Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Renewed commitment to local foods

As another Farmers' Market season comes to an end, it is time to look toward next season. I am proud to say that I have been elected Vice President of the Suffern Farmers' Market. I am more committed than ever to spreading the message of the importance of supporting small farms and buying local. I am very much looking forward to enjoying the last of the season's bounty this Thanksgiving with family and friends.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Greenwala contest

Greenwala and helpareporterout.com want your help identifying stories about the most amazing eco-friendly, environmentally-conscious companies, products and services on the planet.

Submit a photo of the company (product, logo, or representative image) and a description – up to 500 words about how it is helping to reduce our impact on the planet and revolutionize the green economy. The story that gets the most votes will win a $500 Amex Gift card — and a featured article about the company, product or service on the Greenwala blog.

Greenwala is planting an additional tree for each entry with Trees For the Future.

How to Submit:
1. Upload your photo and descritpion of the most amazing eco-based story!
2. Click the Submit Entry tab and follow the steps provided.
3. Tell your friends to come to Greenwala and vote for or share your entry!

Winner will be selected from the top 10 vote getters by Greenwala.com editiorial staff.

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Has the Clean Water Act Failed?

Pace University senior fellow, environmentalist John Cronin, calls for new law and global water assistance from Hillary Clinton.

John Cronin, the noted environmentalist who is senior fellow at Pace University?s Academy for Applied Environmental Studies says the ?The Clean Water Act has failed. It is time for a new law.?

Cronin?s remarks have appeared on his water-oriented blog, www.johncronin.net.

His controversial stand comes after a 35-year career mostly spent enforcing the water law, first at the Clearwater organization in the 1970s, and later as Hudson Riverkeeper from 1983 to 2000. In addition to being senior fellow at the Pace Academy, he is director of the Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries.

He says ?the list of the Clean Water Act?s failed policies reads like an indictment of the law itself.?

The Act, passed in 1972, called for eliminating the discharge of pollutants by 1985, and restoration of waters to allow for recreation and propagation of fish and wildlife by July 1983, among other objectives.

Yet ?on the Hudson River, thousands of tons of municipal and industrial wastes are dumped annually. Sewage overflows are commonplace, and people routinely swim near industrial and municipal outfalls. At least seven major fish species are in decline and health advisories about toxins in fish have been in place for 34 years,? Cronin writes. ?At least one city has a drinking water intake within two miles of its sewage plant discharge, and another has an intake 35 miles downriver of a PCB Superfund site.?

?As with most places in the nation, there is no regular monitoring or investigation of illnesses likely to have been induced by water contamination.?

Cronin cites a lack of innovation as a chief culprit in the law?s failures. The Clean Water Act calls for large-scale, permanent federal funding of research and development to eliminate pollution, which Cronin claims has failed to emerge.

Another section of the law specifically calls on the President and Secretary of State to assist other nations with ?the achievement of goals regarding the elimination of discharge of pollutants and the improvement of water quality to at least the same extent as the United States does under its laws.? Cronin quotes United Nations statistics showing that 1.2 billion people live without safe drinking water and 1.2 million children per year die from diseases related to water pollution.

He calls on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to ?make global water assistance a priority of her portfolio.?

?Failure to meet the timeline set by Congress has set the Clean Water Act adrift,? according to Cronin. ?We are left with this absurdity: the priority objective of the Clean Water Act today is to eliminate pollution 24 years ago.?

Looking to the future, he says: ?Water is fast eclipsing climate change as a universal environmental priority.?

?Had the United States the political will to carry out the purposes of the original Clean Water Act it would today be a global leader on water issues, just when the world most needs it.?

Website text from www.johncronin.net:

Imagine No Pollution

The Future & the Failed Clean Water Act

By John Cronin

The Clean Water Act has failed. It is time for a new law.

There is a mistaken, popular belief that the central purpose of the 1972 Clean Water Act is to bring to justice the bad guys who are polluting the nation?s waters.

The Clean Water Act was written to create a global market place based on American innovation that would end pollution in our lifetime, and ?restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the nation?s waters.?

But a list of the Clean Water Act's failed policies reads like an indictment of the law itself.

The first policy goal on the first page of the Clean Water Act is the elimination of the discharge of pollutants by 1985.

The law also sets a goal of making the nation?s waters fit for sports and recreation, and for fish and wildlife by July 1983.

It calls for management plans to end pollution from runoff, protect watersheds, and enhance water resources, in keeping with the 1983 and 1985 goals.

It requires the cessation of toxic discharges in toxic amounts.

It establishes a sweeping domestic and foreign policy on water designed to protect life and health here and abroad.

Indeed, the enormity of the Clean Water Act?s failure can be measured in lives. The law directs the Secretary of State to assist other nations in eradicating their water problems to ?at least the same extent as the United States does under its laws.? But since the Clean Water Act was enacted, as many as 100 million people, mostly children in the developing world, have died from diseases related to water pollution. The Pacific Institute estimates that between 36 million and 70 million will die by 2020.
Here, on the Hudson River, thousands of tons of municipal and industrial wastes are dumped annually. Sewage overflows are commonplace and people routinely swim near industrial and municipal outfalls. At least 7 major fish species are in decline and health advisories about toxins in fish have been in place for 34 years. At least one city has a drinking water intake within two miles of its sewage plant discharge, and another has an intake 35 miles downriver of a PCB Superfund site. As with most places in the nation, there is no regular monitoring or investigation of illnesses likely to have been induced by water contamination.

How was the Clean Water Act supposed to prevent such things?

It promised massive, continuing funding of research and development to transform the science and technology of pollution abatement and treatment worldwide.

It promised permanent capital funding of publicly owned municipal treatment facilities.

And it created a permit system to halt pollution. The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System was supposed to accomplish precisely what its name says: systematically eliminate the discharge of pollutants.

It would be an exaggeration to say that these programs, and others in the law, have come to naught. But it is accurate to say that there is no date by which their goals can be accomplished -- and, obviously, no longer a date by which those goals must be reached.

We are left with this absurdity: the priority objective of the Clean Water Act today is to eliminate pollution 24 years ago.

Failure to meet the timeline set by Congress has set the Clean Water Act adrift. . It is not possible for EPA or the states to create a sense of purpose about clean water when the milestones of the nation's most ambitious environmental law came and went two and a half decades ago. A law that has been substantially unchanged for more than a generation cannot intelligently address ?best available technology.?

