Watching the seed grow
Many of you will be aware that last year we began to offer workshops and farm experiences, to deliver on our mission of building a connected community that values people and planet, and to ensure the long-term financial viability of what we do.
When Vanessa joined our team as the activity coordinator last spring, we started to expand our offerings, and had great engagement from our local community! And then COVID happened…
COVID obviously put a real wet blanket on the prospect of us doing interactive farm experiences at onsite. But at the same time, the crisis generated a whole bunch of interest in sustainable living, with people wanting to learn how to grow their own food, reduce their waste, and help to contribute to sustainability out in the world.
So, Vanessa came up the concept of Green Connect School of Sustainable living; an online platform where one of our experts delivers topics that give you the knowledge and practical knowhow to implement positive changes in your household and community. Check out the website for details and jump in to be part of it all!: https://green-connect.com.au/product/green-connect-school-of-green-living-online-learning/
I’ve been delivering some food gardening seminars over the last couple of weeks, and here’s my hot tip for anyone who wants to get started: plant your own radishes!
Radishes love this time of the year. They are quick, grow in a variety of soils, grow easily from seed, and are so much fun to harvest (especially for kids)! The crunchy red Easter eggs in your box this week have grown from seed to your plate in just six weeks! If we notice a huge number of radish exclusions from our boxes in a couple of months, we’ll know that some of you had some success.
Green Connect Farm Manager
What’s that in my box: Sweet potato leaves and radish tops.
Did you know that you can often eat the leafy greens on your root vegetables? You know those we normally discard and throw in the compost or feed to the chickens. The radish leaves are a great source in Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Vitamin A, iron and calcium. They have a slightly peppery flavour and are great in salads, pesto or stir fried.
Sweet potato leaves are also loaded with vitamins, dietary fibres and great essential fatty acids. Again these are great added to soups, stir fries, egg dishes or curries.
I have loved to experiment with Radishes, they are a surprisingly versatile vegetable and last time I got them in the box, I added them to my veggie stir fry and was positively surprised by the burst of flavour they added to the dish.
They are also great roasted in the oven with garlic and balsamic vinegar or of course pickled.
But this week I would like to focus on the tops, as I assume that for many of our new customers it will be the first time you cook with the radish tops or sweet potato leaves.
I have made many variations of this Dahl and love adding whatever I have available. It’s a staple dish in my home and I especially love having a stash in the freezer as I think they make a great easy lunch. I sometimes just eat the dahl as a soup or with some millet or rice. Some sourdough or Naan also makes a good companion, to soak up all the sauce.
Leafy Green Dahl
1 cup Red Lentils
1-litre Vegetable stock
2 cloves garlic, crushed
20g fresh ginger, grated
3 tbsp vegetable oil or ghee
2-3 dried chillies, or 1 tsp chilli flakes
½ tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp graham masala
1 onion, finely chopped
2 small carrots, chopped
4 tomatoes, quartered
1 bunch radish tops
1 bunch sweet potato leaves
Optional to taste, coriander and lemon juice.
Rinse the lentils well in cold water. Wash and pat dry the leafy greens and separate leaves from the stem. Finely chop the stem of both the radish tops and sweet potato leaves, and roughly chop the leaves.
In a large pan, heat up the oil/ghee to medium heat. Add cumin seeds, turmeric, graham masala and onion and let cook for a 2-3 min and become fragrant, add garlic, ginger and chilli and cook for another minute or two, then add the carrots and tomatoes. Let cook for another 5 min on medium heat, then add the chopped up stalks. Stir well and let cook for 2-3 minutes before you add the lentils. Give it a great mix around then add the vegetable stock. Bring to the boil, (skim off any skum) simmer and cover for about 30 minutes, then add in the rest of you leafy greens and cook for another 10 min. Season to taste with salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice, and add any fresh herbs you might have at home and serve with fluffy millet or rice and some warm naan bread.
Fair Food Coordinator