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.
In the quiet little back patio of the Greenpoint Reformed Church, Lineage Farm provides an abundance of fresh, high quality vegetables to Farm Share Members every Saturday morning from June to November. The farmers, Jen and Jon, pile the picnic tables high with their upstate harvest, and members select their choice of items to bring home for the week’s meals. Continue reading →
Do you know where to find the world’s largest rooftop soil farms? Believe it or not, they’re right here in Brooklyn! This week I asked Ben Flanner of Brooklyn Grange to tell me more about the two farms he operates–a 1.5 acre rooftop in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and a 1-acre rooftop in Long Island City– and what he’s been cultivating (and selling every Sunday at McGolrick’s Farmers Market). The farms grow over 50,000 lbs of organically-cultivated produce per year. In addition to growing and distributing fresh local vegetables and herbs, Brooklyn Grange also sells local honey from New York City’s first commercial apiary, provides urban farming and green roof consulting and installation services to clients worldwide, and partner with numerous non-profit organizations throughout New York to promote healthy and strong local communities. Continue reading →
After an already sold out farm dinner on Thursday 5/1- Lineage Farm CSA has a message from Greenpointers’ readers:
Such a slow spring – we seem to hear these words every time we see another farmer – the nightly temperatures are just low enough to keep the soil from warming up, it’s just not growing yet…But it doesn’t seem so on our farm! With the Technological benefits of our wood-heated greenhouse for seedling starts and the spun-fabric row covers on the garden beds, and the Natural benefits of light, well-drained soil and a slight southern facing slope, we’re right on target to start harvesting for you and yours in the first half of June. Continue reading →
First and foremost, on behalf of Down to Earth Markets, the crew behind your Sunday farmers market at McGolrick Park: Thank you! This market keeps growing and it’s because of your enthusiastic support. Every week, you come out to the corner of Russell Street and Nassau Avenue and buy fresh from the farmers, as well as the makers of breads, pies, popsicles, pickles, tempeh, and charcuterie, locally-roasted nuts and coffees, and more.
This market also features delicious fish and pasture-raised meat and poultry. In the past few weeks, we’ve added three wonderful new vendors: Sohha Yogurt, MoMo Dressings, and Vulto Creamery.
Momo Dressings was founded by newlyweds who have also teamed up to create a line of Japanese-influenced dressings and spreads, including edamame hummus.
Sohha Yogurt makes savory yogurt and sources their milk from Hudson Valley dairies. The company’s founder, Angela Fout, is from Lebanon, and the word Sohha means “health” in Arabic.
Vulto Creamery is the newest addition to the market and he brings much-solicited cheese to your weekly neighborhood market.
Compost drop-off at the farmers market has started! We now collect household compost every Sunday from 11 am-1 pm.
Yet we still need your help to assure this site is a huge success:
We are seeking volunteers to help monitor the drop-off site during weekly open hours, 11am-1pm. If you’d like to volunteer for a quick and easy shift at the composting bin, please tell the market manager. She will connect you with our partner in this project, BIG! Compost.
TOMATO TASTING AT THE MARKET THIS SUNDAY:
And last but not least, August brings in the best of summer: the tomato harvest!
This Sunday, August 25th, from 11 am to 1pm, join us for the Annual Tomato Tasting. Stop by the market manager’s tent and sample bites of all the tomatoes available at the market. (See this photo of heirlooms by Great Road Farm to get tempted…)
Last year during the Tomato Tasting at the McGolrick market, an older gentleman shopper come by to sample. He tried a tomato, relished it, and said, “This is what tomatoes tasted like when I was a boy.” For those of us who grew up on the tomato varieties best groomed for shipping, the taste of a true tomato will be a revelation for us, too.
For a simple way to enjoy this fresh taste, we turn to local food maven, Deborah Madison, and her book Vegetable Literacy. In it, she writes, “Tomatoes’ short and sweet season is a time for heady indulgence. Experience the real thing and going back to anything less becomes unthinkable.” AGREED. To enjoy “the real thing,” we recommend stopping by the market this weekend for the FREE tomato tasting. And to try Deborah Madison’s simple recipe below – enjoy!
A Fresh Tomato Relish
Even with a few tomatoes, you can make a relish to spoon over something when a fresh accent is appreciated. For example, you can spoon this over the ricotta that covers griddled eggplant rounds, over toast, or toss them with spaghetti for a room temperature pasta.
