Ah, New York, my sweet. What’s not to love?
My partner started making ice cream this summer (poor me, right?). The first stash from the CSA had some lovely lavender that constituted the flowers portion of our pick up. All I had to do was stick it in the fridge instead of a vase, and the next thing I knew, voila, dessert! This last visit to the CSA landed me some gorgeous deep purple blueberries now in the icebox waiting for the fairy dairymother to whisk them away. So many reason to love New York this week.
But with some good news comes some bad. Heard in the media-stream this week is that grocery stores are pushing back on consumers’ increased use of coupons with greater restrictions on coupon use. The whole CSA experience, while a wonderful experience, may still not be the best value for folks looking to disrupt their regular food sourcing. I’m still wanting to do a comparison of the options, from the traditional grocery store to home gardens to farmers markets and foraging. While I can understand a company’s need to plug the bucket, so to speak, now might not be the best time to kick the consumer where it counts, considering that our flirtation with alternasourcing seems to be deepening into a more serious relationship. Grocery stores may have even more competition ahead from innovations to their traditional model by store owners starting to think outside the box (Austin is expected to have the first packaging-free grocery store in the near future).
As for me, I will continue to report on my CSA experience, and hope that someone takes me up on my invitation to compare theirs (looking for someone signed up in the City with a different CSA, and someone from outside NY – maybe one of my Madison friends?). (I am doing the full half-share, which means I pick up a full share – vegetables, fruit, eggs, flowers – every other week @ $550 for 24 weeks, which works out to be about $45.00 every pick-up, but would like to do a comparison with anyone doing a CSA this summer, regardless of what you’re signed up for). I’m also looking to hear more on another …
QUESTION: how have your food collection and sourcing habits changed? What percentage of your meals comes from sources other than the traditional grocery store? Are you getting any staples from your garden? Of the home gardeners, do many of you can to make your stash last after the season’s over? How many of you are keeping the garden going indoors over the winter? What have you got growing indoors after season? Anyone else out there who’s getting their groceries outside the box? Of those who forage, would you say that you’ve incorporated the wild edibles onto your every day plate? With apologies to any skin-thinned freegans, have we got any garbage eaters out there? Any other urban foraging? Anything I’m leaving out? Go ahead … gimme the dirt!
The scallions I started from seeds last year came back after being outside all winter. The ones inside grew all winter long on a window sill. A few of the outside ones grew flowers this year and I got some seeds from them. A quick way to get a few growing without the seeds is buy a bunch of organic scallions in the store. Pick a bunch with the largest roots still on that look healthy. Cut the tops off so you have the roots and bulb with about an inch or two of stalk to stick out of the soil when you plant them. You can plant them close together since they grow straight up. Within a couple days you will be able to see the growth, and soon after a new shoot will appear. I use the shoots rather than pulling up the whole thing to use the bulbs. I cut the largest shoots off the ones with the most shoots and they just keep growing back. I believe that like onions they help keep bugs away too. For a dollar or so invested you can have fresh scallions for over a year.