In the Spotlight

Summer Report

Time for summer vegetables!  I love this time of year – plenty of cukes and zukes, the tomatoes starting to come on, basil and green beans and flowers in the fields, and melons around the corner.  Last time I wrote a growers row I called it “rain and more rain”.  I guess this time I could say “heat and more heat”.  Today we were in the high 90’s and since it wasn’t a distribution or market day and we didn’t have any educational visits scheduled in the afternoon, the whole crew took the afternoon off and worked the evening instead.  It was lovely to be out on the farm in the evening with the rising sound of the cicadas, the heat of the day starting to dissipate and then the red sun setting over the blooming Echinacea and tall, tasseling popcorn. 

Just like any kind of weather, the heat is good for some things and not so good for other things.  The heat loving veggies (melons, squash, eggplants, peppers, tomatoes) are growing well.  On the other hand it’s been too hot to cover the fall brassicas (broccoli, cabbage, kale, brussel sprouts) with the row cover that keeps the pesky flea beetles out and we’ve been having trouble getting carrots to germinate with the fast drying soil conditions.  Of course the weeds are growing quite well in the heat. 

We’re currently planting and tending many fall crops, but I don’t want to think of fall yet.  As hot as it is, I love the summer – especially the food of summer.  If all goes well, my august will be filled with tomato sandwiches, pesto, pan fried eggplant and zucchini, cucumber salad, edamame, cantaloupe and watermelon, and green beans straight out of the field.  I hope you are all enjoying it as much as we are.

Yours in the field, Wendy

Is Your Food Fair?

By Katrina Dawn Cohoe

I just checked the weather: 97°, feels like 106°.  The sun is powerful enough to beat through my melanin and sweat constantly gets in my eyes.  My integumentary system is working on overload to regulate my body’s homoeostasis.  This time of year the effects of the sun are sometimes all I can think about.  I daydream of rope swinging into cool bodies of waters.  I try to remember what it feels like to not have poison ivy between warm toes in my boots.   

In the past few days I’ve tasted my first PFP cantaloupes and watermelons and I am amazed by their sweetness.  In fact, I’ve been consistently amazed by my experiences eating food from the PFP.  It’s still weird for me to view all the plants we grow as food, as I am the product of boxed mac and cheese, gogurt, sloppy joe’s, and many other packaged meals.  Before working at the PFP, I couldn’t have told you what many of our food plants look like when they are growing.  Working in the field and weighing food for distribution has helped me a lot with identifying crops at various stages of production. 

This month the PFP is focusing is “Is Your Food Fair?”.  Has my food been fair?  When I was younger my mom would save money by making peanut butter and bread, but my family still regularly went to Burger King, McDonald’s, and local food pantries, which gave us plenty of processed food because of regulations on sanitation.  I had little knowledge of where my food came from and “organic” was synonymous with “unaffordable”.

My personal interest in food accessibility has sometimes struck heads with the local and organic food movement.  I find myself unconvinced by the supposed ethical duty of healthy eating, especially if the people talking are wealthy enough to afford to do so.  Working at the PFP I have had access to food I could not have afforded otherwise.  Healthy food has now become much more problematic.  I feel a sense of fulfillment that I help produce food, a necessity of life, for myself and others. My body feels better eating food from the farm.  I am learning skills that are helping me to become more aware and self-reliant.  But there are new ethical dilemmas as well.

I feel culturally separated from the people I was raised with who are poor and eat “unhealthy” food.  Where does the food I eat fit into my personal identity and cultural history? I enjoy bonding with a person over a shared liking of hamburgers.  Just because I have all these vegetables because I work at a farm doesn’t mean I would be able to afford them otherwise.  Is my food fair?  I don’t have any answers but I am trying to push myself to work through this provocative question.  If you have any insights I’d love to talk to you!  I can be contacted at kdcohoe08@earlham.edu.

 

Growing our Community

Little Sprouts: Parents and Children Growing Together

Little Sprouts is a new education program offered by the Poughkeepsie Farm Project for parents and preschoolers. Children will explore the farm and the cycles of plant life. Sessions will include movement, stories, music, farm crafts, and preparing and eating healthy snacks. This program is for children two to five years old and a parent, guardian, or other adult.

