Wednesday, September 28, 2011

An Afternoon on Hutchins Farm

Curly Red Russian Kale

By Kyle Foley

Hutchins Farm is a family-owned and –operated organic produce farm less than 30 miles west of Boston in Concord, MA. Two brothers, Gordon and John Bemis, have been running the farm since 1973, and are now joined in the farm’s operations by Gordon’s daughter, Liza, and John’s son and daughter-in-law, Taylor and Andrea. When a Slow Food group drove out to visit the farm recently, we were given a tour by the farm manager, Brian Cramer, and Liza Bemis (also a Friedman student!) joined us, too. Hutchins grows a wide variety of certified organic vegetables, as well as a handful of fruit crops. They are particularly known for their greens (lettuce, kale, chard, arugula, escarole, collards, etc), but (full disclosure: I also work for the farm once a week, but no bias, I swear!) everything they grow is delicious. Currently, it’s apple season on the farm, and root crop season, and more greens as the weather cools. Apples (as well as some other crops that Hutchins grows, like sweet corn) are particularly tricky to grow organically in New England because of pest pressure and the humid climate here (which is ripe for fungus). Because of this (not to mention because of how crunchy and tasty they are), Hutchins apples are in high demand.

Hoeing the lettuce planting
Brian showed us around several of the fields, talking as we went about the different challenges and benefits of growing organically. We learned a lot about the incredible variety of bugs that like to make their homes in the fields of different crops, and were able to see up close some potato bugs and Mexican bean beetles, in addition to the beneficial insects that roam the fields. Weeding takes up a good portion of the farm crew’s time and energy, and we saw a handful of crew members at work hoeing a fresh lettuce planting. Brian also showed us some fallow fields planted in cover crops, and talked about the importance of good soil quality as a key component to the farm’s success. And on our way back to the farmstand, we were able to get a good look at some tractors and cool farm implements that make the work of planting, weeding, irrigating, and harvesting easier.

Farmstand produce
Walking through the fields was a perfect way to spend part of a beautiful fall afternoon, and I don’t think any of us left without picking up some vegetables (and apples) to bring home!

If you’re interested in purchasing Hutchins Farm produce, you can find them at the Central Square farmers’ market in Cambridge on Monday afternoons, the Belmont farmers’ market on Thursday afternoons, and the Union Square farmers’ market in Somerville on Saturday mornings. And if you get the chance, head out to Concord to visit the farmstand at 754 Monument Street!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

First Potluck of the Year!

Members of Slow Food got together for our first potluck of the year. In the vein of Slow Food International's $5 meal challenge, all dishes brought had a budget limit of $5/4 people. Some recipes from our wonderful feast are attached!

Tri-Color Pasta with Kale and Sun-dried Tomatoes by Tina Galante

2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup sundried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 bunch kale, thick stems removed and leaves chopped
8 ounces tri-color pasta
¼ cup parmesan cheese
Fresh basil to taste
Salt & pepper
Soak sundried tomatoes in hot water to cover for 15 minutes to soften them, then drain and thinly slice.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. In a separate large skillet, sauté the onions and garlic. Stir in kale and reduce heat to medium, cover and cook until tender.
Add pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the package instructions. Drain pasta and add kale, tomatoes, and remaining ingredients. Stir to combine.

Vegan Truffles by Geeta Bhasin

This was taught to me in India by Micah Stanek who used to work in a raw-vegan café. We managed to get the ingredients together and made these truffles in the kitchen at Navdanya farm!
I think it works for a $5 recipe because of the 4 ingredients, 3 can be purchased at CVS for low cost. Coconut oil is a low-cost import, readily available at ethnic grocery stores.
I already had oats and sugar at home. I went to Shaw’s and picked up a $4 container of cocoa powder and bought a large bottle of coconut oil from Patel Brothers for $7.99. I will be able to make these many times over with the ingredients that I now have in my pantry.
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup sugar
½ cup oats
½ cup coconut oil
Thaw the coconut oil ahead of time so that it is easy to work with. Between solid and liquid is the easiest state for this recipe.
Mix dry ingredients. Add coconut oil and combine thoroughly. Roll into balls and place on floured baking sheet. Freeze for 1 hour or until serving time. Best if removed shortly before serving. Makes 16 bite size truffles.
Note: If mixture is too liquidy to roll into balls, add more oats or put it all in the fridge for 5-10 minutes.

Curried Cauliflower and Carrots by Kyle Foley

2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup olive oil, plus more for topping
1 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 red onion, cut into eighths
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Whisk together the curry powder, cumin, salt, pepper and olive oil in a medium bowl.
Spread the cauliflower, carrots, and onion in a single layer on a large baking sheet-lined with tin foil. Drizzle with the
dressing and toss so it is thoroughly coated.
Roast the vegetables in the oven until tender and browned, about 40 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking. Remove to
a serving bowl and sprinkle with parsley and a drizzle of olive oil on top. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Brownies Recipe by Ryan Kring

½ lb (2 sticks) sweet butter, 4 eggs, 4 oz unsweetened chocolate, 2 cups sugar, ¾ cups all-purpose flower, 1 tsp vanilla, 2/3 cup walnuts

Melt chocolate & butter together, cool to room temp. Mix sugar, eggs, & vanilla together. Add chocolate mixture to egg mixture in thin stream while beating. Add flower. Mix well. Add nuts. Bake in greased pan for 30 min at 350.

Bean Salad by Meghan Johnson


* 1 (15 ounce) can green beans
* 1 pound wax beans
* 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
* 1 onion, sliced into thin rings
* 3/4 cup white sugar
* 2/3 cup distilled white vinegar
* 1/3 cup vegetable oil
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon celery seed


1. Mix together green beans, wax beans, kidney beans, onion, sugar, vinegar, vegetable oil, salt, pepper, and celery seed. Let set in refrigerator for at least 12 hours.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Hello Slow Food Tufts!

Its a brand new academic year and we would like to welcome new and returning Tufts Slow Foodies. Your Slow Food Tufts board has a bunch of exciting events lined up to celebrate local, fair, and delicious food. Get excited for visits to a cranberry bog and local farm, potlucks and skill shares, and an end of the semester bake-off featuring Friedman's sweetest.

We will be holding our first meeting on Tuesday September 13 2:30-3:30, Location TBA

Join us for our first pot-luck of the semester where we reclaim the value meal. Bring a dish that costs under $5 to make and the recipe for the dish. Your Slow Food board will compile the recipes into a cookbook of cheap, delicious meals! This event is part of Slow Food USA's challenge to take back the value meal. More information can be found at

Welcome to Slow Food Tufts- we're excited you joined us!