15 minutes with CSA members: Anna Mumford + Maris Zivarts

Anna originally moved to Red Hook in 2006 but left shortly thereafter to go work for an unfortunate political candidate in North Carolina.

Last summer, with Maris in tow, Anna finally moved back to the city full time, and she knew exactly where she wanted to live. With Fairway and the Red Hook pool within walking distance, and ample parking for Maris’ motorcycle, you can’t find a better neighborhood than Red Hook.

Maris is a strategist for the hotel workers’ union, and after recently leaving the ACLU, Anna now works as a freelance videographer and yoga instructor. (If you’re interested in community yoga classes in Red Hook, let her know).

What was the food culture in your house growing up?
Anna: My parents were hippies, so we ate only organic food and locally sourced meat. No processed sugar, either, and a lot of whole wheat products and produce from the local farmers market. At the time, of course, I hated it; at school I would attempt to trade my friends for their Capri Suns or Lunchables. But looking back I’m incredibly appreciative of what my parents were trying to do.

Maris: Midwestern meat and potatoes with an occasional Latvian addition, like headcheese, piragi or bland peasant food.

One food you won’t you eat?
A: Tofu (I’m allergic to soy and other legumes, which, honestly, I don’t really miss).

M: Gummy bears or any gelatin-based candy. (I abhor the texture.)

Favorite vegetable?
A: I’m sort of obsessed with the purslane after we had it in our shares a few weeks ago. Part of the reason I love CSAs is getting exposed to new and interesting produce. Last year I got really good at cooking cardoons thanks to my CSA.

M: Does the potato count?

Favorite food experience?
A: In the early ’80s, my dad worked for the State of Washington trying to develop an aquaculture program to grow seaweed, so we ate a lot of sushi and other foods with seaweed. My favorite was when my parents would drive us up to Seattle to eat at a sushi restaurant. I loved getting to sit on the ground and remember trying to impress my dad with my willingness to try anything on the menu.

M: Getting together with my family and spending the afternoon planning a menu and going to the local market and cooking. Last time we did this, we discovered a $30 maitake mushroom at Pike Place Market. We weren’t sure we should have spent so much on a mushroom, but cooked in duck fat, butter and shallots, it was the best thing ever.

What do you value about food or eating?

A: I’m a total bitch when I don’t eat.

M: I agree with Anna’s answer.

Favorite appliance?
A: Ice-cream machine

M: Corkscrew

Most disastrous kitchen or garden experiment:
A: It’s hard to name one. It usually involves putting things over too high of a flame and then trying to multi-task.

M: Destroying my just-baked sacher torte when the book that held the recipe fell into it.

What’s the best lunch option near you?
A: If I don’t need to have a particularly productive afternoon, a tequila bloody mary from Ft. Defiance is my absolute favorite.

M: Whole Foods, literally across the street.

What inspires you?
A: Wilderness and desolate urban decay.

Your opinion: Does talking to plants help them grow?
A: Nah.

Do you sing to them?
A: No, though maybe if I had my rooftop watermelon plants would still be among the living.

Tell us one thing about yourself that would surprise us.
A: My dad is from rural Indiana, and he and his siblings co-manage a corn-and-soybeans farm there. Maris and I are headed to Griffin, Indiana, in September to shoot footage for a documentary about the future of this industrial farm in the era of the locavore.

M: I was the 7th grade limbo champion.


One response

  1. Pingback: Red Hook Harvest Fest: The Movie « Collard Courier

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