Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Looking forward to fresh vegetables

If I'd put up simple hoop houses last fall, maybe I'd have more to harvest after all the exceptionally cold weather. Or maybe not. My flats of greens (in the open) look fine, and have sailed through quite a bit of pummeling, but they don't look robust or large enough to harvest, as of yet.

Vegetables in a Vietnamese market
Even in the sheltered kitchen garden (near my office, at the botanical garden where I work), to be honest, the cold and damp (sometimes icy) weather doesn't much encourage me to go out and cut bunches of kale, argula, cilantro, or poke around for turnips, even though they look quite decent, when I've ventured forth.

It's another reason to be grateful for farmers and farm workers, who make it possible for folks like me to buy a lovely large head of romaine lettuce (grown in a mild coastal valley in California) this time of year. I like to buy lettuce grown by Tanimura and Antle, a company that represents 3 generations of vegetable growers, because it's packaged in a special shrink-wrap package that preserves freshness, making it better than the other lettuce available in the supermarkets that I frequent.

A regional grocery store chain based in Asheville, North Carolina, is the only store that carries this brand. I like Tanimura and Antle's broccoli and cauliflower, too.

OK, I'm keen on buying local and reducing my carbon footprint (and foodprint), but salads are tasty and good for you, too. We'll have to find a balance there, to be sure.

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