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Archive for the ‘Farmers Markets’ Category

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Saturday morning, bright and sunny, we went to Inwood and the boys wanted a few bucks for treats. “I’ll give you a few bucks if you pick some mulberries.”They groaned a little. But only a little. Then they started to pick.

“We can go to our good tree,” Z said to B. Then to me, “I’ll show you.” He led me down the path that runs parallel to the Isham into a grove of fruiting mulberries.

I am still amazed that these prolific trees grow all over NYC and for the most part, the only beings who indulge in their sweet-sweet fruit are the pigeons. Now that I know they exist, the birds have competition. From me and my bucket. But from Z and his insatiable appetite. We picked together for a while, Z eating more than he dropped in our recycled yogurt container bucket. Then I left them to continue while I shopped on the street.

You have to remember, we live in the middle of NYC. When I was their age I had a secret imaginary world of fairies who lived in a patch of violets in the back of my parents. backyard. Sometimes I worry that they are not having that experience of the world being filled with hidden secret places. But clearly they are.

That’s another thing I love about going to the farmers market in Inwood on a Saturday morning. They can actually go off by their own — run and play on the hill and the thicket behind Isham Street.

The way they reacted to my request to berry-pick said a lot about where we have come as a family. Mulberry picking, even though we only started last year, is now a tradition. And like any 11 and 9-year-old boy, they are experts.

“This is the best tree,” one chided.

“No, look you have to pick it this way,” the other reprimanded with great authority. I sent them off with two yogurt containers and they came back with one ¾ of the way filled. Then I sent them back to fill it – John and I helped

“What will we do with the berries this year?” Z asked.

“We could make a pie like last time,” B said.
“Maybe we’ll try jam,” I suggest.

My mother used to make microwave jam. I am sure a microwave strips food of nutrients, but in case you haven’t noticed, I’m pretty tired these days. I perused some other recipes that called for boiling and pectin and I just wasn’t up for it. This recipe is basically how I remember my mother doing it.

And the mulberry jam – it’s to die for. Although I tried to send them out again today with the babysitter to pick more berries and I couldn’t get them out to the woods without me. I guess it’s a lucky day for the pigeons.

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Microwave Mulberry Jam

2 cups of crushed mulberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. butter.

Remove the stems from the mulberries. Crush in an 8 cup glass measure with a spout. 
Let stand until juices forms – about thirty minutes.

Cover with a piece of wax paper. Then 
microwave on high for 10-14 minutes, stirring every 2-3 minutes. 
Spoon out 1 tbsp. of jam, refrigerate for 15 minutes and test consistency. 
If the  jam is too runny, re-heat it in microwave for intervals of 2 more minutes until it has the consistency you’re looking for.

Makes a jam jar full.

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Despite my former pesky problems,  my worm bin is doing great. Today, I lifted up the top strata and found a rich, beautiful layer of compost dotted with egg shells (which seem to be the last to decompose) and thick with fat happy, wriggly worms. Finally, my battle with the fruit flies seems to be at a truce. But, I have happy news for anyone in the neighborhood (or TriBeCa or the Village) who wants to compost but isn’t into worms.

Starting next weekend, March 5th to be exact, the Greenmarkets in Inwood, Greenwich Village and TriBeCa will join Union Square Greenmarket and begin to collect compostable kitchen scraps.  During this temporary pilot program Greenmarket groupies in these neighborhoods will be able to drop off fruit and vegetable scraps to be hauled away to  to facility to become compost.

This is good news for anyone in these neighborhood who wants to compost but isn’t quite ready to be roomies with rollie pollies or worms. (Come on — they never hog the shower!)

In case you don’t know, according to the GrowNY food comprises about 17% of NYC’s waste stream. Food when it’s composted turns back into nutrients that can enrich soil, but when it’s sent a landfill it costs the city money to dispose  and can create greenhouse gas emissions.  It’s a literal waste.

I’ve blogged about the impact of composting before, but I want to remind myself and everyone that this is an easy way to make a difference  and for those of us who live near these Saturday Greenmarkets, it just got easier.

