Is New York turning into Iowa? Well, not exactly. But wheat is being grown in New York State. And one company, Cayuga Pure Organics, an upstate New York grain and bean grower, has been selling freshly milled whole oats, barley, and rye at the 97th St. Greenmarket. But hurry. The Ithaca New York concern, founded in 2003 by two area farmers, won’t be at the locale past next week, according to company founder Erick Smith.
Not just in Iowa: wheat grows in NY. Photo: by Bern@t
On Friday, a woman selling at Cayuga’s booth said business at the 97th Street locale had been “slow.” Asked whether the company, which grows its own grains like corn and spelt and then mills them in a nearby upstate town is decamping to (ahem) greener pastures, Smith said: “It is true that we will not be at the 97th St market after next week.” Sales haven’t “been strong enough to justify it,” he added
However, Smith says that Cayuga will continue to market its wares in the neighborhood further uptown, at the Columbia greenmarket on Broadway at 114th Street.
While not exactly the heartland when it comes to grain production, NY does plant some bean and grain crops. The state placed 10th in oat production, 32nd in wheat and 24th for soybeans, according to the NY Sate Department of Agriculture and Markets.
Here’s a list of Cayuga’s products:
- Black beans
- Pinto Beans
- Red beans
- Navy beans
- Clover seed
- Cornmeal flour
- Spelt Flour
- Rye flour
- Freekeh (roasted spelt)
- Whole Wheat
- Whole Otas
- Whole barley
- Whole rye
- Whole wheat flour
- Cracked wheat
Jamaican rice and beans
Food writer and cookbook author Dana Jacobi offers up this savory mix of greens, rice and beans. If you’re stuck in the wintry cold, this dish will transport you to a sun-kissed beach.
My recipe for rice and beans comes from a man who cooks it in a cast iron pot set over charcoal on the beach in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 medium onion, chopped
l medium green pepper, seeded and diced
1 cup long-grain white rice
One 10-ounce package frozen chopped collard greens (see Note)
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup sliced scallion (white and green parts)
1 large teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
One (15-ounce) can red beans, drained
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the coconut milk in a large, heavy saucepan over medium-high. Sauté the onion and green pepper for 3 minutes, or until the onion softens.
2. Add two cups hot water, the remaining coconut milk, rice, collard greens, carrots, scallion, thyme, allspice, and pepper flakes. Cover, bring to a boil, and reduce the heat. Simmer until the rice is done, 15 to 20 minutes.
3. Mix in the beans. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let the pot sit, covered, until ready to serve.
Note: To use fresh collards, remove the stems from a medium bunch of the greens, about three-quarters of a pound. Cut the leaves crosswise into 1/2-inch strips. Boil the greens 5 minutes and drain. There should be 3 cups of cooked greens.
© Dana Jacobi, 2008