Bread and Roses

By Kristie Snyder,
Marketing Assistant

Hearts starve as well as bodies; give us bread, but give us roses!

—James Oppenheim, from a 1911 poem supporting a Lawrence, Massachusetts textile worker’s strike


The workers that James Oppenheim’s poem paid tribute to were mostly immigrant women, who fed their families mainly—and meagerly—on a diet of bread. They were striking, ultimately unsuccessfully, against a pay cut. Starving was a very real threat; presumably they were less worried about their hearts. But the “bread and roses” quote endures—a testament to the power that the beauty of flowers holds.

Today, it’s South American flower workers, most of whom are also women, who might well be seeking “bread and roses.” Amy Garbincus, a flower and vegetable farmer at Three Sisters Farm and GreenStar Wellness staffer, says she is often asked, “Who cares if flowers are organic?”

Read more: Bread and Roses

 

Get a Jump on Spring: Grow Your Own Seedlings

By Stephanie Van Parys

Summer is only four months away, so it’s not too early to think of your summer garden. After making a list of what veggies you want to grow next summer, the next step is to figure out what you can start early by growing seedlings. Let me give you a few reasons why it’s worth the effort to grow your own vegetable starts:

You control the varieties and quality of the transplants going into your garden based on your own selections, not what the local garden center has available;

  • You control the timing of when you want to plant your garden;
  • More plants for less money;
  • Preservation of heirloom and rare varieties;
  • Fun!

Read more: Get a Jump on Spring: Grow Your Own Seedlings

Root Vegetable Renaissance

By Robin Ostfeld,
Blue Heron Farm

Seasonal changes affect us more than we think. As the days get shorter, leaves fall to the ground, squirrels gather their winter caches of food, and humans feel the urge to fatten up and put food away for the winter. It’s a lot like getting a supply of firewood to ward off the cold and snow. There’s a unique satisfaction in preparing for winter.

In November, other farms are wrapping up the season, while we at Blue Heron are running at full tilt. My phone rings off the hook and my email in-box fills up with inquiries about our winter produce subscription. It’s cold and muddy as we sprint toward the finish line, which for us is frozen ground and temps in the 20s. Our crop availability list is longer than ever. When we’re not picking hardy greens, such as collards, kale, spinach and arugula we’re cutting broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. Leeks are shoveled up and trimmed. And then there are the root vegetables, from beets and carrots to rutabagas and turnips. Days on end are spent pulling and topping vegetables, and filling the walk-in coolers.

Read more: Root Vegetable Renaissance

 

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New in Produce

Lots to Be Thankful For

Andrew Hernandez,
Produce Manager

brussel-sproutsThe local bounty continues, brought to you by the sweat and toil of farmers -— surely something to be thankful for.

November ... the local bounty is bestowed upon us, plowed under the sweat-browed gaze of toiling farmers, as crouched workers pick and pull on bent knees with earth-covered hands. We stay warm within the confines of our offices and coffee shops, but those of the fields toil hard and tough to provide us with sustenance. Should we not be thankful for this? Not everyone is so lucky as to taste of these local wonders and vegetable splendor: Cider, Honeycrisp, Mutsu, and Golden Russet apples picked atop the ladders of Black Diamond, Indian Creek, and Littletree Orchards; honeynut, butternut, and kabocha squashes, parsnips, rutabagas, and radishes, kale, collards, cabbage, and other hearty greens, all picked or dug from the fields of Blue Heron, Stick and Stone, Remembrance, and Good Life Farms. Give thanks, not for memories of Pilgrims and violence, but for the lush local variety of sustainable agriculture that we are so lucky to enjoy.

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