Tag Archives: kale

CSA and grocery store fails.

 

This week brought a nice harvest from across the road.

 

 

Fresh chives, garlic scapes, carrots, Italian green beans, tomato, radicchio, dill, radish, garlic, mesclun mix, the dreaded and totally unwanted kale…. and a monster zucchini.

Which made this picture someone posted on our local Facebook page all the funnier.

 

 

The woodchucks got the kale, and to be honest they looked less than thrilled as well.

At the grocery store this week?

 

 

What the hell happened to Triscuits?

I can’t find those, but lentil with turmeric crackers abound.

🤢

 

 

Brown rice rollers.

I might considering curling my hair with them, but as a snack?

No.

And what fresh hell is this?

 

 

Plant based Oreos?

That’s an abomination.

CSA and grocery store horrors.

 

This week’s offering from our CSA was a little lean on our end because there were a lot of things we don’t eat and elected to let our neighbor take.

 

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Cilantro, bok choi, kale, turnips, spigarello, fennel, and kohlrabi? We passed.

But the chard was rainbow colored…

 

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So there is that.

And in the continuing saga of bizarre grocery items found on my local shelves…..

 

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Every possible mutation of pasta imaginable are still being pushed.

 

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As is the ever present  (and still disgusting)  kale.

Delicious? I doubt it.

Crazy good? Not possible.

Stop the insanity and put kale back where it belongs…. in a rabbit’s colon. Other than the trash can, that’s the only proper place.

 

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Thankfully there was one sane product line of which I took full advantage.

 

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Let the grilling begin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Because I have too much time on my hands this afternoon.

 

If you have predictive text on your cell phone, grab it and let’s play.

Remember The Princess Bride movie?

No, I don’t either. But apparently there’s a quotable line from the film that goes like this….

 

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So a Facebook friend of mine tagged me to play the 2020 version.

Start texting My name is…..

You killed my….

Prepare to….

And let predictive text do the rest.

 

My results:

My name is not the big barn.  ( seriously, that’s what I got! )

You killed my husband and he didn’t even know.  ( it’s true he’s not very observant, but still. )

Prepare to be a little more than the kale.  ( I seriously hope I’m a lot more than that foul weed. )

Not kidding, that’s what it said.

 

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Apparently my iPhone is freakishly tuned in to my life.

Which if I stopped laughing, might make me a little worried.

 

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Support your local farmer.

 

Especially if he’s your neighbor.

Across the road from our house is a ( 65 acre?) family owned and operated certified organic vegetable farm.

 

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We love our neighbors. They’re alternative lifestyle vegans, and tend to do things a little differently….. which has made for wonderful blog fodder over the years.

How differently do they do things you ask.

Here’s a picture of my husband taken a few years ago. He was starting to put a roof on the chicken coop that had been turned into a farmhand’s cabin.

Yes…. that’s a hot water heater up in the tree behind him.

 

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Isn’t that where you put yours?

Fast forward 6 years and the farm has grown by leaps and bounds. Expanded cultivation, multiple greenhouses, migrant workers, a new wife, 2 more children….

And goats.

 

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Our neighbor has earned a stellar reputation among the expensive Old Port restaurants and did most of his business with them…. until the Corona virus shut everything down.

It was literally do or die for the farm, and in desperation the family opened a farm stand on their property.  It’s doing well, but can never make up for the market they lost.

So they’ve also brought back their CSA  (community supported agriculture). Not sure if you have this where you live, but it’s become very popular in Maine.

The following is a heartfelt plea they sent to our town and an explanation of how it works if you’re interested.

