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 will stink.”Version:1.0 StartHTML:0000000194 EndHTML:0000005664 StartFragment:0000002457 EndFragment:0000005628 SourceURL:file://localhost/Volumes/SERVER/EDITORIAL/10-11-11/COLUMNS/Barefootfarmer.doc
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 sauted.
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.