Ene’s Winter Garden

ene garden1

Most people know Ene, my wife and wowhaus partner, as one of the sunniest people they’ve met, and rightfully so. Our wowhaus compound has been blessed by her love of planting, harvesting and saving seeds, as she eagerly scouts out patches of sun throughout the year, populating them with seasonal flowers and vegetable gardens, battling hungry deer and gopher with joyous aplumb.

With the soil softened and moist from early rains and short days, Ene is truly in her element as she purposefully marches about the property, picking the last of the apples, dragging hoses and planting fruit trees, mulched with woodshop shavings. Her winter garden is predictably unruly, its inner logic a kind of living, visual manifestation of Ene’s happy hands and exuberant spirit. We eat well from Ene’s Winter Garden, where collard greens, dyno kale and lettuces thrive, and I love nothing more than to discover what’s ready to cook, driven by hunger to forage at dusk for the family dinner.

Ene’s Autumn Greens

Saute bacon in a cast iron skillet. Remove bacon to drain on a cloth or paper towel. Drain the bacon fat from the pan, leaving some. Add olive oil and saute sliced onions until slightly softened. Add chopped kale, collards or other green, tossing with the onions over medium high heat. When the greens are tender, de-glaze the pan with apple cider vinegar and toss in chopped apples and the bacon, crumbled into pieces. Reduce heat and allow to simmer until flavors blend, adding water if the mixture is dry. Season with salt and pepper and serve over pasta or as a side dish with roasted chicken or fish.

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