Volunteers Sought to Get Farm-Fresh Food to Needy Families

 

farm fresh

High School volunteers help prep the garden for the upcoming season

A newly piloted community supported agriculture (CSA) program in Mount Kisco, run by the nonprofit organization InterGenerate, is seeking volunteers to help distribute locally grown organic produce to neighbors in need.

“The intent of this CSA is to feed approximately 30 families who identify as food insecure. To bring this project to fruition, we need a team of volunteers to pick up produce from local farms, pack bags and drive them to drop-off locations in the area. Most of the tasks associated with this project will take place on a single day each week at our garden in Mount Kisco,” says Roseann Rutherford, co-founder of InterGenerate.

InterGenerate was launched in 2009 with the goal of creating a better world by providing opportunities to grow organic produce and expanding access to healthy food. It operates community gardens in Chappaqua, Katonah, Millwood and Mount Kisco, where produce is grown by members and volunteers.

With most InterGenerate gardens, members tend to their own plots and also work with other members to tend a Giving Garden, whose harvest is donated to the community. This year, however, InterGenerate has unveiled a new model of community gardening at the Ann Manzi Center in Mount Kisco. With this model, families will share the tasks of caring for the entire space, each family will take the produce it needs, and the rest of the harvest will be donated. The first workday for this garden will be May 4 at 10 a.m.

“This is a perfect model for beginning gardeners and busy people, as we will all share the experience of gardening without any one person feeling overburdened,” says Mey Marple, co-director of the project.

InterGenerate’s newly piloted CSA will help address the problem of food insecurity in Westchester. According to Feeding Westchester, one in five county residents will experience food insecurity this year. Using harvests from all their Giving Gardens and the communal garden at the ARC, as well as produce donated by or purchased from several surrounding farms, InterGenerate will distribute organic produce to those in need at very low cost. Any funds generated will be used to purchase locally grown food not grown by InterGenerate.

“With each new project, there is a need for more volunteers,” Rutherford says. “Anyone interested in helping to build community, feed neighbors in need and make this world a better place is encouraged to contact us.”

For more info, visit InterGenerate.net.

 

 

 

Eating Right, Made Easy: Skinny Buddha offers chef-designed, nutrition-packed meals to grab and go

skinny buddha

Elyce Jacobson and Shaka Taffawa

Finding a place to eat that is completely vegan, organic and gluten-free in Westchester is an unexpected delight. And that’s exactly what Skinny Buddha is—times two.

Elyce Jacobson and Shaka Taffawa, co-owners of Skinny Buddha Organic Café in Scarsdale and Skinny Buddha Organic Kitchen in Mount Kisco, say they created the business to give more people access to flavorful, nourishing food made from the best ingredients. Both locations offer a broad variety of fresh, healthy items, from smoothies and açaí bowls to hot and cold beverages, soups, salads, wraps, entrees and baked goods.

“Our most popular items are our açaí bowls, our hummus wrap and our kale salad,” Jacobson says. “Right now, though, our vegan chili and soup of the day have been a hit, due to the colder weather.”

While many restaurants are shaving calories off their menu items, Skinny Buddha is about creating delicious meals that pack a nutritional punch. Jacobson, a vegan and certified holistic health counselor trained in Ayurvedic nutrition, graduated from Peter Kump’s New York Cooking School and received further training at the Natural Gourmet Cooking School.

Taffawa is a certified personal trainer and fitness nutrition specialist.

With Skinny Buddha, Jacobson and Taffawa have made it easy to eat well. Both locations are cozy, with limited seating, so they specialize in quick service, whether through made-to-order, pre-ordered or prepackaged meals.

“Customers can pop in and order off the menu, grab pre-packaged items from our fridges or choose from a large selection of baked goods,” Jacobson says. “They also have the option of pre-ordering on our app. They can place their orders days in advance or for pick up within a 10-to-30-minute window.”

The made-to-order menu includes items like smoothies, açaí bowls, burgers, avocado toast and bagels with vegan cream cheese. Soups of the day are also available.

Customers with specific health goals rely on Skinny Buddha’s soup cleanse and custom-prepared meals, as well as its smoothie-based Skinny Fast Plan.