We lost 90% of our market when the restaurants closed, and while we have made due, we don’t have much we can count on right now. We launched a short term CSA about 8 weeks ago, and it’s gone really well, and folks have been really happy.
Now we’re launching our full season share.
PLEASE consider joining our CSA this year, AND/OR send this along to anyone every one you know! Thanks!!
2020 Summer Farm Share.
We are a small family vegetable operation, entering our 12th season, here in **********  Maine. Over the years we have grown in acreage, in scale, but also in reputation and recognition. We worked hard to forge relationships with all the best restaurants in Portland, and have prided ourselves in being the foremost purveyor for most of them. It has been a great niche, and has served us well….. Until the corona virus.
So, like many folks (most especially all our dear restaurant buddies) we are adapting to the times, changing our approach, attempting an agile and nimble, careful but bold re-boot, in order to keep ourselves afloat during these rough times. So far , we haven’t missed a beat.
We are a four season farm, and so while mid March is typically a pretty bleak time of year, we were able to pivot to a C.S.A. model, nearly overnight. Thanks to our good friends at some of these restaurants, our reach extended to many of their faithful followers, and in 3 days we had nearly 150 members for our first iteration of the C.S.A. model: a 4 week pre-pay, safely handled and safely distant exchange of vegetables.
We have been so unbelievably pleased with all the wonderful folks who joined us for these first 2 rounds of the farm share model. If it weren’t for them, our income would have been ¼ what it has been.
And so here we are now, launching our in earnest, 20 week “summer share” starting Wednesday day June 10th. Our goal is simple, we wish to continue to grow food here in Maine, in an honest and ecological way, and to safely purvey that food to the good folks of our broader community (you!). We are well experienced in pushing all the boundaries of seasonality, as well as the “unknown” of some of the more esoteric selections much preferred by your favorite chefs in Portland. We can promise to you, as wide a selection as our climate and imagination can provide, over the duration of the 20 week period you would be signing yourself up for.
The idea of CSA (community supported agriculture) is multifaceted, but the theme, is mutual benefit. We enter a 20 week partnership , which when done well, means we both make out, by trading off choice. We owe you all the best we’ve got, and the most variety we can. You owe us, pre-payment, and 20 weeks of dealing with whatever you get. But your benefit, is the certainty of a bounty of familiar food, from a local farm you trust, and at a significant discount compared to what you would pay at the farmers’ market or the co-op. Our benefit, is knowing for certain, that what we are growing is already sold, and thus instilling a confidence to grow that full array of crops, with no fear that a market glut or a new farm showing up on the scene, would squeeze us out of a market…. Let alone that our restaurants may very well require much less of us this year.
Segue to that elephant in the corner… the one wearing the mask and rubber gloves… the one that has kinda taken over all our lives….
Our farm has practiced every possible degree of safety protocol we could think of, and as general public health standards have finally begun to be settled upon, we have been ahead of the curve the entire time. Food from us comes with the same pledge we have given since the first corona virus case was confirmed in Maine:
Our family has isolated since that same day (March 12th) and when any of us have left the farm, we wear gloves, a mask, and we sanitize our hands. We have visited and socialized with no one (Frowny emoticon).
4 of our employees live here in employee housing, and follow the same protocol.
Our 5 th employee has been with us since last year, and is also isolated at home with his partner, and takes all protocol as seriously as we do.
On the farm, everyone washes their hands throughout the day, and wears gloves and mask during any food handling.
We pack everything into a closed container in our sanitized pack area, and that’s it, until you take it out.
Nothing that arrives on the farm, is allowed into use for 3 days.
No one that comes to the farm may touch anything, and no one is allowed in our wash station, in our greenhouses, or in our walk in coolers.
When you join our CSA you know that the vegetable portion of your weekly diet, is covered, and that there’s no phone call or on line platform to log into, no line to wait in, and no wondering how many folks have touched it.
Please do join us for the next 20 weeks. We have over half an acre of greenhouses, so besides being early on all the spring favorites, we also do LOTS of tomatoes peppers eggplants and ginger in these tunnels, and you will get first dibs on all these items. We grow on about 10 acres outdoors, and grow the whole array of vegetables that grow in Maine. Cucumbers, peppers, squash, lettuce, tomatoes, garlic, peas beans…We generally have carrots and beets year round, if not parsnips and turnips as well. Onions and garlic come along mid summer, and ginger will be the big treat right at the end…
We were fortunate enough to receive the PPP loan (the SBA payroll loan) which emboldened us to actually carry on in the scale that we’d hoped to , before corona. With you guys on board, we can carry on growing awesome Maine produce, not just organically (certified by MOFGA) but also regeneratively. We’re very proud of our growing practices, and hope that sometime when things normalize, you all will be able to come and witness it all.
We all need farmers to be able to grow all the food they possibly can. Too many farms are busy scaling back, and it’s a frightening prospect to imagine “harvest time” when all the farms, have done less than the year before….
$600 gets you 20 weeks of a $37.50 value, “family share”. This share will have between 10 and 12 items a week, and will feed 2 hard core veg eaters, or a family of 4 or 5 for a week. Also, consider splitting this share , with a friend neighbor or family member.
$400 gets you 20 weeks of a $23 value, “half share”. The discount is less because of administration pack delivery and logistics being the same as a full share. But for those less inclined to splurge on the “whole 9”, this is still a great option to get your feet wet with CSA, or for maybe just one person, or a couple who don’t want to feel in over their head with veg. This box will have between 5 and 6 items a week.
For those of you who have been with us since March, the share you have been getting would have been about half way between these two options, so use that as your guide, when choosing an amount to subscribe to.
This is a take what ya get CSA model.
Pick up will be Wednesdays at the farm from 3:00 to 6:00.
The 20 week period is firm. At the end of it, will we launch a fall through New Year’s share.
We can not put a “hold” on a share, or refund any week’s share. If you can not pick up your share, or don’t want it, please arrange for some one else to come and get it… consider it a gift to them (there must be someone!).
We can not guarantee any one particular crop or another. Things fail. However typically when one crop performs poorly, another does spectacularly, and such is life… So get with the seasons, and know we’re doing our best.
We ask for full payment by June 10th.
If you haven’t noticed, we are sort of technologically naive… and branding wise… we don’t exist. Hence the nature of this CSA style. We are a family, that farms, and with every bit of our passion and sincerity we can muster, we just want to grow you food.
Please share this with any and all folks you think may be interested in a CSA. We don’t have very much ability to reach out or advertise ourselves.
I hope to one day know everyone of you , and learn your first and last names. For now, this email and all our social distancing, is the trade off for safety. Thanks for believing in that ideal.
Go Maine!!!
Wanting to help…. we signed up for a full share this summer and are going to split it with another neighbor.
The first week’s haul was a beautiful assortment that screamed  “Salads for dinner!”
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Spinach, mixed greens, scallions, pea sprouts, and a giant head of butterhead lettuce.
There were also a few funky carrots.

