Intervale Green Rooftop Farm

A Bronx Urban Farm Sponsored by Women's Housing and Economic Development Corporation (WHEDco)


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Garden Wrap Up

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Cheers, to a year of abundance, education, and fulfillment at Intervale Green Rooftop Garden! In anticipation of the winter season, we’ve started to put the garden to rest. All the remaining plants have been removed from the garden beds, along with any leftover vegetables.  They were then transferred to the compost bin, which by next Spring, will have broken down enough for use as a soil amendment at the garden. Now that we are closed for winter…what would you like to see next year?

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Thanksgiving Herb Giveaway and Recipe

We had our annual Thanksgiving Herb giveaway this past Wednesday along with a demo from eat2explore. Thanksgiving is right around the corner so the residents appreciated having fresh herbs at their disposal.  We harvested cilantro, thyme, rosemary, sage, and oregano. To continue the theme of Thanksgiving, Rowena and Claire from Eat2Explore made a delicious stuffing, which incorporated the herbs from the roof. The dish was a major success with the residents and some even wanted to use the recipe at their own Thanksgiving dinners.  See the recipe below!

 

Sausage & Herb Stuffing

Ingredients

  • 1 Pack of store-bought stuffing bread cubes (14 oz)
  • 1 lb Sweet Italian sausage (without casing)
  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 punch of parsley
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 sprigs of sage
  • 1 egg
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 2 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper

Place the bread cubes in a large bowl. In a large saute pan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 2 -3 minutes. Add the garlic, carrots, and celery. Saute for another 2-3 minutes. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and freshly ground pepper. Add sauteed vegetables to the mixing bowl with stuffing cubes.

In the same saute pan, cook sausage. Crumble sausage into small pieces. Cook until completely browned. Add the sausage to the bread crumbs and vegetables.

Add the chicken broth, egg, and sage, thyme, parsley and mix well.

Transfer to a baking dish and bake in a 350-degree oven for 45- 50 minutes. This stuffing can also go into the cavity of a turkey.

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Harvest Festival

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We weren’t able to carve pumpkins this year, but that didn’t stop us from having a festival. At our final harvest giveaway, we decided to do something special for kids at IG. A table was set up with harvest-themed worksheets and Halloween masks.  Each kid had the opportunity to create a mask of their choice as well as customize harvest-themed art. We provided crayons, stickers, erasers as well as healthy snacks. Overall the event was a major success! We hope to combine both pumpkin carving and the games/activities at next years festival.

 


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Eat2Explore Visits

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Last month Eat2Explore visited the farm for a fresh food demo. Eat2Explore is meal Kit system with the mission of igniting a passion for cooking! Rowena the founder and Claire stopped by to prepare a pasta dish.

Eat2Explore is a food subscription service which focuses on getting kids interested in preparing their own food. The theme of the dishes changes from month to month. During September the country/region was Italy. See the recipe below!

Penne with Eggplant, Tomato, Seasonal Greens and Ricotta Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 eggplant cubed
  • 2 tomatoes diced
  • 1 bunch of collard green chopped
  • 3 sprigs of basil roughly chopped
  • 6 oz organic penne pasta
  • 1 cup fresh ricotta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Italian spice mix: 1 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp basil, ¼ tsp thyme
  • Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

 

In a large sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the onion and sauté until tender, about 2-3 Add garlic, eggplant, tomatoes and collard greens; cover and cook until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and freshly ground  Add the Italian spice mix and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in ½ the basil and cook until it’s wilted about 2-3 minutes.  Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

While the sauce is simmering, boil a pot of salted water over medium-high heat.   Add pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente, about 8-10 minutes.  Drain pasta in a colander. Add pasta and ¼ cup of the reserved pasta cooking liquid to the simmering sauce; toss to coat.   Place large dollops of ricotta cheese evenly on the pasta. Drizzle the surface with olive oil.  Divide the pasta between plates and top with remaining ricotta. Enjoy! 


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A Visit From Food Heaven Made Easy

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This past Saturday, the residents had a real treat when Wendy Lopez of Food Heaven Made Easy stopped by to give a nutrition and food demo. Wendy is a registered Dietitian based in the Bronx, who also runs a blog with her friend Jessica Jones, who is also a registered dietitian. Together they create healthy and nutritious recipes, many of which are featured in their book “28 Day Plant-Powered Health Reboot”. Wendy walked the participants through a recipe from for her one-pot chili, which is perfect for the fall season. We used tomatoes and jalapenos from the roof to make this delicious dish. The recipe is below:

  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large tomato, cubed
  • ½ medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup carrots, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, de-seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 15 ounces cooked black beans
  • 15 ounces cooked chickpeas
  • ½ cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt and cayenne pepper, to taste

In a bowl, combine the onion, tomato, red bell pepper, garlic, carrots, and jalapeno. Mix these ingredients together with a spoon. Then in a large pot, heat the olive oil and sauté the ingredients in the bowl for 5 minutes over medium heat. Once those ingredients are fragrant, add the water, tomato sauce, and all of the beans. If using canned beans, make sure you rinse them well before use to get rid of all that excess sodium.

Stir all the ingredients in the pot well, and proceed to add the quinoa, cumin, and chili powder. Cook for 30 minutes over low-medium heat, stirring the ingredients in the pot every 10 minutes. Once the dish is cooked, add salt and cayenne pepper, to taste.

The residents loved participating in the preparation of the dish and planned to make it on their own.

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Getting Ready for Fall

It’s been a rainy season, but the farm has continued to thrive. The tomatoes, eggplant, okra, and herbs continue to produce on a weekly basis. With the Fall season right around the corner, we’re now beginning to plan for our fall crops. Our goal is to plant beans, cauliflower, kale, lettuce, garlic, and flower bulbs, if possible.

Garlic is definitely at the top of our list. To prepare, we will start by purchasing organic garlic from a reputable source. Garlic requires well-draining soil that’s deep enough for the head to form. The largest bulbs will be placed about 2 inches deep and 4 inches apart, with the flat side facing down and then covered with mulch to prevent damage.

Garlic needs to overwinter for the bulbs to form. By Springtime, the green stalks will begin to appear. In addition to the stalks, garlic scapes will grow which can be harvested. When the stalks begin to turn brown at the bottom, the garlic is ready for harvest!

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Harvest Giveaway and Recipe

The farm has been steadily producing fresh vegetables over the past 3 months and we now get to enjoy the fruits of our labor. This weeks giveaway included cherry, roma, and beefsteak tomatoes, collard greens, basil, eggplant, and okra. As soon as the veggies were displayed, the residents jumped in line to pick up the items they wanted. Within an hour everything was gone! The residents also enjoyed a healthy dish prepared with items from the roof. The recipe is below.

Sauteed Cherry Tomatoes with Garlic, Basil, and Collard Greens

  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon of minced Basil
  • 2 Pints of Cherry Tomatoes 
  • 2 Cups of sliced Collard Greens
  • Salt and Pepper

Heat 1 Tb. olive oil in a  skillet over medium-high flame until it just starts to smoke. Add tomatoes, and season with salt and pepper. Saute, shaking pan frequently, until tomatoes soften and skins just begin to wrinkle. Stir in the garlic and continue to shake the pan until garlic is fragrant. Add Collard Greens and Saute until they turn a vibrant green and begin to wilt. Turn off heat, stir in the basil and remaining 1 Tb. olive oil, and serve.

This dish was a big a hit with the residents and the addition of collard greens made it even more nutritious. Everyone is looking forward to next weeks giveaway and dish.