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In the pit of La Scala, Puccini,
Conducted Boheme with zucchini,
“Believe it or not,
I did Turandot
With bananas, two leeks and my weenie.”
Joining a CSA does not make you a Communist. It helps farmers. More importantly, it burnishes your upstate foodie-hipster credentials. Three weeks of picking up your own mibuna and you’ll be painting your cabin Farrow & Ball Off Black, drinking half-wild cider from a wine glass and calling meat protein. Communists are welcome.
The 607 CSA is a collaboration between the twin pillars of Table on Ten’s vegetable underbelly – Star Route and Berry Brook Farms. Basically, instead of us all meandering round in our Subarus week in, week out, burning up Saudi oil, abetting terrorists and crucifiers in the name of vegetables for our respective tables … we commit to either a Summer Full or Summer Half share in the seasonal bounty of these two local farms. Once a week our waxed boxes will await us at one of six convenient locations. There’ll be all sorts of stuff poking out, most of which we’ll know what to do with. The bits we don’t will serve as springboards for our culinary imaginations and French tempered steel skillets. Then there’s pesto. One stop shopping and the Big Door Prize every week. It’s not Communism: but there’s enough of a whiff of Socialist Realist lady-biceps about it to make us feel momentarily less effete. And it really helps with what’s going on.
Furthermore. If you’re not exclusively herbivorous there are all sorts of modular add-ons available to supplement the basic weekly ration; from the likes of Bovina Valley, Stony Creek, Painted Goat, L’ouvriere, Stone & Thistle, Township Valley, Lucky Dog, Farmhand Flowers, Mauer’s Mountain, Greenane, Nectar Hills, Tay Tea, Kitchen Garden, Cowbella, Flaca Vaca, Treadlight, Big Ash. Meat, poultry, milk, cheese, yogurt, flowers, honey, herbs. Even candles. If you’ve got shelter, matches, cigarettes and tequila, you’re basically set.
Table on Ten is one of six locations you can swing by and grab your share. Pickup time is cannily scheduled between 6 and 9 pm on a Friday evening. Ring any bells? That’s also when we’re open, serving pizza. You can hit-and-run or cool your heels, have a bite to eat, glass of wine. See what we did with the same stuff that’s in your box. Other locations are strategically situated around Delaware County so as to undermine the ‘oh, but that’s miles from where I live’ defence.
Bloomville | Table on Ten | FRIDAY | 6-10pm
Bovina | Brushland Eating | FRIDAY | 6-10pm
Charlotteville | Star Route Farm | FRIDAY & SATURDAY | 1-5pm
Delhi | Delhi Farmer’s Market | WEDNESDAY | 9am-2pm
Hobart | Flaca Vaca | SATURDAY | 10am-4pm
Oneonta | b side ballroom | FRIDAY | 6-10
The deal? It’s vulgar to talk money in public. It’s good though.
May 22, 2016. Posted in Inspirers, Producers. Tags: 607CSA, Berry Brook Farm, Big Ash Farmstead, Bovina Valley Farms, Cowbella, Farmhand Flowers, Farrow & Ball, Flaca Vaca, Grenade Farms, Kitchen Garden Farm, L'Ouvriere, Lucky Dog, Mauer's Mountain Farm, Nectar Hills Farm, Painted Goat, Star Route Farm, Stone & Thistle, Stony Creek Farmstead, Tay Tea, Tianna, Township Valley Farm, Treadlight Farm, Walter Riesen.
