In Your Box
Bok Choy or Collard Greens
Featured Crop: Turnip Greens
Several dozen studies involving cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, kale, collards, mustard, turnips, etc.) as a group have revealed that cancer prevention appears to be a major health benefit of eating turnip greens. Turnip greens provide special nutrient support for the three body systems that are closely connected with development and prevention of cancer, particularly lung, breast, bladder, prostate, ovarian and colon cancer. The first system, detox support, is supported by a broad spectrum of antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, manganese, and phytonutrients. These antioxidants help us avoid oxidative stress on our cells and support the second system. Turnip greens contain phytonutrients called glucosinates that can help activate detoxification enzymes and regulate their activity. The third system, anti-inflammatory, receives support through turnip greens' goodly supply of Vitamin K (a direct regulator of our inflammatory response) and Omega-3 ALA, the building block for several of the body's most widely-used families of anti- inflammatory messaging molecules.
Recipe: Spicy Turnip Greens
by Chris Greer
"In the end we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught."
- Baba Dioum
Last week, I believe it was a Thursday, the weather changed. Indeed the weather is always changing, cycling like an enormous washing and drying machine cleaning the fabrics of earth. Inside that powerful organism of water and gas, hot and cold, we are the socks. In Spring we merrily spin through luscious bouquets of purple vetch, red clover, and yellow fiddleneck, longing for a matching or unmatching sock to share in that period of awakening, reinvigoration and refreshing thunderstorms.
Alas we cannot spend our entire spring frolicking and musing the dainty Sheppard’s purse and the silliness of a giraffe's neck, for there is a hum of expectation, excitement mixed with consternation about the abrupt transition into summer. And whether or not you were accidentally dropped on the floor where you happen upon the misfortune of soaking up a stray puddle of kimchi sauce, it is all the same because you’re going into the dryer. Some people say 'life goes on.' Some fish say 'just keep swimming.'
Ascending that mountain of imposing stature that we call summer is a trial of endurance, where were our ability to last is challenged and we are confronted with our own humble existence, which one will find to be no more important in the grand scheme of things than a head of lettuce. Fortunately, lightning never strikes a lettuce nor a sock for that matter. The long, hot days of summer will sap you of your moisture and test every thread of your resolve. The only way to maintain sanity and be sustainable is to yield oneself to the ebbing and flowing of life, rhythmically tumbling to the sound of change in your pants pocket. A wise man once put it to me quite frankly, he said "Boy, sometimes you've got to grind against all odds".
Anyway, last week, on a Thursday morning I was awoken from my helicopter dreams and coyote reveries by the brisk thud of an acorn upon my canvas roof. I slipped on a clean pair of socks and saddled up my boots and meanwhile the cold air kissed my bare legs and arms with a refreshing chill. Beyond the orchard and across the canal, a thick mist hung low and mysterious over the elderberry beetle sanctuary. My fellow apprentices greeted me with encrusted, squinty eyes and very energy efficient grunts of “g'mrnin'“ through rosy, sun chaffed smiles. All of the sudden the weather was mild, cool and pleasant and its difference was clearly appreciated by all of us on the farm. So abrupt was the change that it was as if the summer had deemed the party over for the lack of guacamole, bean dip and conga lines.
It is wonderful to have come full circle and rediscovered the simple pleasures of fall. Hula-hoeing tiny forests of weeds, forking J-grass and bunching greens. Life is Good.
Oh patrons of peasants, land lovers, and stewards of the earth! Farewell to all, it has been the most delightful of pleasures growing vegetables for your consumption. I wish you all the very best futures! Adieu!