Sessions will take place:

10:30 AM- 12:15 PM
Six Wednesdays beginning September 14, 2011
(rain date: October 26, 2011)
at The Poughkeepsie Farm Project
On the corner of Raymond Avenue and Hooker Avenue
 
Fee:     $120    ($100 for  members of the Poughkeepsie Farm Project)
A limited number of scholarships may be available.
 
We will register a maximum of 12 children. Any additional pairs will be added to the waiting list.

Spots in the program will be held once your registration is complete and we have received your payment. Cancellations two weeks prior to the program start will be given full refunds minus a $35 fee for administrative costs. Cancellations less than two weeks prior to the start of the program will not be eligible for a refund. We have established this refund policy in order to ensure that we can cover the costs of our programs.

For more information, contact Jamie at 845-475-2734 or Jamie@farmproject.org

Online Registration for Little Sprouts

Registration Form to print and mail

Tomatoes Are in Season!

Heirloom tomatoes for sale! Poughkeepsie’s very own Friday Farmers’ Market (3-7PM) features the freshest products from our very own local farmers and artisans!

Here's a guide for locating your favorite vendors (i.e.  friendly folks with fantastic food for sale):

PULASKI PARK
Drumlin Farm - Fruits
Janet’s Jerk Stop - Hot Jamaican food
Nevin's Farms - Dried nuts and fruit
Poughkeepsie Farm Project - Chemical-free vegetables
Robibero Winery - Wine varietals
Rose Randolph Cookies - Micro batch specialty cookies
Stonykill Farms - Seedlings & potted plants
Three Sisters - Produce, eggs, honey & grass-fed beef

 

WALKWAY OVER THE HUDSON
Barking Dog Candy - Molded chocolates
Cascade Winery - Wine varietals & cheese
Chevreaux De La Grange - Goat’s milk soap and bath products
Groundwork - Kale chips, raw & vegan food
Meredith’s Bread - Assorted baked goods
Wild Hive Farm - Baked goods & local grains
Zora Dora - Micro batch popsicles & ice cream 

Things you should know:

  • You can support the market by liking us on facebook and following POKMKT on twitter.
  • The Poughkeepsie Farmers' Market is made possible through the generous support of our sponsors, including Hudson Valley Office Furniture and the City of Poughkeepsie. More information on sponsorship is available - contact us!
  • The market operates rain or shine. Unless park officials tell us our safety is at risk, we're in business!
  • The Poughkeepsie Farmers' Market accepts debit and credit cards, Farmers' Market Nutrition Coupons (FMNP) and SNAP/Food Stamps (EBT).
  • Upcoming Community Nights: August 12th - Music and Dance; September 23rd - Sustainable Living in the Hudson Valley
  • Free parking is available in the Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park parking lot, Pulaski Park and on Washington Street. Need directions? Click here. Walkway Over the Hudson’s free parking is underwritten by Overlook Pointe—An AVR Community and Clear Channel Radio.
  • We’re looking for volunteers to help our dynamic team of partners (Poughkeepsie Farm Project, Friends of the Walkway Over the Hudson, City of Poughkeepsie and New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation) make the market great! For more information, contact Andrew Jordan, Market Manager (phone: 845-661-4386, email: pokmkt@farmproject.org).

Seed Donations Help Jump Start Community Garden in Amenia

The PFP and the Hudson Valley Seed Library joined forces this year to make donations of seeds available for school gardens and nonprofit garden programs.

One of the groups that received donations was a new community garden starting up in Amenia.  

At the end of May, Gabriela Pragman, Executive Director of Somos La Llave del Futuro, Inc. wrote: "We are rolling!!! I took [these] pictures, and I was working side by side too. Great moments for the Hispanic immigrant residents of Amenia and [health] promoters."

 

 

Get Involved

Meditation and Seed Garden Time

We need help! The meditation garden and the seed garden rely on volunteers to keep these spaces in reasonable shape.  The meditation garden volunteers tend the pick-your-own herbs for CSA shareholders and grow and make several herbal products.  The seed project grows several varieties of seed for local distribution and promotes seed saving.  Both have a weekly drop in volunteer time on Wednesdays 4-6 pm.  For more information, please contact Wendy at wendy@farmproject.org or 240-3734.

Save the Date

Tickets Available for Upcoming Events

We are accepting reservations and ticket purchases for A Seat at the Table, our second annual local food feast and fundraising celebration to be held in the Poughkeepsie Farm Project farm fields on Saturday, August 6!

