Saturday, September 19, 2009

Silver Lake Farm

Today I had the great fortune to attend an Urban Farming class with Tara from Silver Lake Farms. The class was at the urban farm of David Kahn, permaculture designer also in Silver Lake. David has a large chicken coop and he harvest about 12 eggs a day from his two clans of chicken. He claims the chickens don't get along so he keeps them in separate coops. He also has lots of beautiful white pigeons and one parakeet which buzzes around like a hummingbird.

Tara showed the class how to plant seeds and how to prepare soil beds for planting seedlings. We did a little of both along with telling stories and learning about farming in the city. A few people talked of their plans to get a goat for their urban farms which seems a bit wild for Los Angeles, but one of the girls said she had a goat in Albany New York. When the authorities asked her about the goat she said it was a pet and so they left her alone.

If anyone does get a goat I would love to make some goat cheese with their goat milk. I have never done it before, but I think it would be a blast.

Being in the farm, talk naturally turned to food and when I heard one of the girls talk about boiling beets I thought Iwould post this poem I found tonight on the internet. I hope it's ok with the author, but it just seems right.

For me though I never boil beets. I roast them in the oven after I drizzle them with olive oil and then dust them with some Kosher salt. I cook them for about an hour at 400 degrees and when they are done I let them sit for a moment and then peel off the skins. I then dice them or slice them thick and make a simple dressing with Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar and olive oil to pour over. On top I put just a bit of cheese. Maybe goat cheese.

Boiling Beets

for Cindy and Emily
You choose them for their solidity and shape,their ability to stain the heart from under the produce light.Their edible greens, too, the red-veined and cooled trailsthe morning sun once stalked in the furrowed fields.
You carry them home with other necessities wrappedin plastic and brown butcher
paper, flowersfor yourself in an extravagant fuchsia funnel,reach for them first out of all the other chores,
charm them to settle togetherlike sleeping children into one bed,sandy cheeks ruddy with dreams,ignite the fumarole to flame and will
those roots to tremor and roil, your facethe moon rising above earth-steamfilling the kitchen, governing the boiling hour.and when they finally give up their skins and slip
between your fingers, glassy and calm,you follow their growth rings, a striated map,with a whetted knife, releasing cross-sections to the jarand pour vinegar like a salve to preserve their luster.
The rubied water swirls down the drain.Wipe your hands over and over against your apronbut the beet stain will outlast the rage cookedout of the pot, vented to the afternoon shafting
through the leaded window. The sun turnstowards a new field of seedlings.The next crop surfaces, leaves sluicing lightto our buried, molten hearts.
Thanks Tara and David for a great afternoon at the farm. Next month, Tara we will cook something right from the garden.


Anna said...

hello there! it is so nice to meet you, i am excited to explore your blog. the eggs in this post look just wonerful!

nikole said...

lovely photos.