A Magazine About Food, Art & Exchange In Midtown Kingston, Published By The Hudson Valley Current.

On Villaging: POOP TO SOIL

By Helen Zuman Let’s talk about poop. I live in Beacon; I walk six miles per day. Occasionally, in the neighborhoods lining Fishkill Creek, I’ve smelled sewage—poop mixed with water. I’ve also smelled this when passing the plant at Dennings Point, where poop goes to be mistreated, i.e., laced with chemicals. Sure, the scent repels […]

The Yardavore

Dear neighbors and other folks,     It’s been wonderful to contribute The Yardavore to this publication for the last seven years — 87 columns about eating delicious homegrown food, both cultivated and wild. Far from becoming bored with the subject, the more I research and practice eating local foods, the more I realize that […]

The Yardavore

Faked Out Identifying Counterfeit Food by Maria Reidelbach     There’s no getting around it; even though there are many great reasons for eating locally grown foods—deliciousness, health, support for our local farms, economy and environment—it’s usually more expensive than the packaged products in our supermarkets. With budgets tightening, why is it worth it spend […]

The Yardavore

Microgreen Bucks by Maria Reidelbach     Well, here we are again, the coldest, darkest part of the year, with nothing to look forward to but February. I think it’s my eyes that are the most deprived, starved to see something verdant. But I’d also love to eat something green, ideally homegrown. In past winters […]

The Yardavore

Happiness Runs by Maria Reidelbach    Giving gifts is a way to help us all get through the dark, cold days of December, to bring some joy to a family member or friend. The act of giving makes us happy, too, and brain science has proven it.    If you read last month’s column you […]

The Yardavore

So Happy Together By Maria Reidelbach     This month, I’m giving thanks for a new book that rocked my world. It’s not news that Americans are growing less healthy, that we are the first generation that will have a shorter lifespan than our parents, and that obesity is endemic. Surveys show that we are […]

The Yardavore

Corn-Ventions by Maria Reidelbach     Growing up, my Uncle Ferd said that if you wanted sweet corn for dinner, you had to get a pot of water boiling on the stove, then go out to the field and pick the corn, running as fast as you could back to the bubbling pot. If you […]

The Yardavore

Stone Fruit By Maria Reidelbach     Peaches are the fruit that most closely resemble human flesh—that’s what pomologists say. It’s the gentle softness of a ripe peach and the minute fuzziness of the skin that has driven poets, from time immemorial and the world over, to erotic flights of fantasy. Bite into a fabulous […]

The Yardavore

Backyard Eggs by Maria Reidelbach     One of the many delights of living in the Hudson Valley is the abundance of backyard egg stands. Just about every two-lane road has a small, hand-lettered sign every couple of miles.     I love these little stands because they combine two of my favorite things: fresh, […]


We All Scream By Maria Reidelbach     An amazing, favorite treat we all enjoyed before memory, I think we take frozen desserts like ice cream and sorbet for granted. Despite being one of America’s most common desserts, ice creams, sherbets, sorbets, gelatos, granitas, ices and their friends are the most magical of foods—on a […]

The Yardavore: Boon Docks

BY MARIA REIDELBACH     One of the most interesting things about foraging and home-growing edible plants is discovering new taste treats—flavors you’ve never experienced or even imagined. For example, I’ve hunted wild mushrooms that smell crazily like fresh marzipan and, when cooked, taste like a combination of mushrooms and toasted almonds (the prince mushroom—Agaricus […]

Yardavore: Community Table

By Maria Reidelbach Living up to his name, farmer Creek Iversen’s life has meandered, twisted and turned, it’s had pools and eddies, and even a few falls. It also has the insistence and power of flowing water. This spring Creek is launching a pair of related enterprises at Esopus Agricultural Center in Kingston: Seed Song […]

The Yardavore

Eat the Revolution by Maria Reidelbach Diversity—it’s a buzzword in these days of tightening immigration policies, national isolationism, debates over gender identity, and even over who is a patriotic American. Diversity is a hot issue in agriculture, too. Despite the fact that a typical modern supermarket carries over 100 flavors of ice cream, dozens of […]

Yardavore: Small Victories

by Maria Reidelbach Maybe our grannies knew how to cook without depending on recipes, but it’s been a long time since most Americans have had those kinds of kitchen skills. I was lucky that my mother was great in the kitchen—she learned country cooking on the Appalachian farm where she grew up, honing her skills […]

Yardavore: Quick, Warm & Yummy

You know those days when you have to get up early, hit the ground running, then work until after dark without even a bathroom break? When you are asking so much of your faithful body, it’s especially important to make sure it is well taken care of. Unfortunately, the end of this kind of day […]

Yardavore: The Art of Cooking Local

Although the path was winding and sometimes narrow, in hindsight, it seems inevitable that Lisa Derosby-Jones’s life mission is cooking and serving fresh, healthy, locally-grown food to both family and community. In person, Lisa is vibrant with energy, with clear skin and a mellifluous voice that’s often sharing some fascinating tip or fact. Her interest […]

Yardavore: Hyper. Local.

