"The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek. Fear of the unknown is our greatest fear. Many of us would enter a tiger's lair before we would enter a dark cave. While caution is a useful instinct, we lose many opportunities and much of the adventure of life if we fail to support the curious explorer within us."
- Joseph Campbell
Biodynamic Farming in Southold:
If you live in Southold like I do than you've probably passed K.K. Haspel's farm. She runs a 5-acre biodynamic farm here. What's biodynamic you ask? Here's the short answer: The soil is treated with farm manure and organic compost. Produce is also harvested according to an astrological calendar. KK recently held two workshops on biodynamic farming. My mom and I went to the first one. K.K. told us to bring a whisk broom and a bucket. We showed up with those items and an open mind.
The work for us started when we learned more about compost additives and field sprays. This is when the holistic relationship in biodynamic farming came into play. For example the prep we made was from a sweet smelling manure that was originally quartz I believe, that was stuffed into the horn of a cow and buried in the ground. It's believed that this method harvests powerful energy and in turn that manure when made into a prep will positively affect the soil you apply it to.
We made our prep (it took 22 minutes to stir it) and KK showed us her dowsing technique. Dowsing is when she asks a question out loud, such as "where should we spread this compost?" Then she walks slowly until the two dowsing rods dip (providing an answer). This might sound pretty wild to some people. It's a lot to take in but K.K. is dedicated to spreading the word about getting back to the basics of farming and I applaud her for that. I loved walking around her farm and learning about this practice. If you're interested in learning more about biodynamic farming she's having another workshop on Sunday, June 2nd from 3-4:30pm.
Declining Honeybee Population:
During the past six years, on average, 30 percent of all the honeybee colonies in the U.S. have died off during the winter months. I personally know that finding someone to stock Farm 2 Kitchen Long Island's market with honey was a challenge. Many of the stores that I spoke to here on the North Fork kept telling me "We get our honey from Pennsylvania." Now that I'm selling honey from Spy Coast Bee Farm I can tell you that I often thank them for supplying me with local honey. It's hard to come by.
It didn't help that after Superstorm Sandy Spy Coast lost more than 40% of their hives. Like the national trend, Spy Coast has seen this decline over the last couple of winters. There are a few culprits: Monsanto tends to come up right away when you speak to many beekeepers. Between Bee-killing pesticides and a lack of flowering plants that provide nectar and pollen, we're in trouble. Fruit farmers rely on bees to make sure their crops get pollinated but with the population declining how much longer can we rely on them? Beekeepers are trying to spread the word about this problem and we're determined to do the same here at Farm 2 Kitchen Long Island. What does this mean for you? Imagine a world with no honey. Honey is great for you! Take a look for yourself:
- It contains vitamin C & B
- It's a natural source of carbohydrates that can provide strength and energy
- It's known to boost our performance, endurance and reduce muscle fatigue during exercise
- The glucose in honey quickly gives an energy boost; while the fructose provides long lasting energy
There are a ton of rooftop hives in and around New York City…average people doing their part to help this species survive. Imagine if we all had a hive at our home.
If you're not ready to take on a hive, you can purchase our local honey here: http://www.farm2kitchenlongisland.com/products/local-honey-from-spy-coast-bee-farm
P.S. 244 in Flushing Queens Goes Vegetarian :
I LOVE this story! Have you heard the news about P.S. 244 in Flushing Queens? This elementary school is the first in the city to go vegetarian.
The school started by serving meatless meals three days a week, and gradually increased to four but now they're completely vegetarian.
These kids are eating tofu, whole-grain carrot bread, spinach wraps with cucumber salad and whole grain pasta. This is a big step in what I believe to be the right direction when it comes to changing eating habits in our country. If you start with kids they'll hold their parents accountable. Let the trend continue in New York City schools and beyond.
Now to my role as North Fork Uniter:
Tria Chia Pudding:
I connected with an awesome company this week! Tria Organics makes a Chia Seed Pudding that is all Organic, Gluten-Free, Raw, and Vegan. They come in three flavors: Vanilla, Spicy Chocolate, and Green Tea (My favorite). This taste test of ours happened to be my husband's first encounter with chia seeds. In fact he asked one of the masterminds behind this pudding if it was like the Chia Pet (I quickly responded "he's joking…a big comedian this guy").
Chia seeds are vessels for flavor. These puddings have a tapioca-like consistency and are full of fiber. They also have plenty of protein, vitamins, minerals, omega-3's and phytonutrients. As I mentioned above, the green tea pudding is my favorite, very flavorful. I ate some at our meeting but then on the way home I finished the entire jar.
I'm told there's currently no other chia pudding on the market so it's exciting to have this company right here on Long Island. Each pudding is packaged in a reusable, recyclable, or returnable glass jar (we'll return the jars to Tria Organics for you). I encourage you all to try this product and support two amazing women that are dedicated to improving our eating habits. You can purchase Tria's Chia Pudding here: http://www.farm2kitchenlongisland.com/products/tria-chia-pudding-organic-gluten-free-raw-and-vegan
By reading this blog you're a food rebel. Be proud! Farm 2 Kitchen Long Island is taking on our industrial food system one delivery at a time and we couldn't do it without your support. Thank you!
Have a wonderful week!
- Kassata Bollman