Archive for the ‘Sustainability’ Category
Double Brook Farm Autumn Zinnias by Tasha O’Neill
Those of you who know me, know [-- long before my own year in Provence --] that my favorite fragrance in the entire world is lavender. A close second, –with the added benefit of that pungent evergreen flavor–, is rosemary. When I lived in Cannes, lavender honey was the key treat of weekly visits to its marche/market. Fresh herbs were a given, in that land where the mistral infused the very air with rosemary. However, never did I expect to taste rosemary ice cream.
[As a food stylist in Manhattan, there was nothing trickier than photographing ice cream --Robin McConaughy's masterful image of their unforgettable new specialty: ]
Robin McConaughy’s Rosemary-Caramel Ice Cream!
I tasted this remarkable creation, –rich as Devonshire cream, darkly complex with caramel, redolent of rosemary–, in next-door Hopewell, at Double Brook farm. There is no better flavoring for lamb — but ice cream? Splendid, never-to-be-forgotten, and probably unequaled. Even Shakespeare insists, “rosemary — that’s for remembrance.”
Double Brook Farm Fresh Bean Array by Tasha O’Neill
Those of you who read D&R Greenway newsletters and the local media, know well that sustainable farming is alive and well in Hopewell, thanks to Robin and Jon McConaughy. This past Friday, friend and fine-art-photographer Tasha O’Neill attended Jon and Robin’s Friday farm produce sale, our first visit to the farm for that purpose.
Double Brook Farm Hot Peppers by Tasha O’Neill
(This energetic young couple had hosted D&R Greenway’s Down-to-Earth Ball a year ago. Their handsome cattle are carefully moved a prescribed number of times per day, from grass field to grass field, on D&R Greenway’s St. Michaels Farm Preserve off Aunt Molly Road in Hopewell.)
Double Brook Farm Tomatilloes, Tasha O’Neill
THIS day, Tasha and I encountered Double Brook Farm’s raison d’etre, FRESH LOCAL PRODUCE and salumi (exotic meats from their own tenderly animals — Tasha bought lardo and I soppresata) cameras in hand. She was kind enough to send her images this morning, so I’m sharing them with you.
Double Brook Farm Salumi, Slow-Food-Snail-Seal-of-Approval Tasha O’Neill
As we insist, over and over in these virtual pages, New Jersey is beautiful. She produces such spectacular produce, ‘right in our own back yards.’
Garden State Bounty, Double Brook Farm by Tasha O’Neill
Here is Double Brooks web-site — Robin herself could be a fine art photographer: http://www.doublebrookfarm.com/
Double Brook Okra by Tasha O’Neill
Put yourself on Robin’s e-mail list, so you’ll know when the farmstand is open again. When the store on #518 is fully restored and providing this sort of bounty year-round. When the restaurant, on #518, that exquisite red brick home, is brought back to life and its brick-lined paths trimmed and ready for visitors. Tasha and I and I had been invited to explore the flower paths, the herb gardens behind the soon-to-be restaurants. But we “had promises to keep…”, in another dear old NJ Town, Kingston. So we don’t have herb pictures for you.
Robin’s and Jon’s Rubies - Red Onions of Double Brook Farm by Tasha O’Neill
But we do have some of the essence of Double Brook Farm in these new scenes.
Succulent, Tender, Subtly Irresistible Shiitakes of Double Brook by Tasha O’Neill
I am awash in gratitude, as you know, to those who KEEP THE meaning of GARDEN in the Garden State.
Preserved Farm, Salem County, New Jersey cfe
I thank you for reading NJ WILD so often and so studiously. Last month’s statistics included 3500 viewers, most of you staying on for a page and a half, from virtually every country/continent. How can that be? Because New Jersey is beautiful and bountiful, and we’re lucky enough to live and farm-shop here!
Foods from previous Indoor Winter Farm Market, Held at D&R Greenway Land Trust
Manet’s “Le Dejeuner sur l’Herbe”
My idea of a picnic - however, “Le Dejeuner sur l’Herbe “
is not what our schoolchildren need. A very interesting idea is presented here through Slow Food America — ‘Eat-Ins’ over Labor Day, part of the Time For Lunch Campaign to bring healthy food, real food to all our schools. We are not the state of Jersey Fresh for Nothing!