“Our soup cleanse is Ayurvedic by design,” Jacobson says. “It offers six 16-ounce mason jars of soup per day. All of them are vegetable based. Some are puréed and creamy in texture, while some have chunks of vegetables to satisfy the chew factor.”

baked

Assorted organic, vegan, gluten-free
baked goods at Skinny Buddha

Skinny Buddha will prepare one to three custom meals a day for clients, working within a specific calorie range and making sure the meals are macro and micro nutrient balanced. With the Skinny Fast Plan, customers can choose two smoothies per day from the five signature smoothies on the menu, and they also get a snack. “They provide their own dinner or pick something up from us,” Jacobson says.

Skinny Buddha also produces vegan, organic meals for corporate events and business meetings and caters “smoothie bars” for private parties.

Whatever the food, the guarantee is that it’s nutritious and all natural.

“We work with a few different organic produce purveyors,” Jacobson says. “If we can’t get it organic, we won’t buy it.”

Right now there are just two Skinny Buddha locations, although that might change if popular demand has any sway.

“Our customers are always asking us to open locations where they live,” Taffawa says. “We’ve probably been asked to open up in a hundred different towns.”

Skinny Buddha Organic Café 6 Depot Plaza, Scarsdale, NY Monday 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Tuesday-Friday 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Saturday-Sunday 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; 914.472.9646 MySkinnyBuddha.com

Skinny Buddha Organic Kitchen 159 Lexington Ave., Mount Kisco, NY Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; 914.358.1666; MySkinnyBuddha.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Natural Awakenings Foodie Guide

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Find local, natural and organic food and drink options here in Natural Awakenings’ Foodie Guide for Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess NY.

 

CAFÉS

BREAD ALONE BAKERY

45 Market St., Rhinebeck NY

845.876.3108

BreadAlone.com/Rhinebeck-cafe

 

Good Choice Kitchen

Seasonal.Organic.Vegan

147 Main St. Ossining, NY

914.930.1591

goodchoicekitchen.com

 

Hayfields, LLC

1 Bloomer Rd

North Salem, NY

HayfieldsMarket.com

914.669.8275

 

The Freight House Cafe

Natural. Local. Good

609 Route 6, Mahopac, NY

Behind music store

845.628.1872

TheFreightHouseCafe.com

 

The Union Hall Market

Coffee. Pastries. Local Meats

2 Keeler Ln, North Salem, NY

914.485.1555

FB: The Market at Union Hall

 

COFFEE & TEA

BIG BANG COFFEE ROASTERS

1000 N. Division St. #9
@ The Hat Factory, Peekskill
914.402.5566
BigBangCoffeeRoasters.com

 

FARMERS’ MARKETS

 

DOWN TO EARTH FARMERS MARKETS

From our Farms to Your Kitchen

914.923.4837

DowntoEarthMarkets.com

 

GOSSETT’S FARM MARKET

& GOSSETT BROTHERS NURSERY

1202 Rt.35, South Salem, NY

914.763.3001; Gossettnursery.com

 

HUDSON VALLEY FARMERS MARKET

Greig Farm, 223 Pitcher Lane, Red Hook, NY

914.474.2404

Facebook.com/HudsonValleyFarmersMarket

 

HUDSON VALLEY REGIONAL FARMERS MARKET

Sundays, 12am-2pm

15 Mount Ebo Road South

Brewster, NY

845.878.9078 x 4115

 

PEEKSKILL FARMERS MARKET

Outdoor June-November 21

Bank Street, Peekskill, NY

PeekskillFarmersMarket.com

 

FARMS

Fable: From Farm to Table
1311 Kitchawan Rd, Ossining, NY

Sat & Sun & 9am-4pm

FableFoods.com

 

HARVEST MOON FARM & ORCHARD

130 Hardscrabble Rd

North Salem, NY

914.485.1210

HarvestMoonFarmAndOrchard.com

 

HILLTOP HANOVER FARM & ENVIRONMENTAL CENTER

1271 Hanover St,

Yorktown Heights, NY

914.962.2368

HilltopHanoverFarm.org

 

