Each year brings a different set of challenges for local food systems. But each year has seen some progress in New York City, thanks to the non-profit organization Just Food. From helping small farmers through CSA to bolstering fresh food access through city farms, Just Food makes it more possible to Let Us Eat Local. So on September 17th, we’re celebrating with a benefit event called that. In addition, you can participate by winning a unique prize in its silent auction, … Read More
The Sixth Annual Great Hot Dog Cook-Off took place last Saturday, and what a competition we had! The little cook-off that began in Kara Masi’s backyard has blossomed into a full-blown block party in front of Kelso Brewery in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. As always, this event was a charity fundraiser for City Harvest, who received all of the proceeds from the 300 ticket sales. Kelso has been sponsoring the cook-off since the very first year, and last year held it … Read More
In the epilogue of The Art of Eating In, I bemoaned my oversight of home gardening as one of the restaurant-free food subcultures that I explored in its chapters. Thinking that my outdoor space-free residence would eliminate the option, I’d left out the very preface to cooking: growing the stuff. Fortunately, there have been many sage leaders in doing just that, even in the tiniest urban crevices they can find, and their voices are getting some much-deserved attention. Last month, … Read More
On Friday, as I sat in the converted shipping container outside of Roberta’s Pizza that’s home to Heritage Radio Network preparing for the first Cheap Date episode with my guests Keith and Rachel, we were interrupted by a series of loud, clanking noises coming from the roof above. “Can they stop farming now?” I think I muttered. But really, it was music to my ears. There is more than a tree growing in Brooklyn, or for that matter, cities all over: … Read More
So, you’re wondering what to do this Labor Day. Bumming around town? Hitting the beach? Picnicking in the park? Wherever the venue, I’ve got the perfect activity for it. It’s a sleepy day for businesses anyway, so why not do as Slow Food USA is urging and Eat-In? That’s right, it’s a national call of not eating out… everywhere!
It’s the kind of cook-off that was my dream come true: the emphasis? Local food. The dish’s requirements? Nothing, aside from being local. The judges? Three established food writers whom I admire. The fundraiser’s cause? Slow Food NYC. The location? The sandy Water Taxi Beach in Long Island City, where I’d spread out my toes shoeless on several occasions. So maybe not everything turned out to be really dreamlike: it was raining all day, at some points more furiously than … Read More
I’m finally getting some color this summer. Each week, my CSA share has given me bunches and bunches of greens: lettuces, bok choy, Russian kale, snap peas, tat soy, fresh herbs and the occasional candy colored radish or berry-red beet. I was thinking I might turn into the Green Giant consuming it all. But this weekend, I took a retreat to North Fork to visit my friends at Garden of Eve (again), and teach a homemade vegetable dumpling-making class. It … Read More
A rustic scarecrow looms before the skyline of Manhattan’s midtown skyscrapers. Under its watch lie more than 30 varieties of vegetables, fruits, flowers and herbs on a rooftop in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. But its real scarecrows, the overseers of this rooftop farming project, are Ben Flanner and Annie Novak. I asked if they’d had any problems with pest. “Lately, we’ve just begun getting some bugs. Both good and bad bugs. But even if they’re the bad ones, bugs are a good … Read More