There are two kinds of tickets for Soup-A-Bowl, held on Sunday, September 11 from 12:00 to 2:30 available for purchase.  This popular luncheon features soup from local restaurants, pottery, live music, dancing (if you are so inclined) and a tea cup raffle.  Ticket prices increase in September.  

  • Individual Ticket - $26 in September or $21 beforehand - good for one pottery bowl and a generous soup lunch
  • "Let's Do Lunch" Family Ticket - $62 in September or $52 beforehand - good for two pottery bowls and a generous soup lunch (serves 3-5)

The number of guests are limited to the number of pottery bowls available.  Tickets were sold out in 2010 ~ get your tickets today!

Tuesday Talk: Is Our Food Fair?

In July, we've been thinking about the following question in various venues, including the Tuesday Talk at the library with 20 people participating.  (Registration is open for the August 16th talk on Who Owns Seeds?)

Is our food fair? 

This initial question prompts more questions, like: What costs of food production are not reflected in the price?  Who pays for these? What is the effect of the US subsidy system on the fairness of food?  How could it be changed to make our food fairer? What is the influence of market arrangements on how food is produced and distributed? If we could all know the farms our food comes from, how might that make food more fair? If we want food to be fairer, how can we work on this in Poughkeepsie?

Unfair food doesn't give us a chance to choose to make our purchases in line with our values.  Without more information and/or labeling, including labeling of GMOs, our choices as consumers are limited.  Unfair food means that costs are incurred that are not reflected in the price of food.  Costs like unfair wages and working conditions that limit educational opportunities for children of farm workers and increase health problems.  Like negative environmental impacts, including pesticide exposure, on communities and ecosystems in production areas.  Like abuse of animals on CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations) and in slaughter houses.  The US agricultural subsidy system leads to harmful outcomes, including the impoverishment of developing world farmers, increasing obesity, and consolidation in the farm sector.  Unfair market competition, often codified in "free trade" agreements, creates an unequal playing field and the conditions for farm worker exploitation and the exploitation of land in other countries.

A recent NPR interview with the author of Tomatoland highlights the case of farm workers in Florida; however, the condition of some farm workers in New York are not altogether different.  Fortunately, groups like Rural and Migrant Ministry are working to get the Farm worker Fair Labor Practices Act passed in this state, so that our laws provide protection for farm workers that are similar to 11 other states.  In California, these laws have been in place for 30 years, and the agricultural sector has not suffered.

How does the PFP support fair food?

Apprentices and interns who participate in the PFP's Farming for the City program work 40 hours per week (with 2 days off) and are paid more than minimum wage.  Apprentices and interns also receive vocational training (mostly in the form of workshops and farm visits) toward becoming farmers, which is part of their compensation.  

Giving Back

In Appreciation of Our A Seat at the Table Sponsors

The August 6th feast in the fields will soon be here!  Executive Chef Sara Lukasiewicz of The Red Devon, located on Hunns Lake Road in Bangall, will prepare the five course meal featuring the local and farm-fresh products of: Bread Alone; Coach Farms; Feather Ridge Farms; Hudson Valley Fresh; Meadow View Farm; Mother Earth’s Storehouse; Poughkeepsie Farm Project; Ronnybrook Farm Dairy; Southside Wine & Spirits; Sprout Creek Farm; Wild Hive Bakery and Café; and Wilklow Farms. 

We are grateful to the sponsors of this year's event, including:

 

 

 

 

If you are looking to support businesses and organizations that give back to the community, please consider these.  Let them know you heard about them through their support of the Poughkeepsie Farm Project!

Featured Vegetable and Recipes

Summer Harvest Zucc-el-berry Muffins

Summary

Yield
muffins
Source

Beverly Allyn

Prep time5 minutes

Description

  CSA Member Beverly Allyn brought these delicious muffins with zucchini and blueberries to a harvest crew gathering.  Here's the recipe!

Ingredients

1 1⁄2cflour
3⁄4csugar
1⁄2tbaking soda
1⁄4tbaking power
1⁄2tsalt
1⁄2tcinnamon
1⁄2cvegetable oil
2 eggs
2tvanilla
1 1⁄2czucchini (shredded (one medium sized))
1cwalnuts
1⁄2cblueberries

Instructions

 Mix wet and dry ingredients separately, then add them together. Gently mix in zucchini, then nuts and blueberries. Pour into muffin pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about ½ hour until brown on top and toothpick tester comes out dry. 

