THE YOUTH FARM at the High School for Public Service

NEWSLETTER Week of July 14
th
2014


www.HSPSFarm.blogspot.com
FROM THE FARMER…

Since we've been telling you a lot about vegetable
production lately, this week I'll tell you more about the
flowers we grow at the Youth Farm, and why we do!
When I arrived at the farm in early 2011, I had just spent
a few seasons on the West Coast, where I studied
organic agriculture and interned at a large organic CSA
farm. At the farm at UC-Santa Cruz where I studied,
growing organic flowers were an integral part of the
farm's 14 acres and important revenue stream at
farmers market. I learned the benefits of growing cut
flowers, that drew pollinators and beneficial predatory
insects to the farm, assisting the vegetables to produce
fruit. One of my farmer mentors, Liz Milazzo, who was
one of the hardest-working farmers I have ever known,
would say it was "important to have beauty on the farm;"
I loved this soft reflection that came from such a stern
and serious farmer.

I grew my own flower crops in 2010 on a quarter acre,
and it was then that I really began falling in love with
flower growing -- mainly for the fun of making bouquets
and playing with the various colors, textures and
architecture of the flowers I grew. Bee Ayer, who had
studied at the same program and who had founded the
Youth Farm in 2010, was game to have me run a pilot
Flower CSA program on a new plot of land on Wingate's
campus on Rutland Rd. It's been very successful, in
terms of gaining great flower CSA members every year
and for the revenue it brings for our educational work.

We grow over 80 varieties of flowers at the Youth Farm,
and market our flowers via our CSA, to restaurants, and
florists. Every week we notice that the flowers invite
many different species of native bees. Around the farm,
different sections light up and offer color and scents,
making the farm a joy to walk around in and observe.
Our apprentices are learning the ideal harvesting stages
for each flower, and practice incorporating these into
bouquets. We find that apprentices cherish their flower
rotation, as bouquet making has a meditative quality to
it. It's actually almost euphoric staring into all that
beautiful color!

If you're interested in ever growing some flowers, there's
not that much to it! Flowers need all the same things that
vegetables do: good healthy soil, mainly; consistent
water and lots of sun. Some need more support to grow
straight. If you do grow some flowers, we think you'll
agree that flowers are "food for the soul." They bring a
lot of joy and happiness, and an outlet for creative
energy. Farming is intricate work and requires much
innovation -- playing with flowers helps the mind go
blank and bliss out on beauty!

Enjoy,
Molly, Farm Manager
To learn more about NY Cares visit them online at:
http://www.newyorkcares.org/volunteer/

IN YOUR VEG SHARE THIS WEEK!
 Collard Greens
 Green and Purple “Curly Kale”
 Beets
 Cucumbers
 Purple Stem Bunching Onions
 Genovese Basil (Green)
 Callalou
 Thyme

IN YOUR FLOWER SHARE THIS WEEK!
 Snapdragons
 Green Ammi
 Oregano Flower
 Sunflowers
 Zinnia’s
 Sweet William
 Ageratum

FARM UPDATES
By Steve Earthman, Farm Apprentice
Things are moving along quicker and
quicker these days at the farm. With CSA
and Market in full swing it seems like we
can’t harvest the produce and flowers fast
enough! With each passing week the
market is getting busier and busier. It’s
always so enjoyable to talk with our new
and old customers and get a sense of how


THE YOUTH FARM at the High School for Public Service
NEWSLETTER Week of July 14
th
2014


www.HSPSFarm.blogspot.com
much the community enjoys what we do
here. We’ve trellised up the last of the
tomato plants this week so they will be
stronger than ever. (Just like people plants
need support too!) Can’t wait for that first
taste of off the vine ripe summer tomato!

VEGGIE HIGHLIGHTS
 This week’s star is the versatile green
Kale! Kale is a very versatile and
nutritious green leafy vegetable. It
has been a widely popular vegetable
since ancient Greek and Roman times
for its low fat, no cholesterol but
health benefiting anti-oxidant
properties. Kale, like other members
of the Brassica family, contains
health-promoting
phytochemicals, sulforaphane and
indole-3-carbinol that appear to
protect against prostate and colon
cancers.
Fun facts:
Many of Kale’s top health-promoting compounds
are rendered more effective when you eat the
stuff in combination with another food. Fats like
avocado, olive oil or even parmesan can make fat-
soluble carotenoids more available to the body.
And acid from lemon juice helps make kale's iron
more bioavailable as well.

Kale vs. milk -- it isn't a direct comparison, but
it's worth noting that kale has 150 mg of calcium
per 100 grams, while milk has 125 mg.

RECIPE CORNER:
“Basil Pesto”
Ingredients

2 cups basil, washed and thoroughly dried

1/3 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons parmesan

2 tablespoons toasted sunflower seeds or
pine nuts

1 garlic clove

juice from half a lemon

salt + pepper to taste

Mince garlic in food processor. Add parmesan
and sunflower seeds and pulse together. Add
basil leaves to food processor, then with
processor on stream in oil while blending.
When mixture is combined add lemon, salt +
pepper.
Directions

Mince garlic in food processor. Add parmesan
and sunflower seeds and pulse together. Add
basil leaves to food processor, then with
processor on stream in oil while blending.
When mixture is combined add lemon, salt +
pepper.

Farmer Profile: Madeleine Milan, UFTP
Apprentice
Where are you from?
I grew up in Windsor, England (next door to the Queen).
But I’ve been in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn for almost six
years.

Why did you want to apprentice at the Youth Farm?
To learn as much as I could about farming in the city
and being able to build a life for myself in urban
agriculture.

What are your farming goals?
To grow delicious, sustainable food for as many people
as possible and to help people connect back to the
magic of growing their own food.

What's your favorite vegetable?
If we’re talking strictly vegetables, fava beans. But if I


THE YOUTH FARM at the High School for Public Service
NEWSLETTER Week of July 14
th
2014


www.HSPSFarm.blogspot.com
can choose a fruit masquerading as a vegetable,
avocados win hands down.

What's your favorite aspect of farming?
Watching tiny seeds grow into huge plants that can feed
the community. Spending so much time outside,
hanging out with nature.




NEWS AND UPCOMING EVENTS

Interested in interning at the farm?!
Our internships are on Tuesdays and Thursdays from
9am-3pm. For more info please email Liz at
Liz@bkfarmyards.com!

July and August Volunteer Days:
Join us on the farm for Farm Volunteer Days! Our
Volunteer Days are always:

1
st
and 3
rd
Saturday of the month, 10-4pm
AND
Every Wednesday, 2:30-6:30pm during our farmers
market!

Upcoming Volunteer Saturday Dates:
July 19
th

August 2
nd

August 16th

We would love to see you out on the farm!
Families and people of all ages are
welcome!