Thursday, October 18, 2012 Tuesday, October 2, 2012

When we say that Farm workdays happen rain or shine, we mean it— and we proved it this past Friday, as interns harvested for the next morning’s farmers’ market in some pretty bleak weather. These hearty souls were rewarded with plenty of hot, delicious pizza at the end of the day— plus the satisfaction of a difficult job well done, of course. It’s really heartening to have an intern crew and a corps of volunteers who show up on damp and dreary days ready to work, knowing that harvest has to happen whether it’s nice out or not. So thanks to everyone who lent a hand, and a special thanks to our photographer Elif, who captured everyone’s goofy raingear and exceptionally good spirits.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Honey : A Taste of Fall

Autumn by Paik666 from DeviantArt.com

                               Image courtesy of Paik666 from DeviantArt.com

     Autumn. What does that word remind you of? Let me guess. The crunch of yellowed leaves, the nip in the air, the heavy weight of a mug filled to the brim with pumpkin spice coffee, or perhaps the warm scent of cinnamon mingling with the distinctive sweet smell of baked apples. Sweater weather, woodsmoke in your hair: you get the picture.

     But for me? Fall is embodied in the crunch of a delicately fragrant Jiro persimmon, and the satisfying umami aftertaste of a rich stew of Kabocha, a Japanese variety of winter melon, and kombu, an edible kelp. And, being Chinese American, autumn for me has always meant mooncakes. Those intricate delicacies with a sweet, dense filling of red bean or lotus seed paste, enveloped by a thin pastry skin imprinted with a Chinese character on top. All of these things presaged autumn, but only one thing meant it had arrived: the first taste of my mother’s honey lemon tea.

     My mom, a Baby Boomer but a proud member of the iGeneration, as she likes to say, is nonetheless a devout believer in traditional Chinese medicine. That’s why, on the first day of September, she scours through our local farmers’ market for the highest quality raw honey she can find. Do you have wildflower, sage, or clover honey? Where’s the nectar source? What’s that? That’s not even in the Bay Area!

     Eventually, she ends up discovering the best the market has to offer. Then, once we’re home, she adds a generous spoonful of honey to a glass mug of piping hot water, allowing the amber-colored tendrils to dance with the swirl of the stirring spoon. After the honey has dissolved, she squeezes a quarter of a large lemon into the cup. The lemon’s pulp and seeds stipple the honeyed water, and barely drift towards the bottom of the cup when the wedge itself is dropped in.

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Thursday, September 13, 2012
A new school year means lots of new faces around the Sustainable Food Project offices and at the Yale Farm. We’ll be using this space to introduce you to some of them in the next few weeks; make sure to stop by work hours, pizza events and Chewing the Fat talks to say hi in person and welcome them on board!
Hello! My name is Maya Binyam and I’m a farm intern this year with YSFP. I’m a sophomore here at Yale, majoring in English and Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies. I grew up in Boston, but my family has since meandered all over the place so New Haven has become a wonderful new home to explore. It’s my first year with YSFP and I’m super excited to be a part of the team. Be sure to come by on volunteer workdays and say hi—I love chatting about food, cooking, agriculture more generally, and anything winter squash related. Happy farming!

A new school year means lots of new faces around the Sustainable Food Project offices and at the Yale Farm. We’ll be using this space to introduce you to some of them in the next few weeks; make sure to stop by work hours, pizza events and Chewing the Fat talks to say hi in person and welcome them on board!

Hello! My name is Maya Binyam and I’m a farm intern this year with YSFP. I’m a sophomore here at Yale, majoring in English and Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies. I grew up in Boston, but my family has since meandered all over the place so New Haven has become a wonderful new home to explore. It’s my first year with YSFP and I’m super excited to be a part of the team. Be sure to come by on volunteer workdays and say hi—I love chatting about food, cooking, agriculture more generally, and anything winter squash related. Happy farming!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012
A new school year means lots of new faces around the Sustainable Food Project offices and at the Yale Farm. We’ll be using this space to introduce you to some of them in the next few weeks; make sure to stop by work hours, pizza events and Chewing the Fat talks to say hi in person and welcome them on board!
Hi all! My name is Sadie Weinberger and I am the Farmer’s Market Intern at the YSFP. I’m a junior majoring in Environmental Studies, with a possible concentration in Food and Agriculture or Religion. I’m from the tiny town of Nevada City, California, nestled in the lovely Sierra Nevada foothills and quite possibly the best place on earth. 
This year, I’ll be at the Yale Farm on Fridays and, more importantly, running the Yale Farm’s stand at the Wooster Square Market every Saturday from 9-1. Come visit me for veggies, just to chat, or if you’re dying to know how best to use those beautiful beets!

A new school year means lots of new faces around the Sustainable Food Project offices and at the Yale Farm. We’ll be using this space to introduce you to some of them in the next few weeks; make sure to stop by work hours, pizza events and Chewing the Fat talks to say hi in person and welcome them on board!

