JUICERS 101 by Judy Trupin, Co Chair, Tuv Ha’Aretz

Judy Trupin enjoys an occasional carrot, celery, and ginger juice … but isn’t a regular juicer (yet).
Organic Raw Carrot Juice
If Tabia Heywot’s article last week inspired you to start juicing, the next step is to decide what kind of juicer to buy. What you choose depends on a number of factors – what you’ll be juicing (fruit? vegetables? both?), your budget and your goal in juicing.

The two most common types of juicers are centrifugal juicers and masticating (or cold-press) juicers. Centrifugal juicers produce the juice by first chopping the produce and then spinning it at a high speed. On the plus side, they are easy to set up, easy to clean, less costly than other types and produce the juice rather quickly. On the other hand, the high speed also heats the juice, which destroys some of the heat-sensitive nutrients. An article in the Huffington Post recommends a centrifugal juicer if you plan to use the juices in cooking, where the juice will be heated in any event.

Another issue with centrifugal juicers is that they don’t extract all the juice from the produce. Furthermore, these juicers don’t juice leafy greens very well. Their noise level is another complaint. According to www.juicerfanatics.com, the cheaper ones tend to be the noisiest.

Masticating juicers work by pulverizing the produce. They work slowly and don’t create much heat, thus retaining many of the nutrients. They also do a better job of crushing plant cell walls to release the enzymes, which some who juice for health reasons consider a significant reason to choose this type of juicer.

A masticating juicer is an excellent juicer for getting every last drop of juice out of your produce. They’re usually pretty versatile and will often make other products such as pates, fruit sorbets and ice cream. They can even process nuts to produce nut milks. I’ve used one in the past to make a wonderful banana ice cream by simply freezing some peeled, overripe bananas, processing them, and adding a dash of cinnamon.

That being said, the downside of these juicers is they are more difficult to set up and more of a challenge to clean. Also, they are pricier than the centrifugal juicers, costing about $200 to $300 for a decent one, with the highest-priced ones running as much as $500.

There’s also a manual crank juicer – which is very economical (Amazon lists one for $59), but be prepared to get a bit of an arm workout!

Of course, if you want the most deluxe – and priciest – of juicers, there is also a third type, known as the twin-gear or triturating juicer. This one works by crushing the produce to a very fine powder, getting an even higher yield from your produce than the masticating type. But – we are talking expensive. One popular model, the Super Angel 5500, is an all-stainless-steel juicer, and costs about $1500. The less-expensive models of this type can be found for about $500.

So what do CSA members do? Tabia sticks with centrifugal juicers. She says, “They work well for soft fruits and veggies but kale is hard for them to break down, even if I remove the stems.” She’s using a Bella and a Breville now and in the past had a Jack Lalanne, which is her all-time favorite.

Tabia is considering getting a Vitamix-type machine, but hesitates because she says that they “grind up the skin, pulp & flesh of the fruit to make more of a paste.” And she adds that she prefers the more liquid juice produced by her juicer to the “smoothie-type” produced by the Vitamix.

If the rest of the CSA is like the core group, we aren’t juicing yet, or we did it a while ago and gave up. When asked if they used a juicer, core group member responses ranged from “wish I did” to “I’d rather eat than drink my vegetables” to a few saying it was too time-consuming or juicers were too hard to clean. At least three of us have juicers sitting in a closet or storage somewhere.

So what’s my advice? If you don’t plan on juicing on a regular basis, it might be best to just buy a juice every now and then. Juice bar drinks are pricey, but so are juicers. And if you are contemplating purchasing one, you might want to borrow one from a friend before investing in your own. That might convince you that either it’s not your thing, or help you sort out which type you want to purchase. If you do get hooked on juicing, consider the above advice, check out some online reviews, and get started. And let your fellow CSA’ers know what works for you!
Happy juicing!

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September 20, 2016 Share

september-20-2016Red Leaf Lettuce (replacement for last week), Romaine Lettuce, Saladette/Cocktail Tomatoes/Cherry Tomatoes, Red Beefsteak Tomatoes, Acorn Squash, Festival Sweet Dumpling Squash, Zucchini/Summer Squash, Red and Yellow Onions, Swiss Chard.
FRUIT SHARE – 1 bag mixed Gala Apples & Peaches

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September 13, 2016 Share

september-13-2016

Golden or Red Beets (DO NOT DISCARD THE TOPS!), Saladette/Cocktail Tomatoes/Cherry Tomatoes (*Note that the green (red tinged) oblong variety is RIPE WHEN STILL GREEN!), Acorn Squash, Romaine Lettuce – Red or Green Batavian variety, Freshly-dug New Potatoes(yellow or red), Zucchini/Summer Squash, Long Peppers.

