Transplanting Broccoli & Harvesting Collards
Village Farm Team,
With the help of some volunteers this week, we were able to plant all of our remaining prepared beds! We finished out the last few beds with more kale, cabbage, chard, and broccoli. Among the broccoli varieties we transplanted were Monflor and Santee. Santee produces purple florets with mottled purple and green stalks. It is a sprouting broccoli which means it can be harvested from continuously throughout its growing season. Like other broccoli varieties, both the leaves and florets are edible. Never had a broccoli leaf? They taste like a cross between kale and collards.
We made our first harvest of red cabbage and collards this past weekend. Like most vegetables we have growing on the farm at the moment, collard greens are members of the brassica family. There is evidence that collards have been a part of our diet for over 2,000 years with references in Greek and Roman history that date to the first century. Traditionally, collard greens are eaten on New Year’s Day, often alongside cornbread and black-eyed peas to ensure wealth for the year. If you didn’t pick up any from us at the veggie wagon this past weekend, make sure to stop by for some on Saturday!
When planning what herbs to seed for our planter boxes, we take into consideration more than just their culinary use. Dill, for example, is a delicious herb to use in the kitchen but it is also a great option for pollinators. Black swallowtail butterflies love to lay their eggs on dill and in turn, the resulting caterpillars will use the dill as their food source before the chrysalis phase. When dill is left to flower, it can draw in other beneficial pollinators that a lot of our spring and summer crops will benefit from.
Happy Harvesting & Happy New Year, The Agmenity Farm Team
Words & Photos by Courtney West