know your farmers, know your food

We are now sold out of Mimomex vegetable, orchard  & egg shares but do have Berry shares remaining. And maybe a pint of Maple syrup….

    A few more shares left…

    We have a few of the MimoMex farm share packages left. Check back in a few for updated numbers.

    (Still counting up from the last sign-up. ahhhh, accounting fun.)

    We also have about 30 Berry Shares & several Maple Shares up for grabs.

    We will be having 2 more sign ups. Details below.

    • Monday May 3. @ 140 Metropolitan Ave. First Flr. 630-830pm.
    • Monday May 17. @ 140 Metropolitan Ave. First Flr. 630-830pm.

    Got questions; Come chat us up @our table @Taste Williamsburg

    Mailing Address

    For y’all with outstanding payments our mailing address is:

    190 Bedford Ave, #227, Brooklyn, NY 11211.

    Cheers!

    Order up some New York State MAPLE SYRUP

    pic by ComeUndone @ flickr.com

    It’s a rainy Sunday here in Williamsburg and Earth Day in McCarren Park has been postponed until next Sunday (May2). Here on the Southside, we were up early but in no mood to venture outside into the wet streets. (Not to mention that our favorite brunches in the hood don’t start until 11am at the earliest…) Well, good thing we too have kitchen skills. Have to say, not much is better than homemade brunch featuring Yo’s secret recipe for the fluffiest pancakes ever topped with Maple Syrup. Usually associated with Vermont or Canada, Maple Syrup is also a product of New York State. However, local maple syrup can be pretty difficult to find in the City. Our local bodega carries organic syrup but its from a factory in Vermont. Thanks to one of our fab members, we have been hooked up with the fine people at Circle C Maple Farm and now there is a plethora of New York Maple Syrup to be found on the Southside.

    making maple frosting for carrot bread. pic by ComeUndone @ flickr.com

    The Maple Share isn’t really a “share” in the traditional sense of the word. There will not be weekly deliveries of Maple Syrup since the season for Maple Syrup comes once a year (and is usually the first sign of Spring). Our farmers will be delivering the syrup the first week of our 2010 season and members can pick it up at either the first or second distribution. The idea is to buy up your year’s supply of syrup and reap the sweet yumminess of NY maple all year long.  Not just for pancakes, Maple Syrup can work as an essential ingredient for many savory meals and sweet treats. Everything from a sugar substitute to a flavoring for a craft beer or vinagrette, Maple Syrup is all over the place.

    pic by CircleCMaple @ flickr.com

    This mild Spring the weather has been great for us city folk, but it has been pretty lame for the Maple harvesters. Early buds are nice for our streets, but budding trees mean the end of maple season. This year’s end has arrived about 4 to 6 weeks early this year, seriously cutting the harvest short.  Here are some good articles about the situation [via our maple Farmers twitter feed]:

    This particular quote stuck with me. “Everything has to do with the weather, just like in any other kind of agriculture,” Pete added. “You can’t control the weather, and that’s the whole trick of farming.” I have been a member of a CSA for 8 years now, having my eating habits dictated by the yields of the field. Bouncing from years of early spinach and bountiful tomatoes to ones when the weather didn’t cooperate with my favorite recipes. Our maple farmers have been making syrup for their family for years now. 2010 is the first time that they had sold outside the family, thinking Circle C was ready to produce more and hook up with some NYC CSAs. However, Mother Nature was not quite cooperative this Spring, as far as maple sap is concerned. The first sugaring came in early March with a steady flow of sap.  But then it got too warm; Most NE maple syrup producers had a short season. In Central New York it was over by April 9th. Circle C came in with a grand total of 33 gallons of syrup this season. They had 2 more sugaring events on their calendar.   According to the newspaper, Maple News, a maple producer in Vermont who typically produces 300 gallons a year, was only able to produce 60 gallons.

    pic by CircleCMaple @ flickr.com

    For our farmers this translated into a lot of $$ put into preparing for a big season, only to barely harvest a fraction of the expectation. In preparation Joe @ Circle C had hand built a new, larger evaporator for the season. He and his wife, with their snowshoes tied,  tapped 725 trees in two feet of snow; 525 more than last year! At the end, they had three more holding tanks waiting to be used, each waiting for 250 gallons of sap.

    pic by CircleCMaple @ flickr.com

    This year they kept the fire going with all wood and no oil.  Unfortunately a pan was burnt during the very last sugaring as the fire got too hot. Despite a crazy sugaring season, Joe & Cathy are already planning for next year and are off to get more supplies and meeting with other producers soon at the 44th annual Vermont Maple Festival.

    For those of you who are looking to reduce your carbon footprint, locally harvested and produced Maple syrup is a great way to reduce your consumption of non-local sugarcane based products. Maple can replace sugar in lots of recipes and can make a real impact in your footprint size. Maple syrup could be utilized more in our local diets and menus. Check out some yummy ways to cook with Maple Syrup.

    Craving cooking with maple yet…

    Support our local producers by ordering some Maple Syrup through the Southside CSA. Details about prices and sizes available on the FARMs page.

    Maple Glazed Carrots & Turnips. pic by ComeUndone @ flickr.com

    Beautiful Berries!

    This year for the first time EVER at Southside we are offering the fruitylicious Berry Share. For 13 weeks this summer from July to September Grieg Farm will be picking blackberries, blueberries and red and yellow raspberries first thing in the morning and delivering them to our CSA in the afternoon. That’s right folks – they will be oh but a few hours old.

