Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Fall Deliveries week 2

This week, you're receiving: Collard Greens, White Turnips and their greens, long green radishes, and some round Misato Rose ones, big purple and little green pac choys, arugula, and sorrel – that's one bag. In the other bag, sweet potatoes, a few sweet peppers (dwindling supply now), onions, garlic, and a couple of green tomatoes for a fried treat.

This morning after the collards were picked, I headed up the hill to do some more harvesting. I was thinking: “I'll pick a few radishes, then see how the turnips are doing. If they're big enough, I'll pick a few of them, and maybe some kale to top it off.” But the turnips are doing much better than I thought – the bulbs are still a little small (but they taste so good that way!) - but the greens are really big and luscious. They don't hold up so well in the bag, waiting for delivery, but they're FINE to eat. By the time I picked some turnips, it felt like kale ontop of it all might be overwhelming. There will certainly be more kale available next week!

So, here's a few things about greens. Greens 101, if you like.

To store greens – wrap them well – tightly is OK – in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer if possible. If there are radish or turnip bulbs attached to your greens, cut them off about an inch above the stem and store them separately. Bulbs will keep longer than greens, if that helps your culinary decision making.
You can also wash and prep your greens before you store them. It's a fine thing to do. If you are getting really into greens and you don't yet have a salad spinner, I suggest you buy one. The ones they carry at Walmart aren't all that good – TJMaxx or Ross sometimes have nice ones in their kitchen sections, and Kroger and Target carry good ones. They're more expensive, but we've never regretted investing in a worthy kitchen tool.

Another word about cooking green storage. Sometimes it can be good to just cook a whole big batch of greens at once, then pop the leftovers into a baggy and keep them in the fridge. You can chop them up for an omelet, blend them into a soup from there with little hassle. The baggy could also go straight to the freezer for some cold day when greens aren't available.

As for eating these heartier greens, the same rules apply to them as do to salad fixings. A little oil (or butter, or bacon drippings if you're a really traditional southerner), and some vinegar (we like balsamic) make just about any of the basic cooking greens work. You can steam them with just a little water in the bottom of a pan, or steam-fry them with some coconut or olive oil (this works well with the thicker greens like the dark lacinato kale and collard greens). Some chopped garlic in the pan can add depth, as can additions like ground cumin and coriander, and a splash of lemon juice just before serving.

For more information, about more vegetables, please follow this link:

Scroll down and there will be a list of vegetables – linked with options for word or pdf docs to accompany them. The recipes are good. The storage information is good. If you like it, you might consider buying the book: Farmer John's Cookbook: The Real Dirt on Vegetables. We use it frequently.

Also – if you're not quite sure which greens are which, please go to our blog: http://redspringsfamilyfarm.blogspot.com/

I am putting up a new page for vegetable identification with some nice photos. I'll try to add to it as we go along. Also, you can find a HUGE backlog of recipes from our newsletters of several seasons past.

Ok – that's enough out of me. Keep warm and eat your greens. Safe and happy Halloween!