Thursday, May 26, 2011

Veggie Sandwich: Simpler than you think


As a former college athlete and active person in general, I never thought it made much of a difference what I put in my body since I was always burning so many calories every day.  As a skinnier kid, playing basketball at a high level, I was also pushed by my trainers to eat large quantities without much focus on where the food was coming from, if it was available I should eat it.  Once Matt and I began our time on the farm and researching food more thoroughly, I realized the more I learned about the agricultural state of the US, the less I wanted to eat here (i.e. industrial farming practices involving intense chemical spraying, close quartered livestock factory farms using heavy doses of unnecessary hormones and antibiotics, etc.), but while that seems like a strongly negative statement, the grass can be greener on this side of the fence too.  What does this mean?  It means I finally realize what my dad's been trying to ingrain in my head since I was a little kid...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Proof is In the Nails


I can't tell if it's me or this city, but over the last couple of years I've started to notice a ton of farm stands and locally sourced restaurants in Manhattan.  This may simply be white car syndrome, once you want to buy a white car you start noticing white cars everywhere you go.  Nevertheless, it has been great to come across all of these new options (at least new for me).  While walking down on Carmine street and 6th avenue (near the W 4th street stop on the E, F train), I came across Woori farm stand.  With a table completely covered in greens, I couldn't help but stop and check out the goods.  It turns out...

Monday, May 23, 2011

What A Beautiful Day For Some "Mistakes"

"I am not discouraged because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward"
- Thomas A Edison


As the soil continues to warm and the spring rains pour down, each clear day on the farm shines with an incredible wild, colorful beauty unlike anything I've experienced in the city.  This drastic change in climate propels the growth of a lush, green, unkempt pasture whose call to lie down is rivaled only by the extreme comfort of your bed in the morning when you have to get up way before you are ready.  What a beautiful day for some...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pic of the Week


Although I won't be in Tuscany this summer watching the Sangiovese grapes develop, I will have the opportunity to watch these deep purple Concord grapes (above) grow at Stone Barns.   During my experience tying grape vines at Casa Raia vineyard, I learned to avoid touching the delicate buds as even the slightest brush with the fingertips or wrist can inhibit the growth of what I now see are beautiful and colorful leaves.  Here's a first glimpse of the Concord grape buds springing into action on the farm.  

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

26: New Beginnings


On the farm, spring is an exciting time of year.  The winter was filled with planning and idealizing, but the spring is a time of action and trust.  Risks are taken creating a sense of anticipation.  Once the ground is tilled and the seeds are sown, there is only so much left to do but wait to learn from the successes and failures of the summer harvest.  Once awakened from it's winter hibernation, everything begins to change at a rapid pace.  Last spring I watched as the farm developed into a beautiful array of delicious and colorful food, this spring I've become engulfed in its transitions.  Over the last few weeks, as my 26th birthday approached, I...

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Pic of the Week


That's one fine carrot.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Okra: Understanding a Plant From the Bottom Up


Walking through the propagation section of the greenhouse on a cold, rainy Saturday morning, I came across a roomful of bright green sprouts unaffected by the ascending storm battering the plastic casing of the greenhouse.  These resilient babies were looking to take their first step on a long journey from seed to fruit.  The propagation room is a special section of the greenhouse where life begins, the birthplace for many of the delicious plants that will eventually be transplanted out to the greenhouse beds and rolling fields outside.  This Stork's nest gives babies a competitive advantage against the challenging wilderness that awaits them in the ground.  When direct seeding, plants will have to compete for nutrients with weeds and predators looking to devour their tender little leaves.  Especially in a greenhouse, where economic efficiency requires every square inch to be monitored closely, a farmer wants to maximize the yield efficiency of their crops and ensure that each bed is able to produce the strongest, healthiest plants possible.  In the progation room, everything from tomatoes to lettuces, okra to artichokes are being prepared for their life on the farm...

Monday, May 2, 2011

Innovation, Profitability and Integrity: Agribusiness right in your own home


There's something beautiful about combining business savvy, innovative thinking and integrity.  In the spirit of spring mushroom growing I figured I would touch on a fascinating story.  I stumbled onto BTTR Ventures (Back to the Roots), a DIY mushroom kit company using leftover coffee grounds from Peet's Coffee shops in the Berkeley area.  Berkeley is gorgeous, located in the Bay area just outside of San Fransisco.  A thriving small city with a focus on environmentalism brought about by the community and facilitated by a University that encourages the creativity of young minds such as Nikhil and Alex, two 23 year old recent graduates from Berkley's Hass School of Business.  Having visited Berkeley last Spring on an incredible trip through Northern California, I discovered that Peet's Coffee is something of a staple having slightly more shops than Starbucks in the surrounding area.  In a recent interview with Civil Eats, Nikhil and Alex were asked if they had experience farming in any capacity.  Surprisingly their answer was...