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This Week’s Five Best Food Events – 8/11/2015

What’s the best way to spend your free time this week? How about taking a class on urban gardening, sampling Italian-Jewish cuisine, or twisting and twirling some sausage? Here are the five best food events happening in NYC.

Enlightened Eaters, James Beard House, 167 West 12th Street, Wednesday, noon

Authors Ernie Zahn and Ron Williams will be in attendance at the James Beard House to discuss their book Fair Tomatoes, which showcases the struggle of tomato workers in Florida. Topics covered include an in-depth look into working conditions of select farms as well as a lesson on how to become a more sustainable consumer. Refreshments including chocolate, coffee, and tea will be served, and a suggested donation of $20 is recommended for non-students.

Sausage Making Class, Fleisher’s at #323 on Pier 41, 260 Conover Street,
Brooklyn, Thursday, 6:30 p.m.

Get a jump on Labor Day barbecue duty and join Fleisher’s in Red Hook for an evening of sausage making — and drink a few Belgian ales, too. The class also includes a whole hog butchering demonstration and a beer pairing from Brooklyn Brew Shop. Tickets are $75.

Jewish Italy: Food, Culture, and Travel, 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Avenue, Thursday, 7 p.m.

Italy is home to the world’s oldest Jewish settlement, a tradition translated today through cuisine. In this class, guests will sample a few classic dishes while learning about the history of foods with stories centered on fried artichokes and goose salami. The talk will also include a virtual tour of historic Jewish sites like the Tuscan village known as Little Jerusalem. Tickets are $45.

Urban Gardening Class, New York Vintners, 21 Warren Street, Friday, 1 p.m.

Join experienced horticulturist Renee Giroux of David Bouley’s Bouley Botanical for an afternoon discussion of urban farming. This class, geared toward home and professional chefs, will cover how to grow herbs, fruits, and vegetables. Tickets are $30.

Indian Independence Day, Savoury, 489 Columbus Avenue, Friday

To honor Indian Independence Day, chef Lala Sharma is offering a five course meal for $50 which also includes a complimentary glass of wine or Indian beer. Guests receive two entrees, two appetizers, and a dessert, with accompaniments like naan and basmati. The restaurant also plans to extend the celebration through the weekend by offering its 1947 (the year India gained independence) beer for $3.

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FOOD ARCHIVES NYC ARCHIVES

Totally Buzzing! Today Is Honey Day on the High Line

Between the mysterious Colony Collapse Disorder, the varroa mites, and various pesticides, fungicides, viruses, and other problems plaguing honeybee populations around the world, keeping an apiary strong and healthy these days is no easy task.

But, as we learned on a recent visit to Brooklyn Grange, keeping bees in an urban area is actually facilitated by the comparative lack of local agriculture: There are few farms in the city, which means there are few buzz-killing pesticides, and with plenty of flowering trees, bushes, and sidewalk gardens to keep the nectar flowing, beekeeping in the concrete jungle is surprisingly prosperous.

Today, Friends of the High Line and Brooklyn Grange are teaming up to celebrate New York City’s budding beekeeping community with Honey Day on the High Line. From 2 to 6 p.m. this afternoon, High Line visitors at 14th Street will be privy to a veritable artisanal honey festival, featuring see-through observation hives, kids’ activities, tastings, and conversation.

Local beekeepers, including Brooklyn Grange, Queens County Farm Museum, Queens Apiary, Wilks Apiary, and Stone Barns, will be on hand to make sure your honey jar runneth over. Plus, regular High Line vendors will be serving special sweet treats: L’Arte del Gelato, Melt Bakery, and La Newyorkina will offer special frozen desserts for honeybears of all ages, while Terroir at the Porch will offer Kelso’s High Line Nectar Pils.

Anyone allergic to bees should be advised to steer clear of the High Line near 14th Street this afternoon … Or bring an EpiPen, because this party’s buzz or bust.

