Snow Hill Farm

Down a gravel driveway lined with trees through the green iron gate lie the beautiful hills of Snow Hill Farm in North Salem, NY. This picturesque setting is home to certified Black Angus cattle, chickens, Dorset sheep, Berkshire pigs, beehives, and two Maremma sheepherding dogs, along with several beautiful produce gardens. If you care about healthy, sustainably grown food, this farm is exactly the kind of place where you want your food to be grown! Snow Hill Farm is certified organic by both NOFA-NY and NOFA-CT. Not only does the farm raise healthy livestock, but it also produces delicious and organic produce available for sale in our area. 

Snow Hill Farm also partners with InterGenerate and Camp Morty to supply them with certified organic produce. Camp Morty hosts children from homeless shelters, in foster care, or on public assistance at a traditional summer camp experience. Each week both organizations pick up produce grown in the Snow Hill Farm gardens. Camp Morty recently used Snow Hill Farm zucchinis in a recipe to teach their campers a great way to enjoy vegetables.

Because they are certified organic, Snow Hill farm uses interesting techniques in its gardens to address insects without using pesticides or chemicals. We asked their farmer for a tip for our readers and she said, to prevent crickets from eating pepper plants, the farm cuts the bottoms out of plastic cups and place them over immature plant stems. Once the stems grow thick enough, the crickets will leave them alone.

If you are interested in products from Snow Hill Farm, you can sign up for their monthly newsletter and weekly emails to be notified about what produce, eggs, or proteins are available. The farm products are prepared at many local restaurants including Bedford Post Inn and Vox. You can purchase their products at The Market at Union Hall and Hayfields.

Intergenerate

 In Westchester County approximately 58,000 kids are food insecure. This means that they do not have reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable nutritious food. Food insecurity is even an issue in our own backyard- at Mt. Kisco Elementary School, 75% of the students are on the free or reduced lunch program.

The folks at a local nonprofit, InterGenerate, are working to do something about this. InterGenerate is an organization that creates environmental and social sustainability around shared concerns for food security.

At Arc of Westchester in Mt Kisco InterGenerate volunteers have started a co-op model garden where families each are assigned one day of the week where they work in the garden – weeding and watering and sharing the effort – and then each get some of the crops produced. As Susan Rubin, one of InterGenerate’s leaders, said, “We share equally in the work and in the harvest. Our goal is to grow enough food so that we’ve got plenty for participants and plenty left over for the community.  This model makes it easy for those who are brand new to gardening and for busy people who are unable to commit full time to a garden bed.” 

This program helps teach beginners how to garden and helps families build skills. Because it costs a lot to eat fresh local produce, this co-op system provides the participating families with healthy produce and also provides crops for the Neighbors Link community market.

There are two similar programs that InterGenerate helps manage. The co-op chickens at the John Jay Homestead are shared between 21 families- they share the workload and the eggs that the chickens produce. The Mt. Kisco Elementary School Garden is also a co-op garden managed by InterGenerate.

These programs work to establish a new food system and provide healthy and fresh food to those in need, while also having the families involved in and educated about its importance. If you want to get involved, check out InterGenerate’s website and instagram or email Dr. Susan Rubin at drsusanrubin@gmail.com or Mey Marple at marplegirl@me.com.

Roasted Broccoli Leaves Recipe

This is a great recipe from The Dig In to help reduce food waste and use ALL the parts of the fresh broccoli and cauliflower you can find in your garden or at the farm market now!
If you are interested in other delicious recipes that use the usually wasted part of broccoli and cauliflower, check out this article Taste it Don’t Waste it! Broccoli and Cauliflower Stems and Leaves.
Roasted Broccoli Leaves
Yields 5

Photo from TheDigIn.com

This is a delicious and healthy, salty snack. Once roasted, the broccoli leaves are a lot like chips.

Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
2 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 5 large broccoli leaves with the stem removed and cut into 2 inch squares
  2. 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  3. 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  4. 1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper
optional seasoning
  1. 1/8 tsp dried mint
  2. 1/8 tsp dried oregano
  3. 1/8 tsp parsley
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 400F
  2. Combine leaves, oil and seasonings in a large bowl.
  3. Place a single layer of leaves on a baking sheet and keep a close watch on them in the oven. You want the edges to brown but not the whole leaf. If they burn the leaves will taste overly bitter.
Notes
  1. Great tip: If the coconut oil is solidified, place it in your hands and use them to apply the oil to the leaves.
By Jenni Lafferty

Growing Spinach

A delicious leafy vegetable that works well in any salad or cooked on its own, spinach has a vast array of benefits including improving eyesight, boosting metabolism, working as an anti- inflammatory, and helping to maintain blood pressure.

Did you know you can still plant spinach now for a fall harvest?

According to Epic Gardening, it is important to plant spinach at least one foot apart, so that there’s space for it to fill out. Plant in rich, well-drained soil.

Spinach seeds won’t germinate if the soil is too dry, so make sure– especially at the outset– that your soil stays damp. A spot with light shade is best for spinach; aim for three to four hours of sun a day. If your leaves are turning yellow, it may be a lack of nitrogen in the soil, so try adding a sprinkling of coffee grounds around the base of the plant.

 

The Mount Kisco Interfaith Food Pantry

Distributing more than just canned food

Made up of 13 different congregations in our community including 2 synagogues and 11 churches, The Mount Kisco Interfaith Food Pantry distributes to their clients 14 free meals worth of food for each family member, each week. In 2017 the Pantry served nearly 40,000 clients. The Pantry’s food distributions have increasingly included more and more fresh, local food.

