Earlier this fall, I asked the community, or Facebook as it were, to guide me to Fracking-free, local apples. Unfortunately, the natural gas industry has negated local farmers’ sacrifices to grow and harvest pure produce. To put it simply, it’s shitty. It’s really, really shitty.
Many of my friends responded with suggestions, but one of my dearest friends responded with an entire box of local, frack-free apples to fuel my baking. If anyone would scour to source a frack-free apple, it would be my friend Dana. She has fought tirelessly to defend the environment and the people who have lost access to clean water. What she has seen is truly harrowing.
During one of our coffee catch-ups, Dana’s anti-fracking accounts introduced (very purposefully) a new character. She had met a Pittsburgh area native who was also dedicated to protecting our natural resources and wanted to join her efforts. Being as deeply entrenched in this movement as she was, Dana sussed him out intensely. She was uninterested in another tag-along looking for a shocking story for a blog or social media. She was interested in a volunteer who would respect how difficult it had been to establish relationships with these victims, sympathize with them, and to assist her in standing up to the industry behemoths.
After just one day on the road with her, meeting families, photographing flaming drilling rigs, and listening to her emotional breakdown, this man had impressed her beyond her expectations. She saw the selfless, giving soul of a respectful man, who wanted to save the world. She took note, and her gears began to turn.
As Dana and I sat drinking coffee and catching up, I asked more about this man, who I had glimpsed briefly at their first meeting. As she responded, I sank dramatically in my chair. This dude couldn’t be real. Had I forgotten to lock and stow some youthful diary of mine? Had she found my naive musings of a dream man? Earth saver, photographer, wanderer, aspiring urban farmer, beekeeper, graphic designer… my eyes were glazed, and my head was spinning, but Dana’s head was on straight. She plotted and schemed, and before long, that dream fella and I were locking lips under a mulberry tree.
Swoon City. Population: Two!
I’ve alluded to “the Urban Farmer” or #theurbanfarmer here and there, but in light of recent strides, I wanted to share the full story. Kyle, as most people know him, launched his Kiva campaign to fund his vision for Hazelwood Farm. I’m asking you, dear readers, to join me and help support his efforts and his dreams. His heart is huge, his vision is commendable, and when I’m too busy to notice, he secretly waters my windowsill basil and keeps it alive. He deserves a farm because he’ll use that farm to make the world a better place, one CSA share at a time. Even Julep can’t help but smile when she imagines what these abandoned urban lots could become, and she is so ready to herd something… to herd anything!
Here’s the deal- my generous, selfless, supportive, handsome Urban Farmer is asking the community to help him help the community. Still following me? In other words, please consider investing in his Kiva Campaign, so he can launch his farm. Any size donation-from $1-$10,000 helps. While you’re at it, support someone who has grown local, frack-free apples, and make this bread. It’s good and good for you, just like an urban farm.
Whole Wheat Spiced Apple & Oat Quick Bread
yield: makes two loaves
2 cups diced local apples
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 cups organic Greek yogurt
2 cups organic oats
3 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 organic/cage-free eggs (slightly beaten)
1/2 cup olive oil
3/4 cup packed organic brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F. Oil two loaf pans, and line with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, combine the diced apples and spices. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix together yogurt and oats. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
In a large bowl, mix together eggs, oil and brown sugar. Stir in the flour mixture, and then stir in the yogurt mixture. Batter will be very thick.
Pour a layer of batter into each pan. Top with a layer of spiced apples. Repeat until all the batter is equally divided.
Bake 45 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Place on a wire rack to cool completely.
p.s: If you do invest in Kyle’s campaign, be sure to leave a comment. I’d love for the world to be a little smaller and to thank you by name.