Plovgh is a cooperative of farmers, growers, and ranchers that sell directly to their customers.
Greener Pastures (aka “Union Square Grassman”) - Brooklyn, NY
Harvesting date: September 2013 (producing year round)
Charles F. Schnabel introduced people to wheatgrass in the 1930s, but it wasn’t until almost a decade later that it became popularized as a health food, as well as a medicinal supplement. Wheatgrass is also sometimes marketed as “cat grass”.
Wheatgrass is grown from a wheat seed, but is gluten-free, as it contains no actual wheat. Since it is a young plant, wheatgrass is unique becuase it retains a lot of the energy from the seed, but as it grows it creates the energy that is associated with green vegetables. It’s similar to a sprout, but ramped up a notch, in that it contains the carbs and enzymes from the seed, but also produces vitamins and pulls minerals out of the soil. Stewart’s wheatgrass is grown inside a converted warehouse in Gowanus, Brooklyn. It is grown in trays in a climate controlled space and he uses rotational planting to ensure that he is growing the freshest wheatgrass year round.
Stewart’s wheatgrass is some of the sweetest tasting you’ll find. While it has similar benefits to eating dark, leafy greens, it does not have the same bitter taste that can be associated with other greens.
It looks like, well, grass - but it is fresh, fragrant and refreshing grass.
There are many nutritional benefits and health claims linked to wheatgrass. Among the many health conditions wheatgrass is proposed to help treat, a few include anemia, diabetes, high blood pressure, digestion problems, and liver disorders. What is definitely a fact is that wheatgrass is high in antioxidants and nutrients, and the juice contains a concentrated mixture of grain and vegetable vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and Chlorophyll. To get the full, sweet flavor of the wheatgrass we recommend grinding it up in a juicer and drinking it as a shot. Below are several juice and smoothie recipes to help get you started. (Note: Got pets? They’ll love it too.)
Watch this video to learn more about how Stewart got started farming in Brooklyn.
Samascott Orchards - Kinderhook, NY
Harvesting date: August to late November 2013
The only apples native to North America are crab apples, which were once called “common apples”.
Apples originated in Central Asia and grow on small, deciduous trees. Grown for thousands of years in Asia and Europe, apples were first brought to North America by European colonists.There are more than 7,500 known cultivated varieties of apples, all having a wide range of differing characteristics. Different varieties are bred for various tastes and uses, including cooking, eating fresh and cider production. Domestic apples are usually propagated by grafting, although wild apples can grow readily from seed. Apple trees blossom in spring and the fruit matures in autumn.
In most grocery stores the only apples you’ll be choosing from often include Red and Golden Delicious, Granny Smith and Fuji. At Samascott Orchards, they grow more than 50 varieties. Here’s a taste of some they are harvesting now:
Originating from Japan, Akane apples are red with white flesh. Their skin is firm - as opposed to crisp - and juicy. Their flavor is a good balance of sweet and sharp.
Earligold apples are medium to large, round-conical apples first grown in Washington. They have a greenish, yellow skin and are a little tart.
Developed by the New York State Ag Experiment Station at Cornell, they are an easy to grow blend of McIntosh and Delicious. These apples are an intense marroon-red, overlying a light green skin. Empires are sweet with a crisp texture and bright white flesh, and are ideal because they do not bruise easily.
Gingergolds were first discovered near an orchard in Virginia. Its color, shape and long stalk are similar to that of a Golden Delicious. It keeps well and can last up to several weeks in the fridge. They have a mild sweetness that can also be a bit sharp.
Jersey Macs are a McIntosh bred variety, developed at Cornell. It is a medium sized red apple with yellow/green splashes. Flesh is crisp and juicy with a tart flavor.
A cross between a Jonathan and a McIntosh, Jonamacs are medium sized, firm, crisp and juicy. They are a dark red with undertones of green.
Mix between Gala and Akane it was developed in the 1970’s by Japanese and New Zealand researchers. It is sweet like a Gala, but has more acidity. It’s skin is russet and speckled and with a yellowish flesh.
A larger fruit with glossy skin that was developed in New Jersey. The skin is shades of bright red and light green, and the flesh is cream colored and coarse, with a crisp, sweet flavor. They are best eaten fresh from the tree when the fruits are ripe as they can lose quality quickly and becomes mealy if not harvested.
An early season dessert apple originally from New Jersey, the name “Vista Bella” comes from the Guatamalan highlands where it is also grown. The apples have light yellow-green skin and spots of flushed deep red where it is exposed to the sun. It has a summery, fruity, juicy flavor. They don’t keep as well as other varieties so it is recommended to keep them in the fridge rather than the counter.
Yes, the exclamation point is supposed to be there. These apples were bred at the University of Minnesota where they were developed for cold-hardiness. They have a sweet-tart taste and are round and deep red with undertones of yellow. The flesh is white and crisp and has a good texture for baking.
Baked apples (Food52) / Apple pancakes (Smitten Kitchen) / Beet, Apple & Fig Salad (Busy in Brooklyn) / Chutney (The Sweet Beet) / Salted Caramel Tart (frites & fries) / Vegan apple biscuits (Green Kitchen Stories)
Find Gala and Summer Treat varieties from Samascott Orchards at Foragers Market (both Chelsea & Dumbo) this week!
Cowbella Dairy - Jefferson, NY
Harvesting date: August 2013 (producing year round)
“Butter from grass-fed cows is much higher in omega-3 fatty acids than conventional butter, as well as anti-oxidants like beta carotenes, vitamin E, and selenium—and it’s an excellent source of vitamin A.” (source: 150ish The Local Dish)
The folks at Cowbella have raised Jersey cows for generations. Ideal for making butter, Jerseys have the highest butterfat content in their milk out of all other dairy breeds. To make their butter they first separate the milk into cream and skim, and use the skim milk for their yogurt. At Cowbella, milk is processed three times a week in 800 pound batches. The milk is transported from the dairy barn to the processing plant on the farm using a small bulk tanker where it is pasteurized and separated. Each batch yields approximately 40 pounds of butter and 300 quarts of yogurt. Every batch is made by hand with natural ingredients, and without the use of fillers, thickeners or preservatives.
