Wild Things Farm

  (Crab Orchard, Tennessee)
Farm life adventures of the Happy Hoer
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Washing Fresh Greens

The high tunnel has been productive this winter season--well, as productive as it can be.  Plants just don't grow nearly as fast in the winter as they do in the summer.  A wonderful mix of greens just passed through the kitchen sink into the fridge for part of the evening meal.  I get lots of questions about the best way to wash fresh greens.

First off, this is only the way I do it--not a scientific approach at all.  The greens grown on the farm are all organical so the only things that need to be washed off are debris and the occasional snail.  I can deal with things I can see, it's the things I can't see that I don't want to deal with :-)

Place the greens in a big bowl of cold water:

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Then swish the leaves  around with your hand to knock the debris loose.

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  I pick it up a few leaves at a time and place in the salad spinner, checking them really well for cleanliness.

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Once the salad spinner is about 3/4 full, put the lid on and give it a few spins to dry the leaves.   The salad is then ready to mix with whatever other items you want.  This particular mix I call the "Kitchen Sink" salad mix because it contains arugula, lettuce, broccoli raab, spinach, and baby Swiss chard leaves.  A lot of people have never tried baby Swiss Chard leaves in a salad, but they are delicious, and more nutritious when raw.

If you're not going to eat greens right away, don't wash them until you're getting ready to eat or cook them, and keep them in the fridge.

Now, for supper.........

 

 
 

WHAT are you putting in your MOUTH!

OK, it's that time of year, when a lot of us make new year's resolutions and attempt to improve something about our lives.  The way I look at it is that we have "tomorrow" to improve, or "next week" to start something new--maybe "first of next month"--oh what the heck--new year's-----"I'll start taking control of what goes in my mouth".

 It's a real comfort knowing where your food comes from.  I was with my best friend at the grocery store the other day and I couldn't believe how stressful it was trying to decide which of the produce to encourage her to buy....the conventional spinach was--well, YUK!  not fresh...the organic wasn't much better and I thanked my lucky stars that I don't have to worry about where my produce comes from.  (If I had known she needed spinach I would have brought her some <img src=)" title=":))" />

Now's the time to decide how you want to nourish your body this year--join a local CSA and know where your food comes from, go to the farmer's market and get local produce (ask if it's organic) or continue to paddle along with convenience foods whether frozen or canned.  It's your choice.  Our bodies are using what we put in them to build new cells every day.  Junk in--junk out, as the old saying goes.  

I went to an "open house" yesterday at the home of one of the farm members.  They had prepared salad using greens from the high tunnel and they were really excited to share that information with the guests at their party.  It was exciting to me to be eating veggies that were grown on my farm but prepared by someone else--I knew where those veggies came from.   I know everyone isn't to that point in their consumption of food, but it's a really good feeling, and if you can't grow your own veggies, belonging to a CSA is a good foundation to taking control of your diet.

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It's OK to Play with your Food

Since I'm the one in the family that has chickens, one of the dishes I was to take to the family Thanksgiving dinner was deviled eggs.  Anyone who has tried to boil and peel a fresh egg knows that it's nearly impossible to cleanly peel them.  So, in anticipation of being the designated deviled egg maker, I held 2 dozen eggs in my fridge for 6 months...no, just kidding!  2 weeks is more like it.  They peeled pretty good--I put them in a pot of cold water, brought it to a slow boil and set the timer for 10 minutes.  I put ice cubes in a big bowl with water and when the timer went off I put the eggs into the ice water for a few minutes, then peeled them.  The shells came off pretty easily.  A couple were a little testy, but not too bad. 

I wanted to use some olives stuffed with peppers as a garnish on some of the eggs, just for something a little different.  I took 2 capers and placed on each deviled egg (eyes) and sliced the olives to make a mouth that was open like it was hot.  I scattered the peppers around the plate to let everyone know they were hot so I wouldn't scorch the family members who don't appreciate hot!

 Remember Mr. Bill?  These reminded me of Mr. Bill---"Oh Noooooo!"

See, it's okay to play with your food!  These were a hit at the table :)

 

 
 
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