The United States needs a new Clean Water Act with new goals and milestones to take the place of the old, failed ones. The law must embrace, encourage and reward 21st century innovation. There should be generous incentives to exceed the requirements of law. It should create a brain trust of the most innovative minds, from research universities and private corporations in particular, charged with creating a pollution elimination marketplace that will equitably serve the entire planet. It should foster methods and technologies that are more effective, more robust, and cheaper to operate and maintain; expensive, antiquated technologies are enticements to violate the law. Unlike its predecessor, a new Act should make a priority of ecological and human health.

But Secretary of State Hillary Clinton does not need a new law to take substantive action on international water crises, and fulfill her obligation under the current law. According to the United Nations, more than 1.2 billion people live without potable water, and 1.8 million children die each year from water pollution -- a statistic that should be unthinkable in 2009. Secretary Clinton can and should make global water assistance a priority of her portfolio.

We need a vibrant, 21st century Clean Water Act that that will create a new sense of national and global purpose about water. Water is fast eclipsing climate change as a universal, environmental priority. Had the United States the political will to carry out the purposes of the original Clean Water Act it would today be a global leader on water issues, just when the world most needs it.

Can we imagine no pollution, as the courageous drafters of the 1972 Clean Water Act did? First we must swallow hard and admit that their original effort failed. Only then will the Congress and the president muster the courage to imagine that mission once again with a new, and better, Clean Water Act.

Some interesting events in the New York area:
Eat local food throughout the year?
Just Food and the Weston A. Price Foundation NYC are pleased to announce:

Community food education workshops with the creators of the Local Foods Wheel New York Metro Area - Jessica Prentice, Maggie Gosselin and Sarah Klein.

These two special community food education events with local foods experts Jessica Prentice (author of Full Moon Feast), Maggie Gosselin, and Sarah Klein will demonstrate how eating local food is as easy as turning the dial. As the creators of the recently released "Local Foods Wheel New York Metro Area," they will lead two workshops on easy and time-saving cooking and preserving techniques that can help you eat local and healthfully throughout the entire year.

Slow Food for the Urban Kitchen: Nourishing Local Food from the Slow Cooker, a demonstration class with food samples - Friday, October 2, 2009, 6:00 - 8:00pm, Judson Memorial Church, 239 Thompson Street.

Eating nourishing local food during the late fall and winter doesn't need to be time consuming. Stocks, soups, and stews from sustainably-raised meat along with breakfast porridges are incredibly warming and nourishing foods that can be made in a time-saving and inexpensive slow cooker or crockpot (oven and stove top methods of preparing these foods will also be shared). Jessica, Maggie and Sarah will demonstrate how to create quick, easy and local meals - breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Preserving the Local Harvest with Lacto-fermentation a demonstration class with food samples - Saturday, October 3, 2009, 2:00-4:30 pm, Judson Memorial Church, 239 Thompson Street.

Preserving the fall harvest can provide you with local food throughout the year that is delicious and highly nutritious. Jessica, Maggie and Sarah will show you why fermentation is an easy and inexpensive way to preserve the bountiful harvest of fruits, vegetables and herbs grown locally. You will learn about the health benefits of lacto-fermented vegetables and beverages and how to turn the fall harvest into sauerkraut, kimchee, chutneys, salsa, and sauerruben. Kombuchas, ginger bug, and whey-based sodas will also be discussed.

For more information about these events, and the presenters, go to http://www.justfood.org/events/eat-local-throughout-year.

Monday, September 14, 2009

American Farmland Trust: Action Center - Keep It Local Pledge

American Farmland Trust: Action Center - Keep It Local Pledge

Posted using ShareThis

Natural Flu Prevention

I have already been hit this season with bronchitis so I am taking every precaution to protect myself and my family against the flu. What follows is from an e-mail from Bonnie Franz who offers a wealth of information on natural preventive care. I plan to print this information and take it to the health food store to stock up for the season!

"As you are well aware, when it comes to the flu, pandemic or not, the advice given is to get the flu shot, or since 2003, the nasal mist vaccine—“FluMist"- influenza virus vaccine, Live, Intranasal. (You might want to be careful in the pharmacies, or places such as Wal-Mart, when they do this for the droplets spread and might spread the flu to you).

However, below are some articles regarding natural and alternative choices you might want to use that you are not hearing about in the mainstream media.

Dr. James Balch’s October, 2000 newsletter “Prescriptions for Healthy Living: Alternative Choices for Health & Longevity” had an article “Boost Immune Power NOW to Prevent Winter Colds and the Flu.”

In it he stated “Why I Don’t Recommend Flu Shots”--”Believe it or not, the chemicals in flu vaccines--as a matter of fact, all vaccines--actually depress your immune system. And if your immune system is weakened by age, poor nutrition, or chronic illness, injecting a live virus into your body via a flu shot may backfire--even healthy folks report coming down with the flu after receiving the shot! If you suffer from a chronic illness, check with your doctor before deciding to forego the shot. But remember that the best and safest defense against the flu is a hale and hearty immune system.”

Dr. Balch’s suggestions were:

Vitamin C--”You can take up to 2,000 mg of vitamin C every 1-2 hours. The only side effect you may have at high doses like this is loose stools. If this happens, just decrease the dose and symptoms will quickly disappear. The minimum dose is 1,000 mg. 3-6 times a day.”

Vitamin A, Zinc and Herbal Immune-Boosters, such as garlic, Echinacea, licorice, astragalus, goldenseal, elderberry, ginger, and yarrow.

The Nassau Guardian in the Bahamas of December 31, 2001 had a feature called “Nutritionist’s Corner” written by Betty Adderley. “Anti-flu battle plan” was her topic and she recommended garlic & thyme (“Research shows that these two commodities work best when blended together”), A-beta-care…”a powerful antioxidant formula high in selenium, E and betacarotene,” absorbent C, bee propolis …”It is ideal for the flu, asthma and sinus conditions. Unlike regular prescribed antibiotics that can only be taken for limited periods, propolis can be taken daily without any side effects”…”Forever Kids” vitamins for kids and adults; and aloe liquid soap.

Of course, we are concerned with what to give our children and in “Naturally Healthy,” a newsletter from Osteomed II (www.osteomed.com), Winter, 2002, Dr. Cheryl Leuthaeuser has “…Favorites for Immune Support: Sambucol for Kids (black Elderberry Juice…Can be used for 6-8 weeks at a time in children as young as 12 months…Try mixing a little Aloe Vera Juice in your child’s breakfast drink. This product works well as an anti-inflammatory and healing agent. Echinacea is an herb that is used in acute infections…Try these kids favorites: Rhino Chewy C with Echinacea or their ice pops or lolly pops.

