Tuesday, May 18, 2010

In a Matter of Seconds

The first order of business at the farm this week was to clean out two large sections of pac choi adorned in leaves like tattered lace. The slugs have worked overtime to ruin this crop this season, and the OEFFA Male, something of a perfectionist, declared these vegetables to be well under par for the farmers' market and decided to take a loss.

While I understand the reasoning for doing so -- and knew that the discarded greens would feed the chickens, thus saving on feed -- I simply couldn't throw it all out. I waste enough food as it is, even though I try very hard to use it all up, and this would be waste on a much larger scale.

So -- with his blessing -- as I pulled the crop, I ripped off the destroyed leaves and salvaged what I could, for his family's use and mine. Over the course of two days (interspersed with other work, of course), I filled six bins with the pared down bundles of pac choi "seconds" and tossed the rest, slugs and all, to the hens.

For that work, the OEFFA Male invited me to take as much of the salvaged greens as I wanted. And I did: a bin each night.

I spent yesterday and this evening alternating between baking for market and rinsing and preparing the pac choi for freezing or for drying. I ended up with four bags of chopped, blanched greens for the freezer, and after running the dehydrator filled with leaves overnight, I had nearly a quart of dried pac choi to put away for winter.

On the one hand, I hate to see that kind of financial loss for the farm. Granted, it's not my place, but I still want to see the farm do as well as it possibly can.

On the other, I think I'll be able to preserve plenty of "seconds" for winter this year!

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