We\’re deep into stick season here–you know, the weeks after the maples and the sumac and the Virginia creeper drop their leaves (sic transit gloria mundi) and all you see is gray sticks under gray skies.
In the vegetable garden, the beans, tomatoes and other fair-weather friends are long gone. The raised bed frames have been installed, though, alas, not yet filled with dirt and compost. All the raised bed frames, that is, except for the three that are supposed to go on the beds where stuff is still growing.
And what stuff is still growing so lushly and relentlessly that you\’d think it\’s midsummer instead of stick season? The two immortals, of course: chard and kale.
Every week since June I have given the local food bank between five and eleven pounds of c and k. I have shared the bounty with my friends and my dogs (the latter love to gnaw on raw kale). I have blanched and frozen quarts of the stuff. And still it keeps coming.
And because I know that any night now the winds will howl and it will get really cold–like, into the teens–and there will be no more fresh home-grown vegetables until next April, I feel compelled to keep harvesting while I may.
So it\’s chard or kale, kale or chard, every night. I blend the green du jour into soups, fold it into omelettes, mix it with cheese in quiches. Slather it with bechamel and hide it in casseroles. Boil it with rice and feed it to the dogs.
Out of recipes as well as patience, I echo the exasperated cry of Henry II, who\’d had it up to here with Thomas a Becket: \”Will no one rid me of these turbulent greens?\”
Any volunteers out there?