Farmers Are Fresh

Welcome to Farmer's R Fresh, our quarterly web series and monthly spotlight on Local Farmers, Chefs, Food Aficionados, Farmer's Market and Awesome Foodies. Injoy!!!

                                       Check Our Farmer for January 2013 Jeremiah Amimo

Jeremiah hails from a small town in Western Kenya called Maseno, which is close to Kisumu and on the edges of Lake Victoria. From the Luhya people, his family owns farmland within the region. Affectionately known as "Mimo" amongst his farming companions, he admits he never really farmed back home, except during school holiday when his maternal grandma would make the children help with the family farming.

Starting as a volunteer at Truly Living Well farm, he has now been farming as staff since June 2012. "Farming has been an adventure" says Jeremiah. "Back home everyone grows maize. What I've learned here is that maize depletes the soil. The best way to cultivate it is to practice crop rotation and companion planting." When asked what the next step was for him as an Urban Farmer, he replied he would like to learn lunar planting cycles.

We requested a recipe from Jeremiah and he gave us a Cowpea leaves recipe. Check it out and Injoy!!!

Sauteed Cowpea Leaves 
cooked similar to Sukuma* (collards and/or kale)

1 onion sliced thin
2 cloves of garlic diced
1 tomato quarted and sliced thin
1 bunch of cow pea leaves rinsed and sliced thinly
2 tbsp of coconut oil
water or broth to steam
salt and pepper to taste

Saute onion and garlic in a pan heated to med-high heat. Cook until onions become translucent. Add in cow pea leaves. Stir fry for a couple of minutes. Add broth and reduce heat to low. Leaves tend to be a bit tough. Cook to tender, adding additional water/broth if necessary. Simmer for 30 min or until tender. Add tomatoes towards end of cooking process and allow to cook with leaves with lid on. Serve with Chapati and Enjoy!!

                                        Check our Farmer for this month Ifakemi Spriggs

 One of my favorite dishes to cook as a native Nigerian is Pounded Yam and Egusi soup. The pounded yam is from the cassava root plant and egusi is ground melon Seeds. It's a healthy and nutrient rich meal that leaves you feeling good and energized. Be careful, it's so tasty it's easy to over eat and get the opposite effect!

Pounded Yam and Egusi Soup
  • 6 medium sized Roma tomatoes
  • 2 red bell pepper
  • 1 small red hot pepper ( optional )
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup Egusi ( ground melon seed )
  • 1-2 lbs chopped spinach or kale ( depending on how leafy you want your soup)
  • 2-3 Maggi cubes or according to taste ( may substitute with any vegetable bouillon cubes)
  • 1tbs salt
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 tbsp palm oil

Chop peppers,tomatoes, onions and garlic and blend with 1 table spoon of water in blender. Add 2 parts water to egusi and stir to a s paste. heat up palm oil in medium- high heat. Fry Egusi in palm oil for 2 minutes add blended peppers and tomatoes. Let cook at medium heat for 5-7 minutes. Add salt, cubes and other seasonings stirring gently. Cover and let simmer til oil begins to rise to the top of your stew. Add chopped greens and any cooked meats for non vegetarian recipes ( many Nigerians in addition add shrimp, salt fish and/ or stock fish to their recipe at this time ).

Be comfortable experimenting and exploring with seasonings and spices but be light handed. For a healthier soup use cholesterol free palm oil. You may find palm oil, pounded yam and Egusi at your local African food store. You may eat this with rice or pounded yam.

Pounded Yam
 2 Cups powdered pounded yam
4 cups water

Heat water to a boil. Add an even layer of flour. Stir with a flat wooden spoon. Smoothing out any bubbles. Turn heat to medium and keep stirring to a smooth doughy texture. Serve as a nice round mound and carbohydrate addition to a delicious meal.

Farmers R Fresh Ep. 1