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Kale and community support

By MARY McCLINTOCK

Roaming around the Greenfield Winter Farmers Market at Greenfield High School last Saturday, I thought about kale and community support, along with which variety of potatoes to buy and how many cookies made with fresh local ginger to get for the hardy souls at the peace vigil and whether I wanted dill pickle slices or spears and ...

Back to kale and community support! I thought about kale because there were LARGE lush bunches of many varieties of kale in vendors’ booths. I imagined the kale was especially sweet because of the cold nights we’ve had and remembered a recipe the folks at South River Miso sent out a few months ago (see below).

I thought about community support when the man at the Gray Dog’s Farm booth asked my name to find me on his Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) list. I told him my name and said, “Oh, no, I’m not a CSA member.” He said, “Well, you should be!” Gray Dog’s has a meat CSA they deliver at the Greenfield Farmers Market. Check out http://graydogsfarm.com/csa-shares/ to learn more. Or visit them at the next Greenfield Winter Farmers Market on January 5.

That man (whose name I didn’t get) got me thinking about why I haven’t been a member of a CSA farm for many years, even though I love supporting agriculture. Between living alone, standing in the vigil next to the Greenfield Farmers Market every Saturday, driving by many farmstands, enjoying overflow from friends’ gardens, and savoring the glories of winter farmers markets, I have many sources of locally grown food. I know selling CSA shares helps farmers spread out their income and make sure they’ll have a market for what they grow. As a freelance writer/editor/book indexer, I know the challenge of “feast or famine” inconsistent income flow.

I’m always glad to hear about others using the “community supported” model of pre-selling products, including High Mowing Organic Seeds’ Community Supported Seed (CSS) Program. High Mowing (based in northern Vermont) is selling Seed Credits to be redeemed the following season. Like farmers, High Mowing has a seasonal cash flow. By buying Seed Credits between now and December 21, you’ll get 10% off your 2013 seed order and support a family-owned New England business. They’d rather pass along savings to customers than pay interest on cash flow loans. Visit www.highmowingseeds.com to learn more.

Community support comes in many forms. Recently, I’m hearing about Valley Gives. Visitors to the Valley Gives website (valleygives.razoo.com) on December 12 (12.12.12) will be able to make gifts to their favorite local nonprofits. Special grants will be given to the top three nonprofits that raise the most money and the top three with the most donors. Two organizations that feed our hungry neighbors are participating in Valley Gives: the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts and the Franklin County Community Meal Program. Please join me in supporting them through Valley Gives. Every donation provides nutritious food to our neighbors in need.

This Week We’re Eating. . .

Easy Kale with Garlic and Miso

From the Folks at South River Miso in Conway

3 C. chopped fresh kale 

2-3 cloves of garlic 

2 T. olive oil 

Water as needed 

1- 2 tsp. South River Hearty Brown Rice Miso

Chop 2-3 garlic cloves finely. Select dark green, crisp kale leaves. To soften, pound center rib of leaves with handle end of heavy knife. Cut vertically down center rib. Chop leaves into fine pieces. Add olive oil to pan with heavy bottom. When heated, add chopped garlic. Stir garlic for a moment. Add chopped kale. Stir to coat with oil. Add 1-2 tsp. of water, put lid on pot and cook for 1-3 minutes, stirring once. Kale should be bright green and tender. Mix 1-2 tsp. of the miso with 2 T. of water in small bowl. Add to kale and stir for a moment. Serves two or three.

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