This time of year, full-on spring here in Western Oregon, we’re staring down piles of freshly washed chicken eggs and rows of recently dormant kale plants that have reawakened rather vigorously. Longer days and warmer temperatures have kicked everything into high gear. Daphne, daffodils, and red flowering currants are blooming. Indian plum has tender little leaves, and I heard the buzz of a hummingbird yesterday. I usually say that May is my favorite month here at our place, but the excitement of this first new greenery is always pretty special.
The last of our storage apples are going off, most of the winter squash has turned, the majority of what was left of my parents’ leeks froze out in the cold weather, and we just ran out of oranges from Henry’s last visit to Heath Ranch Organics when he was in California with his bees. We are, however, so very well endowed with eggs and kale, so the two make their way into many, many a meal around here.fried eggs + kale on toast egg salad sandwich with a side of kale chips cheesy polenta with pesto + steamed kale + a poached egg fried rice with scrambled egg + sauteed kale and onion beans + scrambled egg + sauteed kale and onion …and on and on and on…
Now that my goats are all off to new homes, Henry repurposed the goat barn and reconfigured the yard, so that it finally (mostly) has all the chickens contained instead of free range pooping everywhere and laying huge nests in impossible-to-find hiding spots. (I’m pretty sure one of these days were going to find some cache of hundreds of rotten eggs that were abandoned forever ago.) This new arrangement means that we should, at least in theory, be able to reap the full bounty of egg production as well as control the incredible fucundity of these wilding chickens.
Henry planted the kale pretty late last season. He used his own saved seed, but he would want me to plug Wild Garden Seed‘s ‘Wild Red‘ and ‘Lacinato Rainbow‘ varieties because they’re both tasty, highly productive, and more cold tolerant than other varieties.
My kids aren’t quite such fans of kale and eggs as I am, so we work other foods into our diet here and there. As much as I love the two, I’ll be more than ready to move on to other fresh things (rhubarb, beets, artichokes, strawberries, new potatoes, etc.) as soon as they’re available.