Posts Tagged ‘greens’

Today was the first sunny, non-frozen, weekend day in a long while, so I went out to my grandfather’s and gardened some.  At first I had just planned on picking some turnips for myself, but then I saw that the collards were so pretty, so I picked a few of those.  And then I checked on my radishes, and they were pretty, too, so I picked some of those.  Then I went to look at my spinach, and it was pretty, too, so I picked some of that, too, and by then, my bag was full.

But it was a nice day, and I hadn’t gotten my hands dirty in such a long time, that I decided to go ahead and weed the wild verbena out of the spinach row.  For the next two hours I carefully pulled weeds from around my thriving spinach plants, and enjoyed precious time thinking to myself.

As I was thinking, I was overwhelmed by the perfection of God’s timing, particularly when it comes to leafy green vegetables.  Let’s start by agreeing that leafy green vegetables are essential to our health and proper nutritional intake.  Don’t even think about disagreeing with me on this, and I don’t really care how much you dislike brocolli, even if you are the President of the United States. 

Now, consider for a moment, the seasonal rotation of vegetables.  What? You didn’t realize that vegetables don’t grow consistently throughout the year? Well, that’s not hard to believe,  since we live in a society where our grocery store shelves are constantly stocked with vegetables, regardless of the season  It may not have occured to you that not all leafy green vegetables grow at the same time. 

However, in the growing calendar there is not a time of the year in which leafy green vegetables of one sort or another are not growing; ergo, the body has a consistent source of leafygreenvegetableicin, or whatever the vitamins are in leafy green vegetables. 

It’s Divine planning at its most elegant!  It’s like God said to himself, “Hm, if I’m going to create a creature that requires leafy green vegetables in order to thrive, I had better make sure that there is a supply of leafy green vegetables throughout the whole year.”  God’s good like that, you know? Such good thinking-ahead…although…since He is omniscient and exists outside of time, can it be considered thinking-ahead?….but I digress.

There I was, in the garden, thinking how sad that the snow wilted all the turnip greens and mustard greens, but delighting in the hearty collard greens and the spinach, and looking forward to starting the brocolli seeds in a couple of weeks.   In my joy the thought sprung into my mind:  God gave us turnip greens for the fall, and spinach for the winter.

Sometimes my faith is very simplistic and childlike, but maybe that’s when my faith is at it’s finest.

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New Year’s Day After

Well, I went to the farm yesterday, and had a splendid time freezing my turnips off.  ;- )

Grandpa was feeling a bit lowly, so he stayed indoors, and I had the run of the garden all to myself during which time I accomplished my primary gardening task of the day: weeding the carrots.

Gardening allows for a lot of opportunities for reflection; weeding, even more so.  In fact, my weeding experiences usually start off with some bucolic reflection on the harmony of man and nature, the role of agricultural cultivation in the development of American identity, and consideration for future improvements on my gardening techniques and cultivars.  Yesterday, however, I found my thoughts grinding along on a much less philosophical path.  Typical thoughts were “Brr, my hands are cold….Damn this wild verbena…If I could find a marketable purpose for wild verbena, I’d be a millionaire…Maybe it would be faster if I pulled up the carrots and planted them somewhere else….Maybe I shouldn’t plant carrots next year....”

Like I said, not very philosophical…

TurnipsBut once I finished with the carrots, I [stood up straight] and then went to pick turnips and greens.

Turnips, anyone?  These will be so tasty tonight, mashed with butter.

If you are not from the South, let me explain a bit about the Southern love affair with turnip greens.  Every year, on New Year’s Day, Southerners and those with a Southern heritage gather together to eat a symbolic, and tasty, meal that usually includes such standards as black-eyed peas and greens.  As my great-grandmother explained to me, the peas represented your coin-money, and your greens represented your folding-money.  The more you ate of these at New Year’s Day dinner, the more prosperous your year would be! 

People who don’t eat greens the rest of the year will gladly tuck into an extra large serving of the leafy goodness on this one special day, hoping for the promise of an extra large serving of financial prosperity. 

And while almost everyone eats them because they represent folding money, for my grandfather, they are folding money in the ground, as people come to pick and pick again, trading folding bills for fresh greens.

And I feel very fortunate to not only eat the greens, but also to be a part of their planting, growing and picking.  In a way, I feel like I’m doing a small part of continuing our traditions as well as bringing healthy, organic food to the tables of our family and neighbors. 

Turnip greensBut I wouldn’t want to leave the rest of you out of the prosperity plan!  So here’s an entire field of turnip greens to wish my friends everywhere a healthy, and prosperous year! 

I picked about two pounds of greens yesterday, and if I get around to it this evening, I will post a series of pictures on how to cook fresh greens.  Mmmm mmmm!

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