Here are some musings from Farmer Renae:
There's nothing quite like the first steps on the farm after a rain. During the storm I had thoughts of the farm sailing away with all the plastic and tarps flying about everywhere making the sky sound more thunderous and intimidating than it actually was. We finally...finally got a relatively good soak, 1 inch of rain even, and rather than the recent sneezes of water that have teased the dry and dusty dirt in this patch of terrain, Mother Earth's skin seems quenched, moisturized. The soil is squishy, the plants are full--at least the ones that survived the heavy winds--and you can smell the ocean in the air. Hermit crabs emerged from the brackish silty puddles of the estuary and onto the farm, and we are witnessing the first signs of Spring: blue and white borage flowers with their faint taste of cucumber. I tasted one and was surprised at its sweetness. Diego responds with a grin, "the bees haven't gotten to it yet." Among the host of mainstays at the farm, the approaching Spring brings another plant up out of the topsoil. Manzanilla, or pineapple weed, is starting to show its first true leaves. It's our native version of chamomile that hugs close to the ground and is just as tasty, fragrant and medicinal.
I hope you enjoyed the rain as much as it seems the soil and the plants did, and that you had a place to stay dry or a friend or two to keep warm. Lately, and more noticeable than usual, the phenomena of rain gives moment for pause. And amidst the parched conditions, we can only ask for more.
Here’s a wonderful PBS video short called the the True Cost of Accounting: the True Cost of Cheap food: http://video.pbs.org/video/2365168360/
"By considering all of the external expenses factored out of the cost of food, an economic principle called true cost accounting helps consumers understand the real cost of the food they buy."
And here’s an idea for collard greens:
Pasta with Collard Greens and Lemon
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 bunch collard greens, ribs removed, thinly sliced
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted (optional)
Grated zest of 1 lemon, plus more for garnish
2 Tbsp lemon juice
12 oz pasta
1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook garlic and pepper flakes until tender, about 1 minute. Add greens and cook, stirring until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in optional pine nuts and lemon zest and juice. Season with salt.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in well-salted water according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water and then drain.
Add pasta to skillet, tossing to coat, and add reserved water to adjust consistency. Sprinkle with lemon zest and cheese before serving.