Jersey Fresh — JERSEY PRIDE!
Do you all know that public policy forces schools to serve the fast food that is fomenting at least two diseases in our former land of plenty - diabetes and obesity? Here’s something you can do about it - the Labor Day Eat-In, sign the petition, and join Slow Food.
WHAT PEOPLE DID ABOUT IT:
On Labor Day, more than 20,000 people came together in all 50 states to tell Congress it’s time to give kids real food at school. If you went to an Eat-In, we’d like to say thank you. And if you’re one of the Slow Food Chapter Leaders and Eat-In Organizers who put incredible time and energy into the 300 Eat-Ins that took place nationwide, we’d like to shout thank you — you made the day possible.
Check out some of the incredible photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ tags/timeforlunch/.
In the meantime, please take a moment to share some of the photos and stories of the Eat-Ins with your friends, and invite them to get involved. This movement is growing stronger by the day, and there will be plenty to do in the next phase of the Time for Lunch campaign.
NJ FRESH, West Windsor Farm Market
From Slow Food USA to me Aug. 21: Slow Food Central New Jersery — “A lady by the name of Ritu Harrison is organizing an Eat-In in Princeton:
Contact her to get involved, or sign up to organize your own potluck!
From Josh Viertel, vibrant new president of
Dear members, supporters and friends,
Today, theTime for Lunch campaign passed two important milestones:
This is a powerful moment, because it means our movement for change has reached every corner of the country. On Labor Day, thousands of us in communities across America will gather for public potlucks that send a clear message to Congress: it’s time to provide our children with real food at school.
That message will be as strong and loud as we make it.
On Labor Day, attend an Eat-In in your area.
Here’s a link to find an Eat-In near you: http://slowfoodusa.org/ timeforlunch.
If there isn’t an Eat-In in your area, sign up to host your own. All you need to do is gather with friends for a Labor Day potluck, take a photo (the more creative, the better) and send it to us on Sept. 7 to show your support.
Local Corn from Trenton Farmers Market - Market Open All Year on weekends
It’s also important to sign our petition, so we can tell Congress that there’s no excuse for federal policy that forces schools to serve the fast food and junk food that endangers children’s health. It’s time to give schools the ability to serve real food, and to begin building a strong foundation for our children’s futures.
It’s not only time, it’s possible – but only if we tell Congress to take action. Attend an Eat-In on Labor Day, and help show them the movement.
Thank you, Josh Viertel
NJ FRESH SEAFOOD, Trenton Farmers Market
Sent by Dube at Packet/Central Jersey:
The Time for Lunch Policy Platform
Every school day, we have an opportunity to build a strong foundation for our children’s health by serving
them real food at school. Children who grow up enjoying food that is both delicious and good for them
learn healthy habits that last throughout their lives. Each year that we fail to satisfy our children’s right to
real food is another year we deny our children good health, we diminish their ability to learn and we close
the door on their opportunity to succeed.
The need for real school food has never been greater. Today, one in four children is overweight or obese,
and one in three will develop diabetes in his or her lifetime. In the face of this crisis, our schools are
financially struggling to feed children anything but the overly processed fast food that endangers their
health. For many children, school lunch is their only guaranteed meal of the day. Right now, those
children are forced to choose between going hungry and being unhealthy.
We can do better.
“An Apple For the Teacher” and the STUDENTS - from Trenton Farmers Market
The National School Lunch Program provides a meal to more than 30 million children every school day.
By giving schools the resources to serve real food, we can grant 30 million children the freedom to be
healthy. By teaching children to eat well, we can make a down payment on health care reform. By
providing children with locally grown fruits and vegetables, we can support local farmers and create green
jobs in our communities. By purchasing local food, we can stop wasting oil on transportation and start curbing global warming. By raising children who enjoy real food, we can start laying the foundation for America’s future prosperity.
“Real Local Food” for Children to Enjoy -
Trenton Farmers Market Zucchini & ‘Relatives’
This fall, the Child Nutrition Act, which is the bill that governs the National School Lunch Program, is up
for reauthorization in Congress. By passing a Child Nutrition Act that works for children, our nation can
take the first step towards a future where no child is denied his or her right to be healthy and where every
child enjoys real food.
