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Archive for March, 2009

Looking Down

Knowing your land and region means looking up down and all around throughout all times of the year.   So many species doing different things  at different times.  Today seemed a fit day to explore for signs of Spring.  The yellow pine pollen is dusting everything inside and out.  The daffodils are popping and another yellow flower falls from the trees.  On my walk I ate several species in my own yard- cress, chickweed, wild arugula, dandelion, pine, and three (yes, three!) species of fiddlhead fern.   The geese are flying North and the turkey are all grown!   I am constantly amazed with Mother Nature and her menagerie.

Below are the fiddleheads.  The dish they rest in is only 2″ in diameter, so they are small.  If you decide to forage, only eat that which has no poisonous look-alikes.  Avoid anything carrot-like…they have two poisonous relatives;  mushrooms…don’t touch ’em unless you are 100% certain.   I find the Peterson’s guides helpful, and of course a seasoned forager as a guide is the best way to learn.

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Believe it or not we still have Winter here for another week.  The transition from one season to the next is quite abrupt in the Lowcountry.  From freezing fingers on Monday clearing out the last of the beets to jumping in the ocean on Friday!  We just finished harvesting what we could from the fields planted in the Fall- Cabbage, Kale, Carrots, Turnips, Parsley, Chives, Collards, Spinach, Kohlrabi, Fennel, Lettuce, and we have been picking Y’onions since December!  What a bounty we have all through the chilly months- so much choice in eating locally!   Not even two weeks later, the first Arugula of the Spring is here.  Bright green and succulant, tender and flavorful.  Two weeks off from harvesting is all we get in the Winter.   That’s alright by me.  I’d rather farm in the “Winter” here than in August!

While the flavors are still fresh on my palatte, I should tell of a delicious, nutritious, simple, seasonal, local meal I just cooked up.

Lacinato Kale with sauteed Spring Onion, Garlic, Rosemary, Parsley and Shitake mushroom (these were from Whole Foods, but we hope to have our own home grown soon), served along side roasted Butternut Squash (kept in the “root cellar” from the Fall harvest) with a Spicy  Cinnamon and Sugar seasoning.  Warm and hearty, but light at the same time.

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