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Posts by DAVID BECKER


is learning about farming. Amazed and impressed.


Pasta with Stinging Nettles

"Turn a Garden Pest into a Delicious, Low-Cost Meal"

Ingredients One medium yellow onion, diced A clove or two of garlic, chopped fine 4 oz piece of pancetta or bacon 1/4 lb of stinging nettles, washed and chopped fine. Be careful not to rub your hands along the barbed hairs and stems 1lb pasta of your choice. Penne works well as does anything like spaghettinni Parmesan cheese for grating Sal [...More]


Learning to Love Stinging Nettles
I first experienced stinging nettles on a hike in Cornwall, England.  I didn’t need a guidebook to tell me that my bare leg had rubbed against this herbaceous plant.  Or know that Latin root name means “I burn." My first brush with this plant was an irritating day-long experience. Gardeners on every continent, except Australia, curse the plant as they rip it out. Big mistake. When cooked stinging nettles make a delicious meal with a flavor that is cross between spinach and kale. C [...More]


Grass-Fed Beef: From Pasture to Plate
Tough and tasteless. That was my first experience with grass-fed beef. My bad: I overcooked it. Grass-fed beef is far leaner than typical grain-based beef and requires a lighter touch on the grill. Cooking techniques can be refined but it sure helps to start with the right ingredients. It turns out that raising an animal on grass that tastes good and is full of flavor requires a certain amount of time and attention. There is a crucial link between diet and flavor. Grass-fed meats as def [...More]


What to Eat After Seeing Food Inc.
Food Inc. is a horror movie, with more blood, guts and dead bodies than any Friday the 13th sequel. In fact, it’s pretty hard to watch. But it is more than just a great documentary—it’s a shot across the bow of the American food industry. If you’ve read Fast Food Nation or The Omnivore’s Dilemma, you’re primed to see images from the killing floor, Midwest feedlots where cattle stand check-to-jowl in their own manure, and chickens that collapse under their own weights. Animals tran [...More]


Radishes, Quail Eggs and Wine! Oh My!

Reset Your Taste Buds with the Peppery Flavor of Radishes

Ingredients 1/2 lb radishes 20 quail eggs ($1.00 for 10 in Asian markets) Salt Preparation - Radishes Trim the radish, leave a stub if you like as a useful handle. Or quarter. Leave radishes damp Preparation - Quail Eggs Put quail eggs in cool water. Bring to near boil.  Turn off and cover for 10 minutes. Chill in ice water and [...More]


Dairy Farmers in Trouble: Three Solutions
Dairy farmers like Donald Hosting face an incredible bind: “1973 prices and 2009 costs.” An article in today’s New York Times says it’s going to get worse before it gets better—unless consumers and landowners step in. More on that in a minute. No Time for a Vacation or Even a Cat Nap Because cows never take a day off, dairy farmers work 365 days a year. Here is the schedule for Eddy Bennett, a [...More]


Leek, Fennel and Potato Gratin

"Perfect with Almost Any Meat Dish, Especially Lamb"

Ingredients Butter for greasing pan, plus 3 tbs butter 4 large leeks, cleaned and coarsely chopped 2 large fennel bulbs, cored and thinly sliced about 1/8" 3 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced about 1/4" 2 cups freshly grated Parmesan 1 1/2 cups heavy cream 1 cup chicken stock Preparation Preheat oven to 375 degr [...More]


Lemon & Mint Mojitos for the Dog Days of Summer

A Favorite of Ernest Hemingway

Ingredients 2 slices of lemon with rind already zested (keep zest) 1 tsp sugar 10 mint leaves 1-1/2 oz. white rum, gin or vodka Cracked ice Soda water Preparation Muddle mint, sugar, one lemon slice and half of lemon zest together in the bottom of a tall glass. Add cracked ice and pour over spirits. Plus a couple of splashes of soda water. Swizzle th [...More]


A Cheese Named for a Dog Turns Heads in Williamstown
In June I had the pleasure of meeting Amy Jeschawitz, cheesemaker for Cricket Creek Farm,  and her husband, Jason DeMay, the dairyman at the farm. Unlike the many dairy farms that are forced to sell milk below cost, Cricket Creek is using their milk to create excellent “valued-added”products. You and I just call them “cheese.” I was fortunate to visit on a day when Amy and her team were making both Maggie’s Round and Queso Blanco.  Que [...More]


Learning from the Next Generation of Farmers

Tyler Sage is a 23-year old apprentice at Moon in the Farm. A native of New Hartford, Ct and a recent graduate of the Art Institute of Boston with a degree in Art History and Photography, Tyler had never farmed or even gardened before coming to Moon in the Pond four months ago. He now plans to make a life in farming using World Wide Opportunities in Farming (WWOOF) to learn from established farmers.

In this video Tyler asks viewers [...More]