Jersey cows’ milk is rich and creamy, as is Cowbella’s butter.
Butter you buy at the store tends to have an off-white color as opposed to butter produced from the milk of grass-fed cows which has a goldenrod color. The quality is present in the color, which is enriched by the cows’ natural grass- heavy diet. During the summer months, when the grass is plentiful, the butter is a vibrant, sunflower yellow.
Recommended recipe: Toast a piece of bread; spread butter on toast; enjoy.
Other options could include:
St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake (Smitten Kitchen)
Cucumber & Butter Tea Sandwiches (Food52)
Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (Joy the Baker)
You can find Cowbella’s sweet cream and salted butter at Campbell’s Cheese & Grocery.
Strawberries (Fragaria × ananassa)
Harvesting: Early June
You know all of the seeds on the outside of the fruit? Each of those are actually an ovary of the flower with a seed inside it.
Woodland strawberries were first cultivated in the early 17th century. Strawberries grow best on soils that have high organic matter content and high fertility levels. They are a type of runner plant which means they have fast growing stems that grow on the surface of the soil and can develop new plants through their nodes. To maintain the best quality, berries should be harvested often and should be picked with the caps on and with 1/2 inch of stem attached.
Sweet, juicy, fresh.
Strawberries can vary widely in size, shape, color and taste. They typically range in size from small to medium, are redish-white in color with green stems and a sweet aroma.
If you’re in DUMBO, drop by Foragers for a quart from Samascott Orchards or find them on the menu at Rose Water in Park Slope.
Harvesting: Early June
Scapes are the imature stalks that grow from the garlic bulb. Also known as garlic shoots or spears.
The garlic plant goes through many iterations. It is planted at the end of the season before winter, hibernates and then begins sprouting in the spring. It is not ready to be harvested until the summer and must then be cured for long term storage. But, in between this period the scapes and young (or spring) garlic are harvested and prepared. Garlic scapes are harvested early in the season so that the garlic bulbs will grow bigger.
Scapes are bright, fresh and can have a milder taste than the cloves.
Thin and loopy, garlic scapes resemble a leafless spear. Mature scapes have 1 or 2 loops and are firm with about 1/4 inch diameter.
Pick a bunch up at Foragers Market in Brooklyn.
Here are some of the folks sourcing directly from producers who are organizing with Plovgh. To find out how your business can start purchasing from some of these farms, send us a message!
4th Street Food Coop - NYC
Brooklyn Kitchen - Williamsburg, NY
Byerly’s - Minneapolis, MN
Campbell Cheese & Grocery - Williamsburg, NY
Chickpea & Olive- Brooklyn, NY
Cleaver Co. - Chelsea, NY
DigInn Seasonal Market - NYC
Foragers City Grocer - DUMBO & Chelsea, NY
Eat Greenpoint- NYC
Garden of Eden - NYC
Greene Grape Provisions - Fort Greene, NY
Haven’s Kitchen- NYC
Hu Kitchen - NYC
J’eatjet? Gastrobar- Brooklyn, NY
Lido Harlem - NYC
Lucy’s Whey - Carnegie Hill, NY
Lunds - Minneapolis, MN
Miller’s Tavern- Brooklyn, NY
M. Wells - Long Island City, NY
Pie Corps - Greenpoint, NY
Rose Water Restaurant - Park Slope, NY
Seward Coop- Minneapolis, MN
Solera Cocina de Espana - Minneapolis, MN
The Blue Stove- Brooklyn, NY
The Dutch- NYC
The Jam Stand - Brooklyn, NY
I’ll be darned if I get another plastic bin of anonymous spinach that’s a little sopped from its journeys. The more you think about it, the more you want greens that are full of life. And if you want lively greens, they’d better not spend very much time out of the field.
So, go to Foragers Market, Greene Grape Provisions, and Rose Water this week to find crops that got to the city within hours of leaving the farms. Taste that Thai Basil for me, people.
Hydroponic Lettuce Mix, Thai basil, and sweet basil
Aqua Vita Farms - Sherrill, New York
Free range eggs
Fitzgerald Farms - Kerhonkson, New York
Onions, shallots, cippolinis
Glebocki Farms - Goshen, New York
Grassfed and finished beef brisket
Good Fence Farm - Fort Edward, New York
If you have any questions please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"With Thanksgiving fast approaching and stomachs growling for some homecookin’, we made a special trip upstate to talk turkey with Farmer Ryan of Fitzgerald Farms who provided Plovgh members with fresh birds this holiday season.
After the two-and-a-half hour drive, we arrived at High Falls Co-Op where Ryan works four days a week when not tending to his poultry. He greeted us downstairs among the spices and shelves, and brought us out to his truck where the turkeys were kept cool.
“Turkeys are a big investment,” he told us as he loaded the plump birds into our car. While chickens typically need eight weeks to mature, turkeys require five and a half months. This holiday has been a long time coming for Ryan and his fellow farmers, and lucky for him, he sold over 500 turkeys this year.
Ryan grew up around chickens and is vehemently a poultry-over-produce kind of guy. “After seeing the work that went into growing vegetables, I thought it was too hard,” he confessed. Well, that’s alright with us – his fresh eggs and birds convince us that he made the right choice.
Once the coolers were filled to brim with turkeys, he wished us a “Happy Thanksgiving” and we were off for the city; Over the river and through the woods to bring you a fresh alternative this turkey day.”