Foodies delight in feeding earth, creating own food at home

By Shenandoah Briere | May 19, 2018
Photo by: Shenandoah Briere Keith Schwartz, Paula Lynch and Fran Keene mix the compost together.

From composting to soy sauce, foodies learned some new tips and tricks in the kitchen and the outdoors at Round the Bend Farm’s second Open Farm Day event on May 19.

Once a month from April to December, the non-profit working farm opens its doors to the community for tours, education, and food sales. Each event features workshops, and this month the topics included using food as energy and a special soy sauce recipe.

Education Manager Nate Sander showed off the farm’s biodynamic compost during the first workshop. The mixture essentially feeds the soil, enabling plants to grow stronger and be more resilient to things like pests.

The compost is made out of what Sander called “lasagna,” a mixture including mainly cow manure and nettle plants among other ingredients.

It was a event which allowed participants like Erik Andrade to get closer to nature while also nurturing his own body.

"People are going to an office, sitting in an office working some sedentary job and then spending $200 a month, $100 a month, $20 a month, whatever it is to go to gym to go workout and there’s no product produced from that workout,” Andrade said. "So were spending energy to get our bodies back in shape from sitting down and not eating healthy, where on a farm they're growing the crops."

The second workshop of the day was a lesson on how to make black bean soy sauce and miso at 3 p.m. in the farm’s kitchen.

Cook Richard Shih began the workshop with a taste test of foods incorporating the items to segue into the topic of the day. After a brief discussion on ingredients, participants made their own with a special twist: it was actually a black bean version using beans grown on the farm.

He also got his friend and chef Sean Doherty in on the event by having him prepare a dish using soy sauce. For Shih, the chance to show people what they can make with food is a worthwhile opportunity.

“There’s a level of excitement we have for food that we want for everybody to have because it’s a really cool thing to be able to make food for yourself and for your family and friends,” Shih said. “I feel like the most delicious food is the food your able to make and be proud of based on how much time and effort you put in.”

For Laura Field, the workshop was an opportunity to expand her taste buds.

“I’m glad I came,” Field said. “I’ve actually been afraid to eat miso for awhile, but now that I’ve tasted it and realized what’s in it and how easy it is pretty sure I’m going to go buy some now.”

Like many others, Field said she will definitely be participating in more workshops at the farm. The next Open Farm Day is on June 16.

Nate Sander uses a scythe to cute down a plant to use in the compost. (Photo by: Shenandoah Briere)
Fran Keene cuts up nettles. (Photo by: Shenandoah Briere)
Tyler Harris, Mary Ann Buckley and Laura Field make butter with herbs in it. (Photo by: Shenandoah Briere)
Two workshop participants use their hands to mix the soy sauce ingredients. (Photo by: Shenandoah Briere)
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