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Meet Matthew Goldfarb and Petra Page-Mann, from Fruition Seeds.
Matthew Goldfarb and Petra Page-Mann

Matthew Goldfarb and Petra Page-Mann, co-founders of Fruition Seeds.



Through the marvelous thing that is this internet, though email, mutual blogs, and a mutual friend's Kickstarter encouragement, I have very recently been put in touch with this wonderful couple, Matthew Goldfarb and Petra Page-Mann, co-founders of Fruition Seeds.  Located in the Finger Lakes region of New York State, they are a certified organic, open-pollinated vegetable, herb,  flower, grain and cover crop seed company doing something pretty remarkable in a very scary time for our global seed supply.  
 
As I've said in recent facebook and twitter posts, I can think of no more worthy Kickstarter campaign (with better pledge rewards) that I have come across.  And, I am incredibly excited to know about this seed resource and cannot wait to try their beautiful varieties next spring in our gardens. 
 
Below is a great guest post from Petra and Matthew.  Though having not yet met them in person, I am so thrilled to have crossed paths with these new friends, couldn't have more respect for what they are doing, and am so happy we all get to be the fortunate beneficiaries of all of their tireless work.
 
(And there are just FIVE DAYS LEFT in their Kickstarter drive.  Get over there and get yourself some seeds!)
 Arugula seed, freshly screened.

Arugula seed, freshly screened.


How does seed saving fit into your understanding of ‘sustainability’?


Matthew:  The ideas surrounding and daily practice of ‘sustainability’ have long been a part of our lives in the thirty collective years that Petra and I have been farming.  Energy, food, transportation, waste, social life:  we have not gone a day without considering and acting on what is best for us, our community and our world.


Yet we were always uncomfortable with ‘sustainability’ because it assumes the world is static, neglecting an appreciation for shift and adaptation.

Petra:  Seeds offer the perfect metaphor for what it is that we are truly after: resiliency.  Even as climates change, diseases evolve and cultural trends shift, seeds adapt and encode this resilience in the next generation.   At Fruition Seeds we select plants for these resilient qualities for our region through only growing open-pollinated varieties that can be saved and shared for generations to come.

Why did you start Fruition Seeds?

Matthew:  Buckminster Fuller observed, “you never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” (more…)


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Chicken Stock 101





Of all of the amazing things I learned in culinary school, by far the most valuable was how to make great stock.  I clearly remember the lightbulb moment when it was demonstrated to us.  I clearly remember rushing home that weekend with a bag of carrots, celery, and onions, dying to practice it on my own, and proudly showing my husband my new skill.

At this point it is totally ingrained in our weekly life.  We whip up a pot of stock almost without thinking, whenever we have extra bones or the reserve in the freezer is getting low.  Daily we use lovely homemade stock in all areas of cooking, sometimes where you would just add water, adding a huge boost of flavor and protein.  It is such a joy to have it always on hand, know exactly what is in it, and have such a superior ingredient.  I can't even smell store-bought broth in a can anymore.  There. Is. No. Comparison.


I also really value that we are using every bit of the animal, right down to its bones, neck and feet.  There is incredible flavor and protein in there.  But also if that animal is going to die for me to eat it, and I am certainly not going to take that for granted and be wasteful.


Do yourself a giant favor and have a few quarts of this on deck in your freezer.  Use it to cook rice and grains, reduce it for sauces, throw in shredded vegetables and thin noodles for a quick soup, and hundreds of other applications.  I also love sipping a mugful for a mid-afternoon snack.





BASIC CHICKEN STOCK


The recipe amounts here are for the bones of one chicken, but feel free to double or triple.
As a rule you want the carrots, onions, and celery to equal approximately 20% the weight of the bones.


(more…)


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Food of the (near) Future




Despite the fact that I haven't seen but a mere patch of ground at our home since prior to Christmas, despite the fact that we still have a foot of snow almost everywhere I look, despite the fact that just looking at flip flops gives me chills, the eternal optimist in me spent the balance of the weekend ordering thousands of heirloom vegetable seeds for this year's crop at our little micro farm.

Ideally, if the sun and rain cooperate, (and the sheep don't bust through the fence and help themselves to beds upon beds of gorgeous heirloom kale, leeks, peppers, brussels sprouts, beets, salad greens, and herbs, as happened briefly on one unfortunate day in October), those seeds and their resulting crop will then become a huge percentage of our food for the coming year, and many of the ingredients that I will cook for you here.

If you are bitten by the promise of dirt under your fingernails and eating within a five minute radius bug too, here are a few of my best resources for heirloom seeds and plants.  Each offer a mind-bloggling assortment of vegetables, fruit, and herbs.  They also fiercely protect seeds of endangered heirloom varieties so generations to come will have a vast diversity of produce available as well.


(more…)


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{ welcome! }
Catie Baumer Schwalb is a chef, food writer and photographer, who splits her life between the city and the country. Not too long ago Catie was a New York City based actress and playwright for more than a decade. She has her Master of Fine Arts from the National Theater Conservatory, and her Grand Diplôme in classic culinary arts from the French Culinary Institute in New York City. ... Read More

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