Crop Talk, September 26: Week 17

Fall Kale

   Our fall kale crop is coming in. Some of these hardy, remarkable plants will keep producing leaves straight through the winter, which is a blessing when you're starved for fresh greens in January! Nutritionists at the website World's Healthiest Foods recommend kale for these reasons:

   "Kale can provide you with some special cholesterol-lowering benefits if you cook it by steaming... Raw kale still has cholesterol-lowering ability—just not as much.

   "Kale's risk-lowering benefits for cancer have recently been extended to at least five different types of cancer. These types include cancer of the bladder, breast, colon, ovary, and prostate. 

   "Kale is now recognized as providing comprehensive support for the body's detoxification system. 

   "Researchers can now identify over 45 different flavonoids in kale. With kaempferol and quercetin heading the list, kale's flavonoids combine both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits in way that gives kale a leading dietary role with respect to avoidance of chronic inflammation and oxidative stress."

   For more information about kale, including recipe suggestions, visit World's Healthiest Foods.   

Fall Pumpkin Harvest Festival

   Our pumpkin celebration begins in earnest this weekend, with pig races, P-Rex feedings, cider tastings, marshmallow roasting, pumpkin picking, apple picking, and visits with the Pumpkin Princess.

   This weekend we also welcome Nathaniel Davis to the Barnyard Stage on both Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4:00.  

This Maryland Guy is Making Money on Food Waste, While Also Feeding the Hungry

By Brian Barth, from Modern Farmer

     An absurd quantity of food goes to waste in the United States every year, resulting in frittered resources used to produce the food and lost profits for farmers. About six billion pounds goes into farmers' compost piles and local landfills each year, half of it in an edible state.

     Some of the food is just “extra”—farmers don’t always have a buyer for every piece of produce they grow—and some of it’s just “ugly,” says Evan Lutz, 23, who has been cashing in on the deformed and rejected produce of his home state of Maryland since 2014.

     “We sell ugly fruit,” says Lutz, beaming like a used car salesman, in the first five seconds of a promotional video for his company, Hungry Harvest. Lutz has a quirky sense of humor about his work, which lends a fun, wholesome, and adventurous vibe to the idea of paying him for food that would otherwise be thrown away. “I’ve always been ugly, and as a kid I faced a lot of discrimination even though I knew I was beautiful inside,” he continues, tongue-in-cheek, in the video. “That’s the same thing that’s happening to all the fruit out there. I want to make sure that people know that ugly fruit is also beautiful inside.”

     Read More here.

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