Food

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The older I get, the more clear it becomes to me that I don’t want to live in a city for the rest of my life. Our new house has helped; we traded a 900 square foot condo on a crowded (but lovely) street for an 1,800 square foot house with a small yard and a giant park across the street. We have few close neighbors, and I got that little bit of country I craved.

But I still want more. Our stay in Sonoma County was pure heaven for me. I love being able to see a thousand stars at night and hearing chickens in the morning. Coffee with mountain views and hummingbirds isn’t just something I want on vacation. I feel like it’s a way of life that would make my heart so happy.

While we work toward that someday country life, I have been falling in love with gardening at our own home, and this past weekend, I had the awesome opportunity to help out at an urban farm with The Food Project. You may remember the Whole Farm Dinner I went to at Alden & Harlow a few weeks ago. I became intrigued by The Food Project, and when I learned they had a farm in Dorchester where I live, I couldn’t wait to volunteer.

There’s more information about The Food Project at the end of this post.

The Food Project, Dorchester

I headed over this past Saturday morning to volunteer from 9:30 – 12:30, and after introductions, we were put into crews to get started working. I was amazed at the size of the farm and variety growing. It’s so cool to see so much agriculture happening right in such an urban area.

Our crew leaders were high school kids from the area who work at the farm, and they were some of the greatest kids I have met. They were confident and articulate far beyond their years, and they knew what they were doing around that farm!

My first job was weeding lettuce beds, and I got to chat with the leaders and other volunteers as we pulled purselane. The sun was super hot, it was dusty, and not long in, my face and body were covered in dirt. I loved it.

The Food Project, Dorchester

The Food Project

My second job was picking and bundling scallions to go in CSA shares. These scallions were enormous! They were fun to pick because they come out so easily, and the smell was incredible. Everyone who passed our area mentioned it. Once in bundles, we cut the tops and roots and made sure they looked neat and tidy.

scallions

scallions

At the end, we all grabbed gloves and cleaned up trash from the perimeter of he farm. If there is one thing I HATE, it is littering, and unfortunately there are a lot of people who have no respect for property or the earth. Luckily these kids are leading the way to a better city and a better future. I plan on going back as many Saturdays as possible throughout the fall to help with harvest and other tasks and then starting up again in spring.

I always think fall is more of a new year than actual New Year’s, and volunteering more and attending more networking and professional development events are two of my goals for this new year. And I need to exercise more, so there’s that.

Do you have any goals now that school is back in session?

 

About The Food Project

Young People at the Lynn FarmSince 1991, The Food Project has built a national model of engaging young people in personal and social change through sustainable agriculture. Each year, we work with over 150 teenagers and thousands of volunteers to farm on 40 acres in eastern Massachusetts in the towns and cities of Beverly, Boston, Lincoln, and Lynn. We consider our hallmark to be our focus on identifying and transforming a new generation of leaders by placing teens in increasingly responsible roles, with deeply meaningful work.

Food from our farms is distributed through our community supported agriculture programs and farmers’ markets, and donated to local hunger relief organizations. The young people working in our programs participate in all of these distribution streams, giving them valuable job experiences and a personal connection to our food system and issues of food justice.

In addition to producing and distributing food, we help others grow their own food through our community programs and provide training resources based on all we have learned since 1991.

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Tags: Dorchester, farm, farm to table, Food, volunteering

Our CSA continues to fill each week with a little bit of excitement and lots of healthy local produce. The last couple of weeks have simply been bursting with summery delights like heirloom tomatoes, peaches, and corn, possibly the best foods in the world (paired with a lovely Rosé, of course)

 

Heirloom Tomato BLT

As is often the case in the warmer months, simple was really our goal in highlighting the beautiful food provided by our local farmers. Big, juicy heirloom tomatoes and crisp local lettuce lent themselves to quick and easy, yet completely heavenly BLTs while green beans were perfect sautéed in a little olive oil, chopped garlic, and black pepper.

green beans

Each week brings its own share of greens, and I imagine that will continue once summer ends. Rainbow chard is yummy chopped and cooked down with a little olive oil, a great balsamic vinegar, and some salt and pepper. This would be a great side dish for a good cut of beef and your favorite red wine.

rainbow chard

We drooled over the fresh peaches we received, super juicy and sweet. They were more often than not eaten on their own, but once warm night called for a peach and tomato salad topped with goat cheese and a little fig balsamic. Simple and perfect.

peach and tomato salad

Finally, while we did eat plenty of corn from our CSA, the below dish is actually from my beloved Steel and Rye. Their soups are always phenomenal, and this chilled corn soup was one of my favorite dishes of the summer.

chilled corn soup

What seasonal dishes are you loving right now?

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Tags: cooking at home, corn, corn soup, CSA, farm, green beans, healthy, peaches, produce, summer, tomatoes, vegetables

Our eighth anniversary seemed like the perfect time to have a farewell dinner at Hamersley’s Bistro in Boston’s South End. This spot has been an institution in the city for the 27 years it has been opened, and it will certainly be missed. Classics like this don’t come along often, and along with places like Icarus, Hamersley’s helped to define the South End as a dining destination. Gordon Hamersley, in his signature cap, is so well known and loved around the city. . . let’s hope his future continues to include gracing Bostonians with inspired cuisine and perfect wine pairings!

image

{Hamersley’s Bistro patio}

Commanderie de Peyrassol

{Cheers! Commanderie de Peyrassol rosé wine – pure summer in a bottle}

pork rillette

{Pork Rillettes with Figs and Raspberry Vinegar}

bluefish

{Blackened Bluefish with Horseradish-Infused Beet Slaw and Smoky Maine Shrimp Butter}

Hamersley's roast chicken

{The famous Hamersley’s roast chicken! We had to have it, and I want to learn to make it!}

strawberry shortcake

{Strawberry Shortcake with Whipped Cream, Caramel and Aged Balsamic Glaze}

 

Hamersley’s Bistro was the perfect choice to toast to eight years married (11 years together!). Wishing Gordon and Fiona Hamersley the absolute best in their future!

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Tags: Boston, Food, Restaurants, South End

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