Black Friday at the greenhouse

Perhaps unsurprisingly, none of us involved in the Winter Bounty project are Black Friday enthusiasts; no, we don’t enjoy dodging fellow shoppers armed with pepper spray to obtain dubious bargains.

Black radishes and black kale from the Winter Bounty greenhouse

However, I didn’t want to let the Thanksgiving holiday go by without a post, so in honor of the day, I visited the greenhouse to gather some black kale (technically, lacinato kale, but it’s almost the same thing) and black radishes.

The black kale is one of the greenhouse’s toughest performers winter and summer. It’s not really black but a rich, dark, spruce color. You can see from the photo that we are still sharing our greens with caterpillars, but they are leaving plenty behind for us.

After a very thorough rinse, this kale will be shredded and added at the last minute to tonight’s stew.

The black radishes are the only remaining radishes from our late summer plantings. The traditional red ones didn’t perform well after the rainy weather washed away a lot of the soil surrounding the young seedlings; the exposed tops got dry and cracked. They were pulled up to make way for another bed of spinach.

The black radishes were much sturdier. They are purply-black outside; the flesh is creamy white and very dense, and reportedly has quite a bite to it. I plan to grate several of them and toss them with lemon juice, olive oil, and a touch of honey to soften the heat, a bright side dish to accompany a sausage, lentil, and kale stew.

And that’s one way to mark Black Friday.

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For those of you in the Hudson Valley, please consider attending a benefit at Arrowsmith Forge near Millbrook for two area farmers who were affected by Hurricane Irene. Owners Fletcher and Deb Coddington are donating 20% of profits from all sales this weekend to the owners of Wigsten and Sol Flower farms, each of which sustained thousands of dollars of losses due to flooding this summer. In addition, local businesses and artisans have donated goods and services to a silent auction; 100 percent of the proceeds of the auction will go to the farmers.

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