That’s why it’s time for Congress and the Obama Administration to:
1. INVEST IN CHILDREN’S HEALTH.
Give schools just one dollar more per day for each child’s lunch. Under the National School Lunch
Program, the USDA reimburses schools for every meal served: $2.57 for a free lunch, $2.17 for a
reduced-price lunch and 24 cents for a paid lunch. Since these reimbursements must also pay for labor,
equipment and overhead costs, schools are left with only $1.00 to spend on food. How can schools be
expected to feed our children and protect their health with only a dollar a day? It’s time to build a strong
foundation for our children’s health by raising the reimbursement rate to $3.57.
Bounty of Arugula from Trenton Farmers Market
2. PROTECT AGAINST FOODS THAT PUT CHILDREN AT RISK.
Establish strong standards for all food sold at school, including food from vending machines and
school fast food. At most schools, children can buy junk food in vending machines, at on-campus stores
and in the cafeteria as “a la carte” items. These overly processed, high-calorie “fast” foods sneak under
the radar of federal nutrition standards. They undermine the National School Lunch Program’s investment
in children’s health and allow food companies to profit from selling obesity. It’s time to take the first step
towards making real food the standard by approving Rep. Woolsey’s and Sen. Harkin’s Child Nutrition
Promotion and School Lunch Protection Act of 2009.
Cherry Grove Organic Farm (Lawrenceville) Cheeses
3. TEACH CHILDREN HEALTHY HABITS THAT WILL LAST THROUGH LIFE.
Fund grants for innovative Farm to School programs and school gardens. This spring, 30 fifthgraders
joined Michelle Obama in planting a vegetable garden on the White House lawn. “What I found
with my kids [is that] if they were involved in planting and picking it, they were much more curious to give
it a try,” Mrs. Obama says. Every child deserves the opportunity to learn healthy eating habits at school.
In 2004, a section was added to the Child Nutrition Act to provide schools with grants to cover one-time
grants that enable them to purchase local foods and to teach lessons on healthy eating in kitchen and
garden classrooms – but Congress never appropriated funds for it. This year, it’s time for Congress to
guarantee $50 million of mandatory funding for Farm to School programs.
Blue Cheese Walnut Bread - Village Bakery of Lawrenceville
We also ask that Congress and the Obama Administration:
4. GIVE SCHOOLS THE INCENTIVE TO BUY LOCAL.
Establish financial incentives that encourage schools to buy food from local farms for all child
nutrition programs. Buying fruits and vegetables from local farms is an economic engine for creating
jobs in our communities, rebuilding rural economies, and supporting family farmers. By shortening the
distance food travels – from farm to table – it also saves oil and ensures school foods are as fresh and
healthy as possible.
Deep Purple Health - West Windsor Farm Market
5. CREATE GREEN JOBS WITH A SCHOOL LUNCH CORPS.
Train underemployed Americans to be the teachers, farmers, cooks, and administrators our
school cafeterias need. We can’t serve real food in schools without investing in school kitchens and the
people who prepare and serve lunch. This spring, President Obama signed the Serve America Act, which
expanded Americorps and reinforced his call for Americans to serve their country. Right now, our nation
has an opportunity to train young and unemployed Americans to be the teachers, farmers, cooks and
administrators we need to ensure the National School Lunch Program is protecting children’s health.
President Obama has called for an end to childhood hunger by 2015; let’s answer that call by putting
Americans to work building and working in school kitchens nationwide.
Local Poultry, Trenton Farmers Market
You know those weeks when absolutely everything goes awry? Personally, professionally, familialy? When fondest hopes are dashed and messages go awry and information critically needed cannot be obtained? When people you cherish are also being buffeted, –like my sister, like the friends of my sister, like too many of the Cool Women Poets?
I’ve had MORE than ENOUGH of this in May. This morning I was going to be a good girl and work at my desk. My HOME desk. What the French so brilliantly call la paperasserie! It helps me bear the task to call it that, and also to put all the paperwork in a basket covered with a linen towel embroidered in vivid colors, “A Kiss from France.”
But then the mowers came, as I settled to my task. Louder than bulldozers, zooming around below my Canal Pointe windows. And we all know, after the mowing comes the weed-whacking. This usually happens on Tuesday when I am at work at D&R Greenway Land Trust. This is Friday.
