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Archive for October, 2010

Yesterday, Jesse, and Elizabeth’s son Eli were coaxed into the Isuzu “pup” (the truck that Gillen can drive) with Willie (our new go-to-the-farm-everyday-with-Nicolas puppy) to go on what Gillen called a “farm food tour”.Visiting us between taking in the peppers and the turnips:
For the first time in a while, I was picking flowers, so I don’t have pictures of their adventure. But I do have a picture of some of the last Zinnias of the year:
And of these ladybug-like (but yellow?) bugs who were at it the entire time we made bouquets, moving from flower to flower while they procreated. When we left the barn, they were still together, and still looking for the perfect resting spot. Or maybe this species is like the Black Widow and the male was just being dragged around dead, having served his purpose.

It’s like Wild Kingdom out here.

But for the kids, it was an Anthony Bourdain inspired travel network food adventure that we heard about in detail later.

They started out at the Persimmon tree, no one liking this fruit but Gillen. From there they drove to the peppers, Jesse’s favorite, and grabbed many to eat on the road. Gillen and Jesse love Hakurai Turnips so wanted to share them with Eli. Not finding them in the ground, they looked in the cooler and discovered a full box. Eli declared them edible as they tasted a lot like his favorite, the carrot, if you didn’t look while you ate, and if you only ate one bite. Gillen and Jesse also grabbed a handful of cherry tomatoes.

Next they traveled all the way to the back fields where they ate cabbage, kale, Daikon radishes and watermelon radishes.

Their biggest peril, besides getting Eli to take bites of everything, occurred when Willie the puppy jumped out of the truck and ran into the woods, a very thorny section of the woods. This was great because it meant that they came back to us with large holes in their shirts, truly looking the part of food adventurers.

I grew up in a big city. I never even knew what kale was, before falling for a farmer. It’s amazing to watch my kids growing up able to pick their own vegetables. Not to mention, able to drive a stick shift, something I still can’t do.

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Greens

Halloween orange and black showing up everywhere together make me strangely happy, and not, like my kids, because of the candy that they represent. But ever since meeting Nicolas and beginning this farm, the many tantalizing shades of green that cover the ground in fall are even better.

Tender lettuce greens, their beauty just enhanced by the red leaves next door.

Escarole; deliciously bitter. Surprisingly delicious. A big head chopped up with a few cloves of minced garlic, good olive oil, a brief pass of mulkasan (or other vinegar), chopped up walnuts, dulce, salt – then marinated…mmmmm.  For Nicolas and I, the taste of Fall starts with the taste of escarole salad. Thanks to Helen – who brought the inspiration for this salad, and its appearance on the farm, here from Europe.

Arugula, the farmer’s market favorite. After eating brunch at a wonderful restaurant, The Shed, that uses Nicolas’ produce, we now love eating it with olive oil, some lemon and good grated parmesan cheese.

Below, that southern staple, gentle collard greens.

Kale, our new favorite of the non-salad greens. Much tougher than collards but when you get in there and massage it in oil, you can even eat it raw. My kids are loving it too.

Krispy Kale (before it has been cooked):

O.K. Here I used swiss chard, but usually I just use kale. I cut it into smaller pieces, drizzle olive oil over it, making sure to rub it into the leaves, add salt, and then cook it at 350 degrees for about ten minutes, or until very crisp. I wouldn’t give up my Kettle brand potato chips for it, but it does seriously compete!

Kale Salad. I’ve made this a few ways but my favorite is from a recipe by Persephone – good friend,  chef, and health consultant who can be found at Clean Up, Clear Out.

Marinated Kale Salad

3-4 cups of kale shredded

Plus any combination of the following: tomatoes, avocadoes, red peppers, mushrooms, red onion, raw shredded carrots.

Vinaigrette (this is soo good):

3/4 cup apple cider vinegar or juice of one lemon or orange ( I used more oil and much less vinegar than called for here due to my kids’ preference. Also, this will make enough vinaigrette for many more salads. Though we just make a huge one with three big heads of kale.)

1/4 to 1/2 cup flax oil

3-6 cloves garlic

1-2 tablespoons mustard powder (I used dijon mustard).

De-stem kale and roll and slice into thin strips. Toss kale and vegetables with vinaigrette. Let marinate overnight so that leaves become tender. Try different combinations of additional vegetables. Olives are good too.

 

Then there’s Bok Choy (had it in a stir-fry with turnips, onions and garlic the other night), broccoli, collards, turnip greens sauteed with the turnips…

I seriously crave these greens, as much as I used to crave candy corn.

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I’m back. Jesse was too busy living and learning elsewhere to be here. A bumper sticker has been showing up on cars with farm-woman Helen (Nicolas’ mother) on it, along with this blog address! So, I’m feeling inspired to start blogging again. The cooler weather helps too.

Just in time to show you the end of the peppers:

Crisp fall rows of lettuce:

Elizabeth, flower farmer; frequently accompanied by a rainbow:

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