What Do We Do with Kale?

by Jane Livingston, newsletter and communications

This week at pick up, I was lingering over the kale, swiss chard and something I had never seen before, a redish-purplish green called Amaranth. I love being exposed to all the new vegetables at the PFP! The two ladies next to me were talking about things to do with the vegetables and I joined into the conversation.  As a result I learned that neither of them had heard of what I call Kale Krisps, so I decided to make kale the vegetable of the month for the July newsletter and feature Kale Krisps.  Then as I was thinking about the other ways of using Kale and thinking while googling, I came across this wonderful list called the "Top 10 Things to Do with Kale," which I would like to share with you here.  Please visit the original blog post to read all the recipes there.  Many of the recipes in the blog are from a cookbook called Simply In Season, which is a CSA companion cookbook, available for sale at CSA distributions!

Here's the list from the Local Cook blog:

Top 10 Things to Do with Kale

  1. Chop it up, saute’, and scramble with eggs.
  2. Add a handful to yogurt, berries, and blend to make a green smoothie.
  3. For a healthful addition to a cold pasta salad, add chopped kale to the pasta the last 10 minutes of the boil. Drain. Add pesto or your favorite oil and vinegar dressing and additional chopped vegetables (a great way to get rid of those random vegetables!)
  4. Kale chips.
  5. Add to your favorite stir fry recipe.
  6. Add to any soup.
  7. Greens in peanut sauce.
  8. Saute’ and add to your favorite hummus recipe (pretty AND nutritious!)
  9. Confetti Kale.
  10. Kale Potato Soup.

Do you have more ideas of what to do with Kale?  If so, please do consider adding your own recipes to the Farm Project website!

Kale

 Kale is a hearty veggie that requires some extra care, but can be well worth the effort! It is one of the healthiest vegetables you can eat. Similar to lettuce, kale has high levels of dietary fiber, calcium, potassium and vitamins A, C, and K. The high fiber in kale makes it an excellent diet and digestive aid. However, kale is also loaded with essential minerals such copper and manganese. Kale contains very little sugar and a wide array of amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Other health benefits of kale include lower cholesterol, anti-inflammatory properties, cancer prevention and sulfur’s detoxifying effects

The best kale has firm, deeply colored leaves and tough stems. The smaller the leaves are the more tender they will be, so try to buy smaller leaves to save cooking time. Store kale in the fridge, but keep in mind that the longer it sits the more bitter it will become. Kale is usually good for 5-7 days. Kale season peaks in the middle of winter, so it is a great vegetable to bring color to your plate when it’s cold outside.

Photo by pixelviz under the Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0.

Baked Kale Krisps

Summary

Yield
Servings
Source

Jane Livingston

Prep time5 minutes

Description

Like potato chips but better for you!

Ingredients

1bnkale
1Tolive oil
1tsalt (kosher or seasoned)

Instructions

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees.With a knife or kitchen shears carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite size pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry kale with a salad spinner. Drizzle kale with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Put on a cookie sheet (use parchment paper to prevent sticking).Bake until the edges brown but are not burnt, 10 to 15 minutes.

Potato and Kale Frittata

Summary

Description

To start the day off right

Ingredients

2ckale (stalks removed and leaves cut into bite size pieces)
  olive oil
4 potatoes (cut into 3/4 inch cubes)
8 eggs
  kosher salt
  pepper
1 onions (large, thinly sliced)

Instructions

Preparation:Pour enough olive oil into a non-stick or cast-iron skillet (whatever you use, it should be ovenproof) so that it generously coats the bottom. Heat the olive oil over medium heat until it shimmers, then add the sliced onions and potato chunks. Cook over medium heat until the onions are golden brown and the potatoes are just cooked through when you pierce them with a fork. Add the chopped kale and cook just until the kale is wilted and bright green.Turn off the heat and season the skillet generously with coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Taste a bit of the mixture; it should taste well-seasoned and delicious.In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs. Pour them directly into the skillet, and smooth out the top a little with a spatula (I usually try to make sure the potatoes/onions/kale are fairly evenly distributed throughout the skillet.)Turn the heat back on to medium, and cook the frittata until the edges are set but the middle is still somewhat runny. Place the pan under the broiler to finish cooking, just until the top is starting to brown a little and the eggs are set.Remove the pan from the oven and let cool a minute or two before you slice it into wedges.

