From the Land 2/29

food for thought
full share: grapefruit, romaine lettuce, garlic, red kale, golden beets, collard greens, carrots, and spaghetti squash
partial: grapefruit, romaine lettuce, garlic, and red kale

announcements

It’s not too late to sign up for a Beef Share! Just shoot me an email and we can add it to your contract. As in the past, it’s $100 for about 16 pounds of beef, mixed cuts. It will come all at once frozen on March 28. Sign up now – there are limited shares available!

upcoming

“GMOs and Pesticides in Food and Farming”
Sunday, March 4 2-4pm
Prescott College Crossroads Center
movie screening and discussion with Dr. Lorrin Pang, MD, MPH
sponsored by newly-forming GMO FREE PRESCOTT

Slow Food meeting
Tuesday, March 20 5pm
Prescott College Crossroads Center
Ariel Ruben will present a slideshow of her 2010 trip to Terra Madre, the annual Slow Food conference in Italy. Hosted dinner (donations requested) with dessert potluck.

Artichoke Festival at Crooked Sky
last weekend in March – more details to come
chef demo, lunch, harvesting, and more
CSA members only $20! Order special-priced tickets through PCCSA
see http://crookedskyfarms.com/csf/?page_id=1173 for more info

Prescott Farmers Market
opens May 12!
Yavapai College

veg of the week

red kale: Brassica oleracea

Kale, a descendant of the wild cabbage and a relative of broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens, and brussel sprouts, has been cultivated for over 2000 years, but this version of Russian kale didn’t enter the US until the 19th century by Russian traders through Canada. Kale gained popularity in the 1940’s during the Victory Garden era, as it proved easy to grow and tolerant of cold, making it harvest-able in the winter when little else is growing. Red kale is distinguished: reddish-tinged curly leaves with a lovely purple vein down the middle. It is also sweeter and more tender than other kales.

Uses: Here are some great ideas for your kale: *Red kale is delicious raw as a salad, and can also be steamed, stir-fried (as in Asian dishes), or mashed with potatoes (common in Ireland). *Try this African favorite: boil the kale in coconut milk, top with peanuts, and serve with rice or polenta (cornmeal). *It makes an excellent marinated salad when allowed to sit overnight in vinaigrette. *Boil it briefly (1 minute), then saute with onions and garlic; add this to an omelet, or casserole, or serve with other vegetables on pasta. *Or make kale chips: toss with olive oil, salt and finely grated Parmesan cheese, spread in a single layer on a baking sheet, and bake at 450 for 15 minutes (or until crispy).

Nutrition: From Wikipedia: Kale is very high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin, and reasonably rich in calcium. Kale, as with broccoli and other brassicas, contains sulforaphane (particularly when chopped or minced), a chemical with potent anti-cancer properties. Boiling decreases the level of sulforaphane; however, steaming, microwaving, or stir frying do not result in significant loss. Along with other brassica vegetables, kale is also a source of indole-3-carbinol, a chemical which boosts DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells. Kale is also a good source of carotenoids.

To store: Rinse kale in cool water right away. Allowing water droplets to stay on leaves, wrap in paper towel and seal in a plastic bag in your refrigerator for up to a week.

food sovereignty

Last week I wrote about the cycles of poverty and hunger that continue to plague us on a global level, and how these are in large part due to global policies that primarily benefit large landholders and wealthy consumers.

In response to these heavy global market forces, a “food sovereignty” movement of poor farmers, peasants, women and indigenous people aims to reclaim the right to make their own food and agriculture decisions. The term was coined in the mid-1990’s by Via Campesina, the leaderless peasants’ movement, and specifically refers to the right of the farmer to produce food on their own territory. The seven principles of food sovereignty are:

  1. food is a basic human right, and therefore all people should have access to fresh, nutritious food, regardless of income. Many countries have officially and constitutionally declared food as a human right.
  2. land must belong to those that farm it, regardless of race, gender, social class or ideology. This specifically helps landless peasants, who are caught in a perpetual cycle of farming others’ land.
  3. sustainable agriculture is necessary to conserve natural resources, produce healthy food, and keep agricultural workers safe from chemical exposure.
  4. trade and agricultural policies must be reorganized to protect local farmers and community food security. Food imports and exports must not “displace local production nor depress prices”.
  5. we can work toward ending hunger through regulation and policy directed at multinational corporations, the World Trade Organization, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund, whose policies actually increase rather than decrease hunger
  6. everyone has the right to be free from violence, including freedom from displacement, forced urbanization, oppression and racism against smallholder farmers.
  7. all farmers should have equal decision-making power over policies that affect them.

