Those of you who have even a passing familiarity with what we do here know that I am a crappy gardener. I have grown bitter collards, anaemic snow peas, wormy cabbages, and, perhaps most notably, watery giant squash – and that’s just above the ground! Look below, and you’ll find I hold the world’s record for failed root crops.
So you will allow my a moment of pride in our hoophouse. It is full of leafy, bug-free greens, crisp, blood-red radishes, and tall, strong leeks. It has bushy, thriving herbs and a patch of lemongrass that looks like it’s going to make it.
I know that it will last about seven seconds. The only reason it looks so good is that it’s too early for bugs and bolting, and only the most intrepid weeds (you know who you are, chickweed) have gotten a foothold. Come back in a couple weeks, and everything will be back to normal.
But, between the kale, arugula, and collards in the hoophouse and the overwintered collards in the garden, I harvested about ten pounds of greens in April. In April! I am pleased with myself out of all proportion.
Until I try and figure out what’s for dinner. I’ve made soups and stir-fries and creamed greens. There have been salads and frittatas and at least one pasta sauce that would have benefited from having fewer greens. I’ve blanched and frozen several bags of collards and kale, which I’ll be very happy to have in February.
Anybody got a favorite use for leafy greens? I’d be mighty appreciative.
Meanwhile, it’s time for my monthly check-in on our progress toward our 2012 goal of getting 20% of calories from first-hand food, and I’m very glad to have something to report other than eggs. Eggs are still the bulk of calories, but they have been joined by a significant harvest of leaves.
As in March, we’ve gotten about 18 dozen eggs, at 800 calories per, for 14,400. The ten pounds of greens were quite sturdy and dense (except arugula, which was a small fraction of the harvest), so I’m figuring they’re about 200 calories per pound, for 2000 calories.
I don’t want to forget my radishes, even though the 20 calories from the one large bunch are well within my rounding error. But if I add in the sage, oregano, marjoram, and mint, I figure I can get that up to 100.
So the total for April is 16,500. Still not up to 20%, but we’re coming up on fishing season. I’m hoping for a very productive May.