Sunday, June 21, 2009

Season 2009 - Week 3 - Recipe Lacinata Kale with caramelized onions from Emeril

Lacinata Kale is the elegant sister to the curly, green kale.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 large sweet onions or white onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 pounds Lacinata kale, middle stems removed, leaves cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
In a large saute pan, over medium heat add the olive oil; when hot add the onion and cook until the onion is lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce the heat and cook for another 4 minutes or until the onions are soft and caramelized.
Add the kale to the pan, raise the heat to medium high. Add the chicken stock, salt and red pepper; cook, stirring until the kale begins to wilt, 4 minutes. Continue to cook until most of the chicken stock has evaporated and the kale is tender, another 3 to 4 minutes. Serve immediately.

Season 2009 - Week 3 - Produce Highlight - Napa Cabbage

What is Napa Cabbage?
Napa cabbage (Brassica rapa pekinensis) is a member of the cabbage family that originated in China several millennia ago. It is also known by the names Chinese cabbage, celery cabbage, and Peking cabbage.
Napa cabbage grows in a compact, elongated head; the crinkled oblong leaves are wrapped tightly in an upright cylinder. The leaves of this cabbage are light green, and the stalk area below the leaves is lighter still, a pale green approaching white.
The flavor of Napa cabbage is somewhat milder and a bit sweeter than that of regular green cabbage. It is delicious raw or cooked, and can be substituted for regular cabbage in most recipes.
Napa cabbage has been grown in China since around the fifteenth century. It is an extremely popular vegetable in China today, partly due to its versatility. In Korea, which has also been cultivating Napa cabbage for centuries, it is pickled, salted, and flavored with ginger and chili peppers to make kim chi, the national dish of Korea. Napa cabbage was introduced to North America from China toward the latter part of the nineteenth century. Today, it is cultivated in countries all over the world.

Season 2009 - Week 3 - Recipe Kimchi

2 1/2 pounds napa cabbage

Did You Know?
Korean families traditionally store fermented kimchi in large earthenware crocks, burying the containers underground and retrieving them as needed.

• 1/2 cup kosher salt
• a walnut-sized knob of ginger, grated
• 4 cloves garlic, crushed
• 1 bunch scallions, minced
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• 2 tablespoons crushed red chili pepper
• 2 jalapeños, minced fine

• a glass or plastic bowl
• 2 to 3 1-pint glass canning jars
• plastic wrap
• rubber bands

What Do I Do?

1. Wash the cabbage, then chop it coarsely. Toss it in a glass bowl with the salt and let it sit overnight. Did You Know?
Salt extracts water from kimchi by osmosis, making it crisp.
2. Drain the water off the cabbage and rinse it very well to remove the excess salt.

3. In a large glass or plastic bowl (don’t use metal), mix together the ginger, chili peppers, and jalapeños, and then add the well-drained cabbage. Toss the ingredients thoroughly to coat the vegetables. Save the juice that accumulates in the bottom of the bowl. Did You Know?
The garlic and chili pepper help to preserve kimchi.

4. Pack the mixture tightly in sterile glass jars and cover with the juice. Add water if necessary to acheive 3/4-inch headroom. Cover the tops of the jars with plastic wrap, secured with a rubber band. Keep the kimchi in the refrigerator for 3 days before eating.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Season 2009 - Produce List - Week 3

· Lettuce

· Garlic Scapes

· Swiss Chard

· Japanese Turnips

· Snap Peas

· Napa Cabbage

· Spinach

Season 2009 - Week 3 - This weeks Farm Notes by John Kennedy

A Personal Take on the Job at Hearty Roots

So, I’ve been working on this Ph.D. in pastoral poetry for a few years. And I came to work at Hearty Roots last May to give my mind a rest. Last summer and this one, I’ve neither taken nor taught a summer course. Not one foot has been set in an archive. I have left all the serious thinking to Momma Boss Miriam and Poppa Boss Benjamin. I blindly follow where they lead. I dumbly dig wherever they say to dig. And that suits me fine. It’s more than fine, really. But, if there’s one thing I’ve learned from reading all this pastoral poetry, it is that nerdy, aesthete navel gazers like me too often attempt to beautify farm life, ignoring the extremely hard, exhausting work that goes into growing food. It is not that beauty cannot be found in it. I certainly think it can. But, for some reason, I feel it is important to take a moment to dwell on how hard it really is.
There are plenty of things that are hard about writing a Ph.D. dissertation. It’s not worth measuring one kind of difficulty against another. But let’s it put it this way: on a good day, reading and writing without any extended breaks, I will have hit my stride by eleven or twelve at night. I feel no particular pull to go to sleep. Even if I have to wake up early the next morning, I can type with reasonable clarity well past midnight and expect to be astute the following day. On the farm, there is no typing, no pacing the house

