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Archive for January, 2009

I finally shows you mah greens!

I finally shows you mah greens!

Yes, my greens are not a fig newton of my imagination — they really do exist! I just finally got around to showing them to you. The greens in the pix above are just my mustard greens on the left, and my bok choy on the right — the photo doesn’t show you my kale or the spinach. My other photos showing you the whole enchilada weren’t too hot, so this is all I gots to show ya.

However, you ain’t missin’ much as far as the spinach is concerned — it really has not done very well at all in my SFG bed. It’s just been very, very puny. Not sure why. Maybe it needs more direct sunlight. But the others have done quite well, and have provided me with some really good eatin’. Mustard greens are one of my big faves, and I started eating those suckers as soon as they were just big enough to pick. Then the bok choy sprang into action. That’s really good for stirfries, and I’ve used them often for that. The kale is pretty good too. Kale use to be my fave before I discovered the spicy pinch of the mustard greens, but it still runs just right behind the mustard greens in the favorite greens column. In any case, I’ve discovered that, like the malabar, these greens are very easy to grow — just water them a couple times a week and that’s about it. I have been putting light cover on them during our freezes, though since they’re winter greens they’re suppose to be pretty freeze-hardy. But other than a little green worm that was chomping on my bok choy that I found and removed, I haven’t had much problem.

Sadly, the malabar spinach got nipped by our relatively cold weather here in Austin, TX. We don’t have very harsh winters here, and I was really hoping that if I kept it covered during freezes it would weather the cold OK, since it’s a perennial in its native countries of India and Indonesia, but nope, it wasn’t buying it. It just got too dang cold. First the leaves got all spotty, then some of the leaves started getting yellow and withering up. Then I left for Christmas to go to my mom’s, and I left things uncovered, hoping the one freeze predicted while I was gone would be mild enough to spare the malabar. It was either that or have everything covered and blocked from the sun all week, which probably would have been worse for everything I had outside.

When I got back, everything else was OK, but both the malabar and the rest of my basil were just decimated. It broke my little gardenin’ heart. It hurt so much to see the withered, yellow and black mottled malabar leaves that I just cut the whole thing back to the mother vine and a few children vines coming out of it. I’ll post a pic  of it next time. I figured I’d lose the basil, since with each freeze I lost more bushes, even though I kept it covered. But I was really hoping the malabar would keep.

I’m betting, however, that it will come back in the spring. It will be an interesting experiment to see if it does. I was also able to harvest some seeds that I think I will try to plant in pots in the spring. If they take and the main mother malabar comes back, I will probably give the babies away as gifts, since malabar is so easy to grow and so tasty to eat, and I just like to share. I also still have the other sister malabar plant in the pot. I’m going to plant that in the ground this spring. I’ve kept it inside during freezes, so it’s still going, but the leaves are very small, and probably not ready for eating. Some leaves got mottled too even with keeping it outside in just cold, but not freezing weather. I don’t think malabar likes cold very much! Anyway, I hope with either the mother malabar, or its sister in the pot, or with babies sown in the spring, I’ll have more malabar. If not, there’s still Natural Gardener, where I got the originals! I just really love the malabar, and have really missed not having it, stir-fried with onion or tucked into a yummy cheese omelet. But spring will be here before ya know it (especially in Central TX), so I’m looking forward to more malabar soon!

In any case, it’s just been great to walk out to my little SFGs for greens whenever I want them, rather than paying big bux for them at Whole Paycheck. And they don’t go to waste either — I pick what I need and leave the rest. And I still have quite a bit left. That should tide me over til I plant some more greens and veggies for the spring. I’m already starting to think about more SFGs to plant and what I will plant in them.

Well, it’s getting late and I’m gettin tuckered out, but I just wanted to show you my greens to prove they really do exist! But before I go, I just want to share with you a simple recipe I use as a wonderful sauce for my greens:

Miso-Tahini Sauce/Dressing

1/2 cup mellow white miso, with just enough water to make a medium paste (not too thick, not too thin)
1/2 cup tahini
Juice from 1/2 a lemon, if desired

Mix together and pour over yer greens. It’s very easy, very tasty, not just on greens, but on any veggies, on beans, on grains, in stir fries, etc., and you can make many variations.  You can also increase the portions to make more sauce. It will keep in the refridgerator about a week. I often add grated ginger to taste, and I’ve also been doing a lower fat version with a tablespoon or so of tahini and a little more miso. I have also mixed it with a tumeric/coconut oil sauce. For the tumeric/coconut oil sauce you mix one tsp tumeric with one tsp coconut oil and a pinch of black pepper. Once you mix that together, add it to the Miso-Tahini sauce. Yum! Plus the tumeric-coconut oil sauce can help prevent cancer! Use ginger and you’ve got a potent and delicious anti-cancer sauce! Just be careful not to spill it on yer clothes — the tumeric does create a nice yellow stain, but I doubt you want to have a nice yellow stain on yer nice clothes.

I can’t take complete credit for the Miso-Tahini sauce. I actually riffed on it from a recipe from Austin’s own Casa de Luz  macrobiotic restaurant (one of the best restaurants ever — who knew you could make food so healthy and so delicious!) 

Anywho, that’s all fer tonight folks! Hope yer New Year is goin’ swell, and I’ll see ya next time!

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