How to Achieve a Sustainable Food System? – for 5.24.2014

 veggie basketAdmittedly, this post won’t precisely solve all of the issues related to achieving a sustainable food system, but perhaps it will include and/or inspire some helpful thoughts. kohlrabiBackground information: We, and many others, believe that the majority of our current food system is not sustainable. Most produce in our country is grown in California – 3,000 miles from us. The cost of fuel is not going down anytime soon, and it is not a good idea to have the food that is supposed to cover most of our plate (vegetables and fruit!) grown so far away from the eaters. 057Then there are growing practices to consider. Just about 1% of our country’s agriculture is currently organic. The alternative (called “conventional” but more accurately characterized by dependence on synthetic fertilizer – which kills soil biology and sends run-off nitrogen quickly downstream – and chemical pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides – of which most if not all are known to be toxic to humans in many different ways) is not sustainable because of the way it damages soil and human health. We cannot feed ourselves with a system that prevents itself from continuing. (We won’t dive into livestock farming issues right now.) 058 So – Dan Barber wrote a provocative article this week for the New York Times: “What Farm-to-Table Got Wrong.” His premise is that local food advocates, in the name of a sustainable food system, have gotten it wrong in thinking they can support the local, organic growers that make a sustainable food system possible by only purchasing and eating what they want, at the price they want. 044 A truly sustainable food system means food is produced using sustainable (we believe that = organic) growing practices, grown in appropriate proximity to the consumers, and in a way that allows farmers to manage their farms so that they succeed from a soil perspective as well as a financial perspective. 040(There’s a farmer at one end of our rainbow…and a greenhouse at the other.)  027 This means eating based on what a local, organic farmer has available. Sometimes that is the coveted tomatoes and cucumbers and scrumptious Padron peppers. Sometimes that is a heck of a lot of salad greens, cooking greens, and turnips. Or stored winter squash and root vegetables.008 And it means consumers have to be willing to budget to spend on fresh, local, in season, organic food what it costs the farmer to grow it, including paying him and herself a decent wage. We encourage you to read the article, share it with others, and pick up your veggies from us this weekend. Cover your plates with those veggies, and support our complementary ecological livestock farmers as well. 007

Enjoy ~

Janet, Dan, and the whole Broadfork Crew

This Week’s Harvest:

Our Farm Share Bag (consisting of the items in the Farm Share this week, in one easy to order option), Bok Choy, Chard, Chinese/Napa Cabbage, Collards, Cucumbers, Garlic Scallions, Hearty Mix, Kale, Kohlrabig, Lettuce (five varieties), Lettuce Mix (bagged larger leaves of head lettuce), Microgreens, Radish, Salad Mix, Turnips, Transplants for your garden (Tomatoes)…plus Pepper Jelly, and our Naturally Leavened, Hearth Baked Bread.     (Not all transplants can be listed in our online store. If you want a variety not listed, please indicate in the notes section.)

Recipe Suggestions: (always cataloged on our Recipe Page)

Recipe Suggestions: (always cataloged on our Recipe Page)
Turnips – we grow a very sweet and tasty variety called Hakurei. Simple Saute with Greens (us any green, including the turnip tops), Roasted Hakurei Turnips with Israeli CouscousHashed Turnips with Pork Chops, Turnip Fries (though we pick them at baby stage, so too small for real fry shape. Slice into disks like chips for this.)
Garlic Scallions – treat like Green Onions/Scallions but tastes like Garlic. It is the garlic plant before it bulbs up. GrilledGreen Garlic PancakesGarlic Scallion NoodlesGarlic Scallion Spaghetti (these call for scallions and garlic, but you have it, two-in-one), and a host of recipe ideas from Saveur
Little Gem – Hot on the Foodie scene, these Little Gems are like miniature Romaine lettuces with a taste like a Butterhead lettuce. Crisp, sweet, and versatile, they can be enjoyed raw or cooked. We have red and green. Recently featured in the magazine Bon Appetit, here are recipe suggestions: Little Gems in a Frying PanLittle Gem Salad with Lemon VinaigretteLittle Gem, Feta, & Cumin Salad
Radishes – Radish and Butter SandwichPickled Radish with Green Onion (sub our green garlic)
Chard – In general, treat this like Spinach or Kale. It is generally under appreciated. Or get creative: Chard & Chipotle TacosLinguine with Walnuts & ChardFarmers Market CSA Quiche
Kale – Kale Salad with Pecorino & Currants
Salad Dressing – Mustard Vinaigrette


We continue at two farmers’ markets this Saturday: South of the James in Forest Hill Park, from 8am – 12pm, and the Brandermill Green Market in Market Square from 9am – 12pm. 

2014 Market Share CSA Members: Choose your selection through our Online Store to order for pick up on Saturday at our farm, at the Brandermill Green Market , or at the South of the James Market in Forest Hill Park from.

Everyone else: Please sign up for our 2014 CSA and get first priority for the wonderful vegetables that we grow.

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