Monday, February 20, 2012
1 Potato, 2 Potato, 3 Potato, Squash
In-between swim lessons which took up our morning hours at Macomb Park in upstate NY we had chores to do. Weeding the garden was just one of them. Oh before school even let out for the year we'd have to already have the garden tilled and planted. It wasn't until my high school years that my mom decided to rent a rotor tiller. Before that she had us with our hoes, rakes, and spades to turn the soil by hand. I think if she could have she would have harnessed us to the old plow rig that my Aunt Bea had left behind in the garage.
Having a garden was important. We didn't have a lot of funds to throw around on grocery store produce and eating out. If we wanted to eat a particular vegetable come Winter we had to grow it ourselves. This also meant canning. I can still remember how Mom had just painted the kitchen ceiling white when the very next day while canning the pressure cooker decided to explode. There were tomatoes and glass everywhere. To say she was pissed was to put it mildly.
But I think the thing that really sticks in my mind to this day is my aversion for summer squash. One Summer we had a bumper crop of it and couldn't give enough of it away to friends and family. We had fried squash, boiled squash, steamed squash and I think if mom could have found a recipe for squash jelly we would have had that too.
I invite all of you to take a moment from your grocery shopping produce selection in the store to think about where your vegetables have come from. Are they locally grown? Or did your produce selection come from a foreign land? If so have you stopped to realize just how much energy and fossil fuels were wasted in getting that particular item to your store? How about the pesticides that are on the item in question? I don't know about you but I do try to avoid buying the produce in the grocery store. I can't wait for the real stuff to start showing up again in the farmers' market. I say real because the stuff in the stores is mostly franken-foods (genetically modified).
I think that perhaps one of our best uses of spare time could be spent growing our own vegetables like our grandparents did in WW II. Bring back the Victory Gardens!
As a member of From Left To Write I received a free copy of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. All opinions expressed in this blog are my own.