What can you compost: (from GrowNY)

  • Fruit and vegetable scraps
  • Non-greasy food scraps or leftovers (rice, pasta, bread, cereal, etc.)
  • Coffee grounds & filters, tea bags
  • Hair and nails (animal or human), egg and nut shells
  • Cut or dried flowers, houseplants and potting soil

Meat, chicken, fish, greasy food scraps, fat, oil, dairy, dog or cat feces, kitty litter, coal or charcoal, coconuts, diseased and/or insect-infested houseplants or soil are all no-nos.

If holding on to scraps until Saturday sounds messy, here’s the trick —  you throw it all in a bag in the freezer or the fridge and it minimizes the ick factor.

The pilot will only run until June 30, 2011.  If it’s a success, it will become permanent and other markets will adopt the program. I want to find out what success means. I’ll call around on Monday and see if I can find out. I also believe that fresh compost from this program will be available for purchase in these markets — but again, I need to confirm whether or not this is true.

Here’s a list of the Greenmarkets who will be participating in the program:

  • The Inwood Greenmarkets on Isham Street
  • The Abingdon Square Greenmarket on Hudson and Eight Avenue, between West 12th & Bethune streets
  • The TriBeCa Greenmarket on Greenwich Street, between Chambers and Duane streets

Note: According to GrowNY you can also drop off compost at these Greenmarkets:

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Saturday, I had farmer’s market despair. I got there after noon and except for a few freezer burned scraps, there was no lettuce to be found. It felt foreboding — like a chilly wind on an autumn night that reminds you that pretty soon, winter’s going to barrel in like a freight train.

“No salad?” the babysitter asked when I wrote out instructions for the kids’ dinner on Monday morning. “No.” I answered. “I couldn’t buy it this weekend. I’ll buy some this week.”

She cocked her head at me and thought about what I was saying. Her English is still rough, so I’m sure everything gets processed in slow motion. Finally, a puzzled look settled on her face and she nodded politely as if she understood.

Last night we watched The Walking Dead. In the story, the last human survivors are in their camp in the mountains talked about shooting squirrels, foraging for wild mushrooms and worrying what will happen when the run out of that the last can of beans.  I thought, why am I simulating this crazy post apocalyptic experience in my head?  Ok, I know I have to bring up this Apocalypse is coming fear in therapy.  But on the other hand, why should not having lettuce be such a travesty. I was really in a panic until as I was writing this post I remembered that when I was a kid, in the winter, we used to eat coleslaw. Cabbages won’t go away for a while.  Again, I just need to shift how I think about what we eat and when. (And teach my kids to eat coleslaw!)

I have gotten into the habit of the farmer’s market on Saturday with a shot of veg from the CSA on Tuesday. Now that the CSA is over, I knew I had to do something differently.

This morning, John and I went to that Fort Washington Greenmarket on 168th street on the way to work.  Although there were under 10 vendors, there were a lot of farmers who weren’t in Inwood and the selection and quality was  amazing.  I was sad to learn the market closes for the season next week.

I was particularly impressed by the variety of apples.   One orchard from Goshen had lots of heirloom varieties that I’d never seen before.
“Russet apples?” John asked as I picked out an armful of decidedly not read apples. “Russet’s not just for potatoes?”

I never thought about it, but the word russet actually means yellowish brown or reddish-brown. And as John pointed out, it’s a Crayola crayon color.  In terms of taste, the Golden Russet apples are delicious. They’re honey sweet and firm with a nice hint of tartness. I really love them!

My most exciting find was a cheese pumpkin.

I made my first pumpkin pie from scratch last week. (The recipe came from my friend Cathy — it should be on her blog soon. ) I used a regular looking pumpkin I got from the Inwood market. It wasn’t a sugar pumpkin, but the farmer said it would work. And it wasn’t bad. The flavor was actually very similar to butternut squash. I also baked a plain old Jack O Lantern pumpkin they were selling for 99 cents by B’s school. Yes, it was a supermarket buy, but my sustainable rational was that if I didn’t buy it, it was going to get trashed. It was not delicious. The flesh was much paler, almost white, and when I sliced it into sections the pumpkin was as thin as a shell. It wasn’t inedible but it was bland. Mixed in with the other pumpkin it was fine.

The pumpkin that everyone on the blogs talk about as being the best for pies is the cheese pumpkin. And I found one today.

One  farmer , who said she used to make 8 pies every thanksgiving, said that my 8 lb pumpkin would make about 4 pies. It only cost me 6 bucks.

