Archive for the ‘Brooklyn Farmer’ Category

Just Food’s Annual CSA Conference

January 12, 2011

Since it’s winter, now is the time for farmers and the communities who support them to organize. If you live in New York City and are thinking about joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), Just Food is hosting a wonderful (I went last year) conference on Saturday, March 5, from 8:30am – 6:30pm at the Food and Finace High School, 525 West 50th Street (between 10th & 11th Avenues), NYC. You can register for the conference at Just Food.

Winter at the farm

January 7, 2011

herb garden in the snow

Walking out to the farm the other day, I wanted to take a picture of the herb garden in the snow. This quiet time at the farm represents all of the possibilities soon to come! A few of the medicinal herbs already in the ground waiting for spring are: bee balm (one of my favorites), mint, lavender, echinacea, astragalus . . . a few that we will be replanting this season are: chamomile, spilanthes, lemon balm (another one of my favorites for tea). Can’t wait for February, for starting seeds in the greenhouse, for our garden growing again.

NOFA – NY Winter Conference Jan 21st – 23rd

January 2, 2011

Diggin' Diversity

Farming events on the horizon: NOFA-NY Winter Conference 2011 Diggin’ Diversity taking place January 21st-23rd in Saratoga Springs, New York. The conference offers a variety of workshops & the ones (at first glance) that I’m most excited about are: Getting Healthy Food into the Hands of Low Income Eaters: Nutrition Programs and Farmers Markets, Institutional Markets: Setting Up Relationships with Schools, and Alternative Pricing Structures & Strategies.

If you want to kick off the conference with a little socializing, The Greenhorns are throwing a Beginning Farmer Mixer Thursday, January 20th from 7-11pm.

Beginning Farmers Mixer

Feeding Democracy While Serving Dinner by Gina Giazzoni

February 1, 2010

Feeding Democracy While Serving Dinner

by Gina Giazzoni

Food Sovereignty is a burgeoning movement transferring food production and distribution to those who are now literally starved for lack of control. Food should be grown with the primary purpose of eating – not sold as a commodity. Processing of food should allow people to store it in their homes – not ship in trucks or boats, or store it in a warehouse or on a grocery shelf for years. Distribution should ensure that hungry people get good food in their bellies. And the food that people consume should be connected to culture: to our grandparents’ food secrets and recipes.

Over the past few months, staff and members of Weaver’s Way Food Co-op, staff and students from Martin Luther King High School’s Seeds for Learning Farm met to form the Northwest Philadelphia Food Justice Alliance and organize food justice in West Oak Lane where the need is urgent. When grumblings of belly hunger become a chronic roar, a hamburger and a milkshake satisfy faster than a salad. Fast food industrial profits mushroom by relieving chronic hunger pangs with cheap fat and sugar. Yum Brands Inc., parent of the Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and KFC predicts $1.54 billion dollars in profits this year. After saturating low-income neighborhoods across this country, they began gobbling poor people worldwide—expanding first to China and now to India. The hidden health cost to chronically hungry people is more than $1 for a satisfying value meal. This is the food that eats people. Low-income people disproportionately suffer from diet-related diseases such as diabetes, resulting from obesity.

By contrast, Food Sovereignty builds a colorful and fragrant vision outside the industrial food system, challenging inequities that depress, sicken, and ultimately kill people and communities. More food is grown within regions and neighborhoods, reducing dependence on remote boardrooms. Seeds are saved to ensure vitality of small farms, and biodiversity. Scraps are recycled to build soil for organic cropping. Farmers and farm workers are honored and rewarded for civilization’s most essential labor.

The Food Justice movement recognizes that hunger is profitable to those few who buy our politicians, but hurts the rest of us. Though income is the widely accepted source of this disparity, Food Justice asserts that structural inequalities and power imbalances of our food systems underlie the racial inequities of hunger. According to The Food Trust, one in three poor adults in Philadelphia reports fair or poor quality of groceries in their neighborhood. Only 11 percent of white adults report having fair or poor quality groceries, compared to 31 percent of African-American adults, 24 percent of Latinos and 15 percent of Asians.  Broader than food security and public health, Food Justice regards class, race, and gender equity as core principles behind food access and linked to both environmental and health justice.

The Northwest Philadelphia Food Justice Alliance is partnering with West Oak Lane Senior Center, and Einstein Healthcare Network to plan a West Oak Lane Good Food Fest on February 20. The event will feature cooking demonstrations guided by senior citizens, who will pass their skills and cooking expertise to community members seeking community-led alternatives to fast food. Recognizing the influence that teens have among youngsters in the community, students who work at Seeds for Learning Farm will guide youngsters in preparing wholesome snacks and planting seedlings for their homes.

There is no magic pill, no Food Justice Headquarters, no single leader or perfect organization that will rise to create food democracy. Instead, the answers sprout from the rich cultures and traditions that already exist in our communities. Recognizing this, Food Sovereignty challenges not only the corporate profit motives that sicken and hunger people, but also the structural hierarchies, including an undemocratic government that has well-fed, wealthy leaders, legislating policies on behalf of hungry people. By collectively organizing in our communities we can demand the right to food justice and promote food sovereignty through projects that support people’s control of our food systems.

Wassaic Community Farm

January 29, 2010

Wassaic Community Farm!

