Thursday, October 21, 2010

GrowNYC Greenmarket Nominated Local Farmers to Attend Slow Food Conference in Terra Madre

From the city that never sleeps and where things get done in a “New York Minute,” the Greenmarket delegates will be immersed in the Slowww way of life…

For the next few days, at least.

Applause, Applause! 
What greater honor could there be for a dedicated, local farmer and artisanal food producer than to be acknowledged as a representative for the Greenmarket at the biannual Slow Food Conference? 
It makes all those early mornings setting up in Union Square, endless hours of washing the baby lettuces, tapping the maple trees and boiling the sap, fretting over the storms and heat and water count for something. 
It’s not just the trip to Torino, Italy, nor the opportunity to mix and network with food artists from around the globe, or even all the great food tastings and samplings.
I think it’s also the recognition that all the hard work, dedication and standards of excellence in honor of fresh, local food matters.
This is important, noble work and just like the Oscar or the Emmy or the Tony, foody peers will forever have respect that you were selected.

I was admiring the pristine lettuces and sassy greens at one of my favorite Greenmarket “boutiques” yesterday when I learned from Bodhitree Farms (
owner, Nevia No, aka the Greenmarket Goddess, that she was leaving for Terra Madre later that day.  Wowsy!
I was so excited for Nevia.  Questions spilled out of me along with the kudos.

Nevia explained that she is one of two farmers selected to attend the Slow Food conference by GrowNYC Greenmarket Farmers Market (
The other delegate is Howie and Stephen Cantor of Deep Mountain Maple, Vermont – because “the Italians don’t have maple syrup.”  No said. 
The exotic, sexy elixir is sure to cause a scene in Italy…
The Greenmarket Goddess didn’t have to explain to me why her Bodhitree Farms was chosen.   
No is usually eager to explain that Bodhi means enlightenment in Sanskrit.  A visit to her Greenmarket display with its pure, clean, variety of colorful and delicious vegetables will elevate anyone to a higher consciousness.

Greenmarket Goddess Nevia No’s Bodhitree Farms is located in the Garden State, naturally. She grows hundreds of varieties on 70 acres in Burlington County.  The Farm is a darling of all the New York City Master Chefs and Bodhitree was noted on most of the menu cards at the recent GrowNYC Greenmarket benefits.
The Farm is famous for green and hard to find Asian vegetables including baby lettuces pea shoots, mustard greens, tatsoi, mizuna and some of my favorites too are love her Hawaiian sweet potatoes grown from seed here, and shisito peppers.


I went back to take Nevia’s picture and Debbie said I just missed her L  She was on her way to JFK. 
So here is Debbie!  She is there every day of the market along with Nevia.

The theme of this conference is indigenous food and what we can learn from them.
Both Bodhitree and Deep Mountain Maple will have the other delegates swooning. 
I feel like I’m rooting for the home team!
Deep Mountain Maple was hailed as home town heroes in their local news:

The biannual Slow Food conference is called Terra Madre held in Torino, Italy from October 21st – October 25th.
This is the Fourth conference.

Delegates attend events, sample indigenous food, cheese, bread, vegetables, they also attend workshops,  -- brings together small food producers, farmers chefs,

Carlo Petrini started the Slow Food movement as a resistance to a McDonalds going up in Rome and as a backlash to fast food and bad food and the erosion of convivial dining. He has celebrated the importance of real, wholesome food, saying that to regain sovereignty we must rebuild it through an alliance of fisherman, farmers, livestock breeders, chefs, and academics from around the world.
Petrini recently visited the Union Square Greenmarket – and American universities as president of the Slow Food Organization and to promote his new book that highlights the future of food and biodiversity.
The new book is a follow up to Slow Food Nation (2005).  “Terra Madre – Foraging a New Global Network of Sustainable Food Communities” is available now.

 No usually offers cooking demos for Greenmarket buyers to sample the delicious and sometimes new and curious vegetables.  She often does the cooking herself.  Sometime she features a guest cook.

I can’t wait to see what gastronomic surprises she will bring home with her, along with the great stories and learning.  

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