Monday, September 22, 2008

NYC Greenmarket Diva is a best mommy blog!

Hey, check this out! NYC Greenmarket Diva has been chosen as one of the best mommy blogs by Vanessa Van Petten, the author of You're Grounded!: How to Stop Fighting and Make the Teenage Years Easier.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Liberty Farmer's Market

On a Friday afternoon, I visited the Liberty Farmer's Market in the Catskills. To my gleeful astonishment, I found the familiar, friendly faces of the Gorzynskis behind tables full of perfectly ripe vegetables. Gorzynski Ornery Farm produces over 500 varieties of vegetables that are grown to specifications higher than the USDA's degraded organic label. The farm gave up its organic certification in 2003, after the infamous "relaxing" of the organic standards - the term "organic" simply no longer represented the food that was grown on the farm. The Gorzynskis call their produce "beyond organic," but it's really much more. John and Sue Gorzynski understand the magic of good, well-tended soil, healthy seed, clean water and sunlight. By utilizing age-old methods of crop rotation, fertilizing with seaweed and ground rocks and even allowing the land to lie fallow at times, they have been successfully growing crops without ever using any chemicals in any stage of production.

So, what does this mean to us? Well, do you want nutrition? This is where you get it. This is the food the "nutrition experts" talk about when they say that it doesn't exist anymore. Here is the best news for us, New Yorkers - Gorzynski Ornery Farm is at the Saturday Union Square Greenmaket from March through December.

Inspired by this fabulous bounty in the land of Wal-Mart and Pizza Hut, I created my all-time favorite brunch.

Layers of chard, green beans and new potatoes are topped with a couple of eggs, all buttery and salty. A bowl of red and orange tomatoes sprinkled with basil, chives and sea salt and dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar adds just the right burst of fresh flavor.

I sauteed the chard and green beans in raw butter and garlic, added a sprinkle of sea salt and parsley, and voila! The potatoes were roasted with onions, garlic, and bacon (thanks Paul!) in a 450-degree oven. The eggs were fried in some raw butter and sea salt just until the whites were cooked through and the yellows were still rich and liquid. And, it all took less than 30 minutes...beat that, Rachel!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

What I did on my summer vacation

Last week, Matt and I took the kids into the wilderness - otherwise known as Smallwood, a lake community in the Catskills. We stayed in a lovely cottage, shaded by sugar maples and pines and surrounded with aromatic blooms buzzing with bumblebees and hummingbirds. We played on the beach, swam in the warm, spring-fed waters of the lake, enjoyed birdsong-filled breakfasts on the deck and watched the stars after dark. In other words, it was idyllic.

On one of those sunny days, we went to visit Paul at the Violet Hill Farm. Paul is the ponytailed guy at the Saturday Union Square Greenmarket with the "seriously good bacon." His lamb, chicken and eggs are also seriously good, but for some reason he only mentions the bacon. His animals are sustainably and humanely pasture-raised. His farm is immaculate and it is clear that he takes pride in his work. However, the star of this story is not Paul.

After several wrong turns necessitating Matt's patented 17-point backing-out technique (despite thorough directions provided by Paul, who knew there would be four "old county" roads with similar names, all within feet of each other), we finally pulled into the correct driveway and got out of the car. There, running toward us from across the field, was a tiny nymph with flowing blond hair and the brightest blue eyes. Appropriately named Eden, she grabbed my suddenly enchanted sons by the hand and led them away to explore. Like lambs, they followed with silly grins on their faces to see the chickens, geese and the fabled black cat. They looked for frogs in the stream, swam in the beautiful tree-bordered pond, and Adam even managed to accidentally step on a snake.

Paul's older sons, Cole and Morgan, entertained us with stories of their adventures in the wilds of the Catskills as we wandered around and took in the peaceful sights. For us city folk, this was a unique pleasure, a novelty seldom experienced. It was great to see my boys so excited, following the chickens to the coop and chattering with Eden about her seemingly elusive black cat.

All too soon, our visit came to an end. We pulled away, my sons moping in the back seat, watching the sheep drift through wildflowers and the pigs dig happily in the mud.