Camp Notes Day 4 - Denison Farm CSA / Millet Tabbouleh

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Aug 2, Forever Farmland Supper ----------------------------------------
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Camp Notes Day 4 - Denison Farm CSA / Millet Tabbouleh

Denison GreenhouseToday we visited the beautiful, bountiful Denison Farm in Schaghticoke, NY! Keep reading for a delicious Millet Tabbouleh recipe and photos from our sunny (!) day excursion.

We took a bus to the Denison farm today and received a lovely tour from Justine. We saw the washing machine they had converted to a vegetable dryer (using the spin function), a vacuum tray planter, and lots of plants growing everywhere! At the beginning of the day Ellie challenged us to focus on the big picture in our photo taking and pay attention to documenting the human side of farming. We certainly saw a lot of that in the passion that Justine has for what she does and the hard work being done around us.


Vacuum seed tray
One thing that particularly stuck with me as we walked the property, though, was not just the power of people, but of nature too. There is a small tributary to the Hoosic River that runs through the Denison's farm, which today looked very calm and inviting. Justine told us how during hurricane Irene she watched the water level of that little stream rise over five feet in fifteen minutes - at one point the greenhouse in their lower fields (which is eight feet tall) was completely under water! For most businesses, eight feet of water rushing through one of their structures and taking away all of their investent (in topsoil) would be devastating, but farmers are resilient and the Denisons are working hard to remediate the fields that were damaged, hauling in tons of gravel and rock to remake the small farm road and growing plants that help the soil rebuild.


Denison stream

At the end of our tour, Justine went into the cooler and emerged with armfuls of vegetables for us to use making pesto and a millet tabbouleh salad. There's nothing quite like making food outside on a picnic table in the sun with vegetables that have just been picked a few yards away. We were feeling very lucky and were happy to share what we had made with all of the workers who had made it possible. Thank you!


Denison Farm Millet Tabbouleh


by Ellie Markovitch

Serves 12

2 cups of millet, cooked al dente*
4 cups of water or broth
3 cucumbers, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 radishes, grated (radishes and turnips should be lightly scraped not peeled)
2 small turnips, grated
1 fennel, grated
1/2 cup lime juice
1/2 cup olive oilcuke
3-4 cloves garlic, minced

1. Pan roast the millet, stirring until golden on a cast iron, Dutch oven, or heavy buttom pan.

2. Add boiling water, a drizzle of oil or butter if desired and salt to taste.

2. Turn the pot off, cover it, and transfer to preheated 350F oven for about 30 minutes until all the water is absorbed and the grain is al dente. Let it cool to use for the salad.

3. Transfer millet to large bowl and add the remaining ingredients, adjusting salt and pepper to taste, if desired.


*Millet is a gluten-free grain, therefore suitable for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. One cup of cooked millet has around 200 calories, 2 grams of fat, 6 grams of protein, 41 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 3 milligrams of sodium, and is cholesterol-free ( Millet has a similar texture to cous cous, is a similar grain to quinoa - but much cheaper, and has a delicious light, nutty flavor.


Denison Farm Pesto


In a mortar and pestle, sprinkle about 2 tsp. of sea salt. Add ~2 cloves of garlic (less of it's as fresh as ours was!), a few handfuls of pesto leaves, and a bit of lemon juice and pepper to taste. Grind (making sure you can hear the clinking noise of the stones or wooden pieces hitting) and drizzle some olive oil on top to emulsify once the leaves are ground. It's a rough recipe, but there aren't many hard and fast rules with pesto! 




Photos in this post by Holly Rippon-Butler. Check out our Facebook page for more photos from the camp! Be sure to join us for the opening reception of the kids' photos. You can read more about The Arts Center on their website.


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