New COVID guidelines are posted at the entrance of Ithaca's farmers market on September 12, 2020. (Benjamin Velani / Dining Editor)

Farmers Market Report: COVID, Farmers’ Recipes and Must-Get Treats

COVID Safety Report:
I was a little nervous going down to the farmers market this past weekend, as I have actively been trying to avoid public places since March (grocery stores and other necessary stops being the exception). But, when I got there, I didn’t see nearly as many cars as I have in past years, not to mention that it seems much of the foot traffic was locals. This apparent emptiness proved a fallacy as Amelia and I approached the entrance. Stretching from the front gate and all the way around the bend in the road was a line of market-goers, young and old, local and semesterly transplants. We walked to the end of the line, a good 250 yards long and for which it took us nearly an hour to get through.

From left to right are fresh organic radishes, five color silverbeet Swiss chard and beets. (Courtesy of Lily Cowen, CALS '21)

Despite COVID, Dilmun Hill Still Found a Way to Feed the Community

Following the onset of the COVID-19 global pandemic, many on-campus organizations, programs and facilities were forced to close their doors. Cornell’s student-run organic farm, Dilmun Hill, was among these many organizations heavily impacted. Each year, four to five student managers are hired to prepare for the planting season in early spring. They stay through the summer and fall to grow, harvest and distribute food produced on the 12-acre farm plot near the Cornell Orchards on Route 366. Unfortunately this year, because of the sudden undergraduate hiring freeze and other newly-introduced COVID-19 restrictions, Dilmun Hill stayed silent for many of the normally hectic growing months.

Gregg Rivara, Aquaculture Specialist at Cornell Cooperative Extension. (Courtesy of Friends of Bellport Bay)

Not Always as Happy as a Clam: The Cultural Clashes Underpinning Long Island’s Shellfishing Industry

The year is 1686. King James II looks on anxiously from his plushy throne in England as his New York colonial subjects become increasingly unruly. To tighten his grip on the settlers and quell whispers of rebellion, he appoints Thomas Dongan, a Royalist military officer, to govern the New York territory and issue decrees known as Dongan Patents for the creation of trustee-run towns across the royal province. One of these towns was Long Island’s Town of Brookhaven. A key proclamation in the Dongan Patent states that the town and its residents would have collective jurisdiction over the natural resources of the area, including “the tracts and necks of lands, gardens, pastures, woods, trees and marshes,” as well as swamps, beaches, harbors and importantly, the seafloor.

On-campus students traversing on their first day of classes on Wednesday, Sep 2 2020. (Michael Suguitan / Sun Staff Photographer).

Cornell Dining Quarantine Meals Report

When stuck inside with nowhere else to go, food may be the only exciting part to a student’s day. The rush of dopamine and their taste buds return to life when eating vibrant, tasty food can motivate a student to push through another day of quarantine. One opening of the lunchbox could reveal a variety of cuisines ranging from pasta to tofu scramble … at least that’s what students hoped for when picking up their Cornell Dining meals, provided three times a day by the University during students’ mandatory 14-day quarantine upon reaching campus. Instead, one word described the quarantine meals given to students: Repetitive. As students began to move in on Aug.

Homemade bagels perfect for any Jewish American breakfast, or any breakfast for that matter. (Amelia Clute / Sun Staff Writer)

A Flavorful Celebration of Jewish Culinary Identities

Despite making up just about two percent of the U.S. population, Jews remain keepers of an incredibly varied culture. We see this first-hand in the wide range of Jewish identities which exist in America alone — an Israeli Jew may arrive in the U.S. cooking with chickpeas and pomegranates, only to balk at the copious amounts of “white food” which many Ashkenazi Jews consume. Likewise, latkes and gefilte fish may seem so intrinsically Jewish to these Eastern European Jewish communities that shunning them is to eschew Judaism entirely. Jewish culture is, therefore, dependent upon the interpreter’s own experiences, creating a collection of identities as varied as its people. Yet despite their differences, these groups unite themselves under the larger “Jewish” title, celebrating tradition and commitment to the community in similar ways: Through food.

Harvest at a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) plot. (Brianna Johnson / Sun Contributor)

Eating in Season

As July turns to August, the growing season in central New York is at its peak. A bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables can be found at your local farmer’s market, community garden or even your own backyard. If there was ever a time to attempt to eat more ethically, it’s now! There are few ways to eat more ethically and sustainably than eating in-season, locally grown produce. When you purchase local and in-season goods, you diminish your food’s carbon footprint tremendously by eliminating the need to store, cure, freeze and transport your produce.

A day spent biking through cornfields towards Penn Yan, New York. (Jack Waxman / Staff Writer)

Can the Future of Farming be Organic?

Equipped with hand sanitizer and face masks, I began my fifty-mile bike ride to interview Klaas Martens, an organic farmer from Penn Yan, New York. On the way, I saw a “For Sale” sign outside a small complex called Freedom Village. I got barked at by too many guard dogs and I conquered obnoxiously long, steep hills that made my thighs scream. I passed by miles upon miles of corn fields. Corn is a major New York crop with 1 million acres planted yearly.

Dominique Clayton, owner and chef of "In The Kitchen With Dominique, LLC." (Amelia Clute / Sun Staff Writer)

In the Kitchen and Mind of a Black, Female Chef

Dominique Clayton is the owner of “In The Kitchen With Dominique, LLC,” a Bay Area catering business serving events both big and small — and most recently, providing meals for those in need in Oakland in partnership with Walnut Creek Kitchen and Eat Learn Play. A chef’s culinary journey is as unique to them as the food they create; every dish is a culmination of an entire lifetime of learning, experimentation and tasting. This weekend, I had the pleasure of interviewing local business owner Dominique Clayton about her own journey and experiences in the field as a Black female chef. Dominique Clayton is the creator of In the Kitchen With Dominique, LLC, a catering company in California’s Bay Area. Though she discovered her calling to enter the professional world of cooking around five years ago, food has always been a deeply personal and influential force in Dominique’s life.

Homemade brownies served with ice cream. (Melanie Metz / Staff Writer)

Summertime Heat: Grilling is the New Baking

Summertime can be difficult for baking aficionados; the Philadelphia heat and humidity discourages me from turning on the oven and heating up the house. Luckily, the grill can fulfill my craving for a homemade baked good. Many desserts that can be made in a skillet can be cooked on the grill. The difference between baking in an oven and on a grill is that an oven heats from all sides, while a grill heats from bottom up. On the grill, most desserts become crispier on the bottom and fudgier on top.

The begining of a family adventure. (Sarah Austin, Sun Staff Writer)

From Madeira to Smuckers Mosaics

My family is notorious for waiting until the last minute to plan our summer trip; that’s why this summer was so surprising. In November 2019 we had tickets to Madeira, and over winter break we began to very informally plan. While I was supposed to be finding hotels and hikes, I was too busy dreaming of all the passion fruit and tabaidos I was going to be eating. Unfortunately, our summer plans came to a screeching halt in mid-March. Instead of daydreams of Madeira, my mind was occupied with finishing up school, applying to summer jobs and remembering a mask when I went to the grocery store.