Showing posts with label local. Show all posts
Showing posts with label local. Show all posts

9.17.2010

boston: save the date!

Boston Local Food Festival
Saturday, October 2nd: 11am - 5pm

WHO: The Boston Local Food Festival & Sustainable Business Network of Greater Boston

WHAT: "Spotlighting specialty products carefully made by Massachusetts and New England artisan food crafters, many that include locally-grown foods. Be ready to sample and then buy jams, pickles, baked goods, sauces, pasta and more.”

WHEN: Saturday, October 2nd, 2010 from 11am - 5pm

WHERE: Boston waterfront at Fort Point Channel (use public transportation!)


WHY: "The most important objective of the Boston Local Food Festival is to increase accessibility and availability of healthy local food for all. Massachusetts eaters of all ages, races, and socioeconomic levels will see, taste, and appreciate the variety of healthy, delicious food choices that local specialty crops and products make available to them in their own back yard. This unique festival will bring Massachusetts farms together with individuals and families from diverse backgrounds, organizations, businesses, and local food advocates in an informative and fun way."

WIIFM?? (What's In It For Me?)
  • Meet local farmers, fisherman, and butchers
  • Watch live presentations and demostrations from top chefs
  • Beer tasting! Tickets for tastings are being presold here
  • Urban gardening exhibits: raised garden bed, master container gardening, learn how to cultivate your own heirloom seeds


We hope to see you there!

Waste not, want not
elz + pab

8.24.2010

loving local: massachusetts farmers market week!


LOVING LOCAL encourages bloggers and readers to donate to the Federation of Massachusetts Farmers Markets. This charitable nonprofit organization helps farmers markets throughout Massachusetts. It fosters farming, nutrition, and social interaction in the Bay State. Please consider a donation to this worthy cause.

Also, check out the host blog, In Our Grandmothers' Kitchens, for daily updates from all the participating bloggers.

Waste not, want not
elz + pab

8.19.2010

blog-a-thon for massachusetts farmers market week!

Next week is official Massachusetts Farmers Market week, and there is a blog-a-thon going on from August 22-28th!  It is so important to support local farmers in your area. Having access to & choosing to consume local food is a win-win: it enhancing your community's social & economic development through support of local farms, while providing you with fresh, delicious & healthy food options.

Straight from the Federation of Massachusetts Farmers Market:
"Hosted by the blog In Our Grandmothers' Kitchens with support from the Dept. of Agricultural Resources and Mass Farmers Markets, the Blogathon will promote locally grown foods AND also raise funds for the work of Mass Farmers Markets, the non-profit charitable organization that helps farmers markets throughout the Commonwealth.

Here’s how bloggers can get involved: Sometime during the week of August 22-28, put your post on the internet. Please make sure your post mentions the blogathon, includes a link to the official blogathon web site and to In Our Grandmothers' Kitchens, and encourages readers to donate to Mass Farmers Markets."

Live in Massachusetts & interested in finding the nearest farmers market?
 
Waste not, want not
elz + pab

8.18.2010

PAB has an herb garden

As a follow up to the lettuce entry, we wanted to keep everyone updated on the growth of our garden. This post will focus on a section of the edible spectrum that is close to PAB’s heart, herbs! Herbs are the logical choice for those who only have the space, time or motivation for a few plants. They grow quickly with relatively little maintenance and fresh herbs add noticeable flavor enhancement. 
We find it painful to pay $3+ for a small, slightly wilted bunch of basil, rosemary or chives at the grocery store. Growing your own allows you to take just what you need only minutes before incorporating it into your next meal.  
Some plants, like the evergreen Rosemary bush, will winter over even in New England. Other plants, such as Basil, can be sowed directly even in early summer and still perform well. After pulling out the lettuce in mid June (after six productive weeks), leftover Basil seeds were sowed without great expectations. Three weeks later, the planter box was full of 18” basil plants that were wonderfully fragrant (pesto recipe will be coming soon!). Planting is easy; 3 parts potting soil, 2 parts peat moss & 1 part composted manure. Even four hours of direct sunlight seems sufficient for some of our prolific performers.

