alliums ameraucana Anthony Bourdain aphids Appleseed Permaculture aquaponics arthritis artichokes Asian Vegetables aussie basil baby chicks baby turnips bearss lime bee keeping beet greens beneficial insects benner tree farm Biochar Bitter Melon blight blooming hill farm boothby blonde cucumber brix broccoli brussels sprouts cabbage cabbage hill farm camp hill farm cancer caraflex celeriac chicken coop chickens children chinese tamale chives cilantro cilantro root coconut cold frames collard greens Compost coriander corn crop rotation cruciferous crucifers cucumber Dan Barber dan kittredge Dave Llewellyn detox dirty dozen dragon fruit Dutch white clover dwarf citrus eggplant Elderberries factory farms farm to table farmer's market farmers markets Fava beans ffarm to table fish oil flea beetle flowers food allergies food combining food miles founding farmers four wind growers Fred Kirschenmann french bulldog G6pd deficiency garlic garlic festival garlic scapes geese Glynwood grass-fed beef Great Outdoors Listening Tour green tomatoes greenhouse growing indoors Hanalei Hemlock Hill Farm heritage turkey heritage USA hudson valley farms hurricane Irene hyssop iced tea infections influenza Insect control isothiocyanates joan gussow jolie lampkin joong kaffir lime kale Kauai kohlrabi korean licorice mint Ladybugs late blight leeks lettuces local food locust tree maine avenue fish market menhaden meyer lemon mycelia mycorrhizal natural fertilizers nectary nightshades No Reservations Nurse cropping nutrient density okra organic Baby food organic christmas tree Organic Pest Control Parsley Paul tappenden peas Permaculture pesticides pesto petite watermelon plant sap pH plymouth barred rock pole beans potatoes preserving food purple basil qunice Radish Greens rainbeau ridge farm raised beds rampicante raw food real food campaign red hook Rockland Farm Alliance ronnybrook farm row covers salt-preserved duck eggs sambucus nigra seed saving seedlings Sheet mulching small space soil analysis soil blocks soil conductivity sorrel Squash Vine Borer star fruit sugar snap peas sustainability sustainable fishing Swiss Chard tabbouleh TEDx Manhattan terracing three sisters tomato sauce tomatoes trellis trovita orange turkana farms Tuttle Farm urban zen volt white clover winter harvest Winter Squash Young Farmers Conference
Indispensable Books and Resources
  • Edible Forest Gardens (2 volume set)
    Edible Forest Gardens (2 volume set)
    by Dave Jacke, Eric Toensmeier
  • The Winter Harvest Handbook: Year Round Vegetable Production Using Deep Organic Techniques and Unheated Greenhouses
    The Winter Harvest Handbook: Year Round Vegetable Production Using Deep Organic Techniques and Unheated Greenhouses
    by Eliot Coleman
  • The Biological Farmer: A Complete Guide to the Sustainable & Profitable Biological System of Farming
    The Biological Farmer: A Complete Guide to the Sustainable & Profitable Biological System of Farming
    by Gary F. Zimmer
  • The Garden Primer: Second Edition
    The Garden Primer: Second Edition
    by Barbara Damrosch
  • 1500 Live LadyBugs - A GOOD BUG! - Lady Bug
    1500 Live LadyBugs - A GOOD BUG! - Lady Bug
    Organic Insect Control
  • Acres U.S.A.
    Acres U.S.A.
    Acres U.S.A.

    The best farming and growing magazine money can buy!

  • Seed Starter Soil Block Maker Makes 4 Medium Blocks
    Seed Starter Soil Block Maker Makes 4 Medium Blocks

    2" Soil Blocker

  • Mini Soil Blocker
    Mini Soil Blocker
  • New York City Farmer & Feast: Harvesting Local Bounty
    New York City Farmer & Feast: Harvesting Local Bounty
    by Emily Brooks
  • What Doctors Eat: Tips, Recipes, and the Ultimate Eating Plan for Lasting Weight Loss and Perfect Health
    What Doctors Eat: Tips, Recipes, and the Ultimate Eating Plan for Lasting Weight Loss and Perfect Health
    by Tasneem Bhatia, Editors of Prevention







Short journal entries detailing the nuts and bolts of our ventures in growing food at our micro-farm

Entries in cancer (2)


What Survives After a Freak Snow Storm in October? 

