A New Mission at Field of Greens

In 1991, when our food rescue program was a lot smaller, we’d often run out of fresh vegetables to deliver, even in the summertime. Ari Kurtz, of Lindentree Farm, offered Food For Free a plot of land on his farm, where we could grow vegetables to supplement what we were able to rescue. Field of Greens was born.

For the last 26 years, Lindentree Farm has loaned Food For Free land every year but one—when we were flooded out by a beaver dam. Ari also donates seeds, gives us space in his greenhouse, and lets us use his tools and irrigation equipment. Field of Greens wouldn’t exist without Lindentree’s extraordinary support.

Over the years, Field of Greens’ role has changed. As Food For Free has grown and our supply of rescued vegetables has become bigger and more stable, the need for extra produce in the summer has lessened. A couple of years ago, we began asking ourselves “How can Field of Greens be more meaningful?”

Last year, Alanna Mallon found the answer.

Since 1990, Pine Street Inn—New England’s largest homeless shelter and one of Food For Free’s Food Rescue recipients—has offered job training in food services, as well as other fields. This program trains about 100 participants each year in skills such as menu preparation, kitchen safety, food sanitation, and hands-on cooking skills. Trainees work with Pine Street’s culinary staff to prepare 2,000 meals a day for Pine Street’s guests, and also have the opportunity to work with Pine Street’s social enterprise catering company

One of the challenges for Pine Street’s culinary program is the budget constraints that limit their ability to purchase fresh vegetables. It’s hard to learn knife skills if all you get to work with is frozen vegetables.

For the second year in a row Field of Greens is set to help. Working with Pine Street’s chef Frank Overbeeke, Farm Managers Theresa and Seth are planning our crops to meet Pine Street’s needs. This year’s harvest will include beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, chard, collards, kale, lettuce, and scallions.

We sent our crop plan to Pine Street a few weeks ago, so that Chef Overbeeke can know what vegetables he’ll be getting when, and can plan his menu accordingly.

Field of Greens will also be growing herbs for our Home Delivery clients this year, including basil, parsley, oregano, rosemary, and thyme.

Chef Overbeeke's Broccoli Salad

5 Cups fresh broccoli
6 to 8 slices cooked bacon, crumbled (optional)
¼ cup chopped red onion
½ cup raisins or dried cranberries
1 cup sunflowers
1 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons white vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar

Mix the broccoli, onion and raisins in a large bowl. In another smaller bowl mix the mayo, sugar and vinegar. Add this dressing to the broccoli mixture and toss well. Just before serving add the sunflower seeds and bacon, (if using) and re-toss.
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