‘I don’t see it so much as erotic. I see it more full of obscenity. I see fornication and asphyxiation and choking and fighting for survival and growing and rotting away. It is the harmony of overwhelming and collective murder. And we in comparison to that enormous articulation – we only sound and look like badly pronounced and half-finished sentences out of a stupid suburban novel. A cheap novel. We have to become humble in front of this overwhelming growth and overwhelming lack of order. We have to get acquainted to this idea that there is no real harmony as we have conceived it. But when I say this, I say this all full of admiration. It is not that I hate it, I love it. I love it very much. But I love it against my better judgment.’ – Werner Herzog (on Knotweed)
Japanese Knotweed, Curse o’ the Catskills. Vast thickets of bambooish vegetation that clog the banks of the Little Delaware like something from Apocalypse Now. We tried everything to tame it. First couple of years we waded into the obscenity with scythe and thick gloves, slicing, ripping, arms flailing, teeth gnashing. Days later a single stand was reduced to ribbons. Little did we know this only girded its loins. Stand by the garage at midnight. You can hear the groans of its roots fornicating. Poison? It throws back its hoary head like Falstaff calling for another flagon of sack. Burning is an afternoon at the spa with a coarse loofah, fiery exfoliation promoting yet more pornographic growth. Prayer is futile (God loves knotweed).
It grows by every means imaginable. Late-summer flowers are pendulous fronds of a billion seeds, each with its own wings, parachute and entrenching tool. The breeze caused by a passing bicycle sends them vortexing across the landscape in a fog, seeking innocent earth to pillage. Birds love ’em. Redwings criss-cross the firmament, a hundred of Noah’s doves, each stalk-in-beak. Deer, raccoon, skunk, bear, chicken, possum are unwitting foot-soldiers in its army. Sparky the Dog is a Centurion.
But not content to litter the skies with its corruption, knotweed also reproduces by stealth. Its shallow root system wriggles beneath the soil, a Medusa of rhizomes, bursting upwards every few inches in new clusters of moist phalluses, grunting toward the sun. Hours later each is a thickly-lubricated, purple-green Alien, complete with prehensile jaws, ooze, and an appetite for annihilation. Leave your child by a bush for 10 minutes and it will be subsumed, devoured and mulched into compost.
The only rational response is despair. But even weeping produces nutritious brine.
Or so we thought. Until Marguerite walked into Table on Ten with a Bobbit of severed phalluses, frozen, emasculated. She loves knotweed. Because she has mastered it.
If you can’t beat ’em, eat ’em.
Saturday May 7th, 12.30 at Table on Ten
MARGUERITE UHRMANN BOWER LEADS FIRST OF THE SEASON WALK
Rain or shine, Table on Ten’s yard and Rails to Trails
Identify spring edibles and medicinals. Spring pot herbs, tonic plants, folk remedies, earthing and tree orienting. Plants covered include stinging nettles, wild ramps, wild garlic mustard, yellowdock, dandelion and burdock roots and (you guessed it) Japanese knotweed. Roots and shoots.
Later, while still in the field, experience Music of the Plants – melding art, science and technology to finely illuminate the hidden life of vegetation.
Followed by a wild food tasting, prepared by Marguerite: wild garlic mustard pesto, dandelion root french fries, dock chips.
To register: 607.437.1218 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Starts at 12.30, ends around 4. Arrive early as we walk at 12.30. Or get a sustaining lunch at Table on Ten before we go.
$20 per participant including walk, wild snacks, handouts, recipes
May 7, 2016. Posted in Events, Inspirers, Producers. Tags: Alien, Apocalypse Now, dandelion root french fries, foraging, Japanese knotweed, Marguerite Uhlmann-Bower, medicinals, Music of the Plants, Werner Herzog, wild edibles.
It’s a Canterbury Tales thing. A whole mess of pilgrims shuffling round Europe, telling bawdy stories, looking to score fish and chips. There goes the Friar across the South Downs, seeking warm, flat beer, beguiling the Wife of Bath with the burr of his cassock. The Nun’s Priest’s sucking Spritz al bitter through a straw with the Summoner behind the bike sheds. Each new day sees them darkening the door of the Pardoner.
January 2016. Team Table is burrowing into the buttocks of the Olde World, plotting a course through England, Holland and Italy. A map of their meanderings recalls Caesar’s march through Gaul, with little loops over Schipol and Heathrow due to congestion. Along the way our Pilgrims are granted refuge, variously, in 16th century English timber-framed houses, a Renaissance villa outside of Padua, a narrowboat on the Regents Canal, couple of ground floor apartments in Venice and Amsterdam and a little house in Culemborg. They play Pooh Sticks in the Hundred Acre Wood, climb Monte Pirio with Friulian wine and four glasses, commune with Petrarch’s mummified cat, pick hazelnuts, acorns and bayleaves, spill Campari in the canal at San Trovaso, find an open pharmacy at 7.30 on a Sunday evening in Abano Terme.
