Sunday, February 27, 2011

Fun Summer Job Opportunity

I just got this email from my friend Bridget- sounds like a great way to spend a summer!
My two girls and I will be spending this summer in Fairlee, Vermont at an all-girls summer camp. I just heard from the camp director that the position for Head of Farming is still open. I thought you might know someone in the Richmond community or the surrounding farms that has an interest in both farming and gardening and working with kids. This camp is a very special place and I am so excited that the farming program is being revived. In its 100+ year history, the camp has supported local farms and had its own gardens - even Victory gardens during the war years.

Job: Head of the Farm and garden program at a girls summer camp
Care for animals: 4 goats, 3 pigs and 15 chickens
Have experience with milking goats, willingness to learn how to make
different goat cheeses and other foods
Tend to raised vegetable beds.
Lead two other counselors in creating daily activities on the farm:
teaching girls about the animals, sustainability etc.
Ideas and new thoughts about how to extend this program are welcome!

If you know of anyone who might be interested, please have them
contact me or check out the camp's website at:

Here is how to reach the camp's director:

Kathy Plunkett
Director, Aloha Hive Camp
P.O. Box 809
Norwich, Vermont 05055

And about the Aloha camps: The Aloha Foundation is a Vermont-based
non-profit that provides summer camps, family camps and education
programs emphasizing simplicity, the outdoors and living in community.
Our mission is to inspire people of all ages to learn, explore, grow
and be their best selves.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Andouille Sausage with Apples, Black Beans and Rice

1 Piney River Gold Apple ( or another good keeping apple like pink lady), pealed, quartered, sliced with slices then cut into thirds.

2 Andouille turkey sausages

1 rinsed 15oz can black beans, or equal amount of soaked, and precooked dried beans

1 large yellow onion, pealed and chopped

5 med-large cloves garlic, minced

3 tbsp red wine

3 tbsp olive oil

1oz. pkg white button mushrooms, sliced

about 1/4 cup chicken, or vegetable stock as needed for cooking

1/2 cup brown rice -pre-cooked

garlic powder, 1/4 tsp

onion powder, 1/4 tsp

Chipotle powder, a pinch or two

dried cilantro 1tsp

Cook sausages in skillet over medium, medium low with a touch of olive oil, turning sausages as needed. Add red wine to skillet once pan starts to become dry. Use spoon to mix red wine with pan scrapings as sausages continue to cook. Cover if necessary, turning until done. Remove from heat and once cool enough to handle, slice into 1/4" thick rounds.

Meanwhile prep other ingredients. In a large skillet saute onions in olive oil over medium until they become tender. Add mushrooms and cook until softened and onions translucent. Add apples and spices and cook for a couple minutes more. Add chicken, vegetable stock and a little wine as needed. Add black beans, garlic, sausages cooking just until all are cooked through.

I finished with a smoked salt from Feast, but the smoky flavor of the chipotle is fine on it's own.

Serve over rice.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Epic Gardens 2011 CSA

Epic Gardens sent us their CSA info for 2011. It sounds gorgeous!
The days are lengthening noticeably. The winter’s snow and cold has kept us indoors with catalogs and garden plans. We’re excited about 2011 because we are entering our second year of Community Supported Agriculture at Epic Gardens! We tried it last year and it worked for us and for our shareholders.

Along with regular fare (like heirloom Tomatoes, Leafy Greens, Squashes, Beans, Peas and Sweet Corn) Epic Gardens is known forsomewhat quirky (read gourmet) items like Figs, Tomatillos and Cilantro, armloads of an extra aromatic variety of Sweet Basil, Molukhia (Jute, a green leafy staple of middle eastern cuisine), gourmet sweet melons, Jimmy Nardello and Black Pearl Peppers, Edible Bouquets, Organic Sweet Potatoes, and, of course, Edamame, the green vegetable soybean.

Purchase a working share or a regular share.
Choose to include eggs or not.
Pick up at the Farmers Market @ St. Stephens!
Email to receive a brochure.

Thank you for considering Epic Gardens for your CSA this year.

Monday, February 14, 2011

On "Foodies"

This weekend I attended the Slow Food Ted X simulcast event at St. Stephen's Church. I was there for the afternoon portion of the event, the 'Where Are We Now' portion. I heard so many amazing speakers on issues ranging from food security and food deserts, to ways in which healthy, sustainably grown food can cleanse the environment, benefit wildlife, and restore our health. There was even an impressive talk by Dr. William Li, the president of the Angiogenesis Foundation, that spoke on how well- grown, whole foods can prevent and even cure diseases like cancer. Really an amazing talk.