FRUIT SHARE – 1 bag of Damson Plums FOR COOKING ONLY!

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Why Do I Juice? (with juice recipes)

juicing
Why Do I Juice?
Tabia Heywot, Member, Tuv Ha’Aretz CSA

Tabia Heywot has been juicing for about 5 years and seeks more ways to incorporate juicing into her life, including using wheatgrass and garlic shots (from the garlic festival). She is very interested in juicing non-traditional (wild) plants (weeds!)

Juicing is one way that I can get the nutritional value of eating my veggies and fruit in a way that is fun and tastes good. I like to consume liquids (as opposed to chewing), especially in the summer. It’s very refreshing have a glass of something that is healthy and helps to build a strong body, and juices are full of antioxidants that fight off disease.
The better the quality of the fruits and vegetables you use, the better the quality of the juice you‘ll be taking in. It’s also a way that I use some of the odds and ends of the food share, after I’ve made a meal. Sometimes I have one carrot, a few stalks of celery, a handful of spinach left – not enough to make a meal, but I can combine them all to make a glass of juice.
When some think about juicing, they think about doing it for internal body cleaning or detoxing. However, it can also be done to aid in weight loss and general nutrition, reducing water retention, balancing the blood sugar, and as a sleep aid.
Robin Asbell writes in her book Juice It!, that juicing can create rich and tasty drinks to replace dessert, can be a pick-me-up like coffee, can relieve headache pain and eliminate toxins provide a taste-filled substitute for soda.
I was first introduced to juicing by a co-worker. She recommended buying a low-cost juicer or juice extractor to start with, and to find out if I wanted to commit to occasional juicing, start with the easiest things to break down, and then move on to the heavier, more dense vegetables, such as kale or beets.
Juicing can make use of your coop and CSA share items and can be a way to get those vegetables down to enhance any lifestyle.
If you don’t like eating vegetables every day, it’s a delicious way to get a vegetable’s nutrients. Vegetables like celery or chard can be a little salty; beets or watercress can be strong-tasting, but I find adding apples or carrots to the recipe makes the juices more palatable.
Some vegetables will need a heavy-duty juicer (for fibrous vegetables like kale) or need a juicer specific to that vegetable (like wheatgrass). Wheatgrass is an excellent source of antioxidants; if you don’t want to buy a specialized or heavy-duty juicer, you can buy by the “shot” from a health food store and add to the juice you make at home.
Anyone with health concerns – e.g. hypertension, diabetes, etc. – should check with a doctor first to see which vegetables should be avoided, or what dietary changes must be made. Some juices may have counteractive effects with certain medications or medical conditions.
For saltiness, you can add celery (which has a lot of natural salt), or apples, agave sugar, or stevia for sweetness. Some like to add green tea (antioxidants), spinach (nutrients), or avocado (thickness).
If you’re feeling like a cold is coming on, Asbell suggests a “super protector” juice rich in vitamin C and antioxidants.
When you start to juice, it’s suggested that you use a single fruit or vegetable, like carrots or apples (perfect for our CSA shares). Use a blender (if you like purees or thicker juices) or a juice extractor (that separates the liquid from the pulp or fiber) if you like a thinner liquid. The leftover pulp can be used for pie filling, for thickening soups, making cupcakes, vegetable patties, and for composting.
If you are using organic produce, don’t remove the skins, as they contain lots of nutrients – another benefit of using CSA vegetables!

Wake-up Juice (instead of caffeine). I use an early morning mood lifter juice:
1 cup of watercress
½ cup spinach
2 small carrots

Super Protector
2 cups chopped whole broccoli
2 large oranges
1 large apple, cored

For nutritious juicing:
5 stalks of kale (remove the stems or you’ll be buying another juice machine)
2 stalks of Swiss chard
1 lime
1 pear
½ head of lettuce
1 knob of ginger (add amount to taste)
1 cucumber

My favorite kale recipe:
5 stalks kale
1 lemon
1 knob ginger
1 head romaine lettuce
1 celery heart
For a quick diuretic mix, add some beets (usually one is enough to start the digestion moving).

