Giving Back: Meet Our Volunteers

Farmer Caylor Interviews Awesome Curb Market Volunteer Kim Cole

 

We are so grateful for E.A.T. South’s volunteers. This month, we want to say thank you and introduce you to Curb Market volunteer Kim Cole. To introduce you to Kim, I interviewed her in between customers on a busy Saturday at the Curb Market.

Caylor: Hi, Kim, do you want to say a few words to introduce yourself.

Kim: I am Kim Cole, and I now live here in Montgomery, Alabama. I moved here from St. Louis, Missouri where I lived for 24 years.

I volunteer to work at the Curb Market. My cousin used to work for E.A.T. South, and she had to man the booth, or as I say “woman” the booth at the market. She would ask me to come keep her company. Then one day she said, “I can’t work this weekend. Can you work in my stead.” That’s how it all started.

This is my second full year doing this by myself, but I would come with my cousin starting in 2014. I’m here every other weekend, and last fall, I was here every weekend.

C: What do you like about the Curb Market?

K: I refer to it as my natural anti-depressant. I get to meet great people, and I get to learn about vegetables. It’s lots of fun. I love kids, and I’m always meeting and picking on the kids. It gives me an opportunity to learn things about our community and about the vegetables E.A.T. South has. At the market, we exchange ideas about how to cook vegetables, how to consume them.

I’m the girl who doesn’t know anything about gardening. I hate to say that, but I do know about vegetables. My family thinks it’s hilarious. I’ll cook meals for my parents. That’s how I moved here, to be with my parents. I’ll cook meals for my parents and explain that this is from the garden, and this is how I’m cooking it. It’s different from the way they’re used to. I’m getting them to try new things.

C: What are your favorite things to cook?

K: I’ve been having a blast this year with the garlic. If I can put garlic in it, I’ll put garlic in it. I like roasting vegetables like beets and carrots. I like learning about the different vegetables. Until last year, I never knew what to do with sorrel. I used sorrel in a stir fry, I used it with pasta, and I sauteed it with kale and other vegetables, just a little bit. A little bit of sorrel goes a long way.

I did the CSA, and that’s how I was introduced to some of the vegetables. When my CSA ran out, I started volunteering. Now, really, volunteering on a regular basis is how I learn about vegetables. It’s also helped introduce my boyfriend to new vegetables, too. Every week he’ll ask me what E.A.T. South has.

C: Is there a recent, memorable meal that stands out?

K: For Mother’s Day and Father’s Day 2016, all of the vegetables for those meals came from the farm. I was able to introduce some new things to my family. That turned out very well. Unfortunately, my boyfriend was not able to be here so I’ll have repeat the Father’s Day meal later this month.

C: For people who have never been to the Curb Market, what would you like them to know about it?

K: You can find a little bit of everything, but what I tell people is please make sure you come to the Crampton side of the market, closer to Madison Avenue, where I am and where the E.A.T. South booth is. People don’t know we’re here. I try to post on Facebook weekly that we’re on the Crampton side of the market.

C: Any last things you want to share?

K: I love E.A.T. South. I have an apron in my office. Right here in downtown Montgomery, in the Supreme Court building, there is an E.A.T. South apron on my office wall. Anybody stopping by, that’s my opportunity to tell them about E.A.T. South and to tell them about the Curb Market. I’ve actually have people come to the Curb Market based on what I’ve told them. I truly enjoy it.

The Montgomery Curb Market is open 5 am to 2 pm Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. E.A.T. South’s booth is open on Saturdays from 7 - 12 (or until we sell out of produce).

 

 

In praise of beets

The blog is back because we need to talk about beets. We have a lot of beets at the farm that need to find a place in your kitchen. Plus, beets are delicious and high in all kinds of things like iron that are good for you. It’s time to eat your beets, friends. This Saturday, at the Curb Market, we’ll have bulk beets (in four colors) that are just the right size for roasting and pickling. Beets without greens will keep for a few weeks in the crisper drawer of your fridge. If you want several pounds for pickling, you can place a special order at farmer@eatsouth.org or call/text 503-753-5006.

To get you thinking about your weekend beets, here’s some delicious beet-spiration.

Raw Beets - Grate raw beets to add to your favorite slaw recipe. Try them with carrots to make a pink carrot-raisin salad.

Roasted Beets - Beets are easy to roast (no peeling necessary). Check out this tutorial for roasting beets in the oven or wrap them in a paper towel and microwave them.

Enjoy roasted beets hot with a little salt or keep them in the fridge to add to salads. I like cold beets with olive oil, salt, and toasted pecans or walnuts. You can even turn your beets into chocolate cake

Farmers Market Beet Quesadillas (This recipe was given to me by a customer at the Montgomery Curb Market. Thank you! I’m sorry I didn’t get your name. Please stop by and introduce yourself.)

Tablespoon oil

1-2 beets, peeled, raw and thinly sliced

½ sweet onion chopped

½ tsp each chili powder, cumin, oregano or to taste

Salt to taste

Grated Monterrey Jack or Cheddar Cheese

Tortillas

Heat oil, saute beets and onions in oil for 6 min or so. Add seasonings and water. Cook for about 3 min. In a separate pan, heat tortillas. Sprinkle half of the tortilla with cheese. Add beet/onion mixture. Fold tortilla over beets and cheese. Slide quesadilla onto a plate, cut and enjoy!

