[LMB] OT: seeds & gardens--was OT: bathtubs
phoenix at ravinglunatix.org
Sun Jan 9 02:21:41 GMT 2011
Since I started doing most of my fruit and veg shopping at farmer's markets, I tend to do things a lot more seasonally as well. There are some people that have tomatoes year-round, mostly varicolored cherry and grape tomatoes, and I'll get those occasionally for salads (along with a lovely greens mixture that includes flower petals). The biggest 'casualty' for me, though, are apples. There is a grower that dry farms their apples, which (like your strawberries) are not huge and watery, but a good size for eating as a snack and with more flavor than I'd thought an apple could -have-. When they're in season, I'll go through several apples a day (especially their Honeycrisp...to my mind, -the- perfect apple), and as soon as their season ends, I pretty much stop eating apples.
> After tasting heirloom tomatoes, I do not willingly eat modern commercial varieties from the store, nor tomatoes at all out of season. Because of one family's presence at the early farmers' market in Santa Cruz after the Loma Prieta quake of '89, I seldom see strawberries in stores, even the Whole Foods and gourmet produce shops, that are worth buying. They are seldom fully ripe, and strawberries out of season are seldom ripe at all. I got spoiled: Vasquez Family's strawberries are not ginormous and watery of flavor, but are medium-size berries, and they simply don't bring inferior strawberries to market. Their berry offerings taught me that a *ripe* strawberry is deep red all the way to the top. I shop with Rubbermaid food storage containers, and upend the fruit into it, giving the baskets back. I control the air and moisture, prevent damage by the basket itself to the fruit, prevent spillage, and the berries keep longer.
> One vendor, Hillsdale Farms, has 140 varieties of apples, and at least 25 varieties of pear. Most of the apples I love are late-harvest (deep autumn) varieties, Winesap being the most common. Samples *are* available!
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