In addition to supplying clients with traditional food pantry items like canned and packaged goods, dairy products and meats, the Pantry is also able to offer fresh local produce due to donations from area organizations.  Feeding Westchester (formerly the Food Bank for Westchester) provides free local produce twice a month; and every week in season, Hilltop Hanover provides fresh food from their farm to add to the Pantry’s food distribution to clients. Hilltop Hanover has already donated 3,534 pounds of food in 2018.

In the past the Pantry has also received produce donations from the Grafflin Elementary School garden in Chappaqua, the Mt. Kisco Elementary School garden, InterGenerate community garden in Mt. Kisco, and Steinhardt’s garden. They also receive donations from Panera Bread, Mt. Kisco bagels, and the Bagel Emporium in Armonk. 

According to Roberta Horowitz, the Director of the Mount Kisco Interfaith Food Pantry, “Clients love the program- they are always very excited to get the fresh produce. Healthy eating is very important to us.” That is why the Pantry also offers cooking classes that help promote healthy eating and icons displayed around the Pantry that show foods that are better for people with diabetes or high cholesterol, for example. 

If you are interested in getting involved, you can donate food or join the volunteers Tuesdays 5-7 pm or Wednesdays 9:30-11am.

As Roberta put it, “the Pantry is Community helping community, working together to provide the food to everyone who needs it.”.

Local Veggie Tacos

Truck’s Local Veg Tacos

Thanks to Nancy Roper for this recipe for the delicious Local Veg Tacos at Bedford’s Truck Restaurant!

Gather 4-6 varieties of vegetables–something rooty, something green, leafy, and something colorful. Some good examples are:

  1. purple top turnips or rutabaga
  2. one bunch of curly kale, bok choy, broccoli rabe, or swiss chard
  3. patty pan squash or yellow zucchini
  4. carrots

Peel turnip or rutabaga and cut into 1⁄2 inch cubes. Blanch cubes in salted boiling water, then shock in an ice water bath. Drain, dry, and toss in a tablespoon of oil (you can use olive oil, grapeseed oil, sunflower or safflower). Add salt to taste.

Spread cubes on sheet pan and roast in a 350° oven until edges are brown and cubes are tender.

For leafy greens, blanch in boiling salted water for one minute, then shock in an ice water bath. For swiss chard, separate colorful stems from the leaves and blanch separately. Drain the leaves and stems and dry as much as possible. Toss in a bowl with sea salt to taste, olive oil, and a teaspoon finely chopped garlic.

For squashes, you can cut into half circles. Butternut may be cut into 1⁄2 inch cubes. 

Patty pans are cut horizontally (about 1⁄4 inch thick) so they are pretty rounds.

Toss squash in olive oil and add salt to taste. Spread on a sheet pan, and bake about 7-10 minutes, until the edges are brown and the centers are tender.

To assemble the tacos:

We use organic blue corn, non-GMO tortillas. Briefly dip tortilla into

simmering water for 2 seconds, then place tortilla on an iron pan (medium high). When tortilla no longer is sticking to pan, flip.

Once all vegetables are separately prepared, mix together. This should be done just before assembling tacos. Heat the veg medley in an oven. After heating tortillas, place a scoop of hot veg filling into each tortilla. Top with fresh chevre (or feta), chopped basil, parsley, cilantro, thyme, or chives.

Serve immediately.

Truck Restaurant

Anyone who has driven by Truck in the evenings can attest to the completely full parking lots, something that does not even do justice to the true popularity of this local restaurant. Walking through the doors you are greeted by the tangling vines creating a miniature jungle winding along the steps, before you enter into the boisterous room and catching a glimpse of the many cakes and desserts temptingly on display. 

But while the ambiance and the subtle decor is delightful, it is the food made with fresh ingredients straight from the garden and local farms that has people coming back.  

We had a chance to catch up with Nancy Roper, the owner and founder of Truck to learn some of the secrets that help make the place run and flourish. Truck Restaurant purchases their ingredients from local farms including Sunsprout, Cabbage Hill, Fort Hill Farm, Riverbank, Blue Slope, Happy Acres, Beltane, along with three different places for farm fresh eggs. They also have smaller farms where they purchase more select and seasonable items such as rhubarb, yellow watermelon, or raspberries. Another source of their produce is Hudson Valley Harvest, a network that helps collect and distribute products from local farms to increase access to local food.

They also have a local garden behind the restaurant with different beds of veggies and herbs. Some of the beds are enclosed with bamboo teepees made by Truck’s carpenter from a local bamboo field. 

Everything Nancy grows in her home garden and at the Truck garden is used in the restaurant. From the different beds overflowing with basil and cilantro and a colorful assortment of herbs and vegetables, to the bright orange and blue flowers popping out from the teepees, it is clear that the ingredients used are top notch. The giant squash blossoms and ruby tomatoes are just so temptingly waiting to be picked. And the tip she swears by that makes her two gardens flourish- compost! She put it simply saying, “when the soil is healthy, plants are healthy, the good bugs and birds are healthy.” Their great composting makes for the delicious food that comes out in their kitchen. And if you want to try the local veggie tacos at home, check out the recipe courtesy of Truck Restaurant.

Like Nancy says, composting is key. If you want to start composting join our community compost program and get some tips for composting at home on our Get the Dirt on Compost page.