“Your Child Has the Flu: What’s a Mother to Do?” was the January/February, 2005 article in MOTHERING magazine by Lauren Feder, MD. This was a very comprehensive article that listed homeopathic remedies (such as Dolivaxil(Influenzinum 2004-2005) …that has been used in Europe for years during the flu season. Each year, the World Health Organization predicts which flu viruses are most likely to infect humans and cause flu symptoms. Based on this information, the homeopathic solution is reformulated each year…” The author goes on to list other homeopathic remedies, dietary guidelines, nutritional supplements, herbal treatments, Bach flower remedies from Smart Medicine for A Healthier Child, by Janet Zand, ND, et al and gemmotherapy (herbal remedies).

“Fighting avian flu: Homeopathy and alternative remedies” by Bill Strubbe in the October, 2006 issue of Alive magazine, Canada. This article starts out with a research statement that “…the breeding place for major flu viruses is in the intestines of wild ducks.” “If the breeding place for avian flu is found in the guts of wild ducks, it makes sense that the homeopathic remedies are found there too…In anticipation of a possible avian flu pandemic, in November 2005 about 150 homeopaths gathered in Paris to collaborate on strategies. Among the concrete actions to emerge from the conference were the creation of an Internet site for homeopaths to exchange breaking information about homeopathic treatments of the avian flu and the formation of a scientific committee with representatives from the various international homeopathic organizations to implement proposed studies and trials…’We also have a website for public information (see ontariohomeopath.com) stated Andrea Groff from the Ontario Homeopathic Association.”

“In addition to homeopathy, other preventive measures can be taken…echinacea and osha root…as a preventive dose, one dropper twice a day for several days; if sick, one dropper every half hour for the first 3-4 hours to saturate the system, then ease back to 4-6 droppers daily…An extract of elderberries is another supplement scientifically proven to thwart the flu.. Don’t forget the old immune-boosting standby, vitamin C. Experts such as Linus Pauling suggest that the first sign of flu, you should begin taking vitamin C orally, between 1,000 and 4,000 mg. per hour until the bowels become loose. Once “bowel tolerance” is reached, maintain or slightly decrease the dose until the bowels normalize…It has been shown that when the proper pH is maintained (slightly alkaline), the body is less susceptible to communicable diseases.”

“’To ward off illness it’s crucial to eliminate acidic foods such as sugars, coffee, greasy foods, hydrogenated fats, dairy, and carbonated drinks,’” says Nathalie Babazadeh, licensed acupuncturist. “’Boost the immune system by exercising, getting enough sleep, reducing stress, and eating properly, which means lots of greens, whole grains, and enough easily- digested protein to help build antibodies.’” Because antiviral vaccines may not be effective against resistant strains of the avian flu virus, your best medicine is, as always, preventive medicine.”

“Treating Seasonal or Pandemic Flu at Home” the Individual and Family Handbook published in 2007 by Channing Bete Company (www.channing-bete.com and ask for item number PS91517) is a very helpful compilation of basics, infection control and patient care steps to take for yourself and your family.

“Blood could be key to defeating bird flu: Useful antibodies isolated in survivors” is the article of USA Today, May 30, 2007 by Lauran Neergaard of the Associated Press.

“Scientists have long suspected that culling immune-system molecules from survivors could provide a new therapy for the hard-to-treat H5N1 flu strain…This approach is called “passive immunotherapy,” and more crude forms of the approach have long been used to protect against certain viruses. Before hepatitis A vaccines, for example, anti-body-containing shots were common for tourists heading to developing countries (also hepatitis B)…And during the 1918 flu pandemic, the worst in history, doctors sometimes transfused blood directly from survivors to the newly sick, sometimes with good results…More work is needed before trying these purified antibodies in people. It’s standard to test flu vaccines and treatments in ferrets, which respond to influenza more like people do…Then the antibodies would need testing in healthy people, to see if they are safe.”

Tone magazine from Ottawa, Canada of December, 2007 had an article “Acupuncture fights colds and flu.”

“It is advisable to come for acupuncture once or twice a month during cold and flu season to help strengthen your immune system and keep you healthy.”

April, 2009 “Swine Flu Travel Health Alert Notice” from the CDC tells how to prevent the spread of swine flu: “ …when you cough or sneeze, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your sleeve (if you do not have a tissue). Throw used tissues in a trash can. After you cough or sneeze, wash your hands with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand gel. Do not go to work, school, or travel while ill.

“Get Ready for H1N1” is an article by A.W. Martin, DC, Ph.D from Healthy Directions, August/Sept., 2009, Canada (www.HealthyDirections.ca)

Suggestions are: “Do a broad spectrum probiotic treatment for 30 days…Maintain an alkaline Ph…The best alkaline foods are fruits and vegetables…Increasing the fiber intake really helps one to become alkaline…Oil of oregano is anti-fungal, anti-viral, natural antibiotic…Take several drops a day, or spray your tooth brush two times a day and brush your gums vigorously for maximum absorption…Vitamin D3…in the fall, one should take 2000I.U. a day…”

The July, 2009 issue of Alive magazine, Canada, had an article by Stuart Harris “SARS, bird flu, swine flu…: What should you do?” “Along with eating right, drinking plenty of water, and exercising daily, we can prepare for the next contagious bug by taking proven immune-boosting supplements. Check with your natural health practitioner…”

The following is a list of recommendations:

“Multivitamin & mineral, esp. B vitamins… Echinacea…it should be taken at the first sign of illness but for no longer than 3 weeks…Vitamin E… supplement with up to 200 IU daily…Vitamin C…Since the body does not manufacture this vitamin on its own, take up to 2,000 mg a day…Zinc…take up to 50 mg daily… Oregano oil…is taken orally for up to 21 days at a time…Coenzyme Q10…take up to 200mg daily…L-glutathione…take up to 50 mg per day…Selenium…take up to 200 mcg daily…Probiotics…choose a daily supplement with up to 10 billion active cultures.”

Of course, we are concerned with what to give our children and in “Naturally Healthy,” a newsletter from Osteomed II (www.osteomed.com), Winter, 2002, Dr. Cheryl Leuthaeuser has “…Favorites for Immune Support: Sambucol for Kids (black Elderberry Juice…Can be used for 6-8 weeks at a time in children as young as 12 months…Try mixing a little Aloe Vera Juice in your child’s breakfast drink. This product works well as an anti-inflammatory and healing agent. Echinacea is an herb that is used in acute infections…Try these kids favorites: Rhino Chewy C with Echinacea or their ice pops or lolly pops.