All of this made me cringe so much more when I read a piece in the March issue of The Atlantic by B. R. Myer entitled The Moral Crusade Against Foodies. ( Francis Lam writes a fairly nice response.) Portraying 'foodies' as anyone who enjoys good food, or is capable of holding a discussion about food, Myer's 'foodies' are evil- that's right, evil- and he hints, probably going to hell. I agree that the trend for food, and even pure mindless gluttony to be served up as entertainment can fall into the realm of the unappealing, or even the irresponsible. However, Myer and his strange personal vendetta like rant speaks of the macho, meat devouring Anthony Bourdain, the hideously gluttonous world of 'Man vs. Food,' and 'Slow Food' as though they are ultimately one and the same.
You may have noticed I keep placing the word "foodie" in quotes. That's because I do not like, and have never liked that word. "Foodie" implies snobbery, it implies gluttony. It implies a one dimensional character, regardless of the real person behind the label.
I guess I should start off by saying that I do not consider myself a foodie. I don't believe I have enough culinary skill or knowledge to do so. In addition there are way too many things I am just unwilling to eat. For Richmond.Com's Five Questions with a Foodie ,Erin and I tried to come up with a definition of the term that could suit us.
I know that I began learning and caring about food precisely because not doing so was making me sick, literally. The blind overindulgence in cheap food, the total lack of a community discussion about food, the sense that calories are calories, and that "good food," real food is not something of value is the reason why we are suffering so greatly with epidemics of obesity, diabetes, and countless other critical health concerns. Food is what sustains us, how we produce that food effects our own well being as well as that of much of the world around us.
Myer's rants about the self-indulgence of food writers, because really who cares about how to make a souffle? Why would anyone be so small minded as to write about something as mundane as milk toast? I think that food writing is another important part of the solution to our broken food system. If people are going to eat well, they need to learn to cook. Basic cooking skills, and nutritional information are clearly the most important aspect here, and obviously not mentioned by Myer. The basics may not include"the perfect souffle," but if home cooked meals shall ever return on a large scale, perhaps it does need that element of 'entertainment.' Perhaps, the ritual, (yes the ritual) of cooking and eating does need to be elevated and returned to our ideas of home and community. It should be fun. For someone who wants to learn to cook, and enjoys a challenge, maybe the ideal of the 'perfect souffle' is part of what keeps them cooking, and has them ordering pizza a little less often. Odes to milk toast are not going to save the world. All the same in a world where a burger from McDonald's carries way more cool factor than any meal that includes milk or toast, perhaps calls for making real food cool again is not such a totally bad idea.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Urban Agriculture.. Tonight and Online

The new issue of the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development (JAFSCD) is complete and available on line to those who sign up to subscribe. This issue is all about Urban Agriculture.

Also, Tonight Tricycle Gardens is offering a class their calling The Nitty Gritty on Urban Agriculture. Cost is $20. Click here for more info.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Schedule for Tedx Webcast this Saturday, February 12

TEDxManhattan “Changing the Way We Eat”
February 12th, 2011
10:30am – 6:00pm (webcast); 9:30am-6:30pm (in person)
Event Program


10:30am (Webcast begins)
Session 1 – What happened?

  • Welcome
  • Laurie David, Environmental activist, producer and author
  • Carolyn Steel, Architect and Author – How Food Shapes our Cities (TEDTalk Video)
  • Cheryl Rogowski, Family Farmer and McArthur Genius Award recipient
  • Karen Hudson, President Dairy Education Alliance, co-founder ICCAW (Illinois Citizens for Clean Air and Water)
  • Ken Cook, President and Co-Founder Environmental Working Group
  • Performance
  • Scott Kahan, MD, MPH, Co-Director George Washington University Weight Management Center, Clinical Director S.T.O.P Obesity Alliance, Faculty George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Kathy Lawrence, Program Director School Food FOCUS
12:15pm (Webcast offline)

1:30pm (Webcast returns)
Session 2 – Where are we?

  • Dan Barber, Executive Chef and Co-Owner Blue Hill Restaurant – How I Fell in Love with a Fish (TEDTalk Video)
  • 2011 TEDxManhattan Fellows
  • Brian Halweil, Senior Fellow Worldwatch Institute, Co-Director Nourishing the Planet, Editor Edible East End, Publisher Edible Manhattan and Brooklyn
  • Lucas Knowles, USDA Coordinator Know Your Farmer Know Your Food
  • Barbara Askins, President & CEO 125th Street Business Improvement District
  • John Fraser, Chef/Proprietor Dovetail and What Happens When restaurants
  • Performance
  • Dr. Melony Samuels, Founder and Director Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger (BSCAH)
  • Ian Cheney, Co-Founder Truck Farm, Peabody award-winning filmmaker
  • Josh Viertel, President, Slow Food USA
3:15pm (Webcast offline)

4:00pm (Webcast returns)
Session 3 – Where are we going?

  • Dr. William Li, President Angiogenesis Foundation – Can We Eat to Starve Cancer? (TEDTalk Video)
  • Dr. William Li update
  • Michael Conard, Assistant Director Urban Design Lab and Adjunct Associate Professor, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University
  • Britta Riley, Artist and Co-Founder, Windowfarms
  • Elizabeth Ü, Founder and Executive Director Finance for Food
  • Performance
  • TEDxManhattan Challenge
  • Frederick Kaufman, Professor CUNY Graduate School of Journalism
  • Curt Ellis, Co-Founder FoodCorps, Peabody award-winning filmmaker
  • Michel Nischan, Chef, President/CEO Wholesome Wave Foundation, Owner/Founder Dressing Room restaurant, cookbook author
6:00pm Webcast offline
½ hour reception

Find out more about the speakers here.