Dear Local Gourmands,
My friends have taken to rolling their eyes when I gab about the pizza parties, sandwich parties, pickle-making extravaganzas, and tofu take downs that fill my calendar, but when I mentioned that I’d spent Sunday afternoon at a compost party, they took note. Out in Ditmas Park, Annie Hauk Lawson (co-author of Gastropolis) was building a completely sustainable, biodegradable compost bin and cold frame in her front yard. A circular fort had been constructed with bales of straw (leftovers from a church’s nativity scene), then we lowered in a wooden frame (another leftover from a nearby construction site), and finally added a wire bin full of wet leaves and kitchen scraps. Next to the base of the wire bin we filled the repurposed wooden frame with more wet leaves, already decomposed “black gold” soil, and then planted three rows of seeds– lettuce, arugula, and crumple cress. At last Annie added on an old window pane, just above the seeds, to protect their early beginnings in these trying days of late winter. We were neighbors, food friends, colleagues, a baby, a cat, a collie, and a camera man. Annie’s aim is to film a series of DIY composting how-to videos for urban homesteaders. Think of her as Brooklyn’s answer to Martha Stewart. She dons fitted, vintage white gardening gloves as if her front yard is the church of composting. You can check out Annie’s first compost demo on YouTube, and see pics from Sunday’s filming on our blog.
Tuesday, February 22, 7-9pm
The Brooklyn Slur
318 Grand St., Williamsburg
Snuggle up at the Lodge in Williamsburg for $3 beers and all you can eat wings at this month’s edition of the Brooklyn Slur. Learn all you ever wanted to know about your local Slow Food chapter, kick a few back, and befriend fellow Slow-minded folks. “Built from wood re-purposed from a 19th century Adirondack camp, Lodge is a bar and restaurant that offers regionally grown and sustainably produced foods. The menu features comfort classics like pulled pork with mac and cheese, and the drink list includes cocktails made with organic vodka, Six Point and Brooklyn beers and biodynamic wines.”
Tuesday, February 23, 7-9pm
Bushwick Food Co-op Film Night:
236 Troutman St.
I for one am glad this is the fourth and final week of February, but this also (sadly!) means it’s the fourth and final installment in the Tuesday night film series the Bushwick Food Co-op has been holding at Tandem. We’re one month closer to spring, so come out of hibernation and meet some neighbors who are working to bring more good food to Bushwick. This week’s selection is Food, Inc.– let it get you all fired up, then talk with Co-op cohorts about how to make a difference in your local food system. Free Advice, your fave local banjo duo will pull strings, the cocktail mavens at Tandem will mix elixirs and pull drafts, and the Bushwick Farmer’s Market folks will be on hand too, to round out the neighborhood meet and greet.
Tuesday, February 23, 7pm
Anthology Film Archives
Tickets, $15 (proceeds benefit Just Food)
Kerry Trueman, blogger extraordinaire of Eating Liberally and the Huffington Post, hosts this month’s Hungry Filmmakers screening at Anthology Film Archives. The roundup of six new films and shorts focus on furthering a conversation about sustainable food in a social and welcoming environment. A panel discussion with the filmmakers follows.
“Throughout the films in this lineup, our filmmakers explore the dire effects of over fishing and the underlying causes of food-borne illnesses, the lack of fresh food in underserved communities, and the growth of sustainable food production practices that are inspirational to all.”
Films: FRESH Ana Sofia Joanes, MAD COW INVESTIGATOR Nancye Good WHAT’S ON YOUR PLATE? Catherine Gund, THE END OF THE LINE Rupert Murray, FLY ON THE WALL Jenny Montasir.
Thursday, February 25, 7:30-9pm
The Art of Eating In with Cathy Erway
126 Franklin St.
Blogger extraordinaire Cathy Erway of Not Eating Out in New York has triumphantly burst onto the literary scene with her début, The Art of Eating In. Tonight she reads to a hometown crowd of friends and loyal CSS subscribers at Greenpoint’s lovely WORD bookshop. Oh, and you better believe there will be treats on hand.
