Land Rant

June 11, 2014


What to write about….

I got nada.

My day was about as ordinary and uneventful as they come. If there was a theme (there wasn’t), it might be the land.  But only two data points on that: 1) worked in the garden for four hours, weeding like a fiend (nothing more to report, except maybe that I took out two mock oranges which made all kinds of room in that one corner); 2) spent my usual hour and a half dealing with the CSA box.

That was about it. See? The land. 

But, okay…. maybe I can expand a little here on the CSA box:

Our CSA subscription over the past 2 – 2 1/2 years, for me, has been the most beautiful concept ever. EVER.  But, we fail miserably in our implementation.  

The idea of Community Supported Agriculture is brilliant, and Eatwell Farms does it right, all of it: the healthy, safe, organic, locally-grown food; the family who owns the farm–Nigel and Lorraine, Eric and Andrew–and lovingly tends it; the community they’ve created around supporting the farm–festivals and celebrations and gatherings of all sorts; the truly fantastic newsletter that comes with each box that includes detailed info about the ins and outs of running the farm, details about the week’s contents, recipes…it’s deeply inspiring. It’s intimate and personal. Their labor of love is an amazing gift. I’m not kidding, they do such a fantastic job on all of this.

Plus, we live smack dab in the middle of some of the richest farm country in the world, and can and should take full advantage of it. It’s part of what living in northern California should be all about. 

But for so many reasons we don’t take full advantage of Eatwell. The main reason is, we hardly cook anymore (we means Jim, who’s been the primary cook for about 16 years now).  Not critical… we just don’t. It’s either our impacted and unreliable evening schedule (that is to say, Peter’s schedule) or a lack of ideas at the ready. When we do cook, we recycle the same meals; they are great meals, Jim’s perfected them over the years, and he has a natural comfort and feel for cooking, but we’re out of ideas and we aren’t taking advantage of the incredible variety of CSA ingredients we get every two weeks. 

(That’s not entirely true: we do eat a LOT of greens, we’ll usually cook the potatoes, broc and romanesco when it comes, also tomatoes, various of the squashes, onions maybe. We definitely eat the strawberries and other fruit we get. I can’t even think of what else we get, but we do eat some of it.)

But the amount we throw out (compost) every two weeks is seriously staggering. We never use the radishes, the leeks, fennel, lettuces, various herbs.. I have no idea why, but all that stuff rots and slimes up and I end up with huge piles of it each time I need to clean out the refrigerator to make space for the new stuff.

The chore of unpacking a new, stuffed-to-the-gills box is huge. I dread this task. Not because of the slime but because it’s breathtakingly wasteful to throw out so much food. Nevermind that we spend a lot on this service and that we get so much food that takes up so much space in the refrigerator.  Mostly it just kills me to get rid of it untouched.  

So the plan is to bail out. At least for now. 

But here’s my promise to myself.  If I get–as I claim I am going to–back into cooking, and if, in the process, I develop a large and ready repertoire (a handy, accessible resource binder with tested and favored recipes), as I say I am going to do, then, as part of my food acquisition practice, I am going to go back and support Eatwell. Going to have a garden, going to prioritize local, going to focus on healthy. It’s not like we don’t do that now… I mean we shop exclusively at the coop and are mindful of eating well… but cooking shall become more of an adventure, if I ever act on this. 

But until then…  we’re letting our subscription expire. 

So very grumpy about it, too.