I frankly fled. First to get gas for my very old car named Sylvana — she had that name for three years before I found out that is the Goddess of the Woods. And I wasn’t this woods person when I bought and named her.
Then to the Mercer County Library, to try to find some nature books. I feel really STUPID that I cannot find the nature books. This morning when I asked where they are, the o please I hate cliches, blonde woman at the desk said, “The WHAT?” Long-time NJ WILD readers remember my going through this — with, yes, a very dark brunette pierced every WHICH way–, at Borders when we began. Both of them looked blank at the request for nature. At the Library, –remembering Borders all too well–, I feebly tried, again: “Edward Abbey? Aldo Leopold? Barry Lopez? Terry Tempest Williams? Henry David Thoreau?”
She couldn’t WAIT to get me to the reference librarians. That had a bit of a rocky start, but ended with my asking, “Well, do you have a New Jersey section?” Brightness, even delight. Willingness to go in search of my Abbey books, having ordered some of the others.
And what did I find in the New Jersey sanctuary? Stories of South Jersey! Records of West Jersey when we were plural. Records of the New Jersey Proprietors and their Land. So many books that I had to walk down the handicapped ramp because I couldn’t see over them to descend the concrete steps. Enough to keep me busy until July — hurrah.
Once a man who had fallen in love with me confessed, at the outset, not his love (which I by no means suspected!) but the fact that “I have too many books.” If I hadn’t already been captivated, without realizing it, that would’ve done it. Of course, there’s no such THING as too many books!
Elated, and because I was so far south already, I zipped over to the Trenton Farmers’ Market. Alight with new strawberries, aisles awash in bedding plants and flowering cascades overhead, studded with sturdy New Jersey (of course! that’s NJ FRESH CENTRAL!) asparagus, I was in heaven.
Home-ground peanut butter. Country ham from Pulaski meats, and homemade pickles — the crispest ever. Hearty vivid veggie burgers at Cartlidges and just-made sirloin patties all set to freeze. Pork chops with the bone in — which my friend, food-writer/restaurant critic Faith Bahadurian will applaud. And which I may even discover to be flavorful, which no pork has been since they turned it into ‘white meat’. Feel the scorn in me as I write that line!
The Amish have purchased this venerable meat site. Their soft voices and quaint clothes added a measure of down home that hadn’t been present at Trenton Farmers’ Market before.
Everything was stunningly inexpensive, and it’s only 11 miles from my door. I drive 11 miles round trip each day to and from D&R Greenway. I have a collage on my desk of little receipts - the two meat stops, for all their bounty, under $20 each; enormous milk and enormous plain yogurt at Halo Farms for $3 total; the splendid olives, the kneel-down-and-worship olives from And Everything Nice (273-4573) also $3.
I didn’t make my journey for economy. Rather to interact with real people who grow and prepare and/or import, as it turns out, some items, with LOVE. But that soul-healing excursion, those lively conversations that brought back inner and outer smiles, also turned out to be financially blessed and blessing.
I used all my sustainable bags, even though they all kept wanting to give me plastic and paper. I chatted with growers, as with the blushing strawberries. We used to take our daughters to that market when they were little, to meet the tomato man and the cauliflower lady, and yes to see where peanut butter comes from.
But I have a confession to make. I weakened at the end. There is a woman known for her cheeses, her olive oils, and yes, her olives. I can’t find olives of Nice, let alone Nyons or Opio or Aix anywhere any more. She had French green olives with lemon. I succumbed. The container was a mere $3, stunningly reasonable, as with everything that morning.
I parceled out 4 for lunch. And yes, I was too ravenous to photograph it. O! Olives of France. Tiny, with stones still in, silken, rich, even buttery - is that an oxymoron? Kneel-down-and-worship olives. And no, they are not local.
Can NJ WILD forgive me?
PROOF OF SPRING - RHUBARB PREPARED TO WELCOME MY SISTER FROM CHICAGO
My Chicago sister has come and gone, and we spent every possible moment outdoors –from Rogers Refuge at sundown, seconds below my Canal Pointe Apartment, to Sandy Hook and a new journey along stunning Navesink River Road. The highlight of our journey returned us to the Pine Barrens’ magnificent Brigantine/Forsythe Wildlife Refuge, where my sister ‘met’ life birds such as black skimmers skimming and black-bellied plovers in full breeding plumage.
