Southeastern Biodynamic Conference
Our 16th annual Southeastern Biodynamic
Conference was a huge success. Over 150 people came to hear lectures and enjoy
the beautiful gardens and conference site. There were folks from California to
New York, Michigan to Florida, and even Costa Rica and South America. Besides
the celebration, there was a sense of sadness, as construction of a giant
chicken house continued just a few hundred feet up on the hill overlooking our
home, farm, and business. No one will come if it stinks here, and Cobb says “It
I was glad to sell a lot of produce, too. Everyday people
come her to buy vegetables. ‘When will you have turnip greens?” “Got any watermelons
left?” “How much for a bushel of taters?” I love to be able to offer folks
organic food right from the gardens.
Turnip greens are just the tip of the iceburg. Many other
kinds of greens grace the gardens now. It is a sea of greens. Please come and see,
take pictures, and enjoy this beautiful place while you can. It may end.
Bok Choy is the cabbage-like hend with the shape of a vase.
They come in two sizes. Joi Choi is a big dark green kind, and Mei Qing is a
smaller lighter green one. You have eaten them if you have been to a Chinese
restaurant. We have thousands of them and are glad to give you one to try.
Even better are the Chinese cabbages. They form a tight head
and are also called Napa cabbage. We use them in salads and cole slaw, and also
in stir fry. One advantage these crops have over European cabbages is that they
don’t get cabbage worms as much.
The big long rows in the back, towards the cave, are
flat-leafed Kale. We’ve been saving seeds from this variety for 30 years or so.
Kale overwinters easily, and then sends a seed stalk up in April. After it
dries, we cut them and further dry them in the barn before threshing out the
seeds. Kale is my favorite green, and it is good for you, too. I have extra
seed to give away if you want to try it.
The Swiss Chard was planted last spring. After sending it to
market for a few months, it goes dormant during July and August. It is too hot
then. But when the weather cools down, the chard sends out its bright green
leaves again and looks better than ever.
“Is that spinach?” No, its Tatsoi, another asain green. The
color is the deep green of spinach, but the leaves are rounder. It doesn’t get
very big, but makes the most beautiful rosette. We use it like bok choy- raw or
Mizuna is a frilly, feathery-leafed mustard. It is used to
spice up a salad. But it’s not as spicy as Arugula, which really has a strong
flavor. I don’t care for it, but it is the favorite of some folks. As I like to
say “There is no accounting for taste.”
After I show you all these delicious greens, you may say you
want turnip greens. Yes, we have them, too. Besides the standard purple top, we
have a golden turnip and a white one. Both greens and roots are edible.
So, come and get your greens. Unless Cobb keeps to their
word and builds their chicken house 1500 feet away from my business, and there
is plenty of room to do so, this will be the last garden here. My customers
have made it clear they expect clean food from here, untainted by the dust from
40,000 chickens and their waste. Remember what you mom says “Eat your greens.”
Fall is the season for them, and we have plenty to sell or give away.