Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Farm Friend or Foe...

This reckless sign was sighted on Hicks and Degraw by a farm friend. Somebody call the DEA. Initial investigation found a lot of grow lights inside. Earlier this year we looked at this exact same space for a different purpose.

Further investigation leads to suspicion that it is a Brooklyn Chili Pepper operation. More news to come.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Death and Decay

We've left the farm to rot. It's embarrassing. But pretty too. Clean up planned for this weekend.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Our neighbors have something weird growing

We're just not sure. It is definitely organic. It looks like a gourd of some sort. We've watched this grow the entire season and it's gotten so large that it now touches the ground. Any ideas.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Eggplants are where eggs come from?

NYTimes.com has a wonderful video series called One in 8 Million. Short video portraits of different people in New York City.
One of my favorites is of Buster English: The Green Thumb.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Habanero Tequila 2009

Sip with ice. It's spicy and the ice makes you want to drink more to help with the heat.
Our first batch of habanero infused tequila is ready. We switched up the type of hot pepper this year and don't these things look sinister? They are white habaneros that we bought from the Union Square farmers market in the spring.
It's easy. Slice up a habanero pepper and drop it in a bottle of good tequilar. Let it sit for a coupel days and then get the band-aids out. Oh. and be careful. Wear gloves when you cut up the peppers.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

How we used it: Poblano Peppers

Pepper harvest over the weekend. They're still coming which is great since it's hovering around 40 degrees outside now.
Translated into delicious vegetarian chiles rellenos for farm friends patrick, erica, and patrick's mom.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

End of Season Dinner Party

A few weeks ago we invited some good friends over for an outdoor dinner. It's getting colder out and the light is fading. The dinner was a lot of fun and we can't wait for next year to do this more.
Farmer No. 1 setting the mood.
Farmer No. 2 and farm friend Mike picked figs and prepared them on the spot for a snack.
Fresh figs with peppered honey.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

How we used it: Figs

There is a massive abundance of figs right now. Since we took over the farm three years ago, the fig tree has grown three fold. We are constantly looking for different fig uses. Farmer No. 1 has made vast quantities of jam. We are almost figged out.

This fig tart recipe asked for 1.5 lbs of fresh figs. No problem there.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Best Pie in the World

Have you ever heard of Grape Pie? We hadn't either, but when we discovered our Concord Grape vine actually produced lots and lots of fragrant, juicy grapes, we started looking for recipes. A friend recommended Grape Pie, so we tried it. The result is a fabulous, sweet pie similar to blueberry pie, but very grape-y and delicious. Here are the steps to make your very own:

Step 1: Harvest the grapes or buy from the local market (they are in season now!). 4-5 cups are needed for a 9-10 inch pie.

Step 2: A little labor intensive, but each grape has a seed inside that must be removed. Squeeze the grape so the inside pops out into a bowl, and put grape the skin in another bowl.

Step 3: Heat the insides with the seeds in a skillet until they turn pale yellow and the seeds become loose. Push the insides through a fine strainer or food mill to separate the seeds from the juice and pulp.

Step 4: Combine strained juice/pulp with skins, 1 cup sugar, 1 T lemon juice, 3 T cornstarch and stir until smooth. Pour into an unbaked pie crust (homemade crust is worth it!), dot with butter pats, and cover. Cut vents. Sprinkle crust with sugar and cinnamon (the cinnamon is key for the perfect flavor). Bake at 450 degrees for 30 mins, then 375 degrees for 30 mins until bubbling through the vents.

Step Five: Enjoy this slice of heaven with a little vanilla ice cream!

Monday, September 7, 2009

If you can’t “beet” ‘em, join ‘em

Hello! This is guest blogger, Farmer 1st Place (1st Place as in the street. I can only hope to one day be a 1st place, blue ribbon farmer). My only regret in moving to Brooklyn is my lack of a back yard and place to grow my own vegetables. Luckily, Farmer No.1 and Farmer No.2 are quite generous with their bounty and thus, prevent any envious thoughts I may have over their beautiful space.
This weekend, they entrusted me with lots of beets and orders to make something delicious to share at dinner that night. I’ve been really inspired by Mark Bittman’s article “101 Simple Salads for the Summer” which he wrote for his “The Minimalist” column in the NY Times. #32 on the list suggest pairing beets with corn, arugula and shallots- yum! I had also picked up some really cute sunburst/pattypan squash from the Park Slope farmers market, as well as some green peppercorn goat cheese (and we all know the love story of beets an goat cheese...). This is what came together:

I peeled and chopped the beets (red and golden!) in large chunks of equal size. I also chopped to the squash to about the same size and tossed them both in olive oil, salt and pepper. I then roasted the beets on 400 degrees. After about 15 minutes, I added the squash and cooked everything for another 40 minutes (til they seemed tender, but the beets hadn’t went to mush. While that was in the oven, I boiled 2 ears of sweet corn (also from the farmers market) and cut the kernels off. This would be even yummier if you could grill the corn, but I also think it’s perfectly acceptable to use good quality frozen corn. I mixed the three vegetables with chopped shallots and let them cool. Once they were at room temp, I mixed them, with a big handful of arugula, the crumbled goat cheese and more salt and pepper. Pretty simple and pretty darn yummy. The colors were also quite festive.(top two images by Farmer No.2, bottom two by my stupid iphone)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

How we used it: eggplant, peppers, basil

For dinner tonight we grilled eggplant and peppers, topped with feta cheese, basil, olive oil, lemon juice. It was very tasty. The lemon and basil really make it complete.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Harvest: Figs!

