There are many more reasons to love the Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture than the 22 that inspired this post, so after you have finished reading here, click on over to their site and see what the + is all about.
Like so many others, I first learned of the farm at Stone Barns and the gifted Farm Director, Jack Algiere in Dan Barber’s brilliant book The Third Plate, but it was not until last weekend that I actually visited the Center’s website to see what I could learn about the farm itself.
What I found was the truly inspired and inspiring gallery of images from each of the 22 weeks of the farm’s 2015 CSA (community supported agriculture).
Inspired because in addition to the beautifully photographed produce with variety labels, perfect for those of us looking to expand our varietal repertoires, the images also include a couple of lines for how to prepare them, sometimes individually and sometimes in combination with other items from that week’s box, answering the ubiquitous CSA question of “Okay, I have it, now what do I do with it?”.
Inspiring because all the suggestions are for whole foods, so simply prepared that there are no recipes or even need of recipes.
Part of the Stone Barns Center’s mission is “to create a healthy and sustainable food system” and teaching a new generations of farmers how to grow healthy soil while growing healthy food is part of achieving that mission, but so is educating the consumers of that food system because it doesn’t matter how healthy and sustainably food can be produced if the people shopping for food do not know what to do with a variety of fresh produce.
Kudos to the Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture for this simple, but powerful idea to better serve their own CSA customers, but also for going a step further and making it available to anyone who might find themselves staring at a bunch of carrots (or leeks, or beets, or peppers, or kale, etc.) and wanting to make a great meal starting with whole ingredients!
And a special thanks to the Stone Barns Center for allowing me to use two of the images from their gallery – in this case, a picture is worth four hundred and eleven words.