Today's Quote

“If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Eat What Your Garden Grows

We are fortunate here in the deep south to have almost a 4 season growing season. We truly only have a couple months out of the year where nothing will stay alive without protection or lots of water. However, we do have limited time in which to grow certain crops. Lettuce varieties only do well for a couple months out of the year in the spring and then again in the fall. They can't tolerate our heat and they don't tolerate frost very well. There are some varieties that last longer than others, but typically May is the last month for any lettuce to taste decent at least and even then it is iffy. So what am I trying to get around to? We love salad and eat it several times a week. While we have done well in the past with eating what was in season we truly missed our fresh green salad. Last year I used cabbage leaves instead of lettuce and over the winter I started thinking.....hmmmmmm. If I could use cabbage leaves and still get my salad fix could I use other things as well. So this year I have really put this thought to the test since our lettuce has been pretty much done for the past month. Broccoli plants actually last a good while in the heat, especially if grown where they get some shade. They don't make heads very well, but they do have loads of greens. And those greens make a great salad. Kohlrabi greens are also great in salad. When the spinach is done turn to swiss chard for a spinachy taste. Kale is a nice green to add to that salad mix also. And guess what collards last throughout most of the hot summer down here and are a great salad green. Now mind you if you are an iceberg lettuce eater you probably won't like these salads as they are full of robust flavor. These greens do have a mind of their own and they certainly don't mind telling you in flavor who they are. The bonus of this is that they are absolutely loaded with vitamins and minerals. Tomorrow's lunch menu....a rabbits chef salad made with broccoli and kohlrabi greens. One last thought on salads is that there are many herbs growing in the heat of summer that are fabulous to add in smaller amounts to your salads...lemon balm, basil, oregano, mint, parsley, cilantro, dill and others. Adding herbs to your salads not only beefs up the "green" part of the salad but packs a whollop of delightful flavors. So don't be afraid to experiment with your plants and substitute something that is growing for something that isn't growing. Blessings from the farm, Kat

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