Better Butter and the Commodity Dairy Market: A Q&A with Madison County Agricultural Development

Our brand new Dairy Issue includes a profile of Kriemhild Dairy’s incredible Meadow Butter, made by a cooperative of four farmers who raise their cows on excellent pasture.The group current sells their milk to the commodity market, but turns some of the cream into this nutty, rich and golden yellow boutique butter, now available at specialty food shops in the borough.

A Brownsville Farm Could Use Your Muscle, and Your Battery-Powered Drill

The Brownsville Student Farm we wrote about a few months ago is looking for help building planter beds and an outdoor classroom and pavilion. The organizers have had wood donated but need the tools, skilled laborers and also those who will just lift and carry. If you have power tools, construction skills or would just like to help build on one of their March volunteer days (4, 10, 11, 17, 24, 25) please let them know. If you’re nervous, go on the 4th — it’s a site clean-up day. Last but not least, if you’re looking to get rid of a pickup truck, they could use a donation. You can connect with the farm via Twitter @BrownsvilleFarm.

One More Last Minute Gift We Secretly Just Want Ourselves: Brooklyn Brown Ale Malt Vinegar

As we barrel ahead toward Christmas Day (that’s a vinegar joke, get it?) we’d just like to add one more item to the list of extremely last-minute gift ideas we presented on Monday. That would be a lovely glass bottle of the malt vinegar made with Brooklyn Brewery Brown Ale in-house by the owners of The Brooklyn Kitchen. It’s sweet and tart, practically drinkable, and just $7.99 at the shop, which can be found at 100 Frost Street at the corner of Meeker Avenue.

Miss Your CSA? There’s a Winter Version for Pick Up Straight from the Finger Lakes

Next door to the Piggery, up in the Finger Lakes, there’s a vegetable farm called Sweet Land that’s been running a CSA through the winter for five years. Shareholders come by their enclosed barn farm-stand in Trumansburg to warm up and pick up carrots, garlic, turnips, squash, potatoes, onions and winter greens every other week. This year, they’re coming to Brooklyn too, at a new locavore-leaning restaurant called Cornerstone at 271 Adelphi, Fort Greene.

Learning to Make Bacon: Henry Sweets Reports from Stone Barns’ Young Farmer’s Conference

Each December the Stone Barns Center up in Westchester hosts a two-day, sold-out “Young Farmers Conference” that draws hundreds of new-to-farming folks and gives them a chance to hear inspiring speakers, learn hands-on methods, exchange ideas, make new friends, envision policy changes, break bread together and generally suck the marrow out of their 48 hours at the Center. The conference was held last week, and Henry Sweets, a 29-year-old gardener and freelance writer from the Ohio River Valley, attended. He spent the past summer as a field vegetable apprentice at Stone Barns, and is currently living in Cincinnati, Ohio while he plots (pun intended) his return to New York. While we’d like to note that unlike Henry we love vegetables just as much as bacon, we present Henry’s report from the literal fields. By the way, should you be planning an agricultural project here in Brooklyn, we’d gladly pass along his information.

Have You Bought Your Thanksgiving Turkey Yet? Here’s Where to Do It

Dig this helpful guide from the folks at GrowNYC, the non-profit group behind city Greenmarkets. It’s a list of which of their farmers citywide are selling turkeys, plus how to order them and where you can pick them up. And if it’s heritage breeds and pastured poultry you’re after, don’t forget your mail-order friends at Heritage Foods USA, whose office is based in Williamsburg. There’s also the Meat Hook (Williamsburg), Marlow & Daughters (Southside), and Fleischer’s Grass-Fed and Organic Meats (Park Slope), too.

Putting a Name to What Pops up in Prospect Park: City Room’s Mushroom Photo ID Series

Foragers and fans of Prospect Park’s ravine know wet fall weather has led to a bumper crop of mushrooms, so much so that the New York Times City Room asked readers to send in photos of their finds. They tapped mycologist and New Yorker Gary Lincoff–he’s the author of the Audubon Society’s Field Guide to North American Mushrooms–to ID them, and the 19 photos from his first fascinating report are now up online right here.

Blue Moon Fish Hosts a Benefit for Two Fellow Greenmarket Farmers at Southpaw on November 6

Blue Moon Fish will be hosting a fundraiser at Southpaw on Fifth Avenue in Park Slope on Sunday, November 6th from 2 to 8 p.m. The shindig is to support two fellow Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket farmers whose fields were destroyed by Hurricane Irene: Kira Kinney at Evolutionary Organics and Ray Bradley of Bradley Farm, whom we just profiled this summer in the magazine.