“More pumpkin?” John asked as I eyed the big yellow nut of a squash. Last week, in addition to the pie, I’d made cranberry pumpkin bread, which B has been eating every morning for breakfast! I told the kids it was muffin bread. B knew it was a mom trick, but he bought it. Z, couldn’t get past the tartness of the cranberries.

We were already laden down with bags by the time I spotted this prize.  Actually, John was laden down. The farmers laughed as I loaded him down even.

“Where’s he going to put it?” they chided.

“He’s the one who really love pumpkin pie,” I said.

“It’s true,” he said and carried it happily home.

Cranberry Pumpkin Bread
(based on my friend Emily’s recipe)

Ingredients
2.5 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
3 cups fresh pumpkin
1 cup oatmeal flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup fresh cranberries
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Butter and flour two 9x5x3-inch loaf pans.

Beat sugar and oil in large bowl to blend. Mix in eggs and pumpkin

Sift flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder into another large bowl. Add cinnamon.

Stir into wet mixture.

Divide batter equally between prepared pans. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes.

Transfer to racks and cool 10 minutes. Using sharp knife, cut around edge of loaves. Turn loaves out onto racks and cool completely.

Note: We ate one loaf and stuck the other in the freezer. It freezes beautifully! This morning we took out one, cut a slice and dropped it in the toaster for a great, quick, not a pop tart breakfast treat.

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I think Georgia O'Keeffe would approve of this delectably oven-roasted plum tomato.

Don’t tell my kids, but a few weeks ago, I made tomato sauce from tomatoes I picked out of the garbage can at the farmers market in Ramsey. OK, by now anyone who has read my previous posts knows that I’m almost as obsessed with having  tomatoes as not having Styrofoam. And in my defense, it wasn’t really a “dumpster” ad there wasn’t much else in that garbage can. And I had asked. Well, actually I had asked the farmer selling Jersey tomatoes if she had any “seconds” she was selling at a discount.

She thought for a moment while she scanned her table covered with eggplants and pies.

“You can have these,” she said, handing me a pair of slightly bruised but beautiful tomatoes that were sitting next to the cash box.

“Normally if I know someone wants them I save them. I’ll save them for you next time,” she offered. But as I explained that I wasn’t a regular at that market.   And that’s when I noticed about a half a dozen gorgeous tomatoes in that  garbage.

“Do you mind if I take those, two?” I asked my tomato kindred spirit.

“Go right ahead,” she said.

This weekend, at my regular farmer’s market in Inwood, I hit pay-dirt and I didn’t even have to get my hands dirty. After wandering the market and asking everyone, “Got any seconds for sauce?”  I stumbled on a stand that was selling exactly that out in the open for $1 a pound.  Most of them were bright, fire-truck red romas, but there were a few yellow mixed in too.

“How much would you charge me for this whole box?” I asked the farmer. She led me behind the table and showed me an unopened but full box. “$15,” she said.  Needless to say, I took it.

This picture really doesn't do justice to just how many tomatoes I came home with.

For some reason, things, or more specifically food, looks less in the world. I am always worried that I won’t have enough. And while John carted our box through the market, it didn’t seem to be that much – until I got home and I realize the box was almost the size of two milk crates. It was deep with red-gold.

Mostly I was thinking about the winter. Could I really cook up enough tomatoes to substitute for all those cans of plum tomatoes I buy to make soups and sauces when the cold weather hits? I wasn’t sure but I was going to try.

I started by opening up The Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan. Normally I parboil fresh tomatoes so that I can pop them out of their skins. But Hazen explained that you can cut the tomatoes in half, parboil them and then process them using my old friend the Foley Mill. I tried it and it worked like a charm. I tried her  basic sauce with garlic, olive oil and fresh basil. It came out sweet and light, with a rich tomato flavor. Kind of like really good pizza sauce.

I love fire-roasted tomatoes and these, roasted in a cast iron pan on the stove top, have a similar flavor.

Then I turned to Cocina de la Familia by Marilyn Tausend where I learned that you can pan roast tomatoes for such classics as Sopa de Tortilla by using a cast iron pan. I tried this method, throwing in a chili pepper and some garlic at the end. I used my hand blender and made a quick sauce with a stronger, more robust flavor which I personally liked a bit better.

The gazpacho was richer with the help of a bit of home made tomato juice.

