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

 

Local Heroes: West Haven Farm Apples

By Felix Teitelbaum,GreenLeaf Editor
You may have sometimes wondered at the selection of organic apples at GreenStar and why so many of them come from so far away. The fact is, in 2001, of the 12,189 acres of certified organic apples grown in this country, fully 95% were grown west of the Rockies. Although NY is well known for its delicious apples, organic growers in NY, and all over the Northeast, face many more challenges than their western counterparts.

Read more: Local Heroes: West Haven Farm Apples

New York's Farmworkers: Toward Local Fair Trade

By Marielle Macher

Our small group of Cornell Farmworker Program interns stood outside the home of some New York State farmworkers to whom we had been asked to  provide English lessons; we were unsure what to think.  While we had already been to many farmworker homes over the course of the summer, this one was different.  From the outside, the home seemed abandoned.  There were plastic bags where there should have been windows, the porch had begun to collapse and the roof seemed in need of substantial repair.  Inside, the furniture was sparse and falling apart, the walls were largely unpainted and the ceiling beams were exposed.  However, despite these poor living conditions, the workers welcomed us into their home with incredible enthusiasm and hospitality.  After we provided the workers with an English lesson, they taught us about life in Guatemala and their experiences in the United States.


While the conditions of this home were not necessarily typical of farmworker housing in general, this home nevertheless reflects the invisibility and isolation of farmworkers in our state, and the sometimes overlooked issues of injustice within our local food system.

 


Read more: New York's Farmworkers: Toward Local Fair Trade

 

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New in Produce

¡Viva la [Local] Revolución!

Andrew Hernandez,
Produce Manager

remembrance-greensCelebrate local history by supporting local farms — July brings greens, herbs, cukes, cabbage, and berries.

In July 1848, just a 53-minute drive from Ithaca, the first-ever women's rights convention was held in Seneca Falls, NY. Topics discussed included voting rights, property rights, and divorce. This gathering marked the beginning of the women's rights movement in the United States. History in our veritable backyard.

So, you want local produce? We've got local produce! Stick and Stone Farm brings us kale and basil, Blue Heron Farm provides us with zucchini, summer squash, cukes, and cabbage, and Remembrance Farm offers their full slate of baby salad greens: Flower Power, Field Greens, Spicy Greens, Arugula, Tatsoi, and Baby Kale, all available in 5-oz. clamshell packages. Also keep your eyes peeled for local fruit as berries start to ripen and become available. Have a safe and fun 4th of July and remember: "¡Viva la revolución!"

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