trying to clarify a connection in my mind. For the most part, I just dig around in the earth. I do it in every kind of weather for nine or ten hours each day. And when I get home, I am lucky if I can keep my eyes open for two or three hours before I collapse. If I am up past eleven I have reason to worry about how useful I can be the next day. The dust that has saturated my socks and covered my feet and ankles over the course of the day gets dream-kicked off onto my bed sheets overnight because I am simply too bone weary to bathe on weeknights. On weekends, I do shower. Oh God! I shower and it is beautiful. There ought to be poems about that. But weekends cannot be taken lightly. The rest and rejuvenation are a necessity. I must be sure to get at least one really good, long, sober sleep. Otherwise, I’m dragging the entire next week.
I am not complaining. I believe this work should be hard. It is the way we feed ourselves. It is one of the few truly essential jobs. If that is not worth the labor, what is? And we do it ethically. We do it well. We grow great tasting, healthy vegetables while doing relatively little harm to the environment. But all of these good things are the fruits of real labor. The hardness of the job should not be passed over. The hardness seems to be part of what makes it what it is. That’s worth a moment’s consideration in a world that is ostensibly at work to make our lives less difficult.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Brooklyn Healthy Food Campaign: Food Summer '09 - Volunteer opportunity

Description:The Brooklyn Healthy Food Campaign and Slow Food NYC have joined forces to fight a health crisis of rising obesity and diabetes among children and adults. These diet-related diseases disproportionately affect certain neighborhoods where residents lack access to healthy and culturally-appropriate food

Brooklyn Food Summer '09 is an all-volunteer initiative of the Brooklyn Healthy Food Campaign (BHFC). The BHFC is a partnership of City and State governments, citywide service providers, grassroots organizations, and concerned citizens committed to improving community health and food security in the Borough of Brooklyn. This summer, these groups are joining forces to apply technical expertise, agency resources, and grassroots community organizing to make strides towards this vision.

There are three types of volunteer positions available:

1. Community Food Ambassador
The Community Food Ambassador Program will train you how to talk with your neighbors about the connections between our local food system and the health of our communities; how to help our neighbors get public benefits through programs that support employment and how we can work together to increase access borough-wide to fresh, affordable food.

2. Food Stamps/Food Cards Benefits Pre-Screening Specialist
The Food Stamp/Food Card (EBT) Benefits Pre-Screening Specialists Training Program will train 60 community volunteers to support and increase the capacity of 10 sites actively conducting pre-screenings in Brooklyn in an effort to raise enrollment rates of eligible neighbors and improve their access to fresh, affordable nutrient-dense food.

3. Food Summer Behind the Scenes Support
For volunteers excited to be a part of the Brooklyn Food Summer Campaign, who are unable to make the commitment to being a Community Food Ambassador or a Pre-Screening Specialist, we invite you to join our Behind the Scenes Support team. We are looking for folks with a wide range of skills and interest to support the campaign from researchers, writers, editors, graphic and website designers, photographers to you fill-in-the-blank.

For more information and to sign up to volunteer:

Season 2009 - Members contributions???

Remember this is your CSA. We’d love to receive your recipe/story/writing submissions for future newsletters or if anyone has a community event or food-related event they would like the CSA to know about, email us and we can put it in the newsletter as well.

Season 2009 - Week 2 - Recipe - Member Contribution Melanie Neilson

Ay Leeks is Good!

On an overcast Saturday morning in May I'm headed upstate to Hearty Roots Farm with my two sons and 12 fellow East Williamsburg CSA members. We are warmly welcomed aboard the bus and look forward to meeting the farmers and the farm. The invitation to the Annual Leek Planting Party, planting of 10,000 baby leeks and 14,000 seed potatoes, was hard to resist.

