http://whistlingtrainfarm.blogspot.com/The unfortunate kale patch. Yesterday morning, as I looked out the window at sheets of relentless rain, I heaved a gigantic self-pitying sigh and thought, “Shit. I’m never going to eat kale again.” When we signed up for our winter CSA, I knew that it would not bring us quite the same bounty that our weekly summer veggie box did. I knew there would be a lot more root vegetables than I was used to eating. I was prepared for that challenge, but mostly I was excited because pictured I myself frolicking among piles and piles of kale, chard, collards, arugula — all the hearty greens I love. Unfortunately, this winter’s weather has put a bit of a damper on these fantasies. For the last few weeks, the CSA box has been noticeably lacking in the greens department. Don’t get me wrong–there are definite bright spots, including weekly bunches of some of the sweetest, most delicious carrots I’ve ever eaten, along with heads of fresh, pungent garlic that show up covered in a thick layer of dirt and sporting long roots that look like old beards. But I’d be lying if I said I haven’t felt a little disheartened to encounter mostly the same suspects every week: potatoes, carrots, squash. Potatoes, carrots, squash. According to the Whistling Train Farmblog, the icy temperatures and snowstorm that hit just before Thanksgiving delivered a big blow to their greens: “any plant parts above the ground were frozen and killed off. The cabbages are fried.” This week’s record rainfalls, I worry, could cause some flooding that drowns plants and makes harvesting impossible. When it comes to eating local, this is an example of where the rubber meets the road. If we’re committed to eating the vegetables that come from a local farm, it means sucking it up and eating countless squashes, simply because that’s simply we’ve got. I grumble about it, but it’s a powerful lesson. Farmers (and eaters) are at the mercy of another force, and it’s good to be reminded of that. I cheated on the box this week, buying some mustard greens and arugula, and instead of feeling guilty, I just felt grateful that I have the option of supplementing our food supply. If you look closely at the picture of the kale patch, you’ll see that while the big leaves are dead, the core is still alive and growing. Whistling Train reports that “the plants are alive and they will regrow.” Here’s hoping.