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So, you know when you go to the store for milk, you can never get just milk? After the gym last night I ran in to New Frontiers for…milk. But the apples were calling to me. They were local, See Canyon apples, and they looked DELICIOUS; they also looked different. Different than the typical apples I see in most stores. Oddly, the small, mottled, blemished organic apples appealed to me more than the large, shiny, symmetrical apples. (Yes, I think about this kind of stuff all the time. It drives Denette crazy.)

And here’s where I started getting philosophical. (Denette is rolling her eyes right now).

Until recently the mindset has been shiny = new = good. There is some logic in this. After all, bruised = old = good doesn’t sound very reasonable. (Sounds pretty gross, actually). However, the little red orbs of waxed perfection represent something completely different to me: shiny = commercial = bad. shiny, conventional apples

The main issue here is not that perfection is bad, or even that striving for perfection is bad—those are both goods in my book—but that the appearance of perfection is bad. In the case of the commercial apples, the process of making pretty things is actually deceptive: it hides the imperfections that exist and creates a false impression of fresh loveliness. I’ve bitten into the shiny commercial surface before only to be surprised by the woody dryness of an apple well past its prime freshness date. Because the apple had to drive 2,500 miles to get here, it’s bound to be old and tired after a journey like that.

And do I even need to mention the hidden chemical badness? Probably not.

I’m seeing a trend away from the shiny/new/good perspective, and I hope it will continue. Because if more people develop a different mindset about what indicates good food then demand will go up. Then maybe producers and distributors wouldn’t need to spend so much time and money prettifying, packaging, and preserving our foodstuffs. Instead, they could focus on getting us the best tasting, healthiest local products.

Speaking of healthy and local. Check out this new Co-op in SLO. Good things are happening!

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The update is here! (I’m saying this like I’ve POSTED other updates to see if I can fool you. How’s it working?)

Right now we’re getting about 16 oz of leaf lettuce and several radishes a week, and we’re growing enough bok choy to open a small Chinese restaurant. I’m looking forward to harvesting the spinach next!

The bulb onions are taking forever, which we expected. So are the carrots, which we didn’t. I WANT BABY CARROTS!

The nasturtiums and marigolds are coming in nicely, though we haven’t had any real bug problems anyway. Something likes the bok choy, but only a little bit, so I’m okay with sharing. Plus, it’s the bok choy. We have PLENTY.

When we were out watering last week, Logan, my ever-vigilant son, pulled up several of the head lettuce shoots thinking they were weeds. Oh well, they went very nicely in the afternoon salad.

My only concern at the moment is the broccoli. It’s looking a bit stringy and anemic. Waiting to see if broccoli start off as gangly youth before they grow into strapping young stalks.

That’s all for now! Stay tuned for the next in the series! Because I’m going to make it a series! Honest!

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Radish Shooters

I’ve always loved radishes with salt. And I also have an affinity for the occasional tequila shooter (pop the tequila, lick the salt, suck the lime). So, while I was munching the most recent batch of radishesI was shocked at the white one! (cool colors, huh?) I had a stroke of genius:

Radish Shooters!

Organic sea salt, of course!

Pop the radish,

Say "aaaaah."

lick the salt

Organic sea salt, of course!

…now if only I had a lime. Seriously, I wonder how that would taste…

A few more and I'll have to take a cab.

I really need to get out more.

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We filmed the planting about a three weeks ago for Episode 6. Just after we planted the weather got really cold and it rained a lot. I was afraid we’d have some frozen, drowned plants, but they apparently loved the weather because they’re doing great. Despite my influence, even. I’m liking this whole winter garden thing because I don’t even have to worry about watering—very much.

Today, after spending the majority of Christmas doing as little as possible (and what a wonderful day it was!), I decided to venture outside to take a few photos for everyone to see.

We’ve planted some head lettuce, some…well, just listen to the audio I recorded. And listen to Logan’s call-to-action at the end. He’s our #1 marketer!

The kids in the garden (Update 2: The link is working now!)

And here are some photos to go with the audio. Gives you a sense of place, and kids, and coldness…

Quiz: What did Logan get for Christmas? (It hasn’t left his side yet).

Is anyone else tending a winter garden? Have you done it in the past? Do you have suggestions for us? Sound off in the comments!

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