We returned to Princeton come upon our rarest bird - THE LITTLE BLUE HERON - finishing his early evening meal at the edge of the canal below Quaker Bridge Road near Wegman’s!
Little Blue Heron as seen along D&R Canal & Towpath, near Princeton
Black-bellied Plover as seen at Brigantine, photographed at Cape May
My sister experienced not only “life birds”, but also “life weeds” — coralline field sorrel in salty atmospheres; golden Hudsonia alongside sandy Pine Barrens roads; and eye-popping yellow flags/wild iris at Rogers Refuge and all along the Towpath.
Her rhubarb experience? We were so busy “naturing” that we barely had time for dessert until last night. Thanks to Ilene Dube, my Packet Editor who insisted on NJ WILD, we added one chunked red pear to the meltingly tangy rhubarb compote. This brought welcome color accents, returning the uncooked hue of rhubarb that might remind some people of dynamite sticks! — and marvelous texture contrasts. We couldn’t BELIEVE our tastebuds. Those rhubarb stalks came from a colleagues Bucks County Farm, the red pear from Wegman’s. My sister couldn’t remember when she had last tasted rhubarb. It would seem no rhubar experience for her had been this irresistible. Local, Sustainable — what matters more?
Here’s the original piece:
NJ WILD Readers have borne with me through a relentless and often fruitless search for spring 2009. Tonight, I loaded pictures from those quests onto my computer. The final images answer the spring question, without question:
If there’s rhubarb, it must be spring!
My sister is coming over from Illinois on Wednesday. Barbara Simmons, D&R Greenway Land Trust’s Director of Programs and Partnerships, brought me the perfect welcome gift — rhubarb from Barbara’s Country Garden, in Solebury, above New Hope.
Beautiful Bucks County, where I lived for pivotal 1980’s years, there really becoming a poet. Where I found and bought rhubarb filling the back of a station wagon, at my Lambertville bank! First rhubarb from a human (as opposed to a store.) First rhubarb for my first spring in the town of hope…
This week, I brought Barbara’s ruddy gift home to my Princeton kitchen, to cook up a treat for my sister.
A little rhubarb, a little water, a little sugar and one cinnamon stick. The briefest simmering until the chunks nearly disappeared. For Marilyn’s first dessert on this spring quest, we will relish rhubarb compote with the best ice cream I can find.
Enjoy the beauty. Find rhubarb.
Rhubarb fits into NJ WILD because it’s little more than a weed.
Like dandelion greens,
like fiddlehead ferns –
something briefly with us in these lengthening days
something to act as tonic
proving that winter is finally, finally gone!
THANKS TO ALL FOR THE LIVELY SUCCESS OF TIM SEARCHINGER’S TALK AT D&R GREENWAY LAND TRUST THIS WEEK. The RWJ Room of our circa-1900’s barn was filled to the refreshment tables with eager, intent, concerned citizens, determined to see, know and do what is necessary to counter global climate change.
NJ WILD readers know, we must heed and remove this peril. One major piece of the solution is to save open land and its wild species, especially so that trees and plants can absorb CO2 in our world.
Princeton University is holding a three-day conference, headed by Tim Searchinger, the end of this week. See Faith Bahadurian’s welcome comment below.
And there’s a whole symposium on Feeding the Hot and Hungry Planet on Campus next week, see http://web.princeton.edu/sites/pei/2009Jan_Aug.html. Faith Bahadurian
“Humans can increase nature’s chances of success by protecting large, varied nature preserves that will be more resilient to [climate] change” Jill Riddell “Our Climate Challenge”,Chicago Wilderness Magazine
MOTHER EARTH IN PERIL AT OUR HANDS
EARTH NIGHT @ D&R GREENWAY LAND TRUST
“The Hot & Hungry Planet”
WED., APRIL 22
TIMOTHY SEARCHINGER, Ph.D., PEI/Woodrow Wilson School
6:30 REFRESHMENTS, 7:00 PRESENTATION: www.drgreenway.org
Dear NJ WILD readers,
This “Hot & Hungry Planet” is our new reality, thanks to excesses increasingly catalyzing catastrophic climate change. Here’s your chance to celebrate Earth Day, –or shall we say, “Earth Night–”?, at a free Earth Day Program to be held Wednesday night at D&R Greenway Land Trust, where I work.