 

Which were almost too beautiful to eat.

The chard and kohlrabi… neither of which we like, went home with the neighbor.
And finally, the horrible and ever present kale was given to the woodchucks.

Who wouldn’t eat it either.
Dumb rodent?
Apparently not.

 

Nominations snominations.

 

My slightly twisted, but delightfully so, friend  Masercot  has just nominated me for this:

 

award

 

For which I will be  sticking pins in a doll of his likeness and waiting for parts of him to drop off  eternally grateful.

You know the drill, I have to answer questions.

Thankfully… because he’s twisted, this won’t be the hardship it normally is.

Let’s begin.

If you could choose any historical figure to hold your hair out of the toilet while you drunkenly vomit at a party, who would it be and why?

I’m going to have to go with Lord Byron. The man drank his liquor out of a cup made from a human skull. You have to admire that kind of commitment.

If you HAD to own a pet and it couldn’t be a dog or a cat, to what country would you flee  to escape such a fascist regime. Remember that “Canada” is not an acceptable answer.

Australia…. where my dream pet wombats roam free.

What is your favorite, currently active, credit card number?

Nice try. But you know my only form of currency is tequila. If I can’t buy it with a perfectly mixed margarita? I don’t need it.

You’ve been told you will be allowed to join Trump’s Space Force if you sleep with a Marx Brother and Zeppo is not available. Which do you sleep with and why?

Can’t we just jettison Trump into space and call it good?

If you had to recommend an illegal drug to the youth of America, which drug would it be and how?

Blogging. It’s horribly addicting…. but so satisfying.

Do you think pound cake is overrated?

Only if it weighs 14 ounces.

Do you like Aquaman’s new look or do you prefer the blonde hair and tights?

I actually sat through the entire new Aquaman movie. Sober. Need I say more?

 

In keeping with tradition (and not because I want to force my friends to share the misery that are these never ending awards)  I shall post the rules.

Display the award logo
Thank the blogger who nominated you and post a link to their blog
Answer the questions of the one who nominated you
Nominate some bloggers
Ask them seven questions

 

I will now gleefully nominate:

James  because I had to sit through an entire months worth of Star Wars posts and he owes me.

liveandletthai  since he’s always whining not enough people read his blog and just discovered he can make alcohol from dried hibiscus blossoms. You never know when that will come in handy.

clevergirlwrites  she’s clever, and a girl. We need to stick together.

Boo  because we’ve been blog friends a long time and I like to harass her long distance.

swingedcat  he makes me laugh and posts bison photos. Friends like that are harder to find than you think.

 

My questions:

Would any of you be willing to let a slightly pissed off red squirrel and her children rent a room? The sooner the better, I’m getting hateful looks.

If you could change one thing about your spouse/partner/significant other/blow up girlfriend what would it be, and why?

Can you talk me into eating kale in 50 words or less? I know you can’t, but it will be fun to see you try.

You win an all expense paid trip for two to Antarctica, do you bring a Kardashian or Caitlyn Jenner?

By some strange twist of fate, you’re elected President of the United States in 2020. What’s your first executive order?

And finally, if you’ve made it this far…. why do bloggers feel compelled to keep this award thing going when none of us really like them?

Wait…. what!

You mean I didn’t have to?

Sure, now you tell me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No. Just… no.

 

I think we’ve established I won’t eat it.