For a sleep aid:
1 head romaine lettuce
2 tablespoon fresh chopped dill
1 large cucumber

Asbell’s recipe for nutritious energy tastes sweet-tangy and contains beets, which are high in nitrates and can improve athletic performance by expanding veins:
1 large beet
3 red Swiss chard leaves
1 small red chili, seeded
2 large plum tomatoes, peeled

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Japan’s CSAs: A Movement with Long Roots Patricia Welch, Member, Tuv Ha’Aretz CSA

September 6, 2016

In the 1980s, I was living in Kyoto Japan, teaching English at a private girls’ school and having the time of my life. Every day was an adventure: where the familiar became strange, and then familiar again as I acclimated to life in a foreign city. One of my best decisions was to take a year-long cooking class at the YWCA; I became a confident cook specializing in Japanese and Chinese dishes, made great friends, and became involved in my very first CSA. As with our CSA here in Forest Hills, I paid a set fee in advance for a share of produce from a number of local farms. What differed, however, were the produce (naturally), and the ways in which volunteers participated.

Our farmers delivered their pesticide-free, unwashed and ungraded produce in plastic bins, which we set out in the pick-up spot. The vegetables smelled of the earth, and gritty with soil from just being harvested. Participants came with theirbags and then assembled their own haul from a master list that the CSA staff had compiled. Participants also picked up dried beans, milk, eggs, and other items that they could pre-order at an additional cost. At the end of the pick-up time, volunteers cleaned up and distributed any remaining produce to charitable organizations. Indeed, even today, most U.S. CSAs have a volunteer element built in, but in the Japanese model, the time commitment was far greater, for most members in excess of 4 hours a month.

Cooperative agricultural movements in Japan were started in the mid-1960s by groups of Japanese women who were concerned about food quality, as well as about the increased reliance on imported processed foods. Environmental activism was widespread in the 1960s in Japan, spurred no doubt by high-profile cases such as widespread mercury poisoning in Minamata City, and cadmium poisoning in Toyama Prefecture. In the cases above, industrial run-off of mercury and cadmium had seeped into the water supply and then into the foods produced with the affected water.  Thousands were affected, many suffering permanent disabilities.

The cooperative movements that emerged at this time had a variety of organizational structures. Some forged close alliances with specific local farmers, akin to the current US model where most CSAs have a “farmer of their own”; others contracted with a number of local distributors, more like the model used by organic milk cooperatives. Over time, two leaders in the Japanese cooperative movement emerged, the Seikatsu Ky?do Kumiai (Seikyo, or “Coop”) and the teikei
(contract movement), which, over time, has become closer to the basic U.S. CSA structures.

What characterizes both is that they were originally consumer driven, rather than driven by the cultivators themselves. Seiky? has grown into a national organization of some 2500 stores (in addition to the regional cooperative groups), which contain a rich array of products and services that have been carefully selected by members of the organization, including insurance, phosphate free soaps, and paper goods. At the same time, farms that operate under the teikei philosophy can develop relationships with consumers.

About twenty years after the first Japanese CSAs appeared,and coincidentally about the time I was having my first CSA experience, the CSA movement in the United States began. These were started by farmers, most notably Robyn Van En of Indian Line Farm in Great Barrington MA, and others who worked out local distribution systems based in part on principles found in the teikei or contract system. Since their early days in the United States, CSAs have expanded considerably. By some estimates there are currently almost 6000 CSAs in the United States. In Queens alone, here are 13 CSAs, supported by five different farms, including our very own Golden Earthworm.

    The 10 Principles of Teikei
    Build a friendly and creative relationship, not as mere trading partners.
    •Produce according to pre-arranged plans on an agreement (contract) between the producer(s) and the consumer(s).
    •Accept all the produce delivered from the producer(s).
    •Seet prices in the spirit of mutual benefits.
    •Deepen the mutual communication for the mutual respect and trust.
    •Manage self-distribution, either by the producer(s) or the consumer(s).
    Be democratic in the group activities.
    Take much interest in studying issues related to organic agriculture.
    Keep members of each group at an appropriate number.
    Go on making steady progress, even if it is slow, toward the final goal of the committed management of organic agriculture and an ecologically sound life.

Patricia Welch has been living in Kew Gardens since 2001. She is a professor of Japanese at Hofstra University, and has been a member— off and on— of CSAs since the 1980s.