“The journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step.” Participating at D&R Greenway will prove a giant step, in terms of awareness, practical measures, and hope itself. D&R Greenway Land Trust has saved 20 square miles of New Jersey land, by this, our 20th year.
Timothy Searchinger’s professional focus is the role of agriculture in the acceleration of climate change. He will address the challenge of feeding our hungry planet and manage emissions.
What could be more appropriate, in the GARDEN State?!
Searchinger comes to us from PEI - Princeton Environmental Institute. This august body is headed by Steve Pacala, Ph.D. As you know, Steve, with his Princeton colleague, Rob Socolow, dared mention “Global Warming” in the face of severe political scorn, manipulation and denigration concerning science in general and climate change in particular.
Steve and Rob’s “pie chart” approach to solving Catastrophic Climate Change inspires and buttresses many presentations and publications on that topic, including Al Gore’s book and film. These two men may be seen as the 21st Century’s Rachel Carsons.
D&R Greenway’s circa-1900 barn serves as their executive offices and conference site. Their Johnson Education Center is at One Preservation Place, Princeton: off Rosedale Road, between Elm Road/the Great Road, and Province Line Roads, slightly north of Johnson Park School. [www.drgreenway.org]
Our New Reality:
“Can modern biotechnologies help tackle global poverty, fight hunger and climate change, while contributing to overall sustainable development of the world?”
Princeton Environmental Institute
Friend, Anne Zeman’s, favorite Hopewell Farm
My friend, Pat Tanner’s, story in the Packet re Farm-to-School Conference, April 18, in Lawrence. Pat, besides being a dear friend, is one of the founders, with Jim Weaver of Tre Piani, of Slow Food, Central Jersey. [www.slowfood.com]
Pat launched me on my own Slow Food pilgrimage, and there seems no end in sight. Here’s a chance to watch positive change in the making, right in our own backyards. I copy this with Pat’s blessing, and urge NJ WILD readers to join us at the Conference — everyone’s health is at stake.
It will be your chance to hear Josh Viertel, new president of Slow Food USA, and learn what schools and farms have to give and to receive from one another.
Farm-to-school programs connect school meals with local agriculture
Friday, April 3, 2009 2:05 PM EDT
A network of some 30 groups from around New Jersey, including chefs, food service professionals, parents, teachers, farmers, food access advocates, the state Department of Agriculture and Rutgers Cooperative Extension, are teaming up to present the state’s first-ever New Jersey Farm-to-School Conference on Saturday, April 18, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Lawrenceville School in Lawrence.
According to Beth Feehan, one of the group’s organizers, “The New Jersey Farm-to-School Network clearly defines its mission as supporting a wide range of local, healthy food in school projects, including an increase in cafeterias sourcing from New Jersey farms; the establishment of school gardens programs that expose youth to food production; nutrition and cooking education; recycling, and more.”
With growing awareness of the need for farm-to- school programs and increasing demand for information, resources and support, the New Jersey Farm-to- School Network determined that a statewide educational conference would be its best first step.
At the outset of the event, conference goers will be addressed by Emma Davis-Kovacs, director of the Division of Food & Nutrition in the New Jersey Department of Agriculture. Josh Viertel, the president of Slow Food USA, will give the keynote address.
Prior to becoming Slow Food USA’s first president in October 2008, Mr. Viertel made significant contributions to the sustainable food movement as an educator, organic farmer, activist, and board member of Slow Food USA and its subsidiary organization, Slow Food Nation.
Along with spearheading SFUSA’s work with youth and student activists, Mr. Viertel is credited with co- founding and co-directing the Yale Sustainable Food Project, which has evolved into being a leader in the international sustainable food movement.
The conference’s topics will include “School Gardens: Food & Fun,” offering information about creating and maintaining successful programs; “Farm-to-School Policy: Strategies for Success;” “Connecting Farms to Cafeterias: Food Service Director Perspectives,” and “Connecting to the Classroom: Curriculum Ties and Food Education.”
