Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas from The Simple Farm

to you. . . 

Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

We are so thankful for everyone of you who have partnered with us to make our 
suburban farming adventure a lot more fun.

Thank you for supporting your local, neighborhood farmers.

. . . . from us (Michael and Lylah) 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Glorious Turnip

Turnips, which are low calorie and high nutritional value are often over looked at the market.  I can only remember buying turnips once when I made a soup stock. Sad, but true.  It's really only been since I started to grow them, that I began to realize their beauty and deliciousness.

The other week I made turkey soup and decided to roast some carrots and one of the turnips I'd just harvested. That turnip made all the difference in the world in that turkey soup. This week, we had a few vegetables left over from our Thursday French market and so I decided that I'd roast them all and serve them for our evening meal. Simply amazing, nutritious and delicious - especially those roasted turnips.

We've planted and are harvesting two kinds of turnips - the Shogoin and the Purple Globe and both are fabulous. You can eat turnips raw, put them in a salad, roast them as I've done and add them to soups. The turnips greens are just about the best part too. Saute them lightly in olive oil and garlic or add them to soup.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Off To Market We Go

I always look forward to receiving David Lebovitz posts and one of this weeks caught my eye - because it has to do with the French Market.

Visit to a Paris Market (Video).  There are markets EVERYWHERE in Paris. Ahhhh....

Key points that stuck out are:
Outdoor markets take place in various neighborhoods. (love this)
In general, he buys from the same people - because they know him and they know what he likes.
You have to shift your thinking with the seasons. 
Everything actually looks a little 'funky' which is what he likes. (Good food doesn't look perfect)
Outdoor markets aren't just places to buy food; they act as social centers. (awesome)

Paris Market from David Lebovitz on Vimeo.

Click HERE to see just how many outdoor markets there are in Paris. Amazingly wonderful.

So, what would change for you if you had a market right in your neighborhood?

Monday, December 19, 2011

One Way To Reduce Crime

As I read this article to Michael we didn't know whether to shout and scream (from hope/excitement) or cry (because of the beauty of one community and the vision of two women).  I mean seriously how can a title like this:

British town grows all of its own vegetables, 
witnesses improved civic life and reduced crime as a result.

not do something to you?  

All we could think of is that - why not Scottsdale, why not the whole Phoenix valley and why not the city you live in?  If Mary Clear, a grandmother of ten, had vision to change her community by building community through her program called Incredible Edible - then why can't we?

I know that some of this is happening, but we think and so do those we talk with - that it's just not enough to turn things around.

So, what IF there was this uprising (of sorts) of young (and older) people who understood that one of the best ways forward isn't just sustainability on an individual basis, but to go beyond that and begin installing fruit and vegetable gardens EVERYWHERE.  

What IF every police station, fire station, city hall, library and every schools (and we applaud our friends at My Farmyard for their part in school gardens) had raised beds of food (to give away).

The message of IE is to "experiment and take action", to "get involved", and "feel empowered".  They are inspiring people to do more locally (and I know this is happening to a degree), do more learning, more teaching, more asking, more planting, more growing and (I love this one) to more cooking.  

The article here states this: Fresh herbs, succulent greens, and tasty fruits can be found growing near civic buildings, college campuses, supermarket parking lots, and various other places. Small garden plots, raised planting beds, and even small soil strips in these areas can be found brimming with fresh produce, all of which are free to anyone who want it, and at any time.

It is all part of a program called Incredible Edible, which was founded by Mary Clear, a local grandmother of ten, and Pam Warhurst, former owner of a local restaurant in town known as Bear Cafe. The duo had a shared goal of making Todmorden the first town in the UK to become completely self-sufficient in food -- and their endeavors have been successful.

Pretty exciting if you ask us. So, how should we begin?