Posts Tagged ‘Gleaning Day’

Potluck lunch in the barn.

CSA members gathered at Bee Heaven Farm recently for Gleaning Day. They brought potluck dishes to share, and bags and containers for their loot. Because on Gleaning Day, you’re allowed to forage for your veggies.

Lisa and Alex chat with Farmer Margie.

Digging for treasure among the weeds.

The challenge is to find what’s left. To the uninitiated, frondy carrot tops look like the weeds that surround them. But with a little effort, the orange treasures release their grip on the soil jump into your bag.

Hanging out in the pump house.

Bali the horse loves Gleaning Day, because people want to feel him carrots. Bali looooves carrots!

Making new friends.

Browsing for raspberries.

Gleaners braved scratchy thorns in the raspberry brambles and had a berry berry good day.

Bags of veggie loot (mostly carrots — berries went straight into the mouth).

Napping in the shade of the java plum tree.

Seeking beets.

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Speaking of Gleaning Day, guests had an additional treat in store. Over at a table to one side of the barn, CSA member Lolyklara Palmahuergo set up samples of her lacto-fermented foods. They were all made following recipes from the cookbook Nourishing Traditions, written by Sally Fallon. It is chock full of ways to preserve all kinds of foods using natural fermentation, based on principles of the Weston A. Price Foundation.

I sampled a bok choy salsa which was packed with flavor, tangy pickled cucumbers, a zippy kimchi and milder pickled okra. There were pickled green beans, sweet potato, malanga, and sauerkraut. The foods were lacto-fermented, not made with vinegar or brine. She also makes two kinds of kombucha, chicken liver pate and pesto. All of the vegetables are organic.

Sample platter of pickled foods, sauerkraut on far left, beets in the middle, green beans bottom left, and a few things I didn't taste.

Lacto-fermented foods are made by using whey and sea salt. The whey is a by-product from making yogurt from raw milk, which is obtained from “free pastured animals from North Florida,” Lolyklara explained. She uses different cultures to also make pima milk, kefir, and buttermilk.

Lolyklara Palmahuergo

Eating fermented foods really helped Lolyklara overcome problems with fatigue. She had been exhausted the last few years, so she started reading a lot, trying to find solutions. “I’m a biologist originally and and this made sense,” she said, holding up her well-used copy of Nourishing Traditions. Not only does Lolyklara feel better, as an added bonus, her skin became clear and soft. Excitement about her recovery and a love of cooking propelled her to start making extra pickles to sell. “It’s about feeling useful and working, which I haven’t felt in the last four years since I got laid off from teaching German,” she explained.

All of the above mentioned fermented foods are available for purchase. Email Lolyklara at lolyklara(at)gmail.com to get on her mailing list or call 305-720-7766 to request a product price list and information on how to order. In addition, she is a healer working toward getting certified in the Healing Touch Program, and is looking for volunteers who would like free healings.

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glean to gather grain or other produce left by reapers; to pick up after a reaper; to strip (as a field) of the leavings of reapers.

Gleaning Day at Bee Heaven Farm is a laid back end-of-season tradition. CSA members are invited to bring a potluck dish, and rummage through vegetable beds and pick what’s left. About 80-100 people showed up last Sunday and many families brought their kids.

Waist high in weeds serching for morsels of food.

People started trickling in at 11:30 am. Those who had done this before knew the drill. They brought totes and snippers, and wore hats and sunblock. Instead of sitting down to eat first, they wasted no time in finding things to pick. It felt like an Easter egg hunt, only in this case you were looking for tomatoes and other comestibles.

Friends put me to work showing things to their grade school age boys. “Do you have carrots?” Mark asked. “Look, there’s some in this row,” I pointed out. He and Devin and I browsed down the row peering through weeds to wiggle carrots out of the ground. Getting fingers in the dirt was fun. Several sow bugs trundled out and the boys got animated. Forget playing video games. When was the last time you stuck your fingers in the dirt, tugged on fat orange roots, and communed with bugs? Heaven! Moments later we found ourselves over by the kohlrabi when the the horse snorted. Devin started. “What was that?” he asked. “Look at the other side of the fence,” I said. “It’s a horse, it’s a horse!” Mark exclaimed. You should have seen his eyes shine. I mean, it was a real, live horse!

Like peas in a pod.

Grown up kids were also having adventures and making small discoveries. Over in the next vegetable bed, I showed Nathan how to hunt for snow pea pods hiding among withered vines. Some pods were bulgy, and sure enough, had small peas growing inside. “This tastes amazingly good,” Nathan said, munching on a raw pea. One row over were small bull’s blood beets, perfect for roasting whole. He could see round roots showing above the ground and it made sense to him what he was looking at. One good tug and a beet came up, dirt and and all. “It’s a beet!” he exclaimed (just like a kid). And thus a connection was made: here is a plant growing, part of a mass of undifferentiated greenness, but as you pick it, it changes to food. Magic!

It was getting hot and I went back inside the barn, which was full of people eating and talking. The tables were loaded with lots of good food. A carrot and garbanzo salad seasoned with cumin was tasty, and I liked the Thai flavored mango salad. People ate almost all of the turnip slaw that I brought (recipe below). Managed to snag one of the last slices of Sylvia’s tart made with asian mixed greens, Hani’s goat cheese, and hard boiled eggs. She made her own crust and crimped the edge empanada style. You could taste the care that went into making it. The party was supposed to end at 2, but people were still hanging out when I left at 3. Once you get a taste of the farm, it’s hard to let go.

Everybody brought food, and it was all good.

Turnip Slaw

1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
4 cups turnips
oil and vinegar
thyme (to taste)
salt and pepper

Peel and slice turnips, then cut into matchsticks. (Or, you can shred them in a food processor.) In a bowl, combine turnips with red peppers and green onions. Make a vinaigrette with your favorite oil and vinegar, including thyme, salt and pepper. Stir well. Refrigerate several hours for flavors to blend.

(Recipe originally from cooks.com, has been slightly modified.)

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