THREE FEATHERS FARM

Grass-fed beef & eggs
371 Smith Ridge Rd, S. Salem
914.533.6529; jhaberny@aol.com

 

 

 

 

FARM STORE

 

BONI-BEL FARM &

COUNTRY STORE

301 Doansburg Road, Brewster

T-F 3:15 – 6pm/Sat 10am – 5pm
greenchimneys.org/countrystore

 

 

 

 

Rochambeau Farm

214 W. Patent Rd, Mt. Kisco, NY

Open: Thurs.-Sunday

914.241.8090

RochambeauFarmNY.com

JUICE

 

living

7(1/2) servings of organic

vegetables in one serving

of green juice to go.

914.763.6320; drinklivingjuice.com

 

MARKETS

BEWIES HOLISTIC MARKET

Organic Juice & Smoothie Bar

430 Bedford Rd., Armonk NY

914.273.9437; Bewies.com

 

Green Organic Market

275 S. Central Park Ave.

Hartsdale, NY

914.437.5802

FB: GreenOrganicMarket

 

Whole Foods Market

Whole Foods Market
575 Boston Post Rd,
Port Chester, NY
914.708.1985

1 Ridge Hill Rd, Yonkers, NY
914.378.8090

110 Bloomingdale Rd,
White Plains, NY
914.288.1300
WholeFoodsMarket.com

 

RESTAURANTS

Clock Tower Grill

Local. Sustainable. Organic

512 Clock Tower Dr., Brewster

845.582.0574; ClockTowergrill.com

JOLO’S KITCHEN
Always Vegan, All the Time
412 North Ave, New Rochelle
914.355.2527
Instagram.com/jolokitchen

JOLO’S
Vegan Dining Venue
& Art Gallery
49 Lawton St, New Rochelle
914.336.2626
Facebook.com/jolosvenue

SPECIALTY FOODS

KONTOULIS FAMILY GROVES

Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil

914.834.1525

KontoulisFamily.com

 

PETROPOULOS FAMILY GROVES
First Cold Pressed Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
347.849.8167
petropoulosfamilygroves.com

To join Natural Awakenings’ Foodie Guide in both PRINT and ONLINE, call 914-617-8750 or email Dana-NA@WakeUpNaturally.com.  Find additional Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess NY local food resources on our Eat Well page on WakeUpNaturally.com.

Mark Bittman to Speak at Bedford 2020 Food Forum

b20-foodforum-emailart-v3On March 4, 2017, Hudson Valley residents are invited to celebrate local food, farming and cooking at the first Bedford 2020 Food Forum, featuring two “food-world rock stars”—New York Times food journalist Mark Bittman and sustainable food pioneer Michel Nischan, a three-time winner of the James Beard Award.

An event for all community members—home gardeners, chefs, cooks, teens, parents, activists, health-conscious individuals, or anyone who wants to learn more about local food—the forum will be held March 4 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Fox Lane High School on Route 172 in Bedford. Participants can engage with experts about our food system and the benefits of local farms and food, and explore initiatives to eliminate food waste and increase food distribution to the needy.

The Bedford 2020 Food Forum was born out of an overwhelming desire from community members to come together to learn, meet the stakeholders and share information about the local food scene in Northern Westchester and surrounding areas,” says forum Co-Chair Olivia Farr. “Our goal is for each attendee to leave the event with inspiring information and one or two specific action plans relevant to their own personal food, health and community priorities.”

The event is organized around four central food themes: Eat (celebrating and advocating for local food, and exploring strategies for better local cooking); Buy (exploring ways to evaluate, purchase and afford local foods; Grow (learning how to cultivate a backyard harvest); and Share (learning about local food security and accessibility, eliminating food waste and how to get involved and help throughout the community).

The keynote presenters will set the stage for the event’s themes of local food and taking action. The opening session will feature Bittman, a renowned author and self-proclaimed guru in “making food in all its aspects understandable.” Later, a general session will be led by Nischan, who founded Wholesome Wave, a leading organization aimed at ensuring affordable, healthy, local food for all.

