Sunday, March 6, 2011

Get up, Stand up (tree collards)

Hey Everyone! It is Sophie again, one of the Garden for the Environment GetUp! Graduates volunteering at the Free Farm.

This Saturday, twenty four volunteers came out to the Free Farm. Along with the regular job of harvesting, volunteers worked on planting peas and kale as well as building a terrace with sunchokes. When my mom and I arrived, there was already an abundance of tree collards, swiss chard, kale and lettuce waiting to be weighed for the day’s farm stand. In the past couple of weeks, tree collards have been a regular appearance at the Free Farm.

Tree collards are a pretty amazing crop. They grow on long stalk-like trunks and extend out in an alternating pattern. Tree collards are another one of my favorite plants. They look pretty cool when they are on their stalks and when I was washing them this Saturday I saw an even cooler view of them. While placing the tree collards in the buckets of water, I saw them illuminate and almost glow in the water. Needless to say, I was pretty amazed. I later realized that the “lighting up” affect is probably just the water running off the leaves leather-like exterior, but they are still really pretty.

While I was washing the crops and marveling at the tree collards, other volunteers were planting peas and kale. Like I said in my last blog, watching plants grow from little seedlings or starters to full grown plants ready to be harvested is pretty awesome. I look forward to seeing these pea and kale plants grow more and more every Saturday

This week, my mom and I were in charge of preparing lunch. While she handled the harder stuff (brown rice and tuscan kale, roasted sweet potatoes and beets, and a little orange-ginger sauce), I decided that I would make a dessert. After using WAY too much baking soda in my apple cobbler, I decided to make some vegan oatmeal cookies. And despite the apple cobbler disaster, I think they turned out pretty well, if I may say so myself :). Here is the recipe:

1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup quick-cooking rolled oats (not instant)
1/4 teaspoon non-aluminum baking powder (such as Rumford)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup light molasses or sorghum syrup (I substituted maple syrup for the molasses)
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon water
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup raisins

Thanks for reading! Until next weekend,

Listen to Bob Marley's “Get up, Stand Up” at

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