I urge you to check out health food stores for alternatives and alternative health practitioners for more specific guidelines, especially for use in children for some caution is needed. Even if you or your children get the flu vaccines, remember what Dr. Balch stated above. I think it is a good account of why some people still get the flu or get sick after getting vaccinated—namely, vaccines depress your immune system and ironically, make you vulnerable to whatever may be going around. However, I think the editorial of the July 10, 2009 issue of Ottawa South EMC Community Newspaper says it best: “Panicking is not the best solution…Panicking is no way to deal with the matter, but rather common sense and good hygiene will help the most in the long run.” Perhaps, some of the above suggestions will help you to be confident and not panic.

--Bonnie Plumeri Franz

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Our Drinking Water

From Pace University Environmental Science program:

Our Drinking Water

Join Pace University for an in-depth look at how the New York City Department of Environmental Protection monitors and maintains a high quality of drinking water for more than nine million people.

Hear from two water experts who will leave you with a new appreciation and knowledge for the resource that sustains all life!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Pace University, Westchester campus.
861 Bedford Rd., Pleasantville, NY 10570

Butcher Suite (Use Entrance 3)

Presentations By NYC Department of Environmental Protection Staff:

“The History of NYC’s Water Supply”

Robert Waterhouse, Systems Operations, Eastern Operations Division

“Keeping our Water Clean”

Matthew Giannetta, Stormwater Programs, Regulatory Review and Engineering Division

This event is free and open to the public.

For more information or to RSVP, call 914-773-3789 or email aspillo@pace.edu.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Composting in NYC

If you live in NYC and are passionate about the composting issue, let your voice be heard. East New York Farms tells you how:


Friday, August 21, 2009


The late blight may have gotten my tomatoes, but I still have plenty of peppers. I stuff them, add them to skewers, saute them with sausage . . . our pepper needs are definitely being met.

I have both cubanelle peppers - the long, sweet, light green ones - and bell peppers.

I stuff my cubanelles the way my mother-in-law does because my husband loves them (and so do I). Here's how:

Peppers Stuffed with Bread Crumbs

4 cubanelle peppers
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup raisins (soaked in warm water for 10 minutes and then drained)

Combine bread crumbs, cheese, olive oil and raisins. Remove tops and seeds from peppers. Stuff peppers with mixture and place in a greased baking dish. Bake at 325° F for one hour. (If you want to cut baking time, you can parboil the peppers for 5 minutes and then stuff and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes).

Other ideas for using up all that zucchini

The recipe that I will share here is one I developed years ago and is modeled after a dish that was served at Trinity restaurant in Harrision, NY when I worked there.

Zucchini over Pasta

2 cups cubed zucchini
1 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste (if you like it, be generous on the black pepper - it makes the dish)
Pinch of crushed red pepper

1 package powdered cream sauce (I like to use packaged alfredo sauce or "Parma Rosa" by Knorr)

Heat olive oil in saute pan and caramelize onion. Add zucchini and saute until soft. In separate pan, follow package directions for sauce mix. Add sauce to zucchini mixture. Serve over your favorite pasta such as bowties, penne or spaghetti and top with generous amounts of your favorite grated cheese - pecorino romano or parmesan.

Zucchini Bread

Although I have my best garden ever this year, I didn't have room for zucchini so my mother-in-law grew some. She gave me one of the first of the season - one that "got away from her" and was so big that I was able to make four zucchini breads and a pasta dish from it. Here is the zucchini bread recipe my mother-in-law gave me from a farm stand cookbook. She has cut the sugar from 2 1/4 cups to 1 1/2 cups.

Zucchini Bread
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups grated zucchini
3 cups flour
1 cup vegetable oil
3 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
Walnuts and raisins (optional)

Mix all ingredients together into a greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour.

I grated the zucchini very fine so my kids didn't know it was in there. I put the batter into two loaf pans.

My sister Robin's church cookbook from the Zion Fellowship in Canandaigua, NY has a similar recipe but uses only two cups flour but 1 whole tsp. baking powder and a tsp. vanilla. That recipe also makes two loaves.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Kitchen Gardeners International

From Kitchen Gardeners International:

Dear Kitchen Gardener,

I feel like I say this nearly every year, but what is up with the weather? Here in Maine, USA, the rainfall for June and July was the most for those two months combined since records have been kept, totaling nearly 20 inches. All that wet created a perfect storm of conditions for the spread of late blight which is wiping organic tomato production off the map across the Northeast, my own backyard crop included. Record rains are also pummeling crops and gardens in parts of the south, creating flash flood conditions.

Meanwhile, places that are normally temperate and moist like the American Northwest are breaking records of their own for heat and drought. And in India, the monsoon season, the main source of irrigation for the country’s 235 million farmers, may be the weakest in recent memory and has already sent global sugar prices to 28-year highs. Organic kitchen gardeners are usually hopeful types, but it's hard to find a silver lining in all the climate chaos out there.

I have found some cause for hope this year and in unlikely places: the actions of our elected officials. You, more than any other group, are aware of the important role the White House kitchen garden in playing in changing mindsets about what good food is, where it comes from and who is capable of producing it. In a recent interview on NPR, author Michael Pollan credits the White House kitchen garden as being the most important food and agriculture initiative the Obama administration has taken to date. First Lady Michelle Obama decision to dig it is has helped start a kitchen garden revival which is rippling across the globe, from places as diverse as downtown Provo, Utah to Buckingham Palace. US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently added to the momentum by declaring the last week of August "National Community Gardening Week."

Even more hopeful was the news coming out of the UK government yesterday in the form of "Food 2030," an ambitious process to create not merely a home-grown week, but indeed an entire home-grown generation. While Food 2030 focuses on the role that British citizens, farmers, and food producers can play in boosting their own country's food production, the forces driving the initiative are global. The United Nations has estimated that we will need to increase world production by 70% by the year 2050 if we are to keep up with population growth. Put in another, more sobering way, we will need to grow more food over the course of the next 40 years than we have produced over the course of the past 10,000 years combined. To add to the challenge, we'll need to grow all this new food in an increasingly unstable and unpredictable climate using a greatly depleted natural resource base. Even Pentagon officials, not known normally for their tree-hugging or kale-nibbling habits, are starting to recognize global climate change as a gathering national security threat.

The good news is that we will have an abundance of two natural resources to help us meet the world's food security challenge: sunshine (in theory) and people. Getting these people to work in partnership with sun to grow healthy food is where we the kitchen gardeners of the world have a role to play. More than just doing it ourselves (which often seems sufficiently heroic on its own), we need to be thinking about how we can share our resources, our knowledge and our passion to help others - both near and far - to achieve greater levels of food self-reliance and food security.

... One easy thing you can do on your own is to invite people into your own garden to see what's growing on and a great day for doing that for many of us in temperate, northern climates is August 23rd, Kitchen Garden Day. Please consider opening up your own garden to friends, family, neighbors and other interested people. Websites and online communities are great, but they can't replace the real-time exchange of information that happens when people get together in person over a healthy bed of cabbage.