Earth's cool freshness and spring tints are waiting at Hearty Roots Farm after the easy ride upstate. Weather vanes, hens, roosters, and squinting farm cats. The farm crew greets us and shows us the roots, er ropes, of planting seed potatoes and baby leeks. The grey sky seems low this windy muffled morning as we place dusty seed potatoes in soft trenches. Later when the white sun is high in the sky we put in thousands of baby leeks. On a day like this, it seems all we could possibly need is given. Birdsong, yellow boxes of potatoes to plant, new friends, lunch, green shoots, more planting, later the little lamb 'baa, baa' Blackjack enchants us with a visit. Hearty Roots Farm makes being green in Red Hook look so easy.

A leek is a leek is a leek: Ay, leeks is good. Nay, pray you, throw none away. Will they be sweet and mellow? A Romantic leek? Political?The taste of an honest farm workday will return over the next 30 weeks in our CSA shares. As a farm grows in my Brooklyn kitchen, visions of the versatile, dapper leek will dance in my head: in a neon kimchi; grilled with parsley oil; served with aioli. Favorite cookery writers and thinkers Jane Grigson, Edna Lewis and Katherine Alford will inspire my deeper summer cooking as they always do.

One of the many things to like about the concept of a CSA is how it gets children and families involved in healthy lifestyles. The idea sets the humble pleasures of the kitchen in motion. My home food garden begins in a pot of rosemary in the window. Privileges, responsibility, revelations. After all, we're still in the spring of the White House Kitchen Garden initiated by Michelle Obama.

For now, wish you were here to discuss how we will eat our leeks and other vegetables this summer. Or sharing intrigue on whom we'll share our share with. Planting row upon row with the boys, green horn visitors that we are, planting what we will eventually eat. Contemplating the purr of the electric tractor's background music as conversations fade in and out over the rows. Looking closely at baby leeks, each a portrait of young sturdiness with stark white roots in bright complicated lines.

Season 2009 - Week 2 - Farm Notes

Farm Notes by Benjamin

Hearty Roots was in need of some new storage space this year. As our
membership has grown, so has our need for shelter for some of our new
equipment-- a bigger cooler, another cultivating tractor-- and a
place to eat lunch together when it's raining! It sure would be nice
to build a big barn for it all, but for us, that's not an option.
Because we rent land, investing in a barn (which might last for may
decades, but is expensive to build) doesn't work out financially. So
we started weighing our options: build a less permanent structure
from wood; rent barn space; at one point sewing fitted covers for
our tractor implements was even considered.

We decided to build a shelter using a greenhouse frame. As I write we
are putting the finishing touches on our new 48' x 30' hoop structure.
It should be strong enough to withstand winter snow and wind, but it
was relatively inexpensive to build. The best part is, if we come
across other storage options down the road, we can re-purpose this as
a new greenhouse.

The other benefit of our new structure is where it came from-- after
pricing greenhouse frames from some bigger commercial operations, we
discovered a farmer in New Hampshire who has made a side-business from
building frames for other farmers. He uses better quality parts and
charges a bit less than the big guys, and we feel good about
supporting another farmer. On top of that, he delivered the frame to
us personally, and gave us tips on putting it all together.

Of course, this project was supposed to be finished two months ago,
when there wasn't so much going on in the fields-- but it's about
done now, and we're running around to keep up with all the veggies as
well. Hope you're enjoying them!

Season 2009 - Week 2 - Recipe - Spinach & Green Garlic Soup

Spinach and Green Garlic Soup
Taken from

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
½ to ¾ lb. green garlic, thinly sliced (white and pale green parts only)
1 qt. vegetable or mild chicken broth
8 to 10 oz. baby spinach leaves
1 Tbsp. crème fraîche

Warm the olive oil and butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the green garlic and a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring frequently, until it is soft and translucent. Also, as the garlic cooks, you should notice that its scent changes from raw and sharp to sweeter and more mellow; that’s what you’re after. When the garlic is ready, add the stock, raise the heat a bit, and bring it to a boil. Then adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, and continue to cook for about 15 minutes. Add the spinach, and immediately turn off the stove. Let it sit for 5 minutes – not too long, or the spinach will lose its color – and then, working in batches, purée the mixture in a blender. (Remember never to fill the blender more than a quarter or a third full, because the hot liquid will expand when you turn on the motor.) The soup should be a rich shade of green and very smooth.

