Sunday, August 7, 2011


This is today's bounty from our modest garden.  Amazing.  This picture is not truly showing how gorgeous all the different colors of heirloom tomatoes are that are coming from that little plot.  I'm very thankful to my friend for starting these in her greenhouse many months ago and hosting a plant sale with them.  They taste utterly and completely amazing.  Even my sister, who is not a tomato fan, lavished praise on them and how good they are.  I'm feeling humbled by all the wonderful food that is coming out of a bit of effort and some sweat equity.

I went to the grocery store today.  I really don't enjoy this chore much anymore.  Since we've become mostly local foodies, it's a bit more then insanity to me that we have to have so many choices for everything.  I walked down the cracker aisle to find the whole wheat crackers I get for the boys for their snack. Today instead of just looking for the familiar plain brown box, grabbing and moving on to the next thing on my list, I actually stood there in stunned disbelief.  I felt like for the first time in a long time I had really noticed what goes on in those stores.  I was actually a bit flabbergasted by all the immense excess.  And felt wholly just how unnecessary I feel it is.  Do we really NEED 24 different types of wheat crackers?  There were 9 different brands of cheddar cheese, and may more varieties.  And multitudes of companies making yogurt...and types of yogurt.  I suddenly felt completely overwhelmed by it all. 

At the grocery store, especially this bountiful time of year, I buy mostly dry goods and staple items...rice, flour, sugar, Cheez Its.  You'll just have to trust me on this one, Cheez Its are considered a staple by my wonderful husband.  "Do you need anything at the grocery store?" posed to him is invariably followed by ", just Cheez Its".  They are their own food group for him.  But, my cart contained some watermelon that we can't get locally and a few bananas, which though not local are a treat from time to time.  That was it for fresh produce.  That's because I belong to 2 local food CSA's, NHCSA and Field to Fork Farm.  But, on top of that, I'm so happy to be harvesting my own food as well. 

I went to the garden with shears in hand to pick a few tomatoes.  Well, above is what I came out of the garden with!  I also have a lot more jalapenos ready, but I'm trying to stretch them out until the red bell peppers are ready so I can make some of my pepper jelly for my hubby and family.  My sister really enjoys that and has already requested a jar.  It makes colorful Christmas gifts.... But as I was digging in the soil to uncover the first of the year's red potatoes, I felt humbled.  One, that I'm able to grow food to sustain my family is an awesome feeling.  It is a real sense of accomplishment to know that we would not go hungry no matter what the circumstance.  If there is ground, and seeds, and water, I can grow food. 

I also felt humbled to be able to share those skills with my boys.  Maestro was in the garden with me, asking lots of questions and harvesting tomatoes (which he promptly ate 5 of immediately, that's the kind of snack I love giving him!).  I explained why we don't want the sunlight to reach the potatoes, why we need to pull the half eaten tomato a hornworm found off the vine so as not to sap the strength from the plant for no reason, and that the zucchini that went from blossom to 4 inches long in the span of 2 days is not quite ready to be picked.  He asked some great and thoughtful questions.  Ah, homeschooling at it's best.  I'm not sure what better way I can prepare them for life that learning how to grow and cook their own food.  The pure joy that comes from that experience and sense of satisfaction they accomplish is immeasurable.

We talked about making salsa today.  I had to explain to him I don't have any cilantro (REALLY dislike the flavor if that particular herb), but do have some parsley, so we'll make it with that.  It won't taste like store bought, but to be perfectly honest with you, that's more then okay with me.  Maestro's idea for the first new potatoes was some homemade clam chowder.  I am so happy to be able to tell him, that's a great idea!  And just about all the ingredients for that are going to be local for us.  Music Man just went to pick up our two gallons of raw milk from the CSA and they supply us with the world's best bacon to go in it as well.  I'll use the potatoes harvested right from our ground and shallots from my friend's garden and corn from a local farm stand I picked up on my way home from the grocery store.  Sounds like an amazing idea, Maestro! 

Sure glad you thought of it.

Wishing you a basket full of your own hard work, ~Peacemom

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