Monday, August 10, 2009

"Nasty Agribiz Aftertaste"

From Eating Liberally - New York City [nyc@eatingliberally.org]

Are you sick of our sickening food system? Ready to revolt against revolting food? Eager to purge your palate of that nasty Agribiz aftertaste? Then come hear the progressive foodie blogosphere's own Jill Richardson, of La Vida Locavoreaka Daily Kos's orangeclouds115tell us how we, the people, can overthrow the cornarchy and re-localize our broken food chain!

What: Jill Richardson and her new book, "Recipe For America: Why Our Food System is Broken and What We Can Do To Fix It"
When: TONIGHT! 6:30-8 pm
Where: The Tank (354 West 45th St. btwn 8th & 9th Avenues)
How Much: FREE

Come to listen, talk, and eat. We hope to see you all there tonight!

The new rules of food

This article appeared on Forecast Earth, a Weather Channel site.

The new rules of food
by Alan Mammoser

(Originally from Eartheasy.com) - Concerned citizens, farmers and others are starting to work on a new set of rules for the food system. These rules or standards would ensure sufficient incomes for family farmers, fair treatment of farm workers, proper care of farm animals and conservation of the environment.

What if you knew the story behind everything you ate, such as where the food came from, who grew it and how? Imagine the landscape from which it came, perhaps a thriving collection of family farms. What if you knew the people that grew the food, knew that they got a fair price for it and that they actively worked to protect the landscape?

How differently would we eat if we got to know our food better?

Basic knowledge of where food comes from and how it is produced is lost on many Americans today and with it a trust in the food supply that sustains us.

With the rise of a highly industrialized society, an industrial farming system has developed along with it. Farms have become ever more mechanized, specialized and distant from most of the population. The federal government has contributed to the trend through legislation, with consecutive farm bills that favor big concentrated commodity growers -- sometimes known as "factory farms" -- while nearly ignoring local growers with smaller operations, sometimes collectively called "family farmers."

Now, when you walk into your local grocery, you see shelves chock full of all the marvels of our food system, with colorful packaging and displays. But do you know where it comes from? Do you trust it? In most cases, there is no information beyond the basic government approvals and ingredient lists. But for a growing number of people, particularly in the age of food safety scares, the lack of information is unacceptable.

Many Americans want to get to know their food, and the story behind it, better.

A new food movement is growing out of these concerns. Concerned citizens, farmers and others are starting to work on a new set of rules for the food system. These rules or standards would ensure sufficient incomes for family farmers, fair treatment of farm workers, proper care of farm animals and conservation of the environment. While some are working on the specific rules, others are figuring out how to communicate about the issue and efforts to others. They're devising ways to convey the stories behind food, so grocery shoppers know more about a cut of meat or a bag of beans and can use this information to make better choices.

This food and farming conversation is gathering force, appropriately, in the Midwest. Many leading thinkers are gathering in March at the Family Farmed Expo (familyfarmed.org), a two-day event in Chicago that contains events for the general public. Local experts on the subject will be on hand as well.

"When national organic food standards were adopted in the early 90s, there was a choice," says Jim Slama of Sustain USA, a Chicago-based non-profit that works on food and farming issues. "At that time, the feds chose to emphasize environmental standards in the strictest sense, to certify whether the food production system avoided artificial fertilizers and chemicals. But they chose to ignore other values related to producing and selling food, values that many people care about."

Slama and his colleagues are at the forefront of a "food convergence." Previously, food-related issues were addressed separately as individual groups focused on organics, local production, fair trade or family farm issues. Today, these groups are coming together to look at food from all angles with the belief that collectively, they can have far greater impact.

Four key topics of discussion include certifying family farms; fair trade standards; organics and beyond; and local food and flavor.

Certifying Family Farms
Fred Kirschenmann has watched with alarm as the number of independent family farms decline across the Midwest. The North Dakota farmer and senior fellow at Iowa State University's Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture noted that this tragic disappearance was occurring even as demand was growing for specialty food products.

"New markets are opening," says Kirschenmann. "In many cases, markets for organic foods, but they really take organic to another level. They come from peoples' rising desire to buy food that protects the land and animals, supports farm families and farm workers. These markets demand food products that independent family farmers can, by their very nature, best provide."

This new demand for food can be summed up in three things food must convey: memory, story and relationship. People want food that carries the land's qualities and nutrients to their tables -- that's its memory. They want to know where it came from and follow it to its source -- that's its story. And they want to enjoy a trusting relationship through real communication with the producer.

Kirschenmann joined like-minded rural advocates and food activists to form the Association of Family Farms (AFF). The organization's goal is to differentiate themselves in the marketplace by forming cooperatives and creating their own unique brands, which they will certify with a special seal.

Like the ubiquitous "UL" (Underwriters Laboratories) label on household goods, the AFF seal will appear on food products from meat to wheat. It will certify food in three ways: 1) environmental stewardship on the farm; 2) social standards, such as fair treatment of farm workers; and 3) fair business practices including fair compensation for family farmers.

AFF is composed of farmers from local marketing organizations and co-ops and is gradually expanding through regional committees. In addition to the AFF seal, Kirschenmann foresees an interactive website that will provide detailed information about the food, and the farmers and practices used to produce it.

Fair Trade Standards
For AFF to work, it needs solid rules and agreed-upon standards by which to judge whether a food item deserves the seal. The group is drawing upon the Portland-based Food Alliance, whose certification programs support sustainable agriculture. Their standards are comprehensive and touch on every aspect of the farm economy and call upon farmers and ranchers for the following:

Provide safe and fair conditions for workers
Ensure healthy and humane care for livestock
Avoid use of hormones or related antibiotics
Avoid genetically modified crops or livestock
Reduce their use of pesticides and other toxins
Actively conserve soil and water resources
Protect wildlife habitat
Plan for continuous improvement

Michael Sligh of the North Carolina-based Rural Advancement Foundation is working to adapt international fair trade standards, such as those well-recognized for coffee, to the domestic food market. "The standards are tools to help small farmers make a claim, to make their products more unique and more valuable," Sligh says.

Organic and Beyond
Organic Valley is a LaFarge, Wisconsin-based cooperative that is owned by 900 independent farmers, most with small to mid-sized family farms. The Organic Valley label provides a powerful seal that guarantees social justice and environmental care. Now, the company is moving toward adopting some form of fair trade standard.

"Organic and beyond," is how the company's CEO, George Siemon, describes it, signaling Organic Valley's desire to reach buyers who care about a wide range of values in their food.

