In a few days, summer time will change to winter time. We are already in autumn and, in Israel, autumn tends to end abruptly. The nights become longer and cooler. And the crops in our garden feel the change :-) . The garden wakes in the morning with drops of dew that have fallen on the plants.
During this transition period, many summer crops make way for their winter-growing friends. Pumpkins, for example, are seasonal summer crops. All the pumpkins in pumpkin soup and winter stews grew in the summer. Now is the time to store them, whole, in a cool, dry place. In Africa, I saw them under beds.
What's new in the garden this week? Lots of green: greens of all shades, shapes, and tastes. New greens: beets with leaves that are really chard, curly red and green lettuce, succulent tatsoi, broccoli (when winter comes, the broccoli will be really green, now it is a little reddish and yellowish because of the heat; maybe soon we will devote to it a newsletter of its own), cauliflower that is beginning and its green leaves feel and look much better after the summer, roquette, kale, and celery leaves and roots.
The garden also has spots of color from red and hot radishes, the leaves of which can be eaten.
So, how do we eat all that green? How do we get along with the worms? And what do we do with the roots? How healthy are greens? Here are some answers.
First of all, all the leaves you get, even those attached to the root (like beets, carrots, radishes) or to a thickened stem or to flowers can and should eaten!! You can eat them raw, stir-fried , in a soup, or as a fill for bourekas, pies, and pastries. Cooking softens sharp flavors. If you received leaves with flowers, they are a tasty gift which can also be eaten. I've chosen some great organic green recipes for you
However, our green leaves are also loved by other tiny creatures - worms ... it is unpleasant to meet them in our vegetable baskets and we do our best not to send them. But remember: these creatures know what is good, and signs of them prove that what we are eating is indeed free of toxins. Because of the comfortable weather, the activities of these little creatures in the garden are great. I tend to leave holes in leavess, if not too many. The holes are usually made by caterpillars. There is a story about a hungry caterpillar. The caterpillar eats and eats and eats ... and caterpillars really eat a lot in relation to their size. Luckily after all this eating and when they are satisfied, they usually find a good place in the ground to become a pupa and continue their development. Thus, they are no longer on the leaves and we are happy to leave them in the garden so that the wonderful chain of nature will continue.
What about health? Greens are full of nutritional value - they are all very necessary for health and nutritous diets, especially in times such as ours. Greens contain chlorophyll, carotenoids, dietary fiber, folic acid, vitamins C and K, and minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus.
To enjoy them more than a day, I recommend keeping them dry in a bag or a sealed box, at the bottom of the refrigerator where it is coldest. If the leaves reached you wet or you decided to wash them before putting them into the refrigerator, remember to dry them well. You can also wrap them with a towel or absorbent paper and only then put them into a bag. Proper preservation will enable them to last as long as two weeks!
May you have a week full of health, energy, and the spicy taste of life :-)
Yours, the Garden team and Maggie
We can wxpect in our organic vegetable baskets, also (Draft only)
In the large organic baskets,also:
piece of pumpkin
In our organic fruit baskets:
In the large organic fruit baskets: