The Very Long Life of Vegetables

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October 8, 2008 at 3:57 pm

Rob Gardner

Benefits of eating local aside, few would quibble with the idea that local food tastes better.  Fresher is one of the reasons it tastes better.  Fresher applies to fruits that can be picked at their peaks and it can be applied to produce like corn, peas and asparagus that loose flavor soon after picking.  Either way, when you decrease the time it takes food to get to the eater, you get better food.  Still, for a host of vegetables fresh does not matter much.

My wife recently cleaned the veg bin in our upstairs fridge.  We found garlic scapes, back when garlic scapes were in season, and we found some almost as ancient kohlrabi.  We also have, in our downstairs fridge, turnips from the spring crop.  I also think if I russtled around, I could find some sunchokes from last year and other stuff doing ok.  All of this food is entirely edible, and I mean that more than we won’t just die from eating it.  It will taste about as it would taste, maybe with a little extra waste, as it did when first acquired.  As I mentioned on Vital Information, the surviving scapes are especially fun.  It is like we will cheat death, a spring fling in October. 

I bring this up for a few reasons.  Yes, I am just purely happy to get to eat some garlic scapes again before next year.  The pleasures from local food, however, last beyond each week.  Also though, it is a reminder that so much of this local food out and about now can be yours for many weeks, maybe even months ahead.  It does not always take a lot of work to store and preserve.  Sometimes all it takes is the very long life of vegetables.

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  1. [...] lack thereof, limits my desire to tackle things like stocks.  Or so I thought.  I told you that vegetables have a very long life, indeed, but they do need a peaceful place eventually to be put to rest.  Facing a couple of [...]

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