Sunday I went to the Bronx to lead another workshop in making my famous no-packaging vegan stews. I can’t stand food deserts and believe sharing how to cook delicious healthy food cheap and fast will help create demand for farmers markets. My last Bronx workshop was my last public performance before the pandemic.
I ended up discovering what I now consider one of New York City’s most beautiful spots: Drew Gardens. It’s along the Bronx River and almost another world, filled with trees and edible plants planted by locals in big planting beds. The people taking care of the place love the space. Here’s a video on the gardens and an article, though you have to visit in person for the full experience.
About a dozen people attended. The caretakers gave tours to anyone who wanted. They gave food they grew there. I left with a couple squashes, tomatoes, kale, peppers, collard green, and a variety of herbs including several mints, sage, cilantro, chives, and more. While there I ate figs off the tree, cherry tomatoes, berries of a type I didn’t know, collard greens, basil, and more.
The river ran clean there. They clearly cleaned it. They built simple structures like a composting toilet outhouse, barbecue pits, and places to sit. I hope they don’t mind my recommending anyone who can to visit. It transforms what you think of New York City and the Bronx.
Meanwhile, my stew ended up delicious. It’s different every time so I can’t always tell, but this one worked out great. Attendees seemed to like it. I’ll do more, though may have to wait for spring. As always, I had nothing to throw away after. The only down note was that despite multiple reminders for people to bring bowls and spoons, about half didn’t and they used disposable.
My thanks to podcast guest Rhonda, who organized attendees and picked the spot and the caretakers, Julio being my main contact. I can’t wait to go again.
I hope the workshop results in more people cooking from scratch, feeling inspired to bring more farmers markets to the Bronx.
Here are pictures from one attendee (my sister):
Here are pictures from another attendee (one of the garden caretakers):
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