The lamenting continues about how this season was one of the worst growing seasons in Northeast coast memory.  Yes, the incessant flooding rains, then hurricane Irene in September and last weekend, we had 10-12" of snow before Halloween.  What's next?  Doesn't quite matter since the damage is done.  We've typically harvested until the end of November.  Thanks to our buddies at Nazunya Designs we were able to have our high tunnel up and operational 16 hours before the storm hit. The high tunnel protects our 4 main beds that will enable us to grow our lettuces, mustard greens and kale though the fall and early winter. However,  looking outside of that tunnel, not a lot has survived...except: our gorgeous leeks, parsley, cilantro, fennel and some bok choy that happened to be under a fabric cover and rebounded once the snow melted.  Other things that are salvagable are some root veggies.  Though the green tops of our turnips, beets and celeriac have been hit, the roots are stable enough to harvest.  My saddest loss was the rainbow swiss chard.  A true trooper of a vegetable that has fed us and our neighbors from late spring to just before the snow storm.  Thankfully, I blanched and froze 15 lbs of it this summer.



A few years ago we left some leeks outside to overwinter without mulching or protection and surprisingly once the ground thawed, we were able to enjoy them well into mid spring.  Anytime storage can happen without jars and outside of the freezer is a nice plus.  Less work.  Once a staple vegetable in Europe, leeks are enjoying a "comeback" in the culinary world.  They can be used in place of onions although they are more pungent.  As part of the allium family (garlic, onions, chives, scallions), leeks have not been as rigorously studied as garlic in the medical studies.  However, because of the similarity of compounds, one can extrapolate the health benefits found in its relatives nutritional profile.  Leeks are high in manganese, folic acid, vitamins C and B6.  This year in a meta-analysis published in the journal Gastroenterolgy, it was found that large consumption of allium vegetables reduced the risk for gastric cancer.  To reduce the risk, one would need to consume 20 grams per day or the equivalent of a head of garlic.  That's really not much at all.  That study looked at prevention of disease but there are many non-clinical studies that support the organosulfur constituents in garlic have activity against certain cancerous cells.  That means treatment not just prevention.



When I was a cooking novice, I used to follow recipe instructions like a chemistry textbook.  I would literally use just the white parts of the leeks and discard the rest.  Now I know better!

1. Use leeks from the white to the pale green portion.  The dark green tops can be used to flavor stocks but tend to be more cabbage-like rather than onion-like in flavor.

2. Buy leeks with some of their tops on, if you can.  The tops will indicate how fresh your leeks are.

3. Don't stress about washing leeks.  The way they are grown cause grit and dirt to accumulate between some of the leaf layers.  Instead of some suggestions that tell you to soak the vegetable in water to loose the dirt, I just chop up what I need, place it in a colander and rinse.

 Just chop and rinse


RECIPE: Creamy Leek Soup

This soup is best made 1-3 days ahead so that the flavors can develop.  It can be also frozen (just don't add the cream) and reheated on a lazy winter's night.  Serve with some crusty bread and a head of roasted garlic to increase your allium intake!

  • Leeks 3 pounds, trimmed and chopped, using white and pale green parts only
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 small celeriac root plus tops OR 2 celery ribs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1 small boiling potato (6 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour**
  • 1/2 cup creme fraiche

To make gluten free, omit the instructions for roux (butter and flour) and add an additional large potato instead.

The beautiful thing when you grow food is to realize how much of what you've grown is going into the pot of food you're cooking. Either from the ground or from storage everything in this colander including the yellow carrots, celeriac and celeriac tops, to the leeks are all grown here. The rest of the recipe we provided the potatoes, parsley and even a fresh bay leaf! Rewards indeed.


Wash sliced leeks in a large bowl of cold water, agitating them, then lift out and drain well in a colander.

Cook leeks, onion, carrot, celery, salt, and pepper in 4 tablespoons butter in a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes. Peel potato and cut into 1/2-inch cubes, then add to onion mixture along with wine, stock, water, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.

Stir in parsley and simmer soup, uncovered, 5 minutes. Discard bay leaf and keep soup at a bare simmer.

Melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a 1-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, then add flour and cook roux, whisking, until golden, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add 2 cups simmering stock (from soup), whisking vigorously (mixture will be thick), then whisk mixture into remaining soup and return to a simmer, whisking.

If you have time, let the soup cool then blend it depending on the consistency you like.  I find a immersion hand blender works beautifully without all the mess.  Reheat soup, then season with salt and pepper.

Serve soup topped with a large dollop of cream fraiche.

Adapted from Gourmet Magazine May 2007



Weekly Musings: Kohlrabi - What the Hell is That?

