|Overwintered Collard Plant|
I'm not a nutritionist, but I now this time of year I crave the sun and I crave greens. Not too surprising really, after the long, hibernation days of winter, our bodies are needing that kick start of a "Spring Tonic."
The beautiful thing is, that nature, if you are paying attention, will provide you will all the things you need when you need them. Kale, collards, pac choi and mustard greens are all chock full of folic acid, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, calcium and many minor nutrients and anti-oxidants. And...they will taste great to boot!
|Baby Pac Choi!|
Overwintered "cruciferous" (aka crucs!) vegetables are simply amazing this time of year. Why? Well, the cold weather of winters makes them sweeter and so very tasty!. In addition, the spring sunshine encourages tender new growth. And because we small farmers are always out in the field watching and tasting, we have discovered that now only are the spring leaves of overwintered "crucs" so very tasty, but this time of year they also start flowering and provide us with another edible delight - kale and collard "raabs." Or simply, the sweet and tender flowering stalks of those very same plants.
So...you say....this all sounds good but how, Farmer Georgie, do we eat all these hardy greens? Well...here are a few quick ideas:
* Beans and Greens. We love to do this with collards and our Peregion Beans. Add rice or polenta and you've got a complete meal.
* Sweet and Spicy Greens Stir-fry. A quick meal. Add garlic greens, Japanese turnips, baby pac choi your meat of choice (or tofu). Serve with rice.
* Steamed baby pac choi. So simple and quick. Brighten with a bit of meyer's lemon juice right before serving. A favorite spring side at the Oystercatcher in Coupeville.
* Massaged kale salad. Tender spring kale, "massaged" with salt to make them tender. Here is a great link, we suggest Rockwell or Barn Floor Mix beans for the "beans". http://www.healthyfoodforliving.com/?p=30472
And now, it is time to go load up the trailer so we will sign off with the complete list of yes, coming to the Coupeville Farmer's Market TODAY! (and Bayview folks, a few more weeks til the Bayview market opens but truly, it would be a lovely lovely day for a drive to Coupeville!).
From Willowood Farm:
* Baby Pac Choi
* Sweet and Spicy Stir-Fry Green Bouquets -a mix of mustards, collards, kale raab and other yummies!
* Garlic Greens. Immature garlic plants, use them like scallions only they are garlicky!
* Collards! Loads of these. Tried the collards at BBQ Jt in Oak Harbor? Well, these are the only collard greens they will use for their popular side dish!
* Japanese Turnips. So sweet and tender - eat them raw! And make sure to use the greens as well.
* Mesclun bags - only a few, so don't delay!
* Spinach bags - a gorgeous mix of green and red spinach
* Peregion Beans - our favorite for "rice and beans" sorta beans. Firm, tender and nutty.
* Barn Floor Mix Beans - a mix of all the beans we grow plus some extras. Great for soup!
* Leeks - overwintered and so yummy!
* Potato Bags - Peanut fingerlings. Stored from last years crop. Holding great.
And from our friends at Prairie Bottom Farm:
* Kale bunches
* Braising Mix
* Spring Onions
* Winter Squash (stored from last year)
* Rockwell Beans
* Kale Raab
* Bulls Blood Beet greens
Hope to see you at market! And don't forget to pick up your Whidbey Island Coop Tour tickets for next Saturday! We will have them for sale at our market booth, just $10 per car and the money supports a great local 4-H club - Rockn'Doodle Poultry!
Willowood Farm of Ebey's Prairie