Making the Most of Your Local Produce

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Wednesday, May 29th, was a perfect spring day in the mountains. It was even better to be part of the community at Harvest Share’s first event of the season at West Burnsville Baptist Church. Harvest Share is a no-cost walk-up market for anyone in the community. This fantastic event series is possible because of the hard work and dedication of Dig In and Reconciliation House, with support from TRACTOR Food and Farms.

The tables were full of kale, sugar snap peas, turnips, onions, romaine lettuce, mustard greens, carrots, red radishes, and garlic scapes. These ingredients can be used to make some tasty dishes, and you can choose to use them roasted or raw, depending on your preference. I overheard several folks decline the curly kale because they didn’t know what to do with it, so I wanted to share a recipe using the kale and a few other simple ingredients.

Recipe Card for Kale and Snap Pea Salad

If you aren’t ready to dive into raw kale salads, there are a few tricks you can do to prepare your taste buds for this leafy green. Try massaging the leaves, drizzling with olive oil, and sprinkling with salt before consuming them. Massaging the leaves helps break down the tough fibers found in the plant and will make it easier to chew and more palatable. Use it to make delicious homemade chips or a robust pesto. To create a tasty and nutritious dish, you can also sauté it with other veggies, seasonings, or broths. You can add it to soups, stews, or smoothies for an extra burst of flavor and nutrients. If you ever need recommendations for how to use your produce or how to change things up a bit, call me at the Yancey Extension office- (828) 682-6186. If you’d rather chat in-person, watch for me to pop up at Harvest Share in the future with some tasty samples

Kavita Hardy (from Dig In) and John Miller (from Reconciliation House) preparing bundles for distribution