By Felix Teitelbaum,GreenLeaf Editor
You may have sometimes wondered at the selection of organic apples at GreenStar and why so many of them come from so far away. The fact is, in 2001, of the 12,189 acres of certified organic apples grown in this country, fully 95% were grown west of the Rockies. Although NY is well known for its delicious apples, organic growers in NY, and all over the Northeast, face many more challenges than their western counterparts.
By Marielle Macher
Our small group of Cornell Farmworker Program interns stood outside the home of some New York State farmworkers to whom we had been asked to provide English lessons; we were unsure what to think. While we had already been to many farmworker homes over the course of the summer, this one was different. From the outside, the home seemed abandoned. There were plastic bags where there should have been windows, the porch had begun to collapse and the roof seemed in need of substantial repair. Inside, the furniture was sparse and falling apart, the walls were largely unpainted and the ceiling beams were exposed. However, despite these poor living conditions, the workers welcomed us into their home with incredible enthusiasm and hospitality. After we provided the workers with an English lesson, they taught us about life in Guatemala and their experiences in the United States.
While the conditions of this home were not necessarily typical of farmworker housing in general, this home nevertheless reflects the invisibility and isolation of farmworkers in our state, and the sometimes overlooked issues of injustice within our local food system.
By Felix Teitelbaum, GreenLeaf Editor
It helps to be isolated from other potato production, says Andy Leed of Starflower Farm as he unearths a few Dark Red Norlandsone of the 36 varieties of potatoes he grows that shoppers can expect to find soon at GreenStar.
Theres no question about it, the farm is isolated. And very quiet.
When he hurls an overgrown tuber, a doe and fawn scamper off into the neighboring woods; newts creep underfoot; few cars pass.
The farm, in the hills outside of Candor, NY, grows potatoes for both seed and table.
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New in Produce
|Lots to Be Thankful For|
The local bounty continues, brought to you by the sweat and toil of farmers -— surely something to be thankful for.
November ... the local bounty is bestowed upon us, plowed under the sweat-browed gaze of toiling farmers, as crouched workers pick and pull on bent knees with earth-covered hands. We stay warm within the confines of our offices and coffee shops, but those of the fields toil hard and tough to provide us with sustenance. Should we not be thankful for this? Not everyone is so lucky as to taste of these local wonders and vegetable splendor: Cider, Honeycrisp, Mutsu, and Golden Russet apples picked atop the ladders of Black Diamond, Indian Creek, and Littletree Orchards; honeynut, butternut, and kabocha squashes, parsnips, rutabagas, and radishes, kale, collards, cabbage, and other hearty greens, all picked or dug from the fields of Blue Heron, Stick and Stone, Remembrance, and Good Life Farms. Give thanks, not for memories of Pilgrims and violence, but for the lush local variety of sustainable agriculture that we are so lucky to enjoy.