Sunday, January 24, 2010

Power of Pie

Yesterday the cosmos brought together a few of my favorite things: meeting friends for a night out in Brooklyn, BK Farmyards, and pie.  A billion pies!  (Well, that's what it seemed like, anyway.)

I'll back up.  Since I have been obsessed with this new idea for a someday school, I have been trolling the interweb for groups with similar or related missions.  One such group I stumbled upon is BK Farmyards.  (BK as in Brooklyn, folks.)  They, like many other groups, provide "local food to reduce the city’s reliance on fossil fuels and offer local jobs to boost the economy."  Cool.  What's even cooler is how they do it: they partner with individuals and organizations in Brooklyn who have an unused parking lot, or a bit of vacant land in a neighborhood, or a personal plot of potential garden.  They call it "growing food between the cracks of urban development."  NYC is urban great to work within that system rather than hopelessly struggling against it.

My favorite project of theirs is one they are in the midst of gearing up for at this moment, a new 1-acre farmyard for a high school here in Brooklyn.  The school will be using this farm as part of its integrated curriculum, teaching kids to tend the land, and providing fresh, locally grown produce to people in the community.  I want to see this project thrive because it will provide another model for me to look to in the future if I try to do the same.  BK Farmyards is currently looking for people to donate to this project, if you're interested.

 Which leads us back to the pie.  You didn't think I forgot about the pie, did you?  A friend of mine--who incidentally makes amazing, delicious pies, homemade crust and all--posted an event on her Facebook page yesterday.
She had decided to enter the 3rd Annual Brooklyn Pie Contest to benefit BK Farmyards.  All you had to do was bake a pie, any kind, and show up with it at this little Williamsburg bar.  Anyone wanting to sample the pies and help judge could also show up, donate five bucks to the cause, and grab a spoon.  What could be better?

So, with the promise of pies in our future, Greg and I trundled off to Williamsburg.  Along with the rest of the world, it turned out.  The place was so packed with pie enthusiasts, you could not move.  It was ridiculous, and simultaneously amazing.  When they finally got the whole gig started, they announced that easily 2-3 times as many people than they ever expected had shown up.  It also turns out that people are surprisingly courteous and joyful if they know everyone is just there for a piece of the pie and a little fundraising.  And there were pies galore, of every sort.  And more just kept coming through the door, making their way, held high overhead, destined for the judges' table.

My friend's pie never did make it into the judging, as she was running late.  But after a bit of dinner out on the town, we went back to the bar to donate her pie and relish in the aftermath of a highly successful pie extravaganza.  By this point the throngs of people were gone, and we were left to gluttonously graze the remaining pies--plastic spoons in hand.  Here is a list of the pies I sampled: Bourbon pecan, Cajun, apple, peanut butter cream, Pear Gruyere, and pear with candied walnuts and bleu cheese.  Heaven.  Pie heaven.

BK Farmyards raised close to $1000 last night, all from the love of pie.


  1. I think the pear-gruyere you sampled was mine (unless there was more than 1). I had to leave because my friends who had showed couldn't get in cause it was so crowded. I wish I had gone back to see how it all ended, and taste some pie.

    Do you know who won the different categories?

  2. I did ask which pies won. A Mexican (spicy) chocolate pie won for the sweet, and some sort of parsnip pie won for the savory. Your pear-gruyere pie was getting raves all around from my friends scavenging the 10 or so partial pies that were left.

  3. So very fun Sarah. I would have loved to have been there and participate. What a wonderful memory. When you're home next time I can teach you how to make pie crust. I make an awesome one, if I do say so myself.
    Love you.

  4. My fave pie was the pear gruyere too, how do you know the woman who baked it sarah?

  5. Oldsnuggler - the pear gruyere pie was mine. I'm going to put the recipe up on my blog in this coming week. I'm so glad people liked it, not having been there to see the reaction.

    Parsnip pie? I wish I had tried that...can't really imagine it.

  6. Well thanks for that treat Jen. We were lucky enough to show up after the hubbub died down,and everyone had eaten their fill, but there was still plenty of pie. We had a heyday.