 

 

I’m not eating the kale chips.

I’m not drinking the kale smoothies….

 

 

Hell no.

But this?

This is a bridge too far.

 

 

 

Now you want me to wash my hair with it?

 

 

Vegan?

Damn…. and here I was looking forward to lathering up with a nice chunk of fat back.

 

 

Nope.

This is a kale free household and it’s going to stay that way!

Strange products are back.

 

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Unless it’s in a rent by the hour hot sheet motel? I don’t think anyone needs their bed to vibrate.

 

 

Just…. no.

If I’m not willing to eat kale? ( and I think we’ve established I’d rather have my toenails ripped off by a hungry wombat ) I doubt I’ll be spreading it on my face any time soon.

 

 

 

Well this is ridiculous.

Leftover chocolate. What’s that?

 

 

 

Proof positive there are a limitless number of kitchen gadgets waiting to collect dust in your cabinet.

Move over avocado hugger and ice cream ball. Spaetzle maker is in da house.

 

 

I have no idea if this works or not, but may I just say?

Eww.

 

 

 

 

When I first saw this I thought… nope, I’ll pass on the motivational self help crap.

Until I realized it could be filled with G&T’s or margaritas.

1:00pm took on a whole new meaning then.

 

Just…. no.

 

Have you noticed how everyone is posting their favorite recipes online lately?

Quarantine fever is driving everyone into the kitchen and they just can’t wait to share.

Every time I look I’m inundated with pleas of,  “Try this, you’ll love it!” or  “Our family’s favorite. You won’t be disappointed!”

In truth, I rarely love it…. and am more often than not disappointed.

 

Friends are always extolling the virtues of kale, tumeric, tofu and other completely unappealing things…

 

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And after the recipe I saw yesterday?

I realize I simply need new friends.

 

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Yeah.

I’m pretty sure parsnip spice cake won’t be happening in our kitchen any time soon.

 

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Things I learned while grocery shopping.

 

I ventured out of my lock down burrow yesterday and went grocery shopping for the first time in 21 days. It was quite a learning experience.

I learned Wal Mart has a bizarrely convoluted maze of barricades at the entrance so you can’t use the same door as those who are exiting. They have staff wiping down carts, cashiers wiping down check out lanes and six foot distancing markers on the floors. The one thing they didn’t have?

A single employee wearing a mask.  To which I say…. WTH?

At my second stop, a grocery chain called Shaws…. I learned there are 2 staff members with clickers and clipboards counting customers at the entrance so no more than 75 people can be in the store at the same time. They have arrows for one way aisles, distancing markers at the checkout and a ban on bringing reusable bags from home. The one thing they didn’t have?

A single employee wearing a mask. To which I say…. WTF?

I got hollered at for putting my groceries on the check out conveyor belt too soon, by a cashier who wouldn’t wear a mask. Smarten up people! Half measures are no measures. We need to get on top of this thing…. my local pub misses me!

Other things I learned?

I don’t look good in a mask.

 

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And there’s still no toilet paper.

 

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Anywhere.

There was plenty of deodorant, but no toothpaste…. because apparently clean minty breath is more important than body odor during pandemics.

You want flour?

 

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Sorry, no can do.

Oh, there are full shelves here and there.

 

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But they’re filled with such things as Tumeric pasta and….

 

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Yeah.

There was no shortage of those.

This item was fully stocked as well.

 

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Clearly I’m not the only one who hates cilantro.

I also learned you can’t wear reading glasses while sporting an N95 mask. Nope. If you do…. those little suckers will fog up like the back of your teenage boyfriend’s Chevy van on prom night.

I came home with something I didn’t want or need simply because I couldn’t read the damn thing.

Yay me.

I also learned that if you’re menopausal and prone to hot flashes? You’re not going to enjoy going out in public for the foreseeable future.

The mask I wore is great, it filters out all the harmful particles… but breathing through it? Not so great.

I overheated to a temperature approaching the surface of the sun within 5 minutes…. then turned a bright feverish red and had to finish shopping quickly before I melted into a puddle in the dairy section.

Think I’m kidding?

 

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Nope.

 

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Not kidding.

I’m not sick, just splotchy. Honest!

 

So now I know.

 

I went grocery shopping this morning….

And I now know what we will all be doing during the virus apocalypse.

 

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Baking.

Because there wasn’t a freaking bag of flour for miles.

 

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There was beef, but no chicken.

Tissues, but no paper towels.

Ham, but no bacon.

Macaroni, but no spaghetti.

You never know what will disappear next. Although I did notice there was plenty of kale…. which makes it official.

If all that’s left on the shelves is kale? I will starve to death.

 

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