Miss Ginsu: About/Bio

 

Video Farm Trip III: Planning CSA Shares

As city-based CSA member, I'm on the receiving end of a long process. Vegetables, fruit, flowers and eggs just magically show up every week at my CSA drop-site in Brooklyn, leaving me with very vague notions of the machinations behind the mesclun mix.

Williamsburg CSA

A recent trip out to my CSA source, Garden of Eve Farm, finally unveiled some of the hard work and careful planning that go into each bulb of fennel and head of cabbage I nestle into my weekly totebag of goodies.

Since they're responsible for literally hundreds of families' vegetable deliveries on a weekly basis, Chris and Eve need to simultaneously tend to innumerable everyday details of running a farm (like all those little weeds sprouting up every week) and think through the larger farm-strategy issues (like scheduling their labor and plant-growth cycles).

Every week, they need to harvest enough veggies to supply their farmstand, stock the various farmers' market stands and make sure all those CSA members are happy and well-fed.

In this video, Chris talks a little bit about how he fills the weekly CSA orders and the why the September CSA shares are, surprisingly, some of the most challenging shares of the season.



If you'd like to see the whole tasty farm tour in photo form, click here for the Garden of Eve Farm flickr set.

Cheers,
Miss Ginsu

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8.26.2009

Video Farm Trip II: The Antique Roadshow

One of the most interesting things I learned while visiting Garden of Eve Farm just recently is the way that small-scale organic veggie farmers like Chris and Eve are looking to the technology of yesterday to help them streamline their work today.

Farm Implements
All-Crop Combine in the back, New Holland (a seeder, I think) up in the front.

When you really think about it, this makes sense. It wasn't until after WWII that American farmers started using industrial pesticides and fertilizers.

That brave new world made greater yields possible, and US food prices dropped. There was much rejoicing, and the decades since that time have increasingly been devoted to developing equipment for a different kind of farm altogether: the large-scale commercial farm.

Celli Equipment
I believe this one is an old mechanical spader from Celli, an Italian company

So these days, looking to the farm equipment of the 1930s, 40s and 50s really does seem like smart a way to give small family farmers access to the height of technology in those years when "organic" farming practices were the norm.

In this video, Chris talks about how he tracked down his All-Crop Combine, a machine that's remarkable for its ability to harvest everything from large seeds like soybeans to even itty-bitty flower seeds.



And I must admit, Chris' All-Crop is a pretty cool machine. If you want to learn more about it, there are groups devoted to the admiration of old combines like this one. I particularly like the antique advertising displays at this site.

One last farm video on the way tomorrow!

Cheers,
Miss Ginsu

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8.25.2009

Video Farm Trip I: Farming is Hard Work

Having been a CSA member for many years, it's my great shame that I've only just visited the source of my delicious veggies. Thankfully, now I've been there and back, returning with armfuls of fun things to share.

Rows of Purple Cabbage

But first, a little context: Garden of Eve Farm spreads out across 120 acres on Long Island.

Family farmers Chris and Eve actively seed 40 acres of that land at any one time with their organic vegetables and flowers, leaving about 40 acres as wild forestland and working to enrich the organic matter in the soil of the remaining 40 fallow acres.

Eve, Forrest and Chris

They've had a CSA program for about four years, they run a shop at the farm and they sell produce and flowers on the weekends at farmers' market locations, including one at the Greenpoint Farmers' Market.

In this video, you'll see the farm's bees and chickens, and hear Chris talk about work on the farm.



Can't get enough farm life? You're in luck... I'll publish part II of this three-part series tomorrow and the third video on Wednesday.

Cheers,
Miss Ginsu

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8.24.2009

I can haz cute now?

Had a terrific trip to upstate New York yesterday to tour Ronnybrook Farm and nearby Coach Farm.

I'll get into the dairy details and post some tasty video soon enough, but I wanted to get to the cream first: all the squishably adorable baby animals.

Behold, my friends... the cute.

Jersey Calf at Ronnybrook
A charming Jersey calf at Ronnybook Farm. Check out that little black tongue.

Newborn Dairy Cow at Ronnybrook Farm
Newborn dairy cow at Ronnybrook Farm. Those nose freckles are killing me.

O Hai. A wee little kid at Coach Farm
O hai... a wee little kid at Coach Farm.

A slightly older, cock-headed goat at Coach Farm
A slightly older, cock-headed goat at Coach Farm.

Yet another charming Alpine goat at Coach Farm
Yet another charming Alpine goat at Coach Farm.

Yours in love of cuteness,
Miss Ginsu

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5.09.2009