Weekend Founds

October 19, 2008 at 2:25 pm

Rob Gardner

Just because we returned from the market with more tomatoes, cherry and heirloom, and that our CSA included eggplant, did not mean that it was another week of wistful shopping.  When we were unpacking, I remembered that I had forgot to even look for cucumbers.  I would have been very happy if I found them, but overall, this is now a time to look ahead.  I did not take my advice and seek out interesting products (and add chestnuts to that list).  Instead, we took care of some key long term needs yesterday.  First, we purchased many onions.  Second, we purchased apples and pears to store.  Our CSA has been so full, this week and such, we have plenty of food in the Bungalow.  Maybe we could not afford the luxury of speciality shopping, but we could afford this week to look ahead.

We addressed our onion need.  We bought a boat-load of onions from the eponymously named Farm, a sack with over 20 lbs of yellow onions.  From Farmer Vicki’s Genesis Growers, we got 2 quarts of red torpedo shaped.  From Vicki and Nichol’s, we got cipollini’s.  As I have noted before, one needs to buy onions to last not just for now, but all the way until next May.  Also, as I may or may not have mentioned, onions are not quite as easily found around town as potatoes, the other main winter vegetable.  Do stock up.  I know we will get plenty of onions from our fall CSA, and we will continue to buy, but we are in good shape onion-wise.

I mentioned on the Vital Information blog that this winter, we want to be a bit less devoted to the apple.  We are counting on pears to spread the burden.  Thus, we have been buying a lot of pears of late, including some Michigan pears we are finding in sources besides the farmer’s market.  Yesterday, from Nichol’s Farm, we got a few more pounds of pears.  Most of the pears are being stocked away in the basement fridge.  For everyday fruit, we have seasonal berries, 2 quarts yesterday from Skibbes, and grapes, a few quarts from our CSA.  We are buying apples too, to put away; I acquired a 1/2 bushel of mixed apples yesterday from Skibbes that went straight to the attic.  The apples that are coming in our CSA, go to “daily eating.”   I expect to continue to buy apples for several more weeks at the various markets.  I also expect apples to be available in the months ahead, both at winter markets and in more conventional sources (we found Michigan apples at Costco last March), but now is a good time to buy for variety and price.  While apples and pears will not be our sole fruit options, we will buy some citrus, some bananas, maybe a kiwi or two, we will still draw heavily from our stock of apples and pears.  And frozen fruit, we have frozen fruit for pies and other desserts.  And, and, we also have canned spiced peaches!

Like I said above, it is easy to look ahead because the CSA is doing such a good job of keeping us with fruits and veg.  Besides the things already mentioned, we got this week, several green peppers, more collard greens, turnips with their greens, one of those odd Asian greens that Farmer Vicki always socks us with, in this case bekahna (or something like that), which looks like a big head of romaine lettuce.  We also got two acorn squash that will last a bit, and carrots that will also last us a bit, but one big red onion that has already been used even if it would have lasted us a bit–see do any bit of cooking and you will find your onions gone soon.  Oh, and a head of red cabbage.

For all of the stocking done, we have a few acute needs.  We have hardly got potatoes.  This is mostly on purpose as I plan one of these days to buy a 50 lb bag or Wisconsin russet potatoes at the wholesale market.  I also expect to find potatoes fairly easily throughout the year.  Any time we hit Madison, I know I can come back with delicious heirloom potatoes.  We do need, however, to buy more root veg.  I am counting on Vicki’s operations at Green City Market through November to supply me.  Because root vegetables are the hardest thing to store in a Suburban house, I just do not want to get too ahead of myself on these things.  There will be a time for rutabagas and other roots, just not this week.

It’s been another easy week to be a Local Family.  It was also a week to take steps to ensure it stays easy to be a Local Family.  Good luck in your local eating.