The Wordstress Blog

The Wordstress ponders the birds and the bees.

End of Winter Produce February 21, 2009

Filed under: garden — eastlakecounty @ 4:41 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Don’t we usually think of winter as a time for canned vegetables with only citrus to provide something fresh? But, oh! This year! This year is something different indeed.

If you know anything at all about me at all, you know that I love food. I love thinking about food, planning menus, buying food, looking for recipes, cooking something wonderful, and of course, eating it. This year has seen my taste buds turning cartwheels over and over again because of all the good fruit and vegetables I’ve been enjoying.

The weekend before the first freeze this year, Steve and Alex and I went strawberry picking at Oak Haven Farm. In about 20 minutes, we picked three flats of the largest and sweetest strawberries I’ve ever had…ate about a quarter flat while I was getting the rest ready for the freezer and jelly jars. Even the berries we grew in Jacksonville were not as sweet as these.

Then last week I hooked up with the Veggie-Table Organic Co-op. I got some great carrots and little red potatoes and some sweet potatoes (there was more but these were my favorites). I supplemented my co-op purchase with some parsnips, turnips and rutabagas from the grocery store. Every time I eat parsnips, I’m newly delighted with the flavor and I wonder why everyone doesn’t serve them regularly. How did parsnips and rutabagas get such a bad reputation? They’re both wonderful!

One of the links you see over at the right of your screen is to bECOme (Become Eco)…a co-op program that provides locally grown produce. I got my first delivery Friday and I think this is what I’ve been looking for. I got a huge box of gorgeous veggies including one of the nicest heads of broccoli I’ve ever seen, and even an eggplant tucked in among the celery, peppers, lettuce, radishes and onions. I added the fruit package and got a half flat of really nice strawberries, a couple papayas (I did not like the flavor these had for some reason) and some red delicious apples. Oh, and a rutabaga and a couple of winter squash! One of the nice things about this co-op is that they have a few different programs from which you can choose.

I love the bECOme co-op because there’s no guarantee of what will be in the box, just that it’s enough vegetables for 2 people for a week. So we’ll be trying lots of new things — and what a great way to get out of a veggie rut!

bECOme also has a physical location at Rennigers Flea Market — nice display and friendly folks.

No matter where my fruits and veggies have come from this year, they’ve all been wonderful! Steve even found some great pears at Maters and Taters down in Apopka. I don’t know whether organic or locally grown is better in the big picture, and truthfully, I really don’t care. Organic is good and locally grown is good, so I’ll continue to support both of these co-ops.

Why do you suppose God made so many kinds of vegetables and fruit? Was the original Garden much different from the gardens we grow at home? When he walked there in the cool of the day do you think he watched as the first tomato turned red? And how kind of him to plant something for everyone, providing immeasurably more than we could ever sample. No matter what you may believe about God, isn’t it so sweet to think of him in his garden? I loved this imagery even before I loved him.

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