Photo365: June 12, 2009-The Farm Share

Some time ago, I put my name on a waiting list for a share of the crop of an organic farm run by students at Rutgers University’s Cook College. This year, I made it to the top of the waiting list, and today I went to the farm in East Brunswick to pick up my first share.

The farm itself is a beautiful piece of property just off Ryder’s Lane south of the Route 1 corridor.

Cook College farm

Cook College farm

The shed where the shares are picked up is just a small building at the back of the property.

Share shed

Share shed

The students were terribly apologetic that the bad weather we’ve had limited what was available in this share. Me, I’m one person. I have no idea how I’m supposed to eat all of this. Or how to eat it (or fix it or preserve it). Or even if all of it is supposed to be edible!

First share

First share

The first share included:

1. 1 small bucket of pea shoots. Pea shoots. What the heck are pea shoots and why does somebody want me to eat flowers?

Pea shoots

Pea shoots

2. 1 bucket of spectrum greens. I had to look that up on the Internet. Turns out it’s just various greens in different sizes, shapes and colors. I don’t think there’s any standard definition of what constitutes spectrum greens, and I have no idea what the specific greens were.

Spectrum greens

Spectrum greens

3. 1 bunch of scallions. Yummy. (No picture — I’d already chopped ‘em into my lunch salad by the time I remembered I was supposed to be taking pictures…)

4. 1 bunch of kale. I’ve heard of kale. I have no idea what I’m supposed to do with it. And there is a LOT of it.

Kale

Kale

5. 1 bucket of lettuce. Now that I understand.

Lettuce

Lettuce

6. Herbs, which were sage and lemon balm this time. Sage, I gather, you dry and use on things like chicken. Lemon balm? What the…???

Sage and lemon balmSage and lemon balm

It also included 1 bunch of turnips. Uh-uh. Not for me. I don’t like ‘em no matter how you fix ‘em. I left my share behind. (The farm has an arrangement with a soup kitchen in New Brunswick so even turnips won’t go to waste.)

Now I promised myself that, if I was going to do this (at several hundred dollars for the 24-week share), I was going to try to be serious about it, and at least try not to waste anything. So I spent some time on the Internet, did a bit of research, and took a few deep breaths.

First, for lunch today I had a salad. That was easy enough. I threw in some of the lettuce, all of the scallions and some of the spectrum greens, along with some grape tomatoes and some green pepper I had at home. Very nice. Very juicy. I may never look at the stuff in those plastic bags the same way again.

Dinner was a little more complex. I had done my research, so I looked carefully at everything I was given, and basically threw caution to the wind. I took some of the spectrum greens, some of the kale, all of the leaves of the lemon balm (which was starting to wilt badly since I hadn’t put it away properly after picking up the share) and some of the pea shoots (blossoms and all), chopped ‘em up, and fried ‘em in olive oil with minced garlic and salt.

Now maybe it’s just that I was hungry. And maybe it was just that you can fry ANYTHING in olive oil with minced garlic and salt and it will taste good. But one thing is for certain… Sigh… frozen veggies aren’t quite going to measure up any more…

All in all, I’d say this season is off to a very nice start.

2 Responses to “Photo365: June 12, 2009-The Farm Share”

  1. Paul says:

    >4. 1 bunch of kale. I’ve heard of kale. I have no idea what I’m supposed >to do with it. And there is a LOT of it.

    Here is one of Nadine’s biggest hits:

    Beans and Greens

    Heat up olive oil and garlic in a large skillet.
    Throw in some red pepper flakes (optional).
    Fill with chopped kale.
    Cover and cook for ~20 minutes.
    Toss in one can of canenelli beans.
    Dinner’s ready!

  2. jgr says:

    Hmmm… I think even I could manage THAT recipe! Thanks!!