Food and Faith is a blog of the Presbyterian Hunger Program.
I will just go ahead and say it. I love beets. They are just too delicious.
It started with a piping hot bowl of borsht when I was in Russia. Then I had roasted beets that were sweet and caramelized. Then beet salad, pickled beets, more borsht, and then this year I ate some amazing melt in your mouth sing out for joy because food is so good beet risotto. It was bright magenta, it tasted fresh, and it was fun.
But, a beet starts off a little gross and weird looking. The first time I bought beets in the grocery store, I was not 100% sure that I was indeed buying beets. They are dirty and knobby with excessively long greens that no one warned me about. There they sat on my counter as I considered how to turn them into borsht.
Do I peel them?
Is there anything that can be done about the weird hairs coming off the sides?
What do I do with these greens?
It was silly, but I was still surprised that they did not come out of the ground ready to be borsht. They are covered in dirt, dark brown, earthy smelling. And I realized; it was a root.
A root, that sits inside the earth, storing up for the rest of the plant, becoming bigger and better as the days grow shorter and colder. A root that is doing all the work, but it is unseen. A root that will become something so much more, you just have to give it time to do the work.
And today is Ash Wednesday, a day that we remember our mortality. A day that we burrow inside of ourselves, sink deeper into the darkness of Lent in order to become fuller, stronger. We root down, store up, and hope for the light. But all that while, we know we are becoming something more.
Right now we don’t look familiar, we have some dirt smudged on us, and unruly unwanted things sprouting out of our lives. But things will shed away. We will be dug up, we will be beautiful and bright.
We just have to do the work underneath first.
When I got home from work the other day one of my roommates greeted me with a big smile and a very enthusiastic "You have to watch this!" I obliged and was not prepared for what I was about to see, in a good way. Chipotle has created a video series called "Farmed and Dangerous" which is a tongue in check revision of any action movie with an evil villain, explosions, and a hero willing to risk life and limb for a noble cause concerning us all.
Yes, a burrito chain has sponsored an episodic series about the dangers of ...
Junk Food Awareness Day
Gardening in winter and looking forward toward spring!
Update from our farm (by Will Summers and Kitty Ufford-Chase)
Greetings from the winter wonderland that is the Stony Point Center!
What a winter it's been. In the past month, we've had snow, snow, and more snow. And it has just kept piling up.
During one recent 24-hour stretch, we probably got about 18 inches! My major concern in a blizzard like that is the greenhouse. It's not what's inside the greenhouse that I'm worried about in a snowstorm, but the greenhouse itself. More than a foot of heavy, wet snow has the potential to damage the entire structure.
After this particular snowstorm, Matt and I spent an entire morning clearing snow off the greenhouse roof and then removing all the snow that had piled up on the sides that continued to put pressure on the plastic and the frame. We had to dig in the snow by hand because snow shovels can very easily puncture the greenhouse plastic. It was quite a day-I was soaking wet after spending the entire morning essentially waist-deep in the snow.
Despite the polar vortex, our greenhouse crops continue to grow. We've taken extra precautions by double-covering them when weather forecasts indicate temperatures will be in the single-digits (which has been quite frequent this winter). In just the past week, our greenhouse spinach has really started to grow quickly as the days get incrementally longer. We're still harvesting kale, collards, chard, and arugula from the greenhouse as well.
Recently we've put a lot of energy into preparing our greenhouse for spring seeding. In fact, by the end of February, we will have seeded lettuce, spinach, and onions that will be transplanted in the fields in March or April (assuming, of course, that all that snow eventually melts!).
Needless to say, here at Stony Point Center, all of us on the farm crew are eagerly awaiting the arrival of spring.
Peace and winter blessings,
Will (the Stony Point Center Farmer) and Kitty
Today, I ate a tomato.