Some time in October, I got very excited about purchasing a farm share. This is when you pay up front for a ‘share’ in the farms crops and getting weekly/bi-weekly or monthly deliveries of said crops. These typically run from April/May to Sept/October. However, in my fervor, I found a farm that did a WINTER SHARE. It was considerably cheaper (still $100 for my coworker and I that split the $200 share) and sounded wonderful during the holidays – every other Friday we got a new share from for November and December… just in time for the holidays.
Fantasy: We pick up a large wicker basket over-flowing with beautiful orange, gold and green squashes and leafy veggies, leeks and onions and all other bountiful wintery veggies. There are little acorns and springs of fresh herbs and a little Autumn Wheat Fairy flutters about the basket caressing the pumpkins and leaving the smell of cranberries and nutmeg in the air. Maybe grants wishes.
Reality: Big half-filled greasy/waxy box from the back room of a co-op. Filled with cabbage. Beets. Rutabegas. Gourds I do not know nor understand. Small, angry looking fifty-cent-piece sized potatoes covered in about a cup of dirt… onions… other green stuff. It was probably kale. Sad baggie of limp dill. Carrots that appeared mutated…growing in curls and split in the center into 2 separate carrots like partially formed siamese carrots. The beets and rutabegas with enormous tentacles of roots coming off them, making them look alien and fierce. Nothing was clean or trimmed or every remotely appetizing. I grimly remind myself that his isn’t dirt… it’s ACTUAL FARM SOIL. I forget the box for several days and all greenery must be thrown away as it’s swimming in it’s own remains. The other items I chop up and bake for 3 hours. I make myself and Kory eat roasted squash, potatoes and onions and beets. Feel sort of Ingallsy…but deflated.
Fantasy: We got email from the farm that the last batch (they heard) was sub-par so they will be sending us extra this time. Maybe it will be things we like! And it won’t look scary! Maybe there will be honey this time! Or something amazing and rooty that we’ve never had and we’ll make it and fall in love. THIS time I wil make smooth butternut soups…and warm roasted salads…and greens with homemade dressing!
Reality: More angry, dirty stuff. A big limegreen pointy pinecone alien sea anemone thing that we think might be a cross-breed of a cauliflower and a broccoli. No one will touch it. More cabbage. More angry potatoes. More onions. Beets. Rutabegas. Turnips. Ugh…. more squash/gourds that are weird and possibly not even edible. Bulbs of garlic that I plan to roast whole. Sorrow.
Fantasy: Ok, it’s December – let’s DO this. I’m not going to let a greasy box of strange vegetables get the best of me. I’ve got cookbooks. I can find anything on allrecipes.com in a flash. I’m going to make stuff.
Reality: Box sat on kitchen floor until funky smell starting coming out. Rescued garlic bulbs and onions and small lunch bag of angry potatoes. All else ugly and daunting.
Box #4 – The LAST box
Fantasy: Volunteer to bring ‘Roasted Winter Vegetables’ for Christmas dinner for the whole family. This box is getting used no matter what this time! Co-worker picks up box as I am off work and we arrange to meet.
Reality: Meeting is botched and I have to go the store and BUY winter vegetables to roast for family dinner. Finally get box the week after Christmas. Whatever is in box is frozen, I assume. A week later, box still in the back of my vehicle… only on quick turns and breaks, when whatever is in them slams into the greasy sides of the box, do I even remember they are there. Will remove soon. At least before the the spring thaw.
Had to throw all collected garlic bulbs away that I never roasted… as they shrunk and got weird and wrinkly.
Bottom line: Paid $100 for small angry potatoes, onions and sad dose of reality.