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September 6, 2016 Share

September 6, 2016 share PIC
Photograph: Brian Gardner Hoashi

VEGETABLES: Red Beefsteak Tomatoes, Mixed Saladette / Cocktail / Cherry Tomatoes, Batavian Lettuce, Swiss Chard, Red / Yellow Storage Onions, Red Beets, Zucchini / Summer Squash
FRUIT: Peaches, Nectarines

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August 30, 2016 Share

aug 30 sharephotograph: Golden Earthworm farm

Red Beefsteak Tomatoes, Mixed Saladette/Cocktail Tomatoes, Watermelon, Red Batavian Lettuce, Freshly-dug New Potatoes, Green Bell Peppers, Cucumbers, Zucchini/Summer Squash.

FRUIT SHARE – 1 mixed bag of Apples & Pears

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Horiatiki, the Peasant Roots of Greek Salad

horiatiki sald

Horiatiki, the Peasant Roots of Greek Salad
Aglaia Kremezi

It is curious how a salad called ‘horiatiki’ became such a hit in Athens and all over the country. The term may be translated as ‘from the village,’ or ‘peasant,’ a welcome suggestion today as it brings to mind authentic good-quality foods, but when it was first introduced – probably in the 1960ies or early ‘70ies – the country was desperately trying to shed its agricultural Eastern Mediterranean past, and become urban and European. It was common to dismiss a garment or a conduct as ‘horiatiki,’ not modern and worthy of the new urban middle class.

Obviously, whoever first combined these basic ingredients created a salad delicious enough to be copied, improved upon and even exported to become a household dish all over the world!

Probably the famous Greek Salad was actually inspired by the summer salad-meals of the peasants. Its main ingredient, the juicy vine-ripened tomatoes, is complemented with onions and all kinds of garden vegetables and greens – cucumber, purslane, or some flavorful pickled green, like kritama (rock-samphire) that was originally a Chios island addition, and now has become part of the ‘exotic’ creative salads served in Mykonos and Santorini. The salad has sweet and sometimes mildly hot peppers, and it is always topped with feta.  In its original village past the salad/meal could have any kind of local cheese, as well as olives, and maybe capers or caper leaves. Horiatiki is scented with dried, wild oregano or savory, and doused with plenty of fruity olive oil. It might also contain salted sardines, and was often made more substantial with the addition of stale bread or crumbled paximadia (barley rusks), which soak up the delicious juices.

I vaguely remember my parents snubbing horiatiki, as an overpriced salad created by sly tavern owners. Up until then in the summer one ordered a tomato salad, with or without onions and cucumber, and separately a slice of feta cheese which came drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with oregano. My parents, along with other people we knew, had come to the conclusion that horiatiki’s cost exceeded that of the usual salad and feta combination.  It was a gimmick for the tourists, according to my father, but also later on some of my friends, who refused to order it. They thought that even when the salad became cheaper and a kind of standard all over Greece, taverns adopted it as a way for to serve inferior quality, and smaller pieces of feta; my parents kept on ordering tomato salad and feta, separately. Eventually, though, the horiatiki invention backfired. Budget tourists were feasting on this horiatiki / Greek salad, ordering it as a main lunch or dinner and tavern owners started to complain about “the horiatiki tourists” who were almost ruining their business during high season!

Of course the taste of Greek salad depends entirely on the quality and freshness of its ingredients. The traditional Greek winter version, not called horiatiki, is based on crunchy leaves of Romaine lettuce that are complemented with spicy wild arugula, and fragrant herbs (fennel, dill, mint, borage and plenty of scallions). This salad seldom has tomatoes, and never depends on the tasteless, pale green-house tomatoes sold in supermarkets.

Here is a link to the original article

Aglaia Kremezi has changed her life and her profession many times over. She currently writes about food in Greek, European and American magazines, publishes books about Greek and Mediterranean cooking in the US and in Greece, and teaches cooking to small groups of travelers who visit the little island of Kea.

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August 23, 2016 Share

csa august 23
Photograph: Brian Gardner Hoashi

Watermelon, Swiss Chard, Green Leaf Lettuce, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Zucchini/Summer Squash
FRUIT SHARE – 1 mixed bag of Nectarines & Peaches
 

 

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From Ducks and Potatoes to Wine and CSAs: A History of Farming on Long Island by Marcia Kaplan Belgorod, Member, Tuv Ha’Aretz CSA

Marcia Kaplan Belgorod has been a member of Forest Hills Tuv Ha’Aretz CSA since its inception. She was an original core committee member. Marcia has been a locavore all her life ever since the stops at farmstands on those early Long Island trips with her parents.