Though it is overly simplistic to view the peasant farmers of the Global South as a single entity, thousands of farmers in over 80 countries have already participated in this growing food sovereignty movement: farmers teaching each other traditional and advantageous farming techniques instead of relying on high-input agricultural technology from developed nations, activists raising awareness of issues of food sovereignty and industrial agriculture, and individual community leaders adopting policies that protect their local agriculture.

for more info:
Wikipedia: food sovereignty
Wikipedia: Via Campesina

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spaghetti squash with spicy braised greens, raisins, and nuts
adapted from sparkpeople.com

  • 1 spaghetti squash, seeds removed
  • water
  • 2 T coconut oil
  • 2 or more cloves garlic
  • 2 hot chiles in oil, any kind
  • 2 bunches of greens (any kind), chopped into 1/2″ strips
  • 2 C vegetable stock
  • 2 t sea salt
  • 1/3 C raisins
  • 1/4 pine nuts or sliced almonds
  • 2 T olive oil

Serves about 8.

Pre-heat oven to 375. Cut squash in half, de-seed, and place cut side down in baking dish with 1/2 inch water, bake for about 1 hour, until squash is easily pierced with a fork.

Heat coconut oil in stockpot over medium. Add garlic and chiles and cook for 1 min.
Add the greens, stirring until they’re all in the pot. Add 1 cup or more of the stock, 1 tsp of the salt, and the raisins. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to simmer, cover, cook until greens are tender, about 10-15 min. (15-20 for collard greens). Add more stock a bit at a time if necessary. Stir in the nuts.

When squash is done, use fork to separate the strands into a large bowl. Add olive oil and salt and toss gently. Put squash onto platter, top with greens mixture. If desired, garnish with more nuts and Parmesan cheese.

beet and kale salad
adapted from bastyrcenter.org

Salad:

  • 4 large beets
  • 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 3 scallions
  • 1 medium carrot

Dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon finely diced garlic

Wash beets and bring to a boil in a large pot. After boiling bring to a simmer, continue to simmer for one hour, until tender. Alternately, wrap in foil and roast at 350 until soft. Let cool, then peel beets and cut into 3/4 inch pieces.

In the meantime, lightly toast the pumpkin seeds by placing them in a dry skillet and cooking over medium heat. Constantly stir the seeds to ensure even cooking. When they begin to pop and give off a nutty aroma, they are ready. Set aside to cool.

Wash kale and place in a large pot of boiling water for 30 seconds. Place in strainer and cool with cold water, cut into bite size pieces. Finely dice the green onions and slice the carrot into 1/8-inch rounds.

Place all dressing ingredients in a bowl and mix well with a wire whisk. In a separate bowl place chopped beets, chopped kale, diced green onions, sliced carrots and pumpkin seeds. Add dressing and toss gently. Serve chilled. Makes approximately six servings.

collard greens with guanciale and chiles
adapted from myrecipes.com

  • 1 cup (7 oz.) guanciale* or thick-cut bacon cut into 1/2-in. dice
  • 2 pounds collard greens, stems and ribs removed
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly smashed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small dried chile such as arbol
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 Calabrian chiles* packed in oil and vinegar or pickled piquillo peppers, thinly sliced

*Find guanciale and Calabrian chiles on amazon.com or from an Italian deli or grocer

Bring guanciale and 3 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan, then cook at a rapid simmer 10 minutes (5 minutes if using bacon) to render some fat. Drain, reserving 2 cups water. Blot guanciale dry.

Boil collard greens gently in a large pot filled three-quarters full of water until tender, 18 to 20 minutes. Drain, rinse with cool water, and drain again. Coarsely chop.

Cook garlic in oil in a large frying pan over medium-low heat until sizzling, 2 to 3 minutes. Add guanciale; cook 2 minutes, then transfer garlic to paper towels. Continue cooking guanciale, stirring often with a long-handled spoon (it may spatter), until crisp, 6 to 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels.

Break arbol chile in half, add to oil in pan, and toast until puffed, 1 minute. Add greens, reserved garlic, and salt and pepper and stir until coated. Add reserved cooking liquid and cook over medium-high heat until most of liquid evaporates but greens are still juicy, 10 to 15 minutes.

Stir in guanciale. Spoon greens into a dish and scatter Calabrian chiles on top.

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