National Food Day

Every October 24 (this Friday), Food Day brings together eaters, chefs, farmers, families, local food advocates, food policymakers, and many more around the country in celebration of real food, food and farmworker justice, and healthy diets. All 50 states host events from cooking demonstrations and taste tests to panel discussions and child education. There is undoubtedly something going on in your area – find an event using this map on the Food Day website.

According to the Food Day team, some of the top 5 ways to “Eat Real” on a budget are to:

  • buy in bulk (we offer bulk buying of apples and veggies)
  • eat seasonally (our specialty…)
  • cook your own meals (what else can you do with 40 lbs of roots?) –> I must amend this ūüôā Shared Harvest shares are a wonderful and balanced combination of fresh greens, squash, root vegetables, alliums, and other things….

What an appropriate way to kick off the Shared Harvest season. We like to share the real and whole foods being grown around us, as well as the fun of cooking fall and winter meals and storing produce in our homes, saving both of us trips back and forth.

Among all of the other resources, fact sheets and infographics created by the Food Day team for bloggers and others to share, I am most excited by their recommended readings. It’s time to put together your winter reading list…here are a few that have made mine:

Behind the Kitchen Door  by Jayaraman Sarumathi

The Good Food Revolution: Growing Healthy Food, People, and Communities by Will Allen and Charles Wilson

Bringing It To The Table: On Farming and Food by Wendell Berry

The full list is here. Lots of great children’s books listed!

Our first distribution is this Saturday….are you signed up?

 

 

Connecting the fall color in the landscape to the color on your plate

Crystal Brook Farm in Sterling photo credit: Crystal Brook Farm

It is the time to drink in the New England growing season’s fantastic finale of color–wow!¬† Our appreciation of color is so intrinsic to our biology:¬† bright colors on our plate signal nutrients and flavor and the brilliance of fall foliage keeps us moving outside and getting those essential rays of sun even as the weather turns cold.¬† Brilliant, deep green grass means healthy land which supports the health of our food, our water resources, our oxygenated air.

If you get a chance to venture out of the city this weekend, here are some nifty opportunities to include farm tours, which can be a more intimate look at what colors our landscape and plates:

Only this weekend: 

last weekend to pick your own organic raspberries at Wright-Locke Farm in Winchester, MA.

Child looking at Cranberry crate at Fresh Meadows Farm in Carver, MA.watch fresh organic cranberries being harvested at¬† Fresh Meadows Farm in Carver.¬† …the fresh organic cranberries you can order in November with your shares are picked using dry harvest (which involves much less bruising) and then separated from the chaff and hand sorted on this amazing antique wood conveyor machine.¬† Touring their fresh harvest operation is weather-dependent, so if Sunday and Monday live up to the dry forcast, head to their stand.¬† If it is drizzly in the morning, tours will view the wet harvest (for their frozen and juice berries), which is also a unique adventure.¬† Tours are gathered at the farm stand, which will continue to be open beyond this weekend, and selling delicious cranberry items (like orange infused sugar coated organic cranberries–special gift!).

If Carver seems a ways away for some of you, consider piggy-backing the cranberry tour on a day trip to King Richards Faire, an outdoor medieval village set amid a beautiful grove of trees in Carver…I’ve taken my kids there and we all had a blast, from the Shakespearean humor, real blacksmithing, roving pickle vendors, costumes, and human powered festival rides, games, and challenges (which are amazingly well-constructed and fun!)

This weekend and next:  Cider Hill is among very few orchards in our area still open for picking.   It is a beautiful farm with nice views from the top of the hill, and an interesting variety of apples.  And you can piggy-back a beach trip on this one (near Salisbury and southern NH beaches).

Anytime this month,

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Goats at Crystal Brook Farm in Sterling

Goats!¬† Crystal Brook farm, where we get our goat cheese for the Extras, is open for tours and farm stand sales Wed.-Sun…it’s a little off the beaten path, but the wide-open pastures are breathtaking (and a quiet getaway), and it’s only about an hour from Arlington.

Foliage in the hills and mountains!¬† Take a trip further west to see the foliage in the Berkshires, hill towns, southern VT.¬† Picadilly Farm is minutes from Northfield MA, out Route 2, and en route to Brattleboro–shareholders and friends are welcome to walk around the farm anytime, stop in and say hi and see their beautiful operation there, the view from the barn, and your fall carrots and kale thriving in the fields.¬† Picadilly has farming neighbors with animals on pasture with views. (Win-gate farm around the corner, and Manning Hill Farm in Winchester, NH–check their websites or call ahead for hours).¬† Then hike Mt. Pisgah right nearby, or…

Riverland Farm is in Sutherland, just outside of Amherst and Northhampton on the east side of the Connecticut River, along River Road/MA-47 in case you are the vicinity of those towns or visiting Mt. Tom.

Boston Local Food Festival: Thanks for coming out!

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A week after the fifth annual (but Shared Harvest’s¬†first)¬†Boston Local Food Festival, we have just about recovered from all of the madness: a chilly early set-up, doling out hundreds of samples of fresh Picadilly Farm sweet peppers and carrots with Crystal Brook Farm goat cheese, and having great conversations with all of the curious locavores¬† in the Boston area (and many from away!). If you have found our website since, or because of, the Festival…we look forward to feeding you this winter!

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Above: Elsbeth and Jane hold down the CSA explanations, while two sweet potatoes discreetly hold down our banner in windy downtown Boston. It takes some thought to explain, efficiently, what Shared Harvest is and does. But once folks understand our winter share program, it is rewarding to keep a lively conversation going amidst thousands of people and free food samples.

Sign up for your two, three, four or five month share today, and rest easy knowing that you will be eating locally into the winter and connecting with a new community.

If you missed the festival, or want to be reminded of the bounty to come, find us next at the Fall + Winter Farm Share Fair, hosted by Belmont Food Collaborative. Thursday, October 16, 5:30-7:30pm at the Watertown Public Library (123 Main St in Watertown).