07 October 2011

Green Thumb

I've been thinking about how it's time to pull out the garden this weekend. For our first shot at it, I'd say it worked out okay. Our tomatoes and lettuce were plentiful.We got enough beans for sides to go with two dinners. The basil did moderately well. We got just one pepper from six plants, but the biggest disappointment was the butternut squash. It had flowers a couple of weeks ago, so I had hopes of butternut squash soup, stuffed squash blossoms, and butternut squash risotto. But nada.

So, I guess we'll just have to start hitting the Farmers' Market for our veggies. Maybe I can get our vegetables there and harvest the seeds to grow in next year's garden. There's been a recent movement towards collecting seeds of heirloom varieties that show up everywhere from farmer's markets to auctions. I heard a story on NPR this morning about a bucket of heirlooms that sold for $1000 at auction! People like Jeremiah Gettle, owner of Baker's Creek Seed Co. and the author of The Heirloom Life Gardener, travels the world in search of rare seeds. He explains:

"There are varieties from African-American heritage, Japanese varieties, German varieties," he says. "And each type comes with their own cultures — whatever they thought was greater, tastier, good-looking — so you have a lot of diversity."

Happy Cat Farm, featured in the July/August issue of Whole Living, is a seed and produce company that also is a CSA (community-supported agriculture) program. It's a way to buy local, seasonal produce directly from a farm. Typically, members buy into the CSA, and each week, they receive a box of assorted produce. I love the concept, but it takes a lot of commitment to plan meals around vegetables in order to avoid waste. Who am I kidding?! I can't plan and cook a meal myself, nonetheless an entire week's menu!

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