Return the soup to the pot, and place it over low heat to rewarm gently. Add 1 Tbsp. crème fraîche and another pinch or two of salt. Taste, and adjust seasoning as necessary.

Serve warm or hot, with a drizzle of olive oil or a dollop of crème fraîche, if you like.

Season 2009 - Week 2 - Recipe - Kale Chips

If you have never made kale chips, you should do so NOW! And here's how:
  • Tear or cut kale into bit size pieces. spread the kale out on a cookie sheet
  • Preheat oven to about 375*
  • Drizzle kale with about 2 tsp of olive oil
  • Sprinkle with Parmesan, Asiago or your seasonings of choice. Plus a sprinkle of kosher salt.
  • Bake for about 15 minutes, until edges are brown and kale is crispy when moved in pan.

A little promotion for the delicious, nutritious, powerhouse of a plant that is kale:

Kale is an excellent source of vitamin C-just one cup of this cooked vegetable supplies 88.8% of the daily value for vitamin C. Vitamin C is the primary water-soluble antioxidant in the body, disarming free radicals and preventing damage in the aqueous environment both inside and outside cells. Inside cells, a potential result of free radical damage to DNA is cancer. Especially in areas of the body where cellular turnover is especially rapid, such as the digestive system, preventing DNA mutations translates into preventing cancer. This is why a good intake of vitamin C is associated with a reduced risk of colon cancer.

Free radical damage to other cellular structures and other molecules can result in painful inflammation, as the body tries to clear out the damaged parts. Vitamin C, which prevents the free radical damage that triggers the inflammatory cascade, is thus also associated with reduced severity of inflammatory conditions, such as asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Free radicals also oxidize cholesterol. Only after being oxidized does cholesterol stick to artery walls, building up in plaques that may eventually grow large enough to impede or fully block blood flow, or rupture to cause a heart attack or stroke. Since vitamin C can neutralize free radicals, it can help prevent the oxidation of cholesterol.

Vitamin C, which is also vital for the proper function of a healthy immune system, is good for preventing colds and may be helpful in preventing recurrent ear infections.

Season 2009 - Week 2 - Product List

  • Lettuce
  • Arugula
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Radishes
  • Green garlic

Monday, June 8, 2009

Season 2009 - Week 1 - Recipe suggestion Garlic Greens & Turnips

Recipe suggestion from CSA Member Danielle Morgan
Chopped garlic greens, sauteed in butter and olive oil, added turnip greens until wilted, salt and pepper. Topped with shaved parmigian. Yum!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Season 2009 - Week 1 - List of What's planned - Fall

Here’s the list of what was planned at Hearty Roots Farm. Please note, there is no guarantee
that any particular one will be part your Farm Share.

• Brussles Sprouts
• Cabbage
• Cauliflower
• Collard Greens
• Italian Parsley
• Kohlrabi
• Leeks
• Onions
• Parnsips
• Potatoes
• Pumpkins
• Sweet Potatoes
• Turnips
• Winter Squash

Season 2009 - Week 1 - List of What's planned - Summer

Here’s the list of what was planned at Hearty Roots Farm. Please note, there is no guarantee
that any particular one will be part your Farm Share.

• Basil
• Bell Peppers
• Broccoli Rabe
• Carrots
• Swiss Chard
• Cherry tomatoes
• Cucumbers
• Eggplant
• Fennel
• Heirloom tomatoes
• Hot Peppers
• Leaf lettuce
• Musk Melons
• Mustard Greens
• Potatoes
• Red tomatoes
• Summer squash
• Sweet Corn
• Watermelon

Season 2009 - Week 1 - List of What's planned -Spring

Here’s the list of what was planned at Hearty Roots Farm. Please note, there is no guarantee
that any particular one will be part your Farm Share.

• Arugula
• Baby Lettuce Mix
• Baby White Turnips
• Beets
• Bok Choy
• Broccoli
• Kale
• Mizuna
• Pea shoots
• Radicchio
• Radishes
• Spinach

Season 2009 - Week 1 - Mustard Greens Recipe

I'm trying this tonight.......

