Monday, June 01, 2009

Will Forage for Food

Hi, Monday. You came around quickly this time. Weekends once held a pretty special place as it was designated family time, the days for Tim to catch up on the latest developments and antics expressed by the boys, time to do chores and tackle big projects. The change in work situation has blurred the lines of the weekend, making it a little less 'do, do, do more' and more like, well, a Thursday.

One thing that sticks is the Claremont Farmer's Market. It is the best around, lots of local growers, people we know and chat with and take the time to support. It is where I purchase the majority of our green produce for the week and if we are splurging, some fresh eggs or a flat of berries. Our home garden is growing, but not a major producer yet, so to Market it is. This week everything looked good and I quickly blew through my allotted 20 dollar bill, then promptly broke the other 20 for some fresh sushi grade ahi and a book donation.
paid for food

Tim opted to take the boys to the local college farm nearby as the hands on those two have been quite grabby grabby 'mine!' lately.

It was nice to get through the Market quickly and choose what I wanted without toddler struggle, but I hurried over to the Farm to meet up, curious to see it's Spring state. We had been visiting regularly but fell off in March and had yet to see what was growing and changing. Well, lots, I have to say. One of the colleges decided to use the area for a growing project, divvying up plots and planting their choice of food producers. From the looks of it, they all had some degree of success. But the thing is, school is out, which means that students are gone and there seems to be no one around to gather the products. We did met a lovely guy hanging out with his cook stove, flipping pancakes and scrambling eggs, all his goods packed on his bike. He offered to share and gave us blessing to gather. So, after spending a good portion of green at the Market, I went on the gather a few more things...all free.
found for free

And that is what trips me out a bit. Just down the street, there is food for sale. Other side of the street there is food sitting, rotting, ripening, shooting, going to seed.
gathered chard
I love that the students had the impetus to do the project, but wonder at the next step. Was there no time to arrange a way to harvest? To find a way to gather and donate? And who would take it? Families in need? People who buy at the Market because it is 'certified'?

The food there is viable, organic, delicious and not locked away in any way, shape or form. But it might as well be if no one knows to eat it. There are at least 30 squash plants, 15 tomatoes, ripe peach trees dropping fruit, chard and kale and cukes and and and...
foraged peach

Food. It is at the crux of the story Ishmael. Because We work because They lock away the Food. And you need food to Live, so you Work and earn Money which you take to a store where you Buy a can of beans or a meal in a box composed of many many different parts, and take it home to Eat and then maybe the next day Work so you can afford to buy a Meal out.

Of course, I am simplifying it a quite a bit. But is it not true?

So, my plan is to contact the name on the board to find out the plan for the Food. Capital, because there is going to be a lot. And not many who know. Which is a shame for all that beautiful food. It is there, it makes me sad to think of the waste. I might be wrong and an army of volunteers may be planning on descending today, tomorrow or at peak tomato time. But I think not, considering the dearth of souls we find when we wander it's paths.

Want some gathered food? Email me and I will give you the address. And if you have not tried it yet, grab a copy of Ishmael and give it a read. Talking anthropologically-minded gorilla aside, it has a message, one we all should be able to actually hear by now.

You can click on this picture to get a rough recipe for what I did with some of the food, free and paid combined.
beet salad


jillian said...

What an incredible story! The state of food on both sides of the street.

I'd love to gather some fresh produce! Count me/us in!

Sereknitty said...

Definitely food for thought, no pun intended. We are fortunate to have a phenomenal farmers market close by, which supplies us with many wonderful things while I await the harvest of my own garden, which will be at least another month or two, yet!

a li'l bit squishy said...

Though it wasn't the best written book I have ever read, Ishmael was one of the most thought provoking. Thanks for sharing your bounty with us.