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Week of July 1st 2013
Hello! This weeks CSA is very exciting, it’s the first callalloo share of the year! Callalloo is our favorite green on the Youth Farm, and judging on the response at our weekly farmers market, the fave of the neighborhood too. We think after you cook it up, you will fall in love with this tender and super super healthy green too.
have it complete in the next week or so. Please come and take a look, and if you have an hour to share, lend a hand!
I also want to let everyone know, that this past week was Anita Singh’s last week with us at the farm. Anita started as a volunteer and quickly became an invaluable asset to the farm, teaching the Go Green! class and leading our summer youth program. She will be continuing on with her passion for youth education, as a biology teacher in Colombia, including a class on sustainable gardening. We will miss her and wish her all the best on her new adventures in far-away lands.
This Weeks Share: Callalloo Collards Kohlrabi Leeks Lettuce Radish Basil or Parsley Thyme
PROGRAM HIGHLIGHT: We have been watching with anticipation to see if all the nematodes we spread on the farm are doing their jobs and killing the symphylans. We seem to have some positive responses, as some of our plants have burst into action, growing twice as much in the last week as they did in the last 2 months. Thank you for your patience. We know that the shares had varied a little more from our plan then we hoped, and a lot of our veggies will be very late this year. Another exciting piece of news is the installation of our drip irrigation system. Last Saturday our youth learned all about irrigation, from preserving the turgidity in the vacuole of the plant’s cells, to how to set up a drip system. We are still working on it slowly, but hope to
URBAN FARM TRAINING PROGRAM
Our U.F.T.P. is designed to train adults in the technical side of urban sustainable horticulture. The program blends hands-on farm work as well as formalized instruction to cover the range of necessary seasonal skill sets, from soil science to direct marketing. Participants become intimately familiar with the tasks, challenges, and rewards of growing many varieties of vegetables and flowers appropriate to our region and diverse NYC community. Through this 20-hour per week commitment, apprentices will gain a sense for the physical, mental and spiritual energy required to produce nutritious and delicious food, beautiful flowers, and a rich and harmonious community space.
THE YOUTH FARM at the High School for Public Service
Week of July 1st 2013
Veggie Highlight: Amaranthus veridis
Callalloo is the one crop that we get the most questions about what it is, the most requests for, and the most arguments about if it’s the right plant or not. Callalloo, is a west Indian dish of stir-fried greens. Different areas use a different plant for the dish, and also call different plants “Callalloo”. We grow the plant that is most commonly referred to as “Callalloo” in Jamaica, Amaranthus veridi. The plants we grow are grown from seeds brought from Jamaica, and we try to save them every year. In Trininidad its common to also use Amaranth plant, but a lighter green variety, often called “green leaf”. In the more eastern areas of West Indies, the Dasheen plant (taro) is called Callalloo and cooked up similarly. Amaranth leaves are extermely high in iron, calcium, fiber and vitamin A. Some experts says that amaranth has more iron and vitamins per serving then any other green, making callalloo a “super food”.
Meet one of our Apprentices!
Melissa Lafontaine relocated to Brooklyn from Canada a year ago and currently works as Manager for Shambhala Yoga and Dance Center. She found out about the AFTP from the previous director Stacey Murphy who was very involved with the Shambhala community and who arranged the CSA pick up at Shambhala for its yogis! Prior to living in Brooklyn Melissa traveled to Madagascar to work with the World Wildlife Fund where she participated in a forest and community resource management conservation project in the Midongy Atsimo region. In Madagascar she worked closely with the local women and was strongly impacted by their efforts to move away from traditionally-based, forest compromising cultivation techniques. She was inspired by their commitment to changing their soil environment through organic gardening and observed the impact in their community both nutritionally and economically. Upon her return she has been hooked on gardening! She volunteered for the City Farmer in Vancouver and has planted a few small gardens of her own- including the " Chakra System of Flowers" garden (in the photo above)outside of Shambhala. She has been searching for a hands on educational experience that would allow her to continue to work and live in Brooklyn, which she has found as an apprentice at the youth farm!
Bees’ Weekend Callalloo
This is my favorite way to cook up this super food. I love it for a weekend brunch, or any time really!
One bunch of callalloo One large onion, sliced thin A few garlic scapes or cloves of garlic, chopped ¼ cup of coconut milk Habanero pepper sauce Salt and pepper to taste Olive oil
Cut up the callalloo leaves as you like, and slice the stems up small. Heat up oil in a pan and throw in the onions. Cook down till just about to caramelize and then add the garlic and pieces of callalloo stems. Let cook a few minutes, till garlic is soft, then add the rest of the callalloo. Cook until the callalloo is wilted. Add coconut milk, pepper sauce, and salt & pepper to taste. Cook till coconut milk simmers and loses ½ its volume. YUM!