Friday, May 28, 2010

wintergreens: How We Started

wintergreens is a presence at Hudson Valley farmers markets selling pickled local produce and vegetarian staples (tofu, seitan, cashew cheese). In the winters we run a winter C.S.A. that distributes local produce all winter long. We do that by practicing some of the oldest methods for storing food: root cellaring, fermentation, dehydration, and more.

Here's how wintergreens came to be.

I moved to Beacon, NY several years ago. The most amazing thing about living here, for me, has been participating in community supported agriculture (well, and my beautiful porch. and the Hudson River.) My summers have been filled with so many gorgeous veggies, a weekly visit to the fields, picking flowers, and the smell of warm tomatoes and basil on my hands. But each year there comes a time when the days get shorter, the air gets a chill, and C.S.A. distributions end. It's a tragic time. I look at all the pathetic produce at the supermarket and want to cry. Then I look at the prices, and really want to cry. For years I'd been fabulously healthy during the summers, and weird and anemic in the winters.

There were winter C.S.A.s all over the country feeding hungry locavores, and it was time for Beacon to finally get its own. I took a fermentation workshop with Sandor Katz, and that really set the wheels in motion.

wintergreens is based on the belief that everybody should have access to local food. That's what a community food program is all about: rich, poor, fat, skinny, vegetarian or no, everybody should be eating food that's grown in their backyards. Living in the fertile Hudson Valley, there's a lot of food in our area! We all have a lot to gain to by supporting local farmers.

Therefore, I introduce to you wintergreens. It is food made from the same beautiful (organic and certified naturally grown) fruits and veggies we're getting in our farm shares. No pesticides, no wilting while traveling. Just beautiful, healthful food, preserved so that you don't have to get pale, weak, or hungry in the winter months, and you don't have to rely on Key Food!

*The photo is from that first fermentation workshop, and shows our "bruiser" breaking down the vegetables so they could brew in their own flavorful juices.

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