1 large shallot, finely diced
Vinegar, such as a good quality balsamic, aged sherry vinegar, or a Cabernet or Merlot varietal
2 pint various mixed fruit tomatoes, such as Sweet 100s, red and golden currant tomatoes, Sun Golds, pear, Jaune Flamme, black cherries, etc.
Your favorite olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Cover the diced shallot with a few teaspoons of vinegar to moisten well. Set them aside to mascerate while you cut the tomatoes into halves and quarters. Leave very tiny ones whole.
Add the shallot and its juices; pour enough olive oil to moisten well, then season with a pinch or two of salt and some freshly ground pepper. Gently turn the tomatoes into the oil and vinegar. Taste one for salt. If you’re not planning to use them right away, don’t salt them until the last minute, as the salt will draw out their liquid.
If you’re shopping for your produce locally you likely have seen ramps. If you have a great ramp recipe – please share in the comments below!
If you’re like WTF is a ramp and what do I do with it? – we can help.
Ramps (Allium tricoccum) look like grassy greens and are in the wild onion family. Interestingly, they grow native in the east of North America (SUPER LOCAL!) but have a short growing season, which makes them special. Flavor-wise they have a subtle onion garlicky flavor.
Ramps and butter are where it’s at. A quick recipe is to sautée ramps in butter and serve on bruschetta (which is fancy for sliced and toasted Italian bread or baguette.)
Here is another quick and easy recipe for Ramps With Polenta and Mushrooms:
Bring 3.5 C broth (veggie or chicken) to a boil. In the meantime sautée a handful of ramps in butter or olive oil and salt and pepper. Whisk into the boiling water a cup of polenta and the sautéed ramps. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 15min and stir often. Meanwhile, sautée shiitake or crimini mushrooms with fresh or dried sage in butter. Serve the polenta in a bowl topped with the mushrooms. Add more salt pepper and olive oil or butter to taste.
Unless you reserved your local sustainable organic heritage turkey months ago, you are most likely going to roast the same old turkey. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good succulent bird drowning in brown gravy, but I am secretly a sides whore and easing up on factory turkey meat ain’t a bad thing, right? So let’s get weird and adjust our focus. Here are some fun, easy and healthy dishes that will make you say “What turkey?”
My family always serves a huge bowl of pasta before the Thanksgiving meal. Every year it’s Nonna’s last lasagna, because she thinks she will be dead by the next year. (Last year, she almost killed my boyfriend with her lasagna!) If you must be so Italian and serve pasta, why not make this orzo with sweet squash and sage instead of heavy red sauce? Who am I kidding? It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without a heap of lasagna as the appetizer. Traditions!
Mashed potatoes can never be boring. Whipped buttery carbs? But why not get colorful and use those gorgeous blue potatoes you see at the local market this year! Mash in some roasted garlic and herbs like rosemary or sage.
Most collard greens recipes call for a ham hock, but these flavorful greens are delicious without all the dead meat. This recipe will get the sweet and sour going with apple cider and apple cider vinegar, which can help with diabetes and obesity, two conditions many of us dangerously flirt with on Thanksgiving day.
Stuffing can be very simple or can be taken to the next level by using some fancy bread like brioche or even cornbread. Lots of people add sausage to stuffing, which is outrageously delicious, but if your son’s girlfriend is a veggie, use mushrooms instead. They have such a meaty texture and a deep flavor, you won’t miss the meat.
A lot of people forget about the subtle and rich flavor of the parsnip, an undiscovered vegetable star. Often overlooked, it is one of those most dynamically sweet root vegetables. Instead of roasting, fry these suckers up and put them out on the buffet. They will get gobbled down in no time.
Brussel Sprouts are in season locally during Thanksgiving time so stock up. Impress your friends with a gigantic stalk as part of your cornucopia centerpiece. But don’t just decorate with these tiny vegetable pleasures, enjoy their sweet and subtle flavor, and reap the anti-carcinogenic health benefits they pack in each juicy bite.
Congratulations Rachel! You won our giveaway bookJam On: The Craft of Canning Fruit by Laena McCarthy! Thanks to everyone who commented on their favorite jam. And stay tuned for future giveaways and contests!
Don’t worry, you can always buy a copy from Word, Greenpoint’s Favorite Book Store!
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 →
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!