Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Zucchini Relish!

Best. Relish. Ever.

The zucchini is coming in hot this week in the Better Farm garden, leading to a rainy-day decision to put it to good use and can up some sweet zucchini relish! Based on what we found in the kitchen cabinets, Xuan and I cooked up a fresh batch, forged from two different recipes we found online.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Redwood Firemen's Field Days Parade 2014

Better Farm's WINNING float!
The most wonderful time of year has come and gone yet again in Redwood, N.Y.—the Redwood Firemen's Field Days.

Three days each August for the last 56 years, Redwood and neighboring hamlets and towns come together to support Redwood's Volunteer Fire Department at the organization's biggest fundraiser of the year. An auction, barbecue, carnival, parade, live bands, and and tons of merriment are among the main—but not only—attractions at the event.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Braiding Isn't Just For Hair

Native to central Asia, garlic is one of the world’s oldest cultivated plants. Throughout history, it has been cherished in many cultures for its culinary and medicinal uses. The sulfur compounds in garlic are especially beneficial, with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Garlic is also a great source of calcium, copper, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, and vitamin C. Its bold, aromatic flavor is guaranteed to transform any meal, and soon, my taste buds will be thanking me, because the garlic from our garden is ready!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Children's Weaving Workshop Aug. 23

Image from
A children's weaving class hosted by betterArts is slated for 12 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23, at Better Farm in Redwood.

Children of all ages are invited to this two-hour class to learn different types of weaving. Students will acquire basic weaving knowledge, gain hands-on experience, and discuss basic weaving vocabulary. Students may additionally bring old clothes, fabric, or yarn for their projects if they like.

The class is taught by local artist Alyssa Curley, a fiber-working expert. Curley earned a BA in Art Education from SUNY Potsdam.

Cost for the class is $5.

Email for more information or to pre-register. Students (and their parents!) are invited to stay afterward for Summerfest, betterArts' second music, art, and sustainability festival for the summer featuring activities for kids of all ages!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Home-Grown Remedies for Bee Stings

The friendly honeybees at Better Farm.
By Allison Bachner

They say "Don’t throw stones if you live in a glass house." Well, perhaps I would recommend "Don’t throw swats if you live in a temple of the bees." One of the many benefits of having an organic farm that doesn’t use harmful pesticides and is surrounded by fields of wild and native plants is a healthy population of bees that help preserve these natural habitats. Bees are absolutely essential to healthy production on a farm. However, not all bees are created equal; and the wasp nest that sprang up at our farmstand was filled with nasty bugs hungry for an easy shot. I was stung under my left eye.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

New Partnership Brings Fresh Produce to Redwood Food Pantry

The belles of Better Farm transport Redwood's Community Greenhouse to its new home.
A new partnership has turned the Redwood Community Greenhouse into a produce operation that will supply fresh greens and veggies to the Redwood Food Pantry.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Troubleshooting At-Home Hydroponics and Aquaponics Kits

Better Farm's aquaponics tanks.
Aquaponics is the method of growing aquatic animals and crops simultaneously in a closed system. Water from the aquaculture component transfers to the hydroponics component, where nitrogen-fixing bacteria break down the byproducts into nitrates and nitrites (which the plants use as nutrients). The clean water then recirculates back into the aquaculture component, and the process starts again.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Blueberry Wine Workshop Aug. 10

BetterArts presents its third annual Art of Winemaking workshop at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 10, at Better Farm in Redwood.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014