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Reflections from a TFP Youth

Eli (top right) with DIRT Crew in 2012
Eli (top right) with DIRT Crew in 2012
The following blog was written by Food Project intern Eli Shanks. Eli participated in The Food Project's Summer Youth Program in 2011, and went on to participate in the Academic Year Program and Internship Program.

 

My name is Eli Shanks. I'm 18, and I've worked at The Food Project since the summer of 2011.

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New Workshops This Winter!

The Food Project is excited to announce that we will be offering a variety of new workshops this winter through our "Grow Well, Eat Well, Be Well" workshop series!

Our gardening workshops are taught by TFP staff and youth, and will focus on growing food during the winter and preparing your garden for the spring. During our cooking workshops, The Food Project invites local gardeners and cooks into our kitchen to share recipes from their respective cultures. Participants cook together and then celebrate with a sit-down meal. 

Participants are welcome to bring children to any of our workshops. Fun and structured children's activities will be available during all Saturday workshops.

This winter, the workshops will include:

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Happy Thanksgiving from The Food Project


Here at The Food Project, Thanksgiving is admittedly one of our favorite holidays. After growing food, harvesting food, selling food, cooking food, sharing food, eating food, and talking about food all year, it's only natural that we are excited for a day dedicated to food and people.

Thanksgiving is a day for spending time with family and friends, cooking, eating, and embracing traditions new and old. Like all holidays, however, the experience of this day is different for everyone. Last week, I asked some of my co-workers here at The Food Project to share their favorite memories of Thanksgiving.

For many of us, Thanksgiving is about family...

"It's the one weekend when my family and friends all converge on my hometown." - Allison Daminger, Community Programs Associate

"I always love having multiple generations under one roof and spending as much time as we can outside." - Polly Reeve, Director of Development

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Giving Common Challenge Starts Soon!


On Wednesday, October 10 and Thursday, October 11, The Food Project will be participating in The Boston Foundation's Giving Common Challenge. The Giving Common Challenge is a 36-hour online event to drive donations to participating nonprofits. From 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday to 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, Food Project supporters can donate to us through our profile on the Giving Common website. In addition to the donations collected, The Boston Foundation is offering $150,000 in prizes to participating organizations for various accomplishments, such as most money donated during particular time slots or the highest number of unique donors. Please check out our Giving Common profile and help us win some prizes! Gifts of any size are appreciated - from $25 to $5,000!

 

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Cooking Up Greens!

Judy Prepares Chard Before the Class
Judy Prepares Chard Before the Class
On Saturday, The Food Project held a cooking class called "One Vegetable, Four Ways" as part of our ongoing Grow Well, Eat Well, Be Well workshop series. The class focused on cooking with an assortment of hardy, leafy greens and learning techniques to use many varieties interchangeably. Food Project staff Kathleen Banfield and high school senior Judy Merisier led the class.

To begin, attendees tasted four types of sautéed greens – collards, Lacinato kale, Tyfon-Holland greens, and Japanese Sharaku spinach, all cooked individually - and talked amongst each other to compare flavors, textures, and what they liked or disliked about each variety. The tasting sparked great conversations, as people had varying opinions about their favorites and which one was most bitter! To highlight variations of a simple stir-fry, participants sampled greens cooked with coconut milk, and then with curry powder - both were well liked and delicious.

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Spotlight on Collards

Those hardy greens that grow on a stalk through late fall are an awesome plant to have in your garden. They can provide you food well into the winter. For many southern families these "greens" are a staple. Here is a recipe adapted from my mother's kitchen.

Southern Style Collard Greens

by Joy

1 tablespoon Butter
1 tablespoon Olive oil
2-3 Bunches of collards
1lb smoked turkey necks or any smoked meat (i.e. bacon, duck breast, etc.)
3-5 quarts of vegetable stock
onions
garlic
salt and pepper (to taste)

In a large pot over medium heat, heat oil and butter. Saute the onions until slightly softened, about 2 minutes, then add the smoked turkey necks and garlic, cook another minute. Add collard greens and cook another minute. Add the vegetable stock, cover and bring to a simmer. Cook until greens are tender, about 40 minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve.

