Plant Food Passion

Monday, December 04, 2006

Wake Up and Eat -- Biodynamic Farming

My sister Donna and I are working on a project together called Wake UP and Eat which will one day become a book and DVD. (Later I in 2007.) Please view the website at The following is my adaptation of what she wrote just the other day (December 2007):

Thanks go to Alan Balliett of Shephardstown, West Virginia, who runs the Fresh and Local CSA there. We were recently fortunate to sample his "biodynamic" greens and meet Alan in person near our home in Maryland.

Biodynamics, for those who may not have heard of it, is a way of growing food that seeks to ensure that our food provides vitality. The system, which was largely a reaction to the growing use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers, predates today's "organic" food by decades, having been first developed in the early 1920s. Biodynamic farming shuns all chemicals including pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, fungicides and fertilizers and instead stresses the use of various types of compost and natural cycle planting.

Alan and his wife brought bins of fresh greens including several types of kale (curly and Red Russian), Bok Choy, lettuces, Napa cabbage, Tatsoi, collards, cardoons broccoli,and more. His happy customers waited for his truck to arrive and sprang out of their cars to gather around the array of wonderful produce. Once we were handed our goodies, we immediately tore off some of the Red Russian kale and found it sweet and flavorful. As we were walking back to our car, Alan smiled and reminded us to "eat it right away" to get the most of its "life force".
Not long after, stopping first to walk through the woods in search of late Fall oyster mushrooms, we got to taste the biodynamic greens. The kale was lightly sauteed until it was just tender and brightly colored, sprinkled with a bit of salt and pepper, and sure enough, it was undeniably sensational kale and truly, as we ate, we could almost feel our bodies being nourished.


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