Notes

   

Miscellaneous

PFP Featured in Forthcoming Documentary

Over the course of the 2010 season, some documentary filmmakers filmed four Hudson Valley farms.  PFP was one of them.

We recently heard they they are trying to get the picture ready for Sundance and it is coming along.  

They shared a short section that they have pieced together:
 
 
In order to complete the film, the editors are raising funds through the following websites: 
 

You can read more about it here: http://emeraldvalleyfilms.com/

ASATT Featured in the Media

Printed in the July 7, 2011 edition of the Poughkeepsie Journal: 

The Poughkeepsie Farm Project will host its second annual "A Seat at the Table" fundraising feast on Aug. 6 at the farm project fields at Vassar Farm in the Town of Poughkeepsie.

"A Seat at the Table" is a five-course, family-style dinner composed of local farm-fresh food, prepared by local chefs. Last year's meal was prepared by Megan and Charlie Fells of the Artist's Palate on Main Street in the City of Poughkeepsie; this year, Executive Chef Sara Lukasiewicz of The Red Devon, on Hunns Lake Road in Bangall, will prepare the feast.

Read the full story here.


Posted on July 13th on dinerdialogues.com: 

The facts about farming speak for themselves:

  • America has been losing more than an acre of farm and ranch land every minute to development.*
  • New York State has lost almost half a million acres of farmland to subdivisions, strip malls and scattered development in the last 25 years which threatens food security and local economies.*
  • New York’s remaining farmland can only produce enough food to feed 6 million of the state’s 19 million residents. That’s just 30 percent of the population.*
  • The average age of the American family farmer is 57 and the fastest growing group of American farmers is age 65 and older.*

Here in the Hudson Valley, where we have some of the richest soils and farmland in the country, where water is — still — plentiful, where major urban markets are easily accessed and where young farmers are eager to put down roots, we could well be a model of sustainable farming for the nation.

Indeed, there are those in our region who want to see that happen and they are working in a variety of ways — on farms, in kitchens and in communities — to achieve that goal. One of the most enchanting ways of encouraging people to re-connect with food sources, their surroundings and one another is over a splendid meal served literally where the food has been grown — at their feet, in the field.

Over the next few weekends, foodies and farm fans in the Hudson Valley are being offered several wonderful opportunities to take a closer look at our essential local farms. With a fine twist on the farm to table to field scenario, these local farms will be partnering with talented local chefs to support critical local community organizations in the region.

A Seat at the Table, is the Poughkeepsie Farm Project’s elegant five-course farm field dining experience, and it will be held this year on Saturday, August 6th at the farm. The event is a fundraiser for the multi-faceted PFP which, in addition to its CSA and two Poughkeepsie Farmers Markets, works in the areas of food justice, education and young farmer training. The event starts with cocktails and farm tours, and then brings together local farmers, chefs and members of the community — at one long linen-draped table. “It’s a chance to talk to farmers and food providers, to learn about local food production and the love that goes into it,” says event chair Sarah Lee. “It’s a celebration of our community and its bounty.

Read the full story here.

 

Salve and Lip Balm Sale

We are currently gathering and processing herbs for salves, lip balms, tea, and an astragalus tincture which we plan to have ready this fall, in addition to our echinacea, boneset mix, and feverfew tinctures.  In anticipation, we are having a sale on our remaining inventory of salve and lip balm – $3 for salves (half price) and $1 for lip balm (down from $2.50). For more information on these products, please see our herbal product list.  They are available at CSA distributions.

miscellaneous

PFP's Education Program Seeks Canning Jars and Lids

We have been pickling and preserving the harvest with youth this season and we are running very low on jars.  We can use canning jars of a variety of sizes and regular jars that you might otherwise recycle.  We use the regular jars for refrigerator pickles. Please feel free to drop off any extra jars you may have during distribution or when you come for pick your own.  Please call or email Jamie (475-2734 or Jamie@farmproject.org) if you have any questions.  Thank you in advance!

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