Then finally I made some gazpacho. I added some of the liquid from a batch of parboiled tomatoes that I seeded and left to drip over a colander. The tomato juice added a richness to the gazpacho that I think gazpacho need.

My big discovery was slow-roasted tomatoes. I found this recipe at SmittenKitchen.com. Slow roasted tomatoes are sort of cross between roasted tomatoes and sun-dried tomatoes. The author of SmittenKitchen went on and on about how delicious they were. But when they first came out of the oven I wasn’t impressed. Disappointed, I packed mine in a jar with the roasted garlic, a little extra olive oil and a bit of sea salt. But, the next day, when I tried one, I was wowed. Once they’ve settled into their flavor they are amazing.

Tonight, (4 days later) I finally hit the end of the box. In the meantime, my $15 worth of tomatoes made me the equivalent of:

  • About 5 cans of plum tomatoes
  • About 2 cans of roasted tomatoes
  • about 2 jars of tomato sauce (unseasoned)
  • About 2 jars of tomato sauce (seasoned)
  • About 4 trays of slow-roasted tomatoes (that’s a pretty big delicious jar)
  • A blender full of gazpacho

Is it enough to get me through the winter? No. Was it a lot of work? Yes. Was it green? Maybe. For starter, my big box of tomatoes weren’t organic (they were low spray) and I probably use gas and electricity a lot less efficiently than say Brad’s Organic (today,  I noticed these canned tomatoes were on sale for 2 for $5 at the Westside Market in Chelsea.) But on the other hand, my tomatoes were local, the only gas they used was getting to the farmer’s market.  I used my freezer to store so my tomatoes have no hidden preservatives. And my containers aren’t cans lined with  BPA. — although in addition to old ice cream pint containers, I did use a few ziplock bags and a few old yogurt containers which are made of#5 plastic. Still in the end, fresh tomatoes taste better than canned. And that’s worth something. Ok. A lot.

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A prospering farmer's market thrives in this bleak parking lot.

John hopped on a flight Friday night. He was supposed to land in the Tri-Cities Airport at around 11:30 pm. Unfortunately, the plane was held up in Charlotte NC. So on Saturday instead of going to the Boone, North Carolina’s Farmer’s Market, we ended up back at the airport in the morning. Afterwards, we stopped by the Farmer’s Market in Kingsport, Tennessee.

By the time we showed up at noon, things were winding down. The market is held in the parking lot of the Quebeccor building across the street from the Domtar paper mill. One of the farmers told me that the Quebeccor used to be a printer and that when he was a kid, the mill would make the paper and the press across the street would use it. Now the abandoned parking lot was the home of the Kingsport Farmer’s Market.

This was not Union Square. Nestled between the abandoned factory and the big white monolith of the paper mill, it was sparse and empty, a  post apocalyptic eeriness.  A church group was selling concessions at a stand at the front and one of the farmers listed a bible verse on his chalk board. And several of the farmers were smoking long thin cigarettes.

It was hot as we walked up and down the middle of the parking lot between the two rows of vendors.

When I asked the farmers if they sprayed, most answered, “not if I need to.” A few said, “no” quickly and diverted their eyes. I knew they weren’t telling the truth. As one farmer told John, “Everyone here says they don’t spray but if their crops are in danger, they will.”

There weren’t any eggs or dairy but there were several people selling meat: beef, lamb and pork. I was tempted to buy some sausage or ham – afterall we are in the south, but instead we bought about 5 lbs of ground beef from a man who told me that his cows were mostly grass-fed.

“We only use a bit of grain to coax them into the barn at night.”

At 2.50 /lb it was also a bargain.

We bought pounds of a type of snap beans that were large and meaty, a cross between a fave bean and haricot vert with a texture and flavor that was . We picked up a watermelon from a man with a truck for $4.

“That’s a yellow one,” the man said. We told him it was fine with us. Tonight when we cut into it, the flesh was the deep yellow-orange of  marigold. Up close, the pattern of the veins appeared as four symmetrical swirls. It’s sweetness had more dimension than traditional normal red watermelon. Even the seeds were pretty — a mottle brown like a tigers eye.

When it comes to heirlooms, every tomato tells a story.

