Hudson Valley Parent

HVP April 2017

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Page 14 of 39 n Hudson Valley Parent 15 eat a vegetable heavy meal and are so enthusiastic about the vegetables that veggies start to be understood as worthy of center-stage on our plates!" says Sarah Hearn, who co-owns Great Song with Anthony Mecca. She's also very passionate about coming up with new creative ways to encourage children and young people to develop their palates to crave healthier foods. "As a health practitioner and farmer I've collected a lot of an- ecdotal evidence that children are much more willing to try new vege- tables if they have a hand in prepar- ing them," Hearn says. "A simple tip for baby-stepping your kids toward new vegetables: try introducing just one new veggie at a time and lather them in their favorite something. So, maybe it's melted cheese or sour cream; maybe it's fried rice or pasta or pizza." This year, Great Song Farm will be offering two cooking workshops titled "Cooking Veggies Your Kids Will Love," along with smaller canning and pickling workshops once the season begins. Hearn urges members to volunteer on the farm as a great way to connect and converse with the farmers about cooking tips and trying new things. They also send out weekly recipes and check in with regulars to see how they are handling the produce. Hearn believes that "the improve- ment in taste and deep sense of nourishment and satisfaction that come from cooking with fresh ingre- dients from a source you know inti- mately... really takes experiencing it to know the difference." Great Song Farm serves the areas of Red Hook, Rhinebeck, Tivoli, Ger- mantown, Clinton, Clinton Corners, Pine Plains, and other surrounding communities in the Hudson Valley. You can find Great Song online at Confidence in the kitchen Farmer Lydia Nebel of Second Wind CSA, which is part of Four Winds Farm in Ulster County, is eager to teach others how to incor- porate vegetables and fruit into their daily diet. "Many times consumers want to support local food, but if someone isn't set up and/or prepared for the amount of cooking that comes with it, it scares off potential members," Nebel said. Unlike some CSAs, Second Wind isn't afraid to grow "specialty culi- nary delights" and offers monthly blogs packed with recipes, prepara- tion tips, and new ways of cooking up classic dishes. Nebel says many of their mem- bers are "seasoned and participate in the CSA because they enjoy home cooking with fresh ingredients." But with an eye to the future and a need to cultivate new business, Second Wind is hoping to have some cook- ing-focused gatherings this year with members getting together to trade ideas and tips. Four Winds grows produce using the "organic no-till" method. Com- mitted to using only primarily heir- loom and open-pollinated varieties for better flavor, seeds are planted directly into layered beds of compost that Second Wind believes produces "better-tasting vegetables that keep longer in the refrigerator." You can find Second Wind online at Grow your own Hudson Valley Backyard Farm is a local business that teaches customers to create and maintain their own or- ganic vegetable garden - including how to prepare and use the harvest. "The ability to cook is an essential life skill. Learning to grow, cook, and preserve organic vegetables gives you control over what goes into your body, saves money, is a fun, creative process, and promotes social interaction," says owner Jay Levine. Levine offers specific classes including "Food Preservation," "In- troduction to Chinese, Thai, Indian, Vietnamese Cuisine," and "Vegeta- bles Kids Will Eat." In addition, if there is a specific vegetable or group of vegetables someone wants to learn how to cook, Levine designs a class to do just that. Classes are approximately two hours long, generally conducted at the home of the student. He also leads group classes, typically at a client's home if the kitchen can accommodate enough people, or at a community organization that has kitchen facilities, such as a local church. Levine's website is also a jackpot of recipes featuring now locally grown vegetables that originated from all over the world. A full list of his services can be found online at Learn how to preserve food When the largess of your garden's harvest, CSA share, or weekend haul from the local farm stand becomes too great, there's help at the Cornell Cooperative Extension Service of Ulster County in Kingston that offers kitchen classes throughout the year. On May 3, Janie Greenwald, who A budding CSA member grabs for some fresh veggies at the Great Song Farm in Red Hook in northern Dutchess County. She may be too young now, but later on , she will be able to learn from the farmers how to best use the produce parsed out in CSA shares. (Continued on Page 16)

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