Monday, October 26, 2009


Cabbage patch. And vitamin green patch. And kohlrabi patch. Really beautiful vegetables when you really take a look at them. Rows and rows and they were all growing really well. Two types of kohlrabi exist in North America: White and Purple Vienna. The purple one is a bit sweeter but white is more readily available. Also, kohlrabi are surprisingly high in Vitamin C. So if you need some, or if you bruise easily, eat some kohlrabi.

Luckily the farm grows a lot of Purple Vienna. This is a closeup.

  Here Hector is standing in a field of turnips, radishes, and beets.  (I later ate the Watermelon Radish he is holding and it stung my mouth in a perfect way.) These radishes run the opposite of others: the more mature they are, the less intense their flavor is. Because I ate the radish straight from the ground, the intensity was...well...intense. Sliced into a salad or pickled, the taste is a bit masked and becomes much more pleasant to crunch.

Two pictures of the vegetables growing straight from the ground: The top photo is our watermelon radish and the bottom picture is a trio of purple turnips. If you're in to pickling, purple turnips are delicious candidates. Their intense flavor combines with the acidity of the brine to make a really tart pickle.

Here is a comparison of two cover-crop fields. The top picture is a new field with rye seeds recently planted. The one on the bottom is a more developed field. (You can see the rye is already growing. ) If you're not familiar with the term, cover crop is a sustainable agriculture technique used to improve soil conditions for the growing seasons to come. Because it is the beginning of winter, Hector chose to grow rye as his cover crop. Though I didn't ask why, I'm guessing it is because rye has a deep root system, is easy to grow, and it can help control weeds. Rye's root system stimulates the soil and pulls nutrients to the top, making the field fertile for the next seasons crop.

Kale is one of my favorite vegetables and, at last, I saw a whole forest of it. This kalefield seemed like a growth of mini palm trees; paradise for every ant in town. It is a hardy vegetable and can be grown without a greenhouse all winter long. Fact: Kale tastes sweeter after a frost. Also: Kale is very high in calcium. So if you're lacking, eat some. Please eat some.  We were so excited/consumed with this part of the tour, that I forgot to take many notes. Just know that Kale is a member of the cabbage family and can be eaten raw or cooked. (If you hate bitterness, cook it.)

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