Collard greens sauteed in coconut oil

by Kathleen

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News from the Lincoln Fields

It’s official folks. Our beloved Baker Bridge Farm is experiencing a drought. For the past few weeks we have watered fields that really need it while waiting for the rain, but no matter what the forecast says no rain comes. Last week, when Boston and other areas were hit with torrential rains, not a drop of rain was felt in our Lincoln farm. We usually save irrigating fields as a last resort as we truly believe in conserving our water as much as possible.

Currently, we are at near emergency levels and so we have instituted a watering regime, which means that we work through our weekends and come to the farm every three hours to switch the water and keep our crops healthy and growing. Despite these measures, we are feeling the lack of some of our staple crops like beets, carrots, and salad mix. The good news (and there is good news!) is that we are almost out of the worst of it. The next round of staple crops is almost ready, and our melons and tomatoes are really starting. There is, of course, no better cure for a tired and thirsty heart than a cold and juicy watermelon. Cheers and lets hope for some rain!

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Dudley Farmers' Market News

Intersection of Blue Hill Ave and Dudley Street, Roxbury
Tuesday and Thursdays
3-7pm

At the Market

Green Peppers
Eggplant
Garlic
Beets
Shell Beans
Green Beans
Green Tomatoes
Red Slicing Tomatoes
Cherry Tomatoes
Lettuce
Cucumbers
Carrots
Collard Greens
Swiss Chard
Scallions
Basil
Sage
Parsley
Summer Squash
Corn (Thursday only)
Nashoba Brook Bakery Bread (Thursday only)

EBT/Food Stamp/SNAP, WIC and Senior Farmers Market Coupons, Debit and Cash Accepted! All season, any EBT/Food Stamp/SNAP purchase will be matched up to $10 at twenty Farmers Markets in Boston, including the Dudley Town Common Market.

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Dudley Town Common Farmers Market News

At the Market

Garlic
Shell Beans
Potatoes
Green Beans
Green Tomatoes
Cherry Tomatoes
Calalloo
Cucumbers
Carrots
Beets
Collard Greens
Swiss Chard
Radishes
Scallions
Basil
Sage
Summer Squash
Raspberries
Nashoba Brook Bakery Bread (on Thursday only)

EBT/Food Stamp/SNAP, WIC and Senior Farmers Market Coupons, Debit and Cash Accepted! All season, any EBT/Food Stamp/SNAP purchase will be matched up to $10 at twenty Farmers Markets in Boston, including the Dudley Town Common Market.

Vegetable of the Week: Green Tomatoes

I have learned that green tomato lovers are hard-core. Last year, we'd hear folks, stopped at red lights, yelling from their car at us - and they most often wanted to know if we were selling green tomatoes. Others would buy 20 lbs worth, because apparently it's not always easy to find green tomatoes around town. A couple of weeks ago, I received a call on my cell from a shopper I didn't recognize by name, double-checking that we'd have them at the market that afternoon.

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Fava Beans

purple fava beans
purple fava beans
It is believed that along with lentils, peas, and chickpeas, fava beans became part of the eastern Mediterranean diet around 6000 BC or earlier. They are still often grown as a cover crop to prevent erosion, both because they can over-winter and because as a legume, they fix nitrogen in the soil.

Favas — also known as Windsor beans, English beans, horse beans, and pigeon beans — have long been diet staples in Asia, the Middle East, South America, North Africa and Europe. They were the only beans Europeans ate before they discovered America and all its legumes. The beans have a buttery texture, slight bitterness and lovely, nutty flavor.

Fava beans can be served simply boiled, mashed and spread on crostini, or added to spring stews and soups. And, favas are nutrition superheroes. They are high in fiber and iron, and low in sodium and fat. They have no cholesterol but are high in protein.

some fava recpies:

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