Basil


Rosemary
(this evergreen was transplanted from PAB’s former residence in CT….we were not sure it would survive the adjustment to a potted plant, but it seems to be doing just fine)

Mint (this perennial was transplanted from PAB’s former residence in CT)

Chives (this perennial was a transplant from a divided plant formerly residing in the garden of PAB’s parents)
Oregano & Thyme

We failed with parsley… the plant bolted to seed and could not be coerced to regenerate after being cut back. You cannot win them all!

Waste not, want not
elz + pab

6.24.2010

101: An Apple a Day...

Well good morning, happy Thursday.  Last night we had the best time at our friends' house for dinner!  And boy, did they go all out: we had grilled surf & turf (scallops and steak) paired with wine.  To top of the meal, they whipped up some fresh cream for the homemade rhubarb crumble, and served it with a fresh honeydew/papaya/apple drink straight from their juicer. Speaking of fresh fruit...


Modern day transportation infrastructure makes us fortunate enough to have fruits available to us year round (usually at quite a high environmental cost).  However, fruits still do have a season - and it is during this season when you will find them at their peak quality (and minimum distance traveled to get to your table!).
APPLES: peak in the late summer and fall.  
Can store unwrapped in the refrigerator for a few weeks. 
Cut right before use, as they brown quickly when exposed to air.
BANANAS: peak in the fall and winter. 
Store at room temperature.  
As an ingredient in baked goods, overripe bananas are the best, so once they start to go bad on your counter, peel them, put them in a resealable bag, and store in the freezer until use. (If you are lazy like PAB, you can just throw them in the freezer unpeeled, though they are finger numbing to peel while defrosting you save a plastic bag!)
STRAWBERRIES: peak in the spring
BLUE/BLACK/RASPBERRIES: peak in summer and fall
Store in the refrigerator.  
If you are not using within one day, store in an airtight container with paper towels lining the top & bottom to absorb excess moisture & prevent molding.  Use within five days.  
Rinse berries right before you use them, not before you store them.
CRANBERRIES: peak in the late summer and early fall
Store in the refrigerator for up to one month.
Cranberries also freeze very well. 
GRAPES: peak in the summer and fall. 
Store in the refrigerator for up to one week. 
MANGOES: peak in the spring. 
Store at room temperature until ripe, then transfer to the refrigerator and enjoy within a week.

MELONS: peak in the summer and fall.
Store at room temperature for a few days.  Once ripe, place in the refrigerator (whole, or cut up in an airtight container).
PEARS: peak in the late summer through early spring.
Store at room temperature for a few days.  Once ripe, place in the refrigerator.
PINEAPPLES: peak in winter to summer.
Store at room temperature.
Waste not, want not
elz + pab

6.16.2010

PAB has a lettuce garden

Although the apartment hunting took place in February, we immediately became enamored with our current digs due to the frozen, outdoor space (despite the pint-sized kitchen).  We should provide some caveats around the term outdoor space. It may not be glamorous, the famously skinny "french doors" are really a glorified bedroom window that allow us access onto a rickety fire escape leading to a second floor deck above our neighbor's bedroom. However, we are determined to turn our modest outdoor space into a private, green urban oasis. There were grandiose plans for a terraced garden and water fountains, but initially we settled on a 4 ft x 4 ft square planter box of lettuce. This cold weather hardy crop was direct seeded into the planter in mid-March and has continued to produce a consistent, and at times bountiful, harvest of leafy greens since early May! There is nothing that makes pab happier than meticulously selecting the individual leaves that are to provide the base for the simplest of garden salads. Here in the bottomless kitchen, there is great pride associated with the labor intensive process that allows for at least a few of our calories (maybe 20?) to be homegrown. Such a small space has provided so much lettuce that we were finally convinced to purchase a new salad spinner. After some research, it seems the most effective and cost efficient model was the OXO spinner.





The relatively successful first crop has emboldened us to create a larger garden, so expect more on that later! As far as I am concerned, the definitive word on home gardening is Crockett's Victory Garden, this Massachusetts son started the popular PBS series and then wrote the book by the same title (there is also a small memorial to him in Boston's Beacon Hill on Bowdoin St).