Top | Newsletter 2012

Culinate Newsletter May 16

(mailing, James Berry)

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 h1. Dear readers,

 Late in the afternoon yesterday I went to pick up our first CSA share of the season, and when I arrived, my car thermometer read 80 degrees. In Portland, in May, this is unusual, but it had been even warmer earlier in the week — nearer to 90, and many of us, hungry for sun, had been basking in it. I asked Ian, the farm manager at 47th Avenue Farm, if he was happy with the weather. Sure, he smiled, it's great. But then he added that, honestly, it had been almost too hot, too soon, for some of the plants. His face was deeply tanned, and though it was obvious that he'd spent many recent hours in the sun, I knew also that he'd spent many more this spring in the rain, the wind, the cool and cloudy. 

 Ian isn't alone. All farmers face a plethora of unknowns, and weather is but one of them. In an excerpt on Culinate this week, Japanese farmer Koichi Yamashita describes this uncertainty: 

 "If it’s not a good seed, even though it sprouts, and you take care of it well, it won’t turn into a good strong plant. Or if you have good seed, and they all turn into great young plants, but then you have a typhoon tear through and blows it all out, then what? No matter how hard you struggle, in farming there’s a part of it that’s uncontrollable."

 Many of us tend to be uncomfortable with such uncertainties, preferring instead to believe that we are in charge. But we shouldn't kid ourselves; the farmers know better. They just learn to live with the unknowns — and keep up the good work of growing our food. 

 Kim Carlson
 Editorial Director


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story1id: 384882
story1text: "Jacob Grier's easy-to-make Pigou Club is just one way to use some of the new liqueurs on the market."
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story2text: "Her book, 'The American Way of Eating,' seeks to discover why every American doesn't have easy and affordable access to food." 

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recipe1text: "Here's a vegan dish from Bryant Terry's new book, which our recipe editor calls 'truly inspiring.'"
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recipe2text: "David Tanis' addictive recipe works as well with winter carrots as it does with spring turnips; there's a (pink!) beet version, too." 

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