In Our Spring 2017 Issue

By Jennifer Solow | Last Updated March 20, 2017
0 Shares
Share to printerest Share to fb Share to twitter Share to mail Share to print
edible hudson valley spring 2017 cover

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

The Legend of Good Sh*T

When the warm winds blow in and thaw my snowy hilltop like a slushie, when the fat winter flies go belly-up on my windowsill, when the floor of my writing-office-cum-potting- shed gets strewn with seed packets and the oddball detritus of my garden planning, when the frosty earth finally gives way to my daily poke, I know it’s here: spring.

Two Universal Truths once again become abundantly clear to me:

1. No matter how big your tractor is, it’s never big enough.

2. Your sh*t is never as good as it might have been had you only heard the Legend earlier.

Each year I spend way more time thinking about sh*t than anyone in their right mind would. There are the hours in the library poring over books on the subject, the online articles, the endless searches. I add my finest kitchen scraps. I turn it into tea. I dig it in by the spoonful beside my vegetables. But I’m always plagued by the nagging feeling that I didn’t get the best. I’m left with an aching sense of regret; somehow, somewhere, there was better sh*t to be had.

Any good gardener will tell you that what you grow is only as good as your soil, and your soil is only as good as your sh*t. So in spring, I have a guy drop off a big pile of it behind the barn. My heart starts thumping at the sight. “This guy,” my neighbor Wayne tells me, “is the guy. He’s got the best sh*t. Rotted down . . . ” Wayne adds the magic words, “two years, maybe more.” I can barely contain myself. “What great sh*t!!” I giggle to myself as Wayne’s guy pulls away. It’s dark, rich and crumbly. Oodles of worms wiggle around beneath the surface. It’s exactly what good sh*t should be.

But then, days later—when Wayne’s guy is long gone and wheelbarrows of the stuff have been tilled into my beds and I’m standing back admiring my work—my other neighbor, Keith, wanders out from the woods. Keith takes one look at my garden. “You should have gotten your sh*t from my guy down the road.” Keith’s tsk, tsk is audible. “Rotted down. Ten years,” he waxes on, poetic. “Sheep sh*t. The only sh*t I use.”

And with that, I am left to wonder all summer long—when my strawberries aren’t quite cutting it, when the beans look a little wimpy, when my harvest of sugar-snap peas lacks luster—why didn’t I get that other sh*t, the stuff of which legends are made?

-Jennifer Solow, Editor

Good Bugs vs. Bad Bugs

An illustrated guide to good bugs
Nina Chakrabarti illustrates which bugs to keep around your garden and which ones you want to get rid of.

The Dirt on Hudson Valley Terroir: The Wine Beneath Your feet

A Hudson Valley Winery
Soil, the literal foundation of vineyards, plays a crucial role in a wine’s eventual character. So do rainfall, drainage, sun exposure, slope, even wind.

Beloved Objects: A Forager's Kit

A Forager's Kit
What one can find in a beloved forager's kit: field guides to compasses to identification guides.

Black Magic, Hudson Valley’s Special Soil

Nestled in the heart of New York’s Orange County, the “Black Dirt Region” holds roughly 26,000 acres of the most fertile soil in the country. This miracle soil, black as night, is what remains...

Ramps by the Side of the Road

Ramps
Nothing is so emblematic and magical as the arrival of ramps in the woods by the side of the road.

Our Favorite Vegetables to Plant (and eat) this Spring

Carrots and Chard
We give you the scoop on what to plant for right now and what they pair well with once they make their way to the kitchen.

Dirty Tricks: Design and Maintain Your Garden with Dirt Diva, Adrianne Picciano

Adrianne Picciano
Adrianne Picciano, founder of The Dirt Diva Garden Design and Maintenance, designs, installs and maintains gardens while also building and maintain compost piles for clients.

Dirt: The Skin of the Earth

Mud and soil outside the farm
What is dirt anyway? This most humble of substances is a complex world unto itself, essential to life as a place for plant growth, a water storage and purification system. It’s a modifier of Earth...

Do You Know a Koodie?

Kids eat whole fried fish with pea shoots and ginger.
Do you know a kid into eating adventurous food? Check out the kid in this issue trying whole fried fish.

How One Teenager Became One of the Most Important Truffle Dealers in the World

Ian Purkayastha
Ian Purkayastha runs Regalis, which sells truffles as well as wild mushrooms and other foraged edibles, caviar, specialty meat and seafood and olive oil.

Speckled Grits in the Style of Polenta with Black Truffles

speckled grits
Humble grits prepared with patience and served piping hot are the perfect backdrop for truffles’ earthy funk. I recommend using quality grits for this dish. Geechie Boy Mill grits are what we use at...

Ramps in White-Wine Vinegar, French Style

Ramps in White-Wine Vinegar, French Style
Spring is here and so are ramps. By preserving your ramps in a jar of vinegar, you can stretch out ramp season a bit longer than usual.

Feral Martini, The Beloved Martini Does the Wild Thing

feral martini
Soiled Again   It seems a particularly American trait never to leave well enough alone. We’re always tinkering with the classics, coming up with a new twist. After all, why adhere to the...

Seeds Going in the Garden this Summer

Make sure these seeds are in your shopping cart for your summer garden.
Subscribe
Build your own subscription bundle.
Pick 3 regions for $60