At this point in the season, we are getting a good harvest from the overwintered kale beds. Kale survives the bitterest cold of winter in a semi-dormant state when it is double-covered with non-woven row cover and low plastic hoop houses.
When March arrives with longer, stronger daylight, the leaves start growing again. In April and May growth explodes, and we could eat kale and kale broccolis (flower buds) every day.
We love kale stripped from the stems, chopped up and then sauteed in olive oil with garlic, a dash each of tamari and agave nectar, and a shake of hot pepper flakes. Yum!
April and May see us engaged in a race to finish all the storage crops in our root cellar before they rot. We still have potatoes, sunchokes, rutabagas, horseradish and beets. Note to self: next winter, make and eat more soups and roasted root dishes!
Recently a friend returned from a trip with a flu-like respiratory illness. I brewed her some elderberry syrup, which is anti-viral and supports immune function. Recipe: 2 tablespoons dried black elderberries from last summer boiled in 4 cups water. Simmer until reduced to 2 cups. Strain out the berries and mix the infusion with 1 cup raw honey. This syrup keeps in the refrigerator for up to 3 months. I advised my friend to take 1-2 tablespoons of syrup twice a day in hot tea or mixed with seltzer or juice, and now she’s on the road to recovery. Maybe the elderberry syrup contributed!