New Year brings us prosperity, with a little luckPublished 10:17am Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Looking for good luck and good fortune in the New Year?
Thinking about raising and growing your own? Maybe you’re just looking for a way to celebrate the New Year that involves vitality, planning and purpose. I suggest you try one or more of these three things for prosperity: a New Year’s feast, a pontification of poultry and a plot of produce.
Many Southerners mark the New Year with a meal of black-eyed peas and collard greens. Both are thought to bring a year filled with prosperity. Some think the black-eyed peas represent copper — pennies, specifically.
You can choose collards for your greens for the meal. Others round out the meal with cabbage. Our local winter CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) this year has already distributed mustards, chards and Asian greens like Tatsoi. Either way, the piles of uncooked leafy greens, if looked at the right way and in the right light, look a bit like a pile of money. And when sourced locally, that’s money that stays in your community.
You won’t need much more — some cornbread, perhaps, or a little pork if you’re feeling fancy (or if your ham hock is generous enough). There is still time today to go out to your garden or your neighbors who garden and farm for your local greens. Or go and thank Mr. Teester at the Tryon IGA for carrying local and see what you can find. You can have your New Years’ meal another day this week. I grew up practicing the 12 days of Christmas, which includes welcoming the New Year, all the way through the Epiphany, Jan. 6. Then you can visit the farm store at the Mill Spring Ag Center or Manna Cabanna in Saluda, open on Wednesdays all winter long for local organic produce and meats.
On Jan. 10 from 1 – 5 p.m., Jim Adkins of the Sustainable Poultry Network will present a workshop at the ag center on heritage poultry breeds, like Rhode Island Reds and Barred Rocks. Although chickens have become more popular in recent years, many heritage breeds of poultry are nearly extinct because of decades of dwindling numbers of backyard and barnyard poultry flocks. Heritage breeds of chickens are much slower-growing than commercial broilers, but many people believe they have more flavorful meat than your typical chicken found in the grocery store. Adkins is a certified poultry judge with the American Poultry Association who has raised more than 50 breeds of standard-bred poultry. A great speaker, Adkins’ passion for poultry is obvious.