To try Margaret's recipe for farm-fresh greens with goat cheese and honey-lemon dressing, click here.
Our spring semester at Yale is really short and it tends to fly by between work, hibernation, seeing friends, and waiting for the sun to come back out. The week before spring break is notoriously hectic: midterm papers, tests, and fatigue take over our minds and bodies. Productivity levels off until it drops once break comes.
In contrast, the transition from winter to spring for the little greens growing in the hoop houses up at the Yale Farm is much lighter and more carefree. All they have to worry about is breathing and growing. After some frightful frosts, the more welcoming conditions of late February helped the baby greens reach toward the sky.
And so with the lush greens sitting prettily in their beds, the farm managers decided that the end of the first week of March would be the perfect time to harvest them. I had just finished my last midterm paper and my body was aching to be outside. After lunch I trekked up to the farm, asked Grace, one of the student farm managers, what she needed me to do, grabbed a knife, and started harvesting the baby kale.
Whew! Harvesting is hard work! I'd forgotten what it felt like to work with the ground. It'd been several months since I helped harvest and wash beets at the farm and as much as I was unprepared for the hour I spent crouched along the beds of kale, diligently making sure I'd gotten as many leaves off the stems as I could, I was pleasantly conscious of all the volunteer efforts to get these salad mixes bagged and gifted or sold. After a period of being disconnected from the actual act of farming, I was happy to be reunited with the smells of nutrient-rich dirt, the freshness of the farm's produce, and the joyful sounds of community. I was also reminded that good, healthy, remarkable foods like salad greens are something I am lucky to have access to, and that it requires great efforts to grow and harvest them.