09 June 2009

The Summer of Vegetables: An Inauspicious Beginning

I was recently bemoaning the fact that I haven't had anything awkward to write about in, well, months. I'm pretty sure one or two of you have been bemoaning that too.

That's why, after I finished hyperventilating, I was actually pretty excited about the events that transpired this evening.

Here's what happened:

Today was my first day picking up my CSA (Community Sponsored Agriculture). I've bought half a share in a farm, which means 4 to 8 lbs of fresh vegetables every week between now and October.

At my pick-up site (in Harvard Square, naturally), I stuffed my Whole Foods Market canvas bag with a head of lettuce, some bok choy, spinach, mescalin greens, a parsnip, a small basil plant, and a container of strawberries. Also a loaf of french bread.

On the ride home I planned my lunch for tomorrow (salad) and decide I'd make life easy and have the same thing for dinner. I was feeling generally pleased with myself, basking in the glow of that smugly self satisfied feeling you get when you're doing something so good.

By my count, this whole CSA business is good for:
  • My health. So many leafy green things!
  • My wallet. So much cheaper than the grocery store.
  • The environment. All organic. (Plus I'm picking it up in that canvas bag.)
This last one is important.

Upon arriving home, I decide to lay all the vegetables out on the counter so I could take a picture for my other blog. (Can't seem to upload pictures on my Mac right now. Coming soon!)

The basil plant was sharing a bag with the box of strawberries and since they both seemed a bit delicate, I decided to remove them first.

Right as my hand was going into the bag, I noticed something moving. Of course the first thing to come of my CSA would not be a delicious bite of strawberry. No, instead, I was rewarded for my do-goodery by a dark brown spider that appeared to be 150% legs.

As it crawled out onto the counter, I dropped the plant and ran out of the room.


The thing about hyperventilating, for those of you who've never done it, is that once you start, it's sort of hard to stop. Even (especially?) when you know you're being absurd.

Safely ensconced in my bedroom on the other side of the apartment, I hyperventilated for about a minute.

Yes. Really.

Then I grabbed the best bug-killing shoes I own (Vans) and returned to the kitchen. Briefly concerned that my foe may have ventured back to the safety nest of my precious produce, I was quite relieved to find it, stationary, in the middle of the kitchen floor. He was no match for the heavy rubber soles of the Vans.

Preparing the salads became an epic challenge after that. Every leaf had to be investigated and scrubbed. Bags had to be eyed suspiciously for a good 30 seconds before I could stick my hand in. Anything that moved was suspect. Once again, I contemplated the value of pesticides.

Perhaps it's more of an ironic beginning than an inauspicious one, but I'm hopeful that next week's CSA adventure will look a little less like a panic attack.


Julianna said...

oh my.. and I can picture it perfectly, too

smartypants728 said...

Hi Marie -
I'm considering signing up for a CSA for next season. Would you mind telling me how you liked it? I'm a bit worried about things like not being able to quickly find and execute recipes for what I've been sent and not being able to eat all the food. And while I can find prices, I have no idea to how they compare to the grocery store - you said it's less expensive for you?
- Emily