    Last year we got a few deliveries of berries, but whenever they reared their little berry heads, we were all super excited. SO excited in fact that we thought a whole share devote to berries would be just the ticket in 2010.

    We will be running a workshop on jam making and canning which will easily swallow half your entire berry share. We will also receive a whole bunch of recipes for pies, sauces, ice creams, cocktails and other berry madness from you lot. Here are a few to get your salivary glands going…

    Jellies and Jams

    Ahh – the Guardian, lots of proper English recipes. Here’s one for no nonsense Jam making. And for those of you who just down right laugh at the thought of making Jam (aka, Jelly, but we’ll wean you off that term) the NY Times has kindly put together a stress free Raspberry Jam article – it apparently takes 30 mins. Totally worth a go and quite frankly if i can do it, you certainly can.

    Cocktails – you can never go wrong with muddling cocktails with a variety of fresh herbs into hard-laced brown sugar and ice cubes. Cocktail Hacker have some Mojito variations with Blueberries – my kind of hackers!

    Savory – Berries happily flounce-up many a savory dish. Tea-Smoked Duck Breast with Pears and Blueberry Jus – umm…anything tea-smoked gets my vote. But Roast Duck with Blueberry Sauce – that one will most certainly impress even my mother-in-law.  In fact, it seems you can make raspberry marinades & sauces for many meat dishes -how very sophisticated of you!

    Sweet – But for those hazy days of summer there is many a sweet berry recipe guaranteed to tickle your fancy.

    I thought blackberry lemonade would be good, but Blackberry-Lemon Tart with Champagne-Mint Granite..?! Oh, sweet berry bliss! Or Blackberry Sour Cream Panna Cotta with Lemon Sauce – its just so Italiano! And then there is Puzzle Pudding with Blueberries & Strawberries – a Nantucket favorite. I wonder if they’ve named an area of Brooklyn after Nantucket yet…

    A little about the berry farm


    Greig Farm is located on 100 acres of rolling farmland in Red Hook, NY. It is a second generation family farm growing quality fresh fruit and making it directly available to the public for the past 68 years. It has been open to the public for pick your own fruits and vegetables for more than 60 years and this is its second time working with a CSA. They do not use systemic chemicals and chose natural predators over the chemical solution whenever possible.

    Almost Sold Out! Get your share while they last…

    Out of 110 total share packages with MimoMex Farms, we have 13 left. We have:

    • 1 Full Monty
    • 10 Dominos
    • 2 Woods

    That’s right, we are SOLD OUT of Vegan Delights, Bridgets, & Half Montys.  As much as we would like to accommodate all you lovely people, this year we can’t be too flexible with our packages. SO if you don’t think you can handle the size of the remaining packages, we recommend finding friends, neighbors, or co-workers to team up with.

    Also, check out our (new) Berry share – of which we only have 35 left! It is berry fun, berry cute, and is a berry good intro into the world of community supported agriculture.


    Taste of Williamsburg

    We here at the Southside CSA are always looking for worthy projects in the hood to support. The renovation and reclaiming of Engine 212 is not only worthy because of the lack of community space in Williamsburg but because of the amazing history the project will preserve. Please check it out and help it out!

    YOUR HELP IS NEEDED TO BUILD THE NORTSIDE TOWN HALL COMMUNITY AND CULTURAL CENTER

    The deal: A $2m capital campaign is under way. After a competitive city wide Request for Proposal process, Neighbor’s Allied for Good Growth (NAG) and the People’s Firehouse, Inc. (PFI) were awarded the rights to re-develop the former Engine 212 Co., more famously known as “The People’s Firehouse”, located in the Northside of Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

    The redesigned building will become the Northside Town Hall Community and Cultural Center and will provide:

    • a permanent home for NAG and PFI
    • affordable office and meeting space for the community
    • a ground floor exhibition space for local cultural and arts organizations
    • commemorate Engine Co. 212 and the activism in our community

    A little history:

    A generation ago, the Williamsburg & Greenpoint communities saved Fire Engine Co. 212 from massive budget cuts, through 30 months of protest (yup, they occupied the fire house for 30 months – what stamina!). That victory became the impetuous for years of effective community organizing that helped transform the neighborhood from one of increasing economic abandonment to a bustling community with a growing population of young families.

    More recently:

    Our community won a kick ass victory again when the mayor’s office chose our local non-profits to build a new institution, instead of selling it for luxury housing! There is a vision for the firehouse to become a center for local activism, community planning, non-profit art performance and exhibitions, and a place where we can celebrate and build community, together.

    The Northside Town Hall needs your help today! To raise the funds and awareness that will make this vision a reality.

    Join foodies from around the neighborhood in working to raise funds at the first annual Taste Williamsburg & Greenpoint, a block party style benefit, on Sunday, May 16th @ N.11th St. in and outside of Brooklyn Brewery.

    Over 35 of the areas top restaurants and bars are involved, with maximum attention being paid to local and sustainable practices. Money will be raised through sponsors’ donations, advertising in the event program, and “taste” size offerings from exhibitors that will be available for ticket buyers. There will be local music performances and food demonstrations, plus farmer and home food maker tie-ins, which will make the event a good time for all!

    How to plug in:

    • They need help spreading the word ahead of time so if you write a blog or run a listserv, please help promote the Taste event and the monthly arts events at the Engine 212 building.
    • They need people to promote the event through posting posters and tabling
    • They need volunteers during the event. (PS….Volunteering for the Taste can count as the “Community” of your volunteer commitment)

    If you are interested in being involved contact the organizers at info@nthccc.org