Erin Ford, a project coordinator at the company, notes that good standards require good metrics. "To create useful standards, we need to answer basic questions, such as "what is a family farm?'" she says. "Another is, "what is local food?'"

Organic Valley has done much to provide answers, just through the guidelines it has established for its members. "We've got good working definitions, based upon our experience as a national brand working through a regional business model," says Ford.

For example, to define a family farm, the company sets out certain thresholds, such as the number of heads of cattle (the maximum allowed for members is 500 without special approval, although their farmer average is 65). Their local milk is seen in a broad yet well-defined regional context, with seven major trade areas across the country broken up into the following regions: Pacific Northwest, California, Rocky Mountain, Texas, Midwest, Northeast and New England. Their goal is to ship within their regions, so the milk in the stores comes from relatively local producers.

Local Food and Flavor
To tell the food story, to convey trust, means food must become more local, in both a real and a figurative sense. The food buyer must come to know the landscape, the scene of the harvest, whether it be across the continent or in the buyer's own region. Locality plays a big role in any new standards for food.

The creation, or restoration, of local food systems goes to the heart of what people love most about food, namely, flavor. The international Slow Food movement sees this instinctively, placing the concern for good flavor into broader agendas for land conservation and the survival of diverse plant and animal varieties. Slow Food brings the discussion of fair trade down to where it really matters most: the plate.

"The universal aspect of food is pleasure," says Erika Lesser of Slow Food USA. "It's not gluttony. It's just the reality of how food motivates people. It's like doing good by eating well."

This appeal to taste could bring huge numbers of people into the fair trade fold, by getting them to look for good -- and good-tasting -- meals. Slow Food projects bring producers together around agreed-upon standards for special heritage varieties, such as raw milk cheese, Gravenstein apples or other high value or unique foods.

There is still a lot of work ahead to make the "memories, stories and relationships" of food accessible to most city folk who live far away from farms and food production. The evolving conversation -- with new farmer-oriented standards, seals and methods to communicate food stories -- may create a growing swell that will shake our food system, and our ways of interacting with it, to its very roots.

Alan Mammoser is a Chicago-based writer and regional planner.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Suffern Farmers' Market Vendor of the Week - GBC Style by Gloria Collins

Gloria Collins, President of the Suffern Farmers' Market is a woman of many talents and interests. One of her passions is finding unique local items that make wonderful gifts and/or home decorations and other accessories. She offers them through her business venture, GBC Style... "just a little something."

Here are some photos of GBC Style at the Suffern Farmers' Market on Saturday, August 1, 2009. Gloria can be reached at gbcstyle@hotmail.com.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

America's Favorite Farmers' Markets

From American Farmland Trust (http://www.farmland.org/default.asp):

Farmers markets across the country are in full swing and market tables are laden with the beautiful fruits of summer. Since June 1st, thousands of people have cast their vote through the America’s Favorite Farmers Markets contest and told use about their favorite market! Have you voted for your favorite? Cast your vote today!

“I love the feeling of shopping and visiting with my neighbors while buying locally grown food. It's a great way of connecting with people and connecting with the land. And the produce is terrific, not to mention the farmers!” America’s Favorite Farmers Markets voter.

With Only Two Weeks Left We Need Your Help to Get Out the Vote!
Send an E-card, Win a Cook Book
Since there are so many dedicated farm and farmers market supporters out there, we decided to create a contest just for market advocates. Five people who send the most e-cards inviting people to vote in the contest will win a signed copy of the Local Flavors cookbook by Deborah Madison.

Take a Look at America’s Favorite Top 20 Farmers Markets
Small, medium, and large farmers markets have been working hard to get the word out about the contest and rally their customers. Now you can see which of the more than 700 farmers markets participating in the contest are currently leading in votes. Visit our new Top 20 Farmers Markets display to see who is in the lead and how many votes your farmers market needs to make it to the top twenty. This list updates each time you refresh, or visit the page, so that you can have up-to-the minute information on the top markets.

Make a Gift to Help Us Spread the Word
Want to help us spread the word about the importance of farmers markets to our communities and for their role in keeping farmers on the land? Make a donation today, and we will put it to work to push for effective policies that protect farmland and support farmers so they can continue to provide food for our tables.

Get Your Community Involved
Make sure your local paper knows about the contest and supports your local farmers market this summer! Write a letter to the editor about the contest and how your vote supports your local farms and farmers markets. Check out more ways you can spread the love for farmers markets.


Gretchen Hoffman
Communications Coordinator
American Farmland Trust

Monday, July 27, 2009

Westchester Blog-A-Thon

I was invited to participate in the Westchester Farmers' Market Blog-A-Thon in August. I will be posting about my farmers' market finds often that week.

Two of my fellow local bloggers are:

Rinku whose URL is http://cookingwithrinku.blogspot.com and Reginald from www.ceramiccanvas.com. Check them out.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

My son's video commercial contest entry

My son could win $5,000 and a camera to continue his videographer pursuits. To support him, creat an account at www.if.net and vote once a day until the contest ends. Thanks!

Chilled Curried Zucchini Soup

Noah Sheetz, Executive Chef of the Governor’s Mansion in Albany, New York appeared Saturday at the SUFFERN FARMERS’ MARKET (www.suffernfarmersmarket.org). He prepared the following recipe and more using local ingredients.

Chilled Curried Zucchini Soup

4 cups water
1 tablespoon, plus 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 small white New York state white potato, like Kueka Gold or Salem,
or ½ russet potato, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon white vinegar
¼ yellow onion, diced
1 rib celery, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
4 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons curry powder
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
2 zucchini, diced
1 handful fresh spinach or (any leafy green in season may be used as a substitute)
1 cup heavy cream

Bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the potato, salt and vinegar. Cover and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes until the potato is tender. Melt the butter over low heat in a sauté pan. Add the onion and celery and sauté for 10 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté another minute. Stir in the curry, cinnamon, cumin and cayenne. Continue to sauté over low heat for another 30 seconds. Add the onion-spice mixture to the potato water. Add the zucchini and spinach and cook for another 5 minutes until the zucchini is tender. Puree the soup in a blender for 3 – 5 minutes until it is smooth. Transfer to a bowl and whisk in the cream. Adjust the seasoning by adding more salt and pepper if needed. Chill the soup over an ice bath or in the refrigerator for several hours before serving.

