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Athens Locally Grown
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Dandelion Columbo

This recipe was given to us by naturalist, author, and Chefs Collaborative supporter “Wildman” Steve Brill from his latest book, “The Wild Vegetarian Cookbook”. Brill leads public wild food and ecology tours throughout the greater New York area every weekend, and works with school classes and children’s groups during the week. He’s the author of several books but is best known for having been arrested and handcuffed by undercover park rangers for eating a dandelion in Central Park. He told us, “Like the curries of India, Columbo is a traditional blend of herbs. Originating in Sri Lanka and Senegal, it migrated to the French Antilles Islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe. A Haitian friend described it to me, I applied it to wild dandelions in America, and I’m offering it to you. Simple!” From Recipes from America’s Small Farms by Joanne Lamb Hayes and Lori Stein.

Serves 6

6 cups dandelion leaves
1 medium cauliflower, chopped
6 garlic cloves, chopped
2 small hot peppers, seeds removed, or 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper, or to taste
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 cup silken tofu
1 1/2 tablespoons light miso
2 tablespoons rum (optional)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon dried mustard

Sauté the dandelions, cauliflower, garlic, and hot peppers in the peanut oil for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, puree the coconut milk, tofu, 1/4 cup water, miso, rum, coriander, turmeric, and mustard in a blender.

Mix the puree into the sauteed ingredients, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook another 10 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender.

Market News

It’s the last week of winter, finally. Not that I mind winter (I am a Yankee by birth, after all), but I really miss warm dry days. Seems like it’s been much longer than usual since we’ve had a nice string of those, and I have so much I want to get done in the garden.

It is time to get out and start playing in the dirt. If you have any space at all, even a few square feet, consider putting in a veggie garden this year. Buying your ingredients from local farmers is great and everything, but nothing really connects you with your food like walking out your door, picking things you like to eat, and then walking back into your kitchen to prepare them. And don’t worry about betraying your local farmers, because studies have shown that people who garden buy more at their local farmers markets, not less. It’s that connection with your food I just mentioned. The stronger that becomes, the more you seek out. It’s a virtuous cycle, one that benefits you, your community, and your world.

You’ll see that some of our growers are offering seedlings ready to go into your garden. Now is the time to plant leafy green, cabbage & other brassicas like broccoli, and root veggies (these usually from seed). All of these can be started from seed, but putting out transplants can make a healthier, stronger plant and get you a harvest a few weeks sooner. Unless you have a small greenhouse or other protected space, resist the urge to put out warm weather plants, especially tomatoes, no matter how nice the weather may get in the next few weeks. The average last frost date for Athens is mid-April, and even then it’s usually best to wait at least a week or two before setting out the summer plants. One grower is giving you a chance to buy your tomato plants now, and they’ll keep them safe for you until it’s time to plant. If you get any now, from one of our other growers or elsewhere, keep them nice and warm for another month or more before planting. Me, I have to wait even longer. I’ve got a weird micro-climate here at my farm that gives me a reliable frost right about May 10th each year.

The spring flowers are starting to come in, and I see a number of beautiful daffodil bouquets listed on the website. They look so beautiful, and I thought there must be a good culinary use for them too. Many fragrant flowers can also be eaten, but as I searched for daffodil recipes I kept drawing a blank. Turns out, they’re poisonous. Not terribly so, though some people can have bad reactions to them. I guess some things can only delight some of our senses.

That’s about all for this week. Be sure to look through the full listing in this email or on the website when placing your order. New products do show up in the New Products carousel, but the products returning from last year and previous springs do not count and will not show up there, even if they’ve not been listed for 50 weeks. There are some great returning products from your favorite growers throughout the listings, almost 600 in total!

Thanks so much for your support of Athens Locally Grown, all of our growers, local food, and our rights to eat it. You all are part of what makes Athens such a great area in which to live. We’ll see you on Thursday at Ben’s Bikes at the corner of Pope and Broad Streets from 4:30 to 8pm!

Coming Events

The Athens Farmers Market has closed for the winter. You can watch for news during the offseason on their website. The other area markets are also all closed for the season too. All but Athens Locally Grown, that is.

Please support your local farmers and food producers, where ever you’re able to do so!

We thank you for your interest and support of our efforts to bring you the healthiest, the freshest and the most delicious locally-produced foods possible!