Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Rhode Island CSAs with availability for 2009

This update comes from our friends at Farm Fresh Rhode Island's blog:

Each week during the summer months, farmers across Rhode Island put together a selection of whatever is at peak harvest. Hundreds of local families stop by the farms or designated pickup spots for that week’s slice of heaven, with flavors that are seasonally spontaneous and guaranteed to be delicious. The farmers benefit too. Normally, farmers must invest in seeds, equipment and months of labor before receiving even a penny for their harvest. But in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) arrangements, customers pre-pay for the weekly pickups and that helps tremendously.

We surveyed CSA farms to find out which still had spaces available for 2009. We’ll continue to update this list until most CSAs begin (mid-June).

There are many CSA variations, some with work days on the farm, some that offer cheese, and seafood and still others that let customers choose from a market-style selection of produce.

Don't delay - get your spot reserved for 2009 and enjoy a steady supply of fresh, local produce and more!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Forellenschluss Lettuce

For those of you still interested in growing some of the Renewing America's Food Traditions (RAFT) Grow-out varieties in your own garden, it isn't too late to start Forellenschluss lettuce from seed.

Forellenschluss means “speckled like a trout” in German, which describes this tasty butterhead lettuce aptly. The thick, light green leaves have maroon speckles. Traceable to 1660 in Holland, this lettuce traveled through Germany until in 1790 it was first brought to Ontario, Canada, and then on to the US.

Forellenschluss has juicy, thick leaves and has been said to taste similar to watercress. It is mild flavored,and has a loose‐leaf romaine–type head.

Also good to know is that Forellenschluss lettuce holds well in summer heat.

In a mere 55 days, you could be enjoying your very own speckled-like-a-trout lettuce with over 340 years of history. Now that makes for some interesting dinner conversation, doesn't it?

Seeds are available at Seeds of Change, though seedpacks have also been spotted in Providence-area Whole Foods stores.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Southside Community Land Trust Annual Plant Sale May 16 & 17

Southside Community Land Trust's 17th Annual Plant Sale is taking place this weekend, May 16 and 17 at City Farm. Hours are from 10am - 2pm, with a special preview from 9am - 10am for Southside Community Land Trust members.

City Farm is located in South Providence at West Clifford and Dudley Streets. In addition to rare and unusual plants, including lots and lots of veggies, there will be live music, and you'll be helping support a great cause while filling your own garden with good food and interesting plants.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Tour of Urban Oaks Organic Farm in New Britain, CT, June 6

From our friends at Slow Food Connecticut:

Save the date for a tour of Urban Oaks Organic Farm in New Britain on Saturday, June 6.

It began in 1999 with a vision to create an inner-city organic farm to help save a neighborhood.

Next, came the challenge to clear trees, shrubs and weeds from 2 1/2 acres of land and 15,000 square feet of shattered greenhouses at an abandoned florist site.

Today, Urban Oaks Organic Farm is the first of its kind in the nation.

Owned by the non-profit Urban Oaks Community Development Corporation, Urban Oaks Organic Farm is dedicated to growing top-quality, certified organic fresh produce, year-round, for restaurants, specialty markets and our local community.

Urban Oaks Organic Farm specialties are salad greens, cooking greens, heirloom tomatoes and herbs. But they also grow sweet peppers, hot peppers, frying peppers, Italian and Asian eggplant, melons, cucumbers, summer squash, zucchini and all the crops you’d expect in the summer in southern New England.

Lettuces, salad greens, kale, chard, spinach, collards, herbs and more are harvested year-round from their greenhouses.

Please check the Urban Oaks Organic Farm website for details as the date draws near.


Phone: 860-223-6200

Friday, May 8, 2009

East Coast Food and Wine Festival, June 27 & 28

This just in from our friends at Slow Food Central New Jersey:

Tickets are now on sale on-line for the East Coast Food & Wine Festival, held June 27 & 28 at Hopewell Valley Vineyards in Pennington, New Jersey. For the month of May, tickets on our website – are just $30 for a one day pass, $50 for a two day pass. In June, these prices go up to $35 and $55. There are no added fees and you can print your tickets right at home. Pricing at the door the day of the event is $40 for a one day pass and $60 for a two day pass.

Tickets provide entry into the festival, into the multiple cooking demos and seminars, wine tasting, winery tours, parking, an engraved wine glass and more. A portion of the ticket price also goes to support Share Our Strength which works to eradicate childhood hunger. Food is available at a nominal fee.

The East Coast Food & Wine Festival features the best restaurants and the most celebrated professional wineries of the area. Attendees can sample dishes prepared with the season’s locally grown vegetables, fruits, seafood, chicken, meats and more dished up by some of the most exciting chefs in the State. Participating restaurants include Brother’s Moon, Hopewell; Catherine Lombardi, New Brunswick; High Street Grill, Mt Holly; Nomad Pizza, Hopewell; Stage Left, New Brunswick; Tre Piani, Princeton and more.

In addition, professional wineries from the State will be offering samples of hundreds of wines grown and produced nearby.

A popular feature of the Slow Food and Wine Festival is the Farmer’s Market, where attendees can purchase locally made cheeses, salami, organic produce, breads, honey, meats, seafood, gelato, flowers and much more -– all grown and/or produced in the Garden State -- to enjoy at the festival or to take home with them.

