August at the Youth Farm
On the farm. This is a real nice time of the year to be farming in Western Montana. While we have lots of work ahead of us — like weeding, some seeding for fall greens, lots of tractor work, cover crop to sow, and more weeding — the pressure is off as we ease into a season of harvest and upkeep. The teens have pretty much gotten the hang of things, and we work together like a well oiled machine. We know each other, we know the farm, and together we take ownership of it.
For the Youth Farm August is also a month when add to our farming routine a Mobile Market where we sell food for nothing more than a dollar to residents at three low-income housing facilities here in town. The residents at the senior housing wait excitedly for the market and the youth employees love being their farmers.These youth are the experts on growing these vegetables, and the seniors really respect them for it.
In addition to our Mobile Market, we also partner up with Missoula Aging Services Congregate Meals program to host two lunches for senior citizens at Orchard Gardens in August. Its a really lovely lunch where the Youth Farm teens mingle with seniors and enjoy a farm fresh meal prepared (and of course grown) by the Youth Farm teens.
What’s growing and getting harvested this week on the farm: This week expect to find kale, eggplant, broccoli, celery, walla walla sweet onions, carrots, beans, summer squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers sweet and hot, and potatoes.
A Recipe. Thanks to the inspiration of a few friends, last night I was finally able to get out of my mid summer cooking rut/rebellion, (and I found another way to fully enjoy kale)! So here goes.
A Lemon Kale Salad. In a small frying pan, heat some olive oil. Add sliced or slivered almonds to the oil, and saute until they are browned (how brown is totally up to you). Set aside to cool.
Take a big bundle of kale and rip it up into pieces, removing the stem. Throw the kale into a bowl and then add a generous amount of olive oil and lemon juice, and a half cup oil and 1/4 lemon juice (that’s approximate — taste and modify).
Next chop up some tomatoes, basil and garlic and mix it up. Of course go ahead and salt the salad.
Toss in the toasted almonds and you are ready to serve. I bet chunks of cucumber, grilled zucchini or beans would be fantastic additions to this salad as well. One last tip if you want your kale softened, let the kale sit over night with the lemon dressing on it then add everything else the next day. Have fun and experiment.