Category: Good Reads

Meet the Kjarvals of Spring Lake Farm

Brooklyn food explorer and journalist extraordinaire Liza de Guia of Food Curated, spent time filming recently at Spring Lake Farm in the western Catskills, where the Kjarval family is passionate about their pasture-raised approach to beef and pork production.

Liza writes, “Spring Lake Farm wants to serve as an inspiration for what the future of sustainable agriculture could look like for New York State. And with demand growing locally for grass-fed animals, they believe the millions of acres of unused land in their area would make perfect land for farmers to raise their own grass-fed beef and pork.”

Watching the film, we were struck by how conditioned we are to perceive this approach to raising cattle and pigs as ‘normal.’ Marketers of industrially-produced foods go to great lengths to prod us to imagine that all our meat and dairy is grown in bucolic, pastoral bliss. Unfortunately, although growing consumer interest in sustainably, naturally-produced foods is on the rise, the Kjarvals’ approach still represents only a small (but growing!) portion of the food supply chain.

Spring Lake Farm: Inspiring the Grass Fed Movement in Upstate New York from SkeeterNYC on Vimeo.

Jammin’ with Anarchy in a Jar
Brooklyn food writer and chef Cathy Erway enjoyed a pickling and jamming date with rising star Laena Murphy of Williamsburg’s Anarchy in a Jar this week. Cathy recounts the fruits of their labor, including concord grape jam, umeboshi-styled pickled plums, pickled hot pepper medley, canned cherry tomato sauce, and pickled heirloom cucumbers with fennel sprigs, on her Lunch At Sixpoint blog. Video and recipes included!

The Robicellis Take It to the Airwaves
Matt & Allison Robicelli, the local geniuses behind Robicelli’s Cupcakes, appeared on Heritage Radio Network’s episode of “Let’s Eat In” this week. The Robicelli’s mission was to take the high-end buttercream frosting and cake baking techniques found in expensive wedding and “event” baking and bring them to the cupcake-eating masses. Let’s just say the mission has been a success. Listen.

The Levy’s Don’t Just Guide, They Grow!
Mark Levy and his sons run Levy’s Unique NY, which leads some of the coolest tours you can imagine in NYC (if you want to avoid trips to the Empire State Building and Statue of Liberty the next time you have out-of-town guests, they’ve got some nice alternatives for you here). Mark doesn’t just race around the city with busloads of tourists…he’s recently discovered the pleasures of farming in his backyard in Ditmas Park. He tells his story here.

Another Farewell to Summer
As fall elbows its way into the region, Serious Eats offers a few recipes to celebrate the summer harvest one more time before we have to say goodbye to things like fresh, local tomatoes and sweet corn until next year. Mark Bittman also throws down a late-summer special of pan-roasted corn with cherry tomatoes … better make this one quick! Tomatoes and corn are definitely on their way out.

Did You Hear Something about a Tornado?
Still trying to process what happened during those 15 minutes of mayhem last week? It’s happened before. Our friendly librarians at Brooklynology have kindly posted vintage newspaper accounts of local tornadoes in 1858 and 1889. The reporting was really thorough back then, huh?

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