Friday, February 26, 6-9pm
Black Farmers and Urban Gardeners Conference
The Horticultural Society of New York
148 W 37th street, 13th floor
Tickets, $25/farmers and gardeners, $50/supporters
Celebrate Black farmers past and present at a mid-winter night of revelry/fundraiser to benefit the City’s first Black Farmers and Urban Gardeners Conference, scheduled for April 10, 2010 at Brooklyn College. Guest speakers include Kolu Zigbi (Program Officer for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems at the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation), Karen Washington (President of the NYC Community Gardens Coalition and Co-Founder of La Familia Verde Gardens Coalition), and John Francis Ficara who will present his award winning photographic documentary project, “Black Farmers In America.” Refreshments and Appetizers by Anderson´s 1949 (French Culinary Institute Alumnis), musical stylings by DJ Nickolai.
Saturday, February 27, 1:30-5:30pm
The Food Print Project
180 Varick St., Ste 1610
“Foodprint NYC is the first in a series of international conversations about food and the city. From a cluster analysis of bodega inventories to the cultural impact of the ice-box, and from food deserts to peak phosphorus, panelists will examine the hidden corsetry that gives shape to urban foodscapes, and collaboratively speculate on how to feed New York in the future. The free afternoon program will include designers, policy-makers, flavor scientists, culinary historians, food retailers, and others, for a wide-ranging discussion of New York’s food systems, past and present, as well as opportunities to transform our edible landscape through technology, architecture, legislation, and education.”
Saturday, February 27, 7pm-midnight
Growing Chefs Benefit Party
236 North 12th Street, Williamsburg
“Join us on Saturday, February 27th as we gather foodies, green thumbs, and chefs to celebrate the art of eating well from field to fork. Hosted by local foods based specialty shop Urban Rustic, the evening will include an endless sampling of seasonal local treats prepared on site by the culinary team at Growing Chefs in partnership with Brooklyn Standard. Look forward to live music to get your foot stompin’ and a spectacular auction guaranteed to make your green thumb start itching to grow.”
Sunday, February 28, 8:30am-6pm
Just Food’s Annual CSA in NYC Conference
Teacher’s College, Columbia University
The great thing about the off season (as it were) is that it gives us all a little down time (or at least time indoors) to plot and plan for the year ahead. Take part in Just Food’s annual CSA in NYC Conference on February 28 to converse with farmers, food activists, and advocates from around the city and state to talk about how to start a CSA, how to strengthen the one you are a part of, issues facing regional farmers, and how we can all maximize our roles in the movement to increase access to locally grown food throughout the city.
Of note a few weeks down the road…
Wednesday, March 3, 8pm
Rock ‘n Grow
Greenmarket Benefit Concert
214 Sullivan St.
Greenmarket kicks off their 40th anniversary with a concert to benefit their youth education programs. Turn out for bands Davey and the Trainwreck, 2/3 Goat, and Pie Boys Flat, plus complementary Greenmarket snacks.
Wednesday, March 10, 7:30pm
Dixon Place Presents: Pitom and Pie Tasting
161 A Chrystie St.
Dixon Place shines a light on all-American pies tonight when local talent, Pitom, takes to the stage at the famed Lower East Side music joint. Food writer Leah Koenig will be in the audience serving up slices of goodness while the band wails away.
March 10, 5:30-8:30pm
Prospects, Pitfalls, and Prodigies: The Hudson Valley Dairy Industry
An Evening with Ag 2.0
55 3rd Ave.
Tickets, $10 (advance) $20 (at the door)
This month’s return of the tremendously successful Ag 2.0 holds court at The Smith where sustainable food folks from all over the city will gather to talk shop, swap ideas, and no doubt trade business cards like professional poker players. Guest speakers include dairy farmers Jessica and Stuart Ziehm of Tiashoke Farms, Dante Hesse of Milk Thistle Farm, and John Friedman, attorney and advisor to sustainable agriculture businesses. “Attendees hail from investment and consulting firms, farms and greenmarkets, universities, food-related non-profits, food manufacturers, retailers, and restaurants. We’ll come together to network, talk food and ag, and catalyze the movement to a more sustainable food system. If you work in food and agriculture — or would like to — don’t miss this gathering of like-minded and local professionals.”