Greens

2/3/12

  It’s been another busy week on the Ridge. Just the usual day to day things that go into running a household, with a bit of craziness thrown in for excitement.

  We had decided at the beginning of the year to see if we could go a whole month without visiting Wal-Mart. The month end happened to coincide with a trip to visit the dermatologist in Hermitage.  We opted to take advantage of a day off and some bigger stores to do our stocking up while we were there.  We managed to spend a bundle of money and NOT buy any food. We got feed for the animals, new boots, toiletries and a few household items. We dropped a bundle in Pat Catan’s getting some fun decorations for Valentine’s Day and St. Patty’s Day.  We did end up at Panera Bread for lunch-like we said, we’re not making a religion out of locavoria.

  In fact, we ended up eating out many times this week. Sometimes life just throws curveballs and you have to go with the flow. We certainly wouldn’t have passed up the opportunity to bless one of our young friends who was being deployed.  Ladies’ Breakfast is Tuesday and Mens’ Breakfast is Friday, add to that meeting some friends for dinner and the whole locavore week goes out the window. Life is just like that sometimes.

  We stopped at Sandycreek Bee farm to pick up honey one evening this week. While talking to Jeff about locavoria, he asked us if we didn’t miss a good salad now and then. The funny thing was-we had just come from dinner where I thought, “I’m going to have a salad.” The salad consisted of iceberg lettuce, two slices of cucumber, three onion rings and a wedge of tomato.  I could honestly answer, “Not really, I’ve been growing my own.”

  When we started “eating local”, we discussed what we would do about fresh greens. I began growing sprouts and ordered some seeds for microgreens.  If you are not familiar with these kinds of local greens, I will take some time to explain.

  Sprouting is simply the act of putting seeds in a jar, keeping them moist and allowing them to sprout for 3-5 days.  Sprouts are considered a “living” food and are very nutritious. We use sprouts any way we would normally use lettuce, as salads or on sandwiches. An awesome snack is a homemade flax seed cracker spread with cream cheese and topped with fresh sprouts. YUM!

  Microgreens actually involve dirt; they are generally grown in a small box on your kitchen windowsill. Any mixture of small seeds can be grown for microgreens and they are harvested when the third set of true leaves begins to appear. You just snip the greens off with a scissors, leaving the root intact, so that the greens will continue to grow successive crops.

  We have been rounding out our salads with carrots and radishes harvested from our garden in the fall. We top off our salads with home canned pickled beets, mild pepper rings or 14-day pickles.  The iceberg lettuce salad pales in comparison.

  You can purchase the seeds for sprouting and microgreens at various sites online. I usually buy my sprouts and greens from Pinetree Garden Seeds; they have smaller quantities so you can pick your seeds for a customized salad mix. Their shipping is very reasonable and the service is prompt.

  We had an impromptu fruit tree seminar this week. I apologize that we weren’t able to give much notice as the instructor only gave me three days warning. It was a great seminar and VERY informative.  Check out the video and watch for future seminars .

Until next week.

 Paula


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