  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced onions
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pound mustard greens, washed and torn into large pieces
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp chicken broth or vegetable broth (vegetarian option)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dark sesame oil


1 In a large sauté pan, sauté onions in olive oil over medium heat until the onions begin to brown and caramelize, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook a minute more, until fragrant.

2 Add the mustard greens and broth and cook until the mustard greens are just barely wilted. Toss with sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Serves 4.

Season 2009 - Week 1 - Japanese Sweet Turnip salad

Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Time to table: 10 minutes
Serves 1

  • Salad greens dressed with homemade vinaigrette
  • Japanese turnip, skins on, ends trimmed, cut into batons or diced
  • Apple, quartered, cored and diced
  • Candied nuts
What could be more simple!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Season 2009 - Week 1 - Recipes

This Bok Choy recipe has been tested and highly recommended by a Tivoli member. She used the green garlic in place of the garlic in this recipe.

Stir-Fried Baby Bok Choy with Garlic Gourmet | November 2007

by Lillian Chou

Yield: Makes 8 servings
Active Time: 35 min
Total Time: 35 min
1/3 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
1/4 cup thinly sliced garlic (about 8 cloves)
2 pounds baby or Shanghai bok choy, halved lengthwise
2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil

Equipment: a well-seasoned 14-inch flat-bottomed wok with a lid

Stir together broth, soy sauce, cornstarch, and 1/2 teaspoon salt until cornstarch has dissolved.

Heat wok over high heat until a drop of water evaporates instantly. Pour peanut oil down side of wok, then swirl oil, tilting wok to coat side. Add garlic and stir-fry until pale golden, 5 to 10 seconds. Add half of bok choy and stir-fry until leaves wilt, about 2 minutes, then add remaining bok choy and stir-fry until all leaves are bright green and limp, 2 to 3 minutes total. Stir broth mixture, then pour into wok and stir-fry 15 seconds. Cover with lid and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are crisp-tender, 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in sesame oil, then transfer to a serving dish.

Season 2009 - Week 1 - Recipes

Arugula Salad and Figs

2 to 3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 - 1/2 pound arugula
6-8 figs, quartered
1/4 cup toasted nuts, such as walnuts, pine nuts, or almonds
1/4 cup feta or Stilton, crumbled

Whisk together the oil, juice, and salt and pepper in a salad bowl. Add the arugula and figs and fold gently to combine. Divide the salad and top each serving with nuts and cheese.

You can also make arugula pesto, just replace the basil with arugula.

Season 2009 - Week 1 - Farm Notes

Hello Folks,
The farm share begins anew -- time to savor the crispness of fresh veggies, the array of summer's colors and good eatin'. We have been busy in the fields prepping the soil for seeding and transplanting. There are already so many plants in the ground -- some of you got a sneak peak at potato and leek planting. Thanks to all you who helped out!

Some changes over the winter include a slightly larger field (we are leasing a few more acres than before), a slightly larger crew (six full time in addition to me and Benjamin, and three part timers), several new pieces of farm equipment and two more pick-up sites. This growth reflects an increase of about 30% as compared with our production last year.

Several folks have asked me recently how the global financial downturn has effected the farm - and I have responded with cautious confidence that since our "investments" are limited to soil fertility we have nothing to worry about. Of course that isn't completely true. But, people need to eat and we love to grow food, so I think Hearty Roots Farm is in good shape for years to come!

Enjoy the harvest,

Season 2009 - Week 1 - Product List

· Green Garlic

· Baby Lettuce Mix

· Arugula

· Bok Choy

· Japanese sweet turnips

· Mustard Greens

· Spinach

Season 2009 - Week 1 - Announcements

The CSA season starts this Saturday for full shares and "A week" members only - "B week" members will start on June 13. As a reminder, distribution runs from 10AM to 1PM at the Red Shed Garden, 262 Skillman Ave.

Don’t forget to bring bags with you to collect your share. We'll also be selling some really nice first edition East Williamsburg CSA tote bags for $20 as a fundraiser for our subsidized shares.

Also—Find us on Facebook!! We now have our own Fan Page—East Williamsburg CSA.