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Posts by DAVID BECKER


is learning about farming. Amazed and impressed.


Amazing Lemongrass Burgers with Grass-Fed Beef

"Jed Said the Best Burger He Ever Had"

Ingredients ½ pound ground beef or pork 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh lemongrass (or if frozen thawed) 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro 1 tablespoon freshly chopped garlic 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 1 tablespoon fish sauce 2 teaspoons soy sauce ½ teaspoon sugar ½ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoo [...More]


Can a Supermarket Chain Make a Difference for Farmers?
I have been reading Wegman’s farm blog consistently for some weeks. Yep, a 97-year old regional supermarket group with 70 stores in New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia has its own farm blog. The goal, however, is not to sell more cello packs of Earthbound baby spinach. The blog reports on news from an organic research farm started by Wegman’s three years ago. Using land that the founders own in Canandaigua, NY, the Wegman’s organic res [...More]


$2,900 Gets You a Piece of History and a General Purpose Workhouse
Farm humor: What did the little red tractor say to the big green tractor? “Why don't get you get a little closer, John Deere?” If farmers can love a machine, it likely would be their tractor. Scratch that “If”: Farm duties that would have been done by hand or by a team of horses were, starting in the 1920s, taken over by tractors. Many of the farms I have seen in The Berkshires, Duchess and Litchfield Counties are using tractors that may not be antiques but are certainly old. And the [...More]


When a Farm Replaces the Golf Course as the Anchor for a Subdivision
Can you “imbed” agriculture in a community? Fifty years ago, that idea would have left people scratching their heads. Farms already were the bedrock of any non-urban community.  No one needed to “imbed” farms. They were just there. But for many people today, farms represent a “viewscape”—something pretty to look at on the way to the mall.  As the number of farms continues to shrink, the landscape is in danger of being fragmented beyond recognition. It doesn’t have to be t [...More]


Tom Watson's Smoked Duck

A Duck that Julie and Julia Would Adore

Ingredients - For Rub Salt Brown sugar Bay leaves Black pepper Any herbs that you might like or have fresh Ingredients - For Sauce Red currant jelly Worcestershire sauce Preparation Rub the duck inside and out with 1/2 cup of a dry-cure mixture: equal amounts of salt and brown sugar, spiced with bay leaves, black pepper, and any other herbs you [...More]


Oh My How You’ve Grown
Unless you raise your own food or visit a farm regularly, it’s easy to forget just how fast things grow. A seed smaller than the head of a pin becomes a cabbage big enough to feed a family of 10. A duck that you can fit in the palm of your hand one minute is so big eight weeks later that you can barely get your arms around it. The development itself is miraculous to watch, so it’s a shame that all you can see at the supermarket is the end product. When you are more closely connected to cy [...More]


Farm Looking for Farmer
The Race Brook Lodge, a 30-room hotel located on one of the most picturesque roads in The Berkshires, is looking for a farmer. When many young and enthusiastic farmers scramble to rent land at a reasonable cost, The Race Brook in Sheffield, Massachusetts is offering the following: Ten (10) acres of farmland, of which four (4) acres have been cleared Water, including a river, spring house and a well (60 gal/min) Two Ford 8n tractors and lots of [...More]


Roberto Flores' White Turnip Appetizers

Turnips in Five-Part Harmony

Ingredients 1lb of white turnips washed (if small and young no need to peel) Zest of one lime 2 tablespoons or more of rice wine vinegar Black pepper Sea salt Preparation Dice turnips coarsely (1/2"pieces fine) Mix together turnips, zest, vinegar, salt and pepper Adjust seasonings to taste Optional: Gild the lily by adding a bit of sugar, some of the lime's jui [...More]


School Lunch Reform: Clodhoppers Candy vs. Farm-Fresh Food
I joined Slow Food USA earlier this year. I cringed at their name, but I like their focus on connecting pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment. Then I heard that Slow Food wanted to take on entrenched corporate interests and sluggish school bureaucracies to improve school lunches. The National School Lunch Program provides a meal to more than 30 million children every school day. For many children school lunch is their only guaranteed meal. But here’s a sample o [...More]


Tomatoes Gone Bad
The Irish potato famine laid waste to Ireland in the 1840s. The stories of deprivation, disease and death are staggering to read. The blight hit Ireland particularly hard for two reasons. Most of the population depended on the potato as the only staple for food, and only a handful of potato varieties were grown (making the crop more vulnerable to pathogens). Today’s small sustainable and organic farmers maintain a diverse mixture of crops and products. But tomatoes are one of their most [...More]