Life, Faith and Urban Farming

The life and happenings of an unconventional pastor and urban farmer living in the city with a family of five.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Creasy Greens

My families heritage is rooted in the mountains and hills of Virginia, a state I learned to love while backpacking and bicycling through Shenandoah National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway. My family vacationed there several times while I was young and I've visited a few times as an adult. We vacationed this year in North Carolina at the beach, the Outer Banks are beautiful, but I do hope to visit the mountains again soon. While here at the Outer Banks I bought a book for Alyssa called Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver Alyssa was very happy and had in fact been hoping to buy the book herself, but she was also already reading another book, so I started it.

It's the true story of a family who decided to move to a farm in southern Virginia and truly live off the land. They grow all of their own food or buy it from their farming neighbors. I've been inspired by this book, it's call to buying local food for the sake of saving our planet, and the complete change of lifestyle.

Near the beginning of the book Barbara mentions a native plant which she calls "Creasy Greens". I immediately googled Creasy Greens and found that it's a green that grows all over the place in the south, and it's supposedly very tasty. It's the kind of thing that you can find along the highway shoulder if you know what you're looking for. If you like Creasy Greens they'd be one of those things that give great joy to see popping up out of the soil, they're one of the first plants to sprout in earliest days of spring.

Creasy Greens were obviously named after someone in my family tree. And they were a food that the poor people up in the hills ate after a hard winter. I don't think we can imagine what it would be like to make it through a winter in the mountains of Virginia, seeing fresh greens to be steamed and consumed must have been a hopeful sight.

So I guess when you think of a hill billy in the 1800's out in the mountains of Virginia you can think of the Creasy family, eating our wild Creasy Greens.

And yes, I found that seeds are available on line and I'll be growing them soon!


Beverly said...

My maternal grandmother used to love creasy greens and could spot them going down the road. This blog reminded me of her. She died 25 years ago.

Rene Creasy said...

hi! I am a Creasy whose family hails from the Virginia mountains too. My dad was born in Alta Vista, on a mountain. He said there used to be a Creasytown not far from his birth home. I recently moved to the Middle Neck of Virginia and discovered what appears to be creasy greens growing wild in a partly shady patch. I am still trying to confirm if they are, i sure hope so though, I LOVE greens!