Unbelievable flavor and vibrant health, bucolic landscapes and thriving farmers—eating locally grown food has too many virtues to count. But putting local food on the table can also be a challenge: first, you’ve got to grow it, forage it, or find local farms that sell it. Then, you’ve got to figure out how to prepare […]

Yardavore: Vegetables Underground

Year after year, the seasons pass, the weather changes, and the plants live their cycles—yet somehow I am perpetually surprised. When I lived in New York City and was relatively new to growing food, I made big window boxes for the deep sills of my old brick loft building. I’d carefully plant tiny herbs in […]

The Yardavore: Harvest Moon & Hoedown

September-time and the living is easy! Here in the Rondout Valley, we’re enjoying the peak of the harvest season. The air is warm during the day and sweetly cool in the evening. The honking of airborne geese practicing their formations for their long flight south and the continuous chorus of insect-song is a soundtrack that […]

The Yardavore: Sipping a Shrub

Thin-skinned, glowing, red strawberries, freckled with a multitude of seeds; deep indigo blueberries, glazed with a frosty bloom; juicy, deep pink raspberries; sparkling, claret-colored wineberries; inky, fragrant elderberries; blackcurrants, black caps and blackberries with incredibly complex flavors—these are just a few of the fantastic variety of berries that grow in abundance in our corner of […]

YARDAVORE: Bloody Beautiful

by Maria Reidelbach   Okay, be honest: does locally grown food sometimes weird you out? Of course, these days, it’s accepted wisdom that local food can be more delicious, fresher, healthier, and better for the environment than processed food or fast food–but what about when you’re harvesting from your garden, shopping at a farmstand, foraging, […]

YARDAVORE: All You Need is Lovage!

The mere existence of an herb like lovage gives me great hope and joy. Lovage is incredibly delicious, extremely versatile, grows better than a weed, and it’s beautiful, too. And lovage is, these days, almost unknown.   Lovage is a gorgeous perennial plant that appears first thing in the spring and grows five feet tall […]

Yardavore: Don’t Fence Me Out

A jarring experience that I’m sure many of my Hudson Valley neighbors share is roaming our two-lane roads and suddenly confronting a big, long wooden wall running right next to the road. It may be called a “fence”, but I think that a structure that’s eight feet tall and completely solid is more accurately called […]

Deliciously Twisted

by Maria Reidelbach I recently struck it rich—and I’ve been basking in happy endorphins ever since. Last winter I was walking with my neighbor Brit Baker and he pointed out a stream as we passed. I looked down over the bank and nearly dropped to my knees—my eyes beheld a creek chock full of fresh, […]

Yardavore: Five Years In

by Maria Reidelbach This spring, I am surprised and happy to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the Yardavore—60 columns about eating food that grows at home, both cultivated and foraged. I’ve always loved to eat, but over the last few decades choosing the food we consume has become so complicated. Every few months there’s some […]

Yardavore: Rolling in the Dough

by Maria Reidelbach Walking into a house that smells of baking bread may be one of the most welcoming experiences ever. Inhaling the fragrance of a yeasty, browning loaf feels like a motherly hug. It’s an aroma so potent it’s been known to sell homes to jaded shoppers and induce hungry lovers to pop the […]

Yardavore: Gut Feelings

by Maria Reidelbach By now, you may have heard the shocking scientific findings that 90 percent of the cells that we think of as our body, are actually, ick, germs! Trillions of microbes live on our skin, in our mouths and throughout our bodies, especially in our digestive tract. Cumulatively our “microbiome” weighs between two […]

Yardavore: Evergreen

by Maria Reidelbach    It’s one of my earliest memories—trudging among evergreens, the forest quieted by a thick layer of snow, gradually turning from white to blue in the twilight. Little arms and legs stiff, from the cold or layers of clothing, I couldn’t tell. I was out with my family to get a Christmas […]


by Maria Reidelbach    As we slide into colder, darker days of the year, I have a favorite way to keep the warm hues of autumn in my life. The rich colors of winter squash, in all their varied forms, mimic the peak days of a Hudson Valley autumn, from vivid golds and blazing oranges […]

Au Currant

by Maria Reidelbach Most people don’t even know what a real currant is, a berry that is both misunderstood and under-appreciated. If the world was a fair place, they’d be as popular as blueberries; instead, currants are the victims of some bad breaks. Champagne currants. The first of these is their name. I find the […]

The Kindest Cut

by Maria Reidelbach    Sometimes, the toughest spot to be in is when we have too much. It’s one thing to struggle to grow and maneuver to thrive—that’s certainly challenging. But when we’ve got options, it can be excruciating in its own way, because in making that choice, we are saying “no” to all those […]

Our Biota, Our Cells

by Maria Reidelbach    Holy crap! Microbiologists are going gangbusters discovering more and more about the human microbiome. If you haven’t heard of this new area of research you are in for a shock. Turns out that 90 percent of the cells of our bodies are bacteria! They are on our skin, in every bodily […]

Yardavore: Oysters at Home

by Maria Reidelbach When the days are as dark and the landscape as bare as it is in January, it’s fun to experiment with growing food indoors—especially if your future delicious meal doesn’t need sunlight to thrive. Of course vegetables and fruit need sun for photosynthesis, but mushrooms are fungi and they don’t, so they’re […]