The most exciting thing for me was that the market was filled with heirloom tomatoes. Heirloom vegetables are the variety of vegetables that were grown before mass-produced produce became the norm. In the old days, seeds were passed down from generation to generation — like a family recipe but for your garden.  Heirlooms don’t always look the like conventional vegetables. So, for example, heirloom tomatoes are not always red. They can be yellow or orange, or even purple or brown. And they don’t even have to be round.

Because they come in more sizes, shapes and colors than their iconic supermarket cousins,  heirloom vegetables are attention-grabbing. And although there’s nothing that says summer like a slab of a Jersey beefsteak red tomato, these heirlooms have a whole range of  subtle differences in flavor. As I went from stand to stand and talked to these heirloom tomato grower connoisseurs there much discussion of acidity and tomato-y flavor.

Clearly these farmers had a sophisticated tomato palate.

I scored a gorgeous bounty of Heirloom tomatoes from a tall, thin guy with a mop of crazy black hair and fierce eyes named Josh Falin who was clearing out his tomatoes for 50 cents a pound. My big bag included a bunch of Cherokee Purples, German Pinks, and Mr Stripeys. I also got at least one that was shaped like a pear. “Everyone says they want organic,” he said, “but then when they see the bug holes they don’t want to buy.” Josh told me that his father, Darrell Falin, whose stand was right next door made amazing pickles. Apparently his pickles were featured several times in Bon Appétit and he used to sell pickles to Johnny Cash. Unfortunately he was already sold out.

Josh told me that he’d gotten his sees for the Cherokee Purples from a man who’d gotten it from a Cherokee. In honor of the heirloom tradition, I’m going to try to save the seeds. (This article on the Daily Green, tells you how: ) Then if I manage to grow these southern belles on my Northern fire escape, I’ll be able to say I got the seeds from a man who’s dad sold pickles to Johnny Cash.

WTF’s I learned while I was researching farmers markets:
According to the people at the Bristol TN Farmer’s Market, we’re losing 125 acres of farm and ranch land per hour because spiking fuel prices and the ever-present threat of development are pressuring America’s farmers and ranchers. Ugg. Another reason to shop  farmer’s markets.

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Zane holding a bowl of farm stand nectarines. Local, delicious and possibly full of pesticides and fungicides. Do the local fruit pros outweigh the non-organic cons?

A chicken says puck. A cow says moo. But what exactly does a farmer say? Depends on the farmer it seems. Yesterday in Germantown NY I had a farmer at a farm stand walk up to me with a yellow plum and tell me all about conventional farming and how safe it was.

“Thought you’d like to try these,” he said, “while you’re perusing.”

I held the little golden globe in my hand. It was as cheery as the sun shining across the Hudson on the Catskills. Our own sky was smokey gray and foreboding.

“Do you spray?” I asked — gently and respectfully of course.

He shuffled his feet in the gravel.

“Course, we spray. Got to spray. You can’t grow a stone fruit in the Northeast if you don’t spray. Pacific Northwest, they don’t have the same problems. It’s dry there. Don’t have as many pests. Don’t need the same kind of fungicides.”

I nodded. I didn’t mention that  for the last week, we’d been eating a box of yellow plums from the CSA. They were identical to the free samples he’d just handed out except they were organic. Or at least I thought they were organic.

“So you spray the peaches too? How often?”

“All the stone fruit. If someone says they’re giving you organic stone fruit, it’s a lie. Besides, some of those organic pesticides are very toxic. And you need to use tons of them. Chemicals are expensive. You think we want to use chemicals. We don’t. Hell,” he added, “I’ve been eating this stuff for years. I used to be bathed in DDT and I’m okay. The guys in the DDT factory, they can’t find any cancer in them. Me neither.”

I didn’t answer. I thought, “Add Does DDT harm people?” to My Frequently Thought About Questions.

“Well,” I said, “I also worry about the environment. I’ve heard that the pesticides leach into the water table.”

“Nonsense,” he said. “The chemicals we use break down within 24 to 48 hours.”

I’m not sure I believe him. Although he isn’t the first farmer to tell me that there are harmful types of organic pesticides — including sulphur in grapes. I definitely need to do that research. And I am adding, What are organic pesticides? and Do conventional fungicides and pesticides biodegrade? to my list of questions to research. Is the agricultural waste from small farms as much as an environmental impact as big farms? And what about petro chemical fertilizers? I never even asked him if he used those.

