Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Transplanting Beets: It can be done


Wow, my mind is blown, that's all I can say. Here I was thinking you could never transplant root veggies like beets and I've been proven wrong. Not only have we transplanted these tiny baby beets, but we did it more...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Greenhouse Growing: Extend Your Season

Unintentionally I've fallen into something that I find incredibly interesting and innovative. A few years ago we went to a farm to ask a few questions and find out what food was and how it was grown. It was November and our impatience to wait until the spring growing season left us with an incredible opportunity to learn and work with season extension.

Normally when we think of farming we think of the summer, but with a few tweaks, there's an unbelievable amount of food that can be grown all year round.

One incredible advantage of greenhouse growing is the head start or end of season extension we get just by adding some greenhouse cover protection like polyethylene covers.

I've recently taken on a temporary project helping with the Eli Zabar's Vinegar Factory rooftop greenhouses on the upper east side of Manhattan. Here the tomato season starts in may when the typical outdoor season isn't until July or August. Tomatoes on May 14th, what a beautiful thing and they'll produce right through the fall.

Now when I say innovative I don't necessarily mean groundbreaking fr humanity, just those of us who have never thought about growing food I the "offseason" months or growing food at all for that matter. One of the big reasons I continued to farm after Matt left for Miami and when I recently left Stone Barns has everything to do with the fact the there are some many new and interesting topics and questions that keep popping up.

I unintentionally found an incredible greenhouse 2 1/2 years ago and I intentionally continue to keep finding them and hopefully building them and using them.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Summer Snacks: Spring Guacamole on Seaweed Sheets


My time at Stone Barns has come to a close and while I'm in this grace period between farm jobs, I figure if I can't farm at least I can eat.  It's amazing how having this week off has been so strange.  After a year of straight working it's an odd feeling not to have a project connected with my everyday.  It's been an interesting experience recreating an identity after such a long period of connection.  Nevertheless, I still can't get the good food off my mind and I remembered as I was leaving the greenhouse for the last time I noticed the deep leafy greens of our cilantro plants standing up straight and strong.  Whenever I see cilantro my first thought is guacamole, but with no tomatoes, sweet peppers, hot peppers, or onions in season it just didn't seem to fit.  This is when I decided to put together a spring guacamole a simple concept.  I needed something with flavor and something with crunch to supplement the ingredients not yet available.   Clearly this wasn't going to be a fully local meal considering we aren't growing avocados here in the Northeast, but if I could use the majority of my ingredients from the area and only a couple from out of region, I feel that's a step in a good direction.  So using some

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Jamming: Preserving our abundant summer fruit crop


The summer is approaching yet somehow I'm in a jamming class preparing for the winter. There is no end to the creativity and ingenuity I continue to find on the farm. Stone barns has been such an incredible resource, not just for farming, but for the skill and craft of cooking and using these magnificent plants in so many different and mysterious ways. From tinctures to teas and scones to herb-infused jams these plants offer such a variety of uses. I find it fascinating how much there is to do, but even moreso how little...