The Produce You Crave All Year

Field GoodsOut of the Bag, Recipes0 Comments

soil handsRight now, our farmers’ fields are producing the produce you crave all year. There is simply nothing like tomatoes, summer squash, string beans, and peaches picked fresh. Like wine, the flavors of small farm produce are touched by the quality of the soil. And truth be told, farmers in the northeast need nutrient-dense soil to successfully grow in our highly variable climate with 60-degree weather one day and 85 degrees the next, heavy rain one month and drought the next. All these things can weaken a plant’s resilience. You’d better be feeding great soil to keep them healthy. So, let the flavors carry the show and keep things simple this week with green, pasta, and bean salads.

Here are a couple tips for making great summer salads:

  1. Use about 1 ½ cups of diced veggies per person. The smaller the dice the better.
  2. String beans should be lightly blanched. Drop them in a pot of boiling salted water for about 2 minutes.
  3. If you are using the Beet Fusilli (Pasta of the Week) use about 2 handfuls per person. Fusilli, the thick corkscrew pasta, is ideal for pasta salad.
  4. If you are hankering for a bean salad, our par-boiled organic beans should be boiled for about 10 minutes or until your desired tenderness.
  5. The Summer Salad bunch (Herb & Allium of the Week) which is composed of Garlic Chives, Summer Savory, and Leaf Celery, will turn a salad dressing into a gourmet treat. Tomatoes marinated with Savory Marinade (see below in the tomato description) is a creative twist to standard tomatoes and basil.
  6. Finely chopped arugula adds a subtle peppery taste.
  7. Any great salad vegetable can simply be tossed with good olive oil, a bit of lemon and salt.

 

This Week’s Field Goods Favorite
Red Haven Peaches

red haven peachesA blue-ribbon, all-purpose peach! Luscious, top-quality fruit is great as a fresh snack or for canning and freezing. Enjoy large peaches with almost fuzzless skin over firm, creamy-textured yellow flesh. More info

Peach Cobbler
Grilled Peaches w/ Bourbon Vanilla Whipped Cream
Roasted Peaches w/ Dessert Wine
Peach & Biscuit Crostata

Republicans and Democrats Agree on Farmworker Immigration Reform

Field GoodsFood for Thought0 Comments

Donna Williams, founder of Field Goods


Is there one thing Republicans and Democrats can agree on?

John Faso and Donna WilliamsThe answer is YES… farmworker immigration reform. On July 31st, Field Goods organized a meeting with U.S. Representative John Faso (R-19), Hudson Valley farmers, and Cornell Cooperative Extension and Farm Bureau representatives to discuss the current migrant farm labor situation.

Field Goods’ goal in pulling the meeting together was to drive home that a crisis for our small farmers is a crisis for the locavore movement, slow food movement, local food movement, sustainable agriculture movement, or whichever label you wish to apply to our need to get healthy food into the hands of consumers and support sustainable farming. To put this in context: Farm Credit East reports that, “Approximately 1,080 New York farms are highly vulnerable. That is, they could go out of business or have significantly reduced operations.”

To read about our meeting with Congressman Faso: “Faso says migrant labor critical for farms” published by the Register-Star.

So, what is the big deal about farm labor?

  • U.S. agriculture faces a critical shortage of skilled workers every year. Various attempts to draw domestic workers to farm work have been met with limited success. It is important to note that skilled farmworkers are compensated above minimum wage.
  • Current guest worker programs are mired with problems, delays, and regulatory burdens.
  • Reforming the immigration system can help ensure that agriculture has a legal and stable supply of workers, while providing security to the current workforce. Farmworker immigration reform will allow these workers to move out of the shadows and become full participants in their communities. It will also protect them from being taken advantage of while migrating to the U.S., or while they are here.

The good news that came out of the meeting is that there truly is bi-partisan support for fixing – and addressing – federal policies that have created a labor crisis for small farmers. Here’s the legislative action underway:

  • A bill sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), that proposes replacing the existing H-2A agricultural visa program with a new H-2C program, clearly has bi-partisan support.
  • In May, five Senate Democrats, including Dianne Feinstein and Patrick Leahy, came out with the “Blue Card” bill that would protect undocumented farmworkers from deportation. It is yet to be seen how this bill we be received by Republicans, but we can hope.

For folks that believe that illegal immigrants should be deported, I’d say, “it’s a bit like cutting off your nose to spite your face.” Imagine what it would be like if one day you came to work and a good portion of your best co-workers or employees were simply gone. How do you recover from that? We really, really do not want to lose our farm workers.

So, if you care about maintaining our supply of farm fresh food and growing sustainable agriculture for the benefit of our environment, please ask your representatives to support Bill A4050 by clicking here.

Tango Celery to Dance About

Field GoodsOut of the Bag, Recipes0 Comments

celery boardThis week’s Tango Celery is a special variety. The Tango celery variety has smooth non-stringy stalks that are super-sweet and very crunchy. It’s definitely tastier and more fragrant than store-bought celery. No part of this celery should go to waste: the stalks are great for calorie-free raw eating or used in soups and stews, and the leaves are great in salads and as a garnish. Celery is a very good source of fiber, Vitamins A, C, and K, folate, potassium, and manganese.

Putting It Together  
Let’s try mixing celery up with a few other items in the bag!

Potato salad with (or without) Massaged Kale
Yields 3-4 servings
Boil potatoes until soft (about 20 minutes). When done, drain and rinse with cold water. Cut into 1-inch pieces. Whisk together 1 tbsp. apple cider or malt vinegar and ¼ tsp. salt and toss with potatoes. Add 2 sliced hard-boiled eggs and 2 stalks of chopped celery. Then toss with Creamy Dressing or Massaged Kale.

Creamy Dressing
Yield 2-3 servings
Whisk together ½ c. mayo, ½ c. sour cream or Greek or drained yogurt, 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar, a pinch of sugar, salt and pepper. Optional addition 1 tbsp. of parsley.

Massaged Kale
Yields 4 servings
Combine 3 cups finely shredded kale with ½ tsp. lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp. sunflower or olive oil, and a pinch of salt. Massage until kale is wilted and bright green. Whisk together ¼ c. grainy mustard, ½ tsp. garlic powder, 2 tbsp. oil and 2 tbsp. chopped onion tops or onions, then mix with kale.

 

This Week’s Field Goods Favorite
Tango Celery

celeryWe love celery noodles: use a vegetable peeler or paring knife to shave celery into thin strips, then steam sauté. To steam sauté, throw just-washed veggies into a hot pan, crank the heat, lid, and let the water wilt the veggies a little. After 3 minutes, de-lid, stir, then sauté as normal. Add tomato sauce and Parmesan. More info

Celery Stir-Fry
Hearty Celery Minestrone Soup
Pasta with Celery and Lemon
Celery Mint Salad
Recipes that Feature Celery