They weren’t pole beans?
So I have found that it is much easier to keep mammals alive than plants. Who would think that a green leafy thing that naturally grows outside in the dirt would be so fragile and stubborn.
This summer I decided to grow sweet potatoes. Boy these plants were kicking butt. They were lush and thriving! One day Matt and I had left the house, but when we came back I noticed my mother-in-law, Andy, set up an awesome tripod tower for them to grow up. I had never planted sweet potatoes before so I didn’t know how viney they could get. I had no idea they were supposed to grow up a tower so I was grateful Andy got one for us.
The sweet potato vines enveloped the tower and looked like they were loving life out in the garden. They had grown all the way to the top and had become taller than me. In early September, Matt and I took a trip to Fincastle for my cousins wedding and Andy agreed to babysit our chickens. When we came home the first thing I did was walk into the back yard to check on the ladies. That was when I noticed something was missing. “Where did the sweet potato tower go!?” I ran over to the garden and there was no trace of the vines left. I started digging in the dirt and began pulling out small palm sized sweet potatoes. ‘What happened here?’ I thought. They weren’t ready to be harvested!
Andy came to visit later that day and the first thing Matt and I asked was, “What happened to the sweet potato tower?” Andy had no idea what we were talking about. It turns out that she thought they were pole beans not sweet potatoes the whole time! That explains the tower. When she came by and didn’t see any beans on the plant she pulled it out because it was past pole bean harvest time. She felt pretty bad, but it was actually a pretty funny situation. We all had a good laugh!
A few days later Andy rolled up with a truck full of spinach, kale, mustard greens, butter lettuce, rainbow chard, and Brussels sprouts to plant. She went to work and got her hands dirty setting up a beautiful winter garden. Something I never knew existed as a New Yorker who has seen a few harsh northern winters.
Now, each morning I walk outside in the chilly air and harvest eggs and a bunch of kale, mustard greens, butter lettuce, chard, and spinach. I have been using these ingredients to make a delicious and healthy Winter Garden Salad for lunch. Thank you Andy for the beautiful garden and the awesome lunches.
This Winter Garden Salad is a flavorful and filling lunch. It’s sweet, tangy, and crunchy. It also has a surprising kick! I am going to say something obvious but it is a fact that I did not know before I ate this salad. Mustard greens are spicy! The first day I tried the salad I thought I had bitten into a pepper corn from the salad dressing. The spice is mild and short lived but it was surprising. I really enjoy the kick! So boil a few eggs, grab a few greens and make your own winter salad!
- 4 Eggs
- 1 cup Spinach, chopped
- 1 cup Kale, chopped
- 1 cup Butter Lettuce,chopped
- 1/2 cup Rainbow Chard, chopped
- 1/2 cup Mustard Greens, chopped
- 10 Brussels Sprouts, sliced thin
- 1 cup Dried Fruit (cranberries, cherries, strawberries)
- 1/3 cup Hulled Unsalted Sun Flower Seeds
- Oil and Vinegar
- Salt and Pepper
Bring a small pot of water to boil. Using a slotted spoon carefully submerge the eggs in the pot. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pot with a lid. Let the eggs boil for 10 minutes.
When the eggs are ready, strain the water and cover them with a handful or two of ice and cold water. After a few minutes they will be cool enough to remove the shell. Slice the eggs.
Get your lettuce ready by chopping it with a really sharp knife into bite size pieces. I prefer to chop lettuce with a knife instead of tearing it because I like the clean edges. Using a knife does not cause the lettuce to brown any faster than tearing it by hand. When you prepare the Brussels sprouts, slice them from head to stem.
In a salad bowl, combine the greens, and Brussels sprouts. Sprinkle with the dried fruit and sunflower seeds. Toss the salad in some oil and vinegar or your favorite salad dressing and season with a dash of salt and pepper. Top off the salad with the egg slices, and enjoy!