Makes 6 servings.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Chicken Rolls with Spinach

I was looking for a use for the overabundance of spinach that I have growing in my garden. I gave some to the neighbors - twice - and then decided to feed my own family with some of it. Last night I made chicken stuffed with spinach, basil and cream cheese. The recipe is simple:

Spinach Stuffed Chicken Rolls

For the stuffing mixture:
One cup fresh spinach leaves
Half an 8 oz. package cream cheese
2 tbsp parmesan cheese
1 tbsp pecorino romano cheese
2 fresh basil leaves

8 - 12 thin sliced chicken cutlets
1 egg
Half cup bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place stuffing mixture ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. spread over one side of each cutlet. Roll and secure with toothpicks. Spray a baking dish and place rolled cutlets in the dish. Brush tops of rolls with beaten egg and spread bread crums over the top. Sprinkle with grated pecorino romano. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.

Monday, July 20, 2009

FoodprintNYC Call-In Day to City Council representatives

Tuesday, July 21st is FoodprintNYC Call-In Day to your City Council representative!

On June 30, NYC Council Member Bill de Blasio introduced a groundbreaking resolution in the City Council that calls for a citywide "FoodprintNYC" initiative to create greater access to local, fresh, healthy food, especially in low-income communities as well as city-run institutions (see resolution background below).

So far 11 City Council members have signed on as co-sponsors. Make sure your representative shows their support!

Tomorrow, take action to support FoodprintNYC!

Calling your representative is fast, easy, and effective. You can call on your way to the subway, while walking your dog or on your way home from the office. Every call that you make in support of or against a policy issue gets recorded.

Calls are usually short and you are rarely asked questions, as staffers are busy and want to take down your position and get you off the phone!

Here are three quick steps to calling your representative and voicing your support for the FoodprintNYC resolution:

1) Find your City Council representative.

2) Find out if your City Council representative has signed on as a co-sponsor of the FoodprintNYC resolution.

3a) If your city council representative has not yet signed on as a co-sponsor of the resolution, please call their legislative office and urge him or her to support the resolution. Feel free to use the following simple script:

• Hello, my name is ______________ and I am a constituent.

• I live at/in ___________ (give street address or neighborhood so they know you are a constituent).

• I'm calling to urge Council Member _______ to support Resolution 2049 calling for FoodprintNYC.

At this time you'll likely get thanked for calling, and then the purpose of your call will be recorded. If they do ask for more detailed information, here are the key points:

• The resolution was introduced in the City Council by Bill de Blasio on June 30, 2009.

• It is the first resolution in NYC or any other US city to exclusively address climate change through our food system.

• It calls for a citywide initiative to create greater access to local, fresh, healthy plant-based food, especially in low-income communities as well as city-run institutions.

• Increasing availability and use of local, healthy food decreases significant pollution caused by the growing, packing, processing and shipping of food.

If you're calling after hours you can leave a message, state your name, where you're from, your phone number and that you'd like your representative to co-sponsor Resolution 2049 calling for FoodprintNYC.

3b) If your city council representative is one of the 11 members who have already signed on as a co-sponsor of the resolution, please call and thank him or her for their support. Feel free to use the following simple script:

• Hello, my name is ______________ and I am a constituent.

• I live at/in ___________ (give street address or neighborhood so they know you are a constituent).

I'm calling to thank Council Member _______ for their support of Resolution 2049 calling for FoodprintNYC! I am so glad to see the connection between food and climate change being taken seriously.

Thank you!!

FoodprintNYC background

It is estimated that globally one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions comes from agriculture and land use changes, and that approximately 12% of the total GHG emissions per U.S. household result from growing, packing, preparing and shipping food nationwide.

Resolution 2049 is the first ever to address climate change exclusively through our food system and proposes "FoodprintNYC," a citywide initiative designed to lessen the impact the City's food choices and production systems have on climate change through the launch of a public awareness campaign, greater access to local, fresh, healthy food, and the mobilization of the financial and technical support needed to sustain these efforts, especially in low-income communities as well as city-run institutions.

FoodprintNYC, pushed for by the NYC Foodprint Alliance, is meant to build on PlaNYC, which aims to reduce global warming and encourage environmental awareness, yet does not address food and farming. The resolution also builds upon the environmentally friendly policies and programs recommended in the Manhattan Borough President's 2009 report "Food in the Public Interest."

For more information: www.foodprintusa.org or nadia@justfood.org.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Pay attention or we will all bee hungry

Just Food in NYC has an eat local event coming up in September. They also have a petition on their site to legalize beekeeping in NYC. I encourage everyone to sign it. http://www.justfood.org/jf/index.html

Pasted below is an article from the Journal News in Westchester County, NY on the importance of bees to our food supply:

July 3, 2009
Honeybees make sweet work at Pace
Greg Clary
The Journal News

A couple of years ago, when somebody mentioned to me that there was big die-off of bees that could be catastrophic for humans, my first response was "Why? Because we would have to live without being stung?"

Most everybody's had a run-in with a bee - but at the time I barely knew the difference between a honeybee and a bumblebee.

I thought all those little critters did was pollinate flowers and sting people.
Yesterday, I found out how much I didn't know.

"Honeybees are pretty passive, unless you get into their flight path," said James Eyring, the assistant director of Pace University's Environmental Center in Pleasantville. "They don't like you in their way."

Eyring started a beekeeping operation at Pace two months ago, at the suggestion of Nick Robinson, the school's environmental law legend and an amateur beekeeper himself.
"He said we should do it because it's the right thing to do," Eyring said. "It's also good for the students to get a close look at how nature works."

Watching and listening to Eyring, I found it pretty clear that honeybees are almost always working.

"We should get 100 pounds of honey by the end of the summer," he said, lifting up racks of worker bees turning pollen and sugar water into beeswax and the familiar golden liquid. "At four bucks a pound for honey and eight bucks a pound for beeswax, however, I wouldn't want to make a living as a beekeeper."

Pace's powers that bee opted to fund the project - about $600 for the two working hives - because as Robinson said in an Earth Day speech, one-third of the U.S. food supply depends on bees.

"We need them to pollinate our crops, like the almond trees of California, where most of the world's almonds are grown, or the apples trees of the Hudson Valley," Robinson said. "The continued use of these chemicals is a threat to our food supplies and to our spring pollination."
Robinson cited ice-cream producer Häagen-Dazs' warning that 40 percent of its 60 flavors depend on fruits and nuts that are pollinated by bees.

I don't know about you, but when pesticide makers mess around with my favorite food, I start paying attention.

What's happening to bees is called "colony collapse disorder," and Eyring is one of many who believes the deadly plague is connected to the use of pesticides, most specifically a chlorinated nicotine based insecticide.

"The bees are in trouble. CCD is akin to the canary in the mine shaft," said Eyring, a Lake Carmel resident. "If we lose honeybees, we're in trouble. We're already losing production on our farms, agriable lands. It's scary to think of how wrong things have gone if we're losing honeybees. They should be a wake-up call."

