“Burn down your cities and leave our farms, and your cities will spring up again as if by magic; but destroy our farms and the grass will grow in the streets of every city in the country.” William Jennings Bryan

Friday, May 7, 2010

May 7, 2010

One of the advantages (or disadvantages) of having a small CSA farm is growing and tasting new kinds of vegetables – things that I’d seen but ignored because maybe I was a bit intimidated of cooking a vegetable that didn’t come frozen in a bag with the “how to” boiling instructions printed on it’s backside. So my tastes never reached far from plain green beans and shoe peg corn – the Jolly Green Giant kinda stuff. Ho –ho-ho.

Now that I am a farmer of sorts, I am trying stuff that even though it’s most likely old hat to experienced farm market shoppers, it’s new and exciting to me. I am almost embarrassed to say that I am an arugula newbie or that I am just learning how to cook chard. And perhaps it’s just because I’ve been growing it myself, but cabbage doesn’t make me gag like it did when I was a kid.

Tonight I harvested some baby broccoli raab which up until this spring I had never grown before. I think that I seeded it a little too thickly, and could have thinned it a bit more. I hate to thin plants, because it means that some have to go to the great compost cloud in the sky, and I don’t like to exercise that kind of decision power. I like to let things just grow. But anyhow…I sautéed the raab in olive oil with garlic that I had grown last year. It was pretty good! I liked it! I will eat it again! It’s kind of funny that years ago I thought broccoli raab was some kind of rash you might get from playing in the woods….That’s how far I have come.

I am going to try growing a few other things this year – yellow tomatoes, potatoes, and a few new varieties of beans, peppers and edemame. And I am going to try okra once more… little by little I am leaving my vegetable comfort zone to see what I can grow, hoping that the new tastes will be as good or better than the old! Ho-ho-ho!

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