This year’s event includes nationally known chefs and wine experts including Michael Colameco, host of Colameco’s Food Show on PBS and Food Talk on WOR radio, author of the soon-to-be-released Food Lovers Guide to New York City; and teacher of Cooking 101 at the International Culinary Center in New York City. Michael will be speaking on Saturday as well as serving as Master of Ceremonies for the Cooking Demo & Seminar Tent that day.

Also on Saturday, Maureen Petrosky, wine expert on NBC’s TODAY Show, wine writer for New Jersey Life and author of the Wine Club will be speaking in the Wine Seminar tent. Attendees can also purchase her book at the event and have it signed.

On Sunday, George Taber, author of Judgment of Paris, will be on hand to discuss his book. George, who was a Paris-based reporter for Time magazine, was the only reporter present in 1976 at the blind wine tasting that set the wine world on its heels. In this Paris-based tasting, California wines beat the French wines, putting California wines on the map and changing the wine world forever. His book is now being made into a movie. Copies of his book will also be available at the festival.

Cooking demos will also be offered on both Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, Kerry Dunnington, author of This Book Cooks, will be hosting a cooking demo as well as making copies of her book available for purchase. Additional speakers and chefs will be announced in the near future.

More information on this fun and informative weekend can be found at Here you can find information on lodging – including advance pricing, tickets, participating wineries and restaurants, seminar schedules and more.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Spring Dinner May 22 and 23 at Beehive Cafe, Bristol

The menu for this spring dinner at The Beehive Cafe in Bristol arrived in our in box and sounded like a lovely night out; in Bristol with a view of the harbor, a long communal table, byob, locally sourced food, and delicious coffee from our friends at New Harvest Coffee Roasters.

Chef Eli Dunne and owner Jen Cavallaro are planning two evenings of wonderful food on May 22 and May 23 at 7pm. It works like this. Each night they will accept 20 reservations. Seating will be at one long table upstairs at The Beehive. Details are on The Beehive website, click on Events.

Charge will be $65 for 5 courses and includes tax, tip, and corkage. Since there is only one seating for the night you will have the whole evening to enjoy the sunset, eat, chat, drink and relax over coffee. The idea here is that they take their time preparing the meal and you take your time eating it. Enjoying the pleasures of the table at a nice, slow pace. What a great idea!


Trio of Spring Soups

Scallops with Proscuitto di Parma and Local Pea SHoots

Braised Baby Lamb with spring vegetables and minted potatoes

Green Salad

New England Cheeses

Rhubarb Confit with Meyer Lemon Cream and Cardamom cookie


If your restaurant has anything similar planned, please let us know by emailing us at and we'll do our best to get it posted. Likewise, if you are a producer or farmer, please let us know what you're up to - we'd love to share with the community!

Farmers Market in Bridgewater, MA

We just learned of the brand spanking new Farmers Market in Bridgewater - we're sure it will be a very welcome addition to the community. It was coordinated by Arthur Lizie of Bridgewater State University, a Slow Food USA Terra Madre delegate.

The farmers market is sponsored by the Bridgewater State College Center for Sustainability, and will be held in Bridgewater at the corner of Spring and Broad Streets (Route 18 by the railroad tracks), rain or shine on Tuesdays from 3:00-6:30 from July 21-October 27, 2009.

If you are interested in selling at the market, Amy Braga is the Market Manager, and she can be reached at 508-807-0147 or via email at If you want to find out how you can be a part of the market aside from becoming a vendor, please contact Amy or Arthur (

Happy farm fresh shopping!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Marfax Bean

According to the Fedco Seeds website, the Marfax Bean is ideally suited to cooler climates as it matures in 86 days, and is a delicious brown baking or soup bean.

It has been a New England favorite for generations, so if you have any stories of or recipes for Marfax Beans, please do share.

The Marfax Bean is one of the Renewing America's Food Traditions Grow-out varieties, so be on the look out for it this fall in restaurants and in farmers markets.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Slow Food RI welcomes City Farm to the RAFT Grow-out

Slow Food Rhode Island is happy to have Southside Community Land Trust's City Farm joining in the Renewing America's Food Traditions (RAFT) Grow-out project.

City Farm is the original garden that launched Southside Community Land Trust.  It was founded on an abandoned lot that had been used as a chop shop for stolen cars.  In 1981, neighbors in this area joined together to form community gardens that evolved into Southside Community Land Trust, and now City Farm provides a space for children and adults alike to learn about sustainable growing practices.  

City Farm hosts a summer children's garden program, youth internships, fieldtrips, apprenticeships and public workshops in urban agriculture. Neighborhood children spend time at City Farm learning about gardening first-hand, including activities like feeding the hens, helping to weed, learning the names of plants, and picking and eating edible flowers, sweet cherry tomatoes, and delicious raspberries.   

City Farm is a 3/4 acre farm that supplies local farmers markets, groceries, restaurants, coffee shops and food pantries such as the Amos House, Food Not Bombs and the RI Food Bank, and this season.  They will add True Red Cranberry Beans and Boothby's Blonde Cucumber, two of the RAFT Grow-out varieties, to their list of crops this summer.