Live Well
January 2020

Young Farmers Hold the Promise of the Future

For the past several years, I’ve had the opportunity to attend the Young Farmers Conference at the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture. While I am not a farmer myself, I love attending because I always feel so hopeful in seeing a new generation of farmers committed to finding solutions to sustainable farming methods. These young farmers are the promise of the future and I never cease to be amazed by the energy and optimism with which they are seeing the future.

In the past few months, I’ve also had the privilege of getting to know some young farmers whose dedication to their farm and the larger community in which they live never ceases to amaze me.

I’ve met a young couple who moved to the Adirondacks and decided to farm sheep. When asked why they chose sheep, she said it was because one can use every part of the sheep: the milk, the meat and the wool. I also met a young woman who is leasing land in New York State to farm chestnut trees. Chestnut trees were an important source of wood and food in the Northeastern United States until a blight fungus killed it over a century ago. Finally, I met a young woman is the farm manager for an organization dedicated to growing food and community through urban gardening and farming in Bridgeport, Connecticut —one of the ten poorest cities in the United States.

It is interacting with these people who are not afraid of what the future holds and who, on the contrary, are doing their best to be stewards of the land, and to take care of their communities that makes me optimistic about the future.

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Cook Well

Einkorn with Chickpeas, Spinach and Mushrooms

Einkorn is one of the world’s most ancient wheats and, like farro, is both nourishing and delicious! I’ve been experimenting with einkorn in different recipes. In this recipe I pair it with chickpeas, spinach and mushrooms. Served with a green salad, it’s a hearty and nourishing meal. Serves 6

1 cup einkorn, cooked according to package directions
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 red onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
5 oz. spinach
1 cup chickpeas, cooked
3 tablespoons butter
1lb. mushrooms, sliced 1/4” thick
Pinch of red chili flakes
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
  1. 1. Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. When hot, add red onion and garlic and sauté until soft.
  2. 2. Lower the heat and add the spinach. Cook until just wilted then add the chickpeas. Cook over low heat until warmed.
  3. 3. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté until lightly-browned.
  4. 4. Add the cooked einkorn and mushrooms to the chickpea and spinach mixture and cook over low heat until warmed. Season with red chili flakes, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

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Worthwhile

My Reading & Viewing List for 2020

Here’s a list of movies and books that I am looking forward to watching and reading:


The Biggest Little Farm
Director: John Chester
Narrated by: Leonardo DiCaprio

Ice on Fire
Director: Leila Conners
Production Company: FarmLore Films

Good Husbandry:
A Memoir
by Kristin Kimball

Grain by Grain:
A Quest to Revive Ancient Wheat, Rural Jobs, and Healthy Food
by Bob Quinn and Liz Carlisle

Dark Waters
Director: Todd Hayes
Producers: Mark Ruffalo, Christine Vachon, and Pamela Koffler

The Uninhabitable Earth
by David Wallace-Wells

We Are the Weather
Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast
by Jonathan Safran-Foer

Feeding the Crisis:
Care and Abandonment in America’s Food Safety Net
by Maggie Dickinson

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Learn

Rachel’s Recommended Reading

In this monthly blog post I share with you some interesting articles that I find worth reading:

Food waste is a big part of the climate crisis. This is an interesting article on new and innovative ways to reduce food waste. READ

It is disappointing to see that world leaders are unable to come to an agreement in the face of growing evidence that the climate crisis is getting worse. CHECK IT OUT

Cutting food stamp benefits for people will have dire consequences for many low-income families, and communities as a whole. READ

This is an interesting article on supporting immigrants can help create a more just and sustainable food system. READ

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