Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Organic Gardening Donates to Growing Green

Last week, I attended a unique ribbon cutting in the City of Buffalo. The Massachusetts Avenue Project's Growing Green program received a 1000 gallon cistern/rain barrel from Organic Gardening magazine so they can water their urban farm with what would otherwise have gone down the drain and into the storm sewers. A great addition to a wonderful urban farm. A reception followed the ribbon cutting, and was held in the straw bale greenhouse that growing Green owns. A lovely greenhouse, and good catering from Trudy Stern of Tru-Teas, as well. I love going to Growing Green events because everyone there is always so welcoming. You really get the sense that the people there love what they do, and it is inspiring to be even a little part of that.

As an added bonus, the new Mobile Market was also being painted in front of the farm. It was great getting a peak at this exciting "farmer's market on wheels" that is going to make such a difference in bringing fresh produce to people, like residents of senior centers, who would not otherwise have easy access to fruits and vegetables.

The website for Organic Gardening is here. Their website has some helpful hints for gardeners sorted out by region, so it is worth a look if you have questions about how to get your garden ready for winter or plan for Spring.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Apple Picking CANCELLED

This is just to let you know that the apple picking trip scheduled for tomorrow has been cancelled due to high likelihood of inclement weather (heavy rains and high wind). Please do NOT meet at Bidwell Parkway at 2pm, as no one will be there.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Community Comes together 60 York St.

60 York St. has made an incredible turn around, it has gone from a dumping ground where dog fights happened on a weekly basis to a place of beauty. This is due to the hard work of the Cottage District Block Club. Ellie Dorritie is the woman in charge of this little piece of hell now turned into heaven, she along with other members of the block club bought it from a flipper on Craigs List and now have been working with Grassroots Gardens of Buffalo, Councilmember David Rivera, and the Mayor's Liveable Community Grant process to ensure that it becomes a place to grow food and beautify the neighborhood! D'Youville College is also having a clean up day today on York St. where they will be helping the Cottage District out with this Garden. I also dropped off some irises that I split from my garden!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

CSA Fatigue

It's hard to believe, but I only have two weeks left on my CSA with Thorpes Farm. Reflecting on the experience, I would say I'm very happy I did it and did my part to support a local, family farm. There were some really delightful moments - like when I would make a beautiful, crisp salad filled with organic greens and veggies or when I made homemade tomato sauce for the first time. There were also the times when (and it pains me to admit this) when I threw stuff out. Some weeks there just wasn't the time or effort put into consuming all that was brought home. Having grown up first generation American, with parents who were fairly poor and consider it a sin to throw away food, I have a lot of guilt bred into me (being Catholic doesn't help, either).

What might I do differently next year? I may look into CSAs that will deliver at a specific spot, hopefully near work or somewhere in the city. While the drive out to East Aurora is gorgeous, it can be an inconvenience when you have to rush out of work early in order to get to the farm and still let the dogs out on time!

I would also do a small share for just my husband and me. We went in with a large share with our friends and they didn't seem to enjoy the CSA as much as I did, mainly for the driving factor but they also didn't care for a lot of the veggies we got. So the husband and I tended to get more than our share (see point above about throwing food away).

But you can't beat the fresh eggs and few times I bought pork and beef from them. I was far more willing to eat the meat from their farm vs what one gets at the grocery store.

I would absolutely recommend joining a CSA to anyone who is thinking about it. Just remember that it's a commitment and you'll be wasting food unless you like to cook or share your food. It was a great experience to eat (mainly) seasonally this year, and I hope more people in WNY support these incredibly hard working families.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Come Apple Picking With the Locavore Crew

The writing crew here at Buffalo Locavore (Whitney, Kirk, Ann, Brian, and me) are going apple picking.

We will be meeting at Bidwell Parkway next to Talking Leaves at 2pm on Saturday, October 25, 2008 and carpooling up to Murphy Orchards to pick apples and learn a little about our region's Underground Railroad history. You can find out more about the orchard here.

Leave a comment if you plan on joining us so we can get a rough head count. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Start Your Chili Right with Growing Green

I recently received an e-mail from the delightful Zoe Hollomon of the Massachusetts Avenue Project announcing a fun event at the Amherst Street Wegmans this Sunday. Please see Zoe's message below, and turn out to show your support if you can!

"Greetings from Growing Green! Growing Green Youth will be at Wegman's on Amherst St this Sunday October 12th from 11am-2pm to promote their Amazing Chili Starter for the fall and winter months. So if you haven't stocked up on your comfort foods for the cold months please come by this Sunday to Wegman's on Amherst, ; we'll have samples of our Amazing Vegetarian Chili with roasted sweet potatoes- if you havent tasted it yet its Yummy!. We'll be in the Natures Market Section in the rear of the store near the deli. If you love our Amazing Chili or prefer something else please look at our alternate recipe ideas and get experimental for your taste buds! Growing Green really appreciates your support of a youth run, eco-friendly, local food business. "

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Teresa's Apple Pie Recipe

I promised this recipe a couple of weeks ago, and then got so overwhelmingly busy my posting time was limited. So, at long last (and in perfect time for apple season) here is my apple pie recipe.
For the crust:
First, a tip. For flaky pie crust, you must use ice cold water and don't overwork it. I put water in a measuring cup and throw a couple of ice cubes in, and then use a measuring spoon. Also, a good pastry blender (a hand-held implement with 4 or 5 wires attached in a kind of "u" shape to a handle) is really essential to good blending.
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
2/3 Cup Shortening (really, there is no substitute for shortening when it comes to crust)
6-7 Tablespoons of Cold Water
Use a pastry blender to mix the flour with the shortening until the mixture is in roughly pea-sized crumbs.
Sprinkle 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough is moistened.
Divide the dough in half.
Form each half into a ball.
Roll out each ball with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface until it forms about a 12 inch circle.
Wrap one dough circle around the rolling pin and unroll it into a 9" pie plate (I recommend glass for even heating).
Wrap the second dough circle around the rolling pin and set aside while you make the filling.
For Filling:
2.25 Pounds Cooking Apples (I like Ginger Gold if you can get them) cut up to equal about 6 cups
3/4 Cup Sugar
1 tbsp. Lemon Juice
2 tbsp. Flour
2 tsp. Cinnamon
2 tsp. Nutmeg
1 tsp. Curry Powder
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Combine dry ingredients and toss with apples.
Place apples in dough-covered pie plate.
Unroll rolling pin-wrapped dough over top of apple mixture.
Crimp together both crusts around pie plate.
Cut off excess around edge of pie plate.
Cut steam slits into top crust of pie.
Place foil or crust shield around pie. Bake for about 25 minutes.
Remove foil or pie shield. Bake for an additional 25 minutes until top is golden brown.
Cool on a wire rack (so air can circulate around pie as it cools).

Tiny Tomato

My husband found this perfectly ripe tiny tomato in our backyard garden. Most of what we got this season (which was not as much as we were hoping for) were the size of baseballs. This is my hand in the picture, and I wear a Women's small for gloves, just to give you an idea of the size.
Anyway, nature is cool. Mostly because it is always full of surprises.