They are delicious right off the tree. We'll be making jam and other goodies with them.
Nick the Farmer was on a rampage today as he guided us through the do's and don'ts of fig harvesting.
- Only pick when soft. If you pick them before they are ready nobody wins. You or the birds.
- The white fig sap is bad for the skin.
- The fig leaves are itchy.

Friday, August 28, 2009

How we used it: cherry tomatoes, basil, garlic

This was a yummy preparation of cherry tomatoes that we marinated in balsamic vinegar and put on toasted ciabatta rubbed with garlic, topped with ricotta and sprinkled with basil. We got the recipe from a really pretty cookbook A Platter of Figs.

Monday, August 24, 2009


We are rounding up some pretty peppers.And the carrot harvest is on. We are still trying to figure out why the carrots aren't bigger. It could be that the soil is too dense and the carrot can't push down.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A gift for farm friends

One tomato for each member of farm friend family Brendan, Helen and baby boy on the way.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Nick the Farmer's Beans

This guy knows how to grow some beans! Always generous, whether it's advice about chicken poop, giving us seedlings, or giving us full-fledged ready to eat vegetables, Nick the Farmer is a good farm friend. We asked if he knows how to blog and he just shrugged and walked away.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


It's been a whole two weeks! Farmer No. 1 and No. 2 got married on August 8! The ceremony was hosted by Farmer Barbara and Dave Murphy in their beautiful backyard garden in Colorado Springs. We'll post pictures in a few weeks. 

Well we got right back to work at Brooklyn Farm. It's peak season right now with crops piling up everywhere. Here is Farmer No. 1 looking very serious and determined hunting down ripe tomatoes.
Our lima beans are ready for picking!
Tonight we ate a local fresh dinner with homemade spaghetti sauce. Onions from the farmers market, pasta from Caputo's, and Brooklyn Farm tomatoes, garlic and basil. The only major carbon footprint comes from the 4000 miles the parmesan travelled. Tough to avoid.
The green bean and lima beans were steamed with butter and truffle oil. Yummy!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Operation Red Chard

Hello! Farmer-for-a-day guest blogging here!

There’s nothing better than getting fresh produce from Brooklyn Farm. It’s a combination of all my favorite things – food, free stuff, and usually a trip to see Farmers 1 & 2. Once upon a time, I had a green thumb, but my choice of borough and the airshaft that casts a permanent night (and pigeon habitat) on my windows has left me without a garden.

Farmer No. 2 met me at an undisclosed Manhattan location to deliver to me fourteen tomatoes, two jalapeños, and a beautiful bunch of red chard.

I have never eaten chard. In fact, until this incident, it scared me. Sometimes vegetable names scare me, like scapes. (I have heard that scapes are like garlic, but frankly, I do not eat scapes because it sounds like scabies or scabs or scabbies.) However, as a guest blogger I had a duty to cook and eat the chard.

Today could not be another ice-cream-cake-for-lunch-Tuesday.

Meanwhile, I found a recipe in the New York Times. I roughly followed the directions and boiled the chard for about a minute in heavily salted water, immersed it into a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.

As it cooled, I heated olive oil in my pretty blue pot, roasted pine nuts and sautéed minced garlic. The recipe said to sauté the stalks for 3-5 minutes before adding the leaves, but given that the Brooklyn Farm produces tender baby chard-lets, and not the tough stalks on grocery store chard, I didn’t feel bad about disregarding this step.

The pièce de résistance of the dish was the golden raisins and cranberries that I soaked in hot water for about 10 minutes. I added these reconstituted fruits and the ½ cup of soaking water into the pot with the chard, pine nuts, garlic. I added a little salt and pepper and was ready to eat!

It looked like Christmas in a blue pot! Red, green, and Christmas light-shaped pine nuts. Would it taste like Christmas, too?

First bite analysis: It tasted like stir-fried lettuce boiled in beet juice. But as the flavors melded together, it got much, much better. I added more salt and pepper and experimented with a sprinkle of nutmeg. The bites with the golden raisins were divine, and the moment I got some of the browner, crispy pine nuts in the bite, I was a chard convert.

Recommendations for next chard preparation: more pine nuts, fried longer until golden, and more golden raisins. I’d also add bacon at the beginning.

Everything’s better with bacon.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Our Little Ones

Seems like a lot of our friends are enjoying having babies. Here are ours.

Baby Tomatillo
Baby Habañeros. These little ones are going to be HOT!
Baby eggplant.
And baby cucumber. This one is going through some ugly growing pains right now.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


A lot of the crops are producing at a good clip now. Today we harvested a couple poblano peppers, cherry tomatoes, green beans, plum tomatoes, eggplant, regular tomatoes, and a single hot red pepper.

Farm Portraits

From left to right (sort of): Arugula, Mizuna Greens, Pickling Cucumbers, Basil, Marigolds, Pole Beans, Thyme, Thai Basil, German Thyme, Chair, Tomatoes, Nikki's Tomatoes.
From left to right (sort of): Jalapeños, Marigolds, Tomato crop, Cucumbers, Concrete Path, Beets, Swiss Chard, Peas, Lettuce Mix, Eggplant, Lima Beans, Green Peppers, Hot Red Peppers, Poblano Peppers, Marigolds, Flat Leaf Parsley, Carrots, Garlic

Pictures by Patrick.