many others. Some people leave with 3 or 4 boxes in a day. It’s true. You know you’ve seen it, too. You. Know.
Tierra Farm: Locally-roasted, fair trade coffees, nuts, and original nut butters with Lea. Granola. Crack. Ok, maybe not crack. But a similar addictive quality.
All of these vendors are returning as of this Sunday. AND there’s more:
FISH! American Pride Seafood, owned by two fisherman from Long Island, is going to bring fresh, fileted fish from the Atlantic Ocean every Sunday. Their catch varies with the water’s offerings and often includes swordfish, fluke, pollack, bay scallops and more. Every week is a new week from the water.
Pastured-raised beef, lamb, and goat! Stone & Thistle Farm is excited for their first day at the market this Sunday. The farm is owned and operated by Tom and Denise Warren, with their kids, and located upstate in East Meredith, NY. By Memorial Day weekend, they’ll have fresh chickens raised on their open pasture land, too.
Sandwiches to go! Saucy by Nature, the Brooklyn-based condiment company home to amazing seasonal sauces will have sandwiches to go starting on Sunday, April 14th. You know the Sunday morning choice between going to brunch or to the farmers market? This will be one less choice to make: brunch time AT the market.
Lastly – yet certainly not least – the growers! As the harvest comes in, the farmers are eager to return to McGolrick Park. Starting in June, we welcome Great Road Farm, Garden of Eve, Brooklyn Grange, and Alex’s Tomato Farm. Come ‘mon, Lady Spring, work your magic and bring on the fruits & veggies.
On behalf of Down to Earth Farmers Markets, thank you, Greenpointers, for supporting local food and farmers at McGolrick Park. Also, thank you to NY State Assemblyman Joe Lentol and his staff for helping us open in the early spring. It’s will be so nice to be back!
Soup? In this heat? Bear with me. Making hot soup or anything on the stove in this weather blows! But if you’re sitting in a freezing cold office building in Midtown right now you might really enjoy a nourishing bowl of soup rather than going out into the blistering sun and paying $20 for a crappy salad that was probably grown in California.
Nicole Chaszar is the Greenpointer behind a one year old soupery called Sea Bean Goods. She prepares her locally sourced creations out of Paulie Gee’s kitchen, where they appear daily on the menu and you can buy pints to go at Eastern District.
Sea Bean Goods is now available as a subscription service delivered to your door weekly. Nicole visited Greenpointers HQ to give us a taste. Aside from being a soup genius, this girl is a doll and a hard-working self-starter. Continue reading →
In my post-college life, my favorite leafy green substance has to be basil. I seriously cannot get enough of it. I put that shiz on everything!
Last week I did a major overhaul of the garden and decided to sow some seeds that seemed to be flourishing on my balcony. I now have the beginnings of what just might be more basil than I know what to do with.
Maybe I should start a small business?
Do you have any plants that are doing particularly well? I want to hear your success stories!
If I’ve learned anything about small scale gardening in the last 15 weeks, its that you really do get what you give. This past weekend I attacked my garden for a few hours, pruning and weeding, and saying goodbye to some bolting radish plants and sad looking lettuce. It was a rewarding process, as now my garden is in tip top shape.
I now know which plants really thrive in the space/light I give them — summer squashes, basil, kale, and sunflowers. I decided that I can never have too much basil, so I combined some of my squash plants in a larger container, and used their old pots to plant some more of the delicious green stuff (pesto for days!).
I also did a fair bit of harvesting, which I cooked up that same night in the style of a salad from my beloved Anella. All fresh, all local, all totally grown by me. It was truly a beautiful thing.
Are you eating anything from your garden yet? I want to hear all about it!
I admitted in my very first post that I was not necessarily a skilled gardener. I am definitely a novice, and someone who is prone to mishaps, or rather, serious missteps along the way. This week proved that theory, as I cruelly neglected my little balcony garden while caught up in other life things, and noticed only yesterday how very bad it’s gotten.
The rain has drowned many of my new flowers, leaving a small swamp for me to deal with. My radishes have sprouted flowers, which I am not sure they are supposed to do, and my lettuces have straight up perished.
I am going away this weekend for a wedding (’tis the season) and I am at a loss at how to solve all of these problems before I take off tomorrow morning.
Leave your condolences in the comments, I need as much support as I can get!