Busy-ness and Local Foods Abundance

genesis-smI taught two days of food preservation workshops at Genesis Farm last weekend. Genesis is one of my favorite places to visit and share knowledge. They are also generous: in addition to my workshop fee they sent me on my way with eggs from their rock star chickens. Seriously, these chickens looked like they had just come from getting blow-outs at a salon:


They also gave me a variety of garlic called Georgian Fire, which has already become one of my favorites (I guess it’s pretty food geeky of me to have favorite garlic varieties. I don’t care. This one is really good). Oh, and a t-shirt.

But I didn’t go straight home from Genesis. I went from there to Hungry Hollow Coop. They were having an Eat Local Potluck. NOFA-NY got these locavore potlucks going all over the state. I was there to speak a bit and do a book signing.

Good food, good people, and guess what? They also sent me home with a bag of goodness from a local farm. This time it was Jonagold and Jonafree apples from Threshold Farm.

Three trains later, I walked into my apartment and dropped all that abundance (along with the food preservation gear I’d hauled to and from the workshop) on the sofa. It was almost 11 p.m., and I had to be up at 6:30 to go teach the next day. So I didn’t put anything away.

The day after that I picked up my share at the Park Slope CSA. More apples, pears (just remembered I still have pears in the refrigerator from the last share – they’d already ripened at room temp and I stashed them in the fridge before I left for Genesis); lettuce, spinach, bok choy, sweet and hot peppers, green beans (aw heck, I still have some more of those from the last share, too), tomatoes, potatoes, onions, dill…

And in the garden the raspberries and herbs and peppers needed picking (not to mention all the weeding and staking and clean up, but time, time, time…). And I did a little foraging and scored some Hen a.k.a. Maitake.


Today I came home from teaching and went into an urban homestead frenzy. Rosemary oil in the slow cooker, apple sauce on the stove, tomatoes and Hen in the dehydrator, spinach cooked and ready for an omelet or a dip this week, lettuce washed and ready for the now imperative salads, herbs gathered and hung to dry, raspberries in the freezer…

Did I mention that I’m grateful for the excuse to have this urban homesteading frenzy and am actually having great fun with it (beats the administrative stuff I’ll get to tomorrow)?

Or that I’m going foraging tomorrow morning because there might be something awesome out there (it’s peak mushroom season)?

And hey, it’s not like I have any food in the house…

P.S. – No news on the new neighbors I’ll be sharing “my” garden with yet. Thanks to all of you who emailed good wishes on that front – I’ll keep you posted!

Next Brooklyn foraging tour October 22nd.

Stuff I’ve been making lately:

Tawny Port & Pear Butter

Lacto-fermented Apple Chutney

The Locavore’s Handbook: The Busy Person’s Guide to Eating Local on a Budget

Botany, Ballet, & Dinner from Scratch: A Memoir with Recipes

On Twitter

Summer’s End

I’m still recovering from jet lag and feeling a little disoriented back on my own in NYC, but never mind. The urban homestead needs me now. The garden welcomed me back with some lovely herbs, tomatoes,raspberries and peppers.

But being away all of August meant peak tomato season here started without me and I’ve got only 2 – 3 weeks to get as many as I need for the coming year canned and dried. Good, local tomatoes are cheap at the Park Slope Food Coop right now, just over $1 a pound. Guess what I’ve been doing today?

So far I’ve canned roasted tomatoes and made yellow tomato preserves. I’ve also frozen roasted corn and canned corn cob stock (I missed most of the corn season weeks, too!), and I’ve got some veggie stock started in the slow cooker.

But the big project of the day is garden clean up. I knew it would be crazily overgrown and neglected looking after my absence, but I didn’t know the clean up would be urgent.

Turns out my neighbors are moving out today. I share the garden with the apartment next to mine, and these have been dream neighbors for the past three years. They’ve enjoyed and used the outdoor space, but basically let me do whatever I wanted with the plants.

Now the landlord will be showing the place within a couple of days, and I feel like if I want any sort of say in what happens with the shared garden it had better be looking more loved than it does right now.

So in between canning projects and writing projects I’ve been on damage control duty in the garden. Send some good thoughts my way that my new neighbors turn out to be lovely people who are keen on sharing my slightly wild urban homesteading style.

Also on the schedule today, foraging with chef friend Jeremy in Prospect Park. Yeah, I know I don’t have time. But he says he spotted an oyster mushroom haul. If you know me, you know a hectic schedule never keeps me away from a potentially awesome foraging harvest. The oysters won’t wait, so I’m going.

Last but not least, here are a few pics from my recent travels just because I’m still under their influence and would like to share:

Ricky helping me pick prickly pear fruits, which I made into sabra jelly


Me helping to build a house made out of mud (and straw and horse poop)


Sunset at Kfar Segol


On Twitter

The Locavore’s Handbook: The Busy Person’s Guide to Eating Local on a Budget

Botany, Ballet, & Dinner from Scratch: A Memoir with Recipes