The rain came yesterday. It was gentle and consistent, quenching a thirst of many days. Our crops loved it. So too, did we. It washed away layers of pollen and dust, and offered respite from weeks of long, hot days of strenuous work. Because when it rains, we slow down and work indoors or not at all. The slowing down is so necessary. To make time to relax, to heal, to breathe, to gather with friends, and to take naps. This farming life is about making a small farm work but it is also about fostering right relationships with ourselves, our families, our friends, and our community of eaters.
An essential part about making our small farm work is selling our produce at farmer’s markets. The markets of the past few weeks were so rich in the quality of conversations and interactions, in re-connecting with our CSA members, meeting new customers, and re-discovering the resilient local food community. If you have not yet been to a farmer’s market this year, we urge to change that soon. Come find us soon at a market near you and taste the local!
Two questions that are often asked by our customers at our farmer’s market booth are “what is that?” and “what do you do with it?” As was the case with collards this past Tuesday. It makes us want to write an In Defense of Collards essay. That is for another time.
Let’s be clear: collards (like kale) are some of the best spring greens out there. They are not the collards of yesteryear. You needn’t cook the modern collard varieties outdoors for hours, lest they leave a bad odor in your kitchen. While it remains firmly a southern cooking ingredient, it has come into its own in other cuisines as well. Take for example chef Vivian Howard’s collard green wraps; and Martha Stewart’s stuffed collard greens. However you choose to eat them, do not boil them. Eat them raw. Use them in soups and stews. Make a slaw with it. Use it like a taco. Slice it thinly and make kraut with it. The possibilities are endless and now is a good time to buy some from us at an upcoming market!
On our tables this Saturday and Tuesday you should find arugula, baby bok choy, cilantro, fantastic collards, curly kale, Tuscan/Lacinato kale, red Russian kale, Siberian kale, mixed Asian greens/mustard greens, French breakfast radishes, round red radishes, salad mix, and Swiss chard.
The widely respected poet, Lucille Clifton, highlights collards in her poem cutting greens. Lucille was well known for her exquisite pared down poems, filled with only the essentials, lean and laced with humaneness. May you always be reminded of the bond of live things everywhere when you next reach for collards. #eatmorecollards
Be well, eat healthy, and be kind to yourself and others.
Alistar, Rebecca, and Georgia