Kids call this the flying saucer vegetableOne of the many things I’ve learned from having a micro-farm is being forced to explore my boundaries. I have a constant curiosity about things and a love of learning.  I guess that’s how I went from English Major in college to advertising post college, to medical school, to holistic/integrative medicine, to farmer.  This has applied to, among other things, food.  While I’m not quite as adventurous as insect-organ-rodent eating Andrew Zimmern of Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods, I could be persuaded to, at least, try many cultural delicacies.  But one does not have to venture far from the beaten path to explore the vast varieties of vegetables available either at farmer’s markets or to be grown at home.  Kohlrabi is one of the vegetables I’ve been introduced to in the last 2 years that I have really come to love.  Prior to this, I had never heard of or eaten Kohlrabi and was skeptical of this sci-fi looking bulb with it’s big leafy protrusions.  But as I experimented with it, it has now been added to my repertoire of cancer-fighting cruciferous vegetables in addition to being a good source of fiber, potassium, calcium and vitamins C and A.

In my practice, I see a fair amount of people with different cancers in different stages and one of the things that they are most interested in when seeking unconventional therapies or ways in which they might complement their existing allopathic treatments, is what they should eat to support their bodies.  One of the family of vegetables that I always stress, based on current research, are the family of cruciferous vegetables also known as brassicas.  The phytochemicals most notably important are indole-3-carbinol and isothiocyanates which, on a cellular level, may lead to the arrest and death of cancer cells.  Patients are always surprised to learn about the variety of brassicas available, aside from the usual broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage.  Well, we can now add kohlrabi to the list.  It’s important when modifying one’s diet to rotate foods if not for anything other than avoiding sheer boredom.  When you present variety and surprise, people are less apt to revert to their usual poor eating choices.

Kohlrabi: The Basics

Kohlrabi are European in origin.  The name translates to “cabbage-turnip” in German but found its way to Northern Indian in the late 17th century.  But to this day, Kohlrabi is still an unknown to most people in the US.  That was proven when I went to Chelsea Market -- the ultimate foodie’s shopping paradise in the trendy Meatpacking district of Manhattan and home to the Food TV Network.  When I’m planning on pairing a dinner I rely on two people to turn to for exquisite pairings: my local connect Joe Printz at Grape D’Vine in Tappan NY and Chelsea Wine Vault at Chelsea Market.  So I asked the staff at Chelsea Wine Vault for a pairing with my kohlrabi cakes.  “What’s kohlrabi?” he asked.  Puzzled, he referred me to an even more experienced pairer who pairs wine for the Food Network TV, and who also wasn’t sure what kohlrabi was. After a description of the taste of the veggie - a cross between broccoli stems and turnips, he made a pairing that was right on.  

Kohlrabi is a pale green bulb (or purple) that forms from the stem just above the soil and is best eaten small (2-3” in diameter) in warm weather since it can become woody in texture if grown any larger.  But cooler weather allows the stem to get larger without the change in consistency.  Usually, it is grated raw for salads and coleslaw or chopped and used as a component in stir-fry dishes.  The leaves, if young, can be used in the same way as kale.  I like to find other ways to prepare kohlrabi and my favorite one is kohlrabi cakes with minted yogurt sauce (see below)

Growing/Harvest/Storage Tips:

This easy to grow vegetable can withstand shady areas so I often tuck it in places along the fence where nothing else will flourish.  Though this can be direct seeded, I like to start indoors in soil blocks 4-5 weeks before transplanting out both in the cool spring weather and again in the late summer for a fall harvest.  Quick to mature (50-65 days), the varieties I’ve grown most successfully is “Kossack” and I’m experimenting with the purple variety “Kohlibri“.  If grown in warmer weather, be sure to harvest when small (2-2.5” diameter).  The bulb will be more forgiving in the fall when you can allow it to get as large as 4” and still retain the sweet and crunchy consistency.  Bulbs can be kept in the refrigerator for several weeks but only with their leaf stems removed.


Young fall purple kohlrabi
Recipe: Kohlrabi Cakes with Minted Yogurt Sauce

4 Kohlrabi bulbs (approximately 1.5 lbs)
1/2 cup chopped scallions
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 Tbs bread crumbs
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp grated ginger
1/2 tsp dried red pepper flakes
Freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup of oil for frying (I use grapeseed or rice bran oil)
1 1/2 cups of minted yogurt sauce

Peel (for large bulbs) and shred kohlrabi and set aside in colander to drain for 30 minutes.  Squeeze out any excess moisture
Combine kohlrabi with scallions, eggs, bread crumbs, ginger and red pepper flakes, S &P.  Blend well in a mixing bowl.
Heat oil in large skillet and drop mixture to preferred size  until golden, 3-5 minutes per side.  Drain on paper towels.  Serve with yogurt sauce.

Minted Yogurt Sauce:

Combine 1 1/2 cups of greek yogurt with 1/4 cup chopped mint, 1 Tbs lemon juice and 1/2 tsp of salt and black pepper to taste..  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Adapted from The New Basics Cookbook by Julee Rosso & Shiela Lukins


Farmer Pam, MD