Hi all! My name is Sadie Weinberger and I am the Farmer’s Market Intern at the YSFP. I’m a junior majoring in Environmental Studies, with a possible concentration in Food and Agriculture or Religion. I’m from the tiny town of Nevada City, California, nestled in the lovely Sierra Nevada foothills and quite possibly the best place on earth. 

This year, I’ll be at the Yale Farm on Fridays and, more importantly, running the Yale Farm’s stand at the Wooster Square Market every Saturday from 9-1. Come visit me for veggies, just to chat, or if you’re dying to know how best to use those beautiful beets!

A new school year means lots of new faces around the Sustainable Food Project offices and at the Yale Farm. We’ll be using this space to introduce you to some of them in the next few weeks; make sure to stop by work hours, pizza events and Chewing the Fat talks to say hi in person and welcome them on board!
Hey, everyone. I’m Kendra, an “ad-hoc” intern at the farm this year! That means I do a little bit of everything, from making pizza to working the farmer’s market. I’m a junior at Yale, working on a degree in Ethnicity, Race and Migration, and I’m from suburban New York in a town where supermarkets have greatly replaced farms. I started working on Yale farm this summer as a Lazarus Intern, and since then I have discovered the joy of talking to the people who grow your food and eating a locally grown sungold tomato. Outside of the farm, I can be found lounging in my bed or making sandwiches.

A new school year means lots of new faces around the Sustainable Food Project offices and at the Yale Farm. We’ll be using this space to introduce you to some of them in the next few weeks; make sure to stop by work hours, pizza events and Chewing the Fat talks to say hi in person and welcome them on board!

Hey, everyone. I’m Kendra, an “ad-hoc” intern at the farm this year! That means I do a little bit of everything, from making pizza to working the farmer’s market. I’m a junior at Yale, working on a degree in Ethnicity, Race and Migration, and I’m from suburban New York in a town where supermarkets have greatly replaced farms. I started working on Yale farm this summer as a Lazarus Intern, and since then I have discovered the joy of talking to the people who grow your food and eating a locally grown sungold tomato. Outside of the farm, I can be found lounging in my bed or making sandwiches.

Friday, August 31, 2012

It’s that time of year again: students are back on campus and the Farm is back on its academic schedule. Today we do work from 1:00-5:00 pm with pizza at 5:00, and starting next Friday, 9/7, you can stop by any Tuesday, Friday or Sunday between 1:00 and 5:00 pm to help out and get your hands dirty, with pizza at the end of every Friday workday through November. 

Fall Fridays tend to get a little crowded: the weather is beautiful, finals are far in the future, and there’s good eating at the end of the day. They’re a great gateway, but we’d recommend coming on less-nutty Tuesdays and Sundays if you’re interested in getting a better sense of what the Farm, and our work, is really all about. Last September veteran volunteer Brian Tang wrote up a list of tips like this one for getting the most out of your experience on the Farm— you can check them out here. See you at the Farm!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Every winter as the first freeze approaches, Yale Farm student interns hustle to cover up our fig tree, packing it with burlap to insulate it from chilly temperatures dipping too low for its Mediterranean sap to handle. Last fall we were hit with a freak blizzard on the last day of October and feared the worst; our tree looked like it was down for the count. In late spring, though, it started bouncing back, sending out leafy shoots from the base, apparently still vital. It turns out that urban gardeners all over the northeast, particularly in Brooklyn, have successfully kept these hearty plants in abundance despite being pretty far from its native climes. We’re hoping for a harvest in the next few months— and looking forward the fig and ricotta pizzas we’ll get to make when that happens!

Every winter as the first freeze approaches, Yale Farm student interns hustle to cover up our fig tree, packing it with burlap to insulate it from chilly temperatures dipping too low for its Mediterranean sap to handle. Last fall we were hit with a freak blizzard on the last day of October and feared the worst; our tree looked like it was down for the count. In late spring, though, it started bouncing back, sending out leafy shoots from the base, apparently still vital. It turns out that urban gardeners all over the northeast, particularly in Brooklyn, have successfully kept these hearty plants in abundance despite being pretty far from its native climes. We’re hoping for a harvest in the next few months— and looking forward the fig and ricotta pizzas we’ll get to make when that happens!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Two more spring images: Ben tending bees, F2 in early evening.

We often talk about the challenges of finding good local food during long, hard winters here in the northeast, but for all its beauty spring can be a tougher season: preserves run out, root cellars empty and fields come into slow maturity. For this reason, sourcing food for our late April Pig Roast is always a challenge, one we’re still figuring out how to manage.

This year, in addition to slow-smoked pork, homemade barbecue sauce, beans and cornbread, we’ve got carrots that over-wintered in the fields at Massaro Farm CSA, which we’ll pickle; when we came to the Farm to start that process this afternoon, we were thrilled to see the first spring radishes coming out of the ground. The radishes may not make it to the Pig Roast, but we’ll definitely have them at our first May market! The two kinds of roots were both getting washed in the prop house this afternoon, and it was sort of wonderful to see them side by side: the last harvest of the old season, and the first pink-and-white signs of the new.