Thursday, March 21, 2013

Growing Communities

I've been meaning to post this for such a long time. We just got our third veg box/bag from Growing Communities with loads of fresh organic veggies. The bag has gotten better every week with basic things like potatoes, onions and carrots. Last week we had a stir-fry bag filled with funny leaves that I'd never tried before. The only one I knew was wild garlic, so I just chopped it all up and fried it with lotsa garlic, chilli and soy sauce - uhmm!

It feels really good to get veggies that still have dirt on them. It's so artificial that you literally can't see a sign of where supermarket vegetables come from here in the UK. I'm not saying it's much better in supermarkets elsewhere, but even in Greenland the potatoes have a little dirt left on them. It's also kind of scary to see how organics vegetables deteriorate so much faster than what you get from the shops. Our supermarket culture teaches us that courgettes can last a week or more, when really it starts shrinking and getting a little yucky after 2-3 days. The whole thing about tempered storage, reduced oxygen and extra carbon dioxide in the atmosphere around the green aisle and waxing makes an immense difference to our ways of treating food. We've come to expect these things rather than question how exactly those tomatoes from Chile made it all the way here and are still edible after a week.

Well, I also made it to the farmer's market in Stoke Newington a few weeks ago. There was a really nice atmosphere and all the stallholders were friendly answering my questions about weird breads and the possibility of finding some grains around.

My friend from back was visiting at the time, so I had a great time showing her around London. It was quite by surprise that we even found the market, but it's on every Saturday 10am-2.30pm. Maybe I'll see you there this Saturday?

The deets: The veg boxes that Growing Communities sell are by far the cheapest if you live around Hackney. In our flat it's quite helpful that we have 2 full days to pick up the bag rather than trying to make sure someone's home. There are so many nice places to pick up from - Hackney City Farm, caf├ęs and green grocers. Next month I think we'll change to an organic grocery store so we can stock up on a few other good things at the same time. It's supposedly one of the benefits of (comparatively expensive) Abel & Cole that's there's a great pantry to choose from. The standard veg bag keeps our flat well stocked for the week, but then 1 out of 4 has been too stressed to cook slash away since we started on the scheme. The no pots bag is definitely worth considering if you're like the rest of our generation - pasta is just all we know, and we should admit it like Fred in Portlandia.

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