Dishing Up the Dirt

Spaghetti with Collard Greens, White Beans & Turnips


Last year at this time the fields were thriving with an abundance of broccoli and cauliflower (and the potato plants were growing like weeds!)  This year as we walk around the upper field those sections where thousands of plants should be is pretty darn bare. We’ll still get a mall harvest but not nearly enough as we should. Between the gophers and the root maggots we have experienced our first true crop devastation (you can read about it here) and we’re still pretty darn upset about it. We’ve replanted (in a different area of the farm) and will make up for the loss in due time. It can be easy to focus on the failures but the truth is, so many other crops are blossoming and the lower fields look amazing. We’re doing everything in our power (only using organic methods) to keep the root maggots and gophers at bay. They’re still present but we’re feeling like things are more in control. We’re using the Black Box Gopher Traps which have been working really well at trapping and killing those little bastards and we’re row covering newly transplanted brassicas to help keep the root maggots out. Farming can be pretty darn frustrating when Mother Nature is your boss but somehow each season we somehow make it through the dark times and find a way to come out on top (fingers, toes, arms and everything else crossed we can keep this trend up!!!) The good news is that while we’re still mourning the loss of some crops our CSA members are receiving an abundance of spring bounty. We’re thrilled that despite all of the devastation, we are still able to feed hundreds of folks a variety of food straight from our farm.

This simple pasta is a “recipe of the week” for our CSA customers.  The collards are in abundance and once again the turnips are making us extremely proud with their production. We grow a Japanese variety called Hakurei (at most farmers markets they’re known as salad turnips.) They are sweet and delicious and one of our all time favorite vegetables to grow. This simple spaghetti is ready in a flash and bursting with fresh spring flavors. I hope you all enjoy it as much as we do.

Cheers from Tumbleweed Farm!

White Bean and Collard Green Spaghetti with Lemon and Turnips

Prep Time: 10 minutes    Cook Time: 15 minutes    Serves: 4

  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic scapes, diced (can sub with garlic cloves)
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 (15 ounce can) white beans, drained
  • 1 bunch of collard greens (about two cups) ribs removed and thinly sliced
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • Coarse salt
  • 12 ounces spaghetti
  • 2-3 small turnips, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, minced
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil for serving


  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the garlic and pepper flakes until tender, about 1 minute. Add white beans and collard greens and cook, stirring often until the beans are lightly browned and the collards are bright green and tender. About 5 minutes. Grate the lemon zest and drizzle in the lemon juice. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Remove from the heat.
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly slated water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.
  3. Add the pasta to the skillet with the beans and greens, tossing to coat. Add the reserved pasta water to adjust consistency. Divide pasta between plates and top with the sliced turnips, dill, and parmesan cheese. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and drizzle with a touch of olive oil. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.


*Use this recipe as a guide *Adjust measurements and ingredients as necessary *Taste test as you go

Leave a Reply

4 thoughts on “Spaghetti with Collard Greens, White Beans & Turnips

  1. Rissa says:

    What are your favorite gopher solutions?

    1. Andrea says:

      We use the Black Box Gopher Traps. They’re awesome!

  2. Jeanette says:

    Can feel both the joy and the pain and then the moving forward – what a wild life- but so expansive – WOW

  3. You guys are so resilient. Hats off to you. At the end of the day I’m sure it feels pretty darn satisfying that you’re able to feed hundreds of people, truly making a difference in the quality of their lives and meals on their plates when they sit down to dinner. Such a unique pasta – love the greens + beans withe the lemon, dill, turnip combo.

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