If you don't think bees are important to your daily diet, consider that farmers truck in hives and rent them for two or three weeks during blossoming time, letting the beekeepers keep the honey as long as the bees work the plants. A bigger crop is the result and well worth the investment, Eyring said.

Look at the national facts on the matter, from the Environmental Protection Agency:
- Honeybees are essential for crop production, particularly for specialty crops such as nuts, berries, fruits and vegetables.

- They pollinate more than 90 commercial crops, so that the plants can reproduce and provide the abundance and variety of foods we enjoy.
- Pollination is responsible for $15 billion in added crop value.
The other thing that struck me yesterday was how smart bees are as a group.
Everybody knows the queen is the hub of the hive - she produces the next generation, is served by the drones and workers, sleeps until noon ...
But what might be less well-known is that it is at best a constitutional monarchy, because if the queen's not doing her job in the eyes of her attendants, they depose her.
"They're all working with one goal in mind: the good of the hive," Eyring said. "If she's not doing her job, not producing properly, they either kill her or push her out."
There might be a civics lesson in that for us.

For the original article with photos:

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Quitter to appear at the Suffern Music and Arts Festival

My husband's band, Quitter (www.quitterband.com) has been selected to perform at the first annual Suffern Music and Arts Festival (www.suffernmusicandartsfestival.com) Sept. 6.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Vote for Your Favorite Farmers' Market!


Suffern Farmers’ Market has entered into a national contest for farmers markets being held by American Farmland Trust.

The market is open Saturdays, June through November from 9:00am to 1:00pm, rain or shine in the Commuter Parking Lot on Orange Ave. at Lafayette. Available at the market are locally grown and produced organic vegetables, fruit, meat, eggs, wine, cheese, yogurt, pickles, prepared foods, baked goods, coffee, maple syrup, honey, plants, flower bouquets and more. The market features live entertainment each week along with regular cooking demos and children’s activities

Farmers markets represent one of the great ways that food consumers can support their local farmers, farmland, communities, and regional economy. This summer, American Farmland Trust’s contest for America’s Favorite Farmers Markets, is a way for market customers to voice their support and take pride in their community. Farmers markets can register to join the contest by visiting, www.farmland.org/marketmanager. Customers across the nation will vote their market to the top on-line at www.farmland.org/vote. One large, medium, and small farmers market will win the title of America’s Favorite Farmers Market in 2009, and the winning markets will each receive a free No Farms No Food ® tote bag giveaway for their customers.

By partnering with farmers markets, American Farmland Trust is encouraging consumers to consider the importance of farmland and to support local farmers. Put succinctly, there is no local food without local farmland. Market shoppers can cast their vote in support of their region’s farmers, community, and market. To vote for Suffern Farmers’ Market simply visit www.farmland.org/vote.

American Farmland Trust—along with many local and state governments, and non-profit groups, is working to make “growing local” a reality for farmers, ranchers and consumers. Healthy Farms, Healthy Food, and Healthy Communities: It’s what America needs!

Find out more about American Farmland Trust’s Growing Local Campaign:

American Farmland Trust is a national nonprofit organization working with communities and individuals to protect farmland, promote sound stewardship of that land and improve the economic vitality of agriculture. As the nation’s leading advocate for farm and ranch land conservation, AFT has ensured that millions of acres of American farm and ranch land stays bountiful and productive. With offices around the country, AFT’s headquarters are in Washington, DC. The phone number is 202-331-7300.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Suffern Farmers' Market 2009 Season

Suffern Farmers’ Market
Saturdays June 13 through Nov. 21 from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm - rain or shine - in the commuter parking lot on Orange Ave. at Lafayette, Suffern, NY.

Available at the market: Locally grown/produced organic vegetables, meats, eggs,
fruits, berries, baked goods, maple syrup, wine, cheese, honey, plants, prepared foods, flowers
• Live Entertainment
• Cooking Demos
• Children’s Activities

Suffern Farmers Market is sponsoring a blood drive on June 9 at Good Samaritan Hospital from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Donate and receive a $3.00 coupon toward any item at the market.

Market Events:
June 13 Opening Day — gardening activities with kids
- Ribbon cutting with town officials 10:00am
- Music: John Morowski – all ages
- Cornell Cooperative Extension
- Master Gardeners will be doing gardening activities with consumers/kids
- Storytime with Elyse

June 20 Local Artists Demo Day

July 4 Red, White & Blueberries Day — canning demo

July 25 Eat Local Day
Cooking Demo: Chef Noah from the Governor’s Mansion

August 22 Hispanic Heritage Day — cooking demo & music

September 5 & 6 Suffern’s 1st Annual Music and Arts Festival

October 31 Harvest Festival

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

MyPersonalFarmers.com launches new CSA

This is the best CSA deal I know of in the New York metro area.

From MyPersonalFarmers.com:


We are very pleased to announce our first CSA (community supported agriculture) program. Applications will be accepted thru June 12.

The simple summary is below - and you'll have to follow this link to get more details. The minimum plan (Plan 1) is strictly produce from Hepworth Farms and Sheldon Farms. Plan 2 includes produce and one dozen organic eggs; Plan 3 includes produce and one fresh whole organic chicken. Further "add-ons" can be ordered week-to-week.

First delivery is weekend of June 19/20, and every other week through Oct 23/24.
Minimum plan cost is $45 per package, with no additional delivery charge in our regular delivery area. Payment plans are available.

After you read the detailed description of our CSA program, you can sign up either online or by phone.

Naturally, we continue to offer our regular service of ordering each week, as you please. Nothing changes in our basic operation - the CSA is an alternative.

For more information, go to www.mypersonalfarmers.com.

Friday, May 1, 2009

It's that time of year again - Dandelion salad

Every spring my neighbors' lawns are teeming with weeds. I say my neighbors because my husband is a freak about his lawn. Not a blade of perfectly green grass out of place.

But my neighbors have free landscaping help - from me. I am happy to help them weed those dandelions out - and keep my loot to make a nice salad.

Dandelions greens are often sold at farm markets and grocery stores with the more standard fare. But I get mine for free.

I also eat purslane, which grows near the edge of my property by the street. I try to pick it regularly before my husband kills it unnaturally.

The greens of dandelions can be used in salads in place of arugula or other leafy greens. Some people also cook them as they would spinach or broccoli rabe. I like them tossed with extra virgin olive oil, a dash of balsamic vinegar and some kosher salt.

Swine Flu

embracing a sustainable lifestyle as a Locavore ... using locally grown and produced ingredients whenever possible ...

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