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Posts by DAVID BECKER


is learning about farming. Amazed and impressed.


What's Wrong with Cheap Food?

The following is excerpted from an excellent Time magazine article titled “Getting Real About the High Price of Cheap Food”. The piece addresses important questions about raising food in America.

What's wrong with cheap food and cheap meat in a world in which more than 1 billion people go hungry? A lot. For one thing, not all food is equally inexpensive; fruits and vegetables don't receive the same price supports as grains. A study in the American Journal [...More]


The Most Beautiful Peppers in the World
I once read that chef Alice Waters placed a single peach on a plate at Chez Pannise and called it dessert. The peach was that perfect. These peppers, courtesy of The Berry Patch in Stephentown NY, are perfect too. You can find their [...More]


Beauty Around Every Corner
On a farm there is beauty seemingly around very corner. The tawny feathers of a Buff Orpington chicken. The Roman nose of a Nubian goat. Green seedlings full of promise in the spring. Ready-to-harvest rainbow chard bursting with energy and color in the Fall. Being in nature almost every waking minute must have an influence on what farmers, or the ones I have been lucky enough to meet, create in their own homes. What follows is a series of interior shots, tableaux and textures that engage the [...More]


Channel Your Inner (Julia) Child
It’s official: Julia Child is a best-selling author—again. Thanks to “Julie & Julia” and an audience willing to embrace a little butterfat, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” is the #1 cookbook in the nation. People wandering out of the movie, many smiling ear-to-ear, are looking for roast duck, pate and good wine. And, of course, boeuf bourguignon. Is it just the movie that’s turning us into Francophiles or simple exhaustion with constant worry about what to eat? In f [...More]


A Berkshire Feast of Locally Grown Organic Food
Food poured in from nine farms. Tables were laid with sunflowers and a zucchini the size of a trombone. The rain, a constant all summer, graciously held off. Welcome to the 6th Annual North Plain Farm Pig Roast just outside of Great Barrington, Massachusetts. More than 300 people were treated to a harvest meal that sets a new standard for celebration and diversity.

Two pigs and two veal calves were roasted, plus a mountain of chicken, corn and vegetable [...More]


Attention, Savvy Investors: Buy Farms, Raise Organic Veggies and Grass-Fed Beef
Quick grab your checkbooks and buy farmland. Right this minute! Here’s why. The world population is projected to explode from 6.8 to 9.0 billion people Improvements in crop yields are slowing Incomes are growing, driving people to consume more protein (i.e. meat) rather than plants Arable land is being lost to development and pollution. Spikes in fuel prices and inclement weather make traditional farming even more challenging. The “caloric needs for the planet will soar some 5 [...More]


“It’s the Sustainability, Stupid.”
Consumer trust in business has shifted dramatically in the last two years, dropping from 58% of Americans to just 44%, according to a survey by PR firm Edelman. A transitory, even cynical, marketing campaign and TV media buy is not going to win back consumers. What can work is a long-term focus on sustainability. Action, rather than words.  A blend of social activism and profit rather than a pure push for the bottom line. A long-term commitment to doing what’s right. At Friend of the Fa [...More]


Dashing Star's Butterflied Leg o' Lamb

You Too Can Learn to Love Lamb

Ingredients Butterflied Leg or Rack of Lamb, trimmed and frenched 4 cloves garlic, peeled 1 teaspoon salt ¼ cup Dijon mustard 2 heaping tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped fine 3 tablespoons lemon juice ¼ cup Dijon mustard ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil ½ c. fresh bread crumbs and 2 tbs. olive oil (for use with rack roast – optional) Preparation [...More]


Sweetgrass: An Elegy to Sheep Ranching and the American West
At Friend of the Farmer, we tend to focus on the tri-state area—that magical spot at the intersection of Massachusetts, New York and Connecticut Talking to farmers, like Lynn of Dashing Star Farm, means spending time in the fields with livestock. It’s a remarkably beautiful world that lends itself to contemplation. So I was thrilled to learn that a classmate from high school, Lisa Barbash, is debut [...More]


Every Fruit and Vegetable Picked by Human Hands
"Strawberries are too delicate to be picked by machine. The perfectly ripe ones even bruise at too heavy a human touch. It hit her then that every strawberry she had ever eaten—every piece of fruit—has been picked by calloused human hands. Every piece of toast with jelly represented someone's knees, someone's aching back and hips, someone with a bandanna on her wrist to wipe way the sweat.

Why had no [...More]