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FOOD ARCHIVES Media NYC ARCHIVES

Bed-Stuy’s Hattie Carthan Community Farmers’ Market Opens for the Season (PHOTOS)

With summer blooming in full color around us, farmers’ market season is in full swing. And while Union Square’s famous Greenmarket proffers some of the freshest food around, crowd-wary shoppers don’t have to join the swarming masses on 14th Street. Throughout the city, many community gardens host smaller, friendlier markets where you can stock your crisper with hand-picked produce grown right in your neighborhood. These markets are a great chance to get out, get to know your neighbors, and load up on veggies while supporting your community. Best of all, there’s no need to board a subway. In Bedford-Stuyvesant, for instance, Hattie Carthan Community Garden holds weekend markets in two locations

Bed-Stuy isn’t known for its vibrant farming scene, but five years ago, longtime resident, gardener, and community organizer Yonette Fleming brought together 13 fellow farmers from around the neighborhood and started Hattie Carthan Community Farmer’s Market, which opened for the season on Saturday.

Hattie Carthan Community Farmer's Market founder Yonette Fleming
Hattie Carthan Community Farmer’s Market founder Yonette Fleming

The Saturday market runs from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Clifton Place at Marcy Avenue adjacent to its namesake garden. The Sunday market is at 49 Van Buren Street, home of Hattie Carthan Herban Farm, from 1 to 6 p.m. The season lasts through November.

Both markets are shady oases of fresh produce, eggs, homemade snacks, and treats; drumming, dancing, and neighborly conversation transpire as Fleming et al. work to offer fresh food and build community in an area widely recognized as a produce desert.

Is there a market in your neighborhood? If you’re not sure, your local community garden is a good place to ask. Check out this searchable map of NYC’s community gardens to see what’s growing near you. GrowNYC also hosts local Greenmarkets throughout the week.

Flip the page for photos from Hattie Carthan Community Market’s opening on Saturday.

Produce for juicing in a pedal-powered blender
Produce for juicing in a pedal-powered blender
Eight-year-old Tosca Hegel-Cantarella pedals for her juice ...
Eight-year-old Tosca Hegel-Cantarella pedals for her juice …
... and takes a sip
… and takes a sip
Eggs from chickens at Hattie Community Garden, adjacent to the market
Eggs from chickens at Hattie Community Garden, adjacent to the market
Herbs and greens for sale; much of the market produce is grown next door at the community garden or at nearby Herban Farm
Herbs and greens for sale; much of the market produce is grown next door at the community garden or at nearby Herban Farm
More produce at the juice stand
More produce at the juice stand
(From left) Kurt Purrier, Robert Walker and Kwamaine Bility taste a juice
(From left) Kurt Purrier, Robert Walker and Kwamaine Bility taste a juice

“It’s not sour, it’s the FLAVOR! These flavors were never supposed to be put together!” says Robert Walker (center, above) of the juice, a blend of herbs and veggies.

Maybe there were some of THESE in Walker's drink?
Maybe there were some of THESE in Walker’s drink?

In addition to fresh produce, there were coffee cakes, vegan brownies and other prepared foods for sale
In addition to fresh produce, there were coffee cakes, vegan brownies and other prepared foods for sale
Ms. Ha Ha B. Clown painted faces
Ms. Ha Ha B. Clown painted faces

Garlic from Hattie Carthan Community Garden
Garlic from Hattie Carthan Community Garden
Nina Goepfert stands by her greens
Nina Goepfert stands by her greens
Through the fence, gardeners enjoy an afternoon at Hattie Carthan Community Garden
Through the fence, gardeners enjoy an afternoon at Hattie Carthan Community Garden
Bags of produce wait to be picked up by CSA members.
Bags of produce wait to be picked up by CSA members.

Weekly “mixed basket” produce subscriptions are available for locals wanting to partake in a CSA-style option, and can include produce, herbs, and eggs in varying quantities, from $52 per month.

Broccoli grows in the farmer's market
Broccoli grows in the farmer’s market