Sharing vegetables and fruits

We had an abundance of fresh vegetables and fruits to share today at the YMCA's Healthy Living Mobile Pantry distribution.  It was at Southside's Edington Center, above the Southside Community Garden where I volunteered for over 3 years.

I've not gone back to volunteering in the garden there, returning from traveling, as I know that I'm a better teacher than farm hand, and with gimpy hands -- well, I'd rather write, draw, and do some gardening than use my hands for market gardening harvesting, as much fun and as rewarding as it was.

At the Y's Mobile Pantry distribution, what I love is encouraging people around vegetables and fruits.  It's such a wonderful way to connect folks with the abundance of food that we produce, often in excess.

Today, one of the items that we had to distribute were 3 lb. bags of perfect small Bartlett pears.  They came as part of a giant pallet of them -- some huge amount from an Eastern wholesale distributor through our local Manna Food Bank.

They weren't this brand (I've photo-shopped it out), but looked quite similar.

Pears are an interesting fruit: you normally buy Bartletts (and other varieties) green, and let them ripen.  Some people like them less ripe and a bit crunchy (apparently) or more ripe, and sweeter.

So they're a bit challenging for us fruit-buyers. 

I looked at the 3 lb. bag and thought, well,  I wouldn't have bought this many at a time, so no wonder the distributor and the packager is having trouble selling them to groceries.

They could be kept in the refrigerator and taken out a few at a time to ripen, I told the folks coming through.  These bags had clever packaging that wrote about ripeness in Bartletts, too.  We'll probably see more of this.  I'm thinking about buying more pears, too, if they're small like these!

We had so many other things too:  carrots, butternut squash, zucchini, yellow squash, apples, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, okra, lettuce, shredded cabbage, fresh berries, etc.  plus some cheddar and Brie, thanks to Trader Joe's.


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