This bowl of lettuces and kale is the first cut of spring, taken from the unheated greenhouse while snow flurries whip around outside. With the help of 6 mils of plastic and some row cover, the salad easily survived three months of winter, with temperatures that went down to -30°C (-22°F). The texture and color are good, the taste, deliciously bold. Fantastic! The flowers are bok choi that managed to bolt in the alternating warmth and cold—on sunny days, the hoophouse temperature could easily reach 10-15°C (50-59°F), even when it was sub-zero outside. Interesting!
Long-term veggie storage can get fairly involved, with root cellars, sticking things in piles of sand, adjusting humidity, spotting and culling the spoiled, that sort of thing, or it can be as simple as tossing a plastic bag of small carrots, little guys that wound up at the bottom of an empty market bin, into the fridge’s crisper drawer, and forgetting about them until they’re found four months later while rooting around for ingredients for stew. These carrots represent exactly the latter, a few handfuls of Nelson (orange), Red Samurai, and Purple Sun. They’re in perfect shape, crunchy and tasty—the plastic bag maintains the humidity that keeps them hard—so a quick rinse, chop-chop, and in they go. (They’re partly cut because I’d already started slicing them when I decided to take a pic.) Another whatever-veg-is-around beef stew. What could be simpler?!
Yes, yet another thing to do with KALE! In a small fit of inspiration, I tore up a few fistfuls of baby Red Russian, and tossed ’em into the pot with carrots, onions, grass-fed beef shank, salt, pepper, garlic and water, slow-cooked for quite a while, six hours or more, adding brown rice towards the end. Voila, Beef and Kale Stew. The kale contributes just a hint of seaweed taste, but maybe that’s just me. Anyhow, excellent. Will do again.
Continuing snowy white and frigid outside, and if it weren’t for the handy neighborhood supermarket, the last thing you’d be thinking about around here right now is fresh orange juice. The reality is, there’s plenty of it, legally speaking, at least: aseptic storage and flavor packs aside, fresh not frozen, not from concentrate, pulpy or pulp free OJ is in abundance, now as ever, and often on special, too!
[From 18-May-2013] No food styling, just salad! The first grown-this-season greens – romaine, butterhead, oakleaf/salad bowl letuces – picked by raiding half-grown plants for a few leaves apiece. Dinner.
[From 10-Jun-2013] Yet another fresh farm lunch, from a long line I call the Endless Salad: harvested moments ago spinach, arugula, lettuces, topped with raw seeds and nuts, and an olive oil/balsamic vinegar dressing. Quick, simple, super tasty and energizing, all around amazing. Ashley does the honors…
[From 8-Sep-2012] More incredibly simple and tasty local food: the basic BELT – bacon egg lettuce tomato – all local except for salt, pepper, butter, and mayo. Bacon from the farmers’ market. Eggs and veg – heirloom tom, second cut baby lettuces and a smattering of arugula – from here. Organic 7-grain bread from a mid-size local indie bakery available at both farmers’ market and supermarket. When you have INGREDIENTS, everyone’s an instant chef!