But back to my farm stand.  I really  wanted to buy the peaches. But I knew that peaches are on the EWG Dirty Dozen. At the top of the list.  According to the EWG, peaches had been treated with more pesticides than any other produce, registering combinations of up to 67 different chemicals.

I couldn’t remember where nectarines were on the list, so  bought them instead. In terms of being potentially pesticide riche, they actually are pretty bad too. According to the EWG, over 95% have been tested with pesticides. But I didn’t know that when I bought them. I only knew that they felt hard but when we bit into them, they were dripping sweetness. The kids were wolfing them down.

Farm stands are part of what makes summer summer. God, I would hate to give them up completely. In the best of all possible worlds  we could get the stone fruits of summer at our local farms without pesticides and fungicides that could potentially hurt our children or the environment.  Or maybe that farmer is right, and it’s all ok.

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My CSA started Tuesday. The truck delivered lots of lettuce — beautiful lettuce, plus an Mizuna an Asian salad green with purple veins and jagged edges. It had an interesting flavor, but was not exactly what I would have chosen.  That’s the thing about the CSA, you get what you get and you don’t get upset. Ok, you’re not supposed to get upset, but I sort of do. Still, I shouldn’t complain,  my three bunches of radishes drove me to try something new – sautéed radishes.

Radishes are one of those vegetables that I can’t believe I actually like. When I was a kid, I thought they were nasty. My father always added the little red edged orbs onto our iceberg lettuce salads. They tasted bitter and spicy in a bad way. But as an adult, I’ve grown to like their crispy, sharp flavor. They have a fresh garden flavor that kind of bursts like a garden in my mouth. And now I like their bite. Still, three heads, beautiful as they may be, is a lot. Or at least I thought so.

Somewhere in the back of my head, I remembered hearing you can cook radishes. After a bit of Internet research I found several recipes which all boiled down to one thing – chop ‘em or slice ‘em and sautee´ them in a bit of butter or olive oil and your favorite herbs.

I detached the fresh, green leaves. They were a light lime green, with the texture and lightness of a thick-leafed herb – like mint or lemon balm. I ate a leaf raw and, although the flavor was not strong, it wasn’t bitter either.

Last weekend, I sautéed a bunch of ruby-red beets with their greens and it was delicious. I suspected I could to the same with the radishes. After a bit more Internet searching I found another recipe that confirmed my suspicion.

I cut the radishes into quarters and sautéed them in butter (taking my cue from the French style recipes I found on-line). While they were cooking I trimmed and washed the greens, leaving them damp. When the radishes were starting to brown, I added in the greens. In about three minutes they wilted to a bright green. I added a handful of fresh chives.  Cooked, the radishes mellowed out and  tasted buttery delicious.

Radish tops, like the beet greens I cooked last Saturday, are among the foods that I’m beginning to call garbage foods. Somehow when we started making our cultural menus, these foods were discarded from our culinary vision. I’m not sure exactly when.  I wonder if my grandmother ate these greens?

Many of these types of “garbage” foods are becoming more popular and available. Dandelion greens, for example, plus a lot of wild lettuces with fun pastoral names like Lambs Lettuce. I often think about how as a kid in the suburbs we dug up a piles of dandelions with a forked garden tool and then later sprayed our lawns with hard-working pesticides. How come we didn’t know to eat them instead of spending money at the grocery store on sealed plastic bags or frozen bricks of spinach.

Somewhere along the way when we as a culture learned to buy food we lost our ability to see the food that was growing all around us.

Mulberries are plump purple berries that look a lot like black raspberries. It’s ironic, that as I worry about whether or not to buy imported strawberries or other fruits, there are trees dropping these beautiful berries all around the Tri-state region. And contrary to the nursery rhyme, they grow on trees. I was introduced to them a few years ago from a baseball Dad on a Sunday morning in Spring. He stopped and showed a group of parents and kids a tree, plucking a few berries which we all tasted. They were delicious. But it felt a bit weird to be eating from a tree growing in the city. Sort of like eating dandelions from your backyard?

I remembered about mulberries as we were walking across the bottom of Fort Tryon Park last Sunday. The sidewalk next to a busy strip of Broadway was stained purple. Happy pigeons pecked at the squashed remains of berries that littered the pavement.

Next Sunday, when the kids are playing baseball, I plan to bring a bucket or a bag and try to do some berry picking at that tree by the field. Now that’s local eating.

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