“We are thrilled to provide the opportunity for community members to interact with these eminent thought leaders in the world of food. Both Mark and Michel bring an incredible depth of knowledge, a deep passion for local food and a unique ability to help individuals make beneficial food choices in line with their own personal goals,” says forum Co-Chair Karen Simons.

The Bedford 2020 Food Forum will also offer dynamic interactive workshops and expert panel discussions on the subjects of Buy, Eat, Grow and Share. Among the topics are The Skinny on What’s Really in Our Food; The Inside Scoop on Shopping a Farmers’ Market Like a Chef; Increasing Healthy Food in Our Schools; How to Get Involved With and Drive Food Policy; Local Success Stories in Feeding the Hungry Among Us; Backyard Bees and Chickens; and The History of the Food Movement in Our Area.

“With nearly twenty workshops, there will be something for everyone,” Simons notes. “A special set of workshops will be tailored to high school students who want to learn about topics from being a food justice leader to careers in food and agriculture.”

The Bedford 2020 Food Forum Expo, a hands-on display and learning venue, will feature an indoor famers’ market, live cooking demonstrations, a book corner, gardening and composting demonstrations, and lively discussion around food health, sustainable food systems, food justice advocacy, food waste and more.

“We anticipate over 50 expo booths at the food forum,” says Bedford 2020 Program Manager Ellen Calves. “The selection criteria for expo participants requires they provide a highly experiential, hands-on opportunity for people to dig in to local food.”

The $25 admission price includes keynote sessions, three self-selected workshops, the expo and a lunch made from seasonal local food. Students are admitted free, and scholarship tickets are available.

This event is anticipated to sell out. Purchase tickets at Bedford2020.org/foodforum. For more information, email Info@Bedford2020.org or call 914.620.2411.

 

Fable Farm in Westchester Launches Barnraiser Campaign

fableFable, a small farm in Ossining, has launched a Barnraiser campaign to raise $15,000 to expand its sustainable operations. The farm grows and sells produce for farmers’ markets, the New York Presbyterian/Hudson  Valley Hospital, Turco’s in Yorktown Heights, and its Farmstand.
Located off Route 134 near the Taconic State Parkway, Fable grows crops year-round in a hydroponic greenhouse. Among its specialties are herbs, leafy greens, tomatoes, squash, garlic and eggs. The goal of the Barnraiser campaign is to help make healthy, sustainable farming the norm by pioneering the next generation of responsibly grown food and humanely raised chickens. By raising $15,000, Fable could double field production, install a cold storage room, construct beehives and lengthen the chicken field to accommodate 300 free-range chickens for fresh organic eggs.
The Barnraiser campaign ends December 9, 2016 at 9 p.m. Donators can pledge any amount, although “rewards” are listed at specified levels. If Fable does not reach its $15,000 goal, it will not receive any of the funds and donators will not be charged. Find the campaign at Barnraiser.us/projects/help-us-grow-the-farm.

For more info, visit FableFoods.com.

Hayfields Market Is “A New Take on an Old Store”

hayfields-customersHayfields Market, which opened last year in North Salem, is “a new take on an old store,” says co-owner Renea Dayton. It serves breakfast and lunch every day and sells provisions and other goodies, and its menu is a blend of traditional (classic sandwiches and fresh-baked goods) and and modern (world-class Illy coffee and espresso). Or as Dayton puts it, “We have free Wi-Fi, free dog treats and free carrots for your horse.”

The owners, who live locally, get their inspiration from the many hayfields all around town, Dayton says, and their goal is to keep prices reasonable and quality high. Hayfields serves hyper-local products from several bakers and farmers in the North Salem area, as well as local foods from a partnership with Hudson Valley Harvest. It offers a variety of gluten-free and some vegan options. “The gluten-free cheese roll has become a highlight for any sandwich on the menu,” Dayton says.

Although Hayfields is typically known for its summer business, the store will be open all winter long. In preparation for the holidays, the market is taking orders for fresh, locally raised turkeys. It also stocks a variety of seasonal candles and coffee table books for holiday gifts. Show them this news brief for a complimentary coffee or espresso.

