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 qunice (1)


Weekly Musings: Quince for Kale

Imagine everyone on your street using their land, however big or small, to grow food, whether perennial or annual, and using the food to feed each other?  “Food miles”, a term which refers to the distance food is transported from the time of its production until it reaches the consumer, would be whittled down to “food feet.”  One of the hopes of our micro-farm was to set up a model of growing to encourage others to follow our example, no matter how small their growing space or how much growing experience they had.  Our neighbors, Bob and Enid, who we met at various functions promoting the sustainable food movement, recently gave us 5 lbs of quince fruit from their tree.  We happily gave Bob and Enid a share of our abundant kale and end of season tomatoes.

We are in the process of planning and planting various perennial trees and shrubs to provide us with fruit, berries and nuts on the section of our property we fondly refer to as our future edible forest garden.  Many of these will take years to grow and produce and we were thankful for a local supply of fruit - one we had not really cooked with before.  We had purchased and eaten quince paste, also known as Membrillo, a few years ago, which we served with a plate of pungent cheese. We found the quince paste to be an outstanding sweet accompaniment.

Cydonia Oblonga

The quince fruit is highly fragrant and smells of apples and pears with the presence of floral notes as well.  When I first took notice of it, I immediately wanted to eat it raw.  Well, it was inedible.  Quince is usually not enjoyed fresh because it is highly tart and astringent.  It needs to be cooked.  The fruit is typically harvested in the fall and a mature tree can yield 75 lbs of fruit.  Though the country of Turkey ranks highest in the  production of quince fruit, it is a pretty hardy tree and can be grown in zones 5-9 in this country.  According to Lee Reich, the Hudson Valley guru of edible landscaping, in the spring “branches are festooned with large white or pinkish blossoms, each resembling a “single” rose the late summer and autumn, the show is quite dramatic from the large yellow fruits, which can be left dangling on the stems for many weeks.” 

GROWING QUINCEQuince tree at the Bonnefont Herb garden at The Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park

Quince is a relatively compact tree growing rarely more than 10 feet high and two-thirds that width.  It can have multiple trunks but if you train it to have one trunk, it can take on a gnarled, twisted and picturesque appearance.  The best example can be seen in NYC at The Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park where four famous quince trees grow at the periphery of four beds that make up the Bonnefont Cloisters Herb Garden containing over 250 species of medieval medicinal herbs.

Plant quince trees in full sun and well drained soil.  Decide whether you want to have it grown as a shrub or with 1 to 3 trunks during its first growing season and prune accordingly.  If you are in the Hudson Valley, Micosta Nursery in Hudson, New York sells 6 different varieties.  You need only one tree as quince is self-fruitful.  Raintree nursery is also a good source for the west coast. 


Quince paste is a wonderful homemade gift for your foodie friends and family.  It is time consuming and should be given to those who appreciate the effort.  Since it stores well in the refrigerator for up to 3 months, it’s a great idea to make several batches to eat through the winter months and to give out as holiday gifts.  When cooking, enjoy the aromas of banana, flowers, apples and almonds that waft from the stove.  The essential tools to make this recipe are a food mill, food processor, rubber spatula, wax paper and a 9x12 roasting pan.

4-5 lbs of quince, scrubbed clean

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line pan with wax paper

Place whole quince in pan, cover with foil and bake for 2 hours.  When quince is cool enough to handle, remove as much of the flesh as possible into a large food processor taking care not to put in seeds, core or any hardened, brown areas.  This is the time consuming and messy part.

Add enough water, 1/4 cup at a time to make a puree the consistency of a thin pudding.  Use the smallest disk on your food mill and process the entire batch.

Measure out how much puree you’ve made and multiple by 2/3.  Measure out that amount of sugar.  Put puree in a heavy saucepan on med-low heat and add sugar.  For example, I made 6 cups of puree and added 4 cups of sugar.  Stir constantly for 25 minutes.  Puree will darken in color.  Be careful not to burn your puree.

Pour into your wax-lined pan, cool then cover with plastic and chill overnight.  With a knife and spatula section off slices of your paste.  It should have a jelly and gum drop consistence.  Wrap in wax paper store and plastic and store in an airtight contained in the refrigerator.

Serve with pungent cheeses like Manchego or use as a substitute for your usual jam.

Stirring quince and sugar mixture constantlyQuince paste should have the consistency between jelly and gum dropsYeah, I had a little Martha Stewart in me when I did this.