Wassaic Community Farm located in Wassaic, New York is a third year small farm project with a mission to address food justice issues in the South Bronx and locally in Wassaic. We have a quarter acre raised bed garden and a 3 acre plot within walking distance of a train line to NYC. We grown mixed vegetables and herbs using organic and permaculture techniques. We run a farmers market out of Padre Plaza, a community garden in the Bronx. This year, we are offering a Weekly Share CSA program, as well as developing an educational program for youth. You may contact us through or to learn more about all of our programs.

New York City Community Gardens Coalition 2010

January 27, 2010

In 2002, most community gardens were saved by a legal agreement which expires in September, 2010. Will community gardens be safe after the agreement expires?

The New York City Community Gardens Coalition 2010 is happening:

When: Saturday, February 6, 2010 from 9:00am – 4:30pm

Where: The New School, 66 West 12th Street, NYC 

Keynote speaker: Livia Marques; US Department of Agriculture People’s Garden Initiative

East New York Farms! Grub Party

January 18, 2010

Join East New York Farms!, Jin’s Journey, Food Security Roundtable and Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Brooklyn Food Coalition, and United Community Centers for a potluck Grub dinner on February 5th, 2010 at 8:00pm Bring your dish, your own plate, cup, and utensils, and write your recipe on an index card!

Where & when?

United Community Centers 

613 New Lots Avenue @ corner of Schenck Avenue

Take 3 train to Van Siclen Avenue

We invite the urban farmers, gardeners, cooks, chefs, food activists, food bloggers & foodies of Brooklyn to come grub with us. Meet fellow food enthusiasts, build new relationships and learn about the food related initiatives taking place in Brooklyn.

Sponsors: East New York Farms!, Jins’ Journey, Food Security Roundtable, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, United Community Centers, Brooklyn Food Coalition.

It’s a potluck bring a dish/dessert or beverage to share! 

What is a Grub party? An event where community, groups and organizations gather to eat good food and have good conversation. The food  will center around local and seasonal food  brought by the guests.

Questions Email:

Canning Strawberry and Rhubarb Jam

June 30, 2009

I’ve been wanting to do some canning since at least last year. For some reason, I never got around to it. I think in part because I felt a little intimidated by the whole process. Putting food by doesn’t seem like the best thing to jump into as a novice. There are so many steps and to be honest sterilizing glass jars sounds like a daunting task to me. Luckily this year, I’m getting started early in the season and have a couple of friends who were willing to lend a hand in teaching me how the make strawberry & rhubarb jam last Friday night.

First, I went out to pick up a dozen Ball jars from my local hardware store in Brooklyn. I was able to get about a dozen pint sized jars for around $12.00. The pint jars are a good size but the hardware store also carries quart size and freezer ready jars as well. 

Ball Jars

The best way, in my opinion, to figure out what to can is to stop by your local farmers market and shop for whatever fruit and vegetables are in season. In this case, it was strawberries and rhubarb. Yes, the rhubarb is green and looks a little more like celery. 
Strawberries & Rhubarb

Pectin is another necessary ingredient when making jam. Brooklyn Kitchen carries it and sells it for $4.99/per box. Helpful instructions come with the box, so make sure to refer to them and follow them closely when trying this at home.


While we were bringing the pot of strawberries to a boil with sugar, pectin, and calcium water, a few empty Ball jars and lids were boiling in a pot nearby. 


Then, it was time to can. The trickiest part was removing the extremely hot glass jars out of the boiling water with a pair of tongs, but somehow we managed to do it and ended up with at least 6 jars of strawberry jam and 6 jars of rhubarb jam.

Strawberry and Rhubarb Jam

For more information on canning and a great article “Preserving Time In a Bottle (Or a Jar)” by Julia Moskin, check out The New York Times.

Brooklyn Food Conference

April 20, 2009

Brooklyn Food Conference

Save the date, mark your calendar and register now for the first Brooklyn Food Conference taking place on Saturday, May 2, 2009. This conference provides an opportunity to get involved in our local food system by offering a wide-range of workshops. The workshops cover such topics as policy, economics, hunger, community supported agriculture, co-ops, urban agriculture, health and more. Featured speakers include Dan Barber, Anna Lappe, Raj Patel, and Ladonna Redmond. I’m very excited about one discussion in particular:  “Our Sustainable Restaurants: A Roundtable of NYC Chefs” which will be moderated by Leonard Lopate of WNYC. Chefs and restaurant owners joining in on this conversation are Dan Barber (Blue Hill), Peter Hoffman (Savoy & Back Forty), Bill Telepan (Telepan), David Shea (applewood), and John Tucker (Rose Water). Don’t miss the Conference Film Program or the Kids’ Food Fair. The conference concludes with dinner and dancing festivities. Did I mention the conference is free? Dinner and dancing will cost you $20.

Brooklyn Victory Garden

April 14, 2009


Plant a Victory Garden

Plant a Victory Garden

As I was walking to the garden store the other day, I passed by a poster outside a community garden that caught my eye. If you live in the neighborhood, you might be interested in attending the Boerum Hill Association’s Annual Greening Meeting. Sandra McLean, Chair of Slow Food NYC, will be there making a presentation on the Slow Food Movement.

Where: Belarusan Church (Corner of Atlantic & Bond)

When: Thursday, April 23, 2009 at 7:00PM