Archive for September, 2010

Storm Damage & Silver Linings

Still waiting on official word whether last night’s storm qualified as a tornado. Sure felt like one. This is what’s left of a neighbor’s backyard this morning:

neighborsThere’s quite a bit of damage in my garden (part of a fence and some stair railing down, many plants flattened), but I am lucky, lucky, lucky: the damage in the photo above is from a huge old Ailanthus tree next door that fell. It totaled three small neighboring yards, and could as easily have fallen in my direction. Fortunately, no one was hurt.

Chairs got blown clear across my garden

chairsmedand there are lots of branches to break down

poststorm

On the bright side, my garden will get lots more sunlight now that the larger of the neighbor’s two trees is gone. Also, there was a grape vine that had jumped to the tree, all the grapes out of reach. A lot of the vines landed in my garden.

grapesMy tomato plants are history (fried green tomatoes for lunch, plus I’ll make some green tomato chutney). But my raspberry plants are the heroes of the garden today. I had them staked, and the stakes came completely out during the storm. The plants were utterly horizontal, and I spent the morning restaking them. But, incredibly, there is still fruit clinging to them:

stormberreisTime to go back out and saw away at those branches.

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

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

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Food Preservation Workshop with Leda this Saturday

jars2smThis Saturday I’ll be doing a food preservation workshop for Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA). The workshop will be at the Park Slope Food Coop 11 a.m. - 1 p.m., and if you’ve been thinking about putting up some of this season’s abundance, but weren’t sure how to safely, deliciously get started, I hope you’ll join me. Details here.

Also, tomorrow (Weds. 9/) I’ll be at the New York Botanical Garden’s Open House at their new midtown Manhattan location (20 West 44th St.). If you’ve got questions about gardening classes available in the city, please stop by anytime between 6-8 p.m.

Cheers,

Leda

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

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

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Preserving Late Summer’s Abundance

genesiscanning2I’ve been teaching lots of food preservation classes during this late-summer season of abundance.

Most recently I did one for Just Food at the Whole Foods Culinary Center in Manhattan. The week before, I gave a two-day workshop for Genesis Farm. We covered the whole gamut: canning, pickling, fermenting, dehydrating, salting, you name it.

Genesis is a gorgeous place to visit. In addition to a sizable Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm and the ongoing workshops, there are lovely trails and wild places to explore. pond

Along the trails I found an occasional human mystery, like this old travel trunk that had clearly been left open to the elements for a long time:

trunk

I also got to visit Howling Wolf Farm. Howling Wolf’s business model is similar to a CSA, but instead of members paying a yearly fee for their produce, people were asked to make an investment in the farm. The plan is that within a few years the farm will be providing its investors with almost all of their food, including meat, eggs, dairy, and of course, fruits and vegetables. I got to taste some of the raw milk the investors get to take home from the weekly distribution, and it was incredible–I didn’t know milk could taste that good!

Both the wild and the domesticated harvests are bountiful now, so I’m doing lots of food preservation for myself as well as teaching it. This was a share at my CSA recently:

csaabundance

If you’re new to food preservation, I’ve got some classes coming up.

I wish you rich harvests and a well-stocked pantry,

Leda

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

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

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