Sour observations

Steve is not a chatty person and can often eat a full meal without making a remark as to its flavor, thumbs up or down. A typical evening on Friday, we sat down for a supper of  wild greens and meat stir-fry with millet. I asked for a comment and he said it was much more sour than usual. I assumed it was all chopped dock with onions and beef until a few days later when harvesting sorrel I noticed the similarity between dock and sorrel. Haha! Yep, we ate stir-fried sorrel! Not recommended.

The docks and sorrels (or süaromp in Low German) genus Rumex, consist of about 200 species in the buckwheat Polygonaceae family. Imagine! They grow all over the world. After a long winter, all things green are a welcome addition to any meal, especially when learning to eat from the land surrounding us.

The sour taste is due to the content of oxalic acid, sorrel having a healthier dose than dock. Rhubarb, another cousin in the Polygonaceae tribe, has the same attributes, but in this case only the stalk is eaten and the leaf portion is thrown away due to its higher content of oxalic acid.

The folks in Turkey have many unique dishes with sorrel and dock and a host of other greens that I am going to serve to Steve for a dress rehearsal. Check out the vegetable dishes at  First on the list for me are Stuffed Dock Leaves (

Steve and I are taking an agriforestry class next week in western Wisconsin which means that Loida and Nathan will be in charge!

Market boxes should include: radishes from a new bed, salad mix inlcuding new spinach, asparagus, mizuna, pac choi, rhubarb, and herbs.

Some members expressed interest in buying a bread share. I will have bread punch cards for sale; you choose which market days and how much bread you want to take home that day. Cards for 15 bread punches will be $57, otherwise bread is $4 each. We plan to have bread in some shape for sale most market days when I am around.

My observations this past week were the various shades of sour and how to harvest accordingly. Please share your new insights with us when you come to market or on facebook  There are daily postings with pictures; one showing me hard at work while leaning on my hoe!





Dreaming of bread crumbs

This is the bread and the basil and beet
That belonged to the member reading the sheet
That kept the box all clean and neat
That was made by the doctor all trim and sweet
That treated the sick the sore and downbeat
That began to eat their greens and wheat
That came from the farm where all friends meet
That grew local food that transformed the folks
That came to the market each Wednesday!

Which leads into the fact that Sweet Fields, where we got our bread shares, has closed! I will be returning the remaining funds to each of the bread share members in the near future. I am sorry for a lot of reasons. It was tempting to fill the gap with my own bread!

Do you remember signing an agreement that you shared in the risk and the bounty of the season? I ponder that often throughout the year. What if? What if we were in the midst of the storm out east right at this moment? There wouldn’t be much left in the end. Our tunnels are anchored well; they are built to withstand 80mph winds but could still be shredded. Our agreement is a different way of viewing the connection between the land and the consumer – for better or for worse. Hmmm. We farmers take it very seriously and hope it shows with each bite taken!

Has anyone read about the Transition movement? The focus is to work at making our communities more resilient in these uncertain times. “The Transition Companion” by Rob Hopkins can be checked out of the public library. If there are just breadcrumbs left, we can stuff the turkey with sage dressing!

This week’s harvest should include: Asian greens, kale, a salad mix, wonderful radishes, potatoes, onions, sweet carrots, garlic, squash and herbs. There will be sweet potatoes, broccoli and assorted other produce along with jams, pickles and jellies for sale.