I grew up on Long Island in southwestern Nassau County. At the time, there were still two small family farms in town, but by the time I was in my 20s, there were none. I remember that on weekends, particularly in the spring or fall, my parents would say, “Let’s go for a ride.” That meant that they would hand me a map of Long Island, and I would navigate as we drove east until my father got tired, or they became concerned about getting home too late, or we reached the end of the island. Sometimes we went along the North Fork; sometimes we stayed on the South Shore. Either way, at a certain point the landscape would change: the suburbs gave way to farmland where most of the farms grew potatoes or raised ducks.

In 1950s, there were almost 3,000 farms on Long Island. Agriculture developed in Nassau County for the easy shipment of goods to New York. As time went on, more of the area became a residential community for commuters to the “City” like my father, and the farms moved farther east. Today, there are only 4 farms in Nassau County, one of which is owned by the county and operated as a non-profit. Of the 700 farms left on the Island, the remainder is in Suffolk County.

Local Native American peoples were primarily hunters and fishermen, though a few grew corn. European settlers migrated from Massachusetts and brought their agricultural techniques; those who farm on Long Island today are largely descended from those who have farmed there since the 17th century. Much of what we know about life on these early farms comes from family traditions and from journals and diaries kept by women. Farms were self-sufficient, and families survived on what they grew and preserved.
Survival often depended on a single crop per season. Mary Cooper of Oyster Bay wrote in her diary in the 1700’s that her family was becoming bored of cherries. Later, she wrote that the pumpkins had not been harvested before an early frost, and the family would have to make do with apples (similar to our members voicing their disappointment with the copious zucchini and at the weather’s effect on peaches).

In the 19th century, technology and the Long Island Railroad changed the nature of farming. Farmers could produce more and ship their crops efficiently. Cordwood for heating and construction was the most profitable cash crop, providing currency for farmers to purchase manufactured goods. The crop mix gradually changed to accommodate the market, and farmers moved toward crops that could be stored and were favored by Irish and Northern European immigrants. Potatoes became a major crop after the Civil War; technology assisted to make them easier to grow and to harvest.
Long Island became one of the major agricultural areas in the United States in the early 20th century. World War I opened up more markets, but market prices went down during the 1920’s, which was followed by the stock market crash and the Great Depression. Farmers had to borrow cash for seed and equipment, and suffered with the rest of the country. However, WWII helped farming; farmers were excused from the wartime draft, so they could produce food for the war effort.

Duck farming began in the 1870’s with the introduction of Chinese Pekin ducks. Their quick maturation produces particularly tender meat, and demand for “Long Island ducks” grew during the 20th century. However, environmental concerns and land prices contributed to the decline of the duck industry and today, Crescent Duck Farm in Aquebogue is the last remaining duck farm.

After WWII, pressure to convert land to housing development increased, prompting farmers to sell out or to move farther east. Families like the Schmitts moved from Rosedale, to Farmingdale, to their current location in Riverhead. On the South Shore, farmland was squeezed between the demand for first homes to the west and for second homes to the east.

Viniculture came to the North Fork at the end of the 20th century; in Cutchogue, Alex and Louisa Hargrave established the first vineyards. Other growers, winemakers, and investors followed and today, the Island is one of the main wine-growing regions in the country with approximately 60 vineyards ranging from 2-1/2 acres to 500+ acres. Most wines are sold at the vineyards.

There are no large corporate farms on Long Island and local farmers explore innovative ways to market their produce; many like Fred Terry, whose family arrived in the area in the late 1600’s, originally sold to wholesalers. He switched to selling directly to consumers through farmers’ markets and experienced higher profits and got to know his customers, who benefited by getting fresher produce. Other farms, like our own Golden Earthworm, reach out to consumers via the CSA model.

The rest of the world may think of Long Island as full of suburban houses, beaches, and luxury homes. And yet, to this day Suffolk County is the fourth most valuable agricultural area in the country. Despite environmental concerns and economic pressures, the Long Island farm community continues to provide produce for markets throughout Long Island and New York City.

 

flandersduckThe Big Duck
In 1931, duck farmer Martin Maurer constructed the Big Duck at the edge of his property as a retail store for ducks and eggs. After the farm was sold, the structure was listed in the National Register of Historic Places and purchased by Suffolk County. The duck was moved it to its current location in Flanders and houses a gift shop and duck ephemera.

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