From the Garden this Week, November 4, 2021...
From the Garden this Week… Dino Kale, Bok Choy, Eggplant, Peppers, Lettuce Heads, Tomatoes, Basil, Daikon Radish, Fuyu Persimmons and Pomegranates
Coming Soon…Brussel Sprouts
Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno
We are lucky to be able to grow our hearty greens all winter here in the Central Valley. They can withstand a mild freeze and are a staple vegetable of our winter basket. They can be added to any soup or stew near the end of cooking. For a quick cooking side dish, sauté them with a bit of garlic and red pepper flakes. Any variety of kale can be cooked this way as well as spinach, bok choy, collards, and brussels sprouts. Adjust the cooking time so that they are cooked through and tender. Spinach only takes a minute and collards might take 6-8 minutes. The toughness of the greens depends on how long they are in the ground before eating. I think this is why they boil the greens in the south. They will usually grow them all through the summer and then eat the greens in the winter. Where we plant them in the fall and spring, because our summer heat is too much for them to bear. Our greens have a shorter growing season and are therefore more tender and not as bitter.
6-8 cups chopped leafy greens,
kale, swiss chard, spinach or
2 garlic cloves minced
sprinkle of red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
salt and pepper
lemon juice or balsamic vinegar
¼ cup chopped fresh mint
salt, to taste
Wash the chopped greens in a bowl of water, let any dirt settle to the bottom and pull the greens out of the water and let drain, they do not need to be dry. In a large sauté pan with a lid, heat the garlic, chili flakes and butter over medium-high heat, until the garlic becomes fragrant about 1-2 minutes. Add the wet greens, salt and pepper. Cover with the lid and cook for about 2 minutes. Remove the lid and stir the greens and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. For tougher greens, if the pan dries up, add a few tablespoons of water and cover, to help steam the vegetables. Sprinkle with a
squeeze of fresh lemon or balsamic vinegar. Let the salad sit for at least 30
minutes before eating if possible.
The Hens are Eating their Greens…
The hens are enjoying broccoli greens (not sautéed) that weren’t producing broccoli. They love to eat their greens which is one of the reasons our eggs have more flavor than the ones at the store. If you need an extra dozen, just let us know and we can add them in to your basket!
Metaphors of Soil and Soul by Ronda May Melendez
Light from the lamp post out back drapes my living room in golden hues here the beams touch. The light is quite diffused through a thick blanket of fog enveloping the lamp, its fading golden beams folding into the early morning air. It is a comforting scene. I almost expect to see Mr. Tumnus wrapped in his lovely scarf and to hear at the lamp base the clatter of those little hooved feet announcing the arrival of deepening Autumn. Alas, my literary friend is here only in my imagination, yet I welcome his news and wrap myself in my trusted electric plaid blanket and sip a demi-tasse of espresso. It is a good morning.
Between those last words and now, I have driven to the garden. Thick fog made it difficult to see in some spots. I became anxious. Not lost on me is the vast difference between my emotions while I am wrapped in plaid, watching the fog from indoors, and my emotions while I am wrapped in steel and glass driving through it.
Fog is an interesting phenomenon. It is evidence of atmospheric gorging, the air stuffed full of water. But it isn’t just floating water; it is water and other particles providing a mass to which the moisture clings. On the sea, the water encapsulates salt, on land, dust and other pollutants. As the two intertwine and dance in the air, they create a type of filter which distorts, at least momentarily, the clarity of reality.
These experiences and knowledge remind me of an acronym- FOG, which stands for FEAR, OBLIGATION, GUILT. Each factor comprising FOG can legitimately produce comfort and safety or shame and destruction. Just as natural fog has a light, enjoyable side, presenting an opportunity for rest and safety, it also bears a heavy, shadow side... so does emotional FOG. The same phenomenon solicited extremes in emotions depending upon my impression and the nature of my engagement. It brings forth the question of how well I am able to sit with external distortion when I feel threatened rather than comforted. The warm, early morning invited me to know myself in joy and
contentment. The drive in the fog petitioned an assessment of my need and the resources available to allay the fear. We needn’t be shaken by external distortions, but how we receive the distortions depends very much on our concept of threat and how well we trust our own ability to care for our needs in the face of it.
Pickled Vegetables …
I pickle almost all of our vegetables with this quick refrigerator pickle recipe. This type of accompaniment is a traditional in Japan as a palette cleanser before meals or in-between bites. This method is a way to prep ahead of time and then they are cut and ready to go into a salad or soup. They are also a healthy snack when you come home from work and stare in the fridge for something to eat. Use the seasoned vinegar for a salad dressing.
Japanese Pickled Vegetables (adapted from thesplendidtable.com)
1 cup rice vinegar (not "seasoned")
½ teaspoon salt
1-2 teaspoons sugar
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Thinly sliced vegetables like radishes and carrots
In a quart jar combine the vinegar, salt, sugar, red pepper flakes and lemon zest. Slice the vegetables, place in a pint jar and then pour the vinegar mixture over the vegetable just to cover. Place in the fridge for at least 2 hours and up to a few days.