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NOFA Summer Conference 2010

September 1st, 2010 | Posted by steven in Events and Workshops - (Comments Off on NOFA Summer Conference 2010)

The NOFAsummer conference in Amherst, MA was inspiring. We started the journey with a three hour field salad harvest at 6am with our friend Ryan, who used to work at Cherry Grove Organic Farm. After the harvest we began the drive up to the summer conference. We arrived just in time to make a two mile bike ride to U Mass and hear Bill MacKently, from St. Lawerence Nurseries, talk about alternative energy on the farm. He was enthusiastically spreading do-it-yourself construction of renewable energy sources. Saturday morning started off with Robert Fuqua describing how a 4 cycle engine works, repair techniques, and where to get parts. Next stop was Agroforestry in the Northeast taught by Conor Steadman and Mia Frank. This was a great introduction to permaculture. Small fruit on a organic farm, by Julie Rawson and Jack Kittredge, went into production techniques for blueberries, blackberries, gooseberries, grapes, currants, and elderberries.  After the workshop we got an amazing tour of Hampshire College CSA. They didn’t have a weed in sight! Saturday night consisted of finding a guitar case for Sam in a dumpster, riding a moped around a corn field, and meeting more friendly people that are into sustainable ways to approach life. Sunday morning started off with Potato Culture, by Bryan O’Hara of Farms at Tobacco Road Farm in Lebanon, CT. This peaked my intrest in potato growing. I stayed for his next lecture on winter production techniques. He explained cost effective ways of extending your season in the field, and how to direct seed crops in December for an early harvest in spring. After the conference we drove to Battleboro, Vermont. We stayed at Harvest Hill Farm where we fed their four pigs and took a walk through their vegetable and herb garden. It was an a amazing time. Sam and I left Ryan at his home, a converted chicken shack, and headed back to NJ with a culture for Kumbucha while listening to Tilth.

Tomato Fight – September 12, 2010

August 26th, 2010 | Posted by miker in Events and Workshops - (Comments Off on Tomato Fight – September 12, 2010)

Tomato Fight – words have so many meanings…

Our intent is Fun, Celebration and Sharing – space, time…

Our 4th annual, the Tomato Fight began many thousands of years ago, September 12, 2010 will be one more in the history of tomato pickers, family and friends, around the world.

Party starting at 6 pm – Tomato fight begins before Dusk.

Nomad Pizza will be there serving their specialities – Pizza, More Fun, Serious Perspective and Playful Insight…

There will be T-Shirts ($12 each), and a contribution box.

Bring a change of clothes, swimsuits optional, BYOBeverage.

If you want your farm recognized “officially” please bring a few buckets (at least) of Soft Tomatoes.  Ultimately, the vision of farms, sponsoring teams (with tomatoes) has been shaping.  To date, the rules are:

Soft Tomatoes Only – with stems removed.

Tomatoes are not intended to Hurt – but YES to SPLAT!

Stay in the Tomato Fight Area, as designated by “Hey You, get back to where the other crazy people are!”

Don’t go into the Fight Area unless you are prepared to be Splatted by Tomatoes.  Wear Shoes and Assume You Will Get Hurt !

If new to the event, please introduce yourself, the t-shirt Table near the Pizza Truck will be a good place.

Questions? Please email NorthSlopeFarm@comcast.net with TF2010 in the Subject line.

Kale for Breakfast

July 26th, 2010 | Posted by Casey in Product Information - (Comments Off on Kale for Breakfast)

The “Greens and Beans” Page was created as a space to share recipes, nutrition information and hopefully inspiration to friends, family and community members who would like to incorporate these life-giving foods we grow into their diets.   

KALE for BREAKFAST

We start our kale in the spring after the threat of a hard frost passes.  This cooler climate seems to keep the plants happy and the leaves tender, crispy and sweet.  Although kale hangs on through the hotter, dryer summer months, it grows best in the cool crisp autumn air.  Like most vegetables in the brassica family, kale is sweetened by a touch of frost.  Some call it the perfect fall crop. 

Kale was our very first “Vegetable of the Week” for our “Greens and Beans” cooking club.  Below are some suggestions based on our night in the kitchen with kale.

There were four or five recipes we trialed at that meeting and the results gave us some tips to share.

Most of us agreed that if kale has just recently come into your life, you should start off with a recipe in which the kale is cooked.  Steamed, blanched or in a stir fry.  You can transition to raw salads and even juicing if you become a true kale “junky” like myself.  We also noticed that our favorite recipes included lemon juice, olive oil and a touch of sea salt. 

Recipe Ideas

Start with:

1 bunch kale (lacinato or red russian) chopped

2 cloves garlic (minced)

2tablespoons olive oil or other cooking oil

2 tablespoons water

Heat oil in a pan on med/high heat, add garlic and saut’e for 1 minute, now add kale and 2tbs. of water (to prevent sticking) and cook for about 4 minutes.  Remove from heat and add salt and pepper to taste.

This basic recipe is delicious on it’s own. You could also try adding one of the following to the basic recipe:

1) Fresh juice of 1/2 lemon and a drizzle of olive oil.

2) 2 tablespoons balsamic vinager, 1/2 cup walnuts, 1/4 cup feta cheese.

3) Try adding 1 cup sliced mushrooms and 2 tablespoons tamari to the saut’e pan at the same time you add the garlic.  OR

4) Add 1/2 cup chopped kale to your omelet or scrabbled aggs in the morning.

Nutrition Talk

It was during a nutrition course I took that I first started really paying attetntion to how my body (and mind for that matter) responds to different foods.  I discovered I am a “greens girl” through and through.  How do I know?  Try keeping a journal or log of what you eat and how you feel before and after each meal, snack, drink and dessert.  It is time consuming but even if you track just a few days you will discover something.  Over time you will be able to adjust your diet resulting in increased energy, mental clarity, digestive wellness and overall optimal health. (*Learn more about keeping a food/mood log this fall/winter at our Suppers meetings.  For more information go to thesuppersprograms.org

Here is what I found out about kale:

Kale is an excellent source of vitamin K (1328%DV), vitamin A (354%DV), vitamin C (89%DV) and manganese(27%DV). It is also a very good source of dietary fiber (3g/1cup cooked), copper(10%), calcium(9%DV), vitamin B6(9%DV),  iron(6%DV), potassium (8%DV), lutein and the phytochemicals sulphurophane and indoles which research suggest may protect against cancer. 

These percentages are based on the average person ages 4 and older consuming a 2000calorie diet.  Remember that we are all biologically individual and amounts may vary based on our indivudual needs. 

As a “greens girl”, I eat kale for breakfast.  Try it!

(*Just  a reminder that none of the information found on the “Greens and Beans” page is medical advise.  For that  you should always visit witha medical professional.)