Hayfields Market is located at the corner of Bloomer Road and Route 121, at 1 Bloomer Rd., North Salem. For more info, visit HayfieldsMarket.com or call 914.669.8275

Second Chance Foods is Reducing Waste and Hunger Locally

by Julianne Hale

Alison and Second Chance Foods 2Ask any urban American eight-year-old where their food comes from and you will get a quick response: the grocery store. Thanks to the unprecedented efficiency of food production and distribution in the U.S., Americans tend to take their food for granted, leaving it in the refrigerator to rot and buying much more than we can possibly eat. This tendency has resulted in record levels of food waste, something that Executive Director of Second Chance Foods Inc. Alison Jolicoeur takes very seriously. “I was inspired after watching Last Week Tonight with John Oliver on HBO. He did an in-depth segment on food waste and I was blown away when I learned that 40 percent of the food produced in this country ended up in the garbage,” she says. “I was truly inspired to take action and become a part of the solution.”

Jolicoeur’s solution was to create Second Chance Foods Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to rescuing healthy unsold, unserved and aesthetically imperfect food and distributing it in an effort to reduce food waste and hunger. “We work to recover food from the waste stream and upcycle it back into the distribution stream,” explains Jolicoeur. “We pick up food from grocery stores, farms and other purveyors and distribute it directly to soup kitchens, food pantries and shelters. We are currently operating in southern Dutchess and northern Westchester counties.”

While a 40 percent food waste rate is a disturbing reality, the number grows even more daunting when the hunger rate in the U.S. is taken into consideration. “One in six Americans is food insecure, which is really a politically correct and watered-down way of saying they’re hungry. They don’t know where their next meal is coming from. That is 50 million people in our country that are hungry, including more than 15 million children,” contends Jolicoeur. “Reducing food waste by only 15 percent would provide enough food to feed 25 million people in the U.S. each year, half of the estimated number of hungry people in our country.”

Hunger is not the only ethical issue associated with food waste. There are serious environmental consequences to tossing out so much food. “Landfills have been identified by the Environmental Protection Agency to be the largest source of methane gas and a large portion of the organic waste in landfills is, in fact, food waste,” Jolicoeur says.

The environmental cost doesn’t stop with landfills. She explains, “We are disconnected from the whole process—all of the resources that go into the production of food: the water, the human power, the gasoline for transportation and electricity for refrigeration. And then there is the bigger picture: the sunlight, the moonlight, the rain, the nutrients in the soil and the animals—it’s all wasted when we throw away food.”

Jolicoeur emphasizes the financial loss associated with wasting food as well. “When you throw away food, you are also throwing away money and, for many, that will be the greatest motivating factor,” she says.

Alison and Second Chance Foods In her work at Second Chance Foods Inc., Jolicoeur attempts to alleviate the environmental, financial and human cost associated with the high rate of discarded food in this country but she can only do so much. She encourages individuals and families to conserve food in their homes using simple, common-sense suggestions. “One simple tip is to utilize your freezer. If you see there are leftovers that you aren’t going to get to in time, simply freeze them,” she suggests. “Having a clear menu plan when shopping and sticking to it can be helpful, as well as purchasing food for a couple of days rather than the whole week.”

In addition to running Second Chance Foods Inc., Jolicoeur is also a health coach. This has made her a passionate advocate for healthy food choices and connecting with the source of food. “What we eat, we become,” she explains. “Our food is the information that makes up our cells. We need to remember that we are connected to our food and the earth and to each other. When we really connect with that truth, perhaps we will value our food more and waste less.”

Second Chance Foods is currently raising money to purchase its first refrigerated truck to help make food stretch further. “We will continue to work daily and weekly to expand our network of donors and recipients so we can rescue more food and feed more people,” says Jolicoeur. “As a country, food waste is one problem I know we can solve if we raise awareness and take action by supporting organizations that are addressing the issue, either financially or by volunteering and committing on a personal level to reducing waste in the home. Together we can make a difference.”

For more information or to make a tax-deductible donation to Second Chance Foods Inc., visit SecondChanceFoods.org or Facebook.com/secondchancefoods.