But lest anyone mistake this for recreation – fleeing the bony grip of Delaware County winter to swan around the Euganean Hills like Helena Bonham Carter heaving in a bodice – think again. Hard labour. Oscar Wilde breaking rocks in Reading Gaol. There was difficult food to be digested, strenuous parlor games; and relics to be sought out and brought home.
To that end:
ARQUA PETRARCA OVEN MITT. The very item used by the Father of Humanism to wrangle lasagne al forno out of his toaster in 1369. Folklore has Petrarch spending long afternoons in the kitchen; recipe testing, weaving wreaths from olive branches, trying to rhyme loggia with ambrosia. These mitts would have spared him burned fingers; an important issue when you’ve got another 100 sonnets to compose to the object of your unconsummated love. Wear them and you too may feel ‘Thus possed to and fro / Al sterelees withinne a boot …’
$15 per mitt
BIALETTI DAMA STOVETOP ESPRESSO MAKER (from Venice). Designed by Pino Spagnolo, who brought soft curves to everything from speedboats to lemon squeezers. Locals claim it’s the best. Still makes coffee with ‘inimitable aroma and taste’, but adds a frisson of moda Italiana. Etched with the timeless phrase Omino con I Baffi which has something to do with mustaches, we’re not sure what.
$45 – 3 cup / $55 – 6 cup
VISGRAAT DARK BLUE BLANKET – 100% cotton, 100% Dutch. Herringbone weave. Can be used to block the wind whipping up one’s gusset off the IJsselmeer, for cradling a nice broodje gezond with some hagelslag and appelstroop at Wijk aan Zee, or just wrap it casually round your neck like a sjaal as you pedal giddily down to Waterlooplein.
SÄKERHETS TANDSTICKOR – forgive the absence of umlauts: your favorite Swedish matches are back in the big size only. If you want to burn shit, these are for you.
SANT’ ANTONIO CANDLES from Basilica di Sant’Antonio in Padova. Strictly limited edition these, due to baggage allowance. Anthony of Padova is the Patron Saint of Lost Things. So if you have issues with car keys, sunglasses or spouses, you might want to grab one. The candles come from a spot close to the reliquary, where the desiccated tongue of St Anthony forever sits waiting to lick something. The Basilica is one of eight shrines recognized by the Holy See. By purchasing a candle you can knock it off the list, leaving only seven steps to Rapture
BAY LEAVES FROM VILLA DEI VESCOVI – not for sale, but come, scratch and sniff.
January 30, 2016. Posted in Inspirers, Journeys, The Microshop. Tags: Abano Terme, Anthony of Padova, Aqua Petrarca, Bay Leaves, Bialetti, Culemborg, Euganean Hills, Francesco Petrarca, Geoffrey Chaucer, Helena Bonham Carter, Hundred Acre Wood, Ijsselmeer, Julius Caesar, Landmark Trust, Monte Pirio, Oscar Wilde, Peake's House, Petrarch, Pino Spagnolo, Pooh Sticks, Regents Canal, Sackville House, Säkerhets Tändstickor, San Trovaso, Sant'Antonio, Spritz al Bitter, The Canterbury Tales, The Nun's Priest, The Pardoner, The Summoner, The Wife of Bath, Venice, Villa dei Vescovi, Visgraat, Wijk can Zee.
Thursday 24th December – 9 till 3
Friday 25th December – closed
Saturday 26th December – 9 till 3 then 6 till 9 (Boxing Day Pizza)
Sunday 27th December – 9 till 3
Monday 28th, Tuesday 29th, Wednesday 30th December – closed as usual
Thursday 31st December – 9 till 3
Friday 1st January – 6 till 9 (New Year’s Pizza)
Saturday 2nd January – 9 till 3 then 6 till 9 (New Year’s Pizza II)
Sunday 3rd January – 9 till 3