THE YOUTH FARM at the High School for Public Service

NEWSLETTER Week of October 6,

Hello all!
I was sitting on my couch last night, cuddled up
with my wool blanket because I left the windows
open all day, and I was so delighted it was finally
fall. When I began to look around, I noticed
something was missing though… where were the
flowers? Usually during high season I’ll bring home
any odds and ends, flowers left over from harvest,
but tonight my table was bare. I began to mourn
summer until I remembered the beauty of drying
While you can dry any flower, flowers with lower
water content tent to preserve their color and
structure better. If you are harvesting a flower to
be dried, it’s best to do so when the flower is
slightly immature, when the bud is not fully open.
Flowers tend to drop their petals when you dry
them, and since flowers continue to open once
you’ve harvested them, you want to cut them
One way to dry flowers is to simply hang them
upside-down! It’s best to dry them in a warm, dry,
dark place with good air circulation in order to not
fade the petals. Just rubber band the grouping of
flowers real tight, since the stems will shrink
slightly, hang them, and then leave them alone!
Once they look dry, sample one of the stems by
snapping it. If it snaps, they’re done! If they bend,
let them dry a little longer. If they’re ready, and
you want to save them for a special occasion, wrap
them in newspaper and put them in a shoe box so
they’re dry and out of the light!
Not sure what to do with dried flowers? I highly
recommend making a trip to Union Square’s
farmer’s market to check out River Garden’s dried
flower wreaths and arrangements. You’ll be
inspired to decorate your home or make some
amazing gifts!
Fall is a transition time for us and all. On the farm
we begin to look at how we can preserve our
flowers and veggies so that we can still enjoy them
in the colder months to come.
Farmer Liz
Recommended flowers for drying: Lavender,
Nigella, Dahlias, Strawflower, Statice, Yarrow,
Gomphrena, Salvia, Celosia

 Dino/Curly Green Kale Mix
 Cucumbers
 Eggplant
 Hot Pepper – Haberneros, Jalapenos,
Cayenne, Aji Dulce
 Chives
 Purple Bssil
 Sweet Peppers
 Cherry Tomatoes
 Tomatoes
 Husk Cherries
 Collards

 Ageratum
 Amaranth
 Calendula
 Euphorbia
 Gomphrena (purple & bi-color)
 Red Curly Kale

THE YOUTH FARM at the High School for Public Service
NEWSLETTER Week of October 6,

 Scabiosa
 Snapdragons
 Strawflower
 Dahlia
 Thai Basil
 Tithonia
 Zinnias


Two stars this week…Collard Greens and Aji Dulce:
▪ Collard Greens are a member of the
Brassica family which includes vegetables
such has broccoli, kale, cauliflower and
cabbage. Collards have a long growing
season; they are planted in the spring and
take most of the summer to mature.
Collards taste best after a frost, so look for
them especially in the autumn and winter
months. Store your collard greens
unwashed, wrapped in a damp towel in the
refrigerator drawer. Although collards are
best eaten fresh, they can also be frozen.
To freeze collards , clean and trim the
leaves, cut them into stips, steam blanch
them for 4 minutes, cool them quickly and
pack them into a hard plastic container. To
prepare collards, wash the collard greens
well by swishing them in a bowl of water
with a little bit of salt( to help draw any dirt
away from the leaves). Cut or rip out the
thick center rib of the large leaves. Smaller
leaves have tender ribs which do not need
to be removed. Cooking collards causes
them to shrink down to ¼ or ⅛ of their
original volume. Allow for 4-8 cups of
greens per person Combining collards with
other greens(arugula, kale, mustard, chard,
or spinach) is also a wonderful way to
prepare this vegetable. Smaller, younger
collard greens are good fresh in salad or
lightly cooked and added to omelets and
▪ Collards are a fairly disease and pest
resistant cool season crop grown in spring
and fall. They are vigorous growers
reaching a size of 12 to 24 inches. Collards
requires full sun for a minimum of six hours
per day, and 1 inch of water per week.
Collards Nutritional Information:
▪ Vitamin A - vision, growth and
development, skin health, immune function
and reproduction
▪ Vitamin C - immune response, wound
healing, allergic reactions, assist with iron
▪ Folate - reduce a woman’s risk of birth
▪ Calcium - helps maintain good bone health
and may reduce risk of osteoporosis
▪ Vitamin E - antioxidant that helps to
protect cells from damage.
Aji Dulce:
Aji Dulce a very tasty seasoning pepper, that
resembles habanero in color, but is wildly different
in terms of flavor and heat or spice index rating. It
is actually mild, with a zesty sweet flavor. Courtesy
of Wikipedia, here’s some fun facts on Aji Dulce.
And just so you don’t confuse the sweet and mild
aji dulce with your super hot habanero peppers,
here is a photo where you can see the distinction in
their shape. The aji dulce is short and squat and
looks like it wears a cap; the habanero is a little
larger, and longer than it Is wide.