A Summer Intern's Lessons from Growing Food

As I sit in the kitchen thinking about my goals for the summer, I get a little nostalgic about last summer, the summer of 2014. So far, the two periods in my life are as different as day and night. I love my current job, which I have thanks to last summer’s experience with EAT South. I get to sit in an office and think about gardening and Alabama farmers.  I know I am doing good work, and I get paid for it! I have a ton of down time too, to do basically whatever I want, like write this blog or to volunteer for the Taste of Home Cooking School. I think I need it, considering I am going into senior year with a little more weight on my back, preparing to take on my new position as editor-in-chief of Her Campus Auburn! I am just taking in everything I can while I still can.

But last summer, well, it was a crazy adventure for a twenty year old. I interned at E.A.T. South and worked at the best restaurant in Auburn. I literally got to see food from its very first stage as a seed all the way until it reached the plate [and my stomach]! A few days of the week I drove an hour to the garden, worked 8am to 1pm, then drove an hour back to Auburn, ate lunch, and rushed to a restaurant at 3 to work until close. I’m honestly exhausted just thinking about it, and let me tell you, some of those drives back to Auburn I wondered if what I was doing to myself was worth it. But the days when the Hampstead Montessori students learned something with big smiles on their faces, it was worth it, the days I realized I really can make a difference, it was definitely worth it, and the day I had to say goodbye, I knew E.A.T. South had left a giant scar running from my tired legs and beat up hands and straight to my heart. I think I still haven’t grasped how much Catherine, Denise, Jetson, Mark, Jesse, Sara, Amanda, Kisha, and even the chickens rubbed off on me. I don’t know if they realized all of the lessons they taught me. But I’m going to share a couple of life lessons I learned from the experience, because they truly do mean so much to me.

Slow food as a lifestyle.

I was going to write an entire blog about this one concept because it’s a giant metaphor for my life now, but I decided that I could squeeze it into one section. The funny thing about sustainable food production and the “slow food” movement is everything is slow. And I mean everything. The food grows slow, the work is hard and slow, and the lifestyle is slow. Let me explain. When I worked with Catherine in the garden, she encouraged taking breaks and being stress free, and then when I went to the restaurant it was go go go go go go. It’s the opposite of everything modern day America has taught us to cultivate; think fast food and the interstate. We can’t figure out when to stop and smell the roses [or rosemary], but it’s a gift we can give ourselves that makes life a little better. Find something that is worth taking the time out. I cook almost every single one of my meals now, sit down, and enjoy it. It’s worth missing a few hours of study time or not knowing anything about Game of Thrones.

Children are the real geniuses.

All of the kids I worked with had something different to bring to the table. They had big imaginations, were so curious and smart, and just happy to be on the farm. They challenged me to bring out my most creative and positive self, and that person turned out to be my best, most intelligent self. Never let your inner child die, and never quit learning!

Dreamers can take a breather.

Something I have always had a problem with is deciding how much I should work. Since ninth grade, I let my fears of not becoming successful drive me to become a true workaholic. I do not know how to stop working, and when I do stop working, I immediately panic or feel guilty. I am not being dramatic either. I thought that people who are successful seriously work like 70 hours a week because they want their dreams so bad. I think that my problem had a little to do with the media and a little to do with the concept of the “American Dream.” I actually read a really good example in Cosmopolitan. There is a quote that is used by tons of young women: “You have the same hours in a day as Beyonce.” But no one reminds us that Beyonce probably has a maid, a hair stylist, a chef, and a babysitter. So girls who have a ridiculous amount of drive, take that quote straight to the heart and schedule every hour of everyday, because that is what we have been told it takes to be successful. It’s like peer pressure to keep doing more.

I realized two things:

1) The journey itself is the dream. I try to tell myself every day, even on the most difficult, that I am living my dream. I am on the journey to make people appreciate their health and appreciate the environment. What more could I ask for?

2) Dreamers can take a rest. I realized that Catherine, someone who is doing good things, goes home to rest. To my surprise, almost everyone at EAT South does something fun on the weekend or at least once a week! Crazy right?! I am begging all the young people trying to move up in the world to please just REST without a single ounce of guilt. Your dreams will still be there tomorrow!

Never give up.

I’m not sure what I want to do with my career anymore. I am stuck between journalism, writing public policy, owning a business, and working at a health center. And who knows what I’ll dream up tomorrow! Currently, I want to own an outdoor kitchen where I teach families how to garden and cook, and maybe there will be a little bakery on the side. One thing I do know, after working with such passionate people at E.A.T. South, is that anything I can dream of is possible. All I have to do is find a great support group and wake up every day ready to change the world. Life is a challenge. I can and I will.

Thank you, to everyone at E.A.T South! All of my successes in the past year have happened because of you.

You can follow Lindy on Instagram for more love from the garden and kitchen @linDahlive