Since its inception, the New Jersey Farm-to-School Network has worked hand- in-hand with the National Farm-to-School Network and with Tegan Hagy of The Food Trust in Philadelphia, who serves as Mid-Atlantic Farm-to-School coordinator.
“Farm-to-school programs connect school meals with local agriculture — a strategy that can improve the quality of school meals, increase the profitability of farming, and re-create relationships in the community among consumers and the people who grow their food,” Ms. Hagy said.
Children’s health and farm viability are at the heart of the issue.
According to recent statistics, 27 percent of U.S. children are overweight (this figure has doubled in the past 10 years) and, for the first time in 200 years, today’s children are expected to have a shorter life expectancy then their parents’.
Meanwhile, U.S. farmers’ share of every food dollar has dropped to 19 cents currently from 41 cents in 1950, and food typically travels from 1,500 to 2,400 miles from farm to plate. For instance, a head of California lettuce shipped to New Jersey requires 36 times more energy to transport than the caloric food energy it provides.
Ms. Hagy believes the future is bright for the farm- to-school movement in the Garden State, saying “New Jersey has an incredibly rich agricultural history, and is ripe with opportunity. Farms and school systems are both important parts of New Jersey’s communities. Unfortunately, at some point between the inception of the National School Lunch program and present, many school food services have lost their connection to family farms,” she said.
“The time has come to realize that feeding our children high quality and nutritious foods, preserving farm land, and developing local food systems are integral developments for the health of our communities that will pay off tenfold in the future,” Ms. Hagy said.
Gary Giberson, founder and president of Sustainable Fare, the food service provider at The Lawrenceville School, said that the school is “delighted” to host the conference, saying, “This dovetails perfectly with our Green Campus Initiative, the school’s ongoing holistic approach to campus sustainability. The conference will provide an exceptional opportunity for us to discuss our successes and learn from experts who share our goal of sustainable dining practices.”
The conference fee is $25, which includes a locally-sourced meal sponsored by Sustainable Fare. Scholarships are available.
The event is presented with generous support from The Lawrenceville School, Sustainable Fare, Edible Jersey magazine, Steve & Cookies by the Bay Restaurant in Margate, the Mid-Atlantic Farm-to-School Network, Eat Local of Ringwood, the Margate City Farmers Market, and Maschio’s Food Services, Inc.
Soup, like the splitting of wood, blesses us twice - in the preparation, and in the use.
In denial of winter’s stringencies, I’ve been shopping at farmers’ markets MORE now, not less. Farm food isn’t exactly wild, but it’s the next best thing to hunting and gathering. I require real nourishment far more in cold and dark times. One way to assure fresh local real meals is to attend Slow Food’s dynamic and pleasurable Winter Farm Markets. See listing in second part of post for two at Tre Piani in Princeton Jan. 25 and March 22.
Like many NJ WILD readers, I’ve been giving a number of supper parties over previous weeks. Between rare food quests for guests and my own requirements of live food if not wild food, I some very promising items remained in my refrigerator after those lovely evenings. On the coldest, iciest day yet, I warmed first my apartment and then my body, mind and spirit, by making what I have christened, “Market Soup.”
Here you see it, steaming and ready for lunch on an equally cold though sunny Sunday.
Brenda Jones immortalizes one of my wild dinner companions, the great horned owl.
My first solo dinner of the New Year held interesting components. My west-facing table held hefty home-made spaghetti, evidence of my split loyalties, featuring the new product, Jersey Fresh (canned! –available at Trenton Farmers Market) tomatoes, accented by herbes de Provence, complete with lavender. Bayberry candles fluttered before lace curtains, framing the relentless darkness of this time of year.
I could call this another “Silent Night.” I might add “Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.” As I relished this deeply nourishing food, I relived sustaining moments with dear friends who know how to honor the sacred times.
My room was quieter than a whisper. Suddenly, out across the floodplain, I heard the haunting courtship calls of the great horned owl. January is their spring. Each year, the male returns first, sounding forlorn to human ears, seeking the return of his mate. Immediately, the dark and my hushed room came alive, throbbing with true wildness. I rushed out onto my Canal Pointe porch, so that my very being could be brushed by sound waves from this welcome dinner companion. Read the rest of this entry »