THE YOUTH FARM at the High School for Public Service
NEWSLETTER Week of October 6,


(Left: aji dulce; Right: Habanero)

Ají dulce (from South American Spanish ají, "chili"
+ Spanish dulce, "sweet") is any of a variety of sweet
perennial peppers found in Latin America and
the Caribbean. It is most widely known in Venezuela where
it refers to a specific native variety of Capsicum
chinense related to the habanero, but with a much milder,
smoky flavour. In Venezuela, the "ají dulce" is a key
ingredient in the preparation of the paramount dish of the
Venezuelan cuisine, theHallaca; and one of the
cornerstones of the national cuisine. In Puerto Rico, the
"ají dulce" or "ajicito" (colloquially, "ajice") is grown
commercially and is an important ingredient for sauces,
such as recaíto, sofrito or "mojito isleño" (a fish or meat
In Brazil, this pepper is called Rubra or Biquinho (Because
the rounded-form cultivar; observe the first photo), and is
used to make a sweet jam.
The history of this pepper is obscure, but since wild
peppers are naturally hot this variety was probably
developed over the years among farmers by simple
selection of seed from milder and milder fruits. The fruit of
aji dulce can be used green or ripe, and it can be seeded
and frozen for use over the winter, a technique that also
preserves its rich flavor much better than drying. It is a
small, light green pepper that turns red (or yellow) if left
long enough on the plant. It has the shape and size of a
habanero pepper without the intense heat. Occasionally,
there can be some ají dulce fruit that is pungent, probably
due to out-crossing with other hot pepper plants. In the
tropics, this plant can grow as a perennial, although most
of the commercial production is with annual systems.
Smoky Collard Greens

● Several bunches of collards (pick the amount
you would normally make to feed your family)
● Minced garlic
● Olive Oil (1-2 tablespoons)
● Smoked paprika
● Cayenne pepper
● Salt

Wash the collard greens thoroughly. Remove the
stems that run down the center by holding the leaf
in your left hand and stripping the leaf down with
your right hand. The tender young leaves in the
heart of the collards don’t need to be stripped.
Stack 6 to 8 leaves on top of one another, roll up,
and slice into ½ to 1 inch thick slices.

Saute the garlic for a few seconds in olive oil and
then add the chopped greens. Add about a
teaspoon of the smoked paprika, a few shakes of
cayenne (or you can add crushed red pepper flakes
if you really like spice). Saute the greens on low to
medium heat for about 15 minutes or until tender.
Note that young collard greens will cook up
relatively quickly. Older greens may take upwards
of 45 minutes to tenderize. Add salt to taste..

THE YOUTH FARM at the High School for Public Service
NEWSLETTER Week of October 6,

Cucumber Sandwich

● 2 thick slices of bread
● 2 tablespoon of cream cheese
● 6 slices cucumber
● 2 tablespoon alfalfa sprouts
● 1 teaspoon olive oil
● 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
● 1 tomato slices
● 1-3 lettuce leaves
● 1 ounce of pepperoni sliced
● ½ avocado, mashed


Spread each slice of bread with 1 tablespoon of cream
cheese. One side of bread put cucumber then sprouts,
then sprinkle oil and vinegar. Layer with tomato slices ,
lettuce, and pepperoni slices. Spread other slice with
avocado. Serve!


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

Every Wednesday, 2:30-6:30pm during our farmers

Upcoming Volunteer Saturday Dates:
October 18

November 3rd

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

The Youth Farm will be holding a
fundraiser on Thursday, November 6
Our 2
ever “Meet Your Maker” event will
feature 3 amazing Brooklyn chefs and
delicious regional wine and beer. More
details to come!