You are on page 1of 2



Farmer Column
Dear Youth Farm friends, Brrr its suddenly late September! Well, its not exactly freezing yet, but the nighttime lows are definitely dropping, something we farmers start to pay close attention to around this time of year. Summer crops are coming out of the ground, being quickly replaced with fall staples like lettuce, parsley, turnips, and peas. Were readying the hoophouse for winter growing, and getting read to put cover crop in the ground. We are still experiencing the bounty of summer harvest, however, it may be another week until you find our fresh produce back in your shares and in your market shopping bags: Since before we broke ground at the farm back in 2010, we have worked with expert soil scientists to monitor our soil health and we have followed Cornell's best practices for soil safety. Last week, we led a groundbreaking conference call with DOE lawyers, the DOE superintendent, DOE Director of Environmental Safety, 5 members of the New York State Department of Health, leading soil scientists and experts from Cornell and DOH, Grow to Learn, and Green Thumb in which soil safety standards were agreed upon and will be rolled out to all schools in NYC! This is an amazing moment in school garden history as we are piloting standards for all of NYC. Everyone agrees that our soil is safe for growing and selling food, but we are still not officially able to sell our produce. The DOE is extremely supportive of the project and loves our programs, but they will not permit us to sell our own produce until re- visiting our MOU (Memorandum of Understanding). We are now working with DOE lawyers to create contract that will become the standard for all school gardens run by outside organizations. Because of their support for the project, the DOE has very graciously allowed us to continue selling flowers and host educational programs on site as we create this new contract. Thank you for your continued patience and support. Due to the four-week+ closure of the farm and the inability to sell produce, we have lost thousands of dollars for educational programming. Stay tuned for two upcoming fundraisers to support us. If you are so inclined to help us though this difficult time, feel free to also send in a donation to Green Guerillas/232 E. 11thSt./Ny NY 10003. (Please put Youth Farm in the memo line). Happy fall, Stacey Murphy and Molly Culver

Farm News and Notes

The High School for Public Service was praised in the New York Post as one of the Best NYC High Schools! We are proud that having a thriving farm is one of the many reasons HSPS was chosen. The next volunteer day/workshop is October 6th. The workshop is Putting the Garden to Bed for the Year Growing tons of tasty veggies relies on sustainable practices, and one of the keys is putting your garden to bed properly. Good for families with gardens who want to prepare for a fabulous spring and perhaps some winter growing Want to help us preserve some summer bounty? We are seeking volunteers for multiple canning and pickling parties at 61 Local. Email to find out more.

Week 1 June 20, 2012 Week 15 September 24, 2012

Flower of the week

This week, a new fall-inspired ornamental pepper makes its debut at the Youth Farm. The Black Pearl pepper features dark purple leaves and decorative fruit clusters, truly a unique sight to behold in the field and in a bouquet! Careful though, if you decide to pluck the peppers from the bouquet for your dinner - these peppers
are very hot! Like all peppers, the cultivar Black Pearl belongs to the Solanaceae family, within the Capsicum genus, Annum species. It ripens for 85-120 days if left to mature, the fruits do indeed turn red. It has been a very fun experience to trial this highly unusual "cut flower." We hope you enjoy this fanciful beauty!

Featured Vegetable: Carrots

Recipe: Pickled Carrots 2 pounds peeled carrots (about 3 pounds as purchased) 5 cups white distilled vinegar (5%) 1 cup water 2 cups sugar 2 teaspoons canning salt 8 teaspoons mustard seed 4 teaspoons celery seed Yield: About 4 pint jars Please read Using Boiling Water Canners before beginning. If this is your first time canning, it is recommended that you read more at Procedure: 1. Wash and rinse pint canning jars; keep hot until ready to use. Prepare lids and bands according to manufacturer's directions. 2. Wash and peel carrots well. Wash again after peeling and cut into rounds that are approximately - inch thick. 3. Combine vinegar, water, sugar and canning salt in an 8-quart Dutch oven or stockpot. Bring to a boil and boil gently 3 minutes. Add carrots and bring back to a boil. Then reduce heat to a simmer and heat until the carrots are half-cooked (about 10 minutes). 4. Meanwhile, place 2 teaspoons mustard seed and 1 teaspoon celery seed in the bottom of each clean, hot pint jar. 5. Fill hot jars with the hot carrots, leaving 1-inch headspace. Cover with hot pickling liquid, leaving - inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened, clean paper towel; adjust two-piece metal canning lids. 6. Process in a boiling water canner, as recommended in Table 1. Let cool, undisturbed, 12 to 24 hours and check for seals. Allow carrots to sit in processed jars for 3 to 5 days before consuming for best flavor development.

A beautiful cart full of flowers!

Preserve some of the summer bounty by canning your favorite vegetables! Try this recipe for pickled carrots to the right.

Week 1 June 20, 2012

Week 15 September 24, 2012